Friday, January 29, 2016

Troon Announces Partnership with Uber

Program to launch during Waste Management Phoenix Open

(Scottsdale, Ariz.) – Troon, the leader in upscale golf course management, development and marketing is excited to announce a new partnership with Uber, the innovative technology company known for seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through its mobile apps and evolving the way the world moves.

The partnership is set to launch in February during golf’s highest-attended professional tournament, the Waste Management Phoenix Open. There, Troon will serve as a title sponsor of the Uber Lounge where golf fans can participate in fun golf activities as they wait for their Uber rides. Further collaboration between the two influential brands is aimed at improving the overall golf experience for Troon customers and members with special Uber offers and promotions. The partnership will also introduce new players to the game through creative messaging aimed at Uber customers. For example, during the week of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Uber cars will feature issues of Troon’s custom magazine – Troon Golf & Travel.

“We are thrilled to partner with Uber,” said Ryan Walls, Troon’s senior vice president, operations, sales & marketing. “By collaborating together, we are able to enrich the experience of our customers and members while showcasing what makes both Troon and the game of golf unique to people we traditionally might not reach.”

As a part of the program, Uber will also conduct social giveaways for Troon customers and members, providing opportunities to win free rides. Uber users will have chances to win free golf, club rentals, and food and beverage offers. Likewise, Troon customers and members will also benefit from UberEvents services at participating Troon locations, making it easier than ever to get to and from the golf course.

"Uber is thrilled to partner with Troon to offer riders a world-class experience in our rider lounge during the Phoenix Open," said Steve Thompson, Uber Arizona General Manager. “We look forward to facilitating safe and reliable rides throughout the tournament.”

For additional news and information, visit

Topgolf Confirms Orlando Location at the PGA Merchandise Show

Golf entertainment company set to break ground in February

(ORLANDO, Fla.) - In a live presentation at the PGA Merchandise Show, global golf entertainment leader Topgolf Entertainment Group officially unveiled Orlando as its third location planned in Florida. Topgolf will begin construction on the 65,000-square-foot venue in February; it is expected to open to the public in early 2017.

Topgolf Orlando will be located at Convention Way and Universal Boulevard, right across the street from the Orange County Convention Center.

Topgolf is the only entertainment center of its kind, offering competitive golfing games for all ages and skill levels and advanced technology to track the accuracy and distance of players' shots. Those who just want to relax can enjoy the upscale, laid-back ambiance that boasts more than 230 high-definition flat-screen TVs and an extensive food and beverage menu.

"Orlando is one of the biggest entertainment and tourism markets in the United States," said Topgolf Vice President of Real Estate Development Zach Shor. "With more than 50 million people per year going for the theme parks and conventions, Topgolf is sure to be a go-to venue for people looking to entertain and be entertained."

The new three-level location will include up to 3,000 square feet of private event space and 102 climate-controlled hitting bays that can host up to six players at one time. Shor estimates that Topgolf Orlando will serve upward of 450,000 visitors in its first year of operation. Nearly half of all Topgolf guests describe themselves as "non-golfers."

Topgolf's economic impact in its local communities is remarkable, creating 450 full- and part-time jobs at each location and serving as an anchor tenant that tends to attract other popular franchises to the area. In fact, its economic output in Orlando alone is expected to exceed $264.5 million over a 10-year-period, according to a third-party audit.

Residents can track Topgolf's progress in Orlando at and @TopgolfOrlando on Twitter and Instagram.

To learn more about Topgolf, visit

Ryan Ruffels Joins the Nike Golf Family

Ruffels, 17, will be the youngest Australian to ever play professionally on the PGA Tour

(RELEASE) - Nike Golf added Australian athlete Ryan Ruffels to its talented roster. Ruffels, who will represent the brand head to toe, is recording his first PGA Tour start this week at the Farmers Insurance Open. Just 17 years old, Ruffels will also become the youngest Australian to ever play professionally on the PGA Tour.

The son of two professional tennis players, Ruffels was born in the United States and moved to Australia at a young age. In 2014, at the age of 15, he won the Australian Boys’ Amateur and became the youngest player to win the Riversdale Cup. Additionally, he earned top-25 finishes at the Australian Open in both 2013 and 2014.

- Driver: Nike Vapor Fly 9.5-degree
- Fairway Wood: Nike Vapor Fly 3-wood 15-degree
- Irons: Nike Vapor Fly Pro (3), Nike Vapor Pro Combo (4), Nike Vapor Pro (5-9)
- Wedges: Nike Engage 48-degree, 52-degree, 56-degree, 58-degree
- Putter: Nike Method 001
- Ball: Nike RZN Tour / Platinum

Golfers from across the Country, World Will Flock to Second Annual Myrtle Beach Preseason Classic

Nearly 200 Players to Kick-Off 2016 Golf Season at 54-Hole Event

(Myrtle Beach, S.C.) – Nearly 200 golfers are preparing to descend on the Grand Strand for the second annual Myrtle Beach Preseason Classic, which has attracted players from 22 states and four countries and will be played February 1-3 on six Myrtle Beach golf courses.

A 54-hole, two-man team event, the Preseason Classic will feature a different format of play each day and players will be flighted based on their USGA handicap. Teams will play best ball in the opening round, followed by combined net team score and a Texas Scramble.

The host courses are Arrowhead Country Club, The Wizard, River Club, Blackmoor Golf Club, the Norman Course at Barefoot Resort and True Blue Golf Club.

The event’s international players will be coming from Canada, Italy and Uruguay and among the 22 states represented will be Alaska. Temperatures during the event are forecast to be in the 70s.

For more information or to follow the event, go to

“We’ve got another great field for an event that is carving out a spot on the Myrtle Beach golf calendar,” said Jeff Monday, Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday’s tournament director. “With most of the country firmly in winter’s grasp, the Preseason Classic gives players a chance to escape to some of the Grand Strand’s best courses and enjoy the game they love.”

Each competitor will receive a Greg Norman pullover and $20 PGA Tour Superstore gift card upon registration, and the event will conclude with an awards luncheon after the Wednesday round.

Arrowhead Country Club is a 27-hole facility that has several holes that play along the Intracoastal Waterway. The Raymond Floyd design is renowned for its conditioning.

The Wizard, a links style design that offers a taste of Scotland, is one of the area’s most playable courses and it features pristine bentgrass greens. With generous fairways framed by mounds covered in native vegetation, The Wizard delivers an enjoyable experience.

Blackmoor Golf Club is the only Myrtle Beach golf course designed by Gary Player. The course is most known for the 370-yard, par 4 eighth hole that allows players to try and drive the green through a chute Player carved amongst the native pines.

A South Strand institution, River Club is one of the area’s most popular courses, highlighted by the risk-reward, par 5 18th hole that is one of the area’s best.

The Norman Course at Barefoot Resort is one of Myrtle Beach’s premier layouts, highlighted by four holes on the back nine that bring the Intracoastal into play.

True Blue, a Mike Strantz masterpiece, is ranked among America’s top 100 public courses by both Golf Magazine and Golf Channel. Everything about the course is big – fairways, greens and most of all the fun.

For more information about MBGH, visit

Golf Pad Launches Automatic, Real-time Golf Tracker for iPhone, Android

(Kirkland, WA) - Golf Pad launched Golf Pad LINK at the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show. Golf Pad LINK is a real-time game tracking system for golfers of all skill levels. It uses automatic tracking, analysis and intelligent club recommendations to help golfers improve their game. The new product is compatible with iPhone and Android devices.

Golfers play while LINK instantly records the exact distance of every shot and provides game-changing insight in real-time. Results can be viewed on a phone or even a smartwatch. Supported models include Apple Watch, Pebble, Samsung, Asus, Magellan and more. Users can also access their stats using an online dashboard, share results with friends and see how they compare to other players.

“Until now, our popular Golf Pad TAGS could only be used with Android phones,” observed Golf Pad CEO, Konstantin Roslyakov. “Golfers love the insights and wanted iPhone support too. Golf Pad LINK addresses that. It has the additional benefit of improved phone battery life and ultra precise GPS location sensing. With LINK, golfers can even leave their phone in their bag while playing.”

Golf Pad LINK comes with a wireless reader, 15 ultra-lightweight Golf Pad TAGS (one for each club) and the Golf Pad GPS application. The popular app is loved by golfers around the world and has earned top ratings in the sports category. The low-profile reader fits in a pocket or on a belt to create a hands-free experience.

The system retails for $249.00. Pre-orders began at the PGA Merchandise Show. Orders can be placed on the company website:

For more information, visit

Swing Thought Tour awarded Air Capital Classic Presented by Aetna Event Exemption for Sixth Time

Air Capital Classic event exemption awarded to Swing Thought Tour for 2016

(Myrtle Beach, S.C.) – Over the past six seasons, the Swing Thought Tour has secured more Tour and PGA TOUR event exemptions than any other tour in developmental golf. That gap got even wider as the Swing Thought Tour announced they have been awarded an event exemption into the 2016 Air Capital Classic presented by Aetna. The Air Capital Classic will be held June 20-26 at Crestview Country Club in Wichita, Kansas. This marks the 6th year the Air Capital Classic has partnered with the Swing Thought Tour (formerly the NGA/Hooters and eGolf Tours) to award the #1 developmental tour in the U.S.A. an event exemption. The Swing Thought Tour was awarded an exemption into the event from 2010 to 2013 as well as this past season. Although the Swing Thought Tour has been the leading developmental tour in receiving event exemptions since 2010, the Swing Thought Tour does not have any official affiliation with the PGA TOUR or Tour.

