Ed Walker and Art Preston, old friends and business associates, had been doing oil and gas projects together for over twenty-five years before they envisioned what is now the Kingsley Club. It all began with a mutual desire to create a golf club in the states that emulated the great Old World traditional courses they had experienced. The realization of their initial vision then fell upon the shoulders of Ed Walker. Ed, after considerable effort found the land the club occupies, organized and supervised the construction of the course and facilities, established the membership guidelines, articulated the basic philosophy, and has served as managing member and chairman of the Kingsley Club, LLC since its inception in 1998.
Ed and Karen recently celebrated their 52nd anniversary and live in Traverse City. Ed has business interests throughout the country and continues to work tirelessly to ensure that the Kingsley Club provides a unique unparalleled experience for its members and their guests. Art, who has recently passed, had primarily split his time between homes in Houston and Lexington, Kentucky while managing his varied business interests.
The Kingsley Club covers 400 acres of varied terrain, more than enough to build a golf course, of varying terrain, contour, and vegetation. The soils of the property are glacial deposits which drain freely, are resistant to erosion, and support a diverse plant community. The majority of the land is upland with dramatic elevation changes in many places and contours that range from smooth-flowing valleys and hills to erratic ridges and bowls which rise and fall sharply. There is a wetland in the center of the property that has been left undisturbed and away from the golf course and facilities.
Much of the property was clear-cut in the 1980's and was left with little mature vegetation. Much of that area has been incorporated into the golf course, particularly on the front nine, where the course is virtually treeless in the center but bordered by mature northern hardwood forest. The openness of these holes, combined with the high elevation of the property in regard to the surrounding landscape, exposes the golfer to the elements and constantly challenges his resolve to not only beat his opponent but also nature.
The area of the back nine also had some clear-cut areas, but also has many fine maple, oak, beech, and pine trees which highlight the holes. The eighteenth re-emerges into the open landscape, completing the transition back to the grassland of the front nine.
The land is a haven for wildlife including fox, wild turkey, bobcats, sandhill cranes, ruffed grouse, and waterfowl. During season (April–November) the course displays a constantly evolving array of native flowering flora.