Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Reports of demise of renowned Arnold Palmer-designed SC golf course exaggerated

Club owner McConnell Golf teams with membership to continue operations

(RALEIGH N.C.) — In late 2011, McConnell Golf announced it would be closing one of its eight clubs, Musgrove Mill Golf Club in Clinton, S.C., at least temporarily due to continuing losses and declining membership.

Turns out the reported closing was very temporary, as McConnell Golf has now announced formulation of a plan with the Musgrove Mill membership that will allow the club to continue operations. The plan includes a partnership that shares responsibility for keeping the club open, and if the new partnership is successful then the club will remain open indefinitely.

McConnell Golf president and CEO John McConnell said the company is planning to transform Musgrove Mill into a more regional golf course with some innovative membership opportunities expected to attract a wide range of golfers from all over the country.

“We have been very pleased with the outpouring of support and interest to maintain operations,” McConnell said. “Musgrove Mill is a special place and it is obvious that the members and community recognize the impact it has on the surrounding area. Our plans are to keep Musgrove open at this point and hopefully the excitement will continue to build.”

Designed by Arnold Palmer Design Company and opened in 1988, Musgrove Mill (www.musgrovemill.com) boasts 6,933 yards of challenging golf for a par of 72. Over the years, Musgrove Mill has hosted almost every South Carolina Golf Association event and Carolinas’ Amateur tournaments, and has been consistently ranked as Golfweek Magazine’s “America’s Top 100 Modern Courses” and Golf Digest’s “Top 10 Rated Golf Course for South Carolina.”

McConnell Golf bought Musgrove Mill ("The Mill" as it is affectionately referred) in 2007. Part of The Mill’s challenge is its remote location. Set in Clinton, S.C., about halfway between Greenville and Columbia, it is an hour and a half from the nearest other McConnell Golf property.

Yet, while Musgrove Mill is indeed off the beaten path — a special getaway reminiscent of Pine Valley in Clementon, N.J. — it is also a pure golf club where members and their guests will find the ultimate in destination golf.

The Mill features cottages for overnight accommodations, a first-rate practice facility, full-service clubhouse with a private chef, and historic significance as a former Revolutionary War battle site. Boasting a small, select membership, no tee times, and a secluded, natural course layout, The Mill is the ideal destination for the accomplished golfer.

The Mill’s course design is expertly placed amid the picturesque landscape with topography ranging from wetlands, various elevations and the Enoree River. Musgrove Mill Golf Club is also part of the Musgrove Mill South Carolina State Park due to its unaltered natural beauty and significance as a former Revolutionary War battle site.

The Mill’s signature hole is the 189-yard par 3 seventh hole, which commands a tee shot over the bend of the Enoree River to reach the green. The hole was named one of “The King’s Dream 18,” an honor bestowed by Arnold Palmer to his best and most challenging designed holes.

McConnell said he has always envisioned Musgrove Mill as a tribute to pure golf and a great day-trip for any golfer wanting to tackle one of golf’s finest tests — a sanctuary for golfers to eat and rest their heads after their rounds.

"Musgrove Mill is a phenomenal golfing venue," said McConnell. "It’s a true golfer’s golf club. Every shot demands a quality execution and there is a unique array of golf holes and hole design. There is not one hole that remotely resembles any other hole on the course."

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

EWGA Earns First-Place Award at Annual ING Industry Honors

(PALM BEACH GARDENS, FLORIDA) – EWGA – the trend-setting organization which enables current and aspiring business and professional women to learn, connect and play through golf – captured first place in the Player Development category at the 19th Annual ING Industry Honors awards program on Jan. 27 at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida.

EWGA beat out two other finalists – Tradition Golf Club and the Virginia State Golf Association Foundation – in the category, one of 12 at the awards ceremony attended by leaders in the industry last week. EWGA was lauded for connecting more than 100,000 women through golf, offering ongoing education and training to improve both their game and careers.  

“At its core, golf is a social sport that connects people,” said EWGA Chief Executive Officer Pam Swensen. “It’s a great honor to be recognized for harnessing that power among working women, knowing it helps in keeping them in the game longer, and providing a platform of mentorship and support for golf’s next generation.”

EWGA is the largest women-focused amateur golf association in the U.S., with 125 chapters in nearly every U.S. major market and corporate center, and in Canada and Europe. It provides affordable, organized golf, free networking, business and success insights from accomplished executives, travel and equipment discounts, and a variety of local and national benefits. Nearly 75% play more than 25 rounds per year and are considered avid golfers. The organization welcomes an average of 3,000 new or beginner golfers annually.

ING Industry Honors were created 20 years ago to recognize outstanding achievement in numerous categories from the golf business, and are presented annually. The program is conducted by the non-profit International Network of Golf.

Nominations for the ING Industry Honors were solicited and accepted from anyone involved in the golf industry. Sub-committees, including experts related to each specific category, then reviewed all nominations and trimmed the list to three in each category. The inclusion of these sub-committee experts, who are not necessarily ING members, ensured a thorough review of all nominees. A ballot describing nominees in each category was placed on the ING voting site. Voting was open to all current ING members.

For more information about EWGA, membership and chapter locations, visit www.ewga.com.

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

Raven Golf Club - Phoenix Launches New, Innovative Instructional Offerings for 2012

Instructional clinics and programs unveiled by Jeff Ritter Golf and Martin Chuck's Tour Striker Golf Academies

(Phoenix, Arizona) - Raven Golf Club - Phoenix (formerly Raven at South Mountain) unveiled new instructional programming created in partnership with Jeff Ritter Golf and Martin Chuck's Tour Striker Golf Academies. The new instructional programming includes not only traditional private instruction with Jeff Ritter, Martin Chuck and their team of teaching professionals, but also includes innovative programs for new golfers, fitness enthusiast and junior golfers.

Instructional clinics and packages include the new Premier Practice Club, Ladies Golf Starter Package, Golf Fitness Boot Camp, Junior All American coaching, Junior Series offering and even a Wee Golf instructional program that offers complimentary instruction for juniors 10 and under every Saturday. JRG/TSGA Instructional Clinics at Raven Golf Club - Phoenix include:

Premier Practice Club
The Practice Club Program at Raven Golf Club - Phoenix provides players with three unique offerings which include: Premier, Tour Preferred and Base Level access and amenities. A golf lovers dream, the Practice Club provides the combination of Practice, Coaching and Golf for one low monthly fee. The Premier Practice Club includes:
• One private lesson per month with JRG/TSGA Staff
• Supervised practice sessions (Saturday 1-2 p.m./Tuesday 8-9 a.m./Thursday short game only 3-4 p.m.)
• Complimentary access to one JRG/TSGA clinic per month
• Access to JRG/TSGA private grass lesson tee
• Golf privileges based on availability after 3 p.m., reduced golf car fees and optional practice guest benefits

Program Cost $295 per month

Ladies Only Ultimate Golf Starter Package
The Ladies Only "Ultimate Golf Starter" Package provides new golfers with the simple tools and support to learn the game in a fun, social atmosphere, while inspiring a long-term commitment to the enjoyment a life on the links brings. Sessions start in February and run for 6 weeks on Tuesday evenings from 3-4:30 p.m. Program details include:
• Fundamental coaching in all aspects of the game with personalized practice plan
• Club Fitting with 20% equipment purchase discount (must be redeemed within 30 days of class completion)
• On course instruction
• Wine and hors d'oeuvres following final session with Professional Staff
• 6:1 Student/Teacher Ratio (Maximum 12 Participants)
• Tuesdays 3-4:30 First six-week program starts February 2012

Program Cost $195 (Total package value $595)

Golf Fitness Boot Camps
Golfers can jump start their road to better health with one-hour golf fitness boot camps! This weekly program is designed to help improve mobility, increase golf-specific strength and power, and reduce your risk of the common injuries that plague avid golfers. The result? Pain-free play, longer drives, increased confidence, and a leaner, more functional physique. This program is perfect for golfers of all levels or even non-golfers who love the outdoors and want to start the weekend off great! Program takes place on grass lesson tee at Raven Golf Club-Phoenix and program details include:
• Run in conjunction with Staley Performance Institute
• Focuses on building strength, balance, stability and mobility for functional performance in sport or life
• Use of body weight training, medicine balls, kettle bells, ropes, ladders and more!
• One-hour training session
• 9:00 a.m. Saturday Feb-May

Program Cost $49 per month/$25 per class

The Junior Golf Instructional opportunities at Raven Golf Club - Phoenix are extensive. Junior programming includes private instruction as well as the following new clinics and programs:

