Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Fast Track to the 2018 Winner's Circle: New TS Drivers and Fairway Metals

(RELEASE) - When Titleist Brand Ambassadors Brian Harman and Patton Kizzire won the QBE Shootout this past weekend, they both had a long game advantage in the bag - new Titleist TS metals. The result of a two-year Titleist R&D mission, the Titleist Speed (TS) Project deconstructed the driver and fairway metal and then rebuilt them both from scratch, designing greater speed into every detail. Harman and Kizzire certainly reaped the benefits in Naples, recording 27 birdies and three eagles on their way to a winning score of 30-under-par 186.

The Tour introduction of TS drivers took place on the toughest stage in golf, the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. Shinnecock was chosen deliberately, for what better test could Titleist R&D devise to validate the performance of the new TS than the unforgiving demands and pressure of a U.S. Open layout? And with so much at stake, 17 players (40% of players using Titleist drivers) put the new TS drivers immediately in play, an unprecedented shift for the week of a major championship.

Since that initial seeding and validation process (TS fairway metals debuted two weeks later at the Quicken Loans National), players relying on TS metals have captured 22 titles across the worldwide professional golf tours. In that brief span, over 150 players have made the switch to TS and as Josh Talge, Vice President of Marketing for Titleist Clubs told us, this early success and adoption by the world's best players is no surprise, given the performance that these new products deliver.

“From start to finish, the TS Project was about driving ball speed and unlocking a level of performance that golfers simply couldn’t ignore,” Talge said. "We know performance is the story that golfers care about. From the ball speed and distance gains we’re seeing, both on tour and with amateur golfers, it’s clear that TS metals deliver a new level of Titleist Speed.”

TS METALS HIGHLIGHTS:
- In June, Michael Kim (TS2 10.5°) became the first player to post a victory with the new Titleist TS driver, winning the John Deere Classic by a record eight shots. For the tournament, Kim averaged five yards more off the tee (294.8) and was nearly 30 percentage points (82.14%) higher in driving accuracy compared to his 2017-18 season averages.

- At the 2018 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, the opening event of the Web.com Tour Finals, both Robert Streb and Peter Malnati punched their 2018-2019 PGA Tour cards with TS drivers and fairways in the bag. Finishing 1-2, Streb (TS2 9.5°, TS3 15°) topped Malnati (TS2 9.5°, 13.5°) on the first hole of a playoff.

- In early August Justin Thomas earned his first World Golf Championships title with a four-shot victory at Firestone, crediting the performance gains of his TS3 9.5° driver and TS3 15° fairway.

“The new TS driver was instantly faster," Thomas said, "and I was able to get a few more yards carry when needed. More importantly for me, my spin numbers were more consistent, so it has helped me drive the ball much better. The fairway metal, too, has gone up in spin, which gives me more control. And I can easily fly it 280-285 off the tee if needed, which is such a great asset to have.”

The long list of players who have added TS metals to their bags includes: Adam Scott (TS3 10.5°), Bill Haas (TS2 9.5°, 15°, 18°), Jimmy Walker (TS3 8.5°, 13.5°), Brian Harman (TS2 13.5°), Cameron Smith (TS2 9.5°, 15°), Byeong-Hun An (TS3 9.5°), Charley Hoffman (TS3 9.5°), Ian Poulter (TS3 9.5°), Rafa Cabrera Bello (TS3 9.5°), Webb Simpson (TS3 10.5°), Chesson Hadley (TS2 10.5°, TS3 16.5°), Peter Uihlein (TS3 9.5°, TS2 15°) and Patton Kizzire (TS3 10.5°).

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Currie Golf Courses (Midland, MI) Votes to Retain Billy Casper Golf

(RELEASE) - Billy Casper Golf (BCG) – the innovative manager of golf courses, country clubs and resorts – was unanimously approved to continue operating Currie Golf Courses in Midland, Mich.

The Midland City Council voted on BCG’s extension for its three distinct layouts – Currie West (18 holes), Currie East (nine holes) and a par 3 course.  BCG oversees clubhouse operations, property maintenance, marketing and sales, staffing and training, food-and-beverage, financial management and other functions.

Over the past five years, BCG has significantly reduced Currie’s operating deficit, enhanced course conditions and grown junior programming.  Next year, it is expected to become a regional First Tee host location.

Currie has also solidified its status as a venerable tournament venue. In 2015, it unveiled a new driving range that will be put to good use next summer when Currie will serve as the host practice facility for the LPGA’s Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational. This past July, Currie West hosted a U.S. Amateur Qualifier.

“Billy Casper Golf has been an excellent business partner over the past five years,” says David Keenan, Assistant City Manager, City of Midland. “The vast experience and positive track record they bring to the relationship has enabled the City to achieve many of its financial and operational goals.”

“We’re proud of the way the Billy Casper Golf team has improved course conditions and service standards at Currie,” says Nick Bednar, Vice President of Operations at BCG. “This has anchored our ability to raise Currie’s profile in mid-Michigan and attract new players in droves.”

More information: www.curriegolf.com, 989.839.9600 and www.billycaspergolf.com, 703.761.1444.

Product Review: Titleist AVX and Tour Soft Golf Balls

This Christmas, don't wrap an ugly tie Dad will never wear. Give him something he'll use and love ... golf balls.

Titleist has been the "#1 ball in golf" for as long as I can remember. That's a good place to start (and finish). The company introduced a pair of new models in 2018, too.

Most recently, the Massachusetts giant unveiled the AVX. Basically, the AVX is Titleist’s lowest flying ball. It also spins less and is softer than both the Pro V1 and Pro V1x.

Earlier in the year, Titleist brought the Tour Soft to market. The Tour Soft is the softest-feeling golf ball in its category and delivers an incredible performance experience. Tour Soft’s innovative design combines the largest core ever engineered into a Titleist golf ball with ultra-thin cover technology to provide responsive feel, very fast speed for commanding distance and excellent short game performance.

The AVX retails for $47.99, while the Tour Soft goes for $34.99. More tech detail below:

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

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

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

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

Titlelst Tour Soft
* The largest Titleist core ever produces category-leading soft feel and high ball speed for commanding distance. In developing Tour Soft’s core, the Titleist Golf Ball R&D and Operations teams were challenged to surpass previously accepted core size limitations in order to produce a golf ball that feels better and is as long or longer than the competition.

* A new ultra-thin 4CE grafted cover made with TCU Process Technology generates advanced short game control. Innovations in the manufacturing process at Titleist Ball Plant 2 in Massachusetts allowed engineers to mold the extremely thin, very soft cover formulation – made from a proprietary blend of four different materials – uniformly across the surface.

* A new spherically-tiled 342 cuboctahedron dimple design, optimized for the new Tour Soft construction, delivers a penetrating trajectory and consistent flight.

* Tour Soft is available in both white and high-optic yellow.

Log onto titleist.com or visit any reputable golf retailer to load your sleigh today.

Friday, December 14, 2018

PGA Golf Club Unveils Holiday Promotions at PGA Learning Center

(PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.) – PGA Golf Club – the PGA of America’s premier 54-hole property – unveils its holiday promotions for the PGA Learning Center that include reduced fees when donating to Toys for Tots.

Through Dec. 31, guests of the PGA Learning Center who bring an unwrapped toy ($10 value or more) for Toys for Tots will receive 30 percent off the daily access fee. Blackout dates may apply.

The PGA Learning Center is also selling gift cards – the ultimate “game improvement” gift for golfers – that are valid for instruction, equipment, fittings and merchandise. Those can be purchased by visiting the PGA Learning Center or online at www.pgalearningcenter.com.

The state-of-the-art PGA Learning Center is home to the PGA of America Golf Schools, which employs innovative educational techniques and advanced game analysis technology from an elite group of PGA Professional instructors. Starting at $499, PGA of America Golf Schools offer half-day or one-, two- or three-day programs.

“Our holiday promotions not only make great gifts for golfers on your list, they also ensure children in the community have a holiday season to remember,” says Jeremy Wiernasz, General Manager. “As the only practice facility in the area, the PGA Learning Center is a spectacular venue for golfers of all ages to hone their game.”

Known as the “Ultimate Golf Resort Destination,” PGA Golf Club is home to three distinct golf courses – Wanamaker, Ryder and Dye – designed by renowned architects Tom Fazio, Jim Fazio and Pete Dye.

