XGLOsive Tennis Event was a HUGE Hit with Sawgrass Members!

Ken Veney, Director of Tennis at Sawgrass Country Club, and his team planned an amazing night of glow in the dark tennis with the help of XGLOsive!

XGLOsive Tennis at Sawgrass

The company is based here in Florida and travels all over the state putting on unique events like this for organizations. “The glow tennis event was such a fun and exhilarating experience for all levels of players with a slight fun competitive twist to it,” says Lauren Daly. Her and her husband John played on the court with Cory and I.

XGLOsive Tennis at Sawgrass

The event took place on Friday, October 4. Set up started mid day, and it was fun to watch the courts transform into a whole different environment. The nets were wrapped, the lines were taped, and covers were placed on all sides of the courts with fun glowing imagery! It looked cool during the day…but when night fell and it was time to turn the black lights on, the crowd went wild!

XGLOsive Tennis at Sawgrass XGLOsive Tennis at Sawgrass

Members like Laura Nicoles raved about how fun it was. She says, “Who needs Friday night lights when you can play tennis in the dark with XGLO! We enjoyed a “glowing” time at Sawgrass Friday night playing tennis with energizing music, glow in the dark balls, pizza, and drinks. It was friendly competition and fun for all ages! Let’s do it again, Sawgrass!”

XGLOsive Tennis at Sawgrass XGLOsive Tennis at Sawgrass

Then it was time to play! The action took place on courts 9 and 10, and members either played from 8-9 or from 9-10. Our tennis pros ran the warm up and games while Jason Cordova, owner and founder of XGLOsive, took the mic and got the crowd going! It was hard to track the ball at first. Our eyes had to adjust to the glowing tennis balls! It was a good thing they used orange dot balls because it made the games more fun! We played a few variations of king of the court, a fast moving two on two game. Overall, it was a beautiful night for tennis, and we all got a great workout in, too!   

XGLOsive Tennis at SawgrassXGLOsive Tennis at Sawgrass XGLOsive Tennis at Sawgrass

I asked Ken a few questions about the event, and here are the highlights:

How did you learn about XGLOsive tennis?
Ken: Back in the day I used to do Glow Ball tennis for my juniors as a Halloween event. I would buy glow paint and paint the balls and tape for the lines to get things to glow but it was not an easy task. I heard about this company out of Florida that was doing something along those lines but to an extreme level and that immediately piqued my interest. I reached out to them to see what it was all about, and I was sold! I had them come to Sawgrass a year and a half ago to look at our layout and start the planning, and I’m so glad I did!

XGLOsive Tennis at Sawgrass

What made it a great event for Sawgrass members in particular?
Ken: We are such a fun and social club. I am always looking for unique and creative formats to give members unforgettable experiences. Our Triples program has become a staple amongst the members with the music, food, and beer so I really believed XGLOsive Tennis was the next level. When I can change the format to create a twist on our great sport, it is going to create an atmosphere and energy that shows what Sawgrass is all about. That’s what sets us apart from other clubs and makes us who we are.

XGLOsive Tennis at Sawgrass

Did the staff like participating?
Ken: Absolutely! The feedback from the staff was so positive because of the feedback they were receiving from the members. These kind of events are a showcase of our program and the court is our stage. We get pumped up to go out there and perform and make sure everyone is having a “smashing good time!” We all feed off each other and that makes each of us better every single day.

XGLOsive Tennis at Sawgrass

So, will we see another XGLOsive event in the future?
Ken: I think we have too! Based on the feedback I have received this would be a marquee event for our tennis program. I take pride in offering opportunities to our members to do things that are not your normal run of the mill programs and events. XGLOsive certainly ticks all the boxes for what I look for and based on the reaction from the membership we definitely served up an Ace!

What did you think, Sawgrass? Do you have other ideas of unique events Ken and his team could plan? Send Ken an email and let him know! His email is: KVeney@sawgrasscountryclub.com

Want more tennis? Here’s a look at a few fun fall events coming up:

  1. Rusty Racquets is a 6-week clinic session designed for beginners, novice players, and individuals returning to tennis. This program will focus on developing proper swing shapes, maintain rallies, and build fundamentals to strengthen tennis skills. The program will run from October 21st to Thursday, November 27th. Contact the pro shop for more details!
  2. Senioritas Tennis tournament is October 18-20.
    Club Championships are November 2-16. You can compete in several areas – mens and womens singles, doubles, and mixed doubles.
  3. Weekly clinics for adults are offered at different times throughout the week including Saturdays!
  4. Weekly clinics for kids are conveniently offered after school Monday through Thursday.

Exciting Changes at the Youth Activity Center!

The Youth Activity Center is constantly coming up with new ideas and fun things for families at Sawgrass. It’s a growing club with more and more families joining.

