The Mt. Prospect Golf Club was established in 1925 by a developer named Axel Lonnquist, who aimed to create a luxury community in Mount Prospect. Lonnquist envisioned a suburban area that combined the natural beauty of the surroundings with modern suburban ideas. The centerpiece of Lonnquist’s vision was the Northwest Hills Country Club, which he believed should be associated with owning a lot in his development. The country club initially opened in 1926 with a nine-hole course, expanding to 18 holes in 1929 and introducing the Clubhouse.
Despite reshaping Mount Prospect, Lonnquist did not achieve substantial financial success. He held onto his land during the 1929 crash and subsequent Great Depression, ultimately selling it at significant discounts in 1931 to repay debts. While he managed to develop streets, the country club, and a few demonstration homes, few of the homes he built at the time remain standing.
After he sold the land, it was acquired by Harold Wilson, who renamed the club the Mt. Prospect Country Club. Wilson transformed it into a semi-private club with annual dues until 1950 when he sold it to Henry Sophie. Sophie operated the club for a few years before selling it in 1958 to Richard Hauff, a reputed gang member with a mysterious past. Hauff, who was born in Iran and later adopted by a U.S. Army Engineer, had potential as a golfer but became associated with organized crime. While the source of his money remains uncertain, it is suspected to have had Mafia ties. Hauff redesigned the course and hosted the women’s Master’s PGA tournament in 1959, putting Mt. Prospect on the map. However, the venture was not profitable, and Hauff declared bankruptcy in 1960, leading to the course’s sale. The Mt. Prospect Park District purchased the course in 1961, making it a public course that remains a valuable asset to the community, as Axel Lonnquist had originally intended.