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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spare Golf Announces Continued Growth Reaching Milestone Website Numbers


Golf's Premier Auction Website Surpasses 10,000 Monthly Visits During March

Orlando, Florida (EatSleepGolf) April 15 - SpareGolf.com - Golf’s Premier Auction Website – has experienced significant and incremental growth through the first quarter of 2014. After launching the golf auction website at the beginning of the year, the Spare Golf website has steadily been gaining industry attention as golfers come to realize the valuable features and benefits it has to offer.

During the month of March, the Spare Golf website experienced a significant increase in website traffic, demonstrating it's continued growth in popularity within the golf community. Reaching milestone numbers which included 10,000 monthly website visits and 50,000 monthly page views, Spare Golf is looking forward to raising the bar even higher as summer approaches. “It's exciting to see Spare Golf gaining traction” said Jon Hernan, founder of Spare Golf. “We put a lot of time and effort into the development of Spare Golf and it's great to see the website numbers climbing to these levels. We're seeing new golf items being listed everyday. I'm looking forward to continuing to improve our platform and on building our network. ”

With a goal of redefining the online golf shopping experience, Spare Golf offers a marketplace for golfers to buy and sell just about anything golf related in an online auction format. This includes golf equipment, apparel, accessories, collectibles, books, art, movies, lessons, golf travel, and much more.

Sparegolf.com provides a great opportunity for both buyers and sellers. With the ability to post new auction items for minimal fees, Spare Golf is the perfect vehicle for sellers to maximize profits. For buyers, the auction format can easily translates into huge cost savings of up to 95% off retail pricing.

For more information, visit sparegolf.com today to set up a free account and start listing and browsing.

About Spare Golf
SpareGolf.com is golf’s premier auction website where golfers can buy, sell, or just browse for golf equipment, golf apparel, golf club repair, golf balls, golf vacations and just about anything golf. This unique website offers low fees to maximize profits for the seller which also keeps prices lower for the buyer. SpareGolf.com intends to grow with each user and welcomes any feedback, comments or suggestions.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Magnificent Masters - The 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta


For the first time ever, the story of the 1975 Masters is told.

The three best golfers of the time. Playing on the best course. Culminating in one of the best finishes in the game's history.

The debut book by NBC Sports & Golf Channel's Gil Capps

The greatest golfer of all time squatted down to study his line. There wasn't a tougher putt to judge on the course – forty feet, uphill, along a pronounced ridge. Standing on the tee just 160 yards behind him, his two keenest rivals watched intently. They had been chasing him, not only through the dramatic twists and turns of this final round, but their entire lives, each dreaming of the day they would eclipse this man on the game’s most exalted stage. The consequences of what happened next altered the careers of all three men and the game of golf.

The 1975 Masters Tournament always seemed destined for the record books. A veritable Hall of Fame list of competitors had gathered that spring in Augusta, Georgia, for the game’s most famous event, including Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Hale Irwin, Billy Casper, and Sam Snead. The lead-up had been dominated by Lee Elder, the first black golfer ever invited to the exclusive club’s tourney. But by the weekend, the tournament turned into a showdown of the period’s three heavyweights: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, and Tom Weiskopf. Never before had golf’s top-three players of the moment summoned the best golf of their lives in the same major championship. Their back-and-forth battle would rivet the sporting world and dramatically culminate in one of the greatest finishes in golf history.

In The Magnificent Masters, Gil Capps, a twenty-two-year veteran of the golf industry with NBC Sports and Golf Channel, brings to life the 39th Masters Tournament thirty-nine years after its playing. Based on exhaustive research and exclusive interviews with the three principals, The Magnificent Masters recaptures hole-by-hole the thrilling drama of this singular event during golf’s golden era, from the media-crazed build-up and intertwined careers of the three combatants to the tournament's final dramatic putts that would change the game of golf forever.



About the Author
Gil Capps is an Emmy award-winning associate producer on NBC Sports golf telecasts and managing editor at Golf Channel. He has spent his entire working career in golf media, having founded a regional golf magazine right out of Davidson College and written extensively about the game before jumping into television. Capps has worked on-site at more than 400 tournaments around the world – most spent sitting in NBC’s main tower providing editorial direction to its broadcasts and announcers such as Johnny Miller, Dan Hicks, and Dick Enberg. Since 2012, he has helped lead the creation of Golf Channel’s Editorial Research Unit, which he also oversees. A native of North Carolina, Capps now resides with his family in Winter Park, Florida.

