The McGregor Links Country Club on Northern Pines Road is up for sale as Michael Dennis and his wife, JeanAnn, plan their retirement.
The Dennis family has owned the golf course for nearly 40 years.
They have placed the 18-hole, links-style golf course that opened in 1921 on the market and are considering three purchase proposals.
“We are putting together the information they need,” Michael Dennis said.
Dennis, 62, said his father George Dennis of Menands purchased the country club in Wilton in 1970. Later that year, after active duty in the Army Reserve, Dennis started working at the golf course with his father. A few years later he took over the operation with his wife.
“She has been right by my side all these years in everything we have done,” Dennis said about his wife, who is the office manager at the country club.
Seven state amateur championship tournaments were played at the venue and three United States Open qualifying tournaments were played at McGregor Links during the period that the Dennises owned the course .
In addition to running the country club, Dennis became the largest single-family home developer in Wilton in the 1980s and 1990s.
He has developed 1,600 single- and multi-family homes sites near the golf course and in other parts of the town. Dennis, and various partners, also built the McGregor Village office park at Route 9 and Waller Road and the 210-unit McGregor Village apartments off Route 9.
Town Supervisor Arthur Johnson said he has known Dennis since the late 1970s. He said its was Dennis and then-town supervisor Roy McDonald who urged Johnson to run for town assessor in 1981.
He said Dennis was also very community-minded. “You could always count on Mike,” Johnson said.
Dennis was the first chairman of the town Planning Board in the early to mid-1970s, Johnson said. He noted that Dennis Land Development donated the property on Jones Road where the Wilton Emergency Squad currently has its headquarters.
State Assemblyman Roy McDonald, a long-time Wilton supervisor, said he has known Dennis for more than 30 years.
He said the special thing about Dennis is his strong commitment to the community.
“He’s a tremendous corporate citizen,” McDonald said. “He’s always put the community first.”
McDonald said the McGregor Links Country Club is a significant part of the Wilton-Saratoga Springs community.
“It’s a tough but fair course,” McDonald said. “McGregor is a beautiful institution. It’s part of the region’s history.”
Dennis said Tuesday that the course will remain a golf course into the future. When Dennis received approval for the Greens of McGregor townhouse project near the golf course, the necessary open space, or green space, for the project was the golf course.
Dennis said keeping McGregor Links a golf course rather than developing it into housing lots, for example, is part of town law and on the books at the Saratoga County office center in Ballston Spa.
“It’s very important that it remain a golf course,” Dennis said.
He said one of the parties interested in the golf course are a group of country club members.
“I think it would be wonderful if we could sell it to the members,” Dennis said.
However, he said this depends on the business offers from the various parties. He would not identify the other two parties interested in buying the course other than to say one is out-of-state and one is from New York State.
Dennis said it would be about three months for the various parties to put together their business proposals.
If none of the proposals suit his family, then he and his wife will continue to operate the course, he said.
The golf course was designed by Devereux Emmet, who also designed the Mohawk Club course in Schenectady and the Edison Club in Rexford. Emmet also designed the Congressional Country Club near Washington, D.C., and the National Course on Long Island.
When he was younger, Dennis was a scratch golfer. In high school he was a Northeastern Junior golf champ and eventually played in 16 or 17 state amateur tournaments.
Dennis and JeanAnn have two children and five grandchildren. Dennis said once they retire from the country club they plan to spend more time at their Lake George camp and travel.
“This has been a team effort in the town of Wilton,” Dennis said. “This is what can happen when you get the public and private sectors working together.”
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