The Road to the PGA and LPGA Tour Goes Through Ron Garl
By David Theoret
These days its seems that if aspiring golfers want to make it to the PGA or LPGA TOUR, Ron Garl is a name they should know. Or at least be familiar with some of his course designs here in the Central Florida area that are famous for their unique style, design and strategy.
In April 2018, The Club at Eaglebrooke was chosen to host the qualifying for the PGA TOUR's Canadian Mackenzie Tour. Eaglebrooke was designed by Garl in 1996 and has consistently been rated 4 ½ stars by Golf Digest. This par 72 championship layout challenges even the best of golfers and can be played from as far back as 7.005 yards. If you're just a weekend golfer, don't let these numbers put the fear of golf into you. Eaglebrooke features 6 sets of tees, making it playable and enjoyable for golfers of all skill levels.
Number 10 is the most memorable par 5 on the course. This dogleg right features water that is reachable off the tee and flows all the way down the right side to the green. If you favor the left side of the fairway off the tee and appreciate a good risk/reward opportunity, you'll have a chance to shoot for the green in two. Casual golfers will want to keep favoring the left side to take as much of the water out of play as possible on their approach. The green slopes back to front, so try and leave your putt below the hole if possible.
Another Garl course that has worked its way on to the pro golf circuit is the Deer Run course at Sun 'N Lake in Sebring Florida. For several years, this venue has hosted qualifiers for the Web.com Tour, the Latin America Tour and just last year, the Canadian Tour. Garl and his firm were brought in to renovate Deer Run with aspirations of luring the above-mentioned qualifiers.
The last two holes are two of the most challenging holes in the county. The average golfer can choose to play Number 17 from 389 yards and should favor the left side of the fairway or risk being blocked out by a strand of mature oak trees. A successful drive short of the pond still leaves a mid to long iron into an elevated green that is well protected by sand. Number 18 is the course's signature hole, an island green par three that plays 145 yards. Choose your club wisely off the tee or risk becoming just another statistic!
A third Garl-designed course that has become a staple of the LPGA TOUR is Plantation Golf & Country Club in Venice, Florida. Plantation has hosted the LPGA Annual Tour Qualifier since 1988, and this 36-hole facility features two Garl deigns. The Bobcat Course opened in 1982 and the Panther Course opened 5 years later.
Bobcat has been recognized as one of the top 50 courses in the nation and also hosts an annual Celebrity Golf Classic tournament. The LPGA TOUR players play from 5,655 yards with a rating of 74. It's a great test of golf for the ladies.
Garl designed the Panther Course to compliment the Bobcat, yet to be distinctly different in look and presentation. The LPGA Qualifier is played from 5,402 yards and a rating of 72.6 and plays at least one shot tougher for the ladies. These two courses have stood the test of time and Plantation Golf & Country Club once again looks forward to hosting the ladies in October 2018.
These are just a few of the Ron Garl designs in central Florida. There are over 85 courses in the state of Florida and over 250 around the world that Garl has had his hand in one way or another. Many of these courses are accessible by the public and provide a wonderful opportunity to challenge yourself and enjoy a scenic and pleasant brush with nature.
His work has reached from Royal Gems Golf Course in Bangkok, Thailand, where Ron Garl designed an 18-hole golf course with holes "inspired by" famous holes from around the world for the King of Thailand, to Las Vegas Golf & Country Club, where Tiger Woods won his first professional tournament in 1996 - the Las Vegas Invitational.
For more information on these or any Ron Garl-designed golf courses, visit their website at www.rongarl.com.
Article Tags: Ron Garl, Florida Golf, Eaglebrooke, Plantation Golf & Country Club, Sun N Lake, Deer Run
Revised: 06/02/2018 - Article Viewed 960 Times
Written By: David Theoret
David Theoret has been in the golf and golf travel industry for over 10 years, primarily selling online advertising. For the past seven years, he has also been a golf writer, reviewing golf courses, resorts, destinations, equipment, golf apparel, and training aids - the latter of which never seems to help. David's articles and reviews have been posted on many golf travel and equipment websites.
Growing up in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, it was naturally assumed he would play hockey. Beginning at the age of 3 and continuing into his late 30's, he did just that. However, after one too many pucks to the head, he realized that golf was a lot easier on the body (whoever said hockey players were slow) and took the game up.
After moving to Florida and accepting a position with TravelGolf Media (now part of GolfNow) his love for the game grew exponentially. Most Saturdays you will find him on a course somewhere in Florida or on the practice range reinforcing his bad habits. David plays to a 10 handicap - unless there is money involved in which case it goes considerably higher. He currently resides in Lakeland, FL with his wife Belinda and their two "kids", Madyson and Molly.
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