Burning Tree was founded in 1962 by a group of men who wanted to start a club that would provide a social and sporting venue for families and not just golf for men, which was the norm at the time. Our Founders were part of a new, post-war generation of businessmen who traveled frequently and didn’t see their wives and children except on weekends. Therefore, they made it a goal to have a club whose membership would mirror the local community. Consequently and unusually, right from the start there were quotas on members from the same corporation. 

Potential members were interviewed in the old Showboat Hotel, now the Delamar Greenwich Harbor. Burning Tree’s first office was on the same site as the bar of the current L'Escale restaurant. The original initiation fee was $2,500, which was used to purchase the initial sixty acres for the nine-hole golf course and pool. The pool shack was used also as the clubhouse during these early years.

The front nine was finished in time for the 1963 golf season and the back nine came in 1965, by which time Burning Tree had 150 members. Their social lives revolved almost entirely around the new clubhouse, which had been designed by architectural college students.

Burning Tree developed and flourished in the following decades, consistently making changes and improvements to the golf course, which developed a reputation as being one of the most challenging in the area. Many visiting golfers still scratch their heads as to why they score higher at Burning Tree than at other courses with higher slope ratings. This is a shot-makers course. Spraying the ball here will cost you. The front nine was built around and through a meandering stream emanating from Putnam Lake. The back nine has a completely different, more isolated feel with its dense trees, rocks and hills. Burning Tree has hosted several US Open Qualifying tournaments, MGA tournaments and many local charity tournaments over the years.

The first pool lasted nearly 40 years until it was replaced by the eight-lane, 25-meter competition facility that opened in 2001. We now enjoy one of the finest aquatics programs in the area, where our children compete and their parents make lifelong friends cheering for them in swimming, water polo, diving and synchronized swimming competitions. Many of our Members’ children have gone on to compete at college level after getting their initial aquatic training at Burning Tree.

The pool is also headquarters for the Burning Tree Summer Camp that takes 4-12 year olds through a summer schedule of aquatics, golf and tennis instruction while managing to squeeze in fun and games. The Summer Camp commenced in the 1960s and is a sellout every year.

The paddle tennis courts were relocated and rebuilt in 2001. Our paddle program thrives throughout the winter months. We have active interclub competitions and the pro staff insists on promoting a casual, social atmosphere whilst providing lots of warmth during the cold winter days. The courts are floodlit and the paddle hut is a cozy, inviting spot on campus.

The tennis program is flourishing and has always been a mainstay at Burning Tree going back to the 1960s. We have an active interclub schedule and our youth programs are recognized at the regional level. Many of our youth tennis players have gone on to star locally and collegiately. We have seven courts and the noise level from the Tuesday night “under-the-lights” crowd seems to have very little to do with tennis and much more to do with having a blast during the summer months.

Burning Tree’s new clubhouse opened in 2005, with a wide variety of dining options, including private parties for groups as small as 15 and as many as 250. Members catch rounds of TV golf after their own rounds at the Founder’s bar. We have a formal Dining Room and casual grill as well as space in our Salon Rooms that can be decorated and tailored for all ranges of events.   Our member Halloween Brunch draws over 200 costumed ghouls annually. Our outdoor summer Sunday Cookouts on our back lawn are legendary as well as our Labor Day Weekend cookout where the staff smoothly serves over 800 people and clears the dishes in time for the annual fireworks show.

Burning Tree is truly a family club with great facilities and great members, as our Founders wished it to be.