Sunday, July 30, 2017

Product Review: MLA Golf Tour Classic Black Edition

You’ve done everything right. You’ve taken the time to read the break from multiple angles, have the speed dialed in and make the perfect stroke. Somehow, you still missed the putt. Frustrating, but avoidable.

You can have all the pertinent information at your disposal, but if your aim is off, you’re not going to drain the putt. Unfortunately, traditional putters do little to assist with aim. Most just have a notch or single line on the head to point you in the right direction.

MLA Golf has a solution - Multiple Line-detector Activation. This Swiss company activates the “maximum number of coordinated detectors for optimal aiming judgment.”

According to Dr. Lennart Högman, Ph.D., who has studied the science between the human’s perceptions and their motor skills, having more than one line is ideal.

“An alignment system that acts upon multiple line detectors is a key to obtain veridical motion perception and a perfect in-line stroke surface.”

MLA explains it like this: “The brain consists of 100,000 line detectors that are divided into a number of groups that help us decide what is straight. A simple line, for example, activates a group of detectors. When several groups of detectors are activated, these help the brain to make correct judgments.”

Merely adding more detectors is not necessarily better, however. Too many can create a “competition” between the line detectors that will lead to different degrees of (so called) optical illusions. The simple three-part bracket-like marking on top of the MLA putter helps your eye zone in on the correct line.

Having suffered from poor aim in recent years, I took the MLA Tour Classic (Black Edition) out for some tests. This full-milled beauty has a sleek look and buttery soft feel. Strike the ball on the large sweet soft and there’s zero vibration and the faintest of sound.

I feel as though the thick, white paint running perpendicular to the putting line benefited me most. In conjunction with the alignment mark on my ball, I was confident in my aim for the first time in many months.

The head weight of the Tour Classic is substantial - 384g - which is nice. Considering standard putters generally fall in the 330-350g range, while heavy putters are in excess of 450g, MLA fits nicely in the middle. If you want to add weight, however, it’s easy. Simply remove the 5g weights and replace them with 10g or 15g weights to customize the putter to your needs.

Check out to view the entire line of putters - blades and mallets. Prices range from $99 to $399. The MLA Tour Classic (Black Edition) sells for $349.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Jennifer Chang and Erica Shepherd Advance to 36-Hole Final in 69th U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship

(AUGUSTA, Mo.) – Jennifer Chang, 17, of Cary, N.C., and Erica Shepherd, 16, of Greenwood, Ind., each won quarterfinal and semifinal matches Friday to advance to Saturday’s 36-hole final match in the 2017 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship on Boone Valley Golf Club’s par-71, 6,311-yard course. The final, scheduled to begin at 6:45 a.m. CDT, will receive live coverage from 1-3 p.m. CDT on FS1 (Fox Sports 1).

Both finalists are exempt into this year’s U.S. Women’s Amateur at San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista, Calif., Aug. 7-13, and all quarterfinalists are exempt from qualifying for next year’s U.S. Girls’ Junior at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif., as long as they are under age 19 before the conclusion of the championship.

Chang, who defeated Taylor Roberts, of Parkland, Fla., 5 and 3, in the semifinal, has not trailed in any match throughout the championship and has only been all square with her opponents for four holes through five matches.

“It's insane,” said Chang, a rising senior at Athens Drive High School in Raleigh, N.C., who has verbally committed to attend the University of Southern California. “I think my mental game is at a good state, and you know, in match play like this, you never know what can happen. So, I try to take it one shot at a time and not get ahead of myself.”

Chang only birdied one hole in the semifinal against Roberts, who carded five bogeys in the match and was only able to win one hole against the more experienced Chang.

“My caddie, Connor, was talking to me about how you don't want to get too comfortable, because you can have a 5-up lead going into nine, and anything can happen,” said Chang, who is playing in her second U.S. Girls’ Junior and was a semifinalist in the 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball with partner Gina Kim. “I didn't get too comfortable. I said it's not over until it's over, and that's just my mindset this whole week.”

Roberts was playing in her first USGA championship, though she had eliminated several top-ranked junior players, including the No. 20 female amateur in the world, Haley Moore, in the Round of 16.

“I knew she'd be a tough matchup,” said Roberts of facing Chang. “I mean, I could have won the match if I played my game, and I didn't play my game at all. I honestly don't know what happened out there. My swing felt a little off, and I didn't trust everything as I did on all the other matches.”

In the quarterfinals, Chang defeated Calista Reyes, of San Diego, 4 and 2, and Roberts eliminated Celeste Dao, of Canada, 3 and 2.

Erica Shepherd earned a spot opposite Chang in the final match by outlasting Elizabeth Moon in the other semifinal match, which ended in unfortunate fashion for both players.

On the 19th hole of their semifinal match, Moon, of Forrest City, Ark., had a short birdie putt to win the match over Shepherd and advance to the final. After Moon missed the putt, she reached across the hole and pulled her ball back, before Shepherd had an opportunity to concede the par putt that would have extended the match. Moon’s action resulted in the loss of the hole and the match.

As Shepherd explained, “I made my [par] 5. I hit my putt to a couple inches. She gave it to me. She had like a 5-, 6-footer for birdie. And, so I closed my eyes because I thought she would just make it because she had been playing good all day. When I hear that the ball doesn't drop, I finally open my eyes and she's already dragging the ball back. And, then like my coach was like, "Did you give that to her?"”

Though Shepherd had not conceded before Moon moved her ball, Shepherd added that she would have conceded the putt given the chance, but under the Rules of Golf, Moon had lost the hole. An explanation of the Rule can be accessed here:

“I thought that since I would have given it to her, it would be just fine,” said Shepherd. “I feel awful, and I feel like I lost, and I want to cry. I feel bad for her, but I couldn't do anything. We both tried to get it to where that putt was given to her but it just – it's the Rules of Golf. There's no after-the-fact. You can't.”

Before the playoff, Moon seemingly had control of the match in the final stretch. She led 2 up after birdieing the 14th hole, but Shepherd rebounded with a birdie on No. 15 and a winning par on No. 17 to square the match. In between, she also converted a difficult up-and-down on the par-3 16th to keep from going back to 2 down.

“I hate that tee shot,” Shepherd said of the 175-yard par 3. “I thought that I’d be down under the tree like I had been in stroke play and have to make a miracle up-and-down, but instead I had a flop shot, and I love flop shots.”

So, Shepherd moves on to Saturday’s championship match against a friend in Jennifer Chang.

“She’s one of my best friends,” said Shepherd. “We’ve played together a ton. A couple of weeks ago, she was on the East team with me in the Wyndham Cup, and she caddied for me.”

Playing in her third U.S. Girls’ Junior, Shepherd’s path to the semifinals included a 3-and-1 quarterfinal win over Youngin Chun of Gainesville, Fla., in which she only trailed for three holes.

In Moon’s quarterfinal match, the three-time Arkansas State Golf Association Player of the Year trailed Ami Gianchandani, of Watchung, N.J., through 15 of the first 16 holes before squaring the match with a birdie on the par-4 17th. Moon, who was playing in her first USGA championship, won on the 18th hole when Gianchandani was unable to convert her par putt.

The U.S. Girls’ Junior is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Secret Golf Debuts Jason Gore Player Channel

2005 Tour Player of the Year becomes 11th player with live video content

(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) – Jason Gore represents a different kind of success story than some of his contemporaries on the PGA Tour. In addition to his accomplishments as a professional golfer, he’s a loving father, a musician with a large collection of guitars, a mixed-martial arts enthusiast and has entertained a broadcasting career when his playing days on Tour are over. 

Today Gore adds one more talent to the list — that as a video host — as Secret Golf announced his addition to the lineup of Player Channels now available on

Gore has experienced a number of highlights in his Tour career. After an exemplary amateur career that resulted in a pair of Pac 10 Conference titles, a California Amateur crown at Pebble Beach and the California State Open, Gore has had a nice career in professional golf. He’s played in the final grouping on Sunday in a major championship (2005 U.S. Open), won on the PGA Tour at the 2005 84 Lumber Classic, and collected an all-time leading seven victories on the Tour. He’s also one of the rare players who has ever shot a sub-60 score in a Tour-sponsored event, firing a 59 on Friday at the 2005 Cox Classic in Omaha, a event he would eventually win.  

Gore started playing guitar just by listening to the Dave Matthews Band. He’s now not only friends with all the members of that popular group but he also owns 19 guitars of his own. The personable Californian who resides in Valencia also has played on stage with Steel Panther at the House of Blues Hollywood and with Kelly James in Omaha, Neb. 

His wit, wisdom and unique perspective on both life and his career in golf only adds value to the behind-the-scenes backstage pass consumers receive when they subscribe on

Gore becomes the 11th member of Team Secret Golf to have live content on the website. 

