Nov 19, 2017

Tame The Ocean Course - My Caddie Experience

By Sean Crogie   Posted at  11/19/2017 04:51:00 PM   No comments
The only other time I've had a caddie during a round was at Cabot Links on Cape Breton Island and that was what I thought was a once in a lifetime occurrence. Well the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island is a walking only course before noon and caddies are highly recommended but not mandatory.

So my caddie for a day of golf at one of the world's most wild and windiest tracks was Ryan Bocchino. Ryan is 39 year old and a veteran caddie at the Ocean Course. If you get a chance to request a caddie then Ryan would be my choice friendly, talkative and he knows the course inside and out.

One of the strongest parts of my game is my putting and having Ryan guide me around for the day was epic. He improved my putting giving me clear precise reads on any breaks in the greens. Whether subtle or not you could tell Ryan knew the Ocean Course well. Not in a arrogant way but a laid back manner that instills confidence in the golfer.

We developed a rapport right away and it enhanced my golfing experience on a cool windy Coastal Carolina morning.





Ryan was the perfect caddie a good listener, friendly, knowledgeable and probably saved me 10 strokes at least on the Ocean Course



There are no fees for the services of a caddie, gratuities are graciously accepted. Recommended gratuities are $100 per player for walking caddies and $50 per player for a forecaddie, based on service.



Keeping up with my caddie



Our round latest only about 3 1/2 hours but its one I'll never forget and continue to replay it in my head. I'm sure for years to come. So my one tidbit from the round if you play the Ocean Course with a caddie is, "Listen to him". Good luck. P.S. I managed a 97 testing out a new/old driver for the day. 

Kiawah Island Golf Resort - Coastal Carolina Golf Mecca

By Sean Crogie   Posted at  11/19/2017 03:34:00 PM   No comments
Having time to decompress after a great but quick trip to Kiawah Island I come to two conclusions. There's only been one other time I've had such a fulfilling and relaxing golf trip and that was my week long trip a few years back to Cape Breton Nova Scotia to play the likes of Cabot Links and Cape Breton Highlands.

Secondly If your looking for a place to be pampered both on and off the golf course, Kiawah Island Golf Resort should be #1 on your list.

Being part of coastal South Carolina and only 21 miles from historic Charleston. I was in awe of the five Championship courses which abound on this amazing stretch of barrier island. Having played 3 this week over a two day span, I can honestly say for any level of golfer you will be challenged and awed by the beauty of the courses and the surrounding lowland terrain.


The Ocean Course

Designed by Pete Dye where else can you follow in the steps of those golfers that battled it out for the 1991 Ryder Cup. Also home to the 1997 and 2003 World Cups, the Ocean Course will play host to another PGA Championship in 2021. I'm already trying to figure out how to get back there for that Major.



You will fall in the love with the Ocean Course


 The live oak vistas are amazing


Osprey Point

Designed by Tom Fazio with renovations that happened during the summer of 2014 a spectacular course with great scenery that will test all abilities of golfers.


Fun and playable par 3s at Osprey Point


Cougar Point

Designed by Gary Player and renovations that just finished up a little over a month ago. This course shines in a plethora of challenges that not only includes the Coastal Carolina breezes but greens that require accuracy and precision. A must play if you can't play all 5.


Redesigned bulkheads a la Gary Player - Carolina perfection.



All the courses including Cougar Point were in top condition








Oct 29, 2017

Golf Product Review: Oh Canada Tour Towel - Uther Golf

By Sean Crogie   Posted at  10/29/2017 07:30:00 PM   No comments



A great tour towel for the Canadian Golfer

Okay I might have a bit of affinity for Canadian golf companies but when they make great products  at an affordable price I can afford to be biased. Uther Golf I was introduced to Uther Golf last year and when I had a chance to do a review of their Cart towel I jumped at the chance. It also helped that their Oh Canada themed tour towel is a must for every proud Canadian golfer. 

The Tour towel is huge measuring 20”x 40” and I love the fact there’s ample room for cleaning your clubs as well as keeping your hands dry or your perspiring bald head. 

The microfiber that the towels are made of, which is three time more absorbent than cotton, anti-bacterial and features a woven rib pattern simple works great. The towel has proven itself on the golf course over and over again for me over the last while. It’s now taken the place of my regular microfiber towel.

These are no cookie cutter towels all prints are original designs exclusive to Uther Golf.



