November 17, 2012 - 1:26am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America
Much more golf was played in the northeastern quadrant of the United States this year.

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, the entire golf industry should be giving thanks for some of the best news of the year – rounds play in 2012 are way up over last year.

"In fact, if fourth quarter rounds are flat with the same period in 2011, we would end the year with the largest single-year jump since the turn of the century -- a national gain of more than 30 million rounds," says the National Golf Foundation in its State of the Industry Update.

Nationwide, rounds are up 7.4 percent through September, and nearly every state experienced a gain over 2011. The fourth quarter accounts for only 16 percent of the annual rounds, the NGF says, so the 2012 gain should come in just above 6 percent.  Rounds played have declined about 11 percent over the past decade, the NGF adds, so 2012 will recover about half of that dip.

What’s behind the big improvement? It’s a dramatic increase in rounds played across the northeastern quarter of the United States from the Dakotas down to Kansas and over to Maryland and Vermont. Year-over-year growth in that quadrant averaged 12 percent, according to the Golf Datatech National Rounds Played Report. That region is so important because 44 percent of all U.S. golf courses and 47 percent of America’s public golf courses are located there.

Why was there so much improvement up north? One big reason is that the weather was much better this year compared to last. In fact, the PGA’s PerformanceTrak reports a strong 8 percent increase in playable days nationwide. Another big reason: Consumer confidence and spending also have been consistently edging upward.

November 16, 2012 - 10:59pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Belen Mozo
Getty Images
No doubt, Belen Mozo will be more careful in her choice of transportation on Saturday.

Put this one down as a moving violation. After the second round of the LPGA Tour’s season-ending CME Group Titleholders on Friday, Belen Mozo tweeted that she’d received a two-stroke penalty for riding on the wrong shuttle.

The Titleholders is being played for the first time at the Club at TwinEagles in Naples, Fla., which like so many Florida tracks is laid out amidst a residential community. There are long distances between several of the holes, and players are riding shuttles between nine different greens and tees. And, as she found out, riding on a shuttle not specifically designated for the players is a big no-no.

Here are Mozo’s Twitter entries describing the situation:

‏@BelenMozo: Not a good day for me;(. I was hanging in there despite my poor game until I got 2stroke penalty for riding on a wrong shuttle.

‏@BelenMozo: This week we have 9 shuttles from green-tee. I took a ride from shuttle that was driving my 'inside the ropes' group, who were tired.

@Belen Mozo: After that I finished w/ 2 bogeys. A lot to learn. But never giving up on keep working hard! I'll bounce back from this.

Mozo’s penalty turned her par on the 16th hole into a double bogey, and that, followed by those two closing bogeys she mentioned, gave her a 77. If there is a consolation, it’s that she wasn’t close to the lead -- she’s tied for 49th place, 14 shots behind leader Ai Miyazato.

And if Mozo was miserable, she’s got company – her penalty might not even have been the most unusual one of the day. Sun Young Yoo – who was near the top of the leaderboard – received a one-shot penalty after her round because her arm wasn’t high enough when she made a penalty drop after her ball had gotten lodged in a bush on the 14th hole.

Yoo, one of three first-round co-leaders, thought she was only two shots back when she walked off the course. She was quickly approached by rules officials, who pointed out that her arm was not shoulder-high when she took her drop.

"I didn't try to cheat. I didn't think about my arm's height," said Yoo, who will enter the third round three shots off the lead. "It's my mistake. … I'll learn from this mistake, and next time I won't make it."

She'll tee off Saturday tied for third, three shots behind Miyazato.

UPDATE: Now the Belen Mozo situation is much clearer. She returned to Twitter on Saturday to clarify that she hopped a ride on a shuttle with her 'inside the ropes' group on a hole where the players were supposed to walk to the next tee box.

"We have 9 holes w/ shuttles & I took a ride on a hole W/O a shuttle," she tweeted. So it was my fault however; the shuttle was an official shuttle but not for players. They told me to ride w/ them & I didn't think twice."

 

 

 

 

November 16, 2012 - 12:46pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Jamie Sadlowski, Gary Williams
From The Golf Channel's Morning Drive
Jamie Sadlowski will not be invited to test out too many other simulators.

Jamie Sadlowski, former two-time RE/MAX World Long Drive Champion (2008, 2009), stopped by the set of Golf Channel's, "Morning Drive," on Friday with the show's host, Gary Williams.

During the segment, Sadlowski and Williams were supposed to have a long-drive contest on the golf simulator in the studio. Unfortunately -- or, actually, "incredibly" -- the contest was pretty much over before it even got started.

Williams let Sadlowski play first since he was the visitor. Salowski took a mighty swipe and smashed the golf ball right through the net that protects the simulator's projection screen and then the ball traveled right through the projection screen as well.

Sadlowski and Williams both laughed in disbelief, then Williams informed the audience, "Ladies and gentlemen, this contest is over! He just broke our simulator!"

