MANCHESTER — Since opening in 1916, the Augusta Country Club has hosted golfers from Gene Sarazen to Patty Berg and celebrities as diverse as Bob Hope and Willie Nelson.

Tennis, golf, a beach and a clubhouse have been added through the years, but the course has remained basically the same as when it was designed by Donald Ross, Wayne Stiles and John Van Kleek. Measuring 6,350 yards, the par-70 layout is short by any standard, but the competitors in today’s Charlie’s Maine Open would be wise not to take it for granted.

Former head pro Pete Hatfield recalls competitors in the 1970 New England Amateur ridiculing the short course as too easy.

“The greens were double cut, then the wind blew for two days,” Hatfield said. “It was the highest qualifying cut ever.”

The Maine Open has bounced around several southern Maine courses in recent years, from Fox Ridge to Riverside, and last year at Falmouth Country Club, but it hasn’t been held at Augusta Country Club since 1960. The club has hosted several men’s and women’s state amateurs, and will host the women’s amateur next month and the men’s amateur next summer.

“They asked us if we’d like to host it,” director of operations and superintendent Chris Barnicoat said. “Sure, why not. It gives us some publicity, some exposure. It’s good PR.”

Barnicoat overseeded the rough last fall to thicken it up, and at 3½ inches tall, it will present a challenge along with the greens.

“Our goal is to make the greens as fast as we possibly can,” he said. “That’s pretty much the only defense against long hitters.

“Some of the (par-4) holes are short enough it might tempt the players.”

AJ Broderick, a pro from Plymouth, Mass., played in Monday’s pro-am and found the course challenging.

“The course is in excellent condition,” he said. “It’s definitely a short course, but there are some challenging lies. The greens will be fast. You are going to have to keep it under control out there.”

Three of the par 4s are driveable, including the 280-yard uphill 12th, which has out of bounds behind the elevated green, and the 327-yard 14th and 324-yard 16th, both of which feature narrow fairways and woods on the left side.

“You don’t really need to hit driver on a lot of holes,” long-time member Mark Plummer said. “That’s the only way you’re going to get into trouble. It’s pretty tempting because it’s so short.”

Plummer, a 13-time Maine Amateur champion, is in the field. Recently turned 60, he’s played the course thousands of times and holds the course record of 60.

Both he and Hatfield believe the tournament winner will shoot around eight under par for two rounds.

“They’ve done what they can to make it as challenging as it can be,” Plummer said. “It’s still very short by any standard.”