To the newly arrived hacker on the Island, Mink Meadows sounds like some kind of luxury fur farm. But Vineyard golfers know better.

For 75 years now, the Mink Meadows Golf Club has welcomed players who appreciate its layout, condition and laid-back culture. The nine-hole track on West Chop — just a drive and a wedge from Lake Tashmoo — has hosted everyone from U.S. presidents and captains of industry to farmers and trades people.

They’ve also grudgingly admired the aesthetics of the “mink,” or long grass that’s said to resemble mink when it waves in the wind, but tried to steer clear of its hazards.

As the club approaches an August celebration of the 75th anniversary, its members have paused to reflect on its history — and its singularity.

“It’s all about the golf,” said club president Joe Fitzgerald. “We’re a modest operation. It’s very ego-free. You have people from all walks of life who play up there.”

If trees could talk: club history shares amazing stories. — Ray Ewing

“It’s like walking into the Stop and Shop,” added longtime member Rollie Savage. “Everyone’s there, across the board.”

The founder of the club was New York banker Robert L. Bigelow, who bought the property sometime before 1928 when it was mostly oak forest. He started cutting fire lanes that ultimately formed a rough outline for a golf course.

At some point, Mr. Bigelow was bitten by the golf bug and envisioned grand plans for the property, including estates surrounding 18 or even 27 holes, but the Great Depression intervened. A clubhouse was built in 1937, but the course was closed during World War II, its fairways a perfect site for Mr. Bigelow’s son, Robert P. Bigelow, to learn to drive a car, according to a history compiled by club member Nancy Morris.

In 1962, according to a Gazette story, there was talk that “real estate promoters saw Mink Meadows and dreamed of a second Levittown development,” the postwar cookie-cutter, low-cost housing tract.

The word reached summer resident LeRoy Goff, who enlisted investor Samuel L. Fuller to buy an option on about 240 acres, including the golf course, from Mr. Bigelow’s son. Mink Meadows Association, which owns the golf club and developed about 60 parcels, was founded.

Mink Meadows
Public and Presidents welcome at course that celebrates 75 years this summer. — Ray Ewing

Over the years, the club has made a number of course improvements and built a new clubhouse in 2005, but retains its golf-first emphasis. It has hosted a number of charity events, but has no restaurant and no lavish member gatherings.

“I think someone may have worn a blue blazer up there sometime,” said Mr. Fitzgerald, “but I can’t remember the last time I saw one.”

The semiprivate club has about 280 memberships (which include family memberships), but the sign at the end of Golf Club Road says, “Public Welcome.”

During the season, nonmembers pay $55 for nine holes, $80 for 18. That’s a far cry from 1939 rates, when you could play all day for $2, but a good deal by 2011 standards.

Winter players warm golf balls on car defrosters and brave blizzards, but summer is par excellence. — Ray Ewing

The 3,078-yard course invites tee shots to relatively forgiving fairways, but more difficult second shots into manicured greens protected by bunkers. It has no water hazards — players get a peek of Vineyard Sound on the eighth hole — but the “mink” seems to gobble up balls.

Each hole has two sets of tees, so those who want to play 18 holes will get a slightly different look the second time around. Consistent with its quirky nature, one of the holes has two greens, which serve as the sixth and 15th greens.

Some players endure the most severe conditions, bundling up and hacking away at the course in the winter. Writer Ward Just, in his 2002 essay Winter Rules, rhapsodized about winter golf, recounting how he would warm golf balls on the car defroster as he headed to Mink Meadows. (They travel farther when warm.)

Chris Morse of West Tisbury is too busy in the summer to play as much as he’d like, but he is among a small band of committed winter golfers at Mink Meadows, no matter what the conditions.

Caddies and carts available: “It’s all about the golf.” — Ray Ewing

“We have played when it’s snowing horizontally,” he said. “We have played in blizzards.”

In the club history and in interviews, Mink Meadows members and employees speak affectionately about the wide cross-section of players who have made their mark over the years.

Among them were Albertha and Andrew Steele, who played into their early 90s, eschewing motorized carts, “and never held anyone up or slowed them down,” according to the club history.

In an interview, Mr. Savage, who heads one of the club’s committees, recounted that during one round, Mrs. Steele was standing on the eighth hole when the sprinklers came on and shorted out her hearing aid. She soldiered on and the club paid to repair the device.

Porch or putting green, Mink Meadows is ego-free. — Ray Ewing

And there was Pinky Silvia, who played three times a week on his one leg, according to the club history. For longer shots, he would lean against his three-wheeled cart, hit it straight, then fall to the ground. On the putting green, he used crutches.

On August 13, the members and invited guests will celebrate with some golf, a cocktail party and dinner. “This is about as formal as we get,” said Mr. Fitzgerald, the club president.

Who knows, there might even be a blue blazer or two in the crowd.