The text below has been adapted and updated from a July/Aug 1998 article in Adirondack Life Magazine. Read original article here: Adirondack Life magazine -reprinted with permission.
From Star Lake we drove down to Indian Lake to Cedar River Golf Club, which was built in 1932 by three local men, including Dr. Hubert Carroll, on property owned by another physician, Dr. Carol Goulet, who also owned the adjacent Cedar River House.
In 1947 Dr. Goulet sold the inn and the course to Dewey Brown, who is described thus in Peter Martin’s Adirondack Golf Courses… Past and Present: “Dewey was a black man who had learned the game as a caddie in New Jersey. He was to golfing what Jackie Robinson was to major league baseball: a black pioneer in a white world, a superb athlete, a sportsman and a gentleman. He was one of the first black members of the PGA, if not the first. He has been described by sportswriters as the ‘Knight of the Fairways’ because he was one of God’s great gentlemen and sincerity was his trademark.” Brown was also a renowned club-maker who crafted a set for President Harding. After he retired, in 1972, he gave the place to his son, who sold it four years later to Robert Below, a golf professional. In 1976 the hotel was bulldozed and the course lay dormant.
The present owners are Peter and Anna Lou Goldblatt. “Dewey brought the course up to standard,” Peter Goldblatt told us, “and was admired as a gentleman and a gentle man. He taught not only the swing, but the rules and the courtesy. When we bought the course in 1986, the grass was waist-high and the grass on the greens was dead, so we cut off the greens with a sod-cutter and started over.”
Goldblatt described the layout modestly as a “natural little golf course laid out to follow the river.” Number one is a nice 320-yarder over a narrow stream; the second hole is a beautiful dogleg left, with the river along the right, winding through the middle of the course, waiting for a slice. At the end of number three you gaze at pristine wilderness across the river. Only the Links (formerly the Lower) course at the Lake Placid Resort compares for scenery, but this is much wilder. The river frames the third green on three sides, then it snakes around so on the 155-yard number four it’s hooking and pulling you have to worry about.
Vista-wise, Cedar River Golf Club was the most pure Adirondack track that we saw this summer. The last hole required a near vertical pitch of maybe fifty feet, and is one of the Adirondacks’ great elevated finishing holes, on par with those of the Lake Placid Mountain Course and the Barracks. After the round we made a pilgrimage to Dewey Brown’s grave, which was right down the road. The headstone read “Dewey Brown Sr., 1899-1973.