How Can I Play The Country Club - Brookline?

The Massachusetts-based host venue for the 2022 US Open is one of the most exclusive in the country

Players walk to the 10th tee during a practice round before the 2022 US Open
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The Country Club in Massachusetts, which is affectionately known as Brookline, is the host venue for the 2022 US Open and one of the most storied courses in the game's history. As well as being one of the oldest clubs in the US, it is one of the five charter clubs that established the United States Golf Association.

The club has a long lineage with the US Open, too. It first hosted the event in 1913 and did so again in 1963 and 1988, when Curtis Strange beat Nick Faldo in a playoff. It was also the scene of a memorable comeback in the 1999 Ryder Cup that saw the US beat Europe, including a famous monster putt from Justin Leonard. But, arguably, the first US Open held at the course had at least as much drama, when 20-year-old amateur and former caddie Francis Ouimet walked across the street from his home to beat firm favourites Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in an 18-hole playoff.

The US Open Trophy on the 18th green at Brookline

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There are 27 holes over the Main Course and the Primrose Course. In previous Majors, three and a half holes from the latter had replaced three holes in the former back nine, but that is different in 2022, with the Main Course’s fourth hole making way for the par-3 12th (which will play as the 11th in the tournament), a devilish 131-yard hole whose green is guarded by four bunkers and a brook.

Thanks to Gil Hanse’s redesign, anyone fortunate enough to play the course can expect a parkland effort with natural rock outcroppings and plenty of long holes and thick, lush rough across its 7,312-yard layout interspersed with demanding shorter holes. Small greens are prevalent, while an extensive tree-removal program ensures the course plays firm and fast but still retains its famous blind spots. 

Meanwhile, the back nine features a five-hole stretch either side of the 11th that is nothing short of gruelling, with a 513-yard uphill par-4 at the 10th featuring rock outcroppings on the right, then the left. Holes of 478, 490, 625 and 515 yards follow immediately after the par-3 11th. 

Ryan Fox takes his tee shot from the 10th tee in a practice round before the 2022 US Open

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The hole that has proved pivotal in several huge tournaments is the 17th. The 373-yard dogleg left was the scene of high drama in that 1913 shock, as Ouimet birdied there in the final round to force the playoff. He repeated the feat in that decider at the 17th to propel him to victory. History repeated itself at the 1963 US Open, when Julius Boros birdied the 17th to force a three-way-tie with Jacky Cupit and Arnold Palmer. He then birdied it again in the playoff on his way to victory. The 17th was also the scene of that incredible 40-foot putt from Leonard that helped the US to Ryder Cup victory in 1999.

Brookline is one of the most private courses in the US, and while it has 1,300 members, becoming one of them is no easy feat. Indeed, even American football superstar Tom Brady faced a two-year wait before finally being accepted in 2017. At the time, the Boston Globe, while reporting on Brady’s acceptance, stated: “TCC applicants typically must be sponsored by two current club members and provide the admissions committee with testimonials from seven other people with whom the applicant has a personal relationship. Applicants also must attend a cocktail reception at the club with members of the admissions committee.”

At least Brady eventually got in. According to former Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick in his book, A Reason To Believe, he and his wife had their application rejected after he took office in 2007. Given its exclusivity, it's perhaps not surprising that initiation fees are undisclosed.

How Long Is The Country Club At Brookline?

Following Gil Hanse’s redesign, Brookline features a 7,312-yard layout. For the 2022 US Open it will incorporate the par-3 12th hole (playing as the 11th in the tournament) that hasn't been used in a US Open since the first time the course hosted the competition, in 1913.

Which Tournaments Has Brookline Held?

Brookline held the US Open in 1913, 1963 and 1988 and hosts it again in 2022. The course also hosted one Ryder Cup in 1999, when the US beat Europe. As a result, it is the only club to host a Walker Cup (it has held two) and a Ryder Cup. Brookline has also hosted six US Amateur Championships, most recently in 2013, when Matt Fitzpatrick beat Oliver Goss. 

Mike Hall
Mike Hall

Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.