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Gazing into the future of the LPGA PGA Tour recovers faster than Tiger does
April I 2011
2011 Pro tours preview
contents âˆ‘ Cover story:
A preview of the LPGA's 2011 season, plus a Q&A with Mike Whan 8
The men's tour finds surprising success even with Tiger's continued failures 16
Splitting hairs on choosing the perfect hat for golf 28
Cover Image by Getty
2 I april 2011 I GottaGoGolf
Gear: Spectator gadgets 24 Glossary: Mulligan 25 FITNESS: Lower body power 26 Gotta Ask: Slow play 23 STAR WATCH: Your golfoscope 54
Know the score and how to keep it without breaking the rules 32
TRAVEL ADVERTISERS TO THE TEE May is GottaGoGolf's GottaGo Travel the USA issue, with stories by women for women on destinations including Palm Springs, the Finger Lakes Wine Region, New England, San Francisco and Scottsdale/Phoenix. We'll also have related features on versatile clothes that double-date on the course and off, the ins and outs of renting golf clubs, and a 19th Hole tasting of wines from our top five wine-golf regions in the country. We're looking for devoted partners and sponsors, but we also have ad space available for this special issue, both on the pages of this digital magazine and on the website that hosts it. Our readers love to take golf trips, and they make the travel decisions in their households. If you'd like to secure a spot, check out our online Media Kit and then please email or give me a call. We need your copy design-ready by May 20.
Orlando's Grand Cypress, Maui's Kaanipali Royal Course, The Landings in Savannah 34
How the pros rate in the tasting room. Plus, a recipe to go with the winning bottle 48
Susan Fornoff, Publisher 510.507.3249
our GAME: Nanette Bisher shares spectating secrets for pro tournaments 45
GottaGoGolf I april 2011 I 3
GottaGoGolf Susan Fornoff
Publisher and Editorial Director
Web Director and 19th Hole Editor
Jeanne Louise Pyle Advertising Director
Anne-Marie Praetzel Designer
Staff Writer Contributing WRITERS
Stacee Brown, Kathie Dyson, Gail Rogers, Thomas Bonk, Regan McMahon Contact Online home: www.GottaGoGolf.com Email address: feedback@GottaGoGolf.com Phone: 510.507.3249
For information about advertising partnerships and rates, contact Susan Fornoff at 510.507.3249 or email feedback@GottaGoGolf.com 4 I april 2011 I GottaGoGolf
The online magazine for women who love the game
Staff Susan Fornoff,the founder and voice of GottaGoGolf, has written thousands of newspaper and magazine articles in a 30-year journalism career, most recently as San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Travel Editor. Her books include “Lady in the Locker Room” and “Northern California Golf Getaways.” Fornoff has covered the Masters, several U.S. Opens and a slew of PGA Tour and LPGA Tour events. She lives in Oakland, Calif. Creative Director Nanette Bisher, of San Francisco, created the logo and look of GottaGoGolf. Bisher most recently was Creative Director for the San Francisco Chronicle. Previous experience includes leadership roles at Danilo Black international design and branding firm, The Journal News, The Orange County Register and U.S. News & World Report. Web Director Cheryl Stotler, of Calistoga, Calif., oversees the online presence of GottaGoGolf and supervises 19th hole coverage on food and beverage. She is wine educator on the Napa Valley Wine Train and has a history of success in the hospitality industry, including at Northwest Airlines, WaterBarge Restaurant (which she co-owned with her partner, John Coss), Tudal Winery and Lindblad Expeditions. Advertising Director Jeanne Louise Pyle, of Seattle, builds GottaGoGolf’s relationships with partners and sponsors. She established Puget Sound Media Services after a career in publishing that included stints as Publisher and National Sales Manager for Seattle Magazine, Sales Manager for Pacific Northwest Golfer Magazine and Associate Publisher for Edible Seattle Magazine. Designer Anne-Marie Praetzel of Berkeley, Calif., has worked in magazine and newspaper publishing for many years, most recently as a designer at the San Francisco Chronicle. Before that she lent her wideranging skills to magazines including Publish, 10 Percent Magazine, PC World, Electronic Musician and National Parks. Staff Writer Emily Kay, reigning club champion at Sky Meadow Country Club in Nashua, N.H., tracks women’s golf news for GottaGoGolf. Kay’s Choice Communications takes on projects in the business and tech worlds — her masters at American University was in public affairs journalism — and she writes for Waggle Room, National Golf Examiner, Boston Golf Examiner and New England Golf Monthly. April Spotlight: Katharine Dyson says she can’t get out of bunkers, but that’s OK with GottaGoGolf — her feisty, smart golf and travel articles and essays find their way into national and international publications and onto websites and blogs. This month she takes our readers on a girls getaway to Orlando, Fla., that so engrosses her gang, they didn’t even take any pictures! Dyson has also written guidebooks and is author of the new app “Golf’s Greatest Destinations.”
Putting a face on our game
A greeting from the publisher
Photo /Editor04/ Fornoff
he first three covers of GottaGoGolf depicted concepts that reflected our core principle: Golf is fun! But this month’s Pro Tours 2011 preview edition cried out for a human, a woman, we thought, and we asked your opinion. In a LinkedIn poll, emails and Facebook posts, our mostly American women readers tended to suggest that Michelle Wie or Paula Creamer be front and center. But neither player had won yet this year. What about Yani Tseng, we wondered? The 22-year-old from Taiwan was Player of the Year last year and won her first four tournaments this year — one in Taiwan, two in Australia and the LPGA’s first official event, the Honda LPGA Thailand. Isn’t this
Yani Tseng, second from left, always has time and a smile for her fans. the new face of the LPGA, the likely successor to Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa? If so, she hasn’t gained a following yet. So GottaGoGolf made a point of checking out her game and persona at the Founders Cup in Phoenix last month. Her game, perhaps a bit tight from expectations, didn’t put her on the leaderboard in her 2011 stateside debut. She barely made the cut, then shot 69 in the final round to finish with a smile, posing for pictures and signing autographs for all who stopped her. About that smile: This player’s primary goal is to enjoy herself and the game; we heard about what a great sense of humor she has, how mischievous a pool shark she is, and how very devoted she has been to learn-
ing English so as to communicate on tour and in her Orlando community, where she lives in the house she bought from Annika. You know, the public was slow to warm up to Annika. Once private and reserved, she was dubbed the Ice Queen — perhaps partly because she came from Sweden. A little homerism is natural; we want our countrywomen to perform well. But the LPGA has gone global, and the face of its future is, for the first time since Se Ri Pak came on the scene, of Asian descent. It’s our guess that someday “Yani” will have the same one-name recognition as Annika, Martina, Venus and Serena. And we’ll be thrilled to have made her our first cover woman.— Susan Fornoff GottaGoGolf I april 2011 I 5
feedback Love that positive thinking Last month’s poll asked what you were doing to get ready for golf season. Somehow it wasn’t a big surprise to us at GottaGoGolf to find that many of our readers think they are always ready. I store my clubs, shoes and hats in my trunk. I'm always ready! I have been working hard to strengthen my body. I'll be ready! I'm reading every golf book, tip and lesson I can find. I'll be ready!
March Poll Results Practicing 7% Always ready! 40%
I've been going to the range and practicing my chipping all winter. I'll be ready! I got new clubs for Christmas. I'll be ready! My golf course bartender makes the best Bloody Marys. I'm ready right now!
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New equipment 6%
Studying 10% Cocktail 4%
Working out 33%
Planning golf around A parenting Schedule I just stumbled upon your site on Facebook and am totally impressed!! I LOVE to golf!! Misty, my best friend since kindergarten (36 years!), loves to golf as well. Located right between us is Tiburon Golf Club, which has 27 holes and is our absolute favorite place to play. I am amazed at how few women golfers there are though … we need more. We try to go out
at least once a week in the summer, but with seven kids between us it is challenging! I am so looking forward to reading your articles!! Woo Hoo!! I am very excited about your magazine...would love it in print form! Amy Spainhower Gretna, Nebraska (outside of Omaha)
Please visit GottaGoGolf on Facebook, and feel free to tweet us @GottaGoGolf. Email Letters to the Editor to: feedback@GottaGoGolf, and please include your hometown for publication.
Can't Get enough of those rules I love your magazine! It’s great! I really miss Golf for Women, but this is a fine replacement. And it touches on so many topics. I read it cover to cover! My home course is the Asheville (N.C.) Municipal. Every Tuesday, league play day, we go over one USGA rule and make sure everyone understands it. How about something like that in each issue? There’s always a LOT of chat over these rules because sometimes we all interpret it a different way. Jennifer Blalock Asheville, N.C.
You say tomato, I say tomahto I was interested enough to read your home page but when you used “golf” as a verb I quit reading. Have you ever heard Freddy or Tiger say “I golfed yesterday”? One doesn’t say “I tennised yesterday”—same thing. One plays the game of golf just as one would play the game of tennis. I realize there are experts who say it is acceptable usage, but for me it is used by newbie golfers who don’t know better. Pat McGinnis Sun Valley, Idaho Hi Pat: Google “golf, verb” and plenty of interesting stuff comes up, folks seem to have their opinions. One can
argue all day with the dictionary and with editors like myself, but there is something in your note that makes my case for using it as a verb: You used the word ‘golfers.’ Now, if golf is not a verb, then one cannot be a golfer. One must be a golf player, right? So I think you should go give my magazine GottaGoGolf another shot! (And surely GottaGoPlayGolf leaves something to be desired as a title.)
Thanks for writing, may we use your letter? —Susan Fornoff Dear Susan: Wow you are sharp! I’ve never heard this argument before, but you make your case. Yes, I will certainly check out your magazine — there is definitely an audience out there and I hope you do well. Yes, you may use my letter. I am from Sun Valley, Idaho, and have PLAYED GOLF since I was 12!
