Nature calls and Bryan Park will host 2010 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship

Posted by Andy Durham on June 17, 2010 at 10:13 am under Amateur | Comments are off for this article

from Rob Goodman 3GSports:


GREENSBORO, N.C. – – Joseph M. Bryan, founder of the Joseph M. Bryan
Foundation and namesake of Bryan Park Golf & Conference Center, was an
outdoor enthusiast who was also known for his love of golf. He once said,
“A man should tip his hat to nature because she gives hope, love and beauty
to everyone and excludes no one.” If he were alive today, Mr. Bryan would be
proud of what the Bryan Park Golf & Conference Center has become and honored
that it is hosting the 85th U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, set for
July 12-17, 2010, on Bryan Park’s Champions Course.

That the Champions Course is hosting the U.S. Amateur Public Links is no
surprise to Bryan Foundation President Jim Melvin. Years ago, he knew that
Bryan envisioned this facility hosting events such as this important USGA
championship. Bryan wanted Bryan Park to be among the finest public golf
facilities in the country. At that time, public golf facilities were not as
lush as private country clubs, and Bryan wanted Bryan Park to be a country
club-caliber golf facility that provided access to the general public. Times
have changed, as some of finest golf courses in the country are now public
courses, but the vision remains.

Bryan Park’s Players Course was built using public money and opened in 1971.
In the 1960s, the park land was purchased with bond money that was left over
from building Lake Townsend, a city water reservoir that is adjacent to the
Champions Course. The Parks and Recreation department purchased the land
from the water department, and Bryan Park was born.

Since the original course did not have a name, the course was dedicated to
Joseph and Kathleen Bryan in 1971 as a “thank you” for the many wonderful
things they had already done for the local community. At that time, it was
only Bryan Park Golf Course. Some 20 years later, Rees Jones designed a
second course, which opened in 1991. The new course was called the Champions
Course, and the existing one became the Players Course.

“Mr. Bryan was always so proud that the course was named after him even
though he had nothing to do with its creation,” Melvin said. “Later, he
started spending a lot of money on Bryan Park. He built the Enrichment
Center. He bought 300 acres of land which is now the Bryan Park Soccer
Complex. After Mr. Bryan’s death in 1995, we tore down the clubhouse, and
built the current clubhouse. We have rebuilt all of the greens and bunkers
so that we now have a world-class golf facility, just as Mr. Bryan

The USGA shares some history with Greensboro and Bryan in addition to this
year’s Amateur Public Links. In the 1970s, the USGA considered moving its
headquarters out of New Jersey, and Greensboro was in the running. USGA
executives toured the area, property was secured and it was seriously
considered. In the end, the USGA stayed in New Jersey, but the relationship
between this city and the USGA lives on through this year’s U.S. Amateur
Public Links Championship and possibly beyond.

“We want to build a reputation as a first-class host for golf events, and we
don’t want to stop here,” Melvin said. “Tanglewood is still glowing from
hosting the 1974 PGA Championship. We want a first-class reputation for
Bryan Park. The Amateur Public Links Championship is the most significant
amateur event Greensboro has ever hosted, and two of the former winners have
won the Wyndham Championship (Brandt Snedeker in 2007 and Ryan Moore in
2009). I would hope that we could build the reputation to the point where we
could host other USGA championships. Maybe someday we could host the U.S.
Amateur. We would aspire to do that.

“Most people who host these events have to go out and raise several hundred
thousand dollars from the community to cover the cost of the event,” Melvin
added. “Here, the Bryan Foundation is a key supporter of this USGA
championship, and that’s quite a contribution. We didn’t want Kyle Kolls
(Bryan Park Golf & Conference Center general manager) and his staff to have
to spend their time raising money. We wanted them focused on getting the
golf course in excellent condition. The championship enjoys tremendous
community support from Black Cadillac/Chevrolet for courtesy vehicles, the
city of Greensboro and the Wyndham Championship, just to name a few. Like
Bobby Long (Wyndham Championship board chairman) says about the Wyndham
Championship, ‘Our goal here is to make the Amateur Public Links
Championship an A++ event at an A++ facility.'”

Like nature, as Joseph Bryan said, Bryan Park provides world-class golf to
everyone and excludes no one.

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