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Our Story

When Springfield developer and realtor John Klemm returned from Florida in early 1988 with the idea of building a golf course/residential development, civil engineer Russ Martin and attorney Randy Wolter joined him as partners in Panther Creek Development Corporation. The first decisions for this trio was to secure the roughly 400-acres needed to develop a new championship golf and residential community and who would be the best choice for designing the championship venue the group envisioned for Springfield. In late June 1989, it was announced the land had been secured and then two-time U.S. Open champion Hale Irwin would be retained as the Golf Course Architect. While construction was delayed in the Summer of 1990 due to heavy rains the construction of Panther Creek Country Club was completed in the Fall of 1991 with an opening date targeted for June of 1992.

As the community continued to grow and the club gained momentum within the local community the decision was made to sell the club to its membership for $4.5 million. First board officers including Mr. Bill Grant Jr, Bob McCarty, Dan Call, and David Groeninger founded what is now Panther Creek Country Club on December 29,1993.

Throughout Panther Creeks history it has hosted numerous amateur and professional events beginning in 1992, with an event Mr. Klemm declared as the “Tournament of Champions” this inaugural event was hosted in October of 1992, and won by founding member Dale Blankenship.  Later in 1993, Mr. Klemm announced the “First of America Challenge” would be played at Panther Creek in May of 1994, when tour players Orville Moody, Jim Colbert, Isao Aoki, Centralia native Tom Wargo and Chip Beck competed in a skin's game/scramble format for the entertainment of its members. 

As the Club continued to grow and gain momentum the membership pursued the idea of hosting professional golf at Panther Creek. In October of 2006, it was announced the LPGA’s State Farm Classic would move from its thirty–one year home at the Rail Golf Club in Sherman to Panther Creek in 2007. While the event had a great run with the LPGA and was televised from 2009 –2011, the nonprofit board for the State Farm Classic announced the end of the annual tournament because of the lack of corporate sponsorship ending a 36-year run of womens professional golf in Springfield. Over the next 7 years with the desire to continue hosting professional golf at Panther Creek the board pursued options with the PGA Tour regarding the next move for the Club. In January of 2016 then President, Judge Leo Zappa announced professional golf would in fact return to Panther Creek with the formation of the Lincoln Land Charity Championship on the PGA TOURS Tour. Now known as the Memorial Health Championship presented by LRS on the PGA’s KORN FERRY TOUR, Panther Creek will continue to host and is under contract thru the 2025 season.