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  1. Happy Fall Y’all!

    As the 2019 golf season winds down here in Maine, it’s a good time to bring everyone up-to-date about what’s happening at Hidden Meadows Golf Course.

    This coming Saturday we are having our annual season-ending Haunted Golf Ball 5-Person Yellow Ball Scramble. In this format, four players on the team play a scramble, one player on the team plays the yellow ball. You combine the scramble score with the yellow ball score on each hole for the team score. The yellow ball rotates to a different team member each hole.

    The cost is $10 per player for members, $20 per player for non-members. Carts are $12 per seat. We have room for two more teams. For more details about this tournament, click on this link: https://www.facebook.com/events/385245698829059/

    As I’m sure everyone is painfully aware of, this has been one of the wettest year’s on record in the greater Bangor area. In August alone we had 12 inches of rain. Average is less than one inch. As a result, the course and cart paths have taken a beating this season.

    We already had plans to clean out all of our drainage ditches this fall. While we are doing that, we are going to add some additional drainage to the course, particularly on the fairways of #1, #5, #6 and #9. We have also added a cart path on the right side of the 5th fairway, and are in the process of adding a cart path on the left side of the 6th fairway as well as to the left of #6 green.

    All of this will help to re-direct water and re-direct cart traffic, which will in turn give us a chance to fill in the low spots and add drainage to these areas of the course. Weather permitting, we should be able to get a lot of this done this fall, which in turn will put us in a better position for the spring of 2020.

    This has, unfortunately, pushed back our scheduled opening of the new tee and green on #4. While the new green is ready to go, the new tee is only about half way done. Conditions have been so wet that we haven’t been able to safely move dirt from where we mine it next to #5 fairway without tearing up the course. Once things get dry enough to be able to start moving fill again, we’ll get that project finished. We are hoping (and keeping our fingers crossed) to have it ready to go and open early next summer.

    We have acquired 10 new carts this fall, so we now have several of our 2010 Club Car Precedent gas carts for sale. They are $2,600 plus tax. As an added value, we will offer free storage for this coming winter, and will include trail fees and storage for the 2020 season. We have already sold four out of the 10 we have available, so if you are interested don’t wait too long. Contact Rob or Joe for more details.

    As many of you already know, this past spring we entered into a 10-year lease agreement with Kitsap County Washington for Village Greens Golf Course, an 18-hole executive course located in Port Orchard, WA, about an hour west of Seattle on the Puget Sound. While our initial plans were to only be involved as a semi-silent partner, it turned out to be quite a bit more than that. Subsequently, Joe has been splitting time between the two courses this season.

    If you are wondering how in the heck we got involved with a course out in the state of Washington, here’s the short version:

    Joe grew up in Bremerton, WA, which is a 15-minute drive from Port Orchard. He took his first golf lesson at Village Greens in 1966, when he was 6-years-old. He got his first job as an assistant golf professional at Village Greens in 1982, and worked there for 2 ½ years.

    Joe’s freshman year of high school at West High School in Bremerton, WA.

    Village Greens is owned and operated by Kitsap County. Over the past several years, the county lost more than $500,000 on the course. Even though most courses in western Washington stay open year-round, the county had been closing the course at the end of October the past several years, then re-opening the first or second week of April, to help reduce expenses. This past spring, they decided to permanently close the course.

    When Joe caught wind of this in late March through social media, he made some calls to try to hastily form a golf course management group. While the management group didn’t quite form as hoped, Joe was able to secure a lease on the course and get it opened back up by Memorial Day weekend.

    Initially Joe planned to spend one week per month at Village Greens, and thee weeks per month at Hidden Meadows. That changed a little bit because of the weather here in Maine this year, and he ended up being at Hidden Meadows for the entire months of September and October. Joe will be heading out to Washington for the month of November and will be splitting time between the two courses throughout the winter.

    It’s difficult enough running one golf course, much less two, especially since they couldn’t be much further apart geographically. So for the 2020 season, Andrew McDade will be returning to run the day-to-day business at Hidden Meadows. Andrew worked for us during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, so he is familiar with the golf course and many of you.

    Chad Armell will remain our Green Superintendent and Jim Gaouette will remain Chad’s assistant. Garry, Cole, Harrison and Bernard will continue to work on our grounds maintenance crew. Sue, Kristy, Linda, Jacob, Sam, Bryce and Willem will continue to work in the clubhouse. Joe and Rob will be splitting time between the two courses.

    If you are wondering how this will affect Hidden Meadows, outside of seeing Joe and Rob a little bit less, there will be little to no differences in the day to day operation of the facilities. And you will continue to see improvements on the golf course, and we will continue to invest in the property and community just like you have every year.

    Additionally, your membership at Hidden Meadows includes a full membership at Village Greens. Range balls and power cart rentals are included with the Village Greens portion of your membership. While we understand that most of you won’t spend a whole lot of time out in Washington, these benefits are available if you happen to be in the area.

    The last thing we need to address is a question, and a rumor, that we’ve been hearing very frequently: Are we planning on selling Hidden Meadows Golf Course? Absolutely not. We’ve just finished our 10th season here and have no intention to sell the course. While everyone has their price for anything and everything, it’s not something we foresee doing in the near or distant future.

    If you are interested in learning a little bit more about Village Greens Golf Course, below is a link to the Facebook page, followed by a link to a news story that was on a local TV station there last month:

    https://www.facebook.com/golfvillagegreens/

    Sunday, November 3rd will be the last day we’re open for the season, so we’ve still got some great fall golf weather to look forward to. Make sure to get out for a few more rounds of before the winter sets in.  And make sure to check out some of the great year-end specials we have going in the pro shop.

  2. Parent Company of Hidden Meadows Golf Course Acquires Operating Lease for Village Greens Golf Course

    Old Town, ME and Port Orchard, WA – BLJ Duck! Amalgamated, owner of Hidden Meadows golf Course and Discount Pro Shop has entered into an initial 10-year lease agreement with Kitsap County Washington to operate Village Greens Golf Course located in Port Orchard, WA. Village Greens had been closed since fall of 2018 as Kitsap County had been looking for an operator of the location. Kitsap County Parks was able to come to an agreement with Hidden Meadows owner Joe Perdue to reopen Village Greens Saturday, May 25th for the season. BLJ Duck! is committed to the Old Town community and has no current plans of exiting the market.

    Changes that will be noticeable to all patrons will be the addition of golf carts to rent, as well as the innovative product called the Golf Board. Monthly membership, as well as prepaid annual memberships will be available. BLJ Duck! has stated there is currently no intention of requiring tee times for walking, it is however suggested to reserve a golf cart in advance to ensure availability. In addition to the golf carts, the pro shop will be stocked with new and used golf equipment from the top names in golf, with on-site fittings to take place within the next 18 months. The transition to the new operator is expected to proceed smoothly, with a fast ramp up in repairing and improving turf conditions as quickly as possible. With the changes a new website will be available soon for information at www.golfvillagegreens.com and a new Facebook page can be found at www.facebook.com/golfvillagegreens. These sources of information will be updated regularly with news, pictures, and stories.

    In addition, Hidden Meadows members and Village Greens members will have full reciprocity between the two courses, through the new program called Play2. Select members at either location will be granted a Platinum tier membership at the alternate location, this will include unlimited golf, no charge golf carts, reduced fee Golf Boards, and no charge range balls. This program will be great for anyone who visits either location, and is included with all memberships at Hidden Meadows, and included with all annual members at Village Greens. Memberships are residency restricted, details and pricing are available at each golf course. Also, Village Greens Golf Course will become a full member of the North Atlantic Golf Course Association, which includes over twenty golf courses in Maine, Wisconsin, and New Brunswick, Canada.

    Members at both locations can expect a high-quality golf product at a fair price.

    About the golf courses:

    Hidden Meadows Golf Course is a 9-hole golf course located in Old Town, ME opened in 1997. The course was acquired by current owners Joe Perdue and Rob Olsen in 2010. Over the past 9 years the property has been grown and modified to include alternate tees for all players, a picnic pavilion for tournaments and private parties, a golf cart fleet rental business, and cart repair division. Hidden Meadows plays at 3177 yards for 9 holes, and 6068 yards for 18 holes.

    Village Greens Golf Course is an executive 18-hole golf course located in Port Orchard, WA and was developed in the 1970s as an addition to the Parkwood Community. Operated in the 1970s to 1990s and again for the previous ten years by Kitsap county. Village Greens is an 18 hole course that plays 3255 yards, has a covered driving range, and practice areas for chipping and putting.

