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Golf Chips
Palm Coast Thursday, Mar. 17, 2011 7 years ago

Is Grand Haven best course?

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by: Jock MacKenzie Contributing Writer

What is your favorite golf course in Palm Coast? More than 2,000 golfers here fumble with that opinion each year.

The now-closed Matanzas Woods might draw the majority of votes, but obviously, we’re dealing with the present, not the past.

I hear raves about the Pine Course of the Grand Club, and justifiably so. Then the shouts go out about the Grand Club’s Cypress Course, a superbly designed layout. But there is always mention of the toughness aspect, especially for the aging.

Palm Harbor will always be a favorite. But for purists like me, who grew up there, the original Bill Amick design had something special.

I hear applause for the Conservatory as the superior course. But I haven’t played there and neither have most of the nonmember golfers. So it’s hard to judge.

Ocean Hammock, with a superb location, might be at the top of the ladder. Most of us who know it do because it was owned by the Palm Coast Golf Resort.

Summing up, Grand Haven is the one. It’s a wonderful Jack Nicklaus Signature Course that’s well cared for. It’s a pleasing challenge for all ages. Yes, it’s private, but you can play. Go to Hampton Golf’s Executive Golf Membership at www.execgolf.com. If you join, two preview rounds are offered as starters.

The staff at Grand Haven is proud not only of the golf course, but the atmosphere and friendliness they’ve created there. Try it and you’ll agree.

Ragsdale ace
David Ragsdale, a class individual, scored his second hole-in-one when he floored the eighth hole from 145 yards out with a 6-iron.

Ragsdale has been absent from the game for several years, but has now returned with a bang while tearing up the Pine Lakes Men’s Golf Association with winning play.

His first ace was at the No. 2 hole of the Pine Course. This time, he was playing with Hall-of-Famer Jerry Edwards, George Druttman and Bill Nelson.

At Cypress, Red O’Rourke flew the eagle route when he clipped the par-four sixth hole with a two score while playing the Matanzas league.

Joyce Chmel, another highly touted golfer, saw the eagle fly at Cypress. She humbled the difficult 18th hole with a driver/6-iron.

Tip of the day
Speaking of class, Jim Simes, my good friend and one of the most coveted teachers of the golf game from Massachusetts to Florida, offers this approach most golfers would do well to copy.

Simes says: “It has been my observation that no good player attempts to close the club face on the way down.”

Simes teaches on a limited basis, but can be reached at 445-4218.

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