OUR 12th YEAR!
THIS MONTH: New Track • SweetStuff • ChipShots
GOLF VACATIONS JUNE 2014
BARONA CREEK GC
LEAN AND MEAN IN SAN DIEGO
SUMMER SAVINGS Plus: TOP TRAVEL TIPS FOR THE 2014 RYDER CUP
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GOLF VACATIONS JUNE 2014
Barona Creek Golf Club, Lakeside, California
New Track at Keswick Hall by David Wood Pete Dye has reached a point in his storied career where he plies his considerable skills on only the finest pieces of land. His new course at Keswick Hall in Central Virginia’s “Hunt Country,” set to open in late summer, is no exception. It should prove to be the ideal paring of Mother Nature and the ancient Scottish game.
Top Travel Tips for 2014 Ryder Cup The countdown is on! After losing the last two Ryder Cups by a single point, the U.S. will be looking for monster revenge when golf’s greatest event returns to Scotland in September as Gleneagles Resort hosts the 40th Ryder Cup matches, September 26-28, 2014.
Barona Creek Golf Club by David R. Holland Name the top public-access golf courses in California according to Golfweek? OK, Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, Pasatiempo and Rustic Canyon. But don’t dare forget Barona Creek Golf Club, located alongside the Barona Resort and Casino.
Charleston Summer Savings
This summer, the Charleston area is offering incredible savings on stay and play packages. Showcasing a variety of championship courses, wide range of comfortable accommodations in close proximity to downtown and entertainment options for all ages, the Charleston area is a premier destination for families, friends and couples to travel for a golf vacation.
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by Terry Ross www.golfvacationsmag.com
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CONTRIBUTINGWRITERS Terry Ross has covered sports as both a print and radio journalist for more than 35 years, and also has served as a consultant to the golf industry in a variety of capacities. He has been a regular columnist for the Long Beach Business Journal and is based in Orange County, California.
Executive Editor Chuck Miller (The Traveling Guy) is a resident of the golfing community of Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. For the past 20 years he has traveled extensively throughout the US and around the world writing about “Places to Play and Places to Stay”. In 2012 he played golf in every state during a 50-week, 50-state driving tour of the US.
Associate Editor Terry Ross
Features Editor Larry Feldman
David R. Holland is an award-winning former sportswriter for The Dallas Morning News, football magazine publisher, and author of The Colorado Golf Bible. Holland, whose favorite golf moment was teeing it up with former Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry, splits home time in Colorado and Texas. He has written for GolfWeek’s Superintendent News, Colorado AvidGolfer, Midwest Golfing Magazine, South Central Golf Magazine, and Fairway to Green (UK). He also worked for the Dallas Cowboys Weekly, United Press International and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
JD Latorre is a freelance travel writer currently calling South Florida his home base. He has a knack for finding himself in some of the world’s most exotic locations, including Bangkok, Montego Bay, Bogata, Havana, Cabo San Lucas, St. Kitts, Cancun and Marseilles. His past lives included working for the Miami Herald, Chicago Daily Herald, Boston Globe, Daily News of Los Angles and Southern California Golf Newspaper.
Senior Writers JD Latorre Andy Reistetter Fred Robledo
call (760) 774-2655 e-mail: Info@GolfVacationsMag.com
Regional Advertising Los Angeles Terry Ross • 949-279-7801 terryr@GolfVacationsMag.com Atlanta Harold Chambliss • 770-239-7500 haroldc@GolfVacationsMag.com
President Jeffrey Diaz
455 NE 5th Avenue, Suite D-151 Delray Beach, Florida 33483 (760) 774-2655
Destiny Media, LLC President/CEO James A. Diaz
Golf Vacations Magazine is published in digital format monthly and distributed online to over 1,000,000 golfer’s email inboxes each issue. Entire contents of this publication is copyright 2014 SportsMedia Publications, all rights reserved and may not be reproduced in any manner, in whole or in part, without written permission from the publisher.
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“TEE UP & WIND DOWN” WITH HANALEI COLONY RESORT’S NEW GOLF & SPA PACKAGE ON KAUAI’S NORTH SHORE HAENA, KAUAI, HAWAII -- Beachfront hideaway Hanalei Colony Resort, located on Kauai’s lush north shore, has partnered with Princeville’s famed Makai Golf Course to introduce a new golf and spa package for couples who want to enjoy both experiences during their stay. The “Tee Up & Wind Down” package allows guests to tee up for a memorable round of golf, then wind down with a relaxing spa treatment at Hanalei Day Spa located at the resort. The Tee Up & Wind Down package includes: five nights in an Ocean View suite; an 18-hole round for two at Makai Golf Course with complimentary shuttle service to/from the course, if needed; a beachside couples’ massage for two; and an in-room “Front Nine” golf-oriented welcome basket. The Tee Up & Wind Down package is flexible and can be customized for longer stays, an upgraded room category, or for couples who prefer one round (or multiple rounds) of golf for one person and a massage for one person--rather than golf for two and a couples’ massage. Price for the
package ranges from $2,020 to $2,320 (plus applicable taxes) per room for two people, based on low season to high season dates. The Makai Golf Course, a Robert Trent Jones Jr. design, is currently ranked by Golf Digest as one of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses” and by GOLF Magazine and Golfweek as one of the top 5 public courses in Hawaii. In 2011, the spectacular Makai was named one of the “Top 5 Great Golf Settings in the U.S.” by National Geographic Traveler. Hanalei Colony is an intimate little resort situated on a long curve of uncrowded beach near the end of the road on Kauai’s north shore. Situated on five beachfront acres, the resort’s 48 units are all two-bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens and private lanais (patios), all with sweeping views of Hanalei Bay or Kauai’s magnificent north shore mountains. Described as “unspoiled and unplugged,” the resort prides itself on its secluded location set amidst astounding natural beauty. In keeping with its restful ambiance, Hanalei Colony’s units do not have televisions, stereos, or phones. Hanalei Colony does not charge a “resort fee,” and resort amenities include free parking, guest barbecue and picnic areas, a guest
laundromat, twice-weekly maid service, and a newly renovated and expanded swimming pool facility with a whirlpool spa. Guests are invited to enjoy a weekly complimentary continental breakfast and afternoon mai tai party. Complimentary WiFi is available in all units, and a complimentary guest shuttle is offered to nearby beaches and Hanalei Town, as well as the Makai Golf Course for guests who are enjoying the Tee Up & Wind Down package. The oceanfront Mediterranean Gourmet restaurant is open daily from lunch through dinner and features the “Hanalei by the Sea Luau” every Tuesday night. The cozy Napali Coffee House & Art Gallery offers morning coffee drinks, smoothies, and pastries as well as mid-day snacks to go. A variety of beauty and wellness treatments, including therapeutic massage, are offered on-property at Hanalei Day Spa. Hanalei Colony is located on Kauai’s north shore, across seven one-lane bridges and just past famed Lumahai Beach. The resort is independently owned and managed. For reservations or more information on the Tee Up & Wind Down package, call toll-free 1-800-628-3004. Visit the hotel’s website at www.hcr.com or email email@example.com. Hanalei Colony Resort
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• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • CHIPSHOTS ROYAL NORTH DEVON’S 150th ANNIVERSARY HIGHLIGHTS THE HISTORY & TRADITION OF ENGLAND’S ATLANTIC LINKS The Royal North Devon Golf Club, founded back in 1864, celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, a landmark that will highlight the history and tradition of the Atlantic Links, a collection of some of the oldest and most revered links in England. The six courses that form the Atlantic Links trail (www.atlantic-links.co.uk) along the dramatic backdrop of the north Atlantic coastline boast a combined age of almost 700 years with both Burnham & Berrow and St Enodoc founded in 1890, Saunton East in 1897 with the younger members, Trevose and Saunton East, having been established in 1925 and 1937 respectively. Royal North Devon, or Westward Ho! as it is fondly known, is not only the senior citizen of the Atlantic Links, but is also England’s oldest golf course. Indeed this unique links course, set on common land on which livestock still graze today, has hardly changed in 150 years and to play it is like taking a step back in time and seeing how golf was played in Victorian England.
