You’ll love the Golf Ball Chair!
W W W . G O L F C E N T R A L M A G . C O M
Escape Everyday EVERY DAY
NO TEE TIMES Poolside Cafe
Jim Fazio Championship Golf Course YOUTH
professional & personalized service
DYNAMIC TENNIS PROGRAM
the cur ve
Sports & Wellness Center
Experience Boca Grove with our Glimpse of the Grove Stay and Play Contact Jessenia Cucalon at 561-487-5300 or email email@example.com
WHERE LEGENDS ARE MADE
M AT T J O N E S
Determination. Passion. A challenging spirit. These are the qualities that deﬁne Honda—the same qualities it takes to face off against the ﬁercest competitors on the PGA TOUR. Witness the best players in golf as they take on a punishing course known only as “The Champion.” at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens Florida. Get your tickets at TheHondaClassic.com.
from the publisher
Volume 22, Issue 10 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, Dennis Dumler, Margie Dumler, 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 Turf Tender: Rich Havyer Social Media Muse: Madison Forni Regional Partner: Doug Hollandsworth, Founder-Georgia Golf Trail
Golf Central Magazine is published monthly by:
Make Golf Your Thing Being a magazine publisher at the PGA Show is like being a comedian in a comedy club. You hone your skills by doing your act regularly and hear the applause when your routine is appreciated. During the past 22 years, we at Golf Central Magazine (GCM), have performed our “act” by publishing the magazine and receiving “applause” from those who believe in us and advertise. My take away from the PGA show this year was meeting the golf industry leadership that has come together around a unified marketing movement that invites beginning and diverse golfers to #makegolfyourthing. The concept behind the movement is simple- retain the golfers who joined our sport in 2020, and invite new and beginning golfers from all backgrounds, identities, and abilities to join the game. Golf experiences are different for everyone and we want consumers to know that golf is what you make it- not a one-size fits all approach. An official #makegolfyourthing toolkit has been assembled to welcome and attract new and diverse golfers. This includes marketing materials, tactics, and examples from industry peers who are activating the initiative to better engage customers and drive more revenue to their business. This also helps increase charity dollars and participation. Visit http://www.makegolfyourthing.org for more information. Thank you to all those who continue to give me material for my hilarious routine. I’m always working on it and hope to keep you laughing, smiling, and informed about the joy that golf can bring to your life. Make golf everyone’s thing!!
Sand Hill Publishing & Public Relations 4313 Berwick Dr, Lake Wales, FL 33859 NEW PHONE: 863.875.6863 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ©2022 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 6
Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
Legendary Golf Speaks for Itself Pete Dye. Donald Ross. Two Unique Layouts, One Must-Play Destination That golf trip only comes around so often. Make it count at French Lick Resort. Courses by two legendary designers join forces at the Midwest’s favorite golf destination.
frenchlick.com/golf (855) 893-1607
Management reserves the right to cancel or modify any event without notice. Must be 21 years or older to enter the casino. Gambling Problem? Call 1.800.9.WITH.IT or text INGAMB to 53342!
Volume 22, Issue 10 Fasion Forward 10 Spectrum Golf FEATURE 32 Dimple Designs Golf Bachelor 24 Alex Johnson Golf Bachelor 12 Neal Lerner Golf Bachelorette 42 Amy Fox
Departments 20 26 28 30 36 40 44 45 46 48
Georgia Golf Trail Golf History Golf History Cuisine on the Green Product Showcase Grip It & Sip It North Florida PGA South Florida PGA Golf Business Freddy's Fairway Thoughts
Leader on the Links 14 Ted Simpson, Jr. 22 Jamie Taylor
You’ll lo olf? ve the Golf Bal l Chair!
W W W . G O L F C E N T R A L M A G . C O M
Player Development 18 Justin Martin
Special Events 16 Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions 34 PGA Merchandise Show Stay & Play 12 Beau Rivage & Fallen Oak
Pgs 10, 14, 18, 22, 24, 28, 58
Turf Life 50 Sanford Ferris Golf Design 52 Performance Nutrition Superstar: Steve Keller 54 Sunniland Super Spotlight: Mira Wilson 56 Turf Pirate’s Journal 58 Audubon International 60 Dr. Susana Milla-Lewis
Award-winning dining, a booming craft beer scene, luxurious resorts, and exceptional year-round golf on courses along the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail await you in Alabama. Plus, with Jerry Pate’s Kiva Dunes and Arnold Palmer’s Craft Farms in Gulf Shores, from the mountain lakes to the Gulf Coast, you can take it all in.
Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Birmingham
By Beverly Wise
Understanding there are challenges in life and meeting them head on! On Carter’s website (CartersSpectrumGolf.com) he states:
Why the name Spectrum Golf, you may ask?... I was diagnosed with autism before I was one years old. My entire life I’ve been told I’m high on the spectrum. “High Functioning” Even though I am on the high functioning side of the autism spectrum, that did not stop other kids from bulling and teasing
me or calling me mean names. After many years of being teased in elementary school because I was “special” my mom and my therapist helped me learn how to control my emotions and behavior. And I’m still working hard at it, every day. Yes, I am special; yes, I am different; yes, I am weird, and that’s OK. I’m unique and different and that’s OK. I learned to embrace my differences.
In March 2010, Carter Bonas
, a 10-yearold young man, started the Spectrum Golf clothing line. “My goal was to empower myself and others to see that you don’t have to hide your differences that you may have,” Carter stated. His mother Dr. Thelma Tennie stated, “Watching me as an entrepreneur sparked the same drive in him. He asked me if he could open his own business when he was 8-years-old. I told him sure he could, when he grew up.” “He then asked, why he had to wait until he was an adult to start a business. “I’m ready now” he said. I told him he was right! He did not have to wait.” He could start a business now, he just needed to decide what he wanted to do and develop a business plan. After many ideas that were not feasible, Carter is now the proud owner of Spectrum Golf, a company dedicated to providing quality golf apparel and inspiring others to embrace their differences and work hard to achieve their dreams. Carter chose the name Spectrum Golf to empower himself and others to see that they don’t have to hide from their diagnoses. Like him, they too can choose to learn how to control their own emotions, life, and narrative. 10
Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
A FEELING LIKE NO OTHER
The South’s premier MGM Resort offers world-class dining, upscale shopping, a nationally-ranked spa and salon, a PGA TOUR Champions golf course, a luxurious pool overlooking the Mississippi Sound, and endless gaming excitement and action.
PLAN YOUR VISIT AT BEAURIVAGE.COM OR CALL 1.800.805.4425
©2022 MGM Resorts International ®. All rights reserved. Must be 21. Gambling problem? Call 1.888.777.9696.
By Logan Henry
stay & play
Beau Rivage and Fallen Oak – A Winning Combination Legendary golf course architect Tom
“From the moment guests enter the
Fazio has designed two championship
lush and picturesque course through
courses for MGM Resorts International,
the gated front entrance, they know
the world-famous Shadow Creek in
they are someplace special,” said
the Las Vegas desert and the equally
Fallen Oak Director of Golf Mark Powell.
remarkable southern standout Fallen
“With a personal greeting upon arrival,
Oak, on the edge of the De Soto
swing tips on the practice facility, on-
National Forest in Coastal Mississippi.
course food and beverage and chilled
Fallen Oak’s secluded 510-acre
scented towels, guests find a round
site and its masterful layout is as
at Fallen Oak delivers an experience
much an adventure as it is a work of
that is memorable and unrivaled in
art. Golfers will negotiate wetlands,
the region. We strive for the greatest
overcome towering oaks, crisscross
golf experience our treasured guests
pecan orchards and magnolia groves,
will ever have with immaculate course
and navigate elevation changes
conditions, a beautiful clubhouse and
unparalleled on the Gulf Coast.
red carpet guest service at Fallen Oak.”
Fallen Oak has garnered dozens of national awards from golf and lifestyle publications including its consistent ranking as the best course in Mississippi by Golf Digest, Golfweek and GOLF, and its 15th consecutive year as No. 2 on Golfweek’s Top Casino Golf Resorts, trailing only its Nevada sister. Fallen Oak is available exclusively to guests of MGM’s Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi. The AAA Four Diamond beachfront resort features 1,740 elegantly-appointed guest rooms and suites that offer spectacular views of the Gulf of Mexico or Biloxi’s Back Bay. Guests can enjoy 10 restaurants, exciting nightlife and an 85,000-square-foot casino that includes BetMGM Book Bar & Grill, Mississippi’s first full-service sports betting and entertainment destination. Take a swim in the refreshing tropical oasis pool or enjoy
Fallen Oak 12
Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
a massage at Beau Rivage’s worldclass spa and salon, recently ranked No. 6 on Spas of Americas Top 100 List for 2021. The upscale shopping promenade is home to 10 retail shops, Black Clover Lounge and Topgolf Swing Suite, where guests can kick back on a couch and watch the big screens or challenge each other to a variety of virtual sports and games. Experience firsthand why Golfweek ranked Beau Rivage and Fallen Oak No. 23 out of its Top 200 Golf Resorts in the U.S. for 2021. Stay-and-Play hotel packages are available and include an 18-hole greens fee, shared cart and range practice before play. Quad
packages and packages including a food and beverage credit valid at Beau Rivage and Fallen Oak are also available. To book a Fallen Oak getaway, visit www.beaurivage.com or call (877) 805-4657.
Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
leader on the links
had received was not working. While competing in Florida, Ted read a book on kinetics. Knowing something about kinetics from his formal training on the police force, he embarked on a journey to look at the swing, the natural mechanics of the body and the physical forces that affect those body mechanics. None of the professional golf instructors he was working with however knew enough about kinetic principles to help. Furthermore, none had any solid understanding about anatomy and the detailed sequencing of muscle movement during the swing. Ted was on his own to figure out how best to apply kinetics to golf. After years of research and hard work, it became apparent to Ted why he did not perform well in competition. The smooth professional motion he had developed was not natural to him. The non-kinetic motion caused his involuntary reactions to have too much control over the swing. Additionally, the conflict between “trained movements” vs natural motions of the swing would
Photo by Terrie Purdum
Ted Simpson, Jr. and Triple “S” Kinetic Golf
state of consciousness” under pressure.
