The Palmetto Golf Club is a monument from the dawn of US golf. Thomas Hitchcock founded Palmetto in 1892 and he also laid out a rudimentary four-hole golf course, which was soon extended to nine holes by Herbert Leeds (the architect and early member of the Myopia Hunt Club). Herbert Leeds and James Mackrell, Palmetto’s first golf professional, extended the course to 18 holes in 1895. Since then, the hands of numerous architects, including Donald Ross, Alister MacKenzie and, more recently, Rees Jones, have all tweaked and tuned the course that is in play today at Palmetto.
The Chicago Golf Club has the oldest 18-hole golf course in the USA operating on its original site and the Palmetto Golf Club can reasonably claim to have the country’s second oldest golf course.
The green complexes at Palmetto are a delight and their current size is the result of Gil Hanse's restoration work, which pushed the putting surfaces outwards utilising the existing mounds to great effect. Additionally, the bunkers were reworked under Hanse’s stewardship.
Notorious for its excellent two-shot holes on the outward half, Ben Hogan reckoned holes 3, 4 and 5 were the best back-to-back par fours he’d ever played. Additionally, Hogan apparently listed Palmetto’s 3rd, 5th and 13th in his all-time list of 18 favourite holes.