Jonathan Philips, a chef, and his wife Jill Ferrarotti, a PGA Golf Professional, leased the public, nine-hole course in Litchfield, Conn. from Jill’s father and immediately began improvements. An expanded restaurant called Clubhouse Provisions caters to hungry golfers, while a former shower and storage area was transformed into a brightly lit retail pro shop.
Jonathan Philips and his wife Jill Ferrarotti have married their expertise to create a successful atmosphere at the public, nine-hole Stonybrook Golf Course in Litchfield, Conn., The Middletown Press reported. Philips has food service in his blood, while Ferrarotti has golf in her blood.
The club has been around since about 1955, The Press reported. Robert Ferrarotti, Jill’s father, owned it since 1976 and early this year leased it to her and her husband, who began renovations immediately.
Philips runs an expanded restaurant called Clubhouse Provisions and Ferrarotti runs the renovated pro shop, The Press reported. In addition to improving the greens and fairways, Philips greatly enhanced the dining areas, while Ferrarotti turned a shower and storage area into a brightly lit retail pro shop.
“This is like a rebirth,” Philips said. “For the longest time, [Clubhouse Provisions] was just counter service. You’d walk up, pay a greens fee, get your card fee, get a beer, have a snack and be on your way.”
Now it is a spacious, sunny dining area that seats between 55 and 70 diners, with room for up to 100 people for events that spill out to a 40-seat patio overlooking nearly 70 acres of greens, The Press reported. While membership at Stonybrook is optional, the club and the restaurant are open to the public.
Philips had a grandfather who owned a bakery and another grandfather who ran a deli, The Press reported. He worked in his father’s restaurant in Massachusetts and attended Johnson & Wales in Providence, R.I. for culinary before working at two top restaurants in Hingham, Mass.
“From there, I took a job as an executive chef on the Cape at a private golf course, and then worked there for five years while Jill and I were searching for our own restaurant to open,” he said.
They opened C Salt Wine Bar and Grille in Falmouth, Mass., in 2013, a 38-seat restaurant featuring fine dining and a premium wine list, The Press reported. At about the time Stonybrook became available in 2021, a buyer made an offer on the Falmouth restaurant, and Philips and Ferrarotti made the move.
For Ferrarotti, it was a homecoming. The couple and their two young children now live in the house in which she grew up, right next-door to the clubhouse, The Press reported. “With her being a golf professional and me being a chef, it kind of made sense,” he said.
Ferrarotti is a Class A golf professional whose PGA career had been mostly in private clubs, The Press reported. She taught golf at TPC Boston, Weston Golf Club, Woods Hole and Pocasset.
“Just because [Stonybrook] is public golf, doesn’t mean we don’t make it nice,” she said. “We want this to be a place that people come to. The golf course is well conditioned. We’re going to do some upgrades down the road, and the golf carts are going to be upgraded, as well.”
Already, she has consolidated some tournament programs, The Press reported. A men’s club and a women’s club now are coed, she said. “That’s nice, because it increases participation with each one,” she said.
She initiated a ladies’ beginner golf program, The Press reported. “Every Wednesday, I do an hour clinic for up to 25 women, followed by three holes of golf,” she said.
The pro shop downstairs from the restaurant once was a locker room area with a shower stall. In its place is an expanded retail pro shop featuring clothing and golf equipment, The Press reported. Ferrarotti said it is more convenient than having to drive out of town to purchase golf needs.
“What I really love about this is the change of pace,” Philips told The Press. Hosting a private event in his previous restaurant was expensive, but “here, we’re a little bit more affordable,” he said. “The menu is casual, modern American fare with Asian and Korean influence,” he said.
Ferrarotti is excited to be doing events again, including a recent charity event with 72 players, The Press reported.
“They haven’t done events here in a very long time, so it’s nice to see the golf course busy again,” she said. “I love showing people why the game is fun. It’s a very difficult sport. I like to help people get better, play better. They obviously have more fun.”
She told The Press she and her husband both enjoy the interaction with people. “We try to make sure that people come back for the service and not just because the golf course is nice, you know, or the food is good.”