Friday, August 17, 2018

Enter to Win the 2018 Team Titleist Ultimate Experience

(CONTEST) - This is your chance to win the trip of a lifetime for you and a friend to experience a Tour Fitting at the Titleist Performance Institute in Carlsbad, CA, get a custom fit set of new Titleist golf clubs and a ball pocket full of Pro V1, Pro V1x or AVX golf balls.

Register HERE.

Jennifer Kupcho Wins Mark H. McCormack Medal as Leading Female Amateur

(LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. and ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND) – Jennifer Kupcho, 21, of Westminster, Colo., has won the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the leading player in the women's 2018 World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR). With the honor, Kupcho will be awarded exemptions into the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open and Women’s British Open, if she remains an amateur.

Kupcho had a fantastic year, winning the 2018 NCAA Division I individual championship as well as earning a place on the USA Curtis Cup Team. A rising senior at Wake Forest University, Kupcho earned five collegiate wins, including an NCAA Regional victory, while setting the school record with a 70.6 scoring average during her junior year. Additionally, Kupcho spent five weeks as the No. 1 player in WAGR and spent most of the past two years ranked in the top three.

“It’s a really big honor to get this medal,” said Kupcho. “Obviously it’s been a long stretch of hard work, and it’s great to see it pay off and to have the pride of coming out on top. I’m looking forward to the next college season.”

Kupcho is the first Wake Forest women’s golfer to be awarded the Honda Sport Award, presented annually by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) to top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. She earned first-team WGCA All-American honors for the second straight year, and was one of three finalists for the ANNIKA Award, annually given to the most outstanding women’s player of the year. Earlier this summer, Kupcho finished T16 at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic.

After posting a 3-1-1 mark in the USA’s Curtis Cup victory at Quaker Ridge Golf Club, Kupcho has also been selected by the USGA to represent the USA in the 2018 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship at Carton House near Dublin, Ireland, later this month.

The USGA and The R&A co-award the McCormack Medal annually. It is named after Mark H. McCormack, who founded sports marketing company IMG and was a great supporter of amateur golf.

“On behalf of the USGA, our most sincere congratulations to Jennifer Kupcho for earning the esteemed McCormack Medal,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director of Championships. “Not only has Jennifer put together a remarkable individual season, highlighted by her NCAA Championship win, but she also represented the USA with respect, talent and passion during the Curtis Cup Match. We look forward to watching her do the same as a member of our World Amateur Team.”

“Jennifer has produced a very high standard of golf over the past year and her excellent results make her a worthy winner of the McCormack Medal,” said Duncan Weir, Executive Director – Golf Development at The R&A. “She is following in the footsteps of a number of outstanding woman golfers and we would like to congratulate Jennifer on this fantastic achievement.”

The World Amateur Golf Ranking, which is supported by Rolex, was established in 2007 when the men’s ranking was launched. The men’s ranking encompasses more than 2,700 counting events, ranking 6,200 players from 106 countries. The women’s ranking was launched in 2011 and has a calendar of more than 1,850 counting events with more than 2,850 ranked players from 78 countries.

Golf 'Majors' Odds and Prop Bets for 2019

(RELEASE) – The return of Tiger Woods and a host of talented young players has made golf’s four Majors must-see TV.  With three unexpected players winning the four Majors this year,  the odds-makers at www.SportsBettingDime.com have set the lines for 2019 by installing Dustin Johnson (11/4), Jordan Spieth (3/1), Brooks Koepka (4/1) Rory McIlroy (4/1), Justin Thomas (9/2), Rickie Fowler (9/2) Jon Rahm (5/1) and Tiger Woods (5/1) as favorites to add a “Major” to their resumes.

The odds-makers have also given Tiger Woods 5/6 odds to miss the cut at a Major or play in the final group on a Sunday in a Major.  Additionally, you can get 2/1 odds on Tiger leading a Major after any of the 16 rounds in 2019.  The odds-makers are not convinced that the trend of first-time winners will continue, offering very generous 7/1 odds that there is at least one first-time winner in 2019.

Here’s a look at the “Major” odds for 25 of the top players from the odds-makers at www.SportsBettingDime.com.

ODDS TO WIN A MAJOR IN 2019
“Oldies But Goodies” (previous major winners)
Dustin Johnson: 11/4
Jordan Spieth: 3/1
Rory McIlroy: 4/1
Justin Thomas: 9/2
Tiger Woods: 5/1
Jason Day: 13/2
Justin Rose 10/1
Phil Mickelson: 13/1
Bubba Watson: 15/1
Sergio Garcia: 16/1
Adam Scott: 19/1

Repeat Performers (to win any Major)
Brooks Koepka: 4/1
Patrick Reed: 9/1
Francisco Molinari: 14/1

Welcome to the Club (first-time Major winner)
Rickie Fowler: 9/2
Jon Rahm: 5/1
Tommy Fleetwood: 7/1
Hideki Matsuyama: 9/1
Paul Casey 11/1
Alex Noren: 14/1
Xander Schauffele: 33/2
Matt Kuchar: 17/1
Tony Finau: 20/1
Bryson DeChambeau: 21/1
Kevin Kisner: 35/1

Odds all four major champions are first-time major winners: 40/1

Odds none of the four major champions are first-time major winners: 7/1

Odds Tiger Woods misses the cut of a major in 2019: 5/6

Odds Tiger Woods plays in the final group on a Sunday at a major in 2019: 2/1

Odds Tiger Woods is the leader or co-leader after any of the 16 major rounds in 2019: 5/6

Learn more at SportsBettingDime.com.

Is Your Golf Gear Ready Whatever the Weather?

(RELEASE) - With record temperatures and record rainfall, is your gear ready whatever the elements throw at it?

Whether you’ve been sweating through the hottest July on record in California, swimming in the wettest July on record in Pennsylvania, or combining the two in Arizona which has had both above average temperatures and rainfall, one thing is for sure, the weather in 2018 has been far from normal.
And it’s not just this year. Since 2015 every state in the U.S. has experienced above average annual temperatures, with a large proportion coupling that with above average rainfall. It seems the only thing we can predict at the moment is that the weather will be unpredictable!

But golf goes on. And while the changeable weather might put off a few, the rest of us are out there on all but the hottest or wettest days doing our best to enjoy the game.

So what does the changing weather mean for golfers? And how can choosing the right gear help them get the best out of their game?

“The unpredictability of the weather isn’t just a challenge for golfers,” comments Ralf Niesing, head designer for golf bag specialists BIG MAX USA. “As golfers are faced with changing conditions we need to make sure that our equipment will function at its best whatever the weather.”

“Over the past five years our focus has been on developing the best water-proof and water-resistant bags on the market but that can’t be at the expense of practicality when the sun comes out. Very few golfers have the luxury of having a wet weather set up so as designers we need to make sure that whatever conditions a golfer wakes up to, their equipment is ready to perform.”

But with so many variations in the weather the ‘Goldilocks’ combination of equipment that is ‘Just Right’ whatever the weather is a puzzle that is very hard to solve.

“You have to start with the golfer and their needs, but those needs will differ depending on their location and certainly more often these days, on the way the weather is behaving. So a manufacturer’s target has to be to provide the best solutions for any variations. Take for instance our two bag lines – Dri Lite and Aqua. Aqua is 100% waterproof with sealed seams and waterproof zippers. It has a hydrostatic rating of 10,000 meaning 10,000mm of rain can fall on it in 24 hours and it will stay dry inside. Dri Lite has all of those features without the seam sealing, so it carries a rating of 2000. In most situations our Dri Lite bags will keep out average rainfall, but if you are likely to be playing courses in areas prone to downpours, like Bandon Dunes, I’d suggest the Aqua every time. If you are in an area where you get occasional rain or if you want to be protected just in case, then Dri-Lite is the line for you.”

