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We've Moved!

Dave Donelson Tee To Green has an exciting new home at
Westchester Magazine.

We're still about all things golf, especially those pertinent to golfers in Westchester and the NY Metro, but now we're in a much bigger space!

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Weird Golf On The Airwaves

Refill your coffee cup and brace yourself for some weird radio this Sunday at 10 AM EDT. http://teetogreenradio.com. If you're not in the Colorado Springs area (where the show airs on KRDO 1240 AM/105.5 FM), you can listen on Sirius Channel 208 and XM 93, on radio stations nationwide on the Sports Byline Broadcast Network, and worldwide in 177 countries on American Forces Radio.

I'll be visiting with Jay Ritchie and Jerry Butenhoff, who undoubtedly have a few weird golf stories of their own.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Airline Golf Baggage Bugaboo Begone!

Freddie Krueger doesn’t cause nearly as many nightmares as an airline baggage handler when it comes to golf travel. Who hasn’t lost sleep wondering if your favorite driver is going to arrive in one piece? Put these fears to rest with the new BagBoy T-700 travel cover. The weather- and tear-resistant 600D polyester travel cover features a top made of 1.6 inches of high density EPE foam and impact resistant PVC that provides maximum club protection while traveling. The travel cover also has an internal compression strap that secures your golf bag inside and two roomy pockets for clothes and shoes outside. A full wrap-around zipper makes packing and unpacking very easy and in-line skate wheels make it easy to drag around.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

Top Ten College Golf Courses

I ran across this list of the Top Ten College Golf Courses and found it quite interesting. You can see the list at www.thebestcolleges.org/the-10-most-impressive-college-golf-courses.

The only course on this list I've played is Yale's, a magnificent example of Charles Blair Macdonald's craftsmanship, but if the others are that caliber, they would make worthwhile additions to anyone's bucket list.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lazy Swan Worth The Catskill Drive

The best news out of Ulster County this year is the opening of nine new holes at the Lazy Swan Golf and Country Club Village in Saugerties, NY. Architect Barry Jordan designed the new holes and tweaked some of the existing ones to create a challenging, scenic layout.

The Lazy Swan plays to par 70 at 6,184 yards. It's a player-friendly layout, but no pushover, with water, elevation changes, and well-contoured greens to keep you on your toes.

The opening three holes are among the most interesting on the course. Number one is a 310-yard dog leg where a smart player will hit a mid-iron 185 yards off the tee rather than try the 230-yards-as-the-crow-flies carry over the pond between the tee and the green. The second hole is a 155-yard one-shotter to a Biarritz green bisected by a deep swale. Complicating your strategy is the fact that the shot is blind from the tee. The third hole, a 485-yard par five, is the signature hole on the course. Be sure to stop to enjoy the views from the tee of Kaaterskill High Peak on the horizon. That's also your aiming point for a long, straight downhill drive to put you into go-for-it range on this birdie-able par five.

The par threes at Lazy Swan meet my personal criteria of excellence: they're each different. In addition to the unique second hole, there are five others ranging from 155 to 203 yards. The fourth is over water, the sixth 203 yards up an intimidating hill, the tenth 197 yards over water, the twelfth has a long deep green, and the sixteenth is a downhill tester with a potato chip green that makes recovery chips and pitches particularly fun.

The toughest hole on the course is the fourteenth, a 437-yard par four. If you remember the reverse camber dog legs at the US Open on the Olympic Club's Lake Course, you'll recognize the dilemma faced on this tee. The hole turns right, but the fairway slopes steeply left, pushing almost every ball into the left rough. The fun's not over yet, though, since your second shot is blind and uphill to a green that's a full 54 yards deep.

The finishing hole is an excellent risk and reward 505-yard par five. A decent drive gives you the opportunity to go for the green, but consider your options before you pull a fairway wood out of the bag. The lake that lines the entire right side of the hole cuts in front of the green, so a mis-hit fade will sleep with the fishes--or the swans, as the case my be.

