Sunday, December 31, 2017

May Holds Second Round Lead at Patriot All-America Invitational - 10 Players within Four Shots of Lead

(LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz.) – Baylor University Junior Garrett May shot a second round 1-under par 69 to go to 6-under for the tournament and retain his one-shot lead going into Sunday’s final round of The Patriot All-America Invitational at The Wigwam in Litchfield Park, Ariz. May sits one shot ahead of University of Arizona Senior George Cunningham, who shot a second round 1-under par 69; SM Lee of Dalton State College, posted a second round 4-under par 66; and Mason Overstreet of the University of Arkansas, fired a second round 2-under par 68.

Reigning NCAA Individual Golf Champion and 2015 Patriot All-America champion, Braden Thornberry sits two-shots back at 4-under par after firing a 4-under par 66 in the second round. Thornberry, a junior at Ole Miss, is currently ranked 2nd in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Lee, Thornberry, Walker Lee of Texas A & M and Clay Feagler of Pepperdine University, all shot 4-under par 66s – the lowest scores of the second round.

Now in its seventh year, The Patriot All-America Invitational features 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 United States. Current PGA TOUR stars who have played in The Patriot All-America 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).

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.

Final round action will begin at 9:30 AM, with the leaders teeing off at 11:40 AM. The final round is expected to conclude at approximately 4 PM. For more information, visit www.patriotallamerica.com.

Patriot All-America Invitational
2nd Round Quotes

Garrett May from Baylor University:
- Tell us about your round today?
- A little bit more stressful than yesterday. The course played a little harder today. The pin positions were pretty tough. Some of them were easy, but some of them were tough. I didn’t really get off to the start I wanted. I was two-under through seven, which, you know, is nice. But I bogeyed the first hole -- the first bogey I’ve made all week. Just a bad drive. You know, the swing wasn’t as sharp as it was yesterday, but I hung in there. I knew if I could just keep making pars, nobody was running away with it and luckily I could stick one really close on 17 and make some good par saves on the back nine. I played really solid today. Short game was good. I hit the shots when I needed to, just a little bit more stressful than yesterday.

I did a good job today of staying below the hole. The ball goes farther in Texas, so I’ve had to club down a lot, not hit it as hard. So that’s an adjustment, but it actually makes it easier because you don’t have to swing as hard and hit the ball solid. I short sided myself one time on number 8 today and it cost me. I actually had to make a five footer for bogey. I hit it over the green and you just can’t do that. All in all this week, I’ve done a really good job of just playing to my game and playing conservatively aggressive and limiting mistakes.

SM Lee, Dalton State College
- 4-under 66, put you one shot off the lead going into tomorrow, what was the difference today?
- Yesterday I felt like I played better. I only shot one under, but my putting was good yesterday. Putting almost failed me today, but my ball striking was a lot better today. I did not have any putts today where I could potentially have a three putt, so that was really good. I had no bogeys today and that’s always a plus. If you miss a green here, it’s very hard to get up and down, so that’s what I tried to avoid. I only missed two greens today and that was probably the highlight of my day.

- How’d you hit it off the tee today?
- I wasn’t where I wanted to be, but my irons were good enough to save those tee shots and get into play and give myself a chance at birdie on almost every hole.

Mason Overstreet, University of Arkansas
- Your 2-under par 68 currently puts you one shot off the lead, how do you feel about it?
- I feel pretty good about it. I had a rough start. I bogeyed two of my first three, but was able to get it back in the middle of the round and birdied 13 and 14 to get back to 3-under. Unfortunately, I pulled my last putt (on 18), but it’s no big deal.

- Plan coming out for tomorrow?
- Just the same. I’ve been driving it pretty well the last couple days and you’ve got to get it in the fairway to score well. And, being in the final group, I guess, should help.

- What worked well today?
- My wedges were pretty good today. In the middle of the round, when I really scored well was when I was hitting my wedges close and put it in the fairway. That’s really what you have to do, keep it in the fairway and give yourself uphill looks. Downhill putts can be pretty treacherous out here so, probably just more of the same tomorrow.

Braden Thornberry, Ole Miss
- Take us through your 4-under 66.
- Started out knowing 66 was the number I thought I needed today to have a realistic shot going into tomorrow, because I figured the lead would be 6 or 7 under after today and it looks like it’s somewhere in there. Got off to a little bit of a slow start with that tough pin on three, but kinda after that got it going pretty good. Made a couple dumb mistakes but other than that, played pretty well.

- The difference between yesterday and today?
- Not much difference, just had a stretch of eight holes yesterday where I was like five over. Take that out, and it’s a very similar score or even better. You know, the golf game is good. I just had to knock a little tournament rust off, I haven’t played in a month or so. Looking forward to tomorrow though.

- You had seven birdies today, any one stick out that got you going?
- You know it was big, after going one over through three and probably dropping to 25th/26th place, or something like that, for the tournament, I knew I had to get something going. Birdieing four, you know it’s kind of an easier hole, but birdieing there where I’m supposed to birdie, you know that kinda got me going for the rest of the day.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Barcelona: Travel, Learn How to Play, Practice and Get Your Golf License

(BARCELONA, SPAIN) - You might not know but there are many options when taking some time off on your vacations. There are many people interested on practicing a sport and travel. Well, now there’s no reason why you cannot do both when it comes to golf.

A company in Barcelona, Spain called Smart Golf Barcelona had the idea to promote its city and the way they live and play golf with the creation of a Golf Initiation Pack, which includes golf lessons, the stay at the hotel and luxury transportation.

This pack was created for those who are interested on starting golfing or those who are always looking for some new experiences while traveling. However, this company is dedicated to design golf vacation experiences for professional golfers, those who like to golf abroad and live their passion everywhere they go.

Imaging having an adventure in a beautiful country, somewhere where you have never been before, where you can live and breathe a different culture; but at the same time, learn how to play golf with a professional instructor.

When choosing to live an adventure with the help of this company, you will be able to learn golf and get your golf license, but also, you will be enjoying the Sun and the beach of one of the most amazing cities in Europe.

We’re talking about golf weekends, golf holidays and golf escapes, which will let you enjoy playing or learning golf while visiting the vibrant Barcelona, the city that has leisure, culture, exclusiveness and more.

The company let their customers craft the experience they want to live. For example, there are experiences, which can be lived near the beach, some near the Barcelona City Center, some more luxurious than others and some more attached to the culture and history of the city. In fact, there are 7 different kinds of golf experiences, all of them are so different and all of them can be customized.

The golf experiences that the company offers are guaranteed, they all include playing at the best golf courses in Barcelona, for example here we mention some: Sant Vincenç de Montalt, Golf Vallromanes, PGA Golf, Lumine Golf, Golf Barcelona, Golf Vallromanes, RCG El Prat, Golf La Roca or CG Terramar; which are close to the city center and according to some experts, they could be a real challenge for anyone.

Opting for Barcelona as your next golf vacation destination will not disappoint you. We leave you the company's website, for more information: http://smartgolfbarcelona.com/.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Nexbelt Set to Unveil New Offerings for 2018 at the PGA Merchandise Show

(RANCHO CUCAMONGA) - Nexbelt, "The Fastest Growing Belt In Golf", will be unveiling eight updated or new belt collections for 2018 in BOOTH #4683 at the PGA Merchandise Show set to be held January 24 thru 26 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

Here's just a small sampling of some of the new offerings from Nexbelt for 2018:

Hampton Series - We are offering the first ever ribbon ratchet belts in thenew Hampton line. Available with golf clubs design or the American flag. Get the look of a ribbon belt with the convenience of a ratchet belt. New and improved buckles with stainless steel set screws replacing pins. Cut to size fits up to a 50" waist.

Newport Series - Updated with new colors in stripes and solids. These belts pull double duty on and off the course for that casual look. And they are designed to fit up to a 50" waist. New Colors for 2018 include National, Ivy, Black 2.0, Grey and Navy & Tan.