The Wanamaker Course ranked 18th in Golfweek’s 2018 “Best: State-by-State Courses You Can Play” rankings, while the Dye Course rose to 22nd – making PGA Golf Club one of only a handful of properties with two layouts on the respected list. The Ryder Course reopened late 2017 to rave reviews following a renovation project that enhanced the greens and surrounding areas.

A string of awards and accolades were bestowed upon PGA Golf Club in 2018. The club was the first organization to receive the Economic Development Council (EDC) of St. Lucie County’s Leadership Recognition Award. Also, PGA Head Golf Professional Holly Taylor was named the Merchandiser of the Year in the Resort Category by the Southeast Chapter of the South Florida PGA Section, and the Association of Golf Merchandisers recognized PGA Golf Club’s golf shop with its Platinum Award. PGA Golf Club’s Taplow Pub was named among the best eateries on the Treasure Coast by Indian River Magazine, and the Golf Range Association of America named the PGA Learning Center a “Top 50 Range” for the 17th consecutive year.

PGA Golf Club also offers attractive membership opportunities at competitive pricing, including a six-month Premier Seasonal Membership with limited spots available. Members will enjoy private member dining, food and beverage discounts at the 1916 Bar and Grille inside the newly renovated and expanded clubhouse, member merchandise discounts in the golf shop – all with no assessments or F&B minimums.

To learn more about PGA Golf Club, visit www.pgavillage.com.

Q Life: The Art of Fine Living at Quivira Los Cabos

New lifestyle club fosters memorable experiences with well-rounded lineup of activities

(Los Cabos, Mexico) – An all-embracing club created exclusively for residents of Quivira Los Cabos, the recently launched Q Life defines a lifestyle that goes far beyond the ownership of a home or condominium at Cabo’s premier residential community. With its synergistic approach and wide array of themed programs, Q Life inspires residents to seek new ways to enjoy a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle, inspiring physical, cultural, social, and intellectual wellness by weaving together nature, individual pursuits, and group well-being.

Situated at the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula, a sun-drenched locale known for its extraordinary desert setting at the place where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean, Quivira’s serendipitous location is ideal for the goals and objectives of Q Life.

“The real beauty of Quivira comes from living life at your own pace,” said Taber Anderson, Managing Director of Quivira Los Cabos. “We want people to put down roots and truly enjoy their time here. By celebrating the art of living well, supporting and encouraging local and regional providers, and seeking the company of those who share common values, members can transform minutes into unforgettable moments.”

According to Yessica Rintflaich, Leisure & Experiences Director at Quivira Los Cabos, “The Q Life’s collection of amenities and services make residents feel like they’re part of a vibrant community. It’s really wonderful seeing members make new friends through shared activities.”

Q Life’s six themed Pillars—Healthy Living, Cultural Experiences, Flavors, Quivira Chillin’, Cool Club, and On Four Paws—enable residents to pursue a myriad array of passions and interests.

* Healthy Living provides the tools for relaxation, healthy nutrition, and a physically active lifestyle. Residents enjoy access to the award-winning Armonia Spa Collection at Pueblo Bonito resorts, yoga classes at secluded locations with magnificent scenic views, a state-of-the-art fitness center, plus a full schedule of daily activities, from water aerobics and hiking to power walks and mountain biking on an extensive network of marked trails throughout the community.
* Cultural Experiences promotes experiences that allow residents to broaden their horizons and acquire a new appreciation for culture, starting with itinerant visual art exhibitions by rising national artists. “Learning by doing” guitar lessons, with the accent on regional songs and music, are available, as are lessons in visual arts, including painting, ceramics, and photography. Spanish lessons are also available.
* Flavors Pillar welcomes members and guests to savor all aspects of cultural cuisine, including how to appreciate the taste of fine dishes and wines, and lessons in cooking and nutrition.  Q Life’s Wine Club, guided by the resort community’s top sommeliers, offers tastings as well as cuisine pairing suggestions.
* Chillin’ Pillar creates spaces and social activities designed to promote interaction between members of the Quivira community, encouraging shared experiences. For example, owner cocktail parties are typically held every week during high season, while on-shore fishing is a great way to experience the dramatic scenery of Quivira’s privileged location. Residents also enjoy exclusive access to the private, members-only course at Quivira Golf Club, a spectacular Jack Nicklaus Signature design recently voted to Golf Digest’s “World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses” roster.
* Cool Club Pillar provides a safe and stimulating environment for children. Among the fun, educational activities available are golf lessons for kids & teens (ages 6-16) In addition, the Kids Club at Sunset Beach features arts and crafts, board games, while the Fun Lab offers arcade games, video games, pool games, movies, and more.
* On Four Paws Pillar gives the community’s four-legged companions the care they deserve. Walkers and trainers, water dispensers and waste disposal bins are located around the property, ensuring the well-being of members’ beloved pets. The guiding theme is simple: Tired dogs are calm dogs. Exercised dogs are healthy animals.

For additional information access the web site at www.quiviraloscabos.com or call +52 (624) 173 61 46 or toll free in the U.S. (866) 578-4847 or email info@quiviraloscabos.com to arrange a personal visit.

World Golf Village Introduces Seasonal Stay & Play Packages

(St. Augustine, Fla.) – The World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla. has launched its Winter and Spring Stay & Play Packages. These new golf vacation packages are designed for golf enthusiasts seeking a warm, sunny retreat to the Northeast Florida region.

The World Golf Village’s Stay & Play packages include green fees, cart fees, and range balls on the award-winning King & Bear and Slammer & Squire golf courses. The golf vacation packages also offer accommodations at the Renaissance Resort and breakfast daily at the Villagio at Renaissance Resort. Premium Callaway rental clubs and caddie services are available for additional fees with each package.

Train Like a Legend Package
The Train Like A Legend Package is for the golfer who wants to fine-tune their game during their golf getaway. This package provides three nights lodging, breakfast each morning, two days of lite training, which includes three hours of instruction per day at The PGA TOUR Golf Academy, one round of golf at each course and admission to the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum and the IMAX Theater. Rates start at $508 per person per night, based on double occupancy.

Play-All-Day Package
The Play-All-Day Package is perfect for buddy groups and offers up to 36 holes on The Slammer & Squire and The King & Bear golf courses. The package also includes two nights lodging at the Renaissance Resort World Golf Village, and breakfast each morning, along with admission to the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum and the IMAX Theater. Rates start at $440 per person per night, based on double occupancy.

The Hall of Fame Experience
The Hall of Fame Experience package is the ultimate golf vacation package for every golf enthusiast. This package includes four-nights accommodations, breakfast daily, one round on The King & Bear and The Slammer & Squire, one single club fitting for the club of your choice at The PGA TOUR Golf Academy, and admission to the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum and the IMAX Theater. Rates start at $305 per person per night, based on double occupancy.

Florida’s First Coast Golf Package
Florida’s First Coast golf package offers guests three-nights accommodations, breakfast daily, one round on The King & Bear, one round on The Slammer & Squire, and a 90-minute tune-up at The PGA TOUR Golf Academy. It also includes admission to the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum and the IMAX Theater. Rates start at $345 per person per night, based on double occupancy.

The seasonal golf packages are available through May 31, 2019. For more information or to book these packages visit, www.golfwgv.com or call 904-940-6088.

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

Bob Vokey Launches New HandGround Program on Vokey.com

(RELEASE) - Master Craftsman Bob Vokey is now offering the tour grinding experience to all golfers through the introduction of the new HandGround program on Vokey.com.

For golfers seeking tour-level customizations such as additional heel relief, a squared up leading edge, or Bob’s popular tour grind, the HandGround program is the answer.

For the last year, Bob has personally trained two grinders on all of the performance and profile adjustments that have resulted from his more than two decades of work with the world’s best players.

Bob’s passion for building relationships with individual players is the essence of the Vokey brand. Voke takes the time to listen to a player’s wants and, more importantly, their needs, when hitting wedge shots. He then takes this information back to the tour truck and starts grinding heads. The process can be lengthy, but when it is done right, it is worth the wait.

Bob will oversee the entire HandGround process – located in a new workspace adjacent to the Titleist Tour Department, inside the Titleist Golf Club headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif. – and, from time to time, will also grind HandGround orders himself.

QUOTING BOB VOKEY: “This takes me back to my roots - one player at a time, one wedge at a time, crafting the sole to the player's exact specifications.”

HANDGROUND OPTIONS: In selecting the HandGround option – currently available on all Vokey SM7 Raw models, the preferred finish of tour players worldwide – golfers will be able to choose from a variety of performance and profile adjustments (two adjustments maximum).

