Gary Player Gary Player “The Black Knight” Golf’s Man in Black has distinguished himself among The Big Three with his global approach to philanthropy. Founded in 1983 to address the needs of impoverished children living near his farm in South Africa, the Player Foundation has raised more than $50 million to help needy kids around the world. Six years ago it expanded into China’s Yunnan Province to help children with HIV-AIDS. An early advocate for fitness, Player does much more than participate in golf-event fundraisers: Not only does he visit schools, including the first one he established, he gets out to play in soccer games, participates in sports days and loves to sing and dance with the kids. In London he rode a bike from an impoverished school to 10 Downing Street to raise awareness of students’ needs.To read more about those game changers like Arnold Palmer, Kristy Kerr, Johnny Manziel, Tiger Woods and Ernie Els who use high profiles to help the needy, go here. Source : Golf Digest Picture : Keith Allison
This year’s back-to-back U.S. Opens were two of my favorites ever. Yes, Martin Kaymer sucked most of the drama out of things with his brilliant play–and Michelle Wie added a bit back–but for golf course architecture nerds like me, Pinehurst No. 2 was the star. Why? Because I’m down with brown. If you watched coverage of the men’s and/or women’s U.S. Opens, you probably noticed that Pinehurst No. 2 was a lot less green than in past years. Contrary to what we’ve grown accustomed to here in the USA, I think that’s a great thing. Let me explain: When Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw worked on Pinehurst No. 2 in 2010 and 2011, they were not adding their own marks to the course so much as peeling away the last few decades of architectural neglect that had compromised some of the brilliance of a course that Donald Ross spent the last third of his life refining. No. 2 had always had its trademark green complexes, where the putting surfaces often drop off on all sides to fairway chipping areas, but thick Bermuda rough and overwatering had slimmed the fairways down to a fraction of their intended size. Not only did Coore and Crenshaw remove more than 30 acres of rough—replacing it with the sandy scrub you saw—they cut the number of sprinkler heads in the fairways by more than half, despite dramatically increasing fairway acreage. That’s why you noticed the fairways were brown up the sides and only a pale green up the middle. That’s by design—the USGA’s, Coore and Crenshaw’s, and Donald Ross’. In other words, Pinehurst No. 2 now plays a lot more like the great links courses of Great Britain and Ireland, where golf was born. So why did so many golfers think Pinehurst looked “ugly” and “awful”? Blame Augusta National. Augusta is known as the most immaculately maintained golf course in the world. And it’s no wonder—they have the biggest maintenance budget of any golf course in the world by such a large margin it’s scary. And yet, many public course players and private club types demand that their courses emulate Augusta because they think that’s “how a golf course is supposed to look.” So superintendents have been commanded to overwater courses, producing excessively soft conditions that kill the opportunity for bump-and-run in favor of the much less interesting “flop-and-splat.” That’s no fun and, what’s worse, it’s expensive. In a world where water is going to be more and more important to conserve, golf courses that learn to live on less will thrive. Pinehurst No. 2 will be one of them, having cut their annual water usage from 55 million gallons pre-restoration to just 15 million gallons. Not only does this have both a positive financial and environmental impact, it allows golfers to play the type and variety of shots that makes the game so endlessly intriguing. Next month, the golf world will watch as another lovely blonde, Royal Liverpool Golf Club, hosts the Open Championship. Tiger Woods won the 2006 Open there during a summer drought when the entire course was browned out and the fairways were running almost as fast as the greens. Woods’ display of shotmaking that week was one of the best in history, as he cruised to a two-shot victory employing all sorts of punch and bump-and-run shots at the course known as Hoylake. Again, this is what I’d like to see more of here in North America. But what do you think? Do you enjoy courses that are a little brown on the edges, rather than green and lush throughout?Source : golfvacationinsider.com Tim Gavrich Pictures : Mike Renlund
This months not so “Quick 9″ is with master clubmaker, Tom Wishon. Tom discusses club design, golf club myths, getting properly fitted, future technology and much more. You’ll learn a ton. I promise. I’m so thankful to Tom for agreeing to do is and put this important (and often VERY misunderstood) information out there for you. First: Who exactly is Tom Wishon? With more than 35 years of experience in the field, Tom Wishon Golf Technology is recognized as one of the industry leaders in the research of golf club design, performance and clubfitting technology. Our R&D has been at the forefront of the golf industry including the development of more than 50 golf club design technology firsts as well as countless discoveries in the science of golf club performance for golfers. Having begun his golf equipment career in 1972, Tom Wishon has designed over 300 original and innovative clubhead models, more than any other single person in the 500 year history of the game. His clubhead designs represent more than 50 different technology firsts. Tom Wishon is the only designer from the custom clubmaking side of the golf industry whose clubhead designs have been used to win on the PGA Tour, the Champions Senior Tour and in Ryder Cup competition. He has designed and custom built the golf clubs used in competition by Scott Verplank, Bruce Lietzke, Ben Crenshaw, as well as the last set of clubs played by Payne Stewart before his tragic accident in 1999. Tom is the also the author of 9 books within the field of golf club design, performance and clubfitting, in addition to hundreds of equipment related articles written for virtually every golf publication in the golf industry. As Terry McSweeney, Director of Communications for the PGA of America states, “Tom has the unique ability to communicate technical issues about golf equipment so non-technically minded people can easily understand and follow the subject” Two of Wishon’s books, The Search for the Perfect Golf Club and The Search for the Perfect Driver qualified for best-selling status and won successive Book of the Year awards in 2006 and 2007 from the International Network of Golf, the oldest and largest organization of golf industry media professionals in the world. Shortly after they were published, both books became a part of the curriculum for membership training in the PGA’s of Sweden, Great Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands. He is considered the ‘go-to guy’ by the equipment editors for many of the major consumer golf publications in their search for honest, marketing-free explanations about the technical performance of golf clubs. Jim Achenbach, equipment editory for Golfweek magazine has said, “Tom is the smartest person in the golf industry when it comes to golf clubs.” As Tom stated in making his decision to establish his own company in 2003: “I completely respect the product design work of the large golf equipment companies. But my three decades in golf club R&D has proven without question that the best set of golf clubs any golfer will ever play will be a set of professionally custom fit golf clubs, and not a set of standard made clubs simply bought off the shelf. I am committed to educating golfers about the tangible, game improvement benefits of being professionally custom fit because I know this is the only way any golfer can hope to play to the best of their ability and benefit the most from swing instruction.” Click here for the rest of the interview. Source : golfdashblog.com Picture: wishongolf.com
I think it is always fun and exciting to go out and discover new courses that you have never played. Whether it is a golf course that has been on your bucket list for years or a course that has just recently opened, the thrill of stepping onto the first tee for your first round on a course is always an experience that jumps the heart rate up a few beats.
Medinah is #8 on the list. Who is #1?
Here is the 2014 list prepared by Joe Passov of Golf.com
#8 Medinah Country Club (Course One)
BEST U.S. PRIVATE RENOVATION: Honorable Mention Medinah Country Club (Course One), Medinah, Ill.Always well respected but never in the same league as Medinah Course Three (its brawnier, Ryder Cup- and major championship-holding sibling), Course One has emerged from the shadows thanks to an inspired renovation by Tom Doak. With an original mandate to address flooding issues, Doak started work 13 hours after the Ryder Cup ended. He removed 770 trees and opened up the middle of the property for new holes that could be routed diagonally through the old corridors. That portion of the course is now open, in contrast to the previous narrow back-and-forth routing between the trees. Twelve of the 18 holes remain in the existing footprint, although they sport a completely new character and sequencing. What’s more, the club elected to add a mix of bluegrass rough and fescues, providing a more natural look to frame the fairways. Course Three will always be the torchbearer, but Course One is now a very worthy alternative.
To see the other 7 top new courses of 2014 click hereSource: Golf.com Joe Passov Pictures : flickr Dan Perry
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In 2011 The Wall Street Journal reported a study from the University of Hawaii that showed using a bat doughnut actually decreased a batter’s speed at the plate after warming up with a baseball doughnut. Researchers claim the use of a baseball doughnut can change the muscles recruited and therefore creates inefficient hitting mechanics. A study conducted by California State University, Fullerton found that recreational baseball players warming-up with a light and normal weight bat produced faster bat velocity compared to weighted bat warm-ups. Most research studies have found that the weighted bat doughnut has a positive mental effect yet negative physical effect. The “kinesthetic illusion” created by the bat doughnut makes players believe they are swinging the standard bat post warm-up with the bat doughnut when the subsequent swings are in fact, slower. This effect influences batters hitting mechanics and timing of swing. Click on the link below to see how science proves this theory. The science of speed! Source : The Sandtrap.com Wikipedia Pictures US Army