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Tackle the Bear Trap… at PGA National Resort & Spa Home of The Honda Classic, Feb. 20-26, 2017 Hole # 18, Champion Course

W W W . S O U T H E R N G O L F C E N T R A L . C O M


More golf than you can shake a 9-iron at. When it comes to championship golf, there’s no better destination than Alabama. Come play where the PGA TOUR professionals compete and see why Golf Digest editors picked two of Alabama’s golf resorts among their favorites. For starters there are the 468 holes along the world-renowned Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Stretching from the mountains in the north to the Gulf Coast in the south, America’s original golf trail opened 25 years ago and recently completed a massive renovation of its 26 courses. Then there are the many other impressive courses scattered across the state, designed by the likes of Arnold Palmer and Jerry Pate. Each with its own set of challenges, each with its own rewards. Plan an epic road trip to great golf courses across the state of Alabama.

Download Alabama Road Trips from your app store

from the publisher header

Me… Quiet! … are you kidding me? Volume 17, Issue 6 Publisher: Terrie L. Purdum Editor in Chief: Shannon Coates Regional Partner: Doug Hollandsworth,

If you’re not teeing off,

Founder-Georgia Golf Trail

hitting a shot or putting… expect for me to be chatting, cheering or just plain promoting golf. There is so much to talk about. In the magazines almost 18 years of existence, never have I had more of a passion for “Making Golf Great Again!” Look around! Everyone is playing golf; Latinos, African Americans, LGBT, Caucasians, and even Rednecks following Larry the Cable Guy… literary everyone. There is so much diversity in the golf market. No one is left out of the great game of golf. Talk about first-hand experience. I marvel at the Diamond Resorts Invitational and how this has become a premier event for everyone involved in such a short time. The celebrities who have naturally gravitated toward golf, that love to play with the pros and watch them go about their business on the course. Same holds true for the pros. They get to play with recognizable “Big Name” celebrities they’ve been admiring from a distance for years. This event pits them all together and from what I’m hearing all parties are benefiting in one way or another whether they are star struck, learning from one another or simply enjoying each other’s company. When a PGA Professional can jump on the stage and play guitar with the likes of country great, Jake Owen… or NBA and MLB Stars come out and play golf with amateur players, while signing basketballs, baseballs or jerseys. Or NFL Stars passing a football around with the fans. What other sporting events allow this to happen, except GOLF? Can you imagine loving the game of golf so much, that you volunteer your valuable time to support a worthy cause like the Diamond Resorts Invitational tournament, which has created more than $2.3 Million to support the Florida Hospital for Children? Kudos to the entire staff for the efforts. And, even a bigger salute to the people that volunteer that make these events happen! The entire golf industry comes to Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center for the annual PGA Merchandise show this month to share their new products, technologies and gadgets, which impact the game and how people apply or use these new innovations. The people in the Turf Life industry are equally impressive, constantly collaborating to cultivate different strains of grasses they bring to the masses. Although these people who maintain the beautiful turf we play on, are behind the scenes, the daily pressures to keep the turf healthy despite of weather inconsistencies is truly remarkable - their work is on display all day every day and never goes unnoticed good or bad. Nothing more than me screaming it from a mountain top, “Hey folks… the train has left the station…

Editor Emeritus: Joel Jackson, CGCS Retired Media Consultant: Robert Bissell Photographers: Lynn Pelham, Brion Price, Peter Hakansson Tres Fenton, Mike Coonan, Jess Regan Senior Correspondent: Rick Harris, Sr. Junior Correspondent: Bella Dovhey International Correspondent: Dove Jones

Contributing Writers: Jay Golden, PGA; Greg Wise, Bob Bolton, Elisa Gaudet, Mike Jamison, Mike May, Chris Thompson, Katie Hatfield, Ron Heller, Rich Styles, Fred Seely, Deb Shuck, JL Quebbeman, Mitch Sadowsky, Lisa "Mickie" Clark Graphic Design: Melahn Cable, melahn@mac.com Website Design/Network Support: ryjo.com Web Support: Gloria Rand

Southern Golf Central Magazine is published monthly by: Sand Hill Publishing & Public Relations 1549 Warrington Court, Winter Springs, FL 32708

NEW PHONE: 321.765.4215 E-mail: info@southerngolfcentral.com ©2016 Southern Golf Central Magazine. No portion of this publication may be reprinted without the prior written permission of the Publisher. Editorial contributions are welcome, but Florida Golf Central Magazine assumes no responsibility for unsolicited proposals, manuscripts and photographs. All materials submitted not accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope will not be returned. Mailing, electronic mailing or faxing of contributions constitutes an expressed warrant on the part of the contributor that all material is original and does not infringe on the rights of others. Florida Golf Central Magazine retains all reprint rights and reserves the right to edit any submitted material to meet our specifications for publishing and or use in advertising or promotion. The Publisher and staff are not responsible for any loss or grievance by any person or persons whatsoever, due in any way or in part to the content of this publication. The Publisher reserves the right to refuse to accept any material deemed inappropriate or in bad taste.

Let’s Make Golf Great Again!” 2009 North Florida PGA Amateur of the Year 4

Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

2016 Champion Charl Schwartzel



Jordan Spieth

2010 Past Champion Jim Furyk

Major Winners. Major Singer. Major Flavor. NEW Foodie Experiences, FREE Concert & PGA TOUR® Action! The PGA TOUR® rolls into Tampa Bay along with our FREE Valspar® LIVE! Concert (with Saturday admission) featuring the superstar singer-songwriter Toby Keith! Plus, on-course food trucks and wine and dine experiences that you won’t want to miss. For tickets, visit ValsparChampionship.com or call 727-942-5566.

Players subject to appear.


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Volume 17, Issue 6 Alabama Golf Central 18 Gunter’s Landing Carolinas Golf Central 12 Tidewater Golf Club Cart Girl 70 Miranda Obrien Country Club Socials 60 Heathrow Country Club FEATURE 38 PGA National Resort & Spa Florida Golf Central 16 Oaks National Georgia Golf Central 14 Sea Island


Golf Bachelor 72 David Minshall


Golf Travel 66 Devil's Knob Improving Performance 58 Foley Performance Academy at Eagles Dream In Memory Of 34 Peggy Kirk Bell Leader on the Links 20 Brendan Cunningham Special Events 36 Diamond Resorts International

8 24 26 40 42 44 46 50 52 56 64 68

Stay & Play 22 Pursell Farms 32 National Club Cottages at Lake Oconee

Product Showcase Golf History Golf Fitness Turf Life Turf Life Turf Life Young Guns NFPGA SFPGA CompetitiveSpirits Fore Your Health Freddy's Fairway Thoughts


What's New 28 Vertical Groove Driver 30 Volvik Golf Balls Women in Golf 54 Coates Golf

66 72


product showcase

Bag Boy – Chiller Cart Bag The Chiller cart bag is a cooler way to carry a six pack with a removable insulated cooler bag. Nine total pockets provide ample storage including two large apparel pockets, an oversized ball pocket, three quick-access mesh pockets and a fleece lined valuables pocket. FEATURES: 1. Removable insulated cooler bag holds six 12-ounce cans 2. Soft-grip oversized putter well for oversized grips 3. Ergonomic soft-grip lift assist handles 4. Three quick-access mesh pockets 5. Umbrella holder and matching rainhood included 6. Top-Lok™ Technology

Criquet Shirts

The pursuit of the perfect polo shirt led co-founders Billy Nachman and Hobson Brown to redefine a “new Texas” lifestyle brand - dubbed the “new old-school golf shirt” originally starting in Austin, TX (a city that is an emerging hotspot for men’s fashion: Criquet, Helm Boots, Stag, Howler Brothers, Traveller Denim). Criquet is disrupting the traditional polo shirts market, and has become a favorite of guys like Luke Wilson, Matt Bomer and Will Farrell. Their key selling point: improving classic polo design through better fit, better fabric (super soft, 100% organic cotton) and better detailing (no more “bacon collar,” with removable collar stays). Plus they have great names that give a nod to pop culture (i.e. You’re My Boy Blue and Valyrian Steel). Plus, the’ve created a 19th hole lifestyle brand with fresh takes on classic styles that are as comfortable on the golf course as off it. In a world of Southern Prep and East Coast classics, Criquet has an easygoing fun loving Austin spirit all its own. The brand looks at classic country club style with a fresh set of eyes, with inspiration that often comes from iconic shirts the founders recollect from the past, as well as the occasional vintage store treasure. Things like organic cotton and local sourcing matter, as is doing good while doing well.. And when it comes to sourcing, Criquet searches the world for what’s best—starting in their own back yard.

Cure Putters – CX3 High MOI Mallot The CX3 mallet is the newest evolution of the award winning Cure Classic Series line. The CX3 offers a traditional mallet shape with Extremely High MOI and 72g of weight adjustability via 8 removable, 9g weight screws. The CX3 can be set up between 352 – 424g with an impressive MOI of 6,745 – 8,581 g/ cm2. The head is 100% precision milled in the USA from aircraft grade aluminum and has large tungsten weights in the heel and toe, giving the slightly oversized profile a higher MOI than comparable mallets, adding tremendous stability throughout the stroke and unmatched forgiveness on mishits. The CX3 is available in both center shafted and heel shafted versions and is face balanced with 2.5 degrees of loft and a spiral milled face that delivers a great feel and excellent roll. MSRP $299.00 For more information visit www.CurePutters.com.


Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

GRIP DRY – Snap It On Your Shaft GRIP-DRY is a patented product that solves one of the biggest problems golfers have faced since the inception of the game. If you are among the millions of golfers who play in the wet and early morning dew or right after a rain shower, then you understand the frustration of laying your club down in the grass in between shots or while you’re putting, only to pick it up and find that your grip is now wet and slippery. GRIP-DRY protects your club’s grip by keeping it elevated above the grass so it remains clean and dry and ready for your next shot. Simply keep the GRIP-DRY in your pocket while you play and then just “SNAP IT ON YOUR SHAFT” before you lay your club down…it’s that easy! The all new GRIP-DRY is available in three great new colors: Green, Yellow and White and now it even features a convenient place to store your magnetic ball marker! GRIP-DRY is small and thin, so it fits easily and comfortably in your pocket or you can snap it to any metal surface in your golf cart…and provides all these great benefits: • Protects your grips by keeping them elevated from the wet grass, sand and toxic fertilizers • Keeps your clubs in plain view. No more lost wedges left behind on or around the greens. It’s your “no club left behind tool”. • Provides a convenient place to store your ball marker. No more searching in your pockets so you can mark your ball on the green. • Saves your back & knees! No more bending over to push a tee into the ground or pick up your second club. Simply hook another club under the elevated grip…and lift. • Made from durable impact grade plastic • Great gift item for golf outings and corporate events. • Single or multi-color logo customization available in quantities For more information and to purchase online visit www.GripDry.com

Henrik Stenson Eyewear

Displaying further evidence of his commitment to golf and golfers, Henrik Stenson has launched his own eyewear brand, featuring a fantastic new collection of sunglasses developed specifically for golfers. “For your protection and performance” is the motto that will drive the development of Henrik Stenson Eyewear products. Henrik is personally involved in product development, and this has produced direct results in PowereyeTM – a special lens technology for performance eyewear. The PowereyeTM lens provides complete protection from the harmful rays of the sun, both Blue light and UV radiation. It effectively cuts glare as well as other visual and optical interference, thus helping to prevent eye fatigue. Moreover, the PowereyeTM lens enhances contrast so that fairways and greens appear more distinctively, while simultaneously maintaining natural color balance. Iceman model (shown here) retails for $149.00. For more information visit www.HenrikStensonEyewear.com.

