Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"Meet the Staff" at Tiger Point... Oops!

Why is it that Meadowbrook Corporation's web site no longer allows you to "meet the staff" of Tiger Point Golf Course?

Gulf Breeze residents say it could be because corporate honchos early last week surprised the local golf club's general manager, Aaron Williams, with a pink slip.

No shame in that. Williams joins a long list of golf course managers who have been given the bum's rush at Tiger Point Golf and Country Club. Few last more than a couple of years. Many have gotten the heave-ho quicker than that.

Indeed, Aaron Williams may have made the Guinness Book of World Records for longevity at Tiger Point, if there is such a category. He was employed all of four years.

One club member told us Williams' firing came as no surprise to her. "Meadowbrook is cheap. They'd rather hire some new guy than give a raise to an experienced manager."

Williams' replacement already is on the job. Chris Hendrick previously was "general manager" at the deeply troubled "Jubilee" planned golf community in Pace, Florida. Now re-christened "Contrada Hills," that ill-fated project has had more marketing names than houses.

Another Tiger Point club member we spoke with claims that Guy Balencie was seen hanging around the clubhouse facility just a day or two before Williams was axed. Balencie has long been rumored to be pro golfer Jerry Pate's BFF. Over the years he has twice been put in charge of the Tiger Point facility. Once, after Pate turned the newly designed East Course over to others. And again after Pate re-designed the course's greens in 2001.

More recently, press accounts have identified Balencie as the overall "project manager" for Jubilee/Contrada Hills. Some Tiger Point club members speculate that if he did pay a visit to the club recently, he must have been trying to cut his own Jubilee payroll by getting Meadowbrook to hire Hendricks. Another possibility is that Balencie, like the proverbial rat, is trying to leave the sinking ship himself.

In either case, it wouldn't be the first time Balencie became entangled in a Tiger Point manager termination. Seven years ago, as the Associated Press reported at the time, Balencie's "ear was nearly bitten off during a brawl" at the clubhouse.

Google cache has the archived story:
The fight started over the dismissal Friday of Tiger Point's general manager, Steve Goldstein. Randy Current, of Gulf Breeze, said he and some other members had gone to the club Monday to resign their memberships in protest.

Balencie was walking through the members grill when [Lawson] Luster called him a name... .

An argument ensued and Balencie asked Luster to step outside and then pushed him on the way out, deputies and witnesses said. They exchanged punches and wrestled on the ground during the fight.

It's fun to watch the rich at their leisure, isn't it?



Chris Hendrick said...

Thank you to all of the members and frequent visitors to Tiger Point who have given me such a warm welcome!

I am very excited to be back with Meadowbrook Golf and to have the opportunity to position Tiger Point as the cornerstone and social hub of our community.

As part of the Emerald Coast Golf Trail, Tiger Point has joined forces with Scenic Hills, The Club at Hidden Creek and Shalimar Pointe to offer the finest golf experiences in the Florida Panhandle.

Meadowbrook Golf has made a multi-million dollar investment in these four properties and is very bullish about the future of the greater Pensacola area.

If you have any questions regarding Tiger Point or the Emerald Coast Golf Trail, please feel free to stop by the club.

Chris Hendrick
General Manger
Tiger Point

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