Cape Arundel Golf Club was founded as Kennebunkport Golf Club in 1896, with the much under-appreciated Alexander H. Findlay (who some claim to be “The Father of American Golf” with almost a hundred designs to his name by the end of the 19th century) laying out the club’s original 9-hole course in 1900.
The renamed Cape Arundel Golf Club commissioned three-time US Amateur Champion Walter Travis to extend its 9-hole course in the early 1920s and the architect somehow managed to shoehorn eighteen holes into a tight, 88-acre property along the tidal branches of the Kennebunk River, close to where its waters flow into Nantucket Sound.
Measuring a mere 5,881 yards from the back tees and playing to a par of 69, the layout is definitely short by modern standards, but often the length of a course and the fun that can be derived from playing it are in inverse proportion to one another, so don’t be swayed by those who might dismiss Cape Arundel as a relic of the past.
There’s only one par five on the card, at the 480-yard left doglegged 9th hole, and only one of the ten par four holes on this links-style layout (the right doglegged 12th) measures in excess of 400 yards. The subtle addition of mounding on relatively flat terrain helps to obscure approaches into small, often wind-protected greens.
Renaissance Golf Design lists Cape Arundel as one of the clubs where it provides consultation services.
This is simply a fun golf course with unique holes, easy walk, and arguably a Top 10 set of greens via Walter Travis. The course exemplifies the Maine spirit of golf as there is no food, no alcohol - the focus is on golf. Play 18, and have a beer and a lobster at Federal Jacks in Kennebunk after the round.