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Dave Donelson Tee To Green has an exciting new home at
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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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Monday, March 31, 2014

Morales Shows Poise in Symetra Tour Event

Nicole Morales took another important step toward achieving her lifelong dream of playing golf professionally today when she finished a quite respectable T-40 in the Symetra Tour's IOA Golf Classic at Alacqua Country Club. Her 74/71/72/217 was four over par for the storm-delayed three-round event.

In an interview after her second round--played with high-profile Cheyenne Woods--Morales said,

"It has been a dream come true, playing with the people here. It's great to compare myself with these players. My ambition is to play professionally so seeing my game against theirs is great."

Aside from a few mishaps on the tight, tree-lined course, the youngster's game held up well. She hit 24 of 39 fairways and 52% of her greens in regulation. Her putting was a serviceable 26 putts per round.

The South Salem teen moved to Florida for her final year of high school so she can compete year-round while working with her mentor Cheryl Anderson. Next year, she's off to the University of Alabama. This was her second Symetra Tour event.

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

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Guard Your Back to Protect Your Swing

I learned this stretch (and still use it) after my lower back surgery some years ago.  I was doing the right thing, according to Dr. Jenni Martin, MS DC and LPGA Class A professional.

"Lower back pain is frequently noted as a road block for furthering a golfer's skill and progress in golf.  Often, simple stretches and an understanding of the mechanics and origin of the pain can eliminate this issue," says Martin

Here's how to perform the stretch: Lie on your back. Begin by pulling your knees to your chest and rock slowly back and forth. Now drop your feet to the floor and arms outreached. Slowly drop your knees to the right and then the left. Feel the stretch throughout your lower back while trying to keep your shoulders on the floor.


Using her LPGA teaching background, TPI, orthopedic knowledge, Dr. Martin has created a simple, doable plan that works.  For more information, visit www.thegolfgapper.com.

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

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Miller Chips In, Bows Out, of Valero Texas Open

Mike Miller at Texas Open, screenshot by Erick Schaller
Mike Miller capped his PGA Tour debut at the Valero Texas Open yesterday with a chip-in birdie on the 17th hole before missing the cut by a respectable two strokes in the storm- and wind-challenged event. His play was plagued by erratic approaches that led to ten bogeys, but his power off the tee showed tour-level strength in the four other birdies (in addition to the chip-in) he put on his card.

Miller's 74/75, 149 total, put him in the company of multiple major winners Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, and David Toms, as well as defending champion Martin Laird, among the many other top players who will be sitting out the weekend. Miller played, by the way in a threesome with Andrew Loupe, who was tied for second, one stroke off the lead, when play ended on Friday. Loupe punched his card to the PGA Tour on the Web.com Tour last year.

The chip-in was a thing of beauty that could have been ugly. Miller drove the green on the 347-yard par four, pounded his 86-foot eagle putt past the hole and off the green, then chipped in to put him briefly on the Golf Channel highlight reel. The screen shot above was posted within minutes on Facebook by Erick Schaller. 

In his two days, Miller showed some serious game. He out-drove the field with a 300-yard average vs. 289. He lost three-quarters of a stroke to the field putting, which isn't bad considering the goofy greens on the TPC San Antonio course, but his real downfall was missing eight of ten greens due to off-line approaches. Overall, his GIR was 44% vs. 57% for the field. It was a classic demonstration of Mark Broadie's conclusion about the importance of the approach game in Every Shot Counts.

Miller will be back on tour in the near future. His appearance here was with a sponsor's exemption, but as he continues to hone his game, gets used to life on the road and settles into the work necessary to make it in the big leagues, he'll soon rate more Golf Channel coverage. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

New York State of Mind Travel

An enterprising golf travel agency has taken a great deal of the hassle out of buddy trips in the Empire State by organizing the "New York Golf Trail" and putting together packages covering 21 courses (and lodging options) into six regions.  Given the fabulous golf available upstate, I think they've got a winner of a concept.

(sorry, the map here isn't interactive)

The six regions include the Finger Lakes, Central NY, Cooperstown, Saratoga, Lake Placid, and the Hudson Valley. Other areas, including Long Island, the Southern Tier, and Buffalo, I assume, may be added at a future date. I wouldn't expect a Westchester region, though, since our daily fee offerings are so limited.

Packages start at $245 per player and typically include two rounds of golf and two nights lodging with some meals often included. Considering the greens fees at some of the courses on the list (Mansion Ridge in Monroe, NY, runs about $100), that's a real bargain.  Prices are typically quoted for two players per room and some other minor qualifiers apply, but there's nothing onerous. Lodging ranges from Holiday Inn basic to Otesaga Hotel luxury, but New York Golf Trail swears its staff has personally stayed at every site and wouldn't offer it if it didn't meet their standards.

The other big appeal of the service is just that--service. You only make one call or email, and the New York Golf Trail staff handles the rest, including tee times, hotel reservations at group rates, and billing individual members of your group so you don't have to. That in itself is worth the price of admission.

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

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pound Ridge Climbs Golfweek's Rankings

Pound Ridge Golf Club, the daily fee Pete Dye design in Westchester County, has moved up to No. 4 in New York in Golfweek’s annual ranking of the “Best Courses You Can Play.”

Pound Ridge is in elite company alongside PGA TOUR venues and world famous courses including Bethpage Black and Leatherstocking at Cooperstown. Since opening and debuting at No. 11 in 2009, the state’s only Dye design has steadily climbed in the rankings as it has matured and resonated with avid golfers.

“Golfweek is a golf course architecture aficionado’s magazine, and we have a great deal of respect for its rating system,” says Ken Wang, owner of Pound Ridge. “Our course appeals to players who appreciate a modern layout with multiple strategic playing options.”