JRG/TSGA All-American Programs 
Built upon an integrated approach to achieving peak performance, this Advanced Player's program infuses clinics on Nutrition, Golf Fitness, Sports Psychology, College Golf and Dream Building into the coaching experience. It's this diversified approach to learning that provides kids with not only the skills to play better golf, but the tools take charge of their lives physically and emotionally as well. This program is limited to accepted juniors age 12 to 18 (interested juniors may request applications by e-mailing mchuck@ravenphx.com). All American program details include:

• Swing mechanics program designed by Martin Chuck and Jeff Ritter
• Customized and supervised practice and play periods each day
• Complimentary playing privileges based on availability after 3 p.m.
• Fitness and nutrition evaluation and review by CNK and Staley Performance
• Weekly Golf Fitness Boot Camps
• Tournament scheduling and preparation
• Short and long-term goal setting, review, re-setting and analysis
• College resume portfolio support
• 5:1 Student Teacher Ratio
• Tuesday through Saturday each week

Program Cost $495 per month

The Raven Junior Series - Ages 11 to 17 
This is the perfect opportunity for new to moderately skilled junior golfers who are looking to enhance their skills. Join us weekly to learn about different elements and nuances of the game with our JRG/TSGA coaching staff.
Program Details
• Weekly coaching on all aspects of player development
• Participation gift included. Equipment provided if needed
• 5:1 Student Teacher Ratio
• Maximum 10 students
• Saturdays 11 a.m. to noon Jan-May

Program Cost $20

The Wee Ravens - Ages 10 and under 
Introduce your children to golf at The Raven Golf Club-Phoenix. Each week your child will learn a life message wrapped in the fundaments of golf with an emphasis on fun! Program Details include:

• Weekly coaching in a fun and inspiring atmosphere dedicated to all aspects of player development
• Participation gift and equipment provided
• 10:1 Student Teacher Ratio (Maximum 20 Students)
• Saturdays 9 - 10 a.m.

Program Cost FREE

The Golf Instructional programs at Raven Golf Club-Phoenix was conceptualized as a unique partnership between two of the most innovative brands in golf instruction, Jeff Ritter Golf and Martin Chuck's Tour Striker Academies. One of Golf Digest's Best Young Teachers in America, Jeff Ritter is one of the world's most prominent coaches with a presence that reaches all corners of the globe. A consistent presence in the world of golf media, Ritter's creative approach to the game has appeared endlessly across print, television and radio including frequent content showcased with Golf Digest Magazine and PGA Tour Sirius XM Radio.

Martin Chuck is the inventor of Tour Striker Training Products, the highly successful series of golf learning aids endorsed by CBS Commentator Gary McCord. As success of the Tour Striker brand grew, Chuck launched the Tour Striker Academies which now operate programs throughout the country. Proponents of an integrated approach to learning, JRG/TSGA coaching programs offer cutting edge modalities designed to unlock a player's true potential while providing fun and creative solutions for enhanced physical, emotional and nutritional performance.

Designed to give golfers the tools and support to achieve any goal, JRG/TSGA programs include: Private Lessons, Group Clinics, Corporate Events, Comprehensive schools, Advanced Fitting Resources, Junior Golf Development and more. For more information on JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club - Phoenix, call (602) 243-3636 or visit: www.ravenphx.com/instruction.

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

Bettinardi Introduces Studio B Headcovers

Introducing Bettinardi's new 2012 Studio B headcovers. These ultra-leather headcovers sport the Hex B and the USA Milled logo. The cover also features Bettinardi's patented Neoprene closure that matches the thread color. The black covers have black piping with black inside. The white covers have gray piping with a gray inside. Get your Studio B headcover in the Bettinardi store today.

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

Snedeker Relies on Bridgestone's New Dual Dimple B330 Ball in San Diego Shocker

Snedeker Overcomes 7-Shot Deficit to Cement His Reputation as PGA TOUR’s ‘Comeback Kid’
(Covington, Ga.) — Following up a Top 10 finish in his first 2012 event at the Humana Challenge, Bridgestone Tour Team member, Brandt Snedeker, rode the new TOUR B330 golf ball to a second hole sudden death victory at Torrey Pines on Sunday, after overcoming a 54-hole seven shot deficit to force the playoff.  Snedeker’s Farmers Insurance Open win marks the third PGA TOUR title of his career, with all three coming in dramatic come-from-behind fashion.

During the 2011 offseason, Snedeker began testing the new B330 family of golf balls with Bridgestone’s ball-fitting experts.  The results of the testing surprised Snedeker himself, and led to his playing the new TOUR B330 (the first time he used aball other than the B330-S during his professional career) to start 2012. Little did he know then, that his decision to switch balls would be validated after just his first two events of the 2012 PGA TOUR season, entering the winner’s circle at the 2012 Farmers Insurance Open in La Jolla, California.

“The new B330 ball gives me more length off the tee, more consistency in my ball flight and just the right amount of spin I need on and around the green,” said Snedeker.  “After going through a ball-fitting with Bridgestone in December, I switched from the B330-S to the new B330, as I found that the new B330 provided me with the exact performance my game demands.  Ball-fitting works and it can help golfers of all skill levels find the best ball for their game.”

Snedeker finished the week T2 in Birdies (24), T3 in Putts Per Round (27.5) and T8 in Putts Per GIR (1.686) leading to a 72-hole score of 16-under par.  During his crucial Final Round charge, Snedeker relied on the increased consistency and spin performance of the TOUR B330 and the precision shot-making of the J40 Cavity Back irons to hit an incredible 17 out of 18 greens in regulation.

Bridgestone’s new TOUR B330 ball features the company’s proprietary Dual Dimple Technology cover for optimized aerodynamic performance. The cover’s smaller inner dimples increase thrust power at launch for greater distance while the larger outer dimples promote a shallow angle of descent for increased roll out on landing. The result of the improved performance at both takeoff and landing is greater overall distance performance and more consistency in flight.

In addition to enhanced aerodynamics, the new B330 also contains a larger core than before. Like a car’s engine, the core is the powerhouse of the golf ball. By gaining size in the core, the ball’s velocity is increased and its distance performance maximized.

The newly enhanced spin performance is a product of the ball’s softer Urethane cover. Compared to the previous model, the Urethane cover of the B330 is 6% softer. The resulting softness produces maximized spin and control on and around the green and enhanced durability throughout the round.

“Brandt is off to a fast start to the 2012 season, and the way he is striking the ball right now, sky is the limit,” said Dan Murphy, Vice President of Marketing – Bridgestone Golf, Inc.  “We are glad for our tour team to get its first win while still on the West Coast Swing, and to have it happen the week we launched the new balls at the PGA Show, is just unbelievable.  We cannot wait to get the new B330 family into consumers’ hands this spring.”

The new B330 balls feature a street price of $44.99 per dozen (MSRP $58.00 per dozen) and will be available March 2012 at golf courses and golf specialty and sporting goods retailers nationwide.  For a rundown of all the Bridgestone gear in Snedeker ’s bag see below.

Brandt’s Bridgestone Arsenal
* 2012 TOUR B330 Golf Ball
* J40 Cavity Back Irons (4-PW)
* J40 Satin Chrome Wedges (52 and 56 degrees)

Visit www.bridgestonegolf.com to see Bridgestone Golf’s entire 2012 Tour Team and to view the complete lineup of new products.

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

Speed of New VR_S Technology Produces Longest Hybrid Ever

VR_S Hybrids Add Even More Distance to Nike Golf’s Fastest Family

(BEAVERTON, Ore.) – Nike Golf’s fastest family of clubs ever, the all new VR_S line, has gained more speed and more distance with the launch of the VR_S hybrids.  This latest introduction from Nike Golf, the industry’s emerging leader in R&D, delivers a fast, long hybrid that promises to outdistance all others.

The VR_S hybrids share the same remarkable speed and distance attributes as the rest of the VR_S family with the incorporation of the exclusive NexCOR variable face-thickness technology.  NexCOR maximizes distance for the widest range of players through a new speed-expanding multi face thickness design.  The NexCOR infinity design creates a bridge for ultra-thin, ultra-hot faces and unmatched ball speed from every club in the bag.

By combining NexCOR with a compact aerodynamic design, Nike Golf engineers have been able to deliver in a hybrid the performance of a fairway wood, along with the accuracy and scoring ability of an iron.  As a result, the VR_S hybrids launch easier and fly further.  In addition, L Face technology positions the weld on the sole to allow for an expanded maximum COR zone from the middle to lower on the face, where the majority of fairway shots are struck.

“By taking a holistic approach to how we’ve designed every club in the VR_S line, we’ve been able to deliver more speed and more distance with every club in the bag,” said Tom Stites, Director of Club Creation for Nike Golf.  “These new VR_S hybrids are just like the VR_S driver, fairway woods and irons.  They are ultra fast so that they can play their role in getting you to the green more quickly.  The result is what every golfer wants – fewer strokes.”

