Course Reviews/Travel

McArthur Golf Club PDF Print E-mail
Written by BRUNO   


The clubhouse at McArthur Golf Club



Unlike the famous club next door where Tiger Woods and many other famous tour players hone their

game, McArthur is a club that maintains a lower profile. You don't see Tim Rosaforte on the Golf

Channel reporting from McArthur, or hear about all of their famous members . . . in fact there isn't

even a grandiose entryway that announces the clubs presence, you could drive down US1 thousands

of times and never even know that you've passed by. There are two wrought iron gates that grant you

access to the mile long drive through native vegetation of Slash & Loblolly Pines and Palmetto that

eventually lead to the elegant yet modest Old Florida-style clubhouse .



In a golf rich area like the Palm Beaches and the Treasure Coast, it's unlikely there would be a club

of such impeccable design quality that it could go unknown to so many. McArthur Golf Club in Hobe

Sound, Florida is situated along the same stretch of US-1 as Medalist, and just a dozen miles north

along the sand ridge that runs parallel to the Atlantic (Donald Ross' Juno Beach Masterpiece-Seminole

sits on the southern end of the ridge). McArthur is an ultra exclusive club in a area where private

is the norm. Clubs like Jupiter Hills, Loblolly, Lost Tree, Old Palm, Dye Preserve and the Bear's Club dot

the golf landscape here. Co-designed by Tom Fazio, but McArthur is the brain child of Jupiter Island

resident and 3 time Major Champion Nick Price . . .  make no mistake, this is Nicky Price's baby.


The 447 yard uphill 2nd at McArthur



This 480 acre site is draped by the native sand, which is the primary feature that runs through the course

design at McArthur. With only 90 acres of turf placed strategically, Price and Fazio created a Pine valley

esque landscape in South Florida and it was fully intended to be so. "We tried to create something that

we've seen in Pine Valley and other wonderful courses, it's all about the golf." The club gets it's name

from McArthur Dairy Farms, which is the primary shareholder of the Club. Price along with Dolphins Hall

of Famer Dan Marino are original investors at the club.


The Par 3-third, at only 150 yards it's the shortest hole at McArthur, but if you take a close look at

the green, you can see that it's far from the easiest. On the day I played it, the wind was into at 15-

20 mph and just hitting (and holding) it in regulation was a tall order.




The 417 yard fourth plays over native vegetation from the tee



The 7,205 layout combines challenge and native beauty, everything has a natural feel at McArthur. The

use of Coquina replaces the need for concrete cart paths. Although it all appears completely natural,

Price & Fazio did move a million cubic yards of sand to create drainage, ponds for irrigation and to create

some of the dunes that really enhance the look, feel and playability of the layout.



The longest hole at McArthur is the Par 5 - fifth at 594 yards





The shortest par 4 at McArthur is the 6th at 383 yards


If you look closely at the tee box on the right, you'll see the tee markers are actual milk jugs. Attention

to detail is at an elite level at McArthur.






The 188 yard - par 3 thirteenth





The 542 yard par 5 fifteenth


Price talked about his design theories that went into creating McArthur "I'm not a big risk reward

proponent, I believe that the golf course is about angles. If you have the ability to hit the ball to a

particular side of the fairway or to shape your tee shot, you will be rewarded." The greens at

McArthur are well undulated, and super slick . . . keeping your approach shots below the hole is

absolutely a must in order to score at McArthur.





198 yard par 3 - seventeenth




McArthur is tough, but not in any way tricked up . . . it's a course that rewards precision and touch, as

well as expert course management. With a slope and rating of 75.5/146 from the tips, it's advisable to

choose the correct set of "Milk Jugs" to play from.


The chocolate chunk cookies they serve inside the clubhouse are a treat worth noting, and as we all

know . . . nothing goes better with cookies than milk. Nick Price's gem in Hobe Sound might be much

less known than it's high profile neighbors, (and I'm sure they prefer it that way) but as far as a pure

golf club is concerned, McArthur is just that - PURE.








Eagles Mere Country Club PDF Print E-mail
Written by BRUNO   



Eagles Mere Clubhouse




Eagles Mere Country Club, is set in the mountainous region of north eastern Pennsylvania in Sullivan

county, nearly 200 miles northwest of Philadelphia. The town of Eagles Mere is a rural environment

with a small population. The nearest town with any semblance of civilization is Williamsport - some

30 miles away. Williamsport is known as the annual home of the Little League World Series.

Eagles Mere Country Club is a private course designed by William Flynn (designer of Shinnecock Hills

and a fixture at Merion for decades. The club itself was formed in 1911, but the course (originally 6 holes)

opened in 1913 (which according to club historian Joe Mosbrook, might have been designed by a gent

named George Young). Sometime later, Flynn was brought in to complete the 18 hole layout. Then in

the 1920's, Flynn was working on completing a second 18, which later became abandoned because of

the depression.


Eagles Mere has long been an upstate mountain retreat for members of clubs like Merion, Aronimink and

Pine Valley. At just under 6,200 yards from the tips, one would suspect that the place is a pushover and

can be overpowered, but nothing is further from the truth. First off, for whatever reason (maybe it's the

mountain air) you never get a sense that the place is only 6177 yards, it just doesn't play that way.

You can actually hit driver on most holes, but as was the case with many of the old classic courses,

the ability to work the ball around doglegs and tree lines was - and still is paramount at Flynn's no-

nonsense mountain layout.



The 514 yard par 5 - 2nd (check Flynn's design of the berm that surrounds the back of this green)



Once you get into the round, you quickly notice that the course is not overly penal, but it's greens

more than make up for its lack of length tee to green. The routing is brilliantly scripted throughout

the constantly cambering property. On our visit there last summer, former assistant professional

Matt Alwin was tour guide.



On the short 328 yard third, there are no bunkers, but the large evergreen hedge that lines the

entire right side of the hole - will swallow up any errant shot to the right.




The Par 3 - fourth is only 126 yards but if you miss the green right to avoid the bunker, good luck.

The surface slopes away from the player and right to left . . . take three and get outta there.





Par 4 - sixth


The 371 yard sixth was my favorite on the front nine, not only because of it's beauty, but also because

the design presents the player with options. If you can carry the ball 250 yards, you can hit driver

and opt to carry the rock ridge to the fairway below. . . a fairway wood or hybrid to the main fairway

on top still leaves a short iron approach to a well protected green.



The par 3 downhill ninth





The par 4 thirteenth has a stone formation right smack dab in the middle of the fairway, catch it

just right and pick up some serious yardage.





The 471 yard uphill fourteenth is the brute of Flynn's design at EMCC. After being toyed with by

Flynn's twisting and turning finesse holes, he demands that you hit your two best knocks here.




Another view of the fabulous fourteenth (looking back from the fifteenth tee).





The green on fifteen is typical of Eagles Mere's greens, small in size with run offs in abundance,

they're quick and very well undulated, they will test even the sharpest of shortgames.





The 482 yard finisher is a short par 5, the chance to get home in two is likely even for the medium

length player.

Although private, Eagles Mere does offer a variety of stay and play packages for non members with

accommodations at either the Crestmont Inn or the Eagles Mere Inn with breakfast served daily.

EMCC is a William Flynn design that is very enjoyable, loaded with character and won't beat you up

tee to green . . . but your wedge game and putting better be dialed in if you are to score well here.


Cheers to Superintendent Don Keefer and special thanks to Head Professional Seth Kanaskie for

hosting us.

For more info visit:












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:


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






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



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:







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.



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










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