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• Baja Golf • Monterey Pines Golf Club • Thailand: Golf and Much More! • Make New Friends, Keep the Old • Golf Oddities Worldwide • Branson Golf • Newest Golf Products • And, Much Much More!
GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
The Magazine of the West
On The Cover May/June 2011: PRE-PURCHASE DISCOUNTS ARE NORM for the challenges of the Great Recession, and no one does it better than TimberCreek Golf Course. It’s like buying airline tickets months in advance to save as much as 50%. Only with golf rates, you get discounts based on days, not months. Advance rate for greens fees are the way to go these days! Even more substantial are discounts given for booking tee times 5 to 7 days in advance. Visit GolfToday.TimberCreekGC.com if you want to save big bucks. Bob Koczor, Publisher/Editor, Golf Today Magazine See Page 23 of this edition for more on TimberCreek Golf Course.
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Bob’s Review of New Golf Products by Bob Koczor
by Mike Hamiel, California Golf Writers Assoc.
The Golf Explorer: Monterey Pines Navy and Public Golf Club by Hal Gevertz
Golf Fest Swings Into Vegas June 9-10 At Angel Park Golf Club Big Sky Country Bucket List by Steve Snyders
Northstar Offers Packages For Summer Thailand: Golf and Much More! by Bob Fagan
Silver and Gold: Make New Friends and Keep the Old by Bill Nestor
Sevillano Links at Rolling Hills Casino Announces Spring Stay & Play Package Hottest Place In North America Will Host Heatstroke Open Golf Tournament Time to Cover Up Before You Tee It Up More Golf Oddities From Around The World
by Mike Hamiel, member California Golf Writers Association
GCSANC Heads Up, Hands On Demo Day Set for La Rinconada CC Branson Golf — A Pleasure To Treasure by Bob Fagan
Surprising Dublin Ranch by Terry VanderHeiden
What To Look For In 2011: These Drivers Will Improve Your Distance Game Substantially! by Barry Lotz
4 GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
Bob’s Review of New Golf Products w Bob Koczor
f you or someone you know has a new golf product or golf service, contact Bob Koczor, Publisher/Editor, at 661-823-7842 or at bob@GolfTodayMagazine.com. Golf Today Magazine, now in its 24th year, provides custom-made promotions to great success! Frogger BrushPro A couple years ago, I wrote a review in this golf magazine about what I considered, then, the best of the best clubface and spike cleaners. Without any doubt, even on the back burners of my mind, I chose the Frogger BrushPro for the top of the totem pole when it comes to such auxiliary aids which help one’s game in play and satisfaction. Now, two years later, I’m even more convinced that BrushPro is miles above any of its competitors on the market today. Chosen as “Best New Product” at the 2008 P G A Me rch a n d i s e Show in Orlando, FL, the Frogger BrushP r o
As a start, BrushPro features an ultra-mod ergonomic design intended not just for good looks, which it has!, but for making sure that cleaning clubfaces is effortless and quick. This should not be a yeoman’s job. While faster and easy-to-use are virtues, the results must be there, as well. And results are what it’s all about in golf, as with BrushPro which comes equipped with two interchangeable brushes and groove cleaners. These are not flimsy and cheap “5 Cent Store” items. One BrushPro brush features a duallayer head using nylon and bronze bristles which eliminate dirt on the club face, guaranteed. A second brush head consists of 100% nylon which is intended for cleaning your forged club. (Take care of them and they will take care of you!) Replacement of the brushes is with a snap of the finger ease and timing, by simply sliding
t h e brushes in and out. Pronto! No hassle! Frogger BrushPro What I especially conlike is the retinues to be heralded topmost by tractable lanyard which means golfers themselves and by retail and never having to say you lost the discount stores which provide this clubface or cleat cleaner. BrushPro Ferrari in a world of Model T’s. is always there, a pull away from Why so? your golf bag or the golf cart! For You only have to look at it and your spikes/cleats, almighty imhold the BrushPro to know that portant to keep clean, BrushPro you have something very special to features a retractable locking groove help ensure that you get maximum cleaner that is a no-fuss durable backspin, distance and accuracy. extra tool that is always there when Cleaning your clubfaces counts you need it. not only when you do clean them, Say goodbye, as I’ve done for the but more so when you use that tool past two years, to dirt and debris on which works the best. clubfaces, grooves and shoe spikes WWW.GOLFTODAYMAGAZINE.COM
so that you can hit farther and more accurate shots for lower scores and more enjoyable rounds. All this for only $19.95. For more information on the BrushPro, visit www.froggergolf. com. Greens Speedreader How many hundreds of times have we seen our golf ball rolling towards the hole on the green, only to run out of gas several feet before the expected ‘plop!’? It’s as many times as we’ve seen our putt shift into ‘passing’ gear as it nears and passes the hole . This is all about reading the greens, knowing as precisely as possible whether at that particular time you’re putting, if the greens are fast or slow before you putt. The Green SpeedReader is a new handheld aid that simply unfolds, and then is extended into a 30-degree ramp. How does it work? First, you place a mark or a tee in the ground at the end of the ramp on a level part of the green. Then you release a golf ball at the top of the ramp and simply let it roll downwards from the ramp and onto the green.
Bob Koczor You can now measure the distance of the ball where it lies backwards to the end of the ramp marker. The Greens SpeedReader opens up to a measurer with inch marks of 24” with which you can measure the distance from the end of the ramp to the exact location of the ball(s). This information then is compared to the Speed Guide Chart on the back of the Greens SpeedReader. Thus, 8’ or more would translate to fast, while 1-to-4’ would mean slow greens. There are three other guidelines for reading the greens. To learn more about the different reasons why some golf greens are fast and others are slow, visit www. greenspeedreader.com for free golf instructions and home practice drills. If you get to read greens accurately, you will have several strokes off your game. Wonder Girl This new golf book may well be the definitive biography of Babe Didrikson Zaharias who, without almost any debate, was the greatest continued on page 6 ❱
OWN YOUR OWN GOLF MAGAZINE!
24-Year-Old Successful Golf Magazine is EXPANDING. License to publish available in various U.S. areas/states. Golf Today Magazine has the highest of great reputation, solidly successful, and is well-respected in the Golf Industry. Your experience should include golf and solid at sales. Be your own boss completely. No limit to your success. We will not let you fail, since your success is our success. This is a longterm professional career opportunity as Publisher/Editor/Owner.
Visit GolfTodayMagazine.com or call Bob at (661) 823-7842 GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
Bob’s Review of New Golf Products ❰ continued from page 5
female athlete in modern times. Some even say the greatest athlete of all time! Babe shattered stereotypes on whatever sports field she found herself. And off the field. She proved herself the best repeatedly in basketball baseball, tennis, swimming and especially golf. Men refused to compete with her, having witnessed her success in competition against other men. Babe won two golf medals and a silver medal at the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, later becoming the first women to play in the PGA and becoming one of the founders of the LPGA.
Babe won more consecutive tournaments than any other golfer in history. And the list of her accomplishments continues almost without end. If you’re looking for a book which inspires, this is it. And I’m talking about inspiration for men, as well. “Wonder Girl,” with a release date of June 1st, is authored by Don Van Natta Jr., who also wrote the New York Times Bestseller “First Off the Tee.” Publisher is Little, Brown & Company. The magnificent sporting life of Babe Zaharias will continue to inspire well past this century.
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Green Monsters Bamboo Tees Visit www.froggergolf.com. A tee box can be an unsightly place, with broken tees scattered as Best Selling Golf Bag Named though part of a war scene. Sun Mountain has the highest Day by day, however, golfers are market share in golf bags, accordcleaning up their act by using less ing to Golf Datatech’s annual retail and less tees, thanks to tees which market share report for 2010. The don’t know the word “break”. report includes sales in carry bags You won’t find any Frogger Green and cart bags, at on-course and offMonsters Tees on the battlefield of course golf specialty shops. the tee box because they’re made “We’rev extremely proud of evof bamboo, which is seven times eryone on the team, from design stronger than wood. to production to shipping to cusThese tough tees, by Frogger, tomer service and sales, for pulling also stand out in the crowd since together to earn Sun Mountain’s they’re “greener” –meaning that, spot as the top selling brand of golf being made of bamboo, they are bags,” said Ed Kowachek, President replenished 10 times faster than of Sun Mountain. hardwood trees (and tees!). This is not the only good news Greens Monsters Tees are milled the company has received so far so that the grain of the bamboo in 2011. Earlier this month, Sun runs vertically from cup to tip. This Mountain was named “Best Golf makes each tee stronger and longer- Bag Brand” following months of lasting. An eco-friendly coating consumer voting on About.com. then is applied to each tee in order According to the Golf Datatto bolster the tee’s durability ech annual market share and longevity. report, Sun Mountain Superintendents like bamis the top selling golf boo tees because its bag brand with a 16.5% natural starches share of sales. Breakhelp decompoing the numbers sition quickly. down, Sun MounThey also like tain has a 20.4% the idea of a deshare of sales at creased number on-course shops of broken tees scatand 14.7% at tered around their off-course course. golf specialSmall Green ty stores. Monsters T h e Tees are called report “ N u b b i e s ” Sun Mountain Golf Bags showed since they are that on the whole, super short in size, ie. 1 1/8th” tees. golf bag sales were down 1.67% in The two other sizes are 2 3/4th” 2010 compared to 2009, while Sun high and 3 1/4th” high. Mountain’s share of sales increased Why cut down more trees to by 0.7%. continued on page 32 ❱ make weaker tees?
THE WILDHAWK PLAYERS ASSOCIATION is sponsoring a Charity Golf Tournament on Friday, June 24th for the Wounded Warrior Project.
Contact Deane Hammitt at 916-361-8631, or at firstname.lastname@example.org
w Mike Hamiel, California Golf Writers Assoc. national Airport and twenty miles from Cabo San Lucas. San Jose is the larger of the two Cabos and offers a comfortable blend of the Old and the New in architecture, services and amenities. The downtown church and the plaza are the focal points of Old Town. The beach is lined with modern resort hotels
continued on page 8 ❱
and railroads or so much shoreline without ports and power lines. In the narrow center, the weather changes to be more humid due to altitude. It is in this area where a few valleys can be found, such as Valle de Guadalupe, the major wine producer area in all of Mexico. Since its discovery, when it was thought to be an island, Baja has changed little until the last half
rock in the world looms, it’s a spectacular sight that’s really worth seeing, close by is a beautiful golden sand beach called lover’s beach that can only be reached by boat. Cabo is also where you can experience deep-sea fishing, or join up for a whale watching tour out of the town’s huge marina with hundreds of boats berthed at dozens of docks. John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Bogey, Paul Newman and many other Hollywood stars were frequent anglers in these waters. San Jose Del Cabo is located ten miles south of the Los Cabos Inter-
and a golf course. The small but busy public market abounds with fresh fruits, vegetables and juices. A small group of American golf writers were invited down to check out the golf, lets take a look at our first course, The Palmilla Golf Club, 27 holes at the One&Only
aja, Mexico, poetically of the 20th Century. The tip of n a me d “ L a nd s End ” Baja has two towns, also called ‘the stretches two Cabos’. Cabo from the border at San Lucas is at the Tijuana for 1000 fabled tip where the miles to Cabo San Sea of Cortez and Lucas. You can fly the Pacific meet. in, take a boat or for The town is geared the adventuresome, to the visiting tourdrive down. The “Baja ists from all over the 1000” off road yearly world, shopping, race that started in arts and crafts, eatMike Hamiel 1967 makes the drive ing, drinking and even more interestentertainment. A ing. Probably nohighlight of your where else in the habitable world is stay is a boat trip out to where the there so much land without roads most photographed natural arch
T h e S m a r t - E is an elegant and sophisticated battery powered push-cart that is a golfer’s joy. Constructed of high strength aluminum, it is highly durable but surprisingly lightweight. Extra large rear wheels snap on easily and can be set to free-wheeling mode. Its newly designed platform maintains stability and minimizes tipping over. The height of the handle can easily be adjusted with a large knob. The cart folds into a small size or can be disassembled easily for transportation in an optional trolley bag. The snap-on, long lasting battery can be removed easily for recharging. Its waterproof housing and no-exposed wires mean you can use it in the rain. Extra wide rubber tires maintain stability and prevent slipping in wet conditions. And it even fits easily into your car trunk.
Smart-E ElEctric Golf cart
New 2011 Features: Left button is a speed control memory – speed of the cart can be preset with a push of a button. Rigth button is DCF – distance control function which enables the cart to travel from 10 to 50 seconds.
Specifications: Frame: Aviation-grade aluminum • Weight: 22 lbs (no battery) • 35 lbs (with rechargeable SLA battery, 12v 20 ah) Electric motor: DC 12 v 180w • Max. speed: 5 mph • Max. load: 45 lbs • Battery: 18 to 27 holes • Folded Dimension: 24” x 37” x 12.5” • One year manufacturer’s warranty •
Charger and battery included. See accessories for drink holder and other options. Contact us for available colors in stock.
GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
Baja Golf Palmilla Resort. Don Koll and Jack Nicklaus set the scene for the creation of this unique blending of desert and sea in one of the world’s truly picturesque golf destinations. This was Nicklaus’s first signature course in Latin America, which
Sea of Cortez from 12 of 27 holes, five sets of tees, four lakes and generously large fairways. Of the new Ocean course, Nicklaus said it was like “designing mountains by the sea.” Every hole has its own view of the shimmering electric blue Sea of Cortez in the distance. Gentle
opened in 1993. The Arroyo nine, the Mountain nine and the new Ocean nine are of traditional Mexican design. Stretched out to 6900 yards for 18 holes with views of the
slopes, wide fairways and large, but challenging greens, a Nicklaus trademark. Palmilla Golf Club takes the golfer through 800 vertical feet of
❰ continued from page 7
the Baja desert. The resort hosted the 1997 PGA Senior Tour Senior Slam with Hale Irwin defeating the course designer, Nicklaus, along with Ray Floyd and Gil Morgan. The One&Only Palmilla Resort maintains the classic Mexican ambiance and features 172 spacious rooms and suites, each luxuriously appointed and offering magnificent views of the Sea of Cortez, along with three restaurants, the indoor/ outdoor One&Only Spa, and two pools. Miss your dog? bring him/her along and enjoy the doggie turndown service that includes a bed perfectly sized for each dog and even a chew toy menu, really. I’m sure you’ll want to check out the resorts private cove with “floating bed” (the ultimate water bed?) they have three private coves for couples looking for some quality time ‘away from it all’, from 9a – 5p featuring customized pillows (waterproof?),
lunch options (fresh fish?), and ahhh, a beach butler, really! I know, your wondering what this is going to cost, well the rack rate at time of publication started at $525 for an Ocean Front Superior Room and toped out with the four-bedroom Villa Cortez at $9000, maybe you should think twice before you bring the dog. For more information: www. oneandonlyresorts.com Another Nicklaus design (he’s very popular in Mexico) would be the new (2007) Club Campestre San Jose Golf Course this is a desert course with views of the Sea of Cortez, that’s ‘views’ of the Sea, from a distance, but that’s what helps to keep the rates down, the closer you get to the water the more you pay. Five sets of tee’s, from 7055 yards from the back to 5602 from the whites with a par of 71. As with most courses in Mexico, carts are continued on page 9 ❱
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The Golf Explorer
Monterey Pines Navy and Public Golf Club w Hal Gevertz
ally drops down about 50 feet over the green at number 15 as it says hello to the runway. You feel like you can almost touch the plane as it lands. It’s fun watching planes fly low as they make their way over the course especially if you are a plane watcher.
