Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Field of 40 Announced for Golf Channel's Inaugrural Big Break Invitational Tournament at Reynolds Plantation


PGA TOUR Winner Tommy Gainey, Solheim Cup Veterans Kristy McPherson, Gerina Piller and Ryann O’Toole and NFL Hall-of-Famer Jerry Rice Headline Field 

15 Past Big Break Champions Entered, Including Justin Peters and Kip Henley, Big Break’s First Two Champions 

2014 Web.com Tour, Symetra Tour, NGA Tour and Cactus Tour Winners in Field, Including Tony Finau, Mallory Blackwelder, Sadena Parks, Jay Woodson and Tonya McCall 

Four-Round Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation to Air Live Tuesday, Sept. 30 – Friday, Oct.3 

Competitors Playing for $300,000 Purse with $100,000 to the Champion 

Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation Website: Big Break Invitational Website


ORLANDO, Fla. – Golf Channel today announced the field of 40 former Big Break competitors who will go head-to-head in full tournament conditions for the first time this fall at the inaugural Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation, a four-day invitational tournament airing live Tuesday, Sept. 30 – Friday, Oct. 3 from 3-6 p.m. ET.

Taking place at the Great Waters Course at Reynolds Plantation near Greensboro, Ga., the field of 40 (20 men and 20 women) represent 20 seasons of Big Break, including several of the series’ most memorable competitors who are playing on the world’s top professional tours. The four-round tournament will feature a Modified Stableford format for the first two rounds, followed by match play and concluding with stroke play to determine the Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation champion. Fifteen Big Break champions are entered in the field for Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation.

The field includes:

Men

Robbie Biershenk Big Break Indian Wells (2010)

David Byrne Big Break Indian Wells (2010) Champion

Brian Cooper Big Break Greenbrier (2012); Big Break NFL Puerto Rico (2013)

Don Donatello Big Break II (2004)

Kent Eger Big Break Indian Wells (2010)

Tony Finau Big Break Disney Golf (2009)

Tommy Gainey Big Break IV: USA vs. Europe (2005); Big Break VII: Reunion (2007) Champion

Derek Gillespie Big Break Prince Edward Island (2009) Champion

Kip Henley Big Break II (2004) Champion

Hugo Leon Big Break X: Michigan (2008)

Brent Long Big Break Mexico (2013)

Mark Murphy Big Break Ireland (2011) Champion

James Nitties Big Break Mesquite (2007)

Justin Peters Big Break I (2003) Champion

Jerry Rice Big Break NFL Puerto Rico (2013) Champion

Anthony Rodriguez Big Break Mesquite (2008); Big Break Dominican Republic (2010)

Isaac Sanchez Big Break Greenbrier (2012); Big Break NFL Puerto Rico (2013) Champion

Mark Silvers Big Break Greenbrier (2012) Champion

Julien Trudeau Big Break Ireland (2011)

Jay Woodson Big Break Mexico (2013)


Women

Anya Alvarez Big Break Atlantis (2012)

Mallory Blackwelder Big Break Ireland (2011); Big Break NFL Puerto Rico (2013)

Sara Brown Big Break Sandals Resorts (2010); Big Break Dominican Republic (2010)

Taylor Collins Big Break Mexico (2013) Champion

Selanee Henderson Big Break Atlantis (2012)

Stefanie Kenoyer Big Break Mexico (2013); Big Break NFL Puerto Rico (2013)

Tonya McCall Big Break Florida (2014)

Kristy McPherson Big Break VI: Trump National (2006)

Mary Narzisi Big Break Florida (2014)

Carling Nolan Big Break Sandals Resorts (2010) Champion

Blair O’Neal Big Break Prince Edward Island (2009);

Big Break Dominican Republic (2010) Champion

Ryann O’Toole Big Break Sandals Resorts (2010)

Gerina Piller Big Break Prince Edward Island (2009)

Elena Robles Big Break Sandals Resorts (2010); Big Break Dominican Republic (2010)

Sadena Parks Big Break Florida (2014)

