Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Loudmouth Golf Introduces 'Miami Slice'

Let’s face it, the ’80s were FUN! So transport yourself back to the warm ocean breeze and palm trees with Loudmouth Golf's newest plaid, “Miami Slice.” Caution: These may tempt you to arrive at your next golf outing in a cigarette boat with your shirt unbuttoned in hot pursuit of contraband!

To check out these, and other new designs, click HERE.

Club Glove Products Used by Winner of Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Products Include Microfiber Caddy Towel, TRS Ballistic Premium Luggage and Renowned Last Bag

(HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA) – Club Glove – a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of premium golf bags, club covers, travel bags, accessories and luggage – confirms its renowned microfiber Caddy Towel, premium TRS Ballistic luggage and award-winning Last Bag were used by the winner of the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Adding his name to the long list of first time winners on Tour this season, the 22-year-old from South Korea relied on the Black Caddy Towel throughout the week at TPC Louisiana. Favored by the game’s elite, the towel ($19.95) features a contoured surface that’s strong enough to remove dirt and debris from the club face or sunblock from a golfer’s hands, yet gentle enough to safely clean eyeglasses.

“The vast majority of PGA Tour players trust our products to help ensure their equipment arrives at tournaments in top condition and stays that way on the course,” says Club Glove founder Jeff Herold. “This young and promising player has joined the legions of stars that rely weekly on both our innovative luggage and golf’s original and best microfiber towel.”

Designed for the affluent golfer or globetrotter, each piece in the TRS Ballistic line is crafted from U.S. woven INVISTA CORDURA 1050 denier Nylon Ballistic fabric. This offers double the abrasion resistance and up to four times the tear resistance of other premium materials. The TRS Ballistic collection features Club Glove’s exclusive Train Reaction System, which allows users to chain multiple bags together and outsmart the airport carts by creating a perfect center of gravity, which drastically reduces the effort needed to pull or push gear.

For more information on how the system works, click here to view a 30 second video.

Among those who have “Gone Ballistic” are Major Leaguers Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz as well as NFL standouts Wes Welker, Clay Matthews, Ryan Kerrigan, Reggie Wayne, Von Miller, and Toby Gerhardt. They are joined by more than 100 PGA Tour superstars who rely on the luggage, including Henrik Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Webb Simpson, Luke Donald, Nick Watney, Billy Horschel, Matt Kuchar and Hunter Mahan.

Club Glove is the undisputed No. 1 golf travel bag brand at all PGA and Champions Tour events. Used by more than 90 percent of PGA Tour players, the Last Bag was named one of the sport’s top 10 innovations of the last 20 years by Golf Digest and one of the most notable gear innovations of the past 50 years by GOLF Magazine.
Introduced in 2006, the Caddy Towel is golf’s original and best microfiber towel. It has rapidly gained a loyal following among players who favored its ultra-lightweight, super absorbent and virtually lint free design. The Caddy Towel dominates all competing products and is offered at thousands of the finest public and private facilities nationwide, as well as Sports Authority, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Golf Galaxy, Golfsmith, PGA Tour Superstores, Edwin Watts, Academy Sports and Worldwide Golf.

Get social: @ClubGloveUSA or Facebook.

More information: or 800.736.4568.

Tom Watson Releases New Instructional Video

(Westwood, Kansas) - Renowned professional golfer and World Golf Hall of Famer Tom Watson has announced the release of more than 20 new lessons for his very popular and successful Lessons of a Lifetime DVD set.

"I felt it was time to provide further instruction in areas not just about hitting the shots, but also about the mental approach of playing the game," says Watson. "One of the many great things about golf is that it can never be mastered.  Sure you can have a good run of play, but sooner or later the wheels will come off.  I've been experiencing the game for half a century, and I promise you I'm still learning."
Tom Watson Lessons of a Lifetime was released in 2010 and has become one of the best-selling golf instructional video programs of all time having sold over 70,000 DVD sets in 5 languages in over 40 countries.  In extensive surveys conducted with buyers, 88% said the program had improved their game and 79% rated the program as excellent.

The new lessons cover many advanced topics, including pre-shot routine, the importance of the bottom of the arc, head movement, how to benefit the most with your time on the practice tee, handling pressure, the 40 yard wedge shot, controlling trajectory on chips, chipping with a putting set up, several putting lessons and instruction for kids and seniors.

These new 2014 lessons are being sold separately and also combined with the original 2 disc Lessons of a Lifetime program.

Tom Watson Lessons of a Lifetime II With New Advanced Lessons (3 discs and a 20 page booklet) will have a MSRP of $49.95.

Tom Watson Lessons of a Lifetime II:  The New Advanced Lessons (1 disc and a 4 page booklet) will have a MSRP of $24.95.

These DVD programs are available for sale at, Amazon - U.S., Canada, U.K., Japan and select golf and sporting goods retailers.  Both programs are can also be purchased by telephone at 800-993-5589.

Watson has long-standing professional relationships with Adams Golf, Rolex, MasterCard Worldwide, Transamerica, The Greenbrier Resort, Polo Ralph Lauren, Executive AirShare, G/FORE, Golf Digest and Titliest.  These instruction programs were filmed at The Greenbrier Resort.

A portion of the proceeds from all sales will be contributed to the Bruce Edwards Foundation for ALS Research.

New Balance Golf Introduces The Classic 574

(Boston, Mass.) - Inspired by the classic 574 lifestyle running shoe, global athletic leader New Balance announces the introduction of the men's 574 golf shoe.

Built on the New Balance 574 last, this features a waterproof microfiber leather upper and a REVLite 10mm drop midsole for lightweight cushioning and premium responsiveness. All New Balance cleated golf shoes feature the CHAMP ONE-Lok fastening system with ZARMA cleats.  Golfers will enjoy New Balance comfort, durability and style in the 574 along with outstanding traction and stability for their game.

"The classic 574 is one of the top selling shoes in our lifestyle running line," said Bruce Schilling, General Manager of Golf and Tennis, New Balance. "The golf shoe has tremendous appeal to the younger golfer who is already wearing our classic suede 574. This golfer can expect the same style, comfort and fit attributes plus performance technologies designed to enhance their game. The feedback from our retailers on this shoe has been outstanding."
* Men's Styles: White/Red and Grey
* Sizes: 8-12, 13, 14, 15
* Widths: D
* Weight: 10.8 oz.
* Suggested Retail: $109.95                    
The NBG574 is part of the golf footwear collection designed and manufactured by New Balance licensee Klonelab, LLC and available now in golf shops, golf specialty stores and online at For information on New Balance Golf, visit or call 978.378.3434.

NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championships Set for Golf Channel's Inaugural Coverage

More than 20 Hours of Live News and Tournament Coverage from Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan.

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – The excitement and drama of the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships returns to television in May when Golf Channel airs exclusive, live tournament coverage Monday, May 26 through Wednesday, May 28, when 30 teams and an additional six student athletes tee-it-up at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan., for the team and individual championship honors.

“Fans of the sport will now be able to see for themselves what makes this championship so special,” said Mike Carter, chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Committee and director of athletics at Oral Roberts University.  “Partnering with Golf Channel made perfect sense for our championship and we appreciate their commitment in helping to grow the sport.  You can feel the sense of excitement from our student-athletes and teams as they strive to participate in this championship experience.”

Golf Channel will dedicate its full suite of production resources to the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships, featuring nine hours of live tournament coverage from Prairie Dunes Country Club.  In addition, Golf Central will originate on-location with 11 hours of pre-and post-event news coverage, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and online at

Hosted by Wichita State University, the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships will feature the top collegiate golfers in America and the game’s future stars.  Featuring a new tournament format, 30 teams and six student-athletes – who advanced from NCAA Regional Qualifying – will compete in an individual stroke-play format over 54 holes (Friday-Sunday, May 23-25).

Golf Channel’s live coverage will begin on Monday, May 26, when the top 40 individuals and ties will compete in the fourth and final stroke-play round to determine the individual national champion.  On Tuesday, May 27 (quarterfinals and semi-finals) and Wednesday, May 28 (finals), the low eight teams from the 54-hole qualifying will compete in match play competition to determine the team national champion.

NCAA Men’s Division I Golf Championships Tournament Coverage
May 26: Final Round, Individual Stroke Play; 5-8 p.m. ET (Live)
May 27: Semifinals, Match Play; 5-8 p.m. ET (Live)
May 28: Finals, Match Play; 5-8 p.m. ET (Live)

“Our partnership with the NCAA will bring the great drama of the collegiate game to our viewers through not only our coverage of the NCAA Golf Championships, but our commitment to cover college golf throughout the year,” said Molly Solomon, executive producer of Golf Channel.  “We look forward to introducing to our viewers the future stars of the game and tapping into the passionate fan bases of their respective schools.”

