Sunset Golf Club in Huntingdon, Pa. has new owners with a five-year plan to restore the Geoffrey Cornish-designed course to its former glory. A clubhouse renovation is nearing completion, including a new pro shop, bar area, business office and dining room facility, while an adjacent, closed-in patio area is under construction.
The former Standing Stone golf course in Huntingdon, Pa. has new owners and a new name— Sunset Golf Club, the Altoona Mirror reported. Visitors to the club today have the opportunity to see the tremendous amount of work already completed at the club, which, according to co-owners Pat Collins and Dave Clark, is just the beginning of a five-year plan to make Sunset Golf Club one of the best courses in the area.
While the new owners come from different backgrounds, their diverse skill sets have meshed well, the Mirror reported. Collins is a retired school teacher who began spending summers in the Huntingdon decades ago. During those years, she became very familiar with the old Standing Stone course, and the area seemed a logical place to settle upon retirement.
“I live just 15 minutes from the course now,” Collins said. “And last summer, when the opportunity arose, I became a co-owner of the club with Dave.”
Clark’s history with the course goes back to the origins of the club itself, the Mirror reported. The original 200-acre property was a farm owned by Clark’s family.
“I remember running all over this place when I was a kid,” Clark said. “We would chase through the fields, climb the trees and then jump in the river, all the things that kids do.”
By the early 1970s, a group of shareholders, that included Clark’s father, purchased the land to build a golf course, the Mirror reported. Architect Geoffrey Cornish was contracted to design the course, and Standing Stone Golf Club opened for business in 1973.
Over the decades, the club enjoyed some success, but in recent years the condition of the course was decidedly on the downturn, the Mirror reported. In 2018, Clark purchased the club with hopes of returning it to its early glory. A year later, he brought in Collins as a co-owner, and last fall work began at a quick pace.
“Pat is definitely in charge of the day-to-day operations,” Clark said. “She’s a smart, hard-working businesswoman, who doesn’t mind rolling up her sleeves and getting things done.”
Work on the course began last November as Collins began to learn the intricacies of course maintenance, chemical application and other golf course operations, the Mirror reported. Clark, in the meantime, focused his skills on running the kitchen business.
Together, the changes they’ve made have been significant, the Mirror reported. A major clubhouse renovation is currently nearing completion, including a new pro shop, bar area, business office and dining room facility. An adjacent, closed-in patio area is also under construction.
The club has recently leased a new fleet of 60 golf carts and has also made significant investments in course maintenance equipment, the Mirror reported. Golfers who play the course will quickly see the improvement of course conditions. The entire layout is a healthy shade of green. Gone are the burned-out grassy areas that existed along fairways and greens.
Collins and Clark are quick to mention some of the help they’ve received at the club, the Mirror reported.
“The members here are very loyal,” Collins said. “They’ve pitched in and worked on so many projects here at the club. They’ve been extremely generous with their time and efforts.”
Like all businesses, the club’s operation was hampered by the COVID-19 restrictions earlier this year, the Mirror reported. Recent weeks, however, have seen a return to near normal.
Play at the course is up significantly, and the restaurant is now fully open, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, the Mirror reported. The club currently offers dinner specials, with additional special events planned as the year goes on.
“We understand that we’re not going to survive on golf alone,” Collins said. “We’re determined in making Sunset Golf Club a year-round operation.”
To get there, the owners have a detailed five-year plan they intend to follow, the Mirror reported. Projects later this year include additional clubhouse renovations and intensive landscaping work to level-off fairways and tees throughout the course.
Clark, who has a lifetime of memories at the club, is particularly excited to see the many recent improvements, the Mirror reported.
“It’s fun to see what we’re getting done,” he said. “I liken it to seeing phoenix rising from the ashes.”