Schmid, Sedgefield CC, Bald Head Island Club Honored

October 3, 2018

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Press Contact: David Norman, North Carolina GCOA Executive Director

804-708-9760 / dnorman008@gmail.com

www.ncgolf.org

 

Schmid, Sedgefield CC, Bald Head Island Club Honored

2018 North Carolina Golf Course Owners Assn Awards 

Southern Pines, NC - The 1st Annual North Carolina GCOA Awards were presented at the Association's annual meeting at Pine Needles Lodge on Wednesday, October 3rd. Former Carolinas PGA Executive Director Ron Schmid was honored with the North Carolina Golf Leader Award "in recognition of a leadership in the golf industry in North Carolina as evidenced by long-term service to the industry." Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro received the Course of the Year Award, in recognition of "outstanding business success over the past year." Bald Head Island Club received the Sustainability Award in recognition of "the ability to incorporate sustainability and environmental stewardship into operating practices."

 

Mid-Atlantic Golf Leader Award

In recognition of in recognition of a leadership in the golf industry in North Carolina as evidenced by long-term service to the industry, Ron Schmid, PGA of Greensboro has been named the 2018 North Carolina Golf Leader. Schmid formerly served as Executive Director of the Carolinas PGA.

Ron was first elected to PGA membership in July 1975, while working at Duke University Golf Club - a place he called home for more than a decade. He served as the Women's Golf Coach, Head Golf Professional, and later, as the Executive Director of the school's athletic fundraising organization. He guided Duke to its first NCAA tournament appearance in 1983 and then to its first Women's Golf ACC Championship in 1984. He led Duke to six tournament wins in his time as coach. He was selected by the Collegiate Golf Coaches Association as the Regional Golf Coach of the Year in 1984. Coaching, recruiting, and teaching young golfers is one of the best ways to promote the game of golf and Ron did just that throughout his career.

It wasn't until 1999 that Ron began his life-changing, 16-year role as Executive Director of the Carolinas PGA Section - a position he assumed both at the Myrtle Beach, SC and Greensboro, NC offices. Ron was pivotal in the relocation of the Carolinas PGA Section Office to Greensboro and develop a beautiful, new headquarters at Bryan Park GC.

During his time at the Section, Ron not only made a commitment to the PGA's largest section but to many worthy organizations as well. This includes Play Golf America, Patriot Golf Day and the Folds of Honor Foundation, The First Tee, Adaptive Golf, and Drive, Chip and Putt - a program he still volunteers with at the Section level even after his retirement in 2015. While at the Section, Ron was also a member of several committees: Executive Director, Play Golf America, Scholarship, Communications, Awards and Honors, Hall of Fame, Finance, Education, Code of Ethics, and Sponsors.

Adding to these accolades are also supplemental awards and achievements that Ron has earned over the years including, The President's Council Award on Growing the Game from 2005-2007, leading the Carolinas PGA Section to win a National Herb Graffis Award in 2007, launching the Section's Merchandise Show, and on top of that, being a chief supporter for the Folds of Honor Foundation, of which he helped the Section to garner over $3 million in donations over nine years. Ron was inducted into the CPGA Hall of Fame in 2016.

Schmid remarked, "This really caught me off guard, having been out of the business for two and a half years." Ironically, Schmid was on the way to teach at the First Tee, when the call came in.

"I have always admired Ron for his leadership and dedication to the game, "said NC GCOA President Del Ratcliffe, PGA. "It's great to honor someone who really made a difference."

 

Course of the Year Award

 

 

Sedgefield Country Club has been named the 2018 "Course of the Year" by the North Carolina GCOA. This award was presented to Beverly Marler of McConnell Golf, in recognition of outstanding business success over the past year - in reality, it was a matter of achieving redemption.

Sedgefield CC gets annual exposure to millions of golfers nationwide during the Wyndham Championship, one of the PGA Tour's longest running events. This year, like many other courses in NC, extensive winterkill seriously damaged the golf course, with its all-bermuda grassing. Could they recover and showcase a beautiful course on TV? Yes they did, and it's an interesting story!

Sedgefield superintendent Chad Cromer explained the extreme winter weather conditions that ultimately threatened the viability of their PGA Tour event, as well as the ability to provide excellent playing conditions for the members. "The worst damage came in January, when we experienced single digit temperatures and sub-freezing conditions for nine days straight," he said. "It was a 100-year record, but we did not know the extent of the damage until March."

