Apr 21, 2014

Carolina National Golf Course Review

The sweetest winds they blow across the south

Carolina National Golf Course Review

What makes me return to the North Carolina each March over the last few years? Yes it’s the beautiful and quiet coastal islands and beaches our family stays near but it’s also the hidden gem of golf courses tucked away on and near the coast of North Carolina. One such gem is Carolina National Golf Course.

We were fortunate enough to play on a beautiful sunny day, tee times were delayed by some early morning frost but the staff did a great job keeping everyone happy and quickly out on the course.

Carolina National is a beautiful Fred Couples signature golf facility comprised of 27 holes. Set along the Lockwood Folly River it winds its way through some scenic low country terrain offering a variety of holes for golfers of all skill levels.

We got a chance to play the Egret 9 and Heron 9. Both these 9s have been converted to Champion UltraDwarf Bermuda Grass (The same type that Pinehurst #2 will be converting to in 2014). Champion Bermuda will provide the highest quality putting surface year round. It thrives in the summer heat and uses less water.

I must admit the greens were the best we putted on during our North Carolina golf trip. Great job by the staff at Carolina National in what seems like a very short time, below check out a video of the green conversion at Carolina National.

Carolina National has 5 sets of tee blocks so check out the length of each for what best suits your game.

Carolina National has a great feel once you arrive at the golf course and for me it starts with the clubhouse and the staff. The day we were playing an afternoon bridge game was going on in the clubhouse giving Carolina National a warm southern appeal.

Egret 9

Number 1 on Egret is a great starting hole. Take your driver out and let it rip, the fairway does narrow just keep it right and you'll just have a wedge into this smallish green. A real fun starting hole.

 The number 2 handicap hole on the Egret nine. Number 2 requires a good drive just left of the bunkers on the right. Water down the left side is intimidating for those that overcompensate their draw. Lots of bunkers on this hole so make sure your sand game is good.

 #3 A tough par 5 get your first shot in the fairway which is tough as it's pretty narrow. A large waste bunker down the right side can be daunting if you're unlucky to land there. The green is guarded in the front both left and right. Par is a good score here.

#4 Depending on how you play this hole and how accurate your driver can be, this is definitely a birdie hole. With water on the right side favor a drive between the two bunkers situated before the green. Good luck!

First par 3 on Egret #5 can play pretty easy but it all depends on the wind.

The second par 3 #7 a straightforward par 3 with only 4 bunkers guarding this green.

 #6 A straightaway par 4 with a narrow fairway for your drive. Should be an easy par with not a lot of hazards.

 #9 A fun par 5 that has many ways to play the hole. With a split diagonal fairway a few different plays can be made off the tee. Love the slightly uphill shot from the left side. Beware of the trees for your second shot and the sloping green. One of my favorites.

Heron 9

#1 A nice par 4 to start the Heron 9. A generous landing area, water shouldn't come into play. Your second into a deep green should net you a good score just don't go long.

 #2 Tough par 5 the tee shot didn't fit my eye (might of been the narrow fairway and water on right side) but depending on the wind, par is a great score here. I loved the bunkers and the trees that framed the green on this hole.

 #3 An elevated tee shot, watch you don't take to much on your drive on this hole as it narrows closer to the green. A fun hole with lots of options. Green is narrow and guarded by two bunkers.

  #4 Bunkers galore on this short par 4 many options from the tee but the driver is the most fun. Tough green and depending on the winds can generate a high score.

#5 One of the best par 3s around can challenge you from any tee box. Beautiful, scenic and tough. The day we played there was a strong wind into our faces which made club selection fun. Definitely worth the price of admission.

#6 A short par 4 with a narrow fairway that can cause problems for even the most accurate driver of the ball. Green is small with run off areas both front and back left. Fun hole!

#8 A short par 3 I managed a birdie on even though I was just slightly off the green. If you miss the green you want to be on the left side as there's a lot of bunkers on the right side.

 #9 Didn't really like the tee shot (not being able to see the entire hole) but once you got around the dogleg this par 5 was a fun hole to end the last of Heron 9. Beware of the large bunker in front of the green.

If your in the area, Carolina National is a must play. The course for early March was in great shape. The staff was friendly and helpful and there's a great welcoming feel around the clubhouse. With five sets of tees golfers of every skill level will be challenged by this course. Make sure you stop in the restaurant at Carolina National. The Plantation Grille will serve you up a lovely beverage and a po' boy sandwich.

Apr 17, 2014

Graeme McDowell Testing Out Some New Srixon Z-745 Irons At Hilton Head

GolfWRX.com has some great pictures of one of my favorite players, Graeme McDowell testing out some new Srixon Z-745 Irons At Hilton Head South Carolina at the RBC Heritage. I've always loved the look of Srixon irons going back to when I had some sweet Srixon I-302s. Hilton Head Island is also definitely on my list of places to golf.

