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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

RDC Group Adds Shackamaxon To Roster Of Fine Clubs

The venerable Shackamaxon Golf and Country Club in Scotch Plains, NJ, has been purchased by an affiliate of RDC Golf Group, Inc. (RDC), a leading New Jersey-based golf course ownership and management company. Shackamaxon was founded in 1916 and features a historic A.W. Tillinghast golf course. The championship, par-71 layout boasts one of the most famous holes in the New York-metro area: the ninth-hole island green, one of Tillinghast’s first island green creations.


The club has hosted a number of prestigious events including the 1922, 1937, 1972 and 2002 New Jersey State Golf Association (NJSGA) Open Championship, the 1924 and 1977 NJSGA Amateur Championship, the 1928 Met Open, the 1955 Cavalcade of Golf and the 2010 Women’s Eastern Golf Association Amateur Championship.

The club’s new ownership group combines the golf expertise of RDC Principals Christopher Schiavone and Matthew Galvin with the hospitality experience of Warren Leeds, president of the highly-regarded Whippany, N.J.-based Ome Caterers.

“Shackamaxon is a great private club with a proud history,” said Schiavone. “My partners and I believe that our commitment to high standards, along with the support of a great membership, will ensure Shack’s future as one of New Jersey’s top country clubs.”

Schiavone’s family has been entrenched in New Jersey golf for 46 years, having co-owned Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club in Bedminster since 1965. Schiavone founded RDC in 1993, and shortly thereafter, joined forces with Galvin, who currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Golf Course Owners Association.

The company and its affiliates own and operate the renowned Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township, NJ, and the family-oriented Tuscawilla Country Club in Orlando, FL. RDC also manages the Gil Hanse-designed public Tallgrass Golf Course in Shoreham, NY, and the daily-fee Putnam National Golf Club in Mahopac, NY.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Swing Science At St Andrews

It may be home to the Old Course, but there's nothing ancient about the teaching facilities at St Andrews. A new biomechanics system has been introduced at St Andrews Links Golf Academy and it promises to measure the golfer's swing in ways you can't imagine. The system was developed by an Olympic athlete to monitor a golfer's movements using small sensors to detect rotational and translational movement of the segments of the body during the swing.

The Advanced Motion Measurement (AMM) System is used by a number of top players on the PGA Tour. The system was developed by Stephen Cheetham and his brother Philip, an Australian gymnast who competed in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. They founded AMM in 2003 to develop motion measurement products which can be used to improve the physical performance of athletes and to reduce the chances of injury.

The data from the swing motion measurement can then be fully analysed using TPI3D analysis software. The team of PGA professionals at the St Andrews Golf Academy, led by director of instruction Steve North, will use the system in their coaching programs to deliver precise swing improvement tips for their clients. It monitors elements such as sway, lift and thrust, pelvis rotation, forward bend and side bend.

“This is an impressive system which will give us a great deal of useful data in terms of analysing clients’ swings and precisely identifying aspects they need to improve,” said Steve. “It captures over 200 different parameters of the swing which will enable us to zero in very quickly on areas of weakness and to monitor improvements in performance. We are focused on delivering the best coaching we can to our clients using instruction techniques tailored to the golfer’s requirements and utilising the most advanced technology available.”

The AMM system is the latest addition to an array of technology used in the Golf Academy including Trackman ball tracking system, SAM PuttLab, K-Vest, SAM BalanceLab, V1 analysis software and online platform. The Golf Academy delivers coaching through its team of four PGA professionals and club fitting services through the Custom Fit Centre.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Paramount Names Steve Scott Head Pro

Steve Scott, who famously battled with Tiger Woods in the 1996 U.S. Amateur, has been named the new head golf professional at Paramount Country Club in New City, NY.

Scott, who played on the PGA Tour, Nationwide Tour, and had two victories on the Canadian Tour, turned professional in 1999. The now 34-year-old also has been the number-one-ranked amateur in the U.S. (1999), member of two Walker Cup teams and the U.S. World Amateur Team, and winner of both the stroke and match-play sections of the Western Amateur (1999). Scott also competed in the 1996 U.S. Open Championship and 1997 Masters.

“I’m very excited to be coming to Paramount,” Scott said, “a club with a great membership, long history, and outstanding reputation. The course is a hidden gem, one of the best layouts in the Metropolitan Area. It’s a shame more people don’t know more about it, but I certainly hope to help change that.”

For the past three years, Scott was head golf professional at The Ridge at Back Brook in Ringoes, NJ. A three-time All American at University of Florida, course commentator for Golf Channel and teacher at the Golf Digest Instructional Schools, Scott also was assistant golf professional at Canoe Brook Country Club (Summit, NJ), Jupiter Hills Club (Tequesta, Florida), and Hidden Creek Golf Club (Egg Harbor Township, NJ).

Paramount Country Club, founded in 1920, is a private club located on 217 acres of rolling hills high above the Hudson River in Rockland County, NY. The course was originally designed by Golden Age architect A.W. Tillinghast and is currently being renovated by Jim Urbina. When completed, the course will have many of its original strategic elements restored. It also will boast the one-of-a-kind “Reef Hole,” an especially challenging par-3 design that Tillinghast invented and used on some other courses, but exists today only at Paramount.

“I’ve been privileged to work at some of the finest clubs in the country,” said Scott. “I think I have an understanding of great architecture and there is no doubt in my mind that Paramount is right up there with the best of them. When Jim Urbina completes his restoration of Paramount many people will be amazed at what has been covered up for all these years. This is a wonderful opportunity and I can’t wait to get started.”

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Check Golf Weather at Golfweather.com

Not sure whether to pack your rain gear? Check out Golfweather.com, an online weather forecast service for golf courses and golf destinations that now provides up-to-the-minute weather conditions at over 16,000 golf courses throughout the U.S. The brainchild of South African entrepreneur Moshe Adir, Golfweather.com offers real-time seven-day forecasts that include temperature, wind speed and direction, comfort level and probability of rain. And it's free!

“We gather raw weather data from renowned meteorological organizations and use my own forecast algorithms and weather models to provide longitude and latitude location-based forecasts for each golf club in the U.S. and around the world, which results in an incredibly accurate picture of what the weather is going to be like there on any given day,” says Adir, a three-handicap golfer. “Our detailed forecast is broken down into three hourly segments for 5a.m., 8a.m., 11a.m., 2p.m., 5p.m. and 8p.m. to give the golfer an understanding of when best to tee off." When I checked the site, times were listed according to a 24-hour clock, so be ready to do a little math.

It’s not only golfers who depend on the weather accuracy of Golfweather.com. Golf course superintendents are now tapping the online source when setting up their courses for the day and deciding on pin positions and tees according to wind directions and strengths.

