Golf Central Mag- Vol 23 Issue 10

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wHat iT Takes?

Tee up along Florida’s Sports Coast to discover the best golf excursions. With a wide variety of courses, every round of golf here is both challenging and enjoyable.

naturally fLorida

After a round of golf, paddle through the peaceful Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park or unwind on the beach at Anclote Key Preserve State Park to experience the serenity of Mother Nature.

You Have

Fox Hollow Golf Club

Rolling fairways and five sets of tees offer new challenges every time you drive the ball.

Lexington Oaks Golf Club

With a multitude of lakes and wetlands adding challenge and character to the course, it’s hard to forget a round here.

Plantation Palms Golf Club

Challenging greens, rolling terrain and tight landings make this course a true golfer’s dream play.

Fox Hollow Golf Club

Saddlebrook Resort & Golf Club

Boasting two picturesque Arnold Palmerdesigned courses, it’s no surprise Saddlebrook is a well-known destination for world-class golf.

Beacon Woods Golf Club

Each hole is designed to bring out the best in both novice and pro golfers, with sporting fairways and well-guarded greens.

Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club

The rolling hills and elevation changes on Lake Jovita’s two courses will test your skills.

Seven Springs Golf & Country Club

With one course perfect for beginners and another that will challenge the pros, the whole family will have a great time playing here.

The Groves Golf & Country Club

Designed with nature’s best interests in mind, The Groves is known as The Longest Short Course in Florida.

Saddlebrook Resort & Golf Club Lexington Oaks Golf Club
MARCH 14-19 INNISBROOK RESORT • Access to watch the world’s best golfers • Stroll the picturesque Copperhead Course, a PGA TOUR® favorite • Take a selfie at the legendary Snake Pit statue • VIP hospitality, and food and beverage experiences • Kids’ zone and activities for all ages The Most Colorful PGA TOUR® Tournament in the World Tickets on sale now. Your golf and entertainment hole-in-one. 2021 & 2022 Defending Champion Sam Burns For more information download our app!

Darlin', Don't Quit Your Daydream!

Another year down, and we’re all talking reflection and goals. Here on our turf, Golf Central Magazine is talking daydreams! We’re a community built on, fortified with, and fueled by daydreams we’ve achieved as a team; and we’ll always be the first to share our secrets. I love this crazy, cool, connected community we play/work in. Sometimes we come up short; some of us even slice, and this year we’ve needed each other’s coaching, guidance, and support. Inflation, rising interest rates, the world market, and political instability will all impact the game in 2023. It’s easy for the yearly disasters to put us in the rough, but we will never miss the opportunity to take a shot, even when people want to throw shade. The Golf Central Magazine team thrives when we all thrive, especially with our associates. I’m proud to be the Founding Farmer of our lifestyle brand Turf Life, along with GCSAA, USGA, LPGA, Regional PGA Sections, Audubon International, ING, Georgia Golf Trail, Florida Turfgrass Association.

You’ve seen what we can do, right? Even before the ball drops, everyone quickly agrees that year in and year out, the bad will come with the good, but the real value in life is in the charities and community this is what truly connects our success.

As the song goes, “Don’t quit your daydream, it’s your life that you’re making! It ain’t big enough if it doesn’t scare the hell out of you! If it makes you nervous, it’s probably worth it!”

We can’t let fear and insecurity just screw with our swing! Sometimes where we want to be isn’t at the open course as we thought. We stumble, lose, and learn; however, the more nervous you are when you start makes your success that much sweeter, that much more worth it.

Enthusiastic engagement in Golf Central Magazine has never been stronger and surprising to many, there is attraction to both the digital and print versions. People have said, “print is dead” just like they say, “golf is dead” but nothing could be further from the truth because people who truly care, our community, would never let the doors that golf opens, close. You can’t stop dreams from coming true.

We want to mark this year with bigger dreams, memorable work, even more memorable play, and to be connected like never before. Welcome your daydreams to the New Year, grow through what you go through and watch your daydreams become reality.

Publisher: Terrie L. Purdum (

Edi tor in Chief: Shannon Coates (

Graphic Design: Melahn Cable

Golf The Wise Way: Greg and Beverly Wise, Photojournalists

Photojournalist: Greg Corbo

Photographers: Lynn Pelham, Brion Price, Peter Hakansson

Mike Coonan, Becky Galloway, Madison Coates, Mac Carraway

Senior Correspondent: Rick Harris, Sr.

Contributing Writers: Jay Golden, PGA; Bob Bolton, Greg Corbo, Elisa Gaudet, Holly Geoghegan, Mike Jamison, Mike May, Anthony Williams

Editor Emeritus: Joel Jackson, CGCS Retired

Regional Partner: Doug Hollandsworth, Founder-Georgia Golf Trail

Turf Pirate: Anthony Williams

Social Media Manager: Nafanua Marlowe

Video Visionary: Amy Fox

Media Partners: DSP Media; John Gerber, JP Peterson, Nick Geddes, Holly Geoghegan, Golf Insiders, GMS; Tony Leodora, Traveling Golfer

Golf Central Magazine is published monthly by: Sand Hill Publishing & Public Relations

4313 Berwick Dr, Lake Wales, FL 33859

NEW PHONE: 863.875.6863


©2023 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.

6 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10
from the publisher 2009 North Florida PGA Amateur of the Year Volume 23, Issue 10
Why save it for sleep when you could be living your daydream?

World-Famous Beaches

Fairways For Miles

Known for action-packed racing and wide-open beaches, Daytona Beach also offers savvy golfers challenging courses at exceptional value. Come and play where the pros play, at LPGA International and other top-rated courses. Savor local seafood along scenic waterways. Explore historical and cultural sites. And pair your golf outing with a range of coastal accommodations to create a perfect package.

Plan your golf getaway at DaytonaBeach.Golf

LPGA International
8 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10 Cart Girl 32 Maddie Hervey FEATURE 10 GlenLakes Country Club Florida Golf Central 38 Indian Lake Estates Golf Bachelor 18 Michael Brown Golf Bachelorette 24 Erikah Neger Golf History 14 Wekiva Golf Club Improving Performance 28 Ace Indoor Golf Leader on the Links 36 Dr. Rich Living on the Links 26 Cypress Course at Bonita Bay What's New 12 Stiletto Golf 20 DSP Media Turf Life 50 The Preserve Golf Club 52 Andy Engelbrecht 54 Grassmasters Sod Farms 58 Sanford Ferris Golf Course Design 60 Turf Pirate Departments 22 Georgia Golf Trail 34 Grip It & Sip It 40 Competitive Spirits 44 South Florida PGA 46 Kentucky PGA 48 North Florida PGA Feature Article Pg 10 Volume 23, Issue 10 34 30 26

Since GlenLakes opened its gate in 1990, the Country Club has continued to quietly grow and evolve into one of West central Florida’s finest gated secure communities. GlenLakes truly defines the term – “Diamond in the Rough.”

Situated one hour north of Tampa, GlenLakes in Weeki Wachee is outside the hustle and bustle of the big city life yet remains within the center of everything. Residents are three miles from Highway 50 for East/ West travel and nine miles from the

Sun Coast Expressway for North/ South ventures. This prime location allows you easy access to shops, restaurants, medical facilities, and entertainment venues should you wish to venture out of GlenLakes. Another favorite is the community of Spring Hill just a short three-mile drive away. There, residents will find commercial areas that fulfill all the needs for daily conveniences. In addition, the community’s proximity to the Gulf of Mexico provides plenty of opportunities for swimming, fishing,

and leisurely strolls along the beach.

Situated on 1,400 acres of native terrain encompassing clear lakes, towering pines, and magnificent oaks. This 24-hour manned; gated neighborhood retains the integrity of its immaculate Nature Coast setting with an 85,000-acre State-owned Nature Preserve surrounding it. Welllit quiet streets, broad landscaped boulevards lined with palms blend into the pristine landscape that lead to welcoming individual villages of homes within the community.

GlenLakes Country Club Amenities

The corner stone of the GlenLakes Country Club is a beautifully maintained 18-hole championship golf course, designed by Master Golf Course Architect, Ron Garl, voted number 19 in the State. Winding throughout the community, the wide fairways are framed by mature oaks and pines. You’ll will find that the front-nine and back-nine are distinctively different with the back-nine picking up more of the unique terrain changes of the Nature Coast. The Aqua driving range adjacent to the clubhouse features a multi-tiered teeing area.

Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10
By Greg and Beverly Wise feature 10

While golf is a major pastime of the residents, a 35,000 square-foot clubhouse functions as the activity hub of GlenLakes Country Club and provides even more opportunities for recreation and fitness. In addition to a fitness center with aerobics and dance studio, other indoor amenities include a restaurant, grill room, 19th hole bar, banquet facilities as well as cards, billiards, and crafts rooms. The grounds around the clubhouse also contain a junior Olympic heated pool and Har-Tru clay tennis courts.

GlenLakes Country Club Lifestyle

In addition to the GlenLakes clubhouse, amenities are scattered throughout the neighborhood.

Additional Tennis Courts, Pickleball Courts, Bocce, and even a Playground for the kids to release some energy.

There are nearly 20 different clubs and organizations within GlenLakes. Of course, with a quality golf course on site, comes the Men’s and Women’s Golf Associations. The Veterans have a very active club, providing valuable services for those in need that have served. The connection to nature has the Kayak Club very active while taking on adventure on the Weeki Wachee River and other waterways on the Nature Coast. There is a Model (R/C) Yachting Club that meets at the pond across from the clubhouse, Italian Renaissance Club, cards, and many more activities and organized groups.

Living in GlenLakes Country Club

Development of GlenLakes Country Club started in 1990 and contains approximately 1,100 homes at this time. Build out will be approximately 10 years from now with a total of 1,700 homes.

Buyers searching for new construction options are currently able to select from single-family estate homes or maintenance-free residences within GlenLakes. Estate Homes are larger

maintenance-free homes, which are constructed on homesites ranging in sizes from 1/3 to 1/2 acre. They offer 2,000 to 3,000 square feet with two or three bedrooms, two to four bathrooms, and attached two or three car garages with separate golf cart garages. New residences depending on the stage of construction include such features as brick paver driveways, tray ceilings, and granite kitchen counter tops, vinyl flooring, 42” cabinets and 8’ interior doors.

The maintenance-free homes on the resale market range from 13002200 square feet of living space. They have two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an attached two-car garage. These detached homes come with lawn and exteriorhome maintenance included.

Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10

Jim Rourke – Tenacity Pays. Big Time.

A work of art. Elite. Crazy cool. Game changer. These are all phrases Jim Rourke set out to define his vision: A golf tool that inspires a “wow” literally every time someone sees it or hears you use it. Jim Rourke, President of Stiletto Golf, began this journey more than ten years ago. Finally, late last year, he succeeded with an heirloom-quality Stilettoswitchblade action ball mark repair tool that looks and feels like nothing else. Plus, it has the unmistakable signature Stiletto switchblade sound. This distinctive double click is right out of a Hollywood knife fight. Although side-swinging switchblades have existed for years and are very common, they have to be manually folded and can be accidentally triggered in your pocket. The Stiletto is fully automatic firing and retracting out of the front of the tool, and it is impossible to open accidentally. Again, it looks and sounds like nothing else. It is definitely an attention-getter on the course.

Jim Rourke spent a great deal of his adult life in the Air Force as a ROMAD –a Special Ops operative functioning as a Liaison to the Army. He coordinated and controlled close-air support and was part of the Rapid Deployment Force on call for any problems throughout the world. After retirement, he caught the inventor/ entrepreneurial bug. Jim comments, “One day I was watching a movie with my son, and the bad guy about to start a gang fight fires a switchblade knife with that intimidating distinctive sound, and I just couldn’t get this idea out of my head. I thought if I could actually make this work in a golf repair tool, it would be a product that could bring a paradigm shift to a very standard golf product.” In 2008 Mr. Rourke patented

the action in the Stiletto Green Tool and started a company in December 2008.

Jim adds, “The problems with developing a 100% reliable and extremely high quality production model was an incredible challenge. The compact size was the problem along with its complexity. I ultimately wanted a tool for the discriminating golfer who wants to own the best of everything. Give

make this entire journey worthwhile. Even the original version in plastic got “Wows” from Hall of fame golfers. I’m very excited to see the golfers respond to the Stiletto.” It really has been an epic journey for Mr. Rourke. There were design improvements and countless prototypes made. Slowly but surely, Jim kept plugging away. Last year, some very clever design changes made this high quality tool feasible. With the pandemic issues behind him and a final design in hand, he had the prototypes made. When they finally arrived, they were perfect and exactly what he always wanted.

them fine wood and other exclusive handle materials, a clean stylish design and last-forever quality like a really fine knife. I certainly didn’t think it would take another 13 years. I am so proud of this tool.”

Jim said with a chuckle, “My favorite part is being on the green when I push the button. That sound is unmistakable and immediately turns heads. The subsequent wows and comments

I have known Jim for more than 10 years. I had an original plastic Stiletto, but after seeing the new version and holding it in my hand, I can say it is definitely next level! He is looking at a very high-end consumer, so he spared no expense on construction and materials to make certain you can feel the weight and quality immediately. It is really impressive to say the least. The Stiletto will initially be available in natural wood and anodized aluminum. Soon though, he promises to offer handles in various fine woods and even exotic custom materials. All of them will offer the option of corporate logos on the tool itself and ball markers. Stiletto Golf will also be offering the tool in a beautiful executive gift box.

OK… If you’re someone who always wants the best of everything, I can personally promise you this… There is a Stiletto in your future!

12 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10
what's new
Jim Rourke

golf history

Over 50 Years Of History in Seminole County

Wekiva Golf Club remains a favorite among local golfers and tournament players.

It was the late Lord Harold Samuel, a real estate tycoon from Britain, who coined that famous expression: “There are three things that matter in property: location, location, location.”

For that reason and many others, Wekiva Golf Club, which opened in 1972, has been one Central Florida’s most popular and well-established courses for more than 50 years.

Wekiva Golf Club sits in the center of the Wekiva Hunt Club residential community between State Road 436 and Wekiva Springs Road, in the western part of Seminole County. The 138-acre wooded setting lies within the Wekiva Protection Area, about a mile south of the Wekiva River,

one of the two rivers in Florida federally designated as a National Wild and Scenic River for its scenery, recreation, geology, and diverse habitats.

Designed by Florida architects

Ron Garl and Ward Northrup, the 18hole, Par 72 layout plays 6640 yards from the tips. But don’t be misled by the yardage, Wekiva Golf Club’s solid course design and conditioning makes it a fair yet challenging course for players of all abilities.

Known for its undulating and well-maintained greens, Wekiva features Champions Bermuda grass providing some of the smoothest and quickest putting conditions in the area.

Another standout design feature, there are no parallel fairways at Wekiva Golf Club. Its numerous doglegs, bordered by large strands of mature pines, oak hammocks, and palm trees with more than 80 strategically placed bunkers, give Wekiva the look and feel of a

14 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10

Wekiva plays host to a number of mini-tour events as well as charity events throughout the year.

more traditional golf course.

“Wekiva is a little different from most Florida golf courses, said General Manager and PGA Member, Tony Miller. “There are only two lakes and no forced carries which makes it very player friendly.”

In the summer of 2021, Seminole County, in a concerted effort to save its green space, purchased Wekiva Golf Club along with Deer Run Country Club (closed in 2019) from the late Bob Dello Russo, founder and President of DelAir Heating and Air Conditioning and the owner of the Golf Group, a golf management company.

With approved funding, the county is currently investing more than one million dollars in renovations to the course and its facilities which has lacked the proper upkeep in recent years.

Maintenance and management of the two-year project is being overseen by Down to Earth Golf, a facility services company based in Maitland that manages and maintains more than 30 golf courses across the United States. Leading the team on the agronomy side is Florida native and golf course superintendent, Don H. Johnson, who spent 27 years working internationally (Dubai, Costa Rica, Canouan, Anguilla, Mexico, Egypt) before moving to Longwood and accepting

the position in 2021.

Many maintenance improvements have begun including cart path repairs and renovations along with tree trimming and general clean up. Future projects include complete replacement of the irrigation system, bunker redevelopment (reshaping, drainage, sand), driving range restoration, new signage, and upgrades to the clubhouse.

“Wekiva Golf Course has ‘good bones’,” Miller commented proudly. “It’s a work in progress; the course is

in very good hands between Seminole County and Down to Earth. Everyone is excited about the future.”

One of Wekiva’s key assets is its practice facility given the lack of options in the surrounding area. The driving range includes two large practice greens for chipping and putting. The teaching staff boasts four PGA Professionals, who are members of the North Florida PGA Section, and led by Head Golf Instructor and Lifetime PGA Member Todd Saliba.

In addition, Wekiva is proud to be a

partner with the national award-winning non-profit organization, Little Linksters, that offers a wide variety of programs and clinics for children ages 3-18. Programs are offered yearround, and kids don’t need equipment or any experience to participate.

“Little Linksters is a great way to get a child started in golf,” said Miller. “They really put an emphasis on fun; it’s not about hard-core instruction as much as it is about getting kids interested in the game and making sure they have fun. You’d be surprised how

Wekiva is a proud participant in the national award-winning junior golf program, Little Linksters.

quickly their eyes light up.”

Wekiva Golf Club hosts many local tournaments, mini-tour, and charity events annually with full banquet facilities on the second floor of the clubhouse and a dedicated staff to assist any organization with its goals and planning.

While some public courses have struggled to turn a profit especially since the waning of the COVID boom, that’s not the case at Wekiva. The club currently generates about $1.4 million in annual revenue against $1.1 million in expenses. Based on those numbers and the significant financial investment being made into the property, the county appears committed to operating Wekiva as a golf course for years to come, and that’s good news for all Central Florida golfers.

For more information or to book a tee time, visit

16 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10
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Pinehurst Area

Michael Brown

Where were you born? Did you grow up there? Born and raised in Elkins Park Pennsylvania

Is “acting your age” overrated? It’s underrated. Even the adults are children these days.

What do you do for a living? I’m in sales and marketing for the startup putter company, Makefield Putters.

What would you like to do for a living? Play on the PGA Tour

Aside from golf; what do you prefer for fun and relaxation? I love No limit Texas Hold Em. It’s brain exercise, scratches my gambling itch, and I don’t have to talk.

What golf apparel do you like to wear? Travis Matthews

Whom do you most admire for their inner and outer beauty? My Mother has always been beautiful. Her happiness comes from giving to others and serving God. I wish I were more like her.

Tell us about your first kiss? I’m confident it was horrible from the look on her face.

Tell us something about yourself that only your closest friends know. I’m a romantic and believe I’m living the lead role in a Cinderella story.

What three things would you need to survive on a deserted island? Albacore, Youtube, and the 60 degree wedge that gets me out of most jams.

Who would you like to have with you on the same deserted island; and why? My Dad has always been the guy I go to for advice. I’ll need to know how to survive.

What do you find to be the most annoying habit people demonstrate on the golf course? Telling me about their shots

Name the three most important things to you in this world. My family, my friends, and golf.

Given the choice; would you select love, success, or money to keep yourself happy? I live to succeed but wouldn’t survive without love.

What do you fear the most? Running out of time

What three people would you most like to play with in your fantasy golf foursome? My Dad, my Grandfather, and Rush Limbaugh

What are some of your great accomplishments? I won three different state amateurs inside of a year. Relaxed evening at home, or nightclub and cocktails? Always home.

Last time you spewed something through your nose from laughing so hard? When Michael asks Oscar for advice on his upcoming colonoscopy.

Favorite comedian? I’m a John Mulaney fan.

Movies:…comedy, drama, action, romance? I like Sundance and Independent movies

Favorite television channel? Golf Channel.

Last book you read? Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret.

News, current events; hardcopy or on-line? Foxnews

Favorite charity to support? Food for the Poor.

What else would you like for us to know about you? No one is luckier than I am.

