Friday, December 15, 2017

Westin Kierland Golf Club Unveils New TurfRiders

(Scottsdale, Ariz.) –  With innovation as its hallmark, The Westin Kierland Golf Club recently unveiled yet another fun way to enjoy its 27 holes with the launch of their new TurfRiders. With their golf bag secured to the back of the two-wheeled TurfRider, a golfer can cruise around the Westin Kierland Golf Club, both on and off cart paths, with the freedom, speed and fun of a motorcycle.

The TurfRider’s light weight design and large, turf-friendly tires allows fairways to remain in pristine condition. In addition to adding an extra element of fun, the battery-powered TurfRiders also add speed to the game with an 18 mph setting recommended for getting around the course and climbing most hills. For larger hills or getting back to the clubhouse, TurfRiders can go as fast as 24 mph.

Fitness, fun and speed of play have always been top of mind at The Westin Kierland Golf Club since it first unveiled Segway Golf in 2002.  Adding to its unique fleet of golf vehicles were the golf bike, GolfBoard, climate-controlled golf carts with misters, four-seater golf carts and now the newest innovation – the TurfRider.

“TurfRiders help provide a fun and exhilarating golf experience,” said Nancy Dickens, director of golf, The Westin Kierland Golf Club.  “They are easy to ride but something most golfers have never experienced. They continue the Kierland tradition of creating a unique and different golf experience, while rounding out the ‘quartet’ of fun: Segways, GolfBoards, golf bikes and now, the TurfRider.”

The Westin Kierland Golf Club is a Troon-managed course designed by Scott Miller featuring 27 holes that form a complementary collection of nines – each with its own flavor and strategy, but all equally enjoyable and challenging. Golfers can enjoy the luxury of golf carts with built-in misters for climate control and a covered driving range. Traditional golf instruction by award-winning instructors Mike and Sandy LaBauve is offered at the LaBauve Golf Academy and Director of Instruction Tyler Haynes, PGA who offers professional instruction and custom club fitting through the Kierland Performance Center. The Club’s innovative FORE-MAX program helps golfers step up their performance through improved fitness, flexibility and nutrition. With its customized workouts, FORE-MAX is also a popular fitness option for those who don’t play golf.  For a unique golf experience, the Westin Kierland Golf Club also offers a Scottish golf program, where golfers play in a traditional Scottish kilt.

For information about The Westin Kierland Golf Club or to book a tee time, call 480-922-9283 or visit www.kierlandresort.com.

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

KemperSports Managed Properties Shine in Recent Golfweek Rankings

Ten properties make the list of Top 100 Resort Courses in the U.S.

(NORTHBROOK, Ill.) – KemperSports announced that 10 resort courses were featured in Golfweek Magazine’s list of the Top 100 Resort Courses in the U.S. – while seven of those courses were ranked in the top-20. The company manages more top-ranked courses than any other management company.

“As a company, we are fortunate to work with some of the most iconic resorts in the country,” said KemperSports CEO Steve Skinner. “This honor is a true testament to the vision of our clients and our dedicated staff that works tirelessly to provide unmatched golf experiences for our guests.”

Properties honored in Golfweek's Top 100 Resort Courses include:
- No. 2 – Pacific Dunes – Bandon, Ore.
- No. 4 – Old Macdonald – Bandon, Ore.
- No. 6 – Bandon Dunes – Bandon, Ore.
- No. 9 – Bandon Trails – Bandon, Ore.
- No. 12 – Streamsong Red – Streamsong, Fla.
- No. 15 (new) – Sand Valley – Nekoosa, Wis.
- No. 18 – Streamsong Blue – Streamsong, Fla.
- No. 42 – Golden Horseshoe (Gold) – Williamsburg, Va.
- No. 50 – Tobacco Road – Sanford, NC*
- No. 52 – Wilderness at Fortune Bay – Tower, Minn.

For more information on KemperSports, visit www.kempersports.com.

PGA National Resort & Spa Unveils Annual ‘12 Days of PGA’ Holiday Celebration

(PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.) – PGA National Resort & Spa – South Florida’s world-class golf, vacation and spa destination – announces its annual “12 Days of PGA” holiday celebration from Dec. 21 through New Year’s Day.

The festivities kick off Thursday, Dec. 21 with 12 continuous days of indulgent dining, lively entertainment and family-oriented activities. Seasonal celebrations and special events include breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus (Dec. 24 and 25), holiday preview shopping events, beauty demonstrations, holiday-themed spa treatments, children’s activities, tennis round robins, golf clinics and more.

Special holiday rates apply for the “12 Days of PGA” (call 855.233.1444 for details). The full roster of activities is available at www.pgaresort.com/holiday-calendar. The public is welcome for all holiday dining and spa events.

Resort guests can now take full advantage of the newly transformed Palmer Course, originally designed by legendary Arnold Palmer, which reopened in Nov. after undergoing a comprehensive renovation. To experience the Palmer, check out the Fall Escape & Play Package.

To celebrate Christmas Day, a buffet is offered at Ironwood Steak & Seafood from 1 – 8:30 p.m. featuring delicious entrees including Alaskan King Crab Legs, Hickory Smoked Leg of Lamb, Butter Basted Tom Turkey and Herb Roasted Prime Rib. An array of seasonal appetizers and sides complement the meal, finished off with a decadent dessert station. Price per guest is $85 for adults and $30 for children (ages 6 – 12).

Ring in the New Year with a lavish meal highlighted by a seasonal four-course dinner at Ironwood Steak & Seafood. Mouthwatering entrees include Champagne Braised Veal Shank, Prime Filet of Beef, Porcini Dusted Black Cod and Apricot Glazed Berkshire Pork Chop. Price per person is $110 from 5 – 7 p.m. and $135 per person for seating from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

On New Year’s Eve, the resort is hosting a fun-packed celebration to ring in 2018 in the sophisticated lobby iBAR featuring DJ entertainment and a midnight balloon drop (8 p.m. – 2 a.m.).

For pure holiday bliss, the world-class and newly renovated Spa at PGA National will be offering seasonal treatment specials highlighted by a “Honey Chai Steeped Milk Massage,” “Perky Pumpkin Radiance Boosting & Firming Facial,” “Savor the Season Holiday Pedicure” and “Hot Whiskey Scour Bourbon Body Treatment.”

PGA National also features a Gift Card program for its many amenities including golf, tennis, dining and retail outlets. Purchases of $350 or more in Spa and Salon gift cards receive bonus rewards. When you purchase $600 in Spa gift cards, you receive a complimentary two-night stay in a suite.

More information: www.pgaresort.com, 855.233.1444.

CIBC Bank USA Named Official Bank of the Western Golf Association

CIBC Bank will fully fund four Evans Scholarships each year through 2020

(Golf, Illinois) – CIBC Bank USA has been designated the Official Bank of the Western Golf Association and the Evans Scholars Foundation, organization leaders announced on Wednesday.

As part of a new four-year agreement, CIBC, formerly known as The PrivateBank, will fully fund four Evans Scholarships, providing an opportunity for four deserving young caddies to attend college.

The special designation provides a new opportunity for CIBC, as an Official Supporter, to establish a direct business relationship with WGA and ESF constituents.

Since 1930, the Evans Scholars Program, one of golf’s leading charities, has sent more than 11,000 caddies from limited financial means to college on full housing and tuition scholarships. There are currently 965 Evans Scholars attending
19 universities nationwide, and the organization is growing at a record pace from coast to coast. Leaders are working toward a goal of sending 1,000 caddies to college by the year 2020, and growing corporate support will play an integral role in helping to reach that milestone.

As part of the agreement, CIBC will fund the creation of four Endowed Named Evans Scholarships, awarded each year through 2020 to one incoming freshman Evans Scholar studying finance. The CIBC Evans Scholars will be graduates
of the WGA’s Caddie Academy, a special program that provides disadvantaged female teens an opportunity to caddie regularly and ultimately be eligible to apply for the Evans Scholarship. Recipients will also come from communities where CIBC has a banking presence.

Earlier in 2017, CIBC began supporting WGA and ESF initiatives, including hosting literacy sessions for participants of the Caddie Academy. CIBC also served as presenting sponsor of the Women’s Invitational, an annual summer event that benefits the Caddie Academy. The first CIBC Endowed Named Scholarship was presented to Caddie Academy graduate Melina Scofield, who caddied at The Glen Club in Glenview. She is now a freshman at Northwestern University and a graduate of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Pilsen.

CIBC also participates as a corporate supporter of the BMW Championship, whose sole charity is the ESF. Since 2007, the tournament has raised more than $26 million to help send caddies to college.

“We’re honored by CIBC’s commitment to providing life-changing college scholarships for deserving young caddies,” said WGA President & CEO John Kaczkowski. “Their support comes at a critical time, as we seek to meet increasing need from young students nationwide for college financial assistance. Through its support of the Caddie Academy, CIBC also is helping promote financial literacy and providing tools for young women to be able to succeed in finance.”