TSKGolf is a company focused on
was not reliable for consistently good
exposing our clients to sound swing mechanics that are consistent with sound body mechanics. With the use of innovative technology and proven golf instruction techniques focusing on all aspects of the game, we will improve your swing and make you a better player. Our instructors and technology staff have extensive knowledge and experience in all aspects of the game. The Triple “S” Kinetic Golf system has been evolving over a 20 year period guided by Mr. Ted Simpson, Jr., 14
not allow him to swing a club in a “flow
a golf professional, golf instructor and student of the game. Throughout his playing career, Ted worked with golf professionals, focusing on traditional swing mechanics theory and forcing his natural body movements to fit the traditional swing models. These forced mechanics were being engrained during rigorous, comprehensive training sessions. When it came time to perform at tournaments, he could not seem to consistently apply his training and play his best golf. Ted realized the traditional training and instruction he
Ted found the same to be true with the weekend golfer. An unnatural swing golf performance. Today, using his kinetic principles, Ted teaches students how to feel the swing that is natural for them. Some of his students’ natural kinetic motions look textbook while some are slightly less traditional but all are playing some of the best golf of their lives. The golf swing is complex with lots of moving parts that link to each other! We can simplify the mechanics and get you executing a smooth, powerful swing that fits your body type. Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
Our two championship courses offer unique and fun designs by the greats of the game. The King & Bear and Slammer & Squire sit in the beautiful coastal region of Northeast Florida between the Atlantic Ocean and St. Johns river. It only ﬁts that golf’s history be located in the nation’s oldest city, St. Augustine. Walk through the golf’s Hall of Fame corridors, tune up your game at the PGA TOUR Golf Academy, and enjoy a vibrant downtown. There is plenty to do on and off the course. Start playing your vacation today!
Photos and Story by: Greg and Beverly Wise
– Danielle Kang – On a difficult weather day on Championship Sunday at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club, Daniella Kang, posted the low score Sunday at 4-under 68 and cruising her way to a 3-shot victory at the season-opening Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions.
Danielle Kang Champion LPGA Tournament of Champions
Admitting that her golf game, remains a constant work in progress. Danielle said that she spent more of her offseason creating a way to be “comfortable being uncomfortable.” Winless in 2021 seemed to be a solid reason for admission. “My mental game was really good,” said Kang, having won a LPGA event in
Mark Wang - Pres CEO - Hilton Grand Vacations
each of her previous four seasons. “I had a really good attitude all day today as well as Saturday. I realize that I left some putts out there, but I never let it get to me, and I kept working to give myself birdie chances as much as possible.” Kang finished at 16-under 272, 3 shots ahead of Canada’s Brooke Henderson. Mexico’s Gaby Lopez, one of three players to share the lead on Sunday, experienced several ups-and-down, cooling off after a hot front nine to finish third, 4 shots behind Kang. 16
Brook signing autographs Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
Champion Danielle Kang
Brook Henderson Mauricee Allen Sunday Champion Round
Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
Justin Martin– PGA Player Development Award Winner Justin Martin, an instructor at
the Grand Slam Golf Academy at Bobby Jones Golf Course, has been recognized as 2021’s Player Development Award winner. This award is presented to the PGA professional that has made extraordinary contributions and achievements in conducting and/ or supporting Play Golf America initiatives. The award also considers the member’s service to the Association and involvement in the community. artin is involved in numerous community efforts, including the PGA HOPE program for veterans and the junior program powered by U.S. Kids Golf, which has reached over 1,700 children since the facility reopened in 2018. In addition, he’s involved in PGA of America governance at both the section and
national levels, currently serves as the Georgia PGA North Chapter President and is on the PGA of America National Tournament Committee. A talented player and instructor, Justin Martin was also recently named to the U.S. Kids Golf Top 50 Kids Coaches list for 2021 alongside another Bobby Jones Links’ instructor, Matt Clinger of Towhee Club, who received the award in 2020 as well.
The award honors professionals who have dedicated themselves to coaching junior golf and excelled in helping younger players learn the fundamentals of golf. In addition, Martin has been honored with the GRAA Top 100 Growth of the Game Teaching Professional Award, the Georgia PGA Match Play Champion Award and the Georgia PGA North Chapter Youth Player Development Award in recent years. “Justin’s commitment to player development and growing the game is unmatched,” said Jason Kuiper, director of Instruction at the Grand Slam Golf Academy. “He has always had full buy-in to any growth-of-game program we put together, and his leadership at the academy and dedication to teaching have made him a perfect fit for us at Bobby Jones Golf Course.”
Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
YOUR LOVE AFFAIR
GOLF DESERVES THE PERFECT SET TING With 10 magnificent courses why wait, Lock in your 2022 golf plans today.
Go to BoyneGolf.com or call 855-427-6316
By Mike May
georgia golf trail
One of Georgia’s Great Getaways There aren’t enough superlatives
in the English language to accurately portray what it’s like to visit the Currahee Club (One Currahee Club Way, Toccoa, Georgia; 706-827-1000; www. curraheeclub.com), but stunning may be the best way to describe the newest member of the Georgia Golf Trail. And, in the Cherokee language, Currahee means “stand alone,” an appropriate way to describe the geographic locale of this eastern Georgia destination. While the Currahee Club is private, outside play is allowed, provided you stay on-site or be accompanied by a member. And, if you like the Currahee Club that much, as many people do, you can join the club and make it your forever home! Here’s a link that will give you a sneak peek at real estate options at the Currahee Club: View Real Estate - Currahee Club Simply put, the Currahee Club’s “stand alone” location, nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, is spectacular. Its relaxed and peaceful
atmosphere includes access to Lake Hartwell. The five-acre Currahee Club Sports Complex includes a kid’s playground, two lighted tennis courts, half-court basketball, bocce ball, sand
Currahee Golf Club Clubhouse
Currahee Golf Club 20
volleyball, a zero-entry, saltwater pool, and a 24-hour state-of-the art Wellness Center. In fact, the Wellness Center is a brilliant perspiration destination which features treadmills, elliptical machines, fitness classes and personalized fitness coaching with the trainer-in-residence. Accommodations include: The Lodges at Currahee Club, The Cottages at Currahee Club, and The Clubhouse Suites; all luxurious and exquisite. The afore-mentioned Lake Hartwell is a perfect playground for water enthusiasts. The 56,000acre body of water is conveniently located as it’s adjacent to the Currahee Club. Lake Hartwell appeals to anyone who enjoys activities on the water. The Currahee Club experience begins when you walk into the majestic 48,000-square-foot clubhouse. Here, enjoy first-class dining and breathtaking views of Lake Hartwell from the veranda. Then there’s the featured attraction of this Georgia getaway: the Jim Fazio-designed par-72, 18hole golf course which is worthy of its championship label. The course features multiple sets of tees for the enjoyment of any skill level. The course maintains premiere playing conditions year-round, highlighted Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
Currahee Golf Club by outstanding Bentgrass greens. Currahee Club also features its own golf academy. The Gotham Golf Train Academy houses highspeed video, Trackman launch monitor, and multiple club-fitting systems from industry leaders. “When a student understands their natural movement patterns, they can learn, own and repeat an athletically efficient golf swing,” said Jim Gotham of the Gotham Golf Train Academy. “Golf is ultimately a ‘feel’ game. However, we have technology and data collection tools that help us guide a player through a full range of discoveries from short game to full swing.” Currahee Club offers a variety of dining options from casual to elegant. All of the dining venues offer a first-class experience and unmatched scenery. Over the years, many accolades have been bestowed upon Currahee Club. Three of them include: Top 10 Golf Courses To Play Before You Die (2013) by Golf Digest; #1 Golf Club in Georgia (2015) by the National Golf Course Owners Association; and Top 100 Residential Golf Courses in America (on five occasions, most recently in 2021) by Golfweek. During your visit at Currahee Club, you will certainly discover what makes this unique place a priceless and pastoral piece of paradise. For more details on the Currahee Club, call 706-827-1000. For more information on the Georgia Golf Trail, access www.GeorgiaGolfandTravel.com. Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
leader on the links
Jamie Taylor, LPGA CEO & CREATOR, BLACK GOLF DIRECTORY www.blackgolfdirectory.com #1 African American Golf Resource A directory to find African American golf professionals, amateurs, juniors, and businesses.
Jamie Taylor, LPGA, is an alumnae of
FOUNDER, JAMIEGOLF www.jamiegolf.com A virtual golf experience for golfers of all skill levels. We provide clinics, video, and blog tips for your social media, newsletters, or websites.
Laurel School in Cleveland, OH. There she started her quest in growing the game of golf by starting the golf team her junior year. She was inducted into the Laurel School Sports Hall
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GREATER CLEVELAND JUNIOR GOLF SCHOLARSHIP FUND www.gcjgsf.org A junior golf program in Cleveland, Ohio for children, ages 6 - 17. We provide PGA/LPGA golf instruction, on-course play, and college scholarships.
of Fame for this contribution. After high school, she attended Gannon University in Erie, PA, where she received a full ride to play on the women’s varsity team. As the only African American in her conference; she served as captain her junior and
CEO & FOUNDER, JT MOBILE TRAINING www.jtmobiletraining.com A mobile training program that teaches how to attract and retain diverse customers through the five principles of CARE (Customer Awareness, Retention, and Engagement) Training.
senior year; was president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC); and received her MBA. Her career as an LPGA Teaching and Club Professional began when she was hired as the first female Head Golf Professional for the Cleveland
to make a bigger impact on the golf
18; developed an app to help GG sites
Metroparks in Cleveland, OH. There
community and moved to Florida,
communicate with their members;
she ran 27-hole and 36-hole golf
where she was the Programs Manager
wrote the curriculum for LPGA Golf 101
courses. During her tenure, she created
for the LPGA Foundation. In this role,
and #inviteHER clinics, and much more.
several women’s golf initiatives which
her focus was growing the game by
were recognized by the Ohio Parks
attracting more females through
company, JT Mobile Training, to help
and Recreation, Crain’s Business
the LPGA*USGA Girls Golf Program.
other golf professionals learn how to
Magazine, and the African American
She oversaw the execution of junior
attract and retain clients of diverse
Golfers Digest. Jamie also had a
clinics at LPGA Tournaments, LPGA
backgrounds. In 2020, Jamie created
unique opportunity to be the first golf
Leadership Academies, Girls Golf
the Black Golf Directory website and
professional to do weekly golf tips for
Academies, eLeader Program, and
in November she became a full-
WKYC. This six-week series helped her
scholarships. In her five years with the
time entrepreneur! Her number one
quest in inspiring minority youth by
LPGA, Jamie developed the eLeader
focus now is to continue to diversify
serving as a role model in the industry.
