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Edison, New Jersey
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Patrick Koenig
Patrick Koenig
Edison, New Jersey

Plainfield Country Club was first established in 1890 so is one of the oldest clubs in America. Redesigned in 1921 by Donald Ross, Plainfield played host to the 1978 US Amateur Championship and the US Women’s Open in 1987.

Land was acquired in the 1930s which facilitated the expansion of Plainfield enabling the construction of new holes from 13 to 15. Some felt these holes failed to blend with the rest, so they were included in a package of items that were fixed by the Gil Hanse design team when they began restorative work in 2000. Other identified areas of restoration were tree removal, fairway repositioning, bunker restoration and enlargement of the greens.

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Patrick Koenig

Plainfield is now a more open course, though some trees still remain, with bunkering containing beautiful soft, white sand. There are many strong holes on both loops of nine holes but one on each nine really stands out. First of all, the 460-yard, par four 7th is the favourite hole of many golfers who relish the challenge of carrying a bunker complex cut into a ridge in front of the punchbowl green. The signature hole is the 585-yard, par five 12th (which was a shorter hole before the changes in the 1930s) where a snaking drainage ditch bisects the fairway then runs up the left of the green.

The name Plainfield is understated and perhaps suggests an ordinary run-of-the-mill layout but we can assure you, plain it is not. Plainfield is a rather eccentric, traditional old course where blind drives and blind approaches hark back to yesteryear. Plainfield in an interesting course that not only deserves its place in the national Top 100 but also the return of top-flight golf.

In 2011, following Gil Hanse’s extensive restoration programme, Plainfield Country Club was selected to host The Barclays, a tournament that has sported six different names since Jack Nicklaus won the inaugural Westchester Classic at the Westchester County Club in 1967. The 2011 Barclays got off to a shaky start when an earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter Scale struck northern Virginia and was felt by players practising on Tuesday. Later that week, the PGA Tour announced that the event would be shortened from 72 to 54 holes due to the impending threat of Hurricane Irene. However, neither earthquake or hurricane would prevent Dustin Johnson from winning The Barclays on Saturday by two shots from compatriot Matt Kuchar.

The Barclays returned to Plainfield in 2015 and Jason Day followed up his recent victory in the US PGA to record his fourth win of the season. The headlines however were grabbed by Brian Harman who carded two holes-in-one at the 3rd and 14th in his final round at The Barclays.


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Course Architect

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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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