Live sports-starved folks will receive a treat on their TVs this Sunday afternoon — a charity golf match between two-man teams of PGA Tour stars. World No. 1 golfer Rory McIlroy and former No. 1 Dustin Johnson will play popular stars Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff at the fabled — but very private — Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Fla.
Ford’s Colony’s cul-de-sac named Seminole, with about a half-dozen houses on the Firestone side of FC, is not quite as exclusive as its namesake (ha), and certainly not as ancient.
Seminole Golf Club dates to 1929, when famed golf architect Donald Ross set to work developing the 140-acre property. The picturesque course, which runs along the dunes of the Atlantic Ocean, quickly became home to a corporate and political Who’s Who, with members such as Henry Ford II, Joseph P. Kennedy, Robert Vanderbilt, Jack Chrysler, Paul Mellon and Phillip Armour.
Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Ford played at Seminole, and now so does quarterback Tom Brady; he joined when he signed with the Tampa Bay Bucs this NFL off-season.
One of the intrigues of Sunday’s match, aside from the return of pro sports of a fashion, is that Seminole has never been seen on television. Even non-golf fans might tune in for a bit to check out what pretty pictures the 91-year-old course affords.
The names of Ford’s Colony’s streets are an intriguing mix of golf courses from around the country, and world, and of Virginia historic figures. Occasionally, I’ll introduce you to an interesting street name and the story behind it . . . which brings me to “John Pott.”
A main thoroughfare into Ford’s Colony off of Longhill Road, the street is named for the noteworthy physician and Colonial governor of the Jamestown Settlement. Dr. Pott, Oxford-educated, arrived Jamestown with his wife Elizabeth in 1619. He evidently had an interesting few years thereafter.
First, he was accused of poisoning 200 Native Americans in 1623 in retaliation for a massacre of colonists; he was ultimately cleared of the charge and his seat on the Governor’s Council was restored.
Pott himself was installed as governor in 1629, but in 1630 he was convicted of stealing livestock. His skills as a physician, however, were so crucial to the colony that the next governor, Sir John Harvey, petitioned England for Pott’s pardon. It was granted, he regained his estate known as “Harrop” – evidently located in what is now Williamsburg – and continued his medical work.
“As physician, leader and revolutionary, Dr. John Pott served as a vital force in shaping the history of Jamestown colony,” according to an article from the New York Academy of Medicine.
Now you know.