The Lazy Swan is a bit of a drive from New York, but it's worth the trip. The country club village has good food and drink options, so you can make a great day of it.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Is Spook Rock The Best Muni In Tri-State?

Spook Rock 13th Hole - photo courtesy of Ramapo Parks

Its name notwithstanding, there’s nothing scary about Spook Rock as long as you can shape your shots, manage your distance, and own a putter that never misses. Do all that and you have nothing to fear from this Rockland County course that’s regarded as one of the best layouts in the area—public or private.
“Spook Rock rewards the strategic player,” says Howie Munck, a regular user of the course since its opening in 1970 and former member of the course advisory board. “There are several holes like the first where you can cut the corner of the dogleg but have to be careful not to drive through the fairway. The 538-yard sixth is another thinking player’s hole. Some strong players who might get within reach after the tee shot generally lay up anyway in surrender to the pond fronting the green. Others play the hole with an iron off the tee to avoid the fairway bunkers pinching the fairway in the landing area. The par fives can all be reached in two under the right circumstances from the long tees by a strong (and straight) player. The 11th is the most tempting with the descending fairway in the landing area. Even if one stumbles into the billabong short left of the green, par is still possible with a good up and down.

"The course hosted the first four rounds of the PGA Tour School in 1980 where, in wet but calm conditons, a few 67's were posted. Their most troublesome holes for them were the par 4 third  and par 3 fourth. Patrick Pierson holds the competitive course record of 65, in winning the Rockland County Amateur a few years ago. The event was created by professional Ernie Clayton in 1975 and has been held here annually since then.

The basic layout has changed very little from Frank Duane's original tree-lined plan aside from shortening the back tee on No. 1, putting water into play on No. 3 and some bunkering changes ala Stephen Kay. It remains eminently walkable with moderate uphills on 9 and 17.  The pattern of 4, 5, 4, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 4 on each nine speaks to its evenness in regularly changing challenge. Its strong cadre of regular players are testament to the cliche, 'a course you can play every day.'"
Spook Rock underwent a major renovation in recent years, but it’s been a championship caliber course since its creation in 1969. Over the years it has hosted seven MGA competitions, most recently the MetLife Public Links Championship in 2010. The course is mostly flat, which makes it an easy walk, but the fairways are tree-lined and there are more than fifty bunkers to keep you honest. During the renovation, spearheaded by noted golf architect Stephen Kay, a new irrigation system and driving range were installed, trees were trimmed to improve air circulation and turf conditions, and bunkers were upgraded. New tees stretched the course to 6,806 from the tips and new bunkers and re-designed hazards brought the course into the 21st century. The result of the multi-year project is a golf course that will challenge scratch golfers while giving high handicappers a fun day on the links.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Improve Your Game While Driving?

You definitely shouldn't text while driving, but you might try improving your golf swing! Brian Crowell, head professional at GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford and the author of Slice-Free Golf, now presents golf tips on WFAS Radio, 103.9 FM, every week just in time for your weekend round.

You can hear Brian's words of golf wisdom every Friday afternoon at 5:14 PM and Saturday and Sunday mornings at 7:16 AM. The programs are sponsored by Home Green Advantage, a builder of residential and commercial golf greens.

If you miss a tip on the radio, you can also find them at www.slicefreegolf.com or YouTube under briancrowellpga.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Build Your Swing From The Ground Up

A good golf swing requires flexibility and range of motion, but unless your body has the stability to control all of that movement, your swing will be erratic. And stability starts from the ground up, according to Five Iron Fitness trainer Anthony Renna whose White Plains, NY, studio is devoted solely to golf—and regularly attracts outstanding local pros like Craig Thomas, Mike Diffley, and CJ Reeves, not to mention LPGA Futures Tour pro Nanette Hill.

As with all exercise, warm up first with a few minutes of aerobic activity and don’t force your body to do anything that causes pain. Start slow and build up your performance gradually. Renna suggests holding each position through one deep breath, then repeat three to five times in both directions.

Side Rotation

Lie on your side and draw up the knee of your top leg until it’s even with your belly button. Holding it steady with your lower hand, reach as far up and back as you can with your other arm. Keep your lower back stable, but try to touch your shoulder blade to the ground by turning your around your upper spine.


This position is familiar to every yoga practitioner. Brace your elbows directly beneath your shoulders and hold your neck in a neutral position as you raise your body off the ground. Make a straight line from your ears, through your hips, and to your ankles. You’ll build core strength and teach your spine to be stable.

Quad Rotation

Start on your hands and knees, then place one hand on the back of your head and turn until the elbow on that arm is between your other elbow and knee. Holding your lower back stable, rotate until the elbow points to the sky.

Hip Stretch

Notice how each exercise is raising your body farther from the floor? Kneel on one knee with the other foot flat on the floor in front like you were going to stand up. Holding a club with both hands in front of you, rotate in both directions as far as you can without moving your knee or hips. Be sure to move your chest, too, not just your arms. This is a good exercise to fight a pesky sway in your golf swing.

Seated Rotation

You can do this on a chair if you don’t have an exercise ball. Sit with your knees and feet together and hold a club across your chest with crossed arms. Now tilt forward slightly and rotate your shoulders just like you would in a golf swing. Notice how the club tilts, too? That’s the path it would follow to the ball—as long as your lower body stays stable.

Hip Hinge

Standing in an athletic position with your knees slightly bent and your weight on the balls of your feet, hold a club along your back so that there are just three points of contact—your head, your shoulders, and your butt. Now lean forward as if you were addressing a golf ball. This move helps you eliminate rounded shoulders or a swayed back and helps you maintain a strong, neutral spine. You can’t rotate your swing around a noodle.

Torso Separation

This is the golf swing in miniature done on a stable base and rotating around a stable spine. Assume an athletic address position, only hold the club across your chest and shoulders with crossed arms. Leaning forward slightly as if you were going to take a swing, rotate your shoulders as far as you can in both directions without moving your hips or lower body.

See these exercises (and more) in video at www.fiveironfitness.com/wmgg

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Paramount Coming Back Under Jim Urbina's Deft Touch

It's not quite finished, but the rejuvenation of Paramount Country Club is putting big smiles on the faces of those lucky enough to try out the A.W. Tillinghast gem in New City, NY. Jim Urbina is masterminding the two-year project. When completed, it will be yet another big feather in his cap.

"Urbina's vision for the property is incredible," says Paramount Superintendent Brian Chapin. The architect is not simply restoring the course to Tillinghast's original design; it's more accurate to say he's remodeling it to execute Tilly's philosophy as it applies to today's game. The result is a course designed for golfers who use their brain as well as brawn to play the game.

More than a few holes on the 6,724-yard (from tips) par 70 course will make you stop and think before whaling away with your driver. The 361-yard first hole sets the mental tone for the entire round. A well-traveled road cuts across it about 200 yard off the tee, making driver a less-than-wise choice unless you're absolutely sure you can carry the ball 235 yards dead straight. Plenty of players used to try that shot since the worst that could happen was generally a couple of scuff marks on your ball. Then Urbina restored "Tilly's Sahara," a narrow cross bunker full of sand and surrounded by fescue along the road. No more lucky rolls across the asphalt.

In general, the bunkers and tee boxes have been tweaked throughout the course. The greens were restored to their original size (they tend to shrink over the decades), but the original Tillinghast contours weren't changed much. The greens at Paramount have traditionally been the course's main defense and Urbina wisely kept them slick and curvy.

Paramount's Fifth Hole

A particularly devilish revision was to the 400-yard fifth hole. Urbina moved a dangerous cross bunker directly into the landing area off the tee and added a new bunker on the left side of the fairway, which also happens to be the best place to aim your drive. A safe shot to the right side of the cross bunker can leave you blocked by overhanging trees for your approach, so take careful aim off the tee and consider whether you really want to hit driver here.

