The LPGA tour started their 2016 American season at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club in Ocala Florida. The layout, designed by international golf course architect Ron Garl, was the first course in the world to feature tribute (inspired) holes. In fact, a few of these holes had many of the ladies talking because they were holes they had not yet – or might not ever – have the chance to play.
Lydia Ko was especially fond of numbers 6, 11 and 12 at Golden Ocala; three holes that pay homage to Augusta, (16th, 12th and 13th respectively), a course she has never played. Garl also pays tribute to several other famous holes on famous tracks including the Postage Stamp at Royal Troon (#4 at Golden Ocala) and The Road Hole and #18 The Valley of Sin from St. Andrews Old Course.
Garl was the first architect to ever include tribute (inspired) holes into one of his layouts, back in 1986 when he designed Golden Ocala.
Many of Garl’s courses have hosted big name (and money) tournaments. In 1983, the Las Vegas Invitational was held at the Las Vegas Golf and Country Club and was the first PGA tournament with a $1 million purse. Since then, a total of 36 PGA, LPGA, European Tour and Senior PGA Tour events have been played on Ron Garl-designed courses with such winners as Ballesteros, Zoeller, Woods, Furyk, Norman and Nancy Lopez.
One important aspect of a Ron Garl designed golf course is that it generates revenue for the course owners. Take Fiddlesticks in Ft. Myers, FL for example. Fiddlesticks is a 36-hole, member owned facility in an exclusive community where the membership is completely sold out; the 660 members each paid $85,000 in initiation fees.
Another case in point is the two courses at The Longboat Key Club that Garl and his team recently renovated. These redesigns led to over 175 new members. That’s a pretty significant influx of capital.
Garl applies his talents on a global scale too. Some of these projects include:
Golf D’Atalayoun near Nador, Morocco is a world class 18-hole golf course and golf practice academy being built at the Royal Palace on the Mediterranean Sea for the King of Morocco. The project came about as part of a golf course design competition in Paris in which Ron Garl Golf Design was selected as the winner from 50 of the world’s top golf course designers.
Guaymaral Country Club in Bogota, Colombia is a 36-hole private golf facility. Ron Garl Golf Design completed a total course renovation to Course No. 1, which subsequently hosted the Colombian Open in 2010. The Club was so pleased with Garl’s work that they have hired them to work on Course #2. Guaymaral is one of Colombia’s most exclusive golf courses with $100,000 initiation fee– they have over 1,000 members.
The Admirals Club at Nine Dragons Golf Resort near Shanghai, China is a 27-hole oceanfront golf course and is the centerpiece of a world class resort and development. There are golf holes that run along the ocean, along the cliffs and up into the mountains. Ron Garl designed and built five holes in the ocean. To date, the Nine Dragons Golf Resort has sold over $200 million in golf memberships. They have also received the Best Golf Course Design award in China and Course of the Year award.
Another area Garl and his golf design team have been focusing on is practice facilities and they have shown that there are more ways to make money at a range than just selling buckets of balls. Although many of his new projects include mega-practice facilities, the one he’s proudest of is at the Marriott Grande Vista Resort in Orlando, FL, which also includes a 9-hole executive golf course.
Marriott Golf Academy has several “revenue centers”. The facility is divided into several “sections.” The first section is reserved for members only and over 200 memberships have been sold. A second section is set up for corporate outings and events. A third section is reserved for the Marriott Golf Academy. A fourth section is for guests and greens fee players. All four of these sections at Marriott Golf Academy generate revenue for the property.
The bottom line when choosing a designer is that you want to hire a company that has been successful and Ron Garl Golf Design has that going for them. They create value for the owner. From courses that the pros play to courses that generate millions of dollars in recurring revenue, Ron Garl Golf Design is a company worth consideration for your next project. For more information or to be added to their newsletter mailing list, visit their website at www.rongarl.com or call (863) 688-8383.