Aug 19, 2015
Turf Major

(RICHMOND HILL, GA) There’s more than one way to preserve Pete Dye’s legacy. Each year, The Ford Plantation awards a $4,000 Pete Dye Agronomic Scholarship to a college student entering the field of agronomy. This year’s recipient is Chad Austin, a rising senior in the University of Georgia’s Turf Grass Management program. One of the neat things about the scholarship is that it is awarded after a summer internship working on The Ford Plantation’s Pete Dye-designed golf course. Dye’s original design was completed in the mid-1980s and he oversaw a $7.2 million redesign that wrapped last fall. Members at The Ford Plantation have raised more than $55,000 since the scholarship program’s inception in 2009. Dye, of course, is tickled pink. “I appreciate the Ford Plantation’s commitment to offer this scholarship to young people entering into this profession,” he said. “Quality maintenance will make my golf courses outstanding for future generations.” Outstanding, yes, but not any easier.

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Aug 17, 2015
Fall for Harbour Town

(HILTON HEAD, SC) Consistently ranked one of the PGA TOUR players’ favorite stops, Pete Dye’s classic design at Harbour Town Golf Links at The Sea Pines Resort will open in late September / early October following a series of agronomic enhancements over the summer. Home of the PGA TOUR’s RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing was closed in early May just after Jim Furyk won the RBC Heritage for the second time. The tee-boxes, fairways and rough have been replaced with Celebration Bermuda grass, the greens were re-grassed with Tif-Eagle Bermuda, and a new irrigation system was installed with the most advanced technology in water management and control. Fall is a beautiful time of year to visit Hilton Head Island and experience the enhancements at Harbour Town Golf Links, including their new clubhouse that opened in March. The new grass will improve the year-round conditioning and playability of the course, making a round there anytime of year a special treat.

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Aug 14, 2015
Baja Bouncing Back

(LOS CABOS, MEXICO) It’s party time again in Los Cabos.  “Battered by the U.S. housing crash and a recent hurricane, the luxury market at the tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula is reviving,” reports The Wall Street Journal. This beautiful slice of land between the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez has always been a favorite tourist destination, but luxury home developments took a hit—and some real estate brokerages fled—when the housing market went bust both north and south of the border. Taking a cue from California’s sizzling market, luxury real estate is looking as bright as the ever-present sunshine. Sales were up 18% in 2014, despite a hurricane and the developers behind some of the world’s most luxurious resorts (such as Auberge Resorts Collection) are getting into the mix. Family-friendly is the new catchphrase here, with resorts and developments finally catching on to amenities that have been driving the U.S. market. 

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Aug 12, 2015
Market Correction

(NEW YORK) “Given the economic and demographic shifts in the U.S. many clubs discovered they needed to truly understand their potential members by evaluating demographics in relation to the physical geography of the club,” writes Elisa Gaudet this week in The Huffington Post. The formula for the three clubs highlighted in the story was finding their own distinct voice and style. The Bay Club (Mass.), Shackamaxon Country Club (N.Y.), and Alpine Country Club (R.I.) all took different routes to weathering the market turndown. All emerged as success stories. An emphasis on family-friendly amenities and value-oriented memberships played a key role. The article also examines how innovative ventures like Topgolf and GolfBoard are adding fun twists to golf.

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Aug 10, 2015
No Barriers Golf

(LAKE KEOWEE, SC) Great to see private golf communities, always a generous bunch, coming together to help wounded veterans and their families. The Cliffs at Walnut Cove will host the No Barriers Golf Tournament, which combines a golf tournament and keynote luncheon, from August 24-25. Keynote speaker, J.R. Martinez, is a combat veteran who has used his personal injury and recovery story to inspire others. He’s also author of the the New York Times best-selling book “My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit” and was “Dancing with the Stars” 2013 champion. He’ll speak at the August 25th luncheon at The Cliffs at Walnut Cove following the golf tournament. If you are feeling really ambitious, you can join wounded warriors on August 24 at Mountain Air Country Club for an inspiring hike. If you are interested in either event, or simply to make a donation to No Barriers, contact Rob Panos at 970-484-3633 or

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