Oakhurst Links was the first golf course to be built in the USA. It was built in 1884 and held it’s first competition in 1888. It was built in the grounds of Russell W. Montague estate (the course designer). His house served as the Oakhurst Links clubhouse.
Russell Montague learned about golf in Scotland and build the course with some friends, before any other golf course existed in the United States.
Oakhurst Links is a 9 hole golf course and is located in Suplhur Springs, West Virginia. In 2001 the course was listed in the National Register of Historical Places. The course ceased golfing operations in 1912 and an effort to restore it started in the 1990’s. The owners ran into some cash difficulties and the course was bought by the Greenbrier resort in 2012. The course in now once again open for people to play. Oakhurst Links is operated exclusively as an amenity for registered guests and members of the Greenbrier.
The course keeps the historic approach to the game – no modern equipment is allowed. You play with clubs which have hickory wood shafts and use gutta-percha golf balls. No tee’s, you simply take some sand from a bucket which is on the tee box and make a small mound from the sand to place your golf ball on. The rules of the course are of the period also. No ball makers. If your playing partner’s ball is in the line of your putt, you have to chip over it or hit around the other ball. Also if your ball breaks during the hole you have to continue with it, until the next hole. Where you can use a new ball.
To play 9 holes costs $125. This includes rental of the equipment, balls, tour of the museum and commemorative certificate. Players are encouraged to wear “turn of the century clothing”, which includes knickers, tall socks, caps, shirts and ties. All of which can be purchased at the club store.