Gary Williams, an anchor with The Golf Channel, paid a visit to Old Chatham Golf Club last week to talk with members about the present and future states of the game of golf. While in town, Williams — who spent nine years covering sports in Charlotte and recently ran a PGA Tour Network program on Sirius XM Satellite Radio — had a chance to play a round at the course.
During his visit, Williams spoke with members about a variety of topics, including the direction he believes the game of golf is heading. He made several interesting points, including the notion that it is vital to develop our youth’s interest in golf to grow the game for years to come. That speaks to Old Chatham’s own youth development program, which gets younger people involved in the game and encourages members to take the time to help develop kids into lifelong golfers. At the professional level, Williams also noted that the game of golf is quickly gaining popularity internationally.
Williams is a longtime friend of our own head golf professional, John Marino. Fortunately, he gets the chance to visit the club a few times a year, usually around the holidays when he visits his parents and sister, who live in Chapel Hill. He has enjoyed playing Old Chatham a dozen or so times, and once shot an impressive 69 just after having hernia surgery.
“John Marino has been a very good friend for a long time, and I’m happy to see that he’s doing what he’s done for this club,” Williams told interviewers. “This course just keeps getting better each time I play. The condition is the best I’ve ever seen it.”
When asked what he likes about the course, he did not hesitate to point out some of its finer features.
“Overall, I think it’s an incredibly fair course. It’s also very pleasing to the eye regardless of your skill level, which I think is very important. It doesn’t intimidate,” he said. “It features what every golf course designer should be trying to achieve — to accommodate players of all skill levels.”
Another compliment he gave to the club is that it is on par with many of the other top courses he has seen in his travels.
“I’ve been fortunate to play at some of the best clubs around the world,” Williams said. “To me, as far as the condition of the golf course at Old Chatham, the quality of the design, the fairness of the design and the entire experience, I’d put it right up there with any other course I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying.”
We look forward to his return!