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Hopedale Country Club: “Covid Saved the Golf Industry”

Jan 28, 2021 06:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson
It was 32 degrees in early January, the afternoon sky was dark, and snow flurries began to dress the landscape. Yet, visible from the comfort of the clubhouse at Hopedale Country Club, half a dozen people could be seen outside braving the elements and traversing the course with their golf bags and parkas.

Imagine what the turnout would be on a warm and sunny day in May.

Last May, the nine-hole, semi-private course recorded approximately 5,800 “starts” according to Pro Sean Duong. “Covid saved the golf industry,” he said. “When folks were confined at home by the pandemic, they came out in droves to play safely outdoors.” Having a friendly, welcoming course as a retreat helps too.

And the growth at Hopedale Country Club continues. President Don Stewardson said, “We have a limited number of memberships available, and we are close to reaching our goal of 275 members. Thinking back to just three years ago, there were fewer than 150 members.”
The country club is located about an 11-minute drive from the center of Bellingham. “We have 32 different cities and towns represented here, including Boston, Newton, Bellingham, and Franklin,” said Stewardson. “And our oldest member is 95-years-old!”

The tree-lined course totals 6,000 yards long and plays to a Par 70. Multiple sets of tees and electric carts are available to accommodate and challenge all levels of abilities.  Hopedale CC is entering its 68th year and looking forward to welcoming the area’s community for many years to come.

“We offer bang-for-the-buck,” observed Duong. “Golfers come for the greens, and ours are spectacular. We’ll put our greens against anyone’s.” First-time golfers at the course often describe their experiences as “awesome.”

“We have families, couples, juniors, singles who play at Hopedale; we attract a diverse group, and our emphasis is on being family-friendly,” explained Stewardson. Annual memberships range from $500 to $2,700 and include categories of individual, seniors, couples, family, weekday, under 25 and 35, and junior. Currently, there is no initiation fee for new members, who will receive a 10% discount off their dues for 2021. However, HCC does offer special hours welcoming public play.

Duong, the club’s PGA Head Golf Professional, owns and operates the Coolbreeze Golf Shop, where members and guests can find an “ever-changing palette of apparel that will make them feel, and look, great.” Duong, in addition to providing lessons and golf clinics for women and juniors, also gives sound advice on purchasing golf equipment, apparel, and accessories from all major manufacturers.

“Take a lesson today,” smiled Duong, “score a hole-in-one tomorrow!”

And there’s the social aspect of the Hopedale Country Club. “We have a full-service restaurant and bar that is open to the public,” explained Stewardson. “There are 90 indoor seats (although the current pandemic restrictions have lowered that to 22), seating outdoors for 60 or more, and a beverage cart on the course. Being open to the public, HCC offers the opportunity to intertwine oneself with their community.”

According to the Club’s website, amenities include the Pro Shop, warm-up driving range, practice green, clubhouse featuring a spacious dining room, horseshoe style bar, and a wrap-around deck with panoramic views of the golf course.

Group outings, tournaments, leagues, and more are offered to members, guests, and the public. The Club observes all current COVID-19 protocols and guidance.

One Facebook poster sums up his recent experience this way: “The food is fantastic, the people are great, and the course is always a challenge and in great shape.”

For more information, please visit www.hopedalecc.com or call 508-473-9876. The Club is located at 90 Mill Street in Hopedale and expects to open (depending on weather) in late March.

article & photo by Dave Dunbar, Bulletin Marketing Writer
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