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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Scenic Tour Of Ryder Cup's Celtic Manor 2010 Course

Water is in play on 14 holes on the 2010 Course.

2010 Course 3rd Hole - 189 yards - par 3 - All carry with a deep depression in back to punish long shots.

2010 Course 5th Hole - 457 yards - par 4 - A left-to-right dogleg that requires 300 yards to carry to bunkers on the right.

2010 Course Hole 6 - 452 yards - par 4 - Water and sand threaten wayward shots the entire length of the hole

2010 Course Hole 12 - 458 yards - par 4 - A small green reachable only after crossing water twice

2010 Course Hole 14 - 413 yards - par 4 - A short hole that dares long hitters to challenge the water.

2010 Course Hole 15 - 377 yards - par 4 - The green is driveable with a 270 yard shot threaded through the trees.

Wind in the Usk River Valley will be a factor in the Ryder Cup matches, too.


Dave Donelson, author of The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Advertising

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Visit To Ryder Cup Land - Part 3 of 3

No golf trip to Wales or anywhere else in the UK would be complete without at least a sampling of links courses, which to me represent the heart and soul of the game. Royal Porthcawl is as good as links golf gets. How good? Tiger Woods and the rest of the American team went down in defeat there in the 1995 Walker Cup matches. Maybe they were distracted by the views of the sea which you get on every single hole, or the knee-deep rough, or the persistent wind that is as important to the success of every shot as your stance, grip, and swing. Royal Porthcawl has hole after excellent hole, with the 466-yard 15th and 430-yard 16th (both par fours) standing out as prime examples of where sand, grass, elevation, and wind come into play. Both require long tee shots downhill to landing areas constricted by impossible cross bunkers. The second shots are blind and uphill to small greens wearing pot bunker necklaces. One hole plays downwind, the other back into it. These are just a few of the reasons Golf Magazine added Royal Porthcawl to its list of Top 100 Course in the World.

The place to stay when tackling Royal Porthcawl is the Great House at Laleston, which was originally given to the Earl of Leicester by Elizabeth I to use as a hunting lodge (although he’s rumored to have frequently cavorted there with the neighborhood milk maids as well). The restored inn is about fifteen minutes away from the golf course, but the food alone is worth the drive. My fillet (sic) of Welsh beef was fork-tender and perfectly charred with a red center, and the grilled mushrooms and tomatoes were a fabulous touch.

As much as I admired the Twenty Ten Course and enjoyed the struggle to break par at Royal Porthcawl (I wasn’t even close), my favorite round came at Tenby Golf Club, the oldest organized golf club in Wales. Today’s Tenby is a fascinating seaside course full of quirky challenges like the fourth hole, a 436-yard tester where both your drive and second shot must be aimed over striped marker poles because the landing areas are completely hidden. If either ball is stuck off-line, hit a provisional—Tenby’s fairways are the narrowest I’ve ever seen, measuring twenty yards or less in most places (less than the usual U.S. Open width!) and the rough hasn’t been cut since about 1875, when official records show the Tenby town court proceedings were adjourned so the mayor and magistrates could get in a round before returning to the affairs of state.

Not far from Tenby is St. Brides Hotel and Spa, sited on a hillside high above the beach at Carmarthen Bay in Saundersfoot. Even if you are foolish enough to forego a massage after your round, don’t miss the bubbling spa pool overlooking the bay, the sensation chamber where you choose tropical rain, cold mist, or gush showers, the sauna, or the two steam rooms—one aromatic, one with salt water. The Cliff Restaurant was exceptional, too. I went for Whole Black Bream with Garlic Butter and Spinach, one of many dishes prepared almost exclusively with fresh local ingredients. For some fun after dark, take a short walk to the many raucous pubs lining the beach below the hotel.

One of the best parts about a golf trip to Wales is that getting there is easy. We flew into Bristol on a direct flight from Newark and were registering at Celtic Manor less than an hour after our plane landed. Alternatively, Cardiff has an international airport, but is also only a couple of hours by train from London’s Heathrow. If you need a jet-lag break before golf or a place to decompress even further before heading home, try St. David’s Hotel and Spa in Cardiff. Sweeping views of the docks and the Bristol Channel as well as easy access to the revived waterfront shopping and dining district are just a couple of the luxuries in the ten-year-old high-rise masterpiece.

Dave Donelson, author of The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Advertising

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Visit To Ryder Cup Land - Part 2 of 3

There is more to golf at Celtic Manor than just the Twenty Ten Course. The Robert Trent Jones, Jr.-designed Roman Road Course has enough elevation change and highly contoured greens to challenge the best players. At 6,515 yards, it’s long enough, too. The Montgomery Course is a 6,371-yard par 69 layout that features punitive pot bunkers and a few other delights added by designer Colin Montgomery, who happens to be the captain of the European Ryder Cup team this year.

Dining at Celtic Manor is as adventuresome as the golf. The top spot is The Crown, where the prix fixe menu features seared scallops, curried sweetbreads, and cauliflower panna cotta among the many options and amuse bouches are served before every course. For less formal dinners, the Olive Tree has a sumptuous buffet of contemporary European cuisine each evening and the Rafters in the Twenty Ten Clubhouse presents dishes based on local Welsh ingredients. The Lodge Brasserie overlooks the 18th green on the Roman Road Course and the Patio at the Manor House has a relaxed setting and traditional Italian fare.

You have a wide range of places for drinks, too, led by Merlins Bar in the Resort Hotel with its comfortable sofas, snooker table, and terrace overlooking the rooftop gardens. That’s the place for afternoon tea, too, if you prefer something a little more civilized for your after-round libation. The Manor House has the Cellar Bar, a plasma-screen-filled sports bar, as well as the Lounge Bar with its historic theme d├ęcor.

Need to un-kink after your round? Head for the Forum Health Club in the Resort Hotel with its 34-station gym, 20-meter pool, whirlpool, saunas, steam rooms, and luxurious marble changing rooms. For the ultimate in un-kinking (or a place of refuge for the non-golfers in the group), the Forum Spa offers the latest in therapies including massages and facials, hydrotherapy, and manicures and pedicures. For total indulgence, try the Rasul Mud Ritual, a 45-minute exfoliating experience. There’s another full gym and spa in the Lodge, too.

If your game needs a little tune up (or a complete makeover), take advantage of the Celtic Manor Golf Academy. Its staff of teaching professionals gives lessons in state-of-the art swing studios, practice greens, and short play areas, then let you practice what you learned in the 28-bay two-tier driving range.

When you want a break from golf, take advantage of the 1400 acres of parkland surrounding the resort for a hiking or mountain biking adventure. The concierge will also help you schedule a half- or full-day of clay pigeon shooting, salmon fishing in the River Wye or fly fishing on the River Usk. Horseback riding is available, too.

Dave Donelson, author of The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Advertising

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Visit To Ryder Cup Land - Part 1 of 3

Rampant red dragons will join birdies and eagles in golfers’ dreams this year as the Ryder Cup Matches make their debut in Wales, an enchanted land where it is easy to imagine fire-breathing lizards (the country’s symbol) flying down the fairways of some of the finest golf courses in the world. I swear I saw a dragon or two when I played the Twenty Ten Course at Celtic Manor, the site of this fall’s biennial competition between America’s and Europe’s top golfers.

When I hopped across the pond for a look at the course where Tiger Woods and the rest of the American team will defend their title, I discovered an easily-accessible golf paradise any golf traveler should add to their must-play list. Wales has pretty much played fourth fiddle to Scotland, Ireland, and England as a premiere golf destination, but that time is over. Golf in Wales is affordable, the clubs are friendly and accommodating, the courses are challenging, varied, and seldom crowded. There are some fascinating places to stay and the food was fabulous. What more could you want from a golf destination?

But if you’re going, hurry before the word gets out. The Ryder Cup will bring Wales into the golf world spotlight, which was the reason Sir Terry Matthews built the Twenty Ten Course at his Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, just a few minutes from the capital of Cardiff. The course was designed expressly to host the event and promises to provide a stern test for the teams and great vistas for the spectators. The Usk River valley shapes the experience. It serves as a wind tunnel for the sea breezes sweeping up the Bristol Channel and brings water into play on nine of the eighteen holes. Add fairways without a single level lie, rough so thick and high you can’t see your shoes (much less your ball), and you have a world-class golf challenge.

The 2010 Course at Celtic Manor, site of the Ryder Cup

The course has plenty of length, too, measuring 7,493 yards for par 71. The bunkering was designed with today’s big hitters in mind, so no one is going to bomb and gouge their way around the course. Fortunately, multiple tees not only give us hackers a chance to enjoy the track, but also gives the set-up committee options to make several of the par four holes drive-able, although pin-point accuracy and some luck with the wind will be required to take advantage. The sharp right dogleg 377-yard fifteenth hole will be particularly interesting because there is a small gap high in the trees allowing a 270-yard tee-shot straight at the green for the most intrepid players.

The three finishing holes rank with the best championship venues in the world. They all play directly into the prevailing wind and are further complicated by tough bunkers and heart-stopping elevation changes. The16th is a 508-yard par four with a narrow fairway guarded by bunkers on either side. A tee shot even slightly right will end up rolling over a steep embankment. The 17th is an uphill par three measuring 211 yards to a long, narrow green protected by bunkers deep enough to hide a herd of Welsh cattle along the entire front right side.

The finishing hole is a classic risk-and-reward par five. At 613 yards and playing only slightly downhill, it will given even the longest bomber a second shot to think about if he hasn’t closed his match out before he gets there. Even if he carries the bunkers on the left by flying his drive 331 yards, he’ll be left with a downhill lie to a green fronted by a pond that stretches across the entire fairway. The green is elevated, too, with a steep shaved bank that will send any short shot back into the water. My favorite feature of the hole is a big old gnarly oak behind the green that’s probably been there since before the colonies stuck their finger in King George’s eye.

Dave Donelson, author of The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Advertising

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Word To the Wise Golf Marketer

If you're in the golf business and want to reach a significant number of golfers in the New York market, add the 7th Annual Journal News Golf Show to your must-do calendar for 2011. The dates are Saturday and Sunday, March 12 and 13, and it will be held at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY.

This is a new name and new dates for the show, which drew 3500 golfers last year despite horrendous weather. They braved the elements to see exhibits by leading manufacturers, courses, resort destinations, and others. There were also nearly continuous free lessons, demonstrations, and dozens of participatory exhibits. The demo area saw a constant stream of players trying out the latest equipment.

This year's event was moved back a week so it coincides with the opening of the Westchester County Courses. Westchester County Parks, which runs six daily fee courses here, is a sponsor of the show. The show also changed names from Lower Hudson Golf Show to The Journal News Golf Show to better brand the Journal News which has been the major sponsor since 2005.

If you'd like more information on exhibiting in the show, contact John Zanzarella at JAZMC@aol.com.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Friday, September 17, 2010

Westchester Doubles Down On Golf Honors

Westchester County is not only home to more great golf courses than anyplace I know, it's also home to some of the best club pros the game has ever seen. Nothing says that more than the two national awards recently announced by The PGA of America.  John Kennedy, Jr., Director of Golf at Westchester Country Club in Harrison, has been given the 2010 Horton Smith Award, which recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions to PGA education. Nelson Long, Head Professional at Century Country Club in Purchase, received the 2010 Bill Strausbaugh Award in honor of his long-time mentoring of other PGA professionals and his service to the community. Both men will receive their honors at The PGA of America Awards Ceremony, Jan. 27, 2011, in Orlando, FL.

John Kennedy, Jr.

Kennedy, 59 and a native of Fairfield, CT, has spent 20 years at Westchester Country Club. He graduated from Fairfield University in 1972 and turned professional that year. He was elected to PGA membership in 1976, when he was an assistant professional at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Scarborough, N.Y. He is the third member of the Metropolitan PGA Section to be named a recipient of the Horton Smith Award, which honors individuals for outstanding contributions to PGA Education.

In 1980, Kennedy was named PGA director of golf at Cold Spring Country Club in Huntington, N.Y., and served until 1990, before accepting his current position. He is a two-time Metropolitan PGA Merchandiser of the Year award recipient (1983, '91); was the 1997 Section PGA Professional of the Year; the Section 2005 Bill Strausbaugh Award winner; and is a three-time Section Horton Smith Award recipient (1985, '88 and 2009).

Kennedy had a rare link in his work at Westchester to one of the legendary PGA Professionals of all time, Harry "Lighthorse" Cooper, who before his death in 2000 served as an instructor at the club.

A mark of Kennedy's influence on the professional capabilities of his staff is that fifteen of his former assistants have gone on to PGA head professional positions. Among the many education programs he has supported include serving as a consultant to the Bhutan Junior Golf Association, which offers three- and six-month internships for aspiring PGA Professionals to help grow the game in the tiny Himalayan country bordered by India and China.

Introduced to golf through his father, Kennedy first caddied at age 12 at Brooklawn Country Club in Bridgeport, Conn. As a student at Fairfield Prep High School, Kennedy and two close friends practiced and learned the game at Fairchild Wheeler Golf Course, three miles from his home.

Nelson Long

Nelson Long attended Virginia Tech and distinguished his playing career by winning the 1972 Virginia PGA Open as an amateur. He also won the 1973 Virginia State Intercollegiate Championship before turning professional following graduation that year. He is the son of the late PGA Professional, Nelson Long Sr., who spent 40 years at The Homestead's Old Course in Hot Springs, VA.

Long, 59, served his apprenticeship working for his father at The Homestead, and in the spring of 1974 arrived at Century Country Club to serve under PGA Professional Charles Beverage, a two-time Section Horton Smith Award recipient. Following the untimely death of Beverage, Long became the PGA head professional at Century Country Club. He would go on to develop a strong relationship within his club and Section, and earn the nickname, "Uncle Nel," which was fostered by his assistants and former members. He is the second Metropolitan PGA member to receive the national Bill Strausbaugh Award.

Long was the recipient of the Metropolitan PGA 1999 Teacher of the Year Award; 2005 Horton Smith Award; and 2010 Bill Strausbaugh Award.

Long has been an ongoing supporter of the Westchester Caddie Scholarship Fund, the Metropolitan PGA Junior Golf Association, Women-at-Risk and the Columbian Presbyterian Hospital program to aid women with breast cancer. At Century Country Club, he guided the formation of a pro-am fundraiser in 1992 that has spread to multiple area clubs, and has raised millions in research funds to benefit the Dystonia and Parkinson Foundations.

For the past 28 winters, Long has also served as golf director at Tryall Club, while teaming with the Jamaican Tourist Board to aid that nation's tourism efforts. In 1988, Long founded the Tryall Golf School, where he attracted many of America's premier teaching professionals.

Long's tenure at Century Country Club has brought another distinction: He is the only PGA Professional to have mentored three assistants who went on to win PGA Professional National Championships – John Gentile, Darrell Kestner and Ron McDougal. A fourth Century Country Club assistant, Gary Ostrega, was national runner-up in 1984. Two of his current assistants, Frank Bensel and CJ Reeves, are potent competitors today.

I can personally attest to Nelson's prowess as a teacher, too.  He's given me many a lesson about keeping my swing on plane and using an aggressive swing for short trouble shots around the green.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I'm Waiting For My Review Copy

A truly remarkable golf book was released today, but you probably won't find a copy on the discount table at your neighborhood Barnes & Noble. It's “The Golf Links of Scotland,” an ultra-deluxe, hand-tooled leather-bound tome that is the ultimate hole-by-hole tour--at least by price--of the venerable Old Course at St. Andrews as well as a tribute to 18 other top Scottish seaside links. Noted golf photographer and St. Andrews resident Iain Macfarlane Lowe joined forces with golf writer/editor extraordinaire George Peper to produce a limited edition collector’s volume that is now on sale for a mere $4,600. Hurry, though, the price goes up January 1.

Only 150 copies of “The Golf Links of Scotland” will be printed with 145 made available for purchase. In pre-release publicity, it's said, "The artistic blend of Lowe’s exquisite photography with Peper’s elegant and insightful prose transports the reader into an intimate appreciation of the character and nuances of every hole on the Old Course." I haven't received a review copy for some reason, so I can't attest to that, but I'll take their word for it. Novel and informative transparent overlays on aerial shots also provide useful play lines and yardages for all 18 holes and combined with the wisdom of “local knowledge” professional tips serve as a valuable guide to negotiate the course. How well you hit the ball there is up to you.

“The Golf Links of Scotland,” is two books in one. Book One devotes 130 pages to the Old Course while Book Two visits 18 other Scottish coastline gems in the span of 170 pages of descriptive text, playing tips and stunning photography. The highlighted links include: Royal Troon, Royal Dornoch, Carnoustie, Turnberry, Prestwick, Muirfield, Royal Aberdeen, North Berwick and Kingsbarns.

