Divots - Greencastle Greens a vital part of Pa. town

July 30, 2006|by TIM KOELBLE

There's plenty of buzz circulating throughout the Greencastle, Pa., area these days with word of a potential housing development that would wipe out Greencastle Greens Golf Course.

GIBG Golf LLC of Baltimore purchased Greencastle Greens last year and now has proposed building nearly 200 new homes on the site of the course.

I'm not going to get into all the details as to zoning issues, municipal authority, ownership contracts and the like that exist within Greencastle's governing body, GIBG and Pure Golf of Walkersville, Md., which manages the facility.

I was first introduced to the course early in 2005 when playing with a friend who is a resident of Greencastle and a regular player at the course.


I'm one who fancies challenging golf courses, and Greencastle Greens boasts many excellent points which make it an 18-hole layout worth playing at any given opportunity.

My friend tells me plans were in place to replace the current cart paths and fleet of golf carts. After a round there last week, it seemed those were pretty much the only items that needed to be upgraded at the facility.

According to a story in Wednesday's Morning Herald, Greencastle residents, specifically those living in the immediate area of the golf grounds, say that the course is vital and played a part in their choosing to buy homes in the area.

My friend said Saturday that the loss of Greencastle Greens would make Whitetail (Mercersburg, Pa.), Mayapple (Carlisle, Pa.), Penn National (Mont Alto, Pa.) or the courses in Hagerstown 12 miles away the closest to play.

GIBG has submitted plans for the development to municipal authorities. The situation is largely in the hands of Greencastle officials at this point.

I'm guessing that if and/or when there is development, it will take time. There are sure to be appeals which will hold up progress to some degree.

It's one thing to develop more homes around a golf course. It's quite another to destroy a fine golf course in the name of yet another housing development.

Big 3 for Bricker

Waynesboro's Chad Bricker has a busy schedule ahead, beginning with the 93rd annual Pennsylvania Amateur Championship, starting Monday at Moselem Springs Golf Club in Fleetwood, Pa.

Moselem Springs will play to a par 70 covering 6,824 yards.

Bricker, who will be a sophomore at Penn State University in the fall, tees off Monday at 1:15 p.m. in the opening round. The second round is Tuesday, after which the field will be cut to the low 40 scores before the final round Wednesday.

"I'm going to the Amateur with the idea of winning," Bricker said Saturday. "I've been working on my short game and I'm going to be looking for something to go right."

Bricker, the reigning WACO champion, said he would be returning to Beaver Creek Country Club to defend his title on Aug. 12-13.

"I'm going to try and do it," he said. "It will be fun to try."

The following day, Bricker will head to the Nemacolin Woodlands to begin play in the Pennsylvania Open.

By his standards, Bricker had a less-than-sensational freshman year at Penn State, his best medal performance coming with a third-place finish in a tournament at Georgetown University. He said the first team practices for the new season begin Sept. 5.

Also in the field at the Pa. Amateur are Clayton Rotz and William Smith, both of Chambersburg. Rotz tees off at 1:35 p.m., followed by Smith at 1:45. Kevin Reiber, of Waynesboro, and Jake Wetzel, of Blue Summit, are also in the field.

Heading to Texas

Wetzel, who will be a senior at Waynesboro, is in Odessa, Texas for the Trusted Choice Big 'I' National Tournament, the third-oldest junior tournament in the country.

Wetzel qualified at a recent sectional tournament and will tee off Monday at Odessa Country Club.

It's the 39th edition of the tournament. Tiger Woods won in 1990 and 1992, and Bob Tway and Billy Andrade are also past champions.

West Virginia Amateur

The 87th West Virginia Amateur begins Monday at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., with three area golfers hoping to fare well.

Teeing off at 10:10 a.m. is Gordon Chase of Martinsburg, followed by Charles Town's Rich Pell at 11:40 and Shepherdstown's David Boggs at 12:40 p.m.

After the first two rounds Monday and Tuesday, the field will be cut to the low 40 for the final two rounds Wednesday and Thursday.

No area golfer has finished in the top 10 since Harpers Ferry's David Bradshaw was fourth in 2002.

Tim Koelble's Divots column appears on Sunday's. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or by e-mail at

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