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July 2017 Keeping Golfers Connected in TN, KY, MS, AL, NC

Jim Fyke (1939-2017) Former Metro Parks director was a visionary and passionate about golf Pages 2-3

Inside!! duty: Tennessee PGA’s 17 Double Bachman is a golf pro and minister Happy anniversary: Alabama’s 20 Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail turns 25 man: DJ Lerchen 22 isMountain integral part of Sevierville Golf Club’s team

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July 2017

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Always a visionary, Fyke was passionate about golf By Gregg Dewalt Tee Times Editor Jim Fyke loved Nashville and he loved Tennessee. He loved the Metro Parks, Tennessee State Parks, and he loved golf. Most of all, he never met a stranger. All of those qualities melded into an unforgettable career serving the city of Nashville and the state of Tennessee. “Fykey,” as he was known to family and friends, lost his fight with cancer in late June, but his legacy remains through his accomplishments. Spanning his 40-year career with Metro Parks and five-year tenure as deputy commissioner for the state of Tennessee for the Department of Environment and Conservation and then as the commissioner, he loved every moment. Golf was one of his passions, and those who knew him best said he will be missed. Not only did he love golf, but he loved public golf. Those two entities don’t always intertwine, but Fyke did his best to make sure they did. That the Metro Parks courses are considered among the best publicly-run facilities in the country are a tribute to his love of the game. He also loved the Tennessee state parks that residents and visitors alike

could enjoy all that the parks had to offer. Fyke played with the same group on Saturday mornings at Harpeth Hills. He was a frequent player on the other public courses, whether it was Metro’s courses, or one of the many Tennessee Golf Trail courses, just about any day of the year, weather and job permitting. Tributes came from near and far when news of his passing arrived across the state. One person who knew Fyke best was Kevin Forte, the general manager at Harpeth Hills. “I was very fortunate to be in a position that allowed me to build a relationship with Mr. Fyke. For the past 23 years I have known him as a boss, a mentor and in most recent years a friend,” Forte said. “The thing I will miss the most will be the hours of conversation that took place in my back room office at Harpeth Hills. … It was during those times that I realized just how much he loved Metro Parks, and how much he believed in helping other people. Those things were his passion. Of all the things I have accomplished in my career, I think the thing I am most proud of is that I knew he respected me professionally.

The Fyke family carry on the tradition of presenting the Danny Gibson Trophy and the plaque for the James H.Fyke Municipal Championship Presented by Brandt & Haymes Snedeker to 2017 Champ Tyler Farrar. (L-R) Ryan Malloy (Becky’s son) wife Becky Fyke, retired Metro Golf Course Director of Operations, Danny Gibson, Tyler Farrar(Champion), Claire Purcell (Mr. Fyke’s daughter), Casey Purcell (Mr. Fyke’s granddaughter) Richard Purcell ( son-in-law).

The James H. Fyke Administrative Complex. Dedicated in 2015 to honor him for his 40 year service to Metro Parks. Mr. Fyke was a true ambassador for Nashville and he had a lot of influence with powerful leaders, but he never stopped working to help the everyday person.” Among Fyke’s golf-specific accomplishments: • Coordinating in conjunction with the Tennessee PGA and Tennessee Golf Foundation the $1.5 million First Tee inner city youth golf renovation project at Riverview Golf Course in Shelby Park (The VinnyLinks at Shelby); • Instrumental in construction of an additional nine holes at the Ted Rhodes Golf Course located in the inner city; • Founder of the Men’s and Women’s Municipal Amateur Golf Championships in 1980. There were countless other projects on which Fyke put his stamp of approval and that got done simply because if he thought it was a good idea, well, then it was a good idea. The First Tee program was especially close to his heart, said Sally Davis, the retired assistant director of Metro Parks. “Jim wanted children from every economic background to be able to learn the game,” Davis said. “The First Tee of Middle Tennessee has in-


July 2017

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respect come to mind. His contributions to the city of Nashville will be felt for generations to come.” Although Fyke held a position of authority, colleagues said he never acted above his employees. “Jim Fyke was an inspirational leader who motivated everyone to do their very best,” said Jim Webb, retired Director of Golf Operations for the state. “He treated every employee as an equal, whether they were a dishwasher, housekeeper, maintenance man, manager or golf professional. He treated people with respect and it was returned in kind. The world is a far better place because Jim Fyke was in it and I am extremely happy that I had Metro PGA Golf the chance to work with Golfing buddies,(l) retired Fyke, retired State of him, play golf with him Professional, Bing Sisk, Jim b. Web Jim , ons Operati Tennessee Director of Golf and call him a friend.” John Holmes, the assistant director of parks, echoed those sentroduced the game to thousands of children in Nashville since its incep- timents. “I have worked for parks for 35 tion in 2000. When I think of Jim, the words integrity, honesty and years,” he said. “During that time

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Mr. Fyke was my employer, my mentor and my friend. In my early years with parks he would invite me to golf with him and his friends at Harpeth Hills and he helped to instill the love of the game in me. He showed me, through his example how to help people, and I saw the positive effect this had on their lives and on the city of Nashville. He demonstrated the importance of following through when you say you are going to do something. I believe that was one of his greatest strengths. I feel very blessed to have had him in my life and he will be greatly missed.” Danny Gibson, Metro Parks’ retired Superintendent of Golf Operations, knew Fyke for more than 60 years, back to when they were playing in the Tennessean/Metro Parks Schoolboys(Schooldays) tournament. “The DuPont alum set records in basketball and all the while was honing his golf skills at Old Hickory CC where he caddied and got pointers from pro Harold Eller,” Gibson said. “I found him to be a humorous guy with lots of friends and even then, you knew he loved anything connected to the game of golf. If you had the opportunity to interact with Jim Fyke, you came away respecting him.”

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Added retired director of Metro Parks Tommy Lynch: “He was a good man and a remarkable public servant who mentored many people, including myself. He truly loved golf, and his impact in this area has been more than he could ever imagine. He improved every aspect of the municipal golf experience and founded the Shoney’s Municipal Golf Tournament (now the Jim Fyke Municipal Golf Tournament). I could go on and on about his accomplishments, but his genuine care for others was his most admirable quality.” Fyke spent most of his adult life as a public servant, and Andy Lyon, who spent 36 years with the Tennessee state parks system including five as the assistant commissioner, said it is impossible to measure the impact Fyke had. “During his 50 years of service he accomplished more than most and always credited his employees for their accomplishments,” Lyon said. “He worked to improve state parks facilities and increase self-sufficiency, garnering national recognition for Tennessee State Parks and positively impacting all of Tennessee. The accomplishments under Jim’s leadership will be enjoyed by future generations.”

