Monday, October 23, 2017

A World First
: Hublot Presents the First Mechanical Golf Watch with Aperture Display

Dustin Johnson's influence and impact on the game has inspired Hublot’s new golf watch

(Shanghai) - The Swiss watchmaker has joined forces with world #1 Golfer, Dustin Johnson, to unveil a watch that is dedicated to the ultimate precision sport – golf. Hublot has designed, developed, manufactured and assembled a module to equip its new UNICO movement, which has been specifically created for golf. The MHUB1580 movement allows golfers to seamlessly calculate their score whilst on course. Hublot’s mechanical golf watch features aperture displays and is ultra-lightweight, providing true sports performance.

Dustin is regarded by many as a phenom in the world of golf. His style and ability have revolutionized how the game is perceived and he has been at the forefront of a new era for the sport. Hublot has done the same for watchmaking and prides itself on its pioneering approach to creating standout timing masterpieces. Together, they share a vision and style that are undoubtedly effective, if not exactly orthodox. Dustin and Hublot, golf and watchmaking, are both about precision, timing and perfection. They are the result of hard work and perseverance, pushing the boundaries and a tireless quest for excellence. Together, they are proud to unveil the Big Bang Unico Golf. A true all-in-one golf watch.

“The Big Bang Unico Golf has a contemporary design and is easy to use. It has digital displays and is very light – less than 100 grams on the wrist. It has everything that I want from a golf watch and is the perfect fit.”

Hublot carried out real-life testing by inviting its friends to measure the length of their drives against those of Dustin Johnson on a simulator. Quite a challenge, as the world’s #1 golfer pushes Trackman technology to the limit with his extraordinary distance!

The case of the Big Bang Unico Golf is carved from Texalium, an innovative material exclusive to Hublot, that is an amalgamation of carbon fiber and aluminum. This unique composite gives the watch its lightness; it weights precisely 97.93 grams!

The Big Bang Unico Golf has the look of a chronograph and has been conceived as a chronograph. Its movement features return-to-zero heart piece cams that ensure the counting mechanism is robust and reliable. The putter-shaped pusher at 2 o’clock activates the mechanism for displaying the number of strokes taken and counts the strokes per hole. The pusher at 4 o’clock allows the wearer to move on to the next hole by resetting the stroke counter to zero. The counter at 6 o’clock displays the total number of strokes played and is simultaneously updated. The pusher at 8 o'clock is shaped like a tee. This resets the mechanism and sets the counters to zero at the end of the round. During the round, this button can be locked by rotating it by 45°, thus ensuring that it is not inadvertently activated. The MHUB1580 full-skeleton movement allows the wearer to admire and understand how the timepiece works. The watch comes with two interchangeable wristbands fitted with the One Click system. One is made of white leather sewn on rubber and designed like a golf glove, while the other is made of technical fabric with a Velcro fastener to ensure the watch sits perfectly on the wrist.

Sports Turf Managers Association Kicks Off Fifth Annual ‘Mowing Patterns Contest’

(LAWRENCE, Kan.) – Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) – the organization for 2,600 men and women professionals overseeing sports fields worldwide and critical to athlete safety – kicks off its fifth annual “Mowing Patterns Contest.”

Members craft unique patterns for eligibility to win; only patterns produced with mowing equipment qualify. Entries are submitted via Facebook before Nov. 20. The winner is announced on Dec. 4 and included in a future issue of SportsTurf, STMA’s official monthly publication. Voting is open to all Facebook users.

“This contest serves as a vehicle to raise industry awareness and unite fellow sports turf managers,” says Kim Heck, CEO of STMA. “Through fun and creative playing surfaces, our members challenge each other and their results are amazing works of art.”

Last year's winner was Britt Barry, Sports Turf Manager at the Dayton Dragons, Single-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. Barry won with his intricate “diamond-patterns” design he crafted at Fifth Third Field, home to the Dragons.

The Mowing Patterns winning design will have a custom poster featured at the 2018 STMA Conference & Exhibition (January 16-19) in Fort Worth, Texas. More than 1,600 leaders in the sports turf industry will gather at the Fort Worth Convention Center for nearly 75 hours of cutting-edge sports turf education, dedicated networking functions and exhibitor demonstrations. With eight educational tracks, topics include turfgrass management, professional development, synthetic, industry developments, pest control, renovation, facility management, and soil science.

Only STMA members are eligible to enter and previous winners will not be considered.

