Renovation of Waterville Valley Golf Club Nearly Complete

Waterville Valley Golf Club, a nine-hole course in the historic resort community of Waterville Valley, N.H., is nearing completion of its $500,000 renovation. The project involves adding three new holes, the redesign of three old holes, a new pro shop and a new half-acre pond.

The revised course will include four par-4s. "Our goal is to let guests use every club in their bag," says club pro Bill Baker. "We wanted to create a course that would provide a good golfing experience for all levels of players."

Visitors to Waterville Valley started playing golf there in 1898. In fact, the golf enthusiasts designed the first holes themselves, clearing rocks away by hand from the front lawn of Elliotís Hotel.

The course eventually became a lovable nine-hole course that has been played by generations of visitors to the valley. But over time, the course developed some quirks, including two holes that required shooting over a state highway. While the course was friendly to young golfers and seniors, more advanced golfers wanted something more challenging.

The impetus for renovating the course came with a new development of adjacent land called Moose Run, for the last subdivision of single-family homes in Waterville Valley. "Moose Run provided the motivation for renovating the golf course," says Bill Cantlin, president of the Waterville Company, which owns the course.

While adding improvements to the 108 year-old course, designers have worked hard to retain the character and tradition of the club. For example, the columns at the entry to the club's new pro shop are local timbers, hand-peeled and resting on rocks taken from a stone wall that was removed during the renovation. The pro shop features a 24- by 24-foot screened porch with magnificent views of nearby Mounts Tecumseh and Osceola. It also overlooks the green of the new ninth hole, which is nestled in the curve of a half-acre pond, which acts as a hazard, irrigation pond and safety feature.

Waterville Valley Golf Club plays about 16,000 rounds of golf a year. Residents and visitors are excited about the improvements, as is golf pro Charlie Wheeler of the Owl's Nest Golf Course in Campton, N.H. "The new design is a huge improvement to the Waterville Valley Golf Club and will benefit not only Waterville Valley, but the whole region," says Wheeler.

Berming and shaping of the new and redesigned holes is being completed by a design team from Oncourse Golf. Sodding of the greens will be complete in September, and golfers will be able to play the revised course in spring 2006.

For more information about Waterville Valley Golf Club, call 603/236-4805.