Golfweather.com was founded in 2009 in South Africa, and by 2010 grew to include Canada, Australia, South Africa, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The free online tool now pinpoints weather at more than 26,000 courses worldwide. Golfweather.com has already released its app service for the iPhone and soon for Android phones.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Better Chance To Play The Old Course

Here's some welcome news from St Andrews. Effective next year, the ballot for tee times on the world famous Old Course will be drawn two days ahead effective in January 2012. The ballot has been drawn one day ahead for many years but St Andrews Links Trust, which manages the seven public courses in the town, is making the change to help players plan their golf more effectively.

On Saturday, January 7, 2012, the ballot will be drawn for Monday, January 9 and will continue to be drawn two days ahead from then onwards.

The 48 hour ballot will dovetail with the one-day ahead booking system on the Castle, Jubilee, Eden and Strathtyrum courses and will enable golfers who have been unsuccessful in the ballot to book an alternative course for the day they want to play. The earlier draw will make it easier for visiting golfers to plan accommodation and travel arrangements and will encourage them to stay longer in St Andrews and play more golf in and around the town.

Euan Loudon, Chief Executive of St Andrews Links Trust, said, “The ballot is designed to ensure that golfers who haven’t been able to book in advance still have a chance to play the Old Course. It has been drawn one day ahead for many years but we conducted an extensive consultation exercise with a range of different stakeholders and the feedback was that people felt drawing it two days ahead would make it much easier for people to plan their golf. We believe the change will help to improve the experience of playing in St Andrews and to ensure that people have more opportunity to book golf on the other courses.”

To enter the ballot requires at least two golfers and they will have to enter their names, home clubs and handicaps by 2pm. The ballot will take place every day of the week with the exception of Friday as there is no play on the Old Course on Sundays. The entries can be made by phone on 01334 466666 or in person at any of the three clubhouses at the Links.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Great Golf Art On Line

Collectors and admirers of the finest golf art have a new online resource, St. Andrews Golf Art, where they can find work from highly regarded contemporary artists who have memorialized the game’s legends, historic courses and iconic competitive moments on canvas, in sculptures, illustrations or other media.

Renowned international artists were selected for the online launch of St. Andrews Golf Art, including Walt Spitzmiller, Joe Austen, Adriano Manocchia and Simon Russell. Their sought-after work is exhibited in museums, galleries and clubhouses, as well as held in private and corporate collections around the world. Each artist has a distinctive style that showcases aspects and interpretations of the game’s rich heritage and vital spirit.

Walt Spitzmiller

Walt is one of the world’s foremost sporting artists and his work is widely held by private and corporate collectors, including many golf legends such as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson as well as the PGA TOUR. For many years, Walt’s art regularly illustrated stories in Sports Illustrated and GOLF Magazine, and he was the chief contributing artist to Senior Golfer Magazine.

Joe Austen

Joe is one of the world’s foremost painters of sports portraits. His oil paintings are exhibited in clubhouses and hotels in the United States, Japan and Europe and in prestigious private and corporate collections throughout the world. The Austen Gallery in the Macdonald Rusacks Hotel in St. Andrews, Scotland houses many of Joe’s impressive works, including the ambitious “World of Golf” (16’ x 10’) and the mesmerizing multiple swing action sequence portrait of Jack Nicklaus.

Adriano Manocchia

Adriano began his career as a photojournalist and traveled the world covering news events. In 1984, he started painting and quickly received the attention of collectors and art critics worldwide. Many of his early works concentrated on landscapes and the great outdoors. In 1992, Adriano was introduced to golf when the USGA commissioned him to paint a series of oils of famous courses. The PGA TOUR recently commissioned Adriano to create a major painting of the Tour’s new clubhouse at Sawgrass, with the 18th hole in the foreground, and the work is on display in the clubhouse’s Champions Room.

Simon Russell

Simon Russell is the pseudonym of a hyper-realist artist from the former Soviet Republic and is now resident in one of the new states surrounding Russia. He has a very fine eye for detail, having honed his talent in the etching of photography for gravestones. His depiction of golfers such as Seve Ballesteros, Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Greg Norman, Payne Stewart, Colin Montgomerie and others is captivating, as is his interpretation of The Old Course’s famous Swilcan Bridge.

St. Andrews Golf Art also welcomes inquiries for special commissions from golf clubs, corporate clients or individuals who appreciate the appeal of acquiring a significant piece(s) of art from one of the world’s foremost golf artists. This could include incorporating a series of relevant pieces for a themed area, room or corridor of a clubhouse or private residence. For further information, contact Alasdair Busby at www.standrewsgolfart.com or by telephone 0044 (0)7757 358918.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bensel Notches Back-To-Back Wins At PGA Assistant Championship


Century Country Club's Frank Bensel laid down a scorching final round six-under-par 66 to grab the trophy for the 2011 Callaway Golf PGA Assistant Championship this last weekend. Bensel's come-from-behind win also made him only the second player to hoist the trophy two years in a row. The Purchase, NY, assistant pro also won the tournament in 2010.

At the beginning of the final round, Bensel was eight big strokes off the pace in a tie for 24th. Then he poured it on in a round that saw an eagle and five birdies to post a 283 total, a stroke ahead of a group of six players that included Aaron Clark of Springfield, MO, Scott Berliner of Albany, NY, Jamie Broce of Clayton, IN, Tyler Hitchcock of Orlando, FL, Ryan Sikora of Greensburg, PA, and Richard Terga of Palm Beach Gardens, FL. The tournament was played at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, FL.

Bensel's win earned him a coveted spot in the 45th PGA Professional National Championship at Bayonet and Black Horse in Seaside, CA, next June, and a $9,000 first-place check. It makes him the fourth player in Championship history to win more than one title. He joins Darrell Kestner (1982, '87), Jim Schuman (1996, '97) and Kyle Flinton (2002, '03, '05) in the small group with multiple titles.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Miracle On Breeze Hill

One of the more unusual--and entertaining--golf books I've read recently is Miracle On Breeze Hill: The Making of Atlantic Golf Club by Lowell Schulman, the man who created this great golf course on Long Island. What makes it unusual is that much of the narrative deals with the business side of building the club from scratch. This may sound like a dry subject of interest only to bean counters, but Schulman brings it to life with a chatty, effervescent style that adds a lot of human interest to the topic.

I've had the pleasure to play the golf course, too, which makes the story even more fascinating. Atlantic is a spectacular track that ranks right up there with its neighbors in the Hamptons, The National Golf Links, Shinnecock, and Maidstone. Schulman found the property, envisioned the course it could become, and hired Rees Jones to make it a reality. The story of how they turned farmland into a fine links-style golf course makes a fascinating read for any golfer with more than a passing interest in the sport.