Nike engineers conducted impact studies and were able to map where consumers hit the ball on the face at impact on every club.  Based on those results, the location of the NexCOR technology through the entire family of VR_S drivers, fairway woods, irons and hybrids differs from club to club.  The result is the fastest, hottest and longest family of golf clubs that Nike Golf has ever produced.

The VR_S family is an extension of Nike Golf’s Tour-proven VR franchise, which, since its 2008 introduction, has been the weapon of choice in 83 worldwide Tour wins, including three major titles.

Starting in March through May 2012, Nike Golf will be conducting VR_S Speed Trials at hundreds of participating golf retail shops and golf courses across the country. Nike’s VR_S Speed Trials will allow consumers to compare the speed of what’s in their current bag to the new Nike VR_S products on a launch monitor. Their accumulative distance will be tallied and recorded on a national leaderboard that will be featured on www.nikegolf.com. For a list of golf shops participating, go to www.nikegolf.com.

VR_S Hybrids
* Availability: February 3, 2012
* 2H/18° (RH/LH), 3H/21°, 4H/24° (RH/LH), 5H/27°;
* Nike Fubuki K HY: S, R, A;
* Street Price: $159.99

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

Monday, January 30, 2012

Windsong Farm Golf Club Reorganizes, Continues Traditional Golf Operations with Current Private Membership Group

Windsong Farm Golf Club announced a recapitalization and continuation of the current membership group. Windsong Farm Golf Club, as with a number of other private golf clubs across the country, has suffered financially due to the weak economy and overbuilt golf course situation. The Windsong Farm Golf Club members voted last Saturday to sell the assets of Windsong Farm Golf Club to Fargo, ND businessman David Meyer. In addition to renewing current memberships, Windsong Farm Golf Club is taking applications for a limited number of available golf memberships.

General Manager and PGA golf professional Jim Kidd says: "The overwhelming support and enthusiasm from the members for this reorganization is exciting. The bottom line is that the members and their families want to continue to play golf at Windsong. With this newly added financial stability, we can continue to preserve and build on the Windsong golf experience this season and for generations into the future."

New owner David Meyer states: "This is an outstanding championship golf course. I am a golf traditionalist with roots in the area. There has been a lot of thought and hard work put into Windsong resulting in a tremendous amount of respect and praise from the golf community. I am proud to be associated with the excellent staff and great group of members to continue the vision and legacy of Windsong Farm Golf Club."

"The members are elated. Windsong is a special place and now we have a solid future. Can't wait for spring to get here," says Steve Erickson, a current and original Windsong member.

Located just outside the Western Minneapolis suburbs, Windsong Farm Golf Club opened in 2003. This 7380 Yard Par 71 Championship Course was designed by John Fought and Minnesota native Tom Lehman. Windsong Farm Golf Club hosted the 2008 MGA State Amateur Championship, 2010 Big Ten Men's Golf Championship, and the 2011 USGA Women's Mid-Amateur Championship Sectional Qualifying. Windsong Farm Golf Club was rated in the Top 100 Modern Golf Courses in 2010 by Golfweek Magazine.

Golf Pride Continues Support of Folds of Honor Foundation with $10,000 Donation

(SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.) - Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation announced today Golf Pride celebrated another year of its partnership with the Folds of Honor Foundation and Patriot Golf Day by donating $10,000 from proceeds earned through Patriot grip sales. The check was presented to Major Ed Pulido, Vice President of the Folds of Honor Foundation, last week at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla.

"Golf Pride is proud to continue our partnership with the Folds of Honor Foundation in supporting the families of our soldiers," said Jeff Fiorini, president of Eaton's Golf Grip Division. "To date, Golf Pride has donated more than $40,000 in donations and product to support the Folds of Honor Foundation and related events."

Throughout the partnership, Golf Pride has participated in a number of Patriot Golf Day events to support the Folds of Honor Foundation and promote the benefits of regripping. Fans can also purchase the Patriot, a specially-designed red, white and blue all-rubber grip with a portion of the proceeds from every grip sold benefiting the Folds of Honor Foundation. The Patriot grip is available nationwide, wherever regripping is offered. For more information on where to find the Patriot grip, visit www.golfpride.com.

"Thanks to great partners like Golf Pride, we are able to ensure no families get left behind when it comes to getting an education," said Major Dan Rooney, founder of the Folds of Honor Foundation. "Golf Pride has been a great supporter of our organization and we appreciate their contributions. We look forward to continuing our relationship in 2012 and beyond."

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sweetgrass Golf Club's Perfect Foursome Package, Tour Event Returns in 2012

(HARRIS, MICHIGAN) - Sweetgrass Golf Club - an award-winning amenity of Island Resort & Casino in Michigan's Upper Peninsula - has officially opened 2012 tee times and is actively selling golf packages, giving golfers a chance to play the championship site this spring.

The list of April-October offerings is led by the Perfect Foursome package, including a round at Sweetgrass and nearby TimberStone and Greywalls courses, with two nights' stay, starting at $265. All three courses are Golfweek-ranked top 20 courses.

"We recognize that value is still the name of the game in regional golf travel, and kept our rates low again this year," said Tom McChesney, Executive Director of the Island Resort & Casino, which operates the public golf course. "Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois golfers are now including a trip here every year because of the diversity and quality experience we offer."

The Perfect Foursome can now be booked by calling 1-877-ISL-GREEN (475-4733). Additional information on other overnight packages and daily greens fees starting at $75 can be found at www.sweetgrassgolfclub.com. Discounted greens fee rates are also available for those in the immediate community.

Accommodations are provided at the Island Resort & Casino, with 275 rooms and a 24/7 gaming facility boasting over 1,400 slot machines, active table games and a weekly live entertainment line up, as well as five restaurants. Headliners on the Island Showroom stage in 2012 include nationally recognized entertainers such as Comedienne Kathy Griffin, Sawyer Brown, The Band Perry, Huey Lewis & The News, and Merle Haggard.

Sweetgrass staffers are readily preparing for the 2012 Island Resort Championship - a Symetra TOUR event formerly known as the LPGA Futures Tour - welcoming 144 LPGA professional female golfers for a 54-hole stroke play tournament June 28-July 1. Corporate sponsorships are actively being sold and volunteers welcomed to support the event.

For more information or to download a 2012 scorecard, see www.sweetgrassgolfclub.com.

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort Announces 2012 Golf Packages

(Destin, Fla.) - Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort - the 2,400-acre resort featuring four championship golf courses on Northwest Florida's Emerald Coast - today announces its 2012 golf packages.

Featuring Sandestin's entire course roster (Burnt Pine Golf Club, Raven Golf Club, Baytowne Golf Club, and The Links Course) and providing guests with a deluxe condominium, villa, town home, or hotel accommodations, the lineup is:

• 4 ½ Star - For serious golfers and course collectors, it features a round at Rees Jones' Burnt Pine Golf Club (a private club) and a round at Robert Trent Jones II's Raven Golf Club (host of two PGA Champions Tour events). Starting at $141 - $191, depending on season.

• Player's - Blending a Tour-quality track with a relaxing golf experience, the offering includes a round at Raven Golf Club and a round at Baytowne Golf Club, designed by Tom Jackson. Starting at $113 - $174, depending on season.

• Classic - Ideal for value-oriented golfers, it provides a round at Baytowne Golf Club and a round a The Links Course, also a Jackson-design. Starting at $99 - $173, depending on season.

Carts, unlimited use of Sandestin's practice facility and range balls are included. Free replay rounds booked at the course the day of play are offered based on availability. Guests who book a golf package and complete their stay prior to April 15 receive a complimentary $20 beverage cart credit per golfer.

"Thanks to the variety of packages available at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, golfers can tailor a visit to their specific playing ability and budget, whether it's a golf 'mancation,' or casual family vacation," says Rick Hileman, director of resort golf.

Sandestin is the preferred vacation destination of golfers who value diverse playing experiences. The resort is the only place in the world with Rees (Burnt Pine Golf Club) and Robert Trent Jones II (Raven Golf Club) courses side-by-side. Renovated in 2005, Baytowne Golf Club has five sets of tees, including a junior tee box, and is frequently cited as an ideal family or day of arrival course. The Links Course is the original Sandestin layout, and a longtime favorite of guests and locals.

In between rounds, golfers can visit The Village of Baytowne Wharf, an assortment of casual and fine-dining restaurants, bars and nightlife, and boutique shopping. Beach access, a marina, fitness facilities and numerous organized activities are also available on-site.

Rates for all packages are based on a two-night stay. They do not include fees and taxes.

For more information: www.sandestin.com; (888) 801-4388.

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

Friday, January 27, 2012

Golf Fantasy Comes to Life

Tennessee-based company launches “golfmanna,” a unique and user-friendly, on-line fantasy golf league that requires minimal time and money, but delivers maximum fun

(NASHVILLE, TENN.) — C.A. Schmidt says he spent more than a decade and countless hours organizing golf-related “fantasy leagues” for his group of golf-aholic friends.

In general, what the 39-year-old Nashville marketing executive encountered was a lack of commitment to fantasy golf, unkempt, “wonky” websites and poor customer service.

“My group had been playing [golf fantasy leagues] 10 to 15 years and we got tired of bouncing around from website to website,” Schmidt said. “Games would go away with no explanation and then reappear. The prizes were terrible. The user interface was poor.”

Schmidt’s frustration, combined with his gaming and Web expertise, motivated him and a St. Louis-based partner, Mark Mihal — along with other expert designers and content service providers — to launch a new fantasy golf website, “golfmanna.”  The site – www.golfmanna.com – launched Jan. 16, and its fantasy season is set to begin in March.

Schmidt explains that the word “manna” means “spiritual nourishment of divine origin, or something of value that is received unexpectedly.” In this case, Schmidt says “golfmanna” represents the games, content and prizes golfers seek, along with a service committed to fantasy golf, news and commentary and related issues.

Schmidt said he hopes golfmanna will become known as a highly functional, user-friendly platform that addresses the many issues fantasy players have encountered through the years.

“golfmanna is all about user experience, building community and getting more enjoyment out of the game we all love to watch and play — and competing for something more than a sleeve of balls,” said Schmidt, a former editor at LINKS Magazine. “We think that’s a good fit with the game of golf and what we strive to accomplish here. We provide a robust outlet to better connect with the game and your fellow golfers.”

golfmanna offers dedicated resources not provided by some of the larger, conglomerate fantasy sites including fresh writing and commentary from multiple contributors as well as research and user-friendly leagues. In addition, golfmanna has already partnered with more established sports- and golf-related entities to provide a one-stop shop for all the information a player needs.

golfmanna offers simple, inexpensive games with large cash payouts. In the “One and Done” game — currently accepting registrations on the site — each team owner selects one golfer each week and once selected, that golfer cannot be used for the rest of the season. The season runs from March 22 (Arnold Palmer Invitational) to the Tour Championship on September 23. Each week, selected players earn dollars for their actual tournament performance, which are accumulated throughout the year for a team’s total according to the official money earned during each tournament.

In addition, One and Done participants can set-up a private league with an unlimited number of players. Each private league has one commissioner, and players in the private league will also be placed in a public league to compete for prizes.

The standard One and Done game is $19.99 — less than $1 per week — and reduced rates are offered for multiple entries.

In another golfmanna game, “Majors Challenge,” players pick a team of six golfers and their dollar winnings are totaled — the highest total wins. Each major (Masters, U.S. Open, British Open Championship, PGA Championship) is a separate game. Players can select different players for their team in each major and there is also a competition and cash prize for the player who has the best results from all four tournaments.

Schmidt says there are other games in development that will roll out throughout 2012, including a one-time weekly game, seasonal “tourney team” using multiple players for each tournament, salary cap formats and more. Each person who plays a golfmanna game is eligible to win $2,000 to $2,500 and the top 20 finishers in One and Done are prize earners. Majors Challenge entrants can turn $10 into $2,000 with the right picks.

“We keep the league sizes small so everyone has a better opportunity to win, place or show,” said Schmidt. “We really just want to provide the top-notch platform to host and organize the leagues – and have the community and all the information and research in one place so the user won’t have to go to a dozen different sites to gather it.”

Finally, golfmanna prides itself on assisting its players with any issues and seeks feedback or suggestions.

Said Schmidt: “It’s not about the money. We have designed golfmanna so that it requires minimal money commitment and minimal time commitment but offers maximum enjoyment.”

For information, visit www.golfmanna.com or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/golfmanna. Schmidt uses the @fantasygolfguy handle on Twitter.

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Troon Appointed to Manage Taba Heights and El Gouna Golf Resorts by Orascom Hotels & Development

Located at two of Egypt's finest golf destinations

(Scottsdale, Ariz.) - Troon, the leader in upscale golf course management, development and marketing announced it has been appointed by Orascom Hotels & Development, the largest single hotel owner in Egypt, to manage its world-class facilities at Taba Heights (www.tabaheights.com) and El Gouna (www.elgouna.com).

The signing ceremony recently took place at Orascom's Swiss headquarters following a site visit at one of their newest developments at the foot of the Gotthard Pass, Andermatt Swiss Alps. The agreement to manage Taba Heights and El Gouna will enhance not only the service, quality and marketing capabilities at each property, but will also assist in promoting the region as a recognized golf tourism destination.

"Our agreement with Orascom Hotels & Development is another significant signing for Troon's EMEA portfolio," commented Bruce Glasco, Troon's senior vice president, managing director, Europe, Middle East and Africa division. "Our EMEA team will rely on its unrivalled expertise to further enhance the golfer experience and the quality of amenities and services available."

Voted the best golf course in Egypt, Taba Heights is located 20 miles from Taba International Airport on the east coast of the Sinai Peninsula, at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba. Designed by Florida-based architect John Sanford, the magnificent 18-hole desert layout provides spectacular views from every hole as it lies between the imposing Sinai Mountains and the deep blue waters of the Red Sea. The resort's village and five-star hotels blend effortlessly into the breath-taking natural backdrop of untamed desert, cinnamon mountains and vibrant sea.

El Gouna, home to 14 spectacular hotels and built along six miles of beachfront, is the Red Sea's premier leisure destination. Designed by Gene Bates and Fred Couples, its 18-hole championship golf course was built to the highest PGA standards and has proven to be a popular year-round destination for golfers from Germany, France, Italy and Scandinavia. Award-winning American architect, Michael Graves is the mastermind behind the property's stunning clubhouse and the innovative and exciting style that surrounds El Gouna.

Orascom Hotels & Development is the primary designer, developer, contractor and marketing force behind the highly successful El Gouna, Taba Heights, Tala Bay and The Cove projects. It is also one of the key private players in the tourism sector and the largest single hotel owner in Egypt.

"We are delighted to welcome the renowned expertise of Troon," said Gerhard Niesslein, the new CEO of Orascom Development Holding AG. "Their impressive portfolio and collective experience sets the right platform for us to take El Gouna and Taba Heights golf courses to the next level. Troon will assist us in coping with the upscale movement we are witnessing in Taba Heights and El Gouna as well as establishing consistent performance and quality of golf service across both destinations, and most importantly reach out to new golf markets."

Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, Troon EMEA is committed to developing Troon's presence in Europe, Middle East and Africa. This rapidly expanding division now oversees operations at 37 courses in 13 countries including Dubai, England, Russia, South Africa and Spain with further expansion planned across all regions.

Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Troon is the world's largest golf management company, overseeing operations at Troon Golf (daily-fee & resort) and Troon Privé (private) properties located in 29 states and 26 countries. Additionally, 47 Troon facilities enjoy a Top 100 ranking by national or international publications. Troon properties include The Grove, London, England; Classic Club, Palm Desert, Calif.; and Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort, El Jadida, Morocco.

Visit www.TroonGolf.com for additional news and information.

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

The Minikahda Club to Host 2017 USGA Senior Amateur Championship

(Far Hills, NJ) - The Minikahda Club, in Minneapolis, Minn., has been chosen by the United States Golf Association to host the 2017 USGA Senior Amateur Championship. This will be the sixth USGA championship held at The Minikahda Club. The dates of the championship are Aug. 26-31.

"The USGA is thrilled to be bringing our Senior Amateur Championship to a venue so rich in tradition and championship history," said Ben Kimball, director of the U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Amateur Championships. "The Minikahda Club has always been a great supporter of amateur golf and we look forward to challenging the best senior amateur players in the world on this classic venue come 2017."

The club has previously hosted the 1916 U.S. Open, won by Charles "Chick" Evans Jr.; the 1927 U.S. Amateur, one of nine USGA championships garnered by the legendary Robert T. Jones Jr.; and the 1988 U.S. Women's Amateur, which was captured by Pearl Sinn, the first woman to win two USGA titles in the same year. In 1957, Minikahda hosted the Walker Cup, which brings together male amateurs from the United States and Great Britain and Ireland in a biennial team competition. In 1998, the club held the Curtis Cup Match, a biennial amateur team event for women that is conducted in a similar format to the Walker Cup. The USA won both competitions.

"The Minikahda Club is proud to continue its support of amateur golf as the host of the 2017 USGA Senior Amateur," said Jim Jennings, general manager of The Minikahda Club. "The Senior Amateur will mark 101 years since Minikahda hosted the 1916 U.S. Open. Players today will find the course challenging and enjoyable and the hospitality of the membership unsurpassed."

The Minikahda Club dates to 1898. The name Minikahda comes from the Sioux and is a combination of two words meaning "by the side of the water." In fact, the club is adjacent to Lake Calhoun, the largest in the Minneapolis area. Willie Watson, the club's first golf professional, and Robert Foulis designed the original nine-hole course. Robert Taylor and C.T. Jaffray joined Foulis to create an 18-hole layout that opened in 1907. A redesign of the course by Donald Ross opened in 1920 and Ron Prichard restored the course in 2001.

The USGA Senior Amateur Championship was first played in 1955. It is open to amateur golfers who are age 55 and older and have a USGA Handicap Index® not exceeding 7.4. In 2012, the USGA Senior Amateur Championship will be played at Mountain Ridge Country Club, in West Caldwell, N.J., from Sept. 29-Oct. 4. In 2013, the Senior Amateur will be conducted at Wade Hampton Golf Club in Cashiers, N.C., from Sept. 21-26.

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

Yes! Launches 2012 Line Of Putters

New models feature new face innovation with combination of C-Grooves and TPU insert

(PLANO, Texas) - The 2012 Yes! lineup will debut a new, contrasting TPU65D insert which is placed in a precision milled slot behind the face. This insert provides improved feel, but also creates True Square Alignment as well. Yes! putters are well known for their patented C-Groove Technology, which allows the ball to begin pure roll up to 21.5% sooner for more consistent putts. The concentric shaped grooves also improve the performance of off-center hits increasing accuracy up to 40%.

Bella-Fit Fitting System
"The golf industry has put a real focus on proper fitting in recent years, the putter however has often been left out of this equation," said Chip Brewer, President and CEO of Adams Golf. "A great majority of golfers are getting fit for their woods and irons, but buy their putter off of the rack. This is a huge detriment to their game. The new Bella-Fit Fitting System fills this void and revolutionizes the putter fitting process."

Using a single Bella putter head, this system can fit for face-balanced, moderate toe hang or pronounced toe hang putter styles. It also uses an adjustable hosel to fit for lie angle. And finally, it features three telescoping shafts to fit for length of standard putters (26"-37"), mid/belly putters (36"-47") or long putters (46"-52"). Once all of the settings have been locked into position, the golfer can then hit practice putts to ensure proper fitting, an important distinction relative to most if not all other fitting putters..

Entire Line to be Featured at 2012 PGA Show
Yes! Golf announced that the highly anticipated 2012 lineup of putters featuring C-Groove Technology, which won a Gold Medal in the 2012 Golf Digest Hot List, will be launched at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, FL (Booth #3716). This will be the first launch of putters for Yes! Golf since it was acquired by Adams Golf a year ago. This year's lineup will feature standard length, belly/mid, and long putters many of which will be available in multiple finishes including satin, white pvd and black pvd. Also being showcased in Orlando will be the Yes! Bella-Fit Fitting System.

"We are thrilled to showcase our first lineup of Yes! putters at the PGA Show," said Tim Reed, Vice President of Research and Development of Adams Golf. "The C-Groove Technology provides incredible benefits to golfers of all skill levels. We believe the enhancements made to the 2012 line provide improved performance and style that all golfers seek."

Models, Pricing and Availability
The 2012 Yes! putters will be available in stores April 1st, 2012. The standard length putters will have a suggested retail price of $199.99, and will be available in 34", 35" and custom lengths. The belly/mid length putters (43" standard, custom lengths available) and long putters (50" standard, custom lengths available) will have a suggested retail price of $249.99. The white and black pvd finishes will be available in some models for a $10 upcharge.

Available Models and pricing:
Stand Length Blade Putters:
Callie-12 Satin - $199.99
Callie-12 White - $209.99
Callie-12 Women's - $199.99
Callie MB - $349.99
Bella-12 Satin - $199.99
Bella-12 White - $209.99
Jenny-12 Satin - $199.99
Sophia-12 Satin - $199.99
Mallet Putters:
Sandy-12 Satin - $199.99
Sandy-12 White - $209.99
Sandy-12 Women's - $199.99
Sara-12 Satin - $199.99
Eleanor-12 Black - $209.99
Belly/Mid Length Putters:
Pippi-12 Satin - $249.99
Sandy-12 Mid Satin - $249.99
Sandy-12 Mid White - $259.99
Sara-12 Mid Satin - $249.99
Long Length Putters:
Sara-12 Long Satin - $249.99
Sally-12 Long Milled - $349.99

South Carolina's True Blue Golf Plantation Offers a Two-Night Three-Round Golf Vacation in Facebook Giveaway

Vacation giveaway carries retail value of $3,000

(Pawleys Island, S.C.) - True Blue Golf Plantation, one of America's top 100 public courses as ranked by Golf Digest, is giving away a two-night, three-round golf vacation. Those interested can visit and like True Blue's Facebook page. Once the page reaches 1,500 likes, a random drawing will be held to determine the winner of the vacation package.

The prize includes a two-night stay at the True Blue Resort Villas and three rounds of golf at True Blue Golf Plantation and its sister course, Caledonia Golf and Fish Club, for four golfers. The vacation has a retail value of $3,000 and is sponsored by Caledonia Golf Vacations.

Those interested can visit the following websites for more information: www.truebluegolfplantation.com; www.fishclub.com; or www.caledoniagolfvacations.com .

"We enjoy interacting with our customers through our websites, blogs, social media sites and, certainly, at the golf course," said Bob Seganti, director of golf at True Blue Golf Plantation and Caledonia Golf Vacations "We want our customers to enjoy our properties year round whether on vacation or at home and we like to keep them up to date on the latest happenings at True Blue and Caledonia."

Caledonia Golf and Fish Club (1994) and True Blue Golf Plantation (1998) are two of late architect Mike Strantz's most decorated layouts.

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

Bushnell Golf's New Patriot Packs to Support Folds of Honor Foundation, Patriot Golf Day

A percentage of Patriot Pack proceeds will be donated to support families of fallen and wounded service men and women

(Overland Park, KS) - Bushnell Outdoor Products, makers of the #1 laser rangefinder on the PGA Tour, today announced its continued support of the Folds of Honor Foundation. Two new Patriot Packs have been added to Bushnell's 2012 lineup, which will continue to aid the foundation's fundraising efforts by providing a percentage of every 2012 sale of the Bushnell Patriot Pack. Since the inception of the Patriot Packs, Bushnell has donated nearly $300,000 to the foundation.

As the special edition Patriot Packs continue to be a favorite among golfers, Bushnell has introduced two new packs for 2012. The Tour V2 Patriot Pack comes equipped with a Tour V2 laser rangefinder, limited edition red Folds of Honor golf tees, exclusive orange Bushnell Golf branded golf tees, a blue silicone SKINZ, Clip & Go Mount for either bag or cart, premium carrying case and extra battery at a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $299. Also updated for 2012, the Tour V2 Slope Edition Patriot Pack features a Tour V2 Slope Edition laser rangefinder, limited edition red Folds of Honor golf tees, exclusive orange Bushnell Golf branded golf tees, a red silicone SKINZ, Clip & Go Mount for either bag or cart, premium carrying case and extra battery at a manufacturer's suggested retail price $399 (MSRP).

The Tour V2 incorporates the same "PinSeeker" technology that has made Bushnell products the #1 rangefinder on the PGA Tour. Both Tournament and Slope Editions feature golf-grip touch points for enhanced feel and stability, and is capable of ranging up to 300 yards to the flag stick with incredible +/- one yard accuracy.

For each sale of the Tour V2 and/or Tour V2 Slope Edition Patriot Packs, Bushnell will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Folds of Honor Foundation (FHF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with a mission to empower deserving military families with educational support and opportunities. Founded in 2007 by PGA Golf Professional Dan Rooney, a Major in the Air National Guard and a decorated military aviator, the FHF provides post-secondary educational scholarships to the spouses and children of service members killed as a result of their military service to the United States. To date, more than 2,600 scholarships have been awarded by FHF.

"After witnessing the continued generosity of the golfing industry and golfers all across the United States through their purchases of special edition Bushnell Patriot Packs, we have elected to continue our support of the Folds of Honor Foundation and the extraordinary mission they serve in helping the families of the men and women who defend our great country," said Blake Lipham, President and CEO of Bushnell. "Everyone at Bushnell is proud to support their efforts through the Patriot Pack and additional programs on the hunting/shooting side of our business, and we consider it an honor to be continuing our support of this extremely worthy cause."

