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Golf To Go by Frank LaRosa

 


An Invitation to Play Well and Feel Good!

Sacramento City Councilmember Rob Fong loves golf almost as much as he loves giving back to his community. Now, he has found a way to do both—at the same time!

 

Fong’s third annual Faith and Homeless Families charity golf tournament supports families that need a helping hand out of homelessness through the gift of housing, and mentors to guide them along the way.

 

The golf tournament is scheduled for the Alister MacKenzie Golf Course at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex on September 9, 2011. The shotgun start begins at 1:30pm.

 

Fong would welcome both new players and sponsors for the four person Callaway scramble event. Your $125 entry fee also entitles you to a great dinner after golf. Your sponsorship entitles you to know that you’ve helped families re-build their lives. Seems like a win-win to me!

 

For more information, please contact Nora Benavides at (916) 281-6930 or n_bb@comcast.net.

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"24-Hour Membership" at Poppy Hills Golf Course

Golfers who would like to sample a membership in the Northern California Golf Association can now join the “24-Hour Members Club” that provides benefits at Poppy Hills Golf Course normally reserved for NCGA members. Available weekdays now through December, the “24-Hour Members Club” includes a round of golf on the Robert Trent Jones Jr. championship course, use of a golf cart, unlimited access to the practice facility for the day of play and Poppy Hills/NCGA golf accessories pack.  Guests may reserve a tee time as a single, a twosome, or however they wish; as “members,” it’s their choice. The specialty priced offer is $130 per player, which is a savings of $90. For golfers who would like to extend their visit, accommodations for the “24-Hour Members Club” are available at Monterey’s newest boutique hotel, Hotel Abrego in the heart of Downtown Monterey.  A partner property with the NCGA, the Hotel Abrego is extending its “NCGA Rate” for this offer, which is an additional benefit.  (Reservations based on availability.) A “must play” when visiting the Monterey Peninsula, Poppy Hills is an award-winning design that has served as a venue for the PGA Tour and NCAA Championships.  Opened in 1986, Poppy Hills is the home course for the NCGA and made history as the first course in the United States to be owned and operated by an amateur golf association. For more information about the “24-Hour Members Club” visit www.poppyhillsgolf.com/specials or call the Poppy Hills golf shop at (831) 622-8239.
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Award for the Ocean Course at Half Moon Bay Golf Links

The Ocean Course at Half Moon Bay Golf Links -- the world-class, 36-hole public golf resort set against the dramatic cliffs of the Pacific Ocean – debuts on the “Platinum List” for Celebrated Living, the official publication of American Airlines Premium Class passengers.

 

Half Moon Bay Golf Links is featured in the magazine’s June issue for “Top 20 U.S. Golf Courses” alongside PGA and LPGA TOUR venues Pebble Beach Golf Links, Bay Hill and Harbour Town Golf Links.

 

Located 40 minutes south of San Francisco, the Ocean Course is ranked No.7 by Celebrated Living. The Arthur Hills links-land design stretches 6,649 yards and provides a dash of Scottish flair. In late May, it was named to “America’s Top 50 Courses for Women” by Golf Digest.

  

The Ocean Course opened in 1997 after an 11-year design and build process. It was quickly bestowed with numerous awards and accolades, including Golf Digest’s “Top Ten Best New Upscale” list in 1998.

 

For more information about Half Moon Bay Golf Links, please visit www.halfmoonbaygolf.com or call 650.726.1800.   

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Sacramento's Marissa Mar, Stanford Freshman, Playing Varsity Golf.

Noted local orthopedic surgeon, Tim Mar is the kind of player you want on your scramble golf team. He always finds a way to win. But now that his daughter Marissa is a freshman playing on the varsity golf team at Stanford, Dr. Mar is the number three-seeded golfer in the family.

 

Marissa began her collegiate career draining a left-to-right 15-footer for birdie on her first hole of competition in Arizona. She previously played on Sacramento’s celebrated St. Francis High School golf team and developed a remarkable weight and cardio workout regimen influenced by her mother Gigi, a former All-American gymnast at UCLA who represented Canada in the 1984 Olympics.

