Minnesota Golfer - Spring 2012 - 23

In 1926, the University purchased the
nine-hole Minnepau course, along with
land on both sides of Larpenteur Avenue
for an 18-hole course, ball fi elds and tennis
courts. Professor and golfer W. Ray Smith
was put in charge of turning Clark's ninehole
design into a modern 18-hole course.
He hired Vardon, who lengthened the
course to 6,200 yards. It opened in 1929,
but was not fully complete until 1931.
One design job that slipped through
Oak Ridge CC
expanded to
18 holes in
1941
the fi ngers of Vardon, Clark and Raynor
was Edina Country Club. In 1922, real estate
mogul Samuel S. Thorpe bought 300
acres of farmland and named it the Country
Club District. " You golf at the Country
Club on a beautifully designed championship
18-hole course of 6,350 yards, " he
touted. " When you are through you are
home in less than 10 minutes. " The ninehole
Thorpe Country Club opened in
1923. Chicago-based golf course architect
Tom Bendelow remodeled and expanded
the course to 18 holes in 1924.
The end of the decade brought
economic calamity,
abruptly ending
the building boom, but by then golf
had penetrated the entire state of
Minnesota. MG
Rick Shefchik is a freelance writer and
author of four novels. He is retired from
the St. Paul Pioneer Press after a 26-year
career as a reporter and columnist. He lives
in Stillwater.
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Minnesota Golfer - Spring 2012

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