Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Maple Chase article for the Winston-Salem Journal's golf section

(NOTE: Written for the Winston-Salem Journal's 2018 golf special section.)

MAPLE CHASE COURSE KEEPS BUSY

By Tom Gillispie
Head professional Sean Brannagan says the Maple Chase Golf and Country Club on Germanton Road is busy almost year round.
Brannagan says Maple Chase has been moving tee boxes and altering the lengths of holes to make them more interesting.
“We’ve cleared a lot of trees and have been expanding the driving range,” Brannagan said. “We’re in the process of moving the third green closer to the creek, and we’ve added tee boxes to No. 4.”
In the 1950s, a group of local golfers looked into opening a country club, and on May 14, 1955, the Pine Brook Country Club was opened for play. In 2013, businessman Lynn Murphy and Lynette Matthews-Murphy bought the course and renamed it Maple Chase Golf and Country Club.
According to the web site, the “course was carved from 150 acres of farm pasture and woodlands and offers a variety of scenery including various species of trees and beautiful lake views.”
Brannagan says the “front nine is more flat, and the greens are difficult; the back nine has slight elevation changes. It’s like playing two different kinds of courses.”


THE STAFF


Brannagan grew up in Michigan, but he’s spend most of his life in North Carolina after playing golf at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, near Charlotte.
He is one of four instructors at Maple Chase, including head instructor Brad Luebchow, a PGA apprentice, and assistants Paul Allen and Justin Williams, both PGA-certified professionals. Luebchow has been with the club since 2010, and Brannagan is starting his fifth year as head professional at the course.
Mark Slawter has been the club’s general manager since October 2013. Slawter graduated from Reynolds High School in 1992 and was an all-ACC player at N.C. State. He played on the PGA Tour, including two U.S. Opens, and later was head assistant at Heritage Golf Club in Wake Forest.


MORE ABOUT THE COURSE


The par-72 course, designed with the help of noted golf architect Ellis Maples (also the club’s first head professional), features four par threes, four par fives and 10 par fours for men and four par threes, five par fives and nine par fours for women. The layout, featuring Bermuda grass fairways and Bent grass greens, can play up to 4,959 yards for women and 6,701 yards for men.
EZGO golf carts are available, and many golfers use them the whole course. Brannagan says that some golfers walk the front nine and ride the back nine. Others walk the entire course.
“My favorite hole is actually the (par 4) 10th hole; it’s just visual,” Brannagan said. “It’s not a long hole. You have to hit a good tee shot and hit an accurate second shot. It’s a difficult green to read. It’s an interesting hole.”
The toughest holes, though, are probably par-3 No. 15 and par-4 No. 16, he says.
“Those greens have a lot of slope,” Brannagan said, “and it’s sometimes difficult to hold your ball on the green.”
Among the tournaments held year at Maple Chase are a one-day Carolinas Golf Association four-ball event in early March, a CGA Super Senior tournament in late March, and a CGA Junior Girls Championship held in June.
Brannagan says course officials will decide in mid-summer whether to do anything else to the course, and they’ll make the changes in the winter, the slow season.
He says the course “is not overly difficult and not long. You can finish it in an hour and 45 minutes. It’s not a four-hour golf course. You can get around it pretty quick, and it’s fun to play.”
From April to September, the golf shop is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 7 p.m., with the first tee time at 8 a.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 7 to 7, with the first tee time at 7:30 a.m.
EMAIL: tgilli52@gmail.com  TWITTER: EDITORatWORK

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Links to web sites about odd homes

ODD HOMES
GLASS HOUSES




EMAIL: tgilli52@gmail.com  TWITTER: EDITORatWORK

More blog entries by Tom Gillispie
• Advice for be and would-be novelists

Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie


EDITOR@WORK blog entries

Entries from The Dog Blog

Blog entries from The Auto Racing Journal
(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)