The website Golf Club Atlas has named the restored Culver Academies Golf Course one of the best – if not the best – nine-hole courses in North America.
“When I first visited the course in 2006, that was not the case but because of a first rate restoration in 2013/14 and the engagement of Culver Academies and its alumni, few courses – nine or eighteen – can compete with it for fun and fascination,” wrote Ran Morrissett after visiting and playing the renovated Langford & Moreau designed course.
Morrissett’s article details the history of the course, using legendary architects Langford & Moreau to design it, and the decision by Edwin and Bertram Culver to focus on the first nine holes instead of building the entire 27 holes at once.
Construction started in 1922 and the course opened for play in late spring of 1924. Eight years later, the Culver family considered adding a second nine holes but the Great Depression ended those plans. World War II led to the original bunkers falling into disrepair and eventually grassed and mowing restrictions reduced the size of the original greens.
The 2006 Golf Course Atlas review helped spur the restoration of the course. That led to Bobby Weed, a golf course architect, being hired to restore the Langford & Moreau course to its original glory. After visiting the course in 2009, Weed is quoted as saying, “I felt like I had opened up a barn door and found a vintage Porsche 356 underneath dust and hay. How could you not respect what was there?”
The restoration project also fit perfectly with Weed’s belief that nine hole courses can play a major role in the game. He saw that the Culver course would stimulate and generate much greater interest in nine holes courses.
Work commenced in the fall of 2013 and continued through 2014. Since that time, the course has reopened for play and the golf teams have returned to it for match play over the past year. The course remains a walking course and push carts are allowed. A new two-story Golf House is currently under construction and is expected to open in time for the Oct. 1 dedication ceremony over Parents Weekend.