Old Stone Fort Golf Course
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Old Stone Fort Golf Course | 1017 Country Club Drive, Manchester
Sunday — Saturday, 7am — 7pm
Decades before there were fairways, greens and tees on the Old Stone Fort Golf Course’s land, the hundreds of acres were mostly farmland and cornfields owned by Judy Driver’s grandfather. Today, Driver, alongside her husband Tink, operates the newly renovated golf course on her family’s old land.
“Originally this property belonged to us, before it was a golf course at all … so, it’s actually come full circle back to us,” she said.
The golf course, which was opened in the 1960s on land sold to the Manchester Country Club by Driver’s family, was again sold to the state before closing in 2011. While the club was closed, the Drivers worked toward determining a way to reopen the course.
“We wanted it back in order to open it back up for the local people to have a place to play at a reasonable price,” she said.
In March 2016, the Drivers began achieving their goal when they purchased the 140 acres from the state, after trying for two years to encourage the state to put the land for sale. Nevertheless, after working fervently to purchase the land, the real work commenced.
“It all had to be refurbished. It’s in pretty good shape now,” Driver said. “Everything’s not perfect. If we waited until it was perfect, we wouldn’t be able to open it.”
After a year of clearing the land, refurbishing the course, purchasing new equipment and revamping the club house, however, the nine-hole Old Stone Fort Golf Course officially opened for play on April 18, 2017.
Despite rumors of an additional nine holes being built in the future, Driver said the golf club will remain a nine-hole course, located idyllically on the border of the Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park and the Duck River. While playing on the course, golfers can enjoy the area’s abundant wildlife and the land that was occupied by Native Americans for hundreds of years. By spring 2018, Driver also expects a new driving range and practice range to be completed.
For those interested in seeing the course’s beautiful surroundings but not in playing a round of golf, the club also welcomes visitors and walkers to their picturesque course.
“We want for people—retired people, young people, anybody—to come down and enjoy the area,” Driver said.
Driver encourages community members and visitors to stop by the office if they decide to take a walk, go fishing or enjoy the course’s river, to ensure the safety of visitors, but she emphasizes that there is no charge to enjoy the course’s land—even with pets (on a leash, of course).
“We’re not trying to compete [with the country clubs],” Driver said. Instead, she hopes to provide the community with the opportunity for people “to come out and meet with their friends, without spending a lot of money.”
“We’re hoping that people will come back and enjoy it and bring their families and their children,” she said. “They’re going to come back because it’s so calm and peaceful here. There’s no traffic. It’s just a beautiful nature area.”