• Performance adjustments: As course conditions change, tour players make adjustments to their wedges to improve turf interaction by grinding material off the sole of the wedge. These grinds allow the player to change the wedge’s playing characteristics based on their unique swingtype and course conditions resulting in finely tuned performance.

Performance adjustments include:
- Pre-Worn Leading Edge
- Smooth Grind Lines
- Heel Relief
- Trailing Edge Relief

• Profile adjustments: Having the right head shape inspires confidence. Voke works with tour players to dial-in the head shape that fits each player’s eye. Profile adjustments allow the golfer to design a confidence-inspiring head shape by grinding material off the profile.

Profile adjustments include:
- Semi-Square Leading Edge
- Thin Top Line
- Tour Grind (smooths all profile lines & slightly reduces profile size)

For detailed explanations of each performance and profile adjustment, click here: https://www.vokey.com/nav/handground.aspx

HANDGROUND SETS: With F, K and L Grind wedges, golfers also have the option to make specific grind selections:


- F Grind: Make it an S Grind. For example, golfers that prefer their 52.12 F gap wedge to have a touch more versatility greenside may enjoy this option.
- K Grind: Make it a J Grind (Heel & trailing edge relief)
- L Grind: Make it an A Grind (Smooth the grind lines)

ON THE WEB: https://www.vokey.com/nav/handground.aspx

AVAILABILITY: HandGround wedges are now available on all SM7 Raw models through Vokey.com. SM7 Raw wedges – including BV Wings grip and 10-character stamping – start at $195. There is an additional $75 charge for HandGround services.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

BIG MAX Makes 'Major' Progress at Pinehurst Resort

Major Championship venue, Pinehurst Resort, joins roster of the world’s top courses to choose BIG MAX rental cart fleet 

(RELEASE) - Europe’s leading golf push cart manufacturer, BIG MAX, is delighted to report it has been chosen by U.S. Open and PGA Championship host, Pinehurst Resort, to supply the Rental Cart Fleet to the newly opened Pinehurst No.4.

The North Carolina resort, that has hosted the U.S. Open and PGA Championship, joins an illustrious list of names such as the ‘Home of Golf’ St. Andrews Old Course, to choose the BIG MAX Fleet 333C for their rental fleet. Top of the range BIG MAX rentals also feature at U.S. Open venue Chambers Bay in Washington State, Eisenhower Golf Club in Colorado Springs, across all the courses at St. Andrews’ Links Trust in Scotland, Ryder Cup venue Gleneagles, and other notable U.K. courses such as Sunningdale and Kingsbarns.

The decision to invest in BIG MAX rental carts at the new Gil Hanse designed course was relatively simple as the venue wanted a rental cart that reflected the quality on offer at the course, Rick Oldach, CEO of BIG MAX USA states, “We are proud of the fact that the most prestigious courses all over the world, such as Chambers Bay, St. Andrews and Gleneagles, choose BIG MAX rental carts, and are delighted that Pinehurst No.4 has joined the long list of top-quality courses”.

The Fleet 333C from BIG MAX is the flagship model in the rental fleet range. A soft handle with large storage compartment, 2 Quick Fix and 2 Quick Lok bases for accessories and an ultra-smooth 3 wheel ride show off the cart’s quality, while robust BIG MAX construction delivers long lasting reliability.

With more venues choosing to stock quality rentals, BIG MAX’s drive to get more people walking the course is set to gain pace. And with the list of BIG MAX rental venues beginning to look like a Top 100 course list, golfers know that wherever you find BIG MAX you’ll find quality.

More information: www.bigmaxgolf.com

Linda Hartough Golf Landscapes Offers Gift with Order for the Holidays

(HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C.) – Linda Hartough, a world-renowned golf-landscape artist (
www.hartough.com) and a 2017 inductee into the Lowcountry Golf Hall of Fame, is offering a free box of notecards with each order now through Dec. 25.

“It is our pleasure to offer this gift to accompany all orders during this holiday season,” said Hartough. “The notecards, depicting various golf courses I have painted, can be given as special gifts or kept for later use.”

The code to receive the gift of a box of notecards with each order is: Present

Orders may be placed at Hartough.com.

Billy Casper Golf Earns Unanimous Vote to Continue Managing Currie Golf Courses (Midland, MI)

(RESTON, VA) – Billy Casper Golf – the innovative manager of golf courses, country clubs and resorts – was unanimously approved to continue operating Currie Golf Courses in Midland, Mich.

The Midland City Council voted on BCG’s extension for its three distinct layouts – Currie West (18 holes), Currie East (nine holes) and a par 3 course.  BCG oversees clubhouse operations, property maintenance, marketing and sales, staffing and training, food-and-beverage, financial management and other functions.

Over the past five years, BCG has significantly reduced Currie’s operating deficit, enhanced course conditions and grown junior programming.  Next year, it is expected to become a regional First Tee host location.

Currie has also solidified its status as a venerable tournament venue. In 2015, it unveiled a new driving range that will be put to good use next summer when Currie will serve as the host practice facility for the LPGA’s Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational. This past July, Currie West hosted a U.S. Amateur Qualifier.

“Billy Casper Golf has been an excellent business partner over the past five years,” says David Keenan, Assistant City Manager, City of Midland. “The vast experience and positive track record they bring to the relationship has enabled the City to achieve many of its financial and operational goals.”

“We’re proud of the way the Billy Casper Golf team has improved course conditions and service standards at Currie,” says Nick Bednar, Vice President of Operations at BCG. “This has anchored our ability to raise Currie’s profile in mid-Michigan and attract new players in droves.”

More information: www.curriegolf.com, 989.839.9600 and www.billycaspergolf.com, 703.761.1444.

Cascata Named to Golfweek's Ranking of "Best 100 Resort Courses"

(Boulder City, Nev.) – In Golfweek’s newly published “Ultimate Guide” of “Best Courses” for 2019, Cascata debuted at No. 51 in the publication’s ranking of “Best 100 Resort Courses.” The new ranking marks the first time Cascata has appeared on Golfweek’s prestigious “Best Resort Courses” list. Designed by Rees Jones and once reserved only for the highest of rollers in Las Vegas, Cascata is now a unique experience that is open to resort play, regardless of resort affiliation and residency status.

Since opening, Cascata has received numerous accolades, including being named No. 60 on Golf Digest’s 2017 list of “America’s Top 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses”; No. 60 on GOLF Magazine’s 2016 ranking of “Top 100 Courses You Can Play in the U.S.”; and it’s annually ranked as the No. 2 “Best Golf Course You Can Play in Nevada” by both Golfweek and GOLF Magazine.

Cascata's private gates open to a spectacular landscape that forms a regal backdrop for a golf experience like no other. The par-72 course features stunning vistas at every turn, including the 3,600-foot peak at Red Mountain, impeccably manicured fairways, lakes, and meandering streams. When building a golf course in the desert, most of the time an architect must create just about all the variation in the individual holes because the land is somewhat flat and featureless. The rocks and valleys at Cascata took care of that problem naturally.

"We routed the holes through the canyons and between the 'dunes,' so each one is different and there are many places on the course where you can't see any other holes," said architect Jones of Cascata. "It's the 8th wonder of the golfing world as far as I'm concerned."

For more information on Cascata, call 702.294.2005 or visit cascatagolf.com.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Gene’s Dream Foundation Donates $50,000 to First Tee of Coastal Carolinas

“Game-Changing” Donation was a Result of Mentor Cup

(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) - The Gene’s Dream Foundation is already impacting the lives of children along the Grand Strand through the game of golf. Just weeks after the inaugural Mentor Cup was played, the Gene’s Dream Foundation presented a check for $50,000 to the First Tee of the Coastal Carolinas.

The money was raised via the Mentor Cup, a two-day event that included a gala dinner at the Surf Club, a tournament at Tidewater Golf Club, and an unforgettable stand-up performance by the legendary David Feherty.

The Gene’s Dream Foundation was created to honor Gene Weldon, a revered PGA professional who worked in the Myrtle Beach market for nearly 50 years before passing away in 2017. Weldon mentored countless kids during his career, including golf media star Kelly Tilghman, who founded the organization.

"It’s an honor and a privilege for our entire team to be able to see Gene’s wishes through," said Kelly Tilghman, who founded Gene's Dream and the Mentor Cup. "It’s such a bonus to be able to deliver this kind of return in our first go-round, thanks in large part to the passionate support from our community. The inaugural Mentor Cup weekend exceeded everyone’s expectations. We look forward to continuing this mission."

