South Florida Report 

Bellair Country Club      Dunedin Country Club

 On January 9-12 the Donald Ross Society met at four different venues under the sunny and warm    Florida skies.

 January 9th was an outing that had been scheduled with Friends of Bobby Jones Golf Course president  and Donald Ross Society Member Shawn Pierson. The purpose was to introduce the idea that the two  nines that were designed at this Sarasota Municipal should be reunited and restored while the other two  nines (built in the 1950’s) should be modernized. Bobby Jones Municipal is a very popular venue ringing  the register some 120,000 times a year. The clubhouse is under serious consideration for replacement  which would open the option of returning some of the original ground for the Ross opener. Earlier in the  week Shawn Pierson and Ross Society Captain Michael Fay presented this plan to the City Council.

 In support, some 24 golfers playing with hickory and modern clubs played the two Ross designed nines.  One of the highlights was Ross member Marla Flinn making the deuces on the four par threes. A good  time was had by all.

 On Friday the 10th John Falcone and the membership of the Dunedin Golf Club in Dunedin Florida  welcomed the Donald Ross Society to their course. Dunedin is a stern 1927 Ross designed test. The  opening holes must be met with low expectations or the player could well be thrown into a tailspin. The  conditions were very good and the greens, although slower than northern bent putted true. Eighty five  year old Al Nuzny led the charge along with a good contingent of Ross Members from the Brookside  Country Club in Canton Ohio. Also included in the group were Ross Society President Mike Miller and Vice  President Derek Dobbs.

 The 11th of January was bright and sunny and 28 Ross Society members were directed by Jim Slattery,  the able Professional of the Belleair Country Club to the West Course at Belleair. Jim explained to the  assembled group that Belleair had a six hole course in 1895 making it the oldest ground on which golf  had been continuously played in Florida. The two eighteen hole Ross designed courses were opened in  1915 certifying the Belleair claim that it is the oldest Club in Florida. He golf was very good as the  conditions were near perfect. Golf was followed by cocktails and a lovely dinner served in the Terrace  Room of this elegant Club.

 The 12th brought more sunshine as the members of the Society met for breakfast at the Belleair CC.The  group played the East Course at Belleair. The enthusiastic group was treated to lunch afterwards,  before heading back to the cold and snow in the North.

  Michael J. Fay

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