August - September 2019 Keeping Golfers Connected in TN, KY, MS, AL, NC
Right guy, right time: First Tee of Tennessee in good hands with McDade at the helm Pages 2-4
Inside!! 8,16 15 12
Terry-ific: Ryan Terry wins Muni, Yamaha Players Am-ped up: Vanderbiltâ€™s John Augenstein just misses winning U.S. Amateur Honored: Ray reigns in State Am at Honors Course
August - September 2019
August - September 2019
The First Tee of Tennessee is in good hands By Justin Onslow Associate Tee Times Editor Joshua McDade is exactly the kind of person you would picture running an organization with a mission statement that begins with “to impact the lives of young people.” He’s energetic with personality a mile wide. He loves to teach, and forging meaningful and lasting relationships is what gets him out of bed in the morning. McDade is the Executive Director of The First Tee of Tennessee,
Carey Ray Head Professional at VinnyLinks Golf Course
and he’s the right man for the job. No question. Last fall, Thelma Ewell announced her retirement from as Executive Director after eight incredibly successful years that saw The First Tee of Tennessee grow astronomically. She wanted to make more time for golf, and she wanted to be closer to her family in Florida. Ewell couldn’t have left if she didn’t think the program had a worthy successor in place. “I guess the kind of ‘aha moment’ was just talking to Thelma, and this was well before she retired,” McDade says of what got the ball rolling for his eventual promotion from Program Director. “She had this passion to get back down to Florida. I was like, ‘You know, I’m really kind of interested in your job; what do you do?’ She gave me a little checklist of things to start doing, to pay attention to. I took that checklist and ran with it. She was there to give me on-the-job training and advice.”
“The Tennessee Golf Foundation is very committed to growing and supporting The First Tee throughout our state. The game of golf provides an incredible platform for teaching our kids lifelong lessons based on the core values of our sport such as honesty, integrity and sportsmanship. The positive lessons our students learn translates far beyond the golf course into their school, career and family settings. Our investment is in developing not only good golfers, but even better people.”
Ewell is so highly respected within the First Tee community, and McDade couldn’t have learned from a better mentor. In fact, mentorship is in essence what has gotten the 36-year-old Jackson, Tennessee, native to this point in his career, and it’s the very thing he wants to impress most on students of The First Tee. “I tell everyone, my brother did the same thing for me,” McDade says of the mentorship that got him into golf in the first place. “I have mentors… that
Joseph Brown Program Director of The First Tee of Tennessee in Nashville
Scott Flynn PGA / Golf Operations, Tennessee Golf Foundation kind of invested in me, so I feel like it’s my duty to do the same thing for the next generation and then teach them to pull the ones behind them up and keep that process going.” McDade’s brother, Chris, initially got him into the game of golf. He played golf at Hillwood High School in Nashville, but it wasn’t
Robert Hall First Tee Recognized Coach
Jeff Darnell Lead Coach for our Target 4-6 year old something he probably would have been interested in if not for that push from his brother. “He goes out and plays golf with some of his colleagues and liked it and was telling me about it,” McDade recounts. “I’m like, ‘I’m not playing golf. I’m a basketball player. I’m 6’3”. I play basketball.’ “But I picked it up and kind of fell in love with the game. It’s the unknown day to day. It’s the chal-
August - September 2019
Cody Gates Level I First Tee Coach
Kyle Harris Level I Coach
lenge. It’s like playing chess. It’s a very strategic game. That’s why I fell in love it.” Golf was the catalyst, but it wasn’t the driving force. It was simply a way in for McDade, who really just wants to help young people any way he can. “The relationships with the young people – it’s calling you to talk to them about things Vince brings the President and Mrs. Bush to laughter.
The First Tee Dedication Day April 2001 at Vinnie Links with VIP’s on hand. Dick Horton is driving, and Amy Grant and infant daughter, President and Mrs. Bush, and Vince Gill brings up the rear.
that aren’t even golf related,” he explains. “What school should I attend? If I play college golf, what does the student athlete aspect of that look like? “The main thing is the relationship with the young people. Any of our young people, you can point them out and say, ‘Tell me a little about him or her.’ I can give you that story and that family history because I know that kid and their families and I know their backgrounds. I’m more interested in that than their golf game.” McDade began volunteering at The First Tee in 2009 and did that “on and off ” for a few years, but he admits it was hard to forge the kind of strong relationships he wanted with the kids in the
program when he was only seeing them maybe once a week. In 2014, McDade assumed the newly created Outreach Director role and quickly transitioned into a Program Director role, in which he was able to be more involved on a full-time basis. “Volunteering was so much just going and doing the classes, and you’re teaching the life skills through the game of golf,” he
August - September 2019
Hannah Sudbury Level I Coach
adds. “Giving some pearls of wisdom here and there for the kinds in regards to the life skills. I come one week, I come the next week, and really, you know the kids, but you don’t have the relationship. “When you’re in my [current] role, it’s every child. Every single
Mark McClendon Level I Coach child has their own personality and their own identity. Something I might not want to talk to my parents about, I talk to coach Josh. My job is to be the person who can provide help to get them through that experience.” The rewarding nature of that relationship is never more apparent than when McDade is invited to his students’ high school graduations and graduation parties. He feels honored to be included in such a special time in their lives,
President George Bush and wife Barbara unveil the poster and dedicate Vinny Links as home of the First Tee of Nashville
Matt Meservy First Tee Recognized Coach
and it’s something he doesn’t take for granted. “This is it in a nutshell. The joy they want to share with you in regards to something of that magnitude, graduating high school and moving on to college.” Of course, McDade’s role as Executive Director is about more than just mentorship and being a friend to young people who are finding their way in the world through Kayli is headed to Pebble Beach! the game of golf. There’s the busi(L-R)Joshua McDade, Kayli Lucas, Lisa Borchers ness side of the (Kayli’s Mom), Greg Borchers (Kayli’s Dad) job, as well, including business development, meeting kids in the next three to five and securing new partnerships years. and bringing new sites into The McDade wears many hats, none First Tee network. of which he wears begrudgingly; Those relationship lead to more it’s all part of the bigger picture. money for the program – recently But, at the end of the day, it’s The First Tee awarded $65,000 in helping young people that really scholarship money to 22 gradu- makes it all worth getting out of ates of the program – and sub- bed in the morning. stantial growth, as well. McDade “This is why I do it,” he says. is currently working on restart- “Once you get in and you’ve had a ing the Memphis chapter, which full day, you’re like, ‘Okay, this is he hopes to include 800 to 1,000 why you do it.”
