The Country Club

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Country club (disambiguation).
The Country Club
Brookline 4138885494 e2ed847b65 o.jpg
President Taft at the club in 1913
Club information
Location Brookline, Massachusetts
Established 1892, 124 years ago
Type Private
Total holes 27
Designed by Willie Campbell (1895)
Alex Campbell (1902)
Par 71
Length 7,033 yards (6,431 m)
Course record 64
The Country Club  is located in USA
The Country Club 
The Country Club 
Location in the United States
The Country Club  is located in Massachusetts
The Country Club 
The Country Club 
Location in Massachusetts
The Country Club in 1913
The Country Club in 1913

The Country Club, located in Brookline, Massachusetts, is one of the oldest country clubs in the United States. It holds an important place in golf history, as it is one of the five charter clubs that founded the United States Golf Association, and has hosted numerous USGA tournaments including the 1913 U.S. Open won by then-unknown Francis Ouimet. Today, the club has nearly 1300 members.


The club originally was founded 124 years ago in 1882, and is listed on the USGA's list of the first 100 clubs in America.[1] The original club was focused on horseback-riding and other outdoor activities; the golf course was not built until 1893. For several years there were conflicts between golfers and other club members over land use; in fact the original golf course overlapped with the pre-existing race track.[2]

The golf course itself grew in several stages, and so is not the result of any one architect. The first six holes were laid out by three club members in March 1893, and the following year the Scot, Willie Campbell, was brought in as club professional. He oversaw the expansion to nine holes that summer, and to a full 18 holes by 1899 following some land acquisition. Around 1902 the Haskell golf ball became widely used, necessitating a further lengthening of the course. After an additional land purchase, two club members designed three new holes which opened in 1908. Rees Jones renovated the course further in preparation for the 1988 U.S. Open.[3]

In 1894 The Country Club was one of the five charter clubs which founded the United States Golf Association. The original purpose was to sponsor an undisputed national amateur championship, which was first held in 1895. The first U.S. Open (almost an afterthought) was held the following day. The first USGA championship held at the club was the 1902 U.S. Women's Amateur.

In 1896 the Club hired Scottish professional Alex Campbell, who would go on to serve as the head professional from 1896–1916. Campbell was in large part responsible for the development of caddy Francis Ouimet into a championship caliber player.[4]

The 1913 U.S. Open was held at The Country Club. The heavy favorites were English legends Harry Vardon (1900 U.S. Open winner; four-time Open Championship winner) and Ted Ray (reigning Open champion). After 72 holes the pair found themselves tied with 20-year-old amateur Francis Ouimet — who had grown up across the street from the course and was a former caddie at the club — forcing an 18-hole playoff the next day. In a shocking upset, Ouimet soundly defeated the two professional golfers in front of a large gallery, and the resulting newspaper stories captured the imagination of the American public. The number of golfers in the country at least tripled in the subsequent ten years, with a corresponding increase in golf courses (including many public courses, opening up the game to a larger segment of the population). The 1963 and 1988 U.S. Opens were also held at The Country Club, the 50th and 75th anniversaries of the Ouimet victory. However, the 2013 U.S. Open, marking the 100th anniversary of Ouimet's improbable win, was contested at Merion Golf Club near Philadelphia. The Country Club instead hosted the 2013 U.S. Amateur.

The story of Francis Ouimet’s triumph at the 1913 US Open was commercialized by Mark Frost’s 2002 book, “ The Greatest Game Ever Played". Coincidentally, author, Mark Frost shares the same surname as the former 1976 President of “The Country Club”, Thomas B. Frost.

The club hosted the Ryder Cup in 1999. This intense match exploded into controversy following a competition-turning 45-foot putt on the 17th green by Justin Leonard (the same green where Ouimet effectively clinched his victory), as the other American players stormed the green in celebration before José María Olazábal had a chance to attempt his own difficult putt. Olazábal was forced to regain his focus after order was restored, and missed the shot.

The Country Club has long been considered the best course in Massachusetts and has hosted a record 10 Massachusetts State Amateur Championships.

Governor Deval Patrick revealed that his and his wife's application to join The Country Club was rejected.[5]

In 2009 The Country Club violated the Wetlands Protection Act. The water in the drinking fountains that were placed throughout the golf course were deemed to be contaminated. [6] In response to contamination findings by the Environmental Protection Agency, The Country Club was ordered to repair its water and irrigation systems and remove drinking fountains from the course. As a result of the environmental issues The Country Club anachronistically established the “Issac/Childs Historic Trust” to purchase the bordering homes of Country Club Members who suffered injury due to contamination and overflow from The Country Club. The Issac/Childs Historic Trust is named for club members John W. Childs and Jonathan Issac, who is the son-in-law of club president G. West Saltonstall.

In 1973 The Country Club was served an Involuntary Revocation of its Charter by the Massachusetts Secretary of State. The order was executed for refusal to disclose revenue and income to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue and the Internal Revenue Service. In 1986 The Country Club applied for a revival of its 501 C3 status.

Golf courses[edit]

The golf facilities have a total of 27 holes, divided between two courses.

The Main Course is composed of the Clyde and Squirrel nines, essentially the original 18 holes. This was the course used for the 1913 U.S. Open, and is the course played by members today.

The other nine holes are the Primrose Course, an executive course built in 1927. This was designed by William S. Flynn, who also (re)designed Shinnecock Hills, Cherry Hills Country Club near Denver, and the Cascades Course at The Homestead, and the Kittansett Club also in Massachusetts.

The Championship, Composite, Anniversary, or Open Course is used for major competitions today, when a longer layout is required. In this configuration, three and a half holes from the Primrose Course are used to replace three holes of the Clyde, resulting in a length of almost 7,400 yards. This layout has been used for major competitions since the Primrose Course was built.


Major championships[edit]

Year Major Winner
2022 U.S. Open TBD
2013 U.S. Amateur Matthew Fitzpatrick
1995 U.S. Women's Amateur Kelli Kuehne
1988 U.S. Open Curtis Strange
1982 U.S. Amateur Jay Sigel
1963 U.S. Open Julius Boros
1957 U.S. Amateur Hillman Robbins
1941 U.S. Women's Amateur Betty Hicks Newell
1934 U.S. Amateur Lawson Little
1922 U.S. Amateur Jess Sweetser
1913 U.S. Open Francis Ouimet
1910 U.S. Amateur William C. Fownes Jr.
1902 U.S. Women's Amateur Genevieve Hecker

Other tournaments[edit]

Notable members[edit]

Catherine Hooper-Madoff

Hon. Maryanne Bowler

Eliot Wadsworth - Former Director of Alta Colleges.[8]

Other facilities[edit]

In addition the club has five indoor tennis courts, four outdoor tennis courts including grass courts, paddle & squash courts, an olympic-sized swimming pool with a cafe, curling, skeet shooting, skating & hockey pitches.[9]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°18′48″N 71°9′3″W / 42.31333°N 71.15083°W / 42.31333; -71.15083