NOV 2013 – JAN 2014 VOL 1 ISSUE 1
The greatest show on grass The Waste Management Phoenix Open returns to TPC Scottsdale January 27 through February 2, 2014 (page 34)
A L S O I N SI D E:
Course Review The Gallery: A Work of Art in Marana, AZ (page 6) Golf History Phil Mickelson’s Road to Fame Began in Tucson (page 18) Plus… The 53rd Goldwater Cup Matches (page 58)
The Official Publication of the
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Golf Arizona | November 2013 –January 2014
on the cover 16
34 THe Greatest Show on Grass: The Return of the Waste Management Phoenix Open
course reviews 6 The Gallery: Work of Art in Marana, Arizona 50 The Boulders: A True Arizona Desert Hideaway
features 16 Take Your Best Shot: Unforgettable Desert Golf in Tucson & Southern Arizona 18 First Time’s a Charm: Phil Mickelson’s Road to Fame Began in Tucson 24 Tee to Green: Local News & Reports 26 Community: AWGA Build-a-TEAM Program 30 Product Preview: The RukkNet 32 Golfers’ Shopping Loyalty is a Privilege that is Earned 33 Rules of Golf: Question about a Ruling 38 Profile: Howie Long’s Happy Return 39 Golf Tech: Digital Caddies 42 Product Review: The Swing Setup™ 45 Improving Your Golf with Fitness 49 Women’s Golf: Leveling the Playing Field 58 Phoenix Country Club is the Star of the 53rd Goldwater Cup Matches
14 15 30 43 44
Why the 3 Foot Putt is So Important Fixing the Skulled Bunker Shot “They Never Told Me This on the Lesson Tee!” Playing Against the Fringe Could Your Grip be Robbing You of Distance and Accuracy?
pro-files 10 Marvol Barnard 20 Mike Russell 62 Dennis Downs
swspga news 58
40 SWSPGA Championship – a Trip to the PGA TOUR
youth spotlight 65 Phoenix Valley: Sam Triplett & Kaitlyn Saum 65 Southern arizona: Natassja Meredith & Gabriel Borboa
Published by Golf Arizona, LLC PUBLISHING EDITOR
Rick Price, PGA GRAPHIC DESIGN
AB Design Strategies ADVISORY BOARD
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Rick Price, PGA Diane Cody Ryan Eckroat, PGA Andrew Fodge George Fuller Kari Haug Curt Hudek, PGA Geoffrey Huston Chris Kaplan Joan Liess Danny Medina, PGA Scott McNevin Pat O’Hara, PGA Mark Oswald, PGA Victor Pesqueira Rick Sample, PGA Jessica Stephens Mary Ann Souter
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The Southwest Section PGA is one of 41 Sections of the PGA of America consisting of more than 1,500 members in the state of Arizona and Southern Nevada. The Southern Chapter PGA is the six southern counties of Arizona. The PGA of America is the world’s largest working sports organization, comprised of 28,000 men and women golf Professionals, who are the recognized experts in growing, teaching and managing the game of golf. Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has enhanced its leadership position by growing the game of golf through it premier spectator events, world-class education and training programs, significant philanthropic outreach initiatives, and award-winning golf promotions. Your PGA Professionals are the “Expert in the Game and Business of Golf.” ABOUT GOLF ARIZONA MAGAZINE
Golf Arizona magazine is the official publication of the Southwest Section PGA, is published quarterly by Golf Arizona, LLC. This is Arizona’s number one multi-media resource for golf, designed as a unique and compelling benefit for all golfers in Arizona that cannot be found in other publications. We offer more content beyond the printed version of the magazine with updated current events on the website at www.GoGolfArizona.com. We showcase the game of golf, courses and businesses within Arizona, while celebrating the people and entities that make golf such a spectacular attraction. The magazine is available free to the public; this full color glossy magazine is distributed to all golf courses, resorts and concierges – as well as other golf-related and high-traffic locations throughout all of the Phoenix Valley and Southern Arizona. “Our mission is all about promoting the game of golf, individuals and businesses within our community.” All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. The opinions expressed by contributors and advertisers do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or the Southwest Section PGA. Distributed throughout the state of Arizona with 30,000 bulk /on demand print circulation. Copyright ©2013.
From the Editor
Introducing the new Golf Arizona Magazine
NOVEMB ER 2013
– JANUARY 2014
| VOL 1 ISSUE
e’re excited to introduce you to the new signed as a unique and compelling Golf Arizona magazine, the official publibenefit for both the community cation for the Southwest Section PGA. In and businesses in Arizona that each quarterly issue, we commit to providcannot be found in other publicaing unique and straightforward news from a variety of voictions. We have an editorial partThe gr test show on ea es and perspectives. We aim to give you the opportunity to nership with Golf Professionals, grass learn something new, feel moved by something special, and Instructors, Tour Professionals, have some fun along the way. Club Managers, Tournament Di We know that the success lies within the rectors, and Business Professionals community of multifaceted people of various We think you within our communities. We also interest, intellect, desires and ideas. For that deserve the best the offer much more content beyond the reason, each issue, we’ll be diligent to cover as golfing community printed version of the magazine with many unique stories, tournament events and has to offer. We updated current events on the website at www. community activities as we can. We think you pledge to you, with GoGolfArizona.com. deserve the best the golfing community has to your support and Our goal is to showcase the game of golf, offer. We pledge to you, with your support and assistance, to provide courses and businesses within Arizona, while assistance, to provide you with the most prevyou with the most celebrating the people and entities that make alent golf news, stories, community activities prevalent golf news, golf such a spectacular attraction. Our focus is and results within Arizona. “Our mission is all stories, community on educating the public, providing informative about promoting the game of golf, individuals activities and results content, reviews on golf courses to play, places and businesses within our community.” within Arizona. to stay and dine. The magazine and our interactive website The magazine is available free to the pubare designed for the reader in mind so you will lic; this full-color glossy magazine is printhave an exceptional experience quickly accessing golf infored quarterly and distributed to all golf courses, golf shops, mation, articles and offers through your mobile devices and resorts and concierges – as well as other golf-related and digital platforms. high-traffic locations throughout all the Phoenix Valley and In addition, we take special pride in our editorial process. Southern Arizona. This is where you, the reader and supporter, come into play. We value your input and thank you for your support in While we cannot be everywhere to cover a story or results assisting us in promoting this great game of golf. Invite a of a tournament event, we encourage your participation in friend and share our passion, sign up now for our free online submitting special articles of interest and local tournament newsletter and subscription for the Golf Arizona magazine at results that will benefit our readers and viewers online. It’s as www.GoGolfArizona.com. simple as registering at www.GoGolfArizona.com. Golf Arizona magazine is a multi-media resource deThe Waste Manag ement Phoenix Open returns to TPC Scottsdale Janua ry 27 through Febru ary 2, 2014 (page 34)
ALSO INSI DE:
Course Review The Golf History Phil Gallery: A Work of Art in Marana, AZ (page 6) Mickelson’s Road to Fame Began Plus… The 53rd in Tucson (page Goldw ater Cup Match es (page 57)
The Official Publicatio n of the
Rick Price, PGA Rick is the Director of Operations for the Southwest Section PGA Southern Chapter and is founder and Publishing Editor for Golf Arizona magazine and GoGolfArizona.com. He is a member of the Professional Golfers Association of America has over 30 years of expertise in the golf profession, member of the Golf Writers Association of America and Sports Photographers Association of America.
by George Fuller
T H E G A L L E R Y G O L F C LU B :
Work of Art in Marana, Arizona To hear the members talk about their club, it is the people who make the biggest difference at The Gallery.
Savor ruby red and golden orange sunsets at one of the very best golf clubs in Arizona.
hen the Accenture Matchplay Championship was snowed out on the opening day of play last February, it made for good television. “Wow, look at that,” we all said. “Snow in Tucson.” And indeed, watching PGA Tour professionals have snowball fights on the driving range was a fun change of pace. But what the snowstorm belied was that Marana — 20 miles from downtown Tucson — is not your typical 115-degrees-in-the-summer-shade Arizona desert town. Nestled at the base of the Tortolita Mountains, Marana is almost at the 2,000-foot-level, which is 900 feet higher than Phoenix. And that makes a big difference, particularly in June and July, when temperatures average in the high 90s
(compared to 105 to 106 in Phoenix). Sneaky good weather is but one of the many attributes that have attracted the 360-plus members who have thus far joined The Gallery. “It’s hot, but not unbearable,” says Cyrus Whitney, who moved to Marana and became a club member nine years ago. “What we really like is the slower pace here… slower than Scottsdale.” It would be a mistake, though, to equate slower with lesser. The Gallery is one of the very best golf clubs in Arizona, which is saying plenty for a state that boasts so many excellent facilities. It has two championship-tested golf courses and a 28,000-square-foot clubhouse that houses a very popular restaurant and lounge with indoor and terrace dining. The locker rooms are plush, and the golf shop is fully (and creatively) stocked. Just a half-block away is the full-service Sports Club with fitness facilities, yoga room, four tennis courts, and a swimming pool. “Our promise to the members,” says Jenny Price, membership sales director, “is to be a club with heart. Camaraderie, competition, social events, and fun: these are the things that often cannot be touched or seen, but they make up the essence of our club and the atmosphere of our membership.” S O U T H E Q UA L S N O R T H Still, notwithstanding all the amenities, it is the two John Fought–designed golf layouts — the North Course and the South Course — that are the undisputed stars of
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the show. Views from most holes span the panorama across downtown Tucson to the Santa Rita Mountains on the far southern side of the valley. In the late afternoon, on the golf course or from the terrace of the clubhouse with a beverage in hand, you can savor ruby red and golden orange sunsets over the Tucson Mountains in the west that are themselves almost worth the price of admission. Each day, one course is reserved for members only, while the other accepts some outside play from local resorts, such as the nearby Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain. “Both course are equal in playing quality,” Fought (rhymes with “boat”) says. “The North Course moves through rocky canyons and has more elevation change, and the South is generally flatter. The big difference is that the greens on the South are slightly elevated and roll off the edges. I was studying Donald Ross closely during this period. The Gallery’s owner, John MacMillan, grew up on a Ross course in Minnesota and wanted the South Course to be equal to but different than the North Course. They complement one another very well.” Fought, who lives in the Phoenix area, was intimately involved in the construction of both courses as well as the design. “I like to be on-site each week refining the design elements for
all my courses,” he says. “But with The Gallery being close to home, it was easy for me to visit and stay involved daily. The South Course is often considered the more challenging of the pair, in no small part because of its Donald Ross–influenced greens. Scoring well requires accuracy — first, hitting the right pockets in the fairways, several of which are dissected by desert washes, and then hitting the proper spot on the sizeable putting surfaces. It was over the South Course fairways that the Accenture Matchplay Championship was contested in 2007 and 2008, won by Henrik Stenson and Tiger Woods respectively. Woods, members recall, played the South Course brilliantly, defeating Stewart Cink 8 and 7 in the 36-hole final, the most lopsided championship match in the event’s history. The North Course, meanwhile, is often described as more scenic, playing through a series of box canyons to the highest elevation of either course at No. 6, at about 3,100 feet. Hole 7 provides your first big look at the valley from the height of the course, while the 725-yard (!) par-5 ninth hole is a downhill opportunity to swing for the fences to see if you can match what John Daly did in 2001. For the record, he reached the ninth hole in two during the Touchstone Energy Tucson Open.