“This is something totally different for me but I was excited to share my stories when Steve (Elkington) asked me to be part of the Secret Golf team,” Gore said. “I’ve had an interesting career and I think my perspective will be well received by golf fans and consumers of our video content. I’ve always loved playing in front of big crowds and now I have a chance to reach a huge audience with"

Gore joins World Golf Hall of Fame member Jackie Burke, 1995 PGA Championship winner Steve Elkington, two-time LPGA Tour Player of the Year Stacy Lewis, 2013 PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner, 2016 U.S. Women’s Open champion Brittany Lang as well as PGA Tour professionals Ryan Palmer, Colt Knost, Jason Kokrak and Pat Perez and former Tour player turned instructor Bradley Hughes. 

”Jason Gore’s Player Channel is fantastic. He’s so relatable to people. He matches his swing thoughts with other athletic sports, “ said Elkington, the co-founder of “Jason is a big guy that understands his strengths. His infectious personality is impossible not to love.”

Other Player Channels to debut in the remainder of  2017 include Mexico’s Gaby Lopez, a LPGA rookie in 2016, LPGA and Tour members Gerina and Martin Piller, Brian Harman, the winner of this year's Wells Fargo Championship on the PGA Tour, Patton Kizzire of the PGA Tour who was the 2015 Tour Player of the Year and Ethan Tracy of the Tour.

Each member of the Secret Golf Player team will have a dedicated channel, which allows fans to have a direct connection to their favorite players.

For more information about Secret Golf and the Secret Golf with Steve Elkington television show, visit and join us on Facebook: Secret Golf, Instagram:  Secret Golf and on Twitter: @SecretGolf.

Celebrate National Golf Month in Style

August is National Golf Month, giving golfers everywhere the perfect excuse (as if they needed one) to pack their clubs and head for the greens. But for an occasion of this importance – we’re dedicating a whole month to it, after all – why make it just a day on the course when there’s still plenty of summer left to plan a dream golf getaway? Here are a few great options:

· Two words: Pebble Beach. It’s on every golfer’s bucket list. And now, Pebble Beach Resorts guests can follow in the footsteps of the game’s greatest players with Summer Stay & Play. Valid through Sept. 6, the package includes two nights at The Inn at Spanish Bay, a round of golf on Pebble Beach Golf Links, and a second round on the guest’s choice of The Links at Spanish Bay or Spyglass Hill Golf Course, which Golf Digest course raters call “a must-play for any true golfer…” Travelers enjoy a 20-percent savings on their third and fourth nights when they extend their stay. The package starts at $2,295. For more information, visit or call 888-251-9790.

· 18 holes and the Tao of Golf. From its perch above Paradise Valley, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa is just minutes from some of Arizona’s top courses, including the 36 championship holes at Scottsdale’s Camelback Golf Club. Golfers can play early in the morning to beat the summer heat, then return to their mountain retreat for a cooling dip in the pool and a Tao of Golf treatment at the renowned Sanctuary Spa. The bodywork treatment is designed to stretch, warm and release tight and tired muscles through Thai, therapeutic and resistance stretching techniques. Book at or call 855-245-2051.

· Home, home (near) the range. Perfect for a golfers’ getaway with family or a group of friends, several luxury vacation home rentals in InvitedHome’s Colorado portfolio offer prime, private accommodations within minutes of championship play, not to mention stunning Rocky Mountain scenery. Just minutes from Telluride Golf Club, where rumor has it golf balls travel 15 percent farther thanks to the high altitude, the four-bedroom Tomboy Retreat sleeps up to 15 on four floors – all accessible by private elevator. After a round of golf, guests can keep the competitive spirit alive with a game of pool in their own game room.

Near Beaver Creek Golf Club, one of the longest established golf courses in Vail Valley, is Holden Lodge, a vacation rental that’s more log castle than cabin. At a sprawling 7,800 square feet, the five-bedroom retreat sleeps 12 -- all of whom could probably fit in the master bath’s expansive shower. Other features: a home theater, game room, wraparound deck and gourmet kitchen, plus distinctive design details like a galvanized soaking tub. For reservations, visit or call 866-600-8075.

· Stay More, Play More in the Adirondacks. Tucked into the High Peaks of the Adirondacks, Lake Placid’s Whiteface Lodge is a rustic all-suite luxury retreat near three excellent golf courses –Craig Wood Golf Course, Whiteface Club & Resort Golf Course and Lake Placid Club. With the Stay More, Play More package, guests enjoy a nightly credit of $100, $150 or $200, which they can apply to a range of activities and products – including golf – when they book a one-, two- or three-bedroom suite respectively. Credits can also be applied to spa services, dining, boat rentals, BMW town car rentals, retail items, and children’s program, enabling guests to custom-create their dream getaway. Rates start at $548. Reserve at or call 888-582-0505.

· Gold Coast golf. Golfers can go from ocean blue to golf greens in a best-of-both-worlds getaway on Florida’s Gold Coast – all at great summer rates. Guests of Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa, halfway between Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, have the beach at their doorstep and four championship courses within six miles: the recently redesigned and renovated Greg Norman Signature Pines Course at the Pompano Beach Municipal Golf Course, just one mile away; two Fazio-designed courses at Palm-Aire Country Club in Sarasota; the Rees Jones-designed Crystal Lake Golf Club in nearby Deerfield Beach; and Deer Creek Golf Club, also in Deerfield Beach. Summer rates start at $101. Book online or call 855-954-4683.

Just up the coast from Pompano Beach, the resort’s sister, Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Resort & Spa, also offers proximity to great golf at North Palm Beach Country Club. Set along the Intracoastal Waterway, the course is one of only two Jack Nicklaus Signature Municipal courses in the U.S. and is a stand-out among Florida golf destinations. Guests at the Marriott, Palm Beach County’s only all-suite beachfront resort, enjoy private beach access and expansive accommodations with fully equipped kitchens, all for a low summer rate starting at $180. Make reservations online or call 561-340-1700.

Matt Lauer to Appear on 'Feherty,' Monday at 9 p.m. ET

(ORLANDO, Fla.) - Emmy award-winning and 20-year veteran television host of TODAY – Matt Lauer – will join David Feherty on his self-titled, Emmy-nominated “Outstanding Weekly Studio Show” – Feherty presented by Farmers Insurance  – premiering Monday, July 31 at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.

Filmed at Sebonack Golf Club (Southampton, N.Y.), the conversation touches on a wide range of themes, including:
· Addressing the public’s growing distrust of the media, and Donald Trump’s influence on the trend.
· How Lauer narrowly missed his career calling as a tree trimmer.
· Debating what constitutes the line of censorship on television.
· On how he deferred graduation from Ohio University for nearly two decades.
· Poking fun at one another for the most embarrassing costume choices over the course of their respective careers, and how Halloween is fortunately only one day a year.

Upcoming scheduled guests for the remainder of the season for Feherty include World Golf Hall of Fame member Jackie Burke; Grammy Award-winning musician Darius Rucker and major champion Louis Oosthuizen.

ALINE Reports on Success of Professional Golfers Wearing Its Foot Suspension System

(Marblehead, MA) - ALINE, creators of a new class of golf equipment that replaces your shoes insoles, announced the results of a recent study done on the performance and earnings of Professional Golfers prior to and subsequent to putting ALINEs in their shoes.

An analysis was done of Money Earned by 18 Professionals who recently started wearing ALINEs in their shoes and the results were amazing. Total Money Earned by these 18 Players in five events prior to wearing ALINEs was $4,431,700.00. Total Money Earned in five events subsequent to adopting ALINEs was $6,960,000.00. That's an average increase in winnings of over 57% and all 18 Players rank in Top 50% of 2016-2017 Money Earners!

"Each week, more and more Professional Golfers are discovering the advantages of wearing ALINEs in their shoes," said Derek Carroll, Founder and CEO of ALINE Systems. "We are excited to see results like these and I can tell you the Players are excited too! When you provide benefits like increased power and distance, improved balance and accuracy, and a decrease in fatigue, Players have taken notice."

To date more than 100 Players, Caddies and industry professionals have worked with the ALINE technical staff. They've all recognized the benefits of wearing ALINE both on and off the course. More than 40 Professional Golfers have worn ALINE this year.

So far this season, three victories have been achieved and over $7.3 Million have been earned by players with ALINEs under their feet.

For more information on ALINE, visit their website at

Local Golf Company Official Licensee of 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow

(Charlotte, NC) – Located in Monroe, NC, Devant Sport Towels is the national licensee of towels for the 2017 PGA Championship, located at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, NC.

“We are very excited to produce towels for the PGA Championship, less than 25 miles from our production facility,” said Jason Bonenberger, Devant Brand Manager, “Quail Hollow is practically in our backyard, and we are extremely proud of our local roots.”

Devant Sport Towels, has been a Charlotte area based business for over 40 years, from its inception in 1976 in the attic of the founders’ (Sheppard family) home. It has grown to over a 50,000 s/f facility and produces more than one million towels a year, with national licenses for PGA of America (PGA Championship and Ryder Cup), PGA Tour, Senior Tour, LPGA (LPGA Championship and Solheim Cup) and the USGA (U.S. Open).

“Devant is the industry leader in golf towels,” said Leighton Klevana, CEO of Dynamic Brands, Devant’s parent company, “with the designation well-deserved as the direct result of Devant’s unmatched quality, workmanship, customer service and support.” Devant’s Monroe facility has over 25 employees with half of those holding over 10 years of tenure. “Our employees take great pride in their work, with the full belief that every towel that comes out of Monroe is a piece of art,” said Bonenberger.

For the event, Devant created 12 towels ranging in price from $16-22 featuring the PGA Championship Quail Hollow logo, which can all be purchased at the Championship Shops August 7-13, 2017 at Quail Hollow. The Championship Shops grand opening will be open to the public on Saturday, August 5 and Sunday, August 6 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. prior to the event. No tickets or credentials are required to attend this event. Devant towels include woven, microfiber, Edge and woven selections. One of the towels, the Pro Edge, is an extremely popular souvenir of the tournament highlighting past champions.

For information on Devant, visit, follow on Facebook at

60th Seed Taylor Roberts Earns Stunning Win at 69th U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship

(AUGUSTA, Mo.) – Taylor Roberts, of Parkland, Fla., the 60th seed in the match-play bracket, birdied the 19th hole on Thursday to defeat Haley Moore, the 20th-ranked amateur in the world, and advance to the quarterfinals of the 69th U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, which is being played on Boone Valley Golf Club’s par-71, 6,311-yard course.

Detailed information about each of the quarterfinalists is available at

Roberts, 15, lost three consecutive holes to Moore, 18, of Escondido, Calif., slipping to 1 down with two holes to play. She squared the match on the 17th hole, and after the players matched pars on No. 18, Roberts hoisted a 3-hybrid shot to within 5 feet of the hole on the par-4 first. Roberts made the putt to defeat Moore, No. 20 in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking™ and the runner-up in the 2016 NCAA Championship.

Roberts is No. 1,852 in the world ranking, but those numbers didn’t matter as they stepped to the tee of the 371-yard, par-4 first hole.

As she had for much of the day, Moore outdrove Roberts, who faced a long, uphill approach shot.

“I hit a 3-hybrid – it was 179 yards, but I played it as 195,” said Roberts. “My caddie told me to aim a little right, but I’m like, I’m going right at it, and it was probably the best shot I’ve ever hit. It was right on the money and then it landed, and I’m like, oh my god, it’s 3 to 5 feet. And then I made the putt, which was incredible.”

Roberts defeated the No. 5 seed, Zoe Campos, in 22 holes in Wednesday’s Round of 64, then she edged Natasha Andrea Oon, of Malaysia, 1 up, in the morning Round of 32 to earn the matchup with Moore. Roberts got to Boone Valley and her first USGA championship by prevailing in a three-hole playoff in sectional qualifying at Hobe Sound (Fla.) Golf Club.

“I guess I’m used to playing under pressure,” said Roberts, who is home-schooled and has verbally committed to Florida State University in 2020. She did not realize that Moore was No. 20 in the world. “I didn’t know a lot of things coming into this week. Every part of it has been incredible.”

Roberts will square off against 29th-seeded Celeste Dao, of Canada, in Friday’s quarterfinal round. Dao, 16, of suburban Montreal, eked out a 19-hole win over 12-year-old Izzy Pellot, of Orlando, Fla., on Thursday morning, then defeated Brianna Navarossa, 4 and 3, in the afternoon.

Jennifer Chang, 17, of Cary, N.C., the No. 16 seed, defeated So Whi Kang, 3 and 2, and Yu-Sang Hou, 2 and 1, to advance to the quarterfinals. Chang, a three-time North Carolina high school champion, is the highest-ranked player in the world in the championship’s final eight at No. 96.

Hou had produced the first of the day’s several upsets in the morning, ousting the championship’s medalist, Lucy Li, who shot rounds of 71-66 to land the No. 1 seed in match play. Li made a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 16 to cut her deficit to one hole, but an errant approach shot on the next hole sealed her defeat.

Chang, who plans to attend the University of Southern California in 2018, will square off against Calista Reyes, of San Diego, in Friday’s quarterfinals. Reyes, 17, topped Karah Sanford, 2 and 1, on Thursday morning before defeating Annick Haczkiewicz in 19 holes in the afternoon. Reyes missed a short putt on No. 18 to end that match, but rebounded for a winning par on the next hole.

“I was really surprised to miss that putt on 18th hole, but I was able to pull it together and tell myself there would be chances to get it back,” said Reyes, one of 24 Californians who qualified for the championship and the last one standing. “I’m super-excited I got this far. It was exciting to see the TV cameras start coming out today.”

The quarterfinal and semifinal rounds will both be played on Friday. The championship concludes with a 36-hole final on Saturday, starting at 7 a.m. CDT. FS1 (Fox Sports 1) will broadcast the semifinals and the championship match on July 28 and 29 from 3-5 p.m. and 2-4 p.m., respectively.

Ami Gianchandani, 17, of Watchung, N.J., provided a dramatic finish of her own, saving par from behind the 18th green to defeat the No. 2 seed, Paphangkorn Tavatanakit, of Thailand. Tavatanakit, 17, who is No. 32 in the world and competed in the U.S. Women’s Open two weeks ago, also hit her approach over the 18th green, then burned the edge of the hole with her par attempt from 10 feet. Gianchandani, who has no world ranking, was bunkered off the tee and her pitch shot left her a 4-foot putt, which she converted to move into the quarterfinals.

“Out of the bunker, I was talking to my caddie, and I said, I have to go for it,” said Gianchandani, the 50th seed, who topped Ellie Szeryk, 3 and 2, in the morning. “It’s on this hole I’m going to win it or lose it. I took a very risky shot with a hybrid.”

“This is my third time playing in this championship and my first time making the cut [into match play], so that was my goal coming here,” she said. “I can’t believe I'm going to the Round of 8.”

She will take on Elizabeth Moon, of Forrest City, Ark., who defeated Ivy Shepherd and No. 7 seed Alexa Pano, both by 3-and-2 margins. Moon, who is competing in her first USGA championship, shot her lowest competitive score, a 66, to earn a place in the field. Moon qualified as the No. 42 seed.

The final quarterfinal pits No. 35 seed Erica Shepherd, of Greenwood, Ind., against No. 11 Youngin Chun, of Gainesville, Fla. Shepherd ousted Yujeong Son, a semifinalist in this championship last year, 2 and 1, in the afternoon after eliminating Nicole Whiston, 3 and 1, in the morning.

“I started off 2 down on the front nine, and I wasn't really hitting it as solid as I had been,” said Shepherd. “So I was kind of down, but then at the turn, I regrouped and won the first hole, and I was on a roll after that.”

Chun, No. 206 in the world, rolled to an 8-and-7 win over Haylin Harris to earn her quarterfinal berth after defeating Stephanie Carras, 2 up, in the morning.

Provided they remain age-eligible, all quarterfinalists are exempt from qualifying for the 2018 U.S. Girls’ Junior at Poppy Hills Golf Course, in Pebble Beach, Calif. (July 16-21). The U.S. Girls’ Junior is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Nexbelt Tour Staff Professional Marc Leishman Captures T-6th at the 146th Open Championship

(RANCHO CUCAMONGA) - Nexbelt, "The Fastest Growing Belt in Golf", announced that Nexbelt Tour Staff Professional, Marc Leishman, captured a T-6th Place Finish at the 146th Open Championship held at Royal Birkdale in Southport, England.
Leishman wears the X-Factor Golf Series belt on Tour which features Nexbelt's patented flip down face and hidden ball marker.

Leishman fired rounds of 69, 76, 66 and 65 to finish with a score of 276 (4-under par). The Open Championship appears to be one of Leishman's favorite tournaments as evidenced by his 2014 T-5th Place Finish at Royal Liverpool and his T-2nd Place Finish at St. Andrews in 2015.

This was Marc's fifth Top 10 of the season. His T-6th Place Finish earned him a paycheck for $281,000.00 and 95 FedEx Cup Points. He is currently ranked 12th on the FedEx Cup Points List and 34th in the Official World Golf Rankings.

"All of us at Nexbelt would like to congratulate Marc on another great finish at The Open Championship," said Eddie Rowland, Co-Founder of Nexbelt. "He really loves The Open and we love watching him play in it!"