In addition to telling his side of the story, Schulman enlisted the other major players in the tale to give their accounts. Rees Jones, greenkeeper Bob Ranum, and general manager James J. Glover all added insights. I was especially fascinated by Tom Julius, who shepherded the project through a Byzantine approvals process that could easily have brought it to a halt. The golf world is a better place for their efforts and the world's library of golf books is better for Lowell Schulman having added this volume to it.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Met Golf Writers Welcome New President

Ralph Wimbish, Late Night Sports Editor of the New York Post and my partner in many golf adventures, has been elected president of the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association. He succeeds Ron Sirak of Golf World, who served for the past three years.

Bruce Beck of WNBC TV-4 and Peter Morrice of Golf Digest were re-elected vice presidents.

Wimbish, who has worked for The Post since 1988, previously worked at newspapers in St. Petersburg, Fla., Westchester Rockland, N.Y., Pontiac, Mich., Pittsburgh, Rome (Italy) and Middletown, N.Y.

He joined the MGWA Board of Directors in 2006 and became a vice president in 2008. A native of St. Petersburg, FL, and a graduate of the University of South Florida, he lives with his wife, Grace, in Mount Vernon, NY.

Re-elected to the MGWA Board: Sirak; Dave Anderson, New York Times; Daniel Berger, DMB Media Network; Martin Davis, The American Golfer; Damon Hack, Sports Illustrated; Ed Ingles, WRHU-FM; Pete Kowalski, U.S. Golf Assn.; Andy Lavine, Trump National Hudson Valley; Ann Liguori, Ann Liguori Productions; Jay Mottola, Met Golf Assn.; Howard Munck, freelance; Pat Norton, On Course Strategies; Bill Pennington, New York Times; Bruce J. Smith, Sporty Bear Productions; Chuck Stogel, freelance; Tony Wimpfheimer, The Met Golfer.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

USGA and R&A Finally Acknowledge Wind Broke The Rules

The USGA and the R&A finally changed the rules of golf to reflect the reality of playing in windy conditions. Following an exhaustive, four-year review of golf’s 34 playing Rules, nine principal Rules have been amended to improve clarity and ensure penalties are proportionate. The most significant change that will affect most players is one dealing with a ball that moves after a player addresses it:

Ball Moving After Address (Rule 18-2b). A new exception is added which exonerates the player from penalty if their ball moves after it has been addressed when it is known or virtually certain that they did not cause the ball to move. For example, if it is a gust of wind that moves the ball after it has been addressed, there is no penalty and the ball is played from its new position.

Hopefully, this will end situations like the one during the final round of this year’s Open Championship when Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy was penalized when his ball was moved on the seventh green by the wind after he had addressed it.

Padraig Harrington, three-time Major winner and R&A-Working for Golf Ambassador, said: “I am delighted with the changes, in particular the ball moving after address. Every time the wind blows I am worried that my ball is going to move and I am worried about grounding my putter, distracting me from trying to hole my putt.

“This change will speed up play, there won’t be as many suspensions and players won’t be getting penalized or disqualified unfairly. It is definitely giving us players a little bit of a break.”

Among the other changes are these:

Ball in Hazard; Prohibited Actions (Rule 13-4). Exception 2 to this Rule is amended to permit a player to smooth sand or soil in a hazard at any time, including before playing from that hazard, provided it is for the sole purpose of caring for the course and Rule 13-2 (improving lie, area of intended stance or swing or line of play) is not breached.

Time of Starting (Rule 6-3a). The rule is amended to provide that the penalty for starting late, but within five minutes of the starting time, is reduced from disqualification to loss of the first hole in match play or two strokes at the first hole in stroke play. Previously this penalty reduction could be introduced as a condition of competition.

Another change is the announcement of publication of a single set of rules with a common cover, something it only took the two groups 60 years to accomplish. Commenting on the revisions to the Rules of Golf, USGA Senior Director of Rules of Golf Thomas Pagel said: “We have produced a unified code of the Rules of Golf for 60 years and although the context has been the same, we often found the perception that there were different Rules in place depending upon where you were to play the game.

“Now the book will not only have the same content, but it will also be presented in a uniform fashion with similar formatting and covers; this will truly be a single code governing the Rules of the game that reflects the strong collaboration between The R&A and USGA.”

There has been a unified code of golf since 1952 but until now The R&A and the USGA have published the same rules in separate editions, thereby giving the impression to some that the rules were different. However, this year sees identical publications with only some spellings and respective logos changing depending whether the edition serves the U.S. and Mexico or the rest of the world.

Golfing legend Arnold Palmer welcomed the announcement of a jointly published edition of the Rules. He said: “What has happened with The R&A and the USGA is wonderful. In the years I have been associated with the game and got to know The R&A and what their efforts are and having lived with the USGA all my life, one of the things I have always thought we should be closer together.”

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Science Says My Putting Sucks

In my endless quest for lower scores (that's why we play this game isn't it?) and not willing to leave well enough alone, I spent some time with club fitters Woody Lashen and Kevin Gregorios from Pete's Golf Shop. The task: measure my putting stroke. The results: my stroke flunked almost all the tests.

Actually, it wasn't all that bad, but I have to say my confidence was pretty shaken after I saw what was really going on when I tried to use what I thought was a pretty effective putting technique. Kevin had me hit five putts--about ten-footers on a pretty straight line--and recorded them using the Science And Motion's PuttLab. The technology uses ultrasound to measure 28 parameters of the stroke.

I won't bore you with all the numbers (mainly because I'm not sure I completely understand some of them), but a few jumped out at me. Here's how my aim looked at setup.


Pretty ugly, huh? I've been told by neutral observers--some of whom snickered as they said it--that I typically address the putt with my shoulders aimed right. I guess I subconsciously compensate by aiming my putter face left, or closed.

Then there's the path my putter follows.


Kind of looks like it follows the direction of my shoulders, doesn't it? If this was all I'd seen, I might have tossed my clubs in the lake and retired to the chess board or some other game where aim doesn't matter. But then Kevin showed me what my putter face looked like at impact.


Now that's encouraging. My putting stroke may look like Jim Furyk's full swing--once described as an octopus trying to change clothes in a phone booth--but it puts the putter face squarely behind the ball at the moment of impact when it counts.

One thing I found that really surprised me, though, was the amount of loft I was adding to the putter with my stroke.


This was a real shocker because I've been working hard lately on doing just the opposite. I read Dave Stockton's book on putting and had just delved into Michael Breed's new book (reviews to come) and thought I was de-lofting the putter with a forward press. Guess not.

