The Bedford, N.H. club will be hosting a series of celebratory events in 2023, including the Centennial Wine Dinner in January; the 120th New Hampshire Amateur Championship in July, which is returning to MCC for the first time since 2005; and the Centennial Birthday Bash in September. Like Oak Hills Country Club in San Antonio, Texas, Manchester will also release a commemorative book.
Manchester Country Club in Bedford, N.H. officially closed its 99th season and embarked on its Centennial as of the start of this year. Club President and Centennial Committee Chair, David Larrivee, kicked off the club’s 100th anniversary at an evening of celebration last month, accompanying members and their guests as they “bid farewell to 99 and toasted to 100.” Larrivee’s term as club president ends as 2023 begins, when he hands over the seat to local businessowner and MCC member since 2016, Sean Owen.
“This happens once-in-a-lifetime,” said Larrivee, also a four-time Club Champion. “Not only does Manchester Country Club have a long legacy of great NH golf, the club has hosted generations of families over the last 100 years—on the golf course, in the clubhouse, and at weddings and community events. There’s been good times and hard times, lifelong friendships have been forged, matches have been won … and lost. The one constant has been this place, and this golf course. It’s a very special one, to so many of us in this community.”
Famed course architect Donald Ross designed MCC’s par 71, 18-hole course. The club was founded by members and officially opened with a ceremonial competition on August 1, 1923, in which Francis Ouimet, National Open Champion of 1913, and Jesse Guilford, National Amateur Champion of 1921, played. With more than 600 local Member families and host to hundreds of events throughout the year, the club remains member-owned today and is governed by a member-elected Board of Directors.
MCC will be hosting a series of celebratory events in 2023, including the Centennial Wine Dinner in January; the 120th New Hampshire Amateur Championship in July, which is returning to MCC for the first time since 2005; and the Centennial Birthday Bash in September. In addition, the club will be publishing a commemorative book at the end of 2023, archiving 100 years of club-related history.
On the topic of centennial history books … Oak Hills Country Club in San Antonio, Texas released its commemorative book— “Preserving Greatness”—from publishers Strawn & Sampson.
“We hired John [Strawn] and Curt [Sampson] to do our book because, with their backgrounds, they obviously know what they are doing,” said Oak Hills General Manager Cary Collins. “And they came through. This book is just excellent, in its look and in the writing.”
Strawn’s impeccable credentials include a long stint as CEO of Robert Trent Jones II, the well-known golf architecture firm; himself an architect, Strawn has been advising Gearhart Golf Links, on the Oregon coast, on the restoration of its layout, the oldest course on the west coast. Strawn also wrote the first-ever book about building a golf course, “Driving the Green,” inspiring an entire genre of books about golf course creation.
Sampson came to publishing from a different direction. After a career as a club and touring pro that was notable only for its consistent failure, Sampson stayed close to the game he loves as a writer. Among his 20-odd books are the bestsellers “Hogan,” “The Masters,” and “Roaring Back, the Fall and Rise of Tiger Woods.”
The two met in Seoul, South Korea, in 1991, when both were invited by architect Desmond Muirhead to evaluate and write about his newest project, Long Lake Hill, a mountain course within sight of the DMZ. The idea to collaborate on club histories came nearly 30 years later, when the two drove from Portland—where Strawn lives—to Gearhart.