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Experience Melbourne's Sod Farm Turned Championship Golf Course at Duran Golf Club

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Close to the community of Viera by Melbourne and near the closest beach to inland Orland/Disney World is the award-winning Duran Golf Club. At Duran you'll find an often breezy course due to ocean winds and a somewhat hilly terrain with slight mounding around large rolling greens. You'll see sparkling lakes and ponds, sweeping doglegs, grasses and palm trees that sit among native vegetation as you complete the championship course.

The Club land was a former sod farm, lending to a lush and fertile playing course continually maintained to the highest standards. Certification was also recently received from the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Environmental Planning while other Audubon certifications are in the works. It's no wonder Duran Golf Club was named "Best Public Golf Course" and listed as one of the Top 50 practice ranges in the United States.

So, just what other features single this Club out from others? Sales Manager Christy Helton gives us the inside scoop: "It is the award-winning, world-class development center, which offers the largest and most comprehensive practice facilities in the area. The facility includes an expansive practice range, short game area, and the popular nine-hole "Par 3 Course" that encircles the practice facility." As an added bonus, the center is also illuminated for use until 9:00 p.m. for those who like to play after work.

There are many other reasons Duran Golf Club stands out. First, it has Hillary Urban, the only female golf professional in the vicinity. Second, it offers the Duran Academy of Golf that, notes Helton, "features a full-time staff of Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) instructors available year-round to help golfers of all skill levels with their game."

The third reason the Club gets noticed is its focus on junior players. Justin Blazer is an U.S. Kids Golf Master Teacher award recipient, an honor given to the top junior golf instructors in the country. He is also, states Helton, "an U.S. Kids Golf certified instructor, specializing in teaching, fitting and competition for ages 6-12. Additionally, he is one of only 14 Aimpoint Certified Level 2 Instructors in the world, which enables Justin to teach students on the finer points of putting, including how to read greens and accurately predict break." Not surprisingly, many of Blazer's young golfers have gone on to play in world-class competitions.

Aside from golf, the Duran Golf Club clubhouse has a new sport offering known as SmashGolf. "It is a hybrid between tennis and golf," Helton describes. "SmashGolf Par 3 course has been well received since starting at Duran with families playing together and others giving the new sport a try."

The Club also has open leagues for females and males of all ages and rents out their 10,000 square feet event facility for banquets, weddings and corporate events. Helton tells us, "Duran Golf Club is also host to and has established itself as the 'Club of Choice' for the area's premier corporate and charity golf events." Duran Golf Club provides an exceptional golfing and event experience for all.

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