Go In! Embossed Series - We've enhanced our Go In! Series of golf belts by adding four new Embossed Leather designs. Storm Grey Carbon, Tex Brown, Weave Black and Weave Brown are four new offerings for 2018. Our popular Go In! Series of belts feature our patented flip-down face and hidden ball marker.

Nexbelt is known for their innovative technology and providing golfers with the maximum comfort and minimal adjusting. The unique ratcheting system called PreciseFit allows the wearer to adjust the belt in ¼ inch increments, providing the golfer with the best fit, feel, and fashion.

Nexbelt is 100% committed to offering its customers superior customer service and the most innovative and technologically advanced products available.

Nexbelt's DRIVE Vision ...
Deliver what we Promise with Integrity.
Retain the Human touch
Invest in Good People generously.
Value our Customers Unconditionally.
Embrace Change with Innovation.

Company Founders, Tom Hunsucker, and Eddie and Francis Rowland started Nexbelt in 2010 with a vision to reinvent the way Americans buy, sell and wear their belts. Tired of the old outdated pin/buckle system, they set their sights on creating a belt that would be both adjustable and highly fashionable at the same time. Out of this passion, Nexbelt, "The Belt With No Holes" was born.

For more information about Nexbelt, visit www.Nexbelt.com.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Westin Kierland Golf Club First Arizona Course to Install New 'Shark Experience' in Golf Cars

(Scottsdale, Ariz.) – Continually on the forefront of innovation and technology, The Westin Kierland Golf Club is the first Arizona golf course and resort to install “Shark Experience” – an innovative new golf technology that enhances the on-course experience – to its golf car fleet.

Westin Kierland’s Club Car golf cars will include high-definition touch screen displays and built-in speakers with Bluetooth connectivity. Golfers at Westin Kierland will now be able to enjoy streaming music via Slacker Radio, live sports, highlights, news and entertainment, in addition to Greg Norman golf tips, dynamic yardage information and more.

“The debut of the ‘Shark Experience’ at our Kierland Golf Club is the realization of a challenge we put forth to our golf industry partners several years ago to change the trajectory of the game by addressing the concern that it ‘takes too long to play’,” said Bruce Lange, managing director, The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. “It has always been a Westin Kierland contention that it’s not the length of time it takes to play, but instead the amount of time to play the game competing with other golfer interests.  Bringing music, video and eventually televised sporting events to the course allows the player to multi-task so they won’t have to give up some of their favorite pastimes. We’re proud to be on the cutting edge of changing the conversation about the game and very much looking forward to providing our players yet another unique Kierland experience.” 

In November, the partnership between Greg Norman Company, Verizon, GPSi, and Club Car unveiled Shark Experience. Shark Experience will deliver unprecedented connectivity, content and customization to the course through this connected golf car experience. The Westin Kierland Golf Club is one of only a handful of clubs across the country to have this new technology. The Experience will continue to evolve in 2018 and add features, such as hole-in-one technology, food and beverage ordering, Shot Tracer and more.

“The golf industry has been starved for real innovation that encourages real change for real growth and we believe Shark Experience is the answer,” said Greg Norman. “This solution enhances the golfer experience and is customizable to each individual’s preference – whether you are a Baby Boomer, Millennial or Gen Z, Shark Experience has something to keep you entertained, connected and having fun.”

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.  Bringing together perfectly manicured golf, golf boards, golf bikes, TurfRiders and Segway golf, the best exercise physiology and on-site golf equipment fitting, the Kierland Golf Experience is the area’s most innovative golf program.  Traditional golf instruction by award-winning instructors Mike and Sandy LaBauve is offered at the LaBauve Golf Academy and Director of Instruction Lindy LaBauve offers professional instruction 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.kierlandgolf.com. For more information on the Shark Experience, visit www.sharkexperience.com.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Getting to Know: David McLay Kidd, Golf Course Architect

American Golfer: When did you start playing golf?
David McLay Kidd: Son of a Scottish greenskepper, so played golf before I can remember, probably at Glasgow Golf Club in Scotland, but really I took interest as a teenager while my father was in charge at Gleneagles in Scotland.

David McLay Kidd
AG: How did you become a golf course designer?
DMK: I loved to work on courses and I loved the history and creative aspects of golf design, as did my father, so I decided architecture was my path instead of maintenance like my father.

AG: Why did you choose a career in golf course design?
DMK: First construction project I worked on as an intern was a Johnny Miller design. I marveled at the latitude the builder had to be creative. I was hooked!

AG: In your opinion, have any design trends hurt the game?
DMK: Tiger proofing (guilty) and over manicuring (not guilty).

AG: How can we grow the game of golf?
DMK: It has to be fun again. Players need the opportunity to succeed ... not constant failure. Recovery from a bad shot should be possible ... not guaranteed, of course, but often possible.

AG: Do you have a specific design philosophy?
DMK: Lots. I could write a book on this question alone, but will sum it up by saying golf needs to be fun. Playability is key and can be achieved without sacrificing challenge. The two are not tied together.

AG: Of all the holes you’ve designed, do you have a favorite (why)?
DMK: Well, 16 at Bandon Dunes will forever be my calling card.

AG: What’s your “dream foursome” (living or dead, golfer or non-golfer)?
DMK: My father, my grandfather and Old Tom Morris.

AG: Is there a “bucket list” location in/on which to design?
DMK: Long Island, N.Y., South America, Florida somewhere (Streamsong would be nice!)

AG: What is the future of golf course design?
DMK: Less courses, more remodels, better design, less real estate, great sustainability.

Bonus Question
AG: Assuming equipment remains the same, what can a golf course architect do to protect today's courses or design future courses without approaching 8,000 yards?
DMK: The answer is one no one wants to admit ... you can’t have a single course playable for mortals and challenging to Tour players. When you try, and it's not 8,000 yards long, you end up with penal design, tight fairways and severe greens. The public doesn’t love such courses on a day-to-day basis. I told a developer the other day that I’d rather satisfy the masses than win critical acclaim from the magazines and pros!

Learn more about David McLay Kidd and his work at www.dmkgolfdesign.com.

Originally posted 11/10/16

TPT Golf Expands Leadership Team to Support Rapid Growth

(RENENS, SWITZERLAND) - TPT Golf has expanded its leadership team with multiple hires that fill key roles for the upstart, Switzerland-based golf shaft manufacturer. The new team members will support both the rapid growth the company achieved in its first year as well as its long-term vision.   

"We took our time in making sure we found the perfect fit for each position," said Sebastian Sebayang, Director of TPT Golf. "These hires are not only highly qualified to fill their roles, but they're committed to our mission of revolutionizing the golf shaft industry so that golfers can finally achieve their full potential."

Joining TPT Golf as Technical Director is Jeff Meyer, a golf industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience with high performance composites. Meyer previously worked at Titleist, Aldila and G Loomis, where he played instrumental roles in product development and testing. With TPT Golf, Meyer will ensure the continued innovation of its product offerings.

"Five minutes into my first meeting, I understood the advantages of the TPT material processes," Meyer said. "Our design and manufacturing processes are both different and superior than industry methodologies. The Swiss engineering is so fined tuned. With our technology, we can engineer any shaft parameter we want."

Jon Sinclair, Owner and Director of Instruction at Sinclair Golf in Euless, Texas, joins TPT Golf as its U.S. Technical Advisor. Sinclair is one of the most sought-after experts in capturing and interpreting cutting-edge golf swing data. Along with his experience fitting the best golfers in the world, Sinclair brings TPT Golf the latest tools for quantifying performance, including how different design parameters change a golfer's motion pattern.

"The consistency with which we can produce a shaft - TPT is going to change the game of golf," Sinclair said. "The stability of the shaft is allowing golfers to increase their potential speed."

To oversee marketing and communications, TPT Golf has joined forces with Rooted Solutions, a Detroit-based firm led by former GolfWRX Editor-in-Chief Zak Kozuchowski. At GolfWRX, Kozuchowski created a news division that earned the respect of golfers worldwide for its engaging content and keen insight into the areas of golf equipment and instruction.     

