March 2023 Ohio Golf Journal
Golf Tips, Tools & Techniques Especially for Golfaholics in Ohio and the surrounding areas
FrenchLick TheMidwest’sPremier ResortDestination
M arch 2023
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Get Fit For Golf Season I f you are like me you have spent way too much time on the couch watching television. With golf season approaching in Ohio it’s time to get off that couch and get ready to hit the first tee.
In this issue we have a few ideas for you to stretch before you take those first hacks. Especially as we age, it is extremely important to exercise throughout the winter months to be ready for golf. The 65-year-old Bernhard Langer just won his 45th Champions Tour title to tie Hale Irwin for the most career wins on the senior circuit. Bernhard promote a healthy lifestyle and has had long and successful golf career. Even if you work all day at a desk in front of a computer, Mike May shares a few exercises that can help ease back issues and get your ready for the links. I have been very impressed with the new NetFlix documentary ‘Full Swing.’ The story lines and video are very well done. Each episode gives viewers a unique look behind the scenes of professional golf and demonstrates that these guys we see on our big screens are people, who have their own set of problems. Hopefully the weather starts to warm up this month and I will see you on the Back 9.
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Come to French Lick for Great Golf…..Stay for the History and Amenities
Bernhard Langer Makes History at Chubb Classic
5 Things You Need to Know About Omni PGA Frisco Resort Tifosi: Sunglasses Thar Are More Than Just COOL!
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Get FIT For Golf Season
Get Fit and Lower Your Scores with GolfForever Swing Trainer DESKERCIZE: Get Fit At Home, or At The Office Golf Training Aids Has Everything to Improve Your Golf Game
Jill Spiegel Takes Over at PGA Tour Superstore
Reasons You Should Watch Full Swing on NetFlix
News & Notes
Our Contributors 46 Our Favorite Videos 47
New Golf Balls Entering the Market
Advertise with Ohio Golf Journal, Contact us for more information Be sure to take advantage of the links to social media, videos and other content provided within the articles
Ohio Golf Journal is Published By Back 9 Media Group Publisher: Fred Altvater, USGTF Teaching Professional
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Come to French Lick for Great Golf….. Stay for the History and Amenities
E ven casual sports fans know that French Lick, Indiana is the home of NBA legend, Larry Bird. Golfers know that the French Lick Resort, in southern Indiana, has two of the best golf courses in the Midwest. The Donald Ross Course is a historic beauty with undulating greens that cause even the best putters to three and four putt. The Pete Dye course is one of his very best designs, has won numerous awards and hosted several big events. A third course the nine-hole Valley
Links Course and practice range is perfect for an emergency nine, a round with the family, or just working on your game.
In addition, the accommodations, dining and service at French Lick are second to none.
Everyone loves the golf at the French Lick Resort, but man does not live by golf alone. Two hotels, The French Lick Springs Hotel and Casino, plus the West Baden Springs Hotel provide the very best in lodging at this upscale resort.
Dining One of my favorite things at the resort is the variety and quality of the dining options. They take their food service very seriously and both The 1895 Steakhouse in the French Lick Springs Hotel, as well as, Sinclair’s in the West Baden Springs Hotel, serve only the finest cuts and dishes to please the most discerning diner. If you are looking for a more casual dining experience, French Lick has several options. The Power Plant Bar & Grill, The Grand Collonade and Pluto’s Pizzeria are all located in the French Lick Springs Hotel.
West Baden Springs Hotel The West Baden Springs Hotel is a one-of-a-kind experience. Originally built in 1855 to capitalize on the healing waters from the springs in French Lick, it was named after Baden-Baden in Germany, the great mineral European Mineral Spa. The eight-story atrium of the West Baden Springs is awe-inspiring. A marvel of its time, it has been called the 8th Wonder of the World.
Ballard’s in the Atrium at the West Baden Inn allows diners to take in the beauty of the domed lobby, while enjoying a delicious repast, or favorite adult beverage. Fun Fact: Tomato Juice was first served at French Lick Resort In 1917, Head Chef Louis Perrin was preparing the breakfast menu for the guests and realized they were out of oranges for juice. Ever resourceful, Perrin grabbed a handful of tomatoes and created a new beverage, tomato juice. Using ripe tomatoes, a touch of sugar and his secret sauce, the Chef created a new breakfast drink that was a huge success. News of the drink spread quickly throughout the country and people arrived at the hotel just to try the interesting
After various ownership changes the building had fallen into disrepair. The Cook Group invested $500 million into the French Lick Resort and restored this grand old dame to her original beauty. It is a marvel and a visit to the West Baden Springs Hotel will leave a lasting impression. While the French Lick Springs Hotel and West Baden Springs Hotel embrace their distinguished history, the resort just completed the Valley Tower that added 71 new rooms adjacent to the Casino. They are comfortable, beautifully appointed and the rooms can be connected to accommodate families and various groups.