PRIVÉ PERKS To hear the members talk about their club, though, it is the people who make the biggest difference at The Gallery. Whitney says he enjoys the group of guys he has met and regularly plays with, and relates that his wife enjoys playing with the very active women’s group. Jim Riley describes how one of the things that he likes most about his membership at The Gallery is the reciprocity with other Troon-managed clubs, citing Pine Canyon Club (Flagstaff, Arizona) and Torreon Golf Club (Show Low, Arizona) as two that he has enjoyed visiting. As with many clubs these days, The Gallery is also looking to attract more families, particularly those with kids. To that end, shorter family tees were installed on the golf courses with their own scorecards, a junior golf camp was run over the summer, and the clubhouse restaurant has started offering more casual fare and comfort foods. With a collection of perfectly conditioned golf holes, painted onto a canvas of pure Southwestern beauty, skillfully crafted cuisine and amenities, and a curator like Troon, The Gallery Golf Club is indeed a prized work of art. More information: www.gallerygolf.com
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by Diane Cody, LPGA T&CP
2013 Nancy Lopez Golf Achievement Award Winner
arvol Barnard is in an exclusive group of women as a member of both the PGA of America and the Ladies Professional Golf Association / Teaching and Club Professionals. She has been honored as the recipient of the 2013 Nancy Lopez Golf Achievement Award, which recognizes an LPGA professional who gives back to the game in the spirit of Nancy Lopez. Marvol is the teaching professional at Haven Golf Course in Green Valley, Arizona. The Nancy Lopez Golf Achievement Award embodies the spirit and energy of women’s golf. The award is given to an LPGA professional who emulates qualities valued by Lopez: Leadership, Passion, Giving, and Approachability. Since joining the LPGA in 2002, Barnard has held many positions within the organization, including serving
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as a Member Advisor, the Central Section Secretary, and the chair of the Communications Committee, where she created and edited the LPGA national newsletter, The Global Connection. Barnard currently serves as the Central Section President and is an integral part of the Executive and Leadership Committees of the LPGA. Barnard also serves on golf industry advisory boards and has been featured several times in the online PGA Magazine “Best Practices” for her innovative programs that bring women into the game of golf. The recipient of numerous awards, Barnard was the 2010 Central Section Teacher of the Year, and in 2012, was named one of Golf Digest’s Top 50 Women Instructors. She holds several teaching certifications, and attends countless training seminars throughout the year. She has created a thriving instruction business in her hometown, and is especially passionate about creating learning and playing opportunities for women. Barnard is active in philanthropic activities in her community and in utilizing golf as a vehicle for fundraising and growth opportunities for companies and individuals. “I am absolutely thrilled to receive the 2013 Nancy Lopez Golf Achievement Award,” said Barnard. “I feel so privileged to be part of an organization that celebrates and encourages Leadership, Passion, Giving and Approachability, all the traits that Nancy Lopez so beautifully models.”
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by Danny Medina, PGA
Why the 3 foot putt is so important
OW OFTEN do you set your practice sessions from the mental aspect of working from the hole back to the tee box? Do you set the standard of having to make 100% of your 3 foot putts? Talk about lowering our scores on a consistent basis if all our 3 foot putts were made in one stroke. Often when I observe people on the practice greens, golfers will drop 3-5 balls and start working on the 20-30 footers. The percentages of us making these putts consistently are far less then inside the 3 foot range.
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How much pressure do you think you can let off your shoulders when hitting any approach shot especially your chip shots that if you knew all you had to do was get the ball within 3 feet, (6 feet total in diameter). Suddenly that cup has grown and you start seeing yourself get up and down more times in a round then you ever have. There is a great drill that anyone can work on to help build your consistency and confidence in your short putts. Take 6-8 golf balls and set them in circle around the hole about 2-3 feet to begin (see picture). The object is to make every ball completely around the hole with out missing a putt; if you were to miss one then you do not advance to the next ball you have to start back from the initial first ball. Once you make it around without missing you then move each ball position one foot back, increasing the diameter. The bigger we can make our circle of confidence the better we will be at putting and lowering our scores. Have fun with it and be the best putter you can be!!!! Danny Medina, PGA Head Golf Professional at the Omni Tucson National Resort. Tucsonan native, has worked in the golf business 16 years and PGA Member since 2009. Danny has worked extensively with golfers of all calibers, members, junior players, initiating clinics and workshops. Danny enjoys his free time away from the course with his son Jacob!
Danny Medina, PGA
Omni Tucson National - Head Golf Professional 520-877-2314 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.tucsonnational.com
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Arizona Golf Course Online Directory: Easily Find A Course!
by Ryan Eckroat, PGA
Fixing the Skulled Bunker Shot
LAYING GOLF IN ARIZONA, you will quite often find that the bunkers tend to be a little firmer, and sometimes wet from irrigation runoff. Despite what we often hear in the Golf Shop, bunkers that are a little on the firm side actually benefit the player. These conditions help the player by preventing the dreaded fried-egg lie, reduce the chance of footprints that don’t get raked, and also easier to hit shots from because the lies are more consistent. All too often I’ve found that when people are struggling with these shots, it is generally caused by using the wrong club. Many folks carry wedges down to a sand wedge that has around 56º of loft. What is occasionally is forgotten is the bounce angle and sole design of this wedge. All clubs have bounce, and bounce is important for every shot. However, you should not have the same bounce angle on each of your wedges. Bounce angles on sand wedges tend to be between 10º and 14º. This type of loft and bounce combination is great for hitting out of deep grass and full shots from the fairway because it prevents your club from digging into the ground. This is also especially useful when playing from very soft bunkers. The common technique for playing bunker shots is opening your stance and opening the face of the wedge. Doing this allows you to add even more loft to the club to help elevate the shot and lessen the distance the ball will fly. Did you know this also increases the effective bounce of your wedge too? The more you open the face of the wedge,
the higher the leading edge of the club gets raised from the surface. In order to get the ball airborne on any shot, the leading edge must be below the equator of the ball. In bunker shots, we’re trying to slide the club under the ball. This can be difficult to do in firm bunkers, and if you are using a club that is not designed to dig into the ground already, and then give it more ability to bounce off of the surface, you’ve just guaranteed yourself a skulled shot. The best way to play these shots is with a high lofted lob wedge, around 60º with very low bounce, less than 7º, 4º is ideal. Low bounce wedges are designed to allow the leading edge of the club to dig into the turf and not bounce off. This means they are best used in tight and firm conditions where your bouncing the club off of the surface behind the ball must be avoided. Because of the low bounce and already high loft, when you open the face of the club for these shots, the effective bounce is not increased as much, thus guaranteeing you an opportunity to slide the club under the ball through the sand. The best mix of loft and bounce that I found is a sand wedge with between 54º and 56º of loft and a bounce angle between 10º and 14º. Then pair this with a lob wedge of 58º to 60º of loft and 4º to 7º of bounce. As always, work with your local PGA professional to find the best fit and refine your technique.
If you are using a club that is not designed to dig into the ground already, and then give it more ability to bounce off of the surface, you’ve just guaranteed yourself a skulled shot. www.GoGolfArizona.com Golf Arizona 15
by Jessica Stephens
TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT
Unforgettable Desert Golf in Tucson & Southern Arizona
et the surroundings surround you on Tucson’s award-winning courses that are situated in nature and designed by some of golf ’s biggest stars, including Tom Fazio and Jack Nicklaus. Take your best shot on a challenging desert golf course, or enjoy a more traditional links-style layout. Tucson’s desert golf experiences are out of the ordinary and just a bit off the beaten path. The choices and challenges here captivate even the most discriminating golfers, and along with the mild climate, make Tucson a favorite golf destination. Some of the sport’s biggest stars - Rickie Fowler, Ian Poulter, Martin Kaymer, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson - have either competed on or designed Tucson area golf courses. The legacy of professional golf tournaments played here, from the first Tucson Open in 1945 to the current World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, chronicles a longtime love and respect for the game. For decades, the Omni Tucson National Resort has enjoyed hosting prestigious PGA Tour events where legendary champions such as Nicklaus, Trevino and Palmer have graced the fairways and battled for glory. Its traditional-style fairways cap a bluff overlooking the beauty of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The PGA pros rank the 18th hole as one of the most challenging finishing holes on the tour. Nature plays a big part in many area golf course designs. Dubbed “the most photographed golf hole west of the Mississippi,” the third hole, a short par-3, of The Mountain Course at Ventana Canyon is tucked into the rugged rocks of the Santa Catalina mountains and plays across a canyon of cacti. The area’s newest golf course, Sewailo at Casino del Sol Resort features large lakes, flowing streams, waterfalls and
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plush landscape blending with the desert environment to create a wonderful “oasis” effect. The course, designed by Notah Begay III, transitions through both desert terrain and the oasis environment, while taking full advantage of the surrounding mountain views to create an exciting and unique golfing experience. Sewailo will also offer the first Jack Nicklaus Academy of Golf in Arizona, one of only a handful in the U.S. Tucson’s municipal golf courses include two longtime tournament courses. Randolph North was set up for PGA Tour and then LPGA events so the greens vary greatly in slope and size, and present a real challenge for the serious stick. The adjacent Dell Urich course hosted LPGA tournaments in 2003 and 2004, and proved to reward strategic play. El Rio dates back to the 1930’s and was the original site of the PGA’s Tucson Open and Silverbell Golf Course is a championship layout located high upon the west bank of the Santa Cruz River. Just a short drive south of Tucson, the courses at Green Valley, Tubac and Rio Rico offer rolling hills and buildings with Spanish colonial flair. Hollywood shot scenes for the 1996 movie Tin Cup at Tubac Golf Resort’s Rancho Nine course. It’s easy to recognize the par-5 fourth hole there with its menacing pond protecting the green. For more information or to request the Tucson Golf Guide, call Visit Tucson toll-free (800) 638-8350, or go to visittucson.org.
