Few golf courses in the United States have as much architectural history as Knollwood Country Club...and much of it stems from bad luck! But first the good luck (or perseverance): Knollwood claims to be the oldest golf course in the United States that has never shifted locations.
Now the bad luck (kind of): The original course was designed by the little-known Lawrence Etten, but a more marquee name would enter the picture when A.W. Tillinghast came around. He urged the club to purchase another piece of property adjacent to the current course, which it did. However, Tillinghast’s services were later relinquished (never good luck). They seemed to be in luck, however, as Seth Raynor was hired a year later to handle the design. In an even more unfortunate series of events, Raynor died before he could complete the job.
Finally, in one more stroke of positive luck, Raynor’s associate Charles “Steam Shovel” Banks completed the route that can be seen today. Players should expect to see the latter pair's signature template holes in play around the property, thanks to the renovation work of Ian Andrew.
Not history per se but still worth noting: The Metropolitan Golf Association — one of the most well-regarded golfing associations in the U.S. — has its headquarters on the premises.
Knollwood is an old course with charm. It was the first course I played which had a 19th hole. Rules of play in this area require a caddie but most play is via cart with forecaddies. It has greens of much interest. And has some of Banks bunkers. A good variety of holes and is a joy to play. It sits in shadows of so many great courses in the area. Knollwood offered opportunities for many to have a nice place to play while not per se breaking the bank.