Ave Maria

Swinging Joy of the Green: The Golfing Odyssey of Ave Maria’s Jorge Pino

Erica Fish, Ave Maria Development


Amidst the rolling green fairways and the towering cypress trees of Panther Run and The National – two of Southwest Florida’s most popular golf courses to play – resides an Ave Maria resident who found his golf paradise and community in Ave Maria. Del Webb Naples homeowner Jorge Pino, led a Miami-based law enforcement career for 32 years and after retiring, was looking for his piece of paradise.

After hearing about Ave Maria, he and his wife made the visit and moved into their home six months later. “I knew it was meant to be when we drove the town’s main boulevard for the first time,” he said.

Ave Maria resident golfs at Lennar The NationalOnce settled in, it was not long until Jorge started back up his golfing routine… No matter where you reside in town, residents can participate in the recreational lifestyle ranging from all-inclusive clubhouses, the parks and more than 100 miles of walking and biking paths.

He enjoys playing both courses – 18-hole Gordon Lewis-designed and open for public play – sometimes on the same day! When referring to the proximal convenience, Jorge noted residents use their golf carts for just about everything. “We go from our homes to Publix, back to home, then to the courses… It’s a friendly community.”

Jorge is the club champion at Panther Run located in the community where he lives. When he isn’t playing over there, he tees it up at The National Golf & Country Club minutes from his home. “It’s wonderful for an avid golfer to have two championship courses a half-mile from each other,” he shared.

Whether he’s perfecting his swing or enjoying a casual round with friends, Jorge finds immense satisfaction in the sport and the camaraderie that Ave Maria’s golfing scene fosters.

As a certified Blue Zones community, the town makes it easier to live an active and fulfilling lifestyle. Ave Maria adopted Power 9® – nine common principles learned from the Blue Zones longevity hotspots of the world. These principles focus on moving naturally, maintaining a healthy outlook, eating wisely and connection. Jorge utilizes the walking paths, outdoor recreation, dining options and calendar of events to feel fulfilled by staying active and connecting with his community. There’s another community Jorge is a part of, too: he’s a cancer survivor.

Ave Maria resident golfs at Panther Run Golf ClubIn 2001, he was unfortunately diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and it made him think about life more, especially about what he was doing with his time. “I was a City of Miami police officer, and I did not want to abandon my chosen profession, but to at least do something a bit friendlier, so I applied to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and worked in public information for the last 17 years of my career.”

Thankfully, he beat cancer and shares the old saying, ‘A bad day on the golf course beats a good day at work,’ but Jorge adds to the end, “And every day’s a great day at Ave Maria!”

Ave Maria resident golfs at Lennar The NationalBeyond the recreational amenities, Jorge cherishes the sense of belonging that permeates Ave Maria’s tight-knit community. From impromptu gatherings at Del Webb’s club house to lively neighborhood barbecues, there’s ample opportunities everywhere for residents to forge meaningful connections.

“If you’re not from this area, and you’re not accustomed to waving at your neighbors when you drive by them, you better learn how to do that quickly when you move to Ave Maria!” he jokes. “Because everyone that is driving by you is going to wave, so this is the Ave Maria wave,” he demonstrated with a smile.

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