For more information: stma.org, twitter.com/fieldexperts, 800.323.3875.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Greg Norman Golf Course Design Announces Relaunch of Oldfield Golf Club

Bunker Renovations, Strategic Design Changes Modernize 17-Year Old Course

(WEST PALM BEACH, FL) – Greg Norman Golf Course Design (GNGCD) – the premier signature golf course design firm in the world – announces the relaunch of Oldfield Golf Club in historic Bluffton, S.C.

Nestled within one of the most pristine plantations along the Atlantic coastline, Oldfield debuted in 2000 and is an original GNGCD design. The epitome of a Lowcountry course, the routing winds through canopies of moss draped live oaks, broad savannahs, and soaring pines up to the banks of the Okatie River and is a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. In 2016 Oldfield was awarded the Bliss award for the “Best Community in South Carolina.”

Today, the course has reopened all 18 holes after completing a refresh that included bunker renovations and strategic design changes that modernize the course and improve sustainability and playability.

“It was a great experience to work with GNGCD again at Oldfield. They allowed us to make subtle changes to a few tee complexes and we also reduced the size of some of the bunkers to minimize maintenance costs,” said Brian Roller, Oldfield Golf Superintendent. “GNGCD keeps the best interest of the golf superintendent in mind while also maintaining a first class design for our membership to enjoy.”

GNGCD provided design-build services for Oldfield, offering a vertically integrated and comprehensive process that includes all facets of design, construction and project management. Jason McCoy, who originally directed the construction of the Norman Course, oversaw the project. These enhancements were the first to the acclaimed course since it debuted 17 years ago.

“To return after all these years and see the original design intent still intact is a wonderful feeling and we are grateful for the opportunity to come back and update subtle design nuances to restore the course to its original form,” said Greg Norman. “Oldfield’s commitment to deliver excellent playing conditions to their members is remarkable and I am confident these renovations will provide continued enjoyment for years to come.”

A leader in domestic and international redesign, restoration and remastering, GNGCD’s mission is to update courses to higher design standards while focusing on reducing capital expenditures and lowering future maintenance and operating costs.

Greg Norman Golf Course Design boasts more than 100 courses opened across 34 countries and six continents, with many having won prestigious design awards. Among the firm’s 100 designs, five were included in Golf Digest’s 2016-2017 ‘World’s 100 Greatest’ rankings including No. 29 Ellerston (Australia), No. 31 New South Wales G.C. (Australia), No. 74 The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip (Vietnam), No. 84 Nirwana (Bali) and No. 97. Jumeirah Golf Estates Earth Course (UAE).

For more information: www.oldfield1732.com and www.gngcd.com.

Tania Tare PromoOnCore Golf Signs Tania Tare to Ball and Visor Deal

(BUFFALO, NY) – OnCore Golf, the Buffalo, New York-based golf ball company, announced the signing of professional golfer and trick shot artist Tania Tare. OnCore Golf, known for their focus on bringing excitement and performance to the game of golf with innovative products, approaches, and partnerships, saw great synergy in the relationship with Tania.

“We’ve been following Tania for about two years now. Not only is she an incredible trick shot pioneer, but she is a serious athlete focused on earning her place in professional golf and pursuing a spot on the LPGA,” states Keith Blakely, CEO OnCore Golf. “We’re excited to be working with her to help her fulfill that dream and confident that her efforts will encourage other golfers to follow theirs as well.”

Tare, who has an extensive social media following and has been featured in a number of sports media channels including Golf Channel, ESPN, Golf Digest and Bleacher Report ultimately decided to partner with OnCore Golf based on the performance of the ELIXR, which was introduced in March of this year.
"Being a professional golfer, I've gone through my fair share of different branded golf balls. I had been looking all year for a ball that gave me the distance I needed, along with a soft feel around the greens and I fortunately managed to find the perfect combination with the ELIXR. For me, the way the ball reacts when chipping is important and with the ELIXR, I can get run or check when I need it with consistency. Alongside my professional golf events, I also love the ball when it comes to my trick shots because the soft feel makes juggling and stalling smoother,” states Tare, “I am very excited to be a part of Team OnCore and what they represent – innovative, high performance products, a customercentric business approach, and a focus on making golf more enjoyable and more inclusive for golfers of all ages and skill levels."

Follow Tare’s incredible trick shots and her journey to the LPGA on Instagram at @taniatare63.

To learn more about OnCore Golf, their commitment to innovation and technology, and their full suite of performance golf balls, including the ELIXR Tour ball, visit www.OnCoreGolf.com

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Escape the Cold with Hilton Head Golf Island’s Winter Packages

(HILTON HEAD, S.C.) – Hilton Head Golf Island (HHGI) – ranked the top island in the U.S. by Condé Nast Traveler – offers golf lovers an ideal respite from the cold.

Featuring more than 30 member courses on Hilton Head and in the surrounding area, HHGI is known for its unique combination of Southern hospitality, temperate climate and world-class public and private designs sculpted by vaunted architects. A variety of winter stay-and-play packages further entice golf enthusiasts to visit as the temperature plummets up north.

The Sea Pines Resort’s “Villa Golf Package” features a round on each of the property’s three championship courses plus accommodations in a private, fully-equipped villa. Starting at $218 (based on quadruple occupancy), it is an ideal way to experience Harbour Town Golf Links, Heron Point by Pete Dye and Atlantic Dunes by Davis Love III. Available through February, this four-day, three-night getaway also includes complimentary replays on Heron Point and Atlantic Dunes. For reservations call 843.842.8484.

Available through March, The Heritage Golf Collection’s “Golfer’s Dream Package” is perfect for those who want a variety of courses from which to choose. The deal combines three nights’ accommodations in a spectacular villa with three rounds on any of The Heritage Golf Collection’s five Hilton Head layouts. Starting at $105 (based on quadruple occupancy), additional perks include complimentary range balls prior to rounds, a 20% discount on pro shop merchandise and 10% dining discount at local restaurants. For reservations call 843.681.1706.

Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort’s “Birdies and Beer Package” offers three nights’ accommodations in a two-bedroom resort-view villa, three rounds of golf on your choice of a trio of championship courses with cart, complimentary range balls plus breakfast and beers. Two hours of court time per day at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center, pro shop and dining discounts and priority access to all resort activities and amenities are also included. Rates start at $160 (based on four-person occupancy) through February. For reservations call 855.450.4861.

Starting at $125 (based on double occupancy and six or more golfers), Fripp Island’s stay and play package includes nightly accommodations and 18 holes at Ocean Creek Golf Course with complimentary cart, range balls and afternoon replays. A great way to experience St. Helena Island – just north of Hilton Head – this package is available through December. For reservations call 843.838.1558.

“Combat the doldrums of winter with a getaway to the ultimate golf destination,” suggests Cary Corbitt, President of the Lowcountry Golf Course Owners Association. “With direct flights available from 14 cities year-round, it’s never been easier to visit ‘Golf Island.’”

Offering unbeatable value, courses for players of all abilities and pleasant year-round weather, Hilton Head Island is one of the world’s premier golf destinations. In addition to being named the “No. 1 Island in the Continental U.S.” by Travel + Leisure magazine readers, Hilton Head has also received accolades from Golfweek, Golf Channel’s Golf Advisor and the South Carolina Golf Course Rating Panel.

All packages are priced per person, per night. For more information on the International Association of Golf Tour Operators’ 2016 North American “Golf Destination of the Year,” call 800.523.3373 or visit www.hiltonheadgolfisland.org.

Tagmarshal Pace-of-Play System to Enhance Player Experiences at Advance Golf-Managed Courses

(DALLAS, Texas) – Tagmarshal – the pace-of-play system used by golf courses, country clubs and resorts globally – is operational at several properties managed by Advance Golf, including 7 Lakes Golf Club (Pinehurst, N.C.), Bear Creek Golf Course (Hilton Head, S.C.), Bridlewood Golf Club (Dallas, Texas) and Sky Creek Ranch Golf Club (Fort Worth, Texas).

Courses planning to implement Tagmarshal technology include Back Creek Golf Club (Middletown, Del.), Legacy Golf Club (Bradenton, Fla.), Rolling Green Golf Club (Sarasota, Fla.) and Serenoa Golf Club (Sarasota, Fla.), among others.

Golf’s leading pace-of-play solution, Tagmarshal has prompted faster rounds at daily-fee, resort and private courses by up to 60% in only weeks after install. Average round times routinely decrease by 15 minutes or more, allowing for additional tee-time inventory.

“Advance Golf’s impressive courses will realize even greater pace efficiencies and player satisfaction, loyalty and revenue,” says Bodo Sieber, CEO of Tagmarshal. “Tagmarshal data will help to pre-emptively prevent bottlenecks and appropriate hole-by-hole speed.”