18 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10
golf bachelor Makef ield Putters Visit us at the 2023 PGA Show for our new product launch New Year’s Resolution: MAKE MORE PUTTS PGA Show Booth 1208 Putting Green Booth 7 Come visit us at Demo Day January 24 10% off Free Engraving Free Shipping promo code: PGAshow2023

what's new

DSP Media was created in March of 2019. Originating with a single podcast recorded in a garage on top of a trashcan, the network has grown far and wide. In 2022, DSP Media joined forces with Fan Stream Sports to bring you even more sports and entertainment programming.

Fan Stream Sports and DSP Media now produces more than 20 podcasts –providing in-depth coverage of professional golf, MMA, NFL, NBA, and NCAA athletic programs - and publishes more than 60 audio and video episodes every week, generating almost four million listens and views every month, and growing.

Information and entertainment is the simple premise DSP Media was founded on. Our expanding roster of team members and hosts deliver focused daily podcasts full of insight, news, perspective, analysis, and opinion on their favorite teams and sports that fans crave.

Today, DSP Media also produces leading golf, sports, fantasy football, pop culture, and entertainment shows with insiders that are the best in the business.

Company principles John Gerber and Timm Hamm are excited to now join forces with Golf Central magazine to provide a monthly feature on the world of not just professional golf, but all sports, as well as podcasting.

Gerber, a PGA of America member, and Hamm, a digital content provider for Sports Illustrated’s FanNation websites, are co-hosts of From the Rough Golf Podcast, heard on Fan Stream Sports, analyzing every tournament, course, and the major players on the PGA Tour and the new LIV Golf tour. We include Johnny’s picks and predictions for each tournament and cover betting lines too!

New episodes of From the Rough air live each Wednesday at 5pm CT on the Fan Stream Sports YouTube channel and Twitter feed (@FromTheRoughPGA), and previous episodes can he heard at or your favorite podcast app.

20 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10

Beautiful parks. Incredible golf.

Natural beauty, exceptional golf, and nine great courses from which to choose. Scan this code to plan your golf getaway today, or visit

Shown is the golf course at Montgomery Bell State Park.

The Georgia Golf Trail Honors Top In-State Destinations

Favorite Par 5: #18 Stonemont Course, Stone Mountain Golf Club in Stone Mountain, Georgia

Best Resort: The Club at Savannah Harbor in Savannah, Georgia

Best Lodge, Inn or Cottage: Unicoi State Park Lodge in Helen, Georgia

Best Attraction: Stone Mountain Park in Stone Mountain, Georgia

Best Value for Golf Travel: Jekyll Island Golf Club in Jekyll Island, Georgia

In 2022, the 5th Annual Georgia Golf & Travel Awards program was conducted throughout the U.S. and Canada. The goal of this annual program is to honor and recognize the ‘best of’ The Georgia Golf Trail. There were 14 categories: Favorite Golf Course, Best Par 3, Best Par 4, Best Par 5, Best Resort, Favorite Restaurant, Best Lodge/Inn/Cottage, Best State Park, Best Attraction, Best Value for Golf Travel, Favorite 19th Hole, Best Place to Hold a Meeting, Best Place to Live in a Golf Community, and Favorite City to Visit. Three of the category winners were repeat winners, one of which was Savannah, which won as the Favorite City To Visit, for the fifth time in as many years. This year’s promotion started in August and voting concluded in November. The winners of the 14 categories along The Georgia Golf Trail are listed below:

Favorite Golf Course: Arrowhead Pointe Golf Course in Elberton, Georgia

Favorite Par 3: #10 Lake View Golf Course at the Callaway Resort & Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia

Favorite Par 4: #7 Oleander Course, Jekyll Island Golf Club in Jekyll Island, Georgia

Favorite Restaurant: The Wharf - Jekyll Island Club Resort in Jekyll Island, Georgia

Best State Park: Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge, Georgia

Favorite 19th Hole: Brassies Grill at the Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa in Young Harris, Georgia (for the 4th year in a row)

Favorite City to Visit: Savannah, Georgia (for the 5th year in a row)

Best Place to Hold a Meeting: Callaway Resort & Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia

22 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10
georgia golf trail
By Mike May
Savannah Riverfront

Best Place to

Live in a Golf Community: Reynolds Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia (for the 3rd year in a row)

Listed below is a brief description of three of the category winners:

Favorite Golf Course: The Jekyll Island Golf Club has three 18-hole golf courses and a nine-hole layout. In all, that’s 63 holes of golf in one location. The three 18-hole courses are Indian Mound, Oleander, and Pine Lakes. The nine-hole layout is Great Dunes. On Jekyll Island, golfers are truly spoiled for choice. Jekyll Island is also a great place to visit in order to relax while enjoying fresh seafood, long beach walks, poolside siestas, and time off the grid

Best Attraction: The Stone Mountain State Park, located east of Atlanta, is truly something to behold. Nestled in 3,200 acres of natural beauty, Stone Mountain Park features family-friendly attractions, outdoor recreational activities

and a variety of on-site lodging options so you can stay where you play.

Favorite City to Visit: Savannah is classy, charming, historical, diverse, and a true Southern destination. Dining in Savannah is an experience unto itself. It’s worth noting that one of the city’s finest restaurants is Huey’s, which won the Best Restaurant Award along The Georgia Golf Trail in 2021.

“We are very excited about the continued growth of our 5th Annual Travel Awards,” said Doug Hollandsworth, Founder, The Georgia Golf Trail. “We are reaching thousands of people throughout the United States with our marketing and this year we had thousands of people write in and vote for their favorite golf courses and places to visit along The Georgia Golf Trail.”

Hollandsworth says the key to the success of the Georgia Golf & Travel Awards is having such a strong

marketing partner, the State of Georgia.

“We are very proud to be working with the State of Georgia to help promote all the things there are to do here in Georgia,” added Hollandsworth. “Congratulations to all the winners. We appreciate all that you do for Georgia.”

The 6th Annual Georgia Golf & Travel Awards will begin in June 2023. Check out for details.

23 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10
The Wharf on Jekyll Island, GA The Wharf Crab Cakes Callaway Gardens 10th Green Stone Mountain Lakemont Course

Erikah Neger

Where were you born? Did you grow up there? Born and raised in Orlando, Florida

What do you do for a living? I play professional golf on tour for a living.

What would you like to do for a living? Play full time on the LPGA and run my own golf business.

Aside from golf; what do you prefer for fun and relaxation? I like to boats, wake surfing, traveling, napping, eating pretty food, shopping, and playing with my dogs.

What golf apparel do you like to wear? I love to wear lululemon and J. Lindberg

Whom do you most admire for their inner and outer beauty? I admire Bella Hadid for her inner and outer beauty. She shows off her natural beauty and embraces creativity in the fashion industry. She also uses her platform to promote positive change in her community and bring attention to ongoing issues including racism, women’s rights, and victims of natural disaster.

Tell us about your first kiss? My first kiss was in the playground of the Kennedy Space center. I always laugh about that. It was my 6th grade field trip to see the space shuttle.

Steak, chicken, or seafood? Seafood! I’m a pescatarian and obsessed with sushi.

Tell us something about yourself that only your closest friends know. I’m actually an introvert. I can turn on a social personality but when I’m truly comfortable I’m quiet and enjoy doing relaxing things at home like watching a movie and ordering Uber eats.

What three things would you need to survive on a deserted island? A garden with a lot of food, a comfy bed and a speaker to play music. Can’t live without Spotify.

What do you find to be the most annoying habit people demonstrate on the golf course? When people get aggressively angry. I understand golf is a hard game but when people are throwing clubs and cursing it ruins

the vibe. Being on the golf course can be relaxing and beautiful!

Name the three most important things to you in this world. My family, health, and my golf clubs.

Given the choice; would you select love, success, or money to keep yourself happy? I would always choose love. I’ve always believed that love is what fulfills the soul the most.

What do you fear the most? I’m scared of being lonely. My family and friends make me the happiest and I wouldn’t be able to enjoy any successes or money without sharing it with them.

What three people would you most like to play with in your fantasy golf foursome? Any of the Jonas brothers, Steph curry, or post Malone. They all seem like tons of fun and would definitely have some side bets going on.

What are some of your great accomplishments? I graduated from Stetson university with a finance degree, I’ve won 2 professional tournaments, and I’ve playing 2 years of professional golf traveling all over the world.

Movies:…comedy, drama, action, romance? Comedies! I love to laugh it always brings up my mood. Favorite charity to support? Happiness project! Supporting, educating, and providing resources for individuals that struggle or want to understand more about their mental health.

What else would you like for us to know about you? I am an avid Pokémon player. I’m a licensed class 3 reptile breeder that specializes in tortoises! I’m working on getting my PGA certification to teach lessons and motivate girls to get on the golf course. I have 3 tattoos, my first tattoo I got was with my whole family and we all got our initials, this was all of our first tattoos. I love art and plan to incorporate artists’ works onto my bag and golf equipment as part of a show case for their work. Lastly, I want to become an advocate for mental health and become a resource for struggling individuals especially athletes.

24 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10
golf bachelorette
C h o o s e f r o m o u r 3 g o l f c o u r s e s o r t h e 3 5 o t h e r c o u r s e s i n t h e a r e a t o m i x a n d m a t c h ! T o l e a r n m o r e a b o u t o u r g o l f p a c k a g e s o r t o c u s t o m i z e , g i v e u s a c a l l a t 8 0 0 . 3 3 2 . 8 5 7 6 . B R U N S W I C K G O L F C L U B P l a y 2 7 H o l e s ! A Z A L E A , D O G W O O D , M A G N O L I A 3 8 0 B r u n s w i c k D r i v e , C a l a b a s h , N C 2 8 4 6 7 | 8 0 0 - 3 3 2 - 8 5 7 6 | B r u n s w i c k p l a n t a t i o n . c o m INTERESTED IN GOLF PACKAGES?

living on the links

A Massive Renovation of the “Cypress Course” at Bonita Bay Club

Florida’s largest private club (five 18hole golf courses) took on a massive renovation project of one of its five private golf clubs the “Cypress Course” reopened for play in early October 2022.

The Cypress and Sable Courses, two Tom Fazio-designed courses, are located 10 miles east of the main Bonita Bay Club campus at the edge of the Everglades.

