Wayne Stiles and John Van Kleek were commissioned to build a golf course on the Boothbay Peninsula in 1918 by a group of wealthy Boston businessmen whose aim was to attract tourism into the coastal town of Boothbay Harbor.
In 1921, Boothbay Region Country Club (as it was then called) opened its 9-hole layout, which was expanded to 18 holes at the start of the new millennium by long-time superintendent Clayton Longfellow and Dick Harris, a Maine golf icon, whose management company operated the Boothbay golfing facility.
In 2013, businessman Paul Coulombe purchased Boothbay Country Club (he later renamed it Boothbay Harbor). Soon after Coulombe had sealed the deal, Jeff Harris, President of Harris Golf commented:
“The club has a place both in history and in the hearts of golfers far and wide. This is a club steeped in history. Francis Ouimet, the winner of the 1913 U.S. Open, held the course record here for many years. The layout is a classic Wayne Stiles design from golf’s Golden Age of architecture. And for generations of golfers from all over New England, Boothbay is full of special memories.”
Coulombe promptly brought in Bruce Hepner (former design associate with Ron Forse and Tom Doak) to upgrade the course. The $4 million redesign project included a new irrigation system, new tees and the relocation of green complexes. The revised course now measures 6,655 yards, some 300 yards longer than the previous layout.
The cost of the golf course redesign, however, paled into insignificance when compared to the sumptuous new clubhouse, wellness center, luxury pool, tennis courts and a state-of-the-art fitness center which opened in 2018.
This review should be prefaced with the fact that the course markets itself as a “Seaside Golf Resort” which is partially true. The associated hotel is indeed on the ocean, however the golf course has no views or vistas of Boothbay Harbor. The views are primarily of the golf course!
The course is truly unrecognizable after Hepner and company came to town. There are rumors about that the dynamite budget for the renovation exceed $15 million. They opened up the course up, widened the corridors, and cut down hundreds of trees. The course is now eminently playable and fun is the name of the game. I appreciate BBHCC’s ability to play in the upscale club/ resort market while maintaining the laid back nature of Maine as a whole.
The course is great fun. Each hole feels like it lives in it own picture frame. It offers dramatic tee shots and approach shots that call for every club in the bag. Most greens slope from back to front with a few that hand out harsh rejections to those who come up inches short. On a majority of holes, one could play the ground game the whole way with creative entryways to the greens. It is a course that I would be happy to play every day into old age. My only real qualm is that this would be a difficult daily walk, with multiple holes calling for a large uphill trudge.
Yes, it is expensive. Resort guests are likely to pay north of $200 per round making it the most expensive course I have seen in the state. They however are a course that knows who they are. If you enjoy resort golf and extremely nice food and facilites, this course is worth spending the day at.