Golf club reopens in Peterborough

WILTON – Sometimes something is just too good, too much a part of history, to let it go away.

The golf course at the Monadnock Country Club in Peterborough is the 13th oldest in the state, Paul Buffam said recently, “built when small courses were located all over the area.”

Last year, for financial and other reasons, the club closed. It has now been taken over by three local residents, and reformed under the name Hilltop Golf Course. It officially opened on April 29.

The nine-hole course was built in 1899, at a time when there were many summer residents. “That’s how golf got started here,” Buffam said.

“(The Country Club) had a banquet hall and a grill,” he said, “but that’s what country clubs do. We’re just going to do the golf part. We know nothing about the hospitality business.”

Buffam will be overseeing the maintenance of the facility. He joined two other avid golfers, Vickie Brock and Nadia MacStay, both of Peterborough, in the effort to save the course. He likes the Brentwood course in Keene, he said, “but it takes all day” to go and play there.

To Hilltop, he said, “I can drive there in 20 minutes, play a round in an hour, and be back home.

“It’s a short-hole course,” he said, almost all par 3s.

Last year when the Club’s Board of Directors announced they would be closing permanently because of debt and reduced revenue, the new group formed an LLC and negotiated a lease with the MacDowell Colony, owners of the property. About 90 people committed to membership, making it financially feasible. Volunteers came this spring to clean and prepare the course.

“Prepaid memberships won’t be enough,” Vickie Brock said. “We need additional memberships, greens fees and income from advertising and fundraising.” She added, “No donation is too small and will be carefully managed.”

A “Go Fund Me” page has been set up at www.gofundme.com/golfpeterboroughnh.

“Maintaining a golf course is fairly expensive,” Buffam said, “with watering and herbicides and pesticides. We plan a bare bones operation.”

Visit the website, www.hilltopgolf.net for greens fees and membership details. Individual, family, apprentice, and junior memberships are available as well as buy six rounds, get one free.

“I like the course,” Buffam said. “I wanted my wife to fall in love with golf and it’s a very user friendly for women to start. There’s a women’s group, non-competitive.

“It has great views,” he added. “It’s peaceful. I can get my golf fix, and be home in a couple of hours. And it is such a friendly course. Go after work and be home for dinner.”

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