(SELLERSVILLE, Pa.) - Sal Lapio Management - the management company that handles all phases of business at Bella Vista Golf Course in Gilbertsville, Pa. and Mainland Golf Course in Harleysville, Pa. - has added Morgan Hill Golf Course, in Easton, Pa., to its stable of upscale daily fee golf courses.
The golf course was designed by Reading-based architect Kelly Blake Moran, and opened in 2004. Situated on an extremely hilly site, Moran's solutions to a supreme engineering task resulted in an interesting and challenging layout. Playing the many slopes and using imagination on some of the blind-shot holes is a key to surviving a round of golf at Morgan Hill.
Under the leadership of Sal Lapio, a successful housing builder and developer who emigrated from Italy in 1967, the golf course branch of his company has made consistent strides - at a time when the rest of the golf industry has fallen behind. In 1993 he purchased Mainland GC, which was a sleepy local layout that dated back to 1962. New energy, modern irrigation and improved conditions transformed the course into a gentle favorite. The addition of the Mainland Grille became a huge success and it is one of the busiest restaurants in the area. In 2002, he built Bella Vista GC, designed by Quakertown-based architect Jim Blaukovitch. Shortly after, he added the La Massaria banquet venue to the property. The same formula for success is planned at Morgan Hill.
"The views from the golf course are absolutely breathtaking," says Rosann Lapio, general manager of all three courses for the Sal Lapio Management team. "Nothing needs to be changed there - it is a naturally beautiful setting."
"Right after settlement, we went to work in other areas. We took immediate action to update the clubhouse and match it to the style of relaxed elegance that has been successful at our other properties. We are now in the process of assessing the golf course and will take some steps to soften it a bit so that pace of play improves, and the total experience becomes a bit more player friendly."
In May, a GPS-guided Cart Trac System will be added ... another move that will improve pace of play.
The golf course is a par 71 and plays to 6,749 yards from the back tees. There also are tees at 6,407 yards, 6,058 yards and 5,166 yards. There are two ponds, which add even more beauty to the course, and 59 bunkers, which contribute to the challenge. The difficulty of the course is reflected in a rating/slope from the back tees of 72.8/135.
"When this course came on the market, we felt it was an excellent opportunity to expand our portfolio," explains Rosann Lapio. "There is already an upscale housing community built around the course and those residents will benefit from the social experience at the clubhouse. The golf course, because it is so different from many others in the immediate area, will attract golfers from all over New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania."