Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pro Golfer Lexi Thompson Skydives into Afternoon Tee Time in Support of Fallen US Navy SEALS

(VIDEO) - LPGA star Lexi Thompson did a free-fall from 10,000 feet into her noon Pro-Am tee time last week at Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, VA with retired Navy SEALs and a member of the Red Bull Air Force to announce her new partnership with the SEAL Legacy Foundation. This foundation is dedicated to providing support to families of wounded and fallen United States Navy SEALs.

It was an unforgettable weekend for her, as she capped off the Kingsmill tourney Sunday by taking her eighth career LPGA victory, finishing at 20-under to break Annika Sorenstam's tournament record of 19-under in 2008.

Merion Golf Club to Host 2022 Curtis Cup Match

Biennial competition will be club’s record 19th USGA championship

(FAR HILLS, N.J.) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) has selected Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., as the host site of the 42nd Curtis Cup Match, to be contested June 10-12, 2022. This will be the 19th USGA championship conducted at Merion, the most by any club, and its second Curtis Cup.

A five-time U.S. Open host site (1934, 1950, 1971, 1981 and 2013), Merion hosted its first USGA championship in 1904 – the U.S. Women’s Amateur. It has since hosted three additional U.S. Women’s Amateurs (1909, 1926 and 1949), six U.S. Amateurs (1916, 1924, 1930, 1966, 1989 and 2005) and the 1998 U.S. Girls’ Junior. Merion also hosted the 1954 Curtis Cup, in which the USA Team defeated Great Britain & Ireland, 6-3, and the 2009 Walker Cup, also won by the USA, 16½-9½.

“The USGA is thrilled to return to Merion Golf Club for this biennial celebration of women’s amateur golf,” said Stuart Francis, chairman of the USGA Championship Committee. “An exemplary championship host, Merion has always provided the comprehensive examination and hospitality expected of USGA championships, and we are confident the club will deliver a memorable experience for all during the 2022 Curtis Cup Match.”

Merion is one of only two clubs in the United States to have hosted both the Walker Cup and Curtis Cup matches. The Minikahda Club in Minneapolis, Minn., hosted the 1957 Walker Cup and 1998 Curtis Cup matches. Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, N.Y., will join this list next year when it hosts the 2018 Curtis Cup Match. It also hosted the 1997 Walker Cup Match.

“Merion is proud to have the opportunity to host this historic team competition featuring some of the best amateur golfers from the United States, and Great Britain and Ireland,” said club president James B. Bradbeer Jr. “We look forward to adding to our long history in hosting and celebrating women’s championship golf, and creating a new generation of golf memories at this special international competition.”

Founded in 1896 as the Merion Cricket Club, Merion’s East Course was designed by Hugh Wilson and opened in 1912. A lifelong amateur golfer who was a member of the golf team at Princeton University, Wilson was assigned the task of creating the East Course by the Merion Cricket Club Golf Committee. He also planned Merion’s West Course (1914) and Cobb’s Creek Golf Club (1916). Today, every effort is made to ensure that people playing the course compete on the same course as the champions of old.

Several of the game’s greats have won USGA championships at Merion, including Charles “Chick” Evans Jr. (1916 U.S. Amateur); Bob Jones (1924 and 1930 U.S. Amateurs); Dorothy Porter (1949 U.S. Women’s Amateur); Ben Hogan, who defeated Lloyd Mangrum and George Fazio in a playoff (1950 U.S. Open); Lee Trevino, who defeated Jack Nicklaus in a playoff (1971 U.S. Open); and Justin Rose (2013 U.S. Open). Relive some of these moments in this video.

The 2022 Curtis Cup will be the 89th USGA championship conducted in the state of Pennsylvania. In 2016, the Keystone State hosted four USGA championships, including the U.S. Open, won by Dustin Johnson at Oakmont Country Club. The next USGA championship slated to take place in Pennsylvania is the 2020 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Philadelphia Cricket Club from May 23-27.

The Curtis Cup Match is a biennial team competition contested by female amateur golfers. One team representing the United States and one team representing Great Britain and Ireland alternate hosting the Match. The teams consist of not more than eight players and a captain. The United States leads the all-time Curtis Cup series with a record of 28-8-3. The GB&I Team won the 2016 Match, which was conducted at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club in Dublin, Ireland, by an 11.5-8.5 margin.

The 2018 Curtis Cup Match will take place June 8-10 at Quaker Ridge Golf Club and the 2020 Match will be contested at Conwy Golf Club in Caernarvonshire, Wales, June 12-14.

For more information about the USGA, visit usga.org.

KemperSports Expands Presence in Pacific Northwest

Selected to Manage Pair of Pierce County, Wash. Courses

(NORTHBROOK, Ill.) – KemperSports has been selected by Pierce County, Washington, to manage Lake Spanaway and Ft. Steilacoom golf courses. The two courses will be added to KemperSports’ growing portfolio in the Pacific Northwest that includes site of the 2015 U.S. Open Championship, Chambers Bay – which is also owned by Pierce County.

Located in Tacoma, Wash., Lake Spanaway has remained a municipal gem since opening in 1967. The classic Pacific Northwest golf course is tree-lined with mature Douglas fir trees with challenging bunkers and large and subtle greens. The 7,014-yard golf course has a long history as a championship venue, including the 1997 Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Public Links Championship, 1998 Pacific Northwest Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, 2003 USGA Mid-Amateur Qualifier, 2004 Washington State Golf Association Men’s Amateur Championship, 2016 Puget Sound Amateur (alongside Chambers Bay) and the 2016 Senior Puget Sound Amateur.

In addition to the golf course, Lake Spanaway features a 3,500-sq.-ft. clubhouse with pro shop and full-service restaurant and bar.

Located just down the street from Chambers Bay in Lakewood, Wash., Ft. Steilacoom golf course serves as a popular beginner and junior golf venue since opening in 1951. The 9-hole, par-34 golf course engages the local community with robust junior player development programming as well as Footgolf leagues for non-golfers.

“Given their track record at Chambers Bay, KemperSports has proven to be a trusted partner for Pierce County,” said county executive Bruce Dammeier. “We look forward to expanding our partnership with KemperSports and look forward to a bright future for our golf facilities.”

KemperSports will be tasked with implementing proven sales and marketing initiatives to engage with local golfers to ensure that the golf courses remain a positive hub for the community. KemperSports will also introduce TrueService – the company’s proprietary customer service training program that is built to deliver unique guest interactions through genuine and friendly service.

“We have enjoyed a tremendous relationship with Pierce County over the last decade as we helped to build and launch Chambers Bay,” said KemperSports CEO Steve Skinner. “We look forward to continuing that relationship and expanding our work in Pierce County to include Lake Spanaway and Ft. Steilacoom.”

In addition the managing the other two golf courses in the Pierce County portfolio, the county has extended its agreement with KemperSports for the continued management of Chambers Bay. Chambers Bay will continue its championship legacy by hosting the 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship.

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

Monday, May 22, 2017

USGA Announces 27 Additional Players Exempt for 117th U.S. Open Championship

U.S. Amateur champions Matthew Fitzpatrick and Byeong Hun An among latest group

(FAR HILLS, N.J.) – The United States Golf Association announced that 27 additional golfers, including U.S. Amateur champions Matthew Fitzpatrick and Byeong Hun An, have earned full exemptions into the 2017 U.S. Open Championship, to be played June 15-18 at Erin Hills, in Erin, Wis. These exemptions bring the number of fully exempt players to 78.

All 27 exemptions were awarded to players who earned a place in the top 60 of the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) as of May 22. Fitzpatrick, who won the 2013 U.S. Amateur, is ranked No. 41. He will compete in his third U.S. Open. He tied for 48th and was the low amateur at Pinehurst No. 2 in 2014. An, who won the 2009 U.S. Amateur, is ranked No. 56. He has played in three U.S. Opens, including a tie for 23rd at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club last year.

The other players who earned full exemptions through the current Official World Golf Ranking are: Wesley Bryan, Rafael Cabrera Bello, Ross Fisher, Tommy Fleetwood, Bill Haas, Adam Hadwin, Brian Harman, Tyrrell Hatton, Russell Henley, Charley Hoffman, Billy Horschel, Yuta Ikeda, Brooks Koepka, Marc Leishman, Francesco Molinari, Alex Noren, Louis Oosthuizen, Pat Perez, Thomas Pieters, Jon Rahm, Brendan Steele, Hideto Tanihara, Jeunghun Wang, Lee Westwood and Bernd Wiesberger.

Horschel moved into the OWGR top 60 after winning the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship in a playoff on May 21, his fourth PGA Tour victory. Horschel, who advanced 32 spots from the previous week to No. 44, will compete in his sixth U.S. Open. At No. 12, Rahm is the highest-ranked player in the current OWGR who was not previously exempt into the U.S. Open. Rahm, who won this year’s Farmers Insurance Open in his first full PGA Tour season as a professional, was the low amateur in the 2016 U.S. Open, when he tied for 23rd.

Oosthuizen, who is No. 17 in the OWGR, finished as runner-up with Dustin Johnson to champion Jordan Spieth in the 2015 U.S. Open, held at Chambers Bay. Oosthuizen will play in his eighth U.S. Open.

The winner of the European Tour BMW PGA Championship (May 25-28) will also earn an exemption. The number of fully exempt golfers may increase with the addition of the top 60 players from the OWGR as of Monday, June 12.

The first of two international sectional qualifiers for the 2017 U.S. Open was held on May 22, in Japan, where four spots in the 156-player field were determined. England will host qualifying for the 13th consecutive year on Monday, May 29. Those players who qualify are in addition to the 78 fully exempt players listed below.

Sectional qualifying in the United States, at 36 holes, will take place at 10 sites on Monday, June 5. The sites are: Big Canyon Country Club & Newport Beach Country Club, Newport Beach, Calif.; Jupiter Hills Club (Hills Course), Tequesta, Fla.; Hawks Ridge Golf Club, Ball Ground, Ga.; Woodmont Country Club (North Course), Rockville, Md.; Canoe Brook Country Club (North and South Courses), Summit, N.J.; Brookside Golf & Country Club & Lakes Golf & Country Club, Columbus, Ohio; Springfield Country Club, Springfield, Ohio; Germantown Country Club & Ridgeway Country Club, Memphis, Tenn.; Lakewood Country Club, Dallas, Texas; and Tacoma Country & Golf Club, Lakewood, Wash.

The U.S. Open will be contested in Wisconsin for the first time. Erin Hills is hosting its third USGA championship and its first since the 2011 U.S. Amateur, when Kelly Kraft defeated Patrick Cantlay, 2 up, in the 36-hole final. The U.S. Open will be contested in the Midwest for the first time since 2003, when Jim Furyk won at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club.

A list of the 78 golfers fully exempt into the 2017 U.S. Open as of May 22 (not including the four international sectional qualifiers from Japan) is below. It can also be found at this link: http://www.usopen.com/qualifying/exemptions.html.

More information about the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills, including local and sectional qualifying, is available at www.usopen.com.

Key to Player Exemptions:
1. Winners of the U.S. Open Championship the last 10 years (2007-16)
2. Winner and runner-up of the 2016 U.S. Amateur Championship (must be an amateur)
3. Winner of the 2016 Amateur Championship, conducted by The R&A (must be an amateur)
4. Winner of the 2016 Mark H. McCormack Medal (top-ranked in WAGR & must be an amateur)
5. Winners of the Masters Tournament the last five years (2013-17)
6. Winners of the Open Championship, conducted by The R&A, the last five years (2012-16)
7. Winners of the PGA of America Championship the last five years (2012-16)
8. Winners of the Players Championship the last three years (2015-17)
9. Winner of the 2017 European Tour BMW PGA Championship
10. Winner of the 2016 U.S. Senior Open Championship
11. Winner of the 2016 Olympic Gold Medal
12. From the 2016 U.S. Open Championship, the 10 lowest scorers and anyone tying for 10th place
13. Those players who qualified for the season-ending 2016 Tour Championship
14. Top 60 point leaders and ties from the current World Ranking as of May 22, 2017
15. Top 60 point leaders and ties from the current World Ranking as of June 12, 2017
16. Special exemptions selected by the USGA

For more information about the USGA, visit usga.org.

Troon Introduces Golf Benefits for Visa Infinite and Signature U.S. Cardholders

(Scottsdale, Ariz.) – Troon, the leader in golf course management, development, and marketing, is proud to announce that it is working with Visa to offer a unique golf benefit to U.S. Visa Infinite and U.S. Visa Signature cardholders. These cardholders and their card issuers now have special access to Troon’s industry-leading golf loyalty program, Troon Rewards, extending benefits at more than 100 golf properties around the world.

Through the relationship, U.S. Visa Infinite and U.S. Visa Signature cardholders are eligible to receive accelerated rewards through Troon Rewards, providing special pricing on merchandise and golf fees at 96 participating resort and daily-fee courses worldwide. Visa Infinite cardholders also have additional limited-access to more than 15 private clubs in Troon’s portfolio. Visa Infinite and Visa Signature cardholders can sign up for Troon Rewards and learn more about these golf benefits by visiting www.TroonGolfRewards.com.

“Troon’s relationship with Visa introduces cardholders and issuers to the unique and luxurious experiences found at Troon properties around the world by unlocking valuable golf benefits through the game’s premier loyalty program, Troon Rewards,” said Mike Ryan, executive vice president, co-chief operating officer, Troon. “This is an exciting opportunity for Troon, our managed-facilities and for guests playing Troon courses.”

U.S. Visa Infinite and U.S. Visa Signature issuers also have the opportunity to provide their cardholders with customized golf experiences at Troon properties around the world. These experiences include member-for-a-day events at select Troon clubs and facilities, as well as instructional experiences led by certified instructors through the Troon Golf Academy.

“Our goal is to offer Visa’s issuing partners unique experiences their cardholders can take advantage of in their everyday lives,” said TS Anil, head of global products, Visa Inc. “Because of our collaboration with Troon, Visa Infinite and Signature cardholders in the U.S. can now enjoy special benefits across a number of Troon properties.”

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

Bridgestone Golf Signs Multi-year Endorsement Deal with Cheyenne Woods

LPGA Tour Star to Exclusively Play Company’s Golf Balls in Competition

(COVINGTON, GA) – Bridgestone Golf, innovator of premium golf balls, clubs and accessories – announced today it has signed LPGA Tour player Cheyenne Woods to a multi-year agreement to exclusively play and promote its high-performance golf balls.

Cheyenne Woods
Woods, the niece of legendary golfer Tiger Woods, selected the Bridgestone Tour B330-RX ball after thoroughly testing it against competing models. As part of the partnership, she will be featured in digital and social marketing as a Bridgestone Golf ambassador. Playing her third year on the LPGA Tour, the 26-year-old has recorded a victory at the Australian Ladies Masters, among many other top-10 finishes worldwide.

“The Tour B330-RX fits my game perfectly and gives me the confidence to hit any type of shot. It is long and straight off the tee and easy to control around the green,” said Woods.

Specially crafted with AMATOURcore and SlipRes cover technology, the Tour B330-RX helps players generate more power for faster ball speed and optimizes spin for longer, straighter shots.

“Cheyenne is one of the LPGA Tour’s rising young superstars and is an excellent addition to our large and growing stable of influential ambassadors,” says Corey Consuegra, Senior Director of Marketing. “She is the latest example of a player switching to our products because they provide superior all-around performance over any of our competitors.”

Bridgestone’s professional staff features 14-time major championship winner Tiger Woods, FedExCup champion Brandt Snedeker, Olympics bronze medalist Matt Kuchar, Masters winner Fred Couples, three-time major champion Nick Price, and rising stars Bryson DeChambeau and Hudson Swafford.

More information: bridgestonegolf.com.

Golf Digest Ranks Forest Dunes Among America’s 25 Greatest Public Golf Courses

(Roscommon, MI) – Forest Dunes, the premier golf destination in northern Michigan, has once again earned a spot among Golf Digest’s elite list of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses. The highly-acclaimed Tom Weiskopf designed course was ranked No. 25 on the list.

The publication's biennial review of America's top public courses appears in the June 2017 issue. Golf Digest used nearly 1,000 low-handicap male and female golfers on its Course Ranking Panel and asked each to submit ballots based on seven criteria including shot values, resistance to scoring, design variety, memorability, aesthetics, conditioning and ambience.

“We are very excited to once again be recognized by one of the leading golf publications and rater panels in the industry as one of America’s greatest public courses”, said Chad Maveus, general manager at Forest Dunes. “To continue being rated among the best in the country is a testament to the quality design by Weiskopf, and our maintenance staff who maintains the courses world-class conditions on a daily basis.”

Forest Dunes, which opened in 2002, is ranked No. 4 overall in Michigan, No. 2 public by Golf Digest. The resort destination is also one of Golf Digest’s Best Resort’s in the America’s.

Tom Weiskopf, who has designed more than a hundred golf courses around the world, feels Forest Dunes is one of his top three designs in the United States. The course, which is cut through the beautiful Huron National Forest, is unlike any other in northern Michigan. The front nine features parkland-style holes meandering through corridors of red and jack pines, with elaborate bunkering and sandy waste areas on the sides. The back nine is quite different, featuring even more open and exposed rugged native sand areas with scruffy underbrush bordering and crossing fairways and greens.

New for 2017 has been the highly-anticipated opening of The Loop, the innovative 18-hole reversible golf course designed by Tom Doak. This revolutionary course can be played in one direction one day and another direction the next using the same 18 greens and fairways. Golf Digest named The Loop as the Best New Public Course in 2016.

