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The concept of the Indian River Golf Alliance (IRGA) is based upon creating added value to the enjoyment of playing the game of golf in Indian River County.  Guided by a Mission Statement, Vision Statement and program outlines, the Alliance brings together the existing resources available in Indian River County.  The IRGA is designed to add value and appeal to current or future residents of Indian River County.  There are a number of opportunities to bring the private and public sectors together for the common good of the game.  This coalition is accomplished by the combined effort of the following stakeholders:

  • Private Golf Facilities,
  • Public Golf Facilities,
  • Educational Institutions,
  • Businesses & Professional Organizations,
  • City and County Recreational Departments,
  • Indian River Golf Foundation.
Indian River Golf Alliance

Private Golf Facilities

The first private golf facility in Indian River County (Riomar Country Club) was founded in 1919.  Traditionally private golf facilities remain within their own properties for the most part to provide golf, social and other amenities for the enjoyment of their members and guests.  The economic welfare of private golf facilities is based upon the collective effectiveness of leadership, management and staff to provide a product that is appealing to existing and prospective members.  Turnover of memberships is a constant process assuring there are new members available to take the place of resigning members.  Programs between private golf facilities on a local level are usually in the form of Inter-Club relations… arrangement between two or more clubs to conduct events for the expanded enjoyment of their respective memberships.  During the off-season some clubs enter into Summer Reciprocal Programs.  During down times due to golf course construction projects or during difficult economic times, Reciprocal Programs may be extended into the busy season.  Arrangements may also be made with non-golf organizations that provide valued amenities to private club memberships.  Affiliations with state and national golf associations such as the USGA, PGA, LPGA and GCSAA are greatly valued and embraced.  The involvement of a private golf club with the public sector is usually through a limited number of golf outings for local charities and hosting a tournament for a local junior golf association.

Public Golf Facilities

The first public golf facility in Indian River County (Sandridge Golf Club) was founded in 1966.  Public golf facilities (privately or public owned) are valued assets to the community providing quality golf experiences for the general public.  A full range of experiences are provided including golf course(s), practice areas, professional golf instruction, golf tournaments and food & beverage operations.  The economic welfare of public owned golf facilities is based upon the appeal to existing and prospective patrons.  Turf grass management and clubhouse operations are the responsibility of leadership, management and staff.  Affiliations with state and national golf associations such as the USGA, PGA, LPGA and GCSAA are greatly valued and embraced.  Public golf facilities host a large number of fundraising golf outings for charities, schools, benefits and take on the major portion of local, regional and state junior golf programs.  Public golf facilities accommodate members of private golf facilities during times of aeration or renovation of golf courses.  This accommodation may be in the form of pre-arranged block of tee times set aside for that membership group.

Indian River Golf Foundation (IRGF)

The Indian River Golf Foundation (IRGF) is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization founded November 1, 2008.  The purpose of the Foundation is to promote and expand interest in the game of golf for golfers of all ages, encourage participation, awareness of opportunities and to encourage high levels of performance, enjoyment and appreciation for the game.  Activities are governed by a Board of Directors and Honorary Board of Directors and carried out by an Executive Director.  The Foundation supports existing programs and creates new activities to offer a wide-range of golf experiences and educational opportunities throughout Indian River County.  This is accomplished through a program of ten (10) objectives.

The IRGF recognizes the efforts of Indian River County golf pioneers who throughout the years laid the foundation and built the many outstanding golf facilities that are enjoyed every day.  Recognized also are the untiring efforts of PGA and LPGA golf professionals who currently conduct ongoing programs for golfers of all ages.  The Indian River Golf Foundation intends to serve as a support group for these activities and a “launching pad” for new programs.

Indian River Golf Alliance (IRGA)

Through the Indian River Golf Alliance (IRGA), great strides in promoting interest in marketing the game of golf can be accomplished.  These same efforts by individual golf facilities may not be possible.  The success of the IRGA will be measured by the impact on the golf community of Indian River County.  Marketing research indicates the need is there.  The purpose of the Alliance is to have a positive and meaningful impact on a year-round and consistent basis for many years.  This goal can be accomplished with the assistance of valued PARTNERS, LEADERSHIP TEAMS and HOST FACILITIES.

The IRGA has the capability of transforming public and private golf facilities from the traditional culture of taking care of individual needs into providing opportunities for all golfers within the community…. from junior golfers through super-seniors….boys and girls… and women.  Changing the way golf is promoted in Indian River County could serve as a major contributor towards increased activity and enhancing enjoyment of the game.

Getting Started

Where do we start in laying out a Strategic Plan that is both meaningful to all stakeholders and is considered of great value to promoting the game of golf in the community?

–          Recognize the needs of our golf citizens (present and future)

–          Buy into the program….to take ownership in the growth of the game in Indian River County.  Pursue and embrace opportunities to improve.

–          Stakeholders in the Indian River Golf Alliance have an opportunity to leave their legacy for current and future golfers of Indian River County.

–          Set an agenda for new ways to collectively appeal to golfers of all ages.

–          Bring together available resources including golf courses, practice areas, leadership teams, volunteers and financial capabilities.

–          Enlist volunteers in positions of strength and comfort.  Have FUN!

Leadership – IRGF Delegates Program

Five Alliance Essentials

The success of the Alliance hinges on leadership!  Two (2) delegates from each public and private golf facility will be part of the leadership team for the Alliance and serve as liaison between their facility and the Indian River Golf Foundation.  The Indian River Golf Foundation is a non-profit organization with 501 (c) (3) tax status.  It is governed by a Board of Directors with guidance from an Honorary Board, Advisory Board (comprised of area PGA and LPGA golf professionals and amateur golfers) and a Junior Golfer Advisory Board (represented by some of the finest young players who have respect for the game of golf and demonstrated qualities of good citizenship).

Delegates attend IRGF meetings relative to launching new programs.  Ideally, a Delegate should:

1)      Be a year-round resident

2)      Be well connected at the Golf Facility

3)      Be attuned to Golf Facility Programs and Goals

4)      Have a genuine desire to serve the game of golf

5)      Have a committed interest in the well being of their golf facility

6)      Have a committed interest in the programs and activities of the IRGF

7)      Maintain a notebook of information provided by the IRGF

Stakeholder Support

The needs identified in the Strategic Marketing Plan must be compelling to promote support.  The Plan must also demonstrate that the Alliance is absolutely necessary to ensure goals are met.  Golf patrons at public golf facilities, members at private golf facilities, golf coaches, golf professionals and amateur golfers will take the efforts of the Alliance seriously when they are convinced the need is valid, urgent and compelling with long-term benefits.

Sufficient Contributable Dollars

Since the Indian River Golf Foundation will be funding programs made possible by the Indian River Golf Alliance, the Foundation must have sufficient contributable dollars to achieve success.  There is a need for donors with the capacity to fulfill the financial needs to go along with the support of other stakeholders.

Various levels of IRGF Memberships are available from Annual Support Members through the renewable BAG TAG program to Founding Members for larger donations to the IRGF.

Adequate Resources

The IRGA must have adequate resources to assure success.  Resources include IRGF staff, leadership teams, volunteers, proportionate use of technology systems, communication network, and as available, use of practice facilities including the future Indian River Golf Training Center, public and private golf courses, educational institutions and government facilities.

Attainable Goals

The IRGA must establish measurable goals designed to satisfy the needs of the golf community.


Objectives of the Strategic Plan

Access to quality Golf Instruction Programs

Adequate Training/Practice Facilities to launch programs

Affordable programs involving equipment, training, practice, play, competition, etc.

Safe Environment to learn and play the game

Agenda that encourages character building and good citizenship


Game improvement through TPC (Training, Practice & Competition)

Knowledge and application on the “Traditions of the Game”

Rules of Golf      Golf Etiquette     Care of the Course     History of the Game

New golfers to the game…..juniors…adults…..senior adults…families

Long standing golfers to stay with the game…..enhance their enjoyment.

Existing Programs offered at Public and Private Golf Facilities

Motivational and Inspirational Golf Programs

Volunteerism in instruction programs, tournament operations, mentoring and other forms of leadership


Individual Lifetime Contributions to the Game

Individual Lifetime Performance in the Game

Current contributions and performance achievements

Volunteer of the Year……Teams & Individual Players of the Year


“We need to do everything we can to promote positive

 values in our children,  particularly thinking beyond ourselves

 and caring for others”

– Jack Nicklaus

Partners, Leadership Teams & Host Facilities

Why should your golf facility, educational institution, government facility or business feel the need to be part of the Alliance?  Why should you as a golf professional want to participate?  Why should parents and young people want to contribute to the growth of the game?  Why should those with financial means want to contribute financially to these efforts.  Why should others serve as volunteers?

The following benefits can be achieved through the Indian River Golf Alliance:

Golf Facilities

Community Service Outreach by promoting junior golf

Host golf events including Skills Competitions

Open opportunities for your golf professional staff to supplement golf instruction income or gain MSR Certification Points to satisfy PGA/LPGA membership requirements.

Contribute towards the development of junior golfers

Members/patrons & professional staff serving on Leadership Teams and Focus Groups:

Provide assistance in Rules of Golf training programs

Patrons/Members to donate used golf equipment & golf balls

Retain senior golfers as valued customers

Name/host golf tournament “In Memory of” / “In Honor of” a member/former member

Increase the number of prospects for membership at private golf facilities

Increase the number of patrons at a public golf facilities

Increase food & beverage revenue

Showcase your golf facility to younger players / families

Access to new Indian River Golf Training Center for members/patrons and professional staff

Attract more families to the game through specific targeted off-season family programs

Introduce golf facility to business owners, staff and their valued customers from the community

Educational Institutions

Elementary and Middle Schools offering Physical Education and “After School” golf programs……SNAG Golf……TRADITIONAL (real) Golf.

High School coaches & players partner in junior golf training

Indian River State College attracting students in the

Turf Management Associate Degree

Golf Facilities Hospitality & Management Associate Degree

Other Associate and Bachelor Degrees

Utilization of facilities to host IRGF “Alternative Site” Training Sessions, meetings, dinners, celebrations, etc.

City & County Governments

Approve and coordinate building a state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor “Golf Training Center” on city / county property for golfers of all ages and abilities.

Alternative Site Training Sessions – use of indoor and outdoor recreational facilities with “Almost Golf” products or “SNAG” golf products when public or private golf facilities are unavailable.

Supplement costs of public golf programs open to the general public on government property.

Embrace the IRGF “1031” Player Access Program providing affordable opportunities for Family Golf.

Establish a “Model Program” (success story) receiving interest from other municipalities.

Attract new business

Businesses & Professional Organizations

Opportunity to Promote Business including adding business name to an event or an Event Series 

Serve the needs of junior golf  through sponsorships of Skills Competitions, Tournaments, Team Uniforms, Scholarships, etc.

Serve as a Volunteer / Leadership Team / Focus Group

Sponsorship of an Annual High-Profile IRGF Golf Event

Participate in Corporate / Charity Social/Skills Competition for Team Building / Customer Appreciation


Establish a Database of participants, host facilities, leadership teams & volunteers

Communication skills and promotions

Assist in Program Implementation (player registration, monitoring, scoring, refreshments, etc.)

Serve as a coach or volunteer at the Elementary, Middle School or High School level

Organizing parents of junior golfers

Serve on a Leadership Team planning and implementing a new program

Offer time, talents and experience in fundraising

Assist in equipment set up for all training sessions or competitions

Indian River Golf Foundation

Provide professional staff, experience and funding to carry out valued golf programs:

TPC Programs (Training Sessions – Practice Sessions – Competitions)

Skills Evaluations & Competitions – Short Game, Full-Swing & Specialty Shots

Best Practices Training Program (success stories of area golfers)

Golf Specific Physical Training Program

Course Management & the Mental Aspects of Playing the Game

Education Programs on the “Traditions of the Game”

