One particular setting in the Adirondacks that was unsurpassed in its beauty was located on the shore of picturesque Lake Placid with Whiteface Mountain looming in the background. It was on this shore in 1882 that Oliver Abel built the Westside, a three-story inn with 40 rooms for summer guests. It was the beginning of what was to become the Whiteface Inn and Resort, one of the oldest, most celebrated, and most sophisticated resorts in the country.
The inn became quite large and prosperous due to the growth of the grand hotels built in the last half of the 19th century. The Adirondacks, and especially Lake Placid, were the home of a few of America’s first golf courses and clubs. Although golf was perhaps played informally at Whiteface, probably in 1896 and 1897, it was formally founded and recognized by the USGA in 1898.
In the 1930s when hotels everywhere were beginning to slip into financial problems, the Whiteface Inn’s manager Henry Haynes, pioneered making the resort a center for national conventions and business meetings. This new business speared the expansion of all the Whiteface Inn facilities. During this time, golf course architect John van Kleek, in consultation with Walter Hagen redesigned and expanded the golf course into one of championship caliber and one of the finest in the east.
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