Nexbelt Peble Grain Premium Series

New from Nexbelt, “The Belt With No Holes”, a new Premium Series of Pebble Grain Leather Belts for 2017 (Pebble Grain Cobalt Blue/Grey combination pictured). Great for on or off the course, Nexbelt’s unique ratcheting system called PreciseFit allows the wearer to adjust the belt in ¼ inch increments versus the old pin/buckle style belts that adjust in 1 inch increments. Cut-to-Fit belt accommodates up to a 48” waist. Worn by PGA TOUR Players Jim Furyk, Kevin Na, William McGirt, Marc Leishman, Jason Bohn and Jarrod Lyle. Over 150 different belt & buckle combinations for Men and Women. For more information visit www.Nexbelt.com.

Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6


on theheader green


Lacoste was founded by tennis player René Lacoste who was looking for a more comfortable shirt for tournament play in 1933. Fast forward more than 60 years and the new collections for men include not only fashionable sportswear but ‘techy’ undergarments to be worn by both amateurs and pros alike. Inspired by the sportswear famously worn by two time Master’s tournament player José María Olazábal  and PGA pro Daniel Berger, the new Lacoste sport briefs for men are finely crafted from the most technologically advanced materials available in the world. They are designed to ensure a cool and comfortable fit in any temperature players find themselves in. Engineered to offer wicking and ventilation – they also feature an active fit with a seamless waistband. Lacoste styles are widely available at better department stores and boutiques nationwide.

MedZone Activity PAK

Founded in 2001, MedZone was originally made for the military, but is now used widely by professional/collegiate athletes and fitness enthusiasts at all levels. For the last 15 years, MedZone has specialized in developing topical OTC products for the prevention, treatment and management of chafing, aches, pains, minor burns, blisters and other minor ailments related to daily activity, work, sports, and exercise. MedZone’s products are all manufactured in a FDA regulated facility to insure the highest quality. The company announces this month its new MedZone Activity PAK (Personal Activity Kit), which combines MedZone’s family of products into one convenient place. The PAK includes ChafeZone, BlisterZone, PainZone and BurnZone. These products are perfect for golfers to prevent thigh chafing from walking the course, hand blisters from a tight golf grip and sore muscles from consistent practice. To learn more about MedZone’s products, please go to www.medzonecorp.com.


The award winning T-10 is a hard top travel cover with an all-weather polyester fabric body which stores conveniently in the hard top for compact storage. Key Feature: Hard top with fabric body FITS: 48 inch driver; up to a 10 inch cart bag FEATURES: • Heavy duty anti-burst strap • Two oversized shoe/garment pockets • Durable skid resistant ABS base • In-line skate wheels provide smooth rolling action


PowerPlane™ is a revolutionary new golf training device that is incredibly simple to use and provides unbelievable results. It puts golfers in the correct position to hit longer drives, pure their irons, pitch & chip on target, and putt like the pros. Every tour pro and elite amateur have one thing in common – their head stays within a defined area from address to impact. Simply stated, the head teaches the body to stay in position. PowerPlane™ uses high precision ultrasonics and patent-pending technology to help golfers do the same. PowerPlane™ weighs about a pound, easily fits into the side pocket of a golf bag, and operates for 300 hours on standard batteries. Simply slide it open to turn on. Grab the Sonic Sensor from the back and clip it to a hat. Set up over the ball, look at the target, look back at the ball, and swing! That’s it. Golfers know immediately whether they stayed in the zone during the swing and at impact. The result is centered contact from the first few swings. The product is also incredibly versatile helping golfers hit the sweet spot with driver, irons, wedges and putter. PowerPlane™ is currently available and retails for $189.00. For more information, visit www.powerplanegolf.net or call (781) 7285400. Power up your game today with PowerPlane™.

Misc. info • Fabric: Premium all-weather 600D polyester body Packaging: 1 per outer carton


Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

Bag Boy-Quad XL

The Quad XL has a sleek aluminum frame, four wheels offer superior stability with 9.5 inch front and 11.5 inch rear wheels. Stand and cart bag friendly upper bag bracket featuring Top-Lok. Room for your gear in the full feature, extra deep scorecard console with golf ball storage, and extra-large accessory bag. The Quad XL is super compact for storage and transport. WEIGHT: 16 lbs. FOLDED DIMENSIONS: 24” x 17” x 16” FEATURES: 1. Easy one-step handle adjustment accommodates golfers of all heights 2. Extra-large accessory bag 3. Handle mounted parking brake 4. Mobile device holder, beverage holder and tee and ball marker integrated into the scorecard console 5. Lightweight, solid maintenance free tires 6. Top-Lok Technology

P2 Putter Grips

The unique patented design of the P2 Putter Grip allows the shaft to be positioned along the underside of the grip encouraging the golfer to position their hands and wrists higher at address. The off-center shaft design is proven through independent biomechanical testing to improve putting performance. Hand and wrist movement is restricted, producing better control of the putter face, with more putts being struck from the sweet spot. P2 Grips tested by Quintic Consultancy revealed the following performance benefits: • Putts were struck closer to sweet spot. • Putter face was prevented from twisting open or closed at impact. • Hook or slice spin was reduced • Putts started closer to the intended starting line. The new Tour range for 2017 features the same design, but weighs in at 50% lighter than the standard P2 Putter Grip. The P2 grip through its shape and soft tacky texture promotes even grip pressure, while eliminating tension in the wrist and forearms. This helps the arms to swing freely, further enhancing a more stable, consistent and reliable pendulum putting stroke. The P2 grips are available in 4 different oversize shapes, with 2 flat sided and 2 round sided models to choose from. The new Tour Aware (55g), Tour Classic (65g), Tour React (80g) and Tour Reflex (95g) will be available in two new colors options and are set to excite in 2017. P2 Tour grips retail for $35.00 For more information visit www.P2Grips.com.


Sporting a double-wall vacuum insulation that prevents condensation from forming on the bottle, and a high quality vacuum seal to prevent temperature outside the flask from affecting the inside, Thermoflask keeps water, juice, iced tea, iced coffee, wine, cocktails and other beverages cold for up to 24 hours. Thermoflask’s durable, food-grade stainless steel construction won’t absorb flavors, prevents rusting, and is built to last under the most active, challenging, or adventurous occasions. Ideal for breaking free from the reliance of wasteful and costly disposable water bottles, Thermoflask is a BPA-free, reusable solution backed with a limited lifetime warranty. Topping its sleek profile is a locking twist cap that completely locks into place for a leak proof seal. The drinking spout is carefully designed to ensure ideal beverage flow, and the flask’s wide mouth provides ample room to fill with ice. Moreover, the uniquely designed lid, which has a tactile band for easy gripping, is universally sized to fit on any Thermoflask size. Thermoflask also comes equipped with a convenient, solid loop handle for easy carrying and hanging. Perfect for individuals and families on the go, Takeya’s new Thermoflask delivers exceptional performance and streamlined design at accessible prices. Available at retail nationwide, Thermoflask ranges in price from $19.99 to $34.99. All prices are suggested retail.” Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6


carolinas golf central

By Mike May

The Marshland Masterpiece Any golf course with holes named Swamp Fox, Willard’s Fire, Hesbon’s Launch, and Hidden Moccasin is probably worth investigating as a possible place to play. And, if that same golf course has been ranked by Golf Digest as one of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses,” as well one of the “Best in State,” well, it confirms that this course is definitely worth playing. That particular course is the Tidewater Golf Club & Plantation (tidewatergolf.com; 843-913-2424), located in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. While Tidewater is one of the many golf courses in the greater Myrtle Beach area, it’s one of the must-play courses along what is commonly referred in Myrtle Beach as The Grand Strand. The Tidewater Golf Club, a par 72-layout, opened for play in 1990 and, like a fine wine, it’s gotten better over time. In other words, Father Time has been very good to the Tidewater Golf Club. At Tidewater, you should expect the best when you step foot on the course, beginning with its exceptionally maintained driving range and practice facilities. The course’s website states that all golfers who visit Tidewater will get “breathtaking

Tidewater #4 Green scenery and top-notch conditions,” which is true. The exception at many courses is the norm at Tidewater. Longtime Charlotte Observer sportswriter Ron Green agrees, as he calls Tidewater “The Pebble Beach of the East!” And, three-time U.S. Open champion Hale Irwin says that the “Tidewater Golf Club is one of the finest and most spectacular courses on the East Coast.” Those are two very strong endorsements. “Tidewater is beautiful and very challenging,” says Chris Cooper, Tidewater’s General Manager and Head Golf Professional. “I believe that what really separates Tidewater from the rest of the golf courses in Myrtle Beach is how

Tidewater #3 & #12 Green 12

we take care of our guests. Our team members believe that when you play Tidewater, you are a member for a day.” The best way to summarize the Tidewater experience is that it’s part coastal and part country, as nine of the holes are played alongside either the Intracoastal Waterway or the confluence of the saltwater marsh and ocean inlet. The other nine holes are played inland in a parkland-type setting. When you play those nine holes that border the Intracoastal Waterway or the marshland, it becomes a links golf experience. There is no forgiveness at Tidewater if your ball wanders off the beaten path and drops into the Intracoastal Waterway or the murky, muddy, tidal marshland. An interesting aspect of the Tidewater experience is that at low tide, you can see many of the golf balls which have drifted into the marsh and are now half-plugged into the tidal basin, like darts in a dartboard. At high tide, you will only see the splash of a wayward shot disappearing into the water-based plant life. As a result, it never looks the same from round to round at Tidewater. But golf course architect Ken Tomlinson has given golfers plenty of room to avoid the marshland, thereby avoiding the inconvenience of having to drop another ball. Whether the tide is in or out, Tidewater is always open and it’s a great way to combine sightseeing with golf while in Myrtle Beach. By the way, if you stay out of the wetlands, you will avoid any encounters with the Swamp Fox or the Hidden Moccasin. Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

Tidewater #14

Tidewater #13 Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6


georgia golf central

Sea Island is Pro Island It should be no surprise

that more touring pros live and train on Sea Island than at any other golf destination in the country. Sea Island boasts three courses -- Seaside and Plantation, where the PGA TOUR’s RSM Classic is held each year -- and Retreat, giving the resort 54 holes of championship golf. But exceptional courses are the just the beginning. With five covered hitting bays, indoor putting lab, Top 100 club fitting program, and a golf fitness area with 3D technology, the Sea Island Golf Performance Center is also home to three of Golf Digest’s “America’s Greatest Teachers,” who train all levels of golfers from novices to Masters and U.S. Open champions. Team USA 2016 Ryder Cup champs and Sea Island residents Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson, and Captain Davis Love III are prime examples of pros who call Sea Island home. Love learned to play golf from his father -- whose vision brought the original Sea Island Golf Performance Center to life -- then practiced with his brother, Mark, and introduced the game to his son, Dru, an Alabama golf team standout who

The Lodge at Sea Island won the 2015 Georgia State Amateur Championship. Along the way Davis has won 21 PGA TOUR titles, including the PGA Championship, and started the RSM Classic (originally

The McGladrey Classic) in 2010. He has hosted the tournament each year, raising millions of dollars for area charities through the Davis Love Foundation.

PGA ProfessionalGolfers at Sea Island The Davis Love Grill at Retreat Golf Course


The constant presence and involvement of “Uncle Davis,” as he is affectionately known by the younger pros, combined with exceptional golf facilities, top instruction, and a true sense of community on the island have led 11 touring professionals to take up residence at Sea Island. In addition to Love, Kuchar, and Johnson, others include Jonathan Byrd, Harris English, Brian Harman, Patton Kizzire, and Hudson Swafford. As of this writing, a total of 27 pros live and/or train there. Off the course, resort guests have a multitude of activity options from which to choose, including the Forbes Five-Star Spa at Sea Island, tennis and squash, five miles of private beach, a Beach Club with three pools and outstanding children’s program, a myriad of nature experiences Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

Seaside Golf Course at Sea Island including inshore and offshore fishing, sailing, paddleboarding, and kayaking. When it comes time to dine, they may choose from among the resort’s nine restaurants, which range from a casual food truck on the beach during the summer to the Forbes FiveStar Georgian Room at The Cloister.

Recreation and dining aren’t the only areas that provides options for guests, who can choose to stay at The Cloister, located on Sea Island, The Lodge at Sea Island, which is nestled between the Plantation and Seaside courses, cottages on Sea Island, and The Inn at Sea Island, on nearby St. Simons Island.

