The initial talks about Four Hills Country Club, known now as The Canyon Club at Four Hills, began as early as 1955 when it was still a gleam in the eye of club founder, W.D. "Bill" Brannin. Having ridden horses in the area, Mr. Brannin pursued the Speakman Ranch as a possible site for the Club. While searching for the owner of the Speakman Ranch, he met Marshall Wylie and Harry Driver, who would soon become the financial backbone of the project.
After the finances were laid out, Mr. Bob Baldock was hired to design an 18 hole golf course on the site, which possessed at the time, only a lone windmill. He took advantage of the natural terrain and mountainous foothills in his design by building small well-trapped greens and narrow rolling fairways. Surprisingly, no water source had been located until well after the watering system and the course design was under way. After drilling 1,000 feet, with no sign of water and fear of abandoning the entire project, miraculously they hit a gusher of 3,000 gallons per minute. With the water source located and the course layout in place, there was one final piece; the Clubhouse. Gordon Ferguson, the original designer of the Civic Auditorium, would soon design the Clubhouse and complete Brannin's dream.
On July 5, 1959, over 500 guests gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the Club. Some of the guests would be the very ones who took on an active role in maintaining the golf course in the earliest days. It wasn't unusual to see 4 and 5 families working together with shovels, buckets, and taking care of fairways. In 1959, Four Hills activities included golf, tennis, swimming, dining, and horseback riding.
Let us not forget the dedication of those earliest members and the contributions they made, which continue to make the Four Hills Neighborhood, and now The Canyon Club, New Mexico's premier member-owned private club.
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