Golfers and residents will get their first chance to tour the renovated Garrisons Lake Golf Course and check out the new clubhouse facilities during an open house scheduled for 2-6 p.m. on September 6. About a week later, on September 12, Garrisons Lake will open to the public for the first day of golf at the refurbished course.
After 16 months of renovations, the time is almost here.
The Garrisons Lake Golf Course south of Smyrna is about to reopen.
Golfers and residents will get their first chance to tour the renovated course and check out the new clubhouse facilities during an open house scheduled for 2-6 p.m. on September 6.
About a week later, on September 12, Garrisons Lake will open to the public for the first day of golf at the refurbished course.
Four years ago, the future of the course was uncertain.
Plans were in place to convert the 160-acre course into a subdivision with over 300 homes, but in 2004, the state intervened and purchased the course for $3.4 million.
After gathering input from the public in a series of meetings and workshops, the state decided to renovate the existing golf course. The course’s original layout was left intact with some minor adjustments to improve playability.
Now the renovation process is basically complete.
Within the last few weeks, a pair of new modular clubhouses was installed and the new parking lot was finished.
Matt Chesser, a program administrator for the State Division of Parks and Recreation, is looking forward to showing off the finished product to visitors at the open house on Saturday.
“I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised how nice this project turned out,” he said. “We’ve been keeping people off for so long. Now’s when we officially invite everyone out to walk the course.”
Chesser was hoping to see Garrisons Lake reopen on Labor Day, but decided to wait until September 12 due to the lack of rainfall and high temperatures.
“We thought a couple extra weeks would help us get past the heat of the summer and would be best for the protection of the course,” he said.
There are some brown patches on the golf course because of the drought, but these spots should green up again in the fall, Chesser said.
Open house Saturday at Garrisons Lake
Visitors will have the opportunity to take a walking tour of the Garrisons Lake Golf Course and see the new facilities at the course during an open house from 2-6 p.m. on Saturday, September 6.
Chesser said this open house will serve two purposes; it will give people a chance to see the completed golf course, while also serving as the final public meeting on the project.
State Parks will also officially “pass the torch” to the Delaware State Golf Association (DSGA), Chesser said. State parks will continue to provide some oversight, but the DSGA will handle the day-to-day management of the course.
“The golf course is magnificent,” said Curt Riley, who will serve as the general manager at Garrisons Lake. “It’s just beautiful. Coming from a golfer’s standpoint, it’s just awesome.”
Riley said there won’t be any golf played during the open house, so leave the clubs at home, but visitors will be able to start booking tee times on Saturday.
To play the course, golfers will pay a daily fee based on age bracket, time of day and weekday or weekend.
Riley said annual memberships will eventually be available at Garrisons Lake, but these memberships won’t be offered until the start of next year.