   

Marissa is planning on a major in Management Science and Engineering with a concentration in Financial and Decision Engineering. Wow. Beauty…athleticism…and brains!

 

The best advice she would give recreational golfers is to say, “Grip it and rip it…and at some point get the ball in the hole.” Great advice from a well grounded young woman who has her eye on the 2016 Olympics.

 

It runs in the family!

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Amateur Players have a chance to tee it up at College-Am with standout Collegiat

The 65th Western Intercollegiate (“WI”), a premiere golf event revered by top-notch collegiate players, is set for April 15-17, 2011 at the majestic Alister MacKenzie-designed Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, CA.

 

The “WI” has attracted high-profile teams starting with the Augusta State Jaguars, the defending NCAA Division I champion. Oregon returns with hopes of winning a third consecutive Western Intercollegiate team title.  Arizona State, San Diego State, Stanford, Cal, UCLA, Southern California and Washington are top-25 nationally-ranked teams in a star-studded 15-team field.

 

The “WI” is one of the longest-running collegiate competitions in the nation and is contested at a venue that is ranked amongst the best by GolfWeek, Golf Magazine and the Zagat Survey. 

 

Mark your calendar now for the “WI” College-Am set for Friday, April 15 where amateur golfers (alumni, business and community leaders) can tee it up with talented collegiate golfers on one of the world’s finest courses.

 

As for the 54-hole Western Intercollegiate Tournament (April 16-17), spectators are invited to be a part of the gallery and follow their favorite six-man team throughout a magnificently  restored Pasatiempo golf course.

 

Over the years, noted players met the challenge and claimed title to “The Western” at Pasatiempo including Bobby Clampett, Peter Jacobson, Mark Lye, Johnny Miller, Arron Oberholser, Mark O’Meara and Ken Venturi.

 

For information about the Western Intercollegiate and for College-Am entry registration, contact Host Coach John Kennaday with San Jose State University Spartan Men’s Golf at (408) 892-4911 or visit http://www.westernintercollegiate.net/

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Interesting Masters Facts

It's that time of year. Azaleas, mint juleps, and pimento cheese sandwiches...along with the golf world's head bowing to "a tradition like no other." It's Masters Week at Augusta National Golf Course. My friend and writer, Bob Fagan of the A-List, put together a great compendium of little known Masters facts and trivia that you can commit to memory and impress your friends as you sit and enjoy the drama of the Masters Golf Tournament. I'm picking Phil!
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David Feherty Kicks-Off Tavistock Cup

David Feherty is quite possibly the funniest man in golf. Here's a link to a youtube video of him doing introductions at this year's Tavistock Cup.

 

 

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Gary McCord with Golf To Go's Frank LaRosa Part 2

Gary McCord and I continue our interview about him, the nature of the game, and what is really funny. Click to see.
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CBS Golf Analyst Gary McCord in Sacramento with Frank LaRosa

CBS golf analyst, Gary McCord, one of the most entertaining people on television was recently in Sacramento as a speaker for the Northern California PGA's annual Teaching Forum. I had the chance to sit down and talk with Gary about golf. Click here for part 1 of that interview.     http://bcove.me/i7wsbtwo
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Rail Technology from Cobra Golf

  Jake Vigil, Cobra Golf's Northern California equipment representative, stopped by the ESPN studios to talk about Cobra Golf's new rail technology which will help you get the ball in the air quicker and straighter. Good stuff!
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Nike's Darren McCray Talks About New Method Putter

  In the first of a new series of "Golf To Go" video blogs, Darren McCray of Nike Golf talks with me about the newest version of the Nike "Method" putter.
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Presidential Privilege by Frank LaRosa

PGA.com asked on their Facebook page which United States President would readers have liked to play golf with? First choice was the King of Camelot, John F. Kennedy. Bad back and all, he was probably the best Presidential golfer. Hmmm, golf with JFK with Marilyn Monroe on the beverage cart.

Barack Obama came in second. The leader of the free world does love to relax on the golf course. In a surprise, George Washington was third. I’m guessing no titanium driver there. Gerald Ford and his errant tee shots was next. Dwight Eisenhower followed at number 5 partly because of his access to Augusta National’s manicured fairways.

