Acadia, one of our nation’s most beautiful national parks, is located on Mt. Desert Island Maine. Wealthy families with names like the Rockefeller and Carnegie have made the pilgrimage to this island since the 18th century to sail their yachts off the rockbound coast and construct mansions in the middle of the dense forests. And they played golf.
Grindstone and Causeway are two superb nine hole courses located in the area of Bar Harbor. Grindstone is located in the town of Winter Harbor and was founded in 1891.
Each of the nine holes has water views and generous fairways. The course is only 3095 yards from the back tees, but the small greens call for accurate approach shots.
Winter Harbor is a very small town, but the locals are proud of their little course in the wilds and are very friendly to tourists. Call 207 963-7760 for information. At $25.00 green fees for nine holes you will never find a better deal.
Causeway is located in the town of Southwest Harbor. This course overlooks Somes Sound, a fjord over 7 miles long, and there arewonderful views of the mountains which surround Acadia National Park. Causeway is only 2,410 yards from the back tees and also has wide open fairways. This is a fun course that tempts you to swing for the fences. The third hole is only 296 yards and free of hazards, so let it rip and go for the eagle.
The course is in excellent condition and has a pool, tennis courts and a barn for club events. Last time I played here, the members invited me to their square dance.
My golfing was better than my dancing. For more information see www.thecausewayclub.org
Bar Harbor is an 18 hole championship course that is located in Trenton Maine, which you will pass through on the way to Acadia National Park. This course also has wide fairways but is close to 6,700 yards from the back tees. The terrain here is undulating so you need to be able to play the side hill shots to score well. There are a number of gullies on the course that look like the Maine version of the Valley of Sin on the 18th hole at Saint Andrews. I have only played Bar Harbor once, but I remember the staff gave me a very warm welcome and asked me to stop by after my round for some feedback.
A quick nine is only $25 or $40.00 for 18 holes.
My favorite golf course is located just outside the busy town of Bar Harbor. Kebo Valley boarders Acadia National Park, and was purchased by some wealthy businessmen who wanted a place for recreation. So, in the year 1888, the founding members created a 6 hole golf links, a track to race their horses, a casino, theater and a baseball field. The course was expanded to 9 holes in 1896 and soon there after 9 more holes were developed to create a spectacular golf course.
In 1922 Walter Hagen, using hickory shafted clubs, shot a 67, a course record that stood until 1972. Other famous people like Ford and Rockefellers made Kebo Valley their home course in the summer time. President Taft was a frequent visitor and gained fame by shooting a 27 on the par 4 17th hole.
The 158 yard par 3 4th hole is only 158 yards long, but five traps surround the green. The fairway on the par 5 5th hole rises up to a crest and then it’s a medium iron to a green in a valley which is guarded by a pond. The par 3 6th hole is straight up to a two tiered green. When you reach the top, the view is simply magnificent. You feel like you could reach out and touch Cadillac Mountain. The fairways have pot bunkers sprinkled through the course and the greens are small and with their severe undulations look like they were designed by Donald Ross.
Kebo Valley has several stay and play specials with several inns and hotels in Bar Harbor.
For information call 207 288-5000 or see the web site at www.kebovalleyclub.com
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