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From tHE Editor By Gregg Dewalt

Vanderbilt adds Todd to golf staff Musings from the editor’s desk: said recently while on a recruiting trip in Thumbs up for Vanderbilt’s hiring of Ga- Kentucky. “I love the game. I wanted to be tor Todd as its new assistant golf coach. a player, but that didn’t work out. This is a Todd, from Florence, Alabama, is a for- different path. The game pointed me in a mer Alabama standout player who spent different direction.” time in professional golf Todd, 31, had an excellent career at Alabama. He and just missed out on earned All-SEC honors in qualifying for the PGA 2007 and logged a 73.55 Tour, making it to the final stage in 2011. He has stroke average in 43 tournaments with the Tide. played on the Web.com He said he gained valuable Tour, the NGA Tour and the insight while working unE Golf Tour. der Steve Bailey last year at Now, he’s looking forward Marquette. to helping Vanderbilt remain as one of the country’s “I was lucky to get into top programs. Vanderbilt is coaching,” he said. “I his second coaching job. He learned so much last year spent one year – his first as and Coach Bailey was real a coach – at Marquette Unipatient with me. He taught versity. me a lot. I was prepared to “I have been around the Gator Todd be at Marquette for as long game my whole life,” Todd as I needed to be. We had

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a great year – we won the Big East and played in the NCAA East Regional. “But this is a dream scenario to be in Nashville, which I think is the best city in the world,” he said. Vanderbilt fans don’t have to worry about his allegiance to the Crimson Tide, either, even though he is the son of famed Alabama quarterback Richard Todd. “Growing up an Alabama fan, you always disliked Auburn and Tennessee,” he joked. “Vanderbilt was the good guys. The golf team always had a bunch of classy guys. My grandfather played football at Vanderbilt, and it was always the second team I would pull for.”

The LPGA Tour updated its dress code for players during the recent U.S. Women’s Open, and like all policies, received mixed reviews. Here’s the updated dress code: • Racerback with a mock or regular collar are allowed (no collar = no racerback). • Plunging necklines are NOT allowed; • Leggings, unless under a skort or shorts, are NOT allowed; • Length of skirt, skort, and shorts MUST be long enough to not see your bottom area (even if covered by under shorts) at any time, standing or bent over; • Appropriate attire should be worn to pro-am parties. You should be dressing yourself to present a professional image. Unless otherwise told “no,” golf clothes are acceptable. Dressy jeans are allowed, but cut-offs or jeans with holes are NOT allowed; • Workout gear and jeans (all colors) are NOT allowed inside the ropes; • Joggers are NOT allowed. Some of the new guidelines are common-sense rules, and it’s doubtful many players were not already in compliance. Players should be allowed to express themselves on the golf course in a tasteful manner. Instead of having a blanket rule, maybe the tour should simply take it on a caseby-case basis. Many of the players, who are still in their teens or 20s, are simply following current fashion trends or expressing themselves through their golf attire. As long as it doesn’t border on the absurd, LPGA officials should let the new guidelines die a quick death. Or, maybe all of the players should show up wearing John Daly Loudmouth outfits at the next event and see how that plays out. Keep it on the short grass, Gregg

PUBLISHER Joe Hall pgegolf@bellsouth.net

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jon Hamilton jonh2520@att.net

It’s hard to believe the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama (see story, page 20) turned 25 years old this year. The vision of Dr. Robert Bronner, who financed it through the Retirement System of Alabama, the RTJ Golf Trail changed the golf landscape considerably. Often imitated, the Trail model will never be duplicated because of several factors. Most, if not all of the land for the Trail sites was donated, which resulted in tremendous savings. The cost to build a series of courses throughout a state, including land purchases, would be astronomical. With golf numbers stagnant and course closings outnumbering course openings, nobody is going to take the financial risk involved to try something as outrageous as building seven courses simultaneously and getting them open within a one-year span. But Bronner took the gamble and it has paid off in a big way for Alabama’s tourism industry.

EDITOR Gregg Dewalt

SENIOR EDITOR David Widener widecard@aol.com

ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Carol Hall teetimescarol@bellsouth.net

TECHNICAL ADVISOR Jimmy Phillips

DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Susan Lawrence

PRINTING Franklin Web Printing Company FOUNDER - Joey Smith

Established in 1991, Tee Times is published monthly, ten times per year. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is strictly prohibited.

P.O. Box 41293 • Nashville, TN 37204 • Phone: 615-331-1078 • Fax: 1-866-579-4932 Member: Golf Writers Association of America, International Network of Golf, Golf Travel Writers of America


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July 2017

Four juniors advance to National Junior PGA Championship Tee Times report FRANKLIN - Four junior golfers qualified for the upcoming National Junior PGA Championship in St. Albans, Missouri. Players advancing from the two-day qualifier at Temple Hills Country Club were Bryce Lewis and Jet Tickle in the boys division, along with Kynadie Adams and Catherine Caudill from the girls division. The tournament consisted of junior players ages 13-18 competing for the four available spots in the national tournament. Lewis got off to a terrific start in the first round, firing 8-under 64 with six birdies and an eagle to take a three-shot lead over Alex Cobb (67) and Tickle (71). Lewis coasted home with a 71 in the second round to finish with a 36-hole total of 135 to win by three shots. Tickle moved past Cobb with a 5-under 67 in the second round to claim the sec-

ond qualifying spot with a 36-hole total of 138. Adams earned top honors in the girls division with a commanding 4-under 140 on the strength of rounds of 71-69. The second qualifying spot in the girls division came down to a playoff with a twist. Sisters Caroline and Catherine Caudill played an extra hole to decide who would earn the trip to Missouri, and it was Catherine who came out on top. First-round girls leader Shelly Jang, who shot 70, withdrew in the second round after sustaining an injury. Logan Spurrier clinched the boys 13-15 division at 145 with rounds of 78 and 67. Hannah Nall won the girls 13-15 division with rounds of 79 and 70, for a 149 total. We would like to thank Temple Hills Country Club and head professional Sean Wells, PGA for hosting the Tennessee Junior PGA Championship. Temple Hills CC was a great host and we thank them for the hospitality they extended to all of the players.

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NGO Promotes Charlie Clarkson to Tournament Director the NGO, from 1991-1993 after servTee Times report There will be a couple of changes at ing the assistant golf professional in the top of the Nashville Golf Open in 1990. “Charlie has worked with me on the 2018. Patrick Nichol, president of Tour Web.com Tour’s Knoxville event for Vision Promotion and the NGO’s the last 15 years and he has been a tournament director for the first two key behind-the-scenes figure of the years, is taking on a new title of ex- NGO since we announced this event ecutive director. was coming to Middle Tennessee in Charlie Clarkson assumes the role January of 2016,” Nichol added. “It’s of tournament director. He previously just the perfect fit for him and the was the tournament’s assistant direc- NGO.” tor. Clarkson is looking forward to havThe changes were announced dur- ing an even bigger role with the tournament. ing the tournament’s third round. “I’ve been interested in getting more “I am very pleased to promote Charlie to this pivotal role with the NGO,” involved in the Web.com Tour for Nichol said. “Charlie has been a great several years,” he said. “Patrick and friend to the Web.com Tour for many I have been discussing this for some years as well as a close, personal time now. I am very pleased to move friend. He’s committed to help build into this position and look forward to this event into one of the best on the doing everything I can to make this Web.com Tour. It was an the best event on the easy decision to elevate Web.com Tour. We have him from his previous a great golf course and position of assistant dithe ownership group of rector. Charlie will focus Madison Whittemore on expanding our local and his family are very sponsorship base and committed to growing year-round management this tournament. Along of our sponsorship sales.” with our championship Clarkson is a Franklin, committee, I want to be Tennessee native and a part of building something great at Nashville was the head golf professional at Nashville Golf Charlie Clarkson -NGO Golf and Athletic Club and Athletic Club, site of Tournament Director for the Web.com Tour.”

