Orlando Golf News

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Rick Smith Named Director of Golf at Timacuan
GE GolfOrlandoFlorida Editor Updated July 29, 2016

PGA Professional Rick Smith has been named Director of Golf at Timacuan Golf Club. A Kentucky native, Smith will oversee all aspects of the golf operation.

"I am looking forward to new and exciting challenges in the golf industry and being able to deliver a great product here at Timacuan Golf & Country Club," said Smith. "Timacuan has the reputation of being a great tournament golf course and a popular course for members and recreational golfers. I am glad to be here and hope to build on that reputation."

Harmony Golf Preserve
GE GolfOrlandoFlorida Editor April 21, 2016

Harmony Golf Preserve will close on May 9, 2016 to undergo major bunker renovations and install state-of-the-art TifEagle greens.  The golf course is scheduled to reopen in September 2016. 

“We will be investing almost $1 million in the Harmony Golf Preserve course,” said Bob Glantz, Vice President of Starwood Land Ventures, which owns the property. “Many of the bunkers will be reconfigured, some of the greens will be redesigned and all of the greens will be renovated. Our new active adult community, The Lakes at Harmony, will welcome its first residents this summer and we want to have the course in excellent condition for the new residents and all of those who enjoy playing golf at Harmony.”

Harmony Golf Preserve, a par-72, 7,417-yard championship course designed by former PGA Tour star Johnny Miller and Fredrick Bliss, features practice facilities, an 18,000-sq. ft. clubhouse, and a restaurant/banquet facility called The Champions Grill.

Falcons Fire Golf Club
GE GolfOrlandoFlorida Editor February 22, 2016

Join Eckerd Project Bridge in its efforts to provide Central Florida youth with a second chance at its 2nd Annual Charity Golf Outing on Saturday, May 14th, 2016 at Falcon's Fire Golf Club. This celebrity golf tournament gives you the chance to meet and play a round of golf with former NFL Player, Kevin Smith. Also, Vanessa Hayden, former WNBA player and contestant on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, will be at the event to mingle with golfers and guests. 

The event, which benefits Eckerd Kids Project Bridge, will help provide educational and vocational support to vulnerable youth. Eckerd Kids Project Bridge provides positive role models and mentors for youth while providing educational and vocational courses and certifications, teaching responsibility and preparing youth for a successful career path. It will take place at Falcon’s Fire Golf Club, 3200 Seralago Blvd. Kissimmee, Fl 34746. Tee time is at 8:30am with registration starting at 7:30am. There will be hole in one prizes, a silent auction, game of chance, as well as other games. 

Greens Renovation at ChampionsGate Golf Club
GE GolfOrlandoFlorida Editor February 15, 2016

Starting in June 2016, ChampionsGate Golf Club will start a greens resurfacing project to transform and rejuvenate the putting surfaces.  The International Course at ChampionsGate will be resurfaced with a transformation from Floradwarf to Champion Bermuda turfgrass in the summer of 2016.  

The National Course at ChampionsGate will get new greens putting surfaces during the summer of 2017.  

Opened in 2000, ChampionsGate Golf Club features 36 championship holes of golf.  Located at the expansive Omni Resort, ChampionsGate has consistently rated as one of the best golf courses in Orlando.  This commitment to invest in putting surface enhancements shows ChampionsGate’s intent on remaining one of Orlando golf’s leaders in the golf industry.


GE GolfOrlandoFlorida Editor Updated February 15, 2016

Golf Florida Alliance - a collaboration of leading organizations representing all segments of the state's golf industry - celebrated "Florida Golf Day" at the State Capitol in Tallahassee on February 4th.

Industry leaders met with members of the House of Representatives and Senate to discuss the industry's economic impact, growth of youth development programs and enhanced focus on environmental sustainability.

Last year, GOLF 20/20 reported the game's direct economic impact in Florida was $8.2 billion in 2013, an increase from $7.5 billion in 2007. The state's golf industry supports more than 132,000 jobs and $3.6 billion in wage income. Florida is home to about 1,100 golf courses, the most of any U.S. state. 

