A Brief History of the Suburban Club

Since its founding in 1900, The Suburban Club of Baltimore County has been a focal point for social and sporting activities for its members and their guests. Located on what was then farmland in the countryside outside the city of Baltimore, the Suburban Club sits today on 130 acres nestled in Pikesville, just inside the Baltimore Beltway. Throughout its first century and beyond, the Suburban Club has added to the beauty of the area with its meticulously landscaped grounds and sweeping fairways.

On November 22, 1900 eighteen members of the Phoenix Club met in Baltimore to discuss the forming of a country club out in the suburbs, and a Certificate of Incorporation was executed six days later. On November 7, 1901, that dedicated group opened the grounds and clubhouse of the Suburban Club of Baltimore County for members and their guests to enjoy. The original expansive Colonial Revival shingled clubhouse, designed by noted Baltimore architect Joseph Evans Sperry, contained social and dining rooms, expansive porches, men’s and women’s parlors, a ballroom, and 20 sleeping rooms for members and their guests. This clubhouse served the membership until 1957, when it was deemed to be obsolete, and was torn down and replaced with a modern mid-century designed building complex, which, with some additions and renovations, remains to this day. The spacious ballroom is the focal point for lavish social events, parties, weddings, and Bar Mitzvahs, and the popular “Kneipe” Dining Room has always been a favorite member hangout.

Golf has always been a central element of sporting life at Suburban. The founders appropriated $1,200 in April of 1901 to build a nine-hole golf course, which opened for play in early 1902. The course was one of the earliest golf links established in the Baltimore area, and to this day is the oldest golf course still in use in the region. The initial nine-hole course, laid out under the direction of the Grounds Committee and constructed by R. B. Hyland, was so popular with the membership that in 1917, the club hired noted course architect A.W. Tillinghast to renovate the original nine, and expand the course to eighteen holes. Tillinghast’s master “shaper”, Peter Lees, oversaw the performance of this work at Suburban. In 1945, the club hired another renowned course architect, Robert Trent Jones, Sr., to make further refinements to the course. Since then the golf course has undergone further alterations and renovations, primarily in 1964, 1982, and 2004. Today, the club maintains the highest standards to the care and maintenance of its highly regarded championship course.

Suburban golf has always maintained a vigorous season-long tournament program, as well as both men’s and women’s competitive interclub teams. There are also full long and short game practice facilities, and a 3-bay indoor teaching and practice center, for members to hone their game.

Tennis has also been an integral part of Suburban since the day it opened. The sport has always been popular here, and today the club has 13 Har-Tru outdoor tennis courts, 4 indoor Har-Tru courts, as well as 2 all-weather courts, 2 paddleball courts, and facilities for our newest sport, pickleball. Our indoor tennis bubble, the only one in the area with Har-Tru courts, provides opportunities for play all year long. There is also a full in-season tournament program, and very competitive men’s and women’s interclub teams.

Swimming didn’t arrive at Suburban until the 1927 season, when the current Olympic sized glazed-tile pool was opened for members and their guests to enjoy. It has been at the center of Suburban’s summer sporting and social activities ever since, even producing an Olympic Bronze Medalist, Wendy Weinberg, in 1976.

The club has undergone many transformations over its 120-plus years, but still maintains a robust membership, beautiful grounds, and the reclusive settings established by its founders in 1900. Many generations of dedicated members and staff have maintained and enhanced the club over the years, and today we still work hard to establish new traditions and make the Suburban Club experience available to families throughout the Baltimore area.