Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Changes Benefit Windsor Parke

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Changes Benefit Windsor Parke

Article excerpt

A change in philosophy at the Windsor Parke Golf Club has made the Southside daily-fee access course an attractive venue in recent months for significant events on the local to national level.

Under new ownership (Pacific Life) and new management (Riverside Golf), director of golf Mike Lynch has been encouraged to actively pursue tournaments that he said add to the prestige of the course.

Last week, the course was the site of a local U.S. Open qualifying tournament, the first time in four years it was played on public course. Later this summer, the USGA returns to Windsor Parke for a 36-hole sectional Public Links qualifier June 21-22 (the deadline to enter is June 2), and the Northern Chapter PGA Championship will be there June 28-29, the first time since 1995 on a public course for that event.

Later in the summer, the American Junior Golf Association will play at Windsor Parke for a fifth year in a row, and in the fall, the National Fellowship of Christian Athletes will hold its 36-hole national scramble tournament there, bringing 132 players to the area.

"Our new owners, and Steve Melnyk at Riverside Golf, want us to be aggressive in getting these events here," said Lynch. "It's an effective marketing tool. People know you have a good course when you're getting USGA qualifiers."

Windsor Parke has annually been one of the most popular public courses in the area but Lynch said his members and regular players have accepted the increase in outside events that may close the course for a day or two.

"Our members get plenty of notice of these events, and I think they're taking as much pride in us being attractive to organizations like the USGA and AJGA as the management is," Lynch said.

One of the reasons the course has pulled in these events is its conditioning. Since the course was purchased by Pacific Life, and under the Riverside Golf management, more money has gone into course maintenance and equipment.

"We think it's showing," Lynch said. "People have been complimenting us on the condition of our fairways and greens. [Superintendent] Kim Shines has done a great job. …

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