82. Plainfield C.C.
Donald Ross (1921)/Gil Hanse (2010)
There are a number of lofty architectural names attached to Plainfield, but one name not often mentioned is that of Marty O’Loughlin. The club pro 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 that is still called “The Tunnel” despite the fact that many trees on its interior, as well as elsewhere on the property, have been cut down and replaced in most areas by stretches of tall native grasses. In the 1950s superintendent Red Wender added ponds to 10 and 18. Nine years ago consulting architect Gil Hanse removed them as being contrary to Ross’ original intent.
100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1967. Highest ranking: No. 34, 1985-1986. Previous ranking: No. 77
“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.”
“Tremendous variety of holes, and great elevation change to this land. The only detraction are the non-Ross holes added when the three originals were eliminated to build a driving range and swimming pool in the 30s.”