News and Notes: JoS. A. Bank / David Leadbetter Championship

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Written By: Matt Hanlon and Alexis Whitman

AJGA Communications Staff

Horsing around:

 In the
late 1940s, the fertile landscape known as Turf Valley was Pistoria Farm, a
1000-acre farm where Samuel Pistorio trained a number of horses who won stakes
in New York, Florida and Maryland.

After
his horses found continued success at the track, Pistorio decided to turn the
valley into Howard County’s first golf club.

On
Thanksgiving Day in 1957, Pistorio met with architect Edward Ault and foreman
George Riddle to finalize plans for an 18-hole golf course on the property,
said Craig Day, Head Golf Professional at Turf Valley Resort.

The
golf course was built the following year, and in 1959 the course opened up its
fairways for the first time. Over the years, the course expanded to a 27-hole,
36-hole and eventually a 54-hole facility. 

Now,
the property includes 36 holes, a resort with tennis courts and swimming pool
and soon, a full-scale shopping center and 1400 housing units. Given that the
golf course is only open to play from its 420 members and hotel guests, it made
the past week that much more special.

 

Horsies

Photographs around the clubhouse depict Turf Valley from the 1940s and 1950s when it was known as Pistorio Farm.

 

Banking on success:

“We
knew of the AJGA but didn’t know a lot about it. David came to us a year ago
and asked if we wanted to co-sponsor an event,” said Nick Rizzi, who stressed
how impressed he was by the quality of play and character in the juniors he saw
over the course of the week. “It’s not the easiest of fits, but we knew with
David’s passion and request, that we could do it with him helping us.”

 Leadbetter wisdom: 

David
Leadbetter, founder of the David Leadbetter Golf Academy and world-renowned
golf instructor, was a big reason the event was possible. His support was
visible throughout the week, offering a clinic to all juniors who played in the
qualifier and tournament on Monday. He, along with IMG Athletic and Personal
Development Trainer Trevor Anderson spoke for more than an hour to the 130-plus
juniors in attendance.

Leadbetter
offered advice for juniors to use to improve their golf game and their life,
discussing ways that the eager juniors could improve their organization,
motivation and consistency both on and off the course.

 

David Leadbetter Speaking (7)

One of the world's top golf instructors, David Leadbetter spoke to a large crowd of parents and juniors for over an hour following Monday's qualifier.

 

A little help from our friends:

Rick
and Sharon Heisley first got a taste of the AJGA when they volunteered at the
Rolex Tournament of Champions in Lancaster, Pa. in July. When they heard that
Chris White, tournament director at both the Rolex Tournament of Champions and
the JoS. A. Bank / David Leadbetter Championship was going to be running
another event just under two hours down the road, they decided to join the
volunteer force once again. As timing stations volunteers on Nos. 5 and 14,
Rick and Sharon are two very vital parts to ensuring that the AJGA’s Pace of
Play policy is in play during the round.

“These
kids are great,” Rick said of the golfers he watched from his post on No. 14.
I’d be willing to argue that Rick and Sharon are just as great, the AJGA truly
wouldn’t be able to do what we do without people like them.