Thursday, August 31, 2017

Mark Kelbel Named 2017 Colorado PGA Golf Professional of the Year

The Broadmoor’s Head Professional Given Highest Honor for Performance in Leadership, Service and Promotion of the Game of Golf 

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Mark Kelbel, Head Professional at The Broadmoor Golf Club, has been named the 2017 Colorado PGA Golf Professional of the Year. The highest honor given annually by the Colorado PGA, the Golf Professional of the Year Award goes to a member for overall performance including leadership, service and promotion of the game of golf.

As the saying goes, golf is in Kelbel’s blood. A third-generation golf professional, Kelbel started hanging around the course when he was 5 years old. He learned to love the game at an early age from both his grandfather and father and has carried that passion and devotion within him since. Kelbel, a PGA member since 1993, began working in the golf business at his father’s pro shop. He spent seven years as the Head Professional at the Grand Hotel Golf Club on Mackinac Island before joining the team at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs as the Head Professional.

“I am honored and delighted to have my work as a PGA Professional recognized with this award,” comments Kelbel. “Any professional worth his salt knows that I couldn’t have achieved this acknowledgment without the help of the dedicated and talented team that surrounds me. Hour-after-hour, day-after-day, week-after-week, I am proud to be a part of this Broadmoor alliance.”

To date, he has had a hand in helping 36 assistants go on to become Head Professionals and has sponsored more than 300 Professional Golf Management program interns at The Broadmoor.

Kelbel has served on the boards of the Southern Colorado Ronald McDonald House and Parents Challenge. He also created his own charity, Hemisphere Charities, that donates shoes to children who would otherwise not have access to them. Kelbel is active in the section’s efforts to grow the game of golf by being involved with programs for young people like The First Tee of Pikes Peak, the USCO FLAME (Finding Leaders Among Minorities Everywhere) and the Colorado Section Golf in the Schools program. He also works closely with the Colorado Springs’ military community by offering wounded warriors free golf instruction. It is his goal to bring two new people a month to the game of golf. He has assisted in procuring and implementing two major golf championships for the State of Colorado with a third coming up in 2018 (the U.S. Senior Open).

“Through our influence as golf professionals, we have a rare and unique opportunity to give back,” continues Kelbel. “I am a true believer that this is our obligation and our responsibility.”

Troon-Managed Facilities Participating in Patriot Golf Days

Money Raised Supports Families of Military Service Members Who Have Been Killed or Disabled in the Line of Duty

(Scottsdale, Ariz.) – Troon, the world’s largest golf management company, and many of its managed golf facilities across the country are proud to support the eleventh annual Patriot Golf Days, a joint initiative of The PGA of America and the United States Golf Association. Golfers playing Troon facilities throughout September will be raising funds to benefit the Folds of Honor Foundation through various golf tournaments and on-course competitions. In addition, multiple Troon-managed facilities will be offering complimentary or discounted golf and rental equipment to active and retired military personnel. The mission of Folds of Honor is to provide post-secondary educational scholarships for children and spouses of military service men and women killed or disabled in the line of duty.

In the past two years, Troon-managed facilities throughout the United States have raised more than $113,000 for the Folds of Honor Foundation through Patriot Golf Days activities.

“Patriot Golf Day is a tremendous initiative of the PGA of America and USGA that Troon fully supports,” said Bruce Glasco, executive vice president, chief operating officer, Troon. “We are thrilled that so many of our managed facilities are participating this year. Patriot Golf Days are a great opportunity for the golf community to give back to the families of those who have given so much through their brave service and sacrifice.”

Examples of Patriot Golf Day programs at Troon-managed facilities include:
Aliante Golf Club – Las Vegas, Nev.:
Patriot Golf Day Aliante Scramble – On Saturday, Sept. 9th, Aliante Golf Club will host a Patriot Golf Day Aliante Scramble tournament beginning at 7 AM. The two-person scramble will include on-course contests and raffle prizes, a post-tournament lunch buffet and costs $59 per person to play in. $10 from each entry fee will be donated to The Folds of Honor Foundation.

Copper Canyon Golf Club – Buckeye, Ariz.:
Patriot Golf Day Tournament – On Monday, Sept. 4th, Copper Canyon Golf Club will host a Patriot Golf Day tournament beginning at 8 AM. The four-person scramble format includes a post-golf lunch reception, charity auction, 50/50 raffle and multiple on-course competitions, including a $10,000 hole-in-one prize which will be split between the winner and Folds of Honor. The entry fee includes golf fees, lunch and a special tee gift. $25 from each entry fee will be donated to The Folds of Honor Foundation.

Golf Club of Estrella – Goodyear, Ariz.:
Fun Friday Fore Freedom Tournament – On Friday, Sept. 8th, the Golf Club of Estrella will host their second annual Fun Friday Fore Freedom Tournament beginning at 1 PM. As part of the event, the club turns their championship golf course into a difficult par-3 course called “The Destroyer.” The two-person scramble will include a pre-tournament lunch, a post-tournament awards reception and costs $49 per person to play in. $15 from each entry fee will be donated to The Folds of Honor Foundation.

Kapalua Golf – Maui, Hawaii:
Complimentary Golf For Retired And Active Military – Kapalua Golf will be offering complimentary golf Sept. 1st through 3rd on the Plantation Course and The Bay Course for active and retired military personnel. Free golf is available with proper military identification from 11 AM - 12:50 PM. Restrictions apply and the round must be booked inside of the four-day booking window to qualify for the promotion. The Plantation Course is annually rated as the top golf course in Hawaii and one of the top golf courses in the world by national golf publications. In addition, the club is offering 30% off at the Pineapple Grill restaurant for active and retired military personnel.

Sewailo Golf Club – Tucson, Ariz.:
Patriot Golf Day Tournament – On Friday, Sept. 1st, Sewailo Golf Club will host a Patriot Golf Day Tournament beginning at 8 AM. The two-person scramble format includes golf, a drink ticket and prizes and will cost $150 per two-person team. A portion of each team’s entry fee will be donated to The Folds of Honor Foundation.

Tiburón Golf Club at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples – Naples, Florida:
Discounted Golf and Complimentary Rental Clubs for Military Personnel – All active, reserve and retired military personnel play for $45 per person and will receive 20% off of merchandise in the Tiburón Golf Shop, Sept. 1st through 4th. Tiburón Golf Club and Callaway Golf will also provide complimentary rental clubs to all active, reserve and retired military personnel.

Closest to the Pin Competitions – On Friday, Sept. 1st, Sunday, Sept. 3rd and Monday, Sept. 4th, Tiburón Golf Club will hold daily closest-to-the-pin competitions. For a $20 donation to The Folds of Honor Foundation, any person playing on these days can enter the competition. At the end of each day, each person who is closest to the pin will receive a complimentary foursome at Tiburón Golf Club.

Flag Tournament – On Saturday, Sept. 2nd, Tiburón Golf Club will host a special Flag Tournament. For a $30 per person entry fee, participants will play for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes and a closest to the pin. All entry fee proceeds benefit The Folds of Honor Foundation.

Troon North Golf Club – Scottsdale, Ariz.:
Patriot Golf Day Troon North Scramble – On Sunday, Aug. 27th, Troon North Golf Club hosted their annual Patriot Golf Day Troon North Scramble. More than 100 golfers participated in the two-person scramble tournament, which also included a post-golf dinner in the club’s Dynamite Grille. $10 from each golfer’s entry fee will soon be donated to The Folds of Honor Foundation.

Since its inception in 2007, PGA Professionals have helped raise millions of dollars through Patriot Golf Day events, allowing Folds of Honor to award more than 13,500 educational scholarships. Patriot Golf Day allows the Folds of Honor Foundation to present an ongoing tribute to the brave service members by ensuring that the families of fallen and wounded warriors have hope for the right educational start to life and best future possible.

For more information about Patriot Golf Day or to make a donation, visit

For additional news and information, visit

Old North State Club: Quarter Century of Excellence

Club celebrates a milestone 25th anniversary as one of North Carolina’s most heralded and storied golf getaways; ONSC is one of a dozen world-class clubs owned by McConnell Golf

(NEW LONDON, NC) — It’s a big year for one of McConnell Golf’s most iconic properties: Old North State Club in New London is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Recognized by Golf Digest as the “Best New Private Course in America” runner-up following a splashy debut, Old North State Club has remained home to one of North Carolina’s finest courses. Created by Tom Fazio in 1991 along a 2.5-mile-long peninsula on Badin Lake, ONSC consistently ranks in the state’s top-five layouts according to the North Carolina Golf Panel.

During its first quarter-century, ONSC has witnessed some incredible moments and Director of Golf Tom Ducey has been there since the beginning. He remembers back in the early 1990s driving to the Stanly County Airport to pick up Tom Fazio, when the then-relatively unknown golf course architect was starting the process of building what would become Old North State Club.

