River Crest, Fort Worth’s oldest, most storied country club, opened in the spring of 1911 with a golf tournament, an outdoor barbecue for 500 guests, and a sale of surrounding home sites. Located five miles from downtown Fort Worth, the club was the first in Texas to include a residential housing development on its acreage. It was the first to stage a statewide women’s golf tournament, and its members founded the Women’s Texas Golf Association in 1916.
The club’s 6368-yard golf course, which borders homes designed by leading architects of yesteryear, has hosted legends of the game. Ben Hogan enjoyed the privacy of River Crest as he regained his form and stamina following a near-fatal highway crash in 1949. Byron Nelson was a regular in the River Crest gangsome. Olympic superstar Babe Didrikson Zaharias took golf lessons at River Crest and became such a fixture that the ladies created a tournament for her—the Texas Women’s Open, which brought top competitors to River Crest from 1935 to 1955. Home-grown golfing greats from River Crest include Polly Riley and Aniela Goldthwaite, who were players and captains on the U.S. Curtis Cup Team. Hollywood came to River Crest to film a scene for the Ben Hogan story, "Follow the Sun." More recently, the course and clubhouse have figured in the novels of sportswriter Dan Jenkins.
Today’s amenities include indoor tennis courts, a spacious fitness center, a 50-meter swimming pool. The clubhouse serves gourmet fare in a neighborly atmosphere. Staffers, who have been at River Crest up to 50 years, know members by name, making River Crest a club that conveys a sense of tradition as well as community.