Serv i n g S o u t h | We s t | C e n t r a l O n t a r i o
Volume 14 | Issue 1 | Spring 2013 | golfscene.ca
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Volume 14 : Issue 1
FREE SAMPLES OF SOME OF THE NEW GEAR - starting on page 18
... nothing like starting the season with some brand new swag for the bag (cart not included) wait, can I get my caddie to read this for me?
NOTEBOOK : MESSAGE IN THE BOTTLES
A few quick notes on a performance supplement that is starting to gain serious traction in the sports world - including golf (which is almost a sport, we think, - or at least moving that way once we can remove the pants and collars). By Steve Woods ...... page 16
TALKING IN YOUR BACKSWING : GOLF NEEDS A RULING(S)
"As much as I’ve gone on record as saying Tiger Woods should have DQ-ed himself for signing an incorrect scorecard at the Masters, that’s only because he discovered he had done something wrong, not because there was any intent to cheat." By Ian Hutchinson ...... page 36
THE TARTAN CHAMELEON : THERE IS A COST TO INDECISION
"The issue is pace of play, not just with golfers, but with rules officials, golf administrators, and the powers that be in the upper echelons of our great sport." By Carolanne Doig ...... page 42
ON THE SCENE ▲ a visit to Modern Golf where we learned a whole about the fitting process (+ gained a few very valuable yards) page 54
IN CONVERSATION : THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MUNI
Contributor Rob Foster sits down with the GM / Head Golf Professional for the City of London Golf Courses, Steve Bennett, to talk about the golf industry, accessibility at municipal courses and helping a young Mike Weir develop his game prior to becoming a Canadian Golf icon. By Rob Foster ...... page 44
GREEN SIDE UP : CHALLENGING MOTHER NATURE
▲ #follow Geoff Tait as he takes us for an exclusive visit inside Arnold Palmer's Kingdom in Latrobe, PA page 29
There is a lot of technology that goes into managing turf on a golf course. There are a lot of techniques and strategies we as professional Turf Managers use to whip our course into shape as quickly as possible. Creating a plan and implementing it in a proactive way is a good recipe for success in most cases. By Tom Margetts ...... page 48
PLACES TO PLAY
◄ seek out your next challenge on any of our fantastic golf course facilities in our 2013 Places to Play section - starts on page 59
Old world links style charm and impeccable conditioning are just a couple of the abundance of traits which make the Copetown Woods golf course a favourite among so many golfers (including us at GolfScene). So when we heard they were turning 10 this year, we thought what better a way to say 'thanks for the decade' than a card of our own - GolfScenery style. â–Ş for additional info on Copetown Woods and other great area courses visit our PLACES TO PLAY section starting on page 59
Copetown Woods - Copetown, Ontario
The soft shell membrane of Galvin Green's Windstopper is made from a versatile polymer (polytetrafluorethylene) which expands to create a microporous structure. Or, in terms we can all understand - it is capable of keeping the rain and wind out while also allowing vapour molecules (excess heat & perspiration) to pass through unhindered. Essentially, it's outerwear that keeps the inner you, warm and dry. A combination of technologically advanced fabrics and innovative designs are what separates the leaders from the followers in the golf apparel game. Comfort and performance start with the right cuts and the proper materials. Swagger, on the other hand, comes from confidence and wearing the right attire really, really well.
The Windstopper - from Galvin Green
Fast Forward - the 2013 US Open will be played at Merion Golf Club which reminded us ... that in 1966 Kitchener, Ontario's Gary Cowan captured the US Amateur there after an 18 hole playoff with Deane Beman.
Newsprint attached to back of photo reads: "Gary Cowan holes putt on 18th green of play-off for the 1966 U.S. Amateur Championship to defeat Deane Beman (seated on golf bag) by 1 stroke at Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pa."
ÂŠUSGA Archives / photographer unknown
Barrie Country Club - Barrie, Ontario
PHOTO COURTESY : Barrie Country Club
Much has changed at the Barrie Country Club over the years (100 to be exact!) ... including a move from its original site, a 9 hole layout on the grounds now known as Sunnidale Park, to its current home (1970) in Springwater Township. A modern clubhouse (2007) overlooks the 18 hole championship design while more recent updates include additional tee decks and a casual lounge. Proof that some Ha ppy Centena ry Ba rrie - Cheers : ) things can get even better with age.
Q is for Qu ag mire - whose co-fou nder a nd creative director Geoff Tait contributes some very cool behind the scenes i mages a nd a necdotes to this issu e from the home of the K ing - Mr. Arnold Pal mer
C is for context - beca use some things just ma ke more sense with a note or two
S erving South | West | Central Ontario
Volume 14 | Issue 1 | Spring 201 3 | g o l f s c e n e . c a
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COVER: we're playing through (back issues can be difficult to find so we do maintain a digital archive - golfscene.ca)
THIS MAGAZINE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF ITS FOUNDER, NORM WOODS
A is for asides - or brief thou ghts on a su bject which may or may not have been mea nt to be spoken
FROM THE EDITOR
elcome to the spring - well - early summer some might attest. Crazy weather to start this our 14th season in print. Our apologies, this issue is out a little later than normal but we do 'work' closely with Mother Nature in an effort to ensure it's on the shelves and in the hands of golfers (like you) when the flowers are blooming, the greens are rolling, and the season is truly underway. And yes, we we still believe in the genuine magazine experience as we continue to believe in - and invest in - the game. Unfortunately, we can't say the same for a few of the other golf publications who it seems have chosen to lay it up in various digital formats and, ouch, flipping eZines (score it a WD or DNF). It's too bad because golf needs all of the media it can muster nowadays. Nevertheless, we wish them well and will simply play right through, address it where it lies, aim for the flags, and evolve accordingly. What we've got are 60+ pages of curious golf content for you to peruse between rounds in addition to information on lots of the great regional courses at which to tee it up. The heck with the so called shortened season, there are plenty of days ahead to squeeze in a few extra holes and circle a few more birdies. And look for the format to change a little going forward as we narrow the focus even further to the things golfers (at least our readers) want to see. More info on the cool stuff you need and the awesome unrated and, hopefully, non-discounted courses to play. As always, we'll keep it light and keep it fun because that is what the game needs more than anything. And if that's not for you, no problem, feel free to dial in a rules violation - we'll happily add a few extra strokes to our card.
IN THIS EDITION Hutch talks a little about how the game needs to focus on the important stuff and cease with dragging it through the media mud with wasted words on rules violations and or indecisive equipment tribulations . Tom Margetts chimes in on the slow weather start and how it effects the turf we play on. Carolanne Doig reminds us how pace of play in all areas of the game is plaguing participation. We also have details on some of the great new Gear out there plus a few images and asides from a recent visit to Modern Golf. The LPGA is back again this year in Waterloo. The tournament had a stellar first year and there is little reason to think it won't, once again, be a great event to attend. Rob Foster chats with London golf pro Steve Bennett about the municipal golf experience and his ties to Mike Weir. Some great GolfScenery, an awesome contest and much more ... it's our biggest spring issue yet. Let's have great season. Thanks to all our supporters and, as always, enjoy your next round! And the one after that.
SPRING 2013 : Volume 14 : Issue 1
PUBLISHER: GolfScene Inc TRUSTED CADDIE: Linda Woods EDITOR: Steve Woods COLUMNISTS Ian Hutchinson | Tom Margetts | Carolanne Doig CONTRIBUTORS Geoff Tait | Rob Foster | Mother Nature Opinions expressed in signed articles are those of the author only and not necessarily those of the Publisher. Unsolicited manuscripts are invited, but their return cannot be guaranteed. Letters to the Editor may be edited for legalities and only signed letters will be considered for publication. PRINTED IN CANADA | SUBSCRIPTION & ADVERTISING INQUIRIES 416 548 4143
ÂŠ GolfScene Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the expressed written permission of the publisher. The reading of this magazine does not require a wifi connection, nor is it password protected, and its pages can be conveniently turned without any impending fear of a video automatically starting up without permission. The fixed screen size is for usability.
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COMING IN THE SUMMER EDITION We're ON THE SCENE at Horsehoe Valley Resort, Sawmill Creek Golf & Spa, as well as a visit to Niagara Falls. We'll also be dedicating a bunch of pages to apparel and fashion featuring many of the trending golf brands that look as good off the course as they do on. Plus, tips and tricks to improve your game and, as always, a few things that have not happened yet.
