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from the publisher
The Way You Want To Be Treated
Volume 18, Issue 8
The 2017 Arnold Palmer Invitational had so many of the special elements that have led the tournament to shine since moving across town from Rio Pinar to the Bay Hill Club and Lodge nearly 50 years ago. Sunday’s final round brought glorious weather, a huge crowd, and a sizzling finish, with Australian Marc Leishman prevailing by a single shot – the fourth consecutive year that the tournament has been decided by such a margin. But longtime tournament goers, players, media members and volunteers could feel a massive void: For the first time, tournament host Arnold Palmer wasn’t there. Arnold Palmer was, and always will be, Bay Hill. Though he left us in September of 2016, his presence still is felt everywhere at the place, from that second-floor corner office to his regular table in the grill room, to his own spot down at the end of the practice tee, where last March his Callaway bag and clubs sat idly by. It was at Bay Hill where Palmer would sit in the clubhouse lounge with a Ketel One on the rocks and regale with stories of yesteryear. And he’d always be there to greet the winner at the 18th hole, next to the green Palmer once reached by ripping driver-driver while in his 70s. In 1997, Phil Mickelson shot 30 on the back nine to win, and as Palmer approached him with one of those handshakes that could crush a fistful of walnuts, Mickelson boyishly grinned and said, “I was just trying to emulate you, Mr. Palmer.” Arnold gave us all something to emulate. He was a gritty competitor who always showed class in defeat. He taught us to treat people the way that you’d want to be treated, though in his case that meant taking hundreds of pictures with fans each day and signing so many autographs his white, hard-collared shirt would be covered in stray Sharpie pen marks. Palmer was omnipresent on tournament week. This hit home with longtime PGA Tour pro/ NBC announcer Peter Jacobsen last March. Jacobsen was one of five MasterCard “ambassadors” asked to fulfill various hosting roles, and just doing 20 percent of what Palmer normally would do exhausted him. Naturally, there is an undercurrent of concern regarding the future of the API without the presence of Mr. Palmer. The Players is returning to March, the tournament falls in a busy part of the schedule, and top players can’t play every week. But Tiger committed, as did Rory, and Rickie, too. Marci Doyle Baker, the tournament’s COO, said, “The tournament is not only going to be fine, it’s going to be better than ever.” That’s a promise we all can help keep. The man who gave so much of himself deserves that.
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 Mike Coonan, Becky Galloway
Senior Correspondent: Rick Harris, Sr. Junior Correspondent: Bella Dovhey International Correspondent: Dove Jones Contributing Writers: Jay Golden, PGA; Greg Wise, 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, email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org ©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.
2017 Want to participate in a fun, global species-counting competition?
Thanks Jeff “Babbs” Babineau for treating this like Mr. Palmer would!
Ask the staff at your local golf course if they are participating in BioBlitz 2017! 518-767-9051
2009 North Florida PGA Amateur of the Year 6
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
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Volume 18, Issue 8 20
Cart Girl 22 Jessica Lyons FEATURE 38 LPGA Women Who Play Florida Golf Central 28 Sugar Mill Country Club Georgia Golf Central 30 Jekyll Island Golf Bachelor 20 Ken Hoffman Growing The Game 10 Celebrity Amputee Golf Classic 12 The Salute Military Golf Association Improving Performance 58 EduKAYtion
Leader on the Links 68 Hilda Allen Living on the Links 60 Zelman Style Interiors Special Events 14 Diamond Resorts Invitational 16 Chubb Classic Tennessee Golf Central 52 Fairfield Glade What's New 48 PGA Merchandise Show Recap 50 Chippo Women in Golf 26 Dawn Mercer
18 32 34 36 40 42 44 46 54 56 64 66 70
Tournament News Freddy's Fairway Thoughts Turf Life Turf Life Turf Life Golf History Grip It & Sip It Competitive Spirits SFPGA NFPGA Duffer Dan Golf Fitness Product Showcase
Story and Photos by Angel Bowen
growing the game
Power For Parker
In 2013, Parker Kress was
diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. After battling for nearly 4 years, Parker and his family decided it would be best to amputate his right leg above the knee. In midsummer of 2017, Parker was fitted for his first prosthetic leg with a high-tech knee. The prosthesis allowed Parker to get back on his feet and resume day to day activities, but for this 16 year-old basketball player, a full leg and knee was a lot of extra weight on the court. Parker’s desire was to have a running
Team Odom 10
leg that would allow him to race up and down the court with his teammates and excel at the sport he loves so much. After hearing his story, Celebrity Amputee Golf Classic founder, Dave Bowen, reached out to local prosthetist, Stan Patterson, with Prosthetic & Orthotics Associates and asked for his help in making Parker’s dream of getting a running leg a reality. Without hesitation, Stan agreed. With assistance from Tudi’s Tribe, Parker and his family were flown in to Orlando 6 days before the golf event to get fitted for his new leg. On Wednesday, February 7th, Dave’s family and Parker’s family met for the first time at POA in Orlando where Stan and his team went to work adjusting his walking leg and fitting him for his running leg. By the end of the day, he was running on the treadmill on his temporary running leg. His smile and excitement brought tears of joy to his parents and those who observed him finding his new freedom. At the Mardi Gras themed pairings party, attendees were awed and motivated by speaker and amputee host, Dave Stevens. Dave wowed the crowd with his story of perseverance and determination. Born without legs, Dave was given up for adoption, but his adopted parents encouraged him
Zehava Oates to live a life without limits. Dave went on to play high school sports including wrestling, baseball, and football, but his athleticism didn’t end there; he played college baseball, semi-pro football, and even tried out for the Dallas Cowboys. Each year, Dave participates in the Wounded Warrior Amputee Football game before the Super Bowl. Dave shared many stories and ways he has overcome the odds and turned his disability into his greatest abilities. Before the night ended, Parker was officially presented with his running leg and his own set of golf clubs, both of which made for an exciting day on the course Monday. Parker received lots of tips and tricks from his golf teammates and all of the amputee golfers showed off their talents on the greens. The 2018 Celebrity Amputee Golf Classic was a huge success thanks to Corporate sponsors, golfers, and local donors. When Parker returned home after the event, he played in his first high school basketball game wearing his new leg. He showed off his skills and ended the game with a magical 3-point buzzer beater shot. The video can be viewed on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=zloP2XtmOBo&feature=youtu.be For more information on the event, be sure to check out Celebrity Amputee Golf Classic on Facebook and Instagram. To learn more about Parker and his story visit www.powerforparker. com and to see some of the amazing videos and features on Dave Stevens, go to davestevensspeaks.com Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
Dave Bowen helping Sammy Vacha
1st Place – Team Jones Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
Parker, Dave Bowen and Dave Stevens 11
By Jack Persons
growing the game
Never Forget! Golf, for some, is a sport used to unwind and relax. Others enjoy the competition and fellowship of the game. For the members of the Salute Military Golf Association, golf is all of the above, with one mission in mind: rehabilitation of the mind and body. The SMGA works with post-9/11 combat wounded veterans in the hopes of improving their quality of life
SMGA instructors work with wounded veterans at the Walter Reed by introducing them to the game. It’s working; 100 percent of respondents in a recent poll of SMGA members agreed that their participation in golf and SMGA programs helped improve their physical well-being. “What was incredible about the opportunity of learning how to golf and then hanging out with other SMGA members was the camaraderie and the emotional healing,” explained Tampa’s Maj. Robert Kilmartin, a two-time Purple Heart recipient. “Knowing, ‘Hey, there’s other people maybe as messed up as you are.’ And the big thing is just moving forward.” 12
Class A PGA Professional Dan Baker teaches a Warrior Golf Clinic Members deal with a host of physi-
again in the face of adversity. Learning
cal disabilities such as amputations and
(or relearning) golf gives every wounded
spine injuries, as well as post-traumatic
veteran a chance to focus their time
stress disorder and traumatic brain
and energy into an enjoyable pursuit
injury. It can be difficult for veterans to
while simultaneously joining a commu-
reintegrate into society after a severe
nity of people with similar interests.
trauma, so the SMGA’s programs are
Jim Estes and Jamie Winslow co-
designed to bridge that gap and make
founded the organization in late
members and their families feel normal
2006, after realizing how much golf Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
helped the recovery process of veterans
Florida area have
undergoing treatment at Walter Reed
graduated from SMGA
Army Medical Center in Maryland.
courses. As members,
Estes began teaching Walter Reed and
they have access to
Bethesda Naval Hospital inpatients at
benefits like custom
his teaching center at Olney Golf Park,
fit golf equipment
and noticed how their time with golf
and aids, equipment
improved their physical and mental
discounts, free greens
fees, hosted golf out-
Fast forward to today, the SMGA has
chapter locations across the United
for tournament entry
States, plus the American Golfer
fees, and unique golf
Program, available to any eligible veteran
trips and experiences.
without a chapter in their area. SMGA
SMGA members Chris Bowers (USMC Ret.) and Nick Thom (USMC Ret.) at the SMGA Charity Golf Classic in Rockville, Md.
“I’ve met guys with
programs introduce veterans to the
no legs, missing arms, or 90 percent
game and teach them through an eight-
of their body is burned,” Kilmartin
week clinic series. After completion,
said. “They’re out there on the course
they are outfitted with a brand new set
laughing and joking. Sometimes they
of TaylorMade golf clubs and bag. Most
hit amazing shots, other times they hit
importantly, all SMGA programs are
crappy shots, and we all can laugh about
offered free of charge.
it, and you have that time together. I
Dozens of veterans in the Central
think that’s huge. This vehicle of golf has
allowed them to have purpose in their life and it’s helped their relationships.” As a non-profit organization, the SMGA depends on passionate volunteers and teachers, as well as donations from those who want to make an impact in the lives of our country’s heroes. Those interested in joining, working with, or donating to the program should visit SMGA.org.
Annual Scholarship Dance and Golf Scramble The Scholarship Dinner/Dance will be held on March 24, 2018 at the Medical Heath Center located at 1714 17th Street in Ocala, FL at 7:00. The cost is $35.00. The Golf Scramble - April 21, 2018 at Summer Glen Golf Course - Ocala 8:30 am shotgun start. The cost is $80 per player. Sponsorships are available and we would like to advertise your company/organization as a hole sponsor at the $100 and $200 level.
Contact Ann McKinney at 757-871-9039 to become a sponsor of a hole. Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
FAMU National Alumni Association (NAA) of the Marion County Chapter directly support Florida A & M University under the umbrella of the NAA and we are a 501(c)3 organization. We support the university through scholarships, student recruitment, athletic team support, legislative and community support. 13
Unforgettable Golf at Diamond Resorts Invitational
Scott Parel called it
the best win of his career. Maybe not the most important – that was his 2013 win on the Web.com Tour that Parel says kept his golf career alive. But with a playoff finish against fellow PGA TOUR Champions player Scott Dunlap for winner of the 2018 Diamond Resorts Invitational™ benefiting Florida Hospital for Children certainly ranks up there among his best. Parel, who spent 10 years as a computer programmer before turning professional at age 31, went wire-to-wire in winning the third annual Diamond Resorts Invitational™, held Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons Resort Orlando. He clinched the title in the professional division, while former No. 1-ranked American tennis player Mardy Fish won the 52-man celebrity division for the second time
Mardy Fish– Celebrity Winner; Mike Flaskey, tournament founder and Chief Executive Officer of DRI; Scott Parel– Professional Winner Larry the Cable Guy
in three years. Fish says he only plays golf once or twice a month, so he was just trying to keep up with the professionals throughout the tournament. Hailed as the most unique event in tournament golf, the Diamond Resorts Invitational™ benefiting Florida Hospital for Children brings together PGA TOUR Champions players, LGPA stars, and sports and entertainment celebrities to compete side-by-side for separate purses total-
Lee Brice in concert ing $1.25 million. All three days were nationally televised on Golf Channel and the event was the first PGA TOUR Champions Challenge Season event of the 2018 calendar year. “This is not your traditional weekend mom and dad’s golf tournament,” said Mike Flaskey, tournament founder and Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Resorts™. “It is action-packed with many storylines and entertainment, along with three Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons Resort Orlando
Marcus Allen and Gerina Piller
Longwell, Norris and Rypien at Florida Hospital for Children
distinct competitions between LPGA and PGA TOUR Champions professionals, sports and entertainment celebrities, and amateur golfers.” The 2018 event featured 28 PGA TOUR Champions players, four LPGA stars, 52 sports and entertainment celebrities and 12 amateur golfers, who qualified for the tournament on Thursday, January 11 during the Brian Gay Pro-Am. To make things interesting, each golfer played from the same tee and was scored using a Modified Stableford format, which awards points as opposed to strokes. Under the scoring format, players are awarded six points for an eagle, three for birdie, one for par, zero for bogey and minus two for double bogey or worse. Parel, who edged out Dunlap in a sudden-death playoff on the 18th hole, finished with 93 points. Dunlap also finished with 93 points, followed by John Daly in third place with 88 points. In the celebrity division, Fish finished with 75 points, followed by ninetime NHL all-star Jeremy Roenick at 61 Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
and 2017 winner Mark Mulder with 60. But as Flaskey mentioned, the event is really more than just golf. Outside of the three days of exciting play, attendees were invited to exclusive events, including evening parties filled with culinary delights expertly prepared by professional chefs and headlining concerts by some of the biggest names in country music, including Diamond Celebrities Lee Brice and Cole Swindell. During one of the events, held at Mystic Dunes Resort & Golf Club by Diamond ResortsTM, attendees had the opportunity to help raise funds for Florida Hospital for Children through an exhilarating live auction. Diamond Resorts announced the auctions helped raise an astounding $801,000 for the hospital – bringing its fouryear total to more than $3.1 million. “It is such an honor being able to present Florida Hospital for Children with a check each year,” said Flaskey. “During the past few years, we have had several opportunities to see
firsthand where some of the money has gone and it is a humbling experience. We are proud to be part of such a powerful partnership and grateful to be able to help the hospital continue its mission to save children’s lives.” Several celebrities and golf legends, including Blair O’Neal, Brittany Lincicome, Larry the Cable Guy, Bud Norris, Johnny Damon and Willie Robertson visited the hospital along with Flaskey before the tournament. They played a few holes of putt-putt golf with some of the children, signed footballs and baseballs, and took photographs with the kids and their families. It was a humbling experience for many of the celebrities. Afterward, NFL Hall of Famer Marcus Allen called it chicken soup for his soul. Diamond Resorts promised the 2018 event would be bigger and better than before. With edge-of-yourseat action, unforgettable events and incredible monies raised for Florida Hospital for Children, it’s safe to say they delivered. Now we wonder: What’s in store for 2019? 15
Story & Photos by Greg Wise
Joe Durant Wins 2018 Chubb Classic Joe Durant and wife Tracey
Battling like a champion
down the stretch with a birdie-birdie finish on 17th and 18th, Joe Durant claimed the 2018 Chubb Classic title over five others. The final 9 holes were exciting to watch at The TwinEagles Club in Naples. Durant came in neckin-neck with Steve Stricker over the last six holes. However, it was Durant who came out on top. “It was a roller coaster for sure,” Durant said. “When it gets bunched like it was, anything can happen, and I just kept telling myself if I could just hang in there, give myself a shot at
Final handshake on the 18th between Stricker, Durant & Jiminez 16
it with three or four holes to go, you never know what’s going to happen and fortunately I hit some really good shots down the stretch.” Gaining three strokes on Stricker on Nos. 13 and 14, Durant went eaglebirdie to turn a one-shot deficit into a two-stroke lead. Stricker tied the score at 17-under when he made a six-foot birdie putt on the Par 3, 16th hole as Durant made bogey. “Every time you can have a chance to win out here is a blessing, because it’s so difficult, and you just hate to not take advantage of those opportunities,” Durant said. Durant’s adds the Chubb Championship as his third career win on the PGA TOUR Champions tour and first win since the 3M Championship in 2016. During the week at the Chubb Classic, Durant made 21 birdies, matching his personal best for a 54-hole tournament. Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
Volunteers enjoying the day
Miguel Angel Jiminez
Greg and Bevery enjoying golf
18th hole at Twin Eagles Golf Central â&#x20AC;˘ Volume 18, Issue 8
urnament news tournament news tournament news tournament news tourn
The Mayfair Inn Open Is BACK! In the 1950’s, Mayfair Country Club became a tour stop for professional golfers, with the PGA Tour hosting “The Mayfair Inn Open” with golf legends like Arnold Palmer, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, Moe Norman and Ben Hogan attending this event multiple times. So, when Mayfair decided to bring the tournament back this February they became the talk of the Central Florida golf community. This time around Mayfair opened the tournament up to both professionals and amateurs giving all types of golfers the opportunity to play and walk on the
Keith Green (Champion) 18
same grounds as so many legends. Over 60 golfers came out and participated in the event in which Mayfair became famous for back in the 50’s. Five total flights, four of which were amateur, saw participants battling it out in this 36-hole event. After the final putt was made and the scores were tallied General Manager Pete Sands could not have been more pleased with the results. “It was a showcase of what Mayfair is becoming” Sands stated. “With the help of all our great sponsors and the hard work of everyone involved, we were able to bring back what
made Mayfair great so many years ago.” As much as everyone enjoyed the opportunity to play in the same event as legends such as Arnie and Hogan, the focus was quickly turned to the professional flight. After day one local pro Keith Greene held a one-shot lead over Dave Pecorella and was three shots ahead of rising star Kamaiu Johnson. Greene followed up his round one score of 64 with an impressive 65 on day two giving him a six-shot victory. “What made Keith’s weekend so impressive was the course actually played above par” Sands said. This was Keith’s first professional win. Mayfair wanted to thank all their sponsors and plans to host this event annually going forward.
Dave Pecorella Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
Joyful Life • Joyful Apparel
Shot on location at Millpond Stables • Coconut Creek, Florida
golf bachelor Ken and Arnie
Ken Hoffman Where were you born? Cincinnati, OH Did you grow up there? Yes ,and did not like the cold weather, so moved to Florida in my mid 20’s.
Is “acting your age” over rated?
If I were to act my age I’d be
dead by now!
What do you do for a living? Senior Risk Engineering Consultant for Zurich Insurance
What would you like to do for a living?
Just what I’m doing now, great family, great job, great friends = a great life!
Eisenhower, Lee Trevino.
Aside from golf; what do you prefer for fun and relaxation?
What are some of your great accomplishments? Longevity with the company (40 years) and being a volunteer at the Arnold Palmer Invitational (39 years).
Whom do you most admire for their inner and outer beauty?
Last time you spewed something through your nose from laughing so hard? When a friend was talking about his
Hanging out with my buds after golf, movies, eating lunch on Park Ave and poolside anywhere.
My mom, not even close!
Tell us about your first kiss? Kathy Wiederholt, was age 11,
girlfriend and how she wouldn’t shut up during a movie. You had to be there………
Tell us something about yourself that only your closest friends know. I’m somewhat of a homebody and I iron my own
Favorite comedian? Rodney Dangerfield “I get No Respect” Favorite television channel? The Golf Channel of course! Last book you read? “A good walk spoiled, Days and Nights
What do you find to be the most annoying habit people demonstrate on the golf course? Thinking they are the only
Favorite magazine? If you think I won’t say “Golf Central Magazine” you’re crazy!
Name the three most important things to you in this world.
Just your all-American boy who grew up playing sports and haven’t stopped! A good sense of humor, and hopefully to emulate Arnold Palmer, “A Life Well Played”! Current General Chairman of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
will never forget it….long and passionate in her garage. Even went back for seconds because I was hooked.
ones playing and those who do not rake the bunker or fix their divots.
My family, my trust in God and my golf swing……. well most of the time!
What do you fear the most? No one or thing, not even death. 20
What three people would you most like to play with in your fantasy golf foursome? Arnold Palmer, Dwight D.
on the PGA Tour” by John Feinstein.
Favorite charity to support? Arnie’s Army What else would you like for us to know about you?
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
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a c i s s Je s n o y L Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Sangerville, Maine.
What is your favorite sport to play? Favorite to watch?
Field Hockey (I played 4 years in college).
Do you enjoy playing golf? Are there any golfers in your family?
Love it. My dad taught me from a very young age. He was an excellent golfer!
What do you feel makes this club special? Lake Nona Country Club is
the most beautiful, and well taken care of course. I love how our members treat us like family, and the guests are always so impressed with the grounds. I truly love working in such a gorgeous setting.
What is your favorite part of being a cart girl? Being outside all day! And
socializing with our members and guests. I love to chat and get to know people.
If you weren’t a cart girl, what would you be doing? I would be volunteer-
ing a lot more at Lake Nona Middle School! My son is in 6th grade.
What is your memorable moment working as a cart girl? At a previous
course that had replica holes, I made $100 off one shot. It was the TPC Sawgrass #17 hole. A group was arguing, and I came driving up. One gentleman said, “well I bet she can even do better than you!” Needless to say, I did. He gave me the $100 bet between him and his friend.
What hobbies do you enjoy? Playing golf,
anything at the beach, drinks with friends, and watching any city of The Real Housewives.
Favorite comedian? Bob Marley (a famous Maine comedian) Favorite charity to support?
What else would you like for us to know about you?
I just started selling LipSense to help save a little extra. SO, if anyone needs long lasting, kiss proof lipstick…www. senegence.com. My consultant # is 528508. Thank you for having me! I’m flattered that you wanted a 42-year-old cart girl in your magazine!
North Shore Animal League America.
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
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• Tennis, Bocce, Pickleball & Horseshoe Courts
*For the Explore Del Webb offer you are required to attend a sales presentation to be eligible. Stay up to 3 Nights for $267 (through March 31st, 2018). The approximate duration of the sales presentation is 3 hours. If you do not attend the sales presentation (i) an additional fourth night at the nightly rate of $89 will be charged. Del Webb is a builder of single-family homes. The purpose of the Explore Del Webb offer is to attempt to sell you a home in] this Del Webb community. The Explore Del Webb offer provides that you may stay either (i) up to 3 consecutive nights at Stone Creek for $89.00 per night through March 31, 2018. Nightly charges do not include applicable taxes and fees. Explore Del Webb offer valid only on new bookings made for stays from 3/1/18 through 3/31/18 at Stone Creek, with up to two adults sharing the accommodations. Offer expires 3/31/18, is subject to availability of accommodations, and the rate is subject to change at any time without notice. Some blackout dates apply when offer is not available. Valid credit card is required to be provided at time reservation is made, and one night charge of $89.00 will be made to the credit card at that time. Payment in full is due at time of check-in. Reservation may be cancelled and payment refunded if cancellation is made at least 96 hours prior to first date of reservation. Transportation and all other costs or charges that may be incurred by the recipient are not included and are the responsibility of the recipient. Access to amenities and other community features are subject to terms and conditions established by Del Webb from time-to-time. Golf voucher provides for 1 round of golf per person. Spa voucher provides for $25 towards any spa service and recipient is responsible for all costs in excess of voucher amount. Dinner voucher is for $40.00 and recipient is responsible for all costs in excess of voucher amount. These offers are subject to conditions, limitations, and restrictions. See a Del Webb sales consultant for details. These offers are subject to change or withdrawal without prior notice or obligation. An individual may only participate in the Explore Del Webb offer one time at this community. Community home prices shown are estimated base prices, do not include lot premiums or options and are subject to change without notice. Quick move-in homes are subject to prior sale or withdrawal from market, and prices are subject to change at any time without notice. Square footage listed is approximate. At Del Webb communities, at least one resident must be 55 years of age or older, no one under 19 (18 in certain communities) in permanent residence, and additional restrictions apply. Some residents may be younger than 55. Community Association fees required. This material shall not constitute a valid offer in any state where prior registration is required or if void by law. Additional terms, conditions and restrictions apply. Contact a sales consultant for details. ©2018 Pulte Home Company, LLC. All rights reserved. [2/18] CGC1519936
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women in golf
Story and photos by Greg Wise
Dawn… at Innisbrook! A brisk February Spring morning brought in heavy fog for “Media Day” for the 2018 Valspar Championship to be held March 5th – 11th at Innisbrook Resort and Spa near Tarpon Springs, FL. We were to meet the 2017 Champion Adam Hadwin and discuss the happenings for the special PGA Tour event on Florida’s Central West Coast. It was the type of fog that when you stand on the tee… you visualize the shot… then “Hit and Hope.” With my 4-iron off the first tee… from contact, I had about 200 feet to see the general direction. Then I had to rely on how the shot felt for which path the ball was on. After the round was compete, I was discussing that feeling on the first tee with the Director of Instruction at Innisbrook Golf Resort, I found a very unique story that I needed to share. Even more interesting than the tournament itself (Okay, not to some people in the room, but definitely to me). Dawn Mercer, Director of Golf Instruction for Innisbrook Golf Resort, has a very unique linage with Innisbrook Resort. Dawn’s golf experience began when she was 12 years old and attended her first Junior Clinic at Innisbrook when she was 13. Mike Souchak, Director of Golf and Jay Overton, PGA Professional at Innisbrook, hosted Summer Camp sessions to introduce young people to golf.