Nexbelt is the "The Fastest Growing Belt In Golf". Its team of Staff Professionals for 2017 includes PGA Tour Players, Jim Furyk, Kevin Na, Marc Leishman, William McGirt, Jason Bohn, Jarrod Lyle, Greg Chalmers and LPGA Tour Player Katie Burnett.

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

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

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

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

For more information about Nexbelt, visit

The First Tee of West Virginia Expands Youth Development Programs to Oglebay

(WHEELING, W.Va.) – Oglebay announces that it will serve as home to the newly established Wheeling chapter of The First Tee of West Virginia, expanding the youth development organization’s mission to create “Good Golfers. Better People.” in the Mountain State.

The First Tee is an internationally-acclaimed organization dedicated to providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.

“The First Tee’s impact extends far beyond the golf course,” says Director and Coach of the Wheeling chapter Shane Rice. “I’ve seen firsthand the impact this organization has on young people and the surrounding community. We are excited to provide these same opportunities to Wheeling.”

Rice previously served as the Director of Golf of The First Tee of Pittsburgh for seven years. Rice is a Level I Coach certified by The First Tee, as well as the Head Golf Professional at Oglebay.

This summer from July 24 to September 2, The First Tee at Oglebay will offer two program levels to area youth. For children ages 5-7, the Little General Juniors will teach children the fundamentals of golf and The First Tee’s Code of Conduct. The Little General Juniors meet on Wednesdays from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

For children ages 8 and up, the PLAYer levels (PLAYer 1, PLAYer 2 & PLAYer 3) establish the foundation for youth to become lifelong PLAYers of the sport. Offered on Wednesdays from 7-8:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9-10:30 a.m.

The PLAYer levels also introduce The First Tee’s Nine Core Values into each lesson: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment. These ideals represent many of the inherently positive traits associated with golf.

Billy Casper Golf, which oversees golf operations at Oglebay, supports The First Tee and numerous other junior golf initiatives as part of its commitment to growing the game.

In 2016, The First Tee served more than 5.3 million young people at more than 1,200 golf facilities.

For additional information about Oglebay:, 800.624.6988.

Marriott Golf Announces Global Expansion

Premier Golf Resorts in South Pacific Added to Worldwide Portfolio

(ORLANDO, Fla.) - Marriott Golf, the Global Golf Division of Marriott International, announced it has added two new resort golf facilities in the South Pacific region to its premier collection of worldwide managed properties.

The Denarau Fiji Golf and Racquet Club, near Nadi, Fiji, and the Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Resort & Spa, in Bourail, New Caledonia have joined Marriott Golf’s managed property portfolio. This expansion comes on the heels of Marriott International, Inc.’s acquisition and integration of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., and creating the world’s largest hospitality company.

Recognized as a “must play” venue in Fiji, The Denarau Golf & Racquet Club ( features an 18-hole Championship golf course, which offers spectacular views of the South Pacific Ocean. With water hazards in play on 15 of its 18 holes, the 7,150 yard design offers a fun and challenging layout for golfers of all ages and skill levels. The golf course hosts play from The Westin Denarau Fiji Resort, the Sheraton Fiji Resort, and Sheraton Villas Resort, as well as other local resorts and residential members.

In one of the world’s most stunning natural settings, The Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Resort & Spa ( is home to the first Dye Design golf course in the Oceania region, a 7,302 yard championship layout. Built within a wonderfully preserved “domaine” of island property, the golf course borders crystal clear lagoon water and a serene forest, offering an exotic setting to experience a round with friends or family. As a French overseas territory, New Caledonia offers a special blend of first class hospitality and cuisine.

“Fiji and New Caledonia are truly unique island environments, worthy of a special trip to experience an amazing region of the planet. With high quality golf, resort amenities, and the incredible hospitality in these locations, it’s a real change of pace for today’s traveler,” said Jim Keane, Senior Director, Golf Operations & Development Planning, Marriott International, Inc.

To fall in line with Marriott’s commitment to environmental stewardship, the Company plans to pursue certification through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program, and any future eco-friendly programs adopted by Marriott Golf.

Marriott International’s expanded Portfolio now includes 30 leading Hotel brands, establishing a new global standard for unrivaled travel experiences. The new company operates or franchises more than 6,000 properties and 1.1 million rooms, in over 122 countries.

Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) programs are the most recognized and awarded loyalty programs in hospitality, with over 100 million members combined. Today, golfing travelers will have additional opportunities to earn and redeem rewards points for their golfing experiences around the globe.

For more information, visit

Tour Operators from Costa Rica to Australia Enjoy Their Introduction to Daytona Beach Golf

Diverse Group Visited Daytona Beach as Part of IAGTO’s North American Tourism Convention

(Daytona Beach, Fla.) - The International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) held its annual North American Golf Tourism Convention in Florida, and as part of the event, several tour operators enjoyed the Daytona Beach golf experience and came away raving about one of the game’s rising destinations.

Tour operators from Costa Rica to Australia visited Daytona Beach, enjoying golf at the acclaimed Hills Course at LPGA International and the Conservatory Course at Hammock Beach Resort, two of the premier layouts along the Central Florida coast.

Like so many golf groups that visit Daytona Beach, the tour operators had almost as much fun off the course, driving laps around Daytona International Speedway as part of the Richard Petty Driving Experience and enjoying dinner at 31 Supper Club.

"The courses were some of the best I have played in a very long time," said Aaron Boyd of Tourico Holidays. "[They were] very beautiful courses with unique designs.  I couldn’t have asked for a better golfing trip and I will be out soon to play again."

“I have come to really appreciate the Daytona Beach area,” said Landy Blank, of Costa Rica Travel, who will be leading a trip Daytona Beach in February that centers around golf and Speedweeks.

“What an awesome trip,” said Joe Shelter, also of Turico Holidays. “The NASCAR ride was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I learned so much about the destination that I never knew before.”

“Working with IAGTO to bring 13 international tour operators in to experience golf in the Daytona Beach area for the first time was a great opportunity,” said Linda McMahon, director of group sales with the Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Many of the operators we met with are now planning to combine golf activities for their international groups surrounding some of our signature events such as NASCAR races and motorcycle rallies.”

Home to more than 20 courses, golfers across the country are having their eyes opened to the virtues of a Daytona Beach golf trip. The destination, which enjoys nonstop flight service and a host of off-course activities, has everything group leaders are looking for, including tremendous value.

Daytona Beach offers a variety of stay-and-play golf package specials, giving groups the opportunity to customize their itinerary.

For more information, go to DaytonaBeach.Golf.

Bermuda Sands Hires Vincent Accorsini for Sales in New England

(Charlotte, NC) – Bermuda Sands,, designers and manufacturers of exceptional performance apparel for leisure sports and activities, announce a new partnership with Vincent Accorsini as sales representative for the New England territory, effective immediately.

Accorsini has over thirty years of experience, primarily focused on selling technology to major US and Internationally owned companies. Along with selling experience, his passion for golf began in the 1960’s as a caddie. His roots were laid in the New England area, receiving his bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and his MBA from Babson College.

“Bermuda Sands offers the best in quality and style for the green grass facilities,” stated Accorsini. “I'm looking forward to increasing awareness of our brand and adding new customers to our existing New England base.”

“We are very excited for Vincent to join our roster,” said Tim Garrett, Vice President of Sales. “New England is such great network for our brand and having an established representative be there to help grow the brand presence is excellent.”

Visit for more information.

Hilton Head Golf Island Announces Summer Packages

(HILTON HEAD, S.C.) – Hilton Head Golf Island – ranked among the top three islands in the world by Travel + Leisure – announces a selection of packages ideal for last-minute summer golf vacations.

Available through August, Heritage Golf Group’s “foresome” golf special starts at $89 (per person, per night) and features seven nights’ accommodation in a spectacular resort villa, unlimited golf at three prestigious clubs (boasting 99 holes), free range balls and cart.

For those just interested in golf, the seven-day unlimited package is available through Sept. 22 for $299 plus tax. For reservations call 843.681.1709.

Golfers can play all three award-winning courses at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort with the “Birdies and Beer” getaway. Starting at $165 (per person, per night) and available through August, this package includes three nights’ accommodation in a two-bedroom villa, three rounds of golf with cart, complimentary range balls, two hours of court time per day at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center, pro shop and dining discounts and daily breakfast and beers. For reservations call 855.450.4861.

Offered until Sept. 17, The Sea Pines Resort’s Summer Golf Specials are available for tee times after 1 p.m. and are perfect for experiencing classic Harbour Town Golf Links, host of the PGA TOUR’s RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, as well as much-praised Heron Point by Pete Dye and exciting new Atlantic Dunes by Davis Love III. Play all three championship courses for $389 per person or Heron Point and Atlantic Dunes for $199 per person. A wide array of accommodation options are available for guests including 300 villas, 100 rental homes and the luxurious 60-room Inn & Club at Harbour Town. For more information call 866.561.8802.

