The Fabulous, Not Far Away Fairways Of Fairfield Glade Await You.
Our fairways are fabulous. Our greens are gorgeous. Our tee boxes a real treat. And it’s all an easy drive from anywhere in the Southeast. Fairfield Glade is conveniently located between Knoxville and Nashville just a few miles off I-40. And when you get here, well…Now The Fun Begins.
For information or reservations, call 888-334-5233
• 5 Championship Golf Courses
• Miles of Hiking Trails
• 11 Lakes for Boating and Fishing
• 2 Marinas; Rental Boats, Bait/Tackle
• Tennis and Pickleball Courts
• Stables for Horseback Riding
• Golf Packages Available
A Golfer’s Paradise
Situated in Pennsvivania’s majestic Laurel Highlands, you will discover a golfer’s paradise at the always-adventurous Nemacolin. One of Golf Digest’s Best Golf Resorts in the Mid-Atlantic, Nemacolin presents two breathtaking and enigmatic courses designed by the legendary Pete Dye. Ideal for buddies’ trips or large group outings, the acclaimed Mystic Rock and Shepherd’s Rock courses showcase thrilling shot values with sweeping views of the rugged Allegheny Mountains.
Sharpen your skills at The Nemacolin Golf Academy with expert instruction, state-of-the-art game-improvement technology (including TrackMan simulators), custom club fitting, and multi-day bootcamps. Book an ultimate getaway package to this incomparable destination for golf, spa, world-class cuisine, art, wine, and all-season adventure. Your trip of a lifetime awaits!
All experiences are exclusive to overnight guests and members.
Generational, Foundational, Recreational
Times will change, golf will change, but no matter who merges or plays the tours, the spirit of being involved in the game of golf is a dream for some. I’m grateful every day to have the platform to give back the way we do. In every beginner, pro, and between, our love for golf gives the game a sense of charm so special it’s practically southern!
Speaking of Charm, I recently took a hike to East Tennessee. I made my way back to Potters Falls with Sissy Tonia, where I’d take my daughter Tonyia in a red wagon almost every summer day. Sis and I happened on a Boys and Girls Club Tournament in Onieda, where we spread some Turf Life/GCM fertilizing. I settled in with my beloved family and went on about the Nitzschke farm, crawdads, pig riding, all while listening to the familiar sounds of trains, DEEP ACCENTS, and the wind chimes enjoying the beautiful surroundings at Cliff and Becky’s. A wonderful stop in Georgia, where our gorgeous golf bachelorette opened her home to me and my Uber Driver “Rocky” (her father). We partied at the VFW, and ate at the Seed (you must get the deviled eggs), celebrating birthdays, Marines, listening to music, and laughing like kids.
I think the very same hospitality is exactly where the charm of golf is rooted. Very few sports that operate on the professional scale that golf does have such a vast and growing dedication of amateurs, casual players, and fans. It’s the patience for beginners, the time spent with our friends, the care and passion grown right into the turf, that keeps it Generational, Foundational, and Recreational! Not Just A Game...A Way of Life!
As we wait, watch, and process the changes we see, remember why you care so deeply for the family traditions, and develop new ones. The price tags attached to the trophies will never match the value of watching our children hold tight their first clubs, or watching triumphs of the LPGA Champions, knowing how far women’s golf has come. Golf has been an introductory tool of philanthropy, community, and patience for generations and has far since grown from being a sport to becoming an agent for life changing opportunities and always will be. What keeps golf growing is when experienced players turn to the greener golfers and say “Y’all are invited!” Speaking of invited…take a peek at page 12 to read about Troon’s latest course acquisition. They’re making it happen.
Thanks to everyone, ALWAYS, Much Obliged, I'm Mighty Grateful!
Publisher: Terrie L. Purdum (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Edi tor in Chief: Shannon Coates (email@example.com)
Graphic Design: Melahn Cable
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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
Video Visionary: Amy Fox
Media Partners: DSP Media; John Gerber, JP Peterson, Nick Geddes, Holly Geoghegan, Golf Insiders, GMS; Tony Leodora, Traveling Golfer
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©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 24, Issue 4 from the publisher
Volume 24, Issue 4
2009 North Florida PGA Amateur of the Year
My mom, Polly
My sis, Tonia
My Uber driver, Rocky
8 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4 FEATURE 10 Baha Mar Cart Girl 22 Katie Shelton Celebrity Corner 24 The Legends Golf Tour Fashion Forward 18 Greenman Golf Golf Bachelorette 14 Lindsay Miller Golf Business 12 Troon Golf Travel 16 Nemacolin Growing The Game 26 The Friars Club Special Events 20 Greg & Beverly Wise Turf Life 52 University of Georgia 54 Turf Pirate 56 GCSAA GAL Awards 58 Riebeling Farms Departments 32 Grip It & Sip It 34 Product Showcase 40 LPGA 46 SFPGA 48 NFPGA 50 KYPGA golfcentralmag.com Feature Article Pg 10 Volume 24, Issue 4 WWW.GOLFCENTRALMAG.COM 24 46 14
Baha Mar is the Caribbean’s
leading integrated luxury resort of choice located in Nassau, The Bahamas. The resort destination is home to three iconic oceanfront hotels, the richly refined Rosewood, the playfully hip SLS, and the stylish and modern Grand Hyatt, all overlooking the pristine white sands of Cable Beach. Guests can indulge in a sweeping array of amenities and experiences including unrivaled dining by celebrity chefs Marcus Samuelsson and Daniel Boulud, and more than 45 restaurants, bars and lounges, the largest casino in the Caribbean, the luxurious Baha Bay water park, the Caribbean’s first and only flagship ESPA spa, over 30 affluent retail outlets and so much more.
Two Courses in One
Golfers looking to hit the green can tee off on the Royal Blue Golf Course, which was designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus. The most acclaimed golf course in Nassau, Royal Blue, features 18-holes unfolding over a gorgeous, naturally evolving landscape. Uniquely designed as two courses in one, the course begins with a front-nine featuring dramatic views of undulating fairways and rolling white-sand dunes, brackish ponds and glimpses of a turquoise Atlantic Ocean. Players are then transported to a back-nine that challenges them to navigate stunning limestone “moonscapes” and elevation changes through dense jungle and steep downhill terrain to get to the island green on the 16th hole, which precariously borders Lake Cunningham, making for a memorable island golf experience that is majestic to see and thrilling to play.
Royal Blue also features a unique, single set of tees, course set up, ensuring a unique experience each time guests play. Each day the Royal Blue grounds crew places tee locations on the course according to the changing Nassau weather and playing conditions, to create a new and optimal golfing experience for guests. With freeform teeing areas rather than traditional tee pods, any one hole can change by as much
as 100 yards each day. This also allows for guests to play multiple variations of the course throughout their stay, while maintaining a similar overall yardage.
“Better Than Your Own” Golf Club Package
Golfers can also take advantage of Baha Mar’s world-class “Better Than Your Own” golf club rental program in partnership with PXG and enjoy an epic round at Royal Blue with a set of carefully curated PXG Golf Clubs. PXG provides a variety of full bag options from its latest product lineup, including the company’s flagship GEN4 Golf Clubs and 2021 0211 Collection. Royal Blue’s “Better Than Your Own” club rental program further creates the rare opportunity for players to test some of the world’s finest clubs in unmatched playing conditions – as opposed to on the range or in a simulator. Each set of PXG rentals are carefully chosen by Royal Blue’s professionals with a player’s skill set and preferences in mind. From forgiveness and advanced workability to distance and dispersion, each set takes personalized performance and fun to the extreme.
Mini (Royal) Blue
Mini golfers and professional players alike looking to hit the green on a smaller scale can tee off at Mini Blue, a professionally inspired 18-hole miniature golf course infused with the natural beauty of Nassau. This meandering mini golf course is a terrific option for families, teens, groups and everyone who enjoys a little competitive fun!
Baha Mar is a breathtaking location with dynamic programming, activities, and guest offerings in one of the most beautiful places in the world – The Bahamas.
For more information and reservations visit https://bahamar.com/golf/ and follow @BahaMarResorts.
10 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4 feature
18-hole reservations start at $220 per person, which includes green fee and shared golf cart with GPS.
Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4 11
Troon Adds Over 30 New Courses Through Two Acquisitions
Troon, a leader in the golf and club hospitality industry, recently announced two separate acquisitions, bringing more than 30 management and consultingservices agreements into its portfolio. The management and/or consulting agreements acquired by Troon include a mix of private clubs, resorts and athletic clubs, including six facilities located in Florida.
On July 5th, the Scottsdale, Arizona-based company announced it had acquired Invited’s Management Services business with 18 managed and consultingservices agreements moving to Troon’s world-class managed club portfolio. The strategic move promises to drive enhanced services across all Troon-managed properties. For Invited, the move allows the company to laser focus on growing its industry-leading portfolio of owned and operated golf, business, and sports clubs.
With this alliance, Invited and Troon will introduce a program that allows Invited members to play participating Troon-managed resort and daily fee courses, the perfect complement to Invited’s portfolio of more than 150 clubs and 200 courses. Members of the former Invited Club Management facilities will continue to enjoy Invited’s XLife benefits, playing a network of hundreds of private clubs and renowned resorts.
As part of the Troon/Invited agreement, management teams and all employees at the facilities will remain in their current roles, now supported with additional Troon resources, services, and
programs. In addition, Invited Senior Vice President Seth Churi and Regional Vice President Peter Faraone will move to similar positions within Troon, continuing to support the operations at the 18 facilities with the backing of Troon’s resources.