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Playoff winner, new date for 2018 highlight Nashville Golf Open Tee Times Report Wrapping up the 2017 Nashville Golf Open Benefitting the Snedeker Foundation: Lanto Griffin, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, dropped a 17-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole to defeat Abraham Ancer, of Reynosa Mexico, to win the second NGO. Both players were tied at 16-underpar 272. Griffin made his birdie on No. 10, a par 3, to claim the $99,000 winner’s check. New date for 2018: For the third time in as many years, the NGO will have a new date on the Web.com Tour calendar. The 2018 event will be played May 24-27 at the Nashville Golf and Athletic Club. NGO Paid Attendance: Total paid attendance for the 2017 NGO was 13,892 for the week. That number exceededs the estimated total of 10,600 people for the inaugural event in 2016. Two Players Establish Course Record: Conrad Shindler of Dallas, established the new Nashville Golf & Athletic Club’s course record in Thursday’s opening round when he recorded a 10-under par 62. Shindler’s 10-under par was equaled during Saturday’s third round by Griffin, who went on to win the tournament. The previous course record of 9-un-

der 63 was established in last year’s NGO by Wesley Bryan in the opening round. Bryan finished the 2016 Web. com Tour as the leading money winner last year and now has a fully-exempt PGA Tour card. Weather Delays: Despite three weather delays, the 2017 NGO crowned a champion at dusk on Sunday. The first delay came during Thursday’s opening round and rain and lightning delayed play twice on Sunday. Thursday’s delay was from 2:48 – 4:38 p.m. which forced the completion of the opening round to Friday morning. Sunday’s first delay was from 12:15-3:13 p.m. and second delay from 3:52 -5:43 p.m.

Brandt Snedeker presents the 2017 NGO Champion Lanto Griffin his custom guitar


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Planning your Financial Legacy

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By Jonathan Scott and Glenn Price

Jonathan

Glenn

Let’s talk strategy We have experienced that people are consistently needing assistance or inquiring about guidance in their investment portfolios, but frequently, the help they receive is centered only around gains. This leaves the entire planning aspect relatively unaddressed in the majority of pre-retirees’ investment portfolios. What if things don’t work out as projected? What if the market continues to be volatile or the volatility worsens? What if inflationary costs begin to escalate at new historical rates? What if future administrations increase tax rates? If any of these things happen, 30%-50% of a person’s portfolio could be in immediate jeopardy. Employing a decent gains strategy alone

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travelling golf groups, bachelor parties, music events, etc. They saw how many people are coming to Nashville for other interests and found ways to welcome these groups to maximize their numbers at their facilities.

Around Nashville Fairways Wayne Evans

Harpeth Hills greens project nearing completion We are well into the golf season and we have many exciting things to report on. Frist, the new ultra dwarf bermuda greens at Harpeth Hills are progressing nicely. The recent heat wave has made for ideal conditions for the growin phase of the newly-planted greens. We are hoping to be on the new greens at Harpeth Hills by late August or early September. We are very excited to get on the new Tifeagle greens. The same putting surface was installed at Two Rivers Golf Course last year and they are among the finest greens around this season. Two Rivers has been in excellent condition all year. Ted Rhodes and Shelby continue to

Harpeth Hills

2424 Old Hickory Blvd. • 615-862-8493

McCabe

46th & Murphy Rd. • 615-862-8491

Percy Warner

Forrest Park Dr. • 615-352-9958

Superintendent of Sports/ Golf Clubhouse Operations

produce strong numbers in rounds played this season. These two facilities have been able to boost numbers by taking advantage of the large number of travelers who come to the city for weekend getaways. Both Audie Johnson (Ted Rhodes Golf Course) and Daryl Edens (Shelby Golf Course) have made it a point to boost their numbers by catering to groups that visit the Music City for other pursuits such as

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Shelby

20th & Fatherland • 615-862-8474 Harpeth Hill’s renovated greens should be ready by late August or early September.

Tyler Farrar, The 2017 MUNI Champion/ Championship Presented by Brandt & Haymes Snedeker, with his plaque and The Danny Gibson Trophy.

Two Rivers

Two Rivers Parkway • 615-889-2675

Ted Rhodes

1901 Ed Temple Blvd. • 615-862-8463

VinnyLinks

2009 Sevier Street • 615-880-1720

Nashvillefairways.com We were happy to have recently hosted the James H. Fyke Municipal Amateur Championship. It was a great tournament, but was bittersweet as it was the first time to host the event since the recent passing of Mr. Fyke. It was a very competitive tournament with a talented group at the top of the leaderboard. Tyler Farrar edged out Phillip Lee, John

Tyminski, and Rob Garland to win the championship. We are also looking forward to hosting the Women’s Championship on August 4-5. The first round will be played at McCabe and the second round will be played at Two Rivers. To sign up for the Women’s Amateur Championship, register online at jhfamateur.com. - Wayne


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G

ood day to all of our friends and guests of the Tennessee Golf Trail, This following article is from Paul Carter, Head Greens Superintendent at the Bear Trace at Harrison Bay and the Director of Agronomy for the Tennessee Golf Trail, in hopes that every one of the recipients will help us in our quest to be as good as we can be. In life, the little things done correctly will make the big things take care of themselves---the same thing happens on the golf course, and with a little help from all of us we can save a tremendous amount of time, effort, resources, and money and make everyone’s experience at their golf course of choice exceptionally better. We all are guilty of a maintenance avoidance each time we play, but we can also train ourselves to do things that only take a matter of seconds that will have resounding results when done as a large group. Fixing ball marks, sanding divots where possible, and raking bunkers adequately will make the player behind you have a better experience and will ultimately help our golf maintenance staff save time---and get credit from you the player for having your course in better condition. It’s a two way street folks. Help us to help you. Thanks for listening and I hope all of you will visit one of your Tennessee Golf Trail courses soon. Be sure and go to TnGolfTrail.net and secure a tee time soon. You will be glad you did, and we will be glad you did as well. See you soon, Mike

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If you follow our Twitter feed (@BearTraceHB) you may enjoy the daily information about course rules and conditions, reminders and updates about upcoming tournaments and cultural practices, and sometimes you may have to deal with a “friendly reminder” or rant from me about improper care from golfers of the course. These are not meant to be rude or disrespectful, just meant to remind you that you, the golfer, have a greater impact on the conditioning of your golf course than the golf course maintenance staff does. If you want your golf course to be a championship caliber golf course then you have to treat it like a championship caliber golf course.

