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» Featured Columnists | By Scott Kauffman | July 29, 2010 2:29 PM ET

Ballyhack Commences Construction on New Clubhouse

(ROANOKE, VA) -- With its sights set on providing the ultimate destination golf retreat, Ballyhack Golf Club celebrated its one year anniversary this month by driving a stake in the ground - literally. On the knoll of rolling prairie land overlooking the half-acre-sized 18th green, the club has commenced construction on an 11,500-square foot clubhouse that will help define and refine the Ballyhack experience for golfers traveling here from all over the country.

"The clubhouse is on track to be completed at the end of this season, and we couldn't be more pleased to be able to open this extraordinary facility so soon after having introduced the course," said Jonathan Ireland, Ballyhack's director of operations. "The club will be the heartbeat and penultimate gathering place for our members and their guests, and we've designed it to feel timeless, like it's always been here."

Designed by Balzer and Associates, Inc., Ballyhack's clubhouse will be a single-level building featuring drystack stonework that will accent the earth tones of the exterior, lending themselves to the natural feel of the course and the property itself. Framed in the shadows of Saul Farm's historic grain silos, the clubhouse's interior will soar to 16 feet in the dining room, where members and their guests can enjoy a chef's-inspired steakhouse menu, complemented by a 300-bottle, glass-enclosed wine closet holding members' favorite and personally reserved vintages.

For intimate events or corporate meetings, the Ballyhack Clubhouse will offer a private dining room. Covered and open-air, stone laid patios extend another 1,500 square feet and will offer outdoor casual dining, both at and after the turn. Players will enjoy full access to the ladies and men's lounges, golf shop, and various services that include member concierge services, bag drop, shoe shine, and on-course refreshment.

Ballyhack anticipates the completion of the clubhouse by the end of 2010. Ballyhack Golf Club, which opened last summer, is an award-winning private, non-equity national destination golf retreat located within minutes of the famed Blue Ridge Parkway and the heart of Roanoke, Virginia.

The center point of Ballyhack is the 190-acre Ballyhack Golf Course designed by Lester George. Shaped to the natural flow of century-old farmland, the 7,294-yard, par-72 course blends the dramatic qualities of modern design with the traditions and style of Europe's Old World links courses, featuring 50- to 70-foot elevation changes, fairways as wide as 150 yards and old-style, gouged- and roughed-out

bunkers. GOLF Magazine has recognized Ballyhack as the No. 3 Best New Private Course of 2009. Membership at Ballyhack is extended by invitation. Additionally, a limited number of estate-sized homesites are offered at Ballyhack, for those who want to "live the experience" seasonally or year-round.

Marriott Golf Assumes Management of Toftrees Golf Club

(STATE COLLEGE, PA) -- Marriott Golf, one of the world's leading golf operators, recently announced that it has assumed management responsibilities of Toftrees Golf Club, an award-winning 18-hole cgolf course located in State College, Pennsylvania.

Established as Marriott Golf's first property in the Keystone State, Toftrees Golf Club is nestled amid 1,500 scenic wooded acres on the tranquil grounds of the Toftrees Golf Resort and Conference Center.

In this capacity, Marriott Golf will oversee the golf club operation, including the club membership program, golf course maintenance, instructional programs, and overall golf programming.  To fall in line with Marriott's commitment to environmental stewardship, plans call for Toftrees to pursue certification through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program.

"We are very excited to bring Marriott Golf's management expertise to Toftrees Golf Club," said Bill Nault, Marriott Golf vice-president of operations. "Golfers are encouraged to come and experience Toftrees Golf Club right now, as we are offering special summer rates for both hotel guests and the general public." 

Nault added:  "We also look forward to hosting Toftrees' first annual family golf festival on August 1, a wonderful opportunity for golfing families to visit Toftrees for a fun day of free golf activities and instruction."

The Marriott International Family Golf Festival, which encourages parents and children to learn and play the game together, invites families to Marriott Golf properties for an afternoon of free golf instruction, clinics, fun activities, interactive golf games, family golf programs, chances to win a variety of prizes, and more.

Toftrees - meaning "home among the trees" - has recently been rated 4½ stars by Golf Digest magazine's "Places to Play" and was also named one of Pennsylvania's Best Resort/Public Golf Courses.  With breathtaking views of the pristine golf course and the surrounding mountain landscape, Toftrees was also selected by Meetings and Conventions magazine as one of the "Top 75 Golf Conference Center Resorts in the U.S."

With this agreement, Toftrees Golf Club joins Marriott Golf's elite portfolio of golf courses worldwide which includes Doral Golf Resort & Spa, Miami, Fla.; Camelback Golf Club, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Desert Springs Golf Resort, Palm Desert, Calif.; Royal St. Kitts Golf Club in Basseterre, St. Kitts; Son Antem Golf Club, Mallorca, Spain and more.  Additionally, all current Toftrees Golf Club members will enjoy the benefits of Marriott's reciprocal play golf program, while all Marriott Reward Members can redeem their rewards points for golf at Toftrees immediately.

Toftrees Golf Club is conveniently located 3 miles from Penn State University campus and 2 miles from University Park Airport.  Marriott Golf manages 59 golf courses at 43 locations in 12 countries, offering more than 1,000 holes of championship golf.  Marriott has been managing golf operations since 1970 and is one of the world's leading golf operators. .

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