CANTON, Mass. (April 11, 2016) – With the new partnership between Harvard Club of Boston and Canton’s Blue Hill Country Club, Harvard Club members gained access to Blue Hills’ golf, tennis, pool and dining amenities at a preferred rate. As part of this same agreement, Blue Hill members may now join The Harvard Club as associate members.
According to Francisco Ventura, general manager at Blue Hill Country Club, Harvard Club members who join the Blue Hill under this program will have their annual Blue Hill membership discounted by the amount of their annual Harvard Club membership.Harvard Club of Boston members who seek this preferred enrollment arrangement will also avoid any waitlist that may exist at Blue Hill.
“We see these as complementary benefits for members of two clubs with complementary amenities,” said Ventura. “The Harvard Club is, of course, a city club. Blue Hill is one of the state’s finest private golf clubs, located just outside Route 128. This new arrangement serves city-bound golfers, certainly, but also tennis players and anyone seeking a fun place to go with the kids this summer.
“For our membership, many of whom work in the city every day, the prospect of Harvard Club membership is equally convenient and attractive.”
Blue Hill CC is known by better golfers as one of the finest parkland courses in Massachusetts. The legendary Jackie Burke won the 1956 PGA Championship at Blue Hill — the only time this major tournament has ever been held in New England. From 1991-1997, the club hosted the Ping/Welch’s stop on the LPGA Tour. Donald Ross protégé Skip Wogan designed the original 18-hole track in 1920; architect Ron Prichard, who specializes in Ross restorations, artfully refurbished it in 2003. The Challenger nine, designed by Wogan’s son, Phil, was added in 1961.
The Harvard Club partnership is another feather in the cap of a newly revitalized Blue Hill Country Club, which recently completed a recapitalization through Concert Golf Partners. The transaction — completed this winter and unanimously ratified by the club’s Board of Directors and membership — retired all club debt, lowered annual dues by 30 percent, injected more than $2 million into immediate capital projects at the club, and bars any future assessments on the membership.
Ventura and the new management team at Blue Hill have already undertaken several of these long-deferred capital projects, including an expanded driving range and short-game practice area; a new 19th hole members lounge; and renovation of the clubhouse banquet hall.
The club also announced two new programs in February that will further reduce dues:
* Current members who successfully refer friends will realize a bonus reduction in their annual dues. What’s more, these new members will join at the same low rate.
* For members at other local country clubs, Blue Hill will offer a one-time, 6-month membership from April to October 2016 — at a reduced rate with no upfront costs or joining fees. According to Ventura, this “second membership” program will allow prospective Blue Hill members the opportunity to test-drive the newly invigorated Blue Hill CC during the year’s warmest, most golf-friendly months.
Concert Golf Partners (www.concertgolfpartners.com) is a boutique owner and operator of luxury private clubs nationwide. Blue Hill CC members (those newly joined from the Harvard Club and otherwise) now enjoy reciprocal privileges at all the high-end clubs in Concert’s portfolio, including the recently acquired Hawthorns Golf & Country Club in Indianapolis, West Lake CC in Augusta, Ga., The Country Club at Woodmore in Washington, D.C., The Golf Club at Amelia Island, and the Legacy Club at Alaqua Lakes in Orlando, Fla.
“This sort of reciprocity, along with partnerships like the one we now enjoy with the Harvard Club of Boston, is the way better private clubs distinguish themselves in today’s marketplace,” said Ventura, a certified club manager (CCM) by the Club Managers Association of America. “Compared to 20-30 years ago, today’s club members have different tastes and needs. They travel more. They rightly expect that their clubs will be a place for their entire family. Clubs must respond and we at Blue Hill will continue to respond.”
The arrival of Concert Golf Partners at Blue Hill CC also meant the return of Ventura, who had served as general manager of the Canton club from 2003-2006. Ventura spent the last nine years at Oak Hill Country Club in Fitchburg, but he’s glad to be back.
“There are so many exciting things happening now at Blue Hill. I couldn’t resist the opportunity,” Ventura said. “This is one of Greater Boston’s premier clubs and today its firm financial footing, thanks to Concert, truly sets it apart from so many suburban clubs in this area. The Harvard Club partnership is testimony to this new direction and strength.
“And let me tell you: This is only the beginning.” WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?