Page 1




Champions Issue


Winter 01/013


Charlottesville’s Weston Eklund story on page 8

INSIDE: •Club Champions •Chris O’Neill Perseveres at Michigan •Mills Godwin, Anderson win state high school titles •Special Travel Section


GET YOUR SHOULDER BACK INTO FULL SWING SHOULDER PAIN can really hold back your golf game. However, issues and symptoms caused by overuse of the shoulder joint can be effectively treated and managed. Possible symptoms include: pain and tenderness in the shoulder joint restricted movement burning sensation around the shoulder See a physician for an accurate diagnosis to get you back in the game.

A nationally-recognized orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Douglas Boardman specializes in elbow and shoulder reconstruction. He also serves on the board of directors of the Virginia Orthopaedic Society. Call Dr. Boardman at (804) 828-5567 to help you get back in the game.

Because of the high expectations of physicians like Dr. Boardman, the staff at Medarva Stony Point Surgery Center strives for excellence—providing exceptional patient care and service.

N. Douglas Boardman, M.D. / VCU Medical Center, Dept. of Orthopaedic Surgery / (804) 828-5567 / 

Virginia Golf Report • Champions ‘12


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Area News

Photo courtesy of Jim Daves/UVA Media Relations

VSGA Women’s Division honors area players T

Nellysford resident Elizabeth Brightwell a junior at UVA, was recently named co-golfer of the year by the VSGA Women’s Division.

he VSGA Women’s Division recently announced the 2012 winners of golfer of the year honors at their annual meeting held at Independence Golf Club. UVA student Elizabeth Brightwell, of Nellysford, shared golfer of the year honors with Longwood University’s Amanda Steinhagen, from Oakton. Brightwell reached the finals of the Women’s Amateur and finished runner-up at the Stroke Play ChampiLauren Eklund onship. She also represented UVA at the NCAA National Championship and was a key member of the Cavalier team that finished fourth at Nationals. Brightwell was also named to the ACC All-Academic team. Steinhagen has had an outstanding career at Longwood, where she holds

Area players fail to advance at PGA Tour Q-School

the all-time lowest scoring average in program history. She won the Stroke Play Championship and reached the round of 16 at the Women’s Amateur. Steinhagen also finished 7th at the Women’s Eastern Amateur. Both Brightwell and Steinhagen were named to the NGCA All-American Scholar Team. Charlottesville’s Lauren Eklund, a freshman at Old Dominion, was named junior golfer of the year after finishing fourth at the Women’s Stroke Play Championship and tied for fifth at the VSGA Junior Girls’ Championship. Eklund is a three-time Charlottesville City Championship winner. Northern Virginia resident Shelley Savage was named senior golfer of the year.




P.O. Box 5392 Glen Allen, VA 804 346-0075 Fax 804-346-0081


Editor/ Publisher: Patrick K. Kane


Contributing Writers:

Former VCU star Ted Brown(L) and Jay Woodson, 2012 State Open of Virginia champion, failed to reach the final stage of PGA Tour Q-School.


he good news: six players with area connections advanced to second stage of PGA Tour Q-School. The bad news: none of the six made it through to third stage, which would have given them, at worst, partially exempt status on the Tour.

Players that reached second stage included: former VCU players Lanto Griffin, Ted Brown, Paul Scaletta and Rafa Campos; former Richmond Spider Sam Beach; and Farmington assistant professional Stephen Gangluff. State Open of Virginia

Virginia Golf Report • Champions ‘12


champion Jay Woodson, and Keswick resident Dustin Groves both failed to advance past first stage. Former Richmond resident Will Oldham and former Charlottesville resident Will Strickler also failed to advance out of first stage. 2012 will be the last

year that a PGA Tour card can be gained through Q-School. Starting in 2013 qualifiers that make it through will be given a Web. com Tour card and have to earn their way on to the big tour by money list standings.

Adam Smith, PGA Sean Taylor, PGA Bryan Jackson, PGA Paul Sargent, PGA Craig Wood, PGA Mark Slawter Nina Pryor, LPGA Kandi Comer, PGA Parker Reynolds

Ryan King Paul Thomas Fred Jeter Jeremy Carrell Frank Giordano Brad King

Virginia Golf Report is a bi-monthly magazine covering Golf in Central Virginia. Reproduction of any part of this publication is strictly prohibited without prior consent of the officers of Virginia Golf Report, LLC. We accept no responsibility for discrepancies in advertisements. Virginia Golf Report is available by subscription for $15 a year. Contact Virginia Golf Report for more details. Establishments needing additional copies should also contact the Virginia Golf Report at (804) 346-0075 or email us at 2007: Virginia Golf Report, LLC., All other photos besides those labeled, are provided by the Virginia Golf Report. College headshots courtesy of respective school. Copy and or use of photos without written permission is prohibited.

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Virginia Golf Report â&#x20AC;˘ Champions â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;1



Burton-Ferguson win Willow Oaks Fall Invitational


Team of Pandya-Bemberis collect second RGA Four Ball Title

RGA (Richmond)

Broach Memorial-John Reynolds-D.J. Daugherty Senior-John Cuomo Amateur-Nick Austin Junior Boys-Griffin Clark Junior Girls-Courtney Wynne Mid-Amateur-Paras Pandya Four-Ball-Scott Bemberis-Paras Pandya Senior Four-Ball-Vinny Giles-David Partridge

BATTLE TROPHY (Charlottesville)


pring Creek Golf Club members Jerry Burton and Brad Ferguson shot 61-67—128, to win the Willow Oaks Fall Invitational played at Willow Oaks CC in Richmond. The 16-under par score was a new tournament record. “Putting was the key to the victory as both Brad and I made several putts of 40 feet and over,” said Burton. “We gave ourselves opportunities on most holes, especially day Jerry Burton(L) and Brad Ferguson. one, in which we had two and four. But Ferguson battled birdie chances.” back with three consecutive Ferguson recorded six birdbirdies to get the team back ies and an eagle on the first on pace. Back-nine birdies day while Burton added two on holes 10 and 12 proved birdies and an eagle. That first enough to hang on and win by day barrage gave the central three over Larry Loving and Virginia pair a sizable lead that Scott Campbell. Keith Decker allowed them to be more conand Jon Hurst finished third. servative in the final round. “They were unreal,” said “Our goal was to play Loving, a past winner of the mistake free,” said Burton, on event and a longtime member their final round game plan. at Willow Oaks. “Scott and I After Burton opened with a played our tails off but it just birdie on the first hole the duo wasn’t good enough.” dropped strokes on holes three

2012 Tournament Re-Cap

Burton emphasized the quality of the 41 team field(regular division) in explaining how good the victory felt. “Any win is satisfying, but it is great to come out on top against some of the best players in Virginia,” said Burton. In the senior division the team of Tim Vigotsky of northern Virginia and Williamsburg resident Jeff Fleishman took top honors with a two-day total of 135. For complete scores go to:

Giles and Partridge win RGA Senior Four Ball

Cannon Cup-Weston Eklund Cannon Cup Senior- Lynn Wessman Greene Hills Invitational-David Pastore Charlottesville City-Philip Mahone Kenridge Invitational-Garland Green Jefferson Cup-David Passerell Charlottesville City Junior-Ian Buchanan Battle Trophy Winner-Philip Mahone

VSGA Four-Ball-Keith Decker-Scott Shingler Senior Four-Ball-Tim Kelley-David Partridge Senior Stroke Play-Tim Kelley Junior Match Play-Adam Ball Amateur-Jake Mondy Super Sr.-Peter Jacobi Super Sr.-Harry Cain (70 & over) Bob Moyers (75 & over) Sun Trust State Open of VA-Jay Woodson Junior Stroke Play-Adam Ball Club Championship-The Federal Club Virginias-Carolinas Junior Matches-Carolinas Senior Amateur-Tim Kelley Public Links-Jon Hurst Senior Open of Virginia-Tim Lewis Mid-Amateur- Matt Chandler Captain’s Putter Matches-Virginias

Photo courtesy of Van Williams


Scott Bemberis(L) and Paras Pandya.


aras Pandya picked up his second Richmond Golf Association title of the year, adding the Four Ball crown to the RGA Mid-Am which he captured in August. Pandya teamed with Scott Bemberis to shoot a 7-under par score of 65 at Salisbury Country Club. The longtime four

Vinny Giles(L) and David Partridge.

ball partners topped Chris Corrada and John Goodman by two shots. Larry Loving and Robb Anderson finished third after a 4-under par 68. It was the second time in three years that the Salisbury duo won the RGA Four Ball title.

Virginia Golf Report • Champions ‘12


irginia amateur legend Vinny Giles teamed with former VSGA Amateur champion David Partridge to win the Richmond Golf Association Senior Four Ball Championship played at Salisbury Country Club. The pair shot a 5-under par 67


to nip Mark Lawrence and David Norman by one shot. Bert Wilson and Arthur Utley, along with Jim Hawkins and Randy Milligan, finished at 3-under par(69) to tie for third

RWGA Championship-Joanne Kitusky Charlottesville Womens-Laura Kuhn Senior Women’s Stroke Play-Dot Bolling Women’s Stroke Play-Amanda Steinhagen Women’s Amateur-Lauren Coughlin Virginias-Carolinas Team Matches-Carolinas Senior Women’s Amateur-Shelley Savage Women’s State Team Matches-Mount Vernon C.C. VA-MD Junior Girls’ Team Matches-Virginia Junior Girls’-Amanda Hollandsworth Mid-Atlantic Girls Challenge-Carolinas

OTHER INVITATIONALS Valentine Invitational-Weston Eklund Junior Valentine-DNP Signature Invitational-Keith Decker Signature Invitational Senior- Tim Kelley Golden Horseshoe 4-Ball-Jimmy Delp/Todd Hoyle Golden Horseshoe 4-Ball Senior- Skip Zobel/Tim Kelley Randy Michie 2-Man Inv.-Brad Ferguson/Philip Mahone Chatmoss-Jon Hurst Fox-Puss-Buck Brittain Senior Fox-Puss-Tim Kelley Townes-Lea- Buck Brittain

Virginia Golf Report • Champions ‘12


Weston Eklund named Virginia Golf Report Player of the Year By Patrick K. Kane


or Charlottesville resident Weston Eklund, the word most often heard to describe his game is consistent. Consistent scores, consistent swing, and consistent demeanor on the golf course. It’s a word even Eklund himself uses when explaining the success he has shown on the golf course in 2012. But don’t let the word confuse you into thinking the 22 year-old Radford University senior can’t go low, as he did numerous times in 2012 tournament golf in local, statewide, and collegiate tournaments. His efforts and fine play earn Eklund Virginia Golf Report’s 2012 Player of the Year for the central Virginia readership area. Eklund, who plays out of the Greene Hills Club in Stanardsville, turned in an impressive summer of golf which saw him collect two major amateur invitational titles: the Cannon Cup and Valentine. He also finished as runner-up and low amateur at the State Open of Virginia where he shot 70-68-71-70, 9-under par, in a field full of the best professional and amateur players in Virginia. Other tournament highlights included runner-up finishes at both the Allegheny Amateur and Portsmouth City Amateur, a fourth at the Kenridge and a tie for 13th at the Eastern Amateur. “It definitely has been a great year for me result wise,” said the low-key Eklund in a recent phone conversation. “I felt like I was consistent all summer and I’m proud that I’ve been able to carry that good play into the fall season.” Nothing felt better to Eklund than his Valentine victory at Hermitage Country Club. He had finished runner-up behind Virginia Tech golfer Scott Vincent in 2011 so he no doubt felt comfortable on the course. But not even Eklund could have predicted the blowout that resulted when he shot 68-66-67, 15-under par, to claim the title by a whopping nine shots. “That was definitely the highlight of the summer for me,” said Eklund, the 2010 winner of The Battle Trophy that honors the top player from the Charlottesville area yearly. “I just felt like I played so well—for

Virginia Golf Report • Champions ‘12

Weston Eklund hits approach shot from a fairway bunker at the State Open of Virginia. Eklund finished runner-up and low amateur.

three straight rounds—and was able to keep it going which was very satisfying.” Pretty good golf from a player that describes his game as “stingy”, a term that credits his ability to grind out pars and be patient until he gets on a roll and rides that to some of the low scores that he has shot. Both of his summer wins were examples of that mindset according to Eklund. “I’m not the guy that’s going to hit a piercing 4-iron and I’m not real long,” said Eklund, describing his game. “But I feel like I do a good job at getting the most out of my game by getting up and down when I need to and waiting for good yardages to come along so I can then ride some momentum and hopefully go low.” Another part of Eklund’s game that has improved is putting. He switched back to a belly putter early in the summer after first trying the method two years ago but giving it up after the putter he used originally broke. “I never thought of myself as a bad putter but it wasn’t a strength either,” said Eklund. “Now I feel like a good putter.” Perhaps no one knows Eklund’s game better than Greene Hills head


professional Mike Moyers. Eklund grew up playing at Greene Hills along with Moyers’ son Mikey, a senior and key member of the Virginia Tech golf team. Moyers agrees with the putting assessment, along with a few other key attributes. “While his ball striking has improved over the past five years, I think Weston would say his improved putting and positive mental approach have been the biggest difference over the last couple of years,” said Moyers, who added that no one out-works Weston in his quest to improve both his golf game and fitness. One of Eklund’s big goals coming into his final collegiate season was to pick up an individual title, something he’s come very close to accomplishing several times during his outstanding collegiate career which includes nine top-five finishes. At the OBX Collegiate played at Kilmarlic Golf Club in October, Eklund shot a second round 64 and finished the event tied for low individual honors before falling in a one hole sudden-death playoff. Mike Grant, Eklund’s coach at Radford for all four years, has witnessed first hand just how deter-

mined and committed his senior star has been and what it has meant to the team. “His desire and work ethic are second to none,” said Grant. “Weston’s been a great leader for the team because the other players see how far hard work will take you.” Eklund finished the fall campaign with a scoring average of 70.8 which included three rounds in the 60’s and 7 of his 12 rounds at par or better. He recorded a tie for 4th, a solo 3rd and a tie for 1st. The solid play gives Eklund some great confidence heading into his final semester in the spring and fulfilling his ultimate collegiate goal of reaching NCAA Regionals and a shot at the National Championships. Another collegiate coach, VCU’s Matt Ball, has been impressed with the way Eklund manages his game and meticulously charts his way around the course, picking it apart. Ball thinks Eklund’s postseason goal is well within reach. “I look for Weston to continue to have a great spring season and he will certainly be in the NCAA tournament, whether with his team or as an individual,” said Ball. As for the post collegiate career, Eklund wants to give professional golf a go. “I want to give it a try, work really hard and see how good I can get,” said Eklund. Grant believes in Eklund and his game and says “he has the ability and mental strength to shoot low numbers which will allow him to be successful at the next level.” Eklund feels if he can keep doing what he does best and not fall into the trap of making major changes, then he’ll have a good shot at future success. Confidence is often what seperates players at the highest level and it’s what Greene Hills’ Moyers sees as being the difference maker in Eklund’s successful 2012 season. “Weston now believes in his ability to compete at the highest levels,” said Moyers. “I would say his results are proving him right.”

Kelley VGR Senior Player of the Year VSGA Senior Amateur. “That was definitely the big one,” said Kelley, who plays out of both Hanover Country Club and The Federal Club. “Obviously it means a lot to win any title, but I wanted that one, especially since I couldn’t play in it last year.” In the championship final Kelley topped Steve Williams, 1-up in 19 holes. The win clinched the VSGA “senior slam”, after earlier in the year wins at both the Senior Stroke Play Championship and Senior Four Ball Championship. Other victories came in the senior divisions of the Fox-Puss, Signature, and Golden Horseshoe Four Ball(with Skip Zobel) invitationals. Kelley also registered a 5th place finish at the Senior Open of Virginia and reached the championship match of the Richmond Golf Association’s Amateur Championship where he fell to collegiate star Nick Austin. What makes Kelley’s season even more remarkable is that he did it while undergoing pretty significant swing changes with his teacher Mike Hott. But Kelley notes that it’s those swing changes that actually played a big part of his success in 2012. Hott, the head professional at Salisbury Country Club in Midlothian, says there are multiple areas that he and Kelley have worked to improve on, including the takeaway, which affected his club position at the top of the swing. VGR PHOTO FILES

By Patrick k. kane

Tim Kelley


im Kelley left little doubt as to who was the top senior player in Virginia in 2012. The 57 year-old contractor won all three of the “major” VSGA senior championships and captured three other titles along the way. His stellar play in 2012 earns Kelley Virginia Golf Report’s Senior Player of the Year honor for our readership area. While 2012 will always be considered one of his finest, Kelley is not interested in resting on his laurels, saying he’s looking forward to more success in the years to come. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m ready for a break,” said Kelley, admitting his body may have tired towards the end of the season. “But I’m also anxious to get stronger over the winter and keep working on my swing—fine tuning it—so I can hopefully have another great year.” Kelley felt good about “accomplishing a lot of my goals” in 2012, none bigger than winning the


Virginia Golf Report • Champions ‘1


“Tim crosses the line at the top which makes him have multiple misses, especially with longer clubs,” says Hott. “His bad shot is a hook or a block. He understands what he should look like at the top, he just has trouble getting to that position. He has made nice strides in this change.” Perhaps the bigger challenge, according to both Hott and Kelley, was impact position. “He was a little cuppy or flippy and needed to get some shaft lean at impact,” said Hott. “He hits many punch shots and knock down shots in practice now. This is where Tim has improved the most.” Kelley agrees: “I used to hit it too high; now my trajectory is so much better.” Kelley has gained so much confidence in the three quarter shot that he actually used it on the sudden-death playoff hole in the final of the Senior Am victory, showing him he was on the right path. “It’s going to get better and that’s what motivates me,” said Kelley. “I feel good about what we’re working on and I can’t wait to get to the point where I can forget about the mechanics and just play golf.” Future goals include a return to the USGA Senior Amateur, an event Kelley qualified for in 2011 when it was hosted by Kinloch. He also would love to capture the Senior Open of Virginia which is played annually at CCV’s Westhampton course. “I’ve been close there in the past,” said Kelley, who challenged again this year before a costly front nine double-bogey derailed his chances. “I still want more state titles,” said Kelley, adding that the desire keeps him in the mode of trying to improve. Hott, for one, believes more wins are in store, stressing Kelley’s physical shape, wonderful attitude and propensity of relishing competition and “being in the heat” during tournament golf. “Tim is young enough to get some cool things done before he sits in a rocking chair,” said Hott.

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2012 Club Champions

Augustine Golf Club Men- Mike Stonehill Sr. Birdwood Golf Course Men- Brett Engle Senior- Tom O’Leary Ladies- Linda Robinson Belmont Golf Course Men- Scott Creamer Senior- Dan Isbell Ladies- Marilyn Cole Birkdale Golf Course Men-Steve Firkins Senior- Jack Schockemoehl

Super Senior- Steve Bordeaux

Ladies- Jane Cashion Brandermill Country Club Men- Tyler Clark Senior- Bob Malek Ladies- Kathy Naworal The Traditional Club at Brickshire Men- Chris Trotter Senior- Bill Forest

Super Senior- John LaRocca

Ladies- Sharon Martin Cannon Ridge Golf Club Men- Brian Hood Senior- Randy Bockenstedt Ladies- Holly Reich

First Tee Chesterfield Men- Michael Swope Senior- John Houser Ladies- Kay Padgett Junior- Peyton Broach Fords Colony Country Club Men- Clay Pakorny

Silver Div.- Richard Krupinski

Ladies- Margaret Millen The Foundry Golf Club Men- Matt Brantingham Fredericksburg C.C. Men- Jon Wallace Senior- Bill Johnson Ladies- Becky Paul Senior Ladies- Carol Pendry Junior- Devon Oeters Gauntlet Golf Club Men- Taylor Byrd Senior- Greg Fox Super Senior- Frank O’Connor

Ladies- Shannon Ciccarello Junior- Aaron Keeton Glenmore Country Club Men- Richard Kent Senior- David Mitchell Ladies- Cindy Thompson

Sr. Ladies- Mary Elaine Bickers

Ladies- Courtney Wynne Junior- Adam Hade Falling River Country Club Men- Steven Dudley Senior- Doug Marshall Farmington Country Club Men- Shane Foster Senior- Steve Smith Ladies- Sarah Wilkinson

Glenwood Golf Club Men- Wallace Taylor Senior- Len Hamilton Golden Horseshoe Golf Club Men- Kyle Rowe Senior Men- Chuck Nimmo The Greene Hills Club Men- Tom Flory Senior- Tom Flory Ladies- Yancey Harrison Junior- Logan Yates Hermitage Country Club Men- David Partridge Senior- Derek Manley Ladies- Carmen Warfield Junior- Caroline Curtis The Country Club at the Highlands Men- Mark Lane Senior- Greg Witzky Ladies- Deb Kelo Junior- Davis Topping Hobbs Hole Golf Course Men- Larkin Gross Men MP- Hap Hazard Senior- Calvin Collins

Junior- Hunter Weis The Federal Club Men- Adam Houck Ladies- Melissa Wenck Senior- Steve Bacon

Ladies- Jeanne Ancarrow The Hollows Golf Club Men- Jim Rice Senior- Barry Pfitzner Ladies- Cindy Croxton

Cardinal Golf Course at Fort Lee

Men- Steve Schlegel Country Club of Virginia Men- C. Will Byrd Senior- Tom W. Orr Ladies- Boodie McGurn Boys Junior- Jeb Bemiss Girls Junior- Chase Sui The Crossings Golf Club Men- Mike Sheehan Senior- Keith Oing Ladies- Arianna Martin The Dominion Club Men- Chris O’Neill Senior- Van Williams

Super Senior- Richard Sander

Senior Ladies- Diana Strickler

10 Virginia Golf Report •

Champions ‘1

Super Senior- William Lowry


Hunting Hawk Golf Club Men- Zac Ford Independence Golf Club Men- Jim Hart Indian Creek Yacht & C.C. Men- John Halley Senior- Harold Guy

Super Senior- Craig Callahan Super Super Sr.- Derek Ferrand

Ladies- Kay Stout Club at Ironwood Men- Andrew Bartley Senior- Tim Floyd Ladies- Jane Cook Junior- Luke Humphries Jefferson Lakeside C.C. Men- Rusty Breeden Senior- Arnold Conway Women- Kathy Plotkin The Keswick Club Men- Eric Parlet Senior- Tom Otterbein Super Senior- Jim Cooper King Carter Golf Club Men- Cole Herrington Kingsmill Resort Men- Wes Eure Senior- Kenny Murov Super Senior- Ted Voorhees Men’s Legend- Ted Rudel Ladies- Charlotte McGinnis Ladies 9 Hole- Patti Tatnall Kinloch Golf Club Men- Mike Minicucci Senior- Jonathan Kirkland Kiskiack Golf Club Men- John Corbin Senior Men- Jerry Reese

Super Senior- Howard DeSilva

Ladies- Debbie Boucher Lake Chesdin Golf Club Men- Jeff Nygaard Senior Men- Ward Shelton Ladies- Dottie Harkins Lake Monticello Golf Course Men- Jim Franca Sr. Mens Medal- Pete Ferensak

Super Sr. Medal- George Bockman

Men- Match- George Bockman Senior Men Match- Al Parks

Ladies- Ande Kirchenheiter Lee’s Hill Golfers’ Club Men- Kelvy Donovan Senior- Ron Hake

Super Senior- Johnnie Dunkum

Ladies- Kit Burns Meadowbrook Country Club Men- Adam Ball Senior Men- Mac Tyler Jr. Ladies- Lisa Cox

from readership area

Senior Ladies- Lisa Cox Ladies’s MP- Lori Storbl Meadowcreek Golf Club Men- Phil Mahone Sr. Senior- Steve Cox Ladies- Laura Kuhn Junior- Ian Buchanan Mill Quarter Plantation Men- Jim Woodson Senior- Tom Witt Nottoway River Country Club Men- Buck Johnson Piankatank River G.C. Men- Larry Collier Senior Men- Sam Wallace Super Senior- Bo Bohan Ladies- Carole Lloyd Pendleton Golf Club Sr. Strokeplay- William Belcher

2nd Flight- Cliff Richards Country Club of Petersburg Men- Rick Bauer Senior Men- Mike Pettitt Super Senior- Terry Burgess

Ladies- Marianne Darby Junior- Tyler Gray Providence Golf Club Men- Rodney Spruill Senior- Terry Talbot Queenfield Golf Club Men- Lucas Powell Senior- Lance Weiglein Super Senior- Tom O’Keefe Quinton Oaks Golf Course Men- Zach Hall Ladies- Sue Schmalz Senior- Judd Richard Super Senior- Frank Dennis Richmond Country Club Men- Leon Roday Senior- Jeff Bostic Ladies- Bev McGhee Junior- Owen Carter The Traditional Club at Royal New Kent Men- Jeffrey Pillow Senior- Bill Carr Ladies- Janet Vicario Rivers Bend Golf Club Men- Johnathon Williams Salisbury Country Club Men- Paras Pandya Senior- Jim McKeon Ladies- Linda Murphy Junior- Rory Weinfurther Spring Creek Golf Club Men- Vincent Nadeau Senior- John Heyser

Stonehenge Golf and Country Club Men- Austin Gray Senior- Hogie Harrell Super Senior- Duane Garner

Ladies- Heather Felty

Senior Ladies- Diane Daniels

Junior- Brian Jones The Traditional Club at Stonehouse Men- Chris Trotter Senior- Mike Sheehan Ladies- Debbie Boucher Two Rivers Country Club Men- Nathan Dean Senior- Bill Flanders Ladies- Virginia Wells The Club at Viniterra Men- John Kinder Westham Golf Club Men- Mark Wooten Senior- Roland Jordan Williamsburg National G.C. Men- John Weber The Williamsburg Club Men- Mark Yeager Sr. Men- Rick Conner Ladies- Barbara Wetters Willow Oaks Country Club Men- Larry Loving Jr. Senior Men’s- Mike Pratt Ladies 9 Hole- Debbie Belt Ladies 18-Anne Gordon Greever Junior- Evan Dwyer Wintergreen Resort Men- Evan Shapiro Senior- Jim Westfall Super Senior- Robert Merrick

Ladies- Joyce McComb Winton Country Club Men- Ryan Stinnett Senior- Marvin Tinsley Ladies- Virgie Beasley Junior- Hogan Beazley



Central Virginia’s Golf Information Source

Read a Digital Version of this issue at: www. virginiagolfreport. com


When you awaken each morning in the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area of North Carolina, 43 courses will beckon. Many have achieved international acclaim.

GOLF, SLEEP, GOLF, SLEEP. REPEAT AS OFTEN AS NECESSARY. All will challenge your best game and fill your days with the kind of invigorating relaxation unique to the sport. Each night, you will retire knowing that tomorrow is another tee time. Though many would dispute the notion that man does not live by golf alone, we do offer up other forms of sustenance in the form of quiet pubs, vibrant sports bars and renowned restaurants featuring menus from continental to North Carolina home cooking. And that, as most golfers will agree, is the perfect prescription for the ideal vacation.


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Virginia Golf Report • Champions ‘12 119$*2/)5(3257(5VHSWLQGG


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Growing the Game

Symposium on Affordable Golf Recap olf course architect Richard Mandell did it again. He delivered some great speakers from the golf industry to speak about issues that are affecting the game both negatively and positively in terms of growth of the game and affordability. Attendees came from all different backgrounds within the game and also included ordinary golfers interested in contributing. All had one thing in common: a genuine concern with the direction of the game and willing to participate in open dialogue discussing key issues that golf faces. Mandell was pleased to see such a diverse group and especially impressed that 25% of the attendees were just golfersâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;not in the business. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If we are going to affect change in making the game more affordable, not only do we need to have productive discussion among ourselves in the business, we also have to listen to the end-user about what is(or isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t) important to them as golfers and communicate to the golfers that conditions demanded by golfers cost money,â&#x20AC;? said Mandell. The day and a half symposium opened with two powerful voices in the brown vs green debate. Jim Hyler, the immediate past president of the USGA and Robert Randquist, a past president of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, discussed the concept of â&#x20AC;&#x153;brown is beautiful,â&#x20AC;? a term Hyler came up with while serving as USGA president. The term initially didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sit well with many superintendents as they knew a brown course was something that caused caution. Both Hyler and Randquist agreed that while a completely brown course with no irrigation is going too far, a firm and fast golf course with less watering was the correct path for many golf courses. USGA agronomist Chris Hartwiger spoke on the topic of â&#x20AC;&#x153;maintenance down the middleâ&#x20AC;? which can lessen the amount of maintenance on the golf course by focusing on tees, fairways and

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greens. Gordon Irvine talked about the incredible re-discovery of an Old Tom Morris classic, Askernish Golf Club in Scotland, which was re-born and is now considered one of the most natural links courses in the world. Other topics included host Richard Mandell talking about how less can actually mean more in golf course design; architect Mike Nuzzo reviewed the process of building a golf course for only one person to use; and award winning golf instructor Dana Radar spoke to the attendees on how the PGA and LPGA club professionals need to do Golf architect and Symposium on Affordable more in terms of education within Golf founder, Richard Mandell. their respective organizations so healthy discussion ensued,â&#x20AC;? said their members can continue to Mandell. grow and promote the game in a Ultimately, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what the Sympositive manner. posium on Affordable Golf is all A panel consisting of a variety about. of generations discussed the things that brought them into the game and how traditions of the game played an important role. Jim Dodson, the author of best selling books The Dew Sweepers and Final Rounds participated on the panel and had great insight on how the game has  

  lost much of the romance that he felt with it when his father introduced him to golf as a young boy.          Perhaps the star of the symposium was Kevin Jones, the GM of Knights Play Golf Center, a very successful lighted driving range and par 3 course outside of Raleigh that stays open till midnight. Jones proved the K.I.S.S. management style works best, at least at Knights Play. He also showed that simple customer service methods like giv             !"        ing free ball tokens to customers      #$ $  $    %      

%    %    %&    (  )          forced to wait is what keeps them  )      )      $      *    loyal and brings them back. No " %    $    $ $     $$ +   $       $ $       (    tee times are needed, the course is     $$   ,  $   $  regularly packed and they seldom - )             $ . /                      turn anyone away. Food and drink %     $*    1234 $ )  $  $      is very simple and the place rolls.     %    $     $  % $        $             This was the third installment of     ) 5        the symposium and like the first two the open dialogue between speakers and attendees was a key to the success again this year.  

        â&#x20AC;&#x153;The bottom line is that a good    0 4 - 6 4 0 -1 0 5 0















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Golfers’ Pain:

Dealing with it, Managing it, and Treating it T By PAUL THOMAS

he following is an interview with pain management specialist Dr. Maged Hamza on golf specific pain and ways we as golfers can deal with it, manage it, avoid it, and treat it. Dr. Hamza completed a fellowship in pain management at the University of Virginia Medical School and is board certified in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine. In the past Dr. Hamza has been on the faculty at the University of Virginia Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Management and was Director of Pain Management Services for Mid-Atlantic Spine Specialists. He is currently with the VCU Spine Center at Stony Point Surgery Center where his specialties include pain conditions of spine and non-spine origins such as neurophies, diabetic neuropathy, vascular pain, visceral pain, as well as the pain pump and neurostimulation implants. VGR: What are the most common type of back injuries that you see caused specifically by golf?

A. “There are many types of injuries that are seen specifically with golfers. Back injuries, muscle strains, disc injuries, shoulder and elbow issues. With female patients the upper extremities are more common, such as an elbow injury. But the most common is definitely lower back pain and discomfort. VGR: Give me some examples of exercises and stretches that golfers can use both before a round of golf and in between rounds of golf on off days? A. “Stretching is a key word for people engaged in an activity such as golf. A stretch is actively putting a muscle to the full range of motion in a sustained manner. For example, if a golfer wanted to stretch the lower back a good exercise would be to do a bend while trying to keep the legs straight. Try to hold the position and then come back slowly and repeat the exercise. Another great stretch is to stand with your back against the wall and do a squat in a slow sustained manner. Stretching the abdominal and oblique muscles on the sides is also important as are the quads(thighs), shoulders, and neck muscles. Make sure to stretch in a controlled manner where you hold the stretch and then return. As far as off days it’s important to perform strenghthening and endurance exercises for your muscles. Both are important but we should be more concerned with the endurance, in other words not how heavy a weight we can lift but how many times can we lift a lighter weight. We want to fatigue the muscles. Endurance is more important to golfers in terms of both recovery and in the prevention of injuries.”

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VGR: Do you recommend ibuprofen for someone with back pain that wants to still play and if so how many and when should they be taken—before round, during round? A. “If somebody was to have sporadic pain, let’s say lower back pain, and about to play a round of golf, and as long as there is no allergy or tolerance issues, then it would be appropriate to use two to three pills of ibuprofen(600 milligrams). Make sure to take 45 minutes to an hour before the round of golf and then maybe again after the round. If a golfer or an athlete has round the clock pain then that is a different issue that needs to be evaluated.” VGR: What else is being done to help ease pain in people that suffer from back problems? Are there any new methods in treating back pain? I’ve read where athletes and golfers(Fred Couples) have used Regenokine injections with great results? A. “This is definitely an emerging field in medicine where different types of injections are being used to treat pain. Regenokine was popularized by a German physician and it involves blood being taken out, dried, and spun(blood spinning). It’s been popular with some athletes for knee pain and back pain. It’s promising but there are limited studies available. Another new method that has also shown some good short term outcomes is bone marrow injections. But many of these treatments have not been approved by the FDA. As far as cortisone or steroid shots they have shown to provide at least some temporary relief, for many people, of at least six to twelve months.” VGR: A big word often heard with golfers now is strengthening the core? How important is that to a pain free back and what are some of the ways golfers can strengthen their core? A. “Strengthening your core is crucial. You cannot go through life allowing your core muscles to get weak. Again, as we mentioned earlier, low weights with high repetitions is what you want to do—endurance exercises. Remember, a strong core doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have six-pack abs. It’s more about the endurance of those muscles so you can do activities without straining them.” VGR: What about golfers that walk and carry their own golf bags? Should the double straps(balancing the weight) be used at all times? I’ve also seen some manufacturers adding a strap that goes around the waist—is that something that is beneficial. Would you recommend push carts instead of carrying your own bag? A. “The very best thing to do to avoid back issues is use a push cart. It will take the extra weight off the back. Obviously if you have to carry a golf bag you must distribute the weight evenly so make sure to use the shoulder straps and even the waist strap. Balancing the weight is the key. What happens if you only use the one shoulder is that the side not being used gets weaker and can therefore be the source of future pain.”



here’s nothing that makes a golfer happier than a weather forecast for perfect conditions on the day of golf. It’s one less thing to worry about and often times plays a key role in the enjoyment of the round. Weather forecasts take on an even greater significance when a much anticipated golf trip or golf tournament is on the horizon. For many tournament administrative staffs—the folks who conduct the event—there is nothing more important than an accurate forecast. So many aspects must come together, especially at big time amateur and professional golf tournaments, for the successful and smooth operation of an event. That’s why most tournaments now include an on-site weatherman who can give operation staffs hour by hour weather reports and monitor storms and severe weather that might be approaching the golf course. Midlothian meteorologist Ben Woods is part of a team that works with the LPGA and USGA to provide on-site forecasting. Woods is a regional sales rep for ThorGuard, which is the official weather system of both organizations. ThorGuard makes a lightning prediction system that sends a warning when lightning is approaching or developing over a specific area. Woods either uses the ThorGuard that is already installed on site or uses a mobile temporary device.

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“When you think about all of the people involved in a USGA or LPGA event it’s essential that they are protected,” said Woods. “Not only must the players and caddies be protected, but also the spectators, volunteers and workers.” In a typical tournament, Woods is one of the first to arrive so he can start monitoring the forecast for the week. He also works closely with the head golf pro and superintendent to understand golf course issues like drainage so he can determine what amount of rain might cause a delay. Woods also submits hourly updates on weather issues such as sky condition, temperature, dew point, humidity, wind, precipitation, evapo-transpiration rates and climate data. Some days can last as long as 14 hours. “If there are players on the golf course—even during practice rounds—then we are there,” said Woods. Last year Woods’ expertise was put to the test at the LPGA’s Canadian Women’s Open when Hurricane Irene was making her way toward the golf course. After the conclusion of the third round Woods informed the tournament staff that the players would have to be off the course by 2:00pm the following day. Because of television and other logistics the warning was met with skepticism. “Obviously I wasn’t a very popular person when I relayed this information,” said Woods. “But they really didn’t have a choice.


I felt very strongly about my forecast and showed them what could happen.” LPGA officials pushed up the final round tee times by four hours and the players and spectators just barely got off the golf course in time and Woods was the unsung hero to many. “Most people just do not realize the domino effect that the weather plays on the operation of an outdoor event,” said Woods. “So many other things are affected by a suspension or cancellation.” Golf isn’t the only sport that needs on-site or advanced forecasting services. Many schools that host outdoor sporting events, some with stadiums filled with more than 50,000 people, realize the responsibility they have to the many people in attendance. Old Dominion University in Norfolk was worried about Hurricane Sandy and the effect it could have on a home football game. Even if the game wasn’t cancelled officials worried about spectators and players in harms way if the storm shifted paths. “They realized there was a pressing need for exact, precise forecasting,” said Woods, whose forecasting service for outdoor

events is called Ion Safety. “Not only for the ball game, but for tailgating before the game, camera crews on towers, tents, and halftime shows.” Woods was able to ease the tension with school officials when his forecast encouraged them to proceed with the game and all of the activities that were planned as well. Earlier this year at a Nascar race at Pocono Raceway, ten fans were injured, one critically, by lightning from a storm that had caused an interruption in the race. “That is a perfect example of people needing to know if they’re in danger or some type of weather is on the way,” said Woods. For many, a job like this may be too much pressure, knowing that potentially lives could be at risk. But for Woods, it’s a chance to display his expertise in a field that has fascinated him since he was a young boy. “I love the challenge of being as exact and precise as possible,” said Woods. For more information contact Ben Woods at:

Golfin’ in the South

Sandhills of North Carolina

Photo courtesy of R. Wooten/Impact Golf Marketing

Photo courtesy of R. Wooten/Impact Golf Marketing

Okay, let’s get one thing straight. As far as we’re concerned there are plenty of great courses right here in our own backyard. Some of the top ranked golf courses, both private and public, sit right here in central Virginia. But golfers love to travel and experience new golf adventures and lucky for us there are some incredible golf destinations located within easy driving distance from most areas in Virginia. The following pages are filled with what we think are some of the top golf opportunites available to golfers in the South. Some are familiar, some are new, but all offer variety and great value.

Photo courtesy of R. Wooten/Impact Golf Marketing


Clockwise from upper left: The Carolina Club is one of five quality course available through OBX Golf Travel. Primland Resort offers first class mountain golf and accomodations. Dormie Club in the Sandhills of North Carolina is a Coore-Crenshaw treat. Pinehurst Resort offers eight choices including course #5, which is part of a winter Tobacco Road Travel special.

Is Tobacco Road the future in golf course design?

Many features architect Mike Strantz incorporated in 1998 are now becoming commonplace in both new and restoration projects where the design theme is “less is more” By Patrick K. Kane


or anyone who has ever played Tobacco Road Golf Club in the Sandhills of North Carolina, the word “minimalist” might be the last word used to describe the design style of architect Mike Strantz. Afterall, the golf course has been described as “a walk on the wild side” and “an emotional roller-coaster of imagery, texture and sensuality” by Golfweek Magazine’s Architectural Editor Brad Klein. But think about it. Just down the road at the world renowned Pinehurst #2 golf course, the de-

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sign team of Coore & Crenshaw, who many claim are the leaders in “minimalist design”, are being praised for a restoration project that features some of the same design characteristics that Strantz incorporated into his design at Tobacco Road over 14 years ago. Coore & Crenshaw’s crew removed over 35 acres of turf on Donald Ross’s most well known design to return the course to a look that mirrored that of the 40’s and 50’s. They widened the fairways and removed all of the rough, replaced by natural areas


Tobacco Road

of sand that consist of pinestraw and wiregrass plants. Bob Farren, Pinehurst’s director of golf course maintenance calls the areas sandscapes. The sandscapes allowed Coore and Crenshaw to remove 700 irrigation heads and switch to single row irrigation on the fairways. Needless to say a huge amount of water, and cost, is being saved. Just down the road from the #2 restoration, at a site about

five miles away from the Pinehurst traffic circle, is Dormie Club(2010), another Coore & Crenshaw design. As with #2, Dormie has wide fairways and very little rough, again taking advantage of the natural terrain and using it in place of rough to border many fairways. The trend is gaining popularity nationwide as many other architects look for ways to reduce costs for developers and golf course owners. (continued on next page)

Sandhills of North Carolina


Virginia Golf Report • Champions ‘12

Strantz before the project began. Stephenson stated that Strantz was always willing to listen when issues on maintenance were raised. “Sometimes Mike wouldn’t budge if it was an area that was integral to the design,” said Stephenson. “He wanted the design to be unique, but he was conscious of the difficulty in maintaining certain areas of the golf course.” While the natural areas obviously are less expensive to maintain than grass in terms of mowing, fertilizer use and irrigation, Stephenson says there is labor involved in keeping the unmaintained look. “There are invasive plants, trees and weeds that we have to control, especially in the summer with the rain,” said Stephenson. “We can’t just let it go or it would go back to its original unclaimed state. There’s a level of maintenance…. but less.” In an interview conducted by GolfClubAtlas in 2000, Strantz stated that “the total square area of maintained surfaces is less than one third of the course property, thanks to the liberal use of sandy areas throughout the course.” That mindset and design philosophy has obviously saved Tobacco Road money over the years. Stephenson added that the landscape Strantz was given was already conducive to the natural sandy areas and “that dictated his design with Tobacco Road.” But other architects and developers have been given similar terrain and chosen to go with the safer, more expensive, greener look. Tobacco Road remains highly acclaimed with top 100 rankings on both GOLF(Top 100 Public Courses) and Golf Digest’s(Top 100 You Can Play) rankings list. Look for it to remain there and look for more and more courses to follow in many of the design features implemented by Mike Strantz in 1998.


Photo courtesy of Pinehurst Resort

While it’s true Strantz(who passed away in 2005) may never be compared to Bill Coore or Ben Crenshaw, he may have more in common with them than some so-called experts would admit. Many courses being built at the same time as Tobacco Road are now part of the Augusta National syndrome where developers and members demanded wall to wall green conditions to emulate the course seen on television every year in April by just about every golfer on the planet. “I think you would have a hard time having any design expert put minimalist and Tobacco Road in the same sentence,” said longtime Tobacco Road GM and Director of Golf Joe Gay.“What I think you will find they agree upon is the way Tobacco Road is maintained has been ahead of its time. Tobacco Road was opened in 1998 and some of this “natural” look that the architects are trying to achieve now, Mike was doing well ahead of them.” Gay believes that Tobacco Road might have even been an influence in the “throwback” look of both Pinehurst #2 and Dormie Club, as well as other courses, in the last ten years of renovation projects. Tobacco Road imported no sand when built and used the native grasses in the sandy areas to give it the rugged and natural look that is being sought after by so many courses today. “There are no flower beds, edged cart paths or neatly manicured sand bunkers at Tobacco Road,” Gay proudly stated. Much of the mounding and contours at Tobacco Road were already in place from the many years of excavating done on the property that was an operating sand pit. Strantz moved a lot less dirt at Tobacco Road than many might believe. Morgan Stephenson has been the head superintendent at Tobacco Road since the beginning and actually knew and worked with


(continued from previous page)

Tobacco Road(top photo) features “natural areas” throughout the golf course. Pinehurst #2, after the renovation featuring the natural “sandscapes.” All of that area was irrigated grass before the renovation by Coore-Crenshaw.

Ahead of his time Part II


hile it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that playing from the wrong set of tees can lead to an unenjoyable round, it is amazing how many people continue to automatically go to the tips or one up from the tips, regardless of how long the yardage is. Most golfers overestimate how far they actually hit the ball. The issue has become so big that the USGA and PGA have an initiative that they created with the help of Barney Adams called “tee it forward.” In an interview with GolfClubAtlas in June of 2000, Mike Strantz, golf course architect of such courses as Tobacco Road in Pinehurst, True Blue and Caledonia in Myrtle Beach, and Stonehouse and Royal New Kent in the Williamsburg area, hit the whole teeing ground issue flush on the sweet spot. Strantz said that playing from the wrong tee “is the easiest mistake to correct before you ever stick the first tee into the ground. Also, the most common mistake made day in and day out on our golf courses(or any course for that matter). Swallow a little pride, step up to the next set of tees and you have a hell of a better chance to enjoy your day. Forget about looking at only the total yardage. If you cannot carry the ball to the turning points on dog legs or are constantly hitting into the bunkers that are well short of the landing area, chances are you’re on the wrong set of tees.” Can we put that quote on a big sign on every first tee in America?


Photo courtesy of Legacy Golf

Sandhills of North Carolina

Legacy Golf Links made the switch to Mini-Verde ultra-dwarf Bermuda on their greens and the reviews have been fantastic.

The Bermuda Invasion


Many Pinehurst area courses are making the switch to improved strains of Bermuda grass for putting green surfaces


ho’d have thought that the coarse, grainy Bermuda grasses we endured for years in the South would be making a comeback? And who would have predicted that the serene village of Pinehurst and its environs in the Sandhills of North Carolina would be a center for this revolution? However, that’s exactly what’s happening on the greens of several courses in the area. The orthodoxy – bent grass greens are the best putting surfaces in the world – is being challenged, and new strains of ultra-dwarf Bermuda grasses are appearing on putting surfaces in several locations here. During recent years, as more PGA Tour venues in the South have replaced their bent grass greens with ultra–dwarf Bermudas, the wisdom of making a similar change in the Sandhills became more obvious. Bill Barnette, owner of the Hyland Golf Club in Southern Pines, is the pioneer who first introduced ultra-dwarf Bermudas in the area three years ago. His popular Tom Jackson layout has long been a favorite course

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for locals and tourists, but the extreme weather in recent years, especially the intensely hot and dry summer months, challenged Barnette to seek a more economical and consistently playable alternative to his bent grass greens. Like many of his local peers, Barnette spent years researching new ultra–dwarf grasses found in the hot, humid regions of the South. The advantages of switching to such varieties — TifEagle, Champion Bermuda, and MiniVerde, all clones of the TifDwarf Bermuda grass — were becoming increasingly clear: more heattolerant than bent grass, with fine leaf blades and high shoot density, Champion recovers quickly from cultural practices and creates tight, fast and consistent putting surfaces. In the Sandhills, where bent grass has long been the standard, that consistency has been lacking during the hot, humid summer months. Of critical importance to Barnette and operators of clubs with a single golf course, changing to ultra-dwarf greens did not mean closing down


the operation and foregoing revenues for nearly an entire golfing season. Once Barnette chose Champion Dwarf Bermuda, the old grass was killed, the soil treated for replanting, sprigs were scattered, and play — and income — returned to Hyland. The prestigious Country Club of North Carolina has just completed its conversion to the Champion ultra-dwarf on its Cardinal Course, a Top 15 Robert Trent Jones design. Ron Kelly, the course superintendent there, selected the Champion variety for many of the same reasons Barnette did. With two courses available to members at CCNC, the changeover resulted in little disruption of member play. Kelly and crew began during the dog days of summer, when play is lightest, and completed their work in an incredible seven weeks and six days. Their learning curve for managing and maintaining the new greens is another matter, though; like most recent implementers of the new grasses, Kelly expects to continue to feel his way towards (continued on next page)