Golf Channel Tournament Broadcast Team
Golf Channel’s NCAA Men’s Division I Golf Championships broadcast team will be as follows:
* Billy Ray Brown - On-Course Reporter (1982 NCAA Individual Champion, member of 3-time NCAA Team National Champions, University of Houston)
* Steve Burkowski - Interviews (Golf Channel College Insider)
* Curt Byrum - Tower Announcer (Participant in 1979 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships, University of New Mexico)
* Bob Papa - Play-by-Play
* Lanny Wadkins - Lead Analyst (3-time NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships participant – 1969 (10th), 1970 (2nd) and 1971 (6th), Wake Forest University)

Golf Central Live From Prairie Dunes
Beginning Sunday, May 25, Golf Central will air from a dedicated set at Prairie Dunes Country Club, delivering wraparound coverage before and after tournament play.  Kelly Tilghman (Duke University, 2-time NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships participant), Charlie Rymer (Georgia Tech, 4-time NCAA Men’s Golf Championships participant), Holly Sonders (Michigan State University, 2007 Big Ten Champions) and Golf Channel’s college insider Steve Burkowski will anchor the network’s news coverage, with highlights, interviews, analysis and special features.  An expanded Golf Central on Wednesday (1-5 p.m. ET) will lead into the match play finals.

Morning Drive
Golf Channel will begin each morning of the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships with the latest results and analysis on Morning Drive, featuring live interviews from Prairie Dunes and previewing tournament action later in the day. Expands Digital Coverage has expanded its collegiate editorial presence to provide comprehensive coverage leading up to and during the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships as part of College Central (  College Central will be the source for all things NCAA golf, including tournament results, features and columns, video highlights and breaking news.

Road to the NCAA National Championships News Coverage on Golf Channel
As teams qualify for the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships, Golf Channel will cover the key storylines:
* Monday, May 5: NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Selections Announcement airing live on Golf Channel at 10 a.m. ET, airing within Morning Drive.
* Thursday-Saturday, May 8-10: Golf Central and Morning Drive will feature scores, highlights and interviews from the four NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Regional Championships.
* Thursday-Saturday, May 15-17: Golf Central and Morning Drive will provide scores, highlights and interviews from the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Regional Championships.
* Tuesday-Friday, May 20-23: Golf Central and Morning Drive will provide on-site news coverage from the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships from Tulsa Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.

2014 marks the return of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships to live television after a 14-year absence.  Through a multi-year partnership with the NCAA, Golf Channel will air tournament action from both the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships beginning in 2015.  The 2015 championships are scheduled to be contested at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla., and hosted by the University of South Florida.  The 2015 championships will mark the first time since 1997 that the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship will air live on television.

NCAA Men’s Division I Golf Championships / Golf Channel Programming Schedule
May 25: Golf Central; 6-7 p.m. ET
May 26: Morning Drive; 7-10 a.m. ET
              Golf Central Pre Game; 3-5 p.m. ET
              NCAA Men’s Division I Golf Championships
              Individual Stroke Play Final Round; 5-8 p.m. ET
May 27: Morning Drive; 7-10 a.m. ET
              Golf Central Pre Game; 3-5 p.m. ET
              NCAA Men’s Division I Golf Championships
              Match Play Semi Finals; 5-8 p.m. ET
May 28: Morning Drive; 7-10 a.m. ET
              Golf Central Pre Game; 1-5 p.m. ET
              NCAA Men’s Division I Golf Championships
              Match Play Finals; 5-8 p.m. ET

Architect Tripp Davis Creates Novel Short Course Design for New Residential Community in Texas

(Norman, OK) – Long Cove, a new private residential community on Cedar Creek Lake near Dallas, announced the opening of The Proving Grounds, a golf short course and practice facility designed by Tripp Davis and Associates.

The Proving Grounds is an innovative blend between a high quality practice facility and a family-friendly short course that’s perfect for players of varying ability levels who want to enjoy the game without the pressure of playing on a traditional 18-hole course. Davis, regarded as one of the leading restoration specialists in the U.S. and a former top amateur golfer, calls The Proving Grounds his “most unique design” because it presents multiple fun playing options.

“The goal in designing this course was to provide a kid-centric environment but also something that is challenging for an experienced golfer if played the right way,” Davis explains.  “Angles have been set up to play either very easily or very difficult, all depending on the way the ball is placed.”

“At one end of the spectrum, we drew inspiration from professional practice facilities where players are able to re-create every shot they might encounter on a full course in the design of a practice facility that will test even the best shot makers,” said Don McNamara, developer of Long Cove.  “At the other end, we wanted a low-pressure environment where a father could actually enjoy teaching a daughter to play or a whole family could enjoy the game on a summer evening in bare feet.  Tripp Davis delivered exactly what we wanted.”

Hence, the 17-acre Proving Grounds is designed to allow tremendous flexibility in how it is set-up.  The general plan is to operate as a practice facility in the morning and then convert to short course play in the afternoon and evening.  The short course can be played either clockwise or counter clockwise in a 9-hole sequence with an average tee to green distance of 125 yards.  Given the relatively small population of owners at Long Cove, it is also set-up to play anarchy-style with multiple alternative routings that include Par 4’s and Par 5’s.

The practice facility includes a 340-yard driving range, multiple greens, bunkers and a water hazard.

“At a time when the golf industry is looking for new ways to engage a broader audience, we think the Proving Grounds is a welcome addition to the contemporary golf landscape,” said Long Cove President Christopher Kelsey.  “We agonized over whether or not to include a full 18-hole course in our new resort community because Dallas is a golf-centric market, but we knew that the operational economics of a new club simply don’t work in the long-term.”

Designed as a walking-only course that follows the organic flow of the land, the compact short course makes it easy to carry a full bag but also invites taking only a handful of clubs in one hand and a cocktail in the other.  The Proving Grounds features Bermuda fairways and Champion Bermuda grass greens and is surrounded by a forest of mature live oaks and pines.

For more information about Tripp Davis and Associates, please visit the website at or call 405-447-5259.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A New Year for FJ - A New Attitude for Women

All New FJ Attitudes holds the perfect blend of style and performance for ladies looking to play their best while looking their best 

FootJoy, the #1 Glove in Golf, has added yet more depth to its iconic women’s golf glove range with the introduction of the stylish new FJ Attitudes glove. The latest advancement from the market-leader captures the brilliance of the FJ brand’s state-of-the-art glove technology, while acknowledging the very essence of elegant fashion for the fairways. The latest introduction takes the FJ women’s range to nine product categories in total, making the FJ brand the most comprehensive provider of performance-infused gloves for the female golfer.

“Fashion and technology go hand in hand for many of the world’s leading high-street and performance brands,” commented Maria Bonzagni, Senior Director of Marketing, FJ Gloves and Accessories. “The FJ Attitudes collection demonstrates our unwavering commitment to giving women golfers the opportunity to feel and look their best, in the comfort and security of FJ’s industry-renowned quality - the benchmark in the world of golf shoes and gloves.”

FJ Attitudes are packed full of the latest technology as well as aesthetically striking tailored design. This elegant glove also excels offering outstanding grip and control through the use of innovative MicroTac Response synthetic palm. A PowerNet mesh along the back of the hand allows the glove to form to the hand throughout the course of a round and provide an unrivalled level of fit, comfort and flexibility.  Finally a stylish GEM ball marker completes the design of a glove that is sure to make an elegant statement on the fairways this season.

The FJ Attitudes are available in three classic color options, including Pearl/Silver, Pearl/Taupe, Pearl/Lime, Pearl/Pink, Pearl/Purple and Black/White.

Whether it’s the #1 Cabretta leather glove in golf, StaSof known for the outstanding feel and performance, to SofJoy, the glove built for feel, fit and value, StaCooler customized cool-fit, to the long-lasting properties of WeatherSof, the rainbow of performance-infused colors available in the new FJ Spectrum range or the advanced wet-weather capabilities of RainGrip and WinterSof, FJ remains the overwhelming favorite for women golfers of all abilities around the world.

FJ offers 9 unique offerings exclusively designed and sized for women players.
- FJ Attitudes Sizes:  Women’s Regular Left - S, M, ML, L
- FJ Attitudes Pricing:  MSRP $16.00
- Available:  May 15, 2015

For more information on FootJoy, visit

Billy Casper Golf Selected to Manage Purgatory Golf Club in Noblesville, Indiana

Award-Winning Golf Course is State’s Longest Layout

(NOBLESVILLE, IN) – Purgatory Golf Club, located 40 minutes north of Indianapolis, has selected Billy Casper Golf (BCG) – the largest domestic owner-operator of golf courses, country clubs and resorts – to manage the 18-hole layout that, at 7,754 yards from the back tees, makes it “the longest course in Indiana.”

BCG will direct all operations at the daily-fee Purgatory, including course and property maintenance, staffing and training, clubhouse activities, food-and-beverage, merchandising, golf instruction, marketing and public relations, special events and financial management.

“Billy Casper Golf is the standout golf-course management firm,” says Mike Merchent, Owner of Purgatory. “It pays keen attention to detail and, behind the scenes, its purchasing power, marketing strength and ‘ACE the Guest Experience’ service program are good for golfers and the course.”

Purgatory has been named one of “America’s Top 50 Courses for Women” and “Top 10 Courses in Indiana” by Golf Digest, and “Top 50 Public Courses in America” by Golf World.

“A stellar course and loyal golfers make Purgatory one of the best in central Indiana,” says Peter Hill, Chairman and CEO of BCG. “Billy Casper Golf looks forward to bringing its expertise to Purgatory to enhance golfers’ experiences time and again.”

