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Orchards

South Hadley, Massachusetts
South Hadley, Massachusetts
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In 1922, industrialist Joseph Allen Skinner engaged Donald Ross to lay out a 9-hole course for his daughter Elizabeth, who was a promising golfer in her youth. She went on to become one of the best players in the state, winning the prestigious Endicott Cup twice, and she held the ladies’ course record for forty years until it was finally bettered in 1973.

Ross returned in 1927 to build another nine holes and this is the 18-hole layout that was purchased by Mount Holyoke College in 1941. Arnold Palmer Golf Management took over the running of the course in 1999, investing in a renovation program for both the clubhouse and the grounds. The CBIGG Golf Management Company has since acquired the management rights for the golf facility.

Ron Prichard carried out some restoration work in the late 1990s, fixing drainage problems, reworking the bunkers and rebuilding the green on the 2nd hole. These days, the course extends to 6,575 yards from the championship tees, playing to a par of 71. The club has been honoured to host two national events; the US Girls’ Junior Championship in 1987 and the US Women’s Open in 2004.

In the book The American Private Golf Club Guide, author Daniel Wexler has this to say about the course: “For those curious as to why vintage Ross designs hold such a charm for the connoisseur, The Orchards delivers – both in style and substance – as purely as just about anything in Massachusetts.”

In 1922, industrialist Joseph Allen Skinner engaged Donald Ross to lay out a 9-hole course for his daughter Elizabeth, who was a promising golfer in her youth. She went on to become one of the best players in the state, winning the prestigious Endicott Cup twice, and she held the ladies’ course record for forty years until it was finally bettered in 1973.

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Donald Ross

Donald Ross worked with Old Tom Morris at St Andrews in 1893 then spent part of the following season at Carnoustie before returning to serve under the Dornoch club secretary John Sutherland.

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