Christine Laconte makes history as the first Country Club General Manager

The Country Club, one of the five founding members of the United States Golf Association, features a golf course steeped in history. From Frances Oemme’s stunning amateur victory at the US Open in 1913 to the US team’s roaring Ryder Cup victory in 1999, the course has served as the backdrop to some of golf’s most exciting games of the past century and a half.

The club is traditional and exclusive. Women were not accepted as full members until 1989, but dual-function families are now common and the club focuses on families. The unisex spaces no longer exist: the men’s network no longer exists, and it’s not just the women’s for morning golf rounds.

Are women treated equally at TCC?

“With a woman as general manager?” Laconte laughs and raises an eyebrow. “I think he talks about a lot [women] They stand alone as members. The way we welcome it is that every family that is here is part of the club community; It is a family environment.

“Whether it’s me or other employees, we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t a great environment to be a part of and to really be respected.”

It’s definitely all about family for LaCount. She spent her childhood at the club, helping the executive chef – her father – in the kitchen during busy times, rolling chocolate truffles and making gingerbread houses for the club at Christmas. By the time she was a teenager, she was working at the pool snack bar, making burgers and frappes.

No need for dating apps in the LaCount family; The club worked as a matchmaker. Laconte’s parents met while working there. So did Laconte and her husband, Dan Kerrigan, the former club president who now owns restaurants in Brooklyn and Milton. Except for the restaurant parties scattered while in college, it’s the only place LaCount has ever worked.

said Laconte, who started as an assistant manager immediately after graduating from college in 2003 and worked methodically through positions of increasing responsibility until she took up the position of assistant general manager.

Hosting the US Open is special for LaCount. “I get goosebumps just thinking about it,” she said.Craig F Walker / Globe Staff

She began playing golf more seriously in her twenties to build her appreciation for the game and thus could, in her words, “hang it” when playing with colleagues at club or work. She is now encouraging her employees to do the same.

“I got a big flashlight in 2013 when we had a national championship here [the US Amateur]Laconte said. “Experiencing that and what it did for the club, the staff and myself, I knew then that I wanted to be a manager of a club that had major trophies.

“You’re on a hike; think about a marathon and what that does to the city. Being in Boston is special for anything sports-related. Literally any sport can come here and this community is going to stand behind it and get excited about it.”

During the 2013 US Amateur competition, the country club was awarded the nod to host the 2022 US Open.

“I get goosebumps just thinking about it,” said Laconte, who has been preparing ever since.

When she’s not in a construction meeting or perhaps consulting with Brooklyn officials about traffic and parking, she’s at the track with Supervisor Dave Johnson, talking about turf and soil types, or meeting up with a TCC sports pro (the club offers more than just golf): There’s tennis, swimming, skeet shooting, pool skating, and of course curling).

She balances her tireless work ethic with warmth and curiosity.

Two years ago, when Lacomte’s general manager and longtime mentor, David Chag, decided it was time to step down, Lacomte realized she wanted to step up.

“We decided based on how long you worked at the club [17 years] Club president Lehman Pollard said: “She came and was brilliant and full of new ideas. She was the best person for the job. We weren’t trying to make history but we did.”

LaCount took over in October of 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, with a major international event just over a year later.

“She came into an environment that was historically male-dominated,” Chag said. “She is a stubborn character. You will not back down from decisions [on her] without questioning. It is diplomatic but it stands on its own.

“She is an incredible leader. I am amazed at the fact that she can do this and raise a family.”

LaCount has a daughter and son and lives with her family in a shack in the middle of the golf course – which is great when you want to play a few holes on a warm July evening, but is so demanding because it leaves you on duty every single moment.

On June 16, about 156 golfers from around the world will gather at Brookline, and tens of thousands of spectators will follow. TCC welcomes the US Open because it is proud of the club’s history and importance to golf.

“These are the major tournaments,” said Laconte, who would be under as much pressure as golfers. “We are opening the gates to the world. You want to make sure we are doing our best.”