Program, a nationally recognized
golf, as well as, use her skills to help
volunteer program for girls, ages 13 –
in growing other industries.
In 2015, Jamie decided she wanted 22
In 2018, Jamie started her first
Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
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 Contact Jessenia Cucalon | 561-487-5300 | email@example.com | www.bocagrove.org
Steak, chicken, or seafood? All three please! But if I could only have one, it would definitely be Steak! Tell us something about yourself that only your closest friends know. My closest friends know that I used to be quite the skateboarder back in my day! What three things would you need to survive on a deserted island? Cell phone, Call of Duty, and lots of Spaghetti! Who would you like to have with you on the same deserted island; and why? Probably Tom Hanks, he made it off an island the first time, chances are he can do it again! What do you find to be the most annoying habit people demonstrate on the golf course? Not fixing ball marks is my ultimate golf pet peeve. When people throw clubs it’s pretty annoying as well.
Where were you born? Did you grow up there? I was born in Berlin, GER and was raised a fair amount in Columbus, GA Is “acting your age” overrated? “Your age” is what you make it! That being said, I definitely don’t act my age. I’ll probably be a kid forever. What do you do for a living? I play golf tournaments and caddie at Old Memorial Golf Club in Tampa, FL. What golf apparel do you like to wear? My favorite golf apparel is Peter Millar, Greyson, and Smathers & Branson. Golf shoes have to be Jordan’s or Footjoy! Tell us about your first kiss? To be honest, I probably didn’t have my first kiss until my freshmen year in high school. I was a pretty big nerd, not so attractive to girls back then. Had no clue what I was doing the first kiss I had. 24
Name the three most important things to you in this world. Family, Honesty, Kindess. What three people would you most like to play with in your fantasy golf foursome? Bill Murray, Tiger Woods, Collin Morikawa What are some of your great accomplishments? My greatest accomplishment so far is healthy baby that Trish and I are expecting June 24th! So happy for this to be happening! Favorite comedian? Nick Swardson Last book you read? We’re Pregnant! The First Time Dad’s Pregnancy Handbook. It’s better than Harry Potter. Favorite charity to support? Humane Society What else would you like for us to know about you? I’m always cool with meeting new people, if you see me around, feel free to say hello! Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
By Beverly Wise
History Repeats Itself at the Winter Park Hickory Classic Winter Park Golf Course (known to
60’s with blowing misty rain. I heard
the locals as WP9) was the site of the
many comments that it was fitting
2022 Winter Park Hickory Classic.
that they were playing Hickories…
The Winter Park Golf Course traces its origins to 1914 when
46 men and 8 women tee’d
Harley A. Ward and Dow George were
it up in the Winter Park Hickory
commissioned to lay out a 9-hole
Classic hosted by Bill Geisler and
course on 25 acres at the north end of
the Florida Hickory Golfers.
Winter Park, a charming little suburb
History did repeat itself for 2
of Orlando created as a haven for
individuals in the field. Will Peterson
snowbirds seeking more hospitable
took 1st place again in the Men’s
temperatures in the cold months.
Open Division and Marci Likens
So that description of hospitable
finished a second year straight on
temperatures didn’t quite make it easy
top for the Women’s Net Division.
for the tournament on January 22nd and 23rd with temperatures in the low
because it really felt just like Scotland.
Do we hear a Three-peat for these great players of 2023?
Men’s Gross Division: 1st Place Will Peterson 2nd Place Bo Turocy 3rd Place Wally Armstrong Men’s Net Division: 1st Place Jeff Shafer 2nd Place Jim Davis 3rd Place David Webster Women’s 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Gross Division: Bailey Wiegandt Beth Chambers BJ Hayden
Women’s 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Net Division: Marci Likens Kendall Capaz Rosemary Pabst
Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
By Mike May
The Jake Gaither Golf Course
One of Florida's Historic Treasures
The Jake Gaither Golf Course (801 Bragg Drive, Tallahassee, Florida; (850) 891-3942) is in a category unto itself. Some golf courses in Florida are more well- known and some golf courses in Florida are more popular to play, but very few golf courses in Florida can match the historical significance of the Jake Gaither GC, which opened for play in December 1956. It was specifically established as a location for the African-American community in Tallahassee to play golf. Now, this nine-hole layout caters to all ages, races, genders, and abilities.
Jake Gaither Golf Course - 23 OCT 2019 “We have a cross-section of people
planner for the Department of State
who play golf here,” said Michael
(of Florida). Edwards is working on
McCray, the pro shop attendant at the
getting this golf course listed on the
Jake Gaither GC. “I have worked at
National Register of Historic Places.
this golf course for 21 years and we
“It (the Jake Gaither Golf Course)
have a good mix of people who play
was for the Black community. It was
golf here. We are an affordable and
built as not just a golf course, but
welcoming municipal golf course.”
a whole park,” Edwards said. “It’s a
Recognizing the historical significance of the Jake Gaither GC is one of the missions of Scott Edwards, a historic preservation
process of recognizing the historical significance of this property.” One person who can vouch for the growth and development of the Jake Gaither GC is local resident Leroy Kilpatrick. He was at the golf course when it opened for play, just more than 65 years ago. He distinctly remembers playing in a group of seven men on the golf course’s opening day. They each had their own golf ball, but they only had access to two golf clubs, a seven iron and a five iron. The group had to share the golf clubs in order to play. “Two clubs with seven guys and we had to pass them
FAMU Golf Team at Jake Gaither - 1963 Rattler Yearbook 28
around,” recalls Kilpatrick. Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
It’s worth noting that the park in Tallahassee where the golf course now sits was named after Jake Gaither, the late, great head football coach at Florida A & M University in Tallahassee. According to McCray, Gaither never played golf, but his name and legacy remain alive and on display at the golf course. And, his name will be forever preserved, hopefully, one day on the National Register of Historic Places. If you want to play the Jake Gaither Golf Course, drop by for a nine-hole experience. It’s only $10 for walkers to play and $20 if you want to ride a cart. And, guess what? Same day nine-hole replays are free. That means you can play this golf course twice in the same day for just $10, if you choose to walk, carry your bag, or push it around the golf course on your own pull cart. And, it’s only $20 if you use a golf cart for 18 holes. That’s another reason why the Jake Gaither Golf Course is in a category unto itself.
FAMU Golf Team 1965 - at Jake Gaither - Rattler yearbook
Kenny Perry and Trevor Immelman have made Transitions® lenses part of their game.
On the PGA TOUR®, vision is a golfer’s most important equipment. Transitions lenses adapt to changing light to help golfers see more comfortably in all light conditions and help protect eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Visit your local Vision Source doctor, Dr. James Podschun, located at 2828 Casa Aloma Way, Suite 400 in Winter Park, FL 32792, to ask which Transitions lenses are right for you. 407-671-0960
P ER FORMANCE SUNW E A R
Transitions and the swirl are registered trademarks and Transitions Adaptive Lenses is a trademark of Transitions Optical, Inc. ©2012 Transitions Optical, Inc.
Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
cuisine on the green
Chef Bryan McMillan Chef Bryan McMillian is from beautiful Augusta, GA. He says he never planned to be a chef, he just happened to fall into cooking. After his first role as Chef with Imperium Food and Wine in Celebration, Florida, he decided it was something he could see himself doing long-term. He joined the food and beverage team at Reunion Resort in fall 2021 after 3 years with Hilton. Being from the south, Chef McMillian loves to cook traditional southern comfort foods. In his free time, he enjoys playing poker with his wife, searching for authentic tacos, and of course, as an Augusta native he enjoys a good round of golf. Traditions is the perfect place for Chef McMillian as he has the 18th hole of the Nicklaus course just outside his windows. He has already implemented several menu changes at Traditions and is receiving many compliments on the improvements. “I like Traditions. It feels like home,” McMillian said. I want to make it the best restaurant on property.”
Cajun Chicken Alfredo 1 tbsp chopped garlic 1oz red peppers sliced 1oz cherry tomatoes halved 1oz baby spinach 2oz white wine 4oz heavy cream ½ cup grated Parmesan Blackened seasoning (redfish) 1oz butter In a Sautee pan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil Add red peppers and cherry tomatoes for about one minute. Then add garlic and baby spinach till fragrant. Deglaze with wine then add heavy cream reduce by one third add butter. And parmesan cheese, reduce until thickened then add blackened seasoning to taste. Use any pasta of choice then enjoy. 30
Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
Honoring Their Sacrifce Educating Their Legacy
Since 2007, the Folds of Honor has carried forth this singular, noble mission. To provide educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members. We’re proud to celebrate our 10th year, and have awarded nearly 16,000 scholarships. The need is still great with the millions in unfunded requests we recieve each year. Become a Wingman who dutifully supports the pursuit of education for our military families affected by war by giving a recurring donation of $13/month. Why $13? There are 13 folds that bring the flag to its triangle shape. Every fold, just like every dollar, is significant.
WE NEED PATRIOTS. JOIN US.
The Golf Ball Chair has landed! Love golf? You’ll love the new golf furniture range from Dimple Design. The amazing golf ball chair is gaining fans across the US, and from its home in the sun, in Florida, we met the Chair-Man himself Mark Beattie.
“ Golfer’s are loving the chair and it’s great to be able to finally see so many happy customers. ” explains Mark.
The Golf ball chair is a unique idea and ideal for use at home, in a clubhouse environment or at work! Made from heavy duty gel coat resin (like they use in yachts) with a leather upholstered seat and aluminum base, its designed to look good and feel even better! With an office chair, dining chair, bar stool and table also available there’s something for everyone and every room. The chairs are proving particularly popular with golfers who have installed their own swing studio/golf simulator at home. It’s the ideal finishing touch for a swing room or man cave, and is the perfect chair to watch the upcoming Masters coverage from, if you’re not lucky enough to attend yourself. We can now offer custom chairs too, that we can recolour the dimple part and even offer custom upholstery for customers who want something even more unique.