NOTEBOOK [ holding onto a smartphone while jotting down things with pencil - steve woods ]
MESSAGE IN THE BOTTLES ( a nd zero su ga r )
amino acids and electrolytes which yield sustained energy, quicker recovery, and enhance overall performance. And the results of that collaboration certainly seem to be 'speaking for themselves' as the product continues to be turning up, and upside down, in more and more places and in the hands of more and more competitive athletes. Most new products nowadays are launched - the theory being that if you make a big enough initial splash both interest and demand are sure to follow. While others, like BIOSTEEL, are born from the same desire that fuels competitive athletes - necessity (think Gatorade if you know the genesis of that product). The will to improve - to make or do things better. And that is a slow and determined climb measured not through hyperbole, but instead by results. And we're partial to the latter. So if you too are a little curious and want to learn more? ... tee up your research at biosteel.com.
IMAGES : courtesy GOLF WRX
For the inquisitive onlookers (like us) wondering what that curious pink beverage being consumed by numerous touring pros is ... well? - that product is BIOSTEEL. Perhaps, better known by its marketing slogan / online tag #DRINKTHEPINK ( powder + H2O = pink ) than by its trade name, BIOSTEEL, we've learned, is a performance based supplement with origins right here in Canada. The product was created by certified athletic trainer Matt Nichol who, while working as the strength and conditioning coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs, decided that the ingredients in the supplements being used by his players might be doing more harm than good. So in 2005, when the NHL unveiled a strict anti-doping testing policy, Matt decided it was time to find a better solution. Drawing upon his background in nutrition and together with a team of scientists the group came up with a safe, quick-absorbing formula consisting of essential
just a random sampling of some of the cool new stuff out there trying to find space in the bag ....
NIKE COVERT DRIVER The Covert's prominent red crown and curiously hollowed out sole (cavity back) really do make Nike's newest driver stand out from anything else on the market. Big on adjustability and tech, this driver is getting a lot of praise from the fitters we've talked to - which means the numbers are making some noise.
GEA whether it's lighter, faster, or just well 'better adjusted' ... here are a few of the things that should be on your radar this season and why ...
ECCO BIO HYBRID The street style shoe is no longer a trend but fast becoming the norm. Welcome to the new traditional. And while Ecco might not be leading the way anymore, they are still lacing up some quality kicks. Low profile, stable, durable, and comfortable all traits you will find with the BIO HYBRID.
AR and we'll stay away from too many of the technical terms ('cause most of us don't quite understand them anyway)
TAYLORMADE R1 Based on the premise that about 80% of golfers are using the wrong loft in their drivers, TaylorMade’s R1 driver boasts the ability to make no less than 168 different tuning adjustments - that’s a big and rather daunting number. Yet what it does is allow any golfer with any swing characteristics to be fitted (and subsequently re-fitted) properly without the need to change heads etc. And optimum performance is all about matching the tech to the player.
COBRA AMP CELL There is little doubt that the Cobra brand has undergone a super infusion of ‘life’ recently. Big time tech meets big time style. The AMP CELL driver offers adjustability, innovative face technology as well as a little customization (choose from an assortment of colours) right out of the box.
NEW 20XI When something is good the tendency is to crave a little more. So the folks at Nike decided to top up the new 20XI with a little more RZN (innovative core) … which essentially translates into more pop and more stop.
NOTE: LIMITED EDITION US OPEN version shown
TITLEIST 913 The 913 series offers a clubhead in the more traditional pearshaped deep face tour design (D3) as well as a more forgiving yet equally teched-out (D2) option. Add to both the ability to fine tune things via adustability and there is certainly an option here that can be quickly dialed in for all players.
FOOTJOY'S M LINE FootJoy’s newest footwear line is a minimalist design with a focus on being lightweight and ultra-flexible in an effort to maximize feedback and feel. This is a real departure from the company’s more traditional designs but another example of a company evolving and providing golfers with options.
PING G25 While there seems to be a big push for colour in the driver world nowadays, we are really diggin' the matte black finish and uncluttered design of the G25. Ping seems genuinely disinterested in keeping up the 'Joneses' - and maybe it's because in a lot of ways they are the Joneses.
X FORGED If you follow us on INSTAGRAM you’ve probably already caught us drooling over the fine lines of the new Callaway X-Forged irons. Something about blades just speaks directly to the golfing heart – even though we might not have the game to use them. Oh well, throw caution and a couple blades of grass to the wind, these irons just scream fierce.
when nobody's looking, I play from the proper tees - easiest way I know to hit it farther
STX PITCH BLACK Combining modern and classic design elements like the STX Black can work really well from both an aesthetics and performance perspective. A stealth black finish partnered with a high contrast yellow elastomer insert improves sightlines and gets the ball rolling on line.
ODYSSEY TANK Odyssey’s newest putter model is a tank – literally. Well, actually it’s more like a counterbalanced (new buzzword for 2013) model that improves stability and happens to perform like its moniker. Basically, increasing and balancing the weight in the club promotes the use of the 'big' muscles and encourages a pendulum motion. Less hands translates into a more consistent stroke.
CALLAWAY'S X HOT The so-called lesser sibling to it’s RAZR Fit Xtreme family, Callaway's X HOT line is certainly spinning more than a few heads and launch monitors. Tighter curvature and stiffness across the face translate into increases in energy transfer. And that is simply creating siginificatnt distance gains for players at all levels.
LEAVE A MARK - HAVE A SHARPIE Every golf bag needs a Sharpie. Mark your ball. Make some notes. Sign a few autographs. Well maybe not all of those things, but with a special cap from More / Real you can also convert everyone's favourite marker into a tablet friendly stylus. Great for mapping out how you'll indelibly play the hole you just doubled today, tomorrow - or, just black it out.
diS worldâ€™s first HiGH sPEEd cavity back drivEr
S ta n c e golfscene.ca
BALANCE ON AXIS
ADD YOUR OWN STRIPES
The AXIS putter works on the theory of lowering the torque ratio. In simple terms many putters want to ‘open’ up at address due to weighting etc. This takes things off-line. Reducing torque means that the putter sets up and stays on the intended path which, provided you’ve read it correctly, should end up in the bottom of the cup
Here’s an interesting concept from ClubCrown. Our guess is that this is something that might have been snickered at years ago, but today with all of the new paint and decals on the crowns of drivers it just might fly. And the Canadian flag is one terrific alignment aid, eh!
THE NEW BLACKBERRY
Quick access to accurate yardages not only makes the game a little easier, but when readily available it can also help to speed up play. Traditional handheld rangefinders are fantastic tools, yet they still seem a little cumbersome on the course at times. Thatâ€™s why we are curious to see how these new wrist-watch style units function. And all golfers really need are the yardages - not sure a flyover helps anyone (except maybe the company selling that service).
Though we don't actually hit any shots with a smartphone, these addictive little devices are used for booking times, keeping scores, checking the weather, or reading online posts at GolfScene. And let's not forget sending an email or two while waiting between tee boxes - the mobile office is a very good thing for golf. Which is why the new blackberry is something many have been waiting for (the one with the actual keyboard). Maybe we can now speed up the slow play we've been enduring while trying to type on a (backspace delete) touch screen.
nexcor face technology delIvers faster and longer shots across a wIder area of the face.
Independently choose your loft and face angle. a sImple adjustment fIts your club to your game.
the worldâ€™s fIrst hIgh speed cavIty back conformIng drIver delIvers longer and straIghter shots.
GEAR ADAMS SUPER HYBRID As the focus moves from off-the-rackstandard to visit-a-fitter-custom the numbers will begin to tell the story most golfers have known the ending of for a while now - hitting long irons is next to impossible. And so companies, like Adams, who know a thing or two about hybrids will be well positioned (and properly aligned) to fill that market. Enter the new Super Series which resets the ball speed benchmarks while being even easier to hit.
NIKE METHOD DRONE Many of these new fangled putter designs take a little getting used to. At first glance, the new Nike Method Drone is certainly a little different than the norm (though the norm is evolving). Centre weighting and wing tips ensure balance - keeping the club on path - while the tour proven insert generates a consistent forward roll.
NO NEW BULL Red Bull has gotten us through more than a few 6 hour rounds, not to mention plenty of late nights working on the magazine. Now we sort of fancied the original flavour but like all things nowadays, including golf clubs, itâ€™s nice to have a few additional options. Enter RED, BLUE, and SILVER to the energy equation. No guarantees it will help you drive it 300 yards, but if a golf ball could grow wings ...
