Friday, March 22, 2019

The Highlands Course at Primland Continues to Receive National, International Accolades

(MEADOWS OF DAN, Virginia) — Golfscape, an internationally recognized golf site, has named The Highland Course to its 2019 list of the World’s Top 100 Golf Courses. The Highland Course at Primland is listed as No. 8 in the U.S. and No. 28 in the world. The course finished above other notable destinations in the U.S., such as The Oconee Course at Reynolds, Lake Oconee, the Tranquilo Golf Course at the Four Seasons Resort in Orlando and La Playa Beach and Golf Resort in Naples.

This new award adds to the resort’s growing list of accolades including its ranking among the 2019 Top 100 Resort Golf Courses (No. 31) and 2018 Best Courses You Can Play (No. 2 in Virginia) by Golfweek and 2018 America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses (No. 28) by Golf Digest. Located in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, The Highland Course at Primland showcases the resort’s breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains at every turn.

Designed in 2006 by Donald Steel, the course was carved from the natural landscape of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains leaving stunning views along its ridge tops. A course with forgiving landing areas, Steel’s British roots transfer to the Highland Course with links-style features implemented throughout one of the best mountain layouts in golf.

“We are honored to have been recognized among the best golf courses in the world,” said Steve Helms, vice president at Primland. “The award is a testament to our dedicated team, partners and staff. It will continue to drive our commitment to deliver an exceptional experience that we hope will be thoroughly enjoyed by our guests.”

In addition to golf, Primland is the perfect luxury resort for couples and families, with 12,000 acres of undisturbed land that is home to an abundance of outdoor activities including wing shooting, hunting, tree climbing, fly fishing, RTVs, horseback riding, kayaking, archery, tomahawk throwing and much more. The mountainous views surround guests from all angles of the resort, providing a scenic backdrop for the players on the Highland Course and guests exploring the nature trails along the restored Appalachian Trail throughout the property.

For availability and reservations, call 866-960-7746 or email golf@primland.com.

Tripp Davis and Associates’ Restoration of Dallas’ Northwood Club Honored

The club has been named the No. 1 Best Elite Country Club in DFW Area


(Norman, OK) — The Northwood Club in Dallas was recently recognized as the Best Country Club in Dallas/Fort Worth in the Elite Category and also honored as the Best Course Renovation of the Year by AvidGolfer DFW Magazine.  The renovation work was conducted by architect Tripp Davis and Associates (TDA). Davis’ redesign was called “astounding” and “fantastic,” and his work was praised for “keeping the course mostly intact while using subtlety to update the layout.”  

AvidGolfer also highly ranked the 14th hole at Northwood Club as the Best Par 5 and the best tee shot in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

“I am honored to have Northwood recognized by AvidGolfer Magazine as the Best Elite Country Club and Best Renovation in Dallas/Fort Worth,” said Davis. “Our approach was to restore the original character found in Mr. Diddel’s greens, rebuild the bunkers to reflect Diddel’s style, and reposition bunkers and tees to be more strategically relevant for today’s game. To see our work elevate the status of Northwood is very gratifying.”

Originally designed by William Diddel in 1946, Northwood hosted the 1952 U.S. Open making it one of only three courses in Texas ever to have hosted this championship. Northwood also has been the site for several regional USGA, local North Texas PGA and AJGA tournaments.

Starting in 2016, TDA oversaw an 18-month major renovation of the historic course and unveiled a refreshing new look to its membership in April 2018.

TDA and builder Landscapes Unlimited restored all tees, greens and bunkers and reshaped most fairways, along with providing new cart paths, drainage and a new irrigation system.  TDA introduced Northbridge, a new Bermudagrass, which is used over the entire course with the exception of the Bentgrass greens.  In addition, creeks on the property were restored and a new irrigation lake was built to help the club recapture more water. Trees that were hiding the quality of the land were removed. Davis and his crew also rebuilt the practice facilities, including the driving range, and designed a 4 hole “Short Course” to broaden the playing options, especially for junior golfers. The “Short Course,” with holes ranging from 50-120 yards long, opened late November 2017.

For more information about Tripp Davis and Associates, visit the website at www.tdagolf.net or call 405-447-5259.