TPT Golf has also retained public relations firm Mary Beth Lacy Inc. The firm, led by Mary Beth Lacy, has played in influential role in the growth of several golf industry notables including Antigua, Adams Golf, aboutGolf, Ashworth, Butch Harmon, David Leadbetter, Fairway & Greene, Miura, Sunice, Terry Jastrow's movie "The Squeeze" and Tom Watson's Instructional DVD.

For more information on TPT Golf, visit tptgolf.com.

Billy Casper Golf Named Management Partner for Cape Fear National

(RESTON, VA) – Billy Casper Golf (BCG) – the innovative manager of golf courses, country clubs and resorts – was chosen by Lord Baltimore Capital Corporation to manage Cape Fear National in Leland, N.C.

Located within the community of Brunswick Forest, Cape Fear National is an award-winning course offering 18 holes of premium public play golf in a setting of unmatched beauty. BCG was chosen as a strategic management partner to oversee and operate all aspects of Cape Fear National including accounting; golf operations; food and beverage; general and administrative services; human resources; and marketing.

At Cape Fear National, golf course architect Tim Cate designed a playing field as dramatic as the landscape itself. Magnificent forests of mature oaks, maples, pines and magnolias create the old-world ambiance of some of the Southeast’s most seasoned courses. The course winds through heavily undulating land and features several bridges through wetlands, three waterfalls and beach bunkers flanked by native grasses and wildflowers. Each hole is laid out to dazzle the eye and challenge golfers at every level.

Excellent service and delectable cuisine complement the golf experience with a full-service restaurant and bar located inside the beautiful, 7,000-square-foot clubhouse. The Forest restaurant is open seven days a week, and dining settings include the main dining room, bar, and during fair weather, the patio overlooking Cape Fear National’s signature 9th hole. A pro shop, locker rooms, and a variety of practice facilities welcome golfers.  Players can hone their skills on the driving range with target greens, an expansive putting green, or a variety of short game and chipping areas.

“Cape Fear National is an outstanding course, and the clubhouse and other amenities are equally appealing,” says Joel Gohlmann, BCG Executive Vice President of Operations. “We look forward to raising this exceptional course’s visibility.”

Selected for its ability to grow golf revenue through data-driven marketing, holistically manage golf operations and implement new programming and events to ensure a fun and enjoyable experience for members and guests alike, BCG began management in November.

“Our partnership with Billy Casper Golf allows us to reach new audiences while improving the member experience,” says Jerry Helms, Brunswick Forest Director of Sales and Marketing. “Cape Fear National is already the centerpiece of Brunswick Forest and we hope it will grow into a gathering place for people outside our community as well.”

Cape Fear National ranked No. 15 in Golfweek’s 2017 list of “Best Courses You Can Play” in North Carolina. In addition to offering first-class playing conditions, Cape Fear National boasts a new fleet of touchscreen GPS golf carts. 

More information: www.brunswickforest.com/championship-golf and www.billycaspergolf.com.

Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation to Direct Benefits for Valley Forge Invitational

(VALLEY FORGE, Pa.) – The Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation has partnered with the LPGA Symetra Tour’s Valley Forge Invitational at Raven’s Claw Golf Club and will direct proceeds to the beneficiaries of this new professional golf tournament.

The event, one of approximately 22 official qualifying tournaments for players aspiring to compete on the LPGA Tour, will be held on May 24, 25 and 26 of 2018. Pro-Am competition will take place on Wednesday, May 23; with practice rounds for competing players on Monday and Tuesday, May 21 and 22. Final Symetra Tour schedule for 2018 will be announced soon.

The Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation serves the people of Pottstown and residents in seven public school districts within a 10-mile radius around the Borough, providing opportunities for people in the community to enthusiastically embrace a healthier lifestyle. For that reason, the Foundation was deemed a perfect match for this dynamic, new, young women’s professional golf event.

“The Foundation is proud to be at the table to help bring this event, which will benefit local nonprofits, to our region,” Foundation President Dave Kraybill said. “We look forward to the possibilities it will bring to Western Montgomery County through funds raised.”

Three of the Foundation’s grantees will serve as beneficiaries of the Valley Forge Invitational — The TriCounty Community Network (TCN), which provides meaningful and sustainable partnerships to support community needs in the Greater Pottstown Area, and the YWCA Tri-County Area, an organization dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women. The Pottstown School District, via the Foundation for Pottstown Education, will also benefit from the event, partnering with the Montgomery County Community College to give young men and women the opportunity to earn college credits as high school students through its dual enrollment program.

The partnership with the Valley Forge Invitational aligns with the Foundation’s mission to enhance the health and wellness of area residents, providing education, funding and programs that motivate people to adopt healthy lifestyles. Visit www.pottstownfoundation.org to learn more.

“In addition to bringing top-level professional golf to the region, the goal of this event is to raise a considerable amount of money that can be distributed to worthy causes by the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation,” said Bob Davis, owner of Raven’s Claw Golf Club. “We are launching an effort to bring together area golfers and members of the business community to support this event.”

The Symetra Tour stands as the gateway for players to the LPGA Tour. Every year since 2008 the top 10 players on the official Symetra Tour money list are awarded LPGA Tour membership. For the third straight year a minimum of $3 million in prize money is available to players on the Symetra Tour.

Cantigny Golf Wins NGCOA Player Development Award

(NORTHBROOK, Ill.) – The NGCOA recently announced that Cantigny Golf in Wheaton, Ill., has been awarded the Player Development Award by the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA).

Cantigny Golf remains at the forefront of player development with their Youth Links (youth-only, 9-hole golf course) as well as robust programming, including youth clinics that reached more than 1,500 young golfers in 2017 and Young Executive Program that introduces golf to millennials and has accounted for more than 700 rounds since starting in 2016.

Cantigny Golf is also a leading participant in KemperSports annual #PDWeek celebration in which KemperSports properties from across the country deliver free 15-minutes lessons to new golfers. The 4th annual program introduced the game to more than 10,000 new and returning golfers in 2017.

“This award is about doing what you can with what you have to grow the game,” says Jay Karen, Chief Executive Officer of NGCOA. “Cantigny Golf’s commitment to introducing golf to youth, veterans, adults and anyone under the sun who should pick up a club with their home-grown and industry-supported programs is beyond impressive.  They are a model facility.”

“We are extremely proud of our team at Cantigny Golf for this tremendous honor,” says KemperSports CEO Steve Skinner. “Their commitment to the future of the game and the best interest of their community is a reminder of the outstanding benefits that the game of golf instills.”

Each year, the NGCOA honors the most outstanding members of the past year. These individuals and organizations have helped preserve the tradition of the game while embracing the challenges and opportunities of the golf business.

Award winners will be recognized at the Celebration and Awards Dinner on Thursday, February 8, the final event of the Golf Business Conference.

KemperSports has managed Cantigny Golf on behalf of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation since 2014.

The honor comes on the heels of two of Cantigny’s leaders being honored by the Illinois PGA for their role in delivering an innovative and expanding player development program at the club. Head Golf Professional Patrick Lynch received the Section Player Development Award and Instructor Greg Baresel received the Section Youth Player Development Award.

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

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Getting to Know: Ian Andrew, Golf Course Architect

No. 12 at Maple Downs Golf & Country Club in Ontario, Canada
American Golfer: When did you start playing golf?
Ian Andrew: At the age of 13. I had already figured out I wanted to be a golf course architect. My father said that I would need to play and understand the game if that’s what I want to do. He was a really good player and helped me understand the game. He taught me the strategies and the architecture by making multiple golf architecture trips to places like Pinehurst and St. Andrews.

Ian Andrew
AG: Why did you choose a career in golf course design?
IA: It chose me. I was watching Pebble Beach with my father, drawing holes and I asked if people actually get to design these courses. He said “of course” and I said “that’s what I’d like to do.” Dad bought me golf design books and I never stopped. It was an obsession right from the outset. I never thought I would do anything else. Things eventually worked themselves out and I found my opportunity.

