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Glove It – Whatever Your Style, It’s In the Bag!

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OK, let’s say you just purchased the perfect activewear outfits, tops and bottoms. Now you’re looking to accessorize them, but not sure where to turn. Look no further than Glove It!

Glove It specializes in accessories, everything from golf gloves and visors, golf bags, shoe bags, headcovers, tote bags, tennis gear, pickleball gear, backpacks, toe bags and sport towels. Enough said!

If you’re the type of person that likes to “match” you’re sure to become a fan of Glove It! Each piece is available in a wide variety of both solid colors and prints. We had a chance to check out several products. The Tennis Tote easily hold two tennis racquets and much more. There’s a top zipper closure, a zippered back pocket, and an inside zip pocket. It’s also perfect for the gym and beach. You’ll fit right in if you order the right print!

The Rose Gold Quilted Zip bag looks much too luxurious for the golf course! This two-zip carry all bag is as functional as it is stylish and easily clips to your golf bag. With a 24” strap, it converts quickly to a body bag. It’s available in all of Glove It’s signature prints.

If you find it easier to carry your rackets on your back, the Tennis backpack is both fun and functional. It holds two racquets and the versatile strap lets it be work as either a sling or backpack. There’s a side pocket for balls or a water bottle and a name tag compartment so you can identify it easily and a hidden top hook so you can hang it on the fence.

Now you can tote your shoes in style. Why wear them to the court or course when you can put them on display in a Glove It shoe bag. These shoe bags are available in all of the electric Glove It prints and provide extra protection for your shoes. They are sturdy and  fashionable with a full-length zipper, a top carry handle and mesh ventilation, just in case!

Pickleball is the hottest sport in the country so why not get in on the act! The Pickleball Sling Bag is large enough to hold all of your pickleball gear including up to 6 paddles and pickle balls. Heck throw your phone, keys, and wallet in too! There’s special compartments for them inside and a water bottle! The shoulder strap is adjustable and comes with a clip-on shoe bag.

Golf Gloves put Glove It on the map so it only makes sense to mention them as well. Glove It gloves let you put your fashion foot forward and are available in vibrant solid colors and all of their signature prints. They’re made from stretch Lycra Cabretta leather palm and offer UPF50 sun protection, maximum breathability, and extreme comfort. These gloves are available in sizes S, M and L for either right or left hand.

Glove It lets you show off a side of your fashion and style that your friends may not know you have. Why not surprise them. To see the complete lineup of all of the Glove It product line, visit their website at www.GloveIt.com.

Fairfield Glade – The Pinnacle of Golf in Tennessee

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Golf may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Tennessee, especially the small town of Crossville on the eastern side of the state. Crossville is known as the “Golf Capital of Tennessee,” with no less than 10 championship golf courses in the Cumberland County area.

Five of the area’s best courses are located in Fairfield Glade, a resort and retirement community located just north of I-40. About 8,300 residents call Fairfield Glade home; it’s situated on the Cumberland Plateau, between Nashville and Knoxville. Fairfield Glade is popular for “halfbacks,” retirees who moved from somewhere up north as far south as Florida and are now moving halfway back to be within easy driving distance of family and friends. Consequently, you’ll find a lot of people originally from Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana here. The area is blessed with four mild seasons and golf can be played year-round. No state income tax, low property taxes, and an overall low cost of living only add to the attraction of residing in the area.

If you haven’t been out to Fairfield Glade in a while, you may notice several differences. There’s now a clubhouse at Dorchester; it opened in 2015. Likewise, there have been some major renovations at Stonehenge, primarily at the grill and pro shop and a new maintenance building was added in 2018.  The two courses at Heatherhurst and Stonehenge have all undergone extensive bunker renovation and now feature Better Billy Bunkers, considered by many to be the best bunker construction in the world.

The five courses at Fairfield Glade play out of 4 clubhouses, each with its own practice facility. Three of the four facilities have short game practice areas complete with bunkers. As if that’s not enough, There’s a TrackMan simulator in the Fairfield Glade Community Center where you can play any number of courses from around the world or sign up to take a golf lesson on it. The original nine holes at Fairfield Glade opened for play in 1970 with the final nine 18 holes being completed in 1973. This championship course was located on the highest point in Fairfield Glade and was named Druid Hills Golf Club. The course provides several scenic views of the surrounding mountains and features rolling, tree-lined fairways, lots of water hazards, and well-undulated bent grass greens. At only 6,270 yards from the back tees, Druid Hills is one of the shortest courses at Fairfield Glade. But don’t let the length fool you; it also plays one of the toughest. The course was designed by Leon Howard. The waterfall on Number 14 is probably the most photographed feature on the golf course.

There are two courses at Heatherhurst, the Crag, and the Brae. The facility was built in stages; the front nine of the Crag opened in 1989 and the back nine opened in 2000. In 1991 the 3rd nine was completed and from 1991 – 2000 Heatherhurst was a 27-hole facility. In 2000, another 9 was added and this now 36-hole facility had two separate and distinct 18-hole championship courses: The Crag and The Brae.

Many consider the Crag the easier of the two, probably because it plays a lot shorter. That being said, the Crag course is as beautiful as it is challenging, especially when you get to the back nine. There are significant elevation changes and a range finder with a slope feature is a good asset to have, unless you’re playing in a tournament, where it may be frowned upon! Many fairways are wide open off the tee and since the holes aren’t extremely long – a few of the par 5s are reachable in two with a good drive. The emphasis is on your approach shot if you want to score well. One of the more memorable holes on the Crag layout is Number 17. This short par 4 is the course’s signature hole and is the most scenic hole on the course, if not the entire property. Stand on the overlook behind the tee box and you’ll see what I mean. The Crag course was designed by Gary Roger Baird and opened in 1989.

