Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Deal Alert: Golf & Stay in Colonial Williamsburg

(RELEASE) - Colonial Williamsburg recently launched its Green Course Golf Package to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the par-72, Rees Jones-designed course, offering golfers unlimited play and other perks during their stays.

Available through September 1, the 25th Anniversary Green Course Golf Package starts at $179 per night offering savings from $89 per day, and includes:
- A two-night stay at the Williamsburg Lodge (available Sunday through Wednesday)
- Complimentary green fees on Green Course
- Complimentary golf cart fees
- Complimentary golf following the first 18 holes if course availability permits

Featuring three distinct courses, The Golden Horseshoe Golf Club is set in a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary on gently rolling terrain surrounded by Virginia hardwoods with no encroaching residential development. The classic Gold Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. more than 50 years ago, is closed until May 2017 as it completes a multi-million dollar renovation. The adjacent Green Course, designed by his son Rees Jones 25 years ago, represents the first father-son layout in the country. Jones Senior also designed the popular executive length Spotswood Course. The Golf Club includes two on-site restaurants as well as access to additional Colonial Williamsburg recreation, dining, spa, and hotel options and amenities—making it an ideal location for that annual weekend trip.

Revenue from golf play on the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club’s three public courses supports the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s conservation, preservation, research and education initiatives.

For more information, click HERE.

Argolf to be a Sponsor of 2016 South Florida PGA Pro-Scratch Championship

(JUPITER, Florida) – Argolf, a line of precision-designed putters (www.argolfusa.com), will be a sponsor of the 2016 South Florida PGA Pro-Scratch Championship, to be played July 29 on the East Course at Ballen Isles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Argolf recorded its first win, at this year’s Insperity Invitational, a PGA Tour Champions event which was played May 6-8 at The Woodlands, Texas.

“We are pleased to serve as a sponsor of this year’s South Florida PGA Pro-Scratch Championship, featuring south Florida’s best players,” said Laurent-Alix Huguet, CEO of H4Distribution, which distributes Argolf putters across the U.S. “Professionals and amateurs alike are discovering the exceptional design of Argolf putters, featuring performance characteristics tailored to each individual golfer’s needs.”

At the South Florida PGA Pro-Scratch Championship, Argolf representatives will greet participants during registration and introduce the Argolf line of putters to them on the putting green. They also will schedule appointments with the pros for fitting days at their facilities over the winter months or for placing Argolf putters into their shops.

Cleveland Golf Introduces New RTX-3 Wedges

(HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA) – CLEVELAND GOLF, focused on "Where Scoring Matters" and a global leader in wedge innovation since 1979, introduced new RTX-3 wedges. This is the latest line of advanced, high-performance wedges from Cleveland, a brand which has sold more than 10 million wedges globally and garnered more than 350 Tour victories since 1988. RTX-3 wedges, available in a Blade (three finishes), Cavity Back, and Women’s Cavity Back model to suit a wide range of golfers, feature three key technologies proven to help you get closer to the hole than any wedge Cleveland Golf has ever made.

· NEW Feel Balancing Technology. This patent-pending technology shifts the center of gravity closer to the center of the wedge face – the impact zone – to decrease vibration and maximize head stability at impact. By adding a microcavity inside the hosel and shortening the hosel, nine grams of mass are optimally redistributed in the head for a more centered CG location. This improves feel and tightens shot dispersion, giving you maximum control.

· NEW V Sole Grinds (above). Three tour-proven grinds feature a V shape with more leading edge bounce to help get the club head through the turf faster at impact. This promotes crisper feel and more consistent head speed for increased spin and control. The V-LG (•) is Cleveland’s narrowest low bounce sole for maximum versatility, the V-MG (••) has mid bounce suitable for a wide range of players and turf conditions, and the V-FG (•••) is a forgiving full sole design with trailing edge relief.

· NEW Rotex Face. Three innovations combine to maximize spin with more consistency. New Tour Zip Grooves have a deeper, narrower U shape with a sharp edge radius in all lofts to enhance contact across a wide variety of conditions. The advanced, 2-pass micro milling pattern increases friction and is directionally enhanced by loft: low lofts (46°- 52°) have a straighter pattern to accommodate full shots and high lofts (54°- 64°) have a more angled pattern to optimize open-face shots. Laser Milling precisely roughens the face surface to the conforming limit.

Cleveland Golf is globally recognized for industry-leading research & development put into every wedge. The extensive testing for RTX-3 compared to both the previous-generation 588 RTX 2.0, our older wedge models and select leading competitors proves that it has the tightest dispersion. It is more accurate than any wedge Cleveland Golf has ever tested*, showing the impressive performance gains when combining new Feel Balancing Technology, the new V Sole Grinds and the Rotex Face:

“After spending more than two years developing these wedges, Cleveland Golf is very proud with the finished product,” said John Rae, Vice President of Research & Development for Srixon / Cleveland Golf / XXIO. “Our testing proves the three key technologies in RTX-3 can help golfers get the ball closer to the hole, a tremendous benefit for any player that supports Cleveland Golf’s unmatched commitment to the short game.”

Scott Carlyle, Sr. Vice President – Global Marketing, added: “I’m privileged to have been involved in developing Cleveland Golf wedges for most of the past decade, and the RTX-3 represents some of the biggest steps we have taken in what we consider our three key wedge factors: shape, feel and spin performance.”

The RTX-3 Blade, Cavity Back and Women’s Cavity Back are all available in the Tour Satin finish. For the Blade, two additional finishes have been developed with significant enhancements:
· Black Satin. This new finish has been enhanced through a proprietary process that not only gives it a sleek look, but makes it ultra-durable and longer lasting than previous black finishes.
· Tour Raw. Back by popular demand, this new finish rusts over time for a distinctive look. The Tour Raw models available to consumers are the same models in the bags of Cleveland Golf tour staffers.

The Cleveland Golf RTX-3 wedge line, which launches Friday, September 16, is available in lofts from 46° to 64° in both right-handed and left-handed options. There are key differences between the three models:
· RTX-3 Blade. The Blade provides the most versatility and is ideal for maximizing all-around wedge performance. Available in three different grinds – V-LG (•), V-MG (••) and V-FG (•••) – in three different finishes: Tour Satin, ultra-durable Black Satin, and Tour Raw. The standard shaft is True Temper Dynamic Gold steel (wedge flex) and the standard grip is the Cleveland Blue Cap by Lamkin. Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) is $129.99 each.
· RTX-3 Cavity Back. The Cavity Back has a slightly larger shape that promotes confidence and increases forgiveness. Available in Tour Satin in three different grinds – V-LG (•), V-MG (••) and V-FG (•••). The standard steel shaft is True Temper Dynamic Gold (wedge flex); the Rotex Precision Graphite shaft (wedge flex) is also available. The standard grip is the Cleveland Blue Cap by Lamkin. MAP with steel shaft is $129.99 each, while each wedge with the graphite shaft is $139.99 MAP.
· Women’s RTX-3 Cavity Back. The Women’s model features the same large cavity back shape with the lightweight Action Ultralite 50 graphite shaft, which promotes a high, easy launch. Available in V-MG (••) grind. The standard grip is the Cleveland Pink Cap by Lamkin. MAP with graphite shaft is $129.99 each.

Monday, July 25, 2016

TaylorMade Golf Company Unveils M1 Special Edition Driver

Limited Offering Designed with Inspiration from Summer’s Marquee Global Events

(CARLSBAD, Calif.) – Following the resounding success of the company’s “unmetalwoods” franchise launched in late 2015, TaylorMade Golf, makers of the No. 1 driver in golf, announced the impending release of a red, white and blue M1 Special Edition driver, designed incorporating custom components to celebrate Dustin Johnson’s victory in the season’s second major championship and inspired by two of the sport’s most celebrated events throughout the remainder of the summer.

Since its global launch in September of 2015, the M1 Driver has captured 24 worldwide wins*, with 13 of those coming on the on PGA TOUR, including a recent remarkable stretch of seven wins in eight tournaments by six different TaylorMade Tour staff players.

Similar to the original M1 driver, the M1 Special Edition features the use of a seven-layer carbon composite crown that resulted in a significant decrease in the crown’s weight and allowed engineers to lower the CG and add a revolutionary T-Track system that houses 25g of adjustable weight; the entire system has been placed low on the sole so regardless of moveable weight positions, the club still maintains a low center of gravity to deliver optimal trajectory.

Aesthetically, the M1 Special Edition features the same white forward section, while the carbon composite crown has been tinted a translucent dark blue color. Additionally, the driver incorporates a red T-bug logo alignment aid, red & blue T-Track weights, white PVD face & sole and a custom red aluminum sleeve in addition to an American flag on the driver’s toe. The 12 position loft sleeve provides up to four degrees of loft adjustment, the T-Track can be set for more/less draw/fade and higher/lower trajectory.

TaylorMade worked exclusively with shaft manufacturer Fujikura Composites on a custom Speeder 661 Tour Spec Special Edition shaft created specifically for the Special Edition M1. Limited in production, the M1 Special Edition includes the Golf Pride Z Grip Patriot Grip.

Along with the custom Fujikura shaft, the M1 Special Edition driver is housed in a premium full leather headcover, the same used by TaylorMade’s Tour staffers at the season’s second major championship.

“The M1 Special Edition Driver gives performance a new look,” said Brian Bazzel, Senior Director, Product Creation. “A stunning, American-inspired clubhead pairs perfectly with a special Golf Pride grip and Fujikura shaft to give golfers the ultimate in personalized performance in a can’t-miss red, white, and blue colorway.”

Availability and Pricing
Available on August 26 at $799 USD, the M1 Special Edition is available in 9.5* & 10.5* lofts in regular and stiff flexes only

*#1 Driver in Golf claim based on combined 2015 wins and usage on the PGA, European, Japan Golf, Web.com, Champions and LPGA Tours, as reported by the Darrell Survey Co. and Sports Marketing Surveys, Inc.
*as of 7/24/16

Jhonattan Vegas earns second-career PGA Tour victory at the RBC Canadian Open

Vegas comes from behind to claim first win of the season

(RELEASE) - Nike athlete Jhonattan Vegas shot a 12-under 276 at the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club to clinch his second career PGA Tour victory. Vegas ended the tournament with three consecutive birdies to tally a final-round 64. The win qualifies Vegas to compete at the PGA Championship next week.

“It’s incredible,” Vegas said of earning his second career PGA Tour win. “It’s a fun feeling. This is what you train for, this is what you spend every moment at home for. I’m just super excited.”

The Venezuela native utilized an entire bag of Nike equipment, including a Nike RZN Tour Platinum ball, to finish with 23 birdies, tied for the most in the entire field. Vegas averaged 323.5 yards off the tee and consistently found the green, finishing second overall in strokes gained from tee to green, with his Nike Vapor Pro irons and Nike Engage wedges.

- Driver: Nike VR 8.5-degree (Nunchuck)
- Fairway Wood: Nike Vapor Speed 3-wood/15-degree, 5-wood/19-degree
- Irons: Nike Vapor Pro (3-PW)
- Wedges: Nike Engage 54-degree (toe sweep), 58-degree (square sole)
- Putter: Nike Method Core MC-12W
- Ball: Nike RZN Tour Platinum
- Footwear: Nike Lunar Control 4

- Jhonattan Vegas – RBC Canadian Open
- Tony Finau – Puerto Rico Open

- Rory McIlroy – Dubai Duty Free Irish Open
- Hao-Tong Li – Volvo China Open

Min Woo Lee Makes History With 2-and-1 Victory over Noah Goodwin in U.S. Junior Amateur Final

(Ooltewah, Tenn.) - It was the longest 47-minute wait to hit a 3½-foot championship-clinching putt in Min Woo Lee’s young golf career. And when the second of two weather suspensions in Saturday’s 36-hole final match in the 69th U.S. Junior Amateur Championship ended, the 17-year-old from Perth, Australia, calmly holed the putt to make USGA history.

Lee made a late rally in sultry conditions at The Honors Course to defeat Noah Goodwin, 16, of Corinth, Texas, 2 and 1, and with it added a second USGA trophy to the Lee family mantle. Four years ago, Lee’s older sister, Minjee, a two-time LPGA Tour winner and one of two Australian representatives for next month’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, claimed the U.S. Girls’ Junior title, making them the only brother-sister tandem to win USGA Junior championships.

Hank (1998) and Kelli Kuehne (1995 and 1996) won U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women’s Amateur titles, respectively, and there have also been one sister-sister and five brother-brother combinations to have won championships, including Hank and Trip Kuehne (2007 U.S. Mid-Amateur).

“I think we made history, so that’s pretty cool,” said Minjee via Facetime from the LPGA Tour’s UL International Crown outside of Chicago, where she is competing this weekend at The Merit Club for Australia. “I just told him at the beginning of the day to just have fun. I’m glad that he came out winning, and it’s great for both of us.”

Added Min Woo Lee: “It feels great. I'm down in history on the USGA Junior trophy, so it feels really good. It's probably the best I've ever felt. It's a dream come true for me. I've always wanted to win this tournament. I was in good form coming into it. I knew I had a good chance. It feels great to win and be on the trophy with names such as Tiger [Woods].”

The championship began with 36 holes of stroke play on Monday and Tuesday, with the low 64 scorers advancing to match play. The two finalists had to win five 18-hole matches to advance to the championship match.

Lee, No. 131 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, also became the fourth international champion of the U.S. Junior Amateur, but the previous three – Terry Noe (1994), Sihwan Kim (2004) and Andy Hyeon Bo Shim (2012) – were all from the Republic of Korea. Australian Aaron Baddeley lost in the 1998 championship match to James Oh at Conway Farms in suburban Chicago, 1 down.

Lee became the first male Australian in 10 years to win a USGA title, the last being Geoff Ogilvy in the 2006 U.S. Open. Other notable Australian USGA champions include Nick Flanagan (2003 U.S. Amateur), Karrie Webb (2000 and 2001 U.S. Women’s Open), David Graham (1981 U.S. Open) and Jan Stephenson (1983 U.S. Women’s Open).

