W W W . G O L F C E N T R A L M A G . C O M
STAY AND PLAY THE
Just 60 miles south of Disney World is one of the most affordable golf destinations anywhere in the country.
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WE BELIEVE Making a positive change in the life of a child is one of the most significant things you can do.
MARCHING TOWARD A BETTER TOMORROW. JOIN US AT
from the publisher
Everyone's Invited When I started Golf Central 18 years ago the title was Florida Golf Central and I dreamed of one day throwing the most wonderful party to which everyone was invited. I knew back then that the PGA Merchandise Show was being hosted right here in O’ Town....the largest gathering of professionals in the golf world, what a soiree! From attending tournaments and attracting golf›s best party goers, we grew into the South East by selling Mountain Homes and travel features all up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Now we are simply
Volume 18, Issue 7 Publisher: Terrie L. Purdum Editor in Chief: Shannon Coates Regional Partner: Doug Hollandsworth, Founder-Georgia Golf Trail
Editor Emeritus: Joel Jackson, CGCS Retired Chief Fertilizer Spreader: Eric Rasberry Golf Gym: Ken Pierce Ambassador of Buzz: Jennifer Jolly Media Consultant: Trish Hare Associate Editor/Photographer: Greg Corbo Photographers: Lynn Pelham, Brion Price, Peter Hakansson
branded as “Golf Central Magazine”; turf, travel, philanthropy, and
Mike Coonan, Becky Galloway
lifestyle, having a jolly good time!
Senior Correspondent: Rick Harris, Sr. Junior Correspondent: Bella Dovhey International Correspondent: Dove Jones Contributing Writers: Jay Golden, PGA; Greg Wise,
Now that I mention Jolly, someone and something that›s nice to bring to the party.....
Jolly means showing high spirits or lightheartedness. Merry suggests cheerful, joyous uninhibited enjoyment of frolic or festivity. I reintroduce you to the emblazoning and iconic, Jenn Jolly.
Jennifer Jolly began contributing to Golf Central
Magazine on a regular basis in 2004. She was the voice of our country club communities through her roles as Technology, Communication and finally Education Chairs for the Florida Club Managers Association of America (FLCMAA).
During her tenure with Sawgrass Country Club
in Ponte Beach Florida, Jenn helped us stay in the action incorporating the FLCMAA’s 40+ Allied Associations including the Audubon International, Culinary Institute of America, Club Managers Association of America, Florida Turfgrass Association, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, International Guild of Master Sommelier, Professional Golf Association, and The
Bob Bolton, Greg Corbo, Elisa Gaudet, Mike Jamison, Mike May, Ron Heller, Rich Styles, Fred Seely, Deb Shuck, JL Quebbeman, Mitch Sadowsky, Linda Williams-Sieg
Graphic Design: Melahn Cable, firstname.lastname@example.org Website Design/Network Support: ryjo.com Golf Central Magazine is published monthly by: Sand Hill Publishing & Public Relations 1549 Warrington Court, Winter Springs, FL 32708
NEW PHONE: 321.765.7550 E-mail: email@example.com ©2018 Golf Central Magazine. No portion of this publication may be reprinted without the prior written permission of the Publisher. Editorial contributions are welcome, but Golf Central Magazine assumes no responsibility for unsolicited proposals, manuscripts and photographs. All materials submitted not accompanied by a selfaddressed 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. 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.
Players Club, in her standing column.
As time allowed, Jenn dabbled in the equine world, an interest since
childhood growing up in a farming community in southeast Michigan. Her involvement escalated during the Florida hurricanes of 2004 and 2005. Jenn found that assisting with local rescues helped balance the stresses of rebuilding Harbour Ridge Yacht & Country Club in Palm City, which was devastated by Frances and Jean. From rescue to racing partnerships to owning her own Off the Track Thoroughbred, she has immersed herself in all things equine and was thrilled when invited to assist us in building the Turf Life brand in that area.
Coupling her personal equine experience with over 15 years of
professional dedication to the golf and country club industry, we agreed
2017 Want to participate in a fun, global species-counting competition?
Ask the staff at your local golf course if they are participating in BioBlitz 2017!
she was a natural choice. Please keep an eye out for our girl as she “gets the jolly started”.
2009 North Florida PGA Amateur of the Year 6
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
Volume 18, Issue 7 19th Hole 50 Top Golf Carolinas Golf Central 42 True Blue Golf Club 44 Barefoot Resort Cart Girl 26 Deb Bello FEATURE 38 Rumbling Bald
Florida Golf Central 46 Omni at ChampionsGate Georgia Golf Central 40 South GA State Park Lodges
Golf Travel 58 The Broadmoor 60 JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa
22 28 32 34 36 52 54 56 62 66
Growing The Game 64 ANNIKA Foundation Improving Performance 16 Slot Shot Golf Leader on the Links 14 Tony Leodora
Freddy's Fairway Thoughts Golf History Turf Life Turf Life Turf Life Product Showcase NFPGA SFPGA Grip It & Sip It Golf Fitness
Special Events 30 PNC Father/Son Challenge Stay & Play 12 French Lick Resort 18 King & Prince Resort
We’d Like To Put A Few Holes In Your Vacation Plans.
Quite a few in fact. You see, Fairfield Glade Resort in Tennessee has 90 holes of Championship Golf alone, including Stonehenge, named among the top public courses in Tennessee by Golf Digest, GolfWeek and Golf Magazine. Then there are the many outstanding courses around nearby Crossville, widely known as the Golf Capital of Tennessee. In all, more than 180 holes of golf just waiting to be played atop the Cumberland Plateau. But your vacation doesn’t have to be all golf. We offer 11 pristine lakes for boating and fishing, 12 miles of nature trails, a state-of-the-art Racquet Center and remarkable restaurants. This year, plan to spend your vacation at Fairfield Glade Resort and Crossville, Tennessee. The South’s holey land for golfers. For information or reservations, call 888-334-5233 · www.fairfieldglade.cc Located between Knoxville and Nashville, just a few miles from I-40 (Exit 322)
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stay & play Pete Dye #9 Clubhouse
Experience one of America’s Premier Historic Golf Destinations If you are looking for your next great golf getaway, then look no further than the Midwestern state of Indiana. Situated atop the rolling hills overlooking the Hoosier National Forest in southern Indiana is French Lick Resort, one of America’s premier golf destinations. This historic resort is located in the small town of French Lick, where for over two centuries the Pluto Mineral Springs has attracted visitors. (It is also known as the hometown of basketball legend Larry Bird.) The town has quickly become one of the great golf destinations in the country. Since the early 1900’s, golf has been an integral part of this resort area. Tom Bendelow designed the first course here in 1907 followed by the great Donald Ross ten years later. In the mid-2,000’s, a $600 million historic restoration and casino development project brought the resort back to national prominence. This included restoring both the French Lick Springs Hotel and West Baden Springs Hotel back to their original sophistication and luxury. This included Hall of Fame architect, Pete Dye, bringing his talent to design a visually stunning masterpiece, which become one of the most highly acclaimed courses in the country. The new Dye design achieved a double honor rarely duplicated in the 12
French Lick Hotel industry, as the leading course was selected as America’s best new course by two of the leading golf publications in the country, Golf Digest and GOLF Magazine, when it opened in 2009. The Pete Dye Course is located on a dramatic site that looks more like the rolling mountains of North Carolina than the flatlands of Indiana. The course is situated upon a hilltop – one of the highest points in the state – offering panoramic views in all directions that stretch for 30-40 miles. Complementing the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort is the historic Donald Ross Course, which underwent a $4.6 million restoration project that has brought the course back to Ross’s original plans. The Ross course brings a rich history to the French Lick Resort. The course has hosted golf greats and celebrities such as Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Chick Evans, and Bing Crosby. As you drive up the hill to the former
Taggart Mansion, which now serves as the Pete Dye clubhouse, you are amazed that this beautiful land is in the Midwest. This historic clubhouse is the converted home of former resort owner Tom Taggart and was built in the early part of the 20th century. Taggart is credited for bringing golf to French Lick Resort, as he was responsible for bringing Bendelow and Ross to the area to build the resort’s first two courses. Now, nearly 100 years later, the current owners brought in arguably the greatest modern-day golf course architect to design a new championship course to complement those historical layouts. French Lick Resort has been a home to championship golf since the early 20th century. Taggert was instrumental in bringing the 1924 PGA Championship to the resort, which was played on the Donald Ross course and won by the legendary Walter Hagen. In 2015 the PGA brought another one of its major championships to French Lick, the 76th Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid won by golfing great Colin Montgomery. Other championships have included including the PGA Professional National Championship (2010), the Big Ten Conference Men’s and Women’s Championships (20122014), LPGA Legends Championship (2013-2015), and USGA Men’s State Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
Team Championships (2014). In addition to its championships, the resort has also been a pioneer for women’s golf. The history of women’s golf at French Lick dates back to 1957 where Louise Suggs captured the French Lick Women’s Open on the historic Donald Ross course. A few years later in 1959 the LPGA Championship was brought to the historic site. Betsy Rawls won that LPGA major followed by the legendary Mickey Wright winning the title in 1960. Fast forward more than 50-years later, the resort began honoring the Legends of the game by hosting The Legends Championship on the Pete Dye course, as well as opening up the LPGA Legends Hall of Fame and honoring the greats of the game like Nancy Lopez, Kathy Whitworth, Joanne Carner, Rosie Jones, Elaine Crosby, Nancy Scranton, Jane Blalock, Sandra Palmer, Jan Stephenson, and Sandra Haynie. Located just off the atrium of the West Banden Springs Hotel, the Legends Hall of Fame room is a trip back in time of women’s golf. In 2017, the LPGA recognized French Lick’s impact on women’s professional golf and decided to host the first ever professional women’s senior major championship with the LPGA Senior
Championship presented by Old National Bank and won by Trish Johnson. The future of women’s golf also joined the party with the Symetra Tour’s Donald Ross Classic at French Lick. The week-long celebration of women’s golf was such a success for both women’s golf and the primary charity, the Riley Children’s Foundation, that French Lick Resort moved quickly to set the dates for this year. The 2018 Senior LPGA Championship will be contested October 15-17, 2018 while the Symetra Tour’s Donald Ross Classic at French Lick will be played July 12-14, 2018. The resort’s most popular golf package and the best way to experience this award-winning golf destination is the Hall of Fame Package. Starting at $559, golfers can stay one-night at either French Lick or West Baden Hotels, a day of unlimited golf on The Pete Dye Course, and a day of unlimited golf at The Donald Ross Course. Combine that with the resorts other amenities like its two world-class spas, which still offers the Pluto mineral springs bath, gaming, and a variety of dining options. This special golf experience explains why the resort is now attracting golfers and guests from all over the country. Visit www.frenchlick.com.