On July 6th and in a completely separate transaction, Troon acquired Applied Golf Management, a New Jersey-based golf and hospitality management company. As part of the acquisition, Troon assumes management of Applied Golf’s portfolio of 13 public and private golf facilities in New York, New Jersey and Florida. Members and guests of Applied Golf-managed facilities will continue to experience the same outstanding service, incredible course conditions and excellent food and beverage options. Current plans call for Applied Golf to continue to maintain its Millstone Township, New Jersey office and all Applied Golf associates will continue to support and manage facilities in the region.
Troon’s acquisition of Applied Golf Management infuses additional support, expertise and resources to benefit current and prospective clients, while growing the company’s portfolio of managed facilities in the Northeast.
“We are excited to welcome these outstanding clubs, their members, management teams and associates to the Troon family,” stated Troon President and CEO Tim Schantz. “We have long respected Invited and Applied Golf’s contributions to our industry.”
The Invited and Applied Golf transactions not only expand
Troon’s footprint in key markets, but also brings the additional talent and resources of those companies under the Troon umbrella, enabling Troon to help existing clients excel in the competitive world of golf and club operations. In recent years, Troon has continued to grow organically while at the same time expand its service offerings and increase its management capabilities through multiple acquisitions. Since 2014, Troon has completed 13 management company acquisitions, including 11 since 2018.
Troon is the world’s largest golf and golf-related hospitality management company providing services at 820-plus locations, including 840-plus 18-hole equivalent golf courses around the globe. In addition to golf, Troon specializes in homeowner association management, private residence clubs, estate management and associated hospitality venues. Troon’s awardwinning food and beverage division operates and manages 600-plus food and beverage operations located at golf resorts, private clubs, daily fee golf courses and recreational facilities. With properties located in 45-plus states and 30-plus countries, Troon’s family of brands includes Troon Golf, Troon Privé, Troon International, Indigo Sports, CADDIEMASTER, ClubUp, Cliff Drysdale Tennis, Peter Burwash International, True Club Solutions, RealFood Hospitality, Strategy and Design, Casa Verde Golf and ICON Management. For additional information, visit www.Troon.com.
Photo: Troon North Tee Box– Monument #16
BET ON GREEN
AWARD-WINNING CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF
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Sweetgrass and Sage Run: dramatically different, but equally exceptional!
Award-winning golf has become a centerpiece of the Island Resort & Casino, home to both Sweetgrass and Sage Run Golf Clubs. Sweetgrass is consistently ranked among Golfweek’s Best Courses, featuring an open layout with some of the game’s most fun greens to putt. Sweetgrass proudly hosts The Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass — part of the Epson Tour - “Road to the LPGA” and the future of women’s golf. Sage Run Golf Club provides a different kind of golf experience, where holes flow through hardwoods and around a ridge, providing a thrill ride for golfers of all abilities.
5 5 4 4 8 8 2 2 4 4 5 28 16 10 31 23 27 131 127 75 75 94 94 43 90 196 75 90 94 80 90 Green Bay Madison Eau Claire Iron Mt. Ironwood Ashland Dubuque Milwaukee Grand Rapids Chicago Lansing Detroit Grayling Traverse City Makinaw City Escanaba Houghton Makinaw Marquette
Late Season, Double Occupancy
What three things would you need to survive on a deserted island? Water, sunscreen and a sailboat… bc then I’m only deserted when I want to be.
Who would you like to have with you on the same deserted island; and why? My dad because he’s an experience in and of himself but he’s wicked handy so he could build us a shelter and make sure my boat is in tip top condition.
What do you find to be the most annoying habit people demonstrate on the golf course? Slow play
Name the three most important things to you in this world. Faith, Family and Health
Given the choice; would you select love, success, or money to keep yourself happy? There was a time where I would have for sure said money, however with age comes wisdom… love for sure.
What do you fear the most? I have an irrational fear of alligators coming up the toilet which I suppose is an overactive imagination’s take on snakes in the drain, but a more serious fear is that my life will have been lived without positive purpose.
What three people would you most like to play with in your fantasy golf foursome? Condoleezza Rice, Arnold Palmer and Matthew McConaughey
What are some of your great accomplishments? My philanthropic service, being the first person in my family to graduate college, keeping myself credit card debt free.
Relaxed evening at home, or nightclub and cocktails? Cocktails at home, on my deck with good music playing.
Last time you spewed something through your nose from laughing so hard? I’m not sure anything came out my nose, but I definitely peed myself a little playing Cards against Humanity with my 75+ year old dad and his friends.
Favorite comedian? I’m not sure he counts as a comedian, but I love Michael Strahan and he always makes me laugh.
Where were you born? Did you grow up there? Irving, TX (Go Boys!) but I grew up in Guilford, CT.
Is “acting your age” overrated? Overrated and boring.
What do you do for a living? I am a master cat herder for a technology company.
What would you like to do for a living? Something related to a passion; so, music, animals or serving our veteran community.
Aside from golf; what do you prefer for fun and relaxation? I’m a runner and Crossfitter and I LOVE a good book.
What golf apparel do you like to wear? Whatever looks good with a matching pair of Foot Joys.
Whom do you most admire for their inner and outer beauty? I can’t name just one, my inner circle of female friends… they are all generous, kind, supportive and beautiful.
Tell us about your first kiss? Oh gosh, it was Mike Farherty in the library before school. I’m pretty sure there was an audience, and a girlfriend was timing it to see “if it counted.”
Steak, chicken, or seafood? Steak and lobster please.
Tell us something about yourself that only your closest friends know. Who I voted for.
Movies:…comedy, drama, action, romance? Anything that involves murder and mystery.
Favorite television channel? I’m a Netflix or Hulu kind of girl.
Last book you read? I’m trying to read 100 books this year, so I’m always reading. Two books that I’ve read in the last year that were outstanding are The Things We Leave Unfinished by Rebecca Yarros and All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood.
News, current events; hardcopy or on-line? Hard Copy … I weirdly like the smell of paper.
Favorite magazine? There are others besides Golf Central? My bougie side likes Wine Spectator and my inner geek the Harvard Business Review.
Favorite charity to support? I am incredibly passionate about serving our military and veteran community. I am very involved with an organization called Shepherd’s Men, a group of active, retired servicemen and civilian volunteers raising funds and awareness for the SHARE Military Initiative at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA. (www.shepherdsmen.com)
What else would you like for us to know about you? I have two fur babies, a geriatric Chihuahua, Bullet and a four-year-old Frenchie, Palmer, named after the GOAT, Arnold.
14 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4 golf bachelorette
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Nemacolin Delights All the Senses in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands
Nemacolin, in the picturesque Laurel Highlands (about one hour southeast of Pittsburgh), is a resort destination that exceeds just about every expectation you can set. Even if you’re welltraveled. Even if you’re a golf snob. Even if you’re a food and wine aficionado, an art lover, adventure junkie, buddies’ trip captain, or family vacation czar.
Just down the road from architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s acclaimed masterpiece Fallingwater, and Fort Necessity National Battlefield (site of the opening action of the French and Indian War in 1754), Nemacolin is making its own distinctive brand of history in Pennsylvania’s nature-rich Laurel Highlands.
Nemacolin’s satisfying array of amenities and attractions include an internationally acclaimed art collection, The Hardy Room, The
Tea Room, The Patisserie, Forbes Five-Star and Four-Star dining, luxury shopping boutiques, bespoke experiences, and even a 1950s-style ice cream parlor. Beyond golf, outdoor adventurers
can enjoy The Nemacolin Field Club; Wildlife Adventures that feature everything from safari tours to dogsledding; The Peak (complete with expansive pool areas, zip lines, and a climbing
16 golf travel
Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4
Mystic Rock – Hole #2
Mystic Rock – Hole #12
wall, combat paintball, and cosmic bowling); and Jeep off-roading, fly fishing, as well as antique auto and aircraft collections.
Nemacolin offers guests 270 luxuriously appointed guest rooms, suites, townhomes, and private upscale homes, including Falling Rock, a AAA Five-Diamond boutique hotel with rooms overlooking the Mystic Rock golf course and the newly reimagined The Grand Lodge. Teeing it up at Nemacolin’s Mystic Rock course means tackling the crafty Pete Dye and walking in the footsteps of PGA Tour players who competed in the 84 Lumber Classic from 2003 to 2006.
Mystic Rock is a sterling example of a more subtle and cerebral side of Dye. He lets the rolling land dictate the routing and shot values here with ample landing areas, walkability, and serene sight lines. Positioning off the tee and hitting to the correct parts of the green comes into play routinely as Dye plays with angles, misdirection, false fronts, and greens that run off the sides or back if you mis-club.
At Shepherd’s Rock, the mischievous side of Pete Dye and his associate Tim Liddy come out to play. You’ll find yourself playing shots 40 feet from the hole to allow Dye’s slopes to (hopefully) do their work, and you’ll come to respect false fronts that can send even well-struck shots that look
pin high back down the front edge of the green and toward the man who hit it. Have fun figuring out Shepherd’s wildly sloping greens and the ideal angles into them.
The Grand Lodge is coming to Nemacolin in August 2023, and it will elevate a worldwide measure of luxury. The Grand Lodge will offer spacious suites where guests will enjoy all-new, luxury in-room services, along with butlers to cater to their every need. The dining options will be bigger, better, and more delicious than ever before with
new bespoke dining and bar options like Fawn & Fable and Circle Bar.
