Sep 11, 2014

Ryder Cup Preview





The 2014 edition of the Ryder Cup kicks off in just a few weeks’ time at Gleneagles in Scotland and there is plenty to note heading into the contest. Team USA have reportedly fell apart over the last month and very few golfers head into the contest with Team Europe on the back of any momentum. Team Europe, however, have gone strength to strength with their team and are the looking good value for a win on their very own European soil.

The PGA Tour should have in theory created a major wave of momentum for Team USA to ride into the Ryder Cup on the back of, but sadly that will be far from the true story when they arrive in Scotland for September 23rd

To put this into context: a pair of Americans – in the shape of Chris Kirk and Billy Horschel – emerged as prime candidates for two of Team USA captain Tom Watson’s wildcard picks, but the golfing veteran instead opted for different personal.

Both Kirk and Horschel are leading the race for the FedEx Cup and PGA Tour glory as they head into the Tour Championship. Horschel also won the last event, the BMW Championship that was staged in Cherry Hills last weekend and the decision to exclude the pair from the Ryder Cup team has come under intense scrutiny from the media, especially considering the fact that very few of the USA Team have had strong performances in recent outings.

Rickie Fowler has been ever present at the periphery of major tournament glory all year long and Jim Furyk has also been there and thereabouts, but aside from that there is no-one else on the USA Team that offers a great deal of excitement like Rory McIlroy or Ian Poulter will do for Team Europe. One website has even offered this very blunt Ryder Cup preview as a damning preview of what they believe is to come from the biennial competition.

In stark comparison, Team Europe come into the competition with a whirlwind of momentum and excitement, with many golfers on the team sheet offering up promising performances over the past few months.

McIlroy may have twice four-putted over the BMW Championship weekend but despite this, he still posted his best score on the fourth and final round (which also brought about the second of the four puts) so it is unwise to assume he is out of sorts heading into Gleneagles.

Ian Poulter meanwhile is undefeated in singles play at the Ryder Cup and has an astounding 12 wins out of 15 games he has played during the four times he has featured for Team Europe. He is also remembered fondly by fans for his part in the unrivalled last day turnaround we saw Team Europe complete last time out to steal victory for the jaws of Team USA.

The enthusiasm surrounding the host of impressive and exciting options for Team Europe – paired with the furore over Team USA’s inability to choose those players that both the fans and the media believed deserved a place in the line-up – makes it hard to expect anything else than Team Europe retaining their crown come the end of September.

Sep 2, 2014

Hilton Head Golf Island Announces Fall Stay-and-Play Packages

It's seems the only time I can play a copious amount of golf is when I go away on a golf trip. Go away, take a break from the jobs and just play golf.

It's been since the early spring in North Carolina that I've had a sustained run of golf. Now Hilton Head Island is beckoning once again for me to play.

The Lowcountry at its best in the fall. Idyllic weather, amazing course conditions, no crowds and delicious seasonal southern fare. All my favorite things!

News Release
 Prime Course Conditions, Perfect Weather Ideal for End-of-Season Golf Trip

(HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C.) – Hilton Head Golf Island (HHGI) – a collection of the Lowcountry’s 30 premier golf courses – announces an assortment of fall stay-and-play packages ideal for end-of-season vacations and golf buddy trips.

Autumn is when Hilton Head Island is at its best with warm air and water temperatures, low humidity and the best course conditions of the year. Golf enthusiasts can hit the links or the beach and enjoy the island’s plethora of leisure activities as well as unique seasonal culinary delicacies, including soft-shell crab and Lowcountry oysters.

Ranked top 10 in seven categories by Golf Digest including ““Best Buddies Trip Destination” and “Best Weather,” HHGI has numerous golf getaway packages available for fall:

The Sea Pines Resort – “Stay-and-Play Villa Golf Package:” Experience three nights in private villa accommodations and one round each at Harbour Town Golf Links, Ocean Course and Heron Point by Pete Dye. Offer is full of extras including complimentary afternoon repeat rounds on the Ocean Course and Heron Point, range balls and 10 percent discount on retail merchandise and food and beverage at the resort's pro shops and restaurants. Packages start at $164 per golfer, per night and based on quad-occupancy. Rate valid through Dec, 31. For package and reservation information: 1.800.SEAPINES, www.seapinesgolf.com.

