By ROD LEE
Nichols College President Glenn Sulmasy telephoned recently with the exciting word that the school has reassumed full management of Dudley Hill Golf Club, which is situated almost within a five iron of its Center Road campus.
Above, Bruce Gagnon, Tony George and Ron Schonborg wait to tee off at Dudley Hill Golf Club at Nichols College on May 31st. All are members of the club.
“This will further solidify our longstanding relationship with the golf course,” Mr. Sulmasy said. It also strengthens Nichols’ ties with the town of Dudley.
“The histories are inextricably linked between the town and the school,” he said.
Last year, the school provided fireworks to honor the contributions of the town’s selectmen. This year, it is doing the same for first responders.
Nichols currently utilizes Dudley Hill for its men’s golf team practices and will be starting a women’s golf team this year. Both programs will be led by Head Coach Tim Howard, who came on board in 2015.
Dramatic change is already apparent at the newly named “Dudley Hill Golf Club at Nichols College,” Mr. Sulmasy said. As evidence of this, a partnership has been established with Pennsylvania-based BrightView Golf Maintenance, which will oversee maintenance of the 3,241-yard, nine-hole layout.
This is only part of Dudley Hill’s new lease on life. The clubhouse has been redesigned by Glenn Sulmasy’s wife Marla to give golfers and the public a restaurant and bar “where folks can relax with a steak, a cheeseburger, hot dog, and a beer”—an ingredient that was sorely missing, to the extent it is now being provided. There is now “a nice menu, in a great spot,” he said.
“My wife redesigned the whole thing,” Mr. Sulmasy said, of what is called “the Bison Den.”
A homey atmosphere prevails.
The news of a fresh start for the club could not come at a better time, as Dudley Hill approaches its 100th anniversary in 2026. The Devereaux Emmett-designed course features rolling hills, is in tiptop shape, and offers a challenge to golfers of all abilities.
Adding to the buzz Nichols College’s takeover of the club is generating around town is the prospect of Nichols students from the Sports Management, Hospitality Management and other Business concentrations overseeing day-to-day operations while also acquiring practical work experience.
“Marla is running things now, cooking, cleaning, and it’s student-driven,” Mr. Sulmasy said. “We have sixteen interns working at the club this spring.”
The relationship with BrightView is a crucial connection, he said.
“The Nichols College community is delighted to partner with BrightView at our wonderful golf course and Bison Den clubhouse,” Mr. Sulmasy said. “Their professionalism, expertise and dedication to the customer experience is well-known and highly regarded. Robert LaVigne, vice president for operations, and I have been nothing but impressed with BrightView’s expertise. Our club managers who will oversee the student experiential learning opportunities, Dr. Tim Liptrap and Marla Sulmasy, MBA, MSAT, are excited to have the BrightView Golf Maintenance team joining both our golf and Nichols community.”
Vince Gilmartin, vice president of BrightView Golf Maintenance, said the company is thrilled to be teaming up with Nichols College to ensure that “Dudley Hill lives up to its classic Devereaux Emmett design.”
BrightView boasts forty years in the industry, and more than eighty partner courses. BrightView notes with pride its refinement of the art, science and operations of golf course maintenance to bring BrightView clients better playing conditions, reductions in cost and improved crew training.
BrightView will be responsible for all aspects of course maintenance at Dudley Hill, including turf, irrigation and equipment, with a main focus on always providing the finest golf course conditions.
“BrightView is extremely well-known for landscaping, they’ve been terrific,” Mr. Sulmasy said.
“Marla Sulmasy did an incredible job” reformatting the restaurant and bar area, Tim Liptrap said on May 31st.
Scorecards in the pro shop now read “Dudley Hill Golf Club at Nichols College.”
With between 150 and 170 members, leagues throughout the week and a golf camp coming up, the future is rosy for the revitalized club.