January 3, 2019

Plainfield Country Club

Edison, N.J. / 7,091 yards, Par 72 / Points: 61.4727
Plainfield CC hole 9
LC Lambrecht/Courtesy of Plainfield CC

82. Plainfield Country Club

Donald Ross (1921)/Gil Hanse (2010)

There are a number of lofty architectural names attached to Plainfield, most recently that of Gil Hanse, who a decade ago restored the course to Donald Ross style bunkers and putting surfaces. One name not often mentioned is that of club pro Marty O’Loughlin, who combined a par-4 and par-3 in 1930 to create the present, terrific par-5 12th and also carved holes 13, 14 and 15 from an adjoining forest, a three-hole stretch once called “The Tunnel.” Today it’s less than that, as many trees on that stretch of holes, as well as elsewhere on the property, were removed by Hanse, the trees replaced in most areas by stretches of tall native grasses.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1967. Highest ranking: No. 34, 1985-1986. Previous ranking: No. 77


Panelist comments, Plainfield Country Club:

“In typical Donald Ross style, he offers a firm handshake for a first hole. The tremendous mounding and movement in the land is immediately evident in the first fairway, with a stout approach to this 420+ yard opener.”

“Significant tree removal over the past decade has really restored some nice views all over the course, giving a golfer more appreciation of the architectural ingenuity here.”

“What makes this course special are its greens. Unlike other Ross courses with "crowned" greens, these are carved into hillsides, each with a distinctive and definitive break. Perhaps the best Ross greens I've played.”

“There's some great golf history at the course, including the founding of the USGA handicap system at Plainfield by mayor Leighton Calkins. But perhaps more impressive, a battle during the Revolutionary War was staged on some of the land at Plainfield C.C.”

“A beautiful gem, a short ride from NYC. This Donald Ross design represents a classic track that incorporates the traditional values of the game of golf. Plainfield Country Club has gone throughout major improvements (formulated by Gil Hanse) over the years yet used the original drawings/photos back from the 1930s. Tremendous variety of holes, and great elevation change to this land.”


LC Lambrecht/Courtesy of Plainfield CC

Hole No. 2

LC Lambrecht/Courtesy of Plainfield CC

Hole No. 9

LC Lambrecht/Courtesy of Plainfield CC

Hole No. 11

Hole No. 16

LC Lambrecht/Courtesy of Plainfield CC

Hole No. 18