In the early part of 1952, Robert P Minton, Jr. approached his father, Robert P Minton, Sr. with the idea of organizing a new golf and country club. Mr. Minton, Sr. then approached Raymond Bischoff and together the wheels were set in motion.
After looking at a number of locations the property that seemed most logical was found at the southeast corner of Bardstown Road and Watterson Trail. This property, the Wildwood Farm, was the home of thoroughbred Hereford cattle, with bluegrass sod covering 70 percent of the rich soil.
The rolling landscape on both sides of Fern Creek, with its beautiful old trees along the banks, helped make it an ideal location for a future championship golf course.In February, 1952, Mr. And Mrs. Raymond Bischoff negotiated for the purchase of the present site, consisting of 177 acres of ground and all improvements, from Mr. And Mrs. A. A. Fischer.
On June 5, 1952 the Planning and Zoning Commission granted the request to establish a golf course and country club. Shortly thereafter the nationally recognized golf and landscape architect, Mr. William H. Diddel of Indianapolis and Ormond Beach, Florida was engaged to design the eighteen-hole golf course of 6400 yards with a par 72.
Wildwood Country Club, Inc. was organized under the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the articles of incorporation were drawn on June 16, 1952. The gentlemen instrumental in obtaining the property, arranging financing, and beginning the development of the clubhouse and golf course acted as nominees and/or representatives of the guarantors when signing the articles and simultaneously elected the first Directors and Officers of the club as follows: Robert P. Minton, Sr. – President; Hobart Mathias-Vice-President and Treasurer; and Irvin W. Imhof-Secretary.
In the interval from March to July 1, 1952, the tract was being prepared to transform from a farm to a golf course and country club. Construction work for the golf course and lake started on July 3, 1952. A large amount of money was saved by using topsoil from the ten-acre lake site for the greens. The Club By-laws were adopted August 29, 1952, with an Initiation Fee of $400.
During the spring months of 1953, the first floor of the 12-room Victorian mansion, built on the property in 1898 by the John Taggert family, was converted into the Clubhouse and was furnished for lounging and reception rooms. A 117×50 ft. stone addition was constructed for dining and club activities. A large tile barn was converted into locker rooms, showers, and bar. At this time over 200 members had been enrolled.In April, 1953 the members initiated the plans to build a swimming pool, to be built for the coming summer months. The Henry Bickel Company was contracted for the construction.Although not all the club facilities were available the first round of golf was played on May 30th, Memorial Day, 1953.
The formal opening of the club was celebrated with a dinner dance on November 14, 1953.The first foursome consisted of Lew Davis, Otto Funk, Bill Gardner, and R. P. Minton Jr.
Wildwood Country Club, in addition to the clubhouse and a golf course, now has practice golf areas, a large swimming pool and four clay tennis courts; yet the rolling landscape, and fine old trees are still here to remind us that we can blend the past with the present for the enjoyment of all.