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Fall 2019 - Winter 2020 Keeping Golfers Connected in TN, KY, MS, AL, NC

Fall 2019 - Winter 2020

Birmingham’s Bridge to Luxury Ross Bridge named Top 100 resort destination Pages 2-4

Inside!! the right course: Brooks West 11 Charting continues transforming Franklin Bridge systems go: Get ready for 21 All major changes in your handicap generation: Local, state colleges 22 Next restock their rosters during early signing period

Jerry (Chip) Purser, PGA Director of Golf

Photo by Michael Clemmer


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The bigger, the better: Ross Bridge earns national accolades as Top 100 resort destination By Gregg Dewalt Tee Times Editor BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Chip Purser got in on the ground floor before there even was a Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa to show off to the public He arrived during the construction phase of the project prior to its August 2005 opening, and he’s seen the resort turn into a worldrenowned facility and become the flagship of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s resort division. He’s also seen an entire community spring up around the facility, similar to several other RTJ Golf Trail sites. Now, Purser has something else to brag about to his golf industry peers. The longtime Director of Golf at Ross Bridge now heads up a Trail site that has been named one of the Top 100 Resorts according to Golf Magazine. The list was published in the October issue, and it puts Ross Bridge in some high cotton when considering some of the other name-brand resorts on the list.

Chip Purser believes that each guest/golfer should be treated with Southern Hospitality. The list was compiled from more than 3,700 review from golfers who reviewed 250 resorts across North America. Ross Bridge was included on the list of the top 25 Buddy Trips in

Scenic No. 17- with views of No. 18 & No. 9 Photo by Michael Clemmer

Staff: (L-R) Staff Professional Caleb Stodden, Staff Professional Philip Carlson, Admin Manager John Sciulara, Director of Golf Chip Purser, Head Professional Dominic Diaz North America. “When we first opened up the only thing here was the resort hotel and the golf course covered by a bunch of trees,” Purser recalled.

“Now, we’ve got over 1,300 homes around us and some shopping going in. All sorts of things. We built our own parkway to make it easier to get here. We’ve become a whole community and not just a golf course.” Ross Bridge was the last of the RTJ Golf Trail courses to open, and like the others was built on a grand scale. It’s got gaping bunkers, spacious fairways and huge greens complexes. Stretched to the max, Ross Bridge tips out at a whopping 8,191 yards from the black tees – one of two Trail courses to break the 8,000-yard barrier. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to play from the tips. With six sets of tees, including the front markers that measure 5,300 yards, players can find a comfortable yardage to suit their game. Purser said the theme in plotting Ross Bridge was “go big or go big.” Purser said Bobby Vaughan, who collaborated with Roger Rulewich on the design, said you have to un-


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derstand scope and scale. “He said you can’t have one thing big and everything else small,” Purser said. And that’s exactly how things turned out on a wonderful piece of property that features gently

e of his The Super and som mill crew at the Grist

Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa Superintendent/ Josh Dyer

Hometown: Lakeview, Alabama Family: Wife Tracy, daughter Emma Kate Tee Times: When did you arrive at Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa? Dyer: January 2007 Tee Times: Tell us more about your background Dyer: Graduated Horry-Georgetown Technical College in 1997. My first job was an assist. Superintendent for the grow-in of Carolina National Golf Club in North Carolina. After that stint, I moved back to Birmingham for the Second Assistant Superintendent position at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Oxmoor Valley. In 2002 I was promoted to the Superintendent at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Silver Lakes. I was at Silver Lakes until 2007 when I came here as Superintendent Tee Times: Are you Class A GCSAA? Since? Dyer: Yes 2008 Tee Times: Name your grasses, fairways, tee boxes, greens and rough. Dyer: Crenshaw/Dominant bentgrass greens. Tifsport Bermudagrass tees, fairways and rough Tee Times: Name your staff and their titles. Dyer: Lee Bailey First Assistant Superintendent and Steve Grund Second Assistant Superintendent Tee Times: What upgrades have you and your crew undertaken lately? Dyer: This past summer we totally reconstructed/reconfigured our practice putting green. The original green was 22,000 square feet with severe undulations, making much of the turf unusable for practicing. We blew it up and created two smaller greens with a new cart path separating them. We grew in a Tifeagle bermudagrass chipping green that is around 6,000 square feet. Then we grew in a 12,000 AU Victory bentgrass putting green that only has about a one percent slope making it perfect for putting practice drills. Tee Times: Tell us why any golfer will love playing your course. How is your course special, unique? Dyer: The scale of the golf course is massive! Everything about it is dramatic, including the views. The greens are some of the largest you will play. Many of the holes play downhill and the fairways are very wide so you can have the drive of your life! The slopes in the greens are subtle so we can keep the greens at a pretty fast speed. With some greens as large as 11,000 square feet, you have the chance to make some very long putts.

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slopes and surprising elevation changes just south of downtown Birmingham. An example of Ross Bridge’s largesse can be found in approach shot yardages into the course’s immaculately manicured bentgrass greens. “It can be 132 (yards) to the front of the green and 168 to the back,” Purser said. “The fairways are wide and receptive. It puts the onus on the approach shot into the greens.” A word of caution from the guy who plays the course regularly – don’t go flag hunting when the pins are set close to the edges of the greens. It’s

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a recipe for disaster even if Purser calls Ross Bridge “a forgiving golf course.” “If you play to center of the green, you’ll be OK,” Purser said, speaking from experience. “We’ve got false edges you can’t see, and that can turn a reasonably good golf shot into a bogey. Err to the middle of the greens and you can help your score a lot.” Purser offers another piece of advice to visitors – don’t try to play speed golf. Stop and smell the roses, so to speak “Take a moment to enjoy the views that you are going to get out here. It is a gorgeous place,” he said. “Not a place to just come out and try to whip around and then get in 18 more someplace else. This is a resort destination and it is built along those lines. With the views and all, you’d pay a whole lot more to play something like this elsewhere.”

(L-R) Front Row: Felipe Begarano, Kim Hicks, Steve Grund, Josh Dyer, Lee Bailey, Dale Ward. Back Row: Seterrius “Taz” Hutchins, Jeffrey “Brian” Spain, Edsel “Joe” Scott, Andrew “Blake” Scott, Caleb Williams, Nicholas Chanslor.

Crew not pictured: Tom Johnson John Graham Marvin Rathbun Clarence Norris Larry Spivey Jerry Hopper James Southerland Jackson Crosswhite James Davis Clarence Dulaney Samuel Hooten Irwin Sanborn Alek Diffendaffer

Robert Lavett Robin Thomas Thomas Ferguson James Holt Shawn Bode Thomas Bryant Mark Brown Peter Giangrosso James Gray

Par 3 No. 16


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The Bagpiper’s nightly dusk symphony resounds over the Resort

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More than golf, the pool, and clubhouse wow all who visit

Photo by Art Meripol

That’s the truth, too. Put Ross Bridge and its amenities in other better-known golf destinations and the price would soar exponentially. Daily stay-and-play packages start at $174. Another significant aspect of Ross Bridge is that RTJ Golf Trail com-

panion facility Oxmoor Valley is just a mile away. Offering 54 holes that includes a short course, golfers can set up shop in the castlethemed Ross Bridge 259-room hotel for a weekend stay and never play the same hole twice. “It just adds to what we have

Photo by Art Meripol

here,” Purser said of the proximity. “It’s helped us bring in more stayand-play packages.” With an extraordinary pool for the kids and spa for the significant other, it’s not a surprise Ross

Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort & Spa, lots of amenities with luxury attached

Photo by Art Meripol

Bridge is also a prime landing spot for weekend getaways for locals. “It’s like a mini-vacation where you don’t have to leave town or the state, you can just pop over here and it’s like you have gotten miles away without driving too far,” Purser said. RTJ Golf Trail president John Cannon said he was happy to see Ross Bridge on Golf Magazine’s top resorts. “This was the first time Golf Magazine has named its Top 100 resorts and we are delighted to have Renaissance Ross Bridge Resorts and Spa on this prestigious list,” Cannon said in a release. “To be compared with iconic golf venues such as Pebble Beach, Pinehurst, Bandon Dunes, Broadmoor, Greenbrier and others showcases the quality of the golf experience we deliver in Alabama.” Just don’t ask Purser which is the signature hole at Ross Bridge. If he has one, he’s not saying. “I’ve been asked numerous times to pick a signature hole, but there truly are so many views here that it would be difficult,” he said. “I like to hear from guests which holes they enjoyed the most, and I get a lot of players who say the par-3 fourth hole or No. 14. And then there is No. 18, a beautiful finisher that is no easy par, either.”


