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From the Editor
Travel & Lifestyle by Katherine Dyson
Good Looks on the Course
Two Good Rounds
Couple of Travelers
Player’s Perspective by Ed Travis
Team N.E. on The Tours
Gorman vs. Geary
by Elle Brec
Our May issue has always been about the best of golf in New England. You, our readers, each year vote for the very best of the best in private golf clubs, public golf clubs, par three courses, resorts, instructors and practice facilities. It is our “Top 25 Awards Issue” and for the last twelve months thousands of you have had your say and in this issue, you will see the results. While the experts in the game may surely have there own opinions, these are yours. In the last month once again golf has been faced with questions regarding rules violations surrounding one of golf’s majors and at the forefront of it all Tiger Woods at this years Masters. Golf is a simple game but plagued by complex rules that are ambiguous to say the least. What would have happened at the Masters if Tiger was leading on Friday when the 2 shot penalty was assessed. On Saturday morning the 2 shot penalty would have changed the entire cut line. Many of the players that left Augusta would not be above the cut line, would tournament officials delay the event until they found their way back to Augusta? The rules of golf are the most difficult rules in any game in the world today and they need to be modified and simplified so not only the pros and officials of the game can understand them but also the average player. I have heard it said that more than 75% of all golfers who play the game do so under a very loose interpretation of the rules of the game. If this is true than most handicaps are incorrect and most players who post a score do so in error. If golf is going to sustain and grow at all levels then it is time to make the game easier to understand, keep it simple please. Golf at the professional level is played on perfectly maintained courses that are manicured and clearly marked for tournament play. There are very few roots of trees showing or patchy spots without grass. The average golfer just does not play the game on the same field as the pro’s, yet the rules of the game are expected to upheld at all levels. Timothy Branco Editor / Publisher New England Golf Monthly
by Elisa Gaudet
by Alice and Danny Scott by Leigh MacKay
by Jack Ross
by Emily Kay
by Steve Riggs
by Tom Gorman & Tim Geary
New England Golf Monthly The New England Publishing Group, Inc.
P.O. Box 357 Swansea, MA 02777
The Perfect Life
Golfing in Far Away Places by Katharine Dyson
The European Club in Ireland runs along the sea
Summer can be the perfect time to fulfill that dream to travel to far places perhaps Ireland, Scotland, Wales, or even The Azores or the Caribbean where playing golf is just a little bit different. The rules are the same, the equipment the same, but traditions can be another matter. For example, tee up on historic courses in Europe or tracks like you find in the Austrian Alps — so hilly your pull cart keeps falling over — and you’ll likely be walking. Except for some newer luxury golf resorts where carts (or “buggies”) are available, most golfers “across the pond” pull carts or take a caddie. And caddies after all, are all part of the experience. These guys know where the pot bunkers are hiding and can read greens like Sherlock reads clues. In Britain’s crusty old clubs like Tenby in Wales men are not allowed to wear golf hats inside the clubhouse — some even require men to wear jackets in the dining room while other clubs give only limited access to women. In Ireland, it’s considered gauche to change your shoes in Portmarnock Golf Club’s parking lot and at Royal West Norfolk Golf Club in Brancaster, England, they leave doggie water bowls on the tees.
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Makes sense. These dogs are of course, English and thus properly behaved. They follow their owners at a respectful distance, don’t open their canine mouths, don’t howl when their masters shank a ball, don’t chase golf balls or players wearing plus fours. One very smart way to organize a trip in another country is to let the pros do the legwork. In this case, travel pros like U.S.-based Perry Golf, Wales Golf Vacations and Adventures in Golf, a Scotland-based tour operator. They know the courses, the distance to get from one place to another (can be deceptive when looking at a map) and they can arrange tee times on hard-to-access tracks. For example Jamie Gardner and Iain Macfarlane Lowe of Adventures in Golf headquartered in St. Andrews, Scotland, really know how to put together a luxury golf tour of not just Scotland, but England, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Wales, New Zealand and other destinations and they’ll put the trip together in about 24 hours including arranging the hotels, tee times and other activities and meals. Adventuresin-golf.com So where shall it be? Britain? Azores? The Caribbean? Check out these exceptional golf destinations.
SCOTLAND If attending the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles is in your sights, you’ll want to plan ahead. Perry Golf is offering three packages with accommodations at the Fairmont St Andrews Golf & Spa Resort. You can choose to be at the tournament all three days plus play golf at Kingsbarns and Fairmont’s Kittocks Course. A fivenight plan with shuttle service to Gleneagles, airport transfers, breakfasts and welcome dinner is available from $6,450. Other packages give you sightseeing opView of the Old Course, St. Andrews tions and pre-event golf at Turnberry, the Highlands and even the Old Course. perrygolf.com Through Connoisseurs Scotland, your dream of getting on the Old Course at St. Andrews can become a reality. Their Suite Golf Package gives you three nights in a luxury suite, a round on the Old Course and another round on either the New or Jubilee Course, a round on Kingbarns (one of our favorites) and another on The Duke’s. The package from $3,600 also gives you breakfasts, two dinners, spa treatment and a golf gift. firstname.lastname@example.org; connoisseurs-scotland.com IRELAND Just 300 miles long and 150 miles wide Ireland’s cities and golf courses are extremely accessible. Still with a lot of narrow, twisty roads and driving on the “wrong side” of the road, it may take you longer than you think to get from one place to another. But it’s all worth it. Just ask Rory McIlroy and Graham McDowell. In and around Dublin you have great courses like Castle Killeen, the K Club, Pat Ruddy’s European Club and the famed Portmarnock where it’s been said, “At Portmarnock good shots get good results; bad shots never get lucky.” Doonbeg designed by Greg Norman, a stunning $140 million private membership club situated along the marram-grass dunes and the sea, allows limited visitor access. It is so good, if you have one chance to play it and it just happens to be crappy weather, you hunker down and do it. You have to. Even in the drizzle, it is spectacular. You have the wonderful links courses of Lahinch Old, Tralee, Old Head and Royal Portrush. And in Northern Ireland the Donegal Links Adventure with North & est Coast Links Ireland gives you four rounds of golf at Donegal, Narin & Portnoo, Rosapenna, & Ballyliffin, accommodations. and breakfasts from $895. Ireland.com
Pat Ruddy, owner and architect for European Club
THE AZORES Located in the Atlantic between the U.S. and Portugal, the nine volcanic islands of the Azores invites you to play golf all year around on this tiny country’s three ocean-ridge courses: two on Sao Miguel Island (Furnas Golf Course set in the mountains and Campo de Golfe de Batalha, a lovely 27-hole layout) and one on Terceira Island, the more rural of the islands where they say there are more cows than people. A six night package is priced from $899. worldwidegv.com
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Home of Grand Slam of Golf Port Royal
BERMUDA About 650 miles off the coast of North Carolina, Bermuda has more courses for its size than any other country. Here where cricket is a national passion and men still look macho wearing Bermuda shorts along with their jackets and ties, British traditions run deep. Bermuda’s seven championship golf courses reveal stunning views of the turquoise sea. Included in the stellar lineup of championship tracks are the Port Royal Golf Course originally designed by Robert Trent Jones and renovated by the Roger Rulewich Group; Belmont Hills Golf Club running along the top of a seaside plateau; and Riddell’s Bay Golf & Country Club, the oldest course in Bermuda dating from 1922 and designed by Devereux Emmet. Another Roger Rulewich (2002) beauty, Tucker’s Point Golf Club, shares the same hilly terrain as arguably Bermuda’s most highly rated golf course,
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Mid Ocean Club featuring roll-up greens, elevated tees and undulating fairways enhanced by palms and tropical flowers and shrubs. The big resort experience can be found at Fairmont Southampton Princess where the neat 18 hole Executive is popular with golfers of all levels, especially with those who want to sharpen up their short game and those who want to play with their families. When you come to Bermuda, be sure to bring plenty of balls. Since golf balls, like other things on the island have to be imported, prices of golf equipment is typically more expensive than in the U.S. Ask about golf packages starting at $599 with a three, four and five-night stay. For example a threenight play & stay package at the Fairmont Southampton Princess is from $599 while at the Reefs the package is priced at $817. gotobermuda.com
Harlech Castle stands sentry over Royal St. Davids Golf Course in Wales
WALES Wales is a small land, only about the size of Massachusetts, but it represents one of the best golf values in the world with easy air access through Manchester or Birmingham. With its craggy castles, history, rugged scenery and more than 200 golf courses, you can play courses like Celtic Manor’s Twenty Ten, venue for the 2010 Ryder Cup; Nefyn known for its stunning seaside holes; Pennard where wild horses still streak across fairways, Southerndown home to dozens of fat
wooley sheep, and links classics like Tenby and Royal St. David’s playing below the ruins of the famed Harlech Castle. The Best of Wales Golf Tour from Wales Golf Vacations, long-established experts inSandestin golf travel in the country, gives you a great Wales golf experience playing Nefyn and District Golf Club, Royal St. David’s Golf Club, Pennard and Royal Porthcawl. Walesgolfvacations.com
A testy pot bunker in Royal Porthcawl
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Pete Dye’s Teeth of the Dog, Dominican Republic
CARIBBEAN - DOMINICAN REPUBLICAN The Dominican Republic, a lush island country with great white sand beaches and dense tropical foliage, is home to many exceptional courses. It all started in the late 1960s when Gulf and Western asked Pete Dye to come to com here and find the ideal site for a golf resort. Dye suggested a huge piece of land near La Romana on the country’s southern coast. At the time this land was a thorny tangle but undaunted, Dye organized around 300 locals to shape things up using ox carts and hand tools. From the git go, Dye’s first course, “Teeth of the Dog” (1971), named for the sharp coral rock on the surface, garnered countless accolades and remains one of the top courses in the Caribbean. Dye went on to build The Links (1976) adjacent to Teeth but more inland; and Dye Fore’s three nines: Chavon, Marina (2003) and Lakes (2011). Today Dye’s courses continue to vie with the balmy climate, ocean beaches and extensive facilities
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of the upscale Casa de Campo resort that attract vacationers from all over the world. Set on 7,000 acres, there is plenty of room for other activities like tennis, spa, shooting, riding, polo, and water sports along with close to 20 places to eat and drink. A really good bet for those who want no surprises at check-out, are the all-inclusive golf vacations from Iberostar resorts with more than 100 properties in places like Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Cancun and Brazil. Iberostar’s Bavaro Golf Club, a PB Dye design in the DR, is a fine resort layout geared to golfers of all levels. With Iberostar’s packages, just about everything is included in one upfront price — accommodations, golf, tennis, meals, top shelf liquors, non-motorized sports activities and more including those bloodies and brews from the beverage cart on the course. Allinclusive golf packages start at $249 per person, per night. iberostargolfresorts.com
Good Looks on the Course
My Golf Closet
by Elle Brec
Men and women alike dream of closets where everything fits perfectly; all shirts, pants, hats, shoes, sunglasses, watches, the list goes on. While many of us do not own big closets like these, we need to prioritize what to add to our golf wardrobe each season. Instead of buying 10 golf shirts that are just ok, why not purchase 3 that you absolutely love. We find it is easier to keep closets organized using this method so here are some items you will absolutely love.