At the course’s grand opening in July 1992, Ducey struck the ceremonial opening tee shot along with Fazio and famed Golf Digest instructor Dick Altman. “We kind of came out of nowhere,” Ducey said. “It was fun to be part of all that. A cool indoctrination to the big time.”

Soon thereafter, Ducey helped convince the Atlantic Coast Conference to come to Old North State Club. Soon after its grand opening, ONSC served as the host site for the ACC Women’s Golf Championship and the league was so impressed that in 1995 it awarded the men’s golf championship to Old North State — where it has remained for all but four of the years since.

“Hosting the Men and Women’s ACC Championship for 20-plus years has been a historic trip,” says Ducey, who is one of a half-dozen ONSC employees who have worked at the club since the beginning. “Watching college golfers who played here develop into world-class touring pros has been very exciting over the years.”

The list of stars who battled in the ACC Championships at ONSC is a long one. It’s even more inspiring to consider the major tour winners, like Webb Simpson, Lucas Glover and Stewart Cink, who began their careers walking this tract in college. Among these are also 2008 Wyndham Champion Carl Pettersson and the 2011 FedEx Cup Champion Bill Haas.

McConnell Golf VP of Golf Operations Brian Kittler began working at Old North State Club in April 1998, two weeks before an incredible ACC Championship field. Matt Kuchar from Georgia Tech was the defending US Amateur Champion and had made the cut the week before at the Masters. Clemson’s Charles Warren was the defending NCAA Champion while Tim Clark from NC State was the defending USGA Pub Links Champion. All would challenge each other for the lead, but Warren would go on to reclaim his title.

It’s not just ACC athletes whom have excelled here either. In 2011, a new member at ONSC, Bubba Watson, was looking for some low-key competition after edging out Phil Mickelson to win his second career PGA Tour event and championing the Zurich Classic in New Orleans for his third earlier that year. A condition of his membership was that he could participate in the Men’s Club Championship; Watson stated that he wanted an opportunity to meet his fellow members.

Of course, Watson won the Championship by a landslide. Even though he bogeyed Nos. 8 and 9 to shoot 36 on the front, he shot 27 on the back and claimed the title. While arguably unfair to the rest of the members competing, they all agreed that saying they lost to a two-time Masters winner makes for an interesting story. Watson’s locker remains to symbolize his presence at the club — and Bubba still holds the course record at 63.

Lodge Manager Robin Barringer has also been an employee at Old North State Club since the beginning. As the face of the club, Robin recalls a memorable story.

“One of my favorite members, Rick Dees — the Weekly Top 40-DJ — was stopping through on his way to the Masters with some friends, including Jack Nicholson,” she recalls. “They requested a big boat to rent for the day so I arranged it for them and waited to greet them on the dock. It just so happens some friends of mine were fishing close by and didn’t believe me when I told them who was coming. Sure enough, Rick Dees, Jack Nicholson, and the rest of their entourage unloaded from a van. You should have seen my friend’s faces when Mr. Dees said ‘Hello Robin!’ At that time, I had only worked here for a few years, so I was just amazed to have them playing our course, dining at the club, and staying at our Lodge!”

With the privacy of the Lakefront Lodge, many others from all walks of life have stayed overnight on the property. Politicians, including a former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, have stayed in the lodge numerous times. With a beautiful lake, a great golf course, five-star lodging and five-star dining, it’s not surprising that so many keep coming back to this destination property.
The Uwharrie Point community maintains a relaxed, easy-going atmosphere that transcends to its social hub at the clubhouse. Meals are often enjoyed on the patio and catching up with friends occurs between Adirondack chairs with sweeping views of Badin Lake.

“McConnell Golf is making a really big impact here,” says Ducey. “We’ve got members I’ve known for 20-plus years. We’ve watched each other, I hate to say it, get old together. I’ve grown up with them and all of a sudden we’re old. But to have that type relationship with your membership is pretty special.”

WOLFCOM Introduces VENTURE - The World’s Most Versatile, Wearable, Clippable 4-in-1 HD Camera

Featuring a Rotatable Camera Head and a Multi-Functional, Clippable Design, VENTURE can be Used as a Body Cam, a Car Cam, a Flashlight Cam and a Livestream Camera

(Los Angeles, CA) – WOLFCOM, an industry leader in Law Enforcement body cams, introduced VENTURE, the world’s most versatile, wearable 4-in-1 HD camera. VENTURE features a rotatable camera head and a multi-functional, clippable design so it can be used as a body cam, a mountable car cam, a flashlight cam with four bright LEDs and a livestream camera. With 2.5 hours of battery life (up to 23 hours with optional battery pack), it’s perfect for live streaming to Facebook Live and YouTube Live from anywhere, anytime. An Indiegogo campaign (, which has a funding goal of $25,000, features limited Super Early Bird specials of $149 USD (60% off retail) and several other rewards for early backers.

With VENTURE and all of its accessories, the options for photo and video capturing (120-degree Wide Angle lens with no fisheye effect) and sharing are endless. VENTURE, which is made of aircraft-grade aluminum and lightweight at 2.2 ounces, can be combined with additional Point of View (POV) cameras (Eye Vision, Covert Pinhole Button, Night Vision and Headset), allowing the audience to have the same perspective of the user, which is key in recording either sensitive material or exciting “in-the-moment” activities such as motorcycle riding, mountain biking, snowboarding, etc. When one of the secondary POV cameras is connected to the VENTURE, the unit’s proprietary Critical Reconnect Technology prevents any missed footage if the second camera’s connection to the VENTURE is lost - recording will continue, never missing a beat.

By using VENTURE’s intuitive mobile app, which also acts as a wireless remote control to record video and take photos, users can record and livestream video directly via a Wi-Fi connection to their smartphone. Live video is then streamed using the phone’s 4G/LTE connection (access to a 4G/LTE connection is necessary for live streaming). They can also grant friends private access to their stream. Additionally, VENTURE users can use the Remote Access feature from the app and program VENTURE as a Wireless Security camera to remotely monitor their home, property, kids or pets.

“With Facebook and YouTube Live becoming very popular across all generations, we designed VENTURE to be the world's first wearable Live Stream camera designed for everyone," said Peter Austin Onruang, founder and president, WOLFCOM.  “With VENTURE, anyone can be a Star. It’s like having your very own broadcasting studio wherever you go.  Just clip the camera where you want, then capture and stream from your point of view - it's that easy.”

YouTube Videos: HERE

For more information, visit

Getting to Know: A. John Harvey, Golf Course Architect

Par 3 15th Hole at Saratoga National Golf Club in Saratoga Springs, NY
American Golfer: When did you start playing golf?
A. John Harvey: My parents were members of a small 9-hole, semi-private golf course called Pine Lakes Country Club in Haslett, Michigan in the town I grew up in. (The golf course has since changed names, ownership and has added 9-holes back in 1980.) My mom and dad enrolled my brother, sister and me in a summer golf camp program when I was about 8 years old taught by the teaching pro and owner at the time, Ron Applegate, PGA. I think we were involved with this summer camp for six years or so. I really enjoyed the lessons in the morning on the practice range then playing 9 or 18-holes following the class by playing competitively against fellow campers. Two lessons that I distinctly remember that the pro fashioned into my brain was don’t be afraid to take divots (probably why I hit down on the ball so hard?), so boy did I take divots! At the end of some practice sessions, before we played golf, he made us go pick up the errant balls that were in the briers along the sides of the practice fairway.

AG: Why did you choose a career in golf course design?
A. John Harvey, ASGCA
AJH: When I was playing on the golf team at Haslett High School, Pine Lakes started adding additional 9-holes on their property. The construction process fascinated me and I kept on asking myself why they were building greens certain ways and how the bunker placement was decided? This was always at the back of my mind without really finding any answers. My brother Dave and I attended golf camp at Michigan State University at Forrest Akers Golf Course during several summers while we were in high school. MSU’s men’s and women’s golf coaches, Bruce and Mary Fossum taught the program and I remember during one session Mr. Fossum talked a little about golf architecture while we were standing on the practice tee.