Renee Skidmore Big Break Florida (2014)

Jackie Stoelting Big Break Florida (2014) Champion

Emily Talley Big Break Mexico (2013); Big Break NFL Puerto Rico (2013) Champion

Maiya Tanaka Big Break Sandals Resorts (2010)

Kim Welch Big Break Ka’anapali (2008) Champion

The field entered into Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation represent several of the most successful players coming out of Golf Channel’s Big Break competition series. On the men’s side:
  • Tommy Gainey (Big Break VII: Reunion Champion) was the first Big Break competitor to earn full PGA TOUR status after Big Break, and won the PGA TOUR’s McGladrey Classic in 2012. 
  • Tony Finau (Big Break Disney Golf) will earn his PGA TOUR card for 2015 after capturing his first professional victory this year on the Web.com Tour. 
  • James Nitties (Big Break Mesquite) currently playing full time on the Web.com Tour, is a past Web.com Tour winner and earned PGA TOUR status in 2012. 
  • Jay Woodson (Big Break Mexico) has several top-5 finishes and one win on the 2014 NGA Tour. 
  • Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Jerry Rice, who along with fellow Big Break teammates Isaac Sanchez and Emily Talley won Big Break NFL Puerto Rico in 2013, also is entered in the field. 

On the women’s side:
  • Kristy McPherson (Big Break VI: Trump National), Ryann O’Toole (Big Break Sandals Resorts) and Gerina Piller (Big Break Prince Edward Island) are all currently playing full time on the LPGA Tour and are past U.S. Solheim Cup Team members – 2009, 2011 and 2013, respectively. 
  • Sadena Parks (Big Break Florida) is well on her way to earning full LPGA status in 2015 after winning two Symetra Tour events in three weeks in July in only her second season as a professional. 
  • Mallory Blackwelder (Big Break Ireland; Big Break NFL Puerto Rico) won her first professional tournament on the Symetra Tour this year in April and is currently in the top-10 on the Symetra Tour Money List. 
  • Jackie Stoelting (Big Break Florida champion) has five top-10 finishes on the Symetra Tour this year and is inside the top-10 on the 2014 Symetra Tour Money List. 
  • Tonya McCall (Big Break Florida) won her first professional event on the Cactus Tour in April in her first full-year back as a professional golfer. 

Fifteen past Big Break champions are entered in Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation, including Justin Peters and Kip Henley, the series’ first two champions, in 2003 and 2004. Peters currently is playing full time on the mini tour circuit and PGA TOUR Canada, while Henley is a full-time caddie on the PGA TOUR.

Beginning a new multi-year relationship between Golf Channel and Reynolds Plantation, Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation will take place at the Great Waters Course at Reynolds Plantation, the famed golf resort community in Greensboro, Ga., and will feature a $300,000 overall purse, with $100,000 going to the champion. The Ritz Carlton Lodge at Reynolds Plantation will serve as host resort and tournament headquarters.

Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation will air live on Golf Channel from 3-6 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Sept. 30 – Friday, Oct. 3. The first two rounds will feature a Modified Stableford format (players earning points for birdie and higher and negative points for bogey and lower), with the 12 men and 12 women earning the most points after the first two rounds making the cut. Thursday’s third round will feature match play (six men vs. six men / six women vs. six women), with 12 match-play winners advancing to Friday’s final round of 18-holes of stroke play.

For the past 21 seasons, Golf Channel’s Big Break competition series has proven to be the launching pad of many aspiring professional golfers looking to take that next step in their golf careers. The Big Break concept pits highly skilled golfers against each other in a variety of challenges that test their physical skills and mental toughness. During the series’ 21 seasons, past Big Break champions have won tournament exemptions to compete on some of the world’s top professional circuits, including the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, European Tour, LPGA Tour, Web.com Tour and Canadian Tour.