MAUI JIM Everyone who owns a pair of The Maui Jim Kapalua sunglasses raves about how incredibly spectacular they are. When viewing Maui’s shimmering Kapalua bay and the pristine sands sheltered by a natural lava cove, clear views of butterfly fish, parrotfish and the state fish, humuhumunukunukuapua’a are breath-taking so the clarity and quality of the lens is imperative. The extraordinary lightness and flexibility of the beta-titanium alloy frame is extremely durable. Flexible temples will not kink or break, allowing for easy adjustment. Softer, rectangular frame hugs the head and complements a range of facial shapes. The
rimless design is perfect for an unobstructed view of the links. The neutral gray is best for direct sunlight, offers rich color and contrast, very important in golf. A personal preference, the rose, yellow, or polarized lenses are not necessary, just stick with the gray. A lot of people think it’s not worth it to purchase sunglasses for over $200 because they could get ruined or lost, but they come with case, cleaning cloth and proprietary CLEARSHELL Scratch Coating silicone-based hard coat that protects the lenses. They are available in both men and women frames at www.mauijim.com.
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ALIAL FITAL Take this advice man; if you are single you need to buy an Alial Fital shirt! These are complete chick magnets. Guys and ladies have different opinions when it comes to style, men think, “pants and shirt, match, done.” Women think, “Style is in the details, boring polos and pants do not cut it.” These shirts are comfortable, preppy, sexy, look great on the course, and some even have matching hats available. While the name Alial Fital may sound European, it is actually an entirely U.S. brand, founded in 2010 by former NFL Quarterback, Gibran Hamdan, and named after his parents (of Pakistani descent), Laila and Latif spelled backwards. When he retired, Hamdan taught himself how to sew and his friends started requesting the carefully designed, custom-made polos for themselves. A unique characteristic of the company is Gibran only orders 100 of each shirt, guaranteeing unique one-of-a-kind designs — once they’re gone, they’re gone. Alial Fital values integrity and consistency while offering helpful and personable customer support.
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Bo Van Belt, first class individual and top-flight golfer, proudly wears the brand, making him look very dapper on the course. After Bo began purchasing the limited edition polo shirts in 2011, he approached Alial Fital to gauge interest in sponsoring him on the PGA tour. Since then, Creative Director Hamdan has been responsible for designing BVP’s entire golf closet and we would say Bo was one of the best dressed at the Masters this year. www.alialfital.com
Throughout the years, Fila shifts in consistency compared to other sportswear brands, sometimes they’re hot and sometimes they’re not. Right now they are making a hot impact in the golf fashion world with their new line for 2013. The men’s line has a worldly theme where all the polo designs are reminiscent of the places they are named for like Amsterdam, Bristol, Brisbane, California, Cannes, Fontana, Grenoble, Hannover, Le Mans, Madrid, Monaco, Montpellier, Phoenix, Vicenza and Zurich. View the entire collection at www.ShopFilaGolf.com. For the ladies, the Darlington Polo Moisture Wicking & Anti-Bacterial front wrap diamond patterned polo with solid color shirt collar, solid color left sleeve and bodice panel. For a great match, pair this with the super comfortable and flirty Malaga Golf Skort with pleated ruffle hem and green pip-
ing. TECH-DRY Moisture Management & AntiBacterial Fabric made from a polyester lycra blend looks fancy but is actually easy to care for. Cool features are the hidden zipper with button closure and comfortable interior short system. The Fila outwear line includes a variety of softshell, wind and waterproof gear for men and women. Women’s Victoria Waterproof Wind Jacket is versatile, breathable, lightweight but surprisingly warm, perfect for chilly spring rounds and April showers. Great features of the jacket are the micro fleece-lined neck and pockets, as well as technical properties like the critical seam sealing, mesh lining, and adjustable, Velcro sleeve closure. The apparel company was founded in 1911 by the Fila brothers in the Italian Alps and in 2007 was taken over by South Korean sportswear companies.
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The Thumbs Up Jacket is so comfortable when shirts have thumbholes, keeping the wrist area warm your sleeves in place for maximum performance. Versatile to train for a marathon or run errands at the store, and perfect for golf, tennis, and life! JoFit style can be described as really athletic, form fitting, waist and curve accentuating, with feminine, flirty details. When you want to compete and appear charming at the same time, the JoFit Ruffle Polo is the unique and fun style youâ€™re looking for. On JoFit.com, color groupings as well as complete outfits are matched together to make adding to your wardrobe easy. This fun 3 piece outfit features the Cobalt Thumbs Up Jacket paired a graphic print in navy and white paired with the sunny hue of the Acid Performance Polo and the Ruffled gingham skort with built in undershorts adds a flirty touch. Bright colors are in vogue right now and this Coral glow Asymmetrical Wind Shirt gives you all the comfort of our traditional long sleeve wind shirt with the modern styling of the asymmetrically placed zipper at the neck.
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WALLAROO A major wardrobe and travelling issue for hats is becoming misshaped. The Wallaroo hat company offers the Scrunchie with a brim that can be flipped up or down and never looses its shape. Also the Ellie, perfect for golfing, shopping, gardening, traveling - you can wear this flattering hat anywhere. Throw it in your bag and you’ll be ready for anything. The trim that features wooden beads and shells elevates the design from simple to delightful. Don’t worry about the fit as the hats feature of an internal drawstring to get a custom fit. How could we miss Lindsay Vonn at the Masters in her chic sun hat and embroidered dress? While long brim hats are great for spectators, Wallaroo offers one dressy, sophisticated, and fashionable design, the Savannah, with a 5 inch sturdy paper braid weave to keep cool with new style stripes. While playing golf, a long brim just gets in the way, save these for the country club or watching golf tournaments. www.wallaroohats.com
NEXBELT No wardrobe is complete without a few of these beautiful belts. The 3rd Place Finisher wore one of Nexbelt’s brand new white Reptile Series belts and the T-5th Place Finisher proudly displayed the Australian Flag on his Heritage Series belt. Nexbelt gives consumers a fashionable appearance while supplying a practical solution to an uncomfortable problem. PreciseFit Technology makes it a cinch to put on and take off the belt, provides wearers with a natural feel as well as a more comfortable golf swing, and the ball marker inside the buckle is just ingenious. Reptile Series leather belts are embossed with an alligator texture that is rich in color and truly stands out in a crowd. There’s so much beauty in the details of the nooks in the leather. This may be the classiest and most comfortable belt you will ever own. Retails around $55 check out all the styles for men and women at www.nexbelt.com.
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Two Good Rounds by Elisa Gaudet Spring signals the start of the golf season for many in the north east of the US and there is nothing better to kick it off than the Masters. Augusta National can best be described as golf’s cathedral. The pristine lush green grass and pink azaleas are its calling card and a welcome sight after a long winter. Just as an art collector walking into the Louvre in Paris so is the feeling for any golfer walking on the grounds of Augusta National.
“What other people may find in poetry or art museums, I find in the flight of a good drive.” ~Arnold Palmer
While making the trip to Augusta for the Masters is on most golfers bucket list of “must do” it may not be in the cards every year. A Masters a party with fellow golf fanatics is a great way to spend the Sunday and it is always nice to bring a bit of the south to any area. If you can’t join them create your own signature 19th hole. First start with the Masters signature cocktail, The Azalea. (1 part lime or lemon juice, 1 part canned pineapple juice, 3 parts gin, Grenadine to color pink, Mix in cocktail shaker with ice and shake). *Note I adapted it to my Two Good Rounds liking and used Ketel One vodka in lieu of gin. The much talked about food item at the Masters is the pimento cheese sandwich. This can best be described as spicy cheese whiz on white bread. You can find recipes on line for this cheese concoction but truly this is Augusta’s secret recipe and clearly a southern thing as Colonel Sanders has a lock down on chicken. I had been at Augusta early week so I purchased 8 of these well wrapped pimento sandwiches (at $1.50 each sparing no expense for my guests) as I was leaving the course and then bought a cooler bag from the local supermarket and carried them on the flight home.