Of course, there were loads of other data in the report Kevin sent me after the session. He also measured the swing path, loft and rise of the club, the timing of my swing, and its dynamics (remember that octopus analogy?) as well as where on the putter face the ball made contact. It was all very helpful and I hope to spend more time with the system someday.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Unique View Of Golf

Steve Sunenblick expresses his views of the game of golf in a fascinating way. An award-winning artist with studios in Portland, Maine, and San Miguel, Mexico, Sunenblick is an avid, nine-handicap golfer. Like the writer who writes what he knows, he paints what he knows....in this case, golf.


Sunenblick received his BFA from the Maine College of Art in and his work has been exhibited extensively in Portland, including several gallery exhibits at Le Galeyrie in Falmouth, Maine. In addition, Steve was selected for the 2006 juried Biennial for the Maine Center for Contemporary Art.


Sunenblick's work has also been exhibited and featured at high-profile events at the Desert Golf and Travel Show in Palm Springs, Calif.; at the Harmony Institute Golf Invitational in Harmony, Fla.; at the Essex Country Club in Manchester, Mass., and at the Bellas Artes in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. To learn more about this interesting golfer/artist, visit www.artofgolf.com.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

First Tee Celebrates Ten Great Years


President Bill Clinton and NBC Sports personality Dan Hicks headline The First Tee of Metropolitan New York’s 10th Anniversary Gala, to be held at the American Museum of Natural History on October 5th. The event will celebrate the success the chapter has had over the past 10 years, and honor the Rudin Family, founding partners the MGA Foundation and Met PGA, and other key supporters.

To hear more about the event, click here (mp3 audio). For more information about the Gala contact, Rachel Newman at rnewman@thefirstteemetny.org or call 718-655-9164.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Such A Deal! At Putnam National

Be one of the first 50 people to sign up for a 2012 Season Pass at Putnam National Golf Club, and enjoy unlimited golf for only $299. Putnam National, the New York, daily-fee, 18-hole championship golf course owned by Putnam County and operated by RDC Golf Group, offers a picturesque landscape of rolling hills, expansive fairways and undulating greens. To enjoy Hudson Valley’s great public golf value, call (845) 628-4200.

For $299, the first 50 golfers may play anytime weekdays and after 12 p.m. on weekends and holidays through the 2012 season. The next 50 golfers to sign up will be offered a 2012 Season Pass for only $349. The price will then rise to $399. Cart fees are required each play.

“I have been in this business for 15 years, and I have never seen a deal this good,” says Putnam National Head Golf Professional David Patrone.

I must confess I've been around even longer, and it looks pretty good to me, too.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Only The Shadow Knows How To Kill Your Slice

Is that old banana ball still ruining your life on the course? Check out this drill from Brian Crowell's Slice-Free Golf. In this quick video, Brian shows you how to use your own shadow in a drill to help keep the ball in the short grass.

Slice-Free Golf is the culmination of Brian's years of studying golf swings that go wrong by going right. It's full of swing tips and drills to help you create a sweet, penetrating draw. You can learn more at www.slicefreegolf.com and you can get the book from your favorite bookseller--and ebooks are available too.

I had the pleasure of working with Brian on this book and can honestly say I learned more about my swing during that process than I have in nearly 50 years on the links.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Billy Casper Visits Hampshire CC

Golf legend Billy Casper will entertain members at Hampshire Country Club on Saturday, September 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Casper will participate in a Q&A at a member breakfast, provide swing and putting tips, sign autographs and take photos with Hampshire members. The Masters and two-time U.S. Open champion with 51 PGA TOUR victories has close ties to Westchester County, having won his first major, the 1959 U.S. Open, at Winged Foot.

“Coming to Mamaroneck brings back wonderful memories for me,” says Casper, a member of the PGA and World Golf Hall of Fame. “I look forward to seeing everyone and making new friends; sharing tales and tips with golfers who love this great game is an honor.”

“Billy Casper’s unbelievable career, affection for the game and genial personality will make memorable experiences for our members,” says Steve Till, General Manager of Hampshire.

Overlooking Long Island Sound and only 30 minutes from Manhattan, the 116-acre Hampshire Country Club was organized in 1944. The golf course was designed by Devereux Emmett and built in 1927. It was fully renovated in 2004 by architect Stephen Kay to an 18-hole, 6,326-yard, par-71 layout with small, elevated greens and narrow, tree-lined fairways.

Redesigned in 2006, the expansive, stylish and handsomely-appointed clubhouse is home to both casual and upscale dining options. The restaurant, café, banquet area, outdoor patio and swimming pool feature expansive views of the Sound.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Numbers Show The Power Of Club Fitting

Distance? You want distance? Get yourself to a competent club fitter immediately. I spent a couple of hours on the fitting tee with Steve Kurnit at DD Custom Golf, a new club fitting service operating at Fairview Golf Center in Elmsford, yesterday and saw some numbers that made my jaw drop. How about another 20 yards on my drives and ten more yards with my irons? Those numbers aren't to be sneezed at.

Steve started with a complete analysis of the clubs in my bag today. FYI, my driver is about five years old--and I was fitted for it at the time by a good, experienced club fitter. My irons have been around for three years and were fitted to me by the company rep, so these weren't off-the-rack junk either. I've also not been unhappy with the results I was getting--at least until Steve took me to the top of the mountain and showed me what kinds of shots I could hit.

My current driver distance is about average for a slightly better than mediocre player: according to the monitor, I carry it 226 yards and it runs out to a total distance of 254 yards. On this day, at least, I also hit it only about a yard off line. Then Steve started tinkering (mostly switching shafts) until he put one in my hands that carried 243 yards and produced total distance of 273 yards--with just a slight increase in distance off the center line. Maybe it's not tour length, but it's longer than I ever expected to hit the ball.

Then we went to my six iron. The current club carries 167 yards with a peak height of 27 yards and produces total distance of 185 yards. By the time Steve got done testing different configurations, I was hitting a six iron 175 yards in the air with another 20 yards of run out for total distance of 195 yards. That particular club didn't have quite as much height in the ball flight, though, (peak height of 20 yards) so he made up another one that carried almost as far--172 yards--at a peak height of 26 yards for total distance of 192 yards. All without tinkering with my swing!

Think about these numbers for a minute. If I'm playing a 450-yard par four now, it takes a 250-yard tee shot followed by a hybrid or even fairway wood to reach the green in regulation. If I arm myself with clubs made to Steve's specs, I'll be hitting a seven or eight iron into that green. Gee, you think my scores might go down?