“The ultimate goal of the Swing Thought Tour has always been, and will always be, to help professional golfers achieve their dreams of playing at golf’s highest levels,” stated Swing Thought Tour president Robin L. Waters, PGA. “The game of golf is all about opportunities and the Air Capital Classic has been generous enough to provide this potentially life changing opportunity for one of our aspiring professional golfers. We’ve seen it several times before where one of our players gets into a Tour event, wins, and next thing you know they are competing on the PGA TOUR. We cannot thank the Air Capital Classic enough for providing this opportunity.”

The Air Capital Classic is one of four original Tour events that are still on the schedule. The Classic will embark on its 27th year at Crestview Country Club on Thursday, June 23rd through Sunday, June 26th. Wichita was on the Tour’s first schedule in 1990 as one of 30 stops on what was then the Ben Hogan Tour.

Swing Thought Tour alum Rob Oppenheim won the event this year on his way to securing his PGA TOUR card for the 2015-2016 season. Fellow alums Scott Parel, Casey Wittenberg, Scott Piercy, Jeff Klauk, Tyler Williamson, David Toms and Tom Lehman join Oppenheim as past champions.

The event exemption into next year’s Air Capital Classic is the second so far to be awarded to the Swing Thought Tour for the next season. Georgia Tech alum J.T. Griffin won the tour’s exemption into next season’s Rex Hospital Open via his sponsor’s pro-am victory earlier this season.

The tour has been the industry leader in event exemptions, having received 44 since the start of the 2010 season, including three into PGA TOUR events; the 2012 & 2013 Reno-Tahoe Open and the 2013 Sanderson Farms Championship. No other developmental tour has been anywhere close to the number awarded to the Swing Thought Tour in that time. The tour received a record eleven exemptions for the 2015 season including the Air Capital Classic, four into the BMW Pro-Am Championship, two into the Rex Hospital Open, and one each into the News Sentinel Open, the Utah Championship, the United Leasing Championship, and the Digital Ally Open. The Swing Thought Tour’s goal is to provide even more opportunities for the upcoming season.

For more information on the Swing Thought Tour visit or call 800-992-8748. Follow on Twitter @SwingThought and on Facebook at

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Red Bull Takes Lexi Thompson Back in Time

With golf coming back to the Olympics for the first time since 1904, LPGA star Lexi Thompson wondered what it would feel like to try vintage clothes and clubs from that era.

In throwback photos and in a behind-the scenes-video at, she goes all in - from double layers of wool, to putters with an old school hickory shaft.  Needless to say, the experience made her appreciate her modern day gear as the 2016 season kicks off in the Bahamas this weekend.

“I don’t know how they played golf in those outfits, especially if it was hot out,” said Thompson to “I was wearing at least two layers on top and bottom, and a jacket on top, which was very restrictive on the back.”

On the clubs, she had this to say:
“I took a swing with a very old club and it’s made of totally different material.  It was made of wood back then and now it’s graphite.  I don’t know how my swing would have done with those clubs back then.”

Check out more from Red Bull at

Daniel Berger Named Official Brand Ambassador for TaylorMade’s myRoundPro

(ORLANDO, FL.) - Today, 2014-2015 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year and TaylorMade Tour staff professional Daniel Berger was officially named brand ambassador for myRoundPro. Along with golfers around the world,  TaylorMade’s standalone analytics platform allows Berger to track his progress and enhance his performance through the use of statistical barometers, such as strokes gained, greens in regulation, proximity to hole and fairways hit.

“In a sport where everyone is trying to get better, you have to strive to be the best that you can be. To be successful at any given thing it takes a lot of effort and time and myRoundPro enables you to focus on what’s important.”

Daniel Berger, TaylorMade Staff Player & 2014-2015 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year.

Top Coach Jeff Ritter Appears on Morning Drive

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – Celebrated golf coach Jeff Ritter, the No. 7 teacher in the state of California as ranked by Golf Digest magazine, is scheduled to appear as a guest instructor on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive February 2 and 3.

The popular daily morning show airs from 7-9 a.m. Eastern.

Ritter, the founder of MAKE THE TURN (MTT) Performance—an integrated golf performance and lifestyle activation company located at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif.—is one of the inaugural coaches in Golf Channel Academy (GCA), a dedicated network of teaching facilities operating with the active support of Golf Channel, the game’s leading global multimedia and golf entertainment source.

Select Golf Channel Academy coaches are being invited to appear on the network’s news and instruction shows, including The Golf Fix and School of Golf; Ritter is making his second appearance on Morning Drive.

“I’m excited again to be appearing on Morning Drive,” said Ritter, a member of Golf Digest’s original “Best Young Teachers in America” list. “Golf Channel has done a tremendous job with their instructional programming and it’s an honor to be working with a great group of coaches. The Morning Drive crew is always a lot of fun and I look forward to getting back there and delivering some cool game-improvement strategies for people to try at home.”

An accomplished coach, author and motivational speaker, Ritter is the current National Director of Instruction for Nike Golf Schools and Junior Camps. He is also a regular contributor to Golf Digest and Golf Channel Academy Magazine and is creator of the MAKE THE TURN Weekly Challenge Series in association with Golf Digest TV. A native of Lancaster, Pa., Ritter attended the same high school (Manheim Township H.S.) as PGA Tour star Jim Furyk.

As a Golf Channel Academy coach, Ritter continues to teach the way he knows best. The underlying philosophy of Golf Channel Academy is that the best golf “teaching” is done through “coaching” — that is, an on-going relationship between player and teacher devoted to long-lasting improvement.

For more information about MAKE THE TURN Performance, visit

For more about Golf Channel Academy, including a full listing of all its current locations and coaches, go to

Omni Hotel & Resorts Nominates Slate of Presidential Golf Packages

Omni Golf Resorts Puts the “Swing” in Swing States

(DALLAS, TEXAS) – With an historic election year in full swing, now is the time to cast those ballots by visiting some of the nation’s favorite golf destinations, known for making guests feel presidential.

In honor of the quadrennial occasion, Omni Hotels & Resorts is offering special Presidential-themed golf packages throughout 2016 at all Omni golf resorts across the U.S. Omni Hotels & Resorts knows how to treat guests like a commander-in-chief based on its rich history of hosting numerous American politicians and dignitaries dating back well over 100 years.

From key primary states such as New Hampshire and Texas, to traditional battlegrounds like Florida and Pennsylvania, golfers can elect to get the presidential treatment at some of the nation’s finest courses and luxurious resorts, many of which have direct ties to presidential history, including:
- Omni Barton Creek Resort, near Austin, Texas has hosted both the 41st and 43rd Presidents and is offering a unique “Father-Son Presidential Promotion” including a round of golf for $100 per player – representing the cost for greens fees in the 1990s – as well as a sleeve of balls imprinted with the American flag, and turndown cards featuring quotes from distinguished guests.
- Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort in Florida — where President Ford played in a member-guest tournament in the 1980s — is debuting the “Running Mates” package, which includes a special rate of two rounds for two people, a $50 culinary credit, a special welcome amenity, and an optional upgrade to the Presidential Suite.
- Omni Mount Washington Resort in New Hampshire has a Cabinet’s-worth of golf candidates on  its ballot, including a package featuring unlimited rounds with cart; a buy-one, get-one-free promotion; and a “Presidential Peak Foursome” that promises complimentary golf to any group of four with the same surnames as any of the surrounding Presidential Range peaks (Jackson, Pierce, Eisenhower, Monroe, Franklin, Monroe, Jefferson, Adams, Webster, Madison, Reagan, and, of course, Washington).

Other Omni resorts with election year golf specials include:
- Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate (Florida)
- The Omni Grove Park Inn (North Carolina)
- Omni Tucson National Resort(Arizona)
- The Omni Homestead Resort (Virginia)
- Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa (California)
- Omni La Costa Resort & Spa (California)
- Omni Bedford Springs Resort (Pennsylvania)
- Omni Interlocken Hotel (Colorado)

Weather patterns mean these 2016 golf deals are not all available all year long. But given the nationwide presence of the luxury hotel brand, there’s always a Presidential Golf Package waiting to be sworn in.

For additional information or to book a tee time and overnight stay, guests may visit or call 1-800-The-Omni.

Titleist Introduces New NXT Tour, NXT Tour S and Velocity Golf Balls

Technically Advanced, High Performance Models Deliver Even Longer Distance, Better Feel

(FAIRHAVEN, Mass) – Titleist, the #1 ball in golf, delivers best-in-class performance in its new NXT Tour, NXT Tour S and Velocity golf balls for 2016 through new core and cover innovations. New NXT Tour has been engineered for even longer distance, while new NXT Tour S offers its softest feel yet. New Velocity provides even more powerful distance with a more playable feel.

