Agawam Hunt | Rumford, RI
In 2018, Above Summit decided to partner up with Agawam Hunt down in Rhode Island and the results have been wonderful. Our team spent several days down there, exploring the clubhouse, tennis and racquetball courts, and the extensive golf course surrounded by nature. It’s a unique location, since it’s right in the middle of a busy urban city, and yet they’ve preserved so much of the natural ecosystem around the golf course, which has allowed so much of the wildlife to remain and flourish.
The private, family-friendly sporting club was founded in 1897, and has constantly evolved over the years. It officially started as a fox-hunting club and has played host to many others sports that are no longer happen there, like paddle tennis, croquet, trap shooting, lawn bowling, winter ice skating. They are also now famous for their 10 grass tennis courts, since the maintenance of such courts is no easy task. Those famous grass courts play host to the Father-Son tournament, which is one of the longest-running grass court tournaments in the country, along with many other events.
We got to follow a father-son duo throughout the tournament and it was a fascinating experience. The father had played with his own father as a kid, and his father before him had done the same. They took everything very seriously, and treated their place and history in the tournament with a lot of respect.
Golf at Agawam Hunt began as a 9 hole Willie Parks course in 1895. And then in 1920, it was expanded and turned into an 18 hole Donald Ross course. The course serves as a United States Open qualifier site and is a member of the USGA and the RIGA.
Through a unique partnership with The Nature Conservancy in 2018, the club sold the development rights to part of the golf course to preserve those areas from any development, for at least 100 years. A crucial waterway passes through the course, and is home to many important plant and animal species native to the area. So the inside 11 holes will always remain free of buildings or intrusions, which is vital especially since it’s in the middle of a big city.
The clubhouse has played host to so many events and occasions over the years. There were even about 14 years where they voted against selling any alcohol, slightly before Prohibition went national. And it wasn’t until 1934, after Prohibition was repealed, that the club applied for a license to sell hard liquor. Currently, the club is proud to boast about its new chef and food mastermind, Mitchell Mauricio, who uses a lot of local produce and inspiration in his cooking.