Westmoreland Golf Club: Staying in the family

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(Ninth in a Series)

WESTMORELAND —The Rome Sentinel golf tour took a stroll down Route 233 to Westmoreland Golf Club.

The course opened around 1966, and has been in the Cullen family since 1976.

“My parents bought the course in 1976 and I’ve been here ever since,” owner and superintendent Tom Cullen said. “I’ve been here all of my life and we’ve been doing some improvements. We just put in an upstairs and dining room (in the clubhouse) and everything else is going good. Business is good.”

Cullen said his parents bought the course as part of a partnership.

“They were members at Skenandoa and they were friends and they decided ‘Well let’s go buy a golf course,’” Cullen recalled. “That lasted about two or three months and then my parents ended up buying them out and I’ve been here ever since.”

Geoffrey Cornish designed the 9-hole golf course.

“They designed the course pretty good,” Cullen said. “I mean around the greens they put some hills. It isn’t a very long course, especially in the summer when it dries out.”

Cullen said that since his family took over in 1976, there have been a lot of changes between then and now.

The course itself is in beautiful shape despite all of the dry weather we have had. We played it on Thursday morning after it had some rain and it was pretty green; everything you would want a course to be.

“We have leagues every night of the week and we have open play on the weekends,” Cullen said. “Our membership is very good. We have some good members.”

When asked if the course has a signature hole, Cullen said that number nine comes to mind.

“About four years ago, I put a pond in front of the green,” Cullen said.

“It’s a short par 4 but it makes it a little more interesting on your second shot.”

With golf being one of the only activities that people can actively do during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cullen said that it hasn’t been easy to deal with.

“It hasn’t been easy, but everyone has been working with me and trying to do everything right,” Cullen said. “From wearing the mask and social distancing and the whole nine yards.”

I really liked this golf course. It had some challenges right from the first tee and it was just a fun time.

On the first tee, you’re welcomed by a little uphill shot to the green. It’s a par 4, but manageable. A good tee shot and second shot and you should be on in two, putting for birdie.

When you’re on the tee on the second hole, it’s a straight shot and the fairway is wide open. It’s a par 5, playing from the white tees it’s a 480 yard par 5.

The third hole is a par 3, straight shot off of the tee and there’s a bunker that runs up the front of the green and another bunker to the left. Make sure you hit long enough to get over the bunker, otherwise you’ll have a nice day at the beach.

A longer par 4 follows on the fourth hole; 400 yards from the white tees. It’s kind of a blind tee shot as you’re hitting to the top of a hill that runs down to the green.

No. 5 is a par 4 that also runs a little downhill. Hit a decent drive and you could be on the green in two. But be careful; there’s a little creek that runs right through the middle of this fairway. You don’t want your second shot landing in there.

No. 6 is a sharp dogleg right par 4. If you play a slice or can slice the ball, you’ll be in great shape if you’re a right handed hitter. Or you can play it straight onto the top of the hill and set yourself up for a nice second shot.

No 7 is tricky. It’s an elevated tee box, with a pond right under you, but the fairway is up a hill. Clear the pond and you’ll be good. Once you’re on top of the hill, there’s a dogleg left to the green. No problem to be on in three.

No. 8 is a short par 3 that’s straight on, and hole No. 9, the signature hole, is also a short par 4.

A good tee shot sets up your second shot, but as Cullen said, there’s a pond that sits right in front of the green. Clear the pond and get on the green.

Overall, I really liked this course and the way that it played. I’ll be back for sure for another round very soon.

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