The Roy Pace Wee Links and Driving Range ready for use

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

The First Tee of Brunswick County home course is The Golf Park at Cinghiale Creek near Shallotte. On Saturday, Cinghiale Creek officially opened a new 2-acre outdoor practice area to complement its 18-hole golf course for the youth. It is called the Roy Pace Wee Links and Driving Range.

A large crowd of chapter volunteers, guests, parents, and youth were on hand to see the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The guest of honor, and the namesake for the new course and range, was Roy Pace from Longview, Texas. He is the president and PGA golf instructor of The First Tee of the Piney Woods.

One of the special activities was a celebrity knockout tournament on the Wee Links course. The format was a two-man scramble. Each two-man team consisted of one youth and one honored guest from The First Tee of Brunswick County. Roy Pace accompanied Ashley Sloup (a TFTBC Eagle level participant and female player of the year) in the seven-team field. The seven youth that were selected won player of the year honors based on the 2009 Summer Tour point standings.

After the speeches, ribbon-cutting ceremony and knockout tournament, lunch was provided by Subway. A good time was had by all that attended on this important day for The First Tee of Brunswick County.


The Roy Pace Wee Links and Driving Range was made possible by strong community support. The First Tee of Brunswick County extends special thanks to the following donors and contributors: United States Golf Association, Howard “Rusty” and Carol Petrea, Terry Boldt, Home Depot of Shallotte, Carolinas Golf Association, James Russ, Gregory Poole Cat, Smith Turf Irrigation—Toro, Ocean Ridge Men’s Golf Association, Ocean Ridge Residents and Property Owners, Tim Teel—On Course Irrigation, Rick Neisler—Oak Island Plantation Turf Farm, Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation.


A new concept in teaching young children the game of golf began several years ago with the concept of “Wee Links.” The holes are short, usually fewer than 100 yards, with oversized 8-inch cups. The balls used in Wee Links play do not travel as far as a regulation golf ball, but have the look and feel of real ones. Youth can use their own regulation golf clubs.

This is a concept that is growing quickly as a teaching tool and as a fun place for families to play golf. Because Wee Links courses do not require a lot of acreage, they should gain popularity at campgrounds and municipal parks. Wee Links courses are in operation in such localities as Dublin, Ohio; Minot, N.D.; and Grand Prairie, Alberta, Canada.

Grants from the United States Golf Association and the Carolinas Golf Association helped make the Week Links project possible. Also, The Ocean Ridge Men’s Golf Association had a fundraising campaign that benefited the project. Oakland Plantation Turf Farm in Bladen County donated and installed Tifway 419 sprigs. Many other contributors played vital roles during the construction process that lasted from February 2008 until June 2009.

“We have six holes with synthetic greens, all under 60 yards,” said Al Arrigoni, TFTBC executive director. “The Wee Links is a wonderful place for younger children and new golfers to learn the game. It is also a great place where older participants can practice their short game.”

The First Tee of Brunswick County can’t take credit for the Wee Links concept. Rusty “Howard” and Carol Petrea, founders of TFTBC, salute Roy Pace for that honor. “Roy had this idea. We’re simply borrowing it to benefit the youngsters of Brunswick County,” Rusty said.

The Wee Links area has a large concrete pad with six tee box mats. The course is enclosed with 25-foot high perimeter netting, so that errant golf balls will not disturb those playing on the golf course that surrounds it. The enclosed area also doubles as a 170-yard driving range when there is no Wee Links play.


Please use the contact information below to find out more about The First Tee of Brunswick County. Your comments are most welcome, so let us know your thoughts. Mailing address: P.O. Box 1820, Shallotte, 28459. Web site: www.thefirstteebrunswickcounty.org. Phone: (910) 754-5288. E-mail: thefirstteebox@yahoo.com.