by James Walsh, Times Herald-Record
April 5, 2016
CORNWALL, NY – Adrian & Donna Goddard, new owners of the Storm King Golf Club, stand on a terrace overlooking the ninth green on Monday. Adrian Goddard admits he’s more of a squash player than a golfer, but that might change now that he and his wife, Donna, own the Storm King Golf Course.
The Mountainville couple closed last week on the financially troubled club for an undisclosed price, buying it from a lender with an eye toward polishing one of the country’s 100 oldest golf courses into a profitable social venue. A fleet of 30 new golf carts are due by May 1, as is a fully stocked pro shop. New maintenance machines are being deployed on the nine-hole course, tee boxes are getting spruced up, and the dredging of a pond has put right an out-of-whack irrigation system.
The Goddards chatted Monday about their plans at a barroom window table overlooking a vista of the Hudson Valley.
“I can’t think of anything nicer than just sitting here and peering out across the valley,” said Adrian Goddard, a real estate developer. It’s a sentiment the Goddards expect others will share, giving the restaurant potential for year-round patronage. But views are merely a garnish, so the Goddards retained Robert and Blaine Caravaggi to run the restaurant. The couple, who live within walking distance of the course, closed Swifty’s, their intimate Upper East Side eatery, in January after 16 years. The chef is Neal Myers, formerly of The Palm, the revered New York City steakhouse. Between the barroom, dining room, and al fresco dining on the terrace, more than 150 people could be served.
The posh wood-paneled barroom and dining room are part of a clubhouse built just as the Great Recession gained steam. The combination of heavy debt and declining membership spun the club into bankruptcy. Pat Harding, a past president of the club, sadly recalls that slippery slope. The old clubhouse should have been renovated instead, he said in the pro shop after chatting with club professional Brendan Murcko.
“This is my 52nd year here,” said Harding, a retired IBMer. “I think everything is going in the right direction now. It may be too soon to form an opinion, but I like what I see.” The Goddards consulted with about 80 members at a mid-March meeting. “We got their input about the course, the services," Adrian Goddard said. He said the course will operate semi-privately. Early weekend tee times will be reserved for members.
“The bank did the best it could, but you saw some deterioration of the course," Murcko said. "You’re going to see a lot of improvements now.” Both Goddards said they are likely to take to the course, although Donna, a New Windsor native, said her forte is bocce. “A lot of local people have a fondness for this place,” Donna Goddard said. “They’re happy to see it come back.”