Golfers can find out more online at www.dimpledesignedUSA.com or on instagram at dimple_designedUSA For more information, to buy a chair or to arrange a viewing contact mark@dimpledesignedUSA.com
“ The range is growing too with a desk chair, bar stool and coffee table all available but of course the big egg chair is always the favorite, whenever anyone see’s it they can’t wait to sit on it! ”
Dimple Chair Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
You love golf, you love the chair, you want the chair, you deserve the chair - just buy the chair. There are many reasons not to buy a golf ball chair, and we don’t have a fancy sales pitch but if you follow your heart, you only need one reason to treat yourself to something that will make you the happiest golfer you know.
Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
special events photos by Ginny Dixon
2022 PGA Merchandise Show Like Coming Home Again
attended my first PGA Merchandise Show in 1991. Do the math, and the 2022 PGA Merchandise Show, held January 25-28 in Orlando, Florida marked my 30th show sans Covid. As president of Golf Marketing Services, I have specialized in launching new products and various startups in the golf industry. The PGA Show has always served that purpose well. Despite the doom and gloom and possibility of its impending demised portrayed by some of my media friends, the 69th version of the show turned out to be one of my best. Yes, breaking news! It was a very successful show both in terms of business objectives accomplished thanks in part to the less chaotic vibe that allowed for more meaningful conversations and quality work to get done - and for something perhaps even more important: the warm and welcoming hellos, fist bumps, smiles, hugs, collective upbeat energy and THERAPY the show provided. Truth be told, we in the industry have been 34
by Holly Geoghegan
craving (whether publicly or privately) this return to (some sort of) normalcy as the collateral mental damage of the pandemic has set in over the past two years. The PGA Merchandise Show is critical to our industry for many reasons that aren’t often gleaned at the surface level or can’t simply be documented by line-items and numbers on a company spreadsheet. Call me an optimist (I am a lifelong Buffalo Bills fan!), but as the saying
goes, ‘One man’s loss is another man’s gain.’ There were plenty of gains and positive take-aways from this year’s show. First, kudos to Reed Exhibitions, the world’s leading trade show organizer that runs the PGA Show in partnership with the PGA of America, for managing to stay the course and against all odds (Omicron, supply chain issues, international quarantine policies) fulfilled its commitment to stage an in-person show. No doubt it wasn’t kind or gentle
Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
on Reed’s bank account or budget, but the show matters and we, the industry, were ready! Mark Simon, event vice president for PGA Golf Exhibitions, got it right when he discussed the differences of having a virtual event in 2021 versus the importance of returning to an in-person show in 2022. “People missed being together, the networking component and seeing, touching, and feeling product,” said Simon. “There’s no better way to do that than meet in person.” One of the key conduits of the PGA Show is networking. I understand the intangible, yet priceless nature of networking, as one of the co-founders of a media and industry networking organization that stages an annual conference. While Zoom calls and technology have helped us navigate through these crazy Covid times, nothing replaces — nor can a proper dollar amount be placed on — this absolute foundational quality that drives the golf business: the human factor. The golf business has been and will continue to be built upon people, relationships and partnerships – from the fans, the players, the consumers, the buyers, the sellers, the inventors, the manufacturers and those of us lucky enough to carve careers out of a game we all love and are so deeply passionate about, that it holds us together like Gorilla Glue. As the host and producer of a golf radio show and podcast, nothing can replace meeting and kibitzing with fellow media colleagues who gather in the Media Center. We talk shop behind the scenes, over coffee and a croissant or two. We get to acknowledge and congratulate our peers for their exemplary work at the annual ING Media Awards. The PGA Show feeds the media for months with topics, trends and newsworthy stories. While attendance at the Show was down, the quality was up, and so were the opportunities. There was time and space to breathe at this year’s show; to sit and share personal stories. I learned about a prominent industry executive’s wife nearly dying twice on the operating table, due to a previously undiscovered heart condition, and his decision to retire from his high-profile to smell the roses, now that she is healthy again. Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
Perhaps that will include playing more golf, the game that drives many of us into this business and that oddly, often suffers from our own lack of time to play it. I attended press conferences and listened to experts present and address the issues of the day. I emceed the Industry Honors, an annual awards event that recognizes outstanding business achievements in a variety of product and service categories. As I walked the show floor, I watched hopeful inventors and brighteyed entrepreneurs pitch their products, share ideas with fellow booth mates, and soak up everything they need to know about navigating the golf
people meet at an in-person event. That is how the magic of the Show unfolds. To that end, the little guys got a lot more attention and exposure at the 2022 PGA Show due to the major manufacturers sitting this one out. With the additional floor space and flexibility, Reed moved the Inventors Spotlight and the New Product Zone (the two areas that promote new products) out of no man’s land and positioned both in prime locations near the main entrance of the show. Way to go! Inventors and entrepreneurs have been the bread and butter of the PGA Show since its inception in Dunedin, Florida in 1954. It began with a
business. I met a few intrepid exhibitors who damned the torpedoes and traveled from Canada, South Korea, Ireland and more. The socially distanced layout of the exhibitor space allowed for easier passage along the aisles and chance meet- ups with industry movers and shakers. I unexpectedly ran into a longtime colleague who is one of the leading experts in golf shaft manufacturing. A client of mine, who was launching a putter, needed some advice on tweaking his shaft design. Within an hour, we sat down for a meeting that included a top industry product designer. These kinds of connections happen organically when
handful of golf merchandisers who assembled in a parking lot at the PGA National Golf Club and held a trunk show during a series of PGA winter tournaments. As the demand for space increased over the years, the Show moved to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando in 1985, which has been its home ever since. Coming home. For many of us, the golf business is like one big extended family. Not many industries can make that claim. This year’s PGA Show felt like home in a way that was more comforting, meaningful and productive than ever before.
By Tony Leodora
It Took an Expanded Search to Find The Top Golf Products for 2022 To say that the 69th PGA Show at the massive Orange County Convention Center in Orlando was a bit different this year would be an understatement of epic proportions. But the best news is that the annual gathering of the golf industry took place … generated interest … and provided some energy that will carry throughout the year. Yes, the vendor count was down – about half of the normal 1,000 companies exhibiting their wares. And the number of attendees followed suit. But those who attended this year’s scaled-down edition of the PGA Show found golf industry people who were invigorated by the new boom in golf – in terms of rounds played, equipment sold, lessons scheduled and trips booked. That energy led to a good business climate, despite the less-crowded aisles. And a number of great new products were rolled out. Many took to the grand stage of the PGA Show to make their debut. Others were launched on Demo Day – or through massive social media and e-mail campaigns. It may have entailed a more dogged search to compile the list of all-stars ... but nobody ever said this job was going to be easy. At least there was no need for hand-to-hand combat to get through the aisles en route to discovering and analyzing the new products. Without further fanfare, here are the eye-catching new products of 2022.
Bridgestone The world of golf ball manufacturing has become as high-tech as, well, rocket science. At the forefront of the high-tech research and development push, to produce the best golf ball possible for all golfers, is Bridgestone Golf. And a lot of the technology comes from the roots of that large company … rubber. That technology has produced the new Tour B series of golf balls, a lineup that was the talk of the PGA Show in Orlando. “Our big focus at Bridgestone, we’re a rubber company,” explains Elliot Mellow, manager of golf ball marketing. “Changing the polymer, changing the rubber is a big deal to us. That’s what we’ve done with our new Tour B series, which features our new reactive IQ cover that reacts to the force of impact of each shot. “What that means is, off the driver, the cover actually firms up a bit and becomes faster and longer. The flip side of that is, with a 9-iron or wedge, the ball has some shock-absorbing properties and stays on the face longer. That allows the grooves to impart more spin.” Bridgestone calls it “the smarter tour ball.” It is available in RX and RXS for the under-105 mph swing speed players, and the X and the XS that is being played by the high-speed players like Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau. Plus Bridgestone has a unique fitting system on their website that can help players determine the best ball for their game. www.bridgestonegolf.com 36
High Heat – the line of drivers, fairway woods and hybrids developed by Knuth Golf – has made its name in the production of golf clubs for the amateur golfer. Their innovations in recent years have made them an award-winning company that serves the largest segment of the golf market. This year, they entered into a marriage with another well-known company to produce clubs that are even better-suited to the needs of the amateur golfer. The new line of High Heat drivers and fairway woods are now equipped with the Fujikura shaft – a shaft that High Heat cofounder Steve Trattner calls “the finest golf shaft in the business.” Dean Knuth developed the heads that made High Heat famous. The Fujikura engineers designed a shaft that is specifically made to work well with those heads. “Let’s face it, amateurs need a different center of gravity,” explains Trattner. “They need our three-trampoline technology, where players get the same distance no matter where they hit it across the face. And they need our 257 Turf Glider Sole, which eliminates fat shots and thin shots.” Now that the head has been matched with a shaft that works best for players with lower swing speeds than tour pros and elite amateurs, High Heat has once again captured the attention of educated golfers. www.highheatgolf.com Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
Vale Putter by Bloodline The Philadelphia-based manufacturing company, Greenkeepers, has a long history of successful product launches in the golf industry. Their injection-molded plastic products include the Four Yards More Tee, the Survivor Tee and the new training aid, the Bottle Tee. Now they have made a major step into the world of putters by partnering with Bloodline. The new Vale Putter by Bloodline uses the stand-alone alignment technology that drove Bloodline’s launch, but added space-age polymer technology to lessen overall weight and greatly increase feel. Another great improvement discovered by adding polymer to the body of the putter – the suggested retail cost dropped from the $500 category to $299. “The whole concept behind this new putter technology was to insulate any vibration during the putting stroke into your hands,” explained Frank Carroll, president of Greenkeepers. “Unlike any machined or milled metal putter, in this putter, no metal surfaces touch the golf ball. So you get no vibration and true roll.” Despite the fact that the Vale Putter is just hitting the market, it is already getting noticed on the pro golf tours. Ernie Els is using it on the Champions Tour and others are sure to follow. The Bloodline stand-alone patented technology allows the golfer to set the line of the putt, then walk behind the putter as it stands on its own, and check to make sure that alignment is correct. And this can be done in practice or during competition. www.bloodline.golf