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was that chili dip, or dipping into chili? Love the magazine, keep up the good work. I edit a local golf magazine in Kansas City that focuses on area tournaments, courses and travel— wish it could be totally female-focused! By the way, regarding the February 2011 Glossary term, I had always heard that chili dip was so called not because of snacking and those kinds of dips, but rather because it was like dipping a ladle into the chili pot — a chili dip. Chris Chapman, Editor Kansas City Golf magazine
Eat and exercise to play your best GET OUT OF THE CART HEALTHY SNACKS CLOTHES THAT MOVE SPA GOLF TREATMENTS
MARCH I 2011
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COVER THE 2011 LPGA TOUR
It's all about the future By emily kay
Webb took turns in the winner’s ciricle in the tour’s second and third official events, and the 2011 season was off and running. But … not so fast. It appeared that the 22-yearold Tseng — who blew the field away in the Honda PGA Thailand curtain-raiser — and Webb GottaGoGolf I april 2011 I 8
might provide women’s golf the star power it craved following the early departures of Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa. But then, just as golf watchers believed the LPGA might ride out its overseas start and the three-week break before its first stateside event, State Farm
Insurance yanked its sponsorship of the 2012 LPGA State Farm Classic. Word that one of the tour’s stalwart backers was bailing after 2011 had to disappoint Whan, who’s worked hard to attract and retain title sponsors for his struggling organization. LPGA Tour 2011: Off and running, and then stalled. Small wonder that the commissioner and his players already have their sights set on 2012, when they expect a rebounding economy to help persuade companies
to re-invest in women’s golf. In the meantime, what may be the tour’s most talented field ever plays in near obscurity on tapedelayed reruns, unable to build momentum on a schedule filled with vacant weeks. A likeable casT There’s nothing wrong with the product Whan is selling. After all, the top women golfers in the Her future’s so bright, Michelle Wie has to wear shades.
Photo / Andrew Redington / getty
When Taiwan's Yani Tseng won her third tourney in as many weeks in February, we’re sure we heard LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan heave a sigh of relief. Then, seven-time major champion Karrie
GottaGoGolf I april 2011 I 9
The winner of the Kraft Nabisco would take her leap into Poppy's Pond and then go on break for four weeks, until the LPGA Classic at the end of the month. world jousted for the top ranking last year. Tseng has clearly asserted herself as the player to beat early in 2011, with a revived Webb bouncing up into the top 10 after her HSBC Women’s Champions win in Singapore and Founders Cup victory in Phoenix. With Jiyai Shin, Suzann Pettersen, Na Yeon Choi, Cristie Kerr, Ai Miyazato, Michelle Wie, a healthy Paula Creamer, and the intriguing Lexi Thompson in the mix, the season promises some great theater. Thompson, who won’t have membership privileges for two years, longs to inject some youthful vigor into tour events through sponsor exemptions and Monday qualifiers. The 16-year-old wunkderkind makes headlines whether she’s petitioning the LPGA for more playing time (she lost) or playing guys in mini-tour events (she won). And consider Tseng, the six-time LPGA Tour winner who has everything a sports fan could want in a superstar — athleticism, talent, determination, confidence, two major
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Alexis Thompson represents the tour’s more distant future.
Too much time on their hands
Photo/ Getty Images
championships — and none of the attitude. She woos fans and the media off the course as effortlessly as she smacks the cover off the ball between the ropes. But TV viewers had no chance to watch Tseng battle Wie, reigning U.S. Women’s champ Paula Creamer, and Webb in real time in the season openers. Too few dates to circle The problem is finding venues where these skilled golfers can showcase their abilities. Of the 25 official events, U.S. courses will host only 13. Huge chunks of time separate U.S. tourneys. From July 11 to Aug.19, the tour will take its talents overseas. Another gap stretches between Sept.19 and Nov.17, giving U.S. audiences almost two months to forget about the LPGA. The original calendar featured one more event, but ongoing drug-related violence in Mexico knocked the Tres Marias Championship off the schedule. The winner of the Kraft Nabisco Championship would take her leap into Poppy’s Pond on April 3 and then go on break for four weeks, until the LPGA Classic at the end of the month. That chasm between events will make it difficult for the tour — let alone the players — to build buzz following one of the most popular dates on its dance card. “We need to play more,” Whan told GottaGoGolf in a recent interview. “Twentyfive times is not enough.” The Titleholders tourney puts a new, limited-field twist on the season-ending event.
No, we didn’t forget to include any of the 2011 LPGA tournaments: Those are just some big gaps in the schedule, especially between the Kraft Nabisco and Avnet this month.
2011 LPGA SCHEDULE
Honda PTT LPGA (Thailand) Feb. 17-20 HSBC Women’s Champions (Singapore) Feb. 24-27 RR Donnelley Founders Cup (Phoenix) March 17-20 Kia Classic (City of Industry, CA) March 24-27 Kraft Nabisco Champiship (Rancho Mira ge, CA.) March 31-April 3 Avnet LPGA Classic (Mobile, Ala.) April 29- May 1 Sybase Match Play (Gladstone, N.J.) May 19-2 2 ShopRite LPGA Classic (Galloway, N.J.) June 3-5 LPGA State Farm Classic (Springfield, Ill.) June 9-12 LPGA Championship by Wegmans (Pit tsfield, N.Y.) June 23-26 U.S. Women’s Open (Colorado Springs , Colo.) July 7-10 Evian Masters (France) July 21-24 Ricoh Women’s British Open (Scotland) July 28-31 Imperial Springs (China) Aug. 4-7 Safeway Classic (North Plains, Ore.) Aug. 19-21 CN Canadian Women’s Open (Quebec) Aug. 25-28 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship (Ro gers, Ark.) Sept. 9-11 Navistar LPGA Classic (Prattville, Ala.) Sept. 15-18 Solheim Cup (Ireland) Sept. 23-25 LPGA Hana Bank Championship (Korea) Oct. 6-9 Sime Darby LPGA (Malayasia) Oct. 14-16 LPGA Taiwan Championship Oct. 20-23 Mizuno Classic (Japan) Nov. 4-6 Lorena Ochoa Invitational (Mexico) Nov. 10-13 Titleholders (Orlando, Fla.) Nov. 17-20
Yani Tseng Karrie Webb Karrie Webb Sandra Gal
GottaGoGolf I april 2011 I 11
Brittany Lincicome, 25, can bomb the ball with the best of them. In the Nov.17-Nov.20 clash, which replaces the LPGA Tour Championship, the top three golfers from each official contest during the season will meet at Grand Cypress Golf Club. Tseng, Webb and Wie are among those who have already punched their 12 I april 2011 I GottaGoGolf
tickets to Orlando. Anchors away, for now With Tseng and other non-Americans taking the year's first four titles and topping the leader boards at any given tourney, it’s
clear — like it or not — that the Floridaheadquartered LPGA is a global tour. The view from here is that there’s a lot to like. Whan is doing what he must by chasing the dollars — and AMUs — to Asia, which is, as Kerr noted in a recent Los Angeles Times interview, “where the money is.” Kerr also conceded that she and her compatriots get more respect away from home. “I think we are very well received in Singapore, and in Asia, where I think right now, we are more stars over here than we are in the United States,” she said before the Singapore event. “People in Asia are crazy for golf. I think we definitely have a warm welcome here, and we feel I think a little bit more … appreciated is not the right word, but we feel maybe more special here. “We are the best women golfers in the world,” Kerr, always one to lay it on the line, added. “We deserve and want to feel special.” That recognition isn’t forthcoming in the States, where women’s sports barely achieve stepsister status. But Whan, who has made “Global Tour” a catch phrase, keeps trying. “We need to play more in the states,” he said. “I get painted with a global brush, but don’t kid yourself; I’m focused on domestic activity.”
Photo s / Getty Images
Dave Andrews, a retired reporter and author of “Pops and Sunshine,” a novel about the LPGA Futures Tour, concurred. “It’s a reality nobody likes to talk about,” he said. “But the growing dominance of women’s golf among Asian players has had an impact on sponsorship, fan interest and TV-viewer interest in the U.S.” Tseng might politely disagree. “The LPGA is such a global organization, we need to showcase our international talent all over the world,” she told website Golf365. “The Taiwanese and Chinese cultures, and Korean and Japanese too, are all so rich and this is such a nice opportunity to see just how diverse the LPGA Tour is.” Where’s the remote? Home or away, there’s nothing like warmedover reruns of yesterday’s play to make TV viewers scramble for the remote. With 38 of 94 official rounds last year on tape delay, and 11 with no TV telecast, Advertising Age noted that more than half of all LPGA rounds didn’t make it to your HDTV screen. And the LPGA is only in the second year of a 10-year deal that former commissioner Carolyn Bivens signed with Golf Channel for “coverage” that
Paula Creamer lines up a putt on the LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club in February. devoted fans have to search for to find. Nick Green, owner and golf-business analyst with MacDuff Consulting, suggested that the tour storm into the 21st century via social media. “Take the content and make it readily available [on the web],” Green said.
“Run live TV online and on mobile devices....The LPGA has to find new ways [to air its product] and with new technology comes new opportunities.” No doubt, but TV remains the key to accelerating interest for now. During its GottaGoGolf I april 2011 I 13
“The LPGA is better off with a Lexi Thompson who can't wait to compete than they are to have a burned-out kid who doesn't want to have anything to do with golf" season-opener, the LPGA launched its first television ad campaign in four years. Fan fave Natalie Gulbis was the centerpiece of four spots highlighting the accessibility of women’s golf. “You have a game that’s so much more approachable [than other sports],” said Jon Last, president of Sports & Leisure Research Group. “The fans are closer to the field of play than anywhere else. I’m not surprised to see the LPGA exploit that; they need to and will embrace some personalities and need superstars people can rally around.” What’s next from the commish Which brings us full circle and back to the many obstacles facing the optimistic and enthusiastic Whan. The commissioner has earned high marks from players and pundits for the way he’s handled a slew of controversies in his short tenure. He did not give Thompson the extra sponsor exemptions
she wanted, but his decision to open Monday qualifiers to all professional women golfers won kudos from her handlers and golf watchers in general. “Absolutely brilliant,” two-time major champ and NBC Sports broadcaster Dottie Pepper told the magazine Global Golf Post. “He supported membership....And he looked out, long term, for someone who may be coming on her heels that may be just as good if not better. “The LPGA is better off with a Lexi Thompson who can’t wait to play, who can’t wait to compete,” Pepper said, “than they are to have a burned-out kid who doesn’t want to have anything to do with golf.” And then there was the Founders Cup snafu. The unique “mock” purse event designed to advance girls golf at the expense of players and caddies came under heavy fire initially, but Whan admitted his early missteps and worked with the players until he got it right.
