Golf Buzz

September 10, 2012 - 12:06am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Emerald Dunes
Courtesy of Emerald Dunes
Two decades after he designed Emerald Dunes, celebrated architect Tom Fazio returned for a makeover.

The Emerald Dunes Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., has completed a $15 million renovation led by original course designer Tom Fazio. Back in 2011, club officials asked Fazio to return and polish up the facility, which Fazio had built back in 1990 and was listed as one of the best 100 courses in the United States and rated in the top five of all Florida clubs.

As part of Fazio’s makeover, Emerald Dunes added new championship tees and expanded or redesigned many other tees. Also, fairways were widened on several holes, some new greens were created and others reshaped, bunkers were added to increase their number to more than 100, and two holes were reconfigured. In addition, a state-of-the-art irrigation system was installed.

"Tom Fazio took the gem of his original design and perfected it," said Emerald Dunes Executive Vice President Ken Green. "While we've added length for scratch golfers, the course remains playable for all skill levels."

The practice facilities at Emerald Dunes are as vast as any. The eight-acre, 310-yard, double-sided driving range includes more than 28,000 square feet of tee surface and provides five target greens, each framed with shallow sand bunkers, four mini chipping target greens and a USGA regulation putting green.

The separate Tom Fazio Short Game Area includes a par-3 19th hole that plays from 85 to 135 yards. Two dedicated target greens, a chipping green and an additional putting green are all built to USGA specifications with identical turf conditions as the course, and six practice bunkers and a grass pot bunker complete the practice amenities available for members.

Appriximately 2,000 mature palms and other trees were planted around the course's perimeter to screen any visible outside architecture and to serve as privacy buffers. In addition, the old cart paths were replaced with crushed shell paths and pavers, and terraces with a Tuscan influence and a verandah overlooking the Tom Fazio Short Game Area and 18th green add to atmosphere.

"Emerald Dunes has always been one of my favorite courses and I was pleased to be invited back to make some strategic enhancements to one of the most highly regarded clubs in Florida," said Fazio. "Emerald Dunes is truly a gem and with the recent improvements it's an even more dazzling jewel. To take something that originally was so well received and make it substantially superior is a special achievement."

For more information on Emerald Dunes, visit, www.emeralddunesclub.com.

September 9, 2012 - 8:45am
Posted by:
John Kim
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Sunday Funday
Getty Images
September will be marked by great weather, the NFL and of course, awesome golf.

I've never really liked the term "golf season."  Yes, I understand it for parts of the country, but golf is played all year - and in terms of the best time to play, golf in the Fall is hard to beat.  And though I realize the majors are done for the year, there's this little event coming up in a few weeks that you might enjoy - we like to call it the "Ryder Cup."

So here comes September - and cooler temps, a little color in the trees and some football to boot.  Best time of the year? I vote yes.

This morning means some time at the range, a quick lunch and then home to sit on the couch and watch the opening Sunday of NFL season.  I think I may be one of 100 million people doing something similar (give or take a few).  And I'm going to enjoy every moment of it. 

There's no other significant point to make other than - I hope this Sunday is the start of a great day for all sports fans.  Watch, play and enjoy.  Here's to a great Fall season!

September 8, 2012 - 9:32pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Nike Lunar Bandon golf shoes
Courtesy of Nike Golf
The Nike Lunar Bandon is a high-top golf shoe with low-profile traction elements on the sole.

Nike Golf created its newest golf shoe, the Lunar Bandon, to be what the company calls the ultimate mudder. 

"You have outerwear, all-weather gloves, and covers for your golf bag," said Nike Golf Footwear Product Director Lee Walker. "We wanted to complement that with a shoe that works with the rest of your gear to protect while it performs."

Nike’s footwear designers recognized that no traditional low-profile golf shoe could be truly waterproof as long as water could enter it over the collar. So they crafted a higher silhouette to work in concert with rain pants, creating the ultimate waterproof protection in a shoe that looks more like a hiking boot than normal golf footwear.

This uniquely styled waterproof upper boasts seam-sealed construction that is designed to help keep water out and feet dry. A booty tongue construction catches any water that could breach the upper when golfers are putting on the shoes, keeping feet as dry as possible.

A bright, asymmetrical zipper across the top of the shoe provides a waterproof shield without adding pressure to the foot. And speed lacing with an easy-to-use toggle simplifies the fastening process and a notched-out heel maximizes comfort for walking and bending to read putts.

Underneath, Nike’s Integrated Traction on the outsole is engineered to help eliminate clogging and increase ground contact. This level of traction keeps a lower profile and provides more stability. And Nike’s Lunarlon cushioning in the heel helps provide lightweight comfort and increased ground-feel.

"In some climates, if you waited for fair weather days, you wouldn't have many options to get out and play," said Walker. "In the Lunar Bandon, golfers have a shoe that allows them to practice and play in any condition."

The Nike Lunar Bandon will be available at retail on Oct. 1, and will carry a suggested retail price of $180 per pair.

September 7, 2012 - 8:44pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Devils Knob Golf Course at Wintergreen Resort
Courtesy of Wintergreen Resort
Devils Knob is especially appealing during fall foliage season.

The Wintergreen Resort near Charlottesville, Va., is embarking on a $12 million improvement project that will include changing the status of its famed Devils Knob Golf Course.

