E.A. Sports Today

Indian Oaks moving forward

Revived club preparing to elect board members; King Classic website up and running, new personnel at ACC, Gadsden CC

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

It has been two weeks since Ronnie Cofield took the keys to Indian Oaks Golf Club and in that time steady progress has been made toward the course making a soft opening later this month and play starting in earnest June 1.

An initial meeting shortly after the close brought “a great response” of approximately 70 potential investors. A workshop last Monday to reaffirm earlier commitments also brought positive results.

“We have decided with the current level of interest and commitment we’ll be able to move forward,” Cofield said.

This Monday, the group moves into the formal investment phase and plans to establish a five-member board that will be charged with incorporating the club and handling all administrative details, including the hiring a club manager.

“That’s when we start making balls roll,” Cofield said.

Cofield will be an investor, but will decline to serve on the board.

“There are a lot more qualified people and people who’d be a lot more efficient on the board than I would be,” he said. “I told them I’d be a good committee member on two or three committees. We need to make sure we’re voting on somebody who can and is willing to do the job … because this first board really has the work cut out for them.”

The group is still toying with a name. They are considering leaving it Indian Oaks Golf Club or calling it Indian Oaks Community Golf Club, a reflection of its neighborhood backing and mission.

NEW MAN AT ACC: Lee Fillingim has been hired as the new superintendent at Anniston Country Club, just in time to put the finishing touches on the course prior to its showcase Wilfred Galbraith ACC Invitational.

Fillingim, the brother-in-law of former Jacksonville State basketball coach Mike LaPlante, comes to The Club after 16 years as the head superintendent at Healy Point in Macon. His official start date is May 8, but he has been stopping by the course from time to time to lend his expertise.

Former superintendent Russell Nicholls has gone to Westhaven GC in Franklin, Tenn.

“It’s nice to have him stop by and get us going in the right direction,” ACC pro and interim GM Jake Spott said. “He’s going to bring us a ton of experience. The other two guys we looked at were assistants at pretty good clubs, but his experience far so trumped everything else. With his experience, I think he’s going to take over without missing a beat.”

Fillingim’s priority will be to maintain the club’s Champion Bermuda greens at the same quality Nicholls had them. They are running a little slower in the transition, but Spott said the new superintendent is “fully prepared” to have the greens “exactly what we what them” for the tournament weekend.

“Without him it would have been tough,” Spott said.

In addition to the short term goals, with Fillingim’s experience the club will be able to do some of its planned course improvements in-house.

Entries are now being accepted for the ACC Invitational. Entry fee is $200, with an additional $30 surcharge for registrations after May 6. Entry deadline is May 12.

NEW MAN IN GADSDEN: Matt Ganshaw moved into his new position as head pro and general manager at Gadsden Country Club on Friday.

Follow the 37-year-old’s his career path and you could say the road has taken him here. He has been at Silver Lakes and Twin Bridges (with a stop at Grand National in between).

“It’s a big responsibility, but I feel like I’m ready for it,” he said. “The progression has been made and hopefully I just keep progressing over there, keep getting better and better.”

Teaching, reviving a junior program and growing the membership are priorities for Ganshaw in his new post; the club did about 10,000 rounds last year. He will be making a third career start in the PGA Professional National Championship this summer.

Twin Bridges, meanwhile, is in the process of searching for Ganshaw’s successor.

NEW LOOK FOR CLASSIC: The new and improved website for the Sunny King Charity Classic is up and running, ready to accept entries for the 37th annual tournament July 10-12.

Same courses, same format. What’s new? Plans are to run split tee times at Cider Ridge as they’ve done at Silver Lakes the last few years and, by popular demand, the website (www.kingclassic.com) is accepting credit card payments to streamline the on-line registration process.

Practice round schedules have been established:

Anniston CC — June 30-July 2 and July 7-9: $20, includes cart and one bag of range balls. Tee times are required.

Cider Ridge – June 22-25, June 29-July 2, July 6-9: $20 anytime; June 26-28, $35 after noon; July 3-5, $35 after 1 p.m.

Silver Lakes – Unlimited practice rounds June 15-July 9, $22 plus tax, includes range balls.

GAME CHANGER: It’s easy to see what made the difference among the leaders on Championship Sunday at last week’s Cider Ridge Invitational –the par-5s.

Ty Cole played them best collective and he walked away with the title. Cole played the scoring holes in the final round in 5-under-par – three birdies and a crucial eagle on 15.

Runners-up Chad Calvert and Gary Wigington both played them in 4-under; Cole won by a stroke. Calvert had two eagles and birdie and a bogey. Wigington had all birdies.
[corner-ad id=2]

You must be logged in to post a comment Login