Virginia Golfer Sep / Oct 2017 - Page 31

Backyard Adventure For renowned sculptor HUBERT PHIPPS, a break means some time on his own personal golf hole | by LEONARD SHAPIRO ubert Phipps was a championship racecar driver, still flies his own helicopter and is a highly regarded sculp- tor whose work has been exhibited around the coun- try. He’s also dabbled in golf since his teenage years living in South Florida. These days, he can walk just a few steps out of his majestic art studio and tee off on a slightly downhill golf hole located on his 70-acre property in the bucolic horse country of Middleburg. Once he arrives at the 2,500 square-foot green in- stalled about five years ago, he can stroke putts on a yawning two-tiered sur- face of warp-speed artificial turf that allows him every sort of break imagin- able. Left to right, right to left, downhill, uphill, 60-footers to tap-ins. A bit of sand sprinkled all around can also slow the greens down just a touch from their 10 to 11 Stimpmeter readings. And if Phipps gets a little bored with putting to seven different hole locations, there are three bunkers—two pro- tecting the left side of the green and one on the right—to practice hitting out of the sand. There’s also short and long grass all around to work on chipping or flop shots over the bunkers. Phipps said he’s so busy in the art studio these days preparing for upcom- ing shows for his imposing and often large-scale sculptures that he doesn’t have much time to spend on his game (check out some of Phipps’ work at Still, he enjoys coming out every once in a while to bomb drives from an artificially turfed tee 270 yards from the green, or to move up to another tee box at 150 yards. S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 17 | V I R G I N I A G O L F E R 29