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The original item was published from 8/7/2015 5:04:00 PM to 9/6/2015 12:00:00 AM.

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Posted on: August 7, 2015

[ARCHIVED] Celebrate National Golf Month At A Former Dump

Palm Beach County is home to many special experiences. During National Golf Month, strive for par on a former dump at the challenging Park Ridge Golf Course or have the kids learn The First Tee Life Skills at Dyer Park.

The Park Ridge Golf Course, 9191 Lantana Road in Lake Worth, is one of the most unique courses in South Florida. By creating an 18-hole golf course on the closed Lantana Landfill, Palm Beach County and the Solid Waste Authority turned a useless piece of property into a popular community asset. Golfers will not find elevation changes like this anywhere in the area, topping off at 85 feet at its highest point. The greens roll fast and true, and there are five sets of tees to accommodate all ages and abilities. View the layout of this 6,900 yard, par 72 course online.

Park Ridge was voted among the top 5 favorite places for locals to play by the Palm Beach Post. It was also a prequalifying site for the Honda Classic in 2012 and annually hosts the Player’s Ability Test for the South Florida Professional Golfers Association.

Park Ridge Golf Course, features nationally-recognized Class A LPGA and PGA instructors and provides affordable group and private instruction for all ages and abilities. Park Ridge is home to the Junior Golf Foundation of America, whose mission is to provide all youth the opportunity to learn and play the game of golf and embrace the core value associated with everyday life.

Originally closed as a dump in 1987, the SWA and Palm Beach County began construction of this unique facility in 2004. While heaven and earth were not moved to build the course, more than 645,000 cubic yards of fill were imported to create contours and cover the specialized irrigation system. The golf course was opened to the public in March 2007, and has received several engineering and environmental awards. Park Ridge was also designated an Audubon International Certified Sanctuary in 2009.

Park Ridge Golf Course is open seven days a week, including holidays. For more information and tee times, call 561-966-7044. Handicap-accessible golf carts are available upon request with advanced notice.

Dyer Park, 7301 N. Haverhill Road in West Palm Beach, is another former landfill that was turned into a golfing opportunity. The First Tee of The Palm Beaches provides The First Tee Life Skills Experience at the Michael B. Finnegan Learning Center in Dyer Park.

The First Tee of The Palm Beaches is a youth development organization impacting the lives of young people, including those with disabilities, by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values, and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. The First Tee classes are delivered in nine week session by trained PGA and LPGA Teaching Professionals and Assistant Coaches in 60-90 minute lessons grouped by age and level of experience.

The classes are divided into four certification levels, starting with PLAYer, for new participants, and progress through Par, Birdie and Eagle. This process increases the probability PLAYer, Par, Birdie and Eagle certified participants have been exposed to core lessons and can demonstrate and apply golf and life skills taught at each level.

Classes are available to the public, contact Program Director Coach Connie Capanegra, LPGA, for more information.

In addition, free hour-long golf classes are offered to those with special needs:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder on Saturdays at 9 a.m. Contact Coach Jen Hong at 407-234-0812 for more information.
  • Disabilities and special needs on Saturdays at 9 a.m. Contact Coach Herb Artis at 561-389-3040 for more information.

Each year more than 1,500 kids, including almost 500 students with disabilities, are instructed through The First Tee experience.


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