Lake Polk, which was named after the former division superintendent of the road, L.J. Polk, was formed in 1892 when the Santa Fe Railroad Company dammed up Bird’s Creek to create a supply of water for the company. After several years, the water became of greater interest to the citizens of Temple because of its central location and its overall pleasing appearance. A group of citizens banded together in an attempt to turn the lake and surrounding property into what the group described as a “pleasure resort.” The Lake Polk Association was formed. One of the first orders of business for the Lake Polk Association was the creation of a private club on the lake that featured boating and included a hunting and fishing club. For more than 20 years the club successfully operated despite several reorganizations of the Association.
Sammons Golf Links
In 1921, the new Santa Fe Park Association decided to add a golf and country club that would operate as an auxiliary club of the parent association. In December 1922, club president L.S. Williamson officially opened the Lake Polk Golf and Country Club, one of only a few nine-hole courses in the state. After some lean times, including the Great Depression, which the course and club managed to survive, the club added another nine holes in the 1950s and renamed the new 18 holes and facility the Temple Country Club. The name and general layout remained the same for 30 years.
John F. Sammons, Jr.
John F. Sammons Jr., former Mayor of the City of Temple, has been instrumental in ensuring that Sammons Golf Course is one of the premier golf courses in Central Texas. John Sammons initiated efforts to have a municipal golf course in Temple so that everyone in the community would have access to the game of golf. In the mid 1980’s, Sammons redesigned the entire course, and today’s layout is very similar to that design.