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A Perfect Vacation Paradise!

Photo courtesy of Kristen Weaver Photography

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


R A I SI NG

TH E

PAR

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With award-winning dining experiences, a booming craft beer scene and exceptional year-round golf on courses along the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, plus Jerry Pate’s Kiva Dunes and Arnold Palmer’s Craft Farms in Gulf Shores, from the mountains to the coast, you can take it all in.

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header from the publisher

Volume 20, Issue 2

Moose and me, at Nona Blue

Fair Sharing

Publisher: Terrie L. Purdum Editor in Chief: Shannon Coates Editor Emeritus: Joel Jackson, CGCS Retired Chief Fertilizer Spreader: Eric Rasberry Associate Editor/Photographer: Greg Corbo Photographers: Lynn Pelham, Brion Price, Peter Hakansson Mike Coonan, Becky Galloway Senior Correspondent: Rick Harris, Sr. International Correspondent: Dove Jones

Regional Partner: Doug Hollandsworth, Founder-Georgia Golf Trail

Contributing Writers: Jay Golden, PGA; Greg Wise, Bob Bolton, Greg Corbo, Elisa Gaudet, Mike Jamison, Mike May, Ron Heller, Rick Styles, Fred Seely, Deb Shuck, JL Quebbeman, Linda Williams-Sieg

Graphic Design: Melahn Cable, melahn@mac.com

 When it comes to raising kids, moms tend to get all the credit. But

Golf Central Magazine is published monthly by:

when it comes to golf, dads don’t nearly get the fair share of credit

Sand Hill Publishing & Public Relations 1549 Warrington Court, Winter Springs, FL 32708

they deserve.

NEW PHONE: 321.765.7550 E-mail: info@golfcentralmag.com

   The list of fathers and sons who played the game together is endless dating back to Old Tom Morris, the godfather of St. Andrews. His son Tom started on the links with his dad when he was just a wee lad allowing him to progress so well that he won the first of his four Open championships at age 17. The list of other fathers and sons is endless.  Julius and Guy Boros, Al and Brent Geiberger, Jack and Gary Nicklaus, Bob and David Duval, Claude Harmon Sr / Butch Harmon, and, of course, Earl and Tiger Woods to name just a few. Women may feel they raise the kids, but men have a huge influence

©2019 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 self-addressed stamped envelope will not be returned. Mailing, electronic mailing or faxing of contributions constitutes an expressed warrant on the part of the contributor that all material is original and does not infringe on the rights of others. 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.

on them through their participation in sports like golf.       Did you know 24.2 million Americans played golf on a course last year?  Over nine (9) million additional people who never played on a golf course before also played off-course forms of golf — driving ranges, simulators or golf-entertainment venues   Getting a golf club in their hands can only be a positive, especially if they have fun and build confidence while doing it. And while many claim golf as an “old man’s sport” approximately 25% of all golfers are in the 18-34 age group—6.1 million strong in total. That’s almost identical to the 25% of the U.S. population that they represent. And their biggest influence? More often than not it is their dads.       So, whether a bucket cap, ball cap, ascot or visor, it’s hats off this Father’s Day to all the dads, stepdads, granddads, fathers- in-law, and others who share the love of this game with their kids.

2009 North Florida PGA Amateur of the Year 6

Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


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Volume 20, Issue 2 Cart Girl 30 Skylar & Taylor

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Celebrity Corner 10 Tom Gimbel 12 Alexandra O'Laughlin Fashion Forward 40 Caddylands FEATURE 36 Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort Florida Golf Central 46 Pine Ridge Golf Club

Departments

Georiga Golf Central 14 Sapelo Hammock Golf Business 42 The Cliffs Golf Fore Charity 16 Feeding Children Everywhere 18 Playing for a Cause Golf Travel 20 The Dubai Duty Free Open 22 Fun Golf Caribbean Invitational

28 Golf History 48 South Florida PGA 50 North Florida PGA 52 Freddy's Fairway Thoughts 54 Product Showcase 60 Turf Life 62 Turf Life 64 Turf Life 66 Turf Life

Feature Pg 36 Article

24

Living on the Links 32 Bella Collina Sepcial Events 26 RBC Heritage What's New 24 TAG Heuer

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celebrity header corner

Foreigner’s Tom Gimbel Foreigner fans know Tom Gimbel as one

was tapped to tour with Aerosmith as

of the band’s most charismatic mem-

keyboardist, saxophonist/flautist and

bers, commanding tremendous stage

vocalist in the late 1980’s and 1990’s.

presence as he plays rhythm guitar,

With Aerosmith, he did two world

keyboards, sax, and flute. Lesser known

tours, numerous TV and film appear-

to some of Tom’s fans is his passion for

ances including Woodstock 2, Wayne’s

golf – a sport he learned to love while

World 2, Saturday Night Live and MTV

caddying for his talented mother and

Unplugged.

father as a teenager. A graduate from

The Princeton Hills Golf Academy at

eigner, universally hailed as one of the

the age of thirteen, Tom continued to

most popular rock acts in the world

practice and play golf and became a

with a formidable musical arsenal that

certified instructor. He graduated with

continues to propel sold-out tours and

a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Com-

album sales, now exceeding 80 million.

position and Arranging from Berklee

Tom became a full-time member of the

College of Music in 1982.

band in 1995, and continues to tour the

Tom’s musical talent was soon recognized by rock and roll’s elite, and he

In 1992, Tom first toured with For-

world and top the charts more than twenty years later.

Despite Foreigner’s busy touring

schedule, Tom has made golf a priority and is a member of Griffith Park Golf Club In Los Angeles, CA. Tom played in and won, multiple tournaments in the scratch division, and has represented Foreigner throughout the years in many celebrity golf tournaments.

Says Gimbel, of balancing both tour-

ing and his love of golf, “Playing and teaching golf is great fun. I really enjoy helping people hit the ball better than they ever have before. Foreigner definitely keeps us busy but our drummer and I get to play golf fairly often. We have a lot of laughs out there and luckily, I still have a single digit handicap.”

Tom sites the 60° sand wedge as his

favorite golf club, and speaks passionately about the the most faraway and exotic locations like Hawaii, Australia, Ireland, Sweden, and Germany where he has had the opportunity to play golf while touring with Foreigner. Tom’s favorite course? The Belfry in England, where he says the majestic course, with it’s history and scenery is truly astounding.

With Foreigner experiencing a

tremendous renaissance this year, with multiple albums in the Billboard Top 200 Chart and fans turning out to shows in droves, Tom can be certain there are many more cities – and courses – to be seen on the horizon. 10

Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


Maximize Your Play Time

The best golf destinations cover a lot of ground beyond the 18th green. French Lick Resort is the golf getaway with more to love. We have 45 holes of golf, including championship courses by legendary designers Pete Dye and Donald Ross. Add in hundreds of ways to win at the casino, casual and fine dining plus other amenities, and the numbers are on your side for an epic golf trip. French Lick Resort brings it all together with golf, food, fun and gaming at one unforgettable destination. For groups of 8 or more, give our golf group sales manager Alex Whiteman a call at 812-936-9300 (ext. 7227) to get the ball rolling.

Must be 21 years or older to enter the casino. Gambling Problem? Call 1.800.9.WITH.IT!


Interview by Greg Corbo

celebrity corner

Alexandra O’Laughlin If you’ve ever tuned into

the Golf Channel, chances are you’ve seen the unmistakable smile and engaging on-air personality of Alexandra O’Laughlin. Her style matches her quick wit and informative segments -- classy, sassy and mostly uncut.  Golf Central recently caught up with O’Laughlin at Nona Blue Modern Tavern (Ponte Vedra Beach, FL) to gain some more insight on her work and whereabouts with The Golf Channel.

Nickname? Alex, AO or AOL  Age: I’m turning 25 on May 23rd! Official Hometown: I’m from Arvada, Colorado...have lived in Los Angeles, Chicago and now Orlando for Golf Channel.

Education/college: I went to Lewis University on a golf scholarship and graduated early to begin my career in TV and Radio.

Golf Handicap: 1.2

So what’s it’s like being a TV face and personality for Golf Channel? I’m sit-

Official title with the Golf Channel and how long have you been working there?

ting front row to seeing golf grow and evolve. It’s rewarding to inspire young golfers and see them pick up the sport. I also get the opportunity to travel to incredible places and cover the most elite golf events...being able to share these moments with my audience is the highlight of the job.

I have been a Correspondent for Golf Channel for the past two years...Appearing across the Golf Channel social handles, linear, and digital.

General job description with GC?

I cover tournaments from on-site at PGA Tour, LPGA, WLD, Celebrity, and college events.

Previous to Golf Channel what were you up to? I was living downtown Chicago and interned for the ABC7 talk show Windy City LIVE and then was producing for CBS News Radio.

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How did you learn to be comfortable in front of the camera? I lived in LA on and off growing up while I was modeling and doing commercials. This definitely got me comfortable with a camera in my face! It takes a lot of reps though...especially when working in sports.

Dress, fashion and individualism have

increasingly become a big part of the game. Thoughts on golf industry fashion and what’s your style on the course? Each season I am more and more impressed with women’s golf fashion! From the fabric to the fit of the clothes...things are progressing in a good way. My style is super classic. Sweater over the shoulders, pleated skirts, wing tip shoes. That basically sums it up!

What is your background in golf and or other sports? I played basketball and soccer and then started golf right before high school. It didn’t take too long before I fully dedicated my time to golf to earn a college scholarship.

What are your favorite aspects about the game of golf? The fact that you can Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


always get better. And the people you meet through the sport.

What kind of music do you play when it’s your turn at the jukebox? Depends

What is the best part of your game?

on my mood. I have a very eclectic music taste. Alternative, Indie, Pop.

Any plans on having a family down the road? Absolutely! Women can have it all

Any certain goals you have for yourself?

these days! As I’ve seen from colleagues like Lauren Thompson, Paige McKenzie, and the LPGA’s Stacy Lewis.

I was impressed by my short game during a recent trip to England. I hit some really nice bump and runs.

What has the game done for you personally? Golf has given me opportunity. It gave me a unique college experience, a career, a hobby, and lifelong friends.

Favorite course or courses (3) you have played and why? Ballyneal because it

More of a bucket list item, but I want to play golf on every continent. Four left to go!

Travel wise, a place, state or country you have not been to yet, but you will someday visit? I want to go to Monaco…

Bond movies and Grace Kelly.

Other interests and hobbies away from work? I love playing the guitar! And even though I travel a lot for work, I still travel during my off time. I love learning about different cultures and experiencing new things!

mainly because of my love for James

feels like you’re the only person on earth (and I adore Tom Doak courses). Air Force Academy Eisenhower Golf Course...the greens are very quick and break HARD… the type of greens where you have to hit it off the toe. Royal St. George’s… every hole is different. A new challenge, new wind direction, perfect links golf.

What did you think about the final round of the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur? I grew up playing with Jennifer Kupcho back home in Colorado. It was so cool to see her accomplish something so historic!

The Solheim Cup is at Gleneagles, Scotland this year. Do you plan on being there covering the event and if so in what capacity? I will be on-site for Golf Channel covering my second Solheim Cup! We’ll be pushing out content on @ golfchannel and @olaughlingc throughout the week!

How has the buzz been around Golf Channel since Tiger Woods won the Masters? Not just at Golf Channel– but the entire world. Golfers and non-golfers have all been talking about it! It’s fun to get in a cab and chat to someone who has never picked up a club and hear them talk about how exciting it was to watch Tiger win.  

Do you have any pets?

I’m traveling at least 35 weeks a year… pets are probably not a good idea right now, but I absolutely LOVE dogs. Photo by Greg Corbo

Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2

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golf bachelor

Tell us something about yourself that only your closest friends know.

