Palmer to christen Innsbrook

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 7, 2008

MERRY HILL – Dozens of workers are gearing up for the biggest grand opening ceremony Bertie County has ever seen.

The much-awaited Arnold Palmer Signature Course at Innsbrook will officially open for business Friday and over 400 people are expected to be in attendance, including the world-famous golfer Arnold Palmer himself.

The event is slated to begin at 9 a.m. and Palmer is to begin playing and narrating nine holes of golf starting at 10 a.m.

A golf tournament, with 120 players making up 30 teams, will last throughout the morning and afternoon with 18 holes of play.

Innsbrook, which was constructed as a residential and boating community woven amidst the course itself, is located on the Albemarle Sound at Salmon Creek. Work has been steadily progressing at Innsbrook since its groundbreaking in February 2005.

So far, 59 families have purchased lots in the community, with an additional 141 under contract.

Innsbrook currently employs about 30 people with another 35-40 working for the developer’s company.

Bertie County Economic Development Director Steve Biggs said the impact Innsbrook will have on the county will be a plus.

&uot;Sales tax, property tax, tourism dollars, employment opportunites…you name it and the Innsbrook development and golf course delivers for Bertie County,&uot; Biggs said. &uot;They will be a great economic benefit to the county.&uot;

The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald spoke with Innsbrook golf pro Tim Dougherty regarding Friday’s upcoming grand opening.

“I’m looking forward to meeting Mr. Palmer and am very excited to be a part of such a fine establishment. This is one of the premiere facilities on the east coast,” Dougherty stated.

Dougherty, who hails from the Outer Banks, started with Innsbrook last month, but has over eight years experience as a golf pro.

Innsbrook is currently a semi-private course, but future plans call for the course to become totally private.

There are less than 400 Arnold Palmer Signature Courses worldwide and less than 20 in North Carolina.

Innsbrook’s is a 7,463 yard course featuring several holes skirting the sound and even more that are set around ponds within the community, including four par five holes.

The Innsbrook golf and boating community as a whole spans more than 900 acres with sites for nearly 400 residential lots.

Palmer, 78, is regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of men’s professional golf.

He has won numerous events on the PGA and other tours and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.

Admittance to Friday’s grand opening ceremony is by invitation only.

For more information on Innsbrook, visit