“We’re looking to bring back the affordability of golf,” says the new owner of the 80-year-old, nine-hole course in Greenfield, Mass., which closed in 2013 after suffering serious flood damage from Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.
Massachusetts is still thawing out from an especially harsh winter that brought record snowfall totals, but by May 1, the 80-year-old The Meadows Golf Course in Greenfield, Mass. expects to re-open under new management and with hope of a brighter future, MassLive.com reported.
Constant Poholek, a resident of North Attleboro, Mass. who is also a principal owner of the Wentworth Hills and Heather Hill country clubs in Plainville, Mass., purchased The Meadows in October, with hopes of rescuing the nine-hole layout that had been closed since the end of 2013, MassLive.com reported.
“”We’re looking to bring back the affordability of golf,” Poholek said. “People like to play nine holes, because it’s easier to find that time.”
While Poholek has big challenges ahead, he was able to make some progress before winter hit, MassLive.com reported.
The 50-acre, 1930s Knappy Greenwood design, surrounded on its southern side by the Deerfield River, had battled back from serious flood damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.
“The ‘100 year flood’ hit it pretty good—it was almost as bad as 1938,” Poholek said of the legendary hurricane. “It was re-built and opened [later] in 2012. But it was tough for the previous owner to keep it up.”
Poholek’s first priority late last season was to repair the greens, MassLive.com reported.
“All the greens were stripped, right before the end of the season,” Poholek said. “They were just tired. We made the decision to strip and re-seed them, and we were able to get as much growth as possible last fall.
“We’ll see how they’re doing when the snow is gone, and we’ll see if anything happens with any flood waters,” he added. “We’re hoping they’re playable by May 1.”
Poholek, is The Meadows’ fourth owner since 2004, MassLive.com reported. “We are in the business of running golf courses, and The Meadows caught my eye,” he explained. “We own 18 and 27-hole facilities, and I really liked that this was a nine-hole course. Our thought was to bring this back the way it was 80 years ago.”
Poholek spoke of a three-year plan, one that will require a trait—patience—that is familiar to every golfer, he told MassLive.com.
“We’re not going to be ‘A’ class when spring comes—right now we’re probably a ‘C,’ ” Poholek said. “Depending on the weather and other things, we may have temporary tees and greens when we get started.
“The fairways have been neglected, but we have a plan for them and the tees. It takes three years, especially with all the crabgrass [and] overgrowth. I can’t promise anything right now, but we’re going to work hard to do the best we can.”
Poholek described the club as having an “old Scottish links” feel. “Smaller greens, but plenty of forgiveness,” he explained. “Wide fairways, no real rough. It’s really a course for the beginner and intermediate golfer.
“We’ll attract the casual golfer, who likes to play nine holes and have a burger once or twice a week,” he added.
Poholek will concentrate on a marketing push that includes a membership drive at the public facility, MassLive.com reported.
“The memberships are like golf passes—we have a five-day deal that sells for $200, and that’s for two years,” Poholek said. “And our two-year membership sells for about $400. So cost per year is very low.”
On the food-and-beverage side, Poholek plans a soft opening of its bar and grill next week.
“We’re on a busy road, Route 5/10, and we wouldn’t have to close down at the end of every season until the next April,” he explained. “We have a full bar and liquor license, with room for 99 people inside and on our deck that overlooks the golf course.”