They know I would go to pretty much any length to help them if they needed it. Though I am very confident and direct, I am a softie at heart and tend to gravitate towards those who are less fortunate or underprivileged, especially small kids.

Scott Alvarez Where were you born? Did you grow up there? Born in Long Island, NY and grew up in Gainesville, FL

Is “acting your age” overrated? Very! Probably the only adage I believe in is, Tomorrow is NEVER promised! Life can be stressful, so if you have an opportunity to be silly and let loose when a situation presents itself, by all means, GO FOR IT!

High school group you hung out with the most; nerds, jocks, stoners, preppies? I had friends in all groups, but because I played baseball and basketball all four years, I hung out with the jocks the most.

What do you do for a living?

I am the National Sales Manager for Bionic Gloves.

What would you like to do for a living?

Different ends of the spectrum, but a sportscaster or an architect.

Aside from golf; what do you prefer for fun and relaxation?

Steak, chicken, or seafood?

A correctly cooked filet all day.

Do you have plans to be a bachelor for much longer?

Though I have been off the market for a while now, I will be officially off in the very near future!

What do you find to be the most annoying habit people demonstrate on the golf course? I am all about all levels of golfers participating in our great game, but high handicap golfers that don’t understand proper golf etiquette and do not let you play through can be frustrating.

Name the three most important things to you in this world.

My family, faith, and health

Given the choice; would you select love, success, or money to keep yourself happy?

All three are very important, but if I had to choose just one, it would be love. There is nothing better than being able to share life and all of its experiences with the one you truly love.

What do you fear the most?

Letting down the people that are closest to me.

What are some of your great accomplishments?

I have been fortunate to have many great accomplishments in my lifetime, both sports and personal, but the one that is most important to me and stands out in my mind is the first time my parents told me that they were proud of me (winning a sports event).

Favorite charity to support? Special Olympics and Big Brothers Big Sisters

Spending time with family and enjoying friends over dinner and cocktails.

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Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


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Hunger Heroes!

At Feeding Children Everywhere (FCE), we are dedicated to the vision of a hunger-free world, and on April 5th, hundreds of people came together to support our mission. Our 2nd Annual Drive Away Hunger Golf Challenge hosted generous groups from across Central Florida in order to help children and families in need. From local businesses to famous NFL players, our community came together to fight hunger! Founded in 2010 as an urgent response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti, FCE is now a global movement. With the help of our Hunger Heroes, millions of meals have been distributed across the United States and to 53 countries around the world. Headquartered in Longwood, Florida, we also have five other locations across the nation. This year, we hit a massive milestone of distributing over 115 million meals to people across the globe! Our programs are about more than

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just providing food. They offer people in need with hope and the opportunity for growth. Our newest program, Full Cart, is the best value in grocery kit delivery. Full Cart is a service that allows hard-working individuals and families to extend their grocery budget, by delivering delicious meal kits and popular grocery items straight to their front door. By also providing valuable career services, families across the country are breaking the generational cycle of poverty and are on the path to self-sufficiency. Hunger Projects provide exciting, high energy volunteer opportunities. These meal packing events are a hands-on way to make a tangible difference in the fight against hunger. It is a volunteer experience like no other where you and your team get to take the lead. Whether you are part of a business, nonprofit organization or community group, a Hunger Project is the perfect place to come together and serve the community. Donations are also a great way to support the fight against hunger. When you become a Hunger Hero at Feeding Children Everywhere, you are investing in the lives of hungry children and families around the world. Every dollar you donate can provide ten delicious meals and helps us move closer to the goal of a hunger-free world. If you would like to impact lives by donating or volunteering, you can visit www.feedingchildreneverywhere.com! Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2

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Playing for a Cause – Golf Marathon & Party for a Purpose

The 3rd Annual Playing for a Cause was once again a great success. On April 18th Redtail Golf Club hosted the golf marathoners and some folks just wanting to play in the scramble division of the event. A great time was had by both groups, as they started their day with each player getting a pair of Adidas golf shoes to start! Our Presenting Sponsor Team Murphy Berglund came the course with the best dressed team of junior golfers and made a fine effort in 3rd place. 2nd Place team was anchored by Chris Leak (former Gator National Champ Quarterback), Jeff Crook and Jonathan Vermeere. The championship team for this year went to Team Great American Race lead by Chris Lee, Ivan Heller, David Giordani, Rob Sanford. Ari Levy and Bill Piacati of the Team Exalted

CrossFit out lasted all the teams in the golf marathon division and took home the Teal Shoe Award. The closest to the Pin contest winner was Brian McDaniel, for his efforts he received a limitededition PGA Championship lithograph. Once Again Dr. Robert Holloway’s marathon team raised the most money via pledges. All of the golfers went on to enjoy the Party for a Purpose the next night, hosted at the very unique 60 car vintage auto museum – M-Motors. Our party at this very cool venue included a putting challenge sponsored by Vijuvia Life Centers, Silent Auction and a Scratch Card Tournament. Local artist Jeff Risinger entertained the crowd with many acoustic favorites. The dinner was hosted by Venzo’s Italian Grill located in Casselberry. David Giordani from the first-place

Team Murphy Berglund (McKenna Murphy, Kyleigh Knaub, Jodi Murphy, Carmella Carlisi, Hailey Davis)

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team kept his putting form and won the night’s putting challenge. Proceeds from both great events will help fund potentially life-saving research for women battling gynecologic cancer at AdventHealth. Dr. Robert Holloway, Medical Director of the Gynecology Oncology Program at AdventHealth Cancer Institute, is participating in a clinical trial to help determine how immunotherapy can be used to treat women with ovarian cancer. Studies like this are critical in finding life-saving treatment options for gynecologic cancers. The support from our events helps bring these cutting-edge therapies to patients right here in Central Florida. For more information on how you get involved in next year’s event contact Dave Walker at 321-277-9094 or auctionsbydesign02@gmail.com.

3rd Place Team (Jeff Crook, Chris Leak, Jonathan Vermeere)

Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


Team Murphy Bergland and their Adidas Golf Shoes

Dr. Natalie McKenzie – Advent Health Gynecology Oncology

Barbara Burns & Karen Ingalls

Janet Balla, Emily Allen from Advent Health & Chris Lee

Hole in -One Sponsor – Select Trucks – Tampa John Hardman, Lisa Bowen, Leonard Lewis

Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2

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By Dove Jones

golf travel

IRISH “CRAIC” – The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

If you don’t already have your tickets for the return of The Open Championship to Northern Ireland and Royal Portrush GC this July for the first time since 1951 you’re out of luck as it has been sold out for months. But not to worry, there’s still time to get across The Pond to enjoy what is shaping up as Ireland’s biggest summer golf party – The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Lahinch GC, July 3-7, 2019. General Manager Paddy Keane and his extraordinary team along with official host Paul McGinley are planning

General Manager Paddy Keane & Friend welcome you to Lahinch GC 20

The 7th green at Lahinch with commanding views over the sea THE place to be on and OFF the course during the week, Lifetime honorary member, Ken Venturi, once referred to the town of Lahinch as…”the best one street town in the world, ” and come this July it will surpass his accurate assessment. As with many courses in Ireland and

the British Isles, the course finishes basically right in town. To take advantage of its location they will be closing that famous main street to cars and featuring a festival of food, music and the ever present Irish “Craic’ (fun). In addition, directly across from the main event on the championship Old Course, on what is normally the Castle Course will be the tented village with more food and amusements. Best of all, unlike the pressures from sponsors to keep everyone on the tournament grounds, even daily patrons will be allowed unlimited come and go access from the tournament to experience all the area itself has to offer. The tournament will have one aspect that has become almost unique to The Open Championship with a full field event – everyone will go off the first tee and that means that on Thursday and Friday there will be competitive golf being played on course from about seven am to late into the evening. Lahinch is one of the world’s greatest true linksland layouts. It weaves its way through towering dunes, while offering tantalizing views over the town, sea, riverbed and ancient castle. The fourth, “Klondike,” with its blind approach shot over a high mound to the green and the fifth, “The Dell,” a blind par 3 nestled between the dunes are still original from Old Tom Morris’ layout of the course in the 1890s. Alister Mackenzie had a hand in the course’s evolution in 1927 and after some well meaning but not necessarGolf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


Lahinch’s colorful town will be a street party during the Irish Open

THE LAHINCH GOATS The logo of the club features its most endearing and unique weather forecasters – The Lahinch Goat. When you pull up to the clubhouse be sure and take your rain gear should you see the goats hanging near the clubhouse, very sensitive to changes in the weather they know when liquid sunshine is on the way and seek shelter. But when the sun is shining or the weather dry you will find them happily grazing out on the course. However, during the tournament you’ll have to rely on weather.com as the goats are taking a vacation to a luxurious pen specially constructed for the occasion.

ily the best tinkering by the committee, Martin Hawtree was brought in for a five year restoration plan to as he said at the end would produce “a restored Mackenzie classic.” And produce he did as the course is continually rated among the top 100 courses in the world. If you can’t make a last minute trip for this year’s Irish Open, a visit to Lahinch, especially to play, anytime is worth the journey – and don’t worry Paddy and his Team will have the “Craic” waiting for you.

The par 3 11th is an Alistair Mackenzie classic design

Known for its seafood, everyone in Lahinch is looking forward to raising a glass during the Irish Open Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2

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By John Reger

golf travel

AllPlayAboard! golf at sea, connect with your family, and have fun! Here’s a warning for golf purists

who may be reading this article, the reality is that the game of golf is now played and enjoyed in many ways that we have never imagined! Golf has gone virtual and is now played on screens using simulators and cell phones. Look no further than the popular Topgolf facilities popping up all around the world! You can enjoy music, food, beverages, watch TV screens, and have fun hitting a golf ball, even if you have never played! The cruise ship experience provides this same fun and festive atmosphere and more! Both of these non-traditional venues share a lot in common, particularly to reach across several generations and develop an affinity for the game of golf. Whether you have not played before, or if you are an avid golfer, golf on a cruise ship at sea is another great way to play! All of the top organizations and

Eventual Champion Will S. and family on the Signature Lighthouse Hole leaders in the world of golf share a common knowledge that kids need to think golf is a cool sport and want to play. If not, participation in the game of golf will be serious diminished in the years to come. Too much screen time, not enough tee time! If you started

the game as a kid, you may have day dreamed about playing golf with the greatest players at the time. If you are older, Arnie and Nancy come to mind. Those who are a little younger think Tiger and Annika. The “screenagers” today know of Rory and Lexi! One thing

Adventure Dunes Golf Links Water Hazard 22

Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


Personalized Golf Ball Prizes in common throughout all generations is to occasionally imagine that you have a two foot putt to beat all of them and win the U.S. Open! No matter what the venue, from mini – golf at sea on a cruise ship to championship links on land, we

Natalie Reyes the Inviational Trophy at the Awards Dinner Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2

should use our imaginations, recapture our youth and encourage the next generation to have fun and play golf! Recently, families about Royal Caribbean experienced the 2019 Fun Golf Caribbean Invitational presented by John Reger Golf at Sea. No dress code, no experience needed, no worries! For the families that participated, some kept score for the first time and got the opportunity to encourage their kids try golf. There was a lot of fun in the sun on the Royal Caribbean’s Adventure Dunes Golf Links, a two story mini-golf course starting on the top deck with spectacular views of the water accented by imaginative statues including a boat, surfboards and the signature lighthouse hole! We conducted a 4 round “Ringer” tournament in which each person could improve their score on each hole during

Will S. Wins the Cup!

