The courses at Firestone are not the only renowned golfing grounds in Ohio that owe their existence to the tire industry. Akron once housed the four largest tire manufacturers in the United States, one of which was B.F. Goodrich, and three members of the Goodrich family founded the Portage Country Club during 1894 (golf historians will also note that the first Haskell golf balls were also manufactured at the Goodrich factories).
After changing locations and scrapping its rudimentary nine-hole course, William Langford (of Langford & Moreau fame) was hired to design a full 18. A.W. Tillinghast also did brief work here during the ‘30s, and the club more recently had the bunkers reconstructed during 2014.
The club holds dearly its run of successful head professionals, which almost won each of the four majors. Denny Shute won The Open (1933), and the PGA Championship twice (1936, 1937), while Herman Keiser won The Masters during 1946. We say “almost” because Al Espinosa came painfully close to a U.S. Open title during 1929. The only thing that stood between him and the cup was Bobby Jones, who beat Espinosa in a playoff (before completing the full Grand Slam the next year).