Every new Titleist golf ball model results from a rigorous R&D process rooted in golfer research and feedback, technological advancements, intellectual property leadership and comprehensive prototype testing and validation. Titleist’s precision manufacturing process ensures each new model delivers the superior performance, consistency and quality that golfers expect from Titleist.

“At Titleist, our goal is always to deliver the best performing product we possibly can, and what new NXT Tour, NXT Tour S and Velocity represent are the best performing golf balls in their respective categories,” said Michael Mahoney, Director, Golf Ball Product Management. “When we look at the results of our extensive robot and player testing, we are exceedingly confident that golfers will experience new Titleist golf ball models that outperform their competition and deliver on their meaningful performance improvements relative to distance, short-game performance and soft feel.”

New NXT Tour and NXT Tour S, its softer-feeling companion model, are high performance golf balls designed with advanced distance and short-game technologies to help golfers shoot lower scores:
• New NXT Tour has a larger center dual core that produces low spin and fast ball speed for even longer driver and iron distance. The new core technology combines with Titleist’s soft, proprietary Fusablend cover for excellent shot stopping control and soft feel.
• New NXT Tour S provides similar high performance benefits as NXT Tour with a remarkably softer feel. A reformulated softer compression core combines with a softer Fusablend cover to produce the softest-feeling NXT Tour S yet, while maintaining outstanding distance in the long game and commanding scoring performance for precision in the short game.
• Comparatively, NXT Tour delivers longer distance with a higher flight, while NXT Tour S provides significantly softer feel.

New Velocity, reengineered with its largest and fastest core yet, produces explosive initial velocity for even more powerful distance:
• Velocity’s proprietary LSX core technology delivers faster ball speeds for more distance on all full swing shots. The low-spin construction with leading-edge aerodynamics produces a soaring trajectory for remarkable carry and roll, while a new, thinner NAZ2 cover provides more playable feel in the short game.

More than 34,000 golfers from around the world participated in the white box testing and validation process for new NXT Tour, NXT Tour S and Velocity, with golfers receiving prototype golf balls for on-course evaluation. Player feedback was then gathered through Team Titleist and shared with Titleist R&D.

All new models are available in golf shops worldwide beginning Jan. 28.

New NXT Tour for 2016 
Engineered for high performance and distance, new Titleist NXT Tour is designed using advanced multi-component technology to provide even longer distance with excellent scoring performance and soft feel. NXT Tour’s dual core has been reengineered with a larger center that lowers driver and iron spin while delivering fast ball speed for more distance. A soft, thin Fusablend cover, pioneered by Titleist R&D, maintains NXT Tour’s excellent scoring performance with shot stopping control into and around the green. A spherically tiled 302 octahedral dimple design with shallower edge angles delivers a higher ball flight (than NXT Tour S) with a deep downrange peak trajectory.

“Performance can be measured with robots and instruments, but ultimately we measure our performance by the feedback we receive from golfers. And those golfers asked us to deliver an even longer NXT Tour,” said Matt Hogge, Titleist Golf Ball R&D’s Director of Product Implementation. “The challenge for R&D was in reengineering the technology to increase distance while retaining the exceptional scoring performance that these golfers rely on. When you look at the dual core technology of NXT Tour, one of the critical elements is the relationship of the softer inner core to the firmer outer core. We’ve increased the size of that softer center so that by volume it’s about 66 percent larger. That’s a significant change which allowed us to knock down spin on full shots for longer distance. When you combine that with our thin, soft Fusablend cover, you also get great performance on shots into and around the green, the shots that really matter the most for scoring.”

Player Benefits
• Longer driver distance
• Longer iron distance
• Shot stopping short game control
• Soft feel
• Excellent durability

Technology Excellence
• Larger center dual core engine
• Soft, fast Fusablend cover
• Spherically-tiled 302 octahedral dimple design

MAP: $34.99/dozen (MSRP: $45/dozen)

New NXT Tour S for 2016
Softer from core to cover, new Titleist NXT Tour S golf ball is designed for players seeking the tee-to-green performance of NXT Tour – outstanding distance, consistent flight and excellent short-game control – with a significantly softer compression feel. New NXT Tour S has been reengineered with an even softer compression core and softer Fusablend, resulting in the softest-feeling NXT Tour S ever. A spherically tiled 302 octahedral dimple design delivers a piercing and stable ball flight.

NXT Tour S is available in both White and High Optic Yellow.

“Golfers that play NXT Tour S value very soft feel, and they still want Titleist performance. They want to hit it long off the tee and have great control around the greens. For 2016, our design goal was to further differentiate NXT Tour S from NXT Tour in terms of feel, while still delivering on those performance expectations,” said Scott Cooper, Titleist R&D’s Product Development Manager. “With new NXT Tour S, we’ve reformulated the core to be lower in compression so it will feel softer. We’ve also softened the cover by increasing the percentage of the softening agent used in the cover formulation. The cover is soft but it’s also durable, and it’s exclusive to Titleist. We call it Fusablend. It’s engineered to be soft and thin, which contributes to the ball’s exceptional short game spin. Unlike thermoplastic urethanes (TPU) which most of our competitors use, our cover feels soft on all shots rather than clicky.”

Player Benefits
• Softer feel on every shot
• Outstanding long game distance
• Piercing and stable ball flight
• Shot stopping short game control
• Excellent durability

Technology Excellence
• Reformulated softer compression core
• Softer Fusablend cover
• Spherically-tiled 302 octahedral dimple design

MAP: $34.99/dozen (MSRP: $45/dozen)

New Velocity for 2016 
Titleist R&D has reengineered the new Velocity golf ball to deliver even more explosive distance on all full swing shots while providing a more playable feel in the short game. New Velocity is designed with a larger, faster LSX core that produces higher ball speed for more distance. The low spin construction and 328 dimples in a spherically-tiled tetrahedral design deliver a soaring, penetrating ball flight that produces long carry distance with more rollout. A thinner NAZ2 cover combines with the larger core to deliver more playable greenside feel.

Velocity is available in single (#1, 2, 3, 4) and double-digit (#00, 22, 77, 99) play numbers. The double-digit play numbers were selected based on their popularity among members of Team Titleist (

“The core is the engine of the golf ball. We’ve made the core of the new Velocity even larger – it’s now 1.575 inches in diameter. A larger core means a thinner cover. That combination gives Velocity great ball speed. Add in Velocity’s aerodynamic package and you have an incredible formula for distance,” Hogge said. “But this is still a Titleist golf ball – and every golf ball we design is about tee-to-green performance. While Velocity is built for distance in the long game, it also launches high with a steep angle of descent, which help golfers who don’t generate a lot of short game spin stop the ball close to the pin. The thinner cover also provides a more playable feel. All of these benefits will help golfers feel more confident from tee to green.”
Player Benefits
• Explosive initial velocity for powerful distance
• Low long game spin
• Precise, consistent ball flight
• Playable short game feel

Technology Excellence
• Larger and faster LSX core technology
• Thinner NAZ2 cover formulation
• Spherically-tiled 328 tetrahedral dimple design

MAP: $26.99/dozen (MSRP: $35/dozen)

Devant Introduces New Arctic Blast Cooling Towel - Provides Instant Cooling Technology

(Richmond, VA) - Devant Sport Towels, known in the golf industry for its high quality towels and innovative designs, has added the Arctic Blast Cooling Towel to its 2016 line.

"As we celebrate our 40th year in business, we are excited to introduce a state-of-the-art cooling towel, which is customizable and chemical free," said Jason Bonenberger, Brand Manager at Devant Sport Towels. "Cooling technology combined with Devant's high quality printing are the perfect combination to customize towels while enhancing performance."

Once activated the lightweight Arctic Blast Cooling Towel can cool down to 30 degrees below ambient temperature, providing instant cooling relief on the neck, head or other hot spots, helping athletes and spectators beat the heat in hot weather. The Arctic Blast also provides UPF 45 protection when covering the skin and is made without harmful chemicals or solutions.

Additional features include:
- 80% polyester and 20% nylon
- Size: 12" x 36"
- Bulk packaged or plastic container for both blank and custom orders

Towel Decoration:
- White towels - Hi-definition sublimation or black ink onlyColored towels - 1 color logo in black or white ink only
- Black towels - 1 color logo in white ink only
- 48 piece minimum; 12 per colorway
- Lead time: approximately 10 business days after artwork approval

Availability and Pricing
Available in six colors - white, yellow, lime, red, royal and black, with a suggested retail of $14.95 (blank) & $19.95 (customized). The Arctic Blast Cooling Towel is available now.
For information on Devant, visit,

Bridgestone Rolls Out Its Fastest Fairway Metals, Hybrids to Date

(Covington, Ga.) — Bridgestone Golf, the #1 ball-fitter in golf and a recognized industry innovator, announced today the launch of its new JGR Fairway Metals and JGR Hybrids at the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show. The new Bridgestone JGR Fairways and Hybrids rely on revolutionary technologies to deliver faster ball speeds, higher launch angles and more overall distance than ever before.  