ABOUT GOLF CHANNEL
Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla. Golf Channel, co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 and now part of the NBC Sports Group, is available in more than 120 million homes and 83 countries worldwide. Exclusive partnerships with the world’s top tours allow Golf Channel to feature more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, as well as a programming schedule distinguished by golf’s highest-quality news, instruction and original programming. Golf Channel’s digital platforms, led by GolfChannel.com, are the leading golf destinations on the Internet, delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf, as well as services that connect the world to golf. Fans are able to enjoy 24/7 live streaming of Golf Channel content through GolfChannel.com and Golf Channel’s mobile application, Golf Live Extra. Golf Channel programming also is available via SiriusXM’s PGA TOUR Radio.


ABOUT REYNOLDS PLANTATION
Reynolds Plantation, located between Atlanta and Augusta, Ga., is situated along more than 374 miles of Lake Oconee shoreline and features six championship golf courses, dining, swimming pools, pedestrian trails, marinas, a tennis center and a wellness campus. Reynolds Plantation is also home to The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, a 251-room lakefront resort and spa, which was named a 2013 AAA Five Diamond Lodging and 2012 Forbes Four-Star resort. The community is located about an hour and a half from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. For more information, visit www.reynoldsplantation.com.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Common Sense Relaxed Rules Designed to Make Golf More Fun For Recreational Player


Simple Set of Seven Rules Debuted Today on Morning Drive Builds Upon Success of 2013 Pace of Play Initiative 

The following videos featuring Morning Drive’s Charlie Rymer and Matt Ginella use humor to highlight situations when relaxed rules can help.

PGA of America President Ted Bishop Comments on Relaxed Rules:


ORLANDO, Fla. – “It’s OK, golf is about fun.”

This simple approach underscores a Golf Channel series of segments called Relaxed Rules, which debuted today on Morning Drive with the help of Charlie Rymer and Matt Ginella, who are serving as the leading voices for this series that boils golf down to just seven common sense rules.

After Golf Channel’s widely praised Pace of Play series that Rymer and Ginella spearheaded in 2013, the Relaxed Rules series is the next phase of network’s Pace of Play and Grow the Game efforts. In preparation for this series, Golf Channel commissioned research that revealed 85 percent of avid golfers and lapsed golfers are in favor of specific “relaxed rules” for recreational play.

“When there’s nothing on the line but fun, recreational golf should be an enjoyable experience,” said Rymer, former PGA TOUR player and co-host of Morning Drive. “Trying to remember and decipher the official rules can get in the way of a good time.”

“We’re not suggesting that golfers ignore the official rules. They should continue to be used for any type of competitive play,” said Ginella, co-host of Morning Drive and senior travel editor for GolfAdvisor.com. “But when it’s a match among friends, Relaxed Rules can make the game easier, faster and more fun. These simply are common sense practices for avid amateurs, and it’s how the majority of the game is being played anyway.”

These unofficial Relaxed Rules are simple and short – seven rules for the vast majority of recreational golfers who just want to enjoy a round of golf with a spouse, family members, friends, etc. – and they govern all play:
  1. MAXIMUM SCORE: double par (i.e. 6 on par-3s, 8 on par-4s….)
  2. PENALTIES: all are 1 stroke, including out of bounds, water and lateral hazards, lost ball and unplayable lie. Drop a ball near where the original was lost and play on.
  3. SEARCH TIME: 2 minutes to look for your ball. If lost, proceed under Rule #2.
  4. UNFORTUNATE LIES: with your playing partners’ consent, balls may be dropped out of divots or footprints, away from tree roots and any other dangerous lies.
  5. CONCEDED PUTTS: putts may be conceded with your playing partners’ consent.
  6. EQUIPMENT: no restrictions, including number of clubs.
  7. COMMON SENSE: when in doubt, use common sense and fairness.

