Golf Central Magazine- Vol 21 Issue 8

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Take your lifestyle to the next level!

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







• Close to home, far from it all • Located on the north end of stunning Lake Lure, Rumbling Bald on Lake Lure is one of Western North Carolina’s only mull-course golf resorts. An hour’s drive from Asheville and less than two hours from Charlooe, it features two contrassng 18-hole layouts: W.B. Lewis-designed Bald Mountain and Dan Maples-designed Apple Valley.

4.1 Star Rating By golfers just like you on

We offer over 120 vacaaon rental oppons that are ideal for golf groups of various sizes and feature golf course and mountain views. When you stay with Rumbling Bald you also have access to all of our ameniies and accviies, including scenic Lake Lure boat tours, a wellness center and spa, uniques dining oppons, outdoor adventures, and more. It’s the perfect basecamp for exploring the natural wonders of western North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Mountains. IT’S ALL WAITING FOR YOU AT RUMBLING BALD ON LAKE LURE.


Two Nights, Two Rounds, with Breakfast and Complimentary use of the Practice Facility.

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header from the publisher

Volume 21, Issue 8

Publisher: Terrie L. Purdum Editor in Chief: Shannon Coates Graphic Design: Melahn Cable, Photojournalists: Greg and Beverly Wise Photographers: Lynn Pelham, Brion Price, Peter Hakansson

Mike Coonan, Becky Galloway Senior Correspondent: Rick Harris, Sr. International Correspondent: Dove Jones Inflluencer/Ambassador: Chad Smith Contributing Writers: Jay Golden, PGA; Greg Wise, Bob Bolton, Greg Corbo, Elisa Gaudet, Mike Jamison, Mike May, Ron Heller, Rich Styles, Fred Seely, Deb Shuck, JL Quebbeman, Linda Williams-Sieg Editor Emeritus: Joel Jackson, CGCS Retired Regional Partner: Doug Hollandsworth, Founder-Georgia Golf Trail

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

Adapt and Overcome Not just the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps, but words to inspire people dealing with challenges, changes, or difficult situations. We’ve all been challenged, had changes, and dealt with difficult situations over the past year both in our business and personal lives. Life is change and growth is optional; choose wisely. There are several golf foundations that work with a diverse group of players who are physically challenged. These groups provide specialized adaptive golf instruction, life skills, custom equipment, and personal enhancement. Golf Central will continue our commitment to include interest and diversity in these players through our features. All eyes are on Florida in the month of March as we host the Florida Swing, three of four PGA tour events. It all starts with the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, then up to Ponte Vedra Beach for The Players Championship, and then a comfortable drive down to The Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens. The Honda has been voted the “most fan-friendly tournament” by Golf Central and provide the best media food ever!! Florida is not only THE place to be during the bitter cold winter but we have a lot of shite going on here, too. We have been ready for the snowbirds to fly on in and enjoy our world-class competitions. Some think in competition there needs to be a winner and a loser. While here, everyone wins!! Winner, winner snowbird dinner!! We have Champions and LPGA events, even pit stops at the Daytona 500 and Bike Week. So, come grab some sunshine, enjoy our record high temperatures, and all the golf and fun you can handle. Oh, and a shout out to Florida’s Governor DeSantis! Talk about a man who has helped us overcome! 6

NEW PHONE: 321.765.7550 E-mail: ©2020 Golf Central Magazine. No portion of this publication may be reprinted without the prior written permission of the Publisher. Editorial contributions are welcome, but Golf Central Magazine assumes no responsibility for unsolicited proposals, manuscripts and photographs. All materials submitted not accompanied by a selfaddressed stamped envelope will not be returned. Mailing, electronic mailing or faxing of contributions constitutes an expressed warrant on the part of the contributor that all material is original and does not infringe on the rights of others. Golf Central Magazine retains all reprint rights and reserves the right to edit any submitted material to meet our specifications for publishing and or use in advertising or promotion. The Publisher and staff are not responsible for any loss or grievance by any person or persons whatsoever, due in any way or in part to the content of this publication. The Publisher reserves the right to refuse to accept any material deemed inappropriate or in bad taste.

2009 North Florida PGA Amateur of the Year Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

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Take your lifest to the next le yle vel!


FEATURE 10 Boca Grove Florida Golf Central 34 Treasure Coast Golf Association Golf Bachelor 26 Matt Yorgey Golf Bachelorette 20 Stephanie Richardson Improving Performance 28 Edison Golf Leader on the Links 12 Dean Baker 14 Katie Dahl Special Events 22 Women's Golf Day Awards 36 Payne Stewart Auction


18 24 32 42 48 50 52

Tennessee Golf Central 30 Hermitage Golf Course Turf Life 54 Sunniland Super Spotlight: Sue Spahr 56 Performance Nutrition Superstar: Shane Wright 58 Audubon International 60 GCSAA What's New 38 Slopegraide

Product Showcase Georgia Golf Trail PGA Tour Golf History Competitive Spirits Freddy's Fairway Thoughts South Florida PGA


Stay & Play 16 Rumbling Bald

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


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Legendary Lifestyle

There’s a reason Gary Player chose Boca Grove to be his first American home and it’s not just because he made history here.

Legends don’t make tee times and neither will you Located in the heart of Boca Raton, Florida | Limited Number of Non-Resident Memberships Available Contact Valerie at (561) 487-5300 ext 132 | |

feature Boca Grove is centrally located in Boca Raton between Powerline and the Turnpike at Glades. Built on a 300-acre Honeybell orange grove more than 35 years ago, Boca Grove boasts 444 homes and offers luxurious amenities in a boutique setting. Boca Grove’s Jim Fazio designed 18-hole championship golf course is open to non-resident members are well! At Boca Grove, members simply walk up to play, no tee times required! By Labor Day, the $11.5 million two-story Sports & Wellness Center is expected to open with a brand-new fitness center, al fresco and poolside dining, spinning and pilates rooms, men’s and women’s steam rooms, and a children only recreational center, accompanied by a playground. For more information on how you too can enjoy all that Boca Grove has to offer, call Valerie Roca at 561-487-5300 Ext 132. Or 10

Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8


leader on the links

Sports Marketing Expert Dean Baker to Mentor Dreamers Far and Wide on dreamOway Platform Dean Baker joins dreamOway, a community of authentic, friendly, and supportive visionaries committed to supporting one another’s hopes and aspirations. With his extensive knowledge in the sports industry, Baker will be able to mentor dreamers who have an interest in sports. Baker has knowledge in such industries as golf, sports marketing, sponsorship, sports management, brand development, visual merchandising, customer retention, event planning, marketing strategy, sales, and creative marketing. Dreamers with similar interests could be matched with Baker, giving them a first-hand insight into these respective fields and what it takes to make it big. “I hope that through my exhaustive accumulated experience, I will be able to guide dreamers far and wide to achieve their ambitions and to tackle them without fear,” says Baker. For more than thirty years, Dean Baker has represented some of the finest companies in the sports industry. Customer satisfaction is his number one goal. While representing one sports organization, he increased sales from $150,000 to $2,700,000 in twelve months. Baker has enjoyed working with some of the biggest names in sports, such as...Don Shula, Chris Evert, Mark O’Meara, Dan Marino, Payne Stewart, John Daly, J. C. Snead, Bob Friend, Joey Sindelar and Jack Nicklaus. Through the years, Baker has consulted with many types of organizations. He has helped increase sales at the Boca Raton Resort and Club and he has been a guest speaker at Nova Southeastern University and the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Florida. Baker sits on the Board of Directors for the Florida Sports Hall of Fame, serving as Vice-President, the Board of Directors of Broward County Sports Hall of Fame, South Florida PGA Section Advisory Board and Junior Achievement. He has served on the 12

committees of thirty-four different charity celebrity golf tournaments. “We are more than excited to welcome Dean into our dreamOway community. I believe that he brings a whole new talent to the table and that he’ll guide and provide dreamers with newfound opportunities to learn from seasoned professionals,” says Justine Sinclair, Founder and CEO of dreamOway. dreamOway is a new App that provides a platform for people to realize their dreams. The dreamOway team believe pursuing a passion is a personal journey – focused on help-

ing turn dreams into a reality and eliminating the “what if” regrets in life. dreamOway provides all the tools needed to act now on the next Big Idea. With a simple sign-up process, easy dream creation tools, and an amazing network, one can spend less time building and more time interacting. The dreamOway platform is designed to inspire, promote, and nurture users’ goals to make their dreams become a reality. For more information, visit Follow @dreamOway on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

leader on the links

Katie Detlefsen Dahl Named To “Best Young Teachers In America” List Katie Detlefsen Dahl, Director of Instruction at West Bay Club in Estero, Fla., has been named to Golf Digest’s list of “Best Young Teachers in America.” Golf Digest’s biennial list of Best Young Teachers (under the age of 40) is included in the January 2021 issue and features 177 award-winning instructors from across the nation. The 2021-2022 list was determined by the publication’s editors with applications submitted by instructors. Dahl, 32, is an LPGA Top 50 Teacher with a passion for helping others to improve and have more fun playing the game of golf. Her teaching philosophy is based on a student-centered approach helping each unique golfer to improve and achieve their goals. A Minnesota native, Dahl was the first player to win four consecutive Minnesota State High School Championships (2004-2007). She attended the University of Central Florida on a full 14

golf scholarship where she also earned a Master’s degree in Mass Media. Dahl’s playing experience includes time on the Symetra and Canadian Tours as well as a start on the LPGA Tour. She was also a contestant on Golf Channel’s The Big Break television show in 2014. Prior to arriving at West Bay Club in September 2020, Dahl spent eight years at Raptor Bay Golf Club in Estero, where she served as director of instruction including several years working for renowned golf instructor Rick Smith. The West Bay Club is a memberowned private golf club and community located on 868 acres adjacent to Estero Bay and bordering 500 acres of nature preserve and wetlands. Troon Privé,

the private club operations division of Troon, manages the award-winning club and community association. In 2020, West Bay Club was named a “Distinguished Club” by BoardRoommagazine, the official publication of the Association of Private Club Directors. Each year BoardRoom magazine recognizes a select number of “Distinguished Clubs” based on a proprietary criteria and evaluation process that distills and measures a club’s Member Experience. The prestigious private club designation comes as West Bay Club and community are in the midst of phase one of a $12 million amenity improvement and renovation project focused on updating and transforming the community’s Bay House activity center, poolside fitness building, dining options and Beach Club ocean-side amenity, as well as West Bay Club’s Golf House and pub. For more information on West Bay Club, visit Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