Golfers respecting and taking care of the golf course extends from the tee box where they can place their broken tees in collection bins or fill sand divots (if these amenities are available) to the fairways where divots can be replaced or filled with sand, to the bunkers where they should be raked following play, to the greens where ball marks should be PROPERLY repaired. All these little things add up to keeping the golf course in top condition and take just a little bit of effort from each golfer.

Golfers may think the course rules for the day, such as where carts can travel or if they are allowed off the paths, are done to punish them or impede on their round but this is far from the truth. Course rules are made to protect the golf course and sometimes the golfer. Carts are sometimes restricted from some areas to ensure the course is protected from damage so that it is in good shape for all, not only today but in the future as well. As one great golf course superintendent once commented “If everyone drove in the good grass, there would always be good grass.” This is absolutely accurate. If carts will scatter and not play “follow the leader” there will be less stress on the turf and in turn better turf for everyone to play on.

Taking care of the golf course also extends to the practice areas. Proper care of the practice areas, such as using the divot pattern to the right, will allow these 25 divots to recover much quicker than the other 25 divots. Practice green etiquette is also a big contributor to golf course condition for everyone. Practicing putting is a vital part of honing ones game but please do not stand in one place for an extended amount of time as this will weaken the turf and could eventually kill it.

Each golf course maintenance department only has a certain amount of money to spend on labor, equipment, or products. Every action the golfer takes, either harmful or beneficial, greatly impacts the conditioning of the course. Please remember this the next time you play and think about where you drive, how you leave the bunker after you play out of it, or whether or not you properly repair your ball mark on the green and how these will affect the course. I’ll make you this promise. Our Agronomy Staff will be at the course every day working hard to make the golf course the best it can be but we will be able to accomplish so much more with your help. Please help us out and help to make our course all that it can be.


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Opinion By David Widener

Member Golf Writers Association of America

Tougher drug policy good for Tour’s image W elcome to the 21st Century, PGA Tour. In June the tour announced it was beefing up its drug policy by adding blood testing and bringing its list of banned substances in line with the World Anti-Doping Association. Long noted as the squeaky clean sport because of its Former PGA lack of problems stemming Commissioner from drug use including Tim Finchem performance-enhancing substances, some skeptics have been suspicious because of the tour’s secrecy created by former commissioner Tim Finchem. Under the original drug policy adopted in June 2008, the tour was required to announce suspensions for violations including performance enhancing drugs but not positive tests involving recreational drug use. Those fell under the tour’s private “conduct unbecoming a professional” disciplinary policy. Finchem was insistent on undisclosed suspensions when it came to those tests. Many felt he fostered a ‘clubby culture’, treating players in an overprotective way. Adding fuel to the fire were suspicious leaves of absence taken by Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods during this time. Under the revised policy, which takes effect in October when the new season starts, suspensions for drugs of abuse will be reported if players test positive. Added to the tour’s list are three categories of substances that WADA already prohibits---asthma medications, allergy and anti-inflammatory medications, and pseudoephedrine over a certain threshold. Adding blood testing will allow the tour to detect any use of human growth hormone, which is on the list of banned substances but cannot be detected through urine samples currently used by the tour. “Urine is the far more efficient testing method of 98 percent-plus of what we’re looking for, says Andy Levinson, who oversees the tour’s anti-doping policy. “For that reason, it will be the predominant method of our testing.” The tour was encouraged to add blood testing after the Rio Olympics where golf was included for the first time in more than a century.

PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan says the changes will better substantiate the integrity of golf as a clean sport. You have to admit, only three players suspended for performanceenhancing drugs in nine years since the tour adopted its anti-doping policy is an excellent record com-

PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan

pared to other sports. While interviewing several tour players on the drug issue while working for Texas Golfer, none of them saw performance-enhancing drugs beneficial in golf. You don’t want a lot of muscles in golf,” Jeff Maggert said. “Golf is hard enough to play without being on drugs.” “The real key to golf is like being an artist,” Steve Elkington said. “Your muscles need to feel flexible and subtle, not big and bulky. Fortunately, our sport has so much precision that drugs have never been a major issue.” David Toms pointed to the mental aspect of golf. “Golf is such a game of focus that you have to be totally mentally all the time. I don’t see how you could play good golf using any drug that would get you out of really being able to focus.” Pro golfers are individual contractors, and Duffy Waldrop said that is one reason drugs and golf don’t mix. “You don’t get a paycheck unless you show up ready to go,” he said. “The skills you need in golf are another reason. You need power, but you also need the touch which you get on putting and chipping.” The revised policy is needed for consistency’s sake because players face different drug lists around the world, particularly in the Olympics. And, to quiet skeptics who have a hard time believing the squeaky clean image associated with the PGA Tour.


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Golf TEC instruction, club fitting keys to better golf By Andrew Braley As a PGA Professional, owner and general manager of GolfTEC Cool Springs and GolfTEC Brentwood, I want to take this opportunity to provide you with an overview of what a visit to one of our locations is like. First, I have given in excess of 20,000 lessons. It’s my goal to help golfers to improve their games and feel good about playing the game. Our instructors can help players of all skill levels – from low-handicap players looking to take their game to the next level to new players picking up a club for the first time. Our goal at GolfTEC is make your game better and to have more fun on the course. Of course, those two things go hand in hand. Not wanting to sound like the weatherman, but it seems as if we have hit the dog days of summer. As temperatures and humidity levels soar, sometimes it’s just too hot to get out on the course to play. That’s the perfect time to visit one of our locations to either fine tune your

game or overhaul it from the convenience of our indoor practice areas. Our personal coaches will focus on you in a private setting. We also offer custom club fitting. Sixty minutes of tour-level club fitting will help you find more distance and improve your control. It’s an often overlooked aspect of the game. Make every club count; knowing even the top players are giving up yards every day. That’s because poorly-fit clubs and mediocre club gapping affect more than 80 percent of players at all levels. With GolfTEC third generation club fitting, key variables come into play, including clubhead and ball speed, launch angle, distance, and direction and spin rate. One reason I chose GolfTEC is because of its technology and its instruction program. Others have caught up in some ways, but we still have the best system to use to get improvement: the idea that every lesson is from the same perspective as far as cameras and the software that allows our students to review the lessons and practice.

Joe Hall (L) gets pointers at his club fitting for his Callaway Epic Driver, purchased and fitted by PGA Professional Paul Brannon. The Foresight Launch monitor enables this personal coach with GolfTEC to record data with each of Hall’s swings.

I could get the same results without all that we use, but it would take longer. Our motion analysis is a great tool for diagnosing a flaw, but it may be even better for explaining the problem to the student. Once they get an idea of the body movement and see a numerical measurement of that motion, it becomes a lot easier to fix due to the understanding. GolfTEC’s growing success is not coincidental. Clients who started with in-bay lessons have seen career-best rounds and lower handicaps Give us a call or come by one of our locations and get on the path to improving your game. Remember our motto: Proven path; proven results.

