By: Tony Edwards
As our wonderful Sound Golf Links celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, let us pause to recall just how and when the course was conceived, designed, built, and opened for play. Part One introduces the developer and the course architect, the two individuals most responsible for creating this marvel. In future issues you will meet more characters who have played roles in the evolving history of the Sound Golf Links.
Part One: A Dream Becomes Reality
Elwood “Woody” Perry was a young man starting out in the land acquisition and development business when he first met his future partner, R. G. “Pete” Bosher, in 1982. In 1986, the two purchased the par-cel of land that is now Albemarle Plantation. Their vision was to develop an upscale residential community along the waters of Albemarle Sound and Yeopim Creek.
Perry and Bosher knew that a first-class golf course was essential to the development if it was to attract prospective residents. In the mid to late 80’s, golf was booming across the country, and competing developers up and down the southeast coast were building golfing communities in numbers. So, after a brief search, they reached out to Dan Maples, an up-and-coming golf course architect based in Myrtle Beach, SC, to invite him to design and build a golf course at Albemarle Plantation.
“Woody” Perry: “Dan visited us for the first time in ’87 and rolled out a design plan that included a large number of waterfront holes. We could see very quickly that this design, if built as presented, would take away many potential waterfront residential lots we had envisaged. It didn’t take “Pete” and me long to agree that we needed to negotiate course modifications with Dan.” And so they managed to convince Maples to revise his design which eventually led to the course layout we now know and love…well almost!
Dan Maples: “The developers sacrificed very valuable land to let me max out the golf course. Prime waterfront property was wrapped into the golf course and clubhouse areas for ALL property owners and guests to enjoy.”
Over the next year the developers applied for and obtained the necessary permits, and course construction commenced in 1989 as reported below in the Daily Advance on July 29, 1990.
The Sound Golf Links was finally completed and ready for play in the fall of 1990. The architect summed up his marvelous achievement recently in an email to me:
Dan Maples: “Very long, tough, difficult, beautiful, project. Truly spectacular!”