Essex County Country Club has been touched by some of the game’s best designers, with A.W. Tillinghast routing a new layout on the current site in 1918. Seth Raynor kept seven of Tillinghast’s original holes (Nos. 1 through 6 and the ninth) during a 1925 redesign. Before construction began, Raynor passed away, leaving his associate and Charles Banks to do the rest. Banks favored the template holes of Raynor and Macdonald and his brilliant renditions are still standouts today, including a Redan, Double Plateau, Alps, Punchbowl and Eden. A young Gil Hanse extended the course to 7,100 yards, added fairway bunkers and removed thousands of trees. In the fall of 2023, Hanse and his team will return to perform some updates—most notably reinvigorating the dogleg-left opening hole—continuing the portfolio of great architects to have worked at this storied New Jersey site.
Best in State: Ranked in Top 15 in New Jersey since 2015.
2023-'24 ranking (and previously): 13th.