The FHF is the beneficiary of Patriot Golf Day, a joint initiative of The PGA of America and the United States Golf Association that encourages golfers across the country to add at least $1 to their greens fees over the Labor Day weekend. Sparked by the vision and dedication of Rooney, Patriot Golf Day has become the largest grassroots golf platform in the country and has raised more than $12.8 million in just five years with the support of golfers across the country.

"Bushnell continues to impress us with their dedication and willingness to support the Folds of Honor Foundation year after year," said Rooney. "This partnership has evolved to offer consumers a great product with exclusive items in the Golf Patriot Pack, and the relationship now expands into the hunting segment of their business. What continually amazes me is the response from golfers and hunters, and their generosity in supporting the families of fallen or wounded service members."

Bushnell, the #1 choice of professional golfers, offers a full range of rangefinders, which continue to change and improve the way golfers assess distances, ultimately improving performance.

For more information on the Bushnell family of rangefinders, visit the company's website at www.bushnellgolf.com. To obtain images of the Pro 1M, please go to www.bushnellgolfpr.com.

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

Carlsbad Golf Center named PING National Fitter of the Year

(PHOENIX) – Club-fitting pioneer and leader PING announced today that Susan Roll and her staff at Carlsbad Golf Center (CGC) in Carlsbad, Calif., have been named the 2011 PING National Fitter of the Year.

First given in 1997, the award recognizes the Authorized PING Fitter who has demonstrated the highest commitment to custom fitting and the promotion of its benefits to golfers of all abilities.

“Susan leads a team at Carlsbad Golf Center that is experienced, well-trained, and passionately committed to PING’s custom-fitting philosophy, and her staff has helped countless golfers lower their scores through properly fit PING technology,” said John A. Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO. “Because of Susan’s emphasis on customer service, her facility enjoys a large and loyal following. Her promotion of the PING brand in the highly competitive Southern California market has helped her grow, and that’s a credit to her belief in the quality of PING equipment and the effectiveness of our fitting system. She is very deserving of being PING’s National Fitter of the Year.”

As a business owner and fitter, Roll said she values PING’s steadfast ability to turn out one high-quality product after another, making her job easier. “The word I use to describe PING is ‘consistency’. Year in and year out, PING produces a terrific product. Whether it’s women-specific or a better-player’s club, it will look great, feel great and perform great for golfers of all abilities. If I hear PING has a new product coming out I don’t even have to see it, I just know it’s going to be good.”

Roll, who has co-owned CGC with Dana Chaiken since 2003, is a Class A PGA and LPGA Professional and has more than 20 years of clubfitting experience. Her long list of accolades and honors includes Club Fitter of the Year from both the PGA’s Southern California Section and San Diego Chapter. She was recently named 2011 PGA National Merchandiser of the Year-Public Facilities.

Key to her fitting practice, Roll said, is CGC’s 58-bay, lighted range where she can monitor ball flights and make adjustments. Natural and artificial putting and chipping greens, and bunkers complement a full-service operation that includes a pro shop offering fittings and instruction from CGC’s teaching professionals. The pro shop, club fitters, and the range have all been recognized multiple times on “Best Of” lists by national publications.

Roll relies on PING’s Advanced Fitting System (AFS) Interchangeable Fitting Cart and nFlight® Custom-Fitting Software to perform complete-bag fittings with in-depth analysis. She also utilizes the iPING putter app to identify stroke type and fit her customers with the PING putter model that matches his or her stroke. “Extensive” is how she describes the AFS Cart. “Interchangeability gives us flexibility and allows us to be agile, to change all the components quickly and be able to tell the customer, ‘This is the exact club you’re going to play’. Knowing they have the right clubs for them means a great deal to people, and to me.”

She said PING is a prominent piece of her business because the brand inspires an emotional connection. “Time and again, people just light up when they hit PING equipment. They smile. They’re immediately hooked. And if someone has left PING, inevitably they come back and say, ‘Why did I ever leave? I remember this is what it feels like to play well.’ ”

In addition to Roll, CGC’s fitters include Director of Golf/Manager Mug Ogg, Head Professional Monica Stratton, Assistant Professional Les Duer, and PGA Apprentice Professionals Lee Sanudo and Ken Behrs.

Nearly 2,000 authorized PING Club Fitters were eligible for the award. Among the criteria considered by the selection committee are length of time in the program, commitment to on-going training, sustained sales growth and support of the entire PING product line.

Nominating Susan Roll was Rich Mundy, PING Field Representative for Southern California.

For more information on PING, visit www.ping.com.

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

SkyGolf to Unveil New Wi-Fi-Enabled SkyCaddie SGXw

Offers Golfers Unmatched Accuracy with Convenience of Wireless Connectivity

(RIDGELAND, Miss.) - SkyGolf, maker of SkyCaddie, the #1 Rangefinder in Golf, will have its official  unveiling of the next generation SkyCaddie – the new Wi-Fi-enabled SkyCaddie SGXw – at this year’s PGA Merchandise Show (booth #943).

With its new wireless capabilities, the new SkyCaddie SGXw provides a combination of unmatched accuracy with the convenience of “on the go” access to the most accurate and up-to-date course maps in the game while eliminating the known issues with courses preloaded in other rangefinders. Preloaded courses are basically “out of date” before the device is sold and can be risky and unreliable.  The SkyCaddie SGXw connects wirelessly to SkyGolf’s vast library of precision courses via Wi-Fi at home, the office, the golf course or hotspot for fast, easy course downloads and updates of the same complete and reliable course information Tour Professionals receive from their caddies and their yardage books.  For wireless access “on the go,” the SGXw can even utilize many smartphones to gain Internet access as a “personal hotspot.”

The launch of the Wi-Fi-enabled SGXw is a strong complement to the award-winning SkyCaddie franchise, which is being heralded throughout the industry and among the game’s most serious players.  In fact,  the SkyCaddie SGX received the only Gold rating among all GPS rangefinders tested by Golf Digest magazine for the 2011 “Hot List.”  This prestigious distinction followed a survey conducted by Golf Datatech, the industry’s leading independent research firm, who polled serious golfers about their opinions of lasers, dedicated GPS devices and smartphone apps.  The study revealed that SkyCaddie was trusted by more serious golfers than all other rangefinders combined.  SkyCaddie rated more accurate than lasers by a margin of 3-to-2 and more accurate than other GPS devices by ratios ranging from 8-to-1 and 23-to-1.  The Golf Datatech survey also revealed that 94% of serious golfers believe “exact yardage” is important to their game.

“The combination of golfers’ need for accurate distances and SkyCaddie being named as the most accurate rangefinder explains why more golfers use and trust SkyCaddie for their critical distances than all other distance measuring devices combined,” said Richard Edmonson, CEO, SkyGolf.  “That is why we are excited about the new SGXw providing easy and wireless download of the most up-to-date course maps in the game with the convenience of wireless connectivity.  Whether their handicap is 2 or 22, we believe all golfers deserve the same trusted, reliable course maps that no Tour Pro would play without.  The introduction of SGXw establishes the most advanced distance measuring device in golf, and represents the next phase in our mission to help golfers play smarter, play better, play faster and have more fun.”

Highlights of the SkyCaddie SGXw:
Dynamic RangeVue - designed for smarter and easier club selections, RangeVue’s preset yardage arcs adjust dynamically over fairway landing areas and greens to allow golfers to select the best club for every shot much more quickly.  RangeVue provides more information, faster and more reliably than any laser rangefinder without aiming or requiring line of sight.

PinPoint Technology with IntelliGreen MAKES LASERS OBSOLETE- no more aiming and missing with lasers trying to get hole positions.  PinPoint Technology allows golfers to measure “to the hole” by adding pin positions.  Combined with SkyCaddie’s patented IntelliGreen® feature, golfers have yardages they need to the front carry, back, center and hole location, automatically from any line of approach.  PinPoint eliminates the need for line of sight and the frustration golfers have with aiming and keeping a laser steady.  The powerful combination of PinPoint and Intelligreen will help golfers avoid greenside bunkers, hit more greens and have more putts for birdie even if they don’t have line of sight.

New Wireless Convenience Makes Preloads Obsolete. Preloaded courses are basically “out of date” before the device is sold and can be risky and unreliable.  The SkyCaddie SGXw connects wirelessly to SkyGolf’s vast library of precision courses via Wi-Fi at home, the office, the golf course or hotspot for fast, easy course downloads of the same complete and reliable course information.  After a round, upload your scores instantly to ClubSG, golf’s fastest growing community, for analysis without cables or computers.  For wireless access “on the go,” most cell phone carriers now offer wireless tethering to access the smartphone’s Internet access as a “personal hotspot.”

