Golfers know what the 19th hole is; the managers of North Hill Golf Course are interested in creating the 5 1/2th hole.

Golfers know what the 19th hole is; the managers of North Hill Golf Course are interested in creating the 5 1/2th hole.


Representatives of Johnson Golf, which manages the course, want permission to have a drinks cart serving alcoholic beverages out on the course during some events.


Johnson Golf has a license to serve liquor in the clubhouse.


Steve Follansbee, attorney for Johnson Golf, said the cart would only be used for league matches and “outings,” which he defined as charitable events.


He explained that having on-course drink service would make North Hill more attractive to groups planning such events.


However, given concerns raised by town counsel Bob Troy, and their own worries, selectmen decided to hold off making a decision.


Selectman Jon Witten, who was spending his last meeting as a selectmen, was opposed to the idea.


Troy warned that the town, which owns the course, does not have immunity from lawsuits if something happens due to drinking on the course.


He also noted that once the cart left a particular location, no one would be there to observe who was consuming the alcohol.


Johnson Golf, Follansbee said, provides “full coverage” for liquor liability under its contract with the town.


Follansbee said the cart operator would be TIPS certified. TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) is a program that trains bartenders and wait staff in spotting intoxicated and underage drinkers.


“It’s a public course,” Witten said. “I’m dubious this is in the public interest.”


“I could use a cold beer sometimes on the course,” Selectman Chris Donato noted, who questioned how much drinking anyone could do on a nine-hole golf course.


He pointed out that the town received no objection to the idea from the Police Department.


Robert Mustard, of the North Hill Advisory Committee, also didn’t like the idea, saying, “Alcohol and golf don’t mix. It shouldn’t be necessary for an outing.”


Resident Phil Tortorella was also opposed. “I can’t understand that this is in the best interests of Duxbury,” he said.


Witten was concerned with who else might be on the course during a scheduled event. He was particularly concerned that underage players might be on the course. Doug Johnson, of Johnson Golf, explained that when an outing is taking place, the course is usually full of participants.


According to Follansbee, prompted by a question from Witten, a non-alcoholic beverages cart was tried without success.


Though both Witten and Selectmen Chairman Elizabeth Sullivan opposed the idea of the drink cart, the board voted to keep the public hearing open and make a decision at a later date.


Johnson Golf is currently operating the course under a temporary extension of its contract. Town Manager Richard MacDonald awarded the contract to a different company, a decision Johnson Golf is disputing in court.