Classic Donald Ross designs—most notably Pinehurst No. 2—typically favor precision over power. But Plainfield Country Club, which opened in 1921, is indelibly linked with two big hitters. Unknown Brit Laura Davies parlayed booming drives and towering irons into her first major win at the 1987 U.S. Women’s Open at Plainfield. So who is the other long hitter? Club member Bobby Thomson, the New York Giants baseball legend who hit the “Shot heard ’round the world,” a ninth-inning blast that sent his team to the 1951 World Series. Home-run power won’t hurt you at Plainfield, but touch and imagination on the fiendishly contoured greens will serve you better.
Plainfield’s most memorable holes traverse a massive ridge that bisects the property, among them are the 431-yard opener and the 585-yard, creek-menaced 12th.
Architect Gil Hanse has restored many of the original Ross features and opened up the vistas thanks to a treeremoval program. What has remained consistent is the contouring that makes this field anything but plain.