(See New to You on Page 20 for more details.) The tournament, won by Webb, turned out to be a huge success in the wake of the Japan disaster. And three founders greeting players as they finished made for charming TV. “I believe Commissioner Whan has shown his leadership abilities by listening to his players and implementing changes as a result,” Creamer, an early critic of the event, told Golf Channel. Creamer’s support for what she hoped would become a regular, full-field tournament should serve women’s golf well now and into the future. The tourney benefits tomorrow’s LPGA players and could well be Whan’s legacy. “The Founders Cup is built on recognizing the philosophy that we need to ‘pay it forward,’” Whan told GGG. “One week a year, we’re going to play and the recipient of that is going to be the future.” Ah, the future. In 2011, the LPGA looks forward to that. GGG
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Take five: A chat with the commish GottaGoGolf’s Emily Kay posed a few questions for LPGA Tour Commissioner Michael Whan during a quiet moment at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. Here is some of what she learned from Whan, who was just beginning his second year at the helm of the women’s tour.
PHOTO / getty images
GottaGoGolf: What are your major challenges going forward? Michael Whan: They’re the same today as they were last January, which frustrates me....If you go back to the original mission of the LPGA, it’s really to empower, inspire, and educate women through the game of golf. We can’t inspire if we’re only playing 25 times. That’s our challenge. If we’re to empower and inspire people, we have to do it by putting our best players on the planet on display more than 25 times a year. GGG: How do you get them out there more than 25 times? Whan: We’re working on a multi-year sponsorship with [a Fortune 500 company].
I’m selling something that’s a pretty long sell; everything is customized about it. We don’t sell a golf tourney, we sell a customer experience and...you have to treat Kraft Nabisco differently than you treat Wegmans, and you have to treat Wegmans differently than you treat Honda Thailand. GGG: You mentioned the tour may have some surprise new tournaments this year? Whan: It’s still in the works but the one surprise I probably felt best about is probably going to be in 2012. You will probably hear about them this year but they’ll start in 2012. None of those [surprises] I had in mind are gone; they just may not [happen] in 2011.
GGG: Is there too much attention paid to the tour having too few domestic events? Whan: It’s a fair comment and I agree with it. We need to play more in the states, and if we play more in the states, we’d play more worldwide because companies signing up with us in the states all have worldwide businesses. GGG: How would you grade yourself after your first year? Whan: C. I couldn’t have tried any harder but [after a certain point] you stopped getting graded for effort. We’re playing 25 times versus 24 times. Is that a win? No, that wouldn’t have made my expectations....I expect better grades for me ahead but I have to go earn them.
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COVER: pga tour
A rosy outlook for the guys, post-Woods meltdown By thomas Bonk
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plan, he wanted to show the networks a spike in the ratings in the first part of the year, and that’s precisely how it’s played out. Finchem urged players to front-load their schedule and possibly compete in some events in which they do not usually appear (hello, Tiger Woods). That strategy didn’t really work if Finchem was targeting Woods. Tiger is a creature of habit and follows a playing schedule that simply doesn’t vary from year to year. Speaking of Tiger, he’s been all over the news in the early going, not always cast in the most favorable light. For instance, Woods was fined by the European Tour at Dubai for spitting on the green in an incident that was deemed “Spittergate.” He
Martin Kaymer blasted his way to a No. 1 ranking early in the year and finished second in the World Match Play Championship. was fined by the PGA Tour at Torrey Pines for dropping an F-bomb on TV and was later accused by his playing partner, rookie Brendan Steele, of mailing it in on the last day. In the midst of a difficult swing change campaign, Tiger lost his No. 1 ranking and started free-falling to No. 5, with Phil Mickelson only inches away. Tiger in shadows Woods gave himself some much-needed publicity recently when he appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s late-night show on NBC and
PHOTO / getty images
ou know the one thing they always say about the men’s pro golf tour. It’s all about the competition? Well, yes, but the real truth is this one: It’s all about the money, as in making more, and so far the PGA Tour is putting itself in a position to back the truck up to the bank and start unloading some cash. The reason is television. The biggest story line so far in 2011 on the PGA Tour is that the ratings are up, and that makes the suits in World Headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., quite happy, thank you. The tour’s contracts with its television partners are ending and negotiations for a new deal are going to open up sometime this year. According to Commissioner Tim Finchem’s
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COVER: pga tour
In this part of the season's timeline, the tour is busy developing advertising scenarios that don't emphasize woods...spinning this year as a battle of generations.
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Northern Ireland in this youth brigade, but unfortunately for them, he isn’t a member of the tour. Strictly by age, McIlroy is definitely in there, though, and so too are Ryo Ishikawa of Japan and Martin Kaymer of Germany. Star tracking isn’t such a simple assignment, but sizing up new stars should be a cottage industry. Singling out just one of that group as the next to break out isn’t easy. But many point to the 22-year-old Fowler, last year’s PGA Tour rookie of the year. A mop-top Californian now living in Florida, Fowler is the son of a trucking company owner. Rickie is a one-time dirtbike rider who gave up the bigtime competition after spilling and breaking a couple of bones in his foot. He’s 5-foot-9 and 150 pounds, but still absolutely
launches it off the tee. He’s also picked up some fans, such as Mickelson. “You can’t help but pull for him,” said Mickelson. “He’s a nice guy, really a quality individual, means a lot to American golf. He’s a talented player.” Most of what has transpired so far in 2011 is simply prologue to the major
championships, where all sorts of mayhem is expected, especially with Woods winless in the Bigs since the 2008 U.S. Open. Return with us now to 2010, when the majors were won by Mickelson at the Masters (OK, that’s not so hard to fathom), but then followed by victories from Graeme McDowell at the U.S. Open, Louis Oosthuizen at the British Open and Kaymer at the PGA Championship. Tiger Woods, shown here at Torrey Pines in January, has seen better days and expects to see them again.
PHOTO s/ Getty images
spent most of the time wearing a huge smile. It was a welcome change. In recent times past, the words Woods and late night publicity have not been so positively received. But as they always say on the PGA Tour (there we go again), Tiger moves the needle. By golly, they need him. And yet, in this part of the season’s timeline, the tour is busy developing advertising scenarios that don’t emphasize Woods. The public relations machine is spinning this year as a battle of generations. It’s the Old Guard of Woods, Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, vs. the Young Guns of Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson, Anthony Kim, Nick Watney. The tour would love to stick Rory McIlroy of
Rickie Fowler, center, gets a congratulatory handshake after dispensing with Phil Mickelson at the World Match Play Championships.
No one in that group of three had ever won one before, so at least a slight sense of unpredictability still hang in the air. More surprises? In the meantime, the rankings reflect a shift in the atmosphere of the hierarchy. For the first time since 1992, the top four players in the Official World Golf Ranking are all from Europe: No. 1 Kaymer, No. 2 Lee Westwood of England, No. 3 Luke Donald of England and No. 4 McDowell of Northern Ireland. There is a chance for more upsets at the majors this year. The U.S. Open is at Congressional, where Ernie Els won it the last time it was played there, in 1997. The British Open is at Royal St. George’s and remember Ben Curtis in 2003? Sure you do. The PGA Championship returns
to Atlanta Athletic Club, where David Toms prevailed over Mickelson in 2001. From here on out, there will be many sets of eyes keenly trained on Woods, to gauge how successful he becomes with the third swing change of his career. Winless since 2009, Woods is stuck on 71 victories and (more important) 14 major titles.
He says he’s getting closer to putting it all together. But he also has been saying that for a while now. Said Woods: “It’s definitely getting better, there’s no doubt. Everything is kind of shaping up and heading in the right direction, which is good.” You can be a Woods fan or not, but there is no question the tour
is stronger when Woods is playing well. So at this stage of the year, Woods and the PGA Tour say they are both traveling the same path, getting better, making progress. We shall see. GGG Thomas Bonk writes online at thomasbonk.com. He has previously written for the Los Angeles Times and Golf Digest Digital. GottaGoGolf I april 2011 I 19
short game notes about the game's characters, quirks and gadgets Compiled by Susan Fornoff
A hit, not a whiff The LPGA’s inaugural Founders Cup at Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix proved to be much more successful than anyone had dreamed. Well, except for maybe commissioner Mike Whan, who came up with the idea of an allprize-money-to-charity event honoring the 13 women who launched the LPGA in 1950. Three of the original founders were greenside at the 18th every day, and each hole was named in honor of a founder or a Hall of Famer. Crowds were big and warm, weather was sunny and warm, and players re-
sponded by behaving in a manner both charitable and warm. Although none of the players made money and only the top 10 finishers’ charities benefited financially, many low-profile nonprofits gained acclaim by being represented by tour pros. Among them: Aree Song’s Captain Planet Foundation (which supports K-12 environmental education), Cindy LaCrosse’s Blessings in a Backpack (a program that feeds needy schoolchildren on weekends) and Beatriz Recari’s Alliance for Eating Disorder Awareness. “If I actually did win this
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and was able to give the whole ($200,000 first prize) to charity, I think I’d feel pretty good about it,” said Juli Inkster, who was unsuccessful in sending checks to a food bank and a homeless shelter in San Jose though she appeared on the first-round leaderboard. “But I wouldn’t want to do it every week.”
She was kidding, sort of. Inkster proposed a bit of reformatting for next year so that caddies and maybe the less flush players will be able to make some money. outsmarting the testosterone A recent chat with Chet Williams, senior golf course designer for Jack Nicklaus, yielded this little nugget: Nicklaus’ team had made it a policy to design five sets of tees at each course, a “pro” tee that was seldom used except in tournaments, a long hitters’ tee, an average man’s tee, a senior man’s
tee and a forward tee designed for the average woman player. “Then Jack got to thinking about how most men play too far back from where they should,” Williams said. “And one night, something came to him in a dream or whatever: Men will drive their carts past the back tees, but for some reason they have a hard time driving by a second set of tees. “So about three years ago we started just having three sets of tees, so that the average player only has to drive past one set, and now he’s playing a (course) that was 6,8006,900 yards and now is
New to you
Believe what you see, and don't see The LPGA proudly announced that 24 of its 25 tournaments would have television coverage in 2011. But look closer: Only 15 tournaments will be carried live (on ESPN2, NBC or Golf Channel), and of the LPGA’s 202 hours of coverage, 72 will be tape delayed. Compare this to the PGA coverage – 41 events, all televised and only two tape delayed – and it’s clear why the LPGA picture for 2011 has so much static. — Susan Fornoff
6,500 or 6,600 yards.” Of course, the guys at older Nicklaus courses will need a little encouragement to keep on driving. But nowadays, Williams notes, “We’re trying not to give them the opportunity to play the tees they shouldn’t play.” Flogton’s long ball contest The Alternative Golf Association is challenging innovators and dreamers to make a golf
ball that average players can hit 25 percent farther than the current brands conforming to USGA requirements. The winner of the $10,000 Longest Golf Ball Challenge needn’t worry about size, weight or dimples – the AGA, which advocates unrestricted equipment development and alternative rules formats, cares about none of that. The ball just has to test at least 25 percent longer when
Three sets of tees suit the guys' games
hit with a conforming driver at swing speeds of 80 to 100 mph. AGA founder Bob Zider, an inventor of Flexon eyeglasses and golf clubs, said he doesn’t know how to design a ball to meet his criteria. “I’m not even sure it can be done,” he said, “but it’s my guess this is going to come from somewhere outside the golf industry.”
event COverage, side by side 50 50 40
Number of events in 2011 LPGA
Number of events Televised Live PGA
Number of televised events LPGA
40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0
800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0
total number of TV Hours PGA
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Zider concocted the idea of the AGA years ago, and in 2010 assembled a powerhouse team to present it to the golf establishment. Scott McNealy, the found-
er of Sun Microsystems, is commissioner, and Pat Gallagher, former president of the San Francisco Giants, is CEO. Although traditionalists
seem abhorred by their ideas – including rules AGA founders Scott McNealy, Pat Gallagher and Bob Zider golf for fun.
that might include taking a mulligan on every hole and teeing the ball up in the fairway or rough – they’ve been well received by golf course operators and equipment makers looking for new sources of revenue. Entry deadline for the challenge is June 1. For rules and entry forms, visit www.flogton.com. SNAG Golf rolls out G-Ball In a new effort to grow the game of golf comes G-Ball, a collaboration between National Recreation and Park Association and SNAG (Starting New at Golf). Sort of like TBall for golf, G-Ball aims to have parents coach kids from 5 to 8 years old playing on soccer fields and other open fields. G-Ballers wield easy-to-
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hit mallets to club tennis balls. Brightly colored targets “snag” the balls that hit the bulls-eyes. The program, developed over several years by two doctors, will have a test run this year at 15 park and rec agencies. SNAG’s parent company, Player Development Products LLC, will provide grants of $7,000 each to cover operational costs as well as equipment. NRPA will choose the agencies for the pilot program, which will begin sometime this summer. Said SNAG co-creator Terry Anton, “We believe that many of these new golfers will want to play the game for a lifetime." Check out snaggolf. com for more information about a game marketed as “so easy even an adult can do it.”
photo / david paul morris
When the pros set a bad example The LPGA Tour has to plan for six-hour rounds of golf these days, even though the women go out in threesomes. (Typically, 18 holes take about 5½ hours on the tour, but the minutes start to add up as the day wears on.) There’s a lot of standing around and waiting while the next to play consults with her caddie, tosses grass in the air and takes practice swings. Sometimes she just thinks. Scintillating to watch, isn’t it? But, wait, the men are no better, and the Match Play Championship consolation match in February took five hours – just two players, no one in front of them.
photo / deamstime
G-Ball: For kids, but so easy, adults can play.
Stamp out hat soil A woman-owned company won the PGA Merchandise Show’s best inventor’s spotlight, and the product will be of interest to both genders now that the weather is warming up. Women hat wearers might be interested in BandZorb any time of year – the disposable, antimicrobial hat liners solve the problem of makeup soiling the inner hat band. Men will appreciate their sweatabsorbing properties. BandZorb six-packs start at $7 but there are bulk discounts, at www. BandZorb.com.
what's your take on slow play?
A. I try to be deliberate when I play because I think it helps my game. B. I’d like to spend more time planning my shots but my companions won’t let me. C. It seems to me that the more time I spend thinking, the bigger my score. D. It’s those men in front of us who are holding up the show. E. The pros should take their time when big money’s on the line, but amateurs should hustle along. F. Slow play is good because it gives me time to make a cocktail or hail the drink cart. Vote NOW GottaGoGolf I april 2011 I 23
Provisions for watching tournament golf live Most of us veteran sports scribes find a seat in the press room to watch the final nine holes of a golf tournament on TV. We know we can see more that way. But back in 1980, at the U.S. Open in Baltusrol, I walked 18 holes with Jack Nicklaus and Isao Aoki in what amounted to match play for the cham-
pionship. Seeing Nicklaus match Aoki’s birdies on the last two holes to win remains one of my most memorable sports moments. If you’re ready to get off the couch and see some LPGA or PGA Tour drama up close, here are a few items to consider packing. — Susan Fornoff
Walking 18 with your favorite player can seem more tedious than playing 18; you’ve got to do some waiting. I like the Sidewinder from TravelChair because it’s only 2 ½ pounds but holds 250 due to the sturdy foot construction. Also, it’s only $20 so you won’t cry when you leave it at some 19th hole. (travelchair.com)
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Phil Mickelson Sr. invented a periscope just for viewing players like his son over tournament crowds; there’s even an optional belt hook for easy transport. Today Mickelson Group markets these as Sportscope (approved for use on all of the tours); they start at about $55. (micklesongroup.com)
GLOSSARY: “Mulligan,” the original instant replay
This was too funny to omit. With all of the tours at least giving lip service to prohibiting alcohol at events (there are still venues that look the other way when you put down your blanket and picnic), the “wine rack” seems an easy bet to beat the system. Of course if the natural rack is ample, this addition would attract some attention. $29.95 at hideyourbooze.com, which has other funny concealers.
Carry your own TV (with earphones of course) to catch the back nine the way the sports scribes do. Check out the 7-inch screens on the market starting at around $50, and then have a look at the Artec T28A — selling on Amazon for about $70, and with an 8 1/2inch LCD screen,
It’s a word you probably won’t hear during the April telecasts of the Kraft Nabisco or Masters, unless someone puts up a big number on a hole and wistfully laments how much better things would have gone had she only had one. Here’s what newbies need to know about the mulligan: It’s not legal. It is, however, commonly offered at the first tee of casual rounds in the event of a poor first shot; early in the morning, this may be referred to as a “breakfast ball.” It is also commonly sold at charity events, often in sets of three, to be used as prescribed by the organizers. Here’s what isn’t as widely known: Nobody is quite sure where the term originated, but it is not more than 100 years old and so it probably has nothing to do with the Irish stew. Most likely, however, it started with a do-over by a player with the very common Irish last name Mulligan. The USGA Museum offers three stories of one David Mulligan; in the most common one, Mulligan put his ball down for what he called a “correction shot” and his friends named the do-over after him. The term has since become widely used in sports and life. It seems most everyone would like one at some time or another. —Susan Fornoff GottaGoGolf I april 2011 I 25
fitness Powered from the ground up Much of the golf swing is powered by the lower body. To improve the power and strength of your swing, you must address the muscles of the legs. Here are three great lower body strength and power exercises.
LUNGES: Begin standing with feet about hip width apart. Step forward with the right foot and slowly lower your body in an upright position by bending both your front and back knees. Ultimately, you should lightly touch the back knee to the floor and then return to the start position. Repeat on the left and perform to fatigue. Be sure that the front knee does not pass ahead of the toes. HINT: To make this an easier exercise, only lower halfway to the ground.
By Stacee Brown, PT, DPT, ATC â€˘ FORM Physical Therapy â€˘ email@example.com, www.formpt.com, (415) 297-4113 GottaGoGolf I april 2011 I 26
SQUATS: Begin standing with your feet approximately hip width apart. Bend your hips and knees and lower your body towards the ground as if you are going to sit in a chair. Allow your torso to flex forward from the hips just enough to maintain your balance. Repeat to fatigue. Be sure that the knees do not pass ahead of the toes.
photos / Stacee Brown
RULES I DOVE MOUNTAIN I GADGETS I YOGA POSES I KIAWAH
Eat and exercise to play your best GET OUT OF THE CART HEALTHY SNACKS CLOTHES THAT MOVE
DONâ€™T MISS IT
SPA GOLF TREATMENTS
Our back issues are here!
MARCH I 2011
Even though we can drink wine while we play, we know golf is really a sport that burns calories and requires strength, balance, concentration and endurance, among other qualities that some people just have at birth. Our March issue is loaded with advice, including five great yoga poses and five effective snack foods, adapted for women golfers. And all three of our back issues contain rules and etiquette advice from Guidance columnist
SQUAT JUMPS: Begin in a standing position and quickly squat down followed by an explosive jump for height. Return to the squat position and repeat to fatigue. To absorb the impact and protect the joints, be sure to flex the hips and knees upon landing.
Gail Rogers, painstaking research from 19th Hole Editor Cheryl Stotler, and lots of talking points. Check out our archives!
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Garb Getting to the bottom of selecting a topper
• Large Brim
Crocheted Hat from Sun N Sand. $19.99. At right, Fanny Scheaffer opts for shade at a tournament in Spain.
By regan mcmahon
• Madcapz fashion print hat. $21
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my round,” says Anne Landstrom, a senior consultant in architecture-engineering planning, who often plays with business colleagues and clients at her local course, Tilden Park in Berkeley, Calif. “I like to wear a visor, but then I get sunburned on my part.” Women spend more than $4 billion a year on golf apparel, according to an estimate by the National Golf Foundation, and more than a few of those bucks go for hats. Yet despite the enormous market, there are few options for women, mostly just girlier versions of what’s designed for men. But a few innovators, including Gogie Girl and Madcapz, offer designs created by women for women, and a few women golf stars – most notably Michelle McGann, who designed her own line – make a point of
looking distinctive right off the top. The market primarily breaks down into three types: baseball cap, visor or hat. u The baseball cap ($15-$25) is the most popular, even though it provides the least coverage for skin protection. It keeps the sun off the head and has the practical ponytail poke-out hole for those with longer hair. And players can boast those Nike, Adidas, Callaway, Puma or whatever logos like the pros, who favor the cap style. Materials can be a determining factor in brand choice, whether it’s lightweight cotton or high-tech nylon or Tencel mesh. A recent innovation is the magnetic bill to hold a ball marker, which has caught on with women on the LPGA Tour.
