Thursday, June 20, 2019

PING Signs Viktor Hovland, Former World No. 1 Amateur

(PHOENIX) – Viktor Hovland, the most recent world No. 1 amateur, has signed an equipment contract with PING, the company announced today. Hovland, who tied for 12th at last week’s U.S. Open in setting the record for the lowest 72-hole score (280) by an amateur in the event’s history, is making his debut as a PING staff pro at this week’s Travelers Championship.

While a decorated player for the Oklahoma State University Cowboys, where he was a three-time All-American, Hovland won the 2018 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach, earning him an invitation to this year’s Masters and U.S. Open. He took full advantage of his Masters appearance, winning low-amateur honors, after which he rose to world #1 amateur. By finishing low amateur at the U.S. Open, he became the first player in more than 20 years to hold the distinction of being low amateur in both events in the same year.

Hovland’s collegiate career culminated with the 2019 Ben Hogan Award, given annually to the top men’s college player while taking into account all amateur competition in the past 12 months. He won three collegiate events and finished with a 68.59 scoring average during his final year at Oklahoma State. He was a member of the school’s 2018 NCAA Championship winning team.

The 21-year-old is from Oslo, Norway, a fact that brings great joy to the Solheim family, the owners of PING whose roots are traced to Bergen, Norway, the birthplace of PING founder Karsten Solheim. Hovland’s resumé includes a win at the 2014 Norwegian amateur championships, and he’s been building his credentials ever since.  

“Viktor’s connection to Norway makes the relationship even more special. The country has been fully behind him since he burst onto the scene as a young junior, and he’s continued to impress on so many levels,” said John K. Solheim, PING President and Karsten’s grandson. “He’s polite, humble and always smiling. His talent is unbelievable and he’s already amassed a great career. His performance at Pebble Beach last week was a spectacular way to end his amateur career. We’re excited to watch his professional journey unfold. I know my grandfather would be honored to have a Norwegian golfer of Viktor’s character and talent representing PING.”

“Joining the PING staff is really exciting for me as I’ve always had tremendous respect for the company and what it represents,” said Hovland. “The technology behind the equipment and the service they provide allows me to focus on getting better and not worrying about my equipment. The Norwegian connection is also really cool. Karsten Solheim and his family have done so much for the game of golf. Their support of Oklahoma State’s team and their role in developing Karsten Creek are just a couple of examples of the wonderful things they do for golf. I’m honored to be part of their golfing family and look forward to working with them as I begin my professional career.”

Hovland’s relationship with PING began three years ago at Karsten Creek Golf Club, Oklahoma State’s home course named in honor of Karsten Solheim, whose family was a major contributor to the development of the facility in 1994. Oklahoma State is part of PING’s College Golf Program, which has been supporting schools around the country since the mid-1970s.

“We’ve been impressed with Viktor since we first met him when he was a freshman at Oklahoma State,” said Chance Cozby, PING’s Vice President of Sports Development. “During his time in Stillwater, he played PING equipment at various times and we continued to keep in touch with him through our regular visits to the school. When it became clear he was going to turn professional this summer, we identified him as someone who would be a perfect fit for our staff. We had a very productive testing session with him at Karsten Creek this spring, which ultimately led to where we stand today. We are extremely pleased Viktor is joining the PING staff.”

At the U.S. Open, Hovland switched to PING’s new G410 LST driver and saw tremendous results – leading the field in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee by nearly two full shots.

“The G410 LST driver is a great fit for my game,” Hovland added. “I don’t usually make significant changes to my equipment before such a big tournament, but after testing it during the week with the PING tour reps, it was clear the G410 LST driver was the best choice for me. It looks really good and I know I’m going to hit the center of the face. It flies in the window I like and the spin is right for my game. I can swing with confidence off the tee knowing the results will be long and straight.”

As part of a multi-year agreement, Hovland will play a minimum of 11 PING clubs, including a driver and putter. His headwear will display PING and he’ll carry a PING Tour staff bag.

Financial terms and the length of the agreement were not disclosed.

Matthew Wolff Chooses Team TaylorMade with Multi-Year Full Bag Agreement

NCAA All-American and 2019 NCAA Division I individual champion set to play full arsenal of TaylorMade product as he makes his professional debut this week at the Travelers Championship


(Carlsbad, Calif.) – Having already added top amateur standout Collin Morikawa to its dominant stable of athletes this summer, TaylorMade Golf Company announced today the addition of yet another amateur standout, consensus collegiate player of the year Matthew Wolff. Per his new multi-year agreement, Matthew Wolff will play TaylorMade’s metalwoods, irons, wedges, putter and ultimately, the company's flagship golf ball, TP5x. The announcement comes on the heels of the 20-year-old's decision to forego his final two seasons at Oklahoma State to turn professional.

Matthew Wolff
Check out Matthew on this week's episode of the Team TaylorMade Podcast by clicking HERE, where the 20-year-old sensation talks about his dominance at Oklahoma State, his unorthodox swing and joining the most elite Tour staff in the industry.

Wolff, known for his unique and immediately identifiable swing paired with prodigious distance off the tee, has the charisma and demeanor far exceeding his 20 years of age and carries high expectations into his professional debut. The California native made his PGA TOUR debut earlier this season as an amateur at the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open on a sponsor's exemption and is making his professional debut on Tour this week at the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands.

Victorious a school record six times with a 68.7 scoring average as a sophomore - the lowest in the history of college golf - Wolff capped off his tremendous collegiate career with an NCAA Individual title and both the Jack Nicklaus and Fred Haskins awards, given annually to the top collegiate player in the country.

Wolff joins a TaylorMade's Tour staff that is widely considered the strongest in the industry, which includes Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, John Rahm and Tiger Woods, among others.

Matthew Wolff's Bag at the Travelers Championship
- M6 Driver | 8° | Graphite Design TP 7TX
- M6 Fairway | 15° | Project X HZRDUS Smoke 6.5 TX
- P760 2 Iron | Nippon Modus 130x
- P750 Tour Proto Irons | 3-PW | Nippon Modus 130x
- Milled Grind Raw Wedges | 52°, 56° & 62 with True Temper DG x100
- Spider X Copper Putter | Single Bend

Keep Cool this Summer with Bag Boy’s Cart Fan, Cooler Bag and Chiller Cart Bag Trio

(Richmond, VA) – The Bag Boy Company is announcing its ‘Keep Cool Trio’ just in time for the dog days of summer. Bag Boy designs, manufactures and distributes a full line of award-winning, feature-loaded golf bags, push carts, travel covers and accessories designed for a golfer's on-course convenience and comfort.

Bag Boy’s 3-in-1 cart fan is energy-efficient, adjustable and includes a mister and a power bank with a built-in rechargeable battery. The detachable portable battery charger bank powers any USB-based device and has up to 5+ hours of battery life, depending on speed setting. It features a convenient on/off water misting spray option able to be coupled with the powerful, 3-speed fan with 2-inch fan blades for optimal cooling capability.

The insulated Cooler Bag can hold up to a dozen 12-oz. cans. It includes a hook and loop fastener handle and additional secure strap. Two mesh side pockets provide extra storage space. The Cooler Bag is made of durable lightweight nylon material and small enough to be easily toted around.

The Bag Boy Chiller Cart Bag conveniently comes equipped with a removable, insulated cooler bag that holds six 12-oz. cans. Also features a 15-way organizer top with full-length individual dividers. The Chiller Bag includes TOP-LOK Technology, a patented bag-to-cart attachment system that secures the bag to the push cart and prevents the bag from twisting or turning, eliminating the need for cart straps.

For more details or to see the full line of Bag Boy products, visit www.bagboycompany.com.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

PGA Golf Club to Host PGA Youth Golf Camps

Camps to Focus on All Aspects of the Game, Both On and Off the Course


(PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.) – PGA Golf Club – the PGA of America’s award-winning 54-hole facility – will host PGA Youth Golf Camps throughout the summer, designed for young golfers to learn the game in a fun, friendly environment.

