Monday, January 31, 2022

USGA Annual Awards Celebrate Volunteerism, Innovation and Golf Literature

Joe Dey Award, Green Section Award and Herbert Warren Wind Book Award honorees to be recognized at 2022 U.S. Open Championship in June

(LIBERTY CORNER, N.J.) – Elevating outstanding examples of those who unite, showcase, govern and advance the game of golf, the United States Golf Association announces the recipients of its 2022 Annual Awards. 

This year’s honorees are Ede Rice, the recipient of the Joe Dey Award, which recognizes meritorious service to the game as a volunteer; David Franklin “Frank” Dobie, the Green Section Award recipient, for introducing new technologies and processes that advance golf course management; and “A Matter of Course: The Life of William Herbert Fowler, 1856-1941, Golf Course Architect,” by Derek Markham, the winner of the Herbert Warren Wind Book Award, which recognizes and honors outstanding contributions to golf literature. 

“We need more people in golf like Ede, Frank and Derek, who are ensuring that the game of golf is better for all of us 50 or 100 years from now,” said Mike Whan, CEO of the USGA. “Just as Fowler did a century ago, we can be inspired and learn from the past as we propel the game forward, and these awards are a shining light for all of us.”

The USGA recently announced that it would conduct its Annual Meeting in a virtual setting for the second year in a row, with the result that its in-person Annual Awards Dinner will move from February to its biggest stage in June during the week of the U.S. Open Championship, which will be played at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.

Joe Dey Award - Ede Rice

Rice, of Edina, Minn., the first woman to serve on the Western Golf Association’s Board of Governors, has served as a leader, Rules official, mentor and active supporter of the game for more than 35 years. She has officiated at 39 USGA championships and countless other golf events at the local, state and national levels. An avid supporter of the Evans Scholar program who has served on numerous committees, she has inspired generations of golfers to give back to the game and to their communities.

Named for Joseph C. Dey Jr., the USGA’s executive director from 1934-1968 and the first commissioner of the PGA Tour, the Joe Dey Award has been presented annually since 1996.

USGA Green Section Award - Frank Dobie

The USGA Green Section Award honors distinguished service to golf through an individual’s work with turfgrass. 

Dobie, of Sharon Center, Ohio, superintendent, senior agronomist and retired general manager of Sharon Golf Club, has passionately promoted turfgrass research, education and innovative course maintenance practices through his career. A mentor and friend to countless golf management workers over 60 years, he started working on golf courses at age 15 and went on to graduate from Penn State’s prestigious turfgrass management program. He would later dedicate himself to the stewardship of the Musser International Turfgrass Research Foundation, which honors top doctoral turfgrass students nationwide. Through hands-on trial and error, he co-developed over a dozen golf course innovations, including bunker liners that improve drainage and quality, air pumps on greens and automated irrigation systems. 

Herbert Warren Wind Book Award - Derek Markham

The Herbert Warren Wind Book Award acknowledges and encourages outstanding achievement in golf literature.

“A Matter of Course: The Life of William Herbert Fowler, 1856-1941, Golf Course Architect,” is a detailed biography of one of golf’s greatest pioneers of modern course architecture, who might also be one of the least known. Markham, a member at West Surrey Golf Club in the southeast of England, became interested in Fowler while writing a centennial book about his club, a Fowler design. The book reflects Markham’s commitment to scholarship through its extensive research into Fowler’s significant contributions, which include both courses at Walton Heath in his native England, as well as the design of the famed 18th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links and many others.

In recognition of excellence in golf literature, Markham’s book will be added to the USGA Golf Museum and Library, the largest collection of golf books in the world, with more than 100,000 individual volumes and periodicals.

For more information on the USGA’s annual awards, visit

Women’s Golf Day Presents 2021 Inspire Action Awards

Spirited Facilities and Individual Contributions Recognized

(WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.) – Women’s Golf Day has named the recipients of its 2021 Inspire Action awards, presented to facilities and persons who have best exemplified the spirit of Women’s Golf Day.

This year’s recipients for the most spirited locations are North Carolina’s Pinehurst Resort & Country Club and Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Guidonia RM, Italy. 

“The success of WGD at both Pinehurst and Marco Simone was outstanding, both of which have been hosting WGD events since 2016,” said Elisa Gaudet, founder of Women’s Golf Day.  “It is our hope that more and more facilities around the globe will be inspired and motivated to host an event on June 7, 2022—Women’s Golf Day.”

Lavinia Biagiotti, owner of Marco Simone, the host course for the 2023 Ryder Cup, said, “I am so grateful to receive the WGD Inspire Action Award and to share it with my team. We are fully committed at every level to engage, empower, and support women through golf in accordance with our motto “Playing the Future.” 

In 2021, Gabby Weis, Head Golf Professional for Pinehurst Country Club, safely hosted 120 women at her course despite the challenges of the pandemic. 

“On behalf of Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, I am thrilled to accept this award,” Weis stated. “Growing women's golf at our facility has been a goal of mine since I started in 2018. We have created so many new golfers and connected them with new friends & avenues to play the game at the ‘Cradle of American Golf.’”

Honored in the individual impact category were Tom Addis, CEO of the Southern California PGA, and Jill Spiegel, Senior Vice President of Merchandising for PGA TOUR Superstore. 

Addis said, “I am humbled by the award and recognition for doing what I love to do, always.  I'll do my best to continue to support WGD.”

“Tom was instrumental in arranging for PGA professionals to receive Member Service Requirement (MSR) credits for participating in various WGD programs,” explained Gaudet.  “Jill and PGA Tour Superstores have been wonderful partners and worked especially hard to offer an array of WGD-branded products for consumers. PGA Tour Superstores have hosted WGD events in all 50 stores since 2016. They actively engage women throughout the year with fittings, instruction and events.”

The WGD Inspire Action award itself marks a new partnership with Prestige Flag and beautifully framed pin flags are the awards. 

For clubs and courses looking to host a WGD event, online registration and additional information may be found at

To register for WGD VIP Membership visit

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Additional regional sites for the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships Announced

– The NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Committee announced that Stanford Golf Course in Stanford, California, and the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tennessee have been added as regional hosting sites for the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships.

Already slated to host regional play May 9-11 in 2022 are The Championship Course at UNM (Albuquerque, New Mexico), University of Michigan Golf Course (Ann Arbor, Michigan), Karsten Creek Golf Club (Stillwater, Oklahoma) and Seminole Legacy Golf Club (Tallahassee, Florida).

In November, the NCAA had announced the move to a six-regional format effective with the spring championship. Each of the six regional sites will now feature 12 teams and six individuals, with the top four teams and top two individuals (not on an advancing team) qualifying for the championships, which will be held for the second straight year at Grayhawk Golf Club (Raptor Course) in Scottsdale, Arizona, from May 20-25.

With the move to six regional sites from the previous four-site format, 72 teams will still qualify for regional play, with the number of individuals not on an advancing team increasing from 24 to 36. 

The committee will now shift its attention to determining the regional hosting sites for 2023-26, with that announcement expected in March.

“The response from the NCAA membership and local organizing committees to host these additional regionals has been remarkable,” said Julie Manning, chair of the Division I Women’s Golf Committee and deputy athletics director and senior woman administrator at the University of Minnesota. “We are thrilled to add two outstanding venues and institutions as hosts for our 2022 regional championships and we look forward to awarding additional regional hosts for the 2023-26 championships in the very near future.”

Friday, January 28, 2022

PGA Junior Golf Camps Opens Registration at Nearly 200 Locations

Photo Courtesy PGA of America

Record 10,000 boys and girls attended PGA Professional-led camps last year

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – PGA Junior Golf Camps, the PGA of America’s signature camps for boys and girls ages 6-18, continues to grow annually, reaching nearly 200 locations this year. Families can find camps by state and register now at or by calling 888-PGA-PLAY (888-742-7529).

PGA Junior Golf Camps are designed for juniors of all ages and skill levels. The half-day, modified full-day and full-day camp curriculum allows kids who are new to the sport or at an intermediate level to learn and develop new golf skills in a fun, supportive environment. The experience follows a unique progression development track that focuses on promoting fundamental golf skills, including full-swing, putting and chipping, as well as life and character skills like good sportsmanship, camaraderie and integrity.