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Equipment Corner Team USA will sport stylish Antigua look at Solheim Cup Antigua Group, Inc., one of the nation’s leading designers and marketers of lifestyle and golf apparel under the distinguished Antigua brand, has been named the provider for Team USA’s uniforms at the 2017 Solheim Cup. The 2017 Solheim Cup will be held at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines, Iowa from Aug. 18-20. Having created Team USA’s clothing at the last three Solheim Cups, working on the 2017 uniforms presented a unique challenge for Antigua designer Danielle Dellios, who created something fresh and new using the traditional red, white and blue color scheme.

“Instead of coming up with designs that were solely ‘Americana’ in feeling, I decided to give the team a more sport-driven look,” Dellios said. “The abstract prints in the new designs are a big change from the previous outfit presentation.” Team USA captain Juli Inkster has been active with input on the uniform designs for both her winning team in 2015 in Germany and for the 2017 uniforms. “She also loves to get American fans involved by asking them to wear red one day, white another day, and navy blue the third day -- to support the team’s efforts on the course,” Dellios said. “She has been fantastic to work with through the whole process.” The Friday outfit for the first day of competition features a new take

on polka dots – the red and white print Ascend polo is matched with the Ascend skort and short that sport a mirrored version of the same print, in white with red dots. The gradient dotted pattern creates an optical illusion The team will start Saturday’s matches wearing the Prize polo and skort. The polo features a zip placket, a solid white body with contrast navy color printed insets. The print pattern is reminiscent of all-over sequins, minus the metallic effect. The coordinating skort is printed all-over with solid white welt pockets and waistband. Both the polo and skort feature a stretch jersey knit fabric. On Sunday, the team will don mostly white with an asymmetrical engineered printed navy and red triangle. The Pyramid polo features a snap placket with front and back printed panels. The coordinating Pyramid short and skort feature the same print, with a star cut-out in the triangle pattern. The skort is made of a stretch jersey knit fabric, while the short is made from stretch twill woven fabric.

Take a swig of swingOIL, and swing better Each 3-ounce pouch of swingOIL contains seven key ingredients to keep you loose and smooth every time you pick up your clubs. swingOIL comes in three delicious flavors: orange, lemon-lime, and strawberry-banana.

swingOIL can be ordered online at www.swingOIL.com.

Ingredients for a better game: 1 - GLUCOSAMINE (100 mg.) & 2 CHONDROITIN (50mg.) Stay lubed up with these two. It’s like an oil change for your body. 3 - TURMERIC (40 mg.) Inflammation destroys smooth swings.

Turmeric is here to help. 4 - TAURINE (100 mg.) Meet taurine: A low-cal, sugar-free pickme-up for when you’re on the back 9. 5 - CITRULLINE MALATE (100 mg.) You love the game too much to take days to recover. Be glad this is in here. 6 - GINSENG EXTRACT (100 mg.) When you’re trying to putt or win the skin, focus matters. Enter ginseng. 7 - RHODIOLA ROSEA EXTRACT (50 mg.) We all know what game-day stress is like. That’s why we included this.

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Kyle Bachman: A golf pro and ordained minister en individual,” Bachman says. “We always are ated from MSU’s PGA Professional Golf ManTee Times report As an assistant tournament director for the striving to represent the Tennessee PGA in the agement program in December 2010 and was Tennessee PGA, Kyle Bachman helps run 30 best way possible. Our goal is to outwork the elected to membership in the PGA in January golf tournaments that are on the TPGA sched- other 40 PGA Sections and to serve our mem- 2011. ule, but if you need someone to officiate your bers the best way we can. We all really enjoy Before joining the Tennessee section in May what we are doing for a living, and I think that 2016, Bachman spent 3 ½ years as lead assiswedding, he can do that. Bachman is an ordained minister, obtaining makes for great office camaraderie.” tant pro at Metairie Country Club in Metairie, Bachman’s love of golf began at age seven La., and two years as assistant pro at Ballanhis license in 2016 after completing an on-line course. He immediately put it to use. “I offici- when he took up the game. “My father was the trae Golf Club in Birmingham, Ala. ated my younger sister’s wedding last year,” he first person to teach me how to play golf,” he “As an assistant golf pro at those clubs, I says. “It’s the only one I’ve officiated so far, but says. “I decided to make golf a career when worked on all aspects in golf including teachI found out about the opportunity to go to ing, merchandising and tournament operaif someone asks me to do one, I’ll do it.” He will, however, have to work such occasions Mississippi State University and get a Business tions,” Bachman says. Marketing Degree and Class A membership in into his busy schedule of With all the PGA of America.” He gradu- the duties TPGA tournaments. “My tournament director, Adam Greeno and I work very closely together to make sure the events go off without a hitch from the start to the end by taking in registrations, communicating with the host PGA professional, marking the golf course, and administrating the tournament,” Bachman says. Bachman, a native of Springfield, Ill., reports to Clayton Hromadka, executive director, and also works with Paul Stanek, opThe Bachman Family at Christmas - (l-r) Four year old erations manager. Greg Marantz, brother-in-law, sister Kyle gets early “Everyone in our Kyle working a TPGA tournament Hannah Marantz, mom Jane and dad Jim tip from dad, Jim office is a very driv-

Kyle Bachman, PGA Professional and Assistant Tournament Director, TPGA involved in his current position, he only gets to play golf about once a month. “People have the misconception about those in the golf business that all anyone in the industry does is play golf every day,” he says. “PGA professionals put in a lot of long hours on the job that go mainly unnoticed.” Any spare time he does get, Bachman spends it attending other sporting events – or perhaps officiating a wedding.

s n e e r & s e G m i d o T o G Away from the links, more good times await. You can experience memorable dining, shopping and attractions across our state. Rest at one of our many boutique hotels, relax at our world-class spas, or just soak in some of our soul-stirring blues in Mississippi’s temperate climate. DA N C I N G R A B B I T G O L F C L U B - C H O C TAW, M I S S I S S I P P I

17-0577-TeeTimes-JuneAD.indd 1

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Road trip: Barren River Lake State Resort Park has plenty to offer

Tee Times report A 90-minute trip north from Nashville can land you in one of Kentucky’s revered getaway destinations: Barren River Lake State Resort Park. Barren Lake offers visitors a plethora of activities to keep anyone occupied for the length of their stay. For the outdoorsman, there’s fishing, hiking and jogging trails, camping, nature trails, horse camping and mountain biking. For relaxation, kick back and swim, water ski or boat on the 10,000acre Barren River Lake or just hang out in the 51-room lodge There are playgrounds for the children. But don’t forget to bring your golf clubs, because Barren River Lake State Resort Park has a fine 18-hole track just begging to be tested. Barren River plays to a tidy 6,507 yards from the back tees, with its longest par 4 measuring 428 yards. Much of the blue tee distance comes on a challenging set of par 3s that stretch from 178 yards to 213 yards. But don’t be intimidated, if you are on the white markers , where the course is a quaint 6,000 yards, the par 3 yardage lessens considerably – from 126 yards to 192. Tree-lined fairways show the way off the tee, and a smattering of bunkers offer more of an aesthetic value than actual trouble, but that doesn’t mean you have to test them. There also is enough water in play to keep players in check. PGA Professional Carmello Benassi, a native of Frankfort, Kentucky, has been at Barren River Lake since May 2010. One thing that Benassi loves about the course is that if offers a variety of shots.

