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Friday, October 31, 2014

Three Shots - Three Holes in One

Eighth hole at Palmetto Hall's Robert Cupp Course
Impossible? No, just implausible! Hilton Head Island Golf recently announced that three golfers from different foursomes made a hole-in-one from the same tees on the same hole on the same day at Palmetto Hall Plantation’s Robert Cupp Course on October 19, 2014.  In case you were wondering, it was on the eighth hole, a short but delightful par three.

What are the odds? About the same as winning the Powerball. The probability of making a hole-in-one for an average player is roughly 12,500 to 1. The chances of two people acing the same hole on the same day from the same foursome are in the 17 million to 1 range.   Add in a third person, all from different groups, hitting from the same tees and the number is beyond my comprehension.

During the Amateur Golf Tour Championship sponsored by Golfweek, Daren Green of the Raleigh-Pinehurst Tour holed out first. In the foursome immediately following Green, Jose Talamantes from the Downeast Tour stepped up to swing from the same par-three hole and also hit an ace from 130 yards. Later in the afternoon, JPGA player André Scopone also made a hole-in-one from the eighth hole.

“We generally have a hand full of hole-in-ones annually, but three in one day is unbelievable,” says Dan Moscar, General Manager of Palmetto Hall Plantation Club. “In all my years in the industry, I have never had two aces in one day, let alone three!”

A Heritage Golf Group property, Palmetto Hall Plantation Club features 36 holes of golf immersed in Southern elegance and natural beauty. The Arthur Hills and Robert Cupp-designed courses challenge and reward players of all skill levels. The Club features a 14,000 square foot antebellum-style Clubhouse, as well as amenities for the entire family. Palmetto Hall Plantation Club is recognized as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary for its commitment to environmental quality by meeting required standards for protecting the environment, conserving natural resources, and preserving wildlife habitats.

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

Monday, October 27, 2014

GolfTEC Promotes First Tee

Need to fix your game?  There's no better time or reason than right now. Next month, GolfTEC will commemorate teaching its five millionth lesson by providing complimentary 30-minute golf lessons on November 8 or 9 to customers who make a donation to The First Tee.

Offered at all GolfTEC locations in the United States, this unique opportunity allows golfers to sign up online at www.golftec.com/promos/5million or by calling 877.446.5383. To complete the process, customers follow instructions on making a donation to The First Tee and show that receipt upon arrival at GolfTEC. Each lesson is valued at more than $50, far greater than the $20 suggested minimum contribution to The First Tee. Come on, you piker, pony up a bit more--it's a great cause (and I'm not talking about your swing)!

The First Tee is an international youth development organization focused on introducing the game of golf and its inherent values to young people. Through afterschool and educational programs, it helps shape the lives of young people from all walks of life by reinforcing values like integrity, respect and perseverance through the game of golf.

“We gave our first lesson nearly 20 years ago and since that time GolfTEC has grown to become an industry leader, employing more PGA professionals than any other organization,” says Joe Assell, Co-Founder and CEO of GolfTEC. “Our goal is to grow the game by helping players improve and enjoy golf more, which creates a devoted consumer base excited to play and share this amazing sport.”

Highly efficient and claiming a 95 percent success rate, GolfTEC lessons are taught one-on-one by Certified Personal Coaches mostly in indoor bays that utilize proprietary teaching technology. Developing a comprehensive improvement plan for each student is the foundation of GolfTEC’s philosophy. This is embodied by the company’s popular game plans and lesson packs, which are available in a variety of options to suit all budgets.

“The First Tee and GolfTEC have a shared vision of introducing more young people to the game of golf and ensuring they have the necessary tools to succeed on and off the golf course,” says Jennifer Weiler, Vice President of Strategic Alignment and Development, of The First Tee. “We are grateful to be part of this unique promotion, which will undoubtedly raise awareness for our mission.”

GolfTEC’s first-class instructors have gone through rigorous certification to master the analysis of golf mechanics, the technology of the GolfTEC system and the most productive teaching techniques. Each of the company’s locations boasts an array of state-of-the-art equipment and services specially designed to provide customers a totally unique experience. Among the technologies currently employed:

  • g-SWING teaching technology – Patented software program displays real-time video with motion measurement, capturing body positions throughout the swing; coaches use the info to diagnose, communicate and measure the changes that will lead to improvement.
  • TECfit – using Foresight® launch monitors to capture critical performance data – ball flight, ball speed, clubhead speed, launch angle, sidespin and backspin – coaches cross-reference this information with GolfTEC’s proprietary SwingLabs® database to help select ideal clubs for each student’s swing; they can then accurately illustrate changes in ball performance resulting from club adjustments.

It's never too late to fix your swing...or too early to help a youngster get involved with the game.