PGA Junior Golf Camps has also introduced Advanced, Specialty and Competitive Edge Day Camps designed to meet the instructional needs of advanced and motivated juniors. Advanced and Specialty Camps concentrate on instruction designed to take a player’s game to the next level, with special emphasis on mental conditioning, course management and short game. Competitive Edge Day Camps will help competitive players improve their game, with students receiving an in-depth analysis of their game through the industry’s most advanced teaching technologies and daily on-course instruction.

“We are proud to continue partnering with PGA Junior Golf Camps to provide a turnkey camps solution for our PGA Professionals to coach players, develop their skills and inspire a lifetime love of the game,” said PGA of America President Jim Richerson. “This is a great avenue for junior golfers to learn the game in a fun and engaging setting from expert PGA Coaches across America.”

Last year, a record 10,000 youth golfers attended PGA Junior Golf Camps at more than 180 locations nationwide. PGA Junior Golf Camps is the exclusive licensee of the PGA of America with a mission to work with PGA Professionals to build their player development programs and make running junior golf camps easy and hassle-free. PGA Junior Golf Camps handles all administrative work on behalf of the PGA Professionals.

“As an exclusive program of the PGA of America, we have always endeavored to keep a steady flow of new golfers coming into the sport and connect them with PGA Professionals,” said PGA Junior Golf Camps Founder and CEO Marc Haddad. “We are proud to say that, as the only camp provider in the nation that requires PGA Professional-led instruction, our programs are led by some of the finest, junior-friendly and enthusiastic coaches in the industry. It is their dedication that is a major differentiator of PGA Junior Golf Camps in the marketplace, and through their efforts, we are poised to continue to grow and introduce even more young athletes to the game we love.”

For more information, visit

Morikawa, Korda, Mickelson Voted GWAA Players of the Year

(HOUSTON) — Collin Morikawa, Nelly Korda and Phil Mickelson have been named respective winners of the 2021 player of the year awards by the Golf Writers Association of America.

Morikawa, who turns 25 on Feb. 6, was voted Male Player of the Year for the first time. Korda, 23, earned Female Player of the Year honors for the first time. Mickelson, 51, who has never won the GWAA’s Male Player of the Year award, was voted Senior Player of the Year for the first time.

Morikawa, ranked second in the Official World Golf Ranking to Spain’s Jon Rahm, received 48 percent of the vote to 37 percent for runner-up Rahm.

Morikawa won twice in a sensational 2021 season, highlighted by his victory in the Open Championship at Royal St. George’s, where he shot 67-64-68-66 and edged runner-up Jordan Spieth by two shots. He also won the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at The Concession.

Morikawa tied for fourth at the U.S. Open, tied for eighth as defending champion at the PGA Championship and tied for fourth at the Olympic Men’s Golf Competition in Japan. He led the PGA Tour in greens in regulation (79.17%) and capped the season by going 3-0-1 in the Ryder Cup, helping the U.S. to a resounding 19-9 victory over Team Europe at Whistling Straits.

“It is an incredible honor to be named by the Golf Writers Association of America as their Male Player of the Year for 2021,” Morikawa said. “I have a deep appreciation for the journalists dedicated to promoting our great game, and to be recognized amongst the names of past winners is humbling.”

Korda won four times on the LPGA Tour and added six more top-10 finishes. Her victories came in the Pelican Women’s Championship, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the Meijer LPGA Classic and the Gainbridge LPGA.

In August, she struck gold in Japan, winning the Olympic Women’s Golf Competition. She also was a member of the U.S. Solheim Cup team. Korda received 72% of the GWAA vote.

"It is a huge honor and privilege to be voted Female Player of the Year,’’ Korda said.  “I am extremely grateful to be the recipient of this year's award alongside all the other incredible past honorees. Thank you to the entire team at the Golf Writers Associate of America.  It truly means a lot to me to receive this recognition and it will be something I will forever cherish." 

Mickelson made the most of just six starts on the PGA Tour Champions in the 2020-’21 wraparound season, winning four times. He won the Charles Schwab Series at Ozarks National, the Dominion Energy Charity Classic and the Constellation Furyk & Friends and capped his season by winning the Schwab Cup Championship.

And, of course, he won the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island to become the oldest-ever major champion. He received 59 percent of the vote.

“I’m very appreciative of that honor,” Mickelson said of his Senior Player of the Year Award. “I had a really fun time playing some Champions tour events and last year was a really special year, obviously winning the PGA Championship and playing and competing in the Champions tour events, and having success was really special. Being able to spend time with so many guys that I grew up playing with, I’m just honored.”

Morikawa, Korda and Mickelson will be honored at the 48th annual GWAA Awards Dinner in Augusta, Ga., on April 6.

IMG Academy Junior World Golf Championships Includes Pepsi Little People’s in Qualifying

— Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships is pleased to announce that it will again be a qualifying event for boys and girls ages 5 through 14 for IMG Academy Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego, Calif.

The lowest scoring boy and girl aged 5 through 14 will qualify to play in Junior World July 11-15, if he or she has registered to try to qualify at Little People’s and has met the birthdate qualifications.

Registration to try to qualify for the Junior World will be available at the Little People’s tournament  in Quincy, IL, on Sunday, June 19, from noon until 6 pm, and on Monday, June 20, from 9 am until 5 pm.  There is a $5 registration fee which goes to Junior World.  Competition for Little People’s is June 21-22, 2022.

“We are delighted to be able to offer this to our players ages 5 through 14 in the 2022 Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships,” stated Nan Ryan, Founder and Executive Director of Pepsi Little People’s.  “Little People’s has been a qualifying event for the IMG Junior World since 2010.  We have been able to qualify many players each year for this prestigious tournament, and look forward to having many more participants qualify this year.”

In 2021, 13 Pepsi Little People’s players qualified to play in IMG event, which has been an integral part of the junior golf scene since 1968, when 475 junior golfers competed.  Today, the IMG tournament has grown to 1250 participants representing 56 countries and 42 states.  It is the largest international event in the world and is unique for its international representation and cultural diversity.

Entry form and information on the 2022 Pepsi Little People’s will be available at on February 1, or call or text Nan Ryan at 217-257-5718.

Epson Replaces Symetra as Sponsor of Women’s “Road to the LPGA” Professional Golf Tour

Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel to Host Tour’s Circling Raven Championship in August 2022

(Worley, Idaho) – Circling Raven Golf Club – home of the nationally honored course in Idaho and an amenity of Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel – today announced that the 2022 Circling Raven Championship will be played in August as part of the newly announced Epson Tour, the LPGA’s official qualifying tour.

The LPGA Tour announced the five-year agreement with Epson America, Inc. yesterday, launching the technology leader’s title sponsorship of exclusive naming rights to the Official Qualifying Tour of the LPGA. The newly named Epson Tour enters its 42nd year of structured competition in 2022 and is the most established women’s qualifying tour in the world as the one “Road to the LPGA.”

The Epson Tour sponsorship takes effect immediately and extends through the 2026 calendar year. The Epson Tour will award LPGA Tour membership to the top-10 players on the Race for the Card money list at the end of each season.

“We are delighted to welcome Epson to the LPGA Tour family. This ground-breaking partnership will provide expanded opportunities for the future stars of the game from around the globe to test their talent and take one step closer to realizing their dreams,” said LPGA Tour commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan. “We are grateful that Epson shares our commitment to supporting young female athletes as they grow and develop and to playing an active role in the growth and equity in women’s sports.”

The commitment to support young women athletes that LPGA Commissioner Marcoux Samaan cites ideally aligns with the Circling Raven Championship. 

“It’s encouraging and exciting to have Epson support the tour, women golfers, and the Circling Raven Championship,” said Laura Penney, CEO, Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel. “As the tour’s title sponsor, they’re helping create opportunities through golf for females, which is one of objectives the Coeur d’Alene Tribe set when it decided to build Circling Raven and host a women’s professional tournament.”

The inaugural Circling Raven Championship presented by KXLY News 4 Now was played last August, the first in the 3-year agreement with the LPGA. Competitors battled for $200,000 in prize money which was one of the highest purses on the Symetra Tour last year.