Sea Pines Country Club Selects Phil Smith Design to Lead Course Enhancements

Masterplan to Include Renovations to Club Course, Practice Facility


(HILTON HEAD, S.C.) – Sea Pines Country Club – the lone private club within Sea Pines featuring golf, tennis, multiple pools and fitness – has selected golf course architect Phil Smith to create a masterplan for its esteemed Arnold Palmer-designed Club Course.

A roadmap for the future of one of the island’s best kept secrets, it entails an in-depth analysis of the club’s practice facility, tees, fairways, bunkers, greens, cart paths, irrigation and more. Upon completion of the masterplan, enhancements will begin on the practice facility, followed by restoration of Sea Pines’ only member-exclusive 18-hole course.

Based in Scottsdale, Ariz., Smith’s resume includes over 30 years working with PGA TOUR and golf course design legends Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf. His extensive experience has led him to execute numerous high-profile renovations, including work on the TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course, Desert Mountain’s Cochise, Geronimo and Renegade courses and a recent complete redesign of the Phoenician Golf Club. Phil is also busy completing several new designs including a new championship course at The Club at Flying Horse North in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“Phil Smith is one of the top names in golf course design, and we are thrilled to work with him on the masterplan for our Club Course,” says Robbie Ames, General Manager / COO of Sea Pines Country Club. “Sea Pines is committed to maintaining a top-rated golf course and facility for our members.”

Originally designed by Arnold Palmer in 1973 and renovated by Clyde Johnston in 2001, the Club Course is known for its narrow, tree-lined fairways, doglegs and small greens reminiscent of neighboring Harbour Town Golf Links at Sea Pines Resort. The layout meanders through lagoons and marshes, coming to a triumphant finish with the par-4 18th hole perched along one of the island’s most vast expanses of Lowcountry tidewater.

“Our goal is to complement the existing Club Course characteristics and enhance the world class golf experience already enjoyed by Sea Pines Country Club members,” says Phil Smith. “Respecting the unique Lowcountry setting will be at the heart of any proposed renovations.”

In 2016 the members of Sea Pines Country Club approved the Vision 2020 Facility Enhancement Plan. Completed during the summer of 2017, the Clubhouse was transformed to present a modern and contemporary pub and grille, bringing the breathtaking tidal marsh views into every angle. The indoor and outdoor pool complexes were also fully modernized. Multi-million-dollar renovation and expansion plan for the fitness center is scheduled to be finished early summer 2019.

Learn more about Sea Pines Country Club at www.seapinescountryclub.com. For membership information, contact Nic Booth at 843-671-2335 or NBooth@seapinescountryclub.com.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Pronghorn Resort Announces Golf Packages as New Huntington Lodge Readies for Unveiling

(RELEASE) — Pronghorn Resort, a luxury golf development in Bend, Oregon, is teeing up for the opening of its new Huntington Lodge, but soon, all the snow will melt, flowers will bloom, and golfers will rejoice. Looking ahead to Bend’s famously sunnier days, Pronghorn is offering some great golf getaways this spring and summer. As a bucket list golf destination with the first ever Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and Tom Fazio Championship Golf Course side-by-side, the luxury resort also boasts its own Pronghorn Academy by Jeff Ritter, a top ranked instructor and Golf Channel lead coach.

With packages available through August, guests will be able to experience the brand new Huntington Lodge, opening later this spring. The 104-room boutique hotel is set at the heart of the 640-acre property with stunning views of the nine peaks along the Cascade Mountain Range. With a striking modern design unlike anything else in the high desert region, Huntington Lodge takes its cues from the surrounding landscapes and reflects Central Oregon’s affinity with the outdoors.

Stay & Play Pronghorn Experience
Overnight accommodations in a Junior Suite
$100 food and beverage credit
2 rounds on the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, cart included
2 rounds on the Tom Fazio Championship Course, forecaddie and cart included

March: starting at $401/night. April: starting at $484/night. May: starting at $520/night. June: starting at $690/night. July: starting at $722/night. August: starting at $722/night. Some exclusions apply. Minimum two-night stay required. Valid for stays Sunday-Thursday.

Stay & Play Golf Package
Overnight accommodations in a Junior Suite
2 rounds on the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, cart included

March: starting at $289/night. April: starting at $319/night. May: starting at $355/night. June: starting at $465/night. July: starting at $497/night. Some exclusions apply. Valid for stays Sunday-Thursday.