“It is important to all of us at CIBC that we play a role in helping to build the next generation of business leaders,” said Larry D. Richman, Senior Executive Vice-President and Group Head, CIBC U.S. Region, and President and CEO, CIBC Bank USA. “We appreciate the work of the Western Golf Association and the Evans Scholars Foundation in providing students with access to education and leadership development, and we are proud to support their good work through this partnership.”

To learn more, visit www.wgaesf.org and www.cibc.com/ca/.

Club Champion Opens Cleveland, Ohio Location

Golfers Choose from 35,000 Head & Shaft Combinations

(Willowbrook, IL) - Club Champion, the country’s #1 premium golf club fitting and building company, announces the opening of its new Cleveland fitting studio in Warrensville Heights, Ohio at 4069 Richmond Road. The store opened today December 14th, 2017.

Club Champion fits, sells, and builds custom golf clubs constructed from clubheads, shafts, and grips from the best brands in golf including Callaway, TaylorMade, Ping, Titleist, PXG, Fujikura, Golf Pride and many more. The company delivers a Tour-quality fitting that produces longer, more accurate shots, with a nearly 100% satisfaction rate for golfers of any caliber.

The new location features approximately 3,000 square feet of space and has been designed to showcase Club Champion’s premium fitting experience and 35,000 hittable clubhead and shaft combinations. The studio includes two indoor hitting bays with Trackman launch monitors for analyzing performance, a SAM PuttLab’s fitting system to find the perfect putter on their practice green, and a build shop for repairing and assembling golf clubs by hand.

"We are excited to bring the finest club fitting and building to the Cleveland area," said Joe Lee, CEO of Club Champion. "Our approach is unbiased, with no promotion of any specific vendors. Our only goal is to find the best combination of components to help customers hit longer, more accurate shots, and more often to lower their scores and enjoy the game more."

Ranked by Golf Digest as one of the 100 Best Club Fitters eight years running, Club Champion hires experienced fitters who then receive an additional 150+ hours of training before starting their job; unmatched in the golf industry. The company has a unique coupling system that allows them to combine any head and shaft together, so golfers hit the precise combination to be custom built for them. They are the only fitter in the country to offer 35,000 interchangeable head and shaft combinations on-site, at all locations. Golfers get to hit the exact club that will be custom built for them.

Says Lee, "Our unrivaled fitters and demo options generate inspiring results. A recent Golf Magazine study showed our average customer gained 22 yards off the tee, 15 yards with their irons and lowered their scores by 3 strokes. Many players think they aren’t good enough to be custom fit. But the study showed that higher-handicappers saw the biggest gains. Some of these golfers gained as much as 25 more yards with their drivers and shaved as much as 10 strokes per round."

With advances in club technology, most golfers could easily hit the ball farther and more accurately, yet a Golf Magazine study found that 90% of US golfers may be playing with improperly fit clubs. Club Champion endorser and world-renowned golf instructor David Leadbetter stated, "It never ceases to amaze me that golfers buy clubs off the shelf and assume they’re right for them. Whether you’re a great golfer or a casual one, getting a custom club fitting is one of the quickest ways to improve your game."

To celebrate the new opening, for a limited time (see website for details), the Cleveland store will offer 50% off full bag fittings, normally $350 (now $175), and 33% off driver, fairway wood, long game, hybrid, wedge, and putter fittings. The studio is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

More information on the company can be found at www.clubchampiongolf.com or by calling (888) 340-7820.

Airline Food Study 2017-18 Survey Provides Travelers with the Best In-Flight Food Choices

Delta and Virgin America Receive Top Rating

(NEW YORK, NY) - There will more than 51 million passengers traveling during this holiday season  (Dec. 15th -Jan 4th) according to trade group Airlines for America . Knowing what are the ”best” and “worst” choices is a valuable tool for any traveler, so Dr. Charles Platkin, the director of the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center and editor of DietDetective.com., once again studied the best “Calorie Bargains” and "Calorie Rip-offs" at 35,000 feet.

Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center and DietDetective.com have released the 2017-18 Airline Food Study, rating foods for twelve (12) airlines. The study assigned a “Health Score” (5 stars = highest rated, 0 star = lowest rated) based on criteria including healthy nutrients and calorie levels of meals, snack boxes and individual snacks, level of transparency (display of nutrient information & ingredients), improvement and maintenance of healthy offerings, menu innovation and cooperation in providing nutritional information. The survey includes health ratings, average calories per airline, comments, best bets, food offerings, costs, and nutrition information (e.g., calories, and exercise equivalents). See the full study at http://www.dietdetective.com/airline-food-investigation/

“This year Delta and Virgin America share the top spot as the airlines with the ‘healthiest’ food choices in the sky. with Air Canada and JetBlue tied for second,”  says Charles Platkin, PhD, JD, MPH, the executive director of the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center and editor of DietDetective.com.

The average number of calories per menu choice was 360 in 2012; in 2013 it was 388; in 2014 it was 397; in 2015 it was 400; in 2016 it was 392; and this year it's 405 calories, a 13 calorie increase over last year. However, calories are not everything; the survey also looks at the nutrients in the foods when they are provided (they are requested each year), as well as innovations moving towards healthy, tasty, inexpensive, sustainable foods.

Here are the major airline food headlines:
- Delta is the clear leader among the major carriers and is tied with Virgin America this year as the healthiest airline.
- Alaska Air purchased Virgin America, and the goal is to maintain the status-quo when it comes to food in all categories until next year.
- American and Delta have once again started offering complimentary meals in economy class on domestic flights, something we haven't seen in more than 15 years.
- Airlines are eliminating those oversized packages of snack foods and offering individual smaller packages or eliminating individual snacks altogether.

Some airlines are going back to serving individual complimentary snacks, but they’re not very healthy. How about an apple or an orange, or maybe a Clementine or a Halo (mandarin orange).
The "Shame on You" award goes to Hawaiian, United Airlines and American. Hawiian just does not respond while United’s food and beverage department seems put-out by the process, and it shows in their responses to queries. American Airlines is not much better, with a media rep who also seems annoyed by the process. 

Note to all airlines: It is not difficult to get nutritional information for all foods. Every airline uses detailed recipes; all they have to do is put the ingredients into a free online food calculator (such as supertracker.usda.gov), and in a few minutes they could have complete nutritional information. 
Read  the press release from the FDA commissioner:  “One important step is ensuring consumers have access to reliable and actionable information about the foods they eat so that they can make more informed choices about their diets and health for themselves and their families.” Menu labeling is coming in May 2018.

Below are the surveyed airlines' "Health Scores" (Health Score: 5 stars = highest rating, 0 stars = lowest). For full survey results including full listings of the snack/on-board food offerings, comments, ratings, cost, calories, exercise equivalents, and tips go to http://www.DietDetective.com or email Elizabeth Cummings, Elizabeth@NutritionPR.com 212 -367-7575 ext 117.

Summary of Health Ratings (5 Stars is highest): Delta 4 stars, Virgin America 4 stars, Air Canada 3.75  stars, JetBlue 3.75 stars, Alaska Air 3.5 stars, United Airlines 2.75 stars, American 2.5 stars, Frontier Air 2.25  stars,  Southwest Airlines 2 stars, Allegiant Air 1.75 stars, Spirit Airlines 1.75 stars, Hawaiian Airlines 1 star

Delta Air Lines (www.delta.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Excellent
Health Score:  4 stars
Average Calories Overall (Meals, Snack Boxes and Individual Snacks) =  480
Average Snack Box Calories = 560
Average Meal Calories = 559
Average Individual Snack Calories = 164

Comments:  Delta is doing an incredible job focusing on improving its food, transparency and communication. It is the clear leader among the big carriers . While calories are surely not everything, it’s always nice to see a decrease; the overall calories are down from 527 to 480. Meals are down from 628 to 559. Delta has also eliminated many of its individual paid snacks; however, the free offerings (other than the almonds), while relatively low in calories, are still not the great choices.  Delta continues its commitment to improving its food in terms of health and consciousness. Its menu continues to focus on “transparency into ingredient and allergen information for customers,” and its focus on transparency includes providing a key on the menu for snack items that are Non-GMO, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Kosher, and Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian. Also, the Tapas box is the U.S. airline industry’s only non-GMO snack box. Delta continues to work with Luvo, which has a very strong commitment to healthy eating. All the calorie information for the Luvo items are listed on Delta’s menu (and online); I’m just not sure why the airline doesn’t put all nutritional information for all its food on the website and pocket cards. Why not list ingredients, as well as fats, proteins, carbohydrates and sugar.

Best Bets: For a snack, the almonds are the best choice--even over the Kind bar or the lower-calorie pretzels.  The vegan, GMO-free Tapas Snack Box is a good healthy choice if you share or make it a meal (it’s too high in calories as a snack).  Within the box the best bests are the Super Seed Crackers, Snapea Crisps, dark chocolate, almonds, hummus, and quinoa with pepper dip. You can pass on the rest.

