The Somerset Country Club course is an old Seth Raynor design that first saw the light of day in 1919. Unfortunately, many seasoned commentators now feel that much of the old master’s work here has been diluted down the years.
Stanley Thompson and Bob Moote are said to have carried out renovation work in the early 1950s whilst Geoff Cornish and Brian Silva are credited with changes to the layout in the late 1970s. Unfortunately, neither project is deemed to have been particularly successful.
Still, trademark replica holes by Raynor are very much in evidence. On the front nine, there’s an “Alps” at the 375-yard 7th hole, followed immediately after by an “Eden” at the short par three 8th whilst the back nine features an uphill “Cape” at the 437-yard 10th and a downhill “Biarritz” at the long par three 12th.The 237-yard 12th is still a pretty formidable hole, played as the final leg of a "Bermuda Triangle" of holes that open the back nine at Somerset. With water left and out of bounds right, it requires a rather heroic tee shot to reach a green that’s split in two by the trench running through the middle of the putting surface.
Featuring the par five, 505-yard second hole, where steep uphill shots from the tee to green await your best shots. Nearly everyone who get a chance to play here ranks this venue as one of best old school classical courses. Course designers created a course that challenges the most accomplished golfers.
Mature oak trees woods line many of the narrow bent grass fairways. Oak tree branches dangle in the sight lines of golfers hitting from five of the course tee boxes. This is where the ability to work the ball around and under tree limbs. Draws and fades off of the tee to move the ball into the correct line to come into the most pristine greens that you can imagine. Low trajectory shots ensure most balls do not roll off the well-groomed fairways surfaces. Gently rolling hills cause some uneven lies and elevated greens present golfers with blind approach shots. Strategically placed fairway bunkers at distances that rival the average tee shots where you will find balls buried deep in the white sand. The only recourse from a fairway bunker is to blast out a few feet away. Bunkers around the greens are not as deep or wide as the fairway bunkers. Water hazards influence club selections on a few holes, mostly as an accuracy issue. Approach shots require loft and backspin to stick on the firm putting surfaces. The large greens play fast and are difficult to read for even the most accomplished golfers.
Given the opportunity to play this wonderful venue is a do not miss.