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Somerset Golf Course in Orange on track to reopen this spring under new management.
Somerset Golf Course, located off State Route 3 in Orange County, will reopen May 1 as a semi-private course.
DAN McFARLAND/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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BY DAN McFARLAND
After years of sitting idle, the Somerset Golf Course in eastern Orange County is expected to open this year.
Plans call for the course to open May 1, according to Mike Hatch, owner of Acumen Golf Consulting in Richmond.
"The golf course had been closed down for something like four years before the owner called us in to help with the reclamation and reopening of the course," Hatch said. "He wanted us to come in and manage it for him, work with him to make sure it is successful.
"We run a couple of other golf courses in Richmond, and I work with a number of others on the East Coast. We are experienced enough to get it open and market the facility."
The course will be semi-private, marketed to potential members as well as public golfers. It is located in the Somerset Farms subdivision off State Route 3, north of the site of the new Walmart Supercenter that is scheduled to open this summer. It is not affiliated with the subdivision's homeowners association.
"Right now, it is independently owned and operated," Hatch explained, "As a goodwill measure, we may be offering some specials to the community if they come on board as members."
For the past 18 months, Hatch's company has been at work preparing the course for play. The fairways will remain Bermuda grass, but the greens have all been reseeded with bent grass, and the bunkers are being given a full renovation.
"Unfortunately, the course was fallow for years, and the property had become somewhat overgrown," Hatch said. "We spent a significant amount of time working on the infrastructure, including the irrigation system."
Last year's mild weather was apparently conducive to preparing the course, though.
"It seems to be in good condition," Hatch noted. "We were thinking about a potential September opening last year, but it just didn't quite work out. But so far this year, we are on schedule for a May 1 opening."