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Golf To Go by Frank LaRosa


NCPGA Awards Honorary Membership

This one's for all the fans of golf in Northern California.  If you've played one of the many courses in our region, tried out a new product, or followed your favorite pro, he's probably written about it, discussed it on the radio, or demo'd it on video.  We're talking about ESPN 1320's Golf To Go host Frank LaRosa, who seemingly furthers the game of golf with every move he makes.  Frank received a well-deserved honor, acknowledging his character, passion, and effort on behalf of so many in our area.  Read the press release, below.

Northern California PGA
June 25, 2013
Contact: Jennifer Noel - or (707) 449-4742
Northern California PGA Awards Honorary Membership
to Media Personality Frank LaRosa

VACAVILLE, Calif. — The Northern California Section of the Professional Golfers' Association is pleased to award its 13th Honorary Membership to the Northern California Section of the PGA to sports media personality Frank LaRosa for his distinguished service to the NCPGA Section, its PGA Professionals, and countless non-profit organizations. The induction of this unique ambassador to golf will take place during the NCPGA Semi-Annual Meeting on June 30 at the Eldorado Hotel Casino in Reno, Nevada.
“When I think of those dedicated to our Section, the name that rises to the top is Frank LaRosa,” said Chris Thomas, NCPGA Executive Director and COO. “It is an honor and a privilege to bestow upon Frank an Honorary Membership to our Section.”
LaRosa displays an exceptional ability to reach and touch people through his creativity and communication expertise. Whether he is hosting ESPN Radio’s “Golf to Go,” writing an article for NCGA Magazine, hosting “Tee Time: Golf in Northern California for Public Television, or producing hundreds of yearly informational videos, his ability to take a piece of news and transform it into a captivating story that the audience will connect with is his hallmark. His reach and impact for the Section have transcended all communication mediums — from print, to radio and television, to the Internet.
A Man of Distinction
This is not LaRosa’s first honor by the Section. In 2005 and again in 2010 he was awarded the distinction of NCPGA Sports Media Person of the Year. Owner of Frank LaRosa and Associates Advertising and Marketing Agency, his passion for golf is reflected in his many achievements including serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the NCPGA Foundation and a Board Member of the Morton Golf Foundation.
“Frank has been a friend of the NCPGA and the game of golf for many years. I personally have seen him give his time to the game of golf, the community, and quietly gone about his way in promoting us as individuals and the NCPGA Section,” said Bob Young, Honorary President, NCPGA.
A Stroke of Genius
His impact on the game extends to many charitable organizations including The First Tee of Greater Sacramento, The George Archer Memorial Foundation for Literacy, Saving Strokes, and more.
LaRosa was instrumental in helping the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association create Saving Strokes in 2000 to offer stroke survivors an opportunity to participate in golf for pleasure as well as for physical rehabilitation.
The program, which utilizes NCPGA Professionals to deliver specialized golf instruction, was initiated in Sacramento. Thirteen years later, this small program has grown to 22 sites in five states. It now serves more than 1,000 participants annually and engages more than 100 golf professionals and instructors.
“I am humbled by this award,” LaRosa revealed. “It’s gratifying to know that my actions have made a difference in supporting community organizations, the Northern California PGA and its Professionals, and the game of golf.”
This is only the thirteenth time Honorary Membership to the NCPGA has been awarded since 1920.
About the Northern California Section of the PGA of America (NCPGA)
Organized in 1920 to promote interest in the game of golf, the birth of this association was heralded as an important step to the advancement of the game in this district. The Northern California Section is one of the forty-one designated Sections of the PGA of America, the world’s largest working sports organization.  With over 1,100 dedicated PGA Professionals and apprentices at over 500 golf facilities in Northern California and Northwestern Nevada, the association continues to have a positive impact on the game of golf and communities both regionally and nationally.

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My Albatross

In golf, an albatross is a score of three under par. While my first albatross didn't come on the golf course, the satisfaction was no less great. As host of the television program Tee Time: Golf in Northern California, I had the opportunity to interview Jack Nicklaus at The Links at Spanish Bay in Monterey, Annika Sorenstam at Old Greenwood in Truckee, and Jim Langley at Cypress Point Club on the famed 17-Mile Drive. That's definitely three under par!
The show, which premiered on September 19, airs again on Sunday, September 23 at 6pm on KVIE-TV, Channel 6, Public Television for Northern California. Tee Time is not as much a show about golf, as it is a show about people who are connected by the game.
Other show segments include a visit to Indian Valley Golf Course in Novato where players can take their well-behaved dogs along for the round. I also take a look at Pacific Grove Municipal Golf Course which was recently named one of the Top 5 Value Courses in America by Golf Digest Magazine. Sacramento favorite, Gary Gerould and I also tee it up at Old Greenwood to learn more about the Nicklaus Signature design course.
Tune in Sunday, September 23 at 6pm or DVR the program and enjoy it on your own schedule. I think you'll agree that an albatross was the right score!
If you miss the on-air version, you can watch the show online. Visit Click "video" at top of the page. Scroll to "Viewfinder" and click Tee Time: Round 5.
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Ryder Cup News From The PGA