The most controversial change was to the seventh hole, which went from a mediocre par five where players were literally required to lay up off the tee to protect traffic on the road to what is now a short, funky, and fun par four. It's now only 307 yards from the tee, making it drive-able if you can draw your ball around the bunkers and fescue guarding the sharply-slanted green. Big-hitting members (and those who think they drive the ball 350 yards) objected to the short hole, however, so a new tee box at 380 yards was under construction when I was there. In my opinion, those who opt to play from there will have made a mediocre choice.

A prime example of how Urbina adapted Tillinghast's design to the modern game is the thirteenth hole, a monster par three even in Tilly's day. When most drives went 180 yards, it was a near-impossible 229 yards from the tips, which made it sort of a par three-and-a-half. To keep up with today's technology, Urbina put in a new tee box that stretches it to 250 yards, still beyond the reach of most players even with a driver.

The pride and joy of the new Paramount is the eighteenth hole, a 179-yard par three. Before Urbina gave it his special treatement, it was an anti-climactic finish to your round. Now, it's a shot-maker's delight that will reward the player who makes the right choices and punish the ones who over-reach. The new eighteenth is a "reef hole," a Tillinghast concept that Urbina refined to perfection. The player has three options created by bunkers, ridges, and rough that require absolute commitment to the shot strategy. It can be played short and right, leaving a pitch over bunkers in front of the green, long and left where you'll have a moderate (depending on pin position) chip, or right at the flag--as long as you can float the ball 180 yards and stop it on a dime.

Paramount Country Club (formerly Dellwood) got new owners a couple of years ago. They're sinking money into all facets of the beautiful, classic property including significant upgrades to everything from the banquet facility to the tennis courts. They are to be most heartily commended, though, for their investment in this fine, fascinating golf course.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

Thursday, June 14, 2012

TaylorMade R11 Irons Tuned To Perfection

The TaylorMade R11 Driver took the golf world by storm when it was introduced a couple of years ago. This year, irons inspired by the same innovative technology are lowering handicaps all over the place. R11 Irons have precision weighting ports on each club that are optimally positioned in the center of the face between the toe and heel. Ultra-thin faces combined with inverted cone technology give a larger sweet spot and promote faster ball speed and more distance on off-center hits. The tour sole design increases playability from a variety of lies. The clubs have progressive topline thickness throughout the set so they look good, too—a feature that builds all-important player confidence.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Golf Blogger In The Know Raves About Weird Golf

I don't care what any author says, I love reviews of my books. Especially when they're like this one about Weird Golf from Golf Stinks, a very informative and entertaining blog. Among other kind words, the blogger said:
"Weird Golf is a great book for your mystery-loving dad this Father's Day. And if you're a golfer that's at all interested in the supernatural, Weird Golf is for you. A bit fantastical? Yes. A rollicking read? Absolutely."
Don't forget, by the way, that one of the key stories in the Weird Golf anthology, "Grand Slam," would make a great Father's Day gift if Dad has a Kindle. It's absolutely free this week at Amazon.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

FREE Weird Golf Tale - Grand Slam Celebrates the US Open

Bobby Jones did it, Tiger Woods almost did it, but if the moon were full during the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open, and PGA Championship, could a werewolf win the elusive Grand Slam of golf? Find out in Grand Slam, a special excerpt from Weird Golf available for the Kindle.

This week, in honor of the US Open at the Olympic Club, Grand Slam is absolutely free! Check it out and tell your friends. It's a howling good deal.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

Dr. Bob Rotella Scores Again

I love the short game in golf. There's no question that striking a full shot is satisfying and momentarily rewarding, but quite frankly there's a certain sameness to it that fails to hold interest very long. The short game, though, is predicated on variety. Chips, pitches, bunker blasts, bump-and-runs, digging a ball out of the collar of rough a dozen feet from the pin--every shot is different, every shot makes you think, and every shot really, really counts. And then there is putting, which is the most nerve-wracking of all.

