Drop and Play

by Jamie Waggoner

 Mar 06, 2018 at 8:00 PM

Country Club of Asheville is a parent’s and child’s new best friend

The Country Club of Asheville has recently unveiled a “Drop and Play” program, which is a revised take on Kids Club.

Drop and Play is designed for club members who need a place to bring their young children on weekdays while participating in on-site leisure activities, running errands, or if they just need a short break.

“My almost three-year-old daughter loves Ms. Amy and Ms. Laine; she looks forward to going and does not want to leave.” says club member Hilary Fridman of the new program.

Laine Kovac is the Director of Activities & Wellness at Country Club of Asheville. Laine comes from an extensive background in childcare management. She has a broad knowledge of early childhood development and brings her experience of working in upscale preschools to cultivate and evolve the childcare programs at CCA.

Amy Boykin is the Youth Coordinator and spends one-on-one time with the children on a daily basis. Her love for the children is evident when you see her in action. She has a background in early childhood education and working with at-risk youth.

The goal of the program is to provide members a safe, nurturing, and educational environment for child care. The children participate not only in play, but educational activities. This drop-in early learning program will have a structured schedule and curriculum comparable to any other preschool program. The children will be engaged throughout their time here with activities such as art, reading, literacy, math, physical activity and music.

As Fridman shares, “[My daughter] comes home each time with crafts, many of which teach letters, shapes, and numbers. She also gets outdoor time, socialization, and plenty of imaginative play. I would not hesitate to recommend the program to anyone!”

Drop and Play  provides care up to two hours per day for members who are participating in on-site activities such as fitness classes, dining, massage therapy and golf. It is also available to parents who would like to drop their children off and head to errands or activities off-site.

“I can't say enough good things about the CCA Drop and Play," summarizes Hilary Fridman.

This program is just one more way Country Club of Asheville portrays  its commitment to members and the importance of family.

Read More

Golf America Names CCA Best of 2017

by Casey Griffith

 Jan 05, 2018 at 2:22 PM

National television show selects Country Club of Asheville among its top courses of 2017 

After touring some of the country's most esteemed golf courses, Golf America and its host Alan Hunter named Country Club of Asheville among the top four tracts they toured in 2017. The course's rich history, diverse topography and recently completed reconstruction effort make it a stand-out. 

Airing in late December, the annual best-of-show episode revisited stunning aerial drone footage and historical photographs. Hunter opens the final segment of the program as follows: "Our final course we're featuring in our Best of 2017 Show is the Country Club of Asheville. It is one of the oldest private clubs in the U.S. and it features a Donald Ross designed golf course that was reconstructed in 2016 by Richard Mandell." 

A few minutes later, Country Club of Asheville Director of Golf Matt Stewart lends his knowledge of the course to the featured holes in the episode. Of #9 he states "Depending upon where the flag is, even a marginal shot into the green might catch the right slope and end up a whole lot better than what you would have thought."   

Watch the full CCA portion below and visit YouTube.com/McConnellGolf to explore our full video library. 



Read More

Country Club of Asheville Featured on Golf America

by Casey Griffith

 Sep 06, 2017 at 1:52 PM

National television show visits North Carolina and features the Country Club of Asheville 

"It was on this unique piece of property that legendary golf course designer Donald Ross left his mark in Western North Carolina," begins host Alan Hunter to open the show, "Although this Ross-designed layout has stood the test of time, in 2016 McConnell Golf who owns the club brought in golf course architect Richard Mandell to update the course." The Golf America segment continues to treat viewers to a well-rounded presentation of the private club in Asheville. 

Having aired in August, the program used both ground-level and aerial drone footage to narrate the history of the club and lead viewers on a course tour. Hunter also profiled three featured holes at CCA (Nos 4, 14 and 16) sharing the challenges they present alongside tips and commentary from Director of Golf Matt Stewart on how to navigate their intricacies. Stewart also presents a golf tip where he demonstrates how to hit out of deep rough - specifically where and how to place your club in relation to the ball for a clean shot.  

The segment ends with a few words from Club Manager Michael Methot and Membership Director Debbie Ponder about the club's amenities and social events. About membership, Ponder adds "One of the unique aspects is that when you join Country Club of Asheville, you're pretty much a member of twelve different private clubs". Methot summarizes nicely with, "It's quite incredible to see what the club originally started out as, and what it's shaped into today."

Watch the full program below and visit YouTube.com/McConnellGolf to explore our full video library. 


Read More

A Familiar Face

by Martha-Page Althaus

 Aug 03, 2017 at 7:41 PM

At Country Club of Asheville, Debbie Ponder has seen it all.

To say she’s a country club regular is a huge understatement. After all, Debbie Ponder has been working at Country Club of Asheville for nearly 37 years.

Ponder, who was hired straight out of college to handle front office duties and book private functions, now serves as the club’s membership and marketing director, a role that’s constantly evolving.

