Jacksonville Sports Day

GOLF NOTES: Future of Private Clubs

By FRED SEELY
Jax Golf News

Gerry James is a frequent competitor in North Florida Chapter events and you may know him as a Senior long-drive champion, but what you don’t know is that he once was a professional wrestler. 

Wearing the bad guy’s mask, he toured Europe with Andre the Giant.

• A lot of guys thought they had a chance to succeed Tim Finchem as PGA Tour commissioner and one was David Pillsbury, who headed the TPC club division. 

He didn’t make the cut (Jay Monahan is the chosen one) so he’s now with a company in the health care industry.

• Monahan must be secure in his future: he’s torn down a Ponte Vedra home and a new one is under construction.

• Add another good golf name to Northeast Florida. We’ve had Craig Shankland around for quite a while; now we have Ryan Parr. He’s head pro at The Palencia Club in St. Augustine.

• Yes, the PGA is going back to Kiawah Island but there’s some good news, too. The only road in and out will be expanded by tournament time in 2021. 

The timeline of South Carolina road expansions often change from announcement to completion but this promise comes from the folks who represent the Goodwin family, which bought the resort in 2013. 

• Recently visited with a consultant from a company that advises private clubs and he says the worst may be yet to come … for some. 

Only what he terms the “A-list” private clubs have had the resources to keep their infrastructure in reasonable shape since the financial downturn which started around 2006. 

The others deferred maintenance: the B list is at risk, but should be able to play catch-up, but the C-list — you know who you are — is in danger because they haven’t had the money to keep their facilities in shape.

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