❰ continued from page 8
mandatory and caddies are available. Interesting greens, mounded but fun with the ball usually looking for the sea. The par five, 7th hole is a real beauty, 485 yards with water all the way down this undulating stretch of Paspalum Seaisle fairway grass to an amazing peninsula green. This course is always in great condition, a ‘must’ play on
your trip to the Baja peninsula, grit your teeth, sit through a time share pitch an grab a free pair of tickets, you won’t be sorry! For more information: www. campestresanjose.com For information on Los Cabos: www.visitloscabos.travel n Questions/comments: email@example.com.
continued on page 30 ❱
It was Rear Admiral Len Hering, commander of Navy Region Southwest who stated that it was time to spend some money at Monterey Pines as it didn’t represent the quality that the armed service should be entitled to. This mostly flat terrain
t’s been years since I played the ity by the late architect Robert Muir Monterey Pines, Navy-owned Graves was developed in 1963. The golf course. One thing I will second nine that I didn’t play was completed in 1972. So here I am 38 years later trying out their completely (2009) $4.4mil lion renovated 18 hole course that is a gem to play and enjoy. In fact this new course is so popular that it has hosted as many as 65,000 rounds per year at this limited 5, 5 5 6 - y d course. Architect Marc Messier has never forget is when I was golfing used quality T-1bent grass greens there at the time a trumpet started and rye fairways. Both nines have to play the morning flag raising been turned around during its ceremony and everyone on the renovation. golf course stood at attention until Another thing that makes this it was finished and golf play was course unique is that the Monterey resumed. Now that was certainly a airport runway is just east of the first for me. course. When a plane makes it deA lot of golf rounds have trans- cent over a path of towering metal, pired since this original 9-hole facil- lightened obstructions, it continu-
S l e e k , stylish, yet utilitarian, the Smart-P Kaddy trolley provides unsurpassed value to the smart golfer. Sculpted of aviation-grade aluminum, the Smart-P is ultra light, yet is strong enough to support a fully loaded golf bag. This trolley is suitable for the young golfer who enjoys being independent, or the serious golfer who likes to keep fit. The unit easily folds up to a small footprint, and you can tote it around or store it in the trunk of your car, in the optional duffel bag.
Smart-P Push trollEy
New 2011 Features: Left button is a speed control memory – speed of the cart can be preset with a push of a button. Rigth button is DCF – distance control function which enables the cart to travel from 10 to 50 seconds.
Specifications: Trolley weight: 12.5 lbs (5.7 kg) • Maximum weight: 44 lbs (20 kg) • Folded-up footprint: • 26” x 14” x 10.25” Available in blue, black, red, silver • or pink. More colors available upon request
Foot-brake included. See accessories for drink holder and other options. Contact us for available colors in stock.
GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
Golf Fest Swings Into Vegas June 9-10 At Angel Park Golf Club
ttendees get a free round of golf, chance to test the latest club technology, enjoy free golf clinics, and see amazing trick shot golfer Peter Longo On Thursday, June 9th and Friday, June 10th from 12 noon to 9pm, Golf Fest Vegas will be held at Angel Park Golf Club. Now in its
14th year, with annual shows in San Diego, Vegas and Phoenix, Golf Fest provides golfers the opportunity to meet all the major golf club
careers in Golf now Available in california, na nevada, Arizo and utah
companies direct as they see and Golf Digest or a 6-month subscripexperience everything new in golf. tion to Golf World. A cart fee and The show features incredible deals from top golf companies including Titleist, Ping, Callaway, FootJoy, TaylorMade, and Nike plus great values on clothing, golf resorts, golf tee times, and emerging golf company products and services. tee time restrictions will apply. “It is one of the few times golfers can test the newest products, get great prices, and meet reps direct so they know they are getting the right products to fit their game,” according to Shelly Hall, Golf Fest owner. “And with a free round of golf the value is unsurpassed.” PGA Professional and worldrenowned golf trick shot artist, Peter Longo, will be performing his amazing golf trick shot show at 6:00 pm both days. In addition to having reps from the top names in With paid admission, Golf Fest golf, Golf Fest will feature FREE attendees will receive a FREE lessons by PGA and LPGA pros, round of golf at Angel Park Golf free driving range use to test the latClub and a one-year subscription to est technology, golf skill contests for
great prizes, plus tee time and golf vacation discounts. There will be a
variety of presentations and driving range exhibitions with lessons geared for juniors, female and male golfers of all ages and levels. Angel Park Golf Club is located at 100 South Rampart, Las Vegas, NV 89145. Admission is $10, and children under 10 are admitted free. Show hours are Thursday, June 9th and Friday, June 10th from 12 noon to 9pm. Golf Fest is sponsored in part by Arizona Golf Association, Arizona Golf Central Magazine, Arizona Golfer Magazine, Blue Green Resorts, Golf Channel, Pure Energy Bands, and XTRA, KFYI and KYOT radio. For more information, call 619-683-3700 or visit www.golffestshow.com. n
Are you Good At sAles? After 23 years of publication, Golf Today MaGazine is expandinG, moving forward and wants to share its growth. If you have at least 5 years of proven direct sales experience and are looking for income including perks in the Golf marketplace, I want to discuss the opportunity in private with you. Email bob@GolfTodayMagazine.com or call 661-823-7842.
To view our publication, visit: www.GolfTodayMagazine.com Email your resume to Bob Koczor, Owner/Publisher — Bob@GolfTodayMagazine.com (Many state ownerships are now available to those who qualify).
Golf todAy MAGAzine, the lArGest reGionAl Golf publicAtion in the West, is lookinG for experienced AdvertisinG sAles representAtives 10 GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
Big Sky Country Bucket List w Steve Snyders
n everyone’s bucket list is a trip to Montana to see two gems of our National Park system – Yellowstone and Glacier National Park. This year, add a golf bag to the packing list because the route between the parks includes some awesome tracks. Smack-dab in the middle of the two parks is the hip University town of Missoula. While in Missoula, do yourself a favor and get a tee-time at The Ranch Club. This golf community boasts a links-style layout designed by Les Furber. Furber’s tutelage under Robert Trent Jones Sr. comes through loud and clear on this championship layout. The course has nary a tree in play and the fairways are wide but one best keep the ball in the short grass or pay the price in the native rough. On several holes, bite off more
than you can chew and you have a front-row seat to the number and variety of bunch grasses that grow in Western Montana. While I find entire course memorable, some individual holes that stand-out include the par 5, 7th that offers two routes to the same
goal – both include shots over water. Some take their medicine with the second shot and some with the third. It’s an interesting decision that varies depending on the placement of the tee shot. Walk off of this one with a par and you feel accomplished.
On the back 9, #16 is a beauty. Dog-leg left with an elevated green well protected by bunkers. Long hitters might try to straighten the hole, but two massive bunkers and the ever-present native rough are lurking. Definitely holds birdie potential – but the bogey-monster is always watching. The Ranch Club is moving to private status, but currently allows visitors to play up to six times per year. Call 406-532-1000 or visit www.RanchClub.com. Closer to Yellowstone, in Anaconda, check out the Nicklaussignature Old Works golf club that was the first-ever course built as part of a Superfund site clean-up, www.oldworks.org. Nearer Glacier, stop by the Andy North-designed Big Mountain Golf Club in Kalispell, www.bigmountainclub.com. n
GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
Northstar Offers Packages For Summer
Both East and West Courses have been completely rennovated and reconditioned and are in excellent condition!
12 GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
his year, Northstar® Resort is offering a variety of multi-pay, season pass options and vacation packages that make it easy for golfers to swing into summer in North Lake Tahoe. Golf 3-Paks are one of the most affordable ways to get out on the course. For less than $57 per round, the 3-Pak includes 18-holes and use of a shared cart. When compared to the greens fees at other North Shore resort courses, Northstar Resort’s 3-Pak is an obvious choice for resort play value. For those interested in improving their game, personalized golf instruction will be offered throughout the season by Northstar Resort’s golf pros. Private instruction is offered by the hour, as well as 45 minute weekly group clinics
one round of golf with a shared cart for play after noon. This offer starts at $80 per person, per night based on a two-night minimum stay and double occupancy. And, new this season, Northstar Lodging Guests can receive 10 percent off private golf instruction. The Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort golf course is an 18-hole, par-72 course designed by Robert Muir Graves. Playing up to 6,781 yards, the Northstar Resort golf course offers four tee locations and carries a rating of 72.4 from the Northern California Golf Association. Northstar Resort’s strong support of the local environment carries over onto the golf course. The Audubon Signature Cooperative Sanctuary System designated the course as a Certified Audubon Co-
that run June 12 through August 2011. Group clinics are priced between $20-30 per person and include Adult Full Swing, Adult Short Game, Women’s Full Swing, Women’s Short Game, Family Clinic and a Juniors Clinic for ages 17 and under. Reservations are not required, and space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors can Stay & Golf Free with the resort’s special summer lodging package, which includes one night of accommodations and
operative Sanctuary. This coveted environmental honor recognizes developments that have merged wildlife conservation, habitat enhancement, resource conservation, and environmental improvement with the economic agenda associated with the development. For more information about the Northstar Resort golf course, clinics and programs, or to schedule a tee time, call 530.562.3290 or visit www.NorthstarAtTahoe.com. n
Thailand: Golf and Much More! w Bob Fagan
f you are searching for a golf of the country and the golf coursMecca with lots more to of- es – there are approximately 280, I fer, Thailand can tell you that the should be right at reasons are many. the top of your list! First of all the You will discover people are truly Thailand to be one among the most of the most unique friendly I’ve engolf destinations countered . You in the world, not often hear that just because of the comment made golf courses themabout places, but selves, but because in Thailand it’s Bob Fagan of the fascinating genuine. Not only life around them. are the natives so The term “experivery respectful and ence” would better describe what friendly with foreign tourists, but you encounter in Thailand. As this observing them interface with each story’s title suggests, you will find other, you discover that they are much, much more than mere golf truly kind, gentle, friendly folks. fare there to interest you. If, howSecondly, Thailand is a country ever, you are a golf junkie that only of rugged mountains, large cities, travels to play golf, there’s enough jungles, meadowlands, and beautigolf quality and quantity to more ful beaches whose fascinating culthan satisfy your appetite. Let’s face ture has its roots in its centuries old it, if golf is all you seek, you’ll will monarchy and Buddhism. Those likely not be interested in traveling features in themselves offer much to southeast Asia to do so. and there are other adventures such I have long heard from many as visiting an indigenous tribe such travelers of how they loved the as the “Long Neck people” (women beauty, culture, and friendly people wear rings around their neck), one in Thailand. Many hope to return of the many temples or gardens, or there again and again. Mark Sigel, perhaps even riding an elephant. an American expat who is the Man- Suffice it to say that there are a host aging Director for GolfAsian sums of interesting cultural activities to up the unique pull that Thailand keep you occupied. has. His company provides firstThirdly, our dollar goes a long class tour services for Thailand, way in Thailand. While the time Vietnam, Cambodia, and Malaysia and cost to travel to Thailand may that feature both golf and non-golf be substantial, once you are there adventures. Sigel says that while you can live the life of luxury for he receives good reviews from only a fraction of what it might cost clients on their trips to Vietnam, most elsewhere. Rooms in modern Cambodia, and Malaysia, virtually five-star hotels typically cost no none return and continue explor- more than $150 a night, and you ing other destinations. Whereas in will marvel that a delicious full Thailand, Sigel reports a whopping dinner may cost $12 and a beer $2. 70% become repeat visitors. That Then there are those famous Thai speaks volumes! massages. For $6-8, you can get an Why? Well after a whirlwind hour treatment, and for $16-18, ten-day excursion to Thailand in you can get just about anything continued on page 29 ❱ which I only scratched the surface WWW.GOLFTODAYMAGAZINE.COM
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Silver and Gold
Make New Friends and Keep the Old w Bill Nestor
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n preschool, my son and his sunlight and shines brightly, espefriends often sang, “Make new cially when wet. friends, but Rock outcrops, keep the old. One prevalent throughis silver the other out the 165 acres is gold.” Works for of rolling landgolf, too: always scape, influenced looking to experithe course routing. ence a new course, Five to six million but cherishing the yards of material old favorites. Not was moved to build that it’s that easy Shining Rock, one to find a new one million of which Bill Nestor these days, especame from Boston’s cially close to home. Big Dig at a rate The boom is over, of 100 truckloads a which saw 3,206 new courses built day for two years. in the U.S. from1990-2005, reachThe par 71 layout is a challenging ing all time highs of 16,052 courses 6,735-yard, 139 slope rating from and 30 million golfers. Now, ac- the tips. However, multiple tee cording to the National Golf Foun- options make the course friendlier dation, we’re at 15,979 golf courses for many golfers. The 300 feet of and 27.1 million golfers. Course closings have outpaced openings each year since 2006. There were only 49.5 new U.S. courses opened in 2009, versus 139.5 closings. New courses in New England have been particularly scarce, but two were optimistically launched in 2010, and I had the good fortune to play both. elevation change creates some draShining Rock Golf Club in matic holes. Shining Rock has 68 Northbridge, MA has actually been bunkers, bent grass greens, tees and ready for some time. It took new fairways, with bluegrass rough. The owners, Liberty Golf LLC, to help design incorporates sloping, downit make its debut. hill and uphill fairways, ravines, The club’s name is derived from ponds, doglegs, well-protected bunan exposed promontory near the kered greens, wetlands and environ13th green, where the outcropping mentally sensitive areas. with gnarly red pines growing from General Manager Tim Gordon its cracks and crevices overlooks credited construction site superhistoric Blackstone Valley. The for- intendent, Patrick Sullivan, “Who mation drops sharply, 80 feet to the for four years directed much of the forest floor. A high concentration design and construction, and has continued on page 15 ❱ of mica in the black granite reflects WWW.GOLFTODAYMAGAZINE.COM
Make New Friends ❰ continued from page 14
guided Shining Rock through its extraordinary development. The result is a spellbinding layout.” Sullivan extensively adjusted Howard Mauer’s original routing plan and is credited as designer. “I’m a fan of Pete Dye and Donald Ross. Shining Rock is likely a blending of their styles,” said Sullivan. A 3,500 square foot clubhouse, including restaurant, pro shop and locker rooms is scheduled for 2011 and Polte Homes will build residential condos on the site. Shining Rock was ranked by GOLF Magazine in its “Best New Courses You Can Play of 2010” list as the fourthbest new public access course. It also designated Shining Rock Golf Club as the “Best Value” of the top 10 rated courses selected. (508) 234-0400 www.shiningrock.com Meadow Brook in Richmond, Rhode Island sits on 260 acres of land previously occupied by a town public course. Although some sight lines were retained, the new layout little resembles its predecessor. The routing through open fields and stands of large oak and pine feels like a mature park preserve.
