We've Moved

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!

Please visit our new home at

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Watson Adds to Excellent DVD Instruction Series

Tom Watson has just released a second DVD in his Lessons of a Lifetime set. This excerpt answers one of the biggest questions I've always had about the short wedge shot:

Simple, isn't it?  That clear, uncomplicated approach to the game is why Tom Watson Lessons of a Lifetime has become one of the best-selling golf instructional video programs of all time, having sold over 70,000 DVD sets in 5 languages in over 40 countries since its release in 2010.  In extensive surveys conducted with buyers, 88% said the program had improved their game and 79% rated the program as excellent.

"I felt it was time to provide further instruction in areas not just about hitting the shots, but also about the mental approach of playing the game," says Watson. "One of the many great things about golf is that it can never be mastered.  Sure you can have a good run of play, but sooner or later the wheels will come off.  I've been experiencing the game for half a century, and I promise you I'm still learning."

The new lessons cover many advanced topics, including pre-shot routine, the importance of the bottom of the arc, head movement, how to benefit the most with your time on the practice tee, handling pressure, the 40 yard wedge shot, controlling trajectory on chips, chipping with a putting set up, several putting lessons and instruction for kids and seniors.

These new 2014 lessons are being sold separately and also combined with the original 2 disc Lessons of a Lifetime program.
Tom Watson Lessons of a Lifetime II With New Advanced Lessons (3 discs and a 20 page booklet) will have a MSRP of $49.95.
Tom Watson Lessons of a Lifetime II:  The New Advanced Lessons (1 disc and a 4 page booklet) will have a MSRP of $24.95.

The DVDs are available for sale at TomWatson.com, Amazon and select golf and sporting goods retailers.  

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

Friday, April 25, 2014

Crystal Springs Grows The Game

In a major event designed to grow the game of golf, Crystal Springs Resort will debut the first annual New Jersey GolfFest May 16 – 18, 2014. The resort, located about an hour from New York in Northern New Jersey, is home to seven interesting and distinct golf courses.

“The future of golf is now,” enthused Art Walton, Vice President Crystal Springs Resort. “We’re excited to bring the 1st annual New Jersey GolfFest to Crystal Springs Resort, which is already acclaimed for both innovative and growth initiatives.”

The New Jersey GolfFest supports the PGA of America’s "Grow the Game" programming, allowing participants of all ages and skill levels to experience "The Future of Golf" firsthand.  The 3-day festival will span the Resort’s seven golf courses and includes an all-access Expo featuring world-famous golf instructor David Leadbetter, rides on a space-age Hovercraft, demos of the latest equipment, free club fittings and clinics, a 7-Star Membership competition, fun-filled family golf, and the exciting new crossover sport – FootGolf.

In addition, fest goers will enjoy special pricing on top brand clothing, clubs and golf related merchandise, live stage seminars and demonstrations, Beer and BBQ garden featuring a variety of BBQ and craft beers, live entertainment, an amazing golf trick shot artist and more.

GolfFest partners include Adidas, Game Golf, Golfboard, GoPro, Leupold, Neoteric Hovercraft, Nike Golf, Oakley, Orange County Golf Carts, TaylorMade, Titleist, U.S. Kids Golf, Vecci and more.

Apart from the main Expo, the weekend is highlighted by the following key events:

An Evening with David Leadbetter – Saturday, May 17
Enlightenment and entertainment from the man who invented golf instruction schools, David Leadbetter. He will present an up-close and personal perspective of the golf world as seen by a teaching legend. Guests then take a journey of a different kind when Mr. Leadbetter escorts them into the Resort’s award-winning wine cellar to enjoy world-class wines and hors d’oeuvres from 4-Star Restaurant Latour.                

David Leadbetter Experience – Saturday & Sunday, May 17 & 18
Four golfers will relish a personal, once-in-a-lifetime golf experience with David Leadbetter. Guests will enjoy an instructional session with the world’s #1 teacher – then it’s off to play 9 holes of golf with the legendary Leadbetter on the acclaimed Wild Turkey Golf Course, followed by a mouthwatering lunch at the Chef’s Garden.
New Jersey Long Drive Championship Qualifier – Friday, May 16
Golfers will have the chance to show off their power, skill and athleticism and qualify for bragging rights and an opportunity to win a 7-course membership.  Guests will enjoy a ceremonial first drive and demonstration by three-time REMAX World Long Drive Championship Finalist Matthew “Hoss” Vilade.

New Jersey Putting Championship – Saturday, May 17
New Jersey’s Top Moss Boss will emerge victorious in this 4th annual championship of the greens. The Grand Cascades Putting Course offers the ultimate challenge of putting skill on a spectacular 18-hole natural grass masterpiece.  The top four qualifiers compete for big prizes and a 7-Course Membership in an 18-hole final.

New Jersey FootGolf Open Presented by the American FootGolf League – Sunday, May 18
Sports enthusiasts will experience the newest and most exciting crossover sport to hit the United States – FootGolf!  A hybrid of golf and soccer, FootGolf is two great sports rolled into one – combining the precision and power of both sports to create one amazing playing experience.