2019 NATIONAL GOLF COURSE OF THE YEAR The Heather BEST GOLF RESORTS IN AMERICA BOYNE Golf — — 100 GREATEST PUBLIC COURSES The Heather #92, Links/Quarry #80 — Golf Digest — EDITOR’S CHOICE BEST GOLF RESORTS IN AMERICA Bay Harbor Golf Club & Inn at Bay Harbor — Golf Digest — TOP 100 RESORTS Buddies Trip BOYNE Golf Luxury Bay Harbor Golf Club & Inn at Bay Harbor — GOLF Magazine & —

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stay & play

Rumbling Bald Readies for Spring with 2021 Golf Packages

36-Hole Retreat on North Carolina’s Stunning Lake Lure Ideal for Golf Groups, Buddy Trips

Rumbling Bald, the 36-hole golf retreat on North Carolina’s stunning Lake Lure, announces its golf package lineup for 2021, customized for golf groups of any size, and ideal for weekend or weekday buddy trips. Starting at $345 per person, the popular “Hole-in-One” package features a two-night stay, two rounds of golf on the Apple Valley and Bald Mountain courses, breakfast both days and complimentary, unlimited range balls. Lodging options abound, including the recently updated Apple Valley Studios and two- and four-bedroom Fairway Villas. Paying homage to the 2021 Ryder Cup at Destination Kohler’s famed Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, Rumbling Bald is offering a limited avail-


ability “Ryder Cup Package.” Expert golf vacation planners are available to design an exciting, Ryder Cup team formatted event for golf groups in search of an unforgettable experience. The Ryder Cup Package starts at $589 per person and includes: three nights lodging; three rounds of golf scored and handicapped; complimentary replays on either course; a team shirt and hat; private, one-hour opening reception with wine, beer and hors d’oeuvres and unlimited use of the practice facilities. “With the new Champion Bermuda greens at Apple Valley and our off-season enhancements to Bald Mountain, we can’t wait to showcase the new-look

Rumbling Bald to golfers,” says Rumbling Bald General Manager Jeff Geisler. “Off the course, our wide-variety of vacation rentals provide golfers with spacious accommodations for relaxing, unwinding and unplugging.” For groups of 12 or more, Rumbling Bald offers gratis golf for group leaders upon booking their first trip to the property. The “12+ Comp” is ideal for PGA Professional-member trips, tournaments, or large golf buddy trips. To learn more about Rumbling Bald’s golf courses and packages, visit www., or email jdoran@ To book packages directly, or to speak with golf vacation planner, call (828) 694.3072. Tucked along scenic Lake Lure and surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Rumbling Bald is secluded yet

Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

eminently accessible from myriad metro areas. Charlotte, Asheville and Raleigh, N.C., Knoxville and Nashville, Tenn. and Greenville and Spartanburg, S.C. are all between one and five hours away. The idyllic retreat features two contrasting 18-hole layouts: W.B. Lewis-designed Bald Mountain and Dan Maples-designed Apple Valley. Rumbling Bald’s marquee course, Apple Valley, stretches to nearly 6,800 yards and features expansive views of Bald Mountain and the surrounding Lake Lure area. Maples estimated 75% of shots at Apple Valley are either level or downhill, virtually unheard of for a mountain course. Shimmering mountain lakes adorn 12 holes, but water only occasionally comes into play. Bald Mountain, at 6,300 yards, is renowned for its unique configuration of five par 5s and five par 3s. Movie buffs appreciate the 16th green, the backdrop of a scene from the movie “Dirty Dancing.” A protégé of golf course architect George Cobb, Lewis is known for his traditional approach to course design. This philosophy is reflected in Bald Mountain’s playability from tee to green The property’s 150 vacation rental homes, condos and studios are ideal for golf groups of various sizes and feature golf course and mountain views. Post round, golfers can relax at Legends on the Lake, casual dining along the shores of Lake Lure, or grab a hearty sandwich and cold drink at Pinnacle Southern Kitchen at the Apple Valley clubhouse. Rumbling Bald is rich with amenities and activities, including scenic Lake Lure boat tours, boat rentals, tennis, pickleball, a full-service spa and hiking trails. Families enjoy the Trout Stream Pool and Lazy River, winding its way through the outdoor pool area where guests relax under fan-cooled covered seating. It’s the perfect basecamp for exploring the natural wonders of western North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8


product showcase

NIKE SHOW X3 Introducing Show X3, the latest eyewear collection from Nike Vision featuring Professional Golfer, Cameron Champ. Stay at the top of your game with the ultimate performance eyewear, Nike Show X3. Designed using pro-athlete insights, the Show X3 sunglasses are the pinnacle of comfort and clarity. For elite athletes like Cameron Champ, the max optics for precise vision from all angles, contoured lenses for deeper coverage, anti-fog ventilation holes for air circulation, and adjustable rubber temple arms for lightweight, ergonomic comfort, make Show X3 the perfect frames for training and game day. Available for purchase for $79 at

Tifosi Optics-Centus Centus, Tifosi Optics’ newest sunglass, was designed with the golfer in mind. Sunglasses are a must when out on the course. Golfers can count on Centus to keep them focused on their swing, because sunglasses should be an aid, not a distraction. Trust Centus to provide clarity, eye comfort and protection. Since their frames are made with Grilamid TR-90, golfers will appreciate that they are lightweight and durable. Centus’ wrapped lenses are optically decentered, delivering clear visuals. They are shatterproof and provide 100% UV protection. Hydrophilic rubber nosepieces are designed to keep your glasses in place, no slipping or bouncing. Centus’ sleek design comes in Matte Black with a Smoke lens, Gloss Black with a Smoke Bright Blue lens, Iron with a Brown lens, and Midnight Navy with a Smoke lens. Tifosi continues to provide quality and affordability, Centus retails at $25. Tifosi is the word for Super-fan. That is exactly who we are and who we make our eyewear for. Our mission is to provide technically advanced eyewear to enthusiasts of all sports and outdoor activities. We design, test, and torture our product to enhance your sport whether you’re running a 5k, riding your first century, or playing 18 holes on Sunday. Tifosi defines us. We are enthusiasts about our product, our sport and our fun. We are moms, dads, coaches, players, volunteers, survivors, team, success, and family. We are Tifosi. 18

Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

Volition America And Revo Sunglasses Join Forces Volition America is leading a movement of proud patriotism, empowering Americans to understand the value of choice, not just on special holidays, but throughout the calendar year. In collaboration with leading active-lifestyle brands, Volition America is growing its product offering, as it builds a community of loyal, like-minded followers, while leading a movement to unite Americans through our shared patriotic values. Volition America has a commitment to supporting the children of fallen American heroes, by donating a percentage of all proceeds to Folds of Honor Foundation. The latest partnership for Volition America with Revo has resulted in the Revo Volition America sunglass collection, which is comprised of seven new models, all of which feature Revo’s premium-quality, NASA-based polarized lens technology. With every pair of sunglasses sold, Volition America will support American military families by donating 20% of the proceeds to FOLDS OF HONOR, a nonprofit foundation that provides educational scholarships to the children and spouses of fallen and disabled service members. For more information about Volition America, its partners, and the powerful community the brand is building every day, visit

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Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8


golf bachelorette

Tell us something about yourself that only your closest friends know. My nickname is FUNshine! What three things would you need to survive on a deserted island? Hammock, bug spray that has

do actually happen. Keep my thoughts happy and positive, always! What three people would you most like to play with in your fantasy golf foursome? Legends, of course. Tiger Woods, Jack Nicholas and Arnold Palmer. What are some of your great accomplishments? I consider my youngest son one

Stephanie Richardson of my greatest accomplishments. Danny has joined the United States Army and has big, big plans. Could not be prouder of my son.

Where were you born? Did you grow up there? Daytona Beach... Florida Native!️ I grew up and lived most of my life in Ormond Beach, Florida. Is “acting your age” overrated? Absolutely!

Relaxed evening at home, or nightclub and cocktails? Relaxed evening at home with a glass of red wine.

What do you do for a living? Brand Ambassador for FaceTime Consulting and Promotions &Experimental Specialist for Team Enterprises since 2015 representing MolsonCoors What would you like to do for a living? Alternative Medicine Aside from golf; what do you prefer for fun and relaxation? I Love hot, vinyasa yoga and tend to cling to shorelines. Fascinated with growing bonsai! What golf apparel do you like to wear? TaylorMade Whom do you most admire for their inner and outer beauty? Melania Trump Tell us about your first kiss? How about we talk about a great kiss? There’s something about kissing the right person that freezes time, even if it’s just for a minute. Such an intimate act that’s worth celebrating. And some kisses…well, they just stay with you forever. 20

built in sunscreen and a satellite phone. Who would you like to have with you on the same deserted island; and why? THE Man of my Dreams What do you find to be the most annoying habit people demonstrate on the golf course? Cheating Name the three most important things to you in this world. Health, Gratitude and Love What do you fear the most? I try not to fear or worry about anything. Most of the things we all fear or worry about never

Last time you spewed something through your nose from laughing so

hard? That actually happened to me talking to my bestie on the phone last week. Inside jokes are the best. Favorite comedian? Richard Pryor Movies:…comedy, drama, action, romance? Romance Favorite television channel? Bravo

Last book you read? LONGEVITY SOLUTION Dr. James Dinicolantonio & Dr Jason Fung Favorite charity to support? Surfers For Autism Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

special events

Inspire Action Awards Recognize Excellence Women’s Golf Day (WGD) has announced this year’s winners of the WGD Inspire Action Awards. Congratulations to Jackie Davidson, Assistant Director of Golf Development at The R&A and Antony Scanlon, Executive Director of the International Golf Federation (IGF), and La Cala Resort. The Awards, which are in their 4th year, recognise those who have inspired action and created opportunity for women in golf. Antony Scanlon and Jackie Davidson join past recipients; Steve Mona, Cathy Harbin, Lisa Longball Vlooswyk and Annika Sorenstam, the latter has recently been confirmed as the new IGF President. Scanlon shared: “I’m truly honoured to receive such a meaningful award and proudly do so on behalf of the International Golf Federation. Our involvement with Women’s Golf Day reflects the IGF’s overall advocacy for gender equality and the importance of providing women not only with playing opportunities, but the ability to contribute in roles of influence and decision-making in golf. We also are extremely pleased and proud to have Jackie Davidson

Women's Golf Day Inspire Action Award 2021

welcomed Annika Sorenstam as our new President. Knowing that Annika is a past recipient of the Inspire Action Award makes this honour even more special to me personally, as no one better exemplifies the Women’s Golf Day mission to engage, empower and support women and girls through our sport than she does.” 22

Jackie Davidson, whose work at The R&A has included the evolution of The Women in Golf Charter, commented: “‘I would like to say thank you very much to Women’s Golf Day for this award, it is recognition of the collective efforts of many. I’m proud to play a part, in my role with The R&A, in working collaboratively with organisations Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

across the industry to make golf more appealing, accessible and inclusive.” This year, a new category was added to recognize a venue or location that has created an extra special Women’s Golf Day experience thus amplifying their commitment to creating opportunity and unity for women through golf. La Cala Resort in Mijas, Spain, is honored with this Award, which was announced during the Women’s Golf Day (WGD) annual presentation at The PGA Merchandise Show. The WGD community has been inspired year-on-year by La Cala’s ability to deliver first class Women’s Golf Day events and wanted to recognize the action they take and their commitment to community. Elisa Gaudet, Founder of Women’s Golf Day explains, “Historically we honored individuals, this year we wanted to add an award for locations/venues to celebrate their outstanding effort and commitment to hosting a spectacular WGD event and specifically this year La Cala Resort. All of the recipients are incredibly inspirational to us, and they have all helped Women’s Golf Day Engage, Empower and Support more women and girls around the world. We are very excited about 2021 and know that when

Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

La Cala, Spain 2020 the event comes around La Cala Resort will be inspiring even more women and girls to take up and stay in the game.” Edouard Des Fontaines, Sales & Marketing Director at the La Cala Golf Hotel and Spa accepted the award on behalf of the team at the Spanish resort, “It is a great surprise and delight to receive this award from Women’s Golf Day. The team here at La Cala are proud to be part of the Women’s Golf Day community. We have a genuine passion for inspiring women to take up the game, so this award means a great deal to us all.

We will certainly be thrilled to display it at our 2021 event on June 1st!” Women’s Golf Day takes place across the globe on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. Location registration for Women’s Golf Day 2021 is now open and locations signing up using the code WGD2021 before February 28th will receive an industry discount. WGD is delighted to confirm that for the second year in a row, PGA Coaches will receive MSR credits for hosting an event. For more details visit:


georgia golf trail

By Mike May

Jekyll Island Golf Club Croquet

Masters Prep Trip: Play The Georgia Golf Trail In the days leading up to the Masters, many golf enthusiasts spend their time re-reading stories about Gene Sarazen’s double-eagle -- aka, the Shot Heard Round the World -- to win the 1935 Masters, the significance of Amen Corner, and Jack Nicklaus’ historic comeback to win the 1986 Masters. In addition to spending time getting immersed in the history of the Masters, think about traveling to Georgia and actually playing golf in the days leading up the Masters. Instead of watching the blossoming dogwoods and azaleas on television, go see and smell them. Since Masters Week is a seven-day experience, your build-up to the Masters should be equally as long. And, it should be spent making pit stops along the Georgia Golf Trail, a series of 20+ golf courses from Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa in North Georgia to Jekyll Island in southeastern Georgia. A great place to begin your countdown to the Masters is at Jekyll Island -- If you are traveling by air, fly to Jacksonville and drive north. It’s an hour’s drive from the Jacksonville Airport to Jekyll Island. “Jekyll Island may well be the best place in Georgia to unwind and relax 24

while enjoying golf, fresh seafood, long walks along the beach, poolside siestas, and time off the grid,” said Georgia Golf Trail Founder Doug Hollandsworth. When on Jekyll Island, you can spend the night at either the historic Jekyll Island Club Resort or along the beach at the Westin Jekyll Island. Both are firstclass destinations. As for golf, the Jekyll Island Golf Club is blessed with four golf courses – a

nine-hole layout and three 18-hole courses. The Great Dunes Course is the nine-hole layout. The three 18-hole courses are the Indian Mound Course, Oleander Course, and the Pine Lakes Course. The Great Dunes Course was Jekyll Island’s first golf course. The great Walter “Old Man” Travis was the architect of this coastal jewel. The Indian Mound course was

The Warf

Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

Sapelo Hammock Golf Club Dessert

constructed in 1975 by veteran course designer Joe Lee. It’s the shortest of the three 18-hole courses, but it’s no pitchand-putt track. The Oleander Course is considered to be the most difficult golf course on Jekyll Island. Not surprisingly, it has been the host course for the Georgia Open on four occasions. Pine Lakes was opened in 1968 and is the longest golf course on Jekyll Island. The golf course meanders through ocean forests and natural marsh hammocks. Pine Lakes is peaceful, quiet, and tranquil. For lunch or dinner, make time for a few meals at The Wharf, which is located on the premises of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. The quality of the food is only superseded by the brilliance of the nightly sunset which you can see from the deck. After four rounds of golf in four days on Jekyll Island, head north along I-95 to Georgia’s First City, Savannah – www. Savannah is a wonderful destination for golfers and non-golfers, as this city is brimming with fabulous antique shops, boutiques, restaurants, and one-of-akind nightspots. But, while en route to Savannah, take a slight detour to the Sapelo Hammock Golf Club -- -- in 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. The desserts which are served in the clubhouse are world-class. Savannah’s main golf course along the Georgia Golf Trail is The Club at Savannah Harbor, which hosted the Legends of Golf event on the Champions Tour from 2003-2013. Since this golf course is good enough for the Champions Tour, you’ll enjoy it, too. By the way, Golf Magazine refers to this course as “Savannah’s Golf Centerpiece.” If you stay on-site at the Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

Weston Savannah Harbor

Jekyll Island Golf Club – Pine Lakes nearby Westin Savannah Harbor, you’ll receive complimentary water ferry service to River Street in Savannah. When in Savannah, plan to eat at Huey’s-onthe-River for any meal. “The appeal of the Club at Savannah Harbor and Savannah as a getaway destination is what keeps people coming back to Savannah year after year,” adds Hollandsworth. And, if you want some beach time while in Savannah, make the short drive to nearby Tybee Island. Officially known as Savannah’s Beach, Tybee Island has five miles of public beach along the Atlantic Ocean. The Hotel Tybee – www. – is a great beachside escape. Your seventh round of golf in seven days should be played at the Wallace Adams Golf Course, located in the Little Ocmulgee State Park & Lodge in McRae, Georgia -- www.littleocmulgeelodge.

com. It’s a two-hour drive west to McRae from Savannah. This golf course will remind you of the Augusta National Golf Club. This golf course, nicknamed Little Augusta, is dominated by loblolly pines which divide many of the fairways from one another. And, the pine straw beneath the trees looks the same as it is at Augusta National. After golf, spend the night on-site at the lodge and eat on-site at the Fairway Grill restaurant. Make sure that you order the sweet ice tea. After all, you are in south Georgia. From McRae to Augusta, it’s less than a three-hour drive. You now have many great reasons to visit Georgia to play the Georgia Golf Trail – either before or after the Masters. If it’s your first visit, I know that it won’t be your last. The Georgia Golf Trail awaits your arrival. Check out for more details. 25

golf bachelor

build and fix things. What three things would you need to survive on a deserted island? Amazon, My dog Enzo, and a boat. Who would you like to have with you on the same deserted island; and why? Bill Burr/ Comedian – I need to laugh. Name the three most important things to you in this world. My dog Enzo, My Family, my superman socks. What do you fear the most? Not seeing something coming. That’s why I am always looking around. My mom calls me point guard. I see everything….until I don’t or get scared.

Matt Yorgey

What three people would you most like to play with in your fantasy golf foursome? Tiger, Bobby Jones, Trump

Where were you born? Did you grow up there? Reading Pa for 35 years

What are some of your great accomplishments? Saved a few people from drowning. And no, the Baywatch song didn’t come on!

Is “acting your age” overrated? Totally! When a song comes on the radio and it’s my jam, I will dance no matter what…and yes, the sprinkler dance move is still in. What do you do for a living? I make the American Dream come true, which is letting me sell your house and make you buy another one and cause you regret, stress, and then make you happy in 45 days. What would you like to do for a living? Play house. Aside from golf; what do you prefer for fun and relaxation? Taking the boat out with friends and getting sunburned. What golf apparel do you like to wear? Bad Birdie. Anything with animals; leopards and cougars. Whom do you most admire for their inner and outer beauty? 26

Well of course my mom, but she still smacks me! Tell us about your first kiss? I was told by a girl to practice with a spoon in my mouth and use my tongue to become the best kisser… little did she know I practiced day and night… and well she got it! Let’s just say I didn’t get a second kiss for a while! Steak, chicken, or seafood? Yes, yes, and yes. But no beets… yuck! Tell us something about yourself that only your closest friends know. I am good at everything I do or attempt to do, and I can

Relaxed evening at home, or nightclub and cocktails? I love to dance so…night club when I was younger lol…but still can have a dance party at home with cocktails and relax after the song cause I’ll be out of breath.. Favorite television channel? HGTV Last book you read? Rich Dad, Poor Dad Favorite charity to support? Briana Lawson Foundation “Have a Breezy Day” What else would you like for us to know about you? Life is short so I try to make sure I get someone to smile or laugh every day! Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

improving performance

Designed for YOU... not Tour players! D

esigning golf wedges is not just a passion of Terry Koehler’s, it’s an obsession. For more than 30 years, Koehler’s life work has followed the pursuit of challenging the ‘conventional wisdom’ of major golf manufacturers in the wedge category. Over that time, the industry has demonstrated great innovation and breakthroughs in equipment design and performance such as oversized drivers, cavity back irons, graphite shafts, mallet putters, jumbo grips and more. What puzzles Koehler the most and keeps him up at night is why wedges haven’t advanced with this same kind of innovation and product re-design? After briefly trying retirement, Koehler — a.k.a “The Wedge Guy” — formed Edison Golf and officially launched his custom-built wedge brand in the Spring of 2020. His mission with the Edison forged wedges was to challenge decades of traditional ‘tour design’ wedges by completely reconfiguring the weight distribution across the back of the clubhead. The result is the most forgiving and accu-


rate wedges ever to come to market for the average golfer. Sound too good to be true? Koehler is a data driven, stats junky and experienced club designer who has put major manufacturers’ wedges to the test on the USGA’s industry stan-

short game.” While other brands make golfers choose between a myriad of specialized sole designs, the Edison forged wedges provides versatility for any lie and any swing. Koehler’s patented “Koehler Sole” incorporates both a

Independent robotic testing of 54° wedges at recreational golfer clubhead speed of 75 mph. Data collected from center hits and four “mishit” impact points 1/2” high, low, toe and heel from the center hit point

dard swing robot, the “Iron Byron” for over 20 years “I keep seeing the same things over and over,” said Koehler. “High launch. Inconsistent distance. Erratic spin. No wonder the average golfer is frustrated and resigned about his

high and low bounce angle into the sole of each wedge. Here’s how it works. The main rear portion of the sole has a low bounce so it can handle tight lies, firm turf and shallow swing paths. The leading portion of the sole has Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

a high bounce so that same wedge can handle softer lies and steeper swings. The Edison wedge is a bold departure from traditional wedge design providing two bounces for consistent contact and spin regardless of the turf condition or player ability. And the proof is in the numbers according to Koehler. The same robotic testing proved Edison forged wedges deliver up to 58% tighter long and short dispersion, and up to 26% more spin than other mainstream wedges. The big bonus behind Edison’s weighting technology are more penetrating trajectories – the ability to “stick it” on the green - something average golfers struggle with and dream to do just like the pros. “Traditional ‘tour designs’ don’t benefit the vast majority of golfers; they are the most fickle clubs in your bag, with mis-hits as small as a half inch costing you 50 feet or more,” said Koehler. “The Edison forged wedges are simply a better design that takes the frustration, confusion and worry out of the short game.” Edison forged wedges feature

CNC-milled faces with progressive grooves — width, depth, spacing and wall angle are all optimized for each range of lofts. On higher lofts, Edison’s unique “X pattern” between the grooves provides even more spin for those short shots around the green. Every wedge is custom-built for that particular golfer and finished with Edison’s proprietary Durable Chrome plating which is twice as thick and durable as other major brands. Getting the right Edison forged wedges in your bag begins with Edison’s proprietary WedgeFit® Scoring Range Analysis on Edison Golf’s website (www.edisonwedges. com). This process is much deeper and more thorough that other brands’ wedge selector tools, as it dives into the golfer’s strengths and weaknesses in their scoring range performance. “I don’t do what the other big names in wedges do. Because I care more about YOU than tour players,” said Koehler. “ I created Edison wedges to help you play better and feel confident about your short game. Our custom demo program even lets

Terry Koehler discusses the advantages of his Edison wedges for the average golfer.

you try one on your own course, hitting the shots you face every round. If you don’t see the difference with your Edison forged wedge, we’ll buy it back.” For more information on Edison Golf’s innovative wedge technologies visit Contact Terry Koehler via e-mail at or phone at 800-933-4395.

tennessee golf central Hermitage Golf Course is a privately owned and operated business just 20 minutes outside of Nashville, TN. Set on the banks of the beautiful Cumberland River, Hermitage played host to the LPGA Sara Lee Classic in the late ‘80’s through the early ‘90’s. Spanning over 500 acres of manicured Tennessee land, Hermitage Golf Course has something for everyone. Being a 36-hole public facility, along with a myriad set of tees, the challenges are always fresh on either of our two signature golf courses, the General’s Retreat and the President’s Reserve. In 2016, Hermitage Golf Course, in the ongoing plan to set itself apart from the competition not only in our area of the country, but also on the golfing world stage, designed and constructed eight luxury cottages on site, just two hundred yards from the first tee! Just what you are looking for in your next stay and play. Each cottage is equipped with two bedrooms, two queen beds in each bedroom as well as two bathrooms. A spacious living area, outdoor seating options and beverage prep area with small fridge. Each suite is impeccably decorated. These cottages are just the extra special touch this hidden gem was looking for in the Nashville area. While on property we believe our guest should have no need to leave to arrange any golfing needs or dining options. 30

Hermitage has made another upgrade to the facility with the total remodeling of the bar and grill area. After a threemonth renovation of the bar, a new and improved setup with full service restaurant, has made Hermitage the number one stop for golfers around the area. With all our cottage options we have a stay and play package that includes dinner, drinks and cigars on the cottage landing area, for you and many of your friends to enjoy. Hermitage Golf Course

has a company line, stated by the President of the company Ashley Eller-Cottrell, “anyone can have 18 or 36 holes, but it’s the experience you offer that sets you apart!” Hermitage is an experience driven golf course, albeit we are a golf course, we understand and relish we are in the entertainment business. The experience that is rendered with the price that is paid makes this value outstanding around the city, state or for most of the southeast. So, whether

Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

you are staying for a week, or just passing through onto your next destination, just know Hermitage Golf Course is the stop for you and your friends on your next golf outing! One attraction that has become a nationwide interest story is the sheep of Hermitage Golf Course. Starting in the year of 2012, the owner of Hermitage Golf Course, Mike Eller was playing at Whistling Straights in Kolher Wisconsin; what would happen on the 12 hole would be enlightening for Mr. Eller and Hermitage Golf Course. Seeing the sheep that reside at Whistling Straight follow Mr. Eller for the next few holes, would prompt a vison, or an idea that would soon become a mainstay for Hermitage. Since that remarkable day Hermitage Golf Course has their own sheep freely roaming the 500 hundred acres of property. What started out with twelve (12) sheep has since grown into over forty (40) sheep. Mr. Eller believes you are always setting yourself apart from the competition, and let me tell you, this sure does! Now when you stop in before or after your round, you will be sure to see the sheep merchandise all around the fabulously laid out pro shop! Your group looking for a small imamate gathering spot?! Look no further than the beautiful river porch! Set high a top the gorgeous Cumberland River and quietly behind the fourth hole on the President’s Reserve, the river porch has just what you and your group is looking for in the next family or corporate get to together! Just a short cart ride from the clubhouse the river porch has breathtaking views, along with a simple get away that will soon “WOW” the party goers! With this private feel of an oasis this will take your next party over the top here at Hermitage Golf Course! Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8


orth GA Tour florida PGAPGA Tournorth PGAflorida Tour PGA PGATour northPGA florida TourPGA PGAnorth Tour florida PGA Tour PGAPGA northTo

Diversity, Belonging, And Equity Veteran PGA TOUR Pro Kirk Triplett Forms Partnership With Dedication To Community

Dedication To Community (D2C),

a national non-profit that educates and empowers communities on diversity, belonging, and equity, today announced a partnership with PGA Tour veteran golfer Kirk Triplett for the 2021 season. Triplett will carry D2C’s logo on his golf bag and will participate in awareness and education programs throughout the year. It is D2C’s first formal partnership in golf. “We welcome Kirk to our growing D2C family,” said M. Quentin Williams, Dedication To Community founder and CEO. “His visibility on the PGA TOUR, his passion on the topic of education and awareness tied to diversity and his compelling backstory will be essential in helping grow our mission of education, equity and beautiful listening by all.” “I am tremendously excited to be working with Q. Williams and the team at D2C on this topic.” said Triplett. “I look forward to participating in more training and improving my understanding of all aspects of how law enforcement and communities interact. I intend to use my platform as a professional golfer to lead others in the golf world into this discussion, many of whom might not otherwise understand its importance. I want to promote and participate in the mission of change that D2C is bringing to communities across the country.” Kirk and his wife Cathi had twin boys, Conor and Sam, in 1996 and then adopted their daughter Alexis (now 20) and son Kobe (now 18). Alexis’ birth parents are Latino; Kobe’s birth mother is Japanese, and his birth father is African American. As the parents of a racially diverse family, the Tripletts understand that social justice issues, especially the 32

Kirk Triplett with D2C Founder and CEO, M. Quentin Williams intersection of law enforcement and the communities they serve, affect all of us, not just those in the news. The publicity around the incidents in 2020 caused Kirk and Cathi to realize that an opportunity to educate and potentially unite people of diverse backgrounds was upon them. They realized that the discussions they were having at their own dinner table needed to be had by their peers in the golf community as well. To facilitate these discussions Triplett placed a Black Lives Matter sticker on his PING golf bag at the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship in August. It generated a great deal of media interest. One of his quotes, “I actually googled, ‘what can a white guy do?’ caught the interest of a Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Football Hall of Fame member, and D2C board member, Donnie Shell. Shell reached out with an answer...join the player platform at D2C...and a conversation started between the Tripletts and D2C. The Tripletts eventually participated in a relationship training session and from there this partnership was born. Kirk earned a degree in civil engineering from the University of Nevada Reno in 1985 and then turned professional. He joined the PGA Tour in 1990 and the PGA Tour Champions in 2012. He was

a member of the Presidents Cup team in 2000 and is one of a small group of players that have won titles on all three sanctioned tours (Korn Ferry, PGA Tour, and PGA Tour Champions). The Tripletts have been residents of Arizona for more than 25 years. For more details please visit To date, D2C has worked with law enforcement agencies in several states across the U.S., including Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Missouri, Michigan, Ohio, the Carolinas, and at the FBI National Academy in Virginia, where Williams has been an instructor. In September, D2C expanded its reach to involve professional, collegiate, and K-12 athletes, adding former NFL executive Lamonte Winston (former Director of Player Engagement and Development, Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Donnie Shell (Pittsburgh Steelers). Williams also announced in September a historic partnership with the Miami HEAT and the City of Miami Police Department and additional partnerships tied to athletes and teams are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. For more information, please visit

Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8


PICKCUP Designed to help speed up play, as well as protect cups & greens, PickCup is a professional ball retrieval system that can be used to replace temporary solutions used by clubs during Covid-19. Whether adapted to create shallow holes or standard depth, this durable and legal solution is the number one choice of resorts and courses seeking a professional solution for their patrons to use.

Orthodox Hole

“ The only 100% legal ball retrieval system.”

GREENKEEPERPRO 33” - a legitimate, long-handled ballmark repair tool A long handled ballmark repair tool designed by professionals for use by professionals. Utilising our patented RepairTecTM shaped pin heads, the spring loaded tool repairs ballmarks easily and efficiently, saving greenkeeping teams time and effort. Repair one mark in seconds, repair an entire green in less than a minute - one push is all it takes. 3 models available for Hard, Soft and Links style surfaces.


For more information on all our products, visit

Shallow Hole

florida golf central

Introducing Treasure Coast Golf Association!

Reimagine Golf,

a company dedicated to expanding and enhancing golf experiences, is excited to announce the formation of the Treasure Coast Golf Association to galvanize the golf assets of Florida’s Indian River, Martin, St. Lucie, and Okeechobee counties. Treasure Coast Golf Association (TCGA) will spark interest and foster participation, while also supporting charitable efforts and driving economic growth for Treasure Coast communities. In addition to conducting traditional annual championships for individuals, TCGA will offer a full schedule of regional team interclub matches, attract new professional events, create the Treasure Coast Golf Hall of Fame, and launch fun programming such as the Family Putting Tour, Couples Golf, and PGA Junior League. “We’ve reimagined the positive impact an innovative golf association can have on the entire community, not just

Mike - Putting Contest Winner Steve Waters - Dr Pamela Roberts

TCGA Launch - Sandridge GC 34

its existing golfers,” said Bob Baldassari, 30-year PGA of America professional and CEO of Reimagine Golf. “Our plans are bold and include funding scholarships for our youth and family golf programs. In the midst of these challenging times, golf can still bring friends and family together outdoors to strengthen communities.” TCGA will offer memberships, tournaments, events, and programming to individuals, clubs, and businesses. Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

Through the generosity of our Founders, Title Sponsors, Business Patrons, and volunteers, Treasure Coast residents, visitors, and communities will be enriched. The 1st Annual Treasure Coast Open will be contested on PGA Golf Club›s Dye Course in Port Saint Lucie on May 17 & 18. Entries will be mailed to all Treasure Coast clubs and TCGA subscribers.

Please register on

www.TreasureCoast.Golf to receive complete entry details. TCGA Corporate Sponsor Gary Law Firm The Team - 100 yrs golf experience

Bela Nagy - Chipping Advice

Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8


special events

What’s in YOUR closet? The Golf Auction finds a market for the game’s unique memorabilia


by Holly Geoghegan

ince 2009, The Golf Auction, based in Tampa, Florida, has specialized in auctioning a wide variety of exclusive golf memorabilia and collectibles. In early March, the company completed the first-time release and auction of more than 200 items from the personal collection of three-time major champion Payne Stewart. Coming directly from Payne Stewart’s family and his widow, Tracey Stewart, this was the very first opportunity for worldwide collectors and fans alike to acquire a few items from the World Golf

Hall of Famer’s passionate and colorful career. Stewart died in a plane crash on October 25, 1999 at the age of 42. He won 18 tournaments around the world and $11.7 million during his career. He also represented the United States on five Ryder Cup teams and played on three World Cup teams. For a large part of his career, Stewart was widely recognized for his National Football League (NFL) sponsorship, and his signature colorful golf attire (shirts, knickers, argyle socks and Ben Hogan style caps) that he wore each week representing the NFL team colors of the city closest to the PGA Tour tournament site where he was playing. Among the hot selling items were Stewart’s 1999 U.S. Open contestant’s badge from Pinehurst that

This Payne Stewartsigned cap fetched $4495.00 at the March auction. sold for $37,290; an autographed white flat cap for $4,593 and a pair of Stewart’s personal blue and yellow knee-high argyle tournament socks that sold for $3,215. “Over the years so many people have reached out to share how much Payne impacted their lives or the lives of their loved ones,” said Tracey Stewart, Stewart’s widow. “I was pleased to share these items as a reminder of how much Payne enjoyed golf, but even more, how much he enjoyed people. I hope they will become treasured mementos that will inspire and encourage their new owners in the same way Payne lived his life.” The Golf Auction is staging its third auction of the year beginning on Wednesday March 31 and ending

Charles Coody’s Ryder Cup plaque from 1971.

Charles Coody’s player badge from his winning year, 1971.


Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

on Masters’ Sunday April 11, 2021. In honor of the 50th anniversary of his 1971 Masters’ victory, the Golf Auction will be showcasing the personal collection of 15-time Tour and major winner, Charles Coody. More than 150 items will be featured from the Coody collection along with additional Masters’ memorabilia topping 1000 auction items in total. “This will be the third personal player collection that we will be auctioning this year,” said Brad Roberts, Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Consignments. “In February, we auctioned the collection of U.S. Open champion Steve Jones, followed by the Payne Stewart collection and now Masters Champion, Charles Coody. Our bidder participation continues to increase significantly as golf memorabilia grows in popularity and value. The April auction, which will also include a number of Masters’ items, will be our biggest yet.” Registration is free and open any time at and all bidders will receive email updates on the various golf memorabilia that has been consigned to The Golf Auction. “During the live auction, bidding is increased by

10% on every item,” explained Roberts. “This protects all of our bidders and gives everyone a fair chance to acquire a piece of golf history. “ The Golf Auction specializes in a wide variety of exclusive golf memorabilia and collectibles including flags, badges, glassware, vintage hickory clubs and golf balls; antique golf clubs, golf books; Masters’ memorabilia, Tiger Woods memorabilia; Arnold Palmer memorabilia, current Tour Players and much more. Want to get top dollar for your golf memorabilia and collectibles?

2014 Masters flag signed by Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus Gary Player, Tom Watson and 27 others. There may be a golden egg in your closet! If you have items that you would like to consign or inquire about, call Brad Roberts at 866-8420268 or email brad@thegolfauction. com.

Charles Coody’s 2020 Masters Dinner invitation featuring autographs by Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player

Charles Coody’s 1971 Ryder Cup golf bag

Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8


what's new

READ GREENS LIKE A PRO AND MAKE MORE PUTTS Slopegraide is golf’s only real-time green reading system.


eff Mocini is a professional golfer, a computer science wiz who happens to share the same birthday with Tiger Woods. His wife, Rachel, is a U.S. Air Force Veteran and a mechanical engineer who works in the space industry and has her dream job launching space missions from Cape Canaveral. Together, they are the brain power and co-creators of Slopegraide, golf’s only real-time green reading system. The couple live in Melbourne, Florida, where Mocini remembers how frustrated he was after losing his club championship, in which he missed every single birdie putt he had on the low side of the hole. He was putting well but lacked the confidence and trust in his ability to read the greens. He went immediately to the practice green after his round to work on his green reading. “I felt silly moving a digital level


by Holly Geoghegan around from spot to spot,” said Mocini. “I kept bending over to move the level and thought there had to be way to make this process easier and quicker. In that moment, the idea for Slopegraide hit me.” Slopegraide is an iOS and Android app that works with a sensor worn on

green, your hips naturally tilt down the slope, using your lateral hip tilt to calculate the slope from where you are standing. It is at this point that the magic begins. The Slopegraide app takes this slope measurement in real-time and calculates a rolling model for

your midsection. The sensor forms a level with your hips, your legs and the ground you are standing on. As you stand on sloped parts of the

your putt from the specified distance and green speed parameters pre-set in the app. And PRESTO — when the data is complete, the Slopegraide app Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

displays in seconds a reference point that tells you exactly where to aim your putt. “Slopegraide will be the gold standard for training devices in green reading,” said Mocini. “Forget those complicated green book maps the players and caddies use. Putting has turned the technology corner. Slopegraide will give golfers the trust and confidence to visualize and read any putt on the green in seconds.” Slopegraide has four measurement display modes: slope percentage, slope degrees, Imperial (US) reference points and metric reference points. Reference points can be calculated from any green speed between 6 and 15 on the Stimpmeter. There is also a “coach mode” which interprets the slope direction when worn on the back of the user’s midsection. This is useful for an instructor or a parent of a junior golfer when teaching green reading. The app can be used while practicing on the golf course, but it is prohibited by the USGA in a stipulated round of golf. However, if you are playing a practice round for a tournament and the pin locations are

Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

marked on the greens, you can use Slopegraide to capture slopes of interest as long as you write them down in a notebook sized no greater than 4 x 7 inches. Slopegraide supports iPad devices and the Apple Watch when paired with an iPhone. The sensor has a clip attachment sensor that affixes to your belt, belt buckle, or golf apparel. Breakthroughs in technology continue to provide golfers more ways to improve their game and lower their scores. From launch monitors to simulators to rangefinders to GPS navigation devices and apps. The missing link has been bridging mobile technology and bringing it to the putting green. Slopegraide is that breakthrough that gives golfers real-time green reading in the palm of their hand or at the flick of your wrist. And you don’t have to be a tech nerd to master it! One of the key functions of the app is Speedgraide. If you want to make a putt that’s breaking right to left or left to right, hitting your putt at the correct speed is everything. If you hit your putt to soft the ball will miss on the low side. Likewise, if you

hit your putt too hard, the putt will miss on the high side. Speedgraide solves that problem by showing you the correct speed and distance to the hole along with the correct starting line for your putt. It’s like having a professional caddy right by your side. Additional features and benefits of Slopegraide include: • Trains your eyes and lower body to read slopes on green • Calibrates to user stance and posture • Allows for adjustable sensitivity • Simple online video tutorials and product support As the nine-time major champion Gary Player once said, “You should sell tomatoes if you can’t read greens.” Become a better putter with Slopegraide. For more information or to purchase, visit or contact Jeff Mocini, 616-510-3592, 39

celebrity corner

FL Rising Star: 20-Year-Old GIO Releases “Taboo” Meet GIO, a twenty-year-old artist/ producer who is the new Post Malone, with his style tunes and Bieber’s poppy infusion who writes his own music and beats. His latest drop “Taboo” is a deeper dive lyrically, creating a more self-reflective song, focusing on pushing forward to reach your dreams when everyone is telling you no. GIO says, “I don’t generally like explaining how I interpret certain songs. I usually leave the listener to create their own narratives for the song. This song is also completely two parts-- basically two songs in one. I feel like a switch in tempo, or a beat is exciting when you hear it for the first time.” When he usually records in the studio, GIO is always searching for the right narrative and records on the spot to avoid overthinking about the lyrics-- free-styling, based on true feelings in the moment. Not this time. After dropping out of Auburn University to pursue his music career, he began to create and engineer his own sounds that appeal to rap fans, the pop fans, ten-year-old kids, and hits multiple genres. Being raised from a low-income household did not stop GIO from pursuing singing and songwriting full-time. Launching in August 2020, he

has been putting music out, creating music videos, and social media content, releasing two songs a month and multiple videos for the last few months. GIO’s genre bending style ability to make beats and handle all production of his music with real songwriting make him a rising star in the industry, and if you listen to him while closing your eyes, it’s hard to know whether the color of his skin is black or white, as he is able to create a sound that is unparalleled, and his tunes will remain etched in your mind for years to come. 40

Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

By Mike May

golf history

The Short Par Fours of the Florida Historic Golf Trail The old golf cliché that you “drive for show and putt for dough” is as true now as it was when the phrase was first coined. I’m not sure who authored that famous seven-word expression, but it’s one of the most accurate statements in golf. That phrase continues to motivate many golfers to focus on hitting the ball as far as possible from the tee while also searching for a putter that to help make those crucial par-saving putts. While hitting long drives is fun, the importance of hitting accurate drives remains as relevant now as it has ever been, especially when you play golf’s most cleverly designed holes – specifically, the short par fours. While many golfers can tame par threes with pinpoint iron play and can conquer par fives with well-struck three woods, it’s the short par fours which leave golfers shaking their heads in disbelief as they walk off the greens with a bogey or worse. Clearly, it takes more brains than brawn to successfully play many short par fours. When you think about some of the world’s great short par fours, one specific hole comes to mind – the 18th hole at St. Andrews in Scotland where the hole’s biggest form of defense is the Valley of Sin, the depression at the front of this hole’s putting surface. If your approach finishes in the Valley of Sin, you are more than likely going to need three putts to find the bottom of the cup. Of course, we all remember Italy’s Constantino Rocca who holed a putt from the Valley of Sin in the 1995 Open Championship which propelled him into a playoff with John Daly, which Daly eventually won. And, 25 years earlier, with the wind at his back, Jack Nicklaus took off his sweater and drove the 18th green to win the 1970 Open Championship at St. Andrews, in a playoff against Doug Sanders. And, at the 1990 Open at St. Andrews, Nick Faldo chose to layup at 18 with his tee shot in the first round. On his next shot, Faldo rolled his chip shot through the Valley of Sin where it found the cup for an eagle two to complete his opening round of that tournament, which he won that year. While the simplicity of the 18th at St. Andrews remains etched in the minds of all golfers, it’s not the only great short par four in golf. When you play 42

any of the 53 golf courses that make up the Florida Historic Golf Trail, you will play a series of short par fours which will be entertaining and enjoyable on most days while being cruel and complex on others. Here’s a quick look at two short par fours along the Florida Historic Golf Trail. These two holes are not as famous as the 18th at St. Andrews, but they are as entertaining, enjoyable, cruel, and complex as the home hole at the home of golf. The opening hole of the Winter Park Golf Course appears to be short and benign, but it can be penal and punishing, if you don’t pay attention. This golf course opened for play in 1914. Back in 1917, the first hole was a listed as a 246yard par 4 and described as a “straight drive over level stretch of fair green and the hole is pretty easy.” It’s still a short hole where the opening drive to a level fairway has not changed. The first hole, which now measures 241 yards from the back tees, can still play pretty easy, but not always. The degree of difficulty of the approach to the green is accentuated by the narrowness of the green, the bunkers which flank either side of the green, and the fact that the green is raised. Here, approach shots that finish on the front of the green often trickle back into the fairway. Hitting this green in regulation requires discipline and focus. If you miss the green on the right or left, getting up and down for par is no easy chore. When you find the green in regulation, it’s important for your ball to finish on the correct side of the green “It is a three-tiered surface, so pin placements each day make the hole play completely different, especially when tucked in back of greenside bunker on the right,” said Gregg Pascale, golf pro shop manager, Winter Park Golf Course. Another great short par four is the 10th hole at the Riviera Country Club in Ormond Beach. Here, the fairway is wider than it appears, but only if you hit your tee shot past the fairway bunker on the right. Any tee shot that travels 220 yards off the tee will hit a downhill slope and leave you with a short pitch to this well-bunkered green. While standing on the 10th tee, take notice of out of bounds on the right Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

and a collection of trees on your left. If you want a birdie putt, find the fairway with your tee shot. The raised green, which usually has a firm surface, has a gentle slope from back left to front right. Expect your ball to release a little when your approach finds the green. Those two holes are examples of the very entertaining and enjoyable – yet cruel and complex – short par fours along the Florida Historic Golf Trail, where it will take as much brains as brawn to succeed.

Winter Park Nine - First Hole

Riviera Country Club - Approach to the 10th Green Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8


caribbean golf central

By Greg Wise

Hyatt Regency Puerto Rico

Discover Puerto Rico for Tropical Golf, Beauty, Food and Culture Roughly the size of Connecticut, Puerto Rico is an American Territory that is a travel friendly destination for U.S. citizens. No passport is required to enter, it’s the air hub of the Caribbean, and the people are welcoming and largely bilingual. There are 18 golf courses located throughout the Island, including 11 in or near the San Juan area, with 10 of them amenities of resorts. The courses are diverse yet complementary, offering a variety of choices depending on your preferences. Trophy courses? Check. Non-resort courses that illuminate some of the municipalities outside San Juan. Check. Courses where college and professional players compete? Check. There are options for everyone – different terrain types, ocean or mountain views, price points, and more. Located roughly 70 miles east of the Dominican Republic and 40 miles west of the British and the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico is in the northeastern Caribbean Sea. The capital city of San Juan is home to Old San Juan, a charming place where history and contemporary conveniences coalesce to provide visitors with the best of both worlds. For beach lovers, there are nearly 720 miles of stunning beaches to explore. The archipelago is a nature wonderland – home to islands, bioluminescent bays, and El Yunque, the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service. This was not my first visit to Puerto


Rico. About 10 years ago, my wife and I flew into Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU) to catch a Southern Caribbean Cruise. On that visit, we explored Old San Juan, and the 500-yearold fort named Castillo San Felipe del Morro. Were astounded by the beauty of the fortress’s architecture and its design ingenuity. We always said we would be back to Puerto Rico. Now I’m asking myself why we waited so long. Following is how our return visit itinerary played out.

Arrival Day To enter Puerto Rico, one can arrive on the West Coast or through SJU, the primary airport on the Northeast Coast. It takes 2.5 hours to drive from San Juan to the West Coast, less to go from the north to south coast. Many daily direct flights arrive at both airports, particularly ones from the southeast and Eastern U.S. Seaboard. Currently one must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result that was obtained

Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

within 72 hours before landing. Puerto Rico has been a beacon for responsible tourism since the pandemic began. It works hard to ensure the safety of visitors and residents, and recently allowed non-essential travel again. Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico, a luxury resort in Rio Grande about 30 minutes from SJU, was our home base. The Hyatt Regency – and its Championship Course designed by Tom Kite – is home to the Puerto Rico Open, the PGA TOUR event that took place during the week we visited. There is a second 18hole course there as well, the International Course, also “authored” by Kite. Arriving on Monday, we capped our day with a scrumptious dinner at the Hyatt Regency’s Prime 787, a fine-dining experience that offers fresh-caught seafood and prime meats. There are more

Puerto Rico Open Pro-Am than 4,000 restaurants in Puerto Rico, and their flavors and ambiance abound.

Day Two After a restful night in the Hyatt Regency’s wonderful comfortable and well-designed rooms, our first day of golf commenced the next morning at

12th Tee - Puerto Rico PGA Tour ProAm

TPC Dorado Hyatt Regency Puerto Rice

Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

The St. Regis Bahia Beach. An 18-hole championship layout, the course there is rated as one of the finest in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and the Atlantic Islands (source: Golfweek’s “50 Best Courses You Can Play” in those destinations). Created by golf architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr., the immaculate layout offers an enthralling tropical experience. The St. Regis Bahia Beach Golf Course and the namesake resort are proud of their Audubon International Gold Signature Sanctuary status, bestowed for the luxury property’s eco-sensitive best practices. A course where elegance and unspoiled natural beauty coexist in harmony, The St. Regis Bahia Golf Course is a must-play experience. Be ready for shot making at its finest. Well placed shots are crucial at Bahia Beach. Carved from maritime forest, with strategic use of bunkers, fairways are tight. As it was explained by Director of Golf Alberto Rios, PGA, “If you miss the fairway – don’t go in looking for your ball.” Let’s just say it’s 45

Mameyes River, El Yunque Rainforest, and the Atlantic Ocean. The clubhouse was renovated in the past two years and includes a wonderful locker room, restaurant, and bar and grill. We ate at two Rio Mar restaurants – at Roots Coastal Kitchen in the resort proper, and Iguana’s Cocina Puertorriqueña at the golf clubhouse complex. The gastronomic delights included octopus, mofongo, and other Puerto Rican flavored delights. We ate so much at these dinners that it was easy to forego breakfast the next morning. One have to be able to bend over to put a tee in the ground after all.

Day Four TPC Dorado tropically dense if you send balls wide of the rough. We ate an outdoor lunch at Seagrapes, with ocean views and a caressing Island breeze. Then we toured the property and learned about lodging options, other restaurants, the spa, and activities that can be explored at the amenity-rich resort.

Day Three On Wednesday morning we had the thrill of playing in the Puerto Rico Open’s Pro-Am. Teeing it up with PGA TOUR members makes for an unforgettable round of golf. The “Inside the Ropes” experience was very intimidating at first, yet it became very relaxing due to how nice the professionals were to us. We know we were there to play! The Championship Course at Hyatt Regency’s Grand Reserve Golf Club has more open fairways than at The St. Regis Bahia Beach – more like what you would expect from a coastal island golf course. But it gave us all we could handle, thanks to the clever routing and everpresent trade winds that blow northeast and come from the west coast of Africa.

The Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve’s website says it best: “Where champions play and families never get bored.” Pools, lazy river, pickleball and tennis courts, an ocean side setting, spa, restaurants, and more keep things lively.

The Championship Course at Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve We doubled up on golf during Day Two, heading to Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Golf & Beach Resort for an afternoon resort tour, followed by Pina Colada – a drink originated on the Island – and nine more holes. Like Hyatt Regency, Rio Mar Golf and Beach Club offers two 18-hole championship golf courses. The Ocean Course was designed by Tom and George Fazio, and the River Course by Greg Norman. They are different as their names suggest, yet they’re complementary through their diversity. The hole variety ensures things never getting boring or repetitive. The golf courses are managed by Troon Golf, and the entire property is surrounded by scenic mountains, the

TPC Dorado Beach is the golf amenity at Dorado Beach Resort and Club. There is also a Ritz-Carlton Reserve on the expansive property, one of six worldwide (and the only Ritz-Carlton Reserve in the Western Hemisphere). TPC Dorado Beach is a spectacular test of your playing ability and your ability to focus. There are two 18-hole playing options there – the Sugarcane Course and the iconic East Course. We played the East Course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. that opened in 1958 and was renovated by his son Robert Trent Jones, Jr. Trent Jones Jr. lengthened the course, which now stretches to a formidable 7,200 yards, with many of the holes playing into the strong Caribbean trade winds. Greens were completely reshaped to match original features and planted with Champions Bermuda, creating incredibly fast and smooth putts. Bunkers were reshaped and filled with native beach sand. I can attest to the speed of the greens. They were fast, even with the Bermuda grain. The bunker sand was a little difficult to deal with from my perspective, different from what I’m used to. But like my dad would say, “If you are going to hit Rio Mar Country Club River Course


Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

St Regis Bahia Beach Golf Club it in there, get used to it. Or just take in a pail and shovel and enjoy it.” I struggled to focus on the golf at Dorado Beach because of its incredible beauty. First, you play directly along the ocean and the crashing waves on the first hole. Then you make your way to the higher inland portion of the golf course. From there you can see no less than nine fairways and greens below. You conclude your round with more oceanside holes. What a beautiful location! A third course and a J.W. Marriott Hotel are planned to come online in the next two years at Dorado Beach, meaning more great playing and lodging options at the resort founded by Laurence Rockefeller. The famous American financier, philanthropist, and conservationist was Puerto Rico golf legend Chi Chi Rodriguez’ benefactor. Speaking of great Puerto Rico golfers, Island native Rafa Campos competed in the Puerto Rico Open while we were there, finishing in third place, his highest finish yet as a PGA TOUR member.

