Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Concours d'Elegance Returns to Cobble Beach Golf Resort


A car as old as Canada is set to compete in the 2nd annual Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance

The automotive world’s elite collectors are set to return to the shores of Georgian Bay on September 13 and 14 for another installment of the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Hailed as the crème de la crème of car shows in Canada, the second annual Concours will build on the success of its inaugural competition, rolling out a can’t miss lineup of automobiles—including a model dating all the way back to 1867.

The lush fairways and a coastal backdrop of the Cobble Beach Golf Resort will set the stage for this historic celebration. In all, over one hundred examples of rare automotive beauty and ingenuity, curated from some of the most exclusive private collections in North America, will compete head-light to head-light in twenty-one entry categories. 


“Cobble Beach is immensely proud of our success in year one. We are committed to creating a lasting, quality show that Canada will be proud of,” says Rob McLeese, founder of the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. “We are honoured to welcome new celebrity judges and automotive personalities from across the continent in 2014, including former Pebble Beach Concours Chief Judge Ed Gilbertson, New York Times automotive contributor Mary Chapman, and Michael Spezia, Executive Director of the Gilmore Car Museum”

Adored legend Margaret Dunning, a 104-year-young car collector will also return among distinguished guests, Chief Judge John Carlson, Honourary Chief Judge Dr. Paul Sable, and Ed Lucas as Master of Ceremonies. Incidentally, Margaret Dunning will be featured in a new book by first-time Cobble Beach judge Mary Chapman, titled Belle of the Concours.

While the Concours d’Elegance is still in its infancy in Canada, the tradition finds its origins in 17th Century French high-society, where horse-drawn carriages were paraded through the parks of Paris. It is fitting then, given its history, that a steam buggy dating back to the year of confederation in Canada be trotted out for competition as part of the newly minted Museum Class. The Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa will enter their Taylor Steam Buggy, also known as Canada’s first car. In all, four museums will be making contributions with; The Canadian Automotive Museum (Oshawa), Gilmore Car Museum, (Hickory Corners, MI) and the Antique Automobile Club of America – AACA (Hershey, PA) rounding out the group.

Proceeds raised by Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance will go to the Sunnybrook Hospital Foundation to fund a state-of-the-art helipad on the rooftop of the Toronto hospital.

McLeese says, “Our inaugural year raised over $50,000 for the Sunnybrook Foundation. We are committed to giving our very best to support this important cause dear to our hearts and community. The Sunnybrook helipad will directly affect Grey County residents by providing trauma cases faster access to medical support, ultimately saving lives.”


Tickets are on sale now. Visit http://www.cobblebeachconcours.com/ for more info.

Monday, July 28, 2014

How Long is Too Long For 18 Holes of Golf?


I love getting out for an early round of golf, with the morning dew glistening on the grass and before the crowds of golfers arrive.  To be able to cruise through the course at my own pace, playing a round in 3 hours or less, is a beautiful thing.  However, in recent years, pace of play in general has increasingly become a concern, making my morning sanctuary rounds, that much more sacred.  In partnership with Golfplan, and as a follow-up to their recent article 'Has Golf Lost Its Enjoyment Factor As It's Got Slower?' I'd like to weigh in on the subject of slow play and whether or not its hurting golf's enjoyment factor.

It seems to be a reality that the pace of play on the golf course, at least in my area, has slowed in recent years. I think it's safe to say, I love golf as much as anyone, but when it comes to playing a 4-1/2+ hour round of golf, my excitement level starts to dwindle. It got me questioning, what's causing this trend? Are golfers to blame for many of the traffic jambs on the course? Are golfers reciting painfully long pre-swing routines before every shot... taking forever to read and re-read every putt... combing the forest in search of their errant drive? Or are the courses to blame? Is the course marshal missing in action... Is the beverage cart distracting golfers from keeping pace... Are courses guilty of shortening the length of time between tee times in order to maximize revenue, overcrowding the course?

