Reading Country Club was chartered by the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County, Pennsylvania, on June 6, 1922, as a corporation not for profit. The club purchased 237 acres of land, consisting of two farms and four additional tracts of land in Exeter Township. The golf course, consisting of nine holes, was laid out by renowned architect, Alexander Findlay, and opened in 1923. A second nine opened for play in 1926. The present clubhouse was completed in 1931.
In 1937, Byron Nelson was hired as the club's golf professional. He arrived at Reading Country Club in 1937 right after winning the Masters. He told a fellow professional that he used his $1,500 first place check from the Masters to stock the pro shop. That summer he finished 20th in the U.S. Open and played on the first Ryder Cup Team to win on British soil. While in England he finished 5th in the British Open.
Hole 14Later that year he won $3,000, the largest first prize on the PGA Tour, by beating Henry Picard in the finals of the Belmont Match Play in Massachusetts. He won twice on the PGA Tour in 1938. In June 1939 he won the U.S. Open at the Philadelphia Country Club's Spring Mill Course by defeating Craig Wood and Denny Shute in a three-way play-off. That year he also won the Western Open, the North and South Open, and was runner-up in the PGA Championship. Nelson resigned his position at RCC in late 1939 to become the professional at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.
In 1940, Henry Clay Poe followed Nelson as the professional at RCC. He came from Winged Foot Golf Club where he had been working as Craig Wood's assistant. While playing the US Open play-off with Craig Wood, Nelson mentioned that he would be leaving RCC at the end of the season and they would be in need of a pro. Poe served RCC for 23 years. During World War II he had to leave to work in a defense plant from 1943 through 1944. In 1953, he was elected president of the Philadelphia Section PGA and held the office through 1956 without ever having held any other office in the section.
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