Deercroft: Hard Work, Dedication Paying Off
Ted Robinson was smiling. The owner of Deercroft Golf Club had reason to smile; his labor and attention to details are paying dividends at the course located a few miles south of Aberdeen just off U.S. 15-501.
“The most notable improvement has been in the greens,” Robinson said. “That was our main focus and they’re in great shape now because of a lot of work that people didn’t really see, such as drainage and irrigation, and working on the soil content.”
The physical improvements are easy to spot. Several trees have been removed in crucial areas, aiding the growth of grass on the greens, tees and shaded fairway areas. Troublesome conditions along fairways and around greens have been turned into attractive natural areas of sand and wire grass, adding to the desired “Pinehurst” look.
“Clearing the trees and getting more air into the grass-growing areas create a better environment,” Robinson pointed out. “Conditions had gotten so bad that people didn’t want to come here. Now we just want them to come out and see where we are.”
Robinson is making a concerted effort to reach military golfers from nearby Fort Bragg and has initiated a program that seems to be gaining momentum.
“We’re inviting all military personnel to come out and play Deercroft,” he said. “We want to give them a place to relax, a place they enjoy going to and something to look forward to each month.
“Essentially, we’re providing golf, a cart and entry fee for an event that includes tournament competition and food and beverages for only $35 per person.
“We’ve been doing this for three months, and the participation has grown from 25 at the first one to 68 for the third one. We try to schedule the outings on weekends, and especially when they have a four-day weekend. Our goal is to have a hundred golfers at each outing.
“Naturally, some make it one month but can’t do it the next. Our main goal is get the word out that it’s available.”
While word of mouth is a large part of the promotion, persons interested in attending one of the events may visit the website www.deercroft.com or call the golf shop at (910) 369-3107. Flyers are also available at various sites at Fort Bragg.
“We’re trying to keep it fresh and interesting by switching formats each month,” Robinson said. “Our last one was a two-man captain’s choice. Our next one, on Jan. 18, is an individual flighted event. We’re also planning some team events with blind-draw partners that will be picked while they’re out playing.”
Robinson is hoping, of course, that these golfers tell their friends about Deercroft and invite them to come out for open play as well as during the scheduled events.
New course superintendent Tait Robinson, no relation to Ted, joined Deercroft a few weeks ago after having worked on Pinehurst Resort’s No. 4 Course. His assistant is Mike Russell, who also worked at No. 4.
“We’re starting to get people who haven’t been here in a while and they’re raving about the improvements,” Russell said. “I’m convinced that you can’t beat the quality for the price.”
“We’re doing everything in-house,” Robinson said, “including harvesting Bermuda grass from some areas where we’re creating the natural look we’re striving for and using it to fix other areas.
“This is all very exciting for me, and I think our employees feed off that. We’re all very excited by the feedback we’re getting, including from our members. They’re still helping us any way they can by volunteering to do things on the course and around the clubhouse.”
There is no resting on laurels, though, even as good reviews come in by email and word of mouth. A sample of comments posted by recent visitors included, “The greens of this golf course are nothing short of spectacular. They rolled fast and true and were a pleasure to play.
“If the new management can carry the quality work they’ve exhibited with the green complex to the rest of the course, it will be a regular destination for me and my group.”
“Our goal is that each time someone comes here they’ll find it a little better than the time before,” Robinson said. “If we work on it every day, when you come back next month you’ll be able to tell a difference.
“We’re happy with the way things are progressing, but we need a lot more play. There has been marked increase in play, but it’s a process.”
Contact Howard Ward at
More like this story