Jan 23, 2015

Favorites, Disappointments and Bucket List Golf Courses from a Canadian Golf Blogger

By Sean Crogie   Posted at  1/23/2015 07:25:00 PM   No comments
This is the time of the year I begin to have a real itch to play golf. The PGA Merchandise Show is in full swing down in Orlando. Buying and selling golf clubs takes on a new meaning and planning a golf vacation for the upcoming golf season is in full swing.

So here’s a few of my favorites and not so favorite golf courses that I’ve played over the years when I get a break from the family and a few more I’m hoping to play real soon to cross off that bucket list.

Favorite Golf Courses Played
Hands down Cabot Links in Inverness Nova Scotia is my favorite golf course played in Canada. A few years ago I had the pleasure of playing a bunch of beautiful golf courses in the Cape Breton area of Nova Scotia and the newly built Cabot Links was on that list. Considered the only true links course in Canada Cabot Links is a must play for the avid golfer.

Over two days I got to play the not only challenging but very playable Cabot Links. The course was in beautiful condition and the minimalist approach taken by Cabot is perfect for this pristine piece of property that once was an old coal mine. With amazing views of the Gulf of St. Lawrence you are guaranteed to get caught up in the majestic beauty of the golf course.

Cabot Links was the first golf course I got to play with a caddy and the first course I had the pleasure of playing a few holes with my wife who was along for the week long golf ride.

There are many golf courses in the Muskoka area of Ontario and I have played a few but the Deerhurst Highlands Course was a course that surpassed my expectations. With a variety of holes and challenges for every type of golfer Deerhurst Highlands golf course was a course you could easily play 36 holes in a day and come away with a huge smile on your face. It’s just an all around top notch facility. Make sure you have the Cedar Plank Salmon at Steamers in between rounds.

I’ve never met a golf course I didn’t enjoy some aspect of but here a few that left me just a tad disappointed.

Highland Links Golf Course
On my Cape Breton trip a few years ago I finally got to play Highland Links. With all the accolades heaped on the course I was disappointed with the conditions as well as I found it one of the toughest courses to play with so many uneven lies from the fairway it made for a very high scoring round. Maybe it was the day or poor golf I played but Highland Links left me wanting more.

Devil’s Paintbrush
A beautifully conditioned golf course outside of the GTA, I found a few of the holes on the course contrived with way to many blind tee shots and very unforgiving bunkers. The layout had me wondering what it’s sister course, Devil’s Pulpit had to offer.

Bucket List – Must Play
This list can change depending on my mood or where I’m planning on traveling to in the near future but here are a few must play from a golf starved blogger.

Cabot Cliffs
Looks like it’s opening up this July and indications are it’s on a more spectacular piece of land than it’s brother course, Cabot Links. This one two punch will make Inverness, Nova Scotia one of the top golf resort destinations in the World.

Valderrama Golf Club
Looks I’ll be heading to Spain in April and what better course to cross off the bucket list than the world famous Valderrama Golf Club. Having held the Ryder Cup back in 1997 Valderrama packs a wallop playing from the pro tees at 6,990 yds. (source). This is one golf course that needs to be crossed off the bucket list. Will keep you updated

Lahinch Golf Club
Started by Old Tom Morris in 1894, English designer Martin Hawtree remodeled the greens giving more size and slope and adding bunkers and reshaping fairways. The result is a remade masterpiece one of the best in Ireland (Phil Mickelson has called it his favorite links course). I've been to Ireland before back in the late 1990s but didn't golf at the time. I'd love to go back to County Clare, Ireland and play Lahinch. It would be a dream.

So what are some of your favorite golf courses, disappointments or bucket list courses?

Jan 19, 2015

SeeMore Giant FGP Putter Makes Appearance At Sony Open - Release Date March 2015 - Review

By Sean Crogie   Posted at  1/19/2015 09:07:00 PM   No comments
SeeMore Putters out of Franklin, Tennessee has my attention with their soon to be release Giant FGP putter.
"The GIANT FGP started off as a project to create a putter that took everything we knew about putter technology, alignment, and the perfect putting stroke, and enhanced it in every way possible," stated Jim Grundberg, CEO. "What we ended up with is a design that is very familiar, yet shockingly different at the same time. We literally created a giant size FGP, which functions exactly like the original FGP, just better. It is easier to align, more forgiving, better balanced, and feels great. And the face is balanced to the plane of the stroke, meaning it naturally squares to the target line, just like all of our FGP family of putters. Simply stated, it is more fun to putt with!"

