Wellshire 100th Anniversary


Do you know that the Wellshire Golf Course and clubhouse were originally built as a private country club by George Olinger in 1926-1927?

The area had previously been a farm. Mr. Olinger also planned to develop the entire Wellshire neighborhood. The golf course was designed by the renowned golf course architect, Donald Ross, whose courses include the Broadmoor, Royal Dornoch (Scotland), Pinehurst No. 2 (North Carolina), and Oakland Hills (Michigan). The Wellshire Golf Course is the only public Donald Ross course west of the Mississippi.

The beautiful and distinctive Tudor-style clubhouse was designed by local architect George Musick. Musick designed many significant Colorado buildings including Bryant-Webster Elementary, the US Customs House, First Baptist Church, Colorado State Capitol Annex, and the University of Denver Classroom building which are all on the National Register of Historic Places.

Financial difficulties thwarted Mr. Olinger’s plan for the Wellshire neighborhood, and in 1936 he sold the golf course and clubhouse to the City and County of Denver at a considerable loss for just $60,000. The city operated the course and clubhouse until the building suffered major damage in a 1962 fire. It was closed for a decade when famed restaurateur, Leo Goto, and his partners leased the building from the city to create one of Denver’s finest restaurants, the Wellshire Inn, which operated through 2008. Since then, the clubhouse has been leased as a private special events space. The lessee also operates the golfer’s pub, and the city runs the pro shop.

The High Line Canal runs through the golf course and for many years filled the Skeel Reservoir, named for farmer Ark Skeel who sold the land to Olinger. The reservoir was used to irrigate the golf course until 2018 when the reservoir was drained due to the dam being compromised. Since then, the driving range has been closed. The city is hoping for FEMA funding to decommission the dam so that the driving range can be rebuilt.

People are starting to come together to plan a 100th anniversary celebration in 2026. Thanks to everyone who came out to the planning happy hour on Sept. 13 at the Golfer’s Pub. Attendees shared a lot of great feedback and we would like to hear from you if you were not able to make it by adding your comments here.


Let Denver know what you like about our courses and your suggestions for improvements here.