Local golf column: Grey Oaks' Bublitz named South Florida PGA Section Professional of Year

— Two years ago, Grey Oaks' Karl Bublitz was named the Southwest PGA Chapter Professional of the Year. Last month, he moved up to a higher honor — Bublitz was named Golf Professional of the Year by the South Florida PGA Section on Nov. 12.

"It was terrific," said Bublitz, who received the award at the Section's dinner at Mirasol in West Palm Beach. "Being selected by your peers — South Florida certainly has arguably the best section in the country — it's a huge honor for me. I'm very humbled."

Bublitz was told about the award about a month beforehand, so he had his wife, two children and a couple of board members from Grey Oaks there.

"I'm excited because we have so many good things going on in our family," Bublitz said. "We're fortunate to have two healthy kids, and I think I have the best job in the country. We're very blessed."

Bublitz previously has won the Bill Strausbaugh Award for club relations in both the chapter and the section.

Bublitz is in his ninth season at Grey Oaks, and also had been director of golf at Shadow Wood Golf & Country Club in Bonita Springs from its opening, and at Railside in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Other winners — Salesperson of the Year — Bill Bishop, TaylorMade adidas Ashworth; Merchandiser of the Year, Private — Chrisy Hedrick, Fiddlesticks; Merchandiser of the Year, Public — John Miller; Merchandiser of the Year, Resort — Bob Coman; Player Development Award — Jeff Nixon, Stoneybrook; Horton Smith Award — Bill Davis; Bill Strausbaugh Award — Pat Gorman; Assistant of the Year — Dan Terlescki; Junior Golf Leader — Craig Watson; Teacher of the Year — Andy Scott, Kelly Greens.

Fiddlesticks Scramble: Craig Hicks and Cody Harris defeated Tom Midtgaard and Justin McCarraher in a closest-to-the-hole tiebreaker to win the scramble Sunday at Fiddlesticks Country Club in Fort Myers.

Midtgaard and McCarraher shot a 59 to tie Hicks and Harris. In the tiebreaker, Hicks and Harris hit their shot 8 feet away, closer by a couple of feet.

Howard Palen and Steve Shortlidge won the St. Andrews Flight with a 14-under total. Jim Wilson and Matt Jozwiak shot 12 under to win the Carnoustie Flight. Carl Meadows and David Blackhurst shot 6 under to win the Muirfield Flight.

The scramble's recap/raffle raised $2,500 for the Bobby Nichols Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation.

Jim Dahl tournament: The Northside Naples Kiwanis will be at Lely Resort on Saturday, Jan. 5. There is an 8 a.m. shotgun start for the best ball. The entry fee is $125. Sponsorships are available starting at $100. Lunch/awards follow at Little Italy restaurant.

Proceeds benefit the Key Club Scholarship Program. For more information, contact Bill Ricigliano 825-8406, puttzone@earthlink.net, or Jim Dougher 201-410-7079 or jjdougher@comcast.net.

Vasari Junior Clinics: Vasari Country Club in Bonita Springs will have junior clnics Dec. 27-29. The clinics are from 9 to 11 a.m. both days, and for ages 5-17.

Cost is $65 per child for the three days or $25 per child for one day. Call 594-3959.

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PROFESSIONAL EVENTS

ACE Group Classic

Info: Feb. 12-17, TwinEagles Club. Tickets on sale. Ultimate Golf Experience Book now features complimentary parking all week, two concessions vouchers valid any day and a 10 percent discount in the TwinEagles Pro Shop, in addition to a weekly ticket. Other exclusive discounts include $25 off hospitality, daily and weekly tickets with the purchase of two or more. These limited time offers will only be available through the end of the year. With the purchase of an Ultimate Golf Experience Book, fans will receive discounted golf rounds at 30 of the best golf courses in Southwest Florida. Holiday Promotions — Two Ultimate Golf Books for $150 (offer valid through Dec. 31 — online or by phone); Save $48 with the purchase of two Ultimate Golf Experience Books; Save $25 Offer (offer valid through Dec. 31 — online or by phone). Holiday orders placed by Dec. 19 will be shipped in time for Christmas.

Contact: www.acegroupclassic.com or 593-3900

CHARITY EVENTS

Everblades Classic

Info: Tuesday, Magnolia Landing in North Fort Myers. Shotgun start, 8:30 a.m. Sponsorships available. Registration deadline Dec. 1. Entry fee, $75 per person or $260 per foursome.

Contact: Trent Ferguson 948-7825, ext. 1076

FREE CLINICS

Mapother/Steinbach Clinic

Info: Jim Mapother of RJM Golf and Nick Steinbach of Merrill Lynch are providing free clinics on Friday mornings from 9 to 10:30 a.m. First part, short game work; second, full swing. Clinics through May 13 at Lely Resort's Flamingo and Mustang driving range. Registration limited to eight people.

Contact: 208-755-7644 or jim@RJMGolf.com.

JUNIORS

Rodney Bungartz lessons

Info: Arrowhead Golf Club instructor has released clinic schedule for December. After School Junior Clinic — Tuesdays, 4 to 5 p.m., $13 per student per session, ages 6 and up; Middle School Junior Clinic — Tuesdays, 5 to 6 p.m., $15 per student per session, ages 12 and up. Contact: 348-5929.

TOURAcademy at Tiburon

Info: Afterschool programs — Elementary, 4 to 5:30 p.m., Mondays; Middle school, 4:30 to 6 p.m., Wednesdays. Cost, $190 for four-week session. Call 593-2200

Valencia After School Camp

Info: For ages 7-15, last camp this Thursday. Cost, $10 per day. Call 352-0777 or email nick@valenciagolfandcountryclub.com.

AREA ORGANIZATIONS

Executive Women's Golf Association

Contact: Mourine White at mourinew10@comcast.net, 262-5948, www.naplesewga.com.

Gulfcoast Amateur Association of Florida

Info: Members can participate in individual competitions, couples events, partner events, scrambles, pro-ams, nine-hole "Nine and Dines" plus travel events. Nonmembers are welcome to continue competing in select events with a $25 per event fee. Memberships will be $100 per person per year, and offer benefits such as member discounts at area golf courses, advanced tee times, and restaurant discounts.

Contact: gagaswfl@aol.com or golfslaff@aol.com.

Gulf Coast Gold Senior Tour

Info: For golfers 50 and over. Tee times will begin each week in midmorning. The entry deadline is Mondays at 11 a.m. Entry fee, $20 per event, including the rate for golf at each club. Stableford scoring system.

Contact: tpagolf@msn.com, 458-0754

Southwest Amateur Series

Info: Men's circuit through the Florida State Golf Association features 36-hole individual competitions, with $130 entry fees.

Contact: www.fsga.org

Valencia Leagues

Info: 18-hole Men's League on Saturdays at 8 a.m.; Ladies League, Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., format varies each week.

Contact: 352-0777, www.ValenciaGolfandCountryClub.com

World Golfers Amateur Tour-Southwest Florida

Info: Cost for tour, $189 per year.

Contact: www.wgatusa.com or email Jim Stockman at jim@worldgolfersusa.com

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INSTRUCTION, ETC.

■ APEX Golf — State-of-the-art training studio combining the skills of a golf pro and a physical therapist to improve the body and golf swing. The studio has a high-definition golf simulator, a K-Vest golf swing analyzer, video, and strength and flexibility testing software. APEX offers a free 30-minute analysis of the body and swing. Call 337-2739.

■ Mike Dopslaff Instruction — PGA professional Mike Dopslaff, a four-time Southwest Florida PGA Player of the Year, provides instruction. Individual, group lessons at Stoneybrook Golf Club and Eastwood Golf Club. Call 994-3442, or golfslaff@aol.com.

■ Rodney Bungartz Lessons — The Arrowhead instructor has released his schedule for June. Summer junior clinic: 9 to 10 a.m., Wednesdays, $13 per student per session, age 6 and up. June 13, 20, 27; Get Golf Ready: Starts June 18, Mondays 8:45 to 10 a.m. Mondays; $99 for six 75-minute sessions. Call 348-5929.

■ Jon Butler Golf at West Bay Beach and Golf Club — Offering 2 and 4 day Golf schools, short game schools, clinics, private lessons and on-course playing lessons. Call 239-821-8447, jonbutlergolf@gmail.com, www.jonbutlergolf.com

■ Mike Calbot International Golf Studio & Triad Golf Schools — At Old Corkscrew Golf Club in Estero. Full and half-day schools are offered. Instructional packages are one, two or three days. All instruction is by appointment only. Private instruction and playing lessons also available. Thirty-five years of instructional experience. Call 482-0900 or visit www.golfdoctorusa.com.

■ John Carroll Lessons — Former Club Pelican Bay professional John Carroll is at Talis Park Golf Club in North Naples. Carroll was at Pelican Bay for 29 years. He is available for instruction Tuesdays through Saturdays. To make an appointment, call 597-3561 or 860-8470.

■ Dennis Clark Lessons — Clark, a PGA Master Professional and Advanced Certified Instructor, is directing the Golf Academy at The Marco Island Marriott Resort. Clark is a seven-time PGA award winner, and features Trackman Golf radar Solutions as well as V-1 video analysis. Clark has private lessons, a half-day workshop, and full-weekend schools. Contact 642-2747 or dennis@dennisclarkgolf.com.

■ Concierge Service of Naples — An off-site service free of charge to the customer. The service can make tee times year-round at private country clubs in Southwest Florida up to 60 days in advance. The fee is the normal guest rate, and golfers are not required to play with a member. Call 285-7457.

■ Coral Isle Golf Center — The teaching center on Collier Boulevard on the way to Marco Island has a weekly clinic schedule — Tuesdays, ladies; Thursdays, men; Saturdays, mixed. There is a short-game class Fridays, with advanced sign-up required. All start at 10 a.m. Call 732-6900.

■ The Golf Institute — Club fitting program includes evaluation based on series of tests, including frequency check and lie and loft angle. Putting evaluations also are available. Call 643-5895.

■ Phil Grear instruction — Forest Glen’s Phil Grear is offering the Get Golf Ready program sponsored by the World Golf Foundation. Sessions Tuesday through Friday, 8:30 to 10:15 a.m. Each weekly program is $99 per person. Call 354-1898 or 595-1120.

■ Kim Hilbert Lessons — Windstar on Naples Bay assistant pro Hilbert earned honorable mention as a U.S. Kids Golf Top Kids Teacher. Hilbert is an LPGA teaching professional, and also teaches at Able’s Golf Facility in Dublin, Ohio. Hilbert offers numerous youth programs, including multi-day schools, camps, clinics, private lessons, tournament coaching, and afterschool golf programs. Her programs can be found at www.teachingu2golf.com.

■ John Jacobs Golf School — at Lely Resort. Staffed by local PGA and LPGA professionals. School offers 5-day week and 2-day weekend sessions, plus corporate days and private instruction. Discounted rates for junior golfers. For more information, call 1-800-472-5007 or visit www.jacobsgolf.com.

■ KISS Golf For Women Golf Schools — At Royal Poinciana Country Club. LPGA teaching professionals Lorie McCabe and her staff offer two- and three-day golf schools for women. Private instruction also is available. Call 1-888-451-KISS or 354-3633. The school’s Web site is www.kissgolfforwomen.com.

■ David Leadbetter Golf Academy — At LaPlaya Beach & Golf Club. Leadbetter is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher. Academy programs include three-day golf schools and players’ schools, and a one-day mini-school. Private instruction and playing lessons also are available. Call 592-1444.

■ Jim Mapother instruction — Call 431-5315 or email rjmgolf@comcast.net.

■ Mediterra Golf School — Clinic on Friday, March 16 with stack-and-tilt method teachers Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett. The clinic will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and costs $550, which includes lunch in the clubhouse, and will be limited to 10 students; Contact director of instruction Adam Bazalgette at adamb@clubmediterra.com or go to www.adambgolf.com.

■ Dennis Meyer’s Golf School — at Quality Inn Suites & Golf Resort in Golden Gate offers two-, three- , and four-day schools. Playing lessons included in full-day golf schools. Half-day options are available as well. Private lessons available. Call 1-800-445-4554 or 267-4652.

■ Naples Golf Academy — Located at the Hibiscus Golf Club. Lauri Travers leads a team of instructors that offers private lessons, golf schools, clinics and playing lessons. Specialty programs geared toward women and beginner golfers are available year-round. Visit us at LearningGolf.com or call 239-732-9944 for more information.

■ Naples Grande Golf Schools — Contact Durland at 784-2208 or mark@durlandgolf.com.

■ Tom Patri Golf School — Tom Patri in New York from May-December. At The Quarry from Dec. 1 through April 15. Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher in America. South Florida Teacher of the Year. Met (NY) PGA Teacher of the Year. Available to all skill levels, and juniors. Private instruction by the hour, half and full day sessions also. Short game specialist. Visit www.tompatri.com, email tpatri@mindspring.com, or call 239-404-7790.

■ Bob Prange Lessons — Estero Country Club at The Vines is the winter home of Prange, who is a teaching professional at The Bridgewater Club in Carmel, Ind. Prange previously has been a head instructor, staff member and golf school coordinator for John Jacobs Golf Schools. He has been 2004 Teacher of the Year in the Indiana PGA Section, and a Top PGA Instructor by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine. Call 267-7003 for appointments and schedules.

■ Rick Smith Golf Academy — New location at the Raptor Bay Golf Club in Bonita Springs. Offering weekly clinics for adults, Mondays and Saturdays from 11 a.m.-noon, and juniors on Thursdays from 4 to 5 p.m. Clinics have a 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio. Call 390-4610 for more information and to sign up.

■ TOURAcademy Tiburon — 593-2200 for more information.

To submit an item for the golf column, send an email to ghardwig@naplesnews.com or a fax to 263-4816.

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