Friday, February 21, 2014
The Remaking of a Masterpiece-Pete Dye’s Early Impact on Our Golf Course Restoration
From CW Canfield, Director of Golf
We are currently in our fifth month of construction on the golf course, and progress is quite significant! Pete Dye’s architectural and historical contributions to the project are immense. His artistic detail is ever present and extremely powerful for the Club. As the only living golf course architect in the World Golf Hall of Fame, we truly are witnessing the work of a legend.
During the early stages of planning for the project, we were assured of preserving the “Pete Dye” design through his input into prepared construction documents. Due to his schedule, there was uncertainty regarding the extent of Mr. Dye’s involvement during construction. I am pleased to report his involvement has surpassed our expectations.
Mr. Dye has visited the site multiple times to provide direction to both his associate Tim Liddy and our contractor on ideas that will make The Ford Plantation golf experience superior. He has taken to our property and project with a youthful vengeance. He typically works with this degree of “hands on” labor for a select few clients. He has kneeled in the dirt to sketch out a greens complex, taken a transit to measure elevation, and procured a rake to soften a greenside bunker face with his own hands. A typical site visit begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends after 5:00 p.m.—all the while on foot.
Mr. Dye’s artistic eye has produced intriguing design features along with two interesting themes—a more playable course and repetitive long views. Previously, the back nine was played with an abundance of cord grass and limited views of the lake. The current construction has removed all interior cord grass plantings and allowed for several mounds to soften for excellent long views.
Our number ten hole is no longer a dogleg left. The fairway now has a slight bend to the right and the green is situated on the bank of Lake Clara. Mr. Dye made this change during his first visit back in October. The hole will offer a lake view from the tee and fairway and through the green. The green on number fourteen now sits prominently as a “plateau green” near the middle of the back nine. Players will have 360–degree views from the playing surface. Most of the tee complexes and greens are built up on the back nine to capture long views of the lake and beyond.
To date, shaping has occurred on all back nine holes and holes seven through nine on the front. As shaping progresses, it is fascinating to view the design features Mr. Dye creates. His use of angled greens, switch-back fairways, and hard lines will offer all players an interesting shot making experience. As more of these features mature during construction, I’ll work to help explain the artistry and genius that is Pete Dye.
Please call with any questions or to set up an appointment for a golf course tour (912–756–5776).
Friday, January 31, 2014
Super Bowl Sunday, FORD Style, February 2
This year we will have our own version of the ESPN pregame show called F.O.R.D (football-offense-rivalry-defense). There will be pre kickoff analysis of the game by Ford Members Tom Johnson (retired NFL referee) and Lou Gagliano (expert arm-chair [section 318 in Giants Stadium] referee) starting at 5:30 pm. in the Clubhouse bar. Whether you are cheering for the Broncos or Seahawks or just love to watch the million dollar commercials, please join in and be a part of the pregame “show” and stay to watch this year’s Super Bowl game. We will have a special bar menu and regular Sunday dinner menu in the dining room. Beverage specials will be offered during the game. The party starts at 5:30 p.m., with kickoff scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on FOX.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Happy New Year from CEO/GM Nick Cassala
It was great to see so many Ford members and their extended family members during the holiday season. Our rental cottages were nearly at full occupancy and several events enjoyed record-breaking attendance. All of this while the golf course is closed for restoration. We wish to thank all members and guests for "pardoning our dust" during this extensive construction endeavor. Can you imagine what is in store later this year once the course reopens?
Looking ahead, 2014 will be a milestone year for The Ford Plantation as we complete not only the Pete Dye Masterpiece, but deliver improvements to the Marina, Main House, and Equestrian Center. Over the next few months, Seabolt Brokers and the Club will be embarking on a realtor outreach program. This will expand our community message into key markets around the country. As more people discover Ford as the pearl of the Low Country, we believe they will decide there is no better time to become a member.
Given the profound history associated with this property, at times it's hard to believe that the community is still just 15 years old. As Ford continues to evolve and mature, we are committed to preserve the community spirit and integrity that have become part of the everyday life that members treasure.
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Florida Keys Bike Trip Underway
A group of intrepid bikers from The Ford Plantation are currently enjoying a Club-sponsored two-day bike ride from Key Largo to Key West—100 miles in all! These riders have training for weeks and plan to have as much fun as strenuous activity. Our staff hosts Mike Womble and Mollie Sawyer will be sure to share some great stories upon their return to the Low Country.
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Angler of the Year: Jeff Eilers
Congratulations to Jeff Eilers for winning the 2014 Angler of the Year award. Jeff enjoys fishing many of the ponds and lakes at The Ford Plantation and especially likes inshore light tackle fishing. Jeff once won the Hook & Slice Tournament after diving in Lake Dye to retrieve a fishing lure that was catching lots of bass. On the subsequent cast he caught the winning bass for the tournament. Pictured is Jeff with his two sons Connor and Andrew, along with the giant triple tail that he caught while fishing with Captain Mike Womble. Jeff will receive a $100 gift certificate from Ogeechee Outfitters and a complementary four-hour fishing trip.
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Archery Demo at The Ford Plantation
Our recent Archery Demo proves you are never too young to learn about the great sporting life here at The Ford Plantation. Maddie Boden, grandchildren of Nina and George Boden, are shown how to shoot by Danny Sharpe of our Outdoor Pursuits Department. See more photos on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FordPlantationFB.
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Sunrise at The Ford Plantation
Check out this amazing photo of sunrise over Lake Clara taken by Ford Member Lila Scott Thanksgiving weekend. The beauty, incredibly diversity, and unique wildlife at Ford are simply unparalleled! To see more beautiful sunrise photos, please visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FordPlantationFB.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
The Ford Plantation Golf Course Construction and Tree Protection
Protecting trees at The Ford Plantation during the golf course construction process has been a focal point for the Golf Course Maintenance Department. Preserving trees that add aesthetic beauty as well as challenge golf shots can yield big rewards for the club. The trees on the course enhance property values and provide wildlife habitat. Almost two miles of tree protection has been erected around the trees across the golf course. Read more and see the photos on Nelson’s blog at http://tfpagronomy.blogspot.com.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
New Club Horse at Equestrian Center
We are happy to announce a new Club horse at The Ford Plantation Equestrian Center. Rebel is a 14.2 hand Register Quarter with years of training in both English and western disciplines. Rebel will be used by our beginner to intermediate riders in lessons, on trails, and in clinics. One of Rebel's best attributes is his easygoing nature. Please stop by the barn to meet him!
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Pete Dye Restoration Visit, November 15, 2013
Mr. Pete Dye was again on property Thursday, November 14 and Friday, November 15 to design the TFP golf course. The main objective of the visit was to focus primarily on putting greens and green surround design at golf holes 7–15. In particular, the functionality of the playability, strategy, and agronomy of the green sites were studied and then executed. In addition, “macro” direction concerning infrastructure, agronomy, and design was given by Mr. Dye at golf holes 16, 17, and 18. Those directives will be performed over the next several weeks. TFP Members will start to see progress on the finishing holes soon. In this photo, Mr. Dye (center) is giving Kevin from MacCurrach Golf (right) design direction as Nelson Caron, Ford's Director of Golf Course Maintenance, looks on. See more information and photos on Nelson's blog at http://tfpagronomy.blogspot.com/.