The New Mohegan Sun Country Club
A Perfect Setting for Ahmad Rashad Celebrity Classic
The Ahmad Rashad Celebrity Classic served as a perfect setting for a coming out party for the redesigned and reworked Mohegan Sun Country Club at Pautipaug in Baltic, Ct. in late July.
A field of 30 stars of sports and entertainment joined Rashad, a former National Football League star and current sportscaster, at Mohegan Sun Country Club and the Mohegan Sun Casino for several days and nights of fun and some determined competition as the event helped out several charities.
NFL great Sterling Sharpe and Golf Channel’s Win McMurry captured the 2012 Celebrity Team Championship, and the course was packed with celebrities and amateurs on Friday as everyone got a sample of the fine work Robert McNeil of Northeast Golf Company did to what was formerly known as Pautipaug Country Club.
McNeil took a course that was first designed by Geoffrey Cornish and reworked by Stephen Kay in 2002 and created something very special. McNeil opened up to course to create somewhat of a links feel on many holes, with mounded fairway and greenside bunkers and tall fescue grass growing in the rough areas. In all, five holes were totally rebuilt, the bunkers redesigned and all new greens installed.
More than four thousand fans both on the course and at Mohegan Sun enjoyed the three-day event, raising funds for The REACH Foundation and The First Tee of Connecticut,” said Jay Sloves and Tom Landers (Publisher of Golfing Magazine), event Co-Directors.
Sharpe and McMurry edged out the teams of football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen/ former Major League Baseball star Scott Sanderson and former National Basketball Association star Herb Williams/former National Hockey League star Greg Stefan with an even par 108 in the 27-hole Celebrity Team Championship.
Baseball Hall of Famer and New York Yankees legend Richard “Goose” Gossage said: “This is one of the best celebrity events around. It’s a great event and looking forward to next year.”
“It’s all about building a first-class, all-star event that works for the players, charities and the fans in New England,” said Rashad
Since its inception, the Ahmad Rashad Celebrity Classic has raised more than $500,000 for charity. This year, proceeds from the event will benefit The REACH Foundation as well as The First Tee of Connecticut.
Mohegan Sun Country Club at Pautipaug was in fine condition for the event and the general consensus among the pros and amateurs was that McNeil’s efforts paid off in a solid and challenging course, yet one that is playable for golfers of all abilities. The course reopened earlier this year after being closed for the work.
One of the best holes on the new track is the sixth, a great, 495-yard par-five that starts from a severely elevated tee. There is water if your tee shot is hit too strong straightway and big hitters can cut the corner on the right to shorten the approach, which is to an elevated green that is tucked into a hillside with a waterfall tumbling down toward the pond below. It’s a classic risk/reward hole that is extremely pleasing to the eye.
The 10th hole is a 370-yard dogleg right that can be shortened by taking the tee shot over bunkers that guard the corner.
The 537-yard par-five 16th is another great risk-reward hole. A good tee shot will leave the player with the opportunity to go for the green in two but there are ponds stretching from 200 yards out to about 100 yards away from the putting surface and ample bunkers and fescue protecting the green.
The 18th is a solid finisher, a 418-yard par-four that doglegs sharp right. Again, longballers can take the tee shot over the trees and be left with a short iron to a green guarded by bunkers and water to the left.
All in all, Mohegan Sun Country Club at Pautipaug is a fun routing that won’t beat you up as long as you take what it gives you and keep your tee shots and approach shots away from danger. If you stray or get too greedy, you’ll find yourself paying a stiff penalty.
The course is available Mohegan Sun Casino guests, Mohegan Sun Player’s Club Cared holders.
For more information, visit www.MoheganSunCountryClub.com