In 2017, the Brae Course at Heatherhurst was named one of the Top 5 Courses you can play in the State of Tennessee by Golf Week Magazine. The Brae Course at Heatherhurst was also designed by Gary Roger Baird and opened in 1989. The Brae is the only course in the area with Zoysia grass fairways and the subtle undulations in them as well as the true rolling greens will keep you coming back round after round. Each side features a picturesque par 5. The 4th hole plays 495 yards from the White Tees and features a double dogleg that requires two forced carries over Otter Creek; it’s said to be one of the toughest par 5’s in Tennessee. To me, The Par 5, 10th hole was stunning. Number 10 is a slight dogleg left and starts with a blind tee shot. Pull your tee shot left and you’ll find the woods. It’s all downhill from there – literally – to a green that overlooks beautiful Lake Dartmoor.

The same year that Golf Week recognized The Brae Course as the 5th best course you could play in Tennessee, they ranked Stonehenge #2. Golf course architect Joe Lee used the rolling hills and woods of this Cumberland Plateau property to create a course that is as beautiful to look at as it is fun to play. Stonehenge features bent grass tees, greens, and fairways for some of the best playing conditions in the area. The course gets its name from the walls of native stone found throughout the course, the biggest and most eerie as you make the drive from 15 green to the 16th tee. More evidence can be found on the 14th hole, a downhill, 148-yard par 3 that plays considerably less. Rocks and water surround the green, which sits on the edge of Lake Dartmoor. It’s a beautiful and challenging hole. Number 15 was my favorite hole. It starts with a blind tee shot from an elevated tee box to a fairway sandwiched between two fingers of Lake Dartmoor. Hit your tee shot more than 240 yards and you will likely find the water. Another creek crosses the fairway before you get to the green, so be wary of that. The green sits above the fairway and is well protected with sand.

Narrow tree-lined fairways, numerous water hazards, strategically placed bunkers, and well-undulated Bentgrass greens define the Dorchester Golf Club, designed by Bobby Greenwood. At 6,400 yards from the longest tees, the course isn’t going to overwhelm most players, but a slope rating of 134 tells you that this course has some bite to it.  With all of the hills, valleys, and creeks, the course requires accuracy off the tee and good shot selection, meaning driver may not be the best choice off the tee. Some players are put off by the fact that Dorchester starts you off with the number one handicapped hole on the course, a long par 4 with a large lake fronting the green. Anything on the right side of the fairway spells doom; double bogey isn’t a great way to start your round. There’s also a 146-yard downhill par three that plays closer to 120 yards with a blind tee shot and shows off the course’s elevation change. Course knowledge comes in handy as you can’t see most of the greens from the tee box.

Golf’s not the only thing Fairfield Glade has to offer its residents. There are two full-service marinas and a racquet sports center complete with clay courts, indoor tennis, and pickleball courts. Fairfield Glade has also been blessed with mile after mile of hiking trails.

Springtime is the prime golf season in Tennessee and Fairfield Glade is the place to be for visitors from all over the area. There are a few reasons for this, the biggest being the fantastic golf that can be played within the community. Five beautiful and challenging courses in one location! The second could very well be the weather, with an average temperature of 59 degrees in March and 69 degrees in April.

Fairfield Glade is a golfer’s paradise and with five spectacular golf courses, you can easily make a week of it. Depending on the time of year, many homes in the community can be rented by the month, giving you plenty of time to learn the lay of the land and fall in love with the community. If you prefer to stay off-property, there are several well-known hotel chains in the area. A third option is a Club Wyndham timeshare, available through Extraholidays.com. These units come fully furnished and are available with 1 – 4 bedrooms; perfect for a couples golf getaway or a foursome with the guys – or gals! Several golf packaging companies have put together some tremendous Fairfield Glade stay and play packages; you can book through Fairfield Glade or one of several area golf packagers.

Golfers in the midwestern states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois have several golf travel alternatives for their golf vacations. Fairfield Glade and the plateau area of Tennessee has a lot to offer when compared to alternatives such as Myrtle, Beach, Hilton Head or Savannah, GA. It’s a lot easier of a drive – less than an hour from where I-75 splits with I-40 outside Knoxville – and a lot friendlier on the wallet. You don’t have to travel far to get a good meal either, whether you’re looking for a quick bite at the course or dinner and drinks after your round. Each clubhouse has a snack bar with the usual at-the-turn necessities or you can have a nice sit-down meal at the Stonehenge Grille or Legends, located in the Druid Hills clubhouse.

Fairfield Glade wants everyone to know that after 50 years the community is still thriving and continues to invest in all of their golf courses. If you haven’t visited them in a while, it’s time to come back and experience everything they have to offer, During your visit to Fairfield Glade, you’ll have scenic views of the surrounding mountains, good changes in elevation, and access to five golf courses that offer tremendous challenge and beauty. In short, it’s a golf vacation you’ll remember for a long time. For more information on booking your next stay and play package to Fairfield Glade, visit www.fairflieldglade.cc. They’ll also be glad to point you in the right direction if you want to make this vibrant golf community your new home.

Skechers Spring 2020 – Great Looking Golf Footwear That Won’t Let You Down

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Anyone who owns a pair of Skechers shoes has undoubtedly remarked many times about how comfortable they are. Skechers seem to envelop your foot, making walking effortless and tireless.

That same feeling shines through in the golf footwear Skechers makes for men and women. Two of their new offerings for women for the Spring of 2020 are the GO GOLF Elite V.3 – Deluxe and the GO GOLF Walk Sport – Bloom Relaxed Fit.

The Go Golf Elite V3 – Deluxe is an all-new waterproof shoe with a spikeless-designed traction outsole for stability on the tee and the green. The upper is made from soft, supple leather with an embossed design and Skechers H2GO Shield waterproof finish. The low drop design helps to keep your foot low to the ground at address and the heel lock design provides a secure and stable fit. Skechers is all about comfort and this shoe has lightweight, responsive 5Gen cushioning as well as a Goga Max cushioned insole. The tongue and collar are padded for even more comfort. The translucent spikeless TPU traction outsole will keep you glued to the ground during your golf swing and there’s a “S” logo on the side. The GO GOLF Elite V.3 – Deluxe is available in sizes 5.5 – 11 and in Black and White.

For a sportier, more feminine look, the GO GOLF Walk Sport – Bloom Relaxed Fit shoe is an excellent choice It takes one of Skechers classic walking shoe designs and applies it to golf. The upper is crafted from a soft woven heathered jersey mesh fabric upper with floral embroidery detail and is treated with a water repellent finish. Several Skechers comfort features can be found in the  GO GOLF Walk Sport – Bloom shoe including high-rebound cushioning with responsive feedback, a Goga Max insole and ResaGrip midsole cushioning. The Relaxed Fit design has a roomy and comfortable fit at the toe and forefoot. The turf cleated spikeless outsole provides a good connection between your foot and Mother Earth. There’s a colorful floral embroidery design on the side, heel and tongue panels that creates a unique look. The GO GOLF Walk Sport – Bloom Relaxed Fit shoe is available in sizes 5.5 – 11 and in either  White/Navy or Black/White.

Designed and worn by our very own, If Skechers GO GOLF Pro V.4 golf shoes are good enough for Matt Kuchar, rest assured they can help your game too. This classic Skechers design features a smooth, full grain leather upper treated with H2GO Shield waterproof protection. The ultra-lightweight, responsive ULTRA FLIGHT cushioning and high-performance Resamax cushioned insole create comfort beyond imagination. The diamond-design traction plate outsole features replaceable Softspikes which ensures maximum grip and the side stitching detail trim and familiar “S” logo on the side identify the brand. The GO GOLF Pro V.4 golf shoes are available in sizes 7.5 – 14 and in either White or Black. Now you can look like a pro and – with any luck – play like one too!

Another great looking men’s shoe from Skechers is the GO GOLF Mojo Elite which combines a sleek, sporty look with the ultimate in traction and comfort. The smooth full grain leather and textile upper has been treated with H2GO Shield waterproof protection and carries a two year warranty. The perforated side panels create a cooling airflow ULTRA GO cushioning and a Resamax cushioned insole provide the comfort and Skechers all-new GRIPFLEX spikeless TPU outsole keeps you connected to the ground. The Skechers GO GOLF Mojo Elite is available in sizes 7.5 – 14 and in four colors: Navy/Lime, Black/Red, Charcoal/Blue, or White/Gray.

To see the entire Spring 2020 golf footwear lineup from Skechers, visit www.skechers.com.

Fox Den Country Club – A Club the Whole Family Can Enjoy

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To say Chester A. Massey was a golf enthusiast would be like saying the Titanic was a boat. Massey, an insurance executive from Knoxville, had a dream to build one of the finest golf courses in America, right here in east Tennessee. He spent several years and a lot of miles researching the project, country club planning, and management. Massey visited dozens of properties and spoke to many club managers and head professionals before selecting a piece of property west of Knoxville on which to build his dream course and master-planned community.

Renowned golf course architect William Byrd was selected to design and build the course and felt that Fox Den was one of the most beautiful pieces of land he’d ever worked on, with features everything like rolling hills, beautiful wooded areas, and long fairway stretches, all with the Great Smoky Mountains serving as a backdrop. He felt that “It will be one of the most exacting and exciting 18 holes in America.” The first nine holes opened for play on May 15th, 1969.

With the construction of the golf course underway, Massey set out to remodel the old Oliver Kermit Everett farmhouse into the club’s first clubhouse and pro shop; it opened in March of 1969. The second clubhouse – which is now the Fitness Center – opened in May 1971. The clubhouse that you see today was the result of a $4 million construction project approved by the membership in 1994. I guess you could say that Chester Massey’s dreams did come true, Fox Den is truly one of the nicest facilities in the Knoxville area

In 2004, Bill Bergin completely redesigned the golf course, significantly enhancing an already outstanding layout. During the renovation, Bergin resurfaced all the greens and reshaped most of them, added several new bunkers, updated the drainage system, and installed new cart paths.  In 2011, Bergin was back to rebuild all 56 bunkers on the course.

From the back tees, Fox Den plays 7,110 yards with a course rating of 74.7 and a slope of 137. This is where the pros played from for the 21 years the course hosted the Web.com Tour’s Knoxville Open event. From back here, you’ll find a lot more forced carries and more difficult angles into the green. Most members typically play from the White (6,434/71.5/132) or the Green (5,836/68.7/128) tees. Ladies will have an enjoyable time from either the Blue (5,279/71.1/123) or the Silver tees (4,718/68.1/1200). There’s also a “combo” tee on the scorecard called the “Partners” tee. Chose the distance that best suits your game and you’re bound to have a good time. When it doubt, “Play it Forward!”

I recently had an opportunity to play a round of golf at Fox Den. Not being able to find three friends that could play during the week, I was paired with three members and things couldn’t have gone better. One thing that they pointed out was that, other than the par 3’s and a couple of other holes, you can’t see the green from the tee box. The tee shots aren’t necessarily blind, you can usually watch them land, but course knowledge out here is everything. Two of my playing partners have been members for 40 years, the other for 5. I asked them what made membership so special, expecting to hear the standard answer, “the members.” I was pleasantly surprised when each one replied “The golf course, it’s just fantastic.” That’s a hard point to argue.

Just as Willard Byrd promised when he built the course originally, there are plenty of rolling hills and beautiful wooded areas, unless you’re in them. Then they’re not so beautiful. Water comes into play on several holes, but not in areas where you can’t see it. In other words, no blind shots where you could find the water if you didn’t know it was there. Fairway bunkers have been strategically placed and for the most part, are reachable regardless of the tees you’re playing. Most of the fairway bunkers, although on the peripheries of the fairway have large lips and are fairly penal in nature. The Bentgrass greens are moderately fast and roll true with subtle undulations.

Fox Den Country Club has several memorable holes but for me, it all begins with the first three. The first hole is a dogleg right, par 5 that plays 482 yards from the White tees. Tee off from an elevated tee box downhill to a landing area with a large deciduous tree on the right and fairway bunkers left. Longball hitters can most likely carry the tree, allowing themselves to go for the green in two, perhaps jump-starting their round. The green is elevated and well protected with deep-lipped bunkers.

From the White tees, the par 3, 2nd hole plays 162 yards, slightly downhill and over water to an angled green protected by bunkers front left and behind. There’s a bailout area right of the green if you feel the need!

The third hole is a gentle dogleg right that plays 356 yards from the White tees, although because it’s uphill, plays a little longer. Trees guard the right side off the tee with out of bounds on either side. You’ll need to carry your approach shot on to the green because of the positioning of the deep-lipped bunkers around it. Par is a good score here.

Number 18 is an awesome finishing hole. It’s a 556-yard par 5 that doglegs slightly to the right and for most players, will take three of the day’s best shots to get there. There is water to the right of the green as well as in front, making it necessary to carry it on. Two good shots will leave a short pitch over water into the green which features modest undulation.

The Teaching Center is one of the top golf club fitting studios in Tennessee and helps Fox Den members get the most out of their golf game by analyzing and comparing different club heads, shafts, etc. They use the TrackMan 4 video system for custom club fitting and teaching. TrackMan can measure ball speed, clubhead speed, launch angle, club head angle of attack, and path, just to name a few. There are two indoor hitting bays so members can work on their swing year-round.

Fox Den has the practice facilities for golfers to work on every facet of their game. There’s a full-length driving range with multiple target greens. The short game complex has areas for golfers to practice green side and bunker shots and the 10,000 sq. ft. putting green has all the undulations to get you ready for the course. There’s a second putting green adjacent to the first tee which many members use to practice short putts and chip shots.

The golf pro shop is run by PGA Professional Danny Ackerman who stocks a good variety of clubs, clothing, and accessories. You’ll find brands such as FootJoy, Under Armour, Polo Ralph Lauren, Cutter & Buck, and the latest golf club technology from companies like Titleist, Ping, and Callaway. Both beginner and seasoned golfers will find solace in knowing that the Professional Staff is always there to assist members and their guests and help them work through any problems they may have.

Fox Den Country Club offers several membership options with the most popular being the Full Membership. With a full membership you have access to pretty much everything Fox Den has to offer: The golf course, driving range and practice facilities, the teaching facility and use of the Trackman system, the tennis center, junior Olympic and Children’s swimming pools, fitness center, dining facilities, member events, and ClubBenefits at over 350 country clubs and entertainment venues around the world. A Full Membership applies to everyone in the immediate family 23 years of age and younger. Contact Membership Director Caroline Inman for more information.

If golf isn’t your game, maybe tennis is. Fox Den has five of the best clay courts in Knoxville as well as two hard courts that are lit for night play. Within the club’s Tennis Program there’s a wide variety of leagues and clinics for men, women, juniors, and couples. The Tennis Pro Shop can help with tennis supplies, stringing, and repairs.

Tennis isn’t the only racquet sport at Fox Den, they also play pickleball. It’s the fast-growing sport in the country and is a great way to introduce kids to tennis. It’s also a great workout for adults and speed and quickness are not a necessity. In fact, many tennis players are converting to pickleball because it requires less endurance than tennis.

The fitness center at Fox Den is quite impressive. For starters, there’s a cardio fitness room with treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, and a cardio theater. The stretching room has a number of stretching tools and balance balls. There’ a variety of Precor machines and a free weight area with barbells and dumbbells. Shower and changing facilities are available for both men and women with all of the accouterments you’d expect at a private club.

Fox Den wants to be known as a family-friendly country club and offer something for every member of the family. While golf, racquet sports, and the fitness center will most likely be enjoyed by all members of the family, things like Family Pool Activities, Red Foxes Swim Team, and Kid’s Camp attract the younger crowd. Fox Den has a good variety of events and activities for the kids throughout the year. The Casual Care Center is the perfect place to leave the little ones while mom and dad go out and play a few holes or sets.

For more information on Fox Den Country Club or to schedule a visit, go to their website, www.foxdencountryclub.com

The Original Penguin – Attention Ladies, This Penguin’s For You!

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If you play golf and like to look good while you play, then you may be familiar with Penguin Pete. If you are like me, you first encountered Pete gracing the polo shorts of golfers such as Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus back in the 1970s. Back then, the brand was known as Munsingwear and was extremely popular.

After several years on hiatus, Perry Ellis International resurrected Penguin – now known as The Original Penguin – and introduced a women’s golf apparel line which the ladies are flocking to!

The company tips the scales with their Veronica and 3D Veronica Polo, two garments with similar names that are quite different. The Veronica is sewn from a 95% Cotton/5% Spandex pique fabrication with raised parallel cords that creates an incredibly unique texture. With just a hint of extra stretch, you will be set for a day on the links. The self-collar, 4-button placket, and short sleeves are all trimmed with matching piping. The Veronica Polo is available in sizes XS – 2XL and in three vibrant colors:  Deep Lake, Ballad Blue, or Coral Sands.

The 3D Veronica Polo  has a totally different look and feel. First of all, it is sewn from an interlock knit fabrication with a little added stretch and a very soft to the touch feel thanks to the 65% Pima Cotton/35% Cotton fabric. What sets this ladies polo apart is the tri-color 3D contrast tipping that adds eye-catching detail to the collar, cuffs and placket. The Original Penguin logo, Penguin Pete graces the left chest of both models. The 3D Veronica Polo is available in sizes XS – 2XL and in either Dark Sapphire or Bright White.  Either of these polos is a great choice to go with either slacks or jeans.

As the golf dress makes a comeback, Penguin’s Tipped Birdseye Polo Dress is designed to turn some heads and elevate your look. This short sleeve dress is crafted from a pique Birdseye fabric that gives it a subtle texture. The 95% Cotton/5% Elastane fabric has a little extra stretch to help get you through your golf swing and look good at the same time. The 3-button placket and tipped self-collar creates the classic golf look. Once again, there is an Original Penguin Pete logo on the left chest. The Tipped Birdseye Polo Golf Dress is available in sizes XS – 2XL and in three soft feminine colors: Parfait Pink, Dark Sapphire, or Bright White.