Today, Sea Island is the only resort in the world to have received four Forbes Five-Star awards for eight consecutive years, providing exceptional settings for meetings, weddings, family reunions, and of course golf trips. And who knows just whom you might spot next to you on the driving range?

Beach Club at Sea Island Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6


By Rick Harris, Sr.

florida golf central

Oaks National Opens with a Brand New Look

At a point in time where golf courses have been, for a variety of reasons, closing in Florida and elsewhere nationally, Oaks National Golf club in Kissimmee, Florida recently re-opened last month. The new management took the opposite approach by purchasing the former Kissimmee Oaks course in 2015 and began working diligently toward bringing it up to a playable condition with their new Champion G12 greens. In the past the course had always been considered a challenging, interesting layout with a wide open front side and a tree lined beauty on the back nine. However, it had descended into rough fairways, with contaminated spotty greens, and accumulated way too much foliage on

certain holes for its own good. Under Oaks National’s new owner and maintenance manager and a hard working ground crew all of that has changed and after several time consuming, and at times frustrating setbacks, the course has reopened and is definitely ready for play. Daily attendance has picked up tremendously; particularly as the greens and fairways have blossomed. As a result, Oaks National Golf Course is ready for business! For attendees visiting the PGA and Golf Industry Shows at the Orange County Con-

vention center call 407-483-3700 for GREAT rates that will surprise you. Naturally, the course is open to all local, and nearby golfers who are ready for a great round of golf. From the moment you arrive you will be met with a friendly, helpful, courteous staff read to serve you. A fleet of golf carts are ready for individual, small groups, or tournament play. You will enjoy your surroundings with winding fairways and small lakes guarding well maintained undulating greens along with an abundance of wild life. So come play the most renewed course in the Central Florida area and when your round is over step into their spacious dining room for a cool drink and a number of choices to complete you golf experience!


Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

By Mile May

alabama golf central

Get Up & Go Golfing at Gunter's Landing Most golf courses can be classified as ‘fun to play,’ ‘great to play,’ or ‘must play.’ There are very few courses where all three of those descriptions apply in equal measure. One golf course which fits that description is Gunter’s Landing (gunterslanding.com), located in the northern Alabama community of Guntersville, about 45 minutes southeast of Huntsville. Gunter’s Landing (1000 Gunter’s Landing Road, Guntersville, Alabama; 256-582-3000) can also accurately be labeled as distinctly special, undeniably spectacular, or simply unforgettable. It’s also a joy to play. If you are looking for a golf experience packed with eye-opening diversity, play Gunter’s Landing. If you want par-three experiences where you have the chance to create an indelible memory, play Gunter’s Landing. And, if you want to play


a golf course which can accurately be described as serene, scenic, and sensational, play Gunter’s Landing. “With the backdrop of the Appalachian Mountains and Lake Guntersville, Gunter’s Landing is a little different than most courses,” says Stephen Worthy, head golf professional, Gunter’s Landing. “I just want to make sure people have a fun experience – whether they are members or non-members. It really is a wonderful golf course.” To say that Gunter’s Landing is a wonderful golf course is an understatement. Without sounding like a cliché, Gunter’s Landing is truly the complete package as it has everything you would want in a golf course – dogleg par 4s, short par 4s, driveable par 4s, tough par 4s, birdieable (Is that a word?) par 5s, and four distinctly different par 3s, which, as a unit, may be the

finest collection of par 3s east of the Mississippi River. All four par 3s are downhill – and three of them require a forced, but manageable, carry. At Gunter’s Landing, the first five holes -- two par 3s, two par 4s, and a par 5 -- represent the diversity and appeal of this par-72 layout, which opened in 1981. Kudos to golf course architect Jimmy Kemmaer, who may have created his finest piece of work at Gunter’s Landing.

Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

With six different pin positions on every green and four different tees to choose from, Gunter’s Landing can present a totally different look on every visit. Also, very few golf courses have greens that are as well maintained and perform as consistently as the putting surfaces at Gunter’s Landing. “The key to putting well at Gunter’s Landing is to keep the ball below the hole,” says Worthy. “You are better off with an uphill 25-foot putt than a downhill 10-foot putt at Gunter’s Landing.” The greens at Gunter’s Landing are as close to perfect as you could possibly imagine – fair, fast, true, and consistent. Also, kudos to superintendent Bary Muse for maintaining this golfing masterpiece. What’s enticing about Gunter’s Landing is what you will see as you arrive on site. It’s golf’s equivalent of an appetizer, a visual tease of what’s yet to come. As you approach the clubhouse, you’ll see the par-four 2nd hole on your left and the par-three 3rd on your right. The 2nd should be named ‘Go For It,’ as all four tee boxes are perched well above the fairway. For big hitters, it’s a driveable par four which has an ever-so-slight left-to-right twist to its flow. The 2nd is a birdie opportunity for every player, while big hitters will putt for an eagle if they can drive the green from the tee. The 3rd hole is a medium-length par three which is bordered by water on the front and along the left. It can best be described as ‘Lurking Lake.’ At the 3rd, any tee shot that lacks a committed swing will find a watery grave. At Gunter’s Landing, the back nine begins with another par 3 where the tee shot is struck from one of the terraced tees. Your tee shot will travel over a deep ravine. Take an extra club, if unsure, as anything short of the putting surface will require another tee shot. The home hole at Gunter’s Landing is a par 5 with a downhill tee shot and two uphill shots to a tabletop green. While it will take three shots to reach the green, you can be left with a realistic birdie chance. As you reflect on your round at Gunter’s Landing, the strongest mental images will be the four par 3s, the many uphill and downhill holes with meandering fairways, and the views of Lake Guntersville which are the backdrop on seven different holes. After completing play at Gunter’s Landing, you will agree that this course deserves to be classified as ‘fun to play,’ ‘great to play,’ ‘must play,’ and a joy to play. Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6


leader on the links

By Jay Golden, PGA

Brendan receives the SFPGA Distinguished Service Award from Charlie Rymer

The Joy of Giving “There is no greater gift than looking into the smiling eyes of children,” says Brendan Cunningham, who has seen hundreds if not thousands of those eyes volunteering at junior golf events. In fact, his contributions were recently recognized by the South Florida PGA

Terrie and Brendan at the CME Tour Championship 20

by presenting him with the first ever ‘Distinguished Service Award’. “I was shocked!” said Brendan. “I was attending their ‘Hall of Fame’ dinner and had no idea that I was going to be given an award. I had tears in my eyes and was completely humbled by the tribute.” Brendan Cunningham has lived – and continues to live – a fulfilling and exciting life. Aside from being born in Ireland and coming to America at 5 years old, at 10 he was Greg Norman and Brendan at the ‘exercise boy’ for two Kentucky the Franklin Templeton Shootout Derby winners, Dark Star and Native Dancer. While his father was restorseen him on the first tee with his coloring parts of the Harry Guggenheim ful belts, ties and socks. estate on Long Island, Brendan caddied Some of the doors that have been at Sands Point CC for the likes of Perry opened include playing golf with Como, who Brendan says, “Was the nicArnold Palmer in Ireland, being in the est guy in the world.” Oval Office with President Ford, spendThree is an interesting number for ing time with Frank Sinatra, getting an Brendan. He has three double-eagles, occasional phone call from Gary Player, three bouts with cancer, was shot three Hale Irwin or “ChiChi” Rodriguez, sittimes in foreign countries working ting in the Presidential Box at Kennedy undercover for the U.S. and has three Center and perhaps the most meaningcourse records. One of his mottos, “I’m ful, Ken Venturi introducing him to his happy to say that I’ve been all over the lovely wife, Ellie. earth before it’s all over me.” I asked Brendan if he had any advice “Golf has opened so many doors,” for the readers of “Southern Golf Censays Brendan, who has been the starter tral.” “If you have time, volunteer at golf at the Senior PGA Tour’s ‘Liberty Mutual events. It could be a PGA Section event, Legends of Golf’ for 18 years, the ‘Shark a USGA event or my favorite, a ‘First Shootout’ and numerous South Florida Tee’ junior golf event where you’ll see PGA and USGA events. You might have those ‘smiling eyes’. Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

stay & play

Pursell Farms Introduces the Golfer‘s Man Cave

FarmLinks cottages and practice links

Combine a beautiful golf course showcasing pristine fairways and immaculate greens, handsomely-appointed cabins or cottages ideally-suited for four to eight golfers, and the opportunity to enjoy chef-prepared meals without leaving the comfort of the couch, and the result may be the ideal man cave—or woman cave—for golfers. All golfers—men and women—will find the cabins and cottages provide the comforts of home plus a putting green and Clubcar right outside the door,” said Tim Spanjer, director of marketing at Pursell Farms. “The Farm-


Links course is a pleasure to play, and the natural beauty of the environment is breathtaking.” Cottages offer a generous great room with scenic views, stone fireplace, high ceilings, full kitchen, and dining room as well as double-occupancy guestrooms. Guests may enjoy a wonderful dining experience in the comfort of the cottage, watching Pursell Farms’ chefs prepare an inspired dinner using farm-grown ingredients. Situated right off the 11th hole, cabins feature four spacious, doubleoccupancy guestrooms opening to a

handsomely-appointed common living area with high ceilings, plush, comfortable seating, flat screen TV, kitchenette, dining area, and porch. Golfers may gather for coffee in the morning, relax with a beverage in the evening, or arrange for full-service catering from the Grille at the Clubhouse. Both Cottages and Cabins offer scenic settings, a putting green right outside the door, and Clubcars to make getting around the resort easy. Golfers may add a spa treatment at The Spring House during their stay to rejuvenate tired muscles, renew the spirt, and prepare for another round of golf. For reservations and information on seasonal golf packages, please visit www.pursellfarms.com. In 1975, the Pursell family began transforming land holdings in Sylacauga into a golf showcase. Today the 3,200-acre resort is an extraordinary destination for weekend escapes, golf getaways, weddings, and corporate retreats. Situated in the Central Alabama foothills about 45 minutes by car from Birmingham and two hours from Atlanta, the resort features the 18-hole, 7,444-yard championship FarmLinks course, named Golfweek’s 2016 No. 1 all-access golf course in Alabama; and is home to the only ORVIS® Shooting Grounds in the South, offering sporting clay shooting, wingshooting and fly fishing schools. For information, please visit www.pursellfarms.com.

Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6


2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

Ask about our “Stay & Play Golf Package” and come experience award-winning golf. Also, while you are here take advantage of a Spring House Spa treatment before or after you play. 256.208.7600 | pursellfarms.com | facebook.com/pursellfarms 2 hours from Atlanta, GA FarmLinks Famous Hole #5

The Cottages on Masters Row

The Spring House Spa

golf history

By Mike May

Simply Serene During his lifetime,

renowned golf course architect Donald Ross left a lasting legacy on many Florida cities. One of those Sunshine State communities where Ross left a permanent ‘footprint’ is Daytona Beach, more specifically the South Course at the Daytona Beach Golf Club (600 Wilder Blvd, Daytona Beach, Florida; 386-671-3500). Originally named the Daytona Golf and Country Club, the first nine holes of what is now known as the South Course were formally opened for play in 1921. The remaining nine holes were opened in January of 1923. We are fast approaching a century of golf in Daytona Beach. In 1944, Ross returned to Daytona Beach to redesign parts of the course. During this process, he observed that not all his design details were being carried out in the original plans. In 1997, the course was redesigned by Lloyd Clifton, who had served as the greenkeeper at the South Course in the 1950s. Now, the 18-hole, par-71 South Course at the Daytona Beach Golf Club (www.daytonabeachgc.com) features three sets of ‘patriotic’ tees (red, white

Jack Nicklaus and Doug Sanders February 29, 1968

and blue) that range from nearly 5,200 yards to just over 6,200 yards. The course – one of 51 courses on the Florida Historic Golf Trail -- still follows some of the original routing laid

Original Clubhouse 24

out by Ross as it winds through areas of pine trees and live oak trees, many of which are dripping with Spanish moss. While there are just a few water hazards on the course, the ones that do appear are cleverly placed -- often in front of greens, such as the 3rd, 4th, and 10th. On those three holes, if your tee shot is not struck properly, it often means a layup shot is required before you consider attacking the green with your approach shot. Three of the par threes – 9th, 12th, and 15th – also have ponds situated between the tee and the greens, which requires a 100% carry to the putting surface. While the South Course is not exceptionally long, the joint creative efforts of Ross and Clifton to design many of the holes with a dogleg or the look of a dogleg have added some latent distances to the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 16th, and the 18th. Overall, the tee shots on the South Course can be very forgiving, but the approaches are somewhat demanding if players want to pepper the pins, as they say. Right now, the 4th ranks as the hardest hole on the course. This par five stretches for 500 yards from the back tees and is bordered by railroad tracks along the left side of the fairway from tee to green.   A passing train is a common sight on this golf course, since the 4th, 5th, and 6th holes are separated from the main golf course by the railroad tracks. And, the 12th, 13th, and 14th holes are bordered on their right by those same tracks. Please stay clear of the railroad tracks as they are clearly Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

Scorecard from Jimmy Demaret, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead and Byron Nelson March 13, 1946 marked as being out of bounds. “The original (South) course designed by Mr. Ross was a short course with small greens that required precise second shots in order to score well. He used the surroundings to build a nice course for its time right in the middle of Daytona Beach,” says Brian Jaquet, director of golf, Daytona Beach Golf Club. “It is one of the few courses in America that still has a train running through the middle of the course. I think if

Mr. Ross were around today he would see not much has changed to his original design except a few modifications to a couple of greens.” On your next trip to the ‘World’s Most Famous Beach,’ bring your golf clubs and check out Ross’s historical golfing ‘footprint’ and meander through the pages of Daytona Beach’s golfing past. Then, cap off your experience by sampling the fare at the Fairway Tavern Italian Bar & Grill, which is located on the premises of the club.

Sam Snead and Ben Hogan Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6


golf fitness

Golf Fitness... How Do I Get Started? “I love golf and enjoy the heck out of it now…just the way I am, and I don’t need to get golf fit.”

from the proper grip to how to incorporate Olympic weight training into your routine. Here again, go slowly and find something that you will stick with.

If this is you…go for it and just keep having as much fun as you possibly can. If more golfers had that attitude, there would be a lot more smiles on the golf course.

“I am a single digit golfer and want to win my Club Championship in 6 months.”

“I am losing distance and it is getting frustrating. I got new clubs and different balls, but no better distance.”

Over time, more and more PGA and LPGA Professionals have embraced the concept that being more fit will help their performance week after week (which means larger deposits in their bank accounts). Today, it is rare to find a professional golfer who is not spending time in the gym, with a trainer, to improve his or her performance and to help them meet the rigors of travelling and playing 4-6 rounds per week. Is it time for you to consider a program to get fit for golf? Let’s look at five scenarios or categories to ponder (I’m sure you will relate to one of them). Then, check out my recommendations for getting started in your own program…or not.

“I am a brand new golfer. I heard about golf fitness and don’t have a clue where to start.” If this is you…The first thing is get some good instruction. This doesn’t mean from your cousin Felix. Go on YouTube and type in “basic golf swing fundamentals”. Watch as many videos as you can to get the basics down. Then go to a PGA Professional and take a few lessons. There is no need to seriously consider a fitness program related to golf just yet. If you already participate in a fitness program, that’s great! Stick with it. But, first things first, try to get a sense of what this great and frustrating game will offer you before you get committed to a golf specific fitness program. 26

By Ken Pierce President, GolfGym, LLC

If this is you…then you should consider a simple and easy training aid or video that looks appealing to you that will get you started on developing more flexibility, strength and/or power. The key word here is frustrating. Don’t let your frustration develop into an “I give up” attitude. Find something simple, start slowly, be committed to doing what feels good, and stay consistent. Maybe a yoga/ fitness program including resistance bands that will help with flexibility. Lack of flexibility is a very common cause for lack of distance. A complete workout program may be a turn off for you and only create more frustration.

“I am a very competitive person. I love beating my friends and I am looking for an advantage to win more.” If this is you…then you should go online and review as much information on golf exercises for flexibility, strength, rotation, and adding distance. You may even consider a golf fitness seminar or clinic. Gather as much info as possible. YouTube has thousands of golf fitness related videos that address everything

If this is you…I suggest you contact a Physical Fitness Trainer in your area that is certified as a Golf Fitness Instructor through Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) or any other accredited organization. Get a physical assessment of your body as related to golf. From the results of your assessment, the trainer should create a golf fitness program that is specific to your

individual needs. If you really want to improve your body to match the golf game you truly desire, you must seek out a qualified professional who knows golf and biomechanics as related to golf, and who loves their job. Then, you have to be committed and follow the program to a tee (maybe it should be a “t”). Let me know when you win! Check out http://GolfGym.com for golf swing trainers, resistance bands, and supporting videos to get you started on your own program. Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

A Classic Every Year

Celebrating 30 years in SW Florida

Bobby Wadkins, 2007


Visit us online or call the Tournament oďŹƒce today! February 13-19, 2017 ChubbClassic.com | (239) 593-3900

Bernhard Langer Three-time defending champion 2016, 2013, 2011

Al Geiberger, 1996

Vicente Fernandez, 2003

what's new

John Daly Goes Vertical Two-Time Major Champion and the #1 driver on the PGA TOUR Champions, John Daly, has signed a multi-year deal with Vertical Groove Golf, LLC, and will now tee off with the Vertical Groove Driver when competing on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions and other professional golf tournaments in 2017 and beyond. As part of his agreement with

Vertical Groove Golf, Daly will serve as Global Ambassador for the Company, sporting the Vertical Groove Golf logo on his left shirt collar, while the logo will also be prominent on his golf bag. The Vertical Groove Driver, which conforms to the Rules of Golf, is the only golf club innovation to enter the market featuring vertical groove technology on the club face. The Vertical Groove Driver technology reduces side

John Daly


spin at impact, leading to 40% straighter ball flight on average, while also generating greater energy at impact, resulting in a stronger forward roll and increased driving distance. “I’ve been hitting the ball further and straighter off the tee since putting the Vertical Groove Driver in my bag,” said Daly. “I’m hitting more fairways since switching to this driver and the sound of the club at impact is terrific. I’m looking forward to strong success in 2017 utilizing Vertical Groove technology on tour.” Daly, whose long and storied career includes Major victories in the 1991 PGA Championship and the 1995 Open Championship, among his 20 professional wins, is long regarded as one of the game’s greatest drivers and was the leading driver on the PGA Tour Champions in his inaugural 2016 season. “Having John Daly, a major champion and an acclaimed long driver, put our Vertical Groove Driver into play on the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions, is strong validation that this club performs at the highest level,” said Jeff Barry, Chief Executive Officer, Vertical Groove Golf, LLC. Barry adds, “This is an exciting time for Vertical Groove Golf, and it’s only fitting that John Daly leads our stable of endorsees. Thanks to our leadership team of Rubin Hanan and Josh Miller, who were instrumental in this signing, I anticipate more exciting news from Vertical Groove Golf in the coming weeks.” The 450cc driver, which is available in both right and left handed models, is offered in 9.5, 10.5 and 12 degree lofts, and features a full range of Aldila premium grade, tour proven aftermarket NV2K series shafts as standard. The available flexes include: 45 gram L (Ladies), 50 gram A (Senior), 55 gram R (Regular), 65 gram S (Stiff) and 65 gram Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

X (Extra-stiff).   At a length of 45.75 inches, the Vertical Groove Driver provides an optimum launch angle while maximizing carry distance and ball speed for many players. It is equipped with Golf Pride Tour Velvet grips in standard, midsize and oversize models.  Alternative shaft options from Fujikura, Mitsubishi and Aldila will also be available. Suggested retail price of the Vertical Groove Driver is $399.99. More information on the Vertical Groove Driver is available at www.vertgolf.com or via social media profiles on Facebook and YouTube at Vertical Groove Golf, and @vertgolf on Twitter.

Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6


what's new

Volvik Inks Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson

has officially signed a multi-year deal to play and endorse the Volvik’s line of extreme performance golf balls. Watson is set to choose from three different color Volvik golf balls, starting with their pink, pearl


blue/white and green versions of their S4 4-piece, 105-compression golf ball. “I was naturally intrigued by the colors Volvik offers,” said Watson. “Then I started testing the ball and saw what I could do with it. It does everything I want it to: go high, go low, curve, spin and it has the distance I’m looking for. I’m always trying to find new ways to grow the game and have fun out there and Volvik’s approach is the same. I couldn’t be more excited to have a colorful start to the year with Volvik!” “Bubba Watson is a worldclass player and champion of our sport, a top 10 player in the world that has an extraordinary appeal that attracts a huge fan base,” said Volvik USA President Don Shin. “His choice to represent Volvik on the PGA TOUR is the biggest news in our 36-year history of manufacturing and selling golf balls.

This signing validates our position as world leaders in golf ball innovation at the very highest level, but it is also equally exciting for golf in general as we feel expanding colors onto the PGA TOUR will help grow the game in new and exciting ways. I feel it will lead to a new future for the game to have such a charismatic, talented and extremely long hitting ambassador on Team Volvik hitting different color golf balls on the world’s biggest stage.” Watson is among the longest drivers on the PGA TOUR. In 2016, he posted an average drive of 310.6 yards, ranking him 4th in driving distance on the PGA TOUR. Watson is capable of generating ball speed up to 195 MPH, making him the perfect fit for Volvik’s 105-compression S4, one of the few available balls in golf with that high of a compression. “We had a special new shade of pink made up just for Bubba in our S4 golf ball,” said National Director of Sales and Marketing for Volvik USA Jon Claffey. “If it makes it into play at the Tournament of Champions, it will be the first time a pink golf ball has ever been put into play in PGA TOUR history. It has been USGA approved and is currently in production to bring in to sell to the consumer. The green S4 he has requested should be ready by the Waste Management Phoenix Open. We are forming a pre-order list for anyone interested in playing the same exact ball that Bubba is playing.” Watson is joining a professional staff that has had significant success on their respective professional tours. Volvik has experienced more color golf balls in play on the world’s professional tours than any other manufacturer in the history of golf with over 900 instances of different color golf balls being put into play with five different colors. Volvik is no stranger to the PGA TOUR, as they have been in play in 29 different PGA TOUR events by staff player Tim Petrovic over the past three seasons. Petrovic earned a runner-up finish on the PGA TOUR with a Volvik ball in 2015 after losing in a playoff at the Puerto Rico Open. Petrovic will continue to play orange and yellow Volvik golf balls on both the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour in 2017.

Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

stay & play

New Luxury Lodging Ready for Guests at Southeast’s Premier Golf Destination The spacious new National Club Cottages, adjacent to the Tom Faziodesigned National Course at Reynolds Lake Oconee, are ready and waiting for golf groups at the Southeast’s premier golf destination. Part of the recently completed National Village, which includes the award-winning National Tavern, the eight Club Cottages overlook the shortgame practice facility at the National Course, one of five layouts available to Reynolds Lake Oconee guests. Designed to comfortably accommodate eight, each Club Cottage features four bedrooms, 4½ baths, and a full kitchen, as well as two open living spaces and an expansive porch area. The interiors of the National Club Cottages have a casual yet sophisticated feel, with neutral color palettes, natural woods, and modern touches throughout. Ideal as a relaxing getaway for a golf foursome, the National Club Cottages offer all the comforts of home for a family vacation, as well. “I have had the good fortune of staying in some of the best golf cottages in the country and the new National Club Cottages rank up there with the best. The ability to have a world class practice facility, lighted putting green and the National Tavern all within a short walk completes the ultimate golf experience.” said Mark Lammi, Vice President, Golf Operations for Reynolds Lake Oconee. Recognized as one of the finest collection of golf courses in the nation, Reynolds Lake Oconee features four of the T0p 10 “Best Courses You Can Play” in Georgia, as ranked by GOLF Magazine: Great Waters (designed by Jack Nicklaus) No. 2; Oconee Course (designed by Rees Jones) No. 3; the National Course (Fazio) No. 5; The Landing (Bob Cupp) No. 10. 32

Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

Together these gems along Georgia’s Lake Oconee, located between Atlanta and Augusta, continue to enrich the reputation of Reynolds Lake Oconee as the nation’s premier golf community and preferred golf destination. Reynolds Lake Oconee also is one of only 11 golf resorts in the country to earn the prestigious Platinum Medal from GOLF Magazine. The National Village is the newest attraction at Reynolds Lake Oconee, part of a $40 million investment in the lakeshore setting since being acquired by MetLife in August 2012. All six golf courses, including the members-only Creek Club, have undergone substantial improvements, as has The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee, where rooms, cottages, restaurants, spa, and pools of have been redecorated and refurbished. The National Tavern, the newest restaurant at Reynolds Lake Oconee, is the centerpiece of The National Golf Village, and a stone’s throw from the National Club Cottages. The craftsmanstyle farmhouse design, complete with a large stacked stone fireplace, creates a welcoming environment for residents and guests. The outdoor fire pit area,

Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

lighted practice putting green, and golf course views, are complemented by The Tavern’s casual open-air dining options. Besides golf, Reynolds Lake Oconee offers plenty to fill the beautiful autumn days. With 19,000 acres and 374 miles of shoreline, Lake Oconee is Georgia’s second largest lake, providing some of the state’s best fishing, along with swimming, boating, water skiing, camp-

ing, picnicking, and water skiing. Other amenities include four full-service marinas and an award-winning tennis center, and The Ritz-Carlton, a 251-room lakefront resort and spa making Reynolds Lake Oconee one of the Southeast’s most popular vacation destinations. For additional information, visit www.reynoldslakeoconee.com or call (800) 901-1204.


in memory of

By Linda Williams

Peggy Kirk Bell, Women’s Golf Ambassador Women’s golf has lost an advocate and true legend. Peggy Kirk Bell, age 95 passed away November 23, 2016. Her distinguished career and achievements spanned over 70 years. I am honored and proud to call her my mentor and friend. Margaret Anne Kirk was born in Findlay, Ohio, my home town. She took up golf at 17 and was a protégé of Leonard Schmutte, my golf instructor. She graduated from Rollins College, my alma mater in Winter Park, Florida. Peg played golf with three generations of my family. What a special bond. Together with her husband Warren “Bullet” Bell, Pine Needles Lodge/Mid Pines Resort was purchased, restored and developed into a top golf destination. One of their premier programs is called “Golfari” an innovative golf teaching school. It is a take-off on the word “safari” and means a week long excursion into golf. Today it continues as a family run Learning Center which attracts hundreds of golfers each year. Kelly Miller and Pat McGowan, Peg’s sonin-law’s describe the “Golfari” experience is “to make every golfer feel special.” That was Peg’s amazing gift. “She was more than a golf teacher. She was a 34

teacher of life.” In her autobiography, “The Gift of Golf”(2001) written with Lee Pace, Peg

states. “I found golf more of a challenge than any sport I’d tried. You simply couldn’t haul off and slam the ball like you would a soft ball. It took dexterity, but you had to apply it properly. Power was nothing without timing in golf” She will be remembered as someone devoted to her family, her faith, advocate of The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, to golf and teaching golf. Genuine, feisty, funny, generous, out spoken, “Ma Bell” and “the Great One” are but a few of the words used to explain the amazing woman I know as Peggy Kirk Bell. On my trip to Southern Pines to attend her memorial I was surrounded by people who came to celebrate the life of one of golf’s greatest. Arnold Palmer the ‘King” stated, “Peggy is a tribute to the game of golf. She has tirelessly given of herself to the game and her contributions have helped to make it great.” As I gazed at the trophy case in the lobby of Pine Needles Lodge, trophies, plaques, and momentous only begin to tell her story. Nothing in that case can possibly capture the gift and legacy of Peggy Kirk Bell. Recently I received my precious gift that I will always treasure: A Pine Needles golf glove with the last three fingernails painted in red and lines drawn on the palm, and eyes on the knuckles. It will remind me always to keep my grip firm and always find my target in golf and in life. Thank you Peggy Kirk Bell!

The glove Peggy Kirk Bell gave me Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

Come and Grow with Us!


celebrity corner header 36

Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6


feature header





PGA NATIONAL RESORT & SPA Florida's premier golf destination resort

Nestled in the heart of posh Palm Beach Gardens, PGA National Resort & Spa has long been a place of unforgettable moments. Anchored by five championship golf courses (the only golf resort in Florida with five golf courses) including the iconic Champion Course, home to the PGA TOUR’s Honda Classic and legendary Bear Trap, the revitalized resort also features a world-class spa, state-of-


the-art Sports & Racquet Club, eight on-site restaurants and lounges, semiprivate members club, 339 redesigned rooms and themed suites, extended stays vacation home rentals and so much more. From the moment they enter the contemporary lobby, guests instantly feel PGA National’s appeal. For here, at this Palm Beach destination, relaxed luxury is always the standard, golf is never considered just

a game and, together, the two create an enviable lifestyle that embraces the best the Sunshine State has to offer. Golf is at the heart of PGA National. Guests can test their games on some of Florida’s top-rated golf courses designed by world-renowned architects Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Fazio and George Fazio. All of our award-winning layouts have been updated with new turf, rebuilt bunkers, and expanded tee and green complexes; PGA National’s first 18-hole course, The Haig now known as The Fazio, was modernized by third-generation designer Tom Fazio II. Recently, the Champion Course jumped in Golfweek’s 2017 “Best Resort Courses” list, an annual compilation of America’s finest playing options. The famed Nicklaus design has welcomed the world’s best golfers for the Honda Classic since 2007 and hosted the 1983 Ryder Cup. Immaculate conditions and a challenging layout make the Champion a “must-play” for all serious golfers; the infamous “Bear Trap” (holes 15 through 17) comprises what USA Today hails as “one of the toughest stretches in golf.” PGA National Resort & Spa has a multitude of facilities available for guests looking to improve their golf skills during their stay. Three elite golf academies – The David Leadbetter Golf Academy, Dave Pelz Scoring Game Golf School and Every Ball Counts Elite Training – are on site, as well as the Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

LOFT Golf Performance Boutique offering TOUR-level, custom club fitting. No other resort can match the level and quality of instruction available at PGA National, especially with the introduction of the new Bear Trap Indoor Golf Training Facility run by PGA Professionals providing indoor instruction and equipment fitting for every club in the bag as well as shoes. And be sure to check out the new short game area adjacent to the Champion Range. Designed with TOUR players in mind, the comprehensive facility is perfect for practicing everything from putting to fairway bunker shots. A variety of golf packages are offered year-round; guests can book tee times 180 days in advance making future planning a breeze. Have a group of golf buddies searching for a place to tee it up? Be their hero and bring them to PGA National Resort & Spa, our golf paradise with first-class service and amenities to match is a quick, 20-minute drive from Palm Beach International Airport. With an enviable year-round climate, five unique golf courses, sleek accommodations, spa, sports club and a variety of dining options, PGA National is the complete package. You and your friends can relax on the splendid iDeck overlooking our zero-entry pool and golf courses while you mingle with world travelers and

Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

New practice area for putting, chipping, pitching, greenside and fairway bunker play. even the occasional TOUR pro. Or head inside for a cocktail at iBar, a stylish enclave serving up the hottest Happy Hours. Hungry? Gather your buddies and grab one of Palm Beach Garden’s most coveted tables at Ironwood Steak & Seafood, a chef-driven dining experience unlike any in the area. The fun doesn’t stop there; the 40,000 square-foot spa offers more than 100 diverse treatments while the 30,000 square-foot Sports & Racquet Club is home to the latest exercise equipment,

19 Har Tru tennis courts, lap pool, volleyball and pickelball courts. So whether you’re looking eat up, tee it up or kick your feet up, there truly is something special for everyone at PGA National Resort & Spa. Come discover Florida’s premier golf, spa and vacation destination where living life to the fullest is always par for the course. For more information, visit www.PGAResort.com or call 561-627-2000.


The 19 Day Challenge Hampden-Sydney College’s sports turf manager John Hall feared the worst. He had just seen his field take a brutal beating by 22 football players and a hurricane in one afternoon game. Although he was thrilled his team had defeated Guilford College in Hampden-Sydney’s homecoming game,

After the hurricane... the field he and his crew constantly work on week-in-and-week-out to tirelessly maintain, was in such bad shape players and coaches remarked that the field would never host another game; let alone one in 19 days. With the odds stacked against him, Hall and his crew refused to let the field die and miraculously put a plan in motion, with the goal of playing the next game as scheduled. Aerating

The field was a mess

Top dressing 40


Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

WE HAVE TURF! No one on Hall’s staff even thought

mower to the surface. Over 150 hours

proud of the work that he and his

about making excuses in regards to

of manpower was utilized to make this

team put in to resurrect a field that

the circumstances surrounding the

transformation possible and on day 13,

was thought to be dead.

proposed field transformation. Instead,

the field was painted and ready for the

they all took the challenge on head-

football team’s next game.

strong and energetically went to work.

Although the team lost that game

Hall and crew worked 14 hours each of

against Emory and Henry, Hall couldn’t

the first three days, doing everything

help but feel like a winner and was

they could to get the field in shape for their game just over two weeks away.

“Be Innovative,” Hall said, in regards to this massive challenge. “Don’t give up and don’t let the wall stand in your way from knocking it down.”


They spent the entire first day rolling the field to ensure it could withstand equipment and then added 60 tons of top-dressing sand to absorb the water and level out the playing field. Over the next two weeks, Hall and his staff aerated the field three times, laid out seed, provided nutrients every two days and eight days after the initial seeding, Hall’s team could put a Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6


By Mac Carraway

The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) – Update on Recent Florida Fertilizer Ordinance Activities Over the last several months, there has been somewhat of a flurry of activity in terms of local governments in Florida considering restrictive fertilizer ordinances. For EREF followers, you have received notice and updates about these situations on a real-time basis. If you are not a regular follower, please sign up for our E-Newsletter at www.EREFlorida.com and follow us on Twitter at @EREFlorida. Click on the Resources tab on the website, then Downloads, which contains numerous documents, letters and supporting information related to EREF’s work to educate and advocate in connection with those efforts. The following is a brief update on the major activities we have been involved in. Alachua County – In May, 2016, Alachua County adopted its revised fertilizer ordinance. County staff reached out to the academic, regulatory and business communities for input, and presented a staff recommendation for a cool-season restriction. The final ordinance calls for a fertilizer blackout in December, January and February of each year, along with the observance of long-standing green industry BMP’s related to lawn clippings, fertilizer on impervious surfaces, etc. The ordinance provides exemptions to the blackout for golf, sports and farms, but failed to include an exemption for licensed lawn-care professionals. Staff indicated some willingness to consider this additional exemption after the passage of the ordinance. In general, the process followed by Alachua County and its Commission and staff was a thoughtful one and recognized the importance of hearing the latest research findings about nutrient fate on turfgrass and landscapes. Citrus County – In October, 2016, Citrus County adopted its revised fertilizer ordinance. The pathway to the final version was somewhat different from Alachua County but ultimately resulted in a cool-season restriction as well. The final ordinance calls for a fertilizer blackout in November, December, January, February and March, again with the observance of appropriate BMP’s. Testimony from UF/IFAS faculty and


extension, EREF, and other industry voices resulted in moving what had originally been proposed as an eight-month blackout including the summer months, to the one which eventually passed. Further, the County Commission added a licensed lawncare professional exemption, and committed to provide a pathway for exemption to BMP-trained individuals. Once again, credit must be given to the Citrus County Commission and its staff for their willingness to have a real dialogue about this policy. City of Temple Terrace – In December, 2016, the City of Temple Terrace decisively voted down a proposed summer fertilizer black-

