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News from Goat Hill: Sponsors keep course humming

Shelter Island has many worthy organizations that rely on donations and other financial support to keep their missions moving forward. Shelter Is-land Country Club (SICC) is no exception.

As the club marks its first full year as a nonprofit, the SICC Board of Trustees formally adopted the goal “to preserve, maintain and manage the historic nine-hole public golf course, known affectionally as ‘Goat Hill,’ so it remains a vibrant centerpiece of Shelter Island living.

“It is our aim to continue Goat Hill’s reputation of ‘pasture golf’ at its finest and preserving the game of golf as it was meant to be played. To that end, the organization is committed to preserving the town-owned course as it was first designed in 1901 and to keeping it affordable for residents and visitors alike by returning all profits to club operations and course upkeep …”

You can read the full mission statement at shelterislandcc.org.

In that spirit, SICC thanks those who have made the multi-year commitment to sponsor a hole: Georgiana Ketchum, Dulaney and Betty Foster, Peter and Zibby Munson, The DiBenedetto Family, The Shelter Island Heights Property Owners Corporation, Frank Oliveto, and Bruce Taplin, our 2019 men’s club champion. Two holes are currently available for “adoption.” If interested, please email trustee Jim Gereghty at [email protected]

These donations are crucial to the club’s ability to make significant improvements to the course, such as buying grass seed for the fairways and replacing old equipment. Plans this year include the drilling of a new well and creating irrigation channels to bring water to the greens and several tee boxes.

Cart rental update

Golfers are still encouraged to walk the course, but any golfer who is unable to navigate the course on foot can rent a motorized cart, but only as a single rider. However, two people from the same household may ride together. Golfers must be 18 or older to rent a motorized cart. Non-members can rent carts for the spring special fee of $20 (cash only). The fee for members is $10. Pull carts are available to rent for $5. Carts are sanitized after each use and are available daily beginning at 9 a.m.

From the archives

A short notation dated April 12, 1899, presumably from the minutes of a Shelter Island Heights Association meeting, states the president “had in view establishment of [a] golf club on the grounds at [a] probable cost of $4,000 to $5,000.” The plan was for the association to pay half the cost with the balance coming from “subscription.” A circular describing the proposal was sent to Heights property owners but by August of that year the plan was scrapped “owing to the lack of sufficient support.”

Fast forward two years. Two gentlemen named Schroeder and Britton, were able to convince enough property owners to acquire the stock necessary to establish the nine-hole golf club on 57 acres of Heights land. That was in September. On Oct. 16, 1901, surveyor Charles H. Bateman, who worked for Robert Morris Copeland, the landscape architect who designed the Heights in 1872, laid out the links and Shelter Island Country Club was born. And it’s still going strong.