John Reger Golf at Sea PGA Professional Headshot on board the Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas their next round and throw out the higher hole score from their previous round. Instead of elaborate prizes that would be hard to pack and bring home with all of their other souvenirs, we presented handwritten personalized colored golf ball awards to all of the winning families. In the spirit of the upcoming Masters that was held in Augusta Georgia the following week, we also awarded the coveted Green Golf Ball! Young Will S. from Florida was our 2019 Champion and was presented the Champions Cup at the awards dinner. As you can see in one of our photos, even the housekeepers got involved and created our own Fun Golf Caribbean Invitational Mascot! If any of your family or friends would like to join us for fun golf experience on a cruise ship, from mini on the ship to championship golf excursions, visit John Reger Golf at Sea at www.johnregerpga.com 23


what's new

By Greg Wise

Greg Wise test driving the new TAG Heuer Golf Watch for accuracy along with the free 3D App for Android and iOS phones

TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 “Golf Edition” + TAG Heuer GOLF App Combining advanced watchmaking technology with a passion for golf, the avant-garde Swiss watchmaker introduces a new service for the TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 with the TAG Heuer Golf app and watch. Designed specifically with golfers in mind, the new TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 “Golf Edition” is linked to the TAG Heuer Golf app, which enables players get the most out of their rounds of golf no matter what course they’re playing on. This digital wristwatch combines a golf-inspired design and shock-resistant materials with the most personalized and advanced Golf app, which has3D renderings of more than 39,000 courses and provides comprehensive performance analysis. The technology of the TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 “Golf Edition” is just as advanced as its design. The touchscreen is covered with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. Equipped with multiple sensors, such as GPS, NFC, an accelerometer, a gyroscope and a microphone, this golf-themed smartwatch boasts 4 GB of storage and a battery life of 25 hours. It can do anything that the TAG Heuer Connected watches can do, including send messages, receive notifications, play music and download other apps.   Matthieu Soudan, TAG Heuer Proj24

ect Manager, says: “The TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 ‘Golf Edition’ was designed specifically for golfers and anyone who is fascinated by the sport. Every aspect of the smartwatch and the app – from design to function – was created to enhance the player’s game. Off the course, the watch is a stylish accessory that features cuttingedge digital technology. It’s important to point out that it is, first and foremost, a connected watch, which means that the Golf app is only one of many other apps and functions that can be used with the timepiece.”

TECHNICAL HIGHLIGHTS: • At-a-glance information about distances to greens and hazards: The TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 smartwatch displays distances to greens and hazards. The easy-to-read information has incredible precision that is accurate to within one meter. The position is captured on the watch using the integrated GPS sensor. • Easy-to-read 2D and 3D course mapping: This “Golf Edition” smartwatch stands out with its unique interactive 2D course mapping. On the phone, highly realistic 3D renderings provide the best view of the course. Rather than just displaying distances, the TAG Heuer Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


Connected Modular 45 “Golf Edition” displays high-end mapping of the entire hole using vector technology that shows the course in more detail – including the bunkers, fairways and rough – compared to the satellite mapping technology used by other similar apps. The maps are interactive and scrollable. • Record scores for up to four players: Taking the game into the twenty-first century, the app replaces the paper scorecard with an interactive alternative. Within seconds, the player can enter the wearer’s score and those of their golf companions and keep track of the leader board as they go. Whether they choose stroke play, match play or stableford, the TAG Heuer Golf app can keep track of the score on the wearer’s wrist. • Accurate shot distances: When the shot-recording feature is activated, the shot distance can be recorded as the player walks to their ball. Shot distance is accurate to within one meter. • Informative stats after a round: All the information entered into the app from the watch can be instantly sent to a smartphone or stored locally if the

phone is not nearby. After each round, the player can get insightful statistics including putting average, longest drive, score distribution and more. • Play on any course in the world: TAG Heuer Golf has maps of more than

39,000 courses around the world. It can accompany any player no matter where the love for their sport takes them. The database is constantly updated to include new courses or changes to existing courses, ensuring that the 3D maps are as accurate as possible.

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

www.TurfLife.club Come see us at the PGA Show booth #3516

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.

Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2

transitions.com

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By Dove Jones

special events

2019 RBC Heritage When you putt out at the 18th you are only a short chip shot to the iconic candy cane-striped lighthouse and the worldrenowned Harbour Town Yacht Basin If The Masters iconic tag line is “a tradition unlike any other” then perhaps the RBC Heritage’s might be “a tournament unlike any other.” Its format is not match play, teams, mixed tours, modified Stapleford or some other scoring concoction. It’s a straight up 72-hole medal play event – and yet its relaxed vibe its so distinctive it warrants its own classification. That vibe is due mainly to its incredible location – Hilton Head Island and the Harbour Town Golf Links. As one

of the longest running events on the PGA TOUR in 51 years the tournament has never left The Sea Pines Resort, as much a testament to the setting as it is to the timeless Pete Dye-design. Many tournaments suffer from falling on Easter week, let alone following a major. But the RBC Heritage thrives on both. It’s one of America’s favorite family vacation destinations and Easter break is always popular – even more so when it falls on tournament week. And, as far as being the week after a The luxurious Inn at Harbour Town is just steps from the First Tee and the Clubhouse

major, let alone The Masters, nearly half the Augusta field (40) made the short journey south to the Carolina coast. This year saw the star duo of the European Ryder Cup squad – “Frankie” Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood honoring their commitment to the field. Jordan Spieth was also in the field this year and he even made the trip after his 2015 Masters Green Jacket ceremony. Ernie Els loves it here and usually rents a home for the entire family to enjoy the tournament and everything else Hilton Head has to offer. Here the challenges and stress aren’t navigating undulating large greens Stimped lightning quick, but rather finding the smallest greens on the PGA

"Get Your Plaid On" From your head to your flip flops support the heritage of golf in "Heritage" tartan 26

Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


Overlooking the world’s most unique 19th hole –The Harbour Town Yacht Basin – the Sea Pines Lighthouse is dressed in “Heritage” Tartan

Just off the enormous clubhouse watch the pros putt with a refreshing libation

TOUR by avoiding the trees lining the tight fairways and numerous well-placed water hazards. But the beauty of this Dye masterpiece is that it is fair to all even the shortest of hitters as long as they are able to navigate the entrances into the greens and the ever-present winds off the Calibogue Sound. The list of winners of the tartan jacket reads like a Who’s Who of golf’s legends - Arnold Palmer, Johnny Miller, Hale Irwin, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Nick Faldo, Bernard Langer, Greg Norman, Davis Love III, Payne Stewart, Nick Price, Jim Furyk, Graeme McDowell and Matt Kuchar headlining the list. But one of the keys to the RBC Heritage garnering a stellar field year-in-and-year-out is that everyone feels that they have a chance to win – not just the longest hitters on TOUR. That was especially case in point this year as the final round’s tournament leader by a shot, current World’s Number 1, one of the longest hitters on TOUR and South Carolina native, Dustin Johnson, faded as did Ian Poulter, Shane Lowery, Patrick Cantlay, Matt Kuchar, Trey Mullinax and a slew of other more recognized names off a crowded Sunday leaderboard. That’s because the layout favors ball striking and precision hitting, closely followed by accurate putting once you find the tiny dance floors. This year’s welldeserved champion, C.T. Pan, mastered all the above perfectly to secure his first PGA TOUR victory and guarantee he’ll be in the 2020 Masters field before making the drive to next year’s RBC Heritage. A bit like David in a fitting Easter story, the Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2

5 foot 6 inch Pan who is an unimpressive 170th in driving distance took down the Goliath’s of the long drive. As exciting as the action is on the course, off course is just as rewarding. A short chip shot from the 18th green is the famous Harbour Town Yacht Basin sight of the one of the world’s greatest 19th holes – with what seems every

yacht hosting a lively cocktail party. The pros all enjoy the great restaurants around Hilton Head and you are likely to see them out and about after their rounds around the Island. Make plans now to be a part of South Carolina’s favorite sporting event in 2020 by visiting www.RBCHeritage.com. www. SeaPines.com and hiltonhead.com.

2018 Champion Satoshi Kodaira opens the 2019 tournament by "driving the ball in" to a canon shot 27


By Mike May

golf history header

The Winter Park Nine is Truly Devine

A pristine piece of property where passionate players purposely pepper the pins in pursuit of Old Man Par. That’s the best way to summarize playing golf at the Winter Park Golf Course (761 Old England Avenue, Winter Park, Florida). This nine-hole golf course, which opened for play in 1914, is a recreational ‘green lung’ based in the heart of Winter Park. This majestic municipal golf course is maintained like a private country club. No expense is spared as golf program manager Gregg Pascale and his team focus on keeping this golf course in tournament-ready shape, year round. This golf course’s condition is a reflection of Winter Park’s commitment to excellence. While the Winter Park Golf Course – aka, the Winter Park Nine -- focuses on catering to Winter

28

Park residents, it’s open for play to all golfers visiting central Florida. “Most golfers only play nine holes,” said Pascale. “Players are in and out in less than two hours. We do have a $9.00 replay rate for those who want to play 18 holes.” The Winter Park Nine has an atmosphere which transports you to yesteryear Florida. It all starts with its many old oak trees which drip with Spanish moss. The golf course is surrounded by these oaks which line the fairways. The Winter Park Nine is tree-lined, but not tree defined. Those oak trees provide clearly defined fairway corridors for each hole, but their presence is not claustrophobic. There’s also a large clock next to the first tee that reminds all golfers to be on time for their tee time. Another throwback to a bygone era is that walking is the preferred way to travel around this golf course. In other words, carry your own bag or use a pull cart. The Winter Park Nine, which was designed with match-play scoring in mind, is an easy course to walk. Plus, the distances from greens to tees are minimal. “Another appealing aspect of the Winter Park Nine is the diver-

sity of those who play here,” added Pascale. “It could be a 91-year-old followed by a young junior followed by a Masters champion. Nick Faldo used to come out here and play when he lived in the area.” Given the atmosphere and the setting of the Winter Park Golf Course, it’s not surprising that it’s one of the 53 golf courses on the Florida Historic Golf Trail. The Winter Park Nine is different from many Florida golf courses because there are no water hazards. Its greens are its greatest defense mechanism as they are filled with many undulations and contours. The size of the greens also provides a number of pin positions. That is especially true on the 3rd green which can easily be two club lengths between the green’s front and back. To add to the Winter Park Nine’s degree of difficulty, which only measures 2,480 yards from the tips, golfers may encounter pin placements which are located near greenside bunkers. Don’t be overly aggressive as you attack some pins, as you might miss the green and finish on the short side in sand. While playing the par-five, dogleg 4th hole, don’t try to cut the corner with your tee shot because

Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


an overly confident angle of attack may finish in the local cemetery which borders this hole’s left side. Inside the Winter Park Nine’s clubhouse, the ceiling beams feature a timeline of the club’s historical moments. The timeline describes significant events during this club’s first 100 + years and features a list of people who have helped shape this golf course’s first century of play. If you are a passionate player who purposely peppers pins in pursuit of Old Man Par, then you must contact the pro shop of the Winter Park Nine to secure your tee time -- 407.590.3339.

Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2

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cart girl Where did you grow up?

What do you feel makes this club special?

Taylor – I was born in Arizona but have spent my whole life

Taylor & Skylar – Ummmm US?!! DUH! Jk but we do help keep

here in the big D

everyone entertained around here. Besides that everyone here

Skylar – I was born in Deland but I’ve lived in Dunnellon since

is super close and it just makes it a fun place to work.

1st grade.

Which group of people did you associate most with in high school?