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“The first time I played the Masters, I was so nervous I drank a bottle of rum before I teed off. I shot the happiest 83 of my life.” ~Chi Chi Rodriguez While you may not want to wait until next year to create your own 19th hole party there is still plenty of time as the Masters marks the first of the four majors. No reason why you can’t repeat for each major and don’t forget The Players, golf’s fifth major, in May with Sunday play on Mother’s Day. Basically you can have a party a month for the rest of the summer. June is the US Open held at Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania, July is The Open (the British Open) held at Muirfield in Scotland and in August the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester New York. I am thinking some kilts and little Scotch on Sunday in July may not be a bad idea. Masters Party Essentials: Azalea Plant for decoration, Azalea drinks, wines by notable golfers: Ernie Els, Luke Donald, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Pimento sandwiches, deviled eggs, fried chicken, and caramel pecan popcorn. Add some fellow golf friends and a great golf outfit. Mix together, Enjoy and remember “If you drink, don’t drive. Don’t even putt.” ~Dean Martin
Molori Unplugged by John Molori
Ryan Asselta: A Life on the Upswing Ryan Asselta’s sportscasting career has traced an impressive arc, from Fort Myers to Boston to his current position as an anchor/reporter at WNYW-FOX5-TV in New York. His golf game has developed similarly. “I started playing when I was about 10-years-old with my father and my grandfather,” says the 36-year-old Rockland County, NY native. “I wish I started playing even younger, but I was always playing baseball, and the seasons coincided.” It was at Stonehill College in North Easton, MA that Asselta’s game and game face changed. “My buddies and I played at Easton Country Club. When I started working in Fort Myers in 2001, there were tons of golf courses down there. I started to take lessons and got more serious about the game.” Asselta spent seven years as an anchor/reporter at Boston’s Fox25 (2004-2011), highlighted by championship seasons for the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins. Golf was equally satisfying. Says Asselta, “My buddies and I had the 45 Minute Rule. We could drive 45 minutes in any direction and find a great course. There are so many high-level public courses in the area. It was great.” Among Asselta’s favorite courses are The Captains Golf Course, Pinehills, Waverly Oaks, Olde Scotland, Red Tail, and Shining Rock. “These days I wish I could play more,” says Asselta, a two-time Emmy nominee. “I have a fiveyear-old son and a three-year-old son. I bring them to the range all the time. I’m really looking forward to the future when I can play golf with my boys.” Being in the media has afforded Asselta the opportunity to play top flight courses such as TPC Norton and Bethpage Black on Long Island. It also allows him to get a bit closer to the athletes he covers. “I definitely think it evens the playing field,” he relates. “I’ve made some of my best contacts in the industry on the golf course. “Technically, I’m working, but it’s really like stealing a day. On the course, athletes seem like just
regular guys, but it’s funny, after we play, I interview them and they get back to those same stock answers.” Asselta has studied under famed golf instructor Rick Smith. He has played Kapalua in Hawaii and hopes to one day play Pebble Beach and visit Scotland and Ireland. For now, a more local golf experience reigns supreme. “The best round I ever had was at the Starboard Course at Captain’s. I was playing with my dad who shoots in the early 100s. I was working with him the entire round and didn’t really pay attention to my score. I ended up shooting a 73. I think the reason I did so well was that I wasn’t really thinking about my own game. Sometimes, your head gets in the way.” With a busy family life and a burgeoning sports media career, Asselta’s attitude toward golf has mellowed, or has it? He states, “These days. I’m just happy to be out there playing and enjoying the game, but then, after a few holes, the juices start to flow and that gamesmanship comes out. I used to be even more fiery on the course. Now, I at least try to keep things in check.” John Molori is the co-author of “The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball’s Prized Players,” to be released in August. Email John at email@example.com.
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Coupleby Alice of Travelers and Danny Scott Royal Isabela – Had us at Hola.
We fell in love with Royal Isabela the moment we began that first round during a sneak preview with co-owner Stanley and his dog Dumas in 2010. Only the rough course was open with a shell of a clubhouse; no casitas, restaurant, or villas yet built. The property and vision foretold of the spectacular compound that was to unfold and we yearned to return. Fast-forward to 2/11/13 when the wind howled through the swaying trees and the ocean roared as if to call out in Toby Keith fashion, “How do you like me now?” Emerged from raw nature is a golf sanctuary. Dramatic cliffs over the ocean at Isabela called for brothers Stanley and Charles Passarel, with architect David Pfaff to place a tee box or a flagstick here and there, weaving a magical green carpet of linked fairways with sloping surprises at every turn through the pristine tropical landscape. After surveying and playing the great links courses of Scotland, Ireland and Pebble Beach, they
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have created a global golf stage in their words, “Where golf is meant to be played.” The tips, labeled “Naturals”, play out to 7600 yards with 80.3/155 slope rating. Who in their right mind would call that natural? Bubba Watson or Dustin Johnson? Invoke the “play it forward” policy to enhance chances of a great score and fun round. Number one sets the stage with a water hazard left, out of bounds far right, a glimpse of ocean, and a narrow neck to the blind small green, cleverly called the “Peephole.” Every hole is aptly named, like “Yogi Berra” with “The Fork” to 2 greens. The back nine begins with the number one handicap, “Hurricane.” Concentration is difficult as the Atlantic Ocean mesmerizes and forceful trade winds blow. Some bemoan 17-“Chicken Tree.” Tee off from one cliff to the tiny two tiered green on another cliff separated by a deep chasm, ocean waves crashing
below. We find it befitting the untamed shoreline it guards. No question, the course is tough and it will probably knock you down along the way, but don’t take it personally. Enjoy the ocean views and a tremendous round of golf!!! After the round, toast at the al fresco circular bar next to the croquet field, or at La Casa. Award winning chef David Pasternack and consultant John Sergi have concocted the best cuisine with locally grown produce, seafood and meat. The custom dining room rug defines the artistic detailing throughout Royal Isabela. Stanley and his and delightful wife, Georgene selected umpteen colors and patterns to reflect the vivacious yet harmonious spirit of Royal Isabela. Retreat to your private casita, with mahogany floors, private plunge pool, gazebo or deck in the forest and open views of the ocean. The walk-in shower is extraordinary with his and her side nozzles, a ceiling rain shower in the middle, and an exterior windowed door displaying, yes, the ocean view. Wow! A canopy bed looks out over, you guessed it, the ocean, lulling all night long – truly dreamy. For a treasured experience, white limestone steps submerge into the mango forest and vines. Each level reveals a new wonder of nature journeying to the secluded beach. The vista takes your breath away with
vegetation climbing the mountain, jagged rocks below spewing fountains of ocean. The sea rages as far above the tiny flag waves on the 17th “Chicken Tree” green, a reminder of the magnificent golf setting. Beware the strong current in this powerful surf. Swimming is reserved down at the point. Charles and Stanley have a passion for and commitment to sound ecological principles and applied them to Royal Isabela, where butterflies and birds are reappearing that were feared extinct. A nursery of indigenous plants are carefully tended and talked to by cousin Maria Elena whose husband Tito serves as the general manager of Royal Isabela. It is all in the family in Puerto Rico according to sales director Joy Madera whose husband bakes his artisan bread for most of the island. Far from the hustle of San Juan, reddish-orange Maga trees, lead to the discreet gated entrance of Royal Isabela, along the shoreline cliffs of western Puerto Rico. Come with an attitude of gratitude. Surrender to the nature and serenity is yours. Just three nights will change you. Imagine more. Vacations may be reserved at www.royalisabela.com, but membership is by invitation only. If you receive the call, just say, “si”. We say, “Royal Isabela, you had us at HOLA!”
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Celebrity Golfer: Alice Cooper by Leigh MacKay
Alice Cooper—the master of the macabre and the original shock rocker—exploited the innocence of the Love Generation and carved a musical niche that has prevailed for more than forty years. His brand of heavy metal and glam Rock ‘n’ Roll and his horror-filled showmanship took the nation by theatrical storm. Cooper explained, “The late ’60’s and early ’70’s were a breeding ground for exciting new sounds because easy listening and folk were taking over the airwaves. I think it was a natural next step to take that blissful, easy-going sound and strangle the life out of it.” You might not remember that Alice has sold more than 50 million records with 26 studio albums (six going platinum and two gold), 46 singles, 10 live albums, and 21 compilation albums, but you will never forget the black greasepaint around the eyes and sides of mouth, the fake blood, the boa constrictors, the guillotines, the beheaded baby dolls, and the electric chairs that turned his concerts into mind-blowing experiences. Born Vincent Damon Furnier, he created the innocuous name Alice Cooper for his band as an ironic contrast to the on-stage devilment. Frank Zappa, legendary performer of Mothers of Invention, “discovered” the band and produced their first album in 1969. From “Love It to Death,” “Killer,” “School’s Out,” “Billion Dollar Babies,” and “Muscle of Love,” the band was mega-successful by 1974, but then Furnier went solo, legally changed his name to Alice Cooper in 1975, and recorded his own breakout album, “Welcome to My Nightmare.” In 2011, the original band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Today, at 65, Alice continues to rock and roll, but his private life is without its early excesses. He founded the Hollywood Vampires, a drinking club that included such members as Mickey Dolenz (Monkees), Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Keith Moon, Jim Morrison, Harry Nilsson, and Ringo Starr. The club’s main goal was to determine who would be the last man standing. He voluntarily went into rehab and said he then replaced his addiction to alcohol with his addiction to golf. His recent book, “Alice Cooper, Golf Monster,” details all the significant events, including his relationship with Ely Callaway, for whom he made a number of commercials.
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I tracked down Alice Cooper at the Humana Challenge in Palm Springs where he was playing in the pro-am with a six handicap. He was gracious, engaging, and articulate. Whatever happened to “No More Mr. Nice Guy”? NEGM: From the days of the Hollywood Vampires, what will you always remember about Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, and Jim Morrison? AC: You mean besides the fact that they were all pretty good drinkers? Yeah, they were the real legends, the prototypes, the best of the best. Nobody played like Jimi, on and off the stage. He had an incredibly reckless attitude. John was the quintessential song writer and was always fun to be around with his biting wit and great insights. There’ll never be another Jim Morrison, a unique performer with an ingrained attitude of self-destruction. He could not separate his stage persona from his real life. What else will I remember? They all died way too young. NEGM: Of what musical accomplishments are you most proud? AC: Three in particular. The first time I heard my record [“Reflected,” 1969] played on the radio next to a Rolling Stones song. That was pretty special. I couldn’t believe it. I almost felt as if I never should have been there. But 25 or so albums later, I realized I did belong there. Two, the first time I had a #1 album [“School’s Out,” 1972]. Last, the first gold album [“Muscle of Love,” 1972]. NEGM: What are your impressions of golf in New England? AC: I love golf in New England, especially finding
those rural, out-of-the way courses that are great in their own right and lots of fun to play. I also had fun at The International in Bolton, where we played it all the way back, around 8400 yards or something like that. I’ve never done anything so ridiculous like that since. NEGM: Who would be in your Dream Foursome of today? Of any time period? AC: I’ve already played with them—John Daly, Lee Trevino, and Fuzzy Zoeller—and I would play with them again. Great golf and hysterical antics. Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, and Jerry Lewis. NEGM: How did Ely Callaway become an influence in your life?
AC: I met Ely at a party, and we hit it off immediately. He was discussing how to market Callaway clubs to the average Joe, and I said, “Well, why not let me do some humorous commercials.” Many commercials later the average Joe was buying Ely’s equipment, and the stock was going through the roof. That party was the beginning of our 25-year friendship. He was a remarkable visionary and took golf equipment to the next level. NEGM: What inspired you to write “Alice Cooper, Golf Monster?” AC: I wanted to write my autobiography anyway, and my life has been a marvelous combination of Rock ‘N’ Roll and golf. I connected those two passions. Basically, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi had invented me, so I was the Rock Zombie on stage and an addicted golfer off stage. My life story, about the golf monster, was easy to write. NEGM: What will you always remember about your early years on stage as the original shock rock star? AC: Mainly that there were no boundaries. The more absurd our behavior was on and off stage and the more trouble we got into, the more records we sold. But then again, people never expected an Image Band like ours to have the type of music we did—it was good and it was powerful—to back up our absurdities. I like to think that we were the band that drove the stake through the Love Generation!
