- Golfer Benefits
CONCORD, Massachusetts – In the lead-up to the Massachusetts Amateur Championship this week, Concord Country Club put in plenty of work to ensure it could offer a top-quality course for a championship it had circled on the calendar for years.
But course improvement hasn’t been a one-summer goal throughout the 13-year tenure of course superintendent Peter Rappoccio. In fact, he’s made it a priority to better the course in ways that will benefit every golfer who steps foot on the green, a mindset he and his team are carrying forward as they determine what the Concord Country Club of the future should look like.
“[The Mass Amateur] is the highlight of the summer because you don’t get to host it that often,” Rappoccio said. “The last time we hosted it was 2007, so we were really looking forward to it this year and basically geared our maintenance practices up to peak for the event this week.”
Rappoccio commended his “great team” and “great peripheral staff,” as well as supportive members at the Club, for the role they played in getting the course ready for the championship. Even his father, Peter R. Rappoccio, and son have been on course helping out this week.
After plenty of preparation, he’s pleased with the results.
“I think the golf course is playing great,” he said. “We’re able to manage our green speeds accordingly and keep the golf course firm. It’s been a little dry this year so we’ve had some areas that have dried out and didn’t grow up as much as we would like, but overall I think we’re in good shape and it’s been a bit of a fun event to prepare for, that’s for sure.”
After several years in the business, Rappoccio knows that preparation from event to event isn’t enough to make a course like Concord Country Club great. He’s made perennial improvement the norm during his time at the helm, and he credits Concord leadership for its support of new course projects.
Projects Rappoccio has implemented include tree removal, creating chipping areas around greens, expanding more than four acres of fairways, changing grassing lines around greens and tees, and improving practice facilities.
“We’ve made some great improvements that have benefited not only the good golfer, but the everyday golfer as well,” Rappoccio said. “And that’s the goal when you do any kind of project because you want to touch every single member and their guests and make sure they’re going to see value in the improvements that we made.”
Future projects that Concord has planned include a rebuilt 10th green, a new back tee on hole 11, fairway expansions and green complexes projects, among other spot improvements. Rappoccio also hopes to rebuild hole 14 after 10 is completed, and 5 and 6 are on the list for later down the road. Concord will undergo significant work in 2025, including bunkers and expanding greens.
The club has employed up-and-coming architect Andrew Green to work on the course’s master plan and lead major improvements. Green, who has been recognized by Golf Digest for his renovation efforts, has experience working on renowned courses such as Congressional Country Club in Potomac, Maryland; Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York; and The Olympic Club in San Francisco.
“It was a passing of the baton from Ron Prichard,” Green said of getting started with Concord. “The club was looking forward to making smart decisions and continuing to preserve the place. It’s interesting ground with highs and lows and creating golf that nobody else has because of the landform.”
Green said he’s anxious to begin work on the 10th green come this fall, and to start working on the highland portion of the club that is home to holes 10-12.
“That corner of the property needs to reach its potential and getting the green in unique shape and position, improving drainage and making the bunkers all part of the hole is all part of it,” Green said.
“It will be an awesome project that I think is really going to transform the golf course,” Rappoccio added. “Andrew’s got some wonderful ideas. He’s really good at what he does, so it’s going to be fascinating to see his magic on this place.”
Rappoccio takes pride in seeing how course management can lead to positive experiences for both members and staffers.
“It’s seeing my staff, seeing them get excited and seeing them take pride, everybody working together,” he said.
He’s also proud to continue Concord’s reputation as a great place to play golf.
“Members take a lot of pride in this golf course,” he said. “As they should, it’s a great facility. At the end of the day that’s what we’re here for, to make their experience and make their time at Concord is good and memorable. That’s what we’re shooting for each and every day.”
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