Held June 18-21, July 23-26 and August 6-9 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. daily, the camps cover a variety of different shots including full swing, bunker, pitching, chipping and putting. Participants will also be exposed to other aspects of the game such as the USGA’s Rules of Golf, etiquette and fitness.

Open to juniors ages 6 to 12, each camp costs $199 plus tax and includes on-course play, contests and prizes for the participants. For more information or registration details, contact Billy Ore, PGA at 772.467.5494 or visit online at pslgolfshop@pgahq.com. To register for the camp online, visit www.pgalearningcenter.com/instruction/juniors.

“We are excited to host these PGA Youth Golf Camps and to grow the game through junior participation,” says General Manager and Director of Golf Jeremy Wiernasz. “Our never-ending goal is to help young golfers elevate their enjoyment and skill to the next level, and inspire them to continue playing golf.”

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

In 2021, PGA Golf Club will host the PGA Professional Championship on the Wanamaker and Ryder Courses. The Championship will be comprised of players who advance from the 41 PGA Section Championships, along with past champions, competing to finish in the Top 20 and a spot in the PGA Championship. All four rounds will be broadcast live on Golf Channel.

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, and 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.

Lamkin Wins at Meijer LPGA Classic

(SAN DIEGO) — Lamkin Grips, the innovation leader in golf grip manufacturing, would like to congratulate the winner of the Meijer LPGA Classic on her hugely impressive victory this weekend.

Equipped with custom Lamkin grips specially designed for her PING clubs, the winner took the course apart on the first two days of the tournament, shooting 16 under. That total, including a hole in one on the 15th, broke the tournament 36 hole record she set in 2017.

In taking the title at Blythefield Country Club with a final score of 21 under par, the Canadian national became her country’s most prolific winner on the LPGA Tour and also passed the leading number of wins for her compatriots on male Tours.

The Custom Lamkin PING grips used by the winner deliver a functional performance advantage with their comfortable, secure connection between player and club. Featuring Lamkin’s proprietary materials and surface patterns, the custom grips combine the unique feel and superior traction found in all Lamkin grips that both club golfers and the best players in the world can rely on every round.

More information: www.Lamkingrips.com

SIM Sheds Golf Simulators Bring Golf Courses to your Backyard

(MADISON, Conn.) — While many golf courses across the country have struggled with stagnant or even declining number of rounds played, the golf simulation or "screen golf" market has seen explosive growth. Innovative companies such as Topgolf are opening up locations around the world and blending entertainment and the latest technology to reignite interest in the game of golf.

Eric Auer, a Connecticut builder, has taken the indoor golf concept one step further and will be debuting SIM Sheds at The Travelers Championship, June 20 - 23 at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut. SIM Sheds are custom designed, residential golf simulator buildings that allow the average golfer to play a round any time, in any weather, in their own backyard.

"SIM Sheds bring golf simulation to the average golfer," said Auer. "Playing a round of golf outside is a pretty significant time commitment that typically competes with family or work time, not to mention the challenges that New England weather brings. With a SIM Shed, golfers can play a round in December after the kids go to bed and the technology is so good now, it's amazingly close to real life golf."

Available to golfers in the New England, New York and New Jersey markets, SIM Sheds are custom built with the finest materials and incorporate the latest golf simulator technology, not to mention creature comforts such as a home theater system for entertaining non-golfing family and friends.

"The biggest challenge home golfers face is finding space for a simulator," Auer said. "With a SIM Shed that's no longer an issue. Plus, it's light years ahead of just beating balls into a net. SIM Shed golfers can not only play or practice any time they want, they can also play online tournaments at some of the world's best courses, including Pebble Beach, St. Andrews and our own TPC River Highlands here in Connecticut. The re-creations are incredible as is the competition from golfers of all skill levels worldwide."

SIM Sheds will have a fully functional demo building at The Travelers Championship, June 20-23, at the TPC River Highlands with units available for delivery beginning September 2019.

For more information on SIM Sheds, visit www.simsheds.com.

Former PGA Tour Player Bryce Molder Joins Millennium Companies

Company offers innovative approaches to repurposing golf courses and revitalizing neighborhoods


(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) – Bryce Molder, an 11-year veteran of the PGA Tour, has launched his “second career” by joining Millennium Companies as Director of Capital Markets and PGA Tour Ambassador. In his new position, Molder is responsible for managing investor relations and strategic partnerships between Millennium Companies and members of the PGA Tour.

Bryce Molder
Molder, 40, has extensive experience in managing both debt- and equity-structured acquisitions for private and institutional capital groups across the United States.

A graduate of Georgia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management, Molder began investing in real estate equity late in his golf career. Since retiring from golf in 2017, he joined a private lending company based in Phoenix, where he holds his loan origination license and has been involved in loan originations and capital markets for debt and equity transactions.

“It is exciting to be part of a team that shares my passion for golf and preserving the future of the game, as well as the golf industry,” said Molder. “You need help to be focused, whether you are playing on the tour, or operating a golf course. Millennium Companies is helping its golf partners find success.”

Millennium Companies provides innovative real-estate repurposing solutions for private owners and municipalities saddled with failed or underperforming courses. Its leadership team of experts in golf, real estate, law, and land use has devised numerous ways to re-use and renovate negative-revenue acreage, turning it into valuable, multiuse properties highlighted by modernized golf experiences, open spaces,  and mixed-use retail amenities that activate the entire neighborhood.

Playing professional golf from 2001-2017, Molder earned more than $11 million in a career that included victory at the 2011 Fry’s.com Open. As a collegiate golfer, Molder was two-time NCAA National Player of the Year, four-time All-American, and two-time Academic All-American. As an amateur, he also played on two U.S. Walker Cup teams.

Molder lives in Scottsdale with his wife Kelly and their young son.

“Bryce’s lifelong experiences in golf and insights to the game and golf industry will be invaluable as we continue to explore alternative uses for golf courses,” said Bob Hobbs, Jr., CEO for Millennium Companies.

For more information access the web site at www.millenniumcompanies.com.

Sea Pines Country Club Announces Summer Preview Membership Opportunity

Hilton Head Island’s Premier Private Club Celebrates Multi-Million Dollar Renovations with Unique Two-Month Trial


(HILTON HEAD, S.C.) – Sea Pines Country Club (SPCC) – the lone private club within Sea Pines featuring world-class golf, tennis, pools, dining and fitness – debuts its 2019 summer preview trial memberships as the club celebrates the completion its multi-million dollar renovation and expansion project.

Designed for new Hilton Head / Bluffton area residents and long-time locals interested in experiencing life as a SPCC member, the Summer Preview Trial Membership is an attractive way to make the most of summer by experiencing the first-hand modern amenities of Sea Pines Country Club.

Between June and August, participants can enjoy a two month “test-drive” beginning at $1,150 for a “Clubhouse” membership including swim, fitness, social events and dining. The most popular and expansive membership, “The Full Use Heritage” featuring full golf and tennis privileges, is available for $1,800. For individuals aged under 50, the “Young Professional Heritage” membership is offered for $1,400.

In addition to the three preview membership offerings, all prospective members will receive a $250 club usage credit to enjoy during the two-month trial period.

Located just inside the gates of the 5,000-acre Sea Pines Resort, Sea Pines Country Club is situated on a stunning stretch of Lowcountry tidal marsh that is the visual focal point of the entire property. Membership includes access to:
- Newly expanded, 7,300 square-feet, state-of-the-art fitness center featuring infrared saunas and extensive list of instructor-led wellness programs
- Recently redesigned Clubhouse for exceptional dining experiences at Blue Heron Pub and Grille
- Immaculately maintained, member-exclusive golf course and practice facilities designed by World Golf Hall of Fame Member Arnold Palmer
- Coveted tennis programs featuring Har-Tru courts for competitive and spirited tournaments
- 24-meter outdoor pool, saline indoor pool and children’s splash pool
- Robust social calendar, including themed events, live music, decadent wine dinners and more
- “Sunsational” summer swim, tennis and golf camps for children between 4-16 years

“The Club’s Board of Directors invites you to explore the private side of Sea Pines,” says Robbie Ames, general manager of SPCC. “In such a unique setting where friends become family, membership at SPCC shows you have chosen the best of the Lowcountry lifestyle.”