One of the most consistent parts of my golf game is putting and I owe that to using a SeeMore putter for many years now. Hopefully we'll be able to do another SeeMore putter review in the not to distant future.

So how did SeeMore finally improve on the classic flagship FGP design? We went bigger. Way bigger! Introducing the new Giant milled FGP. It is 28% larger than an FGP on each dimension. The volume in ccs is 2.5 times a standard milled FGP. The Giant FGP is easier to align the face square to the target line. And it is easier to align the putter square to the golfer's set up (the major benefit of RST technology), due to the oversize RST alignment markings on the top line of the putter head, and the oversize shaft diameter. And it is more forgiving, with a higher moment of inertia, and extreme heel/toe weighting, with milled stainless steel weights. "When putting with the Giant FGP you are able to feel and see the putter work on the correct path with ease," stated, SPi Director of Instruction and PGA Professional, Ted Gallina, "the larger head maintains the simple benefits of the FGP while enhancing the feeling of Face Balance to Impact - in other words get out of the way and let the putter work for you."

Russell Knox drops in a 26-foot birdie putt at Sony Open using a SeeMore Giant FGP putter

Benefits of the GIANT: 
• Increased stability and forgiveness. Higher MOI
• Larger RST and top sight line for more accurate alignment
• Longer blade length=easier to square the putter to the intended target line
• Enhanced the feel of keeping the putter on the correct path, "Face Balance at Impact."
• Larger sweet spot for mis-hits
• Great feel with precise manufacturing of 100% Milled Aluminum and 2 milled stainless steel sole weights
• Retains all the game improvement benefits of the FGP
• Better feedback for setup and stroke

A little practice time with the SeeMore Giant FGP putter at the Sony Open courtesy GolfWRX.com

Here are some technical details of the GIANT FGP. 
• The length is 5.75 inches, depth is 1.6 inches, and face height is 1.4 inches, so while it is exactly to scale vs. the original FGP blade, each of these measurements is 28% larger than the original, meaning that the overall putter volume in terms of square inches of the milling block is over 2.5 times that of the original FGP.
• The depth and height of the putter is relatively the same as the diameter of a golf ball, and the equator of the ball meets the equator of the milled face to impart a great roll with great feel.
• Head weight will be adjustable from 365 grams to over 400 grams when used in a counterbalanced version.
• Retail price is $250. The Giant FGP will initially be available March 2015. The GIANT FGP may be special ordered by any golfer from any golf pro shop, as with any SeeMore putter.

Jan 17, 2015

Rickie Fowler Sports Puma TitanTour Golf Shoes

By Sean Crogie   Posted at  1/17/2015 03:42:00 PM   No comments
Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship
Love this time of the year when companies are teasing us with their latest releases. Puma once again with another amazing looking shoe in the TitanTour Golf Shoe.

Rickie Fowler channelling his inner Gary Player at Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship

A great follow on Twitter is Grant Knudson, he makes shoes happen!

Grant Knudson, Golf Head of Footwear:

Once again, we are pushing the limits of footwear innovation and style. The TitanTour provides even greater comfort for the golfer by pro-actively regulating heat and reacting to changes in conditions and foot temperature.

The fit, feel and performance of the new TitanTour shoes are specifically designed to meet the needs of all golfers at the highest level

Rickie Fowler, Cobra Puma Tour Professional

The new TitanTour shoe provides all the performance, comfort, cooling and support that I need in a golf shoe, but better yet it has a look and feel that really fits my style on course.

PUMA Golf continues to make shoes that help me perform on Tour and keep me one-step ahead of my competition.

 Puma TitanTour
- Lower profile
- Increased comfort
- Increased traction, with debris-release to prevent any loss during play
- Increased durability
- Same superb reliability
- Two year waterproof warranty

Seven colour combinations are available including black/white; white/orange; white/blue; white/gray violet; brown/white-black; and Flash which is made of a unique reflective material.

