Coming Soon: The Golf Barn
Winnabow’s newest attraction promises to be a golf utopia for everyone
STORY BY JOE JANCSURAK PHOTOS BY COURTNEY SURIGAO
What once was the Go Chicken Coop, a seasonal business off U.S. 17 in Winnabow, where familPromises ies enjoyed a pumpkin patch, corn maze, hayrides and more, will re-open by year-end as The Golf Barn, a year-round business for golf enthusiasts and novices alike.
The venue’s iconic 8-ft.-tall chicken, now dubbed Hennifer Lopez, remains, but the autumnal attractions have been replaced by Millie’s 18-hole mini golf course (named after the owner’s/president’s granddaughter/daughter); the Bradley Pitch & Putt 9-hole, par-3, LED-lit course for after-dark (and daytime) play using glow-in-the-dark balls and glowing pins; and a driving range that includes high-tech bays equipped with Toptracer technology for tracking the drive’s distance, height and ball speed, and for programmable games, including virtual 18-hole golf courses.
Rounding out the Golf Barn’s features: the Tee Box, an outdoor beer garden, a graveled area with fire pits, games such as corn hole and giant Jenga, and food and beverage options that include soft drinks, local beers, wine, soft drinks and ice cream from Chuck’s Homemade Ice Cream in Southport, including The Golf Barn’s signature flavor, Putter Pecan. For those preferring their refreshments indoors, there will be the Beer Barn. Plans also call for food trucks to be added later.
Friends since fourth grade, Golf Director Bradley Phillips and President Edwin Burnett say they began discussing their ideas for a multifaceted golf attraction nearly seven years ago.
Their professional backgrounds — Edwin is a real estate broker with Better Beach Rentals and Sales in Oak Island while Bradley has worked as a golf pro at a club on Long Island, NY and as a personal trainer — serve them well.
Edwin brings to the table practical business skills while Bradley will be available for golf lessons using an indoor simulator inside The Beer Barn and as a personal trainer using a small on-premise gym. Both options are available to the public.
“We knew we wanted to develop a top-notch facility with lots of options,” Bradley said. “And we knew that we wanted to create a family-friendly environment as my dad did as owner of Go Chicken Coop and now as owner of The Golf Barn,” says Edwin, adding that his father Ed’s 40 years’ experience as a developer is a great asset as they prepare for the opening.
“We really love our community,” Edwin continued, “and we really want this to be a place that families can come to enjoy themselves and hang out. For those of us who grew up in this area, we really would have liked to have had a place like this to call our own.”