The course at Nashua Country Club was the very first design by Wayne Stiles, who left the architectural firm of Brett and Hall in 1915 to start his own landscape architecture company. Stiles went on to plan a total of 146 courses in 21 states. Stiles left the architectural firm of Brett and Hall in 1915 to launch his landscape architecture company and the following year he received the commission to design an 18-hole course from city business leaders in Nashua.
Authors Bob Labbance and Kevin Mendik take up the story in their book The Life and Works of Wayne Stiles:
“Stiles inherited a fine piece of land for his first design, including ‘field and woodland, meadow and pasture land, broken up with stone walls, water courses and a small pond,’ according to the Nashua Daily Telegraph.
His 6,115-yard layout played to a par of 72 and a bogey of 79 and featured holes as long as 565 yards and as brief as 130. All were named with interesting monikers, such as Donner and Blitzen, The Grave, Pocket, Hogback and Hades.
A complete description of all 18 was published in the Telegraph – and some of the noteworthy features included: the ‘elbow-shaped’ 2nd that ‘to add to the difficulty passes between two brooks;’ the 9th with a ‘green on the mound at the edge of the plateau that forms a natural hazard as the ball is very apt to roll down the hill;’ and the 15th with a ‘beautiful green in a saucer-shaped hollow.’
The club opened to great fanfare. On August 2, 1916, the public was invited to inspect the grounds and buildings, many expressing amazement at the conversion from poor house and farm to clubhouse and course.
On the following day, the course was officially opened to its 240 members. Club president William Stewart, ‘through whose efforts largely the club has come into being, formally dedicated the course by driving off the first ball.’
Opened to great acclaim, Nashua Country Club has continued to grow and serve its members. In 1949, William Mitchell remodelled parts of the layout, solving maintenance and engineering problems without changing the Stiles routing.
Architects Ault & Clark of Maryland also made changes in the 1980s and most recently several of the greens have been rebuilt by NMP Construction. But at its heart, Nashua is not just another Wayne Stiles course and it’s still entertaining and challenging golfers of all levels.”