Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Ireland's Kilkea Castle Opens for Play

(Kilkea Castle, Ireland) - World class golf is being offered at Kilkea Castle in Ireland. Having undergone a five-year, $30 million renovation and restoration, the 12th century hotel resort and golf club is now open.

Kilkea Castle’s new clubhouse proudly overlooks the 9th hole of its private golf course with the majestic castle visible just beyond. The 18-hole, par 70 parkway course features the River Greese as a natural hazard flowing throughout with two different lakes included in the design.

Additional offerings include a driving range, practice putting green, fully stocked golf shop and, overlooking the course, 18-self catering, three-bedroom lodges are available, perfect for families or a group of avid golfers. You may also choose to stay in the castle or one of the beautiful carriage rooms, all with striking views of the golf course.

KILKEA CASTLE & ESTATE:
Kilkea Castle, which dates back to 1180, combines history and mystical charm with the allure of timeless sophistication and luxury. One of the oldest inhabited castles in Ireland, the medieval fortress and estate was sold by the Fitzgerald family in the early 1960s. It was run as a hotel for decades but entered examinership in 2009, as a result of the Irish financial crisis.  It has undergone a five year, $30-million renovation and restoration and today stands ready to extend a 5-star welcome to travelers from around the globe. The estate, which is located one hour from Dublin, includes the castle, the carriage rooms, a grand function hall, restaurants and bars, the spa, and the golf club with self-catering suites. It sits on 180 acres of lush woodland, lavish, rose-filled gardens, a serene river, and a world-class golf course.

OWNERS:
In 2012, Boston construction mogul Jay Cashman and his wife Christy purchased Kilkea Castle, which had been owned by the state since 2009. Mr. Cashman is the founder and CEO of The Cashman Companies, which employs more than 1,000 people in the marine construction, dredging, vessel leasing, renewable and wind-powered energy, real estate development, environmental remediation, heavy/civil construction, water storage, and power plant maintenance. Mrs. Cashman is an actress, writer, producer, philanthropist and entrepreneur who has appeared in over 20 films, including American Hustle, The Forger, Joy, and Ted 2. In 2014, she founded of Saint Aire Productions and co-founded Charity Warriors Challenge, an annual competition that provides a platform for women and their charities.

ROOMS & DÉCOR:
The 12th century castle has been fully refurnished and the result is an intriguing mélange of medieval décor and modern chic. Guests may enjoy a variety of offerings in the castle itself, including a luxurious Drawing Room, perfect for afternoon tea, and a grand Dining Room for sumptuous meals and gatherings. Other areas to enjoy include the Castle Lounge, with its roaring fireplace, and The Keep, an authentic Irish pub where guests may enjoy Irish whiskey and Guinness after a full day of activities. There are 11 beautifully appointed bedrooms in the castle, including the Fitzgerald Suite that features sweeping vistas of the landscape that encompasses the estate. In the court yard, the original carriage house and stables have been converted into 31 lovely bedrooms, many of which showcase original features including bespoke wrought iron and exposed wooden beams.

GOLF CLUB & COURSE:
Kilkea Castle’s new clubhouse proudly overlooks the 9th hole of its private golf course with the majestic castle visible just beyond. The 18-hole, par 70 parkway course features the River Greese as a natural hazard flowing throughout with two different lakes included in the design. Additional offerings include a driving range, practice putting green, fully stocked golf shop and, overlooking the course, 18-self catering, three-bedroom lodges are available, perfect for families or a group of avid golfers.

DINING:
Using seasonal local produce from ethically sourced suppliers, the culinary team at Kilkea Castle delivers superb traditional Irish cuisine with a hint of international flavor. Options include The Bistro, an informal dining experience that seats 68 located in the clubhouse which offers a selection of healthy breakfasts, lite bites and hearty main dishes. A sophisticated setting, Hermione’s Restaurant, which accommodates 110, offers a mix of haute cuisine with seasonal specials and Irish favorites. In the Castle, guests can enjoy High Tea in the Drawing Room, with specialty teas or a glass of bubbly and delicate finger sandwiches, homemade scones with jam and a lashing of fresh cream. For a sophisticated culinary experience, guests may also enjoy the grandeur found in the Dining Room, which overlooks the Rose Garden and 18th hole.

BANQUET HALL & FITNESS CENTER/SPA:
The first building that greets visitors at the main entrance to the castle is the new Baronial Hall, a grandly appointed event space that accommodates up to 280 guests, perfect for wedding receptions, live concerts and performances, conferences and conventions, and fetes and celebrations of all kinds.  Just behind in what was once a nightclub is the luxury spa and fully appointed fitness center, scheduled to open in July 2018.

PURSUITS & PLEASURES:
In addition to golf, Kilkea Castle hosts a variety of pursuits and pleasures including Tennis, Archery, Falconry, Skeet Shooting, Horseback Riding, Swimming, Tubing, Cycling, Fishing, Birdwatching, and a variety of tailored Spa Treatments. Nearby guests can enjoy Sightseeing, Shopping, Hiking, Live Music, Art Exhibits, Theater Performances, and Horse Racing.

Additional information: www.kilkeacastle.ie

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Volvik Adds Four New Colors to Vivid Line of Golf Balls

(ORLANDO, Florida) – Volvik has expanded its line of Vivid golf balls with the introduction of four new colors: jade, blue, purple and black. The popularity of the new colors already is in full swing as evidenced by the immediate strong response.

“This latest expansion of our Vivid line has had a robust result very quickly,” said Don Shin, president of Volvik USA. “Golfers of every ability level are aware of the high performance qualities of Volvik golf balls, and the addition of these four new colors represents an even wider choice for players.”

The new Volvik colors lead the way for new market trends while maintaining the same top quality that provides golfers with superior performance, power and distance.

The new jade Volvik Vivid golf balls were introduced at the Volvik LPGA Championship, played May 24-27 at Travis Pointe Country Club, in Ann Arbor, Mich., to an enthusiastic reception. The Vivid black balls were introduced in Volvik’s limited-edition Skull packs in the spring; they are being sold by the dozen for a limited time beginning July 1. The jade, blue and purple Vivid balls are available for purchase now.

The Volvik Vivid line is the world’s first and best-selling matte-finish three-piece golf ball, with a 75 compression and a larger core for more distance. The unique SF matte coating provides aerodynamic consistency and higher trajectory. Golfers experience the ultimate in distance – with softer feel and greater energy transfer from the highly resilient power core – as well as higher greenside spin for accurate pin control.

For more information, see volvik.com.

Greg Norman Among Athletes in ESPN The Magazine Body Issue

ESPN The Magazine Announces Athlete Roster for 10th Annual BODY Issue

(RELEASE) - Today ESPN The Magazine announced this year’s roster of athletes who will be featured in BODY10, which hits newsstands June 29. Created in celebration of the athletic form, ESPN The Magazine’s BODY Issue will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year. The 2018 athlete roster is as follows:
· Saquon Barkley, New York Giants Running Back
· Sue Bird, Seattle Storm Point Guard, and Megan Rapinoe, USWNT and Seattle Reign FC Forward
· Tori Bowie, U.S. Olympic Track and Field Athlete and Gold Medalist
· Lauren Chamberlain, USSSA Pride Infielder
· Jessie Diggins, U.S. Olympic Cross-Country Skier and Gold Medalist
· Crystal Dunn, USWNT and North Carolina Courage Forward
· Charlotte Flair, WWE Superstar
· Zlatan Ibrahimovic, LA Galaxy Forward
· Dallas Keuchel, World Series Champion and Houston Astros Cy Young Award-Winning Pitcher
· Greg Norman, Hall of Fame Golfer
· Yasiel Puig, LA Dodgers Right Fielder
· Adam Rippon, Olympic Bronze Medalist Figure Skater
· Jerry Rice, Pro Football Hall of Fame Wide Receiver
· Breanna Stewart, Seattle Storm Forward
· Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves Center

In celebration of the 10th anniversary, a digital photo archive gallery is available of all athletes over the past nine years at espn.com/bodyissuearchive.

PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com World Amateur Handicap Championship Nears 3,000 Entrants

Entries Are Up More Than 10 Percent Over 2017 Pace

(Myrtle Beach, S.C.) - The 35th annual PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com World Amateur Handicap Championship is more than two months from teeing off, and more than 2,850 players from 48 states and 25 countries have already registered for the tournament.

A 72-hole, net stroke play event, the World Am annually attracts 3,000+ players, and it’s tracking more than 10 percent ahead of last year’s pace. The surge has been driven by an increased number of international, female and first-year players.

The cost of entry is $575 and players can register until August 1 at www.MyrtleBeachWorldAmateur.com.

“The PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com World Am is golf’s most inclusive event,” said Scott Tomasello, the tournament director. “We are thrilled to see the increase in female and international participants, area’s of great potential growth for the tournament. We are looking forward to celebrating the World Am’s 35th birthday.”

The World Am will be played August 27-31 on more than 60 of Myrtle Beach’s best golf courses as players are placed in tightly grouped flights based on age, gender and handicap. After four rounds of play, all flight winners and ties advance to the World Championship Playoff, an 18-hole shootout that crowns the event’s champion.

Players are flighted into nine divisions – men 49 and under, senior men (50-59), mid-senior men (60-69), super senior men (70-79), seasoned seniors (80+), women, the gross division, senior (50+) gross division. There is also a “Just For Fun” flight, created for players who want to enjoy the World Am experience without the pressure of competition.

While the competition is initially what lures players to this bucket list event, it’s only part of what keeps them coming back. At the heart of the World Am’s appeal is the camaraderie among its participants and much of that kinship is fostered at the World’s Largest 19th Hole.

Each night of the event, the 19th Hole overtakes all 120,000-square feet of the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, providing participants with free food and drinks, live entertainment, celebrity guest appearances, a golf expo and more.

Among the big names that have appeared at the 19th Hole in recent years are David Feherty, Brandel Chamblee, Charlie Rymer and John Daly.

Players will also receive a gift bag that perennially includes a logo’d hat, shirt, PGA Tour Superstore gift card and an assortment of other goodies.

For more information, visit www.myrtlebeachworldamateur.com.

Phil Mickelson Invests in Robot-Delivered Desserts

The legendary golfer is poised to help define the 'unattended retail experience' for the next generation

(SAN DIEGO, CA) - Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc. (OTCBB: VEND) announced that its flagship subsidiary, Reis & Irvy’s, has inked a deal with five-time major championship golfer and World Golf Hall of Famer, Phil Mickelson, and his career-long business manager and business partner, Steve Loy, for 30 new Reis & Irvy’s locations to be installed throughout San Diego County (where Phil is a native and resides with his family).

Reis & Irvy’s-branded signature robot characters of the same name can dispense servings of frozen yogurt, ice cream, gelatos and sorbet topped with a selection of six delicious toppings in under 60 seconds. With self-checkout touch screen ordering and payment options, video animation, music and delicious frozen dessert provided exclusively by Dannon, robot vendors meet consumer demand for convenience, entertainment and a superior quality product.  

Phil Mickelson and Steve Loy continue to expand upon their business portfolio with the investment in Reis & Irvy’s that is challenging the status quo in food retail by catering to this generation’s expectations of immersive, entertaining and on-demand shopping experiences.  “We have seen the development of Reis and Irvy’s over the last eight months and became intrigued with the advancement and benefits of robotics which enhance the delivery of quality products to the consumer while reducing overhead cost,” said Steve Loy.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of such transformative industry change,” said Mickelson. “I’ve pushed boundaries my whole career and that mindset carries over into the business world. The energy and passion from the Generation NEXT team to both deliver a quality product and disrupt food retail is exciting.”