August - September 2019
From tHE Editor By Gregg Dewalt
State’s top juniors excel in national spotlight Tennessee is blessed to have some of the top girls junior players in the country, and the past month featured some excellent results from them. It started at the Girls Junior PGA, where five players from the state earned berths in the prestigious event. Knoxville’s Alyssa Montgomery, Gallatin’s Lynn Lim, Kingsport’s Isabella Van Der Biest, Memphian Rachel Heck and Nashville’s Kynadie Adams represented Tennessee played at Keney Park Golf Club in Hartford, Connecticut. Four of the five made the 36-hole cut and two notched top10 finishes behind winner Yuko Saso, who shot 266 for a 2-shot win in the 72-hole tournament. Montgomery and Heck led the Tennessee charge, each tying for eighth place with identical 273 totals. Montgomery’s finish was fueled by a 64 in the second round and a 65 in the final round. Heck was more consistent, posted four rounds in 60s, including a 67 in the second round. Gallatin’s Lim closed with a 66 and finished tied for 33rd with a four-day total of 281, while Nashville’s Adams tied for 60th at 288. Van Der Biest missed the cut by one shot
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with rounds of 75-71. Three of the same players followed the Girls Junior PGA appearance by qualifying for the U.S. Girls Junior the last week in July. Van Der Biest, Heck and Adams each qualified for the match play portion of the tournament at SentryWorld in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, while Manchester’s Ashlee Gilliam fell short in a 13-for-2 playoff. Van Der Biest shot 148 in two qualifying rounds to earn her berth in match play, and then won her first match 4&3 over Julia Miseme. Van Der Biest fell in the Round of 32 to 1 down to Texan Anne Chen. Heck’s two-round qualifying score of 147 earned a first-round match against Lauren Beaudreau, who prevailed 1-up. Adams also shot 147 in qualifying and then dropped a 3&2 decision to Isabella Fierro of Mexico in the first round. Gilliam was one of 13 players to finish at 150 to get into a playoff for the final two
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match play spots. On the first playoff hole, though, Gilliam bogeyed the par 3 and fell out of the playoff. Lei Ye won the tournament by defeating Jillian Bourdage in the 36-hole final. Finally, Stovall, Gilliam and Carthage’s Sophie Linder each made it to the match play portion of the U.S. Women’s Amateur at Old Waverly Golf Club in Mississippi. Unfortunately, all three were put out in the first round. Michaela Morard edged Stovall 1-up, Gilliam lost in 21 holes to Katie Chipma and Amanda Doherty beat Linder 4&3. Boys Junior PGA Championship Three players from the region turned in excellent showings in the 44th Boys Junior Championship, with Bowling Green’s (Kentucky) Canon Claycomb leading the charge. Jack Heath shot a tournament record 62 in the final round to edge Claycomb by one shot. Heath shattered the tournament record for scoring, finishing at 21-under 259. His 40-foot birdie putt on the final proved to be the difference when Claycomb’s 20-foot equalizer lipped out. Claycomb shot rounds of 62-64-68-66. Maryville’s Braedon Wear had a solid 13th-place finish at 13-under 267, while Nashville’s Jaron Leasure finished 18th at 270. Germantown Country Club sold Millennium Companies, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, has entered into a purchase agreement to buy the property that was formerly home to Germantown (Tennessee) Country Club. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but Millennium officials say they don’t plan to completely abandon golf on the property. Course designer Forrest Richardson will design a nine-hole short course with holes ranging from 100 yards to 200 yards, a news release said. There also are plans for an 18-hole putting green adjacent to the clubhouse. Bryce Molder, a former PGA Tour professional and current Millenium Companies’
Director of Capital Markets is excited about the project. Molder, an Arkansas native, played several times at Germantown Country Club when it hosted the Bubba Conlee Junior Invitational and in a pair of U.S. Open sectional qualifiers. “I’m excited to help give this special course a new future,” Molder said in the release. “The vision for Germantown Golf Park is to provide all the hallmarks of great golf in a non-intimidating fashion. The idea is to let the golf be fun, but still challenging and enjoyable whether you’re a scratch player or just an occasional golfer.” Plans also call for a Village Center, a variety of housing options and a nature park. Henry Horton in excellent shape A recent Friday afternoon buddy’s outing at the Buford Ellington golf course at Henry Horton State Park was just what the doctor ordered. It had been several years since I teed it up at Henry Horton, but the two-hour drive north from my home in Florence, Alabama was well worth it. Not only was the course in excellent shape, the staff was friendly and accommodating. Better yet, when we went to pay, we were given the winter rate. When we asked why, we were told the greens had been aerated about 10 days prior. A lot of courses would charge the summer rate and not alert players to the aeration, but the pro shop workers were up front about it. Although the aeration holes were still visible, the greens rolled true and were receptive to approach shots and chips. Except for a couple of bunkers that could use a little TLC, Henry Horton is well worth the trip to Chapel Hill. The course, built in the early 1960s according to its website, plays anywhere from 5,470 yards from the red markers to 7,067 yards from the tips. It’s a straightforward course with little trouble other than trees. If you keep it in the short grass, a good score is there to be had. One caution, though, the greens are resort-style big and just hitting them in regulation doesn’t mean a sure par. There are several two- and three-tiered greens, and two-putts aren’t guaranteed.
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August - September 2019
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August - September 2019
Opinion By David Widener
Member Golf Writers Association of America
Time to punish anger, slow play
onsidering the angry outbursts of Sergio Garcia and several slow play incidents this year, when will the PGA Tour dish out some punishment? That’s right, I forgot. The tour does not announce bad news. Other sports like the NFL and Major League Baseball do, but pro golf considers itself as the “squeaky clean” sport. You only find out if it’s leaked by someone. By not announcing fines and suspensions, it seems as if the tour is not policing the sport. Garcia, the 2017 Masters champion and 15-time European Tour winner, had anger JB Holmes issues early in career. During his debut in the 1999 World Match-Play Championship at Wentworth Golf Club, he threw a shoe on tour, and the faces of it are Bryson DeChamafter a bad shot at the 16th tee. Eight years later, beau and J.B. Holmes. In the Northern Trust. he committed a serious distasteful breach of DeChambeau paced off a 70-yard shot and took etiquette by spitting into Doral’s 13th hole after more than two minutes to hit an 8-foot putt. missing a short putt during the 2007 WGC-CA Holmes took heat from Brooks Koepka when on Championship. occasion he didn’t have his glove on and ready This past month was a bad one for Sergio. to hit the ball in the Open Championship. The Early in July, he threw his driver at his caddie rules allow 40 seconds to make shots. Did it reduring the Open Championship. And, it was ally matter anyway? Holmes shot 16-over-par his brother Vic- 87. tor! So much for In February’s Genesis Open, it took Holmes 5 brotherly love. 1/2 hours to play the final round, including 50 Then, in the fi- seconds to make a 1-foot putt. The national avnal round at the erage time for a round of golf is 4:30. WGC-FedEx St. I never had to worry about slow play when I Jude Invitational played with my late father-in-law. He would in Memphis, af- check the distance he had for a shot and then ter gouging up a hit the ball. I can’t remember him taking a practee he grabbed tice swing. It was back in the golf cart and off to his driver with the next shot. The rush to finish might have had both hands and something to do with the fact his country club smashed it into was noted for its chicken fried Steaks and gravy. the turf, taking a It certainly didn’t hurt his scoring. He owned Bryson huge divot. three holes-in-one at the club, including two on DeChambeau Give credit to the same hole. the European Both the NFL and MLB have adopted recent Tour, which did rules to speed up play, but the PGA Tour hasn’t take action when it disqualified him from play- given slow play penalties since 2017. And that ing the final round of the Saudi Invitational after punishment to Miguel Angel Carballo and Brian he damaged greens in the third round to the ex- Campbell was the first in more than two detent players in groups behind complained. That cades. came a day after he angrily slammed a club in a Come on PGA Tour. Do your job. Enforce your bunker. Nice treatment of property after receiv- rules. ing a large appearance fee. Like most people, I thought the birth of his first child last year would calm Garcia. ApparSergio ently not. Perhaps anger management classes Garcia would help, or taking to heart the words of Walter Hagen: “Be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” If not, he might replace John Daly as pro golf’s bad boy. A 2010 article detailed that Daly had been fined almost $100,000, suspended five times, put on probation six times, and cited 11 times for conduct unbecoming to a professional and 21 times for not trying. He’s calmed down over the recent years, but his temper did show up in the 2011 Australian Open when he hit seven balls in the water on a hole and stormed off the course. Recently slow play has come to the forefront