NEW YORK – United States Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III selected Jim Furyk, Dustin Johnson, Brandt Snedeker and Steve Stricker today to complete the 12-player roster for the 2012 United States Ryder Cup Team. The foursome, which features three players with Ryder Cup experience, join eight golfers who had earned automatic berths Aug. 12, following the 94th PGA Championship.

Love announced his selections at the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square, just blocks from where The PGA of America was founded in 1916. He will guide the U.S. against Europe, Sept. 28-30, in the 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah (Ill.) Country Club. The 2012 U.S. Team has an overall Ryder Cup record of 41-59-16.

Furyk will be making his eighth straight trip to golf's pre-eminent event, tying him for second all-time in appearances among U.S. Ryder Cup players. He has an 8-15-4 overall Ryder Cup record. Stricker will be making his third consecutive Ryder Cup appearance, with a record of 3-3-1, while Johnson is making his second straight Ryder Cup appearance, and was 1-3-0, while competing in 2010 at the Celtic Manor in Newport, Wales. Snedeker joins Jason Dufner, 2011 PGA Champion Keegan Bradley and reigning U.S. Open Champion Webb Simpson in making their Ryder Cup debuts.

Love, the 27th U.S. Ryder Cup Captain, said that he wanted to blend experience and players "who were the hottest" coming into the Ryder Cup. "I can't tell you how excited I am that these four guys are going to round out our Ryder Cup Team," said Love. "I think we have a great team, extremely deep this time, deeper than we've ever been. We are looking for pairings, to plug some holes, to add some experience, and add some putters. These guys all fill those roles perfectly." European Captain José María Olazábal completed his Team on Aug. 27. The European Team features one rookie, Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts, and 11 players who have an overall Ryder Cup record of 61-31-18.

The U.S. Team bids to regain possession of the Ryder Cup, which it last won in 2008. The U.S. players earning automatic bids are led by world No. 3-ranked Tiger Woods, who is joined in order of their finish in the U.S. Ryder Cup point standings by Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson. Mickelson will be making his ninth consecutive Ryder Cup appearance, which sets the U.S. Team record for most consecutive appearances, and most all-time appearances.

Begun in 1927, The Ryder Cup is among the last great professional sporting events where winning, and not prize money, is its own reward. The United States owns a 25-11-2 advantage in the biennial competition.
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Putter Magic

Over a round of golf many years ago, Mr. Sacramento, Stan Atkinson and I traded putters…and I began a love affair with my long neck Scotty Cameron Teryllium Newport 2 putter.  
The black finish would glisten in the sun as I stood over a putt and I always felt confident about drawing it back and making a birdie.

Years later, it began to show its age with scratches, nicks, faded paint, rust, and a depressed top line from dropping it into my golf bag for all those years. Little by little, my putting became less consistent and (horrors) I began to look at newer models.
Then I learned about Scotty’s Custom Shop and their ability to completely restore Cameron putters. The custom shop can stamp initials, apply paint fills, create additional sight dots and lines, add a new grip or head cover, restore your putter’s finish, add weight and even authenticate your putter.
I sent my putter back to the Custom Shop with instructions and personal preferences. When the box arrived about six weeks later, I was like a kid on Christmas morning. The secure packaging was an indication of the treasure I was about to unwrap. Now I know what the phrase “good as new” truly means.
My completely restored, personalized, authenticated Scotty Cameron Teryllium Long-Neck Newport 2 putter looks as though I was pulling it off the shelf for the first time. It boasts a new finish, new shaft, new grip, new head cover, and it’s re-set to original specifications.  I can’t say enough about the staff and the personal service I received which matched the extraordinary craftsmanship on the putter.
The team is so proud of their work that every day on their website, they spotlight one putter that has been sent for restoration or customization. Check out what has been done by other customers and maybe get some great ideas for yourself.
Recapture the magic at
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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

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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 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 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

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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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ESPN 1320 Blog

Welcome to the ESPN 1320 Blog. This is Sacramento's destination for everything sports. We will talk Giants and A's baseball, Kings and Warriors Basketball and of course 49er's football! Make sure to check for new posts frequently and subscribe to our RSS. Your comments are appreciated.
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