To book, visit pronghornresort.com/special-offers/ or call 877.778.9970.

Arcis Golf Collaborates with the Brierley Institute at SMU to Study Customer Engagement

New Relationship Strengthens Ties Between SMU and One of the Golf Industry’s Fastest-Growing Businesses


(Dallas, Texas) — Arcis Golf is collaborating with The Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement at SMU Cox School of Business (SMU Cox) to conduct a customer engagement research project. The proprietary study will seek to optimize fee-based membership programs at Arcis Golf’s daily-fee facilities throughout the United States.

Arcis Golf currently owns and manages more than 60 courses in golf-heavy markets including Dallas (where SMU Cox is located), Phoenix, Southern California, and Chicago, and serves other markets such as Florida and Las Vegas. At every property, public or private, Arcis Golf strives to provide the highest-level customer experience.

The Brierley Institute creates innovative learning opportunities for SMU Cox MBA students aspiring to careers in marketing, business analytics, and consulting. Selected MBA students have embarked on the project, studying Arcis Golf’s current membership programs and suggesting improvements and enhancements.  Marci Armstrong, Harold M. Brierley Endowed Professor and Director of the Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement, identified the participants from among current SMU Cox MBA candidates.

“These students learn to develop strategies that build customer relationships, leverage digital and traditional media, measure financial impact, and create customer experiences, which engage customers to create loyalty and build value,” said Armstrong, an experienced professor of marketing. “It is our honor to put the talents of the Brierley Institute’s best students to work on behalf of a company as innovative and forward-thinking as Arcis Golf.”

This is a natural alliance between the two entities. Arcis Golf was founded by SMU alum CEO Blake Walker, and three other SMU alumni fill executive management positions. In 2016, the Cox School’s Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship ranked Arcis Golf the second fastest-growing, privately held Dallas area business in its annual Dallas 100 competition. The Caruth Institute measures sales growth within a designated three-year period to determine the ranking.

Arcis Golf also has been selected numerous times to the annual Inc. Magazine 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, while Walker has been recognized by EY as the Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 award winner in the hospitality category for the Southwest region.

Working together creates additional engagement opportunities for Arcis, the Brierley Institute, and its top students, and enables Arcis to take advantage of on-campus speaking opportunities, involvement with student projects, and special Institute events.

“We are excited to be working with the students at the Brierley Institute, getting the benefit of their participation in this project while contributing to SMU, which means a great deal to many of us at Arcis Golf as well as the entire Dallas business community,” said Walker. “This is a wonderful symbiotic relationship, both entities gaining from working with the other, and a terrific platform for professional growth for the students after they graduate. We’re expecting great ideas from them.”

The Brierley Institute, named for customer loyalty trailblazer Harold M. (Hal) Brierley, is the first academic institute in the nation devoted to the study of customer engagement. Brierley and his wife, Diane, donated a $10 million gift to establish the Institute in 2016. Emphasizing a collaborative environment – including a free exchange of ideas, insights, and practices – the Institute brings together students, professors, and business practitioners to understand how and why customers engage with brands and how engagement drives customer loyalty and value.

“We are counting on the Brierley Institute and these talented MBA students to offer a fresh perspective and conduct integrated research on behalf of Arcis Golf,” said Chris Crocker, CMO, Arcis Golf. “The creation of bespoke customer engagement programs for our brand will be another differentiator in the golf and country club lifestyle arena.”

Recognized as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America, Arcis Golf is the premier operator of public and private golf clubs in the United States with a current portfolio of more than 60 properties in 15 states from coast to coast. An industry leader providing dynamic direction and unrivaled amenities that complement diverse playing experiences, Arcis Golf is committed to reinventing the golf and country club lifestyle experience.

Website: www.arcisgolf.com

University of Georgia Wins Team and Individual Honors at 14th Annual Linger Longer Invitational

(Greensboro, GA) – In a tournament known for featuring top collegiate golf programs and future PGA Tour stars, this year’s Linger Longer Invitational (LLI) provided a thrilling display of talent that finally resulted in victory for the nationally ranked (no. 12) University of Georgia Bulldogs, capturing the title for a record-tying fifth time.