As spring approached, the stakeholders assembled for a meeting - the management, the owner, the staff and the PGA Tour. They needed a plan for long-term success for their Champion bermuda course. There was 20,000 square feet of damaged greens, yet only 2,700 square feet of a nursery - they considered all options.

Would sod be the answer? Cromer was reticent - he just wasn't certain the grass from a sod farm would be the perfect match. In addition, the timing was bad - the sod was not ready for harvesting. He also worried about sod seams, which he experienced when he was at Trump National Doral. He simply did now want to see scars.

So Cromer offered a novel idea to the stakeholders - a tedious process of sowing 2" plugs of Champion 2" apart - a mammoth effort indeed. It took roughly 135,000 plugs, 2,000 man hours and over 3.5 weeks to complete the project, as the weather started to warm in May. Cromer compared it to a "hair transplant." The end result was full turf coverage, no sod seams, no issues with grain growing the wrong way, and the integrity of the stand of Champion bermuda was not compromised.

 

 

Marler, who has a dual role as club GM and Triad Regional Director for McConnell, noted that initially there was some skepticism from a few club members, but they were generally supportive. And with it certainly helped that McConnell offers members reciprocal privileges among its 12 top private clubs, and the club's sister course ("Pete Dye") is only 15 minutes away. And Director of Golf Rocky Brooks, PGA and his staff went the extra mile to arrange member golf, including road trips with the professional staff. Opening Day on June 3rd was a big success. Marler and Brooks recall the amazement of club members at how much work and recovery had taken place in such a short time. The course continued to improve as August approached.

The end result was no scars and ultimately full coverage. When it came time for The Wyndham Championship, the PGA Tour communicated the project to the players, who were most appreciative. CBS announcer Dottie Pepper described the whole process to a national television audience. It was an amazing tale of redemption, with a lot at stake. Sedgefield showed beautifully during the broadcast.

 

Sustainability Leader

  

The North Carolina GCOA's Sustainability Award recognizes the ability to incorporate sustainability and environmental stewardship into operating practices. Bald Head Island Club is the 2018 honoree.

In a barrier island location, Bald Head Island Club coexists with nature. The club focuses on preservation and is a member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. Through the BHI Conservancy, the natural state of the island will continue to perpetuity. Now the club is dealing with the aftermath of the hurricane, with an eye toward sustainability.

BHIC superintendent Adam Bachmeier is the key man standing among a great team of club employees who pay close attention to environmental stewardship on a daily basis. He points out some of the very basics, such as using native grasses and vegetative practices as buffers around the course's natural lagoons. A renovation in 2009-10 specifically targeted these areas, and monitoring water is a high priority in his operation. They are able to use reclaimed and treated water from the Village Utility Department as irrigation water.

The club regained certification in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program by installing a 24/7 web cam to for live observation of an osprey nest via an online link, carried by the Conservancy. The camera itself was solar powered, a totally self-sufficient system.

Bachmeier also made note of a new bulkhead landscape native area on hole #16, where they used sea oats and beach grasses, plus milkweed and wildflowers to form a pollinator bed, which attracts Monarch butterflies.

The whole club is committed to nature preservation, so if you hit your ball off beyond cart paths, you will not find easy going - instead you will face true nature - no pruned trees or branches, a native area for wildlife. Only sparingly might you see a pine straw area near a cart path. They maintain a minimalist mentality regarding cutting or pruning any vegetation on the island, which demonstrates BHIC's emphasis on preserving the natural forests on the island.

More recently the club has been focused on re-opening, following the flooding from the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. It was estimated that 44-48" of rain fell in a three-day period. And of course they were already on pace for their wettest year on record.

During the recovery, the club has remained steadfast to its commitment to sustainable practices and environmental stewardship. Bachmeier's team worked in cooperation with, and under the guidance of, The Village of Bald Head and the Public Safety Department, which act as the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). BHIC' s role was to help pump water towards outfalls the EOC had set up, using the irrigation system and mobile pumps they own. The Village of Bald Head Island worked with the state to permit discharging the water off island. Duke Energy has been a good partner in the process. It's a team effort of the club, commercial entities and state agencies to recover. Only recently have residents been given access to the island, to assess the effects on their property.

