AUGUSTA — It was shortly after noon and Mike White was doing laps around Western View Golf Course. White had begun playing the nine-hole course around 7 a.m., starting a new round as soon as he’d completed the last. He planned to play 27 holes this day.

“I’ve played five or six days a week for six years now,” White, of Waterville, said as he pushed his golf bag to the eighth tee. “Last year, I played over 100 rounds here… I’d love it to continue to be a golf course.”

Indeed, the future of Western View — which opened in 1932 — is unsettled. On July 15, the course goes up for auction as owners Alan and Amy Orcutt are looking to sell because of time constraints.

Those playing at Western View on Wednesday wondered if they were playing one of their final rounds at the small course they love.

“I’m more concerned than worried,” said Brian Devins of Randolph, a Western View member for 10 years. “It’s not too far from my home. No. 2, it’s never really busy, so if at the spur of the moment I want to play, I can play. It’s like a family here.”

David Sawyer, of Pittston, said he’s played golf at Western View for a decade, since he picked up the sport. This year, though, Sawyer  hasn’t bought a season membership.

“I’m not joining this year until I know if I’m going to play. You just don’t know what will happen,” Sawyer said. “If it stays open, we’ll play. It’s a nice little course.”

The Orcutts bought Western View in 2018. They installed new restaurant equipment and remodeled the bar and restaurant at the clubhouse. Course upkeep became a priority.

However, Alan Orcutt said he is pursuing a career opportunity in the building materials business, leaving him little to no time to run Western View. Orcutt added that he’s worked in building materials field for 25 years.

“The best thing to do is turn the keys over,” he said. “I’d love to keep the tradition going. I just don’t have time to do it.”

A deal earlier this year to sell Western View fell through, so the Orcutts reached out to Keenan Auction Company, a South Portland-based firm that specializes in real estate auctions. Keenan also has experience running auctions for resort properties and golf courses. The firm has previously auctioned off the Mt. Abram ski area and Sunset Ridge Golf Club in Westbrook.

The Western View Golf Course in Augusta will be going up for auction on July 15. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

The Western View property consists of 90 and 130 Bolton Hill Road in Augusta. Stef Keenan, the auction organizer, said Western View has received approximately 2,500 views online. Keenan added he’s had more than 30 direct inquiries on Western View, including potential bidders from New York, New Hampshire, Maine, New Jersey and Maryland.

Bidders are required to make a $25,000 deposit prior to the July 15 auction. The winning bidder will have the $25,000 applied to the purchase price, while all others will have the deposit refunded.

“This is an accelerated way to (sell). You have a motivated owner. We put together a marketing program across the East Coast, with an emphasis on the Northeast,” Keenan said.

The new owner of Western View will get approximately 80 acres on the eastern side of Augusta, tucked between Route 3 to the north and Route 105 to the south. The course’s nine holes take up 30 acres, with the remaining 50 undeveloped land. It’s possible the new owner could close the course, but Keenan said he foresees a more likely scenario.

“Somebody could continue the golf course and develop the rest of the land. We see a lot of potential uses for the land,” Keenan said. “What’s a better opportunity to have a golf course in your backyard? That is quite appealing.

“It’s really two properties, the undeveloped land and the course. You could lease the course, or spin it off and sell it.”

According to firm, the property’s assessed value in 2021 is $572,800. Real estate and property taxes on Western View were $12,540.96.

Alan Orcutt said he’s hoping to sell everything for $849,000. Keenan declined to offer a guess on what the winning bid could be.

An Auction sign is displayed at Western View Golf Course in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“I’m of the mind it will bring what it’s worth. The bidder will be well-educated, and will make fair offers,” Keenan said.

Orcutt knows many of the club’s members are anxious. A standard membership this season costs $550, with discounts for military, players over 60 and couples. Orcutt hopes the new owner will keep the course, and with it some of the traditions, like the rivalry started with The Meadows, a course in Litchfield.

In September, the courses will play their third Sturgeon Cup, a team golf tournament based on the Ryder Cup competition between the best golfers from the United States and Europe. The top 12 members from each club are invited to compete, Orcutt said. Western View prevailed in the last two years.

“(Western View) is a 2,700-yard golf course. It’s an achievable golf course, a drivable course. We wanted to make golf accessible and fun for any skill level,” Orcutt said. “I’m rooting for somebody to operate the business, but at the end of the day we have to be receptive to the business plan of the buyer.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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