In terms of play for golfers, the result is three golf courses and a versatile 54-hole golf package that is as cool and unique as the destination itself. When building a stay and play golf package at Forest Dunes, golfers can simply combine a lodging rate with the golf rates. Lodging options include the Lake AuSable Lodge, golf cottages, or the new golf villas.

For more information and to book a stay and play package, click on http://www.forestdunesgolf.com/lodging/accommodations/stay-play-packages.

For more, visit www.forestdunesgolf.com or follow them on Twitter @forestdunesgolf.

Northwestern Maintains Lead Following Round 2 of NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships

(SUGAR GROVE, Ill.) – Leading by two strokes after Friday’s opening round, Northwestern extended its lead at the 2017 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships with a team total of 298 in Sunday’s second round at Rich Harvest Farms. The Wildcats have a 36-hole team score of 599 to hold an eight-stroke advantage over Kent State heading into Monday’s final round of stroke play.

"I was really proud of the way our kids came out of the box on the back nine and played really solid,” said Northwestern head coach Emily Fletcher. “We played a good round of golf. We can't be discouraged, this is a big golf course. There are a lot of holes where you just can't let up. You have to play it a shot at a time. We made some mistakes out there. There were some things that got away from us, that we could control, that we need to do better tomorrow.”

Stephanie Lau leads a trio of Northwestern student-athletes in the top-10 with a two-round total of 149, tied for eighth overall. Kacie Komoto and Janet Mao are tied for 10th with a 36-hole total of 150.

Stanford, who matched Northwestern for the best team total of the day at 298, is currently third with a 36-hole total of 609, two strokes behind Kent State. Ohio State and Baylor round out the top five, the Buckeyes registered a second round score of 299 for a two-round total of 610 while the Bears posted a 300 for a 36-hole score of 611.

South Carolina (613), Southern California (618) and Miami (FL) (619) hold the final spots in the top eight going into Monday’s final 18 holes of stroke play.

Jennifer Kupcho of Wake Forest holds the individual lead at even-par 144 following a second round, two-under 70, tied for the low round of the day. Kupcho recorded an eagle on the par five second hole, along with four birdies, and holds a one-stroke lead over first round co-leader August Kim of Purdue who carded a second round 73, which included a trio of birdies.

“Today was really good,” said Kupcho. “I was hitting the ball really well. It started getting really windy so it definitely started getting a little tougher the last six holes but I held it together. My coach and my assistant coach supported me when I was making bogeys.

“The course played way easier today just because there was no rain. It's always going to be windy out here so you kind of come into it just expecting that.”

Monica Vaughn of Arizona State and Ainhoa Olarra of South Carolina are tied for third, one stroke behind Kim. Olarra posted a two-under 70 to tie Kupcho for the low round of the day as she recorded four birdies and just a pair of bogeys in the second round.

Monday’s final round of stroke play at the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships is scheduled to begin with first tee times at 6:45 a.m. Golf Channel will be on the air Monday beginning at 3 p.m. CT with pregame coverage, followed by live coverage of the final round starting at 4 p.m. CT.

By Jeremy Reid, NIU Athletic Communications

Eyeking Expands Under Armour Eyewear Golf Specialty National Sales Team

(Melville, NY) – Under Armour Eyewear, the worldwide leader in performance eyewear, announced the expansion of its golf specialty sales force to more than 35 representatives across the country.

The growing sales team highlights Under Armour Eyewear’s dedication to becoming the brand of choice for all golfers. New sport performance styles like Octane and Propel for 2017 include comfortable features like UA AutoGrip self-articulating temples, and performance-driving UA Game Day lenses that will heighten color contrast on the course.

“For golfers, Under Armour Eyewear performance styles feature color-enhancing Game Day lenses that protect course players from 100% of harmful UVA/B/C rays,” says Tom Cox, Vice President of Sales. The dynamic lenses contrast and sharpen the white ball against the green grass. Cox continues, “Under Armour Eyewear is designed for both professional tour players and amateur golf fans that spend many hours outdoors in all types of course conditions. Our new sport styles also include comfort features like UA AutoGrip self-articulating temples and adjustable nose pads to complement any player’s face shape.”

The new Under Armour Eyewear golf representatives will have a lot to discuss this year, in addition to innovative product designs and technology. Under Armour Eyewear & Eyeking has partnered with the Association of Professional Tour Caddies (APTC) for 2017. More than 25 professional tour caddies including Michael Greller, Jimmy Johnson, Paul Tesori and Kevin Baile are wearing Under Armour Eyewear sport performance sunglasses on the course. In addition to the APTC, the brand is also working with charitable organizations like Liberty Mutual Tournaments and Caddy for a Cure.

For more information on Eyeking, visit www.eyeking.com.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

SCNS Sports Foods to Celebrate 10th Anniversary at ING Spring Conference

(UPLAND, CA) - SCNS Sports Foods, marketer and distributor of the popular 1st Tee and 10th Tee nutrition and energy bars, will celebrate its 10th anniversary by exhibiting at the 27th Annual ING Spring Conference.

This annual gathering of media and golf industry executives is set for May 21-25 at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, FL, and marks the first time SCNS Sports Foods will be an exhibitor. This year, conference attendees will have the opportunity to join in the anniversary celebration by learning about SCNS and sampling its 1st Tee and 10th Tee nutrition and energy bars.

"What better way to celebrate the last ten years than with so many of our peers in the golf industry at this year’s Spring Conference,” explained Sheila Barnard, East Coast territory manager at SCNS Sports Foods. “It has been a remarkable ten years and we can’t wait to see where we go from here.”

SCNS Sports Foods will be an exhibitor in the popular ING One-On-One Appointment Show. This is a series of 15-minute meetings over two days meant to expand coverage and develop relationships between business and media attendees.

SCNS Sports Foods, which launched in 2007, distributes seven different types of nutrition and energy bars: 1st Tee Plus+ Oatmeal Raisin Bar, 1st Tee Plus+ Chocolate Peanut Bar, 1st Tee Dark Chocolate Chip Trail Mix Bars, 10th Tee Plus+ Peanut Honey Bar, 10th Tee Plus+ Chocolate Peanut Caramel Bar, and 10th Tee Cranberry Trail Mix Bar. All 1st Tee and 10th Tee bars are free of high-fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors.

SCNS bars are sold and marketed to golfers through 2,500 green grass outlets and online through the company’s website, www.golfenergybar.com.

Golf Channel to Deliver Nearly 30 Hours of Live Coverage of '17 NCAA Women's Golf Championships

Two National Championships to be Decided Over a Three-Day Span – Individual (May 22) and Team (May 24)

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – Golf Channel will shine a spotlight on women’s college golf and the LPGA Tour’s future stars at the 2017 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships, taking place Monday-Wednesday, May 22-24. With nearly 30 hours of live tournament and news coverage on-site from Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill., Golf Channel’s comprehensive coverage will be the most number of live hours of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships in history.

Golf Channel’s live tournament coverage of the women’s championships begins on Monday, May 22 to crown the individual national champion, which also will track the teams attempting to qualify for the eight-team match play championship. Golf Channel’s coverage on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 23-24 will include all three rounds of the team match play, ultimately crowning a team national champion. In addition, Golf Central will surround live tournament coverage with pre-and post-event news coverage produced on location, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and online via Golf Channel Digital. News and tournament coverage also will be live streamed on Golf Channel Digital.

Golf Channel NCAA Women’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)
Monday, May 22
Individual National Championship
4-8 p.m. (Live)
Tuesday, May 23
Quarterfinals, Team Match Play
11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)
Tuesday, May 23
Semifinals, Team Match Play
4-8 p.m. (Live)
Wednesday, May 24
Team Match Play National Championship
4-8 p.m. (Live)

Format: The championship format consists of 24 teams and 12 individuals (not on those teams competing) in 54 holes of stroke play, beginning Friday, May 19. Following Sunday’s third round, the top-15 teams along with nine individuals not on an advancing team will compete on Monday, May 22 to crown the individual national champion. The top eight teams from the 72-hole stroke play championship will advance to the team match play championship on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 23 and 24.

Teams (24): Alabama, Arizona State, Baylor, California, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Furman, Kent State, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oregon, Pepperdine, Purdue, South Carolina, Southern California, Stanford, Texas, Texas Tech.
Individuals (12): Martina Edelberg (Cal State Fullerton); Bianca Pagdanganan (Gonzaga); Nadine White (Campbell); Jennifer Kupcho (Wake Forest); Laura Fuenfstueck (College of Charleston); Maya Walton (Princeton); Cara Gorlei (Arkansas); Camila Serrano (Florida International Univ.); Maddie Szeryk (Texas A&M); Julienne Soo (Oklahoma); Alex White (Brigham Young); Susie Cavanagh (Oregon State).

Marathon Classic Offers Two Exemptions From 2017 NCAA Women’s Golf Championships: The individual champion from the 2017 NCAA Women’s Golf Championships and a representative from the team national champions once again will receive exemptions to compete in the 2017 Marathon Classic presented by Owens Corning and O-I taking place July 17-23.

