Thursday March 28, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- The Brattleboro Country Club won’t officially celebrate their 100th anniversary until next year, but Jason Kelley sees no reason to not get the party started a little early.

The club turns a century old on July 1, 2014, and Kelley, the new president of the board of directors, wants the time leading up to that important milestone, a time to remember.

"We’re still brainstorming up some ideas," said Kelley. "Our main goal though, is to reconnect the club with the community."

Plans to help accomplish this task will include an open house the first weekend in May, where newcomers or those who haven’t hit the greens in a while, can setup their tee-time and play for free.

Kelley said that the club is putting together their annual calendar, which contains plans for some exciting late-summer events.

Early planning is a good idea thinks Kelley, since both he and members of the club are striving to get more folks on the fairway.

"We [the board of directors] argued about pricing this year," said Kelley. "The course is our greatest asset, with its strong layout and ideal conditions. It enables us to remain competitive with other local courses. But we feel the course is underutilized, and it’s because people are not aware of exactly what we have to offer, or maybe have some misconceptions about the club. To change that, we’re throwing open the gates."

Brattleboro Country Club is member-owned and operated, and is designed to give an enhanced golf experience through membership, said Kelley. Membership is $995 for the 2013 season, and the club also advertises 3 and 4-day passes.

With the snow almost melted, the course is scheduled to open Friday, April 12.

About a week before that, on Saturday, April 6, a volunteer course clean-up will take place. "It will be a busy couple weeks," noted Kelley.

Before becoming head of the board, Kelley was in charge of marketing. Over the course of the club’s restructuring, management has grown closer together, he said.

The other component of the club’s outreach program will attempt to inspire the area’s junior golfers by employing pro Jack Nicklaus’s SNAG instruction and equipment, to bring entry-level golf to young children who want an educational introduction to the sport.

"It feeds into the notion that we are trying to open the course up to everyone," said Kelley. "We feel we have always been
a family-friendly community asset. Some people just forgot."

David Aquino can be reached at daquino@reformer.com, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.