Bucky Albers: New clubhouse worth the wait for Sugar Valley members

Members of Sugar Valley Country Club have good reason to be excited as this golf season gets into high gear because they finally have use of the new clubhouse that was promised nearly four years ago.

In the summer of 2014, when fires two months apart leveled the old barn where carts, fertilizer and golf clubs were stored and then the clubhouse, majority owner Jim Keyes immediately announced that a new clubhouse would be built.

»RELATED: Longtime area pro happy to be back ‘in the saddle’

It was a bold decision at a time when so many golf courses were closing for lack of golfers, but Keyes was fond of operating this facility built by his family in 1969 and did not want to see it die.

He had no idea how many hurdles would have be cleared to get a new clubhouse built. First he and partners Gary Wright and Jim Powell were informed that a new building could not be built over the old foundation as planned. That resulted in a time-consuming and expensive re-design.

Then there was the water problem. Sugar Valley had drawn its water from wells because there was no municipal water line nearby. In order to get fire insurance, the club had to connect to a distant Greene County water line that resulted in a 4,007-foot scar on the golf course.

Fortunately it was possible to weave the water line through the property without crossing fairways. That allowed golf to continue without interruption, but the trench left an ugly soil serpent and it became necessary to cut through asphalt cart paths.

Construction of the clubhouse took much longer than expected, but now the loyal members have a modern, two-story building with a bar, a huge dining room, locker rooms and showers, an exercise room and a room in which two Foresight golf simulators are installed.

Employees in the pro shop have an excellent view of the No. 1 and No. 10 tees and the No. 9 and No. 18 greens.

“What looks the best to me,” Wright said, “is seeing all of those new members.” On the recent Memorial Day weekend, the tee sheets showed 147 entries on Saturday, 127 on Sunday and 140 on Monday.

“The members we have are tremendous,” Keyes said, “and the staff has been tremendous.”

Optimist Juniors at Yankee Trace

A field of 102 junior golfers ages 10 to 18 will tee it up Monday in the annual Optimist International Ohio South Junior Golf Championship for boys and girls at Yankee Trace in Centerville.

Philip Miller of Centerville, Justin Horn of Milford and Tyler Goecke of Xenia are among 33 contestants in the boys 16-18 division. Kristin Jamieson of Hillsboro, Kayla Ramsey of Centerville, Maddie Frank of Columbus and Madison Spiess of New Albany are in the girls 15-18 competition.

Chip Shots

Among those present for last weekend’s 100th Anniversary Celebration at Community Golf Course were Craig Beardsley and Phyllis Beardsley Kwedar, the son and daughter of Charles Beardsley and Janet Shock Beardsley. Janet was the daughter of Earl and Helen Shock, who ran the Community golf operation for 30 years until both retired in 1956.

Mrs. Kwedar flew in from her home in Fort Worth, Texas, for the occasion.

Craig Beardsley, who lives in Dayton, supplied some family memorabilia for the guests’ perusal.

Tuesday (June 12) is the deadline for two approaching golf events – the Get A Girl Golfing clinic on Friday at Kittyhawk Golf Center and the Ladies Twin Best Ball event on June 18 at Miami Valley Golf Club.

The First Tee organization is running the annual Get A Girl Golfing event, which is an opportunity for young girls to be introduced to golf by qualified instructors. The program is from 9 a.m.-11:30 and includes lunch. Golf clubs will be provided for those who have none.

Another event on the horizon is the third of six Miami Valley Masters competitions June 25 at Sycamore Creek. To participate in any of the events, register at mvgolf.org.

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