Youth Activity Center at Sawgrass Country Club

Lacie, the Youth Recreation Supervisor, and her staff recognize that kids want to have FUN during Childwatch and Kids Night Out, so they have been working hard over the past year to revamp programming for both. The rates are amazing, even if you are a three-child family. For our family, it beats the average rate of a babysitter!

Youth Activity Center at Sawgrass Country Club

In addition, Lacie has listened to us members and scheduled more family activities like camp outs, family shark tooth hunts, and Bingo at the Sandbar just to name a few. Check out the latest Horizons for all the fun fall events coming up!

I had the pleasure of interviewing Lacie and asking her about new (and popular) activities at the Youth Activity Center. Here are some highlights:

What are the hours and rates of the Youth Activity Center?
Lacie: Child Watch: Tuesday- Saturday 9am-1pm and Kids Night Out Fridays and Saturdays 5-9pm.

Child Watch Hourly Rate: 1st Child: $6 | 2nd Child: $4.50 | Each Additional Child: $3.50
Kids Night Out Hourly Rate: 1st Child: $6 | 2nd Child: $4.50 | Each Additional Child: $3.50

Youth Activity Center at Sawgrass Country Club Youth Activity Center at Sawgrass Country Club

Are there any new programs that members need to know about?
Lacie: Over the last year we have been working to enhance the daily activities we offer during Child Watch. Every month has a different theme, and all of our activities relate to that theme in some way. We begin each morning with “circle time” where we go over the day/month, weather, seasons, and practice our ABCs and counting! Throughout the morning our staff facilitates group games, crafts, and some sort of physical activity (think PE games, relay races, obstacle courses, tumbling) that relate to the monthly theme. When the weather is nice, we shuttle the kids to the beach or the fitness center playground to get some fresh air and exercise! Our goal is to offer more than babysitting; we want to create fun educational programming for our youngest members! For information on monthly themes and other activities, you can always visit our Foretees webpage!

Youth Activity Center at Sawgrass Country Club Youth Activity Center at Sawgrass Country Club

And there’s the Family Tile Project. I’d like to invite any Sawgrass members to come to the Youth Activity Center on Saturday mornings from 9am-1pm to create their tile. We will have tables set up with paints and stencils so your family can design a tile to be mounted in the breezeway between the family and adult pool! No reservations necessary, just show up! We are really excited about how it’s going to turn out!

Lastly, we have begun a Kids MMA program with Sensei Tim Robinson. Students learn the basics of self-defense including punching, kicking, blocking, grappling, tumbling, wrestling, and being able to fight standing up or on the ground. Tim’s program is a blend of many traditional styles including Karate, Taekwondo, Jiu Jitsu, Aikido, Tai Chi, and Wing Chun Kung Fu. We definitely have room for more students, so contact me to sign up!

Youth Activity Center at Sawgrass Country Club Youth Activity Center at Sawgrass Country Club

Are there any programs for tweens/teenagers?
Lacie: Yes! Our Youth Leadership Coaching Program for kids ages 11-17. Last year we partnered with Dr. Matthew Ohlson from UNF’s Leadership School and created an amazing course to help coach teens on skills and strategies to become effective students and future leaders of tomorrow! It was such a success that we are running it again this Fall. This 8 track program (4 in the fall, 4 in the spring) is held on Monday evenings at the Youth Activity Center, with 2 campus visits to UNF! Students will receive a certification of completion at the end of the year. Not only will participants gain self-confidence and valuable tools for leadership, this program also serves looks great on college applications or job resumes!

What are the new age limits for the Youth Activity Center?
Lacie: We have recently lowered the minimum age of CHILD WATCH to 12 months. We now accept children between the ages of 12 months and 12 years! This does change our staff:child ratio to 1:6 (as per DCF requirements), so sign-ups on Foretees are strongly recommended, especially in the summer months! Kid’s Night Out remains 18 months+.

What if a member needs a babysitter outside of operating hours? Is there a trusted resource that you recommend?
Lacie: We are partnered with an excellent babysitting service called Bumble & Bee. If you ever need a sitter outside our operating hours (or when we close for Family Programming around the club, which is no more than once a month and advertised in advance) we are happy to help you find a sitter through them!

Any teasers about fun family fall-themed events?
Lacie: We just had our Family Bingo Night on the Pavilion which was a huge hit, we will definitely do it again! In October we have our Halloween Themed Kids Night Out, pumpkin carving contest, and our first family shark tooth hunt! In November we have a “Fall Festival” themed KNO, a Family Beach Campfire, and a kid’s Surf Fishing clinic with Chef Dean! Check our our Foretees announcements page or Horizons for more details!

We know your staff works really hard, any specific kuddos you’d like to give?
Lacie: I have been so fortunate with great seasonal and full time staff members since joining here in early 2018. Ashley Miller is my main staff member, and she goes above and beyond anything I ever ask of her. She is reliable, excellent at age-appropriate activity planning, and has great rapport with all the parents and children who come through the Youth Activity Center.