out ordinance. While this ordinance hit industry’s radar late in the process, a strong showing and testimony from UF/IFAS Extension, EREF, FNGLA and others turned the tide. This outcome is in keeping with the outcome in Hillsborough County, which has continually rejected a summer blackout, and reflected a belief by the City Council that there is simply no evidence that the summer blackouts accomplish anything. Seminole County – Seminole County tabled discussion of a proposed summer blackout in late 2016 in deference to the distractions of the then-upcoming elections and holidays. EREF and others have provided significant supporting information to Seminole County staff and the County Commission (see our Resources/Downloads tab on the website) suggesting the need to revise the staff proposal to one that reflects the more

modern cool-season approach, and which adds an exemption for licensed lawn-care professionals. It remains to be seem what happens with this one when it comes back up on the agenda. Stay tuned for more from EREF on this. Conclusion – With the results from 2016 in the books, there are a few things we might be able to say about the state of fertilizer policy at the local government level. Keeping in mind that cities and counties have fought hard to retain the right to legislate these matters themselves, it remains a very complex, difficult and sensitive subject matter for them to deal with. Outreach efforts by these local governments are laudable and necessary, but often neglect to involve timely industry or academic input which is critical. Getting early warning on these prospective ordinances is also critical. In some cases, local governments are still neglecting to obtain the required early input from FDEP and FDACS, an important step in the process. With that said, there is some suggestion that these ordinances are receiving a more deliberate hearing and a new cool-season “template” is emerging (add Hernando County to those above). While EREF does not support blackouts in general, the cool-season template, especially one with proper BMP-based exemptions for golf, sports, farms, licensed lawn-care professionals and BMP-trained individuals is workable. It should be noted that the cool-season rationale is applicable only to residential greenspaces, since golf and sports turf require nutrient management year-round, and often especially in the cool season when seasonal play is at peak levels. REF extends its sincere thanks to the green industry stalwarts who have contributed to these favorable outcomes, and to the local governments and their staffs for their willingness to listen to all sides of this important and ongoing water-policy discussion.

Mac Carraway is the Executive Director of the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF).

Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

“If you love golf like I do thank a golf course superintendent.” Thank a golf course superintendent for a chance to win a trip to the 2016 American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at beautiful Lake Tahoe. The superintendent you thank will win a special prize too!

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Professional Grade Fertilizers and Weed & Feeds Specially formulated for Southern Growers, Sunniland Corporation, Inc. offers a full line of herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and many other products that enhance plant production.

#1 Choice for Turf Management Turf management professionals are constantly battling weeds, insects, weather and more. With unfettered access to Sunniland experienced representatives and a full range of quality turf and ornamental products, turf grass managers have a powerful ally to ensure that their turf looks and performs its best! Slow-Release and Extended Feeding Sunniland offers several different turf grass weed & feed fertilizers, guaranteed to make turf beautiful, lush and green. Many of these in-stock turf grass fertilizers are available in slow-release version for extended feeding. Each of these fertilizers are excellent to apply on all warm-season grasses including Centipede, St. Augustine, Bermuda, and Zoysia.

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Clean and Free of Impurities Sunniland‘s water soluble fertilizers are manufactured on a dedicated line and are the industry standard blends pros have used for years on lawns, sports turf and golf courses including: • 33-0-17 • 0-0-62 • 46-0-0 • 23-0-31 These are the blends are clean and

free of impurities and are most efficient for delivering the nutrients needed for growing quality turf. Plus, Sunniland’s 23-0-31 blend has a stabilized nitrogen source for the highest efficient delivery of Nitrogen.

Better for the Environment and You A pioneer in fertilizer technology, Sunniland Corporation manufactures and distributes its Professional line of advanced slow-release fertilizers, which are better for the environment and better for you. Helping professional turf grass managers chart and maintain an effective, cost-efficient and environmentally sustainable turf program is job one. Sunniland offers extensive blending options on all of their professional use products. The company builds unique formulation programs to satisfy each customer’s specific need to better meet their requirements.

Who Uses Sunniland Pro? Sunniland Professional products are used every day by: • Athletic Field Groundskeepers – including the Florida Gators • Golf Course Superintendents • Ground Maintenance Supervisors • Landscape Contractors • Nursery’s – including Lukas Nursery • Turf Grass Management Professionals With the Sunniland Family of products, you can’t go wrong!


Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

young guns

Hall of Famer Herb Dixon


By Bella Dovhey

Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

How many tournaments have you won? Herb: 60 tournaments, I don’t know how many trophies I still have around anymore. What is your favorite golf memory? Herb: When I beat Charley Sifford. Charley was the first African American to play on the PGA Tour. How much did it cost to play golf when you were a young boy? Herb: it cost around $7 for 18 holes What is the biggest difference between golf clubs from when you started to todays golf clubs? Herb: When I started playing golf the shafts were made out of Hickory tree branches and today’s modern golf clubs are made with graphite shafts and the balls travel much much farther. How many hole in ones have you made in your life? Herb: I’ve made 6 hole-in-ones in my life (Since my interview, Herb made his 7th hole-in-one on his 97th birthday) What is the lowest score you’ve ever had for 18 holes? Herb: 63 (-8) at the Bartow Golf Club. Who is your favorite golfer? Herb: Tiger Woods, I even got to play with him once What is your favorite golf course? Herb: Streamsong, I have never played there but it is still on my bucket list. What is the secret to your long and healthy life? Herb: I never drank, I never smoked, and I love to play golf every day!

Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6


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North Florida PGA Presents $100,000 To Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation The North Florida PGA

proudly presented Amy Saunders, daughter of Arnold Palmer and Kevin Bingham, CEO of Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation the check for $100,000 raised through our North Florida vs South Florida Challenge Cup Matches this past Fall! The presentation followed our annual Past Presidents Luncheon at Bay Hill on Friday, Jan. 13. Past presidents from our Section gather to offer their insight and advice about Section and National affairs. Past Presidents in attendance were Gene Smith, Russ Libby, John Reger, Mike Warobick, Russ Libby and Tony Johnson. NFPGA Board and staff were also in attendance to hear the advice and stories from our legendary past leaders. Amy Saunders and Kevin Bingham joined us for lunch along with NFPGA Foundation Board Members Charlotta Sorenstam and Adam Giery. Cup Team members Nick Frontero and Ryan Hritz were also on hand to help with the presentation of the check. It was such inspiring and interesting, as all of them had their own Arnold Palmer stories

The 37th Annual Meeting of the North Florida PGA was held at our homesite of Reunion Resort in Orlando. Over 250 Members and Apprentices gathered for our “State of the Section” presentation, learn about our long term goals, and meet with their fellow Members. PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua was our 50

to share with Amy and the rest of the group. We are proud to be a part of the legacy of Mr. Palmer and help with the causes set forth by the Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation for the futures

of so many people in need. Thank you Mr. Palmer for your contribution to the game and the world! Visit our facebook site for more photos!

keynote speaker and he also headlined the morning town hall meeting. It was great conversation over topics such as the Ryder Cup, diversity, future goals of our Association along with other discussions. Your entire board was on hand to present their reports and offer their insight about our Section and our future plans in

the formal afternoon session. As a new year dawns it’s good to know that we are financially sound and your Board representatives really do care about you, your employment and growth of the game. Their passion to serve drives them to make our Section the best in the land! Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

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Habitat For Humanity Home Dedication After months of waiting and anticipation, the South Florida PGA Foundation dedicated its fifth home to Habitat for Humanity with this build being held in conjunction with the Martin County affiliate. After breaking ground over ten months ago this beautiful new home is now complete just in time for the holidays.  Countless South Florida PGA Professionals, friends and staff were onsite to celebrate alongside the deserving family.  In an emotional ceremony, featuring various presentations from Habitat for Humanity staff members, the county commissioner, and numerous South Florida PGA Professionals, Tandra Islam and her family were given the keys to their very first home.  During each dedication ceremony one member of the family is asked to speak to those in attendance.  Tanjila, ten year old daughter of Tandra was the featured presenter on behalf of her family, and she wowed the crowd through her humor and gratitude.  She expressed not only her mother’s joy for this home but the joy her and her brother have, as they now have a permanent place to sleep at night.  Over the past six years, Tandra has struggled to provide her family with a safe home but not this holiday season.  After the ribbon was cut and the keys were presented, the home was opened for everyone to see.  Tanjila and her brother, six year

Junior Tour Champs old Safqaat showed everyone their new rooms and their yard where they plan to practice their soccer skills. “Ceremonies like the one today are extremely humbling; these projects provide all the members of the South Florida PGA an opportunity to give back to the local community.  We are extremely fortunate to have had worked along such a wonderful family, and wish them the best as they begin their life in their new home this holiday season” stated SFPGA Foundation President Tom Wildenhaus.

PGA HOPE In conjunction with PGA Reach, the South Florida PGA Foundation has completed the second season of PGA HOPE. PGA HOPE (helping our patriots everywhere) is a program designed to introduce golf to veterans in order to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. The program consists of 6 weeks of

Habitat for Humanity 52

instruction free of charge from local PGA Professionals. In the past year, the PGA HOPE program has impacted over 90 veterans in south Florida. This fall, three regions hosted PGA HOPE Programs: Alico Family Golf (Fort Myers), Atlantis Golf Club (West Palm Beach) and International Links of Melreese/ First Tee Miami (Miami). This was the second time hosting the program at Atlantis Golf Club and First Tee Miami and the first PGA HOPE Program on the west coast of Florida was hosted at Alico Family Golf. Each of the Programs saw different demographics of players and the PGA Professionals offered instruction to each student depending on their golf experience and abilities. This program has seen an incredible impact on not only the participating veterans, but it has also been very rewarding to the PGA Professionals who are able to teach the veterans. PGA HOPE at Atlantis was taught by PGA Professionals Judy Alvarez, Dave McNulty and Jason Brown. Eileen Jones, Chief Recreation Therapist at the West Palm Beach VA, coordinated the program to bring 10-15 veterans. Five former PGA HOPE Participants who participated in the Spring came back this Fall program to learn more and assist with the new participants as “buddies”. PGA HOPE at First Tee Miami was taught by PGA Professionals John Moscoso, Sean Kicker, Jane Schafer and Eric Salomatoff. Christina Dugrot of the Miami VA recruited the veterans and brought volunteers from the VA to assist with the program. One veteran served as a “buddy” who participated in the spring program. As a result of the first two PGA HOPE Programs, 5 of the veterans created a Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

PGA Hope

league and they play every Monday at International Links Melreese. PGA HOPE at Alico Family Golf was taught by PGA Professionals Brian Yarusevich, Kriag Feighery, John Murray, Ethan Fowler, Sara Dickson, Jessica Carafiello and Apprentice Blaine Lytle. Brian worked with local VA Centers to recruit the veterans and the class had a total of 15 participants. As a result of the PGA HOPE Program, Alico Family Golf has offered to host a Monday league on their short course for participants. Thank you to the PGA Professionals and all those involved in the program. We look forward to kicking off our third session next spring. For more details on PGA HOPE, click here. JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP The South Florida PGA Junior Tour Championship presented by The Honda Classic was held on the Ryder Course at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie. The invitation only field consisted of South Florida’s top junior golfers did not disappoint . Port St. Lucie native Fred Biondi posted an opening round 3-under-par 69 on the 6,900 yard Ryder Course to put himself two strokes clear of Palm City native Alex Vogelsong, Boca Raton native Michael Checo and Boca Raton native James Nieporte.  The final provided a strong battle between Biondi and Vogelsong, two of South Florida’s top juniors.  Biondi would open with a double bogey on the first hole, but was able to get it back with an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. Biondi would go on to make two more birdies and one bogey to shoot a 1-under-par 71.  Vogelsong held steady through 9 holes, Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

turning at even par on the round and still two strokes off Biondi’s lead. The saying of “tournaments are won on the back 9” proved to be true this weekend. Vogelsong birdied holes 10,11,14 and 17 to fire a final round 4-under-par 68 to capture the Tour Championship by one stroke over Biondi.  Lake Worth native Alexa Pano and Parkland native Taylor Roberts each shot 1-under-par 71’s on Saturday to take an early lead in the girls division.  Hallandale beach native Valeria Pacheco fired an opening round 4-overpar 76 to find herself five strokes off the lead.  Pano would put together a solid round of 1-over-par 73 to capture the girls division by three strokes. Pacheco fired a final round 1-underpar 71 to finish in second place. Palm Beach native Allan Kournikova continued his dominating season at the Tour Championship.  Margate native Sebastian Sacristan fired an opening round 2-under-par 70 to put himself 4 four strokes clear of Kournikova.  Kournikova put on a show Sunday, firing a 6-under-par 66 to capture the boys 11-12 age division.  Boca Raton native Chloe Kovelesky had another great tournament after rounds of 78-78 to win her 3rd title of the year in the girls 11-12 age division. The Players of the Year were awarded during the Junior Tour Championship. On the Championship Tour, Daisuke Nakano and Taylor Roberts took home the honors. On the Challenge Tour, James Nieporte and Skylee Shin were the Players of the Year, in addition to Allen Kournikova and Lily Celentano who were the 11-12 age division winners. 53

Story by: Greg Wise

women in golf

A New Year... A New Opportunity

Launched in January 2015, Coates Golf continues to offer quality, performance equipment options for women the ability to maximize their game. “The brand is anchored by an antelope,” shares Coates Golf President and Co-Founder Mollie Coates. “For the simple reason that female antelope grow horns like male. More than just an elegant and athletic icon, the antelope represents equality.” Both the club-head and shaft designs are proprietary and designed by Coates Golf to assure deliver of equipment that performs at its highest potential without over-powering the golfer.