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Using the steep terrain, he created elevated tees that provide majestic views. From the back tees at the 11th hole golfers can see for over 40 miles in every direction, although the fairway seems to be but a small oasis far away in the distance. Every golfer despite their handicap, must take the steep drive up the cart path to check out this amazing site and send at least one drive soaring into the great blue yonder. Be sure to appreciate the ‘volcano bunkers’ that reside in the right rough along the second fairway. To our knowledge you cannot not see this unique design feature at any other golf course in the world.
concoction. Soon there were too many orders for tomato juice and The Springs kitchen couldn’t keep up with the demand. The Donald Ross Course This classic Donald Ross Course opened for play in 1917. The topography allowed Ross to perch greens atop hills, which created uphill approach shots to greens with false fronts. His devilish undulations on the greens always make the dreaded three-putt the rule, rather than the exception and four putts are never out of the equation. The 1924 PGA Championship, won by Walter Hagen was held on the Donald Ross Course at French Lick, as well as the 1959 and 1960 LPGA Championships. It has hosted several EPSON Tour featuring the brightest young women professional golfers trying to make their way to the LPGA Tour. After your round enjoy a cold beverage and a tasty sandwich in Hagen’s Clubhouse Restaurant. If the weather cooperates the best seats can be found on the veranda with unobstructed views of the first and tenth tees, as well as the ninth and 18th greens. The Pete Dye Course When French Lick first asked Pete Dye to design a golf course atop the second highest peak in Indiana, he was not keen on the idea. But after more consideration, plus a few scratches on a cocktail napkin, Dye came up with a routing that created one of the most challenging and beautiful golf courses in the world.
The Pete Dye Course has hosted several big tournaments. The 2010 PGA Professional National Championship and the 2015 Senior PGA Championship, won by Colin Montgomerie, were both held on the Dye Course. The ladies like the Dye Course too. Alice Dye hosted her annual charity event on the Dye Course, plus it hosted a Legend’s Tour event for senior women professionals, beginning in 2013. In 2017, The Senior LPGA Championship became the first major tournament for senior women. The BIG 10 Men’s Championship and the Indiana Men’s Amateur was held on The Pete Dye Course last year. Don’t forget to visit the Mount Airie Mansion before you head back down the hill. Formerly the
Spas at French Lick If you are a little achy after your round on The Donald Ross or Pete Dye Courses relax and allow yourself to be pampered in one of the two Spas at French Lick. Both the French Lick Springs Hotel and the West Baden Springs Hotel offer luxuriously appointed spas to help calm and soothe tired muscles. Professional massage, facials, body wraps, scrubs, as well as manicures and pedicures are all available inside the soothing Spa atmosphere. The French Lick Resort in southern Indiana has long been a favorite for discerning travelers. In addition to the two fabulous championship golf courses, the Pete Dye and the Donald Ross, it boasts a historic Tom Bendelow nine hole course that is perfect for the entire family, or just a quick round to satisfy that golf itch.
Taggert Family Mansion, it sits at the very top of the mountain and provides breath-taking views as you savor your favorite sandwich. There is a statue of Pete Dye near the mansion and the inscription is pure Pete Dye, “The ardent golfer would play Mount Everest if somebody would put a flagstick on top.” Casino In between rounds guests can try their hand at every game of chance imaginable in the Casino. With over 700 slot machines in the spacious French Lick Casino jackpot hunters are sure to find something they will like. In addition, French Lick is constantly updating their games with progressives and interactive games with bonus potential. Choose from over 25 table games on the Casino floor.
Blackjack, craps, roulette, as well as other popular games are all available. Plus, French Lick’s experienced dealers are glad to help the inexperienced player. renovated Sportsbook Lounge with wall to-wall television screens and comfortable club chairs in the French Lick Casino provide real time viewing, plus allows players to place wagers on all their favorites, as well as the underdogs, while enjoying their favorite food, or adult beverage. The newly
It’s the perfect place to kick back and still enjoy all the action.
Get FIT For Golf Season Katherine Roberts has helped train professional golfers, MLB teams and other elite athletes to get the best from their games.
G olfers in Michigan will soon be ready to head back to the links after a long cold winter sitting on the couch watching sports and Hallmark movies. As we age our bodies aren’t as ready to jump directly onto the first tee, grab the weapon of mass destruction and flail away, as wildly as possible, to hit that 300-yard drive into the woods. In this issue we want to help you get ready for those first swings of spring, as well as prepare for an injury-free golf season. To get a jump start on your golf fitness here is a video series with exercises created by Golf Fitness expert, Matt Schultz for Back 9 Report.
We chatted with Katherine at the PGA Show a couple of years ago. Watch the video here:
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-Stretching & Flexibility
Most of these exercises require few additional props and simply need a commitment to ‘Just Do It.’ Maybe saying no to that extra piece of pie might be advisable, as well. We hope these articles and videos help each of you have a safe and enjoyable 2023 golf season.
-Strength & Stability
-Balance & Proprioception
Yoga For Golfers website is another great resource that includes exercises to help release tension and stretch those tight muscles that restrict a golf swing. World renowned fitness expert,
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Get Fit and Lower Your Scores with GolfForever Swing Trainer
G olfForever has created a Swing Trainer that provides a quick and easy way to increase your flexibility and lower your scores, as well. We have seen the GolfForever commercials on television with Justin Leonard extolling the virtues of warming up and working out at home to lower your scores. Scottie Scheffler uses the GolfForever Swing Trainer to increase his power through the swing. Leonard has said, “GolfForever is the best program available to get strong and flexible in a safe, healthy way. I use the 20-minute routines to stay in shape for my active lifestyle.” Golf requires a strong, flexible body that won’t break down to play your best and avoid injury. Many training aids, especially speed trainers, force your body into unnatural positions that can do more harm than good. GolfForever is the first tool that helps safely improve the keys to gain
distance and consistency with better flexibility, balance and speed.
