Friday, May 29, 2020

Several Puerto Rico Golf Courses and Resorts Re-open

Others to Follow Imminently as Island Golf Destination Stakeholders Implement Safeguards


(SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO) — Many of Puerto Rico’s 18 golf courses have reopened, as recently announced by Gov. Wanda Vázquez.

“It’s the right time . . . We have flattened the curve,” said Gov. Vázquez.

Caution, patience, and discipline have been staples of the Island’s proactive edicts designed to protect Puerto Rico residents and visitors. That will continue when many businesses gradually reopen across the Island. A 7 pm to 5 am curfew will remain in place until June 15, and all people will be required to wear a mask when outside or inside a business.

Puerto Rico, an American territory, will join the rest of the United States as pertains to the game; golf courses have reopened in all 50 states.

“This is encouraging news, and people wishing to visit the Island can soon embrace all that is waiting for them when the time is right to travel,” said Leah Chandler, CMO, Discover Puerto Rico, the Island’s Destination Marketing Organization.

Some Island courses are open to everyone, including Royal Isabela, Club Deportivo del Oeste, and more. Other Island courses are open to members only currently – TPC Dorado Beach, Palmas Athletic Club, and Wyndham Grand Rio Mar, for example – with the public expected to be welcomed back imminently. For instance, Rio Mar will allow public play beginning on June 2. For details pertaining to each golf venue, call them at the phone numbers listed at bottom.

Royal Isabela’s re-opening protocol is indicative of how Island golf courses are operating. The boutique resort perched atop 200-foot cliffs on Puerto Rico’s northwest coast, reopened its Links Golf Course for public play. It has installed an array of safeguards to enhance safe recreation, including staff using personal protective gear, sanitizing and cleaning golf carts and the Pro Shop common areas throughout the day, and more. Other Royal Isabela mandates include requiring that tee times be booked at least 48 hours in advance with all due information; no use of the driving range, practice greens, or club rentals; one player allowed per golf cart; no post round gathering or socializing; and more.

Puerto Rico’s 18 golf courses are located throughout the Island – from the northwestern tip to the East Coast – with several in northeastern Puerto Rico near capital San Juan. Accentuating tropical splendor and remarkable ocean views, Island golf resorts are renowned for their first-class service and inspirational settings.

Puerto Rico is an enchanting destination where history, culture, gastronomy, nightlife, beaches, hotels and resorts abound. It requires no passport for American citizens, is bilingual, uses the U.S. dollar for currency, and is the air hub of the Caribbean. There are more than 4,000 restaurants, and the lodging venues range from top hospitality brands to being named a top 10 Airbnb world destination.

The Island’s golf venues include:
TPC Dorado Beach (36 holes) – 787-626-1020
Costa Caribe (27) – 787-812-2650
Fort Buchanan (9) – 787-707-3980
Wyndham Grand Rio Mar (36) – 787-888-6000
Rio Bayamon (18) – 787-740-1419
Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve/Coco Beach (36) – 787-657-2000
The St. Regis Bahia Beach (18) – 787-809-8000
Caguas Real (18) – 787-653-1573
Royal Isabela (18) – 787-609-5888
Deportivo del Oeste (18) – 787-851-8880
Palmas Athletic Club (36) – 787-656-3000
Punta Borinquen (18) – 787-890-2987
El Legado (18) – 787-866-8894
El Conquistador (18) – 787-863-1000

For more information on Island golf courses, resorts, and other destination attractions along with Puerto Rico’s new health and safety guidelines visit: DiscoverPuertoRico.com.

Tour Stars Walk, Distance and Play Safe in Charity Match

Bernd Wiesberger
The cream of Austrian golf, including world No. 26 and 2019 Race to Dubai 3rd place finisher Bernd Wiesberger, took to the beautiful fairways at Schloss Schönborn G.C. this week for a ‘behind closed doors’ skins competition that saw over €28,000 donated to charity.

Wiesberger was joined by Ladies European Tour players Christiane Wolf and Sarah Schober and European Tour player Mathias Schwab. The match was played as a round robin 9 hole skins format leading to head to head matches between every player. Each hole was worth €300 with players donating their accumulated winnings to a charity of their choice. All the action is set to be televised over the next three weeks on Austrian T.V. where more fundraising will take place with proceeds donated to SOS Children’s Village and its COVID-19 aid project.

As part of Covid-19 containment regulations the matches took place without spectators, with each player adhering to social distancing guidelines. In addition, all four competitors chose to play without caddies, instead using push carts from Europe’s most owned push cart brand BIG MAX, while keeping to the advice set out in the brand’s new Walk, Distance, Play Safe campaign.

Upon completion of the 27 hole competition, Bernd Wiesberger said, “It was great to get out on the course and raise money for charity at the same time. We’re very lucky that golf has returned so quickly and I hope that many people will see how we were able to walk the course, keep our distance and play safely. We were very grateful for our BIG MAX push carts to help us get around the course too. I think my caddy is disappointed we can’t take it when I return to play in the U.S. next month!”

Wiesberger and Schwab used BIG MAX’s Fold Flat AutoFold FF push cart while Wolf and Schober opted for the brand new Ti LITE model. After the conclusion of the match, each player signed their BIG MAX push cart and these will now be auctioned off for the winner’s charity.

Thomas Reiter, owner of BIG MAX, was delighted to support the event on home soil. He said, “To have played a part in raising funds at this event is very special. We have been delighted to support several charity causes through the Covid-19 pandemic and we are running our Walk, Distance, Play Safe campaign to help the game to return safely. But to be able to help raise money and promote safe golf in our home country is a real honor. Austria is going through its most successful period as a golf nation. Bernd is leading the way but players like Christiane, Matthias and Sarah show that Austrian golf is on the rise and I hope that this event will not only raise a great deal of money for charity, but also inspire more young Austrians to take up our great game.”

In addition to television coverage, the Austrian Golf Association at www.golf.at and its associated social media channels will have extensive coverage.

For more information on the BIG MAX line as used by the Tour stars, visit www.bigmaxgolf.com.

City of Los Angeles Golf Partners with GOLFNOW

City’s Department of Recreation and Parks will Utilize GOLFNOW Technology and Services to Power its 12 Area Golf Facilities


(ORLANDO, Fla.) – GOLFNOW today announced a new partnership with the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, providing the city’s 12 area golf facilities with GOLFNOW’s industry leading technology and services, as well as access to the world’s largest tee-time marketplace. The partnership builds on an agreement the city established with EZLinks Golf, now a GOLFNOW company, which was signed in 2018.

Open since May 9 after the state of California began loosening restrictions for recreational activity, Los Angles City Golf begins a new chapter with GOLFNOW and will continue to benefit from the industry’s leading EZLinks-branded technology, as well as inclusion within GOLFNOW’s online tee-time marketplace. GOLFNOW also will provide marketing support – including social media and email marketing- as well as website design and management, and call center assistance as part of the partnership.

“The City of Los Angeles operates a large and envious portfolio of golf properties that enjoy a loyal following,” said Laura Bauernfeind, Golf Manager. “The opportunity with GOLFNOW to showcase our tee times within the world’s largest, online marketplace, coupled with the major steps we’ve been able to take by utilizing EZLinks’ integrated technology platform, will be a big win-win for our golf course properties and golfers, alike.”

GOLFNOW will power operations at the city’s seven, 18-hole courses; three, 9-hole courses and two, Par-3 courses.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Pound Ridge Golf Club Opens for 2020 Golf Season

(POUND RIDGE, N.Y.) — Pound Ridge Golf Club – legendary Pete Dye’s modern public marvel in Westchester County –  is now open for play for the 2020 golf season.

Ranked No. 4 in GOLF Magazine’s “Best Courses You Can Play in New York,” Pound Ridge is Mr. Dye’s only design in the golf-rich Empire State. Less than an hour drive from New York City and minutes from White Plains, Greenwich, Stamford and Norwalk (Conn.), the World Golf Hall of Famer’s admired layout has become one of the celebrated “must-play” public courses in the region.

Following the social distancing guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) during the current coronavirus pandemic, rates include a single use golf cart fully sanitized before and after the round, use of the practice range 20 minutes before tee times, and 15-minute intervals between tee times to facilitate pace of play as well as distancing between groups.

Due to current restrictions set forth by New York’s Empire State Development (ESD), all buildings at the course remain closed for the time being including restrooms, clubhouse, drinking water fountains and pro shop. All rounds are pre-paid only and can be booked online here with a 24-hour cancellation policy.