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From tHE Editor By Gregg Dewalt

Breen leads Senior PGA Championship finishers Bill Breen turned in a 12th place finish at the recent Senior PGA Professional Championship played at Barton Creek to lead a strong contingent of finishers from Tennessee. Breen, of the Harpeth Valley Golf Center, shot 7-under 279 to finish in a four-way tie for 12th place. Scott Hebert won the tournament at 16-under 270, thanks in part to a third-round 63. Walt Chapman, of Fairways and Greens Golf Center finished 22nd at 281, while Jared Melson, of the Bear Trace at Tims Ford, tied for 34th at 283. By virtue of their top 35 finishes, Breen, Chapman and Melson qualify for next year’s KitchenAid Senior Championship set for Harbor Shores Resort in Michigan. Two other professionals from the state made it through to the final day but just missed qualifying for next year’s tournament. Chris Dibble, of Holston Hills CC,

Bill Breen

tied for 49th place at 286. Buddy Harston, of the Vanderbilt Legends Club, tied for 71st at 292.

Prescription card benefits junior golf in Tennessee

EDITOR Gregg Dewalt ASSOCIATE EDITOR Justin Onslow SENIOR EDITOR David Widener widecard@aol.com

Aiken Golf Club is a mustplay course

or app, consumers can save up to 87 percent on most prescription drugs,” he said. Rx.golf offers two ways of obtaining a card: Consumers can get a traditional card by visiting www.rx.golf and either printing one out or having the card sent to their phone. The other option is to visit www. rxgolf.app and download an easy-to-use web app to their phone. The app provides a pharmacy price search and digital card all at the touch of a finger, along with access to other valuable information.” “I personally have known the founder of Rx.golf for nearly four decades and Rx.golf believes, just like I do, that junior golf programs not only create better golfers but they create better citizens,” Dick Horton, the recently retired executive director of the Tennessee Golf Association and the Tennessee Golf Foundation, said in a release.

Huntsville Championship

The new Korn Ferry Tour stop in Huntsville, Alabama is ramping up its tournaA Nashville entreprement preparations, as Huntsneur has created a way ville Championship officials for Tennessee golfers to announced ticket sales are now benefit junior golf prounderway. grams every time they The tournament is set for April fill a prescription. 20-26, 2020 at The Ledges. TickThe Rx.golf card genets are $10 for daily grounds erates a junior golf dopasses. Passes for the week are nation of $1 every time also available, along with upgradit’s used, said its creator, ed hospitality options. Dick Horton Michael Thompson of Hospitality packages include RxVentures LLC. the Michelob Ultra Patio and the The card, which is free, is the only preSkyDeck presented by Blue Cross and Blue scription drug card that benefits junior Shield of Alabama. golf in the United States, he said. For information about the tournament or The card is accepted at 68,000 participatto buy tickets, go to huntsvillechampioning pharmacies in the U.S. Its price search function is guaranteed to get the user the lowest available price on most drugs, Thompson said. “By using the Rx.golf card

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jon Hamilton jrhdesign@att.net

TECHNICAL ADVISOR Jimmy Phillips

DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Susan Lawrence

PRINTING Franklin Web Printing Company FOUNDER Joey Smith

Established in 1991, Tee Times is published monthly, ten times per year. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is strictly prohibited.

P.O. Box 41293 • Nashville, TN 37204 • Phone: 615-331-1078 • Fax: 1-866-579-4932

Member: Golf Writers Association of America, International Network of Golf, Golf Travel Writers of America

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ship.com.

ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Carol Hall teetimescarol@bellsouth.net

PUBLISHER Joe Hall pgegolf@bellsouth.net

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Aiken Golf Club - Aiken, South Carolina

I’ve long heard about an excellent public golf course in Aiken, South Carolina, so when a recent trip took me to Columbia to cover a college basketball game, I opted to take by clubs to see if I could squeeze in 18 holes on my return to Alabama. It was a side trip worth taking. Built in 1912, the Aiken Golf Club oozes history. Short by modern standards at 5,795 yards from the tips, the par-70 AGC is a return to golf of yesteryear. Designer John Inglis, a protégé of Donald Ross, incorporated that philosophy into the green complexes, and the course routing winds through pine forest. In fact, it’s almost like you are playing a mini-version of the renovated Pinehurst No. 2 with its native grasses and waste areas, not to mention some severely sloped greens. From the time you walk into the brick clubhouse which is built into the side of a hill, there is a sense of nostalgia about Aiken Golf Club. Ask about the history of the course and it’s revealed that the clubhouse was initially the laundry room for the Highland Park Hotel, which burned twice. Tucked into the back of the clubhouse is a picture of Patty Berg and Bade Zaharias playing in the 1937 Women’s Invitational Tournament at Aiken Golf Club. How’s that for a little historic nostalgia In a 2015 Golf Magazine article, Michael Bamberger alluded to the Aiken Golf Club’s charm. That’s exactly what you’ll with Aiken Golf Club – a charming course that will also kick your butt. At $32 including a cart, Aiken Golf Club is an unforgettable bargain.


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“Best Course You Can Play” - GolfWeek

TEE UP

YOUR NEXT EVENT. Golf Outings • Social Events • Weddings • Complimentary Parking • Corporate Events Retreats & Team Building

For more information or to book a tee time: GaylordSprings.com


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Opinion By David Widener

Member Golf Writers Association of America

U.S.A. Player Tiger Woods

U.S.A Captain Tiger Woods

Tiger proves worthy Presidents Cup captain

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should know better. Never underesti- not play with him and also was a major factor mate Tiger Woods. I did, doubting he in the USA losing. Two of Tiger’s four losses in could handle the dual task of being the 2018 Ryder Cup came in 4-Ball competition captain and a player in the Presidents with Reed as his partner. Woods said he picked Cup at Australia’s Royal Melbourne Golf Club him because he’s “fearless.” Reed was involved in controversy at the tourplus control the controversial Patrick Reed. In leading the USA team to the first comeback nament leading up to the Presidents Cup when victory in Cup history, Woods won all three of he drew a two-stroke penalty for removing sand his matches as his team prevailed 16-14 after from a trap with a practice swing at the Hero trailing 10-8 going into the final day of competi- World Challenge. He denied the rules violation. tion. The victory gives the USA an 11-1-1 edge If that wasn’t enough, Reed’s caddie got susin the Cup. Ironically, the lone International win pended from the final day of the Presidents Cup came at Royal Melbourne in 1998 by a 20 1/2- when he got into an altercation with a fan on the third day of competition. That 11 1/2 margin. resulted in Reed’s coach carrying Tiger’s feat in a dual role is the bag Sunday when Reed won something not accomplished in his only match. 25 years, that coming in 1994 While Woods went with experiwhen Captain Hal Irwin won ence in making his selections, Intwo of his three matches in ternational captain Ernie Els went leading USA to a 20-12 victory. with youth, selecting 20-year-old As captain, Woods went with Joaquin Niemann of Chile, Im experience in picking his players and it paid off. In addition Sungjae (21) of Korea, and Adam to Reed and himself, Woods Hadwin (32) of Canada and Jason picked Tony Finau and Gary Day (31) of Australia. “I threw age Woodard to join qualifiers out of the equation,” said Els, who Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnplayed in eight Presidents Cups Always controversial, son, Patrick Cantlay, Xander and holds the record for most Patrick Reed was Schauffele, Webb Simpson, points won with 21. heckled and his Matt Kuchar and Bryson DeQualifiers joining them on the caddie kicked out of Chambeau. Tiger had to make team were Marc Leishman, Adam President’s Cup for his another captain’s pick to reScott, and Cameron Smith (all from action with a fan. place qualifier Brooks Koepka, Australia), Hideki Matsuyama (Japan), Luis Oosthuizen (South Afwho is in rehab for a left knee injury suffered at The CJ Cup in October. He rica), Abraham Ancer (Mexico), Li Haotong (China) and Pan Cheng-tsung (Chinese Taipei). chose Rickie Fowler. That made it the most diverse International I’m not a fan of Reed. Who can forget his attitude at last year’s Ryder Cup when he com- team in history, but not good enough to keep plained about the pairings and just about ev- the USA from winning an eighth straight Presierything else. It was so bad Jordan Spieth would dents Cup.