Spread across 218 acres of breathtaking landscape, Purgatory features a par-72, Ron Kern-designed golf course with six different sets of tees from 4,562 to 7,268 yards. Despite its “more heaven than hell” moniker, golfers seeking “sweet misery” tackle “The Purgatory Tee,” the 7,754-yard challenge.

With more than 125 white-sand bunkers and tall native grasses lining fairways and greens, Purgatory presents a stern test in accuracy off the tee and the short game. The 17th hole, dubbed “Hell’s Half Acre,” is a medium-length par 3 requiring a precise approach shot to avoid two acres of bunkers guarding the green.

A 7,000 square-foot putting green, 10,000 square-foot chipping area and a driving range make Purgatory a popular practice venue for golfers.

Affectionately named “The Lodge,” the stately clubhouse with a mountain feel features comfortable, hand-crafted furniture and “The Confessional,” a bar area where golfers congregate after their rounds. The Lodge is a pleasant setting for various catered functions in its banquet hall that seats 225 people.

More information:, 317.776.4653.

Loudmouth Golf, Turtle Creek Apparel Introduce 'Patriotic Turtles'

(San Francisco, CA) - Loudmouth Golf, the leading brand in colorful sports and lifestyle apparel has again collaborated with Turtle Creek Apparel to create "Patriotic Turtles."

Turtle Creek Apparel brand President, Aaron Ferguson, said, "We are delighted to again be working with Loudmouth Golf on what is the second collaborative piece. The new design is perfect for showing your "true colors" both on and off the golf course.

"With future designs being discussed, we are excited about continuing our relationship with Loudmouth," adds Ferguson.

Turtle Creek Apparel has attracted a new fan, with two-time Major Winner John Daly recently wearing the original collaborative design in the First Round of the RBC Heritage event held at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

The design is available in men's shorts and women's skorts and men's pants. Loudmouth-Turtle Creek shorts are roomy, comfortable and made in 97% cotton, 3% spandex for the ultimate fit.

"We are excited about our partnership with Turtle Creek Apparel," says Loudmouth Golf CEO Larry Jackson. "Our customers loved the first Turtle design a lot, that we knew we wanted to offer it in another colorway. This collaboration is part of our portfolio of custom pants that Loudmouth has successfully grown over the years. "

Loudmouth-Turtle Creek pieces are available at and in select pro shops in Australia, US and Canada.

Andrew Putnam Earns First Tour Win, Secures 2015 PGA Card

(HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA) – Cleveland Golf/Srixon congratulates staffer Andrew Putnam for earning his first professional win at the WNB Classic held at Midland Country Club, in Midland, Texas.  The 25-year-old second-year pro from Washington, shot an 8-under 64 in Saturday’s third round to open up a seven-stroke lead over his nearest competitor.  Putnam was only able to complete 7 holes for an eight-stroke lead on Sunday before high winds forced the cancellation of the final round.  Sustained winds of 28 mph with gusts up to 50 mph forced officials to call off the final round with the standings reverting back to 54 holes, where Putnam still held his nearly insurmountable lead.  

"Seven shots was a big margin and I was playing well, but you never really know how it's going to work out," Putnam said. It's a bummer that we couldn't play it all the way out. I'm sure it would have been a different feeling walking up 18 with a big lead.”

Putnam earned $108,000 to climb from sixth to second on the money list with $248,273, more than enough to earn a spot on the 2015 PGA Tour. Putnam’s older brother, Michael, is on the PGA Tour this season after winning the Tour money title last year.  Andrew and Michael Putnam are only the second set of brothers to win on the Tour.

Putnam played a Cleveland Classic 290 (9.0°) with a Miyazaki Blue shaft (72X), a Launcher FL fairway wood (14°) with a Miyazaki Black (83X), Cleveland 588 CB irons (3-PW), and a set of Cleveland 588 RTX wedges with ROTEX face milling (54°, 60°).  Putnam plays a Srixon Z-STAR XV ball, wears a Srixon hat and glove and carries a Srixon bag.

For more information on Cleveland Golf/Srixon, XXIO and Never Compromise or their staff players, visit,, and

PING launches nFlight Motion as a reliable, easy-to-use fitting tool

(PHOENIX) – Continuing its tradition as an innovator and leader in custom club-fitting technology, PING today officially introduced nFlight Motion, which recommends driver-fitting specifications for golfers after only three shots using proprietary PING software and an Apple iPhone or iPod in conjunction with a swing analyzer.

The small, lightweight swing analyzer attaches to the shaft directly below the grip and records a range of swing variables, including clubhead speed, transition, and shaft lean at impact, which are analyzed through the software to make loft and shaft recommendations for each model. The shot data is transmitted to a fitter’s Apple iPhone or iPod, which graphically depicts the results and applies the specifications to various PING driver models. After an initial recommendation for loft and shaft, fitters can use PING’s Shaft Visualization Chart to consider additional shafts from PING and other manufacturers. The device also provides a 3D representation of the entire swing.

nFlight Motion is receiving enthusiastic responses from club fitters whose facilities may not be equipped with launch monitors or other more-expensive fitting technology. They appreciate the simplicity of its use and the tremendous value it brings to golfers looking for a thorough fitting experience in a short amount of time.

“With nFlight Motion, fitters can perform a precise PING fitting in a timely manner using a few key swing variables that make the process easy and extremely reliable,” said John A. Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO. “It’s simple to set up and operate. In only a few minutes, fitters can recommend the best loft and shaft for various PING driver models. The ability to send swing data wirelessly to a mobile device represents an exciting evolution of our nFlight Fitting Software and nFlight Mobile technology. It gives fitters one more innovative tool for growing their business and helping golfers play better and enjoy the game more.”

nFlight Motion, developed by PING’s in-house software development team, utilizes the company’s nFlight app, which can be downloaded from the App Store. To operate, it requires an iPhone 4 (or newer), or an iPod touch 5th generation (or newer) running Apple iOS 7 (or newer).

Solheim said nFlight Motion’s 3D swing playback, viewable from multiple angles, affords an opportunity to personalize the fit further. “For the player, it’s educational to observe your swing from a new perspective. And the fitter is able to analyze the swing in greater detail, then make club recommendations designed to optimize each player’s unique mechanics. It’s just one more reason that fitters who’ve seen it are excited to share nFlight Motion with their customers.”

New Mexico alum Erkenbeck grabs Mountain Lakes Classic win in NGA Debut

Former All-Nicklaus and Palmer Cup team member runs away from field at Cross Creek

(Seneca, S.C.) – After a much heralded career at the University of New Mexico, where star player James Erkenbeck (San Diego, Cal.) competed in the US Am Publinks and Palmer Cup and was named a member of the All-Nicklaus Team, Erkenbeck did what very few golfers have ever done on the NGA Tour Pro Series over the years, and that was post a win in his very first NGA Tour Pro Series start. The former Lobo won in style shooting three straight rounds of 69 and a final day 70 to finish the 4 day event at 7 under par, three better than his next closest competitor 2012-13 Tour member and former University of Kentucky star Andy Winings (Brownsburg, Ind.). Winings was the only player to challenge Erkenbeck as his final round 68, one of only two sub-70 final rounds on the day, was two better than Erkenbeck’s final round but still only managed to get him to within three strokes for the event. Winings finished in solo 2nd, three shots better than a trio tied for third.

When asked what the key to his play was during the week, Erkenbeck exclaimed “I struck the ball well and was able to run in a few putts throughout the course of the four rounds.”

When asked what a victory on the NGA Tour Pro Series meant to him and would do for his confidence, Erkenbeck replied “It was a great field, a number of good players competing on a tough course like (Cross Creek Plantation), I can take a lot of good things and can take this to the next level.”

Erkenbeck received $14,000 for the win while Winings earned $7,000 for the runner-up finish. 2013 Woodcreek Classic Champion and former Akron star Blake Sattler (New Philadelphia, Oh.) finished tied for third at on under par with Delware alum Justin Matinson (Avondale, Pa.) and the current NGA Tour Pro Series Money Leader Dominic Bozzelli. Bozzelli, who starred at Auburn and finished runner-up in the 2013 NCAA Championships, won the first three Pro Series events of the 2014 season. The last player to win three consecutive Pro Series events was Zach Johnson during his 2001 NGA Tour Player of the Year campaign.

2014 Ocala Marion Classic Champion and former Florida Gator Tyson Alexander finished in solo 9th which moved him up to number 3 on the this year’s money list. Florida Southern’s Brian Richey, who was alone in second following the conclusion of the third round, struggled in his final round, finishing tied for 12th but still holding strong inside the top 10 on the money list in 7th place. Ontario’s Christopher Ross, who starred at Eastern Michigan, finished tied for 16th. Ross won this year’s NGA Winter Series Money Title adding three consecutive wins of his own, winning the final Winter event of 2013 and the first two of 2014.

The NGA Tour would like to thank Head Professional Mark Ernst and his staff and volunteers at Cross Creek Plantation, and the town of Seneca, S.C. for putting on such a great professional event. The NGA Tour picks back up April 28th with the Savannah Lakes Village Classic at Monticello in McCormick, S.C. with tournament play scheduled for Thursday May 1st through Sunday May 4th in one of the signature events on the NGA Tour Pro Series schedule.

