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 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.
Photos and article by David Theoret
Tucked away about 35 minutes north of Orlando, FL is a spectacular Central Florida resort that features an outstanding full-service spa, 4 restaurants and 2 top-notch golf courses. It’s the perfect location for a guy’s golf vacation, a girls’ spa weekend or a romantic getaway with that special someone.
Mission Inn features distinctive Spanish Colonial architecture and luxurious amenities. There are 176 studio, one, two and three-bedroom accommodations housed in three separate – but connected – buildings: “San Miguel”, “San Diego” and “San Angel”. All rooms are tastefully appointed with large, flat screen TVs, coffeemakers and well equipped work areas. As nice as this resort is, what really sets it apart is the golf!
Ladies to Legends – The World Golf Hall of Fame’s Suggs, Whitworth, and Zaharias by Tim Cotroneo
St. Augustine, FL – If you want to get the Historian of the World Golf Hall of Fame fired up, ask him about Louise Suggs. In the year since Dr. Anthony “Tony” Parker made his way from St. Andrews to St. Augustine, FL, increasing public awareness of Louise Sugg’s impact on the game of golf was near the top of his priority list.
Parker was able to prominently showcase Suggs’ story by featuring her in a new pictorial exhibit in the Hall of Fame’s front entrance. Just 15-feet down the hall from a life-sized photo of Jack Nicklaus’ 1986 Masters moment is a huge image of Suggs, one of the World Golf Hall of Fame’s first female inductees.
Top 5 Reasons to Play TPC Sawgrass
Home of The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra, FL By Tim Cotroneo
If you’re a golfer, there are certain courses around the world that are considered sacred ground. One such layout is the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra, FL. This Pete Dye-design is where The Players Championship is held each May. The Players is believed by many to be the PGA tour’s fifth major. There aren’t too many courses on the planet whose clubhouse alone will stop you dead in your tracks. Built in 1982, this Mediterranean style icon is no less than 77,000-square feet. This Taj Mahal-like presence has a golf history all its own. Continue reading
Amiable Amelia Island Florida by Dave Finn
Fernandina Beach, FL – Amelia Island is located in the northeastern coastal region of Florida. Even though it’s only two miles wide and thirteen miles long, it’s a naturalist’s wonderland. Anchored by park reserves at each end, the city is bordered by the expansive white quartz sand beaches of the Atlantic Ocean and mounded sand dunes that naturally protect the fauna and wildlife. On your strolls you may encounter nesting loggerhead or green turtles, egrets, herons, whitetail deer and bobcats. Small in size but big on stature, it’s no wonder Amelia Island was voted one of the “Top 25 Islands in the World” by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler in 2013 and for eight consecutive years has been awarded a spot in the “Top 10 Islands in the United States”.
The Dolphin, The Hammock and the Scent of Vanilla
Ocean Reef Golf Club in Key Largo, FL By Tim Cotroneo
For the golf purist, to play a course where the pro hails from Scotland has a certain mystical quality to it. After meeting the Ocean Reef Club’s Director of Golf and learning he is from the sport’s birthplace, the mystical factor begins to skyrocket.
Scott Kirkwood, a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, has a family tree dripping with golfing lineage. Kirkwood’s office located next to Ocean Reef Club’s Dolphin Course, is a virtual shrine to golf’s long-time international popularity. In addition to photos revealing his Great Great Grandfather positioned in front of his home course in Gullane, Scotland, Kirkwood’s office wall also reveals a samurai sword trophy from Scott’s tenure as a pro in Saudi Arabia. Once Kirkwood realizes his visitor lives and breathes golf, he’ll even share stories from his college playing days in Tennessee.
Synergy in the Florida Key West Tropics by Bruce Bishop
Closer geographically to Cuba than Miami, Key West is perfectly off the beaten path
Vacationing at the tip of the United States on the island of Key West affords the most spectacular sunsets. They’re so strikingly beautiful that people sit on the beach nightly and applaud the celestial handiwork in the multihued western sky.
The city of Key West also attracts visitors who might describe themselves as more than a little individualistic, which is an apt description of the destination itself. On this island, you’ll find all manner of wanderers and mavericks, hungry for a party, a quick buck or new experiences.
The Best Rain Out Day Ever…Ponte Vedra/St. Augustine Florida by Dave Finn
Ponte Vedra, FL- It is nine in the evening and I am sitting on my second floor balcony with my buddy Steve overlooking the sandy beach, only 100 feet away, while being serenaded by the constant pounding of the Atlantic Ocean lapping up on the shore. We are staying at the opulent Five-Diamond rated Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, a historic oceanfront gem that has aged very well since its birth in 1928 and, home to two championship golf courses. Our plans for the day were to play their Ponte Vedra Ocean Course, the selected site to the cancelled 1939 Ryder Cup. Unfortunately the weather man had something to say about that.