Higher purses across the Epson Tour schedule and providing stipends for Epson Tour players graduating to the LPGA Tour are some proactive Epson commitments that will further support the tour and its players. 

Underscoring Epson’s commitment to advancing the careers of talented female golfers, it is contributing funds to initially lower entry fees by 10% per tournament for each player throughout the season, amounting to as much as $1,000 per individual over the course of the year. Part of this initiative is the creation of the Epson Tour DEI Partnership, as Epson and the LPGA are challenging at least four other companies to join them in elevating the competitive drive and dedication of Epson Tour members by working together to cut player-entry fees in half, from $500 to $250. Participating organizations will receive Pro-Am teams and signage at every Epson Tour tournament. 

Sponsorship is crucial at both the tour and tournament levels. Sponsors of the 2021 Circling Raven Championship came from throughout the region, as well as national companies, including the KXLY Broadcast Group, Centennial Distribution, Wildhorse Casino & Resort, Waymaker Wealth Advisors, Bank of America, and Callaway Golf.

There are 2022 Circling Raven Championship sponsor opportunities now available. For more details about this year’s tournament, contact Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel and Circling Raven at: 1.800.523.2464 or visit

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Puerto Rico Flourishes in World Golf Spotlight

Island Ideal for Enjoying the Game and other Tropical Experiences

(SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO) – The year is just beginning, and Puerto Rico is already enjoying one of its biggest golf years ever, after being named to host top events, continuing to be home to the PGA TOUR’s Puerto Rico Open, and having players make international headlines through their play.

Last week the Island’s Grand Reserve Golf Club was named as the 2023 Latin America Amateur Championship host venue (January 12-15). This will be the first time the top-tier tournament will be held in Puerto Rico.

The tournament is important because it’s the pinnacle amateur golf event in Latin America and the LAAC champion receives an invitation to compete in two of the game’s biggest events – the 2023 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club and the 151st Open at Royal Liverpool in England.

The winner also receives full exemptions into the U.S. Amateur Championship and any other U.S. Golf Association (USGA) amateur championship for which he is eligible and is exempt into the final stage of qualifying for the 123rd U.S. Open Championship at Los Angeles Country Club. LAAC runner(s)-up will be exempt into the final stages of qualifying for the 151st Open and the 123rd U.S. Open Championship.

Puerto Rico’s Roberto Nieves led the field after two of the four rounds in the 2022 LAAC at Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic, that concluded earlier this week. He finished in fifth place, one stroke from joining a three-way tie for second, and two strokes behind the winner. Given the elite company, the first-class performance bodes well for Nieves’ golf future.

Last year, the USGA brought the Puerto Rico Golf Association into its network of Allied Golf Associations. The PRGA became the first association outside the U.S. designated to host a USGA championship – the 7th U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship on April 30-May 4, 2022, at Grand Reserve. That week will also mark the first time a USGA championship is held outside of the U.S. mainland in a U.S. territory.

Add that the PGA TOUR’s Puerto Rico Open (Feb. 28-March 6, 2022) will be held at Grand Reserve’s Championship Course, that the Island hosts NCAA Division I tournaments annually, and that Island native Rafa Campos almost won the 2021 Puerto Rico Open, and the global golf spotlight is increasingly shining on Puerto Rico.

The Island is not just for top-level amateur players and professional tour members. With 18 courses, world-class beaches, dozens of resorts, thousands of restaurants, and the Caribbean’s most traveler friendly destination, Puerto Rico is ideal for all travelers. Golfers playing in Puerto Rico have the added benefit of doing so in a natural paradise on courses that inherently promote safe recreation and social distancing amid the pandemic, and the Island has one of the highest vaccination rates in the United States.

“Last year was an all-time record year for Puerto Rico tourism," said Brad Dean, CEO, Discover Puerto Rico. “Golfers were an important and welcomed group of visitors contributing to the whole, and these latest high-profile events announced for the Island will continue to fuel our golf momentum.”

Golf course designers represented on the Island include Tom and George Fazio, Greg Norman, Gary Player, Rees Jones, Tom Kite, Robert Trent Jones, Sr., and his son Robert Trent Jones, Jr.  All Island courses are open to the public except two (which can be played by guests of the resort where they’re located), and many are amenities of beautiful resorts, including Royal Isabela; Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino; The St. Regis Bahia Beach; Wyndham Grand Rio Mar; Palmas del Mar; Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve; and Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve, home to Grand Reserve Golf Club.

 Learn more about visiting Puerto Rico and playing golf at

Kamaiu Johnson Touts Success of ClubCorp Gateway Program

Program provides ClubCorp facility access, mentorship opportunities for minority youths

(RELEASE) — Kamaiu Johnson, a member of the Advocates Professional Golf Association (APGA) Tour, is teeing it up on the PGA TOUR this week at the Farmers Insurance Open. The native of Tallahassee, Fl., is set to compete in his fourth PGA TOUR event, and he is using his platform to spotlight efforts to enhance access to golf for Black and minority players.

Johnson is the ambassador of the ClubCorp Gateway Program, which was launched by the company last year to remove institutional barriers in the golf world and increase access to high-quality golf courses, training facilities and mentorship opportunities to a more diverse population. The program partners with The First Tee to offer complimentary memberships to ClubCorp properties in participating markets for select youth golfers. To date, the program represents a multimillion-dollar investment by ClubCorp to address this disparity in access through memberships for young Black and minority golfers with programs in Atlanta, Dallas and Houston.

“Golf needs to be a better representation of America. The ClubCorp Gateway program can play a huge role in making that happen. The Gateway Program will not only help these young players on the course by providing access to better courses, better facilities and mentors, but it will also bring diversity of thought and backgrounds to the ClubCorp membership and the industry as a whole,” said Johnson. “This is exactly the type of program that I would have loved to have had growing up, knowing it would have tremendously helped me both on and off the golf course.”

Los Cabos a Major Presence on Golfweek's Top 50 Roster

TPC Danzante Bay, 17th Hole

13 Cabo courses ranked among ‘Top 50 Mexico, Caribbean, Atlantic and Central America’

(Los Cabos, Mexico) Golfweek’s Ultimate Guide to Golf Course Living and Great Escapes has been released, and once again Los Cabos shines on the magazine’s roster of the ‘Top 50 Mexico, Caribbean, Atlantic Islands and Central America’ courses. Thirteen golf facilities in Los Cabos, the dazzling Land’s End destination at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, appear on the updated 2022 list, with seven courses in the top 20. In addition, TPC Danzante Bay, an outstanding seaside venue in Loreto, a marine sanctuary north of Los Cabos, was voted to the No. 12 spot on the roster.

According to the publication, “The hundreds of members of our course-ratings panel continually evaluate courses and rate them based on our 10 criteria. They also file a single, overall rating on each course. Those overall ratings on each course are averaged to produce a final, cumulative rating. Then each course is ranked against other courses in the region.” The list focuses on the golf courses themselves, not the resorts as a whole or other amenities. 

Commanding the No. 2 position on Golfweek’s list is Diamante (Dunes Course), the flagship of a 1,500-acre private resort community on the destination’s Pacific coast. Opened in 2009, the Dunes Course is a 7,022-yard behemoth carved by Davis Love III into massive rolling dunes set back from the ocean. This windswept, topsy-turvy links, renowned for its risk-reward options and spectacular views, rambles past big blowout bunkers and towering sand hills on its journey to and from the sea. Guests of the on-site Nobu Hotel and Hard Rock Hotel enjoy exclusive access to the Dunes Course, subject to availability. 

Cabo del Sol (Cove Club), ranked No. 11 and formerly known as the Ocean Course, is the pioneering layout that put Los Cabos on the international golf map when it opened in 1994. Intent on producing the ‘Pebble Beach of the Baja’ on what he described as “the best piece of golf property I’ve ever seen,” designer Jack Nicklaus charted holes across sloping desert terrain creased by sandy arroyos and framed by granite outcrops. Nicklaus returned in 2019 to create a handful of new holes at the renamed Cove Club (now private). The revised layout, which visits the sea on both nines, has upgraded playing surfaces, restyled bunkers and new landscaping.

