Course Review: Worcester Country Club – October 28, 2022

I had the opportunity to play at historic Worcester Country Club (WCC) this week. WCC is a wonderful gem designed by Donald Ross in 1900.

The course has a long traditional and deep history ~ hosting the inaugural Ryder Cup in 1927 and the 1925 U.S. Open and the 1960 U.S. Women’s Open. 

For all its history, the most memorable one is considered an incident in the 1925 U.S. Open where all-time great Bobby Jones called a penalty on himself on the 11th hole where no one could have seen his ball move slightly in the rough. 

The plaque on the 11th hole PHOTO: Course Reviewer

The press praised his honesty and he answered famously, “you might as well praise me for not robbing a bank. There is only one way to play the game of golf”.

When I received my invitation, I was well aware of the course and its historical significance. I had played there three years ago and the strong Worcester wind ate me up and I ballooned to a 95.

Going into this round, I had been playing some of my best golf of the year and was excited for the challenge.  From the back tees, the course is only 6,700 yards ~ short by today’s standards.  Incidentally, the Red Tees are the back tees.

I had a good warmup session and on the first tee, I felt very confident and truly excited to be here at WCC.

Worcester CC 1st hole PHOTO: Course Reviewer

I hit a perfect tee shot, drew my second shot in with a mid-iron and just missed a 15 foot birdie putt.  I parred the next hole ~ a reachable par 5 and felt like I was on my way to a good score for me.

But this exceptional creation by Donald Ross started to take its toll on me. Each proceeding hole seemed to be” Groundhog Day” scoring for me.

The fairways are generous at WCC, and I also was hitting my drives well, just missing the greens with my approach shot and missing a 5–8-foot par putt.  I see myself as a good putter, but did not make anything outside of eight feet until the 14th hole.  For any time of year ~ never mind late October ~ the greens were exceptional. For a good stretch of holes, I did not get my chip or first putt within three feet, I was fearing another bogey.

The greens were in great shape, but I just could not read them at all.

My most memorable experience of the day were the pars threes. WCC has five par threes and three of them have very elevated greens. 

PHOTO: Course Reviewer

I hit three (I thought) great tee shots that all landed within a yard just short of the green ~ and each rolled back to the fairway 40-60 yards back from their intended target. If one can get extremely aggravated at golf and laugh at themselves at the same time, these par 3s were the defining moment of my golf year.

I shot an 85 (par 70) and certainly felt I left shots out there.

The interaction with the staff and members alike was terrific. Each were very welcoming to me as guest.

The pace of play is brisk as we played in about three and a half hours.

Worcester CC Clubhouse PHOTO: Course Reviewer

I genuinely enjoyed my day at WCC.

The old style clubhouse and course highlights tradition and the welcoming staff and members with outstanding course conditions completes this classy facility.

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