August - September 2019
ers at Harpeth Hills in addition to taking the title at the MUNI. An Evansville, Indiana native, Ryan played collegiately at Lipscomb University. He graduated in 2014 with a degree in Business Finance and now works as a financial adHarpeth Hills visor at the Southwestern Invest2424 Old Hickory Blvd. • 615-862-8493 ment Group in Franklin. He now considers Nashville his Wayne Evans McCabe home. Superintendent of Sports/ Ryan said he played “three solid 46th & Murphy Rd. • 615-862-8491 Golf Clubhouse Operations rounds” on the way to winning the MUNI. Percy Warner “The opening round at Two Rivers Forrest Park Dr. • 615-352-9958 was probably my best ball striking,” he said. “I missed a few short Shelby putts that opening round, other20th & Fatherland • 615-862-8474 wise it could have been really low. The second round at Ted Rhodes I Two Rivers played solid, but two bad shots cost me two strokes.” Two Rivers Parkway • 615-889-2675 Ryan trailed Phillip Lee Ted Rhodes by three shots going into the final round at Harpeth 1901 Ed Temple Blvd. • 615-862-8463 Hills. He said his goal was VinnyLinks to shoot 68 or lower in an effort to force Lee to break 2009 Sevier Street • 615-880-1720 par to win. “I knew (Harpeth Hills) never plays easy,” Ryan said. “I played well all day, but hadn’t made any putts. I birdied No. 16 to get to three under for the round. On No. 17 I hit a great drive, and from 191 yards The Fyke Family turns out to present the 2019 MUNI champion, Ryan Terry with I hit a 6-iron to about 4 his awards. Front row: Brynna Malloy, Adalyn Malloy, Eliana Malloy. Back Row: feet and made Ryan Malloy, MUNI Champ, Ryan Terry, Rebecca Bryant, and Becky Fyke and presenting the champithe eagle putt. onship trophy to this year’s I was thankful It was Ryan’s third time winner. that a round of 67 was to play in the MUNI, and it • Save the date for The shouldn’t have come as a good enough to get the JHF Women’s Amateur win. “ surprise as he has been playChampionship, which will Thanks to the staffs ing well going back to last be played at McCabe and of Ted Rhodes, Two October when he won the Two Rivers Golf courses, Tennessee State Mid-Am- Rivers, and Harpeth September 7-8. Hills. This effort by all ateur at Black Creek. This After that, the JHF Senior year, he won the Tennessee personnel allows us to Men’s Amateur Champihonor Jim Fyke, who “Thanks & onship will be played at PGA Classic at Spring Creek Ranch in April, captured the meant so much to golf congrats Two Rivers on September club championship at Tem- in Nashville. We are players!” 23-24ple Hills for the third straight so appreciative of the - Kevin Come play, our staff is year in July, and also won the Fyke Family for being Forte waiting…. Tennessee PGA Yamaha Play- at the trophy ceremony - Wayne
Around Nashville Fairways
We Love Our Golfers!!!
Ryan Terry breaks through for MUNI championship We truly are in the “Dog Days of Summer”, the temperatures and high humidity reflect that, but there is still time early or later in the day to come play one of our seven amazing courses. A few weeks back we wrapped up the James H, Fyke Municipal Amateur Championship, conducted at three of our seven courses. We want to thank all who participated and now let me introduce you to our 2019 MUNI champion, Ryan Terry.
August - September 2019
Clubhouse Event Group is a game-changer for tournaments, other special occasions By Gregg Dewalt Tee Times Editor
Play in enough amateur golf tournaments – charity scrambles, invitationals and the like – and after awhile they can all start to look the same. Register, collect tee gift, tee it up, attend post-tournament activities. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, tournament after tournament. But what if there was a way to set a tournament apart from the others – by adding a professional touch that provides a memorable experience and keeps participants coming back year after year? There is, and it’s called Clubhouse Event Group based in Nashville. The brainchild of Trey Greene and Jordan Hinton, Clubhouse Event Group can fill every need for not only golf tournaments, but just about any event imaginable. “We started Clubhouse Event Group because we saw that a similar business model worked well, but we knew we could modernize the business and really take it to the next level,” Hinton said. “We had strong relationships with many tournaments in the area and we fell in love with helping our clients get the most out of their tournament. We knew that if we were going continue to help their tournaments grow, we would have to provide the best quality products so that our clients could achieve their fundraising goals. That is why we invested in unique state of the art equipment, including digital leaderboards, hole signs, player gifts, custom clubs, and tournament manage-
Custom made signage for any event
ment software.” Greene and Hinton have a three-step approach when it comes to turning events into experiences. They say it is simple, practical and proven. “One - show your sponsors their recognition they deserve,” Greene said. “Two increase your fundraising year after year; and three - make sure that all your patrons come back to your tournament and bring their friends next year. We make sure that those 3 goals are hit with every tournament we work with.” The key, the say, is tailoring their services to the needs of their clients. “All our products are designed to specifically to increase fundraising and make sure you can secure that ever-so-elusive sponsor,” Hinton said. “We take pride in completely customizing every tournament we work with and not providing the same cookie cutter options to every customer.” Greene and Hinton were working together in Atlanta before forging the partnership that became Clubhouse Event Group in January. They said they saw an opportunity to possibly revolutionize the charity golf industry across the country. The dream came to fruition months Trey Greene, Ol’ DW himself Darrell later after securing partnerships with Waltrip, and Jordan Hinton Darrell Waltrip and
several other select companies. It didn’t take long before the company took off. Hinton handles marketing, design and sales. Greene hands finances, accounting and sales. They have established what they call a tight-knit group of people that share the same business philosophy – it’s not worth doing if it is not done right. Hinton is from Memphis, while Greene is a Bowling Green, Kentucky, native. Both have been passionate about golf since the youth, the products of their fathers getting them involved in the game. They still enjoying, although their business prevents them from playing as much as they would like. “We always joke around and say we get to go to the nicest courses around the country but never get to play them,” Greene
said. “When we do play, we play with our friends and family. We enter a few tournaments with the entire clubhouse staff as well just to make sure everyone is still having fun and enjoying their time with our company.” While Clubhouse Event Group is active in golf, it’s not limited to just that. It has an entire division dedicated to events outside of golf. “With the investment we made in our state-of-the-art screens, we can help festivals, concerts, movie nights, watch parties, corporate parties, conventions and more,” Hinton said. For golf, the Clubhouse Event Group can provide an entire line of custom clubs and accessories made from scratch. Those items range from putters and wedges to divot tools and ball markers and just about anything else. “Clubhouse Event Group is in business to be another helping hand that is fully invested in your event. Once a new client comes aboard, our entire staff is fully engulfed in helping the event reach its fundraising potential and future goals,” Greene said. Added Hinton, “We make sure our clients know and can trust to deliver on the products that enhance their tournament year after year.”
