What People are Reading
- What a very sad and shocking
2 years 29 weeks ago
- Smart Meters
2 years 32 weeks ago
- 100 year old house burns
2 years 32 weeks ago
- Column 2-10 re Treason
2 years 41 weeks ago
- Radical Difference
2 years 42 weeks ago
- This activity is such a
2 years 50 weeks ago
- Okay Great we got a sign!
2 years 50 weeks ago
- Hate Crime a Sad Moment Indeed
3 years 2 days ago
More in News
Poland Spring Resort restoring historic course
RESTORATION – The historic Poland Spring Golf Resort, which was designed by Arthur Fenn and Donald Ross, is being restored. The new Golf Park across the street from the resort is readying for its grand opening.
POLAND SPRING — The Poland Spring Resort is in the process of restoring the oldest resort golf course in the United States.
In 1896 Arthur Fenn designed the original nine holes and in 1915, the legendary golf course architect Donald Ross’s 18-hole course was constructed. Walter Travis, one of the greatest golfers, also added his touch to the Fenn/Ross design.
Golf course designer, Ron Forse of Pennsylvania, who is well known for restoring historic golf courses, has consulted with the resort’s owner, Cyndi Robbins on the renovation.
Forse, who has previously restored 44 Ross courses, was impressed with Poland Spring.
“It’s like going to a museum ... in a good way,” he said. “It’s quirky, it’s old-fashioned and rare. To have Ross and Travis work on the same site is very, very rare. And Travis made him better."
Forse explained that the most important thing is that the resort is old and it’s preserved its history.
“No one destroyed it; trying to modernize it and thus ruin it,” he said. “You look at every Ross course outside of New England and they’ve ruined it, but at Poland Spring, the earthworks that are there have always been there; that’s a tremendous blessing.”
"And so many of the green sites are unique,” he added.
PGA Golf Professional at the resort, Allan Menne can’t wait.
“I just can’t!” he exclaimed. “I wake up at night thinking about these greens. There are many wonderful putting surfaces that are now hidden but will be revealed. In a lot of areas all we need is a little more space. Many won’t be dramatically bigger, but closer to the original outline and will introduce totally new conditions and lines of sight; some of them dramatic.”
“The 8th, 11th and 13th greens will have some unbelievable new pin positions that are in the fringes now,” he added.
Owner Robbins admits this will be a lengthy process.
“But our aim is to restore and perfect what, in golf terms, is a 150-acre mural by not one, but two, master artists: Donald Ross and Walter Travis. And it’s exciting; 2012 will be the 100th anniversary of the contracting of Donald Ross to redesign Poland Spring into an 18-hole golf course.”
In other Poland Spring Resort news, the new facility across the street is waiting for the weather to allow its opening.
“We will be the only place in Maine ... perhaps anywhere, that offers a championship public golf course, a full-service driving range, miniature golf and disc golf,” said Robbins.
“The biggest news is the completion of our new range, which will feature 10 top-quality natural feel mats and a large grass teeing area,” said Robbins. “The range will feature brand new Top-Flite Super Range balls and will be equipped with club-fitting tools.”
Newly hired PGA Professional, Lucas Cohen, will join forces with Menne, to spearhead the instruction and golf school program, and to assist in the Golf Shop and with tournaments.
“His focus, however, will be to develop a premier teaching facility to serve our membership, our guests and the public,” smiled Robbins. “And providing exceptional golf instruction and help in fitting and purchasing equipment.”
There will also be target greens, which have been built at 75, 100, 150 and 200-yard distances and practice sand bunkers, both adjacent to and 25 yards away from the greens.
“It’s one of the few driving ranges that golfers will be able to use every club in their bags," Robbins said. “Golfers might actually have a difficult time taking their eyes off the spectacular view of the White Mountains.”
Robbins is most anxious for the mini golf course to open in July. The course will be nestled among shade trees and will cover about an acre of land, almost three times that of a typical course and will have a focus on Poland Spring’s unique history.
“The structures within the miniature golf will replicate some of our most-treasured buildings in the surrounding area,” she smiled. “Structures will include the Maine State Building, which sits behind Poland Spring Inn and was part of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago; the former Poland Schoolhouse; and an historic railroad depot on Plains Road in Poland, which is now a residential home.”
Robbins plans to have placards at each building to educate players on the history of each building. Synthetic turf will be installed instead of the common indoor/outdoor carpeting. The course can be played by those using a wheel chair and animated animals will make the experience a truly-Maine encounter.
The regulation-sized disc golf course will be situated within a 34-acre area with plenty of trees as buffers between the fairways and baskets. Construction will begin this summer; with a planned opening in the spring of 2012.
“Disc golf is growing by leaps and bounds,” said the owner. “And we want our visitors to not only have the opportunity to play, but to play through a picturesque area – on the hillside above Middle Range Pond.”
The Arthur Fenn Cottage, named for the first American-born golf professional, who designed the original nine holes in 1896, is being renovated inside and will serve as the pro shop for the three amenities.
The golf park is designed to create an entire-family atmosphere.
“Not only will families be able to play our regulation 18-hole golf course, but they can congregate in the park to hit golf balls on the range, target greens or practice in the chipping area,” she explained. “Then step over to the mini-golf and disc golf courses.”
Further information is available by contacting the resort at 998-4351; Allan Menne at 998-6002; or by visiting the website: polandspringresort.com.