October 1, 2020
Four-Ball on Oct. 12
The JAGA Fall Four-Ball will be Oct. 12 at Marsh Creek. It’s a 9 a.m. shotgun with a limit of 40 teams and is open to pros and amateurs. At least one member of each team must be affiliated with a JAGA member club and all players must have a USGA handicap. The team entry fee is $210.
There are gross and net divisions. Last year’s winners were Josh Kennedy and Devon Hopkins in gross and Tom Tomlin and Bob Nickerson in net.
All information is at jaxareagolf.org.
New PGA officers
Matt Borocz, assistant general manager and director of golf at the TPC Sawgrass, is the new president of the Northern Chapter of the North Florida PGA.
He succeeds Tim Cooper of Deerwood.
Other officers are Wes Tucker of St. Johns Golf Club as vice president and Matt O’Brien of Tallahassee Seminole Legacy GC as secretary/treasurer.
Mike Broderick of Sawgrass CC will be the tournament director.
The election was held at the chapter’s meeting last month at Deerwood.Ponte Vedra Ocean reopens
The renovated Ocean Course at the Ponte Vedra Inn reopened last month. The routing is almost the same, the par is one less, the yardage is the same, and the degree of difficulty depends on who you are: it’s harder for the back tee types, easier for the rest of us.
Most of the changes are less apparent — after all, no one played it for 13 months and the not-so-major things can be forgotten.
• Many of the greens have been lowered and it’s very apparent on those which seemed sky-high such as Nos. 3, 7, 9, 11 and 17. It’s most obvious on 9, where the island green has been dropped far enough that the play is very visible from the nearby patio dining area.
• The devilish par-4 10th, our area’s shortest hole, has been eliminated to allow for expansion of the range. There now are 27 hitting stations on the range, almost double the past, and it’s now deep enough to hit driver.
• There is a new hole to replace No. 10. It’s a par 3 best identified as being between the two par 5s on the back. (Numbers are going to be an issue for a while, as the old No. 11 is now No. 10, and so on.) It plays 180 from the back, 150 from the middle and 120 forward, and is to the left of where the old No. 13 green was. That green has been moved forward, leaving room for the par 3 which goes to the northeast.
• The old No. 14 no longer will be easily reachable by the big hitters, as there’s a new tee about 100 yards behind the old back tee. That green also is much more level…the old four-foot drop is gone.
• The greens are smaller and seem to have less elevation changes, particularly on No. 4.
• A “Biarritz” green is one with a slash through it which divides the green in two, and No. 9 is now a Biarritz green. (The term comes from a course in France. San Jose also has a Biarritz green and it’s usually called by the more descriptive title of “Butt Crack Green.”)
• The area around the old No. 1 tee has been expanded and improved. The old back tee area was expanded into the lagoon and there’s a big putting green in its place. The teeing ground is what might pass for a football field running along the patio outside the inn.
• Not sure if there’s a longer par 3 in this area than the 5th. A new back tee lengthens it to 245 yards.
• The huge fairway bunkers on No. 17 are gone. But you’ll have to work around some pesky smaller bunkers.Wayne UlmerWayne Ulmer (left) has been a pro at Hidden Hills
for 25 years and received a plaque in recognition
of his service from club owner Russ Libby.DeerwoodGary Caron (left) is the new general manager at Deerwood.
He’s with member Joe Grippi, a JAGA director.
Caron comes here from Hilton Head.Club news
• Rocky Staples has resigned as general manager at San Jose.
• Deerwood has reopened after all 18 greens were replaced. San Jose had an extensive project that involved greens, tees and some remodeling, and will reopen Oct. 12.
• Deercreek‘s sale is expected to close soon. Buyers are a group of members.
• Recent donations to the JAGA Scholarship Trust are $5,690 from the Timuquana membership and $3,000 from the Hyde Park Men’s GA.
• The next JAGA directors’ meeting is Oct. 13 at Cimarrone. Meetings are also scheduled for Dec. 15 at Marsh Landing and Jan. 5 at San Jose.Cobb with JAGA President Randy Nader
Cobb wins JAGA Senior Amateur
Tim Cobb, who moved to and became a member at St. Johns Golf and Country Club three months ago, fired a bogey-free 68 today to fend off two hard-charging fellow competitors and win the rain-shortened 63rd JAGA Senior Amateur Championship by one shot at his new home club last month.
The Tennessee native opened with a 3-under 69 to finish at 7-under-par 137 for the two trips around the 6,500-yard St. Johns layout.
Gary Blackwell of St. Johns G&CC edged Cliff Brown of TPC Sawgrass to win the Super seniors and Danny Daniels of Kingsland, Ga. was three better than Frank Perry of Ponte Vedra to win Grand Seniors.
At the start of the final round, Chad Branton of Cartersville, Ga. was tied for 12th and Mike Vallencourt of Vallencourt Construction Company and Timuquana Country Club was tied for 20th after opening on Monday with rounds of 73 and 76, respectively.
In their best imitation of an Arnold Palmer charge, Branton shot 65, while Vallencourt birdied his last seven holes to finish his round with 11 birdies. His lone bogey came on the second hole, the result of a three-putt. The duo would wait more than an hour before learning their heroics had fallen one shy of Cobb.
Cobb played his college golf at the University of Memphis and became a St. Augustine resident in June, moving to the area from Indiana to work in the credit union sales business.
Rounding out the top five in fourth and fifth place were Billy Lodise (70-70-140) of St. Augustine and two-time Senior Amateur champion David Anthony of Jacksonville (69-72-141).
John Lobb’s run at a record-tying three straight JAGA Senior Amateur titles was not to be. The retired Naval Station Mayport executive officer was derailed by back-to-back triple bogeys on the 12th and 13th holes on Monday. Lobb would finish tied for 11th (74-74-148).
The championship was scheduled to be 54 holes, but Sunday’s opening round was cancelled due to heavy rain that barged through St. Augustine early that morning.
First played in 1958, the JAGA Senior Amateur is the oldest continuously played golf tournament in North Florida and features contestants who are age 50 and above. It was sponsored for the fourth year in a row by European Street Cafe.
All scores are at jaxareagolf.org.
Vallencourt with his card
Timuquana’s Mike Vallencourt posted what is the lowest score ever by an amateur in local play with a 62 in the final round of the JAGA Senior last month. Vallencourt is the owner of the large construction firm that bears his name and a regular competitor in local events.
Here’s the story of his round as recorded by Don Coble from the Ponte Vedra Recorder newspaper.
• Among those retiring from the PGA Tour are top publicists Chris Smith and Chris Reimer. Before joining the Tour, Smith was the Times-Union golf writer from 1985-95… Chaz Trinder is a new JAGA director from Timuquana.
• Minitour fans will remember Andrew Giuliani, who was tossed off the Duke golf team and tried to make it in golf about 15 years ago by playing various local events around Florida. He’s now an intern in the White House and is running to be mayor of New York City, just like his father Rudy was.
JAGA Amateur Championship Rotation
After successfully hosting its first Jacksonville Amateur, Jax Beach GC has been added to the championship’s venue rotation. The schedule for 2021-2027 is:
2021 – Marsh Landing
2022 – Deerwood
2023 – San Jose
2024 – Timuquana
2025 – Jacksonville G&CC
2026 – Sawgrass CC
2027 – Jax Beach GC
Risk/reward par 5
This month’s look at Northeast Florida golf holes is about some of the par 5s which have a very definite risk/reward element.
- Amelia Island (Oak Marsh) No. 18: A long carry over a marsh to the green.
- Amelia River No. 1: Very simple…a creek lies about 10 yards short of the green.
- Deerwood No. 18: No water, but a narrow opening to the green with trees jutting into the fairway on the right and a big bunker on the left. Laying up leaves a tricky 120-yard shot to an elevated green.
- Eagle Harbor No. 16: The green is set to the right behind trees with a lake on the left.
- Glen Kernan No. 11: The area’s only double fairway gives you a double risk/reward: go for the fairway to the right, then go for the green over water.
- Hyde Park No. 5: Go for it or lay up. No other options.
- Marsh Landing No. 14: A long carry over a lake to a narrow, well-bunkered green.
- Pablo Creek No. 16: Long hitters can make it a dogleg left by risking the second shot over a lake.
- Ponte Vedra (Ocean) No. 6: The hole has been lengthened and the lake on the left of the green is much more of a risk.
- San Jose No. 17: The risk is on the tee shot — cut off as much of the lake as you dare.
- TPC Sawgrass (Stadium) No. 9: Probably the most difficult hole in the area to reach in two because of trees, mounds and bunkers.
- Timuquana No. 6: A lake guards the left side of the fairway from about 150 yards to the green.
Marsh Landing pro-am
The ladies were the winners last month in the Northern Chapter PGA pro-am at Marsh Landing.
Pro Jennifer Borocz of the North Florida PGA staff teamed with amateurs Darlene Deo, Cynthia Hastings and Dot Peak to finish at 19 under.
Borocz tied for low pro with PGA life member Tim Petersonand Sawgrass head pro Mike Broderick, all at 70.
Three teams shared second place. Former PGA Tour winner Leonard Thompson headed a Sawgrass team of amateurs John Caden, Steve Cupcha and Joe Davis, local junior program leader Jack Aschenbach had amateurs Al Grant, Rick Newell and Jody Clark, and Sawgrass teaching pro Aaron Russell had amateurs Nick Zagaria, Scott Dippel and Ben Cooper.Furyk and Friends
Plans are well underway for next year’s Constellation Furyk and Friends tournament Oct. 4-10 at Timuquana.
It’s part of the PGA Tour Champions and has the usual Tour schedule with pro-ams, practice rounds and the three-day competition. There also are numerous ticketing opportunities.
All information is at constellationfurykandfriends.com.
Volunteers also are needed and those interested should email Volunteer Committee chair Robert Davis at email@example.com.Tournaments
- Northern Chapter pros were well back in the field at the North Florida PGA Championship at Streamsong. Rod Perry of Port Orange was the winner by one shot over Matt Borchert of Winter Park. The best Northern Chapter finishers were Hayes Farley and Jennifer Borocz, who tied for 19th.
- David Ford of Peachtree Corners, Ga., won the Junior Playersat the TPC Sawgrass last month. It’s a feature event on the AJGA schedule. Ford, who will attend the University of North Carolina, shot a final-round 66 to win by two. There were no players from Northeast Florida.
- The 2020-21 North Florida Junior Golf Foundation season is open for registration. Currently there are 24 one-day events and 13 two-day “major” events scheduled at over 30 area courses for their fall, winter and spring series.
- LOCALiQ. Two-time Clemson All-ACC player and two-time South Carolina Amateur champion Carson Young defeated David Pastore and Rowin Caron on the first extra hole at Hidden Hills to claim the PGA TOUR-sponsored LOCALiQ Series event for PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR Latinoamerica members. Young also won at Hidden Hills in June at the Unbridled Tour event.
Did you know?
The Northern Chapter of the North Florida PGA has an active working membership of 193, including 31 associates. This does not include 100+ more Life Member and PGA/LPGA TOUR members.
Some of the following events may have been cancelled or rescheduled due to the pandemic. Please check with the club or association.
Oct. 5: FSGA One-Day, Amelia National.
Oct. 8: AJGA Billy Horschel Junior Championship presented by Zurich qualifier, Jax Beach.
Oct. 12: JAGA Four-Ball, Marsh Creek.
Oct. 13: JAGA directors, Cimarrone.
Oct. 9-12: AJGA Billy Horschel Junior Championship presented by Zurich, Eagle Harbor.
Oct. 19: PGA Playing Ability Test, St. Johns GC.
Oct. 22: Northern Chapter PGA Pro-Lady, Mayport.
Oct. 29-31: FSGA Senior Amateur (men,) Eagle Creek (Naples.)
Nov. 2: JAGA Scholarship Trust benefit, Ponte Vedra Ocean.
Nov. 10: Omni Amelia Island Plantation (Four-Ball.)
Nov. 12: Northern Chapter PGA meeting, Jacksonville G&CC.
Nov. 19-22: RSM Championship, Sea Island.
Nov. 23: JAGA/PGA Club Team Championship, Jacksonville G&CC.
Nov. 17: FSGA One-Day, Conservatory.
Dec. 15: JAGA directors, Marsh Landing.
Dec. 16: Northern Chapter PGA Pro-Am, TPC Sawgrass.
Dec. 17-20: FSGA Men’s Amateur, Black Diamond.
Dec. 19: JAGA Family Championship, Jax Beach.
Jan. 5: JAGA directors, San Jose.
Jan. 16-18 JAGA First Coast Amateur, The Conservatory
March 11-14: PLAYERS Championship, TPC Sawgrass.
2020 JAGA Member Clubs
The following 39 facilities are member clubs of JAGA in 2020:
|Amelia Island Club at Long Point||NAS Jax|
|Amelia National||Pablo Creek|
|Cimarrone||Plantation at Ponte Vedra|
|Deercreek||Ponte Vedra Inn|
|Eagle Harbor||San Jose|
|Fernandina Beach||Sawgrass CC|
|Fleming Island||St. Johns G&CC|
|GC of South Hampton||St. Johns GC|
|Hammock Beach Resort||Suwannee|
|Hidden Hills||The First Tee|
|Hyde Park||The Yards|
|Jax Beach GC||TPC Sawgrass|
|Julington Creek||Windsor Parke|
|Magnolia Point||Windy Harbor|
|Marsh Creek||World Golf Village|