New drainage and sand for bunkers and more heat-tolerant fescue grass, plus a new enclosed grill room, have Warminster (Pa.) Township officials expecting increased business. “It has the possibility of being a very large source of revenue, and the more we can turn this into a profit-making venture, the more we can decrease taxes,” the township manager said.
Renovations to the 18-hole course and clubhouse at Five Ponds Golf Club in Warminster, Pa., are expected to be completed in a few weeks, township officials told the Bucks County (Pa.) Courier Times, and lead to increased business and profits that could even result in lower taxes.
The renovated club, located north of Philadelphia, “has the possibility of being a very large source of revenue,” Richard Manfredi, Warminster’s Township Manager, told the Courier Times. “The more we can turn this into a profit-making venture, the more we can decrease taxes,” Manfredi added.
The renovations included installing drainage pipes between bunkers and other low-lying areas that flood after heavy rain, replacing bunkers in the sand and installing deep green, heat-tolerant fescue grass around the borders of sand traps and elsewhere on the course.
In addition, the back patio of the Five Ponds clubhouse has become a year-round, enclosed grill room, with windows that open to provide a view of the course.
The total cost of the renovations, the Courier Times reported, is $110,000, with $88,000 coming from a Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant, and the remainder coming from municipal coffers.
“We’re trying to make it an even more enjoyable experience,” Leo Quinn, Chairman of Warminster’s Board of Supervisors, told the Courier Times.
“We have a very nice nucleus of local seniors who take advantage of our senior rates, along with our resident discount,” Quinn added.
Richard Ludwig, 83, told the Courier Times that he plays golf twice a week at Five Ponds and considers it “one of the best courses in the whole Philadelphia area, as far as upkeep is concerned—and I’ve played at a lot of courses,”
“It’s way ahead of other township golf courses,” added Ludwig, who also sits on the township’s golfing advisory board.
Ludwig told the Courier Times that he’s been using the township golf course for years and usually plays with his friends. “It’s the kind of game you can play well into your 90s, if you keep up your health,” Ludwig said.
The course was built in 1988 and the club takes it name from the five ponds nestled amid its 140 acres. It sees about 200 golfers a day, the Courier Times reported.
The enclosure of the outdoor patio will allow the clubhouse to continue to serve food and drinks to golfers while Five Ponds’ banquet room is in use, Gary Deetscreek, the club’s PGA professional and Golf Coordinator, told the Courier Times.
“When we had a function, the golfers didn’t have a place to go. Now, we can have multiple events with no conflicts,” Deetscreek said.
Eliezer Rodriguez, who has served as Five Ponds’ Golf Course Superintendent after previously being an assistant, told the Courier Times that his goal is to keep the course “manicured and looking pretty.”
“It must always be in good condition,” Rodriguez said, “because if there are bad conditions, golfers won’t come back.”
The golf course is also an important watershed, he added. “The golf course is meant to hold water, too, so people down the street don’t flood,” Rodriguez said.
After heavy rains, some parts of the course have had standing water, he noted, but the installation of the new grass and the drainage pipes are making a big difference.
“All the improvements we’ve been doing are good for the whole [of] Warminster Township,” Rodriguez told the Courier Times.
The improvements also help Five Ponds keep up with golfers’ increased expectations, Deetscreek added. “The game has really evolved,” he told the Courier Times. “The tees, bunkers and fairways — [golfers] expect all of them to be in good shape. And this is professional course quality, for sure.”