Monday, September 30, 2013

Four-time U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur winner Meghan Stasi heads field at Biltmore Forest

Donald Ross isn’t asking for much.

First, you’ve got to drive the ball into the proper landing zone of the rolling and canted fairways of his 1922 course at Biltmore Forest Country Club in Asheville, N.C., in order to have the best look at the day’s hole location. And the longer, the better. The course will play 6,152 yards for the 2013 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship in October, but many greens are elevated and a number of fairways are sloped toward the tee, knocking off the prospect for bounce and roll with the driver.

Second, you’ve got to leave your approach shot under the hole. The greens are small, slick and gently sloped in every directional imaginable. A 20-foot putt below the hole beats a 6-foot slider from above it most every time.

And third, you’ve got have a jeweler’s touch on the putting greens. Ross’s putting surfaces demand exquisite feel and distance on longer lag putts and a smooth, firm stroke on the four-foot comebacks.

If one leg of the tripod’s not solid, your game will fall apart on this 91-year-old course that will be host the finest female amateur golfers 25 and older on Oct. 5-10, in the championship conducted by the United States Golf Association.

“I think this golf course will identify the best all-around player in the championship,” says Jon Rector, the head professional at Biltmore Forest. “You have to start at the greens and work your way back. It’s critical you put the ball on the right places on the greens. To do that, you have to be in the fairway. If you’re in the rough, you can’t put it in the right spot of the green.”
Four-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Meghan Stasi toured the course for the first time in early July and was excited about the prospects of defending the title she won in 2012 at Briggs Ranch Golf Club in San Antonio.

“The harder, the better,” Stasi says. “I think Biltmore Forest will be great for the championship. I had heard that you’d have to drive the ball well, hit to the right spots in the greens and be a really good putter. I saw that for myself today. I can’t wait to come back in October and learn more about the golf course.”

Ben Wright, the English golf writer and commentator, was lured from his New York home to western North Carolina in the late 1980s and joined Biltmore Forest. He currently lives in nearby Flat Rock.

“Biltmore Forest is a Donald Ross masterpiece. What else needs be said?” Wright says.
“It will examine every part of your game. If anything’s lacking, you’ll have a long day indeed.”
The USGA received 420 entries for the championship, and that field will be cut through
sectional qualifying in late August and early September to the final list of 132 players who will travel to Asheville. At Biltmore Forest, they’ll play two rounds of stroke-play qualifying on
Saturday and Sunday, with the low 64 players squaring off in six rounds of match play. The
championship will culminate with the 18-hole final match on Thursday.

This will be Biltmore Forest’s second USGA national championship, the first being the
1999 U.S. Women’s Amateur won by Dorothy Delasin.

The Women’s Mid-Amateur field will include mothers, wives, working professionals,
reinstated amateurs — running the gamut of golfers who juggle keeping a sharp competitive
game along with the demands of everyday life. The 2012 field included 47 players in their 50s compared to just 41 in their 20s and 30s combined. Players in their 40s and 50s made up 65 percent of the field.

“Championships like the Women’s Mid-Am are the backbone of the USGA,” says Jim
Hyler, a Biltmore Forest member and former president of the USGA. “The U.S. Open, the
Women’s Open and the Senior Open pay the bills. The 10 other championships the USGA
conducts represent the everyday golfer, the people who love the game and play it for the
competition and the fun of it.”

Stasi represents the prototypical Women’s Mid-Amateur competitor. The 34-year-old
New Jersey native is a former college golfer (Tulane) and college golf coach (Ole Miss) who
now lives in Oakland Park, Fla., where she and husband, Danny, own and operate an oyster bar restaurant. She won the Mid-Amateur in 2006 and 2007 under her maiden name of Bolger. By virtue of her 2012 victory in San Antonio, she became only the 16th golfer ever to have won one USGA title four times or more — putting her in the company of players such as Ben Hogan, Bob Jones and Jack Nicklaus.

“About my junior year in college, it occurred to me that a bad shot wasn’t the end of the
world,” Stasi says. “From then on, my attitude has been to have fun and enjoy the game. I am very competitive and I want to win, but as you mature you can keep the game in better

Another four-time Women’s Mid-Amateur champion is Ellen Port, who won in 1995,
1996, 2000 and 2011. She is coming off another USGA championship victory in 2012, having taken the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur. Port, a high school teacher and golf coach in St.Louis, will serve as captain of the USA Team for the 2014 Curtis Cup Match, to be played at St. Louis Country Club. Port played in the 1999 Women’s Amateur held at Biltmore Forest, though she missed the stroke-play cut.

There are also three players with local and statewide ties who hope to be in the mix.
Debbie Adams is a member at Biltmore Forest and was a quarterfinalist last year at
Briggs Ranch. She and husband, Anthony, both collegiate golfers at Ohio State, moved to
Asheville in 1996 from Florida. Knowing that the 2013 championship was set for her home club in Asheville, Debbie’s goal in 2012 was to advance to the final eight, thus earning an automatic qualifying berth to the 2013 championship.

“That’s all I wanted to do was come to this tournament and get exempt,” Adams said after winning her third match and securing a spot in the quarterfinals. “The pressure is off. I’m
excited now."