Photos at right: (1) Lodge at Ventana Canyon; (2) Omni Tucson National; (3) Loews Ventana Resort; (4) Accenture Match Play Championship fairway walk; (5) Desert Golfing, photo by Gill Kenny. All photos courtesy of “Visit Tucson” unless otherwise noted
by Joan Liess
First Time’s a Charm Phil Mickelson’s Road to Fame Began in Tucson
OLLECTING YOUR FIRST PGA TOUR
win in Wildcat country when you’re a celebrated Sun Devil is oh so sweet. Especially when the tournament’s defending champion is Robert Gamez, a former UA Wildcat All-American and PAC-10 rival. College golf aside, Phil Mickelson’s illustrious path to the World Golf Hall of Fame was launched in Tucson at the 1991 Northern Telecom Open. Hal Sutton and Bob Tway set the pace in round one, with Mickelson, the field’s lone amateur, just one stroke behind. “I went out to dinner last night and nobody recognized me,” said Mickelson. Come Sunday, fame and the ESPN cameras had caught up with the 20-yearold junior from ASU. With the stroke of his putter, Mickelson became the third youngest amateur to win a TOUR event – he drained an 8-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole at TPC Starr Pass for a two-stroke win over Tom Purtzer and Bob Tway. The two-time NCAA titlist and reigning U.S. Amateur champion forfeited the $180,000 first-place prize but returned to campus with
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the iconic Conquistador helmet trophy. More importantly, the win came with 18 months of exemptions to compete on TOUR following his graduation from ASU in spring 1992. Asked by a reporter if he would have declared himself a pro before the tournament if he had known he would have won $180,000, Mickelson grinned and asked: “What do you think?” It had been a long time, almost 88 years, since a 20-something amateur won a pro tournament. On that storybook occasion Francis Ouimet, a club caddie and sports store clerk, won the 1913 U.S. Open with his 10-year-old caddie at his side. Ouimet’s playoff victory over British golf stars Harry Vardon and Ted Day at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. captivated the world and helped catapult golf into the sports mainstream in the United States. Mickelson’s foray into the PGA TOUR winner’s circle in 1991 ignited exuberance for the next generation of golf greats and reinforced Tucson’s reputation as a launching pad for young TOUR professionals. Defending champion, Mickelson missed
FIRST-TIME TUCSON CHAMPIONS Players who recorded their first PGA TOUR victory in Tucson Skip Alexander | 1948 Lionel Hebert | 1958 Dave Hill | 1961 J.C. Snead | 1971 Bruce Lietzke | 1977 Mike Reid | 1987 Robert Gamez | 1990 Phil Mickelson | 1991 Lee Janzen | 1992 Jim Carter | 2000 Garrett Willis | 2001 Ian Leggett | 2002 Heath Slocum | 2004 Geoff Ogilvy | 2005 Henrik Stenson | 2007 Ian Poulter | 2010
the cut when he returned to the It had been a Northern Telecom Open in 1992, long time, almost leaving center stage open for a 88 years, since young Lee Janzen, who squeezed a 20-something in a five-footer on 18 to claim amateur won a his first TOUR title. Mickelson pro tournament. followed up with top-10 finishes in 1993 and 1994, then posted backto-back wins in Tucson at the 1995 Northern Telecom Open and 1996 Nortel Open. The opening round of the ’95 event paired Mickelson with another ASU golfer, Tom Purtzer, at Starr Pass; both fired 65s to grab the opening round lead. On Sunday at Tucson National, Mickelson, Brett Ogle and Jim Gallagher traded the top slot throughout the day. Mickelson prevailed with a winning par putt on 18. The telecast for this final showdown pulled the largest single-day rating of any TOUR event on ESPN to date. It was Mickelson’s second win, but his first as a professional. “I got to keep the check this time,” said Mickelson. After lagging behind through three rounds in the 1996 Nortel Open, Mickelson became a contender on Sunday. It came down to Mickelson and Bob Tway and the dangerous 18th at Tucson National. “You’re standing on 18 with a one shot lead and you got water right and water left and all you can do is pike one down the middle,” explained Mickelson. “And to look up and see it going there, that was a good feeling.” His final shot of the tournament was a chip-in from 30 feet off the green, another good feeling indeed. Mickelson returned to compete in the 1997 and 1998 Tucson Chrysler Classic events at Omni Tucson National Resort & Spa. From 1999 through 2006, he opted to bypass Tucson in favor of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship in La Costa returning in 2007 when the Match Play event relocated to Dove Mountain in Marana.
Mickelson’s foray into the PGA TOUR winner’s circle in 1991 ignited exuberance for the next generation of golf greats and reinforced Tucson’s reputation as a launching pad for young TOUR professionals.
Joan Liess Marketing Services, works with clients who need high-visibility, cost-effective promotions and communications to reach specific marketing objectives. Her services include sporting and special events; marketing communications project work, including developing press materials, collateral and advertisements; managing website and social media content; feature writing assignments.
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by Rick Price, PGA
ost of his younger years, Mike Russell grew up in Tacoma, Washington where his parents introduced to him the game of golf at the age of 7. “My family lived close to a golf course growing up. I remember heading out to play with my Dad late in the afternoons during the summer months. I was very fortunate when I started; being a lefty back then had some drawbacks. Finding equipment was a challenge, but I started taking lessons from PGA Professional, George Lanning, he was a lefty and helped me find proper equipment,” said Russell. After playing junior and high school golf he attended Bosie State University. He went on to become a golf professional a few years after college, when he realized his basketball career was short lived.
Stone Canyon is a special place, with amazing members. I am fortunate to work with an incredible group of people who make my job a heck of a lot easier. I feel very lucky to be where I am.” — M I K E R U S S E L L
He and his wife Janey of 15 years have two daughters, 13-year-old Megan and Annie, who is 10 years old. Janey is the founder of a local non-profit organization called, Shine on Tucson. “This organization has been doing some incredible things for the kids at Diamonds Children Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona,” said Russell. One of Russell’s first job’s in the golf industry was picking the range at the Oakbrook Golf & Country Club. He realized early in his life that he loved the game. He said, “It’s as simple as that, I love the game, and I can’t imagine not being in-
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volved with this incredible game.” Russell recalled the biggest breakthrough in his golf career came when, “I was playing on some mini-tours in Florida back in the mid-90s, and one day I received a call from PGA professional Todd Huizinga. Todd and I go way back, he and I grew up together in Washington. Todd mentioned to me that he had accepted the Head Golf Professional position at a new private Club in Arizona called, Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club. He invited me to come join his team, and with the support of my wife Janey, we decided to accept Todd’s offer and move to Arizona. That’s how I got into the business and everything else kind of took off from there.” Well, that love for the game and his desire to work within the golf industry now finds him at one of the top rated private clubs in the Southwest. Russell is the Director of Club Operations at The Stone Canyon Club in Oro Valley, Arizona. As the Director, his responsibilities are to manage all aspects of the Clubs facilities, activities, and the relationships between the Club, its members, employees and the community. He commented on the fact that, “Stone Canyon is a special place, with amazing members. I am fortunate to work with an incredible group of people who make my job a heck of a lot easier. I feel very lucky to be where I am.” One of the most important qualities of being a successful golf professional according to Russell is “Being able to adapt to change. Our industry is ever-changing and as golf professionals, we need to be creative in finding ways to make our facilities prosper when change is upon us.” He said he has been fortunate to know many outstanding golf professionals through the years. Watching and learning from them, has inspired him to be the best golf professional he can be. He said that if he could do one thing differently in his day to day routine, it would be to improve on getting out from behind the desk and be
On August 10th, 2013, Mike joined a very elite group of players in shooting a “59” at The Stone Canyon Club, while playing with members.
As the Director of Club Operations at The Stone Canyon Club in Oro Valley, Mike Russell’s responsibilities include managing all aspects of the Club’s facilities, activities, and the relationships between the Club, its members, employees and community.
in front of the membership more often, and I’m working on it! The most important lifelong lessons he lives by is, Be true to yourself, treat others the way you would like to be treated, and when you get knocked down, brush yourself off and get back to it! I promise you this; you will not find a more humble and gracious person and player as Mike Russell. He is a very accomplished player as a club professional, in his own right. Most recently he won the local Southwest Section Southern Chapter PGA Championship in back to back years and was unable to defend his title this year due to his work commitment at the Club. However, overshadowing any tournament wins on August 10th, 2013, he joined a very elite group of players in shooting a “59” at The Stone Canyon Club, while playing with members. Russell said, “This was a very special moment for me, for sure. Based on how I was running around after the putt dropped, I guess I was pretty excited! What I do remember thinking shortly after the putt dropped was did this really just happen?” When Russell is not out shooting a 59, he loves hanging out with wife and kids and enjoys all sports-related activities. His biggest inspiration in his life and career has been his parents. “They have been such incredible role models throughout my life.” Mike Russell is quite private when it comes to speaking about his accomplishments and/or goals he would like to attain, but he did say, “If I can keep improving in everything I do, from being a husband, father, golf professional and friend, then that’s all I can ever ask for.”
Golfweek Player of the Week UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA womenâ€™s golf sophomore Lindsey Weaver was the Golfweek Player of the Week after winning her second tournament as a Wildcat. She won the Windy City Collegiate Classic individual medal honors with a score of 208 5-under-par carding rounds of 70, 69 and 69.
Phil Green at Crittenden PHIL GREEN, PGA Chief Operating Officer/Principal of OB Sport Golf Management at the Opening Keynote Session at the Crittenden Golf Conference held at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort. The meeting was on the state of the golf industry, and several other industry-wide topics were discussed and reviewed at this three-day conference of industry leaders.
Golf Arizona www.GoGolfArizona.com
Kris Strauss Named New Vice President, Sales & Marketing at Troon Golf Course TROON GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT, development and marketing are pleased to announce it has appointed Kris Strauss as the new Vice President, Sales & Marketing. In his new role, Strauss will have sales and marketing oversight of resort and daily-fee properties and will be charged with continuing to develop new strategic partnerships that create rounds and revenues for Troon Golf-managed facilities.
“We are thrilled to welcome Kris back to Troon and believe he is the perfect fit for our team,” said Ryan Walls, senior vice president, operations, sales & marketing. Strauss was previously the vice president of sales and marketing for OB Sport Golf Management. Prior to that, he served in various sales & marketing leadership positions for Troon as a corporate sales and marketing manager.
STOMP GOLF, New Indoor Practice Facility CHRIS FRY of Expert Golf, and TYLER CHRISTENSEN are working on the finishing touches of their new indoor practice facility called STOMP GOLF. The new state-of-the-art facility is located in the Scottsdale Airpark. The Stomp Golf Experience features the latest in golf improvement technology, including the use of TrackMan; Flight Scope and Video Software combined with the revolutionary coaching programs by the Expert Golf Team. The center is located at 7801 E Gray Rd Suite 160 Scottsdale, AZ 85260 and is quickly becoming the destination for beginner golfers to touring professionals.
Brian Benitz Named New Regional Sales Manager for OB Sports OB SPORTS GOLF MANAGEMENT announces the appointment of Brian Benitz as new regional sales manager. Based in Scottsdale, OB Sports manages more than 45 golf courses nationwide with Benitz covering two courses located in the Valley of the Sun – Eagle Mountain Golf Club and Longbow Golf Club. Benitz is responsible for group-golf sales and group-golf packages at these clubs, including corporate events, charitable outings and stay-and-playtype packages that may be customized to suit a variety of travel golfers.
OPEN TO ALL COURSES, CLUBS & PLAYERS: Submit events, tournament or community news, staff promotions and recognition, special accomplishments, or junior golf related announcements to Rick Price at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Brian’s performance at the Raven coupled with his work ethic and experience all adds up to an easy decision for us,” said Phil Green, COO and Principal of OB Sports. “No doubt he will bring that same enthusiasm and excellence to his new position.” Benitz earned Bachelors of Science in Hotel Management – Meeting and Special Event Management from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. When not out creating deals, he can be found playing golf, running and snowboarding.
www.GoGolfArizona.com Golf Arizona
by Mary Ann Souter
Golf Community Makes a Difference Through AWGA Build-a-TEAM Program
lthough it is a relatively new undertaking for the Arizona Women’s Golf Association, the Build-aTEAM program has already affected many lives. From the high school girls it was designed to assist to the women golfers who volunteer as mentors, everyone is benefitting from the golf community working together. Kathy Cohen, Program Leader for two high schools in the Tucson area – Mountain View High and Marana HS, described the Build-a-TEAM program as “a source of much needed assistance for girls golf.” According to Kathy, a volunteer from The Gallery, “The coaches are eager to work with our seasoned women golfers who adopted the Mountain View team.” The women have been raising money and collecting equipment. Kathy added, “I have a passion for helping youth and wish I had this opportunity when I was in high school.” As Coach for the girls’ golf team at Kellis High School in Glendale, Brooke White is excited about her first year with the team. “I want the girls to like playing golf,” she said. “It’s a sport they can play throughout their lives.” Brooke is thankful for the AWGA’s Build-a-TEAM program for assisting her and for providing uniforms and equipment. Ladies from Peoria Pines WGA have adopted the Kellis girls’ golf team. “It’s great for the girls to play golf with women of all skill levels to realize you don’t have to shoot par to have fun,” Brooke said. Marcia Mac Donald, a member of the Canoa Hills WGA in Green Valley, volunteers as an Advocate for the Walden Grove High School team. “Our ladies donated clubs, shoes, gloves and other accessories; they planned golf outings with the girls; and they continually collect money for more outings.” The ladies plan to help the coach with practices with full support from the school. With the funds from the AWGA, they hope to buy uniforms and bags. The women
made a two year commitment to the girls and the school. Chandler High School is fortunate to have Elaine Parkinson as an Advocate for their team. “The coach is excited about the We love golf but it sure can get hot! program since they are operating on a shoestring budget,” Elaine said. Over the past few months giant steps have taken place. Peggy Briggs, LPGA Teaching Pro, has given lessons; The Oakwood WGA has invited them to their play day; and Phyl Ray, the Player Development Chair for the AWGA, organized a play day with a Rules Seminar. This year Chandler HS celebrates its 99th anniversary and the girls’ golf team has never qualified for State competition. “With the help of Build-a-TEAM, we may reach that goal!” In summation Ms. Ray said, “We are investing in the future of our golf community by helping these young players find both the joy and challenge of golf and, at the same time, we are demonstrating the true spirit of the game.”