While living at home and attending the Landscape Architecture program at Michigan State University, I continued my passion and interest in the game and then during my junior year, I enrolled in an oversees study program in England and Scotland through the department in 1987 that allowed me to study landscape architecture abroad and custom tailor some project assignments where I studied some of the Royal and Ancient golf courses including The Old Course at St. Andrews. It wasn’t until I returned back to campus in East Lansing and attending classes the following year when I noticed a job position opening on the jobs board at school posted by the joint turfgrass management and landscape architecture departments at MSU where Mr. Robert Trent Jones, Sr. was looking for new design and planning entry level candidates. Mr. Jones was good buddies with Dr. Kenyon Payne of MSU’s Turfgrass Management Program. Together, they had a pipeline of sending students who recently graduated from the turf program to Jones’ course construction company, named Florida Golf. I met Mr. Jones during the US Open at The Country Club in Brookline, MA in June of 1988 and started working in his Montclair, NJ office as Mr. Jones’ and Roger G. Rulewich’s assistant after the 4th of July that year. I’ve lived in New Jersey ever since

AG: In your opinion, have any design trends hurt the game?
AJH: There’s no question about it! Much has been said and written on the topic throughout the industry. To me, longer courses do not equate to better courses! I think course architects got caught up in the hype that “big is better” syndrome. On top of this, you have the economic downturn in 2007 that is still impacting our economy, rattling confidence in the markets and trimming disposable incomes. The expectations of golfers on playing conditions with longer courses taking up larger acreage means more area to maintain, bigger budgets for staffing, labor, equipment and chemicals. We missed the boat since this mindset was catering specifically to a small fraction of high caliber players, while forgetting the other 96 percent of all golfers. The approach shot and finesse required around and on the green is where course design and setup is made for strategic risk, therefore, this is where I like to focus time and effort in the field with careful shaping of detailed landforms and golf features.

AG: How can we grow the game of golf?
AJH: The new program developed and promoted by the ASGCA called Longleaf Tee Initiative is an exceptional teeing system specific to each golf course that caters to all players that determines playing tees for golfers, based on driving distance and average club head speed. I think this system is probably one of the more innovative, out-of-the-box improvements to the design and playability of a course to help foster new interest and enjoyment of the game that we’ve ever seen. I encourage my clients to consider embracing this program to help foster new players and enhance enjoyment of the game.
Par 4 17th Hole at Berkshire Valley in Jefferson Township, NJ
AG: Do you have a specific design philosophy?
AJH: Coming from the Jones school of design, Mr. Jones and Roger Rulewich instilled upon me the importance of encouraging golfers see the hole in front of them whenever possible. Therefore, the foundation of course routing and design is founded in aesthetics, strategy, playing options and imagery. It is important to me to help describe to the player what the strategy of the hole is by painting the landscape with fairway contours, mowing lines, terrain, bunkers and water hazards where appropriate to present a chess match for the players to have fun enjoying the environment and challenge themselves with a lively, captivating golfing experience.

AG: Of all the holes you’ve designed, do you have a favorite (why)?
AJH: The 2nd Hole at Ballyowen Golf Club in Hardyston, New Jersey is a short “risk-reward,” par-4 that plays from 212 – 342 yards. I worked with Roger Rulewich on designing this golf course. This course is consistently ranked as the No. 1 public golf course in the State of New Jersey since its opening in 1996. Depending on the tee markers, the player’s ability and wind direction, it’s possible to go for the green on the tee-shot on this sharp dogleg left, cape hole, but be careful, pull it left or hit it short and you can wind up in the tall grass on a steep slope.

AG: What’s your “dream foursome” (living or dead, golfer or non-golfer)?
AJH: I’d love to play with Clint Eastwood, Ben Hogan, Walter J. Travis and my Dad. Somehow, I’d sneak on with the group and make it a fivesome. While I don’t get to play as much as I did through the years, I’m still capable of a throwing a descent round together and hit some good shots. But with this group of people, the camaraderie, storytelling, good cheer and a few beverages would create a lively and memorable day on the links for me, no matter how I played that day. Playing one more round with my dad who passed away from lung cancer 20 years ago would be very special! Playing golf with Dirty Harry, my favorite actor, politician and 2nd Amendment spokesperson would be awesome! Mr. Travis is one of my favorite golf architects and golfers of all-time. I think our group would have a blast together!

AG: Is there a “bucket list” location in/on which to design?
AJH: No question about it! I would love to design a new course on a sand and gravel dunes-like property on the shores of the Great Lakes in my home state of Michigan. This would be a dream job without question. Even though I’ve been in New Jersey for 30 years, I’m still a Michigander at heart. My clients and fiends know this as I proudly sport Spartans, Lions and Tigers ball caps, shirts and other fan wear on my travels. I’m also a proud father of two lovely girls and a wonderful son. My oldest daughter Kristen has her own jewelry design business, while AJ and Theresa are juniors in high school. If my wife Caroline and I can see them go on to become good, successful and politically engaged people as they chase their dreams, that’s certainly on my bucket list, no matter how many more new courses or renovations I work on!

AG: What is the future of golf course design?
AJH: Less is more! I can’t read the crystal ball, but I don’t see the design business ramping up to the levels we saw in the 1990s and early 2000s. Renovation, renovation and renovation! There’s still an equalizing that’s taking place in the golf market even in highly populated metropolitan areas. Time will tell what the carrying capacity is in the golf industry as to courses that remain competitive and open for play.

With fewer and fewer projects out there, the design business is becoming more and more competitive for securing new clients. More and more tour pros are getting into the business, but fortunately, many burgeoning pros have teamed up with a qualified member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects.      

AG: Any advice for someone considering a career in golf course design?
AJH: I recommend studying landscape architecture at a leading, accredited university and customize the program to the best of the student’s ability in coordination with the department to feature golf architecture and agronomy related classwork. The student should then try to do internships with golf design and construction firms during the summers while attending school. After graduation, working out in the field on new course construction and renovation projects on a construction crew for a few years with a reputable construction firm and member of Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA) is a great first step to broaden understanding of the purpose, rationale and methodology for the design and construction process. Getting your hands dirty digging trenches and operating equipment is a great way to build a foundation and appreciation in designing and building a course from the ground up.

Learn more about A. John Harvey at

Simson, Knapp to Square Off in Thursday’s Championship Match

(MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.) - It will be a battle between one man trying to ascend to the first page of the record book vs. another trying to finally add his name to it on Thursday, when Paul Simson and Sean Knapp square off in the final of the 63rd U.S. Senior Amateur Championship, at the par-72, 6,764 yard Minikahda Club.

The U.S. Senior Amateur is one of 13 annual national championships conducted by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs. The championship is open to amateurs at least 55 years of age with a Handicap Index not exceeding 7.4. It consists of two rounds of stroke play, after which the field is cut to the low 64 scorers for match play, which concludes with an 18-hole final on Thursday at 7:30 a.m. CDT.

Both players won a pair of matches on Wednesday, with Simson, 66, defeating 2016 runner-up Matt Sughrue, 5 and 4, in their morning quarterfinal match before nearly duplicating that effort with a 5-and-3 triumph over Frank Vana in the semifinals a few hours later. It was a pair of commanding performances by the 2010 and 2012 champion, who is trying to become just the second player to win the championship three times. Lewis Oehmig won in 1972, 1976 and 1985.

Simson, of Raleigh, N.C., lost just three holes during Wednesday’s double dip, and he had a built-in advantage in his afternoon match. His quick win in the morning allowed him some extra time to recharge, while Vana went 21 holes in his quarterfinal win over John Pierce. On the first hole of his semifinal match, Simson hit his approach shot from a fairway bunker to 15 feet, rolled in his birdie putt, and he was off to the races. A double bogey by Vana on No. 2 put Simson 2 up, and he never led by less than that the rest of the way.

“Sometimes your karma is off after a long match like that, and he's got to come in, have a quick lunch, and then get ready to go out again in a hurry, whereas I had 2½ hours,” said Simson, who didn’t make another birdie during the match, but took advantage of several Vana miscues. “It can work against you, though. Sometimes you can get stiff.”

Simson also birdied the first hole against Sughrue on Wednesday morning to jump out to an early lead, and birdies on Nos. 4 and 6 helped lift him to a 4-up lead through nine holes to put the match squarely in his control. An errant tee shot by Sughrue on No. 14 led to an approach shot that came to rest behind the green, and when he missed his 10-foot par try, the match was over.

While a Simson victory would mark the fifth time the championship was won by a player who is at least 66 years of age, a Knapp triumph would make him the first U.S. Senior Amateur rookie to win the championship since Louis Lee was victorious in 2011 at Kinloch Golf Club in Manakin-Sabot, Va. Like Simson, Knapp, 55, never trailed in either of his matches on Wednesday, but he played a lot more golf than his Thursday opponent.

The Oakmont, Pa., resident won the first three holes of his quarterfinal match with David Nocar, but Nocar pulled even with wins on Nos. 5, 6 and 7. A stretch of bogey-free golf over the next seven holes put Knapp 3 up with 4 holes to play, but Nocar, also a first-time competitor in the championship, had a chance to send the match to the home hole with a 12-foot birdie try. It just went begging, setting up Knapp’s matchup with defending champion Dave Ryan in the semifinals.

