Waterville man creates 9-hole golf course in backyard

The pandemic has caused people to get creative with what they have right in their backyard, and one Waterville resident used his for a hole-in-one idea.
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 4:36 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 30, 2020 at 11:23 AM EDT
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WATERVILLE, Vt. (WCAX) - The pandemic has prompted people to get creative with what’s right in their own backyard, and one Waterville resident used his land for a hole-in-one idea.

In between the footprint of a piece of Waterville’s history and the Kelly River is the product of a dream come true.

“This is the culmination of several years of a vision that didn’t happen overnight,” Robert Wright said.

Wright has been a golfer his whole life and has dreamed of having a course at home. When the pandemic hit, he had some extra time on his hands and made that dream a reality.

“There was a lot of energy going into it, so at that point, I just knew it was going to happen,” Wright said.

His personal country club features nine holes, mini-fairways, putting greens and a dog named Bo, ready and willing to chase golf balls.

Wright says the course was also created to pay respect to the “As You Like It Inn” that was on the property in the 1800s, as well as the Sunken Garden community dining space.

“It really is honoring what was here before, the idea of putting a golf course in, and then making the inn, the as you like it inn, a part of that history and making it current to me is what it is all about,” Wright said.

His wife, Cay, says it has been a game of compromise adjusting their horse pasture to balance out the course and their backyard.

“‘Where’s Robert? Where’s Robert?’ And he’d be out, starting to tinker and tune and just very, very motivated,” said Cay.

But she says it was all worth it to bring together their friends and community over a round of golf.

“Initially there was some concern about how many people would be coming over and would they respect the distancing and that sort of thing, but we have a nice nucleus of people who are very respectful,” said Cay.

Wright says that now that the project is almost complete, he is able to look back at his work with pride.

“It’s very satisfying to know I had this vision -- in a sense of what I wanted it to look like -- and now that we have gotten here. Cathy and I, we will sit up on the Kelly River Tavern, up on the deck, and look out over here with the horses and the golf course, and it’s just a really peaceful feeling and we are just really full of gratitude,” he said.

Wright says a time like this is the perfect chance for anyone to tee off on that dream that has yet to happen.

“Put your passions and your energies forward and make it happen,” he advised.

Wright says he hopes the course will continue to grow or change as the years pass, but he is happy he can create a space for friends and family to tee off and take their mind off the pandemic safely.

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