ENDICOTT (WBNG) — With the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open taking place this weekend, we dive into the history of the En-Joie golf course and what it means to the community.
You’ll be hearing the name En-Joie quite a bit, but you may not know where the name comes from, or how this local icon became a part of our community.
Since 1971, the course has hosted a PGA tour stop, with the exception of 2006 in the aftermath of that year’s catastrophic flooding.
Tournament Director John Karedes said, “here you’ve got one of the premier public golf courses in the country so there’s no reason to leave it, we’ve endured floods with the county and we’re looking forward to many more years here at En-Joie.”
But how did this Southern Tier landmark become part of our community? Like many things, it’s roots can be traced straight back to the generosity of the Johnson family and the large tract of land that would become West Endicott.
“In 1927, George F. Johnson decided to take a hundred acres of that property and build a golf course. The plan was for it to be a golf course just for the employees, their family, and friends,” said Broome County Historian, Roger Luther. “When he announced it in the newspaper, he said hey if a golf course is good for a business man it should be equally good for the working people. So that was the idea, to make it cheap and make it usable by the employees of Endicott Johnson Corporation”
So, where did the name En-Joie come from? It’s simple, the name was a take on the letters EJ and enjoy, because the course was something for the workers to enjoy.
“The course we know today is much different than the one George F. commissioned way back in 1927 and that has to do with his desire to create a course that wouldn’t frustrate his employees,” Luther says.
The original course was built with only a few trees, and no ponds or bunkers. The course was meant to be enjoyable for the Endicott Johnson employees not to be overly complicated or stressful.