Southern Golf Central Magazine Vol 16 issue 4 • interactive

Page 38


By Greg Wise

I had the pleasure of meeting with the staff at On Top of the World Communities, in Ocala, Florida. What a fabulous place to live. First of all, the activity schedule was incredible. More than 250,000 square feet of amenities. Recreation Centers. Tennis Clubs. 5 Swimming Pools on site, including one indoor pool set up for lap swimming and aqua aerobics programming. Looking at the schedule of activities and the quality of selections, I truly believe that if you are bored in this community… it is your own fault. I toured 10 model homes available. These homes are magnificent. Ranging from roughly 1,400 square feet of air conditioned living space up to over 3,000 square feet. Multi-car garages, flex rooms for adjusting your lifestyle as it changes. So many design changes have gone in to these homes that as you tour the model centers, it looks as though you are walking through a home design magazine in real life, with the way they are decorated. Jason Taflinger, Sales Director, On Top of the World Communities, mentioned, “We have taken pride in the way we show and deliver our homes, exceeding the expectations of our new home purchasers.” Jason also mentioned having two full time design consultants to help you with your home design selections. On Top of the World talks about the energy efficient way they build homes. Saving an average of 30% on your energy consumption on any of their homes. These homes are concrete block, steel reinforced construction and built to exceed the government energy standards. Did I mention they have three 18 hole golf courses? 2 of the 18 hole courses are for residents of On Top of the World and their guests. The 3rd course at On Top of the World is Candler Hills Golf Club. Candler Hills is a par-72 semi-private championship golf course that offers 5 38

14th Fairway

sets of tees for you to play to your level. 4,877 yards from the front tees to 7,233 years from the Black, professional tees. Matt Hibbs, Director of Golf, mentioned, “Candler Hills gets tested each year when the Ocala Open returns every March, our facility is one of the favorites of the Florida Professional Golf Tour in the Spring,” Matt went on to say, “We have had Ted Potter (PGA Tour) win 2 titles, Travis Hampshire set the course record of 59 two years ago on his way to winning the event.” How does your game size up? You could be playing the longest Par 5 in Florida at 662 yards… and a 40 foot elevation change. But the bad news is… it is going uphill as you weave your way through this serpentine fairway toward the well protected green.

While discussing course conditions with Denise Mullen, LPGA and Head Professional at Candler Hills, Denise mentioned the recent 2014 Environmental Leaders in Golf Award that was presented to Andrew Jorgensen, CGCS, and Candler Hills Golf Club. Suddenly my thoughts shifted to how this course is maintained and what quality staff of professionals it takes in order to receive this type of an award, co-sponsored by Golf Digest and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.

Andrew and the staff won the Chapter Award for Public Courses and was presented this award in San Antonio on February 25, 2015. To put this in prospective… there are roughly 15,000 golf courses in the United States. Two of the 16 courses presented this award in February were in Florida. One was Andrew Jorgensen and his staff at Candler Hills Golf Club and the other; Tom Vlack, CGCS, TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. So, what does that tell you? When I sat down with Andrew, I was shocked at how far they are looking in to the future and it is all based on a storied past of preserving the ground on which we live. The staff is constantly testing new products for their usefulness while not damaging the ground, ground water or the environment. Candler Hills Golf Club did away with over-seeding in the fall for color through our winters here in Florida. Andrew said, “It took a lot to convince the players that this was the better method. Over-seeding damages the actual turf grass while utilizing rye grass.” Andrew went on to say, “What we have transitioned to is a liquid over-seeding which involves using a color pigment and liquid fertilizer which allows us to stay green throughout the winter

Test Pattern of Grass

Southern Golf Central • Volume 16, Issue 4

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