In 2012, Fountaingrove Golf and Athletic Club asked a long-time member to write up a history of the club. The resulting essay became our most researched biography of all time. Here is an edited version of that piece.
Fountaingrove Golf and Athletic Club is situated in the hills of northeast Santa Rosa, in an area that Thomas Lake Harris established as Fountain Grove in 1885.
Harris also established a winery on the property with Dr. John Hyde. The winery became very successful. When Harris eventually returned to New York, he turned the property over to his adopted son, Kenaye Nagasawa. The adjacent park, where the Club shares the lake on Holes 10 and 17, was named for him.
Nagasawa died in 1934, and Fountain Grove Ranch was sold in 1940 to Robert and Barbara Walters, who ran cattle there for the next 35 years. The Walters were friends with Robert Fitzpatrick, who headed Teacher Management & Investment (TMI). Fitzpatrick purchased the lower 800 acres of the ranch in the late 1970s. In 1981, the City of Santa Rosa approved TMI’s application to develop a master-plan community, which would include a first-class golf club and future adjacent resort with more than 400 rooms. In 1984, Ted Robinson, Sr., completed his 18-hole course design for the golf club, winding through and around the hills of the ranch. The semi-private course opened in 1985.