A recent USGA survey shows 74% of golfers believe pace of play is critical to the enjoyment of their rounds. This played into The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort (2021 PGA Championship), Whistling Straits (2020 Ryder Cup), Erin Hills (2017 U.S. Open), East Lake (Tour Championship), Carnoustie Golf Links (Open Championship), Ballybunion Golf Club (Irish Open) and many other premier golf destinations deploying Tagmarshal’s discreet data-transmitting tags affixed to golf carts and bags.
                                                                                                               
“Tagmarshal's revolutionary system gives our properties a competitive edge to achieve financial and operational success,” says Larry Galloway, Founding Partner of Advance Golf. “Pace-of-play management is vital and directly tied to rounds and revenue trends.”

Partnering with Tagmarshal had caused courses to add prime tee times capable of generating $100,000-plus in incremental revenue annually. Superintendents also use Tagmarshal data to better manage pin placements, wear patterns, hole set-ups and operational efficiencies.

More information: advancegolfpartners.com and tagmarshal.com, 725.333.7354.

Product Review: Srixon Z 765 Irons

Srixon Z 765 muscle cavity irons
Looking back at my 2017 golf season, I think it’s safe to say this was the “Year of Srixon.” First, I fell in love with the new Srixon golf balls - both the Z-Star and Q-Star Tour. Distance off the tee, accuracy into the greens and feel on/around the greens. These hit the trifecta!

Little did I know, however, that a set of irons would steal the show. I went from not knowing a thing about the company’s irons to wanting every bit of information I could gather on the Z 765s.

The Z 765 is a muscle cavity - offering a traditional blade’s control, but with the forgiveness of the uber-popular cavity back options. These beauties are simply the best of both worlds.

Srixon Z 765 Tour V.T. Sole
In testing the Z 765s, I made consistent contact time after time. Credit the new Tour V.T. Sole for that. For typical amateurs, there’s often a thin line between great and terrible. The line splitting the Z 765s sole increases the likelihood of crisp shots by lessening resistance upon impact.

What does that mean in practical terms? I generally carry my 7-iron 160-165 yards. That said, missing my mark could easily drop me to 150 yards - disaster when there’s water or some other hazard to carry. Of the 100 shots I hit with the Z 765 7-iron, 91 fell within my expected range (five came up short, while four traveled a bit more than expected).

I went into testing long irons with lower expectations. After all, if I hit my 4-iron as consistently well as my 7-iron, I wouldn’t be hovering around a 9 handicap. A solid 4-iron flies between 180-190 for me. That said, crisp contact often eludes and I’ve grown to expect the unexpected. Maybe I should begin to expect more?

In a side-by-side comparison with my current gamer (below), the Srixon Z 765 muscle cavity 4-iron far-exceeded the performance of its competitor. Not only were my distances dialed in, but also accuracy. Stray shots were few and far between and I felt incredibly confident in distance control.

Speaking of distance ... This is where my biggest surprise landed. Not that I was gaining much distance, but that distances were more consistent on miss-hits - not just well-struck shots. While pulled shots generally travel farther and pushed shots often come up short, that wasn’t the case in my range session. At least not to the extreme in which I’m accustomed. In one sequence - on back-to-back shots - I pulled one that traveled 192 yards and pushed the next, which still went 184 yards. In the past, I would’ve expected a yardage in the low 170s on the latter swing. That could be the difference of catching the front edge of the green versus having to pitch over a bunker (or worse ... fish your ball out of the water).
Side-by-side test - Srixon Z 765 beat compititor
This review comes with one caveat. These irons are not necessarily designed for the high-handicap golfer. Look to the Z 565 if you need/want game-improvement irons. Those have the full cavity back (perimeter weighting) for increased performance from off-center hits. While the Z 765 irons do provide some forgiveness, they’re made for a golfer who can consistently hit the sweet spot. Iron play is the strength of my game. Putting is the weakness, which keeps me around a 9 handicap. I’m never too far from the sweet spot, so these irons sing to me. Miss the center more times than not ... It’ll be a sour song.

For the low-handicap golfer who asks, “What about me?” I'd recommend looking into the Z 965 irons from Srixon. If you’re in between (like me), head to the pro shop and take two sets out for some tests ... Just make sure the Z 765 irons are one of the two.

Learn more at srixon.com.