PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – (August 1, 2022) – What happens when a golf course with a solid and exciting design connects with a new owner/operator that is committed to a comprehensive vision for the future?
The net result is smiles from all who benefit from the renaissance that takes place.
That is what is taking place at Venetian Golf Club, the Chip Powell-design that debuted in Venice, Florida in 2003 as a private country club. Since then it has undergone a number of management transitions. The latest occurred in February of 2022, when the Heritage Golf Group stepped in as the new owner and operator of the club.
Immediately, Heritage pledged $1 million in capital improvements during the first 12 weeks of operation – the largest project being the reconstruction of all bunkers using the Better Billy Bunker System. Also, many tees were re-grassed, fairway conditions were improved and the greens were restored thanks to aggressive aeration.
The results have been amazing, leading to a surge in membership and activity. For all of those reasons, Venetian Golf Club and Heritage Golf Group, are the topic of the August episode of the award-winning Traveling Golfer television show.
In addition to the acquisition of Venetian Golf Club, Heritage Golf Group has undergone a major expansion in recent years. Originally a small company with only six properties, it was purchased in January of 2020 by Mark Burnett and his group of investors. As president and CEO, the former ClubCorp (now Invited) executive brought his expertise – and aggressive philosophy – to the company.
Since then, he has engineered a mercurial rise that includes an impressive acquisition plan. Heritage Golf Group now has 22 private golf clubs and/or resort daily fee courses in its portfolio. The company’s philosophy of owning, as well as operating its properties, has proven successful.
“Management companies that come in and manage for a fee have fallen short in performance over the years,” stressed Burnett. “We put in the capital and take the risks. It is the difference between a short-term strategy and our long-term strategy.”
Most of the recent expansion has taken place along America’s East Coast.
In less than a year, three prime private clubs were acquired in New Jersey – Stanton Ridge CC, Shackamaxon CC and Basking Ridge CC. Add Knollwood CC in nearby Westchester County, New York and Heritage Golf Group was able to boast a collection of four courses within a half-hour drive.
Florida is another area where Heritage Golf Group has shown rapid expansion. In addition to the acquisition of Venetian Golf Club, Heritage has added Pelican Preserve in Fort Myers to a West Coast collection that includes TPC Prestancia in Sarasota and TPC Tampa Bay (scheduled for major renovation this year). Plus there is The Club at Boca Pointe in Boca Raton on Florida’s East Coast.
“I have been closely watching the changes at Venetian Golf Club, as well as the expansion of Heritage Golf Group,” says Tony Leodora, host of the Traveling Golfer television show. “I am very impressed. I see this as a cutting-edge formula to the improvement of the overall golf scene in this critical post-pandemic era.”
Not only does this latest episode provide a look inside the gates of a premier private country club, but viewers will get an understanding of how management under the careful direction of a competent owner/operator company can affect almost-instant improvements.
The August episode of the Traveling Golfer airs as a scheduled weekly feature show on NBC Sports and NBC Sports + throughout four markets in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. NBC Sports airings are 10:30 a.m. on Sundays, 10 p.m. on Tuesdays and 11 a.m. on Thursdays. NBC Sports + airs the show at 8 p.m. Mondays and Fridays. In addition, the show airs nationally, two times every day, on the Fun Roads Network (funroads.tv/schedule) – in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Wichita, Detroit, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Washington State, North Dakota, Raleigh, Orlando, San Jose, Albany and Boise markets. Additionally, national and international expansion has taken place via connected TV on Roku, Amazon Fire, SelectTV and GlewedTV – including the new WingDing Network, available on demand and in 50 million households worldwide on Roku.
The Traveling Golfer also airs a number of times throughout the month on “Rivertalk” on HTC-4 in Myrtle Beach.
The show also airs on the Traveling Golfer network of websites … including The Golf Director Network and The Myrtle Beach Golf Channel (see full list of sites on travelinggolfervideo.com).
As part of every Traveling Golfer show there is the additional feature, “Tech Talk”, hosted by Tour Edge Golf experts, such as President Dave Glod. With years of experience as a club maker, Glod presents an inside look at the research and development of high-quality golf equipment.
Responding to golfers’ never-ending demands to learn more about interesting golf courses and golf resorts across the country and around the world, well-traveled host Tony Leodora created the Traveling Golfer so he could take viewers on video trips to some of the most exciting golf locations. In each of the last eight years, the show has been honored by the International Network of Golf with one of its prestigious awards. In four of those years the Traveling Golfer was named the No. 1 Golf Television Show in America.
The Traveling Golfer is a series of monthly shows hosted by Leodora, who has more than 20 years of experience in televised golf. The featured destination stays on the website for one month, before being replaced by a new show. Alternate shows also air in a two-month rotation. All old shows are archived for continued viewing on the YouTube Network and on the home website, www.travelinggolfervideo.com.
For more information about the Traveling Golfer, or to find out how a property can be featured on the show, call TL Golf Services at (610) 721-8186 or e-mail Tony Leodora at tony.leodora@TL-golfservices.com. .