Michigan Golf News |
January 25, 2008 - Vol. 8, No. 4
AMERICA'S VALUE GOLF DESTINATION
Santee, South Carolina
Web: Golf Packages http://www.santeetourism.com
Videos: http://michigangolfer.tv/2007shows/santee/ & http://youtube.com/watch?v=dm3zpL46pYk
WEST MICHIGAN GOLF SHOW
Video: Preview of 2008 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlrqggvtKdc
MICHIGAN GOLF SHOW
Edited by Art McCafferty
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__/ YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS: REPORTS ON THE PGA MERCHANDISE SHOW
By Jack Berry and Terry Moore Report
__/ MICHIGAN GOLFER ON THE ROAD
London Golf Show, London, ON
__/ DID YOU KNOW? Submitted by W. Bruce Matthews III
__/ THE CASE OF KELLY TILGHMAN, GOLF CHANNEL AND GOLFWEEK
By Terry Moore
__/ FROM GOLFWEEK TO GOLFWORLD
__/ PLAY GOLF AMERICA CONTINUES TO RAISE THE BAR
__/ NEXT SHOT GOLF OPENS ON MICHIGAN STATE FAIRGROUNDS
__/ HIGH SCHOOL GOLF CAMP
__/ MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE-WINTER ISSUE
__/ BOOK REVIEW" "YOU'RE STILL AWAY" by Robert Sullivan
__/ MICHIGAN GOLF CALENDAR
__/ ASSOCIATION LINKS
__/ HELP DESK http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQHX-SjgQvQ supplied by Jim Neff
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YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS: REPORTS ON THE PGA MERCHANDISE SHOW
By Jack Berry and Terry Moore
The PGA Merchandise Show-The Michigan Connectioins
By Jack Berry
Michigan had a good representation at the 55th annual PGA Merchandise Show last week at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center that makes Cobo Hall look like a broom closet in comparison.
The show area stretched three-quarters of a mile from one end to the other and two of the most popular features were a string of massage chairs where a half dozen or more masseuses working on aching backs and necks and a Happy Feet booth selling fluid-filled insoles.
TrackMan, the computer device that measured shots and angle of shots for the world television audience of the British Open last summer and which Nick Faldo praised on The Golf Channel when his shots in a segment during the Sony Hawaiian Open were measured. TrackMan has a Michigan touch. Matt Frelich of Brighton (a Flint native) is TrackMan’s Director of Sales and Business Development of U.S. Operations and said the $27,000 product, a hit at club-fitting specialist golf operations, now is catching on with college golf programs. “I was at the college coaches convention before the PGA show and a half dozen coaches said they’re going to get it. Illinois is the first Big Ten school to get it,” Frelich said. Stanford was the first college to go for it, in 2006, and Michigan State’s new golf coach, Sam Puryear, was assistant coach when Stanford won the NCAA Championship last year.
Also on the high tech side at the show was Science & Motion Sports of Saline with its president, Mike Olsen, manning the booth along with a crew of lab-coated technicians. “I spent 17 years in developing health care technology,” Olsen said. Along the way he met a German researcher on, of all things, writer’s cramp. That developed into hand motion and hand motion to putting. That evolved into the Science & Motion Puttlab, a complete putting analysis and training procedure which has clicked with European Tour players since 2004 and now is in use by David Leadbetter, Hank Haney and a number of players including Padraig Harrington, Steve Elkington and Tiger-You-Know-Who.
“He said we could use him as a reference but not in any advertising,” said Olsen who asked Woods what it would cost to use him as an endorser. “He said ‘It would cost more than your company is worth,’” Olsen said, laughing.
If you know your Periodic Table of Elements from chemistry (not me!), you’ll be familiar with Element 21, Scandium. It’s a silvery white metal that is more common found on the Sun and certain stars. The Soviets used it on the nose cone of their ballistic missiles which could be fired by submarines from beneath the Arctic ice cap because penetrating the ice wouldn’t damage the missile.
How does it fit into a golf show? And with a Michigan connection? Scandium is used in golf and fishing shafts and e21, the company making them, is in Ottawa Lake, on the Michigan side of the border with Ohio. When I saw John Traub, the former Detroit Golf Club professional and 1980 National Club Pro champion, I asked what he’d seen and liked at the show. He raved about the lightness and strength of the e21 shaft – “It’s like swinging through butter. You don’t even feel it.”
Easier to understand than the Table of Elements were the tables of clothing in the Oxford Golf booth. For a clothes horse it was time to drool – great colors, fabrics and classic styles and Danny Gee is the Vice President of Merchandising and Design.
