WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – Gary Woodland is moving up in the world. Like many touring pros, the Kansan relocated to Orlando, Fla., after turning pro. He bought a condo just outside the gates of Lake Nona, sharing the same club as Graeme McDowell and Annika Sorenstam, but not the same address.
Woodland, thanks to the spoils of this season’s success, finally found his way inside the club’s gates, moving into Ben Curtis’ old digs the week before The Greenbrier Classic.
John Klemish, head of sales for the Greenbrier Sporting Club, was one of the first people whom Woodland met when he joined Lake Nona in 2008. “(Klemish) talked me into it a long time ago,” Woodland said about playing last year’s inaugural Greenbrier Classic. Woodland needed the start, as well, as he was trying to keep his Tour card.
Things are much different this year. An improved putting stroke and controlled course management have turned the former college basketball player into one of the Tour’s top players. Woodland didn’t need to come to the Greenbrier, where he tied for fourth. He’s in good stead in all the metrics that determine a Tour player ...
Branson, Mo. – The 10th annual Julian Golf Classic, a fundraiser honoring the late PGA Tour player Jeff Julian, will be held Sept. 19 at LedgeStone Country Club.
There are five sponsorship levels, ranging from $5,000 for eight players down to $250 for cart sponsors. All proceeds go toward fighting ALS, the disease that claimed Julian’s life in 2004. The family of Julian’s widow, Kim, is from Branson.
For information, visit julianfoundation.org or call Bill Hasler at 417-335-8187.
Scottsdale, Ariz. – OB Sports launched a free smartphone application that allows users to book tee times and learn more about the 40-plus courses that the company manages around the country.
The application, available on iPhone and Droid platforms, includes course photo galleries, videos, news feeds, Yelp-powered reviews and tap-to-call functionality to contact the pro shops. It also has maps and information on area attractions.
Separately, OB Sports added The Raven at South Mountain in Phoenix to its management portfolio. Derek Crawford, who previously worked at We-Ko-Pa, is The Raven’s new general manager.
In addition, OB Sports appointed Steve Hupe director of golf at Victory Ranch Club in Park City, Utah. Hupe is a 28-year member of the PGA ...
NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. – There’s little doubt that esteemed Shadow Creek boasts a higher class of golf clientele than most, Exhibit A being one of its visitors last week, a certain former Washington executive now residing in Crawford, Texas. The golfer held up a small white orb on the scenic first tee and playfully inquired, “Anyone playing a TaylorMade 43?”
George W. Bush, No. 43 himself and a solid player, would utilize his Vegas stage to make his first public comments regarding Osama bin Laden’s capture and execution (“a good call”). As many of life’s A-Listers do, he also used his time in the city to unwind a little – namely, with 18 holes at tranquil Shadow Creek.
Las Vegas is all about glitz and glitter, lights and volume. Vegas is high-paced action. Shadow Creek (ranked No. 1 among Golfweek’s Best Casino Courses) is The City of Lights’ low-watt, green-carpeted antithesis. Driving 15 minutes off The Strip, down hardscrabble roads that pass through unkempt vacant lots, remote blue-collar businesses and closed-down buildings, one turns down a side road, passes a modest white security hut, and Voila! – from a once-barren desert floor, tall pines suddenly fill the sky ...
Mesquite, Nev. – Mesquite comes upon you less like an oasis in the desert, slowly forming in the distance, than a thunderclap, sudden and unexpected.
One moment you’re busting 85 mph on Interstate 15, just past the mesa with the big “V” indicating you’ve arrived in the Virgin Valley, and a split-second later the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino pops up on the skyline by Exit 120 like a genie summoned from a bottle – so fast that a first-timer will find himself quickly pumping the brakes. By Exit 122, Mesquite is in your rear-view mirror and you’re bearing down on the Arizona state line. Shoehorned within those two miles are 20,000 residents, 126 golf holes and three casinos.
