Oakley will forever hold a special place in American golf history as it is the course at which Donald Ross began his American journey that ultimately led to the design of over 400 courses; including clubs which have hosted nearly 100 U.S. Amateur or Open Championships. Oakley also boasts a historically recognized original clubhouse which was the only suburban residence ever designed by Charles Bulfinch, the first great American architect. With a foundation of Ross and Bulfinch, Oakley is sometimes thought of as the "Home of American Golf Architecture."
Oakley, which sits high on a historic hill and commands a spectacular view of Boston, is much more than golf course and clubhouse design, however. Oakley history, in many ways, mirrors that of golf in America. Oakley was founded in the very early days of golf in this country and had a prominent role in many stages of golf's development. Oakley was visited by future presidents and some of the great champions of the game. The club was faced with many critical decisions along the way, recovered from devastating fires, and was blessed with great leaders who helped to guide the club through the stormy waters. Oakley also saw its membership profile change with the times and its surrounding community and today Oakley has a broad tapestry of America within its membership.
Oakley has always been proud of its champion's pedigrees. One of its founding members, James Thorpe, was runner-up in the second U.S. Amateur in 1896, two years before the course opened. Donald Ross was an early leader, winning two Massachusetts Opens and several North and South Open Championships, and finishing among the leaders in several U.S. Opens. Mike Brady, the first great American born pro was twice U.S. Open runner-up, and also spent a few years in his prime at Oakley. The female players at Oakley were legendary, winning many Massachusetts Women's titles and U.S. Women's Amateur titles. The Oakley women were also one of the founding groups of the Women's Golf Association of Massachusetts, one of the oldest golf associations in the country. Oakley was the home to Fred Wright, the record holder with seven Massachusetts Amateur titles and a U.S. Senior's title. Oakley's history would not be complete without mention of the 32 year career of beloved golf professional Paul Donahue and the 64 year legacy of the Piantedosi family as course superintendents.
Oakley is many things, but, most of all, it is a place where beauty and tremendous member spirit abound. Through the years its membership has played and worked together, and been bound by a unique bond of their love of Oakley. For many of us, however, our Oakley membership has given us something that is even more important than all of these things; wonderful friendships that will last a lifetime.