Saturday, January 20, 2018

Peter Millar and Western Golf Association Team up to Send a Caddie to College

(GOLF, ILLINOIS) – Peter Millar has been designated the Official Premium Apparel Brand of the Western Golf Association and Evans Scholars Foundation, organization leaders announced today.

As part of a new four-year agreement, the luxury brand, known for its line of casual sportswear and performance golf attire, will fund a full Evans Scholarship to provide an opportunity for a deserving young caddie to attend college. Peter Millar apparel also will be featured at numerous WGA tournaments and Evans Scholars events through 2020.

The special designation provides a new opportunity for Peter Millar, as an Official Supporter, to establish a direct business relationship with WGA and ESF constituents.

Since 1930, the Evans Scholars Program, one of golf’s leading charities, has sent more than 11,000 caddies from limited financial means to college on full housing and tuition scholarships. Currently, 965 Evans Scholars are attending 19 universities nationwide, and the organization is growing at a record pace. Leaders are working toward a goal of sending 1,000 caddies to college annually by the year 2020, and growing corporate support will play an integral role in helping to reach that milestone.

As part of the agreement, Peter Millar will fund the creation of an Endowed Named Evans Scholarship. Every four years, a Peter Millar Evans Scholarship will be awarded to an incoming freshman who meets the preferences designated by Peter Millar. The first Scholarship will be awarded in 2018.

Peter Millar has already supported the WGA for more than a decade as a lead vendor for the BMW Championship, providing Pro-Am gifts and volunteer uniforms, along with being a featured vendor in the Merchandise Tent. The official  partnership now expands its level of support to all WGA tournaments, with Peter Millar supplying player gifts for the Western Junior and the Western Amateur.

Peter Millar apparel also will be included in gift packages at additional WGA and Evans Scholars events, including the 2018 Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship, which the WGA will conduct in July.

“We’re honored by Peter Millar’s commitment to our mission of conducting world-class golf championships and providing life-changing college scholarships,” said WGA President & CEO John Kaczkowski. “The creation of the Peter Millar Endowed Named Scholarship will allow a promising young student the opportunity of a lifetime to attend college. As we seek to grow the Evans Scholars Program nationwide, we look forward to collaborating with Peter Millar to identify new opportunities for their brand.”

“The mission of the WGA/ESF has long been one that Peter Millar has admired and supported. Caddies are one of the most important foundations and traditions of the game,” says Todd Martin, President Peter Millar Golf. “So many of the member clubs are wonderful partners to Peter Millar. Over the last 10 years, our WGA/ESA partnership has grown every year through the championships, especially the BMW Championship. Without question, we are by far the most proud that our company will be able to have a life altering impact for a young man or woman by providing them a four-year education through this Peter Millar Endowed Scholarship.”

To learn more, visit www.wgaesf.org, www.wgaesf.org and PeterMillar.com.

Major Winners, Asian Tour Stars Combine to Support Sentosa Golf Club's #KeepItGreen Campaign

(RELEASE) - Major winners Sergio Garcia and Louis Oosthuizen, as well as Asian Tour No.1 Gavin Green, have joined forces to lend their support to #KeepItGreen, a campaign created by host venue Sentosa Golf Club in order to tackle two of golf’s most important issues: environmental sustainability and participation growth.

Captured in an inspirational video shot during the SMBC Singapore Open, currently taking place over Sentosa’s World Top 100-ranked Serapong Course, the stars of the field also share their thoughts on the quality of the Serapong layout, recently voted the Asian Tour’s ‘Best Golf Course’.

Supported by the R&A and the Singapore Golf Association, #KeepItGreen is the opening activity in an unprecedented year for Sentosa. As well as the SMBC Singapore Open contested over the famed Serapong Course, Sentosa’s New Tanjong Course will stage the Women’s Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship from February 21-24, closely followed by the LPGA Tour’s HSBC Women’s Champions (March 1-4), as well as the Men’s Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship later this year (October 4-7).

