By CRAIG DISTL
North Carolina has always held an important place in the life of golfer Joey Sindelar. His Ohio State golf team won the 1979 NCAA Championship in Winston-Salem, he earned his first professional victory at the 1985 Greater Greensboro Open, and he pocketed $1 million last spring in Charlotte by capturing the 2004 Wachovia Championship. Even his 1990 tour victory at Quad Cities had a North Carolina tie – the title sponsor was Hardee’s, based in Rocky Mount.
So it seemed only natural that Sindelar looked favorably upon the request a few years ago to invest in a new golf course in the Sandhills, especially since his good friend, Davis Love III, was the designer.
“It was an easy investment, and it became an automatic investment with Davis designing the course because he cares about what he does,” said Sindelar.
The resulting course – Anderson Creek Golf Club – certainly didn’t disappoint. It emerged from a pack of four outstanding newcomers to be voted Best New Course in North Carolina in 2001, and continues to draw strong reviews four years later.
Although Sindelar, 46, has a small stake in the course, which is located about 40 minutes from Pinehurst in Spring Lake, he considers it a big opportunity to diversify his portfolio as his golf career slows down.
“We all have a lot of faith in the project and what it can become,” said Sindelar, noting that the community has room for a couple thousand houses and an additional 18 holes. “Davis did a wonderful job with the golf course.”
“It’s a big course. You don’t feel cramped,” he added. “It’s traditional and old-fashioned, not a gimmicky, sharp-edged course. I’d be surprised if people went there and didn’t have a great golf experience.”
A Kentucky native, Sindelar now lives in the state of New York. He got involved with Anderson Creek through his association with the club’s two main developers – Ken Adelberg and David Levinson – who also live in the Northeast.
There’s a chance Anderson Creek will eventually become private as the community grows, but that’s down the road. For now, Sindelar encourages golfers from across the state to tee it up at Anderson Creek if they’re looking for a good, challenging test of golf.
“You ought to get out there and play it because Davis is really, really happy with the design,” he said.
Sindelar is also happy with the design, and he admits to still being on a high from his big win in Charlotte, which snapped a 14-year dry spell and gave him his seventh PGA Tour victory.
“You kind of go on and do your thing. And there’s a huge validation that you’re doing the right thing,” he said, noting the Wachovia Championship trophy sits prominently on his dining room table. “Most of us try to separate golf from life. It’s important that we do that and I’ve always tried to keep it separate. But this win was so big and so life-changing, you can’t ignore it. It’s been a fabulous ride.”