Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Giants Ridge Golf Courses Earn Multiple National Distinctions

(BIWABIK, Minn.) – Giants Ridge – the four-season destination resort set in the rugged beauty of Minnesota’s Iron Range – has received national recognition from top golf publications, Golfweek and Golf Digest.

The acclaimed golf destination, managed by Billy Casper Golf (BCG), earned the coveted “Editors’ Choice Award” from Golf Digest in the “Best Golf Resorts in the Midwest” category. Both 18-hole courses at Giants Ridge – The Quarry and its sister course, The Legend – received individual recognition as well.

The Quarry was rated the “Best Course You Can Play” in Minnesota by Golfweek. This is the third year in a row the stunning course has earned the top spot. The Quarry also earned a spot on Golf Digest’s prestigious list of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses” for 2017. It has received this distinction every year since 2005. Finally, The Quarry was the top-ranked Minnesota design on MyGolfSpy’s “Top 100 Courses in the U.S.” list, where it earned the No. 8 spot. The Legend also made the list at No. 28.

“The Quarry consistently ranks among the best courses in Minnesota,” says Bill Colgan, Regional Manager at BCG. “We are thrilled Golfweek and Golf Digest recognize the consistently exceptional golf experience we provide.”

Both The Quarry and The Legend have a unique layout and character. Built on the site of an old sand and gravel mining operation, The Quarry is a fitting tribute to the region’s mining history. The Legend is carved out of the Superior National Forest and offers breathtaking views.

“Together, The Legend and The Quarry are two of the most sensational golf courses in the United States,” says Steve Dowling, Explore Minnesota Golf Alliance Executive Director. “Both of these esteemed courses have received numerous national and local accolades and, in one trip to the Biwabik resort, you’ll understand why.”

More information: www.giantsridge.com, 800.688.7669

The Triple Play at Applecross: Something for Every Member

(DOWNINGTON, PA) — Applecross Country Club, the Greater Philadelphia’s first Nicklaus Design golf course, debuted in 2010 and has emerged as one of the area’s most innovative and progressive country clubs. For 2017, the club is celebrating yet another series of milestones with three great new member facility improvements coming online this season.

1. The grand opening of the golf clubhouse
2. A renovation of its Trego dining facility to include three distinct dining venues
3. The new sport court area at the Grove Amenity center

Located less than 40 minutes from Philadelphia in Downingtown, Applecross CC is a residential country club community featuring a broad array of first-class club amenities, including a Nicklaus Design golf course on which Michael Nicklaus served as lead architect.

The golf course at Applecross weaves through the Chester County countryside providing a unique-to-the-area experience for golfers, blending magnificently into landscape that boasts breathtaking views of sparkling lakes and rolling countryside. Wetlands and water features grace the surroundings of 14 of the holes.

In addition to its signature golf course, the club boasts a series of amenities unmatched in the region. Members can enjoy the Oasis Bar along with a 10,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art fitness center, indoor pool and Jacuzzi, resort outdoor pool area with Junior Olympic swimming, kid’s splash pad, basketball and tennis. The club’s sprawling amenities are professionally managed and offer a host of specialty programs and personal training.

Milestone No. 1 — The Golf Clubhouse
The Nicklaus golf course goes to a new level in 2017. The three-level, state-of-the-art clubhouse is expected to greatly enhance the club’s golf experience.

The sprawling new Golf Clubhouse is approximately 15,000 square feet; with gracious outside deck spaces providing the framework for a destination that meets any golfer’s needs. Located at ground level, the men’s and ladies locker rooms provide a haven before and after a round, with convenient access to cart staging by the 19th tee. On the main level the pro shop and a deck overlook holes 18 and 19, and represent the place for everyone to get their round started right.

Designed around the success of the “Crow’s Nest” at Mid South Club in Pinehurst, this adult’s only lounge features a full-service bar, casual seating and its own private deck overlooking holes 18 and 19. Food service in the Eagle’s Nest includes a timeless menu of snacks and bar style food to help make the end of a round as memorable as the fun on the course. Stair and elevator access conveniently connects all three levels of the clubhouse.

The stunning new Applecross golf clubhouse was designed by Structural Design Associates located in Downingtown. Andrew Sheerer, the principal of SDA, and his team brought an immense amount of experience along with a hands-on and comprehensive approach to all aspects of the project. www.structuraldesignassociates.com

Managing day-to-day construction for the Applecross Clubhouse was in the hands of Chris Yates and his firm Innovative Building & Remodeling. Chris was 24/7 on the job coordinating the various trades and working through the immense amount of field decisions that go along with a job of this nature. www.innovative-building.com

Milestone No. 2 — Country club dining for every taste
Side by side with the new Golf Clubhouse is Tregos, the club’s dining facility, which received its own renovations this season to provide a unique dining space for families, pub-style dining and a special niche for wine lovers.

Family Dining and Kids Wii/Xbox Lounge - Family dining at large community style tables is a centerpiece of the Applecross dining experience. Recently renovated, the club’s four-season garden pavilion at Tregos plays host to regular family dining with multiple Xbox/Wii play stations. Complimentary fresh popped popcorn, beanbag chairs for the kids and a host of other family friendly touches make this a regular spot for the many families of Applecross. The club’s recent Xbox tournament was a big hit with more than 50 families competing.

The family dining area was a must-have program element from the inception of design. “Having a distinct family dining area is an important feature,” said Applecross General Manager Gregg Russell. “We know how challenging it can be sometimes to take the family out and keep the kids occupied while mom and dad can finish their dinner. The ‘Wii Room’ was first deployed at our sister club, Talamore, and it has been a huge success. Applecross’s new family dining and fun zone takes that original concept to a new level. It is extremely popular with all the families at Applecross.”

Comfortable and Casual Dining in the new Bar & Grill — Moving to another section of the club’s expansive dining facilities is the Casual Dining Bar and Grill. Booth seating, hi tops and a comfortable bar make this a great place for casual club dining.

And for the wine aficionados — Set for an early July opening is a new Member Wine Locker program, where members can store their own wine at the club and dine in quiet comfort at yet another dining venue. The Wine Bar is also located in the Trego dining facilities building. “We have quite a few members who share a passion for wine and wanted to have their own special spot and unique touch. Our new Wine Bar and Wine Locker program gives them just that,” said Russell.

Milestone No. 3 — All bases covered
The Grove amenity area of Applecross received its own expansion with a new sport court area. The custom design features shuffleboard, tetherball, four square, hopscotch and half-court basketball. Weight lifters at the club’s fitness center can shoot a few quick hoops after their workout with the convenient location of the new basketball court. And for kids, the club got a special hoop that can be lowered to 6 feet, which was just right for the Memorial Day Weekend Slam Dunk contest for kids.

Three great milestones — One simple approach
“The general goal is simple,” said Russell. “We have a diverse membership and want to provide a unique and comfortable spot for everyone. Our ‘triple play’ of new member enhancements this year takes huge steps to meet that goal and vaults our club to a new level.”

GolfMatch Becomes Preferred Social Golf Partner of Troon

(Scottsdale, Ariz.) – Troon, the leader in golf course management, development, and marketing, has partnered with GolfMatch, the first mobile booking application that connects like-minded golfers at the courses they want to play, to be the company’s preferred social golf partner.

GolfMatch is the only social booking platform that allows golfers to see who they will be playing with before they purchase their tee time, which Troon believes will play a major role in the future of digital bookings. When new members join GolfMatch, they are given suggested Groups to join. The recommended Groups serve as a golfer’s digital communities that are based on skill, location and interests, and allow members to connect and communicate in real time.

GolfMatch also has a social sharing element to their mobile app where golfers share their experiences and leave course reviews that provide trusted insight into local courses. Whether a golfer is organizing their next round or simply looking to talk about golf, GolfMatch Groups are a fun way to stay connected to the game at all times.