Not BIG, Not LARGE, but MAMMOTH SCREEN
August - September 2019
RiverWatch Golf Club Superintendent/ Partner David Phillips Original hometown: Rock Island, Tennessee Family: Jan (wife), Kyle (son), Paige (daughter), Josh (son)
Tee Times: When did you arrive at Lake Tansi Golf Resort? Mathews: It was in 1992 Tee Times: When did you arrive at RiverWatch Golf Club? Phillips: First Season Tee Times: Are you a golfer, and if so, how does this help being a superintendent? Phillips: Yes, helps with every aspect of golf course setup and playability Tee Times: Tell us more about your background Phillips: I was at Stones River Country Club (Murfreesboro) for 15 years, and Blackberry Ridge Golf Club (Shelbyville) for 10-plus years. I left the golf course superintendent business and started working for Greenville Turf & Tractor servicing the golf courses in Tennessee/southern Kentucky. Left Greenville to get back into the golf course business at RiverWatch Golf Club. Tee Times: When did you get your Class A GCSAA? Phillips: Guessing early 1990s Tee Times: Name your grasses, fairways, tee boxes, greens and rough? Phillips: Zoysia fairways, Bermuda tee’s and roughs, bent grass greens. Tee Times: Name your staff and give their titles Phillips: Jose (foreman), Wyatt, Joey, and Tom are our main crew now that school has started. Tee Times: Is it true you came out of retirement to take this position? Phillips: Yes and no -just came out of retirement of GCSAA Tee Times: What upgrades have you
LIFE MOVES PRET T Y FAST
and your crew undertaken since you arrived? Phillips: Worked to get the greens back in great shape, reshaped fairways and approach cuts, improved irrigation controllers, and starting to work on a plan to repair bunkers. Tee Times: What do you love most about being a golf course superintendent? Phillips: Love being outside, and love the golf industry Tee Times: Tell us why any golfer will love playing your course. Phillips: The layout is second to none in this region. It has multiple signature holes, all built around Center Hill Lake
No. 13 Green
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The small crew is very particular about their course
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Chattanooga Mocs golfers excel on, off golf course Tee Times report
Recent Chattanooga Mocs graduate Lake Johnson is still making news for the men’s program after receiving his degree in Finance in May. Johnson recently was named a Srixon/ Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar for the second time in his career. Johnson is one of 269 players in college golf to receive the honor that requires the player to start 50 percent of the team’s rounds, maintain a stroke average of less than 76.0 and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.20. Johnson earned cum laude honors and
(L-R) Lake Johnson, Etienne Brault, Alex Cobb, Dominic Jones, Coach Mark Guhne, Asst. Coach Ryan Heisey, Oliver Simonsen & Will Porter.
made the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll all four years. He finished the season with a 74.20 scoring average and was 10th at the Southern Conference championships. As a team, the Mocs earned the GCAA Outstanding Team Academic Award. The squad was one of 202 across the country, all divisions, to garner the award given to programs with 3.0 or greater GPAs. This group turned in 3.14 in the fall and then improved to 3.22 in the spring. They’re joined by SoCon members ETSU, Furman, UNCG and Wofford. Mocs summer update May graduate Etienne Brault qualified for the United States Amateur. Brault, who completed his degree in Business Management, claimed one of three spots with a 6-under 134 with rounds of 66-68. The U.S. Amateur was played at Pinehurst No. 2 Aug. 12-18. Rising sophomore Leon Bader played in events on the Pro Golf Tour sponsored by the Swiss Golf Association, with a pair of top-10 finishes. He finished 10th at the Suisse Romande Championship and then added a fifth-place finish in the Suisse Orientale Championship. -Chattanooga women’s team earns scholar honors Departing senior Monica San Juan, rising senior Kirsty Beckwith and ris-
ing sophomore Esme Hamilton earned 18Birdies WGCA All-American Scholar mention. To earn the honor, a player must have a minimum 3.5 cumulative grade point average. San Juan joins former teammate Megan Woods (2015-18) as the only 4-time All-American Scholars in school history. It was the first year in the program for Beckwith and Hamilton. Beckwith graduated in May with a degree in Psychology. San Juan is due to accept her Mechanical Engineering diploma in December, while Hamilton got her academic career off to a perfect 4.0 start. The three led the program to 3.43 and 3.58 GPAs as a group with all seven team members earning Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.
Monica San Juan
Memphis All Stars advance to Regional
Franklin Bridge Golf Club Hosted the PGA Jr. League Tennessee Section Championship Tee Times report Franklin Bridge Golf Club hosted the PGA Jr. League Tennessee Section Championship Aug. 17-18, with Eight All-Star teams of junior golfers ages 13 and under and their families meeting for a fun, festival-like weekend of competition. The Section Champion, the Memphis All-Stars will advance to the Regional at Olive Branch Country Club Sept. 21-22, where they will play for one of 12 spots in the 2019 PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Car Rental at Grayhawk Golf Club (Scottsdale, Arizona) Oct. 11-14. All-Star teams who competed in the Section Championship : • Chattanooga All-Stars – Players are from Cleveland Country Club (Cleveland); Signal Mountain Golf and Country Club (Signal Mountain); and WindStone Golf Club (Ringgold, GA). • Knoxville 2 All-Stars – Players are from Fairways and Greens Golf Cen-
ter (Knoxville); Gettysvue Polo Golf & CC (Knoxville); and Concord Park Par 3 (Knoxville) Oak Ridge Country Club (Oak Ridge). • Tri-Cities All-Stars – Players are from Blackthorn Country Club (Jonesborough); Clear Creek Golf Club (Bristol, Virginia); and Cattails at Meadowview (Kingsport). • Memphis All-Stars – Players are from Memphis National Golf Club (Collierville); Wedgewood Golfer’s Club (Olive Branch, MS); TPC Southwind (Memphis); The First Tee Memphis (Memphis); and Olive Branch Country Club (Olive Branch, MS). • Nashville 2 All-Stars – Players are from Bluegrass Yacht & Country Club (Hendersonville); VinnyLinks (Shelby Park); The Legacy of Springfield (Springfield); and Hermitage Golf Course (Hickory). • Nashville 4 All-Stars – Players are from the Little Course at Conner Lane (Franklin) and Old Natchez Country Club (Franklin).
• Nashville 5 All-Stars – Players are from The Governors Club (Brentwood); Vanderbilt Legends Club (Franklin); The Grove (College Grove); and West-
haven Golf Club (Franklin). • TN Grasslands All-Stars – Players are from Tennessee Grasslands Golf and Country Club (Gallatin).
Memphis All-Stars Front: Jacob Thomas, Eli Townsend, Dakota Cunningham. Middle: Ethan Evans, Peter Weirich, Aidan Taylor, Chance Elston, Joseph Wintterowd, Noah Chartrand. Back: Jack Clark, Dan Chartrand
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August - September 2019
August - September 2019
GOLFTEC can help players of any skill level Tee Times report High-level golfers need help just like any other player. Eric Olson can attest to that. Olson, originally from Shawano, Wisconsin, was already a seriously good golfer whose handicap hovered between 2 and 4 before arriving at GOLFTEC. Two years later, he carries a handicap of 0.2 and will tell you that not only is he playing better golf but with expert instruction he doesn’t have the constant arm and shoulder pain as before when he was using his “homemade swing.” To his credit, Olson has twice won the first flight of the Fyke Nashville Muni Amateur, has shot a career-best 5-underpar 67 and won his club championship at his former club in Wisconsin. That’s not bad for a guy who didn’t start playing golf until he was in college while working at a resort in Wisconsin. “One of the perks was free golf, and I have been addicted ever since,” said Olson, who estimates he plays 100-plus rounds per year. A self-starter with a homemade swing, Olson said he had only “minimal” instruction before seeking help at GOLFTEC. “I was able to get down to a 2 to 4 handicap with a strong short game, but I knew my full swing was holding me back from becoming a scratch golfer,” Olson said. “I was really struggling with elbow and shoulder pain
Eric Olson hits a shot at scenic Sentry World GC in Stevens point, Wisconsin. This par 3 features more than 30,000 flowers.
due to my golf swing. I knew there had to be a better solution to play pain-free golf.” Like most golfers, Olson also wanted to increase his distance. So, he began working with GOLFTEC instructor Paul Brannon. Two years later, he swears by the results. “It always amazes me how quickly my swing issue is diagnosed during each lesson,” Olson said. “We usually spend the first five minutes talking about my ball flight on the course and then he shows me
on video what the cause is. The rest of the time is spent on drills…to fix the issue and the results are usually instantaneous.” Olson has increased his distance since starting with Brannon. Before, his average 7-iron shot was 150 yards. Now, it’s 165. Equally important, he said he’s improved his accuracy. “Eric is one of those students that understands the golf swing,” Brannon said. “Our lessons are a conversation of what the ball is doing and what we want it to do. I give him the drills and he reports back the changes he sees outside. He works as hard as a tour pro to get the feeling and ball striking we want.” Olson said GOLFTEC’s optics have also played a role in his improvement. “I’m a visual learner, so GOLFTEC allows me to learn faster,” he said. “I used to set up a camera on my own and review each swing, but it’s easier to do with this system. I don’t get too worried about the sensor information because Paul is there to translate the data into meaningful swing advice. I think the best part of lessons and practice is that you have appointments on the book to go in and work on your swing. Otherwise, it would be easy to let life get in the way and forget to work on your game.” Olson cautions that it is important to get
Paul Brannon, PGA and Director of Instruction at the Brentwood location, stands at The Wall of Fame. You must win a tournament, make an ace or shoot your career low to get on the Wall of Fame.
frequent tune-ups by visiting GOLFTEC. “It can work for anyone,” he said. “The key to improving is to have a consistent schedule. This is not some quick-fix, onetime improvement system. If you take a lesson ever one to four weeks and practice the prescribed swing thoughts and drills, you will improve.”
August - September 2019
Augenstein flirts with US Am title, falls just short
Tee Times report Playing at one of American golf’s most historic locales, Vanderbilt rising senior John Augenstein just missed winning the prestigious U.S. Amateur championship. Augenstein, who will ride a wave of momentum into his final season with the Commodores, played his way into the U.S. Am’s championship match at Pinehurst Resort and Country where he fell 2&1 to Georgia Tech’s Andy Ogletree. The championship match was played on the famed No. 2 and on No. 4 courses at the iconic resort. Augenstein held a 4-up lead on two occasions early, but Ogletree, from tiny Little Rock, Mississippi, closed the gap to 2-up after the morning session at No. 4, and then took the lead on the 32nd hole on the No. 2 course. Augenstein had a few chances to even the match but his efforts fell just short. “I got off to the start that you always want to get off to on one of these days,” Augenstein told the media after the match. “But like Andy said, although I was 4 up through 5, it’s 36 holes. If I was in his position, I’d be thinking the same thing. There’s a lot of golf left. I wasn’t at all complacent about thinking I’ve got this thing won through six holes.” Ogletree made a birdie on the final hole of the morning session and was two-down heading into the break. When play resumed in the
afternoon, he birdied the first hole to get to one-down. Augenstein said those two holes were crucial in the outcome. “I think that’s an underrated turning point of the day was him making that putt on 18 and then coming out and birdieing the first hole, as well,” he said. “You know, I played well. I fought my hardest. But in the end, I didn’t
make enough putts or hit enough great shots out there to beat him. He was super solid and really made no mistakes.” Although he didn’t win, finishing second wasn’t bad. With the runner-up finish came exemptions into the 2020 Masters and U.S. Open. Later, he was named a member of the U.S. Walker cup team, only the second Commodores player to earn that honor.
