Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Work Load at the Course Gets Ready to Double Slammer & Squire Plays to Rave Reviews

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Work Load at the Course Gets Ready to Double Slammer & Squire Plays to Rave Reviews

Article excerpt

Louis Bartoletti's workload, as heavy as it has been this

spring, doubles May 18.

But the director of the Slammer and the Squire Golf Course,

which wraps around the World Golf Village, is looking forward to

it. The package is now complete.

"We can't wait [for the grand opening May 16-18], said

Bartoletti, a former member of the same UCLA golf team that

included Corey Pavin, Duffy Waldorf, Steve Pate and Jay Delsing.

"As busy as we have been [since the course opened March 1] we

know its going to get even busier."

And that means that even more people will find out the joys of

playing the Slammer and Squire, the Bobby Weed design that has

received rave reviews since its opening.

"It's a very player-friendly resort course," said Jim Lear,

director of golf at the Champions Club at Julington Creek.

"Bobby Weed did a great job designing the course with the land

he had to work with, and it allows for players of all abilities

to have a good, fair test."

Ernie Lanford, the golf coach at Florida State, said his

players "loved" the course when they won the U.S. Collegiate

Championships there in early April.

"Those fairways were in Augusta National class," Lanford said.

"There were no weeds, absolutely perfect. You almost hated to

hit off them. The entire week was enjoyable for our kids because

of the beauty and the first-class conditioning."

Bartoletti said the course is currently operating at around 100

rounds per day on weekends, but he said once the entire complex

opens, that might be the norm on weekdays. He expects in excess

of 200 rounds on Saturdays and Sundays.

"I think play will automatically double," he said about the

grand opening's effect on the Slammer and Squire. "We've been

doing well, with no advertising, no hotel and no drivethrough to

the hall of fame or museum."

Bartoletti also said that doubling the amount of play won't

appreciably change the conditioning of the course, which has

been lauded by virtually everyone who has played it. He said the

overall philosophy of Scratch Golf, the Hilton Head, S.C.,

management company that will operate all three courses at the

World Golf Village, and the work of superintendent Ray Mooney,

is responsible.

"Our tee times will still be nine minutes apart, and we will

still have good maintenance practices no matter how much play

the course gets," Bartoletti said. "Scratch Golf has always

emphasized conditioning for its facilities. Our maintenance

budget is a lot higher than most courses, but there's a reason

for that. We think conditioning is important to the overall

enjoyment."

Good drainage and the new breed of grass on the greens,

Floradwarf bermudagrass also has helped. …

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