Shaped pitches surround five acres of greens averaging 9,000 square feet, and 45 sand bunkers and water in play on seven holes, adds both charm and caution. There are also five acres of spacious tees. The key is choosing the right one from the five sets available. The tips extend to a hefty 7,468 yards, making Meadow
Brook the state’s longest golf track. Both par fives on the back nine are over 600 yards; number 15 is 649 yards, Rhode Island’s longest hole. Multiple tee options from 5,308 yards make the course very playable for all golfers, but the slope ratings don’t accurately indicate how difficult Meadowbrook can be. A beautiful, peaceful setting helps to balance the challenge, requiring a variety of shots, accurate drives and sinking some long putts. Meadow Brook is owned and managed by the Hendricks family, local residents who also own and operate nearby Exeter and Richmond country clubs. The design and construction project was a multi-generational family affair in more ways than one. Father and son, Pete and Jay enlisted Ruelwich & Fleury Golf Design to craft this modern day public gem. Except for bunker sand, the course was built entirely with materials from the site. Venerable golf architect Roger Rulewich has been fashioning golf courses for more than 40 years. He and partner Dave Fleury worked side by side with Pete and Jay Hendricks to build Meadow Brook. “Between the rolling terrain, beautiful oaks and conifers, and soil conditions I had not seen a site so perfectly situated for a golf course,” said Fleury. “ This was a site that would have been chosen in the early days of golf course design,” added Rulewich. (401) 539-8491 www.meadowbrookgolfri.com Playing these two regional newborns inspired a road trip to visit and play some New England favorites. Crumpin-Fox Golf Club in Bernardston, a semi-private facility, was rated Golfweek’s 2010 Best Course You Can Play in Mas-
“A real-life golf fantasy year, boldly lived and exuberantly told.”—Kirkus
A one-time failed Division One golf walk-on, Zachary Michael Jack opts to stare down an early midlife crisis by chronicling a U.S. Open year spent at Pebble, object of his ailing father’s fantasies and site of the nation’s number one public course and its fairy-tale host town, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. “Faraway fairways and magical greens, history and thrills, hilarity and woe... Zachary Michael Jack’s year spent next to California’s fabled Pebble Beach oﬀers not just a reading of the greens but a rediscovery of the self.” —steve friedman, author of The Agony of Victory
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GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
Sevillano Links at Rolling Hills Casino Announces Spring Stay & Play Package
olfers in search of a pleasurable golf & gaming getaway can fulfill that desire at Rolling Hills Casino & Resort, home of Sevillano Links, the nationally-ranked John Daly Signature Course in Corning, CA (just off I-5 in California’s North State Region). Sevillano Links is ranked amongst the top-10 of Nor Cal’s Best 100 Public Courses and one of GolfWeek’s best golf & casino destinations, where stay & play guests can enjoy teeing it up on the pristinely-maintained course, plus full range/practice center access, convenient on-site lodging, and a hearty breakfast buffet at the resort’s Rolling Hills Casino. Stay
& Play packages start at $109.00 person, and for serious golfers who prefer playing 36 holes in a day, a modest $15.00 replay rate is available. Sevillano Links boasts five sets of tees, set to accommodate the highly-skilled player as well as the casual golfer. The resort has one of the best practice centers on the West Coast where guests can sharpen their skills by booking a 1-hour lesson with a PGA or LPGA teaching pro for a special rate of $49.00. Rolling Hills Casino & Resort includes: on-site lodging with wi-fi access, fine dining and/or full buffet, lounge and sports bar, arcade for kids, and even pet care. Gaming options include everything from
slots and video poker to a variety General Manager Donna Komar. of popular table games and special “In addition to a quality golf experipromotions are available through ence on our award-winning course, guests have an Spring Golf Getaway array of Packages start at $109 per person amenithe casino’s Shasta Club. Outdoor ties to choose from on-site as well activities such as fishing, hunting, as throughout the North State and hiking are also located nearby. region… that’s probably why guests Since the region is home to the come back to stay, time and time, famous Sevillano Olive there are again.” opportunities for olive tours and To book a golf getaway call (530) tastings close by. Wineries with 528-4600 or visit http://www.setasting rooms can be found north of villanolinks.com/. Sevillano Links the resort at the top of the Tehama is located at 2657 Barham Ave. in Corning, CA, 96021. For more Trail. “Golfers and their guests seem to information about Rolling Hills really enjoy stay & play getaways at Casino visit http://www.rollingour resort,” stated Sevillano Link’s hillscasino.com/. n
Hottest Place In North America Will Host Heatstroke Open Golf Tournament
he Furnace Creek Resort in North America’s hottest and driest location and home to the world’s lowest golf course, will host the “Heatstroke Open” Golf Tournament June 2426. Located in Death Valley National Park, the Ranch at Furnace Creek will offer the Heatstroke Open package featuring two nights
of accommodations, 36 holes of tournament golf plus an optional Friday practice round, cart, prizes, a player gift bag and a commemorative certificate. The package is priced at $199 per person based on double occupancy and includes taxes. The Furnace Creek Golf Course sits at 214 feet below sea level where, simply put, it gets hot. In
fact, it’s where the world’s secondhighest recorded temperature occurred in 1913 when a spot near the Furnace Creek Resort hit 134 degrees Fahrenheit. In June, July and August, it’s not unusual for the desert park to hit 115 to 125 degrees during the day. The 18-hole Furnace Creek Golf Course measures 6,236 yards from the back tees with a course rating
of 69.7 and a slope rating of 117. Although a relatively short course, the low elevation and challenging greens earned it a place on Golf Digest’s list of “America’s 50 Toughest Courses.” Because the golf ball does not fly as far as it does at sea level and higher elevation courses, players must adjust their club selections as well as their continued on page 17 ❱
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Time to Cover Up Before You Tee It Up
kin Cancer Awareness Month, reminds us that it is an excellent time for golfers to learn how to protect themselves in the sun. It is also an ideal time to take proactive measures by scheduling an exam with a medical professional to assess what sun damage may have incurred while playing golf and other sports-related activities. The Sun SafeTee® Program, a nonprofit organization that promotes sun protection and skin cancer prevention for golfers, suggests employing a comprehensive approach to sun protection. The Sun SafeTee motto is: Cover Up, Before You Tee It Up, which encourages using a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 and one that has broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) coverage. A long sleeve shirt, long pants, wide brimmed hat and sunglasses are also valuable sun protection tools.
“This year two million Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer,” shared Michael Kaminer, MD, a Board Certified Dermatologist and Sun SafeTee board member. “Since golfers spend a significant amount of time in the sun they’re at a greater risk than the general public for developing skin cancer.” Sun SafeTee recommends that golfers visit a dermatologist at least once a year and more often if they have a history of skin cancer or precancerous lesions. “The good news is that many forms of skin cancer are preventable, or when caught early can be curable,” says Dr. Kaminer, an avid golfer with a single-digit handicap. “Being knowledgeable and doing a self-exam and/or visiting a Dermatologist can dramatically increase the likelihood of early detection and successful treatment.
Heatstroke Open ❰ continued from page 16
mental approaches. The course also features small greens, strategically placed Palm and Tamarisk trees and water hazards on nine holes. Originally opened in 1931, the course underwent a major renovation in 1997 under the direction of world-renowned golf course architect Perry Dye. “It is not unusual for golfers to seek out some of those June or July days just so they can say they were out there experiencing one of the hottest rounds of golf in the world,” said Phil Dickinson, director of sales and marketing at the Furnace Creek Resort. “Despite the name of the tournament we obviously want players to have a positive experience, and we will encourage players to stay well-hydrated and to not overdo it.”
To reserve a Heatstroke Open package at the Furnace Creek Resort, call 1-800-236-7916 or 1-303-297-2757 or visit www.furnacecreekresort.com. The Furnace Creek Resort has been welcoming guests since the 1930s. Open from mid-October through mid-May, the Inn at Furnace Creek is an AAA Four Diamond-rated property featuring 66 rooms and two suites with a full array of amenities, fine dining, tennis courts and a spring-fed pool. Open year-round is the Ranch at Furnace Creek. Situated adjacent to the golf course, the Ranch features 224 rooms in a casual setting, general store, spring-fed swimming pool, tennis courts, horseback riding and the Borax Museum. n
Education is key to preventing ican Junior Golf Association as skin cancer and for securing timely well as numerous regional and local treatment.” associations. Sun SafeTee provides educational programs to golf proMore About Sun SafeTee fessionals and golf organizations, Founded by San Diego business- distributes literature and sunscreen man and golfer Mark Wishner, Sun at tournaments, and has produced SafeTee is a 501(c)(3) non-profit multiple videos on sun protection sun protection and skin cancer for golfers. It has the endorsement awareness program designed specif- of the National Council for Better ically for the golf community. The Health Through Golf, best known organization focuses on junior and as Doctors Orders: Play Golf. You collegiate golfers and is a partner can follow Sun SafeTee on Facewith the Golf Coaches Association book and Twitter or visit the web of America and the National Golf site at www.sunsafetee.org. n Coaches Association, Amer-
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GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
More Golf Oddities From Around The World w Mike Hamiel, member California Golf Writers Association Most Expensive Golf Course To Build Liberty National Golf Club, Jersey City, N.J. Less then 1000 yards from the Statue of Liberty was designed by Robert Cupp and Tom Kite. Carrying a price tag of $250 million, it’s a big course, 7400 yards from the tips. Including a heliport, yacht services, spa and restaurants all built on a former landfill with the Manhattan skyline in the distance. Membership fees are $500,000, apparently cheap enough to attract members like Eli Manning, Phil Micklelson, Rudolph Giluiani, and Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots. Half Of The 32,000… golf courses in the world, are in the United States.
Golf In Russia Modern Russia’s first golf course only opened in 1989, over 20 years later this huge country only has 14 courses (Riverside County in California has 130) the 15,000 golfers in Russia are also the wealthiest, metals tycoon Oleg Deripaska has a Jack Nicklaus designed club in Moscow that cost him $29 million to build and membership’s starting at $285,000. But Russia does have a world ranked course in the top 100, Le Meridien Moscow Country Club the “Home of The Cadillac Russian Open – an event on the PGA European tour Calendar and designed by Robert Trent Jones.
This place is a real resort destination with 5 restaurants, hotel, tennis courts, spa, etc, check out their web site: www.lemeridien-mcc. com. Highest and Lowest Golf Courses The highest altitude one is the Yak Golf Course at 13,025 feet above sea level in Kupup, East Sikkim, India. The previous champ was the Tuctu Golf Club in Peru at 14,335 feet above sea level. Swallowed up in clouds and dense vegetation, the mining company that owned the course abandoned it many years ago. Interestingly enough, the world’s lowest golf course also happens to be an occasional advertiser in this magazine. 18-hole Furnace Creek Golf Course built in 1931 in Death Valley, California. At 214 feet below sea level you would suspect that your ball wouldn’t travel as far as your home club, right? actually it makes a good story, but you probably won’t see any difference. Surprisingly water comes into play on nine holes. Lowest Golf Score Ever In 1962, amateur Homero Blancos, playing in the Premier Invitational, in Longview, Texas, put together a 27 on the front nine and a back nine of 28 for a score of 55 over 18 holes. He had 13 birdies and 1 eagle with only 20 putts. The course no longer exists, it was a 9
holer with two difrecords: Nicklaus ferent tee boxes on came in 2nd place 19 each hole to create a times, and 3rd place, different look on the 9 times… 46 times, ‘front 9’ and the ‘back 1, 2 and 3, pretty 9’. It was a par of 70 impressive don’t you at 5,000 yards but think? all the greens were domed and out-ofA Perfect Round Mike Hamiel bounds markers If a golfer birdied tightly lined every all 18 holes leaving hole. It’s the only known 55 on an a 54 on his score card on a par 72 18-hole golf course that has a regu- course that, indeed, would be a perlation par. Blancos went on as a pro fect score unfortunately no profesand won four times on the PGA sional golfer has ever accomplished Tour and once on the Senior Tour. this feat. Golf In Vietnam This small Asian nation will always be remembered as the site of America’s longest war, but today American’s are coming back to this beautiful country and again trudging thru the jungle, but today it’s the errant Titleist their looking for, with thirty resorts to choose from including Colin Montgomerie’s signature course in Da Nang golf in Vietnam is proving to be a winning proposition by the government where Americans are welcomed with open arms. Nicklaus’s Majors Jack’s 18 majors are still the bench mark the rest of the golfing world has been chasing for decades, its well documented that Tiger set out as a teenager to take that record and make it his own, time will tell. Lets look at some more
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Hole Nicknames One over par, “Going round in Bogey” originally meant an overall par score, starting at the great Yarmouth Golf Club in 1890, and based on a popular music hall song “Here Comes the Bogey Man”. Par, the golfer has taken as many strokes as the holes par number. Par derives its name from Latin, in which “par” means equal. Birdie, one under par (-1). This expression was coined in 1899 when George Crump (who later built Pine Valley C.C.) hit his second shot only inches from the cup on a par-four hole after his first shot had struck a bird in flight. Crump’s playing partner called that shot “a bird”. His short putt left him one under par for the hole, and from that day on, his playing partners referred to such a score as a “birdie.” Eagle, two under par (-2). Eagles most commonly happen on par-fives, though it occasionally occurs on short par-fours. A holein-one on a par-three also results in an eagle. The name was given to be a larger bird for a better score. Albatross, three under par (-3). Also called a double eagle ( Jack Nicklaus had three in his whole career). Extremely rare, and occurs most commonly on par-fives with a strong drive and a holed approach shot. Holes-in-one on par-four holes are continued on page 19 ❱
GCSANC Heads Up, Hands On Demo Day Set for La Rinconada CC
olf Course Superintendents from clubs and co u rs e s t h ro u g h o u t Northern California will convene on Monday, May 23 at La Rinconada Country Club for an Education and Equipment Demo-Tryout Day. The event starts with a presentation from Mr. Roger Pocock, owner of Westcott Distribution, who will provide insight on liquid management techniques through the use of pressurized pump systems. He will also address the safe transfer of chemicals in accordance with current California and Federal (EPA and OSHA) regulations. He’ll discuss various pumping systems that control flow, conserve inventory, and precisely measure liquids
with emphasis on worker safety and environmental compliance. Pocock’s manufacturing expertise (specifically in the area of hand pumps) spans more than a decade. His company manufactures Goat Throat Pumps, products known for their ability to efficiently and safely transfer liquids and chemicals. Following Pocock’s presentation vendors from other leading companies will be on-site showcasing their latest innovations and distributing detailed product information. Attendees will experience products firsthand, rotating through six product/equipment demo stations. (Stations 1-2: large and small area mowers, Stations 3-4: aerification and topdressing, Station 5: miscel-
More Golf Oddities ❰ continued from page 18
also albatrosses. Fewer than three per year are recorded on the PGA Tour. Paul Lawrie did it in the final round of the 2009 Open Championship followed that same year by Camilo Villegas at the Chevron World Challenge. Condor, four under par (-4). This is the lowest individual hole score ever made. This would be a hole-in-one on a par five or a 2 on a par six. It has only been recorded four times in history, only once on a straight drive (for a record 517 yards) and never during a professional tournament.