Pete Dye Hole #6 Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
leader on the links
Tony receives an ING Media Award
Tony Leodora It all began during a lunchtime discussion at the PGA Merchandise Show in 2013. The topic turned toward golf television shows and veteran golf writer/ broadcaster Tony Leodora was asked why he never took his many golf exploits to the screen. He had marketed and appeared on other shows for years but the timing seemed ripe to put together a half-hour golf and lifestyle show from interesting venues across the country and around the world. A veteran television producer, Jamie McWilliams, was at the table and joined the discussion. Some resort people expressed interest and the idea began to morph into reality. By the end of the week a pilot was put together. Then the first episode of the Traveling Golfer television show was shot at 14
Tony interviewing Phil Hatlfield, owner of Inn on the Lakes in Sebring, FL Crystal Springs Resort, about 85 miles northwest of where the original planning discussion took place. “It all happened so fast,” said Leodora, who just completed his fifth year of hosting the show. “We really had no idea where we were going with it … or whether it would last past the first show.” The Traveling Golfer began as a small internet production, with a handful of websites agreeing to post the show each month. Those numbers grew quickly and the very large Golf Director Network agreed to air the show. A big breakthrough occurred with the first on-air television appearance, as a regular monthly feature in The Press Box television show which airs on HTC Ch. 4 in Myrtle Beach. It was not long before the next major step took place, when the Traveling Golfer debuted on the thenComcast SportsNet and The Comcast Network in the Philadelphia market. In 2017 Comcast became NBC Sports and NBC Sports + and The Traveling
Golfer had spread to the North Jersey, Baltimore/Washington and Pittsburgh markets. The television reach is now more than 10 million homes. Through NBC Sports, even more expansion is planned. Occurring simultaneously with the rapid growth, and probably adding fuel to the expansion, was a series of national awards. Four years in a row the Traveling Golfer was nominated in the Best Television category during the heralded International Network of Golf Media Awards at the PGA Merchandise Show. Twice the Traveling Golfer was voted the No. 1 Golf Television Show in America. The other two years it finished second. “We have been fortunate enough to combine excellent production with outstanding venues,” explained Leodora. “The golf and lifestyle format seems to appeal to a wide variety of people.” In addition to spanning the country for its host sites, the Traveling Golfer also has done a number of shows from outside the country -- Mexico, Jamaica and St. Kitts, to name a few. Not surprisingly, Florida has been the most frequently visited state on the Traveling Golfer schedule. In addition to the first show at Crystal River, past Sunshine State stops have included ChampionsGate, Grand Cypress, Mystic Dunes, Longboat Key Club, PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Bella Collina, Shingle Creek, Wyndham Orlando, World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, PGA National, TPC Sawgrass and Sebring. The 2018 schedule began with another trip to Florida to see the $350 million renovation and expansion at the JW Marriott on Marco Island, and the hotel’s two golf courses – Hammock Bay and The Rookery. In March a special look at the resurrection of the popular Tarpon Woods GC in Palm Harbor also will allow the Traveling Golfer to spend time with the property’s new owner, LPGA great Jan Stephenson. April will bring the show to northernmost Florida for a look at Amelia Island and the Jacksonville area. Finally, each year there is a special show featuring the hottest products at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. “When most people think of traveling to play golf, they think of Florida,” said Leodora. “The state has been a big part of our success … and we already are talking to a number of other properties for future shows. Thankfully, there seems to be no limit to the demand for the Traveling Golfer.” Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
Gary Player | Class of 1974
Arnold Palmer | Class of 1974
Jack Nicklaus | Class of 1974
GAMEâ€™S BEST! WORLD GOLF VILLAGE | ST. AUGUSTINE, FL | WORLDGOLFHALLOFFAME.ORG
By Michael Wargo
Fred Torres: A Connection to Golf swing was disturbingly off. Instead of reaching out for help, he took matters into his own hands. Since he was always a student of the great swings of Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, Sam Snead and the like, he began examining many of the legendary golf swings and took a good look at what they all had in common. The result was an epiphany that changed his golf swing for the better, and revealed an entirely new path for his life. The SlotShot was born. Fred Torres had his “aha moment” from realizing the level of connection in all of these great swings, and the subsequent connection between all other critical positions. Basically, when you fix the hub of the wheel, most of the spokes naturally fall in line. Then, you make small very simple adjustments from there. Fred comments, “The concept of connectivity is an amazing equalizer in this game. Seasoned professional instructors have used the towel under the arm or a head cover for years. It works for the most part,
Fred Torres was born and raised
in Hawaii and an avid golfer. Like most of us, he was often plagued by swing problems and inconsistency. Generally, golfers tend to continue to struggle with the problems with little success or seek professional help. But after a notably troubling round on the plantation course in Kapalua, he found his
but not as effectively as the SlotShot. The towel method had some problems. So I fixed them by developing something that feels more natural when you swing. The towel or head cover is too thin and causes some fundamental problems, and for some swings can be very difficult to hold in position. The SlotShot sets you in a great position connecting everything, and makes it very easy to find the slot. Then, the lanyard makes it easy to let it release on follow through easily putting it back in position for the next swing. The SlotShot seems to correct issues in all parts of the swing. It connects everything from backswing to contact and follow through, bringing the body into a connected state. It creates consistency and head speed in a way nothing else can.” The SlotShot’s nearly miraculous cure for balance, path, contact and accuracy defies description. After rigorous testing and many prototype versions, the SlotShot became a product instructors were looking for, and golfers everywhere can use to build the swing they have been seeking. As of March 2017, the SlotShot’s patents were awarded and it was finally released at the 2017 PGA Expo in Las Vegas. At the show, SlotShot immediately sold out the initial production run and has already gone into more significant production with a new and more comfortable model to be released at the PGA Expo in Orlando in early 2018. The SlotShot is a product every
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
golfer should own whether they are having trouble or not. Swinging with the SlotShot always results in a tighter and more connected motion. This game is all about consistency. Once you get connected with the SlotShot, a lot of great things just happen; Your backswing is tight and balanced. Your downswing hits the slot almost instantly. You create lag and a path that will compress the golf ball in the most desirable way. Then, you will have that very consistent impact position. You will hit the center of the club and your path will be true. Finally, your follow through will be balanced and consistent. All you need to do is make certain your alignment and setup is consistent. SlotShot also has new alignment sticks with repositionable alignment rings to help with setup and alignment as well. The training aid market is cluttered with devices that are good, bad and everywhere in-between and like most of us Fred has bought them and used them. The problem has always been that most treat the symptom and not the problem. Single-purposed devices focusing on wrist position, impact position or anything that seems to make good sense comes with an inherGolf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
ent problem. If you change one thing, it pushes other elements out of sync. It is almost impossible to just change wrist position for instance, and it not throw something else into a potentially harmful place. Fixing the core and connection improves everything. Fred Torres adds, “Any golfer can make a good swing if he or she knows how it should feel. At full swing at higher speeds, it is so difficult to feel any individual element in the swing. But feeling connected is both possible and repeatable. The SlotShot makes this happen with ease. It is automatic and almost immediate for nearly everyone who uses it. It is literally instant gratification for most, and personally very gratifying to see the results.” SlotShot is now getting ready to launch an entire suite of training products built on the same core connection principals for the rest of your game. Sometimes, some of the simplest products have the most profound improvements on your game. The SlotShot will definitely benefit everyone who uses it. It helped me, and I am certain it will help you as well. You can see the SlotShot at www.slotshot.golf 17
Story and Photos by Greg Corbo
stay & play
Getting “Golden” on St. Simons Island
The well-kept grounds at the resort is standard practice
The King & Prince Beach and Golf Resort maintains its storied excellence Driving up and down the I-95 Interstate corridor between Savannah and Jacksonville over the years, the time had come for a much warranted detour of discovery of the fabled “Golden Isles” on St. Simons Island, Georgia between Exits 42-38 Southbound. With such a regal title for a destination, perhaps some sort of treasure hunt would ensue upon arrival? Either way, there was only one clear-cut destination to set up base camp before exploration -- and that was The King & Prince Beach and Golf Resort. What innocently began as a beachside dance club for locals in 1935, has through time, commitment and resources, become an iconic landmark hotel with first class amenities. After improvements and expansions
throughout the 1970s and 80’s, the hotel was designated as a prestigious Historic Hotel of America in 1996. In 2005, the resort was named to the National Register of Historic Places for its continued excellence in hospitality. A handsome tribute to Mediterranean-style architecture which sits on the southern end of St. Simons, The King & Prince owns distinction as the only hotel on the Island to offer beach front rooms. Within the last decade, the main hotel has undergone ongoing upgrades as part of its “Castle Makeover” program to ensure comfort, service and spaciousness meet modern day expectations.
The centerpiece of the renovation is the newly conceived ECHO Oceanfront Restaurant & Bar serving up coastal classics such as the Shrimp & Grits and Smoked Duck. For Breakfast, the Georgia Omelette or Georgia Farmer’s Bowl (Georgia sausage, smoked bacon, southern biscuit, smothered with homemade sausage gravy) will certainly hold you over before lunch. The wine cabinet at ECHO tends to be a main attraction for window shoppers looking to please their palate with local grapes. Views of the Atlantic come standard with all seating in ECHO. Poolside service is also at your beck and call. The rooms in the main hotel are everything you’d expect from a historic property -- cozy, quiet, clean and quaint. Vintage black and white photographs of scenes from the resort’s storied past hang from the walls reminding guests they too have ultimately become part of the resort’s history. Private balconies overlook the 3- pool spread while the impressive Atlantic Ocean serves as your everyday backdrop. There are a variety of room The Smoked Duck at ECHO Oceanfront Restaurant Bar & Grill
You can't go wrong with the Georgia Omelette for breakfest
The Oceanfront ECHO Restaurant Bar & Grill 18
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
Guests cherish the easy accessibility to the beach
The views from your room will never become boring options (price points) and villas which can accompany large group or family stays. “Where else can you get this around here?”, asks General Manager Bud St. Pierre, who moved his family to the Island 15-plus years ago. “Look at that sandbar out there. The dolphins swim right up to our guests and regularly interact with them. People come here for the simpleness of the lifestyle and natural surroundings. Maybe just to do nothing at all and kick back on our beach with a book.” St. Simons Island, roughly the size of Manhattan (11 ½ miles) with one-tenth of the population (12,800) is quite conducive to laid-back lifestyle. Low country life plays out along that main baseline during your stay – nice and easy does it. There is no sense of urgency or being in a rush to do anything important. Flipflops, beach sandals and bikes are often the preferred mode of transportation. With not much in the way of traffic or stop lights, driving on the island through the live oaks dripping with Spanish moss is more like a soothing carriage ride through the country. To get up close Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
and witness some of the Island’s golden treasures from the Civil War era, St. Simons Trolley Tours will enlighten you on the finer points of how and why these grounds are sacred and strategic to the region. With rivers, creeks and streams weaving through the salt marshes from the
ocean, the fishing on St. Simon’s has long been rumored to be plentiful and exotic. “The Georgia coast is steward of 1/3 of all the marshlands of the east coast therefore it is host to the largest populations of coastal fish and wildlife,” said Cap Fendig, a fourth generation waterfront expert who owns and operates The Fendig Company, which handles all kinds of seafaring activities including dolphin tours. (www.capfendig.com). The fishing here is rather intimate as Fendig, a 35-year Iicensed US Coast Guard Marine Captain explains: “Most people’s perception is a standard fishing charter on the back of a large sportfisherman or party fishing boat offshore,” said Fendig. “It is nothing like that at all. All of our fishing either inshore, nearshore (up to 3 miles) is maximum distance needed to catch a lot of fish. And because we are migratory passage coast, we have different fish populating our area every 2.5 months a year. Inshore the target species are sea trout, redfish, and flounder. Nearshore catches consist of ‘bull’ red fish, 13 species of shark, tarpon, cobia, and whiting
The rooms at The King & The Prince are everything you'd expect 19
The par 3 15th hole measures 154 yards from the back tees pass through here.” Maybe this is why up to 12 PGA golfing pros call the Island home? Touring professionals have long enjoyed recreational fishing to get away from the rigors of professional golf. Paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing, jet-skiing and horseback riding are other popular daytime activities here. Two well-groomed Hartru tennis courts are on the grounds of the resort providing guests with a more athletic option if you’re interested in getting your heart rate up before you hit the beach. And what would a bona-fide resort experience be without a highly touted golf course? A member of the Historic Georgia Golf Trail, The King & Prince Golf Course is a peaceful 15 minute drive from the resort where shuttle services are offered. Designed by architect Joe Lee in 1989, the course sits on the northern end of the island of what was once the Hampton Plantation. Host of numerous Georgia State Golf Association and Georgia Golf Course Superintendent Association events and tournaments, the landscape is a wonderful combination of inland and coastal holes that keep you intrigued. “It is very unique,” said Head Superintendent Chuck Moore, who was recently named the 2017 GCSA (Golf Course Superintendents Association) of The Year. “The front nine is a very beautiful piece of property winding its way through great big oaks and pine trees. The back nine is probably what the course is mainly known for. Starting on Hole 11 it opens up to spectacu20
lar views of the marsh. Holes 12 -15 are actually separate hammocks in the marsh. Along with the beauty of the property, it has an abundance of wildlife to view. We have bald eagles, deer, alligators, rabbits, and many other animals that make their home here.” As Moore alludes to, the featured highlight of the your round will not be one signature hole, but rather a cluster of four holes (12-15) on its very own island connected by 800 ft. of elevated bridges over salt marshes that Lee pulled off with considerable risk. Much like the hotel, the course also received a major facelift in 2009, when they commissioned Billy Fuller to restore Lee’s original intent before technology took effect. All bunkers were reshaped, some
moved, and tees were added. The entire canvas was re-grassed with Celebration Bermuda as Mini-Verde Ultra Dwarf Bermuda was installed on the greens. The course is one of two golfing options on the Island that are accessible to the public – the other being Sea Palms Resort & Conference Center which sports 27 holes of chase-and-find that you will pass on Frederica Road on your way to the K & P Golf Club. It is all here: the sights, sounds and solitude that signify the simple life. Whether you are the King, Prince, or just a common man with character and class, make sure to take your queen to The King & The Prince Beach & Golf Resort on St. Simons Island to forge some golden moments of your own.