 

George W. Bush with his legitimate 15-handicap was next. His father, “Number 41” is a recent member of the Golf Hall of Fame. The bottom three were Bill Clinton and his questionable handicap; Ronald Reagan who was known to practice his putting on Air Force 1; and Richard Nixon who like a lot of us, took the game seriously….but wasn’t very good at it!    

I’m surprised Woodrow Wilson wasn’t mentioned. He painted his golf balls red to play in the snow and had a wife who regularly beat him…on the course, of course!

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Cobra Golf Introduces Limited Edition White ZL Driver by Frank LaRosa

This could be the new high demand item this holiday season. It's Cobra Golf's new limited edition ZL driver, an all-white model with all the bells and whistles. After Ian Poulter used the new Cobra ZL driver at the WGC-HSBC Champions, Cobra announced it was introducing the club in limited supply (500 units individually marked with a production serial number) at a cost of $625. The lmited edition ZL Driver utilizes a multi-material-construction and an adjustable hosel and comes with an all white Fujikura Motore Speeder shaft as well as an all-white Golf Pride Tour Wrap 2G grip. This exclusive product is ideal for the accomplished plaer who wants a collectible driver with Tour-caliber performance. "I like the visual of the new white ZL, it's really very cool," said Ian Poulter. "It's unique and different than any driver I've seen." Available in lofts of 9.5 and 10.5 degrees, it will be available on December 15 but can be pre-ordered through participating retailers beginning November 15. For more information, visit www.cobragolf.com.
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Half Moon Bay Golf Links Partners to Help Raise over $500,000 for Navy SEAL Fami

Golfers always seem to find a way to rally in support of special charities. That was clearly evident at a recent special tournament at Half Moon Bay Golf Links where The Naval Special Warfare Foundation, Half Moon Bay Golf Links and The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, partnered to raise over $500,000 for the families of U.S. Navy SEALs and their support personnel at the inaugural “SEAL Tribute Celebration and Golf Tournament.”

The event featured many patriots including Medal of Honor recipient Lieutenant (SEAL) Michael E. Thornton (ret.), Vice Admiral (SEAL) Albert M. Calland, III (ret.), and Rear Admiral (SEAL) Thomas R. Richards (ret.). The exclusive golf tournament took place on Half Moon Bay Golf Links’ Ocean and Old Courses, with sponsors playing and interacting with members of the SEAL community.

“We did not have the support of a foundation helping us back in my day,” says Lieutenant Thornton. “The Navy SEALs are making great sacrifices to protect our freedom and our country. As Americans, we need to provide the same for their families and the Naval Special Warfare Foundation offers this assistance.”

“It was invigorating and inspiring to watch Americans rally on behalf of the Naval Special Warfare Foundation, the SEALs and their loved ones,” says Mark Kendall, SEAL tribute event chairman and president of Kenmark Golf Management, who operates Half Moon Bay Golf Links. “Despite the economy and downturn in large events and outings, golf is still a unifying game that brings people together over a shared cause.”

Next year’s event will be held on September 30 and October 1. For more information or sponsorship information, visit www.halfmoonbaygolf.com/seals, contact Kristi Cummings at the Naval Special Warfare Foundation at email kcummings@nswfoundation.org or Mark Kendall at 650-726-5769, or email mkendall@kenmark.com.

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Saddle Creek Resort is a Winner! by Frank LaRosa

It took me just 90 minutes to drive from Sacramento to Saddle Creek Resort in Copperopolis.  I found stunning sierra vistas, a collection of shimmering lakes, native trees, indigenous grasses and 100 bunkers along with a challenging, thought-provoking 18-hole experience from tee to green.

 

Saddle Creek is rated #8 in California’s best public access courses by Golf Week magazine. To create a tranquil atmosphere, architect Carter Morrish devised a routing where no two holes run parallel and each hole is better than the previous.

 

You’ll love the Resort's overnight accommodations in the luxurious bungalows just a few paces from the golf course and lodge which includes a golf cart at your door in the morning and complimentary breakfast.

