Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bubba Watson's amazing golf shot

Let me start by correcting myself.  Last Friday was not National Golf Day...tomorrow is.  When I set my calendar last year I posted my reminder to the 13th and not the 18th by mistake.  When I posted the last post I obviously did not read the article very well as the 18th is noted as being National Golf Day.  The good thing is that the 18th is tomorrow and there is still time to do something that will help honor and bring to light all of the good thing that the greatest sport in the world does for us and our communities.  So get out there and tell the world how good golf is!

Now, on to the topic the title of this post indicates.  By now you have all watched the amazing shot on TV, in newspapers, in magazines, and online that Bubba Watson hit on the second playoff hole to win the 2012 Master's Championship.  Below you can actually witness the path the shot took that makes it all that more incredible.  Look at the path it took and remember that this was hit by a left handed player so that ball should have had significant top spin being the equivalent of a snap hook that most of us are familiar with.  Bubba's ball however hit softly and really did not roll out very far. 

Now I have been to Augusta and the greens there have tremendous breaks and slopes that do not translate to television.  (this is also why they appear so fast because of the undulations that appear flat on TV)  His ball may have landed into a slope to help it slow down and with the softer conditions this year it may not have bounded forward like in years past.  None the less this was a remarkable shot!  The other thing we must consider is that had his ball struck a tree limb and knocked straight down we would be talking about him for an entirely different reason. 

The most remarkable thing to me came after Bubba creid on his momma's should was the number of Tour players that came out to congratulate him on his vicotry.  You never see that kind of support at a tour event and especially not at a Major.  This proves how special of an individual Bubba is as his peers obviously respect him a great deal.  Congratulations Bubba!

"I adore the game of golf.  I won't ever retire.  I'll play until I die.  Then I want them to roll me into a bunker, cover me with sand and make sure nobody's ball lands in there for a while."

~Lee Trevino             

Friday, April 13, 2012

Today is National Golf Day!!

Today those of us in the golf industry celebrate National Golf Day and many representatives for golf will be making visits to the capitals of our states and even our nations capital in D.C.  Golf often is depicted as a sport (or activity by some) that is elitist, segregating, and environmentally unaware.  Many of these myths stem from the fact that we in the golf industry have typically done a very poor job of tooting our own horns.  That all changed about 3-5 years ago when we all decided that we had been quiet long enough.  Golf is actually good for our local and national economies and programs like The First Tee and Play Golf America strive to increase the diversity of participants among their other goals.  As a golf course superintendent myself, I would argue that nearly all superintendents are actually stewards of the environment and care about the use of our natural resources, the habitat that we provide, and the wildlife that resides with our proprties.  We take pride in reducing our inputs to our facilities, which in turn benefits our regions and communities maintain safe drinking water and recreational opportunites for all generations to stay active and provide social outlets to meet with friends or make new friends.  Please take a look at this post and consider the MANY benefits that the golf industry offers to our communities and if you care about golf ... GET INVOVLED!!
Capitol Hill Golf is so much more than a game - it's an industry that contributes billions each year to local, state and national economies, and employs more than 2 million people nationwide. This is the story that will be told on Capitol Hill April 18, National Golf Day, by members of GCSAA's board of directors, Government Relations Committee and staff, GCSAA storytellers, and allied golf organizations CMAA, NGCOA and the PGA of America. For the initiative, which is part of the We Are Golf coalition, GCSAA will educate lawmakers about the U.S. golf industry's economic, environmental and social contributions.

As part of the GCSAA delegation, GCSAA President Sandy Queen, CGCS, CEO Rhett Evans, and GCSAA storytellers will join other association leaders to represent the industry in meetings with Democratic and Republican leadership, and the Sustainability Caucus to share quantifiable data that demonstrates the economic contributions golf makes.