As for additional safety measures, there are no bunker rakes on the course and the holes have piping inside to prevent the ball from falling into the cup for easy removal. Pound Ridge is also offering nine-hole play after 3:30 p.m. (day of play only) by calling the pro shop at 914.764.5771. Players are asked to arrive not more than 25 minutes before their tee time.

Pound Ridge sits regally on 172 acres of pastoral Westchester County with dramatic rock outcroppings, streams and wooded, rolling hills converging to create an enjoyable and challenging par-72 course. Five sets of tees range from 5,151 to 7,165 yards providing challenges for golfers of all skill levels. Among its unforgettable holes is the dramatic par-5 13th which is home to “Pete’s Rock,” a giant boulder that rests in the middle of the fairway.

For more information, or to book a tee time, please call 914.764.5771 or visit www.poundridgegolf.com.

Virtual Women’s Golf Day Charity Auction is Live

(WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.) — With less than a week to go to Virtual Women’s Golf Day, June 2, the golf industry has shown its incredible community spirit by supporting the campaign’s charity auction with fantastic, must-have golf lots and experiences from around the world.

The auction, which benefits Médecins sans Frontiers / Doctors without Borders (MSF) and their battle with COVID-19 is now live and will end on June 2.

It features auction items including rounds of golf at some of the world’s most spectacular courses, a behind the scenes experience at Sky TV’s Studios, a series of signed memorabilia including items from The 2019 Solheim Cup (Team Europe and USA), Major winners including Georgia Hall and Annika Sorenstam, as well as Jack Nicklaus whose message of support alongside wife Barbara has encouraged many more to donate their time as well as auction items.

Elisa Gaudet, founder of Women’s Golf Day, is thankful for the incredible generosity and support and excited to share all of the auction items: “The response from the industry has been incredible, and shows the importance of unity to help these incredible healthcare workers that are on the frontlines protecting us.  We have items from Major winners, Solheim Cup stars and some of the very best golf venues in the world.  This is an incredible opportunity to raise funds for an essential, global agency who work tirelessly to help the most vulnerable people in the world.  We are united, resolute and want to look back and take pride in how we responded to this challenge.”

A full list of the 25 plus lots is accessible via the WGD website. Simply visit https://womensgolfday.com/virtual-golf-day/ click on SUPPORT and place your bid. Anyone who is looking forward to watching exciting content from around the world on Virtual WGD will be able to access this on the same page on June 2.

Finally, if you feel you have something you can donate then it’s not too late. Just contact Founder of Women’s Golf Day Elisa Gaudet.

GOLFNOW on Golf's Return After Lockdown

(RELEASE) — After more than a two-month forced hiatus for many golf courses across North America due to COVID-19, all 50 U.S. states and 10 Canadian provinces now are authorizing courses to operate under specific restrictions outlined by their respective state governments. Golfers are coming back to the course in record numbers, with many markets experiencing unprecedented year-over-year demand for tee times and online rounds sold at many courses having exceeded 900 percent on certain days since re-opening. For safety purposes, a majority of these courses are now requiring tee times to be reserved and pre-paid online.

GOLFNOW, the industry leader in golf course technology and services, which also operates the world’s largest online tee-time marketplace, partners with more than 9,000 golf courses globally, including nearly 7,000 in North America. Since the return of golf in many states, GOLFNOW has seen unprecedented demand on its website and app. Because of its leading position, the real-time data collected by GOLFNOW can be considered a valid representation of how the entire industry is performing.

Statement from JEFF FOSTER, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, GOLFNOW, regarding shifts in golfer behavior as golf ramps back up:
“It’s unprecedented times for golf courses across North America after the lockdown, and the number of golfers demanding tee times is off the charts. We’re seeing a significant uptick in the number of people coming back to the game through GOLFNOW booking channels, as well as a steady increase in new golfers. As courses try to keep up with the demand while adhering to safety protocols required by state mandates, we’re also seeing a fundamental shift toward booking tee times online. As consumers become more secure with technology in the home – whether it be streaming video or meeting friends and colleagues online – they also are discovering the ease and convenience of reserving golf online. In select markets since the lockdown, we’ve seen days when online rounds booked have increased over 900 percent compared to the same day last year.”

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

BOYNE Golf – Midwest’s Largest Golf Resort Reopens This Week

(Petoskey, MI) – BOYNE Golf is pleased to announce that after an extended period of resort closures and limited course offerings due to COVID-19, the Midwest’s largest golf resort destination is set to resume operations this Friday, May 29 at Boyne Mountain Resort, Boyne Highlands Resort, the Inn at Bay Harbor and all ten BOYNE Golf courses.

BOYNE Golf will now be at full golf strength with its final five golf courses opening along with a variety of restaurants open for seated dining at all three resorts. Golf courses include The Donald Ross Memorial and The Moor courses at Boyne Highlands, The Monument course at Boyne Mountain, as well as Links/Quarry and Preserve/Links at Bay Harbor Golf Club. Two people will also be allowed to ride in golf carts together.

During this down time, the Boyne team has reviewed all resort operations and have modified them to ensure that guests will still get the exceptional, friendly and personalized service, while minimizing exposure and maintaining safety. Social distancing will be implemented in all public areas; and there will continue to be heightened cleaning and sanitizing across all areas.

Escape and Experience a BOYNE Golf Package
Golfers looking for a great golfing road trip following weeks of sheltering at home should check out the “Play It Your Way” golf package. This includes two-nights lodging and four rounds of golf built your way.

Stay at Boyne Mountain Resort, Boyne Highlands Resort or Crooked Tree Cottages any night through June 26 as part of this limited time offer. Two nights and four rounds start at only $236 per person at Boyne Mountain, $286 per person at Boyne Highlands or $408 per person at Crooked Tree Cottages.

Deal ends Wednesday, June 24 at 6pm. Mention code: TIMETOGOLF when booking.

For more information, visit BOYNEGolf.com.

SkyGolf Offers Father's Day Promotion

(RIDGELAND, MS) — SkyGolf, maker of SkyCaddie, the most-trusted rangefinders in golf, is offering a special Father’s Day promotion of $50 off the award-winning SkyCaddie SX500 and SX400 rangefinders through July 6, 2020.

“With more golf courses opening during this pandemic, golf is a great way to have fun, get fresh air, and exercise, all while maintaining proper social distancing,” said Jacqui Surman, SkyGolf SVP, International Sales & Marketing. “We’d like to help you give your dad the gift of better golf with a SkyCaddie rangefinder this Father’s Day. Your dad will thank you for helping improve his game with accurate golf course information. Take advantage of our special promotion and receive $50 off a brand new SkyCaddie SX500 or SX400, the most powerful and visually dynamic golf course GPS products on the market today.”

The SX500 features the fastest processor, best battery life and the largest and most vivid display in the industry and has been recognized for its outstanding functionality and powerful features. My Golf Spy awarded the SX500 its “Most Wanted” status and it was validated by tour professionals with five wins and several top ten finishes on the European Senior Staysure Tour in 2019.

The SX500’s little brother, the SkyCaddie SX400, gives golfers the same powerful features found in the award-winning, tour-proven SX500 model, in a more compact size. With a full high-definition 4-inch touch screen driven by an ultra-fast multi-core processor, the SkyCaddie SX400 joins the SX500 to deliver the most powerful way to measure yardage while providing the very “best view” in golf. Both the SX500 and SX400 are preloaded with over 35,000 best-in-class courses and feature Wi-Fi connectivity to streamline application updates and getting the latest course updates without connecting to a computer.

A host of automated features such as auto-course selection, auto-hole advance and auto-zoom make either the SX500 or SX400 almost touch free from the parking lot to the 18th green. The brilliant HD displays of the SX Series combined with HD quality course graphics, only available from SkyCaddie, provide the best views of the most-reliable information in the game to allow you to play your best golf.

Both the SX500 and SX400 include simple wireless connectivity to collect and store critical performance data in the SkyGolf 360 Cloud Service, making it available instantly to your dad, his instructor or friends.

The promotional period for the SkyCaddie Father’s Day discount runs through July 6, 2020 and is subject to availability. The discount is only available on new SkyCaddie products, not pre-owned, open box or refurbished products. The offer is open only to U.S. residents and U.S. shipping addresses.

For more information, visit www.skygolf.com.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Gamble Sands Breaks Ground On Its Second Course Designed By David McLay Kidd, Dubbed Quicksands

(Brewster, Wash.) – Gamble Sands, one of the “Top 100 Golf Resorts in North America” located in Brewster, Wash., recently broke ground on its second course – dubbed Quicksands – a 14-hole routing designed by David McLay Kidd. Quicksands is the first short course designed by McLay Kidd and will be the first of its kind in Washington state. The course is expected to be completed and open for limited preview rounds this fall.

