My Favorite Autumn Golf Hole

By Steinbreder, John | Chief Executive (U.S.), October 2001 | Go to article overview

My Favorite Autumn Golf Hole


Steinbreder, John, Chief Executive (U.S.)


Two executives choose New England classics to watch falling leaves and to play some of the country's toughest holes.

You wouldn't think Stephen Warover and Ivan Lendl have much in commin. After all, one is a 57year-old Chicago native who runs a frozen seafood company. The other is a retired tennis star from the Czech Republic, only 41 years old and recently inducted into his sport's Hall of Fame.

But actually, there are a number of similarities bwtween the two. They both run companies. Warhover operates Gorton's Seafood and Lendl preside over his own sports promotion business Spectrum Sports. Both love the game of golf. And both say that their favorite place and time to tee it up is in New England during the fall.

"I really like the light that time of year, and when the leaves start to change colors it makes walking a golf course in that part of the world so enjoyable," says Warhover, who works and lives just outside Boston. "It's a very beautiful and tranquil experience."

Adds Lendl, who has a house in the Northwest Connecticut town of Goshen: "One thing about New England is that it has some of the oldest and most classic golf courses in America. So that makes it a special place to play."

Ask the two men to specify a favorite course for that time of year and they don't hesitate. For Warhover, it's the Myopia Hunt Club in South Hamilton, MA. "That is a beautiful old course with lots of wooded hills around it, so you really get a great sense and feel of autumn," he says.

Myopia was organized in 1875 by Delano Sanborn, a one-time pitcher on the Harvard baseball team and one of four sons of then Boston mayor Frederick Prince. Originally, the club's main activity was lawn tennis. The young men also formed a traveling baseball team, and because several squad members wore glasses, they called themselves the Myopia Nine. Eventually, that's the moniker they gave their club.

Golf didn't become a part of club life until 1894, when RM. Appleton, the master of hounds for the Myopia Hunt, laid out a nine-holer. Two years later H.C. Leeds, a former captain of the Harvard football team and a golfing member of the nearby Country Club in Brookline, MA, was asked to revamp that layout.

The finished product, known as the "Long Nine," was so highly regarded that the newly formed United States Golf Association held its Open Championship there in 1898. Three years later, Leeds built a second nine at Myopia, and the course went on to host three more Opens, in 1901, 1905, and 1908.

A century later, Myopia is still regarded as perhaps the toughest U.S. Open course in tournament history. In 1898, for example, a golfer named J.D. Tucker turned in a 157, and that was just for one round. Ernie Way hit a putt there that rolled off the green and into a swampy hazard, never to be found. It was the only time a U. …

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