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Totteridge Golf Club opens up to public

One of the top golf courses in Western Pennsylvania has gone public.

Totteridge Golf Club, which opened as a private, membership-only course near Greensburg in 2001, has become the latest private country club to open its course to the public. It will also be a semi-private facility.

It joins Oak Tree, Alcoma, St. Jude and Duquesne as private clubs to go public because of the struggling economy.

Totteridge, which is ranked No. 11 in Pennsylvania by Golf Digest, and No. 3 in Western Pa., behind only Oakmont Country Club and Laurel Valley Golf Club, is considered by many golfers a hidden jewel.

Before it became public, some elite celebrities were seen playing the course including Mario Lemieux, Michael Jordan, Colorado pitcher Jason Marquis and PGA golfer Rocco Mediate, who bought a townhouse on the property.

Owner Tom Tanto hired San Antonio-based Foresight Golf to maintain the club and Rees Jones-designed course.

Armen Suny, acting general manager at Totteridge and project manager for Foresight Golf, said the decision to go public was made during the winter.

"We looked at the golf market across the country, and there are fewer clubs and fewer memberships," Suny said. "We have one of the finest golf courses in the country, and we wanted to open it to the public so they could experience it and see our properties."

Totteridge is a golf community still offering properties.

"We're doing a lot of different things," Suny said. "Jones designed the course for championship events. We want to make the course more player-friendly. We've cut the roughs down and are putting the tee locations to suit all types of players."

Another thing they've done is to allow juniors to play free with a paying adult.

"Many people who have already played the course said they are coming back," said Suny, who grew up in Philadelphia.

Suny also has worked at Merion Golf Club, Aronimink Golf Club and Rolling Green Golf Club near Philadelphia, and for Castle Pines Golf Club, Cherry Hills Country Club and Shadow Creek.

"We're just kicking off advertising and installing a new system," Suny said.

The club recently named Frank Heinen the new pro. Ed Miller, chief operating officer of Foresight Golf, and Suny are graduates of Penn State's golf course management program.

Additional Information:

Check it out ...

The Totteridge Golf Club Web site offers an extensive look at the course if you're considering a round of 18 at the Greensburg facility.

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