McLay Kidd’s award-winning course designs include Gamble Sands, Bandon Dunes and his latest creation, Mammoth Dunes at Sand Valley Golf Resort in Nekoosa, Wisc. McLay Kidd and partner, Nick Schaan, were hands-on in the creation of Quicksands, working with the crew, running equipment and shaping with hand tools. Quicksands is laid out to the east of the Gamble Sands clubhouse, between the range and the entry road, on a 25-acre parcel of heaving and rolling sand dunes of which the team took full advantage.

“Historically short courses were often after thoughts, squeezed into useless corners for non-golfers to go try their hand,” said McLay Kidd. “Today short courses have become a serious addition to world-class golf resorts. The best land is sought, the best talent is brought to bear, expectations are high, and we don’t plan to disappoint.”

Quicksands intends to take the imaginative shot making that rewards the golfer on Gamble Sands’ first course and kick it into a high gear on this short course. Holes vary wildly from 60 to 160 yards. Every hole offers a unique challenge to a golfer’s skills and imagination. The working names of holes gives some sense of what awaits, including Plinko, Crater, Donut and Boomerang to name a few. View the Quicksands preview video prepared by McLay Kidd here.

Quicksands will have an emphasis on fun as only Gamble Sands can do. Guests will interact and socialize along the way, while enjoying the course-wide sound system – some days golfers will play along to the Eagles, and other days it may be Metallica.

“We expect a lot of whooping and hollering throughout the course, giving it a strong social vibe,” said Brady Hatfield, general manager, Gamble Sands. “Plus, Quicksands will not be an overly stern test of ones golf game. With limited force carries and tons of turf, golfers will have lots of shot options.”

Quicksands adds to an impressive collection of golf and hospitality amenities at Gamble Sands. The 18-hole Sands Course opened for play in 2014 to widespread acclaim, with the 100,000 square foot Cascades putting course following shortly thereafter. The Inn at Gamble Sands features oversized rooms that perfectly match the wide-open nature of Gamble Sands as big rooms open to the big golf course, framed by even bigger views that sweep across the Columbia River Valley. The Danny Boy Bar and Grill is a gathering place for golfers and casual diners alike. Large garage-style doors roll open to outdoor dining and more views of the Cascades and Columbia River Valley.

“Enjoying the game of golf is the name of the game at Gamble Sands,” said Tory Wulf, project manager at Gamble Sands. “By adding Quicksands as the next piece of the puzzle we are providing another enjoyable and timely option for all levels of golfers. We recognized this as the next step in the Gamble Golf Experience. Come out and see for yourself!”

For more information on Gamble Sands, visit www.gamblesands.com or call 509-436-8323.

Click HERE to read our "Getting to Know ..." feature with David McLay Kidd.

Limited Edition “Straight From the Tour Van” Exotics EXS Pro Forged Irons, EXS Blade Irons/Blade Wedges Announced by Tour Edge

(RELEASE) — Tour Edge officially introduces the Exotics EXS Pro Forged Irons, EXS Blade Irons and EXS Blade Wedges featuring forged designs with CNC milling.

The tour-inspired irons feature the very latest in golf club design innovation for the highest levels of ultra-premium performance from the company that has earned 22 victories and over 150 different players using their equipment on the PGA Tours.

These limited-edition Exotics irons designed by Tour Edge founder and Master Club Designer David Glod are fine works of craftmanship that utilize only the finest materials and precise CNC milling.
 
The goal of the new designs by Glod were to combine tour-level inspired looks and feel with advanced materials and innovation to produce the most forgiveness and distance possible in a player’s iron. The result was a new level of forged irons and wedges that cannot be found in regular production irons: individually milled irons made from Carbon Steel and engineered for players who look for the ultimate in control and shot shaping.

“We received enormous demand for player’s irons after putting our focus on game improvement hollow-body irons with the EXS 220 releases,” said Glod. “As a club designer, I love player iron designs that are as beautiful as they are playable. These three designs were made to be irons that are drooled over by the core golfer, not only in looks and feel, but in how they perform.”

The new ultra-premium, high-performance Exotics EXS Pro Forged Irons, EXS Blade Irons and EXS Blade Wedges will be available for purchase on June 1, 2020 through select Tour Edge retailers and custom club fitting locations.

“We used a lot of feedback from the PGA Tour and tested these irons with our professional staff, as well as with extensive robotic testing,” said Glod. “I can report back that we have three winners across the board. I believe that the milled forged iron connoisseurs out there are going to be very impressed with the playability we were able to combine with a traditional forged feel.”
 
Exotics EXS Pro Forged Irons

The Exotics EXS Pro is a forged cavity back iron made with higher-grade Japanese S25C Carbon Steel that delivers a soft feel and maximum forgiveness in a player’s iron design.

The forged face is CNC milled for perfect flatness and the grooves on the face are also precisely CNC milled.

Classic Shaping - The shape of the EXS Pro Forged is more compact with a shorter heel to toe, yet with a slightly thicker top line than the EXS Pro Blade for more forgiveness, while still being on the thin side to maintain a tour-preferred player’s shape.

CNC Milling - The square grooves are CNC milled for 100 percent USGA compliant grooves. The cavity in the EXS Pro irons is designed for a higher MOI and forgiveness by CNC milling to insure the deepest cavity possible in a player’s iron.

Carbon Steel/Triple Forged Weight Pads - Forged 25C Carbon Steel is chrome plated for the highest-grade forged steel that delivers the best in looks and an extremely soft feel. A triple- forging technique provides a thinner center and creates heel & toe weight pads for more forgiveness and more consistent ball speeds.

Tungsten Toe Weighting - The stunning EXS Pro forged iron features a 10-gram Tungsten toe weight in the 3-6 irons. The Tungsten toe weight elongates the sweet spot even further for maximum forgiveness on the face of the long irons.

Acoustic Engineering - The cavity insert is electro-formed and combines steel, ABS polymer and a dampening gel for an improved sound and feel on the forged EXS Pro irons.
Stock Shafts:

True Temper Elevate Tour VSS Pro: R-flex, S-flex True Temper Dynamic Gold 105: R300, S300

Grip: GolfPride Tour 360

The suggested retail price for the Exotics EXS Pro Forged Iron is $149.99 per iron for the stock shafts.

Exotics EXS Blade Irons Featuring Milled Forging

The Exotics EXS Pro Blade is a timeless muscle-back iron design that delivers a tour-preferred feel, while placing more of the buttery soft-feeling S25C Carbon Steel low and behind the hitting area for extreme versatility in shot making and shaping.

Classic Shaping - The EXS Pro Blade design calls for a narrow sole, a thin top line, a beveled leading edge and square toe design. These forged beauties also feature a shorter blade length, a cambered top line, and a progression into more compact scoring irons.

Pure Milled Forging - Designed with advanced CAD technology and pure milled forging, the EXS Pro Blades deliver a pure forged feel and sound. The micro-cavity, face and scoring lines are all individually precision CNC milled for the ultimate in responsiveness and control.

CNC Milling – Precise milling ensures every iron is USGA conforming, while providing the limit in depth in the scoring irons to provide additional spin. Milling on both sides of the
blade creates an extremely tight tolerance and consistency from iron to iron.

Carbon Steel/ Dual Chrome Finish - The Japanese S25C Carbon steel is chrome plated with a dual finish; a high polish and a satin finish in all the milled areas of the clubhead.

Rounded Sole Radius - The sole of the EXS Pro Blade iron head features a rounded radius on the leading edge of the club head. This design greatly reduces drag and turf interaction through impact to ensure the utmost in consistency on every shot.

Stock Shafts:
True Temper Elevate Tour VSS Pro: R-flex, S-flex True Temper Dynamic Gold 105: R300, S300

Grip: GolfPride Tour 360

The suggested retail price for the Exotics EXS Blade Iron is $149.99 per iron for the stock shafts.

Exotics EXS Blade Wedge Featuring Milled Forging

The Exotics EXS Pro Milled Forged Wedges are forged from the buttery soft Japanese S25C Carbon Steel and are engineered to deliver exact distance control, maximum versatility, and superior spin.

CNC Milling - Individually CNC Milled face and grooves create maximum spin from advanced groove engineering that is 100% inspected to conform with USGA rules.

Milled-Out Center - The Center of Gravity (CG) was moved up in the clubhead with the milled-out center design. The milled-out center leads to more weight being positioned both up and down for distance control on shots higher and lower on face

Custom Sole Grind - The EXS Pro’s sole grind reduces bounce from the heel and toe so the wedge is extremely versatile at hitting a variety of shots, especially from difficult lies. This playability, combined with the classic shape and thin top line, makes this a true player’s short game weapon.

