Golf To Go by Frank LaRosa

 


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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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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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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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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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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Locations : Cleveland




 

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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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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"Going Home" to Mather by Frank LaRosa, Golf To Go

It was inevitable that I’d be looking back in order to look forward on a recent visit to Mather Golf Course. It was a few too-many years ago that I teed it up for the first time. I was living at Mather AFB and my father was an aircraft commander flying B-52s all around the world. I lived about a half mile from the course and played often that first summer.

 

I hope I appear to have aged as well as Mather because the course has matured wonderfully and is maintained in much better condition than I remember. The layout is challenging, the greens top notch, and the service came with a smile.

 

General Manager, Asa Jennings, has preserved the military theme with old photos, artifacts, and other subtle tributes to “back in the day” when the Air Force base population was at its peak. Mather Field was established as an airfield and pilot training school in 1918. Over the years in supported small military units and was used for pilot and navigator training.

 

In 1958, the Strategic Air Command assigned a B-52 squadron to Mather and pilots and crews were “on alert” 24/7 and in the event of a global crisis, could be fully operational and in the air in mere minutes.

 

Mather operated its own housing, schools, hospital, and recreational facilities in addition to being an operational air field. In 1959, Irish designer Jack Fleming designed a golf course to take advantage of natural wildlife and wide-open terrain. Some describe Mather as a “long course,” and while some of the par-4s are a bit of a handful, I find much of the distance offset by fairways with a lot of roll out.

 

Although I was on a “memory-high,” I was able to remain grounded as I surveyed the golf course. My observations were backed-up by the rest of my foursome. Each compliment about course conditioning was trumped by another about the fun factor. Mather is all there in front of you. There are no hidden dangers. The result is a course with room to miss off the tee and still score well. It’s challenging…yet playable. Our comments kept coming back to one. In a word, it was “fun!”

 

Fun is important to Jennings as he regularly schedules events that reach out to the surrounding community with special tournaments, art shows, veterans’ events, and more. Mather’s 50th anniversary was celebrated in 2009 and the term “oldie but a goodie comes to mind.”

 

For more information or to schedule a tee time, visit www.playmather.com or call (916) 364-4354.

 

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Face-off with Feherty

David Feherty is one of the funniest guys on television. His golf commentary is not only insightful but quite humorous, especially when he's bagging on his buddy, Gary McCord. Now, you can ask Feherty to address something about your golf game that's been plaguing you. Face-off with Feherty on the Cobra Golf website is great fun. Enjoy...
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A Day on the Bay by Frank LaRosa

 

With the full 36-hole renovation complete, the Bayonet and Black Horse golf courses on the Monterey Peninsula should be on your must-play list. If you have played them before the eye-popping makeover, you’re in for a treat.

 

The history behind the Bayonet and Black Horse golf courses is as colorful as their lush green fairways and white sand bunkers. Located overlooking the beautiful Monterey Bay on the former Fort Ord Army base, Bayonet Golf Course was built in 1954 by Commanding General Robert McClure and named after the 7th Infantry’s Bayonet Division.

 

It seems the lefty general was plagued with a bit of a slice and a little creative architecture managed to reduce his handicap with a series of sharp dogleg holes known as Combat Corner where I’ve waged a bit of war myself. Black Horse was named in honor of the Blackhorse 11th Cavalry Regiment.

 

Renovations on the 36-hole layout began at the bottom with new fairways, redesigned bunker complexes, and beguiling bentgrass greens. The result is two sparkling ocean-view gems…each offering a different experience. Bayonet’s more traditional deep bunkers and tamer greens contrast with the stunning large serrated bunkers and greens with more movement you’ll find on Black Horse. 

 

Correspondingly, tee shots are more challenging on Bayonet with plenty of room to miss on Black Horse. Architect Gene Bates, is the artist behind the renovation. Bates, who may just be the most affable person I’ve met in golf, has created a masterpiece with unobstructed views of the Bay and perfect bentgrass tees, fairways and greens.

 

My host, the personable tournament director, Julio Rodriguez ordered up perfect Peninsula weather with blue skies and puffy white clouds to go along with the temperate climate. Even if I had found myself with a bad lie on the course (which I didn’t), it wouldn’t have mattered.

 

Pick one or play them both. You won’t be disappointed. For more information, visit bayonetblackhorse.com

 

P.S. The photos here are by Julio Rodriguez. Top is number 18 on Bayonet and the other photo is the finishing hole on Black Horse.

 

   

 

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