By: Tony Edwards
Part Four: More Course Stories
Well, I had some really good changes come my way during Kenny’s and Mike’s time together that made a very positive difference to how I would play in the future.
I like to call them my face-lifts. I had been begging for a change from the old bent grass on my greens. The first step was the renovation of my practice green in 2012, which would lead eventually to upgrading all 18 greens. One over-zealous member, who had heard Mike praising this new Dwarf Bermuda strain, wanted to try it out a little prematurely…before the grass was even seeded!
The new grass on the putting green was such a success, the next year AP decided that all my greens shouldbe upgraded to Dwarf Bermuda. I was really excited—until Mike whispered in my ear that I could not be played on for several months while my greens were being converted… a lonely time. But the result, now six seasons on, has made my greens so much better to play, maintain, and enjoy. Don’t you agree?
Well, I know the young junior tour professionals do agree…. Since June 2014, I have been proud to be the course that hosts the annual BIGGS Classic Tournament, part of a junior pro tour circuit that is currently organized and run by Gary Haugh of G-Pro Tour.
Our reputation for good golf, great hospitality and exceptional volunteer involvement has, this year, won us the honor of hosting the G-Pro Tour’s season-ending championship in November and we all hope it will still be played as scheduled. Unfortunately, the regular BIGGS Classic here in May has had to be canceled due to the current virus pandemic. I will miss these young guys coming to compete on my fine fairways and greens this year and congratulating the winner who would have had an exemption to the Rex Hospital Open on the Korn
Ferry Tour. The G-Pro Tour’s BIGGS Classic would have been the seventh year at the SGL, but I will now have to look forward to greeting the
players again next year.
Well I could go on. But I must not close before mentioning the most recent guys to fill the position of Head Professional position. Lee Duncan came to AP in 2017 after Kenny moved on to a club in Tennessee. Lee has been great and has encouraged a good number of residents to play the great game of golf on my fairways and greens. He has now been promoted to APPI General Manager, and Ed White has taken the Pro role and is my new buddy in the Pro Shop. He came all the way from Rhode Island, but we southerners don’t hold that against him!
Together with our golf course gurus, Randy and Bill, they all work really hard to keep me in tip-top shape and provide an exceptional golf experience all year long. Thanks fellas…
How do I feel? Thanks for asking. I’m feeling just as good as I did 30 years ago. How many can say that?! Green and vibrant (okay, so I nap during the winter months) and proud of all the golf played in good spirit by golfers young and old who have stepped onto my tee boxes and maneuvered a golf ball on my fairways and greens. So, come out and enjoy playing me, and I promise I will try to keep quiet while you are making your birdie putt! Here’s to another wonderful 30 years!