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Club tries digging out of its sinkhole rumors

By BRANT JAMES, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published July 11, 2002

Seven Hills Golfers Club is not sinking, but its business has been since rumors began that nine holes on the Spring Hill course have been affected by recent appearances of sinkholes.

A depression has existed around the retention pond on the signature No.13 for about 10 years, said Mike Sydney, manager of Spring Hill Country Club, which is owned by Lemcko of Florida.

Sinkholes continued there, he said, but have not affected any other hole.

"For the last several weeks, we've been doing about double the business as Seven Hills," Sydney said. "People think there's only nine holes open over there."

Jim Kahanyshyn, son of Lemcko owner Michael Kahanyshyn, estimated a $30,000 loss of revenue because of the misperception.

Jim Kahanyshyn said no holes ever were closed, though county officials had the depression on No.13 filled.

HELP: Part of Brent Payne's new duties at Silverthorn is to offer instruction like any other head golf professional.

Another part is to establish a link to the community.

That's why Payne, 23, has helped re-organize a tradition at the course: an annual kid's day.

The Jerry Heard Golf and Character Day, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. July 20, will offer children instruction, demonstrations and lectures from area police, plus benefit the Junior Deputy League -- a local charity that helps provide care for abused kids.

"I knew we needed to do something," Payne said. "(Management) said we had done some things in the past, and from what I understand, they have been successes."

The cost is $10 per child. Following an anti-drug lecture and a planned flyover by a police helicopter, the children will receive a 11/2-hour instruction with the use of a 5-iron. Participants get a T-shirt, hat and hot dog lunch.

For information, call (352) 799-2600.

PROS: World Woods will play host Monday and Tuesday to the Floridaregional qualifier for the Club Professional's Championship Tournament.

As many as 100 individuals are expected to compete.

Scott Wyckoff, World Woods' head pro, and Stan Cooke, its director of golf, will play. So will GlenLakes head pro Tom McCrary.

ALLEN: Tara Allen, a rising sophomore at Hernando High School, won the 13-15 age group in the North Florida PGA Junior Championship at Scotland Yards in Dade City.

Allen shot a 74-77-151 to easily outdistance Lakeland's Heather Burgner (76-80-156) and Dolores White (85-84-169).

FUTURES: Former Hernando High state champion Kelly Lagedrost this week enjoyed her best performance since her first pro tournament, finishing tied for 20th in the Capital Region Futures Classic in Albany, N.Y.

Lagedrost, who tied for eighth in the Futures Golf Challenge on March 22-24, earned $751 in Albany. The rookie's earnings improved to $4,334 after 13 events.

Lagedrost is ranked 63rd on the tour with a 74.72 scoring average.

GREENER: More than plentiful summer rains have the Brooksville Golf & Country Club course looking fresher, said head professional Paul Attard.

The attentiveness of new groundskeeper Mike McNeil, a former assistant at World Woods, partly is responsible.

"He's given the course a lot of individual attention," Attard said. "He's tailoring the watering and the fertilizer for each green, not just giving it a blanket treatment.

"He's being more meticulous and taking soil samples, making sure it gets what it needs."

-- Report golf news or scores at (800) 333-7505, ext. 1407; fax to (352) 754-6133, or e-mail to brant@sptimes.com.

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