Source: VT Golf Magazine | Issue: Summer 1994 | Author: Bob Labbance
Synopsis: This article is about the increase in golf in Vermont during 1914 and what that looked like for clubs around the state.
From 1886, when golf began at the Dorset Field Club, until 1902, when the fad began to cool, Vermonters put twenty-one golfing grounds into play. Golf clubs formed in every corner of the Green Mountains, but courses such as On-Da-Wa in Arlington, Wantastiquet in Brattleboro, Waubenakee in Burlington, and Old Pine in St. Johnsbury didn’t survive. Records show that by 1913 a half-dozen of the original clubs had already disappeared, and no new construction was underway.
This boom and bust cycle followed development in the US quite closely. After an explosion of interest from 1895 to 1902, passion for golf waned as the leisure class turned to the latest sport: automobiling. A 1905 article The Vermonter noted, “The Green Mountain State is a summer paradise for those who seek pleasure and recreation in automobile tours.” The Vermont Automobile Club was formed in 1903 “to maintain a social club devoted to automobilism.”
In 1914 two events helped to turn the Vermont golf scene around and triggered an expansion of the game that would last over twenty years. The Brattleboro Country Club became the first new golf course to open in a dozen seasons, and Ekwanok Country Club hosted the United States Amateur Championship. Vermont golf was on the rebound, and when the building stopped during the Depression, the state could claim over forty places to play.