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Poplar Grove hires Mast as head pro

February 3, 2019

Poplar Grove Tabs Jacob Mast as Head Golf Professional

(AMHERST, Va.) Poplar Grove Golf Club – Sam Snead’s final course design located in the beautiful rolling hills of southern Virginia – introduces Jacob Mast as its new Head Golf Professional.

Mast comes to Poplar Grove from Poplar Forest Golf Club in Forest, Va., where he worked as a teaching professional and then Head Golf Professional. A graduate of Liberty University and a four-year member of the men’s golf team, Mast’s collegiate highlights were helping the team win the 2014 Big South Conference Championship as well as competing in the NCAA D1 Regionals in Oregon. He graduated in 2014 with a degree in government and a minor in business.

No stranger to elite golf, Mast’s father, Dick, is a longtime PGA TOUR veteran, amassing more than 45 career top-10 finishes between the Tour, PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions. Traveling with and caddying for dad has been a significant part of their relationship and has given the younger Mast a unique appreciation for the traditions and history of the game.

“I am honored to carry on San Snead’s legacy at Poplar Grove,” says Mast. “Our goal is to make every member and guest feel like family. Poplar Grove is a beautiful layout, and we look forward to providing each visitor with an unforgettable experience.”

Poplar Grove is amid a $3 million renovation that includes re-building bunkers, teeing grounds and green complexes; updating drainage, clearing trees, remodeling practice areas and renovating cart paths with a new fleet of golf carts. The course will remain open for play during the project, with completion of phase I projected for early spring 2019.

Select tree removal will provide golfers with more strategic options and better views. Snead, a World Golf Hall of Fame member, was inspired by courses he played during his career – a career that accumulated a record 82 PGA TOUR wins, including seven majors. As a result, Poplar Grove will continue to feature elevated tee shots on 15 of its 18 holes.

The course restoration will be led by Ed Carton, a Virginia native who honed his craft under Tom Fazio, Michael Hurdzan, Gary Player and Raymond Floyd. Carton consulted closely with Snead when designing Poplar Grove and saw the project through to its finish in 2005, three years after “Slammin’ Sammy’s” passing at age 89.

The two also teamed up to design nearby Spring Creek in Charlottesville, one of Golf Digest’s “100 Greatest Public Courses in America.” Poplar Grove, a Golf Digest “Best New Upscale Public Course” in 2005, is poised to return to its heyday under the close watch of Carton, the man who initially brought Snead’s blueprint to life.

Located in Amherst, Virginia, Poplar Grove is 20 and 45 minutes from Lynchburg and Charlottesville, respectively. The surrounding Blue Ridge foothills are alive with breweries, distilleries and wineries, constituting the perfect getaway for couples and buddy groups.

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Ryan Parsons