AG: In your opinion, have any design trends hurt the game?
IA: The Modern Era (1960 – 1990) was the golfing equivalent of the Dark Ages. It was the era that brought us massive amounts of tree planting, a philosophy of harder is better, pushed for higher levels of maintenance which led to increased costs and unrealistic expectations. There was a lot of courses built for a lot of money and most of it is crap.
But the real frustrating damage was done to the early Golden Age courses. Modern architects wrecked so much of that great golf with their arrogance and self-interest. That’s why we saw the restoration era begin around 1990. We just wanted that great work back …
The next era will be the rebuilding of all the Modern Era courses by the next generation.

AG: How can we grow the game of golf?
IA: Design 95% of courses for the average player and 5% for very best players. In the Modern Era, the designs concentrated only on the elite player’s interest and forgot the average player. It left the bulk of golfers frustrated and drove many away to other activities. People want to have some fun.
The other approach is making the game cheaper by simple builds or smarter renovations. We need to embrace the British approach to course maintenance, which involves lower fertility and less water. It will be drier, firmer and browner … but the ball will roll the same and our costs will be less. We need to be a lot more sustainable and that includes economically, too.

AG: Do you have a specific design philosophy?
IA: Let people choose their own route. Let their own level of skill select the appropriate challenge by giving them a long safe way to go and a direct route to each landing zone or green. It’s then up the player to take on as much as they dare, or as much as they think they are capable of. The better they play, the more they will try to take on and the harder the course will play. But if they’re successful, they will get the benefit of scoring much better. When presented that way, golf becomes addictive …
No. 12 at Maple Downs Golf & Country Club in Ontario, Canada
AG: Of all the holes you’ve designed, do you have a favorite (why)?
IA: 12th at Maple Downs. It’s a downhill, down-wind reachable par four. There are lots of options from the tee. Definitely in reach for most, lots of opportunity to utilize the ground on the approach shots, but hard as hell if you’re going to roll the dice and go for the green. Why it’s my favorite is the impact on member play. Members tell me they know they should lay-up but they just can’t help themselves and go for the green most time despite knowing it’s the wrong decision …

AG: What’s your “dream foursome” (living or dead, golfer or non-golfer)?
IA: Gil Hanse, Tom Doak and Bill Coore. Course would be National Golf Links of America. They are three architects who define this generation. They are all friends of mine. And the conversation about architectural ideas and features would be second to none. I’m going to ask them after doing this.

AG: Is there a “bucket list” location in/on which to design?
IA: No. I just want an opportunity. At this point new golf almost doesn’t exist for 90% of architects. For me it’s been all renovation or rebuilds for a dozen years. I’d like the opportunity to build something new.

AG: What is the future of golf course design?
IA: Design / Build.
The architects will come from the construction side of the business. It’s where golf is going. I’m a consulting architect. At this point I’ve taken to referring to myself as the last of the dinosaurs. Designers are going to build their own work for increased control on the final product. It’s the logical answer when there is less work and every project means so much.
Golf design is in good hands. The young crop that is apprenticing and working on construction sites is very motivated and talented. There will be some great golf coming from this next generation.

AG: Any advice for someone considering a career in golf course design?
IA: Don’t … unless you’re willing to work long hours, live in strange places and settle for limited amounts of money for at least a decade, but likely two. There is going to be very little opportunity for someone to become a designer over the next 20 years.
It’s an honest answer … it needs to be at this point in the development cycle.

Bonus Question
AG: Assuming equipment remains the same, what can a golf course architect do to protect today's courses or design future courses without approaching 8,000 yards?
IA: I think it’s time that golf courses refuse to design for the increases in technology. If it’s great golf now, it will remain so for 99.9% of all players. So why increase your maintenance costs and spend huge amounts of money with renovations to address less than one tenth of a percent of players. Let them shoot lower numbers and stop wasting the money trying to prevent that from happening.
Besides you don’t need length. You need to get the ball to roll out when it gets to the ground so that judgement is as important than flight. The key is getting the near miss to run away and not be saved by rough. Length does nothing to change the scores.

For more information on Ian Andrew, visit www.andrewgolf.com.

Originally posted Sept. 11, 2017

The Lodge at Sea Island Announces Plans for $25 Million Enhancement Project

Love Golf Design Will Oversee Full Renovation of Plantation Golf Course to be Completed in October 2019

(SEA ISLAND, GA) – Sea Island, a Forbes Five-Star resort on the coast of Georgia, announced plans for a $25 million enhancement program at The Lodge at Sea Island, which will include six new cottages, a new state-of-the-art Golf Performance Center, an oceanfront pool and pool house, and a new putting course. Work on these new additions will begin in December 2017 and are expected to debut in November in time for the RSM Classic, an official PGA TOUR event held annually at Sea Island Golf Club. Additionally, in December 2018, Sea Island’s Plantation Course will undergo a full renovation under the direction of Love Golf Design, reopening in October 2019.

The six new guest cottages will be built on the western side of The Lodge, offering stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. Five of the cottages will have two bedrooms and a parlor, and one larger cottage will feature four bedrooms and a parlor. To further enhance the guest experience, Sea Island will also create an oceanfront pool and pool house that will embody the look and feel of The Lodge, with double fireplaces, a wrap-around porch, food and beverage service, and indoor and outdoor event space.

Renowned for world-class golf and golf instruction, Sea Island is raising the bar even higher, beginning with the addition of a new 17,000 square-foot Golf Performance Center. This state-of-the-art facility will replace the resort’s existing Golf Performance Center, widely recognized as one of the finest golf centers in the country. The new Golf Performance Center will feature six instruction and club fitting bays and a putting studio – both with industry-leading technology for teaching and club fitting – a full-service golf club workshop, a gym with locker rooms, spacious retail area, and indoor and outdoor meeting and event spaces. In addition to the new Golf Performance Center, a new putting course with an expansive, undulating green will be created on the ocean side of The Lodge, adding a fresh dimension to the golf experience during the day and evening.

In December 2018, Love Golf Design, a golf course architecture firm founded by Davis Love III and his brother Mark, will begin a full renovation of Sea Island’s Plantation Course. Sea Island’s own Davis Love III intends to draw on the history of the Plantation Course and golf course architecture, using classical architectural features and historical hardscape and landscape elements. Together, they will create new and interesting strategic elements while retaining the course’s character and routing, passed on by previous architects, beginning with Walter Travis’ original 1928 design of the golf club’s first nine holes. The Plantation Course is expected to reopen in October 2019, ahead of the RSM Classic. During the Plantation Course renovation, the driving range closest to the ocean will also be expanded to allow for a longer range.

“We are very excited to play a role in the enhancements taking place at The Lodge,” said Davis Love III.  “Mark and I have been redesigning Plantation in our minds for over 20 years as we have played it.”

This announcement comes on the heels of the completion of three new guest rooms with adjoining parlor in The Lodge’s main building, along with an expansion of the Trophy Room, a special event space that celebrates Sea Island’s rich golf history through unique memorabilia.

“We are on the verge of another very exciting time at Sea Island,” said Scott Steilen, President and CEO of Sea Island. “The Lodge at Sea Island is proud to be consistently ranked among the top hotels in the country, and rather than resting on our laurels, we are taking steps to further enhance the overall experience and expand the appeal – making The Lodge an ideal destination for not only golfers but also couples seeking a romantic getaway.” Once complete, The Lodge will offer a total of 57 sleeping rooms and 11,000 square feet of indoor meeting and event space.

Reminiscent of an English manor, The Lodge at Sea Island exudes warm Southern charm and hospitality. The intimate boutique hotel, with 43 rooms, has received top accolades including twice being named the #1 hotel in the country by U.S. News & World Report, and receiving the Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five Diamond awards since its opening in 2001.

For additional information on Sea Island or to book a reservation, visit www.seaisland.com or call 1-800-SEA-ISLAND. 