laneous equipment accessories, Station 6: miscellaneous consumables). Companies participating in this “Heads Up, Hands On Demo Day” include: Art Wilson Company, J. Arnaz Tree Movers, John Deere Golf, Mid Cal Tractor, Organic Farms/Foster Farms, Sierra Pacific Turf Supply Inc., Turf and Industrial Equipment Company, Turf Star, TMT Enterprises Inc., and West Coast Turf. “Golf course superintendents are in search of equipment, products, and accessories that increase efficiency and improve turf quality,” said Rodney Muller, GCSANC education committee chair and event organizer. “I’ve been to a lot of field day trials over the years but this one is slated to be something totally different. We are taking a
hands-on, head-to-head approach, and we anticipate the day to be highly enlightening and informative.” Field Day attendees will also have a chance to experience La Rinconada Country Club, a challenging course nestled in Los Gatos, Calif. (in the foothills of Silicon Valley) and pristinely maintained by John Pina, event host and former GCSANC director. The 2011 Field Day provides participants with .1 GCSAA CEU and 2 hours of California DPR (Laws & Regulations 1, Other 1). This educational event is made possible through the sponsorship support program of the GCSANC. For more about the program and its sponsors, visit the Golf Course Superintendents Association of Northern CA: www.gcsanc.com. n
Shepard was the first American in space and the oldest astronaut to walk on the moon at the age of 47. You can see that 6-iron that’s been to the moon and back at the USGA Museum in Far Hills, N.J. While there, check out the driver Argentina’s Angel Cabrera used to win the U.S.Open last year at Oakmont C.C. with an astonishing 390-yard drive during the final round. Let me know if it has a dent in it. Presidential Hole-In-Ones Richard Nixon, at the age of 44, using a Spalding five iron landed in the hole at #2 at the Bel Air Country Club on September 4th, 1961. He called it “the greatest thrill in my life – even better than being elected. While golfing February 6th, 1968, in Palm Springs, California, 77-year-old former President Dwight Eisenhower achieved every golfer’s dream. He scored a hole-inone on the par-3, thirteenth hole at Seven Lakes C.C. n
Amateur Golfer, Professional Astronaut Thirty-nine years have passed since Alan Shepard described his exaggerated moon shot as “miles and miles and miles.” The first was reported to be a duff but the next connected. Although those two golf balls, Shepard estimated the distances in the 200 to 400 yard range. Still not bad with one hand and encumbered by a suit that pre- C O M M E N T S / Q U E S T I O N S ? … vented any kind of follow through. email@example.com. WWW.GOLFTODAYMAGAZINE.COM
GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
Branson Golf — A Pleasure To Treasure w Bob Fagan
hat do you get when you combine good old fashion genuine hospitality and tons of fun options, and throw in great golf for good measure? The answer is Branson, Missouri. If you are like me, you may have known
has also developed into a bonafide golf destination as well? I’ve witnessed more than my fair share of proud inhabitants, who love their towns as well as their golf courses, and I can’t fault them in the least, but when I really got the
Missouri first-hand, I couldn’t wait Stewart will punish you and play to get the word out. So here we go. 4-5 shots tougher than anywhere First of all, based on the rounds else, but its very attractive holes played in Branson, I and conditioning know that without a make for a complete doubt I have found challenge. The other one of the most inof what I call the triguingly fun, yet “My Favorite Three” unknown golf destiis the LedgeStone nations in America. Golf Course. PerI sampled seven difhaps more than the ferent golf courses other top courses, featuring something this layout is more Bob Fagan for everyone. If you uniquely Bransondesire the best pubiclike in nature with access golf experience natural rock outcomparable to the best private ones, cropping, exciting elevation changBranson has several courses that es, and streams cascading within are a delight to your senses and a the property. Yes, it is another hilly test for your game. Want a truly course, but one that most definitely scenic course? Branson has several. you will want to also bring your How about something in-between camera. and not too difficult, Branson has The choice of golf motifs are it. How about a member-friendly anything but repetitious in Branson club course or a centrally located and if wide open expansive views Executive Course that will delight are your preference, you will feel as Branson to be a vacation destina- opportunity to discover Branson, even the most discriminating golfer, if you are sitting atop the world on Branson has that too. All are priced the exciting Murder Rock Golf & tion, but did you also realize that it under $100 even in peak season. Country Club property. From the Selecting the best of the Branson clubhouse and particularly the back courses is like trying to determine nine that sits at 1,300 feet above whether vanilla ice-cream is supe- sea level, you will savor the views rior to chocolate, but in Branson that seem to extend forever. On the there is a flavor for everyone. From other hand, if you fashion a sporty, my perspective there are three lay- playable wooded test, The Pointe outs anyone, and I repeat anyone, Royale Resort & Golf Course is will want to play. Many will tell you your test. It is a bit shorter, but that the Tom Fazio-designed Bran- requires accurate play throughout son Creek Golf Club is their favor- as it plays through the wooded ite. Gorgeous tranquil views of the hillsides of a nice residential comhills are part and parcel of the green munity that features the homes of ribbons of fairway punctuated by entertainers Andy Williams and bold white bunkering on this layout Mickey Gillis to name a few. Local that is immaculately groomed. Also knowledge and a keen short game vying for top consideration is the are key here. Payne Stewart Golf Club designed Executive length courses don’t ofby Chuck Smith and Bobby Clam- ten get the respect they deserve, but pett. Whereas Branson Creek is you will be pleased if you venture expansive, Payne Stewart cuts into to play the par-63 Thousand Hills the hilly terrain and appears much Golf Club. Regardless of your skill more defined because it is carved level, you will likely employ all your out of dense forest though the fair- clubs on this very fine and chalways are rather generous. If you are lenging Bob Cupp design. If you a wayward driver of the ball, Payne continued on page 21 ❱
20 GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
Surprising Dublin Ranch w Terry VanderHeiden
In the hills of the San Francisco East Bay resides a gem of a golf course that will take you by surprise. The course is Dublin Ranch (www.dublinranchgolf.com) and don’t let its par 63 lull you into thinking that it’s an executive course. This 18-hole Robert Trent Jones Jr. layout offers everything you look for in a golf course, variety, challenge and scoring opportunity. Golf Today Magazine sat down with head pro Brad Braden of Dublin Ranch to talk about the eight year old golf course located at
5900 Signal Hill Drive in Dublin California. “Most golfers who have never played Dublin Ranch think it’s an executive course, but in my mind it’s far from it.” Braden says. “Yes, it is a par 63 but it will make you use every club in your golf bag.” The course is made up of eleven par-3 holes, five par-4 holes and two par-5 holes. The par three holes range from 143 yards (blue tees) to the longest at 224 yards. So there is a lot of variety of clubs to use
just trying to get through the par three holes. The par-4 holes range in distance from the 315-yard sixteenth hole to the behemoth 460-yard par-4 twelfth hole, so if you are looking for an assortment of challenges, this course has everything. Even the two par-5 holes, which are found on each side, are challenging and can give you loads of opportunity. The 521-yard 18th hole has a split fairway that allows the golfer to make that risk/reward decision that can make or break your scorecard. The
549-yard par-5 fifth hole is also a fair test for even the biggest hitter of the group. Braden goes on to say, “The biggest thing that golfers who haven’t played Dublin Ranch in some time don’t realize is how well maintained the golf course stays throughout the year.” After playing Dublin Ranch during the winter months as well as the summer – golfers will come to count on one thing, the consistency of the greens. The greens need to continued on page 26 ❱
Branson Golf — A Pleasure To Treasure ❰ continued from page 20
can score well here, you can score well anywhere. The shaping, design, conditioning, and challenge here are all first-class and you may also run into one of the many celebrity entertainers that love this conveniently located layout just a couple of blocks from “The Strip.” Finally, the Holiday Hills Resort Golf Club is another sporty course with many attractive holes and a tad less challenging for the average or novice player though it is also attractively presented and priced. Completing the menu of fine golf was the equally friendly golf course service I encountered throughout. And if you don’t have your clubs, each of the courses have late-model rental sets usually in the $25 range. The fun doesn’t stop with the golf. The thing that really impressed me about Branson is that this area truly does qualify as a bonafide golf destination or alternatively a fun destination with golf as a sidelight – regardless of your sophistication, skill, or schedule. In Branson, the golf is just the beginning or the end of fun and genuine hospitality. Known as the “Live Music Show Capital of the World,” every evening there are more than fifty shows
to choose from and they include music, comedy, nostalgia, dance, and circus affairs with not only the regional country and western themes, but elite performers from around the world as well. Branson is situated around two lakes that sometimes appear more like rivers, and there are the outdoor hunting, fishing, swimming, adventure and water sports, nature hiking, fun theme parks, and much more. I cannot imagine anyone becoming bored in Branson. And you’d better stay active as well because there are so many darn delicious eateries here to fill your tummy many times over, and at very reasonable prices. While Branson is centrally located within a day’s drive of nearly half of America’s population, their new airport and another just up the road in Springfield make getting to Branson a breeze. Getting around Branson is just as easy now with new and improved roads, but for me I found Terry’s Transport to be a great way to get around, and he can even secure you discount tickets to most all of the shows. (refer to: www.ttbranson.com.) As for lodging there are so many options. With more than 22,000
lodging and hotel rooms, Branson matches every style and budget, and there are many golf stay-andplay packages available. There are also many luxury condos for rent such as the very comfortable ones I stayed in at the Thousand Hills and Payne Stewart golf facilities.
So pick your poison, there are lots of golfing options that can make for a superb golfing vacation or a vacation with superb golf. Either way, Branson golf is a treasure to pleasure. And tell the friendly folks there that Bob Fagan sent you. n
GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
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What to look for in 2011
These Drivers Will Improve Your Distance Game Substantially! w Barry Lotz
rivers continue to be the thanks to the versatile SureFit Tour most discussed, most ma- (SFT) hosel with patented “dual cho piece of golf equip- angle” technology. Its two-axis sysment amongst tem enables you golfers and club to dial- in proper This is Part 1 designers. One launch, spin and would assume of Barry Lotz’s story on new direction. Some drivers for 2011. Watch for that golf is all other adjustable Part 2 in the next issue of about distance, drivers provide exGolf Today Magazine. but as we know, cellent directional distance and discorrection (right tance control are the real issues or left) through face-angle adjustwhich can be solved technologically ment, but seem to have less effect and by consistent instruction from on launch angle (trajectory) optiyour golf pro. mization. The latter is crucial and the equipThere are 16 loft/lie combinament is a close second. tions using the SFT hosel. With this in mind, Titleist’s robotic testhere are some of ing shows that difthe latest and ferences in loft most distance(1.5 degrees more achieving drivloft than standard ers and technoto 0.75 degrees less logical drivers loft) result in an available in 2011. 825 rpm change in backspin and a 1.5-deTitleist 910D2 and gree variation in launch 910D3 Drivers angle. Tweaking lie anThese two drivers are selling gle (between 1.5 degrees extremely well and probably are the upright to 0.75 degrees second most popular drivers, after flat) produces six yards of TaylorMade’s new white drivers. dispersion change. These The 910 D2 is a high perforare serious numbers when mance, 460cc, pear-shaped driver you’re trying to optimize that produces mid/high launch ball flight. with medium/low spin, while the That’s not all. The “vari910 D3 is a high performance, able” face insert has a larger 445cc, classic pear-shaped driver maximum ball-speed area than the that produces mid launch with corresponding 909 driver (15% bigmedium/low spin. ger in 910 D2; 10% bigger in 910 While it took Titleist a while to D3). In addition, several factors embrace moveable and adjustable contribute to enhanced stability, intechnology, they have achieved cluding a 17 percent thinner crown excellence in this realm. Tour van (lowers the club’s center of gravity); experience is now available to golf- a more sloped rear crown profile ers to get properly fitted for a driver. (moves CG lower and deeper); and Now you can set loft and lie a new swing weight screw locacontinued on page 24 ❱ angle independently of one another, WWW.GOLFTODAYMAGAZINE.COM
GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
These Drivers Will Improve Your Distance Game ❰ continued from page 22
tion (more rearward than in prior models). The 910 D2 is available in 9.5°, 10.5° and 11.5° with a choice of Aldila Rip 60, Project X Tour Issue X-7C3 and Mitsubishi (four models) shafts. The 910 D3 is available in 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5° with a choice of Aldila Rip 60, Project X Tour Issue X-7C3 and Mitsubishi (two models) shafts. MSRP: $399.00 for each model www.titleist.com Callaway Diablo Octane Callaway’s Diablo Octane Drivers introduce another innovative breakthrough in the form of a new material called Forged Composite — the lightest, strongest, most precise material the Company has ever used. If you are all about distance, this is the driver for you! Callaway claims it is worth an average distance of 8 extra yards
due to its lighter clubhead that retains an extremely high MOI. That number is the average total distance (at a 95 percent confidence level), versus a 2010 Callaway player testing against the Diablo Edge Driver (titanium-based). Forged Composite, the not so secret sauce, came about as a result of a unique partnership between the R&D teams of Callaway and exotic car maker Lamborghini. It is onethird the density of titanium, yet features a greater load carrying capacity per unit mass in bending. This purp o r t e d l y, has allowed Callaway engineers to develop an advanced clubhead with a greater transfer of power at impact and more accurate trajectories versus its all-titanium counterparts.