Learn more about Sea Pines Country Club at www.seapinescountryclub.com. For additional membership information, contact Nic Booth, Director of Membership Development at 843-671-2335 or NBooth@seapinescountryclub.com.

Bobby Weed Golf Design Commissioned to Update Ocean Course at Ponte Vedra Inn and Club

(PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida) – Bobby Weed Golf Design (BobbyWeed.com) has been commissioned to update the Ocean Course at Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. The last restoration of the robust 1928 Herbert Strong design, completed by Bobby Weed Golf Design in 1998, returned the layout’s bold contours, brawny bunkering and wind-swept character.
“For this new restoration, we intend to dramatically and comprehensively update every aspect of the layout,” said Bobby Weed, “preparing it for the next generation of members and resort guests.”

Similar to the 1998 project, the scope of this restoration will address greens, tees, bunkers, irrigation, drainage, grassing bridges/bulkhead and landscaping. The link-like, windswept character of the course will be enhanced, and it is expected that the practice facilities will be improved. The Ocean Course will be closed for 11 months, beginning in August 2019.

The original 1928 design utilized an unprecedented level of earthmoving equipment. Strong’s work featured bold contours and a heroic scale that captured immediate notoriety. The iconic 9th was one of golf’s earliest examples of an island green, and the upstart course was tapped to host the 1939 Ryder Cup matches, although the matches were cancelled due to the onset of World War II.

From these historic beginnings, the Ocean Course has remained a cornerstone amenity of the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club. From time to time, significant capital investment has been made into the course to maintain its unique appeal and quality. The first occurred in 1947, followed by Bobby Weed Golf Design’s restoration in 1998. Weed also renovated the Lagoon Course at Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, in 2007.

The current restoration project under the direction of Bobby Weed Golf Design will establish a sturdy foundation on which the historic and beloved Ocean Course will embark on its second century.

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

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Renegade—The Original Course at Desert Mountain—Reopens after Renovation by Nicklaus Design

Jack Nicklaus and the Nicklaus Design team return after 30 years to upgrade the first of Jack’s six Signature Golf Courses created for Arizona’s leading golf community 


(Scottsdale, Ariz.) – Renegade—the first of six Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses at Desert Mountain Club—reopens this month after a year-long renovation, led by Nicklaus himself along with Nicklaus designer, Chris Cochran.

Since debuting in 1987, Renegade has placed on Golf Digest’s list of “America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses” three times. It is a fixture on lists of the best courses in Arizona. In fact, Golf Digest once called Renegade “the most versatile course in the world” for its use of two greens on every hole, allowing golfers the option of playing it shorter or longer based on the tee and green they chose.

Nicklaus, working alongside Cochran, created a new master plan for Renegade and has been intimately involved in the work, visiting the site several times. Houston-based construction company Heritage Links has implemented the Nicklaus Design renovation plan that included new greens, bunkers, tees, cart paths, drainage, irrigation system, lake construction, and grassing.

Renegade will still provide two pin placements on every hole, allowing Desert Mountain members to customize the course every time they play it. Either pin placement can be played on any given day, providing endless options and distance variety from a forward tee-length of 4,500 yards to a champions’ test of 8,000 yards. The customization goes so far that hole 10 can play beautifully as a par 4 or par 5 and hole 12 can be played either as a par 3 or par 4—depending on the day and the choice of the player.  Every available playing option will be rated by the Arizona Golf Association, so players can enter accredited scores.

“Everything—including the game of golf—evolves and when the game changes, you’ve got to adapt with it,” said Nicklaus. “We opened up the renovated golf course a little bit by flattening the mounds and broadening the fairways, but it’s still the same golf course with two pins on every hole—just with a modernized playing strategy.”

In an effort to reduce maintenance expenses associated with water and labor, the new design will require less hand mowing. About 10% (or about 12 acres) of irrigated turf was removed and turf switched from bermuda to bentgrass, making Renegade the only course in Scottsdale to feature wall-to-wall, cool-season turf base year-round. Using bentgrass also eliminates the need to overseed, further reducing water usage, while allowing the course to remain green year-round.

Nicklaus once said that Renegade might be the toughest course he’s designed and played (he kidded on a recent site visit that he shot 83 during the 1987 grand opening—one year after winning the Masters at age 46—and missed only one fairway), while also the easiest, due to the two-green system.  The renovation showcases the evolution of his design philosophy and also makes Renegade more maintainable and sustainable, while preserving its unique original design foundation.

Other components of the renovation:
- A new, state-of-the-art irrigation system was installed
- A few bunkers were added to the course while others were repositioned, adding both strategic options and visual appeal
- All bunkers were fitted with new liners and a total of more than 100,000 tons of new sand
- New tee boxes, including forward tees, were constructed to challenge the best, while providing options for avid and/or beginning golfers
- Renegade now features six single greens, with two pins on them, and 12 holes with double- greens. Previously, it was five holes with three greens, and 13 holes with one large green. This reduced the total green size by more than 25%
- Golfers’ views of the surrounding mountains have been enhanced, as are the views of the course from the homes that overlook it.

For additional information about Renegade or Desert Mountain, access the website at www.desertmountain.com.

Golf Pride Wins Grip Count and the 2019 U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach

(SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.) - Eaton announced that its Golf Pride Grips Division was the grip of choice for 83 percent of players in the field, including the winner, at the 2019 United States Open.  The win with Golf Pride makes six U.S. Open Championships in a row, and 9 out of the last 10, that have been won by players trusting their games to the No. 1 grip in golf.

The 2019 U.S. Open saw nine players who finished in the top 10 trust their championship quests to Golf Pride, including the winner who used Golf Pride’s Tour Velvet Cord Midsize grips.  Beyond the pro ranks, this year, 15 of the 16 amateurs that qualified for the event had Golf Pride in their hands during their U.S. Open pursuits.

“It’s rewarding to see on the biggest stage where pros and amateurs compete together, that players overwhelmingly choose Golf Pride,” said Brandon Sowell, global sales and marketing director for Golf Pride. “With a wide variety of playing styles represented in the field at Pebble Beach, we were proud to have a diverse portfolio of 12 unique performance grips to meet each player’s discerning feel preference.”

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

For more information on Golf Pride’s entire 2019 product offering, visit www.golfpride.com.

Woodland Wins US Open for First Major Championship

(CHICAGO) – Gary Woodland secured his first major championship at the venerable 2019 US OPEN at Pebble Beach.

After making the turn with a two-shot lead, Woodland proved his mental tenacity as he embarked upon his biggest achievement. Using his Staff Model Blades, Woodland’s rock-solid iron play led to him being 2nd overall in greens in regulation.

“It’s been a year of learning and progression. To win my first major here at the US Open in Pebble Beach is an unbelievable feeling,” said Woodland. “This course is so tough. You need every edge possible to play your best, and with partners like Wilson and their Staff irons, I felt completely confident that I could make the shots I needed in crucial situations.”

Woodland joined the Wilson Golf Advisory Staff in January,  And his prescence and insights have quickly permeated the brand.

“What Gary has accomplished today is remarkable and we could not be more excited for him and his family,” said President Tim Clarke. “He has the heart and values of the Wilson brand and a competitive nature and determination to win. He’s a fighter and that fight has brought him to victory here..

What’s in Gary Woodland’s winning bag?
- Wilson Staff Model Blades
- Wilson Staff Conform Glove
- Wilson Staff Flat Brim Cap

Monday, June 17, 2019

PGA Pro Hal Sutton Named Director of Golf at Houston Oaks

(Hockley, TX) – The Clubs at Houston Oaks has announced that legendary PGA golfer Hal Sutton has been appointed Director of Golf at the club. Sutton, who achieved 14 career victories on the PGA Tour including the 1983 PGA Championship and Tournament Players Championship, joined the Club’s management team in mid-June and has assumed leadership of all golf operations at Houston Oaks.

