Transit Valley started with humble beginnings and has become one of the finest golf courses in New York State. The Club was established in August 1921 when nine men met to plan a new country club in Western New York. The first challenge for the new Board of Governors was to convince others to join a country club which was only conceptual in nature. After only one week, the Board was able to persuade another thirty-one people to join the Club. Charging everyone an initiation fee of $200 and annual dues of $50, Transit Valley now had its funds to organize. Land was purchased in East Amherst, New York, which was a great distance from the majority of the population in the City of Buffalo.
Construction of the Golf Course started almost immediately and George Langlands was hired as course keeper. Mr. Langlands was a course construction expert who had been in the employ of such nationally known course builders as Donald Ross. He had spent many years in designing and constructing under more than a dozen different links builders whose names are almost as familiar to golfers as Ross. To complete the construction as quickly as possible, members worked side by side with the work crew. Members of the Club even had to pay the work crew payroll out of their own pockets until Initiation Fees from new members could be obtained. The front nine was completed in September 1922. As more members joined, the Club grew and the last nine holes were completed in 1924.
The next order of business was the construction of a clubhouse. In order to obtain a mortgage, it was necessary to remove all encumbrances from the property. This required that the Club raise $60,000 by selling sixty Life Memberships at $1,000 each. This was accomplished and the construction of the Clubhouse began. In April 1926, the construction was completed and the members had a new clubhouse, and a new $90,000 mortgage.
There were many men who helped Transit Valley become established as a first-class country club. One of those men was Ganson Depew, after whom the Championship Trophy for the New York State Amateur Golf Tournament is named. Ganson Depew was an Honorary Member of Transit Valley from 1924 until his death in 1934.
Transit Valley’s reputation as one of the finest golf courses drew some of the world’s greatest golfers. Walter Hagen, Sam Snead, Cary Middlecoff, Jackie Burke, Jimmy Thompson, Bobby Locke and Gene Sarazen all were visiting players. Walter Hagen was an Honorary Member of Transit Valley.