The Vero Beach, Fla. club invited Emma Talley of the LPGA Tour and Nick Lindheim of the Korn Ferry Tour to practice and play at its private course. Pat Gorman, Bent Pine’s Director of Golf, says the pair hosted a clinic for members at the club in return for their generosity.
Bent Pine Golf Club’s Tour Hopeful program, which started three years ago, has a pair of professional golfers gracing the tee sheet, the TC Palm reported. Emma Talley of the LPGA Tour and Nick Lindheim of the Korn Ferry Tour were invited by members of the Vero Beach, Fla. club.
Talley, who grew up in Kentucky and played collegiately at Alabama, started visiting Vero Beach in the winters after turning pro in 2016, the TC Palm reported.
“It’s a little easier to get ready for the season in Vero Beach than it is Kentucky,” she said. “We had a family friend who owned a house in Vero Beach and worked at Bent Pine, so I had a chance to play the course. I didn’t realize how many people from Kentucky go to Vero Beach.”
Pat Gorman, Bent Pine’s longtime Director of Golf, said the Tour Hopeful program is different than when the members provide financial assistance to young players starting their careers, the TC Palm reported. This program provides something just as essential for players already on a tour: access to a high-end club.
“They are treated like members,” Gorman said. “They can work on their game and utilize our course and practice facilities. We don’t ask much in return; last year they gave a clinic the members really enjoyed. Emma and Nick are both very personable, so it works out great.”
The arrangement has helped Talley, who has earned more than $1 million on the LPGA Tour, the TC Palm reported. Talley doesn’t have to find a place to stay in Vero Beach during the winters anymore – her parents bought a place at Bent Pine last year.
“Bent Pine has become my go-to place in the winter,” Talley said. “I’m there from January to March, except when the Tour is playing. Bent Pine is absolutely amazing and the members are awesome. I’m very appreciative of what the club has done for me.”
So is Lindheim, who lives about an hour away in Satellite Beach and told the TC Palm he appreciates the opportunity to play a quality course such as Bent Pine.
“Bent Pine has been a great getaway for me,” Lindheim said. “It’s got a great driving range and short-game facility. I can hit a bunch of different shots there. The membership has been great. Anytime I want to come out, they are overly accommodating. It’s a good way for me to release some steam when I’m off the road.”
Lindheim has earned more than $1 million on the PGA Tour in 65 starts and more than $900,000 in 114 starts on the Korn Ferry Tour, the TC Palm reported. He’s 56th on this year’s KFT money list as he waits for his putter – in his words – “to get hot.”
Lindheim was a late bloomer – he didn’t pick up the game until he was out of high school and didn’t make it to the PGA Tour until he was 32, the TC Palm reported. He knows how fortunate this arrangement is for him.
“I wasn’t a country club kid growing up,” Lindheim said. “The folks at Bent Pine are grateful to have me and I’m more grateful to have them.”