Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park is a massive and popular park that’s full of opportunities for recreation and play. Boasting an amphitheater, nature center, water park, dog park, golf course, and more, the park has something for everyone!
Edward “Eddie” Ott has been a volunteer for 11 years at John Prince Golf Learning Center. He picks up golf balls on the range and helps keep the fire ants under control by surveying the property in the hunt for anthills, so they can extinguish them before they cause patrons harm. He also helps keep the golf greens, green aprons (collars) and fairways in tiptop shape by fixing ball markers and filling divots, keeping them as some of the best in South Florida.
Fellow staff, volunteers and patrons have always said that he has been a pleasure to talk to due to his wealth of experiences and knowledge.
Eddie has always been a very diligent working volunteer. He is kind, optimistic and very cordial to all and a role model to the whole facility.
The biggest personal benefit he’s received as a volunteer with our department? “I get to play golf and work with Geoff!”
Eddie started playing golf at the age of 42 and moved down to Florida from Ohio when he was 50. His previous occupation was an auto mechanic. What’s most interesting is he is 97 years old, who calls 85 year olds ‘kids’.
A farm to table experience is coming to The Nest Eatery at Osprey Point Golf Course in Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park! Palm Beach County and Osprey Point Golf Course have dedicated a portion of land at the golf course to create an organic garden which all will be used at the restaurant. Going a step further, they are creating a composting initiative that all food waste will be composted and used to fertilize the garden for future vegetables.
Rick Ward, Arcade Duguay, and Tom Furmer are long-time, dedicated volunteers at Okeeheelee Golf Course. Ward has been a volunteer for three years, Furmer, for three and a half, and Duguay, for nine years.
The men serve as player assistants and assistant starters for the golf course, meaning they monitor the flow of the game, fill sand bottles, assist with water and trash, and provide customer service to visitors.
The “Allstars,” as noted by Assistant Manager Juan Calderon, are “willing to go above and beyond for the facility and its visitors.” The three volunteers each have different answers when it comes to their favorite part of volunteering, though they all appreciate the ability to assist their fellow golfers; for Ward, it’s being with and helping people, for Duguay, it’s meeting people and making friends, and for Furmer, it’s helping everyone and meeting people.
According to GOLF Magazine/golf.com, the odds of making an ace is roughly 1 in 12,500 and the chances of making two aces in one round of golf skyrockets to about 1 in 156 million. Against these odds, Palm Beach County golfer Ted Moore accomplished this amazing feat at Park Ridge Golf Course, in Lake Worth. While playing a weekly skins game at Park Ridge on October 22, Moore made an ace on the par 3-9th hole and then backed it up with another ace on the par 3-16th hole.
After the round, Ted shared, “Yesterday while waiting in the doctor’s office, I picked up GOLF Magazine and one of the things that I happened to read were the odds of making a hole-in-one during a round of golf.” How’s that for some foreshadowing?
Due to course construction the 9th hole was playing from a temporary tee box and the hole measured 125 yards from the blue tees. The 16th hole played 140 yards straight up the hill. It should be noted that Park Ridge is a bit different than most golf courses as it features six par threes, six par fours and six par fives, while most traditional golf courses will feature no more than four par threes. This means Ted chances were slightly higher, but, the occurrence is still extremely unlikely.
Barry Drucker has been a dedicated volunteer for one year now at John Prince Golf Learning Center (JPGLC). Staff at JPGLC can always depend on Barry to help out whenever they need him and he always stays busy with light duties such as trash and debris, filling divots with sand, etc. In addition to those light duties, Barry does the range picking and maintains the mat and rope line.
What is his favorite part about volunteering here? “John Prince Park is a nice place to be at; it’s a great natural habitat to observe.”
What stands out most about Barry is his dependability and work ethic.
In Audubon International’s BioBlitz, Southwinds Golf Course received the Community Engagement Award with a total of 271 participants. The key to their success was both a Lady’s Night Out and a Junior BioBlitz session that included crafting both animal masks and birdhouses along with the hunt for wildlife. The Southwinds clubhouse joined in by featuring a wildlife-themed drink menu throughout the week of the event. Park Ridge Golf Course came in second place for Community Engagement.
The award for Best Photograph went to Southwinds Golf Course, for their photograph of a Red Fox on the course. Sharon Painter, Southwinds’ General Manager, says, “We make it a priority to educate our golfers of all ages about the habitat our golf course provides to the diversity of species that call Southwinds Golf Course home.”
Now in its fifth year, this annual event, sponsored by the United States Golf Association (USGA), provides a unique opportunity for golf courses to engage their community members in activities designed to showcase and record the abundance of wildlife found on their course landscapes. Participating courses went above and beyond in their outreach and environmental stewardship efforts. Participants also competed for awards in Community Engagement, Biodiversity, and Best Photograph.
All five Palm Beach County golf courses are certified Audubon International courses, a distinction that is given to golf courses that employ environmental-friendly practices in maintaining their facilities.
Audubon International is a not-for-profit environmental organization dedicated to creating sustainable environments in all the places people live, work and play. To meet this mission, the organization provides training, services, and a set of award-winning environmental education and certification programs for individuals, organizations, individual properties, recreation sites, and entire communities.
Southwinds Golf Course and Park Ridge Golf Course are operated by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department. For more information on county-operated golf courses, visit www.pbcgolf.com.
Welcome to Power of Parks, a podcast produced by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, where we share inspiring stories from people who have benefited from nature, parks and recreation.
Episode 5 features guest Kelly Shanahan. Shanahan is a Junior Golfer who plays at Osprey Point Golf Course inside Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park in West Boca. In 2018, she was awarded the “Challenge Tour Player of the Year” Honors and won four of eight competitive events, finishing top 5 in all but one tournament. She’s on the golf team at her school, and aspires to play the game of golf in a collegiate setting – listen to Episode 5 of Power of Parks to hear about the ways in which golf continues to inspire and benefit her, physically and mentally.
About Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department:
The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, recognized nationally for excellence in park and recreation management, operates more than 110 parks and recreational facilities and provides organized recreational programs and services for people of all ages and abilities. Visit www.pbcparks.com for more information.