May 2013 | Subscribe at myNEGM.com | 25
Rave Reviews Keep Rolling to the Greens of Shining Rock Golf Club by NEGM Staff
Since Shining Rock Golf Club opened back in 2010 the 6,735-yard championship layout has been placed on as many “must play” lists as any public course in New England. The golf course sits on 146acres of rolling terrain with vistas from virtually every hole on the course that rival any in the Northeast. For the third year in a row “The Rock” has been named as one of the Top 25 Public Courses you can play by New England Golf Monthly and the #4 Best New Course You Can Play in America by GOLF Magazine and 2010. The over-all atmosphere from driving through the golf course community on your way into the club to the superb customer service one receives after an enjoyable round at the Rockdale Grill seems to have everyone saying the say thing. “The Rock. This is my place!” The par 72 golf course located in Northbridge, MA offers three to five sets of tee boxes per hole with elevation changes upwards of 255 feet that create the eye opening scenery that golfers of all ages have come to know and love
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over the past three years. “Shining Rock has become an attractive destination for daily fee golf, outings and leagues. We have introduced an early-bird special for the weekday dew sweepers and a membership incentive like no other in New England. Full memberships come with the privileges at five courses which we have named the Freedom Trail as it stretches from Rhode Island to Maine” said Tim Gordon, club spokesman. The new clubhouse is home to the Rockdale Grill, which is named after the Rockdale Mill and Village of Rockdale, one of the most historic mill villages in the Blackstone Valley. The grill features a beautiful patio overlooking the course along with delicious food and cold beverages. Golfers can book tee times 7 days in advance online at www.shiningrock.com or by calling the proshop at 508-234-0400. Trust us when we say that an entire day at The Rock where your foursome can enjoy the golf, the deck and the grill will create a lasting love for this one of a kind facility.
The Rock. This is my place. Golf. Friends. The Deck. The Grill.
Shining Rock Golf Club 91 Clubhouse Lane, Northbridge, MA 01534
(508) 234-0400 www.shiningrock.com
May 2013 | Subscribe at myNEGM.com | 273
by Jack Ross
The Most Controversial Drop In Masters History
When Tiger Wood’s wedge shot struck the flagstick on the 15th green in the second round of the Masters tournament and careened into the water hazard, it was no doubt one of the worst breaks in Masters history. A likely birdie became a bogey. Until Saturday, when it became a triple bogey after Woods was assessed a 2-shot penalty for allegedly dropping the ball in the wrong place. Many observers and players contended that he should have been disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard, or should have disqualified himself. Because the facts concerning Tiger’s infamous drop were not immediately clear, a fair amount of misinformation was circulated, some of which related to a rules decision issued a couple of years ago that was erroneously cited as the basis for the rules committee’s waiver of the disqualification penalty. Now that the dust has settled, let’s address the two principal issues. Q. Should Tiger Have Been Penalized? A. Probably. Rather than using the drop area or dropping a ball on a line demarcated by the spot the ball crossed into the hazard and the flagstick (in which case Woods could have gone back as far as he desired), Woods chose to drop the ball “as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played” as permitted by Rule 26-1a. Woods stated to the media Friday evening that he played the shot a couple of yards back from that point, which triggered a second review of the incident. However, this admission is contradicted by photographs released Sunday by the Augusta Chronicle that indicate Woods actually dropped the ball very close to the spot from which he played the original shot. Woods has not disputed that the penalty was appropriate, but contended that he was not aware that the drop was improper when he signed his scorecard. Q. Should Tiger Have Been Disqualified?
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A. No, but not for the reason cited in a number of news accounts. Rule 6-6 provides that if a player signs a scorecard that returns a score for a hole that is lower than that actually taken, he is disqualified. Woods recorded a 6 for the 15th hole, which was determined to have been an 8 after the addition of the penalty. However, Rule 33-7 provides that the tournament committee may waive the disqualification penalty in “exceptional” cases. The statement issued by Augusta National explained that the disqualification penalty was waived because, following a call from a television viewer, the incident was reviewed before Woods completed his round and the drop was determined to be within the rules. Although it appears that Woods was not notified of this review before he signed his card, the committee had the opportunity to do so had it determined that there might have been a problem. Under these circumstances, the waiver of the disqualification penalty was appropriate. A number of news reports cited Decision 33-7/4.5, which was issued two years ago in response to viewers with HDTV spotting imperceptible movements of balls on putting greens. That decision states that a player who signs an improper scorecard will not be disqualified if he “could not reasonably have known or discovered the facts” resulting in a breach of the rules. This decision is not applicable to Woods’ situation, since he could have reasonably been aware of the place he dropped the ball. This was not a situation where a technology like HDTV allowed a viewer to detect something the player could not have detected. Jack Ross completed an intensive PGA/USGA rules workshop and has officiated in state amateur competitions. Rules inquiries may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 2013 | Subscribe at myNEGM.com | 29
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New England Golf Monthly
Top 25 Awards TPC Boston
Newport National Golf Course
Top 25 Public Courses
Top 25 Private Courses
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.
Newport National GC (RI) Shining Rock GC (MA) Belgrade Lakes GC (ME) Pinehills GC (Jones & Nicklaus) (MA) Connecticut National (CT) Green Mountain National (VT) Lake of Isles - North (CT) The Ranch GC (MA) Red Tail GC (MA) Meadowbrook GC (RI) Farm Neck GC (MA) Granite Links GC (MA) The Ledges GC (ME) Wintonbury Hills GC (CT) Portsmouth CC (NH) Stowe Acres CC (MA) Fox Hopyard GC (CT) Shaker Hills GC (MA) Okemo Valley GC (VT) Dennis Pines GC (MA) The Links at Outlook (ME) Olde Barnstable Fairgrounds (MA) Waverly Oaks GC (MA) Triggs Municipal GC (RI) Olde Scotland Links (MA)
TPC Boston (MA) The Country Club (MA) The Boston Club (MA) Shelter Harbor CC (RI) Rhode Island CC (RI) The Stanwich Club (CT) Newport CC (RI) Wannamoisett CC (RI) Ekwanok CC (VT) The Bay Club at Mattapoisett (MA) The Golf Club of New England (NH) Portland CC (ME) Kittansett CC (MA) The Golf Club at Turner Hill (MA) The Golf Course at Yale (CT) Worcester CC (MA) Old Sandwich CC (MA) Renaissance GC (MA) Black Rock CC (MA) TPC River Highlands (CT) Charles River CC (MA) The International (MA) Lake Winnipesaukee GC (NH) Sankaty Head GC (MA) Country Club of New Hampshire (NH)
May 2013 | Subscribe at myNEGM.com | 31
Par 3 Courses
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.
Swansea CC (MA) Twin Brooks GC (MA) Cyprian Keys GC (MA) Blue Rock GC (MA) Mulligans Island GC (RI) Atkinson CC Short Course (NH) Rose Hill GC (RI) Southers Marsh GC (MA) Brookstone GC (NH) The Challenger at Waverly Oaks (MA) Little Harbor CC (MA) Apple Nine at Lyman Orchards (CT) Okemo Valley Family Four Course (VT) Apple Hill GC (NH) Button Hole GC (RI) Holly Ridge GC (MA) Stone Meadow GC (MA) Paul Harney GC (MA) The Links at Lang Farm (VT) Country Fareways (ME) Highland Greens GC (CT) Lost Brook GC (MA) Windmill Hill GC (RI) Fairlawn GC (RI) Stoweflake (VT)
Foxwoods Resort & Casino (CT) Atkinson Resort (NH) Sunday River Resort (ME) The International GC & Resort (MA) Sugarloaf Resort (ME) Samoset Resort (ME) Lake Morey Resort (VT) Mt. Washington Resort (NH) Ocean Edge Resort (MA) Okemo Resort (VT) Wequassett Resort & GC (MA) The Balsams Grand Resort (NH) Bethel Inn Resort (ME) Killington Resort (VT) Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino (CT) Equinox Resort (VT) Stratton Mountain Resort (VT) Quechee Lakes Resort (VT) Basin Harbor Resort (VT) Point Sebego Resort (VT) Jay Peak Resort (VT) Cranwell Resort (MA) Woodstock Inn & Resort (MA) Mount Snow Resort (VT) Owlâ€™s Nest Resort & GC (NH)
Foxwoods Resort & Casino
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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.
Mulligans Island (RI) Harmon Golf & Fitness Club (MA) GolfTec New England (RI, MA, CT) Sun N’ Air Golf Center (MA) Atlantic Golf Center (RI) Joe & Leigh’s Performance Center (MA) Button Hole (RI) Golf Learning Center of NE (MA) World Cup Golf Center (NH) Links at Lang Farm (VT) McGolf Driving Range (MA) Sport Center of Connecticut (CT) atick Golf Learning Center (MA) Big Sticks Golf (MA) MGA Links (MA) Brookstone Golf & Driving Range (NH) STIX Fun Center (MA) Stone Meadow Golf (MA) Golf Quest (CT) Southborough Golf Practice & Learning Center (MA) Swift Results (RI) Golf Country (MA) Lancaster Golf Center (MA) The Pavillion Golf Center (RI) Whirlaway Golf Center (MA)
Derek Hooper (CT) Bill McInerney (MA) Mike Harbour (RI) TJ Valentine (MA) Scott Mayer (ME) Ron Philo Jr. (VT) Kevin Walker (NH) Gary Cardoza (MA) Anthony Decker (ME) Terry Felty (MA) Kyle Phelps (RI) Suzy Whaley (CT) Tom Cavicchi (MA) CJ Talbert (RI) Rob Baxter (MA) Dave Marcotte (RI) Tom Gillis (MA) Jane Frost (MA) Ed Kirby (RI) Dan Lockart (MA) Libby Smith (VT) Jeffrey Dantas (MA) Dave Soucy (VT) Chris Carter MA) Hope Kelly (MA)
The NEGM Top 25 is a yearlong voting contest on mynegm.com. In 2013, over 4,000 votes were submitted. Readers come to vote are encouraged to vote through NE Golf Monthly, email marketing, social media and other outlets as many facilities/instructors promote their brand to receive votes. Feel free to visit mynegm.com/top25 and join the comment stream. and don’t forget #NEGMTop25.
