November 23, 2014

Linking Up At Marco

BRINGING IN THE NEW

This fall, the old Marco Shores golf course in Naples, where famous professionals like the late Gene Sarazen and Ken Venturi played during the winter months, is to reopen as a newly revamped "track" called Hammock Bay, along with a new clubhouse, according to a representative of developer WCI, the new owner.

In early 2002, WCI hired Texas-based design company Jacobsen-Hardy to come in and create a new golf course on the old grounds. This team has created some wonderfully challenging, beautiful courses around the United States, most notably The Oregon Golf Club in Portland, Ore. and Cypress Ridge in San Luis Obispo, Calif. This is the first of what they hope will be many course design ventures in Southwest Florida.

Located near Marco Island, the Hammock Bay championship course promises to be unique. Dunes have been constructed, sea oats planted and crushed shells added-all to give the rolling layout the seaside-links look. A true links course, such as St. Andrews in Scotland, is built on land once covered by water and located right next to the sea. Hammock Bay is not on the water, but Jacobsen and Hardy told me that because of the course's unique design features, golfers will feel as if they're playing on the lip of the Gulf of Mexico.

The Hammock Bay course (scheduled for completion by the fall of 2003) is to be an amenity of an upscale, planned housing community of the same name. The community will feature "Rialto" coach homes from $375,00 and condominiums in the Aversana Tower that are in the $470,000 to $2 million range. Equity golf memberships will be available to residents at $85,000 and to non-residents at a slightly higher price.

"Ironically, the course features no holes with homes on both sides of the fairways, and only about five holes with homes on one side," said co-course designer and renowned golf instructor Jim Hardy. "The subdivision feel does not exist, and that makes this place very special indeed."

Hardy and Jacobsen, a winner of six PGA Tour events and the host of the new Plugged In on The Golf Channel, plan to open their first golf school at Hammock Bay.

For further information about Hammock Bay golf, call Debbie Winslow at 597-0016.

The Lingo

Should you be confused when you hear your partners talk Golfspeak, let me help build your vocabulary.

Away: The player who is farthest from the flagstick is away, and should be next to hit his or her shot.

Carry: The distance a ball flies in the air, as in "I had to carry the ball 220 yards to reach the green."

Chunk: A heavy or fat shot, caused by the player digging down deeply into the turf behind the ball, is called a chunk.

Shank: A bad shot, hit with the club's hosel, neck or shank that flies right of target.

Yip: You yip the ball when you employ a jerky type of putting stroke that causes the ball to miss the hole.

Winning Tips

This tip comes via PGA Tour pro Greg Norman, who has a big presence in Southwest Florida, particularly because of the courses he designed at Tiburón Golf Club in Naples.

Having worked with The Shark on golf instructional articles, I'd like to share with you a tip he gave me that's designed to help you more easily employ a strong hip turn, necessary for creating power in the swing.

Once you set up, Norman told me, think RHP. These initials stand for Right Hip Pocket. Thinking about those letters will encourage you to turn your right hip clockwise at the start of the backswing, which triggers a solid weight shift into your right side and a big windup of the body-two links to hitting the ball farther off the tee and from the fairway.

Did You Know?

Naples National Golf Club was recently ranked by Golfweek magazine as one of the top 100 courses in the United States.

New Products

If you have ever dreamed of swinging like Tiger Woods, who moves the club along an upright plane or angle, or Sergio Garcia, who moves the club along a flat plane, your dreams can come true.

I reviewed hundreds of training aids during my 16-year stint as senior editor of GOLF Magazine, but not one came close to the Ultimate Learning Machine, on offer from Links Walker of Clearwater, Florida. I like it because it is simple to use, yet it trains you to rehearse Woods or Garcia's swing action over and over until you groove it into your muscles' memory.

Constructed of PVC pipe in the form of a circle, this training aid tilts back and forth to accommodate your choice of swing plane. Once the circle is tilted to match your favorite player's swing, you just step in the address position area, lay the shaft of your club against the base of the circle, then swing, keeping the shaft brushing against the circle from start to finish.

You can use this device inside or outside. If you don't feel comfortable employing a Tiger Woods-like swinging action, try swinging like Garcia.

Suggested retail: $425. For further information, call (800) 816-2716.

When Lightning Strikes

Golfers have been known to take cover or quit the game during a torrential downpour, yet when lightning is in the air they often play on. Don't you make the same mistake. As Fort Myers resident and former PGA champion Bobby Nichols knows, you run the risk of being severely injured or killed. Fortunately, Nichols lived after being struck by lightning during the 1975 Western Open in Illinois. But every year there are reports of deaths due to lightning.

The worst things to do when lightning is around are to hold a golf club, an umbrella or a flagstick in your hands. The best thing you can do is quit playing.

In case a member of your foursome or someone else playing the course is hit by lightning, and they've stopped breathing, call 911, of course. But that may not be good enough. Be responsible and know how to administer first aid mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Step 1: Pinch the victim's nostrils with your finger.

Step 2: Open you mouth and take a deep breath.

Step 3: Seal your lips around the victim's mouth.

Step 4: Blow air into the victim's lungs, watching for the chest to rise.

Step 5: Remove your mouth, watching for the victim's chest to fall.

Step 6: Repeat and give four inflations as rapidly as possible, then continue at your natural rate of breathing until spontaneous breathing is restored.

Specialty of the Clubhouse

After an afternoon game of golf in Bonita Springs, quench your thirst at the Toucan Grille's 19th hole, and have the bartender prepare you an Island Sunset drink. Here are the ingredients, should you want to shake and serve one to your guests at home.

3/4 ounce of vodka

3/4 ounce of gin

3/4 ounce of white rum

1/2-ounce triple sec

1/4 ounce Rose's Lime Juice

Splash of cranberry juice

Splash of pineapple juice

Southwest Florida's John Andrisani is the former senior editor of instruction at GOLF Magazine and the author of more than 25 books, including The Tiger Woods Way and the recently released Think Like Tiger. Send questions and comments to John at jagolf3238@aol.com