Not your average golf towel


A lot of care, design and thought is put into these towels so that's always great to see with new companies trying to make a name for themselves in the golf accessories business. Like any business starting out can be tough; definitely Uther has had a great beginning.  Be sure and check out their website for all Uther Golf has to offer including their cart towels which I did a review of last year.

With Christmas coming up and at $24.99 (Free shipping to Canada and USA) this is a great tour towel for the Canadian Golfer.

Be sure and follow Uther Golf on it’s various social media channels I especially like their Twitter feed and Instagram feed.



Oct 10, 2017

Who are the betting sites backing as the new PGA Tour gets underway?

By Sean Crogie   Posted at  10/10/2017 08:31:00 AM   No comments
No sooner does one season end than another begins, such is the wraparound nature of the US PGA tour. And so it is that the leaderboard is wiped clean, and with only five of the world’s top 50 players taking part in the opening event at Silverado, it gave some of the sport’s stars of the future a chance to shine.

Already, however, thoughts are shifting towards the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, which will see 15 of the top 50 players in action, not to mention 10 Major champions and 18 winners from the 2016/17 tour.

PGA Champion Justin Thomas has made this event his own, winning in 2015 with a tournament record -26, and successfully defending last year. He certainly looks to be the man to beat.

Can the betting sites see past Thomas?



A few years ago, the PGA Tour was predominantly of interest to North American golf fans, but more recently it has garnered international attention, thanks largely to huge interest via online sports betting. Everyone from professional hustlers to grandmothers watching on TV loves to back their favorite with a small wager, and there are more golf betting sites, catering to a wider, more international customer base, than ever before.

Justin Thomas, who is rapidly being seen as Malaysia’s adopted son, is certainly the hot favorite to lift the trophy for a third year in succession, and some are even asking whether he can shave another shot or two off than remarkable -26 from 2015.

However, the competition is strong, and should not be underestimated. The event has been won by an American every year since it was launched in 2010, a trend that England’s Paul Casey is desperate to bring to an end. The 40 year old only has one PGA Tour win to his name, which was the Shell Houston Open in 2009, but he has been in a rich vein of form over recent months.

Other outside shots that could be worth a speculative dollar include Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello and South Korean star Si Woo Kim, who became the youngest ever winner of the Player’s Championship in May of this year.

Rising stars and old stagers

Kim is one of the most exciting rising stars in golf, and is certain to have plenty more tournament wins ahead. He is joined by a raft of other talented 20-somethings including Grayson Murray, Wesley Bryan, Mackenzie Hughes and Cody Gribble.

However, it is not all about the young guns. The biggest cheers will almost certainly be reserved for Davis Love III and The Big Easy himself, Ernie Els. Despite turning 53 earlier this year, Love is still a force to be reckoned with, and finished tied for 8th in his only previous appearance in Malaysia, back in 2014.

With such a blend of youth and experience, it is clear that Justin Thomas should take nothing for granted under the unforgiving Malaysian sun. It promises to be a compelling event.

Oct 7, 2017

Golf Course Review: Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club 2017

By Sean Crogie   Posted at  10/07/2017 02:54:00 PM   No comments
- Challenging Golf In The Midst of the City-
Not to many golf courses across Canada get to host a Professional Tour event. In August Ottawa's Hunt and Golf Club played host to Canada's own Brooke Henderson and a host of world class players from the LPGA. Having media access for the week gave me not only insight into how a LPGA is run but also how the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club would stand up to the test of a world class field. Having walked the grounds and all the holes on both the South and West Courses. I was intrigued to play the course myself after nothing but positive reviews from the players.

I got my wish just over a week ago. My father-in-law and I got to play on a Saturday with Ottawa's weather holding its last rays of Summer for our round at "The Hunt".

Here's some of the history of the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club


  • A private golf and curling club located in Ottawa, Ontario just off Hunt Club Rd. 
  • Founded 109 years ago in 1908 as a hunting club.
  • The Ottawa Hunt Club expanded into golf in 1924.
  • The course was designed by Willie Park, Jnr. (1864−1925), a two-time British Open champion (1887, 1889).
  • The course was redesigned, mainly in its green complexes, by Tom McBroom in 1993, and Dr Michael Hurdzan in 2013. 
  • The Club hosted the Canadian Open in 1932 and the Americas Cup golf matches in 1960.
  • Hosted the Canadian Amateur Championship in 1937, 1960, and 1970.
  • Hosted the 1994 du Maurier Classic on the LPGA Tour.
  • With 27 holes of golf, it hosted the LPGA Tour's CN Canadian Women's Open on its South and West nines in August 2008, celebrating the club's centennial. 
  • Just recently hosted the CN Women's Open.