May 2013 | Subscribe at myNEGM.com | 33
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5 Rounds for the Price of 4 - Only $200 (May be applied to membership for 2013 Season)
2013 Membership Specials Single Full $2700 Intermediate Plus 31-35 $2000 | Internediate 19-30 $1500
Allendale Country Club 1047 Allen St. North Dartmouth, 02747
508-992-8682 | AllendaleCC.net May 2013 | Subscribe at myNEGM.com | 35
45 Holes of Plainville Golf
Heather Hill Country Club & Wentworth Hills Country Club by NEGM Staff
Just off route 495, near Gillette Stadium and the Lafayette House, there sits 45 holes of beautiful golf course. However, until now they were not owned and operated by a golf family. Wentworth Hills Country Club and Heather Hill Country Club are now owned and operated by a family with over 30 years in the golf business. Constant Poholek, his sister Karen Finocchi and brother-in-law Elmo Finocchi have promising plans to put Plainville, Massachusetts golf on the New England golf scene. “Over the next 5 – 10 years, golfers around Southern New England will notice improvements to the courses, practice facilities and club houses that’s for sure,” said Constant Poholek, Director of Golf. Wentworth Hills CC features a beautiful Clubhouse, entertaining an 18-hole layout and soon-to-be reopened golf school & driving range. Heather Hill CC has 27 holes of natural terrain, perfect for any golfer. Its full restaurant/function facility is larger than most in the area, making it the ideal place to Turtle Hill Golf hold an outing. Club Southampton
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The Lafayette House Restaurant runs the kitchen for the 19th hole located at each facility. Their menu features some of the best pulled-pork in Bristol County and their brick and mortar location can be found just off Rte. 1 in Foxboro. After a round on either course there is nothing better than a cold one, watching sports and laughs with friends. “We want to cater to golfers who are local or traveling in New England. With two golf courses and the same great service on or off the course, we hope to put our courses on the map.” said Karen Finocchi. Heather Hill Country Club and Wentworth Hills Country Club are now a force to be reckoned with in the Southern New England golf market. Although golfers should play as many different courses as they can throughout the region, they should be sure to play all 45 holes of these two sister courses. Oh yeah, and be sure to enjoy the 19th hole after your round. Well worth it! www.WentworthHillsCountryClub.com www.HeatherHillCountryClub.com Belmont Hills Golf Ocean View Golf Club Warwick Course Devonshire
2013 Qualifying Site for the 59th USGA Senior Amateur Championship
To June 2014! Single Membership $2450
Spring Special Family Membership
Now $2450 Young Adults (21-35) $1800
Snowbird Special $500.00 Per Month
Unlimited Golf Cart included!
contact Tom Pinkerton | Membership Chairman email@example.com 508-245-8287
Segregansett Country Club call 508-824-9110 x 11 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Port Royal Golf Club Southampton
Riddell’s Bay Golf Club Warwick
St. Georges Golf Club St. Georges
Tucker’s Point Golf Club St Georges
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Kay’s Korner “An American Caddie in St. Andrews” Harvard grad Oliver Horovitz continues love affair with the Old Course by Emily Kay
This summer, when Oliver Horovitz dons his St. Andrews caddie bib and picks up the clubs of some unsuspecting hacker paying homage to one of the holiest of holy grounds in the game, it will be the Harvard grad’s eighth summer as a pack mule on the Old Course. What began as a “what the hell?” way to fill the yawning months between high school graduation and his deferred Harvard career shows no signs of ending any time soon for the 26-year-old who was born in Gloucester, Mass., and cut his caddying teeth on the North Shore of Boston. “I would just play golf every single day -- 18, 36 every day,” Horovitz, the son of playwright and Gloucester (Mass.) Stage Company founder and brother of Beastie Boys member Adam Horovitz, told us recently by phone. “If I wasn’t hitting playing golf, I was hitting balls. All my friends were kids who caddied with me at [Gloucester’s] Bass Rocks.”
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Horovitz’ excellent adventure began as the high school senior was playing third trumpet on stage during his graduation ceremony. Knowing he was on the wait list for Harvard, Ollie was thrilled when his cellphone trilled in the middle of the rite and on the other end the university’s admissions officer had good and so-so news: Horovitz was in but his entry would have to wait until the following year. “So there I was, with 365 days to kill,” recalled Horovitz, who had also received an offer from the University of St. Andrews. With an English mother, an old English uncle (Ken) living nearby, a “girl-to-guy ratio of 65-35” at the Scottish college, and one other critical enticement to take a journey of a lifetime, 17-year-old Oliver punched his ticket for the U.K. “As a student at St. Andrews you get the best deal in golf,” Horovitz said. “Unlimited golf on the Old Course...for about $170 for the whole year. “It gets no better than that.” But it did. Horovitz parlayed his year on the college golf team into a summer job as a bagman on the Old Course, where he rang up some $100 per round, and for which he delayed his Boston foray until the last possible moment. And he kept returning -- for spring and winter breaks, summer vacations, and long after his Harvard graduation. “Every single caddie wants to be a professional golfer; that’s the dream,” Horovitz said. “For me, this is the second-best.” What unfolded was the chance to loop for personages from European Tour golfer Simon Dyson when he was locked in a final-round 2011 Dunhill Links Championship duel with newly crowned U.S. Open champ Rory McIlroy, to Larry David of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” fame, to the not atypical 10-handicap American golfer who proclaims on the first tee that “I gotta break 80.” Along the way, Horovitz linked up with the unique characters who populate the Scottish version of “Caddyshack” (Exhibit A: “Babysitter” -- so nicknamed because “you would never want to leave your kids with him”) and enjoyed the hijinks of a lifetime. Like that double tequila shot he downed with Paula Creamer to celebrate her 21st birthday during
in and plunked down his hard-earned wages on the adult beverage. “The entire pub was living through me for that one second,” said Horovitz, who got Creamer to down the distilled spirit but failed in other endeavors. “I flirted shamelessly for the next 45 minutes but was completely unsuccessful,” he said. Then there was that day with McIlroy, an exploit that Horovitz believes embodied the essence of what it means to be on the bag. “Getting to be beside Rory in the heat of the moment on Sunday, trying to win the tournament,” he said, reliving the emotions of the event. “Being beside him walking, seeing it, that’s a look you’re not going to get anywhere else. Caddying brings you to the center of the game, inside the ropes. For me, I’m never going to forget that round.” Horovitz bundled his first year on the bag into a Sports Illustrated article, which grew into a book, which he hopes to turn into a screenplay. He’ll be reading excerpts from “An American Caddie” and talking St. Andrews at Bass Rocks GC on May 25 and at Rockport (Mass.) GC on May 26. the 2007 Women’s British Open. After learning the LPGA star was installed at the local watering hole, “inspiration struck” our star-struck hero as he rushed
Emily Kay is a regular contributor to New England Golf Monthly. You may follow Kay on Twitter @golfexaminer
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Sampson’s Spotlight - presented by GolfTrainingAids.com
by Greg Sampson
CS2 Putting System The Claim Remember that good old putting drill you used to set up on the practice green with six to nine golf tees? The CS2 Putting System is designed to create that same drill on or off the course by utilizing alignment, stroke and an aimpoint gates to improve the stroke you already have. Best of all you can break the portable aid down to the bare bones of just the magnetic tees, which is in fact the same putting drill practice for decades, except it’s much more precise. The Test To review the unit some of my family and friends went out on the green for a short game practice day. Both my father and brother remember standing on the putting green for hours with tees trying to find aim lines and the perfect speed to make more putts so this easy to set-up device made complete sense. However, most of the women in my life want to learn the game we all have grown to love so it turned
into a mini-putting lesson, which made our day! We moved around the green changing from uphill, to side hill, to down hill, to lags using the CS2 Putting System to explain the art of matching line and speed that makes for a great putter. Needless to say the results were quite impressing. The Verdict Missing your spot in putting in the first foot and a half or so can make or break your putting total for the day. I would assume we all know that. Every golfer that participated in the CS2 test improved their alignment because they improved their strokes path and rhythm while rolling the ball with better speed on the proper line and holed more putts. The CS2 Putting System by Green Active Golf competes with the best put- ting devices you can buy in the game today. For only $99.99 it’s as much of a “no brainer” as threefooter to win on Sunday!
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The Driving Difference
Made Of Iron by Ed Travis
Irons For 2013 Season
One of golf’s great truths is just because you can bomb it off the tee doesn’t mean you can get it on the green. And since we all want to make more pars and birdies, playing with irons that help you get it on the green is a must. Fortunately recreational players have a wide variety of choices and many that even provide some significant compensation for their swing flaws. Club faces with greater flex, lots of perimeter weighting, and generous amounts of offset between the clubhead and shaft all help average golfers get the ball airborne, hit it straighter and maybe even longer on the way to improving their iron play. If you are considering the purchase of a set of irons for the new season there are a couple of thing you should know. First, get fitted. It just makes sense. New irons will cost several hundred dollars and you want to get the best results for your money. Computerized fitting technology is readily available and many times is offered at no cost by retailers as an inducement to purchase. With the correct length, lie and shaft flex new irons will give you the chance to get the most out of your swing. Secondly, it’s a good idea to understand what some have called an insidious phenomenon… “creeping lofts”. Over the years club manufacturers have been steadily decreasing iron lofts at least in part so golfers can say, “Yeah, I know it was 172 but rather than a 3-iron I hit a 5.” What they may not realize is their new 5-iron actually has the loft of a 3-iron (albeit a
shorter shaft) so they believe their new irons hit the ball a farther than their old ones. With the change in lofts a pitching wedge has gone from what used to be considered a “standard loft” of 52° to today’s 48° (sometimes as little as 44°!). But since bunker shots still require using a club with around 56° of loft a club was needed between the pitching wedge and sand wedge. The solution was to invent the gap wedge which of course has the loft of the old pitching wedge - 52°. At the other end of the set, creeping lofts also contributed to the demise of long irons. As iron lofts became stronger the 2-iron wound up having the loft of the old 3-wood but because woods are a lot easier to hit than 2-irons the wood-iron was born – now days we call it the hybrid. As an example, 4-irons formerly had 26° of loft but today the 4-iron in a new set from a well known maker has a loft of 20°. Formerly that would have been a weak 2-iron or a strong 3-iron and in addition that particular set also has a 44° pitching wedge rather than 48°. Fortunately nobody except a few diehards miss long irons. On the other side of the coin though today’s irons do hit the ball further they also have a lot more forgiveness compared to those of the past and give the average golfer more control. Finally, as with all the clubs NEGM features each month, these irons will be among those on the list of candidates for New England Golf Monthly’s 2013 Equipment Awards at the end of the year.
