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    Walter Lowell Award

For Immediate Release
May 4, 2023

Contact: Tom Hantke

Goodwin Park Golf Course Named 2023 Walter Lowell Public Golf Course Distinguished Service Award Recipient

SOUTH GLASTONBURY, Conn. (May 4, 2023) – Goodwin Park Golf Course located in Hartford, Conn., has been selected by the Connecticut Section PGA to receive the 2023 Walter Lowell Public Golf Course Distinguished Service Award.

The award is presented annually by the Section to a public golf course for their dedication, promotion, advancement, and accessibility to the game of golf. Goodwin Park will be honored at the annual Walter Lowell PGA Tournament on Tuesday, May 30, at Pequabuck Golf Course in Terryville, Conn.

“The City of Hartford’s Goodwin Park is one of the oldest municipal golf courses in Connecticut,” said Bob Sparks, President of the Connecticut Section PGA. “The recent improvements in the past several years have restored the golf course and reinvigorated the surrounding community. Goodwin’s programming for golfers of all abilities and backgrounds is exactly what this award is all about.”

In 1906 a nine-hole golf course was laid out upon a meadow in the newly founded Goodwin Park, followed by another nine holes in 1911. Before an additional 9-holes were built in 1927, the land served as an emergency landing field for airplanes during World War II. In its current state the golf course features an 18-hole, 6015-yard South Course, and the 9-hole North Course, also known as the "flat nine," for the enjoyment of golfers of all skill levels.

During the Spring of 2014, the City of Hartford contracted the Connecticut Section PGA to serve as the consultants to help restore the course operations to its heyday. Under guidance and restoration of its original design, the course returned to excellent conditions and customer service. Goodwin Park offers excellent opportunity to play golf at a quick pace and learn the game.

“The City of Hartford is ecstatic with being the recipient of this prestigious honor,” said City of Hartford Golf Operations Manager Bill Rosenblum. “Our golf contractors over the last several years all hold a piece in the success of Goodwin Golf Course. “Now, with First Tee - Connecticut at the helm it really brings to fruition the vision of making Goodwin Park a hub of inclusion, community involvement and growing the game within the youth of Hartford. And we would be remiss if we didn’t recognize the outstanding job the team at Guilmette Golf have done in restoring the excellent conditions that have made the course a joy to play.”

First Tee – Connecticut Executive Director Mark Moriarty stated, “This award is a tremendous honor for our entire team at Goodwin Park Golf Course, and at First Tee – Connecticut, because it recognizes our ongoing efforts to provide broad and diverse opportunities for entry into the game of golf. We are proud to continue serving the Hartford community by providing opportunities for all who wish to explore the game.” “Goody”, as it is affectionately known as, hosts nearly 40,000 rounds a year in addition to outside events such as the Hartford Women’s Open and the Greater Hartford Amateur Championship, which has been played at Goodwin since 1963.

Growing the game and providing access to a multitude of backgrounds and programs has been a highlight of the facility. Programs such as, Golfers in Motion (an organization for individuals with amputations), US Kids Golf, PGA HOPE (introduces golf to veterans and active-duty military to enhance their physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being), High School and Collegiate golf teams and the Connecticut Latinas Women’s Golf Team which is open to all women looking to learn the game of golf. In February 2022, First Tee – Connecticut became Golf Operators of Goodwin Park Golf Course. This relationship with the Hartford has allowed First Tee – Connecticut to build on its already strong relationships with the Boys and Girls Club of Hartford, Covenant Prep, Community Partners in Action, Grace Academy, Hartford’s Camp Courant, Hartford Police Activity League, and Hartford Public Schools to grow programming and introduce more people to golf.

Since 2001, the Walter Lowell Public Golf Course Distinguished Service Award has honored a public golf course in the Section, in recognition of their dedication to the promotion of the game of golf. The award was inaugurated in honor of the Canton Golf Course for the standards it set serving the community and providing playing opportunities for all those who want to play and learn the game.

About the Connecticut Section PGA

The Connecticut Section, PGA of America is a non-for-profit organization chartered by The PGA of America in 1933 to promote golf and enhance the livelihood of its members. The Section is comprised of more than 330 men and women golf Professionals who are employed at over 180 golf facilities throughout Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. They are dedicated and committed to growing the game of golf. More information about The Connecticut Section is available on the organization’s website, located at www.ctpga.com

Past Walter Lowell Public Golf Course Award Recipients:

  • 2022 Lyman Orchards Golf Club & Golf Center
  • 2021 Cedar Knob Golf Course
  • 2020 Tradition Golf Club at Oak Lane
  • 2019 Fairview Farm Golf Course
  • 2018 Westwoods Golf Course
  • 2017 Tashua Knolls Golf Course
  • 2016 Rockledge Golf Club
  • 2015 Richter Park Golf Course
  • 2014 Willow Brook Golf Course
  • 2013 H. Smith Richardson Golf Course
  • 2012 Copper Hill Golf Course
  • 2011 Alling Memorial Golf Course
  • 2010 Stanley Golf Course
  • 2009 East Mountain Country Club (Mass.)
  • 2008 Shennecossett Golf Course
  • 2007 Tunxis Country Club
  • 2006 Skungamaug River Golf Course
  • 2005 Timberlin Golf Course
  • 2004 Tallwood Country Club
  • 2003 Lyman Orchards Golf Course
  • 2002 Raceway Golf Club
  • 2001 Canton Public Golf Course