Pound Ridge is quintessential Dye, exhibiting all the qualities for which he’s so renowned: dramatic, beautiful, rhythmic, challenging, deceptive and subtle. The front nine opens with a decidedly playable 451-yard par 4 with a green complex set against a rock-lined water feature.

Starting with the par-4 second – an uphill brute with the narrowest landing area on the course – Pound Ridge quickly morphs into a strategic blend of challenging driving holes and intriguing risk/reward approach shots. The back nine takes golfers deep into a serene setting for “core” golf – totally devoid of housing and distractions.

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

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ryder Cup To Get Full Monty on NBC and Golf Channel

Ryder Cup action at Celtic Manor, 2010  photo courtesy of PGA of America
Come the last weekend in September, you'll want to set your alarm for extra early or put on an extra pot of coffee to stay up all night because NBC and Golf Channel will provide live full-round coverage of the 2014 Ryder Cup from Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland.  This will be the first time the European-based event will be televised live in its entirety in the United States. Additionally, Golf Channel has acquired the exclusive Ryder Cup telecast rights for Friday's matches, so the NBC Sports Group's live coverage will run from the opening tee shot through the final putt of this biennial event between Friday, Sept. 26, and Sunday, Sept 28.

"For the first time when played on European soil, fans in the United States will be treated to watching the Ryder Cup live in its entirety, and we're thrilled that NBC Sports Group will deliver the drama and passion of this unparalleled event, as it unfolds," said PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua in a statement released today. "Beginning with Golf Channel, the daily television voice of the golf community, and continuing through the weekend on NBC, audiences will be able to experience all of the breathtaking moments that define the Ryder Cup. By showcasing one of sport's most exciting events live, on a global stage, the PGA of America is furthering our commitment to growing the game through our partnership with NBC Sports."

If you can't get to a TV set (or want to watch on your tablet or laptop in bed without disturbing your partner) all of NBC and Golf Channel's live coverage will be available for authenticated streaming via NBC Sports Live Extra and Golf Live Extra. Just don't forget to use your earphones to drown out those screams from US Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson.

Here's the schedule:

  • Sept. 26 Day One 2:30 AM-1 PM     Golf Channel
  • Sept. 27 Day Two 3 AM-1 PM NBC
  • Sept. 28 Final Day 7 AM-1 PM NBC

Golf Channel's Friday coverage is part of a trade that includes an exchange of highlight rights and other considerations with ESPN. And after NBC Sports Group and the PGA of America's new partnership agreement takes effect, Golf Channel will continue as the exclusive cable home of the Ryder Cup through 2030 as part of this deal, which is the longest national TV rights agreement in professional sports.

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

Stockton Scores Again

Wouldn't you like to have a playing lesson with Dave Stockton? After all, the man won 25 times on the PGA and Senior Tours, including five majors and is known as one of the best teachers in the game--just ask Phil Mickelson, Annika Sorenstam, and Rory McIlroy! You may not be able to spend the day with him on the lesson tee or at a corporate outing, but you can pick his brain by reading his latest book, Own Your Game: How To Use Your Mind To Play Winning Golf.

Stockton uses anecdotes from his five-decade career to illustrate memorable points about the things that make a golfer successful--and none of them include taking the proper grip! Instead, he deals with the territory between your ears where the game is actually played. Topics like concentration, confidence, and composure get the full Stockton treatment, complete with helpful practical tips on how to develop them.

I found Stockton's words about visualizing the shot before you hit it to be particularly insightful. He says,
"The art of visualization is picturing in your head exactly what you want to happen and then letting your body go on a kind of autopilot and produce what you see."
Don't stand behind the ball and imagine a 320-yard drive splitting the fairway, he continues.  Instead, make your mind see the shot you normally hit--a good one, but realistic. If you have a ten-yard slice, visualize the ball doing that in the air and figure out where you have to aim to make it end up in the fairway where you want it. It's all about playing the game you have--and enjoying it.

Own Your Game is short and highly readable. It's also a small volume, so you could easily stuff it into your golf bag for a little helpful reading while you're waiting on the tee for the idiots in the group ahead to take six practice swings and chunk the ball another thirty yards down the rough.

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

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Feinstein to Receive Journalism Award from Golf Writers

Award-winning sportswriter and best-selling author John Feinstein will receive the Lincoln Werden Golf Journalism Award from the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association at the 63rd National Awards Dinner on Monday, June 23 at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown, New York.

Feinstein first gained national prominence with his 1986 best-seller, A Season on the Brink: A Year with Bob Knight.  He's gone on to pen 30 books, including nine on golf. His golf titles include A Good Walk Spoiled; Tales from Q School;  The Majors; Open: Inside the Ropes at Bethpage Black;  Moment of Glory;  Caddy for Life: The Bruce Edwards Story; and The Classic Palmer.   
"John Feinstein is one of America’s great writers of sports," says Pulitzer Prize-winning sportswriter Dave Anderson.  “John does it all, but he especially knows and loves golf.”

Feinstein is a native New Yorker who graduated from Duke University in 1977. He's written for The Washington Post for over 30 years.  He has also contributed to Sports Illustrated, ESPN, National Public Radio, and  Golf Digest.  Now residing in Potomac, Maryland, Feinstein is a regular commentator for CBS Sports Radio and Golf Channel.

Feinstein joins select company.  Past Linc Werden Golf Journalism Award recipients include Dan Jenkins, Jack Whitaker, Dave Anderson, Jim Murray, Chris Schenkel, Furman Bisher, John Derr, Jim McKay, Peter Alliss, Judy Rankin, and Jim Nantz.

