The concept of developing a residential community with a golf course in the Bethany Beach area began in July, 1982. Donald Wilgus contacted golf course architect, Algie M. Pulley to explore the cost and feasibility of creating a golf community near the waters of the Indian River Bay. After Mr. Pulley’s visit and recommendations, Mr. Wilgus formed a limited partnership and Cripple Creek Properties, L.P. was born.
The property known as Cripple Creek had long been the holding of the Clarence Holt family. The land produced strawberries, winter wheat and the Delmarva Peninsula’s most abundant livestock, chickens. In the earlier days, a small lumber mill was in operation directly across from what is now the club entrance. The original 142 acres for the Cripple Creek project were purchased from the Bay Colony Limited Partnership in 1983.
Ground was broken for the front nine on June 17, 1983. In August of that year, one hundred guests attended an introductory party on the property, and utilizing two farm tractors with wagons, those in attendance were driven over the site and shown what they could expect. Many of that day’s guests have since become good and faithful members of Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club. In February of 1984, Mr. Wilgus hired the Club’s first grounds superintendent along with Mark Alwin, golf professional. On July 21, 1984, the front nine officially opened for the forty-eight charter members. Although the golf was rained out after two holes, the enthusiasm for the Club was not dampened. An afternoon party at the new Bay Colony clubhouse was well attended and gave the new members an opportunity to become better acquainted. The back nine was under construction at that time and would not be available for play until its opening on Memorial Day weekend, 1986.
On May 1, 1993, the members assumed responsibility for the Club and its assets from the Limited Partnership which founded it. The first President of the new membership-owned Club was Ralph Bogart and a new Board of Directors was elected to manage the Club’s expanding activities.
On May 28, 1994, the membership voted unanimously to begin construction of a new clubhouse adjacent to the pool overlooking the 9th and 18th greens. A ground-breaking ceremony was held on Labor Day weekend in 1994 and the new facility became operational in early 1995.