Hal Sutton
“Hal Sutton brings a lifetime of golf passion, knowledge and personal experiences to his new role at Houston Oaks, and we are thrilled to have him join our team,” proclaimed Chuck Watson, one of three co- owners at Houston Oaks along with Steve Alvis, John Havens and their respective spouses. “Since he turned professional in 1981, Hal has dedicated his life’s work to the game of golf as a player, teammate, coach, captain, businessman, ambassador and philanthropist. His knowledge, love for the game and sincere desire to coach and mentor the next generation of golfer and golf professional – while serving the membership here at Houston Oaks, attracting new players to the game and helping to attract prospective new members to the Club – will be the driving forces behind his efforts.”

As a member of the Club’s senior leadership team, Sutton will serve in an executive advisory role to management and ownership regarding all business matters, including golf and club operations and capital improvements, quality and service standards, additional real estate development and planning for new facilities and recreational amenities for the Club. Sutton’s previous experience as a player, golf course designer, real estate developer, businessman and facilities project manager make him a welcome addition to the team at Houston Oaks.

The Oaks Course, designed by Chet Williams, is currently ranked as the #4 golf course in Texas after debuting in the Top 100 in 2018 with a No. 22 ranking; the 18 spot jump in 2019 is the largest upward movement on the Top 50 list. The par 71, 7,007-yard golf course, set amidst thousands of mature Live Oak trees, rolling topography and natural deep water lakes, hosts member play and programming as well as a variety of private events and amateur tournaments each year including the Big 12 Match Play Tournament. In addition, the Club annually hosts events for the South Texas PGA and Texas Golf Association, and will host the 114th Texas Amateur Championship in 2023.

Membership at The Clubs at Houston Oaks is private and extended by invitation and referral through existing members of the Club. Please direct all membership inquiries to Ms. Lindsey Lehmann, Membership Manager, or Mr. Robert J. Gusella, CCM, CCE, the club’s CEO/GM.

For more information: www.houstonoaks.com

Now on Tour: New Titleist T200 and T300 Irons

(RELEASE) — Following last week’s debut of the new T100, 620 CB and 620 MB irons at the U.S. Open, and the new U-500 and U-510 utility irons and TS hybrids at the Memorial Tournament two weeks prior – Titleist’s tour seeding and validation process continues this week at the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship.

Two new irons – the new Titleist T200 and T300 models – are making their tour debut Monday at TPC River Highlands.

For the next three days, Titleist Tour Representatives will continue working with players and fitting them into the new irons, utilities and hybrids – as this process continues across the worldwide professional tours.

Validating product performance across the global tours is a critical step in the development of all high performance Titleist golf equipment. Based on initial tour player testing and feedback, the new lineup is poised to continue Titleist's run as the most played iron on the PGA Tour for each of the last five years and 14 of the last 15 seasons.

GOLF Films' "Hogan" Premieres Monday-Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET

Perseverance (Monday, June 17), Perfection (Tuesday, June 18) Center Around Hall-of-Famer Ben Hogan as One of the Greatest Sports Comebacks of All-Time


(ORLANDO, Fla.) – Monday-Tuesday night (June 17-18) following the conclusion of the U.S. Open, GOLF Films will kick off its 2019 slate with the two-part Hogan, featuring one of the most prolific U.S. Open players of all-time: Ben Hogan. Premiering on consecutive nights at 9 p.m. ET on GOLF Channel, the comprehensive biopic will present the life and legacy of Hogan, who remains as, arguably, one of the greatest sports comeback stories of all-time, alongside a list that includes Monica Seles, Michael Jordan and George Foreman.

“One of the greatest comebacks in all of sport is [Hogan]. He got hit by a bus and came back and won major championships. The pain he had to endure, how hard it was for him to walk, period. That’s one of the greatest comebacks there is.” – Tiger Woods

Being presented with limited commercial interruption by Charles Schwab, Hogan’s two parts – Monday night’s Perseverance and Tuesday night’s Perfection – are narrated by Emmy Award-winning actor Kyle Chandler, and produced for GOLF Films by 13-time Emmy Award winner Israel DeHerrera.

Part I – Perseverance: Paints a picture of Hogan’s humble beginnings as a young boy in Texas, and the path that led to a career as one of golf’s biggest icons and greatest champions. Following his father’s suicide when Hogan was nine, Ben discovered golf upon realizing he could help out his mother financially – working two jobs as a seamstress – by caddying at Glen Garden Golf & Country Club six miles from the family’s home.

The 64-time PGA TOUR winner turned professional at the 1930 Texas Open at age 17, and soon realized he was not ready. A few years later after returning to caddying at Glen Garden, he would cross paths with Fort Worth businessman Marvin Leonard (eventually founded Colonial Country Club and Shady Oaks near Fort Worth), who became a father figure to Hogan, and helped provide financial support for him to kickstart his professional career. The victories began to pile up, with Hogan collecting nine wins between 1941-42, before reporting for service in the Army in March of 1943 during World War II. Despite never seeing combat, the war took nearly three years away from the prime of Hogan’s career.

Following the war, after enduring challenges from fellow Hall of Famers Byron Nelson and Sam Snead, Hogan cemented himself as the clear-cut best golfer in the world, winning 36 of 99 events that he played in from 1946-’48. He adorned the cover of TIME magazine at the beginning of 1949, but saw his soaring career trajectory come crashing to the ground in an instant, when he and his wife got into a life-threatening accident, crashing their vehicle into a bus while driving home to Fort Worth. The accident left Hogan with crushed hips and legs, a damaged shoulder, and an eye injury that would require surgeries and a new circulatory system from the waist down, putting his career in serious jeopardy.

“[Hogan] was not a warm and fuzzy figure. But the greatest debt of gratitude we owe to
Tiger Woods [is that he] reminded a generation who never saw Jack Nicklaus play how
great Jack was. And [Nicklaus] reminded people how great Hogan was. We don’t run
out of genius, it just doesn’t come along all that often.” – Ron Sirak, Golf Writer

Part II – Perfection: Only 11 months removed from the accident in January of 1950, Hogan resumed his career, losing in a playoff at the L.A. Open, but more importantly demonstrating to all that he was back as a fore to be reckoned with. Unwavering physical pain could not keep Hogan from earning his first major title at the 1950 U.S. Open. The win spiraled into an even greater dominance in professional golf than prior to the accident – despite scaling back his schedule to only compete five or six times a year – including two major victories in 1951 and three in 1953, which led to him becoming only the second golfer (at the time) to win the career Grand Slam. While Hogan suffered from putting woes toward the end of his career (last competitive round on May 13, 1971), his record in the U.S. Open is something that will never be equaled, never having finished outside of the top-10 from 1940-’60.

Hogan’s growing legend served as the inspiration for the 1951 motion picture “Follow the Sun”. His celebrity also led to him establishing a golf equipment company with his namesake: Ben Hogan, which held a stronghold on equipment sales among amateur golfers for four decades. The owner of perhaps the most iconic swing golf has ever seen also helped him score a best-selling book, “Five Lessons: the Modern Fundamentals of Golf,” which has sold millions of copies in 38 languages around the world.

The film also will include acknowledgments on Hogan from current PGA TOUR stars, along with a generation of TOUR players waiting in the wings to follow Hogan’s era; all in complete admiration of the Texan’s aura and impact on the professional golf landscape.

Launched with the critically acclaimed, four-part Arnie biopic and Emmy-nominated Payne film in 2014, GOLF Films’ 2019 slate complements the existing award-winning GOLF Films library, which includes its most-recent project, the Emmy-nominated 27 Years: The Exoneration of Valentino Dixon. Golf-Films.com, GOLF Films dedicated digital destination, includes excerpts from the division’s full library of films, along with archived content and testimonials on respective film projects. The website also serves as a source for dedicated information on current and future film projects in the works.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Devant Sport Towels’ Rival Towel Catching Up with Strong Demand

Revolutionary Towels Feature 2-in-1 Plush Fleece and Textured Microfiber


(Richmond, VA) – Devant Sport Towels, manufacturer and distributor of custom sport towels, is excited to announce that its popular Rival Towel will be back in stock by mid-June, 2019. The towel was just recently introduced in late winter 2018 and has been an extremely hot product since its introduction.

“The Rival Towel has been one of the most favored towels since its release,” said Pat Gallagher, Product Manager at Devant Sport Towels. “People find the versatility of this towel very convenient: One side of the towel consists of textured microfiber for cleaning clubs and golf balls, while the other side of the towel is made of soft, plush fleece, perfect for the hands and face. It’s the perfect 2-in-1 combination.”

The Rival Towel is 16 x 32 in size and is made up of 80% polyester and 20% polyamide blended microfiber. It comes equipped with an integrated web strap and is available in 6 different color combinations. The towel has 3 customization options: eco-friendly Image Dye, Hi-Def Sublimation and embroidery. These options are perfect for clubs and resorts to provide logoed towels for members and guests. To see Devant Sport Towel’s full collection visit www.devantsporttowels.com.

For information on Devant visit www.devantsporttowels.com.

Val Skinner Foundation Celebrates 20 Years, Hitting Nearly $13M Raised for Breast Cancer Initiatives

Skinner honors the late Heather Farr and Dr. Deb Toppmeyer at annual event


(BAY HEAD, N.J.) – Nearly 26 years after the death of fellow LPGA golfer Heather Farr, Val Skinner remains driven to eradicate the disease of breast cancer. For the 20th year, Skinner, current LPGA players and a host of supporters gathered to honor the memory of Farr and raise more than $500,000 for breast cancer education, research and awareness at the LIFE (LPGA Pros in the Fight to Eradicate Cancer) Event on Monday at Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell, NJ. The Val Skinner Foundation has now raised nearly $13 million.

Skinner named Farr, who died from breast cancer at the age of 28 in 1993, as the 2019 LIFE Hero and recognized Dr. Deborah Toppmeyer, chief medical officer at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, as a LIFE Champion for her ongoing dedication to treating breast cancer patients and working to eradicate the disease forever through education, research and prevention efforts.

“I’ll never forget the impact that Heather had on all of us on the LPGA Tour,” said Skinner. “We just couldn’t believe someone so vibrant could be taken from us so soon. That has driven me – and my fellow LPGA pros – to be a part of finding a cure.

“I’m sure Heather would have loved Dr. Toppmeyer and their shared passion for life and a will to win,” added Skinner. “I’m honored to consider Dr. Toppmeyer a friend and to be able to see the impact she has daily not only working with breast cancer patients but looking to the future for cures to this insidious disease.”

Toppmeyer has been at Rutgers Cancer Institute, New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, since 1995. She also serves as the Director of the Stacy Goldstein Breast Cancer Center and as the Director of the LIFE Center, which was established in 2002 with funds from the Val Skinner Foundation. On Monday, Skinner presented an additional $500,000 to the Rutgers Cancer Institute LIFE Center, bringing her 20-year total of donations to Rutgers Cancer Institute to more than $5 million.

“The Val Skinner Foundation has been a driving force in supporting the needs of young women with breast cancer and creating awareness about breast health.  For 20 years, Val’s dedication has resulted in the ability for the LIFE Center to offer enhanced clinical services, educational components and research support that touch the lives of so many. We at Rutgers Cancer Institute congratulate Val for her amazing work and are extremely grateful for her long time, continued support,” said Toppmeyer.

The Val Skinner Foundation LIFE Event is one of the largest single-day breast cancer fundraisers in the country. The foundation has served as a driving force in the development and implementation of significant awareness and education initiatives.

Skinner played on the LPGA Tour for 21 years, won six times and spent seven years ranked in the top 15 in the world. She is a member of three golf Halls of Fame and has received numerous awards for her philanthropy and advocacy for breast cancer research. In addition to overseeing her Foundation’s work, Skinner competes on the Legends Tour and worked for more than 12 years with the Golf Channel.

More information on the Val Skinner Foundation, LIFE Event and programs funded by the event can be found at www.valskinnerfoundation.org.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Players' Choice: What's in the Bag at the 2019 U.S. Open

(RELEASE) - The U.S. Open is here. The PGA Tour has arrived once again at the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links on 17-Mile Drive for the 119th U.S. Open. One hundred-fifty-five players are competing in the National Championship, eyeing to take home the hardware at the third major of the year.

For the the 20th time this season, continuing a trend of player trust and validation, Titleist is the #1 choice in the driver category at the U.S. Open, with 38 Titleist models in play. Of those Titleist drivers, 33 were TS models (TS2 - 6 | TS3 - 26 | TS4 - 1). This is the first time in 19 years that Titleist has been the top choice in the driver category at the U.S. Open.

Graphic showing that Titleistis the overwhelming golf ball choice among players at the 2019 Memorial Tournament

For the 71st consecutive year, Titleist is the most popular golf ball choice among players at the U.S. Open, with 104 players in the 155-man field trusting a Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball, nearly 6 times more than the nearest competitor with 18 players and more than all other competitor brand golf balls combined.

Titleist is also the top choice among players in hybrids (18) and irons (41). Many players out of the 41 are also electing to put the new T100's, 720 MB's and 720 CB's in the bag for the National Championship.

Vokey Design Wedges also topped the approach, sand and lob wedge category with 190 Vokey models in play. Due to course conditions this week, especially given that it's a U.S. Open, the Titleist Tour Truck was busy helping players adjust and fine tune their wedges, according to Vokey Wedge Tour Representative, Aaron Dill. This week, players are gravitating to lower bounce options like 58° and 60° T-grinds as and L-grinds as well as low bounce K grinds in the 3-4° range.

In addition, 30 players this week are trusting one golf brand, Titleist, from tee-to-green, throughout the entire bag — a vote of confidence that speaks volumes about the performance, consistency and quality of Titleist equipment throughout every club category.

USGA Appoints Charlie Pagnam as Chief Philanthropy Officer

(LIBERTY CORNER, N.J.) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) has named Charlie Pagnam as its new chief philanthropy officer and executive director of the USGA Foundation.
With more than 40 years of successful fundraising experience, Pagnam will be responsible for leading and strengthening all aspects of the USGA's philanthropic program as well as membership development. His appointment demonstrates the USGA’s continued commitment to invest more deeply in the game and ensure its long-term success.

“Charlie’s passion for the game and our mission, combined with his highly successful background in driving large-scale fundraising campaigns, make him a perfect fit to lead the USGA Foundation,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “We are confident that Charlie and his team will drive positive impact to the USGA in its mission to support and serve the game.”

Pagnam will lead a team tasked with supporting the USGA's mission and investing in programs that promote a more inclusive and sustainable future for the game, including making golf more accessible for all, investing in programs to manage golf’s use of critical natural resources, celebrating and preserving the game’s history, and identifying and preparing future leaders of the golf industry.

“Being able to combine my experience in important philanthropic work with my love for golf makes this opportunity particularly exciting for me,” Pagnam said. “The USGA is a global steward of the game, and I’m looking forward to leading the foundation in its efforts to support the organization’s mission.”

Most recently, Pagnam served as vice president for advancement and executive vice president of the $1 billion UMass Foundation where he was responsible for leading the strategic direction and performance of fundraising efforts across the University of Massachusetts system. Prior to that, he spent two years in development at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York and more than 28 years leading the major gifts fundraising program at Yale University, including seven years as vice president.

Through the Foundation’s efforts and the success of the U.S. Open Championship, the USGA invests more than $225 million annually into programs that benefit the game, including agronomic and sustainability research, more than 120 internships, preservation of golf artifacts, and support for programs such as LPGA*USGA Girls Golf and The First Tee and initiatives for golfers with disabilities.

