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Golf Hero Tom Parks: To Hell and Back

In the past several months, we featured Manuel Dukes and Ricky Sleeper, members of On Course Foundation.  Here’s another amazing story about the organization and its impact on wounded, injured and sick military veterans through the sport and business of golf.

Certainly, you’ve come across guys who’ve gone from hero to ostensibly zero and back to hero.

Businesspeople start with unbridled confidence, then struggle and use lessons learned to succeed.  Athletes are streaky, piling up points, then suffering droughts before reverting to the best versions of themselves.  Politicians, well, they incur similar scenarios, but let’s not go there.

Greater Kansas City has its own poster child for life’s ups and downs with golf helping roll in the good times.

Meet Tom Parks or, as he’s officially referenced, CWO3 Thomas F. Parks III, USMC (Ret.).

Now 57 years old, father of daughters ages 33 and 31, husband to Stephanie and a 20-year Riverside resident, Parks’ journey began in Dover, Hampshire.  Dad served in the Marines for four years beginning in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis and all things cold war, before working in the auto business.  Grandpa on mom’s side was a naval officer in WWII and the Korean War.

Golf was part of Parks’ mid-youth years.  At 14, he and dad would hack it up at Sunningdale, a nine-hole municipal course in Dover.  Both were left-handed, but back then lefty clubs were neither available nor affordable.  So, Tom got right-handed Irving King model woods.  Finances were tight.

Marines Enlistment

Ever one to make dad proud, following in family footsteps led Parks from high school to the marines.  Twenty of 23 years were at Camp Pendleton in California.  Eight deployments included five combat tours:  Desert Storm, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan (twice).  Highlights were infantry stints in 1990, first in Saudi Arabia and then in Kuwait to “kick out” Saddam Hussein.  Then there was the 1992 clean up of Black Hawk Down in the no-law-and-order-whatsoever Somalia.

Parks unwavering dedication to his craft and preserving America’s national interests was aptly rewarded.  In 1995, he won U.S. Marine Corps annul rifle squad competition; in 1998 came Drill Instructor of the Year and a meritorious promotion to Gunnery Sergeant; in 2001 was selected as Infantry Weapons Officer, a Marine Gunner – Chief Warrant Officer; and in 2004, was awarded the Silver Star medal, the third highest military award for valor in combat.  From accounts of Parks’ actions, the well-known “one-man wrecking crew” earned three-stripe sergeant status and the illustrious three-Silver Star Medal.

Books were written about Parks’ accomplishments:  Heroes Among Us by Chuck Larson and The Silver Star by Scott Baron.

Challenges Aplenty

Now to the gory part for our decorated hero.  In 2003, Parks was shot by enemy fire in the hip and leg.   He wasn’t alone as the infantry was a regular target of countless explosions.  Walking over dead bodies of friends and foes was common.  He estimates killing at least 25 to 30 foes, but “I lost count and became numb to it.”

Worse than taking bullets, Parks says, was fighting in 150-degree temperatures while wearing full gear – after all, hiking hill after hill carrying heavy backpacks was almost daily.  Dysentery caused by explosions took root and, from tasting the aftereffects,  he couldn’t hold anything down.  What a mess.

Upon retirement in 2005, transition to civilian life was mentally problematic.  Anger, severe depression, PTSD and a second divorce reared ugly heads.  The healing process, so to speak, included arduous attempts at overcoming unnerving war sights and sounds as well as staying alert and keeping calm.  To this day, these difficulties still pop up.

With military in his veins, Parks worked from 2009 to 2014 as a contractor, taking him back to war-torn Afghanistan, providing security for Army ground bases against the Taliban and Al Qaeda.  Then came two years in Kabul, managing security for defense and state department personnel.  The past five years, Parks worked from Kansas City as a Project Director for a business consulting firm headquartered in Chicago.  He advised on sales, operations, finance and small-business leadership skills.

Golf & On Course Foundation

How fulfilling was corporate life when military travails were mostly in the great (or not so great) outdoors?  “Not so much,” says Parks, “and I wanted to make a rewarding career shift.”

His third wife, Stephanie, played golf in high school and they’d hit the links together.  Parks “got the bug” and went as far as installing a full net, launch monitor and putting green in his basement.  Practice is the road to perfection, says many a golfer and military man, and Parks’ carries a seven handicap as a result.

“Golf was healing and calming, and I fell in love with it, often recalling days as a child when dad and I would play with totally wrong clubs.”

Then, on a browsing lark of sorts, Parks found On Course Foundation online.  He connected with Shauna Snyder, the organization’s military liaison and employment manager, who opened his eyes to the golf industry’s inner workings and laid out a plan for his professional involvement in the golf business.

“I was down the wrong path and needed OCF to stop the self-pressure to chase money,” he says.  “Shauna changed my life to something fulfilling and I decided to make golf my life’s endeavor and jump in with both feet.  It was scary, but excitement and notions of rewarding work took over.”

On Course Foundation was instrumental placing him at the private National Golf Club of Kansas City where he works in player and outdoor services.  Lo and behold, with utmost work ethic and discipline cultivated in the Marines, Parks swept every “Employee of the Month” award since he started in September 2022.

“It’s humbling and keeps my military success and ego in check,” Parks says.  “I’m still of service to people and that gives me the passion I felt serving Americans as a gunner in the Marines.

“It’s also important I give back, through the many benefits of golf, to others transitioning out of the military.  I’m rubbing off on other veterans, introducing them to golf to assist their recoveries.  I feel a true, inner peace of mind on the links and sharing it with those who also faced terror is my way of paying it forward.”

Parks is as gung-ho about his second career in golf as he was every day of military service.  Enrolled in the PGA’s Professional Golf Management program, he’s a Level 1 Associate Member and, buoyed by his corporate consulting background, should ascend to Level 2 Executive Management in no time.  The goal of achieving Level 3 full PGA membership is two years away.

“Dad is in an Alzheimer’s Center now,” says Parks.  “But when I reminisce about military times and my new love of golf, he smiles.  Thoughts of playing rounds together, two lefties wielding righty clubs – those are the invaluable memories golf creates.”

On Course Foundation leverages the tenets of golf as a recovery vehicle for wounded, injured and sick veterans.  It conducts programs coast to coast teaching its “members” how to play golf and business skills for careers in the golf industry.  On Course Foundation then places members in golf jobs with Callaway, Invited (formerly ClubCorp), Marriott Golf, golf product manufacturers and service providers, and golf courses, country clubs and resorts.  There are more than 2,000 members in the U.S. and abroad.  The organization was founded nearly 15 years ago by John Simpson, longtime IMG executive and business manager to Nick Faldo, Vijay Singh, Bernhard Langer, Nick Price and Greg Norman.

It’s Here: Our Father’s Day Golf Gift Guide

Dad … golf gifts … we will spare you the lengthy intro. According to the National Golf Foundation, more dads (okay, more people in general) are playing golf than ever before. So, here’s a short list of golf gear that will elevate dad’s game this season – and beyond.

OnCore Golf Balls

OnCore is a direct-to-consumer golf ball brand based in Buffalo, N.Y. that’s made a name for itself via its unique perimeter-weighted construction that leads to longer, straighter shots. Just ask Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, a major investor and brand ambassador, or Korn Ferry Tour player and ambassador Erik Compton. For Father’s Day, OnCore is offering three different dad-loving logo balls, as well as a buy two dozen, get a dozen free special on any of its five balls: VERO X1, VERO X2, ELIXR, ELIXR 2022 and AVANT 55. There’s plenty of other father-friendly gear available, including t-shirts, hats, tees and gloves.

TRUE linkswear LUX Tour

Now that peak golf season is here, TRUE has launched its exciting new “Tour Collection” featuring the highly-anticipated LUX Tour and OG Tour golf shoes, the premium LUX Tour Polo Tour Logo Edition and midweight Quarter Zip Tour Logo Edition, and (last but not least) the breathable LUX Tech Tour 5-Panel Hat. Simply put, the Moore brothers are providing golfers with an intriguing mix of high-performance, stylish options for the golf season. The LUX Tour shoe is TRUE’s take on the modern performance golf shoe designed to the rigorous standards of its PGA TOUR staff, including co-founder Ryan Moore, Joel Dahmen and Chris Kirk. And building on the legacy of the LUX Pro, it boasts subtle-yet-significant improvements to style, quality, fit and function, according to TRUE’s designers.

RADMOR Golf’s Spring Line

RADMOR Golf’s spring and summer golf apparel line is available in men’s and women’s collections featuring its environmentally friendly polos, shorts and layering. The Seattle-based brand leans hard into the new golf season with vibrant color pops of True Blue, Wisteria, Glacier and Cloudy Blue. The men’s line is highlighted by a host of new polos, including the Taylor Recycled Floral Drip and Crosby Reverb Ultralight, Vincent and Five-O Knit Performance Shorts (hey, it’s spring, after all). Colton ¼ Zips, Higgins Hoodies and Perkins Crew Sweatshirts in an array of new colors and patterns are standing by for those areas that still have crisp mornings and late afternoons. For toasty hot regions, shirts like the aforementioned Crosby Reverb Ultralight keep golfers nice and cool from dusk till dawn.

Sun Mountain PX Pushcarts

Sun Mountain’s PX3 and PX4 pushcarts are a huge hit with members of #pushcartmafia. Offering a myriad of improvements to the company’s past Pathfinder models, the PX4 is hands down one the best four-wheelers on the market today. It features awesome advancements like a new handle and accessory tray while retaining the main benefits of a smaller folded size and easy opening. Retail prices for the PX3 and PX4 are $249 and $259, respectively. Additional enhancements on both models we tested and loved include a continuous handle for pushing with one hand, an accessory console that holds balls, tees, scorecard and mobile phone, a mobile phone holder with a slot for a charging plug, dual umbrella holders, and a mesh basket and velour-lined pouch for additional storage. Pro tip: order the cushy vertical cooler that straps onto the cart and holds up to six canned beverages.

PeakVision Sunglasses

PeakVision was founded back in 1997 by J. Paul Moore, who studied the eyewear industry for four years before developing PeakVision’s “Dual-Zone” lens prototype. Moore’s goal with the sophisticated technology was actually simple: end all optical distortion in sports, especially golf, which typically entails more than four hours outdoors in the sunshine. David and Nicholas Feaser acquired the company in 2017 and have doubled down on the company’s commitment to the game. PeakVision’s Dual-Zone lens are 20% neutral gray on the upper section for UV protection and 60% lower contrast amber on the lower section to enhance clarity, especially when it comes to reading greens. Several different golf-focused models are available to fit a variety of different-sized heads and faces.

Whiskers Golf Shoelaces

The company’s premium golf shoelaces are available in more than 70 colors and patterns.  Made in the USA from ultra-durable poly-nylon weave with an appropriate amount of stretch, Whiskers laces feature high-grade aglets that withstand tough conditions and are slim-wrapped to fit skinny eyelets.  On any given tournament week, Whiskers golf laces are worn by more than 75 PGA and LPGA Tour players and their caddies in FootJoy, Adidas, Nike, Puma, ECCO and other leading shoe brands.  Amateur golfers also match laces with their shirts, hats, belts, pants and shoes, adding color pop and personality to wardrobes.  Single pairs ($15), three packs ($40) and “fivers” ($60).

PuttView X

For the old man with a big budget and a balky flatstick, PuttView X, new augmented reality glasses that are able to instantly read greens, is the answer. The revolutionary training aid can map any green in the world in a matter of seconds, calculating distance, break, slope and speed. Simply put the glasses on and transform the green into an interactive learning platform. With its see-through displays, PuttView X overlays putt information such as start line, ball path, speed animations and contours onto the green, providing a holographic view of any putt. Voice commands and hand gestures enable users to control the system and move around the green freely, set any hole or ball location, and adjust green speed depending on current conditions. PuttView X then accurately calculates the putt path and makes it visible to the user.

Cost of PuttView X? Well, it’s just $14,480.


No one’s gotten more mileage out of his clubs over the years than dad. Chances are that those same sticks are still stashed in the garage, basement or trunk. That makes this the perfect year to get him squared away with a full new set. No brand makes this easier, or more enjoyable, than PXG. All fitting locations are listed and searchable on the website. And PXG now offers the most expansive variety of irons, hybrids, drivers, fairway woods and putters in the company’s storied history. Or, if you know what dad needs and want him swinging new clubs on Father’s Day, PXG also offers an array of “Full Bag Deals” available directly online. The ordering process and customer service overall are first-rate.

TRUE linkswear Launches New ‘Tour Collection’ for Prime Golf Season

The OG Tour

At the PGA Show in Orlando back in January, it was clear that TRUE linkswear was venturing full-on into the golf apparel category. The Pacific Northwest brand’s booth was certainly chock full of its latest golf shoe offerings. But also draped from numerous hangers were polos, tees, shorts, joggers, pants and hoodies. Based on the imagery throughout the booth, it was also clear that TRUE firmly committed to its cadre of PGA TOUR players led by company co-founder Ryan Moore.

Well, now that peak golf season is here, TRUE has launched its exciting new “Tour Collection” featuring the highly-anticipated LUX Tour and OG Tour golf shoes, the premium LUX Tour Polo Tour Logo Edition and midweight Quarter Zip Tour Logo Edition, and the breathable LUX Tech Tour 5-Panel Hat. Simply put, the Moore brothers are providing golfers with an intriguing mix of high-performance, stylish options for the golf season.

LUX Tour Quarter Zip

“The Tour Collection was tailored around the needs of our Tour staff,” says TRUE CEO Jason Moore, Ryan’s brother and former caddie. “Through feedback from players like Joel Dahmen, Mark Hubbard and Chris Kirk we’ve been able to continue to elevate the premium nature of our footwear and apparel via countless upgrades and aesthetic improvements. The Tour Collection is our take on the fit, performance and style of a modern Tour player.”

The Tour Collection lineup:

LUX Tour

The LUX Tour is TRUE’s take on the modern performance golf shoe designed to the rigorous standards of its PGA TOUR staff, including co-founder Ryan Moore, Joel Dahmen and Chris Kirk. Building on the legacy of the LUX Pro, it boasts subtle-yet-significant improvements to style, quality, fit and function. LUX Tour includes the Achilles heel pad and TPU heel stabilizer for a more stable fit and features the all-new TRUE® Tour Signature Top Grain Napa Leather. Comfortable enough for TRUE’s Tour players to wear right out of the box, updates to the WANDERLUX® midsole compound and insert give it the best feel, grip and lateral stability to date. The upgraded metal logo and exotic genuine leather accents elevate LUX Tour’s luxury aesthetic.

OG Tour

The OG Tour combines the iconic TRUE Original with all-new premium construction built to the rigorous performance standards of TRUE’s PGA TOUR staff. Building on the TRUE Original legacy, the OG Tour delivers a distinctive minimalist fit, wide toe box and zero drop experience. Naturally enhancing comfort and engineered for walking, it generates more surface contact than any golf shoe, keeping golfers connected to the earth with ideal balance and traction. A flexible, ergonomically designed sole eliminates all inhibitions between golfers and the turf. Now featuring TRUE’s all-new TRUE® Tour Signature Top Grain Napa Leather, the OG Tour offers an upgraded metal logo and exotic genuine leather accents to elevate the luxury aesthetic.

LUX Tour Polo

With its minimalist design and maximum comfort, the LUX Tour Polo is created via Super Natural Materials offering unrivaled performance and a modern aesthetic transcending seamlessly to the golf course. The athletic modern cut is perfect on or off the links as the polo drapes naturally for a casual-yet-tailored fit. The ultra-premium LUX Tour Polo blend features a sustainable mix of industry-leading Tencel® (45%), REPREVE® Recycled Polyester (50%) and Spandex (5%) for maximum comfort and movement. It also includes TRUE’s high visibility logo on the front left chest along with the fan-favorite Dead Golfer on the left sleeve.

LUX Tour Quarter Zip

The LUX Tour Quarter Zip is the optimal mid-weight layering piece for the active and competitive golfer, built using Super Natural Materials delivering unreal performance, a premium look and feel, and next-level sustainability. This Quarter Zip is the perfect “all-season” weight to keep golfers feeling good during their pursuits on and off the course. The premium French-terry blend features a sustainable mix of industry-leading Tencel® (43%), Recycled Polyester (50%) and Spandex (7%) for maximum comfort and movement. It includes TRUE’s high visibility logo on the front left chest along with the Dead Golfer on the left sleeve.

LUX Tech Tour 5-Panel Hat

TRUE’s premium performance “take” on the 5-panel hat, the LUX Tech Tour 5-Panel Hat sports a brushed, broken-in coastal feel with a modern design and “stealth” detailing. The breathable foam front, laser perforated back, athletic sweatband and moisture-wicking shell will keep golfers cool and dry. Featuring TRUE’s new Tour tone-on-tone logo vinyl application on the front along with an embroidered Tour design underneath, TRUE fans can rock the hat the TRUE pros are wearing this season.

For more information on the Tour Collection and other TRUE products, visit

Suzy Whaley Steering ‘Next Big Thing’ Golf Nation

Suzy Whaley, a PGA Master Professional who served as the first female president of the PGA of America, received the Walter Hagen Ambassador of the Game Award during last week’s PGA Championship.

The award celebrates a person who promotes the sport and its values to younger generations through teaching and guidance, which Whaley has executed for decades.

As part of her achievements, don’t forget she’s only a handful of women to play in a PGA TOUR event.

What’s Whaley up to nowadays?

She’s a go-to figure for appearances at corporate outings, delivering golf-oriented speeches and commentating on ESPN and Sirius XM Radio coverage of PGA TOUR events.

Notwithstanding, Whaley primary activity has her displaying business chops in a venture headed to become one of golf’s biggest breakthrough businesses.

In early 2022, she became President of the new Golf Nation that’s poised to be her greatest accomplishment yet.  To set the stage, the new on-demand, streaming channel that sneak-peeked in December 2022 is best described as “Netflix Meets Home Shopping Network” for golf.

Golf Nation is the first and only producer of original golf-lifestyle shows with the ability for viewers to instantly purchase items via “buy bars” popping up while never leaving the screen.  Blending premium entertainment, technology and shoppable video commerce is the ticket.

Whaley oversees the channel’s industry relations, brand involvement and show ideation.

“Watching golf tournaments on TV is exhilarating,” she says.  “However, there are more than 37 million on- and on-course golfers across America, and a host of ‘golf curious’ people who are clamoring to watch shows about the golf lifestyle.  This is the gap Golf Nation fills.”

Each commercial-free episode on Golf Nation is five to 30 minutes, and specials may be longer.  Shows are free on and will soon be available via mobile app, Apple TV, Android, Fire TV, Roku and tens of millions of connected / smart TVs.

Sneak-peek original series’ episodes include “Ambush with David Feherty” and his hidden-camera hijinks; “Golf Unseen” that, in Season 1, goes on a journey to South Africa; “Tee Shots” where golfers drink, chat and take swings with famous mixologist Bill Binder; and “Watch Buy Play” highlighting the planet’s hottest golf products.

Whaley is on camera, too, hosting “Don’t I Know You?” based on the 1980s-1990s TV hit “The Newlywed Game.”  The first episode features 2023 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Zach and Kim Johnson.

More than 100 shows, with multiple seasons and episodes a la Netflix, are planned for Golf Nation to air through 2024.

Pointing to Golf Nation’s parent company, NBTV Channels and its NBTV Studios production arm, Whaley notes its success with the video-commerce format on Spirits Network.  Countless products are sold inside “Cocktail History,” “Tales from the Cask,” “Sipping Point” and “Science of Spirits” and other show series.

In dissecting Spirits Networks’ audience, more than 60% of its viewers are enthusiastic about golf.  Logically, Golf Nation, with an all-star investor, advisory board and leadership team, was born.

Whaley notes non-golf brands and endemics in the golf equipment, travel, fashion, technology, instruction, club lifestyle and fitness categories are coveting sponsorship of Golf Nation shows and its “buy bars” as a direct-sales mechanism.

“Golfers love their golf, the social aspects of the game and how it helps shape their lifestyles.  That’s what Golf Nation is all about.”

It’s a safe bet Whaley will build Golf Nation to golf-lifestyle entertainment ubiquity.

Cobra’s Snakebite Wedges for 2023

Three new Cobra Snakebite wedges came to market recently with the groove configuration maximized for spin adding bite on the greens plus there’s a new game-improvement model, the Snakebite-X.

Fast Facts Cobra Snakebite Wedges
Stock grip: Lamkin Crossline
Three grind options
Stock shaft: KBS Hi-Rev 2.0
Stock lofts: 48° to 60° in 2° increments
Snakebite One Length
Stock shaft: 37.5”  KBS Hi-Rev 2.0
Stock lofts: 48° to 60°, except 58°
Hollow cavity back
TPU insert
Stock lofts: 48°, 52°, 56°, 60°
Stock Shaft: KBS MAX 85

Cobra had a real hit with the original Snakebit wedges introduced two years ago and at the time was congratulated for a great name in a club category not known for original monikers. The latest models for 2023 grooves have been redesigned to give even more spin and the CNC milling is 11% deeper with 40% sharper edges.

Additionally, the big news for this year is the addition to the lineup of regular and One Length models of the Snakebite-X specifically designed for those needing help with their wedge play. It has a hollow cavity back with a TPU insert and Cobra says it addition to improved feel the forgiveness has been ratcheted up a notch. Also, for hitting shots from a variety of lies from most any turf condition the sole grind is a practical teardrop shape.

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, True Blue Golf Club Unveil Leading Fall Golf Package


Pawleys Island, S.C. – Caledonia Golf & Fish Club and True Blue Golf Club, two of America’s top 100 resort courses, have unveiled their always anticipated Golftoberfest package, an offer that provides traveling players with maximum value during the Myrtle Beach area’s peak fall season.

The package, which runs from October 1-31, is a three-night, four-round deal that allows golfers to play the pair of Mike Strantz designs in any combination they choose. Award-winning golf is complemented by villa accommodations that include 2-, 3- and 4-bedroom units at True Blue Resort.

Groups that book early and travel Sunday through Wednesday, when ample tee times remain available, will relish the opportunity to play a pair of bucket list courses at a value price.

Golfers from across the nation flock to Pawleys Island to enjoy Strantz’ genius. Caledonia was the late architect’s first solo design, putting the man known as “The Maverick” on the fast track to stardom.

Caledonia, which plays through majestic live oak trees draped in Spanish moss, is ranked among America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses by Golf Digest and it doesn’t take players long to discover why. The course is impeccably conditioned and the Lowcountry scenery is unforgettable, but most importantly, the layout is a treat to play.

A round at Caledonia reaches a crescendo on the par 4 18th, widely regarded as one of golf’s premier closing holes. The tee shot on the dogleg right demands accuracy as golfers look for the ideal angle for an approach that requires a carry over water to a green residing in the shadow of the clubhouse. It’s an unforgettable finish.

Located less than a mile away, True Blue offers a contrasting yet equally enjoyable experience. The fairways are among the area’s widest and often framed by sprawling waste bunkers that bring a native look to the layout.

Equally appealing are the course’s greens complexes, which are among the area’s largest, allowing for a range of setup options few layouts in golf-rich South Carolina could hope to match. With five par 5s and five par 3s, the challenges at True Blue are varied throughout a memorable round.

Even more impressive than the acclaim both courses have received from golf’s major magazines are the kudos they’ve earned from the game’s most important constituency, traveling players.

“Hands down our favorite course in Myrtle,” gushed one 5-star Google reviewer about Caledonia. “Staff is always very kind and the course is always in fantastic shape. The clubhouse is great and that back patio gives the perfect view of one of the best finishing holes you’ll find. Great time with our group of 16.”

Caledonia and True Blue are two of America’s premier public courses and the Golftoberfest offer allows players to maximize the good times the Mike Strantz gems deliver.

For more information or to book a tee time, visit or

Golf Real Estate Markets Teed Up for 2023 and Beyond

Olde Cypress, Naples, Fla.

If the housing market over the past three years was a golf scorecard, it would read something like birdie, eagle, bogey, and double bogey. As for the remainder of 2023 and beyond, the only thing the experts tend to agree on is that we won’t be anywhere near the birdie-eagle run of 2021. We need economic experts for many things, but this prediction isn’t exactly a revelation. But hey, we’re talking golf in this space. So good news always awaits. Here are four golf real estate markets that should fare just fine, no matter how the balance of 2023 shakes out.

  1. Naples, Fla.
Olde Cypress, Naples, Fla.

The Southwest Florida golf real estate market effectively runs from Fort Myers south to Naples. And as one local real estate agent put it, “Residential real estate has cooled, but the fire’s still burning.” Winter temps in the 70s, sunny days and lush palms still outweigh the threat of hurricanes, summer heat and seasonal traffic. Always have and always will. When it comes to private golf course demand, Naples is still by far and away the leader in the clubhouse.

“The Naples real estate market has been on the rise in recent years despite the economic challenges faced elsewhere in the country,” says Jason Becker, CEO of Naples-based Golf Life Navigators, an online service that helps match golfers to private courses and communities across the U.S. “Our area’s population continues to grow, which is driving demand for both housing and golf.”

This is certainly the case at The Club at Olde Cypress, a 540-acre gated community just minutes from Naples’ famous beaches, world-class shopping on 5th Avenue, and the Southwest Florida International Airport. Olde Cypress features a P.B. Dye-designed course – a rarity for the region – practice facility, tennis courts, swimming pool and recently reimagined clubhouse that’s become the “place to hang” for members of all ages all week long.

“The Naples real estate market has been on the rise in recent years despite the economic challenges faced elsewhere in the country,” says Melissa Hansen, Director of Membership and Marketing at Olde Cypress. “Our area’s population continues to grow, which is driving demand for both housing and golf. Many people from other states are relocating to Florida due to its warm climate, low taxes, and favorable business environment.”

  1. Hendersonville, N.C.
Champion Hills, Hendersonville, N.C.

Those unfamiliar with the Tar Heel State are often shocked to discover it’s more than a nine-hour drive from the mountainous west to the far eastern Outer Banks. North Carolina’s southwestern section has been a hotbed of private community development for the past 30 years, bolstered in part by golf course architect Tom Fazio being based in bucolic Hendersonville. Fazio designed several nationally ranked courses in the area including his “home” club, Champion Hills, in Hendersonville.

“We don’t have the heat or humidity of Florida, nor do we have the snowy winters of the higher elevations, and as many of my formerly seasonal folks point out – no hurricanes,” says Heather Myers, CMP, Director of Membership and Marketing. “Aside from the mild weather, the fact that our club is located just minutes away from all of life’s necessities makes it very easy, convenient, and comfortable to live here year-round.”

Homes are in high demand in the Champion Hills community, as are memberships at the club. According to Myers, this is due to a “perfect storm” combination. Hendersonville is just an hour from Asheville to the north and Greenville, S.C., to the south – two cities that win awards and score media accolades seemingly every month. The region is also known as the “Goldilocks Zone” for not being too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter.

  1. Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Sea Pines Country Club

Sea Pines has been synonymous with Hilton Head Island since its creation in the 50s by real estate mastermind and master-planning visionary Charles Fraser. Situated on the island’s south end, this 5,000-acre gated community features an incredible mix of residences spanning luxury beachfront and golf course homes to villas and condos.

Golf fans know Sea Pines as the host venue of the PGA TOUR’s RBC Heritage, held annually on Harbour Town Golf Links at The Sea Pines Resort. What they may not know is there’s private, member-owned enclave situated just behind the community’s guard house, Sea Pines Country Club.

Its aptly named Club Course was designed by Arnold Palmer and later updated by local golf course architect Clyde Johnston. Many golf aficionados consider it among the island’s best layouts, a dexterous mix of challenging and fair holes set amid a Lowcountry backdrop that would make Pat Conroy proud.

While the Club Course is its golf calling card, Sea Pines Country Club’s lavish clubhouse, with its resort-style pool and expansive outdoor deck – situated along a vast tidal marsh with views of the Calibogue Sound – is where many members spend most of their time. Especially young families, of which the club has seen an influx this year.

Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, just off the island to the east, are home to even more private clubs and communities than public golf courses. With well over 30 tracks dotting the area, it does tend to get a bit crowded, especially during the summer months when families travel down in droves from points north. For those seeking a more low-key private golf existence, remote Dataw Island is home to two 18-hole Lowcountry courses designed by Fazio and Hills.

  1. Stuart, Fla.
Willoughby Golf Club, Stuart, Fla.

When golfers think of Southeast Florida, their minds typically drift to the hotbeds of Palm Beach Gardens, home of PGA National Resort and Spa, and Hobe Sound, where dozens of PGA professionals reside. It’s hard to blame them – this section of the Sunshine State is arguably the golf capital of the world. But those who shift their sights just an hour north will discover Stuart, the “Sailfish Capital of the World” with a prime coastal setting and quaint, artsy downtown.

Sailfish Point is a 532-acre luxury, oceanfront community just minutes from downtown surrounded on three sides by the Atlantic Ocean, Indian River and St. Lucie Inlet. For those whose love of deep-sea fishing rivals their obsession with golf, this is the place to park the flip-flops. Its Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course meanders through the waterways, wetlands and coastal dunes that define Sailfish Point’s Treasure Coast setting.

Back inland and just a chip shot from downtown, Willoughby Golf Club and Community is home to a vastly underappreciated Arthur Hills-designed course that’s one of the region’s best-kept secrets. Members like to say the layout winds through a blend of the palm-laden Florida coast and towering pines reminiscent of eastern North Carolina. Willoughby is also attracting new members with its 25,000-square-foot clubhouse, Har-Tru tennis courts, pickleball courts, spacious swimming pool and other amenities.

Founders Group International Partners With Nicklaus Design For Restoration of Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club, a Jack Nicklaus signature design renowned for its beauty and challenge, closed May 22 for a greens and bunkers restoration and a clubhouse redesign, Founders Group International announced.

FGI contracted with Nicklaus Design and their Design Associate, Troy Vincent will be spearheading the four-month project. Pawleys, which features six back nine holes that play along a stunning tidal marsh, will reopen in late-September, allowing golfers to enjoy one of Myrtle Beach’s most popular courses during the heart of the fall season.

The restoration will modernize Pawleys Plantation, reinvigorating a layout that has delighted players since its opening in 1988, while maintaining the integrity of Nicklaus’ original layout. Among the project’s highlights will be:

– Every greens complex and the surrounding fringe will be stripped, tilled and restored to its original specifications. Currently, Pawleys has 78,600 square feet of putting surface, a number that will jump to 117,000 square feet at the conclusion of the project, an increase of 48 percent.

– The new greens will feature TifEagle Bermudagrass, an ultradwarf strain that has performed exceedingly well at other FGI layouts, including the Grande Dunes Resort Course.

– In addition to the greens restoration, all bunkers will be reconstructed and the sprawling bunkers on holes 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10, 12, 16 and 18 will be replaced by smaller fairway bunkers, native areas and expanded fairways, enhancing the course’s playability for mid to high handicappers without reducing the challenge for more skilled players.

– In addition to upwards of a dozen new native areas, there will be an emphasis on strategic tree removal that enhances course conditioning.

– The project will also include the clubhouse, where the enhancements will be no less substantial. Pawleys Pub will be roomier, providing an expansive view of the 18th hole and the marsh, making it an ideal spot to enjoy lunch and a cold drink following a round. Plans also call for outdoor seating, allowing golfers the opportunity to enjoy the area’s idyllic weather and those unforgettable views.

“Founders Group International has made reinvesting in our golf courses a top priority, and I couldn’t be more excited about the work Troy Vincent and the Nicklaus Design are going to do at Pawleys Plantation,” said Steve Mays, president of FGI. “Pawleys Plantation has long been one of the Myrtle Beach area’s premier courses, and this project will provide the layout a much more contemporary feel while remaining true to Jack’s vision for a classic Lowcountry golf course.”

“I’m excited,” Vincent said. “I like Pawleys Plantation and I really enjoy working with the Founders Group International team. We are looking forward to putting the course back on the map. For so many years Pawleys was recognized at the state and national levels and hopefully we can get it back to where we feel it deserves to be.”

Founders Group International owns 21 Myrtle Beach golf courses, making it one of the largest management companies in the Southeast, and FGI has aggressively reinvested in its courses in recent years. FGI has also undertaken significant capital improvement projects at Grande Dunes Resort Course, TPC Myrtle Beach, Pine Lakes, Aberdeen Country Club, River Hills, Tradition Club and the PineHills and Palmetto courses at Myrtlewood over the last five years.

With additional capital improvement projects on the horizon, FGI is reinforcing its commitment to providing golfers with the best golf vacation experience possible.

For more information on Pawleys Plantation, visit

For more information on FGI, visit

About Founders Group International
Founders Group International (FGI) is the foremost golf course owner-operator company in the Southeastern United States. Formed in 2014 through various purchases and the 2015 acquisition of National Golf Management, FGI owns and operates 21 golf courses (405 holes) in and around Myrtle Beach, S.C., America’s seaside golf capital.