Relaxed Rules are being supported by Golf Channel on air, online and through social media, featuring the #GolfIsFun hashtag and GolfChannel.com’s Growing the Game page. A collection of videos featuring “Doctor” Charlie Rymer, who claims a PhD in Relaxed Rules, and Matt Ginella, as the hapless Knucklehead who is consumed by what he sees “on Tour,” will highlight situations on the golf course when Relaxed Rules can help alleviate confusing situations and speed up play. Each video will premiere on Morning Drive, which is serving as the on-air hub for the campaign. Morning Drive also will feature expert guests, who will provide commentary and strike compelling discussion about how these Relaxed Rules are good for the game.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mizuno and Luke Donald Collaborate to Create New MP-15 Irons


The Ultimate Combination of Sophistication and Cutting-Edge Performance Technology; MP-15 Iron Delivers Forgiveness without Sacrifice

Norcross, Ga. – Luke Donald is known for one of the smoothest swings on tour and absolute precision with his irons. So it’s only appropriate that the PGA Tour professional and long-time Mizuno advocate had a strong hand in the development of Mizuno’s latest “players” iron, the MP-15, an iron that offers sophistication at address and delivers state-of-the-art performance.

Mizuno, a world-class leader in iron technology, design and development, collaborated with the former World No. 1 to combine the favorite elements of the company’s popular MP-59 and MP-64 lines into one powerhouse iron. The result is a “players” iron in a class of its own that merges the sleek head shape of the MP-64 with the groundbreaking Ti-Muscle technology in the MP-59.

To have one of the game’s truly elite ball strikers and iron players involved in the development process of our irons to ensure they meet his standard and gain his seal of approval cannot be underestimated,” said Chuck Couch, Vice President of Product Development, Golf Division. “Our goal was to deliver a forgiving MP iron while designing a compact ‘players’ head to accommodate those golfers looking to gain an edge in ball striking, feel and forgiveness. MP-15 will be a game changer in the ‘players’ iron category.”

Luke Donald provided detailed feedback throughout the developmental stages of the MP-15 irons. His insight and knowledge of “feel and sound” at impact allowed Mizuno to precisely dial in the H.I.T(Harmonic Impact Technology), a vibration management technology, to deliver the buttery Mizuno feel players crave at impact.

A more versatile and compact head design infused with Mizuno’s new 3D Ti Muscle Technology, expands the sweet area while adding thickness at the point of impact creating a forged iron that has the forgiveness of a much larger players club. The grain-flow forged 1025 Elite gives the iconic soft, solid and consistent feel golfers come to expect from Mizuno irons.

Its tour-proven sole design with a rounded leading edge gives golfers the confidence and versatility to work the ball from difficult lies allowing them to aggressively pin seek. MP-15 comes standard in elegant satin nickel chrome plating in line with its MP predecessors.

Right-Hand Only
Steel Shaft: Dynamic Gold S300

Graphite Shaft: New Orochi
Grip: Golf Pride M-31 360 58 Round
Other Options available through Mizuno’s Custom Department
Suggested Retail Price: $999.99 Steel / $1,099.99 Graphite
Pre-sale: Aug. 29, 2014
Available in-store: Sept. 19, 2014

The MP-15 line will be available for pre-sale and demo through Mizuno’s Performance Fitting System (PFS) cart. The irons will be on shelves at golf and sporting goods retailers on Sept. 19, 2014.


Connect with Mizuno on Facebook and Twitter @Golf_Mizuno to keep up with product news, Tour updates and custom content and fitting tools.

About Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mizuno Corporation, one of the largest specialty sporting goods manufacturers in the world. Mizuno USA, Inc. manufactures and distributes golf, baseball, softball, running, track & field, and volleyball equipment, apparel, and footwear for North America. Mizuno USA, Inc. is based in Norcross, Georgia.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The World Golfers Amateur Tour Expands into New Jersey

As of July 2014, a new local chapter of the World Golfers Amateur Tour has launched in New Jersey.  New Jersey residents can now experience the thrill of competition through the # 1 Amateur Tour in the World. By joining, local golfers have the opportunity to compete and earn their spot at the National Championships in Florida (FREE for those who qualify), as well as an all-expense paid trip to Durban South Africa to represent USA against 44 other countries in your skill level at the World Golfers Championship.

Whether you are a scratch golfer or a 30 handicapper, the World Golfers Amateur tour gives you the opportunity to experience tournament golf and be treated like a Pro on both the local tours and nationwide tournaments. Tournaments are organized into flights based on your skill level and offer both Gross and Net Score prizes to all that compete.