This at-home fitness trainer includes a 44.5 inch training bar with attachment points for the stretching cord and weighted balls. It is durable and will last forever. Take the GolfForever Swing Trainer to the course, their two carabiners allow the cord to easily attach to a golf cart for a quick warm up before hitting the first tee. A universal door anchor makes for a quick in-home training product to keep you fit in between rounds.
In addition GolfForever has created over 500 instructional videos that outline a daily golf fitness program that can be customized to your body, goals and any preexisting pain points, or injuries. Back 9 Report talked with Pete Holman, Orthopedic Specialist and Sports Performance Coach to professional athletes and professional teams, at the PGA Show in January. Watch our video as he explains the correct use of the trainer and why it will help your golf game.
“I am so thrilled! I actually feel like the Swing Trainer has helped me take my fitness and game to a new level. I can definitely measure improvement in power and fluidity in my swing.”
Bill Gorman, COO of RSM, dealt with back issues that limited his enjoyment of golf. He has said,
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“After using the GolfForever Swing Trainer for just a couple of months, he can now play more and enjoy the game pain free.” Play golf without limits. GolfForever wants to help every golfer get more fit, play longer and pain free. Find out more at: https://golfforever.com/
Lisa DePaulo, who plays in Senior LPGA events swears by the GolfForever training method.
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Get Fit at Home, or at the Office ‘DESKERCIZE:’ By Mike May
A s Old Man Winter settles in, it’s time for golfers to get in shape for the 2023 golf season. Put down that piece of pumpkin pie, now is the time to work on stretching, strength, and flexibility, so you can gain a few yards off the tee this year! It’s much easier than you think to incorporate exercise and fitness into your daily life, at home, or at the office, without spending hundreds of dollars for a fitness club membership. Check out these ten ‘deskercizes,’ created by Cedric X. Bryant, Chief Science Officer for the American Council on Exercise, and John Porcari,
Executive Director, La Crosse Exercise and Health Program at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. They can transform your life into a fun, fitness frenzy, plus they are perfect to keep you fit and flexible throughout the year. 1) Paper Pushups – With your arms outstretched while grabbing the edge of your desk, lean at 45 degrees, and do pushups. Start out slow. Just do four-five reps and build up to more as you are able.
2) Book Press – Pick up the heaviest book that you can hold with both hands. Extend
it above your head and lower it behind your neck. Repeat the process. This easy exercise increases tricep strength and firms those saggy muscles at the back of your arms 3) Shoulder Blade Squeezes – To improve your hunched posture, stand up and squeeze your shoulder blades back and forth. Hold the squeeze on your shoulder blades for 10
seconds. Keep doing this and build up to a set of ten.
Office Yoga – Keep a yoga matt at the office and lay it out on the floor for some impromptu stretching. There are a multitude of easy yoga poses for beginners online. Start slow and build up. You’ll be doing the Downward Dog in no time.
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5) Chair Squats – Stand a few inches from the edge of your chair, lower yourself until you are seated in your chair, stretch out your arms parallel to the ground, and keep your back straight. This will help ease those lower back issues you incur from long hours hunched over at your desk 6) Tricep Desk Dips – With your back to a desk, reach back and grab the edge of the desk. Then, bend your arms and lower the body, while putting tension on your triceps. Be careful the first few times you do this. It seems simple, but once you get down, you have to be able to get back up. 7) Wall Sits – Stand next to a wall and lower your back along the wall until your legs are parallel to the floor. Hold that position, then have your back move up the wall to the original position. 8) Standing Calf Raises – While grabbing the back of your chair, put your feet together, and get up on your tippy toes. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat. This will strengthen those calf muscles and enhance those sexy calves when you wear your high heels. 9) Leg Raises – While sitting in a chair with your back straight, extend each leg, individually, holding that pose with the leg parallel to the floor for 10 seconds. Believe it or not, this is very good to tighten and strengthen your abs, which also helps reduce pressure on your lower back. 10) Phone Pacing – While making those big deals on the telephone, use a headset and walk around your office, rather than just sit in a chair. This little bit of cardio gets your heart pumping blood to your lower extremities, and you will see an increase in your focus, as well.
Get fit and ready to hit it ‘Bubba Long,’ in 2023. Use these simple ‘deskercizes’ and be ready to hit the first tee when warmer weather finally gets here.
Try ‘Deskercizes’ -- just for the health of it.
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Golf Training Aids Has Everything to Improve Your Golf Game By Fred Altvater
D uring the COVID Pandemic lockdown individuals found that one of the few outlets available was to be involved with golf. The question then was what about the casual golfer, or former golfers that needed products to improve their game while golf lessons and structured training were off the table due to mandatory distancing rules. Golf Training Aids has a complete line of products that do exactly that, help golfers improve their game, while at home. They recently added the Putting Arc, which has helped professionals and amateur alike make more birdie putts.