Product Review: FLAT CAT Putter Grip

I’ve developed a love-hate relationship with golf over the last few years. I love to play golf, but I hate putting. I can’t tell you how many potential birdies have turned into pars or bogies.

I’ve attempted everything to counter this recent bout with poor performance on the greens, too. I’ve tried changing putters, but each putter has a vastly different feel than the last. I’ve tried changing my grip, as well, but changing the way I grip the putter changing the swing, which leads to even more missed putts ... and more frustration.

I was about to give up and accept the fact that my sub-30-putt rounds were a thing of the past. Then my buddy began raving about his new FLAT CAT putter grip. Unlike a traditional putter grip, each side of the FLAT CAT is in a parallel plane with the putter face.

Flash back to my last round of golf (pre-FLAT CAT): I had a six-foot birdie putt and I had the perfect read - inside, right edge. That’s about as simple as it gets. I stood over the putt and made a confident stroke, only to have the ball shoot directly left off the face. I didn’t mis-read the line nor pull the putt. It was all in my grip. At impact, my putter face was closed due to my grip.

Now, four weeks later, I’ve got the FLAT CAT on my putter and that doesn’t happen any more. If I miss, it’s because of incorrect speed or a poor read.

Whether you use a traditional putting style or left-hand low, saw, claw - whatever - the FLAT CAT design squares the hands to the putter face and provides alignment to the intended target line.

The company claims that FLAT CAT grips “immediately improve putting consistency and accuracy.” I can attest to this. Combine a good stroke with an accurate read and the ball will find the hole - eliminating the possibility of a poor grip.

Visit lamkingrips.com to learn more about FLAT CAT. And, for a limited time, you will receive 20 percent off of your order. That knocks the $24.99 price down to $19.99.

London Golf Club Links with Intercontinental London - The 02; Offers Golfing Option to London Break

(RELEASE) - London Golf Club in south east Kent has linked up with one of the city’s finest hotels, Intercontinental London – The O2, to offer a golfing option to breaks taken in the capital.

With prices starting from £195 for a room for a night with breakfast and an upgrade pending availability, guests at the Intercontinental London can take a luxury chauffeur service to and back from London Golf Club to play one of Kent’s finest courses, The International Course, designed by Jack Nicklaus Design.

The International Course is located 25 miles from the centre of London in West Kent whilst the club itself, run very much along the lines of an American country club, boasts a luxurious clubhouse and excellent restaurant and prides itself on its attention to detail and exceptional, personal service.

Following its official opening in 1994, the club has quickly established itself as one of England’s finest golf destinations and its quality and appeal were confirmed when it became a European Tour Destination.

Since then it has staged a number of prestigious golf tournaments including the 2014 Volvo World Match Play Championship and the 2016 Brabazon Trophy that reflect the convenience of its location, the quality of its property and the high regard in which its golf courses are held.

Riverside InterContinental London - The O2 hotel stands out in the buzzing Greenwich Peninsula, with 453 luxury rooms, a beauty spa and a ballroom for up to 3,000. Spectacular Canary Wharf views are best enjoyed over cocktails in Eighteen Sky Bar, one of several dining destinations in the new hotel. The O2 arena is steps away and the Emirates Air Line zips over the Thames to ExCel London. The Thames Clipper and the Jubilee line offer fast links to London’s West end and London City Airport.

2017 BMW Championship raises $2.6 million for Evans Scholars Foundation

(Golf, Illinois) – Strong support from Chicagoland golf fans, a hole-in-one by Jason Day and a special donation honoring one of the most beloved caddies in the game’s history helped the 2017 BMW Championship raise $2.6 million for the event’s sole charity, the Evans Scholars Foundation. 

Conducted by the Western Golf Association, the 2017 BMW Championship attracted more than 115,000 spectators to Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois, from September 12-17 to see the PGA TOUR’s best compete in the penultimate event of the FedExCup Playoffs. All proceeds from the BMW Championship help support the Evans Scholars Foundation’s mission of sending deserving caddies to college. Since 2007, the BMW Championship has raised $27 million for the Evans Scholars Foundation.

This year’s contribution from the BMW Championship to the Evans Scholars Foundation included the donation of another BMW Hole-In-One Scholarship, a full, four-year Evans Scholarship worth $100,000. The scholarship was awarded on behalf of 2015 BMW Championship winner Jason Day, who aced No. 17 with a 7-iron, from 188 yards during the second round of the 2017 BMW Championship. It was the fifth time that BMW has awarded a BMW Hole-in-One Scholarship.

Day made his impressive shot on one of the two holes at the BMW Championship that awards a new BMW to the first player to make a hole-in-one. With his shot, Day received an all-new BMW M760i, which he graciously donated back to the Evans Scholars Foundation.

BMW also made a $50,000 donation to the Evans Scholars Foundation on behalf of legendary caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay. Known and beloved by golf fans for his 25 years alongside Phil Mickelson, Mackay was honored with induction into The Caddie Hall of Fame on Sept. 15 during the Gardner Heidrick Pro-Am Awards dinner.

“During this season of giving, we’re proud to once again donate the proceeds from the BMW Championship to such a worthy cause,” said Vince Pellegrino, WGA Senior Vice President of Tournaments. “The tremendous support we received from our partners at BMW, as well as Chicagoland golf fans and the local and regional corporate communities, helps ensure the Evans Scholars Foundation is able to continue awarding full tuition and housing scholarships to caddies.”

Evans Scholars and Evans Scholars Alumni were featured prominently throughout tournament week. Current Scholars and Alumni – some of whom graduated from college decades ago – worked as caddies in Monday’s Evans Scholars Cup and Wednesday’s playing of the Gardner Heidrick Pro-Am. Scholars and Alumni donated their tips back to the Evans Scholars Program.

Evans Scholars also interacted with spectators at a putting challenge inside the BMW Experience, and were introduced between tee times for the final groups on Saturday and Sunday. Northwestern University Evans Scholar Mackenzie Lim was featured in a television segment produced by NBC that exposed millions of golf fans worldwide to the Program and its mission.

“The support the BMW Championship receives each year – from the fans, spectators and local volunteers, to the Western Golf Association, our broadcast partners and the players themselves – is truly unmatched,” said Trudy Hardy, Vice President of Marketing, BMW of North America.  “Their support and dedication to the Evans Scholars Foundation is what makes the BMW Championship a success – and the main reason the event has raised more than $27 million to date.”

The 2017 BMW Championship marked the third time that the event was contested at Conway Farms, which has sponsored more than 25 Evans Scholars and has long been a supporter of the Evans Scholars Program.

“We were pleased and proud to partner with the Western Golf Association and BMW to bring this world-class championship and the stars of the PGA TOUR to Chicago’s North Shore,” said Bob Terwall, President of Conway Farms. “As longtime supporters of the Evans Scholars Program, we are delighted to know that the proceeds from this great event will be used to help change the lives of deserving caddies.”

The 2018 BMW Championship is set for September 4-9 at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. The event will return to Chicago in 2019 when iconic Medinah Country Club hosts the penultimate event of the PGA TOUR FedExCup Playoffs and a field of the game’s biggest stars.

To learn more, visit www.bmwchampionship.com and www.wgaesf.org.

PXG Releases New, Small but Mighty, Mini Gunboat Putter

Another Fitting Option for Golfers at Every Level of the Game

(Scottsdale, Arizona) – PXG announced the release of its newest putter, the Mini Gunboat. A design influenced by PXG’s touring professionals, the Mini Gunboat was built to combine the forgiveness and visual alignment aids of the celebrated Gunboat with the versatility of a smaller profile.

“Tour player feedback is critical in the development of new product, whether it be for tour level play or for the everyday golfer,” said PXG founder Bob Parsons. “The Mini Gunboat sets up beautifully and is an excellent option for golfers who want those traits of a mallet-style putter, but prefer a smaller profile.”

