Hazelton Golf Club

Hazelton Golf Club, a popular 18-hole par 71 public golf course located near the Rhode Island border, has been renovated by the noted golf course team at Geoffrey Cornish. (Courtesy: Hazelton GC)

REHOBOTH, Mass – If you want to score a few birdies, why not play at a great golf course that is named after a bird? That course would be Hazelton Golf Club in Rehoboth, Mass, located a few miles from the Rhode Island border.

Back in 1959, famed golf architect Geoffrey Cornish laid out the design for a course called Sun Valley. Sun Valley was an easy-walking course surrounded by weeping willow trees that became a favorite of golfers from Massachusetts and Rhode Island. But over the years, the course and clubhouse fell into disrepair. Storms toppled many of the trees, and weeds grew in the fairways. Eventually the course closed disappointing a lot of golfers including Joe Moniz of Warren, Rhode Island.


Joe Moniz is a local businessman and entrepreneur who in 2012 purchased Crestwood Country Club, a private course just a mile down the road from Sun Valley. Moniz made improvements at Crestwood, and it is now one of the premier golf courses in the area.

Looking for a new project, Joe decided to make a significant investment and bring the old Sun Valley back to its glory days.

“I had such fond memories of Sun Valley that I wanted to make an investment necessary to provide a great course for the area public-golfer that I myself enjoyed for so many years,” said Moniz. “It has been well received so far.”


Joe hired Tim Gerrish, who has worked with Geoffrey Cornish, to bring Sun Valley back to life. The Gerrish team excavated the grounds and designed 18 new greens and fairways. The revitalized course is a true championship design playing 7100 yards from the back tees. The tees and greens were re-seeded with a new type of bent grass and an updated irrigation system was installed to create luscious fairways. The course has five sets of tees, including orange tees (forward tees) for the novice golfer.

Also, a major investment was made to build a beautiful new clubhouse and lodge. The new building is a combination of stones and a brick archway, reminiscent of the classic you would see in the hills of Tuscany. Inside, the brick arches frame the large marble bar, and the spacious dining room. In the warm weather live entertainment is provided, and an expansive patio gives you the option of watching the sun set over the golf course.


Green fees are very reasonable, and once again golfers from Massachusetts and Rhode Island are returning to their old stomping grounds.

Where does the bird come into the story? Joe is a big animal lover. One day he was at Crestwood when a friendly white pigeon appeared next to the clubhouse. Joe started feeding the bird and everyplace Joe went, the bird would follow him like a faithful dog. Joe named her Hazel, and when they designed the logo for Hazelton, they incorporated a drawing of Hazel the pigeon.


If you like a great golf course, and birdies too, book a tee time at Hazelton Golf Club sometime soon.


Jim got his start in golf writing with a gig at a Connecticut-based golf magazine, where he interviewed Ernie Els, among others. Since then, he’s covered tournaments for the LPGA, PGA Tour, Champions Tour and many amateur events. His work has been published in a number of magazines including GolfBoston Travel & Leisure, Southern New England Golf, New England Golf Monthly and Rhode Island Monthly. Jim ‘s favorite golf courses are Kebo Valley in Bar Harbor, Maine, Pebble Beach and Furry Creek in Vancouver B.C. and almost any Donald Ross course. Jim can be reached by email at golfer1051@yahoo.com.

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