For morning travel, choose the continental breakfast (fruit and yogurt) at 345 calories, but save the Kind bar for a snack later in the day. For Lunch/Dinner, choose the Sesame Noodle Salad or the Greek Meze Plate. You can skip the caramel-filled chocolate to save calories. 

Virgin America (www.virginamerica.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Excellent
Health Score: 4 stars 
Average Calories Overall (Meals, Snack Boxes and Individual Snacks) = 340
Average Snack Box Calories = 358
Average Meal Calories =  406
Average Individual Snack Calories = 276

Comments: The airline has been purchased Alaska Air, and eventually the Virgin name will disappear. The good news is that Alaska Air is committed to adopting the healthy food options (and transparency) of Virgin America.   Additionally, Alaska will more than likely reduce the sizes of the individual snacks. Virgin is still the only airline that provides nutritional information (not just calories) for all items. We applaud that transparency and hope Alaska continues to do so. There are not many menu changes (obviously because of the transition). The individual snacks are still unhealthy. There are nine snack options,which should include healthier options.

Best Bets: Avoid the individual snacks if you can. Even the nuts, which are the best choice, are high in calories if you consume the entire package. Always choose a real meal if you can. Even if it's slightly higher in calories; it will keep you full longer.

For breakfast, try the Udi's Granola with Yogurt and Fruit, which is a bit high in sugar but overall low in calories at 330. The best snack box is the Protein Meal with hummus, nuts and tuna; the others are a bit high in calories and are not really worth it. For kids, skip the Jet Set Kid Pack if you can, and go for the half peanut butter and jam sandwich. In general, almost all the meals (as long as they’re eaten as meals and not snacks) are good choices. The Quinoa Wrap at 420 calories is high in protein for a vegetarian meal, which will help keep you full longer. The Protein Plate is also a good choice, as is the Farro Salad with roasted chicken – powerful from a health perspective. Again, these are meals that will fill you up and help you avoid the junk. The good news is that none of the food goes overboard in terms of calories, so you really can't go too far wrong.

Air Canada (www.aircanada.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Very Helpful
Health Score: 3.75 Stars
Average Calories Overall (Meals and Individual Snacks) = 320
Average Meal Calories = 377
Average Individual Snack Calories = 267

Comments: The airline keeps nutrients high and calorie counts low for meals. Also, it’s nice that they offer meals but no snack boxes. People tend to eat the entire snack box, which is typically high in calories and low on nutrients.  The airline has ended its relationship with the food company, Luvo, and replaced them with a company called Freshii. The individual snacks are not great and still need work because there are very few healthy choices. Also, Air Canada should be transparent, putting nutritional information and ingredients on the menu. Why not?

Best Bets: For breakfast, the Greek yogurt is still a good option – and will probably fill you up. The Avocado Smash Box with fresh guacamole, hard-boiled egg, green apple slices, and multigrain muesli bread sounds amazing and also offers 23g of filling protein to keep you energized. Honestly, that is the kind of food every airline should be offering. Skip the egg sandwich.  The Chicken Soup is a low-calorie choice for a snack that will fill you up, but be wary of the 950mg of sodium if you have high blood pressure. The Celery & Carrots with Ranch Dip (if you use no more than half the dip) is an OK choice. While the hummus and the guacamole options sound healthy, the pretzels and Tostitos offer little nutritional value, and you’d be better off having a meal if meals are available.

If meals are available, the newly added Pangoa Bowl and the Fiesta Wrap are high-nutrient, low-calorie choices. The California Roll is another light offering that’s low in fat and calories. It would also make a great snack! The Thai Chicken Wrap is also a high protein, lower calorie option, but very high in sodium.

JetBlue Airways (www.jetblue.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Somewhat Helpful
Health Score: 3.75 stars
Average Calories Over All (Meals, Snack Boxes and Individual Snacks) = 337
Average Snack Box Calories = 357
Average Meal Calories = 483
Average Individual Snack Calories = 142

Comments: The individual snacks are still low in calories as well as nutritional value. The airline continues to post nutritional information for its snack boxes and meals on its website. They don’t post nutritional information for the individual snacks, but it is on the packaging.  In terms of free snacks, which JetBlue is famous for, how about offering something healthy--there is NOT a single healthy choice in the group. However, the airline is clearly thinking about this on the snack box level--just look at the new AmpUp box with olives, hummus, Mary’s Gone Crackers (they’re great crackers) and a That’s It fruit bar--those are the types of snacks JetBlue should be offering for free. It would change the face of the airline. JetBlue should note that people are very serious about what they eat and are extremely conscious of choosing healthier, organic, non-GMO, nutritious foods.  Finally, the airline should offer actual meals on more flights.

Best Bets: Still not too much in the way of healthy individual snacks. So keep in mind, the individual snacks are free, and the JetBlue team is generally friendly and will not say no to requests for extra portions. As for the Eat Up boxes, the Pick Me Up box is lowest in calories but not necessarily the most nutritious. The AmpUp box features hummus, Mary’s Gone Crackers and almonds, and while it’s high in calories, it’s loaded with good nutrition (e.g. fiber and protein). Have it as a meal though, not as a snack, and skip the chocolate crispy squares to reduce low-nutrient calories. If you’re on a flight that offers the Eat Up Café, the Yogurt and Granola (you might want to limit the honey), the Kale & Quinoa Salad and the Spicy Soba & Korean-Style Chicken (unless you’re sodium sensitive) are all good choices. Skip the Grilled Chicken and Brie Sandwich, which is very high in calories and low on nutrition.

Alaska Airlines (www.alaskaair.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Extremely Helpful
Health Score: 3.5 stars 
Average Calories Overall (Meals and Snack Boxes and Individual snacks) =  479.6
Average Snack Box Calories =  479
Average Meal Calories =  516.5
Average Individual Snack Calories = 315

Comments: The good news is that Alaska Airlines has purchased Virgin America (named the healthiest airline over the last few years), and has vowed to take on some of VA’s healthy approach to food.  That said, Alaska has always been committed to food, just not the healthiest.  The airline’s spokesperson was incredibly helpful and pointed out that the they will increase transparency on the combined airline and add many of VA’s healthy food choices 

Best Bets: Among the snack boxes, the Mediterranean Tapas hasn't changed much from last year and is still the healthiest choice. It has olives, hummus, almonds, dried fruit and even a dark chocolate bar. But keep in mind that 510 calories is a bit high for a "snack" (or even a meal), so it would be best if you either shared the box or had it as a meal replacement. For kids, the snack box may be tempting, but it's always better for children (and adults) to eat a real meal. FYI, the beef jerky is low in calories but very high in sodium. As far as breakfast goes, you can pick the Ham & Sweet Potato Frittata but skip the corn muffin. The breakfast offerings are a bit heavy and rich (as are all the meals). If you opt for the fruit and cheese plate, skip the crackers and half the cheese.  There aren’t too many dinner choices, but the Roast Turkey with Veggie Hash is a high-protein, low-calorie choice, although also high in sodium .

United Airlines (www.united.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Somewhat Helpful
Health Score: 2.75 stars
Average Calories Overall (Meals, Snack Boxes and Individual Snacks) = 416
Average Meal Calories = 484
Average Snack Box Calories = 492
Average Individual Snack Calories = 311

Comments: United, the 4th largest airline in the U.S., needs to change the way it thinks about its food offerings.  They have very little food transparency on the website, meaning that nutritional information is not available, and the ingredients are listed but you have to dig a bit to find them (and take a peek here--they’re not very “clean”). The individual snack choices are generally not healthy, the snack boxes could be much more food/healthy thoughtful, and the meals are average to OK.  Also, the food and beverage group as well as the media reps for the airline seem bothered and put off  by our inquiries.

Best Bets: Among the individual snacks, the hummus is the best choice, and it would be a good idea to avoid the other choices. Get the Tapas snack box, which is high in calories but has many healthy foods, including almonds, olives, hummus and bruschetta; just toss out the cheese spread. You should also share it unless you’re eating it as a meal. Skip the Classic and Select snack boxes. For breakfast, the Chobani Greek Yogurt and Fresh Fruit is OK, but it has a lot of sugar and a not-very-clean ingredients list (i.e., granola).  For Lunch/Dinner, the Mezze Sampler is your best bet and should keep you full. Another choice would be the. Mediterranean Chicken Wrap, although it has a bit too much cheese. 

American Airlines (www.aa.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Below Average
Health Score:  2.5 stars
Average Calories Overall (Meals, Snack Boxes and Individual Snacks) = 446
Average Meal Calories =  495
Average Snack Box Calories = 526
Average Individual Snack Calories = 192

Comments: In addition to its complimentary snacks, American began providing complimentary main cabin meals as of March 2017.  Nothing very healthy, and I find the following comment not surprising considering that Delta is it’s competition: “Providing complimentary meals in the Main Cabin is yet another step we’re taking to enhance our service in this competitive market.”

