Big-time golf history of Palm-Aire captured in big-time display

jajones1@bradenton.comNovember 30, 2013 

PALM-AIRE -- An illustrious local golfing history that includes the likes of Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead and Gary Player has been captured on a 36-foot section of hallway at the Palm-Aire Country Club.

The recently completed display, a series of framed photos, scorecards, renderings and more, documents Palm-Aire's history from the late 1950s. County club president Ed Kornberger took the lead in designing the display, initially arranging the unframed pieces across the floor of the banquet facility.

"Some of the most unbelievable people in golf have played here," Kornberger said.

Sam Yates, director of golf at Palm-Aire, has worked in the community, located next door to University Park, and just north of the Sarasota County line, for 20 years.

"It's a good reminder of the history of the last 50 years. It captures all of the changes," Yates said. "It's kind of neat all of the famous golfers who have played the course."

Palm-Aire was carved out of 1,400 acres of raw pine

and palmetto land, starting in 1955.

The new community quickly moved into the golf big time with the filming of the TV program All Star Golf there in 1959 and hosting of the first DeSoto Open Golf Tournament in 1960. Sam Snead won the inaugural tourney.

In 1961, the course, then called DeSoto Lakes, followed up with a Ladies Professional Golf Association tourney, won by Louise Suggs.

James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee editor, can be contacted at 941-745-7053 or on Twitter: @jajones1

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