Danny Sallee, Park Manager

PGA Professional Carmello Benassi, Head Pro “The golf course is very challenging; you will most likely hit all of your clubs,” he said. In fact, players should ask for one of his hand-made course guides. “I made it so you can visualize in your mind what it looks like,” he said. “I worked on it for about a week. We give out about 75 a year, and most of the players that have not played the course said the book was extremely helpful.” Although Benassi’s play has been curtailed somewhat by back problems, he remains very much a hands-on professional. He still loves teaching and getting his hands dirty out on the course. He loves the laid-back atmosphere the property offers.

In fact, it’s not uncommon to see Benassi in the pro shop wearing a pair of golf shorts. Tantamount to the head pro, whose awards include Kentucky Teacher of the Year (2005), Kentucky Golf Professional of the Year (2009), Merchandiser of the Year (22006, 2013) is for customers to have “a great experience” when they visit. “Barren River golf course setting is a great experience for several reasons,” he said. “We don’t have any houses surrounding the course of any city noise. It’s a very relaxing setting – peaceful and with outstanding scenery with the lake. And, the Barren River Lake staff is super friendly. We’re always there to welcome you.” Park manager Danny Sallee arrived in January after spending 17 years with Marriott and Best

(L-R) standing: Mark Goessling, superintendent, Kelly Thomas, Sr. equipment operator, James Colwell, Mark Kragt, mechanic, Brad Simmons, Sr. assistant Jake Smyth, James Smith, Matthew Stewart, Matt Harvey, and Greg Crowe. Not pictured: Tim Muckler, assistant and Bo Hubbard.

Western. He’s pleased with where things are at with the overall facility and is looking forward to making further improvements. He said the staff’s willingness to move the park forward has been refreshing. “Everything with my prior career was about the guest experience and the bottom line,” he said. “While I am concerned and I do take the bottom line seriously, as we use tax dollars, I have the opportunity to represent Kentucky to our guests as well as our Barren River Lake State Resort Park. Now I get to help them make memories, cherished for a lifetime.” Sallee hopes to be able to add other amenities to the resort, such as concerts, murder mysteries, concessions at the beach, and movies at the park, games, and activities.

rs, Glen Birge, 21 years (79 years Pro Shop (L-R) Jim Adkins, 15 yea Betthouser, 13 years of service. old, too young to retire) and Tom


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Danny Salee’s staff:

perience while working in landscaping and he obtained Supervisors: a turf management degree Kim Potts - Business Office online from Penn State UniDana Johnson - Front Desk Supervisor versity while working at Atlanta Country Club. Being a Tammy London - Group Sales golfer sparked his interest in Brian Jones - Executive Chef getting into the golf course James Cotton - Dining Room Supervisor maintenance business. Kody Thompson - Recreation Supervisor Like Benassi, Goessling is Mary Jane Booth - Housekeeping Supervisor hands-on. In addition to his Spencer Clemmons - Maintenance Supervisor administrative duties, you Mark Goessling - Golf Maintenance Supervisor can often find him mowing, mulching, spraying and most Carmello Benassi - PGA Golf Professional any job his crew might tackle. Kimberly Cotton - Campground Supervisor Being a golfer, he said helps Lee Bullock - Horse Stables him become better at his job. Wayne Shelton - the Marina. “When I do play, I see things that we as maintenance need Golf course superintendent Mark to do, seen through the eyes of a golfer,” Goessling has embarked on a nomadic he said. “Low hanging branches, bunkers career throughout a 28-year marriage, that need more sand, I come back with a moving approximately 40 times. He calls long to do list.” Mandy, his wife, a “trooper” in his wanderGoessling obviously loves his job. ing ways. “I’ve always gravitated to outside work,” “Even after all of these moves, when I ad- he said. “My office is the golf course. It’s vised her I wanted to get close to my par- beautiful, has abundant wildlife and ents, she readily agreed,” he said. breathtaking views of our lake and the Goessling has been at Barren River Lake hills. The undulation of the terrain is for the past two years after two years in something to play on. On the front nine, a similar position at Lincoln Homestead you can get a look at the lake. On the back State Park. He received much of his ex- you experience elevation changes, more

Driftwood Restaurant Hours: 6 a.m.- 9 p.m., 7 days a week Buffet pricing: Breakfast & Lunch: Adults $9; Children $6 Dinner: Adults $14.50; Children $7.50 Full menu also available! Driftwood Restaurant Staff

John Moss - Sous Chef Gwendolyn Ennis - Desserts/cook Amanda Hawkins - Salad Prep Nita Haynes - Cook Steven Witty - Dishwasher/Salad prep Nicole Johnston -Cook Stewart Bullock - Cook Josh Mandrell - Cook Eleah Huff - Cook Brandon Shelton - Cook

Executive Chef Brian Jones

(L-R) Gwendolyn”Knee-C” Ennis,25 years, baking queen, John Moss, 15 years, Sous chef, and Amanda Hawkins, 19 years, our salad queen

doglegs, and blind shots. Our slope rating is difficult from the blue tees, about 140 and the red tees a 128.” Not to be overlooked, the resort’s cuisine is second to none, something executive chef Brian Jones of the Driftwood Restaurant takes great pride in. Another much-traveled member of the Barren River Lake staff, Jones has previous stops at a country club in northern California and a Cool Springs steakhouse before landing at the resort five years ago. Seven months ago he was elevated to his current position. “The country club was really the best learning experience for me, and I took it all in and went about incorporating it into my own brand of cooking,” he said. “I love

to appeal to a wide array of palettes and tastes, and while we serve southern style we also offer different cuisines for that reason.” The restaurant is popular among local residents, and Jones takes pride in having their special dishes on the menu. It also offers three buffets during the summer. “We attract folks who come here to relax and eat on a regular basis with a staff who are all eager to please,” he said. “We get so many compliments from the regulars and those who have dined in our restaurant for the first time. This is what drives us to continue to want to please the palettes of our clientele. We delight in achieving this, serving homemade and from scratch delicious foods and say in parting, ya’ll come back.”