(continued from previous page)

ensuring that his members’ high expectations will be met on the Cardinal Course. With relatively flat greens, Cardinal did not require any significant changes in the greens’s size or shapes. But at Hyland, with its large and undulant greens, Barnette had to increase the green sizes an average 20%, to maintain their playability with the harder, faster Champion surfaces. Players there too need to refashion their short games for greens which do not allow shots to check up and spin back, but rather roll on and on. Chad Derusseau, general manager of the Legacy Golf Links course in Aberdeen, introduced the MiniVerde ultra–dwarf Bermuda — the #1 rated Ultra-Dwarf in trials in the United States and Australia — on his Jack Nicklaus II course last year. Like Champion, the MiniVerde also provides a smooth, consistent putting surface and is advertised as requiring fewer cultural practices, such as verticutting and topdressing. MiniVerde is also heat tolerant, has excellent cool season color retention, and rapid green up during the spring. The firm MiniVerde surface handles foot traffic especially well, resists ball marks almost entirely, and recovers quickly from injury. Using his own maintenance staff, Derusseau used the slower summer months for the changeover, then reopened early in October of 2011, to rave reviews from local media and players. Derusseau and his staff changed some contours on the edges of greens and enlarged 75% of them, to provide extra pin placements and to return them to the original design. To compensate for the greens’ being firmer and more difficult to hold, Legacy worked to shore up their greens’s approaches, with extra aerifying, verticutting, and topdressing. Bump-and-run shots and the ground game are now back in play at Legacy. Bob Farren, current Director of Grounds

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Photo courtesy of Pinehurst Resort

The recently opened Thistle Dhu putting course at Pinehurst Resort, which features MiniVerde grass.

and Golf Course Maintenance at Pinehurst Resort, has overseen the conversion from bent grass to MiniVerde greens on Pinehurst’s #1 course. Though the courses’ greens have been traditionally excellent for nine months each year, they become inconsistent during the summer because of the need for intense watering and weed control. The MiniVerde greens, which are being considered for other courses at Pinehurst as well, should improve wear tolerance and enable the resort to host its heavy summertime tournament schedule as well as regular club events. In addition, the resort expects the MiniVerde greens to lower watering costs, reduce the need for fans and fungicides, and generally lower maintenance expenses. After the Mini-Verde grows in, greens will require aeration only once a year, rather than two or three times, and will not be overseeded. The small, relatively flat greens on Pinehurst #1 made it the logical choice for a trial of the ultra-dwarf MiniVerde. The conversion process — fumigating the old greens, aerating, then sprigging, rolling and covering with sand, then watering heavily for the first week to 10 days — began right after the Fourth of July. By the end of August, play was resumed on the course. The resort plans to use covers on the greens in freezing weather during the winters, to reduce and prevent frost delays; instead of overseeding, the greens will be painted. In addition to the greens on course #1, Pinehurst used the MiniVerde on its new 18 hole putting course, Thistle Dhu. The original Thistle Dhu — America’s first miniature golf course — was built by James Barber, owner of the Barber steamship links of New York, at his Pinehurst home in 1919. The new course, reminiscent of the legendary Himalayas course at the Old Course in St. Andrews, features 18 holes so rollicking and undulant they’d give Donald Ross vertigo.


The infamous Pine Crest Inn and its inviting front doors.


Pine Crest Inn celebrates 100th year

Sandhills of North Carolina


he Pinehurst area is filled with with many “mustsee” spots. A trip to the Carolina, the beautiful historic hotel that is the face of Pinehurst; a walk down the hall at the main clubhouse where golf history is preserved in glassed cases; or a stop at Tom Stewart’s Old Sport & Gallery, an incredible retail store filled with golf memorabilia, art, books and more. But no trip to Pinehurst is complete without at least a quick stop at the Pine Crest Inn for a cold beer and a taste of years gone by. Pine Crest was opened on November 1, 1913, so the year long celebration kicked off recently to start the 100th year. Pine Crest was once owned by famed architect Donald Ross who purchased the inn in 1921 and owned it until his death in 1948. Bob Barrett purchased the inn in 1961 and his sons now run the friendly spot that has been the resting spot and watering hole for golfers like Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. Some of golf’s greatest writers have also bellied up to the bar including Dan Jenkins, Bob Drum and Charles Price. One of golf’s finest modern day writers, Jim Dodson, who has penned such best selling books as Final Rounds and Dew Sweepers, has a tradition of finishing up his books in a guest room at the inn. Dodson has called Pine Crest “the most famous and quirky little golf hotel on the planet”, with the “friendliest front doors in golf”. Two perfect descriptions. There really isn’t another place quite like it…..anywhere. Like so many other parts of golf, the Pine Crest is all about traditions. Whether it’s the well known 22-ounce pork chop in the dining room, or the familiar faces of longtime employees, or the chipping game that goes on in the lobby even when the place is packed; everything and everybody just seems to fit at the Pine Crest Inn. Tobacco Road Travel is running a golf trip special for December only that gives golfers a chance to experience the Pine Crest Inn. Stay two nights at Pine Crest and play three rounds at Tobacco Road, Pine Needles and Legacy. Pine Crest’s full breakfast is included in the total price of $232 per person. For more information go to



Beyond Its Years

Photo courtesy of H. Stephens/Viniterra

The Golf Club at Viniterra has only been open three years, yet the Rees Jones-designed gem has quickly matured into one of Virginia’s most popular new layouts.


NEW KENT, VA. (September 2012) – Just a few weeks after his squad fell to Stanford in the championship game of the National Invitational Tournament at Madison Square Garden, University of Minnesota basketball coach Tubby Smith was relaxing with a round of golf at The Club at Viniterra near Richmond. Though his team’s season had just ended, Smith said he was already excited about the Gophers’ chances of competing for a Big Ten Championship in 2013. As for his golf, Smith’s round at Viniterra was his third since the season ended. The coach who led Kentucky to a national championship in 1998 said he was still working out the kinks. Nevertheless, Smith was certain he had found his favorite new course in the southeast. “This Viniterra golf course reminds me of our upcoming Minnesota team,” Smith said. “Young but maturing fast. It’s a beautiful golf course with wonderful views that offers players of all talent levels a challenge but was fun to play. Viniterra is one of the best new courses anywhere and I look forward to playing again soon.” Viniterra ( is a private, gated community of luxury estate home sites and resort cottages in the Virginia’s New Kent Vineyards Development. Centrally located between Richmond and Williamsburg, just off Interstate 64’s Exit 211

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in New Kent County, Viniterra offers easy access to the MidAtlantic’s urban areas, the North Carolina Outer Banks, the James, York and Rappahannock Rivers, the Chesapeake Bay, and endless beautiful Virginia countryside. Constructed for today’s modern golfer, Viniterra opened to rave reviews and recently welcomed public play. Viniterra will break ground on a new 12,000square-foot clubhouse next year and anticipates a 2014 opening. Meanwhile, Viniterra’s spectacular layout is already considered not only one of the best in the Commonwealth State, but also among the finest in the storied career of golf course architect Rees Jones. Viniterra hearkens back to an earlier era of golf course design and feels as if it has been around far longer than its three years since opening in September 2009. Said the man known as the “U.S. Open Doctor”: “When you design and build a golf course an architect can only hope it matures with the type of consistent progression we’ve enjoyed at Viniterra.” Viniterra member Rich Rhodes enjoys golf vacations at some of the finest ports along the southeast coast, but says when he arrives to most resort courses he is invariably disappointed. “Viniterra is a better layout and it’s in better condition than anything around Myrtle Beach or Hilton Head,” Rhodes said. “We’ve got it made here.”


Adds another Viniterra member Mary George: “It’s like being on a vacation.” Mary and her husband, Rowland George, have played some of the world’s best golf designs in all corners of the globe including Scotland and Ireland. They say Viniterra reminds them most of — and compares favorably to — Spain’s renowned Valderrama, host site of the 1997 Ryder Cup matches. “There’s just something about both places, when you stand up on the tee box and look out, every hole is framed so well,” said Rowland George. “There are no tricked up holes at either golf course. What you see is what you get. I really think at Viniterra, almost every hole would be a signature hole on most courses. The way they keep it maintained, the greens are always so good and fast and true, and it’s so playable.” The Rowland’s joined Viniterra in November 2011 after purchasing a home a mile away in the Boddie-Noell sister development called Four Seasons. They were looking for a maintenance-free, singlefamily villa home in a community they describe, not as 55 and older, but 55 “and better.” On days when the Rowland’s aren’t playing 18 holes, they will walk to Viniterra’s extensive golf practice area. “We get our exercise and we get to work on our games,” said Mary. Rees Jones said he designed Viniterra primarily for the aver-

age player. While Viniterra does stretch to more than 7,700 yards and sits ready to host any top-tier professional or amateur tournament right now, it is most commonly played around 6,100 yards. Boddie-Noell’s Kitty Hawk Land Company – which also collaborated with Jones on the Currituck Club at the Outer Banks of North Carolina – provided him the ideal land of the New Kent Vineyards Project’s expansive rugged terrain to build the golf course, and Jones responded by finding an appropriate balance between the 18 holes that best fit the property and still offering premium home sites for the residents. “We’ve designed this golf course for everybody” Jones said. “We’ve got length for the bombers and shorter tees for those who don’t hit it very far. This is a thinking person’s golf course — all about shot options with multiple tees and multiple green approaches. Fun if you play the right set of tees. A wonderful challenging examination the farther back one ventures.” Rowland George recently took his 7-year-old grandson around Viniterra for the boy’s first 11 holes of golf. “He loved every minute of it,” Rowland said. “And of course, Mary and I enjoy the weekly games with the men and ladies that the staff pulls together. They just provide such good service for us. Everything is customer oriented and top notch.”


Traditional’s I64 Trifecta


hree of the top golf courses in the Williamsburg area are located within minutes of their I64 off-ramps. Brickshire, Royal New Kent and Stonehouse, are all part of the Traditional Golf Properties portfolio and offer the golfer an incredible opportunity to experience real variety. Brickshire, located off Exit 214, is the newest of the three, designed by Virginia’s own Curtis Strange and opened in 2001.

The course is located right next to the Colonial Downs racetrack. The best way to describe Brickshire is player friendly but enough dramatic elevation changes to add a level of difficulty that is fun. Located a few miles down the road, off the same exit, is Royal New Kent, a Mike Strantz design that he claimed was done to honor his friends in Ireland. While not a true links course

Royal New Kent

because of the location, it nonetheless gives golfers not able to cross the pond a chance to get a feel and flavor of the next best thing. The greens are very large and there are some hidden shots, similar to golf in Ireland. Royal New Kent, when opened in 1997, was named the “Best New Upscale Public Course in America.” A couple of exits east sits Stonehouse, another Strantz treat that

opened one year earlier than New Kent and also won “Best New Upscale Public Course in America” honors. There are steep ravines with abrupt contours throughout the course and the greens are massive. Intimidating is putting it lightly, but like other Strantz courses the visual intimidation is worse than reality. Fairways are very wide and the course is really fun to play.

Outer Banks of North Carolina

Kilmarlic “Club Cottage” Gets It Right

Perfect accommodations for a group of up to 8 playing golf in the Outer Banks of North Carolina


ne of the keys to a successful buddies golf trip is the accommodations. Is there ample room for everyone to feel comfortable after a full day on the links? Are there enough tv’s available for people with different viewing habits? Is the location convenient to golf courses and restaurants? The Kilmarlic Club Cottage, located at Kilmarlic Golf Club in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, answers all those questions with a resounding yes. With four oversized bedrooms, each with its own bathroom, two living room areas(upstairs and on the main floor), and a beautiful designer kitchen in case there’s a chef in the group, it provides every amenity a golf group could ask for. The location, directly across the street from the driving range and first tee and less than a nine iron away from the beautiful clubhouse that houses the fitness center that is available to guests of the club cottage, may make this as good as it gets in terms of a golf group accommodation. “We love hosting groups in the Cottage as it allows us to show our commitment to service to our guests,” says Kilmarlic’s Director of Golf, Bryan Sullivan. “It is nice to be able to just step out the door to your cart, range and putting green.”