Andy Ogletree (L) and John Augenstein 2019 U.S. Amateur Champion and 2019 U.S. Amateur Runner-up
August - September 2019
Terry, Morton go low to claim Yamaha Players titles Tee Times report The second major of the 2019 season was one to remember with the Yamaha Players Championship. Harpeth Hills Golf Course proved to be a compelling test for the competitors in its first year hosting the event. Playing at just 6,899 yards, the quick, subtle greens and tough angles off the tee provide this course with some teeth. The course was in great shape and provided the players with a great test of golf for the two-day event. We saw some great scores throughout the tournament with five 65’s, tying the course record at Harpeth Hills. The first day of play had an average score of 76, with the steady wind adding even more for the players to contend with. Two players separated themselves from the field in the Overall Regular Division on this tough day. Ryan Terry (a) continued his great play by firing an impressive 65 (-7). Terry made eight birdies on his round, capped off by three in a row on holes 15-17. He controlled his ball very well with a lone bogey on the par-4 10th hole. Walt Chapman, PGA was right on Terry’s heals as he fired a 6-under
Ryan Terry and Shannon Caverly, PGA
66. Chapman made four birdies on the front and three on the back, with his lone bogey coming on the par-3 11th hole. He took advantage of the back-to-back par-5s on 16 and 17 by birdieing both to cap off his 66. In the Overall Senior Division, Bill Breen, PGA and Audie Johnson, PGA each fired a fantastic 4-under 68. Breen had a steady front nine with two birdies and seven pars. On the back nine, he had some back and forth with a six hole stretch without a par. He would go birdie, bogey, birdie, birdie, bogey, birdie on holes 12 through 17. Johnson would have a much steadier first round. He made three birdies and one bogey on the front 9, and a clean back
9 with two birdies. Jared Melson, PGA and Ron Waters (a) were only two shots back after each carding a 70 (-2) on the first day. Tight leaderboards in both Divisions and another day of great weather set up Day 2 for an exciting finish. Day 2 saw better scoring with an average of 74. In the Overall Regular Division, Ryan Terry (a) backed up his Round 1 65 with another impressive 7-under 65 in Round 2. He was consistent in Round 2 with the same 8 birdies to one bogey as Round 1. It came down to the wire as he was one up over Walt Chapman, PGA after 15 holes. Chapman’s bogey on 17 to Terry’s birdie would prove to be the deciding factor. Terry would finish the tournament at -14, three shots clear of Chapman at -11. The Overall Senior Division had a lot of fireworks in the final round. Knowing he needed to go low after an evenpar 72 in Round 1, Ray Morton (a) delivered a 7-under 65 to come from four shots back. He was led by an eagle at the 556-yard Par-5 5th hole. He paired his eagle with six birdies and a bogey to finish his comeback and finish the two days at (-7). The Round 1 leaders Bill Breen, PGA and Audie Johnson, PGA couldn’t keep up with Morton. Breen shot a 1-under 71 to finish at (-5) and 2 shots back and Johnson shot a 4-over (76) to finish in fourth. Along with the Overall winners, there were other Divisions being contested over the two-day event. Low Professional – Walt Chapman, PGA, Low Senior Professional – Bill Breen, PGA, Low Amateur – Ryan Terry (a), and Low Senior Amateur – Ray Morton (a) were awarded for their play. The Tennessee PGA would like to thank Kevin Forte, PGA and his staff for their help in running the event and getting the course in great shape. We would also like to thank Shannon Caverly, PGA and Craig Sanford of Yamaha for being the title sponsor and making this tournament possible. Also, thank you to Levelwear and Angela Lorente of Lorente Golf for sponsoring the event. Thank you to all the players that participated and congratulations to all the winners.
August - September 2019
Jug McSpaden: Almost Great By Grayson Kirkham
fessional to shoot 59 on a par-71 golf course in 1939, albeit during a practice round. When WWII broke out, McSpaden attempted to enlist but was rejected by the military due to a severe sinus condition. It was during this period in the early 40’s that McSpaden began to play with Nelson (who was also rejected for health reasons) in over 100 fundraising exhibitions. McSpaden and Nelson played in and dominated these golf exhibitions, with the press dubbing them “The Gold Dust Twins” because of their frequent one-two finishes in tournaments. In 1944, McSpaden had arguably his most successful year as a professional, winning 5 official events including both
1945, it’s a year that stands out to any true golf fan. This is due to the fact that a soft spoken Texan named Byron Nelson won 18 tournaments on Tour that year, including 11 in a row. During Nelson’s run of dominance in ’45, he played in 30 official events and finished in the top-10 every single time. However, that wasn’t enough to secure the most top-10’s for the season and the subsequent all-time record. The record (31 top-10’s in a season), in fact, goes to Nelson’s pal and frequent playing partner Jug McSpaden. Harold “Jug” McSpaden was born in Monticello, Kansas in 1908. His initial interest in golf was sparked by seeing the great Harry Vardon (as in the “Vardon grip”) play near his hometown when McSpaden was just 10 years old. He took up golf Instead, the year would belong and eventually turned profesto Byron Nelson. sional in 1926. A few years later, McSpaden had numerous McSpaden decided to try his luck chances for victory in ’45, but on the pro tour. However, due to Nelson was near unbeatable. inconsistent play, he quickly ran While “Lord Byron” enjoyed his out of touring money and relegendary run, “Jug” watched turned to Kansas. from the front row. There were While home, McSpaden devel35 tournaments held on Tour oped a golf drill to combat a habit that year and McSpaden finof overusing his arms in the golf ished in the top-10 in 31 of While McSpaden (L) played extremely consistent, his swing. This drill, along with adthem. Perhaps more impresresults were often overshadowed by Lord Byron (R) vice from Walter Hagen to “stow sively, he finished 2nd in 13 that driver away, take a brassie events, which remains a record. and shorten your swing,” made a considerable difference in McSpaden’s the Los Angeles and Phoenix Opens. He Despite this remarkable consistency, game. In 1934, he began to consistently was second only to Nelson in prize mon- McSpaden didn’t record a single victory rack up tournament wins. He continued ey that season, winning $23,855 in war for the year. Byron cemented himself in to be a major force on Tour throughout bonds. McSpaden was peaking and 1945 history with 18 victories and Jug’s name the decade and became the first pro- had the potential to be his greatest year. became lost among a sea of great play-
Will Bell Golf Classic set for Franklin Bridge Golf Club
The Will Bell Golf Classic, ABLE Youth’s bral palsy and was not always as fast or biggest annual fundraiser, will be Sept. 13 strong as our other kids, but he had them at Franklin Bridge Golf Club beat in effort. Playing for (formerly Forrest Crossthe Music City Thunder ing). wheelchair basketball The tournament is named team, he was named team for Will Bell, who joined captain his senior year. ABLE Youth in kindergar“He worked hard to be inten, participated in everydependent and is the perthing possible, and is now fect example of what we a University of Tennessee want our kids to become,” graduate. said ABLE Youth spokesProceeds from the tourperson Amy Saffell. nament fund ABLE Youth’s Cost for the 4-person programming that helps scramble is $600 per the program’s kids learn to team. Sponsorships are be happy, healthy, and indealso available. pendent from their wheelFor more information, chairs. call 615-480-4331. DeadWill Bell works ceaselessly Bell was born with cereline to enter is Sept. 1. for this tournament
McSpaden prevailed amongst the very best players in golf
ers like Nelson, Hogan, Snead, Sarazen, Demaret, and many others. After the war, McSpaden left the Tour and became vice president of the Palm Beach Company, which specialized in sportswear. He also ventured into golf course design, with his course Dub’s Dread once holding the title of “world’s longest golf course.” While he never reached Hall of Fame status, McSpaden racked up 17 officially recognized victories on the PGA Tour in his career (Nelson won 52). Some players would feel bitter about being left out of the all-time greats conversation, but McSpaden was not that kind of man. He himself said in 1994, “I can honestly say that I beat every great golfer of my time head to head—Hogan, Snead, Sarazen, Nelson, all of them.”
August - September 2019
Facilities upgrades coming to some Tennessee state parks facilities T
he Tennessee Golf Trail is hot in more ways than one—temperature and play! The Bermuda grasses are in full bloom mode and the six courses we have that are wall to wall Bermuda are in really good condition, so don’t miss an opportunity to take a tour around any of our nine TGT courses. I was at Pickwick Landing State Park golf course last week and I have to say it was really good and rounding into perfect condition after a late July aerification of our Champion Bermuda greens. Preston Maxey is our head golf professional and manager and also has a lot to do with the conditioning of the course, as he was a full time Greens Superintendent for many years before joining us at Pickwick. If you haven’t been to Pickwick in a while, do yourself a favor and stop by and see Preston and enjoy their fine hospitality. Speaking of Pickwick Landing, Tennessee State Parks is in the middle of some building and restoration projects at four of our resort courses at the moment. Pickwick Landing and Montgomery Bell are starting renovations at the hotels and restaurants to upgrade their facilities. There will not be any interruption of services during the winter months and both projects should be finished in April or May. Fall Creek Falls and Paris Landing
State Park are getting new lodges, with construction starting in a month or so. Memorial Day of 2021 are the planned opening days for both of the new lodges and excitement is high for all involved, as this a tremendous upgrade for our facilities and our parks and should certainly have a positive effect on the Tennessee Golf Trail. The Tennessee Golf Trail Junior Championship will be conducted at Henry Horton State Park golf
course on September 21st and we are looking forward to crowning the champions for this year. Neil Collins, PGA, will be the host and he and his staff will do a great job in welcoming all of our juniors for a great day at Henry Horton. Kevin Snell, our very fine greens superintendent will have the course in excellent condition for our young guests. Good luck to all. - Mike
August - September 2019
Legacy’s MGA numbers continue to rise It’s summertime in Robertson County and at The Legacy of Springfield in Springfield, Tennessee. While temperatures and the humidity are soaring, our staff is feeling pretty darn good about ourselves with what has come about during the 2019 golf season. Our rounds of play have been up, and our junior golf programs have been an outstanding success based on numbers and participation. All the fun our programs have brought the kids, the instructors, and their families is a success unto itself. Furthermore, we are seeing a marked increase in participation with our Men’s Golf Association, as its numbers continue to trend upward. The Legacy Men’s Golf Association has had six tournaments so far with three tournaments remaining for the year. The top five players and their point totals are listed below. This group of men has been fun to work with from the beginning, and the new members that are continuing to join seem to enjoy the camaraderie and competition it brings. It should be a fun race to decide
Play dates are fun!! Kevin Holler, PGA, continues to instruct
who wins Player of the Year.
Player of the Year contenders Al Herchenhahn Roy Allen Daniel Green Mike Gallagher Michael Moore
854 812 675 673 663
This course is in excellent shape from start to finish. Here’s a quick update on our recent improvements. • We have completed bunker renovations on holes #2, #9 and #13 with the “Better Billy Bunker System.”
Robertson County Junior Golf Association
Grandparents Bob and Michelle Johnson
• We have a new concrete cart path on hole #9 all the way from tee to green. • We have fully recovered from the sewer project earlier this year. All areas are now back in play with new bermuda grass sod. Thanks to all who come to play for your patience. It’s gratifying to hear all the great remarks about what has transpired over this golf season. - Chet and Kevin
“Thank you to the Robertson County Golf Association for providing free golf instruction to our three grandchildren. They even provided clubs for anyone that did not have them. The instruction was done in groups so the kids were more comfortable being around their friends. The exposure they got to golf will lead some to take up the game immediately or some may remember later in life and take up the game then. Either way they will know golf is fun and a sport that can last a lifetime. - Bob and Michelle Johnson
August - September 2019
Aces Bob Schwartz
Nashville Golf & Athletic Club Hole No. 6 He used an eight iron at 138 yards. Witnesses were Chuck Hollis, Mark Sparks and Al Adams.
aced No. 13 with a pitching wedge Witness was Randy Hollobaugh
aced No. 5 with a sand wedge. Witnesses were Toby Forrester and Colton Lassiter
aced No. 13 with a 7-iron. Witnesses were Mike Elmore and Bobby Haun
Lake Tansi - Hole No. 6 She used a #9 iron from 109 yards to score her second career Hole-InOne. Witnesses: Norma Miszklevitz, Donna Plumlee and Leslie Letner. Congratulations Tina!
August - September 2019
Chapman Wins 4th Consecutive TN Sr. PGA Professional Championship Manicured to perfection, Brentwood Country Club was prepared for the influx of seniors playing in this year’s Tennessee Senior PGA Professional Championship. Beautiful, but difficult, the par 71 course created the perfect test for the two rounds of stroke play. With a field of 21 Senior PGA Professionals, the competition heated up quickly. Round one brought with it scorching temperatures, pushing the limits of the players’ stamina. Walt Chapman, PGA, and Jared Melson, PGA beat the heat with low scores of 67 (-4). Melson experienced a streak as hot as the weather, birdieing three consecutive holes on the front nine. Not to be outdone, Chapman matched Melson’s hot streak with 3 consecutive birdies of his own on the back nine. Bill Breen, PGA was not far behind firing a 69 (-2) placing him in the final pairing for round two with the co-leaders Chapman & Melson. Tied for the lead, Chapman and Melson vied for first place throughout the second round. Chapman started the day strong with two birdies in the first
three holes. Melson staggered out of the gate but made a valiant effort to come back with birdies on holes 8 and 9. The back nine proved to be a challenge for Melson. However, he battled through and closed the round with a birdie on 18 firing a 72 (+1) for the day and 139 (-3) for the tournament. In the end, Melson could not keep up with Chapman who birdied four holes on the back nine shooting 66 (-5) for round two and 133 (-9) for the tournament. Chapman’s victory at Brentwood Country Club was his fourth consecutive Tennessee Senior PGA Professional Championship title. Henrik Simonsen, PGA worked his way up the leaderboard firing a 69 (-2) for round 2 and 139 (-3) for the tournament, tying Melson for second place. Jared Melson, PGA, and Walt Chapman, PGA had previously qualified for the Senior PGA Professional prior to playing in the Tennessee Senior PGA Professional Championship. Five more players were rewarded for their per-
severance at Brentwood with a spot in the 2019 Senior PGA Professional Championship at Barton Creek Club in Austin, Texas. The Players who qualified include Henrik Simonson, PGA, Loren Personett, PGA, Bill Breen, PGA, Mark Houser, PGA, and Chris Dibble, PGA. Thank you to Johnny Bridgeman, PGA, and his staff at Brentwood Country Club for graciously hosting this year’s championship.