These SGXw features combine with key proprietary technology that enhances SkyCaddie’s position as golf’s market leader, including:
Interactive HoleVue with Patented Auto Zoom - with an eagle’s view of the entire hole, golfers get the distances they need to avoid hazards and play smart golf from tee to green.  Using the precision of the NEW Optical Trackpad, golfers can measure to any point on the hole whether they can see what’s ahead or not.
IntelliGreen Pro – designed to save strokes and reduce three putts, IntelliGreen Pro adds distances to major green contours and false fronts, plus any other point on the green from a golfer’s angle of attack.

Complementing these SkyCaddie features, SkyGolf makes no compromises on components.  The SGXw also features a large 3-inch, high-resolution, transflective TFT-LCD screen for brilliant images in the brightest sunlight; an Omni-Directional, High Performance GPS Antenna - stays locked to optimize performance and accuracy in all terrains, even under tree foliage; TruePoint GPS Precision Positioning Technology - a proprietary high-performance GPS engine for ultra-fast satellite acquisition, unmatched accuracy and proven reliability; an Optical Trackpad - providing quick and easy navigation without touching, scratching or getting your display dirty; AutoView - enabling golfers to change between the SkyCaddie’s most popular screens — HoleVue, IntelliGreen, and the Scorecard — with a simple turn of the wrist; and is preloaded with up to 30,000 courses, ready to play with basic green information.  At the end of a round, thanks to Wi-Fi connectivity, golfers can quickly and easily transfer with the click of button scores and stats to ClubSGBETA, the fastest growing community in the game for passionate golfers, for post-game analysis and game tracking.

Adds Edmonson, “Everyone wants to buy a better game, so when it comes to distances, even high handicap golfers can be equal to better golfers, if they buy a SkyCaddie rangefinder because of our commitment to reliability and accuracy.  Clearly, SkyCaddie has proven it is the most trusted rangefinder in the game.  The new Wi-Fi-enabled SkyCaddie SGXw enhances that position, providing our community of passionate golfers with revolutionary golf mobility and allowing them to arrive at the first tee with confidence, ready to go with critical yardages they can trust.”

Suggested retail price of the new SkyCaddie SGXw, which is offered with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, is $399.95.  Golfers can also enjoy a lower price to ownership when they trade-in a used SkyCaddie, a laser rangefinder or golf clubs.  For more information on the SGXw, SkyCaddie membership plans and trade-in programs, visit www.skycaddie.com.

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Greg Norman Eyewear Debuts at 2012 PGA Merchandise Show

(PEMBROKE PARK, FL) - Greg Norman Performance Eyewear makes its international debut at the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando Jan. 26-29 and will be on display inside the Greg Norman Collection booth # 5673.

The collection is a balance of sport and lifestyle styles including high contrast and polarized lenses. The EXtreme Performance collection features lenses with NXT lens technology for extreme clarity and high color definition.

A complete tournament program for outings and events will be offered featuring customized logoed cases. The collection can be viewed at www.gregnormaneywear.com/performance. A grand prize drawing will be held for one complete collection of 24 pairs retail value over $2000.00. Only qualified golf accounts are eligible.

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

Difficult to Discuss ... More Painful to Tolerate

New performance underwear alleviates friction, chafing for men's most sensitive region

(Durham, Ore.) - Sweat, or "schwet", in Saturday Night Live terms, happens, often around a man's most private regions. Though it is a cringe-worthy subject, sweat and friction -especially during and after a long round of golf - are real problems that can cause discomfort at best and painful, bow-legged chafing at worst.

RUEZ Performance Underwear was created by Chris Varney, an avid sportsman and medical equipment representative who wanted to find a solution to this little-discussed but quietly tolerated condition. Unlike traditional performance garments, his creation features a hole cut through the underwear's front panel, which leads to a covered compression pouch. The resulting design delivers a comfortable way to separate and protect male anatomy from contact with surrounding skin.

Designed with minimal seaming to further reduce chafing, these body hugging (but non-restrictive), wicking boxers and briefs are constructed from 85% polyester and 15% spandex. A roll-resistant waist band ensures additional comfort for long events or activities requiring cross-plane motion. The boxers also feature a small back pocket to secure room keys, ID or credit cards.

"I always ask golfers if they ever have to cope with sweat or adjusting, and 100 percent of the time, the answer is affirmative," Varney explains. "RUEZ does for men what no other underwear or ointments can by eliminating skin-to-skin chafing in a man's most sensitive region."

In recent months, RUEZ has gained a significant following from urologists and other specialists who rely on the underwear's unique pouch hold post-surgical cold packs for extended periods.

RUEZ Performance Underwear (MSRP: $28.00 - 30.00) currently is available through sporting goods retailers and specialty sports shops in the Pacific Northwest. Consumers also may purchase RUEZ gear - available in men's sizes Small through XL - through the company's web site at RUEZUnderwear.com.

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

Watson unveils pink PING G20 driver for 'Bubba & Friends Drive to a Million'

(PHOENIX) – Even more impressive than his custom-made, eye-popping, all-pink G20 driver is what PING Pro Bubba Watson aims to do with it: help in his goal to raise $1 million for charities this PGA Tour season. As part of the “Bubba & Friends Drive to a Million” initiative announced by Bubba, PING will donate $300 for every drive he hits over 300 yards (up to 300 drives) in 2012. Last season, he averaged nearly 315 yards per drive on the PGA Tour.  

PING is also making an upfront donation of $10,000 toward its fundraising event, which it calls “Bubba Long in Pink. Driven by PING.” All funds raised will go to Phoenix-area charities, chosen by PING with Bubba’s support.  

“I’m very fortunate to have great sponsors, and it’s awesome that PING has built me this amazing pink G20 driver and challenged me to deliver,” Watson said. “Pink has always made me stand out, but now it’s going to bring attention for a good cause, so I have extra motivation to hit the ball as far as I can. My goal is to make PING pay every cent,” he added with a smile.  

PING Chairman & CEO John A. Solheim would be fine with that. “We have always admired how Bubba wears his heart on his sleeve and how generous he is,” said Solheim, who first met Bubba as a teenager. “His objectives are in step with ours -- to make the community where you live and work a better place. When he announced his intentions, we thought it was a natural fit for showcasing his towering drives with a pink G20 driver that makes you smile just to look at it. This year we have more reason than ever to hope that he’s ‘Bubba long’ and that every one of his drives goes past 300 yards.”

Written in cursive on the crown of his G20 driver are the words, “Made Exclusively for Bubba.” The loft is 8.5 degrees, the 44.50-inch shaft is a pink True Temper Grafalloy Bi-Matrix. Grips are PING 703 Gold. He takes 10 wraps of tape under his right hand, 12 wraps under his left.

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

EWGA Records $66 million Golf Impact; Announces National Initiatives

EWGA Embraces New Members, Programs and Services in 2012

(PALM BEACH GARDENS, FLORIDA) – EWGA – the trend-setting organization which enables current and aspiring business and professional women to learn, connect and play through golf – is using the power of its more than 14,000 members and their $66 million impact on the game in 2011, to create new opportunities for existing members and welcome new ones.

EWGA is the largest women-focused amateur golf association in the U.S., with 125 chapters in nearly every U.S. major market and corporate center, and in Canada and Europe. It provides affordable, organized golf, free networking, business and success insights from accomplished executives, travel and equipment discounts, and a variety of local and national benefits.

“We are constantly evolving to provide meaningful experiences and connections for our diverse members, allowing them to more fully engage in a membership tailored to their needs – young or mature, beginner or established golfer, traveler or stay-at-home,” said EWGA Chief Executive Officer Pam Swensen. “EWGA is helping women stay in the game, through contemporary, customized programs and services, and building lifelong friendships.”

Among the many benefits offered in 2012, all EWGA members will have access to the nation’s largest amateur golf tournament, interface with industry leaders such as Donna Orender, Mark Steinberg and Ty Votaw through a series of Web Café talks and Golfpalooza (its national 4-day conference), enjoy admission to all domestic  LPGA and Symetra Futures Tour events, use discounts at over 250 golf courses across the U.S., and have multiple playing and learning opportunities in local communities across the country all year long.  Initial membership to join EWGA at the Classic level costs $155; thereafter, annual Classic level membership renewals are $130 per year.

At the core of its 2012 initiatives is the plan to broaden its reach and appeal to new members who are in their prime career growth years and looking for tools to succeed. The association now promotes itself as EWGA, an acronym in which “E” takes on the professional or personal meaning it holds for each individual.

Enriching, enjoyable, extensive, enlightening, expedient, energetic and essential are some of the many definitions women assign the “E” in EWGA. Reflecting this reality is the EWGA’s 2012 promotional slogan “What’s Your E?”