    Media Contact:
    Rob Olsen
    Hidden Meadows Golf Course
    Tel: (207) 356-8445

  3. Sylvia Played Golf With A Purpose

    Picture courtesy of Village Greens GC

    By Joe Perdue

    PGA Professional / Owner
    Hidden Meadows Golf Course

    People play golf for all sorts of different reasons. It’s a great way to get some fresh air and a little bit of exercise. It challenges your competitive spirit. It’s fun to play.

    But there are other reasons people play the game.

    My first job as a golf professional was at Village Greens Golf Course in Port Orchard, WA back in 1982. It’s a unique course with 14 par 3’s and four par 4’s. The par 3’s range from 108 yards to 227 yards, and the par 4’s are a little under 300 yards. The greens are small, and are elevated three to four feet, so while the course is short it’s not as easy as it looks.

    There was a lady who started playing there during my second season. I think her name was Sylvia. She was in her early 60’s and she’d had a rather severe stroke, and decided that golf was going to be her rehabilitation. I gave her a couple of lessons to get her started….just an overview of how a golf swing functioned, how to chip and how to putt. We also worked on helping her to develop some balance, which combined with her limited range of motion was difficult because of her stroke.

    The first time she went out was on a quiet afternoon when the course was empty. Par at Village Greens is 58. She shot 218 for 18-holes, and it took her nearly seven hours to play. She walked the course and counted every stroke, including whiffs. The fact that she was 160 over par was of no consequence to her. It was the first time she had ever been on a golf course, she knew golf wasn’t an easy sport, and considering her physical limitations she was thrilled to just be able to play. She was also using her score as a barometer for monitoring her health and her playing ability. “You gotta start somewhere, right Joe?” she beamed.

    I wish I had a picture of her coming off the course that first day. She was drenched in sweat and was limping badly. She was out of breath and it was all she could do to even move. But when she looked up and saw me, she got this great big smile on her face and said, “I did it! I made it 18 holes, and I didn’t even lose a golf ball!”

    It took her a couple of days to recover after that first round, but she was back for another lesson and then ventured out onto the course again later that week. This went on all spring, summer and fall. All along the way there were little victories. The first time she got through an entire round without whiffing a shot. The first time she made a triple-bogey. The first time she had enough confidence to try to hit a shot over the pond instead of going around it.

    The first time she broke 200 she let out such a loud scream I nearly called the Fire Department from just down the road. I thought someone was being attacked by a critter on the course. It wasn’t too much longer before she was able to get around the course in four hours and her score had dropped another 50 shots. She was regularly shooting below 150.

    By the next spring, she was moving around pretty good. She had spent the winter taking walks every day, had been doing some physical therapy, and her range of motion had improved a lot. She wasn’t fully recovered from her stroke, but she was quite a bit better. She came in at the beginning of the season and asked about joining the Ladies Club, a group that played every Tuesday morning. Most newer golfers would be too intimidated to even think about doing that, because they are either too embarrassed by how they play, or they worry that other people will judge them.

    Not her. This was all part of her recovery. She wanted to be part of the league and jumped in with both feet, just like she had the previous year when she learned how to play golf. Several of the women were afraid to play with her because of her physical condition. Others wouldn’t play with her because she didn’t play very well. But there were three women that welcomed her into their group, and they played together every Tuesday morning. They quickly became fast friends.

    That entire season Sylvia played five or six days a week. She got to where it was taking her about three hours to play 18-holes, and there were a few times she would even go out for an extra nine. Her scores continued to improve, and we had quite a celebration when she broke 100 for the first time.

    Now think about that for a moment. 16 months before she shot 218 and it took her seven hours to play. She was so worn out that she could barely make it from the 18th green back to her car (no exaggeration, she was nearly crawling out the gate she was so exhausted). Now she was playing in three hours and breaking 100. Her limp was barely noticeable, she had more energy than nearly everyone out there. And talk about someone with a positive outlook on life!

    This story doesn’t end with her winning the Ladies Club Championship, although it would have been great if she had. But she did become a fixture at the course, playing nearly every day. I don’t know that she ever fully recovered from her stroke (I don’t know if anybody ever does), but you would never have known that she’d been a stroke victim only a few years before.

    I am so glad Sylvia discovered golf. While it started out as a way for her to recover from a serious health event in her life, she came to really appreciate the game itself. It challenged her both mentally and physically. She met a lot of people and made a lot of new friends. And after being faced with the cruelty of what only a stroke survivor could understand, golf gave her an opportunity to get her life back.

    What a great game this is.