Knapp jumped out to a 3-up lead on Ryan, who was trying to become the first back-to-back champion since former USGA president William C. Campbell in 1980. He held the same advantage through 14 holes, but faltered on his first three chances to close out the match. After a ragged approach shot on No. 15 led to a bogey, he pulled his tee shot into the trees to the left of No. 16, which led to another missed green and another bogey. Ryan needed to make a downhill, 7-foot par putt to extend the match on No. 17, and he did, sending the duo to No. 18 with Knapp clinging to a 1-up lead. A lagged birdie putt to concession range was enough to seal the deal, sending Knapp to his first final in a USGA championship.

“I think for most of us, it takes an understanding of how important it is to be here, what's at hand. The chance may never come again in a lifetime. You can't take it lightly. It's so tough,” said Knapp, who reached the semifinals of the U.S. Mid-Amateur in 2008 and 2010, and fell to Tiger Woods in the 1995 U.S. Amateur in the Round of 16. “You need to play to win, and obviously you have to have the game to do that, and I haven't always had the game, but today I think I had a little bit of game and I had the desire.”

By advancing to the final, both Knapp and Simson earn exemptions into the 2018 U.S. Senior Open at The Broadmoor, in Colorado Springs, Colo. They also secured spots in the 2018 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach, and three-year exemptions into the Senior Amateur. The champion earns a 10-year exemption into the Senior Amateur.

For Knapp, all of the perks that come with a spot in the final will allow him to really focus on the task at hand.

“A lot of the pressure is off now. A guy like me, I'm living on the edge, year to year, trying to qualify. I grinded my butt off to make it to here. At the end of the day, when you start to advance and you get to the finals, there's just a lot of gravy, a lot of carrots, so to speak, that come with it,” said Knapp. “Not that winning will mean even more, but tomorrow for the first time, I can focus on that as opposed to, wow, there's so much at hand here, so much at stake. I'm excited about it. This is what we all play golf for, and I'm familiar with Paul, and we'll just go get it tomorrow.”

Indeed, Simson and Knapp are familiar foes. The two were in each other’s crosshairs twice in 1998, the first time in a playoff for a U.S. Open spot, and later that year, as opponents in the U.S. Mid-Amateur quarterfinals. Simson had the upper hand in both instances.

If things go in Simson’s favor on Thursday morning, three times will be the charm, in more than one respect.

“I've been playing pretty well all summer and have been on the periphery of having a really good year,” he said after his victory over Vana. “You know, I've done a lot of good things, but it's just been a little bit off, and it has pretty much come together this week.”

More information:

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Product Review: Bermuda Sands Perfection

I’m on record as saying apparel is an important piece of golf “equipment.” That’s right ... what you wear can be every bit as crucial as what you clubs you swing and what balls you hit.

The guy with the $400 driver and $1,200 irons, who plays balls that cost $50 a dozen may be balking at that statement, but have him play in ill-fitting or inappropriate attire and he’ll come around to my side.

Fall is quickly approaching, but cooler weather doesn’t have to mean the end of golf season. That said, don’t go to your closet for your most comfortable sweatshirt or your favorite fleece jacket. Look into some cool-season layers.

Not sure where to start? Try Bermuda Sands.

While “Bermuda” and “Sands” may have you thinking about sipping on an umbrella drink in a tropical paradise, the company offers an excellent quarter zip called Perfection.

Mesh paneling under arms
Boastful? Maybe. Accurate? You bet.

The Perfection quarter-zip is thin, lightweight and ideal for cooler fall rounds when just a little added warmth is needed. It’s roomy enough to allow for freedom through your swing, but not so baggy as to obstruct. It’s made of 100% polyester to not only breath, but quickly absorb and wick away moisture from your body.

For those who run a little hot on the course ... Perfection has mesh paneling under arms for added breathability and movement during long days.

With sizes ranging from small to 3X, just about anyone can enjoy this beauty. Perfection comes with a MSRP of $75 and is offered in three colors - Blue Sky, Crimson and Black.

Learn more about Perfection and other offerings in both men’s and women’s styles at

Galvin Green Introduces Insula Lite Range for Autumn/Winter 2017

Lightweight Performance Outerwear Features Enhanced Thermal Technology

(Växjö, Sweden) – Galvin Green – the world’s leading maker of high-performance and functional golf apparel and the No. 1 global golf partner of GORE-TEX – introduces its 2017 Autumn/Winter Insula Lite outerwear range marrying exceptionally soft, lightweight material with advanced thermal regulation technology for remarkable breathability, warmth and comfort.

Developed by golfers for golfers, Insula Lite performance fabric incorporates built-in air chambers warmed by body heat, while also allowing excess heat and moisture to escape. This creates long-lasting insulation and air flow to maintain ideal body temperature.

“Our layering system continually evolves, helping players perform their best in all conditions,” says Andrew Creed, President of Galvin Green USA. “The new Insula Lite pieces are perfect examples of this innovation, allowing for comfortable play into autumn and winter to extend golfers’ seasons.”

The latest Warm Layer development in the brand’s renowned Multi-Layer Concept, highlight Insula Lite pieces include the men’s Dean half-zip pullover featuring a mélange design and the Derry full-zip vest. Rounding out line is the Dash pullover with PrimaLoft padding and the Duke half-zip hoodie.

Based in Sweden, Galvin Green is a pure golf brand that developed the sport’s first apparel layering system – the Multi-Layer Concept – more than a decade ago. This distinctive approach uses leading-edge fabric technologies to ensure the dry comfort, thermal regulation and outer protection that helps players optimize performance.

Galvin Green is the Official Team Supplier of Outerwear for the 2016 and 2018 European Ryder Cup Teams. Through this partnership, the company will provide its premium waterproof garments to the captains, vice captains, team members and their caddies during the matches at Hazeltine National Golf Club (2016) and Le Golf National (2018).

Learn more at; get social at and @GalvinGreen

Two-Time Champion Simson, Captures Two Matches on Tuesday

(MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.) - Paul Simson, of Raleigh, N.C., didn’t relish his task on Tuesday afternoon, squaring off against good friend and fellow U.S. Senior Amateur champion Chip Lutz in the Round of 16 of the 63rd championship at the par-72, 6,557-yard Minikahda Club. But he did what he had to do, eliminating Lutz for the second consecutive year in convincing fashion to reach the quarterfinal round.

“It’s unfortunate, but if you play well with other former champions, eventually you’re gonna meet,” said Simson, 66, who won this championship in 2010 and 2012. “Chip and I are buddies, but it’s all business when it comes to the competition. You’d cut the guy’s heart out to beat him, and you’ll shake his hand afterwards.”

The U.S. Senior Amateur is one of 13 annual national championships conducted by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs. The championship is open to amateurs at least 55 years of age with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 7.4. It consists of two rounds of stroke play, after which the field is cut to the low 64 scorers for match play, which concludes with an 18-hole final on Thursday at 7:30 a.m. CDT.

Simson played 4-under-par golf over 14 holes, closing out the 2015 champion, 6 and 4, with a winning par on No. 14. Last year, in the Round of 32 at Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis, Mo., Simson prevailed over Lutz, 5 and 3. Both have been the low amateur in the U.S. Senior Open, albeit 15 years apart – Simson in 2001 and Lutz last year.

“There’s a camaraderie and a mutual respect, and we play just as hard as we can,” said Simson, who was an All-America player at the University of New Mexico. “I have to admit that I didn’t play my best in my first two matches. Two 1-up wins is not exactly breezing, but this was kind of a breeze.”

Simson held off John Hornbeck, 1 up, in Tuesday’s morning Round of 32 before ousting Lutz, setting up a matchup with 2016 runner-up Matt Sughrue, of Arlington, Va., in Wednesday’s quarterfinals. Sughrue, 57, the championship’s No. 2 seed, eliminated his good friend and fellow Virginian Keith Decker in the Round of 16, 3 and 2, after defeating John Fisher, 4 and 3, in the morning.

Defending champion Dave Ryan, who topped Sughrue, 2 up, at Old Warson last September, posted a pair of 2-and-1 wins on Tuesday, over Ronald LaVerdiere in the morning and Michael Hughett in the afternoon. He closed out Hughett in the afternoon when both players missed birdie tries from inside 10 feet on the 17th green.

“I didn’t have my best stuff today, to be honest with you,” said Ryan, 63, of Taylorville, Ill., who was helped by an ace on a drivable par 4 in his 20-hole, Round-of-16 win over Simson last year. “It was a little bit of smoke and mirrors. But I hung in there and fortunately I won. I’m going to have to play well [on Wednesday], though.”

Ryan will take on one of the five championship newcomers to make the quarterfinal round. Ken Lee, of Franklin, Tenn., earned a pair of impressive wins on Tuesday, defeating Mark Coward, 4 and 3, in the morning before ousting Bob Cooper, 6 and 5, in the afternoon. Lee pointed to the incoming nine as a favored part of the Minikahda layout, which has hosted a U.S. Open (1916) and a U.S. Amateur (1927) among its five previous USGA championships.