Every visit to Nemacolin is an opportunity to enjoy a bucket list day. Enjoy epic golf, then the pools, ropes course, or cosmic bowling at The Peak. Continue your day with spa treatments, Safari tours, or fly fishing, and close it out with an extraordinary meal at one of our six acclaimed restaurants. The resort’s entertainment and adventure offerings are endlessly creative and always inviting. Discover more at Nemacolin.com.
17 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4
Shepherd's Rock – Hole #13
Shepherd's Rock – Hole #16
On the “Green”
The game of golf is undergoing radical change. It seems with the onset of LIV golf, a Netflix docuseries, social media golf influencers and high-profile celebrities playing, the sport has been thrust into the pop-culture zeitgeist. It’s popularity is skyrocketing and the game is more inclusive than ever before. Along with it, there has been and explosion of boutique golf brands. We caught up with Greenman Golf, a northern Michigan-based golf and cannabis lifestyle brand bringing a new style of “green” to the game of golf.
What inspired Greenman Golf?
When COVID had us all in lock down with many of the courses closed, we were playing golf on
the Sony PlayStation and getting high when had the notion that a golf lifestyle brand with a cannabis influence would fill a necessary niche and just be a ton of fun to bring to life. Recreational cannabis use is legal in our home state of Michigan and lighting up on the links just adds to the experience. So, to quote John Daly, we “hit it hard, man!”
What’s behind the name Greenman Golf?
The Green Man is a mythical creature found in the carvings of ancient Roman bathhouses. He’s a pagan forest god of sorts. And because many courses here in northern Michigan are carved out of glorious hardwood
climax forests, the
and mythology just fit. We knew the visual imagery would be unique And the name also works as a double meaning, bringing in the marijuana angle.
What’s up with your tagline “A Little Punk. A Little on Par” ?
We grew up on skateboarding, punk rock and cannabis. As we are aging out of skateboarding daily (I mean, we’re in our 50’s!), we rediscovered golf and it’s many parallels to the sport of skateboarding. Like skateboarding, it’s a highlyindividual sport and ultimately you’re competing against yourself. We took that passion for play, combined it with the ethos we grew up with as children of the 90s—non-conformity and a D.I.Y. mindset—and rolled it all up into a sophisticated, yet radical golf brand.
What sets Greenman Golf apart?
Originality and creativity. There
18 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4 fashion forward
Greenman Golf team member, Justin Harter and Eric
are legions of edgy golf brands out there now, but we see many of them appropriating existing pop culture logos, taglines and memes. Our mission is to bring fresh, authentic designs to the game by collaborating with talented artists. We do limited-edition runs of certain products, artist series products and are always looking to approach development with a fresh eye.
What is Greenman Golf up to this season?
We’re in the midst of a busy 2023 golf season! We’re expanding our reach into more and more pro shops—including the uber cool Keeton Park in Dallas, Texas— among many others. We’re season sponsors for 517 Golf’s 4:20 golf tour and title sponsors with Olean’s dispensary for the Greenman Golf scramble at Northport Creek golf course in August. We’re also busy building a team of brand ambassadors, refining products and playing as much golf as we can!
What’s next for Greenman Golf?
Build. Build Build. Build our team and collaborators. Build our following. And continue to build original, quality golf products.
Where can we find Greenman Golf products?
On our website at greenmangolf.com. In our booth at Michigan golf/ cannabis outings. And at select pro shops throughout northern Michigan and beyond.
19 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4
Eric with Tommy Chong
special events 20 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4
21 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4
Where did you grow up? Dunnellon, Florida
Which group of people did you associate most with in high school? I played a lot of sports, so most of my acquaintances were my teammates!
What is your favorite sport to play? Favorite to watch? My favorite sport to play is either softball or swim. Favorite sport to watch is definitely football.
Do you enjoy playing golf? Are there any golfers in your family? I’ve worked at Juliette Falls going on 6 years and believe it or not, still have yet to try to play the sport! Most of my uncles golf!
What do you feel makes this club special? It’s definitely a hidden gem. Our maintenance crew does a really great job keeping the course gorgeous, and all the inside girls work as a team so make sure the inside is just as enjoyable!
What is your favorite part of being a cart girl? What is your least favorite part? My favorite part of being a cart girl is being outside. I love being able to interact with golfers on our beautiful course and be part of the action while they play! It’s also very enjoyable and freeing driving around our cute bev cart in sunny Florida and calling it a job.
If you weren’t a cart girl, what would you be doing? When I’m not at work, I’m a boy mom! I would be staying at home with my toddler and teaching him.
What is your memorable moment working as a cart girl? Memorable moments as a cart girl would be the tournament’s we have! It’s always a super fun time being paired with another cart girl and being a part of the tournament.
What is the funniest thing you’ve ever seen on the golf course? A golfer lost their ball to one of our lakes and stripped down to his underwear to swim to the bottom of the lake to retrieve it.
What type of music do you prefer? I enjoy most genres of music! But I mainly listen to country and today’s hits.
What hobbies do you enjoy? When I realized I probably wouldn’t be going to college for a sport, I started weightlifting in the gym. It helps me so much physically, but the way it impacts me mentally helps me deal with day-to-day stress and anxiety in such a healthy way. I look forward to gym time cause as a mom and fiancé, it’s the only time I really get to myself.
Favorite type of movie? My favorite type of movie is anything that’ll make me laugh or pull on my heart strings.
22 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4 cart girl
ELEVATING THE NEW GENERATION OF GOLFERS FOR NEXT-LEVEL PLAY
Legendary speed, distance capabilities, and incomparable craftsmanship are all in powerful, lightweight clubs custom-designed for golf’s next generation.
Legends Celebrity Golf Tour
Global Sports Management is super excited about our Legends Celebrity Golf Tour event, as the purpose of the tour is to provide a platform for celebrities and athletes to compete for the $50k purse that all goes to their charity or foundation. This tour also gives participants a chance to make connections, while playing a fun round of golf with their favorite athletes and celebrities all for a great cause! Each team of 4 is paired with one celebrity at a luxurious pairings party where players and celebrities come together for an amazing night of open bar, high end food,
and silent auctions. On day 2, Teams and Celebrities will enjoy 18 holes on the most beautiful courses in America. This special day also includes raffles, live auctions, silent auctions, and an unforgettable reception to announce the winners of tournament day, auction winners, and raffle ticket winners! Global Sports Management’s focus is to raise money for charity and as we just finished up our first tournament in Atlanta, Georgia hosted by Chateau Elan Golf Club, we were able to raise a significant amount of funds for the P4 Foundation
supporting childhood cancer. The entire event was a huge success, and everyone had a great time, while taking part in something much bigger. On September 24th26th, we will be hosting the second tournament of the Legends Tour in Park City, Utah at the Canyon Villages! We are excited to announce we will be raising money for Play Yellow and the Malouf Foundation benefiting children’s hospitals and child trafficking, so come out and attend a golf experience like never before! For more details visit www.legendscelebritygolftour.com.
24 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4 celebrity corner
25 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4
By Jason Becker
As Long As You Are Fun To Be With On & Off The Course
The one thing I love most about the game of golf are buddies’ trips. You get to share some laughs, bust some chops and most importantly build a lifetime of memories. Yet, we see viral videos across the internet of golfers cursing at each other, fighting and in some cases getting arrested!
Q: Don, how (and when) did The Friars Golf Club get started?
A : We were founded way back in 1994 by Tom Dwyer. In our nearly 30 years the club has seen lots of changes, new leaders, the internet, smart phones, new courses, new members but what has remained the same is our love of golf and camaraderie!
Q: No-one ever wants to play golf with an “asshole,” do you believe that mantra is what makes the The Friars Golf Club so successful?
Those certainty aren’t the folks I’d like to play with nor would anyone associated with The Friars Golf Club.
Yep, that’s right…”no assholes allowed” in The Friars!
What is The Friars Golf Club you may be wondering? Keep reading, you’ll love this story!
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Don Bostic, The Friars Golf Club’s main man to chat about how this group got started, their infamous motto and how golf enthusiasts like you and I can join. Here is what he had to say:
A : It certainly sets the tone. Golf is a game steeped in tradition, barriers and lots or rules. We however have only one - No Assholes Allowed! Check your ego, respect the game and respect your fellow members. If you do that it allows everyone to have fun. Which is the vibe we strive to create.
Q: When you think of a “Friar” you assume men, but you have plenty of female members yes? Are they active in the club’s travels?
A : Yes of course! As you know, golf is a sport dominated by men. Just stroll around Bandon Dunes or St.
26 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4 growing the game
Andrews during busy season - you won’t see many ladies. However, all our trips are open to spouses and guests, and we count over 50 female members amongst our ranks. Many recent trips have had a 50/50 mix of male and females Friars - including our trip to The Broadmoor this Summer.
Q: What does the group have in store for summer/fall travel? Will you go to the Ryder Cup or any other big events?
A : No Ryder Cup this year. But we will have a group in St. Andrews for the Walker Cup. Which any golf aficionado will tell you is perhaps the premier event in golf. We have 5 days of golf lined up at Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and others before watching the best amateurs in the world compete in match play on the most hallowed ground in golf. We try to incorporate unique events and local experiences into our trips.
It’s also not just about golf. In 2023, we had a large group travel to England. The trip culminated with tickets to Centre Court at Wimbledon. We also did a bourbon and golf tour in Kentucky that included a dinner at Buffalo Trace and a day at the races at Keeneland.
Q: What is one thing readers should know about The Friars Golf Club if they are considering applying for membership?
A : Take the plunge! If you love golf and are seeking out unique experiences with fun and welcoming friends, The Friars’ is for you. We don’t create hoops to jump
through or ask probing questions into your personal life and finances. The process is easy. What you get in return is an opportunity to create priceless experiences at the world’s best golf courses alongside new friends!