Four holes on the back nine (12-15) are on its own island Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
By Fred Seely
freddy's fairway thoughts
Charlie Rymer didn’t leave his profession behind when he gained prominence by being one of The Golf Channel’s top analysts. He recently was elected vice president of the PGA’s North Florida Section and will move to the top spot in two years. How did Rymer get into TV? Because of Gary McCord’s urging, he says. “I wasn’t making it on Tour and didn’t know what to do with my future. McCord said, ‘Why don’t you do TV? You’re an idiot; you qualify for TV.’” • A guy to watch is Tom Dunton (“Who?,” you say) because he apparently succeeds at almost anything he does. He developed the new Dallas course that will host this year’s AT&T Byron Nelson Classic, owns a 33-story office building in downtown Dallas, is getting ready to buy the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League and is rolling in dough after the sale of his subprime auto lending business for $715 million, plus his early investment in TopGolf. He’s also a good player (6.1 index) and has big-league pals (his Trinity Forest GC members include Jordan Speith, Roger Staubach and Tony Romo.) • There are numerous competitions for the golf dollar and one that will intensify this year is between tournament management systems. BlueGolf has been the biggie but Golf Genius now is in cahoots with the USGA and is improving its product. BlueGolf (yes, it’s one word with a capital G) has almost every PGA Section and many associations, while Golf Genius has built its business through golf clubs. Expect each to go after the other’s niche. • The Northeast Florida golf community will honor ex-First Tee boss Joe Barrow with its Deane Beman Award at its annual banquet on Feb. 28. Venue is the World Golf Hall of Fame’s
Shell Hall and it will sell out quickly as only 200 seats are available. • The Florida State GA continues to increase its services. The 2018 schedule includes five new events, including a twoperson alternate shot at Orlando’s Grand Cypress. The FSGA also is expanding its borders, if just a little. No longer will the Women’s Open and the men’s Senior Open be for Floridians only. Outsiders will pay a higher entry fee. • Ex-PGA Tour player Jeff Klauk annually has a benefit to help cure epilepsy (the disease knocked him off the Tour) and he has to schedule it in December to attract some Tour players. It’s so popular that they need a double shotgun and they solved the daylight problem by setting up St. Augustine’s Palencia Club with nine par 4s and nine par 3s. • New man at one of golf’s highest-profile positions, general manager at TPC Sawgrass: Derek Sprague is now on the job. He comes from Liberty National, is a former PGA of America president, and succeeds high-profile Bill Hughes, who moves upward in the PGA Tour hierarchy. • Back in Northeast Florida: David Duval. He’s in Atlantic Beach (three communities north of the PGA Tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach) and seems to be progressing quite nicely with The Golf Channel. Neighbors include Tour players Sam Saunders, Jonas Blixt and Matt Every. • Remember Duke Butler III, who built up the Houston Open and moved into a big job at the PGA Tour? He’s now retired but can’t keep still, and he’s active with the Jacksonville Area Golf Association. His newest venture: a Family Tournament at the World Golf Village to benefit JAGA’s outstanding scholarship program. • Hardest working man in Gainesville, Fla. must be Jeff Cardozo. The ex-UF pitcher now runs the city-owned Ironwood GC and he’s also coaching his three kids, does the public address at the university’s arena and is the radio analyst on for UF baseball games. • Every area has its entry-level (or, it should have) golf course and Northeast Florida’s is a smallish layout that’s now called River Bend Golf Links. It’s in Green Cove Springs, one of the many towns who saw interstate highways shove them far from the mainstream. Built in middle of the last century as part of a development by Reynolds Metal (it’s about the only thing left of the development,) the golf course now is overseen by the local port and has been leased to a succession of folks, lately some politicians who were going to buy it in hopes of manipulating a major highway through the property and selling it for an inflated price. The highway now will go elsewhere, or maybe not be built, so the current operator is a PGA pro named Rhonda Ferguson, who has plenty of moxie and the contacts to maybe make it a go.
Charlie Rymer 22
Comments? I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org. Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
S a d d le br ook R e s o rt • p referred go lfers p ac kage
“We are proud of the work done on the golf courses, greens, and new Golf Training Center and Range ... come play and enjoy your stay!”
Renewed Golf Courses
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For Seasonal Package Pricing and Reservations Call 813-907-4401 Groups of 12 or More Call 813-907-4726
5700 Saddlebrook Way ◆ Wesley Chapel, FL 33543 Ph: 813.973.1111 ◆ Fax: 813.973.1312 ◆ saddlebrook.com
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Deb Bello Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Southampton NY
What is your favorite sport to play? Favorite to watch? My favorite sport is frisbee to play, boxing to watch on TV. I love any sport live.
Explain what a “cart girl” does in the equine world A cart girl is very different at Millpond Stables. I serve the needs of horses mostly and some people. I carry enough hay for 23 very hungry horses. That’s about 4 bails worth. I deliver lunch to each one in the barn and out around the property, it’s about 5 acres. Lots of riding. I also clean the stalls, fluff up the shavings, scrub water buckets and bathe horses. I help out with whatever might come up throughout the day.
If you weren’t working on at Millpond Stables, what would you be doing? I would love to be a Photographer for National Geographic.
What hobbies do you enjoy? My hobbies are horseback riding, the beach, reading, cooking and playing with my dogs.
Favorite comedian George Carlin
Favorite type of movie I like scary thrillers.
Favorite charity to support ASPCA
What type of music do you prefer? I like all kinds of music, but I’m a classic rock girl.
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
By Mike May
It's Worth The Journey
Palatka Golf Club #5
Palatka Golf Club #14
The Palatka Golf Club (1715 Moseley Avenue, Palatka, Florida) has the three keys to building and maintaining a healthy golf course: “reasonably priced” green fees, a course with “interesting holes,” and “a pleasant staff that loves golf as much as you do.” Playing well at the Palatka GC (palatkagolfclub.com) takes more mental discipline than muscular power. On paper, this golf course lacks overall length, but it’s no pushover. According to head golf professional Andrew Heartz, the great Scottish architect Donald Ross oversaw the design and construction of this course. In 1922, Ross chose the 28
course’s location. The course’s funding
then, annual dues were just $50.
was approved in late 1923. Construc-
The Palatka GC, one of the 53
tion started soon thereafter. This
golf courses on the Florida His-
course opened in January 1925. Back
toric Golf Trail, has been labeled as one of “the most historic public (golf) courses in Florida.” This par-70 layout has three sets of tees. From the tips, the course measures just under 5,900 yards. There is only one par four over 400 yards -- the 411-yard 18th hole. Every par five is less than 500 yards. The layout of the course is influenced by sandy ridges which are common parts of the local topography. Since this course sits on a sandhill, it never gets too wet. Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
“As the holes gently tumble over sandy ridges and wrap the tranquil woods of Ravine Gardens State Park, the experience reveals its character,” says Heartz. “This hidden jewel of Palatka is an experience you won’t want to miss.” Heartz’s comments are echoed by club superintendent Dave Pleier. “The course has many elevation changes and tilt to the fairways, leading you to small targets requiring precision shot making into these greens,” says Pleier. “Palatka gives you a nice feeling of comfort as the scenery around the course has a pleasant walk-in-the-park atmosphere. All skill levels can enjoy this type of oldfashioned golf facility. Those attributes are what make the Palatka Golf Club a success.” Keeping a public golf course like this in tip-top shape is no easy chore. “The golf business these days doesn’t have the financial resources we once had,” admits Pleier. “This leads to very creative turf management programs with a few people wearing many hats. The maintenance staff at the Palatka GC, although small, is very well
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
Palatka Golf Club 1935 adapted to accomplishing the needed tasks.”
include Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman,
Since Palatka’s growing season is year-
Fred Couples, David Toms, and John
round, you must anticipate the impact
Daly. One of the great sports figures in
of the weather on the golf course. “We
U.S. history -- Babe Ruth -- also played
try to do most pesticide applications on
at the Palatka GC, back in the day.
a preventive basis to stay ahead of what
One of this golf club’s annual
Mother Nature gives us,” adds Pleier.
tournaments – the annual Florida
“Planning is the most positive aspect to
Azalea Amateur -- is open to the
success, but with small budgets and staff,
general public and it represents a
you have to have foresight to make any
great reason to travel to Palatka. This
plan effective with on-the-go changes,
three-day tournament is held in mid
as they arise. This type of facility al-
March, an annual fixture since 1958.
lows me to use my 30 plus years as a golf course superintendent to the fullest.” A few of golf’s major champions have visited this course over the years. They
It’s now time to go play golf in Palatka. Call the pro shop (386329-0141) and book your tee time. It will be worth the journey.
Story and Photos by Greg Wise
Bucket List Complete...