Parent-Junior Golf Tournament – Sunday, May 18
A golf event for all ages as both adults and kids team up to compete for the title of Top Family at the kick-off event for the 2014 season at one of the Top 12 Short Courses in America.  Family-friendly Minerals Golf Club features oversized cups for the kids and has four-seater carts that can fit the whole family.

Kitchell on Kinesiology – Seminars offered Saturday & Sunday, May 17 & 18
Nationally Certified Golf Performance Therapist, Gary Kitchell, brings a wealth of knowledge as to what it takes to prepare for athletic competition. Guests will have access to the training programs of the Pros and learn how to individualize their training to meet the demands of the modern game of golf!

Friday Night Lights – Friday, May 16
This nocturnal event at Black Bear Golf Course features a 3-Club Challenge, Hit the Range Picker, Ultimate Putting Contest, SNAG Golf, and a grand finale competition for which even non-golfers can partake in…the Big Burger Bitedown.

Hickory & Scotch Golf Tournament – Friday, May 16
This amazing Scotch Foursome format event at Ballyowen Golf Course includes a special hickory club competition where participants must navigate an entire hole using circa 1932 hickory shafted clubs. After golf, players enjoy an Irish-style feast and scotch sampling.

A portion of GolfFest ticket sales will be donated to local fire, police and EMT organizations.

For more information and ticket sales, visit www.CrystalGolfResort.com

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

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mount Kisco Hosts MasterCard Westchester PGA

Mount Kisco #16 photo by John Fortunato
Looking for some competitive golf the way it should be played--in matches? Head for Mount Kisco Country Club next week for the MasterCard Westchester PGA Championship, a 64-player match play tournament featuring the best pros in the area going head-to-head over one of the Met PGA Section's most demanding courses.

2013 champion Greg Bisconti will defend his title against Carl Alexander, Frank Bensel, Charlie Meola, Colin Amaral and other top players like Mount Kisco head pro Chris Case.

Monday, April 28, will see first round matches, followed by rounds two and three on Tuesday, Quarters and Semis on Wednesday, and the Final match on Thursday, May 1. First prize is $4,250.

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

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Brynwood Stands Up to Met PGA Pro Assistant Field

Brynwood Golf and Country Club in Armonk hosted the 2014 Metropolitan PGA Westchester Pro Assistant’s Golf Tournament Monday, April 14. The field of 220 PGA professionals from all over the county and Connecticut enjoyed a beautiful, breezy, spring day. What they didn't do was tear up the course.

The low round of the day was played by Mark Ledom and Chris Toulson of Sunningdale CC. They won the event with an 8 under par 62. Of the 157 teams in the event, only 49 were under par and the remaining 108 teams finished at even par or higher.  The average score for the tournament was 72. Considering that the event was a best ball tournament, that's pretty high for a bunch of guys who make their living playing and teaching the game. Brynwood measures just 6,348 yards from the tips, with a 71.3 rating and 133 slope.

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

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sun Mountain Helps Us Walking Golfers

Sun Mountain’s newest lightweight golf stand bag is the Front 9, which harkens back some 30 years to the name of one of the company's first bags.  Front 9 is a compact, lightweight stand bag for the walking golfer. Efficiently-sized, yet big enough to carry a full set of clubs, a handful of balls and a rain suit (what more do you need?), Front 9 has a new 8.5” oval top with a flared opening. Front 9 has three, full-length club dividers, six pockets, and uses the X-Strap® Dual Strap System. Front 9 is available now in men’s and women’s styles with a retail price of $169.99.

Weighing only 3.8 lbs., Front 9 is extremely lightweight. Yet, with the newly designed 8.5” oval top, the bag can easily accommodate a full set of 14 clubs. Add in the latest innovation of a flared opening and getting the clubs in and out of the bag is a cinch. Front 9 also incorporates the Sun Mountain-invented, now industry-standard, integrated lift assist handle to make picking the bag up and setting it down easier than ever.

One could call the bag “small”, but that might leave the wrong impression. Efficiently sized is maybe the better description since along with holding a full set of clubs, Front 9 offers six pockets including a beverage pouch, velour-lined valuables pocket, full-length clothing pocket and accessory pockets.

Front 9 incorporates the Sun Mountain X-Strap® Dual Strap System which provides a balanced, easy carry and works well as a double strap, or as a single strap for those shorter carries.

Front 9 includes all of the advancements one expects from a Sun Mountain golf bag: patented roller bottom leg mechanism, high-tensile aluminum legs, full-length club dividers, lumbar support hip pad, umbrella attachment, towel holder, top-mounted leg mechanism for added stability, pen holder, leg lock system so it’s easier to use on riding carts, and a coordinating rainhood.

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

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Summer Camp For All at Brynwood

imgLooking for a special summer camp treat for your youngster? Even if you're not a member, you can enroll your budding golf or tennis star in Brynwood's Junior Golf and Tennis Camp. The weekly sessions start June 30 and run Monday through Friday, August 29th.  And while members save $100 per week, non-members can participate for only $699 per session.  Enroll a sibling, too, and receive a 15% discount. Considering what's involved, that's a lot of fun for the buck!

