Century Country Club... A History

Century Country Club was started informally in March, 1898 and was incorporated on May 4th of that year. There are several theories as to how the name Century was chosen, including the possible intention to limit the membership to 100 and the establishment of the Club near the turn of the century.

The Club first occupied leased premises in the Throgs Neck section of New York City, on a tract of about 60 acres fronting Long Island Sound, where the members had a nine-hole golf course laid out.

In 1904, Century moved to a 100-acre site in Greenburgh, Westchester County. A clubhouse was built along with an 18-hole golf course and several tennis courts. The membership, which numbered 115 at the end of 1898, grew to 200 in 1902, and reached the limit of 250 in 1906. In 1915, the limit on membership was raised to 300.

After World War I, some of the members became dissatisfied with the design and size of the golf course. A committee studied the cost of making improvements or of moving to a new location. Walter J. Travis, former British Amateur and three time U. S. Amateur Champion, was hired as a consultant. Upon his recommendation in 1922, the Club purchased 175 acres of the George W. Fairchild property on Anderson Hill Road in Purchase, NY. The Greenburgh site was sold to the Metropolis Country Club.
The new golf course at Century was designed and constructed in 1926 by the famous British architects, H. S. Colt and C. H. Alison. Colt and Alison were partners in a London firm which also included John Morrison. At its inception in 1920, Colt and Alison were joined by Alister MacKenzie, the famous architect responsible for Augusta National, Cypress Point, and Crystal Downs among others.

While there can be no doubt that the plans for Century were drawn in their office and that Colt contributed to the concept of the layout, Charles Hugh Alison is credited with the design of the course. Harry Colt made his last visit to North America in 1914, when he was retained by George Crump to provide the routing plan for Pine Valley. In 1920, when the layout of Pine Valley was still to be finalized after the death of Crump, Alison came to America to represent the Firm. While in the U.S., Alison laid out Burning Tree Club, Washington, D.C.; Sea Island G.C., Georgia; Kirtland C.C., Cleveland; and Milwaukee C.C.
In 1938, Ben Hogan joined Century as assistant to Dan Mackie. His “letter of recommendation”, written by a Century member, stated that “he made a nice appearance.” When Mackie left for neighboring Old Oaks Country Club in 1940, Hogan became the Head Pro and remained at Century for two years.

During the fall of 2016 and the fall of 2017 the golf course was renovated under the direction of golf course architect Keith Foster who was hired for his expertise in renovating Colt and Alison courses. Keith has worked on many prestigious courses including: Colonial CC, Bent Tree, Mission Hills CC, Baltimore CC, Southern Hills, Moraine CC, Eastward Ho, Philadelphia Cricket Club and The Old White Course at the Greenbrier.

Golf Digest and The Met Golfer regularly acknowledge Century as one of the top courses in New York State and the Metropolitan area, respectively. In 2013, Links Magazine ranked Century Country Club as one of the “100 Most Prestigious Private Golf Clubs in the World”.

Century is recognized as a Platinum Club of America and is also designated as a Distinguished Club of America.