Play Golf for ALS One – Heritage Day weekend

Above: The Town is combining an effort to promote the newly renovated golf course with a fundraiser to support a cause in honor of two key players in its success. (image right from Southborough Golf Club website)

This week, the Board of Selectmen approved an extension of the contract with the management group running the Southborough Golf Club. It followed the successfully completed renovations to the former St. Mark’s Golf Course.**

Selectmen want to promote the golf course and celebrate the Town’s success in keeping it running alongside the new public safety building. Chair Brian Shea worked out a plan with course management that he hopes will become an annual event.

SGC will host a fundraiser for a cause linked to two of the men who were key players in making the course succeed – John Wilson and Brian Shifrin. Both men were diagnosed as having ALS. While Wilson passed away in February, Shifrin is still battling the disease.

On Heritage Day weekend, the public is invited to come out to golf and support ALS research and care.

Selectmen have arranged to reduce the greens fees Saturday, October 12 through Monday, October 14. Golfers are encouraged to pay the regular full fees so that the extra money can be donated to ALS One.* (Of course, additional donations are also encouraged.)

Normally, the weekend greens fees in the fall are $21 or $19 for seniors or juniors (60+ or 17 and younger). That long weekend, the fees will be lowered to $5 for those three days. Paying the regular fee would mean donating about 75% of the fee to ALS One. 

To take part, you may want to book a tee time in advance. Call 508-460-0946.

For those looking for information on how Wilson and Shifrin helped make the golf course a success. . .

John Wilson making a case for a side by side station and golf course (from SAM video)Wilson was an enthusiastic member of and defender of the golf course. He helped to publicly champion a plan to renovate two tees of the course so that building a new public safety building wouldn’t have to mean closing the course. His advocacy (and the credibility he brought to the project as a long-respected public servant) helped to convince voters that purchasing the property was a viable way to save the course from development.

Brian Shifrin speaking as Chair of the Golf Course Master Plan Committee (from SAM video)Shifrin was the Chair of the Golf Course Master Plan Committee that investigated how the land selectmen negotiated to purchase from St. Mark’s (to site a new combined police and fire station) could be used. While it didn’t directly recommend use as a golf course, it concluded that Town efforts to use the land for additional municipal building projects wouldn’t be “viable or feasible” but keeping the course open was. That assessment was one of the factors that convinced selectmen to support keeping the golf course open as part of their plan to build a new public safety building.

Following that, Shifrin was elected to the Board of Selectmen. In that role, he represented the board to negotiate the agreement that secured the management company to run the golf course. (The agreement that was just extended for another year.)

*The charity ALS One is

an unprecedented partnership of world leaders in ALS research and care from Massachusetts General Hospital, UMass Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, ALS Therapy Development Institute, and Compassionate Care ALS. Together, they have joined forces on a shared Science Plan and have committed, with proper funding, to finding a treatment or cure for ALS by the year 2020, while improving the care now for those currently battling ALS.

(If you are looking to directly support the Shifrin family, you can read about the upcoming Run for SHIFSTRONG here.) 

**Updated (10/11/19 5:14 pm): A comment posted by Brian Shea elsewhere on the blog clarifies about the renovations:

Come check out the recently completed improvements to holes #1 and #9 – they won’t be ready for play yet, but you’ll get to see the work that has been done . Hopefully the rain will clear out early on Saturday – Sunday and Monday look great for fall golf!

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