So, there you have it, The Friars Golf Club! Is it the right club for you? Maybe, try not to be an asshole..:)
27 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4
The Central Florida Golf Card Is Back! T
he 2023 Central Florida Golf Card provides an exciting collection of 11 golf courses for players of all abilities. Whether you’re a Florida native or planning a fall golf getaway to the Sunshine State, this year’s card offers a diverse mix of award-winning historic and classic layouts, resort courses, and a few “off-the-radar” tracks that are well worth your time and your dime. All for just $99! And our brand new accompanying web app makes locating and contacting the courses a breeze!
Eleven courses for only $99. Card expires Dec. 31, 2023.
HIDDEN LAKES - This New Smyrna Beach golf course will surprise and delight you. The par 69 golf course has six par threes, nine par fours, and three par fives. Owned and operated by self-proclaimed, “genuine golf nuts,” Hidden Lakes strives for the best course conditions in the area. The course winds through large pines and stately oaks along the pristine Turnbull Bay estuary and around beautiful lakes and winding creeks. With a variety of long and short holes, Hidden Lakes offers a fair and fun challenge to golfers of all skill levels.
MAYFAIR CC - Opened in 1927, the 18-hole course at the Mayfair Country Club in Sanford, Florida features 6,400 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72. The medium-length layout has three sets of tee boxes, and the course rating is 68.7 with a 117 slope rating. The overhanging trees and bunkers challenge golfers on every hole. Located north of Orlando, the Mayfair Country Club features a driving range, practice range, snack bar, and banquet facility. With many upgrades in progress, Mayfair is becoming one of Orlando’s most popular, laid-back, and fun public courses for golfers to enjoy and hang out.
KISSIMMEE BAY - Located only 15 minutes from Orlando International Airport and 25 minutes from downtown Orlando as well as all major tourist attractions in the area, Kissimmee Bay Country Club was designed by renowned local architect Lloyd Clifton and opened in 1990. Kissimme Bay was cut out of a dense majestic oak forest. The 6,830-yard, par 71 southern style championship layout provides a challenging test of golf and is a true delight to play. It is graced by the presence of century-old oaks, lofty cypress trees, a dozen challenging water hazards, and an ever-present gallery of friendly Sandhill Cranes. With one visit to Kissimmee Bay Country Club, you will understand why it was nominated one of America’s “Best New Courses” by Golf Digest.
28 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4
Get yours at
THE LEGENDS AT ORANGE LAKE - Located in the East Village of Orange Lake Resort, The Legends is an 18-hole Arnold Palmer Signature Design. This challenging 7,072-yard championship course offers two distinct playing experiences from the front to back nine. Scottish-style golf using the natural terrain invites some creative shot-making on the front nine; while the towering pines, majestic oaks, winding fairways, and flowing water on the back nine are more reminiscent of the Carolinas. Get the most out of your day at our premier 54-hole golf facility.
THE RESERVE AT ORANGE LAKE - Located in the West Village of Orange Lake Resort, The Reserve consists of 18 holes and 6,505 yards of expansive greens that were specifically redesigned to be in harmony with our carefully preserved wetlands to give you the taste of natural Florida. While this course is the shorter of our two championship courses, it offers a challenging layout to test golfers of all skill levels. The driving range is available during the day and is also lighted for those who want to practice after dark. For extra fun, check out the Legends Walk located in the North Village, the only lighted par 3 walking golf course in Central Florida. (Not included with card).
REDTAIL G.C. - Certain to test even the most accomplished player’s shot-making ability, RedTail offers a challenge at every turn. Having played host to various NCAA and charity tournaments, RedTail Golf Club is well known as one of the finest natural golf settings Florida has to offer. The 7152-yard, Dave Harman design, is a par 72 links-style golf course. Industry professionals have called it everything from “breathtaking - literally” to “not for the meek of heart.” RedTail has a 10-acre practice facility along with two putting greens and a well-stocked pro shop. Enjoy indoor and outdoor dining at the famed Hawks restaurant where you will be treated like a true “champion” after your round.
REMINGTON G.C. - Whether you’re brand new to the game, or a seasoned veteran, Remington Golf Club has something to offer every golfer and most importantly – a fantastic, fun golf experience. The contemporary design of this strikingly beautiful course, with its abundant water features, generous landing areas, and scenic landscaping, offers a fair but challenging golf experience. This graceful balance is a testament to the artistry of the course design team of the Clifton, Ezell & Clifton Golf Design Group. Remington Golf Club was recognized by Golf Digest Magazine, as one of the Best New Courses in 1996 and continues to be a favorite of Central Florida “locals.”
TWIN RIVERS G.C. - Nestled between the Big and Little Econ rivers, Twin Rivers Golf Club offers a scenic 18-hole par 72 championship golf course. Designed by Oviedo native Joe Lee, Twin Rivers Golf Club was Lee’s signature golf course for Central Florida and offers a unique challenge for players of all abilities. If you want a golf experience in a well-preserved natural environment, unimpeded by development then Twin Rivers Golf Club is just for you.
Twin Rivers Golf Club has been recognized and awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Environmental Planning certificate by Audubon International.
VICTORIA HILLS G.C. - Located in Deland, this Ron Garl-designed championship course has been honored with numerous accolades and awards since its opening in 2002, including being ranked 41 in the Top 50 Public Courses you can play by Golf World (2010). Five sets of tee boxes create a challenging yet fair test no matter your handicap. The course plays 7,149 yards/142 slope from the tips with some formidable carries over waste areas, ravines, and water hazards. Greenside collection areas, swales and deep bunkers serve to protect the many large, sloping and raised putting surfaces. A good short game is key to scoring well here.
29 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4
WEKIVA G.C. - Crafted out of a wooded setting and opened in 1972, Wekiva Golf Club features many doglegs bordered by large stands of trees and no parallel fairways. With its Champion Bermudagrass greens and straight-forward layout, Wekiva is an enjoyable experience for the recreational golfer as well as a low-handicapper. A semi-private club that welcomes outside play, this 18 hole, 6,850-yard, par 72 features beautiful oaks, mature pines and palms, rolling fairways, over 80 strategically placed bunkers and gentle mounding that highlights both the fairways and undulating greens.
ZELLWOOD STATION G.C. - Tucked away in the rolling hills just five miles Northwest of Apopka and 15 miles from downtown Orlando, Zellwood Station Country Club offers a special treat - hilly terrain, great greens, and very memorable golf holes. Zellwood Station has two distinctive par 4`s that are driveable (264 & 266 yards), offering great hopes for marking an eagle on your scorecard. The ninth, nicknamed “Train Wreck,” will definitely get your attention before making the turn. Holes 12 thru 16 dogleg around a cavernous dry lake dubbed “Crater Junction”- hit this hazard and it is all over! The stout par 3, 17th hole, measures 243 yards exceeding any on the PGA TOUR! Fun and wickedly challenging, once you’ve played Zellwood Station, you’ll want to return and conquer it all over again!
Central Florida Golf Card App Puts All The Information Right At Your Fingertips!
The Central Florida Golf Card web app is your source for all the info you need on each participating golf course. Contact your course to schedule your round, then click on that course’s map to get directions. No app store needed to get your FREE app (see below). You can even purchase your card directly from within the app.
• Info on every golf course in the program.
• General location map of all 11 courses.
• Individual location map to each course.
• Link to each course website.
• Call the course directly from within the app.
• Download directly to your mobile device via the QR code to the right, then save to your homescreen.
30 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4
Loud Lemon Cocktails
Loud Lemon is a fast-growing adult beverage brand that creates delicious, vodkabased lemonade cocktails.
Founded by industry veteran, Jeff Outlaw, Loud Lemon just screams fun amongst friends and living every moment to the fullest when surrounded by friends.
Inspired by their motto “Live Out Loud,” Loud Lemon is all about making refreshing drinks for enjoying life’s greatest moments. Unique Lemonade combinations make up signature cocktails with premium vodka that are perfect for celebrating year-round. Loud Lemon is Bold in flavor and Smooth making a perfect session-able drink on the course.
Loud Lemon has partnered with Country Superstar, Parker McCollum. Golf will be part of a robust activation plan featuring exclusive and unique content as well as sweepstakes to experience golf destinations around the globe.
Learn more about Loud Lemon and their innovative product offerings by visiting their website or following @drinkloudlemon on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
32 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4 grip it & sip it
GIVBUX is a free Invite only Super app designed to fundraise and support non-proﬁt organizations around the U.S.
By sharing GIVBUX, your supporters can automatically give to your organization with every purchase at participating locations at no additional cost to them! How can we do this?
Our GIVBUX Merchants have committed to giving back a percentage of every purchase to GIVBUX. Users designate what percent of their rewards will go to your organization while having the option to keep some for themselves too!
Easy as 1,2,3… Sign up is free! Download GIVBUX using the invite code or QR code that was shared with you and follow the steps.
MERCHANTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE YOUR CHARITY LOGO HERE
Brothers Chip and Tim Wright have created a product that they believe will help all golfers improve their score, and their passion for the product was on full display at the ING Spring Forum.
Caliber Golf officially launched its patented putting grip+shaft at the 2023 PGA Show in Orlando, but gave ING attendees a close-up look during their presentation at the ING Spring Forum in Valley Forge May 31. The Wright brothers combined their two passions – golf and ice hockey - to invent this unique product.
