REIDSVILLE — In 1928, Charles A. Penn hired Roland E. Haga, a renowned architect and builder from Virginia, to design and construct a suitable early English Tudor-style country club in Reidsville.
To ensure the club would be the best he could make it, Penn also contracted with premier golf course designer Donald Ross to transform the rolling hills and woodlands around the club into a beautiful and challenging golf course.
Ninety years after its official opening on Aug. 17, 1929, Pennrose Park Country Club still retains the grandeur and elegance of its original design.
Throughout the years, the club was considered the social center of the community. In recent years, changes in management saw the club membership decline. The Penn family remained in control of the club, with family members always serving on the board. However, four years ago, descendant Ted Penn put the club up for sale.
Jim Lurz and three other Reidsville residents met with Penn to discuss buying the majority ownership of the club. Lurz’s wife, Kay, is a granddaughter of Haga.
Penn agreed, and Lurz and his partners, Steve Citty, Brent Barber and Stacy Ashley, immediately started planning to bring Pennrose Park Country Club back to its original pinnacle.
“We really wanted to get it back to the way it was,” said Lurz, the board chairman. “It once was the center of social life and activities in Reidsville and Rockingham County. It could be a major draw to the city.”
Under the new ownership, many improvements have been made to the facilities and the golf course, Lurz said.
One of the first major changes was renovating the basement area — where the pro shop is located — from its longtime status as a storage area. Today, visitors enjoy a downstairs lounge, bar and card room, conveniently adjacent to the pro shop, which now is more modern-looking.
The bar in the Bea Penn Moore Room was refurbished with a granite counter top, large television and a complete wet bar.
The swimming pool at the corner of Pennrose and Cypress drives, with offers a view of the golf course, also underwent changes, including resurfacing and the addition of a gazebo and a bar area.
The country club’s parking area has also been resurfaced.
The new owners said they hope these changes will encourage people to hold parties and receptions at the pool.
The golf course is true to the original Ross-designed course, Lurz said.
“It remains a real gem hidden in the rolling hills of the northern Piedmont and is still true to its reputation of requiring precision shot-making,” he said. “If you can play well at Pennrose Park, you can play well anywhere.”
Over the years, the two unused tennis courts on the north perimeter of the club have been replaced by a golf practice facility with putting greens, sand traps and a chipping area.
In an effort to encourage people to join the club, the board created various membership packages: full family membership, individual, social, young executive, golf and pool.
Pennrose Park has always had a reputation for serving great meals and being a focal point for families to enjoy meals, especially on weekends.
Lurz said the board is working to continue that reputation by hiring Greg Lee as the chef. The restaurant is open Wednesday through Saturday nights and Sundays for lunch for members and their guests.
The club is available to the general public for special events, such as class and family reunions, business and organizational meetings, wedding receptions and rehearsal dinners. Organizations and businesses are encouraged to consider holding their regular meetings at the club. Lee will provide special menus for those meetings.
Lurz said the changes have enhanced the usability of the club while also retaining its character.
“Pennrose Park is the place where the whole family can come to relax, play and socialize with their friends and neighbors,” he said.
“For golfing, swimming, dining, tennis or for socializing, Pennrose Park is the place to be.”