The airline is still not publishing any food or nutritional information on its website--absolutely nothing.  This is  a strange move leading to even less food transparency and providing travelers with  no ability at all to plan their meal.  The only good news is that the airline has discontinued all it's unhealthy for-sale individual snacks. Fresh and Light Meals are a step in a better direction, but for a major US airline, American is very far behind when it comes to food.  The airline’s leadership needs to get in touch and start offering healthier, cleaner foods. 

Best Bets: The hummus box is the best bet among snacks for purchase.  If you opt to purchase a lunch, on flights of three hours or more the Chicken Arugula  Wrap seems to be the best option--go light on the dressing. The Turkey and Chutney Sandwich is also an OK choice. If you opt to purchase breakfast, the Egg and Turkey Bacon Sandwich is OK as long as you go light on the honey mustard dressing. If you're on a flight with complimentary breakfast, pick the Snack Box with yogurt and granola, which is just acceptable healthwise, and steer clear of the fruit and cheese plate. For complimentary lunch/dinner there really are no great options; the Fruit and Cheese Plate is the lowest in calories but not well rounded enough for a meal. The Vegetarian Wrap might be OK if you skip the brownie.

Frontier Airlines (www.flyfrontier.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Very Helpful
Health Score: 2.25 stars
Average Calories Overall (Individual Snacks and Snack Boxes) = 372
Average Individual Snack Calories = 386
Average Snack Box Calories = 300

Comments: Frontier’s communications team had historically been uncooperative. This year the information was shared promptly, but very little has changed on the airline’s menu.

Best Bet: As with last year, the trail mix could be the healthiest option, but travelers would be best off bringing their own food.

Southwest Airlines (www.southwest.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Very Helpful
Health Score: 2 stars
Average Calories = 125

Comments: Not much variety and not much in terms of nutritional value.  However, they are always helpful, and that’s nice.  I just wish they would add some healthy snacks or at least test a few.  This is one of the larger carriers in the US, so it would be great for Southwest to set an example and show that healthy food can sell if it is tasty and curated with consciousness.

Best Bet: The peanuts are the best, even though the pretzels are lower in calories.

Allegiant Air (www.allegiantair.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Very Helpful
Health Score:  1.75 stars
Average Calories Overall (Snack Boxes and Individual Snacks) = 402
Average Individual Snack Calories = 474
Average Snack Box Calories = 307

Comments: The media department’s response was excellent this year and helped to clarify some of last year’s estimates, but a few more healthy food items would be welcome on the menu. I bet they would sell. 

Best Bets: Among individual snacks, the nuts might work if you share them with at least one other person. The hummus snack pack is a good choice, but the snack boxes are not great in terms of health (and not just calorie-wise).  Avoid the Deli Snack Pack, and the Wingz Kids Snack Pack is not a healthy choice.

Spirit Airlines (www.spirit.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Helpful
Health Score: 1.75 stars
Average Calories Overall (Individual Snacks and Snack Boxes) = 316
Average Individual Snack Calories =342.5
Average Snack Box Calories = 316

Comments: The airline’s previous media spokesperson had been unresponsive but is no longer with the airline.  Good news.  Spirit, which is all about the bottomline, should see some grander opportunity in selling healthy food (e.g., better margins, increased revenue, improved customer satisfaction, etc…).  Also, the airline is not keeping up with the major
carriers, who have learned that large size snacks are not the best option for travellers.

Best Bet: The hummus and pita chips are one of just a few changes Spirit has made to its menu, and at 330 calories are probably the best choice for a satisfying snack. The cup of noodle soup at 290 calories may also feel like a real meal, but it is very high in sodium, so it is not the best bet for anyone who is sodium-sensitive or has high blood pressure. The cheese tray at 130 calories is a much better choice than the Cafe Snack Box. 

Hawaiian Airlines (www.hawaiianairlines.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Terrible / Unresponsive 
Health Score: 1 star 
Average Calories Overall (Meals, Snack Boxes and Individual Snacks) = 568
Average Meal Calories = 971 
Average Individual Snack Calories = 460
Average Snack Box Calories = 342

Comments: The airline does not respond to requests for food information. All the nutritional information was estimated by Diet Detective nutritionists.  Hawaiian Airlines’ food is high in calories and the menu doesn't offer much choice either in terms of health or in the way of food system consciousness (caring about sustainability, organic growing, no GMOs, etc…).  This could be a real disappointment if you are on a long flight and have not planned in advance. Plus, when free food is put down in front of you, you have a tendency to eat it. All of it. That could be a lot of unhealthy food.

Best Bets: Among the snacks, choose the Hummus & Pita Chips. It’s really the best choice, and better than any of the individual snacks, which are very high in calories. You might think the Salted Macadamia Nuts would be a good choice, and they do have healthy properties, but only if you split them with 5 other people or have them over the course of a few weeks. The two oatmeal options are lower in calories but likely high in sugar, while the beef and cheese sticks (the lowest calorie individual snack option) are high in saturated fat and sodium.

Also, keep in mind, you will probably get a very high calorie, unhealthy free meal on your flight, so go light on those snacks. Don’t be fooled by the Gluten Free Box; while many of the individual items are OK healthwise (such as the hummus and roasted chickpea snacks), it’s still high in calories and out-of-touch with current food trends.

For the complimentary meals, try to go light on the breads, treats and dressings. Your best bet calorie-wise, if it's available, is the Penne Pasta Bolognese Sauce and green salad, but skip the shortbread cookie. In the end, it would be best to eat before you board the plane; otherwise you might wind up feeling lethargic and cranky after one of these calorie-heavy meals.  Just say no, and bring your own food.

Reigning NCAA Golf Champion Braden Thornberry Leads Field for 2017 Patriot All-America Invitational

(PHOENIX, Ariz.) – Reigning NCAA Individual Golf Champion and the number two ranked amateur in the world, Braden Thornberry leads an impressive field of top collegiate golfers who will play in the 2017 Patriot All-America Invitational presented by the Valley Toyota Dealers. The tournament, considered one of the top amateur golf events in the country, will be played at The Wigwam Golf Club in Litchfield Park, Ariz., December 27-31.

A field of 84 PING All-America golfers from all three NCAA Divisions, NAIA and NJCAA rankings as well as from U.S. Military Academies and universities outside the world will compete in a 54-hole, stroke-play competition on The Wigwam’s famed Gold Course. Competitive rounds for the 2017 Patriot All-America will be played December 29, 30 and 31 with a champion crowned at approximately 4 PM on New Year’s Eve.

What separates the Patriot All-America from other collegiate golf tournaments is participants play for more than themselves or their school. Each golfer honors a fallen or severely injured soldier by carrying a golf bag bearing the name of that soldier. Before the tournament, participants receive a card with the soldier’s story, so they can be familiar with who that person was, what they represented and how they were killed or wounded in action. At the conclusion of the tournament, the golf bags are shipped to players’ schools and auctioned with all proceeds benefitting the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides post-secondary educational scholarships for children and spouses of military service men and women killed or disabled while in active service.

According to the latest World Amateur Golf Ranking, Thornberry (ranked 2nd) of Ole Miss is the highest ranked player in the field, with Alejandro Tosti of the University of Florida (9th), Sahith Theegala of Pepperdine (47th), Cooper Dossey of Baylor (52nd) and Jin Cheng of USC (68th) the other top 70 players to commit. The Men’s World Amateur Golf Ranking system ranks the top male amateur golfers in the world on the basis of their average performance in counting events over a rolling cycle of the previous 104 weeks.

Now in its 7th year, the Patriot All-America Invitational is a collaboration between the Arizona Golf Association, JDM Partners and the Golf Coaches Association of America in partnership with the Folds of Honor Foundation. Current PGA TOUR stars who have played in The Patriot All-America Invitational during their college careers, include: 2017 US Open champion Brooks Koepka (2011), 2017 PGA Championship winner and FedEx Cup champion Justin Thomas (2011), Patrick Rodgers (2011), Daniel Berger (2012) and Bryson DeChambeau (2013). 2016 Patriot All-America champion Cameron Champ recently turned professional and is now playing on the PGA TOUR.

Past Patriot All-America champions include: Cameron Champ from Texas A&M (2016), Braden Thornberry from the University of Mississippi (2015); Kyle Kochevar from the University of Virginia (2014), Kyle Westmoreland from the Air Force Academy (2013);  Sebastian Cappelen from the University of Arkansas (2012); and Cory Whitsett, from the University of Alabama (2011).

The winner of the 2017 Patriot All-America Invitational will receive a sponsor exemption into the Web.com Tour’s 2018 Air Capital Classic played June 21 - 24 at Crestview Country Club in Wichita, Kansas.

For more information on The Patriot All-America Invitational presented by the Valley Toyota Dealers, visit www.patriotallamerica.com.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

18Birdies Announces Investment with Peter Gotcher and Jason Kidd

Chairman of Dolby Labs and Milwaukee Bucks’ Head Coach invest in the fastest growing golf app

(Oakland, Calif.) – Mobile golf technology startup, 18Birdies, announced an investment round led by veteran technology-focused venture capitalist, Peter Gotcher and Milwaukee Bucks’ Head Coach, Jason Kidd. Their investment follows the investment round 18Birdies announced with legendary PGA Tour player, Ernie Els, just two months ago.

