Tuesday, March 25, 2014

630 Holes of Golf at The Villages

The largest collection of golf holes in the world are found north of Orlando, Florida in The Villages. With 48 courses (10 courses @ 27 holes, 2 @18, and 36 executive @ 9 holes), over 12,000 tee times a day, 340,000 rounds per month played, and 100 miles of cart paths you would think this development would have more than enough holes at 630. But with about 112,000 residents, most who are retired, and nearly 60% who played over 2.6 million rounds last year, tee times are at a premium.

Well over 6 million miles where driven in carts on the courses alone, not counting all the other miles that this golf cart (50,000 total carts) friendly community also drive. An average of over 5 holes in one per day are recorded. Over 300 people shot their age about 1500 times. 6 million golf balls where lost, which tells me there are a lot of bad golfers there if they are losing 2-3 balls a round on mainly 9 hole exec courses.

Golf is not the only thing these old timers do. There is a softball stadium with over 200 teams and 3000 players, 100 tennis and pickle ball courts, a polo field, 2200 individual clubs, 63 recreation centers. Over 20 people a day are moving into The Villages. Between 400-500 new and used homes are sold monthly. Over 23,000 acres are currently built with 57,000 homes and over 112,000 people.

11/1/16 UPDATE
Currently, at The Villages for 6 weeks and will try and play every course. This is one active Senior Mecca. The executive courses have exceeded my expectations with nicely designed green complexes, challenging from the back tees, and well conditioned. The Championship courses are resort style with generous FW landing areas and multiple tees to allow for the shorter hitting old timers.

3/28/17 UPDATE
I decided to stay for January and fore go returning to New Zealand. I found the perfect situation for me in The Villages and purchased a Villa on 1/21/17. Just took possession of it today. It is a lifestyle that I think I am really going to enjoy. The Villages continues to grow with the recent purchase of an additional 10,000 acres which will add another 30,000 people and soon another two nine hole courses bringing the total to 648 holes.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Will Greens in your area have winterkill from ice??

Dr Kevin Frank, MSU, turfgrass specialist states: "In Michigan especially for Poa annua greens, crown hydration and subsequent refreezing are often the primary culprits of winterkill. However, this year ice sheets are a cause for concern.  In the 1960’s James B Beard conducted research at MSU on survival of creeping bentgrass and Poa annua under ice sheets. Creeping bentgrass survived 120 days of ice cover without significant injury while annual bluegrass was killed somewhere between 75 and 90 days of ice cover. More recently Darrell Tompkins conducted research at the Prairie Turfgrass Research Center in Canada that suggested Poa annua greens could be damaged in as few as 45 days under ice.  The primary cause of death to turfgrass under ice sheets is most likely from toxic gas accumulation under the ice sheet from soil and turfgrass respiration." 

Appears that most of the Poa annua greens in the north will see some degree of damage this year and in the far north Bentgrass may even have problems if there isn't a warm up soon. Blame the Polar Vortex, not your groundskeeper when you have bare spots on your greens this Spring.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It's not a Gimme if you're still away.

A Gimme can best be defined as an agreement between two golfers...neither of whom can putt very well.