24 GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
Diablo Octane Tour models feature a slightly smaller head size than standard models, a full hosel, and the more open look at address preferred by skilled players. Diablo Octane Drivers come with a Project X™ Graphite Shaft that is 46 inches in the standard model and 45.5 inches in the Tour model. In addition to the drivers, Callaway is releasing matching Diablo fairway woods. Available in 9.5º, 10.5º, 11.5º, and 13.5HTº MSRP: $299.00 Callaway RAZR Hawk Tour Driver If you like to draw the ball around a corner or fade it into the short grass, the company now offers the RAZR Hawk and RAZR Hawk Tour drivers. Like the Diablo Octane, the RAZR Hawk and RAZR Hawk Tour are made with Forged Composite, a super-lightweight material Callaway developed in conjunction with Lamborghini. Our testing group found both the RAZR Hawk and the RAZR Hawk Tour driver to be extremely responsive, and to top it all, they all gained 10 -20 yards! Needless to say, they were thrilled. Forged Composite was used in the crown of the Diablo Octane, but it’s used to make the crown and body of the RAZR Hawk drivers, although none of the material is visible at address. Some of the saved weight has been redistributed to a nickel weight in the rear of the club. This lowers the club’s center of gravity and should help produce higherflying drives. In the Draw version, the weight is slightly more to the toe side of the head. Even with that weight, the RAZR Hawk drivers are still light enough for Callaway to pair them with 46-inch shafts, which should
help golfers generate faster swings. Couple that with improved aerodynamics (the company says drag has been reduced by 43% compared to last season’s FT-9), and Callaway says that the 460cc RAZK Hawk driver is more than 6 yards longer off the tee than the FT-9. As with the FT-9 Tour, the RAZR Hawk Tour has a slightly smaller head (445cc), a slightlyhigher CG and comes standard with a 45.5-inch shaft. Both RAZR Hawk Drivers have the RAZR Weighting System; Draw and Neutral configurations allows golfers to choose the model that works best with their ball flight. The RAZR Hawk Driver is equipped with a Aldila RIP Graphite Shaft featuring optimized torque and flex characteristics for better tip stability with great predictability, smooth feel and excellent control. Both the standard and Tour versions of the RAZR Hawk have a cast titanium cup face that is chemically milled to be slightly thicker in the center and thinner near the edges to help golfers maintain ball speed on off-center hits. Along the bottom of both drivers, Callaway has also placed an aluminum s k i d plate for added durability. I n addition to the drivers, Callaway is releasing matching RAZR Hawk fairway woods. Un l i ke the drivers, the fairway woods are made w i t h a forged Carbon Composite crown, but a stainless steel body and face. Callaway’s RAZR Hawk driver will be available in 9.5°, 10.5°, 11.5° continued on page 25 ❱
These Drivers Will Improve Your Distance Game weight Fubuki shafts which allow and 13° versions, while the RAZR for maximum speed. Hawk Tour will be available in 8.5°, MSRP: $359.95 9.5° and 10.5° models. Both models $399.00 Nike VR Pro Driver www.callawaygolf.com It’s a known fact that no one, not even the pros, hits every tee shot in Nike SQ MACHSPEED Black the center of the face. When betDrivers ter players miss, they tend to hit The Nike SQ MACHSPEED the ball low and toward the heel. Black Drivers come in two itNecessity is the erations: a 460cc round and a mother of 460cc square head. Both invendriver models feature a tion, so sleek black profile to enlast year sure that the air moves Nike requickly and cleanly over leased the the club head with each Victory swing. Choose round for Red driver more workability, square for with a chanmore forgiveness. nel that ran Through optimal aerodynamics along the bottom (360° air flow across the drivers), of the club, just behind the Nike SQ MACHSPEED Black t h e face, that was degenerates faster club head speed by signed to make those reducing drag. A deeper face allows misses more playable. for the delivery of greater ball speed The next generation of across the face resulting in greater t h a t club has just been distance on off center hits. The face r e leased, the Nike of the club head is tall and tapers Victory Red Pro, and the quickly, enabling more forgiveness. technology has been taken a step Also, differentiating from its pre- further. Instead of running only decessor, the SQ MACHSPEED, behind the face, Nike’s Compresit has improved the performance of sion Channel now goes around the ball flight. The SQ MACHSPEED entire sole of the club. Black produces a lower ball flight According to Nike’s research, the and lower spin rates than the origi- new VR Pro driver has a 2% higher nal SQ MACHSPEED, thus help- Coefficient of Restitution (COR) ing to create longer drives. across the face than its predecessor, Available in round and square- which translates to 4-6 more yards shape, the SQ MACHSPEED off the tee. Black Driver offers At address the club has N i k e ’s S T R 8 a classic teardrop FIT technology, shape, but Nike’s which deliv STR8-Fit sysers eight face tem allows golfers angle options to set the head in – two degrees 32 different posiopen and two tions ranging from degrees closed. 2° open at address The square version to 2° closed. Nike says promotes forgiveness and the club has up to 45 stability. The round version is for yards of left-to-right adgolfers who desire more workabiljustability. The STR8-Fit ity and shot shaping. Both drivers system also lets players come with Mitsubishi Rayon lightadjust loft and lie angle. ❰ continued from page 24
According to Tom Stites, the club’s designer, this is still a club that is primarily going to help players with an inside-to-outside swing path because their misses tend to be in the heel. But he added that the technology can also help players who have an outside-toinside swing. The Nike VR Pro driver is available in lofts ranging from 8.5° to 11.5°. It will come standard with a Project X graphite shaft. Additional shaft options will be available through custom fitting and ordering. MSRP: $399.00 www.nikegolf.com
bag. This driver uses the same counterweight technology that is found in Boccieri’s Heavy Putters. An extra 50 grams of weight is positioned in the butt of the shaft, raising the club’s balance point and, according to Boccieri, promotes better distance control and tighter shot dispersion.
The driver features a 460cc titanium head and incorporates revolutionary “Dimple Face Technology”. The Heavy Driver was developed to maximize the coefficient of restitution (COR) without decreasing durability. This allows better weight distribution throughout the head, Boccieri Golf’s DFT Heavy which has slightly more mass than Driver If you liked Steve Boccieri’s traditional offerings to maximize Heavy Putters, this new driver is distance. quickly going to find a place in your continued on page 26 ❱
GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
These Drivers Will Improve Your Distance Game making. Its sole mission was to be shaft angle definitely reduce spin the world’s first ever slice proof and shift weight away from the driver. toe, making it virtually impossible As a matter of interest, Flood, to slice the ball. The face geometry who has developed over 50 golf-re- expands the sweet spot above and lated products in the past 35 years below the center of the face, which that have revolutionized the game leads to a higher MOI, increased of golf, is credited with inventing ball speed and more distance. Tour Edge EXOTICS the graphite shaft and founded Our testers generally liked the XCG-4 industry giants Aldila Inc. and driver, but its looks drew mixed The XCG-4’s new sleek design Odyssey Golf. reviews. The head shaped did howand heavily-radiused sole allow The driver is billed as ever, perturb a few of the testers. for a more streamlined, fluid head a “Slice-Proof ”. This They found that the heavier shape that minimizes drag as the is the second iterahead is easy to sense during driver cuts through the air. Powered tion of the driver the swing and that center by the game’s most advanced lightand offers a SPhits provided positive weight shafts, the XCG-4 is a true 700 Titanium feedback. distance weapon off the tee. design with a Available in three The heart of the XCG-4 is an patent-pendlofts, 9°, 10.5° and 12°, advanced head design that features ing shape. Tiin right-hand only. Has a titanium face and sole, an amorger Shark claims a 454cc clubhead and it’s the world’s is based on the original phous carbon crown, two amorphous carbon sole inserts, and two first true oversized Power Pod designs. tungsten sole weights. slice-proof driver beMSRP: $299 The ultra light weight carbon cause of how it has moved www. tigersharkgolf.com n frees up 27 grams of weight that is weight to the heel. Point, strategically positioned in the lower Tiger Shark Golf’s PowerPod shoot and it will go Barry Lotz, J.D., Ph.D. is the director of the Professional Golf Teachers Asrear of the club head to improve II Driver left. The driver MOI by more than 15% over previThe Jim Flood PowerPod II certainly eliminates sociation of America. He is a memous versions. driver has been two years in the the fear of slicing for ber of the Golf Writers Association which it was d e s i g n e d of America, the California Golf Writers Association, and serves both as a for originally. Right-to-left ball flight is the Consultant and Mediator to the golf norm; lower-than-normal trajec- industry. He is also the author of nutory and a strong roll-out for many merous books, including “333 Best of our testers. Its large, closed face Web Sites for Golfers”, “How to Build inspires confidence that you won’t Business Relationships through slice it and the subtle “TS” marking Golf” which is in the Top Ten Golf Business Book’s on the crown is bestseller list. a useful and efThis is Part 1 His latest book,” fective alignment of Barry Lotz’s story on new The Right Mind aid. drivers for 2011. Watch for for Golf”, is to It s p a t e n t Part 2 in the next issue of Golf be released in pending shape LOW IS THE NAME OF THE GAME Today Magazine. May, 2011. and 45-degree
❰ continued from page 25
The driver is available in 9 and 10 degree options with a variety of shaft flexes. MSRP $399 www.boccierigolf.com
The new design increases the XCG-4’s rebound to a 243 characteristic of time (ct) – up from 232ct in the previous driver model, the XCG-3. With just one swing of the XCG4, you’ll feel and see the difference. T h e XCG-4 is available in 276- gram super-ultral i g ht a nd 310-gram ultra-light editions. Lofts of 9°,10.5° and 12°, plus either a Fujikura Motore or Graphite Design Tour AD shaft with varying gram weights is available as are various size grips. MSRP: $ 329.00 www.exoticsgolf.com
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26 GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
Surprising Dublin Ranch
❰ continued from page 21
be consistent and that goes back to golf course design. With greens being on average 8,000 square feet, you can easily be faced with an undulating long distance putt if
you end up in the wrong place on the green. Another huge attribute of Dublin Ranch is that you and your foursome can get a round of 18 holes complete in three and half to four continued on page 27 ❱
Surprising Dublin Ranch ❰ continued from page 26
hours. That is outstanding news for the golfer who has a family or the busy demands of a hectic work schedule. Tournaments are another way that this par 63 golf course can benefit golfers. Everyone has been at tournaments that yield the six-hour round. Couple that with warm-up, check in and the prize presentation meal afterward and you have been away from home for easily 10 to 12 hours. That is not the way it works at Dublin Ranch. Tournaments can be handled completely at Dublin Ranch facility with its full bar and restaurant, where weddings and corporate events are handled regularly in an extremely efficient manner. The course begins with a gentle par-4 that has a generous landing area. At 392 yards it is not exactly short but it doesn’t play as long as the distance indicates either. The golfer should try to stay on the left side of the fairway to have the best look at the green. Next up are three par-threes that vary in length from 160 up to 208 so after three holes you have used several different
clubs already. Number five is the and then on to the spectacular golf course. If you are lucky and a longest hole on the course at 549 11th hole that is a downhill 213 pretty good player, you may end up yard (par-5) so if you have been yards. Don’t get in the bunker on putting a score on your card that is in the 70’s and that always looks pretty good. Lastly, Dublin Ranch is offering some great deals this golf season. They have annual passes that are killer deals if you can play a few times a week or twilight rates as low as $25 with a cart. They are also one of the few courses around that still considers Friday as a weekday and charges rates accordingly. All-in-all Dublin Ranch is a stern challenge, it allows the golfer to use every missing your driver – here is a good the left if you expect to make par club in their bag, the pace of play is opportunity. on this hole. If you thought that fantastic, the course is maintained The front nine closes with three was a tough par-3 wait until you try like a championship course and the more par-3 holes and number nine to get to the par-4 twelfth hole. It rates are some of the lowest around! is a 404 yard par-4 with a downhill stretches out to 460 yards, though It’s a can’t miss golf experience. approach. You will likely look at downhill downwind, it can be Check out their website at www. your card and wonder how you got quite intimidating. Next, you get a dublinranchgolf.com for more inso far over par after playing only stretch of par three holes again that formation and available tee times.n 2400 yards. That’s because you grow in length from 180 to 224 were not likely on the correct side yards, with 14 being the toughest Terry VanderHeiden can be reached of the green with your approach as it plays into the prevailing wind for comments, questions or sugshots or you found some of the at 194 yards. You finish the round gestions via e-mail: terryvh@gmail. sand bunkers that took their toll on with a par-4, par-3 and a par-5 com. your score. just like any other championship As you make the turn, you start with a 425 yard par-4 tenth hole
Make New Friends ❰ continued from page 15 evergreens, and elevated tees and sachusetts. It stretches to 7,007 greens, Crumpin-Fox is a layout yards from the 141 slope back tees. fit for challenge seekers or a pleasant day of golf in the country. Robert Trent Jones Sr. was selected to find a site sufficient for a Pine Valley type golf course. His principal designer at the time, Roger Rulewich, created a ninehole course cut from a heavily wooded parcel Woodstock Country Club that opened for play in 1977, along with a Rambling through a sizeable area complementing rustic clubhouse. Some years later, Rulewich deof undeveloped rolling land with signed a second nine and directed bass-filled ponds, copious hillside stands of mature hardwoods and continued on page 28 ❱
GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
Make New Friends ❰ continued from page 27
extensive renovations to the original holes, driving range and irrigation system. The new eighteen officially opened in 1990. It was immediately recognized by many as a modern day classic and continues to be a perennial must play. “You can’t beat what nature put here for us to work with. We just keep improving as we go,“ said Michael Zaranak, head PGA Professional. (800) 943-1901 (www. golfthefox.com) A few miles north in Vermont is the Brattleboro Country Club, founded in 1914. The original nine, a 2,754-yard, par 36 course was designed by Boston native Tom MacNamara whose feats as tour player exceed his golf architecture achievements. The earliest routing of many holes still exists, but few original design features remain. In 1930 Wayne Stiles began work to expand the layout and add features more compatible with the times. Steve Durkee designed ten new holes and a driving range in 2000, creating an
eighteen-hole, 6,533-yard, par-71 layout. “His (Durkee’s) swirling style of fairway positioning, challenging bunker complexes and multi-level greens complement the Stiles remnants, though they also point out the disparity created by design separated by 70 years of architectural advancement,” wrote Bob Labbance and Kevin Mendik in The Life & Times of Wayne Stiles. The present day course finds all holes renumbered. The old first, a 197-yard par three is now used only for practice. Remaining from Stiles’ original holes are today’s #9 through #12, and #15 through #18. “For those traveling from the south into Vermont, the state couldn’t present a better opening act,” Tom Bedell wrote in Vermont Golf magazine. The sloping, up and down terrain and uneven lies add challenge for both walking and scoring. Brattleboro CC offers a pleasant and relaxing round of golf. The Fairway Tavern, housed in a historic clubhouse, is an ideal spot for après golf food and drink. (802)
28 GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
254- 9864 (www.brattleborogolf. com) The Woodstock Golf Club dates to1895 when members formally organized and created a place to hit balls and compete. It has benefited over the years from its his-
A comprehensive course makeover that began in 2005, overseen by Rulewich, included redoing all fairway and greenside bunkers. Irrigation has also been added. Extensive tree work to remove growth that has diminished sight lines is now
The Balsams Panorama Grille toric town location and association with the Woodstock Inn & Resort in Woodstock, Vermont. The inn’s present site has welcomed guests since 1793 when Richardson’s Tavern opened. The Woodstock Inn replaced it in 1891. Alexander H. Findlay had a hand in early routings of the Woodstock course. Findlay, a Scottish immigrant, became the first man in 1887 to construct a golf course and play a round of golf in the U.S. Wayne Stiles was hired in 1924 to develop a re-design including reformulating existing holes and adding nine new ones. A comprehensive redesign and rebuild in 1960’s by Roger Trent Jones Sr. under the direction of his lead architect, Roger Rulewich, produced the modern day gem found today. The course’s short length belies the difficulty. There are four ponds, 12 streams and 62 bunkers that come into play. Woods, water or bunkers guard tight fairways and elevated small undulating greens. Many holes require accurate shot making. Tees, greens and bunkers were revised in 1969, 1975 and 1987.
in progress. During a recent visit playing conditions were the best I’ve ever seen. “Given the economy, enhancing the golf course quality is important to attract numbers that enable a sustainable operation and have it become a must play,” said Werner H. Graef, President and General Manager. Jim Gunnare became head golf professional in 1977, arriving from The Boulders in Colorado which, like Woodstock, was a Rock Resort at the time. “The quality of life, people and guests cannot be surpassed here at Woodstock,” said Gunnare. The Woodstock Inn & Resort is now owned and operated by The Woodstock Foundation, a Rockefeller family enterprise. The brick and wood inn, a New England classic, offers historic charm, elegant luxury and modern conveniences. A new full service state of the art spa enhances the destination. The golf club, recently renovated 142-room inn, gracious service and amenities make a stay and play visit to Woodstock a gold keeper, not to be missed. (www. continued on page 29 ❱
Make New Friends ❰ continued from page 28
woodstockinn.com) (800) 4487900/(802)-457-1100 The Panorama Golf Course in Dixville Notch, NH presents a setting befitting its name. The stone clubhouse offers commanding vistas of surrounding mountains, hills, valleys, fields and meadows in New Hampshire, Vermont and Quebec. Uncharacteristically long for a golf course of its era, the par 72, 6,804-yard Donald Ross designed jewel opened for play in 1915. It incorporates some ample and forgiving fairways along with challenging tighter holes and from the customary Ross convex domed greens. The routing is a delightful New England countryside journey, pass-
Clubhouse at The Balsams
ing through stands of hardwood, evergreens, over undulating terrain amid fields and forest. Thirteen of the eighteen holes have water hazards, although few are seriously in play. The Balsams Grand Resort owns and runs Panorama. The Balsams Hotel, one of only a few grand hotels left in New Hampshire, is on the National Register of His-
toric Places. The Balsams reflects a time gone-by when elegance, service and affable dining were an integral part of hospitality. In 1954 entrepreneur inventor, Neil Tillotson, purchased the destination resort complex located on 15,000 acres in the northwest corner of the state. The Balsams also offers Coashaukee, a nine hole, par 32 executive course; as well as tennis courts, a lakeside heated pool, trout stocked Lake Gloriette for boating and fishing, 35 miles of walking and hiking trails, an alpine ski area, movie theater, nightly entertainment and many other activities. Dining at the Balsams celebrates time-honored traditions, presentcontinued on page 38 ❱
Thailand Golf ❰ continued from page 13
you want extending for two hours or more. While the food is inexpensive, the quality is superb. For those who want something other than the Thai cuisine, there are many international offerings available for a change of pace. And once finished eating, you don’t have to go far to find exciting shopping, nightlife or spas. In short, you don’t just play golf when you visit Thailand. While a typical week’s cost at a premier American or European golf resort will cost between $1,250 to nearly $2,000, the same will run less than $800 at a comparable facility in Thailand. Virtually all the courses are open to public play and a few are lighted as the Thai golfers enjoy playing once the sun sets and it becomes a bit cooler. Golf is played 365 days a year with the prime season being from November through February. In the summer, the afternoon rains visit daily, but you can easily play in the mornings and the water usually evaporates quickly. And did you know that the European and Asian Tours have visited twenty separate
courses in Thailand in the past five Graham. It features rolling terrain in the distance from its last three continued on page 30 ❱ years? and some gorgeous views of the city Speaking of golf, I played eight courses that were grouped around the cities of Bangkok, Pattaya to the south, and Chiang Mia to the north. While GolfAsian’s Mark Sigel remarked that no one would travel half way around to play the courses in Thailand, I will venture Valley Springs, CA to say that if they did, they would be thrilled with their good fortune. Seven of the eight those layouts would disappoint no one. In just these three areas alone, you could play a different highly rated course that has hosted a PGA or LPGA “Experience the rolling beauty of La Contenta event (won by the likes of Tiger while staying at the 10th Green Inn. The $59 Woods, Vijay Singh, or Lorena package includes unlimited golf, luxury lodging, Ochoa) every single day of the and power cart.”* week. PER PLAYER The serene beauty of the California The city of Pattaya is located Gold Country awaits your arrival. An award about two hours south of Bangkok winning 18-hole Championship golf course, full clubhouse with and features the best value in golf, restaurant, bar, and banquet facilities for up to 200 guests. All new but less of the cultural attractions. frequent player and membership plans are now available. Our facilities Quite frankly, the nice hotels and are OPEN TO THE PUBLIC and groups of all sizes are always welcome. great courses are the highlights as the other areas of the city are dirty, For more information and reservations, visit our website at though safety did not appear a conwww.EmpireGolf.com or call (209) 772-1081 cern. Here I thoroughly enjoyed the Burapha Golf Club’s West Course For Lodging Reservations: (209) 772-1084 designed by Gary Panks and David *per person, per day, double occupancy. Unlimited golf does not include power cart after first 18 holes.
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GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
Thailand Golf ❰ continued from page 29
holes. Next I played the Plantation Course at the Siam Country Club. Spread out over vast expansive of rolling fields, the course features
punishing bunkering and very challenging green sites and hosted the LPGA when Lorena Ochoa won there. This section of the trip concluded with the wooded Jack
Nicklaus design at Laem Chabang International Golf Club where we played 9-holes under the lights. The Lake Nine there really impressed me as not only a gorgeous garden
private clubs, but is open to public play during part of the week. Situated on a flat piece of property, it features much water, bunkering, palm trees, and subtle mounding very reminiscent of Florida golf courses. Next was the Muang Kaew Golf Club. Candidly the mundane routing on its flat terrain was rather unremarkable, but the Lee Schmidt bunkering with its tongues and fingering was surprisingly good in the style of the San Francisco Golf Club. Finally, situated nearby was the Summit Windfall in which enough earth had been moved and trees planted to make the layout pretty spectacular from both a visual and playing perspective. An hour airplane ride north spot, but also a shot-maker’s course. In the Bangkok area I was treated of Bangkok in the mountains is first to the Thai Country Club the city of Chiang Mai of more where Tiger Woods has won. This is one of the country’s most upscale
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than million people. There I was treated to two more remarkable golf courses. The first was Alpine Chiang Mai Golf Resort. Situated in a valley setting the tree-lined course is maintained in a garden-like manner. This is another “championship” layout that was really upgraded into one of the country’s top layouts by Ron Garl a few years ago. It features plenty of water and gentle elevations changes. Perhaps my favorite course was the Chiang Mai Highlands Golf Club designed by Lee Schmidt. The dramatic bunkering and wide fairways provide a real “Wow!” factor. In fact, the eighth hole features seventeen bunkers and the short par-four eleventh hole curving around the lake is one of the finest short holes I’ve ever played. I have saved a fun golf secret for last. In Southeast Asia, everyone must take a caddie. They will drive your cart or pull your bag… and they are all women. Their base fee is continued on page 31 ❱
The Golf Explorer
❰ continued from page 9
also comes with some hills and dales and some holes could have been more challenging. But on the overall there is enough excitement and challenge to make up for some of the weaker ones. What makes Monterey Pines shorter than most regular length courses is their par threes of 166126-141-144 and 146 yards. They subtract lots of distance but certainly make up for it in its design that can cause a variety of problems if inaccuracy is part of ones golfing ability. The one shot 166-yd 7th tapers down to a oversized two tiered green that falls sharply from back to front with the slightest of a putting touch . Ever tall pines surround the green to capture wayward shots. It’s followed by an uphill 126-yd hidden green with close by bunker-
ing guarding its way. The putting surface enjoys ample activity with slight breaks throughout its extensive size. At times I thought I was playing a private club when I came across the beautifully designed tree lined 361-yd par four 9th. It travels downhill with converging bunkers holding back easy approaching as you try to get on safely in two shots. Once on you will come across a slightly elevated, contoured green that breaks from right to left. The opening 485-yd par five hole which is the longest on the course travels through a level corridor of trees and where you will eventually locate a longish bunker to the left of the green. The generous size putting surface falls away from back to front. continued on page 31 ❱
Thailand Golf ❰ continued from page 30
included in your green fee and typically a tip of the equivalent of $1015US covers the expected tip. All the caddies are attired in uniforms that protect them from the sun. (In their culture, light skin is desired.) All of the caddies I encountered were well-trained, and more than half could read the greens like a touring pro as well as club me to a tee. The only drawbacks were that most struggle with English so the communications are minimal. In one walking round during a wait, my caddie whipped out a folding chair and gave me a great message right on the spot. Either way, I’m confident that even if you have experienced caddies in the US or
British Isles, you are in for a treat in Thailand. If you consider visiting Thailand, I heartily recommend that you work with someone locally who knows not only the golf scene, but also the logistics of getting around in Thailand. Bangkok is quite confusing for an out-of-town westerner to get around. While most of the signage is in both Thai and English, the metropolitan area
is known for its traffic gridlock, and it really pays to have a local driver. The GolfAsian group makes for the perfect solution no matter your trips theme or duration. They made my trip completely carefree so I could totally enjoy the sights and arrive easily for my tee times. Founded in 1997 and servicing nearly 28,000 golfing clients, not only does Mark Sigel and his folks know the lan-
guage and the golf courses, but they also can recommend and schedule all the extracurricular activities that can make a golf trip a truly unforgettable experience. Reference www.golfasian.com. As you can see, I only scratched the surface of golf in Thailand. The area around Phuket and Hua Hin are even more popular tourist and golf destinations with some of the country’s best courses. Perhaps in the future I will have the opportunity to share more about those as well, but for now the courses and attractions of Bangkok, Pattaya, and Chang Mai along with the special Thai attractions will provide you a most memorable and enjoyable trip – as they did me! n
The Golf Explorer ❰ continued from page 30
Heading to the 3rd hole sounded quite precarious as there was a barb wire surrounding fence with a red painted sign with the words “DANGER” Rocket testing in progress. Stop when Red light is flashing or horn is sounding. Now that’s a treat for the golfing public. I am sure it must beat July the fourth fireworks. The hole rated the tops in difficulty goes to the 369yd u p hill par four 6th. Trees get i n th e way mainly on the left side as your work your way up to a slight narrowing green fronted by a couple of well-placed bunkers. Once secured the narrow-
ing surface enjoys slight elevated front to back putting. On the back side if you are looking for taking ones golf ball on a swim three holes could be just the ticket for the wet success. They are the 184-yd one shot 13th and the 371-yd 10th and the 402-yd 18th. The 13th gives one a full watery tee shot over the aqua and close to an extra, extra vast putting surface where your putter can fight for victory or defeat. The 10th left side is where water half way up the fairway comes into view as it continues its way all the way to the green. The 402-yd 18th is a solid test of golf where water says hello on the right side and finishes on dry land where you will find a slight undulating green that breaks from left to right. And to add to the enjoyment of Monterey’s facilities is their interesting driving range, a completely remodeled clubhouse and new pro shop. And if you are interested in playing a round without spending an arm and a leg $34 is the going rate for the public and $18.00 for the military. A golfer by the name
of Joe Merritt of Carmel who Pebble Beach, then Monterey Pines spends many interesting days ply- is the poor man’s Quail.” I second it. ing his skills here stated that “if PaFor information, starting tines cific Groves course is the poor man’s and rates call 1-831-656-2167. n
GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
Bob’s Review of New Golf Products ❰ continued from page 6
The Golf Datatech retail golf market share program provides timely and accurate data on market share, unit sales, dollar sales, inventories and distribution. The research includes results for the categories of golf balls, golf clubs (woods, irons, putters and wedges), golf bags, golf shoes and golf gloves. For more information, visit www. sunmountain.com or call 800-2279224. ‘Let There Be Pebble’ Hundreds of books have been written about Pebble Beach Golf Course during the past half-century, primarily focusing on the beauty, design, challenges and major events held at this sacred altar of golf. For the most part, the authors have either spotlighted their own personal experiences or those of other golfers, mostly pros, at Pebble. Zachary Michael Jack’s recently published “Let There Be Pebble” is a combination of each. Jack took a one-year “sabbatical” (he is a writer by profession, professor for the
bucks) to live, play and immerse himself in what he calls “America’s Garden of Golf.” During the ‘off year’ he got to know more about the pros, the superintendent, the caddies, the stories behind the legend, via more than 100 interviews while immersing himself at the golfing mecca of Pebble and its surrounding Monterey Peninsula and Carmel-by-theSea areas. The s e storie s make up an everflowing cornucopia of past events held at Pebble, dominant players both on the course and off the course, interwoven with how Pebble used to be and how it is now. I particularly enjoyed the pages in which Ray March, with whom I had the enjoyment of sharing a golf fam trip to Alberta Province, shares his experiences while on
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32 GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
the promotional team many years ago at Pebble, and then his honest assessments of what Pebble Beach consists of now, relative to the past. To tie a one or two-word d e s c ription on “Let There Be Pebble” would be akin to explaining the Bill of Rights in so few words. Ja c k h a s mixed in humor, history, most interesting vignettes, and gems from more than 100 interviews with golf legends such as Watson, Miller, Player, and those front sports page figures such as Mickelson, Harrington and Bubba Watson. Not to be missed are the pages reflecting Bill Murray’s memorable experiences at Pebble, as well as those of billionaire Charles Schwab and Olympic soccer player Brandi Chastain. You know you’re in for a rare treat as you glance over the list of contents of Jack’s new book. “Bill Murray’s Cinderella Story Meets Slu-Dog Millionaire’s” (Chapter 3); “How to Lose Your Pebble Virginity in Eighteen So-No-Easy Holes” (Chapter 5); “Where the Bodies Are Buried: Touching Up the Mona Lisa, The Myth of the Fifth, and Other Chilling Tales from Stillwater Cove”; L i n k s , L ove and Lust in the Garden of Eastwood” (9); “Swinging in the New Year: High Balls, Catcalls and Last Calls at Ye Olde Crosby Clambake” (12); Hard, Brown, and
Out of Control: U.S. Open Performance Anxiety and Premature Tony Jacklination.” Yep, there’s plenty to satisfy, entertain and prod most golfers to want to read this one on Pebble. This easy-to-digest well-written new golf book won’t help you cut your handicap even by one stroke, but it will open your mind, a bit, to the magic of what Pebble is all about. Put it on your Father’s Day mustread list of gifts, or for any occasion, if not just for yourself or a friend. 352 pages, hardcover. Publisher – University of Nebraska. Pub. Date – June 1st. An absolute winner! Tempo Teacher I typically walk away from swing training aids which tie up a golfer with gizzmos as though the golfer was a bale of hay. Tempo Teacher is not one of those tie-ups, however. It’s a simple and easy-to-use training aid which clips onto your belt (left side hip for right-handed golfers) and features a stick-like thin plastic rod sticking out from the clip and running parallel to the ground at a 90-degree vertical position to one’s forefront. This teaching device reminds the golfer about proper alignment and follow-through without becoming bogged down with dozens of mechanical strings, harnesses and contraptions which accompany some other swing trainers. continued on page 33 ❱
Bob’s Review of New Golf Products The “pilot’s” handle is adjusted by The Tempo Teacher, introduced a large knob. The snap-on battery in early April of this year, gives is located at the base of the handle the golfer immediate feedback in between the two large rear wheels. regards to proper hip rotation when Folding the Smart-E swinging a club. Your swing and hip for tran s movement must be in sync if you p o r t a t i o n in one’s are to maximize distance and accu- vehicle is as easy as racy, and Tempo Teacher tells you 1-2-3, with an optional immediately if you have carry trolley had the correct follow bag availGolf-Kaddy Smart-E through for a good hit. able for easy Suggested price is storage in $24.99 plus shipping. Visit www.tempoteacher.com for more info on this simple teaching aid. ❰ continued from page 32
Golf-Kaddy Earlier this year at the PGA Show in Orlando, I broke away from Golf Today’s booth to see what was new and exciting for golfers. It wasn’t a banner year for creativity, thanks in no small part to the economical limitations imposed by the Great Recession. One new product, however, caught my eye because of its design, functionality, durability and its aesthetic qualities. Golf-Kaddy is an offering of golf carts which reflect an easy-to-use, easy-to-transport, smart design that works dependably on the course. Its Smart-E Model is an Electric Golf Cart whose design is elegant, not cumbersome, both in looks and when the going gets tough on the course. Powered by a sophisticated battery, its high strength and lowweight aluminum construction is as durable as needed for all the ups and downs that a powered pushcart demands. The two extra-large rear wheels distribute the weight (45 lbs max) for its sturdiness at turns, starts and stops. Thanks to these two wheels which snap on pronto, this powered push cart can be set to free-wheeling mode sans fear of even the slightest out-of-control or tipping over feeling.