"As a foundation in honor of my father, we are proud to continue his dream of having a positive impact on the lives of children through the game of golf," said Wil Weldon, president of the Gene's Dream Foundation. "Our goal is to grow The Mentor Cup in order to create a sustainable resource for the children in our local communities.  We hope to continue his dream for many years to come."

“That $50,000 is a real game-changer for the First Tee of the Coastal Carolinas,” said Rich Abraham, the executive director of the First Tee of the Coastal Carolinas. “We operate very lean, and this will help us expand our programs for kids along the Grand Strand and in Brunswick County. Beyond the financial impact, events like the Mentor Cup are great for our kids, giving them a taste of competition and the opportunity to be mentored by community leaders.”

The golf tournament featured a unique format as 60 kids were paired with 60 adults and each nine featured a different format of play. The front nine was captain’s choice while players played modified alternate shot on the back at Tidewater, one of the Grand Strand’s most scenic courses.

Building on the success of the inaugural event, the Mentor Cup has been selected to serve as a qualifier for the Liberty Mutual Insurance Invitational, the No. 1 charity event in golf. The winner of the 2019 Mentor Cup will be invited to play in the Liberty Mutual Insurance Invitational National Finals at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island.

For more information, go to GenesDream.com or MentorCup.com.

Product Review: PeakVision GX5 Sunglasses

You wear sunscreen to protect your skin and a hat to shade the top of your head. Sun safety is no joke. What are you doing to protect your eyes while playing golf?

The obvious answer should be “wear sunglasses.” Far too many people, however, are ignoring this extremely important safety measure. The most common excuse has to do with distortion. Wearing sunglasses while playing golf used to make it seem as though you were constantly playing downhill. 

That was then … This is now. Technology has advanced so far in recent years that there is zero difference in vision between wearing - or not wearing - sunglasses. And PeakVision is at the forefront of the charge.

Take the GX5, for instance. This frame boasts PeakVision’s proprietary Zero-Distortion optics and features patented Dual-Zone Hybrid Optics lens technology. These block harmful UV rays while delivering the clearest, sharpest vision in both bright and dim light.

The frame is highly flexible and incredibly lightweight, as well. And the nose pads are completely adjustable, leading to luxurious comfort and stability.

Time out. Let’s take a step back and discuss Dual-Zone HYBRID Optics. The neutral-gray upper zone manages glare, while the amber lower zone increases contrast. The sun is minimized and the turf is now high definition!

Another complaint I hear about using sunglasses on the golf course (or any sport, really) is the ease at which they’re ruined. PeakVision has an answer for that, too.

In addition to the aforementioned flexibility, the GX5 is also highly impact resistant and feature a “super-hydrophobic liquid repellent coating.” Whether you sweat a lot or get caught in a downpour, your shades are covered. As for the lens - which is the money maker of any pair of sunglasses - an oleophobic smudge-resistant coating helps keep them crisp and clear.

Sunglasses make a great gift idea and show the golfer in your life that you care. Visit peakvision.com to check out the GX5 or other options for both sport and fashion.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Jimmy Terry Promoted to PGA Senior Director of PGA Golf Properties

Terry to Oversee PGA Frisco, Valhalla Golf Club and PGA Golf Club; 
Jeremy Wiernasz Promoted to GM/PGA Director of Golf at PGA Golf Club

(PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.) – Jimmy Terry, PGA—who has served more than five years as General Manager of PGA Golf Club and steered its resurgence by leading the facility’s highly acclaimed golf course and clubhouse renovations—has been promoted to Senior Director of PGA Golf Properties. He will now oversee the newly announced PGA Frisco development in Texas; Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky; and PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

In addition, Jeremy Wiernasz, PGA was also promoted to General Manager/Director of Golf Operations at PGA Golf Club. Since 2013, Wiernasz served solely as Director of Golf Operations. PGA Golf Club is home to three highly-decorated courses designed by renowned architects Tom Fazio and Pete Dye. Wiernasz will be responsible for managing all programs, sales, marketing and community relations programs at the facility. Wiernasz will continue to report to Terry.

Terry will have a significant role in guiding the development of the golf-related facilities at PGA Frisco, which includes two championship golf courses, a short course totaling 45 holes, practice areas and a clubhouse. The golf facility is expected to debut in June 2022.

The half-billion dollar PGA Frisco project will also serve as the future home of PGA Headquarters, a 500-room Omni resort and 127,000-square-foot conference center; a technologically advanced retail village; parks and open space; and several miles of trails.

He will also steer Valhalla Golf Club, the PGA’s flagship private facility. Designed by all-time major Champion Jack Nicklaus, Valhalla Golf Club is ranked No. 1 in Kentucky and among the “America’s 100 Greatest Courses” by Golf Digest. Valhalla has hosted six Major Championships since opening in 1986—and will also host the 2024 PGA Championship.

Terry, previously served as PGA Senior General Manager for PGA Tour Golf Course Properties at both TPC San Antonio and TPC Harding Park, in San Francisco. TPC San Antonio annually hosts the PGA Tour's Valero Texas Open. As well, TPC Harding Park continues to be considered one of the top municipal courses in the country and will host the 2020 PGA Championship.

“It’s an honor to lead three world-class facilities at PGA Frisco, Valhalla Golf Club and PGA Golf Club," said Terry. "I am excited about the opportunity to steer the future of PGA Golf Properties and our dedicated staff, as we promote the PGA Member and further grow the game. With PGA Frisco, we have a special canvas to create an innovative development that serves as a centerpiece for golf for the next 50 years.”

A PGA Member since 2002, Wiernasz previously served as PGA Head Professional at TPC San Antonio (2009-’12) and PGA Head Professional/Director of Business Development at TPC Las Vegas (2012-’13).

“I am excited to lead PGA Golf Club, as we build upon the great success we have had the past five years,” said Wiernasz. “I look forward to further working with our team to deliver on our brand promise for our PGA Members, Club Members and guests."

Wiernasz is a 1996 graduate of Methodist College, in Fayetteville, North Carolina, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Golf Management.

Under the leadership of Terry and Wiernasz, PGA Golf Club received several honors and recognitions including: Golf Inc.’s “Most Improved Courses of the Year” award; the Wanamaker and Dye Courses ranked among the “Best State-by-State Courses” by Golfweek; an Association of Golf Merchandisers (AGM) Platinum Award Winner for four consecutive years; and the recipient of the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County’s first-ever Leadership Recognition Award, for the club’s contributions and positive impact on the county over the years.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Five Pinehurst Area Courses Named Among Golfweek's Top 100 List

Annual Rankings List the Top Resort Courses in the United States

(PINEHURST, N.C.) – Five Pinehurst area golf courses have been named to Golfweek’s 2019 Top 100 Resort Courses in the United States. The courses (with rankings in parenthesis) include: Pinehurst No. 2 (#3); Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club (#29); Pine Needles Club and Lodge (#37); Tobacco Road (#59) and Pinehurst No. 8 (#69). The rankings were published in the magazine’s Ultimate Guide for resort and residential courses.

“Golfers love lists and they love to play the top courses in the country,” said Phil Werz, president and CEO for the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “There’s no question Pinehurst No. 4 is a top 100 course as well, but with its redesign this year, timing did not allow for it to be included. No. 4 is part of the list in our mind and will rank highly next year. Overall, our destination is synonymous with world-class golf and with 40 courses within 15 miles of each other here, we are the proud ‘Home of American Golf’.”

Every year, Golfweek enlists an elite team of course raters, which currently boasts more than 850 evaluators and surveys more than 3,600 courses – grading each nominated course on the basis of 10 strict standards of evaluation. Collectively, the raters turned in more than 75,000 votes to compile their 2019 best courses lists.

Pinehurst area golf courses are no strangers to the national and global stage when it comes to major championships. In 2019, Pine Needles will host the U.S. Senior Women’s Open, May 16-19. Pinehurst No. 2 and No. 4 will welcome competitors for the U.S. Amateur, August 12-18. Both of those events are sanctioned by the United States Golf Association (USGA).

For more information about all golf courses in the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen area, visit HomeofGolf.com.

Pipeline Marketing Announces Strategic Partnership with Golf Photographer Channing Benjamin

Two golf industry-leaders are teaming up to help golf and country clubs enhance their branding

(LOS ANGELES) - Pipeline, a leading branding and marketing agency for private clubs on Monday announced a strategic partnership with Channing Benjamin, one of the most sought-after golf photographers today. The two industry-leaders are teaming up to integrate their services to help country clubs and golf course communities enhance their branding and market their memberships and real estate more effectively.

