Greenock Country Club History
Greenock Country Club has two very unique distinctions in the world of golf, it is one of the first 100 clubs built in America and it is one of only a handful of surviving 9 hole layouts crafted by legendary architect Donald Ross. There is little known about the course as it existed in 1895 but we do know that it was recognized by the USGA as an official course and was enough of a success to warrant the hiring of Donald Ross in 1927 to rework the layout. Ross had emigrated from Scotland to Massachusetts in 1901 and started working as a golf course architect almost immediately. He first landed work at Oakley Country Club outside Boston as a Club Professional but started tinkering with their course and realized he had a knack for the work. He soon found himself busy reworking existing courses and creating new ones all over the country and most of all here in New England.
Over the next 48 years Ross developed and built nearly 400 courses in the U.S. and Canada, many of which still exist today. Upwards of a dozen of his designs still inhabit the top 100 lists created by the experts and at least 3 of his best are still used regularly for the U.S. Open. Many of his original 9 hole works have either been enlarged to 18 holes or been lost to the changing landscape of golf in America, as it got very difficult for small clubs to survive during the depression of the 30's and the recession of the 70's and the extreme economic climate we face today. In that regard Greenock is very lucky, the club as we know still thrives and has been thankfully left alone and never reworked or chopped up to accommodate housing or some other outside force. The design is a perfect example of Ross' trademark principles incorporating the best of the natural features available with holes playing in all 4 directions and both up and downhill, additionally several of Ross' favorite tricks are in place with several elevated greens including a few with closely mown chipping areas surrounding them to offer more variety to all levels of player. In the last decade the club has introduced a program to expand the greens back out to their original size and shape and this effort has been very well received by members and outside players alike. The layout is one that can challenge the better player while also being very enjoyable for the casual golfer or even those learning the game.
Every summer the club welcomes the best club professionals from around the area and every year they fail to best the course record or turn the place into a "pitch and putt", and every summer the course is played by men and women, kids and seniors with all sharing equally in the fun. Greenock has always had a place on the "Must Play" lists both here in Berkshire County as well as in the world of Donald Ross fanatics of which there are many.
Greenock has been a solid contributor to the enjoyment of the game of golf in its first 100 years and should continue to do so for many years to come.
© 2015 Greenock Country Club, Lee, MA 01238