Tee Times june 2014

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June 2014 Tee Times

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  • June 2014 June 2014FREE June 2014June 2014FREE Keeping Golfers Connected in TN, KY, MS, AL, NCKeeping Golfers Connected in TN, KY, MS, AL, NC


    Strong to the end: Vanderbilt golf teams solid in NCAA tournaments

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    Required reading: A Difficult Par is worth the effort 7

    Best mountain golf in the

    High CountryPages 2-3

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    By Gregg DewaltTee Times EditorMOUNTAIN CITY, Tenn. From the throes of bankruptcy has emerged an integral golf destination nestled in the hills of east Tennessee.RedTail Mountain Resort, site of a

    magnificent Dan and Ellis Maples 18-hole golf course opened in 1982, continues to make a splash in the golf landscape near the Tennessee/North Carolina border. And, according to resort manager Vernon Brady who is part of the ownership group that saved the resort literally at the last minute in 2012, the best is yet to come at RedTail Mountain.We think we have the best mountain golf in the High Country, Brady said. You can have a golf course in the mountains and it isnt necessarily mountain golf. We have great mountain golf with great scenic vistas from nearly every tee.With 400 feet of elevation changes throughout the course, RedTail Mountain definitely is mountain golf at its finest. But an abundance of wildlife and beautiful scenery can only take a

    Best mountain golf in the High Country

    course so far. It has to be at the same time fun and challenging for golfers of all skill levels to keep them coming back. RedTail Mountain Resort does just that. Our members say they never tire of it, Brady said. There is so much nature to take in, the way the holes are laid out. They dont get bored. We think we have what people want to come for. Its a challenging course for all level of players but its not so hard that people get discouraged.According to Brady, the site opened in 1982 as Roan Valley. Eventually, the property now known as RedTail Mountain Resort was bought by a group from Atlanta. Looking to develop the site, the group spent money on the course and enlarging the clubhouse. But the economy went south and eventually it went into bankruptcy. And thats when Lyle Habermehl swooped in to save the resort just days before the bank was going to pull the plug. Habermehl, a Canadian businessman, immediately went to work backing a new plan for the resort.Armed with a plan and an infusion of revenue, Habermehl has revived the resort and is determined to make RedTail Resort a golf destination. That plan included refurbishing the course, building a pool, fitness center and tennis courts. Lodging is now available in the

    former of one-, two- and three-bedroom condos on the property. And the 32 acres of recently purchased land along Watauga Lake for guests adds another big-time touch.A clubhouse with The Vistas restaurant that is the hub of the resort simply adds to the allure. Eventually, there will be a new pro shop, grill room and practice area.Golf remains the focal point of the resort, however. Starting with head professional Sam Adams, a native of the area who became the first left-handed player to win on the PGA Tour, to the recently refurbished greenside bunkers guarding the bentgrass/poa annua greens, RedTail Mountain provides a memorable experience. Adams has been on board since the course opened in fact he helped Maples with the construction.Brady calls Adams iconic, and with good reason. Hes a fixture in the pro shop and is known to all the local golfing public.They are giving me more credit that I deserve, Adams said. If iconic means Im an old geezer still working, then I guess I am an icon. Ive been here since the inception. The first thing I did was clear fence rows by hand. You cant be more ground floor

    than that. There have been good times and bad times.Adams, who admits he doesnt play much anymore, definitely sees things on the upswing these days. He is proud of the course.No two holes are the same, he said. The vistas from the tees are some of the most breathtaking you will find. There are lots of elevation changes. Its true mountain golf.With fairway bunkers now in the process of being refurbished the project should be complete by July Brady is concentrating on the resorts amenities and spreading the gospel of RedTail Mountain. Hes created a free phone app to alert golfers of specials, and hes created tier pricing along with online tee times. In an area that isnt overrun with golf, he realizes the need to provide golfers a reason to visit the resort. And, once on the property, he

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    Best mountain golf in the High Country

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    needs to make sure the experience is first class so they will come back and tell their friends.Having the amenities for non-golfers also is a priority, Brady said. The goal is to provide a memorable experience for golfers and non-golfers alike.

