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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Roll Sun Mountain's Newest Cart Under Your Christmas Tree

This gift may not fit in your favorite golfer's stocking, but it sure will in the back of his car. It's the  newest version of Sun Mountain’s category-changing Speed Cart® golf push cart, the V1 Sport. The cart combines the most popular features of past Speed Cart models with new colors and graphics plus it folds and unfolds easier than ever, has an improved brake system, and mag wheels. Speed Cart V1 Sport is in stores now with a suggested retail price of $199.

The new for 2014 Speed Cart V1 Sport features a quick-release E-Z Latch System to allow easier folding, unfolding and handle height adjustment. V1 Sport also features maintenance-free synthetic wheels with solid foam tires and a new pin brake system, which replaces the former caliper brake, to securely lock the wheels in place.

Additional features on the Speed Cart V1 Sport include adjustable brackets that secure a golf bag without using straps or cords, an umbrella mount that secures an open umbrella to shield you (and your clubs) from rain (or sun) and an accessories tray with a scorecard holder, drink holder and a mesh headcover tray.

The patented fold down design of Speed Cart allows the lightweight 17 lbs. cart to fold down in seconds and conveniently fit into a car trunk. Optional accessories for the Speed Cart include a Sun Mountain UV golf umbrella, Speed-Paq™ bag for extra storage, cart seat, sand and seed mix bottle, a storage cover, and cart mitts that smartly attach to cart handle. Speed Cart V1 Sport colors for 2014 include white/lime, silver/pink, black, blue, gunmetal/red, silver, and gunmetal/orange.

To find your most convenient retailer, call 800-227-9224 or visit www.sunmountain.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, December 1, 2013

Jim Nantz Honored by MGA

Jim Nantz
CBS Sports broadcaster Jim Nantz will receive the 2013 Metropolitan Golf Association Distinguished Service Award this week. Nantz, 54, is being recognized for his impressive charitable work, especially on behalf of golf in the Met Area. Nantz has helped organizations like the MGA Foundation and The First Tee raise millions of dollars to grow the game and provide countless opportunities for young people.

The MGA Distinguished Service Award was created in 1973, and is presented annually to a candidate who has contributed “distinguished service to golf and its related activities, consistent with the valued standards and honorable traditions of the game.” Some of its past winners include Joe Dey, Harry Cooper, David Fay, Robert Trent Jones Sr., Dave Anderson, Rees Jones, P.J. Boatwright, and Charlie Robson.

Nantz spent much of his childhood in New Jersey and started at CBS Sports in 1985. He is currently the network’s lead play-by-play announcer for NFL football and NCAA basketball, as well as the lead anchor for golf coverage. Though he currently resides in California, Nantz spent most of his accomplished career in Connecticut. His accolades include three Emmys, five National Sportscaster of the Year awards, and he’s the only person ever to call the Super Bowl, Final Four and Masters in the same year (he’s done it three times). In addition to hard work and good fortune, the sportscaster credits golf for teeing up his drive to professional success.

“Golf was a vital part of my life that opened up all kinds of avenues to me in my professional career,” says Nantz, who was introduced to the game by his father, also named Jim. He worked during summers at Battleground Country Club in Manalapan, NJ, and was recruited to play on the golf team at the University of Houston where he earned a degree in radio/television in 1981. “Golf really set the course for my life, and because of it, I feel indebted to the game.”

A longtime member at Winged Foot Golf Club and The Stanwich Club, Nantz has used his celebrity status to be a visible advocate for the game in the Met Area and beyond. In 2001, he lent his voice to the MGA Foundation’s Capital Campaign video, a valuable tool which raised $5 million. The following year, he acted as master of ceremonies at the groundbreaking for The First Tee of Metropolitan New York at Mosholu Golf Course in the Bronx and has been a consistent supporter of this national youth initiative.

“More than any other sport, golf has a heartbeat that cares about people,” Nantz says. “It’s the basic nature of the game: etiquette, kindness, playing by the rules and doing good things – golfers are people that care for other people and it’s one of the tenants of the sport to give back and be caring for others.”

Nantz continues to promote and give back to the game his dad introduced him to. His contributions and vigorous advocacy of the game will help ensure that the game and its values are passed on to the next generation, which makes Jim Nantz most deserving of the MGA’s Distinguished Service Award.

“Jim and I have been friends and partners for many years, and he is as genuine a person as you’ll find,” says MGA President Jeff Holzschuh. “His passion for the game is matched only by his commitment to giving back, and he has been a true friend to golf in the Metropolitan Area.”

The award will be presented at the 116th MGA Annual Meeting and Dinner on Wednesday, December 4 at Westchester Country Club in Harrison, NY.

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

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pound Ridge Upgrades Clubhouse

Pound Ridge #13  photo courtesy of the club
Pound Ridge GC is spiffing up the clubhouse and will undergo significant enhancements this off-season, bringing the indoor facilities up to the standards closer to those of the excellent Pete Dye-designed golf course.

The main building will be expanded to provide permanent bathrooms, a full-service kitchen with new equipment, and men’s and women’s showers and small locker rooms. The breezeway between the building and temporary structure will be enclosed for additional comfort and privacy.

Floor, ceiling and window frame moulding, chair rails and other fixtures, features and equipment will be added to create both elegance and permanence. Guests will have the choice of relaxing in the refreshed interior or outdoors on one of Pound Ridge’s two alfresco seating and gathering areas.

“The end result will be a significantly more appealing and single integrated structure,” says Pound Ridge owner Ken Wang. “This is part of our long term plan to provide facilities and amenities commensurate with the quality of the golf course.”

According to Wang, Pound Ridge’s proximity to Wall Street and the financial community of Stamford, Greenwich and Norwalk area of Southern Connecticut leads to a high number of “business golfers” out for an efficient and enjoyable round.

“Having a comfortable spot to grab a quick shower, change of clothes and bite to eat, perhaps before returning to the office or an evening function, is important,” adds Wang. “The layout is also very walkable and those who carry or pull their clubs will appreciate the option of freshening up, post-round.”

The project is underway, and all work is expected to be completed by spring 2014.

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

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Exercise to Move Shoulders With Stable Hips

Here's a guest post from Dr. Jenni Martin MS DC LPGA Class A teacher and club professional who runs The Golf Gapper in Sacramento.

Learning to engage your core while moving your upper body and NOT moving your hips is essential to a powerful and balanced swing. This is a great exercise after any lower back issues. It is challenging and can be made even more so with the use of a weighted ball.