Youth Activity Center at Sawgrass Country Club

Lacie’s goal is to “create meaningful memories for the families at Sawgrass. The programs I offer thrive on feedback from the members. If there is ever anything you’d like to suggest I am open and will do my best to make it happen! Please call or email me any time. Many of the events I have run over the last year have been based on suggestions from our families!”

Lacie is a joy, and she works really hard to give our kiddos the best experiences! Wouldn’t it be great if she got a ton of emails saying “you’re great,” “keep up the good work,” or “we LOVE you!”? I’ll be sending one today, would you consider sending one, too? Her email is lpetry@sawgrasscountryclub.com.

Thanks for all you do, Lacie!

Developing Doubles Strategy with Coach Lennon

Tennis at Sawgrass is amazing. The competitive matches, friendly round robins, and team clinics all offer opportunities to improve skills and build relationships with other tennis players.

Tennis at Sawgrass Country Club

I have LOVED learning doubles over the past year and a half! Last season, I played consistently with the same partner, Lindsay Long. By playing together each week, we learned what each others tendencies were, our best shots, court positioning in different situations, and how to encourage each other when we were winning (or losing!).

Now that we’re on the C team, opponents have gotten tougher. They are more consistent and more versed in strategy. So Lindsay and I decided to kick off the season with a lesson together focused on doubles strategy! The timing was great because we DID play together in our match the week we had the lesson.

We probably won’t be playing together every week, but these ended up being skills that we could take with us as we play with other partners.

Doubles Tennis Lesson

Lennon was our coach for the lesson, and he was really helpful! We expressed that we wanted to know how to change our game if the opponents were either better than us or using certain shots over and over to win points. The drills we worked on were designed to help us position ourselves better throughout the match in order to give us the best shot at winning.

Tennis at Sawgrass Country Club

After the warm up, here are a few things that we worked on specifically:

  1. We started out one up one back working on playing points quickly. He feeds in the ball, we hit the ball to a strategic spot on the court (or try to!). He feeds in the next ball right away to simulate the ball coming right back at us. After eight points, we switched positions. The balls could go to the baseline or net. We went back and forth for several rounds.
  2. Once we got the hang of it, he gave us a new goal. We were to return each ball to only one side of the court, all balls to the deuce side for example. He still fed in eight balls to either baseline or net, but they all had to go to the deuce side across the net. The point of the drill was to target the weaker player on the other side. Most of the time in matches, there is a stronger player, and it’s important to know when to avoid that player!
  3. Then he varied the drill, and we played all the points out with Lennon. We were still aiming for one side of the court. Because he was playing them out with us, they came at us faster. He stressed to us that we needed to recover to a spot on the court after striking the ball. Whether it’s coming to the net, stepping behind the baseline (or just inside the baseline), recover and be ready to split step to get the next ball. If you notice a pattern of play and winners they are hitting over and over again, take those shots away from them by recovering to a different spot on the court if necessary. During our match two days later, we encouraged each other when we saw one another “recovering to a spot” on the court!
  4. Lastly, we worked on serve returns. We see all kinds of serves, loopy, rainbow, fast, slice, you name it. Being confident returning all kinds of serves is important! I want our opponents to know they are not getting free points on serve! We even got to hit serves to Lennon, and practice recovering after the serve!

Tennis at Sawgrass Country Club Tennis at Sawgrass Country Club

Over all, it was a great lesson! We talked about communicating, hitting solid ground stokes (knuckles over the ball!), recovering to get ready for the next shot, and stroke placement to target the weaker player on the other side. I would highly recommend taking a lesson with a partner that you play with often. It will boost your confidence as you play together!

Lennon encouraged us to talk to each other and work on displaying a united front…high five, cheer, whisper between points, and let mistakes and bad calls roll off your back. In the end, we’re not training for Wimbledon! It’s country club tennis, and it’s meant to be FUN!

Painting Family Tiles at the Youth Activity Center

One day, 20 years from now, we’ll walk through the breezeway connecting the family and adult pool and find our family tile. Maybe the boys will be home for Christmas with their wives. Maybe they’ll have their own children by that time. They’ll see the volcano labeled “Darling” then likely roll their eyes, but I will remember their little faces as they painted that volcano. The concentration, attention to detail, and even a little bickering about who was going to paint what. What a sweet memory it will be…at least for me.

Sawgrass Family Tiles

Family Tile Project

The family tile project was created when Sawgrass decided to give the breezeway between the family pool and the adult pool a facelift. An artist has been commissioned to paint a mural in the hallway, and Lacie championed a brilliant idea. According to Lacie (Youth Recreation Supervisor), “I thought it would be cute to have a section dedicated to the members, so we are going to incorporate unique tiles designed by the members, much like you’d see at an elementary school, or even at Sunshine Park.”