A recent poll of EWGA’s members resulted in the national campaign.

“I joined EWGA to find like-minded women to play golf with,” said member Joan of the Chicago-Metro Chapter. “The friendships I've made along the way have grown into more worth than an annual membership fee. I know the friendships I've gained will endure forever.”

“I enjoy the friendships, but I keep coming back for the golfing opportunities – playing a variety of courses (including some that I wouldn't be able to access otherwise), chances for competition and golf travel draws me to EWGA,” said member Julie from the Raleigh, N.C., chapter.

“EWGA provides a comfortable environment for women to begin their 'relationship' with golf. I love the positive energy and excitement of a novice golfer who is receiving encouragement from our group – and then she hits a shot well and that feels really great,” said member Sharon, of the Boston chapter.

Based on a 2011 survey conducted by the PGA of America, EWGA members represent some of the most passionate golfers in the game, logging more than 35 rounds annually on average and spending over $4,500 individually towards rounds, equipment, travel and other golf-related items. The majority are in their prime earning years, with 27% in management or senior management positions within small and large international corporations.  Many were beginner golfers when they first joined, hoping to advance their careers and their game.

“EWGA focuses on working women who need a supportive, proactive environment to learn or compete in golf. It empowers them on and off the course,” said Swensen. “And we have fun doing it. EWGA women are more connected within their chapters as colleagues, contemporaries and friends than any other organization they join.”

For more information about EWGA, membership and chapter locations, visit www.ewga.com.

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

Adams Golf to Make Many Aspirational Golfers Happy with Idea Black CB3 Irons

Forged game-improvement irons that even better players can appreciate

(PLANO, Texas) - When it comes to game-improvement irons, they can sometimes look a little thick and boxy, but not so with the latest from Adams Golf. The introduction of the Idea Black CB3 Irons, which are finely-tuned and crafted from forged 8620 steel and designed to add forgiveness from the 4 iron through Gap Wedge, will have a wide range of players wanting to add these to their bags. It's the look, the feel and the performance that puts the CB3s in a class all to itself.

"With the CB3's we wanted to create a club with great feel and striking looks but also one that would perform well for a wide range of golfers," said Tim Reed, Vice President of Research and Development of Adams Golf. "We accomplished this with the CB3. Its design enhancements will definitely improve performance for the better player and the aspiring golfer as well."

Triple Milled & Multi-Material Advantage
The CB3 irons use a triple milled construction technique to enhance perimeter weighting and create an extremely thin face with precision grooves that deliver a high level of feel, performance and consistency. The Idea Black CB3 Irons also feature a new multi-material badge in the back cavity which greatly improves vibration and sound.

Custom Fitting
The Idea Black CB3 Irons will be highly customizable. Authorized Adams Golf fitters will have a CB3 fitting kit which has the ability to change lie angle, length, shaft flex and shaft type to fine tune the irons for each golfer's specific game. This set will also be integrated into Adams Golf's HITfit application. Based on an individual's 6-iron launch data, the HITfit app will recommend the proper set makeup including fairway woods, hybrids, irons, and wedges in order to provide the most optimized set each golfer's unique characteristics.

Stock and Custom Shaft Offerings
The Idea Black CB3 Irons will be offered with exceptional premium shafts: KBS Tour 90 (steel) or the Matrix Ozik Program 8.1 (graphite) as the stock shaft options. Through the custom fitting process, other shafts are available at no additional cost (see below for a complete list).

M. Puglielli Black Wedge - Improved Performance
For 2012, the forged M. Puglielli Black Wedges feature a new radial sole geometry that provides heel and toe relief to reduce turf interaction for more consistent shot making from all sorts of lies. Increased spin performance and feel is delivered from a triple milling process (face, grooves and back cavity) along with a laser engraved face to achieve maximum permissible surface roughness. In addition, the M. Puglielli Black Wedges will feature the DG Spinner shaft which can further increase spin up to 700 RPM for even more control. These high performance wedges are offered in RH, LH and multiple bounce and loft combinations.

Models, Pricing and Availability
The Idea Black CB3 irons will have a suggested retail price (MSRP) for $899.99 (steel) and $1099.99 (graphite). They will be offered in both right and left hand in regular, stiff and extra stiff flexes. The Puglielli Black Wedges will have a suggested retail price of $149.99. Both products will be available in stores and online beginning March 1.

Available Models:
Idea Black CB3 Standard Set Makeup: 4-GW
Also available through custom order: 3-iron
Idea Black CB3 Custom Shaft Options: True Temper Dynamic Gold
Project X
Project X Flighted
KBS Tour
KBS Tour Smoke
KBS C-Taper ($15 upcharge)
2012 Puglielli Black Lofts and Bounces: 52-08*, 54-08. 56-11*, 56-14, 58-06, 58-10
60-01, 60-06* (* Available in Left-Hand)

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

Cross Golf USA Will Launch Exciting 2012 Golf Apparel Collection for Men, Women and Juniors

View at the PGA Merchandising Show Jan. 26-28 in Booth 4751

CROSS GOLF Representatives from Sweden, USA and New Zealand and several CROSS GOLF USA Ambassadors will be on hand to present the exciting 2012 collection for men, women and children and discuss the features that make CROSS GOLF apparel the 'go to' line for the discerning golfer who expect high performance fabric, incredible style and functionality all in one.

High performance fabric:
Cross FTX TM combinations are based on a membrane technology and used in CROSS' high performance garments, allowing the outer fabric to be waterproof while maintaining high levels of breathability. Cross FTX TM garments not only protect you from the elements, but also manage moisture and maintain proper heat balance to keep you dry.

Incredible Style & Functionality:
The Cross 2012 golf collection, inspired by Swedish pop icons, draws its inspiration from stars of Swedish pop such as Robyn - modern and a little edgy - and from the cool and slightly more chic style of the Cardigans.

The 2012 golf apparel line features bright spring colors for men, women and juniors. The men's collection showcases bright fern and flare blue in the brass and vapour; the women's line features stunning aurora yellow, bright fern and juicy pink and the junior collection offers the same color palates and contemporary designs as the adult golf apparel line.

CROSS GOLF Representatives attending the show include:
* Hakan Ekstrand, President & Chairman of the Board, Cross Sweden
* Brent McCarty, Chairman, CROSS GOLF USA
* Diana McCarty, President, CROSS GOLF USA
* Jason McCarty, Partner, CROSS GOLF USA
* Carla Bunge, US Brand Representative, CROSS GOLF USA
* Ann Liguori, CROSS GOLF Ambassador, Media/Marketing Liason

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

PowerBilt's New Grand Slam Lineup Is About 'Fitting Clubs to Your Game' - at Unmatched Pricing

(THOUSAND PALMS, Calif.) - What can you get for $399.99 in golf? That's the introduction price for a new high-end driver from one of the mega brands. It's also the price for an entire set of top-quality Grand Slam clubs from PowerBilt - driver, fairway woods, hybrids, irons, putter and bag included.

"Grand Slam has always been known as the best bang for the buck in golf," says PowerBilt President Ross Kvinge. "But that's not all. Grand Slam is also about fitting clubs to your game."

The standard $399.99 set comes with 12 clubs: a driver and fairway wood, two hybrids (3 and 4), seven irons (5-SW) and a putter. In addition, there is open stock that lets golfers add clubs to fit their game. Individual Grand Slam clubs are also offered in 5, 7, 9 and 11 fairway woods, plus a 6 hybrid and a lob wedge. Open-stock pricing is as follows: $99.99 for titanium driver, $69.99 for alloy driver, $49.99 for fairway wood or hybrid and $39.99 for lob wedge.

Grand Slam is designed for golfers ranging from beginners to mid-handicappers. "It's certainly a set of clubs that are user friendly and designed to fit a golfer's needs and skill level for a number of years," says Kvinge.

All Grand Slam clubs are made of high-quality components. The driver is offered in a maximum-performing titanium head or a more affordable alloy head. Fairway woods and hybrids are made of 17-4 stainless steel. All woods and hybrids have lightweight, consistently performing graphite shafts and come with attractive head covers. The irons are made of durable 431-stainless steel and feature a cavity-back design with a low center of gravity making them outstanding game-improvement clubs.

A mallet putter provides a large sweet spot and optimal heel-toe weighting to help eliminate pushes and pulls. The cart bag is made of durable, lightweight nylon with a graphite 14-way top and full-length dividers plus a putter tube. Nine zipper pockets provide plenty of storage options. It even has a matching rain hood.

PowerBilt has been making the Grand Slam line of clubs for generations. And the reason is simple, says Kvinge: "Quality and value are a great combination that never goes out of style. Based on what we're offering this year, the future looks bright for Grand Slam."

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com