There are many thoughts about what makes a golf course great. For those of us who collect golf stuff, everything from books and clubs to medals and ephemera, there is another factor beyond the usual. For us, a visit to a golf club can actually have as the day’s highlight something other than playing golf.
Certain artifacts, often casually displayed on a clubhouse wall or hallway, other times set out in a prominent location, are quite simply astounding to any collector or person with even a passing interest in golf history. On the wall in a downstairs hallway leading into the men’s locker room at the Chicago Golf Club is possibly the most important document in American golf; the original signed agreement dated December 22, 1894, that formed the Amateur Golf Association of the United States, how the USGA. Nearby are several cases of old golf clubs, all with a story of their own to tell.
At The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, the original Articles of Incorporation, dated November 12, 1882, hang on a wall in the clubhouse. Then there are the oil portraits, so prominent in many clubhouses, of gentlemen with names such as Donald Ross or Charles Blair Macdonald.
In Vermont, the venerable Ekwanok Country Club in Manchester, founded in 1899, has a place where members and their guests can go just to sit and relax and drink in the history.