The Masters - Quick Stats

Spreadex Masters Infographic 2014

Infographic brought to you by Spreadex, leading provider of sports spread betting in the UK.
Click here for the full size image (1600 x 6900 px).

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Masters - Fantasy Picks

Three of the last four winners on the PGA TOUR are from Australia. Each played his way into the Masters with victory and is now rewarded with the bonus of experiencing life inside the ropes for the first edition in which a fellow countryman defends.

John Senden (Valspar Championship) was trailed by first-time winners Steven Bowditch (Valero Texas Open) and Matt Jones (Shell Houston Open). Along with fellow Aussie Jason Day (World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship), they represent all of the international champions in 2013-14. Toss is Marc Leishman, who shared fourth place at Augusta National Golf Club last year, and reigning Masters champion Adam Scott arrives fortified with charges from the world's smallest continent chasing consecutive titles in the season's first major.

What this sextet from Down Under -- 2013 U.S. Amateur runner-up Oliver Goss bumps Australia's contingent to seven -- will be preparing to play is the hardest par 72 on last year's PGA TOUR at 73.412. Capable of stretching 7,435 yards, Augusta National is largely considered a second-shot track on which length doesn't hurt. Scott placed a pedestrian T35 in par-5 scoring average, preferring small ball. He led the field in greens in regulation and ranked third in scrambling. He also co-led in par-4 scoring.

Augusta National averaged 286.6 yards off the tee in 2013. That wouldn't be notable other than that's its longest split since data was collected for the first time in 2002. Conversely and predictably, the field's driving accuracy landed at a six-year low at 65.00 percent. Otherwise, this week's field of 97 -- Tiger Woods is the only regular qualifier not competing -- will be facing precisely what the experienced will expect. Hitting greens is paramount (60.25 percent in 2013; 10th-lowest on the PGA TOUR); scrambling is challenging (50.82 percent; fourth); and penciling in pars on the par 3s (3.19; fourth) and par 4s (4.19; third) is sufficient. Those with working knowledge of the undulating greens are usually separated from those making their debut. It's the primary practical reason why the last first-timer to wear a green jacket was Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979.

Dangerous weather shut everything down midday on Monday, but the forecast for the tournament proper is borderline perfect. There is zero rain expected, temperatures will gradually rise into the low 80s by Sunday and winds will be occasionally moderate at worst.

  1. Adam Scott - Defending champ hasn't relented since his breakthrough with four more wins and another five top fives. Solo third (Bay Hill) in last start.
  2. Jason Day - Ready to go following an injury to his left thumb. Hasn't played since winning Match Play. T2 at 2011 Masters; solo third last year.
  3. Sergio Garcia - Trending maybe better than anyone else with 13 straight top 20s. T8 at 2013 Masters; T12 in 2012. In career sweet spot at 34 years of age.
  4. Rory McIlroy - Sustained late 2013 form, capped with T7 at SHO. Still unfinished business after 2011 meltdown at ANGC. Hasn't put four rounds together.
  5. Phil Mickelson - The three-time champ overcame pulled oblique to place T12 in Houston. That he played at all adds confidence to his placement here.
  6. Bubba Watson - The 2012 champion. First start since withdrawing from Bay Hill (allergies). Win and two T2s in previous three stroke-play starts.
  7. Charl Schwartzel - In first start as a father, T19 in Houston. Eleven top 20s in last 15 starts worldwide. Won 2011 Masters with birdies on last four holes.
  8. Zach Johnson - The 2007 champ has finished outside the top 30 in last five visits, but he's been consistently strong over last several months. T6 at VTO.
  9. Justin Rose - Rested since rare MC at Bay Hill. T8 the week prior at Copperhead. He's 8-for-8 at the Masters with two top 10s and another four top 25s.
  10. Graeme McDowell - Just 2-for-6 at the Masters, but both cuts made went for a top 20. Seven top 20s in last eight starts worldwide. Four top 10s in 2014.
  11. Brandt Snedeker - Locked in just in time. A T8 at Bay Hill ended a six-month drought sans a top 10. Four top 20s in last five starts at Augusta National.
  12. Jason Dufner - Progressively improving results at ANGC; T20 in third appearance last year. Top 15s in last three starts this season. T4 in par-5 scoring.
  13. Hunter Mahan - Returned from hip/back injury and placed T31 in Houston. Three top-12 finishes in last five appearances at Augusta National.
  14. Matt Kuchar - Twice bitten in Texas en route to a T4 (VTO) and P2 (Houston). Top 10s in last two trips to ANGC. Doubt lingers over closing ability.
  15. Dustin Johnson - Cited back stiffness following WD in Houston (after opening 80). No worse than T4 in previous three stroke-play starts. T13 here last year.
  16. Gary Woodland - Back at ANGC for the first time since an injury to his left wrist forced a WD in 2012. Top 20s in his last three starts entering this week.
  17. Bill Haas - Just off the radar for most of the season, but has two top 10s and another six top 25s. He's 4-for-4 at ANGC with career-best T20 in 2013.
  18. Jimmy Walker - FedExCup points leader is making his debut. Top 25s in eight of nine starts in 2014. Currently second in strokes gained-putting.
  19. Lee Westwood - May not have cracked this feature without a 2014-best T17 at the SHO. Three top 10s and a T11 in last four tries at Augusta National.
  20. Patrick Reed - A first-timer only as a competitor, but he has experience on Augusta National. Seven top 25s in eight starts in 2014. Two were wins.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Masters Week on Golf Channel - More Than 80 Live Hours of Coverage