The carbon fiber, rectangular grip extends the length of the putter shaft. It evokes thoughts of greatness, while giving golfers an edge on the green. This innovation is engineered to improve the player’s sight-to-target alignment, and to give the freedom to place hands in any position while maintaining consistent tempo and control.
“We have taken something golfers are familiar with, the hockey shaft, and converted it into the first putting grip+shaft of its kind that conforms with the rules of golf,” said Caliber Golf co-founder & CEO Tim Wright. Added COO Chip Wright, “Our goal is to get our product into the hands of as many PGA professionals, media, golf manufactures, fitters, influencers as possible to test & experience how Caliber Golf is changing the status quo.”
Caliber Golf’s innovation fits to any putter head. Players can convert their current putter to the Caliber Golf grip or select a complete unit at CaliberGolf.com.
GolfBreeze from ZoomBroom is an ultralight, portable leaf blower with enough power to clear a clean path to the cup. Invented on the golf course, where debris on the green can ruin a good round, GolfBreeze effortlessly removes impediments like leaves, seeds, blossoms, and sand that can be disruptive, distracting, and slow play. Weighing less than 2 lbs, the slim design of this stick blower allows it to be easily accessible and stored alongside clubs in any golf bag.
GolfBreeze eliminates the noise, heavy equipment, bulky battery packs, and storage problems of traditional leaf blowers and is the quickest way to cleaner greens. Instead of spending the time to call over a greenskeeper with a loud leaf blower that will disturb the peacefulness of the course and keep golfers waiting, players can conveniently and quickly clear their own path to maximize the quality of the putting area and keep the game moving.
Simple and fun to use, GolfBreeze features two-speed settings, a comfortable grip, and includes a protective head cover. The lithium battery provides up to 30 minutes of power from one charge. When the round is over, the wall-mount accessory makes for easy plug-in charging at home so you are ready for the next round!
The recipient of a Global Innovation Award for 2022, there is nothing else like it on the market. Enjoy the game with cleaner greens. GolfBreeze from ZoomBroom is available now on Amazon and ZoomBrooms.com
Back in the nineties when metal spikes became a thing of the past, the Carroll brothers in Philadelphia decided to join the revolution, creating a successful and critically acclaimed non-metal cleat under the company name GreenKeepers, Inc.
The Carrolls were truly pioneers in that arena, and their invention of the outward-angled, tractiontooth golf cleats is still being used around the world today.
Since then, GreenKeepers has introduced several products many golfers know and love, including the 4 Yards More Performance Golf Tee, the Line-M-Up stenciling device, the Myball golf ball personalizer, and the PosiSet grip counterweights.
Attendees at the ING Spring Forum in Valley Forge recently had the pleasure of learning about the products first-hand from Frank Carroll.
“All our products are designed, tooled, and produced in Philadelphia,” says Carroll. “We take our time inventing new products. We want to make products that make a difference in somebody’s game.”
The “4 Yards More” performance golf tees have proven to be the most successful product in the line, with various lengths for various clubs. The unique, durable design flexes at contact, reducing ball spin and providing tighter control and greater distance.
One of the more popular GreenKeepers products is Myball, a personalized ball-marking tool. There are several design choices, including “man’s best friend,” and “the gambler.” The players simply color in the design they choose.
The LineMup Pro is a precision ball alignment tool that provides multiple marking options. The lines improve aim, stroke and green-reading abilities, helping players to save strokes.
The PosiSet product is a weight for every club in your bag, including your putter. Attaching easily to the top of your grip, this PosiSet is the easiest method to adjust the weight in your clubs. It puts a sense of direct heaviness in your hands to help stabilize the club and putter head.
For more information visit www.gkspikes.com.
34 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4 product showcase
When you incorporate science with high quality materials and state-ofthe-art manufacturing, you really can’t go wrong, regardless of the type of product being developed.
Those three elements are a huge part of the foundation of Makefield Putters, a relatively new and successful putter company based near Philadelphia. Makefield Putters was born after owner Everett Farr began watching putting videos on YouTube during the COVID pandemic. When Farr saw slow-motion studies of how far a golf ball skids before it begins rolling on the average putt, he thought he could use his manufacturing experience to do better.
“We already had Lehdrex, an engineering company that designs and develops new products to take to market,” said Farr. “Through Lehdrex and our specialization in 3D computer modeling and fabrication, I already had a significant head start to implement my engineering concepts to create a great putter.”
And he was right. Makefield Putters is making headway in a challenging segment of the golf industry, as attendees at the recent ING Spring Forum in Valley Forge learned from representatives Nick Biglasco and Mike Dynda.
The Makefield putter starts with a head that is milled from a single block of aluminum alloy to minimize any vibrations that can come from heads with multiple parts. The face is optimized using Radial Cusp Face Technology (RCFT). The CNC milling on the face creates lnodules that produce an equal impact on the ball across the face.
Additionally, Makefield Putters created the X3 Weight System for different types of strokes and skill levels to maximize adjustability for all golfers. This is similar to driver weighting systems. The weighting system enables golfers to change the weight of the head depending upon green conditions and individual stroke characteristics.
For more information or to order, visit www.makefieldputters.com.
SKŌNI golf shoes
On its website, SKŌNI golf shoes makes the following claim:
“On the links or out for drinks, SKŌNIs are ready to play.”
The fact-checkers that so often make our politicians look better suited for the lead role in the movie “Liar, Liar,” would find that statement to be absolutely true.
SKŌNIs is a fairly new player in the golf shoe market, with an entirely new story. These are colorful, casual slip-on shoes that can be worn just as comfortably off the golf course as they are on.
“With southern roots firmly planted in the Charleston lifestyle, we took some innovative steps to create the most comfortable, versatile, slip-on golf shoe that can be worn on and off the course,” says the website. “Rarely comes a golf shoe that changes the way you live life and play golf.”
The key feature on the SKŌNI shoe is the adjustable lace lock that makes the shoes as simple to tighten as they are to slip on. Five seconds and you are ready to hit your first tee shot or down your first cocktail.
The shoe’s exterior is made of a lightweight microfiber fabric that is breathable and machine washable. The fabric comes in a variety of colors, from red/white and blue to black, and several in-between.
Spikeless treads provide enough traction to keep you stable throughout your swing, and are safe to wear anywhere. The insole provides a comfortable cushion, and the shoes can be worn without socks if you prefer.
One note of caution: If the weatherman is calling for rain, you might consider a different pair. SKŌNIs are at their best during dry conditions.
Reviews have been positive for SKŌNI. Says PGA member Casey Cook, Director of Purchasing, Founders Group International, “If you are a golfer looking for a stylish comfortable golf shoe that you can wear on and off the course, then SKŌNI is the shoe for you.”
SKŌNI golf shoes retail for $99.99 per pair. For more information, visit www.skoni.com.
A few years back I checked in for a Member-Guest tournament at the Timacuan Club and was handed a nice welcome gift bag that included the traditional items –golf balls, golf shirt, glove and hat.
And one not-so-traditional item that drew a “What the heck” response from my partner.
A gray pair of underwear from a brand I had not heard of at the time – 2UNDR™.
Now, all these years later, 2UNDR™ is all you will find in my underwear drawer – and in a variety of colors and designs.
“It was a simple marketing strategy,” said Jack Curry, VP of Sales for the company. “We believed that once most guys tried them out, they would become a loyal customer.”
It has worked, as 2 UNDR now is a recognizable brand around the golf world. And there are a few reasons for that.
From the website: “The vision of 2UNDR™ was simple. Inspired by the kangaroo pouch, we set out to create a high-performance men’s athletic underwear, with the versatility of everyday use. Using the most advanced construction techniques and materials, our patented Joey Pouch® separates man’s most valuable assets away from the body to reduce unwanted skin-on-skin contact. With more support than a standard brief and improved airflow to keep you cool, 2UNDR products provide the best fit, comfort and style a man could ever need. Designed in Vancouver, worn everywhere.”
My personal findings: 2 UNDR underwear is soft, comfortable and durable. I think I still have my first pear.
Most of the models come in four lengths – 3”, 6” , 9” and Long John. And the company is constantly adding a wide variety of fun and unique designs – from parrots to sharks to the American flag. And other clothing like tee shirts, polos and pants have been added to the line.
But for me, it simply comes down to comfortable underwear. And 2UNDR delivers.
For more information, visit www.2undr.com.
35 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4
36 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4 golf history
Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4 40 north florida PGA north florida PGA north florida PGA north florida PGA north fl Ladies Professional Golf Association Ladies Professional Golf Association Ladies Professional
Angela Stanford: Golf's Newest Senior Major Winner
It’s not how you start, but it’s how you finish. That is the best way to summarize the play of Texas native Angela Stanford during the third and final round of the 6th Senior LPGA Championship (June 29-July 1) at the Sultan’s Run Golf Club in Jasper, Indiana. Stanford, 45, a newcomer to the LPGA Legends Tour, who still plays on the LPGA Tour, shot a bogeyfree seven-under-par round of 65 for a three-round total of 206 (-10)
to win by one. Her 65 was both the best round of the day and the tournament. Stanford overcame a five-shot deficit in the final round to beat England’s Trish Johnson, the leader entering the final round, by a single stroke. As well as Stanford played, she needed help from Johnson at the end to win.
When Stanford walked off the 17th green in the third round, she was at -9 while tournament-leader Johnson was four shots ahead at -13, through 16 holes. Johnson had
just birdied four straight holes. At that moment, this Senior LPGA Championship appeared to be firmly in the grasp of the 57-yearold Johnson, who also won this tournament in 2017 and 2021 when it was held at The Pete Dye Course in nearby French Lick. The next two holes were a disaster for Johnson, who had parred 17 and 18 during the first two rounds.