Sit on a medicine ball. Slowly, arms across your chest, raise each leg and twist with arms across your chest. Do this exercise slowly and to both sides. Switch legs. Do each direction 5 times. Add a weighted ball to increase the difficulty.

Dr. Martin grew up next door to Mark O'Meara and the Mission Viejo Golf Course. Her interest in golfers began years ago while helping Natalie Gulbis.  Her clientele includes students from  + 2 golfers to stroke patients, to those who have never touched a club.

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

Saturday, November 23, 2013

2014 USGA Championship Schedule

Pinehurst will host the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships in consecutive weeks in June on recently restored Pinehurst No. 2. It's the first time the two championships have been scheduled back to back and the USGA picked a fabulous venue for it. They also chose Bobby Jones's home club, the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, GA, for the the U.S. Amateur while St. Louis Country Club will host the 38th Curtis Cup Match.

“The USGA is excited to have an excellent group of courses to conduct our 2014 championships,” said Thomas J. O’Toole Jr., USGA vice president and Championship Committee chairman. “The historic nature of playing both Opens in consecutive weeks on a revered course sets the tone for the season. The list of venues crisscrosses the United States and reflects our commitment to bring USGA national championships to as many regions of the country as possible.”

Pinehurst No. 2 will host the 114th U.S. Open on June 12-15 and the 69th U.S. Women’s Open on June 19-22, thereby becoming the only course to have hosted the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women’s Amateur. Payne Stewart (1999) and Michael Campbell (2005) won the two previous U.S. Opens on the course, which is generally considered to be the greatest work by architect Donald Ross.

Atlanta Athletic Club, the home club of five-time Amateur champion Bob Jones, will host the 114th U.S. Amateur on Aug. 11-17. The club has previously hosted five USGA championships. For the first time in a century, the U.S. Women’s Amateur returns to Nassau Country Club, in Glen Cove, NY, on Aug. 4-10, for the 114th playing of the championship. Katherine Harley Jackson won the second of her two Women’s Amateur titles at the Long Island course in 1914.

The Curtis Cup Match, the biennial competition between women’s amateur teams from the United States and Great Britain & Ireland, will open the championship season on June 6-8 at St. Louis Country Club. The club has hosted five USGA championships, including the 1947 U.S. Open.

The state of Oklahoma will host a U.S. Senior Open for the first time when the 2014 championship is played at Oak Tree National from July 10-13. Oak Tree was the site for the 1984 U.S. Amateur (won by Oklahoma resident Scott Verplank, who turns 50 on July 9 and will be eligible for his first U.S. Senior Open).

The U.S. Amateur Public Links and U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links will both be conducted by the USGA for the last time in 2014, with both scheduled for July 14-19. The APL will be held at Sand Creek Station Golf Course in Newton, KS, while The Home Course, in DuPont, WA, is the Women’s APL site.

Overall, there are 13 USGA national championships, as well as the Curtis Cup Match and USGA Men’s State Team, on the 2014 schedule. In addition, Japan will host the World Amateur Team and Women’s World Amateur Team Championships in September – events which are co-sponsored by the International Golf Federation, the USGA and The R&A.

The U.S. Amateur Four-Ball and U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championships will debut in 2015, with sectional qualifying for the championships to be conducted starting in August 2014.

Just in case you want to book your flights early, here's the 2014 USGA Championship Schedule:

  • Curtis Cup Match, St. Louis Country Club, St. Louis, Mo., June 6-8
  • U.S. Open, Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Village of Pinehurst, N.C., June 12-15
  • U.S. Women’s Open, Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Village of Pinehurst, N.C., June 19-22
  • U.S. Senior Open, Oak Tree National, Edmond, Okla., July 10-13
  • U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, The Home Course, DuPont, Wash., July 14-19
  • U.S. Amateur Public Links, Sand Creek Station Golf Course, Newton, Kan., July 14-19
  • U.S. Girls’ Junior, Forest Highlands Golf Club, Flagstaff, Ariz., July 21-26
  • U.S. Junior Amateur, The Club at Carlton Woods, The Woodlands, Texas, July 21-26
  • U.S. Women’s Amateur, Nassau Country Club, Glen Cove, N.Y., Aug. 4-10
  • U.S. Amateur, Atlanta Athletic Club, Johns Creek, Ga., Aug. 11-17
  • U.S. Mid-Amateur, Saucon Valley Country Club, Bethlehem, Pa., Sept. 6-11
  • U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, Harbour Trees Golf Club, Noblesville, Ind., Sept. 6-11
  • U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, Hollywood Golf Club, Deal, N.J., Sept. 13-18
  • U.S. Senior Amateur, Big Canyon Country Club, Newport Beach, Calif., Sept. 13-18
  • USGA Men’s State Team, French Lick Resort (Pete Dye Course), French Lick, Ind., Sept. 30-Oct. 2 (International)
  • Women’s World Amateur Team, Karuizawa Golf, Karuizawa, Japan, Sept. 3-6
  • World Amateur Team, Karuizawa Golf, Karuizawa, Japan, Sept. 11-14

Thursday, November 21, 2013

More Decisions On the Rules of Golf

You've probably heard about the USGA (and R&A) decision regarding video evidence of ball movement, but it's worth noting that they ruling bodies announced 86 other changes to the 2012-2013 edition of “Decisions on the Rules of Golf.” The changes, part of a customary two-year Decisions review cycle, become effective on Jan. 1, 2014.

“The Rules of Golf are constantly evolving,” said Thomas Pagel, USGA senior director of the Rules of Golf. “The Decisions review process is an opportunity for The R&A and the USGA to continue to help make the game more understandable and accessible for players, officials and others who participate in the game.”

To that end, Revised Decision 25-2/0.5 uses pictures to help clarify when a golf ball is considered to be embedded in the ground.

Illustration courtesy of the USGA
Two other changes are particularly noteworthy:

New Decision 14-3/18 confirms that players can access reports on weather conditions on a smartphone during a round without breaching the Rules. Importantly, this new Decision also clarifies that players are permitted to access information on the threat of an impending storm in order to protect their own safety.

Revised Decision 27-2a/1.5 allows a player to go forward up to approximately 50 yards without forfeiting his or her right to go back and play a provisional ball.

If you need some fascinating bedtime reading, printed copies of “The Rules of Golf” and “Decisions on the Rules of Golf, 2014-2015” are available from the USGA and The R&A.