To learn more about the USGA and the USGA Foundation, visit: www.usga.org.

Lee Elder Receives USGA’s Bob Jones Award at Pebble Beach Golf Links

(PEBBLE BEACH, Calif.) – The USGA honored 2019 Bob Jones Award winner Lee Elder on Wednesday, June 12 at the Inn at Spanish Bay as part of its week-long celebration of golf.

Presented annually since 1955, the Bob Jones Award recognizes an individual who demonstrates the spirit, personal character and respect for the game exhibited by Jones, winner of nine USGA championships.

Elder is its first African American to receive the USGA’s highest honor.

VIPs from the worlds of sports and entertainment attended the dinner to celebrate Elder, including Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Jim Nantz. In his speech, Player specifically noted Elder’s courage in accepting an invitation to play in South Africa despite the Apartheid occurring.

A link with photos from the event can be found here under “visual assets.”

Elder burst onto the PGA Tour in 1968, taking Jack Nicklaus to a playoff in the American Golf Classic. He used his newfound fame to introduce disadvantaged youths to the game through a variety of means, including after-school programs at Langston Golf Course in Washington, D.C. and establishment of the Lee Elder Scholarship Fund to help young men and women attend college.

Overcoming personal tragedy and discrimination, he became the first African American to play in the Masters Tournament, as well as the first African American to earn a spot on a Ryder Cup team.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Golf at Walnut Wednesdays

Am I the only one who took a golf ball to #WalnutWednesday in Downtown Cleveland? I'm guessing at least one other person had a golf ball in the pocket!

Community Assets: How the influence of Private Clubs Transcends the Links

By Henry Wallmeyer

As any member of a private club already knows, private clubs are playing an important part in promoting the game of golf through creative programming, family-oriented activities and special programs aimed at getting youths and younger adults onto the fairways. Private clubs are a key part of the reason that golf is once again thriving.

Henry Wallmeyer
What’s less well-known is the important economic, environmental and social role that clubs play in our communities. Private club aren’t the stereotypical staid (some may say dusty) fortresses where the upper crust gather to avoid the rest of us. No, today’s private club is a dynamic environment where members gather to play, socialize and hang out with families and friends. At the same time, these clubs are making a difference in their communities.

Perhaps the most obvious benefits clubs offer the community are economic. In cities and towns across the United States private clubs are economic engines, employing millions of residents and injecting $21 billion into the economy every year. Significantly, club jobs tend to pay better than comparable positions locally, and often, those jobs are the springboard to lifelong careers, not just in the golf industry but in the hospitality industry as well. It’s no surprise to people who work in the club industry that employee retention is much higher at private clubs than in jobs in other industries.

Clubs are also woven into the fabric of the community. Members tend to be local municipal and business leaders and, as such, clubs often play an important role in the community. That’s why it’s so common to see fundraisers like golf tournaments, gala dinner events and dances hosted at clubs. Club members tend to be active philanthropists, and their clubs typically are happy to support the causes that are important to members.

Another way that clubs are particularly beneficial is the extent to which they serve as public stewards of our lands, providing open green space that reduces urban sprawl (or suburban sprawl, for that matter). It may be tempting to think of private clubs as closed communities that only benefit members, but in fact they provide large open spaces with trees, animals, ponds and creeks. Many communities are already bursting at the seams with scores of single and multifamily residences, traffic congestion and dense development and could benefit from more green space and tranquil settings.

This extends to the industry’s passion for promoting sustainability. Environmental sustainability is important to many Americans, and private clubs are at the forefront of helping communities become greener. The very nature of golf revolves around green practices, and many private clubs make significant investments in promoting sustainability in golf. In fact, one study showed that nearly three out of every four private clubs use sustainable practices, including water conservation, energy efficiency initiatives and setting aside large areas of land to remain undeveloped.

Anyone who loves to play golf relishes having the opportunity to be out in nature for hours at a time, surrounded by green grass, lush trees and wildlife. These are all vitally important elements of the game we love.

But it’s not just about what clubs provide to communities; equally important is what they don’t do. Namely, they don’t overburden local financial and municipal resources like residential and commercial development often do. You only need to look to examples of clubs being replaced by residential development to understand the increased burden imposed by other types of development. When this happens, local schools can be overwhelmed by an influx of new students, which requires the addition of new teachers, administrative support and materials for hundreds of new students. Of course, education is just one factor. Other types of development place additional burdens on police, fire and other crucial public services that are less of an issue with clubs.

To put it bluntly, many communities across the United States are too densly developed. It’s not just about the financial burden this places on our communities. The overabundance of busy streets, large developments and loud neighborhoods also create an assault on our senses. Clubs can provide a tranquil escape that extends beyond the club itself by providing open green space.

It’s understandable that many people don’t understand the important role that private clubs play in their communities. After all, if you aren’t a member of your local club you have no way of knowing and understanding its inner workings. However, while clubs are private, that doesn’t mean that they are isolated. Clubs play an important role in the economic, social and environmental vitality of the communities in which they are located. While the local benefits provided by clubs are often hidden from plain view, they are numerous and vitally important.

Henry Wallmeyer is the president and CEO of the National Club Association. 

Puerto Rico Tourism Ascends Across Key Performance Indicators

Discover Puerto Rico, Island Destination Marketing Organization, Spurs Growth


(SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO) – Discover Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico’s first-ever Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), announced that Puerto Rico golf courses and resorts report substantial growth in rounds and revenue during the first four months of 2019 (compared to the same timeframe last year), a positive trend mirroring the Island’s robust tourism ascension.

The golf club at Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Golf & Beach Resort in Rio Grande is thriving, capturing a 128% revenue increase January-May, with rounds played rising 56% for the period.

“We’ve invested substantial resources in the property, forecasting that our new clubhouse and its innovative amenities, our first-class courses, and our mandate to exceed our guest and member expectations would successfully drive demand and satisfaction,” said Jamie West, Director of Rio Mar Country Club, a Troon-managed property.

TPC Dorado Beach Director of Golf Jeff Willenberg describes his club’s financial performance as exceptional.

“We have clearly exceeded expectations,” said Willenberg, who oversees a 36-hole golf operation with membership and public play. “The TPC Dorado Beach club membership has grown at an incredible pace this year. Golf rounds are doing so well that we’ve had to make hard decisions in limiting outside play so our members and our [Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve resort] guests can fully enjoy our golf courses and are cared for in the elite manner they expect.”

The golf niche increases align with recently published Discover Puerto Rico tourism statistics. These include January – April 2019 occupancy spending reaching $373.6 million, the highest in the past eight years, and an increase of 12.4 percent when compared to 2017 pre-hurricane Maria levels. The Island’s rapid lodging spend growth was driven by a rise in bookings of vacation rental properties, accounting for 23 percent of the notable jump. This is also underscored by strong passenger arrivals – a rising number of which are travelers who golf – which are on par with levels of pre-hurricane Maria, reaching 1.5 million for the January – April timeframe.

“We’re thrilled to see this volume of travelers experiencing all that Puerto Rico has to offer – not the least of which is golf – and supporting the visitor economy of the Island, which directly impacts the local community. Our research-driven approach, combined with award-winning publicity and marketing campaigns, have driven quick results for the Island,” said Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico.

There are 17 golf courses on Puerto Rico (all welcoming public play), a significant number for the Island’s quaint size. They range in category from luxury resort to municipal, spread across all four sides of the Island – several clustered near historic San Juan – as well as located inland. Ocean front views, omnipresent palm trees, and mountain and rainforest vistas define the golf club settings. Price points, terrain, layout style, and related amenities are as varied as they are complementary. Specific details for the Island and its golf courses and resorts can be found at Discover Puerto Rico Golf.

For more information on Island golf courses, resorts, and other destination attractions, visit: DiscoverPuertoRico.com.

