Golf Travel News June 27, 2021
In golf travel news this week are items from Myrtle Beach, Daytona Beach, Firestone Country Club and Creighton Farms
Pine Lakes Country Club Restoration Project Going Smoothly; Myrtle Beach’s First Course On Track To Reopen in Mid-July
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — The greens and bunker restoration project at Pine Lakes Country Club, Myrtle Beach’s first golf course, continues to progress, and the “Granddaddy” is on pace to reopen in mid-July.
The Craig Schreiner-led effort is highlighted by the installation of new Sunday bermudagrass greens, a conversion that is significantly enhancing the putting surfaces at Pine Lakes. The greens are also being restored to their original size, expanding the total putting surface area from 103,000 square feet to 124,000 square feet, an increase of 20 percent.
Schreiner, ASGCA, ASLA, is also restoring every bunker on the course with an eye on improving drainage, playability and returning Pine Lakes to the more natural look architect Robert White intended.
Nearly every bunker on the course will be smaller with high-faces being replaced by grass that rolls more gently into the sand. The changes will reduce the number of times players are faced with near-vertical bunker shots, in addition to improving access into and out of sand and maintenance.
Myrtle Beach traces its origins as a golf destination to the opening of Pine Lakes in 1927, and the course, designed by White, a native of St. Andrews, Scotland and the first president of the PGA of America, continues to hold a special place in the market.
World Amateur Handicap Championship Surpasses 3,330 Players As Entry Numbers Are at a 12-Year High
Registration Will Remain Open Until August 5th
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — The PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com World Amateur Handicap Championship continues to build momentum as more than 3,300 players from all 50 states and 12 countries have already registered for the 38th annual event.
A 72-hole, net stroke play tournament, the World Am will be played August 30 – September 3 on 55 of the Myrtle Beach area’s premier courses. Entries for this year’s event are tracking at their highest pace since 2009 and are 15% percent ahead of 2019.
“Even after everything that has happened over the last 15 months, the passion golfers have for the World Am is as strong as it has ever been,” Tournament Director Scott Tomasello said. “We can’t wait to welcome players to Myrtle Beach, where this year, even more than most, the tournament will be not only a celebration of golf but also the camaraderie the game helps foster.”
In addition to the opportunity to claim the mantle of World Champion, the return of the World’s Largest 19th Hole has certainly driven interest in this year’s event. The 19th Hole, which takes up all 120,000 square feet of the Myrtle Beach Convention Center is the heartbeat of the tournament, providing players free food and drink, live entertainment, a golf expo and more.
The World Am was held as scheduled last year but the 19th Hole was shuddered to help protect players from Covid-19.
Entry into the tournament, which includes at least four rounds of golf, nightly admission to the World’s Largest 19th Hole and a gift bag, is $619 through July 8th, a $60 savings off the regular cost. The registration deadline is August 5th.
While much of the 2021 tournament will look familiar to players, there will be two new women’s divisions this year. For the first time, there will be a women’s gross division, and the ladies, who previously had just one age group, will be split into two groups – 59 and under and 60 and older.
The World Am, which flights players based on age, gender and handicap, is open to all golfers 17 years of age and older.
The World Am flights players into 11 divisions – men 49 and under, senior men (50-59), mid-senior men (60-69), super senior men (70-79), seasoned seniors (80+), women (59 and under), senior women (60+), the gross division, senior (50+) gross division and women’s gross division. There is also a “Just For Fun” flight, created for players who want to enjoy the World Am experience without the pressure of competition.
After four days of play, all flight winners and ties advance to the World Championship Playoff at the Resort Course at Grande Dunes, an 18-hole shootout that crowns the event’s winner.
While the competition is initially what lures players to the tournament, it’s only part of what keeps them coming back. At the heart of the World Am’s appeal is the camaraderie among its participants and much of that kinship is fostered at the World’s Largest 19th Hole.
Each night of the event, the 19th Hole overtakes all 120,000-square feet of the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, providing participants with free food and drinks, live entertainment, celebrity guest appearances, a golf expo and more. Among the big names that have appeared at the 19th Hole in recent years are David Feherty, Brandel Chamblee, Charlie Rymer and John Daly.
Players will also receive a gift bag that includes a polo, a pullover, a golf towel, a logo’d hat, a PGA Tour Superstore gift card and an assortment of other goodies valued cumulatively at $250.
Daytona Beach’s Rich Golf History Adds To The Appeal Of Rising Destination
Daytona Beach, which offers all the perks of a modern destination – varied accommodations offerings, great food and abundant nightlife – delights players with its connections to the game’s past.
