Friday, December 6, 2013
By Tom Chard email@example.com
With its purchase of the Bath Country Club on Tuesday, Harris Golf is returning to its roots.
Harris Golf, which owns or operates nine Maine courses, added one in Bath on Tuesday. The course reverted to its original name of Bath Golf Course, with other changes on the way.
HARRIS GOLF IN MAINE
• Harris Golf-owned courses: Bath Country Club, Falmouth CC, Old Marsh CC, Penobscot Valley CC, Sunday River Golf Club, Wilson Lake GC
• Harris Golf-operated courses: Freeport CC, Highland Green GC, Mere Creek GC
Harris Golf purchased the course in 1996 and sold it 10 years later. Dick Harris, a longtime golf professional in the state and a principal in Harris Golf, served as head professional at Bath in 1967-68 before moving to Martindale in Auburn.
Harris Golf and investors, calling themselves Preservation Bath LLC, purchased the 18-hole course from The Bank of Maine for $1.395 million and renamed it Bath Golf Course, the original name. It will take over operation of the course today.
This will be the ninth Maine golf course Harris Golf owns or operates.
Harris, asked if the purchase was returning to his roots, said, "Sort of, I guess. I was there and I enjoyed it. My son, Jeff, lives in Bath and we know a lot of people there. We owned it before.
"It's a good thing for the community to have a first-rate golf course. The course needs a lot of help in terms of work and the membership needs direction. We're going to get it stable and bring the condition of the course back to where it was."
Harris and his sons, Jeff and Jason, own Harris Golf.
Preservation Bath LLC hired David Cummings, a Maine golf architect and Bath native, to restore the course to its original design. A nine-hole course was designed by another golf architect, Wayne Stiles, in the early 1930s.
Cummings, a former Maine Open winner, learned the game at Bath and played for Morse High. The course expanded to 18 holes in 1994.
"It was a wonderful nine holes," said Cummings, "but not such a good 18 holes. It's going to be a total renovation and restoration. We're going to get the greens back to their original size and shape. We're going to renovate the bunkers and add several more. A lot of trees that have been planted are going to be removed.
"Jeff Harris has hired me to restore the Wayne Stiles features to the course and to renovate the rest of it."
Harris Golf also owns Sunday River in Newry, site of this week's men's Maine Amateur; Falmouth CC, site of next week's New England Amateur; Penobscot Valley CC in Orono; Old Marsh CC in Wells; and Wilson Lake GC in Wilton. The company operates Freeport CC, Highland Green in Topsham and Mere Creek in Brunswick.
Leon Oliver has been hired as Bath's head pro and clubhouse manager. Jared Bristol, director of golf course maintenance, and Patrick Sevigny, course superintendent, will help with course restoration and maintenance.
Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org