“It’s probably the better part of the golf course for me, because of my length,” said Lee, 56, of holes 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14. “It’s where the golf course stretches out a little bit. Driver becomes a little more critical, and I have been taking advantage of it, playing very well when it counts.”

The other quarterfinal matchups feature U.S. Senior Amateur rookies: David Nocar, of Millersville, Md., against Sean Knapp, of Oakmont, Pa.; and John Pierce, of San Antonio, Texas, against Frank Vana, of Boxford, Mass.

Knapp is a two-time semifinalist in the U.S. Mid-Amateur, and he helped the Keystone State earn the 2009 USGA Men’s State Team Championship, joined by good friend and five-time USGA champion Nathan Smith. Knapp ousted Minnesota native Scott Thomas, 6 and 5, before topping 2013 U.S. Senior Amateur champion Doug Hanzel, 2 and 1.

“Nathan and I are good friends, and I’ve watched him go about his business,” said Knapp, 55. “Even though it’s my first Senior Am, I’ve played in a lot of Mid-Ams and U.S. Ams, and there’s a formula. It’s about playing solid golf and forcing your opponent to make mistakes, and try to not give any holes away. I did a good job of that today.”

For Nocar, 55, the quarterfinal round represents his farthest advancement in a USGA championship, and it guarantees those players of a spot in the field in next year’s championship at Eugene (Ore.) Country Club. Nocar topped Claud Cooper, 4 and 3, in the morning and held off John McClure, 2 up, in the afternoon.

“Making the quarterfinals is pretty special,” said Nocar, who held a 4-up lead before McClure rallied to take the match to No. 18, where he conceded Nocar’s par putt after missing his own. “You try not to think about it, but I got over a couple of shots and started thinking about what it would mean to win, which doesn’t help the outcome.”

Vana, 55, who is competing in his 31st USGA championship, has played at least 18 holes in all three of his matches. He prevailed in 19 holes over Alan Hill in the afternoon, after Hill sank a 35-foot birdie putt to extend the match on No. 18. Vana eliminated 2014 U.S. Senior Amateur runner-up Bryan Norton, 1 up, in the morning, as the players halved the last five holes with par 4s.

Pierce, 55, required 20 holes in the morning to defeat No. 3 Mitch Wilson, then eased past Russ Perry, 4 and 3, in the afternoon.

The winners of Wednesday morning’s four matches, which start at 7:15 CDT, will play at 1 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. for the right to meet in Thursday’s championship match.

“It is nice having been there before,” said Simson, whose best finish since his 2012 win is last year’s Round-of-16 loss to Ryan. “You never know when your time is up, and I’ve got to be careful not to have a letdown because I’m playing Matt in the morning. He’s probably got a chip on his shoulder from being runner-up last year.”

As usual, the match promises to be as friendly as it is fierce.

Odds on Mickelson making Prez Cup team; Hoffman favored for 10th spot

(RELEASE) - With the Dell Technologies Championship serving as the last event before the President’s Cup teams are finalized, has opened odds on how the final members of the U.S. team will shake out.

Oddsmakers see Mickelson as a heavy favorite to be selected by Steve Stricker as a Captain’s Pick. They’re also pegging Charley Hoffman as the odds-on favorite to take the 10th and final spot in accordance with the OWGR.

Will Phil Mickelson be chosen as a Captain’s Pick for the U.S. President’s Cup team?
- Yes -800
- No +575

Who will claim the 10th spot on the U.S. President’s Cup team in terms of OWGR?
- Charley Hoffman -165
- Kevin Chappell +125
- Field +1300

Bridgestone Golf Achieves Record Growth in First Half of 2017

(COVINGTON, GA) – Bridgestone Golf – innovator of premium golf balls, clubs and accessories – posted its most successful two quarters in history during the first half of 2017, with total units shipped eclipsing previous company benchmarks.

During this span, Bridgestone realized significant sales increases at many of the nation’s largest retailers and recorded multiple record setting months, with June becoming the single highest grossing month in company history. This growth was achieved despite a shrinking number of golfers and overall industry product sales. The gains are attributed to an aggressive marketing campaign encouraging golfers to break away from the herd mentality and switch to the superior Bridgestone golf balls for a competitive edge.

Another sales driver came from introduction of Bridgestone’s proprietary BFIT golf ball fitting launch monitor app designed to help players quickly identify the Bridgestone ball best suited to their games. It is based on the company’s proprietary Ball Fitting system that uses data gathered to drive research and development. This real-world understanding of players’ needs has informed numerous technological breakthroughs. More information about Bridgestone’s ball, club and accessories offerings is at

Other contributors include focus on hyper-targeted digital marketing that raised brand awareness and product trial among audiences seeking unmatched performance from their golf balls and the roll-out of the e6 SOFT and e6 SPEED balls, which were met with critical acclaim from retailers, consumers and media. Sales of the company’s B330 series was bolstered by Bridgestone’s Bryson DeChambeau and Hudson Swafford winning on the PGA Tour and Fred Couples capturing two Champions Tour titles.

“Innovation is part of everything we do, not only creating the best product, but how we market it to help customers realize the benefits inherent to our golf balls,” says Angel Ilagan, President and CEO of Bridgestone Golf. “While we’ve read many reports about golf’s decline, Bridgestone has proven that by focusing on innovation and the needs of consumers we are able to thrive and grow.”

Continuing the incredible momentum built during the first half of the year, Bridgestone recently announced the TOUR B series golf balls. Consisting of four models – X, XS, RX and RXS – the line is the most technologically advanced in company history and replaces the storied B330 series, providing unmatched feel, accuracy and distance over competitors. TOUR B balls will be available at retailers nationwide and on beginning October 2.

LPGA Announces Kingsmill Championship Contract Extension

(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) – The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and Kingsmill Resort announced today a contract extension for the Kingsmill Championship on Tuesday. Kingsmill Resort, which has held the Kingsmill Championship tournament annually since 2003, will renew its title sponsorship for an additional three years (2018-2020).

“We are thrilled Kingsmill Resort has extended our long-term partnership as it ensures that we will continue the rich tradition of showcasing the best golfers in the world, at one of the very best resorts in the world,” said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan.

“Everything at Kingsmill is first class --– from the beautiful resort, to the championship River Course, to the incredible volunteers, to the way they treat players and fans alike.”

The contract extension allows the LPGA to continue to add to the list of past Kingsmill Championship winners, which includes the likes of LPGA and World Golf Hall of Famers Annika Sorenstam, Se Ri Pak and Karrie Webb.

“Kingsmill Resort is honored and incredibly excited to once again partner with the LPGA LPGA Tour as we announce the extension of a 35-year-old tradition of professional golf being played at Kingsmill Resort,” Kingsmill Resort’s Chief Operations Officer John Hilker said. “On behalf of our staff and the thousands of volunteers who make the Kingsmill Championship possible, we look forward to working within the Hampton Roads community to provide individuals, families and juniors an opportunity to create and share lifelong memories surrounding the game of golf.”

At the 2017 Kingsmill Championship, current World No. 2 Lexi Thompson famously skydived into her pro-am tee time and then went on to set a tournament scoring record and capture her eighth career win on the LPGA Tour. Thompson was thrilled to hear the LPGA is continuing its annual stop in Williamsburg, saying, “I’m excited to hear that the LPGA will continue to have the Kingsmill Championship. It’s always been one of my favorite stops on Tour with some of the best fans. I can’t wait to return to the Kingsmill Resort next year to defend my title.”

LPGA Tour players consistently rave about the Kingsmill Resort, especially three-time Kingsmill Championship winner and LPGA Tour veteran Cristie Kerr, who said at this year’s tournament: “I just love the feel of the place. It's a big golf course. It's a classic golf course with very good greens. I just love the layout.”

Follow the LPGA on its television home, Golf Channel, and on the web via Join the social conversation at, and, and on Instagram and Snapchat at @lpga_tour.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Golf's Longest Hitters Convene for Volvik World Long Drive Championship on Golf Channel

2017 World Long Drive Association Season to Culminate as 96 Men, 21 Women Compete for Championship Belts at WinStar World Casino and Resort

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – Unfathomable swing speeds, exorbitant tee shots and an abundance of adrenaline collide under the lights as the 2017 World Long Drive Association (WLDA) season culminates with the Volvik World Long Drive Championship, airing on back-to-back nights, Tuesday-Wednesday, Sept. 5-6, in primetime on Golf Channel. For the third consecutive year, the event returns to WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla.
CHAMPIONSHIP OVERVIEW: The Volvik World Long Drive Championship (Sept. 1-6), will feature a 96-man field in the Open (Men’s) Division and 21 competitors in the Women’s Division, all vying for the title of World Champion and the coveted winner’s belts.