Here's a typical day at camp:

9:00am-9:15am Orientation
9:15am-11:15am Golf
11:15am-11:30am Break
11:30am-12:00pm Lunch
12:00pm-12:45pm Field Sports
12:45pm-1:00pm Snack
1:00pm-1:45pm Swimming
1:45pm-2:00pm Break
2:00pm-4:00pm Tennis
4:00pm Departure

For registration and more information, visit www.brynwoodclub.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, April 16, 2014

Met PGA Honors Golf's Leaders

Joe Felder and Rob Labritz
photo courtesy Met PGA
Yesterday's Metropolitan PGA Educational Forum  honored a small group of top-notch contributors to the game not just in the NY area but throughout the nation.  Hundreds of pros took time out of their busy spring schedules to not only hear fascinating speakers like Mark Broadie, Mike Diffley, and Michael Breed, but to deliver well-earned applause to some real leaders of the game.

Met PGA Special Awards went to three outstanding contributors:

Joe Felder, 2013 Met PGA Professional of the Year, has served as head pro at Griff Harris, the municipal facility of the Town of Greenwich, CT, for nearly 25 years. Under Joe's direction, the course and other facilities have grown to be one of the best in the area. Among his many accomplishments, however, one stands out: Joe has grown a junior program that could serve as a model for anyone in the industry. When he arrived at Griff Harris, there were 74 juniors in the program. Today there are over 750. Who said golf can't appeal to youngsters? All it takes is a leader like Joe Felder.

The 2013 Met PGA Player of the Year is Rob Labritz, Director of Golf of GlenArbor GC in Bedford, NY. This was the second time Rob has won the title, but it certainly wasn't the easiest. In fact, his season-long duel with Danny Balin of Burning Tree came down to the final event of the season, the Trieber Memorial at Wheatley Hills. Along with Rob's victories in the PGA Head Pro Championship at Tuxedo and the Met PGA Professional Championship at Rockland, the Treiber Memorial win put his name on the top of the list.

Mary Beth Childs was awarded the 2013 Sam Snead Award, making her the first female recipient of the Met Section's only honor that is bestowed on both professionals and amateurs. Mary Beth's role in the sponsorship by Lincoln dealers of numerous Met Section events for over fourteen years is just one of her many contributions to the game.

The Met PGA Hall of Fame inducted three members yesterday:

Jim McLean is well-known to golfers around the world as one of the leading instructors in the game and founder of the well-respected Jim McLean golf schools. He began his teaching career, however, as an assistant at Westchester Country Club in 1975. He also served as head professional at Sunningdale, Quaker Ridge, and Sleepy Hollow before moving to the Doral in Miami to launch his schools. Jim was recognized by the Met PGA as Teacher of the Year in 1986 and named National Teacher of the Year by the PGA of America in 1994.

Craig Shankland's roots to the Met PGA run deep. He served as the head pro at Rye GC, Middle Bay CC, and Fairview CC, and served as the section's president among many other positions in the organization. He was Met Professional of the Year in both 1974 and 1975, and was named PGA National Teacher of the Year in 2001.

Bruce Zabriski dominated golf in the Met area for nearly three decades, winning 22 events including the NYS Open, Met Open, Met PGA Championship, and many, many others. He competed in eleven major national championships, played the professional tours for seven years, and was named the National PGA Club Professional Player of the Year a record five times. After tiring of life on the road, he returned to the Met area to teach at Fresh Meadow, Oyster Bay, Winged Foot, and Westchester CC. Eventually, he took positions as head professional at Trump West Palm Beach, Old Palm GC, and Mayacoo Lakes in West Palm before returning to Westchester CC in 2012 to teach.

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

Sandy Tatum Words to Live Golf By

Sandy Tatum's aptly-titled memoir, A Love Affair with the Game, is a collection of the former USGA President's memos, columns, correspondence, and just plain random thoughts about the game converted into a gentlemanly thought-provoking book. Historians of the game may be disappointed that it's not a blow-by-blow description of his career at the highest reaches of amateur golf, but readers who recognize that golf is more than millionaire tour players adding to their pile on Sunday afternoons will recognize a kindred spirit.

Tatum spends a little time talking about how he got into the game and what he accomplished as a young amateur--including winning the 1942 individual NCAA National Championship while graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University and winning the Danish Amateur while studying at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. The bulk of the book, though, consists of short essays about the people and places he's encountered--good and bad--during sixty years in the game.

I was particularly impressed by Tatum's never-sent letter to Tiger Woods. It was written at the time just before Tiger turned pro, dropping out of Stanford in the process to fully cash in on his prodigious talent. For those who believe accumulating a pile of money is the highest purpose in life, Tatum's comments will come off as sanctimonious bulls--t.  If, like me, you believe our time on this planet can be richer if we look beyond our bank statements, you'll appreciate what Tatum had to say. He pointed out that Woods would benefit greatly from a complete education, as anyone who has heard him speak in anything more than soundbites knows is very true. The other point he made is that Woods was setting a horrible example for other young people tempted to throw away their lives to chase the one-in-a-million chance of succeeding in professional sports. The letter, written in 1996, was sadly prophetic. There is more to life than video games and hookers.

Sandy Tatum may personify the stereotypical USGA "blue jacket" to some, his rectitude is refreshing in a time when golf seems to have degenerated into a contest to see who can land the biggest television contract.

