WALPOLE — A grand opening celebration kicks off Saturday at the newly restored and protected Hooper Golf Course.
The open house begins with a shotgun-start, nine-hole golf tournament at 8 a.m., according to a news release from the links. There will be all-ages contests for longest drive, chipping and putting, and cart rides are available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Light refreshments are free, and a food truck will be onsite for those with more of an appetite.
After years of uncertainty regarding the Prospect Hill Road course, residents and golfers have plenty to celebrate.
In 2011, pressure from the state’s charitable trusts unit pushed the Hooper Trust, operated by the town’s board of selectmen, to selling the land.
Work began to keep the golf course intact. In 2014, residents donated $450,500 for the Monadnock Conservancy to buy the development rights to the bulk of the property. Last year, local resident Frederick Dill purchased the property from the Hooper Trust, and then a group of more than two dozen investors bought the golf course from Dill.
The course is no longer a semi-private club, according to the news release. As part of the arrangement with the town, it’s now open to the public.
For the past several months, the residents operating the course have been renovating and cleaning up the property for this season. Updates include a new logo, refurbished pro shop, a fresh coat of paint on the buildings and upgraded carts and equipment.