The renovation of Cypress – and the renovation of Sabal, (scheduled to begin in the Fall of 2023) were not done out of necessity or desperation, explains Tom Marzolf, Senior Design Associate of Fazio Design. The members wanted to improve their already excellent experience.

The principal goals of the Cypress renovation were:

• Make it playable for all members while lengthening the longest tees to preserve its reputation as a championship venue. 6 sets of tees from 4,500 to 7,500 yards

• Keep it a preferred venue for regional and state events.

• Rebuild the greens to handle both daily (fair, and fun) while maintaining

championship hole locations.

• Increase the level of conditioning by improving drainage and overall construction.

• Reduce/eliminate wet areas from fairways, green surrounds, and immediate rough in the traditional wet seasons.

Cypress (originally opened in1997) and Sabal (1998). The two courses are unusual for Florida in that they are

remotely located well away from any town; there are no houses or other distractions except for the wildlife roaming the course. Sitting on the edge of the Everglades, the property is an environmental protected area of wetlands to the north. Along with a good day golf, members enjoy a unique area that Tom Marzolf, Senior Design Associate of Fazio Design, who oversaw the project, describes as “like visiting a wildlife preserve.”

26 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10
By Beverly and Greg Wise
Bonita Bay Cypress Course Hole 1 and 10 – photo by Evan Schiller Photography Bonita Bay Short Course
27 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10
Bonita Bay Cypress Course – photo by Evan Schiller Photography Wildlife on the Golf course

improving performance

Offers Custom Golf Simulator Installations As Well As DIY Retail Solutions

Playing indoor golf is one of the hottest trends in the golf industry. A recent report by Straights Research valued the golf simulator market at $1.3 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach $3.3 billion by 2030 at a compound annual growth rate of 10.1% during the forecast period of 2020–2030. Golf Simulators aren’t just for commercial businesses or the rich and famous. In the last ten years, the simulator space has been booming and becoming more affordable.

One player in the space, Ace Indoor Golf, is a leading golf simulator retailer, designer, installer, and manufacturer of screens and enclosures in the United States. The company rents, sells, designs, installs and provides maintenance of golf simulators to businesses, golf clubs, individuals, golf teams, sim manufacturers, and the most prominent golf retailers. The company offers turnkey custom-designed solutions and “Do-It-Yourself”

(DIY), off-the-shelf packages that fit golfers’ needs at every price point.

Not just a retailer, Ace manufactures a variety of products for golf simulators including: screens, hitting bays, mats, turf, framing foam mini-pads, carpet pads, curtains, and other sewn goods associated with an enclosure. Their enclosures include the Premium, Pro, Medalist, Leisure, Eclipse curved hitting bay, and multi-sport nets. Ace sells these products directly to consumers, and also private labels its enclosures to simulator technology companies who sell them to their customers in simulator packages.

Manufacturer of Medalist Enclosure Kit According to Trevor Faust, president of Ace Indoor Golf, “If you want the best enclosure for your home or office, the Ace Indoor Golf Medalist is the perfect simulator enclosure kit and can be assembled DIY or by an Ace installer nationwide.” The hitting bay is designed with safety

and rigidity in mind and measures 12’ Wide x 5’ Deep x 8’ 6” Tall and features a powder-coated steel frame.

All of Ace Indoor’s enclosures, including the Medalist, feature the best, most durable screen on the market, the Ace HiQ™. The screens are designed to take the hardest hits and are manufactured so the image fills up the entire screen in high definition. Ace HiQ screens feature a synthetic resin that allows the ball to hit the screen with minimal bounce-back or puckering; they absorb the sound of the impact and display a bright, high-contrast image. Best of all, the screen materials are highly durable, taking up to 34,000 hits with hardly any stretching. The Medalist enclosure kit includes the Ace HiQ Screen, framing foam mini-pads, carpet pads, adhesive Velcro™, turnbuckle cables, top lid and sidewalls (skins). Add your simulator, computer, and projector, and you’re ready to play golf!

28 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10

Ace Indoor Golf Medalist Dimensions:

Frame Dimensions: 12’ W x 8’ 6” T x 5’ D (6’ Total)

Screen to Projector: 12’ 6”

Screen to Tee: 10’

Frame to Tee: 5’

Provider of Golf Simulator Padding

For the Do-It-Yourself simulator builder, Ace Indoor Golf manufactures framing mini pads to minimize bounce-back and complete the perfect look of your enclosure. The side pads are sold in 6”, 8”, and 10” widths of varying and custom lengths for the finishing touches on your screen system. The frame pads are

designed to run from floor to ceiling along the sides of your screen and across the top and bottom, overlaying the carpet pad and attaching with Velcro. The stock pad dimensions are (9’x6”; 10’x6”; 11’x6”; 12’x6”; 13’x6”; 14’x6”; 15’x6”, but they are also available in 6”, 8” and 10” widths in custom lengths from 40” to 204”.)

Custom Simulator Design Solutions

Some golfers and businesses want to take the guesswork and hassle out of setting up a golf simulator. For custom solutions and installation, Ace Indoor Golf is directly involved in each sale from start to finish. In fact, the company is currently completing the installation of the world’s largest curve screen simulator setup.

Consulting – Ace knows the industry and can offer insight into all the simulator technologies on the market to ensure you make the right decision. Site visits – For those wanting a custom-built simulator, Ace offers on-site visits to meet with you and your team.

Design – Ace provides design services and drawings for each custom simulator.

Installation – Ace has a staff of trained installers who have installed simulators worldwide. Training – Training is part of the package with each launch monitor purchase. Support – Ace services and supports all of its simulator products.


Ace Indoor Golf also has a turnkey simulator rental program for shows and events that drives customer engagement. They will set up, staff, and tear down a multi-sport simulator at your next event. You can run a closestto-the-pin or hole-in-one contest with customer data collection. There are also several multi-sport simulator options, including target shooting, soccer, carnival games, and more. Ace can even brand the simulator enclosure and screens with your logo. Whether you’re looking for a

new projection screen, a home golf simulator, or a launch monitor for commercial use, Ace Indoor Golf is your one-stop solution for all your simulator needs. For more than 15 years, Ace Indoor Golf has designed, sold, and installed commercial and residential simulators and has brought its vast experience to the growing “Do-It-Yourself” market. Ace offers a value-added approach in which knowledge, design, and service are individual for every client. Ace’s experts are there with customers during every step of the process. For more information, visit aceindoorgolf. com or call (855) 926-3283


Ace Indoor Golf is unsurpassed in the golf industry when it comes to building, designing, and installing golf simulator hardware and technology. Having launched Gimme Simulators as an expert turnkey sales and service solution for consumers or businesses looking to create the ultimate indoor golf experience, Ace brings its clients more than two decades of expertise in simulator builds and installations.

The company founders have installed more than 1,000 simulators in both the commercial and residential markets. By representing multiple manufacturers, Ace Indoor Golf and Gimme Simulators can customize products to meet customers’ specific demands.

Gimme Simulators provides best-inclass custom-built screens, enclosures, hitting mats and accessories for the golf business’ top simulator brands, retailers and teaching, fitting and entertainment companies.

29 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10
Highland Park Golf Course Birmingham, Alabama Château Élan Golf Club Braselton, Georgia
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Savannah, Georgia

Maddie Hervey

Where did you grow up?

Born and raised in Jacksonville, Fl. My first house was in Queens Harbour!

What is your favorite sport to play?

Favorite to watch?

In high school I was a cheerleader and ran track but my favorite sport to watch by far is football!

Do you enjoy playing golf? Are there any golfers in your family?

I recently started to learn how to play golf and it quickly became one of my favorite hobbies. I love to play with my brother for some sibling rivalry! J

What do you feel makes this club special?

Definitely the members! Over the years, I have gotten the opportunity to form so many amazing connections and truly love all our members at Queens Harbour!

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

I am currently in Nursing School, striving to work in pediatric oncology field!

What is your memorable moment working as a cart girl?

Seeing a lot of Hole-in-Ones & being a part of tournaments for amazing organizations!

What type of music do you prefer?

I love everything, my playlist consists of everything from country to rap.

Relaxed evening at home, or nightclub and cocktails?

Most nights I am staying in to study, but if I have a free weekend I love to go have fun with friends!

Favorite charity to support?

Wolfson Children’s Hospital & St. Jude

32 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10 cart girl Become part of the Turflife Club! Grab a Decal from the Website

Fore Craft Cocktails was founded i n Ric hmond, Virginia, in early 2021 to provide golf inspiredcanned cocktails for golf courses and clubs throughout the United States. The first offering isthe classic golf cocktail, the Transfusion. To us, a buddy trip, member-guest tournament, oremergency nine hole experience just wasn’t quite as memorable without the delicious concoction consisting of ginger ale, grape juice, vodka and a squeeze of lime. Yet fumbling with plastic cups as we walked away from the snack shop, or worse yet trying to mix the cocktail ourselves with the beverage cart supplies just didn’t match the quality of the golf experience. Thus, we set out on a journey to create an authentic ready-to-drink Transfusionwith the result being a simpler, and better, companion to the adventure of golf.

The canned Transfusion is now a reality, ready to help you keep up the pace of play and avoidlingering at the turn. Made with no artificial colors or sweeteners, you can now grab a can ortwo for the back nine or after the round without the hassle or inconsistent flavor.

Fore Tea

Vodka, sweet tea, and lemonade. It's the perfect cocktail for the clubhouse porch. Made for sipping, Fore Tea tastes like a late afternoon round with family and friends. Artfully crafted from natural flavors and premium spirits, our Fore Tea offers you a deliciously consistent taste no matter where you tee it up.

Cheers to passing time with those who love the game like you do.


Vodka, grape juice, ginger ale, and lime. It’s the original golf cocktail. Nothing stirs up a great day on the course like a cold refreshing Transfusion. Artfully crafted from natural flavors and premium spirits, our Transfusion offers you a deliciously consistent taste no matter where you tee it up. Cheers to good times on fairways near and far.

Open up a can and drink like a golfer.

grip it & sip it 34
Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10

Displays of the world’s nest automobiles.


what's new

BOOK REVIEW: Better Golf Better Life

“Dr. Rich” as he is best known to his students, brings together this experience and knowledge in the release of his new golf book, Better Golf Better Life – Unlocking the Transformative Power of Golf.

