Summit Springs has been in transition since Steve Kinney purchased the Poland course in 2014.

Numerous trees have been removed from the course, resulting in better views of the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Trees also have been taken down to provide views of the Poland Spring Inn and some beautiful Maine scenery to the north.

Bill Kennedy, Golf Columnist

Still, the condition of the course itself, built in 1899, was nothing to write home about. But that has changed because the workers at Summit Springs have done wonderful things with the fairways and greens.

Kinney, who is a veterinarian, admits he did not know much about the golf business, but was intrigued with the beauty of the Summit Springs property. In 2019, he hired Keegan Fennessy of Poland to be a golf instructor at his course, and soon realized that Fennessy would be more effective as a full-time golf pro there.

“I was impressed with his knowledge of golf,” said Kinney, a 38-year resident of Poland. “He knows the audience.”

Fennessy, a Poland High School graduate, was returning to Maine from Florida, where he learned his trade as a golf instructor and pro. The two of them have vowed to make Summit Springs into a memorable experience for players and to cater to the middle class.


This must be working because in 2019 the course had 38 members, but in 2022 that number has grown to 121.

“We have a younger membership,” Kinney said. “And for them, we feel that having a comfort level is important.”

The improved and upgraded clubhouse at the course has been a success, and one of the reasons is the menu developed by Fennessy’s wife, Tatiana, about whom Kinney said: “She really can cook.”

Other new features include the acquisition of several new golf carts, along with the purchase of “the white house,” located in the southeastern corner of the course at the fifth-hole tee box. That is being used as an on-course bathroom facility, and soon will become stay-and-play housing for guests.

Kinney also purchased a house with two barns for storage of maintenance equipment on Summit Springs Road across the street from the first-hole green and second-hole tee. “I may move in there,” he said. If you are wondering why, just pull into that driveway and check out the backyard from which the White Mountains are clearly visible. It is a sensational view.

Evidence of Summit Springs’ growing popularity lies in the fact that its Thursday Ladies League has doubled to 20-30 players, and weekends are so busy at the course that it cannot accept “walk-on players.”


Summed up: Summit Springs has become a very nice course to play, and it offers some attractive “19th hole” activities.


Three area players were among 18 who qualified for the Maine State Golf Association Men’s Maine Amateur Championship during a qualifier tournament June 14 at Brunswick.

Craig Chapman of Fox Ridge posted the second-best qualifying score with a 73. Trevor Flanagan of Springbrook tied for ninth with a 76, and Ethen Guerette of Martindale tied for 15th by shooting 77.

The final qualifier for the Maine Amateur is June 22 at Dutch Elm, with the Amateur Championship set for July 12-14 at Webhannet.


The MSGA will have its Men’s Senior Four-Ball Championship on June 21 at Riverside. The Men’s Play Days are June 24-25 at Bridgton Highlands.

The MSGA Women’s Play Days are June 20-21 at Belgrade Lakes.

Bill Kennedy, a retired New Jersey golf writer and editor now residing on Thompson Lake in Otisfield, is in his 10th season as Sun Journal golf columnist.

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