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

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

USGA Interprets Video Rule: Don't Believe Everything Your Camera Sees

If a ball moves in the pine straw but nobody saw it except through the lens of a high-def video camera, did it actually move?  Then there's the one about the lonesome tree falling in the forest....

Anyway, the USGA and the R&A have issued a new Decision 18/4. As of 2014, if a ball's movement is "not reasonably discernible" to the naked eye, no violation will be called at the time or later, regardless of whether video evidence exists otherwise.

Just in case you need more detail to understand the new interpretation of the rule, here's the statement the ruling bodies released to explain it:
In recent years, the rapid development of video technology, such as HDTV, digital recording and on-line visual media, has brought a new level of scrutiny to Rules issues arising in elite golf tournaments. This has led to an increasing number of inquiries to officials from television viewers and others about whether a breach of the Rules has occurred, sometimes resulting in breaches of the Rules being identified (and penalties being applied)  after the incident itself occurred. Occasionally, the identification of the breach has been after the player has returned his or her score card, which has therefore resulted in disqualification under Rule 6-6d. These developments have generated considerable discussion concerning whether, how and when such video evidence should be used.
The Rules of Golf Committees of the USGA and The R&A have been reviewing the operation of the Rules in the light of these continuing technological developments in order to determine whether any changes to the Rules are appropriate. In April 2011, the USGA and The R&A adopted Decision 33-7/4.5, which authorizes Committees to waive the disqualification penalty for a breach of Rule 6-6d in narrow circumstances in which the player could not reasonably have been aware of a breach of the Rules that later was identified only through video evidence.
Since adopting Decision 33-7/4.5, the USGA and The R&A have continued to review the impact of video technology on the game. With input and assistance from representatives of the professional tours who serve as consulting members of the Rules of Golf Committees, the USGA and The R&A are now introducing a further modification of the Rules, with effect from January 1, 2014, to address the use of video technology in determining whether a ball at rest has “moved” within the meaning of the Rules. New Decision 18/4 will provide that, where enhanced technological evidence shows that a ball has left its position and come to rest in another location, the ball will not be deemed to have moved if that movement was not reasonably discernible to the naked eye at the time. The Decision ensures that a player is not penalized under Rule 18-2 in circumstances where the fact that the ball had changed location could not reasonably have been seen without the use of enhanced technology.
Beyond these Decisions, as part of the 2016 Rules review,  the Rules of Golf Committees will be discussing other issues concerning the possible effect of video technology on the application of the Rules to the playing of the game, such as the necessary degree of precision in marking, lifting and replacing a ball, the estimation of a reference point for taking relief, and the overall question of the appropriate penalty for returning an incorrect score card where the player was unaware that a penalty had been incurred. As is true of the rules in many other televised sports, adapting to developments in technology and video evidence is an important ongoing topic in making and applying the Rules of Golf. 
In pursuing this continuing review, the USGA and The R&A will be guided by their longstanding position that a Committee should consider all evidence, regardless of the source, that may be relevant in determining the facts to which the Rules must be applied. As reflected in the interpretations contained in the Decisions, for questions of fact, the resolution of doubt must be made in the light of all relevant circumstances and be based on the weight of the evidence. To reach a correct ruling, all evidence from witnesses concerning a possible breach of the Rules should be considered, whether those witnesses are participants in the competition, non-participants such as spectators, or persons who have reviewed television footage and the like. Additionally, the Decisions provide that a Committee may make or revise a ruling at a later time if further information becomes available before the competition has closed.
In many other sports, there are good and understandable reasons for imposing a strict time limit on the review and correction of rules decisions. In golf, however, even at the elite level, players often apply the Rules to themselves without the assistance of a referee and, in stroke play, are responsible for the correctness of the score recorded for each hole. Moreover, competitions are often played over more than one day and, in stroke play, the outcome typically is based on total score, making it possible to correct errors significantly after the fact and, indeed, at any time before the competition is closed by virtue of the result being officially announced. For these reasons, disregarding relevant evidence of a breach of the Rules, obtained before the competition has ended, could lead to uncertainty and to unhealthy debate and disagreement about the fairness of a result that was influenced by an incorrect set of facts and failure to apply the Rules properly. If a player has breached a Rule, but this is not discovered until a later time, whether through video evidence or otherwise, such evidence must be considered so that the correct ruling can be applied and the player’s score can be recorded accurately.
In their ongoing review of the use of video and other enhanced technology, the USGA and The R&A will continue to be guided by the view that, regardless of the timing or the type of evidence used, the integrity of the game is best served by getting the ruling right.
As long-winded as they may be, I dare say I agree with the decision.

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

Winterizing With Mike Diffley

Some words of winter wisdom from guest blogger Mike Diffley, head pro at Pelham CC...

Hope everyone is catching some rest after a long beautiful fall here in the Northeast! It's great to have the seasons here in the Met area. Spring brings excitement, the Final Four, the Masters and the start of the golf season. Summer brings long days with plenty of opportunity to get outside and enjoy ourselves. Fall is an awesome time for golfers, conditions are great, the weather outrageous and the end of the season coming soon. Too soon sometimes but still it is great to have a beginning, middle and end.

Those of you that are not in the golf industry, I know you don't get enough time. Weekends seem to fly by even when you get to recreate a little. In the golf business, yes we work almost every day but it is our profession and we live and breathe what we do, so lucky us! Now for the winter, which totally sucks. And I hate the end of daylight savings time--I feel like someone hit me in the forehead with a brick! It is a time to rest, regroup, re-set goals and work on some things that will make us better and healthier.

So are you setting an off-season or winter list of goals? You should! I am!

Physical - You can become more fit ( flexibility and strength are the keys ) The purpose is to be stronger and to increase your club head speed. My favorites are stretching, plenty of places to learn that (Titleist Performance Institute Channel on YouTube) and using the Swing Fan and Swoosh. The Fan provides resistance like weight training and the Swoosh provides speed training. Modern sports science says both are needed to improve your swing speed. Do 2 sets of 10 each working your way up to 25 of each. A little cardio, I ride a bike (something to get you sweating).

Putting - Get a putting mat  (8 feet is enough) do sets of five or ten and make 50 or 100 total. To mix it up make 50 at three feet and then go and make 50 at six. I would do one set standard, one set looking at the hole, one set with your eyes closed, one set left hand only, and one set right hand only!

Mental Training - Read a book!  Here are a few that will stretch your brain and you might learn something about getting better at golf and more!

The Practicing Mind - Thomas M. Sterner (How learning golf is like learning music with deliberate Practice!)
Mindfulness - Ellen J. Langer (The opposite of mindlessness!!  Enough said)
High Performance Golf - Henry Brunton (Many aspects of getting better and developing golfers)

I'm going to Jupiter in a week or so to spend the winter. I'll be playing, coaching and enjoying the golfer life! Lucky me! I'll be starting off with helping Nannette Hill get through LPGA Q School. She is injury free and looks ready to me. Then on to Fox Club in Stuart working on my game and helping those who think I can!

If anyone wants to find me, this is a good avenue to track me down. Be well. Go Johnnies!

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

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Your Winter Golf Plan

Just because winter is coming and the golf clubs are going into the closet for a few months is no reason to stop working on your game. In fact, according to Ben Shear, Director of Performance at Golf & Body NYC, there are many ways to use the cold, indoor months to improve your health and your game so you’ll play that much better when the golf season starts again. 

“Not everyone has to do what Tiger Woods does,” says Shear, “but there are things we all should do if we want to play at a good level.” He adds, “just a few tips or exercises aren't enough to really help you in the off-season. There's much more to gain by using the time to make some important changes not only to how you swing but how you think about your game and take care of your body."

Here are Shear’s five off-season ways to guarantee long-term improvement of your body and your swing.
  • Start a fitness program. “Join a gym, or better yet, join a specialized golf-improvement facility like Golf & Body NYC, where the fitness experts and golf instructors will evaluate your health and golf swing and then work together to create a program tailored specifically for you.” 
  • Get a physical assessment. “If you’re not going to exercise or join a gym, at least get a physical assessment so you know what your body is, and is not, capable of. This is especially good advice if you’re going to work with a golf professional, because he needs to know where you’re flexible, where you’re strong, and where you’re not. Otherwise he might try to teach you a swing you physically can’t make, in which case you’ll never improve—and might even hurt yourself.” 
  • Change your mental outlook. “Average golfers have poor expectations. I don't mean about total score, but shot to shot. They think every shot should be hit perfectly, but no one does. Tour players accept this, recreational golfers don’t. Use the off-season to change your approach, focusing on end results rather than each shot. This is especially good advice when you’re practicing, indoors or out. If you hit a bad shot, don’t change mechanics and swing thoughts, just take another shot. If you’re doing the right things, you’ll be okay. Of course, if you’re missing every shot then maybe you should rethink your mechanics and see a pro. But if you’re working on the right things, you’re still not going to hit every shot perfectly every time.” 
  • Eat and drink better. “First, drink as much water as you can. Second, have a small salad with dinner every night. Third, you don’t have to give up all the bad stuff—the pizza, cookies, cake, candy—but cut that stuff in half and you’ll immediately be healthier. Do that and drink more water and your life will be better.” 
  • Determine your level of commitment. “Understand where you are and what you’re trying to do it. Every one of my Tour player clients has a different level of commitment, time, finances, and energy. But they’ve all thought about how much work they are wiling to put into improving. You won’t have success if you don’t know yourself and how hard you are willing to work.” 
Golf & Body NYC is a private club in Manhattan that enables its members to train like the game’s top players. In fact, Shear works with a number of PGA Tour golfers—including Luke Donald, Webb Simpson, Jason Day, and Bo Van Pelt. His total-body programs are proven to improve health and golf performance for the best players in the world, top amateurs and weekend golfers at all levels.

Every membership includes a full physical evaluation by Shear’s staff and a golf swing evaluation by the professional staff. For more information, contact Jeannine Harrington, General Manager at (212) 244-2626 or go to www.golfbodynyc.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, November 13, 2013

Callaway Names Aulenti National Clubfitter of the Year

Angela Aulenti
Angela Aulenti, head golf professional at Sterling Farms Golf Course in Stamford, CT and owner of the Aulenti Fitting Studio, has been named the National Clubfitter of the Year by golf equipment manufacturer Callaway.  Aulenti, the first female head professional in Connecticut, combines a reputation as an expert clubfitter with her dedicated teaching skills.  Her year-round indoor facility provides the most current technology and precise fitting analysis for golfers of all ability levels.

“Callaway Golf is extremely honored to announce that Angela Aulenti has been named the
2013 National Clubfitter of the Year,” said Rob Chase, Director Strategic Sales.  “Angela is one of our highly valued Callaway Master Staff Professionals, a designation which she was given many years ago due to her skills as a golf professional, teacher, clubfitter and her overall golf business acumen.  Her students, customers and all of us at Callaway Golf are so privileged to be able to work with such an accomplished leader in the golf industry.  Angela is incredibly deserving of this award, not only for the high level of success she had in 2013, but also for all the years she has been a valued member of the Callaway family.  We sincerely congratulate Angela for her great accomplishment!”

Aulenti was selected as National Clubfitter of the Year from hundreds of Callaway certified professionals.

“This truly is an exceptional honor for Callaway to have this level of confidence in my clubfitting abilities,” said Aulenti.  “There are so many fine professionals around the country who fit golfers with the right equipment so they can better enjoy the game.  Too many golfers are playing with the wrong clubs and this has a negative impact on their ability to advance and score better.  I am very proud to receive this national award and I look forward to continuing to help all golfers improve by using custom fitted clubs.”

Aulenti, a PGA and LPGA member, currently is in her third term as president of the LPGA Teaching & Club Professional’s Northeast Section.  In 2012, she was inducted into the Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame.  Aulenti has won numerous awards for her excellent service and commitment to the game, including the 2011 LPGA Professional of the Year.  She received the Callaway National Clubfitter of the Year award on November 11th in Palm Springs.  Aulenti resides in Fairfield, Connecticut.

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

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hudson Valley Clubs Aid Wounded Warriors in World's Largest Golf Outing

Two Hudson Valley clubs, Hudson Hills in Ossining and Beekman CC in Hopewell Junction, NY, raised thousands of dollars for the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) as two of the 110 courses in 24 states that hosted the third annual World's Largest Golf Outing on August 12. The event is sponsored by Billy Casper Golf (BCG), the golf management company established more than 20 years ago in cooperation with golf legend Billy Casper.

The event this year rasied over $725,000 nationwide, with Hudson Hills players chipping in for $2,405 and Beekman CC raising $12,115. Lyman Orchards Golf Club in Middlefield, CT, topped all courses with $51,449 in total donations.

Since its inception three years ago, the World’s Largest Golf Outing has donated more than $1.1 million to WWP, the largest amount ever via a single-day golf event. In addition to a portion of golfer entry fees WWP received, donations were accepted online.

The simultaneous golf outing at BCG properties included participation of more than 70 wounded warriors at 27 different courses. WWP is the national non-profit organization that honors and empowers injured service men and women.

“The outpouring from across the country is incredible,” says Sergeant Robert Maier, a wounded warrior who survived two IED attacks and played at Black Mountain Golf Course (Black Mountain, NC) with Mayor Carl Bartlett. “The money raised does amazing things for us and our families.”

“WWP is in awe of the growth of this event and the generosity of golfers nationwide,” says Adam Silva, Chief Development Officer of WWP. “We and the warriors who took part salute the goodwill of Billy Casper Golf and look forward partnering for many years to come.”

“The sacrifice of wounded warriors in the name of our country is humbling,” says Peter Hill, Chairman and CEO of BCG. “Our loyal golfers are commended for turning out in droves this year and raising a fantastic sum for this worthy cause.”

All golfers were entered into a drawing to win a grand-prize trip for four to the Nike Campus in Oregon to get fitted for Nike irons. In addition, tournament winners at each course were eligible to win tickets to the 2014 PGA Championship in Louisville, KY as well as products from top golf brands Ahead, Bridgestone, Callaway, Cleveland, FootJoy, Nike, TaylorMade and Titleist. Teams with the highest contribution levels received complimentary tees times at BCG courses and WWP merchandise.

The mission of the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and service to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, FL.

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

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Stretch For Golf Swing Width

An effective golf swing requires the ability to reach out and roll your shoulders, according to Jenni Martin, LPGA member and TPI-certified medical and golf professional.  Martin points out that sitting at a desk like I do all day impedes that ability. Here's a stretch she recommends for regaining flexibility in your shoulders and lats.

While on your knees, reach out over a medicine ball. Feel the stretch in the front, sides and back of your upper arms and back. Hold this stretch for 5 seconds and then slowly roll to the left, holding for another 5 seconds. Now roll to the right side, maintaining the feeling of a full stretch. Repeat this series 4 times. Do this great stretch daily for additional width in your swing.

"The lack of shoulder flexibility can cause lose of distance off the tee," Martin says. "Flexible shoulders and back create swing 'width' and width equals speed and more distance."

Martin works in Sacramento, where she uses here LPGA teaching background, TPI training, and orthopedic knowledge (she's a DC as well) to help players of all levels improve their games physically and mentally.

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

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Slow Play Isn't Entirely Your Fault

Slow play isn't just ruining your day on the golf course, it's strangling the game, according to experts gathered by the USGA at last week's Pace of Play Symposium.  A range of industry leaders outlined various research and made recommendations to bring the game closer to solving one of its long-standing challenges.  The biggest conclusion I took away from the gathering is that player behavior--including that idiot who's plumb-bobbing every putt in the foursome ahead of you--is only partially to blame.

USGA Pace of Play Symposium   photo courtesy of USGA
Matt Pringle, the USGA’s technical director, and Jim Moore, the USGA Green Section’s education director, discussed the findings of their continuing studies of pace of play based on real-world data. Pringle outlined some fundamental causes and advocated for more comprehensive measurement of key factors that most influence pace of play, while Moore concentrated on specific maintenance practices that golf courses can employ to combat the problem.

Course operators who try to squeeze more players onto the course with eight- or nine-minute intervals between tee times are prime culprits in slowing down the game, according to just about every speaker. Joining them in the guilty category are designers (and the course developers who push them into it) who build ever-longer and ever-more-difficult courses in an effort to make it onto the golf magazines' top 100 lists so they can sell more resort rooms and golf course home sites. When you round up the greens chairmen whose egos drive their club's greens to Stimp at eleven or higher, the rough to US-Open length and thickness, and fairways lush and green so players get no roll, you've identified some other star members of the slow-play rogue's gallery.

Lou Riccio, a professor at Columbia University and a longtime pace-of-play analyst, noted that pace-of-play discussions typically focus on the behavior of individual golfers, yet the role of facility owners, course managers and others is of equal if not greater importance. “This is an integrated challenge, and one with many stakeholders,” said Riccio. David Hueber, a professor at Clemson University, provided an analysis of golf course design and construction from the 1990s through today, noting that courses built during this period are generally longer and more difficult to play – both direct contributors to increased pace of play.

Not to be overlooked, of course, is the model of play presented by the media as it follows the pros. At the symposium, representatives from the PGA Tour and the LPGA Tour discussed the importance of proper pace of play at some of the game’s most important and visible championships. John Bodenhamer, the USGA’s senior managing director of Rules, Competitions & Equipment Standards, spoke specifically about the Association’s efforts throughout 2013 to monitor and improve pace of play at its championships.

Other representation came from some of the USGA’s most important industry partners, including The PGA of America, the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA), and the Southern California Golf Association. Stephen Hamblin, the executive director of the AJGA, offered an encouraging look at the progress made at the junior levels of the game through institution of an aggressive checkpoint system at its tournaments.

The symposium was part of an ongoing, multi-year pace-of-play initiative introduced by the USGA in February 2013, when the Association identified pace of play as a significant threat to the game’s health. Many of the resources developed during the last nine months can be found at the USGA’s Pace of Play Resource Center.

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

Friday, November 8, 2013

Stay Dry and Swing Smooth with New Sun Mountain New Rain Suit

Sun Mountain has unveiled a new golf rain suit for 2014. Cumulus is the company’s most breathable golf rain suit to-date, offering the light weight of 2.5 layer technology with a two-year waterproof guarantee. Cumulus is available now in men’s full-zip jacket ($129) and pants ($119).

Incorporating 2.5 layer technology, Cumulus has a woven shell laminated to a waterproof, breathable membrane, with a protective inner layer. This slick inner layer will be appreciated when taking the suit on and off as well as during the golf swing when it slides over clothing rather than catching and offering resistance to the swing.  In addition, a durable water repellent (DWR) finish provides additional surface water and stain resistance.

Features of the Cumulus Jacket include a pleated back which allows an expanded range of motion, a two-way front zipper that  lies flat and out of the way when putting, adjustable hem and cuffs, zippered hand warmer pockets, and a stand-up collar.

Cumulus rain pants offer the same ultra-lightweight, 2.5 layer, guaranteed waterproof and breathable construction as the jacket along with a partial elastic waist and zipper fly, zippered hand warmer pockets and wallet pockets, deep lower leg zippers, and a snap system that allows length to be shortened by 2.5”.