Chileno Bay (No. 13), a splendid Tom Fazio-designed golf course marked by graceful, flowing landforms intended to simulate rolling ocean waves, benefitted from a makeover by Discovery Land Co. that introduced colorful vegetation and bright white sand in its formal bunkers. The immaculately-groomed course, routed through rolling desert foothills and interlaced with sandy arroyos, features interior mountain vistas and a sea view from every hole. The otherwise-private club is accessible to guests of Chileno Bay Resort & Residences (Auberge Resorts).

Tied with Chileno Bay at No. 13 is Querencia, a private 1,800-acre golf community anchored by a solid Tom Fazio-designed course. Known for its slick, multi-tiered greens, Querencia, set in desert foothills high above the sea, takes players on a roller-coaster ride around and across steep hills. Several holes skirt the edges of deep canyons and rocky arroyos. Fazio’s attention to detail is evident at every turn at Querencia, with palm trees and lush vegetation blended with the native desert border on this challenging yet playable course.

Opened in 2020, the Greg Norman-designed course at Rancho San Lucas (No. 16) spans three different ecosystems, rambling through windswept dunes at the start, climbing through a cactus forest bisected by arroyos, and returning players to the beach and sea on the back nine. Known for his ‘least-disturbance’ approach, Norman throttled back the bulldozers to retain the site’s native contours. Steep-walled pot bunkers constructed from recycled artificial turf dot the breezy, links-style course. The club is accessible to guests of Solmar Group hotels, including the on-site Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas Resort.

Originally built as a resort course in 1999, El Dorado Golf & Beach Club (No. 18) is now a private resort community under the aegis of Discovery Land Co. The Jack Nicklaus-designed layout, featuring rolling saddled fairways, huge bunker complexes and picturesque green sites, meanders through a pair of stark canyons divided by a huge rocky hill.  Bristling desert vegetation, dramatic rock formations and four interior lakes flank the fairways, with water in play at several holes. The club’s par-3 16th hole is set directly above the beach.

Twin Dolphin (No. 20) occupies a superb parcel along the corridor linking the towns of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Centerpiece of a 1,400-acre master-planned community, the golf course, opened in 2018, was built by Fred Couples and Todd Eckenrode of Origins Golf Design. Stretched across a broad sloping plateau notched by three major arroyos high above the sea, the layout is known for its firm, fast conditions, dramatic rock outcrops and panoramic ocean views. Twin Dolphin is a private club accessible to guests of Montage Los Cabos, a resort hotel on Santa Maria Bay; as well as the Montage Residences.

The other Los Cabos courses voted to Golfweek’s Top 50 roster include Diamante - El Cardonal (T-33), Quivira (T-33), Puerto Los Cabos – Norman/Nicklaus (No. 36), Costa Palmas (No. 40), Cabo del Sol - Desert (No. 41), and Cabo Real (No. 47).

For more information, images and videos from Los Cabos, visit

Talamore Golf Resort Continues to Evolve and Improve

The popular resort in the Home of American Golf has numerous enhancements and new amenities arriving soon, including a Toptracer Range, cutting-edge EcoBunkers and a 15,000-square foot putting course.

(SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.) — Widely considered one of the Southeast’s most guest-friendly getaways, Talamore Golf Resort in Southern Pines, NC, continues to evolve and improve. Talamore has several new amenities and others arriving soon that include:

A Toptracer Range with 10 hitting stalls that will open this spring. Talamore guests will be able to experience interactive golf entertainment powered by the same technology that viewers enjoy during televised PGA Tour events to track the shots of the game’s best players. Guests can compete against friends, play a virtual round at some of the world’s top courses and receive instant shot feedback on interactive game screens. The technology uses high speed cameras, coupled with sophisticated computer algorithms, to provide instantaneous ball tracking information to guests using the range.

Talamore has taken a cutting-edge approach to enhancing its distinctive sod wall bunkers by becoming one of the first golf courses in the country to install EcoBunkers. The stylish new bunkers at Talamore — 11 total, some as tall as 7 feet — will debut in February and resemble the beautiful sod-wall bunkers seen on TV every summer during the Open Championship in the United Kingdom.

The Talamore practice range has been upgraded and a new, 15,000-square-foot putting course is being installed between the driving range and the 10th tee boxes that is expected to open in the fall. Guests can warm up or practice on the putting course while waiting for Toptracer, or simply settling some bets after their round.

A new 1,000-square-foot deck has been added on the back of Talamore, which overlooks the course’s memorable finishing hole. There is comfortable furniture and cozy fire pits, along with lights and several TVs, making it the perfect spot for guests to socialize post round or wait to compete on Toptracer. “It’s customer service, customer relations. Just wanting our guests to come and see something new, or see something different and experience something different in town that they may not be able to see anywhere else,” said Talamore General Manager Matt Hausser. “It’s having our guests come and stay and stick around and hang out, just let them have a good time.”

Last but not least, the resort got some publicity with an early Christmas present — the arrival of a 35-pound baby llama named “Jones,” after golf course architect Rees Jones who designed Talamore. Jones was born to llama mama Camellia, bringing the course’s herd to an even four. Jones enjoys playing with his older brother, Arnie, named for … you guessed it … Arnold Palmer, who designed its sister course, Mid South Club.

Visitors to the renowned Talamore Resort stay and play two of the area’s finest courses, Talamore and Mid South, both located on Midland Road midway between the Pinehurst Resort and Mid Pines and Pine Needles. “The U.S. Open Doctor,” Jones, designed Talamore, which has been voted the No. 1 Public Course in North Carolina, Top 10 in the U.S. Golfers Choice and Top 25 for Best Course Conditions by The Palmer-designed Mid South Club has been voted Pinehurst Magazine’s No. 1-rated private course. Both courses regularly rank among North Carolina’s prestigious Top 100.

Resort guests can stock their own kitchen and bring their own beverages while enjoying exceptional lodging with the Talamore Villas and luxurious Lodges at Mid South. The comfortable onsite condominiums feature full kitchens, spacious living and dining areas, covered porches, barbecue areas, and other modern amenities including complimentary Wi-Fi and flat screen TV’s. Guests also enjoy a complimentary breakfast delivered right to their door.

The resort also hosts a popular Carolina Pig Pickin’ dinner that is complimentary for all of Talamore’s Monday and Thursday night guests during the season. Talamore serves up a classic Carolina-style barbecue buffet just steps from the resort villas, including all the fixings highlighted by a Classic Southern-style BBQ whole roast pig slathered with a secret rub, hickory smoked for nine hours and topped with spicy Carolina barbecue sauce.

Talamore BBQ Pavilion Perfect for the traveling golf group, the Talamore Pavilion is centrally located within the Talamore Villas Complex. The brick pavilion features a concrete floor, hewn wood ceiling beams, ceiling fans, flat screen TVs, four gas grills, a dual-sided fireplace, and a variety of bistro, high-top and picnic tables. Corn hole boards are available for some heated competition off the course.

For an innovative, quality stay-and-play experience and value around “The Home of American Golf,” Talamore Golf Resort sets the pace and keeps getting better. The resort’s long-term roster of alumni says it all – many guests have been staying and playing at Talamore for decades. “We have so much repeat business, so for them to keep coming back and finding something else here,” Hausser said. “It’s just nice to give people something more to enjoy.”

For information call (800) 552-6292 or visit

More Than Six Dozen Top Instructors are Part of Newly Launched BirdieSpot Teaching Platform

– More than six dozen of golf’s leading instructors have come together to create the most complete, diverse and affordable golf instruction website and app the industry has ever seen.

 BirdieSpot offers everything golfers need to transform their games.  BirdieSpot brings golf into people’s lives in a more convenient, accessible, and affordable way, while still maintaining a connection to live coaches.

Regardless of your skill level, from beginners to advanced players,  BirdieSpot has all of the tools you need to better your golf game. View video lessons from one of our 70+ award-winning coaches, ask a question during "Coach Office Hours," take a live virtual lesson with a coach, shop our golf store and travel to one of our golf experiences.

BirdieSpot is the brainchild of Kelley Brooke, Director of Golf at Bethpage Golf Course in Farmingdale, NY, and the 2018 LPGA Golf Professional of the Year. A protégé of Butch Harmon, Brooke felt the need for quality virtual instruction once COVID-19 took hold of the country a year ago. 

“During Covid we needed to pivot our ‘in-person’ golf program,” said Brooke. “The pros at Bethpage and I produced about 150 lectures, assignments, troubleshooting and homework videos and put them online. Then I recruited over 70 teaching professionals to join in. Many of them are award-winning instructors: Golf Digest Top 50, PGA Professionals of the Year, former Tour players, Solheim Cup captains. It’s an impressive list. Now we have nearly 500 free instructions videos on site.”

The BirdieSpot roster of coaches reflects the diversity which golf is constantly seeking. Whatever style works best for you as a learner, you’ll find it among the BirdieSpot coaches.

All aspects of golf are covered on the BirdieSpot site, including fitness. You have general workout videos, as well as workouts geared toward specific areas of your game. You can learn what to eat and how to stay properly hydrated. You can become a better putter, a deadly wedge player, a superb shot-maker, and add distance to your tee ball. There are videos to elevate your mental game and ones to assist in course management. The options are nearly endless.

While many elements of BirdieSpot are free of charge, a premium membership of $9.95 per month gives users 24/7 access to the site and everything it offers.

“This is truly one-stop shopping in regards to golf instruction,” said Brooke. “Beginners can find everything they need to eventually feel comfortable stepping onto a golf course. Mid- to high-handicappers have enough resources here to take strokes off their score. And advanced players can sharpen specific aspects of their games.”

Membership includes:

• Live classes with award-winning golf professionals

• Discounted private lessons

• On Demand classes

• Fitness Video Lessons

• Mental Game Videos

• Printable handouts

• Discounts on all Pro Shop purchases

BirdieSpot has the added benefit of developing new golfers, a constant goal of everyone involved in the industry.

“I would like for BirdieSpot to become the Peloton of golf, where we are bringing golf into people’s homes in a more affordable and efficient say,” said Brooke. “You don’t have to spend $150 an hour to learn golf. You can learn it on your own time and in the comfort of your own home, within your budget.”

Visit for more information.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Sweetgrass Golf Course Named NGCOA National Golf Course of the Year

– Island Resort & Casino’s original course, Sweetgrass, has been named the 2022 Golf Course of the Year by the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA). The announcement was made this week at the NGCOA Golf Business Conference 2022 in Orlando.

The NGCOA selected its winner based on four criteria: quality of golf course, quality of ownership and management, outstanding contributions to the local community and significant contributions to the game of golf.

“When we received the Michigan Golf Course of the Year award back in October, we were very excited," said Tony Mancilla, general manager of Island Resort & Casino. "Michigan has a lot of great courses, so just winning our state was huge. Now to earn the national award and recognition is the cherry on top. I recently talked with other courses owners about how this is a big deal, because it’s more than just about having a great golf course. You have to do more things for the game and help promote golf, and we’re doing that on a lot of different levels."

Island Resort & Casino, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula’s largest resort destination, sits 13 miles west of Escanaba in Harris, and is owned and operated by the Hannahville Indian Community, a federally recognized Potawatomi Indian Tribe. The casino first opened as a bingo hall in 1981, then in 1991 expanded with the Chip-In Casino on its present site. The late 1990's saw the expansion of the casino, a showroom and convention center. The next decade brought further major expansion with the Palm Tower rooms, more restaurants and more golf.

One of the resort's two courses, Sweetgrass opened in 2008 to rave reviews. Designed by Paul Albanese, Sweetgrass features an open layout with some of golf’s most fun greens to putt (Redan, Biarritz, Island and Double-Green), as well as some wonderful strategic holes -- including the famous island green No. 15 and a finishing par-five hole on each side. Throughout the course, golfers will also come across a rich history of the Hannahville Indian Community, with holes named after traditional Potawatomi clans, villages, allies, medicines and symbols. The dedication to nature and the area’s heritage makes for a unique golf experience. The course also plays host to the Symetra Tour's Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass.

One of the areas that Sweetgrass was selected for, and the resort management takes pride in, is its contribution to the community through the Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass, which debuted in 2011 and has become the premier community event in the region. The Strong Kids Campaign - YMCA is the event's official charity and guarantees that all kids, regardless of income, have an opportunity to receive free YMCA memberships. Other local charities and nonprofits have also received more than $250,000 raised from the tournament's ticket sales.

“The Symetra Tour event raises about $100,000 each year, and that’s about one-quarter of the entire YMCA annual funding in membership scholarships," explained Mancilla. "It gives under-privileged kids of economically struggling families a chance to enjoy time at the YMCA."

The YMCA golf program is also supported by this effort, providing clubs for kids to use and youth golf clinics for them to participate in during the tournament.

“I think the biggest thing is having the pros play and the kids watch them," said Mancilla. "It’s exciting when they're here playing. They are young golfers trying to make their way and accomplish a huge goal. And we’re right in the middle of it, watching. Hopefully the little kids will think they can do it, too.”

The growing popularity of golf and gaming at Island Resort has driven the demand for yet another major expansion of $30 million, making it one of the Midwest's largest golf, casino and entertainment resort destinations. Opened in January 2022, the new hotel tower is connected to the south end of the current Palm Tower and features 138 guest rooms, including golf and spa suites, the top-floor Horizons Steakhouse fine dining offering the region's best views and the new Splash Island family water park.

For more information, visit

Sunday Golf Unveils Loma XL Bag at the PGA Show

– Sunday Golf, a leading golf bag manufacturer, debuted its latest product, the Loma XL bag at the 2022 PGA Show in Orlando, Florida. The new Loma XL is a lightweight golf bag that fits eight clubs in a lightweight, 3.4lb design for players who want to carry less and enjoy more. The Loma XL includes many of the same features as the company’s flagship product the Loma bag, but adds more carrying capacity, an extra club divider and backpack style carry strap.

Sunday Golf’s Loma XL addition is the company’s third golf bag offering in its line of trailblazing, lightweight golf bags. Intended for golfers who enjoy walking rounds on full-length or executive courses, the expanded Loma XL provides additional club space and carrying flexibility in a modern, practical option. The bag also incorporates the original Loma bag’s signature frosty, insulated pocket, velour-lined valuables pocket, glove and tee holder, built-in carry handle and Dual Flex stand system.

“We created the Loma XL based off our customers who loved their Loma bag but just wanted to squeeze 1-2 more clubs and have a double strap so they could take if out for a full 18,” said Ronan Galvin, co-founder of Sunday Golf. “This bag delivers a unique experience where golfers can comfortably navigate walking rounds and practice sessions while taking a few clubs and overthinking out of the bag. Like the weekends, golf should be fun, and our new Loma XL is a fresh take on enjoying both at once.”

Launched in 2020, Sunday Golf burst on the scene with the Loma bag, a minimalist-designed bag that weighs less than 2lbs and carries six or seven clubs and was built specifically for the par 3 course. The category creating Loma bag set a new precedent for Par 3 bags in a sleek, easy-to-carry build that encouraged play with fewer clubs while embodying the spirit of casual weekend golf.

The Loma XL will be available online and in major retail golf stores nationwide in April and retail at $149.99 MSRP. The bag will initially be available in four colors: Matte Black, Heather Gray, Midnight Green and Seafoam. Attendees at the 2022 PGA Show can be the first to see the Loma XL bag at Sunday Golf’s booth (#2905) from January 26 – 28.


Midori Enters Golf Apparel Market Backed By U.S. Patent for First-of-its-Kind PF1 Slim Fit Golf Pants Featuring Integrated Protective Belt with Optimal Back and Waist Support

Revolutionary New PF1 Golf Pants Featured at 2022 PGA Show; 
Innovative BOA Fit System Offers Turnkey Solution for the Perfect Fit 

(Orlando, Fla.) — Backed by more than 60 years of product innovation, Midori Anzen Co., LTD, Japan's largest safety product and functional apparel manufacturer, has entered the golf apparel market backed by U.S. patent for Midori PF1 … first-of-its-kind fashionable, slim fit golf pants featuring an integrated protective belt designed to support the back and waist. 

The revolutionary new golf pants, developed in collaboration with the PGA OF JAPAN, will be introduced at the 2022 PGA Merchandise Show (booth #6153), January 25-28 at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, Florida.