Those courses include Pine Lakes Country Club, the “granddaddy” of Myrtle Beach area courses; TPC Myrtle Beach, host site of the 2019 NCAA Division I men’s golf regional and Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship; and Grande Dunes Resort Club, home of the Grande Dunes Golf Performance Center.

FGI administers, a leader in online tee time bookings, as well as package outlet Myrtle Beach Golf Trips. With the help of Golf Insider’s 100 percent player-generated course ranking system, thousands of golfers plan and assemble their ideal golf itineraries through FGI’s

Vineyard Vines – See What’s New for 2023

Vineyard Vines makes quality apparel that has typically been associated with water. A few years ago, I saw PGA TOUR pro Patrick Reed wearing a great-looking polo with a whale on the chest. I did my research and found out it was a new brand called Vineyard Vines.

Whether you’re out on the boat or playing a round of golf, you’re always looking to stay warm on a cool spring morning. So ladies, why not look good at the same time? With Vineyard Vines’ Garment-Dyed Heritage Cotton V-Neck Sweater, you can do both. It features ribbed trim at the V-neckline, cuffs, and hem. The full-length sleeves offer warmth but push up easily if that’s more your style and the embroidered smilin’ whale on the left chest lets others know your favorite brand. It’s chic, polished, and iconic and is garment dyed for color variation which makes each garment unique. The Garment-Dyed Heritage Cotton V-Neck Sweater is available in sizes XXS – 3XL and in Neon Confetti or Sea Swell.

And ladies, what’s better than a Shep? Why, a SuperShep, of course. The Dockside SuperShep picks up where Vineyard Vines’ nautical-inspired sweatshirt left off. The cozy, terry-knit fabric features a quarter-zip neck with both snaps and a zipper, and a soft collar with a ribbed interior. The welt front pockets offer plenty of storage for your golf gadgets and the signature Shep Shirt shoulder details and woven trim throughout add a classy yet comfortable look. The Dockside SuperShep is available in sizes XXS – XL and in White Cap only.

Vineyard Vines’ golf tops are tops in the business. The Palmero Sleeveless Keyhole Golf Polo is a fitted garment with a keyhole neck and contrast collar detailing and features a figure-enhancing panel detailing with a curved hem. This polo is sewn from a moisture-wicking and breathable performance fabric treated with UPF 50 sun protection and brrr° cooling nylon which has been proven to keep you cooler. It’s perfect for just about any activity on or off the golf course. It’s available in XXS – XXL and in two colors: Pink Cloud Heather or Sea Swell with a Micro Putter print.

The ladies’ Surf Polo is sure to turn some heads. It’s soft-washed for a lived-in feel and garment-dyed for color and texture which makes each style unique. It’s the same fabric that Vineyards Vines uses in their Surftees, with a slightly heavier feel. The Surf Polo features a polo collar with a notch neck placket and a curved hem. There’s a patch pocket at the chest and a locker loop at the back neck. The Surf Polo is available in sizes XXS – XL and in several colors including Neon Sunset and Neon Confetti.

Another great golf top for the ladies is the Palmero Zip-Placket Golf Polo, a relaxed-fit garment with a zippered placket, retro-inspired striped collar, and cuffs. The moisture-wicking and breathable performance fabric will keep you dry and its brrr° cooling quality will keep you cool. UPF 50 sun protection keeps the sun’s harmful rays at bay. It’s available in sizes XXS – 3XL and in Ice Water, Sea Swell, or Blue Blazer.

There is a fixed wrap skirt with retro-inspired stripes and features a pull-on style with a contour waistband. It’s sewn from a moisture-wicking fabric with built-in stretch and a comfy knit short lining with pockets. It’s so lightweight and comfortable you’re bound to score better! The Colorblock Wrap Performance Skort is available in XXS- XXL and in either Blue Blazer or Pink Cloud.

There’s quite a bit of menswear that’s appropriate for golf too. The Printed Sankaty Polo is a best seller and is back again this year in a couple of new prints:  Ocean Breeze or Fleur de Leaf Pink. It features a classic, relaxed fit and is quick-drying and moisture-wicking with UPF 30+ sun protection. There’s built-in stretch for comfort and movement and the wrinkle-resistant fabric produces a clean look. It’s named in honor of the Sankaty Head Golf Club and Sankaty Lighthouse on the eastern end of Nantucket.

It has to feel special when Vineyard Vines names a shirt after you. That’s exactly how the Striped Cam Shirt got its name. It’s named after a guy that worked there named Cam who liked two things: fishing and being comfortable. I found that it’s great for golf too. Worn untucked, it provides all the mobility you’ll need to get through your golf swing. It’s basically a collared sweatshirt that’s being re-introduced by the company. The Striped Cam Shirt is available in XS – XXL and in either Moonshine or Ultimate Gray. No word on how Cam’s doing or if he’s getting royalties.

A warm comfortable garment on a chilly morning on the course is the Surfside Hoodie. It’s garment-dyed in vibrant colors for a worn-in look and super-soft feel and the Hood has adjustable drawcords. There’s a front kanga pocket, ribbed cuffs, and hem. It will become a go-to golf garment in cool weather and is available in Neon Sunset or Sea Swell,

Vineyard Vines’ 9-Inch Stillwater Golf Shorts are the perfect shorts for boating or birdies. The flexible waistband, built-in stretch, and lightweight performance fabric add up to unparalleled comfort. The water-resistant fabric helps keep you dry and the UPF 30+ sun protection keeps you safe. But wait, there’s more! Like stretch pocket bags for all your golf gadgets, rubber-coated buttons and zipper closure, and a Hidden zippered media pocket for even more golf stuff. The 9-Inch Stillwater Golf Shorts are available in waist sizes 28 – 46 and in six vibrant colors.

If pants are more your style, the Garment-Dyed Twill 5-Pocket Pants could easily become your favorites. They’re made from soft, washed cotton for a slim, tapered fit with added stretch and a perfectly broken-in look and feel. They feature a 5-pocket construction with metal rivets on the pockets. There’s a leather brand patch with a whale disc on the back. The Garment-Dyed Twill 5-Pocket Pants are available in sizes 28 – 38 and in Gray Harbor, Ocean Splash, Stone, or Sage Olive.

When it comes to relaxing, Vineyard Vines has you covered (literally) with great-looking tees for guys and gals. For the ladies, there’s The Painterly Golf Cart Scenic Long-Sleeve Pocket Tee. This stylish tee fits true to size and is designed for a regular fit. It features a ribbed collar and cuffs and a chest pocket. There’s a stylish golf cart graphic on the chest pocket and center back. This stylish tee is available in XXS – XL and in Ice Water with some cool graphics. A lot of hockey players turn to golf and are pretty good at it. If you’re one of them like me, you’ll love the Ice Hockey Whale Long-Sleeve Pocket Tee in White Cap. This soft-washed cotton T-shirt features a ribbed collar, self-cuffs, and hem, all in a classic relaxed fit that’s perfect for everyday wear. The graphic of the helmeted whale on the chest pocket and back is destined to be a classic!

The same goes for another guy’s favorite tee, The Golf Broken Tee Long-Sleeve Tee has all of the same qualities in Jet Black. There’s no graphic on the back, but the broken tees graphic on the chest pocket are a nice touch.

When it comes to layering this season, why not try something different? How about cashmere, after all, it’s hard to beat. And when it comes to cashmere, Vineyard Vines has a couple of choices for both men and women. All of Vineyard Vines’ cashmere garments are made from high-quality, 100% grade A fibers, so it’s naturally lightweight and breathable. And the fact that it’s soft and warm without the bulk makes it perfect for cold weather days on the golf course. For the ladies, there’s the Seaspun Ribbed Hoodie. That’s right, a cashmere hoodie. This year’s model has been updated with ribbed details and features a split-neck design with a self-draw cord and delicate cuff vents. It’s a must for spring layering. The Seaspun Cashmere Ribbed Hoodie is available in sizes XXS – XXL and in Neon Sunset or Deep Bay

Guys have a couple of choices. First is the iconic Cashmere Cable Crewneck Sweater. This great-looking garment features a ribbed collar, bottom hem, and cuffs and the cable knit pattern delivers an elevated look.  It’s a luxury layer you’ll want to wear again and again. It’s available in sizes XS – XXL and in Deep Bay.

