Leon Oliver, of Damariscotta, a 1982 graduate of Lincoln Academy and general manager of the Bath Golf Club, has purchased the Sheepscot Links golf course in Whitefield. The sale closed Thursday, Feb. 7.
George Hall and his family opened the golf course 22 years ago on family farmland. His wife, Mary Ann, and his sister and brother-in-law, Susan and Edward Karass, co-owned the course.
The Halls will keep their house and undeveloped farmland surrounding the course. “I will continue to work there,” George Hall said.
George Hall said the family decided to sell the golf course because he was spending too much time there.
“It was 24-7. It was time to slow down a bit. The grandchildren are growing up too fast and live too far away,” he said. The Halls’ two grandchildren live in Charleston, S.C.
“I want to spend more time with them and get more involved with the church,” George Hall said. He belongs to the Calvary Bible Baptist Church in Whitefield.
Sheepscot Links was originally a three-hole course. The Halls built it with “a lot of help from friends and family,” George Hall said.
“When my son went off to the Naval Academy, I think we had six holes at that time,” he said. They later expanded the course to nine holes (par 35).
“It has been a wonderful experience. God has blessed us,” George Hall said of his 22 years in the golf business. The sale “is bittersweet,” he added.
“Leon will do a very nice job,” he said. “I’m really excited. He has more experience in the golf industry than I have, and is probably more qualified than I.”
Oliver said he will continue to work as general manager at Bath Golf Club. His wife, Alicia, will run the pro shop at Sheepscot Links.
“I am not going to change it a lot,” Oliver said. He had a couple of pine trees removed this winter to open up a couple of tee boxes.
For now, he wants to meet more members, promote the course, and hold more ladies and junior clinics. Among the changes people will notice when the course opens are new beginner and junior tee boxes.
“They have a pretty good junior program,” Oliver said, with 36 kids involved last summer.
“I am just keeping going with what he is leaving me,” he said.
The course is in “really good shape,” Oliver said, and “simple to maintain.” The Halls have agreed to let Sheepscot Links continue to use their property as a driving range.
Oliver would like to add a putting and chipping green in the future. “I’ve got some plans down the road,” he said. “I may add another hole and fix some drains.”
“I am going to take it slow,” he said. “I don’t want to make any drastic changes. People like it the way it is.”
The purchase fulfills a dream for Oliver.
“I have worked at a resort club, a private club, a couple of public golf courses, but have never owned one,” he said. “I have always wanted to own one.”
“I want to keep it affordable for people. I am not raising fees. I am not looking to get rich, I’m looking to have fun,” Oliver said.
The course is at 822 Townhouse Road.