Dellwood (Paramount) Country Club Discovers its History at the Crossroads of the Motion Pictures, Golf Industries
Club commemorates its tradition with exhibit and special event

NEW CITY, N.Y. (May 4) – When the members of Dellwood Country Club decided to research the history of the club, they never expected to find such treasures. To commemorate the club’s history, Dellwood members unveiled an exhibit and hosted a special event titled, “Celebration of the History of Dellwood – The Adolph Zukor and A.W. Tillinghast Legacy” on Tuesday, May 4th. Rudy Giuliani, a Dellwood member, attended the exhibit opening. The Tillinghast Association was well represented at the affair. Phil “the Author” Young gave a special presentation on Tilly. Our President, Bob Trebus was also there with fellow Tilly members Mike Beckerich , Jerry Chirichella and Debbie Brenner. Tilly’s favorite granddaughter, Barbara, and great-granddaughter, Monica, were also special guests of the Club.

Extraordinary, indeed! The rich history of the club includes a 20-year period, from 1918 to 1938, when the property was the private summer home of Adolph Zukor, the founder of Paramount Pictures. During that time, Zukor hosted many of the nation’s most celebrated movie stars, including Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford, while developing the property into a spacious estate with impeccable facilities and breathtaking views. Aside from his work, Zukor’s other passion was golf. He hired World Golf Hall of Famer, Leo Diegel, as his personal golf pro and commissioned world renowned golf architect, A.W. Tillinghast, to design an 18-hole golf course on the property.

“We had heard so many different stories and anecdotes about the history of the property that we decided last year to invest time and resources to thoroughly research the club’s history,” said Ron Sommers, the president of Dellwood Country Club’s board of governors. “Our findings have been nothing short of extraordinary.”

Today, Dellwood Country Club owns one of the most celebrated traditions of any golf club in the New York metropolitan area. “It has been fascinating to learn that Dellwood hosted so many legendary movie stars and also has an intriguing legacy with historic golf personalities,” said Sommers.

At the center of Dellwood’s illustrious history is Zukor, who fell in love with the Dellwood property after visiting Lawrence Abraham, the heir to the Abraham and Strauss Department Store fortune, who owned about 300 acres in New City. After purchasing the property, then called Mountain View Farm, Zukor acquired another 500 acres and built a number of new structures, including a night house for his family, guest house, movie theatre, locker room, greenhouses, garages and staff quarters.

Over the years, Zukor entertained leaders from all fields, including business, finance, theatre and the arts. Herbert Hoover, Thomas Edison and the Prince of Wales were among his guests. But the motion picture stars of the era dominated the scene, including Chaplin, Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Clark Gable, Ed Wynn, Adolph Menjou, Bebe Daniels and many more.

Zukor’s genius for discovering talent in the movie industry extended to the world of golf by hiring Albert Warren Tillinghast to design what is now the Dellwood Country Club course. By that time, “Tillie” had begun to make his mark in golf course design. He had already designed Shawnee in 1909 and Belmont Park in 1918. He would continue on to become the Dean of American golf course architects.

When Adolph Zukor hired Leo Diegel in 1924 to be his personal golf pro, he again demonstrated his keen eye for recognizing talent. Outbidding a Washington D.C. millionaire, he hired Diegel at a salary of $15,000 a year plus $10,000 for expenses. Leo taught Zukor for four summers.

Leo Diegel was one of the premier players of the 1920’s and 1930’s and one of the first Americans to make his living solely playing golf. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Diegel won consecutive PGA Championships in 1928 and 1929. In total, he won 31 PGA Tour events during his career, including four Canadian Opens. While at Dellwood, fellow pro Gene Sarazen often visited the club to play with Diegel.

Dellwood Country Club, established in 1948, is a full-service social club based in New City, N.Y. The club features an 18-hole, Tillinghast-designed course with 12 Har Tru tennis courts. The club has two pools, banquet and meeting rooms and many facilities for children, including a game room, playground with swings and TV room

A.W. Tillinghast confers with Adolph Zukor
on the first hole

An elaborate exhibit of the Club's history greated the attendees

Guest Rudy Giuliani demonstrates his putting skills as A.W. Tillinghast looks on.

View from the green of the first hole

A magnificent view forms a back drop for Number 2

The third is one of Tillinghast's "Tiny Tims"

The ninth hole a classic Tillinghast par 3

Tillinghast Association's Jerry Chirichella on Number 5