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Talamore Golf Resort and Mid South Club: A Formidable One-Two Punch


Golfers who are planning a golf vacation to the Pinehurst area have a myriad of golf courses and accommodations to choose from. There are countless golf packaging companies ready to voice their opinion. And, depending on your budget, you can play some pretty historic golf courses if you’re willing to fork out some dough.

As for me, I head to the Southern Pines area and two of the area’s finest golf courses with accommodations that are second to none: Mid South Club and Talamore. Both are part of the Talamore Golf Resort.

In 1991, the owners of Talamore Golf Club handpicked Rees Jones to design the golf course. They were looking for a one-of-a-kind golf course in the Sandhills, and Jones solidly delivered!

Talamore features over 150 ft. of elevation change, lakes, wetlands, massive bunkers including waste bunkers, and towering longleaf pine trees. Jones created Talamore to be more of a thinking man’s golf course, one which requires position and control over brute strength. You’ll have to manufacture shots if you want to score well.

In 2017, Talamore made some monumental changes to the green complexes. They were restored to their original 1991 dimensions and the putting surface was changed from Bentgrass to Champion Bermuda. They now have a truer roll and a lot more speed. In addition, 5-foot TifEagle Bermuda green collars were also added around each green. Many bunkers were removed, and several areas were re-contoured to blend in with the surrounding terrain, providing more forgiveness in the landing zones and around the greens.

Talamore is also home to the only sod wall bunkers in the Sandhills area. Talamore worked with Ecobunkers USA to create these wonderful sand traps because they are a lot easier to maintain. On average, 3-5% of any well-designed golf course is occupied by bunkers, yet they typically eat up 25-35% of the maintenance budget. Ecobunkers used layer upon layer of recycled AstroTurf to create the sod-wall effect – as many as 5,200 pieces – per bunker. This eliminates soil erosion, edging, plugged lies, and burrowing animals and makes maintenance of each bunker a lot less time-consuming.

Talamore starts with a classic golf hole. It’s a long par 5 that plays 564 yards from the White Tees. Longball hitters need to be aware of the marshy area on the right side that can come into play off the tee if you don’t keep it far enough left.  You’ll get some extra distance off the tee as the fairway plays downhill, Play your layup out to the left to get around the bend. Your approach shot plays uphill onto a large green with a bunker that sits about 5 feet below it. Be sure to take enough club on your approach to compensate for the uphill.

The 2nd hole is a 164-yard par three that for many golfers, will be their first introduction to sod-walled bunkers. There are two of them that sit directly between the tee and green; they also sit about 6 feet below the putting surface. Get up against them and you might have to chip out sideways or backward to hit your next shot. Fly your tee shot onto the green for best results; bump-and-run is not advised!

Mid South Club is one of the most attractive private residential golf communities in the Carolinas. With 545 acres of longleaf pine forests, lakes and gently rolling hillsides, it is scenery that you can appreciate. The golf course is not without its fair share of accolades. They’ve hosted just about any qualifier you can think of:  U.S. Open qualifiers, Senior Open qualifiers, U.S. Amateur qualifiers, U.S. Amateur qualifiers, and a PGA Club Professional qualifier. Golf Digest considers them one of North Carolina’s 20 Best Courses. Golf Magazine listed them as one of the Top 100 Courses to Play in 1996, and the list goes on.

Mid South is an Arnold Palmer Signature design with some of the best greens in the Pinehurst area. They roll true and are fast! The course is highlighted by its challenging par 5s yet is best known for its finishing hole, a 368-yard par 4. On the front nine, you’ll find a lot of movement and undulation in the fairways. The holes are shaped so you cannot see the green from any of the par 4 and 5 tee boxes unless you are “Playing it Forward.”

Number 18 at Mid South is regarded by many visitors to the Sandhills as the best finishing hole in the area. From the White Tees, the hole plays 368 yards and is handicapped #3. It’s a dogleg right around the other side of the lake that you crossed on the 9th hole. Most players will want to hit their driver off the tee, but a quick survey reveals a very narrow landing area, and the water on the right side isn’t going anywhere. The fairway slopes left to right towards the water so aiming out high on the left side will usually bring your ball back down to the middle of the fairway. Success of the tee will leave a manageable approach shot over water, onto a large green protected by sand on the left. Like many courses across the pond, the 9th and 18th holes use the same green! It’s a fitting finish to a great round of golf!

Depending on your needs and desires, Talamore has several lodging options. Talamore’s Golf Villas offer wonderful amenities and panoramic views of Talamore’s signature holes. Inside, you’ll find plush and well-appointed accommodations including spacious living and dining rooms, bedrooms with two full-size beds, and full kitchens.  Each living room and bedroom has cable TV and wireless Internet access. There’s also a washer and dryer in each unit if necessary. Other on-property amenities include a gracious southern style Clubhouse, a pool with cabanas, and a guest hospitality suite complete with an outdoor BBQ.

The accommodations and lodging at Mid South are second to none — three-bedroom units with 1,800 sq. ft of total comfort. Everything in the condos is top-shelf and they need to be seen to be appreciated!

Recently, new accommodations were unveiled. The Brooks and Palmer Cottages are spacious and amenity-laden, conveniently located just minutes from Talamore and Mid South. Both feature 4 bedrooms with 4 queen-sized beds, 4 full-size beds, and 4 baths, and comfortably sleeps 8! Each has a full kitchen, TVs in every bedroom, and big-screen TVs in the game room and living room. There’s outdoor dining for 8 on the old-school brick patios, a Weber grill, cornhole, and a separate firepit. Area with additional seating. What more could you want?

Talamore offers some incredible golf packages that include golf, accommodations, breakfast delivered to your door, and a pig roast on Mondays and Thursdays. You’ll be hard-pressed to find another golf resort in the area that offers so much

When packaged together, the Mid South Club and Talamore are a formidable pair that will rival any two-course combination in the area. Throw in a few other local courses and you’ve got a golf vacation that will produce lifelong memories. For more information or to book your next golf vacation at the Talamore Golf Resort, visit them at www.talamoregolfresort.com.

Providence Golf Club – Take a Break From the Theme Parks and Play Some Golf


Years ago, when I lived in Lakeland, FL, my golf buddies and I would venture away from our home track and play some of the courses in the Orlando area. One of our favorite courses was Providence Golf Club in Davenport, FL.

Granted, it has been several years since I last played the golf course. As I recall, after you turned off the highway and passed through the security gate, it was a long, somewhat desolate drive to the clubhouse. There wasn’t much there. Now, Providence is a bustling, thriving community with about 2000 homes with plans for many more.

The centerpiece of the community is the 18-hole Mike Dasher-designed championship golf course which opened for play in 2007. Mike Dasher grew up in nearby Winter Park, FL, and has designed several other courses in the Orlando area. In 2018, club General Manager Tim Greco did the redesign and construction of all 21 green complexes, working directly with Morris Brown and his new Champion G12 Ultra Dwarf Bermuda turf. To resurface the greens. They also designed the practice areas including the short game area and short and long fairway bunker area. Providence’s greens are now recognized as some of the best greens in the Orlando area and the entire practice facility is second to none.

Providence Golf Club is a daily fee public club that is way ahead of its local competition and offers the best prepaid discount program in the area, making golf more affordable than other comparable clubs in the area.  They provide all who visit with a country club-like atmosphere. The golf course has four sets of tees with yardages ranging from 7,011 yards for low handicappers to 5,029 yards for ladies, juniors, and senior golfers. I found that the White Tees (6,023/68.7/122) provided a fair challenge and still let me leave with a little dignity!

The Club is best described as part parkland, heathland, prairie, and Old Florida. As you make your way around, you’ll get the idea. Native grasses and waste bunkers create a wide-open feel on several holes while others, like the par-3 17th, are framed by strands of large deciduous trees. Then there are the many water hazards, palm trees, and heavily wooded wetlands that remind you that you’re in the Sunshine State. The most prevalent hazard out here is the water, which comes into play in one form or another on at least 13 holes. The greens are well bunkered.

As you make your way around the course, you’re sure to see a lot of Florida wildlife including blue herons, egrets, cranes, wild turkeys, hawks, and alligators. You may even see the occasional otter frolicking in one of the ponds.

Providence has several memorable holes, but my favorites were Numbers 6, 7, 12, 14, and 18. With a large waste bunker making up much of the boundary on the right side – the side that most golfers find from the tee – Number 6 is handicapped as the course’s toughest. It plays 376 yards from the White Tees. A tee shot down the right center of the fairway should receive a friendly kick back into the middle and leave you the best angle into the green. A good drive will leave a long to mid-iron approach shot into the green which features many subtle breaks and undulations. A large bunker guards the front right side of the green and if you miss your shot to the left you’re not likely to see that ball again!

After playing the toughest hole on the course, you might think things would get easy, but that’s not the case. Number 7 is a dogleg right around water and plays 380 yards from the White tees, slightly longer than the previous hole. It’s the second toughest hole on the front side and presents a true risk/reward opportunity. Longball hitters may be able to take it over the water, although that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. A good drive for the rest of us that finds the fairway will leave a mid-iron approach shot into a green protected with sand front left and water and a large oak tree on the right. Par is a great score here!

The 12th hole is a picturesque par three that plays 150 yards from the White Tees. It requires a forced carry over water into a green that is surrounded by water on the left side and a large bunker on the right. From the bunker, a pin placement on the left side can be difficult, with the water looming directly behind the flag. Aim for the middle of the green off the tee and at least give yourself a chance at birdie.

The 14th hole ranks as the toughest hole on the inward nine. It’s a par 4 that measures 415 yards from the White Tees. If you’ve had good control of your driver up to this point, you may want to play your tee shot over the trees and bunkers, straight at the green. Miss it left and you’re likely to find the water. No matter how well you hit your tee shot, you’ll still be looking at a long iron or hybrid into the green. There are bunkers on the right side that sit about 50 and 75 yards in front of the putting surface. If possible, take your par and run!

Providence’s finishing hole is a 323-yard par 4. It’s a dogleg right with a bunker at the turn on the left side and a lake that makes up the right side from the dogleg up to the green. While longball hitters may like to have a go at the green, the rest of us might be wise to hit something less than a driver off the tee and leave a manageable pitch shot into the green. The fairway slopes towards the water and there is a large swale on the right side of the green.

Inside Providence’s beautiful 8,000 sq. ft. clubhouse, you’ll find a well-appointed golf shop, restaurant, banquet facilities, and patio dining. Many community residents and non-golfers stop by the clubhouse for a meal at Providence Golf Club’s Grill. The grill is open for breakfast, lunch, and early dinner. Everything is cooked to order and the menu includes pancakes, egg sandwiches, and French toast. The Club’s version of The Grand Slam breakfast will keep your stomach satisfied for the entire round! The lunch/dinner menu offers traditional clubhouse food – wings, burgers, and sandwiches. The dinner menu steps things up a notch with Chicken Marsala, Blackened or Grilled Salmon, and Chicken Parmigiana. Whatever your choice, you won’t be disappointed!

General Manager Tim Greco and his staff must be doing something right. With 41 courses within a 15-mile radius of the property, they manage to keep a very active tee sheet and stay busy. Greco claims, “It must be luck,” and adds “We are an independent public golf course, and the majority of residents don’t play golf. Ninety-four percent of our rounds come from outside the community.” It’s also a favorite choice for golf packagers who book trips to the Orlando area.

Some of the golfers I spoke with said that they keep coming back because of the friendly staff, while others mentioned the playability of the course. Every day new golfers play the course and enjoy the country club atmosphere of this hidden gem located 15 minutes from Orlando’s theme parks and 45 minutes from Tampa. The proof is in the pudding as they say. Book a round of golf at Providence Golf Club and experience for yourself all that this public golf facility has to offer.

For more information or to book your next round at Providence Golf Club, give them a call at (863) 424-7916 or visit them online at www.providence-golf.net.

Old Waverly and Mossy Oak in West Point, MS – Two Fantastic Golf Courses, One Destination


When a golf course melds seamlessly with its surroundings, that’s Nature’s Golf. When environmental preservation and forward-thinking course design come together, that’s Nature’s Golf. When you play Old Waverly and Mossy Oak Golf Clubs in West Point, MS, that’s Nature’s Golf. It’s Southern Golf at its finest.

When most golfers think of golf in Mississippi, they are probably thinking of the Gulf Coast and the Biloxi area. But if you want to experience the best golf in the state, you’ll need to head about four hours north, past Jackson and Hattiesburg, to the little town of West Point, MS. That’s where you’ll find Old Waverly and Mossy Oak, two of the best golf course layouts in the state.

The George and Marcia Bryan family has an ownership stake in both courses and, if the Bryans have any say in it, West Point, MS will become one of the country’s most popular golf destinations. There aren’t many places you can go and play two Top 100 golf courses within a driver of each other. West Point, MS isn’t near any large city – Memphis is the closest and it’s 2 ½ hours away – so it provides a great sense of tranquility and solitude. However, it’s also a convenient location – most major southern cities can be reached by car in less than 4 hours, so you can drive over in the morning and get in an afternoon round.

Mossy Oak is one of the newest courses in the State of Mississippi and was built in conjunction with Toxey Haas, founder of the Mossy Oak brand. The course was designed by Gil Hanse, the world’s top minimalist golf course architect.  In true Hanse style, not much dirt was moved to build the course; according to Co-Founder George Bryan, the work could have “been done with a mule and a plow.” However, the dirt that was moved helped to create the ponds you see as you make your way around the layout.

Mossy Oak is built on 180 acres of what used to be the Knob Hill Dairy Farm, complete with rolling terrain and significant elevation changes. One feature I found quite helpful was the guideposts that helped steer you toward the fairway on several blind tee shots. Elevated greens with tightly mowed surrounds make for challenging up and downs if you miss the green.

Two of the course’s more memorable holes are Numbers 3 and 4. Number 3 is a very short par 4 that plays 253 from the White Tees. Long ball hitters can have a go at the green; it plays uphill, so you’ll need to carry the ball about 275 yards off the tee. Whether you go for it off the tee or not, the deep, cavernous bunkers on either side of the fairway are an intimidating sight. Number 3 requires a very accurate approach shot; the green is its plateau. Anything not on the green will either drop off the grid behind the hole or find one of the bunkers. It’s a short but demanding hole!

Number 4 is Mossy Oak’s signature par 3. The hole plays 162 yards from the White Tees and is fronted by a massive bunker that sits well below the putting surface. You’ll need to carry the ball onto the green from the tee to avoid the false front. Find one of the two bunkers in front of the green and par just became a lot tougher!

Another challenging par 3 is the 11th hole. From the White Tees, the hole plays 224 yards and is all carry over water. The green is shallow and finding one of the two pot bunkers in the back can make for an intimidating sand shot with the lake looming in the background. Take a par and run!

Old Waverly across the street is not without its share of accolades. Old Waverly was designed by U.S. Open Champion Jerry Pate and Bob Cupp and has hosted many significant tournaments including the 1999 U.S. Women’s Open and 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur.

Old Waverly Golf Club captures the essence of the Scottish Highlands. It is routed around numerous lakes, the largest being Lake Waverly which you’ll encounter on the 18th hole. The course is highlighted by holes that place a premium on accuracy and shot making as well as a host of risk/reward shots, all while navigating through some of the most scenic views the Mississippi Black Prairie has to offer. You’ll find many deep and well-defined pot bunkers in the landing areas off the tees as well as greenside.

Number 7 at Old Waverly is aptly named Palmer Falls for the waterfalls and brook that trickle down the fairway on this uphill par 3. From the White Tees, this demanding par 3 plays 170 yards. Trees line the right side and there’s a pot bunker about 50 yards short of the green and a large, deep bunker on the right. Left of the green is a lot of mounding that can make for a tricky up and down.

Number 15 is a pretty par 5 that plays 447 yards from the White Tees. A creek meanders down the middle of the fairway in front of the tee and then continues down the left side. Play your drive down the right side and you’ll take the creek out of play. There’s a lake to the left of the green that needs to be avoided on your approach shot as do the two front left bunkers. Three good shots can yield a par…or better!

Number 18 plays 342 yards from the White Tees and is Old Waverly’s #1 handicapped hole. The lake creates a dogleg left and sets up a risk/reward opportunity off the tee. The more of the lake you carry off the tee, the shorter your approach shot is. The lone fairway bunker on the right side has seen its fair share of balls hit through the fairway by players avoiding the water. A good drive will leave a mid to short iron into a slightly elevated green protected by the water on the left and sand in every other direction. Par is a great way to end a memorable round!

Both Old Waverly and Mossy Oak offer accommodations. At Mossy Oak, guests stay in spacious cottages and villas directly on the golf course. Four-bedroom “cottages” give way to a large, spacious common area, each equipped with a giant flat-screen TV, tables for take-out dining, and comfortable furniture, as well as all the amenities you’d find at a first-class hotel.

Old Waverly offers several different options for your stay including two and three-bedroom condos with fully equipped kitchens. It’s like being at home, only you’re at a world-class golf facility.

When it comes to dining, guests have several options. All are located on the grounds of Old Waverly. Murphy’s is located on the lower level of the Clubhouse and is a great place to eat a casual lunch, watch the big game, play darts, or just relax with friends.

Cameron’s is the perfect place to relax and celebrate the end of the day or the beginning of the evening, depending on how you look at it. Cameron’s is reminiscent of a Scottish landowner’s library with its rich warmth complemented by a wide selection of fine cigars and wines as well as your favorite libations.

In the event your tastes are a little more discerning and you desire something a little more elegant, The Magnolia Room welcomes dinner guests with a panoramic view of Lake Waverly and the golf course.

The English Garden at Old Waverly provides the perfect setting for afternoon tea, an outdoor cocktail party, or a hearty barbecue feast. The highlight of the garden is the original smokehouse, where superb meats are prepared for even the most discriminating of tastes.

Old Waverly and Mossy Oak offer some tremendous packages that allow you to play both courses and experience everything they have to offer. For more information or to plan your next visit, visit their website. You can see both courses at www.oldwaverly.com.

Lifestyle Management Group of Florida – Making a Splash on the Southwest Florida Golf Scene


Jimmy Lynn – President of Lifestyle Management Group of Florida – has come a long way since we first met in 2011. After spending 10 years in the golf industry, running sales and marketing for the largest publisher of golf travel information in the world, I had taken a position outside of golf but was still doing a little writing about golf courses and equipment. On the occasions I was sent some equipment, I would head over to the driving range at The Club at Gateway. I had worked out a deal with General Manager Jimmy Lynn, mentioning his club’s facilities in those earlier articles. Our friendship grew and we played a fair amount of golf together. Life happened; Jimmy moved to a club in Naples and I relocated to Lakeland to be closer to family.

Fast forward 12 years and we both have new, successful career paths. Jimmy put together an investor and created Lifestyle Management Group of Florida which owns/manages four clubs in Southwest Florida:  The Club at Westminster, Quail Creek Village, Bonita Fairways, and Gateway. As a management company, LMGO’s goal is to elevate each private club and make them relevant in every aspect of services and facilities, thus creating sustainability for the long term and satisfied members.

Of the four properties Gateway has seen the biggest changes; it is a lot nicer and more family-oriented than on my last visit. As a resident of Fort Myers, Florida you could always find a way to get on and play at Gateway. But not anymore! The Club at Gateway is now a private country club that offers not only an 18-hole Tom Fazio Signature golf course but also an incredible Ron Garl-designed 20-acre practice facility with two practice holes. The Club at Gateway is widely regarded as one of the best layouts in Southwest Florida.

Lifestyle Management Group of Florida owns and manages the property and is finishing up a multi-million dollar renovation project that includes a completely renovated 300-seat banquet and meeting space, a state-of-the-art fitness center, an open exhibition kitchen with wood burning pizza oven, private wine storage area, and a resort-style pool with a Tiki bar. Pickleball and bocce courts have been added as well.

The Club at Westminster closed the golf course and driving range earlier this year and is undergoing a major renovation with plans to re-open in October.  This includes a wall-to-wall re-grassing of the entire course and practice areas with Bimini grass and completely renovating the greens, coring out the existing greens and 8-12” of dirt, and then replanting with certified Tif-Eagle grass from Georgia. The Club at Westminster is a semi-private golf course with resident & non-resident memberships.

Lifestyle Management Group of Florida acquired Bonita Fairways Golf Club in early 2021. In the words of Jimmy Lynn, “Bonita Fairways is a self-sustaining golf club. During the season, the tee sheets are always full and the restaurant is packed.” The par 61, 3500-yard golf course was designed by Gorden Lewis and is anything but a pushover with six holes in the 300-yard range. The golf course is surrounded by a nature preserve and the lakes that you’ll encounter as you play your way around the course will challenge both your short game and your long game as well!

Before your round, warm up your short game and putting stroke on the full-size putting green. There’s a fully stocked pro shop in case you need any last-minute necessities, and the Bobcat Café can handle your thirst and hunger after your round.

Quail Creek Village became a part of the LMGOF portfolio in 2019. Shortly after purchasing the club, Lifestyle Management Group did a total renovation of the golf course. Originally designed by Gordon Lewis, Quali Creek Village is a short course the plays slightly less than 5,000 yards with a par of 69. Don’t let the length fool you; there are three par 5’s, nine par 4’s, and six par 3’s, and water comes into play on at least 11 holes. Greens tend to be small but well-undulated and well-protected by sand bunkers. You’ll find a lot of the members getting their exercise by walking the golf course after 11 a.m.

