Friday, June 22, 2018

Practice Smarter with High-Accuracy Data from SC200 Swing Caddie

(RELEASE) - Most golfers know that when it comes to their golf swing, it's often the little things that can make or break a shot. From slow swing speeds to poor contact to sloppy distance control, there are countless possible causes for a heartbreaking scorecard. And for a lot of golfers, it can seem almost impossible to tell which aspect of their technique is to blame.

As seen on The Golf Channel, the SC200 Swing Caddie portable launch monitor helps golfers finally see the full picture of their golf shots by providing them with comprehensive swing data. Using Barometric Pressure Calibration and Doppler Radar Technology, this device provides shot statistics with tour-grade accuracy . . . all for a weekend golfer price.

In standard Practice Mode, the SC200 displays immediate feedback after each shot, including swing speed, smash factor, ball speed, and carry distance. The device is roughly the size of a smart phone and features a lightweight design, so users can easily bring it along to the golf course, the driving range, and on vacation. The portability of the SC200 allows golfers to evaluate their swing accurately in any context, from backyard practice to a Saturday morning round.

In Practice Mode, the user can:
-Select the proper club and loft angle to ensure an accurate reading.
-Hear immediate carry distance data using the SC200's Distance Voice Output.
-Use an included remote control to change settings without picking up the device.
-Review data from the last 100 shots, making it easier to spot patterns, identify bad habits, and track improvement.

Golfers no longer have to be pros to learn the truth about their swing. With the statistical knowledge the SC200 Swing Caddie provides, users can finally pinpoint their weaknesses and stop trying to increase swing speed when the problem is a low smash factor.

The SC200 even offers two other modes so users can truly tailor their practice for individual goals.
- In Target Mode, the golfer selects a target distance and receives scores for accuracy in a round of ten shots.
- In Approach Mode, users are scored by their ability to reach target distances generated at random.

No matter what a golfer's objective is, the SC200 is an essential training aid for any customized practice strategy. This state-of-the-art device replaces amateur guesswork with real data . . . and real data opens the door to real results.

If you are interested in helping your clients practice smarter with the SC200 Swing Caddie, we'd love to hear from you.

For information on how to take part in promotion of Swing Caddie or marketing inquiries, visit T-Interactive.com, or contact Tyler Prins at Tyler@T-Interactive.com or 605-351-4378.

For sales or purchase inquiries, contact sales@voicecaddie.com.

P3ProSwing Announces Enhanced College Program

(BETHEL, Maine) – P3ProSwing (p3proswing.com), a leading golf-swing analyzer, simulator and practice aid, announces its enhanced college program. The recently-introduced P3ProSwing ProLaunch – a new, innovative indoor ball-launch monitor providing industry-leading accuracy – now is featured as the centerpiece of the P3ProSwing collegiate program, representing a new solution for competitive and educational golf improvement. It is the perfect indoor golf technology for coaches, trainers, teams and individual competitive golfers.

“P3ProSwing is dedicated to supporting competitive, educational and recreational collegiate golf programs nationwide,” said Les Otten, founder and president of Sports Vision Technologies, of which P3ProSwing is a subsidiary. “Our goal is to increase accessibility to golf training by providing a precise instrument to measure the golf club and ball, showing the utmost in accurate results – all within the budget of most athletic programs.”

The P3ProSwing ProLaunch collegiate package includes the swing analyzer, indoor launch monitor and stance mat. The indoor set-up is easy and can be permanent or mobile, providing flexible use in a golf studio, shared gym, lab or classroom. Individual players can learn from detailed swing analysis, and every session on the driving range software can be saved and shared for exceptional outcomes. In addition, 152 golf courses are included for virtual practice and play.

The P3ProSwing college program pricing represents a savings of 40% off the complete ProLaunch simulator package. This program has been well received by the initial schools taking part, where coaches, teams and players are enjoying this new level of training.

Satisfaction is guaranteed with a 30-day trial.

To inquire about the P3ProSwing collegiate program, contact Kevin Rosenberg, director of sales and marketing for P3ProSwing, at krosenberg@p3proswing.com or directly at 207-824-7437.

For more information, visit www.p3proswing.com.

Bag Boy Partners with IAGTO As Official Golf Travel Gear Supplier

(Richmond, VA) – Bag Boy, a Dynamic Brands company, officially signed on to partner with IAGTO, the Global Golf Tourism Organization, as the official golf travel gear for the IAGTO.

“We’re pleased to partner with the IAGTO as their first golf gear vendor,” said Craig Ramsbottom, president of Dynamic Brands. “As the No. 1 travel cover in golf with worldwide presence and brand recognition, it’s a great fit for us to partner with travel planners and destinations from around the world.”

As an official partner, Bag Boy will participate in the IAGTO North America Golf Tourism Convention in Central Oregon from June 24-27. The North America Golf Tourism Convention brings over 160 golf tour operators from 35 countries together. Suppliers and buyers are given the opportunity to strike up connections and talk business.

“We look forward to attending the conference and showcasing our complete line of travel covers,” said Ramsbottom.

“This year, IAGTO started identifying and partnering with market leaders in supporting sectors for the global golf tourism industry. Bag Boy is a perfect match for IAGTO. Golf travel covers are integral to our entire industry and Bag Boy is a terrific product,” said Peter Walton, IAGTO president and chief executive. “The first thing on every golf traveler’s mind is getting their clubs to their next golf destination safely!”

Executives from the IAGTO corporate office in London received Bag Boy T-2000 Travel Covers to use when traveling to the North American Conference.

The T-2000 is the top-of-the-line travel cover by Bag Boy, featuring an ergonomic PIVOT-GRIP handle built into the top, rotating 360° to make changing directions simple and comfortable. The STAND GUARD Protection System is built into the bag interior; featuring additional high-density foam padding to protect a stand bag bracket while traveling. Premium features on the T-2000 also include a lockable, full wrap-around main zipper simplifying access and packing, extra-thick wrap-around padded top for maximum club protection and deluxe in-line skate wheels.

For more information on the T-2000 and the full line of Bag Boy travel covers, visit https://bagboycompany.com/products/travel-covers.html.

Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA to Revisit Golf's Return to Olympics with Rio Olympic Event

“Olympic Classics: Golf’s Return to the Olympics” to Feature More than 60 Hours of Comprehensive Footage of All 8 Rounds Over 8 Days

(STAMFORD, Conn.) – Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA will present an encore presentation of all eight rounds of the men’s and women’s golf competitions from the 2016 Rio Olympics, beginning Monday, June 25, at 4 p.m. ET. NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, OlympicChannel.com, and the Olympic Channel app will live stream the coverage.

Hosted by 13-time Emmy Award-winner Jimmy Roberts, “Olympic Classics: Golf’s Return to the Olympics” chronicles the return of golf to the Olympic Games for the first time in 112 years with more than 60 hours of archival footage. Coverage will include all four rounds from each of the men’s and women’s golf tournaments, highlighted by a final round duel between Great Britain’s Justin Rose and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson in their quest for gold, with American Matt Kuchar earning the bronze medal. Inbee Park (South Korea), in her first four-round competition in four months following a thumb injury, turned in a dominating performance to capture the gold in the women’s competition, becoming the second-ever Olympic champion in women’s golf. Lydia Ko (New Zealand) and Shanshan Feng (China) claimed silver and bronze, respectively.

“Olympic Classics: Golf’s Return to the Olympics” begins with the first round of the men’s tournament June 25, and concludes June 28. The women’s tournament airs from July 2-5.

Commentators on the archival programs include: Tom Abbott, Curt Byrum, Kay Cockerill, David Feherty, Terry Gannon, Peter Jacobsen, Johnny Miller, Judy Rankin, Mark Rolfing, Steve Sands, Annika Sorenstam and Karen Stupples. Roberts will anchor studio coverage and provide context and perspective on the events.

Following is the full schedule of coverage for “Olympic Classics: Golf’s Return to the Olympics” archival programming on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, OlympicChannel.com, and the Olympic Channel app.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Sandy Lyle to Play with Zero Friction Cabretta Elite Golf Glove

(OAK BROOK TERRACE, IL) –  Two-time Major Champion Sandy Lyle will play three upcoming tournaments with Zero Friction’s Cabretta Elite golf glove: the 2018 Scottish Open, 2018 Open Championship and 2018 Senior Open.

The World Golf Hall of Famer won two major championships including the Open Championship (1985) and the Masters Tournament (1988). The Scottish golfer became one of Europe’s top players in the 1980s, ranking among the top 10 in the world for 167 straight weeks.

Zero Friction introduced the Cabretta Elite golf glove this past January at the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. The Cabretta Elite golf glove is an upgrade to the original Cabretta glove released three years ago.

As with all the Zero Friction gloves, the new Cabretta Elite molds with your hand for a guaranteed fit. The Cabretta leather provides a solid grip in wet or humid weather and works with smart phone & touch screen devices. The reinforced lycra throughout fingers, back of hand and palm allow for maximum strength, durability, and enhanced breathability. The men’s glove is available in seven colors (Red, White, Blue, Green, Black, Purple and Gray) and the ladies’ glove is available in five colors (Lavender, Pink, White, Turquoise and Black).

“The Cabretta Elite fits great, it’s breathable and looks fantastic,” said Zero Friction President and Founder John Iacono. “Better yet, it’s priced right.”

Zero Friction, widely known for its colorful line of one-size compression fit gloves and the DistancePro GPS Glove, recently announced the launch of two new products at the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show: the Spectra line golf ball and the Cabretta Elite golf glove.

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

Cordillera Ranch Congratulates Bryan Gathright and Pupils for Texas State Amateur Showing

Top 100 Instructor’s Students Finish in Top-3 of Prestigious Tournament

(BOERNE, Texas) – Cordillera Ranch – the Hill Country’s premier luxury and golf community – congratulates Golf Magazine Top 100 Instructor and Director of Instruction Bryan Gathright, as three of his students finished in the top-3 of the prestigious 109th Texas State Amateur.

Mitchell Meissner, a recent graduate of Rice University and longtime pupil of Gathright, shot a 6-under 282 over four rounds to win the Texas State Amateur by three shots over Levi Valadez at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity. McClure Meissner, brother of Mitchell and a member of the SMU golf team, finished tied for third at even-par 288. Both Valadez, a sophomore on the Sam Houston State golf team and McClure Meissner, also hone their games under the watchful eye of Gathright.

“Words cannot express the pride I have for these young men,” Gathright says. “Knowing all three and their competitive natures, I knew they were all fighting for the win. Yet, I also knew that they would be proud and happy for one another.

“Having taught them for anywhere from six to nine years, a family-type bond has evolved. Father’s Day 2018 will be one I will never forget.”

Gathright was instrumental in changing Mitchell Meissner’s outlook on competitive golf. For 18 months, Meissner struggled with his putting, especially in competition. Gathright advised his right-handed pupil to try a radical concept – putting left-handed. Since then, Meissner has won two collegiate tournaments, including the 2018 Conference USA individual championship. He also won the Greater San Antonio Match Play Championship the week prior to the Texas State Amateur.

A GOLF Magazine “Top 100 Teacher in America” for the past 18 years, Gathright came to Cordillera Ranch in 2016 from San Antonio’s Oak Hill Country Club. A fixture in the Hill Country golf community. Gathright was the original director of instruction at both the La Cantera Golf Academy and the Harvey Penick Golf Academy – where he worked alongside the teaching legend for nearly three years.

Others who have flourished under Gathright’s tutelage include Jimmy Walker and Notah Begay III. Another Gathright student, Toni Hakula, won the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica’s Bupa Match Play Championship earlier this year. Gathright has taught numerous other PGA, Champions and LPGA Tour professionals, and over 200 high school golfers who have gone on to play collegiate golf.

“We salute Bryan for this incredible accomplishment – to have the top-3 finishers in a marquee event like the Texas State Amateur is unprecedented and something that might never happen again,” says Charlie Hill, President and Chief Operating Officer of DH Investments, developer of Cordillera Ranch. “Bryan’s commitment to developing the complete game, including the mental aspect so critical for successful competitors, for each of his pupils is why he’s had such tremendous success and following. We’re proud to have Gathright as a part of the Cordillera Ranch team.”

For more information visit www.cordilleraranch.com, 888.66.RANCH.

Announcing Limited Edition Wilson Staff FG Tour V6 RAW Irons

(CHICAGO) – The Wilson Staff FG Tour V6 irons have returned with a new, distinguished look: RAW. This unplated finish, which has become increasingly more prominent amongst Tour professionals, was initially popularized in the brand's FG Tour PMP wedges. These rustic irons are designed to develop a unique patina based on age, exposure, and use over time meaning that no two clubs will be the same.

