Source: VT Golf Magazine | Issue: Summer 1996 | Author: Bill Noble

Synopsis: This article is about the spread of golf throughout the various country clubs in Vermont. It takes the reader throughout the 1900’s as to what happened every few years at the prominent country clubs.


Several years before the Wright Brothers made aviation history at Kitty Hawk, a group of visionaries of another kind got together in Rutland and laid out a casual three-hole golf course. It was 1896, and within 12 months this little group had blossomed to 34 players and had become the Rutland Golf Club. Land was leased west of town, and they opened a 1,807-yard nine-hole golf course with a “bogey” of 38. By 1901, the membership had outgrown the facility, so they purchased the 400-acre Baxter farm north of Rutland and made plans for a new golf course.

At the turn of the century, golf was not widespread in Vermont. Outlying towns such as Poultney, Brandon, Proctor, Bomoseen, Sudbury, and Pittsford had few people familiar with the game, and Rutland was where interest was centered. The club contacted George Low, a 26-year-old Scot who had tied for second in 1899 U.S. Open at the Baltimore (Maryland) Country Club. Low had worked on teaching pro during summers at Ekwanok Country Club in Manchester, and with little prior experience, he agreed to design an initial nine holes on the Baxter Farm.

The qualifications for golf course architects in 1901 were not stringent. Those who played the game well and understood its underlying philosophy fit the bill. In this capacity, George Low was certainly qualified, and on July 1, 1901, the Rutland Herald reported that “as soon as the farm crops are harvested, Mr. Low will take a plan of the grounds and will work out the course to be covered by the new links.”

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