Gee is a New Yorker now but he’s from Sterling Heights and his parents live in Clarkston. Gee is an extremely talented designer and a great model for his own lines. I’d love those clothes out here in Tucson, or anywhere. I told Gee that formal wear in Tucson, which seems like the denim capital of the world, is pressed Levis.
Meg Mallon, who went from Farmington Hills Our Lady of Mercy high School to stardom on the LPGA tour (sure, she went to Ohio State, but we claim her) was at the ProQuip booth trying on raingear as were a couple of other LPGA players – and not one is a paid endorser. Randy payne, the company president, also has a Michigan background, at the Ann Arbor school.
Michigander Jim Dougherty is Director of Green Grass Sales (pro shops) for clothier Ashworth which is back in championship shape after founder John Ashworth rejoined the company a year ago.
The Kelbel family of pros, who learned the trade from their father, Ed, at Walloon Hills Country Club, has a western “chapter” with Ed Jr. joining brother Mark in Colorado Springs. Mark is Head Professional at the Broadmoor and Ed is the Assistant Director of the Professional Golf Management program at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs with 125 students in the program leading to PGA membership.
As bleak as the economy has been in Michigan, including golf, with some painting it a One State Recession, we are not alone. The Orlando Sentinel carried large stories during the week on a Florida budget proposal that the education side lamented and on low pay and budget cuts for the Florida Highway Patrol with troopers quitting to take jobs with city and county departments.
In Arizona, my winter quarters, and one of the two fastest-growing states in the country, there’s a big budget crunch with the governor proposing “camera patrols” on roads from the Grand Canyon to the Mexican border to catch speeders and raise revenue. California has major budget troubles and the New Jersey governor wants to double the rates on its toll roads.
Remember the slogan years ago? “It’s the economy, stupid.” Seems like it fits today and not just in Michigan.
The PGA Merchandise Show: Goods and Gear
by Terry Moore
As a kid, I loved to watch a gritty crime series called the Naked City set in NYC. Its ending tagline by the narrator became a catch phrase at the time: “There are eight million stories in the Naked City. This has been one of them.” At last week’s PGA Merchandise Show, there were 1200 companies exhibiting and although most if not all were fully clothed in Orlando, they too all had a story to tell. Here’s a random and brief look at some selected companies that caught my eye or those of others who then bent my ear.
• Mizuno MP 600 and MX 560 drivers: I tried these drivers at Demo Day and was impressed. The MP 600 is a 460cc driver offering user-friendly adjustable weights on the head sole via its patented Fast Track technology. The MX driver offers maximum forgiveness and an explosive clubface in a geometric yet compact design. I liked how its COG (center of gravity) was low-deep on the face.
• Nike Golf SQ Sumo Squared Hybrid: Again at Demo Day, I hit the 5-iron equivalent and couldn’t miss a shot, even from bad lies. I even tied one gloved hand behind my back. Ok, not really, but this geometric hybrid effortlessly gets the ball airborne.
• Tour Edge Exotics: The usually affordable-minded Tour Edge brand is delivering high tech “value” with its new driver line priced at $399. With a clubhead composed of a steel body, a Titanium cut face, and a magnesium crown, it looks terrific and delivers a mighty blow.
• Cleveland wedges: The leader in wedges, Cleveland continues to excel with its new and cleanly designed CG12 DSG line with its patented Zip Grooves. The larger grooves promise to channel debris away from the clubface at impact and thus deliver spin control even from the rough and grassy lies.
• Puma: Fast-moving Puma has another apparent winner in its “Smart Quill” line of Gore-Tex golf shoes (with a nice two-year warranty.) The soles have 38 “quills” or non-metal spikes placed at different directions for optimum grip. The edgy overall design feels just fine on the feet. Puma Tour player Geoff Ogilvy will be wearing them this season.
• Quagmire Golf: Walking thru the fashion area, I happened upon this upstart Canadian clothing company. Striking up a conversation, I discovered Michigan State’s women’s golf team just signed with Quagmire to wear its “digs.”
• E21 Scandium Alloy shaft: This Russian-based company had more buzz than say Natalie Gulbis coiffed in a beehive. Sorry; but the pros were singing praises about this shaft which boasts the highest-strength-to-weight ratio of any material in golf: 25% higher than titanium and 50% higher than graphite.
