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The Villages
Friday, May 24, 2024

Here’s the Secret Recipe when it comes to The Villages

To the Editor:

There is a Secret Recipe associated with The Villages. That is obvious to anyone who has spent any amount of time here. I want to focus my comments on two major ingredients, Friendliness and Golf.
Based on my recent experiences over this past year, both are in serious need of our attention.
First some qualification: I have lived in the Villages (TV) for three years. So, I am old, but, not too old to notice change.
I have played almost 100 rounds of golf, most of them on TV Championship Courses as an Enhancement Member. My comments are focused on these courses.
#1 Priority – Condition of the Golf Courses
• The courses get a-lot of play. The Golfers are not using proper etiquette to take care of the course, staffing is weak or over worked, conditions of the courses are lacking. Many of the staff associates are battle fatigued. I played Palmer Legends in early April and the course was in bad shape. Some of the greens were unplayable in spots. Ball marks everywhere. Too many to count or fix. Sand Traps and Bunkers that looked like an army had just walked through them. This can be said about almost every course with the slight exception of Southern Oaks.
We cannot ask any category of membership or guests to pay from $51.50 – $97.00 to play courses in such poor condition. Especially, if these players are teeing it up multiple times per week. They will simply find other places to play.
Fixing the condition of the courses must be of paramount importance! TV Golf Management must do better.
#2 Priority – Hospitality and Friendliness is the responsibility of ALL Staff Associates.
• From the top of TV organization there needs to be a focus on Friendliness to the people who are playing our golf courses. The sole purpose of the staff is to make the golfer feel special and welcomed here at our wonderful golf facilities. We want them to come back.
Education on Golf Etiquette
• Every staff member should educate the player on golf etiquette. The four majors; Fix your ball marks plus one more, Fill Fairway Divots, Rake Sand Traps and Bunkers and Pace of Play. These instructions can be done in a friendly way prior to Teeing Off and during the round. The golfer needs to know that their enjoyment of the course, as well as other golfers who are coming up behind them, is based on all golfers following these basic etiquette rules.
• Staff associates must be trained in friendliness. It is not easy. At times it can seem to be almost impossible. Yet, that is the job. The Villages needs to be sure that the staff has the necessary skills and training to meet these requirements.
Here is my point. The ingredients must be as good as the recipe, otherwise there is nothing special about it.
My hope is that TV Golf Management will recognize this letter as a positive recommendation to address a core tenant of what makes The Villages the Friendliest Hometown with excellent golf courses.

John Malone
Villages of Fenney


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