Regardless of the cause, I'm unwilling to sacrifice my enjoyment for the game, and as such it's left me searching for answers of how to speed up play and ultimately maintain golf's enjoyment factor.  

To gain an additional perspective, I decided to consult with a well respected colleague, Wayne J. Bosley, Design Team Leader at Vision Golf Australia, regarding his views on slow play and to help determine... Is golf taking longer to play these days compared to the past?  Does slower play reduce the enjoyment factor of golf? and What can be done to improve pace of play and/or the enjoyment of golf?

"I've been playing golf since I was 3" explained Mr. Bosley "now 51, I would have to say the last 15 years have been the worst in regards to speed of play." As we dove right into the heart of the issue and the cause of slow play, Mr. Bosley believes televised golf is largely to blame, as the 'average Joe' golfer strives to replicate a  'Tour Validated' game.  We see this in golfers desire for both having Tour validated equipment as well as a Tour validated approach to playing the game.  "I was going to turn Professional last year" explained Mr. Bosley "and join many of my friends on the Senior Circuit, but I found out early enough that the ProAm style rounds are usually 5 to 6 hours long, at which point, my desire to play dropped to nil."  

This lead to us questioning, what, if anything, can be done to improve the pace of play at golf courses?  Exploring the idea with Mr. Bosley, it's tough to say whether or not there is a quick fix.  "It's difficult to change such an ingrained culture which has developed over the past 15 years.  Additionally, we have a current average age of golfers that is close to 60; it is hard for many of these players to walk faster on the overly challenging club courses that have been build or renovated/extended over the past decade."  These course 'improvements' cater to the less than 2% of the current golfing population that have a single figure handicap, who feel they need more of a challenge."  Clearly frustrated by the direction the industry has been heading, Mr. Bosley noted "the arrogance of our better players and the way we dismiss the needs of the casual/regular player amazes me."

Amidst the current circumstances, we are all looking to preserve the enjoyment factor of golf and to seek a sense of refuge on the golf course.  Mr. Bosley continues to find his 'happy place' on the golf course accompanied by his sons as playing partners "I continue to play golf with my sons at the beginning of the day or end of the day where we can play 18 holes in 2-1/2 hours walking the course with 9 clubs in a Sunday bag."    
  
Enjoy your day...

Friday, July 25, 2014

Four Hole Playoff Needed at MJT’s Eat Sleep Golf Series at Bel Acres

Winnipeg, MB – Hot, sunny weather with a small breeze led PGA Professional and MJT Tournament Director, Ed Boge, to describe the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour’s recent tournament at the Bel Acres Golf & Country Club in Winnipeg, MB, as ‘a great two days of golf.’

The MJT Eat Sleep Golf Series ran July 24th and 25th and witnessed very close races for division titles, capped off by a four hole playoff to crown the overall champion. Elliott Panciera, 17, of East St. Paul, MB, shot 75-78 (153) to tie for the Junior Boys 17-19 lead with Austin Dobrescu, 17, of Brandon, MB, who fired 76-77 (153). Dobrescu did all he could, scrambling on the third playoff hole to force a fourth where Panciera drained a 20 foot birdie putt for the win. “It felt good to win,” he said, “especially with all my friends and family in attendance.” The tough competition continued in the division with a three-way tie for third place at 155 total score between Steve Young, 18, of La Salle, MB (80, 75), Aaron McIntyre, 17, of Winnipeg, (78, 77) and Brett Swidinsky, 18, also of Winnipeg (78, 77).

Kyle Leiman, 16, from Victoria, BC, made the trip to the tournament worth his while with a good opening round of 75, giving him a six shot lead in the Juvenile Boys 15-16 division heading into day two. He then played smart enough to hold on for the win with a two day total of 156. “My two straight birdies to start were key,” said Leiman. “It feels great to win; it took a lot of hard work but it was fun.” Josh Martineau, 16, of East St. Paul, was three better on day two which earned him the runner-up spot (81, 78=159) while Cameron McIntyre, 15, of Winnipeg, carded a pair of 81’s that was good enough for third.