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Cleveland 588 Altitude hybridirons have a very nice blend of features. As the name suggests these clubs are specifically designed to get the ball airborne and they are fully interchangeable with 588 Mid Trajectory and Tour Trajectory model irons so you can build a blended set. In order to facilitate customization the hosel of the 588 Altitude’s may be bent for lie angle as much as 2 degrees flat or 3 degrees upright plus the loft 2° weaker or stronger. The 588 Altitudes are of hollow construction with forged face inserts to make the easy to hit and help create more ball speed.
Cobra AMP Cell irons are readily spotted on the course since they come with cavity inserts of blue, silver, red or orange. Using Cobra’s E9 Face Technology and a new AMP Cell weighting they also have a facewelded construction as in metalwoods; or as Cobra says, “An irons created like a driver.” The thin face being mated with a softer body produces good distance without a big sacrifice in feel. The AMP Cell cavity insert construction also helps with vibration dampening.
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The Idea Super S Hybrid irons are targeted at those wanting a game improvement category club. They are built “half hollow” which gives them some of the characteristics of an iron and some of a hybrid. Additionally there’s an undercut back cavity and a set is meant to be mixed and matched with the Adams Super S Hybrids, or the Idea Super LS Hybrids. Adams Tech V4 irons come either as a forged set or as a hybrid iron set. The forged set features a 3H, 4H, 5H and 6-iron through PW using forged 8620 carbon steel with nickel plating. The all-hybrid set is 4H through GW. Finally, for better players Adams offers the Idea CMB forged irons. Their feel is exceptional, solid and they are easy to work and control ball trajectory. Using tungsten weight inserts placed low towards the toe the center of gravity is in the exact center of the scorelines and this creates both solid feedback at impact as well as resistance to twisting. CMB’s also feature a 2-piece laser plasma-welded forged construction with a very nice looking nickel-chrome satin finish and a 3-way cambered sole.
The X Hot and X Hot Pro irons share an insert in the back cavity to dampen vibration at impact. The X Hots use a relatively deep cavity undercut and Callaway’s Speed Frame Face construction for more distance. The Pro version however reduces the cavity undercut to what they call a J-Face construction. Their forged iron this year is the X Forged, the latest from designer Roger Cleveland. A true player’s iron, they have progressive center of gravity placement and a minimum of offset.
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The new JPX-825 uses a very thin face of multiple thicknesses in the long irons with the goal being more ball speed and therefore distance. Combined with an enlarged sweet spot, a large rear cavity and extreme heel and toe weighting they are designed specifically for recreational players. Mizuno built its reputation on forged irons for better players and the MP-H4s certainly fit in that category. Grain flow forgings were used to produce hollow long irons and half cavity short irons plus Mizuno’s almost legendary feel. The center of gravity has been moved deeper into the clubhead also and makes for both easy launch and off-center hit forgiveness. Mizuno is also running a drawing through June 7 to promote the JPX-825 family called “Play Famously.” Winners receive the same driver to wedge treatment as Tour staff members including a new Mizuno staff bag, logoed shirts, umbrella, gloves and even Mizuno towels. Find out more details at MizunoUSA.com.
Cohen Wins Place On Team JPX Mizuno’s Play Famously contest announced Robert Cohen of Framingham, Mass. was selected as one of the winners and he joins the other amateurs chosen for Mizuno’s Team JPX. The 12 amateurs comprising Team JPX will be selected in Mizuno’s online Play Famously contest. Prizes for each winner include a set of custom fit JPX-825 irons, JPX-825 woods, JPX wedges, a Mizuno staff bag personalized with their name plus Mizuno apparel and instruction from Team JPX’s “Swing Coach” and PGA Master Teacher, Dr. Gary Wiren. The contest is being conducted to draw attention to Mizuno’s new JPX-825 line of game-improvement irons that Cohen along with the others will be playing. Play Famously contestants submitted a brief essay, photos and/or videos showing their passion for golf and why they deserve to be on Team JPX. Amateurs on Team JPX, dubbed “gameimprovement professionals,” will be joined by Mizuno staff pros Luke Donald, Charles Howell III, Jonathan Byrd and Stacy Lewis for a “tour level” event at the home of Mizuno’s R&D Center, the Country Club of the South in Atlanta.
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Palopoli’s Picks by Jeff Palopoli
Player’s Championship After a little more than a month away from the Sunshine State, the TOUR heads back to Florida on May 9th for the “Fifth Major”, The Players Championship. The Stadium course at the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Florida is home to one of the most recognizable par 3s in the world. The par-3, 132-yard 17th hole, known simply as the “Island Green”, is one of golf’s most recognizable, as well as difficult holes. Over the years it has produced its fair share of drama, and will undoubtedly live up to it’s reputation this week as well. Last year Matt Kuchar notched his biggest victory to date by holding off a slew big name players like Rickie Fowler, Luke Donald, and Zach Johnson. Kuchar has since gone on to win the WGC Accenture Match Play event this season, which could now be argued as his biggest career victory, however that first Major title still eludes him. The Picks A Group – It’s hard to believe, but Tiger Woods has only won The Players Championship once in his illustrious career. He placed a dismal T40th last year, withdrew in both 2010 and 2011, but placed 8th in 2009. He has three wins on the season and has regained his spot atop the OWGR. However, due to his somewhat lackluster results at the TPC Sawgrass, he’ll start off on the bench and I’ll instead start Sergio Garcia who won this event in 2008. Garcia’s ball-striking seems to be as good as ever, and he has three top 10s on the season, including most recently an 8th place finish at the Masters. B Group – To start the week in the B group I like
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returning champion Matt Kuchar, as well as Luke Donald. Kuchar has three top 10s to go along with his victory at the WGC Match Play earlier this season and continues to be one of the most consistent players on TOUR. By his own standards, Luke Donald’s season hasn’t been much to write home about despite two top 10s (most recently a T3 at the RBC Heritage). But TPC Sawgrass is a course that Donald seems to consistently play well on and seems to suit his game. He comes in to this year’s event following two straight top 10s in the previous two seasons. C Group – The C group contains a handful of tough decisions with players who are all playing extremely well right now. With players like Jason Day, Adam Scott, Rickie Fowler, and Billy Horschel, you really can’t go wrong with any of them. Billy Horschel picked up his first PGA TOUR victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, following a string of three straight top 10s before that. Horschel is playing with an abundance of confidence right now and he gets the start over a very talented crop of other players in the group. Backing him up will be your reigning Masters champion, Adam Scott, for obvious reasons. Starting Foursome: Sergio Garcia, Matt Kuchar, Luke Donald, Billy Horschel On the Bench: Tiger Woods, Nick Watney, Steve Stricker, Adam Scott Jeff Palopoli is a frequent contributor to NEGM. His Fantasy Golf Picks can be found weekly on www.mynegm.com as well as on his blog at www.goodwalkgolf.com. He can be reached at email@example.com
Players Championship by Barry J. Palm
2 013 THE PLAYERS Championship Focuses on Spectator Enhancements. Event at TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course Anticipates the Best Field in Golf.
Pity the poor Palmetto. The ubiquitous fan-like tree, indigenous to the southeast, is on the PGA Tour’s endangered species list at the TPC Stadium Course as grounds crews laid waste to scores of the plants for this year’s installment of THE PLAYERS Championship May 8-12. Hundreds of the small trees were removed this past year to create more spectator viewing areas, including new mounding spaces on greens 2, 7, and 18; to create improved sight-lines to capture previously unseen sweeping vistas of the 75,000 sq. ft. clubhouse; and to provide multiple staging platforms for more patron social venues and conveniences. With a prep crew of 500 and a budget of $4.5 million to ready the iconic Pete Dye course, PLAYERS Executive Director Matthew Rapp has focused his efforts on improving fan enhancements for the 45,000 daily golf fans expected this year to pour into Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, to enjoy professional golf provided by what is traditionally the strongest field on tour. But it takes more than $4.5 million to be “Golf’s Greatest Stadium.” It takes a golf course – originally laid out on a paper napkin by Dye over dinner with former PGA TOUR Commissioner and visionary, Deane Beman – that tests the shot-making skills of the world’s best golf professionals. Built in 1982 to host THE PLAYERS Championship and be its permanent home, the championship tees stretch the course to 7,215 yards par-72 and demand a player’s complete and unwavering attention from his opening tee shot on Thursday to his final putt on Sunday should he survive Friday’s cut. “THE PLAYERS is a unique tournament with a great finish, the greatest amphitheater in golf so fans can really see and enjoy the golf better, and you’re surrounded by noise,” says Fred Funk, the 2005 champion and Ponte Vedra Beach resident, which makes him a fan favorite. “Win THE PLAYERS and you’ve beaten the best,” says Jim Furyk, who also makes his home in Ponte Vedra Beach. For 2013 golf aficionados and the field alike can expect nothing short of superb playing conditions al-
though late spring weather in northeast Florida can be unpredictable. “In addition to the new mounding areas on 2, 7, and 18, and our aggressive Palmetto removal, seven greens have been redone and improved to provide additional hole locations and impart strategy,” said Rapp. “This event has always been a showcase, but the focus of the showcase has been the player experience – what’s going on inside the ropes. But just as important is the fan experience, because the TV experience is getting so good,” he adds. Since he took control of the tournament, his efforts have paid dividends to the tune of a 24 percent increase in attendance and corporate sales upturn of 31 percent despite the shaky economy. More importantly, however, the greater Jacksonville community has benefited from the record $6.5 million raised by the event for local charities last year. Ultimately, though, to some winning THE PLAYERS is tantamount to winning a “major.” Some critics and pundits have decried the lack of history for the tournament or the golf course itself as reasons for preventing its becoming golf’s fifth major. Even the hefty purse ($9.5 million for this year) was routinely criticized in the past as a Tour excess before the USGA, PGA of America and the Masters, not to mention World Golf Championship, purses grew higher than the flight of Keegan Bradley’s drives and matched it. No matter. Every player wants to clutch THE PLAYERS Waterford Crystal trophy come Sunday afternoon ‘official’ major or not. Surveying his handiwork, Matt Rapp is content for now with his innovations to the TPC fan experience. But like his fellow tournament directors at all PGA Tour stops, he’ll be keeping an eye on the clouds on high and praying for good weather the second week of May. Fate pointed her finger at progress, so scores of Palmettos are now gone from the TPC Sawgrass and that’s just fine with him. Information on THE PLAYERS for 2013 is available at www.pgatour.com
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Team New England Update Tracking the progress of all our players on all the Tours. By: Steve Riggs This has not been a particularly good month for our most of our TNE players. You will see that most scoring averages seem to have gone up over these past weeks. We hope this is a temporary lapse as Team New England has some of the most respected players out there on all the tours. These guys and gals are just warming up in my opinion!
