NOV 2015

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 5 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 18 GOLF, RECREATION & RELATIONSHIPS Having a golf course right outside the conference facilities offers lots of opportunities for groups meeting at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., to get out and play between sessions. Tony Fitzjohn, director of group sales, said that coffee breaks on the putting green are a great way for meeting participants to break the ice. "Some groups brand the event by using their own flags to mark the holes," he said. "It's an activity that everyone can try, whether they golf or not." He added that cocktail parties on the green, often featuring one or more of the property's golf pros, also help bring people together. For those groups seeking some friendly competition, the AAA Five Diamond resort offers a hole-in-one experience with its Shoot For the Pin activity. According to Senior Sales Manager Kimberly Rice, participants tee off from the first hole tee box and hit towards the resort's famed island hole. Each person gets two balls to hit onto the green, where a golf attendant will measure the closest of the two shots. "Shoot For the Pin is an interac- tive and unique activity for group members to mix and mingle before or after their day of business," Rice said. n The only resort on St. Simons Island to offer 27 holes of championship golf on site, Sea Palms Resort and Conference Center features courses designed by George Cobb and Tom Jackson. As a result of recent renovations to the main 18-hole course, bunkers have been rebuilt, reshaped and replaced with brilliant white G-angle sand. Native ornamental grasses were also planted in strategic areas, which has raised the aesthetic appeal. Pines, palms and palmetto trees line the fairways along with some overhanging moss, and the 18 th hole is water-lined. The 9-hole West Course, featuring a traditional coastal design, is a challenging "executive" course with water coming into play on seven of the nine holes. According to Tim Aylsworth, director of sales and marketing at Sea Palms Resort, this course now also offers FootGolf, a combination of soccer and golf, played with a regulation soccer ball on shortened holes with 21-inch diameter cups. "Sea Palms golf amenities also include private lessons, a practice putting green, short game practice areas and a driving range," Ayslworth said. "Our golf staff can help plan tournament formats, pairings, scoring and cart staging." n When it's time to take a break from meeting sessions, the Tamahka Trails Golf Club at the Paragon Resort and Casino in Marksville, La., beckons groups outside. A three-time U.S. Open Qualifier host, Tamahka Trails is one of the premier courses in Louisiana and part of the state's acclaimed Audubon Golf Trail. Designed by master golf course architect Steve Smyers, the course couples his "new school" design with a passionate appreciation of Scotland's legendary courses to create 18 challenging holes. Tamahka Trails offers Global Positioning Systems in all carts and has a practice facility that includes 50,000 square feet of hitting area, a 10,000-square-foot putting green, and practice greens dedicated to bunker play, chipping and pitching. The clubhouse provides panoramic views of the course. When golf activities wind down, groups can enjoy gaming at the world-class casino, swimming in the indoor tropical pool with a swim-up bar, or indulge at the property's full- service spa. Hotel accommodations include more than 500 rooms and suites. n Golf & Gaming Attract Groups To Paragon Resort & Casino Ponte Vedra: Contests & Coffee Breaks On The Course Shoot For The Tee competitions at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club get meeting participants involved in recreational activities. A Premier Golf Destination On St. Simons Island Sea Palms Resort is designed for both traditional golf and FootGolf, which is played on a golf course with a standard soccer ball. Group tournament at Tamahka Trails Golf Course, Paragon Resort & Casino.

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