Flare Toe Design - A Flare Toe design in the EXS Pro Blade wedge places the center of gravity higher for a lower launch and more spin. A chamfer was added to the trailing top line of the wedge for a slightly thicker top line that moves weight up without being noticeable on the top line at address.

Dual Groove Construction - The EXS Milled Forged wedge utilizes dual-groove construction so the lower loft (50° - 52°) wedges are designed with deeper, narrower grooves while the higher lofts (54° - 60°) have wider grooves.

Stock Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold 115 Wedge Flex Grip: GolfPride Tour 360

The suggested retail price for the Exotics EXS Blade Iron is $149.99 per iron for the stock shafts.

Duca del Cosma Gets 'Best Golf Shoe of 2020' Media Boost

Fashionable premium leather shoes gain plaudits from influential publications


(NORTH PALM BEACH, FL) — Premium spikeless golf shoes introduced by Italian golf fashion brand Duca del Cosma picked up plaudits from specialist golfing media on both sides of the Atlantic in recent weeks, as they published selections for the ‘Best Golf Shoes of 2020.’

The influential Golf Digest rated both the men’s classic LA SPEZIA and women’s FESTIVA models among its annual shoe guide for American golfers to select from. It highlighted the quality all-leather upper and waterproof benefits of the shoes, plus the styling designed for both on and off course wear.

The BELAIR (pictured) waterproof shoe was selected as an Editor’s Choice product among the best new gear for 2020 by Golf Monthly, the world’s longest running golf magazine and leading European golf media brand. The editor described the shoes as ‘standing out from the crowd’, with distinctive looks that are quite different to other shoes on the market.

The UK’s top-selling golf magazine, Today’s Golfer, put the brogue-style ELDORADO model among the best spikelsss golf shoes of 2020. The shoes were credited by the magazine as being ‘a joy to wear, right from the very first round’.

The ELDORADO was also acclaimed by the widely respected Golf World magazine in its review of new spikeless shoe models. The shoe was described as being ‘perfect if you prefer classic styling, but still want the benefit of a spikeless shoe’.

“Having such influential golf publications profile shoes from our SS20 range gives our brand and the retail stockists who support us a great boost,” said Diederik Moreu, International Sales Director at Duca del Cosma. “The total reach among golfers on both sides of the Atlantic is more than eight million and they can see that Duca del Cosma offers something different in the golf shoe market,” he added.

The full range of SS20 shoes can be found at: www.ducadelcosma.us.

Golf Industry Collaborates Further on ‘Back2Golf’ Initiative – Providing Guidance for Amateur Competitions and Junior Programming

Addendum Provides Supplement to Guidelines & Operational Playbook Released in Early May


(ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla.) – The golf industry continues its collaboration to lead the responsible return of golf, announcing an update and  addendums to the Back2Golf Operations Playbook (version 3.0). The updated playbook and addendums provide recommendations that guide the industry as it reestablishes amateur competitive events and junior programming, which are part of Back2Golf’s Phase II.

With input from leading industry organizations including USGA, PGA of America, American Junior Golf Association and First Tee, the addendum provides guidelines for Phase II, which include limiting gatherings to no more than 50 people, prohibiting physical contact of any kind, requirements of cloth facial coverings and other protocols related to registration areas, practice areas, food and beverage operations, equipment, restrooms, on-course play and departures.

“Golf is more than a game - it is a community, and this effort is one of the most recent examples of how we can all work together and provide the best support to our industry,” says Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “Back2Golf has helped our Allied Golf Associations and member facilities get back to work, provide continuity from state to state, and ultimately welcome back golfers to the course in a way that provides connection and great care for all.”

“As different regions of the country re-engage at separate paces, our goal is to ensure we are equipped with the appropriate tactics to responsibly operate amateur competitions and junior programs,” says Greg McLaughlin, CEO of World Golf Foundation and First Tee. “Our focus is on the well-being of all involved – whether you’re working at a course, playing in competition or signing your child up for programs, we want to ensure the industry has collaborative, responsible guidance.”

Back2Golf Operations Playbook v3.0 was designed by the industry’s leading organizations as a general operational framework, while course owners, administrators, program and event providers and golfers are encouraged to observe state, county and local government health protocols first and foremost. All organizations, facilities and staff should continue to follow sanitization and social distancing guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Announced in early May, Back2Golf is driven by key stakeholders of WE ARE GOLF, a division of the World Golf Foundation created in 2010 to spearhead initiatives on behalf of the game. Supporting organizations include PGA of America, USGA, PGA TOUR, LPGA, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA), and Club Management Association of America (CMAA), among others.

The industry-wide Back2Golf initiative has been primarily focused on ensuring golf courses that have remained operational or recently reopened, do so responsibly to protect golfers, employees and all members of the community. Each organization has distributed “Back2Golf Guidelines” and the corresponding “Operations Playbook” to its respective audiences to implement and administer.

Back2Golf is a living, breathing initiative and interim guidance from CDC and/or feedback from the golf community will result in additional modifications to the Operations Playbook. Changes will be communicated through the various industry organizations via their websites and outreach to members.

For more information, visit www.wearegolf.org/back2golf.

Golf Emergency Relief Fund Delivers over $4 Million in Phase 1 Grants to Thousands of Golf Industry Workers Suffering Hardship

Additional $1 Million Donated to the Fund as Phase 2 Applications Begin on Wednesday May 27


(PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.) – In the face of overwhelming need from workers across the golf industry suffering hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Golf Emergency Relief Fund has awarded over $4 million to more than 3,300 individuals seeking assistance during Phase 1 of the initiative. Registration limits were reached within 24 hours after the fund was opened on April 15. Phase 1 financial assistance included $500 in basic need grants; and up to $1,500 for critical needs grants.

The Golf Emergency Relief Fund is managed by E4E Relief, an independent, third-party nonprofit, and was initiated by the PGA of America through a lead pledge of $5 million and a matching fund for gifts by third parties of up to $2.5 million.

An additional $1 million for the fund will be donated in connection with Sunday’s “The Match: Champions for Charity” ($500,000 from the PGA TOUR, matched dollar-for-dollar by the PGA of America’s already established matching fund). This is in addition to the PGA TOUR’s previous donation to the Golf Emergency Relief Fund from the “TaylorMade Driving Relief” event.

The fund is providing grants to certain industry workers, including golf association members, employees of local/state golf associations, caddies and certain professionals playing on developmental tours to help offset COVID-19 related financial hardships, such as living and medical expenses.

Starting on Wednesday, May 27, eligible workers will have the opportunity to apply for Phase 2 grants of up to $3,500. Individuals receiving grants through the first phase will be eligible to apply for grants in the second phase but the maximum amount an individual can receive in aggregate from the first and second phase is $3,500. Those who were denied during Phase 1 are still eligible to apply for Phase 2.

The second phase will have a longer application process and distribute grants as reviewed and approved by E4E Relief on a rolling basis. Documentation needed will vary based on the type of expenses requested. Although Phase 2 is a needs-based analysis and not the same process as Phase I, grants will be approved on a rolling basis. Accordingly, applicants are encouraged to submit early in the process, and make all requested expense-related documentation available to E4E Relief as soon as possible.

“As evidenced by the incredible demand, the need is critical,” said PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh. “We will continue to turn to our friends both in and outside of golf who love the game for their generous and immediate financial support.”

The PGA’s contribution to the Golf Emergency Relief Fund included every member of the executive leadership team voluntarily reducing their compensation, and additionally, personal donations from members of the Board of Directors have been pledged. The effort is also being supported in various ways by a number of industry organizations, including the PGA TOUR, LPGA, USGA, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, National Golf Course Owners Association and the Association of Golf Merchandisers.

For more information and to make a charitable contribution to the Golf Emergency Relief Fund, visit Relief.Golf.

Volvik Offers ViMAX Soft Special

(ORLANDO, Florida) – Volvik USA (volvik.com), a rapidly-growing, premium high-performance golf ball company, is offering a special on its ViMAX Soft golf balls. Now through July 6, a bundle of two dozen balls can be purchased for $35. High-visibility matte color options include green, red, orange and yellow.

“This is a good opportunity for golfers to try the Volvik ViMAX Soft golf ball, which provides superior distance along with soft feel,” said Wes Whittingham, vice president of sales for Volvik USA. “Players will notice improved focus with the super-visibility matte colors that enhance concentration.”

Volvik ViMAX Soft balls have a 2-piece power core construction, a patented 322 dimple pattern, 75 compression and high launch with soft greenside spin. Providing fast initial ball speed and superior driver distance, the ViMAX Soft delivers optimal ball flight and excellent flight stability.

With an ever-increasing number of both tour and amateur players finding success with Volvik, the company continues to extend its recognition and presence throughout the golf industry.

For information, see volvik.com.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Fairways for Freedom Sets New Date for the 99-Hole March on Pinehurst

(RELEASE) — Due to COVID-19, Fairways for Freedom and the Pinehurst Resort have decided to reschedule the FFF 99-Hole March on Pinehurst to June 21, 2021. The original date was June 22, 2020.

Doug Knapp
Combat-injured veteran Doug Knapp, who plans to set out on his quest to play 99 different holes at the Pinehurst Resort, all in one day, works full time as a nurse and has been called in for extra duty because of the Corona Virus. Therefore, he will have to delay his training for the 99-Hole March. Titleist, which will be outfitting Knapp with apparel, and has pledged to fit Knapp for a new set of woods and irons, will also be rescheduling his club-fitting to a later time.

On the day of the 99-Hole March, Knapp plans to play, in this order:
• No. 4 Course
• No. 1 Course
• No. 5 Course
• No. 3 Course
• The (par-3) Cradle
• No. 2 Course

Knapp, who completed five tours of duty to Iraq and Afghanistan with the Marine Corps Special Ops Command, contends that too few of us are aware of and understand the physical and psychological injuries our combat-injured veterans endure after returning from war. He knows this from his own personal experiences.

Doug will resume training for THE 99-HOLE MARCH ON PINEHURST this winter. He continues to take donations for his efforts and is giving all funds he raises to Fairways for Freedom®, which helps combat-injured veterans assimilate back into society through holistic initiatives and the game of golf. Fairways for Freedom® is a recognized 501 (c) (3) Public Charity.

Knapp enlisted in the U.S. Navy in September 2002. After 10 years of service, he received a Bronze Star with Valor in 2005 and was awarded a number of other combat medals and ribbons. He also recently received a Bachelor of Science Nursing degree. Although he has been playing golf only five years and is self-taught, he plays to an 8 handicap and is constantly seeking to improve his game.

The Pinehurst Resort plans to help Knapp's efforts by putting him through one of its Golf Academies, directed by the highly respected golf instructor Eric Alpenfels. The resort will also seek to promote the 99-Hole March through its social media platform and golf industry connections. In addition to Titleist's commitment, Foot-Joy will be providing special golf shoes designed for stability in the swing and walking comfort.

Stay tuned for updates on Knapp's progress. To pledge a donation and support Doug Knapp in his mission, click on www.fff99holemarch.com.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

KemperSports, Illinois PGA Foundation and FootJoy Continue COVID-19 Support by Expanding Rain Suits for Responders Program

Campaign Met Needs of AMITA Health and Now Turns Focus to Support VFW Department of Illinois and the Network of VA Hospitals with Personal Protection Equipment


(NORTHBROOK, Illinois) – Having met the needs for AMITA Health, KemperSports, the Illinois PGA Foundation and FootJoy announced today that it will partner with the VFW Department of Illinois to continue the Rain Suits for Responders program to serve more healthcare professionals in need. The program, which started in April, will now bring new or gently used men’s and women’s golf rain suits directly to healthcare workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus battle in five VA Hospitals across Illinois, as well as veterans in need. Waterproof golf rain suits can serve as reusable Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) by healthcare workers.

“The VFW Department of Illinois is thankful for the opportunity to be a part of Rain Suits for Responders,” said Brad Gould, Commander, VFW Department of Illinois. “Being able to take part in an initiative to help Veterans Administration medical personnel on the frontlines who are taking care of veterans, service members, and dependents contributes to our mission and exemplifies the VFW motto, ‘No One Does More For Veterans.’”

Rain Suits for Responders will also be highlighted during the upcoming broadcast of “The Match: Champions for Charity” event that will benefit COVID-19 relief efforts while four great players take on Medalist Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida. There will be an 18-hole match, with two formats split between the nines, with Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning taking on Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady.

The donation process is easy. A website – RainSuitsforResponders.com – has been established for donors to register their rain suit shipment and receive a free shipping label via email. Once the rain suit is packaged, donors can schedule a pickup at their home or drop off their donation package at a local shipping facility. The Illinois PGA Foundation is committed to financially supporting the program by absorbing a portion of the shipping costs.

“The support and effort by our staff, Illinois PGA professionals and the golf community to send rain suits to healthcare professionals has been a bright spot during this time,” said Steve Skinner, CEO of KemperSports, a leading golf course management company based in Northbrook. “This program is a way for the golf community to make a positive impact on the lives of the healthcare heroes who are fighting COVID-19. We feel compelled to continue this work to bring necessary PPE resources to the healthcare professionals in VA hospitals and other veterans in need.”

If preferred, donors can make a charitable donation directly to the Rain Suits for Responders Fund. For every $100 that is donated, KemperSports and FootJoy will provide a brand-new rain suit to VFW Department of Illinois. Details for making a charitable donation can also be found at RainSuitsforResponders.com.

"The Illinois PGA Foundation is pleased to team up with KemperSports, FootJoy and the VFW Department of Illinois to continue its Rain Suits for Responders program. We're proud to financially support the program and promote it to our more than 800 Illinois PGA Professionals who manage 300 golf facilities throughout the Chicagoland area as well as Northern and Central Illinois,” said Carrie Williams, Executive Director of the Illinois PGA Section and Illinois PGA Foundation.

KemperSports and the Illinois PGA Foundation would like to acknowledge AMITA Health and Wadsworth Golf Charities Foundation for their support during the first phase of the program. The Wadsworth Foundation kicked off the campaign with a $10,000 pledge to support the initial donation of 100 rain suits and AMITA Health personnel assisted with program management logistics.

PPE is used every day by healthcare personnel to help protect themselves, patients and others when providing care. PPE shortages are currently posing a tremendous challenge to the U.S. healthcare system because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare facilities are having difficulty accessing the needed PPE and are having to identify alternate ways to provide patient care.

Friday, May 22, 2020

GOLF Channel's 'Big Break' Marathons Continue Monday, May 25 with 'Big Break Ireland'

Filmed at Historic K Club in Kildare, Ireland and Featuring Cast of Six Men and Six Women, Series Marathon Airs 7 a.m.-6 p.m. / 8-11 p.m. ET


(ORLANDO, Fla.) – GOLF Channel continues its “Big Break Monday” marathons with an encore presentation of Big Break Ireland, the series’ 16th season featuring a cast of six male and six female professional golfers, filmed at historic K Club in Ireland, home to the 2006 Ryder Cup.

Initially premiering in 2011, the 10-episode Big Break Ireland season will air in its entirety on Monday from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. ET, along with a primetime encore of the final three episodes from 8-11 p.m. ET.

The 10-episode season featured a cast of 12 competing against each other in golf skills challenges in an attempt to make their lifelong dream of playing alongside the world’s top golfers a reality. The competitors initially were grouped as six-person teams, with the series eliminating players each episode. Once the season narrowed, the teams dissolved and players competed against each other to stave off elimination, with the last one standing crowned Big Break champion.

The finale featured an 18-hole championship match between Ireland native Mark Murphy and Julien Trudeau that took place on the Palmer Ryder Cup Course at The K Club. The up and down match, which featured Trudeau winning the final two holes in regulation, required a sudden-death playoff on the par-5 18th hole, where Murphy defeated Trudeau to become Big Break Ireland champion.

Murphy, Rocco Mediate’s former caddie and currently director of golf at The Fox Club in Palm City, Fla., earned exemptions to compete in the 2012 Irish Open and the Hassan II Golf Trophy on the European Tour as a result of winning Big Break Ireland, making the cut in both and finishing 58th (+1, Irish Open) and 52nd (-1, Hassan II Trophy). He also earned more than $80,000 in cash and prizes as a result of winning Big Break Ireland.

Trudeau, a longtime PGA TOUR caddie currently on the bag for PGA TOUR winner Adam Long, married fellow Big Break Ireland competitor Mallory Blackwelder in 2014. They have a one-year old daughter, Madeleine.

Additional cast members from Big Break Ireland include Andy Walker, current men’s golf coach at Lynn University (reigning NCAA DII national champions and 2019 national coach of the year) and former LPGA Tour players Kelly Jacques and Nicole Smith.

Members of the cast are scheduled to engage on Twitter throughout the day on Monday using #BigBreak.