“The new JGR Fairways and Hybrids are without question Bridgestone’s fastest fairways and hybrids ever,” said Josh Kinchen, Golf Club Marketing Manager, Bridgestone Golf, Inc. “Both offer players an unbelievable amount of forgiveness on mishits and impressive distance off the tee or the turf.”

The new JGR Fairways achieve their performance through three primary technologies:

1. F.A.S.T. Crown
• The Flex Action Speed Technology (F.A.S.T.) crown is extremely thin near the clubface and progressively thickens towards the club head rear to enable the crown to slightly flex at impact, creating higher launch and increased repulsion where players impact the face of the club most often, above center.

2. speeDARC
• A pair of internal arc-shaped ridges provides increased sole rigidity and better stability for the F.A.S.T. Crown to flex against, leading to higher launch and extreme ball velocities.

3. Power Milled Face
• Bridgestone’s patented face milling pattern works to reduce the golf ball slippage and increased spin problem that all competitor fairways today face.  The newly improved design has been enhanced for the JGR Fairways as milling is spaced further apart at the top of the fairway face to maintain spin, while the milling is tighter and rougher at the bottom of the face to decrease spin.  A new vertical milling pattern has also been added to the heel and toe areas to further stabilize the ball on mishits.

The JGR Hybrids also rely on F.A.S.T. Crown and speeDARC technologies to produce faster ball speeds and higher launch for more distance from a variety of lies, but do not include the Power Milled face in order to increase spin for these green attacking clubs.  Further enhancing the spin control capabilities of the JGR Fairways and Hybrids are adjustable 10-gram weighting systems in the clubs’ soleplates.  

The JGR Fairway is available in 15, 18, and 21-degrees of loft.  The JGR Hybrid is available in 19, 21, 23 and 25-degrees of loft.  Both the JGR Fairways and Hybrids come standard with the new Aldila NV 2KXV Orange shaft and custom yellow grips. Custom shaft and grip options are available.

The JGR Fairway features a street price of $179 and the JGR Hybrid has a street price of $169.  Both are available March 4, 2016.

Visit to learn more about Bridgestone Golf’s 2016 plans and to view the comprehensive lineup of new products.

Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships Partners with the PLAY Junior Golf Tour

(Quincy, IL) - Pepsi Little People’s announced a partnership between its annual Golf Championships (LPGC) and the PLAY Junior Golf Tour (PJGT) of Prescott, Ontario, Canada.

Little People’s will invite the winner of each of the eight PJGT divisions of the Village Quay Marina 2015 Order of Merit standings to compete in its 2016 Championships, scheduled June 20-22 in Quincy, IL. In return, the winner in each of Little People’s 14 divisions will be invited to compete in a PJGT Tour Championship in the fall of 2016.

Pepsi Little People’s is an international junior golf tournament for boys and girls aged 3 through 18, and will be celebrating its 43rd year in 2016. Competition will be held at two Quincy golf courses, the 27-hole Westview Golf Course and the 9-hole KC Par-3 Golf Course and Driving Range.

See for further information, or contact Tournament Director Nan Ryan at

The PLAY Junior Golf Tour (PJGT) presented by Callaway Golf, is a grass roots development tour available to junior boys and girls ages four to eighteen. Tour members enjoy a variety of events in the Eastern Ontario/Ottawa area, from stroke play tournaments, development camps, education & coaching seminars & charity events.

See for further information, or contact Founder and Director Chris Veltkamp at or 613.246.5776.

Silver Creek Valley CC Awarded Emerald Club of the World award

(San Jose, Calif.) – Silver Creek Valley Country Club in San Jose, Calif.,  announced today that it has been awarded the prestigious Distinguished Emerald Club of the World award, as determined by the annual Distinguished Clubs of the World award program conducted by BoardRoom magazine, one of the most respected trade publications serving private clubs.

For fine private clubs that operate at the highest standards, BoardRoom magazine’s Distinguished Clubs award program uses a club-specific rating system that recognizes the club, its management, and its staff based on a proprietary criteria and evaluation process that distills and measures a club’s member experience. As such, the rating system used by Distinguished Clubs is different from any that has come before, and with it, the private club industry now has the means to identify the top private clubs based on the most important aspect – “member experience.”

"I am very proud of the associates we have here at Silver Creek Valley Country Club and appreciate the support the board and members give us in managing their beautiful amenities,” said Barrett Eiselman, general manager, Silver Creek Valley Country Club. “Being affiliated with some of the most recognizable and respected clubs in the world is humbling and we are truly grateful for this recognition and award.”

As defined by Distinguished Clubs, member experience is that special combination of qualities that a private club provides its members. It is not just the quality of service, or of the facilities, or of the product provided, it is also the quality of the staff and of the management, as well as the overall club governance they deliver. The most important quality, however, is the quality of the intangible. While difficult to measure, the latter is comprised of those magic moments experienced, the members befriended, the memorable events and famous tournaments attended, as well as the club traditions, history, and heritage proudly recognized.

“A couple years ago, the Silver Creek Valley Country Club’s board of directors set its sights on becoming one of Northern California’s premier private clubs,” said Mike LaBarbera, Silver Creek Valley’s club president. “This Emerald distinction from Boardroom magazine certifies that the moves we are making from key management hires to an extensive renovation plan, are putting us well on the way towards achieving our goal.”

BoardRoom magazine developed the Distinguished Clubs of the World award program to recognize and share – with the private club industry as a whole – what it is that Distinguished Clubs do differently, and to do so with the specific goal of improving the member experience at every private club, and thereby helping to preserve the institution of private clubs for many future generations.

“We’d like to congratulate Silver Creek Valley Country Club for earning Distinguished Emerald Club status,” said John Fornaro, publisher of BoardRoom magazine. “Special recognition also goes out to Silver Creek Valley Country Club’s general manger, Barrett Eiselman, as well as the club’s board of directors, its department heads, and entire staff for their efforts in providing an excellent member experience.”

BoardRoom magazine is the official publication of the Association of Private Club Directors and is published in print and digital formats, and shipped to 27 countries worldwide. BoardRoom magazine is now widely viewed as the most respected and influential magazine in the private club industry.
Silver Creek Valley Country Club is San Jose’s largest and most striking private golf and country club.  Situated atop hills overlooking the golf course, lakeside waterfalls, and the Evergreen and Silicon Valleys, the 34,000 square-foot clubhouse is currently under a multi-million dollar enhancement. The club also features a Sports Pavilion, which includes a beautiful tennis complex, fitness center and two swimming pools.

For more information on Silver Creek Valley Country Club, visit

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What's Hot at the 2016 PGA Show

The PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla., is golf’s grand summit, an event were people, places and things come together to present what’s new, available and ahead for the industry. In its seventh decade, this year is no different, and if the Demo Day and Show Floor exhibitors are indicative, 2016 will be an exciting, compelling year as the following re-caps illustrate.

GolfBoard is the hit of the 2016 show, and it’s easy to understand why. Who doesn’t enjoy an easy-to-ride vehicle that allows riders of all ages to “surf the earth” while enjoying the game they love? Some of golf’s greatest players have a blast using GolfBoard, as this video shows.
GolfBoard is now offered at 120 courses in the US, Canada, and Mexico and hundreds of individual golfers – including PGA Tour stars and A-List celebrities – have purchased units. Look for GolfBoard to come to a course near you this year.

Premier Golf
It’s a Ryder Cup year – held in the Midwest no less (Hazeltine National near Minneapolis) – and that’s when Premier Golf thrives. And that’s why its PGA Merchandise Show booth was buzzing with visitors. Premier has been licensed by the PGA of America as the exclusive distributor of Ryder Cup packages in the United States and Europe since 1991. If you have never been to a Ryder Cup, suffice it to say that there is no more electric event in golf. This year may be your best chance ever, and with the ticket lottery long past, Premier can ensure you’re there through one of its luxury packages.

Galvin Green
While we’d all like to golf year-round in ideal playing weather, the Midwestern U.S. – and nearly three-fourths of North America – demands that players withstand occasional cold, wind and precipitation. Fortunately, Galvin Green offers premium outerwear, tops, bottoms and accessories for men, women and juniors. The company developed the sport’s first apparel layering system – the Multi-Layer Concept – more than a decade ago. Apparently Galvin Green’s products perform well, otherwise the company would not be the Official Team Supplier of Outerwear to the 2016 and 2018 European Ryder Cup Teams. Think those Euro players know anything about performing well in less than ideal weather? (a subsidiary of PG Professional Golf) is the No.1 seller of recycled golf balls in the world. They use an assortment of divers to retrieve balls from ponds in every U.S. state and clean and sort them based on condition at their Texas headquarters. provides customers with “like new” balls at a fraction of MSRP prices. This includes all major brands, including Titleist ProV1s starting at $12.99. The company has grown tremendously over the past few years and is now responsible for 6% of all golf balls sold on Earth.

