New Waubeeka in keeping with its proud heritage
To the editor:
With Waubeeka Springs Golf Links entering its 50th year as a Berkshire County showpiece and the southern gateway to Williamstown, I am excited and hopeful for its future. Waubeeka has been guided to its destiny by several capable leaders, none of whom put profit before the love of golf, the scenic beauty of the course, or its value as asset to Berkshire County.
Waubeeka defined my childhood. My summers were spent there working and playing golf. Often during the winter months, you could find me there painting tee markers or golf benches for the next season or doing equipment repairs or building maintenance. I grew up with Waubeeka; Waubeeka grew up with me. I am certain my fond memories and experiences are shared by others who either worked or played at Waubeeka in their childhood years and into their adult lives.
I have watched Waubeeka continue to grow even after my family name was no longer a daily part of its operation. Each owner brought in a new perspective, touched it with their personality and their love of the sport and of the area. They invested not only financially, but they invested with their hearts and souls.
The current owner, Michael Deep, has carried on that tradition by rescuing the course from its demise. He took time to understand the roots of Waubeeka, how it came to be and how it has changed over the years. Mike has taken many opportunities to sit down with me at the course, chat on the phone, and even visit me in Hinsdale to develop a sense of my father's vision for the course and for golf. I wanted Mike to appreciate my father's love of the environment which is reflected in Waubeeka's design and how it was maintained. I wonder how many people have noted how the terrain of certain greens matches the backdrop of the hills behind?
Mike's vision for a new Waubeeka is in keeping with how the course started and where it must go to continue to be a sustainable asset. I embrace his ideas because even though I may no longer recognize the Swiss-chalet clubhouse, what lies beyond and behind it will always be recognized by those who see it now, or saw it 50 years ago, for this new horizon will be reflecting Waubeeka's future.
Mike wants to make Waubeeka a year-round attraction while maintaining its New England country charm. It will have an environmentally conscious implementation which perpetuates my father's vision and ideals that he realized 50 years ago.
As we continue to see the economy of Berkshire County's population shrink and demographics change, we need to be open-minded about bringing our children and grandchildren a new hope. Many of our children are leaving the Berkshires to pursue more attractive employment and opportunities elsewhere. It is our collective responsibility to encourage tasteful development and career opportunities while demanding high standards. Projects like this are necessary.
I urge the residents of Williamstown to look not to yourselves and how you live today. Look to the future of our county, to the future of our children with whom we leave our legacies, and look to those we can entice with the splendor of Berkshire County to come here and make a life. Please support Mike's vision and his dream, as I do.
Shawn A. Armacost, Hinsdale The writer is the son of Rowland and Dorothy Armacost, founders of Waubeeka.