After being saved from development in 2018 through the joint efforts of town selectmen and club members, the historic Walpole, N.H. property, which has been rated among the U.S.’s Top 10 short courses, will now be open for public play.
On Saturday May 18, the public will get its first view of the fully restored and permanently protected nine-hole Hooper Golf Course In Walpole, N.H.
C+RB reported in July 2018 (https://clubandresortbusiness.com/hooper-gc-bought-local-resident/) on how the historic nine-hole course, which has been rated among the U.S. Top 10 best short courses and is on a property with a mansion dating to 1788, was being saved from development through the joint efforts of town selectmen and club members.
The reopening of the club will include “a salute to an unusual confluence of volunteer energies, financial contributions and conservation priorities that rescued the 140-acre property from possible commercial development,” the new ownership and management has announced.
“Integral to the arrangement,” the club added, “is that the golf course, which was designed in 1927 by Wayne Stiles, one of the most accomplished golf course architects of the 20th century, is no longer a semi-private club. Its rolling nine-hole course will be open to the public.”
Beginning at 8 a.m. and continuing throughout the day on May 18, Hooper’s Gala Opening “will celebrate many of these accomplishments,” the club has announced, with “everybody in the area welcomed for a fun day with refreshments, popcorn, beer and various foods.”
A shotgun-start nine-hole golf tournament will begin at 8 a.m, and there will be contests for all ages for longest drive, chipping and putting by age category. Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., brand-new golf carts will be available for anybody who would like to ride around the rolling-hill golf course, the club announced.
As part of the opening ceremonies, David Howell, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Hooper GC, will provide some introductions and a brief opening statement about the mission of Hooper Golf. Fred Dill, owner of Watkins Tavern on the property, will be available to talk about the history of the tavern and what lies ahead. And Ryan Owens, Director of the Monadnock Conservancy, will be on hand to talk about the special role his organization has played in preserving the property.
Invitees to the opening ceremonies include Tom Doak of the United States Golf Association; members of the New Hampshire Golf Association; the golf team from the Fall Mountain Regional High School; Colin Sheehan, Yale University’s golf coach; the Presidents and Golf Pros of Keene (N.H.) Country Club and Brattleboro (Vt.) Golf Course; and Bob Southall, President of the Valley Seniors Golf Association.
In addition to the new golf carts and other upgraded equipment, the club has been spruced up for the reopening with freshly painted buildings, a new logo and green flags and a refurbished pro shop.
Hooper GC was rated as one the top 10 best short courses in the United States by Anthony Poppi in “The Finest Nines.” And in his book, “The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses, V.3,” Tom Doak wrote that “Hooper’s short par-5 1st is one of the most inspiring openers of golf.”