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Old Town Club in Winston-Salem earns world ranking from Golf Magazine
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Old Town Club in Winston-Salem earns world ranking from Golf Magazine

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Old Town Club is the home of Wake Forest’s men’s and women’s programs.

In its long, storied history, Old Town Club in Winston-Salem has attained several noteworthy rankings in a multitude of polls.

This latest one, however, might just be the most prestigious.

In a ranking by Golf Magazine, Old Town is listed among the top 100 courses in the world.

The Perry Maxwell design that opened in 1939, given a makeover by Wake Forest graduate Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw in 2013, is ranked No. 92 in the world.

Jason Zaks, the club president, said: ”We’re really proud to be considered among the world’s best golf courses by Golf Magazine. It’s certainly a large feather in our cap, and a true honor for our membership. Many important pieces have come together led by superintendent Bryant Evans, golf professional Charles Frost and general manager Josh Paris.”

When Coore and Crenshaw renovated the course it brought back the earlier characteristics of the Maxwell design.

“A special thanks to architects Coore and Crenshaw and our golf committee for serving as real custodians of this classic Perry Maxwell design,” Zaks said. “It’s a true team effort on every level.”

Old Town Club is one of seven newcomers to the top 100 for the 2021-22 rankings. Old Town is one of just two courses from North Carolina in the top 100 with Pinehurst No. 2 coming in at No. 17. Also, Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course in South Carolina, the 1991 Pete Dye-designed classic, is ranked No. 60.

Golf Magazine offered this about why Old Town is ranked among the top 100 in the world: “Perry Maxwell built this inspired North Carolina layout on a former horse farm, and the naturally rolling fairways lead to devilish greens. Wake Forest practices at Old Town, and former Demon Deacon Lanny Wadkins called it the best course for training serious young golfers.”

At the top of the rankings, in a spot it has held for decades, is Pine Valley in New Jersey.

The magazine has had its world rankings for nearly 50 years. The poll is decided on by 111 raters that review the elite courses throughout the world taking into consideration major renovation projects. The major consideration for the poll is the architecture of the courses that make the list.

“We look for raters who know what’s out there, what’s changing and what’s coming down the pike,” the magazine said in describing the raters. “And from judging posts across four continents, our panelists are positioned to place courses from different regions around the globe into proper context,”

Wake golf teams gearing up for

spring

Experience and talent should go a long way this spring for the Wake Forest women’s and men’s golf teams. The women ended the fall ranked sixth by golfstat.com and the men finished at 14th.

Coach Kim Lewellen’s women’s team won twice in the fall and will be led by veterans Rachel Kuehn, Mimi Rhodes, Lauren Walsh and Vanessa Knecht. The Deacons have never won an NCAA championship but lost to Duke in the championship match in Lewellen’s first season in Winston-Salem in spring 2019. Knecht is the only player left from that team.

Coach Jerry Haas’ men’s team will be led by sophomore Michael Brennan, who won two tournaments in a row in the fall. Brennan, who was All-ACC as a freshman, has four wins already to rank tied for sixth in school history with Billy Andrade and Will Zalatoris.

The luxury for Haas is he also has seniors Alex Fitzpatrick and Parker Gillam on the roster as well. Daniel Sheedy and Marshall Meisel along with Scotty Kennon and Mark Power give the Deacons plenty of depth.

The men’s team will open spring play at the Southwestern Invitational in West Lake Village, Calif., Jan. 24-26, and the women will open play in Orlando at the Central Florida Challenge Feb. 6-8.

Around the

green

The Carolinas Golf Association will hold several rules seminars virtually, with the first one scheduled for 1 p.m. Jan. 20. The seminars are free and are geared toward recreational golfers, tournament volunteers and officials along with high school golfers and coaches. Information: CarolinasGolf.org.

Bill Haas, a former Wake Forest star, has had a solid start to his PGA Tour season, making four cuts in seven tournaments. Haas, 39, was the 2011 FedEx Cup champion but in recent years has missed out on the playoffs. Haas has six career victories but hasn’t won since 2015. His best finish was a tie for 45th at the World Wide Tech Championship at Mayakoba where he opened with a pair of 65’s. Haas, who is 43rd on the PGA Tour’s all-time money list with more than $30 million, is 157th this season in FedEx Cup points making just under $20,000.

The 2022 U.S. Women’s Open will be at Pine Needles Golf Club in Southern Pines June 2-5 for a fourth time. Annika Sorenstam (1996), Karrie Webb (2001) and Cristie Kerr (2007) are the previous winners. The last time the U.S. Women’s Open was held in North Carolina was in 2014, when Michelle Wie won. Tickets: usga.org.

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