To learn more about the NGATour or the National Golf Association, visit or call 800-992-8748.

For the James Erkenbeck Champions Corner video interview, visit:

For full 2014 Mountain Lakes Classic results, visit:


SwingSmart Launches Enhanced App for Award-Winning Digital Swing Analyzer

(NORTH BARRINGTON, IL) – NewSpin Golf announces the launch of a redesigned app for its award-winning SwingSmart golf swing analyzer, including an enhanced user interface, Dual 3D Swing-View and a series of mini-games co-designed by renowned instructor Peter Kostis to help users improve performance while maximizing fun.

A first-of-its-kind solution that provides instant and accurate feedback on critical elements of a golfer’s swing, the Bluetooth-enabled SwingSmart sensor module quickly and easily clips to a golf club shaft. Weighing less than 1 oz., the device wirelessly communicates with the company’s free app, providing data directly to the user’s tablet or smartphone. The update is available now for iPad users and will be coming to other platforms shortly.

Highlights of the updated SwingSmart app:
* New Interface – Fresh environment ensures easy-to-use interaction that allows users to access all swing data, including 3-D Swing View, without navigating between multiple screens
* Dual 3D Swing-View – Users can now access the company’s famed 3-D Swing-View from multiple angles at one time for even more effective comparison and analysis
* Peter Kostis Signature Drills – The expanding library of beneficial, fun in-app mini-games co-developed by the renowned instructor now includes:
   - Putting Challenge – Grooves repeatable club path for consistency on greens
   - Clock Face Drill – Hones backswing and follow through mechanics for mastering wedge distances

“Golfers have rapidly embraced SwingSmart as an invaluable tool for providing useful feedback that instantly benefits their performance,” says Angelo Papadourakis, CEO of NewSpin Golf. “With the latest update we’ve enhanced the system’s ability to capture meaningful swing data and added mini-games that inject a unique element of fun into practice.”

Available for free download, the SwingSmart app allows information to be viewed immediately, shared with an instructor, or saved for future reference. A defining feature of the system is the in-app instructional videos through which Peter Kostis provides a variety of swing tips to help players optimize performance.

With each swing, the SwingSmart system ($249.99) immediately delivers:
* Key Stats – Instant, accurate, easy-to-interpret information on tempo, swing speed, face angle and club path, shaft lean and angle of attack
* 3D Swing View – shows 360-degrees of a player’s swing motion, highlighting the exact route of the club head from any angle
* Putting Results – More than just a full-swing tool, the system also provides info on the putting stroke to help players lower the number of putts taken per round
* Personal Best – Data from a golfer’s best swings can be saved and used as points of reference

Developed by a team of expert technologists, SwingSmart provides a real-time snapshot of how the club is being manipulated through impact. This allows players to adjust and learn what is successful for their individual games. A great, year-round practice tool, SwingSmart features a special Training mode that provides the key data necessary to help players learn the proper swing motion, without the pressure of hitting a ball.

In 2013, the company launched the SwingSmart Duo, which incorporates HiQ Technology.  Requiring zero user set-up, adjustment or calibration, HiQ is built using a proprietary pattern recognition process not found anywhere else in the industry, which increases the accuracy of captured swing data, including the renowned SwingSmart 3D Swing View. It utilizes an algorithm that adapts to each user's swing to faithfully measure their drives, chips and putts.

Recently honored as a recipient of GOLF Magazine’s “Techy Award” in the Training Aid category, SwingSmart has received high praise from a variety of sources since its debut. These include being named the “Overall Winner” among swing trainers by, receiving a “Product Ingenuity” award from the International Network of Golf and being named “Training Aid of the Year” by SCOREGolf.

Follow on Twitter at @SwingSmart and Facebook.

For more information:

Boccieri Golf Secret Grip Used by Second-Place Finisher at Zurich Classic

Counter Balance Technology Helps Players of All Levels Achieve Superior Consistency and Control

(SCOTTSDALE, AZ) – Boccieri Golf announces both the full-swing and putter versions of its Secret Grip – which allows players to easily counter balance their clubs for an instant boost in performance – were used by a second-place finisher at the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

The player relied on the full-swing version of the grips on his fairway woods, hybrids and irons en route to his best Tour finish to date. Designed to be installed quickly and affordably on every manufacturer’s equipment, the Secret Grip’s heavier weight (92 grams) raises the club’s balance point, promoting consistently crisp contact for greater control and distance.

Employing the new “Classic” model in his putter, which weighs 100 grams and has a traditional slim appearance, the runner-up finisher joins a number of other Tour players who have switched to the Secret Grip this season. The added weight forces players to use their larger, more stable muscles, resulting is a highly repeatable and reliable putting stroke.

“Counter balancing in putters has become increasingly popular, however, more and more PGA Tour players are now embracing this technology in all clubs,” says Stephen Boccieri, President and CEO of Boccieri Golf. “The Secret Grip isn’t just another shaft cover, it uses proven physics to automatically improve a player’s swing and putting stroke.”

For a limited time, the company is offering a risk free 30 day replacement guarantee on the full-swing versions of the Secret Grip. This bold, never-before-seen promotion puts the Secret Grip to the test by offering a trial period wherein customers can return the products if not completely satisfied and receive replacement grips of their choice at absolutely no cost! New models for 2014 include a specially-designed full-cord option, patriotic color updates – red, white, blue – and a thicker midsize option.

Since its introduction in 2013, the putter version of the Secret Grip has been adopted by scores of Tour pros worldwide. The product is available in three sizes – Classic, Midsize and Jumbo. The Midsize ($24.99) weighs 155 grams and features popular pistol shaping. Weighing 165 grams, the Jumbo ($24.99) is preferred by players seeking a grip with an extra thick feel and hefty counterweight.

The Secret Grip range is currently available at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Golf Galaxy, PGA TOUR Superstore and

Secret Grip is endorsed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus, who relied on counter balanced clubs to capture 73 PGA Tour titles and 18 major championships. He currently appears in promotional material, along with famed teacher Rick Smith, who consistently ranks among the world’s top-10 instructors.

Both the putter and full-swing lines have earned outstanding reviews from scores of leading media outlets, including “Top Products from the PGA Show” honors from Golf Digest and GOLF Magazine.

For more information:, 888.788.8374.

Survival of the Fitted: Profiling Four Carolinas PGA Professionals

A quartet of Carolinas PGA professionals and expert club fitters incorporate expertise and technology to improve golfer’s play and increase their enjoyment of the game.

(GREENSBORO, N.C.) — In the world of golf club fitting, one thing on which all experts seem to agree is that every serious golfer should be fitted – or at least looked at. Even, it seems, those who may not end up needing it.

Take for instance current PGA Tour professional Tim Clark when he was an up-and-comer attending N.C. State University in Raleigh. Back in the 1990s, as the story goes, he and one of the coaches from the Wolfpack football team took a ride “to the beach” in Wilmington to check in on Carolinas PGA teaching and master professional Drew Pierson.

Pierson says, “[Clark] came to see me with his set of clubs that had been specially made in Scotland. I ran him through some tests and afterwards was asked about the clubs. I said, ‘That was the best set of clubs I’ve ever checked.’ Someone had clearly done something right when putting them together for Tim.”

During the session, Clark kept hitting ball after ball squarely on the clubface. At one point, the football coach complained that the monitor Pierson was using must have been broken.

“Why?” Pierson asked him.

“Because the same number keeps popping up every time,” replied the coach.

Pierson’s explanation was classic.

“I told him, ‘the way Tim hits shots, I could shag them with my hat.’ He was that precise,” Pierson added. “I’ve been around a lot of great players, but I’d never seen a guy do that, other than maybe Ben Hogan.”

Like many other Carolinas PGA pros who give lessons and stress the importance of a club fitting during the learning process, Pierson has seen his share of golfers (admittedly not at the skill level of a Tim Clark) that weren’t nearly as well in tune with their equipment. Take, for instance, a tall player with short arms using standard clubs. He or she may be forced to hunch over and possibly strangle the life out of the grips to hold on to the “shorter” sticks.

What this golfer along with many others needs is a lesson, practice — and somewhere along the way, a club fitting to make all the moving parts work.

While most players realize the importance of the first two components, a smaller percentage of golfers take the extra step to make sure their equipment complements their physical makeups. But thanks to several talented golf professionals like Pierson who have made club fitting a priority at their facilities across the Carolinas, more and more golfers are “putting it all together” out on the fairways.

Here is a rundown of four such “fitters” who help make the beloved game that much more enjoyable.

Bo Bowden — GolfTec, Greenville, S.C.
Bo Bowden, PGA made the move from “the green grass side of our business” into full-time teaching at a new GolfTec inside the newly opened Golfsmith in Greenville, S.C. In previous stints across the Southeast, the native of Macon, Ga., had been a golf professional in Valdosta, Ga.; Pensacola, Fla.; Salisbury, N.C. (at the Crescent Golf Club located 40 minutes north of Charlotte); Sunset, S.C. (at the Reserve at Lake Keowee); and Badin, N.C. (The Badin Inn & Golf Club).

