Our Blog

5 Health Benefits of Playing Golf: Why It's Great for Your Body and Mind

At Shadow Wood Country Club, golf is more than just a game - it's a way of life. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a newcomer to the sport, playing golf offers numerous health benefits that contribute to both physical and mental well-being. Here are 5 reasons why hitting the pristine greens of Shadow Wood is great for your health.
  1. Physical Benefits: Golf engages various muscle groups, including your core, back, legs, and arms. The repetitive nature of the swing helps build muscle endurance. The golf swing requires a good range of motion and flexibility. Regularly playing golf can improve your flexibility, which in turn can reduce the risk of injuries. The sport also enhances your balance and coordination, which are critical components for maintaining physical stability!
  2. Social Interaction: Golf at Shadow Wood is a social sport. Playing a round of golf with friends, family, or fellow members fosters social interaction, which is vital for mental health. Shadow Wood offers many opportunities to meet new people and build relationships. Whether it’s participating in club events or tournaments or simply joining a group for a round, the social aspect of golf can enhance your social network and create lifelong friendships.
  3. Mental Health: Golf is not only good for your body but also for your mind. The concentration and focus required to play can help reduce stress and anxiety. The beautiful environment of our golf courses, coupled with the gentle pace of the game, provides an excellent opportunity for stress relief. The nature of the game and the satisfaction of a good shot can be very soothing, helping to lower stress levels. Being outdoors, surrounded by nature, also has a calming effect, contributing to better mental health. Studies have shown that spending time in green spaces can lower levels of depression and improve overall mood.
  4. Cognitive Function: The strategic aspects of golf, such as calculating distances, choosing the right club, and planning shots, help keep your brain active. Engaging in these mental exercises can enhance cognitive function and potentially delay cognitive decline in older adults. Remembering course layouts, yardages, and previous shots can help improve memory. Regularly engaging in these mental activities can contribute to better cognitive health and delay cognitive decline. For members of Shadow Wood Country Club, this cognitive engagement is further enhanced as they have to remember the workings of three different courses. Navigating through multiple courses requires additional mental agility, as players must recall distinct layouts, hazards, and strategies unique to each course, thereby providing an even more robust exercise for the brain.
  5. Vitamin D Exposure: Spending time outdoors while playing golf ensures you get a healthy dose of vitamin D from sunlight. Vitamin D is essential for bone health, immune function, and reducing inflammation. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, which is crucial for maintaining strong and healthy bones. Regular exposure to sunlight through golf can help prevent conditions like osteoporosis and fractures. Just remember to wear sunscreen to protect your skin!
Shadow Wood is proud to offer our members not just a place to play golf but a place to improve their health and well-being. Whether you’re out on the course for a casual game or one of our competitive tournaments, remember that every swing contributes to a healthier and happier you. So, grab your clubs, hit the greens, and enjoy all the fantastic health benefits that golf has to offer!

Top Tracer, Tacos, & Tequila at Shadow Wood!

Shadow Wood Country Club blended fun, flavor, and a hint of competition at the Top Tracer, Tacos, & Tequila social event. For those who joined us, we hope you had as much fun as we did. For those who missed it, here's a glimpse into the fantastic evening we shared.

The evening began with a Top Tracer social hour, where members gathered at the covered hitting bays to either watch or play in a "Closest to the Pin" competition. The air was filled with friendly banter and cheers as participants aimed for the prize. The Top Tracer technology added a modern twist to the classic game, tracking each shot with precision and displaying the results in real time.

Accompanying the competition was a Tequila Tasting and Margarita Bar. Members enjoyed sampling a variety of tequilas while munching on chips, salsa, and queso. The margaritas were a hit, providing a refreshing start to the evening’s festivities.

During the competition, members enjoyed a signature drink, the Ace Paloma. This refreshing cocktail, a twist on the classic Paloma, combined premium tequila with a grapefruit mixer, lime juice, and club soda and was garnished with a slice of fresh grapefruit. The Ace Paloma was the perfect way to refresh during the competition.

The tequila tasting continued in the Lakeside Room, featuring:
  • Jose Cuervo Tradicional Cristalino Reposado
  • Shadow Wood Maestro Dobel Barrel Blend
  • 1800 Cristalino Anejo
  • Maestro Dobel 50 Cristalino Single Estate

Each tequila offered a unique tasting experience paired with delicious bites selected by Shadow Wood Chef Richard Crisanti!

The combination of competitive fun, exceptional food, and refreshing drinks made for the perfect summer event. Stay tuned for more Top Tracer socials to come!

Mastering Doubles: Strategies from Shadow Wood’s Assistant Director of Racquet Sports, Joel Hampton

Doubles tennis is a favorite here, offering a fun and competitive way to enjoy the sport. Understanding the strategies and dynamics of doubles play can significantly enhance your game. I recently met up with our Assistant Director of Racquet Sports, Joel Hampton, to discuss his favorite tips and tricks for playing doubles.

Joel says that "doubles tennis requires strategic positioning and effective communication." Unlike singles, where baseline play is common, doubles players must excel at covering the net and coordinating movements. Clear communication is essential to prevent unforced errors and ensure efficient court coverage.

Effective Communication and Teamwork
Clear and consistent communication is the foundation of successful doubles play. Here are some tips to enhance your partnership on the court:
  • Use Verbal Cues: Simple calls like "yours" or "mine" prevent confusion.
  • Pre-Match Strategy: Discuss your game plan with your partner before the match.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Encourage and support each other.
Building a strong partnership requires time and practice. Regularly playing with the same partner can help you understand each other's strengths, weaknesses, and playing styles.

Positioning and Movement Strategies
Effective positioning is crucial in doubles tennis. Here are some of Joel's favorite strategies:
  • One-Up-One-Back: One player at the net, one at the baseline. This is the #1 strategy because it balances offense and defense.

  • Both at the Net: This strategy puts pressure on your opponents.
  • Anticipate Opponent's Shots: "Watch your opponents' body language and racket positioning to anticipate their shots," Joel says.
  • Maintain Court Coverage: Be aware of your partner's position and cover any gaps.
By mastering these positioning strategies, you can improve your ability to respond to your opponents' shots and maintain control of the game.

