Uber Golf Instructor!!

Discussion in 'Sports and Recreation' started by Kat12, May 6, 2007.

  1. Kat12

    Kat12 Beach Comber

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    I decided my game could use some help, so i contacted the PGA for a list of the best instructors in the area.
    I was provided a list of names. On the list was PGA Professional Katharine Williams. In the month between calling the PGA and waiting for the weather to get better to start lessons, it seemed like every time I turned around people seemed to be talking about this incredible new golf instructor in the area...low and behold there was that name on my list Katharine Williams.
    I learned Katharine was the Head Golf Professional at The SugarBush Resort in Vermont prior to moving here and is regarded in many circles as one of the best instructors in the the country. She is now with Eglin AFB golf course. Well...I thought that was the end of the road as I expected not to be able to access her as I assumed that Eglin AFB golf course would only be open to the military. I decided to call and double check. Not only can private citizens with no military affiliation access Katharine, they are able to golf there as well. I guess this is because the golf course is in the city of Niceville and is not on the military base. Anyhow..I now travel from 30A to Niceville for golf lessons every week. The truth is I would be willing to drive across the country for golf lessons with her. In all my years of golf, and many lessons, I never imagined my game could be this good and have never enjoyed the game as much.
    What an amazing instructor !!!!!
    Just thought everyone would like to know
     
  2. beachmouse

    beachmouse Beach Fanatic

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    That golf course is actually still DoD, and up until about 2004, you had to have military id to play there. Thing was, they used to use prisoners from the Eglin Corrections Facility (aka Club Fed) to do golf course maitenance. When the Bureau of Prisons closed Club Fed in 04-05, the golf course started to have to pay market wages for maitenance staff, and they gradually opened up the course to civilians as a way of building an additional revenue stream to make the books look better.
     
  3. KY oyster eater

    KY oyster eater Beach Lover

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    What is the course like? Prices to play? Most USAF bases have golf courses and usually they are in incredible shape. I can only imagine Eglin would be nice also. What is the new course in Panama City? I remember it either being a Jack Nicklaus or an Arnold Palmer course. Thanks, KOE
     
  4. Beaudroix

    Beaudroix Beach Lover

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    It is simply a nice golf course with hills unlike many local courses...

    We had a great time there.
     
  5. jusbeachy

    jusbeachy Beach Crab

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    RE: Katharine Williams Uber Golf Instructor!!

    Thanks luvinlife for tip! I have taken lessons from multiple instructors over the years. Katharine is outstounding...by far the best PGA Professional I have ever encountered. She has changed my game around completely. I've dropped 12 strokes off my game in two months. She is highly skilled, and has an incredible gift for teaching ...enthusiastic, and motivating. She has quite a following, not so easy to get in for a lesson initially, but once you are on her schedule, your time slot becomes yours. Thanks again for the tip! My golf buddies thank you too!!
     
  6. tsutcli

    tsutcli Beach Fanatic

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    You might be talking about the Nicklaus at Bay Point in Panama City Beach. Used to be called The Legend but from what I heard it was almost unplayable for the averae hacker so they brought in Nicklaus to redesign it.
     
  7. polo

    polo Beach Comber

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    Eglin Golf Course

    Greetings and thanks for the tip on PGA Pro Katherine Williams as I am looking for some professional help to resurrect my game after only playing three or four times over the last six years.

    It would be truly ironic if I did find my game again at Eglin as that is where I learned it over 40 years ago as a boy when my dad was stationed at the base. At that time the course only had 18 holes and the club house was on the hill at the corner of 85 and John Sims Parkway in Niceville. The professional in the early to mid 60s was a gentleman named Bob Keller and a gentleman he was. Mr Keller and his two assistants ran a great junior program during the summer and my brother and I spent every Tuesday and Thursday there with group lessons in the morning and then playing a round of golf before coming home in the afternoon on the bus back to the base. The junior golf program included a test on the rules and etiquette before you were allowed on the course as a junior. They held a junior tournament at the end of the summer which was a hit, too.

    The original course (now called the Eagle course) started with a relatively easy par 5 and ended with a long uphill par four. Due to construction of the new clubhouse further up Hwy 85, the holes were reordered with the old 18th now 17 and the old 1 now 18. It was then and still is a tough challenge with lots of water and bunkers and number 16 (now 15) was one of Golf Digest's 18 toughest holes one year. It is a long par 4 slight dogleg with a big bunker at the corner. There was a big pine tree in the middle of the bunker that caught many shots by those trying to cut the corner. Last time I played it, the front half of the bunker had been grassed in but the tree was still there. Though not terribly long by today's standards, many of the holes are very tight requiring accurate placement of drives or approaches. It is a great example of a traditional design that makes good use of the existing landscape and blends some long open holes with tight shorter ones. Two of the par 3s are shortish and two a bit longer. It's traditional design allows one to roll the ball onto the green on just about every hole.

    I was told the course was originally "Crestview Country Club" and the government acquired it sometime prior to our arrival there in 1960. The original course was used for some years as the venue for the Pensacola Open's Pro-Am. In those days, the teams consisted of one pro and one amateur. My dad got the opportunity to play in it once or twice and then we went to Pensacola to watch the tournament later in the week. Sadly, the Pro-Am moved back to Pensacola officially for "logistical reasons" but legend has it that one of the touring pros of the time had just shot an 83 on the Eglin course and told the press, "This course is too tough for the amateurs!"

    The Eglin pro at the time , Bob Keller, very nearly won the Pensacola Open one year in the early 60s and finally finished second which was an amazing bit of golf for a club pro playing against the likes of Palmer, Player, Nicklaus, Boros, Brewer, and the other greats of the day. Ironically, his son, Mike Keller, played in the last edition of the tournament in 1988, made the cut, had a good third round but then faded to 77 in the final round and only took home $744.

    The Eglin AFB golf course now has 36 holes with the addition of the Falcon Course some years ago. It is a bit more modern design but also a worthy challenge for any player. The Eagle Course is now under renovation to add modern irrigation and drainage systems as well as some other modifications but I'm not sure of all the details. The Eagle Course is slated to reopen sometime this fall. With only one course now available, tee times are at a premium, especially in the morning during the summer, but one should be able to get on the course during the week if persistent. I'm a walker myself but someone playing the course(s) there for the first time may want to ride due to all the hills.

    Again, thanks for the tip and hope I've provided a few interesting tidbits about the Eglin AFB Golf Course. :D
     
  8. beachmouse

    beachmouse Beach Fanatic

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    Part of the changes/rennovations they've made on the water hazards on the golf complex have been to provide better habitat for a little fish called the Okaloosa darter. It's an interesting story about how the DoD works on conservation projects:

    http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/InNews/okaloosa2007.html
     
  9. gillfin

    gillfin Beach Crab

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    Ditto on the thumbs up for PGA Professional Katharine Williams!
    Great instructor....My slice is gone!:clap:
     

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