Photo / dreamstime/scheaffer
e all know how important it is to protect your skin from sun damage when out on the course. But for some women, choosing protective head gear has more to do with how we’ll look in the clubhouse when we take it off. Avoiding hat hair and protecting the ’do can be as important as saving face and keeping the sun out of our eyes as we hit our tee shots. “I hate wearing a hat because it smashes my hair flat against my head, and I just know it’s going to look crappy after I’ve finished
• The San Diego Hat Company’s Roll Up Braided Large Brim Visor. $19.99.
“A woman’s hat hair looks much worse than a man’s. It’s not good.” u visors ($6-$22) provide the best combination of sun protection and coiffure preservation. The latest style is the roll-up visor, which has the broad protection of a sunhat but lets the fluffiest crown locks fly free. There are also visors for which the elastic band goes under our hair, like a skier’s headband. And Visor Versa offers colorful, patterned bands to dress up their colorful visors (one visor and two-band package: $22).
u The hat option ($20-$150) breaks down into straw, cloth or polyester; sunhat, Panama, bucket or beanie style. The bucket hat—popular with men but available for women, too—keeps the sun (or rain) off our ears and neck, but won’t do much for our hair. The Panama hat is favored by older women, who appreciate its shady all-around broad brim. Physician Endorsed co-founder Elissa Margulies, whose dermatologist father
raised the family alongside a golf course, markets a wide range of designs and colors, all with sun protection of 50-plus. “It’s all about the hair,” says Rosie Nysaether, who sells real estate when she’s not getting in a round at Monarch Bay in San Leandro, Calif. “If we’re going out to lunch afterward, I just leave my baseball cap on.” She wears a pink Titleist logo and matching pink shoes and socks. “But if I have to go back to work, then I wear a visor. A woman’s hat hair looks much worse than a man’s. It’s not good.” “I have never seen a serious woman golfer GottaGoGolf I april 2011 I 29
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Photo / dreamstime
in anything but a visor,” says Ginny Prior, • Adidas’ unstructured ClimaCool Progession Cap has a moisture-wicking sweatband and mesh who teaches sports journalism at St. Mary’s ventilation to keep you cool. $24 • Nile Tour Perforated Golf Hat with ventilated panels. $22 • Nike’s College and likes to play 18 at Willow Park in unstructured Golf Mesh Cool Cap in cool blue with the all-important swoosh on the crown. $20. Castro Valley, Calif. Sharon Ardoin, who favors the Jack Clark rather wear a visor but wears a baseball cap women have to shop in the boys department South Course in Alameda, Calif., says she’d because she dyes her hair. “I don’t want to to find a hat that fits. They come in extra ruin a very expensive coloring job with four soft fabrics and a “feminine” color palette hours in the sun.” of pink, lavender and light blue. And the line For Nysaether, the hierarchy of needs puts also includes visors, a trucker hat and a milivanity on top. “Your hair is the most impor- tary cap with a little pocket for tees. tant, then your face. Seeing the ball is third,” So which is more important, fit or fashion? she jokes. “I think women golfers fall into two She often ends up grabbing one of her hus- camps,” says golfer Landstrom. "Some don’t band’s or son’s baseball caps emblazoned care what they wear. They want their golf hat with the logo of a golf resort where they’ve to be comfortable and fashionable, they’re played. “The brand isn’t that important,” jocks. They don’t care how pretty it looks. she notes. “It’s about the fit and the color. “But other women are like my friend, who And they’re hard to fit.” wants to look good and puts lipstick on beVicky Waldorf, the wife of PGA Tour play- tween holes. She likes the visors that go uner Duffy Waldorf, was so sick of wearing ill- der your hair. She likes to look cute when fitting baseball caps designed for men, only she’s playing and have the best outfit out a bit smaller for women, that three years there.” ago she started her own product line, called The sport is changing, Landstrom notes. Gogie Girl Headgear. These are not only de- “It used to be dominated by the jock girls, signed by a woman for women, they come and now there are more cute girls coming in, in two sizes, regular and petite, because like Michelle Wie and Paula Creamer, who Above: Wallaroo Victoria Bucket Hat, $36. At left, Young Kim chooses the hat option. Waldorf discovered that 15 to 20 percent of always wears pink.” GGG GottaGoGolf I april 2011 I 31
guidance By Gail Rogers
Make like a pro and know the score My club’s first tournament is this month, and I have noticed recently several tour players getting disqualified for signing incorrect scorecards. If they can’t get it right, how can I?
ast July I was assigned to the scoring area for the last two days of the United States Women’s Open at Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania. The job requires maintaining a quiet area for the players and encouraging them to stay within the area until every detail is checked, even as emotions run the gamete from pure joy to total frustration or even anger. When they arrive I normally say, “Ladies, I ask that you remain within the scoring area until all scorecards are checked and I am certain we have the two correct signatures on each card and that each hole by hole score is legible and correct. If you have a rules concern we also need to resolve that before you leave.”
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The Women’s Open is the biggest stage for professional and amateur players alike. The depth of experience varies widely. With players competing from all over the world, English is sometimes a second language or even not understood by a player. Caddies, walking scorers and the rules official with each group sometimes have to help if there are questions that need clarification. After five hours in sweltering conditions with the fastest greens of the year on the longest course they will play, not to mention the largest purse they will see, the players arrive at the scoring area with one more important part of their round to complete. Each scorecard needs
image s/ dreamstime
to be reviewed by the player with her marker, the player in the group appointed to record her scores. At the Open, scorecards can be checked against the computer that receives the score for each hole transmitted by the walking scorer as the round progresses. A player frequently hands her scorecard to an official wanting to recite from memory her score for each hole. Players sometimes even say the scores backwards from 18 to 1. Remember, a mistake that is too high in a box has to be lived with and a mistake too low means disqualification. Either error can result in a player losing the Women’s Open. (Rule 6-6) Those of us who do not play a lot of tournament golf can learn to be like a professional by keeping score for one other player in our group with each round in stroke play. We have two responsibilities, knowing the correct score of the person we are marking for as well as our own score. Keep your own Visit usga.org to see the rules of golf and decisions. Email rules questions to Gail Rogers.
score at the bottom of the card. At the end of each hole, compare scores and resolve any misunderstandings. Eliminate the idea of one person keeping a master card. Learn to be a responsible marker by observing your fellowcompetitor’s play so that you can truly confirm her score as well as your own. Then if you do play in a tournament, keeping score for yourself and one other player will be a familiar task and will free you to focus more completely on your game. When is a scorecard considered returned? Guidelines can be found in Decision 6-6c/1. At the Women’s Open the scorecard is not considered returned until a player walks out the door of the scoring area. This means she can hand her signed card to an official, but can still take it back and make corrections if a mistake is found as long as she remains within the designated space. At your club the tournament committee can consider a card returned when it is given to the person in charge of the tournament, or if it is to be left with the pro shop, when you leave the pro shop. Some clubs use a box des-
ignated for score ard return. It would be considered returned when you drop it in the box.
or your club championship it would be best to have a table with two people with rules knowledge available to collect the cards and to check them before letting the players in a group leave. Bright blue or yellow tape can be put on the floor to indicate the scoring area, or it can be roped off. If possible, make it in a quiet place where the players can ask questions and review their cards without distraction. Many rules questions happen during club events. Be certain to ask the players if they need clarification with any ruling in their round. It is better to add a stroke or two in scoring than to later be disqualified for a score that did not include a penalty stroke. Remember, take time to finish your round with an accurate scorecard.
Stewardship: Being a good steward of the game means more than just playing golf. What do you know about water and pesticide use on your course? Ask questions. Do some research. Talk to the Green Committee at your club. Go to your golf association’s web page and ask questions. Strive for a cocktail party level of knowledge about golf course concerns. It’s our favorite game. Let’s help to promote accurate information. GGG GottaGoGolf I april 2011 I 33
Golf courses provide the scenery at the Grand Cypress Resort villas.
Golfing girls find a sunny refuge from the snow in Orlando We were doing our monthly lunch thing, something we looked forward to during the icy winter months when our clubs were gathering dust in our garages. As we shared beef filet sliders and sinful sweet potato fries, we tossed around the idea — again — of going somewhere fun to play golf, get some sun and jump start our games. “What about Florida?” suggested Allison. “We can fly into Orlando in one shot and when it’s not school vacation, you can get some amazing airfares.” I wasn’t so sure. “Are you crazy! Just a bunch of girls? No guys? No dancing under 34 I april 2011 I GottaGoGolf
the stars?” To me, a warm-weather getaway meant romance. And sitting around a pool sipping colorful drinks with little umbrellas in them. But not wanting to be left out of something that, who knows, might actually turn out to be a good thing, this year I caved. And let’s face it, these were my friends, my Thursday golf foursome — Allison, Peggy and Leslie.
I knew I could be replaced and there was no way I wanted to be left out and then have to hear them go on and on all summerlong talking about the great golf courses they’d played, dinners out, the fantastic bargains in the pro shop. Blah, blah, blah. Obviously, I needed to be included. So I packed my golf clothes and bathing suit, then coddled my clubs into my cool new ClubGlider, a travel bag on wheels I can pull with my little finger. On the flight down we invented the format for a three-day tournament. First day, a warmup scramble; second day, a best ball;
image s/ Villas at Grand Cypress
By Katherine Dyson
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photos /South6/villas at grand cypress; this page image / dreamstime
and finally a Stableford, with winners for each day accumulating points towards the ultimate prize — we’d chip in for a gift certificate at one of the pro shops. On arrival in Orlando, we rented a minivan big enough to hold our luggage and clubs and drove less than a half hour to Grand Cypress Resort which is conveniently located near all the Disney fun. And you guessed it. We had a great time. We stayed in one of the four-bedroom villas at Grand Cypress, so we each had our own bedroom with a king bed and bath. The villa was really spacious with a living room, dining room, great kitchen with a blender that seemed to churn out so many frosty margaritas, it never cooled down. Our villa had a patio overlooking the North course, a fireplace, a big flatscreen TV in each bedroom (and living room), and free wireless. One night a couple of our Think of the New Course, left, as a clever knockoff of the Old Course at St. Andrews. Ow, the pot bunkers.
In Orlando, even big girls have to go play for a few hours at Disney World and Epcot – especially when the resort shuttle is free. Florida friends came for dinner and crashed for the night on the sleeper sofas. We played golf every day starting with a quick warm-up round on the resort’s ninehole Pitch ‘n’ Putt Course. We got in a little pool time, laughed ourselves silly over stupid things, and stayed up late into the night playing Taboo. We even spent a few hours at Disney World and Epcot, loving the Soarin’ and the new Sum of All Thrills, a crazy, a la carte simulated ride. A free shuttle took us to Disney so we didn’t have to sweat directions. The New Course and the North, South and East Nines, all designed by Jack Nicklaus, provide enough great golf right on campus to keep anyone staying here in golf heaven.
Certainly that was true in our case. I especially enjoyed the New Course, a very clever knockoff of the Old Course at St. Andrews with a ton of pot bunkers, mounded fairways, grasses, sand and rollup greens, many with false fronts. Local knowledge could help here as many of the bunkers were not in sight until you got to them. Wise ones checked the GPS before hitting. Having walked the historic layout in Scotland, it was a thrill to find the equivalent of the Swilcan Burn Bridge as well as a version of the “Road Hole” with the small but treacherous pot bunker in front of the green and “The Valley of Sin” in front of the 18th. Holes 1 and 18 are replicas of St. Andrews holes while others evoke the spirit of this famous links. All we needed was rolling mist and the plaintive sound of bagpipes. We also played an 18-hole combination of the North, South and East Nines. North/South is most requested as it is the venue for past LPGA and Champions Tour GottaGoGolf I april 2011 I 37
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A golf vacation in Orlando affords an opportunity for the practice time one can never squeeze in at home. goofy challenges. We were so relaxed, I can’t remember if we even paid up. With several choices of places to eat and drink right on the Grand Cypress grounds, we really didn’t have to go far when our stomachs grumbled. For casual fare, we tried The Club, with the attitude of a sports bar; Hemingways, which had a Key West flavor with super seafood; and Sunday at La Coquina, we pigged out on one of the best brunches we’d ever experienced. Enormous food displays from shrimp and salmon to eggs and delectable pastries filled the tables. The last night we splurged with dinner at Nine 18. Passing a 500-bottle wine case, we sat down at a table dressed with
photos / villas at grand cypress
The 5th hole of the East Course looks even more challenging from above.
events so naturally we opted for that one. Renovated and redesigned by Nicklaus in 2007 and 2008, the North/South Course is more traditional than the New Course with undulating fairways and a good amount of mounding. Typical of Nicklaus, North/South has wide generous fairways, which we loved, while our second shots were challenged with tougher, narrower approaches to the green. Leslie hits a long boomer, often offcourse, so she spent a fair amount of time in greenside bunkers and went home with the “Beach Award.” We took a couple of lessons at the Grand Cypress Academy and actually got out to the courses early so we could practice, something I never, ever, get to do back home, where I typically drive into the course tying up my shoes as I pull into my parking space. In addition to our three-day tournament (which Allison won), we played skins for 10 cents a hole, bet a dollar on closest to the hole on the par 3s and came up with other
a rust-colored cloth, black linen napkins, Fortessa Flatware, Reidel glasses and candles. Smart. Hip. Browsing the menu, the cognac-splashed Maine lobster bisque, grilled pineapple butter fire grilled Atlantic salmon, and Valrhona chocolate gooey cake caught my eye. Caddyshack move over: Chef Alan Gould was in the kitchen. One of the biggest unexpected perks was getting to know each other better. Sure, we’d been friends for years, but on this trip we dug deeper. We learned Peg took twice as long as the rest of us to get ready for the day (it was all about the hair); learned Allison had considered a separation about five years ago from her husband; realized Leslie needed to eat a snack every couple of hours or she’d freak out; shared stories of past loves – some heavy stuff, some just girl stuff. We bonded. We vowed to do it again next year. We would find a place like The Villas of Grand Cypress where we could all stay in one place with golf courses, golf school, restaurants,
Jack Nicklaus renovated the South Course (6th hole shown here) in 2007-08.
pools, fitness center and other facilities such as a spa or beach on site. Grand Cypress does not have a spa, but does offer in-room massages. We liked the idea but ran out of time. Maybe next year. Price was important — we didn’t want to
pay much more than our guys who typically spend about $1,500 on their outing for everything. We also talked about getting more serious and perhaps signing up for a two- or three-day ladies golf school. At Grand Cypress, five instructors
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FOURSOME FINDS Villas of Grand Cypress Green fees: $150 guest; $175 non-guest. A better deal is to play in the shoulder season, when the fees drop as low as $99. Also look into Stay and Play packages like the Tee & Tutor Package, giving you accommodations, instruction and golf. Contact: 877.330.7377; 407.239.4700; grandcypress.com Reunion Resort, A Wyndham Grand Resort Green fees: Most visitors golf as part of a lodging package, starting at $171 night for a round of golf and lodging per golfer. Unlimited golf packages including lodging and breakfast start at $265 a night per golfer in a foursome.
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Contact: 866.880.8563, reunionresort.com; for academy, 407.662.4653, theAnnikaAcademy.com
photo / villa at grand cypress resort; photo this page / kelly pratt
including two top women pros teach the clinics and lessons. The Academy’s Women’s schools are specifically geared to female golfers with instruction by LPGA Professionals Barb Mucha and/or Mary Bryan. ANOTHER ORLANDO OPTION Not far from Grand Cypress, Reunion Resort has three private championship golf courses by Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Nicklaus. It has a spa, a fitness center, several pools and several places to eat. In addition to the main hotel, this full-service resort has villa accommodations, including a three-bedroom/three-bath villa that will sleep four from $285 per night. Reunion is home to the ANNIKA Academy, a handsome 5,400-square-foot teaching facility offering golf instruction from Annika Sorenstam’s personal coaches as well as Annika herself. There are several golf packages including:
Lucky golfers fix their eyes on Annika Sorenstam during a clinic at her flagship academy at Reunion Resort.
The Classic Golf Package, designed to get the most in a short period of time, with instruction, two nights’ accommodations, video swing analysis, nine holes of golf, breakfasts and lunches. The Championship package gives you
three nights and everything in the Classic plus more instruction, club fitting, 27 holes of golf with a cart and a gift. The Platinum Package adds lunch with Annika. Even higher-end packages roll in a clinic and lunch with Annika, and 9 holes with Annika. GGG GottaGoGolf I april 2011 I 41
A place where women are at home on the range It’s a good time to shop for that golf course home you’ve always wanted, and just outside of the center of Savannah, Ga., GottaGoGolf found a dream house. Well, a lot of dream houses. At last look The Landings, on Skidaway Island, had 384 listings, ranging from $85,000 for a lot to $3.9 million for a 6-bedroom, 5-bathroom mansion with water views. But what makes The Landings so dreamy for GottaGoGolf readers is its women’s golf association: almost 1,000 players strong, counting the 18-holers, the nine-holers and the Farm Team. In the middle of it, head teaching professional Nicole Weller has built a following that reaches across The Landings Club’s six courses (with four clubhouses, including one pro shop devoted to2011 equipment, as well as 42solely I april I GottaGoGolf
a mega-fitness center and many tennis courts and pools). “When you visit here, it’s easy to understand why The Landings is so popular with women,” Weller said. “Everything is equitable, very open-minded, without certain tee-times designated for women. In a lot of our memberships, the woman is the first person listed.” Weller is a nonstop fun factory for the women. She challenges those who ride to walk nine and ride nine for one month, then check the scale and their handicaps. She has a book club, studies the mental aspects of golf, teaches goal setting and focus and formulates fitness pro-
grams. Every practice session includes games and contests. “We have something called ‘crazy golf,’ where they have to start from the rough, start from the bunker, hit one and then throw one,” Weller said. “If they’re throwing, they’re working on their weight shift. “Having games in learning is so important. If practice is made into games, it becomes more enjoyable.” “Nicole’s knowledge goes so far beyond to golf swing, to psychology and to golf fitness,” said Tad Sanders, PGA Director of Golf at The Landings. “She is a really well-rounded and special teacher.
Sanders, who has been at The Landings since it was first developed in 1987, said the average age of the community’s golfers is 65, and the woman’s association has become a great asset in selling those dream houses. “Anywhere you go, the men take care of themselves when it comes to the golf,” Sanders said. “But to be able to tell a woman there’s a thriving women’s club where she won’t have to rely on the husband for golf is huge.” To shop for that house or for more information about The Landings, visit TheLandings. com. For more about Nicole Weller, check out NicoleWeller .com. — Susan Fornoff
Course review: Fab, fine or fizzling for women?
Kaanapali Golf Courses: Royal Course (Maui) 1962, Robert Trent Jones (Sr.), renovated 1991, Robin Nelson
he original designer of the Royal Course did his best to send all of the women to the beach. Robert Trent Jones Sr. installed the traditional three sets of tees – but the forward set was
a very nontraditional 6,000-plus yards. With the beach just a block away, there was no boost from altitude and often a hindrance from the tradewinds. Uh, honey, I’ll meet you on the lanai for a
A round at the Royal Course comes to an end at the 18th green.
mai tai when you’re done. But Robin Nelson supervised a redesign in 2006 primarily to redo the bunkers and install new Bermuda grass greens. Here was Kaanapali’s chance to make the Royal as inviting to the average woman player as the much shorter Kai course that winds up the mountains. Now short hitters can choose between the 5,016-yard front tees or a second set still less than 6,000 yards (5,803). But it’s still a challenge for the Senior Skins Game in January at 6,700 yards. u Course: The first hole seems a bit rude, considering that most right-handers who aren’t warmed up tend to slice
off the tee. Splash. But at a flat 394 yards, it’s a very friendly par 5 for short hitters who stay on the grass. The fifth hole goes to the beach, but the ascent up into the heart of the back nine gives the best views. Whales can be distracting, but in a good way. A really fun five-hole stretch for the average woman player starts with No. 11: three par-4 holes well under 300 yards, one at 301 yards and a par-3 of 126 yards. Yes, you can so reach all five greens in regulation! u ambiance: Sales and marketing manager Melissa Ludwig, general manager Ed Kageyama and head pro Sutee Nitikorn have conspired to
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make Kaanapali one of the most welcoming courses in the world for women. From the female mannequin in the pro shop window, to the staff offering a lot of love, to the prime whalewatching views, Kaanapali scores points. It also has one of the most family-friendly programs in the islands with adult-accompanied juniors playing the Kai Course for free, the innovative Fit Club made up 44 I april 2011 I GottaGoGolf
of six-hole afternoon walkers, and fun-themed monthly women’s tournaments that the public is invited to join. In the end there is a comfortable, open-air sports bar overlooking the 18th green u value: Everything seems to be expensive in Hawaii, and the Royal Course falls in line, at $179 for guests in Kaanapali’s resort community. But the rate drops $50 at 1 p.m., a very good
value for Hawaii – and if you can get to the monthly women’s tournament (generally the last Thursday of the month) you’ll have a fun-filled outing for only $50. Kaanapali rates include the cart, but if your honey’s riding along just for the scenery, that’s another $30. u Woman appeal: It was fitting for the Golf Channel to bring its 2008 “Big Break” for women to Kaanapali. Kaanapali
is the rare golf property that goes out of its way to attract women and then endear itself to them, from start to finish, and the 2006 Royal Course renovation sealed the deal for GottaGoGolf’s Fab for Women rating. — Susan Fornoff Email us for information on how to have your golf course certified by the Women Welcome golf course consultation, evaluation and certification service.
photo / kaanapali golf courses
The whale-watching temptation can be a distraction on the back nine at Kaanapali’s Royal Course.
OUR GAME: Your viewpoint
You don't need to be a swimmer to appreciate a splash in the pond By nanette bisher
GottaGoGolf Creative Director Nanette Bisher loves to watch the pros even though she doesn't play golf—yet.
If you are reading this on April 1 you might still have time to get to the Kraft Nabisco Championship, one of the LPGA Tour’s four majors. I am a huge fan of this event at the Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. And of attending golf tournaments in general and LPGA events in particular. For the cost of a general admission day pass, usually about $30, you get the privilege of walking a beautiful golf course and watching the best athletes in the game as they conquer (or are crushed by) the challenges of it. Friends introduced me to what was then called the Nabisco Dinah Shore tournament in the 1980s when I lived in Los Angeles. Originally named for Dinah Shore, who founded the event in 1972, it has been classified as a major since 1983, and has always been held at Mission Hills. This year’s purse tops $2 million, and the final round offers
one of few chances to see the LPGA on live television this year (thank you, Golf Channel). As a fan of golf tournaments I have walked some beautiful courses. I watched Tiger Woods dominate the U.S .Open in 2000 at Pebble Beach, a course of terrifying challenges — in my eyes — that the juggernaut named Tiger devoured. Leading the entire tournament, he was the only player to finish under par and won by an Open record margin of 15 strokes. I followed Tiger on that final Sunday, along with a gallery of what seemed like the 30,000 plus fans in attendance. Watching Tiger’s swing in person was breathtaking. Graceful and effortless. Earlier that week at Pebble Beach I was able to get there to watch the golfers in a practice round. I enjoy the early tournament days where the players are more relaxed. Tiger was paired with Phil Mickelson, and they were waiting for the group ahead to finish GottaGoGolf I april 2011 I 45
OUR GAME: Your viewpoint
Photo / getty images
The celebrity pro-am event is also great fun. The play is relaxed and you may even get to watch Alice Cooper play. Not to mention, there are plenty of courses you can play.
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putting. Standing under the shade of a tree Tiger started bouncing a golf ball off the head of his putter. Phil looked at the gallery and nodded toward his young friend with a laugh. “Nothing but time. And money,” he shared. While I have walked many tournament courses as a fan, from Blawkhawk to Winged Foot, the Kraft Nabisco experience has got to be my favorite. I like to pick a golfer and walk along with her through the course. There are stands of benches set up at various holes, so if you need a break you can grab a seat and watch different golfers play through. There are lots of food and drink options. And there’s a great retail area with lots of women’s golf clothing and always a large selection of tournament logo wear and souvenirs to browse. You definitely want to be at the 18th on Sunday when the top of the leader board Hall of Fame golfer Patty Sheehan took her plunge in the pond after winning the Nabisco Dinah Shore in 1996.
TIPS arrives. It has become a tradition for the winner to jump into the pond surrounding the 18th hole. In 1991 Amy Alcott made a very memorable leap into the pond after winning the event for the third time — because Dinah Shore jumped in with her! When I can I like to spend the week in Rancho Mirage, alternating days attending the tournament with visits to Palm Springs and surrounding areas. It is an easy drive to Joshua Tree National Park. There is a HUGE outlet mall with great stores just outside of Palm Springs in Cabazon. That’s good for a day. Stop at Hadley’s near Cabazon for a date shake and to stock up on the terrific selection of dried fruits and other goodies. Catch a practice round at Mission Hills early in the week to enjoy smaller galleries and more relaxed players. The celebrity pro-am event is also great fun. The play is relaxed and you may even get to watch Alice Cooper play. Not to mention, there are plenty of courses you can play. Can’t swing getting to Palm Springs? This year’s tournament is being broadcast on The Golf Channel. But check out the LPGA tour schedule and see if there is an event happening near you. Go. You are welcome. How has golf made a difference in your life? Submit your story of approximately 800 words to editor@GottaGoGolf.com.
Chances are pretty good you can walk up and buy a day admission for any LPGA event. But check the website www.lpga.com. Tournaments can sell out — don’t even think of traveling to Augusta without a Masters ticket. This year’s U.S. Women’s Open is at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Parking is generally at a remote location, sometimes for a small fee, with free shuttle buses. Watch for the parking signs near the course. Grab a free pairing sheet from volunteers near the entrance—where you can buy a pass. This usually includes a course map and allows you to figure out which hole to head to depending on whom you might want to follow. Check out the vendors — usually grouped near the entrance or the clubhouse. Free samples of cool products could include razors, energy bars and sun block samples, depending on who is there. Some golfers are available for autographs at scheduled times — check this out, again usually by the clubhouse. While on the course during tournament play be considerate of the officials. Should you be near a player addressing the ball, officials in the vicinity hold up their hands for quiet. You will notice how even a large gallery goes silent. Please stand still, be quiet, watch the shot. Then move on. On approaches to the green it is OK to watch the shot and then when the ball rolls onto the green and passes the hole it is OK to command the ball to “SIT.” I love that. A gallery where everyone is saying “Sit!” Remember, this is the players at work and concentrating on many aspects of the shot as they address the ball. It is easy to not realize how close you may be to play - especially when walking along the fairways. Be thoughtful.
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19th hole Grip it and sip it Big-time golfers put their labels on wines that our tasters find don’t always make our cut By CHERYL STOTLER
e’ve never seen a professional golfer swig a Chardonnay en route to winning a trophy – only later, out of the trophy. Yet, plenty of players are signing their names on scorecards and wine labels. Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Luke Donald, Greg Norman, Ernie Els, Nick Faldo and David Frost are among the PGA Tour players and legends who have bottled their own wines (hmm, does John Daly count?), in a wide range of prices and from all over the global grape map. And more recently, two of the LPGA’s own,
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Annika Sorenstam and Cristie Kerr, stomped on the scene. It makes plenty of sense to GottaGoGolf: After all, as noted in our March health and fitness issue, golf lends itself like no other sport to the ingestion of goodies along the way. With breaks in the action and the possibility of one- or nohands transport of golf clubs, a glass of wine can make delicious and easy company for a walk in the 18-hole park. Wineries naturally market their pro golfer labels to golf courses, who find mostly inexpensive
OK, so Annika didn’t outplay the men on the PGA Tour, but she’s got real game on the crush pad. wine they can mark up comfortably to sell at their 19th hole or cater to weddings. Arnie and Norman routinely make par on this course. Some of the golfers, however, have taken their usual pursuit of excellence to the barrel rooms and are actively participating in making a wine that reflects and suits their taste. Els, Sorenstam and Kerr routinely enjoy wine at home and have gotten passionate about making their own. Kerr’s first effort, Curvature, made with Napa Valley’s Pride Mountain Vineyards, turned out to be an in-demand small lot that even we couldn’t find. (Check out her website’s Reading the Vines section for her monthly tasting notes, www .cristiekerrgolf.com.) But we did round up an Els offering and two Annika selections to taste alongside the more mass-produced Arnie and Norman vintages. After putting them before the experts on a sunny and warm Super Bowl Sunday, we can now tell you exactly which on-course champion you should be championing at the tasting bar. Hint: She didn’t outplay the men on the tour, but she steps up her game on the crush pad.
