March 17. 2016 10:34PM
By JOHN HABIB
New Hampshire Union Leader
A new era begins today with the official 18-hole opening at Derryfield Country Club in Manchester.
“This has been a long time coming for our members and I’m as happy as anyone to see this day arrive,” said 20-year golf professional Mike Ryan, who announced the club officially will begin its 2016 season today at 9 a.m. “When people come and see the work done to this course, they’ll agree with me that compared to just two years ago, this is a brand new golf course.”
Last year, the city hired Landscapes Unlimited from Lincoln, Neb., to do the work on the $3.5 million renovation project.
The work included new drainage and irrigation systems, paved golf cart paths, and seven new bridges along with redesigned greens and fairways. Tees have been added or enlarged, several large trees were removed to eliminate shading problems, and vegetation was planted to prevent erosion.
“Everything has passed the test,” said Ryan, including the course’s biggest program over the years, drainage. In the past after a large rainstorm, “You’d need a canoe just to get across the holes,” said Ryan.” That’s no longer the case.”
Members this season will see a 20 percent rate increase across the board from 2014, the last year the country club operated as an 18-hole course.
Here are the 2016 rates: single $1,138; family $2,048; junior (13 and under) $119; intermediate (14-17) $119; senior (65 and over) $740; senior family $1,333; college student $479; single half season $626.
“We did a study comparing our rates in 2016 to 14 other public courses in our area and we’re second only to Keene’s Bretwood (36-hole course),” said Ryan. “Our prices across the board are very affordable.”
Ryan said the number of memberships this season could rise to nearly 500.
For the first time, Derryfield will host the NHPGA Pro Lady Championships, on July 5, and the NHGA Father-Son Tournament on Aug. 2.
Tee times through next Friday will be on a first-come, first-serve policy, said Ryan.
“However, people can begin booking tee times for March 26 and beyond beginning today on our website, by phone (669-0235) or in person,” he said.
The pro shop is currently open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Ryan said membership applications are available online at www.derryfieldgolf.com.
Ryan said payment for membership will be accepted only at the pro shop.