At the turn of the 20th century there were more than one thousand golf clubs in the nation with clubs in every state. The game of golf was catching on rapidly but was primarily played by the very wealthy. As small courses began to spring up in towns, more citizens discovered golf’s appeal, broadening the base of golf players.
In our area in 1896, a small group of men had put together six golf holes on forty-eight acres of leased farmland in Noroton. They named it Wee Burn Golf Club. It was located alongside the Boston Post Road, across the road from St. Luke’s Church. The second and third presidents of that club during the years 1907 to 1915, Schuyler Merritt and Theodore Hoyt, were to become key players in the creation of Woodway.
In 1903, Merritt and Hoyt, together with other Wee Burn Golf Club members formed Wee Burn Land Company to enable the purchase of land for an 18-hole course golf club. Prominent among the 31 shareholders of that company were Schuyler Merritt and four Hoyts, Theodore, Edward, George and Walter.
Theodore Hoyt stepped forward in 1916 to purchase what most considered an ideal location for a country club. The founders agreed that the Woodway Farm located on Hoyt Street in Darien was the key parcel of property which would make up Woodway Country Club. Theodore Hoyt personally secured a total of 184 acres for Woodway Country Club at a cost of $64,000. The Board’s first resolution was to reimburse Hoyt. The Board selected Willie Park, Jr., a golfer of the highest rank, golf club maker, greens keeper and golf professional for more than 30 years, as Woodway’s golf course designer. To this day, the barn located at the east end of the driving range is a nod to the property’s origin as a dairy farm.
In 1936, a number of Woodway's members who lived in Stamford, and in particular those who lived on Shippan Point, suggested the acquisition of Shippan Beach Club. Many felt it was one of the finest beaches on Long Island Sound. Formal negotiations materialized in February of 1939 and Woodway finally purchased the Beach Club in 1948 for $150,000. In 1988, Woodway Beach Club underwent a $3 million renovation and was re-opened in the summer of 1990.
In early 1999, groundbreaking began for the current main clubhouse located at 540 Hoyt Street on a piece of the club property formerly used for the Annual Gun Club. This beautiful building was completed in early 2001. A magnificent, state-of-the-art pool and tennis complex was opened in 2013.
In the one hundred years of the Club's prosperous existence, Woodway has grown to become one of the premier country clubs in the United States. Located in picturesque lower Fairfield County, Connecticut, the Club offers year‑round services to its members at its two properties.
At the heart of Woodway is the sport of golf. The gorgeous 18‑hole course is recognized as one of the best in the state of Connecticut. The Club has hosted many prestigious golf tournaments and events. Woodway also offers a full slate of other sports and activities for its membership to enjoy including tennis, bowling, swimming, beachside activities and paddle tennis. The Country Club property is located in Darien, Connecticut, which features its state-ranked 18 hole golf course, main clubhouse with banquet facilities, tennis and paddle courts and pool and tennis complex. Woodway Beach Club stands on Shippan Point on Long Island Sound in Stamford, Connecticut. It also features a beautiful clubhouse, picnic patios, beach, tennis, aquatic activities and a full schedule of events during the summer season.