PGA TOUR Keegan Bradley (VT) saw his game to south at this year’s Masters. He did redeem himself, somewhat, and we hope Bradley’s lapse is short lived and can be turned into a learning experience. At this writing, post Heritage, Keegan has made 10 cuts in 11 starts with 1 third place. While earnings of $1,430,347 are very respectable, Bradley’s scoring average has increased from 69.40 to 69.97. Scott Stallings (MA) has earned $435,568 making 5 cuts in 10 starts with 1 top ten finishes. By far, Scott’s near win at PGA West and the Humana Challenge earlier in the year is his best finish to date. Stallings generally plays better in the second half of the season. We are hopeful that Scott’s traction will pick up and are looking to his next couple events to get him on track. J.J. Henry (CT) has made 7 cuts in 10 starts at this writing. J.J’s scoring average is of 71.94 has also increased over our last report. His earnings are on hold at $222,319. The same amount as last month. Henry is also just about in the same place, earnings wise, he was a year ago. A consistent player for TNE on the PGA Tour since 1999, I remain optimistic J.J.Henry will continue his solid play moving forward. James Driscoll (MA) has made 6 cuts in 10 starts thus far in 2013. A top ten and 2 top 25 finishes set Driscoll’s earnings at $307,208. James’ scoring average continues to climb and currently is 70.94. The nickname ‘Bubble Boy’ seems to be waning a bit. We hope this dedicated Bostonian can get his game back to hitting on all cylinders. Tim Petrovic (MA) has combined earnings of $8,320 on both the PGA and Web.Com tours. Making 1 cut in 4 starts, Tim’s PGA Tour scoring average is 72.36. On the Web. Com, Petrovic missed the cut in the Louisiana Open. Another respected competitor for TNE with career earnings of $11,948,789, Petrovic simply needs to find his game Brett Quigley (RI) is another ‘duel’ competitor playing PGA and Web.Com tours. Thus far, Brett has missed the cut in his sole start on the PGA Tour posting a scoring average of 71.33. One of our best players, Brett’s combined career earnings are $11,453,897.
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Brad Faxon (RI) enters year two on the Champions Tour with $60,849 in earnings after 5 events this season. Brad’s scoring average is 72.40. His putting has always been Brad’s key to success. Fax is currently ranked 47th on the Champions Tour in putts per round indicating a little work in that area. Dana Quigley (MA) continues to compete while remaining focused on son Devon’s rehabilitation from a brain injury suffered in an auto accident. While our prayers continue for the Quigley family, Dana’s earnings are $4,883. At 66, Dana remains The Iron Man. Allen Doyle (RI) at 64 continues to compete. Competing in 4 events thus far, Doyle’s earnings are $4,621. A somewhat unorthodox swing, this Woonsocket, RI native has a scoring average of 76.21. Career earnings of $13,384,756 make Allen a respected Champions Tour player and competitor.
LPGA TOUR Alison Walshe (MA) has made the cut in 3 of 5 outings thus far with earnings of $40,440 and a scoring average at 71.83. Alison had a good year in 2012 earning $194,519 with 1 top 10 finish. Alison’s play thus far in 2013 is promising from this writer’s perspective. Anna Grzebien (RI) earned $23,341 in 2012. While still on the roster in 2013 we feel her role as a new mom is taking up most of her time. Stay tuned as we see if Anna will make a start this year. Congratulations Mom!
WEB.COM TOUR Jim Renner (MA) through the Louisiana Open has earned $101,540 making 3 cuts in 5 starts. Renner is in 8th position on the Web.Com money list with a scoring average of 69.75. If Jim continues the pace he is on, we will see him back on the PGA Tour in 2014. Congratulations Jim on a great season thus far. Patrick Sheehan (MA) has earned $7,088 making 2 cuts in 6 starts with 1 top twenty five finish. Patrick’s scoring average sits at 71.38 at this writing. At 42 Sheehan is no quitter. After losing his PGA TOUR card after last season, Patrick, we feel, is far from finished. Brad Adamonis (RI) made the cut in his solo start of this season. Posted earnings of $2,450 are only a part of Brad’s story. More promising is his scoring average of 69.75 as the Web.Com season is just getting into full swing. This Cumberland native has proven he has what it takes. Rob Oppenheim (MA) had a good season on the Web .Com earning $132,065 in 2012. Rob, however, appears to be off to a rocky start in 2013 earning just $3,600 making 2 cuts in 5 starts with a scoring average of 72.64. The Web.Com season is still young and we are hopeful Rob will hit his stride.
LPGA SYMETRA FUTURES TOUR Molly Aronsson (VT) has made 1 cut in her solo start in the Symetra’s young season. Molly, so far, has a very good scoring average of 71.0 with earnings of $2,862 with her 9th place finish at the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic. This just could be Molly’s year. Natalie Sheary (CT) has made 1 cut in 2 starts this year earning $1,579 with a scoring average of 75. A good year in 2012, we look forward to the Symetra’s season getting into full swing in order to see Natalie continue her promising career. Briana Vega (MA) has made 1 of 2 cuts earning $637. Briana’s scoring average is 74.8 at this writing. Her career began in 2005 with career earnings of $57,043. Briana’s talent is not in question for this writer. She may just need a little more focus. Libby Smith (VT) a Futures veteran competing since 2004, made 7 cuts in 14 starts on the Symetra Tour in 2012 but has yet to start her 2013 season on the Symetra Tour.
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CVS Caremark Charity Classic by Jim Hammond
Celebrates 16th Anniversary
If you are in need of some putting tips be sure to plan a trip to the annual CVS CAREMARK CHARITY CLASSIC which is returning to the Rhode Island Country Club in Barrington, Rhode Island. This popular tournament is bringing in stars from the PGA, LPGA and CHAMPION’S Tours to help raise funds for over 25 local charities. And one of the top players on the PGA TOUR that will be making his first visit to the RHODE ISLAND COUNTRY CLUB is 12 time Tour Champion Steve Stricker. Stricker has earned over $37,038, 164 on the tour and one of the keys to his success is his superior putting skills. In fact, at this year’s WGC CADILLAC CHAMPIONSHIP in Doral, none other than Tiger Woods asked Stricker to help his with his putting stroke. Stricker obliged and told Tiger to weaken his grip a little and move his hands a little forward. It seems Woods was rotating his hands too much and pulling his short putts left of the cup. The tip worked so well Woods needed only 100 putts for all four rounds and won the tournament. Joining Stricker this year from the PGA TOUR will be 2012 Masters victor Bubba Watson who is not only the longest hitter on tour, but does it with a pink driver. Bubba is a unique individual and if you want to see some of his off the course activities check out the web for his rock-n-roll band “Golf Boys”. You have to see it to believe it. Another player from the PGA TOUR will be easy to spot at Barrington this year. Rickie Fowler, and all his glorious fluorescent colors will be prowling the fairways. Rickie won his first tournament last year at the Wells Fargo Classic and has played on both the
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Ryder Cup and Walker Cup teams. Rickie is a fellow member of the rock-n-roll band “Golf Boys.” Hall of Famer, Juli Inkster will be back again for her sixth appearance at the classic. Inkster has won 45 tournaments on the LPGA TOUR and is a member of the LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame. One member of the LPGA TOUR who may well follow Inkster into the Hall of Fame is the lovely Lexi Thompson. Lexi burst on to the golf scene when she qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open at the age of 12. Thompson became the youngest winner on the LPGA TOUR when she won the Navistar CLASSIC at the age of 16. Other players that will be making the trip to Rhode Island include hosts Billy Andrade and Brad Faxon. Some special events have been created for the 2013 CLASSIC include the All Kids Can Three-Hole Challenge. Kids from the area including members of the Barrington High golf team, will be grouped into five foursomes, and participate in a special challenge that will included holes 16, 17 and 18. Special ticket offers will be available at local CVS pharmacies starting on May 12. Purchases of certain items will allow the customer to get a voucher good for a ticket to the tournament. To see said items check out the web site www.cvscharityclassic.com. Free admission will also be provided for both current and retired members of the armed service. Just show a common access card or retired military card to take advantage of this offer. The tournament runs June 23 and concludes on June 25th. For details see www. cvscharityclassic.com.
Tiger Woods Foundation Adds Deutsche Bank Championship To Prestigious Roster Of Events
The Deutsche Bank Championship will welcome fans to TPC Boston Labor Day The Tiger Woods Foundation has taken over the management and operational responsibilities of the Deutsche Bank Championship, held over Labor Day weekend at TPC Boston in Norton, Mass. The Foundation, which supports underserved students through educational programs designed to help them get to college, has been the primary beneficiary of the event since 2003, but will now handle the day-to-day operations of New England’s premier PGA TOUR Playoff event. “The Deutsche Bank Championship has seen tremendous success thanks to the Boston community, the incredible fans and dedicated sponsors, and we are excited to play a bigger role in its management moving forward,” said Greg McLaughlin, President and CEO of the Tiger Woods Foundation. “Deutsche Bank has been a great partner of the Foundation over the past 10 years and we plan to bring fans another first-class golf tournament this Labor Day weekend.”
“We are pleased to have the Tiger Woods Foundation as a partner to manage the Deutsche Bank Championship,” said Jacques Brand, Deutsche Bank’s CEO of North America. “Their professionalism and success running other tournaments will certainly enhance the fan’s experience at the already fantastic Championship.” Deutsche Bank has been the title sponsor since the tournament’s debut at TPC Boston in 2003. Since its inception, the Championship has generated more than $24 million for the Tiger Woods Foundation and local New England charities. In addition to the Deutsche Bank Championship, the Tiger Woods Foundation runs and operates two golf tournaments, the AT&T National, a PGA TOUR event held at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., and the World Challenge held at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Ticket, parking and tournament information can be found on the new website www.dbchampionship.com.
