By Joyce L. Faiola
HARVARD -- Perfectionists are born, not made, and Fred Curtis Jr., the new owner and CEO of the Shaker Hills Country Club in Harvard is a perfectionist with an eye for detail.
He also thinks, works and makes decisions at lightning speed, and keeping up with him while he's running through the three floors of the 13,000-square-foot clubhouse and driving in a golf cart over his 360 acres leaves everyone breathless. Thankfully there's an elevator that can stop at any of the three floors of the clubhouse, but it's faster to run up and down the stairs, so that's what everyone does.
Curtis, a Princeton resident, purchased the course at a foreclosure auction in April of 2012 for $3.4 million. He immediately hired his close friend of more than 30 years, Timothy Valas, as the club's general manager.
"Fred is a brilliant comet flashing though the sky, lighting up everything within his path," says Valas, smiling. "I am a bit more relaxed, and so together we complete a team that communicates openly while savoring the work as we continue to enjoy our close friendship. Each day here, I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Abraham Lincoln, 'The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.'"
Tim continues, "The extensive renovations of both the course and the clubhouse has been a fantastic ride. We know what we want it to be, the path is clear.
"We are both lucky," chimes in Fred, "We both golf and we both wanted to make this club into a totally new, 'wow' experience. The one word that has driven our direction since day one has been 'unforgettable.' We have outfitted a full service kitchen that will provide food for the bar area along with its fireplaced adjoining dining room. We have also created a first-floor patio with a fire pit plus a rooftop dining terrace that faces east and which overlooks holes 1, 9, 10 and 18. Even our snack bar and pro shop will be something really worth experiencing."
"One of the first things I did after I purchased the property was to dynamite hole number 18 so that the vistas became much more wide open and expansive. Our YouTube video (Shaker Hills Country Club) of that momentous day captured the explosion and has been viewed by close to 5,000 viewers."
Fred continues, "We are a public course and so we have made four distinct types of packages for every type of golfer. The dining facilities are slated to be open the first week in May.
"We are very much looking forward to giving our neighbors and friends a tour," he said.
Shaker Hills is at 146 Shaker Road, 978-772-3330, www.shakerhills.com.