Available February 1st 2015

Jan 13, 2015

Bridgestone J715 Driver Set For Feb 1st Release - Makes Appearance in Hawaii

By Sean Crogie   Posted at  1/13/2015 09:26:00 PM   No comments
This time of the year in Canada for the golf obsessed. many golfers become fixated on the latest releases from the major players in golf club manufacturing. All those shiny new clubs create a frenzy. The selling of your old driver, irons, or putter etc. on eBay and some of the more popular golf forums becomes a Winter pastime.

Those golfers then begin to dream and then plan where they can hit that coveted club. For many here in Canada Florida, Arizona and of course Myrtle Beach become those places. For many we can only sit and stare at our TVs and watch the pros hit their golf balls around courses like the beautiful Kapalua Resort in sunny/warm Kapalua, Hawaii. 

If you're wondering what driver Matt Kuchar is playing this week at Kapalua its Bridgestone's newest driver (There first driver in 4 years), the Bridgestone J715 B5 Driver.

I first began to drool over this driver back in November when Tour Spec Golf posted some pics and a great article on the driver. It's not only the looks of the driver that have me intrigued it's also some of Bridgetone's innovations.

An article in Golf Digest best sums up what's really going on with this most talked about driver

Bridgestone J715 B5 Driver

The first is the crown. Bridgestone named the science behind its crown F.A.S.T. -- Flex Action Speed Technology. The crown is thickest at the back of the clubhead and thinnest by the clubface. The goal behind this design is to allow the crown to flex at impact and help launch the ball higher. There are also ridges in the crown near the face of the club, to help with the accordion-effect.

Secondly, the club features a milled face. This design element gives the ball something to hold onto at impact. Bridgestone's team believes increasing the amount of time the ball spends on the face allows for better compression. After doing some robot testing, R&D officials also found that the ball launched off the milled face reduces spin between 200 and 300 rpms.

The third piece of technology is the weights. There are movable weights in both the center of the clubhead as well as the heel. The weights vary between two and 12 grams. The more weight there is in the heel, the higher the ball will launch. Weight in the center of the club decreases spin.

Finally, there's the face and lie angle adjustment system. You can change the angle of the face closed or open one degree. The lie angle can be changed from standard to 1 degree upright, and then another notch up to 2 degrees upright.

The Bridgestone J715 Driver will be available Feb. 1 and comes in four lofts (8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 12 degrees). It will sell for $399.

Even though it's Winter here in Ottawa, I've got access to an indoor golf hitting area. I will do my best to get one of these North of the border which sometimes can be hard for Bridgestone hard goods. I remember how happy I was to land some Bridgestone irons off eBay for a review back in 2009. I may have to call in a few favours. Stay tuned!

The Bridgestone J715 Driver Featured in this months Golf Magazine

Jan 8, 2015

2015 Golf Events Calendar - Perfect for the golf junkie

By Sean Crogie   Posted at  1/08/2015 08:28:00 PM   No comments
What better way to keep track of what's going on in the world of professional golf then Function 18's great wall chart of all the tournaments, tours and championship for the coming year. Great for keeping track of tournaments when your involved in as many Fantasy Golf Leagues as I am and great for planning your golf viewing both from your couch or traveling to your favorite event.

2015 Golf Tournaments, Tours, Championships, Majors

Dec 13, 2014

'Draw in the Dunes' by Neil Sagebiel - Book Review - 2014 Gift Guide

By Sean Crogie   Posted at  12/13/2014 10:44:00 PM   No comments
Before I read Neil Sagebiel sophomore novel on the epic Ryder Cup matches of 1969 I had no idea of the climate of golf at the time of the matches as well as the extent of the "concession" by Jack Nicklaus.

Neil does a great job in bringing us to the pinnacle of the matches. Stringing interviews, various press clippings and pretty much everything available on those 1969 matches. What could be better than two teams tied with two of the best players in the world squaring off in the final decisive Ryder Cup match.