SUNICE NAROOMA Enough with the complaints about the weather ... please. Great outerwear takes care of the elements. Take these Narooma pants from Sun Ice for example (part of the 'Hurricane' Collection) - nothing is getting through these. And they are now available in a myriad of sizes (finally) so they can be bought to fit as well as they work.
TITLEIST UTILITY For those who get lost right in between a long iron and a hybrid, there is hope on the way. A new utility category is emerging and Titleist, as one might expect, is one of the brands leading the way. Making a club that is easier to hit than a traditional iron AND offering more trajectory control than a hybrid is the secret.
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Follow Geoff Tait, co-founder of Quagmire Golf and Creative Director for Arnie 2012, as he takes us on a golfer's dream visit to the home of Arnold Palmer in Latrobe, PA. #BYINVITEONLY
#ARNOLDPALMER #BRUSHWITHGREATNESS #ANDIBROUGHTMYCAMERA #WALKTHROUGHHISTORY #BUCKETLIST
IT'S GOOD TO BE THE KING words & photos by Geoff Tait
Tractor used at Latrobe Country Club. Bags in the back are Ryder cup bags and the films are of the Masters from the 60’s and 70’s.
olf has been great to me throughout my ca-
Lucky for me (and you) I was able to sneak in a camera and
reer and I consider myself very fortunate
snap a few pictures while the greatest golfer of all time wasn’t
to have experienced some of the greatest
looking. That’s right, I was in the home of the King - Arnie's
events, places, and people in the game. And
Place. It’s where he grew up, where he learned to play, where he
just when I thought it could not get any bet-
still works to this day in the summer months. I found myself in
ter, I received one of the rarest invitations in
a mind blowing barn and office full of the coolest and largest
golf ... Augusta? Pebble Beach? Nope, Latrobe Pennsylvania.
collections of clubs, bags, photos, trophies and much, much
Now some of you probably think I’m crazy and may have abso-
more. Not open to the public, it was indeed a rare invitation -
lutely no idea what goes on in Latrobe and, to be honest, neither did I - but I can assure you that there is a little piece of heaven in that small sleepy town - and it is every bit a golfer's dream! golfscene.ca
and one that I will remember forever.
â–˛ Highlights in Mr Palmer's office include the table of medals he had custom built to hold the medals he won at events. One space remains empty - the PGA Championship medal. On top of the table is a model of his current plane and a Presidents Cup trophy.
THE OFFICE First stop was the office. The place where Mr. Palmer goes everyday when he is in Latrobe. The office is filled with pictures of Mr. Palmer with Presidents, pictures with trophies, the trophies themeselves, medals, and the keys to hundreds of cities (guess thatâ€™s why he was always hitching up his pants - too many keys on the ring). There are also models of the planes he actually owned and flew himself. There is a very cool table he had custom made to hold all of the medals from each event he won. Unfortunately, there is one space that stands empty - a hole that he left for the elusive PGA Championship. There is also a workshop attached which houses thousands of putters and drivers ... which he still tinkers with when he needs a break from the daily grind of running his businesses. Lucky for him, when he gets thirsty, he can stop and take a drink out of a beer bottle with his own picture on it. In my books that comes a close second to those four green jackets!
THE BARN Next stop was 'the barn'. Those of you who know me, know that museum is not a word that often comes out of my mouth but this so called 'barn' needs to one day be a museum. From the moment I walked through the door I barely blinked. There are 8000 golf clubs he played with in some sort of major or professional golf event, bags from the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, every pair of shoes he’s ever worn and every letter that has ever been written to him. There is information about every business he ever had a hand in. The pictures on the walls are just mind blowing- celebrities, Presidents, even the Queen! He even has a chunk of the scoreboard from his winning round at the Canadian Open, his first ever professional win.
▲ Above in round numbers there are approximately 1000 Drivers, 2000 Putters and 400 sets, for a total of 8000 clubs. All of which Arnold Plamer played with at some point in time.
► These blue and white bags are from the Arnold Palmer Golf Company, which he started after his endorsement agreement with Wilson (1955-1963) expired. Based in Chattanooga, Tennessee he partnered with The First Flight Company to start making Arnold Palmer clubs and bags.
◄ Things you'll find in Arnold Palmer's workshop include a Budweiser beer given to him by a friend for his 80th birthday and the champagne given to him to commemorate his 50th Masters. Shoes are his bronzed baby shoes.
► Mr. Palmer flew to Wake Forest to receive an honorary doctorate degree during a spring commencement ceremony. When he got home, this sign was in his yard. It was made by a friend and LCC club member, John Ridilla
► The neon sign that hangs on the wall alongside Arnold Palmer's pool table.
After I was forced out of the barn and given a full pat down, my next stop was the
rarest of them all - Arnold Palmer’s home. The house was beautifully decorated by the late Winnie Palmer, mother to Amy and Peggy, two of the kindest people I have ever met, and of course the wife to the greatest golfing legend of all time. Unassuming and elegant you can feel the love the minute you step through that door. What an incredible honour to be in the King’s home! Out of respect for the family, I am only sharing one picture, a sign hanging on the wall in Mr. Palmer’s basement beside his pool table. If that table could talk!
THE LAST STOP
Last stop, after they woke me up from my nap in Mr. Palmer’s bed (just kidding), was the Latrobe Country Club. It was time for a little snack. With all of Mr. Palmers favorites on the menu and the clubhouse full of pictures, memorabilia and trophies this sure beat the Chilis down the road. Steeped in history and class Latrobe really is like something straight out of a movie. With Rolling Rock on tap and great company at the table, I can honestly say I never wanted this once in lifetime adventure to end.
It gave bucket list a whole new meaning.
YOU CAN FOLLOW GEOFF TAIT ON TWITTER AND RUMOUR HAS IT THAT HE HAS SOMETING REALLY COOL BREWING FOR THE GOLF WORLD - SO STAY TUNED.
once again, all eyes will be on the very
best in the world
when the LPGA returns to Waterloo and we've got
pretty good reasons to attend July 10 -14 2013
WITNESS GREAT GOLF – great golf in our very own backyard! The Manulife Financial
LPGA Classic is back in Waterloo Region and is the place to be to see the best of the best in the world compete! Come on out to Grey Silo to witness the top women’s golfers in the world.
PROMOTE & SUPPORT THE REGION – By attending the
Manulife Financial LPGA Classic you will be showing your support of the LPGA and world-class events in Waterloo Region. You will be continuing to support a tradition made possible by Manulife Financial, who is committed to the community, and boasts the City of Waterloo as being home of their Canadian Division. You will also be showing your support for the St. Mary’s General Hospital Foundation and helping them with the promotion of heart health.
FAMILY AFFAIR – looking for an excellent and affordable way to spend time with the whole family? - the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic is your answer. Kids 15 years and younger are free with a ticketed adult. And there will be no shortage of activities for the family to enjoy during the the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in 2013. Check it out, and maybe even make it a family tradition.
SO MUCH MORE TO DO – You came in 2012, now there are even more reasons you won’t want to miss the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in 2013! New for this year … check out the BlackBerry Family Zone, a family-oriented area on the course expected to include activities for the family to enjoy including plenty of games, swing analysis, mini-putt, and more!
GET OUTDOORS & ENJOY – Love being outside? The Manulife Financial LPGA Classic provides a great opportunity to take in a world-class sporting event while enjoying the sunshine and refreshing summer breeze. This outdoor event is perfect for golf enthusiasts as well as those new to the sport looking to take in the action, and learn more about the game. You will also love all of the great viewing areas being added for this year, providing more shade, and an even better overall experience.
TALKING IN YOUR BACKSWING
Perhaps the 2013 Masters will be remembered more for the rules controversy than the game itself.
Golf Needs A Ruling(s) As much as I’ve gone on record as saying Tiger Woods should have DQ-ed himself for signing an incorrect scorecard at the Masters, that’s only because he discovered he had done something wrong, not because there was any intent to cheat. by Ian Hutchinson
Had he done it on purpose after hitting the flagstick on 15 and watching it roll into the water, it doesn’t make sense he’d talk about his improper drop in media interviews afterwards, which led officials to give him a twostroke penalty and touch off the entire controversy. “I wasn’t even thinking,” said Woods. “I was still a little ticked at what happened and I was just trying to figure, `Okay, I need to take some yardage off this shot,’ and that’s all I was thinking about was trying whenever I join a group as a single, the first thing I tell them is that I have a rule book
to make sure I took some yardage off it and evidently, it was pretty obvious I didn’t drop in the right spot,” he said. Woods was either caught up in the moment and not thinking clearly, or just wasn’t clear on the rule, the latter of which isn’t that uncommon, even at the game’s highest level. “I don’t know the rule book because I always call in the rules official,” said Bubba Watson, who was defending Masters champion when the Tiger incident went down. Spring 2013
If the top players don’t have a handle on golf’s plethora of rules, or officials at one of the most prestigious events in golf have trouble identifying an infraction on their own, what does that say to the folks who play for fun?