Live From the Masters and Morning Drive to Deliver Comprehensive News Coverage >From Augusta and Orlando 

Five Hours of Live Coverage of the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship National Finals From Augusta National on Sunday, April 6 

Former Masters Champions and Golfing Legends Palmer, Nicklaus, Player, Crenshaw, Floyd, Watson and Miller Join Programming Mix as Special Guests 

Features Include a Visit Down Under with Defending Champion Adam Scott and his Father; and Former Texas Longhorn All-Americans Spieth, Crenshaw and Chamblee Talk Masters 

Coverage of Player News Conferences on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 

GolfChannel.com to Feature Live Chats and Comprehensive Editorial Coverage From Augusta


ORLANDO, Fla. – Golf Channel will dedicate a record number of hours and network resources to cover next week’s Masters tournament from Augusta National Golf Club, delivering more than 80 total hours of live news and related programming geared toward the men’s major championship of 2014.

Drive, Chip and Putt Championships National Finals
Coverage from Augusta National kicks off Sunday, April 6 at 8 a.m. ET, when 88 junior golfers from throughout the U.S. and Canada will participate in an experience of a lifetime for the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship National Finals. Golf Channel will feature five hours of live coverage, including an hour-long pre-game show at 8 a.m. ET followed by four hours of live competition from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. ET.

Live From the Masters
Live From, Golf Channel’s signature news show from golf’s marquee championships, will dominate Golf Channel’s daytime and primetime schedules during Masters week, with more than 50 hours of live news coverage from Augusta National Golf Club and the network’s studio headquarters. Notah Begay, Brandel Chamblee, Brad Faxon, Rich Lerner, Todd Lewis, Frank Nobilo and Steve Sands will anchor the network’s coverage from Augusta. Michael Breed, Ryan Burr, John Cook, Steve Flesch, Arron Oberholser and Kelly Tilghman will report from Orlando. Coverage begins Monday and will conclude with a post-tournament show on Sunday after the last putt drops.

Morning Drive
Golf Channel will begin each morning of Masters Week with the latest news, commentary, special guests and features on Morning Drive, including live interviews from Augusta National. Cook and Phil Blackmar will join the Morning Drive team all next week from the network’s Orlando studios, and Charlie Rymer will contribute throughout the week from Augusta.

Morning Drive Special Features Matt Ginella’s “Best Places to Play” in Augusta – Golf Channel Travel Insider Matt Ginella gives viewers tips and suggestions on the best places to play in and around Augusta on Monday.
Tuesday Champions Dinners – In honor of the Masters Champions dinner taking place Tuesday night, Morning Drive co-hosts will present their own signature champions dinner dishes live on the show, including a special guest appearance from celebrity chef and Food Network star Emeril Lagasse, who will prepare Damon Hack’s champions dinner.