The Met Golf Writers will also honor Fred Couples (Gold Tee Award), Nancy Lopez (Winnie Palmer Award), and The Blackwelders (Family of the Year).  Additional MGWA award recipients will be announced in the coming weeks.

The MGWA’s Golf Journalism Award is presented to an individual for outstanding contributions in golf journalism.  Named in honor of Lincoln Werden, the first regular  golf writer for The New York Times and first president of the MGWA.

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

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Historic Mount Kisco Country Club

My friend Garth Bishop penned this excellent brief history of Mount Kisco Country Club, one of my favorites in Westchester:

From the Wampus Indians to the pioneering settlers, from industrialist Moses Taylor V to developer Dudley B. Lawrence, the land on which the present Mount Kisco Country Club clubhouse and golf course exists was once sought after and valued as a place to hunt, live, farm, develop, and presently, a place to play golf.

This area of New Castle was one of the last settled parts of Westchester, deemed "No Man's Land" by Colonists as only the Wampus Indians inhabited it. Eventually settled by pioneers from Rye, some of the land was purchased by them in an effort to keep the peace.

Mount Kisco Country Club
The farm that became Mount Kisco Country Club    photo courtesy of the club
The property on which the Club is situated was once farm land owned by Moses Taylor, V, a product of Yale, class of 1893, and a business magnate who was Chairman of the Board of Lackawanna Steel, Director of Bethlehem Steel when it merged with Lackawanna, President and Director of New York and Queens Gas Co., vice president and director of Westchester Title and Guaranty Co., and director of Witherbee-Sherman Co., New York Life Insurance and Trust Co., Consolidated Gas Co., and Interlake Steamship Company. He was also a railroad official.

With the help of a $7,000,000 inheritance from his father, Moses Taylor V used his 456 acres to create Annandale Farm, a dairy farm designed to raise and show prized, nationally ranked Guernsey cows, saddle horses, thoroughbreds and Percheron (a breed of draft horses). Annual dog shows were held on the property in the spring, with horse and cattle shows in the fall, attracting spectators from miles around. It was a vibrant setting, with 20 workers or more manning the newly constructed modern barns and cottages, taking good care of the breeding and milking in an effort to accommodate the owner and the marketplace.

The passing of Moses Taylor V at the age of 57 in 1928 enabled the Lawrence Properties of Westchester County, under the direction of Dudley B. Lawrence, to acquire about 1,000 acres of land in the town, including the famous Annandale Farm.

Recognizing the opportunity and need for growth north of New York City and Bronxville, Mr. Lawrence and family had a plan. They would build a 90-acre picturesque village center to be known as Lawrence Farms. The acreage would be divided into estates of substantial size, protected from business and heavy traffic. A golf course would also be built, and its architect, Thomas Winton, an immigrant from a famous golfing family in Scotland, was hired to design the course and supervise its construction. The Annandale Golf and Riding Club was considered for its name, but the Lawrence Family settled on Lawrence Farms Country Club.

Opened for play on May 17, 1930, Winton touted his creation as unique to the region - a course which incorporated no blind shots to the greens - quite an accomplishment and a difficult challenge to overcome at the time, given the lack of equipment required to move large amounts of land over the naturally hilly terrain of the area. Winton created a wonderful array of holes over the163 acres, utilizing the rambling Brook River, a tributary of Kisco River, on six of them. He carved fairways lined with hardwoods and the occasional pine, offering shots to many slightly elevated and well bunkered greens while still offering the player the option of a run-up shot in lieu of a forced carry. Sixteen of the eighteen holes run North and South, minimizing shots into the rising or setting sun.

Built as a course with a par of 72, the track retains its original routing but was reduced to a par 71 when the 5th hole went to a par 4 in the early 1950s. Long irons are required for the par 3 holes and the three remaining par 5 holes are quite a challenge to reach in two strokes. The land which was once the playground of prized cows, dogs and horses, became the prized playground of the club's golfing members.

Two of the Annandale Farms cottages were connected with a white washed brick and slate roofed structure, much in keeping with the architectural style of the farm. It was situated on the top of a plateau, originally overlooking the first and eighteenth holes. Two of the three large barns remain today, housing state-of-the-art machinery required to maintain the best of golf course conditions throughout the year. The third barn, long since razed, once served as the Westchester County Playhouse. Budding actors and actresses afforded audiences their many talents in various comedies, melodramas, concerts and musicals, with the likes of Ethel Barrymore, Ruth Gordon, Sally Rand, Jose Ferrer, Mildred Dunnoch, Eva Le Gallienne, Vincent Price and Henry Fonda gracing the stage.

Serious economic challenges would face the new club early on. Surviving the Great Depression wasn't easy and with the onset of World War II, two other courses in town, the nine hole Kisco River Country Club and the eighteen hole Mount Kisco Golf Club succumbed to the decline in membership and play. Members of the adjoining Mount Kisco Golf Club sold the property and the bulk of the membership moved over to its neighbor, the Lawrence Farms Country Club, subsequently renaming it the Mount Kisco Country Club on April 26, 1941.

With a current membership of approximately 250, Mount Kisco Country Club offers a respite from the daily grind, providing its members with options to play golf, tennis, paddleball, go swimming, entertain clients or participate in many of its socializing functions. Its annual Member-Guest golf tournament is second to none. The recent renovation and enlargement of the clubhouse and pro shop sends a message to all that its members will be afforded the best of modern amenities for many years to come.

Garth Bishop was born and raised in Mt Kisco, NY. He spent his youthful summers as a caddy at the Mount Kisco Country Club before taking up the game of golf while attending Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and is currently employed as the Purchasing Manager at Red Hawk Fire & Security in Hawthorne, NY. A former member of the club, he is an avid golfer, a Golf Collectors Society member and golf historian. He currently resides in Hopewell Junction, NY with his wife June and has two adult children, Allison and Graham.

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

Saturday, March 22, 2014

FILA Expands Rain Gear Lines

Are you a little damp around the edges this spring? FILA Golf has added two new rain jackets, the Auckland for men and Rockingham for women, to their outerwear lines this year.

The lightweight, waterproof performance jackets are loaded with technical features that include:\

  • Breathable mesh lining
  • Detachable hood
  • Self-adjustable, Velcro-sleeve closure
  • Critical seam-sealing
  • Microfleece-lined neck and pockets.

They're bright and colorful, too, so your buddies won't lose you in the fog.

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

Friday, March 21, 2014

Brynwood Starts Members Right

Brynwood Golf & Country Club in Armonk introduces an innovative way to kick off the season for its members.  It's the Troon Prive Golf Academy, a two-day program that covers everything from the rules of the game to a healthy lifestyle to help you play even better--with big doses of instruction on all aspects of the game from the full swing to course management.  It's all presented by Brynwood's highly capable teaching pros--and there is no cost to club members.

The idea is to offer new golfers a way to learn the basics of the game in a fun, no-pressure setting while helping experienced players start their year the right way.  Included in the program are not only golf instruction sessions but clinics on eating right, staying fit, and using the right equipment for your individual capabilities. I particularly think it's a great idea to have an on-course playing lesson early in the program.

The Brynwood Troon Prive Golf Academy has something for golfers at all levels--including those who have never picked up a club. Here's the schedule:

Saturday, May 3, 8 AM - 6 PM

  • Golf 101 - The history of golf, the basic rules and common etiquette as it applies on the course.
  • Course Management - Play holes 14, 15 and 16 from all different locations and scenarios to look at club selection and approach to each hole
  • Shot-Specific Clinics - Break down the best approach, mechanics and techniques tailored to every golfer’s individual swing. 
  • Club Fitting Experience - Test Callaway, TaylorMade and Titleist’s newest equipment while golf pros analyze your swing using FlightScope

Sunday, May 4, 8 AM - 4 PM

  • Golf Course Run - Get your heart pumping and clear your mind for golf
  • K Vest - Check your swing sequence, speed, and timing with this pro-level instrument
  • TPI Fit Golf - Titleist Performance Institute integrates fitness with golf improvement
  • Troon Fit Lunch - Take a break and eat right
  • Healthy Cooking - Tips from Chef Cesar
  • Juicing - Marco explains the hows and whys
  • Adult Short Game/Kids Putting - Simultaneous clinics
  • Adult Putting/Kids SNAG - Simultaneous clinics
  • Awards Ceremony

Participants will also have a chance to win $15,000 in a Par 3 Contest and a Yeti Mountain Bike.

You have to be a member to participate, but Brynwood makes that easy--no initiation fee and membership payment options start as low as $700 per month.  What's more, if you join by April 1 and participate in the Academy May 3-4, Brynwood is offering this money-back guarantee: If immediately after you complete the two-day comprehensive course you feel that golf is just not for you, you can resign your membership for 2014.

Josh Lowney, PGA Professional and Brynwood General Manager, says, "Brynwood is very proud to host this event and is excited to take this proactive teaching approach to improve your swing, body and fitness while helping you realize your full potential on the 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

Air Force One Flies Out New Model

The Air Force One DFX has landed at a golf retailer near you (or online at www.powerbilt.com). DFX stands for Deep Face Extreme. The clubface is now 5 mm deeper than the previous version, which catches the ball at impact slightly longer and combines with the nitrogen inside the clubhead to create reduced spin and more distance.

"We reduced the nitrogen pressure to 80 pounds, for better impact feel," says Ross Kvinge, President of PowerBilt. "This new amount of nitrogen generates a tremendous trampoline effect for increased ball speed. In fact, now the trampoline effect is up to the USGA maximum limit. Shot dispersion is also the tightest ever in our drivers. And by adding 6 grams low and forward in the clubhead, we moved the CG lower and more forward than in any other Air Force One driver. We did this to appease our clubfitters who requested a better smash factor. I can confidently say that this is the most solid driver we have ever produced."

PowerBilt's patented Nitrogen N7 "Nitrogen Charged" technology makes its debut in the Air Force One DFX driver, as well; it's a newly patented method to reinforce the clubface without adding any weight. That means the golfer benefits from maximum C.O.R., maximum C.T., maximum trampoline effect, and maximum smash factor for incredible distance.

The Air Force One DFX features a forged titanium body with titanium cup face technology, as well as aerodynamic clubhead shaping. It's available in both the high MOI and Tour Series, in lofts of 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5° and 12.5°. Standard shaft length is 45 ½". The club is offered in several leading shaft models from the top OEM shaft brands, so that golfers will achieve the optimum launch angle and spin rate for their unique swing. MSRP starts at $299.99, and there is an upcharge for ultra premium shaft options.

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

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tee-Off Your Season with the EWGA

The Executive Women's Golf Association's season-starting Tee-Off Luncheon will be held this year on March 30 at Brynwood G&CC in Armonk. The fun, informative event is open to both members and prospective members of the Westchester chapter of the women's golf group.

In addition to plenty of informative speakers and interesting sponsor displays, the luncheon presents a great chance to mingle with other golfers after a wretched winter. Even if you're new to the game--or have a friend who wants to take it up--the EWGA offers leagues, lessons, and opportunities for golfers of all skill levels.

One of the most important functions of the event is sign-up for the spring and summer leagues, which give golfers a structured approach to the game and opportunities to compete with women with similar golf skills. Sign-up is first-come, first-served, so get there early.

The admission price includes all the festivities as well as a buffet lunch with a cash bar.  Festivities begin at 12 and run until 4 PM and advance registration is necessary.