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

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New Balance Expands Golf Lines

On the heels of the recently released lightweight Minimus spikeless golf shoe, global athletic shoe producer New Balance announces the addition of two new cleated styles to its golf footwear collection. Both styles feature a REVlite™ 10mm drop* midsole for lightweight cushioning and premium responsiveness. All New Balance cleated golf shoes feature the CHAMP® ONE-Lok® fastening system with ZARMA® cleats**.

"Golf industry feedback has been outstanding in regards to the design, fit and comfort features of our golf shoes," said Bruce Schilling, General Manager of Golf and Tennis at New Balance. "These cleated models offer lightweight innovative athletic design, a low drop midsole, and are available in multiple widths to appeal to a wide variety of golfers."


This ultra-lightweight athletic model features a premium microfiber leather upper with a two-year limited waterproof warranty***. The low-profile REVlite 10 mm drop* midsole provides lightweight cushioning and premium responsiveness. The lightweight exoskeleton TPU outsole incorporates the new, low-profile CHAMP® ONE-Lok® fastening system with ZARMA® cleats.

With a neo-traditional design, this shoe features a premium two-year limited waterproof warranty** leather upper and a saddle stability cage. The low-profile REVlite 10 mm drop* midsole provides lightweight cushioning and premium responsiveness. The lightweight exoskeleton TPU outsole incorporates the new, low-profile CHAMP® ONE-Lok® fastening system with ZARMA® cleats.

Both models offer styles in regular (D) and wide (4E) widths. They are available now from golf retailers or www.newbalance.com.

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

Monday, April 14, 2014

Old South Tops Hilton Head Off-Island Golf

One of the most popular courses in the Hilton Head market is Old South, located just a short drive off the island in Bluffton. The gently rolling terrain, moss-draped live oaks, and intra-coastal marshes that wind through the course yield a delightful low country golf experience.

The opening five holes are a good warm up for the tougher tests to come on the par-72 layout. The sixth hole, a 397-yard far four, demands an accurate shot as does the 370-yard seventh. The eighth hole calls for a 160-yard shot to an island green. All the par threes, in fact, have water very much in play, as do most of the other holes on the course. Old South offers five sets of tees ranging from 5,135 to 6,772 yards. The rating/slope from the tips is 72.4/129.

The finishing holes are delightfully challenging. Sixteen requires the precision of a surgeon for both shots over water to reach the green 417 yards away. Seventeen has water all along the right side for its complete 185 yard distance. The final hole is an excellent 550-yard risk-and-reward par five. A wide fairway sets up your choice on the second shot. Do you go for the green over the creek and one of the largest waste bunkers in the Western hemisphere or play it safe for an easy par?

Right now, Old South is offering a "Spring Fling" package with excellent value. The package includes two nights at the Hilton Garden Inn and three rounds of golf including one round each at Old South Golf Links, Hampton Hall Golf Club and the Country Club of Hilton Head. Golfers also enjoy daily breakfast. Starting at $375 per person, price includes sales and accommodations tax. Valid through May 18, 2014. For package and reservation information: (843) 837-2610, bonnie@oldsouthgolf.com.

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

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Shackamaxon Names David Elliott Director of Golf

Shackamaxon Country Club announces that David Elliott has been named director of golf. Shackamaxon, located about thirty minutes from New York city in Union County, NJ, features an 18-hole A.W. Tillinghast designed golf course that boasts the architect’s first-ever island green.

Elliott joins an award-winning golf department that includes Head Golf Professional Joe Bush, voted one of the Garden State’s top-ten “Favorite Teaching Pros—Private” by the readers of Golfstyles New Jersey magazine,  and Assistant Golf Professional Jay Orsino.  Since being purchased by an affiliate of RDC Golf Group in December of 2011, Shackamaxon’s golf membership has more than doubled in size and new programs, clinics and tournaments are being introduced every season.

Elliott comes to Shackamaxon with nearly 20 years of experience in the golf course operations industry. A Class “A” member of the PGA, Elliott was named the 2004 Philadelphia PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year—Private Facility.  Most recently, Elliott served as the head golf professional for both Miry Run Country Club (Trenton, N.J.) and Wedgewood Country Club (Turnersville, N.J.) where he supervised a combined staff of nearly 46 and directed golf course operations, instructional programs and merchandising.  Throughout his career, Elliott has mentored many successful golf instructors who have gone on to become successful head pros at Augusta National Golf Club, Yardley Country Club, The Ridge at Back Brook and more.

At Shackamaxon, Elliott will oversee the club’s golf operation including:  managing set-up and operations for outings, special events and tournaments as well as purchasing for the club’s full service golf shop. Additionally, Elliott will grow the club’s golf instructional program and camps with Head Golf Professional Joe Bush and enhance member relations and customer service.

 “Dave Elliott shares our vision for providing a first-class, value-filled golf program for members and guests of all ages and abilities,” said Shackamaxon Country Club co-owner Christopher Schiavone. “His experience, knowledge and expertise will be tremendous assets to our club as we continue to grow and prosper.”

Elliott is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in Marketing and Finance. He currently resides in Doylestown, Pa. with his fiancé Lisa and their five children.