“The Putting Arc is one of the most proven training aids on the market, so bringing it to
a large-scale audience on GolfTrainingAids. com is something we take great pride in delivering to golfers,” says GolfTrainingAids. com President John Diulus. “Playing professionals who use the Putting Arc have won more than 1,600 times worldwide and a group of top instructors will be helping us with video content explaining the benefits of putting on the proper path.” Other products available online include, the Divot Board, Sure-Set and Putting Stick, all of which can be used to practice your game at home, or in your office. It’s also no surprise that all of their products can all be used at home.
they consider when adding a new training product. Their newest endeavor, the Distance Builder, is a swing trainer that has variable weights for speed training. The trainer comes in the traditional 43” and 45” versions, but the company also added a 24” model that can be used indoors at home. GolfTrainingAids.com is constantly seeking new ways to help golfers improve. They have supplied both amateur and professional golfers with the most effective golf training aids on the market for over 35 years. Their selection of golf training equipment is the largest in the world and encompasses every aspect of the game. Learn more at: GolfTrainingAids.com.
Being able to use Golf Training Aid products indoors at home is one of the first issues
Ohio Golf Journal
Bernhard Langer Makes History at Chubb Classic
By Len Ziehm
S ince we are focusing on fitness in this is issue, what better example of physical fitness throughout his long professional golf career than Bernhard Langer. At the tender age of 65 he is one of the most fit golfers in the world, which has helped him be a dominate force in golf around the world. After collecting his 45th victory on the Champions Tour at the Chubb Classic, Bernhard Langer now shares the honor of being the winningest golfer on the senior circuit with Hale Irwin. The 36th playing of the Chubb was like a home game for Langer, who has made his home in nearby Boca Raton for over 30 years. Langer had previously won this event five times and came
into Sunday’s final round on Tiburon golf course, as the defending champion. Moving ahead of Irwin and claiming the career win record for himself could come as early as the next tournament, the Cologuard Classic in Tucson. Langer has won there in the past, but he was savoring win No. 45 Sunday without looking past that. “It was extremely special because I never thought it would happen,” said the 65-year old Langer, who extended his record of being the oldest Champions Tour winner to four events. Irwin won the first of his 45 tournaments in 2007, the same year that Langer won his first. Irwin got his 45 in 217 starts, and Langer has made 319.
Langer was tied for the lead after a first round 64 bettered his age and led by just a just a single stroke after a second round, 70. He matched his age on Sunday with a 65. His 17-under-par resulted in a 3-stroke victory margin, but the historic win wasn’t that easy. Playing ahead of Langer on Sunday, Fred Couples, Padraig Harrington and Dicky Pride all took a turn at leading the tournament, but Langer prevailed with five birdies in his final seven holes to grab the historic win. Langer garnered 42 wins on the European Tour, plus two Green Jackets, winning the Masters in 1985 and again in 1993. In 1986, he became the very first player to be the No. 1 player on the Official World Golf Rankings. “My whole life has been an improbable story,” Langer said after the celebrating had died down. “I should have died as a kid when I had an extremely high fever. Doctors told my mother not to have a child, but she got pregnant anyway. They told her to abort me,
but she decided not to take a chance of killing herself and me. We both survived.” Then came golf. “I was just a German kid from a village of 800 who started as a caddie,” he said.“Nobody started a career in golf in Germany. They thought I was crazy. Just to earn a living at it was incredible. Maybe someday we can make a movie about it.” It may take a while to do that, because at the young age of 65, Langer has no plans to cut down his playing career any time soon.
Maumee Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing Scheduled For June 26 T he Maumee Chamber Golf Outing has become one of the major events on the Toledo golf scene. The Chamber has announced that June 26th is the date for the 2023 outing which will be held once again at Stone Oak Country Club. Both morning and afternoon sessions are scheduled to accommodate as many golfers as possible. The 4-man scramble format makes it fun for everyone. Both lunch and dinner will be served with winners and prizes announced after dinner in the clubhouse. Ohio Golf News Ohio Golf Journal
This outing always fills up fast! Contact the Maumee Chamber at 419-893-5805, email kristin@ maumeechamber.com , or register online at: bit.ly/3m4Eeiu .
NOPGA Sets Dates for PGA HOPE
Funded by the PGA of America, the 6-to-8 week program, conducted by PGA members trained in adaptive golf and military cultural competency, is free to all Veterans and active personnel. Clearview Golf Club Head Professional and Hall of Fame member, Renee Powell, is the reason that HOPE was brought to Northern Ohio. U.S. Army Veteran Hollis Burkes is the Northern Ohio PGA HOPE Ambassador, taking the lead on encouraging Veterans to sign up for the program. Currently, there are 11 PGA HOPE sites throughout Northern Ohio. They are part of 162 programs across the country. Click Here to register and to view more information on the Northern Ohio PGA website.
T he Northern Ohio Professional Golfers Association (NOPGA) is conducting free lessons
for Active Duty Military personnel and Veterans through a program introduced by the PGA of America.
PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) is the flagship military program of PGA REACH and is designed to enhance the physical, mental, social and emotional health of the men and women who have served our country so valiantly, while learning the great game of golf. Lourdes University Announces Athletic Hall of Fame T he inaugural Lourdes University Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony has been set for November 3, 2023. Toledo native and Ohio State University basketball legend, Clark Kellogg, will be the featured speaker. Lourdes University sponsors 25 varsity sports and is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The Gray Wolves are members of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC), with men’s wrestling competing in the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC).
Over the last 12 years, Lourdes student-athletes have earned amassed 35 All-American citations. Patrick Yannarelli was named the NAIA National Coach of the Year in in men’s lacrosse in 2016. For their work in the classroom, 13 Lourdes student athletes have earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors.
Lourdes University has sponsored varsity athletics since 2010 when men’s and women’s golf, women’s volleyball, and men’s basketball became the first four sports the department sponsored. Additional information regarding nominations, tickets to the event, or sponsorships can be directed to Sarah Salatin, Director of Development, at 419-517-8984, or email@example.com
Ohio Golf Journal
Jill Spiegel Takes Over at PGA Tour Superstore By Ed Travis
I t’s been just a few months since Jill Spiegel took over the job as President of PGA Tour Superstores (PGATSS) and already her presence and leadership style are being felt. She succeeded Dick Sullivan, the former President, and Chief Executive Officer, who moved into the spot of Executive Chairman and CEO. Sullivan, who is considered by many to be one of the top golf retailing executives in the country, oversaw PGATSS growth to become of the largest specialty golf and tennis retailer. The promotion to President makes Spiegel one of the highest placed women in the golf industry and she brings to the position more than ten years of experience with the company, most recently as Senior Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer. A Michigan native Spiegel’s first job at
PGATSS was Vice President Merchandising Soft Goods. Prior to that she held merchandising positions at Belk Department stores and was Vice President of Planning for New York-based Macy’s. In an exclusive interview during the recent PGA Show Spiegel was frank in her assessments and shared how she plans to move store sales upward capitalizing on the steep growth over the past two years when PGATSS sales doubled. She immediately emphasized a primary focus in the new year will be on customer club fittings with a revamped approach to the instore Studio experience in all their locations. This has already begun with additional training for club fitters and a multimillion-dollar investment in the Fitting and Services departments plus, and certainly a marker of the depth of commitment to employee
education, a new Performance Training Center for store associates has opened.
Part of that relationship building will be the continuation of programs to bring new golfers into the game especially women and juniors. Growth plans for this year include opening eight new stores, including Raleigh, Oklahoma City, Boise, and Chicago and others. The same number were opened in 2022, all in cities where PGATSS did not have a presence and at the end of 2023 will bring the total number to 64. In an aside Spiegel also pointed out women like to shop for apparel at PGATSS. She said there are large differences between selling golf clothing and golf clubs and a different focus is required. With a much shorter lifecycle than hard goods apparel must have the latest styling and a large brand assortment which requires seasoned apparel buyers on staff, tight inventory control with frequent markdowns plus creative display and knowledgeable personnel. It’s clear golf attire has become a lifestyle choice for many, and Spiegel said in fact that at some of their warm weather resort locations women’s apparel outsells men’s upending the
Spiegel’s most revealing comment was, “We’re here to help the game’s growth through the relationship our store associates have with customers.” Part of that relationship building will be the continuation of programs to bring new golfers into the game especially women and juniors. Back 9 Report talked with Ms. Spiegel about the increasing presence of women in golf and PGATSS’ involvement with The First Tee. View the full interview here:
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usual thinking. As the official retailer of Women’s Golf Day , PGATSS is a longtime supporter of growing the game and has a companywide program for young women called “Girls Got Drive.” For PGATSS growing the game is not just a nice sounding phrase and hasn’t been for a number of years. Each store offers weekly no cost clinics to juniors, plus there is additional support to organizations introducing women into our sport such as “She Who Golfs,” “Fore the Ladies” and “Women on Course.” For the third-year general managers, in conjunction with local First Tee chapters, will teach a Leadership Series for teens. Upon completion of the Series, 40 students will be tapped to attend a First Tee Summit at PGATSS owner Arthur Blank’s West Creek Ranch in Montana. Four scholarships of
much smaller scale and serves to foster socialization around the golf experience in a group activity.” The program becomes one more step to involve new people in the game potentially converting them to oncourse play and purchase of apparel and equipment. Spiegel also noted that pickleball racquet and ball sales are “exploding” reflecting the enormous increase in those playing and overall general interest in the game. This was apparent at the PGA Show where pickleball courts drew a constant crowd of attendees watching exhibition matches that included Tiger Woods’ former golf instructor Hank Haney. Jill Spiegel steps into Dick Sullivan’s role as leader of an aggressively growing company that is the recognized leader in golf retailing and committed to programs making the game more inviting to women and juniors and turning nonplayers into players.
