Pittsburgh Field Club is located in the Fox Chapel suburb of Pittsburgh right next door to Fox Chapel Golf Club. One of the oldest country clubs in Pittsburgh, PFC was founded in 1892. The original Club was located in Homewood adjacent to the Frick Mansion until 1922 when Donald Ross was hired to build the course we know today in Fox Chapel. Interestingly enough, Henry Clay Frick was very much involved in the early years of the Club’s history and was the one who purchased the land in Fox Chapel. It’s history includes hosting the 1937 PGA Championship, won by Denny Shute in the then match play format and various local amateur and professional tournaments. Long-time member Frank Fuhrer hosts his own professional event every year with a $200,000 purse.
PFC is certainly included in the list of top courses in Pittsburgh, and is located among a hotbed of courses within a few miles of each other in the North Hills: as previously mentioned, next door is Fox Chapel Golf Club and just across the river are Oakmont Country Club and Longue Vue Club. The four courses play an annual tournament against each other, the Diebold Cup, a long standing tradition that consists of the top players at each club playing against each other in a Ryder Cup format.
One of the best features of the Club is the Clubhouse, which sits atop the hillside overlooking the golf course, making for some great views of the surrounding golf course. The view from the first tee is spectacular, and the elevation makes for a tough tee shot down to a narrow tree-lined fairway. The front nine is challenging and I particularly like how the first few holes were all different. The first is along straightaway par-4, the second is a short drivable risk-reward par-4, the third is along uphill par-5 and the fourth is a short par-3. From a scoring standpoint, you need to capitalize on the par-5 and short par-3 right off the bat.
I would consider the back-9 to be the easier of the two, but the finishing stretch is plenty challenging with the 16th and 18th being tough par-3’s. 15 is a dogleg right par-5 and is one of the nicest holes on the course and 17 is a short uphill par-4 with a tough straight-away tee shot. Ending the round on a par-3 always comes with mixed emotions, but 18 at PFC is a challenging uphill hole between 160-180 depending on which tee you play. The large two-tiered green makes for a fun finish, as does the hillside behind the green forming a natural amphitheater.
Overall, PFC is a fun place to play golf both for leisure and makes tournament play fun. The mix of holes and beautiful setting add to the experience. With the exception of a few quirky holes, I always enjoy playing it and also I have to say, it’s an ideal setting for a post-round cocktail.