March 27, 2021
The man behind the name: Seymour Dunn
The architect of Ticonderoga Golf Course was Seymour Dunn (1925), and with the passing of time, his story is less frequently told. Seymour brought golf’s very history to Ticonderoga, New York.
Dunn was born on March 11, 1882 and grew up in North Berwick, Scotland. His family had an extensive heritage in the game of golf. Both his father and grandfather were golf professionals. Similarly, his maternal grandfather was a golf ball maker and owner of the oldest golf course not only in Scotland, but the world – Musselburgh Golf Course. His mother, “true to her family traditions, was the greatest woman golfer of her day.”
In one of golf’s landmark books published in 1922, Golf Fundamentals, Seymour underscores that, for him, golf was an intrinsic force in his life from an early age as he “cut (his) first teeth on a golf club.”
At the age of 12, a young Seymour made his first trip to the United States where he joined his brother to teach at the since renamed Ardsley Country Club. After an education at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, where Dunn provided instruction for many nationally known golfers, he spent several summers teaching golf at the Stevens Hotel in Lake Placid, then returning to Scotland during the winters where he helped design and build golf courses across Europe. Seymour’s uncle and designer of Shinnecock Hills Golf Course, Willie Dunn, was the runner up for the first U.S. Open in 1895.
Dunn’s obituary noted that he was “an assistant at Ealing Golf Club London, and later appointed golf architect to King Leopold of Belgium, and in 1904 assumed the same position with King Emmanuel in Italy.” He designed many courses throughout North America and Europe.
Notably, the architect of Ticonderoga Golf Course was golf professional at a number of European clubs, including Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle, Northern Ireland, which has a wonderful championship history.
Seymour Dunn’s book on the fundamentals of golf earned him recognition and the following of a number of golfing greats, including Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen. Interestingly, Sarazen won the 2nd Masters ever contested, was the first player to win the career Grand Slam, and fired a 74 at Ticonderoga in 1940.
In Lake Placid, NY, Dunn built one of the first golf club factories in the United States, filling orders for sets for St. Andrews, Scotland, the home of golf. Without a doubt, Ticonderoga – historical in its own right – is honored to cherish the history of its architect, one of Golf’s true greats, Seymour Dunn.
Dunn once wrote: “In the twenty years that I have been teaching Golf, I must have given as many if not more golf lessons than any other teacher that ever lived, and I hope among you, my dear children, there will arise at least one, a wielder of the club able to uphold the name of Dunn.” Our hope is that you – yes you – will be that “wielder of the club.”
Welcome to Ticonderoga Golf Course.