This year, Metropolis CC celebrates both its centennial and its future, according to club president Harold Grunfeld. “One of the most important features we’ll unveil this year,” he says, “is not only a new swimming pool and pool complex but also a new recreation area for our club’s future, our children.” Coupled with a planned renovation of the clubhouse, scheduled to begin in the fall, the new children’s area demonstrates the club’s dedication to its next 100 years.
Metropolis began life as the country cousin to the Metropolis City Club, a social organization in Manhattan that was founded in 1879. The city club incorporated the country club in 1922 and purchased the former site in White Plains of Century Country Club, which in turn moved to Purchase, leaving behind a golf course built by Herbert Strong in 1904.
The golf course has been updated throughout the club’s history. A.W. Tillinghast redesigned the course and added four holes, the current 7th, 12th, 13th, and 14th. In 1998, architect Ken Dye lengthened it to its current 6,827 yards, and in 2013, Ron Forse was hired to oversee a total renovation that was completed in 2015. The course has hosted numerous major metro-area tournaments. This year, it will be the site of the Westchester Amateur Championship.
Metropolis CC is known for the outstanding playing professionals who headed its golf staff over the years. They include World Golf Hall of Famer Paul Runyan, aka “Little Poison,” who won the 1934 and 1938 PGA Championships among many other events while representing the club. Jack Burke Jr. went on to win the Masters and the PGA Championship after serving as the Metropolis club pro until he joined the PGA Tour full-time. “Lighthorse” Harry Cooper, who amassed 31 victories on the PGA Tour, was head pro at the club from 1953 to 1978.
In the modern era, Yonkers native Gene Borek, head pro from 1980 to 2005, won three Met PGA Championships, played in 11 PGA Championships, and competed in 10 U.S. Opens. Borek drew national attention in 1973 when he shot a course-record 65 in the U.S. Open at Oakmont, a record broken just two days later by the championship winner, Johnny Miller. Current head pro Craig Thomas has competed in four PGA Championships, three Sr. PGAs, and numerous PGA Tour and Champions Tour events. Thomas held the course record (64) at Bethpage Black until it was broken by Brooks Koepka at the 2019 PGA Championship.