• Range finders: Bushnell and Laser Link continue to duke it out. Bushnell touts its new Tour V2 as the “smallest, most advanced range finder” that’s good “on any course, right out the box.” Meanwhile, Laser Link counters with less expensive models offering easier and quicker aim-and-shoot features but mainly requiring flagstick reflectors (provided free now for clubs with a 10-unit purchase.) Also, kudos to Laser Link for its pink Lady model designed for women and earmarking some proceeds to support breast cancer research.
• Interchangeable shafts: A number of leading companies raced out to provide this new rule-conforming feature: the ability to pop-out/pop-in a different shaft on a clubhead so long as it’s done before teeing off. Elite and avid players will opt for them, depending upon intro price, and they will surely make re-shafting easier, quicker and less expensive. Art’s patented “tip of the tam” goes to the USGA for smartly allowing this innovation.
• Dumb Product Award: Maybe I’m daffy but how can a golf company earn a “Best New Product” award at the Show when it’s non-conforming by the USGA and thus the PGA for competitive or handicap purposes? Yes, the EEZ-READ might be a “putting practice aid” by reading subtle breaks on a green via a miniaturized “carpenter’s level” but in reality it will be taken on the course for regular play. Geez, just what the golf industry needs: a non-conforming product to further slow down the game. If this is truly the best product out of 400 offerings then a voter’s recount is in order.
Well, that’s my story from the PGA Show and for now I’m sticking to it.
LONDON GOLF SHOW REPORT-Art McCafferty
London, Ontario-London Golf Show
On a day when the snow squeeked under your feet, Claudio Demarchi, owner of the London Golf Show, opened the doors to his new location, the Hellenic Community Centre. Thousands of golf starved Canandians roared in and officially began the new golf year. The new location, had plenty of free parking, was in a less congested area of the city and seemed to have a little more room than their Western Fair site. It seemed that both participants and exhibitors were happy with the switch.
Again, there were lots of Michigan golf properties after this now superior Canadian dollar. On hand for the selling spree were, Crystal Mountain Resort, Garland, Flint Convention and Tourism Bureau, Saginaw CVB, Treetops, Lakewood Shores Resort, Manistee National, Osprey Recreation, Doherty Hotel, Manistee National, McGuire's Resort and Otsego Club. Join us for the sights and sounds of the London Golf Show.
THE CASE OF KELLY TILGHMAN, GOLF CHANNEL AND GOLFWEEK
By Terry Moore
With Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday being celebrated this past week, I’m hesitant to bring up the matter of Kelly Tilghman, the Golf Channel, and the now infamous “noose” cover by Golfweek. But since it was such a hot button topic last week in Orlando and in the national news (including CNN), let me share a few thoughts. First off, what Tilghman said on-air about Tiger was an unpremeditated, unscripted and careless slip of the tongue while trying to be humorous with partner Nick Faldo—a banter she’s expected to nurture as an anchor. The unfortunate use of the word “lynch” by Tilghman wasn’t necessarily a sign of any latent racism but nonetheless it conjured up, for the ever vigilant “word police” in our culture, a horrific and shameful part of our American history. But when I first read about her gaffe in a light-hearted retort to Faldo—“lynch him (Tiger) in a back alley”—I thought how the word “lynch” could also be used in the Old West context as in “The Ox-Bow Incident” or “Once Upon a Time in the West.” But when the butt of Tilghman’s off-the-cuff remark centered around one of our most famous African-Americans and golf icons, well poor Kelly didn’t have a chance with her critics. So feeling-the-heat by over-reacting detractors, the Golf Channel tried to quell the matter by suspending her, despite her sincere apologies to all, including an understanding Tiger. That should have been the end of this “tempest in a teapot” and misplaced outrage.
But then Golfweek magazine, a leading publication widely respected by the golf industry and serious players alike, makes a terrible blunder in bad judgment and poor taste by deciding--in a premeditated, deliberate manner-- to ratchet up this affair by using a “noose” for a provocative and tabloid-like cover image. For sure, Golfweek was within its editorial rights to cover the issue; but where it crossed the line was how it carelessly exploited and sensationalized the Tilghman remark without a sense of fairness and proportionality. My guess is that Golfweek also wanted to take another shot at the Golf Channel and its now lofty “partnership status” with the PGA Tour. Well, someone didn’t count on a livid Commissioner Tim Finchem firing an unprecedented broadside at the magazine’s cover story and image. Moreover, Golfweek exposed an Achilles heel when CNN and other news organizations revealed a lack of minority staffers at Golfweek, particularly at the higher editorial level. As a result, Golfweek lost a superb editor and good man in VP/Editor Dave Seanor, someone I have long respected as a journalist from his days here in Michigan with PGA Magazine. As with Tilghman, I hope Seanor is back working again soon and wish him a speedy career recovery. He’s a talented and solid guy who erred. Golfweek also deserves a break from its host of critics so as to regain its footing and credibility in ably covering the game.
