November 10, 2000
After three months of operations, the owners and staff at The Rookery are happy with the Cape Region’s reaction to their new golf course.
“We’re real happy with the number of rounds we’ve had,” said Head Golf Professional Butch Holtzclaw. “Our only regret is that we couldn’t open up earlier this summer than we did, but the weather didn’t cooperate. We’re very optimistic about next season,” he continued.
When the course opened for play on July 30, several aspects of the course remained to be completed. For example, a trailer brought to the site functioned as the pro shop while work on the clubhouse continued.
Many of those final touches are now complete.
This week, contractors completed over 4 miles of paving for the cart paths and the south side of the newly finished clubhouse. The course’s fifty electric golf carts are stored each night and recharged in the building’s 80-foot by 40-foot basement. The 1000 square foot pro shop on the main floor is nicely stocked and appointed.
The Rookery’s restaurant uses over half of the clubhouse, and is a warm and inviting place. Overlooking the first tee and the ninth green, it seats 42. The outside porch will handle another 40 customers when the weather improves. Linda Adkins, the wife of course owner/superintendent Chris Adkins, oversaw the interior decoration.
D. Lee DeShong started in October as the chef for The Rookery. The Rehoboth resident graduated from the Academy of Culinary Arts, and later earned his bachelor’s degree in food service management with honors from Johnson & Wales College in Rhode Island. DeShong formerly worked at the Banking House Inn in Milford, and was intrigued with the possibilities of his new position.
“I was able to start from scratch here, from ordering the equipment to setting up the menu,” DeShong explained. “Later on, we’ll be developing the catering side of the business.”
DeShong also appreciated the atmosphere among the owners and staff: “There’s a positive feeling here, a real cooperative environment. Respect is shown for the different talents each one of us brings to The Rookery.”
The course also recently obtained its first Course and Slope ratings. The Blue Tees are course-rated at 69.6, with a 112 slope. The White Tees are course-rated at 67.7, with a 110 slope. Holtzclaw said that while these ratings indicate the course is slightly easier than average, that won’t last.
“We expect the ratings will go up to 117 or more as we lower the grass heights on the greens. We will soon lower the mower blades by 1/64th inch, and another 1/64th in the spring,” Holtzclaw said. “We were also told that one reason for the current ratings was that there’s less trouble from 200 yards out on several holes. That’s okay for now, though. We want The Rookery to be golfer-friendly,”
Director of Golf Pete Oakley said, “We’re real happy with how the practice area turned out.” He showed off the large practice green, which has a large kidney-shaped bunker flanking its western and northern sides.
“In about 4 weeks or so the practice green will be ready for use. In the meantime, the bunker is ready for use for fairway bunker shots out to the range,” Oakley explained.
Oakley also noted that the practice area is designed for all facets of the game. “There are 5 bent grass target greens on the range, at 75, 100, 150, 200, and 250 yards. Besides the range stations, golfers will be able to hit 50-yard pitches onto the practice green, which will slope toward them for these shots. Golfers can also practice short flop shots on another segment.”
On Election Day, several dozen golfers took advantage of the pleasant weather to play The Rookery. If the winter is mild, the owners and staff of The Rookery should have a good off-season as they prepare for spring.