Bill Hall, the head pro at Charlotte Country Club for almost 15 years, is no longer with the club. Hall said he was dismissed after club leaders decided recently to make a change.
"It's disappointing but I have to move on," Hall said. "It's part of the business. It happens all the time."
Hall had seemingly become a fixture at Charlotte Country Club, where he helped the club through an extensive course restoration as well as hosting the U.S. Senior Amateur and the U.S. Women's Amateur championships in recent years. He also helped develop Charlotte's junior golf program into one of the largest in the city with more than 300 members.
The popular pro said he was surprised by the club's decision.
"The only thing they told me is they want to move in a different direction. That's all I was told," Hall said.
Hall said he's evaluating his options while trying to decide if he will remain in the golf business.
"I really wanted to finish my career out there," Hall said. "But I have a lot of good things to reflect on."
Jim Aughtry, a 50-year old financial consultant, plays most of his golf on the popular Golfweek Amateur Tour around Charlotte but this week he's stepping up and out - to the U.S. Senior Open at Inverness Country Club in Toledo, Ohio.
Aughtry, who turned 50 in April, earned his spot through a qualifier at Greensboro Country Club's farm course where he shot 68 then advanced in a playoff. Now it's off to Inverness to tee it up against Tom Lehman, Nick Price, Mark Calcavecchia and others.
"I'm not exactly sure what I've gotten myself into," Aughtry said.
Aughtry began playing competitive golf more than a decade ago and he's concentrated on amateur events around the area. He's played in some major Carolinas Golf Association events but never had great success, he said.
Last year, three amateurs made the cut in the Senior Open and Aughtry has made that his goal.
"I'd like to make the cut," he said. "My golf ball doesn't know I'm an amateur. I just need to hit good shots. We all start at zero. Let's put the tee in the ground and see what we can do."
Andy Sajevic, a rising junior on the Charlotte 49ers golf team, recently won his second consecutive Nebraska amateur championship.
Sajevic did it by rallying from four strokes behind entering the final round - and beating his father, John, by two strokes.
Last year, Sajevic beat his father - the 1989 Nebraska amateur champion - by three strokes. This time, Sajevic birdied the 16th hole in the final round to take the lead to become a repeat champion.
"We've had a couple of battles back and forth," Andy Sajevic said. "It's very competitive but we keep it pretty light and enjoy the competition. I don't think many people experience that."
Grobe's big day
Wake Forest football coach Jim Grobe made the most of his visit to Pinehurst Resort this week for the ACC's annual preseason football media event. While playing with bowl game representatives, Grobe shot 1-under par 71 on Pinehurst No. 2, his career best score by at least four strokes.
"We've got a better shot of winning the league than of me doing that," said Grobe, a 13-handicap.
If you saw any of the RBC Canadian Open last weekend, you saw again how thick rough can kill the excitement in a golf tournament. Organizers obviously felt it was necessary otherwise the pros would have overwhelmed Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club.
What they got was a tournament where a missed fairway often mean chunking a wedge shot back into play. minimizing the opportunity to hit recovery shots. Players are going to miss fairways, regardless of how accurate they are off the tee, and the ankle-deep rough often takes skill out of the equation.
The LPGA Tour last week announced the creation of a fifth major - the Evian. Basically, the title sponsor bought itself a major championship, giving the tour five majors. The tour needs every marketing advantage it can get but arbitrarily creating a fifth major is contrived. Note to the LPGA Tour and the Champions Tour: There should be four majors, not five.
There was no way the Tiger Woods-Steve Williams split wasn't going to get uncomfortable. Williams' reaction - he said he was shocked and disappointed and accused Tiger of not appreciating his loyalty - was understandable. Tiger made him a star and a rich man and Williams obviously wanted to keep working with Woods. They had a chemistry that worked.
But Woods stood by Williams, too. Remember a couple of years ago when Williams popped off in Australia with some unkind words about Phil Mickelson, which no doubt bothered Tiger? And when there were cries for Tiger to ditch everyone close to him after his scandal, he stayed with Williams.
Both of them will move on and be fine.