Arizona’s leader in women’s golf since 1924, the Arizona Women’s Golf Association (AWGA) supports over 25,000 members at all skill levels. The AWGA is a 501(c) 3 charitable organization which preserves, promotes and enhances the best interests and true spirit of the game. Fundraising efforts to support the Build-a-Team program include a raffle for a 2013 Yamaha Golf Car. For further information or to purchase tickets, visit us at www.awga.org or call 800-442-2942.
Mary Ann Souter Mary Ann Souter is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in a variety of local, state and national golf publications. She is co-author of Synergistic Golf-One Day at a Time. Contact her at (480) 332-6335 or email@example.com
Golf Arizona www.GoGolfArizona.com
Golf Arizona www.GoGolfArizona.com
They never told me this on the lesson tee!”
“Reverse every natural instinct and do the opposite of what you are inclined to do, and you will probably come very close to having a perfect golf swing.” — Ben Hogan I find it interesting that some of the best natural athletes I knew growing up as a kid, struggled with golf once they began to play it more regularly as they got older. They hit the ball well at times, but they will struggle “big time” for the majority of their golfing career. It is not that they lost their hand-eye coordination; it is because they don’t know the difference between a golf swing or throwing a ball or shooting hoops. Watch any good athlete throw a baseball, football or shoot hoops, and you see a consistent motion at the release point. There is one big difference in that motion at release than that of a golf swing at impact. The right wrist (for a right-handed athlete) gets released in a different manner in the three sports mentioned then it does in the golf swing. Pick up a ball and throw it. Notice how the wrist is fully released in the follow-through. The wrist passes the forearm and helps create speed or velocity for the object being thrown. Not in golf. The right wrist stays bent (wrinkles on the back of your right wrist) at impact. The release is a rotational motion rather than a bending-straightening-bending motion of the wrist. Take a look at the picture of Tiger Woods well after impact with a short iron. Notice the flat left wrist and bent right wrist. This is the position to copy in the golf swing. This is the moment of truth.
Pat O’Hara, PGA Manager of Golf Operations at Sun City West. Twenty-six year member of the PGA of America. Certified Instructor for SeeMore Putters and Lynn Blake Golf (The Golfing Machine). Has worked with golfers of all levels of ability, from beginner to the PGA Tour. 623.544.6499 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Golf Arizona www.GoGolfArizona.com
Introducing the fun and versatile RukkNet
he RukkNet is, quite frankly, the most affordable, durable and functional practice pop-up net on the market today. Its versatility – it can be used indoors and outdoors – is unmatched. “When I’m not hitting golf balls, my son is throwing lacrosse balls into it, practicing soccer with it or using it for baseball soft toss. Its diversity as a multi-use net is unparalleled,” said co-founder/designer Ryan Dickerson. The RukkNet is easy to open and easy to fold up, good size, lightweight and affordable. On top of that the net offers some great design features and accessories not found in any other net. The nets ample size and height, 7’ tall x 10’ high by 5’ deep, allows one to practice everything from chips and pitches to all out drives. The RukkNet’s durability and strength is unmatched despite weighing only 14 lbs. This state-of-the-art construction design comes from the company’s strategic use of the industry’s leading materials. Perhaps the RukkNet’s most dynamic feature is its use of a proprietary dual net construction that uses an interior net designed to act as a ball retriever. After every shot: drive, iron, chip or the dreaded s-word, the ball comes right back to you as if it has a built in GPS. No more buckets of balls needed, no more having to stop to get down on your knees and collect golf balls. You can have an entire practice session, go through every club in the bag, and use just one golf ball. The best part is it is already pre-assembled and hassle free, no assembly needed at all. The RukkNet is only $199.00 and is available at www.rukket. com. There are even innovative and fun pop accessories for chipping and pitching that are available starting at $29.99.
Golfers’ shopping loyalty is a privilege that is earned
he marketplace has evolved into a place where popular products and services are commodities – their substitutes are down the street or online. However, the good news is researchers have found that customers want a “total experience” – whether they’re staying at a hotel, visiting a bank or shopping at a retailer. Nearly 50 percent of specialty golf stores have closed since 2006, most of them independently owned. As a result, the golf retail industry has consolidated, and the remaining players are positioned to grow in newly created underserved markets. Nonetheless, the volatility of today’s economic
The golf retail industry has consolidated, and the remaining players are positioned to grow in newly created underserved markets times presents merchandising challenges for the remaining golf retailers. The traditional merchandising and retail practices focusing on the sale of staple golf hard goods and soft goods are not sufficient to truly thrive today. Today’s golf retailer has to create a distinct “customer value proposi-
tion” to attract the customer to their establishment and earn the shopper’s loyalty. If one is to dissect a golf store visit into four stages, the value and objectives at each stage become clear. Those 4 stages are: Entrance, Shopping, Checkout and Exit. At Entrance, the customers must be identified and their curiosity captured by new and intriguing products and services. At the Shopping stage, the customers learn about new products and services, but it is critical that the inventory/availability levels meet or exceed the customers’ expectations. During Checkout, the shoppers should experience efficiency and the assurance that their purchasing needs have been met. Finally, at Exit, the customers feel complete satisfaction and trust in their shopping episode. Interestingly, the Entrance and Exit stages typically represent the same physical space in a store, but the psychological state of the shopper is quite different. As a vendor to golf retailers, my
products thrive in the Checkout stage. Understandably, no golf retailer can survive on point-of-purchase items, but it is typically an underemphasized effort. I am confident that simple placement and suggestive selling in this area would add 5-15% to gross sales. Retailers need to know their customers and identify the products they are purchasing inconveniently elsewhere. This effort will maximize the “share of wallet” and drive a high “customer value proposition.” Fundamentally, it is more important than ever to understand your customer and over-serve them. This knowledge is readily available at the store level. Unfortunately, market consolidation has created chain retailers who rely on
economies through centralized operations, which handicaps many stores with the wrong products and inability to exceed the shoppers’ expectations. There are retailers who have embraced the customer with knowledgeable staff and empowered managers. These are the retailers that will thrive. Consumers’ desire for the total experience does not change in a bad economy.
Victor Pesqueira Victor Pesqueira is the owner of Duck Press, the largest publisher of golf theme greeting cards and a manufacturer of patented golf accessories. He is the founder of Duck Press Media Services, a company that offers businesses the opportunity to communicate using the power of video. He is an MBA graduate of the University of Texas, and his experiences are in software development, the healthcare industry, and sales & marketing. He has 15 years of experience serving the golf industry.
Golf Arizona www.GoGolfArizona.com
by Rick Price, PGA
Rules of Golf
Question about a ruling H
ave you ever been in a situation where you had a question on a ruling? You reach in your golf bag for the rules book and realize you do not have one. Remember a general rule of thumb is that you should always carry a rules book in your bag for any situations that may occur. A great source on the rules is your local PGA professional in the golf shop. Furthermore, use the USGA website or contact them directly. Golfers should take advantage of the resources the PGA of America provides through initiatives like Play Golf America, PGA First Swing Guide and the PGA Summary of Rules of Golf. As a player, you have the obligation to your fellow competitors to know and follow the Rules of Golf. If you follow this simple philosophy, it will give you better understanding about
the rules. “Play the course as you find it, play the ball as it lies and play fairly.” My recommendation would be to take 10 or 15 minutes and read through the section “How to Use the Rule Book.” This will be very helpful in understanding and using the rule book more effectively and efficiently. Golf is unique game where, in general, the players govern themselves and respect the rules of the game. The game is more enjoyable for all and rewarding when you play by the rules. On the other hand, as long as you’re following the local golf course policies while playing, just go have FUN and make up your own rules!
Show on Grass Returning to Scottsdale in January by Chris Kaplan
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The Greatest Show on Grass, a.k.a. the Waste Management Phoenix Open, returns to TPC Scottsdale January 27 through February 2, 2014.
G reatest S how on G rass , a.k.a. the Waste Management Phoenix Open, returns to TPC Scottsdale January 27 through February 2, 2014. 2013 Tournament Champion Phil Mickelson is back to defend his title after an exciting week where an incredible 20 tournament records were either tied or broken. Mickelson broke four records himself and tied eight others, including joining Arnold Palmer, Gene Littler and Mark Calcavecchia as threetime tournament champions. Mickelson’s remarkable 28-under par total also helped the field break the lowest scoring average record three times during the week – round 1 (69.015), round 4 (68.527) and the overall cumulative scoring average of (28.954). It all started during round one when Mickelson narrowly missed carding the sixth 59 in PGA TOUR history when he lipped out his birdie putt on his 18th hole to shoot 60 – the lowest opening round in tournament history. It wasn’t all because of Phil, though. Thanks to the tremendous support from the local community, in addition to Mickelson’s record-setting performance, the tournament also set attendance records during Friday’s 2nd round (121,901) and Saturday’s 3rd round (179,022). Mickelson will look to continue his great play from the 2013 season where he was one of only a handful of players with multiple wins including a major – the 2013 Open Championship. At he
the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open, look for Mickelson to defend his title against several the PGA TOUR stars such as Brandt Snedeker, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson and many others as they battle it out for their share of the $6.1M purse. THE TRUE WINNERS On February 2, 2014 a new champion will raise the Waste Management Phoenix Open trophy, but he won’t be the only winner of the event. The true winners each and every year at the Waste Management Phoenix Open are the local economy and the hundreds of Arizona charities the tournament supports. The Waste Management Phoenix Open annually pumps more than $220 million into Arizona’s economy according to a 2012 economic impact study conducted by Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business. Economic impact in sports can be defined as the net change in an economy resulting from a sporting event. The impact comes from visitors’ spending, organizational spending, employment opportunities and tax revenue. For example, fans attending from outof-town spent millions of dollars for lodging, food, entertainment and other types of goods and services during their stays in Arizona. Let’s also not forget the expenditures by The Thunderbirds, the PGA TOUR and other organizations required to stage the event which generated a demand for millions
of dollars worth of various goods and services. Best yet, is the fact that the most recent economic impact report of more than $220 million represents a 23 percent increase from a similar study performed in 2007; a trend tournament officials hope will continue. While the local economy gets a significant boost as a result of the tournament so do hundreds of local Arizona charities. Last year, the Waste Management Phoenix Open and its hosts, The Thunderbirds, distributed more than $6.2 million to local charities through proceeds raised from the 2013 event. Charities such as Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Homeward Bound, Special Olympics of Arizona, The First Tee of Phoenix and so on are just a few of the charities that have benefited over the
Raising tens of millions of dollars for Arizona charities has been a tremendous benefit of hosting a professional golf tournament.” Tom King, a member of The Thunderbirds and the 2014 tournament chairman of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
years. While last year’s donation was a staggering number it’s only a small portion of the overall charitable contributions the tournament has made in its 79-year history. Since its inception dating back to 1932, the event has raised more than $85 million for charity with more than $57 million coming since October 2003 when the tournament first brought on a title sponsor. The event only happens one week a year, but the impact lasts a lifetime for the organizations it supports. “Raising tens of millions of dollars for Arizona charities has been a tremendous benefit of hosting a professional golf tournament,” said Tom King, a member of The Thunderbirds and the 2014 tournament chairman of
The 2013 tournament set attendance records during Friday’s 2nd round (121,901) and Saturday’s 3rd round (179,022).
