20210921-LOC-hilltop annie card

Annie Card at the Hilltop Golf Course in Peterborough in 2019. Card has announced plans to sell the business.

PETERBOROUGH — Hilltop Golf Course is up for sale for an undisclosed sum, according to a news release from owner Annie Card. At least, the business is.

“It’s been a privilege and a whole lot of fun to steward this golf course for the past few years, and now it’s time to find the family, individual, or group of friends who will take it on, love it and build even better,” Card, who has owned the property since October 2017, said in the release.

The sale will include maintenance equipment, an indoor golf simulator, pro-shop inventory, handbooks and a period of training and transition, according to the Sept. 20 release.

While Card owns the business at 49 High St., the property is owned by MacDowell, an arts nonprofit in Peterborough. The course’s 6th and 7th greens abut The MacDowell Colony, which hosts an artist’s residency program.

In its 2021 season, Hilltop has 130 members, Card told The Sentinel Monday, up from 90 members when she bought the business four years ago.

The golf course has seen growth in both its women’s and men’s leagues, Card said in the release, and amid the pandemic, “rounds of golf were way up in 2020.”

In 1896, Marion MacDowell bought Hillcrest Farm as a summer residence for her and her husband. Five years later, the couple created a golf course in the corner of their property, where visitors and locals alike could enjoy the sport, according to the company’s website. MacDowell transferred ownership to the Peterborough Country Club in the early 1930s.

Just over a decade ago, the board of the business — which had been renamed Monadnock Country Club — sold the business to The MacDowell Colony after falling into debt. MacDowell agreed to lease the property back to the country club, but in 2016, MCC declared bankruptcy, according to Card.

In 2017, a group of Peterborough residents came together to buy memberships, and the newly named Hilltop Golf Course reopened. At the end of that season, Card assumed ownership.

“I see people searching and looking for the next chapter,” Card said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for someone a little younger than myself … to take the reins of this.”

Card said she’s proud of the work she and her team have put into improving the grounds.

“We’ve got to a place where it’s a good time to hand it off to someone else,” Card said. “I will do that happily, and cheerfully, with 1,000 percent support for the right buyer.”

That “right buyer” is someone who is community-minded, Card said, and doesn’t necessarily need experience running a golf course.

But just because she’s selling the business doesn’t mean you won’t catch Card on the green.

“I can’t wait to be just a regular member,” Card said, laughing. “I would love to just show up and golf; that would be just lovely.”

Molly Bolan can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1436 or mbolan@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter @BolanMolly.