Wilson's coveted FG Tour V6 RAW irons are a very limited production run, meaning that only a finite amount of sets will be built. These clubs were carefully were developed through a combination of rigorous in-depth industry research and based feedback from our expert Wilson Advisory Staff members.

The FG Tour V6 irons, the most popular choice among Wilson players, are gamed on the PGA TOUR by 3-time Major Champion Padraig Harrington, Ricky Barnes, Brendan Steele, and Kevin Streelman.

Much like their predecessors, they are designed for the Feel player who is seeking a sleek setup, ultimate feedback, and shot-shaping control. A stylized copper badge mirrors the eventual finish of the iron heads and helps to distinguish these one-of-a-kind RAW irons from the original FG Tour V6 irons.

These irons also feature tungsten weighting, impact area mass, and forged feel for improved feedback and response. They will be offered as a custom option only and will be offered on Wilson.com, as well as through Wilson's premium partner accounts.

Q&A: USGA CEO Mike Davis

(INTERVIEW) - Question-and-Answer session with USGA CEO Mike Davis at the 118th U.S. Open where he discussed U.S. Open venues, rolling back the ball, and the new world handicapping system.

Question: Where would you rank Shinnecock among U.S. Open courses?

Mike Davis: It’s one of my favourites, but you get to a point where they become like children, and I’m not suggesting I’m the parent here, but you love them all. This one [Shinnecock Hills] is historic, it hosted the second oldest U.S. Open in 1895, it is fabulous architecture, and it’s windy too and I think the two things beyond the architecture that really make the game challenging for players is when the ball’s bouncing and when it’s windy, and we’ve got both of those to the nth degree right now.

It’s very, very challenging right now. When you get these conditions, really the only thing you can try is to just slow things down, but to get back to it, we love this place. We’re coming back in 2026. The course has been restored to its original architecture, for example the greens have returned to their original size. It’s closely mown around the greens as per the original design, and there was rough up against it, bunkers were covered up, so I think it’s become a much better golf course for that.

Q: Two successive U.S. Opens are taking place on links-style courses, with Pebble Beach hosting next year. How does a links set-up alter the USGA’s role in terms of course preparation?

MD: Pebble Beach is not as old as Shinnecock Hills, and we didn’t start U.S. Opens there until 1972 when Jack Nicklaus hit that famous one iron, then 10 years later Tom Watson chipped in on top of Jack Nicklaus to win that one. It’s certainly one of the most famous and beloved courses in the United States. Oakmont’s another that has hosted U.S. Opens, and Pinehurst is unique … but there’s a bunch of great ones.

Q: There will be a new U.S. Open venue in 2023 - Los Angeles Country Club. What will that venue offer and how excited are you to take the U.S. Open to LA?

MD: It’s an old George Thomas design, which he built in the 1920s. The same architect as Riviera and Bel Air, so you’ve got that.

Q: Can you talk about Rolex’s longstanding role as a partner of the USGA and the value of that partnership?

MD: Well, let me start out by saying it goes back to 1980. Until about 10 years ago, we did not really have corporate partner relationships except for Rolex, and Rolex has been involved since 1980 on things that we do in the governance of the game – which we do together with The R&A.

They [Rolex] help underwrite our Rules of Golf programme and when you think about what’s happened since we elevated that relationship a dozen years ago, they have really got involved with both our professional and our amateur events. Now, with our rules modernization programme they’ve been very engaged with the educational part, both with The R&A and the USGA.

Our new handicapping system, which launches January 1, 2020; Rolex will be a big part of that. They’ve done the Rolex World Amateur Golf Ranking, which has been a great thing both on the men’s and women’s side for the game of golf.

It’s been a terrific relationship and it’s only been enhanced, because with Rolex they take a long-term view of what’s right for the game, so as we move forward now, just this year, for the first time at the U.S. Open there is limited commercial interruptions, so the last hour will have no commercials, which is neat.

In all of our other championships being broadcasted: the U.S. Women’s Open, the U.S. Amateur, the U.S. Senior Open, our U.S. Senior Women’s Open, the Women’s Amateur – all of these events are commercial free, and it’s because of Rolex.

We will be able to, in those commercial times, show a variety of segments, for example on players, and other aspects of the game, which for viewers is terrific. It’s good for Rolex and it’s certainly good for us.

In addition to that, we just launched, in the last month, a new digital library, so you can go back to 1985 when the first U.S. Open was played and see a segment on every U.S. Open, whether it’s the 1913 U.S. Open that Francis Ouimet famously won, coming out of nowhere as a no-one, or right up to last year.

We’re doing some marvellous things with Rolex and we’re excited about it – for the amateur game, for the governance and for the professional game, so sincerely Rolex is one of the most special partners we have.

Q: Almost every year, Jack Nicklaus brings up rolling back the ball. What are your current thoughts on that?

MD: We, the USGA and The R&A, put a statement recently to say that we are involved in a study called Distance Insights, and while the issue of distance has been discussed and debated for more than 100 years in terms of how golf courses have continued to expand, how equipment innovation has occurred, what we want to do is collect data from all areas of the game – not just on the elite game, but for recreational golfers too and this study is not just about the elite golfers, but it is a holistic view of the game.

We haven’t gone into it from the standpoint that “these PGA Tour players are hitting it too far,” it really is a long look at what’s happening with golf courses, how they’ve had to change, and most importantly looking into the future for the enjoyment of the game, the recreational game, the sustainability of the game, and what might get done, if anything, if something happens.

We are not in the position of saying the ball is going to get rolled back. We’re not in the position of saying that clubs are going to change. We’re not in the position of saying we’re taking any action, other than saying we’re undertaking a serious study of what’s going on.

In a year, or a year-and-a-half from now, when we have collected all this data – and we already have a lot of this, but there’s also a lot that we don’t have – so, in 12 to 18 months, we’ll have spoken to stakeholders, whether they’re an architect, an elite player, an owner or operator, and equipment manufacturer, to ask how increased distance over the years has historically you and your area of expertise, what’s happening now, and looking to the future, what might happen then?

This issue, this discussion, is not going to go away and it’s incumbent on the industry to ensure that the game is healthy and is enjoyable and something that can sustain itself for years to come.

Q: The game has never been easier for the recreational golfer with equipment as good as it is, and yet participation numbers are down. How do you reconcile those two things?

MD: I guess the question is whether or not there’s a correlation between those things. I’ll start with the United States simply because I’m familiar with its numbers. Our numbers are very stable, but the number of junior golfers is actually growing. We’ve got more junior golfers than we’ve ever had right now. More female golfers, more non-Caucasian golfers, so I think from that standpoint, in the United States, we would actually say that it’s pretty healthy.

The number of rounds is creeping up slowly, but the one thing that is concerning to us, is when you look at the health of golf courses. We have one out of four golf courses in this country that are feeling some kind of financial pinch, and so we’re looking at that.

The costs of maintaining courses are going up, the cost of inputs from water, to fuel, to fertilizers, and you can grow the game all you want, but if you’re growing it with unsustainable places to play then we have to think about that in a very serious way.

As we look at this big picture of the health of the game going forward, distance is only one part of it. In the US we’ve reduced water usage by 22 per cent, we’ve reduced the amount of nutrients used on course by a little more than 40 per cent, so while those are things that nobody wants to talk about, none-the-less they’re important things for the game of golf.

Q: You’ve been involved with the USGA for almost 30 years. Which achievements in that time are you most proud of? And what are your main priorities for the coming years?

MD: When you look back at the governance of the game, we’ve modernized the rules, we’re making them simpler, which you’d hope that would be something that makes the game more welcoming, and much easier to learn than the old rules.

We’re developing a worldwide handicap system – this is one of many great things about the game, where players of differing abilities can play on an equitable basis. You can’t do that in other sports, but you can in ours. Though, right now, we don’t have the same handicap systems around the world, so for me to go and play on an equitable basis with someone from Australia or Japan or from Scotland, it’s not quite comparing apples with apples. This is a positive thing.

From standpoint of our events, we’ve started the Latin America Amateur Championship, we’re having our inaugural Senior Women’s Open Championship this year. We have more entries in our women’s championships than we’ve ever had, so I feel like we’ve done a lot of good things.

Maybe the biggest thing, which doesn’t get written about a lot, beyond our Grow the Game initiative, is that we’re doing so much for golf courses themselves. Best practices and how to maintain golf courses at a quality level, at low cost, and make the game more enjoyable to people who play, including pace of play.

Q: A large number of entries to the U.S. Open have come about from qualifiers. Are you looking to expand those opportunities for golfers around the world, in Asia especially?

MD: We are always looking at this. A little more than 9,000 people tried to qualify for the U.S. Open this year, so it’s the biggest event in the world in terms of entries, and we try to balance that out between those who’ve earned their way in by exemption.

This year we have 78 exempt players and 78 that earned spots in qualifying from those 9,000 people who tried, and we have tried to expand that qualifying around the world and we will continue to look at that where it makes sense.

Q: American golf looks to be in a great place at the moment, with US players holding all four men’s Major titles. How exciting is that for the USGA and how much are you looking forward to seeing Team USA in Ryder Cup action later this year?

MD: I am the last person that should comment on that. [laughs]

I think it comes and goes. Isn’t that the great thing about sport? Right now it may be the case, but in two years from now, maybe not. Look what’s transpired in the women’s game. What’s clearly transpired is that it’s more and more of a global game. It’s a good time for golf right now.

Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA, which has partnered with Rolex since 1980, was speaking at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club at the 118th U.S. Open. For more information visit rolex.com.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Product Review: Titleist AVX Golf Balls

I was recently introduced to the new AVX ball from Titleist. I’m sure you’re aware of Pro V1 and Pro V1x. This is on par with those - the company’s flag bearers - but with slightly different characteristics.

Primarily, the AVX is Titleist’s lowest flying ball. It also spins less and is softer than both the Pro V1 and Pro V1x. I compare it to the Tour Soft, but with more distance.

Below, find some technical details:

CORE
AVX utilizes innovative, high speed, low compression core technology, resulting in a powerful engine to drive remarkable distance with exceptionally soft feel.

COVER
The proprietary GRN41 cast thermoset urethane cover delivers premium scoring control with exceptionally soft feel and long lasting durability.

CASING LAYER
The high flex casing layer enhances speed and controls spin to promote even greater distance.

DIMPLE DESIGN
The unique spherically-tiled 352 tetrahedral catenary aerodynamic design delivers optimal and consistent flight on all shots.

Personally, I saw an immediate impact on my game with longer, straighter drives. I generally hit a fairly high tee ball, so the lower flight paid dividends on distance. It’s hard for me to discern feel on my long irons, but can attest to the incredibly soft feel from inside 100 yards and on/around the greens.

If you’re looking for a premium ball with lower flight, the Titleist AVX is ideal. A quick check of Dick’s and Golf Galaxy shows a list price of $47.99 for a dozen. For $4 more, you can get them customized. They’re available in white and yellow.

Learn more at www.titleist.com.

Quail Creek's Holly Vaughn Qualifies for the U.S. Senior Women's Open

Holly Vaughn (Photo: Morning Call)
(Naples, Fla.) – Quail Creek Country Club's LPGA Professional Holly Vaughn won a two-hole playoff on Monday (June 18) at Northampton Country Club in Pennsylvania to qualify for the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open.

Vaughn won one of three qualifier spots to the Open, which will be held in July at Chicago Golf Club. She will join legendary players such as Betsy King, Hollis Stacy, Juli Inkster and Pat Bradley. The U.S. Senior Women's Open is open to amateur and professional players age 50 and over.

Quail Creek Country Club is the premier private, member-owned country club in Naples, Fla. The Club has 13 Har-Tru tennis courts, 36 holes of championship golf, a fully staffed Fitness center and two bocce courts. Membership is open to individuals who reside both inside and outside of the community.

Learn more at www.quailcreekcc.com.

TPC River Highlands, Remodeled by Bobby Weed Golf Design, Attracts First-Rate Field for 2018 Travelers Championship

(PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida) – An outstanding field will compete again this year at the Travelers Championship, being played June 21-24, 2018, at TPC River Highlands, a private golf club in Cromwell, Ct., which was redesigned by Bobby Weed in 1989 in consultation with former PGA Tour players Howard Twitty and Roger Maltbie. In addition, in 2016 Weed worked in conjunction with PGA Tour Design Services on a course-wide bunker renovation at TPC River Highlands to update the strategy, based on ShotLink data, and to improve playability and maintenance.

“TPC River Highlands, overlooking the Connecticut River, offers players a variety of half-par holes with an exciting four-hole finish in an amphitheatre setting like no other,” said Weed. “This year’s tournament features one of the strongest fields ever, which is a testament to the golf course, fan base, strength of sponsor and event charities.”

Defending champion Jordan Spieth, whose dramatic victory over Daniel Berger last year came on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff, is joined by a top-tier list of players, including Brooks Koepka, winner of the 2017 and 2018 U.S. Opens, and Patrick Reed, this year’s Masters champion.

Some of the other notable names in this year’s field at the Travelers Championship include Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Jim Furyk, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson, Patrick Cantlay and FedEx Cup titleholder Justin Thomas.

TPC River Highlands, marking its 35th year as a PGA Tour venue, welcomes 50 players who competed at last week’s U.S. Open.

Operated by the PGA Tour, the 18-hole par-70 TPC River Highlands has been the venue for the tour’s annual Travelers Championship, previously known as the Buick Championship and the Greater Hartford Open, since 1984.

For more information on Bobby Weed Golf Design, see www.bobbyweed.com.

Ireland's Kilkea Castle Opens for Play

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional information: www.kilkeacastle.ie

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Volvik Adds Four New Colors to Vivid Line of Golf Balls

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, see volvik.com.

Greg Norman Among Athletes in ESPN The Magazine Body Issue

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

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

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

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

Entries Are Up More Than 10 Percent Over 2017 Pace

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, visit www.myrtlebeachworldamateur.com.

Phil Mickelson Invests in Robot-Delivered Desserts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reis & Irvy’s: Franchise Expansion Highlights:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Schools Out, Player Pathway Continues to Local Courses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Galvin Green Launches 2018 Ventil8 Plus Range

Modern Designs, Extremely Breathable Material Designed for Warm Weather Conditions

(Växjö, Sweden) – Galvin Green – the world’s leading maker of high-performance and functional golf clothing for serious players and the No. 1 global golf partner of GORE-TEX – has announced the launch of new apparel offerings for their 2018 Spring/Summer Ventil8 Plus collection.

The Ventil8 Plus functional men’s and women’s golf shirts, shorts, pants and skorts are designed to keep golfers cool and comfortable in the summer heat while sustaining top-level performance on the course. Each item is constructed with highly technical, lightweight and breathable materials to help regulate body temperature and transport moisture and heat away from the skin twice as fast as a traditional polyester golf shirt.

“Galvin Green continues to lead this category in innovation in order to exceed the demands for high-performance apparel in the golf industry,” says Steve Hendren, President of Galvin Green USA. “Incorporating our Ventil8 Plus technology into comfortable and stylish clothing guarantees that golfers can look, feel and play their best without overheating or feeling restricted.”

Function meets fashion in the men’s polo range highlighted by the Mayer with horizontal stripe design and the Marty solid shirt available in eight colorways and in an exclusive Tour Edition. Completing the ensemble are the all-purpose Noah and Nash pants and Parker shorts.

Headlining the colorful ladies’ line is the Megan shirt with contrast color detailing, the May skort and the Miriam jumpsuit, a lightweight, eye-catching piece with extreme breathability designed to minimize restriction when swinging. In addition to providing UV protection 20+, all Ventil8 Plus garments are easy to care for and contain hygienic anti-bacterial elements.

Galvin Green is also the Official Team Supplier of Weatherwear for the 2018 European Ryder Cup Team. Through this partnership, the company will provide its premium outerwear garments to the captains, vice captains, team members and their caddies during the matches at Le Golf National. Part of the brand’s esteemed Multi-Layer system, the outfit includes a GORE-TEX fabric shell layer and an Interface-1 hybrid jacket.

Based in Sweden, Galvin Green is a pure golf brand that developed the sport’s first apparel layering system – the Multi-Layer Concept – more than a decade ago. This distinctive approach uses leading-edge fabric technologies to ensure the dry comfort, thermal regulation and outer protection that helps players optimize performance.

Learn more at www.GalvinGreen.com. Get social at www.Facebook.com/GalvinGreen and @GalvinGreen with #staycool #stayahead.

Golf Channel, Loch Lomond Partner on Claret Jug Tour Ahead of 147TH Open

Award-Winning Independent Scotcb Whisky Sponsoring Tour to Select U.S. Cities; Will Include Special Tastings, Opportunities for Fans to Engage with Golf’s Most Storied Trophy

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – Golf Channel and Loch Lomond Group are partnering on a promotional tour with the Claret Jug – golf’s most iconic trophy, first awarded in 1873 to the winner of The Open – to select U.S. cities in advance of the 147TH Open at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland. Loch Lomond Whisky’s sponsorship of the tour further enhances the brand’s existing five-year partnership with the R&A as the official spirit of The Open, initially announced in February.

“We are proud to partner with Golf Channel to support this tour of golf’s most iconic trophy,” said Colin Matthews, CEO of Loch Lomond Group. “Whisky and golf are two of Scotland’s greatest gifts to the world, and following the news of our recent partnership with the R&A for The Open, being a part of the Claret Jug tour was a perfect fit for Loch Lomond Group to further showcase our commitment to the game.”

“The Loch Lomond Group could not be a more natural fit to sponsor the Claret Jug tour,” said Tom Knapp, senior vice president of golf sponsorship, NBC Sports Group. “Much like the storied history that accompanies the Claret Jug, Loch Lomond’s Scottish roots trace back centuries ago, and their aspirations to align with golf’s most celebrated traditions will resonate with a broad range of consumers in addition to golf fans and whisky enthusiasts.”

The tour kicks off today in Austin, Texas, and will culminate on Wednesday, July 11 at the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe one week prior to The Open. Those wishing to engage with the Claret Jug will have an opportunity at one of several tour stops being staged at Topgolf locations in select cities. The tour will feature a custom, authentic Scottish pub where consumers (of age) can sample Loch Lomond’s portfolio of whiskies in the spirit of golf’s original championship and the Claret Jug. The Claret Jug also will make special pop-up visits to select GolfNow course partners located within some of the designated tour markets.