Royal North Devon Golf Club
The club is steeped in history: it was on this course that JH Taylor, born in the village of Northam that overlooks the course, started his career as a caddie. He went on to win five Open Championships and formed one third of the great triumvirate, with Harry Vardon and James Braid, who dominated the game for some 30 years. The club honoured Taylor with club presidency in 1957 and his portrait and some of the clubs which he used to win his Open titles are still proudly displayed in the clubhouse. In fact thanks the club’s heritage, the clubhouse is a veritable treasure trove of golf memorabilia, second only to that owned by The R&A. Royal North Devon will be marking
its 150th anniversary with a number of competitions during the year including the hosting of the West of England Amateur Championships (staged in April), the inaugural World Hickory Masters in August and the English County Finals in late September. A series of events and a gala evening will also take place in Anniversary Week from July 19th to 26th. “Celebrating our 150th anniversary makes 2014 an important year for Royal North Devon as a club but we are also hoping that the occasion will highlight just how established and historical the golf courses in the Atlantic Links are in terms of golf in England,” comments Mark Evans, General Manager of Royal North Devon. “We have almost 700 years of links pedigree as a group and in terms of the quality and tradition of our courses, there really is no better links trail that offers better value than we do.” Golfers can book to play Royal North Devon in its anniversary year alongside the other Atlantic Links courses at www. atlantic-links.co.uk where a variety of golf packages are available or can be tailored to suit individual needs.
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‘SWING FREELY’ AT TURTLE BAY IN OCTOBER WITH UNLIMITED FREE GOLF DURING ANY STAY
NORTH SHORE, OAHU, HI – With nearly endless sunshine and two championship courses, there are hundreds of acres of uninterrupted golf to enjoy at Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s Fabled North Shore. For the first time, Turtle Bay is opening up both its legendary Palmer Golf Course and Fazio Golf Course, regarded as some of the best places to play in Hawaii, for unlimited free play – that’s savings up of to $140 for a morning tee time. With Turtle Bay’s ‘Swing Freely’ offer, guests can enjoy unlimited golf on either of the resort’s two courses for up to two guests per room throughout the month of October. Simply book an October stay at Turtle Bay and reserve your tee time – you’ll even enjoy free use of the practice range. With 36 holes of championship golf, new high-performance rentals by Titleist, and world-class instruction clinics, the hardest decision you’ll face is figuring out how often to play. Enjoy a round with a seasoned pro. Turtle Bay recently expanded its new North Shore Guides Club with a team of seven golf pros, providing opportunities for guests to get the most out of their game. The Guides Club allows guests to experience and learn about Oahu’s Fabled North Shore through the insider knowledge of an experienced team of select resort employees and friends. Individual lessons start at $85 for a onehour session; a free 10-minute tune up, group instruction clinics, and on-course playing instruction for half- or full-day sessions are also available. Turtle Bay guests receive a 10 percent discount on services. For more, visit turtlebayresort.com/hawaii_golf/instruction. For more information on the Guides Club
golf team or to make reservations to play a round, call (808) 293-8574 or e-mail info@ turtlebaygolf.com. Be one of the first to experience a new era at Turtle Bay, with extensive upgrades to all standard and premium guest rooms and hallways; two restaurants featuring the best of fresh, locally sourced cuisine; a new luxuriously renovated spa and fitness center; the main building roof and lobby area; as well as two new coastal lifestyle retail shops. Turtle Bay’s ‘Swing Freely’ offer is based on tee time availability and does not include golf club or cart rental. Some restrictions may apply. Book your stay at Turtlebayresort.com or call (866) 827-5321. About Turtle Bay: There’s one North Shore on Oahu. And there’s one resort on it. Ideal for watermen, wave watchers or waders, Turtle Bay is at the epicenter of set after set of activities, events and adventures. Complete with the finest accommodations and amenities suited for the entire family, Turtle Bay is where the “7-Mile Miracle” begins and the lineup is endless. To discover the destination and stay up to date on the Turtle Bay experience, check out Oahusfablednorthshore.com.