GCSAA's storytellers

For 2012, GCSAA has expanded its group of storytellers to represent the industry. This year's speakers will be:
Kevin Breen, CGCS
Kevin Breen, CGCS

Kevin Breen, CGCS

Kevin Breen, CGCS at La Rinconada Country Club, Los Gatos, Calif., is a proven leader in managing golf course properties in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner. Fifteen years ago, when it was not in fashion to be organic, Breen took a very high-profile golf community project, Lahontan Golf Club, Truckee, Calif., and made it synonymous with environmentally friendly best management practices. The philosophy that Breen has managed by -- to only grow as much grass as you need and limit inputs to work with nature -- eventually found favor garnering awards from local, state, and national organizations. Among his honors include Sierra Nevada GCSA's Member of the Year in 2007; California EPA DPR's Pest Management Innovators Award in 2006; Golf Digest's Environmental Leaders in Golf Award in 2001 and 2003; the California Golf Writers Environmental Award in 1998; and the Colorado State Jim Haines Memorial Scholarship in 1992. He is a member of the California GCSA government relations committee, the California Alliance for Golf, a GCSAA national committee, and the California GCSA chapter delegation. He has also served as president of the Sierra Nevada GCSA and the California GCSA.
Dan Dinelli, CGCS
Dan Dinelli, CGCS

Dan Dinelli, CGCS

Dan Dinelli, a 29-year GCSAA member and third-generation superintendent at North Shore Country Club, Glenview, Ill., is well-respected for his expertise and service on numerous committees and panels. He's also a frequently sought-after speaker. Dinelli's accolades include GCSAA's President's Award for Environmental Leadership in 2009, Golfweek magazine's 40 Under 40 Award, Scotts Tradition of Excellence Award in 2000, and the University of Illinois' Master Gardener. He is a current member of the Illinois Turfgrass Foundation Research Review Committee, Park Management and Horticulture Advisory Committee at William Rainey Harper College, and the U.S. Composting Council's Golf Course Committee, and has served as the president of the Chicagoland GCSA, and as a committee member for GCSAA.
Mike Hurdzan
Mike Hurdzan, ASGCA

Mike Hurdzan, ASGCA

Dr. Mike Hurdzan is an internationally recognized authority on golf courses and the environment. In a career spanning nearly 50 years, Hurdzan has taught countless seminars, and his seminar experience is perhaps surpassed only by the collection of articles he has written for publications ranging from Golf Digest and National Geographic Traveler, to The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. An equally distinguished 27-year career as an officer in the United States Army Reserve has garnered Hurdzan many accolades, including his qualification to the elite Special Forces (Green Berets), receipt of the Legion of Merit for “exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements” and promotion to the rank of full colonel and unit commander. His distinctions include the American Society of Golf Course Architects' Donald Ross Award, one of Golf Digest's Five Most Powerful Architects, the University of Vermonth's College of Life Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award, Ohio State University's Distinguished Alumni Award, and a member of the Ohio Golf Assocaition Hall of Fame.
Peter McDonough
Peter McDonough

Peter McDonough

Peter McDonough, Class A GCSAA member at Keswick Hall, Club and Estate, Charlottesville, Va., is a man of action. A 21-year GCSAA member, he has been a leading force among golf course management professionals in Virginia. His efforts have shown lawmakers and regulators how the golf industry is not only a valuable asset to the region, but also a steward of the land. His accomplishments include the Virginia Turfgrass Council Award in 2011, the Virginia GCSA's Environmental Stewardship Award in 2011, GCSAA's Excellence in Government Relations Award in 2008, the Virginia GCSA's Distinguished Service Award in 2003, the Virginia GCSA's President's Award in 2002, and the Virginia Turfgrass Council's R.D. Cake Memorial Award in 2000. He also founded and was the first president of the Virginia GCSA, a founding board member of the Virginia Golf Council, and a member of the Virginia Technical Advisory Committee.

