By Jake Catanzerite
While golf got off to a slow start due to weather and the impact it had on the conditions of some of the greens, overall Eastman Golf Links still had a successful 2019 season.
At the time of this writing in August, golf was on target to meet revenue projections for 2019. Again with the early season challenges we are off slightly in a few areas but ahead in others. While we added a number of new members this year, we did not see a significant increase in overall memberships. The overall membership in 2018 was 360 compared to 363 in 2019.
We also elected a new Golf Committee Executive Committee for 2019. Tim Swope will serve as chair, Jason Massey as vice chair, and Russ Duade as secretary. The new executive team assumed responsibility for the Golf Committee as of Aug. 26, 2019, and they are hard at work coordinating with the Finance and Budget Committee, golf maintenance, and the golf staff setting the direction for the 2020 season. Congratulations and thank you to Tim, Jason, and Russ.
We saw increased participation this year compared to last year for tournaments and events. The goal for 2019 was to add some new events that would include non-members so we could showcase what Eastman Golf Links has to offer in hopes of drawing new members. We combined some events—such as the Eastman Cup and Club Championship with men’s and woman’s flights—and initiated the Par 3 and Glow-Ball events as fun additions this year. Some of the changes had great response and some had mixed results. We’ll take some time to assess what worked and what didn’t as we plan for next year.
The addition of the forward tees over the past two years has been a great success. We are seeing increased play on the Links and Yellow tees, as well as the Eastman tees. The New Hampshire Golf Association just completed the course ratings for the new tees, which are now included in the GHIN system for score posting and establishing handicap indexes. Some other changes you should notice are the new yardage markers on each tee box.
September means the beginning of additional upgrades to the golf course based on the Master Plan. New Senior Tees will be built on Holes 2, 6 and 8, along with the forward tee on Holes 6 and 12. The sinkhole on the 6th Fairway will be repaired, and a new cart path on Hole 9 will be constructed on the left side of the fairway.
In closing, we want to thank the Membership for your continued support to make 2019 a successful year. Your support is vital to our success. We also want to acknowledge the golf maintenance staff who worked tirelessly this year to address the impacted greens from last winter. We also want to acknowledge the golf staff who do a great job day after day making the golf experience pleasant and fun.
Jake and his wife, Kathie, have been residents of Eastman since August 2015 and reside on Shore Road. He has been an Eastman Golf Links member since 2015 and has served as vice chair and chair of the Golf Committee.
Steve from Shape Works operates the laser-level skid steer track loader, which is instrumental in making sure the tee boxes are level. / Richard Karash