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Start Golf Season Right With the Latest News Around the Main Line

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Photo by Allen House Studios

Ready to jump into the swing of things? Here’s what you need to know to start golf season in the Main Line region on the right foot.

TOP TEACHERS:
Golf Digest recently honored several area golf instructors in its “Best Young Teachers Under 40” feature. Five area pros made the list: Scott Chisolm (Rolling Green Golf Club, Springfield, Pa.), Earl Cooper (Earl Cooper Golf, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale, Philadelphia, Pa.), Brian Creghan (Rolling Green Golf Club, Springfield, Pa.), Nick Iacono (Chester Valley Golf Club, Malvern, Pa.) and Michael Wheeler (Rossi Golf Center, Exton, Pa.).

SCORING AN ACE: The Union League is expanding its portfolio of golf courses with the recent purchase of the ACE Club, the Lafayette Hill, Pa., complex previously owned by Chubb Insurance. Area golfers may also remember the Gary Player-designed golf course from its Eagle Lodge Conference Center & Country Club days. The new club will officially be named The Union League Liberty Hill.

Laura Heien, executive director of the Delaware State Golf Association, with 2020 Delaware Open champ Jake Shuman.

Laura Heien, executive director of the Delaware State Golf Association, with 2020 Delaware Open champ Jake Shuman. Photo courtesy of DSGA

NEW LEASE ON LIFE: It’s nice to see Mulligan’s Pointe still providing fun and affordable golf in southern Delaware. Previously known as Sussex Pines Country Club, the 18-hole championship course in Georgetown was purchased back in 2018 by new owners Pete and Michelle Townsend.

CENTENNIAL PREPARATIONS: Ryan Nuechterlein, the head golf professional at Kennett Square Golf and Country Club tells us his Pennsylvania club is in the process of bunker renovations this year, with a Fall 2021 completion date expected. The Donald Ross gem will be looking buff just in time for its Centennial Anniversary in 2022.

Earl Cooper. Photo by Allen House Studios

Earl Cooper. Photo by Allen House Studios

SAYING GOODBYE: In a year when we lost so many of our sports heroes, two Hall of Famers stick out for their class, accomplishments and the battles they overcame to find success in their respective sports. Mickey Wright won 82 LPGA events, and was one of only two golfers to win four U.S. Women’s Open titles–a feat she accomplished along with her opponent, friend, fellow Hall of Famer and Delaware resident Betsy Rawls.

JUST DUE: Local boy William Flynn— one of golf’s finest designers—is getting some much-deserved attention from the Golf Association of Philadelphia through their Architect Series. Created last season but shelved due to the pandemic, this year is a go and all in with Flynn. GAP members will have a chance to play (and eat lunch) at five of his most impressive local works: Lancaster Country Club (May 27), Eagles Mere Country Club (June 17), Philadelphia Country Club (July 21), Huntingdon Valley Country Club (Aug. 23) and Rolling Green Golf Club (Sept. 13).

The final event in September will feature speaker Wayne Morrison, one of the foremost experts on Flynn and co-author of The Nature Faker, which showcases the architect’s contributions to golf. This event was nearly full at press time, with a waitlist anticipated. To learn more, contact GAP’s John Manos at (610) 687-2340, ext. 22, or jmanos@gapgolf.org, or visit gapgolf.org.

TOURNAMENT NEWS: One of the highlights of this year’s tournament schedule is the 100th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship co-hosted by Aronimink Golf Club and Applebrook Golf Club Aug. 30–Sept. 1. Both courses have a connection with notable local golf architect Gil Hanse, who designed the Applebrook layout and most recently restored Aronimink bunkers and other elements to the original Donald Ross vision. Both layouts will give the pros all they can handle.

Congratulations to Delaware State Golf Association executive director Laura Heien on a trifecta of firsts this past season. The 2020 Delaware Amateur Championship was the first event of the DSGA season and the first time their COVID-19 protocols were put into action. It was also Heien’s first official event as executive director. “I feel like we did a great job of keeping our players safe and comfortable and allowing them to focus on the task at hand,” she says. “At the end of 72 holes (plus a three-hole playoff), we had a fantastic event from start to finish.”

NEW FACES, FAMILIAR PLACES: Give a warm welcome to director of golf Mike Krick (White Manor Country Club, Malvern, Pa.), along with head pros Dennis Taggart (Rock Manor, Wilmington, Del.); Patrick Keefe (Frog Hollow Golf Club, Middletown, Del.), Greg Wingate (Sunnybrook Golf Club, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) and Matt Storck (Delcastle Golf Club, Wilmington, Del.).

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