The clubhouse was also recently renovated and offers lunch 7 days a week with themed dinners on Tuesday and Friday nights. Bogeys, the poolside pub overlooking the golf course, is another favorite gathering place for members and offers great food and friendly service.

Lifestyle Management Group of Florida is poised to become a top golf management company in Florida. One of their biggest assets is a subsidiary company, D. Garrett Construction Company, Inc. This gives them the ability to go after clubs that need major repair and renovation. Instead of purchasing a club and subbing the work out to a general contractor and sub-contractors, they can purchase a club and do the work themselves, saving a great deal of time and money. Look for good things to come from Jimmy Lynn and his staff at LMGOF. For more information, visit their website at www.lmgof.com.

There’s Much More To Legend Oaks Golf Club in Summerville, SC Than Meets the Eye


Legend Oaks Golf Club in Summerville, SC is much more than your typical daily fee facility. Although the golf course receives much of the spotlight, its tennis program is one of the best in the area, and its restaurant, Bistro One18, receives a lot of business from locals and other non-golfers. I think it’s safe to say that Legend Oaks is truly a hidden gem!

Legend Oaks is located about thirty minutes from Charleston, off of scenic Highway 61.  As you turn off the highway and approach the Antebellum-style clubhouse, the road is framed by centuries-old live oak trees. It’s reminiscent of driving down Magnolia Lane at Augusta National, only without the security checks and raised eyebrows!

The Club has received its fair share of accolades for both golf and tennis. The Golf Course Owners Association voted Legend Oaks South Carolina Golf Course of the Year in 2010 and the Charleston Business Journal has named them one of the Top Three Lowcountry Courses. Their tennis program was recognized by the Southern Division of the USTA as the South Carolina Tennis Facility of the Year in 2012.

Legend Oaks offers golfers five sets of tees with yardages that stretch from 6,809 to a manageable 4,957 for the ladies, juniors, and seniors. I found the Blue Tees (6,063/70.5/124) provided a substantial challenge for someone playing the course for the first time, and still, let me leave with a little dignity!

Legend Oaks is built on the site of an antebellum rice plantation and has plenty of water hazards, sand traps, and wetland areas with deep, thick underbrush. Remember those centuries-old live oaks you saw on the way in? You’ll find plenty more of them as you make your way around the layout only these are not there for aesthetics! You’ll also see towering pines and a whole host of Lowcountry wildlife.

The front nine has a little bit of “target golf” to it and demands more control off the tee whereas the back nine is more wide open.  The Diamond Zoysia greens were installed in 2014 and not only hold well-hit approach shots nicely they also provide a noticeably smooth putting surface.

As you play the course, you may get a Pete Dye or Jack Nicklaus vibe. That’s because course architect Scott Pool worked for Dye for 10 years and did a lot of course shaping for Jack Nicklaus as well. Unlike Dye who liked to hide pot bunkers and other hazards whenever he could, Pool is upfront about the challenges you’ll encounter. It’s more of a brains-over-brawn philosophy at Legend Oaks or, as former owner Jim Chickarello used to say, “It’s a shotmaker’s course.”

The golf course has several memorable holes; for me, they were Numbers 1, 6, 10,16, and 18.

The opening hole is a 362-yard par 4, dogleg left. If you can fly your tee shot over the fairway bunker on the left, you’ll have a much shorter approach shot. Longball hitters should take note of the water just past the fairway bunker on the right. Success off the tee will leave a mid to short-iron approach shot that plays slightly downhill onto a large green. Although there are no bunkers around the green, the subtle undulations may get you. Nothing wrong with starting with a par!

Number 6 is a 480-yard par 5 that many players will be able to reach in two. Your layup and approach shots play significantly downhill and if you can hit your layup shot over the fairway bunker on the left, you may just catch the slope and roll all the way to the green. The green is small and is protected by water on the right and in the back if you fly it long. Although there are no bunkers around the green, there is a lot of mounding which can make for some interesting lies.

If you’ve never played the golf course before, the 10th hole can be notoriously intimidating. At 322 yards, length isn’t the main concern although longball hitters should take note of the pond in front of the green. Playing your tee shot left of the water will leave a longer approach shot into the green but may save a golf ball or two. The green is very large and angled front left to back right. The right side is protected by a bunker in front as well as water and a marsh area. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, Legend Oaks does something interesting and flips the nines, so this will be your first hole of the day.

Number 16 is a long par 4 that plays 400 yards from the Blue Tees. The hole doglegs around a lake however it’s more like a right turn than a dogleg! Longball hitters may be able to carry the lake off the tee, but for the rest of us, playing your tee shot left of the water will avoid the wet stuff but still leave a hybrid or long iron into the green.

The finishing hole is a straight-away par 5 with some interesting twists. Although it’s only 451 yards from the Blue Tees, it plays longer and requires accuracy on your first two shots. The fairway opens up to the right of the fairway bunker, but your next shot may be blocked out by trees. Anything left of that bunker spells big trouble. If you can hit a straight drive over the bunker on the left you’ll have the best angle into the green. It’s clear sailing from about 140 yards out, once you get past the trees that line either side. The long, narrow green is probably the best-protected green on the golf course with bunkers in front and on either side.

Before your round, be sure to hit a few balls on the full-length driving range where you can swing away with every club in your bag. The practice green is mowed daily and will give you a feel for what you’re about to encounter.

Whether you’re new to the game or just need a tune-up, Legend Oaks offers an instructional program with an experienced staff of professionals who want to help you achieve your goals. Since no two golfers are alike, they use the latest in golf technology and instill the fundamentals of the game to help you succeed.

Legend Oaks is a semi-private golf and tennis facility.  Everyone is welcome to play the golf course and enjoy a meal at Bistro One18. It’s a great place to relax and unwind after a round or entertain business clients and associates. Bistro One18 isn’t what you’d expect at a public golf course. Of course, they offer all of the traditional clubhouse foods – wings, sandwiches, and burgers  – but they also offer some pretty impressive entrees. Choose from Chicken Marsala, Chicken Alfredo, Fish and Chips, and my favorite, Steak Frites. It’s all good and you won’t leave hungry!

For a daily-fee facility, Legend Oaks has a lot to offer. In addition to the 18-hole championship golf course, they offer a very robust tennis program as well as a very active swimming pool. For more information on becoming a member or to book your next round, give them a call at (843) 821-4077 or visit them online www.legendoaksgolf.com.

Cider Ridge Golf Club Invites You to Meet Friends, Play Hard, & Have Fun.


During a recent visit to Cider Ridge, I was told by several golfers that over the past few years, the previous management company had let the conditioning of the golf course decline dramatically. The club was recently sold to Zotan, LLC, a company led by PGA member Cory Etter that also owns Pine Hill Golf Course in nearby Anniston, AL.

Etter and his staff have stepped up to the plate and are in the process of making Cider Ridge better than it has ever been. Many golfers I spoke with commented on the improved conditioning of the course and how it has become much more playable than in recent years. The greens have been recently renovated with new TifEagle Bermuda grass and several tee boxes have been redone.

The Club gets its name from an apple orchard. Over 100 years ago, the property was part of the Melon Apple Orchard which produced 11,000 bushels of apples each year. At its peak, the Melon Apple Orchard produced more than 20,000 gallons of apple cider and you can still find remnants of the working mills and rock reservoirs on the property today.

Cider Ridge Golf Club was designed by Alabama-based Bill Bergin. The course borders the Talladega National Forest and the Talladega Mountains and is situated at the base of Alabama’s tallest mountain – Mt. Cheaha (elevation 2,410’). In building the golf course, Bergin was able to incorporate much of the central Alabama terrain into the design.

When you visit Cider Ridge you’ll discover that it’s not your typical Alabama golf course. Over the past 10 years, it has become widely known as one of Alabama’s best daily fee golf courses and has received numerous accolades from GolfAdvisor.com including Top 10 Courses in Alabama 2015 – 2019, the #1 Course in Calhoun County, and the #2 public course in Alabama.

Cider Ridge is best described as a “tale of two courses.” The front nine is similar to a traditional parkland-style course, with fairways lined with century-old oak trees and streams running through several holes. You don’t see much in the way of changing elevation until you hit the 6th hole and from then on, it becomes more mountain golf. Once you hit the back nine, the terrain changes quickly! You’ll find thick hardwood forests, rolling hills, and dramatic elevation changes on just about every hole. You’ll be treated to enchanting mountain views and several water features that include Little Hillabee Creek and a natural waterfall on Number 12 – Cider Ridge’s signature hole.

Remember, this is mountain golf so there’s a lot of roll and undulation in the fairways, leaving many uneven lies. Mature trees guard many fairways, and it can be hard to hit under, over, or around them. Many of the greens are well-elevated so if you don’t take enough club you’ll come short of the putting surface. In some cases, if you fail to hit your putt hard enough, it will roll back down to your feet.

The golf course offers five sets of tees and can be enjoyed from 6,976 yards for low handicappers to 4,507 yards, which is great for juniors, women, and seniors. The scorecard also shows a “combo” yardage which combines two sets of tees to create a yardage of 6,164 yards, which was perfect for me!

Cider Ridge is not without its fair share of memorable holes. The short 306-yard 7th hole is also one you won’t soon forget. Your tee shot plays considerably downhill; all you can see from the Blue Tees are the two fairway bunkers at the bottom of the hill on the left side as well as a little piece of fairway. Woods on either side keep you honest off the tee and the large slope on the right can help funnel balls back into play. Find the fairway successfully and you’ll be facing an uphill pitch shot into a large green that is angled and slopes front right to back left.

The first and last holes on the back nine are quite memorable: after 3 months I can still picture each shot I hit. If you look up target golf in the dictionary, you may just find a picture of Cider Ridge’s 10th hole. It plays 397 yards and requires a tee shot that finds the landing area at the top of the hill. That will leave you about 150 yards slightly downhill to a green protected in front by a bunker and in back by trees. Miss the green and you may just lose your golf ball!

Number 18 is a great finishing hole and a good test of golf. It’s a par 5 that plays 518 yards with water running down the entire left side and then wrapping behind the green to catch anything hit long. The right side is no bargain either; it’s lined with trees and out of bounds beyond that and a bunker in the landing area off the tee. Favoring the left side off the tee will leave a clear shot into the green and if you hit your drive well you may have a chance to get home in two. A large bunker guards the front right of the green. No matter how you do it, par is a great score here!

Before your round, be sure to check out the practice area. It’s quite impressive and includes a full-length driving range, putting green, and chipping green area. It’s not unusual to see players there just to practice various aspects of their game. Cider Ridge also believes that growing the game of golf starts at the junior level and offers summer golf camps every June and July. Contact the pro shop for more information.

Inside the clubhouse, you’ll find a fully stocked golf shop with all of your golfing necessities as well as logoed apparel, hats, and golf clubs. You’ll find the Cider Ridge Grill which is open to the public. and serves freshly made sandwiches, burgers, salads, soft drinks, cold beer, and other beverages.

If you live in the area or nearby and thoroughly enjoy playing the golf course, maybe it’s time to consider becoming a member. Cider Ridge’s Annual Pass includes unlimited greens fees, 50% off range balls, ability to participate in Club Tournaments including the Club Championship, Oxford City Championship, and Match Play. You’ll also receive a 15% discount on pro shop merchandise (shirts, hats, golf balls, accessories, gloves & more). Individual, senior, and family memberships are available.

If you’re planning a trip to the area, you’ll find Cider Ridge midway between Birmingham and Atlanta, just off Interstate 20 and minutes from Anniston and the renowned Talladega Race Track. For more information on the golf club or to book your next round or event, give them a call at (256) 831-7222 or visit them online, www.ciderridgegolf.com.

Heathrow Legacy Country Club – A Two-for-One Country Club Membership


What’s better than a private golf club membership? How about a membership that includes two separate and distinctly different clubs?

For years, the Lake Mary area was home to two private country clubs located just a couple of miles apart, Heathrow Country Club and The Legacy Club at Alaqua Lakes. The clubs competed against each other for membership and special events and the competition was pretty fierce. With only a limited number of golfers and potential new members in the area, both clubs started to flounder.

Enter Concert Golf Partners, one of the fastest-growing private club ownership companies in the US whose specialty is turning around floundering private clubs. Typically, it involves a much-needed infusion of capital to get the “turnaround” process started and their success rate is amazing. Concert has over 30 properties in its portfolio, spanning 16 states from Massachusetts to Texas. As a member of one club, you become a member of all of them, so you can play a round of golf or tennis, swim, or dine at other Concert Golf properties during your travels. It’s always something to consider when planning a vacation.

Concert purchased Heathrow out of foreclosure in July 2011. The Legacy at Alaqua Lakes had been under the threat of foreclosure and was purchased in October 2013. Over the past 10+ years, conditions at both clubs have improved significantly, and on a recent visit, it appears both clubs are once again thriving.

A little history on both. Heathrow Country Club was established in 1983 and for years was considered the leading private country club and social hub in North Orlando. Heathrow features an 18-hole championship golf course designed by  Lakeland, Florida native Ron Garl. Over the years, Heathrow has played host to nine US Open Qualifiers and its members have included PGA TOUR players Chris DiMarco, Fulton Allem, Jim Thorpe, and others. The 15,000-square-foot clubhouse offers full dining and banquet facilities, and the adjacent 9,000-square-foot Racquet Club consists of a 13-court tennis complex with a stadium center court and one of the premier aquatic facilities in Central Florida. The tennis complex has a history all its own!

The Legacy Club at Alaqua Lakes opened in 1998 and features an 18-hole, Tom Fazio championship golf course. To this day, Tom Fazio considers The Legacy Club one of his best pieces of work. The course winds its way through a dense forest of mature trees and the slopes, rises, and knolls in the topography of the land are unique to this part of Florida. The course is certified as an Audubon International Signature Certified Sanctuary golf course and with its state-of-the-art meeting facilities, Legacy Club is a great place to host a special event.

Either golf course will challenge golfers of every level. Both facilities offer a clubhouse with a golf shop and restaurant, a driving range, a putting green, and a short game area. Heathrow Legacy’s staff of golf professionals want you to get the most out of your game but more importantly, enjoy yourself. They oversee programs for all golfers and see to it that you make the most of Heathrow Legacy’s golf amenities. Lessons are available for all members regardless of skill level, and the staff can also help with individual club fitting for any club in the bag. The Golf Shop stocks the latest in equipment and their selection of logoed apparel will help you look your best.

Heathrow offers golfers six tee boxes with the scorecard showing a seventh yardage (White Tees), which combines the Blue and Gold Tees. Yardages range from 6,888 yards for accomplished players to 4,951 yards for juniors, seniors, and ladies. Pick the tees that best suit your game and you’re sure to have a good time. That said, you better be able to hit accurate approach shots into small greens if you want to score well.

The first hole is a picturesque par 4, dogleg left that plays 377 yards with bunkers that frame the landing area. Your approach shot is uphill to a large, well-undulated green. Once you hit the second tee, water takes center stage and comes into play on 16 of the final 17 holes. No Ron Garl design is complete without an Island green, and the 12th hole is the piece de resistance in this water jigsaw puzzle.  The hole plays 117 yards with a pot bunker on the left side of the green. On the 17th hole, Garl uses the water to create an island fairway. Anything left or right off the tee will most likely find the water; hit it too far straight and it’s either sand or water. Find the fairway off the tee and you’ll still have to cross over the water on your approach. It’s handicapped the 2nd most challenging hole on the course.

The Legacy Club has six sets of tees to choose from as well as a hybrid Blue/White yardage listed on the scorecard. The golf course has several memorable par 5s; three of which are handicapped 1, 2, and 4! The 4th hole is the course’s #1 handicap and plays 499 yards from the White Tees. This dogleg left starts with a forced carry over water into a narrow landing area with a bunker on the left. From the corner of the dogleg in, trees line both sides of the fairway and for most, it’s a three-shot hole. Trees on the left and sand on the right create a narrow landing area for your layup shot, and sand pretty much surrounds the green. Par is a great score here! Number 15 is the #2 handicap and plays 493 yards with water on the left and trees lining the right. A tree on the right side about 140 yards from the green wreaks havoc with many golfers who do their best to avoid it and end up finding either the water on the left or one of several bunkers in the landing area.

Should you prefer the courts over the course, the club offers a world-class tennis facility that has hosted two ATP events in 1990 and 1991. The tennis program has been run by one of Central Florida’s most respected Tennis Directors, Barry Myers, since its inception almost 30 years ago. World-renowned tennis professionals Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras, and Billie Jean King have all played on Heathrow Athletic Club’s sunken stadium court. The racquet club features 11 fast clay courts and 2 hard courts. Whether you’re new to the game or an accomplished player, the tennis staff will see to it that you are paired up with players of the same ability and skills.

Club members typically take a lot of pride in the culinary aspects of their club; I’ve spoken with members in the past whose decision on which club to join came down to which one had the best food! Heathrow Legacy offers the same menu at both properties with dinner entrees such as Artichoke and Spinach Stuffed Chicken, A Pan Seared Ribeye Steak, and Seared Ahi Tuna. Both locations serve breakfast lunch, and dinner Tuesday – Sunday.

If you’re relocating to the North Orlando area and are looking for a club with a lot of recreational options and the opportunity to meet new people and make friends, you should consider a membership at Heathrow Legacy. They offer several membership plans including a Champions Business Asset Membership, Champions Golf Membership, Tennis, and Social Memberships. And, if you would like to keep your weekends free but still enjoy everything both clubs have to offer, look into their Weekday Membership which includes unlimited access to both golf facilities Tuesday-Friday as well as all amenities at both facilities, and member privileges at all Concert Golf properties. For more information, give them a call or fill out the form on their website, www.heathrowcc.com.

Bent Pine Golf Club – A Uniquely Serene Private Club


There are a couple of qualities that make Bent Pine Golf Club in Vero Beach, Florida truly unique. For starters, there’s the distinctive tree on the 18th fairway that gives the club its name.

Perhaps the nicest feature of this incredible club is its location. With more and more people flocking to the Sunshine State for various reasons – primarily the weather – the better-known parts of the state are becoming overpopulated. Fortunately, this is not the case in and around Vero Beach; in fact, the area is very underpopulated. It’s also very seasonal in this part of the state so year-round residents/members can take advantage of seemingly having the course to themselves.

According to the 2021 census, the population of Vero Beach was 16,707. Nearby towns such as Fort Pierce (47,927), Sebastian (25,703), and Port St. Lucie (217,523) are considerably denser. That doesn’t mean there’s a lack of daily fee golf courses and private clubs in the area. According to Golf Digest, there are 11 public and 21 private golf clubs within 15 miles of Vero Beach.

Bent Pine Golf Club prides itself on the social aspects of the club and making friends here is as easy as signing up for a game with any of the men’s or ladies’ groups. You’ll be mixed into different foursomes each time, so you get to know most of your golfing compadres within a couple of weeks. The golf course isn’t the only place to make new friends, members also enjoy other activities like Bridge, Mahjong, and themed dinners.

Many members put a high value on the cuisine and culinary aspects of their club. After all, if your club has a beautiful golf course and dining that is second to none, it’s an opportunity to show off! Bent Pine Golf Club does not disappoint. Chef Brian and his culinary crew have taken everything from the daily lunch menu to exquisite wine-tasting dinners to a new level. One club tradition that continues is the seafood dinner buffet. Yet, as good as all of these aspects of the club are, it’s the golf course that keeps them coming back.

Bent Pine has the distinction of being the first golf facility to be carved out of the sand ridge in the Vero Beach area. The idea of building Bent Pine Golf Club was conceived in 1975 and at the time it was somewhat of a gamble for the founding fathers who knew they would have to venture away from the barrier island to an undeveloped area inhabited by only a few people. But they also saw the opportunity to create a private club that could be kept uncrowded so that there would be no need for members to book tee times.

The course was designed by legendary golf course architect Joe Lee and opened for play in 1979. Over the years Bent Pine has hosted six U.S. Open qualifiers, a 2017 and 2018 US Woman’s Mid–Amateur Qualifier and a 2016 US Amateur Qualifier. In the last three years, they have hosted the Florida Boys and Girls State Championships. It’s also been home to a few PGA TOUR members: Kenny Perry and Brett Stegmaier. Perry worked at Bent Pine during the 1980s while chasing his dream of being on the PGA TOUR; Stegmaier worked on and off at Bent Pine between 2008 and 2013.  Most recently Nick Lindheim called Bent Pine home as a Tour hopeful who practiced and played at the club in between tournaments.

To be a great golf club you have to have a top-tier professional staff and Bent Pine seems to be a breeding ground for club golf professionals. Over the years, thirty-two former members of Bent Pine’s golf operations team have gone on to serve as Directors of Golf or Head Golf Professionals in clubs around the country.

Bent Pine embodies golf as it should be… an impeccably maintained and challenging golf course with no tee times. The course has six sets of tees for all levels of golfers. Low handicappers will be challenged by the Kenny Perry Tees at 7,006 yards while juniors and beginners can play from the forward Silver Tees at 4,998 yards.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a member or visiting Bent Pine as a guest, odds are that you will be amazed by the incredible conditioning of the golf course. Wide-open fairways mowed like plush carpet lay before you and lead to finely manicured Tif-Eagle greens that roll true and fast. Many are surrounded by meticulously maintained bunkers. Water comes into play on at least nine holes, more if you spray it off the tee!

Here are some of the most memorable holes:

The first hole on the golf course eases you into your round at Bent Pine. It’s a 510-yard par 5 with a slight dogleg right. When the wind is blowing off the ocean it can play a lot longer. Longball hitters need to be aware of the water on the right side of the landing area. For the rest of us, it takes three good shots to get on the green. Fairway bunkers on either side in the landing area of your layup shot will keep you honest as the fairway narrows. Three bunkers surround the green which is slightly elevated.

The 5th hole is a picture-worthy par 3 that plays 163 yards from the White Tees. Play your tee shot from an elevated tee box over water into a green protected with sand in front and back left. The green has a lot of slope and undulation and makes for a challenging hole. A back left pin placement will force you to take on both the water and the sand.

The 14th hole is another great-looking par 5 with wide-open fairways off the tee. At 454 yards from the White Tees, it’s a relatively short hole although strategically placed hazards may hinder your efforts. You’ll hit your tee shot from an elevated tee box towards a fairway with bunkers on the right side of the landing area and water making up the left side. The big decision comes on your layup shot, specifically where to layup. There’s more water on the right side and a cluster of bunkers surrounding the green.  Should you choose to lay up in front of the water, you’re looking at an approach shot of about 120 yards into a green severely sloped in several areas. This is Bent Pine’s signature hole.

Since its inception, Bent Pine had a no-tee time policy; you simply show up, check in with a member of Bent Pine’s friendly staff and you’re off! As time becomes a valuable commodity and people have tighter schedules, Bent Pine will soon be moving away from this policy. I’m sure that when this change is made, the short wait time to tee off will not change.

If you are thinking of relocating to the area and are looking for a private club that provides tranquility outside of the normal hustle and bustle of Florida, you owe it to yourself to check out Bent Pine Golf Club. They offer several membership plans including Full Golf, Social, and National Memberships. All plans include clubhouse privileges as well as summer reciprocity with other clubs. For more information, give them a call at (772) 567-6838 or visit them online at www.bentpinegolf.com.

Savannah Lakes Village 2022 – A Recreational Oasis


Attention retirees and those looking to move South:  You don’t have to go all the way to Florida to enjoy great weather year-round.

Savannah Lakes Village is a recreational oasis located in McCormick South Carolina. This sprawling lakefront community is located at the confluence of the 71,000+ acre Lake Thurmond and Western South Carolina’s Freshwater Coast Region. The Freshwater Coast has some of the nation’s most scenic inland waterways and public lands. The community borders 65,000 acres of state parks and national forests and has 25 miles of shoreline along Lake Thurmond. In addition to every imaginable watersport, the community features two member-owned golf courses, two restaurants, a recreation center, community docks, and much more.

There’s a wide variety of community events at the two restaurants – the River Grille and Monti’s – for members and their guests to enjoy. Both cater to members and serve some delicious food.

The recreation center offers several daily activities and exercise programs and enough exercise equipment to work every muscle in your body. After a strenuous workout, relax in either the indoor or outdoor pool. If you’d rather swing a racquet than a golf club, play on one of their many tennis and pickleball courts. And don’t forget, Savannah Lakes Village is surrounded by nature with over 150 miles of forest and water trails to explore. They are also at the forefront of technology, with one of South Carolina’s best direct-to-the-home fiber optic broadband networks, allowing residents to stay connected, whether they work from home or just want to be entertained.

With so much to do, the main attractions are the two championship golf courses, Tara and Monticello. Both courses are carved from the rolling landscape wrapping Lake Thurmond and offer beautiful views and challenging golf holes. These 36 holes are recognized as some of the state’s most scenic, challenging, and inspiring golf holes. If these two courses aren’t enough, SLV borders Hickory Knob Resort which has a 3rd lakefront golf course

The Tara Golf Course winds its way around Lake Thurmond and through the hillsides of the Sumter National Forest. The land’s rolling topography becomes more pronounced as your round progresses with stately oaks and pines that seem to frame each hole.

The elevation changes on the first three holes on the Tara Golf Course at Savannah Lakes Village prepare you for what’s to come. For example, on the par 4, 3rd hole you tee off from an elevated tee box down into a valley and then play an approach shot back up the hill that is at least one extra club. There’s also some good elevation change on Number 5, the course’s first par 3, which features an elevated tee and an elevated green with water in between the two and woods on the right.

The 6th hole is yet another example of the elevation changes. This dogleg left par 4, plays 402 yards from the White Tees. It ends up playing significantly longer since everything from the 150-yard marker into the green is extremely uphill. The trees on the left side of the tee box can be carried with a good fade and the ball should come to rest in the middle of the fairway. Push your tee shot right and you’ll be flirting with a fairway bunker.  Since it takes a drive of 250+ to get to the 150-yard marker, most players will be hitting a long iron or hybrid uphill into the green – it’s at least two extra clubs up the hill. The good news is there are no bunkers around the green but the mounding and grass swales that surround the putting surface can wreak havoc on a good score. This beautiful and challenging hole is Tara’s #1 handicapped hole!

Number 9 is a very interesting hole; it plays 333 yards from the White Tees. It’s dramatically downhill and actually plays about 310. Longball hitters may be inclined to drive the green, however, the large lake in front of the green will make you think twice. With out-of-bounds to the left and trees that can block out an approach shot on the right, it’s best to hit something that will leave a manageable shot into the green and take the water out of play. It may be short but it’s still a fun golf hole.

Number 18 is a great hole to end with and shares the green with Number 9. It only plays 337 yards from the White Tees. The hole doglegs to the right with a fairway bunker on the left that catches a lot of errant tee shots. The grass bunkers on the right side are full of long, gnarly grass but can be easily carried off the tee. Just like Number 9, hit something less than driver off the tee to take the water in front of the green out of play and leave yourself a manageable shot into the green.

The Monticello course could be considered a modern-day links-style course with gently rolling fairways and water hazards along a tree-lined shoreline. The course plays 7,032 yards from the back tees and features MiniVerde Bermuda greens with Zoysia collars, and Bermuda fairways and rough. You’ll find water on nine of the 18 holes, and a dramatic lakefront peninsula on the front nine.

The Monticello Course has several memorable holes as well. Number one is a short, 388-yard par 4 (White Tees) It starts with a blind tee shot and from there plays uphill. A good drive that finds the fairway is going to leave a short pitch shot into a rather large green. Make the putt and get your round started on the right foot.

Holes three, four, and five epitomize what Savannah Lakes Village golf is all about. They are three of the course’s most photographed holes. The 3rd hole gives you your first glimpse of Lake Thurmond. It’s a picturesque par 5 – 460 yards from the White Tees – with a fairway bunker on the right and woods on the left off the tee. Longball hitters might have a chance to go for the green on their second shot but beware of the water on the left. Number 4 is a par 3 that plays 139 yards, right into Lake Thurmond. A large bunker protects the front, back, and left sides of the green. It’s a great-looking par 3 hole.

