League of the Iroquois

Bellevue Country Club is honored to be a member of The League of the Iroquois, “the oldest amateur golf league in the world” (Grantland Rice)

  

Started in 1913, Bellevue competes annually with its fellow clubs, Oak Hill in Rochester, Wanakah in Buffalo, and Yahnundasis in Utica. This year, the 104th Pow Wow will be played here at Wanakah Country Club on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, June 15-17.

The initial idea for The League started at Yahnundasis as they foresaw the possibilities of an innercity competition that would promote brotherhood and inner-city business development; so they set about to promote it. The initial cities' representatives met with Oak Hill and a permanent name was chosen when Oak Hill's John Kavanagh pointed out that the Clubs from the four Upstate cities occupied the same geographical areas of the League of the Iroquois.

The golfers decided to follow the same ancient league procedures as The League of the Iroquois with each Club President being given the name of Sachem, and the presiding officer of each annual tournament, The Pow Wow, called the Chief Sachem. The President and Treasurer is called the Chief Wampum Keeper and along with the Secretary and the Tadodaho (Historian) manages the affairs of The League annually. Wanakah Members Comstock, Ahern and Gannon have held the position of Chief Wampum Keeper for the past 50 years. However in 2002, the torch was passed for the first time to Syracuse, the home of the Onondaga Nation and the League of the Iroquois with Jack Rade of Bellevue becoming the Chief Wampum Keeper based on having been a caddie & League Player for Ahern and Gannon many moons ago.

All matches are played in the order of the setting sun, starting with the host club. This means at the 104th Pow Wow this year, Bellevue will be playing the team from Oak Hill on 6/16 in the morning, (while Wanakah plays Yahundasis), followed by Wanakah in the afternoon (while Oak Hill plays Yahnundasis). Matches are concluded on 6/17 with Bellevue playing Yahnundasis while Wanakah plays Oak Hill.

The annual council fire of the League of the Iroquois Pow Wow is more than just another golf tournament. Its old friends and new acquaintances gathering to enjoy the brotherhood of The League, to share the feasts and firewater's of the host club and to promote business and the goodwill of the four cities.
 
The League is special to all Bellevue Players who believe that: “So long as the water sweeps down from the North and the mighty Niagara flows to the sea, The League of the Iroquois will meet each year for friendly competition, great feasts and to promote the goodwill of the four great cities of Upstate New York, the land of the Haudenosaunee.”

If you'd like to learn more about The League, please contact our Pro Steve Aloi or Jack Rade.