"The links is admired by everybody who plays upon it, affording a variety of hazards, sufficiently irregular ground to make progress fascinating, and an elevation which gives a bracing air and charming scenery."
-- The Boston Sunday Herald, September 3, 1899
The Hanover Country Club, Dartmouth College's oldest existing recreational and athletic facility, continues to fit the description of 1899. At the time, HCC was a mere 9 hole course measuring a total distance of 2100 yards with its longest hole being 318 yards. Through a series of generous gifts from Henry H. Hilton, class of 1890, additional land was purchased in the early 1900's on the east side of the Vale of Tempe (more commonly known today as "The Gully") allowing the expansion of the course to 18 holes in 1922. Orrin Smith, a former construction superintendent for both Donald Ross and Willie Park, Jr., is credited with the design of the original 18 hole course.
Golf increased in popularity to the point where the 18 hole course experienced overcrowding and necessitated the construction of a new 9 hole course on the east side of Lyme Road. The "new nine" was designed by Dartmouth graduate Ralph Barton, class of 1904. Mr. Barton left a position at the University of Minnesota in 1921 to apprentice under renowned golf architect, C.B. Macdonald, and his chief engineer, Seth Raynor. Four holes of this 9 hole course still remain and are used by students, HCC members, and Dartmouth golf teams to hone their games. It is considered one of the premiere practice facilities in the northeast. Mr. Barton generously donated his design work to the College.
With only minor modifications to the original 18 holes over the next 70 years, it soon became evident that a significant renovation was needed to prepare the course for the "modern" game of golf. In 1995, Robert Keeler '36, donated a computerized irrigation system, and in 2000, again with a significant gift from Mr. Keeler, the College embarked on a major renovation of the course. Mr. Ron Prichard, golf architect, known especially for his restoration of Donald Ross courses, was given the task of modernizing a course which had turned 100 years old the prior year. Mr. Prichard's design of four new holes and all new tees and greens has resulted in a longer, safer, and more challenging course while remaining inviting to golfers of all abilities. Most importantly, Hanover Country Club has maintained the personality that endears it to those who love the game.
Last Updated: 5/23/07