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NGCOA Names Grande Dunes Course of the Year
TPC Sawgrass Wins Jemsek Award for Excellence
Dedman Family, DeLozier Recognized For Contributions to the Game, Association
CHARLESTON, S.C. (Nov. 19, 2008) – The Resort Club at Grande Dunes, a course that credits its success to its staff and culture as much as course design and conditioning, has been named the NGCOA’s 2009 Golf Course of the Year.
“I think we’ve created a culture that inspires our people to perform at a higher level,” says Bob Swezey, executive vice president of golf and resort operations for Burroughs & Chapin, which owns and manages Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach, S.C. “If you help people feel better about themselves, they’ll feel better about the place they work. In the end, the facility, customers, industry and community win.”
Grande Dunes has been ranked one of the best daily fee courses in the U.S. by Golf magazine and last year was ranked by Golfweek as one of South Carolina’s 10 “Best Courses You Can Play.”
The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, host of the PLAYERS Championship, was named the winner of the NGCOA’s Jemsek Award for Golf Course Excellence, which honors the world’s top championship-caliber courses.
TPC Sawgrass, which underwent a $12.5 million renovation in 2006-2007 to help the course play firmer and faster, is one of the nation’s most challenging courses. In addition to a stern test of golf, the guest experience at TPC Sawgrass is highlighted by stories that caddies tell of remarkable shots made by professionals en route to a PLAYERS championship.
“All the great courses have stories, and we’ve decided to tell ours,” says Bill Hughes, the general manager and regional director at the Ponte Vedra, Florida, course. “Great golf experiences are about memories, and we try to make every guest’s experience here a memorable one.”
The NGCOA also recognized the Dedman family, owner of Pinehurst Resort, as the winner of the Award of Merit. The Award of Merit is given to an individual or family who has made significant contributions to golf. When the Dedman family in 2006 sold ClubCorp, the firm that owned and managed a national network of private clubs and resorts, it retained Pinehurst and has continued to make the venerable resort in the sandhills of North Carolina a worldwide destination for those who appreciate the history and traditions of golf.
“I think we’d like to be remembered as a family that gave more than it took. That we not only preserved, but enhanced the game of golf and its importance,” says Robert Dedman Jr., whose father, Robert Dedman Sr., founded ClubCorp in 1957. The younger Dedman is the general partner of the family business that controls Pinehurst.
Henry DeLozier, a former president of the NGCOA, won the Don Rossi Award, which goes to an NGCOA member who has served the association with distinction. DeLozier, a principal with Global Golf Advisers, continues to serve on the association’s board of directors. “The thing that sets Henry apart is his vision and his ability always to see the big picture,” says Mike Hughes, CEO of the NGCOA.
The NGCOA’s Champion Award, which recognizes work that improves opportunities for fellow course owners, went to Dudley Darling of Juniper Hill Golf Course in Northborough, Mass., and Bob MacDonald of Brookmeadow Country Club in Canton, Mass. The two course owners led an initiative to allow alcoholic beverages on Massachusetts golf courses. When the new law took effect on Nov. 7, Massachusetts became the 49th state that allows sales of alcoholic beverages on the course. The law is expected to create significant incremental revenue opportunities for the state’s golf courses that choose to sell alcoholic beverages from beverage carts.
NGCOA award winners are determined by a panel of golf course owners and operators were recognized. Winners will be recognized on Feb. 4 at the NGCOA’s Annual Conference in New Orleans.