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SOUTH'S NEW PUBLIC GOLF COURSES TAKE A 'RICH MAN'S SPORT' TO THE MASSES

 SOUTH'S NEW PUBLIC GOLF COURSES TAKE A 'RICH MAN'S SPORT'
 TO THE MASSES
 BIRMINGHAM, Ala., May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- If you think golf is a "rich man's sport," take a look at all the public-access courses springing up across the South, says the summer issue of Travel South magazine.
 Enthusiastic golfers -- men and women -- from a variety of income levels have convinced southern states to invest in this increasingly popular sport.
 In the early 1980s, the United States averaged 128 new courses per year. But in 1991, 351 new courses (or additions to existing ones) were built, Travel South reported. More than 80 percent of those were public courses, and many are in the South.
 Florida led the nation last year, with 35 new courses or add-ons; the Carolinas and Georgia were in the top 10, says Travel South.
 Alabama Retirement Systems, the agency in charge of the state's pension fund, has invested $100 million in new public courses. The state hopes golf will attract tourism, industry and retirees.
 Alabama had golf hall-of-famer Robert Trent Jones design the public courses in Mobile, Birmingham, Huntsville, and Auburn-Opelika. Jones is not the only big-name designer turning to golf for the masses. Jack Nicklaus says public courses "challenge a designer to build an interesting course while encouraging fast play and low upkeep."
 He added, "The best public course challenges not only the good player but also the average and high-handicap player."
 An average public-access course charges $20 or less for a round of golf. Many of the new designer courses charge $35-$50, while some charge more.
 The following are some of the newer public-access courses, along with phone numbers that golfers can call for more information:
 Alabama
 -- Grand National (Auburn-Opelika) -- designed by Robert Trent Jones, 205-749-9011.
 -- Magnolia Grove (Mobile) -- designed by Robert Trent Jones, 205-645-0075.
 -- Oxmoor Valley (Birmingham) -- designed by Robert Trent Jones, 205-942-1177.
 Florida
 -- Eagle Pines at Bonnet Creek Golf Club (Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista) -- designed by Pete Dye, 407-824-2270.
 -- Emerald Dunes Golf Course (West Palm Beach) -- designed by Tom Fazio, 407-684-4653.
 -- Grand Cypress Golf Club New Course (Orlando) -- designed by Jack Nicklaus, 407-239-4700.
 -- Osprey Ridge at Bonnet Creek Golf Club (Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista) -- designed by Tom Fazio, 407-824-2270.
 Georgia
 -- Jones Creek Golf Course (Augusta) -- designed by Rees Jones, 706-860-4228.
 -- Southbridge Golf Club (Savannah) -- designed by Rees Jones, 912-651-5455.
 North Carolina
 -- Bryan Park Golf Club Champions Course (Greensboro) -- one of Golf Magazine's top 10 new public courses in 1990, 919-375-2222.
 -- Pinehurst Country Club Course Number Seven (Pinehurst) -- designed by Rees Jones, 919-295-6811.
 -- Sea Trail Plantation Golf Links (Sunset Beach) -- three courses, each named for its designer -- Rees Jones, Willard Byrd and Dan Maples, 919-579-4350.
 South Carolina
 -- Dunes West Golf Course (Mount Pleasant) -- designed by Arthur Hills, 803-856-9378.
 -- Harbour Town Golf Links (Sea Pines Plantation, Hilton Head Island) -- designed by Pete Dye, 800-845-6131.
 -- Legends Golf Club Heathland Course (Myrtle Beach) -- one of Golf Magazine's top 10 new public courses in 1990, 803-236-9318.
 -- Legends Golf Club Moorland Course (Myrtle Beach) -- designed by Pete Dye, 803-236-9318.
 -- Long Bay Golf Course (Longs, near Myrtle Beach) -- designed by Jack Nicklaus, 803-399-2222.
 -- Ocean Course (Kiawah Island) -- designed by Pete Dye, 803-768-2121.
 Virginia
 -- Golden Horseshoe Golf Club Green Course (Williamsburg) -- designed by Rees Jones, 804-220-7767.
 -- Stoney Creek Golf Course (Wintergreen) -- designed by Rees Jones, 804-325-2200.
 Travel South is published by Southern Progress Corporation, which also publishes Southern Living, Southern Accents, Cooking Light and Progressive Farmer magazines, as well as Oxmoor House books. The Birmingham-based subsidiary of Time Publishing Ventures Inc. is the largest regional publisher of magazines and books in the country.
 -0- 5/6/92
 /CONTACT: Valerie Fraser of Southern Progress, 205-877-6270/ CO: Southern Progress Corporation ST: Alabama IN: PUB SU:


EA-BR -- AT006 -- 7075 05/06/92 12:04 EDT
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Date:May 6, 1992
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