“In the 1980s, the club didn’t advertise,” she recalls. “Members brought in new members. But when corporations no longer offered memberships to their executives, that’s where the challenges came in and we ramped up our marketing efforts.”

In her tenure, she’s also seen changes in the role the club plays in members’ lives.

“It used to be all about the men. The wives and children weren’t as involved. Now we have a one-stop shop. The whole family is active beyond just the guys getting together.”

And it’s not a hard sell at Asheville, either. Since McConnell Golf took ownership in 2015, the property has undergone top-to-bottom renovations, including a recent golf course reconstruction.

“Since McConnell took over, I now have something truly enticing to sell,” says Ponder. “When I’m taking folks on a tour, they see our upgraded clubhouse and locker rooms. They see the renovated course. And when they find out they have access to 12 other private clubs? The value of this membership goes way, way up.”

In all her time at Asheville, one thing remains constant: “The members are an extension of my own family,” says Ponder. “I’ve known many of them for a long, long time. They’ve seen me come into this job straight out of college. They’ve seen me get married, have children. Their support is overwhelming.”

While Ponder has seen the club change in countless ways during her three-plus decades there, the atmosphere at Asheville now couldn’t be better.

“The new course is busy, and everyone is trying to find their game,” she says. “There’s a new energy and excitement here. Potential members are thrilled. I can say without a doubt that I love my job. I’m in the happy zone all day.”

And that’s a good place to be.


>> Learn More About Membership at Country Club of Asheville 


Read More

Gather Together

by Jessie Ammons

 Dec 01, 2016 at 8:08 PM

At the Country Club of Asheville, members enjoy tastes of fine wine alongside gourmet paired bites at Chef Bruce McIntosh’s chef-led cooking demo dinners. “I call them demos instead of classes,” Chef Bruce explains. “I prepare the food in front of members, so they can see what I’m doing and learn from it, but then it’s plated for them to enjoy.”

The dinners began by happenstance and as an extension of the club community. Chef Bruce knew a group of men at the club who wanted to have a special celebratory dinner on Tuesday nights, when dinner service is closed. To make the meal memorable, he thought to utilize the club’s spacious kitchen outfitted with a large wooden block table.

Members sat around the table, and Chef Bruce made every course to order right there in the kitchen. The evening was a success, and the men raved about it enough to spread the word. Soon, another group wanted a private kitchen dinner, and then another. Chef Bruce decided to make it a regular occurrence. “But I wanted to take it a step further,” he says.

Now, demo dinners involve five or six small-plate-sized courses and shared bottles of wine. When they arrive, members receive a printout with the recipes for a few of the courses (never all of them, because “I like to keep an element of surprise for a few of the courses,” Chef Bruce says). There’s also a space to take notes on any tricks and techniques gleaned from watching the chef at work. Some members take ample notes and others sit back and enjoy — both are welcomed and encouraged. “It’s a real social event,” Chef Bruce says. Between the convivial gathering, the quality time with the chef, and the ability to recreate recipes at home, the dinners are truly something special. “We’re enjoying offering something different to our members.”

Bites by Bruce

These two easy appetizer recipes from Chef Bruce make winter entertaining a breeze.

Mushrooms Royale 
1 pound mushrooms 1 tablespoon olive oil 8 shallots, julienned
1 teaspoon chopped garlic 1⁄4 cup white wine
1⁄2 cup espagnole sauce (available at grocery stores) salt and pepper to taste
1⁄4 cup chopped parsley 1 tablespoon butter toast points, for serving

Directions: Heat sauté pan and add olive oil. Add mushrooms and shallots, then sauté. After one minute, add garlic, salt, and pepper. Add white wine and reduce. Finish by adding brown sauce (espag- nole), parsley, and butter. Serve over toast points. Serves 8

Spinach-Artichoke Dip 
1 15-ounce can artichokes
8 ounces spinach, chopped
16 ounces cream cheese
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
tortilla chips and pita bread, for serving shredded cheese of choice, for garnish

Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Puree artichokes and cream cheese. Fold in seasonings and spinach and spread into serving dish. Top with shredded cheese and bake for 15 minutes. Makes 3 cups

Read More

Members Back Sale to McConnell Golf

by Mike Cronin

 Jan 07, 2015 at 3:08 PM

Members of the oldest private golf club in North Carolina voted to approve its sale on Wednesday to John McConnell, president and owner of Raleigh-based McConnell Golf.

By a 222-96 margin, members of the 120-year-old Country Club of Asheville agreed to become the 10th club owned by McConnell, said club president Ralph Damato.

"The members have spoken; this is what they wanted done — now we can move on," said Damato, a member since 1998. "I'm glad it's behind us. It was stressful for everybody. We can all look forward to the wonderful things that will be happening."

Read Full Article

Read More