Our History

In 1898, three men met "to consider the advisability of organizing a Club for the promotion of the Game of Golf and other out-of-door sports".  On that historic day in June, the idea of what has become Wannamoisett Country Club was founded.  The course was designed by Donald Ross in 1914 and played host to the 1931 PGA Championship. The club hosts the prestigious Northeast Amateur Invitational every year.  This par 69 course plays 6,688 yards long from the blue tees and 6,399 yards long from the white tees. The red tees play at a par of 73 and is 5,944 yards long. The fairways are lined with very thick rough and the large, undulating greens are difficult to read.
 

Our Architects

 

Willie Campbell
      
Donald Ross

Wannamoisett Country Club is prided to be designed by renowned golf course architect, Donald J. Ross. However, the story of our golf course begins with a young gentleman by the name of Willie Campbell.  Born in Musselburgh, Scotland, in 1862, Willie Campbell planned courses in the British Isles before immigrating to the United States in the early 1890’s. Once in the United States, Campbell quickly gained fame as an instructor and as a player.  He lost the first unofficial U.S. Open in 1894 by two shots to Willie Dunn, while serving as the first Golf Professional at The Country Club, in Brookline, Massachusetts. While at The Country Club, Campbell established the foundations of its present championship golf course. 


In 1899, during his term as the summer Golf Professional at Essex Country Club, Willie Campbell laid the groundwork to the original nine-holes here at Wannamoisett Country Club. Campbell’s designs were very basic routings, done in a matter of hours or days, but he was among the earliest to design golf courses in America.

Enter Donald J. Ross. At age 26, Donald Ross arrived from Dornoch, Scotland, into Boston, Massachusetts with two dollars in his pocket. Once in America, Ross immediately served as Greenskeeper and Golf Professional of Oakley Country Club, in Watertown, Massachusetts. Drawing upon his experiences at St. Andrew’s and Dornoch Golf Club, it is here at Oakley that Ross made his first course design impression in the states.

By making a positive impression on Richard Tufts, a wealthy industrialist, at Oakley CC, Ross was hired as the winter Golf Professional in 1900 at the Pinehurst Resort. Shortly thereafter, Ross was appointed the golf manager and a director of the Pinehurst Corporation, serving in both capacities for the rest of his life.  It was Pinehurst that served as Ross’ “training ground” for his golf course architecture throughout the United States.

As Donald Ross continued his design in the Carolinas, he also spent his summers in New England, first at Oakley CC and then at Essex CC. In 1914, Ross first came to Wannamoisett Country Club and redesigned Willie Campbell’s layout into our first 18-hole layout. Twelve years later, in 1926, Ross would return to revamp his initial layout, and provide us with our current championship 18-hole golf course that still challenges the best of players today.

Be sure to stop by the Donald Ross Room to view the field maps that Ross drafted in 1926 with the proposed changes approved by the Club.
 

Our Logo

The Club Seal
How it came about and its significance…


 
In 1916, the club founders had the wisdom and insight to enlist a respectable designer. The Board chose the services of Edwin E. “Ted” Codman, a jewelry and silverware designer working as the design engineer for The Gorham Company. Ted Codman was the grandson of William “Christmas” Codman, who joined Gorham in 1891 and retired in 1914. The Codmans were responsible for establishing Gorham as the most respectable silverware manufacturer in America.

Working with the Wannamoisett Board of Directors at the time, Ted Codman conceived the logo (seal) as a shield within a circle. He suggested the elements that appear in the four dexter positions of the shield.

A member authorized the following statements that represent the four illustrations:
 
“The goat in the dexter quadrant of the Club escutcheon stands for the reaction to the progressive failures to drive over the pond”.
“The eagle in flight in the chief sinister quadrant refers to the drive that carried over the pond”.
“The fireside in the base dexter refers to where the excuses and explanations were passed on”.
“The Rhode Island State Seal refers to a return to dignity and honor”.