There’s a lot of irony to this situation in a game that prides itself on being all about tradition, honour, integrity and doing the right thing. The headlines in golf very often scream rules, regulations and rulings when all people want to do is watch the game’s top stars play -- or play it themselves. If the top players don’t have a handle on golf ’s plethora of rules, or officials at one of the most prestigious events in golf have trouble identifying an infraction on their own, what does that say to the folks who play for fun? At one of the most prestigious events in golf, it wasn’t even an official who busted Woods on the drop controversy. It was a television viewer that prompted the officials to check video while Tiger was still out on the course and even then, they didn’t see anything incriminating. Then, they heard Woods’ comments to the media and invoked Rule 33-7, which basically gives the tournament committee carte blanche on whether to waive, modify or impose a DQ if it considers it warranted. The decision to keep Tiger in the tournament, at the very least, conjures up a perception that he is being given preferential treatment as the No. 1 draw in golf. Rightly or wrongly, his decision to not DQ himself dented his public image even more in the eyes of many. Fortunately, the Tiger incident, even if it did carry over past the final putt at Augusta, didn’t put a blemish on Aussie Adam Scott winning the Masters, where rules should be paramount so there is no question about the outcome. The same holds true at amateur competitions or club championships, but between playing rules, equipment rules and dress codes, the people who play the game for fun, or the ones who are considering it, get a steady diet of what they can’t do, as opposed to what they can. For a year or so, we’ve heard speculation that the USGA and R&A would come up with something to deal with the proliferation of long putters and anchored style of putting that goes along with them, a method used by Scott and three other recent major winners. At the end of November last year, we got the official word of the proposed ban on the golfscene.ca
continued next page
In theory then, recreational players anchoring, which touched off a threemonth comment period in which it be- won’t be able to use long putters, or came arguably the biggest story during golf balls that will allow them to enjoy the game more and the argument is a winter downtime in the game. The announcement by golf ’s govern- that the USGA and R&A are only making associations on that matter hadn’t ing themselves irrelevant to the masses come down as of this writing, but next with every rule they dole out. At a time when the game is attempton tap is a possible rollback on the dising to lure newcomers, take a second tance that a golf ball travels. The fear is that the bombers on tour and pretend you’re somebody getting are making some classic, old courses into golf. How confused would you be if the obsolete, but that doesn’t apply to the PGA Tour, one of the most masses. high profile entities in the One would think that OPINION game, allows anchored putmeans a specific dialed-back ting, but an event like the tour ball, but given the stand by the governing associations against British Open doesn’t? That’s a very real bifurcation, or different sets of equip- possibility at this point with the tour’s ment standards, it’s no guarantee the resistance to the proposed ban. This isn’t a diatribe calling for anargoverning bodies may not want rec golfers to use the same golf ball as the chy. Rules are a part of any game, but they aren’t the central focus in other pros. Over the years, controversies have sports that they are in golf and the cenalso raged over hot-faced drivers, tre of one controversy after another. By all means, teach the rules and etigrooves and the size of clubheads, among other equipment-related top- quette of the game to recreational golfers, particularly juniors, in the hopes ics.
that they will want to get into competition as they advance in the game, but fun is the primary motivation for getting into it. Put the emphasis on that instead. About the only thing that rec golfers have with players in the upper echelon of the game and even officials at the elite level, is that they all don’t seem to have a complete grasp on the very rules that golf ’s governing bodies are attempting to force upon them. ▪
Ian Hutchinson Ian Hutchinson is a veteran Canadian golf writer, whose history in the game includes an extensive background with Canadian golf trade publications. A golf columnist with Sun Media, Hutch is also a regular contributor to publications and websites in Canada and the United States.
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DEMO DAY ROLLING IN THE DEEP
a little time on the greens with a couple of TRU ROLL putters
Interesting design as the putter essentially is faceless - instead utilizing a smooth cylindrical all shape which should, in theory, but eliminate mis-hits due to loft. Whether the hands are too far tly forward or behind does not direc at face the of e angl the ct impa impact.
ges those who may suffer from chan to effective loft.
We also found that the ball had a little less 'pop' off of the face ace perhaps due to less actual surf all area contacting the ball, but like putters there is a courting period. off The upside to less pop and hop helps the face is also less spin which rd the hole to, to get the ball rolling towa The look takes a little getting used . ding skid ced redu with the but once we got comfortable over rol ball we did find that distance cont We did have some minor difficulty for by, ted affec rsely adve not was s) with alignment (making short putt of example, shallowing the angle to the fact that up that ked chal but for fit attack. So there is a direct bene
al' with us putters tend to be a 'visu our that fact the to thing, in addition lly 'fit' demo clubs were not specifica pretty for us. Given more time we're en certain that we could have gott all the es mak h whic in things dialed ing difference when it comes to putt s. gras t shor the on e and confidenc e putts We were definitely making mor near the end of the session. er It's a solid putter - but the putt bag is more than any other club in the re you' time next so , a personal thing ROLL in a shop that carries the TRU you give it a twirl of your own.
the headcover is great, but what my putter really needs is a pair of ear muffs
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GOLF IN THE FAST LANE
The limited edition roadster is from Garia is called the Mansory Currus and it was designed in close collaboration with Mansory, the car customizer famous for customizing luxury super cars such as Bentley, Bugatti, and Ferrari. The Garia Mansory Currus, of which only 7 will be manufactured and available for sale, comes with signature Mansory luxury features such as dashboard in genuine leather, custom seat, and carbon fiber rear body and many other details. For a genuine race car feel, it also comes with an adjustable setting for maximum motor braking and battery regeneration while driving as well as a speed switch with different driving modes called Golf, Street and Race, which adjust top speed and acceleration parameters. These settings are unique to Garia Mansory Currus and not available on any other golf cars currently on the market. It is fitted with lithium batteries for an extended range of up to 60 km and a speed package for increased speeds of up to 60 km/h.
we're gu essing the golf setting would be the slowest? - a nd that it would be used the least? golfscene.ca
THE TARTAN CHAMELEON
The definition of a stroke does not identify anything about anchoring the club to the chest, chin, or forearm.
CAROLANNE DOIG is a member of the Doig Family, Owners of the Seaforth Golf Club.