TurfHound The scene is a familiar one. A golfer heads to the range to prepare for a round of golf and sees that the hitting area is limited to artificial golf mats. And the grumbling begins. No more. TurfHound is a company dedicated to producing a performance golf mat – one that replicates the experience of hitting balls off natural turf. Simply put, it is not a carpet or a piece of plastic made into a golf mat … it is the finest performance golf mat in the industry. Made in the USA, completely from American-sourced materials, TurfHound mats are now found in more than 900 high-end golf clubs across the country … and upwards of 60 more in Canada. “Our founder, Rick Reynolds, set out to design a product that would feel as realistic as grass,” explains Brian Golden, senior VP of sales and marketing. “We have a dual-density foam system that is injection molded and patented. We hear all the time that members walk into the golf shop and tell the pro that they like hitting off our mats as much as they like hitting off natural turf.” To make the mat experience even more realistic, TurfHound mats have an area that is similar to hitting off the fairway and another area that is like hitting out of the rough. www.turfhound.com
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CertiFresh Cigar CertiFresh Cigar has long been the leader in producing individually packed, logoed and humidified cigars for golf course sales. They successfully took any maintenance of cigar displays out of the hands of golf shop personnel, while guaranteeing golfers a fresh, quality cigar. Now the company has found a way to produce an attractive, large cigar display case, which still takes almost all of the maintenance away from golf shop personnel. The new Tubeaux by Rocky Patel is an attractive enclosed display case for cigars that includes a compartment for a four-month humida-pack, similar to the smaller packs enclosed with the individually packaged cigars. “We’re not going away from our custom-packaged premium cigars that stay fresh for an entire year,” explains Eric Nelson, president of CertiFresh Cigar. “This new product gives us the look of the old stand-up humidor in a smaller space. We put the golf shops on a timeline, where we send them a new humidapack every four months, to keep their humidor fresh.” Now CertiFresh offers the best of both worlds – individually packaged cigars that can be logoed or personalized, plus a more traditional stand-up humidor that still guarantees a fresh, premium cigar at the golf shop counter. www.certifreshcigar.com
Wheel Pro Push Cart The Zero Friction company has made its mark for years in the golf accessory business, now it steps out with an innovative new product. The Wheel Pro Push Cart is a one-of-a-kind golf bag that features a 3-in-1 design. It can be used as a stand bag, pop on wheels to make it a push cart, or remove the wheels to make it a bag for a motor cart. “We’ve come out with an innovative golf bag/push cart combination,” says Zero Friction president John Iacono. “So many people like to walk today. When we looked at our new line of golf bags that we were coming out with, we wanted to give the golfer the opportunity to use their golf bag as a push cart. “We patented a wheel design that is removable. The wheels can attach in two seconds to the bottom of the bag and there is an ergonomic handle that comes up. At the same time it is a stand bag. It gives the option of carrying the bag one day or pop the wheels on and the handle comes up to create your own push cart. Or, if you don’t want to do either, you can leave everything off and put it on the back of a motor cart.” www.zerofriction.com
Copper Tech After producing a quality golf glove, interwoven with copper fiber to aid in blood circulation and pain relief for a number of years, Copper Tech has added two new, trendy gloves. The new USA glove is striking red, white and blue model that comes out just in time for the 2022 Olympics in China. It also will be a popular model to wear during the 2023 Ryder Cup competition that will be held for the first time in Italy. The camouflage glove appeals to the outdoors set. It sports the popular camouflage design and actually is being worn by many people off the golf course – for hunting, shooting or other outdoors activities. “We made our name all these years by providing great, functional golf gloves that also promoted increased circulation through the use of copper infusion,” explained Lloyd Cohn, founder and president of Copper Tech Gloves. “Now we’re just trying to have some fun with the gloves. The feedback we get from people is that they enjoy wearing gloves for different occasions. People are having more fun playing the game of golf than ever … and our Copper Tech gloves are just another part of the fun.” www.coppertechglove.com 38
The new Towel Tag is the ultimate tee gift for an outing, or promotional item. It is a combination pull-though towel and bag tag – each available to be logoed and personalized with the name of a golfer or a company. In terms of promoting an event – a logoed golf ball only lasts a few holes; a logoed hat is seen on a semi-regular basis. A logoed shirt or outerwear is seen even less often. A logoed Towel Tag is seen every time the player goes out for a round of golf. Not only is it a good promotion, but it is functional. The quality is immediately visible, differentiating it from many other golf accessories. “Towel Tag is a functional bag tag that also provides a permanent place for your golf towel,” says Craig Holub, president of Towel Tag. “You will never lose a towel again. The fact that we can personalize both the tag and the towel with a company logo, the name of an event or the name of the golfer makes it a double promotion. That’s double visibility for more exposure. And golfers love using it.” www.toweltag.com
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Tour Edge The secret behind the meteoric rise of Tour Edge in the golf equipment industry has been simple. The Batavia, Illinois-based company leads the league in time and money spent on research and development. And that effort has led to continued innovation. The latest innovation can be found in the Tour Edge Exotics line of 722 drivers. This line takes the engineering innovation of last year’s 721 driver and divides it into two models – the C722 and the E722 – each driver designed specifically to accommodate the needs of a specific segment of the avid golf public. “Different strokes for different folks,” says Jon Claffey, vice president of marketing for Tour Edge. “These are top of the line, ultra-premium, tour quality drivers but made for different swings.” The C722 is made for high swing speeds, players with clubhead speed over 105 miles per hour. Players with a slower swing speed are using the E722. “We debuted this driver at the beginning of the year and immediately had four Champions Tour players using them,” explains Claffey. “Hard swingers like Alex Cejka and Scott McCarron are playing the C722 driver and players with more tempo, like Berhnard Langer and Mike Weir, are playing the E722.” The innovation in the drivers is an outgrowth of last year’s C721 and E721 series of irons. The success was so impressive, Tour Edge moved the idea to drivers and fairway woods this year. The Tour Edge question for 2022: “Are you an E or are you a C?” www.touredge.com
Nexbelt The “belt with no holes” – Nexbelt – continues to bring new innovation and style to a product that already is a market leader. While there are a number of ratchet belts on the market, following Nexbelt’s lead, no company has been able keep up with the development of new styles and materials. This year’s focus is on two new belts. The first is a Bison belt, made from 100 percent American bison. Not only does the belt have a rich look to it, there is also a rich, supple feel that works in either a dress or casual setting. The second is the Cayman belt, an impressive addition to Nexbelt’s line of dress belts. While these new belts are similar to the crocodile and alligator styles, they feature striking accent colors and come in navy, black and grey. “All of our belts feature the custom sizing, cut-to-fit system that made Nexbelt famous,” comments Barrett Martens, global sales manager. “The new designs just add to our huge line of styles and colors that can be worn both on and off the golf course.” And, despite the great style and quality, Nexbelt won’t break the bank. Prices begin as low as $56.99. www.nexbelt.com
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grip it & sip it
Honda Classic U.S. Polo Assn. Champagne Lounge
Featuring Taittinger U.S. Polo Assn., the official brand of the United States Polo Association (USPA), has announced it will participate in the 2022 Honda Classic as the naming rights sponsor for the Champagne Lounge. The global, multi-billiondollar, sport-inspired brand will be on-site, welcoming fans into the “U.S. Polo Assn. Champagne Lounge Featuring Taittinger” with apparel displays from the brand’s new White Label Collection, as well as its sister brand, Nantucket Whaler. The PGA TOUR event will be hosted by the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, from February 23-27. Considered as one of the top events in the early season of the PGA TOUR Schedule, the 49th Annual Honda Classic promises to be a great competition for golf fans to enjoy. Open to all ticket holders, the U.S. Polo Assn. Champagne Lounge Featuring Taittinger will provide a place to take a break and enjoy the golf action on the 10th tee. Sports fans can also stop by the Nicklaus Village Expo area to check out the new U.S. Polo Assn. White Label Collection and Nantucket Whaler apparel and accessories. All items can be ordered on-site and direct shipped. To learn more about ticket options, including access to the U.S. Polo Assn. Champagne Lounge Featuring Taittinger, Bear Trap Tickets and Champions Club Tickets, click here. The 40
event will air on the Golf Channel and NBC, reaching millions of golf fans across the country. “As a global, sport-inspired brand that contributes to the development and empowerment of polo players and other athletes around the world, U.S. Polo Assn. is proud to support this historic PGA tournament right here in beautiful Palm Beach County,” said J. Michael Prince, President and CEO of USPA Global Licensing, the worldwide licensor of the multi-billion-dollar U.S. Polo Assn. brand. “U.S. Polo Assn. regularly demonstrates its commitment to showcasing athletes across the world of sports. This partnership is yet another example of our brand’s
commitment to sports and to polo.” Net proceeds of event ticket sales benefit South Florida charities through Children’s Healthcare Charity (CHC). The mission of Children’s Healthcare Charity is to contribute funds to South Florida 501(c) (3) organizations. Through its primary beneficiary Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, CHC supports activities that advance and enhance the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of childhood diseases and disorders.
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What do you do for a living?
Create. I perform in an improv troupe, Out of the Box. As an actor, I work in the film and television industry. With the pandemic in 2020, other work stopped, but I already worked with a few businesses and public figures on their social media. “Virtual Brand Image” happened. An all in one branding, messaging and marketing agency that creates your social media blueprint. I specialize in video creation/content.
Fantasy Golf Foursome?
Larry the Cable Guy because he seems like he would be so fun and he has the Git-R-Done Charity Golf Tournament. Adam Sandler, I mean, he’s Adam Sandler. Bob Schade, my Stack & Tilt golf instructor. I play much better when he’s directing me!
Where were you born?
Born and raised in Hialeah, FL. Now live in Central FL.
What Golf apparel do you like to wear?
I love bright, bold colors. I’ve been in the dance world since I was 7 yrs old as a dancer, instructor, and choreographer. I’m looking for a designer to partner with to create golf attire with dance-wear comfort that’s flattering and comfortable for all ages and body types.
What do you like about golf?
Being outside, unplugging from work and I’ve met some really cool people on the course.
What is your handicap? 30 42
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Favorite Club? My cute little Cobra 5 hybrid
Something people don’t know about you.
I started playing golf in 2020 and got a hole-in-one within a couple months!
Folds of Honor and 4Ocean
Movies comedy, drama, action or romance? Comedy all the way! Relaxing evening at home or nightclub and cocktails? Relaxing evening at home.
What is your biggest weakness?
I’m not competitive, however, I am confident.
What is your biggest strength?
I am very observant of things and the people around me. I see potential, a lot inspires me.
Chocolate, I eat it daily!
Collaborate. I love working with others, it keeps my mind open to new ideas.