“Hilton Head Island is an ideal summer vacation destination,” says Cary Corbitt, President of the Lowcountry Golf Course Owners Association. “With championship courses to suit all playing styles and abilities, Hilton Head is truly a golf lover’s dream.”

Offering unbeatable value, pleasant year-round weather and direct flights from more than 20 major cities, Hilton Head Island is one of the world’s premier golf destinations. In addition to being named the “No. 1 Island in the Continental U.S.” by Travel + Leisure magazine readers, Hilton Head has also received accolades from Golfweek, Golf Channel’s Golf Advisor and the South Carolina Golf Course Rating Panel.

All packages are priced per person, per night. For more information on the International Association of Golf Tour Operators’ 2016 North American “Golf Destination of the Year,” call 800.523.3373 or visit

Medalist Lucy Li Wins First-Round Match at 69th U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship

(AUGUSTA, Mo.) – Medalist Lucy Li, of Redwood Shores, Calif., never gave her opponent an opening, winning three of the first four holes on the way to a 7-and-6 victory over Belinda Hu on Wednesday. She will advance to the second round of match play in the 2017 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship on Boone Valley Golf Club’s par-71, 6,311-yard course.

Li, 14, had a bogey-free day in the Round of 64 and took advantage of early mistakes by Hu, whose only birdie of the match came on the par-5 sixth hole, where she cut Li’s lead to 2 up. After that, Li won the next five holes in a row, making the match dormie on No. 12, which both players parred to give Li the win.

“I played really solid today,” said Li, who is the youngest to play in both the U.S. Women’s Amateur (age 10, 2013) and the U.S. Women’s Open (age 11, 2014). “I only missed one green, and it was on the fringe, so I hit it really straight today. Made like a couple birdies, so it was really solid.”

The U.S. Girls’ Junior continues with the second and third rounds of match play on Thursday. The quarterfinal and semifinal rounds will be played Friday. The championship concludes with a 36-hole final on Saturday, starting at 7 a.m. CDT. Fox Sports 1 (FS1) will provide coverage all three days.

With the potential to play two matches tomorrow, the top-seeded Li plans to put her experience in past match-play championships to use.

“I played the Wyndham Cup a couple weeks ago, and we played 36 holes of match play two days in a row, so that helped me prepare for this,” said Li. Li will face Yu-Sang Hou of Chinese Taipei in the first match at 7 a.m. CDT Thursday.

Paphangkorn Tavatanakit, of Thailand, who earned the second seed in stroke-play qualifying, also turned in a decisive 7-and-6 first-round victory against Emily Mahar, of Australia.

“It was the best I've played in years I would say, and I would say the mental part was the best, too, in years,” said Tavatanakit, who will begin at UCLA this fall. “I didn't really think about sticking it close or making the putts at all. I just went with the flow, and it would roll in.”

Tavatanakit, who drained eight birdies through 12 holes on Wednesday, is hopeful her hot streak continues, but has learned not to think ahead. Better known as “Patty,” she is one of three players in the field who also played in the U.S. Women’s Open two weeks ago at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. By missing the cut in the Women’s Open, she lost the chance to earn an exemption into the U.S. Women’s Amateur at San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista, Calif., Aug. 7-13.

The U.S. Girls’ Junior gives the 17-year-old another shot at an exemption into the U.S. Women’s Amateur. All she has to do is make the final.

“Still, anything can happen in match play, and I still have that mindset,” said Tavatanakit. “But, just taking it shot-by-shot is what I need to do for the rest of the week to try to make it to the finals.”

The other 2017 U.S. Women’s Open players in the field, So Whi Kang and Brooke Seay, defeated their opponents 1 up and in 19 holes, respectively.

“I don't think you ever expect to go 19 holes, but you never know what you're going to get in match play,” said Seay, who is playing in her fourth event in four weeks.

Seay, 16, held a 1-up lead on Elle Nachmann before she bogeyed the 18th, forcing the match to extra holes. Seay won on the 19th when Nachmann three-putted for bogey. Seay qualified for both the U.S. Girls’ Junior and U.S. Women’s Amateur, which will be played in her hometown, by making the cut in the U.S. Women’s Open.

In the second round, Seay will face her good friend Brianna Navarrosa, 15, who is also from San Diego. Two other Southern Californians will face off in the round of 32: Karah Sanford of Escondido and Calista Reyes of San Diego.

“I think it's probably harder to play against a friend, but it might be better for nerves to be able to talk to someone down the fairway other than the caddie,” said Seay of facing Navarrosa. “So, it'll be a fun match, but we both want to win. It'll be tough.”

Haley Moore, who also calls Escondido home, is the highest-ranked player in the field with the No. 20 spot in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking. She defeated Tze-Han Lin, of Chinese Taipei, 4 and 3, the first round.

At 18, Moore is grateful for the opportunity to play in the U.S. Girls’ Junior one last time, which became possible this year when the United States Golf Association raised the maximum age from 17 to 18.

“It definitely means a lot, and I'm really excited because at this tournament, we get spoiled,” said Moore, who graduated high school six months early in December 2016 to play for the University of Arizona and went on to finish runner-up in the 2016 NCAA National Championship. “It's probably one of the best tournaments the USGA puts on, so I'm really excited about it.”

Mika Liu, also 18, won her match against Jayna Choi, 4 and 2. Liu, who won the inaugural 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball with partner Rinko Mitsunaga, is the only USGA champion in the field. She is playing in a championship record-tying seventh U.S. Girls’ Junior.

“I would call them the ‘younger generation’ because they all know each other, and I know a few of them, but sometimes I'm just not caught up in what's going on,” said Liu, of Beverly Hills, Calif., who will start at Stanford University in the fall. “I feel like a very old person.”

The two youngest players in the field, 12-year-olds Alexa Pano and Izzy Pellot, both of Florida, also won their first-round matches.

The U.S. Girls’ Junior is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Product Review: Vice Golf

Have you heard of Vice Golf? It’s a direct-to-consumer company selling premium balls at a minimal cost. Low overhead, cut out the middle man, etc.

Vice kicked off in Germany about five years ago, then spread through Europe and entered the United States in 2015.

At the moment, Vice produces five variations of their golf ball - two-, three-, and four-piece options.

Let’s start with the two-piece ball ... Drive ($14.95). Designed for players with low to medium clubhead speed, Drive has a Surlyn cover that’s extremely tough and cut-resistant. It’s ideal for women and seniors.

Tour ($21.95) is a three-piece ball for players of all levels. Similar to Drive, Tour has a durable Surlyn cover. Tour has 392 aerodynamic dimple design for more stability, however, compared to Drive’s 368 dimples.

With the increasing popularity of “soft” golf balls, the Pro Soft ($34.95) is extremely popular. This three-piece ball has a 336-dimple design and responsive feel. While it’s ideal for players with medium clubhead speed, it also boasts a unique matte outer coating - achieved by tiny silicate particles in the clear lacquer.

The previous three balls were geared toward beginner or moderate players, but Vice Golf does offer a pair of options for those with advanced ability. There wasn’t an exact driver speed listed on the website, but based on testing, I’d suggest a minimum of 95 mph for both.

Rounding out the three-piece offerings is Pro ($34.95). With a cast Urethane cover for a gentle and responsive feel, the Pro has a 318-large-dimple design that provides incredible distance and a stable trajectory.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Pro Plus ($34.95) - a four-piece ball with a cast urethane cover for a seriously soft feel. This 336-dimple design is long, but promotes a lower ball flight.

Still not sure which Vice ball best fits your game? Try the Selected pack (picture above), which consists of all five models (sleeves of two) for only $17.95. You can take a six-question test, as well, and receive a recommendation. The questions are:
- Gender
- Typical Score
- Current ball brand/model
- Average 7-iron distance
- Typical driver speed
- What you look for in short-game performance

All five balls come in white, naturally, while the three Pro options also are offered in red and lime green.

To learn more or order, visit

USGA Celebrates Pioneers in Women's Golf through New Exhibit

"Breaking New Ground: Women and Golf Course Architecture" Now Open at USGA Headquarters

(FAR HILLS, N.J.) - Since the late 1800s, a small but influential group of women have carved a space of their own in golf, using the one tool that most influences a player’s experience: the golf course. The USGA Golf Museum’s new exhibit, “Breaking New Ground: Women and Golf Course Architecture,” explores this rarely discussed segment of golf history and recounts unique narratives of female leadership, initiative and innovation.

Artifacts from the museum collection, in addition to loans from the United Kingdom and local historical archives, illustrate how women have influenced golf course design theory and played a role in creating more equitable and enjoyable experiences for all who play the game.