As well as highlighting two of the game’s most important issues, the video references Sentosa’s unique collaboration with 2017 Asia Tour Order of Merit winner Gavin Green whereby, for every green in regulation he hits during this week’s tournament, the club will donate a tee time to local youngsters. Green’s efforts, which have so far amassed 11 tee times owing to a solid opening round of 71, will allow young golfers, who may not otherwise have had the chance, an opportunity to pick up the game and follow the footsteps of golfing superstars. The video also draws on the thoughts of 2017 Green Jacket winner, Sergio Garcia, who speaks of the inspirational role sport can play.

Watch and share the video at:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SentosaGolfClub
Twitter: www.twitter.com/sentosagolfclub

For more information about Sentosa Golf Club, visit: www.sentosagolf.com.

The Country Club at DC Ranch Announces $8.5 Million Dollar Expansion

More Luxury, More Lifestyle, Better Health

(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) – Known as North Scottsdale’s, premier family Golf and Country Club, The Country Club at DC Ranch has approved an $8.5 million-dollar updated facility and expansion. The expansion will include a new fitness center, group exercise rooms, golf fitness facility, a new resort style pool, a casual indoor dining room, poolside bar, new tween room, expanded kid’s playroom, expanded ladies lounge, a larger Clubhouse kitchen, and an enhanced golf practice area. The Country Club at DC Ranch is a year-round, social, family friendly Club focusing on all aspects of the Club lifestyle.  Social Activities play and integral role at the Country Club at DC Ranch which is renowned for its friendly and active membership base.

The Country Club at DC Ranch has set the bar for the highest quality lifestyle experience in the Valley, and this new expansion will help make the member experience the best in its class. The Club’s goal is to be a one stop shop for all the members, a place where they can do everything.

The Expansion will be broken down into 5 components:
- Health and Wellness-A 12,000 square foot new facility will be built including a fitness facility, group exercise rooms, locker rooms, and 2 children’s Kids Clubs.
- Casual Living-A new indoor casual dining room will allow for members to enjoy informal meals while relaxing next to the Club’s remodeled resort style pool with beach entry and poolside bar.  
- Golf-The Club will add a Teaching Center, an enhanced short game area, and an expanded practice area.
- Main Clubhouse updates: Within the Main Clubhouse there will be a new private dining room, and an expanded Ladies’ locker room.
- Expanded Kitchen-Creating more room for the Club’s talented chefs, 600 square feet will be added to the kitchen to provide more space for banquets, an additional line, and a pastry shop.

The Club has partnered with the award-winning Team at Phoenix Architecture who completed the Club’s first Expansion. Studio V, known as a leader in innovative, hospitality projects, has been chosen as the Interior Designer. Greey Picket will oversee the Landscape Architecture and Wespac will oversee Construction.

The Country Club at DC Ranch has a very modern approach to what a Country Club is.  The members are vested in the Club and passionate about helping shape its future.  President Ron Kruse noted that the DC Ranch leadership team views the enhancements essential in maintaining and growing member satisfaction, while attracting our next generation of members. General Manger/COO Kyle Draper says that “having the overwhelming support of the members on this second phase enhancement, clearly shows the member’s commitment to remain at the forefront as the premier Southwest Lifestyle Club in Scottsdale. He goes on to say that “this expansion is the next logical step by the Club to enhance its offerings with a greater commitment to meeting its mission of providing members and guests with an experience centered on fun, family and friendliness.”

The expansion not only benefits the members, but the Community and homeowners within DC Ranch as well.  For the Club it insures the growing needs of the members and future members, and for the Residents of DC Ranch it reinforces the value of the homes and continues to separate DC Ranch from other communities.

Over the course of The Club’s history the members and staff has prided themselves on creating a Club Culture known for its exceptional hospitality and welcoming atmosphere. The Country Club at DC Ranch has challenged itself to look past the conventional wisdom of Club industry in an effort to create the highest quality lifestyle experience in the market.

The ultimate goal is to maintain the extraordinary quality and service that members and their guests associate The Country Club at DC Ranch with, while providing facilities unlike anywhere else in the Valley. The new facility will allow The Club to provide more services, programs and activities, designed for every member young or senior.  

By application and approval, The Country Club will continue to offer Golf, Junior, Sports Social and Clubhouse memberships. Construction on the new facility will begin Summer of 2018. For more information, visit www.ccdcranch.com or contact info@ccdcranch.com or 480-342-7246.

Poconos Resort Celebrates 60 Years of Success with Special Weekend Celebration

Woodloch Pines Anticipates a Memorable Weekend in Honor of the Resort’s 60 Year Anniversary

(Hawley, PA) – Since it first opened in April of 1958, Woodloch Pines, an award-winning, all-inclusive resort located in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, has always stayed true to its mission “to treat each and every customer and guest as if they are company in our own homes.” This dedication to a tradition of hospitality and excellence has brought the family-owned and operated resort 60 years of success which they will be celebrating spring. During Anniversary Weekend, from April 20-22, Woodloch will host its “Diamond Jubilee” featuring a fun-filled weekend of memories and celebration.

The fairytale-like origin of Woodloch dates all the way back to 1939 when two high school sweethearts, Harry and Mary, made a life-long pact on a little-known lake, Lake Teedyuskung, in the dense forest in the Northern Pocono Mountains. After the couple wed, the stresses of the “1950’s New York rat race” became a burden on their young family. Mary often thought about the gorgeous lake from her younger days, but her thoughts were quickly consumed by the task of raising her three children. One fine day, Harry saw a for sale listing in the New York Times for a small resort on a private lake in Northeastern Pennsylvania. As fate would have it, the lake turned out to be Teedyuskung.

It was on that same lake from their childhood that Woodloch Pines first opened its doors. Nestled along 12 acres of shoreline with two cottages, a main lodge and no running water, a full-house was just 40 guests. This was Harry and Mary Kiesendahl’s home; all were welcome.

In the years that followed, the family resort grew. Harry and Mary’s oldest son, John, took the helm, and by 1983, the property encompassed 135 guest rooms and spanned 150 acres. John’s original vision for expansion evolved into what it is today – one of the premier independent resorts in America. Woodloch is comprised of an award-winning family resort (Woodloch Pines), championship golf course (Woodloch Springs) and sister property featuring a luxury destination spa (The Lodge at Woodloch) – all of which are spread across over 1,800 acres and can accommodate over 1,000 guests.

As President and C.E.O. of Woodloch, John continues to operate the company alongside his brother and five of his seven children. The family remains committed to Woodloch’s original mission, and this enduring dedication to guests is what truly sets Woodloch apart from other resorts. Voted by TripAdvisor as the number one hotel for families in America, Woodloch Pines has achieved incredible success over the years.

During Anniversary Weekend, Woodloch will celebrate its’ rich family history and unique story that sets it apart from many other resorts. Friday night will feature a cocktail party complete with open bar and hors d’oeuvres. On Saturday evening, a champagne toast and celebratory tribute to Woodloch’s 60 years of success will take place in the Pocono resort’s 700-seat nightclub. Guests can look forward to a number of other activities including:
- Contests such as the Scavenger Hunt and Family Olympics that have families going head-to-head for gold medals
- Dessert Wars where teams compete to create sweet masterpieces with limited time and resources
- Indoor pool, hot tubs, and Splash Zone featuring a double corkscrew super slide and “Superdome” water tower which sends 300 gallons of water splashing down every few minutes
- Some of the family resort’s most popular amenities such as a zip-line and climbing wall, go-karts, bumper cars, and a Broadway-style theme show

“We feel amazingly blessed to celebrate 60 years of operation. Not many family businesses can claim that honor. We are eternally grateful to our guests, many of whom return year after year and are extremely loyal to the Woodloch brand. We could not do it without them or without our incredible team of staff members. We are very excited to celebrate alongside those who are so important to us during Anniversary Weekend,” remarked Kiesendahl.