He also played at Georgia Tech and was on the golf team there playing with eventual Masters champion Larry Mize.

“At GolfTec,” Bowden says, “we employ a very unique system of teaching. I would say that 85 to 90 percent of the time [off-the-rack] golf clubs are going to fit the person. Of course, if we get a golfer who is short, he or she probably shouldn’t be using the same club as a much taller individual.”

According to Bowden, the $60,000 question about club fitting is when it should be done – right off the bat or three or four lessons into the process.

“We believe in taking them and fitting them initially and if they are off later on, it won’t be by much,” he adds. “Get the loft and lie corrections done on that first lesson. And of course in our lesson plans we include the fitting either for irons or woods.”

Bowden says that he will have a golfer hit at least five balls with each club and the computer will tell him the rest.

“It’s a comparison,” he adds. “We use their original club as the ‘control’ club. Occasionally, it shows us that their clubs hit better than anything we have on the floor. It’s very rare, but it does happen. The same goes with the driver. There’s not a lot of human error involved in what we do. It’s truly one of those situations that you have to see it to realize it.”

Though he believes that only 15 percent of all golfers have an appreciable problem with their golf clubs, he still sees a need to investigate.

“We provide the service to check that out, and the results of the fitting will either confirm or deny that,” he says. “Persons taking the lesson series then can decide if they want to get their clubs worked on or to get fitted clubs. They will have that information in their hand when they leave. We very much recommend that they go ahead and get a fitting. Once it’s done, their swing may change some but usually not that much.”
Other variables include newer golf shafts and the adjustability of club heads. These are things golfers couldn’t even do 15-20 years ago but now have to be considered when doing a fitting these days.

“Every golf teaching system has its own selling point,” Bowden says. “Ours is that we use sensors attached to the back of the neck and the tail bone. We get motion measurements from them. We conduct a 90-minute evaluation and from that we determine how many lessons are needed and agreed to by coach and student. Then we start sequential lessons. We have to know that our students are committed to a schedule. Our company spent a lot of time figuring out what makes people tick.  A schedule is one of them. Complete the lessons. We stress that they be committed and know what their goals are.”

Which brings us back to the $60,000 question: At what point do you fit?

“It is a very hard question to answer,” Bowden says. “You can ask four different people and you may get four different answers.”

Says Bowden: “I’ve been teaching golf for 32 years. I’m learning that I could have helped people learn a lot faster had I been working for a company like GolfTec all along.”

Rod Thompson — Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
According to Rod Thompson, PGA, going through a club fitting is a “no brainer.”

And Thompson has an equally clear opinion on what can happen when you get a club fitting: “It’s like a custom suit,” he says.  “A $1,000 suit from Brooks Brothers will fit different than a $100 suit off the rack from Joseph A. Banks.”

Thompson is actually one of an elite group of Plane Truth instructors throughout the nation, meaning that he had to serve an apprenticeship under Jim Hardy of the Plane Truth Golf Institute in Houston, Texas. Thompson has been certified for 10 years and he’s up to a level 2 out of 3.

“It’s a different philosophy,” he says. “It is all based on impact and ball flight. It’s a significantly different way of looking at a student.”

Thompson also believes that the brand-new golfer doesn’t necessarily need to be custom fitted. Still, he lists a few categories of them that probably should.

“One is a tall golfer with short arms,” he says. “Two is a short golfer with long arms. And three is any player who cares about getting better at golf. I do the fitting and always start with the irons because the ground is going to give me a lot of information. Also my eyes will show me the ball flight and my ears are going to tell me how it sounds. A lot of information comes out of a club fitting.”

Thompson feels it is better to get a person’s swing a little oriented before starting a fitting. He also prefers doing it outside where true ball flight analysis can be calculated.

“The tall and short golfers are very likely going to need something,” he continues.  “Golf clubs right off the rack probably won’t work for them because their bodies aren’t normal in proportion, regardless of their swing shape.”

Thompson, a native of Orchard Lake, Mich., started making golf clubs in 1986 while at Kenwood Country Club in Maryland. Previous to that he turned professional at the age of 18 and eventually became a head pro at Burning Tree Country Club in Michigan.

He applied for the head job at Kenwood in 1977 and moved South. It was there where he honed in on ball flight.

“If I saw that a swing was working but the ball flight told me something different, then that threw up a red flag,” Thompson says. “That’s what got me into fitting. Golf clubs are expensive so it’s important that they fit. I like to say, ‘clubs that fit better hit better,’ and they really do. Women, juniors and seniors in particular usually need fittings and I do the fitting complimentary.”

According to Thompson, it’s all about ball flight and impact.

“It’s fun for me,” he says.  “But I also know it’s especially fun when you are the person who is getting properly fit, I can tell you.”

Drew Pierson — Wilmington, N.C.
Pierson, a native of Cromwell, Conn., and a former Wake Forest Demon Deacon golfer, turned a six-month favor for a famed golf course architect back in 1986 into more than a quarter century of golf instruction in the Wilmington area.

“Pete Dye had designed a golf course I was at in Connecticut and when he was building the Dye Course at the Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington he needed someone on site to help gets things started,” Pierson says. “I came here to be here for six months and have been here ever since. And that was back in 1986.”

So the Carolinas’ gain have been New England’s loss, especially in terms of having one of the foremost authorities on club fitting nearby.

“I just feel like it’s the most important part of the lesson,” he begins. “I look at everybody’s equipment.”

And that even included Wilmington native, NBA legend and former UNC Tar Heel Michael Jordan’s.

“I watched Jordan swing one day and told him his clubs were too long: that he had too much golf club,” Pierson adds. “He said that his clubs were made longer for him because he was so tall, but I told him he also had very long arms. It’s about width versus height. His wingspan made up for the height. He later went and got some shorter irons I know. He also had the biggest golf grips I’d ever seen, but he needed them because his hands are so big.”

In today’s world golf is big business, and the big golf club manufacturers don’t always cater to the specialized needs of individuals. Over time, companies with huge advertising budgets have squeezed many of the smaller and more personalized custom club-building operations out of the market.

“To me, the golf instructor is still the person who should fit the clubs,” Pierson says. “The instructor who works with you knows best, not just some salesperson. The best thing is for the pro to say to the golfer, ‘this is what you’ve been playing with, this is what you need now.’  Once that happens, invariably a player will call you up a couple of months later and tell you that he or she is doing great with his or her clubs. That’s what great about club fitting. It makes you feel like you’ve helped.”

One problem, according to Pierson — who qualified for a number of PGA Tour events back in his competitive days — is that most golfers think that they hit the ball consistently farther than they do.

“They are just kidding themselves,” he says. “The amateur’s errors are short and right. At the first club fitting, I’ll say ‘go ahead and warm up.’ Even without equipment, I’ll know if they have too much or too little club. If a player can’t hit the ball on the center of the face, they are just wasting their time.”

Ultimately, club fitting and choosing the right clubs come down to cost.

“I really feel like there are still plenty of young teachers out there who are aware that they can help a golfer with clubs without forcing that person to go out and buy a $1,000 to $2,000 set of clubs,” Pierson concludes. “I feel I can make a basic set of steel shafted clubs for someone for about $280 and he or she can go out and play with them and have a good time. The problem comes in when their partner shows up with expensive shoes, balls, a $400 bag and clubs that cost well over $1,000. All of a sudden, they feel they have to spend more money to get everything right. But they don’t.”

Pierson worked at Landfall until 1996. These days you can find him still giving fittings and lessons out of his house located near the bridge that leads to Wrightsville Beach.

Tom Ream — Prestonwood Country Club, Cary, N.C.
Tom Ream, PGA is a Michigan native perhaps more adamant about the advantages of this particular craft than most.

“I think everyone should get fitted,” Ream says. “[An off-the-rack club set] is like saying one size of jeans fits everybody. You might get your leg in it, but that’s about it. One size does not fit all.”

Fortunately Ream has one of the most state-of-the art facilities at his disposal in his learning center at Prestonwood. The club’s learning center has all the bells and whistles including complete fitting carts from nearly all the major club manufacturers. Still, he knows it takes a combination of things to get things right.

“We have a very solid facility with which to work,” he admits. “It is very complete.  We have two indoor/outdoor bays, Trackman in each bay with video.  We also have an indoor putting green with a SAM Putt Lab. However, nothing is terribly novel about our center — all learning centers are essentially high-tech garages. What makes the difference is the technology you have inside and the people you have using that technology. With seven qualified, knowledgeable instructors, we have that here.”

Like the others before him, Ream says that it’s important that the instructor does the fitting.

“I have been teaching and fitting for 20-plus years,” Reams adds.  “I think to be a good teacher you have to be a good fitter and vice versa.  I also feel that you should get fit from the person teaching you golf, otherwise the game plan from two different parties may be different.  Like many teachers and fitters, I have learned the craft over time – mostly from those who helped me learn about the golf swing (Matt Kluck/Drew Pierson).  I have also attended many club fitting workshops put on by the club companies as well as the PGA.”

“When done separately, there are two different agendas,” he says. “The question is, are you fitting for compensation or are you fitting for improvement? I think fitting for compensation is wrong.”

