Fox Chapel Golf Club
|Fox Chapel Golf Club|
426 Fox Chapel Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15238
Architect: Seth Raynor
Popular belief is that Addison Mizner of Palm Beach, Florida designed the original clubhouse. The truth is that the firm of Alden & Harlow got the commission. The result was a handsome white stucco building with a curved-tile roof, in the Spanish style then so fashionable.
Opening day for the clubhouse was June 13, 1925. The building was roomy and expansive, yet just two years later it had proven inadequate. A meeting was held to consider enlarging the clubhouse with an attractive brick-and-slate addition that today dwarfs what is left of the original structure.
The new clubhouse was completed in time for its opening on Memorial Day of 1931. This new building was only the beginning, for as interests and needs of the members grew, so did the club itself. Now there are tennis, paddle tennis, swimming pool and shooting facilities plus a shooting lodge, a complete dining room and an informal, comfortable grill room.
But Fox Chapel’s charm goes beyond stucco walls, red-tile roofs and such. Like all great clubs, its course is its most enduring legacy. A magnet for generation after generation of golfers. While the basic design endures, change was welcomed when necessary. Credit for the design of the course goes to Seth Raynor. As any great artist would, Raynor utilized successful motifs, including rolling fairways offset by deep traps, especially on the right of #6 and #8, back left on #12 and to the left and right of #17. With its elevated greens, large contoured putting surfaces and organized overall design, Fox Chapel bears a resemblance to the great historic courses of Scotland where golf originated.
Work on the course began in May, 1923, but steady rains washed much of the seed away so that the course was not ready for play until June 13, 1925. For 22 years, William Frew was chairman of the Committee of the Green. He is probably best remembered for keeping the course fast and hard. As a result, long drives were common. He devoted enormous amounts of time to the course, and he was totally unafraid of change.
Over the years, many changes have been made to improve the course and keep it up to the best of contemporary standards. More recently, the Greens Committee boldly removed trees that grew to detract from the Scottish feel so beloved by Raynor and the club’s earliest members. Yet for all the changes that time and equipment dictate, those early souls whose drive, love of golf and love of family led to this beloved ground would feel entirely at home on the course we see today. Credit Raynor, or course, but praise as well all the members and staff who stayed true to the vision: A course that rewards the well struck golf shot while appropriately penalizing the ill-advised stroke.