Apr 13, 2014

Bubbba Watson Wins 2nd Green Jacket - Masters 2014 Champ

Bubba Watson tee shot at 10th Masters 2014

Bubba Watson and His Son Share a Masters Moment on The 18th at Augusta

Apr 12, 2014

Keegan Bradley Sporting The Sweetest Kicks - Nike Air Jordan golf shoes at the Masters

With the years first major comes all the various apparel scripting from all the big companies. Some great colors and variation for this years Masters. One of my favorite colors this time of the year is the way companies use green in their apparel and golf shoes. The best this year has to be Keegan Bradley's wicked Augusta green Masters-themed Air Jordans. First brought to use from Keegan's IG account. These are just place sweet.

Keegan does have some sweet kicks including the “Concord” Air Jordan 11 Golf Shoes

Some nice Jumpman golf shoes Keegan wore at the President's Cup.

Apr 9, 2014

Best Photos From The Masters

One of my favorite forums for pictures of the Masters is GolfWRX.com is packed with a plethora of players equipment, apparel and shots. Enjoy!

Can't beat Social Media giant Twitter. Seems the best for great Masters photos. I've got all the Pros I follow in a nice little list so it's easy to see great tweets/photos. Ian Poulter, Graham McDowell and Trevor Immelman are some of the best

Instagram is a great way to see various photos from Augusta check out hash tags #TheMasters #Masters #Greenjacket #Augusta #amencorner #AugustaNational

Function 18 2014 Masters Promotion

Online golf clothing store Function 18 has today announced the launch of their anticipated Masters promotion.

With 10% off all orders over £10 and 15% off all orders over £100, now is the perfect time to stock up on your golf clothing & accessories in time for the summer season.

The promotion is available across all major golf brands available online at Function18 including Oscar Jacobson, Nike Golf, Puma Golf, Adidas Golf and Hugo Boss, and will run throughout the Masters tournament until Sunday 13th April.

Take advantage of this great promotion this weekend and visit www.function18.com

Apr 7, 2014

Celebrating 80 years of the Masters

With this year marking the 80th anniversary of the Masters, here's a fun infographic of Masters firsts.

Apr 6, 2014

Ground Force Trainer Review

Simple to Use Golf Trainer 
Work on your back swing
Muscle memory will improve your yardage

The Ground Force Trainer was a welcome sight two weeks before my golf trip to North Carolina. With such a busy schedule the only golf practice I had been doing was hitting putts in my basement with my various SeeMore putters. I’m not one for all the various “improve your golf swing” paraphernalia but the Ground Force Trainer was a welcome sight after a long winter. It arrived in a simple box with a plethora of literature guaranteeing me a gain of 10 yds.

Well sign me up but I’d be happy with solid contact after an almost 4 month break from swinging the golf club. So I had two weeks to see what the Ground Force Trainer could do.

Ground Force Trainer kit ( MSRP $119 US) includes the patent-pending square rotational disk, power pole, DVD, lead leg support foam pad, instruction manual and mesh carry bag.

Dr. Jenni Martin, a chiropractor, LPGA professional and Titleist Performance Institute-certified instructor created the Ground Force Trainer. It features square-rotational disks on which the back foot sits. The key here is to keep the disks aligned while taking a backswing.

“When you stand on an unstable surface you have to dig in on the inside of the right foot to keep the board from not rotating,” said Martin. This makes total sense. In fact, just today I was working on keeping weight on my back foot as I got the rust out of my irons at my indoor range at ClubLink’s Greenhills Golf Club. Martin knows what she’s talking about.

The unstable surface of the Ground Force Trainer helps create the sensation of developing power from ground force with the trail side leg and gluteal muscles, according to Martin. “The Ground Force Training disks create this instability and causes a specific muscular reaction that mimics, exactly, the sensation and strength necessary to motor learn the proper load in the back swing.

“It’s really primarily for people losing their power,” added Martin. “What I have seen is if they do 10, 15 of them a day, holding it to a count of five, taking maybe two minutes, it will motor train them and it corrects a lot of swing faults. If they do it every day for 30 days I can guarantee 10 yards.”

So for two weeks leading up to my North Carolina golf trip I used the Ground Force Trainer primarily downstairs in front of a mirror in our work room. Simple to use the trainer helps you develop your coil in your back swing making sure you have a higher percentage of your weight on your back foot (60-80% on your right foot for right handed golfers). Muscle memory being the important key here just a few minutes a day the trainer will help with your distance.

Simple To Use
The Ground Force Trainer was real easy to use. Prompts on the wooden swivel board make it easy to use day after day.

  • Place trail foot in center of swivel board
  • Keep big toe facing forward (Do not allow foot to rotate during exercise)
  • Keep the front of boards parallel during drill
  • Keep 60-80% of weight on trail fool (Right for RH golfer)

Couple minutes a day – 30 days guaranteed to gain 10 yards
I had 3 solid rounds of golf in North Carolina with pretty good contact and pretty great early season results. The Ground Force Trainer obviously had something to do with this. I’m going to continue with the trainer and will add my results in early spring. We'll see if I can add 10 yards.