The Mini Gunboat utilizes the same billet-milled 304 stainless steel insert, TPE core technology and perimeter weighting system as the PXG Gunboat. Approximately six-percent shorter from heel to toe and twenty-percent shallower front-to-back than its predecessor, the Mini Gunboat supports consistent performance across the face and an incredibly soft feel.

Named for the naval watercraft designed to carry one or more guns to bombard coastal targets, the Mini Gunboat is available in two options – the Mini Gunboat and the Mini Gunboat H. The former has a single-bend shaft that creates a face-balanced hang angle and a full-shaft offset, while the latter provides a mid-toe down hang angle and a half-shaft offset.

To learn more or to purchase the Mini Gunboat, visit www.pxg.com.

Justin Rose Closes a Remarkable Year with 10 of 10

Lamkin Grips ambassador Justin Rose finishes an incredible year in style at Indonesia Masters

(SAN DIEGO) – With his latest victory at the Indonesian Masters in the bag, Justin Rose can head into the holiday season reflecting on an extraordinary year.  Rose, who has played Lamkin grips for over 20 years finished off his year in style with a final round 62, for an eight stroke victory at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club, despite having to play 30 holes on the final day.

This latest victory completes an incredible run of ten top 10 finishes in a row, including three wins. This run of success has come across the season ending stretch that has included some of the biggest tournaments and strongest fields in world golf. Rose, who plays Lamkin REL ACE grips on his swinging clubs and a Lamkin FLAT CAT grip on his putter, heads into 2018 as one of golf’s hottest players.

Bob Lamkin, President and CEO of Lamkin Grips, is delighted with Rose’s form and the way he has represented the brand’s values for many years, as he explains, “We’ve had a formal relationship with Justin for four years, but he has used Lamkin grips since he visited our U.K. offices with his father over 20 years ago. He is an incredibly gifted golfer who carries himself, on and off the course, with tremendous poise, humility and integrity.

The REL ACE grips as used by Rose for many years benefit from Lamkin’s super-tacky ACE 3GEN material which dampens vibration and combines with a unique keyhole pattern to maximize contact with the golfer’s hands and provide an incredibly secure connection to the club. The FLAT CAT Putter Grip that Rose has used to great success through 2017 puts the feeling of a square putter face directly into the palm of a player’s hands. Each side of the FLAT CAT grip is in a parallel plane with the putter face, allowing every golfer to establish a personal feel with the face of their putter no matter what their putting style – traditional, left-hand low, saw, claw and more.

For more information on all Lamkin grips, visit www.Lamkingrips.com or Get social @LamkinGrips

Buffalo.Agency Selected by Swannies for Public Relations, Event Support

(Minneapolis, MN.) – Swannies – creator of stylish, comfortable and fun clothing popular among millennial golfers – has selected Buffalo.Agency to turnkey public relations and provide marketing support for events in more than 10 U.S. cities.

Buffalo will leverage its deep editorial connections to promote Swannies’ casual-inspired apparel and accessories including performance polos, graphic t-shirts, hoodies, flip flop golf sandals and mesh-back hats which have generated a cult following. The brand’s ethos that golf should be energizing and approachable especially aligns with 18- to 34-year-old players.

Additionally, Buffalo will help market Swannies-sponsored, millennial-focused golf tournaments in Chicago, Cincinnati, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Tampa, Tucson, Washington D.C. and other major metropolitan areas. Teams will compete in traditional nine-hole scramble and party games such as cornhole, flip cup and more. Swannies pop-up shops will sell merchandise at each event.

“Our customers are the future of golf and many embrace it in a more relaxed way,” says Adam Iversen, Co-Founder of Swannies Apparel. “We want players to feel comfortable and accepted on the course through what they wear and how they experience the game.”

“Millennials comprise almost 30% of the golfer population and is the fastest-growing segment,” says Rich Katz, Managing Director of Buffalo.Agency. “In courting this key demographic, Swannies’ innate passion and enthusiasm for the game inspires its collections and experiential activations.”

More information: swannies.co.

SelfieGOLF USA Presents New Products at the PGA Merchandise Show

Modern Golf Product Start-Up Company Innovates Two New Products

(Inglewood, CA) - SelfieGOLF USA, a start-up company specializing in the innovation of the golf industry, announced their plans to showcase two of their new products at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida this year. The show is the biggest golf product trade show in the world and takes place from January 26 to the 28th. SelfieGOLF USA hopes to improve the game of all golfers with their newest innovations: the SelfieGOLF and the SelfieSPINNER.

Of the company’s recent agreement to attend the PGA Show, SelfieGOLF USA’s Founder Aiden Oh said, “We are so excited to attend the [PGA] show. We hope that our new products will help golfers of all skill levels improve their game. All of our products are carefully designed to be a convenient solution to issues on the course that if solved, will provide a huge benefit.”

The SelfieGOLF is a simple, yet versatile clip system that turns any phone into a video recording system in order to film and analyze your swing. One customer left this 5-star review, "I love this product and use it all the time.  I will continue to recommend it without hesitation. It is so so helpful to slo mo my swing and I have recently been shooting the best scores in a long while by studying my swing flaws and trying to fix them."

The attendees of the PGA Merchandise Show will be the first to see the SelfieSPINNER: the first multifunctional fidget spinner divot repair tool with seven unique functions. The idea was to bring entertainment and utility in the palm of every golfer’s hand. It is complete with: a ball marker, ball liner, club prop, fate decider, divot repair tool, angle measure, and fidget spinner.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

McQ’s Golf Dome Developing Future Golfers and Elite Players

Mistwood and McQ’s CGP and CAP programs making a major impact on Chicago area junior golfers

(Romeoville, IL) – The golf industry – with help from programs like PGA Junior League, TGA Premier Golf, Youth on Course, Drive, Chip and Putt, and First Tee – is in its best position in decades in regard to growing the game and increasing youth participation.

Mistwood Golf Club and McQ’s Golf Dome in Chicago are fully engaged with the youth movement through their Competitive Golfer Program (CGP) and Committed Athlete Program (CAP). Both year-round programs aim to grow the competitive junior player. The CGP enables young athletes to have fun while acquiring the necessary fundamentals and skills required to improve and excel in the sport. Participation in the CGP also provides a developmental pathway into the nationally recognized CAP, which is by invitation only.

Seasonal changes in the Midwest do not deter the commitments of juniors involved in the programs. Winter only means a change in scenery moving to the indoor facilities at McQ’s Golf Dome in Bolingbrook, acquired by Mistwood Golf Club owner Jim McWethy in 2012. The 60,000-square foot facility with 40 heated bays, multiple short game areas and swing technology like V1 and Trackman was recently recognized by the Golf Range Association of America as a 2017 Top 50 Range in the stand-alone category. The combination of McQ’s facilities with the CGP and CAP programs has helped produce one of the leading competitive junior golf development programs in the country.

The CAP program was started in 2012 by Mike Baldwin with a focus on elite area high school players.  The goal was to develop their talents to the next level creating a structured pathway to playing college golf. In 2014, Brian Brodell, a former golf coach and recruiting specialist for Purdue University and University of Wisconsin transitioned into its Director of Junior Development. With a greater need to broaden the junior golf impact, the CGP program was created to include golfers of younger ages looking to enhance their competitive spirit with the CGP program. Since then, these programs have evolved into top golf programs for juniors headed by Brodell with the goal of providing the knowledge and insight that is beneficial to the kids and their parents.

“As a former college golf coach, I have a solid understanding of what coaches are looking for in a player when it comes to the recruiting process,” Brodell explained. “With that said, I help players and families with the recruiting process and try to point them in the right direction and answer all their questions.”

Brodell said with juniors going through CGP and moving on to CAP they learn to practice with a plan, how to improve and then get the most out of their work.

“We try to be up front and honest so parents and players truly know what it takes to play at a top NCAA program,” he said. “We help them put together their resume and structure emails that get sent on to the collegiate coaches.”

Since the CGP program launched in 2014 it has impacted over 200 players.  On average four or five move on annually to the CAP program and work on the path to playing collegiate golf.