What is something you think is underrated?
Our youth. Little ones have such a simple, pure and clear perspective on life. I’ve always said, “keep a teenager around”, they keep me up with the latest trends, which change by the hour sometimes!
Facebook @AmyFoxActor Instagram @amyfox_actor Facebook @VirtualBranding Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
orth florida PGA north florida PGA north florida PGA north florida PGA north
2022 Section Awards The North Florida PGA recognizes its Members for their outstanding contributions to the game every year. The following Section Award winners have been recognized by their peers for their significant accomplishments on and off the course throughout the 2021 season. The North Florida PGA is honored to announce the following recipients as the 2022 Section Award winners.
PGA Golf Professional of the Year: Bill Filson, PGA of Royal St. Cloud Golf Links
PGA Golf Professional of the Year –Bill Filson
Teacher of the Year: Cheryl Anderson, PGA of Mike Bender Golf Academy
Bill Strausbaugh Award: Eric Dietz, PGA of Mountain Lake Club
Professional Development Award: Brian Riddle, PGA of TPC Sawgrass
Patriot Award: Jim Endicott, PGA and Doug Holloway, PGA of Royal St. Cloud Golf Links
Deacon Palmer Award: Paul Barone, PGA of Sara Bay Country Club
Youth Player Development Award: Jim Endicott, PGA of Royal St. Cloud Golf Links
Player Development Award: Steve Brewer, PGA of Dubsdread Golf Course
Merchandiser of the Year - Private: Derek Morrison, PGA of Sugarmill Country Club
Merchandiser of the Year - Public: Mike Tuohy, PGA of Esplanade Azario Lakewood Ranch
Merchandiser of the Year - Resort: Grace Hurley, PGA of Ponte Vedra Inn & Club
PGA Assistant of the Year: Matthew Chen, PGA of Bay Hill Club & Lodge
Additionally, the North Florida PGA recognizes our top players of the year:
Player of the Year: Greg Koch, PGA of Ritz Carlton Golf Club– Grande Lakes Orlando
Senior Player of the Year: David Hronek, PGA of GOLFTEC- Sarasota
Woman’s Player of the Year: Jennifer Borocz, PGA of the North Florida Section
Assistant Player of the Year: Greg Koch, PGA of Ritz Carlton Golf Club– Grande Lakes Orlando 44
Teacher of the Year – Cheryl Anderson Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
The South Florida PGA and Sailfish Brewing Company are excited to announce a new partnership with the official launch of its co-branded South Florida PGA/Sailfish Pale Ale. The goal in partnering is to enhance the lives of people throughout the south Florida community. This unique partnership is designed to bring the two entities' missions together with a tasty, easy-to-drink pale ale brewed with only local ingredients - a Sailfish Brewing staple - and the common interest to serve the community. "The South Florida PGA is thrilled to welcome Sailfish Brewing Company to its family of partners," said Geoff Lofstead, Executive Director of the SFPGA. "We are both equally excited to have this co-branded product on the shelves and in the hands of
Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
south Floridians but more looking forward to the impact this partnership will bring to our community." The South Florida PGA is committed to growing the game of golf in south Florida while serving its community, and the Sailfish Brewing Company who looks to enrich its community through its local beer with local flavors, will use this new beer and partnership to do just that. Hitting the shelves in Total Wine and throughout south Florida golf facilities this month (and other retail locations to be announced soon) the South Florida PGA/Sailfish Pale Ale and Sailfish Brewing Company will support SFPGA Foundation initiatives, including Habitat for Humanity, PGA HOPE and more. “Commitment to our community is the cornerstone of Sailfish Brewing and aligning with partners like SFPGA, who share our same values, is the key
to establishing our longevity through enhancing the community we live in,” said David BuShea President and CoFounder of Sailfish Brewing Company. Along with its co-branded cans, the South Florida PGA/Sailfish Pale Ale will also feature a co-branded tap handle and, as a beer designed to enjoy on the 19th hole, is set to be on tap in golf facilities later this spring. In addition, the South Florida PGA/ Sailfish Pale Ale will be a staple at all South Florida PGA events, including the countless Pro-Ams throughout the year that raise significant funds for the SFPGA Foundation. To learn more about Sailfish Brewing and the South Florida PGA/Sailfish Pale Ale, www.sailfishbrewingco. com. To learn more about the South Florida PGA and the South Florida PGA Foundation www.sfpgagolf.com
south florida PGA north south florida florida PGA PGA north southflorida floridaPGA PGAnorth southflorida floridaPGA PGAnorth southfl north
Launch of South Florida PGA/Sailfish Pale Ale
Golf Inc. names Ted Simons ‘Most Innovative Person in Golf’ Golf Inc. Magazine has named Ted Simons, President and CEO of Synergy Group Consulting, as one of its Nine Most Innovative People in Golf for 2022. The annual list recognizes individuals in the golf industry that think outside the box with the purpose of moving the industry forward. “It is a great honor to be selected by Golf Inc. for this recognition,” stated Ted Simons. “As a result of the pandemic, the game of golf is enjoying a rebirth of sorts. The opportunity for golf course and driving range owners to capitalize on this newfound interest is now. Be it shorter courses, high-tech driving ranges, or new technologies designed to make the game more enjoyable, investing in their golf product to retain these players should be a priority.” “To a certain extent, all nine innovators are in the ‘Solution Business’ as they look for ways to 46
make the game of golf sustainable and more enjoyable, all while growing revenues. Enhancing the experience by combining Performance with Entertainment is a big part of what Synergy Group Consulting provides to their clients. Selecting the best technologies, designing the right structure, outfitting the facility with the ideal equipment mix, developing the ideal programming and marketing strategies, and collaborating with
other experts allows Synergy to create custom solutions for any size and budget. By modifying the business model that many driving ranges currently operate under, there are serious opportunities to create a substantial profit center for the facility. The numbers can be very surprising.” “Developing innovative learning and training facilities is another valuable component to retaining both new and current players. The better one plays, the more fun the game is, and the more time and money will be spent at the facilities. Teaching revenues and equipment sales increase. Food and beverage numbers grow. Member attraction and retention improves. This is all part of being in the Solution Business – getting creative and delivering a finished product that exceeds expectations.” To read the full article, click the following link: https://bit.ly/3GoZ4xc. Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
By Fred Seely
freddy's fairway thoughts
was added in front of the green. Not all of the lake was water; he left an island with a tree. Now the club has hired architect Bruce Hebner to do a renovation and his plans call for the island (and, of course, its tree) to be taken out.
Blasphemy. That’s what it is, says the purists
to the architect who is renovating the Belleair West course in Clearwater, Fla. You’re taking away Donald Ross’s work. Foolishness. That’s what many members are saying to the architect who is renovating Timuquana Country Club’s course in Jacksonville. You’re taking away a mistake in the name of Donald Ross accuracy.
Let us look at each. Belleair Belleair West is built on Florida’s first course, a 6-holer cut out in 1897 for the pleasure of hotel guests and eventually expanded to 18 by Ross in 1925. It maintains much of Ross’s original design and architect Jason Straka has been brought in to make it as original as possible. The course has views of Clearwater Bay but there’s some land between the two. Straka looked at the land and saw an amazing possibility. If a permit could be granted, he could make a new sixth hole, a par 3, with a tee on the present course and the green jutting into the bay. Downhill. Think of Pebble Beach’s 7th, only with the water very much in play. Timuquana Timuquana’s 6th hole has a lake in front of the green, making it a terrific risk/reward. It wasn’t there when Ross designed the course in 1923; in fact, the hole itself has been radically changed. About 50 years ago, the club hired Philadelphia architect Dave Gordon to put more water on the course for irrigation. While he was at it, they asked that he boost it to a par 72. The 6th hole was part of both. The tees were pushed back and a lake 48
Belleair This club has an active membership that is very proud of having a Ross design. Belleair has a second course — the East — which also was a Ross design but was renovated in 2002 and completely changed. The members were horrified. That won’t happen again, it was said. The reaction has been about even. There are several very vocal anti-change members, notably Conner Lewis, a well-respected member of the Golf Historians Society. Straka has the support of the club hierarchy and he and superintendent Andy Neiswender have taken the high road, smiling at everyone who has something to say. Timuquana Word leaked out about three months ago that the tree and island were going, and possibly the lake, too. The club has had an ongoing renovation of the entire property for about 10 years and there is a contingent which thinks too much already has been done, especially tree removal. The opposition’s case: the island has been there for 50 years and it’s quite striking. Ross courses, bless their old souls, tend to be somewhat dull and here was a pretty island to break up the monotony. Who cares if Donald Ross had nothing to do with it! Let him roll over in his Massachusetts grave! Hebner hasn’t been around and superintendent Alan Brown was taking the heat, so the chairman of the Green Committee stepped up and started asking for opinions.
The result Belleair Nothing yet. Construction doesn’t begin until Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
March. The permits have been let for the new hole; Straka and Neiswender are prepared to move ahead. Can there be a compromise? Sure, says Brad Becken, president of the Donald Ross Society (and a man who has played every one — EVERY ONE — of the 350-plus Ross designed courses still open in North America.) “Have hole 6A and hole 6B,’ said he. “Let the player decide. After all, lots of people don’t care about the architect, even if he were the greatest ever.” Timuquana Fiat accompli. The island and its fauna and flora are gone. It was an early move in the eight-month renovation that started January 3. “There was a big majority in favor,” said superintendent Brown.
Let’s go back to Becken, who may not be an architect but who we can consider an expert on Donald Ross. (He has written the book on Ross; it’s coming out this spring.)
Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
“Like any other profession, there are architects who do a good job and there are architects who miss the mark,” he said. We are playing another Ross course on Florida’s West Coast where the mark was missed. Twentysome years ago, a Ross “expert” was hired to restore the course and shaped each green into a Pinehurst No. 2-like dome. That may play well at Pinehurst but not for this course’s aging membership, and another architect had to clean up the mess. “Some courses can’t be brought back to the original design,” Becken added. “Too much damage. Most courses can. Belleair West and Timuquana, for sure. Both have had work done over the years for whatever reason, and both can be restored. “It is a great honor to have a Donald Ross course. Look at the scorecards of Ross courses; invariably, they include Ross’s name. You don’t see that often with other architects.”