Both teams are square headed into the final singles match. The 18th hole, with the teams scores tied at 15½ apiece, Jack Nicklaus with a birdie from five feet out to draw or win. The Golden Bear drains the putt. Tony Jacklin needs a two foot putt to halve the point and force the tie. 

Jack picks up Tony's ball marker to concede the putt. 

 "I don't believe you'd have missed that putt, but I would never give you the opportunity in these circumstances." Jack's spontaneous gesture, which shocked several teammates, quickly became "The Concession." The 1969 Ryder Cup I don't think we'll see another like it!

Neil Sagebiel was nice enough to answer a few questions I had after reading the book.

1. What made yo decide to write about the 69 Ryder Cup for your 2nd book?
I was looking for a followup to "The Longest Shot" and I saw a clip of the famous Jack Nicklaus concession to Tony Jacklin on the final green in the final match of the 1969 Ryder. It's widely acknowledged as one of the greatest moments in the Ryder Cup, as well as golf, and I wondered why it mattered so much and what the full story was. 
2. Who was the best interview and why for your book?
There were several great ones, but it was a big thrill for me to meet and interview Jack Nicklaus because of his stature in the game. It was very exciting to visit with him. 
3. Anyone you would of liked to have interviewed but didn't?
I would have liked to interview Lee Trevino, but, through his agent, Trevino declined. I did interview nearly all of the surviving members of both the U.S. and Great Britain teams, including Jack Nicklaus, Tony Jacklin, Raymond Floyd, Billy Casper, Peter Alliss, Bernard Gallacher, Frank Beard, Tommy Aaron, Brian Huggett, Neil Coles, Ken Still, Gene Littler, Peter Townsend, Brian Barnes.
4.Pulling your story from so many resources was it hard to compile everything into such a concise read?
It helped that I had put together a similar narrative in "The Longest Shot," in which I attempted to put the reader at the event. I had good material available to me for the second book, so it was all about carefully stitching it together and making it a cohesive read. 
5. Do you think something like what happened in the final match back in 69 could happen in today's Ryder Cup age?
I think it is unlikely. It would take a strong figure in the game, someone with a sense of history and a true sportsman. And also someone who could take the heat he invariably would get for conceding a missable putt with the Ryder Cup in the balance.
6. Do any of today's modern day PGA pros remind you of any of the players involved in the 69 Ryder Cup?
Players like Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson do to some extent. They are not as guarded as others about revealing themselves, their personalities, on and off the course, which is similar to players of olden days when there was less scrutiny and attention paid to the sport.
 'Draw in the Dunes' by Neil Sagebiel is a book worthy of being on this years "gift guide". For that golfer that has everything  'Draw in the Dunes' is a must read for the "golf" fan.

Dec 2, 2014

Top Greenskeepers to Follow On Instagram

By Sean Crogie   Posted at  12/02/2014 10:35:00 PM   No comments
So when I'm not golfing here in the Ottawa area, I'm dreaming about the next game/ golf destination and what better way than to follow some topnotch greenskeepers and turf guys to get my golf fix. Here's a list of a few of my favorites. Who do you follow?

Husband, Father, turf guy, two rapidly growing two kids and one wife. Golf Course Turfgrass Management. Live in Osaka,Japan. iPhone5S,GoPro

Chris Calvin
Greenkeeper at Royal Portrush golf club for 20+ years and a die hard Coleraine fc fan

Danny Sayers
Greenkeeper Bramley Golf Club Like like like Follow for follow 400 450 Nothing turns me on more than the smell of freshly cut grass!!

Alper Ateş.Headgreenkeeper of National Golf Club in Antalya Turkey.All photographs are taken by me.

Greenkeeping ireland
Learn from each other Share what you see Develop the Greenkeeping industry send pictures to greenkeepingireland@gmail.com

Jim Moyer
Greenskeeper Virginia Beach Virginia

Rafal Muzyk
Head Greenkeeper at Ierne Sports Club

Golf course superintendent at Storey Creek Golf Club which is located in Campbell River BC, the Salmon capital of the world.

#1 public course in Vermont 5yrs in a row,opened in 2006, Designed by Graham Cooke, 18 holes,located in beautiful northern VT,

Connect with Us

What they says


Powered by Blogger.
back to top