BTW, I interviewed Steve not long after he opened shop in Elmsford. He explained the procedures he follows in an earlier post.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Westchester Women Dominate Tournament Field

In an unprecedented achievement, the Westchester chapter of the EWGA advanced not one, not two, but seven golfers onto the EWGA Championship, the largest women’s amateur golf competition in the world. The chapter is sending more winners to the national championship than any other chapter in the country.
photo courtesy of Westchester EWGA

The seven winners include
First flight
- Sherri Wilson (1st low gross 84), Related Properties Corp.
- Linda Stillwell (1st low net 89), Corcoran Group

Second flight
- Sherry Bruck (1st low gross 94), Harquin Creative Group

Scramble team (net 67)
- Cara Vietri, MasterCard Worldwide
- Cindy Crowley, Olshan Realty Inc.
- Carolina Madero, MasterCard Worldwide
- Melinda Ruffing, Altria

They all qualify to compete in the 16th Annual Championship Finals, a 36-hole event to be held in Palm Desert, California, Oct. 20th and 21st. They will join the qualifying players from the 15 Semi-Final Championship events around the country.

“Of course it’s an exciting year for our chapter to have an unprecedented number of competitors who have succeeded at the northeast regional level, moving on to nationals in Palm Desert, California, said Chapter President and winner, Sherry Bruck. “The important thing to note is that we are all working women who just share a love of golf. EWGA encourages women of all skill levels to play and gives them an opportunity to learn, connect and grow with golf.” More than 200 women who make up the Westchester chapter of EWGA, the only all-inclusive female golf organization in the Hudson Valley.

Each of the Westchester seven are already champions, having competed and won in the Westchester Chapter Championship (one of 120 chapters nationwide) and then having won at the Metro Northeast Region level which is comprised of eight chapters. There are fifteen EWGA regions in the country.

Since its founding in 1991 as the Executive Women’s Golf Association, the EWGA has touched the lives of more than 100,000 women by connecting them to learn, play, and enjoy golf for business and fun. For more information about the association and its membership, visit www.EWGAwestchester.com

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Does Couples Win Mark End Of Pro Golf In Westchester?

You couldn't ask for a more exciting golf tournament than the 2011 Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship at Westchester Country Club. The most popular player in golf, Fred Couples, won it yesterday in a sudden death playoff that went three holes against John Cook.

photo courtesy of the Champions Tour

Couples trailed Cook by one stroke with three holes to play in regulation, but Cook opened the door for Couples at the par-3 16th by making bogey after a poor pitch shot from short of the green. Couples was over the green on the 225-yard hole, but he managed to save par and force a tie by holing a 15-foot putt just after Cook missed his par effort from 25 feet. After both players made routine pars on the final two holes of regulation and the first playoff hole, Couples appeared to have the advantage when he hit the par-5, 18th hole in two. However, he squandered the opportunity to win by three-putting for par from 70 feet. The duo went back to the par-4 17th hole where Cook pulled his wedge shot from the fairway 18 feet left of the hole. Couples, just barely in the right rough, launched a sand wedge shot that stopped just three feet from the cup. After Cook missed his birdie putt, Couples tapped in for the victory.

So what's next for the tournament? Executive Director Steven Schoenfeld told me yesterday before the final round that it's all up in the air for 2012 and beyond. While the event will be definitely be held--it is the Champions Tour's fifth major, after all--the venue is far from decided. The only thing for sure, Schoenfeld said, is that it won't be at Westchester Country Club next year. The PGA Tour would like to keep it in Westchester, and there are plenty of great courses that could host it here, but they need a title sponsor to make that happen. Otherwise, the event will probably move to one of the tour-owned TPC Courses where there's no rent required. This was the final year for Constellation Energy's sponsorship and the prospects of finding another title sponsor in this economy aren't great, although Schoenfeld said there are several meetings with potential sponsors next month.

It would be a shame to see professional golf leave Westchester again. Watching the game on television is nothing like standing fifteen feet away from a player like Corey Pavin while he goes through his pre-shot routine and blasts a bunker shot to three feet from the cup. Or seeing Mark Calcavecchia hurl his driver against a rock outcropping that snagged his off-line tee-shot. You'd never hear the words he used on TV, either. the Golf Channel did a great job of covering the tournament, but it can't match being there in person.

You also can't see the real golf course on the TV screen, no matter how big it is. The hardest hole at Westchester this year was the par-4 12th, which played to a stroke average of 4.421, ranking it as the fourth hardest hole on the 2011 Champions Tour. Only 10 birdies were made there during the four days of competition. You can't begin to see how elevated that green is when you see it on a TV screen, or how awkward the lies can be for the players' approach shots from the steeply falling fairway.

Let's hope the tour can find a sponsor and a keep professional golf in Westchester. I'm sure I'm not the only golfer who'd like to see Freddie defend his title next year.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, hiring, firing, and motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fedex Cup Isn't Only Great Golf Event At Plainfield

While all golf eyes are fixed on The Barclays, the first playoff event in the quest for the FedEx Cup, that's not the only great golf event taking place at Plainfield Country Club. In 2009, Plainfield became the first private golf club in the country to build a First Tee chapter. In a relatively short time, the program has grown to over 250 aspiring young junior golfers who meet at Plainfield's West Nine in Edison, NJ.

In July of this year, The First Tee of Metropolitan New York launched its Path to College Program for First Tee participants at the club. On Tuesday, July 12, Drew University in Madison, NJ, hosted approximately forty 7th, 8th, and 9th graders for an information session and tour around the beautiful Drew campus. The information session focused on educating the participants on what steps they should take to prepare for college, including studying hard to achieve a high GPA and researching colleges to find the right one for each individual.

"One of the great things about being alive today is that we have options, especially when it comes to schools," said Luis Pena, Admissions Counselor at Drew University. "You need to take ownership of your college search. There is a school for every single person."

The participants were eager to gain as much knowledge about the college process as possible and were filled with questions for the counselors. "I learned that a college campus has a lot more to offer than sports," said Quavis Anderson, participant of The First Tee. "I want to find a place where I am comfortable."

Led by Drew University students, the participants went on a tour of the campus and got a taste for what college would be like. For some, this was their first time on a college campus. "I didn't think it would be this nice," said Andrew Gutierrez, participant of The First Tee.

Later in the afternoon, older students of The First Tee attended their first SAT preparation class, taught by Mark Hoyt. Participants were introduced to the math section of the SAT and learned about special techniques to use when solving the tricky SAT math problems. These classes will take place at both the Essex County and Plainfield facilities over the next 12 weeks and will prepare participants for the SAT this October.

The following day, high school students in the Program toured Rutgers University and gained additional information on the acceptance process and setting a proactive timeline for college admission.