Taylor & Skylar – Other then getting to work with my best

Taylor & Skylar – We both really hung out with everyone in

friend. Getting to be out on the course and interact with all the

High school. We actually met in 9th grade and instantly clicked

golfers and just pump them up while they play. My least favor-

and from there on out mostly hung out with each other.

ite is how hot it gets outside during the summer…we need a

What is your favorite sport to play? Favorite to watch?

pool break half way through!

Taylor – I really enjoyed playing softball in high school and for

If you weren’t a cart girl, what would you be doing?

watching I’d defiantly say football. I’m a big Georgia Bull Dogs

Taylor – Probably working somewhere else not half as fun as

fan.

here.

Skylar – I’m not a big sports watcher but I love to play Tennis.

Skylar – I would probably still be working at a pharmacy still.

Do you enjoy playing golf? Are they’re any golfers in your family?

This is WAY better!

Taylor & Skylar – Neither one of us actually play golf. The extent of us playing is coming and bothering them while they play.

30

What is your favorite part of being a cart girl? What is your least favorite part?

What is your memorable moment working as a cart girl? Taylor & Skylar – Any time there’s a tournament out here its pretty memorable. I would say we probably work out at one of the most fun golf courses. Its been nothing like what we expected working at a golf course to be. The people here are just Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


always looking to have a good time. Just last week we had a 68

to the nightclub! Before Taylor moved back from Tallahassee

year old man out here doing beer funnels with his son. Every day

we used to go out to the strip and have the BEST GIRLS DATES

working here gives you a story to tell!

EVER!

Do you think the cart girls should be able to dress differently? How do you prefer dress if you were given a choice?

Besides that we both like anything where our boyfriends will

Taylor & Skylar - We actually both love the uniform. We get to wear spandex shorts or we can wear skorts.

What is the funniest thing you’ve ever seen on the golf course? Taylor – I would have to say some of the golfers. They get so into it going to swing and I’ve seen a couple where it goes like two

do a double date. Theres nothing better then having your best friends and boyfriend in one place!

Favorite comedian? Skylar & Taylor – Us. We’re seriously some of the funniest people we know. I mean we keep ourselves laughing all day every day.

feet in front of them.

Favorite type of movie?

Skylar – Would defiantly have to be watching a golfer swing and

Skylar – Horror Movies all day!

losing his club right out of his hand.

Taylor – Romantic Comedy

What type of music do you prefer?

Favorite charity to support?

Taylor – Reggae

Skylar & Taylor – Every year the both us of and our families do

Skylar – R & B. we can both agree on CITY GIRLS though!

the Angle Tree Kid. It always makes me happy to know that I am

What hobbies do you enjoy?

helping a kid who doesn’t have a lot have a good Christmas.

Taylor – Whenever I can I try to be out on the water. Rainbow

What else would you like for us to know about you?

River is my favorite place to be on the weekends paddle board-

Taylor about Skylar – When people first meet her they always

ing or kayaking.

think she’s so quiet and shy and I’m just like pshhhhh just wait.

Skylar – Gym Tan Laundry…LOL No but seriously I like going to

Once she’s comfortable around someone she’s so wild! I don’t

the gym and I like to cook at home.

know anyone else that can bust out rap lyrics like her LOL!

What is your idea of “the perfect date”? Relaxed evening at home, or nightclub and cocktails?

Skylar about Taylor – Taylor is so outgoing. She always wants to

Taylor & Skylar – Hmmm defiantly a girls date where we go

doing something.

Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2

go somewhere or do something; it takes some serious convincing to make her have a relaxing day in. She ALWAYS has us

31


living on the links

Conquer the Course: Pro Tips for Mastering Bella Collina.

Let’s face it, we are all looking for new ways to improve our game and lower our handicap. And what better way to hone your skills than on one of the most unique and beautiful golf courses in Central Florida? Bella Collina provides a challenging layout of rolling hills set amidst a picturesque, Tuscan-style setting. Designed by 6-time major champion and Hall of Fame golfer Sir Nick Faldo, the course strategically incorporates distinct elevation changes that require players to exercise both patience and creativity. Managing Uneven Lies on the Course Golfers playing Bella Collina for the first time will need to employ their finest course management and technical skills when attempting an array of uneven lies. If you want to find success at Bella Collina, you’ll need to be on top of your game when navigating these fairways. This masterful design provides an inspiring, one-of-a-kind experience that will test every facet of your game. A key component to playing well from a variety of uneven lies is to maintain your balance. You’ll want to utilize core stability and keep a consistent tempo throughout your swing. Here are a few quick tips that will help you navigate hilly terrain: When the ball is above your feet: • It will have a tendency to veer to the left, so adjust your stance accordingly by aiming a bit further to your right. • Grip lower on the club to compensate for the ball placement. • Swing smoothly with a good tempo to finish in a balanced position. When the ball is below your feet: • It will tend to fly to the right, so adjust your stance accordingly by aiming a bit further to your left. • Grip the very top of the club to compensate for the ball’s position. • Consciously keep your knees flexed throughout the swing to ensure proper contact as the ball is a bit further away and below your feet.

Putt Like a Pro A consistent and reliable putting stroke is a key factor in scoring low during a round of golf. Here are a few of our favorite tips for keeping your putting game sharp: • Stand close enough to ensure that your eyes are directly over the golf ball. • Maintain balance and keep your lower body completely still throughout the stroke. • Align and steady your stance—keeping your feet, knees, hips and shoulder in position. • Keep your shoulders square to execute a steady, pendulum-like stroke. • Speed is critical to putting success on all holes—master speed control by practicing a variety of putting conditions as often as possible to identify the proper stroke length for distance control. • Keep a consistent stroke tempo with an even pace throughout the swing. • For long putts, bring the club farther back while maintaining proper positioning, stance and tempo. • Consistent, successful putting skills don’t happen overnight, so commit to making time to practice and improve as often as possible. Follow Your Passion Improving your game is a great way to enhance your golfing experience and increase your overall enjoyment of the game. If you love a challenging design and enjoy thinking your way around the course, Bella Collina provides variety and elevation changes you won’t find on many Florida courses. This is a great opportunity to use your imagination—and every club in your bag! With plush fairways and charming architecture reminiscent of the Tuscan countryside, Bella Collina offers a truly immersive high-caliber golf experience in an unforgettable setting. There are not many courses you can play every week without tiring of them. Bella Collina is certainly one of those courses.

Starting Times & Bella Collina Golf Membership

Bella Collina is a private golf community. To learn more about membership, please call 407-469-4999 For select starting times or other golfing information, please call the golf shop at 407-469-4961 32

Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


Siena at Bella Collina is a lakefront condo adorned with elegant details like porcelain tile, quartz vanities, soffit ceilings and crown molding.

The spectacular Club Homes at Bella Collina are beautifully tucked into the verdant landscape in Central Florida. Create your own dream or fall in love with one of the magnificently crafted homes. All homes share the natural landscape with one of the Southeasts most stunning golf courses.

Enjoy the peaceful quietude of Bella Collina in a masterpiece home set on Lake Siena and Lake Apopka. Make your mark with a custom built home or live your best life right away in one of the move-in ready estates which claim up to 2 acres.

Bella Collina is a 1,900-acre private golf and lakefront community in the rolling hills just west of Orlando with a unique private spring-fed lake, Sir Nick Faldo-designed championship golf course, resort-style pool complex, full-service spa and salon, Sportivo Centro fitness center, Har-Tru tennis courts and multiple dining venues. Whether you are an avid golfer, a business professional, a young family, or looking for a second home, Bella Collina offers an extraordinary Florida lifestyle with condos, custom-built golf villas and custom-built estate homes. Widely known for its iconic 75,000-square-foot clubhouse, Bella Collina was honored by the Greater Orlando Builders Association as the 2017 Parade of Homes “Grand Award” winner for being Best Overall Community. The Builders Association also recognized Bella Collina for the second year in a row for having Central Florida’s top custom home builders in the $1.4 million to $3.975 million categories building a new lakefront residence in Bella Collina’s gated estate section. Says Faldo: “(Bella Collina’s) still a hidden gem in this area. I visit and play the course often and enjoy the quality amenities at the Club, including the restaurants, gym and spa.”

To learn more about Bella Collina, visit BellaCollina.com or 407-537-0079 for your personal tour and real estate consultation. Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2 BellaCollina.life | 407.537.0079 | 15920 County Road 455, Bella Collina, FL 34756

35


CHANGING LIVES THROUGH THE GAME OF GOLF

Patriot Golf Day® has become the largest grass-roots golf fundraiser in America – a joint initiative of The PGA of America and the USGA, Patriot Golf Day enlists the support of public and private golf facilities across the country. Funds support Folds of Honor, providing educational scholarships to the children and spouses of service members killed or disabled while serving in America’s Armed Forces.


GET INVOLVED Although the national promotion of Patriot Golf Day is over Labor Day weekend, you can play golf any time of the year to support the families of our fallen and disabled service members. Here are a few ways to get involved.

HOST AN

EVENT CONDUCT A GOLF

MARATHON PARTICIPATE IN THE

DONATION BOX CAMPAIGN

LEARN MORE AT PATRIOTGOLFDAY.ORG


feature header Tucked away on 500 lush acres, Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort boasts 400 spacious guest rooms and suites with private balconies, nine upscale dining options, three sparkling pools, a lively casino, rejuvenating Mandara Spa, two world-class golf courses and more. Conveniently located adjacent to El Yunque National Rainforest and the Mameyes River, the oceanfront resort also offers guests exclusive access to a mile-long secluded beach, making the hotel an ideal destination for adventurers and relaxation seekers alike. In the months following Hurricane Maria, the resort debuted a multimillion dollar renovation including its re-imagined Clubhouse at the Rio Mar Country Club, proudly managed by Troon Golf. The impressive 36

35,000 square-foot Clubhouse has completely redesigned men’s and women’s locker rooms complete with jacuzzis, steam rooms, saunas, and lounge areas that include eight Ultra HD televisions. The Club’s golf shop was also completely refreshed with new furniture, display units and a check-in counter enhancing its functionality. The Clubhouse upholds the hotel’s sustainability initiatives with its ban on plastic straws, openair concepts and re-used rain water.

The Ocean Course The award-winning golf course architects Tom and George Fazio kept the unique features of the destination in mind when designing the spectacular Ocean Course. This 6,716-yard course is situated between the mountains of

El Yunque Rainforest and the majestic Atlantic Ocean, and winds languorously through lakes and the natural contours of the island with Sand Iguanas and seaside vistas at every tee.

The River Course Two-time Major Champion Greg Norman designed the River Course along the serene Mameyes River. Inspired by the natural terrain of the land, the holes are integrated into existing foliage creating a lush, verdant course with stunning views of El Yunque’s mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. Ideal for golfers of all skillsets, this 6,945-yard course features open greens, wide fairways, light rough, and shallow bunkers. In addition to enhancements to the hotel's golf programming, Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort has recently unveiled refreshed and brand new culinary outlets, increasing its restaurant count to nine. Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


Iguanas

Bar Caicu

Roots Coastal Kitchen Set beside two championship golf courses, Iguana’s Cocina Puertorriqueña is a new upscale restaurant located inside its recently renovated Clubhouse. Serving as a specialty dining venue for guests and locals, the restaurant features an open kitchen concept and lounge area that will seat up to 125. Serving a fusion of authentic Caribbean favorites and traditional Puerto Rican dishes, the restaurant’s catch of the day is sourced from local fisherman, delivering the freshest seafood on the island.

