Mr. J. Sloat Fassett, an Elmira businessman and politician, was introduced to the sport of golf during a trip to Scotland in the early 1890's. Upon his return, a half-a-dozen flags were reported seen on the grounds of Strathmont, his family home - thus introducing golf to Elmira and the Southern Tier of New York.
By inviting many of his friends and neighbors to participate, Fassett rapidly expanded Elmira's interest in the sport, and on October 21, 1897 at a meeting of 317 charter members, the Elmira Country Club was founded. The original clubhouse was a farm home on upper Underwood Avenue and was used from 1898 to 1909. The club was so successful that a new clubhouse was built in 1909, across from Roricks Glen on West Church street, and had a nine hole course, tennis courts and riding trails. The second clubhouse was sold in 1920 and is now home to the Dominican Monastery. The next clubhouse was built in 1920 to accomodate further growth at the cost of $55,000.00. Additions and improvements over the years since 1920 included a men's bar and lounge, enclosing a porch for a locker room, addition of a women's locker room, a stag room, a kitchen expansion and so on until it was realized that after 80 years, it was time once again to build yet another new clubhouse.
At the turn of the millennium, member surveys were taken and professional club consultants and architects were hired and the present clubhouse was born. The new structure features a traditional design with an elegant yet warm interior including a grand ballroom with seating up to 400, adult and family dining rooms, a formal dining room, fitness center, men's and lady's card rooms and a state of the art kitchen that would be the envy of any professional chef.
The original nine holes of the course were designed in 1898 by golf luminary Willie Dunn, and the nine holes to the east were designed in 1922 by A.W. Tillinghast, a New York architect who also designed The Black Course at Bethpage, home of the 2002 U.S. Open. To ensure that the course continues to be of top championship quality, improvements were initiated in 1991 under the direction of architect Stephen Kay. Play proves to be a challenge for both the recreational and competitive golfer. Elmira Country Club has been honored to have hosted four (4) New York State Amateur Tournaments in 1957,1983, 1997, and 2012 and the New York State Mid-Amateur.