Qualifiers: Walt Chapman, PGA, Bill Breen, PGA, Henrik Simonsen, PGA, Mark Houser, PGA, Jared Melson, PGA, Chris Dibble, PGA, Loren Personett, PGA
August - September 2019
Cody Hale, Director of Tour Operations and SeeMore Putter Institute
Cody Hale’s roots are deeply entrenched in Tennessee. He grew up just down the road in Tullahoma. His resume includes an individual state championship in high school, three victories and a top-40 ranking while playing at Lipscomb and he was the Tennessee State Open Champion in 2008. Hale turned professional and played on various developmental tours for four years before joining the SeeMore team in 2013. When Hale provides a testimonial for
Roll Board to check for proper loft and launch angle
SeeMore putters, he’s not just preaching the party line. Well before he joined the company, he was using a SeeMore putter. “I came down to the studio while in college at Lipscomb University and actually used a SeeMore putter the majority of my professional playing career,” he said. “I had a great relationship with Jim, Ted (Gallina) and the team, so personally it was a great fit as I already had so much positive experience with the brand and what it stands
SeeMore CT Mirror, checking for consistent setup and eye position
for.” At SeeMore, Hale works closely with the professional tours and spends a good portion of his time traveling with the PGA, Korn Ferry (formerly Web.com) and LPGA tours. He also manages the SeeMore Putter Institute. “With putting being 40 percent or more of the game, our goal is to help both instructors and students come together to achieve a system and game plan for better putting,” Hale said. Hale says SeeMore’s Riflescope Technology is one aspect that sets the brand apart. “RST helps golfers achieve consistent aim and setup for every putt,” Hale explained. “Like great free throw shooters in basketball, if you have the same fundamental setup, starting position and routine it will be easier to develop a higher level of accuracy and feel. By eliminating variables in the setup, we can free up the golfer to make a confident stroke.” SeeMore HQ features two great putting studios which are effectively their laboratory for in person teaching, fitting, product testing, and even global online video training sessions with their global team. On a limited, scheduled basis, golfers from around the world are able to schedule a fitting session with Hale or a member of SeeMore Putting Institute (SPi) for a fee. This is the exact same process we use when working with LPGA or PGA Tour players. Your visit will truly be one of a kind. Contact us at our Customer Service, SeeMore Putter Co. info@ SeeMore.com or give us a call at 615435-8015
Kennedy Clarkson, SeeMore contest winner
Meet Kennedy Clarkson, who won a SeeMore putter and club-fitting session from SeeMore‘s Cody Hale at the Nashville Golf Show: Full name: Kennedy Clarkson Age: 12 School: The Webb School, Bell Buckle, Tennessee TeeTimes: What year? Kennedy: Seventh grade TeeTimes: How long have you played golf? Kennedy: I have played around with golf for a few years but only “actively played” for the past two years. TeeTimes: Do your parents play? Kennedy: Yes. My dad Andy Clarkson plays golf. My mom just drives the golf cart. TeeTimes: Are you on a team? Kennedy: I am on the middle school golf team for The Webb School in Bell Buckle.
TeeTimes: Do you take lessons, and if so, from whom? Kennedy: My dad has really been the one that taught me to play golf. My middle school golf coach – Jason Reeves - has also had a huge impact. And Cody, of course, with my putting. TeeTimes: Where do you practice or play most of your golf? Kennedy: River Bend Country Club in Shelbyville. TeeTimes: You won the SeeMore Putting Contest at the 2019 Nashville Golf Show, using a SeeMore putter. Tell us about that experience. Kennedy: 2019 was actually the second time I had attended the Nashville Golf Show, but it was the first year I had ever participated in any kind of contest there. I never dreamed I would actually win the contest! I was just having fun.
When I got the phone call that I had won I was super excited that I had won. I knew I had won the putting contest and that was great, but I had no idea I had won a custom fitted SeeMore putter and lessons with Cody. It was the most amazing prize ever! TeeTimes: Tell us about this experience, working with Cody Hale of SeeMore. Kennedy: I was so nervous the day I met with Cody – and I really didn’t know what to expect. When we arrived (my mom took me) – Cody met us at the door and took us on a tour of the facility. I never realized that they actually built the putters right here in Franklin. After our tour, we went to Cody’s office. I wish my bedroom had the same kind of flooring! I putted and putted -- this way and that way. Cody measured this and measured that – and he adjusted the putter until it was just right. Cody worked with me for over an hour - looking at my grip,
Kennedy’s Putter: RH FGP Mallet Length: 31.5” Lie: 70* Loft: 2* Grip: RST 75
my stance and my eyes. I learned so much from him TeeTimes: Describe your putter, did you choose the cover, the grip? Kennedy: I got to choose my grip and my putter cover. I got input from Cody on my grip so that I got what was best for my game right now. I chose the cover on my own – pink of course! TeeTimes: What do you think of the lessons at the See More Studio, has being customed fitted and lessons with Cody improved your game? Kennedy: Cody is awesome. He never made me nervous (except before I met him). He was so calm and talked me through putting – and didn’t talk at me. He showed me how to position the putter – and taught me all about that famous red dot. I can already tell that my short game has improved (even my coach mentioned it). Thank you, Cody and SeeMore putters. And, of course, the Nashville Golf Show!
August - September 2019
Brentwood’s Nolan Ray claims 104th Tennessee Amateur Championship at The Honors Course OOLTEWAH – Nolan Ray was in no hurry to leave The Honors Course on Friday afternoon. He shook every hand that was extended. He thanked every person that needed to be thanked. He posed for pictures. He did newspaper and radio interviews. He went shopping in the pro shop. He had waited his entire golfing career for this moment, and he was taking in every bit of it. He was the Tennessee Amateur champion. The Brentwood, Tenn. native held off a strong charge from Tanner Owens (Milton, Tenn.), William Nottingham (Kingsport, Tenn.) and Luke Zieman (Nash-
ville) down the stretch to claim the 104th renewal of the state championship by one stroke. Ray finished with a three-day total of 3-under, 285 (68-69-73-75). “I’ve wanted to win for a long time and it’s even more special to get it at The Honors in the State Amateur,” said Ray, who spent four years at the University of Tennessee before moving on to Lipscomb as a graduate transfer after last spring. “I played Sneds Tour when I was young and I played my first State Amateur when I was 15, so I’ve been trying to win this for eight years. I’ve been chasing a TGA title for a while. This means so much to me. I can’t describe it.” Ray began the final round with a two-
stroke lead, and it quickly ballooned to five after he made a birdie on No. 2 and some of his challengers stumbled out of the gates. Bogeys on holes 7 and 8 left him at 5-under for the tournament, but still a four-stroke lead at the turn. But down the stretch, a few wayward shots by Ray and some strong charges by Nottingham, Owens, and Zieman kept things interesting. Needing a birdie to a Ray bogey to force a playoff, Owens had to take aim at the pin tucked just inside a deep sand trap on the right side of the green. His approach shot found that bunker and he went on to make bogey. Ray proceeded to two-putt for the victory. Ray walked off the 18th green after completing his final round and was congratulated with a hug from his dad, Don. “I won it for you, right there,” Ray told his dad as they embraced. “Thank you.”
August - September 2019
Tee Times Publication, August 2019