No, there are not yet plans for baseball at Hadlock Field, but the Sea Dogs announced Thursday they will temporarily turn Hadlock Field into Hadlinks Golf Club. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Balls will be flying into the outfield at Hadlock Field next month, but not in the usual way.

While there’s still no baseball, there will be golf.

While the Portland Sea Dogs staff continues to hold out hope for some kind of baseball season at Hadlock, they’re coming up with other ideas for their ballpark.

The Sea Dogs announced Thursday that Hadlock will become the “Hadlinks Golf Club,” open to golfers from July 9-12.

Hadlock will be set up for a nine-hole “target golf” course. Nine tee boxes will be placed at the skybox level around the field. Nine holes will be cut into the outfield, with flags and with “greens” marked off with paint. Scoring ranges from 1 (in the hole) to 5 (still in the stadium). Golfers will get two shots at each hole.

“The Hadlinks idea is one we’ve had for a few years now,” Sea Dogs President Geoff Iacuessa said. “The (San Diego) Padres did something similar a few years back and we’ve always kicked around the idea of doing it here.

“Given our season is still delayed, we’ve been looking at a number of ideas to stay engaged with our community and thought this was one we’d like to try.”

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, pro baseball was halted during spring training in mid-March. Minor league baseball, including the Sea Dogs, won’t resume – if it does at all this summer – until Major League Baseball and its players association work out a deal for a shortened season.

“I am still holding out hope that perhaps some baseball can be played this season,” Iacuessa said. “There are a lot of obstacles in the way of that, but just as during a rain delay, until we are told our season is off, we will remain ready for the potential of games.”

Until then, the Sea Dogs are trying to be creative. On June 8, the franchise began offering takeout and limited delivery of some of its concession stand food and drink, for lunch or dinner, Monday through Friday.

“We have several ideas of events we’d like to try this summer,” said Iacuessa, who added that a “dine-in” experience at Hadlock is a possibility.

As for the golf, it will run 5-9 p.m. on Thursday, July 9; then 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. that Friday, and 8 a.m. to noon on both Saturday and Sunday. Tee times can be made and “greens fee” ($30) paid online at www.seadogs.com. Social distancing will be enforced, with only one golfer allowed at a tee box (groups of golfers are asked to make consecutive tee times).

The longest hole is 160 yards and golfers will be allowed to use only four clubs (7-, 8-, and 9-iron and wedge). Iacuessa said that rule is for the sake of safety (so balls are not flying out of Hadlock), but “we will certainly work with golfers who feel they need a different club to get close to the pin.”

Golfers are already making tee times.

“I said, ‘Sign me up,'” said Luke Labbe. “It’s a cool event, in a different venue, and we want to support it.”

Labbe, 55, president of PeoplesChoice Credit Union, is both an avid golfer and a Sea Dogs season-ticket holder.

“All of us miss the Sea Dogs. It’s a big loss for the community. But this will be fun.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.