As a further personalized touch to the 145 editions, Lowe has signed and numbered an exclusive, unpublished photograph printed on highest quality fine art paper and bound into each book, making it suitable for removal and framing. “The Golf Links of Scotland” is handsomely presented in a hand-made clamshell case. The oversized book’s leather binding is graced with 23-carat gold leaf inlay that includes four thistles on the cover corners. Lowe, acclaimed as St. Andrews’ “official” golf photographer, spent four years capturing the most majestic shots of the courses represented. Additionally, four spectacular double-gatefolds (50” x 12”) are inserted to give the reader an even closer look at some of these renowned courses.

“The Golf Links of Scotland” costs more than a trip to the Old Course, but it certainly would make an exceptional gift for the historian or avid golf collector. To order your copy, contact Iain Lowe at iain@golflinksofscotland.com or for more information and sample pages visit www.golflinksofscotland.com.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Shennecossett: Golf Elemental

Shennecossett First HoleWhen you strip away all the the folderol, golf nourishes the soul. Perfect emerald green fairways? Sinful! Carts with GPS? Too much information, not enough cardio! Bunkers built with railroad ties? Put those next to the windmill and clown's mouth, please! Give me good, true greens and hard, fast fairways and I'm happy regardless of the score that goes on my card. Add a layout well-designed by Donald Ross and greens fees suitable for a less-than-millionaire, and you have everything necessary to make life worth living. The place where this perfection comes together? Shennecossett Golf Course in Groton, CT. It's a place for golf the way it's meant to be played.

Shenny is a grand old track (the club was founded in 1898) that plays as much like a links course as any you'll find in this country. It also has no frills. You can ride a cart, but that's a waste of fossil fuels since the course is on gently rolling seaside terrain. It's laid out in an old style, too, where most tee boxes are right next to the previous greens. Fairways are hard so you get plenty of roll, but dotted with shaggy bunkers to keep life interesting. Greens have exciting contours and many are accessible to a bump and run, which adds a welcome option to your game. Like any good links course, Shenny also uses the wind off the water to full advantage.

The course even strips away another of golf's non-essentials, yardage markers on every sprinkler head. In fact, all you'll find at Shenny are red, white, and blue markers in the middle of the fairways for 100, 150, and 200 yards. If you can't estimate a distance accurate enough for your game from those, you're either a PGA pro or (more likely) vastly overrating your own abilities.

One of the marks of a great course in my not-so-humble opinion is the variety of holes in the layout. Shennecossett passes that test with flying colors. I used a different club on each of the one-shotters, for example, since the par threes measure 208 (uphill), 175 (level), 125 (uphill), and 195 (downhill). There's a long five par (565) but two reachable ones (490 and 500). About half of the four pars are over 400 yards, the rest under. All told, the course measures 6562 from the blue tees--with enough fescue rough, fairway bunkering, and inconveniently-placed mounds and swales to keep you on your toes.

The real round-wreckers are the Donald Ross greens. I can personally attest that the turtle-backs on the fourth hole (the first par three you face--208 uphill) and fourteenth hole (an otherwise-benign 418-yard par four) will repel anything except a perfect approach. In fact, I managed to putt off the 14th green and pitched back and forth over the fourth an embarrassing number of times.

The finest stretch of holes at Shennecossett are the three by the sea added in the nineties in a land swap with a nearby Pfizer plant. The world may have gotten more Viagra as a result of the deal, but the real gain was by golfers who get to play the 15th, 16th, and 17th holes along the water.

When you walk the links at Shenny, you're treading in the footsteps of the greatest in the game. Francis Ouimet, Bobby Jones, Tommy Armour, Walter Hagen, and Harry Vardon all played matches there. You can read more about them and the rest of the club's very interesting history on the website.

One final note: Shenny may be the best golf value on the East Coast. Weekend, non-resident (the course is owned by the town) greens fees are only $47--and that's the highest number on the rate card. Talk about golf the way it ought to be!

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Need More Golfers? Appeal To Women!

As the golf industry stagnates, a recent research study emphatically says that appealing to women is a prudent path to the economic health and well being of the game. Moreover, the study reveals that the majority of those women surveyed said they would pay a premium price to play their “ultimate” facility.

Women find the game costs too much, takes too long to play and is too difficult, according to “The Right Invitation,” a comprehensive research study to guide the golf industry to meaningfully increase women’s golf participation and satisfaction. The study was funded by the Little Family Foundation and conducted for the National Golf Course Owners Association.
“The golf industry needs customers and the obvious group to pursue is women,” the study noted. “There is a great economic opportunity for the golf industry to attract and keep a large underrepresented and underserved portion of the golfing public.”
The Little Family Foundation focused on women in their study because
“they are underrepresented in the golfing public, have discretionary money to spend and often will make the decisions on how family leisure time is spent.”
Arthur Little and his wife, Jann Leeming, learned first-hand about how to attract women (and families) at Province Lake Golf, the course they owned from 1996 to 2005 in Parsonfield, Maine.

As a result of the study, carried out by Jon Last of New York-based Sports & Leisure Research Group, Little and Leeming will be producing a “how-to” guide for golf facilities to follow if they hope to achieve economic success with women. They've also established a new web site, www.golfwithwomen.com, to educate the golf industry on "best practices" for increasing play and enhancing revenue from women and families.

Current players as well as lapsed players were interviewed for the study. Women were asked to detail their “ultimate” golf facility and experience, and it was determined that they would pay an 8 to 15 percent premium once they found a place matching that description.

But the study also found that there were large gaps in the perceived delivery of benefits between women players and facility operators. Specific examples of how the perceptions of women differed from the golf operators who believe their facility is “women-friendly” include:

• Almost one-third of golf facilities are currently charging higher fees than the $50 women expect to pay even for an “ultimate” facility.
• Most facilities have multiple sets of tees, although those that describe their facilities as “woman-friendly” have no more sets than facilities in general.
• While fewer than one quarter of golf facility customers are women, nearly all facilities consider women important to their financial success and to the overall environment at their facility. Yet only two-thirds of facilities consider themselves as “women-friendly” and only a very few of them provide the features that women want in a golf facility.

In a surprising development, the study found the game’s difficulty did not rank as highly by women as the inability to reach greens in regulation, which is a result of limited tee positioning.

According to the study,
“It is critical to remove the intimidation factor by providing tees at the proper yardages for the full range of swing speeds. Properly designed sets of tees reduce round times and makes the sport much less difficult and more enjoyable.”
The study concluded this could be a make-or-break issue for facilities if they expect women to return. For example, for an average woman golfer with a 65 mph swing speed (140-yard drive) the optimal tee yardage is 4,200 to 4,500 yards, and for women with 75 mph swing speeds (165- to 170-yard drive) the best total yardage is 4,800 to 5,100 yards.

Beyond tee positioning, other key issues uncovered by the study include:

• Courses need to be more flexible in providing play options that address both time and cost, such as nine-hole rates, pay-by-the-hole and low junior fees that are part of a family play plan.
• Fifty percent of women who no longer play said if they would continue with the game if they had steady and enjoyable playing partners.
• Childcare must be provided at a reasonable cost, a fact that has been duly recognized by the ski industry for many years.
• Facilities must select personnel, especially in their pro shops, that are receptive to and completely supportive of the issues that are of greatest importance to women. Staff members who are not true believers, the study says, can and will undermine all of the positive programs that a facility adopts.

The complete 84-page study, as well as summaries, can be found by visiting www.golfwithwomen.com. It makes for interesting reading.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Tennis Added To Golf Classic For Children's Museum

I don't often write about tennis (come to think about it, change that to never), but the Westchester Children's Museum has added a tennis event to it's fourth annual golf fundraiser at Quaker Ridge GC in Scarsdale, NY. Headlining the event will be former tennis world champion Jim Courier, who won four Grand Slam singles titles, two at the French Open and two at the Australian Open, during his career. He reached the finals of all four major championships and captured a total of 23 singles titles and six doubles titles, spending 58 weeks ranked as the World No. 1 in 1992 and 1993. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005.

This may be the first year for the tennis event, but it's the fourth for golf. Money raised will support The Westchester Children’s Museum, now under construction at Rye Playland and slated for a soft opening in 2011. The entire project is privately funded, so support for events like this one on September 20 is crucial to its success.

For more information or to purchase tickets to the Tennis Outing, visit www.discoverwcm.org/events or call (914) 421-5050. For Tickets and sponsorship information about the Golf Outing, call The Sports Alliance at 914-941-3366 or information@thesportsalliance.com.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the