What a thrill it was to walk the fairways of the The RitzCarlton Golf Club® Orlando, Grande Lakes and watch many of the golf heroes of my past, also know as the Legends of Golf. The PNC Father/Son Challenge is where it happens each year just West of Orlando. Imagine parking yourself in one location and seeing all the greats of the game walk right past you. This year’s Champions, Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. shooting a final round 60 (-12) on Sunday, following up Saturdays 59 (-13), sealed the victory with a 119 (-25) total.
Commenting on Team Cabrera’s win, Angel Cabrera said, ‘This has certainly been my best week of the year. Playing alongside legends like Nicklaus, Trevino, Faldo, Langer and so many others, as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.’ Eighteen-time Major winner, Jack Nicklaus, playing with his grandson for the first time in the event, Gary ‘GT’ Nicklaus, solidly struck a long putt on 18 and seemed to roll back the clock, holing out for a birdie on 18 to finish their round of 64 (-8) to finish in 15th at 132 (-12). Commenting on the final putt by GT on 18, Nicklaus said, ‘I wasn’t surprised it happened but I was pleasantly astonished.’ Nicklaus also continued, ‘We didn’t shoot a really low score this week but by gosh, we had a lot of fun.’ Going to have to expand my bucket for next year… because when 2018 comes around for the PNC Father/ Son, you will see me out there again. But, the question is… will I see you. Bring your son, daughter or grandchildren to this event and pass along the experience of the Legends of golf. 30
Daniel Trevino Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
Golf Central â€¢ Volume 18, Issue 7
Greg Norman, Sr.
Angel Cabrera, Sr.
Greg Norman, Jr.
Angel Cabrera, Jr.
Gary Nicklaus, Jr. 31
By Mike May
One of Boston’s Best
When you think about
playing golf in the greater Boston area, The Country Club in Brookline (1999 Ryder Cup venue) and the TPC Boston in Norton (a FedEx Cup playoff event site) immediately spring to mind. But, one of the best venues for golf in Boston is Granite Links. Located in Quincy, just southwest of ‘Beantown,’ Granite Links is a 27-hole, John Sanford-design that is one of the most scenic venues for golf in New England, as the view of the Boston skyline from Granite Links is an attention-getter. Granite Links is an inland links-style course which is built on top of two former actively mined quarries – Quincy Landfill and Milton Landfill. “This was a crazy project, in a positive way,” recalled Sanford. “It was a 13 to 14 year project.” When Sanford first looked at this
piece of property, he realized that he would need a vast amount of dirt for this concept to become a reality. Why? Because the mounds at the two landfills were so tall and steep that additional ‘earth’ was needed to level off the existing slopes. Thankfully, there was a source for the dirt – downtown Boston’s Big Dig project, where millions of cubic yards of dirt were being excavated from tunnel digging. Boston authorities needed a place to dump Boston’s downtown dirt. Granite Links stepped forward
and accepted the Big Dig’s residue. It was only a six-mile trip from the Big Dig to Granite Links. As the old saying goes, ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.’ “For nearly five years, we accepted, on average, roughly 800 dump truck loads a day of dirt for six days a week,” said Sanford. “This was a gargantuan project. It would not have happened if not for the Big Dig.” A true symbiotic relationship: The Big Dig and Granite Links needed each other.
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
“Ten million cubic yards of dirt were delivered to Granite Links. That’s 50 times what any golf course would normally need,” stated Sanford. “We would build the golf holes as we would receive the deliveries from the dump trucks.” Because of the size of this project and the amount of time it took to create this 27-hole venue, it left Sanford scratching his head, not sure if it would actually get finished. “There were times when I didn’t think it would get done,” admitted Sanford. The golf course has deep reservoirs and granite outcroppings that remind you of this property’s prior purpose. The water hazards are wide, deep, and need to be admired from a distance. The three nine-hole tracts are Granite (par 36), Quincy (par 35), and Milton (par 36). All three 18-hole combinations (Quincy to Milton, Milton to Granite, and Granite to Quincy) will provide you with a memorable day of golf and the desire to return for more. Each course has four sets of tees. For the avid, competitive golfer, the ‘combo’ tees, which fluctuate between the black and blue tees, are a wise choice. On Granite, the landing area for your opening tee shot is more spacious than it looks from the tee. At the 2nd, the drive is struck from a raised tee. It requires your upmost respect and concentration. At the Granite’s 9th, hit your tee shot from the black tees because the tee shot must carry a wide, deep, water reservoir. This tee shot is a fun carry on this short, uphill, right-to-left dogleg par four. On your approach to the Granite’s 9th green, be aware of the greenside water hazard -- a ‘liquid leftover’ from this property’s days as a working quarry.
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
On Quincy, the tee shots from all four tees at the downhill, par-three 2nd are dynamic visuals – great locations to track your ball flight on well-struck tee shots. On the 2nd, a vast bunker complex protects access to nearly every pin placement. Also, on Quincy, the view of the Boston harbor from the 5th green is eye-opening. The downhill tee shot at Quincy’s par-three 8th is a fun shot to follow in the air. On Milton, it open and closes like a lion. The 1st is a long par four which is 483 yards from the tips and nearly 400 yards from the red tees. The 9th is a long uphill par five which has a water carry off the tee and a bunker-filled fairway. A closing par is a brilliant finish on Milton. In keeping with the wonderful views from Granite Links, check out the nearby
Blue Hills as you play the 5th. Putting at the 6th can be an adventure as the green has three tiers. After completing play, enjoy what’s on the menu at the Tavern at Quarry Hills. The Tavern’s menu is diverse, delectable, and affordable. The 12-piece shrimp cocktail in fabulous, each of the macaroni & cheese dishes are delicious, the crème brulee is ‘to die for,’ and the Boston skyline view is unmatched. Soon after Granite Links opened its doors in 2003, Golf Digest named the course as a Top Ten Best New Course in the Country in 2004. In 2009/2010, Golf Digest placed Granite Links in its list of Top 100 Golf Courses in America. Those accolades were well deserved, which is why Granite Links is one of Boston’s best. www.granitelinksgolfclub.com
A Well-Deserved Honor
By Jay Golden, PGA
Stuart Leventhal Interlachen Country Club
Stuart Leventhal photo by Dennis James
Wouldn’t it be nice
to have a boss who places you in a position which matches your interests and skills? Additionally, was encouraging, complimentary and caring? And for what reason? To fulfill the goals of the organization. Enter Stuart Leventhal-CGCS, the Golf Course Superintendent at Interlachen Country Club for 33 years. According to Bryce Gibson, the Assistant Superintendent who has 17 years of experience including 6 with Stuart, “The average length of service by his staff is unprecedented in the golf business. There are seven or eight with over 10 years and six with over 20. Stuart is the most supportive and encouraging boss that anyone could ever have. With his number one goal making golf as enjoyable as possible for the players, his way of doing this is by placing employees in positions according to their strengths and by listening to the members.” Stuart rides around the course every day to make sure the daily assignments are carried out as well as getting feedback from the golfers. He is ‘ALWAYS IN’, sees the big picture and wants to hear their comments and concerns. One of his sayings to his staff is, “Do your best every day to prepare the course for the members and their guests.” Stuart has received multiple awards. Perhaps the most prestigious is the National Superintendent of the Year in 2005. His latest award, however, is close to his heart. He has hosted a tournament/fundraiser at Interlachen for 30 years, the “Florida Turfgrass Association Research Tournament.” This year, the name of this event will be permanently changed to the “STUART LEVENTHAL TURFGRASS RESEARCH TOURNAMENT.” This honor is rightly given to one of America’s most respected, dedicated and knowledgeable Golf Superintendents, STUART LEVENTHAL.
Jennifer Bryan - Executive Director, FGCSA, Bryce Gibson-Asst. Super Interlachen, Stuart Leventhal, CGCS - Super Interlachen, Bob Yount - former Ex. Director FTGA, Andy Jorgenson, CGCS - President FTGA, Joshua Kelley - President CFGCSA, Heather Russo - Ex. Director FTGA 34
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
Tee Time Florida, brought to you by the Salamander Golf Collection. PREMIERS APRIL 2018 ON FOX SPORTS SUN AND FOX SPORTS FLORIDA. For partnership opportunities contact Bob Bolton at 813-928-2887 or email@example.com.
Presenting the Salamander Golf Collection. Featuring nine of Florida’s top rated courses designed by golf’s most iconic architects including Nicklaus, Packard, Palmer and Watson. With numerous PGA Tours, Champions Tours and LPGA Tours, this is one collection that speaks for itself.
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Gil Hanse Delivers the Goods at
The closing hole at Streamsong Black is one of five par 5s
Streamsong Resort added a third golf
of rugged sandy terrain on a former phosphate mining site, the course
course to its already impressive line-
isn’t as intimidating as it may appear
up in late September when it raised
visually with wide landing zones off
the curtain on the highly anticipated
the tees. The native white sandy
BLACK golf course. Designed by Rio
waste areas framing the fairways
Olympic (2016) architect Gil Hanse and partner Jim Wagner, the BLACK
(Celebration Bermuda) are very fair No. 2 is a short uphill par 4 with a menacing green
course is hands down the hottest resort course in the country to punch a ticket on. A par 73 featuring five par 5s and tipping out at 7,331 yards with four sets of tees, it is unlike anything you’ve ever seen in Florida with not one palm tree on the property and one water hazard. A true links adventure that sweeps over 100 acres 36
The Punchbowl green at No. 9 is massive beauty Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
in terms of playability and finding errant drives for recovery. The green complexes are the largest and most undulating surfaces you might ever experience. The greens are roughly 3-4 times larger than an average green size of approximately 5,000 sq. ft. The total combined square footage of the surfaces is the equivalent to 11 acres. To sample size what you will encounter
No. 6 sports one of the most severe bunkers on the Black
on the course, it is recommended you ditch the range and warm-up on the “The Gauntlet” putting course behind the cutting edge “exoskeleton” clubhouse designed by Tampa-based Alberto Alfonso. Not only do the greens on the BLACK stimulate imagination, they force your
yet key to your round. The Punchbowl
nitely a get on the plane resort destina-
sense of creativity. You’ve definitely
green at No. 9 is the most unique “moon-
tion. With 16,000 acres at their finger-
accomplished something if you can get
like” surface you might ever negotiate.
tips, don’t be surprised if Streamsong
around out there with just a few three-
With now three courses, Stream-
breaks ground on a fourth course within
putts. The MiniVerde greens are firm,
song RED (ranked No. 10 You Can Play),
the next couple of years. Three might
fast and super fun to putt. Using the
Streamsong BLUE (No. 14) and now the
be a charm, but it’s also an odd number.
slopes to your advantage can be tricky
bold BLACK, Streamsong Resort is defi-
The cutting-edge "Exoskeleton" clubhouse Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
Golf Central â€¢ Volume 18, Issue 7
Golf Central â€¢ Volume 18, Issue 7
By Mike May
georgia golf central
South Georgia’s Trio of Dynamic State Park Golf Lodges If you are looking for a golf-themed ‘escape’ in south Georgia, then pack an overnight bag, grab your golf clubs, and head to one of three state parks in south Georgia: George T. Bagby State Park & Lodge (www.georgetbagbylodge.com), outside Fort Gaines; Little Ocmulgee State Lodge Park (www.littleocmulgeelodge.com), in McRae; and Lake Blackshear Resort and Golf Course (www.lakeblackshearresort.com), near Cordele. Each of the golf courses, run by Coral Hospitality, at these state parks are members of the Georgia Golf Trail. “These state park golf courses in south Georgia are truly some of the finest places to play golf in our state,” says Doug Hollandsworth, Founder, Georgia Golf Trail. “And, the state parks offer great alternative activities for families which include hiking, biking, fishing, water sports, and bird watching. Coral Hospitality is a valued partner for the Georgia Golf Trail.”
George T. Bagby has been labeled as “The Best Kept Secret in Southwest Georgia;” Little Ocmulgee, otherwise known as Little O, is the place to go for some ‘R & R;’ and Lake Blackshear has earned the title “Best Value in the South.” Bagby is the home of Meadow Links Golf Course (pro shop: 229-768-3714). When Meadow Links opened in 1998, Golf Digest ranked it as “the nation’s sixth best new affordable public course.” It remains one of the nation’s top most affordable public golf courses. Any golfer would enjoy playing Meadow Links daily. Here, the views from the 7th and 10th greens are worth ‘the price of admission.’ From 40
the 10th green, you can see neighboring Alabama to the west. Each day, when the sun sets in the west, the views are picture postcard-like. “Meadow Links Golf Club is just as it sounds -- a true links-like course with some fantastic elevation changes throughout the course,” says Brian Boeling, Coral Hospitality’s regional director of golf operations at Meadow
Links, Little Ocmulgee, and Lake Blackshear. “We have 18 incredible holes. You don’t find courses such as Meadow Links too often.” Bagby has two great housing options: 60 rooms and suites at the Lodge and five secluded lakeside cabins perched alongside Lake Walter F. George. For all meals, the Pilot House Grille, located on-site, is a convenient, affordable and tasty option. The fried chicken and catfish (either blackened or fried) are as good as any restaurant in the Southeast – seriously. Little ‘O’ has a first-class golf course -- the Wallace Adams Golf Course (pro shop: 229-868-7474). This course will remind you of what the nearby Augusta National Golf Club looks like. And, it’s true. Wallace Adams is dominated by loblolly pines which divide many of the fairways from one another. As for the greens, they are perfect, pure, and true. Unlike Augusta National, the Wallace Adams GC is accessible and open to the public 12 months a year. “The Wallace Adams Golf Club is one of the hidden gems of the South and is also referred to as Augusta National’s cousin,” says Boeling. “The classic course is surrounded by loblolly pines, willows, and magnolias in a gracious and secluded setting.
The greens are smooth and fast.” The rooms at the Little Ocmulgee State Lodge are clean, spacious, comfortable, affordable, and the A/C cranks out the cold air. The food and views from the Fairway Grill are wonderful. I highly recommend the sweet iced tea. The golf course at Lake Blackshear is the Georgia Veterans Memorial Golf Course, aka Georgia Vets. Georgia Vets (pro shop: 800-459-1230) is listed on Golf Digest’s list of four star-rated courses. This par-72 layout has four sets of tees, 130 sand traps, and at least one grey fox! “We spent a lot of time in recent years transforming this course into what it was intended to be,” says Boeling. “We have upgraded our bunkers. Our regulars like our commitment to excellence.” Within the last year, Lake Blackshear Resort has experienced a series of major upgrades to the sleeping rooms. They are truly first-class and luxurious places to ‘hang your hat.’ A good night’s sleep is guaranteed. To quench your thirst and satisfy any hunger pangs at Blackshear,
the Cypress Grill will meet every nutritional and dietary demand, beginning each day with a classic southern breakfast buffet. You won’t go hungry at Blackshear. While these state park golf course are somewhat ‘off the beaten path,’ they are destinations which deserve to be on your list of places to stay and play golf getaways. And, once you go, you’ll always want to come back and play again……and again. Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
Reynolds Lake Oconee
Welcome to the Georgia Golf Trail Stone Mountain Golf Club
The Georgia Golf Trail has something no other state has to offer anywhere in the country, 23 top resorts that have first class golf and accommodations second to none. From the mountains to the coast, come play golf where legendary golfer Bobby Jones lived and helped build a reputation of golf history that you won’t find anywhere.along the Georgia Golf Trail.
• Arrowhead Pointe • Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa • Brazell’s Creek • Callaway Gardens • Chateau Elan • Cuscowilla on Lake Oconee • Harbor Club on Lake Oconee • Highland Walk • Innsbruck Golf Club • Jekyll Island Georgia • Lake Blackshear • Lanier Islands – Legacy Golf Club • Little Ocmulgee • Meadow Links • Old Toccoa Farm • Reynolds Lake Oconee • Sea Island • Sea Palms Resort & Conference Center • Stone Creek Golf • Stone Mountain Golf Club • The Creek • The Lakes • The Club at Savannah Harbor • The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort
Learn more about where to gofor and what Package to see on Quote Lake Oconee by visiting www.Facebook.com/LakeOconeeTracy Call Today 770-266-0331 a Golf | Check us out online at georgiagolfandtravel.com
carolinas golf central
By David Theoret –– The Golfin' Guy, LLC
Myrtle Beach at Its Best!
Hole #11 Bunker
True Blue is one of those courses that, after you get a taste of it, you just want more. The course is one of only a handful of Mike Stranz courses; in fact, there are two here, Caledonia Golf and Fish Club being the other. True Blue is built on the site of a once thriving indigo and rice plantation. Stranz was more than a golf course 42
architect, he was a golf course artist. His courses seem to blend in perfectly with the natural surroundings. True Blue seems to rise out of the ground like a Phoenix rising from the ashes; it’s also one of the most creative golf courses you will ever play. Stranz’ creativity in design requires creativity in your shot making as you make your way around a course that has incor-
porated salt marshes, wetlands and maritime forests of twisting live oaks and pine trees into the layout creating memories that are one of a kind. True Blue Golf Club was Mike Strantz’s fourth signature golf course, and opened to rave reviews in February 1998. Caledonia opened in 1994 and shortly after True Blue opened, Stranz was named “Architect of the Year” by Golf World. The course is not without its share of notoriety, being ranked 77th on Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Public Courses in America list and 6th best public course in South Carolina. Golf Digest has also seen fit to rank True Blue the 29th best course in South Carolina (8th among public courses) and gave it 4 ½ stars for “Places to Play”. But this course is not just for the guys; Golf for Women Magazine recognized True Blue as one of the country’s Top 100 Courses for Women. The course is an absolute must-play for any golfer visiting Myrtle Beach. Sand is a legitimate concern at True Blue as it figures into every hole on the course, and some of it will penalize you severely. Technically, there are no bunkers; every grain of sand out here is considered a waste area. It’s packed down in many areas so, unless you’re adept at hitting off your kitchen table, it can be a little tricky. Feel free to ground away, take some practice swings, even drive the cart through it; whatever you have to do to get the ball on the green. Because that’s when the fun starts! Most golfers have never experienced greens like this before in their lives. They are some of the most unique sizes and shapes around. And, unlike designers who like to bury elephants in their greens, Stranz relies on lengthy angular greens - many slanting from back to front - putting an emphasis on slope and speed for longer putts. True Blue offers a set of tees to fit everyone’s game. When in doubt, play the shorter set, you’ll have more fun. Bit off more than you can chew out here and you could be in for a long day. The Back/Gold Tees measure 7,126 yards with a course rating of 74.5 and a 138 slope. Most golfers will find that the White Tees (6,375 yards/71.1/132) will give them all the golf they can handle and still leave with a little dignity. Of course, that part depends on how you fare on Number 18, more Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
on that in a minute. Seniors typically play from the Black Tees (5,736/68.2/123) while ladies will enjoy themselves from the Green Tees (4,995/69.3/125). Last Word: True Blue certainly lives up to its reputation as one of the best golf courses in South Carolina. The late Mike Stranz sure did himself proud. Other than the par 3s, most of the holes are doglegs, some of which are created by the presence of the waste bunkers. This places an emphasis on distance and direction control. Spend too time in the waste bunkers and you’ll wish you went to the beach. A lot of the rough is
cut just slightly longer than the fairway which tends to let the ball roll more, which can be both good and bad. Many of the fairways are framed by waste bunkers, which adds to the natural beauty of the course. As a whole, the course is challenging without being overly taxing. It will make you play Hole #18 Clubhouse every club in your bag, and play them Hole #1 Green well. Also, there are some pretty significant elevation changes (+/- a club or two) which is unique for this part of the state True Blue has some pretty impressive practice facilities too. Range balls are included with your greens fees and it’s highly advised that you hit all the balls they give you. There are a number of targets at varying distances so you can hit every club in your bag. Be sure to practice your bunker play; if you can make it around this
course without having to play out of the sand, you’ve accomplished something! Inside the clubhouse you will find a pro shop packed with all kinds of logoed gear from top apparel companies and some new up and comers. The True Blue Grillroom serve up all of you favorite post-golf libations as well as some authentic Lowcountry food. Breakfast is served from 7 am – 10:30 AM and lunch is available from 11 am – 3 pm. True Blue is a proud member of the Waccamaw Golf Trail. For more information or to book your next round visit www.waccamawgolftrail.com.
Kenny Perry and Trevor Immelman have made Transitions® lenses part of their game.
On the PGA TOUR®, vision is a golfer’s most important equipment. Transitions lenses adapt to changing light to help golfers see more comfortably in all light conditions and help protect eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Visit your local Vision Source doctor, Dr. James Podschun, located at 2828 Casa Aloma Way, Suite 400 in Winter Park, FL 32792, to ask which Transitions lenses are right for you. 407-671-0960
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Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
By Mike May
carolinas golf central
Golfers Have a Crush on the Love Course at While Davis Love III will always be remembered for winning the 1996 PGA Championship and for being the winning captain of the 2016 Ryder Cup, he deserves as many accolades for the work he has done as a golf course architect at The Love Course at the Barefoot Resort & Golf Club (4980 Barefoot Resort, Bridge Road, North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; 843390-3200). Of the many fine courses in the Myrtle Beach area, The Love Course deserves to be ranked among the best. In fact, The Love Course (opened in April 2000) may be one of Love’s finest golf course designs.
According to Mike Ross, the director of golf at The Love Course at Barefoot (barefootgolf.com), this golf course was Love’s first ‘big-budget’ design and “he was intent on making a statement showcasing his ability in golf course design.” Love succeeded. The characteristics of this course are a reflection of what Love likes as a player: generous fairways and wide landing areas. “It is a solid course from start to finish,” continues Ross. “Every hole is well thought out -- combining playability and challenge. The fairways are generous, but many of the green complexes
are crowned with collection areas that catch a lot of wayward shots creating difficult up-and-down opportunities.” Ross says the Love Course is not visually intimidating “It’s visually appealing,” adds Ross. “The course has a nice flow to it and many of our members and customers really enjoy the unique Low Country farmhouse ruins that are the centerpiece between holes 4, 5, 6 and 7.” The Love Course tips the scales at just over 7,000 yards so if you want to play from where the pros play (Platinum tees), you are more than welcome. While the Black tees offer you a big discount on the distance, the course will probably play more than 6,500 yards because of changes in terrain and the ever-present breeze off the nearby Atlantic Ocean. The most popular distances are the White tees (just under 6,100 yards), Green tees (just over 5,600 yards), and Gold tees (around 5,300 yards). The course begins with a rather benign right-to-left par four which only measures 381 yards from the tips. An elevated green is what helps raise the degree of difficulty on this short par
Love Course 44
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Love Course Hole #5 four. On holes 4-7, either the green or the teebox are influenced by the remnants of the foundation of a Low Country farmhouse. While the relics of this home are now covered in vegetation, the reality is that these relics were placed there by Love when the course was built. While designing this course, Love
used split fairways to force golfers to make a decision as to how to attack the hole with the tee shot. Despite Myrtle Beach being just a few feet above sea level, there are many of elevation changes on the Love Course. In golf, it’s one thing to have a course designed by a great archi-
tect, but it’s vital that the course be properly maintained. “We overseed our courses each fall so our guests are playing on green grass year-round,” explains Ross. “We use rye grass on the tees, fairways and approaches and poa trivialis on our putting surfaces. Each spring, we transition from the winter grasses to our typical Bermuda grass. We changed our greens from bent grass to Champion Bermuda in 2012 and we’ve been very happy with the performance and durability of the Champion in the summer months. We maintain a schedule of verti-cutting and top dressing throughout the summer to keep out putting surfaces in great shape. We aerify our greens in June and July using ½ inch tines and, again, as necessary throughout the year using ‘pencil tines’ which promotes air flow to the roots.” The golf course media critics have been some of the biggest fans of The Love Course. In 2005, Golf Digest ranked The Love Course as the #1 course in Myrtle Beach. In 2010, Golf. com ranked The Love Course as the #6 public golf course in South Carolina. In 2012, Golfweek ranked The Love Course #9 on the list of Top 15 Best You Can Play in South Carolina.
Love Course Ruins
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
florida golf central
The BEST Just Got Better Omni Orlando Resort
at ChampionsGate announces the completion of its multi-year, extensive $40 million expansion project, including an additional 100,000 square feet of expanded conference space and event lawn; a Grand Salon built specifically as an ideal weddings locale; the addition of the Sunset Lodge and Suites building with an all-new multiroom type product; 23,000 square feet of additional pool deck and recreational space and installation of Orlando’s only resort wave pool; enhancements on the resort’s two Greg Norman-designed golf courses, International Course and National Course; the installation of an 18-hole miniature putt-putt course; and redesign of Trevi’s Restaurant. The completion of this all-encompassing project signifies the beginning of a new era in Omni Orlando’s rich history. “This project at Omni Orlando has been materializing over the last two years and while we’ve seen the daily progression and construction milestones, it’s truly exciting to see the final culmination and offer all these comprehensive amenities to our guests,” said Robert Stanfield, managing director of Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate.
Golf Course overlooking the omini Resort
Of significance, Omni Orlando Resort added 100,000 square feet of indoor/ outdoor meeting and event space to its Osceola Conference Center, bringing the resort’s total meeting space to 248,000 square feet. In a nod to Osceola County heritage, the Osceola Conference Center space features six flexible Trevi's Restaurant Terrace
breakout rooms named Poinciana, Seminole, Heritage Park, Partin, Lanier and Allendale, all featuring a sleek fresh design. The resort’s ninth restaurant, Market Place, is located in the new addition of the Osceola Conference Center and offers guest options from fresh brewed specialty coffees, old world, house-baked breakfast fare, local craft beers, draft wines and Provencal cuisine including, Steak Frites and Quiche Lorraine. Market Place is dedicated to unique and artisan products, healthy options and chef inspired dishes. The Grand Salon Ballroom has been designed particularly for destination weddings and special events. Allowing for seamless event flow from start to finish, the ballroom features a new porté cochere for private arrivals, an expansive new ballroom for a special ceremony or gala, and a charming terrace with a fireplace, promenade, patio space, event gardens and grand lawn for the ideal cocktail hour or reception. Ballroom accents include an elaborate, decorative tray ceiling, a dramatic and modern, crystal chandelier and Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
Sunset Lodge King Room
of tiered deck space and seating, 16 new private pool-side cabanas, 400 additional lounge chairs and expansion of the kid’s pool area and water slides. Additionally, the luxury waterscape playground features Orlando’s only resort wave pool. Finally, following a two-year rejuvenation project to the two championship Greg Norman-designed courses, the International and National, golfers can hone in on their putting skills on newly restored greens. Marking its first enhancements on both courses since opening in 2000, the projects included the leveling of all par-3 tees, the complete reconstruction of 36 greens and all green-side bunker complexes to Wave Pool
floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the outdoor terrace. In addition, a private bride’s suite – complete with hair and makeup stations – as well as a masculine groom’s suite with flat screen televisions and a full bar, complement the Grand Salon’s harmonious bridal destination setting. New accommodations in the Sunset Lodge and Suites feature 93 balcony rooms, 19 rooms with double queen beds and 50 studio suites with double queen beds and kitchenettes. This brings the resort’s total room count to an impressive 862 guest rooms, suites and two- and three-bedroom luxury villas. Expanding the resort’s already impressive 15-acre recreational area, Omni Orlando Resort unveiled in May 2017 the addition of 23,000 square feet Wedding Lawn
original look and feel, and sprigging of Champions Bermuda on all greens. The National Course enhancement included sprigging of Champions Bermuda, bunker renovations and restoration of greens back to original size and feel. Open and ready for play, the courses boast more consistent greens, faster conditions, and greater tolerance to weather and high traffic, which will eliminate future over seeding and provide exceptional quality and playing conditions for years to come. An upscale, yet relaxed golf resort and spa, Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate reflects understanding elegance, sensible luxury and natural beauty. For more information on Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, call (407) 390-6664 and visit www.omnihotels. com/hotels/orlando-championsgate. Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
What is Sunniland? Sunniland
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.
Custom Blended Fertilizers Take control with Sunniland’s uni-
form granular custom blended fertilizer. These blends use premium nitrogen and micro-nutrients to out-perform the competition. Pesticides are disbursed evenly as each granule of fertilizer is coated with the best type of pesticide for the job.
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!
Story and Photos By Greg Wise
Top Entertainment… Top Quality…Topgolf – Jacksonville! If you have never been to Topgolf, you have got to plan the time to go. You will have a blast! A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to experience Topgolf for the very first time in Jacksonville, Florida. Just off I-295 on the Beach side of Jacksonville. It’s really about golf… to some degree! There are golf clubs. There are golf balls. There is green grass… okay, a “Lot” of Astro-Turf, so it does somewhat qualify for living the “Turf Life.” But more than the clubs, balls, and green grass, “Topgolf has People.” When I say people, I am talking about the staff. The quality of the staff members (Associates) is amazing. I didn’t show up with a sign on that said… “Hey look at me, I’m with the media… so, be nice to me,” but, everyone we met was excited about having us there. Doing research for this article I found the “Core Values” of Topgolf.
Joshua Zenner, Director of Operations Joshua Zenner, Director of Operations in Jacksonville, shared the fact, they looked for outgoing personalities to work at every Topgolf location. He expanded the conversation that the goal of Topgolf is to introduce the world to golf in the environment of quality entertainment for the entire family. “We show Millennials what golf is all about, and although some will never step on
a golf course, others take the next step and attempt Green Grass golf,” Joshua explained. They also have Certified Instructors to provide training out of their facility. Imagine setting is a comfortable sofa, watching golf balls fly… take another sip of a cool one… and back with hitting balls. I truly love the sense of humor… I found a sign in the lobby area, that said “We offer a variety of classes for all ages and skill levels. Slices, hooks and whiffs welcome.” Although there are many different games to play at Topgolf, the main game at Topgolf is a lot like playing darts with a golf ball. Hit a target and get points. We were at Topgolf on New Year’s Eve day and while they were prepping for a party that evening. After my experience at Topgolf, closing out 2017. I know where I will be, closing out 2018. See ya at Topgolf!
104 Bays that accommodate 6 people per bay
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
Steve Stuber, makes the perfect swing… HA HA HA… No points though… good shot!
Great food choices and the quality is outstanding! Xandria, Beverly and Greg Wise and Amanda, our Event Ambassadors
Topgolf Core Values Fun –
Topgolf exists to entertain our Guests!
One Team –
Topgolf Associates united and are driven by a shared Mission
“Good enough” is not in our vocabulary.
Edgy Spirit –
We are Trendsetters. We are BOLD and BRAVE.
We look out for the safety and wellbeing of our Topgolf family, our Guess and our communities.
Like playing darts with Golf Balls
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
Turf Life is much more than a hip lifestyle brand. Turf Life is an awareness concept that brings the consumers and caretakers of the vast Turf Life industry together. Whether its golf, football, baseball, equestrian or lacrosse, the competitive surfaces we play on are often overlooked and underappreciated. Sporting Turf Life products is instant recognition that you live the “Turf Life” while also supporting the Turf Life professionals and agronomists who maintain it. To show your pride: www.turflife.club
PerryGolf, a leading provider of golf tours and cruises to dozens of the world’s most memorable destinations, has announced the redesign of its website, www.PerryGolf.com, and its new QUICK QUOTES℠ online trip calculator. To encourage new visitors to the site, the international golf travel company is holding a sweepstakes to give away a pair of $10,000 golf vacations. QUICK QUOTES℠ is the industry’s only true online trip calculator. The new website features dozens of PerryGolf’s most popular custom tours. Each itinerary has been pre-configured needing only your group size and travel dates to produce an instantaneous quotation. “Virtually everyone considering a custom tour like ours will begin by researching their options online. We did a complete redesign with that visitor in mind who particularly appreciates being able to get a price before they engage a sales agent.” said PerryGolf co-founder Gordon Dalgleish. “It’s quick. It’s simple. Visitors to our new site will be impressed.” Until February 28, 2018, visitors who generate a QUICK QUOTE℠ will automatically be entered in the sweepstakes for a $10,000 golf trip to any of the eleven destinations where the company offers Custom Tours. A second “$10,000 Tour for Two” sweepstakes will follow the first. PerryGolf was founded in 1984 by two Scottish brothers, Colin and Gordon Dalgleish; and is widely known today as one of the leading providers of golf vacations to The Old Course at St Andrews Links. Those interested in international golf travel are encouraged to visit www.PerryGolf.com.
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
Knuth Golf will introduce breakthrough technology in its award-winning High Heat family of metalwoods at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando when it launches High Heat 257+. High Heat has taken the golf industry by storm since entering the market in 2015 with a simple but crucial premise – design clubs specifically for amateur swings and performance needs. The High Heat driver, fairway woods and hybrids, featuring lower and deeper center of gravity, have all been named in numerous media “best products lists.” Now, with 257+, High Heat again beats the major brands to the punch. The new technology results from a USGA rules change two years ago, and was believed to be impossible to achieve, reflected by the fact that no brand has accomplished it during that span, and the highest ball speed has always been in the center of the face. But designer Dean Knuth saw the possibilities, and made it happen. The USGA changed its 18-year CT Rule (Characteristic Time—trampoline effect) that regulates the amount of time that a ball stays on the face of the club in microseconds, which controls how “hot” a club face can be. With this change the USGA permitted a golf face to be much hotter with a CT above 257 and up to 275, but only in the large toe and heel areas. Knuth figured out a way to incorporate the now-conforming extra spring effect into the toe and heel of the already successful and popular line of High Heat metalwoods. The end result with High Heat’s new technology is that more ball speed is created on toe or heel hits. And tests have shown that players are gaining 20 yards or more on toe and heel hits. Visit www.knuthgolf.com.