The U.S.A. rallied to beat a young and talented International Team

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PGA Members Lissa Bradford and Jamie Howell Honored with Prestigious Coaching Awards The Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) and Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA), in collaboration with the PGA of America, today announced the recipients of the prestigious Labron Harris Sr. Award, as well as the Kim Evans Award, which were presented at the 2019 GCAA and WGCA Conventions in Las Vegas. Belmont University Women’s Golf Coach Lissa Bradford, PGA received the 2019 Kim Evans Award, while Eastern Florida State College Head Men’s Golf Coach Jamie Howell, PGA was named the recipient of the 2019 Labron Harris Sr. Award. Both respective awards are presented to the college or high school coach, and Class A PGA Professional, whose support of the game through teaching, coaching and involvement in the community has helped ensure the continued growth of the game of golf and represent the finest qualities the game has to offer. “It’s an honor to congratulate PGA Members Lissa Bradford and Jamie Howell on receiving these two prestigious national coaching awards from the WGCA and GCAA,” said PGA President Suzy Whaley. “Coaching is at the heart of the PGA of America’s mission to grow the game, and these two outstanding college coaches represent our Association at the highest of levels with their tremendous passion for the game and its future.” In its second year, the prestigious Kim Evans Award honors the lifetime achievement of the WGCA Hall of Fame Coach from Auburn University. Lissa Bradford, PGA has been at the helm of the Belmont University Women’s Golf program since 2001. The team regularly earns academic accolades, and last season the Bruins earned the NCAA APR Recognition Award for the 11th consecutive year. In addition, three golfers: Emma Kate Liu, Carlee Nanney and Julia Nittoli were named to the WGCA AllAmerican Scholar Team. “Kim Evans has always been someone I have admired both in the coaching world and junior golf arena,” said Bradford. “It is such an honor to be recognized with an award bear-

(L-R) Roger Yaffe, Executive Director of the WGCA, Lissa Bradford, PGA, and Kim Evans ing her name. Her strength, passion and dedication to life and the game are an inspiration to us all.” In addition to her coaching duties, Bradford serves as Senior Director of Junior Golf for the Tennessee Golf Foundation, as well as on the Tennessee PGA Section Junior Golf and Growth of the Game Committees. She also volunteers for PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere), Special Olympics Golf and as a Stephen Ministry Leader with her church. In 2010, Bradford received the Gladys Palmer Meritorious Service Award, the WGCA’s most prestigious honor. Afterwards, she began a four-year term as a member of the NCAA Women’s Golf Committee. She now

(L-R) Head Coach Lissa Bradford, Maribeth Peevy, Lily Gulley, Ann Catherine Blackburn, Katelyn Dunstan, Carlee Nanney, Julia Nittoli, Cameron Fish. Credit: John Langdon/ Belmont University Athletics

serves annually at both NCAA regional and national championship events. Recently, she was named to the PGA Magazine Women Leaders Platform. Jamie Howell, PGA the Labron Harris Sr. Award recipient is in his 18th season at Eastern Florida State College, where the Titans men’s golf team has compiled 48 tournament wins. He has coached 27 All-Americans, with three players winning National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) individual national titles. Howell was inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame in 2019, and was named the Dave Williams National Coach of the Year in 2015. He has been the District Coach of the Year eight times in his career. “Labron Harris Sr. blazed a trail in the world of collegiate golf few could ever hope to achieve,” said Howell. “To be mentioned in the same breath is humbling to say the least. I am proud to carry on the tradition he embodied in the PGA of America and the collegiate golf world.” The Titans have reached the NJCAA National Tournament in all 17 of his seasons, with one 2nd place finish and two 3 rd place finishes. His 2006-‘07 team was named the Florida Community College Activities Association Male Academic Team of the Year. Howell also played professionally on the PGA European Tour from 1988-1990.


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Matt King overcome with emotion in winning Tennessee Mid-Amateur crown Tee Times report GALLATIN – As the final putt dropped for Matt King in the 2019 Tennessee Mid-Amateur Championship, he was overcome by emotion and had to fight back the tears. The Knoxville native needed three playoff holes to ultimately edge past defending tournament champion Ryan Terry (Nashville) and Wes Spannuth (Gallatin) for the title at Foxland Links at Tennessee Grasslands in October. King finished the three-round event with a 9-under, 207 total that included a stellar opening-round 64. “I was just thinking about my dad and about my papaw, who passed away six years ago,” King said. “I do it for them. They are the ones that taught me to play golf. I grew up playing baseball and football. My papaw, especially. The emotions just hit me. When I made that last putt, I was just thinking about them. It was just … it was pretty special.”

The 33-year-old King has been playing in state events his entire playing career, but this was his first TGA title. “I started out when I was 12-yearold playing the Vince Gill Junior Tour,” he remembered. “Then I transitioned into TGA events. It’s been 21 years of playing tournaments all across the state, and this is my first big state event win.” King opened the tournament with a bogey-free card that featured eight birdies that gave him a three-stroke lead over his nearest competitor. He followed that up with a 1-under, 71 on Friday that kept him in front by three strokes over Terry. Also playing in the final group was Spannuth, who gained entry into the tournament as the reigning club champion at Foxland Links. King maintained a two-stroke lead over both his playing partners in the final round after a birdie on No. 13, but things got very interesting coming in. The leader went on to bogey No. 15,

and then on 16 he suffered a double bogey to Spannuth’s par and Terry’s bogey. That left Spannuth with a onestroke lead with two holes to play. Terry birdied the short par-five, 17th to move into a tie for the lead at 9-under. Needing to make up a stroke on the final hole, King hit his approach shot to within a couple of feet and birdied to force a three-way playoff. The trio went back to play 18 again. Spannuth and King both found the left greenside bunker the second time around. King performed a miraculous sand save for par, while Spannuth suffered a bogey and saw his Cinderella story come to an end. Terry also parred to force more extra holes. Terry and King went to No. 1 and again King got up and down out of the sand to save par and extend the tournament. On the par three, No. 2, Terry hit the green while King was just short and chipping on. King again saved his par while Terry three-putted, making King the new champion. Ryan Greer (Knoxville) finished

Matt King fourth at 8-under, 207, while Jeff Reuter (Jackson) rounded out the top five at 5-under, 211. Making up the top ten were Brendon Caballero (212), Tanner Davis (212), Tim Jackson (213), Travis Womble (213), Andrew Duff (215) and Ben Glover (215).