SWEETGRASS GOLF CLUB READIES FOR 2014 SYMETRA TOUR EVENT JUNE 27-29 HARRIS, MI – Sweetgrass Golf Club (www.sweetgrassgolfclub.com) kicks off preparations for the fourth Island Resort Championship this month, welcoming the LPGA Symetra Tour’s return June 27-29. Sponsorship slots are sold out for ProAm tournaments scheduled Wednesday and Thursday during championship week. The Delta County Chamber of Commerce commenced volunteer recruiting and area
non-profits have dedicated manpower to sell tickets in return for fundraising dollars. “This tournament has become the highlight of the golf season, drawing tourism dollars and national exposure to our course and region,” says Tony Mancilla, event cochair and attorney for the Hannahville band of the Potawatomi Nation, owners and operators of the resort and course. “Players, sponsors and locals look forward to it every year.” Nearly 5,000 spectators attended the 2013 Island Resort Championship, with tournament sponsorship opportunities filling months in advance of the event. Its success resulted in a three-year contract renewal between the Island Resort & Casino and the Tour last fall, continuing the tournament until 2016. “We’ve set the bar high for other course hosts in suburban and rural regions,” says Mancilla. “Small-town America can see professional athletes compete at an inexpensive cost, regional sponsors realize the benefit in exposing their brand, and players vie for attractive purses on LPGA-Tour courses. Everyone benefits.” Since the Island Resort & Casino first became a title sponsor and host in 2011, Symetra Tour purses have escalated to an all-time $2 million high, and the number and quality of host courses has improved dramatically, Mancilla notes. “For the past three years, we’ve been a standout event,” he says. “Now, we’re proud to be among the top-five venues, because the Tour is simply that much better.” Mancilla and the Island Resort Championship committee will enhance the spectator experience of the tournament this June. Walking routes to key viewing areas, placement of weather shelters and on-course access by both young and older
Turtle Bay Resort
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• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • CHIPSHOTS fans top the to-do list. “Our town replicates the same visitor, player and sponsor experience as the LPGA Tour,” says Mancilla. “Our shared commitment to excellence makes it a better tournament, every year.” Three-day grounds passes to the 54hole stroke-play tournament are $10 and are now available at the Island Showroom on property; kids 17 and under enter free with a paying parent. For more information: www. sweetgrassgolfclub.com, 877-ISL-GREEN
THE NAPLES BEACH HOTEL & GOLF CLUB OFFERING 3RD NIGHT FREE THIS SUMMER NAPLES, FL – If a getaway to a AAA Four-Diamond beachfront golf and spa resort in Southwest Florida sounds appealing, you should consider heading to The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club. Featuring an incredible setting on the pristine white-sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, the 125-acre resort is Southwest Florida’s only beachfront resort with a championship golf course, a world-class spa, and an award-winning tennis center, all on-site. Making it even more appealing, the resort spent more than $45 million in impressive renovations and enhancements over the last six years, which included the renovation of its 319 guest rooms and suites, the expansion and renovation of its waterfront restaurant HB’s on the Gulf and its popular The Sunset Beach Bar & Grill, enhancements to the golf course, and the addition (in 2010) of a beautiful new beachfront pool complex with two pools, two whirlpools, and a pool bar with food service. Want more reason to visit? The resort is offering the 3rd night free from May 27 – September 30, 2014, based on availability, with holiday weekends excluded. For holiday
weekends the resort is offering the 4th night free. For more information or for reservations, call (800) 237-7600 or (239) 261-2222 and ask for the “3rd Night Free Promotion,” or visit www.NaplesBeachHotel.com (specifically http://tinyurl.com/natkas4). Rich in hospitality and tradition, The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club has resided on the Southwest coast in Naples since 1946. Owned and operated by the Watkins family for three generations, the resort features: 1,000 feet of white-sand beach; the 18-hole, par-72 championship golf course; the world-class spa; a fitness center (with complimentary admission for guests); the Mary C. Watkins Tennis Center with six Har-Tru courts; Beach Kids Club, a complimentary daily recreational program for children ages five to 12; an Orchid House, home to over 3,000 tropical plants; retail shops; and beach rentals. Situated just blocks from Naples’ renowned shopping districts of fashionable 5th Avenue South and historic 3rd Street South, the resort is also within minutes of shopping at Venetian Village, Waterside Shops, Bayfront and Tin City. Guests can also experience the area by taking tours of the Everglades, Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, Corkscrew Swamp, The Botanical Gardens, or the Conservancy Nature Center. Boat and fishing trips also can be arranged at the hotel. Other leisure time activities can include Naples’ outstanding museums, theatres, and art galleries. Providing a comfortable, friendly atmosphere, the resort is an exceptional tropical getaway. Resort guests benefit from no resort fees, and complimentary self and valet parking. The resort is located at 851 Gulf Shore Blvd. North in Naples, Florida. Contact the resort at (800) 237-7600 or (239) 261-2222, or visit www. NaplesBeachHotel.com.
THE SEA PINES RESORT ANNOUNCES PREMIER SUMMER JUNIOR GOLF CAMPS HILTON HEAD, S.C. – The Sea Pines Resort announces its premier summer “Junior Golf Camps Presented by Cobra Puma” at The Golf Learning Center at the new Plantation Golf Club. Led by Sea Pines’ Director of Golf Instruction Tim Cooke and his professional staff, the five-day camps are both fun and ideal for junior golfers playing competitively or those wanting to raise their game to the next level. The sessions feature a four-to-one student-to-instructor ratio and focus on all aspects of the game: full swing, short game, mental game and golf fitness. Students are trained on the Learning Center’s state-of-the-art technology including Trackman, FlightScope Radar, V1 video analysis, K-Vest 3D, and SAM Putt Lab as well as daily “on the course” instruction. Additionally, attendees are taught how to practice effectively and efficiently so they can continue their improvement at home. The program is $1,650 per student and runs Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. with lunch provided. The three camp dates run: July 7 – 11, July 28 – Aug. 1, and Aug. 11 – 15. For the online preregistration form visit: www. seapines.com/junior golf. “Our premier junior golf camps are designed to help young players reach their full potential,” says Cooke. “Our low student-toinstructor ratio allows for maximum attention to each student and perhaps best of all the week is a blast for all concerned.” In 2009, Cooke was awarded “Master Professional in Instruction” status by the PGA of America. He was recognized as a “U.S. Kids Top 50 Instructor” (2009) and named to Golf Digest’s “Best Young Teachers” (2010 – 2013). Golf Digest also recognized him as one of the top teachers in South Carolina for 2013 / 2014.
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Four Seasons Resort Lana‘i at Manele Bay
FOUR SEASONS RESORT LANA’I AT MANELE BAY INTRODUCES ‘NINE & WINE’ AFTERNOON PROGRAM LANA‘I CITY, HI – With its new “Nine & Wine” program, guests at Four Seasons Resort Lana’i at Manele Bay will have the opportunity to first enjoy nine holes of afternoon golf on one of the world’s most scenic courses followed by wine and cheese at a cliffside restaurant aptly named, Views. The “Nine & Wine” program is available for guests at the resort beginning at 3 p.m. and is $195/for golfers and $75 for those who want to ride along and drink the wine! Manele is a stunning Jack Nicklausdesigned layout where every hole offers
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majestic ocean views. The course’s signature par-three 12th hole features the tee box 150 feet above the crashing surf, challenging golfers with a deliciously dangerous shot to the green. Views is the resort’s new clubhouse restaurant that showcases views of Pu’u Pehe, or Sweetheart Rock, and the Manele Bay beach below. A bottle of wine, gourmet cheeses and island-inspired snacks will be served as part of the program. The dramatic sunset is complimentary. The island of Lana‘i is easily accessible via air with seven flights per day (five on Island Air, two on Ohana) or five ferry crossings per day from Maui. For more information about Four
Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, visit www.fourseasons.com/manelebay or call (808) 565-2000.