Semifinal Teams in Match Play to Receive Invitations to Compete in East Lake Cup presented by Hewlett Packard Enterprise: The East Lake Cup, taking place in late October at historic East Lake Golf Club will feature the top-performing teams from the 2017 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships. Invitations for the field will be extended to the semifinalists of the team match play tournaments at both the 2017 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships. Modeled after the NCAA Golf Championships, the format for the East Lake Cup will consist of an opening round of stroke play to crown an individual male and female champion and determine seeding for the following two days of match play competition. Golf Channel will air live coverage of the East Lake Cup Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 30-Nov. 1.

Women’s Golf Championships On-Air Team: Golf Channel’s on-air team for the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships will feature major champion Karen Stupples as lead analyst and Bob Papa as play-by-play host. Curt Byrum will serve as hole announcer, with Billy Ray Brown, Kay Cockerill and Gail Graham reporting from the course. Golf Channel’s college insider Steve Burkowski will join the broadcast booth as co-analyst. Lisa Cornwell will host Golf Central, joined by Paige Mackenzie, Amanda Blumenherst, Chantel McCabe and GolfChannel.com senior writer Ryan Lavner.

College Central – Golf Channel Digital Coverage: Golf Channel will provide comprehensive coverage via College Central, Golf Channel Digital’s home for college golf. Led by Jay Coffin, Lavner and Burkowski, College Central will be the source for all things college golf, including tournament results and scores, features and columns, video highlights and breaking news.
Golf Channel also will deliver comprehensive social media coverage via the network’s official social media platforms on Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat. Social media host Alexandra O’Laughlin will make her Golf Channel debut at the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. O’Laughlin, a former college golfer with Lewis University in suburban Chicago, will contribute to Golf Channel’s digital and social media coverage for both championships.

ANNIKA Award Winner Announced on Golf Central Wednesday, June 7: Golf Channel will announce the winner of one of the most prestigious awards in college golf –the ANNIKA Award Presented by 3M – following the conclusion of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships, on a live edition of Golf Central, Wednesday, June 7 at 6 p.m. ET. The show will include profiles on the top candidates for both awards and live interviews with the winner, who also will receive an exemption to compete in the 2017 Evian Championship in September, the final major on the LPGA Tour in 2017. The ANNIKA Award Presented by 3M honors the nation’s most outstanding female Division I collegiate golfer as selected by her peers, coaches and the golf media. The 2016 winner of the ANNIKA Award was UCLA junior Bronte Law, who won three times and recorded eight top-10 finished in 10 starts during her 2015-16 NCAA season.

Golf Digest Ranks Caledonia Golf & Fish Club Among America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses

Mike Strantz Masterpiece is a Consensus Top 100 Layout and Myrtle Beach’s Most Popular Course

(Pawleys Island, S.C.) Golf Digest unveiled its biennial list of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses in the June issue of the magazine, and a familiar name retained its place among the nation’s elite layouts. Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, Myrtle Beach’s most popular course, was 86th on the prestigious list.

The late Mike Strantz’s first solo design, Caledonia has been on seven of the last eight iterations of the Golf Digest list and is a consensus top 100 public layout. The course is No. 29 on Golf Magazine’s list of the Top 100 You Can Play and Golf Channel travel guru Matt Ginella ranked it No. 14 on his list of the nation’s top 50 public courses.

“Our goal every day is to provide the best experience possible at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club,” said Bob Seganti, director of operations at Caledonia. “With that in mind, it’s extremely rewarding to be ranked among America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses by Golf Digest. The honor is a testament to dedication of everyone at the course – from the bag drop to the pro shop and our superintendent and his tireless staff.”

Caledonia, which is equal parts art and architecture, plays through a stunning piece of lowcountry land that was once home to a thriving rice plantation. The live oak trees draped in Spanish moss, the marshy waters of the Waccamaw Neck, and Strantz’s architectural brilliance combined to make Caledonia one of America’s premier public golf experiences.

A round at Caledonia concludes at the iconic 18th hole, which requires golfers to carry water on the approach to a green the rests in the shadow of an antebellum clubhouse. A crowd is typically gathered on the clubhouse deck, enjoying the drink of their choice, and providing a gallery at the conclusion of an unforgettable round.

Golf Channel’s travel guru Matt Ginella wrote of the course, “I could never imagine a trip to Myrtle and not heading down to Pawleys Island to play Caledonia Golf & Fish Club.”

In addition to providing a premier golf course, Caledonia continues to deliver tremendous value, particularly when packaged with its sister course, True Blue Golf Club.

The Sizzlin’ Summer Special, which can be booked at exclusive rates through Caledonia Golf Vacations, is a 2-night, 3-round deal that includes golf at both True Blue and Caledonia and it starts at $339. Given that True Blue is No 77 on the Golf Magazine list and Ginella ranks it 41st on his list, the Sizzlin’ Summer deal is as full of quality and value as any summer golf package in America.

For more information, go to www.CaledoniaGolfandFishClub.com.

Bay Harbor Selected Among Golf Digest 100 Greatest Public Courses

Boyne Resorts flagship property moves up eleven spots among the top courses in America

(Petoskey, MI) – Bay Harbor Golf Club, the flagship property for Boyne Resorts, one of largest golf and resort companies in North America, has once again been selected among Golf Digest’s 100 Greatest Public Courses.  The scenic Links/Quarry layout moved up eleven places to No. 73 in the most recent rankings.

The publication's biennial review of America's top public courses appears in the June 2017 issue. Golf Digest used over 1,100 members of its Course Ranking Panel and asked each to submit ballots based on seven criteria including shot values, resistance to scoring, design variety, memorability, aesthetics, conditioning and ambience.

“We are very thrilled to not only be recognized by Golf Digest as one of the top public courses in America, but also to make a significant move up in our rankings,” said Bernie Friedrich, Senior Vice President of Golf Operations for Boyne Resorts. “We have worked hard in recent years to improve upon all of our golf courses playability, aesthetics, and conditioning, and this improved ranking for Bay Harbor is a testament to the changes we have made to make our courses more fun for our guests.”

Several improvements have been made in recent years to all three of the courses; including tree removal, which opened up site lines and exposed native areas; repositioning of tee-boxes forward to improve upon playability; and maintenance practices. Each area of improvement contributed to better scores during the rating process.

Bay Harbor Golf Club features 27-holes designed by Arthur Hills, which plays as three different course combinations (Links/Quarry, Quarry/Preserve, Preserve/Links). The Links/Quarry course combines holes routed along a plateau overlooking Lake Michigan with rugged golf holes that meander in and out of an old limestone quarry finishing right along the shoreline.

For more information, visit BOYNEGolf.com.

Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act Support Builds

50th Congressional Co-Sponsor for Active, Healthy Lifestyle Bill;
Four out of Five Families Favor Legislation’s Approval

(SILVER SPRING, Md.) – In less than three months, the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act has gained support from 50 Members of Congress with the addition of Congressman Joe Barton (R-Tex.) today. This is the third Congress in a row PHIT has reached the 50 co-sponsor mark and half way to the record 102 co-sponsors in 2016.

An independent study conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) concluded nearly 80 percent of parents and 77 percent of millennials are in favor of the PHIT Act, which allows individuals to use pre-tax medical accounts to offset costs related to sports, fitness and other qualified physical activities. Eligible expenses would include youth sport registrations, health club memberships, fitness classes and more.

“Physical inactivity is now the fourth deadliest cause of death worldwide and twice as deadly as obesity,” said Tom Cove, SFIA President and CEO. “With adult inactivity exceeding 82 million Americans and youth participation down in team sports, the PHIT Act is exactly what families want and what our country needs; it’s now in the hands of our legislators to approve this important measure.”

This legislation was reintroduced by Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) in the Senate (S. 482) and Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO) in the House of Representatives (H.R. 1267) on March 1, 2017.  PHIT currently has support from 31 Democrats and 19 Republicans.

“The PHIT Act (HR 1267) will help get more Americans up and moving,” said Congressman Joe Barton. “From little league baseball to family gym memberships, this important legislation makes healthy living more affordable.”

The PHIT Coalition, made up of leaders in the fitness, sports, medical, and youth wellness communities, has been leading the efforts to move this bi-partisan Congressional legislation. Coalition members include the American Heart Association, American Council on Exercise, The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, American College of Sports Medicine, The Cooper Institute, The International Health & Racquet Sports Association, The Outdoor Industry Association, People for Bikes and The National Recreation and Parks Association.

Join the conversation today, use #PassPHIT and follow SFIA on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to show your support for the PHIT Act.

More info: www.sfia.org/publicaffairs/phit.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Jack Nicklaus Apparel Signs Willy Wilcox as Brand Ambassador

(Miami, Fla) — PGA Tour professional Willy Wilcox has been named brand ambassador for Jack Nicklaus Apparel’s NICKLAUS Collection. Wilcox has already turned heads in his young career as a professional golfer with his hole-in-one on No. 17 at The Players Championship in 2016. He shot a career-low 59 at the Web.com Tour’s Utah Championship.

