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Friday, 09 January 2015 10:09

Historic Country Club under New Ownership

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A grand re-opening of McGregor Links will take place this summer. A grand re-opening of McGregor Links will take place this summer. www.MarkBolles.com

Longtime Members to Preserve McGregor Links Legacy

WILTON – The historic McGregor Links Country Club is beginning the new year under new ownership. Blake Crocitto and William Ahl recently purchased the 131-acre property, after its previous owner and operator, Mike Dennis, passed away in December. 

The Dennis Family and Arakelian Family had owned and operated the property for nearly 45 years prior to the sale. Crocitto and Ahl have been working with the Dennis Family to ensure a smooth transition of ownership for several months, with the real estate transaction facilitated by Robin Dalton and Amy Sutton of Roohan Realty.

“One of the things that appealed to the Dennis Family was [Ahl and Crocitto’s] history here and their love for the course and the tradition and they really had a lot of respect for the legacy and the club,” said Dalton. “So when the family began to think about selling, these two buyers seemed like the perfect fit.”

Established in 1921 by the founder of The Adirondack Trust Company and designed by Devereux Emmet, a world-renowned golf course architect, McGregor Links has a long history and the new owners say they’ll continue to honor the club’s tradition and legacy while investing in the club and its facilities.

“It’s a big project but we’re excited about it,” said Crocitto. “We’re a little nervous, of course, but we’re extremely excited. I actually played this course seven years ago with my future father-in-law and fell in love with it. I had never played golf before.”

It seems as though the stars aligned for Crocitto and Ahl in this endeavor, as the property was never technically on the market. Ahl and Crocitto have been members of McGregor Links for quite some time and met each other at the club.

“I’ve been a member here for six years and [Ahl] has been a member here for 15 years…but he has grown up golfing,” said Crocitto. “The opportunity [to purchase McGregor Links] arose and we were lucky enough and fortunate enough to be able to do it.”

Ahl will oversee maintenance operations of the semi-private club, while Crocitto will assume the position of general manager. The Wilton club features an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, a swimming pool and a clubhouse. 

“A lot of what I’ve heard [Ahl and Crocitto] talk about in terms of changes they want to make really are bringing it back to more of a social club that isn’t just focused on people coming to play the 18-hole golf course, but really a place for family and friends to come and eat and gather and enjoy the experience of the club in its totality,” said Dalton. 

While some things will change, the character of the property will stay the same. The new owners are working on converting the restaurant into a full-season restaurant, with Druthers Brewing Company taking over the lease. Crocitto is also looking to install a simulator in the locker room for members to take advantage of.

“We’re looking to do on-course testing of new, unreleased clubs so it’s going to be a really cool draw for the members to be able to hit all of the new clubs that come out, for free and before they’re released, so they can get a feel for if they like them or not,” said Crocitto.  

Ahl and Crocitto have their work cut out for them, but are anticipating hosting a grand re-opening of McGregor Links this summer.

“Dennis’ shoes are big and no one can fill them, but we’re going to preserve the legacy and put the club in the right direction,” said Crocitto.

For membership information, call McGregor Links at 584-6270. 

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