185 Burning Tree Dr. - Naples, FL 34105-6308
(239) 261-1032
Today is March 25, 2017

About Us

A Brief History of The Country Club of Naples


Harold "Ben" Ruhl starts the club and his plan is to develop a golf course on the outskirts of Naples and sell lots around the course for homes. Indiana based golf course architect, Bill Diddel, is hired to design a Florida golf course. The club’s first superintendent, Paul Nevers, constructs the golf course by digging the lakes and using that dirt for the greens and tees.  The development is named the "Big Cypress Golf & Country Club."



Big Cypress Golf & Country Club becomes the first private, full-service country club in Naples and the fourth golf course.  The Beach Club, Hole-in-the-Wall, and Palm River are already active golf courses. 


The members buy the club from the developer for $700,000 and rename it The Country Club of Naples. Members join for initiation fees starting at $1,000 and dues are less than $300 a year. By the end of the year, the club has 212 members. Phil Darbyshire is the club’s first Head Golf Professional. 



The members take over the operations of the club. C. Frank Nelson is the first President of the Board of Directors. The year ends with 300 members.



The club becomes one of the premier social centers of Naples life.  It is referred to simply as "The Country Club" by members, local press and town's people.  Famous names of Naples history are members and frequent guests.  Neapolitans will recognize the names Downing, Frye, Watkins, and Lutgert, to name a few.  



At the age of 86, designer Bill Diddel shoots a 74 at CCN. This was a national record for strokes under age. Bill Diddel is later immortalized in Ripley’s “Believe It or Not” by shooting his age or better 1,120 times. 



The club builds a new pro shop, locker rooms, kitchen, dining room, and offices.



A new 25,000 sq. ft. clubhouse, bag storage building, pool and cabana open to the membership on January 4th. The 25th anniversary is celebrated two weeks later.



The lake system is interconnected and becomes the basics for today’s elaborate drainage system.



A soft, crushed shell cart path system is installed for $26,000.



The greens are completely rebuilt to USGA specifications. Tees are rebuilt adding 263 yards to the length of the course.



A five-phase redecoration of the clubhouse is begun with the living room, card room, hallways and guest bathrooms being redone.



The dining room is redecorated. The Tavern by the Green is built, expanding the clubhouse an additional 1250 sq ft.



The 1962 irrigation system is replaced, rebuilt, and modernized.  



The offices and the Board room are remodeled. 



For the first time since it was originally constructed, the golf course is shut down for a major restorations.  Florida architect Gordon Lewis, ASGCA, is hired to lead the complete rebuild of the golf course.  The course is now 6,772 yards from the tips with six intermediate sets of tees providing for all levels of golfers.  The course reopens on Halloween to resounding success.   

2016  During the 50th Anniversary celebratory year, a $7.6 million renovation of the clubhouse begins on April 4th.  The renovated clubhouse reopens on Thanksgiving Day.  Expanded casual dining space, a large outdoor verandah, indoor/outdoor seating, and a vibrant new look!