Led by Executive Chef Ramón Carrillo in collaboration with New York’s Top Chef winners Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth, Roots Coastal Kitchen is the resort’s newly opened farm-to-table restaurant. Inspired by traditional Southern comfort and mixed with Caribbean personalization, this restaurant is a one-of-a-kind addition to Puerto Rico. Stemming from a pop-up collaboration done previously with the resort back in 2016, Chef McInnis was passionate about creating a more permanent dining outlet

that would embrace the local charm of the island with ocean-facing views. Caicu Bar & Tapas is a new venue featuring handcrafted, rum-based cocktails, including a selection of rare private reserve batches. The sleek and sophisticated lobby bar is an ideal spot to wind down while gazing out over the beautiful beach and vibrant reefs with a cocktail and light fare, including Mofongo bites, Gambas al ajillo, and Veggie Empanadas. Marbella is the resort's premier breakfast outlet with a menu of traditional


Family Suite

King Guestroom

38

American favorites and Caribbean specialties. A thoughtfully-selected color palette of warm neutrals and rustic textures are complemented by wooden finishes and sense of the ocean, bringing the feel of the surrounding nature indoors. Palio Seafood & Steakhouse offers the best cuts of beef and fresh seafood with a Caribbean flair paired with unparalleled service in an intimate, elegant atmosphere. Delectable meat, seafood, and pork dishes compete for attention with authentic

Puerto Rican flavors in Rio Grande. The resort maintains a commitment to the local community and the island's recovery. When the property re-opened following Hurricane Maria, $16,000 was presented to the National Forest Foundation (NFF), raised by resort guests in an effort to aid in the restoration and recovery of neighboring El Yunque National Rainforest, which was damaged during the hurricane. Through NFF’s Forest Stewardship Fund and the resort’s commitment to the island’s recovery, the donations from resort guests was used to replace the Angelito Bridge and Trail, allowing river access to be restored to the community and visitors of Puerto Rico. This initiative reaffirms the resort’s strong commitment to the protection of its surrounding ecosystem and the environment.

Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


fashion forward header

By Greg Corbo

where CADDYLANDS comes into play. The moment that we are introduced to each other through the caddiemaster, we have their back.” Whether it’s golf talk, area restaurant recommendations, maybe a ride to the airport or just general advice about the immediate surroundings, CADDYLANDS will steer you in the right direction. “We feel as if it’s our sole job and priority to make sure that even if the player doesn’t necessarily score well, they genuinely enjoyed themselves amongst our company

CADDYLANDS hits the fairways

and guidance,” said King.” “On first

Welcome to CADDYLANDS–– a

after,” said CADDYLANDS co-founder

ship and friendship can be instantly

Christopher King. “For golf, players

created - or it may take a few holes.

step onto the property open-minded,

Regardless, it will happen due to the

fresh, cutting-edge take on golf apparel with classy swag coming from the men who carry the luggage. Cool colored hats with pop, reflec-

introduction coupled with our appearance, any player can tell that we know what we’re doing. A relation-

pumped up, and optimistic about

professional caddie services being

applying their own skill set. That›s

provided. As players understand the

tive sunglasses, shirts, customized towels and protective sun-sleeves are just some of the products on the CADDYLANDS line. When you see a caddy rocking the CADDYLANDS logo on his gear, the golfer knows he’s getting a seasoned veteran that can get you around from tee to green reading terrain and everything in between at some of America’s premier private clubs and resorts. “When it comes to air travel, passengers typically do not ask the pilot how much experience they have. It is assumed that they are skilled and are aware of what needs to be done before flight, during, and 40

Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


CADDYLANDS lifestyle of 100+ miles per week, a bond blossoms. The Caddylands LOGO and apparel automatically raise questions that we are ready to answer. Our optimistic attitudes and effort rub off on the players as they can tell we want them to play their best.” Hey Ray Jay, grab the mic: “CADDYLANDS was created on the basis of friendships among the best sport in the entire world, while being able to dress in a creative, stylish, and unique fashion,” said co-founder Ray Trout. “Our logo is also symbolic of a of a leaf sprouting similar to a relationship fostering on a golf course between caddie and player hole by hole. No matter what happens on the golf course, some kind of bond will be made.” As you might also expect, the men of CADDYLANDS are also skilled golfers who generally carry a single digit handicap that can hover around par. Thus, the caddies have a vantage point of watching the golfer during his or her round to keep their swings in check. Advice and swing tips are always handy and can sometimes have an immediate impact on someone’s experience.

Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2

“What is unique about us is that we are spending over four hours with a

-- that’s real caddying my friend.” CADDYLANDS equipment has already

golfer and we can pick up on flaws or

made its way into a select few golf mec-

tendencies they might be struggling

cas, the PGA Tour, and many non-golf-

with during the round,” said co-founder

ers daily apparel. Our goal is to take the

Greg Shea. “ It saves them strokes and

documented lifestyle and progress na-

it saves us steps and time so for us so

tionwide, while building and expanding

it’s in our best interest to get them play-

with each opportunity day to day, loop

ing sound golf within their ability. We

to loop. For more information go to

custom fit their game to the golf course

www.caddylands.com.

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golf business header

South Street Partners Announces Acquisition of The Cliffs

South Street Partners (“South Street”), one of the largest developers and operators of luxury residential private club communities in the United States, today announced the acquisition of The Cliffs - a collection of seven private luxury mountain and lake club communities in the western Carolina mountains. South Street acquired all of The Cliffs entities previously owned by Florida-based Arendale Holdings, LLC. South Street will oversee development, management, operations, sales and marketing for The Cliffs and The Cliffs Clubs. Working alongside The Cliffs’ current leadership team, South Street brings with them a world-class acumen in sales, marketing and club operations. Additionally, South Street has a comprehensive development plan that includes innovative and unique amenities and future neighborhood development across The Cliffs’ Mountain, Lake and Asheville regions. “We are thrilled to acquire what is the premier collection of private mountain and lake communities in the Southeast,” said Patrick Melton, managing partner of South Street. “The setting

42

of The Cliffs communities, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains with close proximity to booming Greenville, South Carolina and Asheville, North Carolina, makes this a very unique opportunity. These communities are well positioned to benefit from the unprecedented demand occurring in the Carolinas and offer everything future residents are seeking in a world-class community. We look forward to sharing our long-term vision for The Cliffs with our current and future residents in the coming weeks and months.” With over 50 years of combined experience, South Street has a proven track-record of success in the luxury

resort residential development world. Most notably in 2013, the firm acquired Kiawah Partners, the master developer of Kiawah Island, S.C. Under South Street’s ownership, median pricing has increased significantly, inventory levels have decreased to the lowest level in over a decade, a record number of new homes have broken ground and sales have topped $1.5 billion. In addition to successfully executing on multiple horizontal and vertical development strategies, including Kiawah’s largest homebuilder, South Street has also made a series of signature investments in the Kiawah Island Club that have elevated the member experience and increased the value of the Club for all stakeholders. South Street intends on rolling out many of these same strategies at The Cliffs. “We are excited about The Cliffs future under South Street. In the past six years, Arendale Holdings has invested significant capital into The Cliffs bringing this iconic brand back to a leading collection of club communities. We always have sought to do what is best for our homeowners and club members and we are confident that the talented team at South Street Partners will continue to make great strides for this special community,” said Fred Ridley, Chairman of Arendale Holdings Corp. and Silver Sun Partners. Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


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By Mike May Photos By Bob Claxton

georgia golf central header

Now Thriving, After Surviving ‘The Comeback Kid’ of Georgia Golf. That may be the best way to describe the Sapelo Hammock Golf Club, which can be found in the coastal community of Shellman Bluff, Georgia. Surrounded by tidal marshes, saw palmettos, and live oak trees, dripping with Spanish moss, this golf course is in terrific shape and its greens are a reflection of this club’s commitment to excellence, according to Alan Cale, Sapelo Hammock’s Director of Golf. It might be fair to say that the story about this golf course’s current condition, design, and beauty may be overshadowed the course’s survival during some turbulent financial times in the last 20 years. In the late 1990s, Sapelo Hammock – a par-72 layout, measuring nearly 6,700 yards from the tips -- opened its doors to the general public. Local golfers from McIntosh County loved playing this golf course and revenues

44

exceeded expenses. In 2002, a group of local developers purchased the club and it continued to prosper. Business for Sapelo Hammock (1354 Marshview Drive, NE; Shellman Bluff, Georgia) continued to be strong until the recession of 2008. Financially, times quickly became tough and the club was forced to close its doors in the summer of 2010. It didn’t take long for weeds to dominate the landscape of this scenic 171-acre piece of property. Fortunately, the club received a helping hand, courtesy of a group of local

golf-loving investors – Shellman Bluff Acquisition, LLC – which purchased the course. After months of cutting, fertilization, watering, and repair, the course re-opened for play in July 2011. According to Cale, the quality and playability of the course has continued to improve. Word spread quickly about the condition, quality, appeal and value – less than $50 a round – of Sapelo Hammock. Golf Advisor gave it 4.5 stars. But by 2017, the club needed a better financial formula in order for the golf course to reach its true potential. Admittedly, financial times were tough in American golf as more than 200 U.S. golf courses closed their doors in 2017. But the golfers who played Sapelo Hammock were determined that their course would not be a statistical closing, added Cale. “The local golfers who have volunteered their time to weed eat, trim, and pick up trash represent the commitment to excellence of the golfers at our club,” said Cale. That team spirit by the membership is much appreciated by the superintendent. “Our course is in great shape because of the many volunteer hours by our members in recent years,” said Chris Hankey, superintendent, Sapelo Hammock. “But, we also have a great crew. I’m only as good as my crew. As a super, I’m part-time plumber and part-time electrician.” Hankey and his crew must be doing a great job because he is Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


hearing positive comments from the members and daily players. “Our members say our greens are the best in the coastal area of Georgia,” added Hankey, who has worked at Sapelo Hammock for six years and a total of 20 years as a golf course superintendent. In December 2017, a new financial idea was unveiled that would secure Sapelo Hammock’s future. The plan was to sell preferred stock to individual investors. This idea was quickly implemented and the financial response from local residents was overwhelming positive. Enough money was raised to pay off the existing debt and to put money in the bank. After a review of its business plan, the club realized that its long-term survival was going to depend on generating business from golfers outside of McIntosh County. To accomplish that feat, a task force of marketing minds was formed to create an advertising and marketing campaign to publicize Sapelo Hammock Golf Club’s existence. The new initiatives included placing brochures at official state welcome centers; building a new website; utilizing social media; joining the local Chamber of Commerce; creating different tiers of membership; promoting the club as a venue for special events; and joining the Georgia Golf Trail. These new marketing approaches are working and the club is now on solid financial footing. Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2

“The Sapelo Hammock Golf Club is a welcome addition to the Georgia Golf Trail,” said Doug Hollandsworth, Founder of the Georgia Golf Trail. “The success of this club is a reflection of the spirit of determination of the local golfing community. It’s great to know that the course is attracting business from outside of McIntosh County.” Another appealing aspect of the Sapelo Hammock golf experience is

access to first-class on-site stay-andplay opportunities which range from the Eagle’s Nest in the clubhouse, with views of the 18th green, to several two and three-bedroom condo units which overlook the 4th fairway. It’s now time to play Sapelo Hammock: ‘The Comeback Kid’ of Georgia golf. Alan Cale and his associates await your arrival (912-832-4653; www.sapelohammockgolfclub.com).