The cast of Big Break Ireland include:
- Mallory (Blackwelder) Trudeau
- Annie Brophy
- Joe Campbell
- Kelly (Jacques) Hodges
- Bennett Maki
- Matthew Melrose
- Mark Murphy (winner)
- Nina (Rodriguez) Valencia
- Nicole (Smith) Pattullo
- Julien Trudeau (runner-up)
- Andy Walker
- Whitney (Wright) Goodman

BIG BREAK MARATHONS EXTENDED THROUGH JUNE 8: Big Break marathons will now continue to air through Monday, June 8 as a result of the viewership and social media engagement successes of the series’ return to television. Future Big Break marathons include:

Monday, June 1 Big Break The Palm Beaches (23rd season)
Monday, June 8 Big Break Mexico (19th season)

BIG BREAK MEXICO BECOMES 18TH SEASON AVAILABLE ON GOLFPASS: Big Break Mexico launches today on GOLFPASS, golf’s only comprehensive digital membership that offers everything golfers love about the game, to bring the total number of series on GOLFPASS to 18. Each week, full Big Break seasons are launching on GOLFPASS, with seasons currently available including Big Break I; Big Break II: Las Vegas; Big Break III: Ladies Only; Big Break IV: USA vs. Europe; Big Break V: Hawaii; Big Break VI: Trump National; Big Break VII: Reunion; Big Break Mesquite, Big Break Sandals Resorts, Big Break Ka’anapali, Big Break Prince Edward Island, Big Break X: Michigan, Big Break Dominican Republic, Big Break Indian Wells, Big Break Ireland, Big Break Atlantis, Big Break Greenbrier and Big Break Mexico.

The Big Break series concept, which was at the forefront of the reality competition craze started by Survivor in the late 1990’s, features professional golfers competing in skills challenges that test their physical abilities and mental toughness, finding themselves in situations when these words from legendary golfer Ben Hogan were never proven more true: “The most important shot in golf is the next one.” On Big Break, the competitors must perform or be eliminated.

Champions from each season of Big Break received his or her “Big Break,” exemption(s) to compete on the world’s top professional tours. Big Break provided break-out opportunities for current tour professionals, including Wesley Bryan, Matt Every, Tony Finau, Tommy Gainey, Kristy McPherson, Ryann O’Toole, Gerina Piller, Jackie Stoelting and Richy Werenski.

The series also featured other memorable characters like Sara Brown (Big Break Sandals Resorts), Mark Farnham (Big Break I), Eddie Gardino (Big Break IV: USA vs Europe), Andrew Giuliani (Big Break Dominican Republic), Mark Murphy (Big Break Ireland), Chad Pfeifer (Big Break The Palm Beaches), Anthony Rodriguez (Big Break VIII: Mesquite) and Bri Vega (Big Break VI: Trump National), among many others.

GOLF Channel Upcoming “Big Break Mondays” Programming Schedule
Monday, May 25        Big Break Ireland
Monday, June 1          Big Break The Palm Beaches
Monday, June 8          Big Break Mexico

GOLFPASS Big Break Programming:
Available to Stream Now:    
Big Break I
Big Break II: Las Vegas
Big Break III: Ladies Only
Big Break IV: USA vs Europe
Big Break V: Hawaii
Big Break VI: Trump National
Big Break VII: Reunion
Big Break Mesquite
Big Break Prince Edward Island
Big Break X: Michigan
Big Break Ka’anapali
Big Break Sandals Resorts
Big Break Dominican Republic
Big Break Indian Wells
Big Break Ireland
Big Break Atlantis
Big Break Greenbrier
Big Break Mexico (Today)

The Road Back: Troon CC Carries Pandemic Lessons Forward for Fitness, Ot...

In this episode, we get insights from Garrett Wallace, General Manager of Troon Country Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., for how his club now plans to build on the success it’s had with virtual programming to keep members active and engaged through the club’s fitness offerings, even as they’re able to return to the property. Wallace also describes how other lessons learned while operating under the initial restrictions of the outbreak can now be applied permanently to Troon CC’s full range of services and amenities.

Tournament Coverage This Weekend on GOLF Channel, NBC Sports Network

RBC Canadian Open, Senior PGA Championship, Pure Silk Championship


(ORLANDO, Fla.) – This weekend, GOLF Channel and NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will air encore tournament telecasts spanning the PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour, PGA TOUR Champions and PGA of America. GOLF Channel will carry coverage of tournaments originally scheduled to air this week, including the RBC Canadian Open, Senior PGA Championship and Pure Silk Championship.

In addition, NBCSN will showcase a pair of classic PGA TOUR final rounds, along with two of the most memorable conclusions to the Ryder Cup as part of NBC Sports’ From the Vault programming spanning the past 40 years. On Saturday, NBCSN will re-air the final day of the 1999 Ryder Cup at 8 p.m. ET, followed by the 1997 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard at 1 a.m. ET. Then on Sunday, the final day of the 2012 Ryder Cup will air at 8 p.m. ET, followed by the final round of the 2013 PLAYERS Championship (1 a.m. ET).

Coverage will be hosted by NBC Sports’ Dan Hicks and feature interviews throughout the telecasts providing insight and commentary. 1999 U.S. Ryder Cup team member (and GOLF Channel analyst( Justin Leonard, Phil Mickelson’s former caddie (and NBC Sports’ on-course reporter) Jim “Bones” Mackay, along with European Ryder Cup veteran Ian Poulter will join Hicks for NBCSN’s From the Vault weekend telecasts.

Below is a summary of tournament encore programming through Sunday:

PGA TOUR: RBC Canadian Open (2016, ’18-‘19)

GOLF Channel will re-air final round telecasts of the RBC Canadian Open (2016, ‘18-‘19). Today (3 p.m. ET) will feature the final round of the 2016 event (won by Jhonattan Vegas). Saturday and Sunday, GOLF Channel will air “lead-in” coverage (beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET) of the 2018 and 2019 final rounds (won by Dustin Johnson – 2018; Rory McIlroy – 2019), prior to the conclusion of each round airing on CBS.

PGA TOUR Champions: Senior PGA Championship (2014, ’16, ‘18)

Encore telecasts of the Senior PGA Championship (2014, ’16, ‘18) will air today through Sunday on GOLF Channel. Final round coverage of the 2018 edition of the event (Paul Broadhurst) will air at 11 a.m. ET today, while final round coverage of the 2014 and 2016 Championships (Colin Montgomerie – 2014; Rocco Mediate – 2016) will air from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday.

LPGA Tour: Pure Silk Championship (2019)

Today through Sunday, GOLF Channel will re-air second, third and final round coverage of the 2019 Pure Silk Championship (won by Bronte Law). Second round coverage will begin at 1 p.m. ET today, with third and final round coverage airing at 3 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday.

“From the Vault”: 1999, 2012 Ryder Cup; ’97 Arnold Palmer Invit. & 2013 PLAYERS

This weekend, NBCSN will showcase NBC Sports’ From the Vault (classic sports events) programming, featuring a pair of memorable Ryder Cup conclusions, along with the PGA TOUR’s 1997 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard and 2013 PLAYERS Championship.

The final day of the famed 1999 Ryder Cup at Brookline (Mass.) will re-air at 8 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN, when the U.S. erased a four-point deficit to capture the biennial competition over Europe. Immediately following at 1 a.m. ET will be an encore of the 1997 Arnold Palmer Invitational final round, when Phil Mickelson carded a 7-under-par 65 to seal a come-from-behind victory.

Sunday night (8 p.m. ET) will feature a European comeback at the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah outside of Chicago, erasing the same 10-6 deficit entering singles as the Americans faced in the 1999 edition of the event. Following, at 1 a.m. ET, will be the final round encore of the 2013 PLAYERS Championship, when Tiger Woods claimed his second title at TPC Sawgrass with a two-shot victory.

GOLF Channel and NBC Sports play-by-play host Dan Hicks will introduce both nights of golf coverage on NBCSN.

V1 Game GPS/Stat-Analysis App Debuts Automatic Shot Tracking Function

On-Course Performance Tracking Becomes Seamless for Dynamic Shot Analytics


(Novi, MI) – V1 Sports (V1), creators of the best-in-class video and mobile app solutions for teaching pros and golfers, announces a major upgrade to its V1 Game GPS and performance-tracking mobile app. V1 Game’s Automatic Shot Tracking function frees golfers up to simply keep their smartphone in their pockets while playing golf and still be able to accurately track every shot after the round. V1 Game delivers deep insights on a golfer’s performance that, over time, reveal strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement that can help shape practice plans and improve on-course performance and decision making.