 My observations:


  • The practice facilities are top notch at the Hunt. Putting greens both by the 1st tee of the South Course and by the extensive driving range. No problem getting warmed up here.
  • The Club House and staff that work at the Hunt are amazing if you need anything they're always willing to help. Radmila (Restaurant), Shawn (Pro Shop) and the lads at the back shop (Michael and Dylan) were great.
  • The members I met while golfing were also very nice and helpful.
  • The course will challenge you from any of the 5 tee decks as long as you play from the right ones. All hazards are at the right distances if your a little off with your shot.
  • The greens were amazing, running about a 10-11 on the stimpmeter. Perfect to putt on not quite as fast as they had it for the CN Canadian Women's Open but so much fun to play.
  • A good mix of holes as far as length, visual and challenge goes.
  • The course is right by the Ottawa International airport which you would think would lead to a noisy golfing experience but quite the opposite as no large planes land or take off near the golf course. Considering the course is right off the busy Hunt Club/Riverside Roads. The feel is definitely more like you're in the country then the city.
  • I'm surprised the course isn't part of ScoreGolf's Top 100 (I've played 15 of the 100)
  • The hazards(water, bunkers) are plentiful at the Hunt Club; add the fast greens make for a very challenging round any day of the week.







My father-in-law managed a beautiful birdie putt on this hole #13 At The Hunt Club. I was closer but only managed a par. :(






It was great to get out with my Father-in-law


Lots of bunkers at the Hunt Club so make sure you have your "A" game.










Oct 5, 2017

Stepping up from Amateur to Pro: Mind the Gap

By Sean Crogie   Posted at  10/05/2017 08:46:00 AM   No comments
Almost every youngster who picks up a golf club has stars in their eyes, and is convinced that they’ll be able to emulate their heroes on television by making a glitzy career for themselves playing the sport they love.

But, as the years tick by, the realization of how difficult this is to do becomes clearer. And arguably the demographic which best highlights how challenging it is to make the step up to the paid ranks are those who beaver away one rung below on the ladder: top amateurs.

It’s always fascinating to speak to coaches, former players and rivals of Tour pros, and to hear how often they express surprise that some guys have “made it”, while other guys with bags more talent when they were growing up simply couldn’t. The kind of guys who smashed every record in sight at amateur level, but, when it came to doing it for a living, simply couldn’t cut the mustard. And, to rub it in, they had to watch as grinders, and ostensible no-hopers, flew past them to make a success out of life as a pro.

So, what is the difference between the guys who cut it as pros, and the rest who must settle for simply being great amateurs with a day job?



Hard graft

It’s one thing to hit the range after work, and play at the weekend. But practicing, conditioning, gym work, short game drills… it’s a full-time job, which requires relentless, unwavering commitment. Not everyone has it in their locker to stick to, and, most importantly, enjoy such a monotonous routine. For some guys, staying with that desk job at the bank can suddenly seem more preferable.

Finding a way in

In the absence of sponsors’ exemptions, one of the biggest shocks to the system when you turn pro is finding out just how hard it is to earn that first pay cheque. Never mind making the cut – you’ll have to pre-qualify just to make it into most events. And to get to that point, you have to pay your dues on challenge tours and mini tours. It’s a hard road to the top, and many top amateurs simply don’t have the stomach for it.

Playing for your bread

One of the biggest mental barriers is getting to grips with the realities of playing for your livelihood. It’s one thing trying to hole clutch putts at amateur event. It’s quite another when your weekly wage depends on it. And when you’re out of form, there’s no backstop of a steady income (unless it comes from sponsors). That kind of pressure has broken many a man or woman before, and will continue to keep amateurs from taking the plunge.

Mental strength

It’s loosely tied to the point above, but concentration, self-belief and an innate ability to thrive when the pressure is on is a cocktail that is the preserve of a precious few. And even then, keeping that up is an ongoing battle. No wonder sports psychologists and gurus are so widely employed on the Tour. Unlike almost any other sport, golf involves hitting a still ball. That means instinct plays almost no role in the equation, and the power of the mind is the key determinant of success instead. When the chips are down, or when a pressure-filled moment requires a big shot, it’s those with the clearest minds who deliver. They’re called pros.

Travel

Seeing new places, staying in nice hotels, becoming a jetsetter. It all sounds like fun on paper. But in reality, the unstinting travel required wears many a player down, as does constantly having to adapt to new surroundings, conditions and golf courses. Being able to enjoy this side of the job is part and parcel of being a pro. Unfortunately, not everyone does.