(All Times Local)
June 19 - Houston (Topgolf, 5-8 p.m.)
June 20 - Jacksonville, Fla. (Topgolf, 6-9 p.m.)
June 25 - Orlando, Fla. (Topgolf, 6-9 p.m.)
July 4 - Washington D.C. (Topgolf, 5:30-8:30 p.m. – Ashburn, Va.)
July 9 - Edison, N.J. (Topgolf, Time TBA)
July 11 - Lake Tahoe, Nev. American Century Championship (On Course)

Fans interacting with the Claret Jug and Loch Lomond during the course of the tour are encouraged to share their experience using the hashtag, #ClaretJug on social media, and tag @TheOpen and @LochLomondMalts on Twitter and Instagram.

NBC Sports Group is the exclusive U.S. television home of the 147TH Open from Carnoustie, with nearly 50 live hours of tournament coverage, Thursday-Sunday, July 19-22. The Claret Jug is presented each July to the winner of The Open, with the winner also being given the title of “Champion Golfer of the Year” until the following year’s event is staged. The Claret Jug is one of the most storied trophies in all of sports; first presented to the 1873 winner of The Open, Tom Kidd. Each year, the winner’s name is engraved on to the trophy, forever etched into the history of golf’s original championship. It is customary for the Champion Golfer of the Year to drink a favorite alcoholic beverage from the Claret Jug in celebration of the victory.

Bobby Weed Golf Design Renovation Underway at Long Cove Club

(PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida) – Bobby Weed Golf Design (www.bobbyweed.com) has announced that its renovation of the golf course at Long Cove Club, in Hilton Head Island, S.C., is underway. The course, designed by Pete Dye, opened in 1981. This renovation project is especially significant to Bobby Weed Golf Design.

“Long Cove was my first assignment with Pete and the genesis of Bobby Weed Golf Design,” Weed said. “After having met him at Amelia Island Plantation in the mid 70s, Long Cove was the beginning of my career in design and construction and of my nearly 40 years relationship with Pete.

“To be back at Long Cove is very special for Bobby Weed Golf Design and to me personally.”

Alongside contractor MacCurrach Golf, Bobby Weed Golf Design commenced construction on April 20. The renovation work on the par-71 7,000-yard layout at the private residential community is scheduled to be completed in late August, with the course to reopen in early October.

The scope of the project includes:
• Refurbishing all bunkers and native waste areas with new drain lines, sand and coquina shell material;
• Re-grassing greens and fairways with updated varieties;
• Replacing corroded metal lake connectors and drain lines throughout the golf course;
• Reconstructing original bulkheads suing the detail from 1981;
• Repair and overlay of cart paths;
• Select tree removal and landscaping.

“For me,” Weed said, “returning to Long Cove conjures up fond memories of insane hours of construction, working alongside Pete Dye every day and fashioning a course out of the Lowcountry with a passionate team of golf junkies. And doing all of this while covered in sunscreen, no-see-ums and chiggers, and loving every minute!”

Weed affirmed that the original construction crew of the Long Cove golf course is rightfully touted as one of the most eccentric and legendary in the modern era. Weed and Dye assembled a crew of college graduates, interns and low-handicap golfers for the project. Many Long Cove alumni later embarked on their own careers in the golf design business, including Weed, Tom Doak, PB Dye, Scott Pool and Ron Farris.

For more information on Bobby Weed Golf Design, see www.bobbyweed.com.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Golf Pride Trusted by Nine Players in the Top 10 Including the Champion at the 118th U.S. Open

(SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.) - Eaton announced today that its Golf Pride Grips Division was the overwhelming grip choice used at the 2018 United States Open, with 122 players trusting the brand without any paid endorsements.

In the field, nine players finishing in the Top 10 at the esteemed Shinnecock Hills Golf Club trusted the #1 Grip in Golf. The Champion relied on Golf Pride’s popular Tour Velvet Cord model to capture back-to-back wins, an accomplishment that hasn’t been done in nearly 30 years. In fact, players using Golf Pride grips have won 9 of the last 10 U.S. Opens, including five in a row since 2014.

Unique to the U.S. Open is the inclusion of the world’s top amateurs in the field. This year, a record 20 amateurs qualified for the event and 16 trusted their games to Golf Pride, including both players who tied for Low Am honors.

“We are incredibly honored that nine players that finished in the top 10 chose to play Golf Pride, including the winner who has won consecutive U.S. Opens with our Tour Velvet Cord in Midsize. In fact, we continue to see more Tour players and amateurs alike utilizing Midsize grips to dial in the technology to best fit their game,” said Brandon Sowell, global sales and marketing director for Golf Pride. “Additionally, we had five distinct Golf Pride grip models finish in the Top 10 showing the variety of performance technology that the best players in the world rely on even in the most trying conditions.”

Each week, Golf Pride is the leading grip played from tee-to-green on the PGA TOUR with an average of 80% of pros choosing Golf Pride swing grips in each event, without any paid endorsements.

For more information on Golf Pride’s entire 2018 product offering, visit www.golfpride.com.

Product Review: 80BREAKR Scorecard App

There’s a new player in the golf industry - 80BREAKR. It’s a golf scorecard app that’s as easy to use as a traditional scorecard, but loaded with bells and whistles. The three-step process - Plan, Play, Improve - offers GPS on the scorecard, competition / betting summary below each player’s name, color-coded like PGA leaderboards, automatic posting for your official handicap, and so much more.

PLAN
Don’t go into a round blindly. Prepare for the course before you play by creating a hole-by-hole strategy. You know there’s a bunker about 240 yards out on the left off the first tee? Make a note to leave the driver in the bag. Trouble short of the second green? Remind yourself to take plenty of club. Downhill par 3 that cost you a stroke last time? Take less club this time around.

Plan ahead and stick to that plan. A former boss used to say, “Prior preparation prevents piss-poor performance.” Don’t tee off without a solid game plan.

PLAY
The aforementioned GPS to the center of the green for approximately 30,000 worldwide courses is great. No more expensive watches or rangefinders are needed. You can keep track of your wagers, as well … Match Play, Stroke Play, Skins and Nassau, to name a few. And each player’s course handicap is calculated automatically.

There’s also a Skills feature. You can test yourself with positive skills, such as longest drive and closest to the pin, or negative hiccups, like carding a snowman or recording dreaded three putts.

I love the social aspect of golf, so posting to Twitter right from the scorecard is a huge plus. Want to brag? Set the app to offer a direct post for every birdie you record. Your buddies will not only “love” to see that you’re playing golf, but also how well you’re doing.

The 80BREAKR Handicap Service is also available. With this in-app purchase, you can post your score automatically when the game is completed.