$20,000 will be awarded at the Summit. Plus, this year for the first time, in addition to the 40 students selected for participation in the Montana Summit, 48 students will be selected to participate in the week-long inaugural Atlanta Leadership Academy to be held in June. An example of PGATSS’s progressive thinking was a trial instituted at the new Milwaukee store, offering memberships to the nine simulator hitting bays. Seating behind the bays encourages friends and family to watch and play games on the simulators together. Spiegel said, “This was not unlike a Topgolf entertainment center, but on a
Ohio Golf Journal
News & Notes
Pinehurst: Magnolia Inn Reopened After Renovation A fter a year-long renovation that completely remodeled its guest rooms and interior, The Magnolia Inn, located in the heart of the Village of Pinehurst, once again greeted guests in February. The Magnolia Inn is the second-oldest hotel in the Village, behind only The Holly Inn, which welcomed Pinehurst’s very first guests on New Year’s Eve in 1895, just one year before The
Magnolia Inn first opened its doors. The Magnolia Inn is owned by Pinehurst Resort and also features the Villaggio Restaurante & Bar, a fine dining experience featuring traditional Italian cuisine.
Southern Pines Wins Award
G olf Digest named Southern Pines Golf Club one of the Best Renovation Projects in the country. Kyle Franz did an amazing job restoring this original Donald Ross course, considered one of Ross’ finest creations.
According to Golf Digest:
“Franz’s work injecting greens with bold character, removing trees and painting the
layout with the kind of scruffy sandscapes indigenous to the Pinehurst region (and to Pine Needles and Mid Pines where he’s previously wielded his art), have elevated this formerly modest public course to the level of its more prestigious neighbors.”
To learn more watch this video from Kelly Miller, President of Southern Pines: https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=JFkhoZ5ZTaA
Fields Ranch Set to Open in May
F ields Ranch in Frisco, Texas, the new home of the PGA of America is set for a May opening. Both courses are ready for play and will open to visitors.
Texas PGA Section offices and a spa, as well as a short course. To learn more watch this Back 9 Report video interview with Welling about the new resort.
The East Course, designed by Gil Hanse, will host several high profile golf tournaments in the near future. The West Course was designed by Beau Welling
The property also includes the PGA of America home offices, an Omni Resort hotel, North
70th PGA Show Sees Growth Over 2022 A ttendance at the 70th PGA Show in Orlando, was double of 2022. Held in January, over 30,000 PGA Professionals, golf leaders, industry executives and retailers from more than 86 countries came together to meet with more than 800 golf companies, which was a 33% increase over the previous year.
up to that billing this year,” PGA President John Lindert said. “It was the epicenter of golf business with more than 800 companies conducting business and remains the largest stage in golf for networking, education and career development. We met with innumerable allied golf associations and organizations to develop strategies to grow participation in the game and business strategies for the months and years to come.”
Following two years of business disruptions by the global pandemic, the PGA Show was a clear sign of a bullish year ahead for the continued growth of the sport and the $84 billion golf industry. “The PGA Show is annually the largest gathering of PGA Professionals and industry leaders, and it has certainly lived
Ohio Golf Journal
USGA Adds New Exemption Categories T he USGA announced four new exemption categories for the U.S. Open Championship, beginning with the 2023 championship at The Los Angeles Country Club’s North Course in June. One additional exemption will be introduced beginning with the 2023 U.S. Women’s Open, to be contested in July at Pebble Beach Golf Links. The four new exemptions for the U.S. Open, to be added in 2023, are as follows: America Amateur Champion (must be an amateur) • 2023 NCAA Division I men’s individual champion (must be an amateur) • 2022 Korn Ferry Tour season points leader (using points earned on KFT • 2023 Latin
and the top player from the 2023 Race to Dubai rankings, who is not otherwise exempt. An exemption for the DP World Tour U.S. Open Qualifying Series will be modified from last year and the top two players from the series, who are not otherwise exempt, will earn exemptions. The two players will be the top aggregate point earners from four DP World Tour events, the Italian Open, Soudal Open, KLM Open and Porsche European Open. Two-stage U.S. Open qualifying, both local and final, will continue to be conducted at U.S. and international sites in April, May and June. U.S. Women’s Open qualifying will be held in one stage. More information about the 2023 U.S. Open and the 2023 U.S. Women’s Open is available at usopen.com and uswomensopen.com , respectively.
Regular Season and points earned in KFT Tour Finals) • The top 5 players in 2022 23 FedExCup standings as of May 22, 2023, not otherwise exempt In addition, a new exemption category has been added for the U.S. Women’s Open: • The 2023 NCAA Division I women’s individual champion (must be an amateur) Additionally, final qualifying returns to Europe for the first time since 2019. U.S. Open exemptions will be awarded to the top two players from the final 2022 DP World Tour Rankings, who are not otherwise exempt
New Product from Creative Golf Innovations I f you spend time around the practice green chipping and putting, you know that rounding up your practice balls is time consuming and can be a bit like herding cats. Creative Golf Innovations has created a handy tool to save you time and the back-breaking exercise of physically picking up your range balls.
