Long-planned but never completed golf course bordered by Levels Road and Green Giant Road will also feature a clubhouse/event center, restaurant and pool
A new ownership group is bringing the abandoned, never completed golf course back to life at the St. Anne’s neighborhood in Middletown.
In November, Buddy Reed, one of the founding partners of Fieldstone Golf Club and more recently the man behind the resurrection of Middletown’s Back Creek Golf Club, acquired the company that controls the golf course formerly referred to as St. Anne’s or The Levels. The property, with the clubhouse/event center at 1100 St. Anne’s Boulevard, has entrances from Levels Road and Green Giant Road.
Projects over the last six months have included construction to shape fairways, installation of irrigation systems and grass seeding, with most holes scheduled to be finished this summer.
“We want to bring the same, high level of facilities and service to St. Anne’s as we’ve brought to Back Creek,” said Reed. “Back Creek is thriving – the golf course and the restaurant. We have three high school teams that play at the course along with leagues for men, women, couples and seniors.”
Back Creek has been voted the winner of the Best of Delaware award for Best Public Golf Course (Upstate) in 2016, 2017 and 2018 as well as Best Restaurant in Middletown in 2016 and 2017.
Frank Horton, managing partner of Golf Back Creek, LLC, the group which has operated Back Creek since 2015, will also be managing the Links at St. Anne's.
“I used to oversee 30 different golf clubs for Century Golf Partners and Arnold Palmer Golf Management,” said Horton, “But it’s safe to say, there’s nothing in the entire region like this combination of a links style course with water features.”
The Links at St. Anne’s is an Alan Liddicoat original design, and Liddicoat has been assisting Reed in finishing the course along with Joseph Lee, superintendent for Back Creek Golf Club, and Matt Richter, owner and operator of MDR Golf.
The course will be a par 71, measuring approximately 7,250 yards from the championship tees.
“What makes this course special are the undulations,” said Reed. “It’s a links-style course with eight water features. It’s similar to what you’d see in a seaside course with dunes. The course has great vistas.”
He said those undulations are similar to the rolling hills found in Scotland’s legendary golf courses.
Plans are to finish 12 holes by the end of June.
“We’re rapidly completing the seeding process,” said Reed. “We should have 16 holes ready for play by the end of July, and we’ll continue on the last two holes.”
He said developers started construction on the course about 12 years ago but never finished. Irrigation systems were only installed on 10 holes, so they’re in the process of installing pipes, pumps and sprinklers on the rest of the holes.
However, Reed and Horton can see the dream getting closer to a reality.
“We think St. Anne’s has huge potential,” said Reed. “It has the potential to be a world-class golf course and event center.”
They are planning to organize golf leagues.
“We are a public golf course so we will have daily fee golf as well,” said Horton.
Clubhouse, restaurant and pool
The clubhouse/event center at the Links of St. Anne’s is preparing to host weddings, birthday parties, holiday parties, corporate outings and charity events. Upstairs, the facility features two large rooms for conferences or banquets overlooking the golf course.
“We can accommodate weddings with over 200 guests,” said Horton. “We’ll be hosting the YMCA gala this fall. We have one of the largest event centers in Middletown.”
Downstairs, two more rooms can each host events for up to 60 people.
The 4,000 square-foot pool at St. Anne’s opened in 2018 under different management, and Reed and Horton are planning for a reopening during Memorial Day weekend.
“We’ve already exceeded last year’s membership but there are still spots available,” said Horton.
Pool memberships are open to the community.
The poolhouse restaurant will be opening in mid-June and will be available for poolside parties.
The Links at St. Anne’s hosted an open house March 30 and 31.
“We had a tremendous response,” said Horton. “More than 400 people visited throughout the weekend to see what’s been done. Obviously with the neighbors, this is something they’re starving for. They’ve watched it start and fail several times, but now they can see this is finally happening.”
Employment opportunities are available. Reed estimates the golf club, pool, restaurant and clubhouse will have about 20 to 25 employees at the start.
For more information, see the website linksatstannes.com or call (302) 378-6499.