PGA Dye course art shotHot, Hot, Hot at PGA Village's Dye course
Ten years ago, while heading to a golf course in the Asheville area on a pleasant August day, I noticed something strange: There seemed to be almost as many Florida license plates on cars I passed as there were North Carolina plates. That migration north signaled that maybe summer heat in Florida is as tough to take as many imagine.

I got a taste of it yesterday when my son Tim, a resident of Vero Beach, arranged for us to play afternoon golf at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie – even though summer officially is a week away. As we teed off shortly after noon on the excellent Dye Course, the temperature was in the high 80s and the sun was shining brightly, as it did throughout the 3 ½-hour round. (We didn’t see many other golfers out there even though afternoon rates for a high-end layout are a bargain at $59.) I played well the first four holes but in the middle of the first nine, I started to wither. Rising from marking my ball on the greens became a dizzying ordeal. I staggered from green back to cart and soaked my head, face and neck with an iced towel on virtually every hole. (Smartly, the carts are loaded with ice and a couple of bottles of water.) Tee shots tarted to leak farther and farther offline as the round progressed.

I love to play in hot weather and, frankly, as I have gotten older, I have found that the heat loosens up muscles that, during cool spring days in Connecticut, take longer to flex. But yesterday, there was nothing salubrious about the heat; it felt relentless and exhausting.

It is possible I have only myself to blame; my pre-round meal was a salad with very little in the way of carbs. As I faded during the round, I ingested a couple of Gatorades for the electrolytes boost and an energy bar for the sugar boost. They helped slightly, but not enough to return me to a normal steady state.

I have compared temperature histories in Florida and South Carolina and, really, there isn’t much difference. But I have played plenty of golf in summer heat in South Carolina and a few in Florida, and there is something different about Florida heat and humidity. Those golfers intending to make Florida their year-round home should play a couple of practice rounds there in July or August. Make sure you have ice in the cart, Gatorades in the cup holders and eat a carb loaded lunch just before you play. Better yet, rise early and snag an early-morning tee time.

Golf Community Reviews has become home to nearly 2,000 articles since its debut 15 years ago. It is long past time to improve the view from home.

If you are a frequent visitor to the site, you will recognize an entirely new approach to the display of information. We have re-organized, re-formatted and revitalized the entire site for two main reasons – ease of navigation for our readers plus a “responsive design,” a somewhat technical way of saying we are much more mobile friendly. Those who rely substantially on their phones and tablets (iPads, e.g.) to search the Internet will now find it much easier to read our in-depth reviews and other articles and to find information of relevance to their interests. All our archived 2,000 articles are available via an improved search function, with the most recent articles front and center and the many others organized into easy-to-find categories by state and topic. The hundreds of newsletters we have published are also easily retrieved through the Archives function on the site.

We have added a few new flourishes, such as a button that toggles between a bright background and a darker “night” mode, making it easier to read our articles in challenging light conditions. We have also updated our links to web sites whose information will help you in your search for a golf home – and enlighten you on more general topics, such as retiree financial considerations, rankings of golf communities and residential golf courses and much more.

We hope you like the new look and functionality. Please contact us if there are any other improvements we can make to enhance your experience on the site. And, as always, Editor Larry Gavrich is available to help you in your search for your dream golf home. Contact him and he will be pleased to make some initial recommendations.

Most of all, thank you for your support.