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 25, 2014

AUR Spring Collection Released

AUR Golf, an active golfsport brand targeted towards the golfer who wants authentic golf apparel with a distinct look and feel, is rolling out its Spring 2015 golf collections for men and women.

The design ethos at AUR Golf emphasizes a refined modern aesthetic by utilizing technical fabrics in a more sophisticated form. Authentic design is inspired by the active nature of the sport combined with awareness for the environment in which it is played.

"The AUR Golf brand continues to grow at a rapid pace," says Mark Fletcher, President - Fletcher Sport Brands. " From Canada to Germany, to the United States and Spain, golf professionals and consumers looking for authentic golf apparel with a distinct modern aesthetic are turning to AUR Golf as their golf apparel brand of choice."

The Spring 2015 Collection from AUR Golf features bold and dynamic color-blocking paired with sophisticated and elegant geometric prints. Such dramatic colors as Sonic Green, Sunglo Yellow and Rowan Red highlight the season's color palette for men and Kiss Pink and Malibu Green for women. Additionally, this season sees the introduction of AUR Golf's Active-Dry™, Active-Stretch™, Active-Cool™ and Active-Warm™ fabric ranges.

"We are extremely excited to launch the Spring 2015 collection and are confident these season's collection is the finest in the history of the brand," said Brad Franklin, head of design.  "Our goal for this season was to bring the consumer a collection that evokes emotion and excitement in the wearer through enhanced fabric offerings and the thoughtful use of color, patterns and prints."

Collection Highlights - Men's:

The Triumphant Collection, consisting of colors Sunglo Yellow, Neptune Blue and White, launches the brand into the new season with a design and color palette that is fresh and stimulating. The feature style from this collection is the Sparwood Polo. Constructed from AUR's proprietary Active-Stretch™ fabric, this style features premium moisture wicking technology as well as 4-way stretch for enhanced freedom of movement and comfort.

The additional men's collections include: the Rapture Collection, consisting of colors: Rowan Red, Nightfall Navy and White and the Frequency Collection consisting of colors: Sonic Green, Black and White.

Collection Highlights - Women's

The Luminance Collection, consisting of colors Black and White, is a remarkably simple yet striking collection elevated through the use of metallic silver and black enamel trims. The feature style from this collection is the Bentley Polo. This style features an athletic, yet sophisticated racer-back design, with contrast placket and The Luminance Collection's signature black enamel buttons. Constructed from AUR's proprietary Active-Cool™ fabric, this polo is lightweight, breathable and provides excellent UV-protection, making it the perfect polo for those hot and humid summer days.

The additional women's collections include: The Europhia Collection, consisting of colors Kiss Pink, Nightfall Navy and White and the Bliss Collection, consisting of Malibu Green, Nightfall Navy, Shoreline Blue and White.

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 14, 2014

Club Crown Now on Amazon

ClubCrown by Vive has begun selling its self-installed customized alignment aid STRIPE at the ever-popular online marketplace Amazon.com.

ClubCrown STRIPE is a customized alignment aid that can be self-installed on all metalwoods by customers in just minutes. The STRIPE is offered in more than 70 collegiate and military designs, plus many other exciting themes. An easy-to-follow instructional video on the ClubCrown STRIPE website shows just how simple the installation process is. As with the original ClubCrown, the STRIPE is made in the USA.

"We are very proud to offer our self-install ClubCrown STRIPE on Amazon," says George Miller, Executive Vice President of ClubCrown. "Working with Amazon has been a seamless process and they have been a great partner to us. We've been very impressed by Amazon's ability to recognize the growing trend of customization in the golf industry. It's no wonder why they're the leader in the online marketplace. And the Amazon customer base provides the ClubCrown STRIPE with incredible exposure. Sell-through has been very strong and we look forward to adding more designs to their offerings."

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 11, 2014

Antigua Brightens Women's Collection for 2015

The Antigua Group's Spring 2015 Women's Golf Collection has been released.

"We're very excited about our Spring 2015 Women's Golf Collection," said Ron McPherson, President and CEO of Antigua. "Response to the bright colors, fantastic new styling, and the advanced moisture-wicking technology has been outstanding. This promises to be our best-selling women's collection to date."

The new collection mixes comfort and trend. It features a blend of neon colors with black and white in fresh, new, fashion-forward styles. And it's all made using Antigua's Desert Dry and Desert Dry XtraLite technologies that keep golfers dry and comfortable.

"There's so much lifestyle apparel out in the marketplace right now," says Danielle Dellios, Antigua Women's Head Designer. "Many customers are looking for something to wear on the course but also to social events, out running errands, etc. That in mind, I combined a professional-yet-relaxed look for this line. Women want new necklines, collar treatments and styles -- which led me to play with the idea of a non-conventional polo silhouette."

The 2015 line combines trim details and flirty necklines with soft and stretchy fabrics, in multiple textures and contents that give a fresh feel to the product. This includes non-traditional polo styles, such as Envy with its soccer-style collar and neckline and sporty color-blocked silhouette and Zoom, a sleeveless mini-stripe polo that blends polyester/cotton/spandex jersey plus a cut-out at the placket that reveals some skin without being inappropriate. "Geometric shapes and details are trending, and by adding small details like a triangle cut-out on the placket, the once-mundane silhouette now offers something fun and unique," says Dellios.

Neon colors continue running strong with women, and there's a wider acceptance of this somewhat retro-color palette. Dellios believes consumers are drawn to brights after so many years of wearing washed-out pastels and neutrals. "By mixing black and white in with fun colors such as calypso, electric and papaya, I'm providing older customers with a neutral base and a pop of color to make them feel trendy while still maintaining a wide demographic," says Dellios, who for this line used brights with their corresponding deeper tones, to give a more tonal effect and playful feel to stripe patterns and color-blocking.

Thus, the new Clever style uses a three-color braided trim that mixes bright shades into the garment without being overpowering, while Excite blends a white ground stripe with multiple pop colors, allowing customers to choose multiple bottom colors while mixing and matching.

Technology is also featured in the collection. Antigua's exclusive Desert Dry™ technology absorbs and wicks moisture quickly and evenly, achieving the most-efficient evaporation possible to keep golfers comfortable and dry. The Desert Dry™ family now includes poly/cotton blends. Customers have been requesting a more casual fabric, without compromising the wicking capabilities of the poly fabrics. Thus, it's included in two new blends -- one in the Clever, which is a super soft poly/cotton solid jersey, and the other in the Zoom, which is a poly/cotton/spandex mini yarn dye stripe.

Meanwhile, Desert Dry™ XTRA-LITE (D2XL) combines the Desert Dry™ moisture-wicking feature with specially constructed ultra-light fabrics for maximum wicking performance and optimum comfort. New additions to this category are 100% poly fabrics that feel and look like cotton. For instance, the Jubilee style uses a slub yarn that gives the hand-feel and drape of cotton, but the wicking capabilities of poly. And the Thrill style uses a popular multi-colored nap yarn. The garment feels like cozy cotton, but handles perspiration like poly.

These new cotton-like poly fabrics open up a whole new world to our consumers, who can have the comfort of their favorite tee while maintaining the ease of poly's wear and wicking power.

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

Monday, October 6, 2014

Is Pound Ridge the Best Course Near You?

Pound Ridge Golf Club, the daily fee Pete Dye design in Westchester, climbed three spots to No. 3 in New York in GOLF Magazine’s 2014 edition of the “Best Courses Near You.”

Part of its biennial “Top 100 Courses You Can Play” in the United States, “Best Courses Near You” highlights the top tracks in all 50 states as determined by the magazine’s editorial staff and panel of well-traveled golf industry insiders.

Pound Ridge is the No. 2 New York City-area course, trailing only Bethpage Black, host venue for the 2009 U.S. Open and future site of the 2019 PGA Championship and 2024 Ryder Cup. GOLF Magazine also named the 2008 Dye design as its “No. 1 U.S. Open Worthy Course” in 2012.

“GOLF Magazine has been a strong supporter of the course since it opened, and its panelists have an appreciation and understanding of modern golf course architecture,” says Ken Wang, Pound Ridge owner. “We believe the course is maturing brilliantly and will continue to evolve as a testament to Dye’s genius.”

A strategic blend of challenging driving holes and intriguing risk/reward approach shots has earned Pound Ridge a spot alongside TPC Sawgrass, The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, Whistling Straits and Harbour Town Golf Links in Dye’s pantheon of legendary courses.

The front nine opens with a decidedly playable 451-yard par 4 with a green complex set against a rock-lined water feature. Starting with the par-4 second, an uphill brute with the narrowest landing area on the course, Pound Ridge quickly morphs into a strategic blend of challenging driving holes and intriguing risk/reward approach shots. The back nine takes golfers deep into a serene setting for “core” golf totally devoid of housing and distractions.

The amenities at Pound Ridge are first rate.  In addition to a newly-expanded clubhouse, Pound Ridge houses a practice range, short-game area and putting green. All guests receive a complimentary yardage book for fine-tuning tee shot placement and approaches, bottled water and complimentary range balls. Carts (included) are equipped with GPS to dead-aim-accurate yardages from any position.

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 5, 2014

Lesson Tee Live Debuts on Golf Channel

Set your alarm clock, online calendar, DVR, and whatever else you need to put you in front of the Golf Channel Wednesday, October 8 at 8 PM EDT.  That's when Lesson Tee Live, hosted by Brian Crowell and Annabel Rolley, will debut. Brian, as you may recall, is the author of Slice-Free Golf, a work in which I played a small role.  He's one of the most knowledgeable and expressive teachers in the game and a fine broadcaster as well, having provided commentary for the Masters and numerous national broadcasts in recent years.

Lesson Tee Live will draw heavily on viewer input, so sharpen up your twitter fingers and other social media channels during and shortly after the show.  Your feedback and questions will play a major factor in determining the show's success.  Here's how to get your message to the right people:

  • Twitter: @GCA ...and use #lessonteelive 
  • Facebook: facebook.com/golfchannelacademy
  • Instagram: @lessonteelive
You can also e-mail your comments and golf swings for review to: lessonteelive@golfchannel.com

The more feedback it gets, the better the show, so don't be shy!

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 4, 2014

St. Andrews Celebrates Landmark Date

Reproduced by permission of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews
I knew there was something special about today, then I realized it's the 250th anniversary of 18 holes at the Old Course.  Not the building of the 18 holes, but the decision to reduce the world’s most famous Links from 22 to 18 holes.  For better or worse, that became the standard length for a golf course wherever the game is played.  The decision was made by the Society of St Andrews Golfers – more commonly known today as the R&A – on October 4, 1764.

On that date, following the Challenge for the Silver Club, a meeting took place of the Society. The minutes read: “The Captain and Gentlemen Golfers present are of the opinion that it would be for the improvement of the Links that the four first holes should be converted into two.”

Reproduced by permission of
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews
The removal of two holes (four in total going out and back) in subsequent years meant the Old Course would become, around that period, 10 holes, of which 8 were played twice.

In the decades that followed the Old Course continued to evolve as the Links and surrounding areas developed, from playing the course backwards through to new greens being built and holes, so familiar to many today, were mapped out across the Links. By the mid-19th Century the 18-hole format at St Andrews had become the blueprint for golf with new and existing courses across the world all following its 18-hole layout.

Euan Loudon, chief executive of St Andrews Links, said: “This important date marks another milestone in the game of golf’s rich history and the special place St Andrews, the Home of Golf, holds for this great game.

“The Society of St Andrews Golfers may not have appreciated the ramifications of the decision they made on October 4 1764 but those individuals and the resultant changes to the Old Course had a huge impact on the way the game would be played forever.

“The records show they took the decision because they sought to improve the Links and that commitment to improving this magical place resonates with everyone here at the Links today.

“Staff across the Links work tirelessly to honor and respect the history of St Andrews and to improve the experience of every golfer coming here, be it the world number one competing this weekend or those securing a cherished tee time in the ballot next week.”

In order to celebrate the 250th anniversary the Links will publish a specially commissioned time-lapse project, which can be viewed at www.standrews.com. It highlights the daily efforts of the greenskeeping team at the Old Course to deliver memorable experiences for every golfer playing the world’s most famous Links.

The time lapse was recorded as the Old Course greenskeeping team, led by Course Manager Gordon McKie, prepared for a day’s play at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, which celebrates a 30 year association with St Andrews this week. The hand mowing of the 18th green took 45 minutes to record and required thousands of frames of film.

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 3, 2014

Forsgate Presents Colin Montgomerie

Ryder Cup got you down? Would you like to know how the Europeans keep smacking us around?  Those would be great questions to ask one of the Ryder Cup’s most successful competitors, Colin Montgomerie, so mark your calendar for October 6.  That's when he'll be appearing at Forsgate Country Club in New Jersey.  Everyone is welcome to come meet the Ryder Cup legend and Forsgate touring ambassador at a special “Ryder Cup Roundup” Brunch and Golf Clinic.

Admission is only $40 and is open to golf enthusiasts throughout the tri-state area. Reservations are required and space is limited. To register, call 732-656-8904.

Beginning at 10 a.m. in Forsgate’s elegant Restaurant “37,” Montgomerie will visit with fans during brunch, share stories about Ryder Cups past and present as well as discuss his recent success on the Champions Tour. Following brunch, Montgomerie will head to the first tee of the renowned Banks Course for a clinic that will showcase his legendary skills and will offer tips on how the average golfer can improve his or her game.

A record eight-time winner of the European Tour Order of Merit, Montgomerie is perhaps best known by Americans for his Ryder Cup prowess. ‘Monty’, as he is affectionately known, competed as a member of eight victorious European Ryder Cup teams and captained the winning 2010 European Ryder Cup team at Celtic Manor. He never lost a singles match against the Americans.

Currently, Montgomerie is ranked No. 2 on the Champions Tour, behind only Bernhard Langer. This season, Montgomerie claimed his first Major Championship and his first professional win in the United States with a four stroke victory at the Senior PGA Championship. Montgomerie followed up with his second senior major win at the U.S. Senior Open and finished second in this year’s Senior British Open Championship.

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