Founded initially as a social organization in 1890, Willie Dunn Jr. laid out the course at the Apawamis Club in the early 1900s. Dunn served as the head professional at Westward Ho! and also designed the original course at Biarritz Le Phare with his brother Tom before sailing to America.
“A very conservative club,” remarked Tom Doak in The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses, “epitomized by the name given to the double row of cross-bunkers guarding the 4th green, known as “Eleanor Roosevelt’s teeth.” Despite several attempts at revisions, the small greens and semi-blind shots between rock outcroppings still feel like it’s 1911, when Harold Hilton won the U.S. Amateur here after a fortuitous bounce out of the woods at the 37th hole.”
Since Tom Doak’s visit to Apawamis, his protégé Gil Hanse renovated the course in 2001. The club suggests the renovation was more a “restoration”, but curiously Hanse Golf Course Design does not list Apawamis as one of its projects. In 2017 the club commissioned Keith Foster to enhance the golfing experience by expanding greens, widening fairways and renovating the bunkers.
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