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Williamson County golfers in good hands with Brooks West By Justin Onslow Tee Times Editor

When Brooks West took ownership of Franklin Bridge Golf Club in Franklin, Tenn., on January 1, he did so with the intention of turning the only public 18-hole golf course in the county into a “public country club.” To some, that may have signaled massive change – and rightly so – but in this case, not all change is bad. West is a lifelong golfer who saw an opportunity for positive change, and when he bought Franklin Bridge, he began to realize how big that opportunity really was. “Coming in here with amazing bones the course had, with the location and the layout and the river and the bridge and the people, I really don’t think what I’m doing is that special,” he says. “I don’t think I’m that special. This place is special. I’m just trying to be a good steward of that opportunity.” West talks of owning Franklin Bridge like a privilege. As with any owner, he has his eye on profit and revenues and all the nuances of maintaining a business, but to him, Franklin Bridge is a special place with special people both operating and frequenting it. And, of course, being the only public 18hole course in a thriving Middle Tennessee county, West wants to offer an experience for local golfers that they can’t get elsewhere, and an experience deserving of the residents of Williamson County. “Williamson County is known for quality – quality schools, quality roads, quality homes. It’s not an inexpensive place to live,” he says. “People come here because they want a great lifestyle. My goal is to try to give them that. Elevating the overall experience to what I’ve unofficially tagged as ‘Williamson County’s public country club.’ We’re getting the feedback that people feel that way and certainly that’s what we set out to do.” Much of that feedback references the changes West has implemented and overseen in his brief time as owner of Frank-

lin Bridge. Already he’s changed out the course’s aging golf cart complement with a new fleet. He’s executed capital improvements on the course itself, including fixing drainage issues and eliminating overgrowth. He’s flipped the nines for a more enjoyable playing experience, and now the clubhouse has a new look and feel. “The entire clubhouse is completely renovated,” he explains. “We’re done with everything. The pub is open. The hallway is finished. The pro shop is finished. The outside of the clubhouse is painted and has new landscaping. It’s done. I’m excited about it.” The new pub is more than a footnote in the renovation work West’s team has done with the clubhouse. Dubbed the Persimmon Pub, the new bar area is what West calls a “local watering hole” already. “The pub is sort of another step down that path where when people get done, they come in and they know the bartenders and the bartenders know them and have a drink and tally up the bets,” he adds. “It’s a place you want to hang out.” Fittingly, the name of the pub matches the new interior – persimmon wood adorns the entire bar, the paneling, the shelving. Long used in golf clubs before giving way to manufactured metals, persimmon has a place in the lore of golf, and West wants that rich history to be a part of the heart of Franklin Bridge’s clubhouse. Every improvement has been part of a bigger plan, which is still in its infancy. Small changes to larger ones, every single step West’s team is taking makes for an improved experience among its clientele. “The feedback is overwhelmingly positive,” he says. “I hesitate to recount feed-

Patriotic gear in the upscale pro shop

Brooks West, PGA Professional on the iconic Franklin Bridge. back because it starts to sound like bragging. The thing that was the most pleasant surprise for me is how much this place means to a lot of people. That has nothing to do with anything I’ve done. That’s because of the history and how long it’s been here. That dynamic was already at play when I got here. When I came in and took the place they already loved and poured a bunch of passion and energy and love into it, of course they’re going to like it.” Big changes like the clubhouse improvements are nice, sure, but so is changing tee times from an eight-minute spacing to a 10-minute spacing, which West implemented this year. Pace of play has improved as a result, and the same can be said for the overall experience.

The Island Green at No. 18

In the coming months, West plans to focus on training and development of kitchen staff to execute the soon-to-be-released menu that will include barbeque, wings, smoked sausages and other salty favorites, along with the typical club sandwiches and salads common to golf course eateries. He’s also overseeing projects to remove nonnative trees and shrubbery to be replaced with specimen oak trees for the sake of visibility, playability and air flow. West says he wants the course to return to the river-bottom links-style course it was originally intended to be. Whatever your opinion on each individual change and improvement, each speaks to the mission West is on. To him, it’s his duty to give the people a place they want to golf, time and time again. “It’s a special place, and that’s not because of me,” he says. “It’s the only 18-hole public course in the middle of a thriving community. It’s just a unique opportunity, and hopefully I’m taking advantage of that opportunity and giving the people what they want.”

Persimmon Pub, where the locals go!


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Nashvi February 14 Nashville Fairgrounds New Expo Building #3 Exhibitors

Booth #

517Golf 315 Alabama Dept. Of Tourism 101 Bath Fitter 305 City of Crossville 302 Clubhouse Event Group 426 Enuff Insurance 324 Farmers Insurance 211 First Tee of Tennessee 210 Florida Golf Alliance 200 Franklin Bridge Golf Club 227 Golf House Tennessee 210 Golf House Tennessee 311 GolfTec 226 Guardian Garage Floors 317 Handup Gloves 409 In His Grip 229 I-Touch 325 Kenny Perry’s Country Creek 322 Kentucky State Parks 316 Keystone Financial 207 Kid’s Zone 210 Lake Tansi Golf Resort 306 LeafFilter 422 LPGA Amateur Association 106 Malone Golf Academy 327 Mr. Roof 406 Nashville Fairways 205 Nashville Golf & Athletic 231 Nashville Golf Open 231 Nashville National Golf Links 206

Exhibitors

Booth #

Oak Hills 430 Pinnacle Home Improvement 319 Power-Home Remodeling 310 Premium Resorts 100 Renewal by Andersen 307 Roy Matlock Jr. 217 Seal Smart 213 SeeMore Putter Co. 416 Southern States Jr. Classic 102 Sultan’s Run Golf Course 107 Summit Family Chiropractic 228 Sun Mountain 104 Telerie Athletics 219 Tennesse Golf Foundation 210 TN Section PGA/TN Golf Association 311 Tennessee State Parks 328 The Grounds Driving range 218 Titleist Golf 304 T-Mobile 424 Topgolf 329 TPGA 311 Under-Armour 326 Visit Indiana Golf 105 Visit Mississippi 201 Weston Golf 530 Williamsburg Hospitality 300 Windswept Dunes Golf 204 Woodlake Lodge, Golf & Country Club 323 Wyndham Destinations 223 zBones.io 104


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ille Golf Show 15 - 16, 2020

FORE OUR EXHIBITORS Visit Mississippi’s

Janet Leach Hospitality Area Honoring her memory and her many years of service and man hours in Exhibitor Booths!


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Wierenga has found his groove in Cool Springs By Justin Onslow Tee Times Associate Editor For proof of the success of GOLFTEC’s teaching system, look no further than certified teaching professional Jamie Wierenga. The Cool Springs GOLFTEC instructor, who began working at the Franklin, Tennessee, location just a year and a half ago, brought with him a lifetime of teaching experience. A Class A PGA professional and club pro at Atlantis Country Club in Atlantis, Florida, for 15 years, Wierenga and his family – wife, Alison and children Ryker (10), Dylan (10) and Tyson (8) – moved to Middle Tennessee to be closer to Alison’s family. He joined the GOLFTEC staff, but his prior teaching experience wasn’t misplaced in the move. In fact, it’s 15 years’ worth of teaching experience that makes Wierenga a valuable

Clark Gates

resource for both GOLFTEC and the company’s many students – perhaps even more so than as a club pro teaching on the range. “I developed relationships with members and regular guests at [Atlantis], but nothing quite on the coaching level you get here at GOLFTEC,” he says. “If I taught a certain student a lot at the club level, it was once a month. That would be considered a lot. You would maybe teach them a dozen times a year. That was kind of considered a lot in the club pro realm. “Here (at GOLFTEC), I’m seeing students once a week for a year, so I’m seeing some students 40 or 50 times a year. You develop way closer relationships with a lot of the student that come here and work with us than I ever really did in 15 years at the club level.” For someone with Wierenga’s experience,