Hi-Wire's festive Oktober schedule

In October, find Hi-Wire Brewing at the Asheville Downtown Association’s Oktoberfest on Sat., October 12th, from noon – 6pm. Tickets are still available and selling out fast! Have faith that the party WILL NOT stop after the festival proper. At 7pm that night, they're giving away TWO of their brand new Hi-Pitch Hippo T-Shirts at the tasting room to the best dressed man and woman from Oktoberfest! So dust off your lederhosen and dirndl (so THAT’S what they call traditional German women’s clothing) and show off what you got at Hi-Wire’s tasting room Sat., October 12th. The weiner (Oktoberfest pun) will be announced at 7pm. 

The Taste and See food truck will be at their front door slinging – especially for the occasion – applewood-smoked duck and apricot bratwurst and homemade Spatziel (German pasta)!

ALSO IN OCTOBER, their neighbors at Ben’s Tune-Up are having their own Oktoberfest, one
week earlier, on Sat., October 5th from noon-10pm. The occasion will be replete with accordion music, a hot dog eating contest, other Tune-Up shenanigans, and, of course, Hi-Wire’s brews! Come visit the neighbors!

Asheville Community Theatre announces November events

  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever runs November 22 – December 8, 2013
  • Readers Theatre Showcase Series Presents Hobson’s Choice November 15-17, 2013
  • Saturdays at ACT presents Christmas with Santa  November 16, 2013
  • Storytelling series Listen to This on November 21, 2013
  • Auditions for Cabaret November 24-25, 2013

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever Runs November 22 – December 8, 2013: In this hilarious Christmas tale, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids, 6 delinquent siblings who smoke, kick, punch, and steal (they’ve started coming to church for the free gourmet snacks they’ve heard, wrongly, are offered).  The other children at the church are afraid to audition for fear of getting beat up, so the Herdmans get all the biggest parts – despite having never heard the Nativity story. A terrific piece for family audiences! The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is directed by Cary Nichols. Performances are Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 pm and Sunday afternoons at 2:30 pm. Tickets range from $12.00-$22.00.

The Autumn Players’ Readers Theatre Showcase Series Presents Hobson’s Choice: This lighthearted comedy, set in Victorian England, surprises us with its playful feminist message. A domineering father puts his three daughters to work in his shoe shop while he gallivants around town. He dismisses his oldest daughter as an old maid without any future but she turns the tables on him to give him a real run for his money.  Directed by Arnold Sgan.  Performances are Friday, November 15 and Saturday, November 16, 2013 in 35below at Asheville Community Theatre and Sunday, November 17, 2013 at the Reuter Center on the campus of UNCA.  All performances begin at 2:30. Tickets are $5.00 and are available at the door.

Asheville GreenWorks hosts volunteer appreciation event - Oct.6th

The public is invited to bring an acoustic instrument and jam with Asheville GreenWorks volunteers on Sunday October 6th, 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Asheville's newest venue, the Boathouse on 318 Riverside Drive. Music, food and drink for sale. Kids free. 

BBQ Chicken Plate Lunch. $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Kids free. Beer for Purchase or bring your instrument for a free beverage of your choice!  Asheville GreenWorks volunteers are free, but must preregister by Friday, October 4th to

This will be an appreciation event for the many hundreds of Asheville GreenWorks volunteers who plant trees, create green spaces, build playgrounds, beautify neighborhoods, educate children and adults about litter, composting and recycling all over Buncombe County. More info on link below. 

Included, thanks to sponsorship from Asheville Savings Bank, is a chance to upgrade and get your Asheville GreenWorks member discount card for just an additional $10 (a $40 value!
Bring your acoustic instrument and join in the fun!

Asheville GreenWorks is a local volunteer based, environmental organization dedicated to keeping Asheville clean and green. Our mission is to enhance the environment and quality of life for the citizens of Asheville and Buncombe County. For more information, please contact Christine Brown at or Sarah Oram, Director, at sarah@ashevillegreenworks or call 254-1776.

Foundation Fair comes to Western North Carolina

Networking opportunity for nonprofits and foundations set for Oct. 11 in Flat Rock, N.C.

On October 11, nonprofits in western North Carolina will have the opportunity to meet and talk with foundation representatives at the 2013 Foundation Fair, hosted by the North Carolina Network of Grantmakers.

The North Carolina Network of Grantmakers (NCNG) hosts the Foundation Fair each year to provide nonprofits an opportunity to interact with and learn about foundations in North Carolina. Akin to a “college fair,” the Foundation Fair is intended to help nonprofits find and connect with foundations that have missions similar to those of their own organizations.

The 2013 NCNG Foundation Fair will be held on Friday, October 11 at the Thomas Auditorium at Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock, NC. There will be two sessions for nonprofit representatives to visit foundation booths. The morning session will run from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and the afternoon session will run from 1-3 p.m. 

More information and a list of participating foundations can be found online:

Each nonprofit may attend only one session. To participate in the Foundation Fair, interested nonprofits must register through the North Carolina Network of Grantmakers for either the morning or the afternoon session.  

Questions about the event should be directed to NCNG ( or 919-967-7410).