Wesley Hoydalo of Selkirk, MB, and Ryan McMillan of Winnipeg battled it out in the Bantam Boys division with it coming down to the last hole. McMillan had a one shot lead going into 18 after birdies on holes 16 and 17 and finished at 74, 75 (149), however Hoydalo made a birdie to win by one with fine scores of 75, 73 (148), stating that is felt ‘awesome.’ Cole Uzat, 14, of Selkirk, fired a solid 75 on his second day to capture third (81, 75=156).

Alexandra Demko, 15, all the way from Thunder Bay, ON, captured her first 2014 MJT Girls division title with solid rounds of 82-78 to win by three strokes. “The course was in great condition – I really enjoyed playing Bel Acres – it’s beautiful,” she said. “The competitors I played with both days were awesome – they kept me relaxed and we all had a really fun time out there. The support from all the girls here makes the long travel worth it.” McKyla Poponick, 17, of Selkirk, finished second with a two day total of 163 after posting consistent scores of 82-81. Winnipeggers Katherine McGlenen and Brynn Todd, both 16, tied for third place at 168 total score after McGlenen was 10 shots better on her second day (89-79) to catch up with Todd (85-83).

The divisional winners in the Mr. Lube Long Drive contest were McGlenen (St Charles CC), McMillan (Elmhurst G&CC), Cole Ferguson (Assiniboine Golf Club) and Steve Young (St. Charles Golf and Country Club). Sundog Eyewear Closest-to-the-Pin Competition winners were Brynn Todd (St. Charles G&CC), Brady Bandura (Elmhurst CC) of Selkirk, Cole Ferguson and Joshua Kitt (Eagles Landing) of Dryden, ON. Golf Town Comeback Awards for best second-day improvement in score went to McGlenen, Braxton Kuntz (Breezy Bend GC) of Winnipeg, Timmy Cromarty of Selkirk and Colwyn Abgrall (Southwood G&CC) of Niverville, MB.

Canada’s most-played junior golf tour wraps up the Manitoba circuit at Transcona Golf Club in Winnipeg with the MJT-PGA of Manitoba Junior Championship presented by National Bank Financial on August 19th and 20th. For full details and online registration, interested juniors can visit www.maplejt.com or call 1-877-859-4653.


About the MJT
The non-profit Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour presented by Boston Pizza is Canada’s number-one played Junior Golf Tour as well as the only national junior tour run exclusively by PGA of Canada Professionals and the ‘Road to College Golf’ in Canada. The organization is generously supported by Boston Pizza and Premier Partners Cleveland Golf, Srixon, Ford, Mr. Lube, Golf Town and Travel Underwriters, in addition to valued Tournament and Product Partners. The MJT hosts more than 70 events across Canada, including free Ford Go Golf Junior Clinics, the MJT Mini Tour for 7-12 year olds, and multi-day events for competitive players which also qualify juniors for international competitions. The program offers annual awards, scholarships, and frequent player incentives to help reward player's performance and participation throughout each season. MJT alumni include many Professional Tour players and PGA of Canada Professionals, as well as Canadian Amateur, National and Provincial Junior Champions. The MJT aims to develop champions, in golf and in life, promoting the game from grassroots through to provincial, national, university and professional level.


MEDIA CONTACT: MJT - Elaine Denton - edenton@maplejt.com - 1-877-859-GOLF

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Reminder: Results for the full field in the MJT Eat Sleep Golf Series at Bel Acres GC, July 24-25, can be found at http://www.maplejt.com/tour.php?id=2014031&p=results; Photo gallery is posted at http://www.maplejt.com/tour.php?id=2014031&p=photos

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The American Century Championship - Profits With a Purpose


The American Century Championship took place this past weekend, celebrating it's 25th anniversary.  This years event brought together a powerhouse lineup of 80+ sports legends and celebrities to Edgewood Tahoe.  Returning participants in the 2014 tournament include Charles Barkley, Oscar de la Hoya, Aaron Rogers, Kevin Nealon, Ray Romano and Jack Wagner. They were also joined by several newcomers including  Rob Riggle (comedian), Terrell Davis (NFL) and Ricky Stenhouse (NASCAR).  In the end, it was retired NFL quarterback, Mark Rypien who came out victorious.