“We are thrilled to have Willy Wilcox as a Jack Nicklaus brand ambassador,” said Oscar Feldenkreis, CEO and president of Perry Ellis International. “Willy is a talented young player who has the perfect blend of style and performance, which makes him the ideal reprensentative for this collection.”

Willy Wilcox sporting a Heather Chest Block Polo in Hot Coral with a Printed Textured Stripe Short in Caviar from The NICKLAUS Collection.

The NICKLAUS Collection is a modern fashion line of men’s golf apparel and activewear. Advanced proprietary fabric technologies used in the design of the apparel include moisture wicking and sun protection properties, ventilation and innovative seaming, and all-around stretch for optimum comfort and range of motion on and off the course.

“I am excited and humbled to be wearing apparel that bears the Jack Nicklaus name,” said Wilcox. “The NICKLAUS Collection’s golf apparel looks and feels great and is designed in such a way that I am able to perform at the highest level. The clothes I wear on and off the course are very important to me and as soon as I had a chance to review the Nicklaus Collection I knew it was exactly what I was looking for. I am honored to be on board.”

Jack Nicklaus men’s golf apparel and activewear is licensed and developed by Perry Ellis International, a global leader in fashion apparel.

For more information on the Nicklaus Companies, visit www.nicklaus.com.                          

Additional information on Perry Ellis International is available at www.pery.com.

Zero Friction Heads To ING Spring Conference

(OAK BROOK TERRACE, IL) - Zero Friction, maker of technologically advanced performance golf products, will be an Exhibitor at the 27th Annual ING Spring Conference. This annual gathering of media and golf industry executives is set for May 21-25 at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, FL.

Zero Friction will be an exhibitor in the popular ING One-On-One Appointment Show. This is a series of 15-minute meetings over two days meant to expand coverage and develop relationships between business and media attendees. The company has also donated several items for prizes throughout the conference.

Zero Friction first entered the glove market in 2014 with its one-size-fits-all compression fit golf glove which allows for greater feel, comfort and shot accuracy. Hall of Famer Johnny Miller was so impressed when introduced to Zero Friction in 2015 that he took a stake in the company and helped designed the Johnny Miller Motion-Fit Glove.

Last year, Zero Friction unveiled its new DistancePro GPS Glove, the first wearable GPS technology on a golf glove. Powered by Bluetooth, the device sits comfortably on the glove flap and weighs less than half an ounce. The glove took top honors in the Product Ingenuity - Emerging Companies category of the 24th Annual ING Industry Honors awards program, called by many the "Academy Awards of the Golf Industry.”

Zero Friction has retained the 5th position in market share for golf gloves with both on course and off course retailers in the U.S. for the past two years.

For more information, visit www.zerofriction.com, or call 847-436-4262.

SCNS Sports Foods to Donate a Portion of Sales from May 18–21 to The First Tee of Greater Pasadena

(UPLAND, CA) - SCNS Sports Foods, marketer and distributor of the popular 1st Tee and 10th Tee nutrition and energy bars, will donate $5 per online order of two boxes or more to The First Tee of Greater Pasadena from Thursday, May 18 through Sunday, May 21. This is in addition to the $0.15 regularly donated from the sale of each 1st Tee and 10th Tee Trail Mix Bars to The First Tee network.

Scott Langley
Additionally, shoppers who purchase two or more boxes of 1st Tee or 10th Tee bars from May 18 through May 21 will receive a 20 percent discount. Purchases can be made at www.golfenergybar.com, using the promo code TEE20.

“We are proud to support The First Tee’s network, and through this effort The First Tee of Greater Pasadena,” said Bill Stewart, chief operating officer at SCNS and board member for The First Tee of Greater Pasadena. “In just the last two years we’ve donated more than $40,000 to The First Tee, and are excited to see the impact we can make in 2017.”

Last year, SCNS signed with PGA TOUR Pro Scott Langley, who was the first alumni of The First Tee program to earn PGA TOUR Membership.

“I strongly support The First Tee’s mission, and have seen firsthand the very positive difference the program can make in the lives of participants,” explained Stewart.

SCNS Sports Foods, which launched in 2007, distributes seven different types of nutrition and energy bars: 1st Tee Plus+ Oatmeal Raisin Bars, 1st Tee Plus+ Chocolate Peanut Bars, 1st Tee Dark Chocolate Chip Trail Mix Bars, 1st Tee Honey Almond Snack bars, 10th Tee Plus+ Peanut Honey Bars, 10th Tee Plus+ Chocolate Peanut Caramel Bars, and 10th Tee Cranberry Trail Mix Bars.

SCNS bars are sold and marketed to golfers through 2,500 green grass outlets and online through the company’s website, www.golfenergybar.com.

ALINE selects The Duran Group to lead its Sales and Marketing Efforts in the U.S. Golf Market

(Marblehead, MA) - ALINE, creators of a new class of golf equipment that replaces your shoes insoles, announced today that they have selected The Duran Group to lead the company's Sales and Marketing efforts for its Foot Suspension System in the U.S. golf market.

The Duran Group's dual sales team of Inside and Outside Sales Representatives will represent the ALINE brand to all USA based golf pro shops and golf specialty retailers, in addition to working with leading Golf Specialty Chains such as Worldwide Golf and PGA Tour Superstore.

"ALINE's advanced Foot Suspension System is perfect for Golf, and it clearly shows with the high number of Tour Players using the product in competition", stated Tony Duran the President/Founder of The Duran Group. "We are excited about the  opportunity to grow this new category in Golf, since it fits well with our objective of selling the best in Game Improvement products, and ALINE adds a new footwear profit center for our golf shops and golf retailers nationwide."

"We are excited to bring ALINE Golf to market with the Duran Group," said Art Rogers, President of Global Sales and Marketing for ALINE. "Their 25+ years of Sales and Marketing experience in this segment will allow ALINE to further accelerate our growing position in the sport.  We believe that the Duran Group will effectively communicate the true benefits of ALINE's Patented Foot Suspension System to Golf Retailers and other influencers in the market. Over 100 PGA Tour Pros, Caddies and Officials have adopted ALINE to improve their game. This has helped seed the brand for the Duran Group's efforts."

Golf pro shops and specialty stores can contact The Duran Group for orders at (800) 746-8144 or by email at orders@durangroup.com.

For more information on ALINE visit their website at www.ALINE.com.

Michigan’s Meadowbrook Country Club Earns Renovation of the Year Honors from Golf Inc.

Historic course one of world’s top five private club honorees

(Northville, Michigan) — Meadowbrook Country Club has earned a significant accolade with Golf Inc. magazine naming the course as a winner of its Renovation of the Year contest. Meadowbrook is one of only five private club renovation projects in the world to be honored with the prestigious designation in the publication’s annual competition that is published in the May/June issue.

Arizona-based architect Andy Staples of Staples Golf Design oversaw the renovation of the legendary suburban Detroit course. Meadowbrook Country Club embarked on a major renovation of its historic 1916 course last year to mark the milestone occasion of its 100th anniversary, and took the bold step of closing the course entirely for play. Originally designed by Scottish classic architect Willie Park, Jr., with a later contribution by the renowned Donald Ross, Meadowbrook unveils its refreshed new look at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 18.

According to general manager Joe Marini, “The club’s decision to move ahead with this project in our centennial year is paying off and is positioning Meadowbrook as one of the leaders in how a renovation should be done.  Amongst the membership, the greens are the most talked about aspects of this redesign. Our Pure Distinction greens will be some of the best in the Detroit metro area.  Andy Staples and the design team did a spectacular job.”

“There is no doubt in my mind that Meadowbrook will be one of the most unique clubs in the area,” said Staples. “I’m honored to have been a part of it and pleased with the Golf Inc. Renovation of the Year honor.”

The Golf Inc. judges evaluated a large number of global course renovation candidates for its Renovation of the Year contest with judging based on how well each project achieved its stated goals, improved playability and maintainability, and course aesthetics.  In addition to the five private courses selected, five public facilities also were recognized.

For more information, visit www.meadowbrookcountryclub.com or call (248) 349-3600.

John McConnell tapped for North Carolina Entrepreneur Hall of Fame

President and CEO of McConnell Golf is part of the second class of Hall of Fame inductees

(RALEIGH, NC) — McConnell Golf President and CEO John McConnell of Raleigh was inducted into the North Carolina Entrepreneur Hall of Fame on May 16 as part of the second annual Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) Founders Day celebration.

The North Carolina Entrepreneur Hall of Fame was established to honor individuals who have made a significant impact on the growth and success of the entrepreneurial community through the years. The inductees are leaders in North Carolina’s community who have had outsized influence on the growth of the ecosystem. They have achieved excellence in founding, leading and advancing entrepreneurial companies and are dedicated to the future success of entrepreneurship in North Carolina.

