The History of Cosmopolitan Golf Club LA
Recognizing, the need of a local body to conduct and govern tournament play, the Cosmopolitan Golf Club LA was launched in 1944 as a state chartered nonprofit club with membership open to all amateur golfers. Los Angeles was in the midst of its wartime growing pains and the black golfer had multiplied in number from a scant 40 or 50 in the late 30's when the West Coast Golf Club had hosted the United Golf Association National Open and Amateur Championships in 1939, to several hundred golfers who actually formed the chief source of income at several of the local public courses.
Henry Lewis was the first president of the new club, which was spearheaded by the Golden Stare Mutual Life Insurance Company, the executives of which gave willingly of their time and facilities to aid the new program. Many of them were active members of the club. Membership in the club ran well over a hundred from the beginning, including, both men and women. In makeup, however the organization presented a cross between some who had been caddies from an early age in different parts of the country, to those who had only recently tackled the game as recreational sport to replace tennis, softball and other sports that age had demanded we forego.
It is not strange that many problems arose that only an experienced leader such as Jimmie DeVoe, one the country's first few real golf professionals, could solve. Mr. DeVoe was appointed Club Pro and Tournament Director. He immediately instituted a program of monthly tournaments at the old Sunset Fields courses, where the Broadway and May Company, were located, and currently houses Wal Mart and Macy's. That caught the fancy of club members and was a driving force in inducing them to improve their own games. An outstanding example of this improvement through tournament play was Paul Hickman, at the time a brand new golfer, who started winning the class D championships in 1944 and climaxed his drive by winning the Cosmopolitan Open Class 3 in 1948, meanwhile capturing all intervening classes.
The chief objective of the Cosmopolitan Golf Club LA has been to set a style of conduct and demeanor on the golf links that would stamp the individual as a Cosmo member in the eyes of their opponents and co-players on the public courses and therefore gain for themselves respect and participation in tournaments open to public links golfers.
Cosmopolitan has been blessed with a succession of able leaders. It was under the presidency of J. Cullen Fentress that the Club was revitalized. He revamped the constitution and bylaws, established a building program for a clubhouse, set up a Cosmopolitan Golf Club LA Woman's Auxiliary, and laid the ground work for a junior golf program which came into being in 1956 under Frank D. Adams. Sr.
As a member of the United States Golf Association (USGA) and a charter member of the Western States Golf Association and the Southern Area golf clubs, the Cosmopolitans are continuing their tradition of excellence in golf and community. Under the stewardship of President Don Conkrite, the club is moving forward with a revitalized vision and building on its mission of "Going Places".