If Las Vegas is analogous to a giant mall, packed with all of the major department stores, specialty retailers and entertainment options, Mesquite is the outlet mall that entices a steady stream of cars to pull off the highway. To carry the analogy further, Mesquite has all of the major brands that you’ll find in Vegas – the top-ranked courses, the casinos and sports books – but there are fewer frills and plenty of bargains lining the shelves. The casino floors ...
NEW CITY, N.Y. – Dellwood Country Club has changed its name to Paramount Country Club and hired architect Jim Urbina to restore its golf course, which was designed by A.W. Tillinghast in 1920.
The club originally was owned by Adolph Zukor, founder of Paramount Pictures. Just as the name was changed to reflect the course’s heritage, so too does Urbina want to recapture Tillinghast’s original work.
“”When it’s done, Paramount is going to open people’s eyes,” Urbina said. “Over time, courses don’t expand. Tees, greens, bunkers, fairways – everything gets smaller. I want to bring back the expanse, the broad views and beauty that original owner Adolph Zukor and A.W. Tillinghast once saw.”
New owners who bought the club in 2009 already have poured $5 million into renovation of the clubhouse, grounds, pool, 12 tennis courts and a nine-bedroom cottage for members.
OB Sports continued to beef up its portfolio of courses under management.
The Scottsdale, Ariz., based firm this month added The Club at Victory Ranch, a Rees Jones design 17 miles southeast of Park City, Utah. The golf club is part of a 5,600-acre development initially conceived ...
BOCA GRANDE, Fla. – The late William F. Buckley Jr. famously declared it his mission to “stand athwart history yelling ‘Stop!’ ” Buckley almost certainly would have loved The Gasparilla Inn & Club.
In a time of steadily eroding standards, The Gasparilla Inn represents a haven of civility – refined, but not stuffy, elegant without being ostentatious. It’s a place where men are expected to wear sportcoats to dinner, but don’t need a tee time to play golf; where guests stay in a nationally designated historic property while still enjoying the full menu of modern resort amenities; and where American royalty (the Bush family visits regularly) mingles with the commoners.
The Gasparilla Inn, located midway between Sarasota and Fort Myers, opened in 1913. The fact that it maintains such a strong connection to its past likely reflects two facts: It effectively has been controlled by only two families over the past 80 years, and Boca Grande is a place where time moves slowly.
“There’s something about that old Florida feel,” says Jack Damioli, The Inn’s president and general manager. “Others have tried to re-create it, but it exists naturally here.”
Damioli spent 22 years at The Greenbrier, starting in the ...
David Southworth has weathered three recessions running a Massachusetts-based real estate development company that bears his name, the most recent economic collapse being what he calls “by far the worst because it’s lasted so long.” Along the way, however, he has developed a credo that’s sort of his real estate equivalent of Wall Street’s “buy low, sell high” mantra.
“When people aren’t developing, you should start to develop,” Southworth said at the PGA Merchandise Show last month. “When people are, you should stop.”
So it is that this month Southworth Development will begin full construction on PGA Village – The Bahamas on Cat Island, at a time when most developers remain in hibernation. Since the project was announced in August 2008, some initial infrastructure work has been done, but Southworth plans to crank up the building crews with the goal of opening the Rees Jones-designed course and some of the housing by summer 2012. Of the timing, Southworth said with no hint of irony, “I think it’s perfect.”
He’s not alone. The Mosaic Co. is diving headfirst into the resort business with a 16,000-acre project, called Streamsong Resort, on reclaimed mining land south of ...
For sale: Luxury apartments in historic building overlooking the world’s most famous golf course and the North Sea. Operator of world-famous five-star resort currently is redeveloping the property. Spacious 2-, 3- and 4-bedroom floor plans, private residents’ lounge, restaurant and bar. Ownership includes membership at nearby highly ranked golf course and spa. Opening mid-2012. Prices start at $2.1 million.
Interested? Herb Kohler is betting that affluent golf fans will line up for a chance to buy an apartment in the Hamilton Grand, the 115-year-old building that looms over the 18th green of the Old Course in St. Andrews.
Kohler, chairman of Kohler Co., bought Hamilton Grand in December 2009 and recently began renovating the property following a three-month public consultation process. Savills began selling Hamilton Grand’s 26 units last week, and Kohler hopes the renovation will be completed by June 2012.
Known as the Grand Hotel when it opened in 1895, the property has had a mixed history. It sits next to the R&A Golf Club and apparently was intended to be a more grandiose structure. That included being the first Scottish building to have a pneumatic elevator and hot and cold running water in every ...
We’ll leave Marsh Harbor on Discovery,
And cruise around Great Guana Cay,
Cool drink and a fishing line,
Yeah, we’re living on Bahamian time.
We’re going to sail away
To Baker’s Bay.
That snappy reggae ditty, which visitors to Baker’s Bay Golf & Ocean Club are likely to hear during the eight-mile boat ride here from Great Abaco, says it all: Before disembarking from Marsh Harbor, check all of your cares and worries on the dock.
Baker’s Bay, the newest of 14 uber-upscale golf communities operated by Discovery Land Co., rests on 585 acres lined by six miles of beaches, stretching from the calm Sea of Abaco on the south side to the rougher Atlantic surf on the north side. Your biggest concern, aside from navigating the wind-whipped golf course designed by Tom Fazio, will be finding enough time to put a dent in the community’s extravagant Outdoor Pursuits program before returning to the real world.
Two-hundred-slip deep-water marina? Check. World-renowned sport fishing? Check. Scuba and snorkeling? Windsurfing? Lobster diving? Check, check, check. The list goes on and on.
This is Discovery Land’s second community outside the United States, and perhaps the most ...
For me, it is the quiet. So quiet, in fact, that all you can hear is the muffled roar of the waves hitting the beach or the rattling clubs of a foursome passing in the distance.
“You have a sense there is nothing else happening in the world,” said Jim Taylor, a retired Navy admiral who has played golf all over the world.
“The place is spellbinding.”
The place is Bandon Dunes, now four courses strong after the summer opening of the highly crafted Old Macdonald, a reflection of golf’s past and one of its earliest architects.
“I think (Old Macdonald) will be the best of the four,” said Mark, our caddie, pulling a stocking cap from his head as we finished a round. “It is so much fun. You want to go out and play another 18 right now.”
In the lodge, over salmon hash in the morning and meatloaf in the evening, the debate carries on at Bandon Dunes on Oregon’s southern coast. Which course is best? Given one final round, which one would you play?
Pacific Dunes rivals Pebble Beach as the best public-access course in the U.S. It’s arguably the best golf ...
In a long-anticipated move, a reorganized General Motors announced Monday it will showcase its Cadillac brand as title sponsor of the World Golf Championships event at Doral Golf Resort & Spa.
The multiyear agreement calls for renaming the tournament, WGC-Cadillac Championship, and having Cadillac serve as an umbrella sponsor of the WGC series. The deal plugs a sponsorship vacancy that was created when CA decided to leave the event hosted at the famed South Florida resort.
GM’s decision to invest again in golf sponsorships renews the automaker’s half-century commitment to the sport as a marketing platform. While under bankruptcy court protection in 2009, GM ended its support of the Buick Open near Flint, Mich. It also severed a nine-year partnership with marquee endorser, Tiger Woods, in 2008.
Profitable once again, and fresh off a $23.1 billion initial public offering that significantly reduced its dependency on the U.S. government, GM is counting on its new marketing initiatives to help keep its momentum.
The Tour and Cadillac also confirmed they’re seeking to grow their partnership, possibly by having the luxury auto brand support a new PGA Tour event in Detroit.
The WGC sponsorship provides branding and advertising opportunities ...
ROATAN, Honduras – Carnival and Royal Caribbean cruise-ship passengers will get the first look at the new Black Pearl Golf Course, a collaboration between Pete Dye and Perry Dye.
