After a five-year hiatus from working on the updates, during which the owner put the property up for sale, the course is now off the market and features new-look holes to challenge players.
Updates to the course and grounds of Kenduskeag (Maine) Golf and Country Club were a long time coming—about five years, the Bangor (Maine) Daily News reports.
The upgrades, which were started in 2007, have now finally been finished. They include a new third green with a short par 4; a long fourth hole combined with the rest of the old par-5 third and the par-3 fourth; and a new tee box on No. 8 that turned a par 3 with a blind tee shot into a short par 4.
“There was a time when I thought it would never happen,” owner Jim Poole told the Daily News. Poole said he actually put the course up for sale a few years ago, unsure if he could maintain it. But now the club is off the market and Poole is committed, hoping the players come to appreciate the course as he does.
After the changes began, they were put off until last year, when the nearby Kenduskeag Stream threatened to absorb the greens. “The stream flooded out No. 3 all the time, and the No. 4 tee box kept losing some [to the stream] each year. Something had to be done,” said Poole. “I couldn’t have an eight-hole golf course.”
The third green now sits on higher ground. Poole planted the grass last spring, and while he initially believed it would need some time to be presentable, he realized after he aerated and top-dressed it last fall that it would be ready this year.
Dandelions did take root on the hole, so Poole relied on manual labor for weeding until he found a weed killer that took care of the problem, while leaving the bentgrass as it was.
“The wet May and June didn’t benefit the course in general, but it did benefit that green,” he said.
Though players were not immediately impressed by the upgraded third hole, reviews have improved. Reactions to the eighth hole are better, though players are hitting their drives through a tree-lined chute that will eventually become a drainage ditch and small pond, the Daily News reports.
“Guys joke about bringing their chainsaws next time,” Poole said, chuckling. “Some recognize [how No. 8] could be our signature hole; it’s very rewarding when you hit it through the trees and over the pond.”