NEW LOOK FOR INVERRARY IMPROVEMENTS REVIVE HISTORIC LAUDERHILL COURSE
 
[HOLLYWOOD Edition]
South Florida Sun - Sentinel - Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Author: Randall Mell
Date: Dec 31, 2006
Start Page: 10
Section: Community News
Document Types: REVIEW
Text Word Count: 872
Document Text

Club name: Inverrary Country Club's East Course.

Address: 3840 Inverrary Blvd., Lauderhill, FL 33319.

Phone: 954-733-7550.

Web site: www.inverrarygolf.com.

Year course was opened: 1970.

Designed by: Robert Trent Jones Sr.

General manager: Nick Fortunato.

Head golf professional: Gary Braeseke.

Course superintendent: Tom McGuire.

Membership director: Nancy Ponce.

Amenities: Golfco, the new ownership, has spruced the property with a number of improvements to the East and West courses' playing conditions and aesthetics. The 36-hole facility includes practice putting and chipping areas. A new fully lighted driving range is open. So is the new sports bar, Champions Grill. With a ballroom and three banquet rooms, and Catering by David, the club offers banquet and wedding facilities for large gatherings. There are also private meeting rooms. The club offers one-on-one and group golf instruction at its Inverrary Golf Academy. Junior camps are offered during the summer and holiday breaks.

Yardage: The East Course (par 72) -- Championship, 7,112; Back, 6,517; Middle, 6,057; Forward, 5,432.

Cost: The basic weekday rate for the East Course is $49, dropping to $39 after noon and $25 after 2 p.m. The weekend rate is $59, dropping to $49 after noon and $29 after 2 p.m.

Condition of course: With the fall over-seed kicking in nicely, Inverrary is lush and green where it matters most, on tee boxes, fairways and greens. With new white sand shimmering in the refurbished bunkering, the sharp green and white contrast makes for some inviting targets. This 36-year-old course had grown tired and weary looking in recent years, but the new owners have given it a good vitamin jolt. The course gets a lot of play and it isn't as finely manicured as more exclusive country clubs, but for the price this semi-private course is a good value. You can expect good rolls on these greens and consistently good lies in the fairways this winter.

Favorite holes and why: At the seventh hole, you see the work the new ownership has put into the course. A treacherous 201-yard par 3 from the championship tees, the green is guarded front and left by water. New, wooden bulkheads frame the refurbished green above the water. The challenge here is relative to the pin placement. With a pin tucked left over the water and in the narrowest portion of the green, it's a classic risk-reward shot, but there's room to bail out to the right. You can make a dangerous play here, but Robert Trent Jones Sr. made it eminently fair with a safe place to miss. From the middle tees at 120 yards, it's just plain fun to play.

The 16th hole is another classic Jones risk-reward design. At 394 yards from the championship tees, it doglegs right around a lake. It takes some nerve, but you can dramatically shorten this hole the more of the lake you dare to fly with your tee shot. A strong fade works great here, too.

The fifth hole isn't particularly dramatic, but this blue-collar par 4 of 431 yards from the championship tees is the No. 1 handicap hole on the course. With a large fairway bunker left, the fairway narrows considerably in the landing area. A sure tee shot is required and then an exacting approach with a deep, but narrow green guarded by three bunkers.

Other comments: Inverrary helped put Broward County on the map when the Jackie Gleason Inverrary Classic PGA Tour event made its debut here in 1972. It would evolve into the Honda Classic. The Inverrary developers lured actor/comedian Jackie Gleason to be the tournament host, and he in turn lured some of the great players and celebrities to the event. Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Lee Trevino mixed with the likes of Bob Hope and Mickey Rooney. Nicklaus made one of his most famous late charges to win here in 1978. Trailing Grier Jones by four shots with seven holes to play, Nicklaus birdied the final five holes to win. A plaque commemorating the feat is still in place at the fifth tee (which was the 14th tee when Nicklaus played).

Randall Mell can be reached at rmell@sun-sentinel.com.

[Illustration]
PHOTO 6; Caption: CHIPPING AWAY: Paul Truitt, of Fairfax, Va., chips onto the third green of the par 3, third hole at the Inverrary Golf Course in Lauderhill. The course has made many improvements and added new features. Staff photos/Lou Toman WATCH OUT: The 15th green features this large trap. With the fall over-seed kicking in nicely, Inverrary is lush and green where it matters most, on tee boxes, fairways and greens. FAMOUS HOLE: A plaque at the 14th hole signifies where Jack Nicklaus birdied out to win by one shot in 1978. The course helped put Broward County on the map. FROZEN IN TIME: Some historic moments have taken place at the Inverrary Country Club's East Course. At left, Jackie Gleason hams it up with Joe DiMaggio at the 1978 Inverrary Pro-Am tournament that bore Gleason's name. Middle, Jack Nicklaus celebrates his winning shot at the 1978 Inverrary Golf Classic. Right, Bob Hope kisses his golf ball after making a par on the second hole at the tournament in the late 1970's . File photos/Nick Von Staden (left and middle photos) and Lou Toman (right photo).

 
Abstract (Document Summary)

PHOTO 6; CHIPPING AWAY: Paul Truitt, of Fairfax, Va., chips onto the third green of the par 3, third hole at the Inverrary Golf Course in Lauderhill. The course has made many improvements and added new features. Staff photos/Lou Toman WATCH OUT: The 15th green features this large trap. With the fall over-seed kicking in nicely, Inverrary is lush and green where it matters most, on tee boxes, fairways and greens. FAMOUS HOLE: A plaque at the 14th hole signifies where [Jack Nicklaus] birdied out to win by one shot in 1978. The course helped put Broward County on the map. FROZEN IN TIME: Some historic moments have taken place at the Inverrary Country Club's East Course. At left, [Jackie Gleason] hams it up with Joe DiMaggio at the 1978 Inverrary Pro-Am tournament that bore Gleason's name. Middle, Jack Nicklaus celebrates his winning shot at the 1978 Inverrary Golf Classic. Right, [Bob Hope] kisses his golf ball after making a par on the second hole at the tournament in the late 1970's . File photos/Nick Von Staden (left and middle photos) and Lou Toman (right photo).

 
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