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.

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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. 



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Kentucky Apple Cider - Cocktail Recipe

by Kyle Perry

 Dec 19, 2017 at 4:42 PM

Created by Kyle Perry, Bar Manager, Country Club of Asheville  

"Kentucky Apple Cider is the perfect crowd-pleasing cocktail to serve at holiday get-togethers. The balanced flavors of boozy and sweet, with the festive fruit and cinnamon spice, creates a wonderful combination of seasonal cheer." 


Fresh Apple Slices

Ground Cinnamon


2 oz Buffalo Trace Kentucky Bourbon

Apple Cider

Simple Syrup


Muddle apple slices, cider, cinnamon, honey, and simple syrup. Add ice and bourbon to shaker. Strain cider and bourbon mixture into glass. Garnish with apple slices and drizzle with honey. 


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Welcome to Our New Superintendent

by Michael Shoun

 Nov 08, 2017 at 8:20 PM

Country Club of Asheville is pleased to welcome a new superintendent this November.

Brandon Ingle brings 19 years of experience in the course maintenance field to our growing club. Most recently he was the superintendent at the prestigious Sage Valley Golf Club in Graniteville, South Carolina which was ranked among the top courses in the nation while under his leadership. Brandon also has experience with a cool season course which he acquired while at Linville Ridge Country Club as senior assistant. He began his management career at one of our very own facilities, TPC Wakefield Plantation in Raleigh, as assistant superintendent. We are fortunate to gain a superintendent with Brandon’s level of experience and expertise and are very excited to see what he will bring to our fantastic facility.

Brandon is an avid golfer, enjoys spending time with his family (wife Kristen, son Aiden, and daughter Avery) and manning the grill. The Ingles are very excited about their new home and to experience mountain living.

We are grateful to John Shaw and the entire golf course maintenance crew at CCA for their work during this interim period. The course is getting better every day and it is thanks to these folks for the consistent hard work they do.

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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. 


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Just Keep Swimming

by Martha - Page Althaus

 Aug 24, 2017 at 5:30 PM

Eighteen-year-old Jake Cogburn grew up in the club pool, competed on its swim team for ten years, and now plans to swims on the club team at High Point University.

“Swimming has been a really consistent part of my life,” he says. “I have no plans to stop now.”

Jake started on the country club team when he was five years old. He went on to swim for the local YMCA team, with two-hour practices every day. That work paid off, and he was named Mountain Athletic Conference Swimmer of the Year during his junior year of high school. His favorite event to swim is the 100m backstroke, but of all the meets he’s competed in, one strenuous competition still stands out.

“When I was 15, I swam a meet called the Ironman, where you swim every single high school race in one afternoon,” he says. “I felt great afterward, like I had accomplished something that a lot of people can’t do.”

His love of swimming goes back to Country Club of Asheville’s summer swim team. He also found encouragement from his summer swim team coach and private stroke instructor, Ann Sims, or “Mrs. Swims” as he and his friends affectionately used to call her.

“Ms. Sims had a big impact on me when I was young,” says Jake.

His mother, Julie Fields, agrees.

“Country Club of Asheville swimming had a huge impact on his move to swimming as his sport of choice,” she says. “The beauty of the club’s summer swim league is that it’s not so compet- itive. It’s more about learning. The kids all develop friendships.”

As for all those years of early practice hours and the time commitment?

“Totally worth it,” says Julie. “To have this be the thing he loves and does so well... it’s a great feeling. And it all started at the country club.”

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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 


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