Dawn Mercer, Director of Instruction To say the least, Dawn was hooked on golf. 8 years later, Jay Overton entered a business where Dawn was working and recognized her from her time playing Junior Golf at Innisbrook with her father, an avid golfer and Dawn’s smooth, rhythmic golf
swing. Jay’s suggestion was for Dawn to come work at Innisbrook Resort, learn golf from the inside, and work toward a PGA and LPGA Status. What do you say to a Golden Opportunity that presents itself in that way? 30 Years later… I asked Dawn that very question. “I Love Golf,” Dawn replied. “Why would I say no? I saw the opportunity to learn from some very influential men in golf and make a difference for golfers in the future.” The longevity of Dawn’s tenure with Innisbrook Resort is a testament to the quality company that it was in the past, and truly the direction that Innisbrook Resort is headed in the future. There is a true “Home Town” feeling here at this Resort that you don’t find to many places in the world. For Dawn the PGA “Class A” status came first. Working closely with a lot of clients coming in to Innisbrook for lessons and the understanding of the golf game. Being a PGA Professional is somewhat rarity with Dawn, as there are roughly 325 woman that hold this title among 24,000+ total Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
Adam Hadwin members of the PGA of America. The LPGA status came shortly after, which Dawn holds a very high regard for the dual certification she maintains. In the early days of her instruction, Dawn would get a lot of pushback because of her age and the fact that she was a woman in a man’s game. Dawn explained, “I would tend to shut down from time to time, but my boss said to me, look they are all paying the same rate, work hard with the ones that are learning, because the ones that are complaining aren’t willing to learn, it’s not about you.” When the time came to move in to the position of “Director of Instruction” at Innisbrook Resort, Dawn was ready. She had been studying books of every top instructors in the game. Suddenly Dawn realized that not every person can swing the club like Jack Nicklaus or Tom Watson or even Tiger Woods. “I have to instruct players to play within their abilities that the internet just can’t provide,” Dawn commented. “YouTube is amazing for all of the free lessons on how to do this, and how to do that shot, but it seems like most of the players coming to Innisbrook for instruction just need an extra set of eyes to adjust small pieces of their approach to golf,” Mercer said. Dawn’s approach to a lesson plan doesn’t begin on the practice facility hitting ball after ball. Her approach to saving you shots on the course (which we all seem to be after) is very simple. “You have to start on the golf course. Book a playing lesson! Let us understand how you play around the golf course. The club choices you make and the placement of the shot around the course plays more into saving strokes on the golf course.” Dawn suggested. Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
Dawn Mercer “Let’s just not stand there and hit 8-iron after 8-iron, 140 yards.” Dawn jokingly commented, “How many times have you hit an 8-iron 10 times on the same hole?” “After that playing lesson, they now understand what you need to work on to save strokes on the golf course and it may not have anything to do with striking the ball,” Dawn explained. We began talking about woman coming in to the golf game. “Woman need to make a reason to play golf. Golf has to be social and comfortable for ladies to be involved,” Mercer commented. “Our goal is to have them feel comfortable when they step on to the first tee and comfortable with their shot making ability as we progress their game forward.” So, why is Dawn’s longevity such a strong asset to Innisbrook? Just the fact that so many Professionals jump from here to there, chasing that almighty dollar these days. To find someone like Dawn that has put the “Love of the Game” in front of that need for success and recognition says a lot to me. 30 years in the same loca-
13th Green tion… Thank you Dawn! When Sheila Johnson, owner of Innisbrook Resort and CEO of Salamander Resorts, first heard that Innisbrook Resort for sale. Here first step was to make a quiet visit to experience the feeling and the culture of the employees. She mentioned of her first visit, “I was treated like family. It was hard to imagine that just a simple onsite visit produced that type of a feeling for me. I wanted to be part of this culture.” Sheila explained. Riding the bus transportation that is provided throughout the resort, I asked Bill what it was like working at Innisbrook. “Well… I’ve been here 6 years. I don’t see myself ever leaving.” he explained. “I came here for a part time job in retirement and I have created more friends just working here than I even had in my working career. This is an amazing company… and there are people here with far more years than I have in!” Bill said “I love the fact that people visiting Innisbrook are here for a reason… and they are here as part of our family even for a short time. We all want them to come back again.” Salamander Resorts operates select resorts around the country. Although you may see the Salamander Brand, these resorts are far from the “Cookie Cutter Mentality.” Each resort is fashioned after the local feel and truly takes on its own family culture. The story goes – to play golf, you must want to play golf. This game is so complex and even the most seasoned professionals still to this day are finding new ways to play the game. It is truly a never-ending task. Start with a process that feels comfortable to you. Book a visit to Innisbrook and allow Dawn and her staff to set your game up for success. www.innisbrookgolfresort.com 27
florida golf central
By Mike May
A 27-Hole Thrill For nearly 50 years,
golfers in New Smyrna Beach, Florida have had access to one of the best, yet highly unheralded, golf courses in not only Volusia County, but the entire state of Florida. It’s the Sugar Mill Country Club (100 Clubhouse Circle, New Smyrna Beach, Florida), a 27-hole complex which was designed by Joe Lee. Sugar Mill (www. sugarmillcc.com) opened for play in 1970. The simplistic, non-descript names given to each nine-hole course – Red, White, and Blue – are not an accurate reflection of each course’s true character, feel, flow and design. Three more appropriate names for each nine-hole trek could be Rolling Hills, Big Oak, and Quiet Lagoon. The three 18-hole course combinations -White/Red, Red/Blue, and Blue/White
– are a wonderful reflection of Lee’s creativity and imagination. Without a doubt, all three 18-hole routes are top-notch and any combination that you play will be worth your time and money. There are parts of the course that will remind you of the North Carolina sandhills, eastern Georgia, and tropical Florida. The geographic diversity of Sugar Mill is what sets it apart from not only the courses in northeast Florida, but the entire state. The credit for the year round tournament-ready look and condition of this club must be given to the Sugar Mill ‘team.’
“The key to our success in providing a course that meets and/or exceeds expectations is a team effort,” said Derek Morrison, director of golf operations, Sugar Mill Country Club. “Our superintendent Dennis Batz has 27 years of experience at Sugar Mill and he knows how to best utilize the dollars provided.” The golfers at Sugar Mill also play a role in keeping every hole in pristine condition. “Our members take great pride in their course and are diligent in taking care of it when they play,” added Morrison. While the signature holes at Sugar Mill are the White’s 8th hole, the Red’s 8th hole, and the Blue’s 2nd hole, Morrison’s has his own favorite. “The 9th on the Red fits my draw off the tee,” added Morrison. “Hitting down to the green with the clubhouse high in the background is such a great visual setting.” While the Black tees at Sugar Mill are set aside for professionals and golfers with low, single-digit handicaps, the Blue/White combination tees will give any competitive golfer more than 6,200 yards worth of real estate to negotiate. In between will be tree-lined fairways, a handful of lakes, Spanish moss-covered oak trees, multi-tiered greens, sparkling white sand traps, ever-so-slight fairway elevation changes, and short, thick and gnarly rough. Sugar Mill is not designed to play like the U.S. Open, but it’s not designed to be a pushover, either. While Sugar Mill is a private club, there are opportunities for Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
non-members to play the course. “We will let individual golfers experience the courses, if their golf professional at their home club calls me for approval,” added Morrison. Morrison is proud of the place where he goes to make a living. Working at Sugar Mill is not a job. It’s a way of life. “Our club is a very special place,” concluded Morrison. “I have been a part of it for 14 years so I have had the
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
pleasure to experience it for a while. It has a ‘family’ like atmosphere and it functions as such. Yes, we strive for high customer service and to produce a quality product which any successful organization does. The saying around here is that the course gets them here and the members keep them here.” Not only is Sugar Mill a big draw for golfers, but wildlife as well. The course is an Audubon International-approved
venue as sandhill cranes, red tail hawks, egrets, blue herons, ospreys, and an occasional bald eagle live at Sugar Mill. So, on your next trip to visit a nearby Orlando theme park or one of the races at the Daytona International Speedway, make it a priority to pack your golf clubs and play a round at Sugar Mill. Every golf experience at Sugar Mill is guaranteed to generate a thrill – always has and always will.
georgia golf central
By Mike May
While the greater Atlanta area may be home to many golf top-notch golf courses, as well as the home of the late, great Bobby Jones, and while the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta may be the most famous golf course in Georgia, the Jekyll Island Golf Club on Jekyll Island may be the most idyllic golf destination in the Peach State. The Jekyll Island Golf Club, located in the extreme southeastern corner of Georgia, is blessed with
shot struck was in 1926. The architect
Golf Club is one of the 20+ destina-
of this coastal jewel is the great Walter
tions on the Georgia Golf Trail.
“Old Man” Travis. Travis was asked to
“Jekyll Island may well be the
design and build the best golf course
best place in Georgia to unwind and
that money could buy. He delivered
relax while enjoying golf, fresh sea-
on his promise. Veteran golfers have
food, long walks along the beach,
described the Great Dunes Course as
poolside siestas, and time off the
both difficult and simple. When the
grid,” said Doug Hollandsworth,,
seaside breeze picks up, the degree of
Founder, the Georgia Golf Trail.
difficulty of Great Dunes gets higher.
The Great Dunes Course was the first golf course on Jekyll Island. The first
It’s worth noting that the United States Golf Association once used Great Dunes as a testing facility for
an abundance of golf
clubs, shafts, and golf balls.
courses – a nine-hole
The Indian Mound
layout and three 18-
course was constructed
hole courses. That’s a
in 1975 by veteran course
63-hole golf getaway.
designer Joe Lee. It is
At Jekyll Island, you are
the shortest of the three
truly spoiled for choice.
18-hole courses, but it’s
The nine-hole layout
no pitch and putt track.
is the Great Dunes
Water impacts play on
Course. The three 18-
11 of the 18 holes. If you
hole courses are the
can avoid ‘the drink’ on
Indian Mound Course,
holes 9-12, then you will
Oleander Course, and the Pine Lakes Course.
Not surprisingly, the Jekyll Island
avoided a huge liquid Jekyll Island Hotel
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
hazard. The par fives are more difficult in reality than their yardage indicates. The many short par four holes represent your best birdie opportunities. The Oleander Course is considered to be the most difficult course on Jekyll Island. Not surprisingly, it has been the host course for the Georgia Open on four occasions. Designed by wellrespected golf course architect Dick Wilson, Oleander is known as the most ‘distinct’ of the three 18-hole courses on Jekyll Island. Measuring just over 6,500 yards from the tips, Wilson designed a jewel which current visitors enjoy. Pine Lakes was first opened for play in 1968 and it was renovated in 2002.
Jekyll Ocean Club Fire Pit
Pine Lakes is the longest golf course on
watching, tennis, paddle boarding,
tive Americans used to call this neck
Jekyll Island. The golf course mean-
horseback riding, fishing, and boat-
of the woods their exclusive home
ders through ocean forests and natural
ing. And, if you want a more modern
until the invasion of Europeans. Jekyll
marsh hammocks. Many golfers and
type of adventure, book a trip on the
Island received its name in 1733 when
visiting naturalists agree that Pine
Emerald Princess Casino Cruise.
General James Oglethorpe named Jekyll
Lakes is peaceful, quiet, and tran-
When the sun sets and your body
Island in honor of Sir Joseph Jekyll, his
quil. That should be the description of
needs some down time, there are many
friend and financier from England. In
every golf course – right? Developed
places to ‘hang your hat’ on Jekyll Island.
the late 1800s, Jekyll Island was the
by designer Clyde Johnson, Pine Lakes
The premier spots are The Westin Jekyll
playground for the rich and famous
is best described as family friendly.
Island, Jekyll Island Club Resort, and
as families such as the Rockefellers,
the Jekyll Ocean Club. All three proper-
Morgans, Vanderbilts, and Pulitzers
Cormick’s Grill, make time for every-
ties can easily take credit for being the
spent vacation time on Jekyll Island.
thing else that Jekyll Island has to
ultimate ‘rest & relaxation’ destination.
In order to confirm that Jekyll
Finally, it’s worth noting that Jekyll
Island is truly Georgia’s coastal clas-
After golf and a bite to eat at Mc-
offer – ten miles of marvelous beaches, guided kayak tours, bicycle rides, bird
Island has strong historical roots. Na-
sic, check out JekyllIsland.com.
The Westin Jekyll Island
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
freddy's fairway thoughts
By Fred Seely
Most people couldn't find Palatka,
Fla. on anything but a wallsized map. But the town of 10,000 or so is very well-known to two groups: bass fishermen and low-handicap golfers. The fishing is year-round (the town limits sign says “Bass Fishing Capital of the World”) and the golf is crammed into March, when they play major amateur events. The centerpiece is the Azalea Amateur. The Donald Ross course might squeeze out to 6,000 yards but somehow they manage to start (and finish) almost 200 players each day of the Amateur. There's also a senior (already sold out) and, for the first time, a junior. • Two aces in a round is very rare, right? So, should two eagles on par-4 holes, and that's what Liberty University player Ervin Chang did in a recent collegiate event in Ponte Vedra Beach. Playing the TPC Valley course, he holed out on No. 3 from 130 yards, then drove to the edge of the green on the 326-yard 7th and chipped in. Yes, he won the tournament. • Lt. Ben Hays, a Navy pilot based in Jacksonville, recently won the World Military Championship held in Sri Lanka. The Naval Academy graduate won by nine shots and also led the United States team to the team title. • Didn't take long for new First Tee CEO Keith Dawkins to let people know he was on board. He replaced three upper-level execs, including the general counsel. • From golf85 instruction Kay McMahon: “You can tell people 'Speed up your play' all you want, but it isn't going to accomplish anything. You 32
need to give them a way to speed up.” • From grip guru Bob Lambkin: “People ask my advice and I say two things that they already should know: “Don't leave your clubs in a hot car trunk and wipe down your grips with a damp towel after every round.” • Up-and-comer Julian Suri has a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars to use the NFL club's logo on his bag and he says it's an appropriate relationship. “We have a lot of similarities,” he said. “We both struggled for a few years and
now we’re surprising people. I like the direction the Jaguars and I are going.” The Jaguars went from 3-13 to one quarter of making the Super Bowl this year, and Suri emerged from so so-so years in Europe to win over there and now he's contending on the PGA Tour. (Do you recall other deals like that? Answers below.) • The saga of the Oak Bridge Golf Club in Ponte Vedra Beach continues. It's the public course inside the gates at TPC Sawgrass, maybe a half-mile from the PGA Tour headquarters, and it was purchased several years ago by a developer who wanted to close six holes for home sites and an assisted living facility. He got approval from the community but now the county has turned down
his application. The course never has caught on as it's inside the gated community, and daily fee players apparently aren't comfortable about going through gates. • You noted that a guy named Todd Haley was recently hired as the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns. Wasn't his first choice of profession; he once was the assistant golf coach at the University of North Florida. • Another ex-PGA Tour worker is staying close to the game: Phil Stambaugh represents his World Golf Village club to the Jacksonville Area Golf Association. He was a top Tour media official and his fame is beyond the press room — he took the heat for Fuzzy Zoeller getting disqualified from a Miami stop on the Champions Tour. “A local TV station asked us to line up Fuzzy for a putting lesson and he was okay with it, and he met the lady at the media center,” says Phil. “The local media guy decided, on his own, to go out on the course for the spot rather than to the putting green. I wasn't aware of it until I got a call from the tournament office telling me that Fuzzy was practicing on the course, and thus he out of the tournament. He took it okay … I think.” (• Answers: Patrick Rodgers has a similar arrangement with the Indianapolis Colts. You'll also recall that the late Payne Stewart had an NFL deal where he wore the team colors of whatever city they were in, and Ben Curtis got the same deal after winning the 2003 Open.) Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
Aquatrols Presents Paul Carter with Inaugural Conservation Award Ceremony Held at Annual Golf Industry Show in San Antonio
Aquatrols – the world’s largest manufacturer of cutting-edge soil surfactants and related technologies – has named Paul Carter the inaugural recipient of the Aquatrols Conservation Award. Carter, a certified golf course superintendent (CGCS) at Bear Trace (Harrison Bay, Tenn.) for the last 16 years, was recognized during a presentation at the 2018 Golf Industry Show in San Antonio. “Golf course superintendents are some of the leading stewards of the environment in our society, and too often their conservation efforts go unnoticed,” says Matt Foster, President and CEO of Aquatrols. “Paul’s dedication to making better use of natural resources and applied inputs mirrors our mission to pioneer new methods that advance conservation and health for agriculture, turf, and horticulture. We’re proud to
name him the inaugural winner of the Aquatrols Conservation Award.” Carter’s additional accolades include the President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship by the Board of Directors of the GCSAA (2015), GCSAA national public and overall Environmental Leadership in Golf Award (2013), TurfNet’s Superintendent of the Year (2011), and four consecutive regional awards for environmental leadership (2009 – 2012). He holds a bachelor’s degree in Horticulture-Landscape Design from Auburn University. Under Carter’s management, Bear Trace has earned the Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award twice (2009, 2012), was designated a Groundwater Guardian Green Site, and reduced its chemical and water use by 75 percent with a variety of conservation programs.
Conservation is central to everything done at Aquatrols. Internal upgrades to promote positive impacts on the surrounding environment include the installation of a pollinator garden with native plant species, a nature walking trail around headquarters and a new motto, “Respect the Drop,” a reminder that water is vital to all aspects of life. More than 60 years ago, Aquatrols introduced the world’s first commercially available soil wetting agent. Since creating an entirely new product category to address water management challenges and opportunities, the company has remained a top innovator and producer of high-performance soil surfactants and related technologies. Its advanced product suite optimizes soilwater-plant interactions in agricultural, professional turfgrass and horticultural industries in more than 40 countries. Headquartered in southern New Jersey, Aquatrols also has offices in the United Kingdom and conducts business on six continents.
Aquatrols.com More information: 800.257.7797
Paul Carter and Steve Fasano, Director of Marketing and Communications for Aquatrols
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
Anuvia’s Legends Initiative Recipient, Bob Farren Honored for Innovation and Stewardship in Golf Course Management Anuvia Plant Nutrients Legends Initiative honored Bob Farren for his decades of innovative work in golf course management at the Golf Industry Show (GIS) in San Antonio, Tex. Farren is director of Golf Course & Ground Management at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, which served as the site of the unprecedented back-to-back U.S. Open Men’s and Women’s Championships in 2014. The Anuvia Legends Initiative recognizes industry leaders in golf course management with an emphasis on mentorship and sustainability. “We’re looking for innovative leaders who have made a lasting impact and who foster connectivity between industry leaders of today and tomorrow,” says Hugh MacGillivray, Anuvia Plant Nutrients vice president Commercial. “The intention of the initiative is to grow industry partnerships, engage recipients in mentorship and develop future leaders with shared best practices. Bob Farren is an exemplary model, and we’re proud to honor him and his work.” Farren’s decades of impact developing and growing the renowned Pinehurst courses and involvement in multiple US Open and PGA Tour Championships are widely recognized in
the industry. He has also worked with Green Start Academy for the past 12 years helping young assistant superintendents and sharing his experience helping them build strong foundations
for their future careers. “We have to pass it along to the next generation for ongoing success,” says Farren. “I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time and meeting the right people in my career. It means a lot have these lasting relationships and work together. That’s what it’s all about.” Anuvia Plant Nutrients, based in Zellwood, Fla., manufactures a unique plant nutrient for the turf and agricultural industries. Their products improve plant growth and soil health. In addition, their high efficiency products are environmentally friendly and sustainable. “The Golf Industry Show was the highlight of this inaugural year for our Legends Initiative. Bob Farren sets a high standard for future recipients,” says MacGillivray. “The Initiative’s objective of identifying outstanding people who make the industry stronger and better are in sync with Anuvia’s vision for providing products that do the same—making the industry stronger and better.” Anuvia will soon announce the submission process for selecting next year’s recipient. For more information on Anuvia Plant Nutrients, visit www.anuviaplantnutrients.com.
From left: Crowds gathered at the Anuvia Plant Nutrients booth at the Golf Industry Show in San Antonio as (from left) Marsh Benson, retired Augusta; Bob Farren, Pinehurst: and Matt Shaffer, retired Merion talked about their collective experience working at a few of the most prestigious courses in the country. The group honored Farren with Anuvia’s Legends Initiative recognition. 36
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
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A New Era Dawns in Women’s Golf as the Executive Women’s Golf Association is Rebranded as ‘LPGA Women Who Play’
If you are an aspiring female golfer aiming to take up the game for the first time but have been frustrated or even apprehensive about finding places to play, fear not because all your concerns should now be over! A new era for women’s golf has dawned, ushered in this week with the news that the Executive Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) has joined the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) family and will be rebranded as ‘LPGA Women Who Play.’ In what is viewed as the final structural step in a strategic alliance between the two organizations to further promote the growth of the women’s game, the EWGA will become a branch of the LPGA Foundation with an overarching goal to create additional playing opportunities for women golfers. This transition is seen by both organizations as the perfect complement to the LPGA Women’s Network, a digital platform for female players to share their passion for the game. “Whether your network is the teaching club professional division or the LPGA or the PGA of America or the EWGA or any of the other networks available to women in the game, they can be valuable to you, they can be valuable to your career,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. “We feel at the LPGA that it’s way past time that we work together as women in the game and build a sense of network, a sense of community, a location for amateur women who join the game to get the same sense of community, the same sense of opportunity that you may have through your organizations.” This alliance brings together the LPGA, one of the longest-running women’s professional sports associations in the world, and the EWGA, the largest national women’s amateur golf organization, which currently has nearly 12,000 members spanning approximately 100 communities in the United States, Canada, Bermuda and Italy. “As we rolled out the LPGA Women’s Network, it was clear to us that the missing piece was the ‘play’ component, and we have now been able to welcome the EWGA to the LPGA family as that play component,” said Nancy Henderson, President of The LPGA Foundation. “Our intention is take what the EWGA has built in terms of a base over their 25-plus years and to help elevate that by putting the full resources of the LPGA behind it.”
LPGA Women’s Network’s Launch is Highlighted by Blue-chip Company Support The LPGA Women’s Network, a digital platform designed to help nurture female interest in the game of golf, was officially launched in January at the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando where four blue-chip companies were announced as Founding Partners. LPGA partners Dow, Kia Motors America, KPMG and XL Catlin have all pledged their support for the LPGA Women’s Network, which aims to be the biggest and most active online forum for female golfers of all skill levels and backgrounds. “Creating a community which celebrates the growth and connections women can find through golf is a priority for the LPGA and we are honored to have the support of partners who will lend their voices and stories to this new vehicle,” said Ashleigh McLaughlin, Manager of Digital Marketing and Brand Strategy for the Women’s Network. The LPGA Women’s Network provides its members with practical golf tips and instruction from LPGA Teachers; member perks with discounts from LPGA partners; the opportunity to engage with the LPGA and its players through an interactive blog and video series; and a channel to connect with each other through stories of inspiration. Visitors to the site have access to everything golfrelated - including instruction, fashion, career and networking advice, and inspiration to improve their lives. Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
Changing the Face of the Game A global non-profit organization involved in every facet of golf, the LPGA is heavily committed to changing the face of the game and one of its most successful initiatives is the LPGA*USGA Girls Golf program. Founded by Sandy LaBauve in Phoenix in 1989, Girls Golf began with just 10 programs and is now thriving in more than 400 communities in the United States and expanding every day. More than 75,000 girls now engage with the program and its initiatives annually. Thanks to LaBauve’s vision, more than 500,000 girls have been introduced to golf since the program’s inception
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
and more than 40 members of the LPGA and Symetra Tours began their golfing careers by attending a Girls Golf program, including Brittany Lincicome, Cheyenne Woods, Morgan Pressel, Mariah Stackhouse and Vicky Hurst. Girls are getting, and accepting, the message that golf can be both welcoming and fun. Over the last 20 years, the growth of girls’ golf in the U.S. has far outpaced that of the boys. In 1995, girls made up only 17% of all junior golfers -- today they total one third, according to the National Golf Foundation. “What our LPGA players and teachers are doing in inspiring young girls is a testament to their dedication and passion for the game of golf,” said
LPGA Foundation President Henderson. “Together, we are truly making a difference in the lives of girls and helping to change the face of golf.”
Saving Butterflies, One Golf Course at a Time
Audubon International and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) have partnered to launch Monarchs in the Rough, a program to assist golf courses in the United States, Canada and Mexico in creating monarch butterfly habitat in out-of-play areas. The program is offering the first 100 participants free and regionally appropriate milkweed seeds – enough to establish one acre of habitat. “Over the past 20 years, populations of the iconic monarch butterfly have declined by 90 percent. A key reason for this population decline is loss of habitat, especially of milkweed plants, which monarchs need to reproduce and for their caterpillars to eat,” said Marcus Gray, director of the Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf at Audubon International. “As large landowners, golf courses are uniquely positioned to help reverse habitat loss and save monarchs, providing a much-needed refuge while increasing the beauty and sustainability of their courses.” Monarchs in the Rough provides course superintendents and staff with the information and technical support they need to incorporate monarch habitat into the unique layout of each course. 40
Golf courses occupy approximately 2.5 million acres in the United States. Audubon International estimates there are at least 100,000 acres that have the potential to become suitable habitat for butterflies, if managed appropriately. The program encourages golf courses to adopt other conservation practices in addition to planting milkweed, such as planting wildflowers as a source of nectar, changing mowing practices to support the timing of the monarch’s migration, and protect-
ing sites from pesticide treatments. “If we are to succeed in recovering populations of this beloved species, we will need help from all sectors and all types of land uses,” said Daniel Kaiser, senior manager of California habitat markets at EDF. “It’s exciting to see the golf course community stepping up to do its part.” For more information about Monarchs in the Rough, including a resource guide, please visit: www.monarchsintherough.org.
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
Smooth Swingin' in the Sunshine
By Mike May
Suwannee Country Club Great gifts are often wrapped in small packages. That’s an appropriate way to describe the Suwannee Country Club – 7932 U.S. Highway 90 East, Live Oak, Florida; 386-362-1147. This is not your typical 18-hole golf course. Instead, it’s half that size -- a nine-hole course, which first opened in 1926. Not surprisingly, the Suwannee Country Club (www.suwanneecc.com) is now listed as one of the 53 courses on the Florida Historic Golf Trail. Iniially, this course was built with sand greens. Now, the course features putting surfaces with real green grass and has done for years. As recently as 2014, the greens
were upgraded to Tifgrand grass. “With Tifgrand, we don’t have to overseed in the winter,” said head golf pro Bob Budwick. “In the winter, the greens roll the best. Our superintendent Don Branske has done a great job with the greens, fairway renovations, and overall course maintenance.” While the course is a nine-hole layout, the back nine is a little different, as it has different tees, different yardages, different angles, and, on some holes, different pars. Overall, the Suwanee CC is an important recreation destination in Live Oak – for golfers and for fishermen.
“White Lake, which borders holes 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9, is a good fishing lake which is only open to members of the country club,” said Budwick. “The homeowners on the opposite side of the lake also enjoy the lake!” Another interesting aspect of Suwannee is its topography. The terrain is not what you see on your typical Florida golf courses. “I don’t think I have seen a golf course in Florida with as many downhill shots and uphill shots, especially in the space of just nine holes,” said Budwick. In those early days, visitors paid $1.00 for green fees, the course was open for play on Sundays, and caddies were available for hire. Now, the green fees are a little higher and the course remains open for play on Sundays, but you’ll have to find your own caddy. Now, this par-36 layout is semi-private, but does provide tee times to the general public throughout the week. Suwannee CC is typical of many of the golf courses built in Florida during the 1920s. It is not a very long course, but it’s designed so that it requires more mental focus than brute strength to register a good score. That philosophy
Suwannee Country Club- #2 Green 42
best describes how to play the 9th Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
which were replaced in 2014, are in the tip-top shape. For golfers interested in blending some culture with their golf experience, it’s worth noting that the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park is nearby. Situated on the banks of the legendary Suwannee River, this center honors the memory of American composer Stephen Foster, who wrote “Old Folks at Home,” the song that made the river famous. The museum features exhibits about Foster’s most Golfers of the Suwannee Country Club- -Live Oak - 1926
famous songs and his music can be heard emanating from the park’s
hole, a 321-yard dogleg right par four.
5th hole is significant because former
97-bell carillon throughout the day.
On paper, it’s an easy hole, but in real-
Florida Governor Cary Hardee – gover-
The Suwannee CC awaits your
ity, it’s not. This hole’s biggest obstacle
nor from 1921-1925 -- registered a hole-
arrival as this course truly repre-
is the raised two-tiered putting surface.
in-one on the 5th on January 8, 1928.
sents a blend of the present (its
The most ‘famous’ hole at Suwan-
These days, the golf course
nee CC is the par three 5th hole. The
is in great shape. The greens,
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
new Tifgrand grass greens) with the past (it original 1920s design). 43
grip it and sip it
A conversation with Thomas Harrell of Banfi Vintners reveals that Turf Life is just as important to the wine industry as is it to golf. Character of a wine begins in terroir, the soil, or turf. Banfi’s dedication to a finer wine world includes the pursuit of excellence in making pure and natural wines, respecting the environment, protecting the turf! Castello Banfi is the first winery in the world to be awarded the international recognition for exceptional environmental, ethical and social responsibility (ISO 14001 and SA 8000). Please enjoy learning about these two wines from their international portfolio of over 60 labels, all which share the same priorities of practicing green winemaking.
FEATURED WINE: 2016 Castello Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio Toscana IGT Varietal: 100% Pinot Grigio Region: Tuscany Vineyards: Estate vineyards in the southern part of Montalcino. Yellowish brown, clay topsoil, slightly calcareous. Winemaking: Selective grape harvest. The temperature-controlled fermentation (59-64˚F) of the freerun juice is immediately followed by storage at a low temperature, which leaves a small and natural effervescence. A few months after the harvest, before the year ends, bottling takes place. TASTING NOTES Color: White-gold. Bouquet: Fresh bouquet with notes of pear, peach, anise and honey. Taste: Fruity and crisp, very refreshing. Food Pairing Excellent as an aperitif, or accompaniment to light dishes such as grilled vegetables and pasta primavera, as well as a range of seafood.
FEATURED WINE: 2012 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montacino DOCG Varietal: 100% Sangiovese Region: Tuscany
Vineyards: Estate vineyards on the southern hills of Montalcino. The grapes are grown in stony, calcareous and well-structured soil at an altitude of 720 feet above sea level. Winemaking: A meticulous grape selection is followed by vinification with skin contact for 10-12 days. Released in the 5th year after harvest, the wine is aged for a minimum of 4 years, including 2 years in oak barrels of various sizes, mainly French oak barriques and partly in Slavonian oak casks. TASTING NOTES Color: Intense ruby red with garnet reflections. Bouquet: Ethereal, violet, vanilla with hints of licorice. Taste: Full, soft, velvety, with traces of spice. Food Pairing Perfect with red meats, wild game and aged cheeses.
Grip it and Sip it. 44
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
By Jennifer Jolly
By Dove Jones
When Tournament Chairman, Ken Kennerly, had the brilliant idea to move The Honda Classic to PGA National, his vision was more than just to put one of the PGA TOUR’s oldest events onto a world-class championship course – his vision was to create a true world-class event that would excite everyone from the playing pros to the attending crowds. In less than a decade he has more than achieved his goal – The Honda Classic has become one of the TOUR’s favorite stops – for the Pros and the spectators. This year’s event set all sorts of attendance
records and produced a popular and deserving winner in Justin Thomas. Kennerly wanted partners that shared his vision, and his passion of bringing the fun back into a tournament that was basically on life support. Malcolm Gosling and Gosling’s was
Malcolm Gosling & Cousin Hugh Barit brand directly to the consumer, mainly
the perfect choice. Gosling’s, “for seven
through sponsorship of sporting events
stubborn generations,” as they like
from grass roots to the professional lev-
to say, is a 200-plus year old, family-
el. Favoring sports that are played by fun
owned, Bermuda-based business.
loving participants such as sailing, golf,
Gosling, had a vision to make Gosling’s
skiing and rugby, along with their distri-
a global brand, and as being a small
bution partner Castle Brands, Goslings
company they didn’t have millions
is not just “known” worldwide but now
for an advertising budget, he took the
available globally. You can check out
The GANGS ALL HERE! 46
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
An Annual fixture - The Newport Boys make the pilgrimage in Bermuda Shorts - with Malcom & Ambrose Gosling all the action on their “Goslings Sport”
ing charitable component make this an
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages or
event we are very proud to support.”
visit the website at www.Goslings.com Gosling’s initially made their mark in
“Ten years ago Ken Kennerly approached us with his vision of making
the worldwide yachting community with
the Bear Trap a unique, exciting hos-
their trademarked, Dark N’Stormy™,
pitality product unlike any other. Ken
the national drink of Bermuda. During
felt strongly that Gosling’s would be a
the famous Newport to Bermuda Race
perfect fit to make the vision a real-
boats sailed to Bermuda with the bar-
ity. He was right. The venue has now
est of provisions to ensure speed, but
grown to over 30,000 square feet and
left the island loaded to the gunwales
has become a yearly destination for
with bottles of the prized dark rum.
thousands of national and interna-
The host course to The Honda Classic,
tional golf (and rum) enthusiasts!”
The Championship Course, designed by
The capacity for thirsty fans isn’t
Jack Nicklaus (The Golden Bear), has an
the only thing that has expanded – to
infamous stretch of holes (15-17) known
4,500 – the menu of drinks this year
as “The Bear Trap.” Even through is it
featured something for everyone. It
made up of two par 3’s and a par 4, the
included concoctions that incorporated
swirling winds and forced water carries
not only the original Black Seal dark
make it a round wrecker even for the
rum, but also their recently reformu-
pros. It also features a perfect viewing
lated Golden Seal rum, that mixes
platform to see the action on the green
with everything, and their uniquely
of the 16th and the tee shots on the 17th,
formulated Gosling’s brand Ginger
And so the GOSLING’S Bear Trap was
Beer that was specifically crafted to
born. As Gosling describes it, “We are always in search of the perfect environ-
Gosling’s Rums & Ginger Beer make more than perfect Dark N’ Stormys try these winning combinations while you count the days to the 2019 Honda! The Dark N’Stormy™ – Black Seal Rum, Goslings Ginger Beer, Lime
The Dark N’Skinny – Black Seal Rum, Goslings Diet Ginger Beer, Lime The Bloody Gosling – Black Seal Rum, Bloody Mary Mix, Lime or Lemon (Trust us it’s the BEST Bloody you’ll ever taste) The Golden Bear – Gold Seal Rum, Lemonade, Goslings Ginger Beer, Mint The Bermuda Mule – Gold Seal Rum, Goslings Ginger Beer The Goslings Swizzle – Black Seal, Gold Seal, Orange & Pineapple juice, Grenadine & Bitters The Transfusion – Gold Seal, Ginger Ale, Grape Juice & Lime
make the ultimate Dark N’Stormy™. This year’s party was epic – so
ment to showcase our award-winning
be sure to make plans NOW to at-
family of products. The Honda Classic
tend the 2019 Honda Classic as Gos-
has turned out to be exactly that. The
ling’s cordially invites you to “Cheat
location, the quality field, the passionate
on your Beer” at the GOSLINGS Bear
spectators along with the Honda’s amaz-
Trap – golf’s Ultimate Party!
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
The Dark N' Stormy 47
By Tony Leodora
Golf Industry Finally Coming to the Rescue of the Average Golfer … Through Innovation For years the golf industry has talked about innovation … and how change has been a driving force in the business. But much of that unique innovation
has been followed by imitation. Introduce a new material to clubmaking – such as titanium – and, soon, everybody is using titanium. Increase the size of the head on drivers and, soon, everybody is making bigger drivers. In many cases, that imitation is not a bad thing. For example, despite an initial wave of resistance, soft plastic cleats on golf shoes soon became the standard for the industry and they were being manufactured by a number of companies. The net result is that putting surfaces have benefitted from the change. Often, the new trends make their debut at the annual PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. This year’s 65th PGA Merchandise Show was no exception. More than 1,000 exhibitors greeted visitors from all 50 states and from 90 countries around the world. While the show is put on by the professional golfers who make up the PGA of America, the latest trend seemed to be increased attention on the average golfer – the ones who make up the overwhelming majority of the world’s 60 million golfers. A number of the products that caught the eye of our roving research team serve the specific purpose of making the very difficult game of golf a bit easier for the average player. And easier is a good thing. Other noteworthy products merely attracted attention because of their amazing style. Even if your score on the golf course is not good … at least you can look good.
SuperSpeed Golf Training aids are the residue of overimaginative inventors. They lie awake at night dreaming of new gimmicks that will turn Joe Shankchop into the next coming of Jordan Spieth. Basements, garages and closets are full of these devices. Some are too complicated. Others too time consuming. And others just don’t work. Now there is one that is simple, easy and makes so much sense. It works for everyone from the beginner to the touring pro. Super Speed Golf is a system of three weighted “clubs” that train the golfer to attain a higher club speed. They are not actually clubs, used to hit a golf ball. The grips and shafts are the same … but at the end of the shaft is a small weight. Two weigh less than a normal golf club, and one weighs slightly more. Going back many years, golfers would swing two golf clubs, or a heavy weight … trying to hit the ball farther. While the weighted instrument might build strength, it actually teaches the golfer to swing slower. Counter-productive. This new system of swinging a much lighter club, then a slightly lighter club, before advancing to a slightly heavier club, has been proven to increase clubhead speed in a very short time. “If you just swing a heavy club by itself, 48
your body is going to rotate slower and the club is going to move slower,” explains SuperSpeed president Mike Napoleon. “Neurologically, this actually creates a slower reaction speed when you stand up on the tee and pull the trigger with the driver. The way you actually train for speed is to move faster. With SuperSpeed’s lighter clubs, you move faster first and this creates a re-set of how fast your body is able to respond, when you pull the trigger.” SuperSpeed is now used by more than 350 touring professional golfers. The set sells for $199.95 and comes with a series of training videos. www.superspeedgolf.com
It has all of the technological developments and high-quality components of the best tour golf balls – but with engineering designed to make the ball respond well to slower clubhead speeds. “The Q-Star Tour takes all of the technology of our multi-piece golf balls for tour players but we use a lower compression so that average swing speed golfers are able to compress it,” explains Jeff Brunski, Srixon’s director of research and development. “They will get better launch conditions for their game, but still get the tour caliber greenside control. It’s all about getting a golf ball that is designed for your game.” Now, not only are the majority of golfers able to play a ball that will help their game, they can play a ball that will help their bank account. The Q-Star Tour golf ball sells for around $29. It is currently available only in white, but optic yellow is said to be on the way. www.srixon.com
High Heat 257+ Srixon Q-Star Tour Paying $50 a dozen for a premium golf ball is a tough pill to swallow for some golfers. But many willingly pay the price … hoping for the same excellent performance that the world’s best golfers get from their golf ball. But what happens when the majority of golfers discover, through ball-fitting and the detailed statistics now provided by launch monitors, that the high-priced ball is not helping them? In many cases, it is hurting them. Golfers with swing speeds in the 80s and 90s cannot benefit from the design of most top-line golf balls. That’s why Srixon produced the Q-Star Tour golf ball.
The High Heat driver, fairway woods and hybrids have been a hot item at the PGA Show the last few years. Designed by Dean Knuth, the man who devised the USGA’s slope and rating system, the clubs are another example of a product marketed to the average golfer. They have won awards for their ingenuity and versatility. Now the new 257+ technology has been added to the face of the entire line. The number – 257 – refers to the USGA’s maximum allowable measurement for trampoline effect. It refers only to the sweet spot on the face of the club. Now, there is an increased number allowable for the heel and toe of all clubs … and High Heat is taking dead aim at that number. Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
“Players actually will be able to get increased distance from heel and toe hits,” explains Knuth, who has made this line of golf clubs his passion. “This greatly impacts and helps amateur golfers, who don’t hit it on the center of the clubface all of the time. “Almost all major manufacturers are at or near the 257 limit on the sweet spot,” Knuth continues. “However, they all drop off significantly outside of the sweet spot. We actually increase the trampoline effect outside of the sweet spot. This is the only club where golfers can actually gain distance on off-center hits.” The new 257+ clubs also come with a re-designed top face that aids in alignment. www.knuthgolf.com
took a holistic approach to improve scoring on the greens,” explains Colin Callahan, Creative Director of Pyramid Putters. “The Pyramid Putter features a unique milled face that reduces skid when hit off the sweet spot and provides a gear effect to keep your ball on line for putts that are hit off the toe or heel. The putter features a superb alignment triangle on the leading edge that helps the player imagine a tracking line to their target. “In addition, the flange features a target line, that when aligned with the leading-edge pyramid, lets the golfer know that their lie angle is correct. Pyramid Putters also come standard with a parallel width grip to keep the wrist action to a minimum. The current Aztec series has the option of blade or mallet.” The putters are available in a blade or mallet style and are priced at $279.95. www.pyramidputters.com
Nexbelt’s Rowland Thomas Luxury Belt
Pyramid Putters Equipment scouts at the PGA Show had to venture to the New Product Section to find the new Pyramid Putters. The debut/fail rate for putters is always very high. But this new putter has a very good chance to stick around. The Pyramid Putters feature Pyramid© grooves on the leading edge that help center the ball on the sweet spot of the putter face. The grooves that make up the pyramid create a visual tracking line directly to the target. When the ball is struck in the sweet spot of the putter face, the horizontal-milled grooves provide the ball with top spin, preventing the ball from skidding or bouncing off the line, and tracking toward the target. The Precision Grooved Face© of the Pyramid Putter consists of the horizontal sweet spot milling described above. The tow and heel are diagonally milled so the same result is achieved on off-center hits. “Pyramid Putters give you the tools to sink more putts, plain and simple. We Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
luxury belts is between $180 and $230, a big jump from the reasonably priced line of Nexbelt products – but well below other imported and hand-made luxury belts from designers such as Gucci, Armani and Luis Vuitton. www.rowlandthomas.com or www.nexbelt.com
Ever since taking the PGA Merchandise Show by storm in its debut year of 2013, the Nexbelt story has gotten better and better. Known as “the belt with no holes,” the belt that first became famous for its ratchet fit system has become a leader in style. Colors, different buckles and different textures have been introduced each year, leading to a huge assortment of options. What next? The Rowland Thomas Luxury Belt is the newest item from Nexbelt and it is an unrivaled piece of high fashion. Now there’s a Nexbelt model that can be worn confidently along with the most expensive imported suit … or the flashiest golf course combination. “These belts use calfskin leather, imported from Italy, and are hand-made in America,” explains Nexbelt CEO Eddie Rowland. “They come in five different models, including the serpent belt, which looks like a reptile, even though all of the styles are made from calfskin. These are the first luxury ratchet belts in the U.S. and we just felt there was a calling for something really elegant.” The retail price for this new line of
One of the great success stories from the world of golf apparel in recent years is Antigua. The Phoenix area-based company has been around for 36 years but the last 10 years has seen a quantum leap across the board – especially in women’s golf apparel. While function has always been a keystone of the company – manufacturing clothing that is meant to be worn while playing the game – a bit more fashion can be seen in the line this year. Most notably, the new line of Anchorage men’s pullovers, is an item that looks equally appealing on the golf course or for an evening on the town. This 100 percent polyester double knit solid ottoman texture pullover has a rich look, while maintaining a bit of give in the fabric to aid performance. It is accented with dyed-to-match double knit large ottoman quilt pattern sleeve insets. It has a quarter-zip stand up collar and open bottom. “The Anchorage pullover is receiving a lot of attention because, not only is it designed for golf, but it is a lifestyle piece,” says John Anderson, Antigua’s national sales manager for the golf division. “This is our best-selling fashion outerwear piece. It comes in five great colors and is already the hit of the new golf season.” Despite the rich look, Anchorage pullovers are reasonably priced at $84.95. www.antigua.com 49
NOT PLAYING AROUND! Blend of golf & cornhole named “Best New Product” at 2018 PGA Show
wo friends, Matt Moss and Brendan McAuley, both avid golfers and intensely competitive backyard gamers, came up with an idea one night most likely over an adult beverage or two. That idea? To marry the most popular backyard game in America, Cornhole, with a chipping wedge and a golf ball and Chippo Golf LLC was born.
Chippo officially launched at the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange Country Convention Center in January. This fun, addicting, “why didn’t I think of this” game is perfect for the backyard, the beach, tailgating and more. A panel of award-winning PGA Professionals and top golf buyers voted Chippo as the “Best New Product of the PGA Show” based on aesthetics, uniqueness, best features for filling a consumer need, and packaging. 50
“We are ecstatic to be recognized as Best New Product of the PGA Show,” said Matt Moss, COO and co-founder of Chippo Golf. “My partner, Brendan, and myself are two washed-up athletes who love backyard games and golf. That was our inspiration for Chippo. It’s a dream come true.” Chippo is reminiscent of cornhole, washers or horseshoes, but with some cool twists. The set comes with a Chippo board containing three different sized holes, a bag of Almost Golf practice balls, a practice matt and a convenient carry case. Players simply aim at the board and chip. Chippo is fun and extremely portable. It’s a cool addition to any party or 19th hole event and is an ideal gift for golfers and non-golfers who just want to sip it and chip it! How did we ever survive without Chippo in our lives? To become part of Chippo Nation, visit www.chippogolf.com
CHIPPO GAMES There are three different games that can be played: 1) Match Play; 2) Cornhole style and 3) Six Ball. The scoring works like this: Boardie: Just hit the board on the fly. 1 point 3-Hole: Drain your shot in the larger center hole. 3 points
5-Hole: Send the ball to its home in either top corner hole. 5 points. Bounce Shot: If you’re a surgeon with a sixty degree wedge, bounce your shot off the chipping mat for double (2, 6 or 10) points. 2x points.
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
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tennessee golf central
Fairfield Glade Resort Launches TrackMan Golf Simulator Fairfield Glade is pleased to announce the addition of the TrackMan Golf Simulator to enhance the golf experience at Fairfield Glade Resort which is already home to five beautiful championship golf courses, including Stonehenge Golf Club. The TrackMan Grand Opening was held December, 2017 with special “Shootout with the Pros” held on January 2nd, February 6th and February 22nd. The three events included 92 players. Many awards were given during these events...and the response was so great that more shootouts are being planned throughout the year. The TrackMan is located inside the Community Conference Center and golfers can play over 80 golf courses including Pebble Beach, Bethpage Black and Royal
Melbourne. Other built in features of the TrackMan Golf Simulator include; closest to the pin, long drive competitions, 36 modes of play, up to 8 players on one simulator, wind and weather options and much more. The TrackMan Golf Simulator is the most progressive and sophisticated performance enhancing software in the industry. Play or practice is $33 per hour and TrackMan lessons are also available by Fairfield Golf Pros. Reservations can be made by calling Central Tee Times 931484-3729. Now the Fun Begins with the Grand Opening of Fairfield Glade’s New TrackMan Golf Simulator. For more information, please contact Jeff Houston, Director of Golf 931-456-5724. Fairfield Glade is an affordable
12,000+ acre golf, tennis and lake resort community located on the Cumberland Plateau near Crossville, TN. Situated between Nashville and Knoxville at 2000 feet above sea level, it is the highest point between the Rocky and Smoky Mountains. This resort community has five championship golf courses, including Stonehenge Golf Course, home of the Tennessee Women’s Open Championship. There are 11 spring-fed lakes for boating and fishing along with two full-service marinas and sandy beaches on lakes Dartmoor and St. George. There are miles of paved walking and hiking trails which take advantage of the incredible natural beauty and beautiful mountain views. The Conference Center has 36,000 sq. ft. with meeting space to satisfy the needs of any event. The Conference Center also has an indoor Junior Olympic sized pool, hot tub, sauna, basketball courts, and “In the Classroom” area. There is an on-site Wellness Center with stateof-the-art fitness equipment, another indoor pool and exercise classes. Fairfield Glade has indoor and outdoor tennis and pickleball courts, two outdoor pools and mini-golf. In addition to all the outdoor amenities and activities, Fairfield Glade offers some of the best resort casual dining in Tennessee with Legends & Fireside Lounge and Stonehenge Grille. Fairfield Glade has achieved the distinction of being named a Top 50 Best Master Planned Community in the U.S. in 2017 by Where to Retire Magazine and has been included on the list for the past seven years. Fairfield Glade is located at 7827 Peavine Road, near Crossville, TN just 6 miles off I-40 and within a short drive of three metropolitan cities- less than an hour from Knoxville and less than two hours from Nashville and Chattanooga. For more information about Fairfield Glade Community Club, visit our web site at www.Fairfieldglade.cc or like us on Facebook. Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
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Tony Loyola in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico Strong Four months have passed since Hurricane Maria plowed through Puerto Rico on September 20th. The storm caused widespread destruction on the island. Electricity and clean water wasn’t available throughout the island, and still is not in some areas, forcing many residents to flee to the US mainland. The chief executive of Puerto Ricoʼs public power utility, Richard Ramos, told CNN on September 21st that the entire electrical infrastructure had been “destroyed”. The Category 5 hurricane hit the island directly with non-stop wind and rain for more than 30 hours. Many professionals have deemed Maria as a catastrophic event, which tend to wipe out infrastructure over a large area of land. Two weeks after landfall, only 7,200 military personnel made it to Puerto Rico- which many may seem like a lot but the population of Puerto Rico in 2016 was 3.4 million. Today, only 40% of the island’s power has been restored. That percentage doesn’t indicate how much of that is going to schools, hospitals and homes. The long-term outages are affecting every part of life. In San Juan, many apartment blocks are still dark at night 54
aside from candles flickering in windows. Fancy hotels have, sometimes failing, generators. Many businesses and restaurants remain closed- these details don’t even speak to part of the island that has less resources and no way to contact anyone to get them. PGA Professionals Seth Henrich and Tony Loyola know first-hand the effects of Maria. Henrich had to send his
family to Iowa where his kids can be in school- which may seem like an easy task but many flights were booked full for days and prices to leave the island were through the roof. Loyola went without power for 70 days. The following is a personal account from PGA Professional Tony Loyola. “The Caribbean Islands have greatly suffered during the 2017 hurricane season, being affected not once, but twice by two of the most powerful hurricanes in history. First, on September 6th, Hurricane Irma devastated the US & British Virgin Islands and parts of Puerto Rico causing severe infrastructural damage and leaving many without power, water, food supplies and homes. During the initial weeks, we were not able to get in touch with our fellow PGA professional Nevin Phillips from Mahogany Run Golf Club in St. Thomas. Luckily he and his team survived but were struggling to get food and water. Not long after, on September 20th, Hurricane Maria struck the islands as category 5 hurricane, devastating what was left. Communications and power went down in Puerto Rico only 2 hours after the first part of Maria entered through the East Coast. Once the hurricane had passed, we were all left without power, water and communication service. Just like Irma had left the Virgin Islands, we all were left without our basic needs, including for many, shelter. Trying to leave your house and checking on others was dangerous as there were many areas flooded and roads were blocked by fallen trees or mudslides. Power lines and poles were broken or laying on the middle of the road. I got power service back on November 29th, 71 days after Maria hit. I was not able to communicate with my family for almost three weeks and to do so we had to drive to an area on the highway were the first signals for cellular coverage started working. It was impressive to see how lines of cars formed on the side of the highway to get this weak signal hoping to make contact with their loved ones. Gas stations did not have enough fuel to service the demand and started running out of gas. Lines of 5 to 10 hours formed to get only $25 (it was being rationed) Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
worth of gas that would be divided between the vehicle and gas generator, if you were lucky to have one. All the golf courses suffered substantial damages and were closed for weeks. Some are still closed with no future opening date determined like Mahogany Run Golf Course in St. Thomas. The courses that are open have limited play and loss of the high season is a fulfilled reality. Projected revenues are at least cut in half and difficult measures to minimize expenses are being used. This includes keeping facilities closed until next year and laying off most of their employees. Our fellow PGA professionals have lost significant amount of revenues generated through lessons, commission and bonus programs. We can say, we are grateful to be a part of the PGA of America, as all of the economic assistance being received has alleviated part of the loss. However, it will not be enough for those who have or could lose their jobs. Many will be without power during the Holiday season as it will take more than 6 months to repair the power grid, especially those families in the middle of the island. Power generation is roughly 50% and we are on day 91 (December 19th). There is still much work to be done and there are not enough workers to cover the areas that need repairs. Thanks to the PGA, the South Florida Section and the Island Chapter we are making a small impact on our communities by delivering food supplies and power generators for people with medical conditions living in their homes. On behalf of the Island Chapter, I want to take this opportunity to thank the South Florida PGA for providing us with the relief and assistance funds as well as donating $10,000 towards the purchase of supplies for our communities in need. The first community we visited was Las Marias on December 17th. Around 200 bags with basic supplies and three power generators were handed out with the help of the Mayor. Our next stop will be on January 11th in Punta Santiago in Humacao were we should assist close to 500 families. We are not done yet and our islands still needs all the help we can get. With donations and assistance like these, we can create small changes in people’s lives and provide a better holiday season. The joy in people’s faces who see us there with them, even though they live in inhumane conditions, makes you realize that most of us truly have more than we need.”
WOMEN’S GOLF DAY 2018 On February 5th
, over one hundred women filled the range and practice greens of Jupiter Country Club in Jupiter, Florida. All women were varying in skill level, and their relationship with the game of golf. However, all in attendance were keen on improving their golfing game in hopes to prolong their enjoyment of the lifelong game. This free event consisted of: individual instruction from fourteen local PGA Professionals, swing improveGolf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
ment technology from Jupiter Medical Center, raffle prizes from local businesses, and a clinic from local golf legend Michelle McGann, LGPA. McGann discussed pre-round routines, superstitions, friendships deepened on the Legends Tour and when to correct a swing flaw and when to let it fly. The south Florida native also discussed her philanthropic efforts concerning juvenile diabetes, a condition she has faced over thirty years leading her to begin the Michelle McGann Fund focused supporting diabetes education and awareness. Demonstrating swing thoughts translated into shot results through her bag, the local legend also fielded questions from participants including concerns about club selection. The South Florida PGA facilitates this event on both coasts to provide golf opportunities to captive audiences like the women of south Florida. Many participants walked away feeling educated and encouraged to continue pursuing to increase their golf skills.
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
P ER FORMANCE SUNW E A R
Transitions and the swirl are registered trademarks and Transitions Adaptive Lenses is a trademark of Transitions Optical, Inc. ©2012 Transitions Optical, Inc.
orth florida PGA north florida PGA north florida PGA north florida PGA north
By Steve Morris
Section Rallies For Jan! great to watch these athletes compete with pride for their schools, and they seem to enjoy the warm Florida weather!
As a 28-year employee of the North Florida Section, Jan Olier has dedicated her life to the Members and is loved by all. Recently, Jan’s life has hit a major road bump when late last year,
The North Florida PGA Tournament
she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Although health insurance relieves some of the financial burden, the bills are piling up. The Section has created a GoFundMe page to help offset her escalating medical costs and we are proud to say that Members and friends have contributed about $12,000! Our fundraising efforts will continue throughout Jan’s battle and we are so glad that her treatment has been going well. Jan still works every day and loves her job. Thank you to all who have donated, it’s incredible to see the tremendous response and support she has received from the Members of the North Florida PGA and our friends. If you are interested in donating, visit GoFundMe.com/ stand-by-jan. 56
Staff is proud to assist the PGA TOUR
In other news, some may think
with administering the Pre-Qualifiers
spring is a quiet time for the North
and Monday Open Qualifier for the
Florida Section Tournament Staff, but
Valspar Championship. Hundreds
that’s not so! Our staff and rules of-
compete for the few spots into the Val-
ficials stay busy hosting some major
spar Championship and our staff and
championships for college conferences.
officials coordinate the process from
We are proud to coordinate and admin-
start to finish! The finish is typically in
ister events such as the Big 10 Match
a playoff on Tuesday. Our officials are
Play Men’s Championship, Ameri-
on hand for rules and most importantly
can Conference Men’s and Women’s
the pace of play. Such short days mean
Championships, and Atlantic 10 Men’s
its sun up to sundown. Our Tourna-
Championship. Our experienced staff
ment Staff is proud to have such a role
is there to ensure these championships
in the PGA TOUR’s schedule and we
run smoothly and efficiently. The Sec-
look forward to watching the best of
tion wants to make sure these college
the best compete.
athletes have the best experiences for these important competitions. It’s Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
What is Sunniland? Sunniland
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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!
what if alignment was...
ho ever gets it right?
What if you never had to work on your alignment? What if you knew why the ball flew in the wrong direction? What if you hit a good shot and it went where you aimed? What if alignment was automatic? In practicing alignment the general routine goes something like this. Alignment sticks go on the ground parallel to each other pointing at the intended target. This creates the idea of “railroad tracks” where the target line or ball line is one side of the tracks and your body line is the other track - parallel but left of the target line. Yet on the course, the aid of the alignment sticks is not there. Typically, 99 percent of amateurs (right handed) line up to the right of the target, thinking they are at the target. As a result, that is exactly where the ball goes — way right of the target. Your “Helpful Harry“ partner says, “That’s exactly where you lined up!” To confirm what he said, you lay the club on the ground across your toe line. To view where the club is pointing, you step back and sure enough, you are pointed to the right, exactly where the ball went. Back to the drawing board and back to the range with the alignment sticks on the ground. Same practice. . . same on-course and off-line results. I stopped teaching parallel lines because nobody understood it. So I had to come up with a better way. What if you never had to worry about alignment again? What if alignment was automatic? Let’s break it down to understand the geometry; the perspective 58
of how to aim; how we “see” it and what that means to alignment. The first question is: “Do railroad tracks meet in the distance?” Some people say yes and others say no. They do not actually meet, they only appear to meet. In reality when you walk to that point in the distance, the space between the tracks is constant. Just as flags on a range appear smaller in distance, yet they are all the same height. This is called depth perspective - how we see things in the distance in three-dimensional reality (see diagram 1). Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
160 yds 140 yds 120 yds
100 yds 80 yds 60 yds
40 yds 20 yds
track illusion. As the target gets farther out in distance from the golf ball and you, the divergence from the center line increases in width. The appearance will look 5 to 30 degrees left of your target line as the distance increases (see diagram 2). Now here is the tricky part. Your eye sight is deceptive because as you look up at your target in the distance it only LOOKS like you are to the left. You are not. It appears that way because of our perspective or how we see it. The “V” gets bigger as you go out farther. The solution to alignment on the course is to develop a pre-shot routine that makes alignment automatic. In Golf 8.5, my approach to teaching a simple and repeatable swing, I teach four steps for your pre-shot routine and 4.5 steps in your swing. Alignment occurs during the four pre-swing steps that I refer to as G-CAP. Done in the right order, it makes alignment easy and automatic every time you swing. What is G-CAP? G - Grip the club in the air. C - Club is set on the ground with the leading edge perpendicular to target line by stepping in with rear foot. A - Align your foot line perpendicular to the leading edge of the club which puts you in automatic “parallel” alignment. P - Posture happens automatically. The key is to use G-CAP in the right order and to set the clubhead first before setting the foot or body alignment. Here is how that works: • Stand 3 to 4 feet behind the golf ball in line with your intended target. • Draw an imaginary line from the target through to the golf ball. • Pick out a distinguishable spot, like the forward sight on a gun or bow and arrow, no more than a club length (3ft.) or less in front of the ball. That becomes your target and target line. Your target or “intermediate target” is now that spot. • Step in with the rear foot to set the leading edge of the club perpendicular to that short line. • Set your foot line perpendicular to the leading edge. Alignment sticks can aid in practice sessions. By utilizing G-CAP during practice sessions and on the course, picking an intermediate spot and setting the club first, alignment will soon be easy and absolutely on target every time. Guaranteed! E-mail me and let me know how this works for you.
In preparing to swing in real-time, which is three-dimensional, not one-dimensional, and looking at a target 10 yards or so away, the visual triangle is going to flip and look the opposite. That “V” or the railroad track will look the opposite than it does on paper or in the distance. The “V” or as I like to call it the “piece of pie” will look the opposite of the railroad track. It will widen or disperse looking out into the distance at a target - not narrow like the railroad Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
by Kay McMahon E-mail: Kay@eduKaytiongolf.com Website: www.eduKaytiongolf.com 59
living on the links
Zelman Style Interiors THE FORMER STUART RESIDENCE, LOCATED IN THE EXCLUSIVE OCEAN CLUB ESTATES ON PARADISE ISLAND, IS AN ICONIC VENETIAN-INSPIRED PALACE.
