Troon announced it has been selected to manage Esplanade Golf & Country Club, a private club and community located in Naples, Florida. Troon Privé, the private club operating division of Troon, will manage golf, club, resort-style amenities, food & beverage operations, golf course agronomy, membership marketing as well as the community’s master association.
Esplanade Golf & Country Club features an 18-hole Chris Wilczynski-designed course. The 6,983-yard, par 72 course offers golfers wide fairways off the tee and the ability to run the ball up on every hole. Flower beds, water features, trees and bunkers help frame each hole.
“Esplanade Golf & Country Club is a spectacular community,” said Ricardo Catarino, vice president, operations, Troon. “We are thrilled to be working with the Board as we look to further elevate the entire operation from golf course agronomy to service levels and member experiences.”
The beautiful Esplanade community was developed by Taylor Morrison Homes and includes approximately 1,798 acres, 1,000 of which are natural preserves, wetlands and walking trails, as well as over 170 acres of lakes. The gated community features 1,184 residential homes.
The new Stillwater community and golf club, located in northeast Florida between Jacksonville and St. Augustine, is set to open in late 2021. The 18-hole layout will mark the area’s first new golf course since 2004.
Pete Dye protégé Bobby Weed, fresh off his new golf course build for Michael Jordan at The Grove XXIII, has been commissioned to design Stillwater. Scheduled to debut as a semi-private course and hallmark for developer Lennar Corporation's 550-home active adult community, the par-71 will stretch about 6,800 yards.
Unique to the area, Stillwater will feature revetted pot bunkers, made possible by EcoBunker’s synthetic bunker edging system. Synthetic grass tiles are built on top of each other to create a layered effect. The end product is a fortified bunker that reduces wind-based erosion and yields a beautiful on-course aesthetic. “Don’t expect a golf course from the past,” Weed said. “As the area’s first new course in almost two decades, we are providing Lennar with something distinct and different.”
Bunker maintenance is an intense labor commitment for clubs, and importing sand is expensive. By building revetted bunkers, clubs can keep more sand down while still offering strategic playing options.
“We were satisfied using EcoBunker during our renovation at Medalist Golf Club in 2015,” Weed added. “We had a 9-inch rainstorm during construction, and they did not fail. Stillwater will also benefit from EcoBunker with noticeably less time and money spent on bunker maintenance.”
Stillwater’s soil is relatively sandy, and thus does not require bunkers to be lined. However, there is sufficient drainage under them. The revetted walls sit at angles between 55 and 75 degrees.
“Revetted bunkers are exceptionally rare in warm-season grass environments,” said Richard Allen, inventor and CEO of EcoBunker. “The extreme nature of these climates means that bunker faces can easily be destroyed by heavy rain. Our product helps solve that problem.”
Weed has designed a more flexible layout for the course, which will feature just 70 acres of irrigated turf. It features loops of three, six and nine holes returning to the clubhouse, allowing members to play as their time permits.
To date, 12 holes have been shaped at Stillwater. Grassing should be completed by the end of August, and the course is expected to open by Thanksgiving in November. Stillwater marks an important milestone for EcoBunker in the United States, as it has recently changed the channel through which it markets its solution in the country.
“The EcoBunker system made an exciting entry into the USA five years ago with fabulous projects at Medalist, Secession, LedgeRock and several others,” Allen said. “After a period of marketing our product in the USA under a different brand name, we have decided to reinstate the EcoBunker brand, remove the middleman and provide our products and services directly, with all the client benefits that come with that. Stillwater will provide another stunning example of the possibilities of the EcoBunker system and we thank Bobby Weed for the opportunity to use this project as a key part of our relaunch.”
SePRO Corporation has introduced two new webinars focused on innovations in golf course management. From Tees to Greens and Everything In-Between webinars will cover recent advances in PGR technology, a revolutionary fungicide for the turf market and effective strategies for pond management, including new EutroSORB.
Dr. Kyle Briscoe, technical development manager with SePRO, is the featured speaker for the first webinar, “Innovations in PGR Technology and an Introduction to Zio Fungicide.” The webinar is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 14. CLICK HERE to register.
The second webinar, “Pond Management Made Simple, and NEW EutroSORB,” will be presented by Mike Pearce, senior portfolio leader with SePRO. The webinar is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 22. CLICK HERE to register.
Eligible attendees will earn a $25 digital Amazon gift card for attending or watching the webinar in its entirety. Offer is valid to turf management professionals and authorized SePRO partners, with a limit of one gift card per attendee.
Target Specialty Products is launching Turf Fuel INFINITE, a product designed to improve moisture management and stress tolerance.
Turf Fuel INFINITE combines Diuturon; a patent pending surfactant, Templar, a plant stress technology, and four other companion polymers. The system enables turf managers to take control of soil hydration and plant health.
“The No. 1 priority for our product development at Turf Fuel is to deliver unique solutions to age old challenges our customers face,” said Target Specialty Products proprietary products manager Mark Jull. “With INFINITE, we have targeted the common need for precise water management, consistent longevity and exceptional plant health, even under drought conditions.”
Turf Fuel specialty products development manager Jim Turner added, “We began testing the Diuturon technology at the University of Arkansas four years ago, and results have been impressive. Through our work with Nutrifense we were exposed to some very impactful plant health technology Templar that enables turf to thrive in drought conditions. The combination of Diuturon and Templar result in a never before complete soil and plant health system.”
INFINITE will be available in late April 2021 on a state-by-state basis as regulatory approvals are granted. INFINITE will be distributed through Target Specialty Products.
Editor's note: This column originally appeared in the May 2019 print edition of Golf Course Industry.
When Alexander Pope used the phrase, “Hope springs eternal … ” while composing “An Essay on Man” in the early 1700s, there is no way he could have known there would one day exist a golf tournament held annually in Augusta, Ga., the second week of April. With dogwoods and azaleas in bloom, signaling the arrival of spring, the Masters annually ushers in a renewed sense of hope and excitement. The majors have arrived for professionals and top amateurs alike, and another season of golf has finally arrived for everyone tired of winter in the Northern Hemisphere.
There are so many great things about the Masters, the Augusta National Golf Club and that symbolic renewed sense of hope. Maybe this will be the year you trim a few strokes from your handicap, or make your first hole-in-one, or win the city championship. The list goes on and on. Hope springs eternal for everyone loving the game of golf when the Masters arrives.
For many others, the Masters also signals the arrival of returning members, guests and patrons as courses reopen for the new year. There is a worry within our realm that these returning players will expect perfection right out of the gate after viewing the impeccably maintained and presented ANGC on high-definition television. This worry and sometimes dread have led many superintendents and course managers to begin referring to the so-called “Augusta Syndrome.”
But rather than complaining that the Masters creates false or unrealistic expectations from our members, guests and patrons, I propose an alternative … the “Augusta Inspiration.” This year I had the good fortune to attend the Masters on Wednesday (par-3 contest day) with my wife. It was her first visit in five years, and we were excited to experience ANGC together again. I listened to Masters Radio on Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio as we made the 2 ½-hour drive from Charlotte while she “rested her eyes.”
I thought about how perfect everything was at that moment. The anticipation and excitement, the sun rising as we timed our early arrival. One of the stories I heard that morning was how co-founder Clifford Roberts would spend time in his office inspecting every item the club purchased as gifts for the participants. Whether it was ensuring zippers worked properly or personally removing loose, dangling threads with tiny scissors, it wasn’t enough for a Masters gift to be the perfect gift. The gift needed to be presented perfectly to every participant.
I think we can all agree the attention to detail at ANGC is unrivaled and that tradition and expectation has been passed down from founders Bob Jones (he tolerated being called Bobby) and Roberts to everyone involved with ANGC today. In the years since Mrs. Greenkeeper last attended, they have built a new media center and totally revamped the golf shop and patron entrance.
You know from memory something is different from the moment you walk in, yet it looks like it’s always been that way. They do a remarkable job ensuring everything is presented consistently with impeccable attention to detail, nothing is missed. Perhaps ANGC and the Masters truly represent the possibility of what is achievable when attention to detail is at the absolute highest level. What if we look to the care and presentation of ANGC as inspiration of what we can achieve on our own courses if/when we think outside the box and pay even closer attention to every tiny detail?
Yes, budgets, staff sizes, equipment, and more are limiting factors. You will still need to communicate to your members, guests and patrons when your staff size is smaller than the contingent of fairway mowers alone at ANGC. There are limitations to levels of expectations. But instead of thinking of the Masters and ANGC as creators of a negative syndrome, let’s look to them and their impeccable attention to detail as inspiration of what is truly possible when we allow ourselves to dream.
Before you chastise me for writing about a tournament that happened last month – especially when Bethpage Black hosts the PGA Championship this month – let’s applaud the efforts of my fellow Syngenta Business Institute 2015 alum Andrew Wilson and his team of all-stars and volunteers for their work. Perhaps they were even inspired.