More for Fore
A new golf spot ranges from serious to playful
The 15-acre space is being built out of a passion for the game, a childhood friendship, and a big red barn.
EDWIN BURNETT, a real estate broker, and BRAD PHILLIPS, a lifelong friend, were looking to take their love of the sport and turn it into a new adventure. Only question was where? That is where Edwin’s father, ED, comes in. The senior Burnett, a “hobbyist farmer,” is known for adding “tradition and passion to everything he grows.” He may not play golf but is a big fan. Now, his latest project is helping raise a new generation of golf lovers with the help of his family.
CARRIE RAY DAVIS (above), director of marketing, is tasked with making The Golf Barn a full-on experience for all.
Whether someone wants to take a break from golf, or just be a spectator, no need to worry. Food trucks, ice cream, and beer on tap will offer a refreshing break. A Mimosa Club is in the works geared for women who want to learn the game in a relaxed setting along with meeting new people.
“We will also have fun for the family like putt-putt challenges, live music on the weekends, and of course, holiday celebrations,” Davis says.
Ed Burnett once had a corn maze and pumpkin patch on Highway 17 before they were destroyed by Hurricane Florence. What did remain was the big red barn, which became The Golf Barn’s symbol.
After months of tackling government red tape, admittedly his least favorite part, Burnett and the red barn were given the green light to move forward.
“I had the property and knowledge, and once we could incorporate the idea, my family and some incredible talent – it was boom, voila!” Ed Burnett says. “The best part is always the embellishment of the idea and then using our collective abilities to see it come to fruition.”
The Golf Barn will offer all levels and types of golf for every age and will be more than just a driving range.
Guests can take a swing at individual lessons, attend summer camps, and for the more competitive types, compete against family and friends in challenging mini-games.
Technique, teaching, and training will all come down to Phillips, director of golf. Phillips earned his Class A PGA Professionals status and has worked at private clubs along the East Coast.
The game of golf is certainly known for keeping its players on their toes. Phillips is ready to help take the frustration out of a player’s game and aid in reaching those sought-after pars.
“From a technical standpoint, I’ve been most successful in getting people to hit a draw (or at least fix their slice),” he says. “I also like to teach people how to avoid the sand traps. And with my background in strength training, I really hope to enjoy helping people gain club head speed and hit the ball farther than they ever have before.”
Much thought went into the planning of the property such as weather, technology, and making it a family-friendly spot. A Uneekor golf simulator will be available for those preferring air conditioning or if there are unexpected rain showers. And, of course, the latest golf tech will be at the forefront. Toptracer will give players real-time visual feedback and measure ball speed, launch angle, carry distance, and more.
For those yearning for some old-school style golf, there will be an 18-hole miniature golf course, also perfect for young ones learning to hold a club for the first time. The Burnetts are not letting something such as the dark of night stop their fun. A nine-hole pitch-and-putt course is in the planning stages with light-up tee boxes, neon golf balls, and glow-in-the-dark sticks to light up playing time.
And for participants ready to have their results raised to the next level, a digital billboard is planned for Highway 17 highlighting the winners of “Closest to the Pin!” or “Long Drive” contests.
Phillips will be in charge of the day-to-day practices and all golf-related activities.
“I’ve been workshopping the idea of The Golf Barn for a few years,” he says. “I’m passionate about golf and growing the game, and that’s the driving philosophy behind the business.”
To view more of photographer Terah Hoobler’s work, go to terahhoobler.com.
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