Our three-ball putting out after a magnificent round of golf.

Our three-ball putting out after a magnificent round of golf.

After World War I, Cape Cod began to generate a great deal of interest as a summer resort. Chatham Bars Inn had been built around 1912 and sported a nine-hole golf course. The interest in golf was also developing at this time in the United States, and a group of men, chiefly from the Boston area, decided that a links location on Cape Cod could provide the kind of challenging course with which they had become familiar in the British Isles. With a quality of foresight bordering on genius, the group purchased the major portion of Nickerson’s Neck for the counterpart of the great links of Scotland and England. Thus was born the Chatham Country Club, the predecessor of today’s great Eastward Ho! Country Club.

Coming up the 18th

Coming up the 18th

Mr. G. Herbert Windler, many times president of the United States Golf Association, headed the group which had selected the ideal site for the first serious attempt to establish an 18-hole championship golf links in New England. It should be noted that a sea-side location, with its concomitant heather, sand, land convolutions, and the ever-present and ever-changing sea breezes (sometimes gales) is necessary to produce real links. Inland courses are usually known as parkland and are generally conceded not to poise nearly the challenge of true sea-side links. Mr. Windler and his cohorts conferred with the best golf course designers of the time, and the final lay-out of the Chatham Course was entrusted to Mr. W. Herbert Fowler who had designed Westward Ho! and Walton Heath, two of England’s most famous courses. The construction of the new course occupied the interval between 1921 and 1924, when it was first opened for play.

A view back from the 17th

A view back from the 17th

The links are in the form of an hourglass, with the Clubhouse located at the waist. The first nine holes stretch away to the east toward the Atlantic, which is visible from almost any point; the second nine lie to the west and, for the most part, are closely tied in with the shores of magnificent Pleasant Bay. Present-day golfers will agree after playing the course in various weather conditions (of which there is no lack) that the designer has provided a real test for the skilled who possess the treasured low handicap as well as the weekend duffer. All of the shots of golf are present; the lies, while at times exasperating, must be acknowledged as demanding great technique, and the effect of the almost ever-present wind can change club selection for the same shot from one day to the next—from an easy eight iron to a difficult three or four. Herbert Fowler, in his final report, upon completion of the construction of the links, says, “I am quite certain that this course will compare favorably with the leading courses in the United Kingdom and will be second to none of them.” Brave words, perhaps, but who among those who have been privileged to see and play the great links of Great Britain and Ireland or those marvels of the Monterey Peninsula, Cypress Point, Pebble Beach, and Spyglass Hill will not concede that for a setting of beauty and sheer golfing delight Eastward Ho! stands with the others?

Part of the magnificent club house.

Part of the magnificent club house.

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