Let’s quit whining and do something about it! complain about excruciatingly long rounds I’m not talking about the weather because yet nothing seems to be done. The problem is that although slow play in spite of the fact that as Canadians we’re always whining about it, truth be known penalties are issued on occasion at amateur we can’t do a darned thing to change it. The tournaments around the country the pros issue is pace of play, not just with golfers, are seldom held accountable. The penbut with rules officials, golf administrators, alty for slow play, if someone can actually and the powers that be in the upper ech- determine who the slow player is, is two strokes, a hefty penalty for sure whether it’s elons of our great sport. As a former member of town council I am a friendly game with your buddies or a close reminded that policies are not worth the competition for the trophy. A two stroke paper they’re printed on unless someone penalty for a pro has an almost immeasurhas the intestinal fortitude to enforce them. able cost, miss the cut make no money, miss It matters not whether we’re talking about your card make no money, or lose a title and double parking, speeding tickets, unkempt who can measure it? There are paid rules officials on the properties, or rules in golf. Write all you want, quote all you want, but unless rules course during all competitive rounds on the PGA Tour, yet these same rules ofare enforced they mean nothing. ficials armed with their rule books, Take slow play – yes, take it OPINION pace of play guidelines, decisions please – take it right out of the game. According to the rules of golf the books, and stop watches have not issued a player is responsible for not unduly delay- two stroke penalty for slow play in twenty ing play and for playing in accordance with years! On the other hand the LPGA has any pace of play guidelines set out by the chosen to develop a more stringent pace committee. Most golf course operators of play guideline and actually enforce the think that a four hour recreational round is penalty outlined in the original rules of golf. 'reasonable' and Golf Canada must agree as The result has been that several women the Pace of Play sheet on display at our club professionals have suffered the most grievallows for 4 hours and 1 minute. In actual ous of penalties that have had serious implifact we have a multitude of four-balls that cations on the event’s outcome. To almost achieve this time line and still score well everyone’s delight most LPGA rounds have but we also have a multitude that come no- speeded up … so it works! Each of the professional tours has modiwhere near this pace. Remember this pace is for a recreational round with four golf- fied the slow play rule to suit itself someers of varying skill levels in a group! Pros what and this is where it gets confusing. are taking more than five hours! Yes they PGA Tour players are given reasonable pace are playing for bigger bucks and on tougher of play guidelines, are given a warning that courses but remember also that they are they are 'on the clock' and in the end endure playing in three-balls and two-balls and a monetary fine instead of strokes. Frankly, they are the pros! What golfers see on tele- a few thousand dollars has little impact on vision is what they emulate and this is the a player winning millions, but a two stroke problem as both players and fans constantly penalty that might cause him to miss the cut
and make zilch would certainly get everyoneâ€™s attention. The LPGA Tour hands out the two strokes and allows the players less time on their pace of play guidelines. Research showed that The European Tour penalized Ross Fisher only a single stroke for slow play, plus a fine. Different modifications with, as expected, varying results. The game of golf has been played for hundreds of years and the basic goals and objectives have remained the same whereby rules are designed to protect the players and the integrity of the game. However, if the rules are not enforced promptly and consistently it simply causes confusion and apathy. After the slow play penalty of one shot was issued at the Masters to the young Chinese amateur, it made me happy to see that slow play penalties were being enforced. However, although I hate to be cynical, I wonder if a fine might have been issued instead had the player been a professional and not an amateur. The controversy caused by this incident as well as the Tiger Woods water hazard drop only highlights the need for a better understanding of the rules as well as consistent enforcement of them. This brings me to the proposed incoming rule about anchoring the long putter. The long putter has been used by golfers including pros for over twenty years. Players have tampered with shaft lengths and the posture, grip, and stroke that worked best for them. Tournaments including Majors have been won with the long putter. It has been used on every tour around the world and today even some of the younger generation have added it to their equipment. Success with the long putter has resulted in financial success for the equipment companies who are constantly trying to come up with innovative designs that help a player enjoy golf more. Once again, what golfers see on television is what they emulate so the long putter has become an option for amateurs of all calibres and has also allowed many with back problems to continue to play. Now after over twenty years of watching professional golfers, elite amateurs, and run of the mill Sunday morning hackers, use the long putter with varying degrees of success, the powers that be want to remove it based on the premise that itâ€™s not the equipment but how itâ€™s being used that is in violation of our rule book. The definition of a stroke does not identify anything about anchoring the club to the chest, chin, or forearm. In rule 14 it says that the ball must be fairly struck at with the head of the club and must not be pushed, scraped, or spooned. I have not seen any violation of this when watching golfers implement the belly putter or the long putter. Although I disagree with the direction the numerous golf associations are taking on this controversial subject, including the possibility of bifurcation, my main concern is that the longer it takes for the final verdict to be presented, the more confusing and frustrating it will be for golfers at all levels. Waiting a few more years before the 'new rule', if it is approved, actually takes effect makes it even worse. The delay impacts everything from equipment sales to tournament rules to record keeping and ultimately to the plain and simple enjoyment of our game.
!%!""%!"$ %$$ %"
$ $ $ ! # " !
Accessibility the importance of the muni
Thames Valley Golf Club - image courtesy City of London
IN CONVERSATION @robfoster15
GolfScene contributor Rob Foster sat down with the General Manager / Head Golf Professional for the City of London Golf Courses, Steve Bennett, to talk about the golf industry, accessibility at municipal courses and helping a young Mike Weir develop his game prior to becoming a Canadian Golf icon. The City of London Municipal Courses consist of 90 Holes of golf between three golf properties; Thames Valley, Fanshawe Golf Club & River Road Golf Club.
GolfScene (GS): How would you com- bership of $250. We have approximately pare municipal public courses to private 250 junior members in the system today (up 30% since 2010, due in large part to clubs? Steve Bennett (SB): Private courses price adjustments). We have 4 junior have had to be very creative lately to at- camps running in the summer and lestract the 'pre baby-boom' golfer. Where- sons in the winter. However, I find we as private clubs are typically more ex- are really competing with technology. pensive and less accessible, we at the Meaning that we need to get kids on the golf course rather than in front municipal public course are of a TV or a tablet playing video able to satisfy all demographQ&A games. I see this being a big isics and income levels … howsue when it comes to physical ever a large amount of our golfer population is 55 plus in age. In activity and sports. Golf teaches valusome instances golfers have left the pri- able social skills, respect, trust etc … but vate clubs, migrated south for the winter we have to find ways to get more youth and now split their membership dollar exposed to the game! at a Florida club (winter) and here at the public course during the summer. GS: I remember when I was a kid, a lot of juniors would strap their clubs on GS: So you are saying a percentage of their back and ride their bike to the club. golfers you see have decided to forego With you being located in the heart of the private membership to play in the London, do you see this? public system? SB: We see golfers taking bikes and SB: Yes, but there are also members buses to get here … however the city of private clubs that have been members bus does not quite come to the club. We for 30 years with a disposable income to need an expansion of the LTC bus route. support that membership … we will not That would help us. see them moving. Recession or not, a golfer will always be a golfer and find a GS: What is your prediction when facility to play at. Golf is a game for a the 'baby-boomers' are no longer able to lifetime. play? SB: We have more leaving the game GS: What are the London Municipal than those coming in. Golf has always courses doing to make golf more acces- been viewed as the rich person’s game … but the municipal courses are helping sible and capture more junior play. SB: Since I have started with the city to combat that stereotype. Our mandate of London in 2010, we have encouraged here is to be Affordable, Accessible and a strong junior presence. We took a look Amazing - we are still working on the at the price structure and felt we were amazing part. Every business strives for overcharging. Our limited membership this. We would like to get into the Golf now starts at $50 to our full junior mem- in School Programs, however we are still golfscene.ca
Steve Bennett's career in the golf industry started in 1978 in Sarnia at a place called Canterbury Country Club. There he worked under Neil Armstrong who was a linesman in the NHL at the time. In 1981 Canterbury was sold, but he stayed on and became the head golf professional at the age of 23, where he remained for 14 years. Next Steve took the opportunity to become the head pro of the Sarnia Golf and Curling Club where he stayed for 11yrs. In that time Huron Oaks (Semi-Private) went into receivership (2003) and Steve ended up there for 6 years to help rebuild the business. And took the membership to 500 members. In 2010 Steve arrived at Thames Valley Golf Club where he works today.
Steve's biggest business lesson coming from a private facility to a public one is that there are no guarantees in the public realm … members, green fee players, tournaments etc can move easily from year to year if they choose.
Fanshawe Golf Club
working on a good business plan moving forward. There has been a lot of focus on our River Road property to ensure financial stability. It’s getting better!
GS: Steve you have been in the in-
dustry for over 35 years. What do you see as the biggest change? SB: (insert laughter) Where do you want to start?
GS: Let’s start with accessibility. SB: More accessible to the point
where we are over-saturated. Too many options and not enough golfers. When River Road GC was built in 1992, the industry was in a mode of thinking … 'build it and they will come' and it had some success. Everyone was building golf courses. Today think of the industry as a 'Pie' - how is it going to get cut? And who will get the largest piece? There is a lot of choice for the consumer today. Pricing is getting to the point where operators are dropping discounting without a plan. The question remains … if I drop the price, will I gain that back plus a profit in volume? The savvy operators know their customers, know when people are playing, and what inspires them to be loyal. Unfortunately for course operators, we have 'giving golf away' for the same price we were charging 15 years comparing what we paid for the green fee has become the game within the game
ago. And as a result we are seeing a lot of courses cutting expenses to stay profitable. We are asking our staff to do a lot more for the same money.
GS: Do you find that the London market is saturated with courses? SB: Yes but we need to find a way to set ourselves apart from the competitor. We need to do this through value added programs and be price appropriate. The city with multiple courses in 2012 did 128,000 rounds of golf. GS: What is your view on coupon-
SB: Don’t agree with it! The city is in the NGCOA Redbook which, as a member, we are proud to support. But we don’t do couponing as a general rule, rather I would like to enhance the customer experience by giving them something … the perceived value is what customers are assessing. One of our biggest programs was our 'Early Bird' membership drive in the fall of 2012. Ultimately, you need to understand your customer and know what will inspire them to be loyal to your business. We need to get the story out that we are at the grass roots of the industry helping to keep golf affordable and accessible. We are the 'Foot Soldiers' of the industry. As a municipal public facility our purpose is to help golfers GolfScene TM
grow within the game and perhaps be a member of a private club someday. We are the starting point of golf. It is my belief that we are the 'staple' of the community to grow golf for the private clubs in the area. But as I mentioned earlier, this is also contingent on disposable income and the almighty entertainment dollar. The Mike Weir Connection
GS: At what point where you intro-
duced to Mike Weir? How did that relationship develop? SB: I met Mike in 1981 at Huron Oaks, he was 11 years old. He eventually worked in the back shop and as a range attendant at the club. He wanted to learn the game. At the age of 14 he told me that he wanted to play on the PGA tour. As a golf professional I started teaching him the game and we have developed a great friendship over the years. He left for BYU (Brigham Young University) to pursue a golf scholarship … I traveled with him in his college years. Looking back I did not realize how strong minded he was. He had goals. He asked a lot of questions. His committment to the game was exceptional at a young age to the point where he was on the range most of the day hitting balls, then he would chip and putt at night and his Mom would bring
him dinner … he knew what he wanted. When he left for college, I said no matter what make sure you get a good education. He looked at me and said, “Pro, it won’t matter I’m gonna play on the PGA tour” Mike simply wanted to learn and we communicated well. “We just clicked … he understood me and I understood him” Get the ball in the hole as quick as possible - that is the whole key to golf.
GS: The Masters this year (10th anniversary of the win) must have been very special for Mike and a lot of Canadians. SB: It still seems like yesterday that Mike won the Masters and most people can still say, “On April 13th, 2003… I remember where I was watching the tournament” Through Mike, the Masters has allowed me to meet people from all around the world. The game
of golf has brought us together. At the Masters I’m the house chef for Mike and his guests for the week. I love it!
GS: Through your access at the Masters, what has been your biggest 'brush with greatness?' SB: Several celebrities have come to the house. Musician Tom Cochrane, baseball legend Joe Carter to mention a couple but the biggest thrill for me was when Mike won the Masters in 2003 … we entered the Butler Cabin and I had the opportunity to meet William 'Hootie' Johnson (Former Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club). When proceeding through the reception line I introduced myself to Hootie as Mike’s golf pro at Huron Oaks where Mike grew up as a junior … he looked at me straight in the eye and said “You should be so proud”. That is something I will always remember.
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GS: It says a lot about Mike’s character to include you in his Masters experience after all these years ... SB: Mike hasn’t changed. He is the exact same person after all these years. He is a dear friend.
GREEN SIDE UP
Mother Nature Can be a Real... Um Challenge
TOM MARGETTS is a soil and turf consultant. He was a Golf Course Superintendent for 11 years, holds a Diploma in Horticulture from the University of Guelph in addition to being a licensed Technicial Agrologist and a certified independent agronomist. @tommargetts
'Golfer' hat can't wait to get on the course, There is a lot of technology that goes into doesn't think about the weather from two managing turf on a golf course. There are a lot of techniques and strategies we as profes- days ago and wants respectable playing conditions always. Oh yeah, and It sional Turf Managers use to whip also has me complaining about the our course into shape as quickly as TURF weather. possible. Creating a plan and implementing it in a proactive way is a I believe as effective Superintendents we good recipe for success in most cases. However, there is one teeny tiny ... well actually must do our best to understand both perspectives and continuously wear both hats. really big variable and that is the weather. Many golf courses opened later than they As a Turf Professional I try to consciously originally expected this spring. My 'Golfer' wear two hats. My 'Turf ' hat and my 'Golfer' hat is still expecting the same conditions that hat. My 'Turf ' hat has me concerned about I received last year at this time regardless of the turf day and night, looking for effective the comparison in the weather. My 'Turf ' hat strategies to provide the best experience to is trying to get the course in shape, but also the golfer, protect the asset which is the golf realizes that this spring has not even been course and complain about the weather. My comparable to last year and Mother Nature
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wish they would have told me they'd be aerating these greens when I booked my discount online six weeks ago
My 'Golfer' hat wants to take a cart, would prefer nothing is aerated (although I do understand the importance) and putt on fast greens.
has been a real... um challenge lately. My 'Golfer' hat wants to take a cart, would prefer nothing is aerated (although I do understand the importance) and putt on fast greens. My 'Turf ' hat is praying on my knees for four consistent days of warm weather to raise soil temperatures and start growing grass. You can have all the technology and tricks but nothing really happens until the soil temperatures increase and Mother Nature makes that decision. As a 'Golfer' I will continuously try to appreciate the challenges of the weather and the effort my Maintenance Staff does to prepare the golf course. With my 'Turf ' hat I will always try to be aware of the impact on the golf course and the golfer. Consistency is an important goal Turf Professionals strive for in an inconsistent environment where Mother Nature can be a real ... um challenge.
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G A M E
I M P R O V E M E N T Dave Smallwood
PGA of Canada Director of Instruction ▪ 28 Year member of the CPGA ▪ Ontario Tournament Director Maple Leaf Junior Tour ▪ Swing Coach University of Waterloo Mens Golf Team ▪ Head Coach Whistle Bear Junior PerformanceTeam
KNOW YOUR #s Hey golfers! It is great to see that the weather has warmed up and the practice facilities are getting busier, but I'm curious ... are you working on the correct parts of your game? As coach of Whistle Bear's junior team and when working with touring professionals we always have a plan. One of issues we focus on is to actively assess and target the weaker areas of an individual's game. From here we can start to lower scores. Here are our issues. 1. How do we know what areas of our game are the weak areas? 2. How do we tell how weak these areas of our game are? To find the answer we have to find the key elements that make up the game of golf and we have to find a way to measure and track these elements. The parts of the game that are the most commonly tracked are, •
GREENS IN REGULATION
PUTTS PER ROUND
SCRAMBLING (SAND SAVES & UP AND DOWNS)
Once the categories are in place, how do we measure each one? First you have to track these stats during or after each round. We are fortunate that in today's age there are software applications that will calculate our findings and give us results. Once we start to track these stats and enter enough rounds we will begin to see a trend and with some averages will have something to compare these stats to. Here are some tour leaders. •
FAIRWAYS HIT 73.13%
GREENS IN REGULATION 71.96%
PUTTS PER ROUND 27.24%
SCRAMBLING (SAND SAVES& UP AND DOWNS) 72.46%
These are the stats of the best players in the world but it should help you to set your own standards and allow you to target the areas of your game that need the most attention to improve your scoring. My professional staff and I would be thrilled to help you assess the areas that need improvement in your game. We can also help improve your mechanics as well as outline a practice schedule and necessary drills to help you on the path to lower scores. IF YOUR SERIOUS ABOUT YOUR GAME COME SEE US AT THE GPC
ON THE SCENE
Photos : Steve Woods
IMAGES & ASIDES
BLACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD AN AFTERNOON AT MODERN GOLF
ASIDE In this crazy game, most would agree just keeping the ball in play is challenge enough. Add to that the challenges of keeping up with the ever changing equipment technology and you've got an increasingly complex conundrum to solve and resolve nowadays. Yet, answers to these questions are precisely what helps us to keep that little white ball in play we suppose - and or keep it in the air a little longer. In a single afternoon at Modern Golf it's safe to say we accomplished both. And all without changing a thing our swing. To suggest Modern golf is just another fitting facility would require an asterisk* - this is about as advanced an operation as we've seen - anywhere. Completely brand agnostic, the goal of the Modern Golf team is to match any player (of any ability) with the equipment that best works for them. The process is to demonstrate results. Selling clubs is secondary, although be warned, it will be very tempting once you've seen the results. Not to mention the uber-cool custom options / finishes they have available. It's the ideal blend of show and sell without any of the retail pressure. Basically, you pay for an analysis of your swing and with that information you decide how to proceed. It's an investment in unbiased knowledge. Which in our books is a whole lot better safer than relying on somebody's agenda and or HOT LIST. * 13,000 square feet of game improvement technology in an urban style environment - where every tiny detail has been addressed right down to the receptionist's Scottish accent
ON THE SCENE : INSIDE MODERN GOLF
First things first - getting an assessment of the clubs currently in the bag. This was interesting in the sense that many of our current sets base numbers were 'off' and inconsistent. Modern Golf calls this the BLUEPRINT. After the fitting process you will also receive a file called the PRESCRIPTION. This is the fix, the changes that will provide optimum results. In our case, an 8 yard increase in distance was quickly found with a newer (cavity supported) 6 iron. On the driver side we were working off of a current model and a 'fitted' club, yet were still able to find moderate distance gains and, more importantly, better dispersion yields via shaft change and its effective decrease to spin rates.
