Beverly Golf & Golf Facilities Management Inc.
If the shoe fits . . . wear it. That old adage certainly holds true at Beverly Golf & Tennis Club. It is where Golf Facilities Management Inc. came in three years ago and has put its best foot forward by working aggressively to restore the historic course and clubhouse. Beverly Golf & Tennis Club was built in 1910 by United Shoe Machinery Corp., which at the time was one of the world’s leading manufacturers of shoemaking equipment. It was originally a social and recreational facility for United Shoe employees.
The city of Beverly bought it in the late 1970’s and put it out to bid. After a period of neglect from previous management in 2001-08, GFMI won the bid in 2010 and has been proactive in managing the facility with a five-year lease and a five-year option. The relationship between GFMI and the city of Beverly has been harmonious, as the city has invested $2 million into the property through GFMI for capital improvements. Tee boxes, bunkers, mounding, cart paths, and over 1-1/2 miles of drainage have all been upgraded. Right now, the vintage clubhouse is receiving a major facelift.
“It’s a good situation for us and them – knowing how to work with a municipality and knowing how to run a golf course,” said Chris Carter, a GFMI partner and the head golf professional at Hillview G.C. in North Reading, which is also run by GFMI. “Beverly was neglected for a long time, but we’re bringing it back,” said Carter. “Steve Murphy (co-partner) and Brian McHugh (superintendent) are magicians. They’re not afraid to get their hands dirty, and have worked their magic. The city of Beverly golf commission has also been an instrumental partner with a passion to help restore and upkeep a classic golf course.” Carter is not kidding when he calls it a classic. Golfers don’t have the luxury of any easy opening holes. Holes 1 and 2 are successive, 400-plus yard monsters, followed by a blind, uphill par-3 third hole. A couple of things stand out at Beverly.
There are no green side bunkers through the first four holes. Also, there are no easy par-3’s out of the four, with three of them playing from at least 195 yards from the back tees. The 8th hole is a major league, par-5 at 580 yards that would even challenge the professionals. No. 11 (245 yards) and No. 12 (195 yards) are long, back-to-back par-3, and 16, 17, and 18 is a wonderful stretch of finishing holes that meanders nicely through the lay of the land. “Beverly Golf & Tennis Club is a public course with a true championship layout,” said Carter. “It attracts better players and can be very demanding off the tee with a lot of blind shots.” Even the Mass. Golf Association has taken notice of the improvements at Beverly Golf & Tennis Club and awarded it a State Public Links qualifier on July 2. “When the MGA comes calling us, you know Beverly has shaped up,” said Carter. “We’re excited about that, word on the street is that Beverly is back.”
Bob DiCesare is an award-winning golf writer for The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, MA and The Enterprise in Brockton, MA, both Gatehouse Media newspapers.