Finally, when it comes to golf and a hangman’s noose, they’re best seen innocently linked and dangling in the wind--say at the signature 16th hole at the Pete Dye-designed Oak Tree CC.
FROM GOLFWEEK TO GOLFWORLD
This week, GolfWorld ran a story on Bill Spiller, the African American professional golfer who spent his better playing days, trying to gain entrance in the emerging PGA tour. "Bill Spiller: One Man's Mission" is written by Al Barkow and is a must read. Spiller was one of the characters highlighted in "Forbidden Fairways" , a book written by Calvin Sinnette and published by the now defunct golf segment of the Sleeping Bear Press.
It also brings to light the interview that we did a few years ago with Michigan Hall of Fame inductee, Ben Davis. Davis describes the difficult times he went through as he made his way as a golf professional, in a game that was dominated by white America.
DID YOU KNOW?
Art, here are a couple tidbits of interest regarding Kent Country Club:
The Western Open, equivalent of the Masters in the early 1900’s, was hosted by Kent twice before Donald Ross re-designed the course. Golfing great and club maker Willie Anderson won in 1904 and Robert Simpson won in 1911.
It is noteworthy that on Anderson’s way to winning the $200 first prize the course “presented interesting hazards and obstacles for the golfer, such as a windmill centered on a putting green and chicken wire strung across several holes.”
(From “Famous North Berwick Golfers”…)
Those hazards are not in my personal repertoire…yet.
W. Bruce Matthews III
Office: (517) 339-9700
Direct: (517) 881-7346
PLAY GOLF AMERICA CONTINUES TO RAISE THE BAR
Play Golf America continues to show increases in key areas following its fourth year of existence. Established as a comprehensive marketing campaign in 2004, Play Golf America has evolved into various programs, resources, and educational tools as well as a marketing campaign to increase participation among new and existing golfers.
With a record number of 7,000 facilities serving as host sites and registering its programs on PlayGolfAmerica.com, numbers indicate there were more than 803,000 participants in group lessons at these facilities, and a record 8.3 million total participants in organized play related to Play Golf America, announced Brian Whitcomb, president of The PGA of America.
The PGA of America has projected the financial impact of many Play Golf America programs. PGA Professionals report over $23 million dollars was generated last year from group lessons alone. In addition, Play Golf America national promotions, such as Free Lesson Month and Women's Golf Week, had a $16 million dollar impact on the golf industry.
2007 Play Golf America Program Highlights and Record-Setting Numbers Follow:
PGA Play Golf America Days:
. A record 79 PGA Play Golf America Days were held nationwide, a 55 percent increase from last year's 51 events.
. A record 27,472 consumers attended PGA Play Golf America Days, up 44 percent from 2006 (19,025).
. More than 1,000 PGA Professionals, an average of 13 per event, gave instruction nationwide.
. PGA Play Golf America Days were held prior to The 89th PGA Championship in Tulsa, Okla., and The Senior PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, SC.
. The PGA of America partnered with the National Pan American Golf Association (NPAGA) to host a PGA "Dias Juego de Golf America" (Play Golf America
Day) in Austin, Texas, to increase Hispanic participation and help drive membership to the NPAGA. The East Potomac Golf Club hosted a Play Golf
America Day in Washington DC targeting African Americans and more than 1,200 people attended the event.
. Host facilities reported a median of $4,500 in equipment and merchandise revenues following its events.
Taken from a PGA of America release from Jamie Carbone
NEXT SHOT GOLF OPENS ON MICHIGAN STATE FAIRGROUNDS
As the General Manager of the Michigan State Fairgrounds, I would like to invite your readers to visit us and experience our partnership with Next Shot Golf. We recently opened a golf center on the Fairgrounds with a pro shop, indoor hitting bays and golf simulators. We are also working on establishing the PGA Experience at the Fairgrounds during the week of the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills. One of the 25 courses available on the simulators is Oakland Hills and we fully expect to utilize our Next Shot Golf Center as the hub of social activity during the championship week. Play Oakland Hills at the Fairgrounds and then be transported to the course to watch the pros play the same course you experienced from a virtual perspective.