For more information about Plainfield CC and the First Tee program there, contact Bill Castner, PGA,
(908) 769-3672 or castnerpga@gmail.com.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, hiring, firing, and motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Met Open At Sleepy Hollow

A powerful field of more than 150 golfers will compete in the Met Life Metropolitan Open Championship at Sleepy Hollow Country Club August 23-25. This will be the first Met Open hosted by the Scarborough, NY, club, a major highlight of Sleepy Hollow's centennial year celebration.

Defending champion Bob Rittberger will face challenges from top players like Rob Labritz, winner of the 2011 NY State Open, Andrew Giuliani, 2009 Met Open champion, Kevin Foley, 2011 New Jersey State Open champion, and Frank Bensel, 2011 Connecticut Open champion and a previous Met Open champion. Former champions of the modern era include Darrell Kestner, George Zahringer III, Bobby Heins, Mike Diffley, Johnson Wagner, and Andrew Svoboda. Wagner, who won the Met Open as an amateur in 2001, won the title again in 2002 for his first victory as a professional.

The Met Open was once considered one of golf's "majors" along with the U.S. Open and Western Open. Winners during golf's golden era include Gene Sarazen, Walter Hagen, Tommy Armour, Byron Nelson, Craig Wood, and Claude Harmon.

photo courtesy of Sleepy Hollow CC

Sleepy Hollow Country Club was founded in 1911 by some of the nation's most prominent business leaders at the pinnacle of America's "Gilded Age" including members of the Vanderbilt and Rockefeller families. Charles Blair Macdonald, assisted by Seth Raynor, designed the course, which was later tweaked by A.W. Tillinghast. More recently, Sleepy Hollow Country Club completed a comprehensive restoration bringing back the original designs and concepts of Macdonald. The result is a wonderful classic yet fully up-to-date course world renowned for its 16th hole, with its dramatic green and unparalleled view of the Hudson Valley.

John Cooney, Jr., President of the Sleepy Hollow Country Club, said: "We are honored to have been selected to host the Met Open during our club's centennial year. Competing golfers will enjoy our unique and challenging course that is in keeping with the Met Open standards and tradition."

Over the decades, Sleepy Hollow Country Club has hosted numerous golf tournaments including the Met Amateur Championships in 1944, 1965 and 1983, the Metropolitan Golf Association's 2003 Ike Championship as well as the 1993 French-American Challenge. From 1986 to 1993, Sleepy Hollow hosted the "Legends of Golf" Senior PGA tour event and in 2002 it played host to the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship.

Mr. Cooney added, "The strong fields and world-class venues that characterize the Met Open have made it one of the nation's most sought-after regional titles. Sleepy Hollow County Club is proud to join the Met Open's distinguished list of host sites."

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, hiring, firing, and motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fans Can Win At CE Senior Players Championship

Tournament officials at the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship today announced a special “Sunday Funday” promotion for the final round of competition on August 21 that will give fans on site the chance to win a 60” TV and $1,000 Dick’s Sporting Goods gift card.

Fans attending the tournament at Westchester Country Club on Sunday, August 21 are encouraged to stop by the “Sunday Funday” contest area, located behind the television tower on the No. 18 green, starting at noon to fill out an entry form. During the trophy presentation at the conclusion of play on Sunday, approximately 6:00 pm local time, the 2011 Senior Players champion will draw the contest winner's name. The winner must be present at the No. 18 green when their name is drawn in order to claim the prize package.

“We're thrilled to bring the ‘Sunday Funday’ promotion to our fans, as it will add another level of excitement to the championship’s final round,” said Steven Schoenfeld, executive tournament director of the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship. “I encourage everyone to come out to Westchester Country Club and watch some of the greatest players of our generation compete in the Champions Tour’s final major championship of the season. When you’re here on Sunday afternoon, be sure to register for your chance at winning this exciting prize package.”

Gates will open for Constellation Energy Senior Player Championship ticket holders at 8:15 am, on Sunday of tournament week. However, spectators entering after 3 p.m. on Sunday will be admitted free of charge.

The 78-player field at the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship includes fan favorites such as Fred Couples, Ben Crenshaw, Hale Irwin, Tom Kite, Tom Lehman, Corey Pavin, Nick Price and Tom Watson.

Daily and weekly tickets to the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship are still available and may be purchased for a reduced price in advance online at www.ceseniorplayers.com or at the gate. Children 18 and under and active, retired and reserve military personnel are admitted to the grounds at no charge.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, hiring, firing, and motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Exciting Golf In Westchester

I'm picking up my press credentials today at Westchester Country Club, site of the 29th annual Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship. I hope I'll see you this week at this stellar event.

The field is filled with major championship winners as well as current members of the World Golf Hall of Fame. The current field lists World Golf Hall of Famers Tom Watson, Hale Irwin, Bernhard Langer, Larry Nelson, Nick Price and Tom Kite. A total of 17 players with PGA TOUR major championships on their resume are scheduled to compete.

A number of new faces, including Tom Lehman, Kenny Perry and Brad Faxon, the Champions Tour’s newest rookie, will make their first appearances in the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship. These three are joined by Tom Pernice, Jr., John Huston, Steve Lowery, Mark Brooks, Steve Pate, Lee Rinker, Jim Gallagher, Jr., and Roger Chapman.

photo courtesy of Westchester CC

Westchester Country Club in Rye, NY will serve as the third different venue in the last five years for the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, but the majority of the field is quite familiar with the West Course, having played there numerous times in their PGA TOUR careers. The course served as the host of the Westchester Classic from 1967-1975, the American Express Westchester Classic from 1976-1978, the Manufacturers Hanover Westchester Classic from 1979-1989, the Buick Classic from 1990-2004, the Barclays Classic and then The Barclays from 2005-2007. Bob Gilder’s four-round total of 19-under 261 at Westchester in 1982 was the tournament record and included one of the most famous shots in golf, a double-eagle two on the 509-yard 18th hole on the third day with a driver and three wood.

