Pasture golf is a return to Scottish links style courses. Technique over technology, it makes golf both fun and affordable to play. WPA New Deal Historical Golf Courses

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Pasture Golf moles have been digging around the National Archives & Records Administration to unearth scenes of New Deal Work Progress Administration (WPA) Golf Courses.

We'd love to find out about more of these historic golf courses from you. Please Contact us about any Blue Collar Company Courses or WPA Golf Courses for inclusion on PastureGolf. Thanks, Rand, for the detailed background on Prairie Dunes!

Prairie Dunes, A New Deal Era and Works Progress Administration Golf Course
Prairie Dunes was created as a private golf course, begun in 1937 and completed in 1939. Two sons of Emerson Carey, June and Bill, bought the land and hired the course architect. The land was about 4-5 miles outside of the Hutchinson, Kansas, city limits at that time. WPA work crews (at least 50 workers total, seemingly housed in tents, created the golf course.

Dewey Woodward, WPA worker Location : Washington, DC Agency: Dept. of the Interior Owner: NARA Medium: B&W Photo Control Number : 69-N-65 Accessed 4/22/03

Separate WPA crews built the greens and the fairways. They were supervised by a manager (Claude Morris, as I recall) hired and paid by the Carey's, still alive as of 2002. Until the early 1950s, when it became a private country club, supervised by a board, Prairie Dunes golf course was owned and operated by those same Carey sons. A prospective member had to pay a fee and be approved by those same Careys.- R.P., 8/1/02 Read more by Mal Elliot in The Topeka Capital-Journal on the making of Prairie Dunes.

Even though it (Prairie Dunes) is a very well kept course it has the feel of “cow pasture pool” with all the native grass around. Played there a few time since it is only 20 miles from the house...Attended the LPGA US Open there in 2002. - Jim Griggs, 5/8/04
Photo of Prairie Dunes 10th Tee, 165 yard, Par 3 - Courtesy of Jim Griggs

WPA Golf Architect - Perry Maxwell was the golf architect who designed or worked on the following WPA courses: Ohio State University Golf Course; Southern Hills Country Club; Prairie Dunes Country Club; Veenker Memorial Golf Course (Ames, Iowa); and Mount Pleasant Country Club (Mt. Pleasant, Texas). He did numerous courses that used these (WPA) funds during the Depression. Thanks Chris C. for sending this in on 4/24/03!

Contact us if you have information about Schenectady's past! Schenectady Golf Course Inquiry - Dom from New York is looking for more information about the history of Schenectady Municipal Golf Course in Schenectady, New York. Schenectady Muni's Designer was Jim Thomson and the course is a WPA course, built in 1935. Specifically, he is looking for plans and other details about the original course layout. If you (alert Pasture Golf readers) know more about Schenectady Muni, please contact us and we'll pass it on to Dom. Thanks! - (12/12/03)

Views of Split Rock Golf Course in Pelham Bay Park, New York City

WPA course at Pelham Bay Park, NYC

Two Golfers at Split Rock Golf Course
Location: New York, NY Agency, WPA Owner, NARA B&W Photo
Control Number: 9681-C Accessed 4/22/03

Split Rock Golf Course Sand Trap
Location: New York, NY Agency, Creating Agency: WPA. Owner: NARA B&W Photo Accessed 4/22/03

Crescent City Golf Course

Eight-hole Crescent City Golf Course in City Park, New Orleans, LA. Constructed by the WPA. New Golf Course Location: New Orleans, LA. Owner: National Archives & Record Administration, B&W Photo Control Number : RG-67-77 Accessed 4/22/03

Crescent City Golf Course Green

On the Green at the WPA built Crescent City Golf Course of City Park, New Orleans, LA
Creating Agency: WPA Owner: NARA. B&W Photo Control Number: RG-67-77 Accessed 4/22/03

Golf Course built at Big Butternut Lake, Luck - Polk County - Wisconsin. B&W Photo Control Number: 69-N-108 Source: National Archives & Records Administration, WPA B&W photo. Accessed 4/22/03

Golf Club House, Kenosha, Wisconsin
Owner: National Archives & Records Administration, WPA B&W photo. Control Number: 69-N-108 Accessed 4/22/03

Thank you to the New Deal Network; Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute (FERI),
in collaboration with the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, Marist College, and IBM for information on the above named WPA golf courses.

Links to Other Pasture Golf Features

Working Golf - Blue Collar Company CoursesPhoto Archive and Collection of Historical Photographs of Famous GolfersThat Elusive Ace: the Hole-in-One and who's been there, done thatAlan Shepard - A Golfer Out of this WorldCleeks and Clubs

Outside Links to WPA Courses

George Wright Golf Course in Hyde Park

Comprehensive List of WPA Courses at


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Copyright © 1999-2012 Bruce Manclark & Cory Eberhart

This Page Updated: June 30, 2005