Recognized for their line-up of safety products, including footwear, work uniforms, helmets, and other personal protective equipment, Midori Anzen introduces its decorated PF1 golf apparel brand in the U.S., accompanied by a U.S. patent.

Designed for golfers seeking the ultimate in fit, function, fashion and safety, the innovative golf pants combine easy-flex tailoring with a back/waist support belt, which is integrally adjustable on the back, based on golfer preference. This provides back support at all times and adjusts as the golfer moves.

Reinforcing function and performance, the fashionable support belt is equipped with the BOA Fit System, a turnkey solution designed to deliver the perfect fit for each golfer. The micro-adjustable BOA® dials can be fine-tuned, allowing golfers to easily loosen or tighten the support belt through a simple 3-step process: push to engage, turn to tighten, and pull up for quick release. The combination of the easy-flex technology and the BOA Fit System belt allows golfers to adjust for comfort, while the pants maintain optimal back support position irrespective of golfers’ body movement.

"We are extremely excited to have secured a U.S. patent for the Midori PF1 line, and to introduce the innovative high-performance golf pants and shorts in the U.S. marketplace,” said Fujio Matsumura, President, Midori Anzen Co., LTD. “With the success we have already seen in Japan, we expect that the U.S. market will enjoy our easy-flex pants, featuring an integrated protective belt equipped with adjustable BOA dials, and delivering a first-of-its-kind line of functional golf pants that better support the back and waist, while allowing for easy movement during play.” 

Constructed with high quality, highly elastic fabrics that easily stretch to follow the contours of your body movements, Midori PF1 golf pants and shorts will be offered in several styles and fashionable color stories. SRP is $198 for the pants and $148 for the shorts.

For more information please visit

Blue Tees Golf Signs Distribution Agreement with Platinum Golf Supplies

Platinum Golf Supplies to distribute Blue Tees Golf rangefinders and accessories in the Australian and New Zealand markets

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) – Blue Tees Golf, a rapidly growing golf technology company producing golf rangefinders and accessories, announced today its exclusive agreement with Platinum Golf Supplies as the key supplier in Australia and New Zealand.

Platinum Golf Supplies was launched by golf industry veteran Patrick Cato who identified a need in the marketplace for quality golf products at an affordable price. After a decade and a half Cato has developed a distribution company to fill this void.

“Platinum Golf Supplies continues to grow as we bring in new premium golf products that are reasonable priced to both Australia and the New Zealand markets, and this includes our latest brand to join our stable, Blue Tees Golf,” said Cato. “Our initial traction with Blue Tees Golf at wholesale and retail is remarkable. We contribute this to the performance factors of Blue Tees Golf in the Distance Measuring category, and again, to its affordability.”

“Partnering with Platinum Golf Supplies is inherent for Blue Tees Golf and our global growth. Australia and New Zealand golf markets are thriving,” said Blue Tees Vice President of Sales Taylor Herber.  “We want to reach these golfers and who better than Patrick Cato? He’s a golf industry expert who has spent years developing relationships with both green grass and specialty retailers.”

He added, “We look forward to a long and successful partnership.”

For more information, visit

Titleist and FootJoy Return as Official Partners of 2022 Women’s Golf Day

Acushnet Continues Commitment to Engaging and Empowering Women Through

(WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.) – Titleist and FootJoy have returned as Official Partners of 2022 Women’s Golf Day (WGD): Titleist as the preferred golf ball and FootJoy as the preferred footwear. 

Women’s Golf Day, a global golf movement that engages, empowers, and supports women, will be staged internationally on Tuesday, June 7.

“These two companies share our vision to bring golf to the diverse, growing female golfer community across the world,” said Elisa Gaudet, Founder of Women’s Golf Day. “We are proud to have these two prestigious brands support the movement, our year-round slate of events, and be a quality resource for women golfers.” 

In signing on as the official sponsors in the ball and footwear categories, Titleist and FootJoy are demonstrating their commitment to elevating the women’s game and recognizing the important role that WGD plays in bringing together women who play or are interested in finding out more about golf and performance equipment to help them take their games to the next level.

Titleist and FootJoy will work with the WGD Team to activate the sponsorship and give the WGD global community access to their impressive product lines. Titleist golf balls with the Women’s Golf Day logo will continue to be available as a specialty order and were showcased this past year at all the PGA TOUR Superstore locations. The designers at FootJoy have created a Women’s Golf Day My Joy shoe that is available via direct order from FootJoy. The products also will be integrated into WGD’s new travel program and showcased at events held around the world. 

With a boom in women’s golf fueled by the pandemic—450,000 new women golfers in 2020, according to the National Golf Foundation (NGF)—timing is prime to embrace and encourage more women’s play. 

“The WGD partnership offers our brands the opportunity to connect with a global community of women who love golf,” said Alicia Madden, Director of Media, Titleist. “We are committed to being at the forefront of the women’s game, and we’re dedicated to developing partnerships, products and an overarching community for all female golfers. 

For clubs and courses looking to host a WGD event, online registration and additional information may be found at

To register for WGD Membership visit

The Saint Andrew’s Golf Club Community Giving Program Tops $500,000

(HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.) – The Saint Andrew’s Golf Club has a long history of engagement in philanthropic activities. But in recent years the Club’s dedication to growing the game and genuinely making a difference in the community has risen to new heights. America’s oldest golf club today announced it has donated nearly $528,000 over the past 13 years — an average of more than $40,000 annually.

“The history of the club has been and remains today to always give back to programs and organizations to help grow the game of golf,” said Greg Bisconti, head golf professional at the Club. “We’ve been doing it for so many years now that there is just a culture where members are happy to jump on board when we roll out a fundraiser.”

The primary focus of Saint Andrew’s donations has been the Metropolitan PGA Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit organization committed to promoting the goodwill and growth of the game through education, instruction, scholarships, as well as other player-development initiatives. Through the Met PGA’s “Birdies or Better for Juniors” program, Bisconti said Saint Andrew’s Golf Club has helped raise more than $32,000 to support youth golf and military families.

The club has provided ongoing support to other charities, as well, including:

- Folds of Honor

- PGA Hope (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere)

- First Tee of Metropolitan New York

- Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association

- Westchester Golf Association Caddie Scholarship Fund

In 2013, while celebrating its 125th anniversary, Saint Andrew’s Golf Club made donations totaling nearly $200,000, with more than $100,000 going to the First Tee of Metropolitan New York. The organization’s mission is to teach young people – who have traditionally not had access to the game – valuable life skills and core values through golf.

“Our giving really stepped up during our anniversary year, especially since we all recognized we are the club that helped spawn golf in America,” said Club President Vikram Atal. “It has been a holistic effort to promote the game of golf and give back to it, both in dollars as well as time and engagement.

“We are very committed to advancing the game, encouraging new people to become involved, especially women, families, and young people,” he continued. “Plus, our diversity programs are broad, and we pride ourselves that everyone is welcomed and embraced at The Saint Andrew’s Golf Club.”

Atal said the club’s inclusion efforts are working as the number of golf rounds played by women has increased by more than 100 percent over the last five years while young players are represented at the Club as never before. Moreover, guest fees have been eliminated for anyone under 18 years of age and members’ children are encouraged to bring their friends.

“We understand that young people are the future of the game and our Club,” Atal said. “It’s just one more way we can promote golf across the community. We are proud of all the good work we’ve accomplished to date but understand there is much more to do.”

The private club, which offers college and tiered young adult memberships, serves as the home course for the St. John’s University women’s team and Columbia University men’s team, plus two local high school golf programs (Ardsley and Hastings).

For more information about The Saint Andrew’s Golf Club, visit

Bridgestone's New TOUR B Packs Input of Tiger Woods, Bryson DeChambeau into Impressive New Golf Ball Models

Leaders in ‘Contact Science’ unveil REACTIV IQ Cover Technology

(COVINGTON, Ga.) — Bridgestone Golf, the #1 Ball-Fitter in Golf, introduced today its next-level 2022 TOUR B golf ball series, featuring the most advanced iteration of Contact Science to date. Designed to deliver unparalleled distance and greenside control, the new TOUR B golf balls feature the new REACTIV iQ cover. The 2022 TOUR B family comes in 4 distinct models, TOUR B RX and TOUR B RXS (for swings under 105 mph), and TOUR B X and TOUR B XS (for swings over 105 mph).  

