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Let the record show that our money pit municipal golf course opened for business yesterday, so naturally today it rained. This pre St Patrick's Day opening is the earliest in a decade but that will not stop town officials from using the weather excuse this coming July at fiscal year finish when the course ends up in the (cherry) red once again.
Hickory Ridge, a 18 hole public/private course in South Amherst sold at auction yesterday to Appliedgolf, a major player who owns 13 other courses. Cherry Hill would have benefited somewhat by Hickory Ridge staying closed but now it may be quite the opposite as the new owners may invest more money into renovations, making it an even better course.
On average Cherry Hill only covers about 70% of its total overhead with the other 30% covered by taxpayers--the vast majority of whom do not play golf. Hickory Ridge needs to cover all its costs (including property taxes to the town) via membership fees, or the auctioneers gavel will fall again.