Golf Buzz

October 17, 2012 - 1:10pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain
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Dove Mountain opened in 2009 in Marana, Ariz., and has hosted the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, the only match-play event on the PGA Tour schedule, ever since.

Escalante Golf has acquired the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, company officials have announced. The club will be renamed "The Golf Club at Dove Mountain," and will continue its relationship with the Ritz-Carlton hotel, The Residences and the PGA Tour.

Dove Mountain opened in 2009 in Marana, Ariz., and has hosted the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, the only match-play event on the PGA Tour schedule, ever since.

"We are honored to be a part of the exceptional Dove Mountain community and to be stewards of this world-class club," said Escalante Golf President David McDonald. "We will continue to provide our members and guests the same high level of personalized service and attention to detail that is the standard at Dove Mountain."

The Golf Club at Dove Mountain features 27 holes designed by Jack Nicklaus featuring vistas of the nearby Tortolita Mountains. The 45,000-square-foot clubhouse contains a member's locker room and grill, a pro shop, outdoor lounges and Cayton's restaurant.

Established in 1991, Escalante Golf owns and operates 16 properties nationwide, including in California, Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Louisiana and New Mexico. They include Crosby National in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.; the Raven Golf Club at Three Peaks in Silverthorne, Colo.; the Club at Grand Haven in Palm Coast, Fla.; and Black Diamond Ranch in Lecanto, Fla.

October 17, 2012 - 1:53am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy
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Rickie Fowler is taking some extra time off right now, while Rory McIlroy plans to trim his schedule for 2013.

Rory McIlroy is doing whatever it takes to try to win the money titles on both the PGA Tour and the European Tour this year – and what it takes is playing a whole bunch of tournaments. He won’t be trying it again anytime soon, though.

McIlroy has played 21 tournaments so far this season, and that doesn’t count the Ryder Cup. He’ll probably play four to six more times before the end of the year – meaning he’s on the course about every other week. Next year, he’s planning to knock that number down.

"I would just love to cut my schedule back even further and I think next year I will cut it down again to a max play of 22 or 23," he said in an interview published Tuesday on Golf365.com.

"It has been a great season and I am ready to be done," he added. "It is just such a long season these days."

Cutting approximately four events off his 2013 calendar would give him essentially another month off, and put him closer to the kind of schedule that his frenemy Tiger Woods plays – meaning that he’ll focus on the majors and other top events, and sit out almost everything else. That’s a shame for the fans who won’t get to see him play, but is probably smart for a fast-rising star focused on maximizing his incredible potential.

Also Tuesday, buried near the bottom of the Associated Press' weekly golf notebook was the relevation that Rickie Fowler didn’t go to the Korean Open this week to defend his first professional title because of back issues. Fowler also has withdrawn from the PGA Tour’s CIMB Classic next week in Malaysia.

Fowler has been dealing with back problems in recent months that, the AP said, aren't believed to be serious. However, his doctors have told him that traveling overseas and playing tournaments are not in his best interests right now.

Fowler has played 23 tournaments so far this year, including all four of the PGA Tour’s FedExCup playoff events. The Tour Championship in late September was his last start, and he gave no indication as to when he’ll return to action.

October 16, 2012 - 5:19pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Courtesy of Loudmouth Golf
The knickers are available in pattern ranging from "Surfin' Santas" to the Norwegian flag.

You knew this was coming -- it was just a matter of time: Loudmouth Golf has released its first collection of custom-made knickers.

"Knickers are a golf staple and our customers have been asking for them since the beginning of time," said Loudmouth Golf CEO Larry Jackson. "We finally pushed this product to market because we don't want our customers to get their knickers in a wad."

As bad as that pun is, the knickers look like a winner. After all, if you're attracted to Loudmouth's bold design palette, then you're probably the kind of guy who'll wear knickers on the course, too -- and as anyone who's been to the course lately can tell you, there's no shortage of Loudmouth wearers out there these days.

The knicker line is available in more than 40 of Loudmouth's popular patterns, ranging from "Captain Thunderbolt" to "Shamrocks" to "Dixie." They are made of 97 percent cotton and three percent Spandex, and come in waist sizes up to 60 inches.

The knickers' release comes in the wake of the unveiling of Loudmouth's first collection of windshirts. They're available in more than 20 different designs -- including, shockingly, a few solid colors -- as well as popular patterns like "Stars & Stripes" and "Oakmont Houndstooth."

They're made of 100 percent micro-polyester and are available in sizes S-3XL, and come in four different styles: V-Neck Long Sleeve, V-Neck Vest, Half Zip Long Sleeve, and Half Zip Vest.

For more information on the knickers and windshirts, visit the made-to-order section at www.LoudmouthGolf.com

 

October 15, 2012 - 12:48pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Pinnacle Bling golf balls
Courtesy of Pinnacle
Each sleeve in a box of Pinnacle Bling balls contains a different color of balls.

Several golf ball makers offer colored spheres these days, but the Acushnet Co.’s Pinnacle brand is taking color to a whole new level. When you buy a dozen-ball box of Pinnacle’s new Bling balls, you get four sleeves of three – and each sleeve is filled with a different color of balls.

The four shades – which Pinnacle calls High Optix colors – are orange, yellow, pink and violet, and they most definitely are high in optics.

The hues were designed by the Pinnacle research team to provide ultra-high visibility against blue and green, the colors golfers see during every round of play. The High Optix orange, pink and violet colors are brand-new additions, exclusive to Bling. High Optix yellow is also available in the brand's flagship Pinnacle Gold balls.

"Pinnacle Bling golf balls offer a unique and exciting preference option without sacrificing the extra distance and great feel that Pinnacle golf ball players rely on," said Michael Mahoney, the director of golf ball product management for Acushnet. "Bling provides the same excellent performance, quality and value of our Pinnacle Gold models but in four bright color choices."

The Bling balls utilize a high-energy core and soft cover to deliver long distance with a consistent ball flight, which is a trademark of the Pinnacle family. The Bling models feature a large, high-velocity, soft compression core wrapped in a soft ionomer cover blend with a 332 spherical icosahedral dimple design with seven different dimple sizes. This blend of attributes, says Pinnacle, gives golfers long distance on all shots as well as soft touch around the greens.

The balls are available now with a suggested retail price of $24 per dozen.

For more information, visit www.pinnaclegolf.com.

October 14, 2012 - 8:10pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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CordeValle Golf Club
Courtesy of CordeValle Golf Club
CordeValle has established itself as Silicon Valley's home to championship golf.

For most of us wanna-be (but never gonna be) tour pros, playing the courses that the PGA Tour plays is a powerful draw. One place where you can do that this fall is at CordeValle, which has just hosted the Frys.com Open.

Now that the tournament has ended, golfers can take advantage of CordeValle’s Ultimate Golf Package, which runs through the end of the year. The package provides each golfer with a PGA Tour-like playing experience, as well as access to the facilities and amenities at CordeValle in either a one-night deal or for multiple nights and rounds.

The package includes a choice of accommodations, daily continental breakfast, unlimited play each day of your stay with cart, access to the practice facility and a wine tasting at the on-site Clos LaChance Winery.

During part of November, the golf course will be recovering from its annual turfgrass enrichment and aerification, so guests staying on the Ultimate Golf Package wil receive a special reduced rate. Until Nov. 11, rates start at $469 per person, and after that date will start at $359 per person (caddie fees, resort fees, tax and gratuities are additional).

CordeValle has established itself as Silicon Valley's home to championship golf, as the resort has hosted the prestigious PGA Cup as well as its annual stop on the PGA Tour. Later this fall, CordeValle welcomes back the annual Gifford Invitational, a premier men's collegiate event, and will host the 2013 USGA Senior Women's Amateur Championship.

CordeValle offers country club charm, with 45 expansive rooms that create a secluded sanctuary, designed into the harmony of the natural mountainside landscape, overlooking the golf course and lush, rolling hills. Tennis, swimming and the spa are also available, as is a taste of California's famed wine country, with an on-site winery and vineyard. Dining options include Il Vigneto's Italian cuisine with contemporary California flair, the Lion's Peak Grill, with relaxing indoor and outdoor patio seating, and the popular One Iron Bar.

For more information about the Ultimate Golf Package, visit www.cordevallegolf.com.

October 14, 2012 - 5:21pm
Posted by:
John Kim
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Robin Meade
Photo courtesy Robin Meade on Twitter
HLN morning news anchor Robin Meade has caught the golf bug.

 

Before I worked in the golf world, I cut my teeth working in the news world - over at HLN (formerly CNN Headline News.)  And when people find this out about me - it almost always leads to the same question -- "Do you know Robin Meade?"
 
For those that may not know, Robin Meade anchors the 6a-12noon (ET) "Morning Express with Robin Meade" every weekday morning on HLN.  She's smart, she's funny, she's talented (has a country music album out and sang the national anthem at this year's at NASCAR's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona this year) and oh by the way, she's a former Miss Ohio and even a top 10 finalist in the Miss America pageant.
 
Well, not only is the answer "Yes, I am proud to say I know Robin Meade (and call her friend)", but it's exciting to say that I am working with her again - sorta. Actually, it's PGA.com - and the PGA of America - teaming up with "Morning Express with Robin Meade" and HLN to showcase how easy it is to get those new to the game on the course and playing.
 
Using the "Get Golf Ready" model - Robin recently agreed to go through a series of golf lessons and we'd film them to chronicle her introduction to the game - from the walk into the pro shop to actually getting out on the course.  Prior to her first lesson, I told Robin to please give golf a solid chance, if she stuck with it for a little bit, she'd learn to really like it. 
 
Within a day, she had sent me an email. She was hooked. She didn't just like it. She loved it.
 
Robin went through her lessons with world-renowned instructor PGA Professional Suzy Whaley (Instructor at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn., District 1 Director of the PGA Board of Directors and in 2003, became the first woman in 58 years to qualify for a PGA Tour event (Greater Hartford Open)). Meade and Whaley not only went through the different aspects of learning golf, but also talked at length about the benefits of golf to Robin's (and any woman's) personal and professional life. 
 
Starting Monday morning, you can watch Robin's intro into golf - with segments running all week on "Morning Express with Robin Meade."   We will also chronicle her golf progress here on PGA.com this week. Robin will eventually cap off her week of golf talk by traveling to Bermuda to play in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf Pro-Am alongside the likes of  Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson, Ernie Els and Keegan Bradley.
 
You can read more about Robin Meade and "Get Golf Ready" here