Sawgrass Family Tiles Sawgrass Family Tiles Sawgrass Family Tiles

Families are invited to come to the Youth Activity Center on Saturday from 9am-1pm to decorate your tile through December. The staff will have tables set up with tiles, paints, stencils, and brushes. No reservations are necessary, just show up.

My mom was in town the weekend we made our tiles, and she had fun helping the boys be creative. She is one of my favorite people in the world, and she’s super creative herself!

Sawgrass Family Tiles

“The mural project itself will begin late 2019 or early 2020, and should be finished by late next Spring! We are really excited about how it’s going to turn out,” Lacie says.

Sawgrass Country Club wants to knit families closer to each other by providing fun activities that families can engage in together, and the family tiles project is certainly one that gave us a fun activity on a Saturday morning. But it also gave us a sweet preservation of my boys as they are in 2019.

Contact the Recreation Department 904-543-1039 for more information!

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” at 80’s Night!

80’s night at Sawgrass was a blast! Dinner, dancing, and on-point costumes made this event a night to remember.

The 80’s were a decade of fast cars, amazing T.V. shows, rock n’ roll classics, high rollers, and high-waisted denim! Bright colors, big hair, baggy clothes, and blue eyeshadow ruled the fashion scene. While I was young at the time, I still wanted to wear the latest trends. I remember making my bangs a mile high with a pound of hairspray. And I had the coolest washed out overalls, which are strangely making their way back in style! Why did we ever think we looked cool?!?

Sawgrass decided to honor all the fun 80’s traditions and throw a HUGE 80’s party! The decor was awesome! They had gigantic Rubik’s cubes, bright banners, Rock band logos, and big Pac Man decorations! The staff even dressed up along with all the members. Oh man, there were a lot of tutus and fish net accessories! Our friends went all out! 

Gretchen and Ben Stamper dressed up! He was going for a “Saved by the Bell” look.

And Perry…oh my…the Slash look really suits him!

The DJ was playing all the 80’s hits! We danced to Prince, Michael Jackson, Queen, Madonna, and so many more!

Food

When was the last time you “snapped into a Slim Jim?!?!” I loved that they had classics like Airheads, Slim Jims, Ritz crackers, and Stouffer’s French Bread Pizza. It really added to the atmosphere of the event! The chefs at Sawgrass prepared a great combination of savories and treats that had a hint of 80’d flare and were delicious!

Appetizers – Spinach dip and bread bowl, deviled eggs, buffalo chicken wings, stuffed potato skins, sausage cheese balls, mini sloppy joe, cheese display with ritz crackers, broccoli cheese bites

Mains – steak & ales kensington club steak, chicken pot pie turnovers, bennigan’s mini monte cristo, mini sloppy joe’s, french bread pizzas

Dessert – pineapple upside down cake, crème brulee, pudding pops

We had such a great time reminiscing, laughing, and dancing! Make plans to attend the next big theme dinner, Sawgrass Oktoberfest, on October 12th! 

Sawgrass Women’s Club Happy Hour – Wine Tasting with Fess Parker

I love a good wine, don’t you? If you have the right wine paired with a delicious meal, every aspect of the experience is amplified. For a novice wine drinker like myself, it can be tough to tell the differences between wines, especially two that are similar, like a Syrah and Merlot. To a seasoned wine professional, like Bo Cure, our resident sommelier, telling the difference between these might be like describing peach pie to apple pie. It’s noticeable. Yes, they are both pie with fruit and a sweet flakey crust, but one will have a stronger flavor or maybe a more delicate texture.

Wine is something I’ve always wanted to learn more about. So, for our Sawgrass Women’s Club August happy hour gathering, we decided to host a wine tasting. It was so relaxing and fun. Bo and Donna coordinated the event. Bo solidified the wines and Donna handled everything else from decorations to food. We selected wines from Fess Parker, a popular collection of wines that are found on our menu at the Beach Club. Many are on the Uncorked list as well. Side note about Uncorked…Did you know that you can sign up for Sawgrass’s Wine Club? It’s called Uncorked, and being a member gets you special privileges like reduced pricing for wine dinners and a special wine menu where all bottles are just $20! Bo can tell you all about it. Reach out to him for more information at jcure@sawgrasscountryclub.com.

Sawgrass Wine Tasting

Wines we tasted

Bo made sure there was a nice variety of wines to choose from. Even though I may not be able to describe the tannins correctly, or taste the pepper or smokiness in the wine, I do know which I enjoy and which I do not! Having the wine experts there from Fess Parker was really helpful as they could say where the wine is from and what to expect when tasting it. We had about eight wines in all to taste. It was a great way to compare and contrast the wines and really nail down flavor profiles that we liked in wines. The snacks helped cleanse the palette and enhanced the flavors of the wine.

Here’s what we tasted:
G.H. Mumm Grand Cordon Brut
Ferrari Carano Fume Blanc
Girard Chardonnay Russian River Valley
Nielson Chardonnay
Jordan Chardonnay
M. Chapoutier Belleruche Rose
Jean-Luc Colombo “Rouge” Cotes du Rhone
Patz & Hall Pinot Noir
Clos de Los Siete Red Blend
Girard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Born of Fire Cabernet Sauvignon

I had two favorites, which I ended up purchasing after the event, the Girard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley (notes of cocoa and raspberries) and the Clos de Los Siete Red Blend (sweet and smooth blend with mostly Malbec as well as Merlot, Cabernet and Syrah). Both were delicious and paired nicely with the meats and cheeses they served.

Safe to say we all had a great time! We had about 15 attend, and it was supposed to be over at 8:30, but we hung around until almost 10! I guess we really needed evening social time with friends!

The next Women’s Club event

Each month, the Women’s Club will be hosting an evening happy hour specifically for us younger women who want to get together in the evening. The Women’s Club offers a way to connect with women in your same season of life and learn and grow (and socialize) together!

Mark your calendars for September 19th, 6:30-8:30. We will be hosting a wine tasting featuring Spanish wines and appetizers.I can’t wait!

Cost is $20++. Sign up by calling the concierge.

Ambassador Program at Sawgrass Country Club

Dinner for four please! Great food and even better company made our Ambassador dinner a SUCCESS! Being an Ambassador is so fun, and it is an honor that Cory and I were asked to participate in the Ambassador Program at Sawgrass Country Club. Honestly, it was an easy decision. I love meeting new people and sharing my love for the club!

With 1,475 member households at Sawgrass, it is crucial that new members are welcomed to the club and introduced to families or couples that are in their same season of life as well as to the various staff members and pros that make our club amazing.

Sawgrass Ambassadors

Cory and I had the pleasure of meeting a new couple to the club, Ben and Greta Stamper. We went to dinner on a Wednesday (Wine Wednesday!), and had a great time! They have two littles (Freda, 6 and Oscar, 3) and they are both in the medical field. Ben is a pharmacist at UF Health, and Greta is an audiologist at Mayo Clinic. They’ve lived in the area for about five years, but joined the club earlier this year. They are loving it so far and have met some great families already!

What is expected from an Ambassador?

For new members, the biggest advantage of having an Ambassador is gaining a familiarity with the club. Ambassadors can help new members use our Sawgrass App and Foretees to reserve spots for dining experiences or to book tee-times for golf. It can take time to learn which Sawgrass dining locations are open when, what days the Tarpon room is open, or what’s on special during happy hour! We’ve been members for about a year and a half, and we still need to look things up occasionally. Sawgrass offers SO MUCH to members, and it really helps to have someone that can show you the ropes in the beginning.

In addition to talking through some of the basics, Ambassadors are also expected to:

  1. Attend Member Mixer events and other programs to engage new members.
  2. Act as an advocate of the club when asked to engage in a social or sporting activity with a new or prospective member.
  3. Be called upon (even with short notice) to be an Ambassador for the club.
  4. Contact the new or prospective member and invite them to a social or sporting activity.
  5. Reserve tee-times, court-times, or dining arrangements with the new or prospective member.
  6. Introduce the member to other members or member groups.
  7. Be available to the new member or prospect for any follow-up calls or E-mails.
  8. Inform the Membership Director of the planned time and date of the activity.
  9. Provide feedback to the Membership Director after the social or sporting activity.

If this sounds fun, keep reading to see how you can be an Ambassador!

How can you become an Ambassador?

If you are a positive, enthusiastic, and an active member of the club, you could be an Ambassador! It’s important that the club has a variety of Ambassadors because not everyone has similar interests or is in the same season of life. Because Cory and I use the Tarpon Room, we were able to give Greta and Ben details about childcare as well as telling them about some of our favorite family-friendly events.

If you’re interested, ask for the Ambassador form at the Concierge’s Desk at the Golf Clubhouse. Or, you can fill out the form on the Member’s Only website. You can also contact Janet Collins at jcollins@saawgrasscountryclub.com.

Once you become an Ambassador, you’ll be added to the list of possible Ambassadors for new or prospective members. Mary McGarrigle, the Ambassador Coordinator, will reach out by email when she has a new member that needs an Ambassador. In the email, she will give you information about the new member such as where they work, if they are retired, if they have children and their ages, and what interests they have around the club. It will then be up to the Ambassador to reach out to the new member to contact the new member and invite them to an activity. It could be a round of golf, dinner, or an experience like a Pub Crawl!

Our overall experience as an Ambassador has been fun! We’ve had the pleasure of welcoming several new members to the Sawgrass family and gained some fun and interesting new friends along the way!

Back to School Activities at Sawgrass

This school year, I will have a 1st grader and a 3rd grader. (How is that possible?) I saw so much growth last year and expect the same for the upcoming year.

Sawgrass Country Club

New seasons and school years always bring reflections in our house. What new chores are they ready to take on? How will their emotional and physical needs change this year? Even simple things like letting them go into the bathroom by themselves is a big deal, because anyone with a three-year-old knows this is a learned skill!

I can let them stay in the car (with the air on) if I need to run in Publix to pick up a couple of things where I would not have done this last summer. It’s about building a foundation of trust. For example, I let Will stay home by himself while I picked Wyatt up from a nearby summer camp. I definitely drove faster that day. 🙂 But it turned out fine! Will was in the same place I left him. My job is to keep them safe and secure, but also teach them what freedom is like a little bit at a time when it is age appropriate. 

All these things seem minimal, easy. But they are important milestones that will eventually get them to be independent adults. One day, my boys will drive cars, get married, and have children of their own…but for now, picking out clothes that match is a mountain that needs to be conquered! In fact, we worked on our “morning chores” list today. The picture below is what Will & Wyatt are responsible for every morning. Will came up with the list, and he and his brother will be expected to follow it. Hopefully, this means less badgering from me!

Chore List

We had such a good summer. We saw loads of family, took a few short trips to Tennessee, Alabama, and South Carolina, enjoyed lazy beach days, ate tons of ice cream, swam, went to various summer camps, and just spent time together. It was perfect. Wyatt also learned how to do a proper belly flop into the pool!

Sawgrass Country Club

Sawgrass Country Club Sawgrass Country Club Sawgrass Country Club Sawgrass Country Club

August Activities at Sawgrass

Looking ahead, I’m excited to meet their teachers and see what’s in store. Also, I’m looking forward to all the fun activities in August at the club.

Here’s a short list of things to sign up for this month:

Friday, August 9th 6pm – Back to School Triples – Head over to the courts for Triples! Play from 6-7, then enjoy pizza and beer after. $30++ Sign up on Foretees.

Monday, August 12th 9am – Bloody’s and “Momosas” – Join us at Topsider for $5 Bloody Marys, $5 Mimosas, and $3 biscuits to celebrate the kids going back to school! Call the concierge to sign up.

Thursday, August 15th 6:30-8:30 – Sawgrass Women’s Club Wine tasting – Join the Next Gen group as we celebrate the kids going back to school by getting together for a wine tasting! Cost is $20++ Sign up by calling the concierge. You can charge this to your member account, or if you are a member of the Women’s Club but not the country club, checks can be sent to Brittany Darling made out to the Sawgrass Women’s Club.

Friday August 30th 6-9pm – 80’s Night at the Beach Club – Join us for a blast from the past evening at our 80’s party. We will feature a DJ & dance floor as well as food stations. Cost is $36++ Sign up on Foretees. Costumes encouraged!

Saturday, August 31st 6-10pm – St. Augustine Pub Crawl – Come to St. Augustine and discover new bars and eateries! Ride down on a bus with Perry and other members! The bus leaves at 6pm and returns at 10pm. Cost is $36++ Sign up on Foretees!

For you moms with kids entering Kindergarten

Oh, this is a sweet time. I have been in your shoes twice, and it was hard both times. They go in so innocent and wild, and they come out reading and knowing words you wished they didn’t. It’s a big adjustment for them, and it’s a big adjustment for us too. When my oldest started school, I had anxiety about everything…I didn’t know how the car line worked, I was unsure about how to talk to his teacher, I didn’t know if he would eat lunch, I didn’t know how tired he would be, and I didn’t grasp how much he would learn and grow socially. But we learned together. I learned what he would eat in his lunch, what his teacher expected, and that car line is a science all of its own. If you drive through car line, you know what I mean!

I learned most of all that it was a season of letting go. There will be days where they fall and skin their little knee and someone else will give them a bandaid and comfort them. Someone else will give them a set of rules to follow and will hold them accountable. Someone else will tell them they can do what they set their mind to do. Others will encourage them and help them, but still others will hurt their feelings and be tough to get along with. And as a mom, this is hard. The mama bear comes out and wants to pummel whatever gets in their way. There’s certainly a time for that, but most of the time, it’s conversations about coping skills and teaching them that the world isn’t always kind but they have the tools to do something about it.

For you moms with kids starting middle school or high school, I’ve got nothing. Haha! I’m not there yet, but I imagine it’s even more letting go, more attitude, and even more potential for accomplishment.

Good luck moms, and hopefully I’ll see you around Sawgrass in August!

Celebrating July 4th at Sawgrass

“My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.”

July 4th at Sawgrass

July 4th at Sawgrass

July 4th brings about many emotions. Thankfulness for all the lives sacrificed to give us these freedoms and joy that we get to spend time with friends and family!

Sawgrass went all out this July 4th! The celebrations officially started on July 3rd and lasted through Sunday, July 7th. With contests, parades, family friendly activities, and amazing food options, there was an event (and a favorite food) for everyone. It’s almost too much to even write about, but I’ll try! Haha!

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We were members last July 4th, and we spent the day at the beach with family. This year, we decided to make reservations at the Big Top Tent, and I’m so glad we did. The boys LOVED it. They got tattoos, loved the bounce houses, and ended up sweaty and dirty from all the running around. They slept so good that night! Us adults loved it too. From lawn games like ladder ball and corn hole to drinks, fireworks, live music, and socializing with friends, it was a great night!

Golf cart parade

Where else can you see golf carts like this?!?! Members went all out this year. They took the their theme very seriously. From Mount Sawgrass to Harry Potter, they decorations were fantastic! There was also a DJ and snow cones!

Winners for Best in Show were:
1st Place – The Iannella (Michael) Family; Harry Potter
2nd Place – The O’Haran Family; Doghouse
3rd Place – Mary Slifer and Family; Legos

Golf Cart Parade Golf Cart Parade Golf Cart Parade

Here are some other pictures from the morning:

Golf Cart Parade Golf Cart Parade Golf Cart Parade Golf Cart Parade Golf Cart Parade

Big Top Tent

We were awestruck walking up to the tent. The food smelled amazing, and the bounce houses out on the driving range captured Will and Wyatt’s attention immediately! First, we found our seats, then we went over to get their face painted and tattoos. They both loved the gray airbrush tattoos and ended up going back for more! I even got a blue and red tattoo on my leg to get into the spirit. Next, their shoes and socks came off, and they took off for the bounce houses! Wyatt’s favorite was beside the rock climbing wall. He was strapped in a harness and flew up in the air guided by these long “arms” on either side. It allowed the kids to jump really high…he basically thought he was Spiderman! The thrill on his face was fun to watch!

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Will’s favorite was the normal bounce house that you go in and jump until you can’t jump any more! He also enjoyed the rock climbing wall and made it all the way to the top! We loved that the kids could go run and play. “We loved the activities for the kids. It was great that the girls had things to do separate from us and that it was a safe place for them to hang out with their friends,” says Stephanie Sabato. We heard the same praises from many families that night. Sawgrass did a great job of thinking about all age groups. They even had a bounce house specifically for babies under one! July 4th at Sawgrass July 4th at Sawgrass July 4th at Sawgrass July 4th at Sawgrass July 4th at Sawgrass

The camaraderie between older kids and younger was evident. I saw Evan Long teaching some of the younger siblings how to play ladder ball…he was so patient! Evan’s mom, Lindsay Long says about the event, “Our favorite event at Sawgrass is the 4th of July dinner and fireworks. It has quickly become a family tradition. Our kids love all of the activities and we enjoy the band and delicious food!”

Us adults enjoyed playing Ladderball, corn hole, and checkers. When we weren’t playing games, we walked down to the bounce houses and chatted with other parents and watched the kiddos.

The hotdog eating contest was a riot! I tried to get my little guy Wyatt to enter, but he said no…I’m not surprised! 🙂

Hot Dog Eating Contest winners from left to right:
3rd Sean McHale – Member
2nd Ray Gottschalk – Member (grandson of Ray)
1st Andrew Chowske – Guest of Sean McHale

Hot dog eating contest winners

The food

The food was delicious. According to Jennifer Werba, “The 4th of July event is by far our favorite event of the year, and we always plan to stay in town so we can come. The food was incredible, and my personal favorite was the beef brisket! Perry was a brilliant Uncle Sam, and he did a great job with the variety and quality of food this year.”

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Here was the menu for the Big Top Tent as well as at the Beach Club:

Raging Bull BBQ Station
Beef Brisket PBR, Smoked Chicken, BBQ Pork Ribs, Whiskey Baked Beans, White Cheddar Mac n Cheese, Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

Chilling and Grilling Salad Bar
Green Apple Coleslaw, Southern Potato Salad, Grilled burgers with topping bar, Grilled Hot Dogs with Condiments Bar, Beer Brats with Griddled Onions and Spicy Mustard, Ranch & BBQ House Chips

Kraft Totchos Bar
Crispy Tots with a Beer Cheese Fondue
Add-Ins: Royal Red Shrimp, Pulled Pork Kielbasa, Brisket

Taste of the Sea
Paella Mixta, Mussels, Peel & Eat Shrimp

Sweet Endings
Apple Hand Pies, Cookies, Ice Cream Novelties, Cupcake Salute

My personal favorite was the Kraft Totchos Bar and the Apple Hand Pies…yum! But the brisket was “hands down the best beef brisket I have ever had,” says Stephanie.

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This was just the food at the tent. Throughout the weekend, there was a grab and go menu at the Beach Club as well as special themed dinners in the evening including a Seaside Buffet on July 3rd. Some of the deliciousness included clam chowder, grilled corn, poke bowl station, poached Mayport shrimp cocktail, chile garlic broiled oysters, herb roasted prime rib, beet-roasted salmon, chicken dijonaise with pasta, and garlic roasted broccoli.