In 2014, the World Golfers Amateur Tour is celebrating its 20 year history. In 1994 Sweden Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee, four times Olympian and Gold Medalist, Sven Tumba founded the World Golfers Championship.

After dedicating his own life playing for his country, Mr. Tumba dreamed of creating a global competition for all to participate. "An Olympian creating the Olympic experience for the average person. To give the opportunity to those regardless of age, gender, or skill level, the honor of playing for one's country and the pride of wearing its colors..........That dream is the World Golfers Championship”.

The Championship continues to grow from its humble beginnings of 11 participating countries in 1994 and currently there are 44 participating countries.

The Championship starts each year with countries around the globe qualifying amateur golfers in five separate handicapped flights 0-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20 and 21-25 to compete in their own National Championship.

The winners of each flight represent their country and compete against others from around the World, in both the World Team Championship title, as well as an Individual World title within their flight.

With honorary chairman, Annika Sorenstam and support for this tour from the likes of Arnold Palmer this certainly isn’t an opportunity to miss.

For those of you who know me or have read my previous posts, then you know my passion and dedication to this great game. I feel very privileged to have been invited into the World Golfers Amateur Tour family as the New Jersey Tour Director. With this in mind, and being a player myself, then I look forward to withholding the WGAT tradition, and ensure the local golfer has the opportunity to play on some of the magnificent courses in New Jersey has to offer, build great friendships with like-minded people, and ultimately help to improve their own game. Speaking from experience to be a 12 handicap player three years ago, and now successfully passing the PGA Playing Ability Test this year, then if you take your game seriously, tournament golf is the way to go to improve your game and focus your skills.

With my number one goal to focus on the player, and ensure they have the best experience, I have set-up a schedule of carefully chosen events starting at Royce Brook Golf Course (East Course) on 23rd August 2014, and a host of tournaments in October 2014, ready for the 21st anniversary of this fine world tour.

I very much look forward to seeing you at these events. Join the World Golfers Amateur tour and you will enjoy a $20 discount to these events, as well as receiving a welcome pack. The tournaments are open to all non-WGAT members as well.

You can check out the event schedule here at WGAT – New Jersey Home Page.

Not local to New Jersey? Then check out the full tournament listing in your local area here.


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This article was written by ESG team member Kevin Dudleston.  Kevin is a local resident of the Tri-State area and is the Tour Director of the New Jersey chapter of the World Amateur Tour.  

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club


This week marks the 40th event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, as the Tour heads to Kentucky for the PGA Championship. An elite field of 156 players will tee it up this week at Valhalla Golf Club for the season's final major.

The U.S. Open may identify the best golfer, but the PGA Championship may reveal the best golfer right now. Each of the last 10 winners of the season's final major recorded a top-25 finish in his last PGA TOUR start prior to hoisting the Wanamaker Trophy. Five recorded top fives in their previous start, including the last two -- Rory McIlroy (2012) and defending champion Jason Dufner -- both at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.

Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville hosts the 96th edition of the PGA and its third (1996, 2000). The Jack Nicklaus design was also the site of the Senior PGA Championship in 2004 and 2001 as well as the 2008 Ryder Cup. In a renovation for the biennial competition, it was lengthened 291 yards. Now capable to stretching 7,458 yards, the par 35-36--71 is actually down 38 yards, but no hole is listed by more than six yards shorter than how it measured in 2008.

Since the 2011 Senior PGA, Valhalla's greens were upgraded to a more heat-tolerant strain of Bentgrass. In addition to the strategic removal of some trees to encourage growth at ground level, arguably the most noticeable change was made to the green at the par-3 eighth hole. Previously more penal despite its benign 174 yards, Nicklaus softened the contours with this week in mind.

Valhalla plays and routes like most modern Nicklaus tracks. There's room off the tee, but the field of 156 will be summoned to hit it both ways. So, make no mistake that this is a second-shot golf course. Because of the quintessential, sectioned greens featured on so many Nicklaus courses, it's target golf on approach. Hitting greens in regulation and confidence in putting will rule the day. Exceptional short-game artists will also stand out.

