On Saturday, June 23, the sky over Race Brook Country Club in Orange lit up like the Fourth of July.
At 10 p.m., an Orange Live follower posted, “fireworks tonight??????”
The private fireworks were part of the Centennial celebration at Race Brook, founded in 1912.
This week, Race Brook is hosting the 110th Connecticut State Amateur Championship (June 25-29).
The club offered the following information on its 100-year history, along with photos by James Krajicek.
Race Brook Country Club
The Race Brook 14th hole and clubhouse.
In 1912, Robert D. Pryde, a Scottish immigrant who was Yale University’s first golf coach and a noted maker of golf clubs, gathered a group of men from New Haven, Orange, Derby and Ansonia at the Union League Club, in New Haven, for the purpose of creating a new golf club in addition to the New Haven Country Club that Pryde had designed earlier.
The result was Race Brook Country Club, whose first honorary member was former United States President William Howard Taft, who played golf at Race Brook from 1913 through 1921 while teaching at the Yale Law School.
The Honorable Rollin S. Woodruff, former Governor of the State of Connecticut, was Race Brook Country Club’s first president, where he remained a distinguished member until his death in 1925.
In 1924, Robert Pryde, along with the assistance of club president George H. Gamble, Sr., designed a second 18-hole course at Race Brook, which gave the club the distinction of being the first facility in New England to offer 36 holes of championship golf.
Race Brook Hole 2
In 2006, Race Brook Country Club was named the ninth recipient of the Distinguished Club Award by the Connecticut State Golf Association.
In addition to hosting the 2012 Connecticut State Amateur, for a fifth time, Race Brook has served as the venue for: five Senior Amateurs; six State Opens; one State Mid-Amateur; one State Four-Ball Championship; the 2004 New England Amateur Championship and the 2006 Russell C. Palmer Stroke-Play Championship.
Throughout the one hundred year tenure of its rich history, Race Brook Country Club has been the site of some dramatic exhibition matches between prominent players, such as Harry Vardon and Ted Ray; Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan; Patty Berg, Pat O’Sullivan, Charlie Clare and Eddie Burke.
Race Brook also has been home to Pat O’Sullivan Lucey, only one of four amateurs ever to have won an LPGA tournament, the 1951 Titleholders Championship, and a member of the Connecticut State Golf Hall of Fame.
Race Brook Hole 8