County’s Palmetto Golf Course welcomes new management

Scott Jones (left) teaches a group of junior students participating in a summer camp.

Accompanying the changeover is an exciting new roster of events that include a wide variety of programs and camps open to golfers of all ages and abilities.

Whether you are a good player looking to improve your skills or a newcomer wishing to explore the sport, rest assured you are bound to find one of the many activities offered at Palmetto to suit your golfing needs. From beginner, family and corporate clinics, to private instruction events and on-course playing lessons, guaranteed are all of the tools for a perfect swing on the fairway.

There are numerous options for interested youth, as junior golf sessions are available during the convenience of afterschool hours and weekends. Coed golf camps during the spring and summer breaks are offered, and are an entertaining way for kids to learn the rules and etiquette of the game, with a chance to test their skills on the course, participate in contests and enjoy friendly and healthy interaction with their peers.

These are just a few of the proven programs from the Academy being brought to the Palmetto course, headed by PGA professionals. Crandon Golf Academy provides instruction to golfers in the Key Biscayne area as well as a number of international clients, and is a contracted service provider for the parks and recreation division for the county. Now in charge at Palmetto are Academy golf professionals Mike Ford and Scott Jones.

Ford, the new director of instruction at Palmetto, has more than 15 years of experience in the golf industry and graduated from the PGA Professional Golf Management program at Penn State University. Teaching for 13 years, he spent three and a half of those years at Palmetto and the last two at Crandon. Mike serves as the head varsity golf coach for Palmer Trinity School and has overseen management of their golf program for the past five years. His keen interest in the game and his desire to share that passion with others, has led him to create and lead a golf program at the YMCA located at the Falls.

Jones is a PGA teaching professional and in 1992 began working in South Florida at the Kendale Lakes Golf Club. He has spent the entirety of his 20-year career working at public courses in Miami- Dade County with the aim to develop and coach junior talent. In 2001 he was the recipient of the Southern Chapter PGA Teacher of the Year Award for his work with Cristie Kerr, who currently is playing on the LPGA Tour and has career earnings exceeding $13.5 million.

“I developed my passion for golf during a one-day-a-week summer camp while I was a kid,” Ford said. “I would help out at the course, picking the driving range, washing carts and gradually working my way to the pro-shop. As an instructor, there was no better feeling than seeing the reaction of a student after their first solid golf swing…and that satisfaction was enough to help me decide to go to college for a degree in Professional Golf Management (PGM).”

So grab those clubs, head to Palmetto and explore the possibilities that await you there, anywhere from learning the basics to playing in a good old fashioned tourney.

For more information, contact: Mike Ford at 305-972-2713 or by email at mfordpro@gmail.com or Scott Jones at 305-528-4817 or by email at swgdr@yahoo.com.


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