Walter Travis

Full Name
Walter James Travis
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Year of Birth
1862
Year of Death
1927 (aged 65)
Place Born
Maldon, Victoria, Australia
Place Died
Denver, Colorado, USA

World Golf Hall of Fame – Class of 1979: “There has not been a golfer who played so well after starting so late in life as Walter J. Travis. Here was a man who didn’t hit his first golf ball until he was 35, yet one month later he won his first tournament and two years later he reached the semi-finals of the U.S. Amateur."

Walter James Travis was born in Maldon, Australia, the fourth of eleven children born to Charles and Susan Travis. As a child, and later in life, he was described as “slight of build, with above average intelligence”. Walter was a good student, displaying a talent for writing and a keen interest in a number of sports.

In 1885, his employers, McLean Brothers and Rigg, a hardware and construction supply firm with offices across Australia, decided to open a new overseas branch in New York. Walter was offered the manager’s position and so he set sail for his new job, never to return to his home country.

Travis loved the New York City social and sporting scene. Apart from hunting and fishing trips with friends, he also took part in competitive cycling events. He was also partial to a Ricoro Corona cigar, a dram or two of Old Crow whiskey, and evenings playing poker and billiards.

In 1889, Travis met Anne Bent, the 26-year-old daughter of a wealthy businessman from Connecticut. Apparently, he was so smitten with this young woman that he wrote more than a hundred letters to her in the first few months of their relationship.

After several months of courtship, they were married in January of 1890, with Travis becoming a naturalized US citizen later that year. They settled in Flushing, New York, where they lived until moving to Garden City, New York in 1900.

Their first child, Adelaide Augusta Travis, was born in 1891, and their second child, Bartlett Herbert Stephen Travis, appeared in 1894, just two years before Walter would get his hands on a golf club for the very first time.

He returned from a business trip to England in 1896 with a set of...

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Featured courses designed, remodelled and added to by Walter Travis

Canoe Brook (North)

47th New Jersey - Best in Area

Canoe Brook Country Club dates back to 1901, when its North course was unveiled. The South course followed in 1924 and both layouts have since been renovated a number of times, most recently by Rees Jones.

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Cape Arundel

5th Maine - Best in Area

Formed in 1896 as Kennebunkport GC, the renamed Cape Arundel Golf Club commissioned Walter Travis to redesign the course in the early 1920s. It’s short, quirky and loads of fun, especially putting on the distinctive greens.

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Cherry Hill

39th Ontario - Best in Area 66th Canada Ranking

Cherry Hill Club was established in 1922 when nine founding members from nearby Buffalo acquired a tract of farmland which was then turned over to Walter J Travis for transformation into an 18-hole course.

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Columbia

4th Maryland - Best in Area

An old Walter Travis layout from 1916, the course at Columbia Country Club hosted the US Open five years after it first opened for play. Since then, little has altered on any of the holes.

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Country Club of Troy

52nd New York - Best in Area

Laid out on a hilly, 325-acre woodland site, the old course at the Country Club of Troy was Walter Travis’s final design. Recently extended during restoration work by Tom Doak, it’s still short by modern day standards.

Ekwanok

1st Vermont - Best in Area

The charming course at Ekwanok Country Club was designed by Walter Travis at the start of the last century and such was his golfing prowess at the time, he won the US Amateur Championship on three occasions...

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Equinox

11th Vermont - Best in Area

Walter Travis laid out the fairways at Ekwanok in 1900 when at the height of his playing powers. He returned 27 years later, shortly before he died, to construct the 18 holes at the neighboring Golf Club at Equinox.

Hollywood

7th New Jersey - Best in Area

Formed in 1898, Hollywood Golf Club moved to its present location in 1912. The layout has been revamped numerous times since the Scottish professional Isaac Mackie originally laid it out.

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