Though Wellesley sometimes touts its Donald Ross heritage, there’s hardly any of the Dornochman’s work left. Only four holes (5, 7, 8 and 10) are where Ross placed them and none has an original green. Ross’s original nine holes were revised by Wayne Stiles, who lived behind what was then the 6th green. Geoffrey Cornish’s changes came in two different iterations, but the course has changed little in the ensuing 55 years.
Twentieth century improvements have largely been new greens, many of the them improvements over Cornish’s dull and contourless efforts. The best of these are the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th (the result of a flood caused by a broken irrigation pipe), 10th, and 12th. My personal favorite is the fifth, where a spine running the length of the green continues to bamboozle members. Many do not like the fact that they have yet to figure it out…..which is why it’s my favorite.
The USGA likes the course, having held a number of championships there. But Wellesley suffers in comparison to its neighbors. I can think of half a dozen within 15 minutes I’d rather play.
Date: September 16, 2021