In addition to Gilder, four other former winners at Westchester are expected to compete in the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship – Scott Simpson (1984), Bob Tway (1986), Hale Irwin (1990) and David Frost (1992). Irwin finished among the top 10 five times in 17 appearances at Westchester. Tom Watson and Tom Kite never won on the PGA TOUR at Westchester but both had a number of good finishes. Watson was T2 in 1976 and had eight top-10s in 13 appearances. Kite was T2 in 1982 and also had eight top-10s in 23 appearances at Westchester Country Club. Nine players in this year’s field played at Westchester 20 or more times in their PGA TOUR careers – Jay Haas (27), Bob Tway (23), Tom Kite (23), Ben Crenshaw (22), Bob Gilder (22), Loren Roberts (21), Fred Couples (20), Don Pooley (20) and Craig Stadler (20).

photo courtesy of Westchester CC

This event will mark the first time since 1993 that a Champions Tour event has been held in Westchester County. Sleepy Hollow CC in nearby Scarborough was the host for the NYNEX Commemorative event from 1986-1993. Among the winners were Lee Elder, Gene Littler, Bob Charles (twice) and Lee Trevino. Roberto DeVicenzo also won the first U.S. Senior Open in 1980 at Winged Foot GC in Mamaroneck.

photo courtesy of PGA TOUR

In addition to a star-studded field, this event promises some exciting golf. Last year, Mark O’Meara made a par putt of just over three feet on the first extra hole to defeat Michael Allen at the TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm. O’Meara, who narrowly missed winning in regulation when his 30-foot birdie opportunity finished just inches short on the 72nd hole, hit two near-perfect shots in the playoff and then two-putted from 30 feet for the win. Allen got into the playoff by making up a three-stroke deficit over the final five holes thanks to three birdies. However on the first playoff hole, Allen hit his tee shot into the right rough and could do no better than a bogey-5. O’Meara became the 10th player with a Senior Players title as well as at least one major championship to his credit on the PGA TOUR and the first since Craig Stadler in 2003. He was the only player in the field with four consecutive rounds in the 60s at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm.

There's plenty at stake. This year's purse is $2.7 million, with the winner collecting $405,00 as well as 810 points toward the Charles Schwab Cup.

If you can't make it to the club in person (aw come on--it's less than $25 and kids under 18 are free!), you can watch all four rounds on the Golf Channel.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, hiring, firing, and motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Meet Fuzzy Zoeller At Emma's Ale House

One of golf's great personalities--not to mention champion players--will be at Emma's Ale House in White Plains on Wednesday, August 17 at 6:30 PM. Stop by, get acquainted, and try out his new product, Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka.

Fuzzy's professional golf career produced ten PGA TOUR victories, including the 1979 Masters and the 1984 U.S. Open, and thousands of loyal fans who enjoy his fun approach to the game and his chatter with the gallery as he stalks the fairways looking for birdies. Fuzzy's Masters victory remains the only win posted by a Masters rookie, and at the 1984 U.S. Open he jokingly waved his white towel in mock surrender to Greg Norman on the final hole on Sunday after Norman sank a monster putt for par to tie him after 72 holes. Fuzzy went on to win the next day in an 18 hole playoff in record fashion.

Since joining The Champions Tour Fuzzy has notched another major, the 2002 Senior PGA Championship. He'll be in town this week to compete in the CE Senior Player's Championship at Westchester Country Club.

Fuzzy says he spent nearly four years creating a vodka that he felt proud to put his name on. It's distilled five times from corn and grains, then slowly filtered ten times through charcoal. The product was awarded a gold medal and a 94 rating from the Beverage Testing Institute.


While you're swapping golf tales with Fuzzy, don't forget to try out the excellent pub fare at Emma's. I'd have to rank the burger as one of the best anyplace and the fried chicken is almost as good as my Mom's!

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, hiring, firing, and motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Adidas Spikeless Golf Shoes Pass The Test

Two things struck me when I first saw the adiSTREET golf shoes kindly given to me by the folks at Adidas:

1. Do I really want to be seen in white shoes with lime green soles and laces?
2. How will spikeless golf shoes perform on wet turf?

I overcame the first problem by using the thoughtfully-provided optional white laces. I couldn't do anything about the soles, but hey! if anybody wants to waste their day looking at the soles of my feet, I don't want to hear about it.

photo courtesy of Adidas

The traction question was a bigee, of course, but that was answered in short order when I played a round at Leewood Golf Club in Eastchester, NY. It's a great historic track where Babe Ruth once belonged. It was also wet that day, the area having received torrential rains the night before and more showers due to arrive shortly after I finished my round. In other words, prime conditions for slippin' and slidin' on the old turf.

I didn't slip a single time. Not on the tee when I was over-swinging and swaying like crazy. Not even trying to recover from side-hill lies in soaking wet rough (the place where you go when you over-swing and sway during your drive). If these shoes provided a stable foundation under those conditions, they'll be good anywhere.

The adiSTREET shoes use 124 strategically placed traction lugs in varying sizes for traction and grip. They feature full-grain leather uppers which are both lightweight and durable and there's a textured synthetic toe-cap for improved abrasion resistance. The shoes are offered in medium widths, and carry a two-year waterproof warranty. They are available in a choice of six color combinations with an MSRP of $190.

About the only improvement I could recommend would be to build more arch support into the shoe. Many of us older golfers have seen our arches fall at bit over the years (along with our jowls and few other body parts), so we need a little extra lift to go along with the comfortable feel of the spikeless style. I switched out the shoe lining for orthotic lifts, though, and my feet felt great at the end of the round.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, hiring, firing, and motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Trump's Dan Scavino Raises Big Bucks For St. Jude's

Dan Scavino, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Trump National in Briarcliff raised over $110,000 at his 1st Annual Charity Golf Classic to benefit the Eric Trump Foundation and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. He hosted the event at sister club Trump National Hudson Valley with a sold out field.

Donald Trump arrived in grand style at the affair, landing right behind the clubhouse in his new helicopter for the reception. 148 golfers, and 250 for dinner enjoyed the day, which included not only golf but dinner, awards, and a fireworks display to top off the evening.

St. Jude representatives were there, as was Colin, a child from St. Jude whom Scavino met two years ago while visiting the institution with Eric Trump and the foundation board. Colin was two years old at the time and terminally ill with brain cancer. He is now four. All of the money raised at the event will be presented to Eric Trump and the Eric Trump Foundation to benefit St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, hiring, firing, and motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mount Kisco CC Video For Westchester Magazine

I explain my assignment as Exec Editor of Westchester/Hudson Valley Magazines Golf Guide and publisher Ralph Martinelli talks about one of the best holes at Mount Kisco CC.



In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, hiring, firing, and motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Par Three Jewels At Forsgate

One of my pet theories about golf course design is that a variety of par threes distinguish the best courses from the rest. Each hole should require the player to hit his or her one shot from the tee with a different club to handle distance, prevailing winds, and shot shape. If they are pleasing to the eye, so much the better. The Banks Course at Forsgate Country Club in central NJ meets all these criteria and then some.

Charles Henry Banks, aka "Steam Shovel" Banks, created four of the finest par three holes in the game for this course, which opened in 1931. All are guarded by his trademark deep, deep bunkers and have heavily-sculptured contours on the putting surface, but each one presents a different challenge.

The #3 hole, Eden, is named after the 11th hole at St. Andrews, and may be the most difficult of the four. It's 182 yards of full carry over a ravine from the blue tees to a steeply elevated green. Depending on pin position and wind, it can play much, much longer. The massive bunker guarding the right side must be nearly 20 feet below the putting surface. The green itself has a ridge that runs from front to back, effectively cutting the target area in half.