Goodwin, No. 35 in the WAGR, was bidding to become the seventh different Texan to win the Junior Amateur since Hunter Mahan’s triumph in 1999.

“I couldn't have lost to a better player,” said Goodwin. “He pushed me and challenged me every single shot today. I played my butt off today. I played great. I got beat by a better player. In the end, that's what it's all about. This tournament is just about finding the best player this week.”

The match on the par-72, 7,326-yard Pete Dye layout saw neither player enjoy more than a 2-up lead throughout the 35 holes. With the usual match-play concessions, the two finalists combined for 21 birdies and an eagle. It also included a pair of afternoon weather delays totaling 83 minutes.

Goodwin, who reached the Round of 16 in last year’s Junior Amateur and qualified for match play in the 2015 U.S. Amateur, enjoyed a 1-up lead before the first 36-minute delay just after the players hit their tee shots on the par-3 32nd hole.

Both Lee and Goodwin converted short birdie putts of 12 and 8 feet, respectively, when play resumed, but on the par-4 33rd, Goodwin’s 6-iron approach from 190 yards found the water. Lee two-putted for a winning par to square the match and followed by stuffing a 6-iron to 18 feet on the par-3, 210-yard 34th hole. Goodwin’s tee shot barely cleared the water hazard. His ensuing chip rolled a few feet past the hole, but he never had to putt it after Lee calmly rolled in his birdie putt for a 1-up lead.

On the par-5 35th, Goodwin found the green with his second, while Lee’s approach came up just short in a grass bunker.  Goodwin’s long downhill eagle try rolled 9 feet by the hole. Lee followed with a perfect flop shot that stopped 3½ feet from the flagstick. Goodwin pulled his par putt and as Lee was lining up the potential championship-winning putt, the USGA blew the horn because of inclement weather.

Lee, the 2015 Western Australia Amateur champion, smiled as he walked off the green to a waiting cart. When the players returned to the course, it took all of a few seconds for Lee to convert the short birdie putt. He hugged his local Honors Course caddie, Reid Smith, his mother, Clara, and Brad James, Golf Australia’s director of high performance.

“I had a few minutes to come together and just think about that putt, and think about the other putts that I’ve had similar to that one,” said Lee. “I missed a few low, so I thought I would hit it a bit higher. It went right in the middle.”

In the morning 18, Goodwin built a 2-up lead through the first nine holes, only to see Lee win holes 10 and 11 to square the match.

“I guess it was good and bad in a different way,” said Lee of constantly playing catch-up in the morning. “I knew I had to stick my head out and just do what I’ve been doing every single day. Me and Reid did a great job on every shot. Every shot we hit was precise.”

The two halved the next three holes before Goodwin and Lee alternated winning Nos. 15-18, with Lee closing the round with a 14-foot birdie.

“I learned I can play with the best [junior] players in the world,” said Goodwin of his takeaway from the week. “I kind of already knew that, but it’s always nice to just have more experience doing it and everything. My wedges were great this week, and that was one of the things that kept me going the entire time. I just need to polish up my irons a little bit more, though, and I can do that over a period of time.”

When asked to sum up his memories of the week and course, Lee said: “It’s the best course I’ve ever played. It’s a great match-play course. It’s challenging in every way.”

Both finalists are exempt into next month’s U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills Country Club outside of Detroit, and are exempt into sectional qualifying for the 2017 U.S. Open. They are also exempt into next year’s U.S. Junior Amateur at Flint Hills National in Andover, Kan. With the age limit changing to 18 next year, Goodwin also will be exempt into the 2018 Junior Amateur at Baltusrol Golf Club.

The U.S. Junior Amateur is one of 13 championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

Rare Back-to-Back Holes-in-One by PGA Junior League Golfers in Hilton Head

(RELEASE) - On hole #5 at Country Club of Hilton Head – a par 3, 89 yards, and carried over water – 13-year-old Harrison Mancill (right) of one of two Country Club of Hilton Head PGA Junior League Golf teams aced the hole with a wedge, immediately answered by 10-year-old John Berrigan (left) with the Wexford Plantation PGA Junior League Golf team, who aced it with a 9 iron.

The Country Club of Hilton Head teams are captained by PGA Professional Jeff Picus, and the Wexford Plantation team is captained by PGA Apprentice James Scales. This is the fourth year Hilton Head has hosted PGA Junior League Golf, fielding 8 teams in the area this year. Nationally, 36,000 boys and girls are participating in the program.

Photo is courtesy of Jeff Picus, PGA, Director of Instruction at Country Club of Hilton Head.