Bachmeier acknowledges the team effort of the staff, led by GM Robert Norton. He also cites his two assistants, Aaron Bazonski and Tyler Brown, as playing critical roles in the quest to regain normalcy. Solitude Lake Management company has also been a key contributor. But most important perhaps is the attitude of the members, who revel in the commitment to a natural environment.

 

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Harvick4Heroes PGA REACH Charity Pro-Am

October 1, 2018

(Charlotte, NC) October 1, 2018 – It was a beautiful day at Charlotte Country Club for the Inaugural Harvick4Heroes PGA REACH Charity Pro-Am! The venue was perfect for the 18 teams and there was nothing but smiles and fun had by all.

The Kevin Harvick Foundation and PGA REACH Carolinas have partnered for this inaugural event and are excited to establish this long standing relationship for years to come for this great cause. All proceeds benefited the Kevin Harvick Foundation and the PGA REACH Carolinas Foundation.

Congratulations to our winning team with PGA Professional, Josh Wagaman and Ralph Borrello, Brent Martin, Jason Howard & Len Lopez who had a team score of 120 in this Shamble format. Coming in second place with a score of 121 was PGA Professional, Dan O’Boyle, and his team of Colby Lewis, Zazck Forster, Brenton Bersin & Jonathon Wylie. Rounding out the top three teams with a score of 122, keeping those top three scores very close, was PGA Professional, Hugh Matthis and his Forest Creek GC team of Ed Kinney, Link Melley, Andy Burnette & Bob MacWhinnie. Great playing and comradery by all players and teams!

Following play, all participants had the chance to mingle among a silent auction and bid on two top-notch live auction items. Thanks to Kevin Harvick and his team, there was a decked out, E-Z-GO RXV up for grabs. The PGA REACH Carolinas team offered an Ultimate PGA Championship Experience for the 2019 PGA Championship taking place at Bethpage Black Course in New York City, NY.

There were many sponsors who were scattered around the course, providing food and drinks for players for even more excitement along the way. A huge thank you to Hunt Brother’s Pizza, Outback Steakhouse, Jack Daniels, Scotty Cameron Putters, and Mobipaid for setting up on the course and providing wonderful amenities for the players during their round!

The two foundations are excited to share nearly $100,000 raised from the event to support both wonderful causes! The Carolinas PGA gives a tremendous thank you to all who played in the event to show their support, as well as the numerous, generous sponsors who provided support and great perks throughout the day. We also thank Head PGA Professional, Andrew Shuck, and his entire staff at Charlotte Country Club for the wonderful generosity and hospitality for hosting this inaugural event!

KEVIN HARVICK Foundation

The mission of the Kevin Harvick Foundation is to support programs that positively enrich the lives of children throughout the United States.  Established in 2010 by Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick and his wife, DeLana, the Kevin Harvick Foundation works to not only improve the quality of life, but to help underprivileged youth find and realize their dreams.  For more information visit:  www.kevinharvickfoundation.org

 

PGA REACH Carolinas Foundation

The PGA REACH Carolinas Foundation was founded in 2003 as a 501(C) 3 charitable organization to provide character building experiences to children of every race, creed, gender and socio-economic background.  The foundation provides assistance to PGA Junior League Golf, the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship and numerous local junior events and tournaments.  In addition to a focus on youth, the foundation has expanded to support diversity & inclusion and the military through its 11 PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) Chapters.  For more information visit: carolinas.pga.com/pga-reach

 

Click here to view more photos from the event >>>

 

2019 Major Schedule

Items in bold font are confirmed. Other items are subject to change. Section staff is hard at work solidifying this schedule.

Date Event Location
March TBD Players Championship / RBC Heritage Member Qualifying TBD
April 1-2 Tar Heel Cup Matches River Landing CC
May TBD Harrah's Cherokee Pro-Am Sequoyah National
June 4-6 NC Open TBD
June 24-25 Pro-Assistant River Landing CC
July 9-11 SC Open Grande Dunes Resort Club
July 22-23 CPGA Senior Professional Championship Camden CC
August 6-8 Carolinas Open Greensboro CC - Farm Course
August 26-27 CPGA Assistant Professional Championship Surf Golf & Beach Club
Sept/Oct Carolinas PGA Professional Championship Treyburn CC
TBD PGA REACH Carolinas Pro-Am TBD
December 3-5 Pro-Pro Championship TBD
TBD Pro-Official Championship TBD
 
 
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