Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Sponsors

Longshore Almost Ready for Official Opening

WestportNow.com Image
Workers are continuing to sod the final tees at Longshore Club Park, and the work is scheduled to be done this weekend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jennifer Connic for WestportNow.com
By Jennifer Connic

Many golfers have been taking advantage of the recent warm weather at Westport’s Longshore Club Park to play early season rounds, but they are golfing around workers finishing the improvements to the golf course.

Crews are finishing sodding the final tees on the course, completing golf cart paths and seeding some areas, but the work is due to be completed in time for an official reopening of the course on Saturday, May 5. A number of events will take place starting at 8 a.m. that day concluding with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m.

Crews have been working since October 2005 on the $2.3 million project to improve the course, and they only paused during last summer to allow for regular use of the course.

Parks and Recreation Director Stuart McCarthy said the goals of the project were to increase tee space and improve the greens, renovate the existing bunkers that were “old and tired” and review and improve the strategy to play the course.

“I’m thrilled,” he said. “The improvements are everything we thought they’d be.”

There is now space on holes for golfers such as juniors, seniors and those with a high handicap to move to a forward tee and create a shorter golf course, he said.

“It is more to everyone’s skill level,” he said.

McCarthy said his favorite improvements are to the third, fourth and 12th holes because they made for visual improvements and made the play more interesting.

“Longshore used to be a place where you grabbed your driver and hit the ball as hard as you can,” he said. “Now golfers are going to have to consider club selection.”

WestportNow.com Image
Golfers have been using the course at Longshore this spring, but they’re playing around workers who are completing improvements to the course. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jennifer Connic for WestportNow.com
The fifth and sixth holes are examples of places where golfers will have to consider club selection carefully, he said.

The fourth hole is the most changed, he said, with some fairway excavation. The fill from the fairway was used elsewhere on the course, he said.

There used to be a hill in front of the tee and a golfer could not see down the fairway, McCarthy said, but that hill was removed.

“A golfer should be able to see where he hits the ball,” he said.

The large part of the fourth hole still needs to be seeded, he said, and right now golfers are using a temporary tee and a shorter course.

While there are sand traps and bunkers to change the skill level of some holes, he said, they were also placed in some areas to improve safety. The traps and bunkers keep people away from roadways, for example, he said.

Removing the hill on the fourth hole is an example of safety improvements, he said, because golfers can now see if there are players ahead of them on the course.

There were some trees and other things blocking the views of the water that were removed, McCarthy said.

Longshore is a seaside golf course, he said, and people should be able to see the sea.

The golfers have also been patient, he said, using a lot of temporary tees and greens throughout the project.

“It’s like living in a house when it’s under construction,” he said. “It can be a pain.”

The events during the opening on May 5 include a hole-in-one contest, a closest-to-the-pin event, putting contests for different age groups, a display of course maintenance equipment, a club demonstration hosted by PGA Professional John Cooper, a guided walking tour of the course and a question-and-answer session with John Harvey, the course architect. 

There will also be reception tables hosted by the Longshore Men’s, Women’s and 9-hole Ladies golf associations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *