In at least one instance, it has taken eight years, but Al Janis, Bill Shirk, Craig Rinehart, Paul O'Leary and Bruce Cadenelli are changing the face of the area golf scene.
These men are golf-course superintendents, skilled professionals who put their work on daily display, and they are responsible for five projects in various stages of development. And each man has been at his respective job from the beginning of construction.
When all the courses are completed, there will be something for every area golfer.
Janis' work has been the most visible, for he has been building Willow Springs, a 5,000-yard executive course off Interstate 70, west of Route 32 in Howard County. When completed, the distinctive public facility will have 18 holes and a large driving range.
Janis has had extensive building and superintendent experience notably Pine Shores, an executive course outside Ocean City -- and is a hands-on worker. At last report, there still was some course work to be done, but he expects to open early this summer.
Shirk, formerly superintendent at Prospect Bay Country Club, is responsible for Queenstown Harbor Golf Links, a 27-hole public facility at the U.S. 301 and U.S. 50 on the Eastern Shore. The first 18 holes are scheduled to open in late June.
The site encompasses 405 acres bordering the Chester River and Winchester Creek, and much of the property is wetlands, winding among lakes and waterways. This is part of the reason the organizing group went through 43 public hearings in getting approval for the plans.
The remaining three sites are private clubs: Old South in Lothian (southern Anne Arundel County), Greystone in White Hall (northern Baltimore County) and Caves Valley, on Park Heights Avenue about four miles outside the Baltimore Beltway.
Queenstown Harbor and Old South, where Rinehart, formerly of Pine Valley, holds forth, both had Lindsay Ervin as the architect. Ervin, who lives in Crofton, also has done Hog Neck in Easton and Birdwood in Charlottesville, Va.
Old South, which still has a few of its equity memberships available, opened nine holes last month and is expected to open nine more in early June. It has an open look, although several of the fairways are tree-lined, with a lot of target fairways.
Although some people may know Anne Arundel County only for its flat, sandy areas, the club is in rolling countryside, and many of the fairways were more or less defined, so that dirt was moved sideways, creating large mounding areas.
O'Leary is the superintendent at Greystone. Envisioned some 28 months ago by two country-club golfers and nurtured through a long permitting process, the plan turned the corner last week with the receipt of the final permit.
Completion of the 18-hole facility, set in hills and valleys with a minimum of earth-moving expected, is scheduled for June 1992.
Where Queenstown Harbor will gain considerable support for a ranking among the leading public courses in the country, Caves Valley will get similar backing for a place among the top private clubs. It is due to open June 2. It, along with Old South and Greystone, will have bent grass tees, fairways and greens.
Caves Valley, where Cadenelli is superintendent, is a club aimed at high-ranking executives in the corporate community, with membership about evenly divided between local and out-of-town residents.
With only one or two exceptions, the layout, a Tom Fazio design, gives the impression that each hole is a separate entity, although there is a continuity to them. There has been an amazing attention to detail, on the course as well as with the buildings that go with it, from the main clubhouse, "old barn" professional shop, women's locker room and small meeting house to the maintenance buildings.
Entry deadlines: Wednesday for USGA Women's Public Links championship, June 19-23 at Birdwood GC, Charlottesville, Va.; May 22 for Maryland State Golf Association men's amateur championship, June 6-9 at Bethesda CC; June 5 for USGA Public Links championship, July 15-20 at Otter Creek GC, Columbus, Ind.