The oldest 18-hole golf course in the U.S. turned 130 this week, an important milestone in golf history. It’s definitely a testament to the longevity of this great sport.
The Dorset Field Club in Vermont, the oldest 18-hole course in America, turned 130 years old this week, achieving a very special milestone in golf history. This course wasn’t an 18-holer until it expanded in 2000, according to Golf Digest, but now it is the oldest full course in the country thanks to the previous nine.
The United States’ oldest course overall is the legendary Oakhurst Links at the Greenbrier, a nine-hole course. Dorset Field is a private club that features seven tennis courts and features tennis lessons for schools and groups.
One of the distinctive features of the course at Dorset Field is how short it is. The first hole, a par-4, is 370 yards from the back tees and would be drivable for some PGA Tour pros.
The ninth hole is even shorter, with a yardage of 303 yards from the back tees. Most of the course is pretty light on bunkers, but once you reach the final four holes, you’ll start to see many wonderful beaches Dorset Field has to offer.
The par-4 14th may be the most deadly with bunkers surrounding the green. When hitting your approach shot, you’ll have to find the pro within you and reach the green.
Chicago Golf Club is the longest continuously running 18-hole course in America, having been designed in 1892. However, CGC is an ultra-private club, and most players will never have the chance to experience it.
Dorset Field Club is also a private club, but more accessible. IF DFC were still 9-hole course, it would not be the oldest club in the U.S.
Nonetheless, Oakhurst is till the pinnacle of nostalgic golf in the U.S., being the all-around oldest course in the country. The traditions at Oakhurst are so strong that players are required to use hickory clubs when playing there.
To think that a single golf course, Dorset Field, would survive 130 years is truly outstanding.
Not to mention the fact that some courses in Scotland, such as Musselburgh Links and the Old Course at St. Andrews, are over 400 years old.