Grab your putter and get your game face on: Hago Harrington's is expected to open on Sunday, April 1, according to new owners, Reading residents Guy and Lynn Strazzere.
Guy and Lynn Strazzere appear to be on track for the April Fools' Day opening, with Woburn-based PMA Builders working diligently to paint, build and revitalize the golf course which first opened in 1950.
"It looks like we're on target," Lynn said, adding that six of the 18 holes are currently being revamped. She said the goal is to have all of the holes upgraded by next year. "We're going to keep it the old style, just with a more fun atmosphere as we make changes to the existing site."
A Changing of the Guard
The couple acquired Hago's in November 2011 and they started making improvements to the golf course about a month ago, according to Lynn.
"We've been going there for years ever since I was a little kid," she said. "Everyone went to Hago Harrington's. I always said to the owner that 'If you're looking to sell, would you give me the first opportunity?' After four or five years, the man held his word and came to me and said, 'Are you looking to buy?' and we said 'Yes!' and we bought it."
One of the main reasons why the Strazzeres purchased the property was because of the history and connection it has with people from the area.
"The best part about owning this business, and we haven't even gotten started yet, is all the people that come up to us to tell us the stories like 'Oh, I had my first date there!'" recalled Lynn. "I just love hearing all the stories about Hago Harrington's.
"Actually, we were thinking about changing the name and then I said 'No, it's just so much of a landmark. Absolutely not.'"
A Family-Friendly Environment
Birthday parties, functions and charity golf tournaments are just some of the new activities that will be taking place at Hago's moving forward, according to Lynn.
"I don't think there are a lot of places for kids to go, so kids can come here, feel comfortable and have fun," she said.
If golfers work up an appetite on the green, they'll be able to buy drinks and food, including hot dogs, pizza, cotton candy, ice cream, popcorn and candy, according to Lynn.
For those not interested in golfing, Lynn said they intend to have centralized seating that may be "tent-style" in nature and TVs may be part of the plan. "There was a bunch of brush in the center that we cleared away," Lynn said, adding that picnic tables will likely be set up there.
Hago's Gets a Facelift
When commuters drive by China Moon Restaurant, they will be able to see the new Hago Harrington's sign installed at the golf course located at 160 Main St. But what will golfers see while on the course?
"There are going to be new structures, and the way the holes are formed there will be dips in them to make them a little bit more challenging," Lynn said, adding that the course will feature a house that will be lit up at night with a fish pond underneath, a loop-de-loop, a waterfall, a fountain and sports-themed holes, with one designed like the Green Monster at Fenway Park and also a Boston Bruins hole.
Adding flowers and stones to the site will also help to spruce up the golf course, according to Lynn.
What's Coming Up?
A grand opening sometime in April is in the works, but a date has yet to be set, according to Lynn. Also on the horizon is a charity golf tournament to support the Jimmy Fund, according to Lynn, that will be in the name of a Stoneham man—whose name was not immediately available—who recently passed away.