It's August in the Ohio River Valley, which means muggy conditions throughout the tournament, but high temperatures will remain in the mid-80s. A reasonable risk of thunderstorms populates the entire forecast. Winds may kick up as inclement weather encroaches, but there is no significant impact otherwise.


Thanks to Mercedes-Benz for the video content provided in this article.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tom Doak Comes Home to Design a Golf Course for the Ages

Roscommon, MI - After two decades spanning the globe from New Zealand to China designing world-class golf courses, Traverse City resident Tom Doak, is coming home to create a course at Forest Dunes Golf Club in northern Michigan that legendary golf architects could only dream of doing.

Doak and his Renaissance Golf Design team will design and build a reversible course – two distinct layouts using the same greens but playing clockwise one way and counter clockwise the other way.

“This is a concept I have thought about for 30 years,” Doak said. “You need the right site and the right client to understand the appeal of it. At Forest Dunes we finally have both.”

Doak said when he first met Forest Dunes’ owner, Lew Thompson, an Arkansas-based trucking magnate, Thompson said he wanted a new course but it had to “wow” him.

Thompson wanted a second course that would keep golfers staying on the property an extra night or two after they had played the club’s Tom Weiskopf course, already ranked by national magazines in the Top 100 best courses in America.

The double dose of Doak should accomplish both of those goals.

“The appeal of a reversible course is people would want to play it both ways. You are getting two golf courses in one,” Doak said.

Thompson is the managing member of a partnership that owns and operates The Bridges, a Jack Nicklaus course in Montrose, on Colorado’s Western Slope, halfway between Grand Junction and Telluride.

He said with the tough competition from the great number of very good golf courses in northern Michigan he wanted a course that would stand out.

“I told Tom when I first met him that if it’s just another golf course, it’s not going to do me or Forest Dunes any good,” Thompson said. “If you can wow me then we can build it. He wowed me.”
Doak said the Forest Dunes site is perfect for the double dip course because the land has small undulations and is not hilly.

“It is not a super dramatic site, but that’s better for this concept,” he said. “If you were playing over ravines in one direction, you’d probably have to play blindly out of them the other way around. You can’t have woods behind the green, or you’d have to play over the trees from the other direction.”

Doak said the most difficult part of designing the reversible course is thinking about the greens.
“They have to work from both directions,” he said. “You can’t have severe greens.”
Crowned greens or ones that fall away can work, as can tiered greens that go side to side, he said.
“You just have to think about all of it at the same time,” Doak said, joking about the headaches such concentration could trigger.

To avoid migraines, he will have one of his senior associates, Brian Slawnik, think about the design for one direction and he will think about the other direction. 

Doak said the idea of reversible course is not as revolutionary as it sounds. Many Scottish links, including The Old Course at St. Andrews, were played in reverse in winter to spread out the wear and tear of divots. Architects including Tom Simpson and Alister MacKenzie designed private estate courses with a handful of reversible holes. But, as far as Doak is aware, there is no 18-hole course in the world today that is played in reverse on a regular basis.

Doak said he plans to begin shaping holes in late September and depending on weather he expects to have three to six holes ready for irrigation before the snow flies.

“We are just tickled to have the chance to work close to home and to do something special,” he said.

Thompson believes the reversible course will be the ultimate feather in Doak’s distinguished architectural cap.

“I think Tom will be very hands on with this course,” he said. “This is a huge deal for Tom and it’s a win for him and for Forest Dunes.”

Doak’s last northern Michigan design is the Black Forest course at the Wilderness Valley Golf Club in Gaylord that opened in 1992. He also designed the Lost Dunes course in Bridgman before going on to designing 31 courses around the globe, including five that are recognized in the Top 100 courses in the world.

