Just because their little nine-hole golf hideaway in Riverhead has caught the attention of more and more East End golfers during their four-plus seasons at the helm of Sandy Pond Golf Course doesn't mean Chris Wahlers and Ken Weinstein are about to take a breather on one of their newly renovated tee boxes. The arrival of spring is simply time to put the finishing touches on the latest round of updates and start thinking of the work that waits up ahead.
Set to begin their fifth season as co-owners of Sandy Pond, Wahlers and Weinstein continue to dig their fingers into the turf as part of the course's ongoing transformation from a no-frills nine holes into an attractive golf setting, complete with a relaxed throwback vibe.
"We had a great season last year," Wahlers said last month. "Our league play has been constantly growing and very successful." Among the recent changes around the course, Wahlers said, are enlarged tees at #2, #4 and #5. The fourth tee, an elevated perch tucked into a corner of the property, was expanded into an 'L' shape by cutting into the wooded perimeter.
Back at #3, a permanent tee behind one of the course's namesake ponds remains on the agenda. Ultimately the goal is to create a slightly elevated tee set off from the clubhouse area by trees and hedges. Until then, a temporary tee is in place, offering a preview of its dramatic tee shot over water and a wooden footbridge.
"The guys and girls in the competitive Wednesday night league love hitting from back there," Wahlers said.
Following up on a few seasons worth of beautification efforts that have filled the margins of the course with blooming flower beds and wispy fescue, the Sandy Pond crew planted a variety of flowering trees and installed new beds and hedge screens last year, Wahlers said.
For more on Sandy Pond, check out the course flyover.
[Photo taken August 2014.]