The DIY kit is easy to assemble and will benefit everyone at your club or range. The ball pusher fits every age and size golfer. It pivots and hugs the ground to move balls off the green. Find out more at: https://www.creativegolfinnovations.com/
TopGolf Callaway Report Earnings, PLUS Will Open First China Facility By Steve Pike
F or the full year of 2022, Topgolf Callaway Brands reported earnings of $158 million down from $322 million in 2021. Total revenue last year was $3.996 billion. Topgolf easily led the company’s financials, with $409 million in Q4 revenue alone, a 22 percent increase over 2021. For the year, Topgolf reported revenue at $1.5 billion, 42 percent better than in 2021, with a 32 percent earnings increase to $77 million. Topgolf Callway Brands’ equipment revenue was $190 million in Q4 2022, versus $161 million the same period in 2021. For 2022, equipment sales $1.4 billion, an increase of 14 percent over 2021. The company opened six Topgolf venues in the last quarter and a total of 11 new venues in 2022. It plans this spring to open its first venue in Chengdu, China. “This will be a massive, 104-bay facility, built, owned and operated by our national franchisee there,’’ Topgolf Callaway Brands Chip Brewer said. “China represents a massive long-term
opportunity for Topgolf and thus both we and our franchisee are excited to get our first venue up and running.’’ Brewer said the company finished 2021 with 81 owned and operated venues and five franchised venues. “We expect to open 11 new owned and operated venues again this year. The mix will be similar in size to last year and like last year, it will be back-end loaded, with only two venues planned to open in the first half of this year and eight planned to open in Q4.’’
Tiger & Rory Attend Ground-Breaking Ceremony From Jack Barrett I n February Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, co-founders of TMRW Sports, attended a ceremony at Palm Beach State College to officially begin construction of the arena that will house the new TGL indoor golf league.
The TGL is set to launch in 2024 with 11 top-ranked PGA Tour players including, world No. 1 Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Adam Scott, Collin Morikawa, Matt Fitzpatrick, Max Homa, Billy Horschel, Justin Rose and Xander Schauffele committed to participate in league events.
Also making remarks were Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis and PGA Tour Commissioner, Jay Monahan.
Ohio Golf Journal
bridge. Plus, the thousands of enthusiasts that stopped to take pictures only exacerbated the situation.
would remove the offensive stone walkway and restore the area to the way it had stood for over 700 years.
Evidently progress and change are not welcome in St. Andrews.
Much To Do About Nothing E arlier this year the folks at the ‘Home of Golf’ decided the famed Swilcan Bridge on the 18th hole at St. Andrews needed a face lift. The grass on the entrance to the bridge was dying and hard to maintain due to the number of golfers that were forced to use it to cross the bern on the historic
The St. Andrews Links Trust decided something must be done, so they built a circular stone pad, similar to a patio, to cover the area around the bridge’s entrance. Golf fans went collectively out of their minds on social media berating the minders of the ‘Auld Course’ and creating such an uproar that they were forced to announce they
St. Andrews resident, Kieran Clark joined Back 9 Report to talk about the change and subsequent removal. Watch it here:
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Club Champion Sees Record Growth C lub Champion recently announced that they had one of their best years on record in 2022 with over 94,000 club fittings last year. Via acquisitions, they expanded their international presence in Canada, the UK and Australia Club Champions Founder, Nick Sherburne said, “After over a decade of growth, you’d think there has to be a plateau but that hasn’t been the case for us. We continue to have the best fitters, the best fittings, and the most brands a golfer can try in the bay. We won’t stop so long as there are golfers looking to improve their game through better equipment.” The company also opened 18 stores in the United States last year which led to a 15% increase in the company’s labor force across the United States. With a new distribution center in Tempe, Arizona and renovations to the Willowbrook, Illinois headquarters, the company has reduced
its average build and ship time to just 10 business days for club orders. Collectively, the two build shops produced more than 345,000 hand-built golf clubs during the year. Club Champion has plans to continue its growth with even more stores in the United States and around the globe. “We’ve got big plans for 2023. Between our fittings and our digital content, we know Club Champion will continue to be synonymous with better golf moving forward.” For more information about Club Champion, please visit clubchampion.com .
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Ohio Golf Journal
New Golf Balls Entering the Market PXG Enters the Golf Ball Market By Ed Travis
C lub maker PXG has jumped into the already crowed golf ball market with the PXG Xtreme Premium, a 338-dimple three-piece urethane cover ball sold direct-to-consumer sales on their website and in their retail locations. There are several three-piece urethane cover balls on the market and unfortunately PXG has not come up with a standout feature to distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack. The Xtreme falls in the same space as the Titleist Tour Speed and Callaway ERC Soft. Both fine products with many users, but the Xtreme is only able to claim marginal differences when compared with Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x which sells for $15 a dozen more. Doesn’t make sense but then comparing to the bestselling and most played ball is a reasonable strategy…I guess.