Zero Friction, widely known for its one-size compression fit gloves and the DistancePro™ GPS Glove, has announced the launch of two new products at the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show. “Zero Friction continues to create high quality, cuttingedge, performance products,” said John Iacono, Zero Friction. “I am pleased to announce that at this year’s show we will be introducing the new Spectra series of matte finish golf balls and the Cabretta Elite golf glove.” The Spectra line golf ball is a high quality 2-piece distance ball finished in 6 matte colors: White, Lime, Red, Lemon, Orange and Fuchsia. The large, super-fast core provides explosive distance, high launch and longer roll off the tee. The Cabretta Elite golf glove is an upgrade to the original Cabretta glove released three years ago. As with all the Zero Friction gloves, the new Cabretta Elite molds with your hand for a guaranteed fit. The Cabretta leather provides a solid grip in wet or humid weather and works with smart phone & touch screen devices. The reinforced lycra throughout fingers, back of hand and palm allow for maximum strength, durability, and enhanced breathability. The men’s glove is available in seven colors (Red, White, Blue, Green, Black, Purple and Gray) and the ladies’ glove is available in five colors (Lavender, Pink, White, Turquoise and Black). Attendees at the PGA Merchandise Show are encouraged to visit Booth No. 2073 to try the new products.
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
orth florida PGA north florida PGA north florida PGA north florida PGA north
By Steve Morris
North Florida Section Elects New Officers Our 38thÂ Annual Meeting was one of the largest ever! Over 300 Members and guests were in attendance! PGA of America President Paul Levy was in the house too! It was a great day of camaraderie and learning! It was also an election year. Kevin Paschall, Serenoa and Legacy Clubs was elected our new NFPGA Secretary. John Hughes, John Hughes Golf moved up to President. Charlie Rymer, The Golf Channel moved up to Vice President. Clint Avret, Timuquana CC remains our Tournament Chair. Thank you to our other candidates Brendon Elliott and Mackenzie Mack for their passion to serve! Our new Executive Director Steve McMillen, PGA was formally introduced
Annual Meeting Group 2017 and laid out a great plan and inspira-
also recognized our National Award
tion for our future! We are all in good
Winners Brendon Elliott and David
Leadbetter. All of our Section Partners
A special tribute was made to M.G. Orender as a PGA Legend recipient. We
were recognized and many had displays in the back of the room.
PGA of America President Paul Levy administers oath of office to John Hughes, Charlie Rymer, Kevin Paschall and Clint Avret 54
Golf Central â€˘ Volume 18, Issue 7
Great for sports themed restaurants, clubhouses or your personal man cave or she shed!
outh orth florida PGA north south florida florida PGA PGA north southflorida floridaPGA PGAnorth southflorida floridaPGA PGAnorth south
Mark Mielke Named Senior Player of the Year Mark Mielke, PGA Life Member, has been named the 2017 South Florida PGA Senior Player of the Year. Mielke’s outstanding performance on the course this season landed him at the top of the Senior Player of the Year point standings, earning 1,282.75 total points. This will be his first Senior Player of the Year Award in the South Florida PGA. Mielke finished in the top-10 in the South Florida Senior Open (T-5), the Florida Senior Open (T-5) and the SFPGA Senior Section Professional Championship (T-7), but his victory at the Naples Beach Club Senior Open in October helped cap off an impressive 2017 season. Mark also finished T-4 at the 29th Senior PGA Professional Championship held at Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. In addition to his individual accomplishments, Mielke was on the winning teams for both the annual Challenge Cup and Senior Challenge Cup matches, having finished with an impressive 6-1-0 record during the two events. As a result of winning this year’s Senior Player of the Year, Mark has earned a spot in the 2018 Event Qualifier at the Boca Raton Regional Hospital Championship or Chubb Classic, events on PGA TOUR Champions.
Celebrating Veterans Day with PGA HOPE “Fun, comradery, overwhelming, and exciting” are all words used by teachers and participants alike to describe their time in the South Florida PGA Foundation HOPE program. Helping Our Patriots Everywhere is a six-week program for veterans to be taught by local PGA Professionals as a means of therapeutic rehabilitation. Getting them out of their home and on to the golf course to learn a lifetime sport serves as an excellent opportunity for patriots to assimilate back into their community. With Veteran’s Day just around the corner, it’s an exciting time for the PGA to deem November 11, 2017 as their inaugural- Day of HOPE. Celebrating patriots and raising awareness and support for the PGA HOPE program as it continues to grow serves as the purpose for the day. And in the South Florida PGA Section there 56
Mark Mielke is reason to celebrate our veterans and their growing love for the game of golf. Over the last six weeks a group of ten veterans at The First Tee of Miami have been learning various aspects of the lifetime sport. Some obvious skills acquired include putting, chipping and driving the ball. However, many veterans were not expecting to learn a
new way of life. Army veteran Roger Algeciaras, who now requires assistance for walking and standing due to his multiple sclerosis, described himself to be playing golf all the time while living on different military bases. “Now that I have M.S., it’s more difficult for me than before, but I’m dealing with it.” Algeciaras explained from his perch on
PGA Foundation HOPE Veterans Day Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
Team Golf 2017 a ParaGolfer. This all-terrain wheelchair raises its user to a standing position allowing a golf swing without using the lower half of their body. Allowed on all course surfaces, and one of two ParaGolfers The First Tee of Miami has available for disabled golfers, has allowed Algeciaras the opportunity to play golf again. He described PGA HOPE as “exciting and fun,” because he’s able to do things he used to again. “Because before I was in a hospital all day, and now I’m here I’m having fun with everybody I’m seeing veterans, I’m doing everything I used to do.” In addition to introducing veterans to the game, PGA HOPE’s purpose includes inspiring a desire to continue playing long after their final session. A great example of this is veteran Julian Newbauer, who participated in the spring of 2016. Newbauer now attends HOPE sessions as a “buddy” instead of a student, lending his previous knowledge and encouragement to current players. During the last session of the HOPE program, players are taken out on to the golf course and piece together all that they have learned in previous lessons. To fulfill the purpose of inspiring veterans to consider golf as a lifetime sport, Newbauer assists teaching professional Mike Simmons in recruiting recent graduates to continue playing once a week at the course they learned Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
the game. “Eventually we hope to have enough people so that we can have our own little tournaments together.” Newbauer laughed and added, “Friendly tournaments. Just to have fun playing together. Maybe even play some other PGA HOPE schools.” On November 8th, The First Tee of Miami chapter of HOPE graduated nine veterans from their fall season. This in addition to the 225 veterans who have participated in one of the eleven South Florida PGA Foundation HOPE programs that took place this year. One of the many instructors of the program, PGA Professional Sean Kicker described the program as “priceless.” Kicker elaborated, “To see the reaction of [participating veterans], and how much they appreciate the things we’re trying to do here with the PGA HOPE project, it’s just priceless.
Team Golf Season Comes to a Close The 2017 Team Golf season has come to a close with the year ending Fall Championship on Sunday, November 5 at Weston Hills Country Club. Fifteen facilities from across south Florida competed in the season ending Championship for a chance to win the overall title. It was a tight race, but after the nine-hole competition the PGA Golden Bears from PGA National Golf Club took home first place. Team coach Steve Cox, PGA and
his team of 8 junior golfers capped off a successful season by winning the Fall Championship. “SFPGA Team Golf is an integral dynamic of PGA National’s Junior Development Program. It’s capacity to grow the game is second to none. Congratulations to our PGA Golden Bears on their success and another championship season,” said Steven Cox, PGA, team coach of the PGA Golden Bears. In its fifth season, Team Golf continues to provide a fun and social atmosphere for young golfers to develop their skills at an entry tournament level. Since April, 66 total tournaments were conducted with six separate leagues and over 550 junior golfers participated this year. Over 50 PGA and LPGA Professionals, at both public and private golf facilities, helped form teams and served as the team coach at their facility. Teams are comprised of 6-12 players ages 6-14. Teams can be coed and the tournament format is a two-person scramble, playing 9-holes of stroke play. Leagues are separated by county and were located as far north as Indian River County, as far south as Miami-Dade County and as far west as Naples/Fort Myers. Thank you to all the PGA Professionals, host facilities and families who made Team Golf a success in 2017! 57
Legendary Resort Swings Open Its Doors for Year-Long Centennial Celebration in 2018
5,000 Acres, U.S. Senior Open, and Luxe Wilderness Experiences Await The Broadmoor is the longest-running Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond property on the planet. It’s also one of the few resort destinations in the U.S. people can actually name. And, it is turning 100 in 2018 with one heck of a year-long party. This is where the West begins – at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado Springs. The Broadmoor encompasses 5,000 acres, has its own canyon with mountain waterfalls, and, if that’s not enough, operates a super-exclusive retreat called Cloud Camp on top of Cheyenne Mountain at 9,200 feet. Guests can try their hands at ranch life at the Ranch at Emerald Valley or pick up a rod and reel at Fly Fishing Camp on the banks of the Tarryall River. There’s a zip line experience that is longer than a championship golf course, and there’s a championship
Front of the hotel, 1926
Aerial View of The Broadmoor 58
golf course where a guy named Jack Nicklaus won his first major title. The U.S. Senior Open will be played there in June, or guests may choose to tee up alongside legends like Hale Irwin and Davis Love III – experiences that can be arranged for those looking for something even more tailor-made to their tastes. The more traditional resort is more like a resort campus, with 784 rooms and suites, including the new Estate House, a 12,000-square-foot mansion originally built in the 1930s that exudes a Gatsby-esque elegance and style. On site, there are 10 restaurants – including Colorado’s only Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond Penrose Room – plus another 10 cafés and lounges; a Forbes Five Star spa; three golf courses; and award-winning tennis. Yes, The Broadmoor is historic, legendary, famous – but this is a resort where “vacationers make their own history” with family, friends, and even people they work with. It’s all about experiences, and The Broadmoor does Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
The Broadmoor, 1926 not disappoint with its broad array of choices. You can go bowling at the bar in Play; browse the resort’s impressive Western art collection (one of the largest in the world); throw tomahawks (outside); test your hand at falconry; attempt rock-climbing; and then there is the world-class fly fishing (a 10-year-old
girl holds the present record for biggest trout). Check out Broadmoor Outfitters for all the fun Western things you can do here. What was true in 1918 is still true today. Relaxed luxury mixed with Western hospitality is framed by scenic views and inspiring mountains. It is a destination
that can arguably be called “The Most Unique Resort in the World.” On June 29, 2018, The Broadmoor will officially turn 100 years old. There will be fireworks and then the opening round of the U.S. Senior Open. Early June will be a time for major celebrations as well, with a Centennial Weekend Celebration planned June 1-3. The weekend package, which is offered at $1,918 (double occupancy), includes such perks as a gala dinner, a welcome reception, and a Prohibition-era themed cocktail party. An occasion this momentous is too big to limit to one weekend, so during each month of 2018, the resort will commemorate a specific era in its history with special events, activities, and packages. While activities may change, and more added, a monthly rundown of what to do “Where The West Begins”is at www.broadmoor.com. Year-Long Broadmoor Centennial Package: Throughout 2018, there is a new Broadmoor Centennial Celebration Package. It includes Classic accommodations; a copy of “The Broadmoor Story” – a new pictorial history book; sparkling wine and a candy nut tin during the first night’s turndown service; $60 breakfast credit per night; and suites available at 25 percent off published rates. Starting at $190 per person, per night based on double occupancy.