Golf Course Architects John Sanford and David Ferris Form New Partnership
David Ferris and John Sanford
Leading golf course architect John Sanford, a past president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA), has formed a new partnership with longtime design associate David Ferris. The new Jupiter, Floridabased firm is now called Sanford Ferris Golf Course Design. Ferris, also a member of the ASGCA since 2020, has been a fixture for Sanford Golf Design since 1997, having earned a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture at Cornell University, which also included studying under renowned golf course architect Tom Doak. After graduating Cornell, Ferris was the recipient of the Donald Ross Society Internship Award and was on site for the construction of Michael Hurdzan’s Widow’s 50
Walk Golf Course, America’s first Environmental Demonstration Course. “Designing golf courses has been a ‘labor of love’ and being alongside and learning from John for nearly 25 years has been a truly amazing experience,” said Ferris. “To now become partners with my mentor and begin this next chapter of our careers taking our architecture knowledge and philosophies to design and reimagine golf facilities in the 21st century is very exciting.” From 2006 – 2019, Ferris also served on the American Society of Landscape Architects - Florida Chapter Executive Committee. Under his leadership, the organization re-established ties with state university programs and developed new relationships with the Florida Greenways and Trails organizations.
Ferris, who has also authored the book on John Sanford, ‘No Risk, No Reward’-Adventures of a Golf Course Architect, brings a diverse background and expertise in all phases of golf course architecture – new course design, renovations, restorations, site analysis, master planning, and routings. “For the past 25 years David has been part of the fabric of Sanford Golf Design and a true professional in our business,” said John Sanford. “His dedication and passion for course design has made it possible for Sanford Golf Design to remain relevant through the ups and downs of our competitive industry. I could not be happier to partner with David, and very much look forward to the next 25 years.” Both Sanford and Ferris have already collaborated on several high-profile golf course projects like Granite Links Golf Club, Pointe West, Juliette Falls, Madinat Makadi, Taba Heights, Hacienda Bay, and Caguas Real. Renovation projects have included Hunters Run CC, Vero Beach CC, Spring Run GC, Wilderness CC, Duxbury Yacht Club, and Eastpointe CC. They have also collaborated with the Nicklaus organization on Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, Banyan Cay, Naples Beach Hotel, and Palm Hills. Most recently, the duo created an innovative reversible nine-hole course at Sailfish Sands, the municipal golf facility operated by Martin County, Florida. The reversible nines are laid out over 60 acres and can be played as 18 different holes. The Sands 9 Black course plays clockwise while the Sands 9 Gold course plays counterclockwise, rotating weekly. They have also completed the first phase of a Donald Ross green restoration project for North Fork Country Club in Cutchogue, New York. Other upcoming renovation projects for the firm include Water Oak Country Club in Lady Lake, Florida and the Cavalry Club in Manlius, New York, The Great Outdoors, Titusville, Florida, and Indian Hills CC, Huntington, New York. Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
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www.sunnilandcorp.com • 800-432-1130
Steve Keller Golf Course Superintendent, 2006-Present Juliette Falls in Dunnellon, FL
SUPERSTAR Where are you from? Charlevoix “The Beautiful” Michigan
How did you get into the golf business? Growing up in Charlevoix, we lived right next door to a really great course called Belvedere Golf Club. In 1976, my brother, Scott, started working there and told me that he had made .75¢ in one day picking up range balls. I started working there soon after as a caddy and never looked back! When it came time to go to college, my father helped me enter Michigan State University’s Turf Program. Dr. Kenyon Payne, who I caddied for as a kid, was the program director at the time.
What Makes Juliette Falls “standout/outstanding”? Each hole has some memorable aspect. Whether it’s a water feature, a repurposed phosphate mining pit, or an enormous oak that has been worked into the design, the layout, designed by John Sanford, doesn’t include one single forgettable hole. Our site is also so sandy
Prudent 44, and Kapre Exalt to men-
find a job at Isleworth Country Club in
tion just a few we have used in our
What Advice could I share with someone wanting work in our field?
and well drained that Juliette Falls stays
Who is your mentor and why?
in playing condition year-round, even
Hal Hicks has been a mentor to me
when we get our typical rainy Florida
during my time in the golf business.
summers. In addition to the site, I am
He was at Pine Tree in Boynton Beach,
fortunate to work for an owner who
FL which was listed as an intern site. I
truly loves the property and has allowed
ended up working with Hal there, and
me the resources I need to keep the
then worked with him at Seminole Golf
course in peak playing condition.
Club from 89-95, which was ranked
What Performance Nutrient products have helped you succeed?
#8 in the world at the time, before
I would like to mention Glenn Thomp-
Vero Beach, FL. In 2000, Hal helped me
son from PN who has worked with me over the years during my time at Juliette Falls. He has shared a lot of good products like Nutrol, Agra Rouse, 52
becoming a Superintendent myself at The Moorings Golf & Country Club in again secure a job, this time in Bluffton, SC developing Berkeley Hall Golf Club. Three years later, he helped me
You have to have the passion to get up early and embrace whatever weather you may encounter. Some days are going to be hot and miserable and some days are going to be cold and wet, but grass needs constant attention and weeds never take a day off. You should also try to play at least some golf and enjoy the fruit of your labor. You should also try to learn as much as possible to see how exceptional playing conditions can be achieved. Webinars, on-line classes, and even social media all have a wealth of information that can be utilized. Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
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Photos by Terrie Purdum
SunnilandSUPERSpotlight: Mira Wilson
golf. I figured golf course maintenance, a job I began to relish while beginning my career path, offered an alternative career.
Where were you born? I was born in Bartow, Florida which is located 60 miles from Orlando. Florida. I am a native of Florida and have always resided in Polk County. What was your major in school? I graduated from Haines City High School and pursued a career in golf course maintenance. Inspired by an uncle as a youth, I was given the opportunity to work with him each Saturday while completing scheduled tasks in landscaping and lawn maintenance. This cultivated my affinity for the outdoors. Growing up with an uncle that encouraged a strong work ethic, has significantly empowered courage and dedication which I have carried throughout my career. Did you play sports? I played football while in high school. My positions were Kickoff Return and Defensive Back. I also enjoyed playing baseball and my position was 3rd baseman. What got you interested in Turf grass? My interest came from the enjoyment of learning about golf while my thirst for golf course maintenance grew. My position as a groundskeeper requires both technical skills and an appreciation for beauty. I am able to point out certain aspects of specific grasses, plants or flowers that have been used to create a successful design. How did golf come into play? I began working at a local golf course at 22 years-of-age which unlocked my love for 54
How did you get your first job on the golf course? My first job at a golf course was a Turf Maintenance Specialist. The superintendent allowed me the opportunity to gain proficiency as a Turf Maintenance Specialist. The golf course I was employed at was smaller and surrounded by woods and pastureland which allowed me to grow professionally. What makes the course at Lake Ashton outstanding? Lake Ashton Golf Club offers terrific views and challenging play for golfers at every skill level. I apply hard work and dedication to the maintenance of the golf course which presents well-groomed fairways and greens. What do you enjoy most about your job here? The members give me joy and happiness. Moreover, there is an ongoing sense of pride in the work I have completed and the service provided to the members. I am visible on the golf course when the members are around, someone who the members feel comfortable around and they can express their concern so it can be handled in a timely manner. I also work alongside equally determined professionals from different diverse backgrounds. I have learned to enjoy what i do and live in the moment. When did you start working here? My career at Lake Ashton Golf Club began on January 7, 2001. How has the experience here helped to develop your career? I am able to handle multiple projects which Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
has broadened my skills. I have also trained and provided assistance to new workers while investing in my professional growth. Who are your mentors and how do you consider them to be your mentors? While working at Sun Air Country Club, Ernest Robinson provided mentorship and peer support during my employment. He also guided me in the understanding of turf maintenance. Another mentor, David Wilson, has taught me how to «build» a golf course. The expertise of the mentors allowed me to grow and become a professional in turf maintenance. Leaning on someone else›s experience was a great way to gain knowledge and introduce me to other opportunities. If you were to give advice to someone starting in the field what would that advice be? I would gladly provide advice to a new professional in turf maintenance. Golf course maintenance is more complicated than mowing a lawn and turning on the sprinklers at night. Golf course maintenance refers to performing maintenance activities to ensure course resources are in good working condition. You will learn a lot about mowing greens, raking bunkers, trimming grass, watering roughs, providing vertical cuts, and the operation of different types of equipment. The experience gained will be invaluable.
How did you plan to pay it forward with others that work in golf course maintenance? I plan to pay it forward with others by encouraging them to have a sense of pride in their expertise and allowing their depth of knowledge and experience to shine!
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Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
By Anthony L. Williams, MG, CGCS, CGM
A Turf Pirate’s Journal Roots or Wings?
Greetings Turf Pirates and Happy New Year to you and yours. This time of year we often look back at where we have been and speculate about our future plans. One of the hats that I wear these days is being a Master Life Coach. This has helped me understand a little better how to navigate the storms of life, career and aspiration. Over the last four decades I have seen a lot when it comes to quality of life issues and how Turf Pirates must walk a tight line to make the most of their opportunities so this month it is with a spirit of hope for a brighter future that we look at growing roots or wings. Growing roots pertains to making decisions and taking actions intent on staying put and establishing yourself in an area or property. We often have
a desire to stay close to home. Our
living and working within a few miles
family farm is in Indian Creek, Georgia
of where my 4X grandfather (Cicero
and I grew up in a Norman Rockwell
Williams) settled. I took those values
painting. Six generations essentially
with me into the golf industry and stayed 20 years at my first property doing everything I could to make the place successful and tie my success to the place. This is a good strategy in many ways but sometimes situations beyond your control may set you adrift and should this happen you will need to grow wings. Many people struggle with change and the loss of familiar things, people and places can be overwhelming but it can also be liberating. Never let a setback erase the joy of days already written but learn the lessons and press on. Growing wings is a more about
Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
being a bit of a Turf Gypsy and while
world’s best companies/brands such as
wind in the Turf Pirates sail. Take time
excellence every day is still important
Nestle, Stouffer, Renaissance, Marriott
this off season to reflect on your current
you should focus significant time and
and Four Seasons. I am often asked
situation and get busy growing roots
resources on developing skills and
which life I prefer the roots or the
or wings and own your destiny. The
credentials that build your personal
wings. I believe there is merit in both
key is make good choices, deliver the
brand. You should build a reputation of
and by faith and planning I avoided
work that’s promised and have fun
excellence in any situation or location.
the rocks and found safe harbor in
every day, no regrets always looking
This approach allows you to more
my life and career. Knowing when to
to better yourself and your situation.
effectively work in multiple properties
grow roots or wings is more important
Rally the support of others and build a
in diverse regions by crafting bigger
than choosing one over the other.
network of wise voices that can build
and more in demand skills. After my
Turf Pirates are you growing Roots
your confidence in your life’s course.
first stint as a superintendent lasted
or Wings? In your current situation
Gather your courage Turf Pirates, for
20 years I was superintendent at
(pandemic etc.) are you stable,
we live in an ever changing world
three clubs in 6 weeks making critical
challenged and well compensated? Do
that is often cruel and unreasonable
decisions to elevate my career each
you have a desire to grow and manage
but can also be amazing so you will
time and since then I have traveled and
ever increasing assets and perhaps
need tools and cunning to reach
worked in many markets being in my
multi-course properties? How does
your chosen harbor. May you always
current role for 5 years and just over
your family and other responsibilities
know where you are and where your
1,000 miles from my first assignment.
fit into the picture? Now is the time
headed, be grateful Turf Pirates for
I have also worked for some of the
to make things happen. Action is the
a life full of roots and wings.
www.TurfLife.club Come see us at the PGA Show booth #3516
Saddlebrook Course Hole #18 Aerial Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
View from Hole #10
Golf at Sea Pines Resort:
Maintaining environmental certification through hurricanes, restoration, and renovation Sea Pines Resort built the first golf course on Hilton Head Island in 1962. Atlantic Dunes (formally the Ocean Course) was soon joined by Pete Dye/ Jack Nicklaus designed Heron Point (formally Sea Marsh) and Harbour Town Golf Links, now the annual host of the RBC Heritage PGA TOUR event presented by Boeing. All three courses continue to uphold the environmental standards of Audubon International regardless of the numerous trials and tribulations they’ve endured since Hurricane Matthew, a category five hurricane, made landfall in South Carolina on October 8, 2016. Achieving and maintaining Audubon International’s Cooperative Sanctu-
ary Certification at three courses is no small feat. The certification focuses on six environmental areas: environmental planning, water conservation, water quality, wildlife and habitat management, chemical use and safety,
and outreach and education – and this year marks the 23rd anniversary of Atlantic Dunes’ certification. Since certification the courses have seen their fair share of renovations and restorations and in 2016 Atlantic Dunes, a course that honors its namesake with Atlantic Ocean views, saw its largest threat yet…Hurricane Matthew. Hurricane Matthew struck Sea Pines Resort in the midst of Love Golf Design’s renovation of Atlantic Dunes. The storm hit with such intensity it washed out a barrier dune on hole 15 and the storm surge led to massive amounts of water erosion and tree damage. The dune was an integral part of the environment at the course - providing
Barrier dune after reconstruction 58
Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
wildlife habitat and protecting inland properties from damaging wind, erosion, and water inundation, all of which are familiar fates during a hurricane. Post Hurricane Matthew, the Sea Pines Resort team quickly went to work recovering from the damage, including rebuilding and restoring the dune behind hole 15. The team successfully restored the barrier between the course and the Atlantic coastline by strengthening the dune formation, adding height and fencing, and perhaps most importantly, replanting native vegetation. To uphold their commitment to environmental sustainability, native species such as sea oaks and dune daisies were selected for planting. These choices not only provide wildlife habitat, but also ensure the dune maintains its structural integrity through their strong root systems. According to Sea Pines website, Atlantic Dunes is home to tens of thousands indigenous plants. Since 2016, the dune restoration on hole 15 hasn’t been the only element thriving. Sea Pines Resort also has a number of other eco-friendly initiatives that support their certification such as utilizing reclaimed water for golf course irrigation, maintaining a 605-acre forest preserve and providing habitat to more than 170 different species of wildlife – all of which is done while maintaining world class golf courses! In addition to maintaining Audubon International’s Cooperative Sanctuary Certification, Sea Pines Resort has won a number of other prestigious accolades. In fact, just this year all three golf courses made Golfweek’s Best 2022 list of top resort golf courses and in 2018 Atlantic Dunes won the National Golf Course Owners Association’s Course of the Year. Sea Pines Resort continues to be an outstanding and sustainable place to visit, play golf and enjoy nature. To learn more about how your local golf course can gain recognition for your environmental efforts and learn how to expand your initiatives through Audubon International’s numerous environmental certifications, visit www.auduboninternational.org. 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 certifications are designed to increase environmental awareness, encourage sustainable environmental efforts, and educate both their members and their communities. Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
Barrier dune after reconstruction
Natural Areas 59
By Cecilia Brown, Sod Solutions Media and Content Manager
From Peru to NCSU: The Journey of Dr. Susana Milla-Lewis Dr. Milla-Lewis and her daughter Sienna planting at Laurel Springs
Dr. Susana Milla-Lewis
, a professor and university faculty scholar of turfgrass breeding at North Carolina State University (NCSU) has a very impressive life story. Born and raised in Lima, the capital of Peru, she now runs one of the best up-and-coming turfgrass programs in the nation. Her attention to nature and green space started at a young age and has only grown. Milla-Lewis remembers as a kid, Lima was a big city where it didn’t rain very often. “So, it’s kind of gray and the only places where you have great green spaces are in public parks. It’s not like North Carolina where everything is green,” she said. Moving to the United States was in the cards for Milla-Lewis for some time. “Both of my brothers came to the U.S. pursuing higher education so I kind of had that model to follow.” With a goal to move to the U.S. for graduate school, she finished her undergraduate degree in four years, rather than the normal five years it takes in Peru. After graduation, she did a research internship at the International Potato Center. Subsequently, she applied to get into the master’s program at NC State and was accepted. It was officially her time to leave Peru. In 1996, she packed her entire life into two suitcases to move to the U.S.
New to the Wolfpack Upon arriving at NCSU, she started to pursue her master’s degree in Tobacco Breeding and graduated in 1998. In 2003, she earned her Ph.D. in Peanut Breeding from NCSU. Milla-Lewis worked in this field for about five years. When NC State opened a position in turfgrass breeding in 2008, they were looking for someone who could build a program from the ground up. At the time she applied, her husband, Dr. Ramsey Lewis, was 60
an assistant professor at NC State and their daughter was also only a year and a half old. She and her husband discussed how they would manage family life while both working at the university and decided to go for it. After spending two months doing her homework to learn as much about the turfgrass industry as she could through visiting sod farms and talking to industry breeders, she got the job. Milla-Lewis started in the program as the Assistant Professor in Turfgrass Breeding and Genetics. Now, she and Ramsey have two daughters, Sienna who is 14 and Adrianna who is 10.
Turfgrass Career Milla-Lewis said she loves working with multiple turfgrass species as there is never a dull
moment, they are always working on something new. Since they work with warm and cool-season grasses, her program stays busy year-round. One day they’re seeding a new trial and the next they’re putting grass to sleep and there is always something going on at the greenhouse or in growth chambers. Milla-Lewis describes her research as trying to develop varieties of grasses that are better adapted to specific conditions in North Carolina. “We look at hundreds of new grasses, throw as many environmental stresses as possible at them, and then select those that survive better. Ultimately, the goal is to develop grasses that perform better with lower inputs so that they are easier and cheaper to grow for both producers and consumers.” Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
Her position at NC State is 85% research and 15% teaching. She teaches the undergraduate Plant Genetics course every spring, which is designed primarily for agronomy and horticultural science students. She leads the breeding program while teaching this course, and for the remainder of the year she is only focused on research.
Overcoming Cancer Nearly eight years ago, in her third year at the turfgrass program, Milla-Lewis was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now, in remission and taking on her life to the utmost fullest, she shared what that experience was like. “Everything is good now but a cancer diagnosis is not something you leave behind, you live with that for the rest of your life because you’re always thinking it could come back,” she said. Milla-Lewis explained cancer taught her that she will never know what is going to happen next, but she can reflect on the fact she’s fortunate to have had the last seven and a half years. “When I was diagnosed, my youngest daughter was a year and a half old and it was really hard to think that she might not get to know her mom. And that’s one of the things I always think about now. I have had the last seven and a half years with her and she knows me. No matter what, she knows me and that’s good. I’m very thankful for that.” She recalled when she was first diagnosed and realized how bad the cancer was, the nurse started explaining all the appointments she’d need to schedule, from scans to getting a port put in, etc. MillaLewis reached in her purse for her cell phone and said, “Let me check my calendar.” But the nurse took her phone away and told her nothing else mattered anymore. “I had an epiphany. That moment has given me more perspective in life than you would ever imagine. I used to be a panicky person running from one thing to another and I learned at that moment that nothing is that important. Anytime I panic about missing something nowadays, I say, ‘you know what? It’s okay. The world will continue turning if you cannot go or if you must reschedule or if you miss something. It’s okay.’” Golf Central • Volume 22, Issue 10
Environmental Stewardship and New Cultivars Over the past few years, one of the things Milla-Lewis has witnessed change is the environmental stewardship associated with turfgrasses. In the research realm, she’s working more on droughttolerant varieties that require less water to stay alive. “Water is only going to become scarcer and is going to be a very sought-after commodity. So, we as an industry need to start focusing more on grasses that use less water.” “Temperatures are going up; we’re having more droughts in different areas and we’re having more unstable winters with temperatures going up and down which kills grasses. Also, the customer is changing. The new generations are looking at property and lawns in new ways. Cities are growing and developing differently.” After years of research and hard
work, Milla-Lewis announced the name of NSCU’s new low-input, low-maintenance zoysiagrass release on Nov. 10 at the 2021 North Carolina Sod Producers Association Fall Field Day. She explained she’s known Lobo™ Zoysiagrass was a very special grass long before the official name release. If she had to pick one word to describe Lobo Zoysiagrass, she would call it ‘adaptive’ because she said you can mold it into what you want it to be. Based on trials, if a homeowner doesn’t want to irrigate, mow it often or fertilize it, Lobo will retain color and aggressively cover the ground. Also, if a homeowner wants a beautiful lawn and puts maintenance into it, it will become dense and lush. Participating sod farms are steadily increasing the production of this new variety. “I think it’s going to cover different niches in the industry and that is really interesting,” Milla-Lewis shared. 61
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