Channing Benjamin is widely regarded as one of the best in the world of golf photography. His work has been featured prominently in publications such as Golf Digest, Caddie Magazine, Golf & Entrepreneurship Magazine, NGF Golf Quarterly, The Golfers Journal, and more. Channing has been independently voted the number one social media "must follow" golf photographer by Golfwrx.com, GolfGods of Australia, Wilfore’s Golf Social Media Guide and Waypoint.

As a past international concert video director for many of the top music artists in the world including Justin Timberlake and Prince, Channing uses his skills in creative marketing and art direction to produce the highest quality professional imagery.

“Channing's fine art photo style offers a fresh and original approach to the industry and fits incredibly well within our suite of private club marketing services,” said Mike Phelps, Pipeline’s CEO. “His ability to capture the real beauty of the world’s golf courses through unique photographic perspectives not only elevates the marketing effort but also creates meaningful distinction for our clients with visual assets that will stand apart from typical golf photography for years to come.”

Over the past decade, Pipeline has established a reputation as a top branding and marketing agency for private country clubs and lifestyle focused real estate communities. Their current portfolio includes over 70 clients that span a variety of mid-tier and high-end country clubs, social clubs, golf clubs, yacht clubs, ski clubs and a variety of HOA’s and real estate communities.

“Pipeline is the best in the industry at creative brand storytelling that resonates with today’s prospective members and residents,” explains Benjamin. “They are innovators when it comes to brand building and designing relevant storytelling campaigns that build long-term equity. Our philosophies are completely aligned.”

The partnership will integrate Benjamin’s services into Pipeline’s top-tier suite of marketing services, allowing golf clubs and golf course communities to have one integrated solution provider for all production, design, development and brand activation services.

“It can be hard for clubs to justify the expense of photography – it rarely makes the final budget,” says Phelps. “But one of the things we love about this partnership with Channing is that we’re now able to take that upfront cost and spread it out over the duration of a campaign… and our campaigns that use high-quality visual assets pay quick dividends. Plus, clubs get to keep the photos to use for whatever they like down the road.”

More information about Pipeline can be found on their website at www.pipeline.agency. More information about Channing Benjamin can be found at www.channingbenjamin.com or via Instagram at @channingbenjaminphotography.

Desert Mountain Voted No. 1 Private Country Club in Arizona - Among Top Nationwide

(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) — Desert Mountain Club has earned recognition on the prestigious list of Top 150 Country Clubs in the nation, as No. 19 overall and No. 1 in Arizona, in the Platinum Clubs of America 2019-2020 voting.

The biennial Platinum Clubs of America program identifies the top five percent of the 4,500-plus private clubs in the country. Voting by general managers, club presidents and owners, along with a comprehensive and facilities audit, makes Platinum recognition the most respected acknowledgment in the industry. Desert Mountain Club was far and away the leading club from Arizona with a score of 60.94 points on the Platinum Clubs certified rating system, the next closest being ranked No. 81.

“It always is a special honor to be recognized by your peers,” said Desert Mountain Club CEO Damon DiOrio. “Platinum recognition is the most respected award in the industry. Our members, management and staff play significant roles in being acknowledged as a Platinum Club of America. We all work together to support the club’s vision, achieve its goals and anticipate the needs and interests of the membership, as well as prospective members.”

Already ranked on the list of Platinum Clubs World Top 100 Golf & Country Clubs (No. 76), Desert Mountain Club is the only private community in the world with six Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses. Desert Mountain will open a new, 18-hole par-54 course – named No. 7 at Desert Mountain – in early 2019 and celebrate the reopening of its original course, Renegade, following an extensive renovation.

While golf remains at the heart of Desert Mountain Club – which serves more than 1,900 golf members – new programming and amenities are evolving to serve the club’s growing interests. Members are seeking a multitude of experiences and have access to nine restaurants and grills, a nine-court tennis complex with three different playing surfaces, horseback riding, luxury camping, pickleball, croquet, Pilates, moonlit hikes, mountain biking and much more.

“As a premiere golf and outdoor recreation community, our amenities are geared toward providing a variety of health and wellness opportunities which reflect the values of the community,” DiOrio said. “We strive to elevate a tradition of excellence that create lifelong memories and experiences that exceed our member’s expectations every time they are at Desert Mountain Club.”

Platinum Clubs of America, launched in 1997, has earned the reputation as the most respected recognition in the industry. Clubs are judged for their traditional history, ability to attract and retain exceptional members and for the experience they deliver. Voting revolves around multiple aspects of private clubs, using the Seven Selection Criteria. 1) Universal Recognition, 2) Excellence in Amenities and Facilities, 3) Caliber of Staff and Professional Services Levels, 4) Quality and Commitment of Membership, 5) Governance and Prudent Fiscal Management, 6) Adapting to Changing Times, 7) Overall Experience.

For additional information on Desert Mountain Club, visit www.desertmountain.com.

World Long Drive Association Announces 2019 Schedule

New Event to Feature Military Service Members Competing Alongside World Long Drive Athletes in Fort Jackson (S.C.) in May

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – The World Long Drive Association (WLD) announced its 2019 schedule today, featuring an increased number of televised events airing live on Golf Channel: six, as well as more than a dozen qualifiers around the world offering exemptions into the season-ending Volvik World Long Drive Championship (Aug. 30-Sept. 4). In 2018, WLD posted its most-viewed season ever, with 8.3 million unique viewers (+23% year-over-year) according to data released by The Nielsen Company.

A new highlight of the 2019 WLD schedule will be the inaugural Celebrating Service: Fort Jackson event, presented by The Exchange and American Greetings. The event will feature a division represented by military service members competing alongside World Long Drive athletes, and will contribute to a stretch of televised WLD events airing live on Golf Channel each month from April-September:

2019 World Long Drive Association Events Airing Live on Golf Channel:
April 16 Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun (Maricopa, Ariz.)
May 7 Celebrating Service: Fort Jackson (Fort Jackson, S.C.)
June 5 Atlantic City Boardwalk Bash (Atlantic City, N.J.)
July 24 TBA Event
Aug. 12 Tennessee Big Shots benefiting Niswonger Children’s Hospital (Kingsport, Tenn.)
Sept. 3-4 Volvik World Long Drive Championship (Texas/Oklahoma border)

“The momentum and growth WLD is experiencing is a testament to the dynamic personalities and extraordinary talents of our competitors, driving the sport’s most-viewed season, as well as global engagement to an international audience across 66 countries in 2018,” said Matt Farrell, executive director, World Long Drive Association. “With the support of our partners in 2019, viewers will be able to connect with our competitors on an even deeper level, with events airing on Golf Channel each month beginning in April and leading up to the Volvik World Long Drive Championship.”

Celebrating Service: Fort Jackson to Highlight Service Members: The Celebrating Service: Fort Jackson event will be staged in partnership with AAFES (Army & Air Force Exchange Service) and IMCOM (United States Army Installation Management Command). The military division will consist of those having advanced from 12 preliminary qualifying events at U.S. Army bases around the country (March-April) leading up to the Fort Jackson event in May. Qualifying is open to all active, reserve and retired Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy service members. The winner of the military division in Fort Jackson also will earn an exemption into the field at the 2019 Volvik World Long Drive Championship.

“The Exchange is truly honored to partner with the Army’s Installation Management Command to support this event,” said Tom Shull, Executive Director/CEO, Army & Air Force Exchange Service. “The Exchange and IMCOM go hand-in-hand, supporting Quality-of-Life programs in military communities worldwide to ensure service members stay ready and resilient.”

“On behalf of the United States Army and Installation Management Command, I’m excited for the opportunity this event provides for our Service Members,” said Lieutenant General Bradley A. Becker. “The Soldiers of America’s Army are rugged professionals with a wide variety of talent they develop to make our Army the best in the world. In this event, a few special Soldiers will get to demonstrate the focus, timing and discipline it takes to compete alongside the best in the world, and to showcase Fort Jackson, one of the places where we start the process of training citizens to become Soldiers.”

