Hayfields: Tees and greens amid controversy 18-hole layout is ready, pending final zoning appeal

January 04, 1998|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

Much like an athlete whose contract negotiations have gotten more publicity than game-day performances, the golf course that is the centerpiece of the Hayfields project in Baltimore County hasn't been given its due.

So much has been said and written of this historic property at the Shawan Road interchange at Interstate 83, the words "highly controversial" could be incorporated as a part of the name.

At the same time, there has been little discussion of the golf course itself, the most visible part of the Nicholas Mangione family property being developed over the objections of local preservationists.

As it stands, with the 18-hole, bent grass layout already in place, the golf course used some 270 acres of the 475-acre tract, which is at the edge of an area of more than 100,000 acres where farming and preservation still thrive.

The controversial homesites, now at 37, border the northern portion of the property and will be on both sides of Western Run Road.

A north-south hedgerow almost splits the property, and immediately to the west are wetlands and trees that act as a natural buffer to the next-door property.

The back nine stretches from Shawan Road to the top of the hill that oversees the landscape. The out-and-back front nine includes crossings of two streams and three ponds. Overall, there are five ponds, two of which will be used for irrigation and the others as collection basins.

With four sets of tees, the yardage stretches from 5,274 yards to 7,092 yards over rolling, relatively open terrain, and plays to a par of 36-3672.

All the grassing has been done, although 3 1/2 holes and the driving range were done so late in the fall they will need to be overseeded in the spring.

Although the golf course is in place, spring also will bring the development's final zoning appeal. Owners hope for a midsummer opening.

Eventually, this will be a private club, but in the meantime, it will operate with a core membership and be open to daily play. Greens fees are expected to be in the neighborhood of $50.

"It's a wonderful location and a terrific piece of ground. It's hard not to be impressed," said Stanley Zontek, Mid-Atlantic director of the USGA's Green Section. "In contrast to some that are being built to be hard, this is an honest design -- the greens are big enough, the bunkering is not too severe, and the fairways are ones you can hit."

The golf course was designed by Brian Ault, of the Ault, Clark & Associates firm in Bethesda, a business whose credits include TPC-Avenel, Kingsmill, Turf Valley Country Club and Hunt Valley Golf Club. McDonald & Sons, of Jessup, which also is backed by a long list of golf course projects, was the builder.

Charlie Ulevich, on the site since last May, is the course superintendent. He had previously worked at Baltimore Country Club and as an assistant at Hillendale CC.

During a recent tour, John Mangione, second-oldest of Nicholas Mangione's five sons and the project manager, said that a historic preservation architect had been hired "to make sure the renovations are done properly," bringing out the history of a farm that dates back more than 200 years.

Foremost is the original mansion house that sits at the top of the BTC hill, along with five other historic structures.

At the same time, "We want to bring back the three-tier formal gardens, incorporating them with stone walls," Mangione said. "The walls also will encompass the separate chipping and putting greens."

Pub Date: 1/04/98

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