GROTON -- Bill Quigley is a regular patron at the Groton Country Club on Lovers Lane, but over the years, he and his friends noticed that the course was starting to become rundown.
Five years ago, Quigley and others at the club decided that something needed to be done to make necessary renovations to the tee-boxes on holes seven, eight and nine.
"We were concerned that there was nothing being spent to improve it," said Quigley. "There wasn't any capital expenditure. So we kind of took it upon ourselves to organize cleanups. We ran tournaments and our major one is the course improvement fundraiser this Saturday."
Prior to the opening of the course, Quigley and a large group of his fellow golfers organized a course cleanup, where they filled 90-100 pick-up truckloads of trash and other debris over the course of three days.
"Three years ago, we got between 20-25 people out and essentially did everything from raking leaves, cutting down limbs and branches," he said. "There are two people who do course maintenance full-time, and we were literally doing the work for them, so they could do what they are supposed to be doing, which is keeping up the course."
Quigley has been the driving force behind the large group of Groton Country Club golfers who have pushed to maintain and update the course. They not only see the Groton club as a place to golf, but as a valuable resource in the town.
Quigley also occasionally swims in the Masters program at the club. He noticed last year that the pool's filter was over 35 years old. He and a group of fellow swimmers brought the matter before the town.
"The town turned around and did the right thing and put a new filter in last year," Quigley said. "We worked with the pool people this year and held an open house to encourage the management to give away free passes, so people would try the facility."
This year's Groton Course Improvement Fundraiser Tournament has 13 teams registered for the all-day event. Registration for the tournament has closed, but the public is still invited to come out and watch.
The public is welcome to attend the fundraiser dinner inside the clubhouse at 4 p.m., at a cost of $15- per-plate. Proceeds from the dinner will go toward course upkeep and renovations.
"There is talk about improving some of the ladies' tee-boxes," Quigley said. "On holes seven, eight and nine, the tee boxes are marked by how the grass is cut. We are trying to do something about that, but the good news is we've got probably over 100 people passionate about what's happening over there. They volunteer their time and their effort."
Over the years, Groton Country Club volunteers have logged over 1,000 hours of work on the town's course, he said. For Quigley and his fellow golfers, it is time well spent.
Last year, Quigley and his group collectively donated over $8,000 towards course improvements.
"The over 100 volunteers from the Groton Golf Association, over the last three years, have made a real difference in the quality and sociability on the course. It's been gratifying to see the community come together. This is the premier family recreation facility in the town -- at least in our opinion."