Steven R. Jenkins/General Manager
Michigan State Fair & Exposition Center
HIGH SCHOOL GOLF CAMP
I am writing to you for the purpose of hoping to get some exposure of a new concept I have developed and a great need for our high school golf teams nationwide.
My name is Dean Naudi and I was one of 3 people who started the first amateur golf tour probably anywhere in the country here in Michigan. It was called the Great Lakes Amateur Tour.
I have developed a concept for a week long high school golf camp right here at Moose Ridge Golf Course in South Lyon, where I am the current Head Professional. I have lined up 5 top instructors to participate and teach at the camp and have gotten nothing but rave reviews from all I have discussed this with. I just got back from the PGA show in Orlando to discuss sponsorship for the Academy with a few different manufacturer's who also thought the idea is superb.
I will also be set up at the Michigan Golf Show in Novi connected to the Moose Ridge Golf Course Booth.
Thank you so much for your time.
Dean Naudi 248-491-7453
MICHIGAN GOLFER MAGAZINE-WINTER ISSUE
Our Winter issue of the Michigan Golfer has some great reading for everyone. We lead off with Susan Bairley as she prepares us for a Florida getaway, sans golf clubs. We take a sneak preview of Paul Albanese's new tract in Harris, the new Sweetgrass Golf Course. You can also get a look at the course on the video we did http://youtube.com/watch?v=oU1AbuEAHZ0 earlier this year. Our newest writer, Rob Franciosi, writes about putting his clubs away for the year and Art McCafferty writes a companion piece to the video http://youtube.com/watch?v=N1Ef64EjCSs GLSP did on the rise to international acclaim, Michigan golf architect, Tom Doak. Finally, we bring you our 4th Annual Michigan Golfer Top 10 list, a reader favorite for the past three years. Is this a great state or what? Enjoy.
GULF GOLF: THE PERFECT GETAWAY -By Susan and Paul Bairley
Videos: http://youtube.com/watch?v=UtZr93TOqIE http://youtube.com/watch?v=_7m_issYAFE
SWEETGRASS IS SWEET- By Art McCafferty
CLUB RENTALS – A PRICEY ALTERNATIVE TO PACK N' HAUL-By Susan Bairley
OPENING THE TRUNK AND CLOSING THE SEASON-By Rob Franciosi
TOM DOAK: FROM HIGH POINTE TO SEBONACK- By Art McCafferty
TERRY MOORE'S-SLICE OF LIFE-"Top 10 Predictions for 2008"
2007 MICHIGAN GOLFER TOP 10 LISTS -Compiled by Bernice Phillips and L'Anse Bannon
BOOK REVIEW" "YOU'RE STILL AWAY" by Robert Sullivan
i am sure the publishers would have liked some earlier feedback from us, on this book that was put on the market in '07. "You're Still Away", the latest from writer Robert Sullivan, deserved to be mentioned in books that could be picked up for gifts during the holiday season.
Sullivan, is rather an eclectic writer, having penned books on Frank Sinatra, Pope John Paul ii, Atlantis, Tony Bennet, Santa Claus and now golf. "You're Still Away" is a collection of short stories on a variety of topics in the golf world. The reader will find stories on persons and topicss like President Clinton, St. Andrews, Craig Stadler, P.G. Wodehouse, Emeril Lagasse, Speed Golf, Clint Eastwood's new courses and playing a game by yourself.
It is one of those reads, where you can knock off a couple of stories and save more for another round of reading. John Garrty, Senior Writer from Sport Illustated gave it high praise in saying, "You're Still Away, is the best golf collection I've read in years."
Published by Maple Street Press, the book retails for $19.95 U.S.
2008 MICHIGAN GOLFER CALENDAR
28-2/2 NGCOA Annual Conference & Golf Industry Show, Orlando
2-3 Hamilton Golf & Travel Show, Hamilton, ON
22-24- 20th Anniversary West Michigan Golf Show, DeVos Center-Grand Rapids
7-9 Michigan Golf Show, Rock Financial Showplace, Novi
14-16 Lansing Golf Show, Lansing Center, Lansing
10-13 The Masters, Augusta, GA
3-4 West Michigan Best Ball, LE Kaufman GC, Grand Rapids
17-18 West Michigan Amateur, Candlestone GC, Belding
18 Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, Indianwood Golf and Country Club, Lake Orion
19 City Match Play, Crystal Springs CC, Grand Rapids
29/6-1 Memorial Golf Tournament, Dublin, OH
30 U.P. Michigan Highs School Boys State Championship
30 U.P. Michigan Highs School Girls State Championship
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