Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Product Review: Golfballs.com

With a name like Golfballs.com, one would assume there’d be plenty of golf balls for sale. But did you know you could also shop for clubs, apparel, golf shoes, bags, accessories and much more? In addition, you can personalize (logo, image, name, etc.) balls, shirts, hats, tees, gloves, umbrellas and more. The possibilities are staggering.

But let’s focus on the golf balls. Within a week of e-mailing a high-resolution image of the American Golfer logo to Golfballs.com, a dozen Bridgestone B330-RX balls arrived on our doorstep. Amazing. In addition, the packaging bore our logo. Can you imagine a better way to promote a business than passing out terrific golf balls with your logo on them and the box? Every shot on the course will be a reminder of your business ... and generosity.

History
Originating in 1995, initially selling only used golf balls, Golfballs.com has grown over the years into one of the leading golf Internet retailers on the Internet. With a strong focus on customized products, the company no longer carries used golf balls, instead offering a complete selection of new golf balls, caps, shoes, bags, clubs and more from the industry’s top manufacturers like Titleist and Bridgestone. From its office in Lafayette, La., Golfballs.com now ships worldwide.

Personalization
In addition to the logo option (a personal favorite), personalization opportunities include adding up to three lines of text, a photo, monogram (choose from two unique designs) or their novelty section, which offers a library of more than 1,000 images in more than 50 categories.

Golfballs.com offers a fast, easy and extremely useful way to promote a business or make someone’s holiday a little more personal. Chances are, the golfer on your shopping list will receive a dozen balls this year. That gift can leave a lasting impression with just one visit to www.golfballs.com.

ANNIKA Academy Announces Golf Instruction Holiday Sale

Purchase Between November 28 and December 21 to Receive 20% off Three-Day Programs

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – The ANNIKA Academy – Hall-of-Fame golfer Annika Sorenstam’s boutique golf instruction and fitness school – announces Holiday pricing 20% off its core, three-day golf instruction programs.

The special applies to “Player’s,” “Championship,” “Platinum,” “Major” and “Soren-Slam” programs purchased between November 28 (“Black Friday”) and December 21, 2014. Regular rates begin at $1,900 per person.

All feature a maximum guest-to-instructor ratio of 4:1 ensuring an environment optimized to learning Annika’s “Winning Approach.” The Academy’s hand-picked instruction team is headlined by Annika’s sister, LPGA winner and 1993 NCAA Champion, Charlotta Sorenstam, and Henri Reis, her only swing coach since she was 10 years old.

Moreover, the Platinum, Major and Soren-Slam programs offer opportunities to interact with, and even learn directly from, Annika.

“Everything we teach at the Academy is influenced by the plan Annika devised and followed to become a 10-time major champion and eight-time Rolex Player of the Year,” says Mike Pryor, the Academy’s Director of Golf. “Her emphasis on swing fundamentals, fitness, nutrition, course management and mental toughness is incorporated in a curriculum designed to help you reach your full potential.”

Full-swing and short-game instruction, a special gift package from Annika, full-service breakfast and lunch, fitness and nutritional overview, personalized workout program, video swing analysis, club fitting, course management strategy, and golf on Reunion’s three acclaimed 18-hole layouts are some of the featured program elements.

Details specific to each program are available here: http://theannikaacademy.com/annika-academy-golf-programs/. Accommodations for out-of-town guests may also be arranged with Reunion Resort.

For more information and pricing: TheTeam@TheAnnikaAcademy.com, 888.266.4522.

Full Swing Golf Launches Customer Photo Contest

(SAN DIEGO, CA) - San Diego-based Golf simulator maker, Full Swing Golf, announced it has launched an exciting new customer photo contest. Customers can take photos of their Full Swing Golf simulator and win huge prizes.

"We're very excited about our customer photo contest. So far, response has been fantastic," says Chad Coleman, vice president of sales and marketing at Full Swing Golf. "Our installers and customers work so hard to create a beautiful and functional golf simulator space in their homes or businesses, and now is their chance to show them off. Full Swing Golf customers tell our story so well, and it's fun to see how much they love their sims. Selected finalists will be able to increase their chances of winning by promoting their entry on social networks. I expect that by the time this contest has wrapped up, our customers will have enjoyed sharing their spaces with us and each other, and we'll have some gorgeous new photos to share with the world. It's the first contest of its kind in our industry, and we're proud to change the way we think and connect, yet again."

The contest began November 10 and runs through November 28. Finalists will be selected December 1-3, and those photos will be uploaded to voting social platforms on December 4. Voting will take place December 4-21, and winners will be announced December 23.

The Grand Prize Winner receives $10,000 in Full Swing Golf credit, while the 2nd place finisher receives $3000 in Full Swing Golf credit, and the 3rd place finisher receives $2,000 in Full Swing Golf credit.

"We believe that the best storytellers of the Full Swing Golf experience are our clients, and we're looking for amazing new images to represent us," says Coleman. "We invite customers to work with amateur, semi pro, or professional photographers, if need be. And they can submit up to five pictures of their simulator room with the simulator as the centerpiece. If your picture is selected as a finalist by the Full Swing team, then judging takes place on several social media platforms. Your friends decide if you win! Simply share your entry with everyone you can and have them vote via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, web and mobile devices, or by texting to vote. The photo with the most votes wins the grand prize."

Visit http://www.fullswinggolf.com/photocontest/ for contest details and rules.

Manchester CC Hires Director of Agronomy

Seasoned Veteran Oversaw Numerous Golf Properties with PGA and LPGA TOUR Events

(Scottsdale, Az.) – Implementing and maintaining a structured game plan that produces pristine playing conditions at a private golf club throughout the year is what every member expects. Recently, Manchester Country Club in New Hampshire hired a new Director of Agronomy and he happens to be one of the industry’s finest purveyors of golf course maintenance.

With nearly 20 years of experience as a Golf Course Superintendent and Director of Agronomy at some of the country’s finest golf properties, Daniel Weitzel arrives in Bedford, New Hampshire with a clear vision to further elevate the stature of one of the East Coast’s most reputable private country clubs.
Prior to his post at Manchester CC, Weitzel spent two years as Director of Agronomy for Carl M Freeman Golf Properties in Ocean View, Delaware overseeing 81 holes of golf at three separate locations. He was also instrumental in the recertification of the golf courses with the local Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program.

“Manchester Country Club has such a sterling reputation throughout the region and I am truly honored and thrilled to be joining an administrative staff and membership body that is unequaled in New Hampshire,” said Weitzel, a graduate of Penn State University with a B.S. in Turfgrass Science.

From 2010 – 2012, Weitzel was Director of Agronomy at Seaview Golf Resort in Galloway, New Jersey, home of the LPGA’s ShopRite Classic tournament.

“Working with the professional golf tours provides such invaluable lessons in how to set up a golf course differently from day to day, but also how to effectively prepare a course to achieve optimum playing conditions for the players. The same holds true for members at private country clubs. They also expect the very best and deservedly so,” added Weitzel. Weitzel was also Director of Agronomy at Caledonia Country Club in Hornell, New York and Head Superintendent at Towanda Country Club in Wysox, Pennsylvania along with Honey Run Golf Club and Hawk Lake GC in York, Pennsylvania. “Daniel brings a wealth of experience to our Club and our entire membership will soon realize that we have one of the best in the business caring for our facility day in and day out. I couldn’t be happier to have Daniel on staff with us at Manchester Country Club,” said Brian Kelley, general manager of Manchester CC.

Last year, Manchester Country Club completed an $8 million renovation project that included restoration of MCC’s existing historic Clubhouse. The refurbished Clubhouse now offers members and their guests with a magnificent venue for weddings and special events and a premier New England country club outfitted with unsurpassed amenities. In 2013, Golf Inc. Magazine nominated the Clubhouse at Manchester Country Club for its “Clubhouse of the Year” honor after its most recent renovation.

For more information on Manchester Country Club, call (603) 624-4096 or visit www.manchestercountryclub.com.

GCAA Interviews Inaugural Big Break Invitational Champion Jay Woodson

The Golf Coaches Association of America interviewed multi-time SwingThought.com Tour winner, three-time consecutive Virginia State Open Champion, Inaugural Big Break Invitational Champion, and James Madison alum Jay Woodson.

The interview can be found on GCAA website at www.collegiategolf.com or the direct link: http://collegiategolf.com/news/a-gcaa-qaa-with-swingthoughtcom-tour-member-jay-woodson-2098.html

Here's an excerpt:
The Golf Coaches Association of America, in cooperation with its long-time corporate partner, the SwingThought.com Tour, will feature a monthly Q&A with former collegians who are currently playing or have played on the SwingThought.com tour. Long considered the premier developmental tour in the United States, thousands of former college players have started their professional careers there. More than 250 SwingThought.com Tour alumni have or continue to play on the PGA TOUR.

This month we spoke with Jay Woodson, a current SwingThought.com Tour member. Woodson was a All-Conference player at James Madison, and also appeared on the Big Break and recently won the inaguaral Big Break Invitational.

Q: Earlier this fall you competed in and won the Big Break Invitational at Reynolds Plantation. What was it like playing in the inaugural event?

Woodson: It was such a fun event! It featured a slightly different format! Two rounds of Stableford, followed by match play, and then ending with stroke play. We basically had two cuts which raised the stress level a bit! The Great Waters course at Reynolds was in such perfect shape. Excited to come back next year and defend my title!

Q: You were also a competitor on Big Break Mexico in 2013. How does the Big Break experience compare to other tournament golf?

Woodson: The Big Break show really tests your patience. The days are very long! They try to film a show a day so it’s tough to get into a rhythm when have to wait your turn to compete in a challenge! That's what makes the show fun to watch! You have to perform when it’s your turn or you go home! It is certainly pressure packed!

Q: You were also victorious in your third straight Virginia Open earlier this year. What is it about that event that brings out the best in you?

Woodson: I really love that event! I take pride in winning the only "Open" in my home state of Virginia. The tournament is very well run and it doesn't hurt that I really like the courses they have played the last three years!

Q: You were a three-time all-conference collegiate golfer at James Madison. What were some of your best experiences while playing in college?

Woodson: I really loved being part of a team. We had such a close group. There is nothing better than having a group of individuals working as unit towards one goal!

Q: How would you compare the college golf experience to that of a professional golfer?

Woodson: I think obviously one of the biggest things is getting used to playing for money and finding a way to not think about it while you play. Golf is the same game when you’re an amateur or a professional. As long as you can focus on your own game and what you can control the rest will take care of itself.

Q: What experiences as a student, outside of golf, do you think helped prepare you for life as a professional golfer?

Woodson: I think one of the biggest things that helped me was making sure I always went to class. That discipline carried over into my golf game. Knowing how to manage my time with class work has helped with my practice management when I’m on the road at tournaments.

Q: You were also an All-State High School Quarterback/Defensive Back while growing up in Virginia. How did you decide that you were going to pursue golf in college instead of football?

Woodson: I knew I wanted to be a professional athlete and I felt I had a better chance with golf than with football. Getting hit by 300 pound defensive lineman didn't sound like too much fun either!

Q: What do you enjoy most about playing professionally on the SwingTought.com Tour?

Woodson: I love how well the tournaments are run. It’s a week-long event with Pro Ams and a real professional feel. They have great guys working for the tour which makes each event a fun place to be.

Q: What has been your favorite event to play on the SwingThought.com Tour?

Woodson: Too difficult to pick one! Played so many great courses and met so many great people over the years. I obviously love all the courses where I have won, the most recent being Three Ridges in Knoxville TN.

Q: What advice would you have for young golfers looking to start a professional career?

Woodson: Keep it Simple! Focus on your game and what makes you play well. Don’t worry so much about what other guys are doing! There are a lot of ways to get the job done.

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Completes Major Renovation

New Changes Improve Playability for Leisure Players While Maintaining the Challenge for Advanced Golfers

(Maricopa, Ariz.) – Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club, named among the “Top 100 Courses You Can Play” by Golf Magazine, has unveiled exciting new improvements after a major renovation  project that has improved the playability of the course while maintaining the challenges and shot-values enjoyed by experienced golfers.

The enhancements included a complete bunker renovation, additional tee boxes, expanded landing areas, and other design improvements on several holes. Among the most celebrated changes is the new hybrid practice facility, which serves as a six-hole short course called #miniDunes in the afternoon and a traditional driving range during peak times of the day. The driving range was completely renovated with the addition of six tees and six target greens built to USGA specifications. The name #miniDunes embraces a theme to appeal to a younger audience by being among the first golf courses to incorporate a hashtag in its name.

“#mini Dunes will serve as our laboratory to grow the game,” stated Brady Wilson, general manager, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club. “We are going to use this facility to introduce new golfers, both young and old, to the game of golf.”

To ensure the integrity of the award-winning design at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, original course architects of Schmidt-Curley Design was brought in to lead the project. In all, 83,000 square feet of bunkers were removed from the course's original total of 480,000 square feet. Major improvements also include significant turf expansion between many of the forward tees to eliminate unnecessary forced carries for those choosing to "tee it forward" or are still learning to consistently hit shots in the air.

Additional enhancements included re-vegetation of native grasses and many transitions between bunker edges and native desert. A new back tee was added on No. 1 (a change made with the experienced golfer in mind) while new forward tees were added on holes 6, 8, 12, 15 and 17. Improvements on No. 17 also include a nearly full-redesign with an expansion of the green, reshaping of a large dune to open sightlines to the hole, and changes to the bunker complex around the green.

The changes at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes make a major statement in the industry by taking action to make the golf experience more enjoyable for a broader range of golfers and creating an environment suited for juniors and players who are new to the game. The course is ideally suited to appeal to both resort-style play and competitive tournaments.

The Arizona Golf Association recently re-rated the rating/slope of the course, determining that the “tips” received a more difficult rating/slope, the “black tees” remained the same and “gold, blue and white tees” received a lower course rating/slope.

“These new ratings confirmed what we set out to do at the onset of the project – to make the golf course more playable for the average player, while maintaining and increasing our championship pedigree,” said Wilson.

For more information on Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club, visit www.golfsoutherndunes.com
The Ak-Chin Indian Community, which owns the nearby Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino and the UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle, has brought together championship-style golf and world-class gaming and entertainment. Gaming and golf packages are now available through Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, creating a truly exciting and multi-faceted destination, pleasing to a wide range of visitors. The course sits on 320 acres of land that was once a part of the Ak-Chin's original May 1912 reservation before it was removed by Presidential Executive Order in late 1912. Nearly 100 years later in 2010, the Community recovered its sacred land when they purchased Ak-Chin Southern Dunes after it was originally developed as a private club. The course currently boasts several coveted accolades that include Golfweek’s list of the “Top 100 Resort Courses,” “Best Courses You Can Play,” and “Top Casino Courses,” as well as Golf Magazine’s list of “Top 100 Courses You Can Play.”

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club is managed by Troon. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Troon is the world's largest golf management company also specializing in homeowner association management, private residence clubs, estate management and associated hospitality venues. The company oversees operations at Troon Golf (daily-fee & resort) and Troon Privé (private) properties located in 34 states and 28 countries. Additionally, 44 Troon facilities enjoy a Top 100 ranking by national or international publications. For additional news and information, visit www.TroonGolf.com.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Product Review: Loudmouth Golf Arm Sleeves

We’ve all seen athletes wearing compression sleeves during competition. And what they lack in style - generally white or black - they make up for in performance. Now, thanks to Loudmouth Golf, form and function meet fashion.

So the Loudmouth arm compression sleeves look great, but what’s the reasoning behind them?

First, compression sleeves promote better blood flow to an area - primarily the elbow, in this case - which can lower the likelihood of swelling. They also allow for better circulation to your joints and limbs. Second, arm compression sleeves help muscles that are sore after exercise recover faster.

Everyone knows the twisting and turning in a golf swing is tough on backs, but the repetitive motion can also wreak havoc on the sensitive muscles and nerves in and around the elbow. Not only will you look stylish in a Loudmouth compression sleeve, but you’ll also feel great.

As Billy Crystal was known for saying on Saturday Night Live in the mid-1980s, "It is better to look good than to feel good." With Loudmouth compression sleeves, you can do both ... and your playing partners will be saying, "You look mahvelous."

Check out the Loudmouth arm sleeves HERE.