Better Golf Better Life is written to inspire golfers and provide examples of how the challenges of the game are often overlooked possibilities and teachable moments for our everyday lives.

“In my book, Better Golf, Better Life, I want the reader to think – ‘I like to play golf, but I never realized how golf can help me become a better person and how learning about myself can actually improve my game,’” explained Dr. Rich.

Dr Rich is the Founder of Dr Rich Golf, a golf mental coaching program, and the Dalai Lama Golf Associations (DLGA). After years of coaching, studying Eastern philosophies, and engaging in meditation and mindfulness practices, Dr. Rich saw the tremendous potential in golf’s ability to transform people’s lives.

As Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) said in the iconic golf movie Caddyshack, “There’s a force in the universe that

makes things happen. And all you have to do is get in touch with it, stop thinking, let things happen, and be the ball.”

Inside Better Golf Better Life, golfers will learn to: 1) identify their mental liabilities and create a plan to overcome them to unlock performance; 2) deal more effectively with on-course

anxiety, 3) integrate key lessons from performance psychology; 4) get off the emotional roller coaster that blocks improvement.

Dr. Rich has worked with aspiring PGA Tour players, serious amateurs trying to improve their state rankings, mid-to-high handicappers wanting to shoot lower scores, as well as aging golfers dealing with the frustration of their declining games. The short and easy to read essays transpired from the testimonies, stories, and experiences of students at Dr Rich Golf as they began to transform themselves and their golf game.

Throughout Better Golf Better Life, the reader will find perspectives that foster a greater sense of personal equilibrium and harmony that is the true essence and spirit of the game. These lessons are also intended to complement and enhance the value of any technical golf instruction.

“It is my hope and belief that after reading this book,” said Dr Rich, “golfers

understand why ‘You don’t have to shoot a low score to be a great golfer.’”

For more information or to purchase Better Golf Better Life, go to

36 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10
will AProfessor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, Dr. Richard J.Goldberg’s 45-year career in psychiatry and 25 years of competing in marathons and triathlons, along with his lifelong dedication and accomplishments as an amateur golfer, evolved into his pursuit to coach golfers on their mental game and improve their scores through performance psychology.

florida golf central

Indian Lake Estates Golf & Country Club

In the late ‘50’s and early ‘60’s, the money from the NY Teamster’s Union was used to purchase land in Central Florida on the banks of Lake Weohyakapka and developed as a recreational community with 8100 1/2 acre platts, 18-hole golf course, marina, beach, pier, sprawling Clubhouse, 100 miles of road, and plans for more recreational parks and another 18-hole golf course.  Eager investors from New York and DC bought the platts and enjoyed a piece of paradise.  Typical of many “land scams” during that time, the colorful history of this community is too long to detail here, but after 3 bankruptcies and 3 changes of name and organization, a “hayday” and a “depression” era all its own, the Indian Lake Estates Golf & Country Club is looking better than ever.

Lake Weohyakapka is the largest lake in Polk County spanning 7528 acres and flanks the western edge of the

38 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10

Community.  A small marina and the longest fresh water pier in Florida can be found at the end of Park Avenue.  Residents enjoy fishing and boating year-round as well as the small pavilion for parties and social gatherings.  Large mouth bass, bluegill, crappie and other fish are abundant targets for the avid angler!  The wooden pier is the longest fresh water pier in Florida and the site of beautiful sunsets, and fishing tournaments.

The jewel in the crown of this community is the Indian Lake Estates Golf & Country Club with an 18-hole golf course designed by George Cobb circa 1958.  This 6584 yard course is wide and forgiving for amateurs but challenging enough for the pros.  Situated behind the Clubhouse and around Lake Leon is a smaller 9-Hole Par 3 course that is free to residents and available to outsiders for a small fee.  Superintendent Danny Lunceford is coming down the home stretch of a 5-Year improvement plan that has yielded a better irrigation system, larger and smoother greens, and a beautiful course that is a joy to play!

The small Pro Shop is kept busy with local golfers and leagues 7 days/ week.  Robin Samson, Pro Shop

Manager, has been busy organizing tournaments and league play for nearby communities:  Lakeshore, Nalcrest, Walden Shores, Saddlebag Resort, and neighboring Canopy Oaks.  The local WGA and MGA enjoy weekly league play and are open to anyone wishing to join the leagues.  With reasonable prices, a challenging course, and beautiful weather, the season is attracting more golfers daily!  The Pro Shop will be offering Golf Lessons by a teaching professional on the first Saturday and third Saturday in the month of January.  For more information, contact the Pro Shop at 863-692-1514. A 300 seat ballroom is available for tournament banquets; a dining room is

available for smaller groups and a great place to gather after a round of golf; and the 19th Hole Bar & Grill offers pizza, beer, and refreshments for residents and golfers alike.  To make reservations for a round of golf or a tournament, contact the Pro Shop or the Office (863-692-1433).

Located on SR60E just 17 miles east of Lake Wales and 62 miles from Vero Beach, Indian Lake Estates is a well-kept secret.  The Community is enjoying a growth spurt similar to all of Florida, but on a smaller scale.  With only 1/10 of the platts developed, there are many opportunities to own a piece of paradise.  Signature Realty Associates is located at the entrance of the Community and can be contacted at 863-412-7121.

39 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10

competitive spirits

“The Whiskey of the West”

Based in Kirby, Wyoming (population: 90), Wyoming Whiskey has a simple goal: to create America’s next great bourbon. The company and product is a collaboration between its partners and 97,818 square miles of Wyoming. The Mead family first came to Wyoming as ranchers in 1890 and the state defines them, and their whiskey. They use the finest corn, wheat, barley, and water from the BigHorn Basin and promote Wyoming’s natural and human resources. Every drop of this bourbon is 100% Wyoming. Wyoming Whiskey celebrated its 10th Anniversary on Dec. 1, 2022!

Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch (MSRP $45)

• Available nationally at select retailers and on ecommerce sites such as ReserveBar, Flaviar and Caskers

• A traditional bourbon, from an untraditional place. Small Batch is our original, flagship, and defining product, the award-winning Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey. Its mash bill was developed by bourbon hall of famer and WW founding distiller, Steve Nally (formerly of Maker’s Mark)

WW Small Batch Tasting Notes:

• COLOR: dark amber

• NOSE: floral, with a hint of vanilla bean and caramel pudding

• PALATE: floral with brown baking spices and browned butter, vanilla crème, caramel, and a hint of cinnamon

• MOUTHFEEL: light and smooth with vanilla bean and cinnamon spice filling the mouth cavity, hint of mint

• FINISH: medium length finish with toffee. Spice and vanilla fade.

Wyoming Mule 2 oz WW Small Batch Bourbon .25 oz Lemon Juice Juice 1 Dash Angostura Bitters Ginger Beer Served on the rocks in a Double Old-Fashioned glass. Add all ingredients into Old-Fashioned glass over ice and stir. Fill the glass with ginger beer. Garnish with a Lemon wedge. Wild West Old Fashioned 2oz WW Small Batch Bourbon 1 bar spoon maple syrup 2 dashes (orange or angostura) bitters 1 luxardo cherry 1 ½ slice of an orange wheel. In an old fashioned glass place orange slice, cherry, bitters, maple syrup and lightly muddle these ingredients. Add a large ice cube and bourbon.  Stir until chilled. Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10 40
CITRUS COUNTY LUXURY HOME 6935 Haulover Pt Homosassa, FL 34448 Brought to you by William “Jeff” Hartson, Realtor 352.302.8048 BEAUTIFUL WATERFRONT HOME ON MASON CREEK Video Tour: Matterport of home: $1,400,000 LISTING PRICE
CITRUS COUNTY COMMERCIAL LISTINGS 268 S Suncoast Blvd. Crystal River FL 34429 Brought to you by William “Jeff” Hartson, Realtor 352.302.8048 $4,200,000 JUST LISTED This crown jewel of Citrus County office buildings has 7,585 sq ft and features 9 offices, 3 conferences rooms, 4 large storage rooms and 5 restrooms. It is comfortably set back from US Hwy 19, only 5 minutes away from the Veteran’s Expressway on 2.3 acres. It also has an incredible custom wooden staircase, parquet flooring and crown molding. This is a must-see property! Shown by appointment only. Located directly across from the planned Crystal River Commons retail development. It is adjacent to 3 other commercial properties also listed by the same owner totaling 32 acres. Matterport: Check: for narrated aerial drone video of all 32 acres that includes 4 parcels

Collet, Angell and Mielke Headline 2022 South Florida PGA

The 2022 South Florida PGA tournament season has come to an end with two new Rolex Players of the Year being named in Tyler Collet, PGA and Heather Angell, PGA.

Additionally, Mark Mielke, PGA secured the Senior Player of the Year title.

After being edged out in 2021 by South Florida PGA Hall of Fame Member, Alan Morin, PGA, Collet, an Assistant Professional at John’s Island Golf Club accumulated 1,337 points over the 2022 tournament season, notching his first Rolex Player of the Year by nearly 400 points.

This season, Collet finished in the top-10 in five of his nine starts, highlighted by his second place finish at the E-Z-GO South Florida Open at Miromar Lakes Golf Club. On a national level, Collet finished T11 at the National PGA Professional Championship, earning 394 points and catapulting him to the top of the points standings.

In addition, Collet made his second

consecutive PGA Championship start and his third PGA TOUR start of his career. As the 2022 Rolex Player of the Year, Collet was granted a berth into the 2023 Honda Classic and a spot in the National 2023 PGA Professional Championship.

Angell, The Director of Instruction at Heritage Palms Golf and Country Club, managed a near perfect season, accumulating three first place finishes and one third place finish, none sweeter than winning the 2022 Women’s Section Championship at Imperial Golf Club.

With 880 total points in only five events, Angell beat out Katie Dixon, PGA Assistant Professional at St. Andrews Golf Club by 170 points.

Additionally, Angell secured a top5 finish at the Cadillac Invitational and a second place finish at the Yamaha Pro-Pro Championship.

On the Senior level, Mark Mielke, PGA Teaching Professional at High Ridge Country Club accumulated 1,321 points to win his third

Senior Player of the Year, narrowly edging out Morin who was the 2021 Senior Player of the Year.

