|Wooster and Florida Institute of Technology after a non-scoring exhibition match.|
The College of Wooster men's golf team tuned up for its spring slate with a near-two-week Southern swing, during which the Fighting Scots played on numerous premier courses and took in a practice round of The Players Championship.
Wooster opened its practice rounds at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club's Lagoon Course, which was created by two legends in golf course design – Robert Trent Jones and Joe Lee. The Scots were quickly put to the test, as Bobby Weed's restoration of the course in 2007 placed a premium on driving accuracy and thoughtful approaches. A mosaic of lakes and lagoons threatened the Scots' golfers on 11 of the 18 holes, while the overall feel of the course included narrow fairways and small, quick greens.
Next, Wooster played a practice round at RedStick Golf Club, which boasts a limited membership of about 275, and is the only remaining course in Florida with bent grass greens, per a recent article published by Vero Beach Magazine.
On March 11, Wooster practiced at Hawk's Nest Golf Club, a course built on a sand ridge. The course features plenty of long-needled pines and live oaks along the fairways – a rarity for a course in Florida.
After playing at Hawk's Nest, Wooster squared off with Florida Institute of Technology's "B" team in a non-scoring exhibition, and then spent a day at The Players Championship at TPC at Sawgrass.
Speaking of The Players Championship, Wooster spent St. Patrick's Day at the Atlantic Beach Golf Club, which sits on the site of the former Selva Marina Country Club. Selva Marina hosted the inaugural Greater Jacksonville Open in 1965, with that tournament eventually being renamed to The Players Championship. In fact, Selva Marina is where Jack Nicklaus recorded his first double-eagle in tournament competition, doing so on No. 18 at the 1966 Jacksonville Open.
Prior to playing and practicing at Atlantic Beach, Wooster spent time at the San Jose Country Club and Deerwood Club, the latter of which also served as a previous host for the Jacksonville Open.
After St. Patrick's Day, Wooster practiced and played at the Arnold Palmer-designed The Golf Club at North Hampton. While certainly not the most famous course designed by the legendary golfer, North Hampton is widely regarded by those who have played all of Arnie's courses in Florida as the "best test of golf."
Wooster's trip back north started with a stop at the Tom Fazio-designed Frederica Golf Club, a course with the greens among the largest in Fazio's portfolio. Next, Wooster spent two days in North Carolina, starting with a day at the Nicklaus-constructed Pinehurst No. 9.
Wooster's final round of its spring trip took place at Old Chatham Golf Club, site of the 2019 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship. The club also employed Doc Redman, who won the 2017 U.S. Amateur Championship and turned pro following the 2018 NCAA Div. I Championships, where he finished 15th.
Wooster's spring slate opens on April 13 when the team hosts its two-day Nye Intercollegiate at the Wooster Country Club.