“Coates Golf has been manufacturing and offering equipment to women since 2015, with its greatest sales growth consistently occurring on coatesgolf.com through word-of-mouth from our satisfied customers,” explains Mollie Coates. “Our company plans to continue that momentum while giving those profit margins back to the women in golf rather than the big box retailers.” Creating the optimum retail platform for performance golf products for women, that does not currently exist. “This is the theory behind the Coates Golf Social Commerce program,” mentioned Mollie. “Our grass-roots movement to incentivize women to keep them doing what they’re already doing – promoting Coates Golf.” Women and men, regardless of golf skill level, have the opportunity to become Representatives and sell Coates Golf equipment, apparel, and accessories to their friends, family, and clients for commission. Unlike other direct selling platforms, there are no sales minimums for Representatives to meet, no required product

purchases, and no inventory to hold. Regardless of the amount of product sold each month, Representatives will still earn commission on their own sales and the sales of Representatives in their downline. Through its Social Commerce program, Coates Golf is opening up the multi-billion-dollar golf industry and providing opportunities for professional and amateur golfers to share in its profitability, while creating a retail space where women are finally the focus. The compa ny is already recruiting potential Representatives in preparation for the launch in mid-January. For more information on this opportunity, visit www.CoatesGolf.com

Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

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Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6








By Mike Jamison

improving performance

The Foley Performance Academy at Eagles Dream


golf instructor Sean Foley has carved out a nice career working with some of the top PGA Tour professionals in the world – Tiger Woods and Justin Rose among them. His work has earned him a spot on Golf Digest’s 50 Best Teachers in America list. And while he will continue to work with tour professionals, Foley is now turning some of his attention to working with a younger audience, and will do so at Timacuan Golf and Country Club. EaglesDream Golf Academy and Foley recently announced the formation of the Foley Performance Academy at EaglesDream, based at Timacuan in Lake Mary. The Foley Performance Academy at EaglesDream is a full-time residential program that offers training to all levels of golfers. The main focus is providing junior golfers a unique opportunity to develop big match temperament through elite golf training with world-class academics. EaglesDream has a proven track record in preparing junior golfers for success in golf, college, business, and life. Foley’s philosophy fits perfectly with the environment already created at EaglesDream. “They will learn skills that will make them better golfers, but our focus goes beyond that,” he said. “I enjoy playing a role in developing what kind of people they will become. Honesty, integrity and character; if they learn those qualities from their golf coach, that’s pretty cool.” The new academy will have an even more “global” enrollment, Foley says, likely including kids born in the U.S. and places like South Africa and his native Canada. 58

“It will remain small in terms of the total number of students,” he adds. “We want to preserve the quality of interactions between the instructors and students. Jack and Claire Zhang (owners) and the staff here have done a great job so far. We just want to build on that.” Jack Zhang agrees: “Sean’s ability to closely connect with students on a soulful level, beyond just swing mechanics, is part of the great value he brings to this endeavor,” he says. “Through this unique partnership, we hope to grow the game around the world.” “It is a fantastic setup here,” said Foley. “The practice facilities are great, with everything you need. We have a talented staff and the golf course is outstanding. It becomes a week-to-week process, building on what we already have here.” The foundation at EaglesDream is indeed solid. Academy students have

accounted for over 35 victories on various junior tours. Robin Wang, Carl Yuan and Aden Ye all climbed into the top 10 AJGA rankings. Yuan now plays for the University of Washington, and Wang (University of Cal Berkeley) and Ye (University of Florida) will begin their college careers next fall. Bobby Bai is a member of the Chinese National Team and plays for the University of Central Florida. Other top boys include Tommy Cao who won the 2016 Scott Robertson Invitational and is committed to UCF and Ethan Dong, who will play at Lynn University. Former academy student David Giandomenico won the AJGA Junior All-Star at Chateau Elan The top girl at EaglesDream is Amy Zhang, winner of the 2016 AJGA Jim Bell Memorial and member of the three-time Florida 1A State Champion Lake Mary Prep Griffins. Sierra Brooks, who currently plays for Wake Forest University, is a former EaglesDream student. She finished second in the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur and was a member of the victorious 2014 Junior Ryder Cup and 2015 Junior Solheim Cup teams. “I always felt so productive at EaglesDream Golf Academy and was provided the best support and environment while pursuing my dreams to compete at the next level,” said Brooks. “Claire and Jack Zhang are always looking for new and fresh ways of bringing the highest level of golf instruction to the academy.” Certainly, teaming with Sean Foley reflects that dedication.

Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

country club socials header

Heathrow Country Club Catering “Hangs” with The Coastal Conservation Association at South East Ramp

Located at the

Orlando Sanford International Airport inside the plush pilot lounge of South East Ramp’s Hangar, The Lake Mary Chapter of Coastal Conservation Association of Florida (CCA) held their inaugural fundraising banquet. CCA’s commitment to marine fisheries conservation tackles the growing challenges associated with the de-


cline of our precious marine resources. CCA participates with other organizations to ensure fair and equal access to our public waters for saltwater and freshwaters anglers, stopping the abuse and waste from illegal netting and fish trapping and the conservation of inshore and offshore marine species and their habitats. CCA is a volunteer organization and counts on fellow fisherman, friends, family and sponsorship to maintain success this critical endeavor. To learn more about how

you can become an associate or youth member visit www.ccaflorida.org. Heathrow Country Club’s catering services were proud to provide the libations for this prestigious event. With the luxurious backdrop of the South East Ramps Hangar, food and laughter was abundant. Heathrow Country Club Catering is not just limited to the several event spaces located at its Country Club, Golf & Racquet. Club facilities.

Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

By David Theoret

golf buiness header

Big Changes at Huntington Hills in Lakeland, FL

Huntington Hills Golf Club in Lakeland, FL reopened recently with new TifEagle greens, a new electronic irrigation system and new bunkers. “Golf course owner Bud Socia really stepped up to the plate this time,” said renowned golf course designer Ron Garl, the original architect of Huntington Hills. Added associate Ricky Nix “It’s not too often these days that a course owner will sink this amount of his own money into a golf course, but Bud was determined to see Huntington Hills return to the glory it once had, back when it opened in 1992.” All the greens were returned to their original sizes and players who weren’t around to play the course in its early days will be surprised with the size of the new greens. After researching several different grasses and the long-term costs associated with them, Garl and his staff chose TifEagle. “After all, if it’s good enough for Augusta National, it’s good enough for Huntington Hills,” quipped Garl. New mowers were also purchased along with a new sharpener to keep all the mowing reels in prime condition. In addition to the greens, significant changes were made to Huntington


Hill’s bunkering complex. To make the course more player friendly for highhandicappers, several bunkers were removed and sodded over, while others had steep faces removed and were softened. Currently the sand is fluffy and will take about “10 good rains,” according to Nix, to reach peek condition. The large waste bunker between the 10th and 15th fairways received a complete makeover, including a new drainage system. The old sand was replaced with a material that is a mixture of sand and crushed coquina shells and makes the waste bunker a lot more playable. Lastly was the irrigation system. Updating the system wasn’t in the original plans, but Garl made the recommendation to Socia and Socia agreed that the current system was outdated and costing the club money. With the new Toro

Decoder electronic system, all programming changes can be made from the top of the sprinkler head, eliminating the need to dig up heads when changes need to be made. Socia also purchased a top-dressing machine specifically for TifEagle greens, something that is being well-utilized by superintendent Jeff Gragg and his crew. Although this upgrade required a significant cash outlay, it’s already paying dividends as the fairways and greens are looking plush. Over the past couple of years, Huntington Hills has struggled. Low greens fees will attract golfers, but if the course is in bad shape, don’t count on their return visit. Right now, the course is in tip top shape and, with all its elevation changes, it’s a different kind of Florida course. If you haven’t played Huntington Hills in a while or were scared off by its poor conditioning in the past, you owe it to yourself to give it another shot. November 2017 marks the club’s 25th anniversary and with the course in prime condition, I suspect there will be some big events to celebrate it. For more information or to book a tee time, you can visit the website at www.huntingtonhillscountryclub.com or give them a call at (863) 853-9393.

Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6


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By Deb Shuck

fore your header health

Improve Your Golf Game with Tai Chi How can Tai Chi improve your golf

whereby Chi circulates smoothly

game? This specialized training

through the body creating a state of

program strengthens the body, focuses

revitalization and relaxation. Tai Chi

the mind and develops emotional

is an ancient exercise system from

intelligence. All the muscles required

China dating back to the 13th Century.

for golf are activated through the

It is based on Martial Arts techniques;

unique Tai Chi movements giving

however, Master Instructor Rosann

you stability and strength in your

Argenti teaches it as a healthcare

lower body while allowing the upper

system and for all sporting activities.

body to move with ease. Focusing

The icing on the cake is that Tai

on the Tai Chi breath and the slow,

Chi does not require any previous

deliberate exercises, trains the

conditioning or equipment. There

mind and calms the emotions. This

are no age limitations, it demands

balanced state keeps distractions at

little time and there is virtually

bay, which leads to optimum results.

no risk of physical injury.

Rosann is an avid golfer with a 10

Master Instructor Rosann Argenti

handicap and uses Tai Chi to “relax

created an international Tai Chi TV

on command”; the key to a fluid,

Series and authored “Surgery- How to

powerful and effortless swing pattern.

Reherse Before You See the Nurse”. Her

Tai Chi (pronounced tie jee) literally

5 DVD’s include: Tai Chi, Revitalization

means “The Supreme Ultimate”; tai is

Breathing, Sitting Tai Chi, Chi-Kung

harmonious balance and chi is vital

Massage and Bed Exercises. All items

or essential energy. Tai Chi is similar

are available at: Sports-TaiChi.co.

to getting an acupuncture treatment


Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

By Mike May

golf travel

Devils Knob: A Blue Ridge Beauty

Devil's Knob #2

Very few golf courses have refreshingly, stunning mountain-top views which are outmatched by the quality of the entire golf course experience. Devils Knob at the Wintergreen Resort in rural Virginia fits that bill. That’s a good thing. While the appeal of playing golf on a mountain top with jaw-dropping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains may be what draws you to Devils Knob at Wintergreen (www.wintergreenresort.com), the overall quality of your

journey from the driving range to the

but Devils Knob is the complete pack-

will always remember and will bring

age. While the blue tees measure just

you back for yet another round. Again,

over 6,700 yards, the white tees – at

the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains

6,123 yards – give you a fair fight so

from many of the greens, tees, and fair-

that when you walk off the 18th green

ways will generate an indelible image

with a good score, you know that

(or two or three) in your mind, but the

you earned it. When Maple designed

brilliance of golf course architect Ellis

this par-70 layout, he produced a golf

Maple’s clever and creative imagina-

course that has wonderful balance,

tion with this rocky and rural piece of

flow, and is in complete equilibrium.

