By Tris Wykes

QUECHEE – The good news for Zach Temple earlier this summer was that he’d been named Hanover High’s interim golf coach. The bad news was that the Marauders no longer had a home course.

When owner Dartmouth College announced on July 8 that it was permanently closing the Hanover Country Club, the Big Green men’s and women’s players weren’t the only ones affected. Hanover High had practiced and hosted matched at the 121-year course for decades.

The grass on a Hanover Country Club green has died off, as seen on Sept. 6. Owner Dartmouth College closed the 121-year old facility July 8, leaving not only its players, but those at Hanover High without a home course.

Temple, a 2013 Hartford High graduate, estimated that he played 80 percent of his golf at HCC growing up. His late grandfather, Richard Temple, taught him the game there and the youngster began working at course as a cart boy before progressing to assistant pro.

“It’s pretty sad, but I still think we’re going to have a great season,” said Temple, a 2017 Castleton State graduate now an assistant pro at the Quechee Club.

That’s because his current boss, T.J. Anthoine, the Quechee Club’s director of golf and recreation, is welcoming the Marauders to his turf. Hanover will practice there on Mondays and Thursdays and practice twice a week at West Lebanon’s Fore-U driving range, overseen by program alum Peter Harris.

Temple said his team has a 10-match schedule comprised of opponents within a 75-mile radius, a nod to limiting possible exposure to the Covid-19 virus. Along with Fall Mountain and Lebanon, Hanover opens at Stevens on Sept. 11.

The Marauders’ JV coach last autumn, Temple moved up to the varsity job when 17-year Hanover boss John Donnelly, who also teaches at the school, decided to take the season off to focus on academic responsibilities.

Temple had taught many Marauders in HCC’s youth program and some took lessons from him at Quechee this summer. So there’s real familiarity between he and his charges.

“I’ve been teaching most of them all summer and they’ve had captain’s practice at Lake Morey three times a week,” Temple said.

Hanover graduated six seniors last spring, leaving the program with 15 players. Temple said he plans to keep 12 on the varsity and that there will not be a JV team.

The Marauders were 16-6 during the 2019 regular season. They finished fourth at the 10-team NHIAA Division I tournament to conclude their second season at that level. Hanover won eight Division II titles during 15 years under Donnelly before moving up.

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