The 5th hole continues to wrap its way around Lake Thurmond. It’s a 346-yard, par 4, dogleg left with two lakes that come into play. Carry the bunker on the left off the tee but don’t go too far left or you’ll flirt with the second lake. A good tee shot will leave a mid-iron over water into a green that slopes left to right and is wider than deep. It’s protected on three sides by sand.

Savannah Lakes Village is a bundled community meaning that membership is included with property ownership. It’s a vibrant community with a lot of interaction between neighbors and residents. They recently opened a $3 million healthcare facility on site, which is owned and operated by Self Regional Hospital. Savannah Lakes Village is an easy drive from several major cities including Augusta, Greenville, Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston, and Atlanta. For more information visit them online at www.SavannahLakesVillage.com.

The Legacy Club: Three Years Later and Still the Nashville Area’s Best Golf Value


Some things never change. When I visited and played The Legacy four years ago, General Manager Chet Frazier bragged that Legacy was one of the best golf values in the Nashville area.  So, when I got home I did some research. Being a great value not only includes inexpensive/reasonable greens fees but also the quality of the course, food and beverage, and the attitude of the staff; it’s the total package. After taking all of this into consideration and looking at several other comparable courses in the area I have to admit, he was right!

Fast forward to 2023 and rates are still low, the course is in great condition and the pro shop and maintenance staff are as amiable as ever. Local golfers have known this for years and have been taking advantage of this hidden gem in Robertson County since the course opened in 1996.

The Legacy was designed by PGA TOUR professional and four-time major champion Raymond Floyd and is a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, meaning they are committed to protecting the local environment and conserving natural resources. The Legacy has been ranked in the Top 15 Public Courses in Tennessee by Golf Advisor since 2016, including Number 2 in 2019.

Floyd took advantage of the natural terrain and incorporated the mature woodlands and lush, rolling hills into the layout. Consequently, you’ll see tremendous views of the Tennessee countryside and surrounding area as you make your way around the layout.

The Legacy offers golfers five sets of tees to choose from so finding a suitable yardage for your game should be easy. More skilled players will find the Blue Tees (6,776/72.5/137) to be a challenge, while juniors, seniors, and ladies can move up and play the Red Tees at 4,831 yards. As always, choosing the tees that best fit your game will provide the most enjoyment.

It’s far from the longest course in the area, but the tight fairways, water hazards, and tall grasses will keep you honest and add to the challenge. A few of the many elevation changes throughout the layout create blind approach shots into greens.

According to Frazier, “As challenging as the layout is, the real challenge begins on the Bentgrass greens. They have a lot of undulation and roll true; they will put your putting skills to the test.” Frazier adds “A big reason that the greens are consistently in good shape is that the members do their best to replace divots and repair ball marks. “That helps them roll as good as they do.”

The Legacy starts with a couple of straightforward holes – that is if you play them correctly. Number One is a 482-yard par 5 hole with trees down the right side and a fairway bunker in the landing area. The adjoining #2 fairway is on the left. Keep your layup shot to the left or risk having your approach shot blocked out by trees. A lone bunker guards the front right of the green. Find it and you’ll have to deal with both sand and trees!

Number 2 is a very slight dogleg right that plays 359 yards from the White Tees. Push anything right off the tee and the severe drop-off may claim your ball! Hitting your tee shot down the left side will not only take the fairway bunker out of play, but it will also leave the best angle into the green. Consider hitting an extra club on your approach shot as it plays uphill. The green is long and narrow with a large bunker on the right and the rolling fairway can cause some uneven lies.

In many cases, Legacy requires brains over brawn, and nothing exemplifies that more than the 341-yard 4th hole. The fairway bunker on the right is only about 200 yards off the tee while the one on the left is about 240. Choose the appropriate club off the tee and leave a manageable distance to the green.   There’s a deep bunker across the front so you’ll need to carry your approach shot onto one of the shallowest greens on the course.

At 399 yards from the White Tees, Number 5 is The Legacy’s biggest challenge. It’s a significant dogleg left and can leave a very long second shot for those who slice the ball. There are trees all down the left side along with a creek. Even a well-struck tee shot that finds the middle of the fairway is going to leave a long to mid-iron into a long narrow and well-undulated green that is guarded by a couple of pot bunkers on the left and a long bunker on the right. See for yourself why it’s the #1 handicap!

The front nine ends with a par 4 that plays 381 yards from the White Tees. As you stand on the tee the landing area looks small but trust me, there’s a lot more out there than meets the eye. Avoid the fairway bunker on the right off the tee and you’ll have a long to medium iron into the green. Anything that misses the green right will likely find the bunker while anything left will leave a delicate chip shot from grass mounds.

The back side starts with the toughest on the inward nine. Number 10 is a 382-yard par 4 It requires an accurate drive off the tee with a decent forced carry. The left side of the fairway will take all of the trouble on the right out of play and leave the best angle for your approach shot. Again, an extra club is advised on your approach shot as it plays longer than you think. The entire right side of the green is guarded by water.

The 17th hole is a 145-yard par 3. The water on the right shouldn’t come into play, but one of the three bunkers that surround the green might. With a bunker directly between the tee and the green, you’ll need to hit a crisp tee shot and fly it onto the putting surface.

Your round at The Legacy ends with a 509-yard par 5 dogleg left that proved to be a tricky driving hole. Trees line both sides of the fairway off the tee, forcing many players to hit right. That brings a lone tree on the right side of the fairway into play for your second shot, which is no picnic either. Fairway bunkers guard each side of the landing area and require a carry of about 200 yards to get by them. Two good shots thus far will leave a short iron or pitching wedge into the long, narrow green with a bunker on the right. It’s a great hole to end a great round!

I noticed a few changes since my last visit to The Legacy. The biggest is the driving range with its new artificial tees and target greens. There’s also a new chipping area, and a putting green to practice your short game. Be sure to hit a few balls and stroke a few putts on the practice green before you head to the first tee. And new concrete cart paths are being installed; it’s an ongoing project and makes for a “smoother” round!

Inside Legacy’s pro shop, you’ll find a wide variety of golf accessories and logoed apparel from several of the major brands. They also sell golf equipment that’s priced to compete with the major retailers. The professional golf staff can help with club repair, or you can take advantage of a certified custom fitting when you purchase a set of clubs.

The Legacy Grill is a great place to relax and unwind with friends and relive your round. If you’re hungry, you’ve got to try the Smashburger; it’s extremely popular among locals and visitors alike. It says something when non-golfers stop by for a burger!  There’s also a variety of hot & cold entrees, quick-to-go sandwiches, snacks, breakfast, and plenty of cold beverages all while enjoying spectacular views of the golf course.

During our visit, I asked several golfers what they liked most about Legacy and the answers were the same as what I heard four years ago:  the value, and the people. Some things never change!

Golfers in the Nashville area have a lot to choose from when it comes to playing golf in the area.  however, if you’re willing to drive about 30 minutes or so outside of town, you can play the best dollar-for-dollar round of golf in the area. Plan a visit and see for yourself everything The Legacy has to offer. Give them a call at (615) 384-4653 or book your next tee time online at www.golfthelegacy.com.