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Piney Branch opens to public on Mondays

Longtime Piney Branch Golf Club head professional Jeff Zachman said a lot of people consider his course to be one of the best kept secrets in the area.

He hopes that will change.

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Piney Branch, which straddles the Carroll County/Baltimore County line in Hampstead/Upperco, is still very much a private facility. But for the next two months or so all golfers are welcome to come out and play on Mondays.

Zachman is hoping lots of players from Carroll and throughout the region will come play the course, enjoy their round, and consider becoming a member.

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"We just want to get a little exposure," Zachman said of the decision to open up the course on Mondays. "There are people who don't know we're here."

Zachman said they researched what comparable public courses charge for greens fees and the Piney Branch price on Mondays will be $55 for 18 holes with cart. (Tee times can be made by calling 410-239-7114.)

That will bring in some extra revenue, but the goal of the promotion, which will run through October, is to add 40-50 new members, said Zachman. He said Piney Branch currently has 330 members.

One of those members authored what Zachman called the best ending he has seen to a match play club championship last week.

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Drew Outten holed out for a birdie from the sand on the 36th and final hole to beat reigning champion Ben Lukehart 1 up.

It was Outten's first club title after previously finishing as a runner-up in both the match play and the stroke play event.

The play in the final match was stellar as Outten played the 36 holes in even par while Lukehart was 1 over. Neither player held more than a one-hole lead during the first 18 and it was tied heading to the second 18.

Outten won the fifth hole with a birdie, halved the sixth with a birdie and won the seventh with a par to take a two-hole lead that he maintained until he bogyed the 12th. Lukehart birdied the 14th to tie the match and that's the way it stayed until 18.

Lukehart hit the final green in regulation and was staring at a lengthy birdie putt when Outten made his sand shot for a birdie. When Lukehart's putt missed, Outten was the champion for the first time.

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