Serving and Returning Tactics
Serving and returning effectively can set the tone for the entire game. Here are some tips to enhance your serve and return in doubles play:
  • Serving Strategies: Joel suggests “mixing up the location of your serves.”
  • Coordinate with Partner: Communicate serve placement to your partner.
  • Return of Serve: Aim for deep returns to push your opponent’s back and set up offensive plays.
Strong serving and returning create opportunities for offensive plays and can disrupt your opponents' rhythm.

Offensive and Defensive Plays
To excel in doubles, you need a balance of offensive and defensive strategies. Here are some common plays to consider:
  • Offensive Strategies: "Dominate the net by closing in and using angles to create difficult shots for your opponents," Joel recommends.
  • Defensive Techniques: Keep the ball in play and wait for opponents' mistakes.
  • Transitioning: Move between offensive and defensive plays as needed.
Mastering doubles tennis involves practice, communication, and strategic play. We hope Joel’s expert advice provides a solid foundation to enhance your performance! Practice these strategies and apply them in your matches next time you hit the courts at Shadow Wood!

Golf Etiquette Refresher: 5 Guidelines for Respectful and Enjoyable Play

Brushing up on golf etiquette is crucial for a great time on the course at Shadow Wood Country Club. Whether you're a seasoned player or new to the course, observing proper golf etiquette is fundamental to ensuring a respectful & enjoyable experience for all!

These guidelines not only enhance our own enjoyment but also contribute to a friendly and respectful atmosphere on the course! Here are some key guidelines to keep in mind:
  1. Respect the Course: Our Golf Course Maintenance Team works hard to make sure our courses provide a challenging yet enjoyable playing surface. It's essential to show respect by taking care of the course as you play. When you come across divots, whether they're from your shots or others', take a moment to fill them with the divot mix provided. In bunkers, rake the sand after playing your shot to erase footprints and ensure a smooth surface for the next golfer.
  2. Respect the Green: On the green, promptly repair any ball marks you see. These are also known as pitch marks, can impact the putting surface if not addressed promptly. To repair a ball mark, use a repair tool or tee to gently lift the depression, working around the mark to avoid damaging the turf. Then, use a tapping motion to smooth the surface, blending it seamlessly with the surrounding turf. These simple acts not only maintain the integrity of the putting surface but also ensure a consistent experience for all players.
  3. Pace of Play: Ready golf is key to an enjoyable round for everyone. Ready golf is a concept in golf where players are encouraged to play promptly, without unnecessary delay, to keep the pace of play moving smoothly. Instead of strictly adhering to the traditional order of play based on who is farthest from the hole, ready golf allows players to hit their shots when they are ready, and it is safe to do so. Pay attention to your position on the course and keep pace with the group ahead. If you find yourself falling behind, consider ways to speed up your play, such as limiting practice swings or being ready to hit when it's your turn. Conversely, if you're consistently waiting on every shot, be courteous and allow faster groups to play through. This keeps the flow of play smooth and minimizes frustration for all players.
  4. Safety First: Your safety and that of others should always be a priority. Before making any shot, take a moment to survey your surroundings and ensure that no one is in harm's way. If your shot goes off course and poses a risk to others, immediately shout "Fore" to alert them.
  5. Honoring the Rules: Golf is a game of integrity, and adhering to the rules is essential for fair play. Familiarize yourself with the Rules of Golf published by the USGA, as well as the local rules for each course, and apply them consistently throughout your round. This includes understanding rules regarding ball placement, relief from penalty areas, and procedures for addressing rule violations. Playing within the rules ensures fair competition and maintains the spirit of the game.

By incorporating these principles into your golfing experience, you not only enhance your own enjoyment of the game but also contribute to a positive and respectful atmosphere for all players. Let's make every round at Shadow Wood Country Club a memorable and enjoyable experience for everyone involved!

Elevating Your Golf Experience: The South Course Re-grassing Project

If you visited the South Course in May 2024, you may have noticed a significant transformation underway—the start of a re-grassing project aimed at rejuvenating the course. While the sight of dead grass might raise a few eyebrows, it's crucial to grasp the profound significance and long-term benefits of this initiative.
First and foremost, let's address the elephant on the course – the dead grass. It's a sight that may initially cause concern, but rest assured, it's a necessary step towards enhancing the quality and sustainability of our playing grounds.

Re-grassing is a process where existing vegetation is killed off and replaced with new grass. The main goal of the renovation is to eliminate the older, outdated variety of turf and any noxious weeds. This includes eliminating the old 419 rough grass, Celebration Bermuda and Torpedo, Tropical Signal, and Goose grass. This clears the way for propagating Bimini Bermudagrass.

Bimini Bermudagrass is an improved hybrid Bermuda that forms a fine textured, dense turf with a beautiful dark green color and upright leaf growth. Its dense, rapidly spreading growth habit and quick injury recovery make Bimini one of the most durable turfs available.

Re-grassing the golf course involves several key steps for success:
  1. Apply Herbicide: Broadcast spraying to apply herbicide to healthy turf at the right height to maximize coverage and efficacy.
  2. Fertilize Existing Turf: Fertilize existing turf a week or two before herbicide application to promote rapid growth and enhance herbicide uptake.
  3. Re-apply Herbicide two more times.
  4. Commence Cultivation: Use our own in-house verticutters and aerifiers to scratch up surfaces. Proper cultivation is crucial for good sprig-to-soil contact.
  5. Sod any areas before planting sprigs: This includes bunker faces, collars, and steep lake banks.
  6. Apply Starter Fertilizer: Apply traditional starter fertilizer known as “pre-plant.” This provides nutrients through the intense watering process.
  7. Planting Bimini Sprigs: A contract company with special equipment slices in the sprigs and then rolls the surface.
  8. Irrigate Regularly: Irrigate lightly and frequently during daylight hours. It may look like a lake out there, but the immature sprigs need this type of irrigation for about two weeks.
So, why is re-grassing so crucial? Allow us to shed some light on the matter.

Re-grassing offers a unique opportunity to adjust and realign fairways, significantly enhancing both aesthetics and playability. Our primary goal is to elevate the overall playability of the South Course. By introducing new, resilient grass varieties, we aim to create smoother, more consistent playing surfaces that will take your golfing experience to new heights.

Although the South Course may not look its best now, rest assured that with our hard-working Golf Course Maintenance Team's proper execution, it will be back better than ever, with improved playability and aesthetics. Eric Ruha, Our Director of Agronomy, says, “My team is excited to take on this challenge and provide the Members with a great product this upcoming Season. The support from the Board of Directors, and the planning and coordination with our GM and Assistant GM has been smooth. Networking with local peer Clubs for best practices has been helpful as well. Bring on the Bimini!”

Indulge in Culinary Bliss: Shadow Wood Signature Wines Meet Golfside Grill Delight

At Shadow Wood Country Club, we are constantly striving to enhance the dining experience for our members and guests. Our Shadow Wood Signature Wines have been a cornerstone of our dining offerings, perfectly complementing items from the menu at the Golfside Grill. Crafted in partnership with Rutherford Wine Company, these wines embody consistent quality and showcase the true essence of California's premier grape-growing regions.

Let's take a moment to revisit our beloved Shadow Wood Signature Wines and rediscover their perfect pairings from our Golfside Grill Menu:

Shadow Wood Chardonnay:

AROMAS: Meyer lemon, pear, apple, vanilla, cinnamon
FLAVORS: Ripe pear, Meyer lemon, creamy butterscotch
FOOD: This elegant Chardonnay pairs beautifully with dishes such as our Shrimp Cocktail, Grilled Grouper Sandwich, and Macadamia Nut Crusted Grouper, enhancing the flavors and providing a refreshing balance.

Shadow Wood Cabernet Sauvignon:

AROMAS: Blackberry, black cherry, caramel
FLAVORS: Plum, blackberry, caramel
FOOD: Indulge in the rich flavors of our Cabernet Sauvignon with Wagyu Sliders, Angus Burger, Pappardelle alla Bolognese, or a succulent Pork Chop for a dining experience that is nothing short of extraordinary.

Shadow Wood Red Blend:

AROMAS: Dark plums, cherry, anise, vanilla, dried herbs
FLAVORS: Dark berries, plum, lingering spice
FOOD: The bold and robust character of our Red Blend complements hearty dishes such as our BBQ Baby Back Ribs, 7oz Filet, Prime Rib, and the Daily Butcher’s Cut, elevating each bite to new heights of satisfaction.

Shadow Wood Pinot Grigio:

AROMAS: Meyer lemon zest and spiced cinnamon pear
FLAVORS: Green apple and pear with bright acidity
FOOD: Our Pinot Grigio pairs exquisitely with our Fish & Chips, Seafood Scampi, Half Roasted Chicken, and the Daily Fresh Catch, enhancing the delicate flavors with its crisp and refreshing notes.


While our Shadow Wood Signature Wines have been cherished staples of our dining experience, we invite you to rediscover their exceptional qualities and indulge in the perfect harmony of wine and cuisine. Join us at the Golfside Grill and elevate your dining experience with Shadow Wood Country Club's timeless classics. Cheers to unforgettable moments and excellent flavors!

Introducing the Future of Leisure and Luxury: Our $22.5 Million Lifestyle Center

Architects Rendering of new Lifestyle Center, courtesy of AM Design Group.

We are thrilled to announce that our Members have voted to approve the building of a highly anticipated Lifestyle Amenity Center, with a projected cost of $22.5 mil. This landmark decision represents a significant investment in our Club's future and underscores our commitment to providing unparalleled amenities for our vibrant community.

The Lifestyle Amenity Center will enhance the member experience without any member assessment or increase in member costs. It will feature an array of world-class facilities designed to promote health, wellness, leisure, and social interaction. These essential amenities include:
  • Resort Style Pools with zero-depth entry, lap lanes, and dedicated kids pool
  • Poolside Restaurant & Bar
  • 6 Indoor Pickleball Courts
  • New Racquets Pro Shop
  • Grab & Go Cafe
"We are pleased by the overwhelming support from our Members for the Lifestyle Center project, which represents a significant milestone in our ongoing journey of enhancement and innovation," said Rich Butler, President of Shadow Wood Country Club. "This investment underscores our commitment to providing exceptional experiences and amenities that exceed the expectations of our valued members."

This visionary initiative is designed to enhance the member experience and attract future members seeking unparalleled amenities and a vibrant community atmosphere.

"Shadow Wood Country Club has always been known for its three championship golf courses," said Brian Bartolec, General Manager/COO of Shadow Wood Country Club. "We have renovated all three courses with renowned architect Rees Jones and have long-term master plans to ensure our members enjoy excellent playing conditions. By investing in state-of-the-art recreational amenities, we are positioning Shadow Wood Country Club as the premier choice for future members seeking a complete country club amenity package, in addition to exceptional golf."

The Lifestyle Amenity Center represents the next chapter in our evolution, offering current and future members a compelling array of amenities and experiences. In recent years, we have completed a series of successful renovation projects aimed at enhancing the member experience, including the addition of a new casual dining restaurant, expanded outdoor dining venues, a new golf shop, covered hitting bays with Top Tracer technology, and the renovation of all three golf courses under the direction of renowned architect Rees Jones.

Construction of the Lifestyle Amenity Center is scheduled to begin in early 2025, with anticipated completion in early 2026. The Lifestyle Amenity Center will further solidify our position as a premier destination for luxury living and recreation, offering our Members unparalleled opportunities for relaxation, recreation, and socializing!

Rolling Towards Wellness: The Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Playing Bocce

As the Bocce Winter Playoffs kick off this week at Shadow Wood Country Club, the spotlight is on a sport that combines strategy, skill, and camaraderie. Bocce offers a unique combination of physical and mental health benefits that make it more than just a game. In this blog post, we'll explore how playing Bocce can contribute to your overall well-being.
Physical Exercise
Bocce may seem like a leisurely activity, but don't be fooled. Although it may not involve intense running or heavy lifting, it provides a low-impact form of exercise that engages various muscle groups. The act of throwing, bending, and walking to measure distances helps improve flexibility, balance, and coordination. It's an excellent option for individuals of all fitness levels, allowing them to stay active and enjoy the health benefits without putting excessive strain on joints.
Social Connection
One of the key aspects of Bocce is its social nature. Shadow Wood Country Club's bocce leagues are not just about the game itself; they're a social gathering where players connect, share laughter, and build lasting friendships. The game is often played in pairs or teams, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie. Regular social interaction has been linked to improved mental health, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness. The bocce leagues at Shadow Wood provide the perfect setting for players to forge new friendships!
Mental Agility and Strategy
Bocce is a game of strategy and precision, requiring players to strategize and plan their shots. Players need to assess the terrain, consider the positions of opponents' balls, and plan their shots accordingly. This mental stimulation can enhance cognitive functions and contribute to improved problem-solving skills. Engaging in such activities is not only entertaining but also promotes a healthy mind.
Stress Reduction
The leisurely pace of Bocce, combined with the beautiful view overlooking the 18th hole on the South course, provides a tranquil environment that helps reduce stress. Taking a break from the demands of everyday life and immersing oneself in the game can be a therapeutic experience. The focus required for each throw and the friendly competition contribute to a sense of relaxation and mental well-being.
Inclusive and Accessible
People of all ages and fitness levels can enjoy the game, making it accessible to a wide range of individuals. Whether you're a seasoned player or a beginner, the adaptability of Bocce ensures that everyone can participate, fostering a sense of belonging and unity within the community. The controlled movements involved in playing Bocce can aid in rehabilitation efforts, promoting gentle exercise without causing excessive strain.

As the winter playoffs unfold at Shadow Wood Country Club, the true champions are not only those who emerge victorious on the court but also those who embrace the physical and mental health benefits that Bocce has to offer. Whether you're a seasoned player or a newcomer to the game, the advantages of playing Bocce make it a winner for overall well-being. So, grab your bocce balls, step onto the court, and roll towards a healthier, happier you!

Fueling Your Swing: A Guide to Healthy Eating for Golfers

Golf is a game that requires both mental focus and physical endurance. To keep your swing in top form and maintain peak performance on the course, paying attention to your nutrition is key. Let us walk through the essential nutritional strategies for golfers, breaking it down into the crucial phases of before, during, and after your round.

Pre-Game Feast:
  • Hydration Matters: Start your day by hydrating adequately. Water is your best friend, ensuring you are mentally sharp and physically prepared. Consider incorporating electrolyte-rich drinks for added hydration, especially during the hot Florida summer.
  • Balanced Breakfast for Birdies: Fuel up with a balanced meal that includes complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Whole grain toast, eggs, and avocado or oatmeal with nuts and fruit are excellent options. This combination provides sustained energy and primes your body for the challenges ahead.
  • Timing is Everything: Aim to eat 2-3 hours before your tee time to allow for proper digestion. If you are pressed for time, you can stop at the Snack Bar and opt for a smaller snack like a banana or energy bar an hour before you start.
Fueling Mid-Round Success:
  • Stay Hydrated, Stay Sharp: Bring a water bottle and drink water consistently throughout the round. Remember to refill at the comfort stations during your round. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and a decline in focus, so make a conscious effort to maintain optimal fluid levels.
  • Smart Snacking on the Fairway: Choose easily digestible snacks like trail mix, energy bars, or fresh fruit. These options provide a quick energy boost without weighing you down. The Snack Bar has healthy options such as Kind Bars, 1st Tee Nutrition Bars, Fresh Fruit Smoothies, Bananas, & Apples.
Replenish & Recover: 
  • Post-Round Rehydration: Immediately after your round, prioritize rehydration. Drink water or a sports drink to replace electrolytes lost through sweat.
  • Protein-Packed Recovery: Within 30-60 minutes post-round, consume a meal or a snack rich in protein to aid muscle recovery. Grilled chicken, shrimp, or a plant-based protein option paired with vegetables and whole grains make excellent choices. The Golfside Grill has lunch options such as the Shrimp Cocktail, Fresh Fruit Platter with Cottage Cheese, the Wild Berry Salad, and the Grilled Grouper Sandwich, all of which are high in protein.
  • The 19th Hole Celebration: A post-round celebration is a time for indulging in tasty food, great drinks, and endless laughs with friends. You can still unwind without undoing your hard work on the course. Choose lean proteins, hydrating beverages, and nutritious snacks to refuel.
Nutrition is a game-changer for golfers, influencing both performance and recovery. By paying attention to what you eat and when you eat it, you can ensure that you are giving your body the fuel it needs to conquer the course and enjoy a long, successful golfing journey. Stop by the Golfside Grill and the Snack Bar for options that will complement your golf game before, during, and after your round. Cheers to great swings, birdies, and a healthy, well-nourished golfing lifestyle!

Celebrating National Tennis Professional Day: Meet our Shadow Wood Tennis Pros!

From Left to Right: Scott Harrington, Joel Hampton, Lee Williams, & Dave Dooley

As we raise our rackets high in celebration of National Tennis Professional Day, it is only fitting that we take a moment to shine a spotlight on the incredible Tennis Professionals who make our Shadow Wood Tennis community thrive. From coaching to competing, our Tennis Professionals are the backbone of our courts, inspiring players of all ages and skill levels. Join us as we introduce the dedicated and passionate professionals who bring the love of tennis to life at Shadow Wood.

Dave Dooley – Director of Sports

Dave Dooley joined the Shadow Wood team in 2002 and has been an active member of the United States Professional Tennis Association for over 30 years. Dave is from Seattle, WA and currently lives in Bonita Springs. Dave started playing tennis when he was 12 years old because he always wanted to be a professional athlete and, in Dave’s own words, “was too short to play basketball.” His biggest inspiration in tennis is his father, Raymond Dooley.

Dave earned his degree in Business Administration from Washington State University where he played on the Varsity Division 1 Tennis Team. In 2004, Dave was ranked #1 in Singles in the Men's USPTA Florida 40+ and was the Doubles Masters Champion USPTA Florida 35+. Dave has been ranked Florida USPTA Pro of the year two times.

Dave’s best tennis tip is to always move your feet and watch the ball to minimize unforced error.

Scott Harrington – Director of Tennis Instruction

Scott Harrington joined the Shadow Wood team in 2012 as an Assistant Tennis Professional and was promoted to Head Tennis Professional in 2013. Scott started playing tennis when he was 8 years old. His dad was a Tennis Pro in Jacksonville, Florida and sparked his passion to start playing. His biggest tennis inspiration is John McEnroe, American former tennis player.

Scott has been a member of the United States Tennis Professional Association (USPTA) for 30 years. Scott is also the seasonal Tennis Director at the Siasconset Casino Club in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Scott was an All-American tennis player at Palm Beach College and ranked #1 in the nation Men's USPTA Open Doubles. He is one of the top players in the area.

Scott’s best tennis tip is to hit the big target on the court when you are playing a match. It is human nature to hit the ball close to the lines and away from the opponent, but this often results in errors and lost opportunities. Instead, A serve to the middle of the service box usually ends up at the body of your opponent and causes all kinds of problems on the return of serve.

Joel Hampton – Assistant Director of Racquet Sports

Joel Hampton, USPTA is a Fort Myers native. He has been active as a tennis professional for over 17 years. Joel started playing tennis when he was just 6 years old and says he was watching Andre Agassi at Wimbledon on TV when he decided he wanted to start playing. Andre is still Joels biggest inspiration in tennis.

Joel has held the Tennis Director position at The Quarry Country Club in Naples and the Head Professional position at Gulf Harbor and Olde Cypress Country Clubs. He brings to Shadow Wood a wealth of experience and a fun upbeat personality. Joel is a veteran of the Fort Myers Pro League so Shadow Wood members will have a professional to support on Friday nights during the season.

Joel’s best tennis tip is to keep your eye on the ball. The longer you attempt to track the ball after it leaves your opponent's racquet, the better you can predict its path and put your strings on it.

Lee Williams – Head Tennis Professional

Lee was born in Atlanta and primarily raised on St. Simons Island, Georgia. Lee's journey in tennis began when he was 6 years old playing with his parents at the local level, gradually progressing to state, Southern, and National competitions during his formative years. Lee says he finally beat his parents when he was 12 years old. His tennis inspiration is his former coach, Pete Poole.

Lee attended Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, where he continued his passion and commitment to the sport. In 1993, he achieved certification with the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA), solidifying his expertise and dedication to tennis coaching. Lee is certified in Cardio Tennis. Throughout his career, Lee actively participated in 7-8 tournaments annually until 2009. His remarkable achievements include attaining the impressive rank of #2 in Florida Men’s 35’s in 2009 and winning the USTA Bronze Ball Men’s 30’s in 2002. Lee has been an integral part of Country Clubs since 1999, contributing his expertise to clubs in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. Recently, Lee worked as the Head Professional at Dothan Country Club in Dothan, Alabama, and then as the Head Professional at the Island Country Club on Marco Island.

Lee’s best tennis tip is to keep your wrist up on your volley. Any movement in the arm should come from the shoulder and to a lesser degree from the elbow joint.

The Pros say their favorite part about coaching/playing professionally is seeing the Members progress over time and the camaraderie that comes along with the tennis events we host here at Shadow Wood. When asked what their favorite surface to play on is, they all agreed that a clay court is the best because it is easier on your body and your joints, you can slide, and it is the highest quality surface to play on.

Their advice to aspiring players would be to play hard and have fun!


Shadow Wood Country Club's New Mocktail Menu Featuring Seedlip

At Shadow Wood Country Club, we're always attuned to our members' desires and the latest trends. Responding to your feedback and the evolving landscape of lifestyle choices, we're thrilled to introduce our new mocktail menu, curated in collaboration with Seedlip.

Seedlip is a first-of-its-kind non-alcoholic spirit that undergoes a meticulous distillation process like that of traditional liquor. What sets Seedlip apart is the removal of all alcohol post-distillation, resulting in a sugar-free, calorie-free, and allergen-friendly beverage.
From Seed to Sip: The Seedlip Production Journey
Sowing: It all begins with a single seed, representing the start of a journey towards crafting a unique and authentic taste.
Harvest: Ingredients are carefully picked and harvested at the optimal time to preserve flavor and aroma, ensuring a truly distinctive taste.
Distillation: Each botanical is individually distilled, employing various techniques, resulting in a collection of distilled botanical essences with unique flavor profiles.
Bottling: The finished blend is bottled and packaged, a testament to the dedication of the Seedlip team in creating a delicious non-alcoholic spirit.
Filtration: Microfiltration ensures a pristine liquid, free from impurities, ready for the final stage of production.
Blending: Careful blending of individual distillates creates a perfectly balanced flavor, making Seedlip stand out in the non-alcoholic beverage market.

To elevate your dining experience, we have curated mocktail pairings that complement our delectable menu:

Cosmo: Paired with Grilled Grouper Sandwich for a light, refreshing balance of citrus with flavorful fish.
Margarita: Matched with Grilled Romaine Salad for a classic margarita flavor that complements the tanginess of the salad.
Mojito: Perfectly balanced with Thai Lettuce Wraps or Thai Shrimp Curry, enhancing the citrus, mint, and sweetness with subtle spice.
Mimosa: Paired with the Omelet of the Week – the perfect brunch duo.
Grove & Ginger: Refreshing and complementary to Oakwilde Pizza's bright, salty flavors.

At Shadow Wood Country Club, we're thrilled to bring you this innovative mocktail experience. Seedlip represents a commitment to authenticity and quality, enhancing your social moments with nature-inspired refreshments. Join us in savoring the essence of Seedlip and elevating your dining experiences!

Discover the Joy of Bocce: A Beginner's Guide


Bocce, a timeless and social game that traces its roots back to ancient Rome, is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Between 2023 and 2023, our Bocce program at Shadow Wood increased by over 100 players. This year, the Shadow Wood Winter Bocce League has a total of 102 teams which amounts to over 700 players. This makes our Bocce program one of the largest in the country.

Whether you're a seasoned player or a complete novice, Bocce offers a relaxing and enjoyable way to spend time outdoors with friends and family. In this Bocce starter guide, we'll explore the basics of the game, how to play, and some tips to get you started on the path to becoming a Bocce master.

Bocce Basics: What You Need to Know

  1. The Playing Surface: Bocce is typically played on a flat, level playing surface, like a backyard, lawn, or a designated Bocce court. The standard court size is 60 feet in length and 8 to 13 feet in width.

  2. The Bocce Ball Set: A Bocce ball set consists of eight larger bocce balls and one smaller target ball called the "pallino." The larger balls are divided into two teams, each with four balls of the same color or pattern.

  3. Game Objective: The main goal of Bocce is to score points by getting your team's bocce balls as close as possible to the pallino. The team with the closest ball to the pallino at the end of each round scores points.

  4. Starting the Game: To start the game, one player tosses the pallino onto the court. Then, they throw their first bocce ball, trying to get it as close to the pallino as possible. The opposing team then takes its turn, aiming to place their balls closer to the pallino than their opponents.

Bocce Tips for Beginners

Understand Ball Control: Practice controlling the distance and direction of your throws to strategically position your bocce balls. Dave Dooley, our Director of Sports, says his most important tip for players when throwing the ball is to aim at the target, keep your arm straight, and move it like a pendulum while keeping your head still and your shoulders level. This will help improve your throwing accuracy.

Pallino Placement: When tossing the pallino, aim for a distance that adds challenge but allows players of all skill levels to participate.

Defensive Moves:
If your opponent has a ball close to the pallino, consider aiming to knock it away with your throw.

Team Strategy: Coordinate with your teammate to develop a strategy for each round, deciding which areas of the court to target.

Have Fun: Bocce is a game of skill, strategy, and camaraderie. Enjoy the social aspect and have fun while playing!

With these Bocce basics, you're ready to embark on your journey into the world of Bocce. Gather your friends and family, head to the Sunset Terrace, and enjoy the timeless joy of this classic game. May your throws be accurate, your strategy sound, and your Bocce experience unforgettable!

Kim Scott Triumphs at 2023 PGA National Club Championship

"Kim Keyer-Scott." Women’s Division Champions Crowned at 2023 PGA National Club Championship
PGA of America, www.pga.com

We are thrilled to share the incredible news of Shadow Wood Member, Kim Scott and her triumph at the 2023 PGA National Club Championship in Scottsdale, AZ. As a long-time member and the current Ladies Club Champion at Shadow Wood CC, Kim showcased her exceptional skill and determination on a national stage. The PGA National Club Championship brings together amateur club champions from across the country, all invited by their respective facility’s PGA of America Professional to compete in this event.

Despite trailing by seven shots, in a tie for sixth place, Kim demonstrated resilience in the final round, shooting an impressive 71 to capture the Women’s Senior Division title. In a field of talented club champions from different corners of the country, this victory adds another prestigious accolade to Kim’s remarkable collection including earning 2023 Florida State Golf Association (FSGA) Women’s Senior Player of the Year honor. In 2020, she was named Florida State Golf Association’s Women’s Senior Player of the Year. She also placed 3rd in the North & South Senior Amateur at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, 7th in the Florida State Mid-Amateur, 3rd in the Ranking Series Tournament, 2nd in the Florida State Senior Amateur, and 1st in the prestigious WSGA Senior Amateur Championship. Kim has clinched an impressive 16 Club Championships, with a streak of 14 consecutive wins. Her only absence from winning was due to her participation in the FSGA Senior Championship in 2021, a competition she emerged victorious in.

With a final score of 9-over 224, Kim secured her triumph, finishing just one stroke ahead of the second-place contender, Kim Shek from Sahalee Country Club, and two strokes ahead of Susan West from NorthRiver Yacht Club. Her journey to the top of the leaderboard on the final day showcased her skill, marked by birdies on the par-5 456-yard 3rd and the par-3 144-yard 13th. Kim's final round of 1-under 71 was the lowest individual round in the Women’s Senior Division, highlighting her exceptional performance.

This victory not only underscores Kim's individual excellence but also brings honor to Shadow Wood Country Club. Let us join in congratulating Kim Scott on this remarkable achievement and look forward to more successes from our outstanding Members in the future.

SWCC Recognized as Elite Distinguished Club

Shadow Wood Country Club has earned the prestigious Distinguished Club award with a special “Elite designation”!

The Distinguished Club award is the only merit-based award program in the private club industry, and the only one that recognizes the club, its management and its staff for outstanding delivery of exceptional member experience. This is the most prestigious and respected designation a club can achieve. This award program is conducted by BoardRoom magazine, the official publication of the Association of Private Club Directors, and the most respected and influential magazine in the private club industry.

The Distinguished Clubs award program uses a club-specific rating system that recognizes the club, its management, and its staff based on a proprietary criteria and evaluation process that distills and measures a club's Member Experience. As defined by Distinguished Clubs, "Member Experience" is that special combination of "Qualities" that a private club provides its members. It is not just the quality of service, or of the facilities, or of the product provided, it is also the quality of the staff and of the management, as well as the overall club governance they deliver. This aspect was measured based on member feedback on an independent survey.

The full methodology included a committee nomination; a site visit with the General Manager, as well as other department heads; a formulaic audit based on compiled site-visit data; a confidential evaluation report; awards and recognition; and will require yearly verification.

In addition to achieving the Designated Club recognition, Shadow Wood was also awarded Elite Status. This prestigious designation is awarded to clubs that successfully provide a “world-class member experience”, measured by an extensive evaluation process, including: a superiorly trained staff, refined facilities, and is recognized in the top echelon of local and regional reputation. Most importantly, the award is presented to clubs that go above and beyond, creating lasting memories that make every experience exceptional. The Elite Designation is achieved by only 5% of the finest private clubs in the world.

Shadow Wood Patio Ranked #1 in Club & Resort Business

Shadow Wood’s outdoor patios expand over 11,000 square feet, seats more than 360 comfortably for dining, and has held over 500 for cocktail parties. Separated into 3 distinct but connecting areas, the Sunset Terrace offers members everything from comfortable lounge seating, bar seating, dining tables, and plush seating around 6 fire pits. Weekly outdoor entertainment on the Sunset Terrace brings members together to enjoy the beautiful Southwest Florida weather while watching the colorful sunsets. From the west end of the Sunset Terrace, Members can watch golfers finish the 18th hole of Shadow Wood’s South Golf Course or enjoy expansive views of the golf practice facilities from the south side while enjoying dinner under the sail shades.

Due to the increasing popularity of the outdoor spaces, Shadow Wood completed two patio renovations in the summer of 2022; one to expand the existing Sunset Terrace and a second to build a new patio area, The Player’s Patio.

The Sunset Terrace expansion more than doubled the seating capacity at the outdoor bar and expanded the covered area overlooking the 18th Hole and Bocce Courts to offer 40 more seats in the lounge area. The expanded area includes a raised viewing area to watch golfers on the 18th hole of the South Course or bocce matches. The viewing area offers bar stool seating and a drink rail for member’s convenience and enjoyment.

The Player’s Patio was built on the East end of the Clubhouse, adjacent to the Golf Shop and Locker Rooms and overlooks the Golf Practice Facilities. This new area was designed for gathering after a round of golf for cocktails and is also utilized for golf event scoring and private parties. It features two fire pits and seats 120 members in both covered and uncovered spaces.

With the completion of the patio expansion, Shadow Wood now serves as many meals outdoors as indoors 7 nights per week and is the most popular venue at the club for members to get together.


Shadow Wood Clubhouse Ranked #4 in Club & Resort Business

Over the past few years, Shadow Wood Country Club in Estero, Fla. has been evolving through a transformation process to completely renovate the club facilities. From style to functionality, no stone was left unturned.

The addition of the wildly popular Golfside Grill in 2019 was just the beginning. The 10,000 sq. ft. addition features a folding glass door system for all-weather enjoyment of expansive sunset and golf course views. The 260-seat casual dining space includes a large octangular bar and a second kitchen. Members enjoy a sushi bar, pizza oven and a built-in soup and salad buffet. A wall of nine 55” monitors together form one giant TV screen, in addition to 16 big screen televisions positioned throughout the space. The addition of the Golfside Grill led to an increase of 506% a-la-carte covers and a 181% increase in F&B revenues.

The renovations in 2021 included remodeling the ladies’ locker and card rooms, expanding and renovating the men’s lounge, converting the old golf shop into a multi-purpose room, building a new golf shop, and redesigned the bag drop and golf arrival areas. The goal was to increase member utilization by connecting the spaces intuitively, capitalizing on best exterior views, providing flexibility in utilization, and increasing operational efficiency.

The most notable part of the transformation was relocating the original 1,200 sq. ft. golf shop to a new 3,500 sq. ft. structure connected with covered walkways to the remodeled locker rooms. The new building overlooks the expansive golf practice facilities and redesigned cart staging area. This space offers unique retail opportunities unparalleled at most private clubs featuring more than 60 brands in a boutique style environment.

The Golf Shop has seen a 30% increase in daily traffic and is forecasting more than doubling annual merchandise sales as a result of a 50% increase in overall inventory levels and a 20% increase in categories of retail offerings.

The old golf shop was converted into a multi-function room for overflow card players during the day and private events at night. The interior design included built in wine storage displays and transformed the old golf shop into one of the most elegant flex spaces in the club.

The final phase of the transformation included expanding one outdoor patio and building a second. Members can enjoy comfortable lounge seating, bar seating, dining tables, and eight fire pits with weekly live entertainment while dining or enjoying a cocktail outside.

Upon completion of the West End renovations, Shadow Wood Country Club membership reached capacity for the first time in club history. New membership sales more than doubled and hit record highs in 2022 following the completion of the new Golf Shop and East End renovations.


Shadow Wood Releases New Private Label Wines

Shadow Wood Country Club has partnered with Rutherford Wine Company to bring wines that provide consistent, superior quality from harvest-to-harvest. The grapes are sustainably grown in premier California regions including Monterey County and Central Coast. Each wine is crafted to reflect true varietal character with a flavor profile perfect for everyday enjoyment. 

Shadow Wood Chardonnay
AROMAS: Meyer lemon, pear, apple, vanilla, cinnamon
FLAVORS: Ripe pear, Meyer lemon, creamy butterscotch
FOOD: Pair with seafood of all types including shellfish

Shadow Wood Cabernet Sauvignon
AROMAS: Blackberry, black cherry, caramel
FLAVORS: Plum, blackberry, caramel
FOOD: Pair with grilled meats, steak, heart pastas, or a juicy

Shadow Wood Red Blend
AROMAS: Dark plums, cherry, anise, vanilla, dried herbs
FLAVORS: Dark berries, plum, lingering spice
FOOD: Pair with BBQ ribs, steak, or prime rib

Shadow Wood Pinot Grigio
AROMAS: Meyer lemon zest and spiced cinnamon pear
FLAVORS: Green apple and pear with bright acidity
FOOD: Pair with a variety of seafood dishes, light pasta, arugula
pizza or roasted chicken

We are excited to elevate our Member's dining experience with our new wines!

Two Shadow Wood Employees Crowned Employee of the Year!

At the end of each year, the senior management team meets to deliberate on which Employee of the Month will receive the honor of Employee of the Year. This is the single highest honor an employee can receive and truly recognizes excellence. Winning this award requires punctuality, attention to detail, leadership, consistency, creativity, a true service heart, and a passion for inspiring others. It brings our management team great pride to be surrounded by many employees with these traits!

Employees of the Month set the example for other employees to strive towards in their work. Employees of the Year elevate everyone around them!

In 2022, we awarded 29 Employees of the Month. Due to this larger group, we decided to award two very deserving individuals as Employee of the Year. We are excited to announce the 2022 Shadow Wood Country Club Employees of the Year - Andrew Parfitt & Vickie McGarry!

Andrew Parfitt, Chef de Cuisine

"Since joining our team, Andrew has been promoted from Executive Sous Chef to Chef De Cuisine as well as achieving his CEC Certified Executive Chef certification. Andrew has worked very hard the past year and has proven that he is employee of the year worthy. Andrew was instrumental in the efforts to reopen the Club and restore normal operations after Hurricane Ian hit our area in late September. He is a vital part of our team and continues to raise the bar for our membership." - Richard Crisanti, Executive Chef

Chef Andrew joined the Shadow Wood Team in 2019 as Executive Sous Chef and was promoted to Chef De Cuisine in 2020. Prior to joining the Shadow Wood Team, Andrew was previously Executive Chef at the Golf Club of the Everglades and the Pelican Bay Foundation. Some of Andrew’s accomplishments include distinguished alumnus in 2013 and being inducted into WCCC’s culinary hall of fame in 2017.

Andrew is an active member of the American Culinary Federation and is a Certified Executive Chef, World Chef’s Certified Executive Chef, and Certified Culinary Administrator. He is a graduate of the ACF apprenticeship program. He holds an Associate’s Degree in culinary arts from Westmoreland County Community College in Youngwood, PA as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in culinary management from Le Cordon Bleu.

Andrew is originally from Pittsburgh, PA and moved to Florida in 2014. He resides in Fort Myers with his wife, Erica, and their two sons, Asher and Jaxon. Aside from culinary, Andrew has a passion for health and fitness and is a certified personal trainer, certified fitness nutrition specialist, and certified functional fitness specialist.

Andrew has been awarded Employee of the Month multiple times and now Employee of the Year! Andrew would like to thank the membership for their support and he truly appreciates the memories they have made together and continue to make.

Vickie McGarry, Director of Merchandise

“With the new Golf Shop opening this year, Vickie had numerous responsibilities added to her already busy workload. Just this year, both the merchandise sales and golf shop staff size have doubled in size. Vickie has faced the new challenges every day with an extremely positive attitude and has excelled in her position. Most importantly, Vickie has made the new Golf Shop a welcoming environment for the membership and an enjoyable environment for the staff to work. Congratulations Vickie on the well-deserved honor of Employee of the Year!” - Bryan McComb, Director of Golf

Vickie McGarry, Director of Merchandise, joined the Shadow Wood team in October 2018. Originally born in Michigan, Vickie moved with her family at a young age to Hawaii. After Hawaii, she settled in Florida and has been here with her husband Adam and their son Blake ever since.

Before joining the Shadow Wood team, Vickie's most recent role was the Merchandise Manager at West Bay Club. Prior to her position at West Bay, Vickie spent several years throughout SW Florida in a variety of merchandising positions. As a member of the Association of Golf Merchandisers for the past 15 Years, Vickie has held positions in merchandising including Lead Buyer, Merchandise Assistant Manager, Retail Manager, and Merchandise Manager.

Outside of work, Vickie enjoys going to the beach, traveling, and going to concerts. When asked what she wants to share with the membership, Vickie said she is so thankful to all of you for supporting the Golf Shop and the Club and that she has enjoyed getting to know you all over the past four years.

Vickie has been awarded Employee of the Month multiple times and now Employee of the Year!

Join us in congratulating Andrew and Vickie on their tremendous achievement when you see them at the Club!

Shadow Wood Golf Shop Ranked #3 by Club + Resort Business

In 2020, the Shadow Wood Country Club Board of Directors presented a plan to the members to build a brand-new Golf Shop. The vision included more than doubling the amount of existing retail space, creating a better arrival and check-in experience for members and guests, and relocating the shop to capitalize on the best exterior views and allow for better proximity to the Golf operations. The Members voted overwhelmingly in favor to approve this $2 million project, which would be completed without any additional costs to the Members.

In the Spring of 2021, construction began on the new 3,500 sq ft two-story octagonal structure, which also included golf administration offices, a covered bag drop & arrival area, and covered walkways connecting to the locker rooms in the existing Clubhouse. The architecture and interior design for the Golf Shop introduces abundant daylight in the space through large perimeter and clerestory windows for a more enjoyable shopping experience. The new Golf Shop overlooks the expansive golf practice facility and cart staging area.

The new Golf Shop opened in January 2022 and features unique retail opportunities that are unparalleled at most private clubs. In addition to member favorite golf brands, such as Peter Millar, Fairway & Greene, and Tail, the Shadow Wood Golf Shop also carries Tommy Bahama, Lilly Pulitzer, Gretchen Scott, Charleston Shoes, Enewton Jewelry, Yeti, and much more. It's a one-stop boutique style shopping experience featuring over 60 brands and styles for all!

Since the re-opening, the Golf Shop has seen a 30% increase in daily traffic. A 50% increase in overall inventory levels has been established in the new Golf Shop while the increase in categories of retail offerings has gone up to 20%. Following the completion of the new Golf Shop, membership sales hit a record high and the club maxed out the waiting list for golf members and had to create a waiting list for the waiting list.
Overall the new Golf Shop has completely transformed the golf experience, from arrival, to tournaments, and everything in between!


Shadow Wood Community Rises Together In Wake Of Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian made landfall on September 28th, 2022 just short of a Category 5 hurricane, bringing record wind and causing an estimated $67 billion in damages to Southwest Florida. By wind speed, Hurricane Ian was the fifth most powerful storm to ever hit the country.

The destruction of property and consumable goods left most of our community without power, shelter, and clean water. Members and employees immediately stepped in and provided help to our community, even as they too were recovering from significant storm damage to their homes. They organized Members from the Brooks to go to the Preserve to help the residents most affected as well as assist in whatever was needed at the time, generators, extra hands, warm food, and clean water.

Club employees assisted several residents who were foundering in the immediate aftermath of the storm. Every day, employees volunteered for hours after work at the Preserve, providing residents with help such as clearing debris from their homes. Brian Bartolec, Eric Ruha, and Phil Pellerito provided hands-on help clearing debris, pumping water from homes, and cutting down dangerous trees. Once power was restored to the main Clubhouse, Brian offered to deliver food and water to The Preserve Members.

The Shadow Wood Membership recognized that many of our employees were impacted by Hurricane Ian. Numerous members contacted the Board and management team asking how to help the employees who had been affected by the hurricane. Shadow Wood is grateful to the Members who generously contributed funds to assist our employees who suffered significant storm damage. To date, our Members have donated close to $250,000 to our employees!

The South Course and Tennis Courts opened on Monday, October 2nd, the Clubhouse reopened for lunch and dinner service on Tuesday, October 3rd, and the North Course opened on Friday, October 7th. Power was restored to the Preserve Clubhouse on Saturday, October 15th, and the Preserve Course and Clubhouse opened on Tuesday, October 18th.

Hurricane Ian Club Preparation

Shadow Wood employees prepared over 150 to-go turkey dinners and pizzas for members who were preparing for Hurricane Ian.

The team worked to secure the clubhouse, courts, and courses for storm impact by removing sail shades on the terrace, storing all Sunset Terrace furniture in the Lakeside room, preparing windscreens and tennis court fences, removing furniture from the terrace, securing patio furniture at the tennis courts, & emoving patio furniture at the Preserve.

Hurricane Ian Recovery

Employees were back to work on Friday, September 30th preparing the Club to reopen!

Employees not only showing excellence in helping at the Club but also helping Members and fellow coworkers at their homes.

Mr. & Mrs. Marcus raised money throughout the SWCC community and surprised our employees with a pizza party, cake, and cash to lift our team’s spirits after Hurricane Ian.

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