Says Ream: “Depending on the student (age/skill level), I want to help set the clubs where we want them to get to instead of just where they currently are.  Most of my fittings are for my students.  In the case of fittings for non-students who are not going to practice, on the other hand, I feel the fit-for-compensation method is then appropriate.  All fittings – like lessons – are how can I best help the individual? Getting to know them is very important.”

Ream, who took up the game at the age of 3, turned PGA professional right out of college. His got his professional start at Woodlake Country Club near Pinehurst before moving over to Pinewild Country Club located on the other end of town. Five years ago he migrated back to the Triangle where at Prestonwood he has a much larger population of regular golfers from which to draw. Though Prestonwood is a private club, the learning center is available to non-members and corporate clients but with members still having priority.

“Again for the non-student,” Ream concludes, “I feel you have to determine if he is going to practice or not first.  An example of when a lesson would need to come first [before a fitting] … a guy comes for a driver fitting but his swing is very out to in [attack angle negative five or more in Trackman].  This person needs to improve his or her swing before you can help with a driver.  Anytime someone has too negative of an attack angle he or she will create too low a launch and too high spin.”

Apparently, the need for a club fitting is universal.

Since its inception in 1923, the Carolinas PGA Section has been committed to nurturing and improving the quality of the game for the thousands of golfers using its member facilities.  Now the largest of the PGA’s 41 sections, the Carolinas PGA Section of the Professional Golfers’ Association boasts 2,000 professional members and represents more than 800 golf facilities within North and South Carolina as well as portions of southern Virginia. PGA Professionals are responsible for conducting a variety of golf-related functions which include human resource management, golf shop merchandising, golf instruction, tournament operations, junior golf programs, growth of the game initiatives, golf club repair, administering the rules, public relations, and much more.

Monday, April 28, 2014

COBRA Golf Introduces New BiO CELL Pro Driver

MyFly8 and SmartPad Technology Combined with Lower CG Provides Ultimate Distance and Unmatched Power

(CARLSBAD, Calif.) – COBRA Golf, a leader in golf club innovation and performance, announced the release of its BiO CELL Pro Driver – a revolutionary new driver featuring a lower center of gravity designed to help golfers Go Loooong off the tee.

Adding to the Tour-inspired family of clubs, the BiO CELL Pro Driver is engineered to deliver even more driving distance and workability. The key to increased distance is the extremely low center of gravity (CG) that promotes faster ball speeds, lower spin and a higher launch.  The low CG combined with a compact 440cc head, allows golfers to achieve a better ball flight and longer shots off the tee. The all-titanium, 440cc head delivers a solid feel at impact that better player’s desire.

“This Pro Driver was designed for golfers with a strong swing that yields high launch and high spin,” said Jose Miraflor, director of product marketing. “To help these golfers play at their best, we created the BiO CELL Pro Driver, our lowest CG ever to deliver unmatched distance and performance.”

In addition to the low CG, the Pro Driver also utilizes COBRA’s game-changing MyFly8 adjustable loft technology that allows golfers to choose from eight loft/trajectory settings (7.0°, 7.5°, 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.0° and three fade settings: 7.5°, 8.5° and 9.5°) while SmartPad delivers a square face at address regardless of loft/trajectory setting. BiO CELLS combined with E9 Face technology work to remove weight from the face, and reposition it low and back to deliver increased distance.

The BiO CELL Pro Driver (MAP $399) is available in right handed models in regular, stiff and x-stiff, and features a Lamkin – ACE 3Gen 360 Grip along with a Matrix Red-Tie 6Q3 shaft. Golfers can also choose from one of two custom shaft options at no upcharge – the Diamana D+ 72 or the PXV Tour 52. Sticking with the customization golfers have come to know and love from COBRA, the BiO CELLPro Driver in three color options—Black, Blue Aster and Vibrant Orange.

The BiO CELL Pro Driver joins the BiO CELL+ and BiO CELL as part of a complete Tour-inspired series. This driver was inspired by Rickie Fowler, who has been testing and playing this driver for the past few months.
A limited number of Pro drivers will be available at select retail stores May 1. To learn more about the BiO CELL Pro and COBRA’s full suite of products, visit To find an authorized COBRA dealer near you, visit

Product Review: Nike Golf VR_S Covert 2.0 Fairway Woods

It was about this time last year that American Golfer tested the VR_S Covert fairway woods from Nike Golf. Feel free to read that review HERE. A year has passed and it’s hard to believe that the longest 3 wood we’ve tested has gotten even longer. Introducing the the VR_S Covert 2.0.

How did the engineers at Nike Golf achieve greater distance? The short answer is by enhancing the high-speed cavity-back design. Looking deeper, the rear portion of the club is reinforced so more energy is transferred to the face at impact, courtesy of all-new “Fly-Brace” technology.

In addition, the weight of the club is redistributed from the center toward the heel and toe for increased stability. According to Nike, the result is even greater ball speed and up to eight yards of distance gained.

Read enough product reviews and you’ll become very familiar with the terms “launch angle” and “spin rate.” The VR_S Covert 2.0 fairway woods check both of those boxes - delivering a higher launch angle and reduced spin rate for greater distance. Looking for more distance and greater accuracy? Look no further than the VR_S Covert 2.0.

If the ability to adjust your clubs to meet your needs is important, Nike Golf provides FlexLoft. A simple pull, turn, push-and-tighten system, allows you to customize your loft and face angle positions independently of each other to optimize launch and spin conditions.

Furthermore, a redesigned NexCOR face incorporates variable thickness for a faster, hotter surface and, as a result, more ball speed at impact.

Nike Golf’s tagline for the VR_S Covert 2.0 fairway woods is “Different for Longer’s Sake.” While I can confirm this club provides more distance and flies straighter than previous fairway woods I’ve tested and/or played, I balk at “different.” Not that I’m questioning Nike Golf’s design team ... I’m sure they’re not the same as before. I hesitate because they don’t feel different, which is a good thing. A great thing, really. From the first swing, the VR_S Covert 2.0 3 wood felt like it had been in my bag for years. There was no need to get acquainted.

A trusted 3 wood is a critical piece of equipment. Whether trying to find the short grass on a tight tee shot or taking one off the deck in hopes of reaching a par 5 in two, having faith in your fairway wood is paramount. To date, I’ve not found a longer, straighter and easier to hit 3 wood than the Nike VR_S Covert 2.0.

For more information, visit

TaylorMade Golf’s 'Innovation' Series Breaks Down the Science Behind 'Lofting Up' with SLDR

Emmy-Winning Host John Brenkus Joins One of the PGA Tour’s Longest Hitters, Dustin Johnson, to Showcase the Distance-Producing Technology that Powers the SLDR Driver

(Carlsbad, Calif.) – TaylorMade Golf Company, maker of SLDR, the No. 1 driver on the PGA Tour since August 2013, has teamed up with John Brenkus*, creator of the Emmy-winning “Sport Science” series, to create the TaylorMade “Innovation” Series - a set of videos highlighting the science and technology behind TaylorMade equipment.

The latest installment in the “Innovation” Series shines the spotlight on TaylorMade’s SLDR driver and explains the technology that allows golfers to gain more distance when they loft up with SLDR.

Currently the No. 1 played driver model on the PGA Tour, the SLDR is engineered with a remarkable low and forward center of gravity (CG) placement which results in dramatically reduced spin rates. Because of this construction, TaylorMade is leading golfers – including PGA Tour players – to “loft up,” a message that flies in the face of what the rest of the industry has been promoting, yet a significant step in the pursuit of the perfect launch condition.

To help demonstrate the distance-producing power of SLDR, Brenkus enlisted the help of TaylorMade Tour Professional Dustin Johnson, one of the longest hitters on the PGA Tour.

In this video, Dustin uses a Trackman System to compare his distance gains with a SLDR against a back CG driver. The results are clear. Dustin achieved a 14-degree launch angle with 1,800 RPMs of backspin – just shy of the optimum 17-degree of launch and 1,700 RPM.  With the SLDR, Dustin was 20 yards longer.

The distance gains aren’t just for the world’s best players. In the video, Brenkus also “lofts” up with SLDR and decreases his backspin by 58% against a back CG driver for an average distance gain of more than 20 yards.

Brenkus, a six-time Emmy Award winner, creator of "Sport Science" and New York Times best-selling author of "The Perfection Point," demonstrated how SLDR creates more distance for amateur golfers as well as the best players in the world.

Click HERE to see Brenkus and two-time U.S. Open Champion Retief Goosen break down the power of the Speed Pocket.

* John Brenkus is a paid spokesperson of TaylorMade-adidas Golf

Nike Athlete Seung-Yul Noh Captures His First PGA Tour Victory

Noh wins with 14 Nike clubs and RZN Platinum ball in the bag

(BEAVERTON, Ore.) – Nike Athlete Seung-Yul Noh posted a final score of 19-under 269 to notch his first PGA Tour victory at the Zurich Classic.

The 22-year-old – the youngest to win on Tour this year -- was fourth in driving distance for the tournament, averaging more than 304 yards off the tee with his Nike VRS Covert 2.0 Tour driver featuring Fly-Brace technology for more forgiving distance. Noh also tied for fourth in greens in regulation at 79 percent, playing Nike VRS Forged, VR Pro Combo and VR Pro Blade irons.

With a new Nike Method 005 mallet putter and Nike RZN Platinum ball with Speedlock RZN technology in the bag, Noh was seventh in putts per greens in regulation and is the first player ever to complete 54 holes without a bogey at TPC Louisiana.

Noh sported apparel from Nike’s Tour Performance collection and Nike Lunar Control.

Noh’s Nike Golf Arsenal
* Driver: Nike VRS Covert 2.0 Tour 8.5-degree (Graphite Design Prototype)
* Fairway Wood:  Nike VRS Covert 3-wood/15-degree
* Irons: Nike VRS Forged (2), VR Pro Combo (4), VR Pro Blade (5-9)
* Wedges: VR Forged 47-degree, 51-degree, 56-degree and 60-degree
* Putter: Nike Method 005
* Ball: Nike RZN Platinum
* Apparel: Nike Tour Performance Collection
* Footwear: Nike Lunar Control

Nike Golf’s 2014 PGA Tour Victories
- Russell Henley – Honda Classic
- Seung-Yul Noh – Zurich Classic

Nike Golf’s 2014 International Victories
- Charl Schwartzel – Alfred Dunhill Championship (European Tour)
- Ross Fisher – Tshwane Open (European Tour)

Nike Golf’s 2014 LPGA Tour Victories
- Michelle Wie – LPGA LOTTE Championship

Nike Golf’s 2014 Ladies International Victories
- Cheyenne Woods – Volvic RACV Ladies Masters

For more information on Nike Golf, visit To follow Nike Golf on Twitter visit and to become a fan on facebook go to  To view Nike Golf videos, subscribe at

Open Season in North Carolina: Five Distinctive Golf Offerings

When North Carolina hosts back-to-back U.S. Opens in June, the eyes of the world will soak in a healthy dose of the finest golf all across the Tar Heel state

(RALEIGH, N.C.) — North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory told a crowd of more than 1,000 North and South Carolina-based golf professionals recently that as part of Secretary of Commerce Sharon Decker’s economic development plan his administration would be using the 2014 Men’s and Women’s U.S. Opens being played in Pinehurst on back-to-back weeks in June as a “major jumping-off point” to promote business in North Carolina, as well as travel and tourism — while using golf as an important way to do it.

“Sharon Decker is really using me [during the U.S. Opens in Pinehurst],” McCrory said during his February address of the Annual Meeting of the Carolinas PGA (CPGA) at the Greensboro Coliseum. “They’ve told me to wipe my schedule clean for those two weeks. We are going to be meeting with business development people at the two Opens. In fact we’re going to use the Women’s Open to concentrate on Asian companies because of all the Asian golfers. We see more potential with the Women’s U.S. Open as far as recruiting businesses to North Carolina and selling North Carolina.

“From now on when we have anyone come to North Carolina — whether they land in Greensboro or Fayetteville or Wilmington or Greenville or Charlotte or Asheville or Raleigh — we’ve got to promote to the business community to bring your golf clubs to North Carolina because there are no better golf courses in the world than right here, from the coast all the way to the mountains and through the Piedmont.”

Said McCrory: “There is no reason that North Carolina should not be promoting golf as part of our travel and tourism package no different from what Arizona and Alabama are doing right now. We have the best ‘Golf Trail’ in the nation, maybe in the world right here in North Carolina.”

Agree or disagree with his politics, McCrory’s take on golf trails was music to the ears of McConnell Golf Director of Golf Brian Kittler, PGA, who takes tremendous pride in the fact that McConnell Golf provides its members and well-heeled golf travelers their own private golf trail rivaling any other stretch of layouts and experiences in the country.

McConnell Golf was founded in 2003 with the acquisition of Raleigh Country Club and today owns and/or operates eight premier private clubs in North and South Carolina including Sedgefield Country Club Ross Course and Dye Course in Greensboro, N.C., TPC at Wakefield Plantation in Raleigh, N.C., Old North State Club at Badin Lake, N.C., Treyburn Country Club in Durham, N.C., The Reserve Golf Club in Pawleys Island, S.C., Grande Dunes Members Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Musgrove Mill Golf Club in Clinton S.C. Most importantly, every one of the McConnell Golf facilities is top ranked in their respective states.

Kittler said many McConnell Golf members will take advantage of such a built-in amenity during June’s U.S. Open Championships in Pinehurst. “With the U.S. Open coming to town, our members have business clients, guests and out-of-town family,” said Kittler. “With the network of McConnell Golf courses it’s a perfect opportunity to allow our members to show off what their options are.

“We all know that Pinehurst No. 2 is ranked No. 1, but there are four courses within the McConnell network that are ranked within the top 30 in the state. So you don’t definitely need Pinehurst to entertain your clients and guests during the U.S. Open.”

One of the critical decisions for any golf getaway is the destination, and in that regards McConnell Golf members seemingly have the best of all worlds. With Greg Norman’s gorgeous, award-winning design at The Reserve at Pawleys Island, they enjoy luxurious coastal golf along with the Grande Dunes Member Course up in Myrtle Beach. At the conveniently accessible Old North State Club hard upon Badin Lake, they enjoy the finest urban retreat with all the amenities. And with Musgrove Mill and its legendary Arnold Palmer design, they enjoy the quintessential “pure golf” getaway reminiscent of faraway dream destinations like Pine Valley or Bandon Dunes.

Steve Foster is a veterinarian in Concord, N.C., and an Old North State Club member who has been enjoying a golf trip every March with 16-20 friends, mostly McConnell members. The last several years his group has taken advantage of the McConnell Trail, travelling from Raleigh Country Club to Musgrove Mill — and this year the group is going to visit The Reserve.

“We usually stay 3 or 4 nights and play four rounds of golf,” said Foster. “At each site, the golf courses are in great shape, especially for March. Musgrove is challenging but the setting is awesome with the remote location and houses there. It’s ideal, really, for a golf getaway. The food is fantastic and the service has been exceptional. Brian and his staff at Raleigh were too. And Donald [Clement, PGA at The Reserve] is doing everything possible to make our trip to The Reserve a success.”

During their road trip to Musgrove Mill, McConnell Golf members and guests stay in on-site cottages for overnight accommodations and also enjoy a first-rate practice facility and full-service clubhouse. Like Musgrove Mill, Old North State Club is a great day-trip for any golfer wanting to tackle one of golf’s finest tests. The golf course is widely considered one of Tom Fazio’s best. As longtime host of the Atlantic Coast Conference golf tournament, Old North State has been ranked second in the state of North Carolina nearly since the day it opened in 1992, trailing only Pinehurst No. 2.

Old North State Club brings to the table a host of amenities found nowhere short of a private, recreational resort. Located just over an hour from Charlotte, Greensboro and Winston-Salem on the 5,300-acre Badin Lake, Old North State Club is a secluded, gated community surrounded by the quiet beauty of Uwharrie National Forest, which helps make it such a desirable private retreat. Members and their guests can stay in the original clubhouse, which has been turned into a spacious, eight-room lodge with a kitchen, bar, dining area and recreational room. The centerpiece of it all is the $6 million, 20,000-square-foot clubhouse overlooking the 18th hole of the golf course.

Not to be outdone, around the famed Sandhills of North Carolina visitors to the Talamore Golf Resort can stay and play two of the area’s finest courses, Talamore Golf Club and its sister resort course Mid South Club, both located on Midland Road about halfway between the Pinehurst Resort and Mid Pines/Pine Needles. Talamore Golf Club has been ranked in the forefront of outstanding courses since opening in 1991. Architect Rees Jones, who helped fine-tune Pinehurst No. 2 for the 1999 and 2005 U.S. Opens, designed a course that is both visually striking and exceptionally enjoyable. The 7,020-yard layout was also made famous by instituting the first llama caddie program, which makes for an unforgettable day.

At the Mid South Club, 545 acres of longleaf pine forests, lakes and gently rolling hillsides provide a backdrop for a place of beauty and serenity. Formerly known as Pinehurst Plantation, the Mid South Club & Lodge was designed by the renowned team of Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay in 1993, and stands as one of the Carolinas’ most attractive private residential golf communities.

Of course, those who are “in the know” during the back-to-back U.S. Open weeks in Pinehurst may be able to make a connection at the exclusive Forest Creek Golf Club, which stands alone in the Home of American Golf when it comes to exclusive, high-end golf communities offering a national draw to golfing purists.

Built on a magnificent, 1,265-acre piece of unencumbered property just two miles outside the Village of Pinehurst and less than five minutes from Pinehurst No. 2, Forest Creek features a diverse mix of world-class golf in its two stunning designs by Tom Fazio, the most highly ranked living golf course architect. Forest Creek’s North and South provide a pair of entirely different experiences that one would not expect to find within 50 miles of each other, let alone in the same community, which explains why Forest Creek was the only golf course community in America with two layouts ranked among Golfweek’s Top 50 Best Residential Golf Courses. And the two gems leave members flipping a coin on any given day, though the North Course plays about two shots harder.