McConnell was part of the second class of Hall of Fame inductees and joined Mitch Mumma of Durham, the Managing Partner of Intersouth Partners. Eight leaders among North Carolina’s investor, entrepreneur and service provider communities comprised the selection committee. The committee considered more than three-dozen candidates for the 2017 class. Inductees needed to receive more than 80 percent of the committee’s votes.

“The members of the 2017 North Carolina Entrepreneur Hall of Fame class are standout examples of the high quality entrepreneurs who have grown their businesses in North Carolina,” said Ravila Gupta, CED President & CEO. “We honor them for their leadership, vision and commitment to the community, and thank them for their roles in building the entrepreneurial ecosystem we all benefit from today.”

In 1982, McConnell co-founded Medic Computer Systems Inc., a Raleigh-based healthcare information management systems firm, where he served as Chief Executive Officer for 16 years. McConnell led Medic through its public offering in 1992, along with its sale five years later for $922.8 million — a record price for a Triangle company.

McConnell received the North Carolina High Technology Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1994. Two years later, CEO Magazine named him one of the country’s Top 100 CEO’s. In December 1998, he became CEO and Chairman of A4 Health Systems, a Raleigh-based provider of Electronic Medical Record solutions that he sold in 2006 for $272 million.

Since 2003 he has served as CEO and Founder of McConnell Golf, LLC, which owns a dozen 18-hole, private golf courses plus one nine-hole course throughout the Carolinas and Tennessee. McConnell Golf is a privately held company offering unlimited access to world-class facilities and golf courses designed by legends Donald Ross, Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, and Hale Irwin.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

REKS Debuts New Website

Unbreakable Sunglass Brand Debuts New Web Site;
Makes on-line Purchasing Easier for Sports and Fashion Styles

(Boca Raton, FLORIDA) - Performance and fashion sunglass brand REKS has announced the launch of their newly redesigned website: www.REKS.com.

“We are excited to launch our new web site which reflects our full range of innovative sunglasses for sports, fashion and leisure wear,” said George Granoff, President and CEO. “Visitors to our web site will find the entire line of REKS sunglasses along with detailed information on our unparalleled proprietary lens technology, unbreakable and lightweight frames and the latest REKS news.”

The newly designed website has been updated in response to the growing number of consumers and retailers interested in REKS high-quality, affordable sunglasses. The improved website includes extensive product information to help consumers better understand the advanced technology that makes REKS sunglasses the best-in-class sunglass brand at popular prices.

Created with the user experience in mind, the website has been redesigned to make the REKS range of glasses easy to browse and securely purchase. Filters allow consumers to shop by activity, making finding the perfect pair of glasses quick and efficient. The website allows consumers to benefit from more detailed, categorized product information that is easier to navigate and understand.

Available in six iconic frame styles and paired with the highest grade shatter-resistant polycarbonate lenses and performance coatings found only in the most expensive eyewear, REKS are ideal for an active lifestyle or everyday wear. With REKS unbreakable frames and scratch and shatter-resistant lenses, REKS is a must-have for style enthusiasts who care deeply about excellent optical experiences and accessories that enhance personal style and performance at affordable prices.

Visit REKS.com to learn more.

Hit the Road, Golfers: Omni's 'Guys Golf Getaway' Package Made for Summer Road Trips

The whole gang gets VIP treatment at 11 outstanding golf destinations coast-to-coast

(DALLAS) — Omni Hotels & Resorts wants this summer to be all about golf and good friends, so it’s offering great golf packages for groups of “fore” or more at its 11 luxury destinations in the Omni Golf Collection.

Beginning today, the “Guys Golf Getaway” package features the full VIP treatment at the Omni golf resort of choice. That means playing in the footsteps of legends when teeing it up at historic tour venues like The Omni Homestead in Virginia, Omni Mt. Washington in New Hampshire, and Omni Bedford Springs in Pennsylvania, as well as iconic courses like Omni Tucson in Arizona or Omni La Costa in Carlsbad. And those are just a few of the great courses in the Omni Golf Collection.

The Guys Golf Getaway package includes access to all resort amenities, along with unlimited golf (per person/per night, including arrival/departure days) and an in-room welcome amenity featuring an Omni “Brewski Bucket” full of beer and chef’s selection of appetizers. Every member of the group also gets a $50 golf retail credit, daily breakfast, unlimited use of the resort’s practice facilities, and club storage.

Gal golfers and couples’ golf groups are welcome, as well—the more in the group, the merrier (and more competitive) it gets!

Package prices start at $275 per person (based on a three night stay) and vary by resort and visit dates.

Omni Hotels & Resorts offers golfers many great reasons to get the gang together for a golf trip, notably access to some of the finest courses in the United States. Located around the country, the Omni collection of courses offers a wide variety of scenic beauty and challenge, plus guaranteed fun for golfers of any and all skill levels.

Other properties in the Omni Golf Collection include Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate in Florida; Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Palm Springs, Calif.; The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C.; Omni Interlocken Hotel in Denver; Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort in Florida; and Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas.

For more information, visit www.omnihotels.com/destinations/golf or call 1-800-The-Omni (1-800-843-6664).

NBC Sports Group Continues 2017 LPGA Tour Season with Eight Consecutive Weeks of Coverage

KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – the LPGA Tour’s Second Major of 2017 – Airs June 29-July 2 on Golf Channel and NBC

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – With record viewership at the season-opening event in January and the drama of the final round at the ANA Inspiration contributing to growing Golf Channel’s 2017 LPGA Tour viewership by 10 percent year-over-year, the LPGA Tour returns to Golf Channel this week with the Kingsmill Championship, beginning an eight-week consecutive stretch that is highlighted by the LPGA Tour’s second major championship of 2017, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (June 29-July 2).

KINGSMILL CHAMPIONSHIP: This week’s Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Va., begins a series of eight consecutive LPGA tournaments airing live on Golf Channel. Twenty of the top-25 players in the Rolex Rankings are in the tournament field, including World No. 1 Lydia Ko, No. 2 So Yeon Ryu, No. 3 and defending Kingsmill champion Ariya Jutanugarn, World No. 4 In Gee Chun and No. 5 Lexi Thompson.

Primetime coverage of the first two rounds of the Kingsmill Championship will air Thursday and Friday (May 18-19) from 9-11 p.m. ET with live streaming on Golf Channel Digital from 4:30-6:30 p.m. ET. Live coverage will continue on-air and online Saturday and Sunday (May 20-21) from 5-7 p.m. ET.

KPMG WOMEN’S PGA CHAMPIONSHIP, THE LPGA TOUR’S SECOND MAJOR OF 2017: Following the Kingsmill Championship, the LPGA Tour will travel to Michigan, New Jersey, Ontario and Arkansas before heading to Olympia Fields Country Club in suburban Chicago for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (June 29-July 2), the LPGA Tour’s second major championship in 2017. Golf Channel and NBC will combine for more than 12 hours of live tournament coverage, complemented by comprehensive news and digital coverage.

NBC SPORTS GROUP’S 2017 MARQUEE LPGA EVENTS: Golf Channel has coverage of four of the five women’s major championships in 2017, with three majors airing on NBC: the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the RICOH Women’s British Open and The Evian Championship. The biennial Solheim Cup returns to U.S. soil in 2017, taking place in August in West Des Moines, Iowa, with complete coverage on Golf Channel. This year, NBC Sports Group will televise 33 LPGA Tour events in the season-long Race to the CME Globe – the highest number of Golf Channel televised events in LPGA history.

PURE SILK BAHAMAS AND ANA INSPIRATION RECORD VIEWERSHIP: The 2017 LPGA Tour season kicked off in the Bahamas with the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic in January, with Brittany Lincicome defeating Lexi Thompson in a one-hole playoff. Sunday’s (Jan. 29) final-round coverage delivered 524,000 viewers, the most-watched LPGA Tour regular season telecast in Golf Channel history, which also featured Stacy Lewis, Gerina Piller and Nelly Korda finishing 3-5, respectively. Viewership peaked at 650,000 in the first half hour on Sunday.

Viewership momentum continued through the season’s first major championship, the ANA Inspiration (March 30-April 2). In a final round that saw Thompson incur a four-stroke penalty, and the subsequent emotional playoff between Thompson and So Yeon Ryu, Golf Channel delivered 706,000 viewers for Sunday’s final round (+63% YOY), the most-watched final round at this event on Golf Channel (2011-17) and most-watched LPGA Tour round on Golf Channel in eight years. Coverage peaked at 852,000 viewers (9:15-9:30 p.m. ET).

Follow the LPGA on its television home, Golf Channel, and on the web via www.LPGA.com. Join the social conversation at www.facebook.com/lpga, www.twitter.com/lpga and www.youtube.com/lpgavideo, and on Instagram and Snapchat at @lpga_tour.

Antigua Announces its Spring 2017 Windwear Collection

(PEORIA, AZ) - Focusing on an updated fabric story, the Antigua Group, Inc. - one of the nation's leading designers and marketers of lifestyle and golf apparel under the distinguished Antigua brand - announces its Spring 2017 Men's Windwear Collection.