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What’s News PGA Tour Member and Boston Native James Driscoll Initiates Birdies for Boston to Support Boston Marathon Victims Norton, MA — James Driscoll, a native Bostonian and member of the PGA TOUR, has initiated Birdies for Boston, a fundraising effort to benefit the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. James has chosen The One Fund Boston designed to raise money to help those families most affected by the tragic events that unfolded during the 2013 Boston Marathon. The Fund was launched the day following the tragedy by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and has received commitments from many leaders in the Boston community. 100% of donations received will be directed towards The One Fund Boston. https://secure.onefundboston. org/page/-/donate9.html
John Dolan and Henry Alves Outlast Brian Higgins and Mark O’Sullivan to Win the 35th John Cronin Memorial Four-Ball Tournament
Winners John Nolan and Henry Alves
Norton, MA — Spring may be here, but don’t tell that to the competitors who took part in the 35th John Cronin Memorial Four-Ball Tournament earlier this week. On Tuesday - under wet and cold conditions - a host of golfers took to the Country Club of Halifax for this popular four-ball competiton. In the end, the pair of John Nolan (Easton CC) and Henry Alves (Easton CC) outlasted the team of Brian Higgins (Franklin CC) and Mark O’Sullivan (Stow Acres CC) in a playoff.
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What’s News Longtime Rules Official and MGA Executive Committee Member Peter Costello Featured in The Patriot Ledger
Norton, MA — Earlier this year - at the MGA’s Salute to Champions Dinner - longtime MGA Rules Official and current Executive Committee member Peter Costello was honored with the first-ever Andrew J. Blau MGA Volunteer of the Year award. Costello, who has been an active supporter in nearly all of the MGA’s departments including championships, course rating and junior golf, continues to make a difference.
Grainger Award During the NEGA Spring Meeting
Norton, MA — When he was just 11 years old, Harry McCracken began his love affair with the game of golf as a junior member at Charles River Country Club. Fast forward 77 years and Harry McCracken was once again at his beloved Charles River Country Club. But this time he was not swinging a club; he was accepting one of the most prestigious honors awarded by the United States Golf Association (USGA).
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A Rare Opportunity to Play Sakonnet GC A Donald Ross Masterpiece in Little Compton, RI
The Little Compton Golf Outing Benefitting the Little Compton Community Center At Beautiful Sakonnet Golf Club in Little Compton, RI
SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 2013
$200 per golfer, includes lunch, dinner and entertainment 18 Holes - Best Ball or Scramble - Callaway Scoring Reception Dinner 6:00 pm, featuring: entertainment, dinner, awards, raffle prizes and a silent auction
Former MGA Tournament Coordinator Frank Flanigan Passes Away at the Age of 80 Years Old
Norton, MA — The MGA lost a great friend when former tournament coordinator Frank Flanigan passed away at the age of 80 on April 17. Flanigan, a longtime resident of Andover and member at Indian Ridge Country Club, spent more than eight years working for the MGA and assisting the MGA’s Championship Department. He was a mainstay at most MGA events during that time from 1997 through 2005.
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What’s News Antigua Named Travelers Championship’s Apparel Supplier For 17th Year PEORIA, ARIZ. - The Antigua Group, Inc.-celebrating over 30 years in business as one of the nation’s leading designers and marketers of genuine performance golf and sports apparel under its Antigua brand-has been named supplier of staff and volunteer uniforms for the PGA TOUR’s Travelers Championship for its 17th year. Antigua will again provide apparel for those working as gallery control, marshals, scorers and rovers at this year’s Travelers Championship, being held June 20 through June 23 at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut. “Being chosen as the supplier of staff and volunteer uniforms for the Travelers Championship for 17 years, through various title sponsors, is a great honor,” said Ron McPherson, President and CEO of Antigua. “In this day and age of vendors giving away product to lure tournaments to use their product, I believe our association with the Travelers Championship may be unprecedented. Every year we battle with the industry’s top brands for the tournament’s business, but we continue to do a good job so fortunately the tournament keeps renewing us. Jim Mayo, our sales representative in Connecticut, is a major reason why our association with the tournament has continued for this long.” The Antigua Group www.antigua.com
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May 2013 Vol VI Issue III
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Gorman vs. Geary by Tom Gorman and Tim Geary
Should Rangefinder be allowed in competitive golf? by Tom Gorman
NO. When golf was developing in Scotland in the late 1700s, golfers didn’t concern themselves with yardage calculations for approach shots to the green because they played the same courses over and over again, relying on past experience to gauge the distance of their shots. Fast forward 250 years. Today, players have a new toy in their bag – golf’s hottest product – a distance measuring device (DMD) commonly known as a rangefinder. If you’re serious about the game, you will lay out $300 for a decent DMD, which function by laser or GPS. The world’s best players are banned from using rangefinders, but in 2006, the USGA and R & A began allowing tournament committees to insert a local rule permitting DMDs. The rules-makers still consider them illegal – the penalty is DQ – and you won’t find them in competition on the PGA Tour or other USGA events, including local qualifiers. DMDs have become widely accepted at many competition levels, including state championships, club championships, NCAA events and most state junior golf programs. Proponents of the rangefinder, like the unscrupulous and unsophisticated Mr. Geary, will suggest it speeds up play, which has merit, but only for skilled players who can hit consistent shots to precise distances. For slashers like Geary, with 15 handicaps or higher, the DMD will provide no benefit because the ballstriking isn’t near good enough to warrant exact yardage. Simply stated: they just don’t make putting surfaces large enough for guys like Geary to hit a wedge on the green from exactly 107-yards. Why does he think a DMD would help his pathetic game? For decades, courses have installed 150-yard markers, marking the distance to the hole on sprinkler heads and providing yardage books to help calculate yardages. In most cases, finding accurate yardage meant calculating the distance between the ball and the nearest marker. Pacing off yardage is part of the ritual and rhythm of the round, and something I enjoy. According to Bushnell Golf marketing manager
Derek Schuman, “The sale of distance-measuring devices has become as lucrative as the market for putters. It has become a valuable piece of equipment for any golfer who’s serious about their game and rangefinders are staples in college golf, where some are team-issued.” Call me a traditionalist because I refuse to use a DMD. Golf is about going out and hitting the ball and going and finding it and hitting it again. It just doesn’t feel right and I don’t need technology providing me yardage information while playing. Quite jamming technology into my golf game! Using a DMD in competition is like having a 15th club in your bag. The three most common devices are Lasers, GPS and Apps. Some lasers look like binoculars and provide precise distances to the flag. Some even compensate for slope telling the player how much extra club will be needed for an uphill shot, but the devices that provide slope-adjusted yardages are illegal for all competitions. GPS devices like the SkyCaddie use GPS information provided by satellite to give distances to the front, middle or back of the greens. Some come with preloaded courses and have been converted into watches for easier accessibility. Apps are also GPS-enabled through cellphones with IPhones being popular, and Golflogix claiming a huge market share. Let’s keep digitally savvy geeks like Mr. Geary from ruining the game, pretending he needs another new toy to improve his scoring. Seems nobody is getting any better even though more new products and equipment are available every year. The rules of golf don’t allow swing devices on the course and I think it should be illegal to use a device requiring a 9 volt battery that needs replacement after 20 rounds. It’s time to draw the line on technology while in competition? Tom Gorman sometimes thinks, after posting a snowman that score cards and yardage books are artificial and should not be permitted during play!
Should Rangefinder be allowed in competitive golf? by Tim Geary
There are many causes of slow play on a golf teurs have no such stupid rules. If you have the course, but one that has become completely unnec- willingness to spend a few extra bucks to pick up essary, because of technology, is figuring out just an electronic device that helps your game, you’re how far away from the target you are. welcome to it. We still are faced with the prospect Rangefinders, whether they are GPS or laser of actually having to hit the shot, which for us rebased, expedite what used to be an oft painstaking mains the most significant challenge. It’s just so and lengthy practice. much more enjoyable to actually know you have Having somebody in your group with a range- the right club in your hand instead of guessing and finder is particularly helpful to the pace of play it’s certainly more enjoyable for everyone when an when you are playing at a club that doesn’t allow extra half hour is lopped off the time on the course carts to leave the paths. because the players aren’t walking hither and yon, It also helps you play better and more efficiently looking for sprinkler heads, especially when they and to those who oppose their use in competition are hitting from an adjoining fairway. (see the guy on the left), my response is go back to I’ve had a rangefinder now for the past three hickory shafted clubs and gutta purcha balls. years. My handicap has not gone either up or down Anyone who knows me also understands that I so it stands to reason that I’m not getting an unfair am by nature a traditionalist. But I’m also a prag- advantage. What I am getting is an earlier idea of matist, unlike Gorman, who still thinks the world how far away I am and what club I want to hit. is flat and would prefer traveling around the course Considering where Gorman often finds himself on a donkey instead of an electric cart. on a golf course one would assume he’d love the I’m lying. Gorman loves his titanium headed idea of a rangefinder. He’s often in places that have driver, with its graphite shaft, striking a three piece yet to be discovered by humans, much less marked Pro V. He, like the rest of us, has embraced the off to the middle of the green. technology that has made the game easier (but not There are some state golfing association that easy) and more enjoyable. allow the use of rangefinders in their competitions Each week we watch professional golfers confer and some that allow it on a limited basis. with their caddies on a particular yardage as they A couple of years ago, in the Rhode Island State look at their yardage books, which have over the Amateur final, a rangefinder was used by one of the past 50 years or so become the road maps of the officials to determine which of the competitors was various tours. away. It made complete sense and it left no doubt. What we don’t see are the caddies arriving on Those who don’t want to see the rangefinder in site early in the week and walking the course, using the game are probably those who would have us still rangefinders to get their yardages and then tran- living in caves. scribing that knowledge into those little books. Even Gorman, whose batty, hates caves. The rangefinders get used in preparation for Danny displays Tim his first-place after shooting a finalcompetition so why can’t they be used IN competiGeary is a trophy R.I. Based freelance writer. He round 64 on Red at to thefind U.S. Challenge tion? It makes no sense whatsoever. onceBethpage used a rangefinder his way back to Cup civiliNortheast Classic on Oct.one 7.of his infamous snap hooks Fortunately many club tournaments for ama- Junior zation after hitting
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