ClubCorp Blog

Big Break Justin Martinson

This past February, Hartefeld National in Avondale, Pennsylvania, held a huge watch party for the first episode of season 24 of “The Big Break, The Palm Beaches” to watch Member Justin Martinson compete in the Golf Channel reality series. When Martinson gained immunity during the first 10 minutes of the show, the crowd went wild – and bar sales doubled!

Throughout the season, Members and the staff carefully followed the progress of Martinson, whose father is Chairman of the Board of Governors. As Martinson got further in the competition, he became somewhat of a celebrity around the club. Two more huge watch parties were held recently when Martinson competed in the semi-finals and then the finals this past Monday, when the club gave away two dozen hats autographed by Martinson. During the viewing parties, the club served complimentary appetizers and held food and drink specials on some of Martinson’s favorites – Buffalo Wings and Jack & Ginger (Jack Daniels and Ginger Ale). Although Martinson did not win the final match, the club couldn’t be prouder.
 

Big Break Hartefeld

Martinson, who is 26 years old, has been playing at the club since he was 16 and his talent showed as he began playing junior tournaments, found success on the International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) and then as a collegiate golfer at the University of Delaware. More recently, he has competed on the various mini-tours with multiple victories. The Members and Employee Partners at Hartefeld National will continue to closely follow his career and cheer him on along the way.

 
 Top photo: Hartefeld Member Justin Martinson in a promotional photo for “The Big Break, The Palm Beaches.”
 Bottom photo: Members gather in the club’s Walker Cup Room & Bar to watch Martinson on The Big Break.

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AvidGolfer recently revealed its highly anticipated Best of Private Clubs 2015 listing, and we’re pleased to announce that ClubCorp was ranked among numerous categories!

In the Best Country Club – First Class Category, meaning the Initiation Fee is between $25,001 and $59,999, two ClubCorp clubs nabbed top spots. Stonebriar Country Club was named No. 2, and Gleneagles Country Club, called “the best of the best,” was named No. 4.

The Best Country Club – Mid-Priced Category (Initiation Fees between $10,001 and $25,000) saw two more ClubCorp clubs win titles. Las Colinas Country Club came in fourth, and Stonebridge Ranch Country Club won the No. 5 title with its innovative and  “unbelievable” dual membership – a great value for its Members. Touted for its consistently excellent service, AvidGolfer said, “If you like Sunday brunch, it doesn’t get much better than Las Colinas Country Club.”

In the category Best Country Club – Value-Priced Category, ClubCorp clubs swept all top five places! Coming in at No. 1 was Trophy Club Country Club, followed by Brookhaven Country Club at No. 2. The Clubs of Prestonwood earned the No. 3 spot, followed by Canyon Creek Country Club and Hackberry Creek Country Club in the No. 4 and No. 5 spots, respectively. AvidGolfer said, “This category could be dubbed, ‘The Category that ClubCorp Built;’ it is true, all five of these clubs are ClubCorp clubs, and that just further proves how the company excels at cultivating top-notch, family-friendly country clubs that don’t cost an arm and a leg.”

Stonebriar Country Club came in first place in overall Best Value, and Stonebridge Ranch Country Club was named No. 3 on the same list, followed by Trophy Club Country Club at No. 4. Timarron Country Club was named the No. 1 Best Golf Club in the First-Class Category, as well.

Congratulations to our wonderful DFW-area clubs! 

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Congratulations to Director of Instruction, Aurora Kirchner-McClain, and Teaching Professional, Lori Tatum, from the Golf Advantage School at The Clubs of Kingwood in Kingwood, Texas, who coached Team Texas to the PGA Junior League National Championships in Atlanta this past fall.

To get to the Championships, Team Texas – an all-star team narrowed down from 80 kids from the program’s summer league – won post-season matches against teams from College Station, Texas, and The Woodlands, Texas, before defeating all-star teams from Denver, Little Rock and St. Louis in the Oklahoma City JGL Regional Championship.

Team Texas finished sixth out of eight teams at the National Championship – quite impressive as more than 1,500 teams (18,000 junior golfers ages 13 and under) competed in the PGA Junior League Golf in 2014.

Congratulations to Aurora and Lori!

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The Acura ClubCorp Champions Classic makes its triumphant return to Pinehurst Resort this weekend! Since 1987, the challenging ClubCorp national tournaments have offered Members exciting opportunities to visit new places, playing with fellow Members from across the country. The Acura ClubCorp Champions Classic is a wonderful time for Members to come together and enjoy friendly competition and build relationships.

Beginning Monday, September 29 golfers from clubs across the country will walk in the footsteps of golf’s greatest players as they take on the challenging 54-hole tournament. The tournament consists of Pinehurst Resort’s illustrious Courses No. 2 (home to the 2014 U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championship), No. 4 and No. 8. 

If you’re attending the tournament but not participating, or if you find yourself with some down time between tee times, the surrounding area offers plenty by way of day trips and exciting activities. Some favorite destinations in the Pinehurst area are within 30 or 45 minutes – others are about an hour away. Click here to see a few of our favorites. 

Competitors have the opportunity to take home many prizes, including the coveted Putter Boy, which goes to the first place team. Second and third place teams win the tournament award, and Acura will award one lucky Member the use of an Acura for a year via blind draw during the Acura Awards Dinner. Players also have the chance to win daily closest-to-the-pin contests and exciting door prizes.

We hope Members have a wonderful time playing in the tournament during its 28th year!

This week Stonebriar Country Club hosted the inaugural “ClubCorp 100 Hole Challenge” – a partnership between ClubCorp and The First Tee of Greater Dallas. The event served to raise money youth development and life skills lessons through golf programs.

Members and Employee Partners from 11 DFW-area ClubCorp clubs participated, braving the Texas heat and each playing a total of 100 holes of golf in a single day. Together, they raised over $48,000!

Gleneagles Country Club raised the most money, with $14,370. Brookhaven Country Club took second place and the host, Stonebriar Country Club, raised the third highest amount.

Chad Pinson, the Head Golf Pro at Gleneagles said, “It has been an honor to represent Gleneagles Country Club and ClubCorp in supporting The First Tee of Greater Dallas. Our members rallied around this incredible cause and raised impressive funds. We look forward to next year’s event.” 

To donate or get involved, please visit www.tiny.cc/ccchallenge.

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Congratulations to Brent Cohen, Ben Hanson and Robert Ferreira – all three, who have worked together for several years as a team and last year earned two Gold and one Silver Circle of Excellence Awards, are taking on new leadership roles in the West Region of the Golf and Country Club Division. 

Brent Cohen (pictured left) has been named General Manager at Canterwood Golf & Country Club in Gig Harbour, Washington. Most recently, Brent served as General Manager at Empire Ranch Golf Club in Folsom, California, and Turkey Creek Golf Club in Lincoln, California. Brent and his wife, Sara, 5-year-old daughter, Hailey, and 2-year-old son, Brandon, are excited about their move to Washington, the cooler temperatures and their new adventures.

Taking over as General Manager at Empire Ranch is Ben Hanson (pictured right). Ben joined ClubCorp as Head Golf Professional at Empire Ranch in 2010, worked under the leadership of Brent for four years and is now ready to step into the General Manager role. Ben and his wife, Stephanie, live in Roseville, California, and have two daughters – 2-year-old Grace, 1-year-old Sloane – and another child due at the beginning of next year.

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Robert Ferreira (left) will continue serving as General Manager at Teal Bend Golf Club in Sacramento, where he has been employed since 1999 and General Manager since 2010. However, Robert will also now serve as General Manager at Turkey Creek Golf Club. Robert and his wife, Sasha, and sons Dylan, 9, and Luke, 7, live in Woodland, California, and, with Robert’s dual leadership opportunity, are happy to remain there where they are deeply rooted in the Woodland Little League.

Congratulations again to Brent, Ben and Robert!

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The inaugural Couples Invitational at Oak Pointe Country Club in Brighton, Michigan, was a big hit. The theme was “007” and Members, who dressed for the occasion, enjoyed a delicious brunch and a photo session before they hit the course, where they were treated with appetizers along the way. 

While the Members played, the staff transformed the dining room into a “007” set that would impress even the British Secret Service. The centerpieces – tall cylinders with martini glasses filled with water, red stones, colorful drink stirrers and a beta fish – were the talk of the club while the prize table, flowing with golf and satin, received comments as well. 

The golfers took part in a competitive shootout before returning to clubhouse, where they were wined, dined, entertained and awarded prizes. As one delighted Member put it, the event was “Over the top” and lots of fun.

Bluegrass Holes in One

Saturday, July 5 was a special day at Bluegrass Yacht & Country Club.  A hole-in-one is typically a rare feat but during the President’s Cup, Bluegrass’ Member-Member tournament, Mike Hedge stepped onto the island green No. 10 hole and knocked his 7-iron in from 154 yards for an ace. Within an hour and a half, Bill McGlashan then also aced the No. 10 hole.  Word spread throughout the tournament as everyone enjoyed the fantastic day featuring not one but two holes-in-one.

Having such a good time, several groups went back out after the 18-hole tournament was over to play extra holes. Trey Tarpley stepped on the 7th tee and knocked his 5-iron on the 196-yard hole into the cup for the third hole-in-one of the day! Three holes-in-one in one day marked a first for Bluegrass Yacht & Country Club’s 63-year history. The odds of three holes-in-one in a single day on one 18-hole golf course are about three million to one.

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According to a recent article published on LasVegasGolf.com, Bear’s Best Las Vegas offers visitors “some of the best golf holes from some of Nicklaus' top designs.”

Just minutes from the immortal Las Vegas strip, Bear’s Best is an upscale, daily fee public course offering a world-class experience in a public facility focused on corporate entertaining, golf outings and other private events. 

The illustrious 18-hole golf course offers manicured bent
grass greens, challenging and varied hole designs and
immaculate fairway/tee complexes (overseeded in winter
to ensure optimal conditions year-round).

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The article particularly praises the Club’s No. 1 and No. 18 holes. “Bear's Best Las Vegas' opening and closing holes are two of the best around -- one from the Nicklaus Private Course at PGA West (the first) and one from PGA West's Nicklaus Tournament Course (the 18th). The opening hole plays 413 yards from the tips…The finale is one of the toughest players will face anywhere. At 463 yards, it's a monster.”

“’It's not a course players can -- or need -- to overpower. "You really have to think your way around the course,’" said golfer Brad Davies. "’But it's beautiful, and it's a challenge, and that's just what you want in a course.’"

To book your tee time, visit bearsbestlasvegas.com

The BMW Best Ball Challenge at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, unofficially began yesterday with players taking to the West Course for a practice round before meeting up at the practice range for a BMW Skill Challenge. Attendees later enjoyed a Welcome Cocktails and Dinner.

The 38 teams of two had an early morning tee time this morning – 8 a.m. again on the West Course – for the first official round of the tournament. Activities today and throughout the weekend include more BMW test drives, a whisky tasting dinner hosted by Universal Whisky featuring 12, 14, 15, 17 and 21-year-old Balvenie and Glenfiddich single malt scotches and 1492 Premier Cigars following dinner. 

In addition to bragging rights, players will be competing for several prizes such as a one-week stay at one of Vida Vacations Mexico properties for the person who guesses the correct number of tees in the jar and – for anyone getting a hole in one – a two-year lease on an X5 BMW.

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