Gotcher has a successful track record of innovation and investments in technology focusing in digital media companies. He founded digital audio technology company, Digidesign (later named ProTools), which became the world’s leading manufacturer of digital audio workstations and later acquired by Avid Technologies. At the 2000 Grammy Awards, Peter accepted the Technical Achievement Grammy in honor of Digidesign’s contributions to the recording industry. More recently, Gotcher spent several years as a Venture Partner with Institutional Venture Partners and a founding Venture Partner with Redpoint Ventures. Gotcher currently is Chairman of Dolby Labs and Jaunt and sits on the boards of GoPro and Pandora.

“This is an exciting time for me to come on board with 18Birdies,” said Gotcher. “I’m impressed with how fast they have been able to grow their user base and golf community, which makes them the ideal brand in the golf industry to partner with. Through their technology, they are going to change the way golf is experienced.”

In addition to his numerous professional basketball accolades which includes an NBA Championship, 10 NBA All-Star game appearances and a Co-Rookie of the Year award, Kidd is a passionate golfer. He began taking golf seriously during his early NBA years with the Phoenix Suns and is a frequent participant at the American Century Championship (ACC), one of the most competitive golf tournaments for current and retired professional athletes.

“After meeting Eddy Lui [18Birdies Founder and CEO] and the 18Birdies team at ACC this year, I knew I wanted to get involved right away,” said Kidd. “I try to get out and play golf whenever I can and I’m pretty competitive, but also like to have fun on the course. 18Birdies addresses both of those needs.”

Gotcher and Kidd’s investments comes at a time when the company is experiencing rapid growth, becoming the fastest growing mobile golf app since it launched in January 2016. The announcement follows Sun Microsystems co-founder, Scott McNealy, joining 18Birdies as a strategic advisor. 18Birdies has also attracted an impressive roster of professional golfers to represent the brand, which includes Paige Spiranac, Wesley Bryan, Harold Varner III, Willy Wilcox, Lanto Griffin, Stephan Jaeger, Tom Lovelady and Andrew Yun.

“Having Peter and Jason invest in 18Birdies really validates where we’ve come as a company,” said 18Birdies founder and CEO, Eddy Lui. “This has been a year of rapid growth for us and with their investment, we’ll be putting more resources towards development of technologies that reimagine the golf experience for players and courses alike.”

For more information, visit www.18birdies.com.

Troon Named 'Management Company of the Year' By Boardroom Magazine For Fourth Consecutive Year

(Scottsdale, Ariz.) – Troon, the leader in golf course management, development, and marketing, has been selected by BoardRoom Magazine as the “Management Company of the Year” for 2017 in the publication’s 19th annual “Excellence in Achievement” awards. Announced in BoardRoom Magazine’s November/December 2017 issue, this marks the fourth consecutive year Troon has been honored with this distinction.

“We are absolutely thrilled to once again be recognized by BoardRoom Magazine for this incredible honor,” said Tim Schantz, president, Troon. “Hats off to our outstanding team of professionals at Troon Privé clubs around the world and to our corporate team for their tireless efforts.”

The BoardRoom Magazine “Excellence in Achievement” awards are the private club industry’s only awards recognizing the clubs’ business partners. BoardRoom Magazine, the official publication for the Association of Private Club Directors and the Distinguished Clubs, annually selects outstanding suppliers and consultants, which represent various aspects of course and club operations. Winners are selected for overall excellence in their respective fields, achievements, innovation, vision for future growth and continued impact on private club operations.

“Troon Privé clubs, and the outstanding associates and members who work and play at them, are part of the fabric of the communities we serve in so many pockets of the world,” said Rob DeMore, president, Troon Privé division. “By delivering the highest quality standards, Troon Privé-managed clubs continue to grow and have success in a very competitive marketplace.”

Troon Privé, the private club operating division of Troon, oversees a global portfolio of prestigious clubs. Of the more than 80 private clubs under Troon Privé management, approximately half are member owned. Troon Privé’s portfolio includes: BallenIsles in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; Belfair in Bluffton, South Carolina; Fieldstone in Greenville, Delaware; Lake of Isles in North Stonington, Connecticut; Pronghorn in Bend, Oregon; Aloha Golf Club in Marbella, Spain; and Centurion Club in London, England.

“Private clubs are the beneficiary of outstanding work of the industry’s vendors,” said John Fornaro, publisher of BoardRoom Magazine. “Clearly each and every one of them is the leader in their respective field and we’re absolutely delighted to recognize their contributions.”

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

Wilson Staff Re-Signs Kevin Streelman to Two-Year Deal

(CHICAGO) – Wilson Staff re-signed two-time PGA TOUR champion and Staff Advisory Member Kevin Streelman.

Streelman, who accrued over $16 million in prize winnings as a professional, first signed with Wilson Staff in January 2011. This extended agreement will see Streelman continue his longstanding relationship with the historic Wilson Staff brand for at least two more years, through 2019.

“I trust Wilson Staff to provide me with the very best in equipment as I continue to compete with the world’s best,” stated Kevin Streelman. “I also know that Wilson has the utmost confidence in my golf expertise to provide feedback and aid them in the research and development of new products. I am thrilled to be continuing my very successful partnership with the Wilson and I am extremely excited for what’s to come."

Streelman, a Chicago native, has close ties to Wilson Golf, as the iconic brand maintains its global headquarters in the Windy City. Streelman will continue to represent the iconic Wilson Staff shield alongside 3-time Major Champion Padraig Harrington, 3-time PGA TOUR Champion Brendan Steele, and fellow Americans Troy Merritt and Ricky Barnes.

“Kevin Streelman’s importance to Wilson Staff over the years has been immeasurable,” commented Tim Clarke, President of Wilson Golf. “His presence as an ambassador has been critical as we at Wilson continue to solidify our presence as one of the world’s finest golf brands. Streelman’s dedication to the research and development of our latest products helps us to bring the very best to the marketplace, each and every year.”

Streelman has played an integral role with the Wilson Staff brand since he signed in 2011, not only as an ambassador, but also as a trusted advisor to the R&D department as they continue to develop awardwinning products year in and year out. Streelman will continue to play Wilson’s highly decorated FG Tour V6 irons and PMP wedges.

What’s currently in Streelman's bag:
- FG Tour V6 3-9, PW
- FG Tour PMP 48° Traditional
- FG Tour PMP 54° Traditional
- FG Tour PMP 60° Traditional

Sand Valley Garners 'Best New' Honors

(NORTHBROOK, Ill.) – KemperSports announced that Sand Valley, the first course at Sand Valley Golf Resort, recently received “Best New” honors from GOLF Magazine and Golf Digest.

Sand Valley was honored by GOLF Magazine as their “Best New You Can Play” course while being honored by Golf Digest as the “Best New” course of 2017.

According to Golf Digest Architecture editor Ron Whitten, “The visual impact of the stunning Sand Valley course at Sand Valley Golf Resort is immediate and gasp-inducing. It begins with the opening tee shot, off a high sand dune dubbed The Volcano, to a ribbon of rumpled fairway flanked by vast expanses of natural, exposed sand, dotted with low-growing vegetation and copses of pines.”

Sand Valley opened May 2, 2017, under rave reviews. Located in Nekoosa, Wis., and designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, Sand Valley brings a heathland golf experience to the heartland of the country. Sand Valley was honored by GOLF Magazine as the “Best New You Can Play” as well as being honored by Golf Digest as their “Best New” course of 2017.

Development at Sand Valley Golf Resort will continue as the resort will open two new golf courses in 2018, including:
Sandbox – May 1 – designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, the 17-hole, par-3 course offers creativity amongst a wide range of shots.
Mammoth Dunes – May 31 – Nearly 20 years after David McLay Kidd designed Bandon Dunes, he returns to work on a dynamic piece of land with sand ridges and blowouts.

For more information on KemperSports, visit www.kempersports.com.

Tripp Davis and Associates Prepares for Spring 2018 Re-Opening of Dallas’s Northwood Club

(Norman, OK) — The historic and revered Northwood Club in Dallas is undergoing a complete course and driving range renovation.  Golf course architecture firm Tripp Davis and Associates (TDA) began construction in 2016 with a master plan renovation of the 18-hole layout.

Originally designed by William Diddel in 1946, Northwood hosted the 1952 U.S. Open which was won by Julius Boros, making it one of only three courses in Texas ever to have hosted the prestigious national championship.  Davis is planning on putting a marker on every tee to show where the pros hit from in the 1952 U.S. Open.  Northwood also has been the host for several regional USGA, local North Texas PGA and AJGA tournaments.