“This is an exciting partnership for Troon, which we feel will provide a valuable offering to Troon golfers and courses, as well as GolfMatch members,” said Kris Strauss, senior vice president, sales and marketing, Troon. “GolfMatch and Troon share a common vision for golf’s future and the need to create great experiences for golfers of all ages, skill levels and interests.”

Troon facilities currently host monthly casual-competitive events through the GolfMatch mobile application and are now offering registration for Troon Challenge qualifiers on the GolfMatch mobile application. Furthermore, Troon plans to offer the GolfMatch social booking system for Troon courses to utilize to create unique opportunities around fun experiences with unique formats. Through the partnership GolfMatch members will also enjoy preferred rates on exclusive events at participating Troon destinations.

"Our goal is to grow participation in golf by improving the golf experience,” said GolfMatch founder Peter Kratsios. “GolfMatch helps golfers organize great golf experiences by surfacing important golfer and course information, which makes the digital booking process smarter and faster. Troon is forward-thinking when it comes to offerings that improve the experience for their golfers and courses, which is why I am so excited to build a digital bridge between our community and their courses."

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

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Product Review: SwingOIL

In my 30s, a life of physical activity began to negatively affect my day-to-day mobility. While I was formerly able to bounce back the morning after a tough workout, that was no longer the case.

Now in my 40s, aches and pains are as common as the sun rising. It doesn’t take much more than life to put a hitch in my giddy-up. I needed a little something more than Advil, so I began my search with SwingOIL.

The SwingOIL mantra is “Get loose. Swing smooth.” But what is it about the product that promotes this loosening effect? Let’s take a quick look (via WebMD and Wikipedia) at the active ingredients:
Glucosamine is marketed to support the structure and function of joints (often targeted at people suffering from osteoarthritis);
Chondroitin sulfate is a structural component of cartilage and provides much of its resistance to compression;
Turmeric is a spice, commonly used in Asian food. The root of turmeric is also used widely to make medicine - combating ailments like arthritis, heartburn (dyspepsia), joint pain, etc.;
Panax ginseng improves thinking, concentration, memory, work efficiency, physical stamina, athletic endurance, and prevents muscle damage from exercise;
Rhodiola is used for increasing energy, stamina, strength and mental capacity; and as an “adaptogen” to help the body adapt to and resist physical, chemical, and environmental stress. It is also used for improving athletic performance, shortening recovery time after long workouts;
Taurine is an amino sulfonic acid, but it is often referred to as an amino acid, a chemical that is a required building block of protein; and
Citrulline Malate. Some people also take L-citrulline to build muscles and improve athletic performance.

Put it all together, and you have SwingOIL.

Suggestions from the company:
- Drink it 15 minutes before tee-time to stay loose and sharp;
- Drink it during your round to make sure you don’t play tight when it matters most; and
- Drink it after the final putt, to help your body prepare for your next round.

Think of it the same way you view oil for your car. It keeps the moving parts lubed. Choose between three delicious flavors - Lemon-Lime, Orange and Strawberry-Banana. I’m partial to the Lemon-Lime, but was shocked at how tasty the Strawberry-Banana is.

Rip open a 3-ounce pouch and enjoy.

Check out www.swingoil.com to learn more for yourself or to place an order. A 12-pack sells for $34.95.

Historic Columbus Country Club in Midst of Golf Course Renovation

(Columbus, Ohio) – Historic Columbus Country Club is in the midst of a two-year golf course renovation project that began in the fall of 2016. The newly renovated front nine recently reopened on May 19th, while the back nine will undergo its renovation transformation after Labor Day 2017. The entire 18-hole renovation and layout will be finished by Memorial Day 2018.

Golf course architect Kevin Hargrave is overseeing the extensive renovation which is focusing on the original design concepts of famed golf course designer Donald Ross and bringing the proper scale back to the Columbus Country Club property. During front nine renovations, 1,000 trees were removed exposing the extensive canvas Ross once worked with. Original lines of play were brought back, while the newly renovated bunkers reflect the style and feel of Ross’s work. Hargrave also incorporated numerous new or repositioned tee complexes making the course more playable for the entire membership. When complete, the new layout will stretch from 5,400 to 7,200 yards.

Managed by Troon Privé, the private club operating division of Troon, Columbus Country Club also boasts a nine-hole executive course along with eight tennis courts, a large swimming pool, spacious clubhouse and a diverse entertainment calendar.

For more information on Columbus Country Club, visit www.columbuscc.com or call 614-861-0800.

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

TPC River Highlands, Remodeled by Bobby Weed Golf Design, Attracts Strong Field for '17 Travelers

(PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida) – A strong field was attracted to the 2017 Travelers Championship, played June 19-25 at TPC River Highlands, a private golf club in Cromwell, Conn., which was redesigned by Bobby Weed in 1989 in consultation with former PGA Tour players Howard Twitty and Roger Maltbie. In addition, last year Weed worked in conjunction with PGA Tour Design Services on a course-wide bunker renovation at TPC River Highlands to update the strategy, based on ShotLink data, and to improve playability and maintenance.

“TPC River Highlands, overlooking the Connecticut River, offers players a variety of half-par holes with an exciting four-hole finish in an amphitheater setting like no other,” said Weed.

For a thrilling and dramatic victory at this year’s Travelers Championship in front of record crowds, Jordan Spieth blasted out of the bunker on the par-4 18th hole, the first hole of a sudden-death playoff against Daniel Berger, marking Spieth’s 10th PGA Tour win.

Operated by the PGA Tour, the 18-hole par-70 TPC River Highlands has been the venue for the tour’s annual Travelers Championship, previously known as the Buick Championship and the Greater Hartford Open, since 1984.

Some of the other notable names in this year’s 156-player field at the Travelers Championship included Patrick Reed, Rory McIlroy and Jim Furyk, among others. The defending champion was Russell Knox.

For more information on Bobby Weed Golf Design, see www.bobbyweed.com.

Fred Couples Wins American Family Insurance Championship with Bridgestone Tour B330-S Golf Ball

(COVINGTON, GA) – Fred Couples relied on the Bridgestone Tour B330-S golf ball to capture his second PGA TOUR Champions title of 2017, a two-shot victory at the American Family Insurance Championship contested this past weekend at University Ridge Golf Club in Madison, Wis.

Trailing by three shots entering Sunday, the World Golf Hall of Famer drained four birdies on the front nine en route to a final round 66 and his 13th win on the PGA TOUR Champions. He trusted the B330-S to produce better green side spin and longer drives to give him the edge needed to beat the competition.

The B330 series is engineered to deliver maximum results for skilled golfers who demand high-level performance in all facets of their game. Designed based on data gathered from Bridgestone's proprietary ball fitting program and validated by the top players in the world, the B330 series is unmatched tee to green.

“I went out Sunday knowing I had to go low and that my equipment would allow me to do that,” said Couples. “Regardless of the shot, my Bridgestone ball delivered exactly what I needed to outpace the pack and put up a winning score.”

“Fred continues to play exceptional golf and the fact he has won twice this year is a testament to that,” says Angel Ilagan, President and CEO of Bridgestone Golf. “He takes his game very seriously and only puts equipment in play that gives him an advantage over the competition. Whether you’re a former Masters champion, like Couples, or trying to break 100 for the first time, our golf balls will outperform anything on the market and help you find your edge."

In addition to Couples, FedEx Cup champion Brandt Snedeker, Olympic bronze medalist Matt Kuchar, three-time major champion Nick Price and young phenoms Bryson DeChambeau and Hudson Swafford have all won using Bridgestone products. Scores of fellow professionals choose to use Bridgestone balls without compensation.

More information: www.bridgestonegolf.com