NORTH AUGUSTA --- Arizona Cardinals coach and Augusta native Ken Whisenhunt has signed on as partner in the North Augusta Golf and Country Club, club officials and the coach confirmed Friday.
"Having grown up in the CSRA and being around the Masters and having such a love of golf, it was something I've always wanted to do," Whisenhunt said in a telephone interview.
Whisenhunt, who was the offensive coordinator for the Super Bowl XL champion Pittsburgh Steelers, signed paperwork in his office in Phoenix on Wednesday to become a minority partner in the club and The Pinery, a gated community next to the golf course.
Club Chairman and CEO Fred Layman refused to provide financial details of the deal, but he said Whisenhunt's stake amounts to about "15 percent."
The golf club broke ground in December on a 30,000-square-foot clubhouse. The previous clubhouse was destroyed by fire April 16, only a few days after Layman purchased the golf course.
Whisenhunt said he was intrigued by the prospects of helping the club start anew. He said he wants to help improve the course so it will compete with newer courses constructed in the Augusta area in recent years.
"Part of that is going to be developing it; maybe acquiring more land and being able to redesign or change the golf course just to make it a newer type golf course that people nowadays in the CSRA have seen," he said.
Contact between Layman and Whisenhunt started around the time of the Super Bowl. Whisenhunt's brother-in-law, who is the heating and air conditioning contractor for the club, knew of the coach's dream of being involved in a golf course and helped get the ball rolling.
A four handicap, Whisenhunt said he hasn't played the course in years, adding "I'm excited about reacquainting myself with the course and going forward."
The 1980 graduate of Richmond Academy and former Georgia Tech player still has close ties to the Augusta area and visits at least twice a year. The 46-year-old and his wife, Alice, have two children: Kenny, 17, and Mary Ashley, 15.
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