Curated by USGA historian Victoria Student, the exhibit officially opened on July 12, the eve of the 72nd U.S. Women’s Open Championship. Players in the championship field were given a sneak preview at a private welcome reception on Tuesday of U.S. Women’s Open week at the USGA Golf Museum, located a few short miles from the championship site and on the grounds of the USGA headquarters.

“These incredible women not only shaped the dialogue surrounding how courses could be more welcoming to other women - they also inspired new generations to build careers and opportunities in golf,” said Diana Murphy, president of the USGA. “We all have something to learn from their ingenuity and passion for the game, and the USGA couldn’t be prouder to showcase their contributions.”

Since the turn of the 19th century, women have adapted courses to better suit female playing abilities, and have established separate clubs to serve as places of recreation and competition. “Breaking New Ground” tells the stories of several early women’s golf clubs, such as the St. Andrews Ladies’ Golf Club (1867), Carnoustie Ladies Golf Club (1873) and Morris County Golf Club (1894).

Located less than 30 miles from the present-day USGA campus, Morris County Golf Club was the first all-women’s golf club to become a USGA Associate Member Club. The exhibit displays the letter dated June 21, 1895 to the club’s president, Nina Howland, communicating the unanimous approval by the USGA Executive Committee for the club’s Associate Membership, granting full voting rights.

The exhibit also features artifacts from women who pioneered the male-dominated golf course architecture field. Beginning with Ida Dixon and May Dunn, and continuing into the 1930s with Molly Gourlay, Britain’s first female golf course architect and trusted assistant to Tom Simpson, the groundwork laid by these women culminates with Marion Hollins, the well-connected visionary behind Women’s National Golf and Tennis Club on Long Island and Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, Calif.

Selected writings and course sketches by Alexa Stirling, a three-time U.S. Women’s Amateur champion and member of the inaugural USGA Women’s Committee, exemplify the demand throughout history for golf course design to take diverse audiences into account, as well as the collaborative effort by the world’s top female players to improve the game they loved.

Modern-day architects Alice Dye and Jan Bel Jan, along with industry movers-and-shakers Arthur Little and Jan Leeming, bring “Breaking New Ground” into the present and future, as the exhibit displays videos highlighting their work to increase playability and accessibility through course design and set up.

“Breaking New Ground” will be on display at the USGA Golf Museum, located at 77 Liberty Corner in Far Hills, N.J., through December 2018.  The museum is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.  

Entry is $10 for adults and $5 for USGA Members; kids 12 and under enter free, and includes access to the Hall of Champions, as well as rooms dedicated to Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan and Mickey Wright. Ticket holders for the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open Championship enter free until the end of the year.

All who visit will also have access to the USGA’s Pynes Putting Course, testing their skills with historic replica clubs or modern putters on the nine-hole layout.

For more information on the USGA Golf Museum, click here.

Troy Mullins, Maurice Allen Win 'Mile High Showdown'

First Televised World Long Drive Association Title for Both Mullins & Allen; Ryan Reisbeck Moves to No. 1 in World Long Drive Rankings

(DENVER, Colo.) – The high elevation of Denver offered an ideal setting for welcoming two first-time, televised-event World Long Drive champions, as Troy Mullins (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Maurice Allen (Pine Hills, Fla.) each claimed the top prize at the Mile High Showdown.

Despite her position as the highest remaining seed entering the semifinals, Mullins’ 398-yard drive was enough to edge the top-seeded Chloe Garner (395) to propel Mullins into the finals against Phillis Meti (Auckland, New Zealand), who in her semifinals match set a new World Long Drive record for the longest ball ever with a 406-yard drive. In the finals, Mullins’ 374-yard mark was enough to outlast Meti (363) to claim her first World Long Drive title and the $7,000 first-place prize.

“I’m still shocked, I can’t believe it,” Mullins said. “I kept my head down [on that last ball] and I didn’t even know if it made it in the grid. I’m really proud of myself… I’m doing this on my own, not sponsored. I come here with my two clubs and I’m doing it. And I think this is a great way to get people into the sport. This is how I got into golf, just coming out and having fun. I hope to stay in it for a long time.”

On the men’s side, each of the four quarterfinals matches saw the top-seeded competitor advance in Ryan Reisbeck, Justin James, Maurice Allen and Ryan Steenberg, with Reisbeck and Steenberg tying for the longest ball of the round at 485 yards. In the semifinals, a 474-yard drive pushed Reisbeck past Steenberg (460) and into the finals, while Allen’s 465-yard drive bested James (445) to earn him a matchup with Reisbeck. After Reisbeck failed to hit the grid in the finals, a 436-yard drive was enough to earn Allen his first televised World Long Drive Association win and the $20,000 first-place check.

“This win means everything,” Allen said. “There are a lot of people who believed in me… all these people gave me an opportunity. And for a guy who was sleeping in his car five years ago because he wanted to be a Long Driver, it [doesn’t] get any sweeter than this.”

Reisbeck Takes Over No. 1 Spot in World Long Drive Rankings
While his showing in the finals match left Reisbeck disappointed with the result, a consolation in addition to his $10,000 second-place check was that he earned enough points to overtake Will Hogue to become the new No. 1 competitor in the World Long Drive rankings. The updated top five competitors in the rankings through the Mile High Showdown are:
1 – Ryan Reisbeck;
2 – Will Hogue;
3 – Justin James;
4 – Maurice Allen;
5 – Tim Burke

The 2017 Open Division schedule consists of qualifying events spanning from March through August, with competitors from each event advancing to the Volvik World Long Drive Championship (Aug. 31-Sept. 6). Only two opportunities remain for prospective Long Drive competitors to qualify for the season-culminating event, which include the Catawba Classic (Aug. 4-6, Hickory, N.C.) and the “Last Chance Qualifier” (Aug. 31-Sept. 1). The Volvik World Long Drive Championship will feature a 96-man field competing for a $270,000 purse. The Women’s Division will feature a field of 32 competitors vying for a purse of $40,000. The event will return to WinStar World Casino & Resort (Thackerville, Okla.) for a third consecutive year, following a multi-year extension as the host site.

For the full 2017 World Long Drive Association schedule, visit

Golf Pride Brand Wins Grip Count at the 146th Open Championship

(SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.) - Eaton announced that its Golf Pride Grips Division was the most used swing and putter grip brand played at the 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale Golf Club, in Southport, England.

The #1 Grip in Golf claimed 8 of the top 10 finishers.  In all, 129 players competing at the season’s third major trusted their games to Golf Pride grips. Of the players who relied on Golf Pride, 43 played the brand’s flagship MCC family of grips.

“At the Open Championship, weather changes in an instant, so it’s important that players have confidence their grips will stand up in all conditions,” said Brandon Sowell, global sales and marketing director for Golf Pride. “At Golf Pride our #1 goal is ensuring that a player’s only connection to their club, the grip, provides superior technology to ensure confidence in every swing.  We are extremely proud that the overwhelming majority of players chose Golf Pride, including the player who trusted our flagship MCC model while shooting the lowest round in major championship history with a blistering 62.”

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

For more information on Golf Pride’s entire 2017 product offering, visit

Argolf Expands Distribution into Key Regional Retailers and Golf Clubs

(JUPITER, Florida) – Argolf USA (, a line of precision-designed putters, is expanding its Argolf dealer program throughout North America. With its latest tour victory – an Argolf Pendragon putter was used by the winner of the 2017 U.S. Senior Open – Argolf is gaining wide recognition among avid golfers and tour players around the world. More and more professionals and serious golfers are choosing to “feel the legend” as they put their Argolf putters into play.

As a result of increasing demand, Argolf USA is extending distribution into the following additional regional retailers:
• Fairmont Grand Del Mar (San Diego, California)
• Golf USA (Limerick, Pennsylvania)
• Golfdom (northern Virginia)
• HotStix (Fountain Hills, Arizona)
• Miles of Golf (Cincinnati and Ann Arbor locations)
• New York Golf Center (Herald Square and Grand Central locations)

“The Argolf dealer program is growing across the country,” said Olivier Colas, founder and CEO of Argolf. “Retailers are responding to golfers’ requests for Argolf putters, seeking the accuracy and consistency tour players on every level are enjoying with Argolf.”

The Argolf dealer program is a cooperative advertising campaign in which the Argolf sales team works in collaboration with the Argolf executive team.

Argolf USA recently opened the Argolf Putting Lab, in Jupiter, Fla., where golfers experience a custom fitting in consultation with an expert fitter who recommends the precise Argolf putter model for each player’s needs.

Rocco Mediate, a six-time PGA Tour winner who has won three times so far on the PGA Tour Champions, is a member of the Argolf professional staff, playing the Argolf Perceval putter.

Also, a number of players on the Symetra Tour (official developmental golf tour of the LPGA Tour) and the European Ladies PGA Tour, not to mention many skilled and rising junior players, are achieving success with Argolf putters.

