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As the season changes from spring to summer, the leaves (and allergies) make many golfers fully aware that everything is in bloom.
As another golf season commences at The International Golf Club in suburban Boston, it has become quite apparent that the club is blossoming into one of the top private clubs in the New England area.
Situated less than an hour from the downtown Boston in Bolton, The International has everything a golfer searching for a golf-intensive club could ever want – two 18-hole championship courses with marquee names attached to them, a practice facility that could turn anyone into a range rat, and white-glove service from a staff that truly enjoys catering to anyone’s needs or requests.
What they do not have – besides a pool, tennis courts and other amenities associated with country clubs, not private golf clubs – is the pretentiousness commonly found at many places boasting a 100-plus-year history. Established in 1901, The International instead offers a welcoming atmosphere where everyone is a friend. And like a famous Beantown bar, a place where “everyone knows your name.”
Credit that to the membership, which runs 160-plus strong and is sure to grow once the Coore & Crenshaw renovation to the Pines Course is completed next year. The world-renowned course design team is refining the Geoffrey S. Cornish/Francis Ouimet original design by re-routing some holes and allowing the land to influence the features. Coore and Crenshaw also are removing several tee boxes to help with the flow of the course and creating stunning tree-lined corridors that will test The International’s strong playing membership.
“Our job is to wed holes to the ground as we see them in a natural way,” says Crenshaw. “That’s what we attempt to do – we like to see the ground with no preconceived notions on what to do. I think we can do a fantastic job with this golf course.”
“We will study the Pines Course more as a landform in its raw state as if no golf course exists,” Coore adds. “We don’t want to view this as restoring an existing course and be too influenced by its features. The potential for interesting golf at the Pines Course is very high.”
The members eagerly await testing their golf mettle on the revamped Pines Course. The serious golfer knows the clout the Coore-Crenshaw name presents – they also know the ownership group, Escalante Golf, places a premium on its golf amenity and that the course will offer the ultimate experience.
“We’re super pumped about the Pines Course renovation and what’s to come,” says The International member, Evan McCullough. “Seeing the vision there and seeing both Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw on property makes us incredibly excited about what’s next.”
Fueling this excitement is Escalante’s continued promise of preserving the club’s 120-year legacy and reimagining the club ever since they acquired it out of bankruptcy in 2021. Part of that vision included making the club fully private and updating its infrastructure and two championship layouts. A year ago, Tripp Davis and Associates revamped the Oaks Course by enhancing the tees and bunkers on the Tom Fazio design, as well as the property’s expansive practice areas.
The Oaks Course updates have received numerous accolades and praises, even from what could be the harshest critics – the club members. And that is perhaps the biggest allure to the club and the most important pillar in Escalante’s plans for The International – building a membership that shares in the responsibility of shepherding a new era of golf at the club.
“Everyone is friendly, from the staff to the members,” McCullough adds. “With any golf club membership, you want to come to a place where you can be comfortable, happy, and be amongst people that are enjoying golf just as much as you. The vibe at The International is doing just that.”
Yes, things are blossoming quite nicely at a club once left for dead.