Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Ford Plantation Named One of Golf Digest’s Best New Courses

The Ford Plantation Named One of Golf Digest’s Best New Courses

​The Ford Plantation Club’s golf course has been named to Golf Digest’s Best New Courses 2014 list. “Much like Trent Jr. at Poppy Hills, Dye replaced his own 30-year-old design with something of an entirely different style,” wrote Ron Whitten, the Golf Digest architecture editor. “Gone are narrow fairways, railroad tie bulkheads and waste bunkers. The front 9 is still in trees, thinned considerably; the back 9 still on a savannah, now with more contour.” The Ford golf course is ranked alongside the likes of Medinah Country Club, Olympic Hills Country Club and Poppy Hills Golf Club in the Golf Digest rankings.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Hunt for Big Red

The Hunt for Big Red

​The Hunt for Big Red is always a great tournament. Georgia is blessed to have large numbers of these bruisers prowling its waterways, and we had another perfect “Chamber of Commerce” type of day. 25 anglers, 6 boats, 1 goal…catch as many big redfish as you can by 3:30. Mission accomplished. It was an epic day of fishing here at The Ford Plantation, and a record day was set: the six boats managed to land 107 Giant Bull Redfish!!! WOW!!! Congratulations to all our sore-armed anglers. The winners caught an amazing 31 Big Reds. Congratulations to Team Model T (in photo, from left): Cheryl Chip, Barry Zarb, Captain Danny Sharpe, Jim Tamarack, and Jim Trolinger! Second Place went to Team Mako: Bob Bernstein, Myles Gillespie, Christian Alvarez, and Captain Mike Womble with a total of 20 Big Reds. Great job gentlemen! Mark your calendars for ODP’s next fishing tournament: November 13, The Great Ogeechee Trout Tournament. See you then.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Five-Stand Tournament

Five-Stand Tournament

The weekend started off with a bang! Literally. We hosted Ford Plantation’s first Five-Stand Tournament at Dorchester Shooting Preserve. It was a beautiful day, the clays flew straight and true, and the shooters were ready and eager. At the end of the 50 round tournament, there stood two shooters: Phillip O’Bannon and Jim Trolinger, tied. To the shoot-off we went. Shooting both clays of a very difficult true pair to seal the win was Jim Trolinger. Great shooting Jim—congratulations!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2014 Ford Plantation Fishing Fin-atics Tournament—And the Winner Is…

2014 Ford Plantation Fishing Fin-atics Tournament—And the Winner Is…

​The inaugural Ford Fishing Fin-atics tourney was a huge success. The tourney format was to catch 15 different fish over four months. Some were easier than others. No person caught all 15, so we assigned points for conventional and fly fishing catches.

It was a nip and tuck race to the finish line between Jeff Scott and Peggy Gillenwater. Over the last two weeks of the tourney, they leap frogged each other, while Robbie Carl was quietly catching fish on the fly. He caught a nice lemon shark on fly!! Great Job Robbie!

But at the end of the tournament only one person, could claim victory......PEGGY GILLENWATER is this year’s Ford Fishing Fin-atic with a total catch of 12 species totaling 45 points, barely edging out Mr. Scott who had 43 points, with Robbie close behind at 40.

Congratulations Peggy on a great couple of months of fishing adventures!! Plan to participate in next year’s tournament and see if you can be Ford’s next Fishing Fin-atic.

Peggy will receive a new rod and reel from Ogeechee Outfitters as well as dinner for four prepared at her home by Executive Chef Juan Carlos and ODP Director Mike Womble.

Pictured is Mike and Peggy with her Big Redfish for the tournament.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Ford Plantation Pete Dye Designed Golf Course Now Open

Ford Plantation Pete Dye Designed Golf Course Now Open

​- 1,700,000 square feet of Championship Bermuda sod laid

- 1,481,000 linear feet (280.49 miles) of irrigation system wire

- 304 yards added to course

- 20% larger greens

- Pete Dye’s finest southern golf course design = priceless

October 1st marked the opening day of the redesigned course. After one year and $7 million, the golf course restoration is complete and ready for members to play. Pete Dye and Tim Liddy oversaw the entire golf course restoration which addressed and corrected infrastructure issues on the golf course, including drainage, irrigation, green construction, and bunker construction. The improvements make the course more playable for all members, while challenging the best amateur and professional players. This project was one of the most extensive private course restorations in the country.

Opening day activities included a short game clinic with Champion Tour player Gene Sauers and Head Golf Pro Ryan Skipton and an Opening Day Tournament with 46 members playing.