Palmetto Dunes – “Fall Stay-and-Play:” Stay three nights in a two-bedroom villa and play three rounds at each of the resort’s championship courses, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Arthur Hills and George Fazio. Enjoy two hours of complimentary tennis court time (daily), preferred rates and priority access on all other resort activities and amenities as well as dining and merchandise discounts. Based on quad-occupancy, rates start at $135 per golfer, per night and include all taxes and resort fees. Valid through October 31. Additional rules and restrictions apply. For package and reservation information: 877.567.6507, www.PalmettoDunes.com.

The Heritage Golf Collection – “Four Nights, Four Rounds:” Enjoy four nights at the newly-renovated Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa and four rounds of golf at any of seven Heritage Collection courses including Port Royal Golf & Racquet Club, Shipyard Golf Club, Palmetto Hall Plantation Club and Oyster Reef Golf Club. Package also includes complimentary range balls, tee gift on first day of play, discounts at golf pro shops and clubhouses and 10 percent off spa services at The Heavenly Spa by The Westin. Based on double occupancy, packages start at $175 per golfer, per night. Valid Sept. 13 – Nov. 7. For package and reservation information: 843.681.1706, vcastaneda@heritagegolfgroup.com.

Old South Golf Links – “Par 3 Package:” Just over the bridge in the charming mainland town of Bluffton is the acclaimed Old South Golf Links. Package includes two nights at the Hilton Garden Inn with complimentary breakfast, one round at Old South Golf Links and two rounds at Hampton Hall Golf Club, The Country Club of Hilton Head or Bear Creek Golf Club. Starting at $385 per person in a double occupancy standard room, price includes sales and accommodations tax. Valid September 21 – November 30. For package and reservation information: 800.257.8997, www.oldsouthgolf.com.

“This time of year is Hilton Head Island’s best-kept secret and brings those days on the course that golfers live for,” says Cary Corbitt, President of the Lowcountry Golf Course Owners Association and Vice President of Sports and Operations at Sea Pines Resort. “These fall getaway packages allow guests to experience the finest of what the Lowcountry has to offer at an exceptional value.”

As one of the nation’s foremost golf capitals, Hilton Head Island is the preferred vacation destination of golfers seeking a high-concentration of world-class quality courses, an unspoiled natural environment, beautiful resorts and inns, and old-fashioned Southern hospitality The legendary coastal Carolina destination has invested more than $200 million in upgrades in the past two years that are already finished, or under construction, transforming Hilton Head Island into the freshest resort town in America.

For additional information or to receive a quote: www.HiltonHeadGolfIsland.com, 800.523.3373.

Aug 16, 2014

Tom Watson Lessons Of A Lifetime II DVD Review - Golf Instruction

When it comes to golf instruction there's no one better than Tom Watson. Still going strong at 64 he's currently going over his options and will announce his captain’s picks on Sept. 2 for the The Ryder Cup. Pitting the American team against one composed of players from Europe. The Ryder Cup will be played Sept. 26-28 at Gleneagles in Scotland. Watson is one golfer that knows what to look for in a winning golfer. Pretty sure he can help us with our golf games.

Tom Watson Lessons Of A Lifetime II DVD

In 2010, world famous golfer Tom Watson released his DVD lesson series called Lessons of a Lifetime. It sold over 70,000 DVD sets in 5 languages in over 40 countries. When surveyed about the content of the DVD series, 88% of those surveyed said the program had improved their game and 79% rated it as excellent.

Recently, Mr. Watson released Lessons of a Lifetime II, which can be purchased separately if you already have the first series, or as part of a 3-CD set. 