IMPROVE
For data-hungry golfers looking to shave strokes off their games, 80BREAKR allows you to measure the quality of each shot. Whether it’s a particular club or specific shot (lag putt, for instance), grade it as Good, OK or Bad and the app arranges the round. It’s easy to reference what’s going well versus what needs to be improved.

Golfers can also track stats like fairways hit, greens in regulation, drive distances and number of putts.

Here’s a game changer … Game Improvement mode works equally well on the course, range, or practice green. Plus, golfers can e-mail their scorecard directly to coaches after their round.

To learn more, visit 80breakr.com. It’s available for both iOS and Android devices.

World’s Largest Golf Outing Registration Now Open

Eighth Annual Event to Benefit Fisher House Foundation

(RESTON, VA) – Registration for this year’s World’s Largest Golf Outing (WLGO) – a national event benefitting Fisher House Foundation – is now open. The eighth annual event is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 6.

Golfers can sign up as a single, twosome or foursome at one of the more than 100 participating courses nationwide. Registration is open to all golfers regardless of ability, with no USGA handicap required.

WLGO is a simultaneous charity outing managed by Billy Casper Golf (BCG), with most events taking place in the BCG network of courses. Since its inception in 2011, more than 57,000 men, women, juniors and seniors have played in 33 states to raise $3,794,603 for military and family charities. Several national celebrities from PGA Tour legend Chi Chi Rodriquez to 42nd President Bill Clinton have donated to WLGO.

Since 1990, Fisher House Foundation has provided a “home away from home” for families of patients receiving treatment at major military and VA medical centers. Their network of 76 comfort homes has provided over 335,000 families with no cost lodging, allowing families to be close by while a loved one undergoes treatment and recovery. One $10 donation covers the costs to house a family in a Fisher House for one night.

“While the funds raised from the World’s Largest Golf Outing are important, the awareness and a chance to share the Fisher House story are absolutely critical,” says Dave Coker, President of Fisher House Foundation. “Thank you for your participation, your generosity and support of those we call our greatest national treasure, our military service men and women and their loved ones.”

For this year’s event, there are 109 registered courses and counting. The fundraising goal is $1 million and so far, over $50,000 has been raised by participating teams and courses. Teams are encouraged to raise additional funds to support Fisher House; donations can be made at worldslargestgolfouting.com.

Bridgestone Golf Names Dan Murphy President and CEO

(COVINGTON, GA) – Bridgestone Golf – innovator and manufacturer of premium golf balls, clubs and accessories – has appointed Dan Murphy as President and CEO.

Murphy was with Bridgestone Golf USA from 2004 to 2015, most recently as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. During that tenure, he helped the brand increase market share to No. 2 in the ball category, grew domestic revenue by roughly 250% and negotiated title rights to the PGA Tour’s annual World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club (Ohio).

As President and CEO, he is responsible for directing the company's core business functions, including product planning and production, marketing, sales and customer relations.

“I’ve been with Bridgestone Golf since the beginning and the passion runs deep,” says Murphy. “We make the most technologically-advanced golf balls in the world and my role is to help ensure Bridgestone is recognized as the industry’s leading example of how science and data is used to make products that improve the performance of all golfers.”

Committed to remaining on the forefront of innovation, Bridgestone draws from nearly 1,000 golf ball patents and the leading rubber experts in the world to design the industry’s best golf balls. A major differentiator over all other brands, it leverages the invaluable knowledge of 900-plus polymer engineers in the R&D process. This engineering and manufacturing expertise is combined with real-world data collected from three million golf ball fittings over the past decade. The result is a line-up of models perfectly customized for any player type, from PGA TOUR superstar to beginner.  

Under Murphy, Bridgestone will continue to be the industry’s leading voice on the importance of fitting and customization in the golf ball selection process. The company currently offers two easy and comprehensive fitting options, the BFIT Golf Ball Fitting App and a new online fitting tool. Its diverse ball portfolio includes the TOUR B Series, e6 SOFT, e6 SPEED, Extra Soft, Lady and more.

“Dan’s leadership skills, product knowledge, industry connections and assemblage of talent are exemplary,” says Shigeru Nakayama, Senior Officer for Bridgestone Sports and Chairman of Bridgestone Golf. “He’s unafraid to push the envelope to find ways to make golfers better and, therefore, lifetime Bridgestone loyalists.”

Murphy is enthused by a recent NGF report showing growth of America’s $89.1 billion annual golf economy. Citing the 20 million committed golfers who play 95% of all rounds, he points to Bridgestone’s influence making low handicappers even more competitive. Furthermore, Murphy is keen on Bridgestone’s ball and club technology turning the sport’s 2.6 million newcomers into lifetime golfers.

Since 2015, Murphy was President of textile manufacturer Kentwool and Vice President of American Achievement Corporation.  Before joining Bridgestone Golf almost 15 years ago, he held key marketing and business development positions at TaylorMade, Dunlop Slazenger, Maxfli and General Mills.

The appointment of Murphy comes at an ideal time for Bridgestone Golf. Rising star Bryson DeChambeau used the Tour B X ball to win the PGA Tour’s Memorial Tournament two weeks ago and catapult to fourth on the official money list. Additionally, the company’s recent introduction of the TOUR B XS Tiger Woods Edition and the e6 SOFT Lady Edition (pearl white finish and pink Bridgestone logo) have proven widely popular.

Beyond golf balls, Murphy is committed to growing Bridgestone’s share of the golf club market. The same industry leading fitting data that informs R&D for the company’s renowned golf balls is being applied to the creation of revolutionary club designs. Currently, Bridgestone offers a variety of options via its JGR and TOUR B Series clubs, and will unveil new lines in the coming months.

More information: bridgestonegolf.com.

Rolex Testimonee Brooks Koepka Writes History by Retaining U.S. Open Crown

(Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, NY) – Rolex Testimonee Brooks Koepka has claimed an unforgettable victory at the 118th U.S. Open, in a successful title defence following his win in 2017, ensuring his name will not only be etched on the trophy forever, but also into the history of this inimitable championship.

Nestled in the luxurious surroundings of the Hamptons in New York state, the prestigious Shinnecock Hills Golf Club upheld the U.S. Open tradition of rewarding extreme accuracy, and after four rounds of competitive golf on the challenging 7,448-yard layout, Koepka’s final score of one-over-par, gave him a one-shot victory in the second men’s Major of the year, for which Rolex has been the Official Timekeeper since 1980.