Although Rypien was the official winner of the tournament, the real winner of this event is not found in an individual golfer, but in the work done by the tournaments official national beneficiary, the Stowers Institute for Medical Research.  In honor of American Century Investments Founder James Stowers Jr., an investment management innovator and philanthropist who recently passed away at the age of 90, the official national beneficiary of the 2014 tournament is the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. The Institute was established in 1994 through the extraordinary generosity of cancer survivors Mr. Stowers and his wife, Virginia, who dedicated their personal fortune to improving human health through basic research.


It's inspiring the see the amazing things that are accomplished through the golf community, and the PGA Tour, which raises more money for charity than all other professional sports combined.  The American Century Championship is a great example of work being done through golf, and that in life, it's not always about 'what' we do, but 'why' we do it.  Each year, more than 40 percent of American Century Investments’ profits are distributed to the Stowers Institute of Medical Research. Total dividend payments since 2000 now exceed $1 billion. Learn more about the American Century Investments' Profits with a Purpose.



Here's what some of the tournament participants had to say about the experience:

Charles Barkley on competing in the American Century Championship “NBC, American Century, the people of South Lake Tahoe, it really is an amazing event. And I would love for everyone at home to come up here for the week. I get to meet some amazing guys. It is amazing to hang out with all of these celebrities. It is a fun week. When I set my schedule up in January, this is the first thing I put on my calendar.”


Chad Pfeifer on the experience competing in the American Century Championship for the first time “It has been an amazing experience for me. An amazing opportunity for me to come out and not only test my golf skills against some really great golfers, but to have an awesome time meeting all of the celebrities and athletes that are here. It is so incredible to be here and be a part of this.”


NBA All-Star Stephen Curry discusses the American Century Championship, his favorite moments, the Profits with a Purpose mission and goals for the 25th anniversary...


Actor Alfonso Ribeiro discusses losing a loved one cancer and what finding cure would mean.


Additional links and resources:

This post was created in partnership with American Century Investments. I have received compensation for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Kananaskis Country Restoration to Renew Canadian Rockies Golf Destination to Full Glory


(CANMORE, Alberta) – Canadian Rockies Golf (www.canadianrockiesgolf.net) – the inspiring collection of mountain courses in western Alberta – welcomes the provincial announcement that $18 million will go toward rebuilding the 36-hole Kananaskis Country Golf Course.

A favorite of Albertans and global tourists alike, the Robert Trent Jones-designed Mt. Lorette and Mt. Kidd courses have been closed since the June 2013 flood. In addition to the golf courses, the Alberta government also committed $60 million to restore campgrounds, day-use areas and recreation trails.

Work to refurbish the courses to their original design and protect them from future flooding is expected to begin later this year.

“We’re deeply gratified by the news and what it means to the community, our team, local businesses and provincial tourism,” said Kananaskis Country Golf Course General Manager Darren Robinson, who has been with the at KCGC for 17 years.

A 2011 study showed the significance of Kananaskis Country Golf Course to the province as it produced a net economic impact of $14 million while sustaining 175 full-time equivalent jobs. KCGC hosted an annual average of 60,000 rounds in its last five years of operation and 85 percent of those golfers were Albertans – who receive a reduced rate.

“Kananaskis Country’s economic impact over the past 30 years cannot be overstated,” said Darren Cooke, General Manager at Canmore Golf & Curling Club and Canadian Rockies Golf spokesperson. “The re-opened courses and other recreational activities will immediately provide more leisure options for all Albertans, as well as significantly more tourists and revenue for Alberta and the Canadian Rockies destination overall.”