“Northwood is a great club with one of the best and most historic golf courses in Texas,” said Davis. “Our approach was to restore the original character found in Mr. Diddel’s greens, rebuild the bunkers to reflect Diddel’s style, and reposition bunkers and tees to be more strategically relevant for today’s game.”

The TDA team, which includes shaper Jason Gold, design associate and construction specialist Kyle Downs, and builder Landscapes Unlimited, will restore all tees, greens and bunkers and reshape most fairways, along with providing new cart paths, drainage and a new irrigation system.  The shaping and drainage are nearing completion with all plantings done.  The main course will open Spring 2018. 

Davis and his crew also rebuilt the practice facilities and designed a “Short Course” to broaden the playing options, especially for junior golfers.  The “Short Course,” with holes ranging from 50-120 yards long, opened late November 2017.  In addition, creeks on the property are being restored, and a new irrigation lake was built to help the club recapture more water.

“Restoring a U.S. Open championship course is a high profile opportunity for both our club’s members and the architect,” said Northwood Club President Jay Carvell. “We have worked with Tripp Davis for many years preparing to return the Northwood course to the classic layout that tested Julius Boros and Ben Hogan more than 60 years ago.”

For more information about Tripp Davis and Associates, visit the website at www.tdagolf.net or call 405-447-5259.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Ko Olina Golf Club Completes Extensive Bunker Renovation, Debuts Mickey Mouse Inspired Bunker

(Ko Olina Resort, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i) — Ko Olina Golf Club, host of the LPGA’s LOTTE Championship, has completed a three-month renovation of its greenside and select fairway bunkers. The project included reshaping the bunkers and the addition of new silica sand and state-of-the-art drainage systems, known as the Billy Bunker method, providing optimum playing conditions for players of all abilities.

The highlight of the project was the dedication and grand opening of a new Mickey Mouse inspired bunker on the 10th hole, fronting Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa at Ko Olina. The festivities included an appearance by Mickey Mouse himself, as well as LPGA superstar and Hawai‘i native Michelle Wie.

“The Mickey bunker is all about having fun playing golf and we hope this new addition will help create memorable experiences for our guests for many years to come,” said Greg Nichols, PGA, Ko Olina Golf Club’s general manager and director of golf. “It was an honor having Michelle join Mickey to celebrate the opening. This refurbishment is just one of several projects in progress that ensures Ko Olina Golf Club remains top of mind as the premier golf destination in the state of Hawai‘i.”

“I think it looks great! It’s so cute and adds ‘character’ to the golf course, especially with Aulani in the background,” added Michelle Wie.

Wie has been one of the marquee names in the world of golf since her start on the LPGA tour in 2009. When in Hawai‘i, Wie calls Ko Olina Golf Club home, having honed her game at the club since early childhood. Wie won the LPGA LOTTE Championship in 2014 at Ko Olina, the same year she earned her first major tournament victory — the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst. Ko Olina Golf Club is proud to be hosting the 2018 LOTTE Championship April 11-14th, 2018, its seventh consecutive year.

For more information, visit www.koolinagolf.com.

Nathaniel Crosby Named 2019 USA Walker Cup Team Captain

1981 U.S. Amateur champion played on victorious 1983 USA Team

(FAR HILLS, N.J.) – The United States Golf Association named Nathaniel Crosby, of Jupiter, Fla., as the captain of the USA Team for the 2019 Walker Cup Match at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

Crosby, 56, won the 1981 U.S. Amateur Championship and was the low amateur in the 1982 U.S. Open Championship. He was also a member of victorious USA teams in both the 1983 Walker Cup Match and the 1982 World Amateur Team Championship.

“I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup Team,” said Crosby. “It will again be a privilege to be a part of the Walker Cup competition that I was so fortunate to be a part of back in 1983. My experiences with the USGA, the Walker Cup Match and the World Amateur Team Championship have proved to be the most memorable weeks of my life, as I am sure it will be for the members of the 2019 Team. Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities.”

Born in Hillsborough, Calif., Crosby is the son of the late legendary American singer and entertainer Bing Crosby, who introduced him to golf. Nathaniel’s godfather is World Golf Hall of Fame member Jack Burke Jr., the 1956 Masters and PGA champion who served as captain of two USA Ryder Cup teams.

“Nathaniel Crosby has proven experience as an amateur player at the highest levels in both individual and team competition, and this will lend itself well to providing leadership for the USA Walker Cup Team in 2019,” said Stuart Francis, USGA Championship Committee chairman. “His father earned the USGA’s highest honor, the Bob Jones Award, and I know Nathaniel possesses similar traits, including sportsmanship, patriotism and a competitive spirit, that will assist him as captain.”

The Walker Cup Match is a 10-man amateur team competition between the USA and a team composed of players from Great Britain and Ireland. The 47th Match will be contested Sept. 7-8, 2019. Royal Liverpool hosted the 1983 Walker Cup Match, which was won by the USA, 13½-10½. The 1983 USA Team included future Walker Cup captains Jim Holtgrieve and Bob Lewis Jr.

The USA defeated GB&I, 19-7, in the 2017 Walker Cup Match at The Los Angeles Country Club’s North Course.

Crosby, 19 years old at the time, won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, defeating Brian Lindley in 37 holes despite being 4 down with 10 holes to play. Crosby’s 20-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole decided the longest final in 31 years. He was chosen that year’s Florida Sportswriters Amateur Athlete of the Year.

He followed that victory with a win in the 1982 Porter Cup and was the low amateur in the 1982 U.S. Open, finishing 59th at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links.

In the USA’s 1983 victory at Hoylake, Crosby compiled a 1-1 record, losing a singles match to A. Philip Parkin, 6 and 4, and winning a foursomes match with William Hoffer.

In 1982, Crosby represented the winning USA Team in the World Amateur Team Championship at Lausanne (Switzerland) Golf Club with Holtgrieve, Lewis and five-time USGA champion Jay Sigel, another future Walker Cup captain. Crosby’s final-round 68 helped the USA post a seven-stroke victory over Japan and Sweden. The USA Team was captained by the late Frank “Sandy” Tatum, a past USGA president.

Crosby, who played professionally in the U.S. and Europe, regained his amateur status in 1994. He has competed in seven USGA championships, including four U.S. Amateurs.

In his business life, Crosby serves as chairman of AppleTree Golf Society, a network of small travel societies that are tied to rank-worthy golf clubs in vacation and second-home destinations. He has also been a partner and key executive of three golf equipment companies – Toney Penna, The Nicklaus Equipment Company and Orlimar Golf – all of which experienced significant growth under his direction.

Crosby, who graduated from the University of Miami in 1984 with a degree in politics and public administration, was inducted into the school’s sports hall of fame in 2005.

He is married to Sheila (Biggs) and is the father of sons Nathaniel Jr., 27; Brendan, 25; daughters Bridget, 23; Claire, 21; and stepdaughters Turner, 26; and Courtney, 24.

FlightScope Gives Sports Enthusiasts a New Way to Improve Performance with FlightScope mevo

Leader in sports tracking technology creates portable and light-weight multi-sport radar for athletes

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – FlightScope, a world leader in the development and manufacturing of sports technology, is giving golfers and baseball players a new way to improve their game. FlightScope’s mevo, a portable and light-weight multi-sport radar, provides distinct data parameters and action video capturing capabilities for athletes to practice with a purpose.

“For the past 16 years, FlightScope’s products and unmatched technology have served as a trusted tool among professional golfers to improve and track performance metrics,” said CEO of FlightScope Henri Johnson. “I am proud mevo has joined our line of products as an affordable and reliable solution for consumers to take their skills to the next level.”

By simply synchronizing to mevo’s iOS and Android app, mevo captures video directly through the athlete’s smartphone. Athletes can practice without interruptions as mevo clips the videos automatically, before storing on the app for easy upload and sharing. The video clips are saved with data overlay highlighting key performance metrics to help athletes improve from their previous session.

The mevo is currently available for golfers and baseball players, and will soon be available for soccer and other sports. Golfers training with mevo have access to performance data including ball and club speed, vertical launch angle, carry distance, spin rate, smash, height and time. Baseball players using mevo are able to track statistics including pitch speed, pitch spin, exit speed, carry distance and vertical launch angle.

The FlightScope mevo was developed as a consumer product for athletes to practice with a purpose, but also works in conjunction with FlightScope’s coaching radars, which give coaches and instructors access to the athlete’s video clips and allows them to offer tips and feedback on the athlete’s performance.

The mevo is available for only $499. For more information on FlightScope and to purchase mevo, visit www.flightscopemevo.com.

Unlimited Golf Offered at Spectacular Danzante Bay on Baja Peninsula

Enjoy newly completed Rees Jones course at Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa

(LORETO, Baja California Norte, Mexico) — Play all day, every day on a stunning, newly completed Rees Jones-designed golf course with a reservation to stay at Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa at The Islands of Loreto on the eastern side of the Baja Peninsula.

The resort’s “Unlimited Golf & Spa Package” includes continuous rounds, as many as desired, at the scenic Danzante Bay Golf Club, which now features all 18 holes overlooking the Sea of Cortez – and an appointment at Sabila Spa for a treatment, facial, or just for access to the private wet area.

