Innisbrook Re-Opens Island Golf Course

By Golf Channel NewsroomMarch 4, 2008, 5:00 pm

Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club is known by golfers worldwide for over 35 years of outstanding golf. Now the resort is proud to announce that golf at Innisbrook has just gotten better. After $1.7 million in renovations, the Island Course officially reopens today to offer what may be the resort's most impressive layout... and that's mighty praise considering Innisbrook's Copperhead Course is a favorite among the PGA TOUR players who arrive each March to compete in the PODS Championship.
Entrepreneur Sheila C. Johnson and her hospitality company, Salamander Hospitality, purchased Innisbrook this July and immediately began the renovation of the Island Course, already rated 4.5 stars out of a perfect 5 by Golf Digest's Places to Play. Johnson commented, 'The Island Course was designed on a very beautiful and unique parcel of land with one of the highest points of elevation in Pinellas County. This course is dramatically striking in both beauty and challenge. We knew right away we could take this course to a new level with the right scope of renovation and make it deserving of national acclaim.'

Innisbrook Island Course
The mystical 2nd hole at the Innisbrook Island course.
Island has hosted the Southern Amateur, the NCAA Golf Championships, four Florida Opens, and numerous USGA tournaments. The course opened during the week of October 7-13, 2007 to host over 700 amateur golfers from 69 U.S. cities competing in the GOLF CHANNEL Amateur Tour National Finals.
Now newly overseeded and in tournament condition, Island has been lengthened to 7,310 yards, with a par of 71. Golfers are sure to find great challenge at the extended 11th hole, now playing 530 yards -- one of the longest par fours in the country. Island now sports all new Tif Eagle greens -- the same putting surfaces as Copperhead. Additional improvements include new cart paths, course signage, bunkers, irrigation systems, new tree plantings and finer landscaping throughout. The Glase Golf Construction Company, based in Bonita Springs, Florida, has overseen the entire renovation project.
When asked his opinion about the impact of the newly renovated Island course, Director of Golf, Jay Overton, a 30-year veteran of Innisbrook and former player on the TOUR stated, 'It's now very easy to foresee the Island Course as yet another perfect venue for a major golf event at Innisbrook, in addition to Copperhead -- a consistent favorite among PGA TOUR professionals. I hope what we'll soon find is the emergence of Island back into the rankings among the top golf courses in the country.'
Enhancements to golf at Innisbrook are only the beginning of Johnson's plans for improvements to this distinctive property. Johnson and Salamander Hospitality President, Prem Devadas, also unveiled the first concept boards for further resort additions and improvements alluded to in July when announcing the purchase of the resort. Most notably, the construction of the resort's first full-service, luxury spa is scheduled to be completed by late 2008. The 12,000 square foot facility will offer 12 treatment rooms, a salon for hair, nails, manicures and pedicures and an outdoor spa courtyard with a relaxation pool. There will also be a new 4,000 square foot, state-of-the-art fitness area with workout studios and locker rooms. The Pamela Temples Design Group, based in St. Petersburg, Florida, has been hired to design for this project as well as other upcoming renovations at the resort. Architecture Incorporated will be the architectural firm on all of Innisbrook's renovation projects, with offices based in Ft. Meyers, Florida and Reston, Virginia.
In addition to the new spa, the resort's Tennis and Fitness Center will undergo extensive exterior and interior renovations including new locker room facilities. Also, Innisbrook's 11 Har-tru courts will undergo surface renovations as well as the addition of new seating areas to create a better venue for high profile spectator events that Johnson is planning to attract.
Innisbrook's three clubhouses and restaurants are also on the resort's list of immediate improvements to be completed prior to the end of 2008. The Copperhead Clubhouse will have a complete interior renovation with a restaurant concept change to an upscale 'Chop House', introducing a menu of exciting Italian specialties to complement its outstanding Steak House fare. The Island Clubhouse will also receive exterior and interior enhancements including complete locker room renovations, as well as a re-do of the existing restaurant, Turnberry Pub, that will introduce an updated and more comfortable version of a traditional golf grille and bar. The Highlands Clubhouse will be completely redesigned to add a new guest registration lobby for all arriving guests, as well as Johnson's signature gourmet market and deli - Market Salamander. Johnson plans to expand her Market Salamander concept here to create a new contemporary grille and bar for the Highlands Clubhouse. Additionally, the rear patio that overlooks the Highlands North and South courses will be expanded to include an outdoor bar which will become a lively gathering place for resort guests. Each of Innisbrook's six climate- controlled swimming pools will be upgraded and enhanced including all new poolside furniture for dining and relaxation.
Innisbrook's 65,000 square feet of meeting space will also receive an extensive make-over with all new interiors and furnishings. Two new executive boardrooms, seating up to 20 each, will be created featuring fine furnishings and appointments. With 14,000 square foot of ballroom at Inverness and twin 8,280 square foot ballrooms in the main conference center, Innisbrook will once again be one of Florida's finest conference facilities.
Plans to further enhance Innisbrook's golf experience include a new practice and instruction area adjacent to the Highland's practice facilities, and each of Innisbrook's four golf courses will receive new tee signage and a new, upgraded fleet of golf carts as well as new cart paths.
Literally no building at the resort will go untouched, with many new infrastructure upgrades planned throughout. That also includes the complete renovation of Innisbrook's Penthouse Suite which will be renovated from top to bottom, with Johnson personally involved in each design choice. Salamander Hospitality Vice President and Innisbrook Managing Director, Chuck Pomerantz, will oversee all of the resort's renovations.
Situated on 900 wooded acres of rolling hills and 70 acres of lakes on Florida's Gulf Coast near Tampa, Florida, Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club is located just 30 minutes from Tampa International Airport. Innisbrook features 72 holes of championship golf, 620 spacious guest suites and rooms, four restaurants and three bars, the Innisbrook Golf Institute, 11 tennis courts, fitness and racquetball center, six heated swimming pool complexes, a nature preserve, and three conference halls with 65,000 square feet of meeting space. Innisbrook is owned and managed by Salamander Hospitality, a privately owned and operated company based in Middleburg, VA, just outside Washington, DC and built upon a uniquely entrepreneurial approach to the hospitality business. For additional information call (727) 942-2000 or visit
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Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

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Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

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Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

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Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

“There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

“To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

“To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.