Puerto Rico sequel? Will I return? Absolutely. And it won’t take as many years. Consider this: Puerto Rico has been through so much in the past three years with Hurricane Maria in 2017, then earthquakes, and now the pandemic. As intensely challenging as that has been, the great irony is that virtually everything has been refreshed and reinvigorated. So many of the resorts and hotels have been renovated. I didn’t see anything showing that those natural disasters occurred. Nothing. So rest assured that everything is clean and safe for your arrival. There has not been a better time to visit Puerto Rico. If you do visit, here are some facts and things to do when you aren’t on the golf course. Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

St Regis Bahia Beach Golf Club

First tee at PGA Tour ProAm El Yunque is the only tropical Rainforest in the US Forest Service. I have seen pictures of a beautiful waterfall to visit via a walking trail inside the Rainforest. I heard that the walk is one mile from the parking area and downhill . . . which means a one mile walk back uphill (think about that before your adventure). We are all-in for this adventure. Puerto Rico has the brightest Bioluminescent Bay in the world. There are only five Bioluminescent Bays in the world and three of them are in Puerto Rico. The Pina Colada was invented in San Juan. Okay. I have already experienced that one. But it was so good that it is something I’ll enjoy again.

Wyndham Puerto Rico Lobby

Champions course Hyatt Regency 47

competitive spirits

PGA TOUR-First Official Tequila Partnership With Maestro Dobel Tequila World’s First Cristalino Inks Multi-Year Partnership Tying Tequila and Golf Maestro Dobel® Tequila was named the first “Official Tequila of the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions.” Founded by 11th generation tequila maker Juan Dobel, Maestro Dobel is known for consistently pushing the category forward, blending tradition and innovation to craft its award-winning tequilas. Through this partnership, Maestro Dobel shares its commitment to mastery with golf fans across the United States. “As innovators in the spirits category, and creators of Cristalino tequila, we are proud to celebrate another milestone as the PGA TOUR’s first Official Tequila partner,” said Lander Otegui, Senior Vice President, Marketing at Proximo Spirits. “The TOUR approaches the game of golf with the same passion, skill and precision Maestro Dobel takes in crafting our award-winning range of tequilas. We look forward to bringing the energy and spirit of tequila to the TOUR community.” As part of the TOUR’s Official Marketing Partner program, Maestro Dobel will activate at select tournaments across the United States and will be the Official Tequila poured at hospitality and concession locations. Fans will also find new premium displays and sampling opportunities at retail locations nationwide promoting Maestro Dobel’s exclusive tequila partnership with the TOUR. Debuting later this month at THE PLAYERS Championship, Maestro Dobel will unveil the “Diamante Tee Time,” developed specifically for the tournament, along with introducing its range of ultra-premium and smooth tequilas to TOUR fans at home and on the course. “We are excited to have Maestro Dobel as the first tequila brand to be an Official Marketing Partner at the PGA TOUR,” said Brian Oliver, PGA TOUR Executive Vice President of Corporate Partnerships. “We look forward to introducing this premium product to our PGA TOUR family – especially one which shares our deep values of tradition and innovation.” Maestro Dobel will further support the partnership with advertising on PGA TOUR social and digital platforms. For more information, please visit or 48

Diamante Tee Time Official Cocktail 1.5 oz Maestro Dobel Diamante 0.5 oz Lemon Juice 0.5 oz Agave Syrup (1:1) 1.75 oz Green Tea 2 slices of Jalapeño Garnish: Slice of Jalapeño Procedure: Add jalapeños to a shaker and muddle. Add the rest of the ingredients, except tea, to the shaker. Add Dice, shake, and double strain into an ice filled rocks glass. Top with tea and stir lightly. Place jalapeño slice on the rim. For more information, please visit or Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

freddy's fairway thoughts

By Fred Seely

A team from Jacksonville's Hyde Park Golf Club won the annual Jacksonville Area GA Scholarship Tournament last month at Ponte Vedra Inn and Club. The winners were (from left) Hank Veno, Billy Drake, Rusty Holsworth and Chris Petney. The Fifth Major? The Players — or, as they want you to write: PLAYERS — has one nagging issue that won't go away: Is it the Fifth Major? It's a matter of argument for a small and vocal bunch of fans, and there are those in the media who (for whatever reason) keep it alive. Of course, nothing will be decided because the designation of the “Fifth” major is as wispy as the definition of the other Four — no one, or no organization, owns it, like the NCAA owns “Final Four,” so any tournament can call itself the Fifth. Quick history. The first business of having four major championships goes back to Bobby Jones winning the Opens and Amateurs in the United States and the United Kingdom. When pro golf went way up and amateur golf declined, the concept remained but it turned into the four we call “majors” today. If there were to be a Fifth, then we should ask the man who is credited for putting the current four together as a group: Jack Nicklaus. If he's given the authority, then what will the Fifth be? The Memorial, of course. The guy that runs The Players — excuse, PLAYERS — is Jared Rice and his answer is excellent: “We don't compare ourselves to anyone. If you want a number, then I'll tell you that we're One of One. Same with the others.” Good answer. How many tickets? Tour events have limited capacity this year but the exact counts are tricky. In Florida, the general rule has been 20 percent of capacity, which is measurable in football (the University of Florida's stadium seats 90,000, thus they can sell 1/5 of that, or 18,000.) But “measurable” doesn't seem to apply to golf. When you can count seats, you can figure the “capacity” of a golf course. So, ask those who should know. The answer from any tournament official: “The most we've had in any one day in the past.” How many is that? The answer: “Well, there are lots of factors...”and the speaker drifts into doublespeak like a politician. So let's decide for them at this month's PLAYERS: First, let's decide how many people can fit in the area of the TPC Stadium course, maybe 110 acres. There's one reasonable comparison: Tiananmen Square in Beijing, which also is 110 acres. A historian named Li wrote a book about the place and estimated that 600,000 people can stand in the square. I've been there. I don't know what 600,000 people together looks like, but I would say that it's at least seven times bigger than Florida Field (fewer drunks, too.) Now that we have a base number, let's apply the Florida guideline of 20 percent. Welcome to the PLAYERS: you and 119,999 others. Fewer people, more cost Supply and demand is part of any Economics 101 class. If the PGA Tour has to cut back attendance (supply,) that means not everyone can get in (demand,) thus prices will go up (gouging.) At this month's PLAYERS, you can buy a "74 Club" ticket, which provides daily access stadium seating at the nos. 16-17 and 1213 areas. There's dining available for club members at a place 50

called the Patio were there is free beer, wine, and soda. Food and spirits? “Available for purchase.” All for only $924. What would you do? Our area has had a pros vs. amateurs match for the past 30 years and it's a big deal. Teams are chosen with very little politics involved, so it's an honor to make the team and a greater honor to be on the winning side. Three rounds over two days: better ball, alternate and singles. We take you now to the 9th hole of a close match this year. It's the foursomes and three are on the green, one pro just off. Rules officials had put the match on the clock a few holes earlier, so they're trying to catch up. The guy off the green chips it in. One of the amateurs calls him: he wasn't away. An amateur was further from the hole,

The team of the best amateurs in Northeast Florida best a PGA team last month in the 30th annual Underwood Cup at Timuquana Country Club. The amateurs now lead the Walker Cup-type series, 16-11-3. It is sponsored by Underwood Jewelers and conducted by the Northern Chapter of the North Florida PGA with assistance from the Jacksonville Area GA and the Florida State GA. The winning team: Front row, from left: David Anthony, Jordan Batchelor, Steve Carter, Underwood Jewelers President Clayton Bromberg, captain Andy Purnell, Matt Kleinrock, Mike Smith and Nate Mosby. Back row: Chris Henderson, Michael DelRocco, Devin Hopkins, Jeff Golden, Len Schonfeld, Aaron Badz, Jake Poske and assistant captain Billy Varn. even though his ball was on the green. Chip it again. He missed, the hole was halved. There was some grumbling about sportsmanship, particularly since the group had fallen over a hole behind and were under pressure to get moving. Yes, we know. The rules are the rules. But what would you have done if you were one of the amateurs? Whan and the USGA The USGA hiring of Michael Whan as its executive director might have a big back story. One of Whan's many accomplishments as head of the LPGA was to convince the ladies that they needed the PGA Tour, even though it meant losing some control. It has been a win-win; the LPGA might be in its best shape ever and the ladies are happy, at least they seem to be. Convincing the USGA mandarins will be a lot harder because they have convinced themselves that they have created a perfect golf world. But, that world is fueled by the monopoly of GHIN dollars. Money doesn't buy everything and it doesn't take a hard look to see the USGA's image needs burnishing more than its glossy public relations campaign can shine up. Is Michael Whan a PGA Tour plant? Let's hope so. Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

By Faye Sykes

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, “Your debt-to-income ratio is all your monthly debt payments divided by your gross monthly income. This number is one way that lenders measure your ability to manage the monthly payments to repay the money you plan to borrow.” In general, lenders such as home mortgage lenders look for no more than a 43% debt-to-income ratio when it comes to approving loans. In other words, like your golf score, smaller is better. So how can you get your ratio down if it’s too high? You could reduce your debt-to-income ratio by asking for a raise, getting a second job or creating a secondary income stream. But in all cases, you should always be aware of what your debt-to-income ratio is and pay down excess debt if you have it. Just like you learn the lay of a golf course and develop a strategy to play each hole, when it comes to reducing or eliminating debt, it’s helpful to have

Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

an overall plan. Start by tracking your spending, finding ways to cut back in order to free up funds. After that, you can choose to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first, or you can use the “snowball method,” where you pay off the smallest debt first. (The way the snowball method works is that after you pay off the first debt, you add that monthly payment amount to the next-smallest debt until everything is paid off.) In future, try to stay out of debt. Rather than take out loans, save up for large purchases. For instance, if you know you will need newer transportation within the next few years, save up for a good used car and pay cash for it. The same principle applies to paying for new set of golf clubs—save up for them rather than pulling out your credit card. This alone can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in interest. But there are times when going into debt will justify the interest you will pay. For instance, going to college can allow someone to make much more

playing from the tips

How to Reduce Your Debt-toIncome Ratio (And When Not To) money throughout their career, so going into student loan debt may make sense. Obtaining a mortgage to purchase a rental property could make sense if the monthly income generated is enough to pay for expenses while generating an income stream now or in the future. Similarly, starting a business, expanding an existing one or purchasing new equipment to create higher production efficiencies can pay huge dividends in the long run. The point is, always be mindful of debt and make sure it’s a needed resource rather than a drain on your budget. There are no mulligans when it comes to your finances. For more information about how to tee up a plan to fund your life’s passions, hobbies and long-term dreams, contact Faye Sykes, CEO and Independent Wealth Advisor at 800871-1219 or email fsykes@scarletoakfs. com. Advisory services offered through Capital Asset Advisory Services, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor.


