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Essex County Club

Manchester, MA Private

Overview

Essex County Club is considered the first great Donald Ross design and perhaps his most intriguing. He wasn’t the original architect, but he served as its professional from 1909 to 1913 (until his design business became so lucrative he no longer needed the pro job) and lived on site, so he was able to tweak many holes. Ultimately, he returned to do a substantial remodeling in 1917. Unusual holes are the order of the day, from the flat opening nine with fuzzy chocolate drops covered in tall fescue grasses to the blind shots, both uphill and downhill, on the back nine. The par-3 11th, with its green resembling the deck of a sinking ship, and the downhill par-4 18th, shaped like an S around small hills, are special. The club insists its third green, created in 1893 and preserved by Ross in his remodel, is the oldest green in continuous existence in America.

About

Holes 18
Length 6555
Slope 130
Facility Type Private
Year Opened 1893
Designer Donald J. Ross, ASGCA

Awards

100 Greatest
Best Courses in Every State

Ranking history:

100 Greatest: Ranked since 2017.
2023-'24 ranking: 78th.
Previous ranking: 79th.
Highest ranking:
No. 73, 2019-'20.

Best in State: Ranked third, 2019-'20. Ranked fifth, 2011-'14, 2021-'22. Ranked sixth, 2015-'18. Ranked inside the top 10, 1987-'91, 2009. Ranked inside the top 15, 2001, 2005-'07.
Current ranking: Fourth

Panelists

Ratings from our panel of 1,900 course-ranking panelists

4.8

100 GREATEST/BEST IN STATE SCORES

Shot Options
7.6236
Character
7.8642
Challenge
7.3579
Layout Variety
7.8426
Fun
7.7052
Aesthetics
7.734
Conditioning
7.5496

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