Virginia real estate is what will leave

The best two stretches of golf at

every golfer begging for one more

Devil's Knob Aerial

Devils Knob are five holes on the front

round at Devils Knob, which

nine (holes 4-8) and the first six holes

has the highest elevation (3,850

of the back nine (holes 10-15). On the

feet above sea level) of any golf

front nine, that five-hole sequence

course in Virginia. It’s never

features a par 3-par 5-par 3-par 5-par

difficult convincing anybody to

3 combination. How often do you

play Devils Knob one more time.

see that? The 7th hole is an uphill,

With the exception of the


Please excuse the use of this cliché,

1st tee to the 18th green is what you

530-yard par-5 which deserves its #1

long par five 10th hole, which, at

handicap ranking and where pars

times, borders parts of the 11th

are precious. On the first six holes of

and 18th fairways, every hole at

the inward half, you have a quartet

Devils Knob is its own complete,

of short par fours which are bordered

independent and cocoon-like

by the longest hole on the course (the

experience. All other holes at

547-yard 10th hole) and a medium

Devils Knob are bordered and

length par three (the 166-yard 15th

surrounded by the forests of

hole), which has the highest eleva-

the Blue Ridge Mountains.

tion point on the course. Reaching the Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE THAT MATTER THE MOST. Devil's Knob #16 greens of those short par fours – 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th -- in regulation requires discipline, patience, and a fundamentally sound swing. Any wayward stroke will send your ball soaring into the forest. At Devils Knob, the driver is often not the club of choice on many of the tees as the reward of hitting a long tee shot is outweighed by the possibility of a tee shot drifting into the woods. “Devils Knob is actually quite a bit flatter than your typical mountain course,” says Matt Burch, head golf professional, Devils Knob Golf Course. “Although it looks to have lots of slope and terrain, most lies in the fairway are more fair than one would expect. Weatherwise, the temperatures never really rise above 80 degrees -- a very nice experience versus playing in the heat of summer.” While the fall is the tail end of the golf season at Devils Knob, it might be the best time of the year to play. “The views here in the fall are simply amazing, as members and guests are able to see the leaves

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change and enjoy the natural beauty that Wintergreen and Devils Knob have to offer,” adds Burch. As you begin your round of golf at Devils Knob, note that there are only five Golf Course Rules listed on the scorecard. The last one is the most important: “Please leave the golf course in better condition than you found it.” Devils Knob is such a fine piece of real estate that you should be motivated to fill in at least twice as many divots as you create and to never leave a bunker unraked. It’s a pleasure and a perk to play Devils Knob. And, it’s a genuine thrill to play Devils Knob a second time. When you walk off the green at Devils Knob’s home hole, you will glance down the 18th fairway and reflect on your just- completed golf experience. You

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will agree that, as stunning as the mountain-top views were during your round, the quality of the golf course was just a little better. And, that’s a good thing. Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6


freddy's fairway thoughts

By Fred Seely

• The TPC Sawgrass’s Stadium Course has reopened with radical changes around the entire facility. Among the most dramatic is the new approach to the clubhouse, giving a Magnolia Lane feel to visitors. Rumored cost is multiple millions. • Former PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman says he likes the changes to the Players site but he’s against the recent trend to have a driveable par 4 on Tour courses. “It slows down play,” he said, “and play is too slow now. All you’re doing is making a long par 3.” • Good story from Beman. When he played in his first Masters, he drove to the gate and was told that “Mr. (Clifford) Roberts and Mr. (Bobby) Jones are expecting you for lunch.” Beman relates, “That was a nerve-racking start but both were gracious and made me comfortable. Mr. Roberts said he hoped I enjoyed my first Masters experience. I answered, “I was here last year.” He replied, “Well, we didn’t see you.” So I told him why he didn’t: “Our Maryland golf team had a tournament in Miami that week and we wanted to go to Augusta on the way home, and our coach let four of us drive. We didn’t have tickets and not much money, so we got to the course at 6 a.m. and snuck over the fence behind No, 4 green before the security showed up. Bobby Jones really enjoyed that story. Not sure about Mr. Roberts.” • One more from Beman. He says that new PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan has the primary requirement for a commissioner: “He has a great passion for the game.” When Beman retired from the Tour in 1994, he was contacted by Major League Baseball officials to see if he might be interested in becoming their commissioner. “They wanted me to come up to Chicago to talk about it, and I declined. I told them they needed someone with a passion for their game.”

Deane Beman

• With his coming induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame, Davis Love III has done just about everything in golf. So what’s left? “One thing out there is Sam Snead’s record of being the oldest players to win a Tour event,” he said. “That would be cool.” Snead won the 1965 Greater Greensboro Open at age 52 years and 311 days. Love is almost there: he turns 53 in April.

• Love’s tournament at Sea Island — the RSM Classic — is one of the more popular wrap-around events because it appeals to families. “It’s like Disney used to be,” said one pro, referring to the events at Walt Disney World that ended in 2012. The Sea Island provided 24-hour day care, horseback riding for kids and numerous other family-oriented amenities. • Well-known club pro Greg Lecker, a Bob Ford protege, has left Ponte Vedra Beach’s Sawgrass CC but didn’t go far. He’s now at the equally-upscale Harbour Ridge Yacht and CC in Stuart. • Arnold Palmer left his mark on many places and Jacksonville certainly is one of them. He’s best-known here for being part of the group that developed Hidden Hills Country Club. The leader of the group was his close pal W.D. “Doc” Coppedge, whose family made a fortune in the tugboat business. Doc’s medical career didn’t go much farther than school and he had the resources to do what he wanted, and what he wanted was an all-men’s club. It came to reality in the 1967 and eventually hosted three PGA Tour events. The all-men idea didn’t last, certainly after some wives decided to go out there one evening to find out what was going on. • Comments? I’m at fs4569@comcast.net. 68

Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

Black Diamond is honored to again be one of Go lfweek ’s Top 100 Residential Golf Courses in the United States. Great golf is just the start, however, with new home construction underway. Discover what makes Black Diamond one of the best private golf communities in Florida. Stay & Play packages start at $425. For more information, call Bill Hardin (352) 234-8855 Membership Real Estate Stay & Play www.blackdiamondranch.com 3125 W Black Diamond Circle, Lecanto, FL 34461

cart girl Where did you grow up? Apopka FL. Central Florida What is your favorite sport to play? Favorite to watch? Loved to play soccer, but I play mostly golf

now. I like to watch soccer, football and Nascar.

What do you feel makes this club special? It’s special in many ways... My coworkers Rock! We have great members! And our course is amazing! It’s a moderately hard course that is affordable. It is in great condition and the greens are solid. Maintenance and the greenskeepers work really hard at making this course look good. It’s half private and also open to the public. So there are new people every day and I get to see my favorite members every week. If you weren’t a cart girl, what would you be doing?

Well I also work for the family business, Boudreaus nursery. So I’d probably be there more helping with the growing process and helping with plant orders and deliveries.

What is your memorable moment working as a cart girl? Well I have a lot. But some of my favorites

Miranda Obrien

were meeting and hanging out with some of our Orlando Lions soccer players! I go to almost every home game. I also got to meet Alex Morgan from the woman’s national soccer team. That was pretty cool!

What type of music do you prefer?

Love my country and a little rock and roll!

What hobbies do you enjoy? For the most part I like to be outside doing something. Spending time with my family and friends is important to me. Taking my pups on adventurers is a must most weekends. I love going out on our boat cruising and fishing! Love going to concerts and sporting events like football and soccer games. Depends on the time of year, but I also like hunting, surfing, wake-boarding, 4 wheeling and of course golfing. Relaxed evening at home, or nightclub and cocktails? I like both! But you will more commonly find me by a bonfire with a drink and some country music.

Favorite comedian? Jim Gaffigan Favorite charity to support? Make a Wish Founda-

tion, St. Jude’s , Paws for a Cause, Wounded Warrior Project

What else would you like for us to know about you? I love what I do and I’m very blessed to have such a fun job with different experiences every day! I’ve met some really cool people doing this and many of times my adventures outside of work have directly come from the people I meet and hang out with at the course.


Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

Š2017 American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

golf bachelor

Where were you born? Did you grow up there? Scunthorpe, England Is “acting your age” over rated? Yes, definitely High school group you hung out with the most; nerds, jocks, stoners, preppies? Jocks What do you do for a living? Sell and fit Ping golf clubs, PT soccer

Dave Minshall


What would you like to do for a living? Play golf Aside from golf; what do you prefer for fun and relaxation? Watching soccer, live and on TV

Whom do you most admire for their inner and outer beauty? My parents Tell us about your first kiss? 16yrs old, very nervous and not particularly confident

Steak, chicken, or seafood? Steak What three things would you need to survive on a deserted island? A

sand wedge, soccer ball and all of the mystery books written by Dick Francis

Who would you like to have with you on the same deserted island; and why? Winston Churchill, as I could learn so much about so many different topics

What do you find to be the most annoying habit people demonstrate on the golf course? Definitely a lack of golf etiquette Name the three most important things to you in this world. Health, Family and being unselfish

Given the choice; would you select love, success, or money to keep yourself happy? Love for sure What do you fear the most? Missing a 3 footer with money and pride on the line….

What three people would you most like to play with in your fantasy golf foursome? Ben Hogan, Nick Price and my brother What are some of your great accomplishments? Winning my first Pro

am beating 60 other professionals, refereeing a big soccer tournament final.

Relaxed evening at home, or nightclub and cocktails? Evening at


Last time you spewed something through your nose from laughing so hard? Watching Fawlty towers comedy tv show Favorite comedian? Jim Jeffries Movies:…comedy, drama, action, romance? Comedy Last book you read ? Man in the middle by Howard Webb, World cup

final referee

Favorite magazine? When Saturday Comes, soccer magazine… Favorite charity to support? Special Olympics What else would you like for us to know about you? 72

Huge Liverpool FC fan

Southern Golf Central • Volume 17, Issue 6

“Chip In” For Behavioral Health

2017 Aspire Health Partners Open Golf Tournament Timacuan Golf Club, Lake Mary, Florida Monday, May 8, 2017

Aspire Health Partners, Inc. is Florida’s Largest nonprofit Behavioral Health provider that serves 5 Central Florida Counties with more than 90 programs. Aspire is an industry leader in mental health and substance abuse recovery and related services. In 2016, Aspire served more than 43,000 Central Floridians. By participating in this annual golf tournament you will help raise the awareness of behavioral health needs and services across our region. All profits from this annual event go directly to programs and services that help improve the lives of those most in need within our community. YOU Make a Difference!

Register Today! For more information regarding sponsorship or to play in the tournament please contact Mark Cady-Archilla (407) 875-3700, ext. 3231 or via email at mark.cady@aspirehp.org.





SPEECHLESS. Words can’t truly express what it’s like here. The unusual terrain at Streamsong® is arresting, but it’s the 54 magnificent holes of golf that will take your breath away. It’s just you, your friends and the game you love. The way golf was meant to be.

Top 100 Courses You Can Play – Golf Magazine 2016-2017

This is Streamsong. Golf at its purest.

1000 Streamsong Drive • Streamsong, Florida 33834 • 855.498.5426 • streamsongresort.com Streamsong® Blue

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Profile for Shannon Coates

Golf Central Magazine - V17 issue 6 • ezine  

www.golfcentralmag.com www.turflife.club

Golf Central Magazine - V17 issue 6 • ezine  

www.golfcentralmag.com www.turflife.club

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