Construction at the Lucerne Golf Course is underway after a new investor bought it to save it from falling into disrepair. Credit: Contributed photo

Matt Kirtland has a lot of fond memories of summers spent at the family home on Green Lake in Dedham, a place they still own.

So when the Washington, D.C., lawyer learned that the Lucerne Golf Club on Route 1A in Dedham was being sold, he and his wife Nora decided to buy it from former owners David and Tina Gubler.

The Gublers put the golf course on the market for $1.5 million at the end of last summer. David Gubler told the Ellsworth American that if no interested buyers came forward, he and his wife would transform it into a summer retreat for themselves.

“My wife and I wanted to keep it as a golf course. It’s a beautiful course right there on 1A and it’s a big part of the community,” said Kirtland, who has family ties to the Bangor area.

He added that it would be “depressing” if it was turned into something other than a golf course.

Kirtland wouldn’t disclose the terms of the deal.

The hilly and picturesque nine-hole course, designed by the legendary Donald Ross, was built in 1926. The 3,210-yard layout is a par 36.

Kirtland praised the work done on the golf course by the Gublers, including the installation of a tunnel under 1A so golfers wouldn’t have to cross 1A.

“We want to try to honor and improve upon the tradition of the Lucerne Golf Course. That’s our vision,” Kirtland said. “We want to make some positive changes.”  

Kirtland’s great grandfather, Charles Paine, was an executive at Eastern Fine Paper in Brewer. Paine’s daughter, Virginia, grew up in Bangor and Kirtland’s mother, Ainslee Sadler, was born in Bangor before moving to Maryland.

The Paine family built the home on Green Lake in 1929 and held it until 2002, when they sold it. The house came on the market in 2010 and the Kirtlands jumped at the chance to bring it back into the family.

Kirtland praised real estate agent Deb Henderson of Realty of Maine’s Maine Outdoor Properties team for her work in helping them purchase the property and said having Mike Webb as their course’s general manager is essential.

“He has been here [as a member] since the ’80s. We couldn’t have done this without someone like Mike. Everything fell into place,” Kirtland said.

Kirtland, who still has lots of relatives in Maine, said he and his wife are looking forward to being golf course owners.

“We have high expectations,” said Kirtland, who described himself as a recreational golfer.

The course will open in late April or early May.