Qualifiers Offer Spots Into Volvik World Long Drive Championship Field: In addition to the Tour events, nine official Volvik World Long Drive Championship qualifiers will take place throughout North America, offering exemptions into the World Championship for those aspiring to compete alongside the sport’s longest hitters. Showcasing the truly global nature of World Long Drive, several additional qualifying events will be staged in 2019 through officially sanctioned WLD international partners, including stops in Australia, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

Wilson Unveils D7 Irons with RE-AKT Technology

The new line of irons features progressive power holes to provide longer distances and maximum feel

(CHICAGO) – Today, Wilson Sporting Goods officially launched the ground-breaking, super game improvement Wilson Staff D7 distance irons for the 2019 season. Combining the aesthetics from the award-winning FG Tour V6 and C300 irons with ground-breaking game improvement technology, the new D7 line gives golfers greater distance and a more consistent performance during each round on the course.

With the “D” in D7 standing for distance, the new line of irons integrates Wilson’s RE-AKT technology to provide golfers power where it is needed most. Featuring three rows of Power Holes in the long irons (4-7) and Wilson’s thinnest club face ever, the D7 irons ensure golfers get maximum distance due to the greater responsiveness off the club face.

“The D7 line is our latest instalment of game improvement irons that will give golfers increased distances on the longer irons and precision with the shorter clubs,” said Jon Pergande, Manager, of Wilson Golf Club Innovation. “Our RE-AKT technology and ultra-thin, responsive club face increases ball speeds to help produce maximum distances, while the shorter clubs give golfers a greater feel and more distance control.”

With fewer Power Holes than the longer irons and optimized weighting, the shorter D7 irons are ideal for golfers seeking maximum feel and precise distance control when approaching the green.

The new design aesthetics of the club face include straighter lines, a cleaner topline and improved weighting. The irons are outfitted with Recoil Series Graphite shafts, available in A, R and S flexes at 65 grams. KBS Tour 80 Steel shafts are also available in R and S flexes.

The D7 irons will be available on Wilson.com and retailers starting on Friday, Jan. 17, 2019. Retail price for the D7 irons is $599.99 Steel, $699.99 Graphite and $799.99 Combo.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Colony West Reveals Greens Renovation

(TAMARAC, FL) – Colony West Golf Club – a Billy Casper Golf-managed club 15 miles northwest of Fort Lauderdale – reopened its Championship Course after renovating all 18 greens.

The four-month project returned the greens to their original size and transitioned the turf to Tiff Eagle bermudagrass. In addition, the irrigation system was updated and sand was added to the greenside bunkers. There were also enhancements to improve the cart paths.

“We are thrilled to unveil the Championship Course’s new and improved putting surfaces,” says Dan Zimmer, BCG VP of Operations. “This was the first greens renovation since the course was built in 1971 and the increase in size will allow for new and exciting pin placements.”

The greens renovation was the first project in an aggressive renovation program which includes the addition of a 107-room Fairfield Inn, new clubhouse, and new cart barn, which are scheduled to be completed by early 2020.

Opened in 1971 for the Jackie Gleason Classic (renamed the Honda Classic), Colony West’s Championship Course remains one of the most challenging layouts in South Florida. The par 65 Glades Course is a perfect complement to the Championship Course as the executive layout is ideal for those new to the game. The City of Tamarac purchased the courses in 2011 and brought on BCG to manage the facility in 2013.

“This project represents a big investment in the future of the City of Tamarac,” says City Manager Michael Cernich. “We look forward to building on our reputation as ‘The City for Your Life’ as we continue to provide an exceptional community for our residents and visitors alike.”

More information: www.colonywestgolfclub.com, 954.721.7710

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Golf Films' - 27 Years: The Exoneration of Valentino Dixon, Premieres Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. ET

Narrated by Actor Wendell Pierce, Film Chronicles How a Golf Course Drawing Began a Chain of Events that would Lead to Dixon’s Release from Prison

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – For 27 years, Valentino Dixon had been serving a 33 1/3 years to life sentence in prison for a murder he claims he did not commit. This past September, Dixon was released from prison following a series of events that began with a sketch depicting one of golf’s most iconic holes. Golf Channel’s latest Golf Films project, 27 Years: The Exoneration of Valentino Dixon unravels how Dixon’s drawing ultimately led to newly-discovered evidence pointing toward his innocence, and follows Dixon as he visits picturesque Pebble Beach, the first golf course he’d ever seen in person.

Premiering on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. ET on Golf Channel and narrated by actor Wendell Pierce (The Wire, Suits, Jack Ryan), the film – featuring new interviews with key individuals involved in the case – will expand on the initial Golf Digest story in 2012 and Golf Channel’s Emmy-nominated feature in 2013 that helped bring national attention to the case that would lead to Dixon’s eventual release.

“I had nine lawyers in 27 years. If [someone told] me this was hopeless, then I was going to find another lawyer, or find a way to get the story out.” – Valentino Dixon

His ultimate vindication began with a sketch of Augusta National Golf Club’s famed par-3 12th hole at the request of Attica Correctional Facility’s (Attica, N.Y.) superintendent. Having never stepped foot on a golf course, Dixon was attracted to the peacefulness of sketching the golf hole. He subsequently was given copies of Golf Digest magazines, and he began to sketch pictures inspired by the holes he was paging through.

“I can’t explain it. It’s peaceful. The only time I really had any peace from where I came from was when my dad took me fishing. Drawing golf courses kind of reminded me of that.” – Dixon

“I put my headphones on. I got my pencils and my paper. I’m drawing for 10 hours and blocking it all out. That is how I did my last 20 years.” – Dixon

“I have never hit a golf ball. I have never set foot on a golf course. Everything I draw is from inside a 6x10 prison cell.” – Dixon

Dixon began to read the Golf Digest stories, and wrote a letter to Golf Digest’s Max Adler about his story in Attica, and included two drawings with the letter, for consideration for their “Golf Saved My Life,” column. The magazine ran a first-person essay from Dixon in the July 2012 issue, along with an investigative story from Adler on Dixon’s case.

“I had just read Max’s article, and I had to go and take the temperature myself. I just thought it was a really compelling story…Dixon’s entire life is a cinder block cell with bars on one side of it, and there is one thing that occupies him: Getting somebody to listen to his truth.” – Golf Channel/NBC Sports reporter Jimmy Roberts

In 2013, Golf Channel/NBC Sports reporter Jimmy Roberts featured Dixon’s story from Attica. The story included on-camera interviews with not only Dixon, but also LaMarr Scott, who was serving his own sentence in Attica on an unrelated charge. During the course of those interviews with Roberts, Scott claimed he had in fact committed the crime Dixon was convicted of in 1991.

The feature provided renewed awareness of the case to a national television audience, ultimately making its way to Marc Howard and Martin Tankleff.

A professor of government and law at Georgetown University, Howard also is the founding director of the Prisons and Justice Initiative, one of the leading voices and advocates for criminal justice and prison reform in the United States. He, along with Tankleff – an adjunct professor at Georgetown who served 18 years in prison before having his own murder conviction overturned – taught a class at Georgetown where students would reinvestigate cases. The students’ assignment was to create a documentary film that would make the case – if they believed it to be true – for a person’s innocence. The students’ film on Dixon’s case – including newly-discovered evidence in addition to the original Golf Digest article and Golf Channel interviews with Dixon and Scott – was presented by Dixon’s attorney to the Erie County District Attorney’s office, along with a motion filed to have Dixon’s conviction vacated.

On Sept. 19, Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn consented to an order to vacate the murder, attempted murder and assault convictions against Dixon, and he was released from prison. Five weeks later, Golf Channel cameras traveled with Dixon and his daughter Valentina Dixon – who was four months old when Dixon went to prison – to famed Pebble Beach Golf Links in California. It was Dixon’s first time ever stepping foot on a golf course, and it also began a new chapter of drawing holes using his own eyesight, instead of sketching them based off pictures from a magazine.

“The hardest thing was watching my kids grow up without me. That was the hardest thing. That was very painful.” – Dixon

27 Years: The Exoneration of Valentino Dixon is produced by Golf Films, a collection of more than 20 award-winning and critically acclaimed projects centering around golf, including Arnie and Jack, three-part films on Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. 27 years is co-directed by James Ponti, an Edgar-award winning mystery author and Ryan Griffiths, who produced Golf Channel’s Emmy-nominated feature on Dixon in 2013. Other award-winning Golf Films projects include the Emmy-nominated Payne on the late Payne Stewart; Go Down Swinging: ’99 Open at Carnoustie, highlighting one of the most unforgettable collapses ever in major championship golf; Summer of ’76, recounting the 1976 Open at Royal Birkdale; Driven: Oklahoma State Cowboys, executive produced by Rickie Fowler; Arnie & Me, a follow-up, fourth installment of Arnie; ’86, a chronicle of Nicklaus’ final major championship win at the 1986 Masters; Ben Crenshaw: A Walk Through Augusta, on the two-time Masters champion’s special relationship with the tournament; Uneven Fairways, recognizing African-American golfers who had the courage to stand up for their rights and pave the way for future generations; and American Triumvirate, a look at the collective contributions of golf legends Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson and Sam Snead, all born within three months of one another in 1912.

#ProvingIt Documentaries - Justin Thomas - Part 2

I can watch JT's swing all day long. So sweet!

www.titleist.com

University of North Texas, PGA of America Sign Memorandum of Understanding

Begin collaboration on education, research, branding initiatives

(FRISCO (UNT)) —  To develop unparalleled educational opportunities for students in fields related to sport entertainment management, the University of North Texas and the Professional Golfers’ Association of America signed a memorandum of understanding on education, research and branding initiatives for both entities.

The signing of the memorandum follows the PGA of America’s announced intent to relocate its headquarters to Frisco, Texas, a hotbed of sport entertainment activity and the location of UNT’s Frisco campus, including its sport entertainment management program.

“By partnering with the PGA of America, UNT hopes to develop unique internship and volunteer opportunities for students, conduct research and collect data on behalf of the PGA and develop educational programs for the PGA’s 29,000 professionals,” said UNT President Neal Smatresk.
 
The memorandum of understanding highlights each entity’s intent to work together, including through the enhancement of UNT’s curriculum in areas related to sport management and hospitality, while simultaneously providing the PGA with outreach opportunities in areas related to the sport and business of golf.
 
“With PGA Frisco, the PGA of America begins an exciting new chapter in our 102-year history," said PGA of America Chief Membership Officer John Easterbrook. "Partnering with the University of North Texas to help develop tomorrow’s sports industry leaders is another way we are helping the game of golf evolve and grow. We are committed to providing our PGA Golf Professionals with educational opportunities to advance their careers.  Connecting with UNT, which offers a premier sport entertainment management curriculum, is an exciting way to help our members remain the true experts in their fields. We believe the PGA and UNT will form one of the most meaningful bonds in golf.”    
 
UNT’s agreement with the PGA of America increases its growing portfolio of partnerships with professional sports organizations, which includes the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Motor Speedway.
 
“The PGA’s move to Frisco is very exciting and there are tremendous opportunities for our students and faculty to learn and grow through our partnership with such a prominent organization," said Smatresk.

For more information about the PGA of America, visit PGA.org.

Friday, December 7, 2018

BIG MAX - Celebrate the Holidays with Exclusive Gifts for Golfers

(RELEASE) - BIG MAX are celebrating the holidays by offering gifts for golfers with purchases of its award-winning Aqua bag and Fold Flat Push Cart line. The festive offers will see golfers who purchase one of BIG MAX’S acclaimed Aqua bag line receive a free U.V. resistant Aqua Umbrella while purchases from the brand’s award-winning Fold Flat line will have the added value of an exclusive Flight Bag.

The technology underpinning the Aqua line is the BIG MAX Drop-Stop system that guarantees the bags are 100% waterproof. Using waterproof fabric with sealed seams and specially designed Japanese waterproof zippers the Aqua range delivers an unrivalled level of waterproofing.

Ultra-lightweight, tear resistant materials complete the bag’s robust practicality and then each bag in the line adds its own take on making a golfer’s life on the course just that little bit easier. Bags in the line include the Aqua Sport 2, Aqua Wave, Aqua Ocean, Dri Lite Active and Dri Lite G, each of which can be colour co-ordinated with the free Aqua U.V. umbrella.

The second offer sees golfers getting a free BIG MAX Flight Bag when they purchase from the award-winning Fold Flat Cart line, that includes the Blade IP, Blade Quattro and Autofold FF Push Cart.

The BIG MAX unique Fold Flat technology means wheels flip neatly under the cart in one swift movement leaving it completely flat for transport and storage. With each of the three carts suiting different golfers’ needs, it isn’t surprising that the carts in this line have won multiple awards. And you can now get added protection for your cart, absolutely free, with the stylish durable Flight Bag that will keep your Fold Flat cart safe and secure when your kit is on the move.

For more information please visit www.us.bigmaxgolf.co.uk.

37 Troon-Affiliated Facilities Named to Golfweek's Best Resort, Residential and Caribbean/Mexico Courses

(Scottsdale, Ariz.) – Troon, the leader in golf course management, development, and marketing, has 37 of its affiliated courses featured in Golfweek’s newly published “Ultimate Guide” of “Best Courses” for 2019.

Nineteen Troon-affiliated golf courses are represented on the “Best 200 Resort Courses” list, led by Kapalua’s Plantation Course on Maui, Hawaii at No. 16; Cascata Golf Club in Boulder City, Nevada at No. 51; Pronghorn’s Nicklaus Course in Bend, Oregon at No. 52; and Princeville Makai Golf Club on Kauai is ranked No. 54.

Fifteen Troon-managed facilities are included in the “Best 200 Residential Courses,” led by Pronghorn’s Fazio Course in Bend at No. 12; Quintero Golf Club in Peoria, Arizona, at No. 64; Champion Hills in Hendersonville, North Carolina at No. 67; Troon Country Club in Scottsdale, Arizona at No. 79; and Wickenburg Ranch Golf & Social Club in Wickenburg, Arizona at No. 86.

Three of Troon’s facilities are ranked in the “Best 50 Courses of the Caribbean and Mexico,” including Port Royal Golf Club in Southampton, Bermuda at No. 25, Ocean Club in the Bahamas at No. 40 and Bahia Beach Resort & Golf Club in Puerto Rico at No. 45.

The 37 Troon-managed or affiliated courses that received recognition by Golfweek include:

Best 100 Resort Courses
No. 16   Kapalua (Plantation) – Maui, Hawaii
No. 51   Cascata Golf Club – Boulder City, Nevada
No. 52   Pronghorn (Nicklaus) – Bend, Oregon
No. 54   Princeville Makai Golf Club – Kauai, Hawaii
No. 89   Ak-Chin Southern Dunes – Maricopa, Arizona
No. 95   Troon North (Monument) – Scottsdale, Arizona
No. 96   Troon North (Pinnacle) – Scottsdale, Arizona

Next Best 100 Resort Courses
No. 112 Turtle Bay Resort – Oahu, Hawaii
No. 113 Yocha Dehe at Cache Creek Casino – Brooks, California
No. 135 Indian Wells Golf Resort (Celebrity) – Indian Wells, California
No. 138 Lake of Isles (North) – North Stonington, Connecticut
No. 142 Indian Wells Golf Resort (Players) – Indian Wells, California
No. 149 Silverado Resort & Spa (North) – Napa, California
No. 153 Boulders Resort (North) – Carefree, Arizona
No. 162 La Cantera Resort (Palmer) – San Antonio, Texas
No. 165 Kapalua (Bay) – Maui, Hawaii
No. 178 Boulders Resort (South) – Carefree, Arizona
No. 183 Grand Bear – Saucier, Mississippi
No. 184 Mauna Lani (North) – Kohala Coast, Hawai‘i

Best 100 Residential Courses
No. 12   Pronghorn (Fazio) – Bend, Oregon
No. 64   Quintero Golf Club – Peoria, Arizona
No. 67   Champion Hills – Hendersonville, North Carolina
No. 79   Troon Country Club – Scottsdale, Arizona
No. 86   Wickenburg Ranch Golf & Social Club – Wickenburg, Arizona
No. 92   Pine Canyon Club – Flagstaff, Arizona
No. 94   The Powder Horn Golf Club – Sheridan, Wyoming

Next Best 100 Residential Courses
No. 113 Belfair (West) – Bluffton, South Carolina
No. 121 Red Ledges – Heber City, Utah
No. 130 Club at Porto Cima – Sunrise Beach, Missouri
No. 139 Seven Canyons Club – Sedona, Arizona
No. 148 Belfair (East) – Bluffton, South Carolina
No. 156 Saddle Creek – Copperopolis, California
No. 160 The Peninsula Golf & Country Club – Millsboro, Delaware
No. 187 Winchester Country Club – Meadow Vista, California

Top 50 Best of the Caribbean and Mexico
No. 25  Port Royal Golf Club – Southhampton, Bermuda
No. 40   Ocean Club – Paradise Island, Bahamas
No. 45   Bahia Beach Resort & Golf Club – Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

Every year, Golfweek’s elite team of course raters, which currently boasts more than 850 evaluators, surveys more than 3,600 courses – grading each nominated course on the basis of Golfweek’s 10 strict standards of evaluation. Collectively, these knowledgeable raters have turned in more than 75,000 votes to compile Golfweek’s Best Courses lists.

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

Horseshoe Bay Resort Selects Kevin Frisch PR to Manage Golf Public Relations

(Horseshoe Bay, TX) – Horseshoe Bay Resort, one of the most dynamic golf resorts in the country and the original lakeside resort destination in the state of Texas, has selected Kevin Frisch PR to manage its golf public relations.

Kevin Frisch PR will develop and implement media and marketing strategies to promote the world-class golf product and elevate the acclaimed resort as a leading national golf destination. Horseshoe Bay Resort is home to four championship courses designed by World Golf Hall of Fame members Robert Trent Jones Sr, and Jack Nicklaus, as well as an 18-hole natural grass putting course and golf academy.

Horseshoe Bay Resort is in the finishing stages of a $70-million renovation, which, in addition to major resort and room upgrades, includes extensive renovations on its Slick Rock, Ram Rock and Apple Rock golf courses. The new state-of-the-art Cap Rock members clubhouse is being constructed to overlook the Ram Rock and Apple Rock courses and a panoramic expanse of scenic Texas Hill Country. The Apple Rock course and clubhouse will open in the spring of 2019.

“We have had a long-term vision of Horseshoe Bay Resort becoming a premier national golf destination,” Bryan Woodward, managing director of Horseshoe Bay Resort, said. “The major renovations to our golf courses and the resort combined with our partnership with Kevin Frisch PR will give us the national exposure we need to elevate this spectacular lakeside golf destination to national acclaim.”

In 1971 Robert Trent Jones Sr. built the first golf course, Slick Rock, at Horseshoe Bay Resort. It features a classic parkland setting and classic elements of Jones’ renowned architectural sensibility. The Texas State Open was played on Slick Rock with golfing legend Ben Crenshaw winning it three times. A wall-to-wall renovation in 2016 included upgrading tees, greens, bunkers and irrigation, as well as the awe-inspiring "Million Dollar Hole" where golfers follow a winding path across a 35-yard rock- walled waterfall.

A decade after Slick Rock’s debut, the resort brought Jones back to design one of the toughest courses in Texas. Ram Rock, which became known as “The Challenger,” has also hosted the Texas State Open. Integral to Ram Rock’s 2018 renovation was enhancing playability from the middle and forward tees while maintaining the layout’s legendary challenge for scratch players.

The Apple Rock course, also designed by Jones Sr., opened in 1985 and offers some of the most picturesque views at the resort. Jones strategically routed holes to take advantage of the many higher elevation points that overlook Horseshoe Bay Resort and Lake LBJ. Apple Rock is currently closed and undergoing a major renovation but is scheduled to re-open in the spring of 2019.

The Summit Rock course opened in 2012 and is an elevated members-only experience at Horseshoe Bay Resort. A Jack Nicklaus Signature design, it features some of the most stunning scenery in Texas. Nicklaus routed holes along a high ridge, a setting that showcases spectacular views that stretch for more than 40 miles over the Texas Hill Country and Lake LBJ.

Complimenting the championship golf is the highly-unique Whitewater Putting Course, a tropically-adorned 18-hole day/night real-grass putting course that sits adjacent to the hotel and is routed around the energetic 360 Sports Club (A full-service destination for pub food, cocktails and live sports on more than two dozen flat screen TVs). It is the perfect attraction for golf buddy groups, couples and families.

“Few resorts in America combine the quality and quantity of great golf in an idyllic lakeside setting with scenic views like Horseshoe Bay Resort does. This is a one-of-a-kind golf destination in the heart of the magnificent Texas Hill Country,” Kevin Frisch, CEO of Kevin Frisch PR, said. “With its close proximity to one of America’s great cities, Austin, along with its own private airport, the resort is easily accessible from anywhere in the country. This is critical for positioning itself as one of the country’s leading golf buddy trip destinations.”

For more information and reservations, visit www.hsbresort.com or call 877-611-0112.

AMPD Golf Performance to Open Performance Studio at Troon North Golf Club on December 10

(Scottsdale, Ariz.) – AMPD Golf Performance will open a performance studio at Troon North Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., December 10. Chelsea Burney, a Golf Performance Specialist and former college golfer, will lead the training at AMPD’s new Troon North location.

"We are excited to add the AMPD platform to our already successful coaching programs at Troon North,” said Troon North’s Director of Instruction Doug Hammer, PGA.  “Being able to address the physical needs of our students will only add to our success in helping players reach their golf goals.  Golfers can now address all aspects of game improvement at Troon North Golf Club."

In May of this year, AMPD and Troon announced a partnership that will provide the best in golf swing development, golf fitness, training, athleticism and conditioning to members and customers of Troon-managed golf facilities. AMPD’s Troon North location is the first at a Troon-managed facility.

"AMPD could not be more excited for the opening of our new performance studio at Troon North,” said AMPD CEO Phil Donnelly. “When we entered into our partnership with Troon earlier this year, we identified a number of high-end Troon facilities at which we could provide our premier golf fitness services, while working with some of the best teaching professionals in the country. With such a diverse and passionate group of golfers living and traveling to the Scottsdale area, Troon North provides the ultimate golf destination resort, where we can positively impact members and guests. We are honored to be joining the dedicated team of professionals at Troon North’s world-class facility and are eager to get to work changing the shape of the game.”

AMPD Golf Fitness was established by Damon Goddard and Andrew Banner in 2013 with one goal in mind – to create the standard in the golf fitness industry through bio-mechanical golf-specific programming and physiological recovery.

After four years of producing champions at all levels of the game and a passion and desire to continue to change the shape of golf and fitness, AMPD Golf Performance was founded. With a new name came a refined direction, a new location and new leadership under the direction of former banking executive, Phil Donnelly.

“AMPD’s approach to training golf-athletes is designed to provide golfers the ability to regain their mobility, stability, increase speed, and most importantly, reduce their risk for injury,” said Damon Goddard, Director of Performance at AMPD and a Golf Digest Top-50 Golf Fitness Professional. “We have had the privilege to work with every type of golfer from weekend warriors to LPGA and PGA TOUR players and know how to deliver the most effective programming for any individual’s specific needs.”

To schedule an AMPD Movement Assessment or Personal Training session, call (682) 334-2155 or email Info@AMPDGolfPerformance.com.

To learn more about AMPD Golf Performance, visit www.ampdgolfperformance.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ampdgolf.

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

Dynamic Brands Makes Series of New Hires in Richmond, Va.

Sales and Customer Service Teams Continue to Grow

(Richmond, VA) – Dynamic Brands, parent company for a portfolio of seven premium sporting goods brands, is pleased to announce three new hires and one promotion in customer service and sales at their corporate headquarters in Richmond, Virginia.

Jason Clipp is the newest addition to the sales team as Sales Analyst. A PGA member since 2007, Jason has experience in club operations, as a golf professional and most recently worked as a buyer for Fairway Styles while completing his MBA from Virginia Commonwealth University. “Golf is my passion I am very excited to get started with another company that prides itself in both quality products and quality relationships,” said Clipp. The sales department also added Sarah Starke, promoted from Customer Service/ Operations Coordinator to Sales Coordinator. “I am thrilled to have an opportunity to be a part of the sales team and expand my knowledge about this side of the business.  I feel fortunate to work alongside highly dedicated colleagues,” said Starke.

Carlton Mitchell, a recent graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, joins the customer service team as a full-time Customer Service Coordinator after working as an intern in the sales and marketing departments. “After working here part-time for seven months, I’ve gained a lot of knowledge about our products and who we serve. I can’t wait to fully immerse myself full-time,” said Mitchell. Angela Loutzenhiser, experienced in operations for a website development company, joined the operations team as Administrative Support Specialist. “I’m excited to learn about the golf industry while utilizing my organizational and research skills,” said Loutzenhiser.

"We’re excited to add these talented team members supporting our brands in our corporate office," said Perry Hilbert, Sales Manager. The Richmond, Virginia corporate headquarters for Dynamic Brands employs approximately 31 full-time, part-time and temporary employees. Dynamic Brands employs approximately 29 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees at the Monroe, North Carolina location, which will be moving into a larger facility in Pageland, South Carolina in the first quarter of 2019.