The final step in the process is the build shop - where even the smallest details garner big time attention. These guys have just about everything but the lab coats - no experimenting going on here though, just getting it absolutely right. To suggest the clubs that leave the shop are technically sound would be an understatement. And they can customize everything and anything - including changing the finish on drivers and irons etc - making it the ideal place to create a truly unique set of clubs.
Housed in the trendy 13,000 square foot facility are no less than 3 full size hitting bays. Trackman handles the calculations while expert fitters challenge the numbers as well as the traditional conventions ... Case in point - during our fitting a shorter driver shaft was suggested and tested - basic math would predict that shorter length shafts produce less clubhead speed and subsequent losses in distance - all true, and exactly why the standard driver shaft length has increased over the years, but what has that got to with smash factor? - well, everything and nothing. Even with 460cc drivers hitting the sweet spot is still critical nowadays and terms like smash factor, spin rate, and effective loft will make much of a difference than the things you can tweak with a wrench. And any single change to any of the individual elements effects all of the others simultaneously. Which is an extremely important bit of knowledge to remember the next time you decide to make changes without crunching the numbers.
PLACES TO PLAY 124 11
Muskoka Lakes Bracebridge Gravenhurst
As golfers, we are very lucky to be
Owen Sound Southampton
living within a region with so many great
get out and PLAY!
New and old. Parkland or links. Private and public. There is something for everyone - letâ€™s
Kitchener Hamilton QEW
Niagara Falls 21
Fort Erie Port Colborne
check out some of the great regional options on the next page
â–ş and online as more courses are being added ...
PLACES TO PLAY Here at GolfScene we know - what all of those self-titled social media experts are still learning - that it is less about the how than it is about the why and where ... so the why part is simple - you love this game - and the where part is, well, RIGHT HERE
HIGHLANDS THE HIGHLANDS COURSE at the Horseshoe Resort boasts spectacular views of rolling hills and lush grass which compliment the championship course's challenging design. Home to professional events such as the 2006 Canadian Tour Championship, the par 71 layout consistently ranks among the top courses in the province.
CARDINAL GOLF CLUB is Canada’s largest golf facility, with 72 holes of golf including: three 18 hole championship courses, an 18 hole executive course, large driving range, 18 hole mini-putt, C.P.G.A. staffed Golf Academy, and two unique Clubhouses. Cardinal Golf Club is sure to exceed your expectations.
VALLEY THE VALLEY COURSE at Horsehoe Resort is an 18 hole, 6,202 yard layout with a 71 par and 131 slope. The perfect mix of challenging holes and playability make the Valley Course an ejoyable experience for all levels of player. Add to that an incredibly picturesque environment and you have the makings of a memorable round.
KING’S FOREST is located in the heart of the picturesque Red Hill Valley and at the foot of the Niagara Escarpment. Without a doubt one of the premier public golf facilities in the province and, subsequently, also one of the busiest, averaging 42,000 rounds annually over the last five years.
LOWVILLE is central to Burlington, Oakville, Milton, Hamilton and Mississauga. Built along the Niagara Escarpment, the course has many panoramic vistas and views. Lowville Golf Club blends natural beauty with a challenging 18 hole layout. The Toronto Star’s ‘Bogey Man’, gave it most scenic and most improved club honours.
CITY OF HAMILTON
KING'S FOREST BRAEBEN is, in simplest terms – beyond expectations. The highlands links inspired 18 hole championship design boasts an overall imprint and attention to detail that can only be fully appreciated in person. A unique golfing experience, the City of Mississauga run BraeBen is as comprehensive a full-service public facility as you will find.
THE GOLF CLUB AT LORA BAY, nestled in the Blue Mountains, overlooking Georgian Bay, offers a playable round of golf that pays tribute to historic rural Ontario. Designed by the PGA Tour's, Tom Lehman and renowned Canadian Architect, Thomas McBroom, it was sculpted to inspire players both visually and technically.
KING’S FOREST is located in the heart of the picturesque Red Hill Valley and at the foot of the Niagara Escarpment. Without a doubt one of the premier public golf facilities in the province and, subsequently, also one of the busiest, averaging 42,000 rounds annually over the last five years.
CHEDOKE CHEDOKE is home to two wonderful city run 18-hole public courses (Martin & Beddoe). These mature, tree lined layouts are both nestled into the rolling parkland landscape of the stunning Niagara Escarpment. Location, location, location ... just five minutes from downtown Hamilton and easily accessible off Highway 403 at Aberdeen Avenue.
LEGENDS ON THE NIAGARA
BATTLEFIELD WHIRLPOOL GOLF COURSE is one of Canada’s most highly rated and renowned public golf courses. Designed by famous golf course architect Stanley Thompson, the course officially opened on July 2, 1951. By mid-1980 this enduring classic, consistently rated one of the best public courses in Canada, course had seen its onemillionth player.
CAMBRIDGE GOLF CLUB is an inviting, golfer-friendly, 18 hole facility that is always well managed and manicured to ensure a consistently great golf experience. Come in and check out the renovations to the clubhouse. At Cambridge, we are always finding ways to improve the facility and make your next round even more enjoyable.
ELMIRA is located just outside Elmira in a quiet country setting approximately 15 minutes north of Waterloo. Situated in the Eldale Valley, the course rolls gently across the picturesque country-side, creating unique views from every tee deck. It’s the sort of place that reminds you why you play this game ... and leaves a yearning to return.
CROSSWINDS provides a majestic natural setting that takes you away from the hustle and bustle of today’s modern world. This 18-hole championship layout is designed to challenge the lowest handicapper while rewarding a novice’s shot-making skills. Choose the correct tee blocks and Crosswinds will provide the test you’re looking for.
BATTLEFIELD, on the north side of the Legends on the Niagara property, is Architect Douglas Carrick's unique and challenging creation. Host to the 2004 Canadian Women's Open, Battlefield features fairways that sweep across a gently contoured countryside, providing breathing from the tee and on approaches to the greens.
COPETOWN WOODS represents not only one of the newest championship courses in south-western Ontario, but also one of the finest. The meticulous condition of the course, and the yester-year beauty of the Victorian-style clubhouse provide old world charm. The facility is consistently ranked among the top golfing values in all of Ontario.
OAKVILLE EXECUTIVE is a 36 hole facility which runs adjacent to the scenic Sixteen Mile creek and valley. Both of which enhance an already beautiful natural landscape. 10 strategically placed ponds and 90 bunkers line the fairways and guard the greens making both Angel's View and Mystic Ridge formidable challenges and a joys to play.
SAWMILL CREEK is located 5 minutes from the sandy shores of Lake Huron in Camlachie, Ontario featuring 18 holes of championship links style golf on impecably manicured bent grass tees, greens, and fairways. Our world class facility features overnight accomodations, practice range, spa retreat, and 3 superb dining venues.
USSHER'S CREEK USSHER'S CREEK, on the south side, is one of Tom McBroom's finest masterpieces. You'll encounter thick stands of deciduous trees, wetland hazards, knee-high fescue, and impeccable conditioning from tee to green. A great mix of holes and numerous tee to green challenges ensures every shot is a memorable one.
HIDDEN LAKE is a 36 hole semi-private facility that offers the public an opportunity to play the course of their choice. Golfers are split between the traditional charm of the Old Course and the nouveau stylings of the New Course. Both courses have been painstakingly sculpted to create interesting and demanding contours. Challenge awaits.
SEAFORTH GOLF CLUB is a mature and challenging golf course, with the rich tradition of hospitality and friendliness of small town Ontario. The course is located on 100 unspoiled, un-crowded and uncommonly beautiful acres in the heart of southwestern Ontario.
OTTER CREEK is located just 20 minutes from Woodstock. The stunning layout is deceptively hilly with several holes cut across the picturesque and wooded valleys of Otter, Cedar and Spittler Creeks. At just over 7,100 yards and with six sets of tees, the course plays to every golfer’s ability. Book your tee time today!
PLACES TO PLAY
There's little doubt that any one golf course operator can offer as much affordable golf with as many options in the area as GolfNorth. More courses to play, more membership options, tournaments, weddings, banquets, etc - Serving up some of the very best semi-private and daily fee golf value right now, RIGHT HERE, AND HERE, AND THERE
ACTON GOLF CLUB was founded in 1968 and is an attractive course neatly tucked away on the edge of the Niagara Escarpment. The course plays through mature stands of oak, birch, maple and pine trees and was expanded to 18 holes in 1998.
