HISTORY OF MESA VERDE COUNTRY CLUB
Established in 1959, Mesa Verde Country Club has always been a family-oriented club which takes great pride in promoting leisure and competitive sports activities and friendships for its members, their families, and guests in a variety of ways. Mesa Verde has always been known for its challenging golf course which is highly regarded not only in Orange County, but throughout the country. Mesa Verde provides its Members and their guests outstanding golf and practice facilities, a complete tennis facility with clubhouse, heated swimming pool, varying dining facilities and programs together with meeting rooms to promote camaraderie and friendships among the Members. Frequently, Members remark that Mesa Verde is more than just a private country club; it is a small community of friends having diverse but at the same time, similar interests. Mesa Verde offers a sense of belonging and the coming together of family and friends.
Mesa Verde recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and has one of more interesting and impressive histories of private clubs in Southern California. American Indians, ranchers, produce farmers, investors, developers, and multi-national corporations have played a part in the history of Mesa Verde.
Mesa Verde Country Club resides in the planned community of Mesa Verde located in Costa Mesa, California. The Santa Ana riverbed and bike path run along a portion of the course. The land upon which the club was built was once inhabited by an ancient civilization of Indians and later became part of the great Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana. Father Junipero Serra often visited the area as a retreat. The small, adobe casita he occupied still stands on a lofty knoll a short distance away from the Club.
In 1953, the Schroeder family purchased 152 acres of land in Costa Mesa for about $122,000 to grow yams, lima beans and other farm products. During the Southern California housing boom of the 1950s, the land on which Mesa Verde sits was sold to a development company which in 1957 announced plans to build “Mesa Verde Country Club and Estates”. Famous golf course architect William F. Bell designed the course in 1958. The original development was troubled by a variety of terrain and utility problems which resulted in a decision to sell Mesa Verde Country Club to a subsidiary of Boise Cascade which later sold the club to Japan Golf Promotions. The membership purchased the club in October, 1975 for a cost of $2.1 million.
Mesa Verde opened without a formal clubhouse in 1959. A Quonset hut served as a temporary facility until a permanent facility was constructed in 1960. From its inception in 1959, Mesa Verde has hosted a number of professional and amateur tournaments beginning with the Orange County Open in 1959 which was won by Jay Hebert. Most golfers remember Billy Casper who captured the second Orange County Open in 1960.
Perhaps the most famous winner of the fourth and final Orange County Open was Tony Lema whose name continues to be identified with Mesa Verde by way of a variety of memorabilia and the Tony Lema banquet room. When Tony won the Orange County Open in 1964, he insisted on champagne to celebrate earning him the nickname “Champagne Tony Lema”.
Besides PGA Tournaments, Mesa Verde has hosted a number of LPGA events including the Kemper Open and Uniden Invitational which were won by, among other Hall of Fame lady golfers, JoAnne Carner, Nancy Lopez and Pat Bradley.
In 1995, Mesa Verde hosted the initial Toshiba Senior Classic which was won by George Archer. Finally, Mesa Verde has hosted a number of prestigious amateur events such as the USGA Girls Junior Amateur Tournament.
Finally, in 2000, the Members recognized that to remain first class, Mesa Verde needed a new clubhouse. After a close vote, in 2003, a new clubhouse was completed and inaugural party held for the Members. Our new clubhouse offers spectacular views of the golf course and the snow capped mountains in the background and luxury amenities In sum, Mesa Verde Country Club is a true hidden oasis that offers a special lifestyle for its Members and their guests.