My favorite is the Cashmere Fisherman Rib Quarter-Zip Sweater, available in sizes XS – XXL and in several colors including Deep Bay, Jake Blue, Jellybean, or Light Heather Gray. This garment is naturally soft, lightweight, breathable, and warm. It features a distinguished fisherman rib texture with a zippered placket, ribbed cuffs, and hem. Put it on and you’ll feel like the best-dressed guy in the room.

This is just a small snapshot of what Vineyard Vines has available for men and women for golf this year. To see more, visit their website at

Couples Packages on ‘Hilton Head, America’s Golf Island’ Feature Incredible Golf, Beaches and Dining

Harbour Town, The Sea Pines Resort

Couples packages for “Hilton Head, America’s Golf Island” feature incredible golf, tennis, pickleball, beaches and dining, and are now available at The Sea Pines Resort, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort and the Heritage Golf Collection to book throughout 2023 at

All three properties are located directly on the island and are accessible via half- and full-day drives from major metro areas, or flights into Hilton Head Island Airport (HHH) and Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV). And as one of the southernmost points in the state, Hilton Head Island is truly a year-round golf destination graced with Lowcountry palmettos, live oaks and other evergreen vegetation.

Featured couples packages for 2023:

The Sea Pines Resort

Atlantic Dunes
Atlantic Dunes at Sea Pines Resort

The famed host venue of the PGA TOUR’s RBC Heritage is the perfect golf getaway any time of year with its Inn Golf Package. Featuring luxury accommodations at the Forbes Four-Star Inn & Club at Harbour Town, the Inn Golf Package includes a round of golf on Habour Town Golf Links, Heron Point by Pete Dye and Atlantic Dunes by Davis Love III. The Inn’s spacious guest rooms cover 480 square feet and are adorned with an inviting coastal palette that exudes Lowcountry charm. Couples can enjoy fine and casual dining at an array of restaurants including the reimagined Quarterdeck, Links, an American Grill, Coast, Oceanfront Dining, Ocean Lounge, Fraser’s Tavern and Harbourside.

Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort

George Fazio Course at Palmetto Dunes

Golf getaways for large groups of couples have increased exponentially in popularity over the past three years. Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort has responded to the trend with its Group Golf Stay and Play Couples Retreat for groups of 12 or more. The package includes: four days and three nights accommodations in a two-bedroom condo or villa; three rounds of golf on the Robert Trent Jones, George Fazio and Arthur Hills Courses; two hours of tennis and pickleball court time daily (based on availability); free range balls; and discounts on pro shop merchandise and dining at Big Jim’s, The Dunes House and Alexander’s Restaurant. Complimentary bike rentals are also available, as the streets of Palmetto Dunes are ideal for biking (with over five miles of paths within the resort) while the island at large offers more than 50 miles of paved paths.

Heritage Golf Collection

Oyster Reef

The Heritage Golf Collection, owners and operators of numerous Hilton Head Island courses, has teamed with Sonesta Resort to offer the Couples Retreat. Starting at $265 per person, per night based on double occupancy, the package includes three nights accommodations in a standard Sonesta Resort guest room, unlimited rounds of golf on Heritage Golf Collection Courses, complimentary range balls and dinner for two at the award-winning, chef-driven LagerHead Tavern at Rees Jones designed Oyster Reef Golf Club. In addition to Oyster Reef, Heritage facilities include Palmetto Hall, Port Royal and Shipyard.

Getting to America’s Golf Island has never been easier. Hilton Head Island Airport (HHH) on the island’s north end offers non-stop and one-stop service from multiple hub cities and connections via American Airlines, Delta and United. American offers daily non-stop flights to/from Charlotte and seasonal service to/from Dallas / Ft. Worth, Philadelphia and Washington National (DCA). Delta has daily flights to/from Atlanta and United provides daily non-stop service to/from Newark (EWR) and Washington Dulles (IAD).

Golfers can also utilize Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV), with direct flights on eight different airlines from numerous East Coast, Midwest, Texas and Canadian airports on several major and discount airlines. For golfers who prefer to hit the open road, major metro areas in the Carolinas, Georgia and north Florida are under a half day’s drive, while several Mid-Atlantic and Midwestern cities are seven to nine hours away.

Hilton Head, America’s Golf Island is a marketing cooperative of 25 member courses across Beaufort, Bluffton and Jasper counties in South Carolina’s stunning Lowcountry region. Golf enthusiasts relish the region’s Southern hospitality and world-class venues sculpted by vaunted architects Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus, George Fazio, Arthur Hills, Rees Jones, Robert Trent Jones, Willard Byrd, Davis Love III and Clyde Johnston. Home to the world-renowned Sea Pines Resort, the PGA TOUR makes its only South Carolina stop each April at Harbour Town Golf Links for the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing. In conjunction with the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Visitor and Conventions Bureau and Chamber of Commerce, the Lowcountry Golf Course Owners Association launched Hilton Head Golf Island to support the island’s thriving golf market through the promotion of golf rounds and packages.

For more information: To Host Second Annual Social Media Scramble

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – will be hosting its second annual Social Media Scramble September 22-25, bringing some of golf’s most prominent influencers to the game’s most popular destination.

The Social Scramble will attract influencers to Myrtle Beach to enjoy the good times the area offers on and off the course, in addition to the opportunity to win $10,000 in cash and prizes. Twenty content creators will be selected to play in an event (apply here) that is building off its wildly successful debut in 2022.

The schedule of events for this year’s Social Scramble is as follows:

Friday, September 22: Arrive in Myrtle Beach, enjoy welcome party
Saturday, September 23: Play True Blue Golf Club
Sunday, September 24: Play Heritage Club
Monday, September 25: Depart Myrtle Beach

In addition to playing at True Blue and Heritage, two courses that have been ranked among the nation’s top 100 public layouts, participating influencers will be staying at Inlet Sports Lodge, a boutique property overlooking beautiful Murrells Inlet.

Content creators will also enjoy open beverage cart and free meals at the course, shuttle service, an onsite media team to capture photo and video content, a travel stipend and welcome gifts.

Everything at True Blue is big – fairways, greens, waste bunkers and most importantly, the fun. The layout is renowned for its creativity and a bold design that features five par 5s and five par 3s. Architect Mike Strantz was at his best crafting True Blue, creating an unforgettable course.

Heritage Club plays through a stunning piece of Lowcountry property, highlighting the area’s natural beauty. The layout is framed by majestic live oak trees draped in Spanish moss and features some of the Grand Strand’s most daunting greens complexes.

For more information about the Social Scramble and how to apply, click here.

For more information on everything the Myrtle Beach golf scene has to offer, visit

About Golf Tourism Solutions
GTS provides a broad array of services, including email marketing, website design, social media and content production, targeting public and private clubs and real estate developments. With an email database that includes more than 700,000 addresses and an ever-growing social media presence, GTS has the assets of a large media company at its disposal.

GTS also has full responsibility for a thriving tournament division, headlined by the World Amateur Handicap Championship. The company runs eight events, including the Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship, and brings more than 20,000 rounds of golf and room nights to Myrtle Beach.

For more information, go to

PXG 0317 CB Irons

The new cavity back 0317 CB irons from PXG are a good companion for the previously introduced 0317 ST blade irons having the same loft and lie specifications for making up blended sets.

Fast Facts PXG 0317 CB Irons
Better-player category
Cavity back design
Forged 8620 carbon steel heads
CNC milled face and back
Tungsten back weight
Choice of finishes: Chrome, Xtreme Black
Stock lofts: 5-iron 27°, pitching wedge 46°
Stock shafts: True Temper V2 Elevate, KBS Tour 120S
Stock grip: PXG Z5 Black
$169.99 each, set of seven irons $1,190

The 0317 CBs fill a logical place in the PXG iron lineup. They are a cavity back construction with a tungsten back weight and are a complimentary model to the 0317 STs or Super Tour blades introduced in Sept 2022.

The cavity back provides added forgiveness and provides greater MOI compared with a blade-design iron. Blended sets comprised of a mixture of the two models is a realistic possibility combining the forgiveness of the 0317 CB in the long irons and the greater control of the 0317 ST blades for the short irons. The stock loft and lie of the two models are the same.

