Monday, October 22, 2018

National Golf Day 2019 Set for May 1 in Washington, D.C.

Industry Leaders to Organize National Mall Service Project for 3rd Consecutive Year

(ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla.) – WE ARE GOLF – a coalition of the game’s leading associations and industry partners – today announces the 12th annual National Golf Day will be held Wednesday, May 1 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

National Golf Day celebrates the game’s $84.1 billion economy, nearly $4 billion annual charitable impact and many environmental and fitness benefits. Industry leaders will meet with Members of Congress, the Executive Branch and federal agencies to discuss golf’s 15,000 diverse businesses, two million jobs impacted, tax revenue creation and tourism value.

Returning for 2019, golf industry leaders will arrive Monday, April 29 to participate in a community service initiative on the National Mall the morning of Tuesday, April 30. The project will focus on beautification, preservation and helping the National Park Service with turf deferred maintenance. More details will be available soon.

"Golf plays a substantial role in stimulating the American economy, as the industry impacts $58.7 billion in annual wage income,” says Steve Mona, CEO of World Golf Foundation, administrator of WE ARE GOLF. “In addition to the nearly 24 million U.S. golfers, a record-high 14.9 million are ‘very interested’ in playing the game, further cementing why it is vital to advocate on behalf of golf’s interests with our country’s lawmakers.”

In April 2018, more than 300 industry leaders held a record-high 230 meetings with Members of Congress, the Executive Branch and federal agencies representing 40 states. Globally, the #NationalGolfDay Twitter campaign eclipsed 77 million impressions, including nearly 200,000 total interactions, representing a 148 percent increase versus 2017. National Golf Day’s official hashtag trended internationally for the fourth consecutive year during the event.

To join the conversation, use #NationalGolfDay and tag @wearegolf on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to show your support for the golf industry.

For more information, visit www.wearegolf.org.

Tanglewood Park Golf Course Reopens After RTJ II 'Refresh'

Robert Trent Jones Jr. updates his father’s public course, host of’74 PGA Championship

(Palo Alto, Calif.) – The Championship Course at Tanglewood Park in Clemmons, North Carolina—a Robert Trent Jones Sr. design that hosted the 1974 PGA Championship and the 1986 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship—reopened last Saturday after five months of implementing major portions of a long-range golf course refinements master plan prepared by Jones Sr.’s son, Robert Trent Jones Jr., Chairman and Master Architect of Robert Trent Jones II (RTJ II) Golf Course Architects.

The master plan, prepared at the request of the Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Department, called for refinements to many elements of the golf course, notably all bunkers, tees, tree management, and resurfacing the greens with new turf.

“The changes are outstanding,” reports Michael Wilcox, Tanglewood Park’s Director of Golf. “The updated playability, strategy, and picturesque vistas will create a unique and memorable golf experience. Once the newly grassed areas are fully established, the Championship Course will once again be one of the premier public courses in the U.S. A new chapter at Tanglewood has begun.”

“I give the officials in the Forsyth County government a big standing ovation for realizing the tremendous asset that the Championship Course at Tanglewood Park represents to their County Parks System,” says Bruce Charlton, President and Chief Design Officer of RTJ II. “Our intent was to update the course in keeping with the RTJ Sr.’s design philosophies while polishing this gem to meet the demands of today’s game. It has been a pleasure implementing our visions in collaboration with Richard Mandell, an ASGCA member based in Pinehurst, N.C.”

Both Wilcox and Charlton noted the contributions of course superintendent Lee Barefoot, The Wadsworth Construction company led on this project by Matt Lohmann, and consultant Steve Johnson of Brown Golf Management.

Visit www.rtj2.com to learn more about RTJ II’s courses, sustainable designs, water conservation, and world-class public golf courses.

Paul Azinger Joins NBC Sports Group

Azinger Will Be Lead Golf Analyst on Golf Channel and NBC Tournament Coverage, Contribute to Golf Central’s Live From the Masters, Golf Channel’s Instructional Platforms and Future Golf Films Projects

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – Paul Azinger will become NBC Sports’ lead golf analyst in 2019, following Johnny Miller’s retirement at the Waste Management Phoenix Open (Jan. 31-Feb. 3). The announcement was made by Molly Solomon, executive vice president, content, Golf Channel.

“For nearly three decades fans tuning into NBC Sports’ golf coverage have been accustomed to a lead analyst that told it like it was, and that mantra will continue with Paul Azinger calling the action from our 18th tower,” Solomon said. “Following Johnny Miller is a tall order. However, we’re confident in Paul’s ability to serve our viewers with candor and sharp insight, pulling from his decorated professional golf career and extensive broadcast experience.”

“I have great admiration for both the quality of NBC Sports’ coverage and commitment to great storytelling, as well as the network’s deep commitment to the game I love,” Azinger said. “It is a great honor to cover a tremendous slate of PGA TOUR and marquee events, including THE PLAYERS, The Open, Ryder Cup and Tokyo Olympics. Additional opportunities to contribute to instructional and historical projects, as well as Golf Channel’s top-notch news platforms, makes this the role of a lifetime.”