Anniversary Weekend rates start at $201 per adult, per night. To obtain more information or to book a stay, visit www.woodloch.com or call 1-800-Woodloch.

Getting to Know: Jay Blasi, Golf Course Architect

American Golfer: When did you start playing golf?
Jay Blasi: Believe it or not, I started golfing about the same time I started walking. My dad was a teacher and in the summer he would work on a grounds crew. When my parents bought their first house, he built a putting green in the backyard. So I was putting as a toddler and playing golf by 3-4.

AG: Why did you choose a career in golf course design?
JB: I fell in love with golf early. I would play as much as possible, not only at local courses but on family trips and of in the backyard. From a very young age, maybe 5-6, I started doodling golf holes. Our family took a lot of road trips and I would spend the entire time just looking out the window and picturing golf holes in the rolling fields. In reality, golf design is all I have ever really wanted to do. So choosing the field was easy, establishing a career in golf design was the hard part.

AG: In your opinion, have any design trends hurt the game?
JB: I believe there are many industry trends that don’t benefit the game. Things like housing development courses, tour courses on TV, golf carts, landscaping, etc. Most of these elements have forced other courses to do things to compete that add to costs but don’t add to enjoyment. So my hope is that as we move forward the focus will be on the golf and the strategy and not on housing, landscaping, unrealistic conditioning, 8,000 yd length, etc.

As for design, I feel there is value in different design ideas. Right now there are courses being designed that I believe will be cherished as they are (or close to it) a hundred years from now. There are also courses being designed today that I believe will be blown up or completely redone 20-30 years from now. Having different looks, strategies, construction methods, etc., is what spurs growth and innovation. Over time the bad ideas will be seen for what they are and hopefully corrections will be made.

AG: How can we grow the game of golf?
JB: I’m not sure that the game of golf needs to grow. The game of golf is a big enterprise with lots of stakeholders and many of them are doing fine (i.e. club and ball makers, tv, pr companies, etc.). I would love to see more people have a chance to experience the aspects of the game that I find so rewarding. Things like the natural beauty of a golf course, the healthy aspects of walking, the people skills gained from caddying, the friendship and competition of a match, etc. In my opinion we have two big barriers to entry; cost and time.

In my opinion, if we followed the Scots or Australians and focused more on the important parts of the game we could reduce the barriers to entry and perhaps expose more people to the best of the game. We can do this by eliminating the unnecessary elements of golf (carts, 8,000-yard courses, landscaping, overwatering, etc).

AG: Do you have a specific design philosophy?
JB: NATURAL. STRATEGIC. DYNAMIC. FUN
I love golf courses that embrace and highlight the unique features of a site.
I love golf courses that provide different options for how to attack a hole and make players think.
I love golf courses with a great deal of variety.
I love golf courses where the joy exceeds the pain.

Perhaps as important as what I believe in, is that which I oppose.
ARTIFICIAL. PENAL. REPETITIVE. HARD

AG: Of all the holes you have designed, do you have a favorite (why)?
JB:The honest answer is no. Think of golf holes like your children. You like them differently but one isn’t your favorite. Some holes you like because of the design and how they play, other holes you may like because of the challenges you overcame in construction and others you might like because of events that take place there.

I will offer up three holes that I’m proud of ... A par 3, 4 and 5.

PAR 3 = Hole 17 – Santa Ana Country Club (54-131 YDS)
The hole is a short par 3 to an undulating green surrounded by bunkers. Players should have a wedge or sand wedge in their hands so they will be tempted to be aggressive. The green has three sections and finding the right one will allow for a great birdie chance. Missing the section where the flag is will leave a difficult two putt or recovery. I’m proud of the hole because we set out to craft a hole in which players can be aggressive or conservative and a hole where both eagles and double bogeys occur and that is certainly the case.

PAR 4 = Hole 16 – Chambers Bay (245-415 YDS)
This is one of my favorites for a number of reasons. I believe the hole is beautiful and feels very natural even though it is entirely manufactured and required massive amounts of earthmoving. I believe the hole is full of strategic options. There are numerous tees and each offer a different length and angle making the hole play very different day to day. I’ve seen top players drive the green on one day and hit driver, 4-iron on other days. The green design dictates the strategy. Depending on the hole location, players may want to lay back or go for it. The right side of the fairway is the better approach angle but it is guarded by a long waste bunker. The left side looks inviting off the tee but is a very tough approach. I’m proud of the hole because in 2004, prior to construction, I dreamed of how this hole might look and play in a US Open. In 2015, I was there to watch Jordan Spieth make a dramatic putt that eventually propelled him to victory.
** Designed while serving as Project Architect for Robert Trent Jones II, LLC **

PAR 5 = Hole 10 SentryWorld (488-611 YDS)
The 10th hole at SentryWorld is a long par 5 that moves from right to left off the tee and then from left to right at the green. A three shot par five that provides plenty of options at each level. The course was opened in the 1980’s but I redesigned the layout in 2013. One of the goals of the redesign was to eliminate some awkward holes. Holes 1 and 2 of the course were each OK, but very tough. The new 10th is essentially a combination of the old 1 and 2. You tee off from near the old 1 tee and finish at the old 2 green. By combining these holes, it opened up the routing at the far end of the property and allowed for some new holes to be created. I’m proud of the 10th hole because it achieved our goal of embracing the past, while eliminating poor holes and adding new holes.
** Designed while working in collaboration w/ Robert Trent Jones II, LLC **

AG: What is your “dream foursome” (living, dead, golfer, non-golfer)?
JB: I’m fortunate to get to play golf with my dad, brother and uncle and if I had one round left that is who I would want to play it with.
As for a “dream foursome” I will go with …
- Alister MacKenzie
- Bobby Jones
- Bobby Kennedy

AG: Is there a “bucket list” location in/on which to design?
JB: There are many. I’ve been very fortunate to work on special properties like Chambers Bay and The Patriot. But I’ve never had the opportunity to work on a piece of land where the natural landforms are ideal for golf and the task is to “find the holes.” Any property like that would be ideal.
Below is a list of places I’d love to work:
- Anywhere with sandy soils
- Australia / New Zealand
- Germany/ Northern Europe (my wife is from Germany)
- California Coast
- Wisconsin / Michigan
- Scotland / Ireland
- Cabo

AG: What is the future of golf course design?
JB: The million dollar question. I believe that because the world is a big place and each property / project is different there is no one size fits all answer. I believe the current situation of mainly renovation / restoration / remodel with a few high end destination courses will continue. I think you will see contraction. I think you will see more “short courses or alternative courses”.  I think hands on design as opposed to plan & contractor design will continue to be more popular. And I think water will be the biggest question for the future of golf.

For more information, visit jayblasi.com.

Troon Selected to Manage Fairwood Golf & Country Club in Renton, Washington

(Scottsdale, Ariz.) – Troon, the leader in golf club management, development, and marketing, has been selected to manage Fairwood Golf & Country Club in Renton, Wash. Located 19 miles southeast of downtown Seattle, Fairwood will be managed by Troon Privé, the private club operating division of Troon.

The centerpiece of Fairwood Golf & Country Club is an 18-hole, Bill Teufel-designed golf course. The tree-lined, par 71 course opened in 1967 and is lauded by members and guests for being fun to play, having smooth and fast greens and consistent great pace of play. The accompanying practice facility, with a large range, huge practice green and short game area, is perfect for members who are focused on improving their game.

Fairwood’s new state-of-the-art fitness center is spacious and offers everything from weight training and cardio machines to group fitness and yoga classes. The fitness center’s pool complex is the newest and largest in Washington State and provides members of all ages with a first-class recreational and competitive sport amenity. Members enjoy the heated eight-lane, junior Olympic-sized pool for lap swims, open family swims and competitions. There’s also a separate kiddie pool for toddlers. The Fairwood Barracudas swim team program focuses on skill development and competition training.