Voice Caddie
The portable SC200 Swing Caddie Launch Monitor ($349.99) is an optimal training device and allows access to a launch monitor virtually anywhere. With its voice enabled capability, the SC200 simultaneously displays and calls out carry distance, swing speed, ball speed and smash factor after each swing. Operating in practice, target and random mode, the SC200 Swing Caddie allows players to receive specific instant feedback. The remote control allows setting changes without moving. Designed to eliminate the hassle of complicated distance measurement during a round of golf, the VC300 ($129.99) offers voice guidance and hands-free operation. It gives quick and accurate measurements to the front, back and center of greens and automatically recognizes which course and hole is in play. Its clip-on design and simple touch technology makes use a breeze. No additional subscription fees.
Pioneers of “Live Golf Scoring” technology, VPAR (pictured above) gives amateur golfers the pro-like competitive thrill of real-time leaderboards as they play a match. At the 2016 PGA Show, the company introduced the VPAR Club Platform, which joins the award-winning VPAR mobile app and VPAR Tournament Service. The VPAR app allows everyday golfers to take the live scoring experience with them for buddy trips or regular matches. It provides live scoring, detailed GPS, a 30,000-course directory, weather updates, stat analysis, scorecard archiving and social media integration. The basic version is free to download on Apple and Android devices. What are you waiting for?
Youth on Course
Youth on Course is a non-profit that is growing the game through providing access to golf and its many benefits to kids. Offering rounds of $5 or less to all YOC members (membership ranges from $5-20 yearly), YOC programs are available in nine states and quickly expanding. Midwest associations are expected to adopt YOC in 2016. Let your area association know that you want YOC in your state. Rounds are subsidized by private donors, golf associations and accompanying foundations – so courses do not lose money. College scholarships for deserving members, paid internships and caddie programs are other YOC initiatives.

Big Max Golf
BIG MAX GOLF, pioneer of the three-wheeled push cart, showcased the Autofold FF at the PGA Merchandise Show. Its distinguishing element is the new flat-fold technology whereby all three wheels fold with the push of a single lever. The cart is easy to transport and store thanks to its compact design, while its durable frame holds any type and size of golf bag. Select BIG MAX GOLF items are available at golf retailers in North America and at

Golf Life Navigators
Get of the Midwestern cold and get into the Sunshine State! GLN is the brainchild of two PGA professionals who formed a South Florida "dream team" with in-market real estate experts. GLN provides a free service that helps people looking to find ideally suited golf clubs and or real estate properties or communities. Gary Van Sickle describes GLN in the December 2015 issue of GOLF Magazine.
The demand for GLN’s services is intense based on a confluence of factors – approximately 300,000 people move to Florida each year, 10,000 people a day turn 65 (and will every day for the next 12 years) and many people relocate within the state on a relatively frequent basis. Considering there are more than 1,200 golf clubs in Florida and hundreds of thousands of real estate properties, finding the right fit can be an overwhelming and very stressful task. GLN services extend to providing a comprehensive service provider list to further ease clients’ transitions. These run the gamut from HVAC and tax accounting firms to top restaurants and interior décor consultants and everything in between.

Golf Pride Introduces New Oversize Putter Series: TOUR SNSR, Never Lose Your Feel

(SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.) - Eaton's Golf Pride Grips Division is introducing an all-new oversized putter series called TOUR SNSR. The new grips feature larger Tour-proven shapes that are engineered with innovative SNSR material that delivers unsurpassed Tour-level feel and feedback.

The new TOUR SNSR Series features a soft-tuned rubber formulation that gives these grips an extraordinary feel, and encourages a lighter grip pressure that golfers seek in creating a smooth stroke. The new SNSR compound also enhances Tour-level feedback into the hands to improve player distance control.

Players can dial in the feel that fits them best with two Tour proven shapes, the TOUR SNSR CONTOUR and the TOUR SNSR STRAIGHT.

TOUR SNSR CONTOUR is an evolution of the classic tapered pistol profile that is the shape preference of over 75% of Tour players. The pistol allows golfers to “lock in” their upper hand for consistent hand placement that translates to more confidence in every stroke.

TOUR SNSR STRAIGHT offers a contemporary, non-taper shape promoting a consistent hand pressure and feel. The straight taper design features soft, rounded edges that are strategically beveled for palm and finger pad comfort.

All four TOUR SNSR models feature a wide paddle front, sculpted to promote lighter grip pressure and consistent hand placement. Additionally, they are each finished with a traction-textured design that provides heightened feel and moisture control. Each shape is available in two oversize options, 104cc and 140cc.

“Our new TOUR SNSR Series is arguably our most distinctive and innovative new putter grip line ever produced,” said Brandon Sowell, global director of sales and marketing. “We worked extensively with Tour players and amateurs for input during development and they clearly highlighted a need for enhanced feel and feedback with larger putter grips. Our R&D team took the challenge and produced a new soft rubber formulation that re-defines excellence for feedback and Tour performance.”

The TOUR SNSR Series will be available at retail in April and feature a street price of $24.99. For more information on the TOUR SNSR and the entire 2016 Golf Pride product offering, visit

David Feherty to Make NBC Sports Group Debut at PGA TOUR's Waste Management Phoenix Open

Feherty Joining Live Tournament Broadcast Team for All “Florida Swing” Events on Golf Channel & NBC, and WGC-Dell Match Play in Austin

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – Emmy-nominated television host and one of golf’s most animated personalities, David Feherty, will make his live tournament debut as part of Golf Channel and NBC’s broadcast team at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Thursday-Sunday, Feb. 4-7. Feherty is joining NBC Sports Group exclusively in 2016, bringing nearly 20 years of experience as an on-course reporter at CBS following his retirement from professional golf in 1996.

“Feherty is a smart, funny wild card whose cult celebrity is transcending the sport.”Rolling Stone

Fittingly, Feherty’s live tournament debut coincides with the most raucous environment on the PGA TOUR schedule, featuring a crowd of more than 15,000 surrounding the enclosed par-3 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course. Feherty will join Rich Lerner in the 18th tower as lead analyst for Golf Channel’s first and second round coverage Thursday-Friday. On the weekend, he’ll transition to his familiar on-course reporter role during Saturday-Sunday afternoon coverage on NBC, with Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller moving into the 18th tower position.

“After a few months off, my peacock feathers are finally starting to come in and I’m ready to join my new NBC colleagues to kick off a spectacular year ahead with The Open coming to NBC, golf’s return to the Olympics, and my personal favorite, the Ryder Cup, this fall on U.S. soil,” said David Feherty. “Forget the training wheels, I feel like I’m a gerbil being tossed to the lions in the Colosseum at TPC Scottsdale. I’m counting on Johnny [Miller] and [Roger] Maltbie to stick up for me should I encounter any chance skirmishes with those lunatic fans throughout the week.”

“David’s one-of-a-kind charm and his innate ability to cleverly access any situation – whether on the golf course or in the interview chair – is his greatest strength,” said Mike McCarley, president of Golf Channel. “And in welcoming him to our tournament broadcast team in 2016, viewers will revel in his candor on some of the game’s biggest stages, at THE PLAYERS, the Open Championship, Olympics, FedExCup Playoffs and Ryder Cup.”

“FLORIDA SWING,” WGC-DELL MATCH PLAY: Feherty also is scheduled to join the broadcast team on Golf Channel and NBC for a stretch of five consecutive weeks, including each of the “Florida Swing” events: The Honda Classic (Feb. 25-28) in Palm Beach Gardens; WGC-Cadillac Championship (March 3-6) in Miami; Valspar Championship (March 10-13) outside of Tampa; and the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard (March 17-20) in Orlando; as well as the WGC-Dell Match Play (March 23-27) in Austin, Texas.

“Feherty is the last unscripted man on TV.”Men’s Journal

CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED FEHERTY: Season six of FehertySM will premiere on Monday, March 7 at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel, with this season’s guest lineup headlined by former President George H.W. Bush, World No. 1 ranked golfer Jordan Spieth, and legendary play-by-play voice Bob Uecker, coined “Mr. Baseball,” by Johnny Carson, after making more than 100 guest appearances alongside Carson on The Tonight Show. The award-winning self-titled talk show –which helped propel him to a 2014 Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Sports Host – stages Feherty in a one-on-one interview setting with some of the biggest names in golf, sports, entertainment, politics and business. Feherty originally debuted in June 2011 as the most-watched original series in Golf Channel history.

“David Feherty is a true original capable of greatness… if he doesn’t destroy himself first.”Hollywood Reporter

Described as “a cross between Oprah Winfrey and Johnny Carson” by The New York Times, and as “golf’s wisecracking, maverick interviewer” by Esquire, Feherty has made a name for himself not only through his self-titled Golf Channel talk show, but as one of the most irrepressible personalities calling golf over the past two decades. A native of Northern Ireland and a former professional golfer who claimed 10 worldwide victories and a spot on the 1991 European Ryder Cup Team, Feherty is now a proud American citizen who has risen above a history of alcoholism and addiction to become an Emmy-nominated television host, New York Times best-selling author and comedic relief for thousands of men and women in uniform.

Troon Facilities to Host Drive, Chip and Putt Championships

(Scottsdale, Ariz.) – Troon, the leader in upscale golf course management, development and marketing, is pleased to announce that nine of its affiliated facilities were selected to host local or sub-regional qualifying events for the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship.