The “Unlimited Golf & Spa Package” features lodging for three nights in a Deluxe Studio Suite at Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa, a Villa Group property that features 4,447 acres of unspoiled beauty along one of the most breathtaking spots in the hemisphere.

“Unlimited Golf & Spa Packages” are available now through May 30, 2018, but must be reserved by Jan. 30, 2018. Guests can choose between the all-inclusive or European package option.

The all-inclusive package rate, at $827 per person, based on double occupancy, includes:
- Three nights in a deluxe suite at Villa del Palmar
- All meals at resort restaurants
- Domestic and international beverages at resort restaurants
- Unlimited golf, use of golf cart and practice facilities
- $25 credit at Sabila Spa (may not be combined with other certificates)
- Each additional person on the package is $658
- Additional nights are $169 per person

The European package rate, at $637 per person, based on double occupancy, includes:
- Three nights in a deluxe suite at Villa del Palmar
- Continental breakfast for three mornings
- Unlimited golf, use of golf cart and practice facilities
- $25 credit at Sabila Spa (may not be combined with other certificates)
- Each additional person on the package is $469
- Additional nights are $106 per person

Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa boasts stunning views of the Sea of Cortes and Sierra de la Giganta Mountain Range, three outstanding restaurants, five swimming pools, the luxurious Sabila Spa, beautiful beaches, tennis courts, miles of hiking trails, glass-bottomed kayaks, and sport fishing.

Part of a luxury master-planned community adjacent to the coastline of Baja’s inland Pacific marine sanctuary, Danzante Bay Golf Club has five sets of tees, ranging between 4,916 and 7,237 yards, and features wide fairways and greens that must be carefully judged but are never unfair.  Most of the entrances to the greens are open — allowing approach shots to run on safely — while the holes along the cliffs feature strategically placed collection areas to keep errant shots from taking the plunge into the blue water below.

Along with the changing terrain, the winds can be different day to day and even during the day, conditions that influence shot value and strategy.

The resort is just a two-hour flight from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) via Alaska Airlines and is accessible seasonally with direct WestJet flights from Calgary, and from Tijuana via Calafia Airlines.

For more details, visit www.villadelpalmarloreto.com, call (800) 790-4187, or email reservaciones.vdpl@vgloreto.com.

For additional information on Danzante Bay Golf Club, visit www.danzantebay.com.

Troon Selected to Manage The Golf Club at Southwind in Garden City, Kansas

(Scottsdale, Ariz.) – Troon, the leader in golf course management, development, and marketing, has been selected to manage The Golf Club at Southwind in Garden City, Kansas. Established in 1980 as a private club, The Golf Club at Southwind will be managed by Troon Privé, the private club operating division of Troon.

Located on the High Plains of Western Kansas, The Golf Club at Southwind’s 18-hole, Donald Sechrest-designed course is rated as one of the top courses in the state by Golf Digest. The course has hosted multiple Kansas State Amateurs as well as the annual Southwest Kansas Pro-Am. The par 71, 6,935-yard course flows through the rolling sand hills, with golf holes framed by tall native grasses.

“The Golf Club at Southwind is a visually stunning course, the contrast of the green fairways bordered by the auburn-colored native grass is striking,” said Jim Bellington, senior vice president, operations, Troon. “Our Troon Privé team will now look to further advance Southwind’s service levels, agronomy standards and overall club operations.”

The club’s beautiful clubhouse, with views of the golf course and surrounding sand hills, features dining in Bogeys Restaurant as well as wedding and event space capable of hosting small, intimate gatherings or larger groups of up to 300 guests.

“We are excited to enter into this partnership with Troon,” said Craig Boomhower, owner, The Golf Club at Southwind. “We contacted a number of other private clubs around the country that have had incredible success working with Troon. In addition to Troon’s expertise in private club marketing, golf and dining operations, Southwind members are now eligible to participate in the Troon Privé Privilege program which gives our members access to other Troon-managed private clubs around the world. We look forward to reaping the benefits of their experience in operating private clubs.”

The Troon Privé Division currently manages nearly 70 private clubs, half of which are member owned. Members of Troon Privé-managed clubs have exclusive access to extraordinary golf and lifestyle benefits around the world. 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. Qualified members receive reciprocal access to other private clubs in the portfolio at a preferred Privé Privilege rate, and up to 50 percent off at Troon Golf-managed resort and daily fee facilities around the world through the Troon Advantage program.

For more information on The Golf Club at Southwind, visit www.tgcsouthwind.com or call (620) 275-2117.

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

Arccos Names GDO Sports as Exclusive Distributor for Japan

(STAMFORD, Conn.) – Arccos Golf announced the appointment of GDO Sports, a US subsidiary of Golf Digest Online as its distributor for Japan, with exclusive rights to sell Arccos products in the golf market segment.

Founded in 2000, Golf Digest Online is the Japan market leader for digital content, equipment sales, tee time reservations and lessons. Its community includes more than 4 million active golfers and 2,350 courses.

“I've been following the development of Arccos as a business for several years, and I’m excited for Golf Digest Online to offer such an exciting product to Japanese golfers,” says Nobuya Ishizaka, CEO and Founder of Golf Digest Online. “There are substantial synergies between our GOLFTEC business in Japan and Arccos’ ability to automatically capture and analyse on-course data. Both platforms are using advanced analytics to help any golfer make smarter decisions, practice more efficiently and shoot their best scores."

The partnership between Arccos and Golf Digest Online will officially commence in January 2018 with sales launch in Japan.

“Japan is not only the world’s second largest golf market, it’s a society that celebrates and embraces leading-edge technologies like Arccos,” says Sal Syed, CEO and Co-Founder of Arccos. “Formalizing our relationship with Golf Digest Online is a tremendous way to cap a year in which we’ve successfully launched Arccos in more than 45 countries outside North America.”

Recently named “Best Game Analyzer” in the 2017 Golf Digest Editor’s Choice Awards, the Arccos 360 connected golf system automatically records every shot a golfer takes. It then analyzes the data in real time, helping golfers of all skill levels shoot lower scores by making smarter, data-driven decisions on the course. By leveraging these insights, golfers using the Arccos 360 system improved their handicap by an average of 2.77 strokes in 2016, a 36.4x greater rate of improvement than the average golfer with a USGA handicap.

Arccos’ suite of acclaimed products also includes Arccos Caddie, golf’s first artificial intelligence platform. Developed in partnership with Microsoft and powered by the Microsoft Azure cloud, Arccos Caddie shows a golfer their optimal strategy on any hole in the world, regardless of whether he or she has previously played the course. It leverages the golf industry’s richest data set – over 120 million shots hit by the Arccos community, as well as precise elevation data and 368 million geotagged data points on more than 40,000 courses – while also accounting for weather conditions like wind speed, wind direction, precipitation, temperature and more.

For more information, visit: www.arccosgolf.com.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

New Exotics CBX Fairway Wood Helps Tim Petrovic Earn Full Card for 2018 at PGA Champions Q-School

(RELEASE) - Former PGA TOUR champion Tim Petrovic played an Exotics CBX fairway wood to a fourth place finish at the 2017 PGA TOUR Champions National Qualifying Tournament at TPC Scottsdale Dec. 1. Petrovic fired rounds of 68-62-65 to jump out to the lead in the all-important qualifying event before shooting a 72 to finish T4 and secured one of only five fully-exempt PGA Champions Tour cards for 2018.

Petrovic is playing a 15 degree Exotics CBX 3-wood, the new club from Tour Edge that was designed to reduce spin with the world’s first Titanium face, Stainless Steel body and Carbon Fiber sole design. It’s also the only fairway wood on the U.S. market featuring a Titanium face.

Facing a field of 78 players competing over 72 holes for five fully-exempt cards in 2018, Petrovic, the winner of the 2005 PGA TOUR Zurich Classic, improved his status on the Champions Tour after a solid year that saw him finish 63rd on the Charles Schwab Cup with six Top 25 finishes.

“We’re excited that we could be a part of helping Tim secure his full card at Q-school,” said Tour Edge President and Master Club Designer for Tour Edge David Glod. “The Exotics CBX metalwoods caught fire the last few weeks on the PGA Champions Tour and have started to do the same on the PGA TOUR. These clubs feature a hot Titanium face that no one else is offering and the spin reduction is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. We’re happy to help where we can, especially in a Q-school event that means so much to the players on how many events they get to play in next year.”

Despite the only consideration for playing the Exotics CBX fairway woods and hybrids being performance-based, the Exotics CBX ranked in the top eight models in play in both the hybrid and fairway wood model counts over the last four events of the season.

Tour Edge had the fifth most metalwoods in play among active manufacturers over the last month on tour, according to the Darrell Survey. Even when the stakes were highest at the end of the season, five new players that had never played a Tour Edge club in a professional event changed to the new Exotics CBX over the last four weeks of the Champions Tour.

