World Golf Village

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World Golf Village
Worldgolfvillagelogo.PNG
Club information
Location St. Johns County, near Jacksonville, Florida
Established 1998
Type Private
Operated by Honours Golf
Tournaments hosted Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf
Shell's Wonderful World of Golf
Website worldgolfvillage.com/
King & Bear
Designed by Arnold Palmer
Jack Nicklaus
Bobby Weed
Par 72
Length 7,279
Course rating 75.2
Slope rating 141
Course record 64
Slammer & Squire
Designed by Sam Snead
Gene Sarazen
Bobby Weed
Par 72
Length 6,939
Course rating 73.8
Slope rating 135
Course record 64

The World Golf Village (WGV) is a golf resort in St. Johns County, Florida, between Jacksonville and St. Augustine.[1] It was created by the PGA Tour and showcases the World Golf Hall of Fame. In addition to the resort the World Golf Village also features residential and commercial developments.[2]

Development[edit]

The 6,300-acre (2,500 ha) parcel was approved in the 1990s as a Development of Regional Impact (DRI) under Section 380.06 of the Florida Statutes,[3] and eventually have 18,000 residents. A new interchange on Interstate 95 in Florida was constructed to permit direct access to the site, which was expected to host a million visitors each year.[4]

Kelly Lake was created at the center of the village, surrounded by a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) brick Walk of Champions, which features a large flagstone for each Hall of Fame member, with their name and signature etched in granite.[4] A large building on the west side houses the hall of fame, theater, cafe and 110-foot shrine tower. The "Shops of World Golf Village" are situated on the north and east sides, and the Renaissance Hotel and convention center are to the south.[5]

World Golf Foundation[edit]

The Ladies Professional Golf Association created a hall of fame in 1951. It was inactive until 1967, when it moved into a physical location in Augusta, Georgia and was renamed the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame. In the early 1990s, the PGA Tour was contemplating a Hall of Fame close to their north Florida headquarters. Deane Beman asked LPGA commissioner Charlie Mechem if there was interest in a joint Golf Hall of Fame. When they responded in the affirmative, the United States Golf Association was contacted, as was The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. Both agreed to collaborate, and PGA of America closed the Pinehurst World Golf Hall of Fame, while the LPGA decided to merge their HOF into the new facility.

An independent entity, the World Golf Foundation (WGF), was formed in 1994 to promote and honor the game and those who made significant contributions. The Board of Directors included representatives from the world's major golf organizations. The WGF owns and controls the World Golf Hall of Fame.[6]

Hall of Fame[edit]

The first and foremost attraction at World Golf Village is the World Golf Hall of Fame, which superseded the PGA of America facility at Pinehurst, North Carolina in May 1998.[7] The Hall of Fame has a permanent display with biographical information for every individual inducted. There are also sections devoted to the history of golf, heritage, organizations, course design, equipment, attire and trends. The Trophy Tower contains a collection of all the major tournament trophies (and many of the minor ones). Many of the displays are interactive and give the visitor a "hands on" experience. Featured exhibits change yearly, and a round on the 18-hole putting course is included with museum admission. Additionally, there is a Challenge Hole with an island green similar to the signature hole at TPC Sawgrass, the par 3, 17th.[8]

Golf[edit]

Hall of Fame building at World Golf Village

Courses[edit]

The resort features two championship golf courses: the King & Bear, designed jointly by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, and the Slammer & Squire, a collaboration of Sam Snead and Gene Sarazen. Both courses consistently receive 4.5 stars rating (out of 5) by Golf Digest.[9] Both courses have hosted professional tournaments including the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf, a Champions Tour event, and Shell's Wonderful World of Golf, as well as other nationally-televised events.

Academy[edit]

The PGA TOUR Golf Academy opened at WGV in 2000 as a one-stop facility to help players improve all facets of their golf game. Their instructors are experienced PGA and LPGA professionals who provide clinics, schools, private lessons, development programs and camps for juniors using the latest technology.[10]

Based on the success of the program, branches have been established at TPC Sawgrass, TPC Scottsdale, TPC Las Vegas, TPC San Antonio and six other resort locations in the United States. The academy at World Golf Village trains and certifies all instructors at TOUR academies.[10]

Accommodations[edit]

Four hotels/motels were constructed in anticipation of tourism at the center. The largest is the Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village, followed by the Laterra Resort & Spa. The Grande Villas and The Residences at World Golf Village also provide unique accommodations.

Attractions[edit]

One of the most popular attractions is the IMAX Theater, which plays the latest movies and documentaries in a 300-seat theater with an 80-foot (24 m)-wide by six-story-high screen.

The Murray Brothers Caddy Shack restaurant is located along the Walk of Champions and is owned by actor Bill Murray and his five brothers. Their slogan is, "Eat, Drink and Be Murray!" [4] For fine dining, 500 South (formerly the Cypress Pointe Restaurant) is located within the Renaissance Resort. The Fairways Café is part of the World Golf Hall of Fame and offers casual and takeout fare.

The 31,000 sq ft (2,900 m2) PGA Tour Stop is situated along the Walk of Champions, and is the largest golf store in Florida.[11]

Historic St. Augustine and the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean are nearby, and WGV is part of the Greater Jacksonville Metropolitan Area, with over 1 million residents.[12]

Other development[edit]

The 40,000 sq ft (3,700 m2) St. Johns County Convention Center was constructed within the WGV and is connected to the Renaissance Resort. An assisted living facility for aging golfers, Glenmoor, is located nearby. A timeshare sales office is located on-site, and several nearby subdivisions will sell homes or homesites to golfers looking for a Florida vacation home.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fruit Cove & World Golf Village, Florida" Virtual Tourist, May 9, 2010
  2. ^ Conte, Christian: “World Commerce Center office condos planned” Jacksonville Business Journal, August 11, 2006
  3. ^ [1] Florida's Statutes Official website
  4. ^ a b c d Davis, Ennis: "Suburban St. Johns County: World Golf Village" Metro Jacksonville, September 14, 2010
  5. ^ "Photo tour" World Golf Village Renaissance Hotel
  6. ^ "History" World Golf Foundation
  7. ^ "World Golf Village" Inside Florida
  8. ^ "Permanent Exhibits at the Hall of Fame" World Golf Hall of Fame website
  9. ^ Rosaforte, Tim: "Out of the Inbox: Jacksonville" Golf Digest, December 17, 2009
  10. ^ a b "PGA Tour Golf Academy" PGA Tour Experiences
  11. ^ "PGA Tour Stop at World Golf Village" Golfer's Guide, Jacksonville
  12. ^ "OMB Bulletin No. 10-02: Update of Statistical Area Definitions and Guidance on Their Uses" United States Office of Management and Budget, December 1, 2009

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°59′28″N 81°28′13″W / 29.99111°N 81.47028°W / 29.99111; -81.47028