Special Guests Joining Live From Coverage

A list of golfing legends scheduled to make appearances during the week include: Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Ben Crenshaw, Ray Floyd, Nick Faldo, Tom Watson and Johnny Miller.

News Conferences
Live From the Masters on Monday and Tuesday will feature player news conferences from the media center at Augusta National Golf Club. Monday’s news conferences will be headlined by Jason Day and Patrick Reed, and Wednesday’s news conferences coverage will feature Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne.

Live From the Masters Scheduled Features
:
  • Defending Champion Adam Scott’s 2013 Masters Victory – Golf Channel visits the homes of Adam and his father, Phil, in Australia to reflect on Adam’s 2013 victory and the impact his win had on their native country. 
  • Former Texas Longhorn All-Americans Spieth, Crenshaw and Chamblee Talk Masters – Brandel Chamblee spent a recent afternoon in Austin, Texas with first-time Masters participant Jordan Spieth and two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw – all three University of Texas All-Americans. 
  • McIlroy Talks Tiger Woods’ Influence on His Own Golf Career – Rory McIlroy sits down with Golf Channel’s Steve Sands for a one-on-one interview, where he talks about how Tiger Woods’ golf achievements has influenced his own career. 
  • Scott Hoch and his 1989 Masters Heartbreak – A look back at Scott Hoch’s heartbreaking loss 25 years ago at the 1989 Masters, when he missed a two-foot putt in a playoff to win, ultimately losing to Nick Faldo. 
  • The Loss of the Eisenhower Tree – A close look at the history of the famous Eisenhower Tree that was removed from the 17th fairway in February due to weather. 
  • Stadlers to Make History– Golf Channel sits down with Craig and Kevin Stadler, both in the field next week, as the first-ever father-son competitors playing in the same Masters. 

GolfChannel.com Digital Coverage
GolfChannel.com will feature expanded editorial content during Masters Week with up-to-the-minute blogs and fan interaction, including:
  • News & Features – GolfChannel.com writers will post Masters-related features throughout the week, scheduled to begin Monday with senior writer Rex Hoggard’s feature on defending champion Adam Scott, “The Making of the First Australian Masters Champion.” 
  • Live Chats – GolfChannel.com editorial staff will host live chats Thursday-Sunday to keep fans up-to-date and answer their questions as the action unfolds. 
    • Thursday: 8 a.m.-7 p.m. ET 
    • Friday: Noon-7 p.m. ET 
    • Saturday: 3-7 p.m. ET 
    • Sunday: 3-7 p.m. ET 
  • Exclusive Video Content – GolfChannel.com will provide video updates daily throughout the week from the network’s digital studio in Orlando, as well as segments from Golf Channel’s Live From the Masters and Morning Drive news coverage. 
  • For the Record – Golf Channel.com senior writer Rex Hoggard sits down with Adam Scott’s father in a two-part series that airs each Tuesday online at GolfChannel.com. 
Arnie
Following Live From the Masters on Sunday, April 13 at 10 p.m. ET, Golf Channel will premiere Arnie, a three-night television event that will showcase how Arnold Palmer revolutionized and transcended the game to become one of the most beloved figures in sports history. Arnie will air on consecutive nights at 10 p.m. ET from Sunday, April 13, through Tuesday, April 15. Golf Channel spent the last year traveling with Palmer, collecting interviews from more than 100 people, sifting through hundreds of hours of archived film – including hours of Palmer family video that has never been seen before – and shooting in locations around the world to create television’s definitive story of the most influential man to ever pick up a golf club.