Describing “the new arms race in retail,” John Bird of Forbes wrote that “unattended retail storefronts” — with their speed, flexibility and improved customer experience — are the future of retail. Brands like McDonald’s are successfully innovating their customer experience and “it will change forever the landscape” of casual dining, with “Gen-Xers, millennials, and successive generations already used to a computer interface for making most of their daily choices.”

With over $130 million in franchise and licensing contracts, Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc. (OTCBB:VEND) is leading the way with frozen desserts, fully autonomous robotic delivery, visual and audio entertainment, and a unique retail experience.

Reis & Irvy’s: Franchise Expansion Highlights:

Since its debut, Reis & Irvy’s has grown to over 235 franchisees across the U.S. and represents over 1,100 pending robot installations aggregating over $45 million, with additional contract commitments for 2,300 robots worth an estimated $130M in potential future revenues for Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc.

Reis & Irvy’s has strengthened its offerings by teaming up with some of the world’s largest manufacturing and logistics partners, including Dannon YoCream (www.yocream.com), Flex, Ltd. (www.flex.com), Stoelting Food Service (www.stoelting.com), who created the very first soft-serve machine for Dairy Queen, and Pitney Bowes (www.pitneybowes.com), who will provide the installation and national servicing.

Nick Yates, Chairman of Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc., is proud to be associated with such a high-profile athlete-entrepreneur of Mickelson’s global stature. “Phil is consistently ranked by ESPN as one of the ten most highly-regarded athletes in the world. Having such a well-respected champion as a stakeholder and franchisee, in our own backyard here in San Diego, is an honor, and a confirmation of our mission to help bring about a dramatic change in food retail,” said Yates.

For more information, visit the Reis & Irvy’s website at www.reisandirvys.com or call Toll-Free (888) 902-7558.

Quail Creek CC Focuses on Golf, Tennis Facilities as It Embarks on Multi-Million Dollar Renovation

(NAPLES, FL) – Quail Creek Country Club is completely redesigning its golf and tennis facilities as it introduces a state-of-the art, holistic approach to the health and longevity of its membership. The result will be a new cutting-edge approach—unique in country club settings—that blends dynamic fitness training with top-level golf and tennis instruction, all in a user-friendly, socially active environment. In this $18.5 million investment, the entire golf, tennis, fitness and leisure operations will be interfaced under the direction of certified physical trainers working in concert with the club’s PGA, LPGA and USPTA instructors.

“Our mission is to enable our members to play better and longer at whatever sport or activity they choose, whether that’s golf or tennis or the newly popular pickleball,” says Quail Creek President Jim Clayton. “We have taken a very aggressive fiscal and creative approach in order to position the club positively for generations to come. Our vision of Quail Creek is keenly focused on integrating—from A to Z—the fitness component with golf and tennis to address the ‘whole person’—mental, physical and social.”

Quail Creek is seizing on a coming trend among country clubs, as identified by researcher Frank Vain, President of the McMahon Group, a private-club consulting firm. “In addition to golf [successful clubs of the future] will offer fitness and wellness. This means there will be standard exercise options and functional training, as well as spa, nutrition, joint rehab, physical therapy and athletic and sport-specific training,” Vain says. “Over the next decade, the average country club will look more like a sports center surrounded by a golf course.” Or in the case of Quail Creek, two highly regarded 18-hole golf courses designed by Arthur Hills—the Quail and the Creek—which have each undergone extensive renovations over the past six years. The United States Golf Association had awarded Quail Creek with the prestigious 2017 Women’s Mid- Amateur Championship, but it had to be relocated to another venue because of Hurricane Irma.

General Manager and COO Don Hunter notes that one of the goals at Quail Creek is to differentiate it as the best amateur/recreational player-support club in the area for the growing retirement market. It also expects to attract the next wave of retirees (ages 55-65) who plan to move to the Naples area. “We have found and retained some of the best experts in golf, tennis and fitness, as well as nutritional dining, and they will be working closely with each other to benefit our current and future members,” Hunter says.