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A Trail like no other

Alabama’s RTJ Golf Trail has surpassed expectations, celebrates 25th anniversary By Gregg Dewalt Tee Times Editor Twenty-five years later, the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama continues to be the standard by which the industry’s other trails are judged. In celebration of the Trail’s 25th anniversary of the opening of the first four sites in 1992, officials have held special activities at each facility throughout the summer. Local officials continue to tout the benefits of Dr. David Bronner’s expansive plan to make Alabama a destination state for visitors instead of a drive-through state to Florida. Bronner’s grand plan – a once-in-a-lifetime project – has more than lived up to his expectation 25 years later and despite a downturn in the golf industry. The 11 trail sites continue to attract golfers from the United States and around the world while pumping millions of dollars into local economies. The most recent celebration was at the RTJ Golf Trail at the Shoals, which opened in 2004. Although it is the second youngest of the 11 sites stretching from Huntsville and Muscle Shoals in the north to Mobile in the south –officials said Bronner’s promise of an improved community as an offshoot of the Trail courses has come to fruition. “In 2002, David Bronner told us we wouldn’t recognize our community after this project,” Florence City Council President Dick Jordan said. “He was right. After the golf courses, the Marriott Shoals opened, followed by seven other hotels in Florence. An excitement prevailed that helped lead to a revitalization in our historic downtown. Across the city, new restaurants and retail emerged. People came from across the country and across the world to play our courses and experience our life.” According to RTJ Golf Trail officials, the 11 sites attract golfers from all 50 states and an average of 20 countries annually. More than 500,000 rounds of golf are played annually across the Trail and 12 million have been played since it opened. “Dr. Bronner had a vision that making the entire state of Alabama a world-class golf destination could not only create new tourism opportunities for the state, but could also enhance the reputation of the state of Alabama and its citizens, thus creating other economic development opportunities yet unknown,” said John Cannon, President and CEO of Sunbelt Golf Corporation, which has overseen the development,

construction and management of The Trail since its 1992 inception. The Trail certainly enhanced the state’s perception nationally when it comes to golf and tourism. “Back 20 to 25 years ago, there was a funny feeling around Alabama,” Bronner said. “The natives would say ‘Well, Alabama has a great potential, but it never does anything.’ So, we thought about how you change an entire state. Changing a town is one thing. You bring a new factory in and you’ve changed a town. But, if we created something in the state of Alabama that the rest of the United States doesn’t have, that being The Trail, could we get tourism and industry to look at us and come to us that wouldn’t have otherwise? Our vision was to change the whole state, similar to how President Eisenhower changed our entire country after World War II with the interstate system. He didn’t impact just one state in the country, but he changed the whole country.” Twenty-five years later, the Trail boasts 26 golf courses at 11 facilities in virtually every corner of Alabama. The Trail hosts more than 1,100 events annually, including the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship at Grand National in Auburn/Opelika. As a result, millions of dollars are contributed each year to schools, healthcare and community services. Susann Hamlin, the executive director of the Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau, said the the RTJ Golf Trail at the Shoals provides exposure to the other aspects of the community. “We can always get the attention of travel agents and tour operators when we start out without fabulous RTJ courses,” she said. “The Huntsville, AL international traveler saves their money all Birmingham, AL year and takes a vacation and stays two or Opelika, AL three weeks. Those of us stay two or three days maybe. When we talk to them, we proMobile, AL mote the RTJ golf courses especially, I do, we Greenville, AL Anniston/Gadsden, AL have one right here, but we then have an opportunity to promote Muscle Shoals music Dothan, AL and all of the wonderful attractions we have Prattville, AL in our area.” Point Clear, AL In Huntsville, an entire community has Muscle Shoals, AL sprung up in Hampton Cove including a Hoover, AL church, school, and retail development.

Opening Dates

Hampton Cove Oxmoor Valley Grand National Magnolia Grove Cambrian Ridge Silver Lakes Highland Oaks Capitol Hill Lakewood – redone The Shoals Ross Bridge

1992 1992 1992 1992 1993 1993 1993 1999 2004 2004 2005

Dr. David Bronner The grand plan a oncein-a-lifetime project Before the Trail opened, the area was mostly farmland. Not only are the courses a boon for tourism dollars, local golfers benefit from a variety of programs that makes playing the Trail course affordable. In turn, that helps sustain the courses year round, Steve Mack, director of golf at the RTJ Golf Trail Hampton, said. “There’s no question about it,” Mack said. “(Lo-

cal golfers) play the majority of the rounds that we actually we do. That’s why the programs that we have set up – the Trail card, the annual pass, the range programs – are all geared toward our Alabama residents. We are very cautious that we don’t run any special rate that undercuts the Trail card. We want the people of Alabama to have the best rates of anybody.” As the Trail begins the next 25 years, each course has undergone a variety of renovations. Some of the renovations include softening contours on the original greens and re-grassing them to take advantage of the variety of modern grasses now available. Three courses have had 22 holes rerouted and seven holes redesigned. It’s an effort to keep the Trail relevant. “What our millions of guests from the past 25 years can expect from us is that we will continue to improve our properties along with their expectations,” Cannon said. “While we may be 25 years old now, every time you return, there is something new and improved for you to enjoy along Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.”

How to get more distance with your driver

By Steve Kirkpatrick What golfer doesn’t desire to hit longer and more consistent drives? In this article I will discuss four elements that are important when you are in the market for a new driver. The first step to maximizing distance with your new driver is to get fitted rather than selecting a brand or model off the rack. This way the custom specifications of your new driver will be matched to your size, strength, athletic ability and individual swing characteristics. The tour pros spend a great deal of time with the equipment companies trying to get the right combination of launch angle, spin and ball speed to drive the ball longer. Amateurs are losing distance and consistency by not taking advantage of the same opportunity. Here are the factors to consider in finding the right driver. Driver Length Hitting the ball in the center of the clubface is crucial to increasing your distance. All drivers sold off the rack today are between 45.5 and 46 inches in length. This is too long for the average golfer preventing most from reaching their distance potential. Most any player will increase their distance and consistency using a driver no longer than 44 inches. Keep in mind the average driver length on the PGA Tour since 2005 is 44.5 inches. Driver Loft The proper launch angle and spin rate is what you are striving for. The lower your clubhead speed, the higher you need to launch the

ball with more spin. The higher your clubhead speed the lower you want to launch the ball with less spin. Players should be analyzed with a launch monitor to determine what loft provides their optimum launch angle and spin rate. Shaft Weight, overall flex and bend profile are factors to be considered in finding the correct shaft for your driver. The stronger the player the firmer and heavier a shaft profile is needed with a firmer tip which helps lower the launch angle. A weaker player should look at a lighter, more flexible shaft with a softer tip. This helps kick the head upward adding loft for a higher trajectory. Total Weight and Swing Weight A physically stronger golfer with a more aggressive swing should be using a driver with a heavier total weight and swing weight. The opposite is true for a weaker golfer. All four elements are important in the fitting process and can make a dramatic difference in your distance and consistency. My advice is to seek out an experienced, professional clubfitter with the right fitting equipment at their facility. Steve Kirkpatrick is the owner of Golf Rx in Mt. Juliet. He has been a PGA Professional since 1987 and was chosen as a Certified Golf Digest Clubfitter in 2017.


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Johnson’s closest-to-the-pin prize is Ford Edge Tee Times report Audie Johnson hit just the right shot at the right time. His reward for hitting the shot? A $40,000 Ford Edge. Johnson, the general manager at Ted Rhodes Golf Course, was playing in the Toby Keith and Friends Golf Classic in Norman, Oklahoma in early June. Each closest-to-thepin qualifier from the morning and afternoon shotgun start earned a shot at winning the

vehicle with a 125-yard shot from the 18th fairway. Johnson, one of 20 qualifiers, was the 17th player to take a shot at making a hole-in-one to win the Edge. Johnson didn’t hole the shot, but it ended up 7 feet, 7 inches from the hole. When the final three competitors couldn’t cut him off, Johnson was awarded the Ford Edge. He picked out the vehicle from a dealer and had it shipped to Nashville. Not a bad payoff for one swing.

ROAD TRIP No. 44

More golf than you can shake a 9-iron at. When it comes to championship golf, there’s no better destination than Alabama. Come play where the PGA TOUR professionals compete and see why Golf Digest editors picked two of Alabama’s golf resorts among their favorites. For starters, there are the 468 holes along the world-renowned Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Stretching from the mountains in the north to the Gulf Coast in the south, America’s original golf trail opened 25 years ago and recently completed a massive renovation of its 26 courses. Then there are the many other impressive courses scattered across the state, designed by the likes of Arnold Palmer and Jerry Pate. Each with its own set of challenges, each with its own rewards. Plan an epic road trip to great golf courses across the state of Alabama. Download Alabama Road Trips from your app store

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It’s one big, happy family at Sevierville Golf Club Tee Times report DJ Lerchen, the superintendent for the Sevierville Golf Club, is a person who takes things in stride. In fact, it’s hard to tell sometimes if things are going great or if things could be going better. It’s that low-key personality that serves him well in his job of maintaining two world-class golf courses at the Sevierville Golf Club. Not only does Lerchen supervise a fulltime crew, including himself, of five, but also 20 to 22 seasonal workers at the River and Highlands courses. According to Lerchen, things click just fine most days because of his crew, director of golf Ashley McGaha and her staff. “I don’t want to leave out the folks down at city hall; they are very supportive and make sure we have what we need to maintain both courses,” Lerchen said. “They want the best for our residents who are able to enjoy two championship public courses to play on (a resident discount of $34 per round) and, of course we want to treat our visitors to our courses too. We have it all here and we love it. Without the camaraderie of the Sevierville family and support of everyone involved, we could not pull off what we do.” Lerchen and his staff have a fan in McGaha. In fact, it’s that good working relationship between them that helps everything run smoothly. “DJ Lerchen and his staff are phenomenal,”

McGaha said. “In my opinion we are one of the best 36hole facilities in Tennessee, and it’s largely due to the expertise and effort put forth day in and day out by DJ and his crew. It is truly a treat to work and play golf at such an amazing facility.” Lerchen’s background in golf is probably part of the reason he is so attentive to the courses The River Course and also to the golfers No. 1 who play on them. He doesn’t play as frequently as when he was younger – where he played at Walter State Community College – but he remains passionate about the game. Lerchen got his start at Nashboro Golf Club where he gained valuable insight from Lynn Ray. From there, Lerchen “Lynn is my mentor,” Lerchen said. “In fact, became the superintenhe encouraged me to get my degree in turf dent at Stonehenge in management and to go ahead and work to- Crossville from 1999 ward my Class A card. I learned so much until 2008. When he from him and stay in touch to this day for found out that Sevierhis friendship and advice.” ville officials were going to build a second city course, he jumped at the opportunity to interview for the job. He was hired and the rest, as they say, is history. When he’s not overseeing things at the River and Highlands courses, Lerchen can usually be found with his daughter Ryan, who is 10, and son Jack, who is 7. “We love the outdoors,” DJ Lerchen he said. “We hike, go kayaking, just almost anything outdoors.” Golf is something he has gotten both involved in, so perhaps he can enjoy this with them as well. Both of his children are beginning to take an interest in golf, so there is a chance they’ll be spending more time at the courses. One thing Lerchen never tires of is the spectacular scenery provided by both courses. “How about being able to see the Great Smokey Mountains from at least 20 holes?” he said. “How about the beautiful Little Pigeon River coursing through the River Course, or playing the Highland with pristine Gist Creek running through the hardwood trees.” Lerchen and his crew’s days begin as early as 4 a.m. and they are in full-blown work mode no later than 6 a.m., making sure conditions are as perfect as possible. “To play here is fun, challenging, with scenery to die for, my crew and I want our guests to feel like they are on a private club’s course,” he said. “And any and all that we can do to put out an enjoyable experience is our goal.”

The Highlands Course No. 1

Full Time Crew DJ Lerchen

Superintendent (9 years)

Corey Seals

Assistant Superintendent (8 years)

Ed Loveday

Equipment Technician (13 years)

Joe Strickland

Irrigation Technician (17 years)

Cody Wallace

Spray Technician (2 years)

Seasonal Crew

many who return for years Carl Tyson

Assistant Equipment Technician (5 years)

John Seibert

Equipment Operator (17 years)

Rick Haun

Equipment Operator (7 years)

Dave Haun

Equipment Operator (6 years)

Lavador Sizemore

Equipment Operator (5 years)

Robin Smelcer

Equipment Operator (4 years)

Ray Mathews

Equipment Operator (3 years)

Eli Tarwater

Equipment Operator (2 years)

Harry Shutts

Equipment Operator (2 years)

Danny Still

Equipment Operator (2 years)

John Bauers

Equipment Operator (2 years)

Aaron Russell

Turf Maintenance Intern (2 years)

Ken Snow

Equipment Operator (1 year)

Chris Chambers

Equipment Operator (1 year)

Les Craft

Equipment Operator (1 year)

Bryce Pickens

Equipment Operator (1 year)

Michael Colvin

Equipment Operator (1 year)

Travis Ward

Equipment Operator (1 year)

Terry Flick

Equipment Operator (1 year)

Tyler Cole

Equipment Operator (1 year)

Shane Smith

Equipment Operator (1 year)

Josh Smoak

Equipment Operator (1 year)


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July 2017

Whit Turnbow Wins Ira Templeton Chattanooga Classic round of the True Temper skins game with Tee Times report HIXSON – Whit Turnbow, the 2017 Ira an eagle on the par-4 12th hole. Nick Bailes, Braxton Hunter and Scott MasTempleton Chattanooga Classic Champion, was unsure whether ters split three skins in he would ever be able the second round. to step on a golf course The Tennessee PGA again, let alone be would like to thank winning tournaments Buddy Templeton, Dejust one year out of vere Keller and the cancer treatment. rest of the staff at the “This one is very speCreeks Bend Golf Club cial to me because a for hosting another year ago I was in treatsuccessful tournament. ment for cancer. Just a Without your support year ago I was lying the Ira Templeton Chatin bed not knowing tanooga Classic would whether I would even not have been this sucbe able to play golf cessful. (L-R) A beaming Whit again” Turnbow said. Turnbow receives his Turnbow, who was champion’s plaque from the long-time head the events hard working golf coach at Middle Danny Tribble, PGA. Tennessee State, shot an impressive 65 in the opening round at Creeks Bend Golf Club. He clinched the win with a second-round 68 for a two-day total of 7-under 133. The Overall Senior Division finished in a first-place tie between Mark Houser and Thomas Baird, who each finished at 134. Ryan Botts grabbed his first professional victory in the Tennessee PGA, capturing the Regular Professional Division champion(L-R) Thomas Baird, Signal Mountain and ship by carding a 135. Mark Houser of Tennessee Golf Trail, Warriors’ Chris Dibble took the only skin in the first Path tied for over all Senior Champion.

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TEE TIMES

July 2017

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Tee Times July 2017  
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