The Spirit Golf Association Appoints Todd Alfred as President

(The Woodlands, Texas) - The Spirit Golf Association (SGA) welcomes Todd Alfred as President.  Alfred will be responsible for executing the mission and vision of the association, as well as meeting annual established financial goals and implementing the long-term strategic plan.  His role includes conducting the biennial Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship, driving awareness of National Membership to Whispering Pines Golf Club, and the distribution of charitable grants.  In addition, Alfred will direct day to day operations of the SGA and implementation of the SGA’s policies set by the Board.

Todd Alfred
Alfred comes to the SGA with over 20 years of sports marketing and business development experience within the international professional golf industry. Most recently, he served as Vice President of Corporate Partnerships for the Illinois- based Western Golf Association

and Evans Scholars Foundation (WGAESF).  He established the organization’s first ever corporate partnership program in support of its college scholarship for caddies (the Chick Evans Scholarship), worked with the PGA TOUR on the BMW Championship entitlement, and integrated updated social media content and streaming of its golf events in order to reach a wider market.

From 2004-2015, Alfred worked for the PGA of America in a variety of business development and tournament roles related to the Ryder Cup, PGA Championship, Senior PGA Championship, Women’s PGA Championship, and the PGA Grand Slam of Golf.

In 2003, Alfred successfully completed a seven-figure capital campaign for the Chicago District Golf Association and built the largest grass roots golf program for individuals with disabilities, called “Sunshine Through Golf.”

In 1995, Alfred was awarded the Chick Evans Scholarship, becoming the first caddie from the Merit Club of Libertyville Illinois, to receive the full tuition and housing scholarship. He attended Indiana University and graduated with a B.S. in Kinesiology. Alfred and his wife, Gail, are in the process of relocating to The Woodlands from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. They have two children, Benjamin (13) and Lucy (12).

For more information, visit www.thespiritgolf.com.

V1 Sports Debuts Online Shop with Cutting-Edge Camera Systems, Teaching and Practice Accessories

(Novi, MI) – V1 Sports (V1), producers of the industry-leading golf video swing analysis software for teaching pros and golfers, announces the launch of the online V1 Shop which offers cutting-edge camera technology plus practice and teaching accessories to be used hand-in-hand with the company’s proprietary video capture and analysis software.

V1 Sports technical specialists are routinely asked by golf instructors to suggest the best camera systems to pair with the dynamic V1 Pro video swing analysis system. Now, best-in-class camera systems that marry perfectly with V1 Pro can be purchased directly from www.V1Sports.com. A budget-friendly Standard HD Camera Pack and a Premium HD Camera Pack (boasting a startling 240-frames-per-second capture ability) come complete with V1 USB 3.0 cameras, an advanced lens, a 10-meter cable and a tripod or wall mount.

“A properly-synced and optimized video capture system is one of the best investments a golf instructor can make and selecting the wrong camera can be extremely frustrating,” says V1 Sports CEO Bryan Finnerty. “The V1 Shop makes finding a turn-key, best-in-class camera system that’s custom-built to capture the speed and intricacies of the golf swing a simple and easy process. We’ve always supported instructors through their camera-buying and studio set-up, the online Shop just makes it simple.”

The V1 Shop also makes the cameras and camera system accessories, including a Hit Detector (which provides automatic swing- or hit-recognition recording based on impact noise), available individually. A selection of premium hitting nets and turf hitting mats are also available in the V1 Shop.

Best-In-Class Camera Technology
The V1 USB 3.0 Premium HD Camera sets a new standard in terms of light sensitivity, dynamic range and color reproduction. The V1 USB 3.0 industrial camera provides excellent image quality with extraordinarily low-noise performance - at frame rates up to 240 fps (full resolution). The sensor is perfect for applications demanding excellent image quality even in low-light conditions as well as in industrial automation, quality assurance and robotics.

“In a lesson setting, video is one of the most powerful tools an instructor has to communicate flaws and paths to improvement. Having a camera that’s designed to work perfectly in-sync with V1 Pro and deliver incredibly vivid results makes that tool exponentially more powerful as the instructor seamlessly gives the student critical swing feedback,” Finnerty says. “The V1 Shop is just one more way we support the thousands of teaching professionals who trust V1 to make their lessons state-of-the-art and deftly leveraged to provide the best video-instruction feedback to golfers.”

Visit www.V1Sports.com/Shop to learn more.

Garmany Golf Adds Key Positions as Growth Continues

Jonathan Block
(CHICAGO, Illinois) – Continuing its growth and expanding on its leadership position in experiential travel, Garmany Golf—one of the world’s leading premium golf travel and hospitality companies—added two new members to its management team: Jonathan Block, who will serve as Chief Operating Officer, and Steve Sellery, who will serve as Vice President of Business Development.

Block is President of Landmark Counsel, Inc., an advisory firm counselling owners, entrepreneurs, and families on business, management, HR and legal strategies. For the last 25 years, he has served as a key advisor to the entire C-suite and board of directors at the most critical stages of his client-companies’ development.  Landmark Counsel often assumes critical operational growth functions to speed the development of their businesses, such as this key role for Garmany.

“I’m pleased to join Garmany Golf at this exciting stage of growth for the company,” says Block. “We look to change the landscape of the golf travel industry.”

Steve Sellery
Sellery is the former Director of Sports Marketing for Golf Channel. More recently, through his consulting company Iconic Sports & Entertainment, he has served in a variety of promotion and brand-experience roles in golf as well as in the television industry. A graduate of University of Lynchburg, Sellery also oversaw new business development and event marketing for The Cliffs Communities.  

“Steve brings a distinguished golf business insight to Garmany Golf. He’s a great addition to our outstanding team,” said Bud Garmany, Founder and President of Garmany Golf.  “As the company continues its growth and expansion, including the development of new markets and additional destinations, we are excited to attract experienced leadership and resources,” he added. “These moves will help us elevate our Guest Experiences, highlighted by unrivaled service.”

For additional information access the website at www.garmanygolf.com or e-mail experience@garmanygolf.com.

Branson Golf Destination Sizzles with Summer Events and Specials

(Branson, Missouri) – Playing Branson golf this summer offers many on- and off-course options, thanks to the Ozark destination’s variety, high quality, top-rated venues, and creative programming.

Play Branson Hills Golf Club – ranked No. 2 by Golfweek in its “America’s Best Courses You Can Play by State, 2019” – during the day, then celebrate its 10th Anniversary on Sunday, June 30, from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm. Live music by Pistol Whip, BBQ, drinks, and fireworks are included. There is no cover charge for the event, $1 hot dogs, $2 hamburgers, and $2 draft beers will be available. For more information, visit www.bransonhillsgolfclub.com.

Designed by Chuck Smith with input from Bobby Clampett, Branson Hills winds through the undulating landscape that defines the Ozarks. It’s an excellent layout, with superb course conditions, multiple tee box options, and a recently remodeled clubhouse and restaurant. The motif showcases Missouri golf history and its iconic players (Tom Watson, Payne Stewart, and others). Branson Hills teams with hotels, golf villas, and condos to offer several lodging options. For more: visit www.bransonhillsgolfclub.com/accommodations

Summer days are the year’s longest – no better time to double up rounds in one day. The Pointe makes it easy with its “Day at the Pointe” special. For $99, you can play 36 holes, a savings of nearly 35% off peak-season green fees. For more information, visit www.PointeRoyaleGolf.net/course/rates/.

Many golf travelers like to play golf by day, then explore a destination’s unique offerings afterward. Branson is particularly well-stocked with post-play options. It’s also well-regarded, a fact illuminated by being named a Trip Advisor 2019 Travelers’ Choice Top 25 U.S. Destination. It has been named one of the nation’s Top 25 destinations for eight consecutive years. Live entertainment theaters, historic downtown, museums, spas, waterfront shopping and restaurants, and outdoor adventures (including zip lines, lakes, hiking, boating), are some of the many choices.  

