Planning a corporate event or incentive meeting around a prestigious golfis nothing new. But now, two companies have found ways to make the tournament experience extra special.
The first is the Nicklaus/Flick Faults & Cures program, inaugurated in January and following the PGA Senior tour to 32 locations around the country through October. For each of six days (Tuesday through Sunday), Nicklaus/Flick offers a one-day instructional program designed to cure golfers' most common faults. Each session is limited to 16 students; corporations may buy out an entire day or several days of the school, or book spots in several different cities. The cost is $350 per person.
Participants also get a $350 certificate redeemable for a full Nicklaus/Flick golf school program at one of five resort locations. The Nicklaus/Flick Golf School is a division of North Palm Beach, FL-based Golden Bear International, which also works with corporations to organize golf events such as charity tournaments or customized outings. Call (800) 642-5528.
The second program is GolfWatch, created by golf elder statesman Jack Vickers and scheduled to be inaugurated at the Buick Classic in New York in June. GolfWatch offers corporations a way to buy "premium tickets" for clients or qualifiers. Like the fans in courtside seats at, say, the NBA finals, GolfWatch spectators get top-notch tournament viewing in special express lanes. These lanes are often created across the fairway from the gallery, so as not to block the view of general tournament-goers. When the lane is on the same side, seats are provided to keep GolfWatch spectators from obstructing the gallery view. In addition, the number of GolfWatch spectators is limited to 1,000 at any one tournament.
GolfWatch does more than get your qualifiers closer to the action, however. The $1,500 per-person fee (for four days of a tournament) also includes several on-course hospitality areas plus a Home Pavilion either in or near the clubhouse. Other benefits: Golf celebrities will join the GolfWatch guests for a reception in the Home Pavilion at the conclusion of play, and concierge staff along the course will assist with hotel, transportation, parking, dining, or other arrangements. GolfWatch is licensed by the PGA Tour. Call (216) 514-6190.
VIPeople * Brian Creps was named director of golf and Ryan Walls was named head golf professional at Marriott's Camelback Inn Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Scottsdale, AZ. Creps had been head professional at the resort's golf club; Walls had been assistant golf professional.
* Mike Cleary is the new director of golf at the Princess Royale Resort in Ocean City, MD. He had been assistant professional at the Ocean City Golf & Yacht Club.
* Sarina Terrell was named golf group supervisor, coordinating golf groups booking from five to 15 rooms, for Marriott at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. She had been lead reservations sales agent.
* Paul Trettner was named manager of golf sales at Palm Coast (FL) Resort. Trettner is head professional at Palm Coast Resort's Cypress Knoll Golf Club.
* John Morgans and Vicki Lewis were named corporate sales managers at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club in Durham, NC. Morgans had been corporate and catering sales manager at the Doubletree Resort Surfside in Clearwater Beach, FL. Lewis had been group sales coordinator at the Pinehurst (NC) Resort.
Going Places The Pinehurst Hotel and Resort in Pinehurst, NC has become the first golf-oriented resort to receive the National Historic Landmark designation, granted by the U.S. Department of the Interior. The property celebrated its centennial in 1995; its first golf course was laid out in 1897. The Pinehurst No. 2 Course reopened last month after a "touch-up."
The $10.5 million Players Island Golf Club opened last fall in Mesquite, NV on 200 acres along the Virgin River just south of the 500-room Players Island Resort, Casino and Spa. The course was designed by Cal Olson.
After opening a new golf course, the Desert Pines Golf Club in Las Vegas last month unveiled its state-of-the-art practice facility, the Desert Pines Golf Center. Covering more than ten acres, the center features a 20,000-square-foot, two-tiered tee complex with 58 private, covered, and climate-controlled tee stations; a short-game practice area; two golf-club fitting centers exclusive to Callaway products; two teaching stations with video analysis; and five target greens that are replicas of famous par-three 17th holes across the country.
The Mountain Course at Gold Canyon (AZ) Golf Resort opened earlier this year. A Ken Kavanaugh design, the course is a blend of the resort's original back nine and nine new holes. The resort, 45 minutes east of Phoenix, offers 27 holes of golf.
John Jacobs' Golf School continues to expand, adding new sites for 1997. They are: Poppy Hills Golf Course, Pebble Beach, CA; Poppy Ridge Golf Course, Oakland, CA; Point Sebago Golf & Beach Resort near Portland, ME; Tennanah Lake Golf & Tennis Club in Roscoe, NY; and Empire Ranch Golf Club in Carson City, NV. In other news, the San Ignacio Golf Club near Tucson is now offering schools year-round; and John Jacobs' newest international venture is an academy at the Mission Hills Golf Club & Resort in China, near Hong Kong.
The Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, FL has added a new, 18,500-square-foot golf clubhouse and a 24-station driving range, and has rebuilt the greens on its Dolphin Course.
The Renaissance PineIsle Resort in Atlanta recently spent $5 million on a major renovation, including the golf course. The project reconstructed all 18 greens, rebuilt all 18 tee boxes, redesigned eight holes, and resurfaced the cart path. The championship golf course was designed by Gary Player and Ron Kirby & Associates and opened in 1973. The Renaissance PineIsle also renovated all 250 guest rooms and all 22,000 square feet of meeting space.
Indian River Plantation in Hutchinson Island, FL has completed its Golf Triad with the addition of the Champions Club at Summerfield to its golf amenities package. The Tom Fazio-designed course joins the Plantation West Course and the Island Course to complete the 300-room property's golf offerings.
The Salishan Lodge in Gleneden Beach, OR, a conference resort managed by Dolce International, recently completed a $2.5 million renovation of its Salishan Links golf course. Built in the rugged Scottish tradition, the links course is framed by the pounding waves of the Pacific Ocean. Salishan Lodge has 205 guest rooms.
Club Resorts Inc. has acquired and merged The Melrose Club and the Bloody Point Club to create a new golf and meeting destination, Daufuskie Island Club and Resort, in Daufuskie Island, SC. Located one mile off Hilton Head Island, the new property offers 197 guest rooms and oceanside cottages and 36 holes of championship golf. The opening of a new 12,000-square-foot executive conference center is planned for spring 1998.
The General at Eagle Ridge Inn & Resort in Galena, IL is set to open in June. Designed by two-time U.S. Open champion Andy North and golf course architect Roger Packard, The General gives Eagle Ridge 63 holes of golf.
Construction is under way on the $50 million World Golf Resort Hotel and St. Johns Convention Center in St. Johns County, FL, targeted for completion next spring. The 300-room resort hotel will be managed by John Q. Hammonds Hotels. The luxury hotel and 75,000-square-foot convention center are part of the $250 million World Golf Village Resort complex, a tourism, business, and golf destination encompassing 450 acres and expected to attract 750,000 visitors in its first full year of operation. The complex will also include three championship golf courses and a clubhouse.
The Kiawah Island (SC) Resort has added to its golf facilities with the Cougar Point Course, designed by Gary Player, and the Osprey Point clubhouse, a Tom Fazio design. In addition, Kiawah's famous Ocean Course has been renovated.
The 28-room Lodge & Spa at Cordillera in Vail Valley, CO will open its 14-acre short course, designed by Dave Pelz, this summer. The nine-hole course with a tenth-hole practice facility will complement the new Tom Fazio-designed, 18-hole Valley Course, also scheduled for a summer opening, and the existing Hale Irwin-designed, 18-hole Mountain Course, which opened in 1994. Dave Pelz Short Game Schools are scheduled for August 15 to 18, August 23 to 25, and August 30 to September 1. Call (800) 833-7370.