Friday, December 6, 2013
By Tom Chard firstname.lastname@example.org
Aroostook Valley Country Club in Fort Fairfield survived the micro-burst that swept through the course in late June and is nearly completely cleaned up from the mess that 70 mph winds can cause.
Steve Leitch, the head professional, said the course reopened the Monday after the Friday storm. A total of 200 trees were toppled.
"It was very scary," said Leitch. "Thunder and lightning accompanied the wind. Thankfully we got everyone off the course in time. People took cover inside the clubhouse. We thought the windows might blow out. I huddled in a corner of the pro shop."
One of the trees downed was a 100-year-old maple that was pulled up from the roots.
The good news was that the course, while littered with trees and debris, wasn't severely damaged.
"The storm didn't change the integrity of the golf course," said Leitch. "There was no damage to any of the greens. The course is in fabulous shape. It's in the best condition in my 19 years here."
After the storm, approximately 50 members helped in the cleanup. All the debris was moved to the exterior of the course.
On Wednesday, the course will hold a tornado recovery scramble with 120 players. The proceeds from the tournament will help pay for cleanup costs.
For the last two years, Aroostook Valley has been hit by severe weather in June.
"We had a tornado hit at almost the same time a year ago," said Leitch. "It didn't do the damage this one did."
The course has been going about its business like nothing happened. Business has been brisk. Tournaments are being held and membership is out there playing the game they love.
Two weeks ago, the course hosted the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame tournament with 132 players. In just over two weeks, Aroostook Valley will hold its big annual tournament, the St. John Valley Open, slated for Sept. 1-2. The field of 140 to 150 players includes a big delegation of Canadian golfers.
Aroostook Valley CC has been operating since 1927. It has 225 members. It has the distinction of being in two countries. The parking lot and pro shop are in the U.S. The golf course and the clubhouse are in Canada.
"It's an awesome golf course," said Leitch. "It's held in pretty high regard around here."
THE SECOND ANNUAL Davis Richardson memorial tournament will be held Sunday, Sept. 23, at Fairlawn Golf and Country Club in Poland. Teams can choose to play an individual team gross and net format, or a scramble.
There will be a 9 a.m. shotgun start. Entry fee is $60 per person, with checks payable to the Maine State Golf Association. They can be mailed to 58 Val Halla Rd., Cumberland 04021.
Tournament proceeds will benefit the MSGA scholarship fund in memory of Richardson. He was a longtime MSGA tournament official who worked as the scorer at major MSGA championships and weekly amateur tournaments.
Last year the tournament had 70 players and raised more than $3,000 for the scholarship fund.
Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at: