The Rolling Rock Club was once home to what many considered the finest nine-hole golf course in the country, designed by Donald Ross. What changed was the membership’s decision during 1997 to bring Brian Silva aboard and add a second nine. Although that may have shattered the mythos that comes with a title like “best nine,” the overall air of mystery about the club remains.
Founded by Richard Beatty Mellon (the brother of Andrew “Carnegie Mellon” Mellon), the club currently sits on more than 10,000 acres, and has expanded its foxhunts (still, believe it or not, the club’s most prized activity even with its golf course in consideration) to cover more than 75,000 acres in nearby farmland (with the permission of farmers, of course).
Despite the large property, the golf course and usual country club amenities sit right off of the main drag in Laughlintown, a residential area southeast of Pittsburgh. The course doesn’t defend itself with distance, measuring just a hair under 6,200 yards from the tips, but the sand hazards were positioned by Ross (and later Silva, in the master’s style) to grab shots left short by unsteady hits, as well as rolling putting surfaces.