The Dick Wilson-designed North course at Wilmington Country Club was laid out around the same time as Robert Trent Jones completed the South layout. It plays almost 600 yard shorter that RTJ’s track with eight of the par fours measuring less than 400 yards.
The Country Club was founded in 1901 but didn’t move to its present location – beside Henry du Pont’s famous Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library – until the early 1960s, when the South layout opened just ahead of the North. A gala dinner marked the opening of the new clubhouse on 8th November 1962.Despite the fact that the North course has been overshadowed somewhat by the South course down the years – both the 1965 US Junior Championship and 1971 US Amateur Championship were held on the RTJ course – Dick Wilson’s layout has many admirers, many of whom rate the 543-yard closing hole as one of the architect’s strongest designs.
For those who are connoisseurs of Dick Wilson designed courses -- I count myself among them -- his effort at the North Course is purely a low-level outcome. One will not confuse the North with such stalwarts as Pine Tree, NCR / South, Meadowbrook, to name just a few.
The design features some of Wilson's signature elements such as large bunkers and even more expansive greens.
Among the better holes is the dog-leg right down then up par-4 4th. The uphill dog-leg right par-5 10th is also fun to play. But there are just too many mediocre holes.
Best to keep one's expectations in check -- I was hoping for much more given the Wilson connection.
M. James Ward