The latest Bent Tree Foundation Community Enhancement is a result of the generosity of Bob and Barbara Foley. Their estate donation is dedicated to the beautification and enhancement of the Bent Tree golf course. Three new enhancements are now completed – the extension of the driving range, the addition of a chipping green and the addition of the beautiful new clock tower. The Bent Tree Foundation greatly thanks the Foley family for their generosity. Below is an article written by one of their sons:
DEDICATION CEREMONY HELD FOR CLOCKTOWER,
RECENT ENHANCEMENTS TO GOLF PRACTICE AREA
By PETE FOLEY
Bent Tree Echo Contributor
UNDER FITTINGLY GLORIOUS BLUE SKIES AND BRIGHT SUNSHINE, nearly 50 people attended a December 14, 2023 Dedication Ceremony for recent major improvements to the golf course’s practice area, as well as the addition of a stately clocktower that adds a signature touch to the area around the Clubhouse.
The enhancements were made possible by a generous donation to the Bent Tree Foundation from the estate of longtime club members Bob and Barbara Foley who owned a home along No.18 fairway for three decades. Funds were used to extend the Driving Range, construct a new Chipping Area, and install the nearly 17’ tall, four-sided clocktower.
“This is by far the most extraordinary and generous donation the Foundation has received since its inception 14 years ago. The Bent Tree Foundation Board of Directors is absolutely thrilled!” said Colin Thompson, Foundation Treasurer. “This donation has added to the beauty and enhancement of Bent Tree Golf Club and we are delighted we could do it in the name of Bob and Barbara Foley.”
Interestingly, the Dedication Ceremony took place 76 years and a day after the Foleys went on their first date when they lived in New England. The couple had been married 67 years when Barbara passed on Christmas Day 2018 and Bob, who vowed to “catch up to her”, did so exactly 25 months later in January 2021.
A FAMILY AFFAIR
The couple’s three sons each played a role in the dedication event. Pete Foley began by reading the inscription on the clocktower’s plaque followed by remarks on behalf of the family delivered by Bob Foley, and the ribbon was cut by Bent Tree Golf Club member and resident Dave Foley. Daughter Sue Foley Weatherly and husband Barry, both active members of the Bent Tree Community, hosted a Chili Luncheon at their home for family members prior to the ceremony.
Throughout the 10-month project, daughter Pat Foley Martin served as a liaison between the Foundation and the family, gathering input and feedback from siblings and relaying recommendations to the Foundation. “I absolutely could not have done this without Pat’s help, she was on top of all the details,” Thompson added. “She obviously followed in her mother’s footsteps.”
A post-ceremony reception, hosted by the Foundation, took place in The Tavern at the 19th Hole with beverages, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and heartfelt comments delivered by Mr. Thompson. It was the type of warm, friendly gathering the Foleys have always embraced.
IT TAKES A TEAM
Initial course improvements began in December 2022 when two new water coolers were installed on the front- and back-nine. The second phase began in May 2023 with the removal of two large trees at the far end of the existing driving range to make room for the expansion. In June, construction of the new Chipping Area began and the final phase, installation of the clocktower [a Dave Foley suggestion] occurred in October.
Three members of the Bent Tree staff were instrumental in bringing the enhancements to life: Patrick Higgins, Head Golf Professional; John Leach, Golf Course Superintendent; and Jim Pryor, General Manager and Chief Operating Officer.
Mike Westmoreland Contracting, Inc. of Canton was selected to handle improvements to the Driving Range and construct the Chipping Area. Cincinnati-based The Verdin Company was the vendor chosen to manufacture and install the custom clocktower.
A LEGACY OF GIVING
Bob and Barbara Foley contributed to golf course improvements throughout their years as Bent Tree members, beginning with sponsorship of the yardage marker sign on No.7 many years ago, to donating funds for the fountain that graces the lake on the 151-yard par-3 hole.
Later, the Foleys donated funds for the design and installation of the permanently installed, metal-and-stone Bent Tree logo on the hole’s lakeside bank, putting the finishing touches on the club’s signature hole.
Last year, in recognition of Bob’s long-term dedication to the Men’s Golf Association, the group introduced the first annual Bob Foley Cup, Bent Tree’s equivalent of the PGA TOUR’s Fed-Ex Cup, a season-long points race. At the conclusion of the club’s annual tournament schedule in November, the top eight finishers in the points race compete in a nine-hole points match to determine the champion who is then awarded the Bob Foley Cup.
SUN’S OVER THE YARDARM!
Appropriately, the opening paragraph of the inscription on the clocktower’s plaque reads:
Bob & Barbara Foley loved a day of golf followed by a cocktail. “Sun’s over the yardarm!”, Dad would say, New England-speak for “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.” They loved Bent Tree Golf Club … the course, members, community, and spirit.”
Their appreciation of the Bent Tree Community fueled their desire to leave a lasting legacy. So consider it entirely appropriate and fitting, whenever the clock strikes 5, to declare, Sun’s over the yardarm! and raise a toast to timeless memories of the wonderful people who live, work and play at Bent Tree.