St Joseph Country Club was formed in 1898 and moved to its current location in 1912 so the course is over a century old now. We're not sure who originally designed the course, but the club claims that A.W. Tillinghast refashioned the layout in 1936. However, St Joseph is not specified as a Tillinghast course in his list of original designs, reconstructions, expansions and additions.
The Architects of Golf credits Bob Dunning and Don Sechrest as two architects who separately revised the original course. In more recent years, Bill Love renovated the layout and most recently, in 2008, CE Golf Design performed a bunker renovation.
Measuring 6,582 yards and unusually configured with six par threes, five par fives and seven par fours, St Joseph features tree-lined fairways carpeted with Zoysia grass and greens sown with bent.
We played St Joseph CC this past season on our trip out west from St Louis. It was our first stop and I'm glad we were able to squeeze it in. Truthfully, I knew very little about the course, other than Tillinghast apparently did the redesign in 1936. As you pull up the hill onto the property, it is clear from the start that the course sits on an awesome piece of property and the clubhouse is the original tudor style and I imagine looked nearly the same 100 years ago which made the place feel special.
The course itself, like I said sits on an amazing property. The topography was fantastic. The one MAJOR drawback was the overgrowth of trees. Several holes were affected by this big time. And for the record, I'm not a crazy tree removal guy, but when holes are completely altered due to overgrowth, I find it sad.
The course was in fine condition although not great, as I think the finances at this club probably aren't what they once were. All in all though it was still a joy to play. There are a ton of great holes and frankly with tree removal and better conditioning, this place would be an elite club. Sadly, I don't think that's in the cards. I do, however, think its absoloutley worth a stop to play. We really enjoyed it.