Originally, Mission Hills was founded in Jackson County, Missouri. The clubhouse was located on seven acres in Missouri with the golf course stretching across 121 acres in Kansas. It was typical in those days that clubs with golf courses were built in the suburban or outer areas of a city, and Mission Hills Country Club was no exception. The founding fathers decided to pave and develop what is now known as Belinder Road. As the city grew around the club, Mission Hills Country Club found themselves within city limits.
When Prohibition went into effect in 1917 with the passage of the Volstead Act, the Club was seriously affected. Franklin D. Roosevelt, elected President of the United States in 1932, worked to have the Volstead Act repealed in 1933, much to the delight of our membership. However, state regulations made it impossible for a business to carry a liquor license in two different states. Because the Board of Directors wanted to distribute liquor on both sides of the state line, they decided to sell the seven-acre Missouri property in the early 1950’s and move the clubhouse onto the 121 acres in Kansas. With this move came the redevelopment of the golf course and the development of a much larger clubhouse. When feeling nostalgic, one can visit the original seven acres where the clubhouse was originally erected … now known as The Carriage Club!
In 1955 architects Clarence Kivett and Ralph Myers designed a spectacular building in contemporary architecture. They traveled the nation inspecting country clubs before drawing the plans for what they believed to be "one of the finest and most beautiful clubhouses in the country". Members in 1929 talked about the clubhouse costing $400,000, including furnishings. In 1955, the 1.25 million dollar undertaking included the clubhouse and remodeling the golf course --on the Kansas side of State Line Road.
Along with the new clubhouse, an L-shaped swimming pool, tennis courts and a parking lot for 250 cars were constructed. The eighteen holes were attractively landscaped and renumbered, with the addition of seven new greens built under a remodeling plan by William Diddle, Carmel, Ind., golf course architect. A new 1,200-foot roadway leading from an ornamental gateway on Mission Drive provided principal access to the new clubhouse. The roadway wound uphill to the clubhouse located on high ground. A new bridge over Brush Creek was built to carry the road.
In 1967, a Ladies Card Room was added and in 1973, the Men’s Grill was completed. Two more major renovations, one in 1990 and one in 2001, were completed to update and enhance the clubhouse.
In history one will find that country clubs started as all men’s club dating all the way back to ancient Greek times. However, over time these male dominated clubs had to change in order to survive. The mid-thirties through the late 70’s brought times of great prosperity for country clubs, as families’ entire livelihoods were based on club activities. Mission Hills Country Club members were no different. However, a boost in public golf courses, six figure incomes becoming more prevalent than seven figure incomes, double income families, and "father not knowing best" have caused country clubs to stand up and take notice of the younger generations. Just as other clubs have noticed these trends, Mission Hills Country Club redeveloped its clubhouse in 2001 in order to appeal to these younger families that are enticed with the same amenities at other less expensive venues. If it is true that history repeats itself you can plan on yet another major change at Mission Hills Country Club in about 2050!
Not The Great Depression, three major wars, economic hardships, terrorist attacks nor the evolution of the American family, have yet to hinder the survival of this beautiful family club known as Mission Hills Country Club.