Notable Masters Week Air Times (all times ET):
Sunday, April 6 8-9 a.m. Golf Central Pre Game Live
9 a.m.-1 p.m. Drive, Chip and Putt Championship National Finals Live

Monday, April 7

7-10 a.m. Morning Drive Live
2-5 p.m. Live From the Masters Live
6-7 p.m. The Golf Fix
7-8:30 p.m. Live From the Masters Live

Tuesday, April 8 7-9 a.m. Morning Drive Live
9 a.m.-5 p.m. Live From the Masters Live
7-9 p.m. Live From the Masters Live

Wednesday, April 9 7-9 a.m. Morning Drive Live
9 a.m.-3 p.m. Live From the Masters Live
7-9 p.m. Live From the Masters Live

Thursday, April 10 & Friday, April 11 6-8 a.m. Morning Drive Live
8 a.m.-3 p.m. Live From the Masters Live
7:30-9:30 p.m. Live From the Masters Live

Saturday, April 12 6-9:30 a.m. Morning Drive Live
9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Live From the Masters Live
7-9 p.m. Live From the Masters Live

Sunday, April 13 6-9:30 a.m. Morning Drive Live
9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Live From the Masters Live
7-10 p.m. Live From the Masters Live
10-11 p.m. Arnie (Premiere)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

PGA Village - A True Golfer's Paradise


Earlier this season, I was privileged to get the opportunity to visit and play PGA Village in St. Lucie Florida, and what an experience it was.  Prior to my arrival, I was already somewhat familiar with the three world-renown golf courses (Wanamaker, Ryder & Dye), but I had no idea the depth and magnitude of all the additional amenities found within 'The Village'.  What they've created at PGA Village is an experience unlike I've seen at any other golf resort.

Someone recently asked me "Does it get increasingly difficult for you to come up with unique content when reviewing golf courses?"  Good question... It's true, some golf courses have a lack of distinguishing features; thankfully, there are facilities like PGA Village, where I could easily write weekly articles for a year, and never struggle to find something uniquely fascinating to discuss. In addition to their 54 holes of golf on the three world-class golf courses, PGA Village is a true golfer's paradise which also offers:

  •  PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance - This 35 acre facility is where golfers of all skill levels can take advantage of some of the most advanced golf training and instruction the sport has to offer.  Included in this area is series of sand bunkers, each containing a different type of sand mimicking the conditions from golf courses around the world.  
  • PGA Museum of Golf - Including the Professional Hall of Fame, if you love golf history, you will be mesmerized by the experience of visiting the PGA Museum of Golf and taking a journey through some of golf's most memorable moments.
  • 6 Hole Family Short Course - The perfect place to introduce youngsters and beginners along with being a great way to warm up or wind down.

    Already you can see how PGA Village has done a fantastic job creating a complete golf experience, unlike any other resort, and we haven't even got to the best part... the golf courses.  All three courses have been recognized on a variety of 'top courses in America' lists, including recently being ranked No. 30 in GolfWorld's inaugural 'Reader's Choice Awards – Top 50 Public Golf Courses.' In addition, the resort as a whole ranks 51st on Golf Digest’s list of the '75 Best Golf Resorts in North America'. Each of the courses have also earned Audubon International “Signature Sanctuary” status for maintaining and enhancing the habitat by conserving wildlife, water and energy through sustainable maintenance practices.

    Here's a short into to the three courses at PGA Village:

    The Wanamaker
    The first golf course named in honor of Rodman Wanamaker, who in 1916, inspired the birth of The PGA of America. A classic Florida layout, Fazio's Wanamaker Course, is set against a backdrop of wetlands, palm trees and palmettos, and is considered one of Florida's most beautiful courses.

    The Ryder Course
    The Ryder Course is named in honor of Samuel Ryder, the namesake and founder of the Ryder Cup, the pre-eminent event in golf. With its rolling hills, majestic pine trees and challenging water hazards, the Ryder Course has a distinctive Carolina-feel. With various hole locations, you could play this course every day and discover a different layout.

    The Dye Course
    Emphasizing the native surroundings and Dye's uninhibited style for creative design, the Dye Course features pine straw roughs, vast coquina waste bunkers and grass-based bunkers. A links-style course that weaves by the 100-acre 'Big Mamu' Wetlands, the Dye Course offers pure Florida surroundings, with hints of design from the older British Isles' courses for flavor.


    If you haven't been, PGA Village is definitely one to add to your 'bucket list', which I plan on crossing off over and over and over again! If you're visiting from out of town, I would highly recommend checking out the 'Stay and Play' packages available at the Hilton Garden Inn.  For more information about current 'Stay and Play' packages, visit: http://www.pgavillage.com/index.cfm?page=hilton_garden_inn 

    For more information about PGA Village: