Opening of Gobbler Hollow first-class event

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 27, 2000

Golf is a very frustrating game and that fact is the main reason why it is such a popular recreational activity. For some reason people get a certain amount of relaxation out of the frustration of golf. Enough so that it has become a billion dollar a year industry in this country alone, and new courses being developed in communities like Greenville not only serve to accommodate the huge popularity of the game, but also to give the communities themselves yet another way to attract dollars into local coffers.

There very idea of the game baffles most people, and the fact that very few people who ever play the game ever get any good at it makes the average person wonder why so many people would spend so much money in pursuit of the seemingly impossible.

The state of Alabama has begun to get a reputation for good golf. The constant expansion and marketing of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail has been largely responsible for that; however, the RTJ courses are not the only golf attraction in this state. The temperate climate here lends itself well to year-round play, and several communities around Alabama have begun to develop their own quality courses to take advantage of the expanding market of golfers coming into the state.

Around town this week I got the opportunity to attend the grand opening of Gobbler Hollow Golf Club, Greenville's newest golf facility, and even appeared as a "celebrity" in the inaugural golf tournament held there. I say I appeared in the golf tournament because there wasn't much playing happening on my team. I am not so sure about the whole "celebrity" title either.

The event was truly a first-class gathering complete with a great lunch, a ceremonious first putt and drive inlieu of a ribbon cutting, visiting dignitaries from state and local government, coverage by regional media and a couple of hundred people from around the state were here to break in the new course in style.

The competition of the golf tournament was overshadowed by the celebration staged by Gobbler Hollow, and as far as anyone out there was concerned just getting to play golf in the middle of the week was a lot better than working. It really didn't matter who won.

The course itself is in great shape and continues to improve. I had played the new course on two other occasions, and there are still some final details the grounds crew continue to work on, but all that is really left to do is let mother nature take over. In time, she will work out the kinks with a little help from the professionals at the club.

Later this year, our community will once again be in the spotlight of golf when Gobbler Hollow hosts a stop on the Hooters Golf Tour. I am sure this will also be a fabulous event, and will go a long way in letting the rest of the golfing world know that Butler County Alabama is a world-class player in the explosion this sport has experienced of late.

Anyone in the community who has yet to take a drive through The Preserve and get a close-up look at this new local gem owes it to themselves to go out there and look around. The crew has done wonders with the construction of the course, and as maintenance continues on a daily basis, the surroundings continue to become more picturesque.

The investors that make up Golf Buddies, Inc., have done a great job with this project. While everyone in the golfing community wishes them great success, so should everyone in the Greenville and Butler County community.

This course has helped add to a growing industry in our state and nation. And, while it may not seem of great importance to non-golfers, don't forget about T.G.'s Restaurant quickly becoming a favorite place to eat for everyone.

So around town this week if you need a place to take out some frustration, or just need a chance to take a Sunday drive though some beautiful countryside, make plans to visit Gobbler Hollow Golf Club for the day or just part of the afternoon. Take a few minutes to look around and enjoy the scenery, or a few hours to frustrate yourself more with a challenging round of golf.

Either way it's a guaranteed good time.