Shorter, par 63 golf course opening near Mount Airy

Hope Valley facility was a summer camp

July 28, 2000|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,SUN STAFF

A former church summer camp west of Mount Airy has been turned into a public golf course that celebrates its opening today.

Hope Valley Golf Course on Jesse Smith Road off Route 144 is different from the other four golf courses within a five-mile radius - it's a par 63 course, rather than a par 72, making it an executive golf course.

"The key word is `executive,'" said Holly Harrison Frye, vice president of Frall Developers Inc. of Mount Airy. "It's for busy people who want to get their play in and play faster."

James Frye, who, with Roger Arnold, owns the golf course under Jesse Smith Partnership, said Hope Valley is shorter and takes less time to play than most courses.

"Most local public golf courses take six hours to play," he said. "A course like this would take 3 1/2 hours. It's 4,100 yards long, compared to 7,200 yards at a par 72 course."

Hope Valley has nine par 3 and nine par 4 holes on its 114 acres . The other four area courses - Links at Challedon, Rattlewood, Holly Hills and WestWinds - include par 5 holes.

The course isn't just for people in a hurry. Individuals learning the game or more experienced players who need to practice will find Hope Valley ideal, according to Frye.

"It's a learning and practice course," James Frye said. "It's also affordable and reasonable, which increases your availability to people who play golf."

Walk-in fees vary according to time of day (before or after 3 p.m.), weekday or weekend, renting a cart or walking, playing nine holes or 18. Senior citizens get a discount.

Typically, fees range from $10 for walking nine holes to $37 for riding 18 holes.

Hope Valley was owned by a Washington church that hadn't used it as a summer camp for a couple of years, Holly Frye said. When the property went on sale, the Fryes bought it and began construction of the golf course about a year ago.

A building on the property has been turned into a clubhouse for a pro shop and golf course operations. Nick Vance, a golf professional, is operations manager, Holly Frye said.

Vance will offer instruction and assistance to players, probably more on a group basis than individual, James Frye said.

Hope Valley's hours will be from 7 a.m. until dark weekdays and 6 a.m. until dark on weekends.

Information: 301-865-0026 or 301-865-2110.

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