THE long wait is finally over.
The new, improved Scone Golf Course will reopen to the public on Sunday, May 26.
And, to celebrate the occasion, Upper Hunter Shire Council is offering free games for a week.
On Saturday, May 25, the course is being tested out by members of the Scone Golf Club with long-time, local golfers the first to tee-off.
The layout will then be open to everyone, everyday (except competition days to be advised).
To help introduce the course to a new generation of golfers, play will be complimentary for the first week from Sunday, May 26, to Sunday, June 2.
Contractor McMahons Golf reached "practical completion" on Wednesday and council took management of Scone Golf Course.
The $4 million Roads and Maritime Services-funded project, to reconstruct the course, was required because the Scone bypass route goes through parts of the previous layout.
Upper Hunter Shire mayor Wayne Bedggood said he was pleased that long-time, local golfers were the first to play on the new course.
"Many of them have been deeply involved in planning the new course over a number of years and we thank them for their patience while the course build has been underway," he added.
The new course includes a fully-automated irrigation system, on site bore and two enlarged ponds storing treated water.
It has natural features like gullies and mature Red River Gums, as well as the thousands of plants that have been put in, which has improved the diversity and ecology of the site.
From Monday, June 3, the Scone Golf Course fees will be:
* 9 holes - adults $15, juniors (under-18 years) $5, Pensioners and Concession Card Holders $10
* 18 holes - adults $25, juniors $10, Pensioners and concession card holders $15.
There is a ticketing machine at the first hole, which accepts cards and cash.
Council will soon be calling for Expressions of Interest to manage and maintain the Scone Golf Course.
More information will be available once that contract is awarded.