one’s car trunk. The Smart-E is smart in many respects, one of which is that it features waterproof housing and has no exposed wires, which means there are no shorts and you don’t have to pray when it rains. The Smart-E also boasts of a speed control memory, which means the speed of the cart can be preset with the push of the left button. The right button is the distance control function which enables the cart to travel from 10 to 50 seconds. The German-manufactured charger is designed for ease of use and dependability. The frame is made of Aviationgrade aluminum, weighing in at only 22 lbs. Folder dimension of the Smart-E is 24” x 37” x 12.5”. A one-year manufacturer’s warranty comes with this ultra-modern Electric Golf Cart. See more on the Smart-E model, as well as on other Golf-Kaddy golf cart models, by visiting www.golfkaddy.com. Pilates By Dolly No matter how many golf instruction books you read, and no matter how many how-to programs you watch on the Golf Channel, the fact of the matter is that you
still have your posterior stuffed in a chair or sofa, and that you may as well make a wish that Osmosis will be the magic wand for all you want when it comes to bettering your golf game. Don’t get me wrong: Golf books and golf videos and golf lessons and golf clinics and practice have their right and proper place in our quest to lower our handicap. But the fact remains, you must work on the core essentials of yourself to hit that perfect second shot to within four feet of the pin. (Luck only happens at random.) By essentials, I’m talking about bettering your health, eating smarter, and attaining a Balanced Body Wellness. This brings to mind the Pilates Golf Method, to which I was introduced about a dozen years ago. I know it works because I’ve seen it work for golfers who realize that you just can’t buy betterment. –You have to work at it, at least a bit at a time.
The Pilates Golf Method has no limits when it comes to age, gender, size, weight, height, or IQs. Its offerings are available to all people, no matter whom, and that’s why Pilates is growing more popular and more professionally recognized throughout the world. The only requirement for success in the Pilates Golf Method is for the person to want to improve one’s golf game and want to improve one’s overall health and fitness. The two are intermingled. Increasing one’s flexibility and strength are the goals, whether you
are a low or high handicap golfer. Improved strength for one’s back, knees and core are improved by the Pilates Method, as is flexibility. This increased strength and flexibility result in a better golf swing. The sequencing of the golf swing is continued on page 34 ❱
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Bob’s Review of New Golf Products ❰ continued from page 33
the order in which the movement flows more smoothly during the swing. The Pilates Method reaches for sequencing to become more instinctual for each golfer. With this goal for golfers in mind, there are certification and specific exercise workshops established. Dolly Kelepecz, the owner and founder of the D.K. Body Balancing Method, and her staff offer Pilates Golf Exercise sessions, as well as other Pilates-themed sessions that benefit golfers directly. Certification programs are also offered. For more detailed information about this Pilates DK Body Balancing for a better golf game, visit www.PilatesbyDolly.com.
grip never compensates for the right size of grip. Vice versa, with too large a grip. Bad news. And what about worn out grips? Talk about sliding down a banister when you hit a golf ball! Star Grip offers golfers customized golf grips which are not only sized right, but also are logo-ed with your personalized golf grips. From your name, to your company’s logo, to slogans, to pictures –Star Grip does it all, with only your imagination being the limit on your grips. The installation of these custom golf grips takes place in seconds, and are shrunk to fit your golf grip. Star Grip offers a new polymer
Star Vision Grips Proper grips are key to a basic good round. If your grips are too small for your hands, you’ll hold Star Vision Grips too tight, only to find out that applying tightness to one’s
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which they guarantee never will get hard, slick, crack, split, unravel or absorb moisture. (Yes, guaranteed!) Grip-to-grip weight is consistent +/0.5 grams allows for unmatched weight precision resulting in better accuracy. Vision Grips are seamless, with each grip featuring a perfect center construction for unmatched alignment, control and accuracy. For more on this exciting new grip system, visit www.stargrip. com. Newest Tee! –The Flex Head G2 Unbreakable. Flexible. Variety of sizes. These are just several of the attributes of the new Flex Head G2 golf tee most recently introduced. Wi t h six heights from which to choose, you’re sure to find one that fits to a tee, from short par3’s, to monster par 5’s, from wedges to oversized 460cc drivers. The Blue G2-200 (Blue) is 2.0 inches above the ground when inserted to the shoulder. As with all the Flex-Head G2’s, it has a 1.50” fluted stake for inserting into the soil, which makes the G2-200 3.50” in overall length. This large one is designed for over-sized drivers and for golfers who prefer above normal 460cc driver tee heights. The G2-175 (Red) is 1.75 inches above the ground with an overall length of 3” it is the most likely tee used with 460cc drivers. The G2-150 (Orange) is 1.50” and is 3.00” overall, and it’s perfect for a 360cc driver or “teeing down” for wind conditions with a 460cc driver. Other models include the G2125 (Lime Green) that is 1.25” above the ground and 2.75” overall. It is comparable to a wood 2 ¾” tee and is the choice for a 360cc driver,
3 wood and other fairway woods. The Flex- Head G2-100 (Purple) is 1.0” above the ground with an overall length of 2.50” and is ideal for 3 woods, hybrids and long irons. The G2-50 (Yellow) is 0.5” with a overall length of 2.0.” It works best where short irons, mid-irons or a wedge are commonly used, short distance doglegs, or when you prefer to have the ball just above the turf on Par 3’s. Flex-Head G2 Golf Tees are made from a unique, non-marring material that combines high strength with low resistance flexibility. All Flex-Head G2 Tees are proudly made in the United States and are guaranteed to be unbreakable for life. If you break one, send it back and they will replace it, including shipping costs. For more information, contact: Mark Gruenwald, President, FlexHead Tees, Inc. www.flex-head. com, Email: email@example.com or call 920-340-8001. Yip Fixx Training the alignment of your eyes and your stroke is the key to a
g r e a t The Flex Head G Tee putting stroke. Designed to help with stroke alignment, as well as stroke length, the YipFixx training aid makes this happen. Simply line up the ball with the top bar, set the stroke length, then make your stroke using the YipFixx as your guide. It’s that simple! Using the YipFixx will help you develop great continued on page 35 ❱
Bob’s Review of New Golf Products For those golfers who use their upper and middle body for their swing, whether off the tee or onto the green, their shots will be more powerful and accurate, and I can see their scorecards in the 80’s. The best golfers, still as seen from afar, have a unified cohesive swing as they use their entire body in one beautiful smooth swinging motion, top to bottom. Typically, you see most pros or aspiring pros gifted with such athletic and aesthetic movement. So likewise with the youngest golfers who have never been marred by injuries, arthritis, R/A, and the host of all the other calamities that come knocking at one’s door as they age and slowly lose their limber limbs and smooth natural movements. Power Wedge addresses this sychronization of one’s arms, hips and legs as you swing. This swing training aid device, shaped like a wedge, is placed under your back foot. As you swing at the ball, the Power Wedge Yip Fix Swing Trainer will sound a properly sequenced “click” as guide bar, and adjusting the length the club passes through impact if of the front and back stroke with you’re shifting your weight off your ring spacers, golfers can achieve back foot with solid timing. valuable putting practice. This can Too often, golfers stop the sebe done on a putting green or living quences of their swings somewhere room carpet. above their legs, much akin to tryThe YipFixx will help you to ing to make a jump shot to the hoop build confidence in your putting without getting one’s feet off the stroke as no other training aid will ground. Or a pitcher on the mound do. Confidence is what is needed to throwing a ball to the plate, only to avoid the dreaded yips! still have his back foot still in the YipFixx Putting Trainer $24.95. back foot position after throwing the ball. Power Wedge These golf, basketball, and baseFrom a distance, I can tell pretty ball sequences are incomplete, easily if a golfer is a high, middle or missing the “follow through” which low handicap player just by watch- is key to the success of such moveing the flow of his or her swing. ments. If it’s mostly upper body (mostly The Power Wedge reminds you shoulders), that golfer may get to complete your swing to its inaway with good shots part of the tended conclusion. The ‘click’ will time, but not enough to break 90. tell you immediately if you’ve read ❰ continued from page 34
putting habits, as well as train your eyes to putt to your eye line. The compact and effective YipFixx stows easily into your bag, and requires only seconds to assemble. The YipFixx was designed to give the golfer confidence in his putting stroke, taking out the fear of miss-hits. Learning the pendulum method of moving the shoulders is vital in achieving the proper putter stroke, but of equal value is the training of the stroke distance. These two ring spaces on the front can be used to give the golfer the feel for distance, which is a function of length of stroke. This varies with length of putt and slope of the green. By watching the movement of the putter blade underneath the
the full book or put it down with two chapters left. The Clubstick Playing a round of golf has plenty of natural challenges from wind, water, bunkers, and rolling greens and just trying to play to par. –You don’t have to add to these challenges by forgetting your golf gloves or your windbreaker if it becomes cloudy and cold. And you don’t need one of your clubs, lying back there The Clubstick near a bunker or in the middle of the fairway. ClubStick to the rescue! out to the fairway on those cart This durable but lightweight path-only days. Take your 9-iron, (1/2 lb!) clubholder stands verti- a wedge and your putter, and meet cally (stick right into the ground), your buddy who can drive the cart with as many as three clubs stand- to the green. ing straight upwards. This means For more info on ClubStick, visit that you don’t allow your clubs to www.clubstick.com. get dirty or moist from the grass, and it also means you don’t have Srixon ZStar XV Tour to bend over as many as 50 times I’ve written about these Srixon during the round to get your clubs golf balls before, so I need not off the grass. repeat myself except to say… keep Your clubs snap onto the Club- your eye on this yellow golf ball. Stick lickety-split when you walk continued on page 36 ❱
GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
Bob’s Review of New Golf Products White and Tour Yellow for added designed by a woman for active and variable, in the golf swing. You visual performance. women. It’s a fashionable and com- can still use a glove on the left hand For more details, visit www. pact (7” x 7’) pocket which inserts when using the Pause-N-Throw. srixon.com. into any waist band and held in When wearing this training aid, place by a pliable plastic insert. you sense a more direct, yet counThe Sport Pocket This pocket allows a convenient ter-intuitive swing path. It engrains Men don’t have this problem, place to put her golf balls, her tees, the muscle memory in golfers women do. her marker, etc. without impeding which is necessary to throw the I‘m talking about pockets. her play. clubhead as it Whether they’re wearing short or Th e Sp o r t builds speed long trousers, men have as many as Po cke t st ays and explodes four pants pockets available, two in in place during through the their shorts, and Golf-only-knows play and works ball. how many in their windbreaker. with any waistTo l e a r n A woman golfer, on the other band, elastic or the right feel, hand, may find hers e l f o n belted. golfers are ent h e Af te r golf, couraged to course T h e S p o r t use the Pausei n a Pocket, washN-Throw in The Sport Pocket s k i r t able, can be used a one-armed w i t h for carrying cell drill. As a n o phones, music devices, lipstick, golfer uses a simple “step and throw” pock- keys and whatnot while shopping, weight shift, the golfer automatiets! – horseback riding, etc. cally uses the lower body correctly. What For more of JW Designs, visit The clubhead is thrown on a path to do? www.jwdesigns-inc.com. that allows it to release perfectly The through the ball. This is complete Sp ort Pause-N-Throw Swing Trainer energy transfer. PockThis new swing trainer is one of To learn more about the promet was the few that you can use to hit full ised extra yardage and accuracy shots at the driving range. Even of this training device, visit www. during a round, you can slip it on pause-n-go.com. and get the right feel of a flat-wristed throwing position at the top of Tapinz This is new product which our back swing. This position is used by legend- should certainly grab the attention ary golf instructor and long driver and interest of Superintendents Mike Austin who once set a world and their staff of maintenance record by hitting a tee shot 515 people throughout the country. Afyards in the 1974 U.S. Senior PGA ter all, who doesn’t want a simpler Sevillano Links is just Steps Away Championship. and more effective permanent way The Pause-N-Throw easily slips to provide course markings? And, from Rolling Hills Casino! onto the right hand and locks out at a price that is right (low!). Sevillano Links is a national award winning golf course that is one of Tapinz features a markthe few, true links style courses in the Western United States. er which collapses into What’s even beer, you are just steps away from Rolling Hills Casino which features Gaming, Dining, Cocktails, Entertainment and Cozy the below-ground service Accommodations at one of two on-site hotels or spacious RV Park. module. With a simple tap, the marker dips down, so that maintenance crews can continue their work without costly trimming and without guesswork. Pause-N-Throw Swing Trainer The patent-pending design of Tapinz keeps the I-5 at Liberal Avenue in Corning www.rollinghillscasino.com (530) 528-3500 the cup-wristed position for the marker extended until that simple GAMING DINING LODGING ENTERTAINMENT GOLF continued on page 37 ❱ left hand that adds an extra angle,
❰ continued from page 35
More and more pros are using them, and as their TV coverage and press coverage continues, more and more everyday golfers will use them. According to reliable independent studies, yellow allows for greater visibility and a more soothing approach timeline as a golfer readies for his or her swing above the ball before it’s hit. It’s not a “ladies’ thing” any more, boys. It’s all about performance. The new Z-STAR golf ball’s proprietary urethane cover is super soft for added spin control without sacrificing distance. The 324 aerodynamic dimple design, combined with the large Energetic Gradient Growth(TM) core, produces a penetrating ball flight that is unyielding to the wind. The Z-STAR is available in both Pure
Much more than an Award Winning Golf Course...
