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Palmer swaps college allegiance to open N.C. State course

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RALEIGH (AP) -- Arnold Palmer played his collegiate golf at Wake Forest, but today he helped launch the start of construction for a new golf course at North Carolina State.

Palmer was a Demon Deacon when the school was located in northern Wake County. Today, he hit a ceremonial tee shot on behalf of NC State's Lonnie Poole Golf Course.

The 18-hole, 7,025-yard, par-71 public course will be the first university course designed by The Palmer Course Design Company. It costs more than $11 million and is funded entirely by private donations. It's scheduled to open in spring of 2009.

Two NC State alumni, Erik Larsen and Brandon Johnson, designed the course. It will feature a view of the Raleigh skyline and what's called the "dramatic rolls" of the topography.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)