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Clinton, Musgrove Mill prepare for golf, unknown

The staff at Musgrove Mill Golf Club knows what to expect and what to do when the men’s ACC Golf Tournament arrives in Clinton for the first time next week.

But for the City of Clinton, it’s a new world filled with more ifs than whens.

“This is all new for us,” said Clinton’s Amanda Addison, executive administrative assistant to the city manager.

Addison has been tasked with planning events around the tournament, which is set for April 21-23 at Musgrove Mill, with the hopes of drawing fans to downtown Clinton.

But the question is, how many fans will be attending the event? The tournament has been held at the Old North State Club in New London, N.C., for more than a decade.

North Carolina’s controversial – and recently repealed – HB-2 law caused the NCAA to boycott the state as a host for its championships, and the ACC Golf Tournament was moved to Musgrove Mill. Both Old North State and Musgrove Mill are McConnell Golf properties.

The Old State Club sits near Asheboro, N.C., short drives for ACC fan bases at Wake Forest, N.C. State, Duke and North Carolina.

Geography is not as friendly to Musgrove Mill with only Clemson about an hour’s drive away and Georgia Tech another 100-plus miles down I-85, making it tough to estimate how many fans, friends and family will follow their golfers here.

Even so, Addison is making plans for a trolley to take people from the hotels near I-26 into downtown.

On Thursday, April 21, the Presbyterian College Jazz Band will be performing at the House of Pizza in Clinton beginning at 7 p.m.

On Saturday night, the Shag Doctors will perform in downtown Clinton from 7-10.

Musgrove Mill has a better handle on the numbers. Its staff is expecting 100-110 golfers, coaches and support staff from the ACC’s 12 schools for the weekend.

The teams will eat three meals a day at the club while taking on the Arnold Palmer-designed 6.993-yard layout.

Musgrove Mill Director of Golf Jeff Tallman said the club is ready for the challenge on the course and off of it.

“We played over 100 people last Saturday and 60 more on Sunday,” Tallman said. “It’s an exciting time for us. We’ve hosted all of South Carolina’s major golf events and we hosted the PC Intercollegiate for 12-15 years. This is another great venue for us. . . . It’s definitely exciting.”

Each team will bring five players along with two coaches and potentially another staff member.

Tallman said arrival of the ACC Tournament is a chance to put Musgrove Mill on full display beyond the state line, but couldn’t predict whether or not the tournament might return.

“We’re just going to do everything we can do this year,” he said. “That determination is up to them (the ACC). It’s a good chance for the club here. The tournament has been at Old North State for 12-15 years, so I know the ACC has given a lot of support to McConnell Golf. The ACC women’s tournament is being held at The Reserve at Pawley’s Island, another McConnell property.”

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