In The Unstoppable Golfer, Dr. Bob Rotella, golf psychologist to stars like Keegan Bradley, Padraig Harrington, and Darren Clarke, says, "...nearly all golfers have the physical ability required to pitch the ball, to chip it, to putt it. If we're not doing those things, It's because we're somehow stopping ourselves." In other words, we get in our own way.

Rotella says it's often fear that crowds our minds, pushing and shoving its way and calling out for negative images, contradictory swing thoughts, and herky-jerky responses. The solution? To achieve a state of calm by focusing on one thing: the hole.

He couldn't be more right, of course. If you focus on your target, visualize the ball getting there, and commit to a play based on belief in its success, you're more than half-way to a great short game. Rotella fills the book with stories of his students (patients?) who learned to quiet their minds and let their instincts lead them to better golf. He covers no swing mechanics, but does break down how your mind should work when faced with typical short game situations like pitch shots over hazards, getting up and down from a bunker, and lining up long putts to go in rather than just lag close. He has a special section on the "yips" in which he discounts the theory that there's some physical cause behind them but offers instead a solid, results-proven method to mentally overcome them.

The short game is the scoring game, according to nearly every golf guru I've ever talked to. You can drive the ball 340 yards, but if you can't get it in the hole, you can't put birdies and pars on your scorecard. Dr. Bob's book will help.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

Saturday, June 9, 2012

First Tee Of Metro NY Teaches More Than Golf

Golf can teach us all many lessons, but few are as valuable as those learned by the kids at The First Tee of Metropolitan New York. Each year, some 700 youngsters aged seven to seventeen—a great many of them from nearby Yonkers and other Westchester communities—not only get a solid introduction to the game at Moshulu Golf Course in the Bronx, they learn nine core values that build character and promote healthy life choices as well.

“We learn golf rules and respect and perseverance,” attests Scarsdale sixth grader Zach Shearon, 11, who has participated in The First Tee program for three years. In addition to Moshulu, he’s played at Hilton Head and nearby Centennial in Carmel with his parents. “My Mom’s not that great,” he says, “but my Dad’s okay.” The scoop on his own game? “I like to chip and putt. It easier because I don’t have much muscle yet but I have my aim down pretty good.”

Zach’s experience reflects the First Tee approach pretty accurately. “It’s really an education program,” says Metro NY First Tee Chairman Phil Laskawy. “Golf is simply the methodology that we use.” A member of Quaker Ridge CC in Scarsdale, Laskaway  became involved founding the organization ten years ago when he was Chairman of Ernst & Young. The Metropolitan Golf Association and Met PGA teamed up with NY Parks & Recreation to build the facility at Moshulu and launch the program in the metro area. It’s supported today by fund-raising events, grants from corporate sponsors, and individual donations.

The standard program runs in six-week cycles spring through fall, with each once-a-week class lasting 75 minutes, according to Director of Instruction Todd Bordonaro. Cost is minimal, just $15 for the full six weeks and clubs are available for those who don’t have them. Kids are divided into age-appropriate levels and, as they go through the program, the material becomes a little more involved. “They learn how to be patient, how to be positive, how to keep a good attitude, how to set goals,” Bordonaro says. “We talk about health and wellness, working together, things like creating a ‘go-to’ team you can count on when you have a problem or need some help.”

Along the way, they learn some golf, too.

“It’s more relaxing than other sports plus it builds your confidence,” according to eight-year-old Noah Phillips, who lives in Mamaroneck. His uncles play golf at Saxon Woods, he says, adding, “My Mom saw it in the paper and within sixty seconds she called up and registered me. I learned stance, posture, how to drive and chip. My favorite shot is the drive.”

During the summer months, The First Tee runs golf schools Monday through Friday for six hours each day. Bordonaro explains, “They come in the morning, have some golf instruction, do some kind of other activity, have lunch, then play nine holes.” Tuition for the camp is $250 per week.

Zarina Iman, eleven, and her sister Karina, eight, New Rochelle, came to The First Tee camp last year for the first time. “I don’t watch golf on TV,” Karina says, “but I like to play. There are so many trees and birds and squirrels and chipmunks. Once we saw a coyote.” Wildlife is included at no extra charge.