Niesing continues, “So we have two lines that lead the field in waterproof technology, but we don’t want to be the ‘waterproof bag’ company. To make sure of that, we have to think about practicality in hot weather that doesn’t compromise our wet weather performance. So we take care to pick materials which can resist extreme temperatures and remain durable under the stress of the heat. This goes for our colours too. Our bright European styling is one of our most recognisable design points so we have to work out ways that minimise fading in direct sunlight. Out of these different needs we developed our unique waterproof material that is incredibly lightweight, durable in rain and sunshine, washable if it gets muddy or dusty and keeps its colour whatever the weather.”

“They say that necessity is the mother of invention and I do truly believe that we as manufacturers will have to accomodate climate fluctuations more and more in our designs over the coming years. The trends are there to see, so if we want to continue in our aim of making a golfers life on the course easier and more enjoyable we have to be increasingly creative in our solutions to the problems that they face. So far I think we have done a great job at BIG MAX but rest assured, we’re already working on the next generation of products that are led by golfers‘ needs and among the leading manufacturers I don’t think we’ll be alone in thinking that climate will be an important part of those next steps.“

For more information on BIG MAX wether proof innovations visit https://us.bigmaxgolf.com

*All data taken from National Centers for Environmental Information www.ncdc.noaa.gov/
1 https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/monitoring-content/sotc/national/statewidetavgrank/statewidetavgrank-201807.gif
2 https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/monitoring-content/sotc/national/statewidepcpnrank/statewidepcpnrank-201807.gif
3 https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/us-maps/12/201512?products[]=statewidetavgrank#us-maps-select
https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/monitoring-content/sotc/national/statewidetavgrank/statewidetavgrank-201601-201612.gif
https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/us-maps/12/201712?products[]=statewidetavgrank#us-maps-select
4 https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/monitoring-content/sotc/national/statewidepcpnrank/statewidepcpnrank-201501-201512.gif
https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/us-maps/12/201612?products[]=statewidepcpnrank#us-maps-select
https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/us-maps/12/201712?products[]=statewidepcpnrank#us-maps-select

Five Troon Privé-Managed Clubs Earn "Distinguished Club" Honors By Boardroom Magazine

(Scottsdale, Ariz.) – Five Troon Privé-managed clubs have been named “Distinguished Club” award winners as determined by the annual Distinguished Clubs award program conducted by BoardRoom magazine, one of the most respected trade publications serving private clubs. BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; Belfair in Bluffton, South Carolina; Columbus Country Club in Columbus, Ohio; Manchester Country Club in Bedford, New Hampshire; and Silver Creek Valley Country Club in San Jose, California are all recipients of the prestigious award.

BoardRoom magazine’s entirely merit-based Distinguished Clubs award program uses a club-specific rating system that recognizes the club, its management, and its staff based on a proprietary criteria and evaluation process that distills and measures a club’s Member Experience. As such, the rating system used by Distinguished Clubs is different from any that has come before, and with it, the private club industry now has the means to identify the top private clubs based on the most important aspect: Member Experience.

"We are proud of all of the great work at our Clubs this past year,” said Rob DeMore, president, Troon Privé. “It’s an honor to have five clubs named to this year’s Distinguished Club list. We look forward to seeing more of our Troon Privé Clubs added in the years ahead.”

As defined by Distinguished Clubs, “Member Experience” is that special combination of “Qualities” that a private club provides its members. It is not just the quality of service, or of the facilities, or of the product provided, it is also the quality of the staff and of the management, as well as the overall club governance they deliver. The most important quality, however, is the quality of the intangible.  While difficult to measure, the latter is comprised of those magic moments experienced, the members befriended, the memorable events and famous tournaments attended, as well as the club traditions, history, and heritage proudly recognized.

Boardroom magazine developed the Distinguished Clubs award program to recognize and share – with the private club industry as a whole – what it is that Distinguished Clubs do differently, and to do so with the specific goal of improving the Member Experience at every private club, and thereby helping to preserve the institution of private clubs for many future generations.

Troon Privé, the private club operating division of Troon, manages more than 80 private clubs around the world, half of which are member owned. Members of Troon Privé-managed clubs have exclusive access to extraordinary golf and lifestyle benefits around the world. Qualified members receive reciprocal access to other private clubs in the portfolio at a preferred Privé Privilege rate, and tee times at Troon Golf-managed resort and daily fee facilities around the world through the Troon Advantage program. All members can choose to receive Troon Privé Connect, Troon’s digital magazine developed specifically for the private clubs, as well as access to experience packages through Privileged Connections and premium tickets to sporting and concert events at the best price.

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

Getting to Know: Henry Wallmeyer, President & CEO of National Club Association

American Golfer: When did you start playing golf?
Henry Wallmeyer: I got started later in life with golf. My parents never played, so I didn’t grow up with the game. Baseball and basketball were my sports through high school. I graduated from Villanova University with a business degree, and I realized that knowing how to play golf would be beneficial for my business career. I purchased my first set of clubs with graduation money and little did I know that I would ultimately end up in a profession that is so closely tied to golf—but I am sure glad I did.

Henry Wallmeyer
AG: What is the role of the National Club Association?
HW: The National Club Association protects and advances the well-being of private clubs. NCA advocates to policymakers on behalf of clubs to pass laws and regulations that are beneficial to the interests of private clubs and to stop efforts that hinder the industry. We also provide clubs with much needed educational resources in a wide variety of areas that help them succeed, such as governance best practices, strategic planning, capital financing, wage and hour guidance and trends affecting the industry, among others. 

- One misperception is that private clubs only benefit their members. Not true?

Private clubs do much more than provide a third home to members. It’s estimated that private clubs provide more than half a million jobs across the United States, contribute more than $3.75 billion in taxes, and add $21.5 billion to the economy each year.

Many private clubs are also very philanthropic and community-oriented, much like their members. Clubs rally behind their members who host charity events, golf tournaments, food drives, toy donations and other initiatives in support of good causes that impact the community. Many clubs also have foundations and offer scholarships, particularly through caddie scholarship programs.

For instance, The Union League of Chicago has a culture that values members’ engagement in public life. The club’s programs, committees and policies reveal a commitment to understanding and advancing public policy issues and community life. For more than 95 years, the Union League Club has served as an affiliate member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, serving the after-school development needs of at-risk youth in Chicago.

For staff, clubs are a terrific place of employment. Salaries at private clubs tend to be much higher than comparable positions at area businesses and employee turnover is much lower, with about half of private clubs reporting less than 15 percent rate of turnover according to a recent National Club Association/McMahon Group survey.

- How are private clubs helping grow the game of golf?

Golf clubs are introducing new, innovating programming that broadens the appeal of the game. For example, Medinah Country Club’s Golf For Life program installs tee boxes on every hole that players can select based on their skills. (New England Golf Monthly).

Midland Country Club in Midland, Mich. has a world-class indoor golf facility equipped with simulators and hitting bays merged with advanced technology that tracks a golfer’s performance—offering players the ability to improve their game year-round, no matter the weather. The club also provides Wednesday evening classes for women who are new players and a strong junior program.

At the Country Club of Fairfax (Va.), its Wine and Golf program has increased women’s play by providing a low-stress introduction to golf that includes on-course instruction and coaching, fun and a focus on meeting other members.

AG: Another belief is that course - both public and private - are bad for the environment. Please dispel.
HW: The environment is central to the mission and success of private clubs, particularly those that offer golf. As such, private clubs tend to be very proactive when it comes to sustainability and, in fact, clubs are much more environmentally-friendly than the typical homeowner. A recent National Club Association/McMahon Group survey of private clubs found that 74 percent pursue sustainable practices, and the typical club spends nearly $50,000 each year to promote sustainability. Like many environmentally-friendly businesses, private clubs use a variety of traditionally sustainable practices and environmentally safe products and recycled materials in their operations. In an integrated and far-reaching approach to resource management, Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, Va., constructed a LEED Silver Certification clubhouse.

