No private golf club in Florida matches up with The Legacy

Bob Foisie's The Legacy

Bob Foisie’s The Legacy offers many activities that other Florida golf clubs don’t.

By Len Ziehm

PORT ST. LUCIE, Florida – The Legacy may be the most intriguing course in golf-rich Florida.

Located in a community that has five 18-holers in close proximity to each other, The Legacy – the only private course among the five — has been around for 32 years and has hosted local qualifiers for many U.S. Opens and other national tournaments. Its designers carry a highly respected name in course architecture circles and its most progressive 82-year old owner has made upgrades that make his club both special and unique. Continue reading

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Re-opening of Dye Course underscores progress made at PGA Golf Club

PGA Golf Club Pete Dye course

Pete Dye’s bunkers were the talk of the day at the re-opening of the Dye Course at PGA Golf Club.

By Len Ziehm

PORT ST. LUCIE, Florida – The PGA Golf Club is the winter home of the PGA of America’s 28,000 members. It’s also one of just two facilities in America that the PGA operates, the other being Valhalla – the organization’s premier tournament venue in Louisville, Ky.
PGA Golf Club, with its four 18-hole courses plus a six-hole short course and elaborate learning center, is one of the nation’s top golf resorts. That’s why this week’s re-opening of its Dye Course will have an immediate impact on the game nation-wide. Visitors, both from all parts of the U.S. as well as other countries, will soon be arriving here with a new, most attractive playing option. Continue reading

It Ziehms to Me: Ross or Raynor? Lake Wales course has a nice dilemma

Len Ziehm on GolfBy Len Ziehm

LAKE WALES, Florida – I can’t think of a much more pleasant golf experience than playing a Donald Ross course on a crisp, sunny day. That’s what we thought we were doing when we visited Lake Wales Country Club, which is about 40 miles from Orlando.

Lake Wales is managed by Chicago-based GolfVisions, and we found it a well-conditioned, nicely designed layout that clearly had the feel of a Ross course.

Lakes Wales’ latest logo honors only one of its designers.

Lakes Wales’ latest logo honors only one of its designers.

The club proclaims it a Ross design in its website and uses a likeness of the legendary architect in its most recent logo.

There’s only one problem.

Ross was involved in the course’s creation for sure, but recent research suggests he wasn’t the only architect and may not have even been the main one. Another almost-as-famous architect, Seth Raynor, was involved as well. Continue reading

It Ziehms to Me: Florida Historic Golf Trail is something special

Len Ziehm on GolfBy Len Ziehm

Golf trails are nothing new. Courses and clubs have formed marketing partnerships for years with varying degrees of impact.

In the United States alone there are at least 50 trails. Texas has five separate of them. Colorado Golf Trails is one marketing entity, but it promotes 10 different trails within that state, and some of those trails have as many of 12 courses. Go to http://www.golftrips.com/golftrails/ to check out the various trails out there.

Golfers of all abilities have enjoyed Riviera for 62 years.

Golfers of all abilities have enjoyed Riviera for 62 years.

Most famous is probably the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, which unites 11 Alabama golf facilities. It’s been a rousing commercial success, but some of the “trails’’ amount to nothing more than websites.

I’ve played all the courses on Indiana’s Pete Dye Golf Trail and some courses on a few of the others, including the Robert Trent Jones. This winter, though, I’ve been introduced to one that is different – and in some ways better – than all the others. Continue reading

LPGA’s 66th season is off to a good start at Golden Ocala

Len Ziehm on GolfBy Len Ziehm

OCALA, FL. – The first event of the LPGA’s 66th season isn’t being held very far from the site of the circuit’s very first tournament, in 1950. That one was at Palma Cella Country Club in Tampa. It’s not far from the organization’s headquarters, either.

The 2015 opener is being played at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club, a beautiful facility nestled in the horse country of northwestern Florida. It’s about 100 miles from Palma Cella and it’s not much further to LPGA headquarters in Daytona Beach.

Golden Ocala offered everything the LPGA needed for its season opener.

Golden Ocala offered everything the LPGA needed for its season opener.

This season opener, though, is an indication of how far the LPGA has come, and the inaugural Coates Championship could trigger the biggest year yet for the premier women’s circuit.

This LPGA opener represents a departure from recent years, when the circuit usually played its first tournament outside of the U.S. (Four of this year’s first five events, though, will still be beyond U.S. borders – in the Bahamas, Australia, Thailand and Singapore).

The Coates Championship at Golden Ocala doesn’t have the traditional Thursday-Sunday run. This one started on Wednesday and will conclude on Saturday to avoid a conflict with the Super Bowl. Continue reading