— Donald Ross, the father of American golf course architecture, designed a pair of area gems – the South Course at Daytona Beach Golf Club and New Smyrna Golf Club, both municipal layouts that locals and traveling players alike flock to. The South Course opened in 1921 and features the small turtle back greens Ross was known for while New Smyrna Golf Club is a testament to the virtues of classic golf course design.
— Not to be outdone Riviera Country Club, located in Ormond Beach, traces its roots back to the 1930s. The venerable layout has hosted the Riviera Open, America’s longest running mini-tour event, since 1960. Among the Riviera Open’s victors are PGA Tour winners Morris Hatalsky, Bert Yancey and Billy Hurley, and PGA Tour rules official Slugger White.
— The history of the Daytona Beach Golf Club’s South Course doesn’t end with Ross. Four of the game’s all-time greats, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Jimmy Demaret and Byron Nelson, teed it up on the South Course on March 13, 1946. A three-time Masters champion, Demaret shot a course record 63 to win the storied exhibition.
Daytona Beach’s golf history, combined with the quality of modern facilities like LPGA International, home of the acclaimed Jones and Hills courses, and the Ron Garl-designed Victoria Hills Golf Club, has helped make the area one of the game’s rising stay-and-play destinations.
For more information on a Daytona Beach golf trip, visit DaytonaBeach.golf.
Destination Kohler Opens The Baths of Blackwolf Run
(KOHLER, Wis.) – Destination Kohler–one of the world’s foremost golf resorts and home to four Pete Dye championship courses–unveils The Baths of Blackwolf Run, the resort’s unique and entertaining 10-hole, par-3 course.
Spread across 27 acres between the first and 11th holes of Meadow Valleys, The Baths of Blackwolf Run offers holes ranging from 60 to 160 yards and four strategic water features, or “Baths,” situated throughout that are not forced carries unless desired. Although the course will play as a 10-hole course, The Baths’ imaginative routing allows for flexible alternatives for shorter or longer golf experiences.
Adding to the atmosphere, The Baths features a two-acre putting course, plus a log cabin food-and-beverage station with outdoor seating and a firepit surrounding the opening Bath.
Chris Lutzke and Herb Kohler designed the Baths. Lutzke spent over 30 years working alongside Pete Dye as he constructed many of his courses, including the two at Whistling Straits. Over the past three years, Lutzke prepared The Straits for the Ryder Cup, which will be contested Sept. 21-26, 2021.
Mr. Kohler, Executive Chairman of Kohler Co., has over 200 product design patents. He helped bring the course to life by calling upon his many years playing the game’s great courses in the U.S., U.K., and Europe. He also recognized a larger trend occurring within the sport of creating short layouts that promote more enjoyment for golfers of all skill levels.
“We look for ways to enhance the golf experience and grow the game for all golfers” Kohler says. “The Baths complement our four world-renowned championship golf courses while also honoring Kohler Co.’s 130-year history of bathing design. We are delighted to officially open this exciting and unique course.”
“The Baths will be a new twist for our resort guests, regardless if they are a serious player wanting to hone their game or someone yearning for an extraordinary closer to an amazing day on one of our 18-hole golf courses,” adds Dirk Willis, Vice President of Golf for Kohler Co. “Our continued mission is to find new and innovative ways to grow the game and make it more inviting and accessible to all. The Baths of Blackwolf Run allows us to do just that.”
Kohler Golf ushered in championship golf in the state of Wisconsin when it hosted the 1998 and 2012 U.S. Women’s Open at Blackwolf Run, along with the 2004, 2010, and 2015 PGA Championships at Whistling Straits.
The historic American Club is the Midwest’s only Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond resort hotel. The nearby boutique Inn on Woodlake recently launched new two- and four-bedroom suites that are well-appointed for group and buddy travel.
Tee times at The Baths can be reserved by calling 800-344-2838 or visiting the resort’s golf booking page. For golf package information, call 855-444-2838. Visit DestinationKohler.com for more information.
Firestone Country Club Re-Opens Fazio Course Following Bunker Enhancement Project
(AKRON, Ohio) – Firestone Country Club, renowned as one of North America’s most historic venues for championship golf, announces the re-opening of its Fazio Course following a bunker enhancement project.
Spearheaded by Fazio Golf Design, the project began in October and included the removal of 30 bunkers and renovating the remaining 41. Several bunkers were reshaped, and the Better Billy Bunker system was employed in all to promote optimal drainage and reduce washouts during inclement weather.
Installed at the most prestigious golf courses, the Better Billy Bunker Method includes: removal of the existing sand and liners in each bunker to subgrade; installation of a two-inch gravel layer placed over the subgrade; spraying the layer with a polymer to bind the gravel together; and creation of an extremely durable liner that swiftly drains and minimizes washouts during heavy rains.
The Fazio Course’s revamped bunkers were filled with Best Signature 720, a spectacular white sand that adheres to steep bunker faces and promotes more favorable lies. The sand also is versatile enough to maintain firmness desired during championship events or everyday rounds.
Formerly the West Course, the links-style Fazio Course boasts striking views of the club and surrounding landscape. Redesigned by Tom Fazio in 2001, the Fazio Course is built around the perimeter of Firestone’s famed South Course, and is the home of the Ohio Senior Open. It also hosted a Senior British Open qualifier for the 2021 event.
“Firestone is committed to maintaining its top-rated golf courses and facilities,” says General Manager Jay Walkinshaw. “The bunker upgrade not only will strengthen the playability of the Fazio Course, but also enhance its beautiful landscape.”
Considered one of the most revered sites in professional golf – and now open to non-members through stay-and-play experiences – Firestone has welcomed the game’s biggest stars for decades. Its flagship layout, the South Course, has hosted three PGA Championships, numerous World Golf Championships (including eight victories by Tiger Woods) and is the current site of the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship. Not to be outdone, its North Course is a venerable Robert Trent Jones design that has also hosted professional tournaments and ranked among the best in the Buckeye State.
Through Sept. 6, Firestone’s exclusive stay-and-play packages include overnight accommodations in the club’s standard club rooms and rounds of golf. There are 1 Day | 1 Night experiences including golf on the North Course, 2 Days | 1 Night itineraries including a round of golf on the South and North Courses and 2 Days | 2 Nights packages including golf on both courses. Rates for each package will be based on room type, courses, nights and rounds.
Golf and lodging upgrades to the guest villas are available with each package at booking, and additional rounds of golf may be included at a fee. Course replays can be added based on availability, and season demand could reflect an increased rate. Other restrictions may apply, and rates do not include service charges, tax or tips.
To book these limited golf packages or for more information, please visit clubcorp.com/Clubs/Firestone-Country-Club/Stay-Play or call 330.245.3280.
Firestone is conveniently located less than an hour from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and 15 minutes from Akron-Canton Airport. It is also within easy driving distance of other major metropolitan areas such as Chicago, Columbus, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Detroit. Nearby off-course attractions include the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton and the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
For more information, www.firestonecountryclub.com.
Creighton Farms’ Partners with Award-Winning Builder John Joy
McLean’s Joy Design + Build team brings dream homes to exclusive community in Virginia horse country
ALDIE, Va., June 16, 2021—Since 2003, John Joy and his Joy Design + Build team have created more than 150 unique and spectacular homes in the Northern Virginia and Eastern Shore areas. Joy is an award-winning builder known for his custom designs and thoughtful details as well as his integration of easy-to-use technology. He and his team create one-of-a-kind dream homes. Joy is now also building in Creighton Farms, a luxury gated community just east of Middleburg, Virginia in prime horse country known for its high-profile residents including top C-suite executives, entrepreneurs and athletes.
Joy has the unique ability to fully assess a building site and assign architectural details accordingly. Viewshed and the play of natural light entering the home at various points of the day are of extreme importance to him. He and his team work side-by-side with every client in a collaborative process. This also forces the client to think outside-of-the-box to see what’s possible and to ensure the home will also work as people age and go through family and life changes. He creates spaces that maximize sun exposure but also create privacy.
Homeowners want floorplans that flow and provide maximum space for entertaining. This includes indoors and outside. Covid has had an impact on housing design with clients asking for more practical and vacation-like amenities including larger outdoor living spaces and pools as well as two home offices. Joy Design + Build creates unique outdoor living spaces with fireplaces, large screened porches and areas to relax that are integrated with hardscape designs.
Joy became a homebuilder after working for more than 25 years as a real estate agent. His father was a commercial real estate developer in the Washington, D.C. area so he learned about construction from his dad. After having difficulty finding homes for his clients that not only served them now but also in the future as they aged in place, he started his own homebuilding company.
“We are delighted to have John and his team here at Creighton Farms,” said Wayne Trudeau chief sales officer for Southworth Development (owner and manager of Creighton Farms.) “The firm’s standard of excellence, the awards and accolades Joy Design + Build has received are exceptional.”