With its perfectly positioned southern exposure, the grand estate showcases expansive views of Nassau Harbour and the awe-inspiring turquoise waters of the Bahamas. The owner of this majestic home, Len Stuart, now deceased, was a Canadian business legend who started a small lottery printing business in 1970 with three employees, and, over time, developed it into an international manufacturing empire with 2,600 employees and over 200 million in sales. Growing and expanding as a wildly successful entrepreneur, Stuart and his various businesses have been profiled in such publications as Forbes and Barron’s, and Stuart himself eventually became a trusted business partner to governments around the world. After more than a 20 year run in the gaming industry, Stuart raised more than $50 million per year for charity. During this same period, he served as co-chairman, co-owner, secretary, and treasurer of The Second City Inc., otherwise known as Second City Television, financing its first seven television programs, where he was the recipient of two Emmy 60
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
Awards, 13 Emmy Nominations, and an Actra Award for lifetime achievement. Prior to his passing, with his fortune in hand, Stuart sought out to buy not only a grand piece of real estate in a Caribbean paradise in which to enjoy his success, but a luxury lifestyle to go along with it. He chose the exclusive and extremely private Ocean Club Estate, which would offer him access to its world-class 18- hole Championship golf course by Tom Weiskopf, its state-of-theart tennis courts and private beach club, in addition to the use of all the facilities of the Atlantis Resort & Casino and One & Only Club Resort. Loving everything about his purchase except for the style and décor of the actual home itself, Stuart imagined its potential if placed in the right hands. Wanting only a top designer that would help bring his imagination to life, Stuart hired premiere interior designer, Steven Zelman, of Zelman Style Interiors - a Florida based luxury design firm. Upon arrival, Zelman evaluated the estate, immediately recognizing the need to transform the space from its very dark and very traditional feel to something more contemporary and light, but not modern, which was a familiar style trait for Zelman. The integrity of the architectural details needed to be well maintained and the property should exude a European contemporary feel with moderately traditional backgrounds, assisted by light colours, modern Italian furnishings, beautiful lighting, mixed Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
with contemporary, if not modern, artwork. After reviewing Zelman’s ideas, Stuart sealed the deal and Zelman Style began their preparations. Presentations were created so that every detail would be covered, affording Stuart to not only see selections, drawings, fabrics, stone and marble samples, etc., but also to experience a virtual walk through of the main living areas. This would be created through Auto-CAD drawings, complete selections of all furnishings, flooring materials, lighting, artwork, accessories, automation, backgrounds, built-ins, window treatments and even landscaping. Then, once approved, the ideas were brought into a 3D realistic setting for Stuart’s stamp of approval. The home, once transformed, featured a one-of-akind mother of pearl mantel, an open-plan living and kitchen area beneath a lofty 35 ft cathedral ceiling, with three 30 ft Palladian style windows accented by Venetian hand-varnished walls and columns. Much of the furniture was custommade in Italy, while Indian silk and New Zealand wool rugs adorn the floors. He
had 7 ft chandeliers crafted in metal with a pearlescent finish adorned with crystals and designed the powder rooms to exude a contemporary European feel with pearlescent beaded wallpaper, Italian white marble counter tops, and hand-painted face bowls. A custom kitchen and bar boasting a
unique recycled glass countertop with a built-in Miele coffee maker and Wolf and Thermador cooking appliances are any chef’s dream. A breakfast nook featuring handmade Italian leather chairs and a separate private formal dining room with a custom made nine ft table with chairs covered in Romo fabric and exquisite silk meet all dining needs. A butler’s pantry housing a 100 bottle Sub Zero wine cooler, with handsome staff quarters and a laundry room nearby all add to the luxury of the property. The master suite encompasses the entire eastern wing of the home, adorned with custom-made furniture and Italian light fixtures, a sitting room, a walk-in wardrobe, and ‘his and her’ bathrooms with patio doors that open out to the pool and covered veranda. ‘Her’ bathroom has a custom-made vanity and is bedecked with Austrian crystals, adding femininity, elegance and ambience to the lighting. Most of the furnishings throughout the home are custom-made. The sofas in the parlour were made in Italy, however with fabrics were imported from different countries. The sofas were also made to dimensions comfortable for Stuart. Zelman commissioned the chandeliers to be made in Italy and had them custom-painted by one of the most luxurious Italian car manufacturers to illustrate a pearlescent feel unattainable by other forms of paint Wall sconces hand-blown in Murano, Italy and a dining room table and built-in server designed and built specifically for purpose add to the uniqueness of the property, as was the parlour credenza, bar, and master bedroom bed. More one-of-a-kid
features include the bar and kitchen island counter made out of giant piece of recycled glass, and, low light- up specially designed for the bar, for when Stuart entertained. While the entire estate is impressive, a most intriguing design is the lit, pass-through wine towers that separate the bar from the breakfast room. These towers are see-through, architecturally chic, and usable, without being intrusive, as if they are floating on the bar, a challenge, no doubt, for the designers to get the electricity to run through them without altering the appearance of having them float. On the mezzanine level, there is an extensive library curving around the second floor, plus an additional family seating area, two additional en suite bedrooms with walk-in closets and private balconies – one to the east with a playroom and one to the west. The designer chose an overall neutral background palette, however making the
large walls in the main parlour and the upper walls in the master bedroom a beautiful shade of blue to accent the water visible from nearly every window. The palette for the backgrounds throughout the home were neutral earth tones married with warm greys and silvers, and the artwork, pillows and mosaic inlays were added to bring a splash of colour. Additionally, he designed two spacious very private one bedroom guest houses, one on either side of the driveway. Both showcasing a petite kitchen, walk-in wardrobes and private porches that open to the lush landscaped gardens. The entire re-do required everything to be shipped in two 40-foot containers. Getting materials to the property was not a problem, however getting the workers and their tools there was apparently a challenge. Zelman shipped the tools needed to do the installations in the containers, however the cost to ship them back was not feasible, so he sold the tools to local sources at a discounted price. Shipping the recycled glass was also challenging as the counters were pre-made in the States, and were very costly. They had to be carefully crated and weighed thousands of pounds. Because each slab is bookmatched, any damage would cause Zelman to have to remake the entire top. It took 14 men to bring them into the home and the installation went in without a hitch. Ken Gibson of the Bahamian company Top Tier Installers, provided a great deal of assistance. All in all, Len Stuart and his wife moved into the property 10 months after his initial meeting with Zelman. Thrilled and relaxed, cold weather clad Canadian Stuart was now set to enjoy his palatial island paradise in the tropics, and that he did! Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
CELEBRATE A Golfing Renaissance Charlotte Harbor National at Bobcat Trail is the newest jewel in the Gulf Coast Golfing Crown. Owner Rich Smith, former CEO of the North Florida Section of the PGA of America cordially invites you to enjoy a unique new level of the golfing experience. A multimillion dollar renewal of the greens and fairways, completely updated club and facilities plus a new dimension of regular entertainment all combine to offer Gulf Coast Golfing enthusiasts a new destination to play.
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Black Bear Golf Club –
By David Theoret President/Writer - The Golfin' Guy, LLC
Simply Put, Central Florida’s Best Golf Value If you’re looking for some of the best golf between Ocala and Daytona, there is no better choice than Black Bear in Eustis. Black Bear is a P.B. Dye design and from the looks of it, his father would be proud. What it lacks in Pete Dye trademark railroad tie bunkers and risk reward carry-the-water holes, it makes up for in fairway bunkers and difficult greenside bunkers many of them nestled into the surrounding mounds. In all, there are over 120 bunkers throughout the layout. Over the years, Black Bear has served as a qualifier for the Florida USGA Publinks Championship, as well as the Hooters and Canadian tours and the Florida PGA. Black Bear was chosen not only for the great course but also for the practice facilities; they are some of the best in the entire Orlando area. In addition to a double-ended driving range, there’s a 40,000 square-foot short game area complete with sand traps and a large putting green. One of the things you’ll want to be sure and practice on the range is your lob shot; it will
come in handy on those holes where your approach shots miss the green. On several holes, finding the fairway off the tee can be easier than at most courses; the mounding and dunes on the peripheries tend to funnel the ball back into the middle. Approaching the green from the short grass is a definite benefit as you’ll need all the help you can get to hit some of the smallest greens in the area. It’s not uncommon to find a green that’s over 150 feet long but only 35 feet wide. Or vice versa. The dunes also serve to isolate each hole, giving you the feeling that your group is the only one
on the course. Although this Bermuda rough may not look difficult in its brown, dormant state, it’s cut short and still provides the same challenge. The greens at Black Bear are a story all to themselves. Collectively, they are probably the smallest greens I have played in Florida. That said, there are a couple that are about 150 feet long, but only 35 feet wide or deep! Like the rest of the course,
there’s a lot of undulation in the greens, and they are typically quick. The par 4, 6th hole is a slight dogleg left that plays 351 yards from the Black Tees. Be sure to avoid the waste bunker on the left that sits well below the fairway, it makes getting on in regulation very difficult. A good drive will leave a short to mid iron approach shot to a well-elevated green and may require an extra club. The green presents a difficult bump and run opportunity; in addition to being elevated, it’s fronted by deep bunkers on either side as well as two in back. Number 9 has the Dye name written all over it as evidenced by the pot bunker that sits in the middle of the fairway. From the Black Tees, the hole plays 391 yards, so for most golfers the bunker is not in play off the tee, but rest assured, it’s there. Your approach shot needs to carry the green as another massive bunker with a huge lip sits directly in front. Par is a good score here. The 388 -yard Par 4, Number 10 is another hole that doglegs slightly to the left, daring you to try and cut the cor64
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
ner, however with out of bounds looming down the entire left side of the tee, the risk outweighs the reward. Playing down the right side may add a little length to the hole, but it also provides an easier approach as it takes much of the sand and water on the left side out of play. At only 107 yards from the Black Tees, number 15 may seem like a pushover but the bunkers and green suggest otherwise. This short hole has no less than 9 bunkers around the green awaiting errant tee shots and the green is over 50 yards long and only 15 yards wide. The undulation in the green also makes for some interesting putts. The two finishing holes at Black Bear Golf Club not only define the course, they are two of the three hardest holes on the course. Number 17 plays 413 yards from the Black Tees. Hitting a good drive often catches the downslope in the middle of the fairway and leaves a manageable shot into a green that sits about 30 feet above the fairway. Anything left and short is likely to find one of the 4 sand traps that adorn the area. Water comes into play on Number 18 and dominates the hole. From the Black Tees, anything hit longer than 265 yards is likely wet. The hole is 386 yards long with a bunker in the landing area on the right side. A good drive down the middle will still leave about 140 yards over water into an elevated, long, narrow green with a bunker back right. End your
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
round with two pars or better and there’s a good chance you’re in the money! Last Word: If your golf course has the name “Dye” associated with it, odds are you’re going to garner some special attention, and rightfully so. P.B. Dye has done an excellent job with Black Bear, taking full advantage of the sandy, rolling terrain. The elevation changes are significant for this part of the state and the elevated greens have you constantly thinking about club selec-
tion. There’s plenty of room off the tee which is good, because Black Bear is all about your approach shot. You’re often playing uphill and into odd-shaped greens, many of which are very long yet extremely narrow. There’s also a lot of undulation in them. If you’re going to post a low score at Black Bear, you’ll need to have one of your best days of chipping, pitching and putting. In the event your highly competitive golf match is tied at the end of 18 holes, Black Bear offers a way to break the tie: The 19th Hole, a short shot over the water to settle the score once and for all. The course allows golfers of all abilities to have some fun and enjoy the challenge of playing a wide open but challenging tournament standard undulating links style layout. Black Bear’s clubhouse features a pro shop with all of the necessary golf accessories as well as men’s and women’s “Dare the Bear” logoed golf apparel. The restaurant/lounge serves breakfast and lunch as well as all of your favorite libations. They have all of the traditional clubhouse food as well as some not so common items such as Bavarian pretzels with white cheese sauce and gyros. For what you get, the greens fees are more than reasonable. In season rates are ridiculously low and off season or “shoulder” rates often include something “extra” such as a hat, polo or lunch. Rounds to Black Bear can also be purchased on many of the major online tee sheets. To learn more about this special Central Florida golf course, give them a call at (352) 357-4732 or visit their website at www.blackbeargolfclub.com. 65
Do Most Golfers Want More Rotation? Hmmm... Let's Take a Pole!
To get an accurate answer
to the question about golfers wanting more rotation, we could probably take a poll to find the percentage of golfers that would agree. I think that the answer would be overwhelmingly yes. However, that’s not the kind of poll I am talking about here. I am talking about actually using a pole to help your body develop more rotation and flexibility. Before we get deep into the exercise, I want to point out that this set of movement patterns demonstrated in these images is challenging. You may have to ease into the movements to get the greatest benefit. As an example, when I first started doing these movements, I was really tight across my chest. For that reason, I had to start with my hands in a few different positions on the pole to get comfortable before ever considering rotating. Also, it is important that you make sure the pole is lying across your 66
upper back and not directly against your neck. There should be no pressure directly on your neck from the pole. Using a small towel wrapped on the pole will make it a little more comfortable. I am using a 6 foot long closet pole that I got at Home Depot. I am 6’ 2” tall so the longer the better for me. In the pictures you can see that I have extended my arms/hands out as far as I can. This is not only to make the rotation more challenging, but you can see that the pole indicates exactly how far my shoulders are turning as well. Option A and Option B images are demonstrating optional positions for the pole. As I said previously, you may have a little difficulty getting the long pole over your shoulders and onto your upper back on the first try. Here Is the Sequence (for right handed golfers): • Get into a good golf posture by starting with a simple “Hip Hinge”. You will be bending at your hips, not at you waist. Use your driver and a mirror, if possible to check your posture. Your driver should lay flat against your tail bone, back and head as shown. • While in that great golf posture, grab your pole and position it in your hands and across your shoulders comfortably
By Ken Pierce President, GolfGym, LLC
to start • Begin in your setup position. Your first move is toward your backswing side with the pressure shift to your right leg. *Remember to breathe. Holding your breath will not allow your muscles to elongate and relax into a good stretch* • Start your downswing slowly with the same pressure shift (to your left) as you would in a full swing. • Continue slowly through the impact position, then as far past impact as you can while holding that great spine angle. Breathe! It would be beneficial to practice these movements once or twice each week, performing 6 to 8 repetitions. Performing these in the opposite direction will really add to your rotation and flexibility. The off season is an especially great time to start. Some variations you can try with this exercise are, use a thinner pole, a shorter pole, and use your driver or a 2x4 piece of wood if you are feeling very strong and ambitious. (Just kidding about the 2x4). You will really feel the stretch and you will increase your rotation. Good Luck. Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
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Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
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
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Sassy Caddy I spent the first 10 years of my career as a teaching pro and buyer for golf shops. While I enjoyed that chapter of my career - I recognized women’s golf bags lacked luster and pizazz, as well as function. So, I created Sassy Caddy in 2010 to fill that void. Our golf bags and other products are designed with one thing in mind – you! We have pockets to help you organize everything: a cooler pocket to help chill your drink, velvet-lined pockets for your jewelry and vibrant fabrics to truly brighten your day. Our items are created with durable, water-proof and fade-proof leathers and fabrics. We offer golf bags, tennis totes, weekender bags and totes for work, play or for carrying everyday essentials. I wanted our bags to really make a statement this year. We added more texture and richness to our patterns and replaced the silver hardware with stunning gold zippers to create this year’s Gold Luxe collection. I am confident you will love our products as much as I do. Finally – bags you can carry everywhere and stride with just a little attitude while doing so. Enjoy shopping at www.sassycaddy.com to find the perfect bag for you! 70
Golf Central • Volume 18, Issue 8
IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE THAT MATTER THE MOST.
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Now the fun begins