A Bit of Early History
It was early in 1998 that the 4 Pollard Brothers, Gary, David, Jeff and Brad, met with their Dad, James, to discuss the possibility of transforming their family dairy farm into an 18-hole championship golf course. A few times over the years, the brothers had been approached by Fred Stone, a well known area golf course shaper, with the idea to construct a golf course on the family farm. Fred was an extraordinary golf course shaper, who learned the business from his dad – a shaper who had worked on projects with Robert Trent Jones Sr. (see below). The prospect of building a golf course was exciting to all of us and the timing seemed right. We all enjoyed playing golf, and golf was seeing a boom in play at that time – certainly fueled by Tiger Woods and the “Tiger Effect”. So the seeds for a golf course were planted at that meeting and from that point on, things moved quickly. Fred was hired as our shaper and he put us in touch with an up and coming golf architect, Bradley Booth. Steve Hoisington was hired to be our superintendent throughout the construction phase and would stay as superintendent for the next 15 + years, where he continued improving the conditions at Spring Meadows. Numerous meetings with Stone and Booth began – the planning was underway. David eventually retired from a 28 year career in education the next year and moved back to his roots to learn, run and operate a golf course. Brad Pollard continued to operate our family restaurant across the street, but was able to be the key brother in the construction phase of the golf course – overseeing and working very closely with Booth, Stone and others at state agencies to acquire the necessary permitting. Brothers Jeff, an engineer, and Gary, a manager at the family restaurant continued with their jobs but were there with their support as the project moved forward. None of us really knew what lied ahead for us. On May 4th of 1998, ground was broken – the construction process was underway. Spring Meadows opened for one month in October of ’99 for 9-hole play and continued as 9 holes in 2000. Spring Meadows has been operating as 18 holes since 2001. Our 1922 barn has been transformed into a beautiful event center for banquets, weddings and other social functions. Today Spring Meadows has become a very successful business. It has earned a reputation for being one of the best conditioned golf courses in Maine and beyond. It’s been described by Golf Digest as “. . . a venue worth the drive.”
Fred Stone – a Golf Course Shaper with Ties to Robert Trent Jones Sr.
Spring Meadows was very fortunate to hire golf course shaper, Fred Stone. Golf architect, Brad Booth put together a great design/layout for Spring Meadows – but the design would be nothing without the talents of a good golf course shaper – a person who could take the vison laid out on sketches and blueprints and bring them to realization. Fred Stone was an extraordinary shaper who learned his trade from his dad – a person who worked alongside of world renown Robert Trent Jones Sr. Fred was able to interject his own design subtleties as he shaped and transformed the soils while at the same time maintaining our architect’s vision. The Stones lived only a few miles from our dairy farm, back in late 40s and 50s .Fred’s dad and mom, Lewis and Eunice had 5 children that grew up in the community of Gray-New Gloucester. Lewis was an exceptional equipment operator and worked on various projects, among them, Brunswick Naval Air Station. In the early 50’s, the Stones divorced and Lewis moved to the Jersey area and while there ended up working for Robert Trent Jones Sr. Robert Trent Jones designed more than 500 golf courses in 45 states and 35 countries and was one of the most renowned golf course architects in the world. Lewis Stone had the eye and vision that Robert Trent Jones was looking for and ended up working as head shaper for his company – shaping and overseeing projects all over the world. Lewis fondly remembers working at the White House grounds where he built a putting green. He also constructed a golf hole at Camp David for President Eisenhower. In 1970’s at age 18 years old his son, Fred, went to work for his father learning his craft. Fred’s first shaping job was Crag Burn (www.cragburn.com). Many years followed where Fred would work for Robert Trent Jones son, Reese Jones, who designed many courses on the east coast.
The Pollards take pride in assembling a very talented team of professionals for the construction of Spring Meadows. Golf architect Bradley Booth (Faxon & Booth Golf Design), golf course shaper Fred Stone and finally Superintendent Steve Hoisington – all came together to successfully build one of Maine’s and New England’s best golf courses.