History of the Game – Rules of Golf

Golf Etiquette – Care of the Course

Provide Referral Services for Golf Instruction by area PGA & LPGA Golf Professionals

Private  & Small Group Instruction

Junior & Adult Golf Camps – Resident Golf Schools (featured guest professional)

Specialty Golf Instruction Sessions

Participate in Expanding Opportunities of Players to Practice and Play

Access to Public and Private Golf Facilities:  Promotion of the “Elite 8” Program for Middle School and High School players and for players from Indian River County participating on Collegiate Golf Teams

Promote the IRGF “1031” Player Access Program providing affordable opportunities for Family Golf during off-peak hours.

Promote Current Programs and Develop High Profile Golf Competitions

Support & Promote Existing Programs/Tournaments:

Treasure Coast Junior Golf Tour / St. Lucie County Junior Golf Association / Space Coast Junior Golf Tour

U.S. Kids Tour – Florida Junior Tour – South Florida PGA Junior Tour

Middle School & High School Golf Teams

Indian River Golf Foundation Player’s Club featuring TPC Programs

…..for golfers of all ages

Develop & Operate High Profile Golf Tournaments with Traditional features:

Four IRGF Grand Slam Tournaments for support of junior golf

Mayor’s Cup (Top area Professionals & Amateurs) Alex MacWilliam, Sr. Trophy Awarded to Winning Team at Bent Pine Golf Club.            

Symetra Pro-Am – featuring 12 members of the LPGA/Symetra Tour and 12 area Club Professionals representing 24 captains with 24 teams of 3 amateurs per team playing 9 holes with a member of the Symetra Tour and 9 holes with an area Club Professional.

A.L.L. (Alma Lee Loy) TEAM Challenge – promoting girls golf and the LPGA*USGA Girls Golf – Treasure Coast Chapter.  This event features foursomes of amateur, professional and junior women & girl participants in honor of Alma Lee Loy at Vero Beach Country Club.

Founder’s Cup – recognizing those with life-time contributions to the game of golf as a FOUNDER of an area golf facility…..SERVICE to the game of golf……PLAYERS of the game over the years.  This event features a Celebration Dinner the Thursday preceding the annual Founder’s Cup tournament on a Saturday.  Honorees are invited guests of the events.  The winning team wins the Founder’s Cup named for the founder of the host golf facility.  Event is hosted by golf facilities in the order they were founded.

Major Junior Golf Events

        Atlantic Junior Golf Tour/Atlantic Junior Cup

        Treasure Coast Junior Golf Tour/IRGF Player’s Club              TEAM SCRAMBLE Series       INDIVIDUAL Stroke Play Series

        Player’s Advantage Golf Skills Championship                              Sal Spallone Award (Boys)          Jackie Stoelting Award (Girls)

        Junior Challenge Matches (area Travel Team vs. visiting teams)

        Senior Professional / Junior Golfer Tournament                        (players from Treasure Coast  Senior Tour + members of the IRGF Player’s Club)…..similar to the Nature Valley PGA Champions Tour and the First Tee Foundation event at Pebble Beach, CA.


Promote Awareness of Formal Educational Opportunities in the Golf Industry

Indian River State College – Associates Degrees

Turf Management

Golf Facilities Hospitality & Management

Universities offering PGA Professional Golf Management programs

Promote Awareness of Employment Opportunities in the Golf Industry

Administrative – Golf Operations – Golf Course Operations – Food & Beverage

Recognition (Annual Indian River Golf Wall of Honor Dinner) for:

Lifetime Achievement Awards for:

Contributions to the Game of Golf in Indian River County

High Performance in playing the game

Current Achievement Awards

Annual Players of the Year

Annual Volunteer(s) of the Year – Gus Mannino Award

Conduct Annual IRGF “Wall of Honor” Tournament – Founder’s Cup

Carry-Out Operations of the future Indian River Golf Training Center and Home of the Indian River Golf Wall of Honor

Subsidize programs to assure affordability of participants for entry fees, training sessions, golf equipment, etc.