For the record, Sadlowski's personal best drive traveled a monstrous 445 yards.

Must see video: Long-drive champ smashes simulator
November 15, 2012 - 2:19am
Posted by:
John Kim
john.kim's picture
Golf's charitable impact
The PGA of America
2011 was another great year for golf to have a significant charitable impact

 

Today, GOLF 20/20 - the collaboration of leading organizations representing all segments of the United States golf industry - announced that golf's charitable impact in the year 2011 reached $3.9 billion dollars. 
 
The amazing part of that statement is not just the sheer amount of money - but also the consistency that golf provides, every year, to charity.
 
From the release:
 
Today, GOLF 20/20 - the collaboration of leading organizations representing all segments of the United States golf industry  - released a statement highlighting the amount of money golf raised for various charitable causes in 2011.  
 
From the release:
 
"(ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA.) - GOLF 20/20 -- the collaboration of leading organizations representing all segments of the United States golf industry - today announces golf's charitable impact of $3.9billion in 2011.
 
According to a study conducted by the National Golf Foundation, golf as a fundraising vehicle includes an estimated:
 
  • 12,000 golf facilities(75 percent of U.S. total)
  • 143,000 events
  • 12 million participants
  • $26,300 average per function
 
"Regardless of the economic climate, golf is a key driver of charitable giving in the U.S.," says Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation, administrator of GOLF 20/20. "As a major focus of the golf industry, working with organizers of philanthropic events helps improvemillions of lives."
 
Beneficiaries include health, youth, education, environmental and cultural groups nationally, regionally and locally.
 
More than 85 percent of organizations conducting golf events find them important because, in addition to raising significant funds, they are easy to organize and provide exposure and networking opportunities among supporters.
 
The charitable impact findings are based on qualitative callsand data collection from a coast-to-coast sampling of public and private golf facilities, and non-profit organizations producing golf events.
 
Donations, including those from professional golf tournaments, are a significant part of the golf industry, which is comparable in size to the motion picture and video industries."
 
We'd all like to encourage you to share how golf has helped your charitable endeavours.  You can join the social discussion at http://twitter.wearegolf.org or visit www.golf2020.com
November 14, 2012 - 10:30am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Padraig Harrington
Getty Images
Ireland's Padraig Harrington sports his impressive Movember mustache.

You may or may not be familiar with "Movember." During November each year, men take part in this movement where they cleanly shave their respective faces on Nov. 1, and then spend the rest of the month growing out a mustache (or "moustache" if you prefer) to raise awareness of prostate cancer and other male cancer initiatives.

Geoff Ogilvy, Johnson Wagner and Rickie Fowler have all taken part and three-time major champ Padraig Harrington is the latest golfer making the "misplaced eyebrow" famous.

Well, at least one group of golfers has taken this all a step further.

According to The Mustache Open website, "Clifton S. Waterbury III, also known as Mr. Mr. and Mr. Leisure, is the founder and President of The Mustache Open Enterprises. An American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and golfer. He is known for throwing the best mustache golf tournaments around the world."

In an effort to raise money for a number of charities, here is what The Mustache Open does:

"The Mustache Open is holding tournaments in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This is your chance. Float like a butterfly, stache like Burt Reynolds. Register today to play in the world's greatest two man scramble ever. Each mustachioed competitor has a chance to showcase their skills and their stache to qualify for a free trip to Las Vegas to play in the Tournament of Champions. The winning two man team will be crowned The Mustache Open Champions and be presented with the coveted Mustache Open Leisure Robes. This is an opportunity unlike any other. It's bragging rights to your friends. It's a legacy you can pass along to your children's children's children. Win fame. Get the girl. Get the guy. Get the girl to get the guy to get you a sandwich. But first, get your mustache and swing in shape, because the competition is bound to get hairy."

The No. 1 rule of The Mustache Open? You must have a mustache.

And, their motto?

"Golfing with a mustache... It's just plain funner!"

To learn more about The Mustache Open, visit the website here.

November 14, 2012 - 9:13am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture

The most historic and prestigious event in senior golf -- the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid -- is set to tee off at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis for the first time May 21-26, 2013.

The PGA of America has announced that tickets for the 74th playing of the championship are on sale now. And, if you choose to buy tickets now, there's an added bonus.

"Ticket purchasers will have the added value of priority to purchase tickets for the Centennial PGA Championship when golf comes to Bellerive in 2018," said General Chairman Bob Cox in a press release. "Championship golf in St. Louis is back and now is the best time to act -- prior to the holiday rush."

With the 2013 Senior PGA Championship, Bellerive will become only the third club in the United States to host all four traveling men's professional major championships: PGA Championship (1992), Senior PGA Championship (2013), U.S. Open (1965) and the U.S. Senior Open (2004).

Tickets for the 74th Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid can be purchased for as little as $15.

To check out all the ticket packages now available, click here. 

To buy your tickets now, click here.