Atlanta Athletic Club Established
During the mid to late 1800s, the United States was experiencing an unprecedented growth in the interest of sports, especially amateur sports. At the time, Atlanta did offer many social clubs, but there was no club organized for the purpose of promoting athletics. Led by Burton Smith, a group of 65 men formed the Atlanta Athletic Club (AAC) in 1898. The original clubhouse was located on Edgewood Avenue, just below the Equitable building.
The club initially had no golf course, but four years after it was founded, it had more than 700 members. John Heisman, the Georgia Tech football coach for whom the famed Heisman Trophy was later named, directed the club’s athletic program of swimming, tennis, basketball and track. The original clubhouse was located on Edgewood Avenue, just below the Equitable building in downtown Atlanta.
Visitors to East Lake today may notice the Atlanta Athletic Club’s crest on the front of the building (pictured below). The Atlanta Athletic Club added golf to its program in 1904, when it established the East Lake Country Club on the site where East Lake Golf Club exists today.