How You Can Get Involved
- Go to https://www.eifg.org/research/rounds-4-research
- Click on donate rounds in the upper right-hand corner
- Enter your course’s information in the online donation form
- You can specify the number of players, days and time of week, etc.
- Identify the GCSAA Chapter you want your proceeds to benefit
- You can even donate for the next three years by clicking a box in the online form
Headed by project manager Ron Despain from Troon, the renovation kicked off with a groundbreaking ceremony featuring Jones and Bryce Swanson of Rees Jones, Inc. along with club dignitaries and the key team from Total Golf, the contractor completing the work.
Originally built in 1964 and designed by Joe Lee and Dick Wilson, BallenIsles Country Club’s South Course is a challenging 6,827-yard, par-72 layout. The South Course renovation will include a complete tee-to-green makeover, including a new irrigation system, cart paths, bunkering and a Rees Jones look at refined strategy.
"We are creating a classic style," Jones said. "The original architect laid out the course well and provided us ample playing corridor to build a thought-provoking course. The remodeled layout will have an ebb and flow throughout the round, and I believe the members are going to enjoy the changes.”
As part of the South Course renovation, a new set of tees will be added, measuring approximately 4,000 yards, to provide a shorter course playing option, allowing for five to six various tee settings and angles to challenge different levels of players.
“The South Course’s routing and layout are solid,” the club's director of golf, Jeff Fitzherbert, said. “This renovation project will create a much more attractive course visually, while maintaining and enhancing existing integrity. When complete, members will enjoy a dramatically improved golf experience and have additional shot options during their rounds. We’re excited to have Rees Jones leading the renovation project.”
When complete, BallenIsles will offer three modern championship golf courses, including the North Course and the famed East Course, to accommodate its vibrant and active membership.
“Embarking on this renovation on the heels of opening our new 115,000 Lifestyle Club” – a $35 million clubhouse renovation completed in November 2018 – “says a lot about our membership and quality we expect,” GM and COO Ryan Walls said. “We have a vision for our community and club and Rees will most certainly help form a key piece of the experience we provide our members.”
The 2018 U.S. Kids Golf Venice Open has been recognized as a GEO Certified Tournament for its leadership to advance sustainability in and through golf.
The initiative was led by the voluntary leadership of the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation and Golf della Montecchia, with strong support from the other two host venues – Golf Club Frassanelle and Galzignano Terme Spa & Golf Resort. The event is also backed by the PGAs of Europe.
“Innovation is ingrained in our DNA, as demonstrated by the approach we take at our home base in Longleaf, so it made absolute sense for us to push the boundaries on environmental sustainability and community value at our events,” U.S. Kids Golf Foundation founder and CEO Dan Van Horn said. “The GEO Foundation has been a credible and knowledgeable partner, providing support and now recognition that enables us to promote this important message more widely. We’d encourage all golf venues and tournaments to get involved.”
Paolo Casati, the president of Golf della Montecchia and of PlayGolf54 Group, said the journey has been “based on a commitment to environmental values that started many years ago. Thanks to a valued collaboration with the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation, we are very proud to spread this important message to the new generation.”
Coordination and delivery were overseen by sustainable golf expert, Stefano Boni, who used guidance and resources provided by the GEO OnCourse® Tournaments program to work closely with the organisers, venues, hotels, transport companies and caterers, as well as with the children themselves and their families.
The award has been made following a robust third-party verification, which was based on all the evidence that Stefano gathered and reported.
“We are delighted to extend this well-deserved recognition to the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation and the team that stages the Venice Open,” GEO Foundation founder and executive director Jonathan Smith said. “Perhaps the most inspiring part is seeing the children and their families getting engaged and expressing such a clear desire to see the sport they love embrace environmental stewardship and social responsibility. We congratulate all the partners on leading the way, and expressing what golf can do to foster nature, conserve resources and build inclusive, healthy and sustainable communities.”
The event organizers worked within the confines of the international certification criteria to guide all planning, according to Susie Tomson, an independent verifier. “Without huge capacity or resources, they have managed to engage a lot of different stakeholders, and the players themselves, to generate real results,” she said. “They are a model example of a smaller, non-professional tournament that can make a big difference.”
Golf della Montecchia has been GEO Certified for seven years and has won the IAGTO Sustainability Award. Golf Club Frassanelle and Galzignano Terme are in OnCourse sustainability program and working towards GEO Certified. All courses are pioneering organic management of new, warm-season grasses, as well as studying sustainable turf, biodiversity and water conservation, and reduced carbon footprint in partnership with NGOs and universities.
Local schools helped organise and stage the tournament, cooperation with local museums to promote the area’s history and culture, and fundraising for the Team for Children charity.
The new PondSeries fountains feature 1/2-, 1- and 2- horsepower units that showcase a lightweight, drop-in design, three spray patterns and no oil or seals to change. The company’s head of engineering, Sean Diamond, said, “When we set out to develop the PondSeries fountains, we wanted to pack them with high-quality features that both pond owners and professional installers alike would appreciate. The result is the easiest to sell and install fountains on the market.”
Floating fountains often need to be pulled from the water and taken back to the dealer’s shop for cleaning and repair. The PondSeries patent-pending design allows an Airmax professional installer to completely repair them at pond-side.
“We tried to design the PondSeries through the eyes of the field installer, so we wanted to design something where repairs and maintenance could be done under an hour and right at the pond’s edge,” Airmax owner Jason Blake said. “That’s why you only need a few tools and one person to make any repairs necessary on these units.”
Company representatives are hitting the road in a custom-designed trailer to demonstrate the functionality of each fountain.