    Eventually the plan is to develop the property. Two houses have recently been built and becoming a gated community is in the works. But thats in the future. Right now, Brady and Adams just want to make sure RedTail Mountain Resort offers the best bang for the buck to local golfers and those seeking a unique destination for a getaway.You dont have to be a golfer to enjoy coming here, Brady said. There are so many day excursions that are close by. The mountains are beautiful. Theres no traffic jams here. The crowds are not here. There are so many good things once people know about us. My task is how to get people here. We want to get the word out that we offer great value, great golf and a great experience.

    Maples name has design cloutTee Times reportIts no accident RedTail Mountain golf course has a reputation for being an excellent course playable, yet challenging and fun.Thats what happens when an acclaimed father and son design team collaborate on a layout that embodies everything mountain golf should be. When Ellis and Dan Maples pieced together what was then known as Roan Valley in 1982, they made sure to use the elevation changes and spectacular scenery to create a unique golf experience that only gets better with age.The Maples name carries significant weight in the world of golf course design and now spans four generations. It began with Frank Maples, who worked as the construction superintendent on four courses at Pinehurst Country Club

    for legendary designer Donald Ross.Ellis Maples continued in his fathers

    footsteps, beginning as an assistant greenskeeper at Mid Pines and Pine Needles in North Carolina. Later, he supervised the construction of Raleigh Country Club, the final design by Ross. In 1953, Ellis Maples opened his own golf architecture firm. Upon his death in 1984, Ellis Maples had been involved in 70 courses across the Southeast.

    Ellis Maples son, Dan, joined his father in the design business in the 1974 and together they collaborated on 17 courses, including RedTail Mountain. They also designed the Dogwood Course at the Country Club of North Carolina. Bradley Maples is continuing the family tradition. A 2006 graduate of North Carolina State, Bradley Maples first project he assisted with was the renovation of Olde Mill in Virginia, which coincidentally was the first project Dan worked on with his father Ellis.

    Foster and crew keep RedTail Mountain in pristine conditionTee Times reportKeeping RedTail Mountain in pristine condition falls into the capable hands of superintendent Steve Foster and his crew.He arrived at RedTail Mountain after a nine-year stint as superintendent at Lake Chabot in San Francisco. A nine-year employee, Foster has been the golf course superintendent at RedTail for the past four years. Foster is responsible for the upkeep, maintenance and improvements to the course to keep it in exceptional condition. He is also responsible for the equipment and the crew. He feels blessed to have

    such a competent and hard working crew who take pride in their work. The crew: Justin, Ron, Billy, Pete, Jesse, Marcus, Tim, and Ryan.There are challenges, however. The golf season in California is 12 months. At RedTail, Foster deals with a 7-to-8-month season. The offseason is spent on projects, and Foster and his seven-person crew recently renovated all of the greenside bunkers and now are tackling the fairway bunkers. Refurbishing the bunkers was an extensive project. The bunkers were dug out and new drainage lines, back filling and new lining were installed. Fosters crew filled the bunkers with white SP 52

    sand, the same sand used on high-end courses including Augusta National.Also, the bent grass/poa annua greens were drilled to a depth of 10 to 12 inches to promote deep root growth.Fairways, tees and approaches are rye and blue grass best for mountain courses. That combination is usually green in March and early April while courses with Bermuda grass are still dormant. Future plans include construction of a new pro shop with an open grill and large practice area. Also, owners hope to replace three existing holes with new holes to provide a state-of-the-art practice range.

    Sam Adams, Head Golf Professional

    Lynn and Vernon Brady, Co-owners and Managers

    Steve Foster,Superintendent

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    Probably no tournament is revered by golfers as much the U.S. Open, which begins June 12 at the famed Pinehurst No. 2 course. Although it is one of the PGA Tour majors, even Joe Nobody can play in it by qualifying because it is conducted by the United States Golf Association, not the PGA Tour.That scenario played out in the 1996 movie Tin Cup when the owner of a rundown driving range in Wes