It was a close race to the finish for four teams, including first-round leader Louisville along with second-round leader and last year’s LLI champion, Alabama. Sunday began with Georgia tied for second with Liberty, but ultimately the Bulldogs were able to pull ahead with a final 54-hole score of 845, 19-under par.

Liberty finished just six strokes behind to take second place at 851 (best 4-of-5 scoring). Louisville took third place at 854, 10-under par, while five-time champion Alabama was fourth at 259. All four teams came into the LLI ranked among the Top 25 collegiate programs in the country.

Not only did Georgia stand out in the tournament, but it also dominated on the individual, claiming the top two spots.  First-time collegiate medalist Spencer Ralston won the individual title at 11-under-par 205, followed by fellow junior teammate Trevor Phillips, at 208, 8-under, tied with Liberty sophomore Alexandre Fuchs. Ralston and Phillips both shot 6-under-par 66 in the final round.

“Georgia comes to the Linger Longer Invitational every year and this is my third time participating,” said Ralston, the fifth Bulldog to capture the individual title at Reynolds Lake Oconee. “This win is huge and it was such a great feeling to get a sweep for our whole team. I think the rest of our season holds a lot of promise.”

This was Georgia’s second tournament win for the spring season. The Bulldogs also claimed victory at the 27th annual Puerto Rico Classic in February.

Co-hosted by Kennesaw State University and Mercer University, the Linger Longer Invitational has been an annual showcase for college golf teams since 2006. From  inception, the Invitational has been played at three of the six courses at Reynolds Lake Oconee – The Oconee, Great Waters, and this year’s location, The Landing. For full results from the 2019 Linger Longer Invitational click here.

Reflection Bay Golf Club Hosts International Golf Academy

Seven-week program is one of the first of its kind in Southern Nevada


(Henderson, Nev.) — Reflection Bay Golf Club at Lake Las Vegas hosted its first international golf academy this year with an intensive 7-week program for a group of students from South Korea. The group was part of the International Golf Institute’s (IGI) winter camp program. Led by Director of Instruction Robin Symes, camp participants experienced a championship course and top-notch practice facilities with instruction led by Symes and his instructional team.

“The academy is an unparalleled golf-focused environment for players who want to improve their golf game,” said Eric Dutt, manager of golf operations for Reflection Bay Golf Club. “With our golf assets and multiple amenities available to our student guests including on-site hotels and dining, Lake Las Vegas has more to offer international students than any other course in Southern Nevada.”

“This is my 13th winter camp I have run since moving to Korea,” said Symes. “We have visited Australia, Dubai, Thailand, and the USA. I have never seen or experienced a facility better built for Elite juniors, and professional players to train on than that of Reflection Bay.  This, along with the speed of the greens, provides in my opinion an unparalleled learning environment.”

Symes is a former Irish national team player who moved his coaching practice to South Korea in 2006. He quickly became one of the country’s most sought-after instructors and has taught many of the Korean golfers seen on the LPGA, and PGA tours including Na Yeon Choi (LPGA), US Open Champion, and world number 2 in 2012, Jennifer Song (LPGA), US Amateur Champion, and mid-Amateur Champion, Sang Moon Bae (PGA TOUR) and Si Woo Kim (PGA TOUR).

“This is the first of many visiting golf academies and national teams that we have slated for visiting Lake Las Vegas,” said Dutt. Dutt’s 35-year career in the golf industry included his work as vice president of Las Vegas golf operations for Caesar’s Entertainment including 20 years managing the Butch Harmon School of Golf at Rio Secco Golf Club.

Golf academy students had access to Reflection Bay’s practice facility which features four practice holes, chipping greens, pitching greens, fairway bunkers and more. Additionally, Reflection Bay has just completed a new indoor hitting bay with Trackman technology, Scotty Cameron putter fitting, club fitting and full club repair services.

Visiting students tapped into the knowledge of former PGA Tour professional Craig Barlow, the club’s director of instruction and Jeff Gallagher, golf instructor. Barlow is a PGA Tour professional who has made 170 cuts on the PGA Tour and competed in eight major tournaments including the British Open, six U.S. Opens and a PGA Championship. Gallagher is also a PGA Tour professional who played on both the PGA Tour and the Nationwide Tour, which he won in 1991 and 2000. Reflection Bay is the only course in Southern Nevada with two PGA Tour pros on staff.

For more information, visit www.reflectionbaygolf.com.