The Cape Arundel Golf Club of Kennebunk was recently entered in the National Register of Historic Places according to Earle G. Shettleworth Jr., director of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, whose staff prepared the nomination. This designation indicates that the property has been documented, evaluated and considered worthy of preservation and protection as part of the nation’s cultural heritage.
The Cape Arundel Golf Club on the northeast bank of the Kennebunk River in Kennebunkport is among the oldest surviving golf clubs in Maine. The golf course was first established in 1896 as the Kennebunkport Golf Club and reorganized four years later as the Arundel Golf Club. The club house was designed by Prosper L. Senat in 1900, and the first nine holes were laid out by Alexander H. Findley, a professional golfer from Scarsdale, N.Y. The course was thoroughly redesigned and expanded to 18 holes, by the noted golf architect Walter J. Travis, between 1920 and 1922. Shortly thereafter, the size of the club was increased.
The Cape Arundel Golf Club is significant as an example of a designed golf course by a well respected landscape architect who specialized in golf course design. The design reflects attempts to modernize the game as its popularity grew and its participants became increasingly skilled. The formation and evolution of the Club was fueled by the well-heeled residents of the nearby summer colony that had developed at the end of the 19th century, and it became an important recreational outlet for the summer residents of that colony.
The Cape Arundel Golf Club was listed in the Register for its association with the development of forms of entertainment and recreation in the Cape Arundel summer colony and for its significance within the field of landscape architecture. As the only example of Travis’ work in Maine, the listed level of significance is statewide