George Wright Golf Course

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George Wright Golf Course is a public golf course in Boston, Massachusetts. The course was designed by the great Donald Ross as one of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects in the 1930s. The course opened in 1938.

The course is named for George Wright, who was a Hall of Fame baseball player with the Cincinnati Reds, along with being one of the leaders of introducing golf to the Boston area around the turn of the 20th century.

It represents one of the least known but impressive examples of Donald Ross's breathtaking design art.

In the late 1920s a group of citizens in Boston came into the control of the Henry Grew estate in the Hyde Park section of Boston. Their intent was to have the City of Boston build a golf course that would actually be a private club. Donald Ross was commissioned to design the course. When the market crashed in 1929 the project was abandoned.

The Grew estate was not particularly suitable for building a golf course. It was a mix of ledge and swamp. There was a good deal of speculation whether a course could be built there.

In 1932, Walter Irving Johnson, who had worked for years as an Associate of Donald Ross, took on the project as an engineer for the Massachusetts Metropolitan District Commission. George Wright became one of the great feats of engineering and building in the annals of golf. Before completion, 60,000 pounds of dynamite were used to excavate the ledge, 72,000 cubic yards (55,000 m3) of dirt were spread to raise the ground above the swamp level, and 57,000 feet (17,000 m) of drainage pipe were laid to drain the property. The WPA provided the funds to build the course, estimated at $1,000,000 by completion in 1938. At one time 1,000 men worked on the project. By completion, George Wright sported a full-sized 18-hole golf course, as well as a 3-to-6-foot-high (0.91 to 1.83 m) rock wall that encircled the entire 156-acre (0.63 km2) site. In addition, a Norman-style clubhouse of mammoth proportion was constructed at a cost of $200,000.

The course features spectacular views and rugged terrain, most notably the fairways of the 5th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 17th holes. Over half the holes on the course include significant hills that often cause the golfer to hit blind shots. Somewhat narrow fairways guarded by large numbers of mature trees also make this relatively short course extremely challenging.

The hill on the 12th hole approaching the green (the "Double-decker," with the steep face also known as "Suicide Hill") has been used for years by locals in the winter as a popular place for sledding and tobogganing. Despite a death in the mid-1990s in the small pond adjacent to the hill, the City of Boston still permits the practice. [1]

The course is a municipal course managed by the City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department. The course is open seven days a week from April 1 through November 30. This par 70 layout measures 6,440 yards (5,890 m) from the back tees.

The course is located at 420 West Street in the Hyde Park section of Boston, at approximately where West Street turns into Poplar Street.

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Coordinates: 42°16′05″N 71°07′58″W / 42.26806°N 71.13278°W / 42.26806; -71.13278