Throughout the 2022 season, Mielke managed one first place finish at the South Florida Senior Open and two second place finishes. On the national level, Mielke earned a second place finish at the Florida Senior Open and a T26 finish at the 2022 Senior PGA Professional Championship. Additionally, with a seventh place finish at the SFPGA Section Championship, Meilke earned a spot into the 2023 PGA Professional Championship, joining Collet and others.

Finishing in a tie for the Super Senior Player of the Year, PGA Life Member, Pete Oakley, and Jerry Tucker, PGA of Jerry Tucker Golf, wrapped the season at exactly 237.50 total points.

The South Florida PGA Player of the Year Awards are based off ROLEX Player of the Year points accumulated throughout the SFPGA Tournament season.

44 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10
north florida PGA north florida PGA north florida PGA north florida PGA north fl south florida PGA south florida PGA south florida PGA south florida PGA south
Tyler Collet, PGA Captures South Florida PGA Rolex Player of the Year

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PGA Kentucky PGA Kentucky PGA Kentucky PGA Kentucky PGA Kentucky

Xavier Huestis Presented with the Jace Bugg Award

Xavier Huestis, a sophomore at Kentucky Country Day School, has been selected as the recipient of the Jace Bugg Award. One of the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour’s most prestigious awards, this honor salutes a player who represents golf’s best qualities – outstanding sportsmanship, a positive attitude, and a true friend to his or her peers.

Early in the 2022 season, Huestis’ name came up among the Tour’s staff as a possibility to win this award because of his noticeably bright demeanor and kind manners. The 15-year-old is mature beyond his age and his engaging conversations with his fellow players, the Tour’s staff and officials, golf course employees, and other players’ families showcase that.

“Jace Bugg was an example of class,

integrity, and sportsmanship, which is why Xavier earned this award,” said Michael Vick, PGA Director, Junior Programs at Golf House Kentucky. “Xavier displays all those qualities every time I see him at a tournament. He is quick to give small pep talks to his playing competitors if they’ve had a bad day, always carries a smile, and always thanks the staff after an event. He is as good as they come.”

During the 2022 season, Huestis

competed in eight events on Tour and recorded four top-five finishes in the Boys 13-15 Division. He was twice a runner-up at the Independence Bank Western Kentucky Junior Championship and the Callaway Shootout. Huestis will turn 16 years old before the start of the 2023 season and make his debut in the Boys 16-18 Division this spring.

The Jace Bugg Award is named in honor of the Henderson native who had a terrific Kentucky Junior Golf career which led to a professional career that included two victories. Sadly, Bugg was diagnosed with leukemia which led to him passing away in 2003 at the age of 27. The award was first distributed in 2005 and has recognized a player meeting these characteristics every year since.

Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10
PG 46
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As we approach the 2023 tournament season, we want to celebrate and recognize the players who made their mark throughout 2022! We proudly present the “NFPGA Player of the Year”: Greg Koch! Koch secured his first victory at this year’s Assistant Professional Championship, finished second at the Section Championship and has played in a total of eight tournaments this year. Additionally, he has competed in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Butterfield Bermuda Championship, PGA Professional Championship and Valspar Championship throughout the year. He has accumulated a total of 5,487.5 points and places ahead of Matt Borchert, winner of the 2022 NFPGA Match Play Championship, with 5,452.5  points. Sandra Changkija, winner of the 2022 NFPGA Section Championship,  rounds out the top three with 5,237.5 points.

Sandra Changkija is “NFPGA Woman Player of the Year” with a total of 5,556.25 points. Stephanie Connelly-Eiswerth follows behind in second with 5,000 points, and Jennifer Borocz rounds out the top three with 3,887.5 points. Changkija closed out the year strong, winning the 2022 NFPGA

Stableford Championship and the 2022 NFPGA Section Championship. Recently, Connelly-Eiswerth and Borocz competed for Team USA at the Women’s PGA Cup, where they finished first.

Koch leads as the top “NFPGA Assistant Player of the Year” with a total of 2,812.5 points in the category, after winning the Assistant Professional Championship. He leads Sandra Changkija, who places second with 2,750 points, and Dalton Bartlett, who rounds out the top three with 1,900 points.

David Hronek lands atop of the “NFPGA Senior Player of the Year” rankings and leads Keith Kulzer, Jonathan Mansfield, Jason Hrynkiw and Clint Avret, who round out the top five. Hronek accumulated a total of 6,037.5 points in this category after winning all three of Senior events: the Senior Match Play, Senior Stableford and Senior Professional/Section Championship. He leads Kulzer, who trails at 4,862.5 total points, and Mansfield, who places third with 4,475 points.

The 2023 tournament season is right around the corner, and it’s never too early to plan for the summer! Our event schedule is now live on our website!

Player of the Year 1.Greg Koch


Woman Player of the Year





Assistant Player of the Year




Senior Player of the Year




North Florida PGA Player of the Year Honors north florida PGA north florida PGA north florida PGA north florida PGA north

48 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10
2.Matt Borchert 3.Sandra Changkija 4.David Hronek
1.Sandra Changkija
1.Greg Koch 2.Sandra Changkija
1.David Hronek 2.Keith Kulzer
Greg Koch, 2022 NFPGA Player of the Year

The Preserve Golf Club Director of Operation Wins 2022 MTA Award

Stephen Miles, Director of Operations at The Preserve Golf Club was awarded the Outstanding Turf Professional Award for 2022 by the Mississippi Turfgrass Association (MTA.). Alan Sullivan, MTA President, presented the award to Stephen for his outstanding leadership in the industry.

Miles and his Golf Course Superintendent, Jeremy Stephens, supported by the entire grounds staff at The Preserve Golf Club, ensure the course is always kept in immaculate condition. Stephen, a certified golf course superintendent, graduated from Mississippi State University’s Golf & Sports Turf Management Program

in 1998. He served as President of the MTA in 2009, in addition to serving on the board and numerous committees of MTA. Miles has long been dedicated to the turf industry and MTA and was instrumental in establishing Best Management Practices in Mississippi.

The Preserve Golf Club, located in Vancleave, Mississippi, eighteen holes of “pure golf” conceived by award winning golf course architect Jerry Pate. The incredible par-71 championship layout has been granted membership to the Audubon International Signature Program for its commitment to the environment. The golf course encompasses 245 acres which is surrounded by an additional

1800 acres of an undisturbed nature conservancy. The golf course design and management team has integrated the native surroundings which include pitcher plant bogs, cypress swamps, long leaf pine savannah, sweet-bay magnolias and native grass prairies.

The Preserve Golf Club offers five sets of tees that will challenge the most advanced player yet allow novice players to enjoy their round. With superior customer service and unequalled course condition The Preserve Golf Club will surely be an unforgettable golf experience. For more information, call 877.MSGOLF9 or visit

50 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10
Stephen Miles Receives Award

The pH of this.

The growth of that. Too much moisture. Not enough moisture.

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

To learn more visit

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


GCSAA Member Cooks Up Support for Hurricane Ian First Responders

Andy Engelbrecht and friends created BBQ for Heroes to provide hot meals for those on the front lines of storm recovery.

Andy Engelbrecht was born and raised in Southwest Florida. He grew up fishing with his father on Sanibel Island, hanging out with friends on Fort Myers Beach, spending summer afternoons on Captiva. He and his wife, Betsy, are now raising a family of their own in Fort Myers. Other than his college days at the University of Florida and his early jobs in the golf industry — first as a club professional, then as a superintendent before veering into the industry-supplier side — this part of the world is the only home he’s ever known.

Considering that, it’s not surprising

how deeply Engelbrecht has been moved by Hurricane Ian and the devastation it left behind. Fortunately, the personal impacts have been minimal; friends and family are safe, and aside from some tree damage, his home in Fort Myers came through the storm in one piece.

Englebrecht knows he and his family are among the area’s exceptions. With so many suffering, the 14-year GCSAA member knew he had to do something to help. “Everything’s been upended here,” Engelbrecht says. “We’re all just trying to figure out what we can do to help.”

For Engelbrecht and a close group of friends, that led to what they call “BBQ for Heroes,” an effort to fire up smokers and grills to feed first responders working in the area to

52 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10
Andy Engelbrecht

complete search-and-rescue efforts and assist with overall cleanup.

“It’s huge for these guys when they can come into the station, they’re changing shifts and they can grab some real food as opposed to MREs or cold stuff that they get donated,” says Engelbrecht, now a regional sales rep for BASF in South Florida. “All that is great, but when you can sink your teeth into a piece of brisket or a rib, it’s like that changes the day for them.”

Before they could do all that, though, Engelbrecht and company needed to upgrade their equipment. For the most part, they are all weekend warriors who like to cook for friends and family. None of them had a smoker large enough to accommodate the amount of brisket, chicken and ribs needed to feed battalions of firefighters and paramedics.

So, they bought one. It was an older unit that needed plenty of work, but a day’s worth of rehab and fresh paint got the crew up and running. By Tuesday of this week, the BBQ for Heroes crew set up shop at a local fire station and started serving meals. “We’re all just backyard guys. We’re not professionals

and we don’t claim to know what we’re doing,” Engelbrecht says. “But my family likes what I make and I’m with a few people that are pretty darn good at it. So far, nothing but rave reviews from the first responders.”

When word began to spread about what Engelbrecht and his cohorts were doing, donations flowed in to help defer costs for the meat, the woodchips and charcoal needed to keep the fires burning, and supply side dishes. A GoFundMe page has also generated some buzz, and as of Wednesday morning, the group has received more than $5,000 in donations.

“I had never done one of those before, but it’s pretty amazing how quickly people have stepped up to help,” Engelbrecht says. “My wife helped get that set up and is managing the funds and tracking receipts. We want to make sure we’re reimbursing people who need to be reimbursed, and that we’re using the money the right way.”

This isn’t the first time Engelbrecht has offered up his barbecue skills for a good cause. After Hurricane Irma came ashore near Naples, Fla., in 2017, he joined an effort to help feed golf course maintenance crews who were working to get their courses up and running. This time, with plenty of other industry efforts focusing on superintendents and golf courses, he put first responders at the top of his list.

“I was a superintendent for a long time, and I know what those guys are going through,” says Engelbrecht, who isn’t the only family member involved in relief efforts; his wife, Betsy, has been involved in putting together bags of supplies for area families affected by Ian. “But I also knew what else was being done, so I decided we needed to do this for now. Once we have all the people on the front lines taken care of, then I’ll circle back to the golf guys and see how they’re doing.”

To learn more and to help with the BBQ for Heroes effort, visit their GoFundMe page.

53 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10

From Indiana to Colorado, Grassmasters Sod Farms Innovates for 25 Years

Joe and Pamela Bammer, owners of Grassmasters Sod Farms, started their sod farming business 25 years ago in June 1997. The two were married in 1987 and continue to be partners in life and in their company.

Joe and Pam met while both attending college at Colorado State University. After graduating, Joe didn’t decide to go into the turfgrass industry, he said he just kind of “fell into it.” After working for a brief period for his grandfather in Central America, he used a recruitment service to search for jobs. He met Walt Pemrick from Warren’s Turf Group, Inc. and they hired him that same day.

“Warren’s Turf was very big at that time, and they sent me to California to start working in 1988 and that’s all I’ve been doing since then. I’ve been dealing with bermudagrass since day one,” Joe said.

Shortly after starting at the farm in California, Joe went from being the assistant manager of the farm to taking promotions at farms across the country. He moved to a farm in North Carolina and then to Tifton, Georgia where he became an operations

manager over multiple farm locations.

When that business was sold, Pam and Joe spent the next three years working for Thomas Brothers Grass in Southern Tennessee while living in Huntsville, Alabama. Joe worked in production, while Pam worked as the office manager. Ultimately, Joe decided he wanted to work for himself. Although he was fortunate for his time with Warren’s Turf and Thomas Bros, Joe and Pam Bammer started their own turfgrass business in June 1997.

The first Grassmasters sod field consisted of about 30 acres of tall fescue and bermudagrass in Patoka, IN. The company sprigged two golf courses with bermudagrass their first year in business.

“I don’t know if Joe could have opened a sod farm right out of college. He learned something everywhere we went. He learned good things and bad things and was exposed to different varieties of grass and different ways to do things in different markets and how to get the product out there. I don’t think we’d be who we are today had he not gone through that,” Pam said.

She explained that they’ve grown tremendously since then by word of mouth, but also by standing behind what they do while providing people good products. Joe agreed saying he’s grateful they get customers who acknowledge that Grassmasters produces a solid product.

“I’ve never seen anybody work as hard as Joe in my whole life and I think that was what led people to give out his name and our farm name.  They’d say call Grassmasters, they will take care of you. So that’s what we’ve done. We’ve taken care of our customers.  We aren’t happy unless our customer is happy.” Pam said.

Pam handles all business operations except for production. She oversees Grassmaster’s in-house responsibilities, including: payroll, answering the phone, cutting, trucking, shipping, accounting and billing. Grassmasters has about 25 employees between their Indiana farm and now Colorado farm, which opened in 2020.

In addition to those two farms, Grassmasters has partnership farms in Kentucky and Panama

54 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10
Emily’s daughter Finnley Kavanaugh at the farm
By Ceclia Brown
Joe and Pam

in Central America.

The Bammers have three daughters. Their oldest Emily was pregnant and teaching when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and instead of going back to teaching virtually, she took a year off teaching and started helping Pam with office responsibilities such as answering phones and giving quotes for jobs. Now, she works full-time with Pam at their Indiana location.

Their middle daughter Katherine and her family lives in Colorado but does not work on the farm there. She is a hairstylist. Their youngest daughter, Grace is in her 5th year at college and spent all summer working on their Colorado farm harvesting and installing sod. Pam said Emily and Grace have worked on their farm since they were old enough to help and enjoy being a part of the company.

Services and Sod Types

Grassmasters offers sodding, sprigging and fraze mow services. Joe had experience with sprigging when he worked at in the Southeast prior to opening Grassmasters and he became familiar with the process. Pam explained they were the first sod farm to bring bermudagrasses to Indiana.

“We do an awful lot of sprig work for the tri-state area. I think we’re going to start building sprig planters again,” Joe shared. Grassmasters prides itself on having more varieties and sod products than any other sod farm in Indiana. Pam said Joe wanted the farm to be the one place in the area that you could go to to find any type of grass you needed.

High-Profile Jobs

Recently, Grassmasters supplied 35 acres of Innovation for Red Feather Golf Course in Lubbock, TX with more

to come next spring from their farm. Joe attributes this job for spreading the word about Innovation. It showed how good it looks in a golf setting. The process of the installation was broadcast over different social media platforms over the course of a few months.

“There are other farms that are bigger than us, but we do get selected to do some very special projects. We’ve done a couple of the largest golf renovations in the past two years with this Red Feather job, as well as Kentucky’s Park Mammoth Golf Club,” he said.

Grassmasters Sod Farms has supplied bermudagrass for three National Football League (NFL) stadiums. They provide grass for the Cincinnati Bengals’ and Indianapolis Colts’ practice facilities every year. They also installed a field when the Tennessee Titans hosted an NFL draft party inside the stadium in Nashville, TN. They have also supplied grass for Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, KY.

Joe said that bermudagrass is very popular for NFL fields, and it’s important he stays on top of the newest, cutting-edge varieties because they are always wanting the newest, best thing for their arenas. “NorthBridge® Bermudagrass has also been very popular for local colleges and high schools for us,” he shared.

“We have sandy fields where we are located. Our high-sand content is probably the thing that sets our farm apart. That sand-base does very well for zoysiagrasses and bermudagrasses, producing a very good sod that people like. We’re close to 90% sand in a majority of our warm-season fields and that’s kind of a big deal. There

aren’t many sod farms like that.”

Pam said it is phenomenal to be a part of these large and professional jobs, but explained that a majority of their business actually comes from local homeowners, builders and landscapers. “While everybody sees the big things, the relationships that you have with your local customers are equally as important.”

She said that when she thinks back about where the business was 25 years ago, she laughs at how they used to do some things. “We learn something new every day and keep it and continue forward with our eyes open to see if somebody else is doing it better. And if we need to, we modify how we’re doing things. And it’s always been that way.”

In the next 10 years, the Bammers hope to be doing exactly what they’re doing now, but better, always. They are also looking forward to the growing success of their Colorado farm, which they still consider as new.

For more information about Grassmasters Sod Farms, click here. Read the full article on Sod Solutions website here.

Sod Solutions has helped successfully develop and release to the market over 20 different turfgrass varieties over the past 28 years including Palmetto® and CitraBlue® St. Augustine, EMPIRE® and Innovation® Zoysia and Celebration®, Latitude 36® and NorthBridge® Bermudagrass. The company is based in the Charleston, SC area.

This article was written by Sod Solutions Media & Content Manager, Cecilia Brown. For media inquiries or hi-resolution photos, email

55 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10
Joe Bammer with his daughter, Emily

Chelated Iron (Fe) .................1.60% Total Manganese (Mn) ..........0.25% Soluble Manganese (Mn) ......0.25% Soluble Zinc (Zn) ..................0.10%

Sulfur (S) combined ..............3.50% Derived from: Manganese Sulphate, Zinc Sulphate, Iron Glucoheptonate, Iron Sulphate, Magnesium Sulphate.

Total Magnesium (Mg) ..........0.50%

Soluble Magnesium (Mg) ......0.50%

Soluble Iron (Fe) ...................3.40%

Chelated Iron (Fe) .................1.60%

Total Manganese (Mn) ..........0.25%

Soluble Manganese (Mn) ......0.25%

Soluble Zinc (Zn) ..................0.10%


Sunn 28-0-0 N-SURE ITEM #160031 GUARANTEED ANALYSIS Total Nitrogen ..........................28% 20.2% ..........Slow release Nitrogen 7.8% .........................Urea Nitrogen Sunn KTS PRO LIQUID FERTILIZER Item# 160041 GUARANTEED ANALYSIS Soluble Potash (K2O) ..............25% Total Sulfur (S) .........................17% 17% combined sulfur 0% free sulfur Derived from: potassium thiosulfate Sunn 6-0-0 Blend PRO LIQUID FERTILIZER Item# 160010 GUARANTEED ANALYSIS
Sunn 12-0-0 Blend PRO LIQUID FERTILIZER ITEM# 160021 GUARANTEED ANALYSIS Total Nitrogen ..........................12% 12% Urea Nitrogen Chlorine not more than ..............2% SECONDARY PLANT FOODS Iron as Fe ...................................6% Manganese as Mn .....................2% Derived from: Urea, Iron Glucoheptonate, Manganese Glucoheptonate Minors Blend LIQUID FERTILIZER ITEM #160000 GUARANTEED ANALYSIS
combined ..............3.50% Derived from: Manganese Sulphate, Zinc Sulphate, Iron Glucoheptonate, Iron Sulphate, Magnesium Sulphate.
Total Magnesium (Mg) ..........0.50% Soluble Magnesium (Mg) ....0.050% Soluble Iron (Fe)
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Sanford Ferris Golf Design completes renovation on Water Oak County Club Estates in Lady Lake, Florida

After an extensive one-year redesign project at Water Oak Country Club, a new par 70, 6,200-yard layout is complete. Residents began to play the new layout in early December 2022 to tremendous reviews.

“We couldn’t be happier with the redesign,” stated John Sanford, former President of the American Society of Golf Course Architects. “David and I designed this course to be playable for every skill level and especially for seniors, incorporating shallow green side bunkers, and greens that accept running shots on to the putting surface, it’s a throwback to the Golden Era of course design,” Sanford added.

“Water Oak Country Club Estates

has so much to offer the local 55+ active community and the completion of this milestone project will further increase our amenities and enhance our experience for residents,” said Sheri Woodworth, division vice president at Sun Communities.

“From the first day we opened the new course, we have had nothing but compliments,” Bob Cooke, General Manager of Water Oak Golf Club stated. Cooke continued, “residents were very concerned about what the future would hold with the change, and now those same people are loving the new course design.”

Sun Communities, contracted the turf establishment period to

International Golf Maintenance (IGM) a full-service golf course maintenance company, overseeing day-to-day agronomic operations for numerous clients to ensure the best possible golf course conditions within their maintenance budgets. Once IGM was on-site, Water Oak Country Club contracted for continuing the day-today maintenance operation. “At IGM we pride ourselves on implementing top quality golf course maintenance programs. A golf course is a significant asset for owners, and we want to preserve that asset,” said IGM’s Vice-President of Operations, Steve Gano. “It was a pleasure to work with Sanford Ferris Golf Design on

58 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10
"Many of us were skeptical with the upcoming change. Now we see the completed vision and are very happy with the outcome."
–Darrell S.
Water Oak Resident 7 years

Water Oak, John and David, are First Class, being on-site nearly every week throughout the entire process.”

“Water Oak Country Club was such a unique site to complete the renovation,” stated David Ferris, ASGCA, RLA, and Partner in Sanford Ferris Golf Design. “With its 70’ of elevation change, mature Oak trees lining most of the golf holes, and a core golf experience (holes aren’t routed through or around residential homes), Ferris continued.

“One of the driving forces behind doing the renovation was the flooding that occurred on the North end of the course every year. 90,000 cubic yards of dirt was moved to expand lakes and raise tees, fairways, greens, and bunkers.”

If you have played Water Oak in the past… it is time to revisit this new North Central Florida “Sanford Ferris Design Masterpiece.” Contact the clubhouse at (352) 753-3000 to book your tee time.

A Magical Moment at Water Oak Golf Club

With the renovation completed at Water Oaks Golf Club, the course reopened for play, Saturday, December 3rd.

Gus _, a resident for 3-year, was set to play with his normal group the “Swing Slice,” Saturday morning. Little did he know what was about to happen, playing the golf course for the first time. “When I stepped on the tee on number 12, par 3, 179-yard. The pin was low on the green and was tucked in behind the bunker. I hit a 5-iron. We saw it hit and roll around, but then we lost site of it. Behind the green there is a backstop to force the ball back on to the green,” Gus explained. “When we got to the green, we couldn’t find the ball. We all looked and figuring it had rolled off the back and we just couldn’t see it. I was headed to the drop zone to hit again. The guys to help speed up play, started to putt out and when the first guy got close and was about to pull the pin, he said “Hey Gus… wait a minute, I found your ball!” Gus said.

It had been 21-years since Gus scored his first hole-in-one in Ft. Myers. “I’ve been close a lot of times… but never had the second one,” Gus stated.

Fast forward one week. The very next Saturday. “I stepped on to number 4, one on the flattest par 3’s that we have at Water Oaks. It is slightly uphill. 141-yards to the pin, with a breeze behind me… I played a pitching wedge,” Gus explained. “The green is flat on the front and back with a depression in the middle where the pin was located. Same situation, the whole foursome was looking for the ball that we assumed was off the back of the green.”

Well, there it was, in the hole again! One week apart. Right now… Gus is considered the “Luckiest Golfer” in Water Oaks.

59 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10

Turf Pirate's Journal $Changing The Flag $

Ahoy Turf Pirates and welcome to another thrilling edition of a turf Pirate’s journal and a New Year full of adventure and opportunity. It is customary this time of year to make resolutions and goals about the you that you would like to be by year’s end. We are certainly supporters of SMART, GREEN and LINKED goals here the Galactic Headquarters of the Ancient and Honorable Tribe of Turf Pirates. However, we believe within the Tribe that it’s managing change especially big change that makes a person worth their salt. So todays spin is about changing the flag. When the ownership or management changes at your club how do you as the turf manager ensure that you and your team transition, or as we Turf Pirates say, “become the ones who change the flag”.

I know a thing or two about transition and changing the flag. In fact, in the last 37 years I have served four properties roughly 1,000 miles apart serving eight companies/brands (Nestle, Stouffer, Renaissance, Marriott, Canongate/Sequoia, Four Seasons, TPC, Century/Palmer Golf) working in the Private, Resort and Public areas of the golf industry. Most recently

(December 2022) I helped transition our Dallas property (The Sports Club of Las Colinas, formerly known as TPC Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Dallas at Las Colinas, by the way stayed tuned to a bold new name for our property in 2023) into the Century Golf Partners/ Arnold Palmer Golf Management family. I am honored to have made the transition and am grateful for the professionalism of all stake holders to keep the operation going at a high level throughout the eleven-month process. A mid paragraph shout out to everyone who saw a brighter future and worked to make it real. You see change is sometimes tough and difficult to predict but when you have the right attitude and vision change is simply necessary to grow and craft a better situation for you and everyone involved. The key is to control your emotions, show your true worth and see a better, shared future. Knowing that perception is reality apply your intellect and sweat equity into developing skills that are highly valuable and bridge effectively the gap between to old way and the new way. Simply put into turf pirate terms you should aspire to live at the intersection

of tradition and innovation. All of the transitions I have experienced have made me better. I was not always able to see the value of the hard lessons until later, sometimes it’s darkest before the dawn. Take heart turf pirates if you are going through a transition or just tough times remember that faith is believing in things unseen, things that will arrive perfectly on time not one second early or late. Stay the course, grow your skills, work your plan, say a few deep prayers and relax. A calm sea has never made a skillful sailor must less captain.

Embrace the New Year with a positive spirit and vision of an Apex future. Guard well turf pirates those you allow into your inner circle and if the season calls for it, change the flag professionally and/or personally. Embrace the opportunities presented with great certainty and whenever possible reach out to a fellow turf pirate for support and insight, together we are stronger. I am once again learning new policies, people and programs and I could not be happier as my team and I hoist the new sails and make way toward the horizon. Wishing everyone a prosperous New Year!

60 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10
A collection of the many flags I have flown over my 37-year career
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Harpeth Hills –A Nashville Natural For Audubon International Certification

If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a dedicated team to “raise” a municipal golf course to a sustainability level worthy of Audubon International’s environmental certification.

There’s no more dedicated team than the consortium of experts who together led Harpeth Hills — one of seven golf courses operated by Metro Nashville Parks & Recreation — to that hard-earned height.

Working side by side with the Parks & Rec professionals to get 18-hole, 57-year-old Harpeth Hills certified in 2014, and helping keep them there, is a local non-profit organization called Friends of Warner Parks (FOWP). Established in 1987 and supported by some 1,500 dedicated donors, an active 40-person board, hundreds of volunteers and a dedicated staff, the organization’s mission is to protect 3,195 acres in Percy and Edwin Warner Parks, two of Nashville’s 178 metro parks that in total cover over 15,000 acres.

“It’s very much like the Central Park Conservancy in New York,” says Jenny Hannon, Friends of Warner Parks

President. “It’s an independent 501(c) (3)organization whose mission is to preserve and protect Warner Parks. And over those years we’ve invested about $40 million into the park. We work very closely with Metro and have had the privilege of working with them for a really long time.”

On the golf front, Harpeth Hills is, so far, the biggest beneficiary of FOWP’s efforts. According to Kevin Forte, Metro Parks Head Golf Professional at Harpeth Hills, the course occupies about 230 acres of Percy Warner Park, with 60 of

them designated as native, attracting all kinds of wildlife from bluebirds and turkeys to foxes and bobcats. He says the road to Audubon International certification began in 1999 but was delayed for a variety of reasons — until a committed and connected early FOWP board chair named Kristin Taylor helped push it through. Now he and his staff, including Metro Parks Golf Maintenance Superintendent Brandon Denton, work closely with FOWP, and the Warner Park Nature Center, to keep sustainability — and

62 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10

Audubon International guidelines — at the center of all maintenance programs.

“We each bring a certain level of expertise in a certain area to the partnership,” Forte says. “We respect one another, and everybody relies on who’s the expert in this area or that area to kind of take control. We come to a commonality of putting things into practice.”

That means bringing the public on board, too. “Golf can sometimes get a bad rap. People think that we don’t care about the natural resources on the golf course. So for me, that was one thing — to show the people that we did care about the natural resources surrounding the golf course. For me, it was being a good steward of the natural resources surrounding the golf course and within the golf course and identifying areas that were priority playing areas and areas that were secondary, and areas that were out of play — and what could we do in those areas that didn’t disrupt golf. Jenny works very closely with the Warner Park Nature Center staff as well. They’re the experts in community outreach, education and natural resource planning

and management.”

Denton and his crew put many key sustainability elements into practice every day, from maintaining one of the nation’s longestrunning bluebird box programs to cutting back on fungicides and herbicides and constantly monitoring water quality. These practices apply not only to Harpeth Hills, but other courses in the system — and the entire parks ecosphere. “It’s a park first, golf course second,” Denton says. “That’s the intention. So anything we can do to preserve the integrity of the natural part of the course is really important for us.”

Denton has seen a lot of improvements and upgrades to the course over the years. In 2017 Harpeth Hills installed new Bermuda TifEagle ultra-dwarf Bermuda greens while continuing to enhance native

areas — and, again, coordination with all stakeholders is crucial. “We just invited nature into the golf course. And when you look at what it takes to become certified and all the processes, you realize it cannot be done by one person. The collaboration of everyone coming together has been instrumental in getting it done.”

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

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.

63 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10

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

64 Golf Central • Volume 23, Issue 10 PERFOR MA NCE SU NWEAR
Transitions and the swirl are registered trademarks and Transitions Adaptive Lenses is a trademark of Transitions Optical, Inc. ©2012 Transitions Optical, Inc. Come see us at the PGA Show booth #3516
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Patriot Golf Day® has become the largest grass-roots golf fundraiser in America – a joint initiative of The PGA of America and the USGA, Patriot Golf Day enlists the support of public and private golf facilities across the country. Funds support Folds of Honor, providing educational scholarships to the children and spouses of service members killed or disabled while serving in America’s Armed Forces.

GET INVOLVED LEARN MORE AT PATRIOTGOLFDAY.ORG EVENT MARATHON DONATION BOX HOST AN CONDUCT A GOLF PARTICIPATE IN THE CAMPAIGN Although the national promotion of Patriot Golf Day is over Labor Day weekend, you can play golf any time of the year to support the families of our fallen and disabled service members. Here are a few ways to get involved.
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