The fireworks

Talk about a show! I was not prepared for the level of this fireworks show. Members told me leading up to the 4th that this is the BEST show in the area, and now I agree. Rain was threatening, but it held off! There were lawn chairs everywhere, and golf carts as far as I could see down the golf course! It was absolutely spectacular.

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“A special thanks to Terri in reservations for helping seat all of our friends close to each other. The kiddos absolutely loved the balloons, face painting, and bounce houses. My oldest was so happy to finally make it to the top of the rock wall this year. The amazing fireworks were the icing on the cake!” – Jennifer Werba

We are all so blessed to experience life here. Not just here in America, but here at Sawgrass. A special thanks to the Sawgrass Country Club leadership and to all the staff for making this July 4th unforgettable!

July 4th at Sawgrass

Sawgrass Women’s Club – Welcoming the Next Generation

Us women need to stick together. The amount of times I’ve taken advantage of “the village” of moms around me is countless! From asking for help when I was sick to borrowing clothes because one of my boys had an accident, my friends have been there for me and my boys when life gets a little unpredictable…which is every week when you have little boys.

Sawgrass Women's Club Sawgrass Women's Club

Sawgrass Women's Club

We all have something to give whether young or old, married or single, working or not working. That’s what makes our community of women special. The Sawgrass Women’s Club “was formed in November 1980 by a small group of women who wanted to meet their neighbors and make friends while enjoying all that this area has to offer.” That message rings true today.

About the Sawgrass Women’s Club

The Sawgrass Women’s Club has grown to over 400 members! Monthly meetings are now hosted at the Beach Club (because of construction at the Golf Club House) at 10am. Each meeting features social time, a speaker, and lunch. The speakers topics range from gardening to health and wellness.

Sawgrass Women's Club

Every month, there are countless activities offered to members including outings, golf groups, lessons for games like Mahjongg, arts and crafts projects, walking groups, birthday lunches, etc. Most of the events take place during the day as most members are retired and have their days free.

Why create a Next Generation group?

This is tough for us young moms, even those who don’t work full time. Managing a family heavily involved in sports and activities, school functions, volunteering at school, and preschool age children can make daytime activities hard. And if you happen to work full time, it’s just impossible to come to a meeting at 10am on a Monday or any other daytime activity.

Sawgrass Women's Club Sawgrass Women's Club Sawgrass Women's Club

Debbie Tucker, immediate past president of the Women’s Club, knew there was an opportunity to reach us young moms and put together programming that speaks to us. Little did she know, Jocelyn Becksmith and I had a conversation about creating a moms group within Sawgrass around Christmas time. A couple months later, we got connected with Debbie and told her our ideas, and she told us hers. It was a match made in heaven! She introduced us to Jeanne Piltcher, the current President, and off we went. They were on board with what we envisioned, and we have been working closely to kick off our group ever since.

Our first event was a Tiki Party on the beach! With the help of Donna and Perry, we organized drinks and appetizers down at the Tiki Bar. We had a guy playing guitar, cocktail tables set up, and the weather was gorgeous that night! Here are some pictures from the event.

Sawgrass Women's Club Sawgrass Women's Club Sawgrass Women's Club Sawgrass Women's Club

We talked about events that we want to plan and initiatives we want to lobby for in Sawgrass. Here are just a sample of events that we would like to plan. Of course, these events will be open to the greater Sawgrass Women’s Club, not just our group.

-Monthly happy hours at the Beach Club
-Monthly Bunco groups hosted in participants homes
-Flower arranging class with wine and appetizers
-Mom-panels where us young moms can learn from seasoned moms on various topics
-Spa days/nights
-Wine tastings
-Beach cookouts/bonfires
-Organized shark tooth hunts
-Play dates for moms with preschool aged children
-Activities for moms and their middle schoolers
-Technology classes

This is just naming a few! Join the Women’s Club, and give us your ideas, too.

Our next event will take place on August 15th at the Beach Club, and it will be a celebration of school being back in session! Moms night out! Who’s in? It will be a dinner or happy hour, the details haven’t been determined yet, but it will be FUN!

Sawgrass Women's Club Sawgrass Women's Club

If you would like to join the Women’s Club (and have loads of fun), follow the links below. To join, women must either belong to Sawgrass Country Club OR live within the gates of Sawgrass Country Club.

Step 1: Fill out an online membership form.

Step 2: Pay dues online ($41.55) or you can send a check to Sara-Ann Gomez ($40). Here’s her email to get in touch with her: gomezsaraann@gmail.com

Step 3: Register for an event, and meet new friends.

I look at these older women with respect and admiration. They have raised children, had successful careers, and conquered trials through life. I love that we can talk about serious stuff like raising children or how to balance life in general…or, we can giggle and laugh over wine while swapping stories about moving around the country, the best way to fry chicken, or how to communicate with our husbands more efficiently! There are great things that happen when you put three generations in a room together! So join us! Make your mark on Sawgrass, and make friends along the way!