BROOKFIELD COUNTRY CLUB has been a local favourite for many years. Three challenging 9 hole courses offer multiple options for an 18 hole round. Brookfield is built on rolling terrain, so you might find some uneven lies and each shot poses a new shot selection. The fairways are wide, but water hazards come into play on 23 of 27 of them.
PARIS GRAND COUNTRY CLUB is only 15 minutes from the 401 and 403. Situated on a beautiful property bordering the Grand River, the course was redesigned by Azinger and Associates and is unparalleled in the area. Large greens, Ohio sand bunkers and bent grass tees and fairways offers the golfer an exceptional golfing experience.
BEAVERDALE GOLF CLUB is located eight kilometres north of the 401. A unique golfing experience, the course offers mature, well-treed fairways and has water in play on half of the holes. Beaverdale provides a challenge for golfers of every skill level and at 4759 yards the design demands shots of accuracy rather than length.
BURFORD GOLF LINKS is a quality 18 hole layout with a friendly atmosphere at an affordable price. Enjoy the challenge of this Par 71 design through both wooded and open areas. After your round, stay for a drink and some delicious food served at the Fairwayâ€™s Restaurant patio or lounge.
RIVER EDGE is a 9 hole public golf course designed by John F. Robinson with a championship attitude. Exquisitely maintained, River Edge offers golfers of a superlative golfing experience in the 21/2 hour range. Minutes from the 401 in Kitchener, RiverEdge is surrounded by mature forest & unspoiled wetlands providing a sanctuary from city life.
BRANT VALLEY is a 5,493 yard championship layout nestled among rolling terrain that provides a unique experience for golfers of all abilities. Fairchild's Creek winds its way throughout the property and challenges players on 12 of the 18 holes. Elevation changes throughout add to the challenge and beauty of the course.
CALERIN GOLF CLUB is a 9 hole Doug Carrick design that is a real hidden treasure in the Niagara Escarpment. With two completely separate tee boxes, Calerin plays like a full 18. Fairways are first class at this course, as are the greens. There is an ample smattering of oddly shaped sand traps to watch out for throughout the course.
SCENIC WOODS GOLF CLUB is situated on the beautiful Niagara escarpment, just above Stoney Creek. The course offers an escape into the countryside, while being but a few minutes from the city. Designed by Rene Muylaert, Scenic Woods is a mature course, comprised of tree-lined fairways, intersected by the meandering Twenty Mile Creek.
CANTERBURY GOLF CLUB is situated on the shore of Lake Scugog in the residential community of Canterbury Common. This Doug Carrick designed 9 hole course is Port Perry's most beautiful golf course. Ohio white sand bunkers and water hazards line the perimeters of fairways and greens to challenge players not at the top of their game.
CONESTOGA COUNTRY CLUB is a facility that features a number of attractive amenities including 27 holes of golf - being the main attraction. Professionally designed, Conestoga offers some of the most picturesque scenery anywhere in the province, along with lush rolling fairways and beautifully manicured greens.
FOXWOOD GOLF CLUB is a 27-hole facility located in Baden just 15 minutes from downtown Waterloo. It boasts an upscale practice range, putting green, chipping and bunker area. Considered one of the best in the region, there is a unique mix of holes over the vast layout, which proves to be a challenging experience for golfers of all levels.
MYSTIC GOLF CLUB
MYSTIC GOLF CLUB is a little different. And more than a little special. Located in Ancaster, Mystic broke the mold for daily fee golf in Ontario. Rather than trying to shoehorn a course between rows of fairway homes, or even selling a name architect, Mystic instead offers a unique experience for the serious, passionate golfer. A true test awaits.
CEDAR CREEK'S most prominent feature is a winding creek that manages to affect shot making on four of the courseâ€™s nine holes. In addition to the water, large bunkers filled with Ohio sand have been strategically placed throughout the course making Cedar Creek a place where accurate shot making is required for a good score.
DUNDEE COUNTRY CLUB has provided golfers of the Kitchener/Waterloo area with a dignified combination of scenic atmosphere and challenging golf since 1970. Thanks to almost four decades of maturation, Dundee is graced by many large and beautiful trees which provide both shelter and hazard for most of the 6,357 yards.
GREY SILO GOLF COURSE presents golfers with 18 breathtaking holes of championship golf. The links styled course has gained an outstanding reputation and respect from players of all abilities. The Grand River coupled with an unspoiled environment creates a setting for the game that is unprecedented.
OLIVER'S NEST is a championship 18-hole Graham Cooke designed course and practice facility. Built in 1996, the course and winds through 130 acres of gently rolling hills, among stands of century old cedar, oak, ash and pines. This picturesque course provides every level of golfer with a challenging, yet fair game of golf.
COBBLE HILLS is a hidden gem in Southwestern Ontario that rests upon 110 acres of gently rolling terrain, weaving its way through majestic pine forests. The property boasts spectacular views of London to the southwest and stunning vistas of Oxford County to the southeast. Minutes east of London, Cobble Hills is an inviting getaway.
FERGUS GOLF CLUB offers 9 quietly sequestered holes laid out over 3160 yards. The course begins with 4 relatively open holes with few hazards, where golfers can usually extricate themselves from trouble. By the 3rd hole however, golfers must have their games settled for here the course tightens up significantly as it enters the trees.
KING'S BAY is a superb semi-private 3301-yard, 9-hole golf course located 10 minutes north of scenic Port Perry, in the town of Seagrave. Designed by Kevin Holmes, King's Bay opened its doors to the public in 2001 and is a design that can be enjoyed by players of all skill levels and presents a formidable test from the right tees.
ORANGEVILLE GOLF CLUB can be found nestled in the Credit River Valley. The 2800 yard design offers every challenge one could ask for while acommodating every caliber of player who visits. Each hole of the 2800 yard course is well framed by large, matured trees. Large, undulating greens make putting an enjoyable challenge.
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Good enough for the world’s best golfer, good enough for us we suppose. Nike’s free inspired footwear gets a few tweaks to the tech (and already has a tour win). But more importantly for us is the continuing evolution of golf from ho-hum recreational activity to full fledged sport. As for the FREES - the Nike TW’14s are designed to mimic and conform to the natural motion of the foot while still delivering all the protection and traction of a performance golf shoe. The innovative outsole allows close contact with the ground and promotes a better harnessing of the energy between the foot and ground. On the flipside, the new upper features improved ventilation delivering increased breathability. On a style note, these don't exactly go well with pants, but then again we're not playing on the PGA Tour so shorts will work (and look) just fine.
LIGHTER STRONGER FASTER
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THE AWESOME PACK 10 ROUNDS AT ONE OF ONTARIO'S FINEST
10 PACK OF AWESOME
Enter to win a 10 pack of complimentary green fees to one of Ontario's finest championship courses (home to Nationwide and Telus skins events). The Golf Club at Lora Bay is located minutes from Collingwood making it a perfect spot for entertaining an ultimate stay and play getaway. Plan to bring the family or just the boys (or just the gals). Or, if you're local, you could always opt to keep them all to yourself and, having played the McBroom / Lehman design, we would totally understand. Any which way it's a win, win, win, win, win, win, win, win, win, and win.
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NO MORE SAUCE? To no surprise the rules makers, in their infinite wisdom, have decided that the 'Saucer Pass' style of chipping made famous by Canadian golf pro, and founder of Kikkor Golf, James Lepp is in fact now illegal. We thought Lepp's response via Twitter summed things up perfectly. @jameslepp: It's true. Saucer pass deemed illegal by governing bodies. Thankfully, fun, birdies, and cart girls still allowed ... for now. #GoodRun
ok, back to whatever else I wasn't doing
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THE GIRLS ARE BACK IN TOWN! EXPERIENCE ALL THE EXCITEMENT AS THE MANULIFE FINANCIAL LPGA CLASSIC RETURNS TO WATERLOO! Last year’s inaugural Manulife Financial LPGA Classic was the event of the summer in Waterloo, and players and spectators can’t wait for the 2013 tournament. Catch all the excitement as the top names in women’s golf including Stacy Lewis, Yani Tseng and Canada’s own Lorie Kane compete for the title once again at beautiful Grey Silo Golf Course. Children 15 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult. Tickets are going fast, so purchase yours today!