Using the motion tracking sensors available on your smartphone, V1 Game monitors your round, plots a breadcrumb trail of your movement on the course and then suggests your shot locations so you can confirm and review them after playing. In review mode, dotted lines will appear on each hole you played to indicate where you walked to and stopped during the round. V1 Game will suggest shot locations and the user can then confirm or change the shot location before making it an official shot-tracking data point.

“V1 Game’s new Automatic Shot Tracking function is ideal for golfers who value performance data, but prefer to focus strictly on executing shots during the round,” says Dallas Webster, developer of V1 Game and the new V1 Coach app for coaches and instructors. “It’s our goal to make V1 Game the most functional tool in a golfer’s hand. With unrivaled on-course GPS data delivery and insights and deep, detailed post-round analysis tracking, golfers anywhere can use V1 Game to make better decisions on the course and practice their weaknesses to become stronger players. Owning this data can make a huge difference in any golfer’s game.”

To use V1 Game’s Automatic Shot Tracking Mode, simply start a round, put the phone away and focus on golf--unless you want to use V1 Game’s GPS functions. After the round, golfers can review the auto shot predictions and simply tap on the ones that correlate to actual shots. A golf round can be tracked in just a few minutes, unlocking V1 Game's robust performance analysis.

V1 Sports has prepared a short video tutorial to explain the V1 Game app’s new functionality.
View it here: https://youtu.be/MtFBe29TqCI

Designed to be your in-round companion tool on the golf course, V1 Game is loaded with detailed GPS data for thousands of golf courses worldwide. The Rangefinder mode provides impressively accurate distances to greens, tees, hazards and landing zones. The GPS mode features beautifully-rendered aerial satellite views and state-of-the-art functionality. Users can manually set the pin placements for precise distance to facilitate correct club selection and track shots live or post-round at their convenience.

V1 Game’s Intuitive Shot Tracking lets golfers track their strokes, putts, penalties as well as shot distances, locations, and clubs used so they can evaluate their performance and work to improve their weaknesses. For post-round analysis, V1 Game instantly displays shot data so golfers can see their strengths, weaknesses and tendencies at a glance.

Statistics include: strokes gained, shot patterns, club distances, scoring, greens in regulation (GIR), fairways in regulation (FIR), scrambling, putts per green, putts per GIR, estimated handicap and more.

If you want to track your performance the way Tour professionals do, Strokes Gained data is available for any skill level--from PGA TOUR to beginner--and is broken down by overall score, driving, approach, short game and putting. Viewing personal bests and scoring history is simple with the V1 Game app.

“V1 Game feeds you the most relevant stats on your game, truly letting you know how you perform as a golfer. Right on your phone screen, you’ll know your strengths and weaknesses on the course so you can get with your teaching professional and make specific improvements. This is an incredible tool for golfers who truly want to play better and score lower,” says V1 Sports CEO Bryan Finnerty.”

Users can connect and share stats and performance data with instructors and friends. V1 Pro instructors can invite students to start receiving powerful feedback on performance and plans for improvement. Instructors and coaches can link to their students’ V1 Game data through the new V1 Coach app (https://v1sports.com/blog/v1-sports-launches-v1-coach/) to build performance-based lesson and practice plans.

Advanced statistical analysis of golf data requires a subscription (in-app purchase) after the first three rounds. Subscriptions can be purchased in-app with both auto-renewing and non-renewing options. Auto-renewing subscriptions cost $59.99/year or $6.99/month. Non-renewing subscriptions (allowing 7-day access) can be purchased for $9.99.

Learn more about the V1 Game mobile app here: https://v1sports.com/athletes/v1-game-app/. Apple users may download the app from the App Store. Android users can find V1 Game in the Google Play store.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

PGA REACH Names WWE Sportscaster Jonathan ‘The Coach’ Coachman as PGA WORKS Ambassador

(PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.) — PGA REACH, the 501(c)3 charitable foundation of the PGA of America, has announced that sportscaster Jonathan “The Coach” Coachman, has become the newest PGA WORKS Ambassador. Coachman will help promote PGA REACH and its mission to diversify the golf industry’s workforce.

Jonathan "The Coach" Coachman
He joins Denver Nuggets Power Forward and four-time NBA All-Star Paul Millsap as a PGA WORKS Ambassador.

Coachman, a sports interviewer, analyst and professional wrestling personality, began his career working for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in several capacities, such as on-air, producing and branding. He spent nearly 10 years at ESPN, hosting and appearing on popular shows, such as “SportsCenter,” “First Take,” and “Mike and Mike in the Morning,” before returning to WWE.

A former college basketball player and football play-by-play announcer, Coachman also served two years as the voice for digital highlights at The Masters, while also providing his voice to the popular “Madden NFL” EA Sports video game. Coachman also serves as host for Golf Channel’s “World Long Drive,” which has emerged as one of golf’s most popular grassroots sporting events.

Funded by PGA REACH, PGA WORKS leverages fellowships, scholarships, career exploration events and the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship to inspire and engage talent from diverse backgrounds in pursuing key employment positions across the golf industry. Coachman will represent the entire PGA WORKS platform, echoing the message of helping to cultivate the next generation of golf industry and business leaders, through his own channels.

“We’re humbled and honored to welcome Jonathan Coachman as our newest ambassador for PGA WORKS,” said PGA REACH Senior Director Ryan Cannon. “His love for golf and commitment to support others will help us spread the message of the incredible ways young people can turn their passion into a profession.”

As part of his relationship with PGA REACH, Coachman has already served as host of the welcome dinner and Long Drive exhibition that takes place during the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship, the most culturally significant Championship in collegiate golf. The PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship is designed to cultivate the next generation of golf industry and business leaders, as participating student-athletes are introduced to employment and internship opportunities supported by leading golf companies.

“It’s an incredible honor to be named a PGA WORKS Ambassador,” said Coachman. “I look forward to helping make an impact on tomorrow’s leaders, as this platform of inclusion aligns with my fundamental beliefs to grow the game and expand the reach of the golf industry.”

For more information on PGA WORKS, visit pgareach.org.

Mystical Golf Unveils Stunning Course Enhancements in Myrtle Beach

Three Celebrated Layouts Now Showcase Completely Rebuilt Bunkers, Vibrant White Sand


(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) – Mystical Golf – offering "Myrtle Beach’s finest 54 holes of golf” on its Witch, Man-O-War and Wizard courses – announces the stunning results of its comprehensive $750,000 renovation of its trio of celebrated layouts.

The renovation is part of Mystical Golf’s substantial annual investments in always providing the best possible playing conditions and experiences for their legion of gratified returning guests. Most notably, the 142 bunkers on all three layouts have been completely rebuilt and now showcase vibrant, eye-catching white sand creating an incredible contrast with the emerald green fairways and greens.

Man-O-War
In addition to the striking transformation of the bunkers, Mystical Golf also enhanced and modernized the irrigation systems on The Witch and Man-O-War layouts for superior course maintenance throughout the entire golfing year. The extensive network of cart paths and bridges on the distinct properties were also upgraded. Playing through the incredible beauty of the Waccamaw Swamp, The Witch alone features over a mile of bridges.

Additionally revitalized were Mystical Golf’s three themed clubhouses – haunted house (The Witch), Scottish castle (The Wizard) and fishing camp (Man-O-War).

“Our customers know they are going to play on three of the finest courses in not only Myrtle Beach, but the Southeast U.S. as well,” says Claude Pardue, President and CEO. “While our maintenance and renovation investments are significant, our quest to hear golfers raving about how spectacular our courses are after their rounds is music to our ears.”

In preparation for its spring season, Mystical Golf also makes a sizable annual investment in overseeding its three layouts with Ryegrass in the fall emulating the agronomic practices of top echelon courses like Augusta National. Mystical Golf’s courses are consistently recognized by major golf media to be among Myrtle Beach’s “five best courses” and “best values.”

Its three layouts are highlighted by wonderfully fun elements including the only back-to-back island greens in the game (Man-O-War), a front nine of dramatic holes weaving through secluded swampland teeming with wildlife (The Witch), and a splendid layout reminiscent of Scotland and Ireland’s classic courses complete with authentic sod-faced bunkering and castle-style clubhouse (The Wizard).

Man-O-War’s 15th hole ranks among GOLF Magazine’s “Five Most Memorable Island Greens” alongside No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass, the “Alcatraz” hole at PGA West’s Stadium Course and Coeur d’Alene Resort’s movable, floating putting surface. The Witch is praised by PGA.com for presenting one of America’s “great 9th holes” and The Wizard has earned 4-1/2 stars from Golf Digest.