In addition to many top regional retailers, an ever-increasing number of golf professionals are stocking Argolf putters in their shops and also competing successfully with Argolf putters in play. Exclusive clubs such as Seminole Golf Club (Juno Beach, Fla.), Shinnecock Hills Golf Club (Southampton, NY) and The Riviera Country Club (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) have introduced Argolf putters into their shops.

For more information, see

Lacoste Sponsors the President's Cup Golf Tournament this September in New Jersey

(RELEASE) - Lacoste Underwear and Loungewear plays a starring role at the international competition. New performance styles will ensure that the players are cool and comfortable on the greens.

While the international sportswear brand Lacoste is the official clothing sponsor at the upcoming President's Cup this September - it's the items closest to the player's skin that will have a starring role.

New styles featuring Real Cool Cotton are available along with the Athletic Mesh with Ultra Dry Technology and anti-oder material will be available for all of the players and fans at Retail prices range from $20 - $30.

Swing Juice Creates Tee that Capture's The Open's Iconic Moment

The team at Swing Juice has put together the perfect t-shirt to mark the turning point in the 2017 Champion Golfer of the Year's final round, when the momentum swung and he took control.

Get yours HERE.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Most-Watched Final Round of The Open in Eight Years

(SOUTHPORT, ENGLAND) – NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive coverage of Jordan Spieth’s dramatic victory at The 146TH Open concluded Sunday with a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 4.97 million average viewers across NBC and NBC Sports Digital, as well as a 3.2 U.S. household rating (9:14 a.m.-2:08 p.m. ET), according to Nielsen Fast Nationals.

The 4.97 million TAD for The Open at England’s Royal Birkdale Golf Club was +1% vs. 2016 at Scotland’s Royal Troon (4.94 million TAD), with a combination of 4.91 million average TV viewers on NBC (Even vs. 2016) and 59,200 streaming average minute audience (37,592 average minute audience, +60% vs. ‘16) across NBC Sports’ streaming platforms. TAD measures consumption across multiple platforms, combining the Average Minute Audience (AMA) for television and digital.

This makes 2017 the most-watched telecast of The Open since the 2009 Final Round at Turnberry on ABC (5.55 million), which ended in a 4-hole playoff with Stewart Cink defeating a 59-year-old Tom Watson.

TV-only viewership on Sunday peaked with 7.33 million average viewers (1:15-1:30 p.m.) as Jordan Spieth clinched the Claret Jug with his winning putt, making him the Champion Golfer of the Year.

Most-Streamed NBC Sports Golf Event Ever – 100.8 Million Live Minutes:
Across all four days, The Open totaled 100.8 million live minutes of streaming, a record for an NBC Sports’ golf event, and a remarkable +96% vs. ‘16. Streaming also garnered 917,000 unique devices (+51% vs. ‘16) and an Average Minute Audience of 34,000 (+92% vs. ‘16) across 50 hours of coverage. Sunday’s Final Round garnered 20 million minutes of live streaming (+60% vs. ‘16), 300,000 unique devices (+19% vs. ‘16).

NBC Sports’ Coverage of The 146TH Open Final Round Additional Highlights:
· NBC's Final Round telecast is the only major championship with a final round viewership increase vs. 2016 year-to-date and is the most-watched golf telecast on NBC since Tiger Woods’ win in the final round of the 2015 Players (5.07 million).
· The 3.2 rating for NBC’s 2017 coverage of daytime finish of The Open is +4% vs. 2017 U.S. Open Final Round’s primetime finish on FOX (3.1 U.S. Household Rating).
· NBC’s Third Round coverage (3.11 million TAD) is the most-watched Saturday golf telecast on NBC since Saturday of the 2016 Ryder Cup (3.33 million TAD, 9 a.m.-7:17 p.m., Oct 1).

Golf Channel’s Second Year of Covering Golf’s Oldest Major Championship
· On Thursday with coverage of The Open’s First Round, Golf Channel was the #1 cable sports network by 135% and #7 out of all 114 Nielsen rated cable networks from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
· On Friday with coverage of The Open’s Second Round, Golf Channel was the #1 cable sports network by 344% and #5 out of all 114 Nielsen-rated cable networks from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
· The Open was the #1 sports telecast of the day on Friday by 46%.
· Golf Channel on Friday from The Open posted its most-watched day (567k average viewers) since Ryder Cup Friday in September 2016 and the network’s 4th most-watched day ever.

Valley of the Eagles Golf Club to Offer Exclusive Preview Rounds

(Elyria, Ohio) – Valley of the Eagles Golf Club, the only Nicklaus Design daily-fee course in Northern Ohio, will open for exclusive preview rounds beginning August 5. Set on the site of the former Spring Valley Country Club, Valley of the Eagles has been completely redesigned by the team from Nicklaus Design, considered the industry leader in golf course design, to fully capture the beauty of the Black River Valley, tranquil surroundings and breathtaking elevation changes. Troon, the leader in golf course management, development, and marketing has been selected to manage and operate Valley of the Eagles.

During this exclusive preview window, the golf course will be the only operation open at Valley of the Eagles. Full clubhouse operations are expected to begin in August, as crews are putting the finishing touches on an expansive 24,000-square-foot clubhouse renovation. When complete, the Valley of the Eagles clubhouse will include an exciting new food and beverage offering known as the Black River Tavern, a fabulous venue for sports events and social gatherings, complemented by state-of-the-art golf simulators for year-round and multi-course enjoyment.

“This sneak peek will be a great opportunity for Cleveland-area golfers to see and play the new Valley of the Eagles Golf Club,” said Ray Metz, general manager, Valley of the Eagles. “We’re really excited about the work the Nicklaus Design team, led by Design Associate David Savic, has done here and are confident that with Troon’s proven agronomic and service-level standards, golfers will thoroughly enjoy the experience offered by Valley of the Eagles.”

The new Nicklaus Design course plays to a par of 72 and measures 7,015 yards from the tips. The course meanders through Black River Valley and along the Black River, with mature elm, oak and ash trees lining the fairways.

Valley of the Eagles is conveniently located at the intersections of highways 90, 80 and 57 — just 25 miles west of downtown Cleveland — in the beautiful Black River Valley, on the border of Cuyahoga and Lorain counties. Daily-fee rates at Valley of the Eagles will range from $35 to $60 and will include a golf cart. In addition, Valley of the Eagles is offering an annual pass program, which will provide golfers with course access for the remainder of 2017 and all of 2018.

For more information, visit To schedule an exclusive preview tee time or to inquire about the annual pass program, call (440) 365-1411.

For additional news and information, visit

Talamore Staying Ahead of the Curve

There are plenty of reasons for excitement at the Talamore family of country clubs

(Village of Pinehurst, NC/Philadelphia, PA) – These are exciting times for the Talamore family of country clubs.

The “family” consists of Applecross Country Club in Downington, Pa., along with Talamore Country Club in Ambler, Pa., and two Pinehurst area golf courses as part of the Talamore Resort — The New Course at Talamore and Mid South Club in the famed Sandhills of North Carolina. Membership includes privileges at all four clubs.

Located less than 40 minutes west from Philadelphia, Applecross CC recently unveiled its highly anticipated, state-of-the-art golf clubhouse. A residential golf community featuring a broad array of first-class club amenities, including a Nicklaus Design golf course on which Michael Nicklaus served as lead architect, Applecross debuted in 2010 and has emerged as one of the Philadelphia area’s most innovative and progressive golf communities.

The stunning new Applecross clubhouse opened this spring and is approximately 15,000 square feet throughout three levels, including golf locker rooms, a pro shop and club offices. Soaring at the third level with stunning views of holes No. 18 and No. 19, The Eagle’s Nest is a member’s lounge with a 30-seat bar, expansive covered deck and an open timber frame design. The new clubhouse is expected to greatly enhance the Applecross membership experience.

Meanwhile, there is similar excitement around Pinehurst, N.C., where the renowned Talamore Resort has undergone an extensive facelift. Talamore Golf Resort first made headlines for its famed stable of llama caddies and unparalleled customer service. Today, Talamore has grown to become one of the Sandhills’ premier golf getaways — which is why more than 90 percent of the resort’s customers return or refer new business.

Last summer, a quarter century after this popular Pinehurst resort first opened, the green complexes at Talamore were converted from bent grass to Champion Bermuda and have received rave reviews. The Talamore green complexes were restored to their original 1991 Rees Jones design by recapturing the greens surrounds, which had been heavily encroached by native Bermuda grasses. In addition to true rolling and lightening fast greens, the new strains of Bermuda are providing significantly better playing conditions year round.

