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PICTURE OF PERSEVERANCE A half-century mission to build, improve and now market a golf course never ends

Sawmill Golf Course in Plainfi eld Township, which opened nine holes in 1987 and expanded to 18 holes in 2001.

When asked how many hours she puts in every week at Sawmill Golf Course in Plainfield Township, Nancy Rose shakes her head and laughs.

When asked how many hours she puts in every week at Sawmill Golf Course in Plainfield Township, Nancy Rose shakes her head and laughs.

She can’t really calculate how much time she spends at the course she co-owns with her father, Richard Field.

“I’m just always here, just always,” she said. “But I love it, so that’s not really a problem.”

With a staff of 10 (three full-time), herself and her 86-year-old father, they’ve got a course that golf fans – who have heard of the small course – describe as simple, well maintained, quick to play but challenging to master and a place to find a good game at a fair price.

Rose said the hours trying to grow business, at a time when other courses in the region are seeing hard times, is nothing compared to the time it took to make Sawmill a reality in the first place. It’s a story that dates back a half-century, it’s a story of dedication and it’s a story of one man’s dream – and yet a challenge remains to get more people to discover the course as the hidden gem that Rose said it is.

Since stepping back into the business full time in 2013, she’s been working countless hours not just keeping the course in shape, but in developing events, programming and marketing that will get people golfing.

In recent months, she’s added couples’ nights, a green fee reward points system and obtained a license to sell beer, all in an effort to make Sawmill Golf Course a stand-apart and popular destination.

“There’s definitely a niche for people who just want to golf and have a good time,” Rose said.

The story of Sawmill Golf Course dates to 1965, when Rose was a newborn and her parents were running an oil delivery business in Palmer Township.

“My father had a dream to build a golf course,” Rose said. He had an idea for a more family friendly, recreational course that would be affordable and fun, yet challenging.

Stacy Wescoe
Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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