The Original Penguin’s women’s apparel line is currently limited but continues to evolve, based on sales. Want more to choose from? Buy a few pieces; they will make more! You can see the entire line at www.originalpenguin.com

Lost Key Golf Club: Quality Golf in the Florida Panhandle

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When it comes to golf courses in the Pensacola area, Lost Key Golf Club is certainly one of the top facilities in the area. The golf course is framed by the natural beauty of Perdido Key and is ideally located between historic downtown Pensacola and the pristine sugar sand beaches of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, AL.

The course originally opened in 1997 and went through a redesign by the Arnold Palmer Design Group in 2006. Par at Lost Key is 71 and the course can play anywhere from 6,690 yards from the Black tees to 4,137  yards from the Orange tees. In all, there are five sets of tees that offer players of all skill levels a unique playing experience.

This signature-designed championship course features Sea Dwarf Paspalum grass from the tee through the green making for some of the best playing surfaces in the area. The greens are lush and roll true. Lost Key was the first golf course in the State of Florida to be certified as an Audubon International Silver Signature Sanctuary, a project that continues to protect the natural resources of the area while providing an outstanding golf experience.

Lost Key has several holes that you will remember for a while, but here are some of my favorites. Number 1 is a par 5 that plays 549 yards (Blue Tees). It’s the longest hole on the course and surprisingly is only handicapped #15. Number 1 is best played as a 3 shot hole and holds the key to getting your round off to a good start. This is achieved by keeping your tee shot in play; after all, there’s nothing worse than hitting three off the first tee! Play your layup shot towards the bunker on the left side of the fairway. That will leave an approach shot of around 100 yards to the middle of the green. Par is a great way to start.

Number 4 is a risk/reward par 4 that doglegs to the left. At only 292 yards, it’s reachable for longball hitters and seniors who can hit the ball 220 yards. There’s water on both sides of the fairway and behind the green so be sure to keep the ball in play. If you can’t carry your tee shot at least 240 yards, better play it safe and just put your tee shot out in the fairway. That involves laying up short of the right fairway bunker which will leave an approach shot of around 110 yards. Play your approach shot to the middle of the green and leave yourself a shot at a one-putt birdie. Standing on the Blue tees, it looks like there is nowhere to land the ball but once you play this hole a couple of times, you’ll figure it out.

Number 12 is a fun 501-yard par 5 that starts with a wide-open tee shot to a generous landing area. But don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security. Longball hitters may be able to go for the green with their second shot but must avoid the water on the left. For those of us who didn’t pummel their tee shot, play your second shot over the wetlands with a mid-iron and leave a short approach to a very large and well-undulated green that slopes back to front. Knowing where the pin is and hitting it close goes a long way in avoiding a three-putt.

The par 4, 430 yard 17th hole has a little bit of everything and for my money could very well be the toughest hole on the course. At 430 yards from the Blue tees, it’s the longest par 4 on the course. The tee shot requires the longest carry of any hole and is best played with a shot slightly right and short of the 150-marker. Find the bunker on the left just over the water and par just became that much tougher. A good tee shot will still leave a long to mid-iron approach shot into a small green with a ridge running across the middle. Keep it in the fairway on this hole and you’ll just fine.

After your round, head into the clubhouse for your favorite adult beverage and some very tasty food. The dining room serves both breakfast and lunch as well as dinner on Wednesday nights. The menu includes sandwiches and burgers and I highly recommend the club sandwich. Wednesday night dinner includes entrees such as Lemon Chicken and Truffle Shrimp. There’s a Happy Hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 – 7 PM, so if you plan your round accordingly, you can take advantage of $10 appetizer platters, $2 domestic drafts, $3 house wine and $4 well drinks.

Recently Lost Key unveiled their new state of the art golf clubhouse which features a full-service golf shop, men’s and ladies’ locker room facilities with lounge areas, and a restaurant and bar with indoor and outdoor seating that offer panoramic views of the golf course. While Lost Key Golf Club offers all of the amenities and quality service found at the finest private clubs in the country, it is open to non-Members and resort guests. The club is a popular venue for golf outings of all sizes and the clubhouse is available for private social events. Lost Key is more than just a golf course, it’s an entire lifestyle.

Lost Key is currently accepting new members and is offering some incredible deals with membership starting as low as $100 per month! It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned veteran or are just taking up the game, Lost Key offers Single, Family or Transferable memberships for individuals who have a vacation home and choose to rent their home when not in town. They also offer Corporate Memberships for local businesses that may be looking to grow their image and join like-minded professionals who recognize the benefits of being a Club Member. As a member, you’ll receive complimentary greens fees, locker and bag storage, handicapping service, seven-day preferred tee times, use of private lockers/showers/bathrooms, a Lost Key golf hat, towel, a member bag tag and much more.

The Hilton Garden in nearby Orange Beach, AL offers some reasonable and comfortable accommodations. It’s a relaxing 20-minute drive to the golf course right along the beach and HGI offers a great breakfast buffet and lots of beach amenities.

Last Word: Terra Firma Asset Management purchased Lost Key Golf Club in 2018 and the enhancements to the golf course and facility in general have been tremendous. Lost Key is destined to become one of the most desirable golf communities in the Florida panhandle and will attract golfers and residents from neighboring states. Ownership has sunk a good deal of money into the golf course and rejuvenated it to the point that it is once again a joy to play.

The bunkering at Lost Key is quite impressive and penal. There’s a lot of sand in the bunkers and if your approach shots do not find the green but instead land in a bunker, up-and-down can be a task. I had the opportunity to speak with Doug Lowell, a foreman on the grounds crew, and ask him some of the things that make Lost key such a spectacular facility. Doug said that the natural beauty and terrain of the course has withstood all of the elements Mother Nature could throw her way including torrential rains, hurricanes and oil spills. The course has withstood it all and the lush vegetation continues to survive.

For more information on lost Key Golf Club, becoming a member or hosting an event, visit www.lostkeygolf.com.

Wellington National Golf Club – New Owners, New Opportunities

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Chip Smith has been around the golf industry long enough to know a good deal when it’s staring him in the face. His Atlantic Golf Management Company operates several high caliber courses in the Myrtle Beach area so, when the opportunity arose to purchase the former Binks Forest Golf Club in Wellington, FL, Chip Smith and then partner Doug Marty jumped at the chance. The pair felt they were buying the course at the right price and were confident that by doing some renovation work on both the course and the clubhouse, they could bring a high-quality golf and country club to Wellington. Marty was having so much fun with his new golf project that in early 2019 he bought out Atlantic Golf Management’s interest in the property. The new logo reflects the fact that Wellington is indeed horse country.

The golf course at Wellington National is a completely restored Johnny Miller design that originally opened for play as Binks Forest Golf Club in 1990. Shortly after opening the course was ranked by Golf Digest as one of the nation’s “Top 75 Private Golf Courses.” The golf course sits on more than 260 acres of prime real estate in the heart of Wellington, Florida. Wellington National underwent a complete renovation in 2007 at the hands of architect Gene Bates; the current owners added their personal touch to the course more recently include some re-sodding, weed suppression, laser leveling tee boxes and filling the sand traps with beautiful new sand. The result is a course that is both fun to play and pleasing to the eyes.

Wellington National can play as long as 7,125 yards from the Black Tees, with a course rating of 75.1 and a slope of 144 or as short as 4,226 yards from the Orange Tees (65.6/116) Through combining a couple of sets of tees, the scorecard provides seven distances with one that is sure to fit every player’s game.

With all of the pine and oak trees on the property, you sometimes feel like you’re in the Carolinas rather than Florida. The trees create several narrow corridors that must be played through and can be a little intimidating but offer a good and fair test of golf. The greens are in fantastic shape and roll fast and true.

There are several memorable holes at Wellington National, one of which is the 2nd hole. It’s a slight double dogleg that bends slightly to the left before curling back to the right and plays 490 yards from the White Tees. There’s a stream that crosses the fairway about 250 yards from the tee, so something less than driver may be needed. Avoid the sand traps on either side of the fairway on your layup shot and you’ll be faced with a short pitch into a well undulated green

Number 12 is the first par 5 on the back nine and is pretty much straight away. The hole plays 484 yards from the White Tees with a fairway bunker on the right which can easily come into play as can the water down the left. Don’t push your layup shot right or you could easily find the water that hugs the cart path. Play your approach shot to a double green shared with Number 15 and fronted with a large bunker on the left. Keep the ball in play and you can put up a good score on this hole.

The 18th hole is a challenging par 4 that plays back to the clubhouse. From the White Tees, the hole plays 344 yards and features a narrow landing area for your tee shot between a lake on the right and sand on the left. Regardless of your position in the fairway off the tee, or how far you hit it, this hole is all about your second shot. You’ll need to carry your approach shot over the water and a long, deep bunker that guards the middle of this odd-shaped green. This hole can be the difference between winning and losing your match.

Practice makes perfect and Wellington National has the facilities and personnel to help with your game improvement. There’s a full-length range that has been tripled in size under the new ownership as well as a short game area and practice putting green. The friendly and knowledgeable staff are there to help with either private or group lessons. Wellington National has a full-service golf pro shop that is open year-round. They offer a good selection of clubs, bags, shoes, gloves and golf balls as well as logoed apparel from top name manufacturers.

During my visit to Wellington National, I had the opportunity to sit down for lunch with General Manager Ted Strelec and talk about all that is going on at the Club. Strelec was handpicked by the new owner after spending 27 years at Bear Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach. We talked about changes that had been made at the club, both to the course and the renovation of the clubhouse. During our conversation, I couldn’t help but get the idea that Strelec and his wife are somewhat big-time foodies. They go out of their way to find eclectic dining spots that offer out of the ordinary dishes.

That being said, it’s evident that he has played a major role in creating the menu; before we even sat down, he placed an order for Wellington’s National’s signature appetizer, Roasted Brussel Sprouts. To say they were tasty is an understatement; my wife, who is not a fan of said vegetable thoroughly enjoyed them as did everyone at the table. Other uncommon “golf club” entrée such as Bang Bang Chicken and the Smoked Fish dip seemed to have a little added foodie touch to them, especially when it came to the presentation.

In addition to golf, Wellington National offers its members several other special amenities. As part of their renovation project, the outdoor swimming pool has been completely refurbished and looks great. Members are invited to spend time relaxing by the pool and soak in some of the beautiful Florida sunshine. Lay out a towel, sit under the shade of an umbrella or take the kids for a dip in the pool.

The Yoga Room is open for private sessions and invigorating classes where you can explore the fundamentals of yoga. Your yoga fitness regimen will help you develop mind and body as you connect with your inner self.

When it comes to dining, members have a couple of options. Wellington National’s Wine Bar allows members and their guests to enjoy a wine-friendly world cuisine. Dishes range from shareable small plates to elegant entrees, all served in an intimate atmosphere.

The Champions Bistro is a more casual and relaxed setting and offers members a chance to escape and enjoy delicious fresh food either inside or on our travertine terrace, the 18th Outlook. Dine on one of The Champions Bistro’s American-fare signature dishes, vegetarian selections, and desserts. There’s a full-sized bar with all of your favorite adult beverages and the espressos and cappuccinos are outstanding.

Wellington National’s Grand Ballroom is the premier event facility in the area with room for over 500 people as well as an additional 200 guests on the piazza.  The room features vaulted ceilings with an open architecture and rich wood-style floors. When you couple the size of the venue with the gourmet dining offered by the kitchen it’s easy to see why the Grand Ballroom has become the area’s preferred venue for weddings, charitable event galas, and corporate gatherings.

The Club provides a picturesque and elegant setting for weddings, with tropical Florida serving as the backdrop. The bride, groom and all of their guests have access to everything Wellington National has to offer both inside and out, with the lush landscaping and modern architecture.

All in all, Wellington Nation is poised to be the private golf and country club in the Wellington area, For more information on how to become a member or to arrange a visit, give them a call at (561) 333-5731 or visit them online at www.wellingtonnationalgolfclub.com.