The original series is perfect for a beginning golfer or for someone who is struggling with the basics.  It starts with a glossary of golf terms and then moves into some of the basics: grip, set up, stance and alignment. Some of the parts I regularly look are the takeaway and back swing to the transition and follow through which is something I always seem to struggle with. The DVDs are great for that, have a problem with your game, Mr. Watson has a chapter dedicated to it on one of the DVDs.

The series then covers topics like: chips, punch shots, bunker shots, chipping and putting with multiple lessons on each. Watson is a master of every type of chip shot and bunker shot imaginable that's why this section of the DVD seems to be the watched the most for me as this is where I seem to be able to make up shots on the golf course, thanks Mr. Watson.

Lessons of a Lifetime II -The New Advanced Lessons offers more than 20 lessons that give further instruction from Tom Watson. He goes deeper on not only how to pull off all the shots discussed in the original DVD, but goes into the mental side of golf.

The instructional videos and tutorials are easy to follow and filmed beautifully at The Greenbrier, America's Resort.

My favorite parts of the DVDs outside of brushing up constantly with the basics are:
 

  •  Bunker play- Watson is a master

  • Tom 's chipping techniques from all sorts of lies

  • His insight on teaching kids
  • Putting drills because you can never work to much on putting.
  • The touching Bruce Edwards Tribute
 The DVD series can be purchased online at www.TomWatson.com. It's also available through Amazon and select golf and sporting goods retailers and many golf superstores. A portion of the proceeds from all sales will be given to the Bruce Edwards Foundation for ALS Research.

The entire series (3 discs) is $49.95; if you've already got the first two DVDs and only need Lessons of a Lifetime II, it's $24.95. Each DVD contains a booklet which goes over the instructions on the DVDs. A solid investment for any level of golfer.


 


Aug 13, 2014

McIlroy wins PGA Championship, Odds on Favourite for Masters Win



Again this weekend Rory McIlroy showed us why he’s the World’s #1 golfer winning the the PGA Championship by one shot over Phil Mickelson Sunday at Valhalla. So now golf oddsmakers have Rory listed as a 5/1 favourite to win next spring at Augusta National. Damn we actually have to wait 8 months before McIlroy heads down Magnolia in search of his third straight major and the final leg of the career grand slam.

This week I had a lot of success with my golf fantasy picks including some golf money wagering. Now I’m not ready to write any golf fantasy guides just because I had a good week (my picks were spot on ;)). Just like if I have success at roulette I’m not going to publish a online roulette guide. Gambling especially when it comes to golf is pretty much impossible. All players on the PGA Tour could pretty much win any given week. Yes Rory is on a tear and most weeks he’ll be the favourite but most weeks it’s a toss up and anyone player could win.

Here are some other early favorites for the Masters, this year being played on April 9-12, 2015.
12/1: Tiger Woods
15/1: Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson
20/1: Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day and Jordan Spieth,
25/1: Justin Rose, Matt Kuchar
30/1: Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Lee Westwood
40/1: Charl Schwartzel, Brandt Snedeker
50/1: Martin Kaymer, Zach Johnson, Jason Dufner, Jim Furyk, Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan, Jimmy Walker
60/1: Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, Louis Oosthuizen, Angel Cabrera
80/1: Luke Donald, Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama, Victor Dubuisson, Marc Leishman, Ryan Moore, Graham DeLaet, Harris English, Gary Woodland, Jonas Blixt

Didn’t win tickets again this year to the Master. One year I’ll win the Masters lottery and go for my birthday – fingers crossed.


Aug 6, 2014

Apparel Review: Sunice Bremer Polo - Silver Collection

Over the years I've always been impressed with Sunice's Outerwear. Having the chance to review the Bremer Polo from Sunice, I came away once again impressed with what Sunice is doing both in style and technology.