Johnson pushed her tee shot at 17 into the deep right rough. That led to a three-putt triple bogey which dropped her to -10. As Johnson struggled on 17, Stanford drained a 15-foot birdie putt at 18 to move to -10. There was a two-way tie at the top. As Stanford was finishing her round, she was unaware of what was happening with Johnson.
“When I saw the leaderboard coming up 18, I saw Trish was at -13,” said Stanford. “I think at that point I was pretty upset because I felt like I didn’t have a chance, which is probably why that (birdie) putt went in. I hit it pretty hard because I was pretty upset with myself.”
Johnson’s triple bogey at 17 presented three scenarios: a birdie at 18 would win the tournament for Johnson; a par at 18 would send Johnson to a sudden-death playoff against Stanford, with a dark sky overhead and rain/lightning-filled clouds just minutes away; or a bogey or worse at 18 would make Stanford the winner. Johnson’s weak tee shot at 18 left her a difficult, uphill shot to the green. Her approach was short left of the green which gave her a manageable up-and-down opportunity to save par. A par for Johnson would send this tournament to ‘overtime.’
Johnson’s chip left her a 12-foot
Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4 42 north florida PGA north florida PGA north florida PGA north florida PGA north fl Ladies Professional Golf Association Ladies Professional Golf Association Ladies Professional
By Mike May
Angela Stanford, 2023 Winner
left-to-right par putt. She and her caddy took their time to analyze the line, as she was well aware of the situation. Unfortunately, she didn’t allow enough break and the putt fell off to the right. That gave the title to the surprised and stunned Stanford (71-70-65, -10).
Johnson knows that she squandered a great chance to win.
“My game was great for about 16 holes,” said Johnson, who shot 70-66-71 (-9) for three rounds. “I ended triple, then bogey to finish. Not much more you can say really, just a horrendous finish. It was, obviously, very, very disappointing. Literally throwing the tournament away, but life goes
on. There are worse things.”
Stanford was thrilled to win in her maiden effort on the LPGA Legends circuit.
“This win has changed my life,” said Stanford, whose last tournament victory was the LPGA’s Volunteers of America Classic in Texas in December 2020.
Stanford was the model of consistency for three rounds as she had 42 pars, 11 birdies, and just one bogey.
“I putted well this week,” said Stanford, who knew nothing about the Sultan’s Run GC upon her arrival. “I had never been to this golf course and I had never heard of Jasper, Indiana.”
But, she has now. And, she left Jasper with a positive mindset.
“I’m leaving with more confidence than I had before I came here, that’s for sure,” said Stanford. “I think I just figured some things out, and I got my mind right this week. I have had some confidence issues lately and this week was figuring out how to get back to basics.”
Stanford is the first American to win this senior major as the first five editions were won by England’s Johnson (twice), England’s Laura Davies, Sweden’s Helen Alfredsson, and Australia’s Karrie Webb, the defending champion, who finished third at Sultan’s Run at -8, two shots shy of Stanford. This tournament had a $400,000 pursue. Stanford’s winner’s check was $60,000.
43 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4
18th Green Waterfall photo by Joy Sarver
Closing Ceremony on 18th green – Chris.Trettor with microphone and winner Angela Stanford in blue
We Create The Most Refreshing Non-Alcoholic Drinks!
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According to a study by Beyond Spirits Inc, the expanding acceptance of tasty non-alcoholic drinks has caused manufacturers to cater to the trend by innovating existing product portfolios.
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44 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4 competitive spirits
45 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4
Golf and STEAM Camp at Glades Central High School
Since 2021, the SFPGA Foundation has worked with SuperBowl MVP and Glades Central High School graduate Santonio Holmes and his 10 ALL IN Foundation to bring golf to the Belle Glade community.
During the week-long camp, students were introduced to the fundamentals of golf by PGA Professionals who volunteered their time to help with this initiative. In addition, employees from Pratt & Whitney worked with the students on projects focused on science, technology, art and math.
“Golf can be challenging at times but it teaches you a lot about yourself,” said SFPGA foundation president Tom Wildenhaus.
Wildenhaus, who has served as the president of the SFPGA Foundation since its inception in 2011, presented the $20,000 SFPGA Foundation Scholarship to E’Rinze Murphy on Tuesday at the camp. Murphy is a Glades Central graduate and a past camp participant which proved to be a catalyst for his new goals and his growing interest in the game of golf.
“When I first played golf I remember learning it isn’t about winning it’s about having fun,” explained Murphy. “You get to meet new people and learn about their lives which is really cool.”
Murphy is an example of what the mission of the 10 ALL IN Foundation and SFPGA Foundation partnership is - to grow the game of golf in underserved communities. With the help of the Foundation Scholarship, E’Rinze will be able to achieve his goals and embark
on the next chapter of his life at Florida Southern College.
“We want to give kids like us an opportunity to learn the game of golf and E’Rinze is a prime example of what we have created through this program,” explained Holmes. “An opportunity to grow through this game.”
Like past years, the program wrapped up today with the campers having the opportunity to play a scramble at the Belle Glade Municipal Golf Course.
The 2023 10 All In Golf and STEAM Camp was a great success thanks to the help from our PGA Professionals, Santonio Holmes, Jimmy Sexton and the engineers at Pratt & Whitney.
46 north florida PGA north florida PGA north florida PGA north florida PGA north florida PGA north Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4 south florida PGA south florida PGA south florida PGA south florida PGA south fl PGA south flor
TALAMORE 36 Holes by Arnold Palmer & Rees Jones Historic Village of Pinehurst Area of North Carolina (800) 552-6292 www.TalamoreGolfResort.com/GolfCentral FREE $50 RESORT CREDIT Mention Code: GOLF CENTRAL Where You’ll Always Get More... • Access to 30+ Area Golf Courses • Luxurious, On-Course Accommodations • Daily Breakfast Delivered to Your Door* • Carolina Pig Pickin’ with All the Fixin’s* • New! Toptracer Range & Putting Course
By Jorja Gust
Meet our PGA WORKS Fellow, Iyannei Miranda
The North Florida PGA WORKS Fellowship is a one-year, paid immersion in PGA’s Section Foundation operations. This entrylevel employment opportunity offers a taste of what a career in the golf industry can be.
Since 2017, PGA Reach created the PGA WORKS Fellowship program to open the doors to historically underrepresented backgrounds to obtain equal opportunities and gain experience in all facets of the golf industry. Currently, there are 22 Fellows in 22 Sections and two in affiliated organizations. Since the PGA Works Fellowship program has been in effect, 81% of Fellows acquired jobs in the golf industry.
Meet the North Florida PGA WORKS Fellow, Iyannei Miranda!
Iyannei is a Florida native and graduated with her Bachelor’s and Master’s from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Human Communication and a minor in Sports Business. She has a strong background in the world of athletics as she has worked in recruiting, operations, and sponsorship for Florida Citrus Sports and the University of Central Florida. Iyennia has also participated in the creative side of sports including videography and production of basketball, softball, and baseball.
What do PGA WORKS Fellows gain compared to other regular jobs?
PGA WORKS Fellows have the benefit of gaining an immersive experience in the business of golf without having to make a permanent commitment as you would in a traditional fulltime role. Though the fellowship
lasts for a year, you get to make tremendous strides in your growth as a young professional whilst also learning what you’d like your permanent role to look like next. Additionally, there are a plethora of career opportunities in golf that you become exposed to because you’ve been a PGA WORKS Fellow.
48 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4 north florida PGA north florida PGA north florida PGA north florida PGA north florida PGA north
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Our 2023 HOPE season is underway and we have finished five of our first HOPE sessions for the year where we have impacted a total of 183 Veterans. Shelbyville has just started their first session for the summer, and Fort Knox will have their first session in the fall as well. We still have a total of nine sessions for the season remaining, so if you are interested or know of someone who would be interested in our PGA HOPE Program, then please reach out to Erin Rowland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are very excited to announce our 2023 Kentucky PGA HOPE Ambassador! This year, Gary “Skip” Cissna will be our ambassador to help spread awareness and the impact of the PGA HOPE Program. Skip will have the opportunity to attend National Golf and Wellness Week in October, assist with all HOPE events and impact the lives of more Veterans in the state.
“PGA HOPE Kentucky has changed my life. I really felt God urging me to reach out to my fellow brother and sister Veterans. There is no better way to enjoy the camaraderie than the game of golf.”
The Kentucky Golf Foundation is the 501(c)3 charitable affiliate of Kentucky’s Family of Golf Organizations. The core purpose of the Foundation is to impact Kentucky’s youth and military through golf while also
By Erin Rowland
enhancing the diversity found within the sport.
The Kentucky Golf Foundation Auction will be happening starting August 7, 2023 through August 21, 2023. This auction will benefit youth, military and underrepresented golf in our great state of Kentucky and we’d love to see companies from around the state participate to help continue to grow the game of golf in Kentucky.
If you have any interest in donating to the KGF Auction, please contact Erin Rowland at email@example.com.
Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4 PGA Kentucky PGA Kentucky PGA Kentucky PGA Kentucky PGA Kentucky PGA Kentucky PGA K 50
Skip Cissna, our Kentucky PGA HOPE Ambassador
Going to Golf Sustainability School at the University of Georgia
America’s university-affiliated golf courses occupy a special place in the sport’s history. For many avid players they conjure visions of taking on a layout that’s as highly ranked as the higher education system its serves. The course at Yale University comes to mind. Perhaps Stanford. The University of Michigan’s course. Taconic at Williams College. And many others. Some are private, some are public, all are revered.
The University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens is public through and through, operated as part of the school’s auxiliary services department and open to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and anyone else who pays the reasonable greens fee and nabs a tee time. Ranked No. 26 among college
courses in 2022 by GolfWeek, it’s a beautiful challenge, originally designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. in 1968 and updated by Love Golf Design in 2006.
In March of this year, UGA Golf Course earned its Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary for Golf Certification — a goal long in coming after
years of sustainability strides on the part of the agronomy staff and the University as a whole.
“I’ve been working on it for many, many years,” says Scott Griffith, CGCS Director of Agronomy, a past president of the Georgia chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, and a current national GCSAA board member. “I’ve been piecemealing it together here and there, and we finally made the push and got across the finish line.”
As warmer temperatures kicked in across northern Georgia in mid-June after an unseasonably cool spring, Griffith — an Alabama native who came on as UGC’s Director of Agronomy in 2006 after serving as an assistant at Atlanta Athletic Club — was gearing up for the Georgia Golf Course Superintendent Association fundraiser, which UGA has hosted for more than a decade. “We have 132 people come and play,” Griffith said. “If we could host 200, we would have 200 sign up for that event. It’s always really popular and we always have a waiting list for it.”
UGA has also hosted two women’s NCAA championship, the Men’s NCAA Regional Tournaments in 2012, multiple regional tournaments, and, for going on 55 years, the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic.
52 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4
UGA Green Native Pond
But this is the first time UGA will host any of these events with its ACSP for Golf Certification in play. It’s testament to Griffith and his staff staying the sustainability course. They’d employed strong environmentally friendly practices for years and just needed to document what they’d done to earn certification.
“It’s just something that I always wanted to do here,” he said. “The environmental component is a part of what we do. It really was easier for us to fit into that mold because we were not a subdivision golf course. We weren’t a very high-end facility that wanted everything manicured to absolute ‘T.’ So it presented us opportunities to fit in that realm. And anytime the University of Georgia can have positive publicity when it comes to things like that, we just eat that stuff up. We love doing the right thing.”
They were ahead of the game in several respects. “We already had buffers around our ponds, buffers are around our waterways … a lot of the things that we needed to check the boxes for certification were already in place.”
Just one detail remained to finalize their certification: shoring up their wash pad area.
“We had been wanting to do something, sitting on our hands about whether or not we put a recycle system in,” Griffith added. It looked like we didn’t have the funding, but an opportunity came
to get a partial grant from the FairWays Foundation to build a bioswale. Once we got that completed, that kind of finished off everything.”
The stewardship efforts continue. Griffith has joined Audubon International’s Monarchs in the Rough program, planting various kinds of milkweed from Georgia State Botanical Gardens to give the endangered butterflies habitat for laying eggs without attracting too many hungry deer —the course welcomes several herds and teems with other fauna and flora. “We’ve always had a lot of wildlife on the course. Again, it was just a matter of documenting it all.”
Education is a big part of UGA’s golf operations, as well. Students make up most of Griffith’s agronomy staff, working parttime to augment their studies.
“I usually have one to two turf grass students. If they’re in the turf grass program at Georgia, they’re automatically hired. I help them obtain internships, mentor them as best I can to get them moving on. Overall, 80 percent of our staff is made up of students.”
As current and future students learn the ins and outs of sustainable golf course maintenance and care under Griffith’s direction, he and his staff will keep striving to up UGA’s stewardship game. He’s also a practicing beekeeper, which only sweetens his course’s environmental possibilities.
“We’ve got a good base. We will expand pollinator plots, expand
monarch butterfly habitats, put in more hives. Once I feel comfortable enough, maybe we’ll pull a little honey off them and share it with our food services to help tout what we’re doing.”
With Audubon International’s powerful, neutral, third-party, science-driven guidance, UGA Golf Course can now count itself a leader in the sustainable college course canon, but Griffith wants to score even higher grades across the board.
“We’re providing jobs for students, we’re helping researchers, whether on the business side or the agronomic side. There’s a lot of things we do within our mission that don’t have anything to do necessarily with golf. But we’ll keep growing the things that we’ve already planted.”
To learn more about how your local golf course can gain recognition for your environmental efforts and learn how to expand your initiatives through Audubon International’s numerous environmental certifications, visit www.auduboninternational.org.
Audubon International, an environmentally focused nonprofit 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.
53 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4
UGA Hole #13
A Turf Pirate's Journal
Ahoy, Turf Pirates! I hope that you are all staying cool and handling all matters with the ease of a tropical breeze. Things are busy this time of year so it’s even more important to occasionally slow down, look around and soak in the moment. We who have had the honor of working on the golf turf side of things often find ourselves watching the sunrise over our green master works. Unfortunately, we are often so busy that we blaze right by amazing scenes of nature as we execute the strategic agronomic plans of the day. However, sometimes we are stopped in our tracks by the colors and sounds that stretch out before us. This month’s spin is just that, you see one of my outstanding assistants grabbed a photo of a newly (last Fall) seeded wildflower and pollinator area literally just outside the shop gate (#4 TPC for the locals). Now realize that the entire crew had recently stampeded the area and James was riding drag and looking for
stragglers when he happened upon this scene (see the photo). It’s a snap shot of all that we hope to achieve. I was so impressed that he not only stopped, took a second and took the photo but when he showed it to me, he said, “I think it would be a good green’s committee presentation picture. He was right, the green’s committee loved it! The best pictures often tell more than one story.
Now on to the moral of today’s bigger story. Golf Course Superintendents and their staff are often stressed and pressed to say the least. We try to handle millions of things all at once and sometimes while we burn the candle at both ends, we start to break down mentally and physically. Have you ever felt that time was rushing by too quickly and you wanted to shout, stop! Do you realize that while we can’t stop time from marching on, we can change the flow of our perception of it (after all time is merely a concept). Which brings us back to sunrises. Turf Pirates
are uniquely aware that we do not know how many sunrises we will be blessed to see so we treasure each one in its own worth. There will eventually come a tomorrow that will not feature our presence in it so be in the now Turf Pirates. Take sometime away from the fray to be aware, grateful and project yourself into an awareness of how that we are all wonderfully made and that our work is an extension of our inner craftsmanship. The point of gazing at a sunrise is to feel the joy of what lies ahead. Today is what we make of it, we can choose to be anything, feel anything. The homework assignment this month Turf Pirates is to open your eyes, breathe deeply and find evidence of your worth. Turf Pirates have from the beginning been many voices, but one uplifting song. We are connected in the struggle to move within the laws of nature to craft amazing experiences in golf and life. Keep on making the magic everyone, look to the east and believe that the sun also rises.
54 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4 By Anthony L. Williams, CGCS, CGM, MG
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Total Magnesium (Mg) 0.50% Soluble Magnesium (Mg) 0.050% Soluble Iron (Fe) ................... 3.40% Chelated Iron (Fe) 1.60%
Manganese (Mn) .......... 0.25%
Manganese (Mn) 0.25% Soluble Zinc (Zn) 0.10%
(S) combined 3.50% Derived from: Manganese Sulphate, Zinc Sulphate, Iron Glucoheptonate, Iron Sulphate, Magnesium Sulphate.
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Slow release Nitrogen 7.8% ......................... Urea Nitrogen
Soluble Potash (K2O) .............. 25%
Sulfur (S) ......................... 17% 17% combined sulfur
free sulfur Derived from: potassium thiosulfate
0.50% Soluble Magnesium
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% Sulfur (S) combined 3.50% Derived from:
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Ferren, Mack and Murphy receive Grassroots Ambassador Leadership Awards Golf course
superintendents honored for advocacy efforts
Parker Ferren, CGCS, director of golf course and grounds maintenance at Copperleaf Golf Club in Bonita Springs, Fla.; Lydell Mack, CGCS, director of operations at Big Canoe Golf Club in Jasper, Ga.; and Steven Murphy, golf course superintendent at the Ole Miss Golf Club in Oxford, Miss., have been named Grassroots Ambassador Leadership Award winners from GCSAA.
The Grassroots Ambassador Leadership (GAL) Award, presented in partnership with The Toro Co., recognizes and honors individuals who have demonstrated growth in advocacy and advancement of the GCSAA Priority Issues Agenda through congressional outreach and relationship development with a member of Congress. Through Toro, the winners receive a trip to participate in the annual National
Golf Day event in Washington, D.C.
“The willingness of Parker, Lydell and Steven to tell their stories and advocate for the golf industry has positively impacted the future of the game,” GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said. “Their commitment to communicate key issues, from water and fertilizer issues to labor issues and the H-2B visa program, have paved the way for a stronger future for golf, both environmentally and economically. Congratulations to all three for this well-deserved recognition.”
The GAL Award is part of
the Grassroots Ambassador program, which matches superintendents with members of Congress to build strong working relationships and create a bridge between the golf industry and political leaders in the U.S. More than 500 GCSAA members currently serve as ambassadors representing 91% of congressional districts across the country.
Ferren, a 17-year member of GCSAA, joined the Grassroots Ambassador program in 2018, and he is paired with Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL). He served on the GCSAA Government Affairs Committee from 2019 to 2022 and has attend National Golf Day on several occasions. Ferren has also been involved in the development and implementation of Florida’s state golf course best management practices (BMP) guidelines.
56 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4
“I simply wanted to tell my story and leave a lasting impression about the tremendous benefits that golf offers to the environment and the economy,” Ferren said. “I look forward to continuing my advocacy journey for years to come.”
