The usual parts of most ideas that work -- a dream, a gamble, and an all-clear sign -- are now behind the developer of the area's newest golf course project.
A driving range, the first phase of Mt. Vista Greens Golf Club, opens today for the season. More importantly, ground is expected to be broken within the next several weeks for an 18-hole executive golf course.
The Baltimore County site is 110 acres of farmland located on Raphael Road, east of Belair Road, about 15 minutes north of the Beltway. The driving range is expected to draw immediate attention; It has 35 pads and will be open daily during daylight hours.
James Stadler, who has spent about 20 years in construction work, admits a fondness for clean air, beneficial environment and the beauty of a golf course.
"Building a golf course -- that's something I've wanted to do for a long time," Stadler said the other day. "I was able to purchase an old farm, but it was a big gamble because I bought it not knowing whether I could get the proper zoning and permits.
"It took nearly four years of working with the planning commission and the environmentalists to meet all the rules and regulations, but now we are ready to go.
"We are figuring on a golf course of about 4,200 yards. It is rolling countryside, open land for the most part, and we plan to put in four ponds for irrigation purposes and plant about 1,000 trees to line the fairways." Given a good growing season, he said he hopes to have the first nine holes ready by fall.
Stadler, 37, a Baltimore native and graduate of Northern High School, has lived in the Mt. Vista area for the past half-dozen years.
"A neighbor got me interested in golf eight years ago, and I fell in love with it," Stadler said. "Unfortunately, I've only played maybe 15 to 20 times, because I have been busy at work, but I still love the game."
Norm Vacovsky, 34, who spent nearly 10 years at Sparrows Point Country Club, will be the club's golf professional, with special emphasis on teaching.
"I've taught at several area facilities the last year or so, and I believe this place will have a nice balance to it," Vacovsky said. "It will provide practice for the good player, and be challenging enough for the others.
"I want to be emphasize working with Juniors, beginners, women -- teaching them the right ways to do things so they won't be intimidated when they go somewhere else to play. We hope to generate a great atmosphere for them."
Association time: The Middle Atlantic Golf Association schedule -- May 15--Senior Four-ball, Kenwood CC; July 9--Father-Son, Rolling Road GC; Aug. 6--Junior Boys & Girls, Naval Academy GC; Women's Amateur--Kiln Creek GC, Newport News, Va.; Sept. 24--Senior Men--, Hillendale CC; Oct. 1-4--Men's Amateur, Hunt Valley GC; Oct. 10-11--Mason-Dixon matches, Baltimore CC.
The MAGA Executive Committee -- president, Robert Swindell Jr., Elkridge Club; vice presidents, Barry Koch, Princess Anne CC; Peter Urquhart, Baltimore CC; Martin West III, Columbia CC; Clyde Luther, Springfield G&CC; Joe Kaye, Woodholme CC; Charles Revoile, Congressional CC; Leonard Isaacs, Wil
low Oaks CC; Michael Cumberpatch, Naval Academy GC; secretary, George Taylor, Worthington Valley; treasurer, David Halle, Suburban Club. Approval was given to expand the committee, and among the new members is William Blue, Green Spring.
College time: The University of Georgia's women's team, coached by former Timonium resident Beans Kelly, won the recent University of Central Florida Classic by 15 strokes, as freshman star Vicki Goetze shot 222 (5-under 141 for the last 36) for third place. Included in a tie for eighth at 231 was Kim Cayce (Potomac) of Duke.
Show time: More than 70 exhibitors are expected for the Baltimore Golf & Travel Show, scheduled for Saturday and March 22, at the Towson Center. Open to the public ($5 at the door, with children under 12 free), it will feature hitting nets, a computerized swing analyzer and golf demonstrations by teaching professional David Williams, who has appeared at many trade shows across the country.
Note time: John Harrison, of Oxon Hill, and Richard Dietrich, of Ellicott City, finished 1-2 in the B Flight of the Men's division in the national hole-in-one tournament in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The event, open to anyone who had registered a hole-in-one with Golf Digest, drew 45 entries in the men's division, where there were three flights, based on handicaps. . . . New members of the Mid-Atlantic Golf Course Superintendents Association include Paul Kraut, Bonnie View CC, and William Sapp III, Chartwell G&CC.