Fairwood Golf & Country Club’s newly remodeled and well-appointed clubhouse offers contemporary amenities. The thoughtful redesign and improved layout of the clubhouse have made it a popular spot for special events and member gatherings. Large floor-to-ceiling windows allow natural light to fill the building, while providing beautiful views of Pacific Northwest greenery and the golf course.

“Fairwood has everything you’d ever want in a country club,” said Bill O’Brien, vice president, Troon Privé. “The golf course is spectacular, the amenities are outstanding and the social aspects are phenomenal. We’re excited to be working with the Fairwood members and welcome them to the Troon Privé family of clubs.”

Food and beverage options at Fairwood include multiple outlets for dining, banquets and intimate gatherings.  The Club’s menu is regionally inspired and incorporates local and healthy cuisine options, as well as many traditional favorites.  Dining spaces are accommodating for families, and also set up well for big game viewing.

“The members at our club are very excited about our new partnership with Troon Privé,” said Chris Sakaguchi, club president, Fairwood Golf & Country Club. “Troon will bring expertise in all areas of club management with a focus on service quality and consistency. The most important aspect of our partnership is that our club’s culture and member authority are fully maintained.”

For more information on Fairwood Golf & Country Club, visit www.fairwood.org or call 425-226-9700.

For additional news and information, visit www.Troon.com.

Friday, January 19, 2018

PerryGolf Announces Redesign of Website and The “$10,000 Tour for Two” Sweepstakes

(WILMINGTON, NC) – PerryGolf has announced the redesign of its website, www.PerryGolf.com, and its new QUICK QUOTES online trip calculator. To encourage new visitors to the site, the international golf travel Company is holding a sweepstakes to give away a pair of $10,000 golf vacations.

PerryGolf is a leading provider of golf tours and cruises to dozens of the world’s most memorable destinations.  PerryGolf arranges all aspects of travel for groups of men, women and couples including tee times, lodging, local transportation and airfare. The Company offers VIP Golf Coaches with Concierge Drivers for groups of 8 and 12 in the British Isles.

PerryGolf’s new website is highlighted by QUICK QUOTES, the industry’s only true online trip calculator.  QUICK QUOTES features dozens of PerryGolf’s most popular custom tours. Each itinerary has been pre-configured needing only your group size and travel dates to produce an instantaneous quotation.

“Virtually everyone considering a custom tour like ours will begin by researching their options online. We did a complete redesign with that visitor in mind who particularly appreciates being able to get a price before they engage a sales agent.” said PerryGolf co-founder Gordon Dalgleish. “It’s quick.  It’s simple. Visitors to our new site will be impressed.”

From January 15 to February 28, 2018, visitors who generate a QUICK QUOTE will automatically be entered in the  sweepstakes for a $10,000 golf trip to any of the eleven destinations where the Company offers Custom Tours. A second $10,000 Tour for Two sweepstakes will follow the first.

“Instead of choosing the destination for this giveaway, we will let the winner pick the tour of his choice,” said Dalgleish. “He or she will have the pleasure of selecting one of the great itineraries in place for Scotland, Wales, Italy, Spain France, Australia and more!”

The “$10,000 Tour for Two” prize is a travel credit for a Custom Tour booked directly with PerryGolf to any of our eleven destinations as presented at PerryGolf.com. It has no cash value. The trip must be completed by December 31, 2020. One hundred semifinalists will be randomly drawn first on or about March 5, 2018 and posted to PerryGolf – The Blog. The prize winner will be randomly drawn from the semifinalists on or about March 9, 2018.  No purchase is necessary to enter or claim prize. The official rules for the “$10,000 Tour for Two” Sweepstakes can be found on the PerryGolf website.

PerryGolf was founded in 1984 by two Scottish brothers, Colin and Gordon Dalgleish; and is widely known today as one of the leading providers of golf vacations to The Old Course at St Andrews Links.

Those interested in international golf travel are encouraged to visit www.PerryGolf.com.