“Some of the schools our CAP players have gone on to play at include Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa State, NIU, Illinois State, Florida A&M, Butler, and many more at the D2 and D3 level,” Brodell said.

Kim Sullivan, whose son, Raymond Jr., started in the CAP program in 2015, could not be more thankful.

“It was abundantly clear that he was dedicated to the game and we needed to find a program for him,” said Sullivan.  “CAP made a tremendous impact on his game. It offered him skill development, training, and competition. He was also surrounded by top instructors who took it upon themselves to take an interest in Raymond's personal development and to help him advance his game.”

This coaching and guidance led to Raymond Jr. earning a scholarship to play Division I golf at Butler University.

“Raymond excelled this summer and was in a position to have Division I coaches reach out to Brian Brodell for references,” Sullivan said.  “Brian spent a great deal of time with college coaches and was instrumental in helping Raymond in receiving offers to play at that level.  We are extremely grateful for his experience at Mistwood and McQ’s.”

This winter at McQ’s, juniors in the CGP program will receive 30 hours of supervised group practice sessions during the months of December through April allowing the students to work with coaches and other golfers to improve his or her skills over the winter months before transitioning back to Mistwood in the spring. The sessions are every Wednesday 5:30-7 p.m. (ages 8-12), 7-8:30pm (ages 13+) at McQ’s Golf Dome.

For more information, click on the link below:
https://www.mcqsdome.com/performance-center/competitivegolfer

Product Review: Bridgestone Golf Tour B Series

If the Hero World Challenge showed us anything, it’s that Tiger Woods still moves the needle. TV ratings jumped when Tiger was on and it was all anyone could talk about, not just in the golf community, but across the sports world.

Looking back even further, Tiger’s equipment of choice - Nike Golf - stopped production while he was out with his injuries and subsequent surgeries and recovery. That led to rampant speculation as to what he’d play when he returned. A man who has his pick of the litter, was able to piece together what works best for his game without an across-the-board mandate (see Titleist throughout the bag). So what ball did he choose? The Tour B XS from Bridgestone.

Of all the brands in the industry, Tiger Woods chose Bridgestone. I haven’t seen before/after numbers, but I have to imagine the company has enjoyed a nice bump in sales after the decision.

So, why the Tour B XS?

“After extensive testing I have chosen the best ball for my game,” Woods said in a statement. “This ball is reacting identical with how I want to play. For me, that’s fun.”

According to Bridgestone, the Tour B XS provides added distance and control. Distance comes from the increased ball speed due to the company’s Gradational Compression core, which provides higher initial ball speed and lower side spin. Control comes from the SlipRes Cover, which adds friction and feel thanks to the urethane technology.

The Tour B XS also boasts Bridgestone’s proprietary Seamless Cover Technology - an aerodynamic balance coming from a manufacturing processes that creates a perfectly balanced dimple pattern. Speaking of simples ... Dual Dimple technology adds distance from a more efficient ball trajectory due to less drag when the ball is in flight.

Tiger chose the Tour B XS because it fits his game the best. Great for Tiger, but it’s safe to assume you don’t have his swing speed. That’s OK, because Bridgestone makes a ball for any golfer and walks you through the process that will help determine the best ball for your game.

I took the survey. It was quick and easy. Here are the steps and my answers:

- Age (49) and Gender (Male)
- Brand You Play (Srixon)
- Model (Z Star)
- Average Score (82)
- Preference - Feel, Accuracy or Distance (Accuracy)

Based on my answers, Bridgestone recommended I play the Tour B RX. I changed my answer slightly - choosing feel over accuracy - and the recommendation changed to Tour B RXS.

Those questions were geared toward someone who knows their game. There’s also a shorter survey for a beginning golfer. It asks for average score and preference. I typed in 100 and distance. Bridgestone recommends the e6 Speed ball for that golfer.

Lastly, there’s a more-specific survey for golfers who've been fitted in the past. It also asks for Age/Gender, Brand, Model, Average Score and Preference, but adds six areas to really drill down into your game - Club Speed, Carry, Total Distance, Ball Velocity, Launch Angle and Spin. You’d learn these by utilizing a launch monitor. This also recommended the Tour B RX for me, which makes me feel good about what ball I’ll be playing in 2018.

Check out bridgestonegolf.com and take the survey for yourself.

Billy Casper Golf Named Management Partner for The Island Country Club

(RESTON, VA) – Billy Casper Golf (BCG) – the trend-setting manager of golf courses, country clubs and resorts – was chosen by A. Wilbert’s Sons, LLC to manage golf and recreational offerings for The Island Country Club in Plaquemine, La.

BCG was chosen as a strategic management partner to oversee golf operations as well as The Island’s many amenities including the restaurant, pool, tennis and fitness facilities. Selected for its ability to recruit top industry talent, implement creative marketing and membership growth strategies and enhance the level of member / guest services, BCG also manages Copper Mill Golf Course located less than 20 miles north in Baton Rouge.

BCG will guide golf course maintenance, marketing, sales, staffing and training, merchandising, food and beverage, golf instruction and financial management for The Island’s 160-acre Tif-Eagle course. Operations will be locally-managed by a professional golf and agronomic team, and supported by both a regional and national team that provide expert guidance and direction in all facets of the business.

“The Island boasts a championship course that’s a big draw for golfers in southeastern Louisiana,” says Joe Goodrich, BCG Executive Vice President. “We look forward to enhancing the club experience for members and guests alike.”

An important part of the Plaquemine community, The Island is a member of Louisiana’s Audubon Golf Trail, a collection of first-class courses throughout the state. Although named for naturalist / artist John James Audubon, who painted a number of his famous bird studies in Louisiana, all members of the Audubon Golf Trail are coincidentally also members of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary for Golf Courses, a program dedicated to protecting the environment and preserving the natural heritage of the game of golf. As part of BCG Green, a revolutionary environmental protection initiative, all BCG courses are also enrolled in the Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary program.

More information: www.theislandgolf.com, 225.685.0808 and www.billycaspergolf.com, 703.761.1444

New LPGA Symetra Tour Event Awarded to Raven’s Claw Golf Club

(VALLEY FORGE, Pa.) – The LPGA Tour announced that a new Symetra Tour event, the Valley Forge Invitational, has been awarded to Raven’s Claw Golf Club in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

The event, one of approximately 22 official qualifying tournaments for players aspiring to compete on the LPGA Tour, will be held on May 24, 25 and 26 of 2018. Pro-Am competition will take place on Wednesday, May 23; with practice rounds for competing players on Monday and Tuesday, May 21 and 22. Final Symetra Tour schedule for 2018 will be announced soon.

"To be able to play in Montgomery County, specifically an area with as well-documented of a history as Valley Forge, it really shows how the Tour continues to expand," said Mike Nichols, Chief Business Officer for the Symetra Tour. "Throw in the fact we are playing in the shadow of Philadelphia, a major United States market with a rich golf tradition, and it is a great draw for both the community and Tour."

The selection of Raven’s Claw Golf Club is another feather in the cap for the course that opened in 2005, in the golf-rich Philadelphia suburban area of Montgomery County. The course was designed by Philadelphia area-based architect Ed Shearon and has been a consistent selection on the list of Pennsylvania’s Top 10 Daily Fee courses, as selected by Golfweek Magazine.

After years of hosting important amateur events – including a portion of the Montgomery County Amateur Championship for the last 13 years – this will be the first professional tour event played on the rolling hills of this challenging course. That fact has owner Bob Davis very excited about the arrival of some of the best up-and-coming women professionals in the world.

“As Raven’s Claw has matured over the years into a premier daily fee golf course, we have prepared for this day to come,” explained Davis. “The community that has been built around Raven’s Claw is excited for this event. Our staff is preparing the course and facility every day for this special week in May. And we are equally excited for this opportunity to show off the entire Greater Philadelphia area. This is an event that will benefit a lot of local people and businesses.”

