Established in 1897, Winchester Golf Club was the precursor to Winchester Country Club, which was inaugurated five years later. The original 9-hole course, designed by Willie Campbell near Winter Pond, no longer exists. The current layout at Winchester Country Club was established as a 9-hole course in 1903 and was extended to 18 holes in 1916, nine years before Donald Ross was called in to redesign the layout.
Holes are essentially built on the side of a hill close to Upper Mystic Lake with many of the fairways laid out side by side due to the lie of the land. Nonetheless, the design skills of Donald Ross were such that he still managed to create an interesting and totally engaging course.
The most difficult holes here appear around the turn, where the long par four 8th requires a fairway wood or long iron approach to the green and the slightly doglegged 10th is played to a tricky two-tier putting surface.The signature hole on the card is the 525-yard 13th, the second of back-to-back par fives, and bunkers separate its split fairway. A tee shot driven to the lower level on the left lessens the risk, but lengthens the hole whilst a drive to the right offers big hitters the chance of going for the green in two mighty blows.
I would rate as an Eagle Lip Out though most of my playing partners would rate it as an Eagle. Traditional Ross layout with well-positioned bunkers off the tees, false fronts and never ever go long! The grounds are well maintained with greens that are a little flatter than most traditional Ross greens, I guess that's why I rate it a little less, but on dry fall days watch out for the speed. The makeup of the course holds true to many classic Ross features. The opening hole of the front loop is a shortish par four Ross never thought the first should be too difficult. A nice collection of three par fives the longest is13 which gives you two options off the tee featuring a split fairway option. Lastly, the 9th is a traditional volcano style par-three of 172 yards downhill to a mounded green circled by five bunkers. If you can get on it you'll appreciate every hole its a course you could play every day and never get sick of it.