For the second consecutive year, Litchfield Park’s The Wigwam Resort has been named to the Top 25 Historic Hotels of America’s Most Historic Golf Courses list for 2022.
Leo Simonetta, The Wigwam’s director of golf operations, said it’s “a great accolade.”
“It’s always great to be recognized by your peers and it’s always great to be recognized against other clubs and other hotels of that nature,” Simonetta said. “It’s something to be very proud of, and something to keep striving toward to make sure you don’t come off of that list.”
Simonetta said keeping the course authentic accounts for its success.
“I think it’s just the charm of the facility. It’s kind of like embracing the fact that it is old school,” Simonetta said. “It’s been here for a while, the trees are extremely mature and the grounds around the resort are extremely mature. So, it kind of has a feel like you stepped back in time in a good way.”
The Wigwam’s history dates to 1929, but the golf course was created the following year. As Goodyear grew — the area became Litchfield Park later — the resort grew with it. In 1965, well-known golf architect Robert Trent Jones was hired to design the award-winning Gold and Blue courses. The Red Course was created soon between 1974 to 1976 to complete the 54-hole course that is used today.
Under Simonetta’s tenure, he didn’t envision many changes to the golf course. He and his team sought to instead re-establish its historic foundation.
The facility saw a dip in interest and the course was uninspired, so the ownership resurrected the vibrance and excitement by repairing the infrastructure without sweeping changes.
“What we wanted to do was try to get it back on the map,” Simonetta said. “We wanted to enhance the conditions first and foremost.”
After the restoration, The Wigwam and its life was restored, thanks in part to U.S. Open and Canadian Tour qualifiers and the U.S. Golf Association (USGA) events.
“I don’t think the community really wanted to see it, necessarily change a whole lot and become a new, modernized facility,” Simonetta said. “They wanted to see it restored back to what it was.”
With the returning guests, The Wigwam is a top golf destination in the country.
“We’re very proud of the fact that the membership is very healthy again. You know, it’s kind of restored its place into the community,” Simonetta said. “I used to see a lot of new members here with families, but it’s nice to see from the older members that they’re really happy with everything."
About Historic Hotels of America®
Historic Hotels of America is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. Historic Hotels of America has more than 300 historic hotels. These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated historic hotels. More than 30 of the world’s finest hospitality brands, chains, and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance.