The announcement Thursday that plans are in place to renovate Charleston Municipal Golf Course was welcome news to the local golf community that has long advocated updating the 89-year-old course. The targeted start for the 15-month-long, $3 million project is December 2019.
General manager Marshall Ormond, who has been with Charleston Municipal for 10 years, said the renovation was on the radar long before he came.
"The biggest advocate when I came here was Dr. Morey Lipton, who was chairman of the golf commission. We spent a lot of time and had a lot of conversations in the mayor's office. We came close several times. Seeing this come to fruition now is special," Ormand said, paying tribute to Lipton, who passed away in 2014.
Course superintendent Shawn Gouge said he was advocating for a renovation even before coming to Charleston Municipal.
"I've been a major proponent of restoring this golf course for 25 years, since I was working at the Country Club of Charleston," Gouge said. "I was a proponent of the course being rebuilt and taking it to another level, to modern-day standards. My crew and I are ecstatic. It means the world to me and my crew, to all the staff here at the Muni and all the local golfers."
Between 50,000 and 60,000 rounds are played each year on the course, meaning there's a lot of traffic on a small footprint of land with several holes near the Stono River that are prone to flooding.
Golf course architect Troy Miller, who grew up playing Municipal and is overseeing the project at no cost, said those issues will be a major focus as well as adding some of the historical elements the Country Club of Charleston and Yeamans Hall, built at about the same time in the 1920s by Seth Raynor.
Miller said that while Raynor did not design the course, there is no doubt that the Muni layout was influenced by his nearby work. Redan, Alps Hole and Eden Green are terms with which Muni regulars will become familiar.
"I volunteered to do this because it means a lot to me," Miller said.
Miller met with Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg and outlined his dream. It took the mayor's OK to begin working on a plan for the design as well as the operational and financial sides of a project
Vistas will be opened to the Stono River and ponds and wetlands areas will be added with the dirt from those ponds used to elevate the fairway to alleviate flooding. The greens, which naturally shrink over time because of mowing patterns, will be increased in size by about 50 percent. That, in turn, will allow for more character on the putting surfaces, Miller said.
If all goes well, Miller said his goal is for Muni regulars to be fully enjoying his labor of love by October 2020.
Ford wins Harry Wilson Super Senior title
Frank Ford of Charleston shot a final-round 68 and finished with a two-day total of 138, 4-under-par, and earned a four-stroke victory in the 12th annual Harry Wilson Super Senior Championship played at Florence Country Club.
Tim Pope of Spartanburg and John Long of Murrells Inlet tied for second in the event for players 65 and older.
Carey Hite of Columbia won the Legends Division (players 70 and older), also with a score of 138.
Dunes West and RiverTowne tied for the top spot with scores of 285 after the opening round of the Charleston Area Ladies Golf Association (CALGA) Classic played at Dunes West on Oct. 15. The second round will be played Nov. 20 at Wild Dunes.
Other first-round scores include: Shadowmoss, 289; Crowfield, 292; Charleston Municipal, 298; Snee Farm, 299; Seabrook, 302; Coosaw Creek, 305; and Wild Dunes, 323.
Charleston Area Interclub
Legend Oaks won the Charleston Area Men's Interclub September golf match played at Shadowmoss with a score of 30 points. RiverTowne and Charleston Municipal tied for second with 21 points. Individual honors went to Marty Carsner of Shadowmoss with 16 points, while Herb Whetsell of Municipal was second with 12.
Dunes West won the October match played at Legend Oaks with a team score of 17 points. Shadowmoss was second with 8. George Vaughn of Legend Oaks was the top individual with 12, while Dave Steffens of Municipal and Bob Lukas of Dunes West tied for second with10.
Through 10 matches, Charleston Municipal leads the standings with 100.0 points, followed by Legend Oaks with 91.5; Charleston National, 87.0; Wescott, 85.5; and Coosaw Creek, 83.0.
• Nov. 3: Legend Oaks Gives Back golf tournament to benefit Meals on Wheels of Summerville, contact Legend Oaks Club at 843-821-4077.
• Nov. 9: Eleventh annual Capt. Richard G. Cliff Memorial Golf Tournament, Patriots Point Links, $125 per player, proceeds benefitting Special Operations Warrior Foundation, visit captcliffmemorial.com.
• Nov. 12: Seabrook Island Club and Kiawah-Seabrook Exchange Club seventh annual Veteran's Day golf outing to benefit Ralph Johnson Veteran's Hospital and Fisher House, entry fee for Seabrook Island Club members is $70 plus cart fee; for non-club members entry fee is $120. $50 of the entry fee will be set aside as a charitable contribution to Ralph Johnson Veteran's Hospital and Fisher House, register by calling 843-768-2529 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Worth Ketchem, Sept. 16, Cougar Point-Kiawah Island Golf Resort, No. 12, 158 yards, 7-iron. Witnesses: Terry Ketchem, Bob Bacon, Wendie Spence.
Tony Gianoukos, Oct. 12, Links at Stono Ferry, No. 11, 140 yards, pitching wedge. Witnesses: Christos Panagiotidis, John Alvanos, Jimmie Gianoukos.
Dale Stier, Oct. 13, Coosaw Creek Country Club, No. 15, 162 yards, 6-iron. Witnesses: Fred Perron, Bob Nielsen, Brion Packett.
Barbara Boyer, Oct. 14, Dunes West Golf & River Club, No. 6, 107 yards, 7-iron. Witnesses: Jack Boyer, Janice Zagorski, Richard Zagorski.
Chuck Cross, Oct. 17, Charleston National Golf Club, No. 2, 117 yards. Witnesses: Earl Richter, John Sowa, Frank Peters.
Joel Hair, Oct. 17, Club at Pine Forest, No. 13, 142 yards, 8-iron. Witnesses: Gene Coakeley, Reese Jones, Richard Hutchinson.
Mike Osbon, Oct. 17, Oak Forest-Wescott Golf Club, No. 8, 149 yards, 5-iron.
Steve Norris, Oct. 18, Bulls Bay Golf Club, No. 7, 174 yards, 6-iron. Witnesses: Matthew Flemming, Adam Young, Culvert Kidd.
Connor HeyBoer, Oct. 23, Charleston Municipal Golf Course, No. 4, 165 yards, 7-iron. Witnesses: Joseph King, Stephen HeyBoer.
Mike Cleveringa, Oct. 24, Coosaw Creek Country Club, No. 11, 148 yards, 8-iron. Witness: Karol Moses.