For Mystical Golf information: www.mysticalgolf.com, 843.282.2977.

The Breakthrough Golf Putting Lab Re-Opens to the Golf Community

(Richardson, TX) — The Breakthrough Putting Lab is back open and offers an in-depth putter fitting analysis to help analyze and maximize putting performance. If you want to become a better golfer, then this is a proven way to get the fit & consistency needed from your putter.

This is not a lesson but rather an evaluation of all aspects of your putter. Your fitting will start with a complete putting analysis including measurement of over 45 different parameters. Your putter will be fine-tuned and customized for you on site just like on the PGA Tour. Also, each appointment includes a Stability Shaft of your choice (up to $250 value). After the experience, you'll have a better putter fit and a solid understanding how to achieve more consistency and performance from your putting.

CEO, Barney Adams states, "I've played the game for some 70 years and studied it for 40 working in the industry. I strongly recommend that golfers take advantage of all technology available to them. After all, golf is a hard game; that element is what brings us joy no matter how small our victories, which definitely includes becoming a better putter".

Breakthrough Golf offers two fitting options- Master & Pro. The Master Fit includes a revolutionary new device exclusive to the BGT Putt Lab. The Flatstick helps golfers understand their stroke timing by providing instant feedback using an array of magnetic field sensors that track the putter's acceleration, stroke tempo and rhythm.

Blair Philip, Master Fitter and head of R&D for Breakthrough Golf, says "It's great to be back open. Fittings are something I truly enjoy; especially seeing how much clients improve over the course of the evaluation and beyond."

The BGT Putt Lab includes a full Quintic Ball Roll analysis, putter compatibility assessment, optimization of your putter specs, alignment evaluation, loft, length, lie and even grip size/shape recommendations. Learn more about the BGT Putt Lab and book online anytime at breakthroughgolftech.com/puttlab.

We recommend that all clients use their best judgement during these uncertain times. BGT will provide face masks hand sanitizer and each club is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after the fitting.

BIG MAX Launches Walk, Distance, Play Safe Campaign

(RELEASE) — Push cart brand BIG MAX has this week launched its Walk, Distance, Play Safe campaign, promoting safe practices while walking the golf course in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown.

With the vast majority of states identifying golf as an acceptable activity at this stage in the Covid-19 pandemic, the BIG MAX campaign is designed to highlight and re-enforce the simple precautions that golfers can take to stay safe on the golf course. At the heart of this advice is BIG MAX’s belief that walking the course is the healthiest way to play, as Rick Oldach, CEO of BIG MAX USA explains.

“As golfers, we are very fortunate to be able to enjoy our favorite sport in this pandemic by making a few simple, practical changes to keep ourselves and our families safe. As the leading push cart manufacturer in Europe, we know that walking the course is the healthiest way to play the game, and in these extraordinary times, even more so. We wanted to bring various pieces of advice together in one place with a simple 4 word reminder – Walk, Distance, Play Safe. This provides a useful resource as well as giving golfers the chance to look at our range of options for walking the course in comfort.”

The Walk, Distance, Play Safe web page can be found at https://us.bigmaxgolf.com/walk-distance-play-safe. It gives straight forward advice on how to keep safe on the course, from avoiding touching rakes or flag sticks, through to keeping at least 6ft apart from your playing partners. BIG MAX hopes that by providing an easy reference point, with a simple four-word reminder – Walk, Distance, Play Safe – it can help keep the necessary changes at the forefront of golfers’ minds and help everyone play safely as golf reopens across the country.

“Golfer’s are ready to get back on course but also want to be sure that they can play safe golf, “continues Rick. “We’ve seen a huge spike in demand for push carts over the past two months, showing that golfers are already preparing for the changes. BIG MAX is a global market leader in push carts and as a result we have access to a strong, reliable supply chain to help us respond to this demand. With so many golfers visiting our website and preparing to walk the course, it’s a great chance for us to remind them about Distancing and Playing Safe.”

BIG MAX will continue to update the Walk, Distance, Play Safe advice on their website as new information becomes available.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Volvik Offers 2020 VIVID Golf Ball Special

(ORLANDO, Florida) – Volvik USA (volvik.com), a rapidly-growing, premium high-performance golf ball company, is offering a special on its 2020 VIVID golf balls for spring and summer, in honor of golf’s welcome return. From May 22 through July 6, golfers can purchase a dozen world-class SF matte-finish 2020 Volvik VIVID golf balls for $32.99, or a bundle of two dozen for $55, with a variety of color options.

“We are pleased to offer our high-performance 2020 VIVID golf balls at this attractive price to help celebrate the return of golf nationwide,” said Wes Whittingham, vice president of sales for Volvik USA. “Players who are trying VIVID for the first time, as well as those who have been playing VIVID balls all along, will appreciate how these balls enhance their game.”

The 2020 Volvik VIVID balls have the VAS Triple-line Volvik Alignment  System and a new-and-improved UV protected matte finish coating. The 3-piece construction balls feature 75 compression and a maximized ENERGY core. Color options include: green, red, orange, yellow, pink, blue, white and purple.

With an ever-increasing number of both tour and amateur players finding success with Volvik, the company continues to extend its recognition and presence throughout the golf industry.

For information, see volvik.com.

Circling Raven Schedules ‘High School Championship’ for Golfers whose Season was Canceled by COVID-19

Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel and its Golf Course Continue Providing Value, Empathy to Visitors and Guests


(Worley, Idaho) – Circling Raven, the No. 1-rated public course in Idaho, announced that it has scheduled a “High School Championship” tournament for May 26. The event strives to fill the void created for student-athletes whose spring golf season was cancelled due to the pandemic.

“The event won’t be sanctioned by either Idaho or Washington state school systems, but it gives area prep golfers a chance to get in a competitive round on our championship course,” said Circling Raven Head Golf Professional David VonBrethorst. “We hope that the event inspires the participants at a time when they’ve had the carpet swept out from under them.”

Play will begin with tee times starting at 1 pm, and golfers will compete in either an individual stroke play championship or a two-person team best ball tournament. There will be prizes for individual champions and the top three teams. The registration fee is $40 – less than one-half what a round would typically cost normally – and includes lunch. For more information or to sign up, prospective participants should visit www.cdacasino.com/event/high-school-championship.

This is the latest goodwill move by Circling Raven, which is owned and operated by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. Last week it was announced that Circling Raven will maintain the spring playing rate at the acclaimed 18-hole golf course throughout 2020. The spring rate will also be applied to 2020 stay-and-play packages. Peak season rates were to commence on May 21, but the golf club has prioritized accessible value and support for its patrons during this challenging time.

Circling Raven Stay-and-Play Packages begin at $249 and include one night’s stay, double occupancy, and two rounds each at Circling Raven. The packages are complimented by pairing golf with other Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel amenities. From massages and other services at Spa Ssakwa’q’n (pronounced Sock-wah-kin), to immersing in Native American tradition through the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s cultural activities offered to guests and resort visitors, the options are many. Culture activities include touring a 17th Century Mission that the Tribe built (now a museum), eating authentic Native American foods, hiking ancestral homelands, learning how to weave baskets and create beaded bracelets, and much more.

Visit www.cdacasino.com for more information on golf and other resort options.

FlingGolf Now Played at More Than 1,000 Golf Courses

(BOSTON, Mass.) – FlingGolf – the sport inspired by an intersection of golf and lacrosse has now been played at more than 1,000 golf courses worldwide.

Helping attract lapsed and non-golfers to the course and increasing accessibility for all, it’s easy for younger and inexperienced people to play while providing a new challenge for avid golfers alike. Requiring only one club from tee to green, FlingGolf removes the financial equipment-barrier typically associated with traditional golf. All courses are FlingGolf ready, as the game requires no modifications.

Operators have welcomed its inclusion, attracting a whole new revenue stream from families, friends, events and outings.

“We started offering FlingGolf in spring 2015 and it’s been worth about $40,000 in revenue per year ever since then,” says Brett Mowbray, head professional at Massanutten Resort. “We typically get an extra 1,400 to 1,500 rounds each year, played by all walks of life - kids, adults and seniors.”

“Reaching 1,000 courses worldwide is a very satisfying milestone for us,” says founder of FlingGolf, Alex Van Alen. “We have seen our incredible player community drive that growth, as well as many courses welcoming players and promoting the sport within their local communities. Just like snowboarding infused new energy and faces to ski resorts long ago, it’s great to see FlingGolf do the same at golf courses today.”

To date, FlingGolf has been played on public, resort, military and municipal courses in over a dozen countries, including every state in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Morocco, and several in the Caribbean and Europe.

More information: FlingGolf.com