April 8, 2011

Golfers get into swing of spring

John Makunas, a longtime member of Hoodkroft County Club, has spent the last two days working the kinks out of his swing using the temporary greens in anticipation of today’s official opening of the golf course putting greens. 
Union Leader Correspondent
DERRY -- Never mind the muck on his golf shoes. John Makunas was determined to get in a few more swings in on Thursday afternoon at Hoodkroft Country Club, where conditions should be improved by the weekend.
For now, the temporary greens provide enough space and inspiration for guys like Makunus to loosen up their swing.
“I’ve been a member here for 35 years,” said Makunas, now of Billerica, Mass. He started coming to Hoodkroft with his dad, who for years lived in Sandown. He stays because it’s his home turf.
“I’ve been waiting all winter for this,” said Makunas, taking one last shot at the tee before calling it a soggy, yet satisfying day.
Greens Committee member Charlie Samataro said the greens should be opening officially today.
“We’re in better shape this year than we were last year. We took a lot of precautions this winter that helped us,” Samataro said. “We had floods last year, and it was just a lousy winter season.”
Last winter the protective net wall that runs along East Broadway to keep golf balls from sailing out of the golf course was knocked down by tree branches in the ice and snow.
“That cost us a lot of money to replace, so this year we cut down all the branches that looked like they might be a problem, and we did some extra winterizing,”
 Samataro said. 

Keeping pre-season golfers at bay was another strategy. 
“Nobody wants to play the temporary greens, but we wanted to keep them off the greens until this weekend. Looks like tomorrow (Friday) will be the first day. I mean, the first fairway is wet, but it’s always wet. The rest of the course is in good shape,” Samataro said. 
As always, the public is invited to come and check out the course, which is entering its 40th year on the old Hood Dairy Farm site, to eat lunch at the restaurant, visit the pro shop, find out about teams that are forming and get weekend tee times. 
For more information, go to www.hoodkroftcc.com or call 432-3369. 

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