Belleair Country Club, Florida’s First Golf Club
By Mike Dojc
“That’s Donald ‘F’ Ross for you,” playfully grouses my playing partner while shrugging his shoulders. He tacked on the fictional middle initial, voiced with emphasis as a pejorative, after one too many times of his approach shots failed to hold one of the golf architecture great’s vaunted plateau greens. When it comes to slipping off the dance floor at Belleair Country Club, my new buddy is in excellent company.
Arnold Palmer, a frequent sight on this Tampa area course back in the day, had also been known to fall prey to the left side, right side, green side fandango. The good-natured way he took his comeuppance on hole No. 11 on the West Course, (since revamped), a par 4 toward an elevated green on a plateau with nothing around it has since become the stuff of club legend. The King got off to a great start, hitting his tee shot just shy of the green complex. But then his fortunes changed.
By Edward Kiersh
Here in November golf is a distant memory but there is Julia Ceasar, bars teeming with young people, edgy art galleries, and if all else fails, a windswept stroll along Lake Champlain. Julia and her two cohorts were found in an art gallery blasting Southern rock, and enchanting radio listeners all the way to Canada and southern Vermont. Their soulful music was enough to make one forget what was happening in the halls of Washington D.C. power, and their innocent smiles were radiant enough to search for their podcasts.
Burlington is a hub of artistic activity, a place to visit even if the golf is miles distant. There are dozens of inviting restaurants here, and the University of Vermont is a picturesque expanse that is certainly worth a visit.
Written by Bo Turocy. Photographs by Hannah Fontenot Mentz.
The 11th annual U.S. Hickory Open hosted by the Society of Hickory Golfers just wrapped up on Halloween. The 36-hole stroke play event was contested across the 1926 Donald Ross layout at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, NC. This club may sound familiar to you. The PGA Tour plays the Wyndham Championship there each year. Brandt Snedeker made fame by shooting a record setting 59 in the opening round of the 2018 Wyndham a few months ago. The U.S. Hickory Open was originally scheduled to be played closely following the tour event, but Hurricane Florence forced a month-long postponement.
I had already played in the two previous championships with mediocre to average results, finishing something like in 15th and 12th places (or so) respectively. Obviously I am the only one proud of those results. It was Walter Hagen who would always boldly announce he was playing solely for first place and it mattered not if he finished as runner up or in last place since nobody ever remembered. Also, the legendary Ricky Bobby of infamous Talladega Nights fame learned from his father that if you “ain’t first, you’re last.” I was ready to make my move into the arena of national spot light success. Besides, I’ve already enjoyed a brief, but splendid international stardom with a massive defeat earlier this year at the hands of the Europeans in the Freedman Cup matches, a Ryder Cup style tournament for hickory golf.
by Michael Cunningham
Riding by horseback in the 1880’s from Tucson to the Mexican border site of Tubac, Arizona was a two-day journey. Ancient mountain ranges, multi-limbed 40-foot Saguaro cacti miraculously staking their rightful place on the dry desert floor, endless reminders of the severity of the journey.
Chiricahua Apache Indians, under the leadership of Cochise and Geronimo, were orchestrating relentless raids on early colonizers. In the 1880’s, southern Arizona was truly the ‘wild west’ a land of adversity and conflict a time of desperados and law enforcers.
‘Tin Stars’ the likes of Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson and Pat Garrett were “faithfully” serving out justice while improving the employment opportunities for morticians throughout the state.
How is it that within the generation of these mainstays of notoriety that a golf course would be developed. But in 1899, the prestigious Phoenix Golf and Country Club was constructed [the course’s permanent site was established in 1920]? With desert sand as fairways and oil to “level” the putting surface the dawn of golf in Arizona had commenced.
By David Theoret
It’s getting to be that time of year again, the time of year when all eyes in the golfing world stare directly at Augusta, GA and the PGA Tour’s first major of the season.
Augusta, GA is certainly a well-known golf destination. Outside of that course that very few will ever have the privilege of playing, there are a number of great local tracks that the public does have access to. One of these courses is Forest Hills Golf Course, an 18-hole Donald Ross masterpiece that has been repeatedly named “Best Public Course” by Augusta Magazine.
Ross designed Forest Hills in 1926, and then in 1984, the Arnold Palmer Company redesigned several holes to accommodate construction of the Augusta University Athletic Complex. In 2004, the course was restored to its original design and has remained that way ever since.
There’s a lot of history behind Forest Hills; it’s where Bobby Jones started his Grand Slam of Golf in 1930. It’s also home to the 2010 NCAA Division I National Champions Augusta University Men’s and Women’s Jaguar Golf Teams, a feat which the Men’s Team repeated again in 2011. Several PGA Tour Professionals also played here during their college careers including Phil Michelson and Davis Love III.
By David Theoret
If you’re into golf, The World Golf Village in St. Augustine FL has everything your heart desires. From world class golf on their two championship courses designed by four Golf Hall of Fame members, to the World Golf Hall of Fame and the acclaimed Renaissance World Golf Village Hotel, golf enthusiasts will leave thoroughly impressed and content. Need to improve your game? The PGA Tour Academy is also on site and ready to put the latest technology to work to help cure your swing woes.
The Renaissance World Village Resort has received a AAA Four-Diamond rating and is located next to the extraordinary World Golf Hall of Fame. The resort offers 301 Colonial Asian-designed guest rooms which feature spacious spa-inspirited bathrooms complete with granite countertops. In the sleeping area you will find comfortable beds, a mini refrigerator, coffee maker, sink and a 37-inch, flat panel TV. Each room provides a great view of the property, whether it’s the Hall of Fame or the golf course. High speed Internet access is also available in each room. Downstairs you will find the Villagio Italian Grille, which features fresh seafood, great steaks, traditional Italian cuisine and more. If you’re looking to catch your favorite sporting event, odds are you’ll find it on one of the 7 televisions. There’s also a complimentary shuttle service to and from historic downtown St. Augustine for registered guests as well as a gift shop where you can pick up World Golf Village memorabilia.
By John Mooshie
7 years in the development and a brainchild of Canadian developer Frank Stronach, Adena Golf CC, located just north of Ocala, should easily rival the heralded Streamsong golf courses.
Opened in July 2015, the initial thrust to build a world class golf course began back in 2008 and was carefully crafted yard by yard by Stronach, himself, who is neither a golf course architect nor a landscape designer. No, there is no pedigree of a well-known architect. Rather, Stronach is a man of vision, of purpose, and has the financial wherewithal to see his concepts evolve.
The name Adena refers to what were probably a number of related Native American societies sharing a burial complex and ceremonial system. Stronach, amassed his fortune in auto parts manufacturing, founding Canadian giant Magna International, a $35 billion automotive parts supplier. Owner of several racetracks, including Santa Anita in California and Gulfstream Park in Florida, Stronach is a successful thoroughbred horse breeder with farms located in Central Florida and throughout the USA.
By Tim Cotroneo
It’s not hard to imagine Thomas Jefferson’s formative years occurring just a block from the first tee box at the freshly redesigned Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg, VA. This patriotic flashback is triggered once you catch the revolutionary costumes, muskets, and Fife and Drum team standing less than a chip shot away. You’re immediately swept up in the realization that Colonial Williamsburg is a storied setting for golf.
Williamsburg is a landscape dripping in heritage and history. In fact, several 1700s-period last will and testaments revealed goff clubs and sticks handed down through the generations. This appreciation for legacy reinforces why the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation chose Rees Jones, the famous son of Robert Trent Jones, for the redesign of their renowned 53-year-old golf course.
The first day re-opening of one of Virginia’s most decorated courses showcased perfect fairways that hadn’t seen a shot in a year, lightning-fast putting greens inspected by Jones at dawn, and meticulous play-it-forward tee boxes that are worthy of a visit from Queen Elizabeth.
By Dave Finn, as published in the December 2017 issue of Lone Star Golf Magazine
Kevin Costner’s iconic 1989 movie Field of Dreams may not have won an Oscar, but it sparked a winner. Let me take you behind the scenes, and tell you about another man’s vision.
A golfer’s dream would be to have 18 of their favorite holes, featured on a single course. Dr. David Bronner, the CEO of Retirement Systems of Alabama had a dream to invest his organization’s pension funds and build 26 world-class golf courses that would challenge people enough that “they will want to come back and try again.”
Bronner may not have heard the voices Ray Kinsella heard but he listened to the call and tapped into his creativity and courage to do what no one could imagine. Once he lured the legendary Robert Trent Jones Sr. out of semi-retirement, there was no looking back.
To read the entire article on-line visit http://lonestargolf.txga.org/#&pageSet=12&page=0 or click below.
by Dave Finn as published in the August 2017 edition of Agent Magazine
When designing a golf course, location and nature provide the raw canvas. How the architect works with the terrain and topography determines whether or not it will be a masterpiece. Here are six courses that have memorably mastered that canvas.
Stonehaven at Glade Springs, West Virginia