Course Reviews/Travel


Medalist Golf Club - Tour Pro Mecca PDF Print E-mail
Written by BRUNO   

 

 

 

It's hard to find a place to start when the feature subject is Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound,

Florida. Medalist is not only a haven for established tour veterans (including Tiger Woods), but also

young aspiring professionals. In the early days of the club - nearly twenty years ago, Medalist was

known as the impossibly difficult layout that was the love child of Pete Dye and Greg Norman. In 1995,

Shell's Wonderful World of Golf presented a match at Medalist between the two best players in the

game (at the time): Norman & friend Nick Price. The winner was clearly the course, with neither player

breaking par (with a few train wrecks, and even fewer birdies). Over the years the Medalist evolved

and perhaps the golf course became more member friendly, but that wasn't necessarily a good thing

. . . which leads us to the saga of The Shark vs Medalist President Mr. De Mudd.

 

 

 


The drama had been going on for awhile, and reached it's climax in

December of 2012. Disagreements between Norman and the club hierchy

led to the Aussie leaving the club for good back in December, and taking

all of his possessions (including Claret Jugs, memorabilia and the Great

White Shark that adorned the walls of the club).


 

 

 

 

 

The biggest bone of contention with Norman was the hiring of Bobby Weed (once a protege to Dye) to

restore the original Dye/Norman design. I personally find it strange that Norman is no longer part of the

club he created . . . could you imagine if the Green Jackets showed Bobby Jones the door at Augusta

many years ago. The end result is that Norman requested his name and Pete Dye's no longer be

associated with the course design in any way shape or form, the club honored that request and is

planning on moving forward with the Bobby Weed Re-design.


If you want more detail on the whole Norman/Medalist saga, Geoff Shackelford has a full account of

the blow by blow at:

http://www.geoffshackelford.com/homepage/2012/12/28/greg-normans-letter-to-medalist-members.html

 

The Clubhouse at Medalist

 

 



7th at Medalist (behind the green) - check the gorgeous Loblolly Pine that frames the fairway



The Palm Beach/Jupiter area is the epicenter for the world's best players right now, with Ernie Els, Luke

Donald, Rory McIlroy (and Michael Jordan) at the Bear's Club. Tiger Woods, Ricky Fowler, Dustin Johnson

& Keegan Bradley are all members at Medalist. Next door to Medalist, many Tour Players are members at

Nick Price's exclusive MacArthur Golf Club. Just a few miles south in Palm Beach Gardens is the PGA of

America, PGA National - home of The Honda Classic and Raymond Floyd's Old Palm Golf Club, the U.S

headquarters of Chubby Chandler's clients: Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen & Lee Westwood, who

just relocated from Woksop, England.

 


Par 3 - 8th has Pete Dye's imprint all over it, bulkhead frames the angled water line.





11th at Medalist is a good example of the green complexes at Medalist, large undulations with runoffs

that repel even a marginal approach. this is where Norman's largest influence on the design is present.



The topography at Medalist is fairly ordinary for the region if compared to some of the other great

courses in the area, the ones that immediately come to mind are Jupiter Hills, and Seminole that

share the same elevated ridge that runs along North Palm Beach thru Juno Beach to Jupiter Island.

Medalist is for the most part - flat, and is carved out of Florida Slash Pines, Loblolly Pines and Palmetto

Palms on a sandy base just west of the Atlantic shore line. The green complexes and strategic hole

designs are certainly the strength of the course. The practice facility is as good as it gets, and the

atmosphere in and around the clubhouse that is nurtured by Director of Golf Buddy Antonopoulos, is

just what you'd expect from an establishment with the membership of the Medalist Club. "Our little

area of Florida is such a great place to live, that a lot of the Tour guys have moved here," Buddy

Antonopoulos said. There are so many wonderful places for these guys to play golf and work on their

games. The fact that quite a few of them, including a player of Tiger's stature have chosen to become

members here, says a lot about our club and our membership.


The 452 yard - 9th hole



As Medalist member & Golf Magazine panelist Jeff Lewis summed up: "I have played a few hundred

courses I would rather play than Medalist, but I don't know a club I'd rather belong to".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 
The Concession Golf Club PDF Print E-mail
Written by BRUNO   

 

 

 

The Concession in Bradenton, Florida is an exclusive club that opened in 2006 and features a Jack

Nicklaus signature course that was rated #88 in America's Top 100 by Golf magazine in 2009. The

course has a maximum USGA difficulty rating of 77.6 and a slope of 155 (that it shares with 12 other

clubs including Pine Valley, TPC Sawgrass, Castle Pines and Hazeltine) . . . but the club is so much

more than that.

If you don't already know, The name Concession comes from the 1969 Ryder Cup matches at Royal

Birkdale. In one of the most famous gestures of Sportsmanship ever, Jack Nicklaus conceded a missable

putt to Tony Jacklin on the 18th hole of their singles match that resulted in the first ever tie in Ryder

Cup history 16-16. This is the prevailing theme at the club. Tony Jacklin not only was part of the origin,

he lent his hand in the design of the course as well.


The setting is 520 acres of rugged landscape draped with mature Florida Live Oak and towering Pines

throughout. Rolling terrain and lakes add great variety to the test, all while serving up vistas of the

highest order. Along with the Bear's Club, and the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach this might be Jack's

finest work in the state he's called home since 1965.

 

 

 

The Clubhouse at The Concession

 

 

 

 

Details with a special touch are abundant at The Concession, and Ryder Cup history is displayed

prominently everywhere at the club, each bag stand on the driving range displays a different Ryder

Cup result, this one needs no explanation.

 

 

 

 

1st hole at 428 yards, grabs your attention early. Tony Trace our caddy, was fresh off a loop with

David Leadbetter, who was seen having lunch in the clubhouse when we arrived. You never know who

you will run into at The Concession. 1993 PGA Champion and 2008 Ryder Cup Captain Paul Azinger holds

the course record (65) and lives close by.

 

 

 

2nd fairway view

 

Choose your tees wisely, every hole is a challenge at The Concession . . . there are no cup cakes on

this layout. The white tees are 5909 yards, 7474 yards from the tips.


 

 

 

3rd green

 

The green complex at the 577 yard third is a present day Nicklaus design - plenty of room off the tee

and precision is required on the approach. There are shaved runoffs to test your shortgame if you

miss the green in regulation. If you don't think Donald Ross and Alister Mackenzie have influenced the

Golden Bear's design evolution, then you're not paying attention. The surfaces at Concession are part

Pinehurst No.2, Augusta National and Seminole (which is one of Ross's premier works just down the

street from Jack's compound at Lost Tree Village in North Palm Beach).

 

 

 

 

The fifth shown above, is Jack's favorite design at Concession.

 

 


 

The 183 yard par 3 sixth has a Harbour Town look, the miss is left here.

 

 

 

 

Sometimes you stand on a tee box and get that WOW feeling . . . this was it for me. The tee on the

par 5 seventh is as beautiful an inland hole as I've seen in the state. Not to mention, strategically it's

a great risk reward hole. If I were to make a list of my favorite 18 holes in Florida (great idea for a

future piece) this is definitely on the list.

 

 

 

 

#7 part two - If you want to go for #7 in two, you must carry the hazard beyond the pine tree. Your

work just begins after two perfectly executed knocks. The green is severely undulated.


 

 

 

The Golden Bear might have had some Donald Ross influence again here at the eighth, the scene

resembles Pinehurst No.2.

 

 

 

 

The tee at the dogleg right 436 yard ninth.

 

 

 

If you go through the fairway at the ninth, this fairway bunker awaits.

 

 

 

 

Tenth Hole

 

 

 

 

The short 349 yard par 4 - twelfth, lay up short of the bunkers or test your long game by attempting

to blow it over. If you clear the bunkers, you'll be left with a partial wedge to a firm well undulated

green.

 

 

 

 

The elevated green on the 13th is well guarded short, if you miss long get ready for a near impossible

up and down (there is a 30 foot drop on the backside).

 

 

 

 

The Par 3 fourteenth played 215 yards. LinksNation staffer and mini tour player Michael Kartrude made

an Ace with a 5 iron! As far as we know it's the third Ace in the hole's history, and the first from the tips.

 

 

 

 

The view from behind the 14th, the surfaces are firm and fast . . . just what you'd expect from a

championship layout of this caliber.


 

 

 

The fifteenth requires a well placed tee shot between the fairway bunkers and the greenside bunkers.

 

 

 

 

Notice the rolling fairway on the par 5 - 17th hole

 

 

 

 

The 486 yard finisher is a brute, and will be the perfect closer when the club hosts the 2015 NCAA

Golf Championships in consecutive weeks for both the Men and Women. This is the first time in the

events history that both events will be held at the same location. It is also the first time in 25 years

that the event will be held in Florida. Just last week, the club hosted the Big Ten Match Play

Championship.

 

Approximately 40 courses around the World have been given clocks by Rolex, typically a course must

host a major championship to receive one. After featuring the club on one of their commercials, Rolex

provided the club with two clocks.

 


I would be remiss if I didn't mention the outstanding service by Beth and Ryan in the Pro Shop, and

Steve in the Mens Lockeroom. Caddy Tony Trace showed great green reading skills and the perfect

temperment for a great day at a track often mentioned among Americas top 100.


To find out more about The Concession: http://theconcession.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
Emerald Dunes - Fazio Master Renovation PDF Print E-mail

 

Back in 1990, Tom Fazio finished sculpting what was thought of at the time as one of his finest

designs - Emerald Dunes Club in West Palm Beach. Along with Black Diamond's Quarry, Emerald

Dunes was certainly considered his best work in the sunshine state (3 years later he designed 36

holes at World Woods north of Tampa).

 

Over a relatively short period of time, EDC lost some of its luster, and was no longer considered

among the state's elite. Whether it was the boom of new courses in the 90's, or the fact that it

became lost in ownership changes and shifted from a high end daily fee (at its inception) to an

exclusive club (that was owned at one point by a group headed by the late Frank Chirkinian of CBS

Sports) no one seems to know for sure.

 

 

 

The clubhouse at Emerald Dunes

 

 

Fazio was very excited to get a chance to polish his 22 year old creation, "Emerald Dunes has always

been one of my favorite courses, and I was pleased to be invited back to make some strategic

enhancements to one of the most highly regarded clubs in Florida. Emerald Dunes is truly a gem, and

with the recent improvements, it's an even more dazzling jewel".

 

Thanks to new ownership and a 15 million dollar renovation by Fazio, the course and club are more

beautiful than one can imagine.The first eye popping improvement is the Landscaping by Hadden

Landscape Company, thousands of native Muhly, Fountain and Cord grasses line the dunes and

slopes, as well as 2,000 new palms and ornamental hedges throughout the property. A sea of Purple

Bougainvillea vines climb the walls of the newly updated clubhouse.

 

Practice facilities are often overlooked at clubs of this stature, at EDC it not only wasn't overlooked,

it is one of the best anywhere. The eight acre driving range and learning studio on the back end are

above standard issue. The four acre shortgame area is as good as it gets, and includes multiple

bunkers and target greens for different types of shots in various wind conditions . . . also included

is a 19th hole (85-135 yards) for settling wagers or just for working on your wedge play. The turf

at the shortgame area is kept at the same speeds and firmness as the course.If I was fortunate

enough to be a member (I'm not), I would spend copious amounts of time at this part of the property.

 

Fazio had this to say about the shortgame area:

"With the new Short Game Area, we added more green space. We’ve mimicked anything

you will encounter on the course here. Practice is an integral part of the game and this is

a spectacular amenity that allows golfers to tune-up their short game. This area gave me

a chance to make a significant addition to the golf experience at Emerald Dunes.”

 

 

Shortgame area

 

 

 

As for the work on the course itself, Master Fazio gave Dunes his personal touch.He glows when

he talks about the place: "To take something that originally was so well received, and make it

substantially superior is a special achievement."

 

Many Championship tees were added (EDC tips out at just over 7100 yards now) and others reshaped,

as well as fairways widened and some new greens were created. A new irrigation system will ensure

proper and consistent conditions for everyday play 365 days each year in Palm Beach. In an area

that boasts the likes of Seminole, Medalist, Jupiter Hills, and Trump International . . .  can Fazio's latest

edition of Emerald Dunes stack up?

 

 

The tee on the 402 yard third

 

 

 

 

The signature par 3 - fourth (182 yards)

 

 

 

 

The longest hole at Emerald Dunes is the 583 yard par 5 - fifth

 

 

 

 

Fairway bunker on the par 4 sixth

 

 

 

 

The right to left dog leg seventh, stay left center off the tee . . . bailing away from the water leaves an

extreme right to left sidehill lie.

 

 

 

 

The 212 yard eighth - soft shell cart paths cut through fountain grass and really add a more natural

look and feel (an aesthetic upgrade from the old concrete paths ).

 

 

 

 

The uphill tenth is the best par 4 on Fazio's jewel

 

 

 

 

Another view of the tenth - Notice the contour of the fairway and the native grasses bordering the

mounds on both sides)


 

 

 

The short 495 yard par 5 - 11th

 

 

 

 

The approach to the well guarded twelfth, at only 346 yards from the tips . . . a wedge in leaves a good birdie chance.

 

 

 

 

The right to left 401 yard thirteenth

 

 

 

 

The Fourteenth - 211 yards (Fazio gives plenty of bailout room)

 

 

 

 

 

The gorgeous tee shot on the 412 yard fifteenth plays into the prevailing wind.Definitely the sleeper

of the back nine, with OB left and hazard right . . . this tee shot is not for the faint of heart.

 

 

 

 

The 179 yard sixteenth

 

 

 

 

The approach into the 574 yard - par 5 seventeenth

 

 

 

 

The view from atop the dune at the eighteenth

 

 

There are many ultra exclusive golf clubs in Palm Beach . . . in Florida . . .  and in the U.S, but there

are few as special as the new Emerald Dunes Club.The experience at EDC is unique and beautiful, no

detail was overlooked in the present edition, it is quite simply the most impressive renovation that we

have seen to date - kudos to Master Fazio.


visit: http://www.emeraldunes.com/

 

Thanks to Director of Golf Lee Rinker and Membership Director Lesley Rey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
Glen Club - Chicago PDF Print E-mail

 

 

 

Although winter is fast approaching in Chicago, an Autumn round at the Glen Club is a day to

remember.Recently we visited Chicago and took a spin around the upscale public course.

 

The property where the club sits, was formerly the Glenview Naval Air Station. Tom Fazio

took a blank slate and created an amazing layout that opened in 2001, and the Glen Club

has garnered nothing but accolades from the golf world ever since.


In 2008 the Glen Club earned the distinction of Best Public Course in Illinois, and Top 100 course

You Can Play (#72 by Golf Magazine), but how was the course when we played it recently?I

expected to be impressed, and why not . . . when you put together a Fazio Signature design

with a club managed by Kemper Sports, it's a win/win combination.


 

The Clubhouse

 

 

 

 

1st hole

 

With the addition of 4,000 trees and 2.4 million cubic yards of earth, you would never know this

place wasn't a parkland utopia waiting to be a golf course.Fazio eases you into the round as he

often does with a casual par 5 on the first.You get a sense early on that the terrain rolls here, on

the opening par 5 (shown above) you'll hit your second shot downhill, and your third uphill.


 

 


2nd hole

 

The second is a sweeping right to lefter that you can play off the cambering fairway, catch the

right side of the fairway and it will kick down, but if you stray too far right the sprawling Juniper

that resembles Gorse will inhale your ball.The deep bunker on the left guards the aggressive play

over the corner.

 


 

4th hole

 

It has been said that the Glen Club has the best par 3's in Illinios, I don't doubt it.The

magnificent fourth at only 156 yards from the tips is a prime example.

 

 


 

5th hole

 

The fifth is a brute of a par 5 at 599 yards, three good ones here will give you a shot at pay dirt.

 

 

 


6th tee

 

The 445 yard par 4 - sixth is a perfect example of Fazio's ability to blend foliage into his designs

to enhance the playing experience, few if any match Fazio in this regard.

 

 


 

7th hole

 

The handicap 1 hole at the Glen Club is the 475 yard seventh, nothing but your finest here to

make par.

 

 

 


8th hole

 

No signs that a flat Naval base ever existed here, native grasses and green vistas are the norm

throughout.On the eighth, Fazio will give you a wedge in if you challenge the water and sand that

bottleneck the landing area.

 

 


 

Par 4 - 10th

 

The short tenth is your chance to right the wrongs of the outward nine, at only 302 yards from

the blue tees . . . you can smell feathers.

 

 

 


11th hole

 

The 218 yard par 3 - eleventh is all you want, a stout one shotter for sure.If you're "Yella", Fazio

gives you a bail out short right . . . par can still be had from there.

 

 

 

 

Approach into the 12th

 

 

 

 

 

14th hole

 

When I walked onto the fourteenth tee, it was the wow moment for me (along with the fourth -

all great courses should have a few), just a gorgeous setting framing a great tee shot.The aggressive

play is over the corner, and if executed successfully, reaching in two is very possible.

 

 

 


 

15th hole

 

 

 

 

16th hole

 

 

 

 

17th hole

 

The last par 3 at the Glen Club is by far the most intimidating of the lot.At 204 yards from the tips,

over water and into the wind, this one shotter will make or brake your round.

 

 

 

 

 

Par 5 - 18th

 

The home hole is a bookend par 5 to the first hole, at 561 yards from the blue tees, only the longest

of hitters have a chance to reach.The clubhouse backdrop is a welcome invitation to wind down after

the round.

 

The Glen Club lived up to the accolades and exceeded expectations, another Fazio gem.At 7,149 from

the gold tees, it will test the best players . . . but at the same time, make for a very enjoy experience.

The greens at the Glen Club are smooth and quick, with plenty of movement, but certainly not over the

top - work on your lag putting, as many of the greens are large in size.

 

After YOUR round, do yourself a favor and enjoy a delicious meal & great service at The Grill. Inside the

halls of the club, the walls are lined with plaques honoring the influential people who made Chicago Golf

what it is today.What a great way to pay homage to the history of the game and people like Eerie Ball,

Tommy Armour, Bob Goalby, Johnny Revolta and Steve Lesnik.

 

 

 

 

To get more info on the Glen Club click here:http://www.theglenclub.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
PGA National - Fazio Course PDF Print E-mail

The fifth hole on the revamped Fazio course (formerly known as the Haig), PGA of America HQ in the backgound.

 

 

 

Palm Beach Gardens - Recently PGA National Resort & Spa welcomed the golf media to the

re-opening of what was once known as the "Haig" course (dedicated to Walter Hagen), after a

nip and tuck here and there, the newly touched up version has been dubbed the "Fazio".


The Fazio at PGA National is the only course in existence to boast three Fazio designers.The

Haig was the first routing at the home of the PGA of America back in 1980, designed by George

& Tom Fazio.The 2012 facelift was carried out by Tom's nephew Tommy, since there really wasn't

any room to change the routing (there are resort condos and residential communities on the

boundary of most holes, the task was about refining what existed.It was a unanimous opinion

of most locals that the Haig (along with the Squire) had always been the weaker of the resorts

5 courses.

 

What the younger Fazio did, might seem very subtle, and it is . . . but regrassing the tees &

fairways with Celebration Bermuda and changing the shape of the tee boxes from round to

square is a nice upgrade for what was a tired golf course.My favorite change and perhaps the

most obvious is the re-positioned and re-contoured green on the 8th hole.Rather than just being

a bland elevated surface that posed death to the player who went long, there are now multiple

pin positions, and a some very creative contouring from back right to the entire left side of the

green that is now protected by a new bunker.If you miss long, or left it is a very tough up &

down, but it is do-able.The new greens increased in size by 70% and the new Tif-Eagle putting

surfaces are firm and silky smooth.

 

 

The new eighth on the Fazio

 

 

Many of the newly shaped bunkers have steeper flash faces to them, which frames the tee shot

or approach on each hole.Tee boxes now stretch beyond 7,000 yards for the competitive low

handicapper and there is a set of tees for the high handicapper and play it forward crowd at

5,100 yards. The course looks very similiar to it's Haig origins, but the new Fazio version

definitely has a refined freshly made over feel, an upgrade for sure.

 

 

To learn more about the Fazio Course and the four other courses at PGA National click on the

link:http://www.pgaresort.com/

 

 

 

 


 
« StartPrev12345678910NextEnd »

Page 8 of 16