Carroll golfers make the best of county's relative lack of facilities

GOLF

September 27, 1992|By George Taylor

Statistics continue to show that Maryland lags far behind most states in golf facilities, but Carroll County is doing its part to close the gap.

Before 1964, the only golf course in Carroll County was Western Maryland College's nine-hole layout in Westminster.

Since then, Carroll County golf has expanded with 18 holes at Piney Branch, 27 at Wakefield Valley, 18 at Bear Creek and 18 at Oakmont Green.

Two more 18-hole courses are on the drawing board for locations in Finksburg and Mount Airy. What's more, there has been solid growth within these new clubs.

For example, Piney Branch had just nine holes when it opened in 1964. Club members persisted by building, hole by hole, until a second nine was completed in 1970.

Construction of the second nine was made possible through financing by a group of devotees known as the Back Nine, Inc.

And it continues to grow today. Since its opening, Piney Branch has made two major additions to the clubhouse, including renovations to locker rooms, and has erected a new cart barn, housing 77 riding golf carts. Also since its opening, Piney Branch has changed from a semiprivate, daily fee status, to a private membership operation.

While the Piney Branch property (which has a portion in Baltimore County) covers an abundant 206 acres for golf, there appears to be no pressure to expand.

"To make 27 holes," said club president Don Richardson, "we would have to revamp into too many directions to make it desirable."

Piney Branch has been served by just four presidents -- Tom Shilling, Bill Armacost, Tom Zepp and Richardson, who is in his ninth term of office.

The club is in a healthy situation with 85 people on the waiting list.

Wakefield Valley showed its growth by opening a third nine, shortly after beginning as an 18-hole layout. Earlier this year, Wakefield erected a $3 million clubhouse.

The Bear Creek course continues to grow by adding an extensive driving range to its facilities.

The Oakmont Green course in Hampstead is in its first year of operation. New at the Western Maryland College course this year is the availability of riding carts.

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Winners of the member-guest tournament at Wakefield were: 127-Rich and Bill Menseck, 130- John Naurot and Bill Young, 131-John Brandenburg and Rick Mills, and 131-Fred and Scott ** Jenkins.

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The combination of Bob Halpert and Harry Schmaley scored 127 to tie Phil Phillipps and Claude Steger for low net in the fall two-man team play at Piney Branch. Roland Nichols and Ely Harris took low gross with 145.

In the women's division, low net was won by Betty Arenz and Clara Jednorski with 131.

They were followed by Martha Wisner and Judy Hughes with 132.

Low gross went to Bea McCauley and Gloria Barry with 172.

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Robert Hughes scored a hole-in-one on Bear Creek's 179-yard 11th hole. He used a five wood for the perfect shot.

Bear Creek will play host to the District Five high school championship on Oct. 5.

Play will be from an 8 a.m. shotgun start.

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Steve Comes of Western Maryland College scored a 2-under-par 68 to lead all individual scores in the college's fall invitational event at Westminster.

Other WMC scores were Jeff Dierks, 74; Doug Barger, 76; and Brian Gallizzo, 77.

Gettysburg was the team leader with 290 and Western Maryland was second at 295. Twelve teams participated.

This is George Taylor's final golf column for the 1992 season. His column will return next spring.

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