45


florida golf central header

By David Theoret

Lots of Good Things Going On Pine Ridge Golf Club

in Beverly Hills, Florida sits quietly in the middle of the 4,800 acre Pine Ridge Equestrian and golf community in Citrus County. This family owned golf club is under new ownership and PGA Professional and CEO Bryan Richard sees nothing but a bright future for his new club. Over the past two years the course had been severely neglected. In fact, there were originally two courses on the property: a par-72 championship course and Little Pines, a par-3 executive course. Little Pines is currently closed as management and staff is focused on restoring the main course to its former glory. The tee boxes and greens on the Little Pines course are still being closely monitored, watered and fertilized in anticipation of reopening the course. A firm date for that has not yet been set. Pine Ridge sits about 160 feet above sea level. The course features gently rolling hills; a very unique feature in this part of Florida’s west coast. At 6,247 yards from the back tees, you might get the idea that you’re going to have your way with this course, but don’t let the numbers fool you. What Pine Ridge lacks in length, it makes up for in narrow, tree lined fairways and small, elevated greens. Pine Ridge is all about the approach shot. From the White tees (5,884/68.7/121) there are 7 par 4s that play less than 350 yards. That means a lot of wedges and short irons into 46

the greens. You’ll need an exceptional wedge game if you want to score well. Odds are you’ll be facing a lot of up and downs just to make par. Memorable Holes Most Memorable Hole: Number 8, Par 5, 483 yards. A good drive to the top of the hill sets up a risk/reward situation and the opportunity to go for the green in two. You’ll need to avoid the trees on the right and the lone fairway bunker on the left off the tee to give yourself a chance. A long draw would the preferred tee shot. From the top of the hill the hole starts to dogleg to the right and plays downhill, making a drive down the left side an easier approach. Fronting the right side of the green is the only water hazard on the course. The small, narrow green only adds to the difficulty of the hole. Favorite Par 3: Number 5, 163 yards. A moderate length par 3 that demands

accuracy off the tee because of the tress that line both sides of the fairways. The small green is long and narrow with sand all around which can make for a tough up and down. Favorite Par 4: Number 7, 348 yards. A hole doesn’t have to be overly long in order to be difficult as evidenced by Pine Ridge’s #1 handicapped hole. It features the narrowest fairway on the golf course. Many players will choose to play an iron off the tee, short of the fairway bunker on the left, leaving a long to mid iron into the green. More aggressive players who hit driver successfully will carry the bunker and leave themselves a short iron or wedge in. Number 7 has one of the largest greens on the course; just be sure to carry the two bunkers in front of the green or face a tough up and down. Favorite Par 5: Number 13, 473 yards. If a fade is in your shot repertoire off

Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


the tee, now’s a good time to use it. This severe dogleg right requires a left to right tee shot down a narrow tree-lined corridor. Hit your tee shot through the fairway left or too far right and you’re in trouble. The narrow fairway gets narrower as you play uphill towards the green. It will take a tremendous deal of accuracy to hit this small green; beware of the bunker short left. In addition to a par-72 championship course, and a par 3 executive course, Pine Ridge has a good size putting green, a driving range, and short game area. The chipping and putting areas are the perfect place to improve your short game. The driving range at Pine Ridge is only about 200 yards long and is the perfect place to warm up your iron game. The practice green is the perfect place to get the speed of the greens before heading to the first tee. Pine Ridge has partnered with Citrus County Parks and Recreation to offer youth and group golf lessons. In case you’re struggling with your game, they offer Golf Tune up specials with their in house PGA Professional, Bryan Richard. Call the pro shop and schedule a lesson. Last Word: The championship course at Pine Ridge features challenging woodland holes with rolling fairways that are not crowded with home sites; in fact the houses that you do see sit well back from the fairways. If you’re looking to grab a bite to eat before or after your round, The Pub at Pine Ridge is the perfect place. After your round, unwind with your favorite adult beverage from the fully stocked bar as

Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2

you relax and enjoy the natural surroundings. The food is great, from tasty buffalo chicken wings to mouth watering burgers to some of the best flatbread pizza I’ve ever had. The bar & grill is open daily. If you’ve recently moved to the area and are looking to upgrade your social status and at the same time enjoy a quality golf venue, look into becoming a member of Pine Ridge Golf Club. All memberships include unlimited greens fees and cart fees, range balls and preferred tee times. Single and family memberships are available or, if you’re just a part-timer in these parts, seasonal

memberships are available. Check out the website for more information. Pine Ridge is much more than just another Citrus County golf course, it’s a great place to host family get-togethers, prom nights, anniversaries, or any other special occasion. The professional staff at Pine Ridge is committed to helping you make it successful. They offer a variety of hassle free event packages to choose from or they can customize one to fit your specific needs. For more information on just about everything Pine Ridge Golf Club has to offer, visit their website at www.prgcfl.com or give them a call at (352) 746-6177.

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outh orth florida PGA north south florida florida PGA PGA north southflorida floridaPGA PGAnorth southflorida floridaPGA PGAnorth south

South Florida PGA Foundation Hosts 4th Annual PGA HOPE Classic, presented by FITTEAM Globa and Raymond James

The 4th Annual PGA HOPE Classic, presented by FITTEAM Global and Raymond James took place yesterday, May 9 at the Loxahatchee Golf Club in

inception, the South Florida PGA Foun-

veterans suffer from PTSD and other

Jupiter. Over 65 golfers came together

dation has administered 26 programs,

illnesses related to trauma that make

to help raise money for local veterans

impacting over 475 veterans, helping

it hard for them to come out of their

through the game of golf.

to assimilate them back to normal life

homes. PGA HOPE uses golf as a way of

through the socialization and interac-

therapy to help reengage them in the

Everywhere) was launched in 2015 in

tion the game provides.

community.”

south Florida and aims to provide local

veterans the opportunity to learn golf

allows us the opportunity to help our

of 18 holes of best-ball play, a live

from PGA Professionals as a way of

veterans,” said Rob Torrington, PGA

auction and a cocktail reception. The

rehab and therapy. Since the program’s

HOPE Classic Committee Chair. “Many

event kicked off with a special veteran

PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots

“This is an incredible event that

The PGA HOPE Classic consisted

presentation complete with the singing of the national anthem by Jupiter Christian High School and the presentation of the colors by Jupiter Police Department. With the support of South Florida Orthopedics, the Lincoln Motor Company, First Republic, SBA and Tito’s, players also enjoyed a shirt, a pair of Foot Joy golf shoes and complimentary lunch and cigars as part of the event.  

Silent Auction prizes such as, four-

somes to prestigious courses around Florida, hotel stays and even a copcar ride-along, as well as the participant entry fee, raffle tickets and donations helped to raise more than $55,000 for PGA HOPE, the largest ever for this event. With the funds PGA HOPE will administer 12 programs in 2019, impacting more than 200 veterans.  For more info: www.sfpgagolf.com 48

Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


Bertsch Wins TechnoGym Fort Lauderdale Open Golfers are like surfers. They ride the wave as long as they can. Justin Bertsch is the latest example. He finished last year winning the South Florida PGA Section’s final event. Last week, he finished 14th at the PGA Professional Championship to earn a spot in the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black.   Tuesday, Bertsch, the PGA Head Golf Professional at Hideout Golf Club in Naples, shot a 5-under 66 to finish his domination of the Section’s first event, the TechnoGym Fort Lauderdale Open.

Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2

Bertsch finished at 12-under 130 to win by five shots over Johnny Schwaller, PGA Assistant Golf Professional at Eagle Creek Golf Club. This is one of the Section’s major events. “I came here with a lot of confidence,” Bertsch said. “I’m definitely playing well. Made one bogey in 36 holes.” No surprise Andrew Filbert, PGA Assistant Golf Professional at Royal Poinciana Golf Club in Naples played well. He was the two-time defending champion, kickstarting seasons where he was named South Florida PGA Player of the Year. He will also

is headed to Bethpage with Bertsch next week after earning his way in through a sudden death playoff. Filbert (68-136) finished third and has a boost of confidence after qualifying for next week’s PGA. Alan Morin (72) PGA Assistant Golf Professional at The Falls Club, an eighttime section Player of the Year, finished fourth at 137. Morin, who won this tournament twice, tied with Nick Pincket, Mike Welch and Brett Blackburn.   The TechnoGym Fort Lauderdale Open was supported by Argolf, EZLinks, Global Golf Sales, Golf Buddy and Saint Nine.

49


orth florida PGA north florida PGA north florida PGA north florida PGA north

By Steve Morris John Falcone

tion to his family. It’s pretty amazing how he pulls it off! Rod continues to be one of the best PGA Professional competitors in the country and we are

John Falcone Captures First Senior Major of the Year

proud to have him in our North Florida Section! We always say “play well” and he does! Come play on our turf! The Youth Golf Experience is a new concept for growing the game in our Section. The North Florida PGA’s Youth Golf Experi-

John Falcone, Dunedin Golf Club made

ence (YGE) is a unique experience for

an epic rally in the NFPGA Senior

youth ages 5 to 17 regardless of skill

Match Play Championship! Down 3

level or gender. YGE is a FUN way to

with 3 to play, John won all 3 holes

introduce and develop younger players.

to take the battle to extra holes over

It is also a way for the more accom-

Wally Les. It took 7 extra holes before

plished golfer to take a break from

John claimed the title! Match play is so

competition and have fun with their

much fun. Our competitors endured up

friends who may not be active golfers.

to 36 holes a day in quest of the title.

YGE was developed to provide a non-

We were blessed with great weather at

competitive atmosphere which focuses

the Conservatory of Hammock Beach

who took their games to the next level

on fun and skill-building. Each YGE

Resort so that surely helped. What a

to qualify! Well played ladies!

starts with warm-up activities followed

great track!

Rod Perry, Crane Lakes Golf and CC

by playing golf that includes unique

competed in another PGA Champion-

scoring and skills challenges. After

Professionals who competed in the US

ship at Bethpage Black! It was his 6th

golf, the host PGA Professional will

Senior Women’s Open in May as well!

one! Our Player of the Year for the past

host an instructional clinic followed by

Congratulations to Susan Bond, Ponte

10 years continues to play at a high

food and gifts. Each golfer plays 9-holes

Vedra Beach and Pat Shriver, Cove Cay

level despite a busy job and his dedica-

with their own ball from a designated

We are proud of two of our lady PGA

Rod Perry

color-coded zone and earns points. Zone yardages are based on the golfer’s ability to reach the putting green by a targeted number of shots. On designated holes, golfers will compete in unique skills contest and fun challenges such as hockey stick putt, best celebration, and other fun events. There is no such thing as an entry fee, it’s a ticket to some fun, food and gifts for all. Parents are encouraged to attend and watch the kids enjoy a few hours of golf and games. It’s all about having fun and learning to love and enjoy the great game of golf. Are we having fun? Yes we are!

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Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


By Fred Seely

freddy's fairway thoughts

“Grow the Game?” Who is supposed to do that? It’s anyone but us, we say. You and me, the average golfers, male or female. Hey, it’s not our fault; what can we do outside our own club?

Which brings us to today’s subject and I hope you’ll consider how this model can be applied to your area. In Northeast Florida, we have the Jacksonville Area Golf Association. It has been around since 1954 and is an association of golf facilities, not people. It is, if you will, a union of clubs which have banded together for the common good as well as their own benefit. Most of all, today it is a place where the average person can do his or her share. A few years ago, a past JAGA president faced a problem and, not being interested in reinventing anything, called around the Southeast to see if there was another similar association in a similar area which may have faced the same problem. The closest our man could find was Palm Beach

A quick background: JAGA was formed by prominent members of Northeast Florida’s thenonly six courses for one reason: to avoid conflicts in the member-guest and invitational events of the day. They got everyone together for the common good. A lot happened, some then and some eventually. The immediate concern of conflicting dates was easily handled. But they found fellowship, and they started thinking of other things they could do. They wisely avoided making JAGA peopleoriented. Instead, it is club-oriented, with the theory that clubs remain (well, most are left) and people will move on. That was then and this is now, and today JAGA is a multi-faceted organization that reaches deeply into the golf community. Like: Tournaments: There are a dozen events this year ranging from the traditional championships to a “Family” day. Very well handled; JAGA has contracted with BlueGolf and works the system well. Website: Always tricky when dealing with volunteer webmasters, the current site does the job. Jaxareagolf.org. News roundup: There’s a monthly collection of news items and association promotions compiled by a committee of ex-newspaper types and former Tour publicists. It goes to the association’s master email list which now has over 1,000 names.