Conducted by the United States Golf Association (USGA), Masters Tournament and the PGA of America, the 2017 Drive, Chip & Putt Championship is a complimentary youth golf development initiative that welcomes boys and girls ages 7-15 in four separate age categories. Juniors compete in all three skills (Drive, Chip & Putt), earning points within each skill with the overall champion determined from the highest number of accumulated points.

Local qualifying will take place throughout all 50 states from May – August, 2016. Top performers at the local level advance through sub-regional and regional qualifiers. The top 80 performers (40 boys and 40 girls) will earn an invitation to the National Finals at Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday, April 2, the eve of the 2017 Masters Tournament.

Troon host locations in 2016 include:
- The Phoenician, Scottsdale – Local Qualifying, Saturday, May 21
- Troon North Golf Club, Scottsdale – Local Qualifying, Monday, June 13
- Marin Country Club, Navato – Local Qualifying, Friday, June 24
- World Golf Village Resort, Saint Augustine – Local Qualifying, Saturday, July 30, Sub-Regional, Saturday, August 13
- Ironhorse Golf Club, Leawood – Local Qualifying, Wednesday July 6
- Reunion Golf & Country Club, Madison – Local Qualifying, Thursday July 21
- Aliante Golf Club, North Las Vegas – Local Qualifying, Saturday June 25
- Cimarron Hills Golf & Country Club, Georgetown – Local Qualifying, Wednesday, June 22
- The Powder Horn Golf Club, Sheridan – Local Qualifying, Wednesday, June 19

Online registration for the Drive Chip & Putt Championships at

“Thanks to the USGA, the Masters Tournament and PGA of America, the Drive Chip & Putt Championships have garnered a ton of momentum and popularity,” stated John Easterbrook, executive vice president, operations, Troon. “We're excited to have a number of stunning Troon locations host either a local or sub regional qualifying in 2016 and encourage moms, dads, grandparents, aunts and uncles to register their junior golfer to compete in this fun filled (and free) national event.”

For additional news and information, visit

Mayacama Head Golf Professional Ted Antonopoulos Appointed to PGA of America Rules Committee

(Santa Rosa, CA) — Mayacama, Sonoma County’s private golf and residential community, has announced that Head Golf Professional Ted Antonopoulos has been appointed to the PGA of America Rules Committee.The PGA Rules Committee is made up of 35 PGA Members and is responsible for administering the Rules of Golf at all Championships conducted by the PGA of America. Those Championships include the PGA Championship, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the Senior PGA Championship, the National Club Professional Championship, The Ryder Cup, and several others. In addition to the Association’s Championships, Members of the Rules Committee are also included among the list of special invitees who officiate at The Open Championship, The Masters, The US Open, US Senior Open, The Players Championship, and in 2016 they will be included as part of the officiating crew when Golf returns as an Olympic Sport in the Summer Olympics taking place in Brazil in 2016. Committee Members are also responsible for instructing and/or coordinating the PGA/USGA Rules of Golf Workshops, held at several nationwide locations each year.

The selection process for this prestigious appointment is quite extensive. Qualified candidates must have recorded a minimum score of 92 or better on the PGA/USGA Rules of Golf Exam and must submit a portfolio of experience to the Chairman of the Rules Committee. A Selection Committee then evaluates each rule profile folder, ranking them on a scale of 1-5. This individual ranking system will allow Committee leadership to fairly perform the very difficult task of sorting through extremely qualified professionals who are passionate about the rules of golf.

Ted received his appointment from PGA of American President Derek Sprague and Rules Committee Chairman Ron Hickman.

"Obviously I am thrilled to represent Mayacama Golf Club as part of this prestigious Committee,” Antonopoulos said. "The PGA Rules Committee is a dedicated group of Professionals who have a passion for the game, and I have always been impressed with the way that they conduct themselves and our Championships. It will be an honor to serve on this Committee and I look forward to the opportunity.”

Ted’s first assignment was the National Car Rental Assistant Championship in Port St. Lucie, Florida in late 2015. He will also be coordinating the PGA/USGA Rules of Golf Workshop in Las Vegas in February 2016.

In addition to the PGA of America Rules Committee, Ted is also a Member of the USGA Senior Amateur Committee and has officiated at USGA Championships for the last 5 years. Other assignments have included PGA Tour Qualifying School, USGA Championship Qualifying, American Junior Golf Association’s Wyndham Cup, NCAA Division I and Division II Regional Championships, and of course our very own Mayacama Cup and Annual Championships of Mayacama Golf Club...with the latter being the most pressure-packed of all!

Mayacama is very fortunate to have Ted's knowledge, experience, and wisdom to ensure that the game remains true to its time-honored traditions.

About Mayacama
Nestled in the hills of northern Sonoma County, California, not far from the charming town of Healdsburg, Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. Inside welcoming gates are 675 acres of classic California Wine Country, where spreading oaks and golden vineyards pattern the hillside. Mayacama is a rare and remarkable experience centered around a grand clubhouse and a championship Jack Nicklaus signature course ranked among the top 100 in America. Equally extraordinary is a wine program that includes 35 renowned vintners who are all fellow Members. Tennis, swimming, bocce, a splendid spa, a rich culinary program, a bustling social calendar and a robust Juniors’ Program round out the experience.

GolfBuddy's New Product Launches at the 2016 PGA Show

(Orlando, FL) – GolfBuddy’s dedication to innovation is evident in the company’s newest product launches which will debut at the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show. Each new product pairs the most up-to-date distance measuring technology with sleek designs and easy-to-use functions. The wide range of new features and updated color options make these GolfBuddy products a necessity for golfers who want to improve their game while sporting the most fashionable devices on the market.

“With the introduction of these new devices, GolfBuddy continues to transform the golf GPS industry, making the game more attainable and enjoyable for players of all skill levels,” said Harry Jung, president of GolfBuddy. “Our new line of products offer both fashion and function in easily accessible devices that modern golfers are craving.”

GolfBuddy LD2

The LD2, GolfBuddy’s first foray into the ladies watch market, combines Swarovski crystals with a genuine leather strap, a stainless steel bezel and a mineral crystal lens for a crisp display. Each element has been designed to ensure a luxurious look and feel. The Swarovski crystals are produced with a light sapphire hue, while the interchangeable wristband is made with an alligator grain. The LD2 offers distances to the front, back and center of the green, as well as distances to up to 11 hazards per hole. Like all Golfbuddy products, the LD2 features automatic course and hole recognition. This new GPS watch also comes equipped with a dual-shot distance measurement function, which will tell the golfer exactly how far they hit their shot.

MSRP: $299.99

GolfBuddy CT2

The CT2 surpasses the competition with its best-in-class rechargeable battery, which provides up to 17 hours of golf in GPS mode. The versatile and lightweight device comes with a free lanyard for added versatility. The CT2 boasts a digital scorecard and an odometer which can track the distance traveled by the golfer over the course of a round. This innovative device features all of GolfBuddy’s renowned technology, including: Dynamic Green View, pin placement feature, and includes up to 11 hazards per hole. The Micro-GPS also features large, easy-to-read numbers that are clearly visible in all weather conditions. The CT2 will automatically recognize the course and hole that the user is playing, and is waterproof up to 10 meters.

MSRP: $179.99

Voice 2
GolfBuddy Voice 2

The Voice 2 is the latest in GolfBuddy’s line of audio distance measuring devices. Boasting a remarkable 14 hours of battery, the Voice 2 can be used on back-to-back 18-hole rounds without charging. The user is also able to switch between a male and female voice for distance readings depending on preference. The Voice 2 is water resistant and legal in tournament play. In line with recent GolfBuddy products, the Voice 2 offers dynamic green viewing capabilities based on the golfer’s position. Additionally, the audio unit provides automatic course and hole recognition, distances to the front, back and center of the green, and shot distance measurement. The Voice 2 comes in rose/gold and white/blue colors and has a built-in clip for convenient access.

MSRP: $149.99

GolfBuddy will be present at booth #1215 at the 2016 PGA Show.

Island Resort & Casino News & Notes: New Menu at Firekeeper’s, Tickets to Top Acts

(HARRIS, Michigan) – Blood, Sweat & Tears featuring Bo Bice will perform at the Island Resort and Casino’s Island Showroom, and tickets to the Jan. 29-30 shows are available on a first-come, first-served basis at

Blood, Sweat & Tears created multiple Billboard Top 40 hits including “Spinning Wheel,” “When I Die,” “Go Down Gamblin’,” “God Bless the Child” and "You've Made So Very Happy."

Known as the band that fused rock, blues, pop music, horn arrangements and jazz improvisation into a hybrid that became known as "jazz-rock," Blood, Sweat & Tears feature excellent musicianship with powerful vocals from singer Bo Bice.

This is just one of several upcoming entertainment options at Island Resort and Casino; check the website frequently to get tickets while they’re still available.

Roitsserie Classics Enhance Firekeeper’s Restaurant Menu

Midwest Rotisserie Classics and regional cuisine highlight the newly added dishes at Firekeeper’s Restaurant, one of the resort casino’s most popular culinary options.

