John Hayes IV watches his shot during the first round of the Maine Amateur on Tuesday at Purpoodock Club in Cape Elizabeth. Hayes shot 3-under 68 and is tied for the lead. Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

CAPE ELIZABETH — The last time Purpoodock Club hosted the Maine Amateur Championship, nearly a quarter of the golfers in this year’s event weren’t yet born. 

Twenty-four years later, the field isn’t all that changed.

Since the 2000 tournament, the par-71 course has undergone renovations, restorations and leadership changes, all without forfeiting its identity.

“Condition-wise, the golf course is night and day from where it was 15, 20 years ago,” said Tony Decker, Purpoodock’s head professional.

Many of the course updates were completed in the last four or five years. The club cleared many trees (most notably around holes No. 4, No. 6 and No. 8), replaced all the tee boxes, refurbished the sand bunkers and rebuilt the first green.

The work did not shorten any holes — in fact, the 6,403-yard course can play longer on windy days.


Wind wasn’t much of an issue for the first groups to tee off in the opening round of the Maine Amateur on Tuesday, but the breeze picked up around midday.

Some golfers said Tuesday the greens were firm and quick. Quick greens typically prevents players from aggressively shooting at the pins.

“It’s just a totally different game of golf,” said Scott Nevers, 38, of Val Halla Golf Course, who finished 9 0ver. “The greens are a lot firmer here. You have to land your ball up closer, not a lot closer, but you have to land it shorter than you anticipate, because it’s going to (roll).”

John Hayes IV, 34, of Purpoodock Club, entered the clubhouse tied for the lead at 3 under. Hayes said playing on his home course did not give him a big advantage.

“You still have to play,” Hayes said. “Play well and hit good shots. There are a few holes I have some course knowledge, but (you) still have to hit good shots.”

Drew Mathieu, 21, of Martindale Country Club, was an alternate for the tournament until 6 p.m. Monday. He made his debut on the course Tuesday, and shot 10 over. Mathieu said he found it difficult to figure out the pace of the greens.


Decker called the course “a second-shot golf course,” adding that knowing when to go after the flags is pivotal.

There is the potential for rain Wednesday, which could soften the greens and keep scores low.

Course superintendent Rob Knott said the victor will need to shoot somewhere between even and 7 under to win. Hayes added that he thinks 5 under is the magic number.

Regardless of the final outcome, several golfers and club officials agreed the course was in great shape to host this championship.

“We’re really proud of what we’ve built here over the last several years,” Decker said. “We’re just really exited to showcase what we do here on a daily basis and let the rest of Maine see it.”

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