Tamarack CC Celebrates Milestone

Tamarack Country Club in Greenwich, Conn., which boasts a superb course designed by Golden Age architect Charles Banks and opened for play in 1929, is celebrating its 85-year anniversary.

Tamarack is enjoying something of a renaissance since the completion of a master plan overseen by architect Brian Silva. The project improved and enhanced the golf course's playing conditions without altering Banks' original design. Silva's work included enlarging Tamarack's greens, leveling and expansion of all tees, and a comprehensive bunker restoration. All existing fairway bunkers were rebuilt and 24 new traps installed, while a several greenside bunkers were renovated.

Tamarack is one of eight distinguished golf clubs in Greenwich. "While the moniker 'hidden gem' may sound somewhat pedestrian today, it is true that Tamarack has been just that," said club president Jeff Young. "We have a rich history that actually dates back to 1909 at another site, and the club is proud to have hosted some important Met-area tournaments."

Tamarack gained local fame as a co-host of the popular Ike Championship from 1953 to 1962. The Ike was named in honor of former President Eisenhower, who personally approved the competition, and many of the top amateurs from local clubs competed for the title.

Banks learned his craft from designers Seth Raynor and C.B. MacDonald. His first project was Yale Golf Course, which opened in 1926. Raynor died that same year and left some 30 unfinished projects that Banks gradually completed over the next five years. Nicknamed "Steam Shovel Charley" because of his use of the new machine in moving massive amounts of earth to create elevated greens and deep greenside bunkers, Banks left his signature footprint on Tamarack's par-5 17th hole, aptly named "Big Bertha."

In continuing the MacDonald/Raynor tradition of adapting famous European designs into their projects, Tamarack boasts a number of these recognizable holes, including the "Biarritz" par-3 (the 12th), a "Redan" (seventh), "Eden" (third) and "Short" (the 15th). Other landmark features are a "Punchbowl" green (the 11th), a "Double Plateau" (13th), "Alps" (sixth), "Moat" (ninth) and "Road Hole" (14th).

Named after a species of pine indigenous to the region, Tamarack Country Club has a reputation as a family-oriented facility. In addition to golf, the club has a pool complex, a tennis area with five courts, fitness center, indoor golf training room, and spa services.

For more information, visit www.tamarackcountryclub.com or call 203/531-7300.