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

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Orlimar Releases Tad Moore Putters

Orlimar has released its Tad Moore Signature Series of putters this month. Each putter in the series combines traditional shapes with game improvement features and a patented washboard face milling. The company says the putters give golfers consistency, accuracy and better distance control on every stroke.

"Washboard-face milled putters improve roll and performance compared to other putter faces," said Tad Moore, golf club designer. "I have found that new golf balls with different cover materials such as urethane react to the washboard face much better. The ball off of these putters has a better launch and rolls more consistent and accurate."

Tad Moore Signature Series By Orlimar

TMO - 1: A traditional blade putter with a carbon steel head and a patented 45-degree plumber neck hosel to give the player a better visual at address. The heel-shafted putter, features a cambered sole, sight line in the flange and is heel and toe weighted. The loft is 3.5 degrees, length is 35 inches, toe down.

TMO - 2:  A slightly wider blade with a carbon steel ahead and a plumber neck hosel, thin topline and sloping heel-and toe-weighted bumper. The sight line is in the flange with a sound slot that cuts through the cavity to the sole for enhanced feel. The loft is 4 degrees; length is 35 inches and is face-balanced.

TMO- 3:  A classic design of a wide-sole, heel-shafted blade with a carbon steel head. This is  a perfect putter for a player who putts with an arc, because of its open-to-shut swing style. The wide sole utilizes sight lines in the cavity to improve the look and alignment. The loft is 3.5 degrees, length is 35 inches, toe down.

TMO - 4 (TadPole): The perimeter-weighted non-traditional T-shaped mallet putter features an aluminum head for a solid yet softer feel at impact. It is a center-shafted putter with a long topline to aid in alignment. Rear weighting provides performance on miss-hits and the outer circular ring balances the weight on the edges to aid in the MOI, resulting in amazing, feel and directional control. The loft is 3.5 degrees; length is 35 inches and is face balanced.

"Customers are very pleased with the look, feel and sound of the putters," said Alex Resnik, product marketing specialist. "Tad has an incredible reputation in the industry for innovation and quality of work in his club designs. Our customers especially like the classic shape of the putters."

Custom loft and lie options are also available. Suggested retail is $249.

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

Monday, March 17, 2014

SwingSmart Gets Web Upgrade

NewSpin Golf has launched a completely redesigned website for its SwingSmart golf swing analyzer, showcasing free video tips from Peter Kostis and a refined user experience that mirrors the product interface.

Other consumer-driven aspects of the new site include an overview of the product’s myriad benefits, quick access to technical support and tutorials to help players maximize the benefits derived from using the SwingSmart system.

“There’s a lot of confusing noise in the marketplace about why and how leading edge technologies can help golfers play better and enjoy the game more,” says Angelo Papadourakis, CEO of NewSpin Golf. “So we’ve created an online environment that clearly showcases why SwingSmart is so superior that time after time it finishes No. 1 in independent testing versus copy-cat products.”

Developed by a team of expert technologists, SwingSmart is a first-of-its-kind solution that provides instant, hyper-accurate feedback on critical elements of a golfer’s swing. Weighing less than 1 oz., the Bluetooth-enabled SwingSmart sensor module quickly and easily clips to a golf club shaft and wirelessly communicates with the free app for iOS and Android devices.

The SwingSmart app is available for free download on the Google Play and iTunes stores. It allows information to be viewed immediately, shared with an instructor, or saved for future reference. A defining feature of the system is the in-app instructional videos through which Peter Kostis provides a variety of swing tips to help players optimize performance.

With each swing, the SwingSmart system ($249.99) immediately delivers:
Key Stats – Instant, accurate, easy-to-interpret information on tempo, swing speed, face angle, shaft lean and angle of attack
Path and Plane – 3D Swing View shows 360-degrees of a player’s swing motion, highlighting the exact route of the club head from any angle
Putting Results – More than just a full-swing tool, the system also provides info on the putting stroke to help players lower the number of putts taken per round
Personal Best – Data from a golfer’s best swings can be saved and used as points of reference

SwingSmart provides a real-time snapshot of how the club is being manipulated through impact. This allows players to adjust and learn what is successful for their individual games. A year-round practice tool, SwingSmart features a special Training mode that provides the key data necessary to help players learn the proper swing motion without the pressure of hitting a ball.

The company recently launched the SwingSmart Duo, which incorporates HiQ Technology. Requiring zero user set-up, adjustment or calibration, HiQ is built using a proprietary pattern recognition process not found anywhere else in the industry, which increases the accuracy of captured swing data, including the renowned SwingSmart 3D Swing View™. It utilizes an algorithm that adapts to each user's swing to faithfully measure their drives, chips and putts.

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

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Golf By the Numbers, Numbers, and More Numbers

Should you go for the green or lay up? Putt aggressively or die the ball into the hole? Who scores better, a good driver or a good putter? Quantitative researcher Mark Broadie, a professor at Columbia Business School, member of the USGA handicap research team, and former club champion at Pelham CC, applied the same rigorous statistical methods used by Wall Street’s quants to the game of golf to find the answers to these and other major questions of golf strategy.  You’ll be surprised at the answers as he reports them in Every Shot Counts.

Even though there is a foreword by Sean Foley, this is NOT a book about how to swing a golf club.

It is rather an extremely detailed analysis of the game using a measure Broadie developed, "strokes gained." You may have heard the term used on PGA telecasts, particularly in the context of "strokes gained putting," but Broadie has expanded the concept to cover nearly aspect of golf using data from the PGA Tour's ShotLink database as well as one he developed to gather similar data for amateurs, the Golfmetrics system. The result is about as easy to read as a set of IRS instructions, but just like slogging through the tax code, if you stick with it, it will pay off.

I won't go into all the details of how he reached his conclusions, but suffice it to say Broadie convinced me that many of the "truths" about golf I heard and believed for decades are just flat wrong. "Drive for show--putt for dough," for example. WRONG! Broadie's analysis shows that tee shots account for 28% of the shots gained in a round as opposed to putting's mere 17%.

How can that be, you might ask, if putts represent about 50% of your strokes in a round? The answer is that Broadie is comparing performance to the field of golfers, not to par. If you're playing competitive golf, whether on Tour or against your buddies at your local muni, your score relative to theirs will be more strongly affected by your driving than your putting.

That's not the real surprise, though. Broadie's most important conclusion is that the approach shot--not your drive, not your putts, not even your dazzling wedge play--is the most important factor in the game when it comes to beating your opponents. The approach accounts for a whopping 40% of the strokes gained on the field.

Add in the drive, and 68% of the strokes gained can be traced to the long game. This is based, by the way, on his stroke-by-stroke analysis of the top 40 pros during the 2004-2012 seasons.  Interestingly enough, Broadie's research shows that the same ratios hold for amateurs at every level, too!
"Contrary to popular belief, this research proves that the long game explains two-thirds of the difference in scores between beginning and skilled amateurs, between amateurs and pros, and between average pros and the best pros. Academics call this a robust result: It holds for many different groups of golfers. It's the closest thing to a universal truth in golf."
Laying up to a full-swing wedge distance is another truism that Broadie proves is a "falsism."  Haven't we all been taught that the key to a good lay up is to not necessarily hit it as close to the green as you can but rather to a distance where you can take a full swing with your favorite wedge?  Here's what Broadie's research revealed:
"...most golfers will score worse from 80 yards from the hole than from 30, even if every layup to 30 yards lands in the rough, and every layup to 80 yards lands in the fairway."
Actually, I've been a believer in taking my chances with a half-wedge for several years, but felt like I was violating some rule or something every time I did it. Now I know I have been right all along--and the feeling is excellent.

If you can slog through the numbers, Every Shot Counts may well change the way you think about your game.  Broadie spends a good portion of the book applying his analysis to strategic choices like where to aim when there's out-of-bounds on the hole and how to read and putt greens. He's got a section on drills, too, although some are perhaps not for the math-impaired.

Even if you need to take off your socks to calculate your winnings on a round-robin Nassau with three presses, you'd be well-advised to spend some time working on your game with Broadie's numbers in mind.

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

Saturday, March 15, 2014

US Women's Open Qualifying Goes International This Year

The USGA will introduce international qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Open Championship this year. The 2014 U.S. Women’s Open will be conducted June 19-22 at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2) in the Village of Pinehurst, N.C.

“The USGA has long been committed to presenting the U.S. Women’s Open as the premier event in international women’s golf,” said USGA President Thomas J. O’Toole Jr. “With the addition of international qualifying, we are happy to expand the championship field to include more of the very best players from across the globe. We extend many thanks to our friends and partners around the world for their efforts in helping us accomplish this mission.”

Fourteen foreign-born players have won the U.S. Women’s Open a total of 18 times, including two-time and defending champion Inbee Park, of the Republic of Korea. Fay Crocker, of Uruguay, won the 1955 U.S. Women’s Open, becoming the first international winner in championship history. In recent years, international players have dominated the leader board, taking seven of the last nine championships and 13 of the last 19. Players from Korea have won five of the last six championships.

Officials from the China Golf Association, the Japan Golf Association, the Korea Golf Association and the Ladies European Tour will conduct international qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Open, which will be held at four sites on Monday, May 19. Asia will have three qualifying sites – CGA Nanshan International Training Centre (Garden Course) in the People’s Republic of China, Higashi Nagoya Country Club in Japan and Woo Jeong Hills Country Club in Korea. Buckinghamshire Golf Club in England will host European qualifying.

Also, effective in 2014, the USGA Handicap Index® limit for the U.S. Women’s Open has been lowered to 2.4 from 4.4. The change comes in recognition of the rapid and tremendous growth of women’s amateur golf, and will serve to strengthen the 69th U.S. Women’s Open field.
The Handicap Index limit was set at 4.4 for the 1972 U.S. Women’s Open, and has remained unchanged. Since then, more than 350 amateur golfers have qualified for the championship, including future winners Paula Creamer, Kathy (Baker) Guadagnino, Juli Inkster, Cristie Kerr, Murle Lindstrom, Hilary Lunke, Inbee Park, Annika Sorenstam and Hollis Stacy. Four amateurs have finished second: Nancy Lopez (1975); Jenny Chuasiriporn (1998, in a playoff); and Brittany Lang and Morgan Pressel (2005). Catherine Lacoste (1967) is the only amateur player to win the Women’s Open.

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

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Nicole Morales to Test Her Game Against the Pros

photo courtesy of Ping Jr. Solheim Cup
Former Westchester resident Nicole Morales was given a sponsor exemption for the Symetra Tour’s Insurance Office of America Golf Classic at Alaqua Country Club in Longwood, FL, March 28-30. Morales moved to Florida from South Salem to work with her mentor, Cheryl Anderson, in her last year before heading off to the University of Alabama. The two struck up a winning relationship when Anderson was a teaching pro at Wykagyl CC in New Rochelle.

In a statement from the Symetra Tour, Morales said, “This is the opportunity that I have been dreaming for,” said Morales.  “I’ve been really working hard this year, I moved down to Florida for my senior year of high school so that I can train for that next level so when I found out I was so ecstatic.”

She will be part of a 144-player field competing for a share of a $100,000 purse in the event.

Morales is the top-ranked player nationally on the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings.  She also is ranked No. 2 in the American Junior Golf Association's Polo rankings and No. 27 on the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

“This event is so close to my home, it is literally ten minutes from our apartment and it is exactly the place where I’d love to start out,” said Morales, who trains with Volvik Championship winner Kim Kaufman.  “I want to see where I can compare myself to the women on the Symetra Tour.”

The IOA Golf Classic will mark Morales’ second career Symetra Tour event.  She was a sponsor exemption at the 2012 Credit Union Challenge in Albany, N.Y.  Morales made the cut and finished T30 as a then 15-year-old.

Morales has proven herself as a star on the amateur circuit.  She won the 2013 AJGA Thunderbird Invitational, her second career amateur victory.  Last year, she also finished third at the Dixie Amateur, T4 at the AJGA Ping Invitational, T4 at the Duke of Young Champions Trophy and T4 at the Rolex Tournament of Champions.

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

Galvin Green Introduces Ultralight Rain Gear

Galvin Green has introduced Aron, its latest ultralight men’s full zip jacket featuring GORE-TEX Paclite Technology.  Aron is totally waterproof and engineered using sophisticated techniques that ensure ideal freedom of movement. It's also guaranteed to keep you dry.

The company says features include:
GORE-TEX Stretch Fabric – Ergonomically applied to maximize playability and comfort, the stretch effect is used in different directions in distinct regions of the garment
Adjustable Chest Width – Tabs on each side of the back with touch-and-close fasteners
Angled Side Seams – Styled to avoid unnecessary fabric at the front that could impede the swing
Rain Channels – Wrist cuffs with an integrated rain channel that leads water away from the front of hands

“Aron is at its best when weight and space are critical yet you need to make certain to stay dry even in a driving rain,” says Martin Nilsson, President of Galvin Green USA. “Combine that with the exceptional release of excess body heat and moisture and you’ve got the perfect outer shell in our Multi-Layer Concept.”

Said to be extremely durable, hard wearing and long lasting, Aron (MSRP $460) is available in five colors, sizes S-3XL. It can be maintained via machine wash and tumble dry.

An approach pioneered by Galvin Green more than a decade ago, the Multi-Layer Concept uses leading-edge fabric technologies to ensure the dry comfort, thermal regulation and outer protection that helps players optimize performance. Details on this and other elements of the company’s “We Never Compromise” approach can be found at the new GalvinGreen.com.

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

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Troon Reciprocal Program Opens Doors

Members at clubs managed by Troon Golf enjoy one of the best benefits in the business. It's Troon Privé Privilege, a reciprocal program that opens the doors to hundreds of private clubs around the world--at no extra cost.

“The Troon Advantage and Troon Privé programs are an excellent member benefit,” says Josh Lowney, General Manager of Brynwood Golf Club in Armonk. “Our Members are able to travel, then book golf for themselves for price of the hosts clubs cart fee. Troon has been the catalyst for the growth of the game and improving the Private Member experience. These programs are unmatched in the industry.”

Golf members at Brynwood Golf & Country Club (and Westchester Hills in White Plains) can play at other private clubs for the host club's cart fee rate. Members have access to facilities like BallenIsles in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Lake of Isles in North Stonington, CT, Ocean Club in the Bahamas and many more covering 33 states and 23 countries. Brynwood Members are automatically enrolled in the Troon Privé and Troon Advantage programs at no additional cost. Also, members are entitled to bring up to three guests that will play for the host clubs accompanied guest rates.

What's that worth? Considering that greens fees at premier resort courses can easily approach $400 per player (forget Pebble Beach!), and the savings add even more value to a membership at Brynwood or other Troon clubs.

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

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Century and Old Oaks to Host US Open Sectional Qualifier

For the third time in six years, Old Oaks and Century CC, both in Purchase, will host the US Open Sectional Qualifier. Sectional qualifying, conducted over 36 holes, will be held on June 2 at ten sites in the U.S. For the 10th consecutive year, Japan and England will host international qualifying, which is scheduled for May 26. Winners will advance to the US Open to be held at Pinehurst #2 on June 12-15.

Unless you otherwise qualify, you'll need to win a Local Qualifier before you can advance to the Sectionals. Those will be held locally at Whippoorwill CC in Armonk and Paramount CC in New City.

Ken Venturi (1964) and Orville Moody (1969) are the only players to win the U.S. Open after qualifying through both local and sectional play. Jerry Pate (1976), Steve Jones (1996), Michael Campbell (2005) and Lucas Glover (2009) have won as sectional qualifiers.

Online registration for the US Open began March 5 and continues through April 23. If you haven't signed up yet, go to https://champs.usga.org/index.html and see if you qualify.

2014 U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying Sites
May 26 – International (2)
Asia – Nara International Golf Club, Nara Prefecture, Japan
Europe - Walton Heath Golf Club, Surrey, England
June 2 – United States (10)
Lake Merced Golf Club & The Olympic Club (Ocean Course), Daly City, Calif.
Quail Valley Golf Club, Vero Beach, Fla.
Ansley Golf Club (Settindown Creek Course), Roswell, Ga.
Woodmont Country Club (North & South Courses), Rockville, Md.
Old Oaks Country Club & Century Country Club, Purchase, N.Y.
Brookside Golf & Country Club & Scioto Country Club, Columbus, Ohio
Springfield Country Club, Springfield, Ohio
Emerald Valley Golf Club, Creswell, Ore.
Colonial Country Club (North & South Courses), Memphis, Tenn.
Lakeside Country Club, Houston, Texas

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

Friday, March 7, 2014

Golf Lessons from John Wooden (and Mike Diffley)

In this guest post, Mike Diffley, Met PGA Teacher of the Year and Head Pro at Pelham CC, not only talks about how we all feel about the endless winter (UGH!!!), but what we can do to make the most of it and be ready for the first tee in just a few weeks. Diffley writes....
Unless you have been south or west this winter for a short sanity trip and a quick couple of rounds, any golf, workouts related to golf or just plain workouts have been inside. Watching golf on TV in the north in the winter seems surreal. Is there really grass under all that ice? Can my body move as freely as those guys on TV?