A step up in quality

Of course, there is one final piece of the puzzle: how good you are. Talent isn’t everything, but it certainly helps. From a ball-striking perspective, there isn’t a lot in it between a good pro and a top amateur when both parties hit their Sunday bests. It’s the bad shots where you really notice the difference. The variance in outcomes between best and worst is simply much smaller, and a pro is able to establish greater consistency towards the top end of the scale. And that isn’t just with the long game – the same is true of pitching, chipping and putting. Consistently carving out good scores when not at your best is fundamental to getting the job done as a pro, and is perhaps the biggest disparity of all when compared with ammies.

Final thoughts


Ultimately there is no empirical formula to determine who can make it as a pro, and who will be consigned to settling for life as a successful amateur. And there are plenty of exceptions (and other criteria) when it comes to assessing differences between the two. The point is that, while the gap may seem minimal on the surface, there’s actually a whole lot of real estate between top amateurs and pros when you dig a little deeper. And it’s a divide that only a select few will ever bridge.

Oct 1, 2017

Spain rallies to complete comeback in playoff at World Junior Girls Championship

By Sean Crogie   Posted at  10/01/2017 09:38:00 PM   No comments

Press Release

OTTAWA – Few could have predicted the wild finish that took place on Friday for the World Junior Girls Championship at The Marshes Golf Club.


In thrilling fashion, the Spanish team fired a collective 4-under par (140) to erase an eight-stroke deficit, forcing a playoff with the Korean squad. As light rain began to fall, both teams headed back to the par-4 18th in pairs to conduct the first playoff in World Junior Girls Championship history.


The Spaniards kept their foot on the gas, with two of the first three team members making birdie on the hole to put the trio at 2 under. The Korean team was then forced to hole out for eagle to continue the match, but their approach missed the green to the right.

 

“If I would not have made that putt, my teammates might not have been as motivated as they were,” said Elena Arias, the first Spanish team member to birdie the playoff. “I just hit the putt like the other times I had played the hole. It just looked so clear to me and went in but I was so nervous.”


Dimana Viudes followed in the second playoff group, capping her 3-under bogey-free round with a birdie of her own.


“It is like Elena said, her putt really gave me confidence because knowing that we already had a birdie was a great start,” said Viudes, who finished in fourth place individually. “I was very nervous but at the same time calm as well. I was just lucky enough to pull off the shot.”


The win marks the first World Junior Girls Championship medal for Team Spain, which is something not lost on the team’s coach.


“This is a dream come true. To beat a strong team like Korea is something else,” said Nacho Gervas, Team Spain coach. “They are so strong that at times you feel like you are playing for second place. I told them (Spain) they had the game to do well today and if we played our game you never know what can happen.”


Republic of Korea’s Seo-yun Kwon, the 54-hole leader, headed into the final round with a two-stroke advantage over Italy’s Alessia Nobilio. Kwon had built a clear advantage on the day before running into trouble on the par-5 14th with a triple-bogey.


Nobilio took advantage of Kwon’s mishap by making birdie on the 14th to briefly hold a one-stroke lead, until giving a stroke back on the next hole. The pair took scores of 9 under to the last hole, forcing another playoff to be commenced after the team event was decided.


With Korea losing the team event, Kwon was determined to come out on top. The 16-year-old missed the green on her approach but went up-and-down for par, beating out Nobilio who slipped with a bogey.


“At first I was angry with myself because I was leading by a few strokes and made one mistake,” said Kwon. “Even though I won the individual medal, I am a little disappointed in myself because if I had done a little more, we could have won the team championship so it is bitter sweet. This is my first win at an international tournament so right now I am so happy.”


Rounding out the team medallists was the trio from Sweden, who finished the tournament at 9 under par, five strokes shy of Spain and Korea. Spain’s Blanca Fernández took home the individual bronze medal, posting a final-round 71 to close the tournament at 7 under par.


Céleste Dao from Notre-Dame-de-L’Île-Perrot, Que., finished as the low Canadian with a share of 24th place at 6 over for the tournament.


In 2018, the World Junior Girls Championship will return to the Ottawa area at Camelot Golf and Country Club next September.