Known for its inspiring beauty and pristine, unspoiled natural setting, Kananaskis Country joins other acclaimed Canadian Rockies Golf partners as regular fixtures in yearly “best of” rankings by Score Golf and Canadian Golf Magazine. The two separate and distinct championship courses at KCGC are surrounded by rugged mountains towering 10,000 feet (3000m) above sea level and are named after two of the towering limestone peaks that serve as their backdrop.

For more information or to take advantage of an array of value-laden stay-and-play packages visit canadianrockiesgolf.net, or follow Canadian Rockies Golf Week on Facebook (www.facebook.com/canadianrockiesgolf) or Twitter (@CanRockies).


About Canadian Rockies Golf
Canadian Rockies Golf represents a collection of six award-winning golf properties located in the stunning landscape of the Western Alberta province: Canmore Golf & Curling Club, The Fairmont Banff Springs, The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Kananaskis Country Golf Courses, Stewart Creek Golf & Country Club and Silvertip Resort. Known for dramatic, historic and untamed layouts, each course provides a unique mountain-golf experience where wildlife is regularly seen and unforgettable views are found. This is golf that inspires.

For more information call 1.855.835.8484, visit www.canadianrockies.net or “Like” the Canadian Rockies Golf Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/canadianrockiesgolf.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

USGA And American Express Launch “Play 9” Program with Rickie Fowler


The United States Golf Association, together with American Express, officially launches the “Play 9” program today to demonstrate how nine-hole rounds can help more golfers enjoy the game in less time.

A creative USGA public service announcement (PSA) starring Rickie Fowler will debut during 2014 U.S. Open Championship television coverage, showing the 25-year-old PGA Tour pro finding time to play the game with family and friends while still fulfilling other daily commitments and interests. Here's a look...


“I don’t always have enough time to play a full round between practice and spending time with friends and family,” said Fowler. “I’m happy to join the USGA and American Express on ‘Play 9’ to encourage golfers to play a nine-hole round, especially if that’s what’s going to get them out onto the golf course to play more often.”

At the forefront of the USGA’s multi-year commitment to promote “Play 9” is the first annual “Play 9 Day” on Wednesday, July 23, when all golfers will be encouraged to play a nine-hole round. The program builds on the organization’s ongoing efforts to make the game more accessible, sensitive to time considerations and sustainable.

“During our extensive conversations with golfers, we’ve learned that they feel challenged by the time it takes to play,” said Mike Davis, executive director of the USGA. “By creating awareness of the nine-hole round, and the many ways that one can enjoy the game in less time, we hope this creative program featuring one of the game’s more dynamic and progressive players will energize and remind golfers how they can fit the game into their days.”

“American Express is excited to partner with the USGA and Rickie Fowler to support the game by encouraging more people to play nine-hole rounds,” said Deborah Curtis, vice president of sports and entertainment marketing at American Express. “With their support, we want ‘Play 9’ to demonstrate how golf can fit into the everyday lives of players – giving golfers everywhere a chance to play more often.”

Industry research indicates there is growing interest in this format of play. According to the National Golf Foundation, 27 percent – more than 4,000 – of America’s courses are nine-hole facilities. In addition, nine-hole rounds can be played at most 18-hole public facilities. However, just 24 percent of total rounds played last year, among those surveyed, were nine-hole rounds.

A separate study conducted in 2013 by Sports & Leisure Research Group for the USGA found that 33 percent of core golfers (those who play eight to 24 rounds annually) and 38 percent of casual golfers (those who play seven rounds or fewer) would play more nine-hole rounds if the format were “more strongly encouraged.”