Activities and instruction are broken into fifteen-minute segments to accommodate short attention spans. It’s not all golf, either. To hold interest, groups may play a quick game of kick ball or tag between practicing their chipping and putting. In addition to the nine hole Moshulu course, the kids use the driving range, practice green, chipping green, clubhouse, and classroom/meeting space under the watchful eyes of counselors like Terrence Wolfe, 17, from Bronxville, who attended camp for two years before stepping into a leadership role in 2010.

Many instructors are PGA certified and all receive First Tee training. Aspiring junior golfers who want to improve their golf skills in smaller classes can sign up for additional lessons in the Players Golf Academy, which limits classes to six students and requires the ability to shoot scores of 63 or 54 strokes for two levels of advanced instruction. Five one-hour classes cost $100.

While there’s plenty of golf fun to be had, the real emphasis of The First Tee is preparing youngsters for life. They progress through multiple levels of achievement (Target, Player, Par, Birdie, Eagle, and Ace) based on tests of both life skills and golf knowledge. No prior golf experience is necessary. At the Player level, kids are taught the rules and etiquette of the game and some of the basics. The Par level emphasizes interpersonal communication and self-management skills (like introducing themselves in social situations) while students work on their swing, grip, and stance. Students at the Birdie level focus on goal setting and learn course management. When they get to Eagle, the young golfers are exposed to wellness concepts for mind and body as well as conflict resolution in the context of playing competitively. Ace encourages giving back to the community and the pursuit of higher education opportunities.

For older kids, there is The First Tee’s Path to College program. Last fall, participants and parents visited Iona College in New Rochelle for an information session with the Iona College admissions team as well as a student-led tour around the campus where they learned about life at college, the application process, and essential steps to be competitive applicants.

Over the years, a number of First Tee graduates have gone on to college and taken their love of golf with them. Paul Toohey plays for Manhattan College, Joe Lee for Nyack, and Matthew Beltran for the University of Vermont. Tyler McCaine of Mount Vernon went on to Colgate after representing The First Tee of Metro New York at the First Tee Open At Pebble Beach, a unique Champions Tour event that pairs 78 junior golfers with 78 professionals. Last year, James Slattery of Mount Vernon received the 2011 Leung Family and Friends Scholarship. The 18-year-old, who was a First Tee-er for five years, is headed for Santa Clara University in San Francisco. Kelly and Patricia Leung, who fund the scholarship, are graduates of the program themselves.

For young golfers in northern Westchester, First Tee programs are also offered at Mohansic Golf Course through the Yorktown Athletic Club. For more information about both locations, visit www.thefirstteemetny.org.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

More Pockets, More Hands, More Better Golf Bag

The new KG:2 stand bag from Sun Mountain offers more of what most golfers need—places to put more stuff. The KG:2 features a 9.5” oval, four-way top with full-length club dividers, three integrated top handles and a new lift-assist pocket handle. It also has eight pockets including a beverage pouch, mobile phone pocket, velour-lined valuables pocket, full-length clothing pocket, as well as the standard ball and accessory pockets. Yes, at least one of those will handle a PBJ—just wrap it tightly.

The KG:2 offers the efficient Sun Mountain Roller Bottom and recessed Y-Spring activator for faster leg action and tight-to-the-bag retraction, top mounted stand attachment for increased durability and stability, and triangular non-slip foot pads that resist sinking into grass and sliding on slick surfaces. If you have to ride, the cart-friendly bottom allows the bag to stand straight on the back of a cart, offering easier pocket access while the leg-lock system secures the legs to the bag so they do not activate inadvertently.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

Weird Golf At Books Without Borders

Weird Golf will be featured at Books Without Borders, a day-long festival of books, authors, music, and other attractions on the Yonkers, NY, waterfront Saturday, June 9.

Books Without Borders will encompass the entire waterfront beginning at the wonderful Yonkers Riverfront Library and continuing past the Yonkers Metro North Train Station through Ella Fitzgerald Park and culminating at the picturesque Pier and Amphitheater on the Hudson River.

