Michigan Golf News |
August 25, 2006 Vol. 6, No. 34
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OTSEGO CLUB & RESORT-GAYLORD
SHANTY CREEK RESORT & CLUB
DESIGN YOUR OWN IRELAND GOLFING GETAWAY
GLSP TELEVISION NETWORK
Edited by Art McCafferty-Producer/Publisher, GLSP
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Marc Gilmore, Head Professional, indicated that the play for the course was strong, even with its three figure price tag. Pat Black, the head of the Convention and Visitors Bureau at Marquette indicates that for the first time, Marquette is really going to go after the golf market. The new Greywalls, the newly purchased Chocolay Downs and the very popular Red Fox Run, would provide the product for the Marquette golf area.
Chocolay Downs has new owners, a relatively new professional in Dennis Kargela and a new superintendent in Gary Sweets. Gary indicated that the new ownership has plans to improve the golf course and add a new clubhouse, with restaurant. There have been new bunkers cut into some fairways and many of the fairways will have their "rumble turf" taken out of them this fall.
Red Fox Run is headed up by Frank Guastella a Master PGA Professional, golf course owner and current President of the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association. Frank says that he has enjoyed his presidency thus far and that the association is very well received by the state legislature.
Red Fox Run, the former K.I. Sawyer military course, has been improved on immensely. Red Fox has all the amenities of a championship course and terrific management.
The Marquette trio of courses offers the upscale presence of Greywalls, the maturity of Red Fox Run and the promise of Chocolay Downs. There is a course for every skill and every wallet.
We stayed at the Landmark Inn while in Marquette. This is a classy hotel with wonderful restaurants, internet connectivity, great views and a sense of history. It is located downtown location and its renovation helped spark a return of businesses to the downtown area. Staying at the Landmark Inn is part of the Marquette golf experience. The downtown is changing. They have new restaurants and businesses, have eliminated a number of eye sores with the removal of the downtown tracks. New condos have been built, Northern Michigan University continues to have an important presence in the town and a new waterfront park dominates the landscape. In short, Marquette is community on the move. Remember, take a left at the bridge and then proceed 240. Yes, they realize that most of their tourism comes from Illinois and Wisconsin, but they love to have downstate money going through their coffers as well.
Gaylord- The Natural and The Tribute
The Natural has always gotten a tremendous amount of play in northern
Michigan. Jerry Matthews did a nice job and a rather tight piece of
land. The front nine introduces you to the wetlands that are a trademark
of the course and the back nine opens up a bit and even gives you a
former ski hill to hit down from. We enjoyed our play there and certainly
understand why they consistently get their share of Gaylord play. Steve
Helmer is the Director of Golf and Larry Bowden is the owner.
The Tribute is the product of Keith Gornick's vision and the design of Rick Robbins and Gary Koch. It is a magnificent course and we had a flat out ball golfing it this past weekend. The 18th hole is absolutely fabulous.
Judy Mason continues to build upon her resume in the areas of golf course management and instruction. She worked on the Bay Mills Open for a number of years and co-directed it one year. She is currently the Director of Golf at Michaywe. On the instruction side, she has provided instruction to the Bay Mills Golf Academy, Boyne@Crooked, the Otsego Club and now Treetops.
For those that have not met Judy Mason, you can check out her golf instruction philosohy with Bill Shelton's online video at
NATIVE AMERICAN CUP II
RYDER CUP COUNTDOWN-The 50's -with Bill Shelton and Michael McCafferty as "The Haig" An Encore Series Sponsored by Sullivan Golf and Travel http://www.sullivangolf.ie
**RYDER CUP COUNTDOWN-The 60's -with Bill Shelton and Michael
McCafferty as "The Haig"
Join Bill Shelton, "The Haig" and Arnold Palmer as they reminise about the Ryder Cup, the 60's and Palmer's friendship with "The Haig". http://michigangolfer.tv
Year Site Results
Then you can check out the famous Concession Ryder Cup and get both sides of the story; that of Tony Jacklin and that of our own Dave Hill. It is fascinating viewing.
The Concession with Tony Jacklin and Vanessa Bell
An Encore Series Sponsored by Sullivan Golf and Travel http://www.sullivangolf.ie
But I was most intrigued with Medinah's course renovations by noted course doctor and architect Rees Jones. And the changes were significant though not readily apparent. Most notable was how Grounds Manager and Course Superintendent Tom Lively in concert with Jones-- and armed with a consulting firms report--- finally were able to persuade Medinahs Board of Directors to remove 260 trees on the championship course.
This was a critical and important decision in that many of these trees blocked sunlight and impeded air movement around the greens. Lively wisely argued that if new grasses (A1/A4 mix) were being approved for the greens then some trees had to be removed in tandem to aid in the maturation process. Fortunately this well-considered tree removal plan was approved. Other trees were trimmed and pared back and the net result overall was a dramatic improvement in turf conditions. Here is a telling quote by Lively seen in Golf Course Management magazine about some of these long overdue changes to this storied but increasingly overgrown parkland course.the conditions have improved to the point where if I need to get a tree removed because of sunlight, the people now understand why. Kudos to Lively. Memo to self: please forward to tree-hugging green committees.
Meanwhile Rees Jones conceived and supervised a major yet deft renovation of the course, including seven greens completely rebuilt; sixteen tee boxes redone; added length; and adding, repositioning, and in some cases eliminating bunkers. (Lively also insisted on new bunker sand.) One note about the bunker complexes: They even boasted misters which enhanced the rough growing around the edges of the bunkers. So any shot just missing a bunker and not finding the friendly confines of the sand was a devilish play. Evidence: Davis Loves disastrous triple bogey on Thursday when his iron shot on 17 flew the green and rested above the bunker in heavy rough. He essentially whiffed his next shot and then his third found the bunker.
The most dramatic change to Medinahs no.3 course was at this par-three 17th hole. In spite of being revamped for the 99 PGA, this hole is now much improved. Jones had a new green built closer to the water (Lake Kadijah) while also moving the tee back and in a more elevated position. But with nary any wind and soft greens this hole wasn't as intimidating as it could have been under different conditions.
A drawback to the course set-up was that the new greens were, well, new and as such players commented that they were too soft with ball marks splattering. Also confounding matters was an inch of rain on Friday which furthered the softness and receptivity of the greens and contributed to low scores. To its credit, the PGA doesn't get hung up about birdies and red numbers at its championship. Birdies make for happy and lively galleries and TV audiences. Especially when Tiger is commanding attention.
Player preparation for majors is often cited but I noticed a yeoman's effort by a caddie prior to the event. Late Tuesday afternoon when I wandered out to the par-four 15th, I saw a caddie meticulously checking out various sections of the putting surface for its natural breaks. He was using an electronic level and then wrote down and recorded copious notes. Speaking to a marshal, he identified himself as Jason Gore's caddie and that each green would take him about an hour to determine each greens breaks and flows. He had six greens done by 4 pm and said he had 12 to go before the start of the tourney.
All the flak levied at the PGA TOUR for its treatment of the Chicago market by rotating the Western Open (aka BMW Championship) out of the city every other year may had a good effect. Ed Sherman, golf writer for the Chicago Tribune reported last Wednesday that Commish Tim Finchem is revisiting the issue. Said Finchem: It's not often I get emails from fans who don't like what we're doing.Give us a chance to sort this out. There may be change in plans. Certainly Tiger Woods vocal support for Chicago was a big boost. It's a shame because it's one of our best markets, said Woods.
The Ryder Cup was the story within the story last week. Lehman summed up one of the key reasons, in his mind, why the U.S. players have fallen short in the past decade: they're not having fun. Said Lehman: Number one is we don't have fun inside the ropes competing. Earlier this year, Lehman visited legendary basketball coach John Wooden to pick up some tips and counsel for motivating his team. Wooden told him: If you don't have fun, you're not going to love it, and if you don't love it, you're not going to work hard enough to be successful. Lehman said enjoying what you're doing is one of Wooden's key cornerstones of his famed pyramid of success.
More Ryder Cup: noted Irish writer Dermot Gilleece who coined in 1989 the apt phase the sorcerers apprentice to describe Seve Ballesteros young Ryder Cup partner Jose Maria Olazabal wrote in the official PGA program that European Captain Ian Woosnam indicated to K Club officials he wants the greens at a reasonable pace on Friday and Saturday and slow on Sunday. K Clubs Director of Golf John McHenry told Gilleece that Woosnam believes the Americans won't like slow greens in singles combat. Interesting stuff. But could this be part of an elaborate disinformation campaign by the crafty European captain?
First hand evidence of Tour level excellence: I watched Steve Stricker play the tough 463-yard uphill par-four 4th hole on Wednesday. After a beautiful and long drive, he stiffed a mid-iron to within eight feet which he later canned for birdie. Then for practice, he let three balls slide down the face of the green to some 20 yards below the flag in the fairway a normal resting spot for short second shots. From this spot, he pitched in twice and was within one foot with his other ball. (Stricker later finished tied for seventh.)
"This is a prime development opportunity that has already undergone seven years of development groundwork," said Paul Rogers, vice president of Inland Real Estate Auctions. "The difficult work has been done, and this affords the developer what is essentially a 'turn-key' land play."
"This auction represents two growing trends in the industry," said Frank Diliberto, the president and CEO of Inland Real Estate Auctions. "First, in just the last 18 months more and more owners of entitled development land have been turning to the auction process -- on the eve of construction -- to sell the labor they have put into the development process. Secondly, the use of the auction process to sell high-value, nationally-renowned trophy properties has surged as the real estate auction industry has grown more than five-fold during the last couple decades."
Inland Real Estate Auctions, Inc. has garnered significant media attention recently for several notable auctions, including another major development property - plans for a 26-story condominium and retail tower in red-hot San Diego's most trendy neighborhood.
Like an ever-increasing number of property owners with trophy properties to sell, Keith Gornick, the second-generation owner of the resort, chose the auction method because the auction process can produce a sale much more swiftly than the conventional sales method.
"A negotiated sale can take years, and the conventional sales process doesn't flush out the phonies and the fakers," Gornick said. "One can spend an inordinate amount of time in negotiation to find out a person doesn't have the ability to close the sale. The auction process is truly the most fair and least disruptive because it gives a clear announcement to all players that there's a timeline, and that it's all equal. And I firmly believe it is especially fair for staff, golf patrons and ski club members in that it is truly the least disruptive of all sales processes."
Gornick hopes a faster sale will facilitate his retirement, allowing him to focus on his numerous other business interests while enjoying more time with his wife and young daughter. The Gornick family will remain in Gaylord and active in Northern Michigan. The auction will be held at the Westin Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus, Michigan.
The auction terms can be found in bidders' information packages available to bidders from Inland Real Estate Auctions, Inc.One of the nation's top auctions firms, Inland Real Estate Auctions is part of The Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc. http://www.inlandgroup.com .
Play Golf America's PGA Free Lesson Month is designed to reach new golfers and help existing golfers improve their game with free, 10-minute golf lessons conducted by PGA Professionals nationwide throughout the month of May. This year, a total of 147,332 free lessons (21 percent increase) were given by 7,485 PGA Professionals (8.7 percent increase) at 5,880 facilities (5.5 percent increase) across the country.
Below are 2006 survey results from participating PGA Professionals: PGA Professionals averaged almost 20 lessons each. A total of 46,655 hours were dedicated to free lessons.
23 percent of participating golfers were new or beginners.
Taken and edited from a PGA release
Surveyors are asked to rate and review courses based on their Course, Service, Facilities and Value. Those who cast their votes by October 8 will receive a free copy of the Zagat Survey 2007 America's Top Golf Courses guide when it is published.
In addition to receiving a free guide, golf survey participants are automatically entered in our Witty Surveyor Contest. Zagat Survey editors will select the three people submitting the most insightful, descriptive and clever comments for golf courses on their ballot. The winners will receive a $100 MasterCard Gift Card that can be used for any of their favorite dining or leisure activities.
Surveying is simple and free. After logging onto zagat.com, surveyors can submit feedback at their convenience, save reviews to complete at their leisure and even revise votes if opinions change.
Unlike other guides that rely upon the opinions of a few critics, Zagat Survey content is based on the collective opinions of more than 250,000 savvy surveyors worldwide. The guides are built on the belief that consumers are best served when they have access to a variety of information resources from other avid consumers. The survey results are compiled into comprehensive, fun-to-read guidebooks that help consumers make quick informed decisions.
Crystal is purchasing wind credits to power the chairlift, joining the likes of the University of Michigan, Harvard University, Whole Foods and Vail Resorts in selecting renewable energy as a source for electricity. Crystal's long-term goal is to power the entire resort with 100% renewable energy.
This is part of Crystal's ongoing environmental efforts, which also include initiatives in waste reduction and recycling, water conservation, use of recycled paper and soy- or vegetable-based inks in the Resort's brochures and collateral, voluntary "green" certification for the Resort's two golf courses, and wildlife habitat management and education.
The initial step of powering the Crystal Clipper chairlift with wind will alone prevent 174,000 pounds of carbon dioxide pollution from entering the atmosphere each year. Yearly, that's the equivalent of not driving a car 189,956 miles (that's eight times around the world!) or planting 23 acres of trees.
Though wind energy is more expensive than energy produced by non-renewable sources, Crystal Mountain feels the added expense is worth it in order to combat global warming, pollution and dependency on foreign oil. Crystal Mountain is working with Boulder, Colorado-based Renewable Choice Energy as their wind power provider.
"Crystal Mountain has shown foresight that the decisions made today will effect generations to come. By purchasing wind power, Crystal Mountain is ensuring a brighter, cleaner future for us all," said Quayle Hodek, CEO of Renewable Choice Energy.
"It is one of our core values to be good stewards of the environment," said Jim MacInnes, president and general manager of Crystal Mountain. "By taking this step and embracing wind power, we are reinforcing our commitment to the environment. It is also our hope that others within the Michigan travel industry and our guests will join in this critical effort."
MacInnes first became interested in wind energy nearly 30 years ago when he built a wind power generator as a senior project while studying electrical engineering at the University of California, Irvine.
Crystal is also encouraging its employees and guests to join in the Resort's renewable energy efforts by offering a free one-day ski lift ticket, valid anytime during the 2006-2007 season, to anyone who purchases wind power for their family's residence for one year through Renewable Choice Energy. More details about the promotion, including applicable restrictions, and Crystal Mountain's wind power purchase program can be found at the Resort's website, crystalmountain.com.
Player Hometown Score Earnings
For the Kids Foundation was selected as one of the charities to benefit
from the upcoming Michigan Tournament of Charities(MTOC).
Registration and breakfast will begin at 9am with a 18-hole shotgun start at 10:30am. Lunch will be provided on the course and the event will close with a fantasticbanquet and auction following the day of golf. The day of entertainment will also include several giveaways, challenges, and raffles during the round of golf. To register or become a sponsor now, go to http://www.mtocgolf.org
Thanks and a Tip of the Tam to Larry Adderley for pointing out our gaffe.
Chuck Kocsis-The Best There Ever Was-by Jack Berry
The 95th Michigan Amateur-by Jack Berry
Michigan Golfer Internet Television: The First Five Years and 250
Courses-by Art McCafferty
Beeches Golf Club-by Kelly Hill The latest from W.Bruce Matthews III and his Matthews Golf Design firm.
W. Bruce Mathews III: Small Budgets, Big Courses-by Bernice Phillips Matthews Golf Design still has work. Although the golf building boom has gone bust, the Matthews Golf Design keeps pumping out courses. The Beeches, puts Matthews over 40 new course designs.
Michigan Golf Hall of Fame: Class of 2005-by Jack Berry Jack Berry, a Hall of Fame member himself, chronicles this classy class.
Slice of Life-The DeVicenzo Code, The Movie - by Terry Moore Terry Moore revisits the mystery of the DeVicenzo and Goalby Masters
Readership of the Michigan Golfer Ezine averaged 9,789 per issue in 2005.
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