About We Are Golf

The We Are Golf coalition retained the Podesta Group, a Washington, D.C.-based government and public affairs firm, to coordinate the initiative’s unprecedented legislative efforts concerning small business, labor, tax and environmental goals. Its objective is to assist the coalition in getting the golf industry a seat at the table when important and relevant legislation is being developed. Visit We Are Golf for more information on the coalition and its strategic progress.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A timeless interview with the big three of golf

Each year, now that I have kids, I rarely make an effort ot actually watch the live coverage of the Masters tournament in Augusta, but I do make sure to keep up with the event online after everyone is asleep.  I watched the video that is linked below and it is very insightful to see how Jack, Arnie, and the Black Knight view the game of golf today.  Courses are too long, the ball travels too far, too expensive to maintain, and efforts need to be made to increase the enjoyment and fun of the game.  Jack references the Golf 2.0 program that has been implimented by the PGA of America that is designed to increase participation of golfers.  I am not too familiar with what that program entails YET (I will be soon as I am interested in growing our slice of the golfing pie), but golf does need to be made more fun.  I play with a number of our more mature golfers within the County programs and there are not many that can realistically get to many of our moderate length par 4's in regulation let alone some of our longer holes.  I get tradition, trust me, but how is it fun to hit a ggod driver, three wood, 9-iron into a hole, when single digit handicaps can make it there with a driver and a wedge.  The "Tee it Forward" program makes perfect sense to me and we will be implimenting this program at Morro Bay and Dairy Creek this summer.  Chalk used this program last year, before it was a program, to introduce women and beginning golfers to the game.  I think this is something that can be done to enhance the enjoyment of our current senior, women, and begining golfers.  The trick is going to be getting people to actually play the tee that is best for them because golf is about tradition.  Check out the video and share your thoughts by commenting on this post.  Thanks for reading and "Come on Freddy!"

http://www.masters.com/en_US/videos/interviews.html (look for Honorary Starters Interview 2012)

"When you get those dudes thinking, they're in trouble."
                                                ~Pete Dye, the course architect, on desiging courses for PGA tournaments

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Golf rule changes for Seniors

These rules were forwarded to me ealier today and I had to chuckle at all of them.  I particularly Rule 1.a.5 and think this should be instituted not just for seniors but implemented into the USGA's and R&A's Rules of Golf.  Please enjoy and remember that you have to be clinically insane to either (a) brag about your golf game, or (b) lie about your golf game.

Happy swinging!

Rule 1.a.5
A ball sliced or hooked into the rough shall be lifted and placed on the fairway at a point equal to the distance it carried or rolled into the rough with no penalty. The senior should not be penalized for tall grass which ground keepers failed to mow.

Rule 2.d.6 (B)
A ball hitting a tree shall be deemed not to have hit the tree. This is simply bad luck and luck has no place in a scientific game. The senior player must estimate the distance the ball would have traveled if it had not hit the tree and play the ball from there.

Rule 3.B.3(G)
There shall be no such thing as a lost ball. The missing ball is on or near the course and will eventually be found and pocketed by someone else, making it a stolen ball. The player is not to compound the felony by charging himself or herself with a penalty.

Rule 4.c.7(h)

If a putt passes over a hole without dropping, it is deemed to have dropped. The Law of Gravity supersedes the Rules of Golf.

Rule 5
Putts that stop close enough to the cup that they could be blown in, may be blown in. This does not apply to balls more than three inches from the hole. No one wants to make a travesty of the game.

Rule 6.a.9(k)
There is no penalty for so-called "out of bounds." If penny-pinching golf course owners bought sufficient land, this would not occur.. The senior golfer deserves an apology, not a penalty.

Rule 7..G.15(z)
There is no penalty for a ball in a water hazard, as golf balls should float. Senior golfers should not be penalized for manufacturers' shortcomings.

Rule 8.k.9( S)
Advertisements claim that golf scores can be improved by purchasing new golf equipment. Since this is financially impractical for many senior golfers, one-half stroke per hole may be subtracted for using old equipment.
Please advise all your senior friends of these important rule changes. And they are written big enough that most of you should be able to read them!