The Oaks Golf Club – Exceptional Golf on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast

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The Oaks Golf Club, located in Pass Christian, MS is a one-of-a-kind golf club. The course is situated among the majestic timberlands and native wetlands of Mississippi’s Golf Coast and provides an unforgettable golfing experience. The Oaks Golf Club first opened in 1998 and over the years has received its fair share of accolades including 4 ½ Stars as a “Best Places to Play” from Golf Digest, “Best Courses You Can Play” by Golf Week Magazine, “Best Course on the Coast” by readers of Coast Magazine and “Golf Course of the Year for the Mississippi Gulf Coast”, The National Golf Course Owners Association.

Over the years, the Oaks has also challenged some of the best players in the country, serving as a host course for the former Nike Tour/Buy.com Tour(now the PGA TOUR’s Nationwide Series) in 1999 and 2000. They also hosted the first stage of the PGA TOUR Qualifying School in 2003.

The Oaks Golf Club was originally owned by Landmark Land and was designed in-house by two the lead designer and President of the company, Stephen Caplinger and Chris Cole. The course bore the brunt of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and over 3,000 trees were lost, although unless you knew better, you’d hardly notice. Russ Bloom is the Owner and General Manager and is well-respected in the golf industry. Russ played college golf at San Diego State and then as a touring professional for four years and now coaches several of the top high school and college players in the area.

As you make your way around this par-72 championship layout you’ll find lush fairways with strategically place bunkers off the tee and around the green, dramatic green complexes, creating a serene and peaceful golf experience.

The first four holes at The Oaks Golf Club set the stage for what’s to come. Many players will consider them short however they are extremely tight and require a tremendous deal of accuracy. Getting off to a good start on these holes is essential so you may want to consider something less than driver off the tee. On these holes, positioning is much more important than length.

Number 6 is a good looking par 5 dogleg left that seems to just keep turning left. At 517 yards from the Blue tees, long-ball hitters may be able to go for the green in two with a good drive down the right side. There’s a lot of undulation in the fairway which can lead to the dreaded uneven lie! For many players, the bunkers on either side of the fairway about 70 yards from the green can easily come into play on the layup shot. The elevated green slopes back right to front left and is guarded by a very deep bunker on the right.

Hole #7 is a challenging par-3 and features the only water hazard on the front nine. It plays 172 yards from the Blue tees over a pond to an elevated green with a deep bunker between water and green.

As you make your way around the course, you’ll find areas where the rough is considerably longer; it’s not exactly wetlands however it might be when it rains. Bringing any of these areas into play can make a par a lot tougher. Number 13 is a good example of this. It’s a dogleg right, par 4 with deep grass on the right, near the corner of the dogleg. Off the tee, the landing area gets smaller is you reach the corner of the dogleg, so it may be wise to hit something less than driver. A good drive will leave a mid-length approach shot into a well elevated green protected by a long narrow green on the left.

Seventeen and eighteen are two good length par 4s and perhaps the best back-to-back finishing holes on the gulf coast. Number 17 plays 396 yards from the Blue tees and, if the wind is blowing, it’s probably in your face. Fairway bunkers are in play on either side off the tee, with the one on the right being a lot more difficult to play from. The green features lots of undulation and is guarded by a bunker front left. Number 18 is a long narrow hole that plays 411 yards with a fairway bunker on the right side that can be reached off the tee. Most players will be looking at a long iron or hybrid into the elevated green that is flanked by deep bunkers on either side, There’s nothing wrong with ending the round with a par!

The Oaks Gold Club offers a tax-free membership program (There is no tax on membership programs in the state of Mississippi). The Platinum Membership program includes unlimited golf, cart, and unlimited range balls, 14-day advanced tee times, complimentary tournaments in July and December and much more! Fees run $199/month for an individual/$299 for a couple. Bigger discounts are available if you pay upfront! The Oaks will even throw in a free hat! Corporate and Group Rate memberships are also available.

The Oaks Card also offers tremendous value and makes a great gift. For $99 you’ll receive a complimentary first round of golf as well as entry in two tournaments of your choosing, a free replay, a comped twilight round when you bring three paying guests, 10 small buckets of range balls and lot more.

Last Word: The Oaks Golf Club is a lot of fun to play, no matter whether you’re a seasoned veteran golfer or just taking up the game. This well-treed parkland golf course has plenty of water and wetlands, coming into play on no less than half the holes. The greens are in great shape and roll true. It’s obvious that the maintenance crew is diligent in their efforts to keep The Oaks Club looking as good as it does.

The Oaks features a good mix of wide-open holes and those that require control off the tee. It takes a good mental game as well if you want to post a low score here.

Bunkers seem to be very penal – deep with a lot of mounding around them. Nothing wrong with that.

The next time you’re considering a golf trip to Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, be sure to include at least one round at The Oaks Golf Club. Tee times are available online and through most golf packagers. For more information, please visit their website at www.theoaksgolfclub.com.

Revo Sunglasses – Protect Your Eyes and Look Great.

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Recently, Revo entered the market for sport-specific eyewear. For golfers, two models to consider are their Border and Descend models. Both are fully functional sunglasses that eliminate glare and make it easier to follow the ball of the clubface in bright sunlight. They are available in both rimmed and rimless models.

One nice thing about rimless sunglasses – especially as it pertains to golf – is that sweat won’t drip off your face and well up in the bottom of the rim, it simply falls to the ground. Another benefit is that your peripheral vision is uninterrupted, giving you a panoramic view of the landscape. Revo’s Descend sunglasses are available in two models, the Descend N, which I assume stands for Normal and the Descend XL, which has a larger lens. I’m not sure there is a lighter frame on the market and with Revo’s MotionFit design an elastomeric nose pad and temple tips, you’re assured of a snug, secure fit without any unwanted pressure points.

Revo’s high-contrast polarized Serilium+ lenses are lightweight, impact-resistant and reduce glare and the 8-base lens technology give more of a curved profile, temple to temple while Filtering out harmful UV, HEV, and Blue Light. Revo sunglasses are digital device-friendly and enhance the clarity of digital screens. All of these features make the Descend N and Descend XL sunglasses the perfect choice for golfers. Both Descend models are available in 8 frame/lens combinations and are perfect for men and women.

If you prefer rimmed sunglasses, check out the Revo Border. Border has a classic wrap design which offers a bit more coverage and is designed for peak performance and protection. Its extra-large fit provides maximum comfort for larger faces. The signature Revo lens technology was originally developed by NASA and ensures unparalleled visual clarity. The integrated spring hinges and adjustable non-slip elastomeric pads are made from slip-reducing rubber and keep the fit flexible and secure. Border offers the same lens technology as the Descend models, so you’ll see the course in a lot more detail.

For more information or to order your next pair of Revo sunglasses, visit them at www.revo.com.

Spring 2020 Ladies Golf Apparel – See What’s New From GGBlue Luxe Sport!

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GGBlue Luxe Sport is a fashion-forward thinking, women’s golf apparel and sportswear company that creates high quality garments that make women look and feel great on the golf course or wherever their travels take them. GGBlue produces highly technical fabrics and creates tops, bottoms and dresses that keep women comfortable and cool for your entire round, all the while helping you look your best.

A good example of a good looking, comfortable bottom is GGBlue’s Striking Short. It’s sewn from a Super Stretch fabric that creates a form fitting design and molds to your unique shape. The tummy control waistband adds comfort and support and the front slit pockets and two back welt pockets are deep enough for all of your golf paraphernalia. The Striker Shorts are available in sizes 0 – 20 and in Olive, Apple Green, or Melon.

GGBlue’s 18” Bunker Short is sewn from their poly/spandex blended fabric that is form fitting and shape flattering. The wide waistband adds even more comfort and the two front and two back welted pockets have plenty of storage space. The fabric is chock full of technology to keep you cool, dry and smelling fresh as well as keep you protected from the sun. The Bunker Short is available in sizes 0 – 18 and in several colors and prints.

Form fitting seems to be the theme with GGBlue shorts! Their Fit Fab Short is a mid-rise short with all of the same features as the Striking Short plus a moisture-wicking finish to keep you cool and dry and an anti-microbial finish to keep you smelling fresh. The two front pockets are zippered and the back welt pocket will accommodate most scorecards. The zippers match the garments. The Fit Fab Short is available in sizes 0 – 20 and in Smoke, Black, White, and Navy.  If you love golf shorts, good luck in choosing just one!

The YaYa Skort has become a GGBlue staple; each year it comes out in more colors and patterns. And what’s not to love?  The knit waistband with mesh insert provides a flattering and comfortable fit and the knit undershorts add another level of modesty. There’s one back and one front zippered pocket for your tees and markers and the pull-on design makes it easy to get on and off.  The layered bottom skirt design is pure GGBlue, with a layer of sheer mesh fabric on the YaYa II designs. These YaYa Skorts are available in sizes XS – 2XL and in a multitude of colors and designs. Not only will you look great, you’ll stay cool, dry and well protected from the sun thanks to the technical fabric.

Golf dresses are making a comeback and GGBlue’s Micah Dress could be leading the way! This collared sleeveless dress features a 6” zipper placket and 2 front zipper pockets. The printed fabric has a UPF 30+ finish to keep the sun’s rays away as well as great anti-microbial and moisture-wicking properties. Separate shorts provide added modesty. The Fierce print of the Micah dress is eye catching and will turn a few heads. It’s available in sizes XS – 3XL.

On those crisp spring mornings when long sleeves are necessary, GGBlue’s Miley Long Sleeve classic crew neck top is the answer. The polyester with mesh fabric coupled with the anti-microbial and moisture wicking properties keep you cool and dry and the UPF 50+ sun protection keeps those harmful rays at bay. It’s available in sizes XS – 3XL and in two color combinations: Olive/Black and White/Melon/Charcoal.

The Liza Top in the Fiery Print will add a pop of color and excitement to any gal’s golf wardrobe. This short sleeve garment features a mock color and zippered placket and the fabric has everything to keep you calm, cool and collected. And smelling fresher than when you started! It’s available in sizes XS – 3XL.

Another unique polo from GGBlue is the Dora Top. It’s more of a traditional golf design with a 4-button snap placket and classic polo collar. The anti-microbial finish and moisture wicking properties keep you cool, dry and smelling fresh while the UPF 30+ fabric finish keeps the sun’s rays away. Dora is available in sizes XS – 3XL and in 3 colors/prints: White/Chic, Elegant/White, or Charcoal.

Looking for something attractive and playful that you can wear at those not so stuffy courses? GGBlue’s short sleeve classic crew neck Bocce Golf Tee is just the thing. The anti-microbial, moisture wicking fabric keeps you cool, dry and smelling fresh all day long and the UPF 30+ fabric finish keeps the sun’s rays at bay. It may be the safest t-shirt on the market. The Bocce Golf Tee is available in Black with White trim or White with Black trim. The “Golf” print across the front let’s those around know your intent!

When the skies open up and you look for a jacket to keep you dry, GGBlue’s Molly Jack will do that and have you looking great too! This lightweight jacket is finished with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish to bead water away while the 2 zippered front pockets keep you golf valuables safe, secure and dry. Keep it in your bag and use it when you need it or just put it on to look great! The Molly Jacket is available in sizes XS – 2XL and in three prints: Elegant, Fierce, or Navy Eclipse.

Lightweight, comfy, and warm for those occasional chilly mornings; the Venus Vest is sewn from a medium weight quilted fabric with quilting on the chest back and collar. Two front zippered pockets provide plenty of storage for your golf essentials and the water resistant feature comes in handy when those spring showers kick in. The Venus Vest is available in sizes XS – 2XL and in 11 colors. At a price as low as $25, better get more than one!

If this gives you the idea that GGBlue is a fun, progressive ladies apparel company with a unique appeal. For more information visit their website at www.ggblue.com.