 

Their chef, Elizabeth Castillo, is remarkable and the food incredible. Service comes with a ready smile and a can-do attitude that begins at the top with popular general manager, Bob Higgins.

 

Whether you’re looking for a great golf course for a day trip with your buddies or a relaxing resort getaway, Saddle Creek Resort is truly for players and couples of all levels. To learn more, visit www.saddlecreek.com or call 209-785-7415.

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Local Golf Show Debuts on KVIE Channel 6 by Frank LaRosa

I’ve always felt there wasn’t enough local golf news, especially on television. That problem will be addressed on October 13, 2010 when Tee Time: Golf in Northern California debuts at 7 pm on KVIE channel 6, public television for Northern California.

 

The show takes a look at Sacramento area people who have made a mark in the world of golf and will include an enjoyable glimpse into the history of golf in Sacramento in addition to a peek at local professional Erick Justesen who played in the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

 

Other stories include the basics of 3-D golf instruction, the American Century Celebrity golf tournament at Lake Tahoe and the Home Care and Hospice First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.

 

I host the piece on the Monterey golf tournament which introduces local First Tee of Greater Sacramento junior golfers who played in the Champions TOUR event including Alex Gibbs, Taryn Yee, Ashley Noda, Austin Smotherman, and Briana Mao. They’re all skilled players but moreover, they’re extraordinary people.

 

The show was produced by award winner Kelly Peterson from channel 6. It was great fun working with her.

 

I invite you to join me and KVIE for the premier of Tee Time: Golf in Northern California on channel 6, October 13 at 7pm.

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Getaway to Half Moon Bay by Frank LaRosa

My golf getaways fit into three categories, in your neighborhood, in your car, and in your dreams! You can see from the Joanne Dost photo here of the beautiful Ritz Carlton with Half Moon Bay’s Ocean Course in the foreground and the Old Course in the background is definitely a dream come true.

 

After you settle in at the five diamonds Ritz Carlton Hotel with a view of the ocean and the fire pit, you have a choice of a relaxing spa, taste-tempting dining, or an enjoyable stroll on the beach.

 

When you’re ready to tee it up, Half Moon Bay Golf Links proudly offers 36 holes of championship resort golf. In the five years since I last played Half Moon Bay, both courses have stepped it up considerably.

 

With premier course conditioning, the Arnold Palmer designed Old Course finishes against the cliff with one of the world’s most spectacular oceanside par-4 holes. A very satisfying par I might add.

 

The Ocean Course is a true links course with fast, firm, more natural conditioning emphasizing shot quality over distance.  Throw in extraordinary views of the Pacific Ocean, native grasses, and a hint of salt air and you have a most enchanting highly recommended experience.

 

Let me know how you like it!

 

Learn more at www.halfmoonbaygolf.com  and www.ritzcarlton.com   

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Play Golf With Annika by Frank LaRosa

You have an opportunity to play golf with Annika Sorenstam in a new video contest announced by The ANNIKA Academy. You must submit a one-minute video that explains why you are the ideal playing partner for Annika and if yours is chosen, you'll get the chance to play nine holes with her at Reunion Resort, home of her golf and fitness school in Orlando, Florida. You can enter by visiting www.theannikaacademy.com, creating a video within their guidlines, uploading your video to a social media site, and complete the contest entry form and a video link. Submissions are due by October 14. You must be 18 years of age or older. Full details are available on the ANNIKA Academy website. I've had a chance to see her play golf and also to interview her a couple of years ago in Orlando at the PGA Merchandise Show. I'm still amazed that a woman of her size can hit a golf ball that far. If memory serves me correctly, she averaged about 260 for her drives on Tour! Sounds like fun. Let me know if you win!
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Are You the Ultimate Golf Fan?

PGATOUR.COM is looking for the ultimate fan to help cover the finale of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga., Sept. 22-26.

You can upload a self-produced video or photo essay describing why you are a fan of the TOUR. Contest entries will be posted to PGATOUR.COM/fancontest to be voted on by the public through Sept. 6. At that time, the top 10 entries that receive the most votes will be judged by a PGA TOUR panel and a grand prize winner will be announced on Sept. 10.