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

South Florida PGA HOPE is Back The South Florida PGA HOPE program made its return after being sidelined due to COVID-19 this February at Coral Oaks Golf Course in Cape Coral. Led by Allen Manguson, PGA, 14 veterans attended the first of six golf sessions and will learn to play golf as a form of therapy and helping many assimilate back into their communities.

South Florida PGA Junior Tour Continues to Shine The South Florida PGA Junior Tour began its 2021 campaign in January and hasn’t looked back, running events for juniors ages 6-18 throughout South Florida. With four levels of play, the South Florida Junior Tour caters to golfers of all skill levels and is the perfect place to begin or advance your journey in golf. 52

Tyler Collet, PGA Debuts on PGA Tour Tyler Collet, PGA Professional at John’s Island Club in Vero Beach made his PGA TOUR Debut at the Puerto Rico Open on February 25-28 at the Grand Reserve Country Club in Rio Grande. Collet, who qualified for the event by winning the South Florida PGA Professional Championship last September, was five-over for the tournament.

Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

SunnilandSUPERSpotlight: Sue Spahr Sue with her 15 yr old daughter Taylor and their 3 yr old Goldendoodle Winston

My path to becoming

a golf course superintendent was not typical. I had only been on a golf course a couple of times prior to joining the grounds crew a LaComa Golf Club in East Dubuque, Illinois. The owners of LaComa, Gordon Cunningham and Peter Beaves also owned Midwest Irrigation. After three years there, I graduated college with a B.S. in Biology research at the same time they were looking for a superintendent for their newly constructed course, Swanhills Golf Course. The timing was perfect, and they gave me a shot. Twenty-six years later, I am still the superintendent at Swanhills and managed to grow-in two additional courses for them. Swanhills is in Belvidere, Illinois. We are a privately owned, mainly daily fee course which offers memberships. We are a low budget course which tries to keep our green fees affordable to reach as many golfers as possible. The course was designed to offer a challenge to the lower handicaps but be forgiving enough for the higher handicaps to feel good after their round and have the desire to return to the game. I realized somewhere along the journey that this is the niche of golf courses where I am most happy. I was encouraged to join GCSAA as soon as I became a superintendent and became certified five years later. GCSAA has always been an impressive organization with dedicated staff, officers, board members, and educators. Now that I am one of the older superintendents, I have seen an evolution of the position. GCSAA has done a great job of educating the superintendent and promoting professional development. They have also educated the golfer along with the PGA and industry publications such 54

as Golf Course Industry Magazine and Golf Central Magazine. I believe the golfer is much more aware of the work done by the superintendent. Our golfers do not expect Augusta conditions and genuinely appreciate the attention to detail that we are able to provide. Golf courses vary greatly throughout the country and world. Budgets, clientele, wages, bosses, priorities, grass types, mission statements all can be vastly different from course to course. One thing that always

amazed me about this profession is that regardless of the professional differences, superintendents always have this core common ground to communicate with each other. We all work in unison with nature to deliver a product that will please our customer. This we all have in common. The position of superintendent is unique and requires an enormous amount of dedication but is incredibly rewarding. I am grateful that I was able to pursue this amazing career. Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

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Shane Wright

CGCS. In two short years choked-full or hands-on experience, he headed to Palm Beach Gardens, FL to BallenIsles Country Club as Superintendent of

Shane and his family

the North Course under Jim Campoli.

He Has The “Right” Stuff For Success At Vero Beach County Club Shane Wright grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and loved playing sports as a kid so when a guidance counselor asked if he wanted to pursue a career in sports, he thought that was the right thing to do. The suggested degree in physical therapy made sense to him as he hoped to become a trainer for one of his hometown teams, the Bengals or the Reds. However, his passions evolved while working at the local 36-hole municipal golf course as a cart kid in high school. That’s where he fell in love with the game of golf. The summer of his senior year he worked on turf maintenance (for an extra quarter per 56

hour) where he found his true niche. After his first semester at the Uni-

Luck would strike again two years later as Jerry Redden, CGCS called and offered him a position as Superintendent at Vero Beach Country Club (VBCC) in Florida. Upon reflection of his 17year career, Wright believes he couldn’t have landed at a better course or in a better community than Vero Beach.

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tation working for Mitchell Wilkerson,

make their home in Vero Beach. Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8


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Raptor Relocation Network –

Different kinds of ‘Birdies’ on course, now more than ever! While a ‘birdie’ in a typical golf round

American Kestrel (photo courtesy of Natalie Reeder and Ben Dudek at SFO)

usually implies 1 stroke below par on a hole, Audubon International’s Raptor Relocation Network (RRN) has a different idea for ‘birdies’ on their environmentally certified member golf courses. Audubon International, the world leader of environmental certification for golf courses, and United Airlines, through their Eco-skies program, have teamed up to create a Raptor Relocation Network on both coasts of the USA. Through this program, raptors on airfields that can pose flight hazards are humanely captured and relocated – reducing the risk of airstrikes for both airplanes and wildlife. The initiative started on the east coast in 2017, focusing on the New York

Barn Owl (image courtesy of Natalie Reeder at SFO)

metropolitan airports and expanded in 2019 to San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Since then the number of raptors relocated has almost doubled!

What do golf courses offer raptors? Long, clear views, and a variety of habitats! In addition to long stretching fairways, Audubon International’s certified golf courses manage their native areas to include high vantage perches, nesting opportunities, and often include educational signage to limit human interaction in certain areas.

Why relocate these birds? The low availability of wild open habitat in many regions appears to be funneling these grassland-dependent birds onto airfields. The large amount of closed-canopy forest and development of land that would otherwise be prairie, farms, and pastures has resulted in declining numbers of American Kestrels 58

Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

Red-tailed Hawk assessment and banding (photo courtesy of Natalie Reeder at SFO) and other wildlife that depend on the

dition, they’re also individually assessed

hunting opportunities that grasslands

for a number of other qualifiers includ-


ing adequate distance from airports and

ward, handling and banding permits are

proximity to avian flyways.

expected to be expanded to encompass

2020 Recap

other common species like Great Horned

Due to the loss of these grasslands, raptors often find themselves on airfields where they pose potential threat and safety hazards to inbound and outbound flights. Relocating these birds is one of many preventative methods in place to increase aircraft safety.

How are the birds relocated?

2020 was a banner year for the Raptor Relocation Network. Live trapping activities for targeted raptors were successful at SFO for the first time, and a total of 118 raptors were relocated through the RRN last year – practically doubling the

Thanks to support from United Air-

number of relocations seen since 2017!

lines, our team of partners at the Port

After this record year, the total number

Authority of New York/New Jersey, and

of relocations made through the program

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

is now 246.

humanely trap the raptors, then trans-

You can check out the birds released,

port and release them at our certified

and even track by their band observa-

golf courses that have also been ap-

tions through our interactive map here:

proved as Official Release Sites.


Before these golf courses can become Official Release Sites for the Raptor Relocation Network, each course is individually assessed for compliance with Audubon International’s environmental management requirements such as wildlife habitat management and chemical use reduction and safety. In ad- . These points are uploaded by biologists, Audubon International staff, and citizen scientists. *Watch This Hawk Release Video*:

Going forward… Since the program launched, our team has relocated 246 birds of prey from Greater New York City (NYC) airports and

Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

San Francisco International. As the program continues to move for-

Owls in California. NYC area airports will continue trapping kestrels, hawks, and other permitted raptors. In both New York and California, Official Release Sites work closely with airport wildlife biologists to enable relocations and provide broad and widereaching citizen science data during and after a bird is relocated. If you’re interested in learning more, check out Audubon International’s Raptor Relocation Network website: Audubon International, an environmentally focused non-profit organization offers members numerous certifications and conservation initiatives to protect the areas where we live, work, and play. Their programs are designed to increase environmental awareness, encourage sustainable environmental efforts, and educate both their members and their communities. 59

by Kate Hiebert

85th President of Golf Course Superintendents Association of America Mark F. Jordan, the certified golf course superintendent (CGCS) and natural resource leader at Westfield Country Club in Westfield Center, Ohio, was elected to a one-year term as president of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) at the association’s annual meeting Feb. 4, held in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show. He is the 85th president in the association’s history. Jordan served as vice president of the association in 2020 and has been a member of the association’s board of directors since 2014. A 34-year member of GCSAA, Jordan is also a member and past president of the Northern Ohio GCSA. Jordan has served as the natural resource leader at Westfield CC since 2007, but has been with the club since 1988, previously serving as general manager, club manager, superintendent and assistant superintendent. Prior to Westfield CC, Jordan had stints as an assistant superintendent at Winding


Hollow Golf Club in New Albany, Ohio, and Hyde Park Golf and Country Club in Cincinnati. “As Col. John Morley was establishing GCSAA in 1926, he used the altruistic principles of justice, faithful brotherhood and generous benevolence as foundational elements. These timeless principles continue to guide the association today,” Jordan said. “I am humbled and honored to lead this same organization that Col. Morley and every single president before me has led.” He graduated from the Ohio State University – ATI in Wooster, Ohio, with an associate of applied science degree in turfgrass management; and the Ohio State University in Columbus with a

Mark F. Jordan

Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy. Other elected officers were Kevin P. Breen, CGCS and golf course superintendent at La Rinconada Country Club in Los Gatos, Calif., as vice president, and Kevin P. Sunderman, CGCS, director of grounds at Isla Del Sol Yacht and Country Club in St. Petersburg, Fla., as secretary/treasurer.

Golf Central • Volume 21, Issue 8

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