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

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Palmetto Dunes a Prime Hilton Head Attraction

The Arthur Hills course at Palmetto Dunes was built on a series of rolling dunes not far from the ocean, so its characterized by bumps and hollows that seldom yield level lies (or flat putts) and ocean breezes that must be taken into account. You won’t find many obstacles in front of the greens, although there are plenty to either side on most approaches, so straight-hitters are rewarded. As for the rest of us….

Length off the tee isn’t a requirement to score on this course, although accuracy and course management certainly are. You’ll learn that lesson early in our round. It comes on the second hole, a 373-yard par four that calls for a layup to the water fronting the green and placement of your tee shot on the right half of the fairway. The ninth hole, a 518-yard par five, might seem like a bomber’s sure birdie, but the tree-lined fairway makes for a tight driving hole and the pond in front of the green isn’t something to be toyed with.

There’s plenty of fun to be had on the twelfth hole, a 399 yard par four. Water guards the entire right side from tee to green and the fairway just gets more and more narrow the closer you get to the green. Seventeen is another example of how course management counts more than distance. You have to hit over water twice on this 380-yard par four, and there’s OB and woods to contend with as well.

Palmetto Dunes also has one of the finest practice facilities on the island, not to mention two other fine courses, one designed by Robert Trent Jones and the other by George Fazio. for a limited time only, stay three nights and play two rounds at any of the resort’s championship courses and enjoy additional resort activities including tennis, bikes, dining and merchandise discounts. Starting from $139 per person, per night, rate includes all taxes and resort fees. Valid through May 31, 2014. For package and reservation information: (877) 567-6507, www.PalmettoDunes.com. Customized stay-and-play packages for groups of 12 or more are also available: Michael Royer at 866-306-4330 or mroyer@palmettodunes.com.

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

Friday, April 11, 2014

Is Stack and Tilt for You?

Kregg Moyer guiding Mike Bennet
It’s controversial, it’s different, and it’s not necessarily for everyone, but the Stack and Tilt swing has a lot going for it, according to local PGA pro Kregg Moyer who teaches the method by appointment.   He explains, “The movement pattern of Stack and Tilt is perfectly natural, which you can’t say about the traditional swing.”

The Stack and Tilt Swing keeps your body centered over the ball throughout the shot, unlike the traditional swing which calls for a weight shift away from the ball during the backswing and forward during the downswing, hopefully finding the ball somewhere along the way. The biggest advantage of Stack and Tilt is your ability to hit the ball solidly—before your club digs into the turf.

Just before the season ended last year, I had the opportunity to try Stack and Tilt under Moyer's watchful eye. In just a couple of minutes, he had me hitting six irons with a little draw that flew about 50% higher than my normal ball flight and traveled just as far before landing soft and sweet. The really great thing was how repeatable it was! I'm really looking forward to putting it into action this year.

The swing was refined and introduced a few years ago by Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett, who have worked with more than 20 PGA Tour pros including Mike Weir, Aaron Baddeley, and Steve Elkington. Their eponymous book, The Stack and Tilt Swing, has clear easily understood explanations of the swing’s principles as well as hundreds of photos that show you how it’s done. Moyer can be reached for personal instruction at (914) 629-6122.

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

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Westwood Has Big Check On Line At Augusta

Lee Westwood tees off at Augusta National today aiming to finally net his first major title and, courtesy of sponsors Dunlop, put an extra £2 million in his bank account.

Westwood is one of the best players never to win a major, but its not for lack of trying or having the game for it. Obviously, he's hoping to shed that label by emerging victorious this weekend and donning the famous green jacket.

Westwood, who endorses Dunlop clothing only, will also land a massive £2 million courtesy of a unique sponsorship deal he enjoys with the leading golf brand. That's about $3.4 million American! The agreement stipulates that the Englishman picks up that whopping check for every major championship victory he notches.

The Ryder Cup stalwart finished second at Augusta in 2010 and he'll become the first British winner since Nick Faldo in 1996 should he go one better this weekend. If Westwood does secure The Masters title on Atlanta's most famous golf course, his sponsors will be the first to toast his success.

David Newbury, Dunlop's Head of Marketing, said, "We wish Lee every success at Augusta. He's been one of the world's leading players for many years and we'd be delighted if The Masters finally brings him the major victory his career deserves - even if it does mean signing a rather large cheque!"

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

Oyster Reef a Tough, Short Challenge

If Hilton Head is on your agenda this year, be sure to visit Oyster Reef, a classic Rees Jones design that winds through lagoons and lush low country landscape to deliver stunning views of the inlet to Port Royal Sound as well as some fun but challenging golf. It’s part of the Heritage Collection of courses, which includes three  others (Shipyard, Palmetto Hall, and Port Royal Golf Club) that you can play with very attractive package pricing (see below).

Oyster Reef shouldn’t be played from the tips unless you’re a scratch player or better since it’s 7,108 yards with a 74.5 rating. The blue tees, 6,440 yards 71.9/124 rating/slope presents plenty of difficulty as well as the chance to score. From the blues, all of the par fives are birdie opportunities although there is plenty of trouble to watch for along the way. Eight of the par fours measure 400 yards or less, but all require accuracy off the tee to set up good approach shots.