Talamore’s latest line of improvements, additions and upgrades included a renovation of the Talamore clubhouse and golf course — now named, appropriately, The New Course at Talamore — unique resort activities such as weekly Pig Pickins’ at the Talamore Pavilion and Southern breakfast buffets in the resort’s popular Sodfather’s Grille.

Now, Talamore’s partner property across famed Midland Road at the Arnold Palmer designed Mid South Club is undergoing a similar golf course restoration and greens conversion, along with numerous other club enhancements.

Following up on the successful remastering at Talamore, the greens at Mid South Club are being converted to Champion Bermuda this summer. To ensure the design continuity of the putting contours, Mid South and Talamore employ the “no till” method pioneered by Champion Turf Farms out of Texas. More than 700 courses nationwide have Champion Turf including Pinehurst No. 2 just up the road.

While the Mid South greens remodeling project is being conducted, the club is also adding a new set of forward tees to many holes. These new tees promise to be a welcome addition to the golf course and are expected to provide a more player friendly approach for those just learning the game — as well as those looking to move forward for a more enjoyable playing experience. Mid South is also busy improving the club’s cart path system, with most areas being removed and restored with a natural packed sand base. The paths will be re-concreted where necessary due to grade or traffic patterns.

Also in store for 2017 at Mid South are member facility upgrades to include the addition of basketball and pickle ball on one of the tennis courts, as well as a new barbecue and hospitality area at the Mid South pool. Other main clubhouse enhancements are being finalized with an eye towards rolling those out later this year.

In all, these current projects are among the more than $6 million in capital improvements at Talamore’s four North Carolina and Pennsylvania facilities. Which is why members of the “family” have plenty of reasons to be excited.

For information call (800) 552-6292 or visit for the latest golf package information.

Hubert Privé, French Golf Artist, Introduces American Tee Sculptures in the U.S.

(PARIS, France) – Hubert Privé (, a French artist specializing in golf sculpture, has introduced his American Tee sculptures into the United States. The giant golf tees, in solid red, white and blue as well as in two American flag designs, feature the pure design and harmonious lines for which Privé is known throughout the world. The giant tees offer decorative décor to a clubhouse interior, to strategically-chosen sites on a golf course or to any golfer’s private residence.

“It is a pleasure to introduce my art to American golfers by way of my American Tee sculptures,” said Privé, whose studio is in Normandy, France, where he creates his contemporary sculptures and photographs his work as well as his conceptual art. “The American Tees bring an extra element of joy and pleasure to golfers who encounter them.”

The American Tee sculptures are made of resin and are available in three sizes:
– 31.9” on a base of .39”
– 47.24” on a base of 7.87”
– 70.86” on a base of 11.81”

The tees also can be ordered on a custom made-to-measure basis and may be personalized upon request.

Privy’s work has enjoyed success throughout Europe and the world. By expressing the ephemeral, humorous and conceptual elements of golf, Privé salutes the grandeur of the golfer and the profound essence of the game. His sculptures stand as symbols of how golf serves to help elevate humanity around the globe. It is this spirit and philosophy which guide Privé in the creation of his art.

By introducing his work into the U.S., Pricé, a visual artist and designer who finds his inspiration in the world of golf, now is offering American golfers the chance to experience his imaginative interpretation of the game. The American Tee sculptures are being distributed in North America by H4Distribution, LLC (, based in Jupiter, Fla. All additional Privé golf art also will be available through H4Distribution.

Liu Leads After First Round of 69th U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship

(AUGUSTA, Mo.) – Mika Liu, the inaugural 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball co-champion and the only USGA champion in the field, fired a 4-under-par 67 Monday to grab a one-stroke lead after the first day of stroke play in the 2017 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship on Boone Valley Golf Club’s 6,311-yard course.

Liu, who played in the first group off the 10th tee, carded five birdies, four on her last nine holes, against one bogey on the par-4 13th hole, which ranked as the fifth-toughest hole on Monday.

“I think the course is really challenging; there were a lot of precision shots to be made today, and I think I executed a lot of them,” said Liu, a member of the 2016 USA Curtis Cup Team who combined with Rinko Mitsunaga to win the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball.

Liu, of Beverly Hills, Calif., cemented her lead by draining a 25-foot par putt on the ninth green, her 18th hole. The par-5 ninth was the longest hole on the course Monday, stretching to 525 yards.

“I was just trying to give it some good speed, and it fell in,” said Liu of her final putt. “The second shot [on the ninth hole] is a tough one because you could either lay up to the bunkers or go for it, but there really isn’t that good of a lay-up place. I went for it on the right side and ended up in the [mid-fairway] bunker.”

Set to start at Stanford University in the fall, Liu is playing in a championship record-tying seventh consecutive U.S. Girls’ Junior, joining only Megan Khang (2009-15) and Margot Morton (1954-60). If not for the United States Golf Association’s decision to increase the championship’s maximum age from 17 to 18 starting this year, Liu, who turned 18 in February, would not be competing. Including Liu, there are 33 18-year-olds in the field.

“It is amazing that I can come back when I’m 18 and also have my sister on the bag,” said Liu, whose sister, Marika, played golf at Yale. “This is her first time with me at a USGA event, and she’s been so helpful during my round. Cheering me up, making jokes, and telling me what line to go off of on my tee shot. She’s been amazing.”

The U.S. Girls’ Junior consists of 36 holes of stroke play, with the low 64 players advancing to match play, which begins Wednesday. The championship, scheduled to conclude with a 36-hole final on Saturday, is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

Caroline Hodge and Brianna Navarrosa both carded 68s to position themselves one stroke from the lead. Navarossa, 15, who is playing in her second U.S. Girls’ Junior, finished runner-up with partner Angelina Kim in the 2016 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball. Hodge, 16, is playing in her first USGA championship.

“I’m from [Larchmont] New York, and I think that Boone Valley is a lot similar to the courses I play on a day-to-day basis,” said Hodge. “Really thick rough, pretty hilly. I’m just glad I could come here, and be playing such a beautiful course, and playing well.”

Hodge made the turn at 1 over par and finished with four birdies on her last eight holes.

“I don’t really hit it that far, so I was just trying to mainly hit greens, but I ended up getting pretty close [within 5 feet] on the second hole [her 11th] and was able to just roll it in, which boosted my confidence,” said Hodge. “Overall, I was able to read my short putts really well, and I was able to focus on where in the cup I wanted to leave it. Anything inside 10 feet, I was pretty confident with, and I just got more confident as the round went on.”

Like Liu, Hodge played in the morning wave, and her sister is also here this week. Hodge’s sister, however, is playing in the field. Alice Hodge, 14, carded a 77. The Hodge sisters join Nicole and Waverly Whiston, of San Diego, Calif., as one of the two sets of sisters in the field. The Whistons carded 70 and 78, respectively.

Navarrosa, who had the lowest score of the afternoon groups, made five birdies to two bogeys, including four birdies on the inward nine. On the par-4 18th hole, she landed her approach shot 10 feet from the hole, giving herself a chance for birdie and a share of the lead. Her putt, however, rolled less than a foot past the hole.

“I just wanted to have a solid round and make some good putts,” said Navarrosa. “I’m glad I was able to start low today, so I don’t have to catch my way up. I hit my shots really well today, and while I didn’t make all my putts for birdie, I made enough to get a good score.”

Of the three players in the field who played in the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., two weeks ago, only Paphangkorn Tavatanakit, of Thailand, returned a score under par, a 1-under 70. So Whi Kang, of the Republic of Korea, finished with a 74, while Brooke Seay, of San Diego – the only player in the field to make the 36-hole cut in the Women’s Open – carded a 77.

After finishing 1 under, Alexa Pano, the second-youngest player and one of two 12-year-olds in the field, signed for a 71, which was reflected in the official results. The recording error was made on the 10th hole (her first), which she birdied, but signed for as a par. If she had signed for a total score lower than 70, the mistake would have been grounds for disqualification.

“I think the course is playing really tough,” said Pano, who is from Lake Worth, Fla., and playing in her second consecutive championship in Missouri following last week’s Girls Junior PGA Championship in St. Albans, approximately 45 minutes from Augusta. “It’s not necessarily long, but you’re not having short irons into many of the holes, it’s more 7 to 5 irons. So, it definitely played pretty challenging, but I managed, and had really good putting today, which saved me in a bunch of situations. Today, it [putting] was definitely the strongest part of my game, but it hasn’t been the last couple weeks.”

A total of seven sub-par rounds were recorded in what was expected to be some of the best weather conditions of the week. After temperatures in the low 100s and high 90s with high humidity for the weekend practice rounds, Monday’s high was a more comfortable 91 with light wind.

Though eligible to play, the 2015 and 2016 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Eun Jeong Seong, 17, of the Republic of Korea, is not defending her titles this week. Seong also won the 2016 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, becoming the only player in USGA history to win both championships in the same year.