Max helps usher in upscale era in Virginia Milford Mill grad is pro at new club

October 03, 1993|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Staff Writer

The Middle Atlantic area's newest golf course will become part of a popular trend when it opens this week. Bristow Manor Golf Club, outside Manassas, Va., is billing itself as an upscale public facility.

National Golf Foundation studies found that in 1991 about 64 percent of all U.S. courses were open to the public, and last year the figure was 65.

"We're moving toward upscale daily-fee facilities, but I don't think private clubs will ever be passe," said Catherine Suddarth of the NGF.

Even so, the foundation recorded a 6.7 percent decline in private golf facilities from 1987 to 1992, during a time when public courses increased and the number of golfers rose from 21.2 million to 24.8 million.

"The fee structure [$26 Monday-Thursday and $36 Friday-Sunday] obviously dictates the 'upscale,' but along with that, we believe everything we offer is above what you can find elsewhere," Bristow Manor head professional Joe Max said the other day.

It was a case of history repeating itself for Max, a Baltimore native, who has been in the position since last spring. This followed three years as the head pro at PineCrest Country Club, a similar, although larger, residential community/golf facility outside of Philadelphia. What with six months of construction and the planning of a well-stocked pro shop behind him, it is understandable Max welcomes the opening.

Max, 35, whose family still lives in Baltimore, is a graduate of Milford Mill High School and Greensboro (N.C.) College, where he was a member of the golf team. A short stretch as a district circulation manager for The Sun was long enough to convince him he wanted to get into the golf business.

A player since his Junior years, Max started up the professional ladder when a college friend who was an assistant at Sedgefield CC got him a job at the Greensboro club.

He stayed four years, moved to Woodmont CC in Rockville as an assistant for four years, and was chosen the head pro when PineCrest opened. While at Woodmont, he won the 1989 Middle Atlantic PGA match-play title.

"A friend put me in touch here, too," Max explained. "I had seen him at the merchandise show last winter, and he told me about the place. Later, he called, said he had met the owner and told him about me.

"This was in February; the owner called, said the resumes had been due by Jan. 30, but to fax one to him. We had an interview the next week, the position was offered, and I started in April."

He had served private clubs, including one with a large membership in a metropolitan area, had started the golf end of a golf/residential complex, and been its head professional.

At Bristow Manor, the par-72 golf course has four sets of tees that includes measurements of 7,000 yards from the back and 6,400 yards from the middle.

Miscellaneous

There are 52 teams entered in the Middle Atlantic PGA's Northern-Central two-man team championship that will be played over 27 holes tomorrow at Queenstown Harbor Golf Links. . . . The 14th annual Senior Olympics championship will be held Wednesday (men 70-over) at Diamond Ridge GC, and Thursday (men-55-69 at Mount Pleasant GC; women at Longview GC). . . The annual Mason-Dixon matches, pitting a Middle Atlantic Golf Association team against one from the Golf Association of Philadelphia, will be held next weekend at the Philadelphia CC.

This week's schedule

Today -- Middle Atlantic Amateur (final round), Swan Point Y&CC, Issue, 8 a.m. Tomorrow -- Middle Atlantic PGA Northern-Central chapters two-man team championship, Queenstown Harbor GL, 8 a.m. Tuesday -- Women's Golf Association, Chartwell CC, 9 a.m. Wednesday -- Maryland Senior Olympics (men 70-over), Diamond Ridge GC, 9 a.m. Thursday -- Maryland Senior Olympics (men 55-59), Mount Pleasant GC, 7:30 a.m. (women), Longview GC, 8:30 a.m. Friday -- Maryland State mixed twoball tournament, Montgomery CC, 8 a.m.

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