County, which has a great tournament schedule and a solid scholarship program. It’s personoriented, so the comparison isn’t quite right. Richmond has an association but it’s only to conduct the big tournaments. That was it. In every other area that he surveyed, there either was no mechanism or it was run by the municipal government. In the former, players had to make do themselves. In the latter, you can only imagine how the Parks and Recreation Department handled it...probably as a stepchild to the softball leagues. Therefore, I ask you to consider our model and see if it can be applied to your area, even in a modified manner. 52

Membership: Almost every local club has bought in, paying $175 annually. There are about 36 members today out of perhaps 40 that should be there. (In the good old days, before bad loans, there were upwards of 50.) Board meetings: All member clubs may appoint their board members, who meet eight times a year to conduct business (in the morning) and play golf (in the afternoon.) A typical meeting draws 60 or so people representing 25 or so clubs. This is a direct outgrowth of the meetings back in 1954 and it gives everyone an entree into other clubs. Banquet: There were 257 at this year’s to honor a local lady who chaired events in all three major Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


has over $650,000 and awards 8-10 scholarships each year. A “JAGA Scholarship” has become as much a matter of pride as the money. Publicity: Several ex-PGA Tour publicists keep their talents honed by handling releases. In these days of cutbacks at news outlets, any outside copy is much appreciated and the releases get very good coverage. Support for other events: If a club needs volunteers, JAGA helps by publicizing the need and helping coordinate things. An example: the USGA Women's Four-Ball was at Timuquana last month and JAGA recruited volunteers through its website, then signed them up through BlueGolf. Outreach: JAGA is visible in other organizations, attending PGA Chapter meetings (JAGA directors have won the Chapter’s Amateur of the Year award three of the last four years). The current JAGA officers: immediate past president Don Gilmore of the Golf Club of Amelia, President Randy Nader of Sawgrass, VP/Administration Jeff Adams of TPC Sawgrass, VP/Tournaments Thomas Bozzutto of Hyde Park and Secretary Larry Stark of Jacksonville Beach.

PGA Tour and hear Champions Tour player Len Mattiace. The cost is kept to $65. Every areawide organization (PGA, superintendents, etc.) is given a few minutes to introduce officers and winners. Annual awards: There are six, sone self-serving (Outstanding Board Member) but most are external (GM of the Year, Pro of the Year, Community Service Award.) Scholarships: It started because a board member left $130,000 in his will for scholarships. The Trust now

The latest step is to have a paid employe to coordinate the association activities, both internally and externally. This was partially funded by donation and supplemented by dedicated sources such as sale of JAGA-logoed attire. Okay, we (briefly) showed you ours. Now, show us yours. If you have a similar organization, do everyone a favor and pass along the details. If you’re trying to form a similar organization, let us know and we’ll help. If you’re sitting on your duff and letting the city Parks and Recreation Department manage golf in your area, do the rest of us a favor and don’t call.

Comments? I’m at fs4569@comcast.net.

Part of the JAGA tournament schedule is the Underwood Cup, now in its 28th year. Competition is similar to the Ryder Cup, with the majority of the teams chosen from a points system and four others selected by the captains. The amateur team won this year and holding the Underwood Cup is captain John Milton, a JAGA director from Queen's Harbour. Next to him is Underwood Cup President Clayton Underwood of Timuquana, whose company sponsors the event. Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2

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Marvel x Volvik Collaboration Volvik (volvik.com), known the world over for its high performance golf balls featuring more than 23 vibrant color options, reports recordsetting sales of the Marvel x Volvik collaboration of Captain America, Ironman and Spider Man Vivid 4-Ball Sets. Since the release of the widely anticipated Disney film Avengers: Endgame in U.S. theatres April 26, demand for the golf ball sets has been extraordinary. The film, setting box-office records, already is the highest-grossing film of the year and the 10th highest-grossing film of all time. Since the movie’s release Volvik has witnessed unprecedented demand from golfers, retailers and pro shops across the country for the Marvel special edition sets. “Since the premier of Avengers: Endgame, demand for the Captain America, Ironman and Spider Man Vivid 4-Ball Sets has exceeded our most aggressive forecasts,” said Don Shin, president of Volvik USA. “The response to the introduction of our Marvel Collaboration has been extremely robust. “We feel fortunate to have such a strong relationship with the Marvel team and look forward to continued success.” The Volvik Vivid high-performance three-piece oversized matte-finish golf ball is the product platform for the Marvel Collaboration of Captain America, Ironman and Spider Man. Each set comes in a custom-designed package with four Marvel decorated Vivid balls featuring Captain America, Ironman and Spider Man logos, as well as a magnetic hat clip and custom-tooled ball marker. Each four-ball set retails at $24.99. The sets can be purchased directly on Volvik.com or by calling 407649-0013. Pro shops and retailers may order the sets from their local Volvik representatives.

54

Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


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Heat Mapping to Save Money In the summer of 2014, the United States Golf Association (USGA) set out to create a GPS service that would assist golf courses in analyzing data to improve pace of play – the GPS functionality allowed courses to track player movements across the course. By visualizing this data, the USGA could not only see how long rounds took to play but narrow in on holes that were causing bottlenecks and slowing groups down unnecessarily. However, the USGA also identified

a unique playing experience featur-

pated $350,000 per year in water costs

ing seven saltwater lakes, mangrove

while improving visual aesthetics and

thickets, and holes overlooking Bis-

playing conditions. This is equivalent

cayne Bay. Nowadays, Crandon Park is

to about 30 percent of the current

owned and operated by Miami-Dade

irrigation budget. Sanford said the

County. Its 18 holes was robust 130+

Crandon course superintendent has

acres of turf, which cost the county

already removed some sprinkler heads

$1.1 million in irrigation costs per year.

and adjusted a few others, making a

Sanford’s original analysis of the course identified 29 acres of turf that could be replaced with native areas or

10-percent reduction in water usage without any capital expense. These savings for a public county

other materials that did not require

course make a significant impact.

irrigation/maintenance. But then,

Especially considering it was achieved

Sanford began working with USGA

through a non-invasive process with

technologists to overlay their heat map

GPS tags and the USGA’s resource

with Sanford’s prepared turf reduction

management tool. In addition to the

plan. Lo and behold, the combined map

too itself, the USGA is there to help

identified additional areas of minor

user understand and capture the data

traffic, but also found areas Sanford

which can be often be overwhelming.

that there could be alternative ways to utilize the technology. During the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show, golf course architect John Sanford approached the USGA booth and started inquiring about different uses for the GPS technology. Sanford had already been tasked with creating a new master plan for Crandon Park in Key Biscayne, FL, and one of his primary goals was to increase sustainability through reducing natural turf that needs increasingly expensive irrigation. Upon learning that the GPS technology produces heat map data to show the most and least trafficked areas on the course, Sanford experienced a “Eureka!” moment. Sanford began paying attention to how the tracking system created a heat map of where golfers were going on the course and realized how he could apply that data to determine where turf grass is and isn’t needed. Since opening in the 1970’s Crandon Park is considered one of the most beautiful and challenging par-72 courses in Florida. The course offers 58

did not realize were high-traffic areas.

Since 1982 the USGA has distrib-

The new data was used to inform

uted more than $18 million through a

a final masterplan that called for

university grants program to investi-

the elimination of 40-plus-acres of

gate environmental issues related to

turf on the course – 20 are currently

the game of golf. Crandon Park’s use of

being converted to natural crushed

GPS to save money through smart turf

stone, 12.5 to naturalized plantings

removal is just the latest example of

and eight to aquatic plantings.

how the USGA is positively impacting

Once completed, this 30% reduction

the game and making it both environ-

in irrigated turf will save an antici-

mentally and financial sustainable. Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE THAT MATTER THE MOST.

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Audubon International showcases golf course habitats with Global Nature Competition this month

Participants at Southwinds Golf Course, FL’s 2018 Junior BioBlitz Day ––Photo Credit: Sean Steinemann and Cheryl Glick

Environmental nonprofit Audubon International’s 5th annual BioBlitz will run from May 11th through June 23rd (World Migratory Bird Day through the end of National Pollinator Week). BioBlitz is a free species-counting competition designed to showcase the environmental value of the natural habitats found on golf courses.  “Each year, BioBlitz brings hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers from communities around

and local environmental experts gather to enjoy nature while identifying and counting the myriad of plant and animal species located on each property. Some courses have gotten very creative with their events, which is what Southwinds Golf Course, the 2018 winner

BioBlitz 2018, 3rd Place: Southern Flying Squirrel: Ironwood Golf Course (Michigan) ––Photo Credit: Kim Davidson

the world together to experience the

BioBlitz activities also

large diversity of

included both Ladies’ Night

species that call golf

Out and Junior BioBlitz

courses home,” said

events, as well as BioBlitz

Christine Kane, CEO

themed drink specials dur-

at Audubon Interna-

ing the event dates. Celebrate the nature

tional. “Last year’s BioBlitz participants

of your course by host-

recorded over 2,000

ing and participating in

unique species of

this free program you can

animals, plants, fungi,

count on being fun for

and insects on golf

all ages! Awards will be given for Most Species,

courses across North America.” This year’s free

BioBlitz 2017, 3rd Place: Sandhill Cranes with Chicks: The Villages (Florida) ––Photo Credit: Tom Lamb

(USGA) and is open to any golf course worldwide. The event is designed to create awareness among course members, neighbors and the surrounding community of their course’s environmental value. Participants such as golfers and their families, youth groups, community members, 60

Photo. Following BioBlitz, Audubon International will

event is sponsored by the United States Golf Association

Most Participants, and Best

of the Community Engagement Award for most participants, did last year. “Our team enjoyed creating activities to engage golfers from juniors to seniors in recognizing the rewards of environmental stewardship,” said Sharon Painter, General Manager at Southwinds Golf Course. The course’s

compile the lists of plant and animal species recorded and report on the findings. To register for BioBlitz 2019 and receive a free toolkit, with instructions and helpful information on planning a successful BioBlitz on your golf course, please visit https://auduboninternational.org/bioblitz/. Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


THERE ARE A MILLION THINGS THAT NEED TO HAPPEN FOR YOUR COURSE TO BE PLAYABLE.

AND YOUR GOLF COURSE SUPERINTENDENT IS THINKING ABOUT THEM ALL.

The pH of this.

The growth of that.

Too much moisture.

Not enough moisture.

Looking out for the environment.

To learn more visit gcsaa.org/GC

Looking out for the health of the course. And that’s just over coffee.

So say thanks to your golf course superintendent. Or make that, thanks a million.


