The First Tee event to be held in conjunction with PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship
WILMINGTON, N.C. (April 26, 2017) — With the golf world set to watch PGA Tour players compete here May 4-7 in the Wells Fargo Championship, the City of Wilmington will get tournament week started a few days earlier when it debuts a three-hole short course at Wilmington Municipal Golf Course on Tuesday, May 2. To be used by The First Tee of Greater Wilmington youth program, the layout is designed by award-winning architect John Fought, who also carried out the 2014 restoration of the 18-hole municipal layout.
The new short course will be christened with a special event at 3 p.m. EDT next Tuesday. Youths involved with the local First Tee program will join PGA Tour pros, local dignitaries and community members in formally playing the course for the first time.
“We had the vision to create a special three-hole course on which to introduce young people to the game of golf,” said Gordon Dalgleish, Chairman, The First Tee of Greater Wilmington. “John took that vision and created everything we could have asked for and more. We could not have found a better partner in this project.”
As part of the $1 million-plus privately-funded project, Fought also designed multiple sets of tees, short driving range and practice green. The local First Tee chapter, once struggling, was revived after the PGA Tour selected Wilmington’s Eagle Point Golf Club—12 miles from the municipal course—as the one-time site of the 2017 Wells Fargo Championship. The tournament’s regular venue, Quail Hollow in Charlotte, will host the PGA Championship in August.
“The short course will be a great place for kids to receive an introduction to the game and get a feel for how to play,” said Fought, a former PGA Tour pro who boasts a strong golf course design resume in the state of North Carolina. “It’s a very cool facility as all three holes have their own characteristics and can be played from different distances.”
Fought, whose design work spans the country, has enjoyed success in North Carolina. Three years ago, Fought completed the first total restoration of the Donald Ross-designed Wilmington Municipal Golf Course since it first opened in 1926 with just five holes. The restoration involved every green, as well as all approaches, fairway bunkers, new tee boxes and practice putting green.
In 2016, Fought completed a renovation of Carmel Country Club’s North Course in Charlotte, which provided members with a course that was more open, with new routing and improved sight lines, that was also fun to play.
In 2004, Fought also completed a widely-acclaimed restoration of Pine Needles Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C. Fought’s work has consistently landed Pine Needles in the Top 30 of Golfweek’s annual ranking of “America’s Best 100 Resort Golf Courses.” Shortly after Fought finished the restoration project, Pine Needles hosted the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open.
For more information on:
• Wilmington Municipal Golf Course, visit http://www.wilmingtonnc.gov/departments/parks-recreation/golf-tennis-pools; and
• The First Tee of Greater Wilmington, visit www.thefirstteegreaterwilmington.org.
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