Clark Gates

d you to Tee Times: When and who introduce the game of golf? Gates: My Grandfather as a youngster ns before Tee Times: Had you been given lesso coming to GOLFTEC? golf Gates: I had taken many lessons with professional at various golf courses. g takin Tee Times: How long have you been t this lessons, and what impresses you abou system? al years Gates: I have been at Golftec for severntage is and I would say that the biggest adva instruction. the Golftec technology with excellentto work on a It is super advantageous to be able instructor certain piece of the swing, with yourmonitor to ,and then see it on a video captured match the feel. you Tee Times: What improvement do your with find having taken GOLFTEC lessons personal coach, Jamie Wierenga shoot in Gates: I have dropped 10 strokes anddistance the high 70s and low 80s. My drivinge working has drastically improved due to Jami He has also on my swing path from inside out. game. helped me with putting and my short

it means quite a lot for students to have that kind of access to his knowledge and teaching abilities. It also helps that GOLFTEC employs technology that, as Wierenga admits, is more advantageous for students than it is for GOLFTEC instructors, with cameras that can record every nuance of a person’s golf swing. “I don’t know if it (having cameras) has changed the way I teach so much as it provides better tools, meaning the ability to not just tell a person why they’re hitting a hook, but actually be able to show them very specifically, and then what it would look like or what would have to be done to not do that,” he says. “I think people who have any type of visual learning style, it’s pretty powerful. It’s very, very objective. On the range, you’re really just more locked in to trying to get a person to feel a different way, but whether or not they really understand what they’re doing is another matter.” Wierenga doesn’t need cameras to diagnose an open club face or an improper swing path; his experience teaching without that technology has trained his analytical eye in that sense. For his students, though, seeing their golf swing can be the difference between seeing and truly understanding. It’s Wierenga’s job to put those pieces together. Wierenga is the epitome of what separates the good golf instructors from the great golf instructors. He loves the game of golf – a requisite for doing what he does – but he also just loves to teach. That’s not inherent in everyone, though it’s an understandable affinity when you consider the rewards of teaching. “We can sugarcoat it as much as we want, but I think if every golf instructor was honest, they have good days and they have bad days like anyone else,” he explains. “It’s those good days that outweigh the bad days and make it worth it and keep

Jamie Wierenga us in it. For me, what makes it a good day is when a student comes in excited because of something that happened to them that never happened to them before, whether it was hitting the longest drive they’ve ever hit in their life or shot the lowest score they’ve ever shot in their life. “Whatever it is, you get to share in their excitement. When you get to have days like that – obviously they’re the ones doing it; I’m not doing it – but I get to share in that sense of accomplishment. You get a whole bunch of those students that buy all-in and give it their all, that’s what makes it fun.” GOLFTEC’s technology and its options for weekly lessons make the company and its system incredibly successful, but it’s having teachers like Wierenga that truly makes GOLFTEC a can’t-miss opportunity for golfers who want to get better and have fun doing it.


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FRANKLIN, Tenn - Darren Reese, the former Manager of Marketing and Communications for the Tennessee Golf Association, transitioned into the role of Senior Director of Communications, for Golf House Tennessee earlier this month. Reese will handle marketing and communications for the Tennessee Golf Association, the Tennessee Golf Foundation and assist the Tennessee PGA Section. Darren, a native of Dandridge, Tennessee grew up playing junior golf on the Vince Gill Junior Tour (now the Sneds Tour). Before his time with the TGA, Reese was a newspaper journalist winning multiple awards for photography and journalism. Darren grew the TGA’s social media presence in the past year and a half to be the highest followed amateur state golf association in the United States.

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End of the Year Celebration honors two deserving LPGA Amateur Golf Association members The LPGA Amateurs Golf Association Nashville held its annual End of the Year Celebration in fine style! Over 40 members of the associations’ chapter enjoyed brunch and fellowship at Saltines Restaurant. Joining members were our super sponsors; all gathered to eat, drink and be merry. The Nashville chapter winds down the 2019 season having completed a full season calendar of both fun and competition golf. The camaraderie is contagious and members will be chomping at the bit as winter sets in and we don’t get to enjoy the golf play as much or time spent with one another. Come on springtime…… Our LPGA Amateurs Golf Association Nashville participated in 10 play dates, 5 weekly leagues and several tournaments. It was determined the association members participated in over 1500 rounds of golf in 2019! Wow! Lots of golf, lots of competitive spirit and always lots of fun and laughter. Our End of the Year Celebration always honors two deserving members The Most Improved player with two special awards.

Congratulations are in order to The Most Improved Player Award, which went to Jennifer Cherry and Marie Tucker, was honored with the Jeanne Mustermann Outstanding Volunteer Award. Open to woman golfers at any level, the LPGA Amateurs group provides a welcoming environment to build your golf skills and enjoy play as well as foster lasting relationships. For women interested in learning more, visit our Chapter website. Our first league will begin in February at TopGolf. lpgaamateursnashville.com/home

Jeanne Mustermann Outstanding Volunteer Award Marie Tucker

Jennifer Cherry

Brooks West PGA,& Brian Jorgenson PGA In His Grip Invitational

5th Ace! 12/10/19 #7 - Pebble Beach 86 Yards, 60* Lob Wedge Witnesses: Rob Dublin, Philip McCutchan, Wayne Brantley, Zac Radford


Fall 2019 - Winter 2020

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Around Nashville Fairways Wayne Evans

Superintendent of Sports/ Golf Clubhouse Operations

The holiday season crept up on me and I think others as well, with the short time period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, at least we know when the 2020 New Year will roll in here. I want to take this opportunity to thank you folks that read our column and play our Metro Nashville Fairway Courses. While the weather is frightful and we are in the throes of old man winter, we share these warm, sincere greetings from all of us at Metro Nashville Fairways. Hope your holidays are bright and filled with thoughts of when you can come play our courses.

Happy New Year! - Wayne

Harpeth Hills 2424 Old Hickory Blvd. • 615-862-8493

McCabe 46th & Murphy Rd. • 615-862-8491

Percy Warner Forrest Park Dr. • 615-352-9958

Shelby 20th & Fatherland • 615-862-8474

Two Rivers Two Rivers Parkway • 615-889-2675

Ted Rhodes 1901 Ed Temple Blvd. • 615-862-8463

VinnyLinks 2009 Sevier Street • 615-880-1720

Nashvillefairways.com

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Ted Rhodes Foundation gives back to local college golf program After celebrating its 50th anniversary at the Ted Rhodes Golf Course on September 7-8, 2019, the Ted Rhodes Foundation gave back to the Nashville community by presenting HBCU School Fisk University with a $1,000 donation on October 21, 2019 at the Ted Rhodes Golf Course. Coach Robert Moore and several members of the golf team were present to accept the donation. We would like to thank all of the golfers that participated in our event and our driving range sponsor Dr. Miguel Burgess. Also, special thanks to our Tournament Chair John Richardson and the Tournament Committee Robert Cooper, John Michael Helms, and Milton McClain. Lastly, kudos to the Ted Rhodes golf course managers Audie Johnson and Mike Seward and staff for their support. The foundation’s mission and goal is to make a difference in the lives of our young people, as well as support programs to help minority youth and future generations of golf. Since Nashville is the home of Ted Rhodes and the golf course named after him, it is befitting that we support local golf minority golf programs. The foundation will host its 51st Ted Rhodes Golf Classic on Saturday, September 12-13, 2020 at the Ted Rhodes Golf Course. The event will consist of 2 days of golf, great southern food, and fun. Entry fee includes gift bag, golf cart, green

fees, continental breakfast and lunch, and driving range balls. There will be 3 flights, including Senior Amateur (Ages 60-69) and Super Senior Amateurs (Age 70 and up). Also, there will be an awards ceremony. The registration process is open now and an early bird discount of $25 will be given to the golfers that register before January 15, 2020. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, visit our website at tedrhodes. org or Call us at (877) 913-9009.

