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Essex County Club

Founded in 1893, Essex County Club sits on 180 acres in lovely Manchester-by-the-Sea. Amenities include a clubhouse; an eighteen-hole golf course designed by Donald Ross, who lived on the course from 1909 to 1914, and is recognized as one of Ross’s finest designs. The course gives the sense of truly being original and uses 98 percent natural organic fertilizers. The club also offers clay and paddle tennis courts, and a full-sized swimming pool. The club adheres to a strict dress and conduct code, prohibiting blue jeans and the use of electronic devices. Potential members must be sponsored by a current member to join.

153 School St., Manchester-by-the-Sea, 978-526-7311,


Honorable Mention

Kernwood Country Club

Nearly tied with Essex County Club is Kernwood Country Club in Salem. Celebrating its Centennial this year, Kernwood’s riverfront location, historic Donald Ross classically designed 18-hole championship golf course, clubhouse, pool, tennis courts, and fitness rooms are all top-notch. The club is also philanthropically-inclined. Today the membership donates $1.2 million a year to charities and organizations that members choose—while its Swing for Dana Farber event raises more that $60,000 annually to support breast cancer research. 

1 Kernwood St., Salem, 978-745-1210,



Ipswich Country Club

1 Country Club Way, Ipswich, 978-356-4822,