The Open Division field is led by current No. 1 in the world and multiple-event winner in 2017, Maurice Allen, along with other top-ranked competitors and 2017 WLDA event winners, including: Ryan Reisbeck (No. 2); Justin James (No. 3), Tim Burke (No. 5) and defending World Champion Joe Miller (No. 9). On the Women’s side, Phillis Meti will look to defend her 2016 World title, alongside 2017 event winners Chloe Garner and Troy Mullins, in addition to four-time former World Champion Sandra Carlborg.

COVERAGE: Golf Channel will feature back-to-back nights of live coverage of the 2017 Volvik World Long Drive Championship, airing in primetime from 9-11 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Sept. 5, and from 9-11:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Sept. 6. Golf Central will preview live event coverage both nights, with a special hour pre-game show analyzing the matchups, which also will include interviews with those in the field preparing to compete.

PURSE: A $270,000 purse will be paid out among those advancing to the Round of 16 in the Open Division, with the winner receiving $125,000. In the Women’s Division, those advancing to the quarterfinals will earn a portion of the $40,000 purse, with the winner receiving $20,000: (Open: 1st – $125,000; 2nd – $50,000; 3rd/4th – $19,500; 5th-8th – $7,000; 9th-16th – $3,500; Women’s: 1st – $20,000; 2nd – $8,000; 3rd/4th – $3,000; 5th-8th – $1,500).

PRODUCTION: The production centering around live coverage of the competition will utilize nine dedicated cameras, capturing all angles from the hitting platform and the landing grid, including a SuperMo camera along with two crane-positioned cameras (one directly behind the tee box and the other stationed in the landing area) that will track the ball from the moment it leaves the competitor’s clubface until it comes to rest. The telecast also will feature a custom graphics package suited to the anomalous swing data typically generated by Long Drive competitors, tracking club speed, ball speed and apex in real-time via Trackman. Top Tracer technology also will provide viewers with a sense of ball flight, tracking drives from the moment of impact.

BROADCAST TEAM: Golf Channel’s Bob Papa will handle play-by-play duties, while 2012 PGA Professional Teacher of the Year and host of The Golf Fix – Michael Breed – will serve as analyst, and Jerry Foltz will handle interviews. Art Sellinger – long-drive pioneer, two-time national long-drive champion and founder of the Long Drivers of America – also will be on hand to provide an analyst perspective and offer additional background on the competitors. Additionally, Golf Channel reporter Chantel McCabe will be on-site for Golf Central, offering reports and conducting interviews with competitors prior to and following live event coverage.

COLT FORD STAGING CONCERT ON-SITE: Renowned musician, Colt Ford, will be on-site at WinStar’s golf facility on Wednesday, Sept. 6 to perform a special (free) concert for those attending the competition. The band will perform a handful of songs prior to the competition getting underway, and will resume with a full performance immediately following the completion of the event later in the evening.

LONG DRIVE-THEMED PROGRAMMING & CONTENT: Golf Channel will integrate the long drive theme across its instructional, news, digital and social platforms, featuring tips and other dedicated segments to help introduce viewers to those in the field, including:
· The Golf Fix, Monday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. ET: Tonight at 7 p.m. ET, host Michael Breed will be joined by current No. 1 in the World Long Drive rankings, Maurice Allen, where they’ll focus on creating power in your golf swing, and look ahead to the Championship.
· School of Golf, Tuesday, Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. ET: Co-hosts Martin Hall and Blair O’Neal will welcome Glenn Wilson Jr. (No. 12 in the rankings) to provide tips for maximizing distance off the tee, while also previewing the Championship.
· Morning Drive: Morning Drive will continue its season-long efforts to spotlighting some of the most notable competitors in the field through dedicated features allowing viewers to gain greater insight on their background. Several additional players in the field are scheduled to join Morning Drive over the next week in preparation for the back-to-back nights of coverage in primetime.
· Golf Central: Golf Channel’s evening news program will feature daily updates (Sept. 4-6) leading up to and throughout the televised rounds, previewing and recapping the competition with Golf Channel’s Chantel McCabe offering on-site reports and conducting interviews with competitors.
· Social Media: Fans will have an opportunity to stay up-to-date on all of the action surrounding the Volvik World Long Drive Championship by following @GolfChannel and @WorldLongDrive on social media. Golf Channel social media host Alexandra O’Laughlin will be offering updates from WinStar throughout the competition. Additional on-site activations will include Facebook Live posts, Instagram stories along with social TV integrations during the telecasts. Content also will make use of a dedicated drone camera on-site, showcasing unique views from high above the competition venue.
· Digital Coverage: Fans can follow the action up to the minute on with live scoring, along with daily recaps and video. Golf Channel Digital also will showcase the biggest moments from the event, with highlights and unique content, including daily news desk videos.

CHAMPIONSHIP FORMAT: The Open (Men’s) Division will feature a field of 96 competitors, including those having previously earned exemptions into the field along with 26 “Last Chance Qualifiers” who will claim their spot on-site at WinStar on Friday, Sept. 1 through a dedicated points format. The 96 players will be divided into six groups of 16 competitors, with a points system determining the top five (30 total) in each of the six groups to advance to the Round of 32. The final two slots will be given to two of the six competitors having finished sixth in their respective group through two 3-for-1 playoffs. The Round of 32 will utilize a double-elimination match play format to narrow down to the Round of 16. Beginning with the Round of 16, the remainder of the competition will be contested through a single-elimination bracket, narrowing to the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals to ultimately determine a winner.

The Women’s Division also will employ a points system for a field of 21 competitors that will narrow to eight advancing to the quarterfinals. A single-elimination match play format then will be used for the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals. A Masters Division (age 45+) also will be contested, made up of a field of 32 competitors using the same format and payout structure as the Women’s Division.

Preliminary rounds will give competitors an opportunity to hit eight drives within a 3-minute time limit during each set. Once the field narrows to the television portion of the competition (Round of 16 – Open Division; Semifinals – Women’s Division), players will compete head-to-head in two alternating 90-second sets with an opportunity to hit four balls in each set.

Tuesday night’s telecast also will introduce a new team format, with the top-four in the Women’s Division – who will compete in Wednesday night’s semifinal matches – being paired with the four highest-ranked men in the Open Division not having advanced from the Round of 32. The four, two-person “mixed” teams will face off in a match play bracket format that will use the aggregate yardage of each team member’s longest drive in the set versus that of their opponent’s aggregate yardage.

For more information, visit

Shackamaxon Country Club Hires New Club Manager

(Scotch Plains, NJ) — Shackamaxon Country Club is pleased to announce the recent hiring of Mr. Det Williams as the new club manager.

Det is a life-long hospitality professional, having begun his career in the culinary arts in free standing restaurants, then developing a career path with the industry-leading Marriott Hotels. His experience in hotels and resort management at premier destinations prepared him for the nuances of private club management. In addition to his visionary development of restaurant concepts, wine programs and entertainment throughout his career, Det has managed highly visible charitable fundraising events and been involved with a nationally televised PGA TOUR golf tournament.

Det held the position of general manager at Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township, N.J., for six years before being recruited as general manager at Trump National Washington, DC. Returning home to be closer to family, he rejoined the RDC Golf Group as club manager of Shackamaxon Country Club.

As the new Shackamaxon club manager, Det will be in charge of menu development, enhanced member services and food and beverage staff training. He is committed to working closely with the membership director and the director of golf to help provide an exciting calendar of events and activities.

Det recently stated, “I’m excited to be a part of such a dynamic and active club, and I am eager to contribute to its success, as well as enhancing the enjoyment of its many deserving members and their guests.”
For information on membership, visit the club’s website or contact director of membership Amanda Maloney at (908) 233-1300 ext. 1220.

Marriott Golf Continues Global Expansion Adding Properties in South America and Europe

Sheraton Colonia Golf Resort & Spa in Uruguay; Pine Cliffs, a Luxury Collection Resort in Portugal; and Westin La Quinta in Marbella, Spain Join Marriott’s Premier Collection of Worldwide Managed Properties

(ORLANDO, Fla.) - Marriott Golf, the Global Golf Division of Marriott International, announced more global expansion, highlighted by it’s first-ever golf resort property in Uruguay and two additional properties in Europe. The new additions, which include the Sheraton Colonia Golf Resort & Spa, in Uruguay; Pine Cliffs, a Luxury Collection Resort in the Algarve Region, Portugal, and the Westin La Quinta in Marbella, Spain, join Marriott Golf’s premier collection of managed properties.

This expansion news comes on the heels of Marriott Golf adding two new resort golf facilities in the South Pacific region to its portfolio, following Marriott International, Inc.’s acquisition and integration of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., creating the world’s largest hospitality company.

The Sheraton Colonia Golf Resort & Spa ( located in Colonia Del Sacramento, Uruguay, features a wide range of amenities for the entire family.  The unique Golf Course is situated among Uruguayan Eucalyptus trees, lakes, and an incredibly beautiful countryside with views of Colonia's spectacular sunsets along the Rio De La Plata River.

Pine Cliffs, a Luxury Collection Resort in Albufeira, Portugal ( is a special retreat for the business and leisure traveler.  Pine Cliffs is a multi-faceted property, including The Pine Cliffs Residence, Pine Cliffs Ocean Suites, the Annabel Croft Tennis Academy, and Pine Cliffs Golf Club and Academy.  The immaculate Cliffs Golf Course is situated on top of a stunning sandstone cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.  The walking-only 9 hole course is challenging and fun, but truly memorable due to the pristine environment and amazing views on every hole.  Pine Cliffs Golf Course is a favorite for so many local and regional players, members, and travelers.

The Westin La Quinta Golf Resort & Spa ( is located in the popular Mediterranean seaside city of Marbella, Spain, known as one of Europe’s best beach holiday and leisure locations, with a concentration of many golf courses.  Featuring 27-holes of Championship golf, divided into (3) distinct 9-hole courses, San Pedro, Ronda and, Guadaiza, the course was designed by Spanish golf architect and former Ryder Cup member Manuel Piñero.  La Quinta Golf enjoys a strong reputation for high quality golf, while conveniently located to all of the area’s beach, nightlife, and dining attractions.

“These newest additions to the Marriott International golf portfolio offer our Rewards members and all guests even more opportunities to combine world class travel experiences with great golf,” said Jim Keane, Senior Director, Golf Operations & Development Planning, Marriott International, Inc.

In keeping with Marriott’s commitment to environmental stewardship, the Company will integrate the new properties by pursuing certification through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program, and any future eco-friendly programs adopted by Marriott Golf.

Marriott International’s expanded lodging portfolio now includes 30 leading Hotel brands, establishing a new global standard for unrivaled travel experiences.  Marriott International, Inc. manages or franchises more than 6,000 properties and 1.1 million rooms in over 122 countries.

Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) programs are the most recognized and awarded loyalty programs in hospitality, with over 100 million members combined. Today, golfing travelers will have additional opportunities to earn and redeem rewards points for their golfing experiences around the globe.

For more information, visit

Medalist, Defending Champion Headline Round-of-64 Winners

(MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.) - In a championship abundant with newcomers, familiar faces also continued to make their presence felt at The Minikahda Club on Monday with victories in the Round of 64 of the 63rd U.S. Senior Amateur Championship.

The U.S. Senior Amateur is one of 13 annual national championships conducted by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs. The championship is open to amateurs at least 55 years of age with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 7.4. It consists of two rounds of stroke play, after which the field is cut to the low 64 scorers for match play, which concludes with an 18-hole final on Thursday at 7:30 a.m. CDT.

Stroke-play medalist David Brown, who is making his championship debut, advanced, 3 and 2, over Scott Smith, and he was joined by defending champion Dave Ryan and 2016 runner-up Matt Sughrue. Ryan, of Taylorville, Ill., was one of four Senior Amateur champions to win on Monday, out of the six who had advanced to match play.

The No. 5 seed in match play, Ryan, 63, defeated the No. 60 seed, Michael Rowley, 1 up, in a match he trailed after nine holes. Ryan took the lead in the match with a birdie on the par-3 11th hole, and he added a winning birdie on No. 14, but Rowley was able to square the match both times. Rowley bogeyed No. 15 to give Ryan a 1-up lead once again, and he missed a 10-foot, downhill birdie putt on No. 18 that would have sent the contest to extra holes.

“Michael was a tough opponent today. It could’ve gone either way. To be honest, I was fortunate to beat him,” said Ryan. “The last two holes we both had great birdie putts, I could have made them or he could have made them, we both missed. That was the match right there.”

A championship-match encore is still possible, with Sughrue on the other side of the match-play draw as the No. 2 seed. Sughrue, of Arlington, Va., won, 3 and 2, over No. 63 David Szewczul. With the match all square through 10 holes, Sughrue went on a birdie-eagle-birdie run, making a 2 on the par-4 12th hole, which was playing just 270 yards on Monday. His birdie on the par-5 13th hole moved him to 3 up.

Brown, 56, knew first-hand not to take medalist honors as a harbinger of match-play success. In the 2002 U.S. Mid-Amateur at the Stanwich Club, in Greenwich, Conn., Brown was the No. 63 seed in the match-play draw and defeated the co-medalist in the Round of 64, the only other time he had advanced to match play in a USGA championship. On Monday at Minikahda, the tables were turned, and as the medalist, he faced stiff competition in Scott Smith, the No. 64 seed.

Brown fell 2 down through nine holes after Smith made a birdie putt from about 50 feet, and despite not carding a birdie on Monday, Brown won five of the next seven holes to secure a 3-and-2 victory.

“When you’re 2 down, and you’re running out of real estate, it’s hard. When it’s, ‘If you don’t get this done, you’re going home,’ it’s just a little bit more pressure,” said Brown, of Ligonier, Pa. “You can win the first three holes and wind up losing the match.”

In addition to Ryan, fellow Senior Amateur champions Paul Simson (2010 and 2012), of Raleigh, N.C.; Doug Hanzel (2013), of Savannah, Ga.; and Chip Lutz (2015), of Reading, Pa., all advanced on Monday. Bryan Norton, the runner-up in 2014, also advanced, as did five of the eight quarterfinalists from 2016, all of whom had made it to match play.

Included in the group of quarterfinalists to advance to Tuesday play was John McClure, of Los Angeles, Calif., who was victorious, 4 and 3, over Robert Polk. McClure made just one birdie during 36 holes of stroke play Saturday and Sunday, but kicked off his match Monday with back-to-back circles on his scorecard to take a 2-up lead. He was 5 up with five holes to play before closing out Polk on the 15th hole.

“You do it once and you want to get back there again,” said McClure, 58, of the run he made in 2016 at Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis, Mo. “It’s been motivation all year to play well in this tournament, keep your game in shape and try to get back here and see if you can go a little further.”

Joining Brown as one of the 16 U.S. Senior Amateur rookies to advance to the Round of 32 was Gene Elliott, of West Des Moines, Iowa, who raced out to a 4-up lead through eight holes over 2014 champion Patrick Tallent before notching a 6-and-4 win. The medalist in the 1999 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach, Elliott is in his first year of Senior Amateur eligibility. Frank Vana, of Boxford, Mass., who turned 55 on Aug. 21, was another newcomer to advance, as was Scott Thomas. Thomas, 59, lives in Chesterfield, Mo., but grew up less than 20 minutes from Minikahda in Hopkins, Minn.

Winners of Tuesday morning’s Round-of-32 matches will tee it up again in the afternoon in the Round of 16. By day’s end, the championship’s quarterfinalists will be determined.

DynaTrap to Donate High-Tech Insect Traps for Western Golf Association Tournaments

Pesticide-free DynaTraps will help protect golfers, caddies, and fans from mosquitoes  and other predatory insects at WGA’s three annual championships -- BMW Championship, Western Junior and Western Amateur 

(MILWAUKEE, WI) - DynaTrap ( is the creator of technology-driven, indoor/outdoor insect and mosquito traps that are chemical, pesticide, and hassle free. Today the company has announced it will be providing its high-tech insect traps to protect fans at the Western Golf Association’s three annual golf tournaments, including the upcoming 2017 BMW Championship.

DynaTrap will be equipping Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois, with its most powerful insect traps. The chemical- and pesticide-free traps will help eliminate mosquitoes, wasps, biting flies, and other pesky insects for the 2017 BMW Championship, to be held Sept. 12-17 at Conway Farms. The WGA also will use the DynaTraps at the Western Junior and Western Amateur.

The one acre DynaTrap DT2000XLP device is free from chemicals and pesticides, easy to maintain, environmentally friendly, and most importantly, effective. The trap attracts insects using a combination of UV light and TiO2 coating that generate trace amounts of CO2  to mimic human activity. As mosquitoes approach the trap, the strong yet silent fan vacuums them into the retaining cage where they dehydrate and die, providing users with a safe, silent, and simple solution to insect control.

“We greatly appreciate DynaTraps’ assistance in helping us provide our players and patrons with the best possible environment during our championships,” said Patrick Timson, WGA Director of Tournament Operations. “Taking this additional precaution will ensure the world’s top golfers can focus exclusively on their game, and not be disrupted by unwanted insects or noisy insect traps.”

The DynaTrap team has already begun setting up traps in key areas throughout the course. This allows the traps to maximize their effectiveness in disrupting the mosquito life-cycle in time for the events.

“We are thrilled to be working with the Western Golf Association to provide a pest-free environment on the host course of the 2017 BMW Championship,” states Juan Rocha, President of Dynamic Solutions Worldwide, LLC. “We understand the nuisance and annoyance that wasps, mosquitoes, biting flies, and other insects bring, especially on the golf course. We built our traps to silently capture and kill without disturbing the beneficial bugs -- like butterflies, honey bees, dragon flies, etc. -- or the people around them. ”

For more information on DynaTrap, visit

Monday, August 28, 2017

Miura Debuts Three New Products

(SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA) - Miura has introduced three products, within its Passing Point (PP) club line: PP-NEO utility, PP-W01 wedges and PP-9005 Genesis irons. "Shinei Miura and his R&D team continue to push the envelope of how we design and manufacture clubs. The Passing Point Line provides golfers of all abilities the opportunity to experience Miura's performance, craftsmanship, and feel," said Hoyt McGarity, President of Miura Golf.

PP-Neo Utilities

The PP-Neo utility features floating weight technology (FWS) that repositions 35-gram of weight that floats above the sole of the club. This technology provides an optimized center of gravity, resulting in maximum ball speed and reduced spin. A matte black crown coating makes the club head appear smaller and more compact than its actual size. Along with the silver clubface finish, this gives a pleasing contrast that promises easy clubface alignment and enhances visual confidence.

PP-W01 Wedges

The PP-W01 evolved from a desire to create a wedge with a functional sole design that would benefit all golfers. This was achieved by incorporating SUS precision casting, a sophisticated process that's improved to a level where it meets our stringent tolerances. The W01 is Miura's first wedge that is not forged from one piece of premium soft carbon steel.

By pushing the limits of SUS casting, the super-wide (30mm) sole shape is key to allowing the clubhead to return to square at impact and interact properly with the playing surface. The W01's undercut cavity helps to minimize the variance of off-center hits while delivering a solid feel not typically associated with SUS-cast clubs. Despite its game-enhancing features, the signature Miura look and performance has not been compromised. Precision CNC milled grooves translate to control, and spin golfers want in a wedge, and this player-friendly model will perform on full swings from the fairway or delicate greenside bunker shots.

PP-9005 Genesis Irons

The Genesis is designed for golfers of all skill levels. Combining Miura's trademark soft- forged steel feel with the distance generated by a 455 Carpenter steel face. This is the thinnest face we have ever produced. The precision craftsmanship, cutting-edge technology, and sheer beauty combine to make these irons real game changers.

"Golfers are going to love these new irons regardless of their index level, distance capabilities or swing type," said Bill Holowaty, COO of Miura Golf. "By offering characteristics that golfers covet; distance, forgiveness, and performance, these clubs will not disappoint. The look at address and solid feel delivered at contact will immediately confirm you're playing Miura irons."

Weight has been placed in the center of gravity to create an optimal combination of launch angle and spin, while the use of composite materials and 3-speed pocket cavity structure enables a new performance level that create a large sweet spot with feel. The sole grind delivers smooth turf interaction, for better ball contact, while the nickel chrome satin finish yields durability.

For more information on Miura Golf, visit Follow on Facebook at, on Twitter @MiuraGolfInc and Instagram @MiuraGolf.

KZG Launches LDI Irons (Long Distance Irons)

(PALM DESERT, Calif.) - KZG, the #1 Custom ProLine, has just launched its LDI Irons (Long Distance Irons). The LDI are designed for golfers who want to make their game “young again”!

“We designed the LDI Irons specifically for golfers who want greater distance with optimal forgiveness”, reports Jennifer King, President of KZG. “Seniors especially want to make their game ‘young again’, and have been frustrated with the loss of distance. To cater to these golfers, we now offer the LDI Irons to literally give them the kick they need.”

The LDI feature an insert of forged 17-4 stainless steel with a micro-milled face and laser cut scorelines. The rebound off the face is exceptional, giving record breaking distance. The body of each iron head is a softer 431 steel that is heat treated to give a softer, more vibration- dampening feel. This softer material also allows for easier adjustments for the golfer’s unique swing.

The larger clubhead is a real confidence builder. The wider and heavier sole offers stability and aids in getting the ball launched. The deep perimeter weighting gives the ultimate in forgiveness.

KZG offers 14 distinctly different iron models to be able to perfectly fit every golfer. The LDI are ideal for seniors, recreational players, golfers with slow swing speeds, and beginners.

Available in RH and LH from #4-9, PW, AW and SW. Can be purchased in any configuration or in singles, making the LDI ideal for beginners who may want to just start with a few irons before moving into a full set. Suggested MSRP starting at $129.00 for a personally custom fit and perfectly custom-built club.

For more information on KZG products or KZG’s 3-Day Master Certification Program for Clubfitters, visit or call 1-800-200-8800 or (760)341-4433.

Fourth Annual Antigua Invitational to be Played at Grayhawk

(PEORIA, AZ) - Antigua Group - one of the nation's leading designers and marketers of lifestyle and golf apparel under the genuine Antigua brand - announces the 4th Annual Antigua Invitational.

The 4th Annual Antigua Invitational will be played at the renowned Grayhawk Golf Club on Friday, September 8, 2017. This invitational brings together the golf community in Arizona pairing a club professional and amateurs in a unique three-person team format - (1 Pro, 2 Ams).

"This event is a great way for Antigua to say 'Thank-You' to those who support Antigua", said Ron McPherson, President and CEO of The Antigua Group. "Like each of our prior years, we're taking time to remember those lost on 9/11 as well as doing what we can to help the homeless veteran community in Arizona".

Each three-person team will be paired with another, and the groups play in six-balls. The event also has a competition within a tournament featuring members of the Phoenix Thunderbirds (The Waste Management Phoenix Open hosts) squaring off in a Ryder Cup style competition against the Scottsdale Charros (hosts of Spring Training baseball at Scottsdale Stadium). The Thunderbirds are prohibitive favorites, but the real winner is the local charities benefitting from the event.

At the conclusion of golf, all participants will congregate for the famous "Dry Heave" closest to the pin contest, food, drink, music, great camaraderie and awarding of prizes.

Find Antigua on the web at: and Like Antigua on Facebook at: Follow Antigua on Twitter at: See Antigua YouTube videos at:

New TFi 2135 Satin Putters from Cleveland Golf Provide Total Speed Control and Perfect Alignment

(HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.) — CLEVELAND GOLF unveils new alignment and speed control technologies in the updated TFi 2135 Satin putter models. Featuring a new tour satin color scheme, high-contrast alignment lines and a customized milling pattern on each of the five head shapes, the new putters are available for presale Aug. 28, 2017 and officially launch Sept. 15, 2017.

Since its founding in 1979, Cleveland Golf’s innovative putter designs have pushed the limits of technology, look, and feel. The new TFi 2135 Satin putters continue this tradition, with putter advancements designed to improve alignment, soft feel, and speed control.

Speed Optimized Milling on the TFi 2135 Satin putters adjusts energy transference so that every putt rolls to the same distance regardless of where it is struck on the face. Because MOI varies across models, the amount of ball speed correction has been individually customized to each of the five shapes, ensuring every model employs the precise level of speed correction required for consistent distance control.

“Traditional putters come up short when you hit the ball even just a bit toward the heel or toe,” said Jeff Brunski, Director of Research and Development at Cleveland Golf. “We lowered ball speed on center strikes and added ball speed on off-center strikes to produce uniform distance no matter where you strike the ball.”

“The exact magnitude of these changes varies slightly based on the shape and weighting of the putter model. So we’ve actually produced a different face for every model within the family to make sure each one provides perfect distance control.”

The 2135 Alignment Technology used on each TFi 2135 Satin putter provides perfect alignment on every putt. With sightlines raised 21.35 millimeters off the ground—the exact radius of a golf ball—the technology delivers accurate alignment feedback regardless of address position. The new putters improve upon previous generations of 2135 Alignment Technology with 50 percent higher contrast sightlines that make precise alignment even easier.

The putters’ multi-material head construction uses True Feel Innovation: a Polymer TPU face insert that dampens vibrations and enhances feel. Paired with face milling that’s three times deeper than previous models, the new TFi 2135 Satin putters strike the ball with exceptionally soft feel.

Key Innovations Inside TFi 2135 Satin Putters:
· High Contrast 2135 Alignment Technology raises the sightline to the exact center of the golf ball, providing accurate alignment regardless of eye position at address.
· True Feel Innovation uses multi-material construction to produce extremely soft feel.
· Speed Optimized Milling provides perfect distance control by adding speed on off-center hits.

The TFi 2135 Satin standard models are 1.0, Rho, Elevado and Cero; the counterbalanced models are 8.0 and Elevado CB. Standard heads with the midsized pistol grip are $149.99 MAP. Standard heads with oversized grips are $159.99 MAP. Counterbalanced models are $179.99 MAP.