Friday, November 2, 2012

You're Invited!

Hello and welcome to "The Greenkeeper"! Today is Friday, November 2, 2012 and the Carolina Invitational begins tomorrow morning!  Now, perhaps you may be asking yourself what is the Carolina Invitational or perhaps you don't fully know and/or understand what the Carolina Invitational is.  If so, then you probably do not know why I am happy it is here so let me see if I can help you better understand the nature of this event and its significance.

Invitational Flag

Before I do I want to share with you a conversation I had earlier this morning with two of our members as they enjoyed their round.  I was asked about the Invitational by one of our members as he told me a story about playing golf this August at Scioto C.C. in Columbus, Ohio.  While there he met a Scioto member who recognized Carolina Golf Club and stated he was planning on being here in November for the Invitational.  Our member was a bit taken by surprise of this occurrence and his story got me to thinking...why is it many of our own members do not know about the Carolina Invitational or it's reputation while there are those outside our gates even hundreds of miles away who do?  Sidenote: Scioto C.C. was founded in 1916 and designed by Donald Ross.  It was the home course where a young Jack Nicklaus learned and mastered the game. 

The inaugural Carolina Invitational was held in 1999 and the tournament has been contested every year since with the exception of 2008 when the club reopened after being closed for 11 months to undergo renovation and reconstruction.  The format consists of two-man teams playing better ball (four-ball) for 36 holes.  The field is all amateurs by invitation only from around the region and beyond.  Carolina has hosted participants through the years from as far north as Massachusetts, west to Texas and south to Florida (this year's field includes participants from Connecticut, Ohio, Virginia and Georgia as well as North and South Carolina).  Previous entries have participated in the Masters, U.S. Opens, U.S. Amateurs and U.S. Mid-Amateurs.  Many have been state amateur champions from North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. 

The Carolina Invitational

The point of this story is this event belongs to Carolina.  This is the club's tournament and not the property of the Carolinas Golf Association, PGA or any other sanctioning body but rather Carolina Golf Club.  Carolina Golf Club invites the participants and sets the field.  The goal is to get the best amateur players from around the region to compete for the title of Carolina Invitational Champion.  Many who have participated in the past have loved the event for its first class field and first class treatment but ultimately they love this tournament for the first class Donald Ross golf course!  It is my privilege and honor to maintain this golf course for you everyday but it is always nice to have the opportunity to showoff your course on your behalf to those who truly appreciate this grand game and its finest courses.   The Carolina Invitational is special and I invite you to come out this weekend and spectate.  You will see not only some great golf but you will also see some wonderful appreciation and gratitude from some special golfers.

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton
Golf Course Superintendent

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