November 5, 1999
Heritage Inn & Golf Club, the newest addition to the Cape Region golf scene, is on track for a spring opening. The par 35, 9-hole layout along Postal Lane, just west of Pelican Square Shopping Center, was recently sodded and seeded throughout most of its 45 acres. Three hundred new trees were also planted among the newly shaped mounds in the last week.
In a recent interview, developer Bryan Derrickson enthusiastically described the new family venture.
The Derricksons are well known in the Cape Region tourism industry. Bryan, a former municipal police officer, currently manages the family interests at the Sandcastle Motel in Rehoboth Beach. The Heritage Inn motel/golf course venture is a new step for Donald Derrickson and his son, who will manage the new facilities. Derrickson said that the development process was “three to four years in the making. My father had the vision, and now we’re carrying it out.”
According to Derrickson, recent development trends in the Cape Region continue to focus on the beach as the primary attraction, with golf now a strong second. He commented, “The Chamber of Commerce already did a good job to extend the fall shoulder season. We think golf will help extend the spring season, especially in April and May.”
Derrickson also discussed their on-going construction efforts.
The Golf Club building on the south side of Postal Lane is nearing completion. It will house the pro shop, cart shed, and maintenance equipment storage, and will have a similar appearance to the Heritage Inn.
Although the combined facility will be a family-run operation, Derrickson said they may seek an affiliation with a PGA professional for the golf course. Currently they have several other full-time, year-round employment opportunities at both the motel and the golf course.
David Horsey and Sons handled the grading and shaping of the new course. Bobby Horsey did the green shaping, and Derrickson is pleased with Horsey’s handiwork.
The tee box grass and fairways use an 80/20 mixture of rye and bluegrass. The rough is seeded with Delmarva South Shore Blend fescue, from Laurel, Delaware. The greens are seeded with L93 hybrid bentgrass. Derrickson said seeding of the course is now “98% complete.”
Horsey’s group also did some sodding, primarily to prevent erosion problems and reduce grow-in risks. They sodded one green, the slopes surrounded three tee boxes, and the slopes adjacent to every green complex.
Derrickson said that during the first full year of operation, golfers may walk the course at any time. Cart usage will be limited to the 6-foot wide concrete path for the first year, to give the new turf a good opportunity to become established without risk of damage from carts. Eventually the new Yamaha electric carts will be allowed on the rough and fairways.
Tee signs are a popular place for advertisers on public access golf courses. Derrickson said they’ve sold well at Heritage, with only a half-dozen sign still available for the initial $700 fee.
The fee structure is very reasonable. There are two basic charges for daily play: $15 for 9 holes, $25 for 18. Cart rental fees are $5 per 9 holes. Derrickson added that Sussex County residents will receive “no less than” a 10% discount on the daily fees.
Annual playing memberships are available as well. Until December 31, 1999, golfers can purchase unlimited playing privileges for the first full year of operations for only $500. After December 31, the annual fee will rise to $750. The annual fee will not include cart fees.
The next column will include more details, including a hole-by-hole course description.