The new REACTIV iQ cover utilizes impact modifiers and builds on a technology under development for years, which was inspired by Bridgestone staffer Tiger Woods. REACTIV iQ is a smart cover technology that reacts to the force of impact for the needs of each club and shot, solving the trade-off of spin vs. distance. Off the tee it rebounds quickly, delivering explosive velocity and increased distance. Around the green the ball stays on the face longer providing more spin and soft feel. Optimizing the formula of REACTIV iQ, the impact modifier recipe has been maximized for each ball, to deliver customized performance for all four TOUR B’s. 

“When you combine 900 polymers engineers and layer in feedback from Tiger and Bryson, it’s a recipe for innovation,” said Elliot Mellow, Bridgestone’s Golf Ball Marketing Manager. “These guys are hands on with R&D which really helps push our designs to the next level. Our R&D focus the last few years has been the study of contact science, optimizing the moment of impact for the needs of each shot. With REACTIV iQ, we have made great lengths to do just that.” 

The input from both Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau contributed to technology that is used on all four TOUR B models. Tiger, who has been playing a Bridgestone golf ball for over 20 years, prefers the XS for its feel and control around the greens.

“I have been with Bridgestone a long time,” said Tiger, “But these last few years I have had a more active role in R&D. With the Bridgestone team, we have been able to perfect the recipe for the cover which has yielded REACTIV iQ, which is an amazing engineering feat. For my game, the new TOUR B is more consistently in my window off the tee while also giving me more feel around the green.” 

Bryson, who plays the TOUR B X because of its ball speed, challenged Bridgestone’s engineers to push the performance limits once again as they have done so many times before.   

“The reason I am with Bridgestone is we share the drive to always innovate and look for ways to improve,” said Bryson. “In fact, I really like being part of their R&D team. Over the last couple years, we have optimized the recipe of impact modifiers in the cover to develop the new REACTIV iQ material. Its constant innovation that is allowing me to increase ball speed off the tee while also increasing control and consistency.”  

Of course, REACTIV IQ doesn’t just optimize the performance of models aimed at players with swing speeds over 105 mph, but also maximizes the combination of spin and distance for those at 105 mph or below. For example, Lexi Thompson fits into the TOUR B RX, and Fred Couples will game the new TOUR B RXS. The fact that Bryson, Tiger, Lexi, and Fred, as well as a wide variety of recreational players, can all find a TOUR B model that fits their game validates the depth of Bridgestone’s new lineup.  

“Over the last couple of years, the ball category has seen tremendous growth,” said Dan Murphy, President and CEO of Bridgestone Golf. “And we are excited that our market share has outpaced the surging market. The reason for that is we are part of the #1 rubber company in the world and we leverage Bridgestone engineering and technology in a way that no-one else can. Simply put we make the most advanced and highest quality golf balls on earth.”

The Bridgestone TOUR B family of balls will hit retail in February, 2022, and feature a street price of $49.99 per dozen. For help selecting which TOUR B model is the right ball for them, consumers should try Bridgestone’s V-FIT for a free video ball-fitting consultation. Or visit to find more information on OTTO, Bridgestone’s new Autonomous Ball Fitting Cart, or to use Bridgestone’s online golf ball selection tool. 

Srixon Announces the New Q-STAR TOUR

— SRIXON, a global leader in golf ball technology and innovation, introduces the new Q-STAR TOUR golf ball. Now in its fourth generation, the Srixon Q-STAR TOUR officially launches in North America today. 

The new Q-STAR TOUR delivers the softest golf ball with tour-level performance from Srixon. The Q-STAR TOUR is calibrated to fit moderate swing speed players that seek the distance and spin of a tour-caliber ball. 

“The new and improved Q-STAR TOUR continues to deliver tour-caliber performance with a softer feel compared to our other tour-level offerings,” said Brian Schielke, General Manager at Srixon. “This ball provides the distance all golfers need with the greenside spin and control to attack the toughest of pins.” 

Tour performance starts around the greens and the fourth generation Q-STAR TOUR delivers with an ultra-thin, premium urethane cover that’s coated in Slide Ring Material (SeRM). Q-STAR TOUR features Srixon’s Spin Skin with SeRM coating that increases friction on every strike. That added friction and bite means more spin and more control when attacking even the toughest of pins.

In fact, during robotic testing commissioned by Srixon, the new Q-STAR TOUR delivered almost 400RPM more spin than a few close competitors.

Meanwhile, the FastLayer Core, with its graduated transition from soft inner core to firm outer edge, behaves like a core with thousands of layers, providing distance and softer feel without compromise. The new Q-STAR TOUR features the softest FastLayer Core with tour-caliber performance from Srixon.

Key Technologies:

FastLayer Core: The FastLayer Core offers distance and soft feel without compromise due to a gradual transition from soft inner core to firm outer edge.

SpinSkin with SeRM: A urethane coating with flexible molecular bonds digs deep into wedge and iron grooves for increased friction on every strike and maximum spin.

New Alignment Aid: A new, longer side stamp helps align those crucial putts.

338 Speed Dimple Pattern: Providing a penetrating ball flight in all conditions, the optimal dimple design increases lift and deduces drag to maximize distance.

Retail Information and Pricing

Price: $34.99

U.S. Retail Launch Date: January 26, 2022

Color Offerings: Pure White, Tour Yellow

Cleveland Golf Unveils Black Satin Finish For RTX Full-Face

(HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.) – Cleveland Golf, an industry leader in wedge design and innovation, is proud to announce the release of the Black Satin finish for the RTX Full-Face.

“The Black Satin finish has been extremely popular with our customers so we wanted to offer that finish with RTX Full-Face,” said Haley Wian, Business Planning Manager at Cleveland Golf. “By reducing glare and providing a sleek look at address, the Black Satin finish delivers maximum performance and short game confidence.”

The foundation of RTX Full-Face is a unique, low-density core that sits at the heart of the wedge. ZipCore makes you better by shifting the center of gravity, while also boosting High-Low MOI for more stability high and low on the wedge face. The result: more impacts on the sweet spot for more consistent spin, distance and feel on every shot.

Furthermore, RTX Full-Face features UltiZip grooves covering every last millimeter of the clubface for optimal spin performance, while a High-Toe profile allows the club to slide under the ball with confidence.

Cleveland Golf makes the short game easier, and with the RTX Full-Face Black Satin finish, golfers can find their preferred finish when choosing the ideal wedge for the toughest short game shots.

Retail Information and Pricing

Pricing: $159.99 (Steel), $169.99 (Graphite)

Lofts: 50° - 64° (excluding 62°)

Grind: C-Shaped

Bridgestone Introduces OTTO, the World's First Autonomous Ball Fitting Cart

Leaders in Golf Ball Fitting Break New Ground with Latest Technology

(COVINGTON, Ga.) — Bridgestone Golf, the #1 Ball-Fitter in Golf, introduced OTTO (Autonomous Ball Fitting Cart), the latest in golf ball fitting technology. Designed to be both engaging and entertaining to use and informative at the same time, OTTO provides yet another easy way for players to find the right Bridgestone golf ball for their game. 

“The genesis of the idea for OTTO was to bridge the gap between entertainment golf and on-course golf,” said Dan Murphy, President and CEO, Bridgestone Golf. “Currently there are over 25 million golfers who participate in non-traditional golf, meaning at off course entertainment venues or on simulators. As the leader in golf ball fitting, we feel a responsibility to make sure players continue to be excited and engaged while also having the ability to choose gear that best suits their game. With OTTO’S innovative design we’ve developed a great way to do it.” 

When it comes to golf ball fitting, Bridgestone has unrivaled qualifications, with over 15 years of experience in the category and over 3 million fittings on record. That experience led to the creation of OTTO, which looks and talks like a hi-tech robot but is as simple to use as a basic launch monitor. Stationed on a driving range, OTTO requires no more than a touch of the screen to get started, indicating your current gamer, and three driver swings to come up with a sound recommendation of which Bridgestone Golf ball is right for you. With each shot, OTTO provides carry and total distance, ball velocity, spin rate, and launch angle. After three shots, OTTO will audibly tell you which ball best fits your game based on your shot data. Players can feel confident with the recommendation as Bridgestone engineers utilized a wealth of ball fitting data to develop the algorithm used by OTTO, which is reliable and accurate every time.

“Bridgestone Golf took the lead in ball fitting many years ago and has consistently focused on developing processes to help all levels of golfer find the right ball for their game,” said Adam Rehberg, Ball Fitting Manager, Bridgestone Golf. “We offer in-person fittings, online fittings, video fittings, and now OTTO, an autonomous fitting cart, which nobody else has even begun to develop. With so many options we feel confident we can fit anyone and do so in a way that is comfortable, convenient, and effective.”

Maybe the best thing about OTTO is that it offers an alternative to one-on-one sessions with a professional fitter or an impersonal fitting on Bridgestone’s website. All of these methods work but for some players an in-person fitting can be uncomfortable and for others an online fitting isn’t in-depth enough. OTTO is perfect for both groups as it’s simple and entertaining to use. 

“We know from extensive experience that players enjoy the game more when they have gear that fits them,” said Elliot Mellow, Golf Ball Marketing Manager at Bridgestone. “The ball is used for every single shot during a round and finding the model that fits your swing is critical. With the addition of OTTO, we feel Bridgestone clearly offers the most comprehensive fitting options in golf.”

OTTO will be available for trial at the PGA Show Demo and Fitting Day on Tuesday, January 25, and will continue to be available at Bridgestone’s strategic events and golf course partners for the remainder of 2022 and beyond. OTTO is free to use and offers the option of emailing fitting results. 

For more information about the new OTTO Autonomous Ball Fitting Cart, locations where it can be found, or Bridgestone’s other fitting options including V-FIT, live fittings, or the self-fitting App, visit

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Stewart Golf Introduces Full-Featured Q Series Electric Caddie to U.S. Market

The Q Follow brings power, stability, compact size to America’s growing number of walking golfers 

(Gloucester, U.K.) — Golfers know, and numerous studies confirm, the benefits of walking. From calories burned and steps counted to improved mental focus and better scores, walking is the most beneficial way to experience a golf course. And the number of walking golfers is growing, fueled by the “pandemic bump” in U.S. golf participation.

But walking can have downsides, from the pain (both physical and aggravation) of hoisting and carrying a golf bag to the ups and downs of rolling terrain.

A solution to these pitfalls is Stewart Golf’s Q Follow. Already a market leader in Great Britain where it is built—and where caddies, both two-legged and wheeled, are commonplace—the Q Follow is loaded with impressive features and adheres to the most important rules of caddying: show up, keep up, shut up.

Show Up. It’s easy to bring Q Follow wherever you play. When folded it measures just 23.6 x 21.5 x 12.5 inches, making it the most compact follow caddie available—small enough to fit in the trunk of a Porsche and weighing only 31 pounds. Opening it takes just a few seconds, and the Q Follow can be folded with its battery in place.

Keep Up. The all-new SmartPower battery is available in 18-hole and 36-hole models and has enough juice to conquer even the hilliest courses. (The free smartphone app lets you monitor the charge at any time.) Control the caddie’s pace and movements—left, right, forward, reverse—with the rechargeable handset, or press “Follow” and it will accompany you down the fairway. An automatically retracting stabilizer wheel keeps the Q Follow safe and steady over all terrains.

Shut Up. The dual 190-watt electric motors are almost silent.

Q Follow, sometimes known as an electric trolley by the Brits, boasts many other features, including:

- Microcellular Composite Monocoque Chassis, which means a hard outer skin over a sturdy microscopic honeycomb core, making it lighter and stronger than most other caddies—and gives each unit a unique surface finish

- Silicone “Jaws” and strap, plus the anti-twist “key” at the base, hold the golf bag securely in place. Works with cart and staff golf bags of all sizes.

- Soft-Touch handle is designed for maximum grip and comfort when you want to steer the caddie yourself. Handle includes a clip for the handset

- Integrated carry handle allows lifting Q Follow with one hand

- Integrated scorecard and pencil holder with magnetic closure

The handle is designed to allow you to attach various accessories such as golf ball holder, insulated drinks holder and umbrella holder.

The Q Follow electric caddies start at $2,499. Other models produced by Stewart Golf include the Q Remote, X Series, and R Series (push carts).

For more information, visit

BATCADDY Introduces New Custom Color Offering, Bringing Self Expression to Walking Golf

With over 2000 colors, BATCADDY is elevating the walking golf experience

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) – BATCADDY, a leader in electric push cart technology, and advocate of walking golf for over 15 years, is excited to announce its custom color program. Scheduled to launch in early January, BATCADDY’s custom color program will allow golfers to customize their electric push carts with various paint finish options. BATCADDY will also be exhibiting at this year’s PGA Show at booth 2909 where these new custom offerings will be on show.

Ranging from the X4 to X8 Series of electric push carts, golfers are able choose from over 2000 colors to personalize their walking golf experience. “Golf is a very personal sport. Every hole is approached with the level of individual creativity, so we wanted to bring that out in our product,” says BATCADDY Director of Marketing and Distribution, Paul Guzman.

With the ability to select paint finishes for the frames and wheels, BATCADDY can match your favorite professional team or college to a tee! Aligned with BATCADDY’s commitment to quality and performance, each customized electric push cart receives six hand painted coats to ensure an automotive level finish. And if your color isn’t found on the color pallet, don’t worry, they’ll match it! 

To order your limited edition custom BATCADDY electric push cart, go to: As each caddy is hand crafted to order, production time is 2-4 weeks, but well worth the wait. Quantities are limited and Pricing ranges from $1445 to $2300 depending on your model and paint finish selection.

More information:

TripAdvisor Community Votes Branson (Mo.) No. 3 in ‘Top Trending U.S. Destinations’ Category

Lakes, Golf Courses, Ozark Mountains, Family Attractions, Live Entertainment Theaters Fuel Popularity

(Branson, Missouri) – For the 11th year in a row, the TripAdvisor community has voted #ExploreBranson in the top 20 US destinations, this year No. 3 in the "Top Trending U.S. Destinations" category.

That Branson is packed with visitor delights – many new and unique – aligns with what travelers want.

"As the world returns to travel, priorities are changing, and people want more memorable experiences on their trips. Three-quarters (75%) of Americans say that it's important they 'see new places' when thinking about their future travel plans," said TripAdvisor’s Steven Paganelli. 

“Branson adds new activities and family fun every year, providing a virtually endless list of interesting experiences,” said Lynn Berry, Explore Branson Director of Communications. “We’ve been entertaining guests for decades, yet the number of visitors has been increasing annually, this is largely attributable to the fun and new things to see and do.” 

Some of Branson’s most popular offerings are dozens of live entertainment theatres, iconic Silver Dollar City theme park, Ozark Mountains’ majesty, three pristine lakes, award-winning museums, shopping venues, scores of restaurants of every kind, and some of the best golf courses in the country. 

Regarding golf, Branson is home to 10 courses including the recently awarded “Best New Public Course in America” by Golf Digest. Designed by Tiger Woods, Payne’s Valley is a fun and geologically astounding course, largely due to its bonus 19th hole – “The Big Rock.” The par-3 island green is surrounded by water on all sides at the surface level and towering limestone cliffs with waterfalls cascading down them. An amenity of Big Cedar Lodge, build by Bass Pro Shops Founder Johnny Morris, it’s no wonder the amazing natural elements steal the show here. 

Five of Missouri’s top 10 rated courses – including the top three – are in the Branson golf destination. And three of those are ranked among the top 100 nationally.

While golf is thriving in Branson, it is made more appealing thanks to the destination’s plethora of complementary other attractions.  Three superb lakes offer boating and water sports. Astounding museums – Titanic Branson and Ancient Ozarks Natural History – showcase displays not found anywhere else. Hundreds of restaurants and lodging establishments beckon, along with a variety of live entertainment shows and outdoor adventures (zip lines, world-class fishing).

For more information about Branson visit

For more about Branson Golf, visit or