Guelph businessman and philanthropist Arthur Cutten was a very successful commodity speculator in the late 1920s, living and working in Chicago, Illinois. Determined to build a golf course back in his native city, he asked a fellow member of Edgewater Golf Club in the Windy City – none other than Chick Evans, the US Amateur and US Open Champion in 1916 - to set out a course on a gently undulating, 198-acre site close to Guelph city centre. Evans was assisted in the course construction a short time later by Stanley Thompson and their new 18-hole layout opened for play on 10th June, 1931. The course and clubhouse were reported to have cost around $750,000 to build.
In 1939, three years after Cutten’s death, Thompson and a group of Toronto investors purchased what was then known as “The Cutten Club” and his brother Frank Thompson was installed as manager. Thompson refurbished an old farmhouse close to the course and used in both as a home and an office until he died in 1953. On the 80th anniversary of the course in 2011, the course – now owned by the University of Guelph – reverted to its original name of Cutten Fields.
Configured with five par three holes and just three par fives, Cutten Fields measures a modest 6,559 yards from the back markers, playing to a par of 70. The 400-yard 14th (“Thompson’s Revenge”) is considered the signature hole, with a creek running diagonally across a fairway that leads to an elevated, severely canted, sand-protected green. Architect Ian Andrew has been involved in restoration work on the course in recent times, using old aerial photos to assist in planning the refurbishment.