SUPERSpotlight: Kevin Czerkies quick to recognize his potential. He was soon promoted to the Assistant

also worked at Sportsmans Country

Superintendent at Cog Hill. During this

Club. She handled their Border Collie,

time, he married his high school sweet-

Mick - who was trained to scatter the

heart, Peggy. They worked hard and

Canadian Geese off the golf course and

made sacrifices due to the odd hours of

nearby parks. To keep the areas clean

this profession. They were blessed to

of the geese (and the mess they leave

raise three children, sons Nick and Brad

behind!) this had to be done at several

and daughter Elisabeth. To date, Kevin

intervals during the day. Anyone who

and Peggy have also been blessed with

has seen the Goose migration knows

five grandchildren. They are excited to

there are literally thousands of them!

celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary this summer! Kevin held the Assistant Superinten-

Kevin Czerkies, CGCS, has been work-

While the kids were in school, Peggy

In 2001 Kevin decided to move his talents to a warmer climate. He took the reigns as Superintendent at

dent position for five years at Cog Hill

Cramer Mountain Country Club just

until he received his first Golf Course

west of Charlotte, NC. He served as

Superintendent position at the age

Superintendent there for six years.

of 25 at Sportsmans Country Club in

He still prefers this golf course to any

Northbrook, IL. For the next 16 years

other he’s worked at in terms of course

Kevin would mold his career. He went

topography, layout and natural beauty.

thru the rigorous task of becoming a

Somehow, there was not a big Cana-

GCSAA Certified Superintendent in

dian Goose problem on this course, and

1991 and has maintained that status to

due to the mountainous terrain with

ing on golf courses since his high

this day. He was elected to the Board of

its cliffs, rushing waters through rocky

school days in 1977. As a kid growing

Directors of the Midwest Association of

streams, and natural predators, it was

up in the Chicago suburbs, he was

Golf Course Superintendents 1991-1999

not a safe place to allow a border collie

taught to play golf at an early age. He

and served as President in 1998.

to run. As Kevin explains, it was at this

loved everything about it, and knew he wanted to pursue a path in his life that would allow him to be a part of the golf industry. Once old enough to get a job he decided to gain employment at a golf course where free golf was offered as a benefit. He secured a position on the grounds crew at the famed Cog Hill Golf Club, a 72-hole golf complex in Lemont, IL. The 5:00 AM daily start time was not convenient to the life of a teenager, however; he didn’t mind. He formed an appreciation for the quiet beauty of dawn. He quickly took a love to the profession and decided to make a career of it. After High School graduation in 1978, Kevin continued his education seeking a degree in Turfgrass Management at Joliet Junior College. He was working under Ken Lapp who was 62

Kevin, Nick, and Brad at The Masters 2016 Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


Kevin and his granddaughter, Carrington time that Mick retired and became their very spoiled pet.

Kevin’s passion for the turf industry was passed on to his oldest son.

improvements. During his college days, Brad worked

Nick attended the University of Illinois

on the grounds crew for Kevin at Cramer

Mick out of commission, Peggy decided

and earned a turf degree from Horry-

Mountain and also at Duran Golf Club in

to pursue a career in insurance. She

Georgetown in Myrtle Beach, SC. He

Viera, FL for a couple years. Brad decided

obtained her adjuster’s license in 2002

has worked at several prestigious golf

to pursue his own career path and follow

and began a 16-year career handling

courses throughout his career. He in-

his passion for music and sound design.

residential property / catastrophic storm

terned at Tidewater Golf Club and later

He is a Recording Engineer with a degree

claims for both Kemper Auto and Home/

took the Assistant Superintendent posi-

from Full Sail University in Winter Park,

Unitrin, and Liberty Mutual. Although

tion at Wachesaw Plantation, both in the

FL. He’s won several awards for his

she has recently retired, she keeps her

Myrtle Beach area. Nick then advanced

projects, and currently he teaches Sound

license current and active. Living in

his career taking a Course Superin-

Design at Full Sail.

Florida, you never know when those

tendent position at Disney’s Palm Golf

skills may be needed to jump back in the

Course where he hosted 6 PGA TOUR

Hospitality/ Event planning from Horry-

game and handle a Hurricane event!

events. His experience launched him to

Georgetown in Myrtle Beach, SC. It was

the rank of Director of Golf Maintenance

while in Myrtle Beach that she met

and took the job as Superintendent at

at Orange Lake Resort’s 54-Hole Golf Fa-

her husband Adam who was attending

Manatee Cove Golf Course on Patrick Air

cility, FL. Nick met and married a fellow

Coastal Carolina University, a neighbor-

Force Base, FL. This was a real culture

Disney employee, Michele, in 2009. With

ing school. They were married in 2010.

shock as working for the Military placed

a Horticultural Degree from the Univer-

Adam is an insurance professional and

many procedural restrictions on him

sity of Florida, she is extremely talented

Elisabeth is a stay at home mom to their

that other golf courses don’t have to deal

and possesses a green thumb as well!

2 adorable daughters. They have made

with. Proving himself to be an ardent

Michele has been very successful as one

their home in Knoxville, TN.

environmental steward while continu-

of Disney’s Horticultural Managers for

ing to show constant improvement to

over 20 years.

As the kids were growing up, and with

In 2008 Kevin expanded his portfolio

the golf course turf conditions has been

Nick and Michele have three delight-

Elisabeth obtained her degree in

Kevin Czerkies prides himself on his family and hard work ethic. He has come a long way during his career and loves

met with much appreciation in the eyes

ful boys under the age of 10 that keep

living on the Space Coast of Florida.

of the Military. He has now been with

them very busy. Currently, due to work/

However, he does miss the Chicago food

Manatee Cove almost 12 years and still

school scheduling conflicts, Nick has

and his beloved White Sox. Two Portil-

loves going to work every day. Living in

since taken a break from golf course

lio’s restaurants have recently opened

coastal Brevard County has become a

maintenance and started his own busi-

in the Tampa area, so he can enjoy that

real treat for him and Peggy where they

ness, Black Knight Homeowner Services,

Chicago eatery when the family gets

have discovered a genuine love for beach

assisting homeowners and realtors fo-

together and attends a White Sox-Rays

life and cruising!

cusing on landscape design and interior

game every year.

Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2

63


Potomac Shores Golf Club Completes Major Course Enhancements Potomac Shores Golf Club, the awardwinning Jack Nicklaus Signature design in Dumfries, Va., recently completed a multi-phase course enhancement project which included re-grassing fairways and bunker renovations. Chad Goetz from Nicklaus Design and Troon’s agronomy team led the 10-month project with Southeastern Golf construction company serving as the contractor. Phase One of the course improvement project was completed in September 2018 and focused on replacing bent grass fairways with Latitude 36 Bermudagrass. Phase Two began in mid-October and involved eliminating and renovating bunkers. The total number of bunkers decreased from 77 to 74, while the total square footage of bunkers was reduced by 40 percent, from approximately 103,000 square feet to approximately 63,000 square feet. “It was our pleasure to return to Potomac Shores Golf Club,” said Chad Goetz, design associate, Nicklaus Design. “The project was focused on restoring all of the bunkers on the course while increasing playability and improving the daily playing conditions. In order to improve maintenance efficiency, numerous bunkers were reduced in size or eliminated.  Combined with the Capillary Concrete liner system, the bunkers should weather heavy rain events better and have reduced contamination.  While several bunkers

64

were eliminated in this project, a handful of previously eliminated bunkers were re-installed to restore Jack’s original design intent. Finally, several deep bunkers were shallowed out in order to make the course more enjoyable for its daily fee clientele.  All of this was done while preserving Jack’s original design intent and strategies.” Potomac Shores Golf Club opened for daily-fee play in May of 2014. Upon opening in 2014, the facility was named one of the “Best New Courses” in the U.S. by Golf Digest and GOLF Magazine and is currently ranked among the “Top Courses You Can Play” in Virginia by GolfWeek magazine.   “Our goal from the onset was to improve the playability of the golf

course allowing golfers of all skill levels to enjoy themselves. I am happy to say that we achieved our objective,” said Todd Van Meer, PGA, director of club operations, Potomac Shores Golf Club. “With the new sand and bunker improvements, the course is not only more beautiful but the overall playability has improved.” Located just 30 minutes south of Washington, D.C., Potomac Shores Golf Club is the centerpiece of the Potomac Shores community being developed by SunCal, one of the largest real estate development companies in the U.S. that specializes in large-scale, mixeduse master-planned communities. Potomac Shores covers 1,920 acres and features nearly two miles of shoreline, 1,000 acres of preserved hardwood forests and streams and traditional Virginia Tidewater architectural designs. This transit-oriented development is planned for a mixed-use town center, a new VRE commuter rail station and a waterfront village. Its master plan also includes two public schools, multiple sports fields, 10 miles of trails and over 3,800 residences. The community offers the 13,000 square-foot Shores Club, a private recreation and fitness complex, and has sold over 900 new homes. For more information on the Potomac Shores community, visit  www.potomacshores.com.  For more information on Potomac Shores Golf Club, visit www.potomacshoresgolfclub.com or call (571) 383-3050. Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


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Story and photos By Greg Corbo

New greens bring Bartow back to life

Polk County club goes with Diamond Zoysia A year ago this month, Bartow Golf Club (Bartow, FL) regrassed its tiny Donald Ross push-up greens with Diamond Zoysia -- a grass that had never been used before by the Polk County club. Other than resurfacing the 18 greens, the $150,000 project included green collars along with an additional two greens used for a sod farm. The green sizes and contours were kept to their original 1926 specs not to undermine the original work of Ross.  The results are in and the decision to stray away from a common Bermuda grass is paying early dividends.    “These are the best the greens have ever been out here,” said lifetime club member Herbert Dixon who turns 99 in September.     “These have to be the smallest greens with the most speed in the state of Florida,” said another golf enthusiast after his first round on the new greens.    The sturdy characteristics of the zoysia is benefiting both the maintenance and the playability of the golf course has changed considerably with daily green speeds now averaging around 8.5-9 on the stimpmeter.   66

  “Diamond Zoysia requires less of almost everything from water, sun, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, nematode control and you do not overseed,” says 19-year Head Superintendent Richard Adams.  “It is very consistent and can tolerate a lot more than Bermuda.  It holds up to wear and tear of the play and heat. It grows vertical where Ber-

muda grows horizontally.”   Adams indicated the greens will settle in and get better with time and should last up to 20 years.  The last time the greens were replaced before this current edition was 2002. They were tired, worn out an overtime acquired an intrusion of other grasses making it difficult to keep green speeds smooth and consistent.  A fine-textured, warm season grass with excellent tolerance to low light conditions, salty soils, high traffic, and low mowing heights, the Diamond Zoysia will confidently withstand the ultra-

Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2


hot summer months of Central Florida for its durability and ability to recuperate quickly from extreme weather patterns.   “Less water consumption leads to less electricity,” says Adams. “We are still a bit in the grow-in stages so we will reduce more costs down the road but it takes less chemicals than Bermuda.  Not overseeding is a big cost-cutter for the winter months. However, there are some added maintenance costs as we topdress more than we did the Bermuda.”     A member of The Florida Historic Golf Trail, the “Tow” has hosted the

Golf Central • Volume 20, Issue 2

Youth Villa Classic Golf Tournament since 1963, an event to benefit the nearby Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranch in Bartow. Competitors will experience a new examination this year with small crowned greens at high speeds placing a premium on precisioned approach shots. The art of getting up and down after shortsiding yourself has now become surgical procedure. To put it in perspective, the average size of a green on the PGA Tour is 6,000 square feet.  The average size of a green at Bartow is roughly 4,200 square feet with the smallest being

3,400 sq. ft. (#14) and the biggest coming in at 5,100 sq. ft. (#16)   “I am not aware of anything comparable to the size of our greens in the state of Florida,” said Pro Attendant Mike Estridge, who played college golf for the University of Florida.    Greens are clearly the most important feature on any golf course -- Now with Bartow’s cosmetic makeover complete the community has a new face to play for many years to come and somewhere Donald Ross is proud.  For more information go to www.bartowgolfclub.com

67


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Golf Central Magazine- Vol 20 Issue 2  

Golf Central Magazine- Vol 20 Issue 2