The “Play 9” program will provide golfers and golf courses with resources that will allow them to celebrate the nine-hole round and the game in a variety of ways, including finding time to enjoy a nine-hole match with friends and post an official score, or even take a lesson.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Add Music To Your Golf Game With NYNE Bluetooth Speaker


I was recently introduced to the idea of listening to music while on the golf course.  Admittedly, at first I had mixed emotions about the idea... On the one hand, how awesome would it be to listen to my favorite tracks while playing golf... while on the other hand, how would the golf course react to music blaring out on the fairways?

After some additional research and testing of my own, provided you aren't rolling in with amps and 12-inch sub-woofers, a portable bluetooth speaker is an excellent way to add some enjoyment to your round of golf.  As an example, the NYNE Cruiser speaker I've been using for the past month has proven to be an amazing little speaker with several features that make it ideal for the golf course.  The small, compact device provides ample volume for the golf course, loud enough to enjoy your tunes, but quiet enough that you won't be disturbing anyone else on neighboring fairways.  The crisp/clear sound quality had me strutting down the fairways giving a subtle boost to my 'golf swagger'.

Although I'm unsure whether or not music on the course has lead to lowered scores, it did provide me with a sense of relaxation and confidence, which doesn't hurt.  If nothing else, it has undoubtedly lead to an increase in my enjoyment for being out on the golf course.

Additional features of the NYNE Cruiser include:
- 10 hours of battery life
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Speakerphone capability
- Back-up smartphone battery with built-in powerbank


NYNE, an innovator of lifestyle inspired audio products, offers golfers two versatile Bluetooth speakers for playing music on and off the course. The NYNE Cruiser and TT portable Bluetooth speakers let golfers enjoy their favorite music whether they’re driving the course or walking with or without a push cart. With Bluetooth 4.0 and near field communication (NFC), golfers can quickly and easily connect their smartphone, tuck it away in a pocket or bag, and wirelessly stream music up to 33 feet away. 

 “While practicing or playing, music is becoming more popular on the golf course to help players stay loose and enjoy the round,” said Arman Arami, president of NYNE. “The Cruiser and TT are versatile speakers with sleek designs that players can place in a golf cart, hook on a bag, or clip on a push cart. With up to 10 hours of battery life, the speakers will last through all your hole-in-one victory dances. Both speakers can also act as a back-up smartphone battery with built-in powerbanks.” 

NYNE Cruiser
The NYNE Cruiser Bluetooth speaker has a small, almond-shape design that is perfect for those who walk or drive the course. Its soft carrying case with carabineer clip makes it easy to attach to a golf bag for transport while walking, or it can be positioned inside a golf cart’s cubby hole, on the front dashboard, or in a rear basket. The Cruiser also comes with mounting clips that can be used on a push cart or golf cart, depending on the configuration. It features 10 watts of sound and is available in four color combinations. 



NYNE TT 
The NYNE TT Bluetooth speaker has a long and thin design that is perfect for players using a golf cart. It can be placed in a rear basket or hooked over a side railing using its carrying case with shoulder strap. Off the course, the TT is designed for music enjoyment everywhere you go – from home to a friend’s house to the pool on a family vacation. The TT features 16 watts of powerful sound and is available in black/red or white/grey. 



Pricing & Availability 
The NYNE Cruiser ($79.95) and TT ($129.95) are available now online and at regional retailers, including BrandsMart, Dearden’s, Fry’s Electronics, Huppin’s, Nebraska Furniture Mart, and World Wide Stereo. For more information on the NYNE product line, visit www.nyne.com.


About NYNE
NYNE, a lifestyle inspired audio brand, is part of California-based BOSS International Group (BIG), a leader in mobile audio products for more than 25 years. NYNE designs and manufactures its audio products to enhance the enjoyment of music by today’s connected consumer, wherever life takes them. A collaboration of a group of Silicon Valley veterans, acoustical engineers and audio experts with a passion for technology, NYNE is dedicated to producing high-end, quality products with superb acoustics and unparalleled technology integration. For more information about NYNE’s innovative product line, please visit www.nyne.com. Connect with NYNE socially on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.