As golfing goes, we all strive to better our game with a lower score than the last round. It’s a game where we all try to do better, but sometimes you just don’t get the expected results.
Years ago, I hit a beautiful 5-iron going directly at the flagstick on #5. I thought it was surely a close birdie putt. The ball hit the drainage grate before the hole and bounced over the entire green and landed on the cart path and then into the hazard. Not exactly the results I expected.
But I digress. I still finished the hole — and then laughed about what had happened. I didn’t shoot 100 that day, but it wasn’t my best round either. So what is the obsession with 100?
Shephard Hills will be 100 years old in 2017! For the Town of Roxbury, this is a milestone for one of the many historic sites of the town. We will be planning a birthday party for the course, and we hope everyone will attend. We’ll have to buy the candles early. The day has not been set, but we will make sure that everyone knows about the event.
Moving on to other business, there will be a few changes occurring this season. The food and beverage operation will be leased out for 2017 to Rhinecliff Catering. Serving the golfer during the season will still be a priority, and we are trying to diversify Shephard Hills by offering banquet services. This is a necessary addition to insure the future viability of our golf course. The transition should be seamless, and we hope you will support us.
On the course
Moving on to the course, Jessie Grant has been kept on through the winter to take care of some tree trimming. First, let’s go to #4. The famed “Bell Tree” has finally succumbed to the elements. I think that most of you are grinning right now, but we will be planting a new tree to take its place. Fortunately, it will take many years before it presents a problem with your second shot. Maybe we’ll just leave the Bell.
As you approach the green on #4, you will notice a big difference in the look of the area surrounding the green. The left side has been opened up and we have removed a number of the beech trees on the right. This will make the hole more playable for your chip shots. The landscaping will be done this spring, and some of the original hydrangeas will once again thrive.
Moving on to #7, we had no choice but to remove the tree in the middle of the second bank, as it was becoming a hazard. I have hit the tree numerous times myself. We will plant another tree for the next generation of golfers. Cardiac Hill has lost an icon.
Next, we move on to #3. A number of trees have been trimmed and you will now have a straight shot to the oak at the corner. I think that this will make many of you straight-shooting golfers very happy. This is just another effort on our part to make golf enjoyable for all of you.
One last change in the works will be the opening of our new practice green. This one is Jessie’s baby. With regards to all the greens, we will continue to work on improving the quality of our putting greens. Mike Faulkner will continue to nurture our putting surfaces.
As we move forward into our 100th year, we hope you join us in celebrating this historic year. Gordie Faulkner will be back to welcome you in the pro shop and the entire staff of Shephard Hills looks forward to giving you a great golf experience for 2017.
Frank J. Adamiak
Roxbury Golf Management, LLC