;e answer turns out to be “right here at home.” It’s widely
known that many folks who retire to golf communities aren’t
necessarily golfers, and even among couples that include one
regular player, their spouses may have never even swung a club.
;e result has been creative “Golf 101” instructional programs and
new ways to enjoy the old Scottish game.
On Top of the World
On Top of the World (OTOW) is a premier retirement community for adults ages 55 and over in Ocala, FL. Active-lifestyle amenities include three ;tness centers, seven pools, 10 tennis and 12
pickleball courts, 16 miles of walking trails, and 175 special-inter-est and social clubs. Also on-site are three 18-hole golf courses—
Chandler Hills, the Tortoise & Hare, and ;e Links—plus three
putting greens, two driving ranges, and a short-game practice area.
Matt Hibbs is On Top of the World’s Director of Golf. He
estimates that only about 15 to 20 percent of new OTOW residents
are regular players before moving in.
“Growing the game of golf is the job of every golf professional,”
Hibbs says. “In order for the industry and golf communities to grow,
we must continue to develop innovative ways to target new golfers.
“We currently o;er an ‘Introduction to Golf’ course that’s
taught in a classroom setting,” he continues. “;e course is free for
residents and establishes the groundwork for beginning the game
of golf. Topics include rules, etiquette, lingo, fundamentals, and
much more. If you’re interested in learning the game of golf, but
are too intimidated to set foot on the course, then this is a great
way to begin a wonderful relationship with a sport for life.”
;e learning doesn’t stop there, however. “We also o;er a ‘Golf
Get Ready’ program of one-hour clinics over ;ve weeks,” Hibbs
says. ;e program is designed for beginning golfers who are trying
to learn the fundamentals of the game. “We start with putting and
work our way into the full swing. ;e last session consists of an
“We’ve recently added the ‘Get Golf Ready 2’ program to keep
“We must continue to develop
the students involved. We found that some golfers didn’t continue
playing a;er taking the ‘Get Golf Ready’ program because they
still were too fresh to the game. So we decided to create a ‘Get Golf
Ready 2’ program to keep the students on the right track.”
For new players who aren’t ready to get competitive yet, OTOW
has a special program. “We o;er ‘Sunday Funday’ events,” Hibbs
points out, “where golfers register to play knowing that score
doesn’t matter. ;ey go out there to have a good time and enjoy
innovative ways to target