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So popular is the club cottage that Sullivan admits plans are in the works to add another. This will allow Kilmarlic to host larger golf groups and also alleviate the problem of returning groups wanting to book on the same dates. If by chance the club cottage is booked don’t fret. Sullivan and OBX Golf Travel have other options available including beachfront homes that can accommodate larger groups,condos at other area golf courses, and hotels located directly on the oceanfront. While the accommodations are definitely first class at Kilmarlic the golf course itself may be an even better reason for a visit. The course designed by Tom Steele and opened in 2002 sits among 605 acres of maritime forest and sprawling wetlands and winds its way through the lush land in a routing that really flows. There are plenty of woods to be found but most holes allow ample room off the tees. Water is prevalent throughout with a water hazard or wetlands on all but three holes. “Our golf course is always in great condition and players are always mentioning how fun it is to play,” says Sullivan. “I believe they enjoy it so much because it gives them so many different options to


play a hole. Most people can’t wait to play it again and try a different strategy for how to play a hole or the course in general.” The Kilmarlic Club Cottage Sullivan also thinks OBX Golf Travel include Carolina having five different sets of tee Club and The Pointe, both on the markers allows players “to have the mainland just north of the Wright perfect length course for the level of Memorial Bridge, and the Currituck their game.” Club and Nags Head Golf Links, Golf courses often warn playtwo stunningly beautiful courses in ers to play from the correct set of Corrolla and Kitty Hawk respectee markers and this advice is even tively. All the courses are in fantasmore important at Kilmarlic. Do not tic condition and each has its own under any circumstance play from distinct design. the wrong set of tees. The tips show “The Outer Banks is an amazing just over 6500 on the scorecard but area with so many unique features,” we played the gold which was just says Sullivan, who has resided in over 6000 yards and it was more the Outer Banks for over 30 years. than enough for four fairly capable “I feel like you can say the same players. The ball just does not seem about our golf. In one small place to travel as far with the heavy ocean we offer a variety of courses from air and swirling winds. links style courses to your traditionKilmarlic plays host to the annual al courses, some on the water, some OBX Collegiate and even among on the mainland.” some of the top college players in From the Richmond area and the country the course holds its most of central Virginia the drive to own. At this years tournament an Kilmarlic is in the three hour range. individual score of even par would That can mean golf on arrival or dehave garnered a top ten finish. The parture day which is always a bonus course also played host to the North for golfers trying to pack in as many Carolina Open in 2004 and 2009 rounds as possible. and proved a formidable test. For more information on Kilmarlic or Other courses available through Outer Banks Golf Travel go to www.


Virginia Mountains


Dan Maples and son Bradley renovate Olde Mill Golf Course in Laurel Fork which was designed by father and grandfather Ellis Maples 35 years ago. By Frank Giordano

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Photo courtesy of Bill Kamenjar


hen the new owners of the Olde Mill resort in Laurel Fork, Virginia, wanted to update their 35 year old Ellis Maples golf course, they invited Dan Maples to return and undertake the project. No one understood the architect’s design principles better than Dan, who worked with his father at Olde Mill upon graduating from North Carolina State University. Though Dan had helped his dad since he was 14 years old, the Olde Mill assignment was his first as a degreed golf course architect. Interestingly, as Dan undertook the “enhancement” – what began as a couple of weeks of work – of the golf course, his own son Brad was completing his college work at Dan’s alma mater. Thus, Olde Mill was also Brad’s first assignment as a degreed golf course architect. If you think the Maples family DNA runs deep in the hills and valleys at the Olde Mill golf course, you’re exactly right. As it turned out, the two weeks of tweaking turned into two years of updating and enhancing an already excellent golf course, one that had passed the test of time and earned the respect and affection of decades of dedicated golfers. The original Ellis Maples par 72 course measured 6833 yards from the back tees, with some of the most exciting elevation changes and dramatic greens locations set so naturally in the mountainous landscape that it appeared the Creator was the original architect. The new owners’ chief objective, however, was to ensure a player–friendly layout that would entice and please beginning golfers, ladies, and seniors, as well as the traditional men golfers. With that in mind, Dan Maples re-worked several of the teeing areas, widened some fair-

on #5. The long, curving series of bunkers on the left side of #18 are chiefly directional signs and aesthetically appealing, rather than penal. The teeing areas received a greater degree of attention. Maples added some new tees and shortened some red ones, to accommodate a variety of players, and changed the location of others to provide better angles and improve a hole’s playability. On the sharply sloping #7, for example, a par 5 with a gigantic penal bunker on the right, Maples removed that and placed bunkers on the left in the landing area, to keep balls from rolling down the slope and deep into trouble. The downhill L-shaped par 4 The stunning 10th hole at Olde Mill, a Maples “family” design located in the mountains of southwest Virginia. ninth hole had a sloped landing area that ran away from ways, changed some bunkers, levreturn home. Much of the resort’s the elevated green, making the eled and re-routed slightly some business consists of such tourapproach to the uphill green very holes, added about 300 yards, and ists, who not only love the course difficult. After Maples raised the changed the par on two holes. but enjoy warmer weather than at fairway eight feet and made a flat home in the Virginia spring, and Hagen Giles is the general landing area, he turned the hole cooler weather during summer manager of the Olde Mill resort into a much more accessible, much in the mountainous region. The and, after spending more than 30 fairer golf hole. Similarly, on the resort’s convenient location near years on the property, is a conmagnificent par 5 fifth hole, with North and South travel corridors servative steward of the land. Like one of the many blind tee shots on guarantees a steady flow of visitors Dan Maples, Giles knew there was the mountainous course, Maples throughout the year. nothing wrong with the golf course set the tee back about 40 yards. and took a very cautious approach Giles’s conservatism is evident This helped most players from to any suggested change made by in his decision to stick with the driving over a ridge in the fairway, the father and son team of archiPencross bent grass greens crafted which was invisible from the tee, tects. With a deep nostalgia for the by Ellis Maples. Thus, there was and down a severely steep slope to original layout, Giles speaks affecvirtually no changing in the conthe right of the fairway. tionately about a course so loved touring or the shape of the existing Interestingly, Maples was able by some members who, after they greens. And while all the bunkers to implement his father’s original died, had their ashes spread over were filled with the same beauticonception for the par four first it. He tells also of visitors from the ful white sand used at Augusta hole by moving the tee back subNortheast, Midwest, and Canada National, providing a firm, consiststantially and making it a par 5. In who have visited Olde Mill annuent texture throughout the course, Ellis Maples’ original routing, the ally for more than two decades. there was a minimal amount of first hole was intended to be a par Typically, these folks stop in the reshaping them. Dan did add one 5. However, the owners anticispring on their way to Florida or bunker around # 3’s green, repated building a large clubhouse at the Masters, then return to stay moved the only sand bunker on #4, the top of the hill and needed the and play later in the year as they and removed one fairway bunker


(continued on next page)

(continued from previous page)

space for the clubhouse. In fact, the clubhouse was never built, and when Dan came to enhance the course, he returned to the original plan and turned #1 into the thrillingly downhill opening par 5 that it is today. To maintain the par at 72, the final hole, a par 4 at 475 yards from the back tees, was changed from a par 5 and represents the stoutest finishing hole I’ve seen in a long time. On the original #18, the fairway sloped so much to the left that even drives hit in the center of the fairway often rolled off into the rough. Maples moved the fairway some 30-40 yards to the right and built up its left side by over 10 feet, to create a flatter, fairer landing area. The long second shot to the uphill green must now be placed between two large trees, one in the fairway on the left and the other in the angle of the dogleg just off the fairway right. The

fascinating architectural feature frames the green and provides a line of sight right up it, turning the golfer into a marksman who must aim and fire most precisely. A par on #18 probably guarantees bragging rights at the 19th hole. Apart from #18 and 2 or 3 other holes, length is not terribly important at Olde Mill. For most players, placement off the tees is far more significant, and thoughtful club selection — a 3 wood or hybrid — is often required. The general shaping of the holes and the use of sand bunkers as directional signals always make it clear, even on holes with blind shots, where the drive and approach must be played. According to Hagen Giles, “this course is living proof you don’t need 460 yards to create a great par 4 hole.” The back-to-back 11th and 12th holes on the backside are perfect examples, where the directional changes with the doglegs, eleva-

tion changes and the natural ravine in front of the angled green on number 12, turn modest holes of 343 and 350 yards into superb par fours. The same is true of the visually intimidating downhill #10, where the drive must reach a peninsula well below the tee, then proceed to an elevated green only 342 or 373 yards away, from the white or blue tees, respectively. On the other hand, though the greens are fairly small, on the average 5000 yards, and usually straightforward, when players reach the putting surfaces they are often close to the holes and have a fairly straight putt for birdie or par. The greens were in splendid condition and rolled true virtually all the time while I visited, so that good putters should score well at Olde Mill. As might be expected of proteges of Donald Ross, the Maples’ greenside mounding and collection areas require sharp pitching and chipping skills.

Let me conclude with a final note about the aesthetics at Olde Mill. Large rocks from the property are strategically placed throughout the course, sometimes as directional signals, sometimes to create pathways and steps to tees. Natural features of the mountainous environment are often preserved, such as the small natural ravine guarding #12’s green and the rocky outcroppings on #5, especially near the green, to enhance the golfer’s sensual experience of the course, without interfering with its playability. And the ingenuity of the Maples’ determination to hide cart paths throughout the course not only removed those annoying sights but, as on the route from #12’s green to 13’s tee and on the canopied trail up to the elevated final tee, provide amusing, unexpected, and enchanting woodland rides.

Get ThorGuard “There is no place safe outside in a thunderstorm.”

Contact Meteorologist Ben Woods

BE 804-517-2486 3 Virginia Golf Report •

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Santee Cooper Country Club

Gateway to the Lowcountry


SANTEE, S.C. — There are pros and cons to being known as “America’s Value Golf Destination.” Santee, S.C., (population 800) is located on the south shore of picturesque Lake Marion just off Interstate 95. Long before the interstate rolled through town, however, Santee had been considered a pit stop for northerners heading further south. Today, Santee has forged a reputation as a must-stop for golfers. For starters, Santee is not hard to find. “Get on I-95 and turn left, it’s a straight shot,” laughs Bill Clark, whose family has spearheaded Santee development since the mid1900s. In one exit, golfers find themselves less than five minutes from three lakeside golf courses, with an additional 14 layouts within a half-hour drive. And while the Santee price tag may appear no frills, those hoping to enjoy scenic, unhurried golf, good food and clean accommodations — without spending lots of money nor time in

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For decades, tiny Santee, S.C., has slowly

but surely carved a niche as one of America’s best golf destinations for the money.

the car — will have it made. Santee offers quality, value and convenience, which is why more than 50,000 golfers arrive from northern destinations each year. For as little as $55 (low season), they get a nice room, a round of golf with a cart on one of the area’s 17 courses — and for good measure a tasty, home-cooked breakfast to kick-start their day. The con? Prospective visitors planning their golf getaway often look at Santee’s blue-collar rates and question the quality of golf. The pros? In Santee, you get good, quality golf on well-maintained and over-seeded courses. And golfers feel more appreciated, their trips are not as expensive and they tend to return year after year. In fact, that is what makes Santee different than most golf destinations. The cast of characters who have meticulously and lovingly nurtured this sleepy little lakeside outpost in the South Carolina Lowcountry have always preferred having a host of happy golfers to Top 100 rankings and


Santee Cooper Country Club

Photo courtesy of R. Wooten/Impact Golf Marketing

Photo courtesy of R. Wooten/Impact Golf Marketing

South Carolina

empty fairways. Which is why, when the bottom began to fall out of the economy — as opposed to the Palmetto State’s more popular and luxurious resort destinations such as Charleston, Hilton Head or Myrtle Beach — Santee not only survived, but also thrived. First, the golf: Seventeen courses within one hour of one another. The three courses located in town, less than a mile apart, Santee National, Santee Cooper Country Club and Lake Marion, offer wide fairways, challenging greens, water hazards and impeccable maintenance, and have all been upgraded through the years. “Country-club good looks and municipal-course pricing,” gushed a recent Canadian publication. Five of the courses are a little more than a 4 iron away on the north side of Lake Marion, (20 minutes), the must-plays headed by the Tom Jackson-designed Wyboo Golf Club near Manning, S.C., and the Players Course at Wyboo Plantation. If those weren’t

enough, with I-26 just a few more miles down the road, golfers can make a short day trip to Charleston and play the likes of The Links at Stono Ferry, Legend Oaks, Westcott Plantation and Charleston National to name a few. Of course, golfers need fuel for their engines between rounds of golf, and Santee offers a unique collection of dining and nightlife options that add plenty of smalltown character. There is Clark’s Inn and Restaurant, with its gingerbread appearance, and fried chicken and cobbler specialties, while Lone Star is more of a buffet-style eatery. The Jack Daniels steak at Coasters will rival most cuts of meat along the east coast, while the fish and prime rib at Captain Kirk’s are equally tasty. And when it’s time to rest one’s head and dream of the next day’s round, Santee offers up approximately 1,200 hotel, motel and spacious villa style accommodations. Find more info at www.SanteeTourism. com. Specific golf packages are available at and


Play Your Best Golf !