The Broadmoor Golf Courses
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
Experience True Luxury JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa is located in Palm Desert, California, in the heart of the Coachella Valley. The property is situated on dramatic desert terrain in one of California’s most desirable communities, surrounded by three majestic mountain ranges. Situated on 450 acres of lushly landscaped grounds and lagoons, Desert Springs is a sprawling oasis offering a remarkable contrast to the stark beauty of the desert. The FourDiamond, award-winning property opened in February 1987, and is one
of the largest resort and convention complexes in the southwestern United States. With a $25 million renovation, extensive renovations to the resort’s acclaimed Palm Course, a Ted Robinson, Jr. designed golf course, and Valley Golf Course, a refresh of its 884 guestrooms and suites, the addition
of new retail outlets including Sunnyland Chocolate Factory, Desert Shades, and Wallet World, and the unveiling of new dining options, Rockwood Grill & Blue Star Lounge, Aquifer65, and Fisherman’s Landing. Desert Springs’ guestrooms and suites are located in five-to-eight-story wings overlooking swimming pools, lakes, verdant fairways, lush English gardens, and manicured lawns. The resort’s famous Venetian-inspired waterways allow guests to board gondolas for transportation to dining, or for afternoon tours past cascading waterfalls beneath the calls of exotic birds. From the moment guests enter the resort’s breathtaking atrium lobby, they begin a journey into a world of relaxed elegance, singular amenities, and exemplary service. Desert Springs features 884 deluxe accommodations including 51 suites—ranging from 900 square-foot hospitality suites to two 3,150 squarefoot Chairman’s suites. Each spacious guest room includes a bathroom of granite, limestone, and Italian marble, with a separate tub and shower. All rooms feature an iHome audio system, private balcony, movies on demand, a safe, minibar, and a 37-inch HDTV. The resort features two Ted Robinson-designed 18-hole championship golf courses; an 18-hole putting course; 20 tennis courts (15 hard, three clay, and two grass); a 38,000 square-foot Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
Trish Hare of Golf Central Magazine celebrated her 60th birthday with her family at JW Marriott Palm Desert Springs Resort & Spa
spa (featuring a gym, exercise classes, beauty salon, and a spa shop); the Oasis Pool area with three swimming pools; basketball courts, lawn croquet; restaurants and lounges; kids’ programs providing supervised activities for guests aged 4 to 12 years; and child-sitting. The Spa at Desert Springs is an expansive 38,000 square-foot facility with 48 treatment rooms, a salon, yoga studio, spa bistro, VIP suite, couples’ suite, fitness facilities, and heated outdoor saltwater lap pool. The Spa’s extensive treatment menu gives special consideration to the healing ingredients and customs of the surrounding Sonoran Desert, utilizing locally harvested crops (such as citrus and dates) along with ancient healing traditions. The 600 squarefoot VIP suite is staffed by a personal butler and includes a private entrance, two-person hydrotherapy tub in a private courtyard, and another tub indoors. The luxurious facility fully embraces the “spa together” concept; groups can enjoy the “spa within a spa”: a private wing with its own lounge, treatment rooms, and shower areas. Desert Springs Resort & Spa offers a wide range of options for dining and imbibing, each with its own ambiance.
which opened in July 2012, is located near the Golf Pro Shop, Oasis Pool complex and Colonnade of Shops.
Rockwood Grill & Blue Star Lounge Rockwood Grill, which opened in June 2012, is a sophisticated all-day dining venue located in the former Lakiew Restaurant space. The restaurant features an upscale-casual menu of diverse American classics made from scratch daily with locally-sourced ingredients from California’s farms and local purveyors. Blue Star Lounge, a new bar with an outdoor terrace featuring fire pits and a la carte seating, creates a truly al fresco experience for guests, offering a memorable selection of signature Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
margaritas, local microbrews and handcrafted farm-to glass cocktails.
Fisherman’s Landing Adding to three existing Fisherman’s Market locations throughout Southern California, Fisherman’s Landing offers a variety of signature, award-winning seafood favorites. Fisherman’s Landing,
The latest addition to Desert Springs’ offerings takes inspiration from the Coachella Valley’s distinct surroundings and unique location above a 65-mile-long subterranean reservoir, the revamped Aquifer65 features modern touches and a tranquil color palette that evokes the feeling of water and natural surroundings, complemented by floor to ceiling views of the 450-acre desert oasis that awaits outside. Aquifer65 offers an elevated and playful take on traditional bar food sourcing fresh, local ingredients. 61
grip it &header sip it
Two Hands Sexy Beast Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 Sexy Beast is a really succulent McLaren Vale, Australia Cabernet Sauvignon. While named after the 2000 British crime film which earned Ben Kingsley an Oscar nomination, sharing this wine with a special someone certainly makes your intentions clear. Deep red in color, flavorful with notes of lavender and exotic spices you can truly get lost in the glass.
Two Hands Sexy Beast Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Deep, dark garnet red with a black core
Notes of red currant, tobacco, bay leaf, jiniper, fresh eath and mulberry
Fresh and lively through the entry, with plenty of bright red fruits and energy. Tannins begin rounded and broad, then tighten through the finish providing a gentle, savory quality and considerable length. The acid profile is very bright and fresh.
Grip it and Sip it. 62
Golf Central â€˘ Volume 18, Issue 7
growing the game
Annika and Angelina Ye
Angelina Ye Wins 10th-Annual ANNIKA Invitational USA Angelina Ye of Bradenton, Fla.
was all smiles when she finished off her come-from-behind victory with a gutsy final-round 1-under-par 71 on the Slammer & Squire course at the World Golf Village. Her tournament total of 2-under-par 214 amid cool, windy weather was two shots clear of runnerup Lucy Li of Redwood Shores, Cal. “It means a lot to me to win my first AJGA Invitational, especially in front of Annika, who is one of the best golfers ever,” said Ye. “It was one of my goals in 2018 to win an Invitational, so it means a lot.” With her win at the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex, Ye earned an exemption into the Symetra Tour’s Florida’s Natural Classic in March and an appearance with Annika on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” to discuss her win. Her victory came 64
over an elite field of girl golfers (ages 12-19) featuring 17 of the top 25 players in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and 22 former AJGA tournament winners. For the first time in the tournament’s 10-year history, the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex was held at the World Golf Village, which is also home to the World Golf Hall of Fame. Founded by the ANNIKA Foundation – golf Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam’s charitable organization – it is annually recognized as one of the best events in girls’ golf. While the on-course action is
important, off-course lessons pertaining to nutrition, fitness, the college application process and more are integral to the Foundation’s “More than Golf” tagline. This year’s competitors enjoyed a dinner at the World Golf Hall of Fame in honor of the late Arnold Palmer, as well as a clinic from Annika where she spoke about scheduling and the importance of rest to peak performance. An event with The First Tee followed the next day, where competitors spent time with younger golfers and gave some tips. “Female participation in golf Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
Annika and girls reading putt
continues to grow, increasing by 13 percent over the last five years according to the National Golf Foundation,” says Annika. “The share of girl golfers has increased from 23 to 33 percent during the same timeframe, further inspiring us and confirming our mission is making a difference.”
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
Each year, the ANNIKA Foundation conducts five major golf events for juniors on four continents: the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex, ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills in China, ANNIKA Invitational Europe, ANNIKA Cup in Sweden and ANNIKA Invitational Latin America in Argentina.
They are complemented by the ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M and the ANNIKA Award presented by 3M, which is annually bestowed to the most outstanding female Division I golfer. Since the inaugural Foundation tournament – the 2009 ANNIKA Invitational USA – 32 ANNIKA event alumnae have earned LPGA cards, with 500-plus playing at the collegiate level. Ye, a 16-year-old verbal commit to Stanford University, carded three birdies in a five-hole stretch to take over the lead on the back nine. The win is the second for the twotime Rolex Junior All-American. Li, the No. 1 player in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, birdied the final hole to claim solo second at even-par 216. Li had previously won each of the last two AJGA Invitationals, including The PING Invitational in October and the Rolex Tournament of Champions in November. Mathilde Claisse of Poissy, France, who led after the first two rounds, finished third at 1-over-par 217. Sweden natives Frida Kinhult and Linn Grant finished T4 at 2-over-par 218. For more information, please visit the Foundation’s just-redesigned website: www.annikafoundation.org
By Ken Pierce President, GolfGym, LLC
Heat Up Your Golf Swing Inside… When It’s Really Cold Outside like you to stop at every position for 4 seconds. This is how you are able to develop the skill of the golf swing. Just flaying away will not direct the neuro transmitters to send the correct signals to the correct muscles in order to develop that “Swing Skill” and consistency. (Check out the book, The Talent Code, by Daniel Coyle)
Set Up and Takeaway
It’s official. In most of the United States, it is really cold outside. Even in our new state of North Carolina having just moved here in September. We were told by everyone we spoke to about North Carolina that the winters are “really mild”. Last week here it was 9 degrees. Today, as I write this it is 62 degrees. Go Figure. If you like golf and are getting anxious to get back out on the links as soon as possible, here is a sequence drill that will really help to keep or get your golf swing in shape all winter long. I am performing this sequence using the GolfGym PowerSWING Plus and the GolfGym /Cardiogolf Shortee club. With these tools I am able to swing a golf club against resistance indoors. Also, I can see the club face at impact, and make a full swing sequence in the house without breaking anything. Notice that I am also using an alignment rod to be aware of the target line during the sequence. I call it a sequence, because I would
The set up and take away are probably the most important part of the entire sequence. Set up in a good golf posture. Align yourself (feet, hips and shoulders) with the alignment rod positioned on the floor. As you begin your take away, be sure to follow the rod with the club head as you extend your hands and arms as far as you can to establish a very wide take away. When using the resistant band, you will feel a tightening of your core as you begin to rotate. This is good because you will continue to coil or load around your
tension on the band as you take the club back as far as you can. Working in a 4 second hold sequence like this one, it is very hard to get all the way to the top of your swing without the inertia of an actual swing. Remember to hold each position for 4 seconds. During that time you will feel the tightening of the muscles you are using in the swing. SEQUENCE ALERT! Remember to breathe through this entire sequence. Nearly all of us tend to hold our breath when lifting or when we are exercising under resistance. DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATH! Perform this 4 second hold sequence 3 times/reps all the way through. Do this sequence 3 times a week. On the other days, remove the resistance (PowerSWING Plus) and perform 20 swings at ¾ speed as your regular swing. When spring comes around you will be ready to hit the practice range to see the improvement immediately. Many thanks to Karen Palacios Jan-
Follow Through spine as you get ready to unleash that tension from the full back swing position into impact and follow through.
Downswing to Follow Through In this sequence you can see the
sen from Cardiogolf.com for her help in developing the Shortee Practice Club. Go to https://GolfGym.com to check out the GolfGym PowerSWING Plus and the 23” Shortee Club.
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 7
IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE THAT MATTER THE MOST.
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