Rookery North to close in 2021


On August 29, 2020 Butch Holtzclaw, Director of Golf at The Rookery Golf Course in Milford, sent a letter to patrons and members of the course, addressing rumors about the property being sold.

“I know that there have been a lot of rumors going around that the North course has been sold. That is just not true. It is crazy how fast rumors spread and grow in grandeur,” he said in the letter.” To this date, no agreement has been reached with any potential buyers.”

For nearly 9 years, Holtzclaw has operated the North course and has owned it for the past 5 years. He stated that during that time he has had several offers.

Holtzclaw went on to discuss the difficulties that the business has endured this year. “At the Rookery we were hit hardest during April and May. During that time the clubhouses were closed and part of that time we had no cart revenue,” he said. “During our 9 years operating the North course, it has never operated at a profit. When the pandemic hit us in March and we started feeling the crunch in April we thought about closing down the North course. We decided that we could not do that because we had a responsibility to our membership to stay open.”

During the time of ownership of the Rookery North, the owners have struggled, according to Holtzclaw. ” With the growth of Milford we thought things might change but they have not. So unfortunately the ownership has decided not to open the North course next year. We are saddened that we will not be able to continue to support the course but it does not make financial sense for our company,” he said.

The business will continue to operate the South course in Milton and offer memberships for 2021. 

The Rookery North leased the golf course, club house and tennis courts from Shawnee Country Club in 2012 and took over complete ownership in 2015. Shawnee Country Club opened in 1958 as a private country club with a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, a swimming pool and a clubhouse. Members of the club over the years have included many of Milford’s influential families.

During the 1980s, Mid-Atlantic golf course architect, Ed Ault redesigned the golf course, creating an 18-whole course on the western half of the Club’s 159 acres. At the time, the club boasted more than 500 members, each holding a share in the non-profit corporation. However, starting around the early 2000s, membership began to dwindle, requiring the board to constantly raise fees, adding to the departure of membership as fees grew higher.