The large and well-manicured golf practice facility and short-game area (maintained by Director of Golf Courses and Grounds Kevin Leo, with 30 years’ experience) will be expanded even further in the new design. Under the watchful eye of Director of Golf Mike Dero and Head Golf Professional Jon Balyeat, the pro shop will have a 180-degree viewing access of the range and tennis courts to facilitate monitoring the instruction and fitness programs.

Likewise, Quail Creek’s Tennis operations, under the direction of tennis professional Jon Call, will be redesigned to include 10 Har-Tru tennis courts, one exhibition tennis court, three bocce courts, one croquet lawn and four pickleball courts. Pickleball is quickly growing in the Naples area, considered the unofficial capital of this miniature version of tennis.

Fitness Operations Manager Teri Brodie is keen on the new integrated approach at Quail Creek: “As we plan the renovated sports and fitness center to help our golf and tennis members reach their optimum improvement goals, we will be focusing not only on the latest wellness trends, but also on what has worked well for us in the past,” she says. “We currently are a Blue Zones-certified Fitness, Wellness & Spa Center and have seven TRX machines, and we will continue to grow our Physical Therapy offering with a focus on Sports Medicine. TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) training will be a huge part of what we become, as well as MAT (Muscle Activation Techniques).”

There are 650 Golf and Social/Sports members at Quail Creek, many of whom live on property. Early reports indicate they are excited about the future of the club. That forward thinking will go hand-in-hand with Quail Creek’s innovative, new direction.

Schools Out, Player Pathway Continues to Local Courses

TGA Premier Golf prepares to run over 2,000 summer golf camps nationwide

(El Segundo, CA) - TGA Premier Golf (TGA), the leading introductory program in the game is getting ready to transition 55,000 kids from after-school enrichment programs to golf courses this summer. TGA’s Player Pathway begins in the schools and community centers and funnels into partner golf courses executing camps, parent-child events and leagues.

Camps and other transition programs have become an important revenue source to the local course partners. Golf courses receive a percentage of revenue from each TGA registration.

Dave Robinson, owner of three TGA franchises in Metro Detroit, will run 39 camp sessions at nine partner courses in his communities.

“Our camp sessions have become very successful with over 850 kids participating in summer camps in each of the last three years,” Robinson said. “Our golf course owners not only appreciate the added revenue we are driving to them, but they are getting the families out to the courses playing and spending money and then returning to play golf as a family.”

In Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina, Maryann Von Seggern has been the owner of her TGA Premier Golf franchises since 2014 and is introducing thousands of youth to the game. Over the last two summers she has had over 1,200 kids go through TGA summer camps, most of them at the popular Knights Play Golf Center.

Kevin Jones is the owner and PGA Professional at Knights Play and has seen first-hand how TGA can impact facilities and grow the game, “We have been so fortunate to have a program like TGA, as well as others, that introduce kids to the game and then provide them the opportunity to learn on the course at a facility like ours, which is perfect for them,” said Jones. “Programs like TGA bring out so many kids and families providing not only a nice revenue source for us, but also creating the critical future customers we need. We even get some of the kids ending up working for us and helping out the programs which is really exciting.”

Knights Play Golf Center is one of over 200 golf course partners TGA has developed in the 60 markets where its franchises are located. There is no cost for golf courses to become partners with TGA, only tangible short term and long-term benefits.

“Transitioning our kids from schools to golf facilities like Knights Play is a difference maker in developing future golfers.,” said Von Seggern. “Kids improve their swing, learn about playing on a course with other juniors, and become hooked on the game.”

Robinson’s and Von Seggern’s TGA franchises are just a few examples of how TGA moves the needle nationwide for golf courses.

For more information about TGA camps or to find out how your golf course can become a TGA partner, visit www.playtga.com.