The par threes are standouts, with two of them, eleven and sixteen, playing over water. The real start of the show, though, is the sixth hole, a 160-yard beauty that is one of the most-photographed holes on Hilton Head. The strongly contoured green is framed by magnificent live oaks with Port Royal Sound in the background and sculptured bunkers in the front. Before you take your tee shot, be sure to pause for some visual nourishment for your soul.

The Heritage Collection courses is offering a “Spring Stay-and-Play” package featuring two nights at The Sonesta Resort with daily breakfast included, two rounds of golf at any of the seven Heritage Collection courses and a 20 percent discount card to be used at Heritage pro shops. Based on double occupancy, packages start at $185 per golfer, per night. Valid through May 22, 2014. For package and reservation information: 843.681.1706 or email vcastaneda@heritagegolfgroup.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, April 9, 2014

Byron Nelson's Unbreakable Record

Every student of the game knows that perhaps the greatest achievement in the sport was Byron Nelson's 11-tournament winning streak in 1945. You can justifiably argue about Bobby Jones's Grand Slam, but Nelson's accomplishment that year ranks first if for no other reason than it will never be equaled. Martin Davis wrote and published an excellent account of Nelson's career centered on that spectacular year. It's Byron Nelson: The Story of Golf's Finest Gentleman and The Greatest Winning Streak in History.

The coffee-table sized volume is lavishly illustrated with classic photos of Nelson and the other greats of the day. It also includes a foreword by Ben Crenshaw and essays by Dave Anderson, Tom Watson, Nick Seitz, and Dan Jenkins. There's also a gatefold with an analysis of the fabulous Nelson swing by Ken Venturi.

What I found especially worthwhile about the book is the emphasis Davis places not just on the streak, but on the entire wonderful season of 1945. Often lost in the accolades of the eleven-tournament stretch is the fact that Nelson actually won 18 of the 30 official PGA Tour events he entered that year--and his worst finish in the other 12 was ninth place! Along the way, Nelson compiled a scoring average of 68.33--a record that stood for more than fifty years.

This may not be the definitive biography of Byron Nelson, but it's a volume that every student of golf history should have in his/her library.

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

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Antigua Adds to Women's Spring Collection

The Antigua Group has added three women's bottoms to its Spring 2014 Women's Golf Collection.

"Women are going to love these new skorts and shorts," says Ron McPherson, president and CEO of Antigua. "The Unity, Classic and Cinch bring a variety of color, style and fabrics to our spring line. We're very excited about them, as are our customers. In fact, our women's business is up 40 percent this year. This new trio of products help make us a strong contender in complete outfits and women's bottoms, and not just in women's tops."

The new Unity short features a perfected fit and lighter weight fabric than the company's previous collections. With a standard 9" inseam, the Unity provides enough coverage for private courses but isn't too long for the flirty girl who wants to show a little leg. Unity's lightweight fabric wicks two times faster than their previous bottom fabric and has four-way stretch that allows for maximum movement and temperature control. Its pop-color contrast stitching detail gives the short some flair without being overly stylized.

The Classic is Antigua's version of a basic short that's revamped with new four-way stretch ultra-light fabric. With a 9" inseam and zipper hip pockets, the Classic is flattering on any figure and provides high functionality. The poly/spandex dobby-back, four-way stretch fabric wicks faster than any of their previous short fabrics. Its smooth face provides a clean, classy look, while the dobby texture back pulls moisture away from the skin and brings it to the fabric surface to dry. Classic is featured in core colors of black, khaki and navy.

The Cinch skort is a step away from the traditional, featuring Desert Dry Xtra-Lite stretch jersey knit fabric and adjustable length via an elastic drawcord. With a standard 17" full body length, the elastic drawcord can be pulled tighter to shorten the skirt and create a unique drape. Its versatility makes it a winning piece on and off the course. The Xtra-Lite knit fabric allows for ease of motion and feels cool against the skin due to the spandex content.

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

Monday, April 7, 2014

Harbour Town Rewards the Shot Maker

Tiny greens, narrow fairways, and breathtaking vistas of Calibogue Sound with the most-recognized lighthouse in America are hallmarks of world-famous Harbour Town Golf Links. It was one of Pete Dye’s earliest designs (with able assistance from Jack Nicklaus) and accordingly puts a premium on shot-making and course management rather than brute strength. From the tips, its 7,101 yards with a 75.6 rating/147 slope. There are four shorter sets of tees, though, and you’ll enjoy the course more if you choose the right ones for your game. I played the blues (6,640 yards) with a former European Tour player and they were plenty for both of us.

Harbour Town builds a crescendo as your round unfolds. It’s demanding, solid golf through the first two-thirds of the course, but starts its climb to the climatic 18th hole once you reach number 13, a 354-yard par four where Dye’s trademark railroad ties elevate a tiny, tricky green above a bunker that surrounds it on three sides. That’s followed by the often-televised par-three 14th hole, 165-yards where the water in front and along the right are the only things you can think about. The last par five on the course is hole 15, 541-yards that demands a long drive and perfect second shot to avoid the water on the left.

