Gardner Wheeler

Gardner Wheeler was not a celebrated golf architect -- in fact he was not a golf architect at all, with one exception. In 1930 Wheeler, then a 16 year old Hillhouse High School student, was on vacation with his family in Guilford. There was a two hole golf course nearby, and he asked the landowner if he could expand the course to nine holes. He designed the course, hired a laborer, and Guilford Lakes Golf Course was born. The course eventually closed in the 1980s but was reopened in 1999. Wheeler was interviewed that year for an article about the course and said "No, I am not a golfer. I have a few sticks and I bat a ball around. I was a young engineer at that time, and the interest I had was in constructing a golf course." It was the only course he ever built, and it is likely the only course in the state to be designed by a sixteen year old.