Bob Parsons PXG’s founder is known for his business acumen as evidenced by his challenge to the traditional clubmakers ten years ago when he started PXG. Those of us around then remember the first club models announced cost more than $5000 to buy a complete bag of woods and irons and some in the industry outright laughed at the prospect of being in business for more than two years. Times change though and PXG has not given up the idea of super premium club pricing but now has other lines more in the middle range of cost and there’s no doubt PXG has been a success as seen by the more than 20 retail locations they operate across the country. ‘Nobody does golf like PXG….NOBODY,’ but will this new line of golf balls be good enough to grab a significant share of the market? A good question, so far unanswerable and only time will tell. Fast Facts: PXG Extreme Premium – Three-piece construction – Urethane cover – 338 dimples – Polybutadiene core – Ionomer mantle – Available only online, or in PXG retail stores $39.99/dozen
Bridgestone e12 Contact Ball
By Ed Travis
T he newest e12 Contact ball from Bridgestone continues the raised dimple center of the 2021 model but with a new cover formulation improves the soft feel in a three-piece distance ball with more short game control. Bridgestone has updated the e12 Contact ball cover, while keeping the unique dimple with a raised center area from the 2021 model. The dimple design increases contact with the club so more impact energy is transferred and reduces side spin. The result is what everyone is looking for, namely straighter shots with more distance. The FLEXATIV cover is still Surlyn, but with “impact modifiers” that Bridgestone says make the cover act firmer when hit with a driver to give faster ball speed but with short irons, when control is desired, it acts softer and slower for more spin. “FLEXATIV represents our fourth iteration of Contact Science,” said Adam Rehberg, Senior
Manager, Ball Fitting and R&D. “Our engineers have found a way to combine the structural and chemical advantages of Contact Science and put them into one golf ball, creating a model that flies longer, straighter, and spins more on short shots around the green. It’s an impressive achievement in design and manufacturing.” Compared with the previous version the new e12 Contact is $5 per dozen more, certainly trend in
the club and ball business this year. Fast Facts: Bridgestone e12 Contact Ball
– Three-piece construction – FLEXATIV Surlyn cover – Contact Force dimple design – Available colors: white, matte red, matte green, matte yellow – $34.99 dozen in retail stores
Ohio Golf Journal
5 Things You Need to Know About Omni PGA Frisco Resort By Ed Schmidt Jr. 1. Sprawling Resort in a Phenomenal Location 2. Two 18-Hole Golf Courses Designed by Highly-Acclaimed Designers
Fields Ranch West was designed by Beau Welling and plays from 7,319 to 4,166 yards. It rambles along Panther Creek in a prairie setting with huge live oak and mesquite trees. Golfers who love to bomb it off the tee can do so aggressively as the expansive fairways average 75 yards in width. The greens are fairly large with rolling surfaces and low cut green surrounds encourage a bump-and-run style prevalent on links courses. Back 9 Report talked with Beau Welling about the concept and planning of the new Omni PGA Resort. Watch the full interview here: https://youtu. be/wAeFtfsxunw. 3. Innovative Golf Amenities Golf can be enjoyed in a variety of fun and creative ways at Omni PGA Frisco Resort with these activities: — The Swing is a 10-hole lighted short course with holes ranging from 45 to 100 yards, designed jointly by Beau Welling and Gil Hanse. Located adjacent to the golf clubhouse, it has
Slated to officially open in May, the $520 million, 660-acre resort complex will be one of the largest golf resorts on the planet. The Omni PGA Frisco Resort is located 30 minutes from the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Frisco, a city of 210,000, is also home to The Star, the campus of the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters and practice facility. For entertainment activities, Frisco offers the Stonebriar Centre, a 165-store regional mall and Frisco Square, a mixed-use downtown development with multiple dining and shopping options.
Fields Ranch East was designed by Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner, who drew inspiration from earlier designs by Perry Maxwell. The par 72 championship course can be stretched to over 7,800 yards or play to as little as 5,000 yards. Panther Creek winds through the course’s rolling topography and natural dry washes. Smallish greens with stylish greenside and fairway bunkers, plus the surrounding prairie grasses are highlights of this strategic design that is set to host numerous championship tournaments.
creative green complexes with dramatic swales that can funnel the ball toward hole locations. — The Dance Floor is a massive lighted 75,000 square foot putting course and is considered to be one of the largest natural grass putting courses in the world. — Lounge by Topgolf is an indoor sports bar equipped with industry-leading Topgolf Swing Suite technology and a library of virtual games that offer a variety of game options for guests. It offers craft cocktails, chef-driven fare, and a fun, immersive atmosphere. — PGA Coaching Center spans 12,000 square feet combining coaching, club fitting and fitness elements to create a unique, high-touch, high-tech and data driven experience that serves beginner and skilled golfers of all ages. — Fields Ranch Practice Facility encompasses nearly 30 acres. The driving range includes specific areas for resort and public play, Club 1916 Member use, as well as use by the North
Texas PGA Section and Frisco Independent School District. Resort guests, public play and Club 1916 Members will have access to Toptracer Technology applicable on their mobile phone. The APP allows individuals to track and log their practice, capture their swing and create a fun practice session with a game at the tip of your fingers. — Ice House is a modern ranch-style venue that was inspired by the airy barns that once dotted this region of Texas. Featuring an impressive selection of beer, wine, and cocktails, Ice House incorporates six live hitting bays at the back of the venue and offers stunning views of our grounds. — Golf clubhouse is a massive Tri-level design encompassing over 40,000 square feet. 4. Fields Ranch East Will Host Major Championships The first being the 2023 Senior PGA. In all, 26 additional championships are scheduled through
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