The origins of Berkeley CC reflect the same spirit that imbues the Club today: a group of friends and golf lovers wanting a great place to play golf and relax. There were thirteen of them at the first official meeting of ’The Berkeley Country Club’ sometime in early 1920.
The group found a property with breathtaking views of San Francisco and the surrounding area, and turned to Robert Hunter and Willie Watson (architect of the Olympic Club) to design the layout. Robert Hunter was a founding Club member and head of the Green Committee. While Watson was initially identified as architect of record, we now know it was Hunter who was principally responsible for the course design. By the mid-1920’s, Hunter had formed a partnership with Alister MacKenzie that saw the two of them collaborate on such courses as Cypress Point, Meadow Club, Monterey Peninsula, and the Valley Club of Montecito.
Walter Ratcliff Jr., a prominent Bay Area architect, was selected to design the Club’s magnificent English Tudor-style clubhouse and ballroom addition. It has remained substantially unaltered, albeit updated and restored in 2002.
The Club suffered financial difficulties following the Great Depression, membership dropped, and other entities had visions for the property. After much consideration, the Club was reorganized and adopted the name, ’Mira Vista Golf and Country Club’.
In 2011 the course underwent a complete restoration by Forrest Richardson & Associates. This included the installation of bent grass greens, the addition of 15 bunkers lost over time, creek restoration, and a state of the art maintenance facility. The restoration received national recognition including the first ever Award for Excellence from the prestigious American Golf Architects Association.
The ’new’ Berkeley Country Club remains a testament to the Golden Age of Golf in America and the vision of two legendary golf architects, Robert Hunter and Willie Watson. Challenging yet playable for all skill levels, Berkeley CC is back and ready to delight a new generation of Bay Area golfers.