Dunegrass Country Club in Old Orchard Beach is under new management. Dan Hourihan, the owner of Nonesuch River Golf Course in Scarborough, is leasing the course from owner Domenic Pugliares.

“I’ve taken over the entire facility on a long-term lease basis,” said Hourihan.

Along with the golf course, there’s a banquet center in the spacious clubhouse.

“It made a lot of sense to package the two courses together because of their locations,” said Hourihan. “There are a lot of summer tourists in Saco, Old Orchard Beach and Scarborough. Massachusetts golfers are looking for places to play. It allows us to provide a better product for stay-and-play packages.”

Hourihan completed the lease arrangement last November.

Dunegrass, which opened in 1998, was in poor condition last season. Hourihan said the first job will be to restore the course to its former condition.

“We’re trying to bring the course back to what it was like,” said Hourihan. “It was mint in its early years. We’re going to put our resources and expertise into the course. It’s a nice layout. It’s scenic with its sand dunes and scrub pines.”

Dunegrass reminds one of courses in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The course architect, Dan Maples, is based in Pinehurst, N.C., and has designed courses extensively in the Carolinas.

Hourihan has hired Joe Fourre as course superintendent. Fourre, who started work March 1, began his career at Nonesuch before moving on to courses in Massachusetts, California and Alabama.

“He’s up on current turf grass practices and has been involved in restoring high-end courses,” said Hourihan.

Some of the projects planned include restoring all the tees and upgrading the irrigation system. Greens and fairways will get extra attention.

“It’s going to be an exciting year bringing the course back to the way it was,” said Hourihan.

While the transient golfer is important to Dunegrass and Nonesuch, the lifeblood of both courses are members and local players. Single memberships at both courses are $1,395.

For an additional $100, golfers at both courses can play the other course any day of the week. The only stipulation is that on Saturday and Sunday, they can’t play their nonmember course until noontime. Family memberships are $2,200 plus another $100 if you want to play both.

“I hope members will like having the opportunity to play both courses. We also want to maintain the integrity of weekend morning tee times for members at both courses,” said Hourihan.

Both courses are offering a twilight membership and a midweek membership. The twilight membership is $695 for play after 3 p.m. The midweek membership is Monday through Friday for $995 with no time restrictions.

Dunegrass is offering league play for members. Monday night is ladies’ night and Thursday is men’s night. In addition, there will be a nine-hole men’s scramble on Tuesday night, open to the public.

Wylie Herzberg is the new head pro at Dunegrass. He has been an assistant at Sable Oaks, Riverside and Portland Country Club.

TEE TO GREEN: With an eye toward increasing participation in the 25-to-40 age group for men, the Maine State Golf Association will host a series of five midweek tournaments at some of the top courses in the state. The tournaments are open to all ages, but the hope is that the targeted group will sign up. Portland Country Club, and York Golf and Tennis will host tournaments in May. Other tournaments will be held at Falmouth Country Club in August, Augusta Country Club in September, and Portland Country Club in October. For more information, go to www.mesga.org.

 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

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