Remembering Percy Glaspie, a longtime groundskeeper at Cape Fear Country Club

Remembering Percy Glaspie, a longtime groundskeeper at Cape Fear Country Club
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 6:54 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The sweeping fairways and luscious greens at Cape Fear Country Club have been on par for decades. And one man helped keep them that way for more than 40 years, Percy Glaspie.

“He was very classy, very professional, and very well-liked,” Joey Hines, Director of Golf at Cape Fear Country Club, said.

Glaspie recently passed away, but his time at the country club will not soon be forgotten.

Glaspie’s father worked at the country club before him, meaning the job was more than tending the grounds, it was also a second home. Hines says it was a home he ensured was in order.

“I don’t think Percy was necessarily ever educated in agronomy. But he knew every inch of this ground.”

Glaspie started as an assistant on the grounds crew and was eventually promoted to head superintendent.

Along with that home came a family, and Glaspie knew just about every person who walked the course, and they knew him.

It’s that connection and relentless dedication that eventually made him more than an employee.

“He retired in 1994. Immediately the membership wanted to honor him, and he was made an honorary member.”

Not only was he made an honorary member, but he was also the only black member at CFCC.

Hines said Glaspie’s love for the course also brought about a love for the game.

“He was just a delightful guy and a heck of a golfer. You better play well, he was [going to] take you down. But never heard him say a bad thing about anybody. Percy was, he was just classic. And whatever you needed, the answer was yes, sir. Yes, ma’am. I’ll take care of it. And he did.”

Hines said he kept in touch and played golf with Glaspie after he retired until the pandemic hit.

“My favorite memory was definitely playing golf with him because, you know, there’s all kinds of personalities playing golf, and everybody plays it for the love of the game. But you’ve got your guys that maybe might have a temper problem or maybe just are not as much fun to play with or might have too strong a needle sometimes to where you don’t enjoy it. Percy was the exact opposite. He never had anything bad to say whether it was about his golf shot, his golf gang, [he was] always complimentary. Always just happy to be outside,” Hines said.

Glaspie’s grandson Gilbert Wallace says those memories from years past never left him.

“During the pandemic, he stayed in the house all the time so every now and then I would say ‘hey, let’s go for a ride’ and sure enough we would end up at the Cape Fear Country Club and we would just sit there for a minute, and he would point to the holes or where he did something, where he shot a certain score or whatever. It was good. He had fond memories at the Cape Fear Country Club,” Wallace said.

Though he’s no longer here to play a round of golf, Hines says Glaspie can look down on the course he cared for years and smile.

“Percy was my source, and he’ll be missed. He’ll be missed. But what we have here, he would be very proud of it. He would be proud of the evolution of the golf course here at Cape Fear and, and how much better we are than we were years ago and how we continue to grow,” Hines said.

And those at Cape Fear Country Club are proud of him too because Percy Glaspie was simply a hole-in-one.