Many clubs also practice hyper-local food sourcing, such as the Jonathan Club’s rooftop garden in Los Angeles, which produces $100,000 worth of ingredients each year, and Medinah Country Club’s USDA-certified chicken coop and organic garden and maple syrup program, which taps trees on the Illinois property. Clubs also participate in advanced environmental programs like Audubon International’s Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf. Pine Valley Golf Club (#1 rated golf club in America according to Platinum Clubs) was certified in 1999 and Congressional Country Club (#1 rated country club) was certified in 2011.

AG: Are private clubs antiquated, relics of the past?
HW: Today’s private club is more reflective than ever of the values and interests of most active Americans. It’s more family-oriented and focused on fun, health and wellness. The entire family can enjoy a wide range of offerings, including pool-based activities, game nights, themed parties and other family events. Many clubs offer junior sports camps for children to play golf, tennis or swim. Coffee-shop cafes, youth rec rooms and spa amenities also make clubs a destination to serve all members of the family.

Denver Country Club has a family focus on youth training for team sports and Palo Alto Hills Golf & Country Club provides families with fitness and kids yoga classes, cooking lessons, magic shows and a “tween” dance social. 


And today’s private clubs are more committed to promoting members’ health and wellness as well. That may include exercise studios, spas, physical therapy, private trainers and nutrition programs, and it extends to the clubhouse menu, with many clubs offering healthier food choices.

AG: What’s your “dream foursome” (living or dead, golfer or non-golfer)?
HW: I never got the opportunity to meet either of my grandfathers because they both passed away before I was born, so if this foursome gives me the opportunity to meet them, then they are definitely in. I would round out the foursome, at the risk of the “Error of Recency,” with Jay Wright, head basketball coach at Villanova. I would love to get insight on building a championship culture to win the 2016 and 2018 national championships—and to also let him know I still have a few years of eligibility left if he needs me to come off the bench.

AG: What course tops your “bucket list” to play?
HW: I get this question, or a variation of this question, a lot—whether it is what course I want to play or what is my favorite club. I respond by saying that as the head of an association representing the most prestigious clubs and courses, it is like asking me to pick my favorite child. And like with my kids, I don’t care which course I am playing, as long as I am playing.

Learn more about the National Club Association at www.nationalclub.org.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Actor/Comedian Kevin Nealon Joins "Feherty," Monday

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – Actor/comedian Kevin Nealon (Saturday Night Live) will join David Feherty on his self-titled, Emmy-nominated series Feherty presented by Farmers Insurance®, Monday at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.

Filmed at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles last month, the episode will focus on numerous topics, including:
· Nealon discussing his start in comedy in Los Angeles, where he worked as a bartender and filled in for comics who failed to show up for their act.
· Reminiscing about his appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1984.
· Reflecting on his nine-year run as a cast member on Saturday Night Live.
· Recounting the time when his golf ball struck Adam Sandler during a round they were
playing while filming Happy Gilmore.
· Recalling time spent with Arnold Palmer during the filming of a commercial a few years ago.

The following Monday (Aug. 27), Feherty will be joined by 20-time LPGA Tour winner Cristie Kerr at 9 p.m. ET, and then on Monday, Sept. 3 (9 p.m. ET), major champion Jimmy Walker will join as a guest for the series’ season finale.

A two-time Emmy-nominated host (Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Host) Feherty has been described as “golf’s iconoclast,” by Rolling Stone, and “the last unscripted man on TV,” by Men’s Journal. His all-star lineup of golf-enthused and culturally relevant guests feature celebrities from across entertainment, sports and politics. To date, Feherty has sat down with four U.S. Presidents (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump); sports legends Charles Barkley, Nick Saban, Stephen Curry and Bobby Knight; Hollywood icons Matthew McConaughey, Larry David and Samuel L. Jackson; World Golf of Fame members Nancy Lopez, Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson; and a host of current golf superstars including Paula Creamer, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Michelle Wie. Feherty is produced by Golf Channel’s original productions group, which also oversees production for Driver vs. Driver, Golf Films as well as the network’s instruction platforms.