The versatile style Advance offers aesthetics and functionality. This long sleeve, half-zip pullover functions primarily as a windshirt, but thanks to its waterproof fabric also protects from light inclement weather. Though it's intentionally not seam sealed to allow more breathability, this membrane-bonded interlock shell is paired with a lightweight tricot mesh lining for comfort and added flexibility. The accent fabric pieced into the top shoulder and side panels consists of a double knit, bonded two-tone twill fabric found on styles Vista and Regime -- offering the ability to pair them together. Advance has a placket-side utility pocket and hip-high hand pockets, velcro-adjustable self fabric cuffs, and an adjustable bungee waistband to assist fit.

The windwear collection also includes style Tour, a short sleeve pullover windshirt with a half-zip placket, chest zip pocket and side waist hand pockets -- all with accented reverse coil zipper teeth for a splash of color. The two-color bonded jacquard interlock fabric is lined with a lightweight tricot mesh fabric that promotes airflow and is potentially a wear everyday, anywhere garment that conforms to any outfit.

Style Conquer is the sleeveless companion to Tour, sharing the same bonded interlock body and tricot fabrics inside and out, and is equally styled with contrasting functional zippers and an elastic bungee bottom. Both styles are deliberately void of nearly all top stitching, to coincide with the current trend of clean line detailing that promotes a focus on fabric and silhouette and elicits the "less is more" cliché in a positive way.

Find Antigua on the web at: www.Antigua.com and ShopAntigua.com. Like Antigua on Facebook at: facebook.com/Antigua. Follow Antigua on Twitter at: twitter.com/AntiguaWear. See Antigua YouTube videos at: youtube.com/AntiguaWear.

Keswick Hall & Golf Club Receives Coveted ‘Editors’ Choice Award’ from Golf Digest

(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – Keswick Hall & Golf Club – the Forbes Five-Star luxury resort set in Virginia’s scenic Hunt Country – has received the coveted “Editors’ Choice Award” from Golf Digest in the “Best Resorts in the Americas” category.

The 600-acre world-class resort joins notable properties like Pebble Beach Resorts, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Kiawah Island Golf Resort and The Sea Pines Resort on the prestigious list. No stranger to accolades, its acclaimed Pete Dye-designed Full Cry at Keswick Golf Club is ranked No. 3 in Golfweek’s 2016 list of “Best Courses You Can Play’ in Virginia and No. 45 in Golfweek’s “Best Resort Courses” in the U.S.

“This award further signifies that Keswick Hall & Golf Club has become one of the esteemed resort destination properties in North America,” says John Trevenen, General Manager. “Our never-ending quest is to provide to our guests a ‘best of the best’ experience with the ultimate levels of luxury and customer care complementing exceptional golf.”

Keswick Hall & Golf Club’s elegant 48 guestrooms and suites offer a full range of top-of-the-line amenities including premium bedding and linens, luxurious bath items, complimentary high-speed Internet access, snacks and beverages, and other in-room convenience and entertainment options. The Spa offers a full menu of soothing and relaxing treatments to enhance the experience.

Keswick Hall & Golf Club’s acclaimed Fossett’s restaurant features superb seasonal menus accented by classic cooking techniques and Southern inspiration. The dining experience is enhanced by the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows providing spectacular panoramic views of the estate’s rolling landscape and beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains on the horizon. The hotel maintains its own “Chef’s Garden,” providing an ample supply of year-round produce and herbs.

The region is also home to Jefferson’s Monticello, the University of Virginia and numerous outdoor pursuits, drawing history buffs, wine lovers, sports enthusiasts and nature seekers year-round. Highly decorated, Keswick Hall & Golf Club has attained Condé Nast Traveler “Gold” status, and is one of Travel + Leisure’s 500 “World’s Best Hotels.”

For more information on Keswick Hall & Golf Club visit www.keswick.com or call 434.979.3440.

USGA Accepts More Than 1,700 Entries for 72nd U.S. Women’s Open Championship

Ten past U.S. Women’s Open champions scheduled to compete

(FAR HILLS, N.J.) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) has accepted 1,709 entries for the 72nd U.S. Women’s Open Championship, which will be conducted July 13-16, 2017, at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. It will be the seventh U.S. Women’s Open contested in New Jersey, and the first in 30 years.

This marks the fourth consecutive year the U.S. Women’s Open has received more than 1,700 entries. The 2015 championship at Lancaster (Pa.) Country Club holds the entry record with 1,873. Ten U.S. Women’s Open champions are among the 97 players who are currently fully exempt into the championship.

“In what has become a hallmark of this championship, we are excited to see such a strong group of entrants from around the world for the 72nd U.S. Women’s Open Championship,” said Stuart Francis, chairman of the USGA Championship Committee. “We also look forward to welcoming the U.S. Women’s Open back to New Jersey for the first time since Laura Davies of England captured the 1987 championship at Plainfield Country Club.”

The USGA accepted entries for the 72nd U.S. Women’s Open from golfers in 47 states (all except Alaska, West Virginia and Wyoming) and 51 countries in total.

To be eligible for the U.S. Women’s Open, a player must have a Handicap Index® not exceeding 2.4, or be a professional. Sectional qualifying will be conducted over 36 holes between May 22 and June 12. Qualifying will be held at 21 sites in the United States, as well as four international sites: one each in England, Japan, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Korea.

Brittany Lang, of McKinney, Texas, who won the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif., is one of 10 fully exempt U.S. Women’s Open champions. Lang is joined by Na Yeon Choi (2012), In Gee Chun (2015), Paula Creamer (2010), Eun-Hee Ji (2009), Cristie Kerr (2007), Inbee Park (2008, 2013), So Yeon Ryu (2011), Karrie Webb (2000, 2001) and Michelle Wie (2014).

This will be the third USGA championship conducted at Trump National in Bedminster. The club previously hosted the 2009 U.S. Girls’ Junior, won by Amy Anderson, who now competes on the LPGA Tour and will attempt to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open at the Frankfort, Ill., qualifying site on June 12. It also hosted the 2009 U.S. Junior Amateur, won by 2015 U.S. Open and Masters champion Jordan Spieth.

The championship's youngest entrant is 10-year-old Avery Zweig, of McKinney, Texas. She will attempt to qualify at the sectional qualifying site in Prior Lake, Minn., on May 31. Debby Pinnell is the championship's oldest entrant at age 66.

Justine Dreher, a Ladies European Tour player from France, was the first applicant when entries opened on March 8. The final championship application came from Laurie Rinker, 54, of Stuart, Fla. Rinker, the 1980 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion who won the LPGA Teaching & Club Professionals Championship in 2015, filed her entry 11 minutes before the 5 p.m. EDT deadline on May 17.

Players still have several opportunities to gain a full exemption into the U.S. Women’s Open. The winner of the 2017 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and any other LPGA co-sponsored events prior to the start of the U.S. Women’s Open, as well as the winner of the 2017 Ladies British Open Amateur Championship, will earn exemptions into the championship field. Additionally, any player in the top 50 point leaders and ties from the Rolex Rankings as of July 9 not already exempt will be added to the field.

More information about the U.S. Women’s Open, including a variety of ticket options, is available at www.usga.org/womensopen.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

High Heat Heads to ING Conference on a Wave of Positive Media Reviews

(BONITA, CA) – Riding the momentum of yet another positive media review of its High Heat family of metalwoods, Knuth Golf will be an Exhibitor at the 27th Annual ING Spring Conference.

This annual gathering of media and golf industry executives is set for May 21-25 at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, FL. This is the Set Up Copyfifth straight year that Knuth Golf has exhibited at the ING Spring Conference.

The company enters the conference riding a wave of positive media reviews of its award-winning line of metalwoods, designed by former USGA Senior Director Dean Knuth, inventor of the USGA’s Course Rating and Slope Systems.

The latest comes from the May issue of Golf Today Northwest, which called High Heat “a real game changer.” The story continued:
“When most folks think of high heat, they envision a little chin music from a guy like the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard. Knuth’s High Heat is up there too. One of the reasons amateurs love his metal woods is that they are able to hit them farther and straighter. Not a bad combo.”

The article pointed out that High Heat is the only brand that offers Beta titanium faces in its fairway woods and hybrids, which is an advantage compared to the steel that all other companies use.

“High Heat’s beta titanium faces have a greater trampoline effect than steel, so the ball goes farther, even on off-center hits,” said the review. “And the center of gravity is lower and further back from the clubface, making it easier to get the fairway metal or hybrid shot into the air.”

The Golf Today Northwest article was the latest among dozens of positive reviews for High Heat, which debuted in 2015 with its award-winning driver. That High Heat club won the “Conference Best Product” at the 2016 ING Spring Conference, and received the prestigious ING Industry Honor for Product Ingenuity in 2016. This past January Knuth Golf became the first emerging company ever to win that award in consecutive years, this time for its 3-wood. All of the High Heat clubs have been named to numerous media “top product” lists.

Other recent positive reviews include:

Tim Branco, publisher of New England Golf Magazine and GolfGearWeekly.com: "The Lexus of Amateur Clubs does it again with their new High Heat fairway woods and hybrids. They use the same innovative designs and technology (as in their driver) and they are much easier to get up in the air than other brands. With a beta titanium face instead of steel faces, they provide extra distance, especially on off-center hits and made me feel like the entire face is a sweet spot."

Links Magazine calls the Knuth Golf High Heat fairway woods and hybrids among the most “significant” golf clubs of 2017 in its Spring issue, because they “include the award-winning technology of the High Heat driver and they have titanium faces which provide additional distance and more forgiveness.”

And GolfTalk Live host, Tony Leodora said, “High Heat performs as advertised, and with having titanium faces in its fairway woods and hybrids Knuth Golf has solidified High Heat as the leading brand in properly addressing the hitting needs of the amateur golfer."

At KnuthGolf.com, an online fitting is conducted to properly address the loft for the driver and which weight and flex is needed for the club shaft for any High Heat fairway wood or hybrid they purchase.

For more information about Knuth Golf, visit www.knuthgolf.com or call 410-353-0446.

USGA: ShoeTips Swing Thought Reminder System is Now 'Permitted under the Rules of Golf'

(LOS ANGELES, CA) - ShoeTips Golf received formal notification from the USGA today that their revolutionary, new swing thought reminder system-designed to help golfers of all skill levels master their mental game while they play-is now PERMITTED UNDER THE RULES OF GOLF. ShoeTips is worn on your shoes or displayed on your golf bag, providing a readily visible reminder of two positive swing thoughts before each shot.

New "oval" shaped design is now Permitted Under the Rules of Golf

"We couldn't be more excited by the USGA's decision," said Steve Lewis, Founder & CEO of ShoeTips. "We felt from the start that using ShoeTips would help golfers maintain their focus so they could achieve peak performance, lower their scores and enjoy the game more. This decision allows any amateur or pro golfer, including those posting scores for handicap purposes or competing in a USGA sanctioned tournament, to use ShoeTips during any round. That's huge, and great news for golfers worldwide!"

Flexible and Easy to Use
Using ShoeTips is easy. Before you play, select two swing thoughts you want to remember from the 18 provided. Insert the labels securely into the two base clips and slide the clips easily, and snugly, over your shoelaces. The reminders will be in full view on your shoes as you address the ball. To use them on your golf bag instead, simply insert the base clips through the slots on our enclosed BagTag. Now you'll have a reminder of positive thoughts each each time you select a club.

ShoeTips' 18 familiar swing thoughts were chosen based on input from golf pros and sports psychologists. The labels are easy to change and organized into 3 categories-focus, relating to your mind; feel, to your body; and technique, to your swing mechanics. Can't find the tip you want? Write your own custom tips on the reverse side of the labels with an indelible marker.

Mental Focus Promotes Peak Performance
Golf's greatest players, instructors and coaches, sports psychologists, writers, and scientific research on performance and the mental game all agree: Regardless of a person's skill level, if you can focus completely on, and become fully absorbed in the task at hand, with nothing left over for worry or doubt, you'll achieve a state of peak performance.

ShoeTips retails for $19.99 and is available on Amazon.com.

For more information on ShoeTips, visit www.ShoeTips.com.

Read our review of ShoeTips HERE.

Cleated Shoes Continue Dominance at THE PLAYERS Championship

Winning Players Have Captured 27 of the 2017 PGA Tour Events in Footwear featuring replaceable cleats

(BRENTWOOD, Tenn.) - Nearly every winner on the PGA TOUR during the 2017 season has something in common – they chose the stability and performance of cleated shoes. With one of the young rising stars of golf capturing THE PLAYERS Championship, winners of 27 of the 28 events to date on the 2017 PGA TOUR have been wearing golf shoes with replaceable cleats when they won.*

Softspikes/CHAMP, the world’s best-selling golf cleat brands and the companies with the #1 Cleat in Golf, continue to dominate the major tours. This week’s winner in Ponte Vedra, Fla., was wearing the Adidas THiNTech golf cleats. With his three-stroke victory, the 21-year-old moved from 75th to 28th in the Official World Golf Rankings.

“You simply cannot argue with the results…the winners are wearing shoes with replaceable cleats,” said John Hohman, Vice President of Marketing for PrideSports. “Over the past four years, 189 out of 208 PGA TOUR events have been won by players wearing cleated shoes. That’s more than 90 percent!”

Shoes that allow for players to replace their cleats are versatile and provide superior traction on any surface of play versus “cleatless” products. In addition, as cleats wear over time, golfers can simply replace the cleats giving them the traction of essentially brand new shoes at a fraction of the cost.

“Athletes that play any sport on a variable surface – football, soccer, lacrosse, baseball, football, and others – wear cleated shoes in order to maximize performance and traction,” added Hohman. “Golf is no different. The winners on TOUR recognize and value the stability they get from cleated shoes that simply cannot be delivered by alternative footwear.”  

PrideSports is the undisputed leader in the golf cleat segment with its CHAMP and Softspikes brands. CHAMP’s PiviX, Zarma and Stinger cleats, as well as Softspikes’ Pulsar, Silver Tornado and Stealth dominate both the OEM and secondary market in terms of performance and sales.

*Excludes team events

PXG Signs LPGA Tour Champion Austin Ernst

PXG’s Unfettered Golf Club Innovation Continues to Drive Demand from Tour Professionals

(Scottsdale, AZ) – PXG announced LPGA Tour professional Austin Ernst as the newest addition to its roster of champions.

Earnst has had PXG irons in play since mid-2016 – long before being offered an equipment deal. She has recorded three top ten finishes this season, including a second-place finish at the Kia Classic.

“PXG has made a huge impact on the LPGA Tour in the last year and I am ecstatic to now be an official member of the PXG Troops,” Ernst said. “I’ve been making moves up the leaderboard this season, and I feel more confident than ever that I will reach the top with PXG clubs in my bag.”

Since entering the market two years ago, PXG, founded by American entrepreneur and golf fanatic Bob Parsons, has incited a step change in the golf industry. Parsons has channeled his passion for golf into a project that bears little relation to the established big beasts of the equipment market. And golfers, from weekend warriors to tour professionals, have been quick to take note.

Parsons shared, “We’re in a different business than the other manufactures. When it comes to product development, it doesn’t matter how much we spend. It doesn’t matter how long it takes or how many iterations. What matters is performance.”

“When exceptional players like Austin hit our clubs and say ‘wow’, we know we have landed on something special,” Parsons added. “I’m thrilled that Austin has already found success on tour using our equipment and look forward to counting her among our already stellar lineup of professionals.”

PXG’s professionals represent some of the very best talent on the PGA and LPGA Tours. Ernst will join current #PXGTroops James Hahn, Billy Horschel, Charles Howell III, Zach Johnson, Chris Kirk, Ryan Moore, Pat Perez, Charl Schwartzel, Christina Kim, Lydia Ko, Brittany Lang, Alison Lee, Ryann O’Toole, Sadena Parks, Gerina Piller and Beatriz Recari.

Ernst’s first tournament as an official member of the #PXGTroops will be at the Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Virginia.

To learn more about PXG’s groundbreaking equipment and professional staff, visit www.PXG.com.

KemperSports Celebrates Fourth Annual Player Development Month

KemperSports expands Player Development Month across portfolio – will offer complimentary lessons to beginners or people re-entering the game at all properties

(Northbrook, Ill.) – KemperSports will host their fourth annual Player Development Month during the month of June. The month-long celebration of golf is expanded from KemperSports previous initiative that lasted one week. Given the success and popularity of #PDWeek, KemperSports is choosing to expand the program over a full month. To commemorate the month-long celebration, all properties in the KemperSports portfolio will offer free 15-minute lessons.

The inaugural celebration, which started in 2014, saw more than 3,500 interactions with new golfers at KemperSports courses across the country. That number nearly doubled through 2016 by interacting with 8,000 new golfers in person and over 20,000 on social media. Given the expansion of the program, KemperSports is hoping to grow that number and share our passion for golf with as many as possible.

KemperSports’ Player Development Month is an initiative built to provide tools and best practices to a portfolio of more than 125 public, private and resort golf courses around the country. The program is geared to deliver innovative ways to reach an entire demographic of non-golfers.

“As avid golfers ourselves, we are passionate about the game of golf,” said KemperSports president Josh Lesnik. “Player Development Month gives us the opportunity to share our love of the game and hopefully introduce the game to a generation of non-golfers in a fun way.”

With the belief that golf is not only our job, but our passion, KemperSports takes personal pride in its mission to help grow the game and share our love of the sport with new and former golfers. Guests at KemperSports facilities are encouraged to use the hashtag #PDMonth to show their support of the program and their love of the game of golf.

For a list of KemperSports properties across the country, visit www.kempersports.com.