If America's college golf courses were ranked like its college football teams, then Williams College's Taconic Golf Club would be playing for the national championship. Their opponent would probably be The Course at Yale. Both are truly great golf courses.
Taconic, like many layouts in the Northeast, was built on farmland. It was started quite humbly by three men in 1896 who sought permission to place some tomato cans on a college athletic field so they could play golf. It wasn't until 1927 that a Williams alumnus secured additional land and hired an architect to build an 18-hole course.
Wayne Stiles of the golf course design firm Stiles & Van Kleek was the man commissioned to design and construct the new course. Stiles and Van Kleek may not have the cachet of Yale course architects C.B. Macdonald and Seth Raynor, but what Stiles created in Williamstown may have been his masterpiece.
Many of Taconic's greens are elevated and although the course is generally not tight from the tees, the real challenge is found in hitting to the greens. With significant slope from back to front, you're usually better off playing short of the hole.
In 1956, a teenager named Jack Nicklaus made a hole-in-one at Taconic in the U.S. Junior Amateur. In 2008, Gil Hanse was hired to do a multimillion dollar renovation of the course. This is a classic you may not have heard of but will make sure others do after you play it.
Date: January 05, 2016