In the Hyde Park section of Boston sits one of the greatest Donald Ross designed golf courses, the George Wright Golf Club. In the late 1920’s a group of citizens in Boston came into the control of the Grew estate in the Hyde Park section of Boston. Their intent was to have the City of Boston build a golf course that would actually be a private club. Donald Ross was commissioned to design the course. When the market crashed in 1929 the project was abandoned.
The Grew estate was not particularly suitable for building a golf course. It was a mix of ledge and swamp. There was a good deal of speculation whether a course could be built there.
In 1932, Walter Irving Johnson, who had worked for years as an Associate of Donald Ross took on the project as an engineer for the MDC. George Wright became one of the great feats of engineering and building in the annals of golf. Before completion, 60,000 pounds of dynamite were used to excavate the ledge, 72,000 cubic yards of dirt were spread to raise the ground above the swamp level and 57,000 linear feet of drainage pipe were laid to drain the property. The WPA provided the funds to build the course, estimated at $ 1,000,000 by completion in 1938. At one time 1,000 men worked on the project. By completion George Wright sported a full sized 18-hole golf course as well as a six-foot rock wall that encircled the entire 156-acre site. In addition, a Norman-style clubhouse of mammoth proportion was constructed at a cost of $ 200,000.
George Wright is named after one of the original members of the Cincinnati Red Stockings professional baseball team. Actually, George Wright was the first legitimate baseball star.
The George Wright Golf Course, located at 420 West Street in Hyde Park, has been recognized as “Best Public Golf Course” by Boston Magazine in its 38th annual “Best of Boston” awards issue. The magazine says the course offers “a fun, fair test with lots of elevation changes, and there might not be finer back-to-back holes in the state than the 9th and 10th.”