Saturday, April 25, 2015

Titleist is No. 1 Ball at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans

(RELEASE) - Despite some wet weather on the bayou, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans is under way and the scoreboard is lighting up as many of the world's best players are taking it low at TPC Louisiana.

One player who got of to a fast start was Titleist Brand Ambassador Brendon De Jonge, who equaled the low round of the day on Thursday with a bogey-free, 8-under 64.  After a 78-minute rain delay, De Jonge was able to attack the 7,425-yard Pete Dye layout by hitting fairways and firing right at pins.

“Yeah, it got a little tricky after the rain,” De Jonge explained, “and it got muddy out there. But still the course was there for the taking.”

Pro V1x loyalist David Hearn also took advantage of the conditions, shooting a 7-under 65.

“I hit it on a lot of fairways and gave myself a lot of chances from there. Even though it's generous off the tee, you have to put yourself in good spots.  You can't be in the rough out there.”

Considering the opening-round scores and the prospect of continued soft conditions, fans could be treated to a shootout this weekend in the Big Easy. And to go low, the vast majority of players will be teeing up a Titleist golf ball.

A total of 103 players in this week's field are playing a Pro V1 or Pro V1x, more than five times the nearest competitor with 20 and more than all competitors combined.

Titleist is also No. 1 in the sand, lob and approach wedges category (164) as well as putters (55).

Sunice Outfits Brooke Henderson and Family

(Montreal, Canada) - Conrad Tappert, President of Sunice was bursting with pride when he announced that Canadian golf phenomenon Brooke Henderson had signed a multi-year agreement to wear Sunice golf gear.

"Not only is Brooke an awesome golfer: 14-victories worldwide including the individual title at the 2014 Women's World Team Championship, runner-up at the 2014 U.S. Women's Amateur and a top ten finish at last year's U.S. Women's Open; she is a really charming person with a close-knit family," said Tappert.

"When we met Brooke for the first time, she was with her dad and her sister Brittany, who is also an incredible golfer.  We quickly realized that the whole family was really like a golf team so we decided to outfit all of them," added Tappert.

"When it comes to golf, I guess I am not your typical 17-year old but when it comes to my family, I most certainly am. I am so happy and grateful to have their support each and every day.  Now, thanks to Sunice, we all look really good too," said Henderson with a chuckle.

Since turning pro in December, Henderson has been playing almost non-stop and this will continue throughout 2015 as she participates in a wide variety of events that include a mix of LPGA, Symetra and mini-tour events.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Tiger Woods and Nike Inspire Young Athletes in China

Tiger Woods and Yao Ming Team Up in China
Globally recognized athlete Tiger Woods visits Shanghai
(RELEASE) - In his second visit to China with Nike in five years, Tiger Woods spent the day at the Nike campus in Shanghai meeting with employees, young golf athletes and legendary basketball star Yao Ming.

“It’s great to be back in China once again with Nike. The enthusiasm I’ve seen here is infectious and it was great to speak to so many Chinese golf fans,” said Woods. “There are a lot of young and talented athletes here with huge potential to bring golf in China to the next level.”

Woods connected with Shanghai native Yao on their shared love for the game of golf. Yao, an eight-time NBA All-Star and current owner of the Shanghai Knights basketball team, is a passionate golfer.

“It is a great honor to meet Tiger in person and to share our experiences in sport to encourage young athletes to pursue their dreams,” said Yao. “Hopefully we inspired and motivated kids to challenge themselves and push the limits to accomplish their ultimate goals.”

Woods also spent time instructing approximately 40 junior golfers, providing insights on different aspects of the game. Nike had converted its campus football pitch into a small golf course for the day. Woods judged the Vapor City Challenge Final contest, a regional contest, and personally presented one individual and three team awards for driving distance, chipping and putting accuracy.

After Shanghai, Woods will visit Tokyo on April 26 for the second leg of his tour in Asia.

Product Review: Garmin Approach S5

I’ve gone back and forth in the debate over using GPS or laser rangefinders for determining distances. GPS often gives you helpful readouts on front, center and back of greens, while rangefinders get you an exact measurement to the pin or any other object you care to shoot.

