GlenLakes Golf Club is widely regarded as one of the Alabama Gulf Coast’s premier golf courses.
It now gets the chance to take center stage in the world of college golf, as more than 130 of the nation’s best junior college golfers will be representing nearly 40 community colleges at the NJCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championship from May 21-24 at GlenLakes Golf Club in Foley, Alabama.
The tournament is being hosted by Foley Sports Tourism, with assistance provided by GlenLakes and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Sponsors are Riviera Utilities and DADS Roofing.
“We are thrilled to partner with the NJCAA, and work with our GlenLakes Golf Club as our host site to host this prestigious collegiate event,” said Don Dukemineer, deputy director of Sports Tourism, Foley Sports Tourism. “We look forward to welcoming the teams, players, coaches and families to Foley.”
The 72-hole event is being played at GlenLakes’ Vista Dunes course, a 6,938-yard, par-72 course designed by Bruce Devlin and Robert von Hagge. It’s a Scottish links-style course featuring strategic mounding, extensive bunkering and undulating fairways and greens.
“The golf course has so much character, and there’s so much knowledge to be gained during practice rounds and seeing it before,” course professional David Musial said. “The Vista and Dunes are a good complement. The Vista is a little bit more wide open, and the Dunes is very challenging with the amount of hills and hazards.”
A 40-person group of members bought the course in 2013 and have elevated the facilities. A 10,000-square foot practice green opened in 2016.
Musial said GlenLakes course superintendent William Dabney and his staff have been hard at work preparing the championship 18 for the field. The Dunes were built in the early 1990, and The Vista nine holes were opened a few years later.
“The course is in great shape,” Musial said. “William’s done a great job with it.”
There are 18 teams eligible for the national championship, with 18 players representing 12 other schools
The golfers will participate in two days of practice rounds starting Saturday, May 19. The tournament banquet will take place at the Wolf Bay Lodge in Foley at 6 p.m. on May 20. The banquet will include an awards ceremony where PING All-Americans and inductees into the NJCAA Men’s Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame will be honored.
Live stats will be available at Golfstat: http://results.golfstat.com//public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=participants&tid=13452
There have been a pair of tournaments during the academic year that teams have travelled to Foley to play in. The players have impressed Musial with their abilities.
“We had a fall preview event and then a spring invitational,” he said. “Both of those tournaments had windy and cool conditions. The number of players that could shoot par or better was phenomenal. It’s a hard setup from the back tees.”
GlenLakes has also seen teams make other trips in to play during Christmas break and spring break, expanding the number of visitors who have come to Foley.
They’ll get another influx of new visitors next week when the participating squads get into town, followed by their caravans of families and fans.
“GlenLakes Golf Club is a beautiful course that highlights the capabilities our community offers to events,” Dukemineer said. “We can’t wait for the teams to experience Foley at its finest.”