The winner will receive roundtrip airfare and hotel accommodations in Atlanta for THE TOUR Championship as well as a media badge good for Wednesday and Thursday of the tournament, where you will work alongside a PGATOUR.COM staff member to cover events like the Wounded Warrior Clinic, The First Tee Clinic, practice rounds, player press conferences and first-round play. The winner will post to Twitter via a new fan account, @PGATOURfan, and contribute content to the Live Report on PGATOUR.COM, PGA TOUR Facebook page and YouTube channel during those two days.

The top 10 entries will be judged on the following criteria: evidence of being a PGA TOUR fan; experience working with digital media, including blogs, Twitter, social networking and/or video; and originality of entry.

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The World's Most Expensive Golf Book

 “The Golf Links of Scotland,” an ultra-deluxe, hand-tooled leather-bound tome that surely will be recognized as the ultimate hole-by-hole tour of the venerable Old Course at St. Andrews, as well as a tribute to 18 other top Scottish seaside links, will be published on September 14th. The limited edition collector’s volume will sell for $4,600 (inclusive of shipping!) and is more expensive than a luxury trip to the original home of golf.

 

Only 150 copies of “The Golf Links of Scotland,” two books in one, will be printed with 145 made available for purchase.  Book One devotes 130 pages to the Old Course and Book Two visits 18 other Scottish coastline gems in the span of 170 pages of descriptive text, playing tips and stunning photography.  

 

 

“The Golf Links of Scotland” is handsomely presented in a hand-made clamshell case.  The oversized book’s leather binding is graced with 23-carat gold leaf inlay that includes four thistles on the cover corners.

 

For more information, visit www.golflinksofscotland.com. Get your copy now. After January 1, 2011, the book will cost $5,000. 

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Summer is Right For Mountain Golf by Frank LaRosa

The only downside I find to mountain golf is that the season isn’t long enough—a concept I presume not shared by skiers! Golf the High Sierra makes it easy for you to find, learn about, and make tee times for courses from Carson City to Graeagle.

 

Just in the Tahoe area alone, the Golf the High Sierra group includes the fabulous Edgewood Tahoe which I’m proud to share that I played during a snowfall. It’s that good! Additionally, in the Tahoe/Truckee area you’ll find exceptional golf at Incline Village, Coyote Moon, Old Greenwood, Gray’s Crossing, Resort at Squaw Creek, and Timilick.

 

In the Carson Valley, Dayton Valley and Genoa Lakes provide plenty of thrills while Reno offers Arrowcreek, D’Andrea, Lakeridge, Red Hawk, Wildcreek, Wolf Run, and Somersett. Off the beaten path a bit, Graeagle is not a well kept secret any longer and a round of golf at Plumas Pines or at Whitehawk is a wonderful way to while away a summer day.

 

Whatever your pleasure, find the course to fit your taste at www.golfthehighsierra.com and call me if you need a fourth!

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The Sunny Side of Carmel by Frank LaRosa

It’s called the sunny side of Carmel because when the fog hugs the ground on the coast, the sun is normally shining brightly in Carmel Valley…home of the extraordinary Quail Lodge Golf Club. Designed by Robert Muir Graves, the tree lined 6,500 yard quail lodge is a walk able par 71 course.

 

With its emerald green fairways, 10 lakes dotting the course, and the Carmel River meandering throughout, the championship course is a treat to the eye and a challenge to your game. The course has garnered many well-deserved honors and awards over the years and is also home to PGA TOUR player Bobby Clampett’s Impact Zone Golf School. In fact, Quail Lodge GC features a wonderful practice facility.

 

I had the chance to tee it up recently and was struck by the serenity, the wildlife, and the incredible course conditioning. Fairways were immaculate and the ball sat up nicely on the lush turf. Greens were imaginative and putts rolled true rewarding me with a couple of birdies. Check out the sunny side and Quail Lodge Golf Club.

 

Learn more at www.quaillodge.com.

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Looking Back at the U.S. Open by Frank LaRosa

The 2010 US Open is in the books and a big hurrah is in order for the massive undertaking which resulted in a wonderful experience for the more than 200,000 people in attendance. Being there and walking the course with the massive galleries gave me an appreciation for all it takes to put on an event of that magnitude.

 

It’s estimated 50,000 people were on the grounds daily including spectators, staff, volunteers, media, vendors and more. Planning to safely move those people in and out of the grounds, providing areas for them to eat, to shop, to cover their personal needs, and to follow and cheer for their favorite players is nothing short of amazing.

 

You have to admire the USGA and their efforts to make the golf course a stringent but fair test. The arguments will continue about the par 5, 14th hole and Pebble Beach’s Poa greens…we’ll all remember the erratic play of Woods and Mickelson and the steady play from McDowell and Havret. The memories will have to last until 2019 when the US Open returns to Pebble Beach for the course’s 100th anniversary. I can hardly wait.

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2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach by Frank LaRosa

The 110th U.S. Open Championship returns to the 91 year-old Pebble Beach Golf Links June 14th to 20th. This is the fifth time in five decades that the U.S. Open has been hosted on the Monterey Peninsula public venue. In 1972, Jack Nicklaus' tee shot hit the flagstick on 17 which led to a birdie and a three stroke win. Nicklaus' total of 18 majors remains the record chased by Tiger Woods.

 

In 1982, again at the critical 17th hole, Tom Watson rose to the occasion miraculously chipping in from an impossible lie in the greenside rough. In ‘92, Tom Kite battled howling winds on the final day to shoot even par for his only Major victory. And in 2000, Tiger Woods dominated the field in record fashion for his first U.S. Open Championship. He became the first player to ever finish double digits under par at -12, beating the field by a mind-numbing 15 strokes. This was truly a four-day performance for the ages.

 

No matter the winner, history proves that the U.S. Open will produce memorable moments and with the tournament in our backyard, this is a great opportunity to see the best up close if you’re one of the fortunate who hold tickets to the event.

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Make a Golf Movie by Frank LaRosa

Cleveland Golf is encouraging golfers to get out your cell phones, video cameras or anything else in your film making arsenals and sign up for their video contest. This is your chance to make a Cleveland Golf commercial and win up to $1,000 in Cleveland Golf products.

 

If you own a new Launcher DST driver, have tried a DST driver, or even if your brother’s uncle’s third cousin from Ketchikan caddied for someone that used a DST, make a quick video of the experience and post it to YouTube.

The more interesting your video, coupled with the number of viewers who watch it will help determine whether you’re one of the winners of First, Second or Third place winnings of $1,000, $500, or $300 in Cleveland Golf products.

 

Entry deadline is June 30th but the quicker you submit your video, the more time viewers have to see it and vote for it. Learn more at www.clevelandgolf.com/dstvideocontest.  

 

Whether you inform the caddie from Ketchikan is up to you.   

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More than 9,000 Entries Accepted for U.S. Open

The United States Golf Association has accepted 9,052 entries for the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links. The USGA received entries from golfers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 68 foreign countries, including 783 applicants who listed foreign addresses.

 

Nine past champions are fully exempt from having to qualify for the upcoming championship. They are: Angel Cabrera (2007), Michael Campbell (2005), Ernie Els (1994, 1997), Jim Furyk (2003), Lucas Glover (2009), Retief Goosen (2001, 2004), Geoff Ogilvy (2006), Tom Watson (1982) and Tiger Woods (2000, 2002, 2008).

 

Ninety-five percent of the entries were received online, including 662 on the last day applications were accepted (April 28). The USGA received 118 entries online in the final hour. Brent Hurt, 30, of Lockhart, Texas, submitted his entry online at 4:59:47 p.m., just 13 seconds before the deadline of 5 p.m. EDT. Joseph Saladino, a 30-year-old amateur from Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., was the first entrant on March 3.

 

The youngest golfer to enter was 10-year-old Mick Huffman of Maurice, La. The oldest applicant was 81-year-old Harris Moore Jr. of Los Angeles, Calif. To be eligible, a player must have a Handicap Index® no higher than 1.4, or be a professional.

 

Local qualifying, which will be played over 18 holes at 111 sites, will take place in the Sacramento area at Serrano CC. Sectional qualifying, the next step, will be hosted June 7 at Del Paso Country Club one of thirteen national sites.

 

More information about the U.S. Open before, during and after the championship can be found at www.USOPEN.com

 

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Now this is EXTREME! by Frank LaRosa

It's called the Extreme 19th, unlike any 19th hole you've ever seen. Located in Africa at the Legend Golf and Safari Resort, the Extreme 19th is the longest Par 3 in the world! 
Basically, you tee off from a mountain top over 1,400 feet high and the green which is built in the shape of Africa plays at a distance of 630 feet. Tee shots will take almost half a minute to land. The tee is accessible only by helicopter (click to see video). 2008 U.S. Open champ Padraig Harrington was the first person to actually make a par 3 on the hole.

 

The resort also boasts their signature World in One course designed by 18 different professionals including Harrington, Colin Montgomery, Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen and more. Their 10 hole Tribute Course pays homage to some of the greatest holes ever designed including Augusta National, St. Andrews, Pine Valley and others.

 

To learn more, visit www.legendgolfsafari.com. Since they probably won’t let me hit a golf ball off the Sears Tower, which is the same height, the Extreme 19th is on my list of places to go.

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When You’d Rather Ride Than Carry by Frank LaRosa

The Garia Edition Soleil de Minuit is a limited edition of The Garia Golf Car and sells for a mere $52,000! It’s manufactured in Finland alongside high dollar Porsche automobiles.

The Garia features a built-in refrigerator, hand-stitched seats, carbon roof, numerous hand-made details, and an exclusive personalization program where you can have The Garia painted in your favorite color or matched to your other cars.

You can see it and probably put in your order at the luxury show Top Marques in Monaco, April 15-18 2010. I wonder if they have enough cup-holders?

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Floating Golf Course for Maldives by Frank LaRosa

If you get a little queasy on the tee when facing the prospect of carrying a tiny pond or dried-up creek bed, then this should be a real gut buster for you.

 

Threatened by rising oceans, the atoll nation of Maldives where an estimated 80 percent of the land is no more than three feet above sea level is making plans to build a floating golf course and convention center.

 

The island country in the Indian Ocean has signed an agreement with Dutch Docklands, which has already built man-made islands in Dubai, to begin researching the floating golf course project.

 

Kinda’ makes a little pond like Geary Lake seem inconsequential.

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Western Intercollegiate Set by Frank LaRosa

The 64th annual Western Intercollegiate golf tournament will be played April 17-18 at the Alister MacKenzie designed Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz. Proudly hosted by the San Jose State Spartans men’s golf team, the highly competitive event attracts 11 teams to the spectacular venue for the 54-hole event. Golfers will have an opportunity to tee it up with standout players in the College-Am on Friday, April 16 or join the gallery to follow their favorite team on the weekend.

Accomplished players who’ve claimed title to The Western include Bobby Clampett, Peter Jacobson, Mark Lye, Johnny Miller, Mark O’Meara, and Ken Venturi. U.S. Open Champion, SJSU alumnus and Western Intercollegiate ’51 and ’53 medalist Venturi recalls “Some of my fondest collegiate memories are from when I was competing in The Western at Pasatiempo. I’m happy to know it still remains a premier west coast event for collegiate players and their teammates.”

For more information about participating in the College-Am or for sponsorship opportunities, visit www.westernintercollegiate.net or call John Kennaday at (408) 892-4911. For information about Pasatiempo Golf Club, lodging and trip planning, visit: www.pasatiempo.com.

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Getting Up and Down for Par by Frank LaRosa

We all want to hit it far…but getting it up and down from around the green may actually be more satisfying to you. The way to make par when you’ve left your ball short and right of the green is to get those chips and pitches close to the hole.

A chip shot will have more roll than air time and is normally played when you’re close to the green. The goal is to lag the ball as close to the hole as possible. Start by positioning the ball to the rear of your stance, with your hands slightly forward and your head still. Swing more with an arms only motion like a putt and strike the ball with a descending blow before the club hits the ground.

You can experiment with different clubs to see how far the ball will roll as the goal would be to have one swing and let the many clubs in your bag do the work. I guarantee your score will come down…and you’re going to feel a lot more confident standing over those shorter putts for par.

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Hard Driving Harry's Golfer's Hand Healer by Frank LaRosa

It’s called Hard Driving Harry’s golfers hand healer and the remarkable product line is the brainchild of Sterling Ellison and Richard Marks of Northern California’s Sterling Ellison company. They produce high end organic 100% vegan skin rejuvenation products. Hard Driving Harry’s and Hard Driving Harriet’s golfers hand healers are the perfect cure for any golfer’s dry, chapped, and cracked hands…especially this time of year.

Where other lotions might use water as a first ingredient, the non-greasy Hard Driving Harry’s uses pure organic aloe. Sterling says the company “just wants to provide high quality products that work—that do what they say they do. The fact that they are vegan and organic are a bonus.” They just released Hard Driving Harry’s SPF 15 lip balm in four flavors. I think I’m partial to pomegranate!

Hard Driving Harry’s is currently available at the Sacramento City golf course shops with new locations opening soon. For more information, visit www.sterlingrichards.com.

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Play the Right Ball by Frank LaRosa

Golf balls come in many different designs and configurations including number of layers, dimple patterns, compression, materials, and more. How do you pick the golf balls you play? Is it by price? Or do you play the ball your favorite player uses? Some are better suited for your game while others might make it tougher on you.

 

Srixon recognizes some of us want a longer ball while others are looking for a ball that spins. That’s why they’ve created their custom ball fitter online. A series of questions about you and your game will result in a recommendation that should work well for you.

 

The fitter suggested the Z-Star ball for me based on my swing speed, length off the tee, importance of spin to my game and more. The Z-Star is a low compression ball with an extremely soft feel. I like the feel around the greens and off the putter and it’s still plenty long off the tee. For swing speeds over 105 miles per hour, the Z-Star X would be your choice. Both balls were rated maximum 5 stars in the 2009 Golf Digest Hot List for performance, innovation and feel. Check it out at www.srixon.com

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Photo Ball Marker Great Gift by Frank LaRosa

A good friend of mine says he marks his ball, “with a tree!” But I want to know how you mark your ball on the green? Ken and Charlotte Barley have a better idea with their unique Photo Ball Marker.

 

The fun part is that you provide the photo. Maybe the photo is your children, or the hole where you had your ace, or the family Saint Bernard. Photo Ball Marker will create a high resolution image on a 1 inch ball marker, with uv protection to keep it from fading and a hard epoxy cover. It can also be produced as a hat clip or divot tool. This is a great gift idea for any golfer…and certainly a gift good enough to give yourself.

 

It’s easy to create a photo ball marker online in minutes. Just upload your photo and follow the simple instructions and you should have your ball markers in about 10 days. Three markers of the same photo or different photos are yours for $24.95 plus shipping and handling and they guarantee your satisfaction. Visit www.photoballmarker.com to get started.

 

I’m not sure marking my ball with a photo of my children makes me a better putter, but it does make me smile…even if I’m facing a 40 foot downhill double breaker.

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Zip, Zip...Zooray by Frank LaRosa

Everyone loves a few tap-in pars during a round and if you’re looking to save a couple of strokes off your score, it may be easier around the green than off the tee by getting your wedge shots closer to the pin. A wedge like the CG15 Zip Groove from Cleveland Golf will give you the confidence to get the job done.

 

Choosing a wedge is almost mystical. It has to look right and more importantly feel right. Breakthrough milling technology from Cleveland has created 25% bigger grooves – zip grooves for more zip and shot consistency. A laser-milled face with four perfectly calibrated texture lines between each groove gives you a rougher surface and more spin. If that weren’t enough, Cleveland Golf’s design team came up with a wider sole near the heel and narrower near the toe to optimize contact.

 

Cleveland’s three-bounce fitting system gives you a choice for your kind of swing. If your swing is upright and you’re a digger, go for more bounce. If you’re more of a sweeper with a flatter swing, go for less. More or less, the right fit means less strokes. The CG15 Zip Groove wedge is available in chrome, black pearl and oil quench finishes. Try it at your local pro shop or learn more online at www.clevelandgolf.com

     

 

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