Workshops, Seminars and Panel discussions will be held throughout the day. Literary agents will hold workshops, authors will read from their works, and books--including Weird Golf--will be on sale. To add to the festive atmosphere, face painters and clowns will be in the Children’s Book area and music will be provided around the event area.

I'll be there from 10 AM to 4 PM, signing copies of Weird Golf. Come on by and let's swap some weird golf stories!

Books Without Borders was organized by The City of Yonkers, The Yonkers BID, The Yonkers Library System, The Westchester Guardian and Yonkers Tribune Newspapers, WGRN Radio, and author Dennis Sheehan.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Putting Mechanics, Begone!

I really agree with Dave Stockton when he urges the readers of his latest book, Unconscious Putting, to stop thinking and start putting. The putting stroke, he says, is small and simple. Its success depends almost entirely on touch and feel. What a breath of fresh air!

Stockton, a major championship winner on the PGA and Champions Tours, was known as one of the best putters of his day. Today, he coaches some of the top players in the game including Yani Tseng, Matt Kuchar, Adam Scott, Morgan Pressel, and Rory McIlroy. Phil Mickelson credits Stockton's lessons on the simple stroke for his wins at the Tour Championship in 2009 and at the Masters in 2010.

I wonder, though, if he could have helped Lenny, the golfer in my story "Screaming Blue Yips" from Weird Golf. Lenny's problem, you see, was a little blue gnome who showed up one day and insisted on reading putts for him. Talk about too many swing thoughts!

At any rate, the key to good putting, according to Stockton, is to make it an unconscious act, just like signing your name. Don't think about it--do it! He outlines a few simple physical routines that help you identify the target line, wipe your mind clean of swing thoughts, and roll the ball into the hole. It's a beautiful thing. Here, for example, is what he has to say about the big debate over swing path:
"I used to take the putter back a little outside and loop it around, and now I take it back a little to the inside. Ben Crenshaw brings it back in an arc to the inside. Loren Roberts brings it back straight. We've all made a ton of putts over a lot of years, doing it with different mechanics."
Of course, it wouldn't be an instruction book without some instruction, so Stockton includes some easy-to-understand common sense suggestions about keeping tension out of your grip, consistently keeping the ball centered under your eye line, and stroking with the intention of making solid contact. There are also plenty of clear photos some drills to help you develop confidence. What there isn't is a bunch of technical mumbo jumbo.

Ball--hole. It's simple, really.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

Friday, June 1, 2012

Let The Genius Organize Your Golf Trip

A buddy trip can be the greatest golf experience you've ever had--or one of the worst. It's a blast to gang up with eight, twelve, or upteen guys (or gals) intent on playing golf til you drop, washing down some decidedly unhealthy cuisine with vast quantities of dangerous beverages, then getting up at the crack of dawn to do it all again. It's a blast, that is, unless you're the poor sap who has to organize the foursomes, score the tournaments and wagers, manage group expenses, and make sure everybody shows up at the right course at the right time.  Then a buddy trip can be a drag.

That's where GolfTripGenius.com can save your life--or at least your sanity. It's a new set of online software tools that make all that drudgery a heck of a lot easier. Charlie never wants to play with Chester but Bert and Ernie have an on-going grudge match that simply must be scheduled? GolfTripGenius will set up tee sheets to make sure everybody gets to play with everybody else while accommodating all the exceptions. Tired of telling sixteen guys where and when they're supposed to tee off tomorrow? Let GolfTripGenius take care of that chore. Need to track a six-round skins game with twelve players? GolfTripGenius will do it for you--as well as track tournament results for medal play, Stablefords, or even Ryder Cup formats. Get the picture? You will, if you use the trip book feature to create a memento with player bios, course data, photos, scores, and more.

This innovative service will save hours of preparation and remove tons of weight from the shoulders of everyone who puts together buddy trips, including not just individuals but tour operators, resorts, and golf professionals as well.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf