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A $2.6 million expansion project is now underway at the Mt. Hope Convenience Center that will improve traffic flow, increase services and enhance safety at the site.
The 12-month project, overseen by the Calvert County Department of Public Works, will enlarge the center and include new traffic patterns allowing the exchange of full bins without disrupting convenience center users. The center remains at its 96 Pushaw Station Road location in Sunderland.
New features at the center will include covered recycling areas and raised platforms adjacent to the bins affording easier access for offloading. The center will remain open throughout construction, though residents may experience periodic delays as work continues.
The salt dome at the site will be relocated to the area where the current convenience center stands.
Visit online for more information as the project progresses.
58 homes to be built on what will soon be an empty Twin Shields Golf Course.
Final tee time looming at Twin Shields
For years, local golfers, especially those from south county, have traveled just over the Calvert County line to get in a round at Twin Shields Golf Club. But come Nov. 1, the local 18-hole course in Dunkirk is closing, and those duffers will have to look elsewhere for a day on the links..
The course, developed and nurtured by the late Ray and Roy Shields, is being sold to a Calvert County developer who plans 58 homes on the 223 acres.
The club has been run by Roy Shields’ daughters, Karen and Dianne, since he died in 1998.
“The golf business isn’t what it used to be,” Karen Shields said. “A lot of people, especially younger people, can’t take six hours out of their day. Now it seems seniors are the only ones with the money and the time to play.”
Some golfers will hate to see it go.
Anne Arundel residents Terence Smith, formerly a correspondent for The New York Times and PBS’ Newshour, and Pat McGrath, a longtime reporter for WTTG television, have been playing there for years. “It’s very bad for people like myself. It has been my primary golf course for 3 1/2 decades,” said McGrath, who will have to drive farther and pay more to putt around.
Smith will miss Twin Shields, too. Well, most of it.
“I have lost a lot of golf balls in the pond on the fourth hole,” Smith said. “I suppose I’d be happy to see the fourth hole gone — if they would keep the other 17.”
Hung between the pro shop and snack bar buildings at Twin Shields, a whiteboard marks the days. On Wednesday, it read: “82 days left.”
“We have each other’s backs,” said Karen, sitting with her sister on Daddy-O’s Patio overlooking the course.
There is a lot of talk about their father.
Twins Roy and Ray Shields started in the golf business in the 1930s when they moved from their native Kentucky to Washington, D.C., and started working at the old golf and swimming club at Hains Point. In a few years the two started working at the Annapolis Roads golf and beach club, and within a few years they leased it. Then, they bought it.
Both went off to World War II and returned to find Annapolis Roads overgrown and vandalized. They cleaned it up and kept it up until selling it in 1968. Meanwhile, they bought a nine-hole course where the defunct White Flint Mall stood in Rockville in 1950, then purchased the Glenn Dale Golf Club in 1958, which Ray Shields’ children still run.
With proceeds from the sale of Annapolis Roads, the Shields brothers bought a tobacco farm along the Anne Arundel County line in Calvert County. Using a simple plan and a bulldozer, the two — with help from another brother — built the course by sight line.
“They were going to call it Twin Valley until someone suggested the twins call it Twin Shields,” Karen said.
The daughters take pride in keeping the course shipshape. “Some people say we could have let it go,” Karen said. “But we will not let that happen. We will keep it like our father would have wanted it.”
Though the course has been averaging about 35,000 rounds a year, the income doesn’t pay the bills, the sisters said. Then again, things were usually tight.
“Dad used to borrow money from the bank to get through the winter and pay it back in the spring,” Karen said.
Twin Shields opened in 1968, and then came competing courses. “We kept our prices lower to keep them coming in,” she said.
Added her sister: “But our costs went up. The price of seed, fertilizer, everything went sky-high.”
So they had to make a decision.
They approached Calvert County with the idea of the county buying and operating the course.
The county passed.
A Calvert County homebuilder approached them, and the plan to build homes on the property was born. Final approval for Quality Built Homes’ The Lakes at Twin Shields plan came in July 2012.
Twin Shields regular Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., the Maryland state Senate president, will miss the course’s down-home, blue-collar feel.
“My father played there. My uncle and my cousins played there too,” Miller said. “Our family sponsored the 12th hole.”
The employees have agreed to stay on until the end.
“And we are counting the days,” Karen Shields said.
“Together,” her sister chimed in.
Copyright © 2015, Capital Gazette, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication |
CALVERT COUNTY NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH
Calvert County Sheriff’s Department………………… (410)535-2800
Maryland State Police………………………………… (410)535-1400
Free Call From Cell Phone to MSP………………….. #77
Detective Sergeant Rosemary King, MD State Police……… (410)535-1400 ext. 321
Deputy Greg Cameron, Calvert Co. Sheriff’s Office… (443)532-0000