Google "tips for a successful golf tournament," and you'll find the number one recommendation is Choose a golf course and facility that will suit your needs and be sure their staff is accommodating. Set up a meeting and communicate what you want to accomplish. Enter Joe Imondi and the catering staff at Indian River Colony Club. Director of Golf and Recreation, Joe manages the manicured 18-hole championship Viera course and has quadrupled its tournament play in the last year by helping organizers meet their goals. A series of meetings that include the tournament organizer and the IRCC Banquet Manager is one of the first orders of business. Together, they formulate the tournament plan to ensure its success.
IRCC's par-72 course is nestled among natural preserves with old oak trees and plentiful Florida wildlife. Each hole is designed for scenic beauty and shaped around water features. Conditions are superb, earning the course a reputation as one of Brevard's finest for putting. But it isn't the championship course that draws the most comments from tournament players, as Joe explains with a shake of his head and a laugh.
"We get a tremendous amount of compliments on Colony Hall," says Joe, referring to the banquet facility. "It's just been remodeled and apparently the ladies bathroom is just spectacular. Almost every female player says something about it."
Roomy and stylish Colony Hall remains a favorite location for post-tournament awards and luncheons, where food is prepared by the private community's executive chef. Beyond the elegant table settings, fresh linens and attentive service, a first class sound and projection system helps make the event memorable.
"The last tournament had scrolling pictures and video clips during the award ceremony," said Imondi. That really personalized the event and helped put it over the top."
Back in the Pro Shop, residents and tournament players mingle among the equipment and apparel racks. A member of the PGA, Joe is an experienced teacher and an expert at club fitting, using the "track man" GPS system used by the PGA and LPGA tours. Most days he interacts with the resident members of Indian River Colony Club, the country club-like 55+ neighborhood that surrounds his course. But increasingly, he devotes a portion of his time to tournament planning.
“We helped raise $25,000 for charity during the last tournament,” said Imondi. There were 105 golfers; some had no idea they could get this caliber of play locally.” He added, “This is a private course, but we welcome the chance to help Brevard non-profits with about a dozen tournaments every year. So far, we've had 95% of the tournaments 're-book' for the next year. That's a number we're proud of, because it means we're doing our job right.”
Joe Imondi and the staff of Indian River Colony Club are ready to help with your tournament planning and logistics. For available dates or to schedule a meeting, call (321) 255-6055.
AT A GLANCE:
About Indian River Colony Club
Indian River Colony Club is truly a “town within a town” of nearly 800 individually owned homes on 453 acres in Viera, Florida. The maintenance-free community enjoys 24-hour gated security and a full complement of country club amenities for active adults aged 55 and over, including an 18-hole, par-72 private golf course. Once a retirement destination exclusively for military officers, membership has now expanded to include up to 20% non-military personnel over the age of 21 who desire the friendly and active country club lifestyle. Only minutes from the Atlantic, IRCC is close to upscale shopping, medical facilities, Patrick Air Force Base and the local performing arts center.
Photo: Joe Imondi