Hole #7 is named after the original Redan, the 15th at North Berwick in Scotland. The green is huge and breaks not only strongly left to right but slopes away from the tee so that club selection and shot placement are crucial.

photo courtesy of Forsgate CC

At 140 yards playing slightly downhill, the #12 hole would seem to be a pushover--but it's not. The hole earned it's name, Horseshoe, from a circular ridge that creates some near-impossible breaking putts for anyone who doesn't hit a precise shot from the tee. The green is also completely surrounded by bunkers. They're not quite as deep as others on the course, but getting up and down is complicated by that infernal circular ridge.

The final par 3 is #17, Biarritz, a 201-yard monster patterned after the original with that name in France. The long, narrow green can have pin positions ranging from about 160 to as much as 240 yards from the tee and the need for distance control is magnified by a Grand Canyon-esque swale that divides the green into three parts.

The Banks Course at Forsgate was the last design on American soil for Banks, who died at the age of 48. The one-shotters on the course combine to form a perfect tribute to the talented earth mover.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, hiring, firing, and motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Women--And Men--Are Playing The Wrong Tees

Women golfers are being asked to play courses that are generally more than 1,000 yards too long for them to reach greens in regulation, according to the “fairness test” devised by Arthur D. Little and Jann E. Leeming.

In a recent post on their blog, Golf With Women, Little asks the following questions:
•How fair is a 5,600-yard course for the average woman?
•What would you think if we told you that a 5,600-yard course would be equivalent to an 8,400-yard course for the average man?
•How about an 11,200-yard course for Matt Kuchar?

If the average woman should play from 5,600 yards, the average LPGA player should be playing a 9,600-yard course and a good male amateur should play a 10,400-yard course, Little contends.

“That’s how the math works if ‘fair’ is defined as having to hit the same clubs to reach greens in regulation from their respective tees,” Little writes. “This concept is what we define as the ‘fairness test.’ Sorry, Dustin Johnson, you are at 12,320 yards based on your average drive of 308 yards.”

According to Little and Leeming, the “average women golfer” hits her tee shot 140 yards. Hence, based on the data they have collected in their research, the length of the course she should play in order to have the opportunity to reach greens in regulation is 4,200 yards. Note that this is 30 times her average drive, which, Little adds, turns out to be a very good rule of thumb for everyone.
He goes on to note that the average male golfer hits a drive of 210 yards, while Kuchar’s average drive of 280 yards is within a few of yards of the PGA Tour average in 2010.

“If the woman is at 4,200 yards, the average male golfer should be playing tees at 6,300 and the average PGA pro should be at 8,400 yards,” he writes. “These yardages seem much more reasonable, even though 8,400 yards is approximately 900 yards longer than the longest courses played on the PGA Tour. No wonder those guys are good!”

A graph that accompanies the blog posting shows that the average woman is asked to play courses that are generally more than 1,000 yards too long for her to meet the “fairness test” of reaching greens in regulation. The yardage for the average male is just about right, observes Little, who adds that better players usually play courses that are close to 1,000 yards shorter than would be indicated by multiplying their average drive by 30.

“The problem is that there are very few 4,200-yard golf courses in the United States, never mind the world,” Little writes. “As a result, most women golfers do not have the choice of a set of tees that gives them a fair chance to hit greens in regulation and thus give them the opportunity to score well.”

Little and Leeming believe the idea of courses with sets of tees that fit players with a wide range of driver swing speeds (from 60 to 110-plus mph) is critical. He writes that courses built (or retrofitted) this way will be more fun for all and much faster to play, and points to Old MacDonald Course at Bandon Dunes as one such shining example.

“We neither realistically believe courses will be built that are long enough to ‘fit’ players with faster than average swing speed, nor do we support such an effort – 7,500 yards is plenty long enough,” he writes.

Little offers this advice for players when choosing their yardage:
•Play a course where the yardage is approximately 30 times your average drive. If a course is longer than this, it will be a lot less enjoyable.
•If you don’t really know how long you hit your average drive (most people significantly overestimate), use two times your average nine-iron yardage. If you are among the great majority (98 percent) of golfers, this will be accurate.
•If your 30 times calculation results in a number shorter than the most forward set of tees at the course you are going to play, Little encourages them to read the “Move On Up” post to see how to deal with this situation.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, hiring, firing, and motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Three More Major Champions Coming To Westchester

A trio of major champions--Mark Calcavecchia, Corey Pavin and Nick Price--have joined the field at the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, to be held August 18-21 at Westchester Country Club.

13-time PGA TOUR winner Calcavecchia captured his most notable victory at the 1989 British Open at Royal Troon where he defeated Wayne Grady and Greg Norman on the fourth playoff hole. The fan favorite has been a member of four U.S. Ryder Cup teams and one Presidents Cup team. Calcavecchia has had six top-10 finishes this year on the Champions Tour, but remains in search of his first victory.

A 15-time winner TOUR, Pavin found success in the form of a major title in New York at the 1995 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills. The California native is a three-time Ryder Cup member and served as captain of the 2010 U.S. squad at Celtic Manor in Wales. Since turning 50 in November of 2009, Pavin has recorded 13 top-10 finishes on the Champions Tour.

“It's nice for us to be able to go back to Westchester again this year,” said Pavin, who made 15 starts at the course when it hosted The Barclays on the PGA TOUR. His best finish was T9 in 1996. Pavin continues, “It's a pretty interesting golf course. It's a course you look at and think you can shoot a pretty good score on and it's just very difficult to do. It's very tricky. The greens are very difficult to putt and hit in to. To me, it's very much of a position golf course. You really need to hit very clean iron shots into the greens from the fairway. The greens have lots of slope and it's hard to make putts there. I think it's tough to score (at Westchester), but everybody always enjoyed playing there."

photo courtesy of Westchester CC

2003 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Price has amassed over 50 professional wins across four decades in his career. One of the TOUR’s most dominant players in the mid-1990s, Price captured three major championships including back-to-back majors at the 1994 British Open and PGA Championship and was named Player of the Year in 1993 and ‘94. A native of South Africa, Price has won four events on the Champions Tour since his debut in 2007, most recently at the Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach, CA this past March.

Players announced thus far include defending champion Mark O’Meara, David Frost, Bob Gilder, Jay Haas, Hale Irwin, Tom Kite, Loren Roberts, Scott Simpson, Bob Tway, Bobby Wadkins, Tom Watson and D.A. Weibring. More player announcements will come as additional commitments are received leading up to the Championship.

For information on the event, visit www.ceseniorplayers.com, or by calling the championship office at 914-481-5900.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, hiring, firing, and motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.