ISLAND RESORT CHAMPIONSHIP AT SWEETGRASS GC ADDED TO POAWATOMI CUP HARRIS, MI – Sweetgrass Golf Club (www. sweetgrassgolfclub.com) at Island Resort & Casino announces today that the Island Resort Championship, June 27-29, will be one of four events played as part of the LPGA Symetra Tour’s newly created Potawatomi Cup. An incentive-based points system will award Symetra Tour players bonuses based on performance at four Potawatomi Nation casinosponsored Potawatomi Cup tournaments. In
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • CHIPSHOTS total, $40,000 will be awarded, with $8,500 available each week, and an additional $5,000 going to the overall winner. “We’re thrilled to team up with the other venues that have tribal ties and to be part of the inaugural Potawatomi Cup,” says Tony Mancilla, tribal attorney for the Hannahville Indian Community, which owns and operates Island Resort and Casino and Sweetgrass Golf Club. “The format is sure to add even more excitement to the Island Resort Championship, which has shown tremendous growth and popularity each year.” “All four Potawatomi Nation casinos have banded together to provide a significant cash incentive for our players trying to reach the LPGA Tour,” said Mike Nichols, chief business officer of the Symetra Tour. “We are grateful for the support of our casino partners, having grown from one tournament three years ago to four casino sponsored tournaments this year. Our Symetra Tour events help these casinos by generating publicity, community goodwill with a charitable component at an incredible value.” In addition to the Island Resort Championship, the three other events include the Firekeepers Hotel and Casino Classic in Battle Creek, Michigan (June 6-8), the Four Winds Invitational in South Bend, Indiana (June 20-22) and the Prairie Band Casino and Resort Charity Classic in Mayetta, Kansas (September 5-7). The Potawatomi Cup will be awarded at the Prairie Band Casino and Resort Charity Classic on Sunday, Sept. 7. Three-day grounds passes to the Island Resort Championship are $10; kids 17 and under enter free with a paying parent. All ticket holders will be eligible for daily prize drawings. To purchase tickets visit http://www. sweetgrassgolfclub.com/symetra-tour-2014 For more information: www. sweetgrassgolfclub.com, 877-ISL-GREEN
BILLY CASPER GOLF LAUNCHES “SUPERINTENDENT BUSINESS INSTITUTE” VIENNA, VA – Billy Casper Golf (BCG) – the largest owner-operator of golf courses, country clubs and resorts in America – is now offering its superintendents and assistant superintendents opportunities to enhance their business expertise through the company’s new Superintendent Business Institute (SBI). Recently launched on BCG-U, an online career development and training resource unique to the golf industry, SBI is comprised of three 10-hour programs, each qualifying for Golf Course Superintendents Association of America continuing education points. “It’s no secret our profession has evolved dramatically,” says Bryan Bielecki, Vice President of Agronomy of BCG. “Superintendents spend
their time much differently nowadays, and the need for solid personnel management, leadership, financial and communication skills is greater than ever.” “Billy Casper Golf’s goal is to give all team members the chance to become better professionals and grow their careers,” says Peter Hill, Chairman and CEO of BCG. “With the Superintendent Business Institute part of BCG-U, we are developing golf’s most businesssavvy turf and property managers.” BCG-U tools for employees include more than 100 e-learning modules. Among them are goal development, interactive progress reviews, training resources, management feedback, and customizable profiles which track professional objectives and match employees with internal opportunities nationwide. In addition to BCG-U, the company is widely respected for its cutting-edge and customized marketing technology, unique promotions and events, targeted public relations, revenue management, hiring and training platform, agronomic best practices and vendor partnerships. More information: www.billycaspergolf. com, 703.761.1444.
ANNIKA ACADEMY INSTRUCTION COMING TO IRELAND AND FRANCE IN 2014 ORLANDO, FL – The ANNIKA Academy – Hall-of-Fame golfer Annika Sorenstam’s boutique golf instruction and fitness school – announces Destination Golf Experiences will be held in Ireland and France in 2014. For the second-consecutive year the Academy has organized an Ireland itinerary in partnership with Celtic Golf (www.celticgolf. com), one of the world’s leading golf-tour operators. From October 13-17, the team will visit the iconic golf clubs of Ballybunion, Dooks, Killarney, Tralee and Waterville. On-course instruction from the Academy team will be tailored to mastering the nuances of links golf. The program is $4,950 per person (based on single occupancy). It includes six nights’ accommodations at the five-star Killarney Park Hotel (www.killarneyparkhotel.ie), ground transportation, greens fees, instruction and full Irish breakfast daily. Roundtrip airfare to Shannon International Airport (SNN) is not included. “Feedback from last year’s Ireland experience was exceptional, so we’re excited to once again offer an opportunity to play some of the world’s greatest links courses,” says Mike Pryor, Director of Golf at the ANNIKA Academy. “The team members leading instruction have played links golf for decades and will expertly relay techniques crucial to enjoying the seaside game.” France’s Evian Resort is located in the
country’s stunning Rhone-Alpes region and annually hosts the LPGA’s fifth major, the Evian Masters. The three-day Destination Golf Experience will take place August 8-10. A cocktail reception and dinner with Annika and her team; Annika-led skills clinic; full-swing and short-game instruction; and 27 holes of golf are some of the highlights. The experience starts at $9,500 per person (based on single occupancy). This includes all of the above as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and three nights’ accommodations at the resort’s Hotel Royal. “Evian is one of my favorite places in the world and the golf school overlooking Lake Geneva is the perfect place for guests of any age or skill level to learn our ‘Winning Approach,’” says Annika, a three-time winner of the Evian Masters. The ANNIKA Academy will also host two U.S.-based Destination Golf Experiences in 2014: Lake Tahoe (July 16-19) and The Greenbrier Resort (August 28-31). For more information about these events and other ANNIKA Academy programming: www.theannikaacademy.com, TheTeam@ TheAnnikaAcademy.com, 888.266.4522. For more information about Celtic Golf: www.celticgolf.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, 800.535.6148. For more information about Evian Resort: www.evianresort.com, +33 (0) 4 50 26 50 50.