Exotics CBX clubs earned three Top 5 finishes, four Top 10’s and five Top 20 finishes in the 2017 Champions Tour despite only being introduced to players at five total events this season.

The Exotics CBX features a higher CG that is located slightly forward in the club head through the use of a carbon fiber in the sole, which is significantly lighter than stainless steel. This helps to increase ball speed and reduce spin, which makes for less dispersion. Tour Edge’s extremely thin Beta-titanium cup-face enlarges the ideal hitting area on the clubs. It is brazed to stainless steel behind the hitting area which allows the face to flex more at impact.

This has led to independent robot tests that have shown the Exotics CBX to average more than 16 yards longer in distance than several of the best selling fairway woods on the market. The Speed Ramp sole design on the Exotics CBX products provide reduced turf interaction so the club can maintain its speed through the hitting area.

The Tour Edge Exotics CBX fairway woods, Exotics CBX hybrids and Exotics CBX Iron-woods have already shipped to select authorized Tour Edge retailers and are available for purchase immediately. To find a Tour Edge retailer near you, call (800) 515-3343 or visit touredge.com.

PGA TOUR Superstore’s Las Vegas Experiential Golf Retail Store Opens December 16

Grand Opening includes $30,000 in giveaways and charitable contribution to The First Tee’s National Schools Program

(ATLANTA and LAS VEGAS) – PGA TOUR Superstore is ushering in a new experience for Las Vegas area residents and visitors with the December 16 Grand Opening of its interactive retail store, located at 2315 Summa Drive, #410 at Downtown Summerlin, a premier shopping destination located in the master-planned community of Summerlin.

Inside PGA TOUR Superstore, golf enthusiasts of all levels can experience in-house custom club fittings and repair, along with lessons from certified teaching professionals. In addition, practice hitting bays with swing analysis software, interactive simulators and an expansive 1000 square foot putting green are available for customers use. PGA TOUR Superstore will offer a huge selection of clubs, equipment and footwear, as well as a wide variety of apparel for men, women and juniors.

“At PGA TOUR Superstore we are committed to inspire all types of golfers – from beginners to avid players to help play their best and enjoy the game of golf. For us, it’s all about building relationships,” said Dick Sullivan, President & CEO, PGA TOUR Superstore. “Las Vegas is considered one of best communities in the US for golf and we are thrilled to finally bring our truly unique store experience to the region.”

“In addition to offering a wonderful retail experience, PGA TOUR Superstores often serve as a gateway to the sport, engaging participants through lessons, clinics and practice bay sessions,” said Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation. “PGA TOUR Superstores play an integral part in growing the game and adding one in the golf hotbed of Las Vegas will only serve to further that role.”

The Grand Opening event will take place Saturday, December 16 with doors opening at 9 a.m. and $30,000 in giveaways to the first guests in line, including: sets of irons, drivers, fairway woods, wedges and putters.  In addition, range finders, golf bags, men’s and women’s apparel are included in the free giveaways.

PGA TOUR Superstore will also make a $15,000 charitable donation to the National Schools Program of Las Vegas to help support its mission to provide physical educators with everything they need to help teach the core values of The First Tee:  fostering youth with education programs that instill life-enhancing ideals, golf skills and promoting healthy choices through the game of golf.

For more information, visit www.pgatoursuperstore.com.

The PXG Files, Episode One, Why are PXG Clubs Expensive?

Bob Parsons and Paige Spiranac talk about PXG in this new video blog (vlog).

Danzante Bay, the Newly Completed Rees Jones Golf Course on Baja Coast, Unveiled

Danzante Bay Golf Club’s dramatic routing along the Sea of Cortez

(LORETO, Baja California, Mexico) — The newly completed Danzante Bay Golf Club, the stunning Rees Jones showpiece of Villa del Palmar Resort at The Islands of Loreto, was formally christened last Friday as part of a gala weekend grand opening celebration on the Sea of Cortez.

Hosted by resort developers Owen Perry and Luz Maria Torres, special guests and dignitaries included Jones, the master golf architect; Carlos Mendoza Davis, Governor, Baja California Sur; Rafael Pacchiano Alamán, Mexico’s Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, as well as legendary guitarist Don Felder, from The Eagles, whose performance headlined the weekend entertainment.

“Danzante Bay Golf Club is the result of a special collaboration of creativity and vision,” said Jones, whose first original design in Mexico adds to his illustrious global resume of nearly 230 golf courses. “We have been able to create a golf experience that allows you to see landscape and wildlife that you never would have seen before. It is like no other place.”

Jones added, “The land told us what to do—we walked the area and discovered where the holes should be situated on this diverse site.”

Part of a luxury master-planned community adjacent to the coastline of Baja’s inland Pacific marine sanctuary, Danzante Bay Golf Club debuted 11 holes late last year. The new seven holes – Nos. 2 through 8 – cover different terrains, including beach, cliff, and canyon. They combine Jones’s creativity with the natural scenery provided by Mother Nature to charm golfers with views that spread out in virtually every direction.

Torres believes the new golf course has the potential to position Loreto as one of the best and most sought-after vacation destinations in the world, while still maintaining its serene and secluded environment.

“We are dedicated to doing our part to preserve the area’s natural beauty and cultural history by minimizing our environmental footprint as much as possible,” Torres said.

The views at Danzante Bay stretch out toward the horizon, amplifying the shimmering waters of the Sea of Cortez. Golfers can enjoy glimpses of migrating whales and other marine life that surfaces below the jutting cliffs.

Now playing between 4,916 and 7,237 yards from five sets of tees, Danzante Bay features wide fairways and greens that must be carefully judged but are never unfair. Most of the entrances to the greens are open — allowing approach shots to run on safely — while the holes along the cliffs feature strategically placed collection areas to keep errant shots from plunging into the blue water below.

Along with the changing terrain come winds that can be different day to day as well as hour to hour, conditions that influence shot value and strategy. That, says Jones, makes for a new challenge at Danzante Bay every time.

Alamán, a highly-respected champion of Mexico’s environment, commended the project for the care being take during the integration of the real estate with the golf course. “It is important to preserve this region’s unique beauty and authentic culture,” Alamán said. “Protecting the natural habitat, scenic vistas, and quiet beaches are essential to future the Islands of Loreto to be one of the most desirable destinations in Mexico.”

Guests can experience Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa’s 4,447 acres of unspoiled beauty through a variety of vacation packages. Danzante Bay Golf Club and Villa del Palmar Resort at The Islands of Loreto are only a two-hour non-stop flight from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Alaska Airlines. They also are accessible with non-stop flights from Calgary, and from Tijuana via Calafia Airlines (three times a week year-round).

Along with the golf course, the resort boasts stretches of exquisite shoreline, stunning ocean and mountain views, three outstanding restaurants, five swimming pools, the 39,000-square-foot luxurious Sabila Spa, tennis courts, miles of hiking trails, glass-bottomed kayaks, and sport fishing.

For additional information, go to www.danzantebay.com.

GolfNow Gives a $100 Gift of Golf to New VIP Members for the Holidays

GolfNow VIP Members Save on Every Round and Enjoy a List of Benefits, Like No Convenience Fees When Booking Golf on GolfNow.com or Via its Mobile App 

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – The benefits of a becoming a GolfNow VIP are wrapped for a special holiday gift this year, with up to $100 of free golf included as a bonus with each new membership through Jan. 16, 2018.

In addition to waived convenience fees, 25 percent more Rewards points on every round booked, “Worry-Free Tee Times” and multiple other perks, new GolfNow VIP members will also receive five free Hot Deals, valued at $20 each.

GolfNow VIP offers the same ease and convenience GolfNow users have always enjoyed – the ability to search thousands of golf courses to choose one that suits both taste and budget, and the ability to make a reservation anytime, 24/7.  Those advantages for VIP members also now come with supplemental features that enhance the booking experience, while saving members money and providing them with other benefits unmatched in the industry.

Paying less for every round booked is the driver behind GolfNow VIP member benefits.  Waived convenience fees eliminates the administrative costs normally associated with each round of golf reserved online.

“If you’re looking for a holiday gift idea for the golfer in your life, there’s really no better option than making them a GolfNow VIP,” said Jeff Foster, senior vice president, GolfNow.  “With convenience fees waived, no penalties for cancellations and other extra perks every time you book online via GolfNow or the GolfNow mobile app, this should become your go-to way to play golf and save money at the same time.”

Exclusive benefits included in the $99 annual GolfNow VIP membership include:
· Waived convenience fees on every round all year long.
· 25% more GolfNow Rewards points on every round booked – points that can be credited toward future rounds booked (in other words, golfers can earn free golf faster).
· “Worry-Free Tee Times,” the ability to modify or cancel a reservation at any time, up to an hour before the reservation time, with no penalty.
· Exclusive VIP support line for information or to book a tee time.
· Opportunities to receive other perks and surprises throughout the year, such as extra rewards points or gifts of golf equipment, apparel and accessories.