Devils Knob will go private, starting in the spring of 2014, Wintergreen officials said, and access to the course and its other golf facilities will be limited to members, their guests and registered Wintergreen Resort guests.

At more than 3,800 feet, Devils Knob is the highest course in Virginia, and is known for its spectacular Blue Ridge Mountain views, especially during fall foliage season. Designed by Ellis and Dan Maples, it is consistently ranked among the best courses in Virginia.

Resort officials made no mention of any changes to the resort’s other golf complex, the 27-hole Stoney Creek Golf Course, which consists of three nines designed by Rees Jones down in the Rockfish Valley.

As part of the renovation, Wintergreen will build a five-million gallon raw water storage tank and pumping station that will double the resort's snowmaking ability. That, combined with some new snowmaking equipment, will allow Wintergreen to open more ski and snowboard terrain earlier and to deliver more consistent snow conditions throughout the season.

The resort also plans to expand its Wintergreen Aquatics and Fitness Center; upgrade the fitness facility at Stoney Creek; and renovate the Devils Grill, the mountaintop clubhouse restaurant at Devils Knob.

Situated on 11,000 acres adjacent to the George Washington National Forest, Wintergreen offers a unique vacation, social and conference setting with 45 holes of golf as well as skiing, snowboarding, tubing, a tennis center with three indoor courts and 19 outdoor clay courts, a full-service spa, a fitness center and multiple dining options.

For more information about Wintergreen Resort, visit www.wintergreenresort.com.

 

September 6, 2012 - 7:29pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Cobra Baffler Hybrid Iron Combo set
Courtesy of Cobra Golf
The Baffler Hybrid Iron Combo set from Cobra Golf is available in right- and left-handed models with steel-shafted irons and graphite-shafted hybrids as well as graphite-shafted hybrids and irons.

Just ahead of its 40th anniversary, Cobra Golf is launching its new Baffler Hybrid Irons and Baffler Hybrid Iron Combo sets. Cobra, by the way, was founded in 1973 and introduced the original Baffler, golf’s first utility wood, in 1975.

The brand-new Hybrid Irons use the latest iteration of Cobra’s traditional railed sole – which was influenced by the Baffler but designed specifically for irons – to reduce turf drag and improve contact from all lie conditions. The irons’ progressive, oversized face profile improves their forgiveness and their low center of gravity helps get the ball up in the air. In addition, their variable thickness face, which progresses from the short to the long irons, enhances ball speeds and distance on off-center hits.

The Baffler Hybrid Irons are also available in a Baffler Hybrid Iron Combo set (in both men's and women's), where the long irons are replaced with Baffler Hybrids. The hybrids have a wide, railed sole and shallow face for easy launch as well as a top-line alignment system for added confidence.

The Hybrid Irons are available in right- and left-handed models in steel shafts and graphite shafts (both sets contain 4-iron through pitching wedge plus gap wedge), and graphite lite (5-iron through pitching wedge plus gap wedge and sand wedge) sets. They’re priced at $499 for the steel-shafted sets and $599 for the graphite sets.

The Baffler Hybrid Iron Combo Sets are available in right- and left-handed models with steel-shafted irons and graphite-shafted hybrids (4-6 hybrids and 7-iron through pitching wedge through gap wedge) and graphite hybrids and irons (4-6 hybrids and 7-iron through pitching wedge through gap wedge). They’re priced at $599 for steel combo sets and $699 for the graphite combo sets.

The men’s Baffler irons and hybrids feature Lamkin Cobra REL grips, while the hybrids feature MRC Cobra Baffler hybrid shafts and the Baffler irons come with MRC Cobra Baffler iron shafts. The full set is Revolver Grey with Barbados Red highlights.

In the women's line, the Baffler Hybrid Iron Combo set comes in right- and left-handed graphite models (4-6 hybrids and 7iron through pitching wedge plus sand wedge, priced at $699. The set is Capri Blue with silver highlights, and the clubs feature Cobra Winn Wrap grips and MRC Cobra Baffler Hybrid/Iron shafts.

The new clubs will be available at retail on Oct. 19.

For more on Cobra Golf, visit www.cobragolf.com.

Categories: Baffler Blade II
September 6, 2012 - 5:12pm
Posted by:
Steve Eubanks
steve.eubanks's picture
Tin Cup The Stash
Tin Cup
Once the easiest part of golf, marking your golf ball has become a sophisticated process with hundreds of artistic options at your fingertips. Tin Cup, the "Best New Product" of the 2010 PGA Merchandise Show, continues to add to the list.
It was once so easy: a dot or a line, maybe both. Now marking your golf ball is an act of artistic self expression, a creative statement on which you and your hipness could be judged.

Enter Tin Cup, maker of stainless steel stencils for golf balls. Since being introduced at the PGA Merchandise Show in 2010, the company has created a hundred different designs, including beer mugs, martini glasses, American flags, college logos, service branches (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines), whales, cats, pigs, and everything else you can imagine.

Their newest one is a handlebar mustache.

"Our loyal customers really get a kick out of adding a healthy dose of personality to their golf balls and it’s remarkable how many requests we received for a mustache," says Cabell Fooshe, Vice President of Tin Cup. "The design looks amazing against the all-white background, and we anticipate it will quickly become a top seller for individuals, tournaments, outings, events and more."

Who knows? Maybe this will be the next tee gift at the Facial Hair Open.

For more on Tin Cup, visit www.tin-cup.com.