There’s been some sad tales about golf courses closings.
Locally, Locust Valley Country Club in Attleboro abruptly shut its doors last summer; its owner said there just weren’t enough people playing. Although it may take years, the plan is for Heather Hill Country Club in Plainville to shut down and be replaced with 55-plus housing.
But I’m here to tell you today about a golf course that’s been resurrected.
The former Sun Valley Country Club at 329 Summer St. in Rehoboth has been reopened as Hazelton Golf Club.
The resurrection is not the work of God but of Joe Moniz of Warren, R.I.
Moniz used to enjoy playing Sun Valley during the 1970s and ‘80s, until it started falling into disrepair. He purchased and renovated nearby Crestwood Country Club in 2012, then set his sights on his former favorite track.
There are lots of good reasons: Sun Valley/Hazelton has a rich, nearly 60-year history.
The course opened in 1959, the design of noted New England golf course architect Geoffrey Cornish. His work includes Foxborough, Norton and Rehoboth country clubs.
Dana Quigley, a Rhode Island golf legend who played on the PGA Tour and had a great career on the Champions Tour, was Sun Valley’s first pro.
The course was known for the hundreds of weeping willows on the property. However, more than 300 trees were destroyed by Hurricane Bob in August 2001, accelerating Sun Valley’s decline and leading to its eventual closing.
But Moniz remembered that the course had “good bones.” Immediately after buying it in December 2015, he dug up and replaced all 18 fairways and greens, plus the practice green. He hired Tim Gerrish, who had worked for Cornish, to reshape the terrain to Cornish’s original design. It opened last September and immediately had leagues to signing up for this season.
Moniz’s goal is to restore the course to its old glory and to attract regional championships. He also plans to market his neighboring courses – the 16th hole at Crestwood is only 400 yards from the 4th at Hazelton – as must-play places to enjoy in southern New England.
The course plays at nearly 7,100 yards from the tips. Rates for 18 holes range from $30 to walk on weekdays to $50 with a cart on weekends.
For more information, visit hazeltongolfclub.com or call 508-557-1856.
The Falls A.C. Golf League, the area’s biggest with well over 100 participants, recently awarded scholarships to daughters of two of its players. Emily Schromm of North Attleboro High School, daughter of Jim Schromm, and Katherine Leblanc of Attleboro High, daughter of Mark Leblanc, earned the honors.
A belated tip of the cap goes to Glenn Bourque and his staff at Chemawa Golf Course in North Attleboro. Chemawa is always one of the region’s best-maintained public course, and it was in great shape for the more than 100 players who competed in the June 12 Attleboro Area Golf Association Senior Championship. In addition, Chemawa’s staff handed out free bottles of water and watermelon slices on the 3rd and 13th tees on the sweltering day, which was much appreciated by the 50-plus crowd.
The Massachusetts Golf Association and the MIAA, which governs high school athletics in the state, have teamed up to get junior players more involved in the game. The MGA will provide a free handicap to any student-athlete affiliated with an MIAA program. The hope is that once youngsters get a handicap, they will want to lower it by playing more. Visit mgalinks.org for more information.
TPC Boston in Norton is again ranked as the 10th-best course in Massachusetts by Golf Digest. Above it, according to the magazine’s biennial list, are The Country Club in Brookline, Old Sandwich Golf Club in Plymouth, Kittansett Club in Marion, Boston Golf Club in Hingham, Myopia Hunt Club in South Hamilton, Essex Country Club in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Eastward Ho! Country Club in Chatham, Nantucket Golf Club and Salem Country Club in Peabody (where the U.S. Senior Open will be played June 29-July 2).
Look who’s buying
Lee Johnson used a wedge from 74 yards for a hole-in-one on June 10 at MGA Links in Norton. Have a hole-in-one or other golf accomplishment to report? Contact me at the email address below. And play well.