The Sunice Bremer is part of the Sunice Silver collection which features X-Static®. What Sunice has figured out is by bonding silver with the rest of the fabric of the Bremer shirt you can create a shirt that keeps you cool and dry during that hot and sticky summer round of golf. You have to love the thermodynamic properties of silver and the way Sunice has incorporated them into such a stylish shirt.


 Selfie w/ Bremer "Silver" Golf Polo

The Bremer comes in a array of colors, including Leaf/Pure White. I really love this color and the white contrasting stitching a perfect touch for the Bremer polo.

Silver also has anti-microbial elements so the fabric will keep you smelling better and for a longer period of time.

The Bremer also features a UPF rating of 20+, another bonus when it comes to golfing in the heat of the summer here in Canada.


 The 4-Button placket and the self fabric collar of the Sunice Bremer Polo. Style meets functionality.

I'm a huge of this shirt when it comes to keeping cool in the heat of the Ottawa summer. A fun and stylish polo that impresses from the moment you put it on. Top marks again for Sunice.

Jul 23, 2014

Shoe Review: ECCO Street Evo One

This golf season I've had the pleasure of once again testing out a pair of ECCO golf shoes. The ECCO Street Evo One are of the spikeless variety and the color I got to test out was black/port. What amazes me every year is that ECCO some how is able to improve on their true and tested and original street-style golf shoe.



Likes

Improved Traction
ECCO has improved the traction for the golfer with this model. With the outsole providing 800 traction angles I had tremendous traction in all weather conditions as well as varying playing conditions. Being a golfer that likes to take a good rip at the ball I never had to worry about my feet slipping.



ECCO comfort
Out of the box my ECCO Street Evo Ones fit beautifully and comfort over 18+ holes was never an issue. Golfing back to back days as well my feet never became fatigued. This can only be attributed to the high quality hydromax-treated leather and the flexible construction of the shoe.

Dry Feet Good
Who wants wet feet when they're golfing? ECCO hydromax-treated leather seems to keep out H2O so my feet have been very happy.

Style for everyone
Loved the look and the style of the shoe from the color (black/port) to the additional black laces provided for a completely different look. ECCO seems to know how to choose colors that not only appeal to the young crowd but to the older generation as well.



Dislikes
I always wonder about the wear of these type of spikeless golf shoes. So far ECCO's ECCO-Dynamic Traction System has had little to no wear of any kind.


Conclusion
With so many types of golf shoes on the market it's great as golfers we have such a wide variety to choose from and ECCO continues to lead the way in innovation, style and comfort. Originally listed at $190 (now on sale at $159) they are on the high end price wise for the street-style genre of golf shoes but with ECCO style and quality these will last you a very long time. The ECCO Street Evo Ones truly are the "Complete shoe for the complete golfer.



Jul 20, 2014

Predicting The Winner At The Open Championship

The Open Championship is one of my favorite majors to watch. I love the fact they switch the venue around every year (Royal Liverpool, at Hoylake this year). The unpredictability of the weather and the way it can affect a golfer both mentally and the golf ball. Links golf something we don't have much here in Canada but the fact it requires so much skill in and around the greens plus the mental stamina of a ninja warrior.

Predicting who's going to win the Open Championship is so intriguingly hard. With course knowledge and Open Championship experience going a long way, predicting the eventual winner can be a daunting task. This year the course played so different from 2006 when Tiger Woods won at a score of -18. Check out the photo comparison of #18 from the two years.


When I choose what Fantasy Golf Pools I'm going to dabble in for the Open Championship it's like picking the best casino games at your local casino, it's more about playing a hunch. So the players that I chose for my various games has been pretty good. I've got front runner Rory McIlroy in most of my matches but I've throw in a few other good picks like Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson and Shane Lowry. I was disappointed with Miguel Angel Jimenez and Mikko Ilonen but like I said earlier it's tough predicting.

So who's going to come out the winner today? No golfer has ever lost a lead of 6 shots going into the final round of the Open Championship so if you were a betting man Rory should be able to finish it off, right? I think he will but I'll predict a playoff win over Rickie Fowler. Enjoy your Sunday.