Choose Course
Well, thanks to the Garmin Approach S5, GPS may have taken the lead in this personal battle.

For starters, the Approach S5 is a watch ... meaning it’s always with you. No more rummaging through your golf bag or running to the cart for a device. And you’re not going to accidentally leave it behind.

Basic information you’ll find on the S5 includes the time and date (remember, it’s a watch), the aforementioned distances to the front, middle and back of the greens, and layup and dogleg yardages. If you know the location of the pin, you can set it more precisely.

What else can you do with the S5? A lot, actually. How about measuring a shot? Select the “tape measure” button after hitting a shot and walk directly to your ball.

You can keep score, too, but stat geeks want more. The Approach S5 does more. In addition to strokes taken, you can also track putting and driving accuracy - in the fairway or missed left/right.

Green View
Cool, but you want still more. How about synching your Approach S5 with a compatible smartphone? When your phone receives messages, it sends a notification to your S5.

Lastly, sign up for a free account and store your stats with Garmin Connect. Check it out at www.garminconnect.com/golf.

The basic usage is as simple as can be. Once the satellite located the course I was playing, yardages were displayed clearly and accurately. I’d compare as I walked by marked sprinkler heads. Utilizing everything else, of course, takes a little effort.

Bottom line - the Garmin Approach S5 is easy to use and unobtrusive. Whether you only want to know the distance to the center of the green or feel the need to dig deeper into statistics, it’s time to strap one to your wrist and hit the course.

The Approach S5 retails for $349.99. Learn more or purchase HERE.

Rockwind Community Links Set to Debut with PGA TOUR Star Fred Couples

New Municipal Course a Trailblazer in Uniting Golf with Community

(Hobbs, New Mexico) — Fred Couples, a Hall of Fame professional golfer and former three-time captain of the Presidents Cup U.S. team, will be on hand to celebrate the May 18 official grand opening of the City of Hobbs’ new Rockwind Community Links.  An exciting day of activities with Couples is planned to mark the occasion.

“We are most fortunate to have Fred Couples join us for our grand opening celebration,” said Hobbs City Manager J.J. Murphy.  “Fred is admired not only for his impressive playing record but also as a gracious competitor, role model and approachable personality.  This will be a memorable day for Hobbs.”

The highly anticipated municipal facility includes a championship 18-hole course, a 9-hole par-3 circuit and expansive practice facilities all designed by Scottsdale, Arizona, architect Andy Staples, ASGCA.  Embracing the name “Community Links,” a concept introduced by Staples, the focus of the entire project was to link the golf course to the fabric of life in Hobbs.  Rockwind Community Links provides a welcoming environment to bring families, kids and new golfers of all ages together via the game of golf.

Couples, who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2013, has enjoyed a distinguished career.  He earned 15 PGA TOUR victories, won the Masters in 1992 and to date has claimed 11 Champions Tour titles.  Couples also played on five Ryder Cup teams and four Presidents Cup squads.

An evergreen fan favorite, Couples is noted for his seemingly effortless swing, booming drives and easy-going manner.  He learned to play golf at a Seattle municipal course and so his participation in the Rockwind Community Links opening is a meaningful connection. Following a ribbon-cutting and ceremonial drive, Couples will join groups in the invitational golf tournament to hit shots, pose for photographs and present awards afterwards.

The City of Hobbs is marketing teams of four golfers to play in the official grand opening tournament on May 18 with Fred Couples.  The cost of a foursome is $1,000 and no individual playing spots will be sold.  Lunch and an awards reception with Couples are part of the package. Pre-paid reservations for groups may be made through Rockwind Community Links starting on April 30 by calling (575) 397-9297.  Tournament e-mail inquiries should be sent to Linda Howell at lhowell@hobbsnm.org.

The public will be able to book tee times online at www.rockwindgolfcourse.com or by calling the golf pro shop at (575) 397-9297.

GolfTEC Offering Special Rates on High-Tech Swing Evaluations through May

World’s Leading Golf Lessons Provider Helping All Players Start 2015 Season Strong

(Centennial, Colo) – GolfTEC – the world leader in golf lessons – announces that all improvement  centers across the U.S. and Canada are offering discounted Swing Evaluations now through the end of May at a special $95 rate. The hour long sessions include video analysis, motion measurement, a fact-based diagnosis and a lesson plan to follow.

During these 60-minute sessions GolfTEC’s Certified Personal Coaches use the company’s patented g-SWING technology to quantify each student’s swing and compare it to Tour averages. This data is used to build a personalized Game Plan that will address the changes needed to help golfers of all skill levels achieve longer, straighter shots and lower scores. More information on Swing Evaluations is available at www.golftec.com/95swingeval.

“Our in-depth swing analysis is the perfect way to get started on the right foot this season, as it sets the table for improved play in all areas,” says Joe Assell, Co-Founder and CEO at GolfTEC. “This special offer is the perfect opportunity for golfers to discover the first-class facilities, technology and coaching staff offered at GolfTEC locations worldwide.”

GolfTEC lessons and Swing Evaluations are taught one-on-one in private, indoor bays that utilize proprietary teaching technology. Highly efficient and boasting a 96 percent success rate, GolfTEC’s Game Plans help golfer of all abilities maximize on-course performance and enjoyment.

Developing a comprehensive improvement plan for each student is the foundation of GolfTEC’s philosophy. All the Game Plans include a TECfit club fitting combined with outside short-game and on-course lessons.

The renowned coaching staff is comprised of experienced professionals, most of whom have taught thousands of lessons. Each goes through a rigorous multi-week certification at GolfTEC University including continued advanced training to master the analysis of golf mechanics, the technology of the GolfTEC system and the most productive teaching techniques. Committed to strengthening the industry and hiring only the best staff, GolfTEC is the largest employer of PGA Professionals in the world.

To learn more about the $95 Swing Evaluation promotion, visit www.golftec.com/95swingeval or call 877-446-5383.

Golf Channel Hosts 'Selection Monday' Show to Set Field for Newly Formatted World Golf

Group Selections Will Be Drawn Live on Golf Channel During 90-Minute Special, Including Player Reaction from Host Course TPC Harding Park in San Francisco

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – The new player selection process determining the groupings that will complete the competition bracket for the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Match Play will be showcased live on a Golf Central Special airing April 27 at Noon ET, on Golf Channel.

The 90-minute “Selection Monday” show will originate from Studio A at Golf Channel’s world headquarters in Orlando, Fla., and will be hosted by Ryan Burr, with analysis provided by analyst Tripp Isenhour and Golf Channel Insider Tim Rosaforte. Todd Lewis will be reporting with player reaction from the site of the WGC-Cadillac Match Play, TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

Also joining in studio will be PGA TOUR rules official John Lillvis, who will officially oversee the process to determine the groupings. The new format this year will assign the top seed for each of the 16 four-player groups based on the top 16 players in order of their position in the Official World Golf Ranking. The remaining three players in each group will be determined by a blind draw from each of three pools depending on their standing in the OWGR (17-32, 33-48 and 49-64). Each group will play round-robin matches within their group Wednesday through Friday. The player with the best record in each group advances to the Round of 16 for single-elimination match play.

Following the telecast at 1:30 p.m. ET, viewers can log on to www.GolfChannel.com for further analysis and discussion of the groupings with editor Jay Coffin and staff writer Ryan Lavner on Monday Scramble, a new, weekly digital program. Burr, Isenhour and Rosaforte will drop in for a segment, as will staff writer Will Gray. The team also will break down the week’s past action in golf, including the PGA TOUR’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Golf Channel’s social media platforms will be reporting news, insights and updates all week surrounding the WGC-Cadillac Match Play via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Fans will have access to the latest information from the group announcements on Monday to the final 16 on Friday, and the crowning of a Match Play Champion on Sunday.  Handles to follow for the week include @GolfChannel, @GolfCentral, @GCTigerTracker, Facebook.com/GolfChannel, Instagram.com/GolfChannel.

Golf Channel and NBC will feature more than 30 live hours of the WGC-Cadillac Championship, with much of the coverage airing in primetime. On Saturday, May 2, NBC’s coverage of the Kentucky Derby will lead directly into the Quarterfinal matches, beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.