Be the Best You Can Be

Putting: The Game Within The Game By aDaM SMitH, PGa Contributing Editor


uring the winter months, practicing your golf game outdoors is always a matter of having good weather. When the sun is shining and the temperature outside is above 40 degrees, most avid golfers will get out and work on their game. But when conditions are not good during the off season, you can still keep your golf game sharp by dedicating some time to practicing your putting! Mr. Hogan called putting, “the game within the game.” Competitive golfers who have the lowest number of putts shoot the lowest scores and are usually the highest up on the leader board. Nobody knows this better than PGA Tour professionals who compete against one another week after week. When you think about it, all of these great tour pros hit the ball with similar perfection. They are down the middle of the fairway with consistency. They get in trouble, but they get out unscathed. They hit many greens in regulation. But the one thing that sets them apart from one another is how well they putt. One-putting on the greens for birdie and to save par is the name of the game. My advice to every golfer who wants to play their best is to purchase a putting carpet for your home and set aside some time on a regular basis to practice putting. Here are some putting tips and practice exercises to get you going: Lay out your putting carpet in comfortable environment, free from interruptions. Turn on some music if you like, to encourage a relaxing, enjoyable mood. Practice with the putter and type of golf balls that you will use on the golf course.


row, putt three from six feet. When you make three in a row from six feet, move back to nine feet and make three in a row. With the sticks laid down to help you guide your putter head and a putting stroke that is equal in length going back and going through, all you need to think and feel is the “one / two” tempo. Putting is all about confidence in yourself. When you practice properly, you will see more putts drop. When you see more putts drop, you become motivated, encouraged and more confident. Take advantage of the inclement weather during the off season by working on your putting game. Make it a fun exercise on a daily basis! The time that you put in practicing putting indoors will pay off for you on the greens. Your scores will improve! Enjoy!

Remember these simple “set up” tips for success: 1. 2. 3.

Use soft grip pressure. Play the ball one inch forward from the center of your stance. Flex your knees slightly, keep your back straight and bend from the waist.

Here are some simple “stroke” tips for success: 1. 2. 3.

Keep the putter head low to the ground going back. Make the back swing and the through swing equal in length. Think about your stroke TEMPO, like a clock ticking, “one / two.”

Here are a couple of exercises to do when practicing your putting. First, lay two alignment sticks down, parallel to each other, four inches apart and aimed directly at the hole. Place each golf ball in the center of these alignment sticks. Practice putting straight back and straight through, between these sticks. Make sure you follow through with the same length as your take away. Think “one / two.” Notice how square your putter face remains as you stroke each putt to the hole. Next, practice your consistency. Putt three golf balls, one at a time, from three feet. Once you make three in a

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Ellie Smith, age 9, sharpening her putting game indoors.


Virginia Tech wins VCU Shootout By PARKER REYNOLDS

irginia Tech shot a final round 291 to erase a seven shot deficit and win the VCU Shootout played at Hermitage Country Club’s Manakin course. The Hokies were led by senior Mikey Moyers, of Stanardsville, who shot a tournament best round of 68 in the final round; a day that saw only five golfers break par. Moyers and teammate Scott Vincent, a former winner of the Valentine Invitational played at Hermitage, both finished tied for fifth individually. Richmonder Bryce Chalkley, a junior at Virginia Tech, shot 75-75-78 to finish tied for 29th. The University of Richmond finished sixth with Colin McDade leading the way with a 7th place finish. One shot behind was Spider senior Daniel Walker. Walker, from Earlysville, shot 74-70-76 to finish tied for 8th. Midlothian’s Nick Austin, a senior at Richmond, finished 32nd. Steffen Harm, a freshman at VCU, shot 72-76-78 to help VCU finish 8th as a team. Matt Ball, Jr., finished tied for 29th for VCU. Maryland’s Sean Bosdosh was medalist with rounds of 70-71-71, 4-under par.



Virginia Tech’s Mikey Moyers(L) and Bryce Chalkley turned in solid fall seasons for the Hokies.

Moyers and Chalkley key in Hokies strong fall season By PARKER REYNOLDS


irginia Tech started the season on a tear by winning their opening two events, the Marshall Invitational in West Virginia and the VCU Shootout in Richmond. Playing a key role for the Hokies were central Virginian’s Mikey Moyers and Bryce Chalkley. In the opening tournament both Moyers and

Spider women win Wendy’s Invitational


t didn’t take long for new University of Richmond women’s golf coach Maggie Will to pick up her first collegiate Coach Maggie Will victory as a head coach. Will took over the program prior to the start of the fall season and led the team to only the second team title in the history of the program

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when they won the Wendy’s Invitational played in Charleston, SC. Richmond shot a three round total of 893, 29-over par, and won by twelve shots over Wofford. “It was awesome,” said Will. “Winning is always fun.” The win came on the heels of a successful opening tournament at Greensboro where Richmond set a then team record three round total of 900. “Opening the year at Greensboro against a strong field and finishing so well there really helped


Chalkley finished tied for 10th individually. Moyers, a senior from Stanardsville, shot 6869-75, while Chalkey, a junior from Richmond, shot 70-68-74. Virginia Tech won by 17 shots. At the VCU Shootout, played at Hermitage CC, Tech trailed entering the final round. Their comeback team title was led

our momentum going into the Wendy’s,” said Will, who credited the team with overall improvement in course management and their short games. Will, a former player on the LPGA Tour, had played the Rivertowne course when she played professionally and used her previous knowledge of the course to prepare her team for the tournament. Senior Tracy Martin shot rounds of 70-73-72 to win medalist honors at the event, the second

by Moyers’ final round 68. He finished tied for fifth after rounds of 72-77-68. Chalkley finished tied for 29th. For the five tournaments played, Moyers finished with a 72.33 scoring average while Chalkley completed the fall schedule with an average of 73.27.

title of her career at Richmond. Courtney Rousse finished tied for 5th and former Dinwiddie High star Viviana Perez finished tied for 16th. “I am so proud of them and excited for them,” said Will, who formerly was an assistant coach at UNC Wilmington and NC State University. “Their belief in the process and self-discipline have been impressive. They tell me that they are happy with their success, but hungry for more.”


Photo courtesy of Tom Wywrot/University of Michigan

O’Neill shines in opening semester at Michigan, despite adversity


Would like to thank our 2012 Advertisers That make it possible for us to promote the central Virginia golf scene.

By Patrick k. kane


ormer Deep Run High School grad Chris O’Neill, of Glen Allen, opened his freshman campaign on a solid note when he not only successfully qualified for all five fall tournaments on the Wolverines’ schedule, but played in the number one position in several events as well. O’Neill’s head coach at Michigan, Chris Whitten, is not that surprised by the smooth transition that has taken place so far. “Chris was highly recruited nationally as a junior player, so we knew he was capable of great golf, but I always temper the expectations for freshmen a little bit,” said Whitten. “He has adjusted beautifully to college and life at Michigan, so his golf has been very good. We recruited him to make an impact in the lineup right away and he’s certainly done that.” O’Neill’s top finish came at the Windon Memorial Classic where he shot rounds of 72-72-74 to finish tied for fifth. At the Alister MacKenzie Invitational O’Neill shot impressive rounds of 69-70-71 to finish tied for 14th. That performance helped the Dominion Club’s men’s club champion, earn Big Ten Conference Golfer of the Week honors. Whitten is impressed by the way O’Neill has taken feedback in his quest to get even better. “Chris wants to improve and play great,” said Whitten. “To me, this game is all about consistent improvement, and with the way Chris has bought in, I only see him making

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huge jumps forward.” What makes his on-course feats even more impressive is knowing what O’Neill was dealing with off the course. On September 30th, his father Jim, who introduced Chris and his younger brother Brian to the game, was involved in a near-fatal motorcycle accident. After being struck by a tractor-trailer, he was air flighted to UVA. Jim O’Neill broke 13 bones, including four vertebrae, multiple bones in his hip, shoulder and hand, as well as suffering a traumatic brain injury. “Thankfully, Chris was present when his dad first woke up five days after the accident,” said Leigh O’Neill, Chris’s mom. While he still remains in a rehab hospital, doctors are optimistic that Jim O’Neill will eventually make a full recovery. Being a freshman in college is never easy. There are so many distractions. Away from home for the first time, 600 miles away, trying to fit in, trying to keep up with schoolwork, trying to play good golf at unfamiliar golf courses. Chris O’Neill has done all of those and dealt with his dad’s horrific accident. “Understandably, Jim and I are incredibly proud of what Chris has accomplished during his freshman year under some very difficult circumstances,” said Leigh O’Neill.


Providence Golf Club Tobacco Road Travel Richmond Putting Greens Dogwood Trace Golf Course Richmond Junior Golf Tour Traditional Golf Properties Medarva/Stony Point Surgery Center Britannia Golf OBX Golf Travel Pinehurst Convention and Visitors Bureau Mulligans Golf Shop The Club at Viniterra ThorGuard Bobby Lopez/Quick Fix Golf Belmont Golf Course The Dominion Club Matt Ball, PGA Mass Mutual Finance Group Cleveland Golf Wes Swope, PGA Steve White/Claris Financial Cobra/Puma The Club at Ironwood Dona Lerner Golf Cavalier Golf Camp U of R Junior Golf Camp Kandi Comer Golf Eagle Classic Robins Junior Golf Program Bogeys Sports Park Junior Camps Tournament Golf Association of America College Prep Golf Tour Pro Golf IQ ForeGolf Up to Par Marketing

Special thanks to central Virginia’s private and public golf courses, resorts, golf retail shops, and many other establishments that help distribute Virginia Golf Report to golfers.


Schuller wins MAPGA Tournament of Champions



hester resident Rick Schuller, the director of instruction at Swader’s Sports Park in Prince George, shot 67-72 at The Homestead Resort’s Cascades course, to win the Middle Atlantic PGA section’s Tournament of Champions. Schuller, the defending champion, topped Brendan Hawkins 11th at PGA McGrath and Chip Assistant Championship Sullivan by two shots. Willow Oaks CC Willow Oaks assistant assistant professional professional Patrick Patrick Hawkins shot Hawkins shot 69-74 to 70-71-75-69 to finfinish tied for fourth. ish tied for 11th at the In the senior PGA Assistant Chamdivision(over 50) Bud pionship played in Lintelman shot 70-70 Port St. Lucie, Florida. to win by two over Hawkins represented John Francisco. Other the MAPGA as the asarea professionals in sistant champion of the the field included Dean Southern Chapter. Sumner of Quinton Oaks in Callao who tied for 6th(7475), Tim White of Lake Chesdin G.C., who finished 10th(80-71), and Dan Baker, who finished 11th(76-78).

Jeff Staton takes new position at Hunting Hawk


ongtime Belmont Golf Course head professional Jeff Staton, was recently named the Director of Golf Operations at Hunting Hawk Golf Club in Glen Allen. Hunting Hawk is a public facility located on Ashland Road on property that backs up to parts of the Wyndham neighborhood in Richmond’s west end. Hunting Hawk is owned by HH Hunt and was built in 2000 by architect Bill Love. “I’m really excited for the opportunity to move to Hunting Hawk Golf Club,” said Staton, who was at Belmont for 22 years. “It’s a wonderful facility and a great golfing experience. It’s also an honor to be working with T.W. Pulliam, the Director of Golf at The Dominion Club which is our sister course.”

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 Virginia Golf Report •

Champions ‘1




Mills Godwin High School captures state AAA team title Anderson wins state

Photo courtesy of Sue Pike

“It’s a good feeling for the guys to know that if they are playing poorly somebody else will pick them up.” Godwin’s five shot victory over Chantilly High was perhaps made even more gratifying by the fact that Chantilly had nipped Godwin by a shot in the VSGA High School Invitational played at Independence in the early days of the season. But Hoy pointed to how his team reacted to that defeat, immediately after playing. Instead of sitting around and moping, or wanting to leave, Hoy’s team found their way to the short-game practice area where the coach, after more than an hour of practice and then even more on the putting green, had to tell them to shut it down for the day. After the mini-district’s at The Hollows, an early season tournament that Mills Godwin won for the first time in years, Hoy was asked to help with some administrative duties in the clubhouse. He told the team to wait for him in the parking lot so they could caravan home together. When he walked out he couldn’t find the team and thought they had left, which didn’t make him happy. Instead, he found them practicing on the putting green. “Both of those situations showed me what a really, really hard working group this was,” said Hoy, who now has five state high school titles as Mills Godwin’s golf coach. “A lot of teams, after a tough loss or a big win are ready to go home. Not this group.” And as the old saying goes, the hard work paid off in the end.

Standing left to right: Colton Grow, Brian Hill, Wes Pike, Tyler Bennett, Coach Hoy. Kneeling: Mark Lawrence, Curt Kennedy.


ometimes a coach can tell when they have a special group that is willing to do the right things and work hard towards a team goal. That was the case for Mills Godwin golf coach Tom Hoy, who saw signs from the beginning of the season that this years team was special. “Every group is different,” said Hoy. “But this group was one of the hardest working teams that I have been a part of. They showed me early on that they were committed to putting in the work that would help them succeed.” The hard work paid off when Hoy’s team shot a two day total of 592 to win the Group AAA state team championship played at Red Wing GC in Virginia Beach. Godwin was led by sophomore Mark Lawrence, the Group AAA individual champion in 2011. Lawrence struggled on the greens in round one and carded a 75 which hurt his chances to repeat. But the young leader stepped up on day two with a 3-under par round of 69 which anchored the teams’ second round 294. “It’s just a great feeling,” said Lawrence on winning the team title. “Words cannot describe what winning this means. We felt like we had

29 Virginia Golf Report •

Champions ‘12

the potential to win if we all played our games so to do that and get coach Hoy another championship is really special.” Other members of the Mills Godwin team included Curt Kennedy(72-73), Brian Hill(75-76), Colton Grow(7677), Wes Pike(82-76) and Tyler Bennett(87-77). Lawrence was impressed with how everyone stepped up, especially Kennedy, who started the year hot but had been in a small slump coming into the tournament. “Kurt hadn’t been playing his best and was struggling to get back to where his game had been earlier in the season,” said Lawrence. “I could see him gaining confidence during the practice round and he just carried that into the first round.” Even the best teams typically struggle to get help from the number five and six players in the lineup. Coach Hoy had the luxury of all six players being able to contribute each round which he felt was a key in winning the title. “To be able to throw out two 77’s in the final round—with all that pressure—is really amazing and shows how everyone stepped up,” said Hoy on his teams final round play.


AAA individual title


anchester High School junior Lyberty Anderson won the Group AAA state golf title in dramatic fashion when she eagled the final hole at Red Wing GC in Virginia Beach. Anderson’s two round total of 137(69-68) allowed her to join former northern Virginia junior sensation and current LPGA Tour member Jenny Suh as girls that have captured this crown. “It definitely feels great to win the state title and bring it back home to Manchester,” said Anderson, playing in the event as an individual competitor after her team failed to qualify for the state finals. “I’m proud to be a Lancer and represent my school. It feels especially awesome because it was a goal I had set for myself at the beginning of the season and to achieve a goal is one of the greatest feelings.” Anderson arrived at the final hole(9th hole after starting on the back nine)one shot behind James River High’s Jason Park. Park, also playing as an individual competitor, had opened with a 68 to lead Anderson by one heading into the final round. Park had just birdied his 17th hole(8th) to put his lead at one with one to go which set up the final hole dramatics. “I had about 215 yards to the pin,” said Anderson describing her second shot on the par 5 final hole. She knocked a hybrid on the green to about 12 feet. Park had a birdie putt from outside of Anderson’s and just missed before the clinching putt. “I had a putt that broke a little right and I struck it perfectly,” said Anderson, a three-time RWGA Women’s Amateur champion. “I knew about halfway to the hole that it was in.” Anderson played a golf course that was approximately 5600 yards which was in the ballpark of the VHSL requirement of 85% of the total yardage(6600 yards for boys). The 5600 yards is actually shorter, according to Anderson, than the 6000 to 6400 yards played in typical junior girls golf tournaments. The shorter course no doubt played into the hands of the long-hitting Anderson who has verbally committed to play college golf for the University of Virginia. The victory gives Anderson two state individual titles after capturing the girls crown as a freshman in 2010. VGR PHOTO FILES

Hard working group gives Coach Hoy 5th state golf championship

Portyrata ties for second In VHSL Girls Open Abby Portyrata, defending champion at the VHSL Girls Open Championship, shot 73-74 to finish two shots behind winner Shannon Brooks. Portyrata plays for Clover Hill High School in Midlothian. Emily Salamy of Jamestown High in Williamsburg, finished tied for fourth with rounds of 76-75. Teammate Christine Herbert shot 76-79 to finish 10th. The event took place at Laurel Hill Golf Club in Fairfax County.


Roadmap for Junior Golfers

(and the Parents that love them) Stop #5: “Ace”

Craig Wood, PGA is the Director of Youth Programs at The First Tee of Chesterfield. Craig is a First Tee Coach and National Trainer with The First Tee Organization with over 18 years experience in golf instruction, the last 9 specializing in coaching junior golfers. Paul Sargent, PGA is the Director of Golf at The First Tee of Chesterfield who, over his 15 years in golf instruction, has watched many of his junior students go on to college golf and has worked with both current and past Virginia state high school golf champions.

Craig Wood

This is the fifth installment of a five-part series dealing with the different stages in the career of the junior golfer. We will address topics related to early exposure to competitive junior golf and college preparedness. If you are a parent, we hope you will find this series helpful in your attempts to support your child’s passion for golf. If you are a junior golfer of any level, we hope the information in this series will be helpful in achieving your golf goals! Each part of the series will be named for one of the levels of progression within The First Tee Certification Program.

Finding Your “Comfort Zone” (Par)

Introduction to the Game (PLAYer)


amed after the fifth level of The First Tee Certification Program, “Ace” is our fifth and final stop on the roadmap of junior golf. At this stop, our junior golfers may be interested in developing their golf ability to the maximum, and their goals may include playing on the local high school team or even playing college golf. Most often, this leap of ability will require a mastery and application of the skills learned in previous stages. In addition, young adults at the Ace Level are now at a phase in their lives where they can cast an eye toward the future and what that may have in store. When a junior rises to the Ace Level in his or her golfing career, most of the physical golf skills will be in place and the success of the player will be more related to the amount of confidence he or she has built up to that point than to any elusive “breakthrough” swing change. The junior must come to know the beauty of their own method and its strengths and weaknesses, playing toward those strong points and working to improve the areas of difficulty. We all play our best when we

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Testing Your Skills (Eagle)

The Next Level (Ace) Plan for Success (Birdie)

feel validated in our approach to the game, accept that there are many different but equally effective methods to play, and focus our energy on getting the most out of the tools we have brought to the course any given day. Many juniors must be coached into this way of thinking because they have been inundated with golf tips from magazines or the Golf Channel which promise that the path to success is just one swing change or gadget away. Some are convinced that if they simply model their swings after the current number one player in the world, they will inevitably play like a champion. Nothing could be further from the truth, and it is up to the most important and trusted individuals in a junior golfer’s life to instill the idea that confidence and belief will always outlast raw, detached mechanics. The Ace level is also a time for juniors to think about the role that golf will play in their lives moving forward. Some will be working hard to achieve goals within the game itself, while others may have come to the realization that their skill in the game may serve


Paul Sargent

them in other ways outside of the “ropes.” No matter what the role of golf may be in our juniors’ lives, it is important to acknowledge that it can be a sport for a lifetime and provide a meaningful social and personal outlet. Junior golfers at this level should also take time to recognize the contributions and opportunities that have allowed them to progress to their current level. They should also be encouraged to find a way to give back. This act of gratitude may be to the individuals who helped along the way, or to an organization that may have provided possibilities and support. Giving back to the game of golf can come in many forms such as involvement in community events, volunteering with a worthy organization, or peer mentoring. This act of giving not only builds good citizens, but builds the character that will serve them well later in life on and off the golf course. In conclusion, the road from first picking up a golf club to the possibility of teeing it up in the US Open is a long one. However, it can be a road filled with many

good memories, lifelong friendships, learning opportunities, and the satisfaction of playing the most challenging game on earth! The outline we have forged over the past five installments of this series can give your aspiring junior golfer a framework for future success. Whether that success lies on the golf course, the business world or somewhere else, the principles outlined through this series and The First Tee Program are universally applicable. If you would like to know more about The First Tee and our mission to positively impact our nation’s youth, please visit our chapter website at or stop by either our Chesterfield or downtown Richmond facilities. Thank you for reading and good luck in your future walks down the fairway!

Mark Slawter

Tournament Scheduling – What are College Coaches looking for?


k junior golf parents, I know this is a topic you are deeply involved with……AJGA, CGA, VSGA, USGA, TGF, NCJGF, EJGA, NJGC, and on and on and on…..I will say this, junior golfers today have it pretty good. They could literally play in a golf tournament fifty-two weeks a year! That being said it becomes a massive headache for junior golf families to develop a strategy with their tournament scheduling. So (as many of my clients like to put it), how do we put the jigsaw puzzle together? Let’s get this out of the way first: Yes, rankings do matter. However, they are NOT everything. Coaches do reference rankings frequently in order to update their databases. However, they will never take player #1 over player #2 just because he/she is ranked higher. They will take a harder look at recent scores and finishes to formulate opinions of individual players. Here is what coaches want to see: • Improving scores – They understand junior golfers are young and developing. The main thing they look for is steady improvement. • Good finishes – Top ten and top five finishes are important. Winning always looks good too. • Decent/strong fields – They want to see you play mainly against common to better competition. • Tournaments played on a variety of golf courses – Junior golf visits similar golf courses so be careful not to play the same venues too often. It’s certainly ok to go back to courses you like, but it’s also important to diversify the courses you play. • A year round schedule – College golf is played in the fall and spring, so

Founder Straight Shot to College Golf Wake Forest, NC 919.345.3768

make sure you supplement your summer schedule with plenty of fall/winter/ spring golf. Proving you can play in all conditions is vital. My advice would be to consider your junior golfers current development. If they are still relatively new to tournament golf (scores of 75 and higher), I would suggest a fair amount of local and state events. For a player who is more advanced (scores of 75 and under), I would suggest a mixture of state, regional, and national events. It is important for kids to feel comfortable as they learn to play tournament golf. As their success in tournaments increases, it’s certainly ok to challenge them in bigger events. However, only playing in “big” events can be detrimental to some junior golfers if they are not able to experience success. Include your junior golfer when discussing tournament scheduling. Allow them to pick and choose events that excite them. Don’t worry about traveling all over the country to play in tournaments, there are plenty of quality events right here in our back yard. Our state golf associations run very high quality junior events and coaches like to come to these events to recruit. There are also plenty of other tours that play year round events on good golf courses nearby. Congratulations to all of the junior golfers in our area for a fantastic 2012! The quality of golf being played continues to amaze me. The game is in good hands! Mark Slawter is the Founder of Straight Shot to College Golf, a service that assists juniors in their quest to play college golf. Slawter played collegiately for North Carolina State University where he was named an All-American in 1994. He was also a three time All-ACC selection and played professionally for six years.

Happy Holidays from the Richmond Junior Golf Tour!

Since 1997

Thank you to our 2012 supportive member clubs! The Hollows Royal New Kent Kiskiak Golf Club The Crossings Brickshire Golf Club Dogwood Trace Golf Course Stonehouse

Richmond Country Club The Highlands Golf Club Stonehenge Country Club The Federal Club Jefferson-Lakeside Country Club Providence Golf Club Hanover Country Club Meadowbrook Country Club Stay tuned for an exciting First Tee of Chesterfield 2013! Lake Chesdin Golf Club

Register Online!

Richmond Junior Golf Tour on 31 Virginia Golf Report •

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