The course, part of the new Pristine Bay Resort, will be open to Carnival and Royal Caribbean customers starting Dec. 1. Cruise ships dock between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. several times each week.
Black Pearl is a par-72, 7,179-yard layout that will be fully open to the public on Jan. 1.
Pristine Bay Resort spans more than 400 acres on Roatan, an island located 35 miles off the coast of Honduras. It can be reached via direct flights from Houston, Miami and Atlanta.
The resort’s 120-room hotel is scheduled to be completed by spring. There also will be a selection of residential options, including condominiums, villas and custom home lots.
Scottsdale, Ariz. – OB Sports Golf Management has been hired to manage Sedona Golf Resort in Sedona, Ariz. The resort is home to a par-71, 6,646-yard layout designed by Gary Panks.
OB Sports manages 37 courses and country clubs in the U.S.
LA PAZ, Mexico – CostaBaja Resort & Spa, a 550-acre property on the Sea of Cortez, last week opened its new golf course, the first designed by Gary Player in Mexico or Latin America.
The course sits on a rugged, arid hillside overlooking the resort and the town of La Paz, which is located on the eastern coast of Baja, about a two-hour drive north of San Jose del Cabo.
“The landscape of the CostaBaja site in La Paz excited me from the beginning,” Player said. “There is so much contrast in what we were able to create there with the green fairways against the desert conditions and the beautiful blue Sea of Cortez. It is a very strong layout set against such stunning visuals. I just love the different experiences golfers will have throughout their rounds.”
The golf course, managed by Troon Golf, is the latest in a series of major upgrades to the resort. CostaBaja (www.costabajaresort.com) also has a 250-slip double-basin marina, a 115-room hotel, spa, two pools and two restaurants. Grand Heritage Hotels, a Maryland-based company, manages the resort, its first in Mexico.
Two areas of the property have been set aside for residences, with prices starting ...
Valderrama Golf Club, a former Ryder Cup venue, and its adjacent property in Sotogrande, Spain, has agreed to be purchased by the Greg Norman-owned Stripe Group.
Soto Properties, controlled by Spanish businessman Jamie Ortiz-Patino, will sell the property for an undisclosed sum. The deal was expected to close within weeks.
The Stripe Group said it will purchase Valderrama to strengthen its position in the business of golf events in Europe. The course, site of the 1997 Ryder Cup, recently hosted the Andalucía Masters. Last year, the Stripe Group created the Dubai World Championship, the European Tour’s season-ending event.
It also plans to build a second course in nearby Castellar de la Frontera, near San Roque in southern Spain.
The member club remains under ownership of Ortiz-Patino’s son, Felipe, for the next 40 years, according to Spanish newspaper Costa del Sol.
The Robert Trent Jones-designed course was constructed in 1974. In 1985 it was acquired by Ortiz-Patino and expanded by Jones.
“Twenty-five years ago, we set out to create one of the world’s best golf courses,” Ortiz-Patino said in a statment. “In passing this great course on to its next owner, it has always been my intention to ...
POIPU, KAUAI, Hawaii – Poipu Bay Golf Course, which has been closed since April 1 for greens refurbishment, is scheduled to reopen Dec. 16.
The original Tifdwarf Bermuda greens were replaced with a Sea Shore Paspalum hybrid (Supreme). The new grass is drought-tolerant and requires less fertilizer and almost no herbicides.
Poipu Bay also is repainting its 21,000-square-foot clubhouse, renovating the locker rooms and installing new carpeting.
The course, a Robert Trent Jones Jr. design, hosted the PGA Grand Slam of Golf from 1994-2006.
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WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Kingsmill Resort has hired Peter Pahk as its senior executive chef.
Pahk, a native of Oahu, Hawaii, spent the past 14 years as executive chef at Silverado Resort in Napa Valley. That followed an earlier 14-year stint of work for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co.
Pahk is a graduate of Syracuse University and the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. At Kingsmill, he will oversee the resort’s five restaurants.