The 16th hole, 395 yards, can humiliate the best players. It’s a hard dogleg left where the landing area is dominated by trees in the middle of the fairway and the green is guarded by massive bunkers.  The wind-blown 17th hole, a 174-yard par three, demands not just directional control but perfect distance, since long is as bad as short.

Then there is the finisher, a 444-yard par four that plays along Calibogue Sound.  Your aiming point off the tee is the candy-striped lighthouse in the distance. Your second shot will be a long iron or something similar that has to carry over the sound. You can bail right, but then you’ll have some tricky grass mounding to contend with as you chip to the green. It’s a hole you’ll remember.

While you’re in Sea Pines, check out the other two courses, Heron Point by Pete Dye, which opened in 2007, and the Ocean Course, rebuilt by Mark McCumber in 1995.

Right now, you can experience three nights in private villa accommodations and three rounds at Sea Pines’ championship golf courses (including Harbour Town) for a bargain rate of $213 per golfer. There are even complimentary repeat rounds at Heron Point and Ocean Course based on availability. Sea Pines recently unveiled the new 23,000 square foot Plantation Golf Club and golf learning center at its Heron Point by Pete Dye and Ocean courses This value-packed offer also includes complimentary range balls, 10 percent pro shop discount on retail merchandise and 10 percent food and beverage discount at the resort's restaurants. Price is per golfer, per night based on quad occupancy in a two bedroom villa. Valid through May 31, 2014 at www.SeaPinesGolf.com

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

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Remembering How Fred Raphael Shaped Golf Television

One man--who wasn't even much of a golfer--created two of the most influential series in the televising of the sport. He was Fred Raphael, and his book, My Mulligan to Golf, tells the often-hilarious story of how he brought us Shell's Wonderful World of Golf and the origins of the Champions Tour.  It's golf history with numerous amusing twists.

For those of us who've been following the game for a few years, Shell's Wonderful World of Golf was a delightful look into the personalities and games of the best golfers in the world playing in matches on the best golf courses around the globe. The first telecast was a match between Gene Littler and Byron Nelson at Pine Valley--how much better do you want? It was followed by shows featuring Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Tony Lema, Roberto DeVicenzo, and many, many others. The hosts, Gene Sarazen and Jimmy Demaret, were insightful, funny, and worth the price of admission by themselves.

The story of how Raphael came to put the show on TV despite the fact that he was a neophyte in the game is full of fascinating anecdotes, improbable occurrences, and delightfully off-beat commentary. It gives the reader a good look not only at golf, but behind the scenes of sports television as well. As a former broadcaster, I found that aspect of the book as interesting (almost) as the stories about the world famous golfers and their performances.

Raphael also gave birth to the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf Tournament, which in turn begat the Senior Tour (now the Champions Tour). How many millions of dollars have been earned by touring pros who extended their playing careers as a result? More importantly, how many millions of golf fans have had the opportunity to see the greats of the game in action because of Raphael's concept? It's a story well worth reading.

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

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Brynwood to Host Met PGA Pro/Assistant Bash

One of the Met PGA Section's most entertaining events will be held at Brynwood Golf & Country Club in Armonk on April 14. It's the Taylor Made/Adidas Pro/Assistant Better Ball, where a head professional teams up with an assistant pro to take on their compatriots in the section. One of the PGA Met Section most popular and coveted championships, it will be hosted at Brynwood for the first time.

“Brynwood is very proud to host such a prestigious PGA event in the MET section such as the 2014 PGA MET Section Professional-Assistant Championship,” says Josh Lowney, PGA Professional and Brynwood General Manager. “The MET section includes some of the best Golf Professionals in the world and Brynwood is an ideal venue to test their skills. Brynwood will represent two teams with PGA Professional and General Manager Josh Lowney fielding one and Head Golf Professional, Michael Mercadante showcasing another.

Also in the field will be defending champion Chris Case from Mount Kisco, 2013 PGA Championship competitors Rob Labritz from GlenArbor and Danny Balin from Burning Tree, and dozens of others. The head pro will team with each individual assistant, so he can have multiple games going in the tournament, making for some fun by-play on the course.

Met PGA Executive Director Charlie Robson said, “The MET PGA is excited to bring this Championship to Brynwood for 2014. The Brynwood Member experience has innovated the country club industry and produced a resort style, private country club feel. Our Golf Professionals are looking forward to experiencing the life of a Brynwood Member.”

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

Friday, April 4, 2014

Fred Couple's Signature Shoes

For the golfer whose feet have everything, ECCO announces that a Fred Couples Signature Model of its award-winning BIOM Hybrid shoe will be offered in a limited-edition of 275 pairs at www.eccousa.com.

Slated to be worn by Couples during the 2014 Masters, this unique style boasts a white/green color combo and celebrates the Tour star’s winning score of 13-under-par 275 at the 1992 championship. Each shoe is laser-engraved with Couples’ distinctive autograph on the lateral (outer) side of the yak leather upper, matched by a serial number on the medial (inner) side.

“This project is a testament to our remarkable relationship with Fred and his dynamic, longstanding connection with golf fans around the world,” says Michael Waack, Head of Global Golf at ECCO. “Fred’s power to capture the popular imagination ignited the hybrid footwear revolution, so it’s fitting that we commemorate his latest trip to Augusta National with a very special shoe.”

