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The immaculate course and


surrounding landscape are the lures that bring golfers from near and far, and Gary LaFleur, grounds superintendent for 11 years, is always on hand to keep the facility and its equipment in tip-top shape. LaFleur and his maintenance staff


club and travel team matches. A number of local school golf teams call Hobbs Hole their home turf. Tuesdays are ladies’ days at the club and Thorne sees potential for growth in women’s programs. Thursdays beginning in April feature the Twilight Golf League. With no age or gender limits, and very few requirements, it’s the club’s most popular program, with about 70 players per week. Senior citizens make up about 60 percent of Hobbs Hole clients. “We definitely cater to our seniors,” Thorne said. The club also hosts about 30 tournaments and


events per year, whether for members or the public. He’s enthusiastic about the club’s computer system and its extensive database of about 3,000 contacts — the comprehensive email system helps get the word out about activities and events. The course is open to the public; however, annual memberships have advantages like preferred tee times, pro shop discounts, and club social functions. “If you’re a regular player, a membership can really drop the expense. Some members play up to 100 rounds of golf a year,” Thorne said.


attend to 160 acres of turf, including nearly four acres of greens, tee boxes, fairways, 58 acres of rough and hazards (both water hazards and bunkers), not to mention the repair and service of mechanical equipment, as well as clearing debris from the natural landscape. “We do battle with Mother Nature, and it’s a challenge all the time,” he said. No matter the weather conditions, routine maintenance requires daily attention: trimming, aeration, fertilization, mowing, irrigation and hand watering. Everything is managed for beauty, consistency and uniformity, and the job doesn’t end when cold weather sets in. Devoted enthusiasts play golf all year long. “They’re a relentless bunch,” LaFleur said with a smile. Carts can be equipped with covers and heaters to make wintertime play more comfortable. “I believe Gary’s team easily outperforms other course maintenance staffs that are twice as large,” said a local member. On the culinary side, Brian Stanford,


chef and owner of Fairways Bar and Grill at Hobbs Hole, reminds everyone that you don’t have to be a member, or even a golfer, to enjoy everything from fine dining to satisfying sandwiches, snacks and refreshing beverages at the restaurant. Fairways also offers catering, as well as space for private parties and events. The restaurant features a menu for golfers, and with the coming spring


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March/April 2017


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