"Florida Golf Day is our annual opportunity to meet with State Legislators and explain the positive benefits our game brings to local communities throughout the Sunshine State," says Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation and administrator of GOLF 20/20. "As evidenced by significant statewide growth over the last seven years, the game is a key revenue driver at the local level and provides billions of annual wage income each year."

Mission Inn Hosts Collegiate Tournaments
GE GolfOrlandoFlorida Editor Updated February 15, 2016

When it comes to hosting college golf events, few facilities can boast a record like that of Mission Inn Resort & Club, the iconic central Florida golf venue located in Howey-in-the-Hills, just 35 minutes northwest of Orlando.

For the 20th consecutive year, Mission Inn Resort & Club is serving as home for a lineup of collegiate tournaments that includes a major or regional NCAA golf championship. Starting with the Mission Inn Spring Fling, March 12-13, and ending with the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Championship, April 28-May 5, there will be six men's and women's collegiate competitions at Mission Inn in 2016:

Topgolf Orlando is Coming Early 2017
GE GolfOrlandoFlorida Editor Updated February 15, 2016

Topgolf is coming to Orlando.  During the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show, Topgolf Entertainment Group officially unveiled Orlando as its third location planned in Florida. Topgolf® will begin construction on the 65,000-square-foot venue in February 2016 and is expected to open to the public in early 2017.  

Topgolf Orlando will be located at Convention Way and Universal Boulevard, right across the street from the Orange County Convention Center.  Topgolf is the only entertainment center of its kind, offering competitive golfing games for all ages and skill levels and advanced technology to track the accuracy and distance of players' shots. Those who just want to relax can enjoy the upscale, laid-back ambiance that boasts more than 230 high-definition flat-screen TVs and an extensive food and beverage menu.

"Orlando is one of the biggest entertainment and tourism markets in the United States," said Topgolf Vice President of Real Estate Development Zach Shor. "With more than 50 million people per year going for the theme parks and conventions, Topgolf is sure to be a go-to venue for people looking to entertain and be entertained."

GE GolfOrlandoFlorida Editor November 16, 2015

The ANNIKA Academy has announced two new golf instruction programs for the 2015-16 season.  "Silver" and "Short Game" platforms are now available, joining the popular "Soren-Slam," "Major," "Platinum," "Championship," and "Player's" options.  The Silver includes three half days of instruction (three hours / day) covering the full swing, short game, bunker play and putting; 54 holes of golf (18 holes / day); three hours of on-course instruction; and breakfast daily.

Gary Gilchrist is a Golf Digest Top 50 Instructor
GE GolfOrlandoFlorida Editor Updated October 20, 2015

Once again Gary Gilchrist joins the top golf instructors in the world as Golf Digest released its 50 Best Teachers in America list in its October 2015 issue.  For Gilchrist, it's his third consecutive time being named a Golf Digest Top 50 Teacher, also earning the accolade for 2013-2014 and 2011-2012.

"It's a great honor to again be recognized among the top coaches in golf," Gilchrist said. "My passion has always been helping players achieve greater results, and it's rewarding to be recognized by my peers."

Gilchrist is the founder of the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy at Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey in the Hills, Fla., 35 minutes northwest of Orlando, which he established in 2008. Gilchrist is most known for developing golf's next generation and spends most of his time training juniors in his Full Time Junior Program in Central Florida.

Diamond Resorts Invitational
GE GolfOrlandoFlorida Editor Updated October 17, 2015

The Golden Bear Golf Club in Orlando, Florida will host the inaugural Diamond Resorts Invitational Celebrity Golf Tournament on January 14-16, 2016.  Benefiting Florida Hospital for Children, the Diamond Resorts Invitational will feature numerous celebrities.  Jerry Rice, Reggie Jackson, Roger Clemens and Larry the Cable Guy are among the early sign-ups for the tournament boasting a $500,000 purse with a $100,000 first prize.   Three days of live coverage on Golf Channel with a goal to raise $1 million for Florida Hospital for Children highlights the event. 

At a recent press conference announcing the tournament, celebrity participants Mark Rypien, the former Super Bowl winning Washington Redskins quarterback; Johnny Damon, the former Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees World Series champion; and Brian Gay, a PGA TOUR player and Orlando resident, voiced their enthusiasm for the multi-year event.

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