Manchester Country Club - New Hampshire - USA

Manchester Country Club,
180 South River Road,
Bedford,
New Hampshire (NH),
USA


  • +1 603 623 8270

  • Scott Semple

  • Donald J. Ross

  • Brian Kelley

It’s a little known fact that less than a third of over 400 Donald Ross layouts were actually visited by the architect before they opened for play. The course at Manchester Country Club is one that he did see, opening in 1923, and its tree-lined holes are routed across 116 acres of a rather flat landscape where water impacts at eight of the holes on the scorecard.

The club has hosted the New Hampshire Open nine times since its inauguration in 1930 and one of the more distinguished golfers to win this competition was South African Bobby Locke, who claimed the 26th edition of the event at Manchester in 1959.

The short par four 6th is a favourite hole for many golfers on this understated layout but the stronger back nine throws up a number of testing holes, including the 530-yard 11th (played as stroke index 1) and the 447-yard 17th, where a creek crosses the fairway as it heads toward the green.
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Description: It’s a little known fact that less than a third of over 400 Donald Ross layouts were actually visited by the architect before they opened for play. The course at Manchester Country Club is one that he did see, opening in 1923. Rating: 4 out of 6 Reviews: 1

Manchester has a strong sense of its history. The club, for example, recently unearthed the fact that its original colors were yellow and red and now each flagstick sports a yellow and red flag. The course has seen some changes since 1923, but the club has shown wisdom in its hiring of restoration specialist Ron Forse. Fourteen of Ross’s original greens remain and while a few are uninteresting, there remain some fine examples of the Scotsman’s work at 3, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 14, 17 and 18. Ross also managed to give the player doglegs to contend with on the tees shot on almost half the holes. So falling asleep with the driver in one’s hand is not a strategy for success. And another Ross favorite, the drivable par 3, is in evidence not once but twice: on the 232 yard 4th and the 221 yard 16th. The latter is the more difficult of the two, with the green sitting on a shelf above a steep valley covered in thick rough. Sixteen is just the start of a difficult finish as it is followed by a pair of stout par 4s, each of which is capped off by an undulating green. The home hole provides an interesting bit of local lore about a pair of yawning fairway bunkers called the Czar’s nose. The Czar was a rather heavy-handed club president who declared himself the only member of the Greens Committee and then used his autocratic power to have the two bunkers removed. Ron Forse’s restoration put the bunkers back—along with their unflattering nickname. Overall I don’t find Manchester to be in the top tier of Ross’s New England work, i.e. Charles River, Essex, Wannamoisett, but it sits solidly in the next group.
4 / 6
Manchester Country Club
November 16, 2015


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