Click here for Pete Dye’s welcome to the course message.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Golf Digest: This Is What It Looks Like When Pete Dye Redesigns a Golf Course

Golf Digest: This Is What It Looks Like When Pete Dye Redesigns a Golf Course

​Golf Digest recently wrote about The Ford Plantation’s golf course project in their blog with an article titled, "This is what it looks like when Pete Dye redesigns a golf course." They also tweeted about the project from their official account, which went to a following of more than 168,000 and received 31 re-tweets and 33 likes. Click here to read the story. GolfDigest.com receives more than 1.8 million unique visitors to its web site every month.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Pete Dye’s Hands-on Efforts Lead The Ford Plantation’s Multi-million Dollar Golf Course Project

Pete Dye’s Hands-on Efforts Lead The Ford Plantation’s Multi-million Dollar Golf Course Project

​The $7 million-plus redevelopment of The Ford Plantation’s Pete Dye-designed golf course reached another milestone this week as crews began laying more than 1 million square feet of sod. The year-long project is currently in its seventh month and is scheduled for completion in October. To Club members’ delight, Dye, the only living World Golf Hall of Fame architect, has been hands-on, spending extended time on-site and hand drawing green complex designs in the Coastal Georgia dirt.

“I looked at The Ford Plantation as a unique chance and almost a blank slate,” Dye said of a course he originally worked on nearly three decades ago. “The Ford Plantation golf course will stand among my finest Southern designs.”

Originally envisioned as a restoration necessitated by infrastructure upgrades, the updating has become transformational in its effects. Golf course architect Tim Liddy, a longtime Dye collaborator and confidant, is helping lead the redesign.

“Pete is always passionate about his work, but it’s obvious that he feels a special connection with The Ford Plantation,” Liddy said. “It’s certainly among the largest redesigns of one his courses that he’s ever undertaken.”

Read the full release on the Press Room page.

See more photos on Nelson's blog.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Continuing Impact of Pete Dye on Golf Course Restoration

Continuing Impact of Pete Dye on Golf Course Restoration

​By CW Canfield, Director of Golf

We are currently in our seventh month of construction on the golf course. An historic milestone for The Ford Plantation was reached on February 11, 2014, as Mr. Dye sketched the sixth green complex in the dirt beside Lake Sterling. With this specific direction, the refinement of all 18 greens complexes is complete. In total, Mr. Dye has inspected the construction progress and provided the direction needed to deliver a spectacular playing experience. We are witnessing a true legend at work!

Mr. Dye’s involvement has surpassed our expectations. To our knowledge, he has not redesigned one of his original courses to this extent. Over the years, he has tweaked prior designs, but has not dramatically changed the routing as he has at Ford. The importance of having the only living World Golf Hall of Fame architect redesigning one of his original works of art cannot be underestimated.

One must return to the Golden Age of architecture to truly appreciate what Mr. Dye is creating. Courses designed from the turn of the 20th century until the mid–1930s are often considered the best golf course designs. Mr. Dye has expressed that his work has been influenced by many of these famed architects. His green complexes at Ford are reminiscent of C.B. Macdonald and Seth Raynor, as they are properly angled with bunkers guarding the aggressive line of play. A golf ball hit to the opposite side of the green will likely encounter only slopes and mounds, thus allowing a less difficult chip to the hole.

We can also see the influence of Alister MacKenzie on our greens, as the contour from the approach or surround often continues onto the putting surface. This will make the greens more interesting and provide slope to move the ball to certain pin locations. Donald Ross’ signature style is apparent as Mr. Dye gives us wide landing areas off the tee and fairways that switch back to the prudent approach angle to the green.

These design features will provide interest and enjoyment for many generations to come. What becomes fascinating is the fact that while these famous architects are individually known for one or two design abstractions, Mr. Dye is able to incorporate multiple historic concepts and features into his projects. Ford Plantation Club members are the beneficiaries of this influence, as every hole reflects ideas from the Golden Age. With the current attention to architectural detail, our golf course will quite possibly become an instant classic upon opening.

As these features come to life, I look forward to explaining the significance and how to properly navigate once open for play.

In the photo, Pete Dye (center), the only living World Golf Hall of Fame architect, has visited The Ford Plantation numerous times during restoration to provide his personal guidance. He is shown with Club President Bill Coad (left) and Greens Committee Chair Bill Thompson receiving an Honorary Membership.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Great Fishing for Sheepshead Madness Tournament

Great Fishing for Sheepshead Madness Tournament

​Great fishing this weekend for our Sheepshead Madness tournament--our two-month-long (March 1-April 30), family-friendly tournament to see which fishing team can catch the three largest sheepshead (weight). Teams can fish as much as they wish, being able to upgrade fish already weighed in. We keep a leader board at Ogeechee Oufitters so teams can see where they stand. Skip Gillenwater, Bob Mobley, Jim Trolinger, and Jeff Scott show off this week's tournament catch--they report bigger fish than the last trip.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Fuzzy Davis Roast and Toast

Fuzzy Davis Roast and Toast

​Our beloved Fuzzy Davis has edged closer to fishing “full time” with his retirement from Ford. Dozens of members recently enjoyed a good-natured Roast and Toast in Fuzzy’s honor. We are extremely grateful for the many years of service Fuzzy has provided and will miss his wisdom and energy in our never-ending pursuit of all things outdoors. We wish him much success with both his blueberry farm and time on the water.