History is par for first 18-hole course, opening today in Dorchester County

GOLF

May 24, 1992|By JOHN STEWART

In the early 1920s, Francis DuPont donated a parcel of land, about 65 acres, to a newly formed organization known as Cambridge Country Club. A clubhouse and nine-hole golf course were constructed and have been a part of the Eastern Shore scene for the better part of 70 years.

These and other historical facts will be recalled today when a second nine holes are formally opened, giving Dorchester County its first 18-hole course. It completes a program that has been in and out of focus since the mid-1960s.

About 30 years ago, the club was able to acquire an adjoining piece of land, again about 65 acres, from the DuPonts for the purpose of adding a second nine holes. Several times during that decade, efforts were made to build the back nine, but membership numbers (not enough) and the economics of the times thwarted the project.

The current expansion stems from conversations of about five years ago, talks that began producing results in 1989. As had been the case with several other area clubs in recent years, the key words became "wetlands," and "permitting," according to the club's greens chairman, John Burtman.

Proceedings were slowed for about two years before construction was started last May on areas not under state or federal guidelines. Russell Roberts, a well-known Eastern Shore architect, whose work includes The Bay Club in Berlin, did the hTC design and general contracting, making 11 new holes and 10 new greens, while incorporating most of the old course to complete two nines.

One who played a large part in the day-to-day work was Bruce Steinmiller, the club's course superintendent for the past three years, after having previously served at the Elkridge Club. "He was really our construction supervisor, and played a major part in the design of the greens," Burtman said.

The greens, small and well-contoured, are a feature of the course, which will play from 5,416 to 6,387 yards. David Hansinger, one-time Green Spring assistant golf professional and more recently the head pro at Eastern Shore Yacht & CC in Melfa, Va., is the club's new head pro.

The club has nearly 400 members and is run as a private facility on weekends. However, the course is open for public play Monday-Friday.

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In addition to two four-spot qualifying rounds held at Indian Spring CC last week, Kemper Open officials awarded eight sponsor exemptions for this week's event at TPC-Avenel in Potomac.

To date, they are Webb Heintzelman, of Cabin John, who missed automatic exemption for this year's PGA Tour by one place off last year's Hogan tour (top five on the money list make it and he was sixth); Washington Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien; Maryland Open champion Jon Stanley; Australian star Craig Parry; plus tour regulars (not already exempt) Mike Donald and Bob Eastwood. Two places reserved for qualifiers from last fall's tour school remain to be filled.

The eight who qualified last week are Wayne DeFrancesco, Rob Ferguson, Lee Porter, David Quinn, Mark Spolarich, Sam Stein, Ron Terry and Fred Widicus.

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Statistics: The statistical approach to the game of golf stepped to another level during the recent Mazda LPGA Championship at Bethesda CC. Golf Research Associates, a firm with offices in Charlotte, N.C., and Stamford, Conn., had recorders on hand for a shot-by-shot recap of a selected cross-section of players.

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Something new: The first pre-championship qualifying round in the 72-year history of the men's amateur championship of the Maryland State Golf Association will be held Tuesday, when 95 play at Hillendale CC and another 85 at Glenn Dale GC. About 120 will advance to the on-site qualifier at Fountain Head CC in Hagerstown, June 11, with the low 32 moving on to match play, June 12-14. Shane Patterson of Norbeck CC is the defending champion and an automatic qualifier.

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Entry deadlines: USGA: June 3 for Senior Open, to be held July at Saucon Valley CC, Bethlehem, Pa.; and June 3 for Public Links, to be held July 13-18, Brooklyn Park, Minn.

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This week's schedule: Today--Elkridge-Green Spring member-guest, Green Spring, 7 a.m. Tuesday--Qualifying for Maryland State Amateur, Hillendale CC and Glenn Dale GC, 8 a.m. Thursday-Sunday--Kemper Open, TPC Avenel, Potomac, 7 a.m. Friday--Middle Atlantic PGA pro-am, Piney Branch GC, 8 a.m.

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