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Magazine praises golf courses

Golf for Women ranks Mangrove Bay and Renaissance Vinoy Resort golf courses in its top 100 courses.

Mangrove Bay and Renaissance Vinoy Resort golf courses, about 3{ miles apart in the city's northeast section, are ranked among the Top 100 courses of 1999 in the August issue of Golf for Women.

The courses were ranked by design, prices and services they provide to male and female golfers. Nine of the top 100 layouts are in Florida. Ten California courses received praise.

The Renaissance Vinoy Resort is a private course. The resort offers its members instruction, men's and women's leagues, and locker room facilities. Players have the option of hitting from two tees.

"They've placed tees in places that make it easy for women to play," said Susan Miller, a pro shop clerk and golfer.

Director Randy Mosley also believes another plus for his course is that players don't need golf carts to get around.

"It's not hard to walk," Mosley said. "The tees and greens are so close. (At some courses), you have to walk four or five blocks to get to the next hole."

Mangrove Bay has two public courses _ 18 holes of championship golf and a nine-hole par-three layout. There are multiple tee options and league play. The pro shop also carries women's merchandise.

"It's crucial that you offer programs that are user-friendly to women and juniors," said acting director Marshall Edgren. "We like to encourage play."

Players and staff were pleased with the honor. Volunteer Carolyn Heyboar spends Thursday mornings making sure players keep pace and are not slowing up other golfers. She described the course as easy and accessible to all types of players.

Barbara Leone, who has played golf for about seven years, said playing on the open course gives her confidence.

"I love playing here," Leone said. "You don't feel defeated before you start."