Theodore “Ted” Rhodes paved the way for professional golfers of all races when he became America’s first professional African American in 1948, one year after Jackie Robinson joined baseball’s Brooklyn Dodgers. Born in 1913 in Nashville, Rhodes grew up in the pre-civil rights era. He learned to play golf in Nashville’s city parks, using fallen tree branches as flag sticks. African Americans were barred from public and private courses at the time. Rhodes began his golfing career as a caddie at the exclusive Belle Meade and Richland country clubs. In 1948 he became the first professional African American to play in the U.S. Open, at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. Four years later, Nashville’s first golf course for African Americans was constructed in North Nashville, and it was named for Rhodes after his death in 1968. Rhodes and fellow African American Bill Spiller led the fight against the PGA’s “Caucasian-only clause,” and in 1961 the PGA officially removed it. In 2009, the PGA of America bestowed posthumous membership on Rhodes, acknowledging his contributions to the sport and to civil rights. Additionally Rhodes was inducted into The African American Golfers Hall of Fame, Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame, Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, and Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools Sports Hall of Fame.


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Major renovations and new lodges slated for 2020 C

an we all agree that we need a Montgomery Bell Inn Restaurant short winter? I don’t know about you, but for some strange reason the golf season was over too quickly and for the moment I am going to blame it on the PGA. Just kidding! An unintended consequence of moving the PGA Championship from August to May - which I thought the one major a month schedule was was a great idea - was that the major enough for me and I hope the PGA championship golf season was over goes back to August for Glory’s Last in mid-July. Shot, just because it feels right. No After rethinking all of this I realize analytics here, just a feeling. that I was wrong, I do not want the The other side of this is that greens PGA played in May, as it condenses are often too soft in August at a lot the season to four months (with all of courses in America, and the heat due respect to the Tour Champion- in Tulsa and other southern sites is ship) and I felt cheated somehow, or almost unbearable that time of year. at least something akin to an empty Those annoyances don’t seem quite stomach. Too much, too soon? as annoying when, at the moment, I For whatever reason, one season of feel like it’s the middle of January—

The Inn at Pickwick Landing

The Inn at Fall Creek Falls looking toward April and you know what —we just finished up with our Thanksgiving and Christmas is on the horizon. Speaking of April, Tennessee State Parks has embarked on one of its most ambitious projects ever, and the citizens of Tennessee are going to be the beneficiaries. We are now in the process of renovating Montgomery Bell Lodge and Restaurant and Pickwick Landing Lodge and Restaurant, with openings scheduled for April/ May. With the properties remaining

open with full service for our present guests, we are diligently renovating all of the rooms, meeting rooms, and restaurants with completion in early spring. Also, groundbreaking has begun at Fall Creek Falls State Park and Paris Landing State Park for brand new lodges to be open in early to mid2021. Please go to our website at Tnstateparks.com; and look at the pictures and renderings for the new lodges. Don’t forget, winter is here but that doesn’t mean you have to stow your golf clubs until next year. We’re still open for business across the state at the Tennessee State Parks courses, and there will be plenty of good days to get out and tee it up. We’re happy to accommodate you. Paris Landing Inn - Mike


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Kok completes 3-peat as Tennessee PGA Professional champ The stage was set for the 51st Tennessee PGA Professional Championship. The Championship was being contested at the historic Holston Hills Country Club designed by the famous Donald Ross. The course conditions were magnificent with a firm golf course, thick rough and lightning-fast greens. In the field we had a two-time defending champion, a few rookies ,who were newly elected PGA Members or Members that transferred into the Tennessee Section since the previous year’s Championship. The field also included several young guns who were trying to make a statement, some folks looking for the senior tees, but were unsuccessful in finding them as they are still trying to defy our friend Ole’ Father Time, and a player who won the event as far back as 1991. They all hoped to be crowned the 2019 Tennessee PGA Professional Champion. These competitors would be greeted with a crisp fall day to start the first round of the tournament. The beautiful course would show its teeth early with Round 1 having a scoring average of 4-over par. These tough conditions gave some players the opportunity to distance themselves from the field with a strong first round. Two-time defending champion Johan Kok and Spring Creek Ranch Head Professional Matt Brock would make their move early. Kok would get his title defense off to a hot start with birdies on the first two holes. He would finish his opening front nine with three birdies in a row on holes 6 through 8 to go out in 5-under 31. He would sprinkle in two birdies on the back nine to close out the only bogey-free round of the tournament, finishing with a 7-under 65. However, Matt Brock would not let Kok distance himself too far as they would jockey for the lead throughout Round 1.

Brock would birdie two of his first four holes before giving one back at the long Par-5 5th hole. He would bounce back with an eagle on the Par-5 7th and a birdie on the 9th hole to go out in 4-under 32. He would also sprinkle in two birdies on the back-9 to finish his first round with a 6-under 68 to trail Kok by one shot. Loren Personett and Chris Stacy would round out the top of the leaderboard by both

Kok Threepeats! Johan Kok 2019 Tennessee Section PGA Champion

shooting 3-under 69. Day 2 would be moving day at Holston Hills Country Club as rain and strong winds made it the most difficult scoring day of the tournament. Our Senior PGA Professional Champion Walt Chapman would take advantage of the tough conditions to move him up the leaderboard. Chapman used five birdies to three bogeys to shoot a 2-under 70 to put him within striking distance. Our newcomer to the section, Andrew Bateman would also make his move with a 2-under 70 to put him near the top of the leaderboard. Kok and Brock would battle all day to keep their positions at the top of the

5 players qualify for the 53rd PGA Professional Championship at the Omni Barton Creek Resort in Austin, Texas on April 26-29, 2020.

leaderboard. They both had up and down front nines but would give us some fireworks at the end to keep pace with each other. Kok would make the turn with a 2-stroke lead over Brock but that would disappear with a double-bogey on the tough Par-4 12th hole. A bogey on the 14th hole for Kok would propel Brock into the lead with four holes to play in the round. Kok would not be fazed as he would finish the last three holes birdie, eagle, birdie to Brock’s par, birdie, and birdie to take his lead back. They would both shoot an impressive 1-under 70 with Kok maintaining his one-stroke lead heading into the final day. The Final Round of the tournament would start off as a two-man race to the finish line. Matt Brock would make the early move with birdies on holes 1 and 5 to give him the lead. Johan Kok would stay poised and birdie the 7th hole to draw square with Brock at the top of the board. They would both

stumble on the 9th hole, Brock with a double bogey and Kok with a bogey to regain the lead. It would be smooth sailing for Kok from there as Brock could not make up ground coming in. He used a 33 on the back nine to cap off a 3-under 69 and win by an impressive 6 shots to win for the third year in a row. We had 5 players qualify for the 53rd PGA Professional Championship at the Omni Barton Creek Resort in Austin, TX on April 26-29, 2020. Congratulations to Johan Kok, Andrew Bateman, Casey Flenniken, Matt Brock, and Walt Chapman for qualifying and representing the Tennessee section! It goes without saying how appreciative we are to Chris Dibble, PGA and his staff at Holston Hills for hosting and having their amazing facility prepped and ready for this tournament. Huge kudos to the Superintendent, Ryan Blair, and his crew for the awesome course conditions.

Harpeth Hills Ladies Golf Association had our “Pink Power Fore a Cause” golf tournament on September 5, 2019. We donated the $2600 raised to Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center for Breast Cancer research.

Left to Right Front Row: Representative from Vanderbilt, Kathy Ashworth, Elaine Baxter, Sue Graham, Ruby Ross-Ernest, Mary Marble, Jeannette Higbe, Beth DiMaggio, Susan Napolitano. Middle Row: Sally Davis, Carol Glasgow, Lu Cole, Ruth Lakore, Andie Beatty, Eileen Springer, Diane Dalius, Fran Hoff, Toni Osborne. Back Row: Kevin Forte, Karin Rader, Matte Campbell, Janet Becker, Martha Hueneke


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Botts Wins NCR Assistant PGA Championship Old Hickory, Tenn - Old Hickory Country Club provided a great test over the two days of the National Car Rental Tennessee Assistant PGA Professional Championship. The course was in pristine condition as it stretched out to over 6,700 Yards. With the course averaging 74 over the two days, the lightning fast greens proved to be some of the toughest in the state. Assistant Professionals from around the state were competing for the Tennessee title as well as three qualifying spots in the National Championship at PGA Golf Club in November. Day 1 gave the golfers a beautiful afternoon for golf. The Par-71 course saw an average score of 75 in Round 1. The host Professional Ryan Botts would lead the way after Round 1 by firing a 5-under 66. Botts would get off to a steady start with four pars before making a birdie on hole 5. He would sprinkle in four more birdies to cap off his impressive bogey-free 66. Tre Mullins would trail by one at the end of the round after holding the lead for much of the day. A fantastic front nine 30 was spoiled a bit with a double-bogey on the Par-3 17th. There would be five players within five shots of

Ryan Botts Botts’s lead, providing the opportunity for some drama on this tough course. Day 2 would also be a beautiful day with players trying to beat the heat and the golf course. The 2nd Round would provide some fireworks coming down the stretch. After a Round 1 74, the 2-time defending champion Casey Flenniken, PGA came out in Round 2 determined to make a push. After

five straight pars, he made birdie on hole 6 and then two in a row on 8 and 9 to turn in 31. He would make three birdies on the back before closing with an eagle on the Par-5 to pull within one shot of Ryan Botts. Botts wouldn’t be phased by the Flenniken push. He would shoot an even par 34 on the front nine to keep himself in the lead. On the back nine, he would begin to pull away. He would eagle the 12th, bogey 13, and another eagle on 14 to give himself a cushion coming in. He would play the last four holes in 1-under par to shoot 67 and close out his victory by four shots. The top three finishers qualify for the National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship at PGA Golf Club in November. The three representing Tennessee will be Ryan Botts, Casey Flenniken, PGA, and Lee Whitehead. Thank you to Ryan Botts and his staff at Old Hickory for the hospitality and allowing our professionals to play Old Hickory. A special thanks to the Superintendent Dan Johnson and his staff for getting the course in such great shape.

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Fall 2019 - Winter 2020

First of all, my staff and I here at the Tennessee Golf Association would like to extend Season Greetings to all reading this column. Secondly thanks to Rob McGill, PGA, Stones River Country Club for getting the word out so succinctly to his members on the upcoming World Handicapping System, and sharing this version. A lot has been written and there is a lot to take in. Look this over…..

World Handicapping System (WHS)

Beginning in 2020 a brand new set of Rules for Handicapping will be introduced globally. The new system is significantly different than the handicapping we have used for the last 25 years. Below are some of the major changes with the World Handicapping System (WHS). 1. On January 1, 2020, your handicap index may change. Your handicap index will be more responsive to good scores. Your best eight scores out of your most recent 20 scores will make up your handicap index. Handicap indexes used to be calculated by taking your best 10 scores out of the most recent 20. 2. Equitable stroke control (ESC) will no longer be used. ESC was the max score a player could take on a hole depending on their course handicap. Now the max a player can take on a hole is “net double bogey”. Net double bogey is figured by taking “par” + “2” + “any handicap strokes you receive”. This adjustment will be more consistent than ESC. 3. Your handicap index will be revised daily. Updating a handicap index daily will help provide a fairer indication of a player’s ability at the moment. Your handicap index will only be adjusted if you submitted a score the day before. 4. A new score posting feature called the Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC) determines whether playing conditions on the day differed from normal conditions to the extent that an adjustment is needed to compensate. This is a daily statistical procedure that compares scores submitted by players on the day against expected scoring patterns under normal conditions. Each calculation is done at midnight. The importance of posting a score on the day you played has become even more important! 5. The minimum number of holes played to be acceptable for score posting has

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changed. For an 18-hole score, a player must play a minimum of 14 holes. For any holes over the 14 that are not played, the golfer will post a hole score of par plus any handicap strokes they receive on those holes. For a 9-hole score, a player must play a minimum of seven holes within the front or back nine. For any holes over the seven that are not played, the golfer will post a hole score of par plus any handicap strokes they receive on those holes. 6. The new WHS will not calculate or display 9-hole handicap indexes anymore. Every golfer in the GHIN system will be issued an 18-hole handicap index. Players can still post nine-hole scores. 7. The new system will limit the extreme upward movement of a handicap index. Handicap indexes will be reduced automatically and immediately when a score of at least seven strokes better is posted. These safeguards help maintain the accuracy of a handicap index and promote greater integrity within the system for fair play for all golfers.

Timeline

The WHS will go live on January 6, 2020. The last revision under the current USGA Handicap System is on December 15, 2019. Scores may still be posted until December 31, 2019. The dead period for posting scores will begin on January 1 and run through January 6. During this time all scores shall be held to be posted until after the dead period. On the launch date of the WHS, January 6, all held scores shall be posted under the current WHS rules. If you would like to learn more Tennessee Golf Association about the World Handicap SysChad Anderson- Executive Director tem, please visit the Lynne Howd - Director, Handicapping TGA’s resource Allison Brown - Senior Director, Rules & Competitions page at www.tnNathaniel Hantle - Director, Course Rating & Member Services golf.org/whs. Darren Reese - Director, Marketing & Communications Jeff Giedd - Director, Rules & Competitions


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Local, state colleges re-stock rosters for next year Tee Times report The fall semester has ended and college coaches are now looking ahead to the vital spring competition. Before they got a break, though, coaches added new players for next season during November’s early signing period. Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Belmont and Lipscomb announced their early classes recently. Here’s a rundown of some of those signings.

VANDERBILT WOMEN Virginie Ding, who prepped at West Island School in Hong Kong and is one of the top high school players in Asia, will join the Vanderbilt women’s golf team next season. “We are very pleased to add Virginie, or Ginnie as she is known, to the Vanderbilt program,” Allen said on the Vanderbilt University website. “She comes from a very impressive family that values a great education. She comes with a strong resume in the classroom, but she’s equally outstanding on the golf course.” Ding has won multiple tournament titles in Asia, including the 2018 Pondok Indah International Junior Championship in Jakarta, Indonesia, and the 2019 Hong Kong Ladies Amateur Championship. She was also runner-up at the 2019 Hong Kong Junior Classic. Ding also played in the 2018 and 2019 U.S. Girls Junior championships. Ding was the second player to sign with the Commodores, following Florida prep standout Ariel Yu, ranked among the nation’s top seniors by a leading golf outlet, who also signed during the early period. Yu is from Orlando and prepped at The First Academy, which also produced current Vanderbilt junior Morgan Baxendale and former standout Courtney Zeng.

Yu has four AJGA wins to her credit and also helped The First Academy to backto-back Class A titles in 2017-2018. Last summer, Yu also qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur. Among the nation’s leading seniors, Yu currently is ranked 24th by Golfweek and 27th by Rolex AJGA.

VANDERBILT MEN The Commodores men’s team also added two signees in the early period. Jansen Preston and Cole Sherwood will join Vanderbilt in the fall of 2020. Preston, from Lexington Christian Academy in Lexington, Kentucky, is ranked No. 2 in Kentucky according to Golfweek. He was also the 2018 Kentucky State High School Champion, the 2019 Kentucky Junior Amateur Champion, and a 2019 U.S. Amateur Qualifying Medalist. Sherwood, from Vandegrift High School in Austin, Texas, is the No. 3-ranked player in Texas, according to Golfweek, and the 21st-ranked player in the nation in the 2020 class. He was also the 2018 Southern Junior Amateur runner-up. “We think we have two really good players in Jansen and Cole,” said Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh. “They both have the ability to make an immediate impact on our team. More importantly, they are both excellent young men that have a desire to be coached and to compete at the highest level of college golf. Coach (Gator) Todd really did a great job identifying these guys and establishing relationships with them. Jansen is a very talented golfer that has shown he knows how to win. Cole is a good athlete and a very talented ball striker with a lot of power.”

BELMONT MEN The Belmont men’s team picked up a pair of signees in Patrick Brooks and Reeve Felner. Brooks of Louisville, plays at St. Xavier High School. During his senior season, he won three individual titles, finished eighth at the KHSAA State Tournament, and earned all-tournament honors at the Region 6 Tournament. Brooks also posted a top-25 finish at the 2019 AJGA Justin Thomas Junior Championship. Felner, of Vienna, Virginia, attends James Madison High School. During his senior season, he was first-team all-state after finishing fourth at the Virginia 6A State Tournament and helping his team to a runner-up finish. Felner owns six top-five finishes, including two wins, on the Virginia junior tours and also qualified for the Virginia State Amateur and State Open earlier this year. “We are excited that Patrick and Reeve have chosen to play their college golf at Belmont,” said Scott Flynn, Belmont’s head coach. “They are outstanding young men who will be great additions to our team and their talent and abilities will enhance the future of our program.” LIPSCOMB MEN Lipscomb men’s coach Will Brewer didn’t have to travel far to find the team’s latest addition, signing Franklin High School senior Jack Morris to a letter-of-intent. Morris helped Franklin High to the 2019 TSSAA championship and was named AllMidstate by the Tennessean. He was the 2019 Junior Cup MVP and selected Lipscomb over West Virginia, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Indiana and Mississippi State. Brewer might have had the inside track to Morris all along, given that his parents are both Lipscomb grads. TENNESSEE MEN Vols men’s coach Brennan Webb announced that Jackson Skeen and George Saunders have signed their letters-of-intent to join the program.

www.teetimespaper.com Skeen, a senior at Science Hill School in Jonesborough, won the Tennessee Class AAA championship in 2018 and was an all-state selection in 2016 and 2018. He also has nine top-20 finishes on the AJGA Tour, including a win at the Sneds Tour Elite. Saunders, of Southampton, England, is a transfer from Midland (Texas) College and one of the top amateurs in England. This year, Saunders played in the Amateur Championship, the English Men’s Amateur Championship, the Walton Heath Trophy and the St. Andrew Links Trophy. He claimed a top-10 finish at the Walton Heath Trophy and a top-20 finish at the English Men’s Amateur Championship. He finished fifth at the NJCAA Division I national tournament last season.

TENNESSEE WOMEN Coach Judi Pavon signed Kayla Holden and Vanessa Gilly in the early period. Holden, of Coral Gables, Florida, won three straight BCAA Championships and also won the 2019 Hurricane Tour South Florida Open Champion and IMG Jr. World Championship South Florida Open Champion. She also qualified for the USGA Women’s Amateur Four-Ball and was a member of the Florida Cup Team. “I’m excited about Kayla becoming a Lady Vol. She is an up-and-coming player with tremendous physical talent,” Pavon said. Gilly, of Caracas, Venezuela, attends Colegio Jefferson. She recently finished third at the ANNIKA Latin America. Gilly is the reigning 2019 Venezuelan Amateur champion and won the Venezuelan Junior champion in 2017 and 2018. This year she has won four tournament titles, placed as the runner-up twice and inside of the top five 10 times. “Vanessa is a very experienced highlyranked player that will help our program right away. She has competed in the biggest events in Latin America and is a consistently top performer. We are excited to add an international player of her ability to our roster,” Pavon said. CHATTANOOGA MEN Chattanooga coach Mark Guhne announced the signing of Alcoa standout Braedon Wear. He’s the highest-ranked junior to make his way to Chattanooga. Wear is the No. 68 player nationally and No. 1 in Tennessee according to Golfweek.com. He’s No. 22 in the country in the 2020 class and top 10 in the southeast. He won the 2019 Scott Stallings Junior Championship and finished 13th at the Boys Junior PGA Championship. Wear is a 11-time winner on the Sneds Tour and he finished third in the recent TSSAA state tournament.


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Spotlight: Henry Horton State Park Golf Course Kevin Snell, Superintendent Original hometown: Eagleville, TN Family: Wife Jennifer. Kids – Jon and Taylor Jones, Brooklyn, Karah, and Bobby Snell. Grandkid – 3 month old Abigail Jones and she’s the sweetest thing ever! Tee Times: When did you arrive at Henry Horton State Park Golf Course? Snell: I started as a volunteer employee at 14 years old at Henry Horton and continued to work outside with the maintenance staff as a seasonal employee throughout high school and college. I came back to Horton as Superintendent in August 2006. Tee Times: Tell us more about your background Snell: My background is all over the place. I started college on a full basketball scholarship and ended up walking on the golf team at MTSU my last two years under Coach Johnny Moore. I graduated in ’93 with a Plant and Soil Science degree and a minor in Ag Education. In 1995, I changed directions and went to work as an Assistant Pro under Randy Helton at Riverbend C.C. During those years my golf game became pretty decent, and my family and I hit the road in January 1998 to try my luck on

some mini tours. I wasn’t quite good enough and in 2001 I became a non PGA member Head Pro at Riverbend C.C. I worked two golf seasons there before becoming an Agriculture teacher in Bedford Co. where I also coached golf and middle school boys basketball. In 2006, the Greenskeeper position at Horton opened up, and I officially started as Greenskeeper in August. Since I grew up there as a

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kid, going to work at Horton feels like I’m going to another home. Tee Times: Are you Class A GCSAA? Are you not also in the PGA Program, explain… Snell: I am class A GCSAA and currently working on my level 3 bookwork to become a PGA member also. For a few years time I had to work inside the pro shop at Horton and that is when I entered the PGA PGM program. I still enjoy giving golf lessons and competing with my fellow PGA buddies in our TN Section events. Tee Times: Name your grasses, fairways, tee boxes, greens and rough. Snell: Tees, Fairways, and Roughs are mainly common Bermuda with areas of 419 mixed in. Greens are Champion Ultra Dwarf Bermuda. Tee Times: Name your staff and give their titles. Snell: Shelley Downing -- Grounds Worker 3 (Assistant Super); Gerry Ragsdale -- Equipment Mechanic; Phillip Ragsdale – Grounds Worker 2; Dave Beckman – Grounds Worker 1. We also have several part time job share employees – Kevin Knight, Laura Haggard, Larry Pyrtle, Brent Johns, Scott Delk, Kyle Stacy, Buddy Stacey, and Carter Housch. Tee Times: What upgrades have you and your crew undertaken of late? Any major plans upcoming? Snell: In late 2015, our greens were reshaped and planted with Champion Bermuda.

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Bunker renovation is a possibility, but I’m not sure at this time. Tee Times: How does having dual membership help you in the golf industry? Snell: Being in the GCSAA helps provide me with a world of information and support. As a whole, Superintendents are some of the best people you will ever meet, and I am positive I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without the help and support of other GCSAA Superintendents. Being a PGA member would give my name credibility as a golf professional. I love giving lessons especially to the young kids just learning the game, and I still enjoy competing in our Section events. Tee Times: What do you love most about being a golf course superintendent? Snell: I love the fact that there is always a different challenge or problem to solve, but what I love the most is that I get to play a part in making somebody’s day enjoyable on the course. Tee Times: Tell us why any golfer will love playing your course, especially with all that has been done of late to the course. Snell: Henry Horton is a big course that is challenging but really playable. We have multiple tees for different skill levels and our greens are some of the biggest in the state. Since our conversion to Champion we now have greens that roll really nice throughout the entire playing season. (L-R): Shelley Downing, Assistant Superintendent, Kevin Knight, Laura Haggard, Kevin Snell, Superintendent, Gerry Ragsdale, Phillip (Gravy) Ragsdale. not pictured -Dave Beckman

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Flexible golf packages allow you to choose your length of stay, lodging, and golf options. And don’t forget to take in the views. Package pricing and course information at parks.ky.gov/golf. For details on Kentucky State Park lodging, camping, dining, events, and activities visit parks.ky.gov.

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