Koepka becomes just the second golfer to successfully defend the U.S. Open in the modern era, following in the footsteps of fellow Rolex Testimonee Curtis Strange, who’s second victory was also made in the Empire State, 29 years ago.

With this historic win, Koepka is now part of an elite group of Rolex Testimonees in addition to Curtis Strange, to have recorded multiple U.S. Open wins, including four-time winner Jack Nicklaus, three-time champion Tiger Woods and two-time U.S. Open victor, Retief Goosen.

With rounds of 75, 66 and 72, the 28-year-old Floridian co-led the tournament going in to the final round, and displaying continued precision, discipline and determination, scored five birdies in a final round of 68.

Following his final round, Brooks Koepka, said: “It’s incredible. I’ve looked at all these names a million times and to have my name on this trophy is very special. I’m truly honoured to go back-to-back.”

Having co-led at the 54-hole stage, fellow Testimonee Daniel Berger ended the tournament tied sixth, recording his second career top-10 in a Major.

THE 2018 U.S. OPEN RESULTS
1. Brooks Koepka (+1)
2. Tommy Fleetwood (+2)
3. Dustin Johnson (+3)
4. Patrick Reed (+4)
5. Tony Finau (+5)

ROLEX TESTIMONEE U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONS
Arnold Palmer (1960)
Jack Nicklaus (1962, 1967, 1972, 1980)
Gary Player (1965)
Tom Watson (1982)
Curtis Strange (1988, 1989)
Tiger Woods (2000, 2002, 2008)
Retief Goosen (2001, 2004)
Martin Kaymer (2014)
Jordan Spieth (2015)
Brooks Koepka (2017, 2018)

WEBSITE: www.rolex.com

Friday, June 15, 2018

50th Anniversary of Puma's Iconic Suede Shoes Inspires Throwback Collection from Puma Golf

PUMA Golf’s Throwback Collection & Suede G Brings Iconic Street Style to the Links

(CARLSBAD, Calif.) – The iconic PUMA Suede shoe launched in 1968 and since then has been influencing street style, transcending generations and cultures with its legendary, classic, cool vibe. The shoes remain as relevant today as they were when they launched five decades ago. In honor of the Suede’s 50th anniversary this year, PUMA Golf is launching its Throwback Collection, headlined by the Suede G, featuring the same iconic style of a classic Suede shoe with modern performance technologies ideally suited for the golf course. Building off of the retro design of the Suede G, PUMA’s Throwback Collection for men and women, will include accessories and apparel that pay homage to yesteryear including a polo, Corduroy bottoms, P Cap and a T7 Jacket, delivering timeless style from head to toe.

“The Suede has been a street legend since day one. It’s clean, classic, comfortable, and now we’re excited to bring the same iconic look to the golf course,” said Grant Knudson, Head of Footwear & Accessories, PUMA Golf. “The Suede G will celebrate the retro design of the original version, but incorporate traction and function that’s vital to a spikeless golf shoe. We’re excited to join PUMA in this milestone celebration, and provide golfers with the same epic style that revolutionized the sneaker world 50 years ago.”

Mimicking the classic style of PUMA’s original Suedes, the Suede G shoe ($120) is constructed with a premium, waterproof, low-nap Suede upper and microfiber leather formstripe, with a gold foil stamped PUMA #1 logo on the quarter and CAT logo on the heel. The shoes were redesigned with an array of on-course performance benefits including the innovative hidden traction outsole which provides the appearance of a fashion-forward sneaker off the course, while offering excellent recessed spikeless traction for unrivaled grip and stability on any surface on the course. The G features a sleek shaped last for a stylish toe-down look and added comfort. The ultra-soft PU insole provides added support for long-lasting comfort. The golf version, which will come in a special edition Suede 50th Anniversary shoe box, is available now in Quiet Shade and Black for men, and a Quarry and Majesty (purple) colorway for women.

The Throwback Collection of apparel and accessories is a nod to PUMA’s heritage and classic style, taking inspiration from the original PUMA Dassler logo to create distinctive, throwback style and graphic patterns. Each piece incorporates a modern take on classic style, providing golfers with options that can seamlessly transition from the office to the first tee and the 19th hole.

“The Throwback Collection is unlike anything you’ve ever seen in golf. It merges classic PUMA style, taking inspiration from its throwback looks and original Dassler logo, with modern, game-changing performance fabrics that can seamlessly take you from the golf course to the office,” said Kristin Hinze, Global Head Golf Apparel, PUMA Golf. “In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Suede, and the introduction of the iconic shoe to golf, we have built a timeless collection of apparel and accessories that beautifully and classically represents PUMA’s rich heritage as the world’s leading sports and lifestyle brand.”

The full Throwback Collection includes:

The classic PUMA T7 Track Jacket ($70), which first debuted in 1958, is available in two colorways showcasing its iconic stripes. It has been reinvigorated for golf performance, with a cotton and polyester blend, moisture-wicking fabric that will allow for freedom of movement, style and comfort through your swing.

Evoknit Dassler Polo ($65) for men utilizing PUMA’s seamless EVOKNIT fabric and construction to deliver extreme comfort, style and performance. The PWRCOOL Dassler Polo ($75) features an ultralight, moisture-wicking fabric, in three neutral color choices for perfect style on and off the course.

Corduroy 6 Pocket Pants ($85) for men are anything but your traditional cords. They are engineered with a cotton, spandex blend with two-way stretch fabric so they move with you through your swing. This version is PUMA’s modern take on classic style with subtle high-end finishes including elements of faux leather on the back and a stretch waist band. These pants will be sure to turn heads whether you are in a conference room or playing 18.

Topping off the collection is a Throwback P 110 Snapback Cap ($30) which comes in five colorways: Black, Peacoat, Grey, Red and a special Red/White/Blue color that Rickie Fowler will debut at this week’s U.S. Open. This cap mimics the popular P Cap that launched earlier this year, but includes a lower-profile Suede P branding with a heathered fabric.

The Women’s Collection also features a T7 Track Jacket ($70) in Pink and Peacoat, along with a Dassler Jacquard Sleeveless Polo ($55) with a subtle camo-pattern and moisture-wicking, stretch fabric to keep you dry, cool and stylish throughout the round.

For more information on the full Throwback Collection visit: https://goo.gl/o4yozh