The minimalistic construction of the Cumulus results in a compact folded size for easy storage in your golf bag.

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

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Max Buckley Named MGA Player of the Year

Max Buckley  Photo courtesy MGA
Max Buckley of Westchester Country Club has been named the Metropolitan Golf Association's Player of the Year for 2013. He secured the award with a win at the Nassau Invitational during the final week that points for the award were available. The 24-year-old recipient of the 2013 MGA Jerry Courville Sr. Player of the Year Award will be recognized for his achievement at the 116th MGA Annual Meeting and Dinner on Wednesday, December 4, at Westchester Country Club in Harrison, N.Y.

The Jerry Courville Sr. MGA Player of the Year Award is presented annually to the Met Area amateur who compiles the best record in select events during the course of the year, and is based on a system in which players earn points for their finishes in designated local, national and international championships.

Buckley’s triumph at the Nassau, the penultimate event on the Met Area competitive schedule, gave him a mere 40-point edge over Andover, N.J.’s Pat Wilson in the Polo Golf MGA Points Standings, making it one of the narrowest wins in the past 20 years.

“When I sat down with my coach [Gary Weir] at the beginning of the year, this was one of my main goals,” said Buckley, a 2013 graduate of Southern Methodist University. “Once I won a few tournaments and put myself in that position, I felt more and more comfortable in tight situations, and that’s something that really helped me.”

Right from the get-go, one had the feeling it was going to be a special season for Buckley, who developed a knack for coming up big down the stretch of tournaments. It began in April while he was competing overseas as a member of the MGA Carey Cup team against the Golfing Union of Ireland. Playing in the second to last singles match on the final day, Buckley overcame a three down deficit with four to play to win his match and secure the retention of the Cup.

In May, he edged Wilson in a sudden-death playoff to win the New York City Amateur, the first of four victories on the season. In June, he narrowly missed qualifying for the U.S. Open (T-6 at sectionals) and recorded his second consecutive runner-up finish at the Ike Championship. A few days later, he took home the Mittelmark Invitational at Fenway with a birdie on the first hole of a three-way sudden death playoff. He claimed sole possession atop the Player of the Year standings after he finished tied for third at the Westchester Open and won the Arcola Cup by three shots in late July.

However, being a factor in the Player of the Year race wasn’t unfamiliar territory for Buckley; he made the past three Player of the Year Honor Rolls (awarded to the top 10 players in the standings). He now joins an elite list of players who’ve claimed the Met Area’s most coveted amateur title.

“There are a lot of great names on that Player of the Year Award list, and to be among them is pretty special,” he said.

Standing in his way was Wilson, a 2013 graduate of St. John’s, who sat near the top of the standings for much of the season. The 23-year-old, who plays out of Panther Valley, took over the lead in early August after his impressive victory at the Met Amateur at Stanwich. Both players earned on-site cut points at the Met Open and after a third place finish at the Boff Invitational in September (Buckley finished 10th), Wilson’s lead extended to 60 points heading into the final week of the season.

Buckley saved his finest performance for last, qualifying for match play and winning all four matches en route to the Nassau crown and Player of the Year title.

“Max is a really good player,” Wilson said. “He did what he needed to do. It was a deserving win.”

“Pat and I had a good rivalry all summer,” Buckley said. “He played spectacular golf, especially at the Met Am. It was a tight race till the end.”

This is Wilson’s second consecutive Honor Roll finish. Joining him are other Met Area standouts including Sam Bernstein of Century who is making his third consecutive appearance, two-time MGA Player of the Year Joe Saladino of Huntington who finished fourth in the standings, and 2013 Met Am and MGA Mid-Am runner-up Trevor Randolph of Arcola who finished fifth. Rounding out the Honor Roll is last year’s POY runner-up and Met Am champ Ryan McCormick of Suburban, reigning Met Junior winner Cameron Young of Sleepy Hollow, Dylan Crowley of Glen Cove who finished 8th, former MGA/MetLife Boys winner Matt Lowe of Colonial Springs, and 2013 NJSGA Amateur champion Mike Stamberger of Spring Lake.

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

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

New Golf Ball Will Catch Your Eye

As you might expect from the title of my recent book, Weird Golf, I get a kick out of some of the more unusual facets of the game.  Especially equipment.  That's why a new golf ball line caught my eye--literally.

It's the Vision Golf Ball, a line of dimpled pills that absorb UV rays from the sun, making them brighter and therefore easier to see.  That means you can more accurately follow the ball's flight and, heaven forbid, perhaps find it a little more readily in the tall fescue.  In fact, it even glows in the dark so you can squeeze in those last few holes after the sun goes down with less fear (at least of losing your ball).

The company also claims that the hi-tech, soft cover material on this ball is extremely slick, thereby creating less drag in flight and greater overall distance.  Good thing it's easier to find!

The company says they will be USGA-conforming, but I haven't seen the latest list so I can't attest to that. Vision Golf was founded eight years ago by the well known Australian father and son pairing of Bill and Wayne Bosley, who have 80+ years of combined International golf industry work experience plus extensive international top-level amateur play.

The balls and other Vision products are distributed in the US by Eat Sleep Golf. If you'd like to try them out (and help fund their US expansion), go to www.indiegogo.com/projects/vision-golf-balls.

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

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Bensel Captures Third PGA National Assistant Championship

Frank Bensel during the third round. Photo by Kat Griggs/PGA
Frank Bensel, a longtime Met PGA stalwart and assistant pro at Century Country Club, took his third National PGA Assistant Championship title today at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, FL. Bensel shot out of the gate with an eagle on the first hole in the final round this morning, propelling him to a ten-under finish of 278, six strokes ahead of runner-up Charles Frost of North Carolina.

Bensel won the event in 2010 and 2011. He also topped the field for the Met Open in 2009 and was Met PGA Player of the year in 2005 among many other honors earned in his career.

St. Andrew's assistant Greg Bisconti was in the field for the eighth time, placing T-43 this year. His best finish in the Championship was a share of fifth in 2000.  Other Met Section pros placing in Port St. Lucie included John Guyton, T-19, and Nick Beddow, T-43.

Bensel won a spot in the 47th PGA Professional National Championship, June 22-25, 2014, to be held in Myrtle Beach, SC, at The Dunes Club and the Grande Dunes Resort Course. The Dunes Club will host the final two Championship rounds exclusively after the field is trimmed to the lowest 70 scorers and ties.

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

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Spring Lake Starts Renovation

Golf course architecture firm Tripp Davis and Associates has started work to carry out its two-year Master Plan for renovating and restoring Spring Lake Golf Club’s historic course.  Located on New Jersey’s north shore, the club’s original 18 holes were designed by George Thomas (the genius behind Riviera Country Club) in 1911.  In 1918, A.W. Tillinghast, one of America’s greatest golf course architects, was engaged to redesign, strengthen and update the course.

Golf architect Tripp Davis, who is noted for his work with historic golf courses around the country, was asked by Spring Lake Golf Club in 2011 to create a strategic plan that would restore the character of the course first laid out by Thomas and later improved upon by Tillinghast.  “Our direction and focus in developing a Master Plan for Spring Lake was to keep Thomas’s solid routing intact, then look to what Tillinghast did so we could work to reestablish the importance of angles off the tees, restore and enhance the strategic intent of the bunkers and return them to their original style,” said Davis.  “Additionally, fairway widths that were altered over the years will be regained, the once sandy scrub areas that were a prominent feature will be reintroduced, some greens will be rebuilt, and overall there will be a more open feel to the landscape.”

With Spring Lake being so close to the Atlantic, Davis and his team will introduce Fine Fescues in various areas to promote more of a seaside feel.  While making the course more strategically interesting for modern play, the end result is to let golfers experience a step back in time.

“I am very excited to start our work at Spring Lake,” Davis commented.  “It is a special place that will have a stronger connection to its heritage when we are done.”

The Master Plan is being implemented in phases with the first phase beginning October 15th
on the back nine bunkers, sandy scrub areas, select tees, the expansion of certain greens and  fairways, planting of Fine Fescue areas, as well as some drainage improvements.  The front nine changes are scheduled for October 2014.  Tripp Davis and Associates most recently completed a renovation and restoration of the Tillinghast designed Brook Hollow Golf Club in Dallas, 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, November 1, 2013

Pound Ridge Offers Off-Season Bargain Rates

Pound Ridge #4  photo courtesy of the course
Pound Ridge, Westchester County’s newest daily fee course, will offer off-season rates of $150 before 2 pm and $100 after, effective Nov. 4 through Dec. 31, according to course owner Ken Wang.

Available seven days a week, off-season rates include golf or pull cart, yardage book, bottled water, player’s towel and use of the driving range, chipping area and practice green. More information on rate periods, cancelation policies and inclusions is available at www.poundridgegolf.com.

“We believe golfers appreciate the opportunity to play a nationally-ranked golf course for $150 or $100 without paying extra for range balls, yardage books and towels,” says Wang. “For players who haven’t experienced Pound Ridge, late autumn and early winter are ideal for sampling a quintessential Pete Dye layout.”

From the back tees, Pound Ridge plays to a slope of 146, challenging scratch and plus-handicap players. Move up to any of the five other sets of tees and it becomes a course any golfer can enjoy. Rather than using gender, age or ego as the primary determinant of tee spacing, Dye uses handicap differential, matching the golfer's skill level to the difficulty of the challenge.

Located under an hour from New York City and minutes from White Plains, N.Y. and Stamford and Greenwich, Conn., Pound Ridge is an easy – and scenic – drive from the region’s population centers.

Fans of Dye will find all the legendary designer’s renowned touches on display: dramatic mounding, rhythmic routing and subtle deception meld to create an imminently challenging and fair golf experience. Pound Ridge reflects the best in contemporary course design and is unique in a region filled with classic courses.

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

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Spook-tacular FREE Golf Book -- Grand Slam: A Tale Of Weird Golf

It wouldn't be Halloween without a scary story or two, but we don't often connect "golf" with "scary" unless we're standing over a downhill three-footer with eight inches of left-to-right break and a $1000 press on the line.

Fortunately, there are cheaper ways to put some spine-tingling thrills into your golf experience.  Like picking up a copy of Grand Slam: A Tale Of Weird Golf. To celebrate the season, this quick, fun, tongue-in-cheek read is available for the spook-tacular price of FREE right now at Amazon.com.

Grand Slam follows the hair-raising adventures of Eddie Monk, a sportswriter who suspects that golf's newest phenom, Harry, "The Closer" Lanack, has a horrible secret that is propelling him toward winning the most elusive record in the sport. When the full moon intersects the golf tournament calendar with perfect timing, Harry's game--not to mention his hunger for human flesh--steps up a notch of two. Eddie's quest for the truth sends him from an insane asylum in Vienna to the storied fairways of Winged Foot Golf Club and a final showdown with "The Closer" under the light of the full moon.

And you thought that three-footer was scary?

Enjoy Grand Slam for FREE right now. If you don't have a Kindle, download it to your smartphone or tablet using the free Kindle app or read it on your computer. While you're reading, though, make sure you keep all the lights on!

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

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Rob Labritz Caps Great 2013 at Treiber Memorial

Rob Labritz
photo courtesy of Titleist
Rob Labritz must have worn out several pairs of celebratory dancing shoes this year.  His win at the Treiber Memorial Tournament of Champions was the perfect end to the season--and propelled him into the Met PGA Player of the Year honor for the second time in his career.

He also took home the winner's hardware for the Polo Golf Met PGA Head Professional Championship (for the second year in a row) as well as the Metropolitan Professional Championship (also for the second year in a row). Quite a collection of trophies for the 42-year-old upbeat and energetic Director of Golf at GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford.

Then there was the hail-Mary pitch shot from the fairway that dropped into the last hole of the sudden death playoff at the PGA Professional National Championship and put him into the PGA Championship at Oak Hill. Video of the shot earned "Top Play" honors on ESPN and went viral across the internet, prompting worldwide acclaim for his wedge prowess and many a chuckle over the rather lame high-five that followed.

Labrtiz, of course, is no stranger to championship golf. He also qualified for the PGA Championship in 2002 at Hazeltine and in 2003 at Oak Hill and was the low club pro at Whistling Straits in 2010 where he shared the winner's circle with Martin Kaymer. Locally, his list of titles includes the 2008 and 2011 NY State Open and 2006 NY State PGA among many, many others.

The biggest prize for Labritz this year, though, was Ryan Miller Labritz, a sparkling baby girl born to him and his wife Kerry on August 14, just three days after the PGA Championship. That, my friends, is a trophy that will shine in his life forever.

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

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Speed Golf World Championship Today At Bandon Dunes

Don't blink or you could miss the Speed Golf World Championship today and tomorrow at Bandon Dunes. It's an event after my own heart: The winner is the golfer who takes the fewest total strokes plus the total minutes and seconds it takes the player to complete his or her round.

The Speedgolf world record for a single round is 109.06 (he shot a 65 in 44:06), set by Christopher Smith, Portland, Ore., at the 2005 Chicago Speedgolf Classic. Smith is also in this year’s field.  A sub-45-minute round is my idea of the perfect pace of play.

The event will be webcast live at 8 AM PDT today and tomorrow. You can watch the coverage at http://www.bandondunesgolf.com/blog/2013-speedgolf.

The field has several marquee competitors, including two Olympic track and field athletes. Nick Willis, New Zealand, won the silver medal in the 1,500 meters at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Bernard Lagat, Tucson, Ariz., won the 2007 world championship in the 1,500 and 5,000 meters.

Defending Speedgolf world champion Christopher Walker, Woodlands, Tex., returns to defend his title. The former Notre Dame golf team captain is pursuing a professional golf career through the mini-tour circuit. At last year’s world championship Walker shot 77 in 53:29 in Round 1, and 76 in 56:59 in Round 2 for a two-day total of 263.28.

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

Friday, October 25, 2013

Miller Advances to Q-School Stage Two

Mike Miller    photo Hunter Martin/USGA
Mike Miller advanced through the first stage of Q School today on the Magnolia Course at Pinewild Country Club of Pinehurst, NC.  His 3-over 291 was good enough for a T-23 finish and the chance to compete in stage 2 next month.

Miller, past MGA player of the year who turned pro this year just before the Met Open, opened the four-round event with a 71 on Tuesday, then pushed it down to four under with a 69 on Tuesday. Yesterday, he slipped to a 75 and finished today with a bogey-laden 76. It was good enough to advance, though, which is the goal at this point in the long slog to earn a spot on the Web.com Tour. The next qualifying stage will be held next month.

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

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pete Meurer Takes First Brooklyn Open Championship

Pete Meurer, 56, of Staten Island, parred the fifth playoff hole to win the professional division of the Inaugural Brooklyn Open Golf Championship at Marine Park Golf Course on Monday afternoon.

Meurer and Gabriel Lee of Bayside each finished the day with one-under 71s and proceeded to a sudden death playoff. Meurer, a retired FDNY firefighter, rolled in a 3-foot part putt on the par-5 No. 14 to secure his first professional tournament triumph.

``I played pretty good,'' said Meurer, a teaching pro at Staten Island Golf Practice Center who received $2,000 for his first career victory. ``I haven't been to Marine Park in 20 years until last Friday. I was very pleasantly surprised with the course. I shouldn't say this is a hidden gem because it is in Brooklyn. The course is fabulous."

Meurer, who turned pro in 2005, recorded four birdies during his round on the 7,079- yard Robert Trent Jones designed course. It's the first New York City tournament to play more than 7,000 yards.

``This is great for Brooklyn'' said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who awarded the winner's check. ``This is a world class golf course right here in Brooklyn. The operators really should be commended for their dedication to the borough of Brooklyn and surrounding local communities.''

Neal Fredericksen, 54,of Staten Island was the overall amateur champion after carding a 3-over 75. ``I love what they are doing here,'' said Fredericksen, a current FDNY firefighter. ``(Co-operators) Mike Giordano and Adam Giordano, (superintendent) Don Askinski and (golf director) Rich McDonough are doing a great job.''

Fredericksen opened the day with three birdies on his first nine holes. Ironically, both Fredericksen and Meurer play out of Silver Lake Golf Course on Staten Island.

The inaugural Brooklyn Open Championship greeted a sold-out field of 112 players, representing all five boroughs as well as from Long Island, Westchester County and New Jersey. The Brooklyn Open Championship will be an annual  tournament.

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

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Balls of Steel Get USGA OK

Two young entrepreneurs with dreams of improving your golf game just received notice that the USGA has approved their first product, the OnCore Evo Golf Ball. The official notice to the company read,
"Golf balls with rigid cores whose core diameters do not exceed 0.9 inches, such as the OnCore Evo Ball, will be permitted exceptions to the 'traditional and customary form and make' requirement in Rule 1 of Appendix III."
When the USGA's list of approved equipment is published on November 6, the Evo ball will be considered conforming to the Rules of Golf.
"We are thrilled with the USGA's determination that rigid cores such as the OnCore hollow metal-core will be permissible in designing the golf balls of the future," says OnCore's President Bret Blakely. "We have had an enthusiastic reaction to our ball from players of all skill levels. Our objective has always been to help golfers have a better experience and get more enjoyment from the game. We expect that OnCore's products and technology (which are exclusively secured by three U.S. patents) will soon become the trendsetters in the industry."

VP Steve Coulton adds, "One of our dreams is to have young, up and coming tour players using our equipment. With the USGA approval, this dream can become reality, which is really exciting for us."

The company is headquartered in Buffalo, NY and says it is dedicated to improving the lives, scores, and enjoyment of golfers of all skill levels by offering exciting products that live up to the company's tagline - "You Just Became a Better Golfer."

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

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Marine Park Fills Brooklyn Open Championship Field

Hole #14 at Marine Park Golf Course
The Inaugural Brooklyn Open Championship has reached a full field of 112 players representing some of the area's top professional and amateur golfers according to Tournament Director Rich McDonough. The event will take place Monday, October 21 at Marine Park Golf Course.

Players are scheduled to begin teeing off at 8:30 a.m. on the par-72 Robert Trent Jones designed course. The field consists of players from all five boroughs and surrounding counties. The links-style design will be stretched to 7,091 yards for the professional and top amateur players, making it the longest challenge in New York City.

"We're extremely gratified that the response for our first Brooklyn Open Championship was so strong," said Michael Giordano, co-operator of Marine Park Golf Course. "We look forward to building on this for the future."

Professionals will be vying for a purse of more than $5,000. TD Bank Visa gift certificates will be awarded to the top amateur finishers. The overall professional and amateur champion will receive a Brooklyn Borough President Trophy. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is scheduled to be on hand to present the Brooklyn Borough President trophies at 3 p.m.

Overall four amateur divisions have been prearranged by handicaps and each will crown a champion. Thirty-three players with a handicap index of 8.9 or less are in the first division vying for the top amateur's Brooklyn Borough President Trophy. Amateurs playing in divisions 2-4 will play Marine Park at 6,600-plus yards.

There will be an opportunity for an amateur who aces the par-3 No. 5 to win a 2014 Cadillac, courtesy of Kristal Auto Mall.

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