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tri-state

spring 2011

mccullough's

emerald

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tri-state golfer inside this issue • spring 2011

Tri-State Golfer Magazine Publisher

Joe Burkhardt Advertising Sales (Eastern PA / NJ / DE / MD)

Joe Burkhardt 610.755.8767 tristategolf@gmail.com

Contributing Writers

rob gamburg Nate oxman bernie sheridan

graphic design/art direction

garo yepremian Jr. —garojrdesign.com—

Contributing Associations

USGA North Coast Golf Show

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McCullough’s emerald golf links Innovative Old School Experience

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atlantic city world amateur open “Always Turned On” City Hosts Inaugural Event

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extra holes Skippack’s Farmhouse Restaurant– Raring to Go

PO Box 341 Drexel Hill, PA 19026

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day trippin’ Delaware Park– Unparalled Recreation & Service Tri-State Golfer is published quarterly with issues in January, April, July, and September. Tri-State Golfer is a complimentary magazine available at public and private courses throughout the tri-state area. Any opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher or Tri-State Golfeer Magazine. The information in this issue was accurate at the time of publication. All should be confirmed with the golf facility before making tee times and reservations.

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from the golf shop Golf By Design, in the King of Prussia Mall

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philadelphia publinks 2011 Tournament Schedule

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Golfweek amateur tour Debuts in Philadelphia Metro


cover story

emerald

mccullough's

golf links

offers an innovative old school experience

I

By Nate Oxman

n 1914 a young doctor who had just begun to dabble in golf course architecture submitted an entry into a Country Life Magazine contest to design a par 4. The winning entry would be included in the layout of Lido Golf Club, a much-anticipated C.B. McDonald/Seth Raynor project on Long Island, N.Y. The doctor won and his design became Lido’s finishing hole, effectively igniting the career of the legendary Dr. Alister McKenzie. However, while McKenzie would go on to design iconic courses like Cypress Point, Crystal Downs, and Augusta National, Lido Golf Club and McKenzie’s par-4 creation vanished 30 years later, the victim of World War II, when the club’s founders lost interest in the project and sought other ventures. The U.S. Navy eventually took control of Long Island and Lido Golf Club was no more, thus depriving the golf world of playing one of the most ingenious and enjoyable golf holes ever conceptualized. That was the case for roughly 60 years anyway, until Maplewood, N.J. native Stephen Kay was hired to help transform a former landfill into a golf course. The seventh hole at McCullough’s Emerald Golf Links is a par 4 that plays up to a ferocious 464 yards. It boasts a beastly waste area that envelops an island fairway, forcing the faint of heart to take the safe route and play up the wide fairway that runs up the right side of the hole. The daring on the other hand will try to slay the waste monster and be rewarded with a straight, shorter approach into the green. The hole epitomizes the unrivaled experience at McCullough’s, the Egg

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tri-state golfer • spring 2011

Harbor Township, N.J municipal course conceived by mayor James “Sonny” McCullough way back in 1986. After the landfill was closed and properly covered, McCullough established a non-partisan group of citizens to generate ideas for use of the land. Initials ideas of playing fields and a township park were nixed. Egg Harbor already had plenty of ball fields and the group didn’t want children playing on top of the landfill. What the township needed was a golf course. “And at the time there were only a few courses around and three of them, Seaview, Atlantic City Country Club and Linwood [Country Club], were private,”

said McCullough. “The casino business was going strong and most of the public golf courses around were pretty pricey so the [citizens’] concept was, ‘Let’s develop a golf course that would provide quality golf at a reasonable rate to the general public.’” A non-golfer, McCullough consulted the owner of a nearby private club. He brought the owner to the 200-acre site and showed him the canvas, including a

point of elevation that was unparalleled in South Jersey. “Knowing nothing about golf, I’m looking at this 100-foot elevation thinking, ‘How the heck are people going to play golf here?’ So the day the landfill closed I took him to the very top of the highest point and he said, ‘This could be one of the finest golf courses in the state because everything else is flat. This could be extraordinary.’” While the vision was in place, McCullough, the longest-tenured mayor in the 300-year history of Egg Harbor Township, was forced to battle through 16 years of political headaches and opposition, persevering throughout until the vision finally became a reality when the golf course opened on June 24, 2002. The result was exactly what that private club owner had himself envisioned thanks to the imagination of Kay, whose links-style layout has become one of the most distinctive golf courses in the tristate area. Paying homage to some of the most historic and respected courses in Scotland and Ireland including St. Andrew’s, Carnoustie, Turnberry, Royal Dornoch, Prestwick and Royal County Down, Kay crafted something truly remarkable. McCullough’s opens with a straightaway


par 4 that plays 432 yards from the tournament (longest set) of tees and was modeled after the first hole at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland. The fun officially begins at the 489-yard par-5 third hole that from an elevated tee requires a carry of about 240 yards (210 from white tees) over a fearsome wall of fairway bunkers. At the 150-yard mark, the fairway then climbs uphill toward a green guarded by a false front and bunkers with steep faces. The 372-yard fourth is another fun par 4 that at just 323 yards from the white tees, uses a set of fairway bunkers roughly 60 yards short of the green to eagerly gobble up any tee balls from big hitters looking for an easy birdie. The outstanding stretch continues from the fifth, a hefty 236-yard par 3 inspired by the 16th hole at Carnoustie, through the 13th, another knee-knocking one-shotter that plays significantly downhill to a green fronted by the sparkling Henry Pond and featuring a bowl-shaped depression. “When we have outings a lot of people love when we put the pin in the bowl in the green,“ said General Manager Tom Sullivan. “They get excited because they think they have a better chance of getting a hole-in-one.” In between the aforementioned par 3s is Kay’s interpretation of Mackenzie’s Country Life contest winner at the 464yard par-4 seventh. The No. 1 handicap hole makes players muster up the

courage to test the wicked waste area that surrounds an island fairway or take the safe route and play up the alternate fairway on the right side. “The difference between the intended design that Alister Mackenzie put together and the design on our golf course is the waste area was supposed to be the Atlantic Ocean,” said Sullivan of the hole originally a part of Lido Golf Club on Long Island. “It’s a fun hole.” Golf Digest Architecture Editor Ron Whitten agreed, naming McCullough’s seventh hole as one of the most 18 fun holes you can play in America in the January 2011 issue of the magazine. The perch atop the elevated tee box at the 414-yard par-4 eighth hole mesmerizes players with views of Miller Lake flanked by the 18th fairway to the left and the 8th fairway to the right. The backdrop of McCullough’s Emerald Golf Links’ clubhouse and the adjacent pub and restaurant is breathtaking as well. Finishing the front nine is yet another jaw-dropping golf hole, a mid-length par 3 adapted from Royal Dornoch’s 10th hole (172 yards from tournament tees) featuring another elevated tee with a dramatic view of the quaint clubhouse behind a green guarded in front by a string of bunkers. “McCullough’s is a memorable golf course,” said Sullivan. “Most golf courses you play you remember one or two holes, but I think if you come to McCullough’s, there are going to be

five, six, seven holes that you’re going to remember when you walk away.” And that may just be on the front nine. The 11th is a short (341 yards), birdie-able par 4 for members and loyal guests who know just how to navigate the totally blind, uphill tee shot. Firsttimers who guess wrong and miss right may need climbing rope and crampons to play up the steep slope right of the fairway. One of the most gripping golf holes you’ll find anywhere awaits at the muchadored 443-yard par-4 12th with its rolling fairway framed by impressive mounding on the left side and a series of bunkers running up the right. And then there are the views from the tee box. “On a nice clear day you can see the Atlantic City skyline from the tee,” said Sullivan. “When you look at it, you know that it’s a challenging hole. It actually looks like a par 5 when you’re standing tri-state golfer • spring 2011

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on the tee box, but when you hit your drive you realize it’s a little shorter than that. But the challenge is that the hole is completely about the drive because if you hit it a little left or you hit it a little right, you’re going to be in trouble. You really need a good tee shot and wind is usually going to be a factor because you’re basically at the highest point of both the golf course and Atlantic County as well.” Wrapping up another notable stretch from 14 through 18 is one of the finest finishing holes around. A well-placed tee shot is a must to avoid Miller Lake (right) and out of bounds (left) that line both sides of the undulating fairway at the 358-yard par-4 18th. Links golf is a refreshing alternative to the plethora of pine tree-dominated golf courses in South Jersey and McCullough’s offers an authentic experience. “I find that if you are a lover of links golf courses, you’re going to really enjoy McCullough’s Emerald Golf Links,” said Sullivan. “I talk to a lot of golfers who have been over to Ireland or Scotland. When they come and play McCullough’s they really do see the similarity to the particular holes that they played over there. They’re not exact replicas, but they’re inspired by each particular hole in Ireland or Scotland. You can definitely see the similarities.” One of those similarities includes the ever-present winds, which make the 6,535-yard, par 71 course play much longer. “It’s a tough course,” added McCullough. “It’s definitely not easy. It plays a lot longer than it measures because of the elevation and the wind. My oldest son is getting his doctorate at St. Andrew’s University and I played a couple of courses on the North Sea and then I went over and played in a golf tournament with my cousin who lives in Ireland, just outside of Dublin, and I could picture our course.” Another similarity lies in course conditions, which for 2011 are in the hands of new Superintendent Steve Lane, whose resume includes stops as an assistant at nearby Galloway

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National Golf Club, as well as head superintendent at both Twisted Dune Golf Club and Kona Resorts & CC in Hawaii. Lane will focus on maintaining the links look and feel at McCullough‘s. “It’s a standard links-style golf course where you let the outer, secondary roughs grow in and the fescues and some of the native grasses grow in,” said Lane. “And then you keep the fairways and primary roughs remain firm so it plays like a links-style course.” “He comes highly recommended,” said McCullough of Lane. “And I am predicting this will be the Torrey Pines of the east coast when he finishes what he wants to do with our golf course. We might not have the vistas like Torrey Pines does with it being on the Pacific Ocean, but when you play here during the season and everything is blooming, the grass is green, and the water is blue, it’s really spectacular. I think within a year it’s going to be one of the outstanding courses in the state of New Jersey and in the Delaware Valley.” Keeping optimal course conditions throughout the golf season is just one aspect the staff at McCullough’s knows will key the club’s success. “There are a few things that I think are really important to golfers and course condition is probably number one,” said Sullivan. “Number two is the ease of going through the golf course. Pace of play is something you need to make sure that you’re on top of, making sure that golfers don’t have to wait too long for any given shot. Also, the customer experience is huge. I think we do a really good job of anticipating and meeting the needs of our members and guests here.” In difficult economic times, affordability is a need McCullough’s continues to accommodate as well. “As far as affordability is concerned, I think we’ve always done a good job of making sure that we’re properly priced in our marketplace,” said Sullivan. “We’re a Stephen Kay-designed golf course … so we have a quality course design and a quality price [rates in peak season range

from $26 to $79]. I consider our course, when you combine the conditions with the layout, the best value in the area when you look at our prices.” Off the course, the cozy pub and restaurant with its deck overlooking the 8th and 18th fairways provides the perfect complement to links golf “It’s more of a pub-style restaurant, more of a fun atmosphere,” said Sullivan. “It’s kind of like a pub/sports bar because we do have a lot of big screen TVs in here and we have the NFL Ticket and the Major League Baseball package. So it’s a great place to go after you finish.” The fun factor remains paramount as well. “We have a fun feel here,” said Sullivan. “People feel very welcome when they come here. It’s a fun environment here at McCullough’s whether it’s dealing with our guests or just the design itself, where other places may be a little more uptight. And this season, with a little more money in our maintenance budget and going a different direction as far as some of our staffing is concerned, I think people are going to be very pleased with what McCullough’s will offer in 2011.”

For more information about McCullough’s Emerald Golf Links, including booking tee times or for membership or outings inquiries, visit www.mcculloughsgolf.com

or call 609-926-3900


Atlantic City hosts the Inaugural Atlantic City World Amateur Open Golf Tournament, June 5–9, 2011

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tlantic City is trading in their beach towels for tee times and replacing rolling chairs with golf carts for the inaugural Atlantic City World Amateur Open. The city that is “Always Turned On” is inviting amateur golfers to test their skills on some of the most prestigious golf courses in the region June 5 through 9, 2011. “Atlantic City is a one-of-a-kind destination in the United States with the beach, Boardwalk, and a collection of topnotch casinos, restaurants, shops, spas, entertainment and golf courses. My vision for bringing an event of this caliber to the region is to highlight our spectacular golfing and continue to elevate Atlantic City’s status as a premier destination on the East Coast,” said Dennis C. Gomes, Atlantic City Mayor’s Summit Special Events chairman and president/C.E.O. of Resorts Casino Hotel. The first of its kind in the region, the Atlantic City World Amateur Open is available to any amateur golfer with an established USGA handicap. The event will encompass three days of golf, a championship round and a party each night at a different casino hotel. The tournament will be hosted by the Greater Atlantic City Golf Association (acgolfvacations. com) which is a collection of leading golf courses in Southern New Jersey and has been contributing to the tourism market for the past 15 years. Borgata Casino Hotel and Spa will host a kick-off event on Sunday, June 5 and additional cocktail receptions will be held at The Pool at Harrah’s on Monday, June 6 and at Resorts Casino Hotel on Tuesday, June 7. The championship round and awards ceremony will take place on June 9 at the historical Seaview, A Dolce Resort. Continued on p.9... tri-state golfer • spring 2011

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New Golf Instruction Show on the Web

Atlantic City World Amateur Open, continued...

here’s a new golf instruction show on the web. Par Breakers Golf Academy Live premiered March 6th 2011 on www.ustream. tv. Hosted by Bernard Sheridan, founder and director of golf instruction for Par Breakers Golf Academy located in Oaks PA. The show is one of the first where you can join a chat window and ask questions about your game. Then get instruction live on the spot. Every Sunday evening at 6:00pm EST. The show will run for a half hour the first month. Then if the viewers Bernard Sheridan, CEO Par Breakers want it to be longer the show will be extended Golf Academy to a hour each week year round. The show can be viewed anywhere on the web. Even your iPhone! Just download the ustream app and you have the best golf instruction on the go. Bernard has a great way with changing the learning curve when it comes to the golf swing and has had proven results for the past 12 years. So check it out and start to take control of your game. To find out more go to www. parbreakers.com. Or email the show with topics you would like to see covered at parbreakerslive@gmail.com

“This event is a perfect fit for this region,” said Dotsie Tuscano, Chairperson of the Atlantic City World Amateur Open. “We anticipate this event drawing in participants from all across the United States. It will also showcase Atlantic City for what it is, not just as a gaming market, but a truly world class tourist destination with some of the best golf on the east coast. We are all looking forward to being part of what promises to be an exciting and high profile event.” “It all started when Dennis Gomes was appointed to spearhead special events for the resort town. Gomes’ vision of the golf event combined with Jim Fraser’s extensive golf background as founding member and past president of the Greater Atlantic City Golf Association, quickly made this unique event a reality,” explained Brian Hoey, Executive Director of Atlantic City Golf Vacations and the Greater Atlantic City Golf Association. “We have worked hard to make golf an important addition to the entertainment component of Atlantic City. With this tournament, I believe we will solidify Atlantic City’s place among the best golfing regions in the country. When you look at the individuals involved and their commitment to the region and their experience with large scale events, you have to be excited for the potential this event holds for the city.” Golfers will be broken out into age groups (Men – 49 years and under, Senior Men – 50 to 59 years, Mid Senior Men – 60 to 69 years, Super Senior Men – 70 years and older, Women – 49 years and under and Senior Women – 50 years and older) and assigned to flights of 96 players in a shotgun format. Handicaps for men will be maxed at 36.4 and women will be maxed at 36. Prizes will be awarded for the top individuals in each flight, and a fourth round championship playoff will take place for all flight winners and ties. To participate in the AC World Amateur Open, golfers should have an established USGA Slope Handicap. Entrants from outside the United States are eligible and must have equally verifiable handicaps. Cost for participation is $450 and golfers must register at www. acgolfopen.com or by calling toll free 1-877-465-3695 by May 15, 2011. Golfers and spectators can make the most out of the tournament by taking advantage of the premier accommodations at area resorts and by booking rooms online at www.acgolfopen.com. For additional details and qualifications visit the official Atlantic City World Amateur Open website at www. acgolfopen.com or call toll free 1-877-465-3695.

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tri-state golfer • spring 2011


extra holes

The Farm House Restaurant raring to go at Skippack Golf Club By Nate Oxman

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mbodying the serenity of Evansburg State Park, Skippack Golf Club has long provided one of the most unique settings for golf in the Tri-State area. As the 2011 golf season gets under way, Skippack GC is set to unleash a dining experience just as unique. Inhabiting the historic farm house that formerly hosted the club’s snack bar and dining hall will be the aptly named The Farm House Restaurant, which promises to match both the quality and tranquility of the amenities already in place at Skippack. These include the quaint 6,007-yard Par 70 golf course with Zacharias Creek snaking throughout its 18 holes, the spacious practice facility that is home to Darryl Lock’s Golf Academy and the highly-renowned Nike US Sports Camps, and the charming pavilion area that overlooks the picturesque par-3 18th hole. Set to serve lunch and dinner to golfers both before and after the round as well as to the general public, The Farm House is truly the final piece. “Between the restaurant and the golf course, which is in very good shape and very well priced, plus the Golf Academy, which does one of the top junior programs in the country, it’s hard to find a place with such a complete experience,” said General Manager Travis Lock. “We really have everything a golfer would need now.” The restaurant is in the capable hands of Lock and Director of Food and Beverage/Executive Chef Jenny Moyer Murphy, who is eager to begin spoiling patrons with her American contemporary cuisine in a casual dining environment. The Farm House will offer an absolutely idyllic outdoor setting with its patio seating set atop land that was once inhabited by the Unami, a Native American tribe that was part of the Lenni Lenape nation, and purchased by William Penn in 1684, as well as cozy indoor seating from inside the historic building that dates back to the 1820s. Highlighting the delectable dinner

menu will be an array of entrees featuring fresh fish including salmon, fresh crab, filet, and a variety of pasta dishes. Lunch options ideal both before or after a round include The Farm House Signature Salad featuring seasonal greens, fresh grilled asparagus, a manchego cheese, red onion, toasted almonds and a balsamic vinaigrette, and the Signature Burger, an 8 oz. Angus beef burger with a caramelized onion and an applewood smoked bacon chutney. An awesome selection of appetizers, including Buffalo Sliders and wings, will provide the perfect complement to a cold beer on tap or a glass of wine. “Everything is going to be fresh and flavorful,” said Murphy. “And we’re going to try to use as many local purveyors as possible. Bassett’s is a known Philadelphia brand and all of our breads will come from the Lansdale area.” The irresistible desserts include Murphy’s enticing spin on bananas foster in which the bananas are finished in a dark rum caramel sauce with Bassett’s ice cream and served with a cinnamon wonton crisp, as well as unfried ice cream that is rolled in pretzels. “We expect golfers are going to eat here,” said Lock of The Farm House. “But we’re definitely looking forward to having the public come in. With the patio and the pavilion, which is like a little outdoor bar, it’s going to be a great spot to visit throughout the golf season.” The Farm House will also offer on-site catering for golf outings and private parties of any occasion. “We have the dining hall that we redid last year,” said Lock. “In years past it was more of a picnic setting with the pavilion, which we’re still going to do, but now we can do more of a professional, table service, catered-style dining. The quality

of the food is going to be outstanding and for the price, you really can’t find a better deal.” “The restaurant and the patio really have the potential to provide a perfect place for someone who is looking for value, so they can have a great event without breaking the bank,” added Murphy. Skippack already has a variety of events scheduled for the season that will showcase its new addition, including the second annual Fore The Troops golf outing on June 4 that will help raise money for Treats for Troops, which sends care packages to troops serving all over the world. The full-day event will feature a continental breakfast, a shotgun scramble golf tournament, a buffet lunch, and a live broadcast of Tony Leodora’s GolfTalk Live radio show. “We’re still sticking to the outdoor park theme,” said Lock. “We’re just continuing to improve the overall product at Skippack. We’re pushing very hard to remain competitive. The golf course has come along really nicely. The new golf shop stands up to any public course shop out there and is even as good as some private clubs. And we really believe the restaurant is going to be something special as well.” For more information about The Farm House Restaurant and Skippack Golf Club at Evansburg State Park, visit skippackgolfclub.com For more information about the Fore the Troops Golf Outing, visit facebook.com/ForetheTroops

tri-state golfer • spring 2011

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day trippin’

Delaware Park provides unparalleled recreation, service By Nate Oxman

I

t’s the brink of spring and Delaware Park is buzzing. A dozen or so groups are taking advantage of some sweet winter rates, spending a cool sun-kissed Saturday afternoon on the golf course at White Clay Creek Country Club. Hordes of hopefuls pack the casino floor, crossing their fingers at the slot machines, raking in piles of chips at the poker tables and indulging in the park’s plethora of dining options. Patrons populate the simulcast room, clutching tickets in hand, studying programs, and punching in bets at

automated tellers. Outside in the grandstands, a handful of guests are taking a break from the casino lights, watching the crew prep the racetrack for the start of the season. It’s late March and Delaware Park is pulsating with activity, despite the official start of both the thoroughbred racing season and the golf season still a month away. Very soon, when the 74th season of racing at the Wilmington, Del. landmark kicks off on April 30, those stands will be filled to capacity four days each week (Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) through November 5, and the adjacent casino will be teeming with gamesters from all over the tri-state area. Coincidentally, the spectacular 18hole, 7,007-yard championship Arthur Hills design at White Clay Creek CC will be swarming with guests as well. They’ll all be basking in inarguably the most comprehensive recreational

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tri-state golfer • spring 2011

facility in the Delaware Valley. “That’s one thing that is pretty neat,” said Director of Golf Ryan Kidwell. “We have everything here in one location. You won’t find another place in the area that encompasses everything we have: a golf course, a casino, thoroughbred racing, simulcast racing, NFL parlay betting, multiple restaurants to dine in. Delaware Park is a destination facility that allows people to spend the whole day here.” And what a day it will be. Early morning tee times at White Clay Creek are ideal for those looking to make it to the racetrack in time for the 1:15 p.m. post time. Golfers of all ability levels can enjoy this unique 2005 Arthur Hills creation that’s mature well beyond its years. “We haven’t been open that long,” said Kidwell. “However, when the idea for a golf course came about at Delaware Park, the park took a vested interest in making sure that the golf course would be built in a natural environment. At most properties there might be a piece of ground where they go in and level everything to build the golf course and then plant small trees to hopefully have mature trees 30 years later. Here, Arthur Hills took into consideration the land, White Clay Creek and Mill Creek, and worked the golf course through those features, leaving as many trees that he possibly could. Several years before the golf course opened, the park established a nursery to

grow trees and replace them back out onto the golf course. “We tried to leave the land in as natural a setting as possible,” said Kidwell. “We have a ton of wildlife out here and we tried not to disturb any of it. We have deer, fox, tons of fish - trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass in the creeks - so it’s a very, very natural setting and you’d think the golf course had been here for 20 years, which is really neat.” The exquisite course conditions come courtesy of Superintendent Carey Bailey and Director of Grounds John Mizikar. “For White Clay Creek to be successful they have to have a passion for what we’re doing here,” said Kidwell. “And both of them have a passion for this property and this golf course. And they’re both very good players. So there are many times where I’ll get together with them and we’ll go out and play nine holes and talk about the golf course, what we can do better, how we can increase rounds, how we can increase the playability of the golf course, so those two are really, really passionate

about this place. They’re passionate about where we can grow.” Five sets of tees - appropriately marked with jockey helmets - make White Clay Creek enjoyable for golfers of all ages and ability levels. Several holes are in close proximity to the racetrack, helping


day trippin’ to maintain the charming horse racing theme. “There are several places on the golf course where you can hear the call to post,” said Kidwell. “You can hear the gate open and you can really hear and also feel the thunder of the horses going down the track, which is really pretty unique.” Add in a gorgeous layout chock full of natural water hazards, elevation changes, and pristine greens and the course is just one reason to return to Delaware Park again and again. Kidwell and his staff will happily oblige as they pride themselves on providing first-class treatment to every guest who steps foot on property. “We do our best to provide terrific service,” said Kidwell. “From the staff in the golf shop to the outside staff, we want to take great care of you while you’re here. We take care of your bags from when you arrive to when you finish. Unlimited practice balls are included. We have GPS on all of our carts and fantastic locker room facilities with showers, a sauna and a steam room. So we try to really provide that country club experience for all of your guests. We want everyone to feel welcome and that philosophy has led to memberships.” White Clay Creek has bolstered its membership options to include flexible individual, family and corporate memberships (contact the club for more information) and the club and Delaware Park are also the perfect place to host a corporate or charity outing. Whether you’re a member, a guest for the day, a casino regular cashing in for green fees or golf lessons, you have full reign to enjoy the club’s private-club quality practice facility featuring bent

grass, state of the art mats for continued off-season practice, and an expansive short-game practice area. Kidwell and his staff make full use of the practice area, offering a variety of lessons, clinics, and junior programs. The club is entering its third season instructing juniors from the local YMCA and also hosts approximately 150 juniors golfers during camps in June, July and August. “It’s so much fun to work with kids,” said Kidwell. “When you see a junior golfer that has a passion for the game and really wants to work hard, that’s exciting to me because that’s the future of golf. That’s how our game is going to grow.” With a spacious indoor teaching room, Kidwell also has the capability of providing instruction on rainy days or in the winter months. The room features state of the art V1 video swing analysis technology that allows Kidwell to fit golfers with clubs from the leading manufacturers. It also enables Kidwell to show video on an oversized plasma TV, compare a student’s swing side by side with PGA Tour pros, and in the end, burn the lesson to a disc or email it to the student who can then watch the lesson complete with voiceover from Kidwell - and recall what was taught. Accompanying the golf course is the impeccable At the Rail Wine Bar and Grille, which indulges diners with delectable lunch and dinner menus - including an extensive wine selection - and also hosts an array of special events, including a can’t-miss weekly champagne brunch, lobster dinner, and beloved Easter Sunday Mother’s Day brunches. “We also specialize in weddings,” said Kidwell. “We have a fantastic banquet chef and a banquet manager that take care of every little detail from start to finish and cater to your every need.” Stop by At the Rail before or after

the round or on your way to or from the casino, which features two endless floors dotted with over 2,500 slot machines, table games including blackjack, roulette, craps, and baccarat among many, as well as a Poker Room and a Poker Tournament Room, which hosts daily and weekend tournaments. Delaware Park is also one of only three locations on the East Coast to feature NFL Parlay betting. “We get a lot of people, especially on the weekends when there is live racing, who will come to White Clay Creek for an early morning tee time, head over to the track to watch live racing, maybe check out the simulcast racing for awhile, and then come back over to the country club if they want to have a fine dining experience,“ said Kidwell. “People like to make it an entire day event here at Delaware Park.” For more information about Delaware Park, including the casino and racetrack, visit delawarepark.com or call 302-994-2521. For more information about White Clay Creek Country Club, including memberships, outings, lessons, or junior programs, visit whiteclaycreekgolfcourse.com

or call 302-994-6700 ext. 7436. For reservations or more information about At the Rail Wine Bar and Grille, visit whiteclaycreekgolfcourse.com

or call 302-994-6700 ext. 7194.

tri-state golfer • spring 2011

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Jim Mancill Named GM and Director of Golf at Hidden Creek, Mark Parson Named Head Golf Professional Club also announces new membership offering for 2011.

J

im Mancill has been named General Manager and Director of Golf at Hidden Creek Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township. Mark Parson has been elevated to head golf professional. Mancill has more than 23 years of high end, private golf club experience, serving as General Manager, Director of Golf and Head Golf Professional in previous club assignments throughout his career. Most recently, Mancill served as Director of Golf at the Governors Towne Club in Acworth, Georgia. Prior to that, Jim spent nine years at Berkeley Hall in Bluffton, South Carolina. Berkeley Hall is a private, high end 36-hole golf and Jim Mancill residential community outside of Hilton Head Island that has been named as “One of America’s 100 Premier Properties.” During his nine years at Berkeley Hall, Jim served as Director of Golf, including two seasons as Interim General Manager. Mancill is no stranger to the southern New Jersey golf scene, having spent seven seasons at Galloway National Golf Club in Galloway, NJ, where he served as Head Golf Pro and Director of Golf. Early in Jim’s career he was also on staff at Aronimink Golf Club in Newton Square, Pa. Parson has been a member of the Hidden Creek professional staff since 2008. Prior to that, Mark Parson he served as Head Golf Professional at Islands End Golf & Country Club in Greenport, NY. He was also an assistant professional at three private golf clubs in Connecticut, including Hartford Golf Club, Brooklawn Country Club and Farmington Woods Golf Club. He has been a Class A PGA member in good standing since 1997, and was nominated for the Connecticut Section PGA Assistant of the Year in 1998 and 1999. He also served as Metropolitan Section PGA Assistants President in 2003. “Jim will bring a passion and energy to Hidden Creek that will further ensure a great golf and club experience for our members and their guests,” said Dave Goddard, President of Ole Hansen and Sons, the parent company of Hidden Creek Golf Club. Goddard also announced that Hidden Creek has also introduced a new, non-refundable membership offering effective immediately. This offer enables new members to join the club with payment of a $5,000 non-refundable membership deposit. New members joining under this special offering will be required to sign a contract guaranteeing that they will remain members in good standing and pay all dues and fees for a minimum of five years. There will be no further deposit required after the five-year term is completed. This offer is applicable to the first 25 new Golf or National Golf members who elect this option, or until May 1, 2011, whichever comes first. New members joining during that period may also elect to pay the current refundable membership deposit fee of $15,000, or $9,000 for National members. For additional membership information, or to schedule a tour, call 609-909-2990. Also, visit www.hiddencreekclub.com.

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Valid thru 5/31/11. Not valid with any other offer.

tri-state golfer • spring 2011

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from the golf shop

Volpi’s vision comes to fruition at Golf By Design By Nate Oxman

D

ino Volpi had a vision. An all-encompassing, oversized golf shop, one that would warmly welcome Philadelphia area golfers through its doors just like the shop at their local clubs. Inside, Volpi’s inviting space and knowledgeable staff would cater to every conceivable need a golfer could have, from club fitting and repair to apparel, equipment, and accessories shopping, to conversation with fellow golf geeks and a comfortable place to watch golf on TV. Walk through the doors and into the immaculate 7,500 square-foot Golf By Design store in The Court at the King of Prussia Mall and that’s exactly what you’ll get. Volpi has been piecing together his vision during 15 years in the golf business, including five years as the hard goods buyer and general manager for Golfdom, which operated in The Court on the floor below Golf By Design’s current location from 2003 to November 2009. “That’s really what we wanted to do,” said Volpi. “When I came up with [the name] Golf By Design and we came up with the slogan, ‘For all your golfing needs,’ we meant it,” said Volpi. “We want to make sure that we have everything covered.” Volpi, Golf By Design’s president, enlisted the help of former Golfdom employees. “All of my staff is pretty much from Golfdom,” said Volpi. “So everyone has a ton of experience in Philadelphia and in golf retail. That’s a positive, when people can come in and recognize our staff.” It all begins with the store’s Callaway Performance Center. One of 14 such fixtures in the entire nation, the Callaway Performance Center provides golfers of all ages and ability levels with bar-none the best club fitting experience found anywhere.

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tri-state golfer • spring 2011

“That’s our pride and joy,” said Volpi. “That’s part of what makes us unique and helped us get one of the top 100 clubfitters our first year [America‘s Best 100 clubfitters according to Golf Digest]. That was a big honor for us. It wasn’t even a goal our first year. I was surprised when we got the letter in January saying that we were going to be one of the top clubfitters even though we’d only been open for nine months.” The Callaway Performance Center’s sophisticated technology measures every aspect of the golf swing imaginable. “It takes into account your clubhead speed, ball speed, attack and path angles, launch angle, backspin, sidespin, the side angle of attack, carry, and apex [height], and total distance,“ said Volpi. “It brings all of those into a total efficiency number. The closer to 100 on the efficiency scale, the better the club is going to fit that person.” Manning Callaway’s unrivaled nine camera-based system are a talented team of club fitters. All three fitters, including veteran Buck Jones, came with Volpi from Golfdom. Jones has worked with the Callaway Performance Center system for eight years and has been in the golf business for over 30, including an accomplished playing career that includes qualifying for match play in the 2010 U.S. Senior Amateur. “They know the system,“ said Volpi. “They’ve been using this system to fit people longer than anyone who doesn’t work directly for Callaway.” Those looking to get fitted in preparation for the upcoming golf season can contact Golf By Design to set

up an appointment by phone at 610-8785595, online at www.golfbydesignkop. com or in store. A full bag fitting runs $50, while iron or wood fittings cost $30 each. “We want to be affordable to everyone,“ said Volpi. “People are always talking about making golf more affordable. We want to make it more affordable to get fit and get fit right. And in the process you will also learn tons about your golf swing.” Another experienced fitter, Jim Yenser, also serves as Golf By Design’s club repair extraordinaire. “We’re also a full-service club repair shop,” said Volpi. “We have accounts with Matrix, Diamana, Aldila and UST, which a lot of people don’t have. So we do a lot of unique club repair, a lot of your higher end club repair. Jim [Yenser] has been in this area doing club repair for 20 years. I don’t think there’s anybody more experienced as far as a fitter and a club repairer as he is. He brings a lot to the table. He’s probably the most recognized repair guy in the area.” “That’s really what we wanted to do,” said Volpi. “When I came up with


from the golf shop

[the name] Golf By Design and we came up with the slogan, ‘For all your golfing needs,’ we meant it,” said Volpi. “We want to make sure that we have everything covered.” Golf By Design is also an apparel paradise, with an array of enticing options for both men and women. Accompanying classic brands like Bobby Jones, which patrons will be pleased to find out has slashed its price point on golf shirts nearly in half, Nike and Adidas, are the flashy lines by Puma, donned on their respective tours by phenoms Rickie Fowler and Lexi Thompson, Sligo, worn by PGA Tour pro Brian Gay, as well as preppy favorite

Vineyard Vines. Golf By Design’s expansive women’s apparel section also includes JoFit and Tail Activewear. The store also offers several options for outerwear including Zero Restriction and Mizuno. Also highlighting the store’s impressive inventory of apparel is a vibrant display of Phillies golf gear, including shirts, jackets, and hats, from Nike, Antigua, and Cutter & Buck. Complementing the selection of apparel are the most recent releases from equipment mainstays like Callaway, TaylorMade, Nike, Ping, Mizuno, Cobra, Cleveland, and Adams. Starter sets are also available from additional manufacturers. While Volpi is ecstatic about the success Golf By Design enjoyed in year one - the store celebrates its first anniversary on April 3 - he is constantly thinking, ‘How else can I please the customer?’ “I’m very happy,” said Volpi. “There are definitely things that I’d like to change. I’ve probably rearranged this store a dozen times. I drive these guys nuts in here. Every day I sit at home and think in my head of what can I do differently this week. I like to keep it fresh. I don’t want people to feel like they’re walking into the same mundane

golf store every single time they come here. I want people to come in, look around and see new things.” Volpi recently added a self-serve golf shoe area and a 280-square foot putting green that spans the length of the store’s spacious front window, runs 13 on the Stimpmeter and is decorated with putters from Ping, Odyssey, Nike, TaylorMade and Bettinardi. He also has future plans to adorn the walls with artwork from Country Club Editions, possibly add a simulator to further service customers during the winter months and also install a kids play area featuring a Nintendo Wii Game System. “We want to make it a family environment,” said Volpi. “That’s really important. We want people to be able to bring their kids in here and we want the kids to have fun in a golf store. We really want to provide that family atmosphere where if you’re coming to the King of Prussia mall or you’re shopping for golf, bring the kids, bring your husband or wife. We’re a family-friendly store.” Volpi said Golf By Design will also continue to host a variety of in-store events, which last year were highlighted by a book signing with LPGA star Christina Kim and an appearance by Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam. The store will host the kick-off of the SAP Golfathon with a long drive competition and putting contest, and Volpi invites local golf leagues of all types to do the same. It’s all in an effort to make Golf By Design your go-to golf store in the Philadelphia area. “People asked me why I would open a golf store in this economy,” said Volpi. “I say that if you can succeed in tough times like this, you can make it through anything and that’s what we’re doing here.” For more information about Golf By Design, visit www.golfbydesignkop.com, or call 610-878-5595

Golf By Design’s Callaway Performance Center tri-state golfer • spring 2011

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2011 PPGA Tournament schedule

2011 Philly Publinks Schedule of Events May 14, 15 or 16 Turtle Creek GC - Qualifying for the PPGA Match Play Championship May 16 Turtle Creek GC - Better-Ball of Partners Championship June 10, 11 & 12 Cobbs Creek GC - Philadelphia Better-Ball Championship June 27 Jeffersonville GC - PPGA Publinks Championship July 8, 9 & 10 Cobbs Creek GC - Philadelphia Open Amateur Championship August 5 Kimberton GC - PPGA Mid-Amateur Championship September 16 Turtle Creek GC - PPGA Senior Championship October 7 Jeffersonville GC - PPGA Fall Classic October 24 Stonewall - PPGA College Scholarship Fundraiser Tournament

www.phillypublinks.com


www.amateurgolftour.net

PHILLY METRO TOUR MEMBERSHIP GIVEAWAY! Tri-State Golfer & the GOLFWEEK Amateur Tour are giving away 3 free 2011 memberships to the

GOLFWEEK Amateur Tour. To enter, simply send an e-mail with:

FREE MEMBERSHIP in the subject line before 04-15-11. Winners will be selected at random from all entries received and will be notified by e-mail. Contest closes April 15, 2011. To enter, send an e-mail to:

phillymetro@amateurgolftour.net


golfweek amateur tour

The Golfweek Amateur Tour Debuts in Philadelphia Metro!

T

Complete 2011 Schedule

he GOLFWEEK Amateur Tour is ready to host tournaments in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. The GOLFWEEK Amateur Golf Tour, which provides amateurs the experience of competitive stroke-play golf, will host a 14 event local schedule during the 2011 season. The season opens April 30th at the Metedeconk National GC and finishes on October 2nd at Philmont CC (North). Our tour membership fee of $90.00 includes a 1-year GOLFWEEK magazine subscription, GOLFWEEK AGT logo’d cap, bag tag, and access to our complete nationwide schedule of over 600 golf tournaments, including the 14 being played on private and public golf courses in the Philadelphia Metro area. Founded in Charlotte, N.C., in 1995, the GOLFWEEK Amateur Tour celebrates its 17th season in 2011 with more than 42 divisions across the country. “Now amateurs can play a tour just like the pros, without the overnight travel,” said local Tour Director Jeff A. Brodsky; “Events are held locally on weekends, perfect for the average golfer. Our goal is to provide fun, fast, competitive events with affordable pricing on the area’s best golf venues.” Entry fees for the local schedule range from only $85.00 up to $225.00 for the single-day events. Those fees include cart and greens fees, range balls, and prizes. There will be separate sponsored Par-Three (Closest To The Pin) contests and optional skins-games at each event. Scheduled practice rounds are available for every event. The GOLFWEEK Amateur Tour is for amateurs of all ages and abilities. Members are placed in one of five flights based on handicaps. Flights are: Championship (0-3.9 handicap), A Flight (4-8.9), B Flight (9-13.9), C Flight (14-18.9) and D Flight (19 and over). Each tournament has the same format: gross stroke play, with USGA rules in effect. Winners in each handicap flight receive VISA gift cards, crystal trophies, and everyone in the tournament accumulates points towards qualification for our Tour Championship, played October 21 - 23 at the Palmetto Dunes Resort in Hilton Head, S.C. Take a look at our fabulous schedule of private and public golf courses for 2011 at our website: http://www. amateurgolftour.net/ and join us today! 04-30-11 05-14-11 05-21-11 06-05-11 06-18-11 06-25-11 07-16-11 07-30-11 08-13-11 08-20-11 08-27-11 09-11-11 09-24-11 10-02-11

For the complete rules and regulations of the GOLFWEEK Amateur Tour, please review the Tour Manual available online here: http://www.amateurgolftour.net

Metedeconk National Golf Club * (Masters) Reading Country Club Limekiln Golf Club The ACE Club Bellewood Golf Club * (U.S. Open) P.B. Dye Golf Club McCullough’s Emerald Links * (British Open) Cavaliers Country Club Radnor Valley Country Club * (PGA) Galloway National Golf Club Woodcrest Country Club Plymouth Country Club Wyncote Golf Club * (Tour Championship) Philmont Country Club (North)

* designates a GOLFWEEK AGT Tour Major ‘Double-Points’ Event

Jackson, NJ Reading, PA Ambler, PA Lafayette Hills, PA N. Coventry, PA Ijamsville, MD Egg Harbor, NJ Newark, DE Villanova, PA Galloway, NJ Cherry Hill, NJ Plymouth Meeting., PA Oxford, PA Huntington Valley., PA

12:30 PM 11:30 AM 12:30 PM 1:00 PM 12:00 PM 11:00 AM 11:00 AM 12:00 PM 12:00 PM 1:00 PM 12:30 PM 12:00 PM 11:00 PM 11:30 AM

tri-state golfer • spring 2011

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Tri-State Golfer