36 GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
Bob’s Review of New Golf Products ❰ continued from page 36
tap in. –No more replacement of wood markers, no more games with golfers moving the markers, no more maintenance (painting) of the markers. Tapinz is simply the new generation of markers with superintendents saying goodbyes to tossed, lost, leaning and moved markers. Tapinz features different color and sized models, for fairway distance, hazard and boundary markers. The colors are yellow, blue, white and red. Lengths are 28”, 22”, 18”, 15”, 13” and 10” above ground. The price on Tapinz comes out to about $11 each for dozen or more. With a bit of creativity, Tapinz can be used off the course, as well. For more info on this 21st Century marking system, visit www. tapinz.com Divot-Up When you walk onto a green, you reach for what? A ball marker? A divot tool? In one pocket, then another pocket. –Maybe a third among the tees. Wh a t a b o u t Divot-Up which is a divot tool, with a ball marker magnetized to it? Divot-Up attaches to your belt, so you always know where each is. Forget about the lost‘n found process of looking for one or the other. The 38” metal retractable line is long enough even for former NBAheight players like Michael Jordan. For more on this device which allows you more time for concentrating on your upcoming 1-putt green shot, visit www.divotup.com. Casio Baby-G In the most recent fun golf tournament sponsored by Golf Today Magazine, more than 38 women out of a full field signed aboard to
play, reflecting the increase of ladies participating in these golf events. I’ve noticed this growing trend, as well as what they bring to the course. To begin with, these women are fine players, experienced at their local munis or country clubs. They are as ready and prone to hit greens in regulation as much as most men. Secondly, they add a sense of glamour to the event, and that’s reflective in their golf apparel. As compared to their male counterparts, these women bring color, style, chic-ness in a fearless way to what once was an almost exclusively male recreational pursuit. The typical apparel for men on the course includes a color-inhibited golf shirt, mostly khaki Dockers trousers, or shorts in summertime, golf shoes that all look the same, golf hat only distinguished by a logo. For a woman, she can be seen in shorts, slacks, skirt –variety not limited to color and design. A Pandora’s box opens Divot-Up when it comes to the styles and colors of a woman’s upper garment. Logo-ed hats are not staid, boring, or similar to each other’s in the group. I recently noticed a stand-out watch on the wrist of one of the women at GTM’s golf event. It was, I found out later, a Casio Baby-G timepiece, inspired by the Married to the Mob! Apparel forces and Casio. Model Number is BG5600MOB-4, which seems rather digitally clumsy until you dissect it. The watch is designed to give a voice and edgy feel to women
who can hold their own like a man, on and off the course. The delicate nature and glamour of the watch are intermingled with its reflective value both in design and construction. T h i s means that the Baby-G Mob watch, while maintaining its delicate aesthetic look, stands ready to feel the impact as a golf ball hits the face of the club. It translates, in apparel verbiage, that the woman is confident and fashionable without becoming rude at the expense of a fake façade. This BG5000MOB-4 watch, priced at only $99, is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and Macy’s stores starting in May.
For more info, visit www.baby-g. com. Spoonful Of Comfort Man does not live by golf alone. So it with this in mind that I mention one most yummy way to surprise family and friends afar. Could be for a holiday, birthday, or just to surprise someone! It’s the Spoonful of Comfort which offers an old-fashioned, homemade chicken soup package to be delivered totally fresh (not off the grocery store shelf!) with its special recipe of all-natural ingredients. These include, all fresh, the chicken stock, chicken, pasta noodles, carrots, celery, onion, parsley, and more. This chicken soup is made with no additives or preservatives, which means that it’s fresh and has a special lifespan of its own, definitely not measured in weeks, months or years. After overnight shipping, the 14-ounce jar is ready to heat… and then the treat of real, homecontinued on page 38 ❱
WANTED GolfErs: PrEfErAbly AlivE
Escape the heat and Golf in thE cool mountains of northstar at tahoe Resort: 25 miles to casinos, 10 minutes to the lake. Golf, swim, tennis, hike, restaurants, relax.
5 couplEs to REnt ouR fullY fuRnishED 5BR, 4Ba homE foR a Golf lEasE September-October and May-June 3500/month = $100+ daily (on 2-month lease) or $3,000 weekly, without lease
mmended Highly reco czor, by Bob Ko olf Today editor of G
GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
Make New Friends ❰ continued from page 29
ing an original blend of flavorful gourmet cuisine served in grand fashion with silver, linen, flowers and music. The chefs’ passion for creating tasty selections that delight the palate is complemented by the elegant, tasteful service and ambiance that surrounds the dining guests. “When things are humming in the kitchen with chefs, prep cooks and culinary school apprentices in full swing it’s like a symphony. I close my eyes and revel in the feeling,” said Executive Chef Joshua Barry.
The combination of golf, location, setting, amenities, leisure pursuits and extraordinary culinary presentation provide a historic storybook reality adventure. (603) 255-3400 www.thebalsams.com “Many guests have been coming here for generations, first visiting as children or grandchildren and now returning with their own children and grandchildren. There are also first timers who will no doubt join their ranks and revisit us again,” said Jeff McIver, Balsam’s President and General Manager.
Golf Humor A two-foot putt counts the same as a two-foot drive.
An agreement to sell the Balsams Grand Resort to Ocean Properties, Ltd was announced in early 2011. The company plans “major improvements to the property to make it more accommodating to today’s travelers,” said Tom Varley, a spokesman for Ocean. (www.thebalsams.com/in_the_news) The Balsams Grand, like the Woodstock Inn is a golden oldie. Both are golfing favorites, as well as four season resorts offering New
England charm and year round activities. There’s nothing like a golfing road trip to energize the spirit, bond with friends, warm the heart or refresh the mind, and no better reminder that making new friends and keeping the old is good for the soul. Bill Nestor writes about golf, travel and lifestyle from his home in Vermont.
Bob’s Review Items ❰ continued from page 37
made chicken soup, the way my grandma and mom made. Included in the meal are fresh rolls and homemade oatmeal cookies. You get the picture. I ate the meal. (Actually, three heapful servings!) Spoonful Of Comfort GolftodayMagazine.com –Loved it all, with no disrepect for Campbells….but fresh IS fresh! Had I Visit www.spoonfulofcomfort. known about com and see for yourself! Bresh, I would have solved this Bresh challenge pronto. I remember well the time I Bresh is a 100% biodegradrushed out to the first hole without able eco-friendly recyclable finger• BirdieBall.......................................21 • Plumb Bob Correctly......................24 having the time to eat breakfast. length toothbrush with a flexible Not one prone to starve on a golf cap which, when pressed, pushes • Diablo Creek Golf ...........................18 • Red Dot .........................................22 course, I hastily bought a Poppy- toothpaste into the bristles. Water • Double Duty Divot Repair Putter ...31 • Rolling Hills Casino ..................36, 41 seed Muffin at the resort’s sundry is not necessary! • DRAZ Athletics.................................8 • Sunridge Golf Club ........................35 shop, and picked away at the muffin The cap of the brush contains a • Eagle Valley Golf Course.................12 • Timber Creek Golf Club ........ 1, 23, 32 during the first two holes. non-fluoride toothpaste with Xyli• Eagle Vines Golf Course..................44 • Trinitas Golf Course ........................40 “Bob,” one in my foursome said tol, a naturally occurring substance • Fantasy Golf Cards .........................28 • University of Nebraska Press, on the third green. “Didn’t you found in plants, fruits, vegetables, • Furnace Creek ................................26 “Let There Be Pebble” ....................15 have time to brush your teeth this and the bark of the birch tree. Xyli• Golf-Kaddy ..................................7, 9 • Urbane Golf Hangar.......................11 morning? You got some black dots tol is extremely effective in fighting • Graphic Expressions .......................16 cavities by inhibiting the growth of • USA Hole In One ............................33 between your teeth….” • Gustbuster.....................................20 I didn’t realize that this wasn’t bacteria in the mouth. • USGTF............................................27 • La Contenta Golf Club ....................29 a joke until after the round when, Bresh also knocks out Poppyseed • Lone Oak Lodge ...............................6 • Wanted for Golf Lease looking into the mirror in the men’ s much like a heavyweight fighter (Golfers Wanted) ...........................37 • Madewell Bag Shags .....................30 room, I saw remnants of black swinging away at a lightweight. • Mission Hills of Hayward/SkyWest ..17 poppyseeds implanted between the For more info on this handy• Northstar at Tahoe.........................43 Shows & Tournaments base of some of my teeth. dandy never-be-embarrassed again • Paradise Valley/Rancho Solano......19 • Golf Fest ..........................................2 Ugh. –So goes appearances toothbrush intended for one-time • Peace Electronics ...........................11 • Tenacious Trinitas ............................3 which do stand for something. use, visit www.ibresh.com. Package • PGTAA ...........................................25 • Vineyards Golf Classic ....................42 Fortunately, only my foursome was • Pilates by Dolly ..............................14 • Wildhawk Players Association .........6 forced to see this speckled sight! continued on page 39 ❱
Index of Advertisers
38 GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
Bob’s Review Items ❰ continued from page 38 Price is only $25 for your price is five for only $2.95, while 10 Facelift Putter AttachBreshes go for $5.49.
Facelift Putter Attachments Okay, so your Ping Putter has shown much wear‘n
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DO yOU HAvE A new golf product? A new golf service? Can’t re-mortgage your home to get the money it costs for national promotion in the 18-color high gloss slicks? Give Bob a call at Golf Today Magazine. Start promoting your new golf product/service throughout four states (California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona) for pocket change. We’ve been doing this for 24 years and the results for new golf businesses are absolutely great! Get results with us and grow. For more information, call (661) 823-7842 or fax (661) 823-7942. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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ment. comfortable lodging and great golf (including See video on www.putterfacelift. cart!) at 10th Green Inn at La Contenta. Visit com. www.10thgreeninn.com for more information.
Preview Of Coming Attractions At the end of each production period for this golf magazine, there are even more golf products, the reviews of which remain to be published at a later time. Because of limited pages in each edition, several products are always “bumped” and are saved for publishing in the following edition. So, here’s a preview of what’s to be reviewed in the next edition: 1) Golf Buddy GPS RangeFinder; 2) Amphibian Towels by Frogger; 3) The Royal
tear on its face since you got it 20 years ago. It’s not putting the way you want it to, or as it formerly did. (There is a difference!) Can’t do much about it. –Or, can you? Yes, a brand new system of keeping If you or someone you know your favorite putter on the green has a new golf product or golf service, contact was introduced Bob Koczor, Publisher/Editor, at 661-823-7842 or at bob@GolfTodayMagazine.com. Golf early this year at Today Magazine, now in its 24th year, provides the PGA Show in custom-made promotions to great success! Orlando, FL. Facelift Putter Attachments also allow you to Collection golf clubs; 4) Chicken gain directional correction which Stick by Bad Chicken. –See you n compensates for the problem of then! not keeping your putter face square Golf Humor to the hole. With Facelifts, you eliminate A golfer hitting into hops and reduce skids that throw your group will always the ball off-line. be bigger than anyone The four Facelift models now in your group. Likewise, available fit most major brand putters, including Odyssey, Ping, Calany group you accidenlaway, Rife and TaylorMade. tally hit into will consist You can fit Facelift to your putof a football player, a ter by model or by putter face professional wrestler, size. Facelifts are made of a special formulated plastic which attaches a convicted murderer to the putter by a high quality 3M and an IRS agent—or adhesive.
Or, call 1 (888) 727-8705. LOOKING TO TRAVEL OR WINTER NEST? 2005 27’ TRAiLbAy TRAvEL trailer. Barely used, and beautifully kept. Slide-out living room and bunk house floor plan. Sleeps eight comfortably. Fully equipped with awning, stabilizer tow bars, two 10 gallon propane tanks, great stereo, many other extras. Only $25,000. Call (530) 308-7482 or email kristineF@ttlco.com.
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STAFF Publisher / editor � � � � � � � � � Bob Koczor…email@example.com Production Manager � � � � � � Kerri Esten…firstname.lastname@example.org golf exPlorer editor � � � � � � Hal Gevertz associate editors � � � � � � � � � Bob Fagan, Bob Weisgerber WebMaster � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � Dale Archibald…email@example.com blogs & social netWorks � � Ward Chanley…firstname.lastname@example.org contributors � � � � � � � � � � � � � Ben Alexander, Mike Hamiel, J.L. Lewis, Bill Nestor,
Barry Salberg, Terry VanderHeiden
“ace” editor � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � Mike Mc Colgan…LMccol3525@aol.com
RIP: JULES FURTH
RIP: ED AUSTIN
PMB #90, 25101 Bear Valley Road, Tehachapi, CA 93561 (661) 823-7842 • FAX (661) 823-7942 www.GolfTodayMagazine.com Bob@GolfTodayMagazine.com Golf Today Magazine, The Best in the West for 24 Years, six editions per year. Golf Today is California’s only statewide golf magazine. Subscriptions are available at $29 per year, $39 for two years, or $49 for three years. Golf Today is protected under the copyright law. Contents of this publication cannot be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. Unsolicited articles should be sent via e-mail and photos are welcome. Correspondence should be sent to: Golf Today Magazine, at the address shown above. ISSN 1524-2854
This full issue is available online! www.GolfTodayMaGazine.coM GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
40 GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
YOU CAN WIN ON ALL PAR 3 HOLES!
HOLE-IN-ONE PRIZES! WIN VERY BIG!!!
Golf Today Magazine and Eagle Vines Vineyards & Golf Club combine with Napa Smith Brewery in presenting the
Vineyards Golf Classic
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4TH The past FIVE golf events sponsored by Golf Today Magazine at Eagle Vines Golf Course in the heart of the Napa Valley Wine Country have sold out, so we suggest signing up without delay. Make this an overnighter at the Napa Valley Marriott which is oﬀering an unbelievable rate of only $99!
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For more information & entry forms, call (661) 823-7842 or email Bob@GolfTodayMagazine.com. We will fax, send or email entry forms to you! NapaValleyMarriott.com • 707-253-8600 Special Vineyards Classic Rate! An Unbelievable Rate Of Only $99 PLuS TaXeS
Ask For The Eagle Vines Rate • Offer Valid Sun 10/1, Mon 10/2, Tue 10/3, & Wed 10/4 Exclusively for players of the “Vineyards Golf Classic.” Limited number of rooms at this price. Book early.
42 GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
Best Valued One-Day Fun Event Of The Year!
You’re a golfer. Your customers are golfers. We’re golfers. Our customers are golfers. It’s A WIN-WIN. Published for the past 24 years, Golf Today Magazine continues to be read every day by golfers and golf professionals in the western United States and all over the world through our website.
Let’s work together and our customers can become your customers. To Advertise Call Bob at (661) 823-7842 or email Bob@GolfTodayMagazine.com
GOLF TODAY • May/June 2011
Play Well In The Napa Valley
NOW BOOKING 2011 EVENTS & TOURNAMENTS GREAT NCGA AFFILIATE GROUP & SENIOR GROUP SPECIALS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR