It was a great year on the course at the South Shore Country Club (SSCC) with improved playing conditions and a faster pace of play, making the course more attractive to area golfers. As a result, the Town of Hingham-owned club saw more visits from both junior and adult golfers helping the course produce revenue of close to $2 million.
In addition to on-course improvements, the club benefitted from partnerships with the Hingham Recreation Department and the South Shore Special Needs Athletic Partnership (SNAP) as both organizations ran successful youth camps at the SSCC over the summer months.
On the financial side, the club realized an additional $40,000 in revenue over last year due to increased rounds played and operational efficiencies. Looking ahead, the club has retired the $2 million irrigation bond that was taken out to improve the irrigation system on the course in 2004, which should help the club’s bottom line going forward.
“Improving pace of play was a big goal coming into the season and I think we solved that issue,” said Kevin Whalen, Executive Director of the South Shore Country Club. “One of the complaints we were aware of was how long it took to play the course. This past season, we spread out tee times from 7 minutes to 10 minutes, which had an impact on our bottom line, but the results were very well received with most rounds being completed in 4:15 minutes,” said Whalen.
The SSCC capped off a great season with a successful fundraising event, the Hingham Scramble, which raises money for on-course improvements. All of the funds raised are invested back into club. The last two events allowed the club to build new bunkers on the 4th and 5th holes. This year, the funds will be used for some tree removal to get more sun onto the course in key areas and for the construction of some new forward tees.
Highlights from this past season include:
● Faster rounds of golf. Golfers reported that they waited for groups in front of them far less than in past years.
● Successful seasons from the Hingham High School boys’ and girls’ golf teams who call the SSCC their home course.
● More junior golfers enjoying the sport with 75 junior members playing 900 rounds this past summer and another 850 juniors paying regular green fees.
● Employment opportunities for 20 Hingham college and high school students.
● Successful partnership with the Hingham Veterans’ Services Department to employ several Hingham veterans.
● A ladies’ night golf program that had over 120 participants this year.
● The Selectmen’s Club golf tournament, which serves as a key fundraiser for the local July 4th Parade.
● Active bowling leagues and three golf simulators that both provide recreational options during the winter months.
The one dark cloud that surfaced late in the season, however, was news that the 60-year-old pool has failed and will not open next year. The closing impacts not only the pool but also the storage and maintenance facility below the pool that houses equipment used to maintain the course.
The Friends of the South Shore Country Club are now actively fundraising to bring an article to Town Meeting that would allow for a new Town pool to be built at the SSCC. The club is also examining short and long-term options for equipment maintenance and storage.