“For golfers who love the look and playability of a blade but know their game could use a little forgiveness every now in then, our new CB Irons are just the ticket,” PXG Founder and CEO Bob Parsons said. “From clubhead size, offset, and sole design to a flighted trajectory, these irons perform beautifully in the hands of better players.”

Brunswick Plantation Resort & Golf – Great Spring and Summer Stay-and-Play Specials

Heritage Golf Group is probably the fastest-growing golf course ownership company in the United States. A few years ago, the company owned a total of six golf courses – three in the Hilton Head area, two TPC courses in Florida, and The Dominion Club in Richmond, VA with no real thoughts of adding any more. In 2020, Heritage Golf Group was sold to a group of ex-ClubCorp and Arcis Golf executives led by Mark Burnett, Jim Oliver, and Andy Miller who have grown the company significantly. At last count, the company was up to 25 properties.

In March 2022, Burnett and company made a big splash in North Carolina by adding Cape Fear National Golf Course at Brunswick Forest and Brunswick Plantation in Calabash, NC to their portfolio. Cape Fear has been converted from a semi-private golf course to a private facility and is one of the most celebrated clubs in the Wilmington, NC area.

Brunswick Plantation is a semi-private facility that is open to the public; that won’t change. According to Burnett, the focus will be on increasing local membership as well as stay-and-play package sales.

The best way to increase stay-and-play sales is to present a better product and that is precisely what they intend to do. Heritage plans to fund improvements at Brunswick Plantation, which includes re-grassing the greens and other areas of the course and upgrading their food and beverage offerings.

“The priority is going to be to upgrade the condition of the golf courses, not just the greens but also the bunkers,” Burnett said. “I think all are in play potentially over the next year or two to get a complete overhaul, so we can take the consistency of the playing conditions up to another level.”

Brunswick Plantation & Golf Resort sits within a gated golf course community in Coastal Carolina, a little over half an hour from Myrtle Beach. All 27 holes were designed by Willard Byrd and Clyde Johnston and with five sets of tees, can be enjoyed by golfers of any caliber. You can play all three 9s in different rotations for three distinctly different 18-hole layouts. The course showcases the natural beauty of the terrain and features lush fairways, tall Carolina pines, and fast, true-rolling Bermudagrass greens.

The Dogwood Course meanders along the waters of Caw Caw Creek. It’s wide-open off the tee and offers several risk/reward opportunities. One of the more interesting holes on the Dogwood course is Number 2, a short, 345-yard par four. Unless you’ve played here before, you may not be aware of the creek that crosses the fairway a little over 200 yards out from the White tees. I wasn’t. Hit something that will leave you short of the hazard and plan on hitting about a 150-yard shot into a large green with a lot of subtle undulation. There’s a bunker short right to keep you honest. Number 9 is a challenging finishing hole; a 350-yard, par 4 with a blind tee shot over a hill. What you can’t see is the water at the bottom of the hill right of the green. Your best bet is to hit a hybrid or fairway wood and aim for the 150-yard marker. That will keep you short of the hazard and leave a mid-iron uphill into a sloped green protected by sand on either side.

The Azalea Course is carved from thick, Carolina woodlands, giving it a beautiful and peaceful feel. Azalea will challenge your mental game and require you to put some thought into each tee shot. Thinking your way around the Azalea nine can result in a good score. Azalea starts with a 369-yard par 4 dogleg right. The challenge here is to avoid the trees and bunkers on the right side. Although playing up the left side may be a little longer, a good drive will be rewarded with a look at the green, and the four bunkers that surround it. Your best approach is through the air unless you have a great sand game! The par 3, 4th hole with its island green is the layout’s signature hole. The green is surrounded by oyster shells and is quite a challenge. Azalea’s 5th hole is a good-looking inland par 5, with tall, majestic pine trees on the right side of the fairway. Favor the right side off the tee and take the two large fairway bunkers out of play. As you look over your layup shot, you’ll notice that the fairway gets narrow in the landing area. Hitting one club less will leave you in the wide part of the fairway and still only a short iron or wedge into the green. Sand protects this tilted green on the right side.

The Magnolia Course offers a good mix of holes. It’s not overly long and there are several open holes with only a few trees which often brings the wind into play a major. Water comes into play on 5 holes to test your skill and several holes are heavily mounded and bunkered making them tough but playable. The Magnolia layout starts you off with a tree-lined, dogleg right that just looks like a classic Carolina golf hole. It’s a 370-yard par 4 that requires accuracy to hit the fairway between the sand trap on the left and the trees on the right off the tee. The closer you are to the trap, the better angle you’ll have into the green, which is surrounded by sand. Favor the left side with your approach shot as the green slopes right to left. Number 5 is an interesting 375-yard par 4 dogleg right that is more like a 90-degree turn! Longball hitters may be able to take their tee shot over the trees on the right; the rest of us will need to be aware of the water beyond the fairway bunkers. Success off the tee will reward you with a mid-iron into a large, well-protected green. It’s a fun and challenging hole.

Brunswick Plantation has some great stay-and-play packages. Choose from six different packages that include 2 or 3 rounds of golf at Brunswick Plantation and several surrounding courses, 2 – 3 nights’ accommodation in a 2-bedroom condo, and a variety of perks, all starting at around $250 per golfer! Brunswick Plantation is running an incredible offer for spring and summer 2023. Stay at least three nights Sunday – Thursday and receive a 20% discount. Just use one of these codes when you book online or over the phone. If you’re booking a stay between April 1st – May 25th use code SPRING23; for stays between June 1st – August 31st, use code SUMMER23. For more information on Brunswick Plantation Resort and Golf or to book your next golf vacation, visit them online at

The Club at Boca Pointe – A Thriving Private Club on the Outskirts of Boca Raton

It’s no secret that people are moving to Florida in huge numbers, primarily to take advantage of the warm weather. I was no exception, I lived in the Sunshine State for 25 years. One of the biggest attractions for me as it is for many is the fact that you can enjoy outdoor recreational activities year-round.

One of the most popular recreational activities in Florida is golf.  The Florida Sports Foundation estimates that nearly 48 million rounds of golf are played each year on Florida’s 1,100 golf courses. If golf is your passion, you should consider joining a club to get the biggest bang for your buck. For golfers on the east coast of Florida, one club worth considering is The Club at Boca Pointe near Boca Raton.

Boca Pointe is a 1000-acre master-planned community that sits just outside the city limits of Boca Raton, in southernmost Palm Beach County, Florida. Within the community, you’ll find over 4,000 residences within 29 diversified villages, the Boardwalk at SW 18th Street shopping district, and The Club at Boca Pointe. There’s plenty to do without ever leaving the neighborhood!

The Club at Boca Pointe is truly a golf oasis. In addition to a private 18-hole championship golf course, they offer some pretty amazing practice facilities that include a full-length driving range and an exceptional short-game area.

The golf course opened in 1982 as Boca Pointe Country Club and was designed by Golforce, a now obsolete division of Jack Nicklaus Golf Services. The golf design and course construction company included several well-known golf course architects including the Golden Bear himself, Robert Cupp, and Jay Moorish. With 6 sets of tees, Boca Pointe can be played anywhere from 5,198 to 6,865 yards, making it playable for just about any level of golfer.

After an overwhelming 90%+ approval vote by its equity members in 2021, The Club at Boca Pointe transitioned ownership to one of the country’s fastest-growing golf course ownership groups, Heritage Golf Group. Heritage, as they most often do, immediately made several upgrades to the course including new bunkers and new golf carts. Additionally, many new golf course amenities such as tee signs, tee and yardage markers, convenience stations, and bag stands were added as well.

As you play your way around this incredible layout, you’ll encounter strategically placed bunkers that dot generous Celebration Bermuda fairways. The course winds its way through the natural Florida landscape and vegetation with fairways that lead to TifEagle putting greens that will test your putting skill and touch. Water comes into play on at least twelve holes; more if you spray your tee shots! Several tee shots require a carry over water but none of them are extreme.

To enhance your golf experience and perhaps get those competitive juices flowing, the professional, friendly golf staff will match you with other players of your skill level who share your passion for the game. An active calendar of golf events will keep you coming back for more of the game you crave.

In the event your game’s not up to par – or down to par as the case may be – the professional golf staff has years of experience working with golfers of every level, from novices to seasoned players looking to fine-tune their game. They offer individual lessons as well as helpful clinics. Various golf tournaments are held throughout the year that don’t require you to be a low handicapper.

In addition to an outstanding golf course, The Club at Boca Pointe features an 80,000-square-foot clubhouse that is the focal point of activities and offers a multitude of indoor and outdoor dining experiences. The Grand Ballroom is used primarily for events and special occasions and is a great place for private events such as weddings, and bat and bar mitzvahs and can accommodate up to 300 people. Executive Jimmy De La Cruz and his team of culinary experts will work with you to plan a menu that is sure to please even the most discriminating palette.

Dining in the downstairs restaurant is casual and welcoming, with something for everybody. Lunch selections include an assortment of fresh garden salads, homemade soups, sandwiches, and of course the Club’s famous deli sandwiches. The dinner menu features interesting selections that reflect different cuisines from around the world. Members enjoy the seasonal dishes the staff creates each day from locally sourced ingredients. Choose from a wide variety of dishes, including steaks, fish, chicken, pasta, appetizers, salads, and fabulous desserts made fresh daily by the club’s very own pastry chef. Indoor and outdoor seating is available, weather permitting.

Over at the Sports Complex, you’ll find the Match Pointe Café, which offers healthy menu items that are perfect after the end of a workout, tennis match, or aquatic activities.

With fitness at the forefront of many people’s minds these days, you can rest assured that the Club at Boca Pointe has you covered! The club’s 20,000-square-foot sports and fitness center includes state-of-the-art cardio equipment, group exercise rooms, and personal training staff. There’s also a temperature-controlled oversized pool for lap swimming, water aerobics or just splashing about.

The fitness complex also boasts 16 Har-Tru tennis courts and the new pickleball courts are near completion. In January 2023, renovation of the popular Men’s and Ladies’ card rooms will begin and will include new tables, chairs, carpeting, lights, window treatments, and countertops. Springtime will see the construction of a spacious outdoor dining venue that will feature a covered patio, outdoor bar, dining, and casual seating as well as several fire pits for those chilly South Florida nights.

Whether it’s at a club-sponsored live music, comedy, or wine-tasting event, or one of the many special cuisine nights, the Club at Boca Pointe is a place where you will meet new friends and create bonds that last a lifetime. These enriching events bring together the young and young-at-heart where they can share personal stories and warm laughter. The Club boasts a full-time Lifestyle Director who plans year-round fun for all of Boca Pointe’s Members!

If you live in Boca Pointe, membership is not mandatory, and you don’t have to live in the community to become a member and enjoy everything that the club has to offer. Both residents and non-residents are welcome.

Several membership categories are available including a Golf Membership, which includes full dining and social privileges plus complete access to all golf, tennis, fitness, and aquatic activities for all eligible family members.

The Tennis Membership includes full dining and social privileges plus complete access to all tennis, fitness, and aquatic activities for all eligible family members and the Social and Sports Membership includes full dining and social privileges plus complete access to all fitness and aquatic activities for all eligible family members. Memberships are available as annual (12-month) memberships or seasonal (6-month) memberships. Give them a call at (561) 864-8500 or visit their website, to schedule a visit and experience The Club at Boca Pointe firsthand.

Gunter’s Landing Golf Club: Where the Mountains Meet the Water

Looking for a challenging golf course, somewhat off the beaten path? Gunter’s Landing is located on the Southernmost point of the Tennessee River, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, near the city of Guntersville, AL. Guntersville sits at an elevation of about 600 feet above sea level and is nestled on the shores of Lake Guntersville, Alabama’s largest lake with 69,000 acres of sparkling clean water and over 900 miles of coastline.

Gunter’s Landing is a parkland-style golf course, with plenty of doglegs and tree-lined holes, rolling fairways, and extreme elevations. You’ll also have some incredible views of Lake Guntersville as you play the course on Bermuda fairways and Tiff Eagle greens. The course was designed by Jimmy Kennamer and opened for play in 1991. Each hole has 4 sets of tees so you can easily find a distance that suits your game. Gunther’s Landing plays 6,863 yards from the back tees with a par of 72. The course rating is 73.2 with a slope of 137. I found the Blue Tees (6,419/71.1/132) to be very challenging and still let me leave with a little dignity. Most of the Ladies typically play from the Red Tees (5,259/65.9/122).

Time your visit just right and you may spot a bald eagle. One of the largest American Bald Eagle nesting sites in the Southern United States is located directly across the lake from Gunter’s Landing. Bald eagles spend the winter months in and around Gunter’s Landing, soaring the skies, fishing the reservoir, and roosting in the tall pines along the mountain tops.

Gunter Landing starts you off with a short par 4, but it’s the up and down of the fairway that gives you an idea of what you’re in store for. The hole plays 335 yards from an elevated tee box. The downhill tee shot will leave an uphill approach that plays about a half club longer, into a large green fronted by a bunker on the left. Par or better will get your round off to a good start

Number 5 is a 151-yard (White Tees) par 3 that plays from an elevated tee box, over water to an extremely elevated green. Be sure to take enough club, anything hit short of the green or on the false front can easily roll down the hill and into the water. That may be better than having it stop halfway down the hill; the footing can be treacherous unless your part mountain goat! Take a par and run.

Number 7 is another short and interesting par 4. From the tee box, the hole plays straight uphill, over water. Make it to the plateau from the tee and you’ll be left with a short chip shot into the green.

Number 14 is a 369-yard par 4 and is the course’s #1 handicap. It starts with a blind tee shot uphill into the left-turning dogleg. Miss the landing area at the top of the hill to the right and you’re in trouble. A good drive is still going to leave a long uphill approach shot into a green fronted by bunkers on either side. The green has some good slope to it and a small crown in the middle.

Number 17 is a risk/reward par 4 that plays 297 yards. It is reachable if you know how to play the hole and where to hit it off the tee. Play it straight up and it’s a dogleg right; take your tee shot over the trees and parking lot on the right, get a decent bounce and you can get there.

Gunter’s Landing has some pretty incredible practice facilities including a putting green and a 3-tier driving range. There’s also a nine-acre short game area located in the area below the pool where golfers can work on all aspects of their game. Want more practice? There’s a two-hole facility which is the perfect place for all levels of players to fine-tune tee shots, approach shots, and putts. Head Golf Professional Stephen Worthy was named PGA Merchandiser of the Year for 2021. And it’s easy to see why. In addition to great deals on logoed apparel, Stephen’s professional and courteous staff can help with all your golf equipment needs as well as something not many golf shops offer these days:  club repair!

Should your golf swing need a little fine-tuning, The Steven DeBoer Golf Academy – located on the left side of the practice range – can handle all your golf instruction needs from equipment fittings and recommendations to digital video instruction. It’s a full-scale practice facility with a driving range, putting green, chipping green, and sand bunker that can be used year-round regardless of weather conditions.

After your round be sure to stop by Gunther’s Landing’s bar & grill where you can unwind with your favorite beverage from our fully stocked bar and rehash your round with your partners. They offer a good variety of sandwiches and hot dogs; I highly recommend the chicken salad!

If you’re looking for a place to stay on your trip to Gunter’s Landing, check out Kudzu Cove Cabins. Kudzu Cove is located on the Northside of Buck Island on over 80 acres and adjoins almost 350 acres of pristine State Park woodlands just minutes from Gunters Landing. This eclectic little cabin community has five unique cabins that can accommodate two to sixteen people. The Golfer’s Cabin can easily accommodate a foursome. All cabins include fully stocked linens, kitchen supplies, a charcoal grill, and decks or balconies.  Power hook-ups and connections for hoses are available at each cabin. Plans for Kudzu Cove Cabins include more cabins, a pavilion for reunions and weddings, more groomed and primitive hiking/biking trails, and boater’s lodges. Golfers who book a Kudzu Cove cabin for a week or longer can get a discount on golf at Gunter’s Landing.

In addition to a fantastic golf course, Gunter’s Landing offers several other activities. Their 2,500-square-foot custom pool area is located atop a plateau overlooking Lake Guntersville and provides breathtaking views of the lake and the mountains. Their tennis courts offer some of the best playing conditions in the area and are lighted for night play. Or just stroll down the walking trail with scenic views of the lake, work up an appetite, and meet friends for dinner in the clubhouse restaurants.

If you live in the area – or visit it a lot- Gunter’s Landing offers a variety of membership programs. Give them a call or stop by and talk to Stephen Worthy!

For more information on membership or booking your next round or event at Gunter’s Landing, give them a call at (256) 582-3000 or visit them online at