About Explore Branson Golf
Ozarks National, 800.225.6343
Mountain Top Course, 800.225.6343
Pointe Royale Golf Village, 417.334.4477
Thousand Hills Golf Resort, 800.487.0769, 417.334.4553
Buffalo Ridge Springs Golf Course, 800.225.6343
LedgeStone Country Club at StoneBridge Village, 417.335.8187
Top of the Rock Golf Course, 800.225.6343
Branson Hills Golf Club, 417.337.2963
Payne’s Valley, 800.225.6343
Holiday Hills Resort and Golf Club, 417.334.4838
Don Gardner Golf Course, 417.337.8510

See more at www.explorebranson.com.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

SkyCaddie SX500 Used by Peter Baker in Maiden Victory on Staysure Tour

(RIDGELAND, MS) — SkyGolf, maker of SkyCaddie, the most trusted Rangefinder in Golf, announced that Englishman Peter Baker used his SkyCaddie SX500 to help secure a five-stroke victory in this weekend’s Staysure Tour Senior Open Hauts de France by Jean Van de Velde at the Arras Golf Resort in northern France.

In addition, Spanish golfer and fellow SkyCaddie SX500 user, Miguel Angel Martin, followed up his third-place finish in last week’s Senior Italian Open with fourth place this week alongside Roger Chapman, Dan Olsen and Philip Price.

The new SkyCaddie SX500 is increasingly regarded as the sport’s most powerful distance measuring device. With Baker’s win, competitors using SkyCaddie SX500 have finished strongly in a Staysure Tour event for the second week in a row.

With five of the top 10 finishers in the previous week’s Senior Italian Open also using the device, one third of the Top 15 players in the current Staysure Tour Order of Merit are SkyCaddie SX500 users.

Baker, a three-time European Tour winner who represented Europe in the 1993 Ryder Cup, was one of the first Staysure Tour competitors to start using a SkyCaddie SX500 in November of 2018.

“I used my SkyCaddie SX500 frequently this weekend in France” said Baker, who is Head Professional at The South Staffordshire Golf Club near Wolverhampton. “From the tee I used it to work out layup and carry distances, particularly when bunkers or water are in play. And with the day’s pin positions entered into the SX500, it is also great for distance control as regards shots to the green. I use the SkyCaddie to pick the right spot to land the ball on the green – it shows me what’s short of the pin and what’s beyond it too.”

The Staysure Tour heads to the U.K. next, with the Farmfoods European Legends Links Championship starting on June 21st at Trevose Golf & Country Club in Cornwall. The event is hosted by Ian Woosnam, who is another SkyCaddie SX500 user.

“We congratulate Peter on his brilliant victory. It’s thrilling to see Europe’s best golfers turning to the SkyCaddie SX500 for their yardages under intense tournament conditions,” said Jacqui Surman, SkyGolf Senior VP and COO. “That indicates a high level of trust in our course data and validates our policy of always creating and updating every golf course map on foot.”

“It’s not just tour pros who are changing their habits. More and more amateur golfers throughout the world are now realizing that the SkyCaddie SX500 is much more powerful than a laser out on the golf course.”

The SkyCaddie SX500 makes a great Father’s Day gift. For a limited time, save $50 instantly on a new SkyCaddie SX500. For more information, visit www.skygolf.com.

aboutGOLF is Golf Digest Editors' Choice for Best "Premium" Golf Simulator

(Seattle, Washington) - aboutGOLF Limited, the world leader in golf simulator and golf performance technology, announced that its aG Curve simulator was named a Golf Digest Editors' Choice for the Best Golf Simulator "Premium" category.

According to the article, "On the premium side of the spectrum is aboutGOLF's aG Curve. Stated in the name, this simulator's screen is constructed in a 180-degree arch, providing an immersive and panoramic aesthetic that's boosted by ultra-HD resolution and custom lighting. A three-dimensional, high-speed camera and tracking system extract data from dozens of images per shot, providing accurate ball and club figures on any type of shot regardless of speed, spin or launch angle. A balance and weight-measurement system is placed under the mat to help you understand the distribution of weight, and the platform's data collection features an A.I. clubfitting process. As for gameplay, there's no shortage of first tees, with 76 venues like St. Andrews, Pebble Beach, Whistling Straits and TPC Sawgrass."

Randall Henry, Chief Golf Officer of aboutGOLF, says he is "thrilled about this recognition, but certainly not surprised. We believe this is the best simulator on the market. And it's a wonderful confirmation to hear that the editors at Golf Digest agree."

The aG Curve is aboutGOLF's most versatile and dynamic simulator option. Infinite possibilities in simulator width, arc length, curve depth, and peripheral view make it flexible enough to fit most spaces. It has the ultimate image size for playing golf and features Picture-In-Picture (PIP) for everyone to enjoy. 180 degrees of arch can be created in some rooms providing the industry's most immersive simulator environment.

aboutGOLF is the Platform for the Modern Golfer. Providing unmatched technology with endless entertainment. aboutGOLF is shaping the future of indoor golf performance experience. Taking on challenges presented by a new wave of golf enthusiasts, aboutGOLF is committed to investing in new innovations for even the most avid golfers to gain instant access to the game they love, while delivering the performance and accuracy needed to improve.

Reynolds Kingdom of Golf Package Features Tour-Quality Club Fitting, New TaylorMade Driver

(GREENSBORO, Ga.) — Stepping to the tee confident that the driver in hand is perfectly matched to deliver optimal performance is the advantage golfers get from the new “TaylorMade For You” package offered at Reynolds Kingdom of Golf presented by TaylorMade.

Included in the experience is a private, one-on-one consultation with a TaylorMade Tour Club Fitter, who use the latest technology to determine the proper equipment for each golfer. A Master Club Builder will then craft, on-site, a custom driver in the TaylorMade Tour Trailer, ready to take straight to the course.

The “TaylorMade For You” experience is perfect on its own as a day trip to Reynolds Lake Oconee, or as an opportunity to “linger longer” at the resort, adding it to an existing golf package that offer guests access to the community’s award-winning courses.

“Having the proper equipment in your hands is the first step to play great golf,” said Sean Cain, Director of Reynolds Kingdom of Golf, the state-of-the-art game improvement center at Reynolds Lake Oconee. “The TaylorMade For You package is a great way for our guests to experience an elite club fitting identical to the process for Tour players, while enjoying the golf courses and all the beauty and hospitality that Reynolds Lake Oconee has to offer.”

Located between Atlanta and Augusta, Reynolds Lake Oconee is ranked among the most exciting golf experiences with six golf courses designed by legendary architects: Great Waters by Jack Nicklaus, National by Tom Fazio, Oconee by Rees Jones, The Landing and The Preserve by Bob Cupp, as well as the members-only Creek Club by Jim Engh.

Along with its “Top 100”-ranked golf courses, Reynolds Lake Oconee features a full range of sporting activities, with access to more than 350 miles of Lake Oconee shoreline and four marinas; shooting sports at the Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds; and an award-winning tennis center, together making it one of the most impressive community and golf destinations in the world.

The experience package, which includes a driver, starts at $599 per person for the TaylorMade M6 model with standard equipment; the M5 model price is additional. Pricing does not include any upgraded shafts or components that may be selected.

Add-on options for the TaylorMade For You experience include:
- Luxury accommodations in a Reynolds Lake Oconee cottage or condominium
- One round of golf per person for each night of stay with special rates for replays
- Additional club fittings including metal woods, hybrids, irons, wedges, and putter
- A thorough full-game analysis and nine-hole on-course playing lesson with PGA Tour professional Blake Adams, a new member of the Reynolds Kingdom of Golf staff.

Combining superior equipment technology with innovative golf instruction, the Reynolds Kingdom of Golf is a premier “game-improvement destination.” Available to all guests of Reynolds Lake - Oconee, the 16-acre, 7,600-square-foot campus includes four fully enclosed bays (two for instruction, two for club-fitting), three covered and heated hitting areas, TrackMan 4 launch monitors, high-speed Ximea cameras, the GEARS Lab, and full-service TaylorMade Tour Trailer on site.

For more information about Reynolds Lake Oconee, visit www.reynoldslakeoconee.com.