Pulled Pork Pierogies, Great Lakes Perch, Steak Salad Annie, award-winning chili and Signature Rotisserie (chicken, beef, turkey and pork) are some of the many scrumptious options on the new menu.

All rotisserie items are house rubbed with a signature blend of seasonings, served with a choice of two sides and a house salad or cup of soup.  Sides include baked potato, mashed red potatoes, steak fries, potato salad, buttered sweet corn, vegetable medley, mac & cheese, baked beans, coleslaw, traditional stuffing and cinnamon apples.

Voted by Midwest Gaming & Travel readers, Firekeeper’s joins other on-site dining venues including 5 Bridges Pub, 5 Bridges Steak & Seafood House, Coral Reef Grille and the new T. McC’s Sports Bar, which offers craft brews, classic appetizers, burgers and specialty wraps.

For more information and to view the new menu, visit or call 877-ISL-SHOW (877-475-7469).

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Top 50 Golf Courses Revealed by Golf Advisor

Latest Top-50 List Determined from More Than 121,000 Course Reviews in 2015 by More Than 75,000 Golfers

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – The Top-50 golf courses in the United States  – as determined by more than 121,000 reviews from avid golfers in 2015 – today was revealed on Golf Advisor, the world’s leading golf course ratings and review website.

More than 75,000 golfers in 2015 took the time to share their golfing experiences on Golf Advisor, resulting in the site’s Top 50 golf course list, which was developed by golfers, for golfers.

“You’ll find our Top 50 list features a handful of courses you’re used to seeing in on a top 100 list somewhere, while others you may have never heard of,” said Brandon Tucker, managing editor, Golf Advisor.  “That’s precisely what we hope makes our list useful.  An affordable, over-achieving municipal course in rural Texas has as much of a chance of receiving a strong review as a $300 resort course in Arizona.”

Unlike rankings published by various golf publications, which normally are geared toward architecture or history and conducted by a panel of industry insiders, the Golf Advisor Top 50 is totally consumer-driven.  Ages, handicaps and budgets of golfers using Golf Advisor run the gamut, so the more than 450,000 reviews the site has accumulated over the past two years showcase the golf course characteristics that are most important to avid golfers across the country.

Although courses in Florida, California, Arizona and Texas comprise half the list, states from other U.S. regions also are well represented, including the Midwest, West, Great Lakes, New England and the Mid-Atlantic.

Yocha Dehe Golf Club, located in Brooks, just west of Sacramento, Calif., topped the list.  Yocha Dehe delivered on all criteria – value, service, facilities, course conditions, scenery, food, and an interesting and challenging layout – receiving an average five-star rating.

Courses that often are regular candidates for top-100 public rankings – including Maderas Golf Club in Poway, Calif., TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course in Arizona, Pine Barrens Course at World Woods in Brooksville, Fla., and Bayonet Course at Bayonet & Black Horse in Seaside, Calif. – prove that they are able to meet the high expectations not just with industry panelists, but for paying golfers on a daily basis.

Some of the lesser-known, value courses on the list like Delaware Springs Golf Course in Burnet, Texas; Gunter’s Landing in Guntersville, Ala., and Royal Hylands Golf Club in Knightstown, Ind., prove that a course can earn excellent reviews if golfers find the experience both on the course and off to be far superior than other courses they play.

Below is Golf Advisor’s list of Top 50 Courses.  To read about the methodology behind the list, as well as see the review pages for each course included, click here.
1.       Yocha Dehe Golf Club – Brooks, Calif.
2.       Mission Inn Resort & Club (El Campeón Course) – Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
3.       La Cantera Golf Club (Palmer Course) – San Antonio, Texas
4.       Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort (Sun Mountain Course) – Las Vegas, Nev.
5.       Waldorf Astoria Golf Club – Orlando, Fla.
6.       Sewailo Golf Club – Tucson, Ariz.
7.       FarmLinks Golf Club – Sylacauga, Ala.
8.       World Woods Golf Club (Pine Barrens Course) – Brooksville, Fla.
9.       Candler Hills Golf Club – Ocala, Fla.
10.   Cross Creek Country Club – Mt. Airy, N.C.
11.   Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort (Wolf Course) – Las Vegas, Nev.
12.   Royal Hylands Golf Club – Knightstown, Ind.
13.   Ram’s Hill Golf Club – Borrego Springs, Calif.
14.   Scotch Hall Preserve – Merry Hill, N.C.
15.   Cedarbrook Country Club – Elkin, N.C.
16.   Gunter’s Landing – Guntersville, Ala.
17.   The Club at Eaglebrooke – Lakeland, Fla.
18.   Macatawa Legends Golf & Country Club – Holland, Mich.
19.   Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons – Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
20.   Maderas Golf Club – Poway, Calif.
21.   Canterbury Woods Country Club – Canterbury, N.H.
22.   Bedford Valley – Battle Creek, Mich.
23.   Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort (Snow Mountain Course) – Las Vegas, Nev.
24.   The Golf Club at North Hampton – Fernandina Beach, Fla.
25.   Hawk Hollow Golf Course – Bath Township, Mich.
26.   Blackstone Golf Club – Marengo, Ill.
27.   The Hideaway Country Club – Fort Myers, Fla.
28.   Grand Cypress Golf Club (New Course) – Orlando, Fla.
29.   The Trophy Club – Lebanon, Ind.
30.   Grand Bear Golf Course – Saucier, Miss.
31.   TPC Las Vegas – Las Vegas, Nev.
32.   Ojai Valley Inn and Spa – Ojai, Calif.
33.   Twin Lakes Golf Course – Canton, Texas
34.   Delaware Springs Golf Course – Burnet, Texas
35.   TPC Scottsdale (Stadium Course) – Scottsdale, Ariz.
36.   The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort – St. Simons Island, Ga.
37.   Verrado Golf Club – Buckeye, Ariz.
38.   Maryland National Golf Club – Middletown, Md.
39.   Stonewall Orchard Golf Club – Grayslake, Ill.
40.   Copper Canyon Golf Club – Wittmann, Ariz.
41.   The Wilderness Golf Course – Lake Jackson, Texas
42.   Aviara Golf Club – Carlsbad, Calif.
43.   St. James Bay – Carrabelle, Fla.
44.   Oakcreek Country Club – Sedona, Ariz.
45.   Bayonet & Black Horse (Bayonet Course) – Seaside, Calif.
46.   Pole Creek Golf Club – Granby, Colo.
47.   Niagara Frontier Country Club – Youngstown, N.Y.
48.   Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa – Young Harris, Ga.
49.   Stonegate Golf Club – Twin Lake, Mich.
50.   Wolfdancer Golf Club – Lost Pines, Texas

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Titleist Introduces New Vokey Design SM6 Wedges

New SM6 Models Provide Precise Distance Control, Enhanced Shot Versatility, Maximum Spin and Superior Feel; Available in Golf Shops March 11 

(FAIRHAVEN, Mass.) – New Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled 6 wedges – the next step in wedge innovation from the clear leader in the category – establish a new performance standard by improving in the three key areas of wedge play: distance gapping, shot versatility and spin control.

Already the most played wedge model on the PGA Tour, Vokey SM6 wedges provide precise distance control, enhanced shot versatility, maximum spin and superior feel through the following key technologies:

• A groundbreaking new Progressive Center of Gravity (CG) design aligns the CG with the impact position of each loft to produce precise distance and trajectory control with exceptional feel. Engineered using cutting-edge CAD technology, the Progressive CG is visible technology on the back of the wedge.

– Low Loft (46º-52º) SM6 models feature a low CG that increases ball speed on average by 1.5 mph (3-5 yards). This low CG position provides a precisely aligned progression from a typical iron set. It is visible technology, highlighted by a thinner topline and raised lower section.
– Mid lofts (54º & 56º) feature a mid CG position, precisely aligned between the low lofts and high lofts, that provides precise distance gapping and exceptional feel.

– High lofts (58º-62º) feature a high CG position that produces tighter distance dispersion, improved trajectory control and better feel. The high CG position is precisely aligned with the impact position of high lofted wedges, higher on the face. It is visible technology, highlighted by a raised upper section.

• Master Craftsman Bob Vokey’s five tour-validated SM6 sole grinds have been fine tuned through Bob’s work with the world’s best shot makers, providing golfers of all skill levels with improved shot versatility for their swing type, shot making style and course conditions.
– All five SM6 grinds (L, M, S, F, K) are currently in play across the worldwide professional tours. Each grind is a direct result of Bob’s experience fitting tour players, PGA professionals and amateurs of all skill levels for more than 20 years.

– For more details on the five SM6 grinds, click here. For the SM6 Loft.Bounce matrix, click here.

• New 100% inspected proprietary Spin Milled TX4 grooves and face texture deliver more spin (up to 200rpm more spin on average) with more consistent spin control.

– New TX4 grooves are engineered with a machine milled, parallel face texture that creates a sharper, more consistent groove edge.
– TX4 grooves feature two groove geometries: a narrower, deeper groove for the 46º-54º lofts; and a wider, shallower groove in the 56º-62º lofts. The parallel face texture and progressive groove geometries optimize ball-to-groove edge contact, producing more spin and control around the greens.

Available in golf shops beginning March 11, Vokey SM6 wedges are available in 46º to 62º lofts and three finishes: Tour Chrome, Steel Gray and Jet Black (raw).

“These are the best wedges we’ve ever made,” Bob Vokey said. “Our engineers have taken everything I’ve learned working with tour players, PGA pros and amateurs over the last 20-plus years, everything (Vokey Tour Rep) Aaron Dill has learned from being on tour week in and week out, and brought it to life with technology that will help golfers at every level of the game. SM6 really is the total package.”

“The detail and precision that’s gone into SM6 is off the charts,” Aaron Dill said. “We’ve taken everything into consideration while really focusing in on the CG. This is technology that you can actually see on the wedge – technology that tour players are raving about because it is helping them control their trajectory, hit their number more consistently and ultimately score better.”

INSTANT TOUR ADOPTION: Vokey SM6 became the most played wedge model on the PGA Tour the first week it was available to players at the Shriners Hospital for Children Open in October, with a total of 74 new SM6 models immediately put in play. SM6 has remained the #1 model in play each successive week, with the total of SM6 models at last week’s CareerBuilder Challenge reaching 138.

Jordan Spieth opened 2016 with a win at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions carrying four SM6 wedges. Spieth first put the SM6’s in play in November at the WGC-HSBC Champions event. Jason Dufner, who switched to three SM6 models at the Shriners Hospital for Children Open, won the CareerBuilder Challenge.

SM6 models are now in the bags of more than 100 tour players – including Adam Scott, Bill Haas, Jimmy Walker, Robert Streb, Webb Simpson and Sanderson Farms Championship winner Peter Malnati – as the seeding process continues across the worldwide professional tours.

ADVANCED PERSONALIZATION AND CUSTOM OPTIONS: SM6 wedges can be custom ordered with a wide range of specifications and personalization, including an industry-leading selection of shafts, grips, shaft bands, ferrules, stamping and paint fill. For a complete list of personalization and custom options, visit

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: Vokey Design SM6 wedges are available in golf shops beginning March 11 at $149 MAP ($169 MSRP).


Bridgestone's new JGR Irons Are Forged for Forgiveness

(Covington, Ga.) — Bridgestone Golf, the #1 ball-fitter in golf and a recognized industry innovator, announced today the launch of its new JGR Hybrid Forged Irons at the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show. The new Bridgestone JGR Hybrid Forged Irons use innovative technologies and materials to deliver longer distance and more forgiveness, while maintaining the buttery feel golfers have come to expect from forged irons.

“Similar to how we identified a gap in the market and invented the category of Tour balls for amateur swings back in 2008, we noticed that there was major gap in the club market for players who wanted the feel of a forged iron, but needed more forgiveness,” said Josh Kinchen, Golf Club Marketing Manager, Bridgestone Golf, Inc. “Our solution is the JGR Hybrid Forged Irons.  JGR Irons deliver unmatched forgiveness, launch and distance due to their incredibly low and deep center-of-gravity and face design.”

The forgiveness and performance that the JGR Hybrid Forged Irons generate is achieved through three primary technologies:

1. Ultra-thin Face Design
• Crafted from a proprietary metal alloy, Ultimate Strong Metal 2.0 features unparalleled tensile and yield strength in an ultra-thin (1.5mm) face for greater repulsion, forgiveness and longer carry distance.

2. Low and Deep Center-of-Gravity
• Utilizing a unique wide-sole design that resists digging at impact, the center-of-gravity in the JGR irons is located in the extreme lower rear of the club, allowing for incredibly easy, high launching distance.

3. Turbo Rubber Composite Insert
• Bridgestone’s patented insert in the clubhead dampens vibration at impact, further enhancing its soft forged feel and saves discretionary weight to optimize perimeter-weighting forgiveness.

The JGR Hybrid Forged Irons come standard in a set of 6-PW2 with both steel (Nippon NS Pro Zelos 8) and graphite (UST Mamiya Recoil) shaft options. Street Price for steel is $699 and for graphite it is $749. Custom shaft and grip options are available.

The JGR Hybrid Forged Irons will be available at retail on March 4.

Visit to learn more about Bridgestone Golf’s 2016 plans and to view the comprehensive lineup of new products.

NBC Sports Group Kicks Off 2016 LPGA Season with the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic

Live Coverage of 8 LPGA Events on Golf Channel in Next 10 Weeks Heading into Golf’s First Major of 2016, ANA Inspiration

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – Following a 2015 season where Golf Channel and NBC combined to air more than 550 hours of LPGA Tour coverage – the most ever in a single year – NBC Sports Group will continue to ride the wave of momentum as the 2016 LPGA season begins this week with the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic, airing live on Golf Channel Thursday-Sunday, Jan. 28-31.

This year, NBC Sports Group will broadcast 31 LPGA Tour events in the season-long Race to the CME Globe, featuring live coverage of four of the five women’s major championships and the biennial UL International Crown. And in August, women’s golf returns to the Olympics for the first time in more than 100 years.

“Golf Channel’s coverage of the LPGA Tour last year was fueled by the most live hours ever, showcasing the game’s emerging and established stars through storytelling via our news, live tournaments and digital platforms,” said Molly Solomon, Golf Channel executive producer. “We will continue to build on this momentum as we embark on a momentous year in 2016 on the LPGA Tour with 10 months of coverage of the Race to the CME Globe, nearly all of the major championships and the UL International Crown as well as golf’s return to the Olympics.”

“Our relationship with Golf Channel continues to grow thanks to their significant promotion, production value, and coverage of our accessible and personable players,” said Brian Carroll, LPGA Senior Vice President of TV and New Media. “With the amount of great events on our schedule, we are very excited about 2016.”

PURE SILK BAHAMAS LPGA CLASSIC: The event begins a series of eight LPGA tournaments airing live on Golf Channel over the next 10 weeks leading into golf’s first major championship of 2016, the ANA Inspiration. Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis and Lexi Thompson, Nos. 2-4 in the Rolex Rankings, headline an international field in the Bahamas that also includes Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Alison Lee, Gerina Piller, Yani Tseng, Michelle Wie and 2017 U.S. Solheim Cup Captain Juli Inkster. Eventual 2015 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Sei Young Kim captured the 2015 event in a playoff for her first of three LPGA wins in 2015.

Live coverage of the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic will air on Golf Channel Thursday and Friday from 11:30 am-2:30 p.m. ET, and will continue on Saturday and Sunday from 3-5 p.m. ET.

COATES GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP: The LPGA Tour will head to the continental U.S. next week for the Coates Golf Championship in Ocala, Fla., a Wednesday-Saturday event that will feature the 2016 debut of Rolex Rankings No. 1 Lydia Ko. Na Yeon Choi defeated Ko by one stroke in the inaugural Coates Golf Championship in 2015, which served as the kickoff to the season.

ANA INSPIRATION, GOLF’S FIRST MAJOR OF 2016: Following the Coates Golf Championship, the LPGA Tour will travel to Australia, Thailand and Singapore for a three week stretch before returning to the U.S. in March for three weeks, concluding with the ANA Inspiration, golf’s first major championship of 2016 (Thursday-Sunday, March 31-April 3). Taking place at historic Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Golf Channel will air comprehensive news and tournament coverage ANA Inspiration week, headlined by 20 hours of live tournament action.

GOLF CHANNEL BROADCAST TEAM: Hall-of-Famer Judy Rankin returns as lead analyst for Golf Channel’s LPGA tournament coverage in 2016, and will be joined by Whit Watson as play-by-play host for the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic. Tom Abbott will serve as a hole announcer with Jerry Foltz and Kay Cockerill reporting from the course.  Lisa Cornwell will conduct post-round interviews and provide reports for Golf Central.

Major champion Karen Stupples and play-by-play host Terry Gannon will join the broadcast team at the Coates Golf Championship. Stupples will serve as a course reporter and also will rotate with Rankin as lead analyst at select events in 2016.

NBC SPORTS GROUP’S 2016 MARQUEE LPGA EVENTS: 2016 is set up to be a transformational year for NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the LPGA Tour. With the addition of the RICOH Women’s British Open in July, Golf Channel will have coverage of four of five women’s major championships. Three majors will air on NBC: the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, RICOH Women’s British Open – returning to broadcast television in ’16 – and The Evian Championship. The biennial UL International Crown also returns in 2016, with weekend coverage on NBC, and in August, Golf Channel and NBC will air coverage of women’s golf in the 2016 Summer Olympics from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

About the LPGA
The LPGA is the world’s leading professional golf organization for women. Founded in 1950, the association celebrates a diverse and storied membership with more than 2,300 members representing 30 different countries. With a Vision to inspire, empower, educate and entertain by showcasing the very best of women’s golf, LPGA Tour Professionals compete across the globe, while dedicated LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals (T&CP) directly impact the game through teaching, coaching and management. The Symetra Tour consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. The LPGA is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Follow the LPGA on its television home, Golf Channel, and on the web,,, and