The Symetra Tour stands as the gateway for players to the LPGA Tour. Every year since 2008 the top 10 players on the official Symetra Tour money list are awarded LPGA Tour membership. For the third straight year a minimum of $3 million in prize money is available to players on the Symetra Tour.

For more information about the Valley Forge Invitational and the LPGA’s Symetra Tour, contact TL Golf Services at 610-279-9220.

Monday, December 18, 2017

TPT GOLF Celebrates Third Win of 2017 at Indonesian Masters

(RENENS, SWITZERLAND) - TPT Golf announced that its 15-LKP-LT-LW driver shaft was used to win the Indonesian Masters by a margin of eight strokes at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club. This marks the third win of 2017 for the 15-LKP-LT-LW shaft, which was also used to win the WGC-HSBC Champions in China and the Turkish Airlines Open.

"2017 was an incredibly successful year for TPT Golf," said Sebastian Sebayang, Director of TPT Golf. "It's wonderful to finish our first year with another professional victory. Congratulations to the champion for his record-setting play this week."

TPT Golf's 15-LKP-LT-LW will be officially launched at the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. It will join the company's 10 other shaft models, each of which is produced with TPT Golf's revolutionary, automated "Thin-Ply Winding" manufacturing process. The patent-pending construction method gives TPT Golf the ability to independently control every shaft parameter to meet the precise needs of each and every golfer. It also results in a completely seamless shaft that is produced to an exact gram weight and CPM.

"Thin-Ply Winding enables our golf shafts to be made with exceptionally accurate fiber placement in a highly uniform way around the shaft," said Sebayang. "We offer an incredibly fine-tuned line of shafts that overcome the inconsistencies seen in shafts produced by conventional methods. For the golfer, this means more distance and more accuracy through increased energy transfer, a tighter shot dispersion and the ideal amount of spin."

TPT Golf shafts are available for purchase at more than 50 Authorized Fitters worldwide. Visit tptgolf.com for a full list of fitting locations.

Top Operating Executive and Investor Joins Overload Golf to Manage BAR Fund

(Seattle, Wash) - Overload Golf has appointed Ken Kamada, a seasoned operating executive of several venture-backed startups and investors, to join Overload Golf to manage their BAR Fund, which invests in golf businesses and related technologies.

Ken Kamada
Mr. Kamada has almost two decades of investment and operating experience. After starting his career at Morgan Stanley, he started his own boutique wealth management firm, Kamada Investment Management, managing and advising assets for ultra-high net worth individuals and institutions. In parallel, Mr. Kamada has been the CFO of several venture-backed companies raising over $200M in venture capital from prominent firms like Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Bessemer Ventures and KKR. Mr. Kamada brings a broad range of experience advising and investing in seed stage ventures to pre-IPO companies.

"In recent years, we have seen everything from smart wearable technology to artificial intelligence to augmented reality change how we live everyday. We are in the early stages of seeing these applications influence the golf industry-an industry which generates over $70B in revenue annually. I look forward to being a part of the Overload Golf team to help drive innovation and growth to the millions who play a round every day," said Mr. Kamada.

"We are excited to have Ken on the team. He brings great knowledge and a unique perspective that the Golf Industry has seen very little of. With the BAR Fund we are sourcing investment opportunities and funding next generation golf technologies and helping to bring them to the industry, " says Randall Henry, partner at Overload Golf.

To learn more about investing in the BAR fund or seeking Overload Golf's help on your golf business contact Overload Golf.

To contact Overload Golf: golfinfo@overloadgolf.comwww.overloadgolf.com or 208-209-4171.

Product Review: TRUE Linkswear Outsider, Original

TRUE Linkswear Outsider (left) and Original (right)
I first learned about TRUE Linkswear golf shoes a few years ago when I read that someone actually ran a marathon in a pair. With that kind of comfort, I had to give them a try and quickly fell in love with the brand.

That love came with one caveat, however ... The ground had to be dry. While the pair I chose was incredibly comfortable (though I never attempted a marathon), any rainy or wet conditions and my socks would be soaked. If only I had a pair of waterproof TRUEs.

Tread built for on-and-off-course comfort
Problem solved.

TRUE offers the Outsider ($169) and Original ($149). Both come with a two-year waterproof guarantee thanks to the Sympatex Waterproof booty construction that has been tested to a “rigorous 50k Step Dynamic Waterproof Test to ensure you stay dry, no matter what type of weather you face.” Bonus: Both a crazy comfortable!

Similarities between the Outsider and Original:

- Comfortable;
- Roomy toe box;
- Spikeless;
- Waterproof; and
- Scotchgard Defender Repellent (keeps shoes looking new)

While not being apples-to-oranges, the differences are noticeable from the time you slip them on, however. Picture your most comfortable golf shoe. Now add even more comfort and you have the Outsider. It’s built like a traditional shoe, but better ... and can be worn anywhere, on or off the golf course.

Now, slip into the Original and you’ll quickly notice what makes it unlike anything else in the industry. First, the heel-to-toe rise ... a traditional shoe is slightly higher in the heel, whereas the Original has zero drop. There is no midsole and the thickness of the sole is 6.5 MM (about half of the Outsider (12 MM). Add in extreme flexibility and the Original is the closest thing to going barefoot on the course.

In addition to the out-of-the-box comfort I’ve grown to expect (yet still greatly appreciate) from TRUE Linkswear, the company’s “cross-life tread” allows you to go straight from the course to the grocery store or your favorite bar. These shoes have the locking power to keep you secure to the ground throughout your golf swing, while providing mobility for every-day life.

If you haven’t tried shoes from TRUE Linkswear, do yourself a favor and do it NOW! Visit www.truelinkswear.com for all the styles and additional details.

SentryWorld Golf Course to Host 71st U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship in 2019

Championship to make its Wisconsin debut

(FAR HILLS, N.J.) – SentryWorld Golf Course in Stevens Point, Wis., has been selected by the USGA as the host site for the 71st U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship. A public, parkland course in central Wisconsin, SentryWorld will host its second USGA championship July 22-27, 2019.

“We look forward to bringing the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship to SentryWorld and the state of Wisconsin for the first time in 2019,” said Stuart Francis, USGA Championship Committee chairman. “The world’s best female junior golfers are consistently identified in this championship, and we are confident that SentryWorld is a grand stage worthy of providing the ultimate test for these talented competitors.”

SentryWorld is Wisconsin’s first destination golf course and was developed by Sentry Insurance in 1982 as part of a sports complex that includes indoor tennis courts, banquet space, and restaurants. At the heart of the 200-acre property lies the 7,237-yard championship golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. In 2013, Jones returned to oversee a major renovation that increased the total yardage and upgraded nearly every feature of the course, including new tee boxes to create a greater variety of shots. The project was led by architects Bruce Charlton and Jay Blasi.

“The USGA’s championships are undoubtedly among the most prestigious golf events in the world, and we’re excited to host the 2019 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship,” said Mike James, general manager of SentryWorld and vice president of Sentry Services. “We look forward to hosting athletes from all over the globe on our redesigned course, and SentryWorld will truly provide a world-class environment for all players, officials, and fans.”

SentryWorld hosted the 1986 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, which was won by Cindy Schreyer and holds the entry record (1,085) for that USGA championship, which was conducted annually from 1977-2014.

First conducted in 1949, the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship is open to female amateurs who have not turned 19 on or before the final day of the championship and have a Handicap Index® not exceeding 9.4. Notable champions include three-time winner Hollis Stacy, Mickey Wright, Nancy Lopez, Amy Alcott, JoAnne Gunderson Carner, Pat Hurst, I.K. Kim, Inbee Park and Lexi Thompson. Starting in 2017, Girls’ Junior champions earn an exemption into the following year’s U.S. Women’s Open Championship.

The 2018 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship will be contested July 16-21 at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif. Home of the Northern California Golf Association, Poppy Hills is also a public course designed by Jones.

This will be the 15th USGA championship conducted in Wisconsin, and the first since the 2017 U.S. Open won by Brooks Koepka at Erin Hills.

To learn more, visit usga.org.