‘Below par’ at Little Harbor: Town ownership of golf course starts strong

Mar 31, 2024

The town’s purchase of Little Harbor Golf Course has worked out well according to town officials, with attendance up and additional plans in place for improvement in the upcoming season. 

Wareham bought the property in 2022 with authorization from a Special Town Meeting, after the golf course’s prior owners looked to retire and sell the facility. At the time, the town wanted to preserve the golf course as undeveloped open space. 

“We weren’t buying a golf course. We were buying 54 acres of open space that just happened to have a golf course,” said Little Harbor Golf Course Advisory Committee Chair Jim Giberti. 

While the purchase did its job in preserving open space, it also kept the place running as a successful golf course. 

The 2023 season saw a 10% increase in total rounds played from the year before, an 11% increase in rounds played by members and a 22% increase in green fees, according to Town Administrator Derek Sullivan. 

“It was exciting to see how happy people were to keep Little Harbor as a community amenity,” said Sullivan. 

Giberti said given that the volume of players increased when the town first took over the golf course, “We’re doing something right.”

While the town owns the property and maintains oversight through the golf committee, day to day operations are handled by Sterling Golf Course, the company hired by the town to manage the course. 

Sterling makes the decisions, while the golf committee can just make suggestions — an arrangement that works out well for the course, said Giberti. 

Looking ahead to the future, Sterling and the town is looking to add to the food served at the club house and to make improvements to the playing experience, said Giberti. However, these kinds of improvements take time, and a lot will depend on the growing season, he added. 

Even with more to come, Wareham residents have already found plenty of fun out on the green. 

“One of the best parts was seeing different generations of families playing together,” said Sullivan.