The founders of Rockrimmon Country Club, which they incorporated in 1947, managed to acquire a suitable 218-acre tract of farmland known as “the old Ayers property” before inviting Robert Trent Jones Snr to set out a golf course for the new membership.
The architect, who had just finished redesigning Augusta National and was in the midst of laying out another first class Georgian course at Peachtree, fashioned an initial 9-hole layout that was ready for play at Rockrimmon within two years of his appointment.
A further five years would pass – during which time Jones was busy working on other major projects such as the redesigns of Baltusrol (Lower) and Olympic Club (Lake) – before architect Orrin Smith completed the full 18-hole course for the club.
Feature holes include the 415-yard 6th, which doglegs sharply left to a two-tier green with a pronounced back left to front right slope, and the 187-yard 9th, where an all-carry tee shot must find a small green target that sits behind an intimidating pond.On the back nine, the 424-yard 13th plays uphill all the way to an elevated, bowl-shaped green then the narrow, tree-lined five 15th plunges downhill, across a creek that slashes the fairway, to a sand-protected green.
Designed in 1947 by Robert Trent Jones (Peachtree, Aronimink, London Hunt) Rockrimmon Country Club is definitely a course that flies under the radar. This is a wonderful club that offers a fun golf experience at an impeccably maintained course. An excellent routing that utilizes a fairly significant hill in the middle of the property but does not leave the golfer with too many blind shots.
The course starts with a gentle handshake with a short Par 5 opener along the west side of the property allowing the golfer the opportunity to score a birdie fairly easily. From there the central hill in the middle of the property comes into play as the course starts to take the golfer down into the valley and along the northern part of the course. The front nine transports the golfer around the outside areas of the property.
The Par 4 second was a personal favourite of mine, from the fairway the golfer approaches a front to back sloped green that requires precision to get the ball close to the hole.
As the golfer descends the long Par 5 3rd into the valley below, they can immediately see across many other holes offering a great vantage point for what is to come. The 4th and 5th holes are nice straightforward Par 4's. I despised the 6th hole, it is a sharp, almost 90 degree dogleg left, which doesn't provide much option off the tee and really doesn't fit in well with the course in my opinion.
After coming up the hill on the Par 3 7th, the golfer is then greeted with a long Par 4 which is among the best holes on the course. The 8th hole features a tree lined dog leg left hole, which most golfers will be required to hit a long approach shot into a green flanked by a pond on the right hand side and a bunker on the left. No easy task to try and make par here.
The 9th is probably considered to be the signature hole, a long Par 3 with a really tough green. The beautiful clubhouse in the background provides a great backdrop for photos.
The back nine moves the golfer around the middle parts of the property. It starts with a mid length Par 4 then a fairly basic Par 3 before taking the golfer back into the hill which is situated in the middle part of the course. The par 4 12th is an excellent left to right sloped hole. A long but carefully placed tee shot will propel the ball down the hill and leave a short approach into a back to front sloped green. A very fun hole!
The back to back Par 5's of 14 and 15 are an exciting par of the round. There is much opportunity to score well here but also perish. Good tee shots will be rewarded with the ability to go for both greens in two (albeit with long clubs).
16 was another highlight for me. A short Par 4 traversing a smaller hill and sloped left to right provides a lot of risk and reward. The green here is challenging but an easily make-able par if you keep the ball in play.
The course comes to a close with an uphill Par 3 and a long Par 4 finisher. Both require precision off the tee for any chance to make a par.
Overall, I really liked Rockrimmon, it has a wonderful property and is kept in impeccable conditions. Love the logo too. However, I am curious to know why it is ranked above New Haven, I definitely thought New Haven was a better course, but I still enjoyed my time at Rockrimmon. I would definitely go back.