Boston is blessed with some incredible golf course architecture, perhaps none finer than Donald Ross’s Essex County Club. The 1917 design feels as though it has been preserved in time, allowing all to experience the course Ross once called home as it was meant to be played. Come September, we’ll spend a beautiful fall day there and see the design in prime condition.

Event Details

Date: Monday, September 23, 2024

Cost: $850/person

Format: 36-hole team event (18 holes best ball, 18 holes alternate shot)

Location: Essex County Club – Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts

Registration Status: OPEN – Register in the Fried Egg Golf Pro Shop

Why you should see Essex County Club

There are many reasons you should get out to see Essex County Club. Here are three for starters:

1 – Essex County Club is not Donald Ross’s first design, but it’s probably his first truly great golf course. (Pinehurst No. 2 had not yet taken its definitive form when Ross finished Essex County in 1917.) The great Scottish architect served as the golf professional at the Massachusetts club for several years, and he spent nearly a decade fine-tuning his layout. The result is a course that fully reflects Ross’s intentions.

2 – After many years of sensitive stewardship by architect Bruce Hepner and superintendent Eric Richardson, Essex County is one of the most authentic Golden Age courses in America. From the fairways to the bunkers to the greens, everything feels properly old.

3 – The back nine is rightfully famous, beginning with the semi-blind par-4 10th and the intimidating uphill par-3 11th, and ending with one of the greatest flourishes in American golf: a 17th that climbs straight up the property’s central hill, and a finisher that vaults back down. All four are must-see golf holes. – Garrett Morrison

Fried Egg Golf Content on Essex County Club

Club TFE Course Profile: Essex County Club – Our in-depth look at Essex County Club, written by Garrett Morrison.

Superintendent Series: Eric Richardson – Essex County Club Director of Grounds Eric Richardson joined Andy on the podcast to talk about the club’s approach to restoring its full potential and how they maintain an old-school look and feel.

In the area

If you’re a baseball fan, you have to make it to Fenway Park at least once in your life. The Red Sox final homestand of the season is September 27-29 against the Tampa Bay Rays and would pair perfectly with our day at Essex on Monday.

If baseball isn’t your thing, the Patriots and Bruins will both be playing by the time of our event as well.

History buffs have plenty to do in downtown Boston. From the Freedom Trail to the Boston Tea Party Museum, there is a lot to see and learn.

For those looking for a different kind of history, including that of witches, the town of Salem makes for a quick afternoon of sightseeing.

Traveling to Essex

Boston Logan International Airport is your best bet if you plan to fly in for the Backyahd. It’s about 30 miles from Essex County Club and very close to downtown Boston. As far as accommodations, you can stay anywhere from the city to Gloucester and beyond. Manchester-by-the-Sea is relatively small and limited on hotel options, but you will be able to find an Airbnb close by if you’d like to go that route. Otherwise Gloucester is your best bet and is just a short 15-minute drive to the club.

Why “The Backyahd”?

Essex County Club was quite literally Donald Ross’s backyard during the summer in the early 1900s. The great architect served as the head professional at the club from 1909-1913 and lived in the yellow house off the 15th tee.

Tentative Schedule

7:30 a.m. – Registration and breakfast, practice facilities available

8:30 a.m. – Morning shotgun, best ball with partner

1:00 p.m. – Lunch

2:00 p.m. – Afternoon shotgun, alternate shot with partner

6:00 p.m. – Post golf hors d’oeuvres and awards. Playoff if necessary

Questions? Email us at