There are more places than ever to hit balls inside, gyms that specialize in golf workouts and many of you including me have our own little place in our abode that we can putt or swing or at least stretch. All great stuff--it's what you need to do. It's all you can do! The outdoor heated ranges have run out of balls many times because they can't pick them up. Those places are great except when it's about 20 degrees or colder. The balls are frozen--I mean the range balls!

Spring does always come despite the fact it just doesn't seem possible. The greens in NY almost always are open on 4/1 everywhere. The Masters is a month away! That means 3 weeks until real golf. What is real golf? Real golf is playing, hitting golf shots, drives, approaches, pitches, chips, sand and putting.Trying to make a score. Caring about the result. There are infinite ways to try and emulate real golf but just about impossible to do.

This year, as you're getting ready, start swinging, stretching, walking. and continue what you are doing to get ready, but do yourself a favor. A small list follows; read it and answer it honestly. You will spend many hours daydreaming of the times you will be outside playing or practicing golf, so take a few moments and think about how you will spend this time. It's called a plan!

How many rounds did I play in 2013? ____ Try and play 10% more
How many practice sessions a week?  ____  Add a session per week
Do you plan your practice? Long game % ___ Short game % ___  Putting % ____
Do you know what you are doing when you practice? ____
Are you aware of your attitude before every round? ___ After every round? ____
Are you aware of your attitude before every shot? ___ After every shot? ____

March Madness is upon us, an awesome time for sports fans. I love College Hoops and you all know I'm a big St. John's fan. I still own my tickets after 30 years out. Conference Tourny's have started for the small conferences, the big guys start next week. Who are the teams that will answer the call? Who is improving? Who just goes out there and hopes talent and luck will get them through?

Someone who didn't hope that talent and luck would get his team through was the greatest coach in all of sports, John Wooden of UCLA. He won 10 National Championships in 12 years. Coach Wooden won a National Championship as a player at Purdue in 1932. He is a member of the basketball Hall of Fame as a Player and a Coach. Wow! Unbelievable!

Success, yes, but did you know Coach Wooden was the coach at UCLA for 15 years before winning a National Championship? Two of the four years before his 1st championship in 1964 the team was not ranked in the top 20 nationally. Wooden was a lifetime learner who had principles he followed but adapted to the game as it changed.

An amazing man, and a good one they say! How did coach Wooden figure it out after 15 years? Two things, he had a PLAN! He planned every minute of every practice prior to the start of the season. Pretty rigid! YES and NO! He would adapt the plan as the season moved along to what he observed to be the teams strengths and weaknesses. That's smart!

Ok, back to golf, do you have a plan for the year? You should! Will you adapt it as the season progresses? You should! How about spending a little time laying out that plan now and I will tell you how to adapt later when you might need to!
For more from Diffley, be sure to attend the Westchester County Golf Show Saturday, March 8. He'll be on the stage at 10:30 AM talking about the college recruiting process, developing junior golfers, and more with plenty of time for questions and answers after.

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

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Don't Miss Westchester Golf Show This Weekend

It's here this weekend! It's the 10th Annual Golf Show at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. The show is sponsored by The Journal News and lohud.com in conjunction with Westchester County Parks and their six golf courses.

Try the latest clubs from major manufacturers on the driving range. Pick up pre-season bargains in the pro shop.  Get free 10 minute lessons with a PGA Pro. Try to sink a 50 foot putt and win a prize while benefitting the MGA Junior Golf Foundation. Learn more about the game and your swing at hourly demonstrations and question and answer sessions on the Metropolitan Golf Association Let’s Talk Golf Stage. Visit Exhibitors from golf resorts and destinations, local and area private and public courses, and other golf exhibits.

Parents of high school age golfers will want to hear Frank Darby discuss college golf and scholarships while parents of younger students will want to bring their children to a PGA Pro who will work with juniors and will have soft balls and junior size clubs.

There is a special Women’s Learning Area and, new this year, the TD Bank Women’s Networking Breakfast on Saturday from 9AM – 11AM both in cooperation with the Executive Women’s Golf Association.

Other sponsors include the Metropolitan Golf Association, Home Green Advantage, TD Bank, Fairview Golf Center, WFAS Radio, Executive Women’s Golf Association and its all powered by Entergy.

Tickets are available at the door on Show Days or in advance at lohud.com/golftickets.  Admission is $10 with $1.00 off coupon available at The Journal News and lohud.com. The Journal News Golf Show will take place Saturday, March 8th from 10AM – 5PM and Sunday, March 9th from 10AM – 4PM.

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

Saturday, March 1, 2014

First Lady Tries SNAG

President Obama apparently isn’t the only golfer in the first family.  Michelle Obama was introduced to SNAG® Golf during her recent visit to the Gwen Cherry Park NFL/YET Center in Miami, Florida. The visit was part of a celebration around the fourth anniversary of Lets Move!, her initiative to ensure that all children grow up healthy and reach their full potential.

SNAG®, has partnered with Miami Parks and the National Recreation and Park Association in order to introduce golf to kids throughout south Florida. SNAG® incorporates developmentally appropriate equipment and programming that allows golf to be learned and played in non-traditional venues, such as on a soccer field, in a gym, on the beach or any open space.  It can be taught and played anywhere with immediate, positive results.  This instant success keeps new learners wanting to be further involved with golf.

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