By John W. Feary, Claremore City Manager
Those who enjoy golf have a new resource at their disposal: the recently reopened Heritage Hills Golf Course here in Claremore.
Designed by well-known “golf architect” Perry Maxwell, Heritage Hills has been a source of pride and recreation for the residents of Claremore for some time. It’s been a destination historically for those well skilled in the game and for those just starting out. People from across the area came to golf in Claremore, but a downturn in the economy and a worn course impacted Heritage Hills. Although many area courses closed, Heritage did its best to remain on course – and it did!
Heritage has overcome obstacles to stay relevant in a sea of changing dynamics. The greens were aging - around 45 years old - and the facilities only brought in enough revenue to cover the basics: payroll, obligations and the like. Forget about upgrades or improvements, despite the fact that greens should be renovated every 20 years. Without the much-needed improvements, the number of tournaments and visitors dropped over the years, further hurting revenue collections.
I’m pleased to announce, however, that a new cooperative has brought the well-known course back to life. The Heritage Hills Interlocal Cooperative is a partnership among the city of Claremore, Board of County Commissioners of Rogers County and the Rogers County Public Facilities Authority.
The Cooperative will assume management of Heritage Hills to sustain and grow golf course operations, protecting an important investment for Claremore and Rogers County.This is similar to what took place with the Will Rogers Stampede Rodeo.
It’s a special moment for the course, which is used by Rogers State University’s golf team, as well as teams at several local high schools. It’s important to remember that while everyone may not golf, this course is bringing a quality-of-life aspect to Claremore that we want to cultivate and grow. It’s also helping continue to develop our city’s economic development portfolio, and we hope to bring in more tournaments and members as time progresses.
The first event on the newly reopened course took place on Friday with the Claremore Area Chamber of Commerce tournament. Golfers enjoyed the refurbished course, including new greens that were restored to their original design. If you’d like to check out the course, call 918-341-0055 to secure your tee time.
I want to thank everyone who helped make this community improvement project possible. Projects and partnerships like this make me so proud of Claremore.