The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

November 7, 2012

Pulling plug on golf course

For 60 years, Appledale catered to players

— Ebensburg is losing a beautiful asset with the closing of the Appledale Public Golf Course, a landmark visible from four-lane Route 22.

For 60 years, this nine-hole course has provided golfers with a physical challenge but also a place to relax and socialize with friends.

It, too, has provided Ebensburg-area young people with summer jobs.

“It’s been a great asset for the borough. It’s been wonderful to have a course such as that within the borough’s limits,” said Mayor Randy Datsko, who, in a conversation with our Sandra Reabuck, expressed his surprise at news of the closing.

“I knew guys who would walk or ride their bikes there to play when they were kids.”

It was no easy decision, sisters and owners Ellen Grove and Sarah “Sally” Wess said. They operated the course along with Wess’ husband, Theo.

The facility’s party room/banquet facility will continue to be in business.

While the greens and fairways weren’t as plush and manicured as some of the area’s bigger country clubs and 18-hole courses, golfers enjoyed Appledale’s laid-back atmosphere, and fees were kept reasonably low.  

The course was built on farmland by the sisters’ parents, who wanted to make sure their physically handicapped son would have an occupation.

The sisters told Reabuck the course was attracting fewer and fewer golfers as the years past. Their father died in 2010 and their mother in 2011.

“We try not to feel bad (about closing),” Grove said. “But it served the purpose our parents intended. It was a fun operation.”

And we’re sure it provided many good memories for a lot of people.

The sisters said the business was not for sale as a golf course, and that they might sell some of the land and keep the remainder.

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