WESTBOROUGH – Residents now have a chance to offer ideas about the future of the Westborough Golf Club’s building.
The Golf Club Building Use Committee has surveys – online and print – available for residents to provide input on how best to use the building, the one-time home of the Civic Kitchen & Drink restaurant.
The surveys are now available via https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/wborogolf, with a June 30 deadline to return them. Those not having online access may pick up the surveys at the senior center, Westborough Public Library and the club’s pro shop.
The committee is teaming up with Westborough TV to offer a video walkthrough of the building.
The committee has until Oct. 1 to make recommendations.
About the Westborough Golf Club
According to Matt Griffith, the golf pro for the club, the course was founded in 1921 on the former Turkey Hill Farm. It started as a seven-hole course but expanded to nine holes soon afterward.
The course became Bay State Golf in 1945; the town took over the course and building in 1974.
The building itself dates from 1910.
Griffith said that in 2022 there were more than 35,000 rounds of golf played at the course, with nine leagues, 20-25 member events and two-three public outings.
“We’re a pretty busy spot,” he said.
During the season, the club sees an average of 287 golfers.
The club offers a pro shop, lockers and showers. According to Griffith, the showers and lockers are seldom used.
About the restaurant/social space
The Civic Kitchen & Drink operated from 2016 until early January. A building assessment conducted by the town over the winter found that the building needs about $800,000 in repairs. In late January, the Select Board voted to not extend a request for proposals to lease out space for a restaurant.
Although the Civic was on site, there was no partnership with the club, according to Griffith.
With little in the way of food and beverages aside from some snacks and drinks at the pro shop, the club is limited when it comes to hosting events.
Having a restaurant or social space would mean the club could host charity events or business meetings, especially during the offseason, according to Griffith.
Recreation Department Director Jenn Kirkland said she would like to get dedicated indoor space for programs.
She said the space – which would be used during the offseason – could be utilized for birthday parties, teen nights, an after-school program or parents’ night out.
Kirkland said that they have a “great relationship” with Westborough Public Schools, but the Recreation Department cannot have programs in the schools before 6 p.m., and it has to pay fees.
The survey will include questions on what kind of dining options would best suit the site, such as a quick service with snacks and sandwiches, or full service. Some questions are aimed for non-golf use, such as sledding or skiing.
A look at some of the options
The committee’s survey will also include questions on whether to rehab the building, or tear it down and start anew.
When it comes to having a restaurant, at least one member has a clear opinion – the town should not own it.
“Having the town run a restaurant is not a good idea,” said Ian Johnson, the Select Board’s representative.
The building itself has just one main access to the restaurant/social space, and it’s not handicapped accessible.
During its May 31 meeting, members heard from David Frem, the general manager for the Cyprian Keys Country Club in Boylston. The club faced similar challenges in adapting older buildings for golf club use.
The club has operated a full-service restaurant for 25 years, but “it’s sometimes a struggle to find a balance,” he said.
After several years of offering separate menus for golfers and non-golfers, the club now offers a “quick-service” option with snacks, sandwiches and drinks; and an all-day menu for restaurant patrons.
“Within an hour of teeing off, you can get something to eat,” said Frem.
He added the restaurant is “geared for casual dining,” with a ballroom and music room.
Frem is among those who misses the Civic.
“The Civic was one of my favorite places for me and my wife,” he said.