The Forest Creek lifestyle experience is anchored by its stunning, 43,000 square-foot clubhouse, an elegant white structure that opened in May 2011, designed to have the look and feel of a private home, with four fireplaces, a library and eleven swank, upstairs suites — 10 owned by members including one by Fazio himself — with a veranda providing one of the best golf scenery across the Sandhills. “[When I heard] they were going to build units in the clubhouse, kind of like the old-time clubs did where they had rooms and places you could stay,” Fazio said. “I went up and looked at them and said, ‘Gosh, I’ve got to have one of these.’ What a great place to send your friends, my family, my boys. I had to do this. What a place to be.”

And speaking of well-known golf course architects, the legacies of Donald Ross, Willard Byrd and Ellis Maples, along with Dan Maples and Davis Love III, extend into the Eastern Sandhills toward Fayetteville. From the thoroughly modern Love III design at Anderson Creek on the northwest side of Fayetteville to the classic routing featuring a lavish panorama of Cypress trees, ponds and natural springs at Cypress Lakes to the southeast just off I-95 and the 1967 Gates Four Golf and Country Club, with its winding streams and wooden bridges weaving near the city center, there’s quite a wide range of looks to be found here. Throw in one of the most well crafted names in golf — Bayonet at Puppy Creek (located on the south side) — and you’ll discover another quartet of courses to add to your golfer’s bucket list.

Sometimes golf trips around the Tar Heel state are combined with beach trips, and there are few better places to enjoy both than North Carolina’s legendary Outer Banks.

For starters, golfers can rent a beach house or stay on the mainland in one of the best golf cottages you will ever enjoy at Kilmarlic. Though its upscale Tom Steele design is more heavily wooded than the island courses and thus less impacted by coastal breezes, Kilmarlic challenges golfers with substantially more water hazards. In fact, there are only three holes on the entire course devoid of a wetland or water feature, forcing golfers to think their way around the layout that stretches a modest 6,560 yards in length. The most memorable hole is the 201-yard, par-3 17th. A precise shot over marsh running along the entire left side, then wrapping around the back of a bulk-headed green, is required to hit dry land.

The Pointe, meanwhile across the highway, is a traditional design that spreads out across the rural Carolina mainland. Like Kilmarlic, The Pointe’s greatest defense is in the form of water with 15 holes sporting some sort of wet lateral challenge. Given its player-friendly qualities, many tee off their Outer Bank golf getaway here. Finally on the mainland, The Carolina Club is a big, brawny layout — particularly in relation to the others in the region — that stretches to within lob wedge distance of 7,000 yards. Designed by popular architects Russell Breeden and Bob Moore, the layout is more open than its mainland brethren making the winds more significant. The signature hole is the 166-yard, par-3 seventh showcasing an island green that can be difficult to hit when the ocean breezes kick up and penetrate the mainland.

Those who prefer beach living and the occasional break for golf might prefer the Currituck Club, located on the top end of the barrier island past Duck in Corolla. Currituck Club’s Rees Jones-designed layout winds through a premier, gated community and features diverse coastal terrain — including sand dunes, wetlands, maritime forests and sound-side shoreline — and glimpses of the Currituck Sound, particularly on signature holes at the par-5 seventh and par-3 15th. Like all the great links courses abroad, the Currituck Club can change complexion according to the wind speed and direction. Play it on three consecutive days and you’ll likely enjoy three different experiences.

For a true seaside golf experience in the Outer Banks, you can do no better than Nags Head Golf Links, located on the south end, which challenges golfers with several holes routed right along the Roanoke Sound and winds that seemingly change by the minute. The front nine’s fifth and ninth and the back nine’s 15th and 18th holes actually play right along the water in opposite directions, making club selection more art than science. Though not located directly on the water, the well-bunkered, 160-yard, par-3 17th — with sound waters lapping just beyond the dunes that surround the green — provides a highlight on any golf trip worth its salt.

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World Golf Hall-Of-Famer Greg Norman Kicks Off Golf Channel's 2014 Season of Playing Lessons

Premiering April 29; Series Expands to an Hour as Top Pros Join Host Holly Sonders

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – Playing Lessons, Golf Channel’s instruction series hosted by Holly Sonders returns for a new season, premiering April 29 at 7 p.m. ET with World Golf Hall-of-Famer Greg Norman. With episodes expanding to an hour, the new season kicks off with the Shark, as he and Sonders board Norman’s private plane bound for Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Club in Great Exuma, Bahamas. While walking the course that he designed, the Aussie shares the keys to a swing that guided him to a Hall-of-Fame career, and discusses his own dramatic experiences in the majors.

Norman joins a lineup of guests that include PGA TOUR stars Jonas Blixt, Billy Horschel, Matt Kuchar, Jimmy Walker and Lee Westwood, as well as LPGA Tour stars Sandra Gal and Jessica Korda, among others. Sonders takes viewers inside the ropes and inside the minds of the game’s most elite players through a one-on-one conversation and practice round as the pros offer swing tips and advice on shot selection and course management. In addition to providing instruction insight from tee-to-green, the pros reveal some perspective on their lives away from the course.

“This season on Playing Lessons we’ll give viewers an up-close perspective of proven winners, who are armed with a wide variety of tips and advice for the amateur golfer to apply to their own game,” said Sonders, who also serves as a co-host for Golf Channel’s Morning Drive and School of Golf programs. “In each episode, I strive to give viewers the opportunity to walk the fairways alongside some of golf’s biggest stars to not only get a lesson on how they strategically make their way from tee to green, but also to learn about their personalities and lives outside the ropes that isn’t often seen on TV.”

The new season will feature 16 episodes, each including a series of rapid-fire questions for the featured player, including: an ideal foursome, the one shot that keeps him or her awake at night, and the best golf joke or funny story. Each guest also is challenged to a friendly competition. If the pro wins, Sonders is faced with a wide range of scenarios (i.e. shining Kuchar’s shoes, enlisting as a flight attendant on one of Norman’s private excursions, and eating an unusual Swedish dish from Blixt).
A new element debuting this season will showcase Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee offering in-depth evaluations of each pro’s swing, incorporating graphics and animation to provide the viewer with comprehensive analysis. Chamblee also will present a historical perspective on each swing, examining its roots and citing examples from current and former players as a basis of comparison.

2014 Playing Lessons Episode Schedule
April 29: Greg Norman
Course: Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Club, Great Exuma, Bahamas
In the season premiere, Holly Sonders and Greg Norman board a flight to the Bahamas to tee it up at one of the Shark’s favorite courses he designed. Norman shares the secrets to his game that were instrumental in shaping his Hall-of-Fame success, and the two discuss the Shark’s major championship triumphs and shortcomings.

May 13: Matt Kuchar
Course: The Vintage Club, Indian Wells, Calif.
Coming off a victory at the RBC Heritage, Matt Kuchar joins Sonders to provide the keys to his consistent approach on TOUR, and how he continues to succeed with such an unconventional swing. Kuchar also discusses his best wins to date, admits to a practical joke played on Tiger Woods at the 2013 Presidents Cup Opening Ceremony, and offers perspective on family time away from the course.

May 20: Billy Horschel
Course: Ritz-Carlton Golf Club (Grande Lakes Orlando), Orlando, Fla.
One of the  more excitable and passionate players on the PGA TOUR, Billy Horschel discusses the golf skillset that helped him become a four-time All-American at the University of Florida. Horschel also looks back on his dramatic victory at last year’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

June 3: Jessica Korda
Course: Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club, Bradenton, Fla.
One of the best up-and-coming Americans on the LPGA Tour, Jessica Korda provides insights on her short game and ball striking. The 20-year-old and two-time winner also talks about her journey that has translated into her becoming one of the best young players in the game.

June 17: Lee Westwood
Course: Old Palm Golf Club, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
A three-time European Tour Player Of The Year, Lee Westwood joins Sonders at his home course of Old  Palm Golf Club to offer his keys to pure ball striking with irons, how to improve driving, and the steps to building a swing from the ground up. Westwood and Sonders also duel it out in a flop shot challenge.

June 24: Jonas Blixt
Course: TPC Sawgrass (Stadium course), Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Developing a reputation as one of the best putters on TOUR – Jonas Blixt – runner-up at this year’s Masters, welcomes Sonders to his home course of TPC Sawgrass. The young Swede provides tips to making putts, the tools necessary to develop a reliable short game, and how to drive it like a TOUR player. Sonders also challenges Blixt to a closest to the pin contest at the famed 17th island-green par-3.

July 1: Sandra Gal
Course: The Golden Bear Club, Windermere, Fla.
One of the most talented European players on the LPGA Tour, Sandra Gal offers advice on how to hit it long and straight, and shares two simple steps to become a great putter. Gal also talks about life away from the course, and the future of the game.

TBA: Jimmy Walker
Course: Cordillera Ranch Golf Club, Boerne, Texas
Already a three-time PGA TOUR winner in the 2013-2014 wraparound season, Jimmy Walker welcomes Sonders to his home course of Cordillera Ranch outside of San Antonio. Walker discusses all things instruction, including the changes he chose to make with his own game that helped him go from a relatively unknown professional to a PGA TOUR star, as well as his outlook on the Ryder Cup.

**Additional Guests TBA**

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