The Society of Hickory Golfers has agreed to be listed as a supporter of a new effort to identify and locate historic courses in the sunshine state. The Florida Historic Golf Trail (FHGT) Program “will greatly enhance public awareness of Florida’s historic golf courses, increase awareness of historic preservation, promote tourism throughout the state, and help provide an economic impact to communities that operate municipal golf courses,” says Scott Edwards, a preservationist with the bureau. Historic courses will be listed on the Florida Department of State’s website and in a future publication. “The website will include a brief history of each golf course and historic photographs along with the basic golf course information. In addition, golfers will be awarded with a certificate for playing 9 or 18 historic golf courses,” Edwards says.
The SoHG’s logo will be included as a program supporter in a promotional brochure on the golf trail. Edwards says it will resemble a golf scorecard and list all of the historic golf courses. He says courses built before 1950 will be under consideration. The accompanying photo shows a postcard of Bellaire Country Club in Clearwater, Fla. It’s first holes were built in 1897. The layout continued to expand and improve with the implementation of a Donald Ross design in 1915 that brought the total holes to 36. The SoHG is also exploring the possibility of providing a hickory club through a drawing to a golfer who plays a determined number of the historic courses.
Stay tuned. As we learn more about the program, we’ll share the information so that Florida hickory players and those who travel to the state for holidays or golf trips may learn about historic tracks to play.