Ekwanok Country Club is a Private 18 holes golf course located in Manchester, Vermont.
Ekwanok Country Club first opened for play in 1899.The course was designed by John Duncan Dunn and Walter Travis. It has been restored to Walter Travis original design standards by Bruce Hepner
In 1914, Francis Ouimet won the title he most coveted, the U.S. Amateur, downing Jerry Travers 6 & 5 in the 36-hole final at Ekwanok Country Club in the resort town of Manchester, Vermont. The previous year, 1913, as an amateur, Francis Ouimet fired the shot heard ’round the world when he won the U.S. Open, by defeating English professionals Ted Ray and Harry Vardon in a playoff
Ekwanok Country Club is nestled in a valley amid the Taconic Range mountains that loom over its 18 holes.
As would be expected, the land of Ekwanok is rolling. The highlight stretch easily could be holes 13 to 15.
#13 is a downhill 221-yarder to a green that most assuredly has to be one of the smallest for any hole of that length in the U.S.
#14 plays longer than its 341 yards, with an uphill drive over “the Pit,” a gnarly ravine billed in its earliest days as “the largest natural hazard in America.” The green is well-bunkered and the short approach must be solidly played to another smallish green.
#15 appears benign from the tee, the downhill 389-yard hole is far from that. A stream skirts the left side for almost the entire length of the fairway before making its way underground to a small pond. Flirting with the left on the tee shot allows a player to stay away from the pond and go for more distance, but by successfully challenging the series of five bunkers that are carved into a mound in the right rough and bringing the pond into play, golfers find they have a much better angle into the green.
This kind of strategy dates back to Ekwanok’s 1899 beginning and to architect Walter J. Travis, one of the best amateurs of his day and the man who would rock the golf world a few years later when he became the first American to capture the British Amateur, in 1904. (Originally from Australia, Travis became a naturalized citizen.)
By the time the U.S. Amateur—to this day the only USGA championship held in Vermont—arrived in 1914, Ekwanok had staked its claim as a bastion of golf.
Ekwanok has undergone a restoration with the aid of architect Bruce Hepner. The process consisted mostly of restoring bunkers and greens that had been lost or modified over the years. Ekwanok again retains the personality it possessed as the site of Ouimet’s triumph in 1914.
Guest (cart included), played on Sunday, January 2006 at
It has been a few years since I had the opportunity to play Ekwanok CC. It is a wonderful old course, and club, situated in a beautiful Vermont Green Mountain valley. Within the past 15 years, or so, Bruce Hepner, of Renaissance Golf has done extensive bunker renovation/restoration and a rebuild of the 11th green. His work highlights the classic heritage of Ekwanok. Ekwanok, of course, is private. But, if you have a very good friend who is a member there, you should do all you can to work out a home-and-home arrangement. It is a very special place. John Duncan Dunn should be given lead-credit as the original designer of Ekwanok's course. Reports indicate that Walter Travis accompanied Dunn and provided assistance during the construction of the course. It was a favorite place for Walter Travis. He and his wife are buried just across the road from Ekwanok CC.
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