Marine Memorial Golf Course, the home course of the PMGA, opened on September 22, 1948, and was originally named the “Windmill Canyon Golf Course”.
Major General Graves B. Erskine was the Base Commander at the time and the course was built due to the recent closure of the Santa Margarita Golf Course, where many Marines played.
On May 13, 1947, famous golf architect, William “Billy” Bell began surveying the land which would later be developed into the course as we know it today. In addition to “our course”, Bell also developed the La Jolla Country Club and the San Diego Country Club.
On opening day, rental clubs were free and the “green fees” were either $1.00 or $1.50, based upon rank.
The original course had 75 sand bunkers, while today there are 57 sand bunkers strategically placed.
The original course “played” 6458 yards, while today is stretches to 6865 yards from the tips.
In August 1949, the movie, “the Sands of Iwo Jima” was being filmed aboard the Base and John Wayne acted as the celebrity referee for the “Screen Glamour” day at the Marine Memorial Golf Course. Actress Marilyn Monroe served as the official scorekeeper for a match of the Post Golf Team being played against the Republic Stars Golf Team.
President Richard Nixon, a resident of San Clemente, was well known to land his Presidential helicopter on the driving range, as Marine memorial was his “home course”.
Today, in addition to our regular PMGA club events, the Marine Memorial Golf Course has hosted several All-Armed Forces Golf Championships, several All-Marine Golf Championships, the annual Southern California Military League “Year-End” Tournament, and “our course” has been slated by the Southern California Golf Association (SCGA) to host an SCGA Championship event.