Above Par

by May 27, 2021South Brunswick, Sports

Member-owned Lockwood Folly Golf Course and Country Club reinvents itself with improved playability, a new clubhouse and more.

Replace golf greens. Check. Open a beautiful new clubhouse and event space. Check. Host the Women’s Southern Golf Association’s Amateur and Mid-Amateur Championships, Annual Lockwood Folly High School Invitational, and most recently, the Peggy Kirk Bell Girls Golf Tour. Check, check and check.

Since 2017 Lockwood Folly Golf Course and Country Club has been on a mission to make what is old, new again. And they are not finished yet.

At the junction of three bodies of water — Lockwood Folly River, Intracoastal Waterway and Atlantic Ocean — and nestled among tree-lined fairways, salt marshes, creeks and fields full of nature and wildlife, Lockwood Folly boasts a golf course that is unlike any other in Brunswick County. A naturally challenging course, it attracts players of all skill levels.
But the membership and board of directions had a desire, backed by financial commitment, to further enhance the course’s playability.

Lockwood Folly Golf Course Clubhouse NC

“We started by hiring a golf course architect, Stephen Kay, to develop a master plan for us,” says Eric Morgan, head golf professional at Lockwood Folly. Kay is an award-winning golf course architect with experience restoring renowned courses like Tillinghast, Ross, Travis, Emmet, Bank and Trent Jones.

“He recommended changes we could make for every hole to make the course more player-friendly but not easy,” Morgan says. “Stephen said he wanted to help us make the golf course easier to break a hundred, but harder to break 75.”

The master plan for the course improvements will occur in several phases, many of which will be undertaken by Golf Course Superintendent Tim Cunningham and his staff, beginning with tree work.

With the mature tree canopies crowding each other, the turfgrasses were struggling under the shady conditions. As Lockwood Folly is a nature and animal preserve, the team had to maintain a balance between conservation and healthy greens.

Lockwood Folly Golf Course

“To have a healthy turf, we have to have sunshine, irrigation and airflow,” Cunningham says. “So we’ve spent a lot of time managing the trees. I think the players that have played here and come back are going to be really surprised by the amount of work we’ve been able to accomplish.”

Moving forward with the master plan, Cunningham and his staff will address the bunkers, where they will fill some in to keep down the maintenance and costs of the sand and improve the playability of others. They’re also adding irrigation upgrades. For some of the design, grading and finesse grading, Lockwood Folly will outsource the work.

Another thing that makes Lockwood Folly Golf Course and Country Club so unique is that it is the only member-owned golf course in the area.

“We’re really lucky to have involved members and maintain a great staff, from the cart guys to Tim’s workers and Eric’s behind-the-counter guys,” says Club President George Kelley. “Our main job as the board is to support our pro and our superintendent and give them what they need to be successful. We all have the same goal in mind, to improve our facility and create a place for everyone to enjoy the Lockwood Folly experience.”

For all intents and purposes, Lockwood Folly is on a fast track to become a new golf experience that is “second to no other course,” Morgan says. “We want to be that hidden gem that people just love to play.”

Want to play?
Lockwood Folly Golf Course and Country Club is in Supply, just 4 miles from Holden Beach and centrally located between Wilmington and Myrtle Beach. In addition to its greens, it is home to a brand-new, two-story clubhouse that overlooks the waterway and includes a pro shop, Oak and Anchor Grill and a venue for special events and meetings. Learn more at lockwoodfolly.com.

Photography by Laura Glantz

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