About Forest Dunes
Nestled on 1,300 acres of heavily wooded land within the Huron National Forest, Forest Dunes has become one of the country's premier golf experiences. In this pristine setting, 1973 British Open Champion Tom Weiskopf designed one of his top layouts featuring rugged native dunes, scruffy sand areas and water features. The course is consistently ranked among the best courses by the leading golf publications. Golf Digest ranks it No. 23 among the top public courses, GOLF Magazine has it No. 72 in the Top 100 and Golfweek lists it No. 97 on its modern list. Matt Ginella of Golf Channel’s Morning Drive also ranks it 10th among his favorite public courses. 

In addition to the award winning Forest Dunes course, the property features the beautiful Adirondack style Lake AuSable Lodge with 14-rooms and six lakeside cottages, as well as Sangomore’s restaurant.

For more visit www.forestdunesgolf.com or follow them on Twitter @forestdunesgolf.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Thrill of Playing Competitive Golf

Article written by: Jonathan Carr

It’s been six long years, and there has been so much that I've missed. I've missed the thrill that comes from draining a putt to save par coming down the stretch, and the satisfaction that comes from overcoming nerves on the first tee to hit one down middle with people watching. I have even missed the process of trying to dig myself out of the hole that I created when my round got off to a shaky start. I've missed it. I have really missed tournament golf. Six years ago I ended my collegiate golf career, and with it came a change in priorities as I got married, started a family, and entered into a career. Through it all however, the desire to golf competitively remained alive and well within me. I wanted to compete, but with all the other responsibilities in my life, I didn't know how anyone was able to find the time to do so. Then on July 19, I played in a Golf Channel Amateur Tour event and found that once again the Golf Channel has found another means for individuals to quench their golf desires.

Something that sets the Golf Channel Amateur Tour apart from so many other tours and tournament qualifiers is the fact that they have worked hard to develop a schedule which allows anyone to find the time to compete. I cannot tell you how often I have researched events that I could possibly play in, only to find that it wasn't going to happen due to commitments at work - and I know that I am not alone in this dilemma. The Golf Channel Amateur Tour understands this issue and therefore holds their events on weekend days, allowing a much greater percentage of the golf population from being able to compete.

There are many probably reading this and telling themselves that they will be ready to compete once they “shave a few strokes off their handicap”. The beauty of this tour is that it truly is for everyone. With 11 different flights to compete in, you can be sure that there will always be a place for you and your game. Let’s be honest, while there are many of us out there who want to compete but have a hard time finding the time, there are probably more golfers who would love to compete, but simply don’t feel comfortable because it involves stepping out of their comfort zone. Despite my background in competitive golf, I felt the very same way heading to Glen Abbey Golf Club, just outside of Toronto, Ontario (the Tour has recently expanded to Canada). I was nervous not knowing what to expect. I was afraid of playing poorly and embarrassing myself. I didn't want people looking at me wondering why on earth I had taken the time to come out here and play competitively, but from the moment I signed in for my round my mind was quickly put at ease. Not only was I sure to be in the appropriate flight to compete against golfers of similar abilities to myself, but I was warmly welcomed into a community of golfers that are there for the purpose of having a good time. The organizer of this particular event, Paul, ensured that I felt comfortable and welcome. My playing partners did the same, and I could tell that they themselves had already established friendships as a result of their time competing against each other at other tournament venues. Don’t get me wrong, everyone was still there to compete, but they were having fun in the process.

With chapters all over the United States, as well as a recent breakthrough into Canada, there is a place for everyone to enjoy the thrill that comes from competitive golf. The Golf Channel Amateur Tour is providing the opportunity for the “Weekend Warrior” to be exactly that - and to thoroughly enjoy the process. I encourage you to find the local chapter nearest you and either enjoy the process of getting back into competitive golf, or enjoy the process of finally getting a taste of what it means to compete. Either way, with the Golf Channel Amateur Tour, you can’t lose.


About the Golf Channel Amateur Tour
Golf Channel Amateur Tour provides an authentic TOUR quality experience for players of all ages and abilities. Compete with golfers at your skill level, gain access to top courses in your area and across the country. Sign up today to be a part of Am Tour, the only Tour powered by Golf Channel.www.gcamtour.com/