Minnesota Golfer - Summer 2010 - 21
championship in 1939. The course was
owned by John Dobner (Dostert isn't sure
of the spelling), who at one point asked
Dostert to work on the grounds. " In 1942
World War II had just begun, " Dostert says,
" and John Dobner couldn't get anyone to
cut the grass. I was just a kid, 17 years old,
and the fairways were this thick (he holds
his fi ngers at least two inches apart). "
Bunker Hills fell into disrepair. It closed
later in 1942, but Dostert was already golfing
at Riverview (now Mendakota), just
across Highway 110 from Bunker Hills,
where he paid $18 a year. He entered the
Marines later that year, served in the Pacifi
c, was awarded a Purple Heart and received
a free membership at Riverview as
a veteran when he returned from the war.
And he got good at the game. Dostert
went on to a win the 1950 state publinx
and soon turns back onto Dodd Road,
once more leaving Bunker Hills behind.
And the dinosaur hunt continues ...
Not every golf course can claim that
its patrons felt the earth move beneath
Westwood Hills could.
Westwood Hills Golf Course was a 27hole
public layout in St. Louis Park, situated
just north of Minneapolis Golf Club,
on 240 acres roughly bordered by what is
now I-394, U.S. 169 and Texas Avenue.
" It was a fun golf course, " says John
Hubbell of Minnetonka, who played Westwood
Hills frequently during the course's
heydays in the 1940s and '50s.
But it could give you this queasy feeling,
" It was a very good golf course-it would be a
little short now for today's players. "
-Don Dostert, on Bunker Hills CC
and 1964 Birchmont. He was a semifi nalist
in the 1947 U.S. Public Links Championship
at Meadowbrook in Minneapolis
and captured 17 club championships at
But back to Bunker Hills ...
" It was a very good golf course-it
would be a little short now for today's
players, " Dostert says.
The fi rst hole was a par 5, running parallel
to Dodd Road. The ninth was a formidable
par 3 of 212 yards, across a gully and
back up to the green. The 13th, a doubledogleg,
555-yard par 5 now occupied by a
street known as Ridge Place, " was named
one of the best holes in Minnesota by the
St. Paul newspaper, " Dostert says.
Dostert is nearly fi nished with his tour
through the shadows of Bunker Hills. You
can almost see him playing a pitch shot in
his memory, trying to fi nish his round by
noon, when the woman running the clubhouse
would ring the cowbell, signaling
the end of the day's play for caddies.
" Sure brings back memories, " he says,
" On the back nine especially, there was
a lot of peat. You bounced up and down as
you walked, " Hubbell says.
Westwood Hills appears to have been
established in the late 1930s, according
to information published by the St. Louis
Park Historical Society. The course was
owned, Hubbell says, by Bob McNulty.
" There was always a lot of play out
there, " Hubbell says.
There also was residential expansion, a
prospect too lucrative for McNulty to ignore.
" I think McNulty wanted to build a
lot of houses out there and make a lot of
money, " Hubbell says.
With the course reportedly no longer
profi table by 1955, subdivision began.
By 1957, a 450-member " Save the Green "
committee was formed in an effort to
keep the land from becoming exclusively
a residential development. The City of St.
Louis Park bought 90 acres of the site in
1958. In 1959, Westwood Hills served as
a parking lot for the PGA Championship
that was hosted by the Minneapolis Golf
he granddaddy of lost golf courses in the Twin
Cities is Bryn Mawr. Though much is known
about Granddaddy, there is one particularly vexing
hole in its life story: Where did it grow up?
Bryn Mawr Golf Club was established in 1897
as Minneapolis Golf Club, according to Minnesota
golf historian Don Kunshier. In 1899 its
name was changed to Bryn Mawr. It was Minneapolis'
fi rst golf course and one of seven clubs
that helped found the Minnesota Golf Association.
Bryn Mawr measured 2,579 yards over its
nine holes and played to a " course bogey " of 38.
Its practitioners included Harry Legg, the state's
fi rst great player, who accumulated 10 State Amateur
championships and one State Open title.
Bryn Mawr lived a relatively short life. Its
demise, notes Christine Geer Dean in her book
Interlachen Country Club, A Century of Excellence:
1909-2009, was precipitated when " in
1908, the members of Bryn Mawr attempted unsuccessfully
to lengthen their course from nine to
18 holes because plans were already underway
to convert the valuable land into homes. "
Bryn Mawr was abandoned by 1911. The clubhouse
was moved to a nearby lot in December
1910, and the golf grounds were divided into
building lots soon after that. Six Bryn Mawr
members became the founders of Interlachen CC
Yet one mystery remains about Bryn Mawr: its
Kunshier's notes say it was located on Cedar
Lake Road. Geer Dean's book lists its location as
north Minneapolis. Newspaper archives include
at least one expansive story about the club, yet
its exact location isn't mentioned. A reasonable
guess would place it just west of downtown, near
the current Bryn Mawr neighborhood, perhaps
just off Cedar Lake Road North.
Perhaps readers of Minnesota Golfer know
more about Bryn Mawr, or other " lost " courses
of the Twin Cities. Send comments via e-mail to
email@example.com; some submissions may be
published on mngolf.org.
Summer 2010 MINNESOTAGOLFER
Minnesota Golfer - Summer 2010
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