Thursday, June 14, 2018

Maine/NH Trip Review Part One


My wife and I decided to head to the last state in the continental 48 that I have not played golf in, Maine, for our annual big adventure trip.  We designed the trip around visits to the top courses in Maine and New Hampshire and some little known Ross courses.  We also made a mandatory visit to Acadia National Park (seen above).  As always the trip was amazing and we hope to get back again soon.

After we landed in Boston, our trip began in the mountains of New Hampshire at two Ross courses right next to each other, Bethlehem Country Club and Maplewood Golf Resort in Bethlehem, New Hampshire. First up was Bethlehem Country Club.
7th Hole

18th Hole
Following a nice warm-up round at Bethlehem, we made the one-mile drive to Maplewood Resort for another fun public Ross course.  The current routing is clearly not Ross as I doubt he would have featured a par 5 followed by a par 6!
6th Hole

11th Hole
1st looking back at clubhouse
interesting sign very close to well-traveled public road
Day two of our trip began at the Donald Ross designed Mount Washington Golf Club in Carroll, New Hampshire.  The course is overlooked by the historic Mount Washington Hotel.
5th Hole

7th Hole with historic hotel in background

15th Hole
In keeping with the Ross theme our second course on day two was Lake Kezar Country Club in Lowell, Maine.  Lake Kezar has nine holes of Ross, luckily the front nine, as we were short on time and only had time for nine holes.
4th Hole

5th Hole
The third course on day two was our first "modern" course of the trip, Sunday River Golf Club in Newry, Maine designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr.  Of the big three Maine public courses (Sunday, Sugarloaf, Belgrade) I enjoyed Sunday River the most.  It was a mountain course that wasn't too severe and the views were amazing as you would expect.
4th Hole

13th Hole

14th Hole
Day three of our trip began at the perennial #1 ranked course in Maine, Sugarloaf Golf Club in Carrabassett Valley, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr.
10th Hole

11th Hole

14th Hole
After a brisk morning round in the mountains we made our way back toward the coast for a stop at Belgrade Lakes Golf Club, a 1998 Clive Clark design in Belgrade, Maine.
8th Hole

9th and 18th holes
Since one of my goals for this trip was to play every Donald Ross course I could, a stop at nearby Augusta Country Club in Manchester, Maine was mandatory for our third round on day three.  Augusta features nine holes of Donald Ross and nine holes of Stiles & Van Kleek.  Due to time constraints, I only had time to play the Ross back nine which was a shame because the first hole looked very enticing -see to the right>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
15th Hole

10th and 17th holes with 12 mile lake in the background
After an overnight stay in Bar Harbor, our fourth day began at Kebo Valley Golf Club in Bar Harbor, Maine.  Kebo is the oldest club in Maine, established in 1888 and is one of the three best courses in Maine in my opinion.
4th Hole

6th Hole

Infamous 17th Hole where President Taft made a 26.  
After our round at Kebo we began our exploration of Acadia National Park.
View from Cadillac Mountain

Thunder Hole

Jordan Pond
Following some amazing hiking in Acadia, we made the short drive to Northeast Harbor Golf Club.  Northeast Harbor's original nine was designed by Arthur Lockwood with the other nine holes designed by Herbert Strong a few years later.  Northeast had one of the best natural routings I have ever seen, which is truly impressive when you realize it was completed almost a hundred years ago.
6th Hole

13th Hole

16th Hole
Following a great day of golf and hiking in Acadia, we made a two-and-a-half hour drive to our hotel in Freeport, Maine where we would be staying the rest of the trip.  Day five of the trip started with the Arnold Palmer designed Golf Club of New England in Stratham, New Hampshire. The course featured one of the best sets of par 3's in New England.
8th Hole

11th Hole

17th Hole
Day five continued at Wentworth-By-The-Sea Country Club which features a handful of holes designed by Donald Ross and contributions from many other architects.
4th Hole

7th Hole

14th Hole, the first of four consecutive Ross holes
Our third course on day five was The Ledges Golf Club in York, Maine, designed by local Maine architect Brad Booth.
8th Hole


17th Hole
That concludes part one of our Maine trip review.  In part two we will see some more wonderful Ross courses, some old classics and a few modern courses to round out our adventure.

No comments:

Post a Comment

New York Spring Trip

In the Spring of 2016 I decided to do a quick four day trip to the New York area to play several courses I never got the chance to play when...