Par for the course: Cedar Knoll hits milestone anniversary

Cedar-Knoll-3By Sheri Duff

Hinesburg’s Cedar Knoll Country Club  (CKCC) will celebrate its 20th year in style. Starting with roll-back rates and a summer tournament, this milestone anniversary offers golfers and non-golfers alike the opportunity to celebrate throughout the season.

“The past twenty years have been something,” stated CKCC superintendent Tom Ayer, “My mom and dad took a leap of faith back in the early 90s. Farmers for generations, they sold their herd, about 120 cattle, and turned the land into this golf course. They did not want this land to be developed. That was important to them.” In 1993 Tom’s father, Raymond, and mother, Ruth, opened the driving range followed by an 18-hole golf course, commonly referred to as the North and West, a year later.

“We’re thankful the course has a loyal following of local members, charter members, and longtime employees,” said superintendent Tim Ayer, Raymond’s son and Tom’s younger brother. “Three years after we opened we added another 9-hole course called the South.”

“Over the years it’s safe to say the number of Cedar Knoll members has dropped due to the downturn in golf nationwide,” Tom informed. “Fewer people are involved in the sport due to more hours at work, less disposable income, and other commitments. We are fortunate that our membership has stayed relatively steady and that our members are very outgoing and supportive.”

To combat the decline in golfers, CKCC has adapted. “We’ve added senior tees, inexpensive junior memberships, and implemented the First Tee program, a youth organization that promotes life skills and leadership through the game of golf,” Tim commented. “The Hinesburg Community School has equipment and other schools are interested in First Tee. Of course our goal is to introduce golf to as many people as possible.”

Golf instruction is a CKCC staple. “Certified PGA instructor Barry Churchill has offered lessons to beginners and advanced golfers at Cedar Knoll for the past 14 years,” noted Tom. “Barry was voted the Vermont Chapter PGA Teacher of the Year last year, and he can take anyone’s golf game to the next level.”

Constant improvements to the golf course and clubhouse have also positively affected CKCC. “Listening to and acting on the suggestions of our patrons has really helped us to provide a terrific experience,” Tom said. “Examples of that collaboration are the new tees and greens. We also tweaked some of our events and added a few for this special anniversary.”

As part of the anniversary celebration Cedar Knoll will offer Throw Back Tuesdays (T.B.T.) where green fees are just $19.94 (the year CKCC opened), mid-week specials, and a special 20th anniversary tournament. The 2014 Ayer Open, a 2-person best ball format for players of all abilities, is slated for Saturday, June 28 at 10am. The fee of $120 per team includes 18 holes of golf followed by a freshly cooked meal, goodie bag, prizes, and a free practice round prior to the tournament. Interested golfers are encouraged to sign up soon. “The Ayer Open is limited to the first 65 teams and registration will close on June 25,” Tom mentioned as an impetus to register.

“Celebrating 20 years in business gives us a reason to thank our longtime players and employees, and welcome those new to the club,” Tim said. “I attribute our longevity to hard work and a desire to give our patrons a fun place to spend their summers,” Tom added. “This milestone is a celebration of our success. And we want the community to share in our celebration.”

Designed by Raymond Ayer and his brother, Norm, among other golf enthusiasts, Cedar Knoll’s 27-hole public golf course features stunning views of the Green Mountains and tough play. The restaurant features lunch and dinner daily, and breakfast on weekends. To learn more, visit www.cedarknollgolf.com or call (802) 482-3186.