US golf journalist Anthony Pioppi is at the vanguard of attempts to build a new nine hole public course in his home town of Middletown, Connecticut.
Pioppi, author of the acclaimed book 'To the Nines', which eulogised America's nine hole courses, told GCA: “I've lived in Middletown for close to 20 years, coming here as a sportswriter for the Middletown Press. I couldn't believe then that a city of close to 50,000, that has such a proud and long tradition of supporting sports, didn't have a golf course.”
Now the writer hopes to put that right. New England golf architect Brian Silva has drawn up plans for the nine hole Arawana Golf Course, and an associated practice facility. By using two distinct sets of tees, two holes will play either as par fours or fives, while one will be a par three or four. On the remaining four holes, tees will vary the length enough so that while par remains the same during both trips around the layout, play will be different each time. The course will vary in length from just over 5,000 yards to just under 7,000 yards.
Pioppi says the course will be built with minimal earthmoving and grassed with a traditional fescue/bent grass profile to aid sustainability.
“There have been a number of efforts to build a public golf course in Middletown dating back over 40 years, on various sites, but all failed,” he said. “When I realised, about 18 months ago, that Middletown had been given land by the State of Connecticut that could be used for ‘active recreation,’ including golf, I started my quest to build a golf course.”