Retailing for $275, the Fred Couples Signature Model showcases two patented performance technologies – NATURAL MOTION and the ECCO Dynamic Traction System (E-DTS). These combine to provide a combination of comfort, stability, grip and shock-absorption.

Initially developed for the premium running market, NATURAL MOTION technology relies on an anatomical last created by scanning the feet of 2,500 athletes. It provides exceptional support along the entire footbed and utilizes the body’s evolutionary system for absorbing the impact of each step.

Unique in the hybrid category pioneered by ECCO, the E-DTS outsole has approximately 100 molded traction bars and 800 traction angles. The elements are constructed from TPU – a highly durable, wear-resistant material – to provide superb grip in a wide range of conditions.

Additional features of the ultralight Fred Couples Signature Model include:
Extremely Low Profile – Golfer’s weight is closer to the playing surface for excellent stability, ground feel and traction
Direct Injection – A process that yields superior cushioning, stability and comfort via a one-piece shoe that’s built without glue or stitching
Weather Resistance – Naturally soft, smooth, breathable and strong yak leather uppers treated with HYDROMAX™ for superb weather protection
Climate Control – Triple-component ECCO Comfort Fibre System insole for a cool, dry  shoe interior

The ECCO Golf collection is also endorsed by scores of other Tour stars worldwide, including Ernie Els, Graeme McDowell, Thomas Bjørn, Marcel Siem, Thongchai Jaidee, Will Wilcox, Andreas Hartø, Wu Ashun, JB Hansen, Belén Mozo, Caroline Masson and Gerina Piller. As cool as they are, however, none of them have a limited edition signature model!

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

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Takeaway on the Takeaway

A straight, consistent golf shot begins with a straight, consistent takeaway. This drill from Sharon McQuillan is a great way to groove the proper club path. It's simple and easy to remember, which means it's something you can take from the range to the course.

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

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Scarsdale to Host US Senior Open Qualifier

Scarsdale Golf Club will host the met area's Sectional Qualifier for the U.S. Senior Open Championship on June 19. The venerable club will be one of 34 sites in 27 states to hold the event, which lead players to the 2014 U.S. Senior Open Championship at Oak Tree National, in Edmond, OK, July 10-13.

To be eligible, a player must have a Handicap Index® not exceeding 3.4, or be a professional, and be 50 years of age at the start of championship play. If you qualify, sign up now for one of the 144 spots in the field at Scarsdale.

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

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tamarack Celebrates 85 Years

Tamarack CC Hole #1   photo courtesy of Frank Farina
What guy doesn't love backhoes and caterpillars and other earth-moving equipment? Combine that with an obsession with golf, and you've got to admire courses designed by Charles "Steamshovel" Banks. I've played several and enjoyed every breathtaking minute of them. Among the best is Tamarack Country Club in Greenwich, CT, which opened for play in 1929 and is one of only a handful of original Banks designs.

Tamarack is enjoying something of a renaissance since the completion of a Master Plan implemented by architect Brian Silva that improved and enhanced the golf course’s playing conditions without altering Banks’ original design intent.  Silva’s work included the enlargement of Tamarack’s putting green surfaces (they typically shrink as courses age, mowing patterns change subtly--if not from the depredations of well-meaning greens committees), the leveling and increase in size of all tees with the inclusion of new forward and championship back tees on certain holes, and a comprehensive bunker restoration program.  All existing fairway bunkers were rebuilt and 24 additional bunkers were installed, while a small number of greenside bunkers were rejuvenated.

Architect Banks learned his craft working with legendary designers Seth Raynor and C.B. MacDonald. His first project was the Yale Golf Course, which opened in 1926.  When Raynor died the same year, he left some 30 unfinished projects which Banks gradually completed over the next five years. He earned his nickname by using the newfangled (in his day) steamshovel to move massive amounts of earth to create elevated greens and deep greenside bunkers. Banks left an exquisite signature sandy footprint on Tamarack’s par-5 17th hole aptly named “Big Bertha.”

Also, in continuing the MacDonald/Raynor tradition of adapting famous European hole
designs into their projects, Tamarack boasts an incredible number of these recognizable holes, including  the stunning long “Biarritz” par-3 (the 12th); a “Redan” (the 7th); the “Eden” (the 3rd) and the “Short” (the 15th).  Other famous features found at Tamarack are a “Punchbowl” green (the 11th), a “Double Plateau” (the 13th), “Alps” (the 6th), “Moat” (the 9th) and a “Road Hole” (the 14th).

As one of eight golf clubs in Greenwich, Tamarack long has been viewed as the club that was content to underplay its pedigree and stature as one of the area’s finest examples of classic golf course architecture.   “While the moniker ‘hidden gem’ may sound somewhat pedestrian today, it is true that Tamarack has been just that,” says president Jeff Young.  “We have a rich history that actually dates back to 1909 at another site, and the club is proud to have hosted some important Met area tournaments.”

Tamarack gained local fame as co-host of the popular Ike Championship during its formative years from 1953 to 1962. The Ike was named in honor of former President Eisenhower, who personally approved the competition, and many of the top name amateurs of the day who were affiliated with Met area clubs competed for this prestigious title.  

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