ALBERTA CANADIAN ROCKIES GOLF COURSES EARN DISTINCTION, SHOULDER-SEASON RATES Canmore, Alberta – Several Alberta Rockies golf courses (www.canadianrockiesgolf.net) were named “Best in Canada” by Golfweek magazine. The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Golf Course (No. 1) and The Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course (No. 3) remain in the top three of the prestigious “Classic” rankings, for courses that opened before 1960. In the “Modern” rankings (courses that opened after 1960), Stewart Creek Golf & Country Club moved up two spots to No. 27. They join Canmore Golf & Curling Club, Silvertip Resort and Kananaskis Country to form the esteemed golf destination, and are indicative of the venue’s collective quality. Visit the Canadian Rockies this season and take advantage of an array of value-laden stay-and-play packages, including the Heritage Helicopter Tour Package. Starting at $674 per person, the package includes four night’s accommodations, two rounds of golf and a thrilling helicopter tour. Request a quote for your trip – or custom design one – at http://www. canadianrockiesgolf.net/request-a-quote/ or by calling 1.855.835.8484.
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New Pete Dye Course Coming to Virginia’s Bucolic Hunt Country
ete Dye has reached a point in his storied career where he plies his considerable skills on only the finest pieces of land. His new course at Keswick Hall in Central Virginia’s “Hunt Country,” set to open in late summer, is no exception. Thomas Jefferson chose this serene countryside for his beloved Monticello and called the area “the Eden of the United States.” It should prove to be the ideal paring of Mother Nature and the ancient Scottish game. Keswick Hall – a magnificent 600-acre resort highlighted by its acclaimed 48-room inn – is the epitome of Southern hospitality and charm. Highly decorated, it has attained Condé Nast Traveler “gold” status, and is one of Travel + Leisure’s 500 “World’s Best Hotels.” Mr. Dye was brought in to create a world-class 18 to match the resort’s splendid amenities.
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The new Keswick Hall course is routed atop the original 1948 Fred Findlay design, renovated by Arnold Palmer in 1992. “It will appear as a new course,” said Dye. “By building all new tee boxes, installing a new irrigation and drainage system, and adding new sand, the course will play entirely different than in the past.” The layout traverses the bucolic rolling terrain native to the area, and is easily accessible from the inn. With tees placed strategically by handicap level, the course will play between 5,000 and 7,000 yards. “It will be a good challenge from the back tees and a fair test from both the middle and forward tees,” said Dye. For those who enjoy playing golf the old fashioned way, Dye added, “It is an imminently walkable golf course, offering a
big variation of playing experiences under the new design.” One of the most influential golf course architects of the modern era, Dye credits include the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Resort and Harbour Town Golf Links at The Sea Pines Resort, highly-acclaimed sister properties of Keswick Hall. Michigan-based Albanese & Lutkze is overseeing construction management. Keswick Hall is a property of Richmond, Va.-based Riverstone Group under its Historic Hotels of Albemarle division. The company also owns and manages The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Resort (S.C.), The Sea Pines Resort (S.C.), The Jefferson Hotel (Va.) and The Hermitage Hotel (Tenn.). For more information: www.keswick. com, 434.979.3440
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Top Travel Tips for the 2014 Ryder
he countdown is on! After losing the last two Ryder Cups by a single point, the U.S. will be looking for monster revenge when golf’s greatest event returns to Scotland in September as Gleneagles Resort hosts the 40th Ryder Cup matches, September 26-28, 2014. Since 1991, Premier Golf (www.PremierGolf.com) has been licensed by the PGA of America as the sole distributor of North American Ryder Cup travel packages, sending more than 25,000 people to the animated battle between the U.S. and Europe. Premier Golf’s Managing Director Ann Mabry has attended every Ryder Cup match since 1995. We spoke to her to get her “expert” insight on how to get to this year’s matches and how to make the most of your Ryder Cup experience once you are on the ground in Scotland. Make your plans NOW! As the official distributor of Ryder Cup travel packages for The PGA of America, Premier Golf has offered packages to every Ryder Cup since 1991. In 2014, it will be the 12th consecutive Ryder Cup for us, and it only gets more exciting, more emotional. For those of you who have traveled with us over the years and experienced the electricity and drama of The Ryder Cup, we share some very special memories. Premier Golf offers eight exclusive Ryder Cup experiences, starting at $3,700 per person. Packages include five-night accommodations, wel-
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come receptions, full Scottish breakfast daily, Ryder Cup tournament badges, ground transportation, Ryder Cup gifts and all taxes. Know your history The Ryder Cup is like no other event in golf. Knowing the history and traditions will add immeasurable enjoyment to your Ryder Cup experience. There are several books devoted to Ryder Cup history. Take some time to know your history. Know the format In order to appreciate the difference between the match play of the Ryder Cup and other golf events it is important to understand the format. The first two days are divided into morning and afternoon sessions, Fourball (better ball) and Foursomes (alternating shot). The captains must choose the pairings and who will sit out each session. On the final day Sunday the captains must choose the order in which their team will go out for the singles matches in which everybody plays. Each captain does not know the order of the opposing team. Do a little homework on the format and you will have a better appreciation for the strategy and drama of the Ryder Cup. Be a smart spectator If at all possible, get to the first tee on Sunday to insure yourself a seat to see the singles matches tee off. The roar of the crowd and the give and take between the European and American fans is something you
will never forget. It’s very important to plan out a spectating strategy so that you don’t miss out on any of the action! Try to find a good viewing location on the back nine ahead of play and let all the matches come to you. Don’t miss out on any of the action by watching the leader boards and/or video boards throughout the course. Remember to wear your red, white and blue and be prepared to be loud. This is an away match and you need to make up for Euro fans’ strength in numbers. Also, we recommend buying your Ryder Cup merchandise early to ensure best selection. You may encounter lines at check out so please be patient. Meet other people In your hotel and on the golf course, make an effort to meet some of the European fans. They are passionate about their golf and you may be surprised of the great relationships (perhaps long term) you will make. Bring Your Clubs If you’re traveling to the matches this year, why not tee it up on the hallowed grounds of golf? Premier Golf offers packages that include “a la carte” rounds at iconic courses like St. Andrews, Kingbarns, The Torrance or The Duke’s, and provide full-service concierge, eliminating the stress and hassle of booking advance tee times. The knowledgeable Premier Golf staff will be there to deliver on-site assistance, transfers to and from the course and more. If you want to be part of America’s “13th Man” this fall and be there live to see the U.S. win back the cup, visit www.PremierGolf.com or call 800-283-GOLF for more information.
r Cup at Gleneagles
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S 18 Golf Vacations â€˘ June 2014
By David R. Holland
Lean and mean layout is clear
San Diego golf leader www.golfvacationsmag.com
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AKESIDE, CA – Name the top public-access golf courses in California according to Golfweek? OK, Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, Pasatiempo and Rustic Canyon. But don’t dare forget Barona Creek Golf Club, located alongside the Barona Resort and Casino. It is San Diego’s best. Yep, it is better than Torrey Pines South and matches Rustic Canyon hole for hole. Designed by project architect Todd Eckenrode, with Gary Roger Baird Design International, Barona Creek opened in 2001, and is a minimalistic 7,393-yard par-72 test. “We wanted to make Barona Creek the best in the San Diego area,” said Eckenrode, who has since formed his own company named Origins Golf Design, based in Irvine. “We looked all over the area and saw many artificial, over-the-water type courses. We wanted a natural look -- generous landscapes
with broad views, native grasses, oak trees, use of the rock formations and we wanted it to be lean and mean.” Today the travel golfer can come enjoy the award-winning Barona Creek Golf Club, and relax and gamble at the Barona Resort and Casino, designed to mirror the ranchstyle architecture of the 1930s. It’s an interesting, short 30-mile drive from downtown San Diego. The road winds through sage, chaparral and oak trees and atop boulder-covered peaks to Wildcat Canyon Road. Here, at an altitude of 1,500 feet, park the car yourself or use the valet. Best of all leave behind the rat race of the city. Barona satisfies the purists – it is fast and dry Lean and mean is a philosophy of fast and dry. Hard to do if California has a winter rainy season, but drought is holding on. And
the purists crave courses where running the ball along the ground is a strategic option. What has surprised Eckenrode is that highhandicappers have commented to him how they like old-style golf that features holes where you can scoot the ball on the green. Many courses in the San Diego area don’t give you the chance. Difficult greens are surrounded by bunkers, making the average player hit a high, soft shot on every hole. A perfect example is No. 3, a 260-yard par-3 from the black tees. For an 18-handicapper with a 3-wood in hand from 215 yards out, this is important. “No. 3 has a kick slope -- it’s strong and long with sides and a front that promotes the ground game,” Eckenrode said. “The purists understand this part of the game, and better players are able to go out and hit punch shots and recognize that they can run it on and use the slopes.
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Barona Casino has the certified loosest Video Poker, Blackjack, and Roulette in San Diego. That means you have more chances to win! Make sure you check out the hot new Chipless Arena for the hottest new games around - - Chipless Blackjack.
History of the land Historians say the Barona Band of Mission Indians have lived in Southern California for more than 5,000 years -- roaming as a nomadic tribe, learning to feast on the bounties and nature of the land.
Dining at Barona Don’t miss the Season Fresh Buffet, Italian Cucina, Sage Café, Barona Steakhouse, Plaza Grill, El Rancho Grande, and Ho Wan Noodle Shop. When you only have a few minutes to spare, try the Food Court, where you’ll find lots of options including a hot dog stand.
Since 1932, when each tribe family was issued one wagon, five cows, and two horses, they have lived on the Barona Indian Reservation in the rugged, rolling foothills outside San Diego. If you love solitude, just 30 minutes from downtown San Diego, Barona is an exceptional vacation.
Tony Ristola, a golf-course architect based in Europe agrees about the third hole. “I really liked the run-up ideas behind No. 3 and the fall-away ingredient in the 171-yard seventh with the strong bank along the right,” he said. “The par-3s were the strong suit of the course.” Barona Creek has lots of variety -- wide fairways, 100 multi-fingered bunkers, a naturallyfed stream and 170 mature native oaks were transplanted. The unique tee makers are replicas of cattle brands found in the area. One oak is stationed in the middle of the fairway on the par-5, 541-yard first hole to force a decision. Since opening, a variety of tour pros have come out to play here including Dave Stockton Sr., John Schroeder, Chris Riley, Phil Mickelson, Scott Simpson and Lon Hinkle. Barona Creek is a Certified Audubon Sanctuary, has beautifully maintained and manicured grounds that features water conservation, and operates an award-winning on-site water treatment facility and innovative water recovery program. The Barona Resort and Casino Why do Southern Californians need to drive to Las Vegas when they have Barona? This sprawling ranch-styled resort has eight stories and about 400 rooms. It is casual and rustic but modern and includes amenities such as full-service Business Center, and 24-hour in-room dining. Pool, concierge lounge, fitness center and sundries store also adds to the package. The Ambience Day Spa is ready to pamper you.
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Area Stay N’ Play Packages in Fu
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HARLESTON, S.C. – This summer, the Charleston area is offering incredible savings on stay and play packages. Showcasing a variety of championship courses, wide range of comfortable accommodations in close proximity to downtown and entertainment options for all ages, the Charleston area is a premier destination for families, friends and couples to travel for a golf vacation. The following is a sampling of seasonal packages on par for both beginners and amateurs. Brews & Birdies – Available now through Sept. 11, 2014, this package includes accommodations for three nights at the Holiday Inn Charleston Riverview Hotel, three rounds of golf at a choice of eight courses (Coosaw Creek Country Club, Dunes West Golf Club, Legend Oaks Golf & Tennis Club, Pine Forest Country Club, RiverTowne Country Club, The Golf Club at Wescott Plantation, The Links at Stono Ferry and Wild Dunes Harbor Course) and a 3½-hour tour of local craft breweries. The Brews & Birdies package begins at $149 per person, per night and is based on double occupancy. Historic District & Resort Sampler – Available now through Aug. 31, 2014, this package includes accommodations for four nights at the Holiday Inn Charleston Historic Downtown and four rounds of golf at a choice of six courses (Kiawah Island Cougar Point, Kiawah Island Oak Point, Seabrook Island Crooked Oaks, Seabrook Island Ocean Winds, Wild Dunes Harbor Course and Wild Dunes Links Course). The Historic District & Resort Sampler package begins at $229 per person, per weeknight and is based on double occupancy. Lowcountry Links Layouts – Available now through Aug. 31, 2014, this package includes accommodations for three nights at the Courtyard by Marriott Charleston Waterfront and three rounds of golf at Patriots Point Links, The Links at Stono Ferry and Wild Dunes Links Course. The Lowcountry Links Layouts package begins at $170 per person, per weeknight and is based on double occupancy. Golf & Haunted Jail Tour – Available now through Nov. 27, 2014, this package includes accommodations for three nights at the King Charles Inn, three rounds of golf at Charleston National Country Club, Shadowmoss Plantation Golf Club and The Links at Stono Ferry and a walking tour of Charleston’s haunted Old City Jail. The Golf & Haunted Jail Tour package begins at $176 per person, per weeknight and is based on double occupancy. Wild Dunes Resort Condos – Available now through Dec. 31, 2014, this package includes accommodations for two nights at Wild Dunes Resort and a round of golf at both the Harbor Course and Links Course. The Wild Dunes Resort Condos package begins at $175 per person, per night and is based on quad occupancy.
For reservations or more information on these packages and others available in the area, please visit www.charlestongolfguide.com or call 800-774-4444. The Charleston Area Golf Experience More than 200 years ago, Charleston became the site of America’s first golf club. This heritage of golfing excellence continues today. Guests have convenient access to more than 19 championship courses created by legendary architects including Arnold Palmer, Rees Jones, Gary Player, Arthur Hills, Tom Fazio, Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus and Robert Trent Jones Sr. The area also offers plenty of year-round activity off the course, ranging from historic tours and attractions to inshore and offshore fishing, award-winning dining and a year-round calendar of festivals and events.
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t was only a matter of time. World Golf Hall of Fame golfer Tom Watson’s wildly successful 2010 DVD series--Lessons of a Lifetime-became one of the most successful golf instructional videos of all time and now is being followed by an encore edition called Tom Watson: Lessons of a Lifetime II with new advanced lessons. As in his first two original DVD set, Watson uses his short, conversational style to demonstrate some of the best fundamentals you will ever find in a convenient 47-minute video that covers many areas of the game, including mental preparation. These are classic tips but presented in Watson’s everyman-style and easy narration in short segments makes it especially valuable for both aspiring and advanced players of any age or ability. The handy booklet that comes with the series breaks down each lesson with several bullet points to remember and makes it especially easy to take to the practice range or putting green to work on. In watching the DVD you actually feel like you are taking a private lesson from one of the greatest players ever, and the fact that Watson has won eight major championships and 39 PGA Tour titles and will be the Captain of the United States Ryder Cup team again this fall, just enhances what he is teaching. “I felt it was time to provide further instruction in areas not just about hitting the shots, but also about the mental approach of playing the game,” said Watson. “One of the many great things about golf is that it
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can never be mastered. Sure you can have a good run of play, but sooner or later the wheels will come off. I’ve been experiencing the game for half a century, and I promise you I’m still learning.” The original Tom Watson Lessons of a Lifetime DVD has become one of the best-selling golf instructional video programs of all time--having sold over 70,000 DVD sets in 5 languages in over 40 countries. In extensive surveys conducted with buyers, 88 percent said the program had improved their game and 79 percent rated the program as excellent. The new lessons cover many advanced topics, including pre-shot routine, the importance of the bottom of the arc, head movement, how to benefit the most with your time on the practice tee, handling pressure, the 40 yard wedge shot, controlling trajectory on chips, chipping with a putting set up, several putting lessons and instruction for kids and seniors. In these 20 new lessons, Watson concentrates on some key shortgame tips but also delves into the mental aspect of all phases of the game. “I’m trying to get people to be better golfers,” added Watson. “I am always looking for that little tip that will make someone happy and improve their game.” Watson also gives credit to and explains some of the timeless knowledge of the game that he learned from some of the all-time greats that came before him like Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus—and even relates a tip from the father of Tiger Woods.
SWEETSTUFF by TerryRoss
Watson ranks sixth on the list of total major championship victories and is one of only fourteen players to have won at least three of the four major golf titles. The cover of the DVD and booklet is adorned with images of one of the most memorable shots in golf history--Watson’s 71st-hole birdie chip-in at Pebble Beach to win the 1982 United States Open, a shot many historians consider to be the shot of the 20th century. This new set of lessons were was at The Greenbrier Resort, where Watson is Golf Professional Emeritus, and produced and directed by award-winning former ABC producer Terry Jastrow, who also produced and directed the original series. These new 2014 lessons are being sold separately and also combined with the original two-disc Lessons of a Lifetime program. Tom Watson Lessons of a Lifetime II with new advanced lessons (3 discs and a 20 page booklet) will have a MSRP of $49.95. Tom Watson Lessons of a Lifetime II: The New Advanced Lessons (1 disc and a 4 page booklet) will have a MSRP of $24.95. A portion of the proceeds from all sales will be contributed to the Bruce Edwards Foundation for ALS Research. Edwards was Watson’s long-time caddie who passed away in 2004 from ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The “Tom Watson: Lessons of a Lifetime II” DVD programs are now available at Amazon, select golf and sporting goods retailers and on-line at www.TomWatson.com. The set is also available to purchase by telephone at 800-993-5589.
wo of the most successful franchises that TaylorMade Golf has ever produced include the Ghost and the Spider lines of putters, and the latest model—the Ghost Spider Si--combines the best of each in addition to the growing popularity of counter-balanced clubs that helps players with their stroke stability and keeping the putter on-path. The white-head Ghost series by TaylorMade has been shown to aid with contrast in lining up putts, while the Spider feature—named after the large shape of the head that resembles the tentacles of the insect--provide increased forgiveness in the putting stroke.