“Paul is one of the most perceptive minds in golf,” said Tommy Roy, lead golf producer, NBC Sports. “His innate ability to dissect the action in front of him and convey it to the viewer in such a concise, assured manner is what we value most across our tournament broadcast team.”

Additionally, Azinger will contribute to Golf Channel’s portfolio of platforms, ranging from Golf Central’s Live From the Masters alongside former colleague Mike Tirico; develop instructional content for both on-air and via Revolution Golf; and develop documentary projects for Golf Channel’s Emmy-nominated and critically-acclaimed Golf Films.

Azinger’s NBC Sports schedule in 2019, which will regularly include all four days of tournament coverage on Golf Channel and NBC, will kick off at the WGC-Mexico Championship (Feb. 21-24). NBC Sports will allow Azinger to continue to call The Masters for the BBC, as well as the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open on FOX.

Paul Azinger Bio:
After playing for Florida State University, Azinger’s professional career highlights include 17 worldwide wins, including 12 PGA TOUR wins and the 1993 PGA Championship, as well as captaining the victorious 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup team. Following his breakthrough major championship victory at the PGA Championship at Inverness, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. After battling the disease for months with intensive chemotherapy and radiation, he was able to return to golf and received the Golf Writers Association of America Ben Hogan Award in 1995, which recognizes a professional golfer who remains active in the sport despite serious illness or physical handicap. Azinger’s comeback was fully realized in 2000, when at the age of forty, he won the Sony Open in Hawaii.

From 2006-2015 he served as the lead golf analyst for ABC and subsequently ESPN. In 2016, he joined Fox Sports’ team for its slate of USGA Championships. Paul enjoys many hobbies off the course, including an affinity for poker and foosball, as well as maintaining a consistent schedule of all types of fishing. Azinger and his wife Toni reside in Bradenton, Fla., near their daughters Josie (son-in-law Sebastian) and Sarah Jean (son-in-law Tim). They are the proud grandparents of Campbell and Houston.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Volvik Named Official Golf Ball of LPGA Tour’s 2019 Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions

(ORLANDO, Florida) – Volvik (volvik.com), known the world over for the outstanding performance characteristics and vibrant color options of its golf balls, has been named the Official Golf Ball of the LPGA Tour’s 2019 Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions Presented by Insurance Office of America, an official LPGA event. To kick off the new year, the tournament will be played Jan. 17-20, 2019, at Tranquilo Golf Club at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando, in Orlando, Fla. Volvik will have a merchandise tent on-site.

“We are pleased to have been named the Official Golf Ball of this prestigious tournament, which will showcase a very strong LPGA field,” said Don Shin, president of Volvik USA. “Volvik has a prominent presence on the LPGA Tour, and we appreciate the recognition this opportunity provides the company.”

New for 2019, the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions Presented by Insurance Office of America will feature some of the world’s top professional women golfers. Only winners from the past two LPGA seasons will qualify to play, with $1.2 million in official prize money on the line. The LPGA pros will play 72 holes of stroke play with no cut, playing side-by-side with a roster of world-class sports and entertainment celebrities, who will be competing for their own $500,000 purse. Private evening events and concerts also are planned.

All four days of official play will be nationally televised with Thursday and Friday on Golf Channel, and Saturday and Sunday on network NBC.

For more information, see volvik.com.

Audi Henderson Las Vegas Golf Classic Showcases Golf and Food festival at Reflection Bay Golf Club

(Henderson, Nev.) - Golf, cuisine and community giving will take center stage at the second annual 2018 Audi Henderson Las Vegas Golf Classic slated for November 1-3, 2018, at Reflection Bay Golf Club at Lake Las Vegas. This marks the second large tournament hosted by Reflection Bay Golf Club in the last six months, following the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) tournament that was held in May.

The Audi Henderson Las Vegas Golf Classic is a two-part event featuring a double shotgun scramble golf tournament on November 2 and Culinary Feast on November 3. The feast will showcase more than 15 local restaurants, wineries and breweries along with live entertainment by the Spazmatics and a silent auction. Guests can take part in the golf tournament, the Culinary Feast or both. For complete event details and ticket information visit www.lakelasvegasclassic.com.

All of the proceeds from the event will be donated to Keep Memory Alive and the Ogden Family Foundation. In 2017, the tournament raised almost $30,000 for Keep Memory Alive and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Southern Nevada.

Reflection Bay Golf Club is seasoned at conducting prestigious golf tournaments and events. The Jack Nicklaus Signature Design was host to the Wendy’s 3Tour Challenge from 1998 to 2007, showcasing the talents of such champions as Bubba Watson, Fred Couples, John Daly and Phil Mickelson. In addition, the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) held its tournament at Reflection Bay in May 2018, which featured players from all over the world.

“Reflection Bay is uniquely suited to host a wide variety of tournaments because the course lends itself to accommodate multiple skill levels,” said Eric Dutt, manager of operations for Reflection Bay Golf Club. “We push the envelope to provide our players with the best resort-style experience possible.”

Dutt said players at the tournament will be among the first to enjoy fixed Food and Beverage Stations recently opened on the 5th and 14th tees. Food at the Stations will be provided by Lake Las Vegas executive chef Scott Commings, season 12 winner of Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen.”

“We are introducing the stations to elevate our level of service and keep our fingers on the pulse of new practices and unparalleled guest service,” said Dutt, a 35-year industry veteran.

Dutt is one of the most sought-after experts in the Las Vegas golf industry with work that includes consulting for the Tiger Woods Foundation National Charity among overseeing a host of tournaments at Rio Secco golf course in Las Vegas. He also held roles as Tournament Operations Manager for PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and PGA Senior tour events in Las Vegas.

A welcome party to kick off the weekend will be held for registered golfers and sponsors on November 1 at the Reflection Bay clubhouse. The 32,000-square-foot venue can accommodate up to 300 people with both indoor and outdoor space to host weddings, holiday and corporate parties and special events.

On Saturday, November 2, golfers can choose a 7:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. tee time and compete against more than 50 other teams in a scramble format tournament. The Culinary Feast takes place on November 3 and will feature cuisine from restaurants including TAO, LAVO, Zenshin, Beauty & Essex, Hash House A Go Go, Marssa Steak & Sushi, STK Steak, Texas de Brazil Steakhouse, Ethel M Chocolates, Capital Grille, Foundation Room, Shake Shack and Reflection Bay Golf Club.

For ticket information and more details on the 2018 Audi Henderson Las Vegas Golf Classic, visit www.lakelasvegasclassic.com and www.reflectionbaygolf.com.

Book Review: 'Death from the Claret Jug'

I like murder mysteries and I LOVE golf. Put the two together and you have the makings of an incredible novel. Well, James Bartlett has done just that with “Death from the Claret Jug.”

The fifth title in his Hacker Golf Mystery series, the book follows golf writer Pete Hacker’s quest to solve the suspicious death of a rules official while the golf world converges on St. Andrews for the Open Championship. With girlfriend Mary Jane Cappellitti by his side, Hacker zeros in on the guilty party.

Bartlett does a wonderful job of weaving in copious amounts of golf with smart and witty prose. There are myriad ways this story could turn and I thought I knew the ending several times before being surprised by the outcome.

I found myself reading the book in a cheesy tone of an old Humphrey Bogart characterizer, which only added to my enjoyment and took me back to when my grandfather would have me watch old black-and-white movies with him when I was a kid. In loved Gramps, even though I would’ve preferred Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck over Bogie and Bacall.

With “Death in a Green Jacket (2007)” already published, “Death from the Claret Jug” marks the midway point in Bartlett’s planned major series. Expect to see titles referencing the U.S. Open and PGA Championship in the years to come. The prolific author’s other titles include: “Death Is a Two-Stroke Penalty” (1991), "Death from the Ladies' Tee” (1992), and “Death at the Member-Guest” (2006).

Published by Yoeman House Publishers, the paperback is available at amazon.com.

Jack Grace Shoes Launches Gridiron Collection and Alma Mater Series

(PHOENIX, Ariz.) – Jack Grace, the premium leather golf shoe company with interchangeable saddle patterns, announces the release of its Gridiron Collection and Alma Mater Series. As the football season heats up, now you can support your favorite NFL or college team on the course with Camo saddle patterns that match your team’s colors.

Jack Grace’s INNOVATOR men’s and women’s golf shoes come in three standard colors: white, black and grey. With one shoe and more than 500 swappable saddle patterns to choose from, Jack Grace gives you the ability to coordinate any look and feel you want. Be a Super Fan. Be Playful. Be Trendy. Be Traditional. Be You!  Jack Grace shoes can be customized to fit your personality and style both on and off the course.

“When in comes to supporting your favorite team, we’ve got you covered with this line up of great looking saddles,” said Brad Smith, COO of Jack Grace. “The Gridiron Collection and Alma Mater Series for men and women come in a variety of eye-catching Camo designs. Jack Grace Shoes are the coolest shoes in golf and you will become a raving fan once you try them.”

Designed with its patent-pending Hidden Channel Technology, Jack Grace shoes attach securely to provide a seamless look when changing out the saddles. The shoelaces are fully functional and tighten  for perfect support and a great fit.  The diamond-shaped spike-less outsoles provide excellent traction and stability. They are also extremely comfortable.

The men’s and women’s INNOVATOR shoes retail for $160.00 with black saddles included.  Additional saddles are $40.00. Saddles can be purchased in hundreds of different designs and customized for events or promotions. To purchase, go to www.jackgraceusa.com and search for your favorite team. For group sales information, contact Matt Jones, 602-570-7176, or matt@jackgraceusa.com.