Mack, a 19-year GCSAA member, joined the Grassroots Ambassador program in 2015 and has served on the Georgia GCSA Board of Directors for nearly five years. He was initially paired with Rep. Douglas Collins (R-GA) and for the last two years has worked with Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA). He has hosted Clyde at Big Canoe to discuss hot-button issues for the golf industry; a big point of discussion has been the importance of the H-2B visa program. During National Golf Day, he discussed
the importance of labor expansion and golf as a responsible environmental steward with Clyde.
“Ambassadors are in a unique position to educate a policymaker who isn’t entirely knowledgeable about golf,” Mack said. “We are experts in our industry and can provide testament to how a decision may impact our business and livelihood. If our story isn’t told, we will find ourselves ignored and dealing with policies that may negatively affect us.”
Murphy has been a grassroots ambassador for two years after being recruited to fill a spot in Mississippi, and he is paired with Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS). Through the Grassroots Ambassador program, Murphy has
used his platform to get ahead of the negative press that is common in his district in Mississippi.
"Advocacy is important because there are a lot of people out there with loud voices who have a lot of negative things to say about golf. Those opinions are unfortunately often what are perceived as truth about golf by the public,” Murphy said. “There really are so many positives of the game that are overlooked, and the truly rewarding thing about advocacy is getting to hear feedback from your time spent talking to policymakers.”
To learn more about the Grassroots Ambassador Leadership Award, visit www.gcsaa.org/about-gcsaa/ awards/grassroots-ambassadorleadership-award.
Starting at $10 C M Y CM MY CY CMY K TurfLife_Ad_HalfPg(12172019).pdf 1 12/17/2019 3:23:46 PM
By Cecilia Brown
Love, Dedication and a Thriving Farm: The Story of Riebeling Farms
Jimmy and Vanessa Riebeling of Riebeling Farms met each other in typing class at Foley High School when they were just teenagers. Vanessa was born in Georgia and Jimmy was born in Arkansas, but both were raised in Alabama after each of their families moved there when they were one year old. The two have been happily married for 43 years and have watched the success of their sod business grow simultaneously.
Jimmy and Vanessa were married in 1979, the very same year that they formed Riebeling Farms Inc. But Jimmy said farming went back many generations before they became involved. Jimmy’s father, Raymond Riebeling returned from serving in the Air Force in the 1950s to farm row crops, hogs and cows with his father, John Riebeling.
“My dad was the hardest working man I’ve ever seen. He worked up until his eighties,” Jimmy said. “There was nothing he couldn’t do.
He built his own house and if we needed a barn, we built a barn.”
Vanessa recalled that Jimmy’s parents, Vivian and Raymond, used to tell a story about Jimmy driving a tractor standing up because he was so little that he couldn’t touch the clutch.
“I started helping my dad since I was big enough to follow him. He grew row crops for a long, long time to make ends meet,” Jimmy said. “Somehow or another, my dad did everything himself and slowly ventured into the sod business in the early 80s and here we are. It was a good
move, maybe not an easy move, but we have been blessed.”
Jimmy and Vanessa don’t anticipate his parents ever thought the business would get as large as it is today. Vanessa said they started row cropping so they could make a living and count on a steady income. Jimmy explained it’s also a good thing they eventually expanded into sod to make their business more diversified and by having a product that could survive storms and hurricanes. “If you have a corn or soybean crop out there, it might blow over, but it’s
58 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4
Raymond, Vivian, Vanessa and Jimmy Riebeling
CitraBlue® St. Augustinegrass Field at Riebeling Farm in September 2022
hard to blow sod over. Now you can get excess water in sod, but it’s a lot safer and more long-term than a row crop,” he explained.
Riebeling Farms has withstood a number of bad storms and hurricanes. Most of which results in a lot of work and loose irrigation rigs. They recall just three weeks after they got married, Hurricane Frederic hit Alabama and left them without electricity for a full week. “It was really, really scary,“ Vanessa said. Two other storms they specifically recall were Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Hurricane Sally in 2020.
“Sally was so bad because it just sat on top of us for so long. We’re lucky we have irrigation generators which we could rewire to get electricity to our house,” she shared.
Jimmy recalled 9 of his 16 center pivot irrigation rigs flipping over during Hurricane Sally. “It was tough but we overcame it. We cleared the trees out of the way and were just thankful to have a roof on the house. At first, it looked like we’d never get cleaned up, but we always do.”
A customer from Florida visited them to assist in cutting and removing tree debris from the farm. Typically, when a storm occurs, farms in their region collaborate and lend equipment to each
other. “During Sally, everyone was in the same boat so there wasn’t really a lot we could do for each other. You had to get your equipment and pivots replaced and try to get your insurance companies out.”
When Riebeling Farms first started growing turfgrass, they oversaw the production of the sod and Jimmy’s uncle Richard Manley would sell and deliver the sod. After a few years, Riebeling Farms
acquired its own customers and they’ve been growing, harvesting and delivering sod ever since.
Over the years, they’ve seen a lot of new turfgrass varieties released into the market. “We’ve had a lot of business and there’s a lot more competition too. Machinery has changed, the labor expense has changed and now we have automated sod harvesters and don’t have as much hand labor, but that comes with a price.”
Riebeling has been praised for maintaining and producing excellent quality turfgrass. When asked his secret to success, Jimmy said it’s a combination of being blessed, lucky and putting everything into his sod business like he did with their row crops. “My dad always told me to do all you can and the best you can and if you do those two things, there’s a good chance you’re gonna be alright.”
Jimmy said that they face new challenges every day, but labor is an issue for them, particularly the type of labor they need. He also said new equipment prices have gotten outrageous. “But all in all, we really have a lot to be thankful for. We’ve been very successful in my eyes and just have a lot to be thankful for.”
Riebeling grows three of Sod Solutions licensed turfgrass varieties along with a centipede grass.
Riebeling Farms started by growing Palmetto® St.
59 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4
Erin Wilder (right) and her son David, bringing Jimmy and Vanessa Riebelings donations from Sod Solutions following Hurricane Sally
Jimmy with Palmetto® St. Augustinegrass pallets at Riebeling Farms.
Augustinegrass which he still considers a great St. Augustine. He said it may be a little early to tell if CitraBlue® St. Augustine will be as successful but really likes its features.
“CitraBlue’s color is tremendously different, it requires less mowing and the disease package, which the University of Florida is telling us it’s a lot less, and I see that,” Jimmy said.
Vanessa explained it’s hard to convince customers who are so used to a crop or product that works well to try something new. She said at first it was hard to convince people to try EMPIRE, and now they have customers that it’s all they want and really seem to like it when they put it down. The Riebelings have had EMPIRE in their own front yard for almost 22 years.
“EMPIRE is a really good, tough, low-maintenance zoysiagrass and it’s starting to take over. At first, I didn’t want to grow a zoysia because all the popular fine zoysias were fine ones that you had to cut at half an inch tall and it took a long time. But this is a low-maintenance zoysia that’s no more trouble than a centipede,” Jimmy said.
He explained they still grow row crops because it fits in well with growing turfgrass. They rotate their sod fields with their row crops. “We feel like that’s a big help. It’s hard to sod after sod after sod,
year after year after year. It hurts the ground. I don’t know any crop you can do year after year without some type of rotation.”
Jimmy’s days at the farm start early and end late. They have about 12-15 people helping on the farm throughout a given year, but Jimmy is the one who stays on top of things. “I can see things coming after 30 years of experience and know what to look for. If someone doesn’t show up and I have to be down earlier, that happens too.”
In 1995, Vanessa resigned from her job to assist her motherin-law, Vivian, who was looking to reduce her workload in the farm’s office. Initially, for two years, Vanessa performed various manual tasks such as operating mowers, harvesters and sprayers in the fields during the day and completing paperwork at night. However, after a few years, she assumed full responsibility for the farm’s office work, including managing billing and trucking for both sod and row crops. Since the farm did not have computers at that time, Vanessa managed all of these tasks manually.
Approximately five years ago, due to the farm’s expansion, additional office staff were employed, and professional accountants were hired to manage the farm’s taxes. However, over the last year, Vanessa
has been unwell, resulting in reduced attendance at the office. Now, she is gradually attempting to resume her duties and assist with the farm’s operations.
Last year, Vanessa was diagnosed with Myelofibrosis, a rare form of bone marrow cancer that disturbs the body’s usual blood cell production. She underwent a stem cell transplant at UAB Hospital during the fall and was instructed to isolate for 100 days afterward. Currently, she is recuperating from the treatment.
Jimmy, who’s 65 years old, said he’s trying to slow down some on the farm so he can spend more time with her. As a result of that decision, he’s not growing peanuts as they have in years past since they take so much work. He’ll be harvesting sod, oats, soybeans and corn this year.
Jimmy and Vanessa have one son, Nathan who lives in a house beside them on the farm. Although he doesn’t work on the farm, a lot of their extended family members do and for the most part, they all live within a mile of one another.
As Jimmy looks forward to hopefully slowing down soon, he said he knows he probably won’t ever be able to quit cold turkey. While a sod farm requires a lot of hard work, money and dedication, they wouldn’t have it any other way.
60 Golf Central • Volume 24, Issue 4
THERE ARE A MILLION THINGS THAT NEED TO HAPPEN FOR YOUR COURSE TO BE PLAYABLE.
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 gcsaa.org/GC
So say thanks to your golf course superintendent. Or make that, thanks a million.
AND YOUR GOLF COURSE SUPERINTENDENT IS THINKING ABOUT THEM ALL.
FOR ALL GOLF IS AND ALL IT CAN BE
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