Counter balancing incorporates using a longer shaft and then griping down two to three inches on a 15-inch, 125-gram grip to increase the feel of a pendulum-like stroke without anchoring it to the body, which will soon be illegal under the Rules of Golf. While the typical putter has one light end (grip) and one heavy end (head), putting more weight in the grip to counterbalance the weight of the head increases the MOI (moment of inertia) for the entire club, from top to bottom, which makes it 50 percent more stable and much easier to keep the head on path--something the company calls “Stroke Stability.” The counterbalance concept was validated in a major way when TaylorMade staffer Justin Rose used a Ghost Spider Blade to win the 2013 U.S. Open. This new putter has a light, easy feel thanks to the counter balancing and improved design of the head, and the exceptional alignment markings are simple but effective and give a feeling of confidence over the ball. “The player excitement on Tour over counterbalanced putters drove the creation of the Ghost Spider Si,” said Tomo Bystedt, TaylorMade Golf’s Director of Product Creation for Irons, Putters and Wedges. “It’s the perfect putter for players who want the benefits of a high MOI head and counterbalanced stroke stability in a clean, elegant design.” The key performance benefit of the Ghost Spider Si comes from the exceptionally high MOI. The MOI in traditional blade and mallet putter ranges from 3500-4500. The Ghost Spider Si has an MOI of more than 6000 which makes the putter head more resistant to twisting at impact and helps protect ball speed and distance-control on off-center hits. The PureRoll Surlyn® insert is improved and has a soft-yet-solid feel and promotes a smooth roll straight off the face. The Spider Si putter is offered in a 35 or 38-inch shaft. Players grip the club as they would a normal-length putter, with two or three inches of the butt-end of the grip extended above their hands, which provides the maximum benefit of counterbalancing. The 38-inch length is engineered for players who normally play a 35-inch length while the 35-inch model is built for the player who favors a 33-inch length. Players who favor a 34-inch length can choose between either 35 or 38 inches. More information is available at: www.taylormadegolf.com
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itleist has produced some of the finest clubs in the game with its line of Bob Vokey designed wedges, and being the most popular on the PGA Tour over the last decade has given him the opportunity to collaborate with the best players in the world and improve on his designs using the best feedback possible. The new Vokey Spin Milled 5 Wedges by Titleist are a product of that research and feedback and have resulted in some impressive innovations and sole grinds that are markedly improved over previous models in the way they feel and slide through the turf with greater control and spin. Using proprietary Spin Milled technology and new, deeper TX3 grooves with seven percent larger volume and two performance configurations, this new model line delivers maximum spin by channeling away grass and sand for improved contact between the ball and groove edge. Spin Milled technology also provides trajectory and distance control through precisely milled grooves and machined face texture. Every SM5 wedge is milled to the tightest tolerance in the industry, with each groove individually cut to the maximum dimensions allowed by the Rules of Golf. A localized, high frequency face treatment provides increased groove durability for longer spin retention over the life of the wedge. A lighter, more precise feel is one of the outstanding features of these new wedges that have a more compact and balanced profile with three new finish options: Tour Chrome, Gold Nickel and Raw Black. Each wedge has new, clean graphics, with the grind designation (i.e., “S Grind”) called out on the club, and increased space for five-character personalized stamping. Vokey’s popular personalization and custom options have also been expanded. Vokey SM5 wedges are available in 21 different loft/bounce/ grind combinations and six tour-inspired sole grinds, appropriately slotted into low, mid and high bounce categories to fit all swing types, shotmaking styles and short game conditions. “I’ve always said I have the best R&D facility in the world – the PGA Tour,” Vokey said. “I worked closely with our team of craftsmen and engineers to apply everything I’ve learned from the best players in the world to Spin Milled 5. We’ve increased the spin. We’ve given players more control. And we’ve got a bounce and grind matrix that will provide the versatility and confidence to hit a variety shots around the green and get up and down more.” The SM5 is already the most popular wedge model on the PGA Tour players like Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth, Steve Stricker and Bill Hass playing them. Most players will experience up to 500 rpm of additional spin on full shots from the rough with the lower-lofted SM5 wedges, and up to 400 rpm in the higher lofts, compared with earlier Vokey Spin Milled clubs. Both configurations provide the same spin performance from the fairway and shorter grass. These new grooves produced a more precise strike and distance and help
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eliminate flyers out of the rough, while the new design with increased edge radius contact creates greater spin and predictable distance on most shots. Spin Milled 5 wedges are available in lofts of 46º to 62º (in two degree increments) and six tour-inspired sole grinds (L, T, S, M, F and K), with each model properly sorted into low, mid and high bounce categories. The result is 21 different loft/bounce/grind combinations to satisfy all swing types, shotmaking styles and turf conditions. Two of Vokey’s most popular grinds – S and M – are now available in 54º, 56º, 58º and 60º lofts. There are also four bounce and grind choices in the 58º and 60º lofts, including the addition of the new K Grind, which played a part in two major championship victories last season. The 46º to 52º F Grind models feature wider soles for increased playability, while the 54º to 60º M Grind models have enhanced heel to toe radius for improved turf interaction. SM5 offers two mid-bounce sand wedge options in both the 54º and 56º lofts, based on feedback that more bounce is preferred out of the bunker. The S and M Grinds, with 10º of bounce, also provide more versatility from the sand. For more information: www.titleist.com or www.Vokey.com.
o complement its popular ProV1 golf balls, Titleist has introduced four new models to its performance ball lineup that give golfers some distinct new choices in playability, price point and yes even in color. While the ProV1 and the ProV1x have continued to be the dominant ball played on the professional tours, the latest versions of the NXT Tour, NXT Tour S (soft), DT Solo and Velocity ball lineup are very impressive in both length and feel and contain some new technological advances to make them comparable to the flagship ProV1. You can’t go wrong with any of these in terms of having great feel and the ability to provide spin around the greens with approach shots from many different types of lies. The distance of all of these models is right up there with anything Titleist has on the market, which makes these a great value considering the durability and prices starting below $20 a dozen. More than 40,000 golfers from around the world participated in
SWEETSTUFF by TerryRoss
white-box testing of these new balls, and player feedback was used by the Titleist R & D department to develop these new ball versions. “When we make an improvement to a Titleist golf ball, it’s in direct response to what golfers tell us they need and want,” said Bill Morgan, Senior Vice President of Titleist Golf Ball R&D. “We’re constantly in the field talking with golfers, capturing their launch conditions on all types of shots, and observing how different golf balls perform for their game. All of this information feeds the product development process and allows us to focus our design efforts and ultimately our prototype testing in ways that will enhance performance for these golfers.” The NXT Tour and the NXT Tour S are the company’s closet product to the venerable Prov1 line in terms of performance and have been improved with a reengineered softer compression core and cover for even softer feel that is impressive. It has a proprietary softer compression dual core and a softer Fuseabland cover with spherically tiled 302 octahedral dimple design. The S version has the softer feel and comes in a yellow color as well, but both balls feel soft off the putter and wedges. The Velocity might be the longest of the new Titleist offerings and is designed with a reformulated, proprietary LSX core that produces a high initial ball speed for powerful distance. A new, spherically tiled 328
tetrahedral dimple design delivers a more penetrating trajectory with a shallower angle of descent for even more roll. The result is even more explosive distance on all full swing shots, but with the new softer compression core it is much more playable in the short game as well. Titleist calls the DT Solo its best combination of soft feel and distance in a DT yet. With its super soft compression core and soft ionomer cover, the 2014 model features a new spherically tiled 376 tetrahedral dimple pattern that contributes to even longer driver and iron distance while retaining a distinctly soft feel and consistency. It has a supper soft compression core and the new dimple design, with a more uniform surface coverage, delivers a tighter, more consistent ball flight. This ball comes in bright yellow as well. Titleist officials point out that the difference in distance for all of its balls is only about 4-6 yards regardless of swing speed, so players should base their selection on trajectory, spin preference and feel since lower scores have more to do with hitting it closer to the hole and making puts, as opposed to the 14 or so driving holes in a typical round of golf. They have an excellent ball-fitting site located at: www.titleist.com/golfball-fitting For more information on the new Titleist golf balls: www.titleist.com.
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Golf Vacations Magazine June 2014