the Waste Management Phoenix Open. “The community’s support of our nearly 80-year-old golf tournament is staggering. It is such an honor to be a part of something so worthwhile.” N E W F O R 2014 So, what’s new at the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open? For starters, tournament officials plan to increase fan engagement opportunities via mobile devices while on property during tournament week. Last year was the second year in tournament history that cell phones and other PDA’s were allowed into the tournament. This year, spectators will enjoy several new ways in which they can interact among themselves and with the tournament. Most of the fan engagement opportunities can be found using either the tournament’s mobile website (visit www.wmphoenixopen.com on your mobile device to access the site) or by downloading the official Waste Management Phoenix Open App. The App developed by Scottsdale-based ABN Mobile Inc. is available for free download on both the Android and iPhone mobile devices by accessing the Android Marketplace or iPhone Store. The tournament will also feature Tweet-to-Screen capabilities on several of the digital scoreboards positioned throughout the course. It’s here where fans can interact with the tournament via twitter and follow their dialogue live on site encouraging other fans to participate as well. And, don’t forget to get in on the action at the 16th hole as The Thunderbirds and Waste Manage-
ment have a surprise up their sleeves they plan to announce shortly that will not only be available to those attending the event, but also to those watching the action unfold from the comfort of their homes. Spectators will notice an increased amount of skyboxes on both the famous 16th hole and elsewhere on property. The 16th hole, for example, will now have a total of 197 skyboxes an increase of 20 skyboxes from the 2013 event. And speaking of hospitality, for the second year, tournament officials are planning a special venue for active and retired military personnel and their families affectionately called, The Patriots Outpost. Located just off the 18th fairway, The Patriots Outpost includes hosted food and beverages for the men and women (and their families) who selflessly protect our country. And, when the sun sets at TPC Scottsdale the party heats up at the Coors Light Birds Nest. Open Wednesday through Saturday from 3:30-10 p.m. of tournament week, the Coors Light Birds Nest features new artists every year, and with past superstars like Dierks Bentley and O.A.R headlining the show, it’s always a good time. While the music each night may be different, one thing still remains the same – The Coors Light Birds Nest is THE PLACE TO BE in Scottsdale during the Waste Management Phoenix Open! W E E K LO N G AC T I V I T I E S While the actual Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament will be played Thursday – Sunday (January 30-February 2), there will still be plenty of things to see and do at TPC Scottsdale all week long. Many of the PGA TOUR pros will play morning practice rounds on Monday and Tuesday of tournament week. There are also other special activities that will feature PGA TOUR professionals, including the Kyocera Pro-Am on Monday, the R.S. Hoyt Jr. Family Foundation Dream Day and CBS Outdoor Special Olympics Open on Tuesday and the ever-popular
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Annexus Pro-Am (formerly the Silver Pro-Am) on Wednesday. On Saturday, February 1, the tournament is inviting everyone to participate in the fourth annual GREEN OUT. Waste Management and The Thunderbirds encourage players and tournament attendees to wear green in support of the many green/sustainability initiatives that the company is doing to make the event not only the greenest tournament on the PGA TOUR, but one of the most charitable. For every person who wears green on Saturday, tournament host, The Thunderbirds, will donate “green” to three charities including Keep America Beautiful, Keep Phoenix Beautiful and Arizona Forward. The percentages given to each charity will be determined by an online voting promotion on the tournament’s Facebook page in the weeks leading up to the tournament. GREENEST SHOW ON GRASS In fact, in the three years since taking over as title sponsor, Waste Management has quickly turned the “Greatest Show on Grass” into the “Greenest Show on Grass” by incorporating a tournament-wide recycling and waste reduction program. Now in year three, Waste Management’s Zero Waste Challenge is aimed at controlling the materials brought into the event and educating vendors and patrons about the proper disposal of materials, so that eventually zero waste is sent to local landfills. During the program’s second year, the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open successfully diverted 100 percent of waste from local landfills – a feat that hasn’t been duplicated at any major sporting event. January 27 through February 2 is the week and The Greatest and Greenest Show on Grass is the place to be. For more information or tickets to the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open, visit www.wmphoenixopen.com.
by Rick Price, PGA
Howie Long’s Happy Return Tommy Hilfiger Golf, AUR Golf and Sunice announce their new Arizona account executive, Howie Long. “We are very excited about the addition of Howie to our sales team,” said Brian J. Lohman, Vice President of Sales.
owie is a trusted veteran within the Southwest Territory. Howie’s excellent qualifications have enabled him to understand the importance of buyer/vendor relationships, retail sales planning, and merchandising and most importantly how to provide exceptional customer service. Lohman states, “We appreciate all of our customer support in the past and look forward to a continued successful partnership in the future with Tommy Hilfiger Golf, AUR Golf and Sunice with Howie Long as your committed business partner.” “We are excited for the launch of our new Spring 2014 collections for Tommy Hilfiger Golf, AUR Golf and Sunice,” said Long. The Tommy Hilfiger Golf lifestyle collection is recognized throughout the world for their classic and timeless designs. The spirited American styling and unique Tommy-Twists provide time-honored products with a “Fresh American Style” perfected for the golf and active lifestyle. AUR Golf provides the most value-added, aspiring golf fashion in the market with distinctive style and quality. Sunice is one the leading outerwear providers in the golf industry, with its cutting edge technology & performance incorporating vibrant designs and styling. Long commented that, “I was very fortunate to pioneer Adidas from the beginning in 1998 when the Sports Brand did not belong in golf. Now ten years later it is considered one of the most respected and dominate brands in golf.” He says, reflecting back it was one of the most dramatic changes ever to happen in golf. The game of golf evolved into a sport were performance products not only were found in your golf bag but what you wore from head to toe became the focus of performance as well. His excitement is evident in talking to him about his return to the business and sport of golf, especially an opportunity of working for the Fletcher Leisure Group as the Territory Manager for not only Arizona, but New Mexico and Las Vegas. He also represents a very innovative product in the market called Scan4beer, which is a point of sale software system on the golf course for food and beverage. He is thankful and encouraged with the warm welcome he has received in returning to the golf business, and is looking forward to partnering opportunities supporting the growth of the game with other like-minded Golf facilities, Merchandisers and Professionals. Howie Long can be contacted by email at Long2524@gmail.com or cell 480-510-7213 and Customer Service 888.782-1378.
Howie Long and Bridgett King
Golf Arizona www.GoGolfArizona.com
D I G I TA L C A D D I E S
Each golf cart based tablet is literally a Caddie, a Concierge and a Course Marshall all in one.
N APRIL, Digital Caddies launched The Player’s Network – a tablet-based technology platform installed on golf carts that connects to the web through Sprint’s highspeed wireless network. The goal of the technology is to improve the golfer’s experience by providing instant and accurate yardages, real-time food and beverage interaction with the golf and food and beverage staff, and many other types of content that golfers demand. The platform is also a powerful tool for golf course operators as they work to build guest loyal-
ty, increase course revenue and lower operating costs. Courses can advertise programs and services to the players for incremental revenue opportunities and advertisers will reach an affluent and captive audience. Plus, the Digital Caddies Player’s Network is FREE to qualifying golf courses. In the six months since Scottsdale-based Digital Caddies introduced The Player’s Network, more than 1000 tablets have been installed at 11 different golf courses in Arizona, California and Florida. Leading golf management companies such as OB
Sports and National Golf Management will now offer The Player’s Network tablets on their golf cart fleets at all of their managed courses. “We’re very impressed with the new Digital Caddies tablets,” said OB Sports Chief Operating Officer and Principal Phil Green. “After testing the platform at the ASU Karsten Golf Course and seeing how it improved our guest’s experience, we believe the tablets will be a great addition to all of our managed clubs around the country. We’re excited about this partnership and believe the system will help us better communicate with our daily-fee guests as well as members at our private clubs.” Digital Caddies was founded in 2003 and has established a solid reputation and customer base us-
ing a low-cost, easy-to-use, easy-to-implement GPS service. With The Player’s Network, course operators can increase revenue by promoting merchandise, food & beverage specials, lessons, repeat rounds or whatever they’d like to sell through promotional graphics. And, Digital Caddies can help golf course operators lower operating costs by helping them track golf car inventory, manage driver behavior and assist in forecasting agronomy issues. “At Digital Caddies, we believe golfers like to play fast and receive great service,” said Digital Caddies President Mike Loustalot. “Our technology enables golf course operators to provide a better golfer experience and improve operations. Each golf cartbased tablet is literally a Caddie, a Concierge and a Course Marshall all in one. And, the best part is, our technology and equipment are absolutely free to qualifying golf courses.” For more information about Digital Caddies please visit www.digitalcaddies.net.
Golf Arizona www.GoGolfArizona.com
by Geoffrey Huston
New Breakthrough System Reveals How to Master the Fundamentals
he fundamentals of any sport are the key to being successful, including the fundamentals of the golf swing. The Swing Setup™ training aid was designed to allow golfers of all ability levels to master the fundamentals of the golf swing. Most training aids fall short because they only have one use, and quickly become obsolete and outdated. The Swing Setup™ was designed to focus on these fundamentals: the basic setup, the swing path, the cut or draw setup, and the straight back and straight through putting stroke. In its basic form, The Swing Setup™ training aid is used to teach the player to stand in proper alignment to the target. Two feet placement guides extend towards the player to mark the correct placement for the feet (shoulder width apart). A ball placement gauge extends from the trainer to mark the correct position for the ball and can be adjusted depending on the club the player is using. The Swing Setup™ training aid fully opens to allow the player to hit in between the two rails, thus creating a swing path. The play-
er can use the club indicator markings to know if the ball should be placed in the center, front, or back of their stance. The Swing Setup™ also teaches the player to cut and draw, opening from the front if hitting a cut and opening form the back if hitting a draw. The bar closest to the ball is the target line, and the bar closes to the player is the swing path. The player can adjust the angle of The Swing Setup™ from 0 to 35 degrees in 5 degree increments, allowing the player to consistently reproduce the desired amount of cut or draw.
The Swing Setup™ training aid was designed to allow golfers of all ability levels to master the fundamentals of the golf swing. For putting, the player can adjust the feet placement guide for a wider stance, allowing the shoulders to freely rock back and forth and creating a truer pendulum. The straight edge of The Swing Setup™ gives the player instant feedback if the club is “off line”. The Swing Setup™ is an ideal training aid for any level of golf, from the beginner to professional. This training aid is especially beneficial for beginner golfers as it will reinforce a repetitive setup position. People who are successful at any sport depend on the fundamentals of that sport; if someone wants to master the fundamentals of golf they should consider The Swing Setup™. The Swing Setup™ was unveiled at the PGA Fall Expo in Las Vegas in August 2013. The product was very well received and won the award of Best New Product and was featured on the Golf Channel website.
Win McMurry Reporter/Anchor at Golf Channel with “The Swing Setup” team
Golf Arizona www.GoGolfArizona.com
For more information on how The Swing Setup™ can transform your golf game, please visit our website at www.theswingsetup.com.
by Mark Oswald, PGA Professional
Playing against the fringe.
The shot from against the collar can be a tough shot. What options do you have in playing this shot from against the fringe? Experiment with the four options below.
Hold the putter above the top of the fringe cut. Take the putter back on a steep angle. Pick the club up quickly to avoid catching the grass on your backswing. Swing the club down a steep angle to the ball. Picking the club up quickly will help to prevent catching the grass on the backswing and begin a steep angle into the ball thus preventing catching the grass on the downswing as well. This stroke resembles more of the pitch stroke with a putter to prevent the ball from flying in the air.
Turn the putter to where the toe of the putter is facing into the ground. Keep the club up above the grass at address and on the backswing. The angle of the putter will keep the clubface from dragging and getting caught in the fringe of the collar. This ball may pop us slightly due to the angle and address position of the clubface at impact.
Use your wedge and keep the clubface up above the grass during the entire stroke. You will hit only the top half of the ball. With this stroke you will make more of a putting stroke with the wedge and hit the middle of the ball causing it to roll out like a putt.
Use our hybrid iron and make a putting stroke. Set the hybrid up above the long grass and make a putting stroke hitting the top part of the ball.
Steep Angle Putting
Toe Down Putting
Hybrid Iron Putting
Each of these various options has pros and cons. Try each shot and find the option that you are the most comfortable and consistent with, practice this shot and stick with it.
Mark Oswald, PGA Mark Oswald has been a PGA Member for over 25 years. Mark has worked with all levels of golfers from first time beginners to PGA Tour Professionals. Mark is the General Manager at Oro Valley Country Club and has managed several clubs in Arizona including the Hilton El Conquistador, The Golf Club at Vistoso, Prescott Country Club and Great Eagle Golf Club.
by Rick Sample, PGA
COULD YOUR GRIP BE ROBBING YOU OF DISTANCE AND ACCURACY? Placement of your hands on the grip will not be the focus of this article. I would like to focus on a part of the grip that most players donâ€™t really think about, but has a big impact on how consistently you strike your golf ball. Grip pressure. Correct and consistent grip pressure will help you produce more consistent golf shots. How does grip pressure affect your ability to hit shots that are longer and more accurate? Grip pressure that is too light can lead to a loose out of control golf club and possibly cause you to re-grip the club during the swing. This will lead to inconsistent strikes and ball flight. Grip pressure that is too tight will cause tension in the muscles and joints. This will lead to slower club head speed and inconsistency in squaring the club face at impact. Correct and consistent grip pressure will keep the golf club under control while at the same time leaving the muscles and joints tension free. This will help you square the clubs face more consistently. Square, solid contact will yield the longest and most accurate golf shots.
So what is the correct grip pressure? How do I accomplish it? Here is a drill you can do anywhere to help. You can use any club in your bag. Position your hands on the grip normally. Now hold the club vertically with the club head directly above your hands. Loosen your grip pressure until you feel as though the club is about to slide through your hands. This pressure is too light. Now slowly, and I mean slowly, lower the club head until the shaft of the club is horizontal to the ground. You will feel your grip pressure tighten up. This pressure is more than we want. Now raise the club head until the shaft is at a 45 degree angle. You will feel your grip pressure lighten up a bit. This is the correct pressure to keep the club under control but muscles and joints tension free. Another way to check your grip pressure is to shake hands with someone. You want to shake their hand so that you feel like you have a good hold on their hand and at the same time if they start moving their hand up and down your wrist freely reacts to their movement.
How do I check to see if my grip pressure remains constant throughout the swing? Check your pressure at address and take note of it. Then check your pressure at the end of your follow through. Is it the same? If so great. If not, then work on making the end swing pressure, feel the same as the pre-swing pressure. So take the tension out of your hands, and you will hit more fairways and greens.
Rick Sample, PGA The Views Golf Club | 1565 E. Rancho Vistoso Blvd. | Oro Valley, Arizona | 520-433-9977 Rick served six years in the U.S. Navy. He attended New Mexico State University where he played on the golf team and graduated from the Professional Golf management program. He is married with a daughter and has lived in Arizona for the past 17 years. Former Golf Professional at Omni Tucson National Resort and The Desert Mountain Club.
Golf Arizona www.GoGolfArizona.com
by Andrew Fodge
Improving your golf with fitness Have you felt like you are struggling way too much being able to rotate and balance effectively in your swing? Over the years, I have worked with golfers that have shown poor stability of the hips and shoulders, in addition to a need to improve their core conditioning.
I have an excellent exercise that challenges the stability of the hips and shoulders while working core muscles and the posterior muscles of your body. Its simplicity and effectiveness make it a great addition to your golf fitness routine, and I call this exercise the â€œTwisting Bird-dogâ€?. The Twisting Bird-dog is a body weight floor exercise. Begin from a four point quadruped position with hands beneath the shoulders and knees directly below the hips. Put the fingertips of one hand behind your and extend the opposite leg parallel to the floor. Your shoulders, hips and extended leg should be parallel to the floor, as shown in Figure 1. From this position engage your abdominals to bring your elbow and opposite knee underneath your body while maintaining your balance as shown in Figure 2. Activate Gluteal and Upper Back muscles to return to the starting position. Keep the movement slow and controlled and complete 2 sets of 15 repetitions for each side.
F IG URE 1
F IG URE 2
Andrew Fodge, MS is a certified golf fitness professional and the founder and owner of Fitness by Andrew LLC Personal Trainer Group, in
Scottsdale, AZ. Andrew specializes in golf fitness, sports performance training, nutrition and motivational techniques. Andrew and his team of personal trainers are here to provide you with a comprehensive one-of-a-kind program to help you achieve real results. Call Andrew at (480) 477-6341 or email email@example.com for a complimentary consultation.
Golf Arizona www.GoGolfArizona.com
W O M E N ’S G O L F PA R T I :
Leveling the Playing Field One Tee at a Time In recent years, the focus of many “grow the game” initiatives for women has been on promoting the game through golf clinics, private lessons, improved pro shop customer service, and social events.
he PGA has made a good effort to improve the golf experience for women through its Golf 2.0 “Connecting with Her Playbook” program, but despite these efforts, women’s golf participation rates have remained stagnant at around twenty percent.
In my opinion, the inattention to retention of women golfers is a significant oversight in nearly all efforts to grow the game for women, and there are two fundamental remedial issues that should be addressed to help keep women playing the game:
Although the Golf 2.0 Playbook program has made a huge stride forward in recognizing the powerful influence of women in the future growth of the game, and has made some solid recommendations for introducing women to the game, it doesn’t fully address the other half of the equation: keeping women in the game.
1 Design golf courses that are as enjoyable for women to play as they are for men, and
Research shows that for every male golfer that leaves the game, three women players are lost.
e women’s tee The view from th Golf Arizona www.GoGolfArizona.com
2 Increase the presence of women in all sectors of the golf industry, especially in leadership positions. Part I of this article will provide golf course design recommendations to improve the on-course golf experience for women. Part II will discuss how increasing the presence of women in all fields of the golf industry and governing bodies would help to improve retention of women golfers.
An example illustrating what the loss of elevation does to visibility of the green surface
h i l e e v e ryo n e ru n s around trying to figure out how to fix women’s golf, the fact that golf courses don’t function properly for women is the elephant in the room. It is time to take an honest look at golf course design as a major factor that affects enjoyment of the game for women. A golf course that is playable and of appropriate length for women can level the playing field, contribute to player satisfaction, and help reduce attrition of women golfers.
hazards, and driving angles that shunt the ball across slopes into long rough can turn an enjoyable day at the golf course into an exhausting endeavor. This is especially true if one considers the natural strength differential between men and women and the fact that courses historically were designed only with the strength of men in mind. On the other hand, courses designed to provide women with equally playable tee locations, with strategic, attractive, and visible views of landing areas, could One of the Golf 2.0 provide a lifetime Afterthought fairway tee “Connecting with of great golf expeHer Playbook” recommendations for riences that can help convert beginner improving course set-up for women is golfers into life-long patrons who may to: “mow a portion of turf on or near even introduce the next generation to the fairway at a lower height of cut the game. and place tee markers at this location.” The Playbook recommendation con- “Leveling the playing field” means protinues: “It is most important to make viding everyone equal advantages and that sure the forward tee locations disadvantages in sporting events. In redon’t look like an afterthought.” Unfor- lation to women’s golf, this can be realtunately, the best way to make sure a ized by providing equal choice, access, tee box does look like an afterthought inclusiveness, playability, challenge is to simply mow a patch of the fair- and charm on the golf course. Factors way and put down some markers! A that significantly affect the playabilithoughtfully designed tee is one that is ty of the course are: tee location, size, located in the proper playable location and elevation; whether or not the tee by a credentialed and thoughtful golf is reasonably level, close to amenities, course architect. In addition, all tees and free of overhanging branches; (even those meant for women) should has equitable visibility of the landing be constructed with proper size, drain- area, angle of play, distance to dogleg age, grasses, soils, and irrigation. turning points, distance to hazards, trajectory considerations, and limited Designing golf courses for a wide forced carry distance; and finally, good range of golf abilities is multifaceted, drainage and turf growth conditions. but a good place to start is with ap- When back tees are designed, these propriate course length. A course that factors are carefully considered. In adis too long, with forward tees that are dition, the back tees are graduated to poorly located, with insurmountable provide a range of three to four choices
While everyone runs around trying to figure out how to fix women’s golf, the fact that golf courses don’t function properly for women is the elephant in the room. in course length, usually ranging from 6,000 yards to 7,000 yards. In contrast, forward tee installation is often an afterthought and usually only one tee choice is provided. A single tee choice assumes that all women hit drivers the same distance – an incorrect assumption. This lack of choice limits access for women to play a graduated course length that would provide the distance and strategic challenges necessary for game development. If the playing field were truly leveled, there would be a minimum of two tee choices as recommended by the women’s golf trailblazer, Alice Dye, decades ago; and in modern times, there would preferably be three tee choices. In order to improve player satisfaction on the golf course, the first initiative should be to ensure that course length is manageable for women. A good, playable tee complex for women golfers would include three graduated tees at approximately 4,900 yards, 5,300 yards, and 5,700 yards. Collegiate, pro and scratch women golfers can usually play from one of the 6,000+ yard tees. A manageable course length starting with a well-designed tee complex is a necessary first step toward creating course designs with strategic elements that can make the game as much fun for women as it is for men. Copyright© 2013 by Kari Haug, Kari Haug Golf Course Architecture
Golf Course Architect, EIGCA | www.karihaug.com
Kari Haug is an Associate Member of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects (EIGCA), and President/CEO of Kari Haug Planning & Design, Inc. - a golf course architecture company that specializes in sustainable golf course design and women’s golf.
by George Fuller
T H E B O U L D E R S , A WA L D O R F A S TO R I A R E S O R T
A True Arizona Desert Hideaway No matter how many new and exciting golf resorts I visit in the world, I always feel perfectly at home when I get back to The Boulders in Carefree, Arizona. It’s like visiting an old friend.
here’s just something about the place that feels right. Situated on 1,300 acres in the high Sonoran Desert 15 minutes from downtown Scottsdale, The Boulders is a true hideaway. Twelve-millionyear-old boulder formations dot the impeccably groomed landscape, many of them so large they dwarf the surrounding homes, lending an authentic, primordial sense of geologic history that immediately sets you at ease. The resort is luxurious, but not at all stuffy. The guest rooms — “casitas” they call them, and there are 160 of them — are comfortable, spacious, and modern, but not overly hi-tech. You get your 42-inch flat screen televisions and high-speed internet access, but also hand-hewn wooden ceiling beams, deep leather furniture, and a wood-burning fireplace with a carved stone facade. T H E CO U R S E S The golf courses — there are two Jay Morrish-designed beauties at The Boulders, the North Course and the South Course — are no pushovers, but they are so playable and so much fun that you’ll want to tee it up every day. Both measure less than 7,000 yards, short by today’s championship standards. But then again they were designed to be resort courses, not to host the U.S. Open, and by that yardstick they are among the very best in the country.
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Part of what makes them so enjoyable is that there is generally plenty of landing room off the tee, giving resort-level players a good chance to keep their ball in play. The putting surfaces are eminently fair, sporting some movement, but not so much that they are impossible to read. And of course both courses amble through some of prettiest high desert terrain you’ll ever see. Washes dissect some fairways, and lakes border several holes, causing you
Situated on 1,300 acres in the high Sonoran Desert 15 minutes from downtown Scottsdale, The Boulders is a true hideaway.
to play for position rather than bomb away on those holes. As such, these are easily called strategic designs. The South Course features several holes where you’ll want to have your camera at the ready, including the par-5 fifth, which plays to a green surrounded by sand bunkers and shadowed by a massive boulder mountains. P R O G R A M S F O R E V E RYO N E Innovative programs encourage everyone, including beginning golfers, to play a few holes. One such program is called “Fore at Four,” offering guests the opportunity to play four scenic holes
Twelve-million-year-old boulder formations dot the impeccably groomed landscape, many of them so large they dwarf the surrounding homes, lending an authentic, primordial sense of geologic history that immediately sets you at ease. as the sun begins to descend for only $28. Junior golfers (15 years old and younger) play free with a paying adult after 3 pm, and the resort has devised a shorter set of Pebble Tees specifically for kids. A “Fore Ladies” program is also popular. This women-only focus has gained The Boulders wide acclaim as one of the top women-friendly golf resorts in the country. The program is designed to help new women golfers learn the game and to ease the intimidation newcomers often feel on the golf course. THE WALDORF ASTORIA SPA The Waldorf Astoria Spa at The Boulders is a 33,000 sq. foot full service spa where guests find restoration, pampering and renewed energy. The facility incorporates the East/West elements of feng shui and a Zen-like ambiance
while staying true to the natural environs and Native American influences of the region. One of the signature spa experiences, for example, is the Turquoise Wrap, an 80-minute treatment that begins with a turquoise clay wrap, followed by a wrap of pure honey, and concludes with a honey butter application. This treatment is based on the Native American belief that turquoise is a color of protection and positive energy. A full menu of massages — including several designed specifically for golfers — scrubs, and treatments is offered, along with facials and skincare. The Waldorf Astoria Spa also offers nutritional wellness counseling and salon services. More active fun can be had through the Spa Adventures programs, which include guided hikes and mountain biking through the Sonoran Desert,
night bike rides on the golf course cart paths (a blast!), and for those seeking a real thrill, boulder climbing with experienced guides. DINING OPTIONS Dining in Scottsdale is always good, with options ranging from upscale steakhouses to authentic Southwestern cuisine; from sushi bars to Mexican restaurants. If you’d rather stick closer to The Boulders, head over to the Spotted Donkey Cantina at el Pedregal, the resort’s outdoor marketplace for good “modern Mexican” food and excellent margaritas. Every time I unpack my bag at The Boulders, a feeling of tranquility settles over me, along with anticipation of a few days of fun golf and good food. And they say you can’t go home again.
High Quality Play at High Quality Venues by Curt Hudek, Executive Director, Southwest Section PGA
SWSPGA Championship – a Trip to the PGA TOUR This event was one for the ages—or should I say ‘aged.” Three of the top five finishers in this years’ PING Section Championship were over 50 years of age. Being hosted at the historic Phoenix Country Club the venue provided a fantastic test for section professionals. The average score for the week was 3 over par and while the winner finished at 10-under-par, only 14 players finished under par in this three-day championship. The leaderboard ultimately was filled with an array of the best players in the Southwest Section. Although having a great deal of experience seemed to provide an edge. The venue rewarded patience, require precision play off of the tee, crisp iron shots to hold the greens and an icy putting stroke... This spelled a different way is E X P E R I E N C E. Several players found a way to break par for a single day, and a few were able to put it together for two days in a row, but it was only Paul Trittler and Mike Malaska, who had the talent and experience to do it for three days in row. While Paul had taken a two-shot lead into the final day, with 7 holes to play he and Malaska were tied. The consistent nearly mistake-free Trittler was able to play the final seven holes in two under par to edge Malaska by three shots. During the event, Paul had put together a streak of 30 holes of par or better and made only 3 bogeys in this 54 hole event. While earning a trophy is always special, Paul is as excited about the invitation to play in the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open for the winner of this event. Look for the seasoned veteran to get in a few practice rounds in the coming months as he prepares for this exciting experience. Special thanks to Scott Frisch, PGA and Steve Watt, PGA as well as the members and staff at Phoenix Country Club for the excellent venue and experience.
National Car Rental Assistants Championship
PaulGolf Trittler Arizona
From the heart of Phoenix the over 50 set, along with the SWSPGA Tournament Staff, headed out to the Tom Lehman designed Encanterra Country Club for the 36 hole Senior Championship and qualifying for the Senior Professional National Championship. 40 players were competing for the title, and most of the field was contending for 6 spots in the national event. After the first day of play, it was déjà vu with Paul Trittle and Mike Malaska in the final pairing. Paul had continued his consistent play with another streak of 26 holes without a bogey (outdone only by a streak of 27 by Brett Upper) but down the stretch, it was Malaska, who found a new gear as he birdied the final three holes to edge Trittler for the title by two shots. Also having a great week, tying for most birdies in the event with 11 was Jon Stanley, who qualified for the National Senior PNC along with Malaska, Trittler, Upper, Ralph West and in a three-man playoff Las Vegas’s Tom Fischer. Kelly Olohan had a great week too, tying for 5th but was not registered for the National Qualifying. For those that have played the course, the par three 9th hole proved to be the most difficult for the field. Interestingly the course only yielded 4 eagles in two days. Randy Wittig had eagled the par five 8th and 13th holes while the other two eagles came on the par four 1st hole (Chris Endres) and the 5th hole (Jon Chaffee).
The venue and quality course setup resulted in only 12 players breaking par for this 36 hole event. Big thank you’s to the host facility and the host professional Mark Black, PGA who provided a fantastic venue and a great experience for this competition.
Scott Brown, PGA and Alta Mesa Country Club played host for the 36 holes in one-day National Car Rental Assistants Championship. In addition to the Championship, eligible players were also qualifying for two spots in the National Assistants Championship. While the field of 45 players averaged nearly 78 shots per round at this venue, there were still 161 birdies and 3 eagles carded over the course of the day. While the birdies could be had, the course took more than double that amount back in bogeys or higher (323). The hardest hole for the field was the par three third while their favorite statistically was the par five 12th which yielded all 3 eagles and another 22 birdies. With the course taking back so many shots,
it was not surprising to see a winning score of 4 under par for this event with only four players breaking par of the event. While Dennis Downs held a one-shot lead after day 1 (and carded the most birdies for the event with 10), he was not able to hold on for the victory ad Joe Penaflor, who carded a pair of 70’s to edged Dennis Downs and Matt Van Cleave by a single shot. While Joe took home the hardware and the title, Dennis and Matt were pleased to have registered and qualified for the National Car Rental Assistants Championship to be held in Florida in November of this year. This will be Dennis’s third trip to this national event where he finished in the top 20 last year.
Senior Section Championship and Senior Professional National Championship Qualifier provides a Déjà vu Experience
Penaflor www.GoGolfArizona.com Joe Golf Arizona
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High Quality Play at High Quality Venues (continued)
Straight Shooters at Longbow Country Club prove to be winners and qualifiers for the Southwest Section Professional National Championship sponsored by Club Car, Omega and Mercedes. Hosting their first Section “Major” event General Man- the ten footer as if it was a practice session. The remaining ager and PGA member Jay Larscheid was curious as to how due headed to the par-5 18th hole. Newcomb found the left the club would hold up to the best 103 players in the South- desert with his tee shot, advanced it to a fairway bunker and west Section. At the end of the day it proved to an outstand- managed only a par. Weir, on the other hand, hit the fairway, ing test, with every player making the cut (six over par) hav- advanced his shot to just short of the green and was able to ing a quality tournament playing history. It was evident that hit a short chip to within two feet of the hole. Ben negotiated those who had played desert style courses seemed to have a this for his first big win as a PGA member. slight edge as any errant shot on this layout caused trouble Also playing well enough to claim a spot in the Nationfor the player. al PNC for 2014 in addition to the three that played off After three days of competition, eleven players were able for the victory were Craig Hocknull (This years’ AZ Open to keep it under par and three players were tied for the lead Champion) Chris Endres (the only Senior to Qualify), Ben at six under par. The trio; Ben Weir, Kreger and Marty Jertson (provided (Red Mountain Ranch) Brandon no Section Player wins a PGA Tour Smith (Ventana Canyon) and Brent event prior the end of 2013. Newcomb (The Stone Canyon Club) all seemed to be the most comfortable Brent Newcomb calmly knocks in a with the Desert type of layout. The play10 footer to extend the playoff. off started on the short par four 17th holes—where all three players calmly hit the fairway and hit their approach shots to within 15 feet of the hole. Putting first, Brandon Smiths putt slid by the hole and turned out to be his final shot of the event as Ben Weir rolled in Don Rea SWSPGA President and 14 footer, and Brent Newcomb made Champion Ben Weir.
Ben Weir hits a chip shot on the 2nd playoff hole close enough to make a second consecutive birdie and win the PNC event at Longbow Golf Club.
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Phoenix Country Club is the Star of the 53rd Goldwater Cup Matches In 1961, Bob Goldwater, also known as the “Father of the Phoenix Open,” created a golf event in which the best amateurs of the state would compete against the local club professionals. by Curt Hudek, PGA
Golf Arizona www.GoGolfArizona.com
T he city had just grown past 650,000 people and had become a popular winter vacation spot for a variety of celebrities and businessmen alike. Phoenix Country Club, which opened in 1899, hosted the inaugural event, and it gained immediate popularity among the who’s who of Phoenix. It wasn’t long before professionals and amateurs alike would anxiously await “the call” from Mr. Goldwater to participate in this annual event. The event became an annual attraction, and the competitions were as celebrated as another big event held at the club----The Phoenix Open! The competitions were lively, and the social scene around the event was an annual attraction. Bob was a great ambassador for golf and continued to support the event until the time of his death in 2006 at the age of 96. While the competition has generally favored the professionals over the years (38-14 to date), in 2009 the amateurs were able to claim the title in a match held at Pinnacle Peak Country Club. The introduction of a Senior Division
has also allowed for the amateurs to earn several titles (26-10-3), however, the original focus of the event was not the golf, but more focused on the social nature of the event. Bob Goldwater and the business and golf leaders fostered this environment at Phoenix Country Club, along with supporting the Phoenix Open that was held there for more than 50 years. The competition was eventually moved around to many other quality Arizona venues and with the outcome being more one-sided, the event seemed to lose some of it’s’ luster. Enter Phoenix Country Club and their Golf Committee Chair Beau Lane, CEO Jeff Mangan along with 31 year PGA member Mike Franko and the Arizona Golf Association. Collectively, this group set out on a mission to elevate this event back to its’ original status and after one year have made great strides! The group collectively solicited The Thunderbirds for support, have secured Phoenix Country Club as a
host site for multiple years, moved the formal dinner to the night before the event and added a coat and tie luncheon at the conclusion of the matches. This years’ event was held as the club was researching and celebrating its’ history under the supervisory eye of Phoenix Country Club member and historian John Spinsieri. The club, which opened in1899, has a great deal of history, from more than 50 years of hosting the Phoenix Open to the hosting of this year’s 53rd Goldwater Cup. The event kicked off with a preevent coat and tie affair where pairings were announced and some history of Bob Goldwater was shared by TV Broadcaster Mark Curtis, Thunderbirds Tim Kloenne and Tom Cunningham and PGA Professional and Senior Goldwater Cup participant Mike Franko. There were great reflections on the business impact that Bob Goldwater was involved in as well as the other members of this historic facility. There was of course a little “humor” mixed in and a great deal about how much Bob loved his golf and all the events surrounding it. Bob Goldwaters’ “original” locker was on display along with some history in a room that exquisitely reflected years and years of Phoenix Open Champions, Club Champions, Match Play Champions and Father-Son Champions and more. (Tom Cunningham’s name was on the Father-Son Champions list, and Tom was the first to say that his son had played very well that year!). Beau Lane welcomed the participants to the event, and the teams were introduced along with some of their accomplishments. The youngest player was 18-year-old Chris Petefish (heading to Georgia Tech to play collegiate golf) and also in the field was Earl Svenningsen, who has been a PGA
The club, which opened in 1899, has a great deal of history, from more than 50 years of hosting the Phoenix Open to the hosting of this year’s 53rd Goldwater Cup.
Arizona Golf Association Amateurs
Southwest Section PGA Professionals
member for 39 years. The golf course was in fantastic condition, special thanks to Charlie Costello the superintendent there, and the competition hard-fought. The play included 36-holes of golf the first day in a two-Player team format for the players with Day 2 consisting of 12 singles matches in both the Open and Senior divisions. Of the 48 matches (24 in each division), the outcome was not decided in18 of these matches until the 18th hole. This clearly added a great deal of suspense to each of the competitions. In the Senior division, the amateurs
won 4 of these matches, tied 2 and lost 2. While the Senior Amateurs may have held the edge in the 18 hole matches, it was the Senior PGA professionals who prevailed in the overall competition for their Captain Ralph West by a score of 15-9. The opposite was true in the open division as the PGA professionals ended up with 6 wins, 3 ties and only 1 loss in matches that went to the 18th hole, including three consecutive “1up” wins in the last five matches to win the cup by a score of 13.5 to 10.5. Complete results of all the matches can be seen at http://gogolfarizona.com/. www.GoGolfArizona.com
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PGA Professional Dennis Downs
by Curt Hudek, PGA
uncan Arizona is a small mining and ranching town located in Southeast Arizona. The local nine-hole golf course, course, Greenlee Country Club has a simple address; Highway 75 Duncan, AZ, a small driving range and two sets of tees so you can play 18 holes. The community does not have a hospital so Frank Downs had to take Joyce to nearby Morenci to give birth to their son Dennis in 1982. Frank taught Agriculture and Shop, and Joyce taught Business and Computer Classes at the local high school (less than 200 students) home of the WIldkats – not be confused with the UofA Wildcats where Frank went to college and was a member of the school’s rodeo team. Dennis was Mutton Busting (young kids riding a sheep—no kidding it’s on You Tube) at about age 5, was riding the “roping steers” a few years later and then competed in Bull Riding almost exclusively at age 15 with the Arizona Junior Rodeo Association (A non-profit association that has been in existence for more than 50 years). During this time, Dennis’s grandfather Gene had taken Dennis to the golf course—and while Dennis enjoyed the “company” he found the game itself frustrating – mostly because he had a big “slice” that he could not correct! Having both parent’s teaching as high school teachers living in a small town, it made it impossible to get away with anything, so Dennis began golfing a little more and started working part-time at the golf course picking the range in addition to his rodeo competitions. At the time, he remained very slight and was the shortest in his class until late in high school, he was always competitive and enjoyed both golf and rodeo. Dennis played in some Antigua Junior Tour events as a youngster, and by the time he reached high school his dad Frank thought it would be good idea if the Duncan Wildkats had a golf team there. The first year they had only five players and never grew past 10 during Dennis four years on the team. While Dennis was
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Dennis has already claimed an Assistants’ Professional Title in the SWSPGA, and has earned his third trip to the National Car Rental Assistants Championship this November able to shoot around par for most of the last couple years on the team—his interests still included Bull Riding and competitions. Frank continued to coach the team for many years until his retirement. Dennis guessed his dad is probably the “winningest” golf coach in Wildkat history – but only because he coached there the longest! (You can see on their website that the golf teams final home event of the year is the Frank Downs Invitational—so he must have done OK). Dennis had won three rodeo “Buckles,” which is the trophy for winning a bull riding competition, and continued to compete in Rodeo’s. He earned a few “scars/stamps”; you can ask to see them – I passed – and continued to ride until one of his close friends was badly injured in a Bull Rid-
ing accident. Dennis rode a few more times, but at 18, decided golf was a better long term proposition. Understanding that he was currently a good player, not great, he chose the Golf Management Program at ASU over trying to play college golf somewhere. The four-year business degree with an emphasis on the golf business required multiple internships and allowed to gain some great experience and work on his game. Dennis’s first of three internships was at a 9 hole facility outside of Sacramento for now Yuma CC Head professional Ross Farley. This one-man shop allowed you to do it all— check people in—get the breakfast going on the grill behind you and make sure there was plenty of beer for the afternoon golf league. From there he went to Colorado Springs to work at the Air Force Academy Golf Courses for the now Colorado PGA Executive Director Eddie Ainsworth. This location provided some great playing experience learning to deal with the “altitude” and on the very difficult golf courses there. Dennis also enhanced his teaching skills while working in the LARGE summer junior program that takes place there every year. His final internship experience was at Superstition Springs Golf Club in Mesa where he had worked off and on during college and done a little bit of teaching with SWSPGA Teaching Professional Scott Watkins. He appreciated the broad range of duties and felt comfortable that he was in a business career in which he could be comfortable. Right out of college, Dennis took a job with Eagle Flight golf, and their unique club fitting system. Dennis spent two years on the road visiting facilities in California and the Midwest. Eagle Flight began to struggle a little and Dennis was spending more time in Arizona. He was touching base with Joe Edwards, PGA of Coldwater Golf Club and ended up playing in a pro-am with Jason Whitehill, PGA. The two of them hit it off, and Dennis ended up getting hired into an Assistant Professionals position within the Sun City Grand Community Association where he has worked on his business skills and game as well. Dennis has already claimed an Assistants’ Professional Title in the SWSPGA, and has earned his third trip to the National Car Rental Assistants Championship this November. By virtue of his current Player of the Year points, Dennis was named Captain of this year’s winning Goldwater Cup Team. Dennis has been married to his wife Valerie since 2007 and not surprisingly she is a school teacher. For now, they are enjoying life in the big city, but all the experience from Duncan Arizona has helped him along the way.
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Junior Spotlight Phoenix Valley Sam TRIPLETT
S A M T R I P L E T T H A S H A D the unique opportunity to become involved with golf through his father, Kirk Triplett, a former PGA Tour Professional and current Championship Tour Professional. Although he had been around golf his entire life, Sam didn’t begin playing in competitive tournaments until the summer before his freshman year of high school. His father made a point to introduce Sam to all sports growing up along with emphasizing the “student” portion of the title Student-Athlete. Recently, Arizona Country Club has become Sam’s practice facility of choice as he prepares for upcoming tournaments such as the JGAA Junior State Championship, Boys America’s Cup, and PING Junior Match-Play Championship. In regards to the future of his golf career, Sam has been looking to play golf at an Ivy League University and hopes to commit to either Princeton or Yale University in the near future.
AS WAS THE CASE WITH SAM, Kaitlyn Saum also got her start in golf from her dad. At age 9 she was heading out to the driving range to hit balls. As she progressed, Kaitlyn started playing the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf of Phoenix tournaments which is where she learned to love the game.
Sam Triplett has seen success this summer winning the JGAA’s annual Tucson City Junior Championship. In addition to his win, he also was the runner-up at the Antigua/Milt Coggins AZ Junior Stroke Play and placed in the Top-3 at the Yuma City Junior Championship. From his impressive play this summer, Sam has qualified himself for the Boys Junior America’s Cup, the same tournament his father played in 1979 representing the state of Washington.
These days, she can be found practicing out at Longbow Golf Club preparing for upcoming tournaments such as the 2013 Junior World Championship in La Jolla, CA, Girls’ Junior America’s Cup, and the JGAA Junior State Championship. Kaitlyn has also recently verbally committed to play golf at Northern Arizona University (NAU). Kaitlyn Saum has also had an exceptional summer at the JGAA. Most recently, she was the runner-up for medalist at the Callaway Junior World Championship Qualifier #2, qualifying herself for the Junior World Championship. She also secured a Top-3 finish at the JGAA’s annual Antigua Milt Coggins AZ Junior Stroke Play.
by Scott McNevin, Assistant Executive Director, Junior Golf Association of Arizona
Junior Spotlight Southern Arizona Natassja MEREDITH
At the age of 9, Natassja Meredith received the encouragement she needed to play the game of golf through her grandfather. He was so excited that she wanted to play he went out and bought her a set of clubs and signed them both up for golf lessons. What a wonderful opportunity for them both!
Gabriel Borboa was introduced to and started playing golf at age 11 by his uncle David Pena. His uncle is currently an assistant golf professional at the Highlands Golf Club of Dove Mountain.
Meredith certainly does not lack any passion for playing the game. She says, “I play golf because I love it. I love the feeling of being able to pick up a golf club and use it to make the ball do what I want, at least some of the time.” She said I love the feeling of familiarity. “It’s something that I know is always there, and it gives me something to look forward to as I go through the day.” When asked what her most memorable moment or accomplishment would be, she said, “I’m not sure, every day is different, and I really enjoy that. There’s always something to work on, so it never gets boring.” Based on how Meredith has consistently improved in the junior ranks each year. Her next goal is to play golf on a highly ranked college team and wants to take her golf career as far as she can.
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Golf is certainly Borboa’s favorite sport. He said, “Because it is one of the most challenging sports I have ever played.” What he seems to like best about golf is the fact that it is an individual sport, and it requires a lot of mental focus. Borboa’s most memorable moment in the game so far came when he needed one more qualifying score to make it to the State High School Championship for Tucson High, his Junior year on the last match of the season, shooting a 1-under par 35 at Randolph golf course. Some of the life lessons that Borboa has learned from golf have been, self-control, and that you don’t have to be the strongest or hit the ball the furthest to accomplish your goals in golf. After graduating from high school Borboa received a golf scholarship to play at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona.
by Rick Price, PGA
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