Greg Norman honed his taste buds on French wines but his wineries are in California and Australia.
missed the cut Norman started drinking wine in the 1970s, when he was playing a lot of golf in France. Later he developed a fondness for wines from his native country, Australia, and from California, where particularly the Chardonnays tickled his tongue. Greg Norman Estates, founded in 1999, operates in both Australia and in California, generating seven varietals from each region. The California wines and some of the bigger-lot Australia bottlings are
easy to find in the U.S., and wines for this tasting were purchased at a neighborhood BevMo. Alas, it may have been Super Bowl Sunday, but the panel decided that the Norman wines would not have made the cut to play in the finals of this tournament, even at moderate prices of $15 and under. The 2007 Santa Barbara County Chardonnay fell flat on everyone’s tongues. “Boring!” was the verdict. “Did we get a bad bottle?” one panelist wondered. (Maybe so, we GottaGoGolf I april 2011 I 49
later learned.) The 2008 Santa Barbara Pinot Noir was also deemed boring, light, “made for the non-Pinot drinker,” one said. Another ventured, “He should stick to golf.” Finally, the 2006 Limestone Coast Shiraz (from Norman’s native Australia) pleased some palates with its spice and pepper. And the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon from California’s North Coast edged out the King in the Cabernet category, going down smoothly with soft tannins and dark fruit. A postscript: We were so surprised at the aversion to the Norman wines, we thought maybe we had stumbled onto bottles already on the decline or off for some reason. So we tried 50 I april 2011 I GottaGoGolf
Arnold Palmer is a legend in golf but new to winemaking. four Norman wines at the Wine Train shop a few weeks later. Good news! The 2009 Santa Barbara Chardonnay, retailing for only $11.99, offered nice tropical flavors, some pear, fig and nectarine, and butterscotch. It finished a bit flabby but was nice for sipping as well as a food-friendly selection and a good value. Norman’s 2008 Eden Valley Australian Chardonnay had a great deal of bright citrus, not much finish, and might be to the taste of those who like that squeaky clean style of Chardonnay. The 2007 Limestone Coast Shiraz was not as peppery as the
2006 and seemed to have a better fruit-pepper balance with dark plum and blueberry flavors, some light cherry wood and cedar notes – ending up with a smokey finish. “A delightful, light Syrah,” judged the panel. And good value at $14.49. Again we liked the 2008 North Coast Cab, a young, silky drinkme-now Cabernet opening with a blueberry nose. Taste ripe blackberry, current and coffee on the palate that finishes with hints of oak, tobacco and mint. Our conclusion on the Norman wines: Drink them now, not later.
Can't Dis Arnie Golf legend Palmer is a youngster when it comes to winemaking. He’s been drinking the stuff for years with buddy
Mike Moore, founder of Luna Vineyards in Napa Valley, and in 2003 the pair decided to collaborate on Palmer’s label. It’s a whimsical label, with Palmer’s signature umbrella on it, and it’s finding a natural fit at go-to golf destinations such as Pebble Beach and Bay Hill. We tried the 2007 Central Coast Chardonnay and would give the 2008 a whirl if we’d found it – the 2007 would surprise guests in a blind tasting because it was such a fruit fest, they’d guess a California Pinot Grigio. The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, made with grapes from the North Coast of California as well as the Ernie Els put his name on a serious Bordeaux blend.
heart of Napa Valley, and blended with 10 percent Sonoma Merlot, also surprised with a Syrah-like charge of pepper. Palmer’s wines, like Norman’s, fall in the $15 range; we won’t rush out to buy these but won’t dis them because, well, he’s Arnold Palmer.
worth hunting down South African golf star Ernie Els teamed up with a longtime friend, Jean Engelbrecht, for their Engelbrecht-Els wine venture in 1999. Together they built a winery in the country’s Golden Triangle region, treasured for its reds. No dummies, that’s what they’ve been making to great acclaim ever since. The wines generally are to
Annika Sorenstam likes her wines rich and sexy. be found for $50 and up in the United States. We spent $99 on the Stellenbosch 2004 Bordeaux Blend, which received 91 points from the Wine Spectator. It’s an intriguing blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc that at first turned up some noses and then opened pleasingly. Fruit forward, round tannins, with tobacco and bell peppers, a serious wine, it was the favorite of the panelists…until Annika Sorenstam stepped into the tee box.
Sorenstam won the tasting on all GottaGoGolf I april 2011 I 51
19th Hole counts, even for her feminine but bold black and gold label. She partnered with Wente Vineyards, an old family winery in the California's little known Livermore Valley where Norman in 1998 designed a fun, fascinating golf course among the vineyards. Sorenstam met Carolyn Wente, the family’s marketing chief who also loves golf, in 2008 and then began collaborating with the fifth-generation winemaker, Karl Wente. Sorenstam obviously likes her Chardonnays on the sexy side: The 2008 Livermore Valley Chardonnay, her first release, begins with a bouquet of pear, honey and a Hawaiian tropicality. Aged in oak and with malolactic fermentation, the wine retains rich, intense citrus fruit with subtle creme brulee richness that lingers forever. Her Syrah won the entire
tasting. One of the tasters tried to take “one for the road” to her Super Bowl party. In a plastic cup. Another rich entry, the Syrah is boosted with 25 percent Cabernet Sauvignon (most from the Napa Valley), elevating cassis and clove aromas with bright berry and plum supplied by the Syrah. Big tannins seal the deal on a long finish. Lovely. “Really delicious” and “balanced” were among the comments. Another: “It’s $75!” Yes, the only downside to the rich Sorenstam wines: $$$. The Chardonnay retails for $40 and the Syrah for $75. However, with only 221 cases of the Chardonnay bearing her name, it has been a strong sell. And the Syrah, we’re told, is doing quite well on the Asian market. The 2007 is due for release this month.
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Wente chef's pairing with Annika's Syrah A visit to the Wente Vineyards in Livermore, Calif., should start with a round of golf on the gorgeous, fun, memorable Greg Norman course, proceed to the tasting room and end with a meal on the patio at the Restaurant at Wente Vineyards. Here’s a recipe the Wentes recommend to accompany the winner of this month’s tasting, the earthy Annika Syrah. (Which, by the way, the tasting panel thought tasted just fine on its own.)
The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards in Livermore, California.
Portobello Mushroom Sandwich with Roasted Peppers, Fennel and Lime Aioli INGREDIENTS
freshly ground black pepper
4 large Portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed
2 red bell peppers
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 small head fennel, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil Kosher salt and
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 large hamburger buns 1 cup aioli (see recipe below) 2 cups baby lettuces
Preheat the oven to 375. Aioli: 1 teaspoon chopped garlic, 1 cup store-bought mayonnaise, 1 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice, Âź extra virgin olive oil. In a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic until it forms a smooth paste. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and the lime juice. Whisk in the olive oil. Add the garlic paste and mix until well blended. sandwich: In a bowl, combine the mushrooms, garlic, vinegar, and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss gently and season with salt
and pepper. Place, top sides up, on a baking sheet and slide into the oven. Cook for about 12 minutes, turn over, and cook on the other side for about 10 minutes. The mushrooms should be lightly browned and cooked through. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Roast the peppers over an open flame or in a broiler until lightly blackened on all sides. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam for about 5 minutes. (This will ease the skinning process.) Remove the skins from the peppers and trim off the stem and bottom.
Cut each pepper in half and remove the ribs and seeds. In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and the 2 teaspoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the peppers and fennel and toss well. Split the buns in half and toast them lightly. Spread the aioli on both sides of the buns. Layer a mushroom, have a roasted pepper, one-fourth of the fennel, and Â˝ cup of the lettuce on the bottom half of each bun. Cover each with a bun top and cut the sandwiches in half. Serve immediately. GottaGoGolf I april 2011 I 53
golfoscope By The Golf Goddess
april Taurus (April 21—May 21
Cancer (June 22—July 22)
Virgo (Aug. 24—Sept. 22)
Last month’s “single on the waiting list” gives way to the call for a twosome as partnership issues of love, trust and that Taurus forte, loyalty, prevail. If your partner doesn’t play, all that trust should serve you well in making your foursome. Plan ahead for that tee time at the Old Course or Pebble Beach.
Your caddie says 9-iron but you think she said 5-iron. This is not the kind of communication you want on the course. Listen carefully, understand the rules, read the labels on snacks, eat healthy. In fact, try scarfing up lots of green vegetables — there’s evidence they improve your hearing, essential for good communication.
Your sense of dedication to your game leaves something to be desired at home, so take the kids to the course and introduce them to the Snag or Flogton games outlined in this month’s GottaGoGolf “New To You” pages. With Mercury highlighting communication, you’re bound to have a real Ozzie and Harriet (or Simpsons) moment.
Gemini (May 22—June 21) Oh Gem, you’ve really got to do the dishes once in a while, but you can’t help but feel restless this month. Leave 'em dirty! Spread your wings, nine-holers — go for the whole 18. And 18-holers, have you tried 36 in a day? Check out our Travel feature on Orlando for venues — your wallet is bursting with play money. 54 I april 2011 I GottaGoGolf
Leo (July 23—Aug. 23) Lionheart, that work you’ve been doing on the range has presented the option to go for the green from 200 yards. When opportunity knocks, swing away to break that milestone score with the zero on the end. What’s the worst that can happen? Greenside bunker? Yeah, and so what? Beats missing the monthly quota on the job.
Libra (Sept. 23—Oct. 22) Oh if only you didn’t have that drive to succeed on the job, you could put it to use on the fairways. But, wait, no job right now? Put the ball on the tee and try out that demo driver in the shop. Don’t forget to chat up your playing partner, solo Libra— this month, a pairing from the pro shop might carry farther than a USGA conforming ball.
Scorpio (Oct. 23—Nov. 21)
Capricorn (Dec. 22—Jan. 20)
Pisces (Feb. 20—March 20)
Finding yourself at odds with your instructor? Consider it par for the course of Scorpio relationships this month. You’ll learn the lesson as long as you focus on the technical and resist obsessing. Not a bad thought away from the range either — those fairway moguls in the road of life don’t represent dead bodies, just challenges..
Goat girl, stop your bleating, it’s not your marrying month. So just play the field and date many courses right now; hold off until 2012 for that longterm commitment with a club. Resist the temptation to take up tennis. Instead, believe your golf game is on the brink of a gamebreaking moment.
Fish girl, feel those waves of creativity? You can actually envision that knockdown, fast-stopping shot onto the green — out of the bunker no less! That is, if you can overcome the nagging from your partner at home, who questions the green fees you’ve been paying. Compromise on the local muni.
Aquarius (Jan. 21—Feb. 19)
Aries (March 21—April 20)
Chip or putt? Stop and think about it for a minute — though don’t fall off the four-hour pace for 18 holes. Think too about that nagging urge to find a new golf group, foursome or club. The stars are giving you pause in your associations, but maybe you could just switch from the Norman wines to the Annika wines for a luscious, welcome change.
Hey persistent girl, you might have a hard time keeping your mind on golf this month. There’s a lot going on in your house of spirits and the ball may hit the cart path and bounce backward instead of forward. Keep plugging away and expect it all to make sense later in the month, when you can expect your game to return.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22—Dec. 21) Now that you’ve stabilized your finances and stand to grow your nest egg, maybe you can start looking for that golf course community second home. The Landings maybe? Stay tuned for more ideas in these pages in the months to come. In the meantime, don’t lose all your quarters in the skins game.
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