Less than a year from completion, the renovation project is adding a 25,000-sq. ft. clubhouse, a 14,000-sq. ft. banquet facility, outdoor dining space, as well as redesigning the golf course. The private club has been closed for construction since July 2012.
The massive makeover of Hampden (Mass.) Country Club is likely less than a year from completion, a three-year, $40 million project that should re-establish the private club as one of the region’s elite, the Springfield (Mass.)-based Republican reported.
“Right now, the clubhouse is probably 50 percent complete and the golf course is at 75 or 80 percent,’’ said Guy Antonacci, who handles the day-to-day operations for his family’s ownership. “It’s exciting, but we’ll need a good winter too.’’
Antonacci said most all projects are on schedule and that the target date for full operation was the middle of next season. The club has been shut down for construction since July 2012, the Republican reported.
Two new facilities—a clubhouse and banquet hall—have replaced the original clubhouse known for its picturesque, westward facing views of the lower Pioneer Valley, the Republican reported.
“My family had looked at other courses, but the turning point came when we saw the view,’’ Antonacci said of the purchase almost three years ago. “That really sold them.’’
The original Al Zikorus designed golf course is undergoing a needed and, what Antonacci calls, a “complete rebuild.’’ So when doors do open to a potential of 300 members, it will likely set a new standard, the Republican reported.
The new face of Hampden CC will be a 25,000-sq. ft. clubhouse, built in a “mountain rustic’’ style. Housing the pro shop, a dining room and bar, the clubhouse will include a barber’s chair, and (men’s) locker room showers with large, one-way exterior windows, the Republican reported.
A separate, 14,000-sq. ft. banquet facility was built in April 2012, near the location of the old practice green. Additions on the hilly, eastern side of the 230-acre property will include a 75×30 foot outdoor pool, and large practice areas. Tennis and paddle tennis courts will be added in the former parking lot area, the Republican reported.
“The focus is on families,’’ Antonacci said. “There will be great options for everyone, the adults, the kids, the families. So it works for everyone. We’ll be open 11 months a year.’’
Sixth-year pro Billy Downes said Hampden CC will be far more than club, but rather a “lifestyle club.’’
The dining room, with a capacity of 185 people, is adjacent to a bar area with seven TVs. Both are flanked by 10,000 sq. ft. of outdoor dining space. The golf course re-design has been spearheaded by architect Brian Silva, the Republican reported.
“He said all the right things when we brought him in here,’’ Antonacci said. “It all started as a bunker restoration, a $3 million project that turned into $40 (million). And at that point we had to close the course to get it done right.’’
The number of bunkers has quadrupled from the original 44, while four different tee boxes can stretch the par 72 to more than 7,200 yards. The practice range has been expanded to nearly five times its former size and a large short-game, practice area is planned, the Republican reported.
“There’s no place like this around here,’’ Antonacci said. “You have to go to Long Island, maybe Boston.’’
At the moment, 12 holes are fully playable. The ninth and 10th holes are the last in need of major alterations. Significant changes were made course-wide, including the layouts of the likes of Nos. 1, 10, 15, 18, the Republican reported.
“We opened up the first and 10th holes, with all the trees and the hill where you couldn’t see farther than 80 yards off the tee,’’ Downes said.
The original irrigation system has been replaced and on-course operations are handled by seventh-year superintendent Dave Rafferty. The club is also open to establishing outside community and corporate relationships, such as those with the proposed MGM Casino in downtown Springfield, the Republican reported.