Photo credit (Bernard Brault/ Golf Canada)

 
 



2017 WORLD JUNIOR GIRLS CHAMPIONSHIP – TEAM RESULTS

1. Spain, 142-141-139-140--562 -14
2. Republic of Korea, 134-138-142-148--562 -14
3. Sweden, 140-142-144-141--567 -9
T4. France, 141-143-146-138--568 -8
T4. United States of America, 135-144-146-143--568 -8
6. Germany, 141-140-148-143--572 -4
7. Denmark, 140-142-147-144--573 -3
8. Italy, 142-142-141-149--574 -2
9. England, 145-142-143-147--577 +1
10. Switzerland, 145-146-144-149--584 +8
T11. Ireland, 148-140-150-147--585 +9
T11. Philippines, 146-142-151-146--585 +9
13. Czech Republic, 140-150-149-151--590 +14
14. Mexico, 145-147-152-154--598 +22
15. Chinese Taipei, 148-146-152-153--599 +23
16. Australia, 142-152-156-150--600 +24
T17. Belgium, 147-148-155-151--601 +25
T17. People Republic of China, 155-150-149-147--601 +25
19. Canada 1, 150-146-158-152--606 +30
20. Canada 2, 147-155-156-151--609 +33


2017 WORLD JUNIOR GIRLS CHAMPIONSHIP – TOP-10 INDIVIDUAL RESULTS


1. x-Seo-yun Kwon, *65-70-70-74-279 -9
2. Alessia Nobilio, *68-71-68-72-279 -9
3. Blanca Fernández, *71-71-68-71-281 -7
4. Dimana Viudes, *71-70-73-69-283 -5
5. Pauline Roussin Bouchard, *70-77-71-67-285 -3
5. Esther Henseleit, *71-68-76-70-285 -3
7. Lily May Humphreys, *71-71-72-72-286 -2
7. Beatrice Wallin, *71-72-72-71-286 -2
9. Alexandra Försterling, *70-72-72-73-287 -1
10. Harmie Nicole Constantino, *73-72-70-73-288 E
10. Sofie K. Nielsen, *74-71-71-72-288 E
10. Mathilde Claisse, *71-71-75-71-288 E
10. Amanda Linnér, *71-73-74-70-288 E
10. Gina Kim, *67-76-73-72-288 E
10. Linn Grant, *69-70-72-77-288 E
10. Yunji Jeong, *69-71-72-76-288 E


Sep 27, 2017

Golf Product Review - GearHalo Leaves Your Gear Fresh Again

By Sean Crogie   Posted at  9/27/2017 09:27:00 PM   No comments


I've done many a review since I started this golf blog and I have to admit I really put the GearHalo Pods through a real test. I basically have use these pods for about two months in any and all my gear that happens to get a bit stinky. EVERY DAY.

This includes the following:
  • My old Under Armour runners I use at Rideau View Golf Course where I change the holes 4 times a week in the morning.
  • My various golf shoes that I wear about 2-3 tines a week.
  • My Adidas runners that I wear 5 days a week delivering mail with Canada Post.
  • My basketball shoes- I coach my girls basketball which started in September.

How To Use

Place a GearHalo pod in any piece of equipment that happens to get stinky after a workout or every day life.

So for my shoes, after working at the golf course I'd put them in my UA shoes which would be a little damp most days from the greens(grass). I'd place the pods in the shoes and then put on my shoes for delivering mail. By the time I got home later in the afternoon my UA shoes are dry and smelling great and they're old and almost worn out runners. Great job GearHalo!

GearHalo is heat activated so placing them immediately after finishing at the golf course is very important or any other activity. Use the Velcro on the GearHalo to connect pods for use in larger sizes of gear or pieces of gear.


GearHalo Science

The science behind GearHalo has to to with their SilverACTIV™ Protection. See below from GearHalo's website:


  • Silver Level of Protection for your Gear. 
  • The use of patent pending active ingredients to protect your gear from the stink of sport and an active lifestyle.
  • Powerful fresh scent deodorizer
  • Effective moisture removal system
  • Metal regeneration beads






The difference I found with GearHalo from other products I've used to keep my gear smelling fresh was that GearHalo actually controlled odour caused by microbes rather than just masking the odour  . When the pods come in contact with your gear  they remove the moisture that generates odour and leaves you with a fresh scent in your runners.




  


The Single Cube will run you $20, Family Cube $90, Team Pack $220. Pretty reasonable when it comes to sustaining the life of your gear.




GearHalo™ is designed to last an entire season, but consistent use in your gear can provide even longer protection from the stink!



GearHalo is a great new product that delivers as advertised. It removed moisture from my gear (various shoes) and left them smelling fresh. They don't mask odours they get rid of them. It's also a Canadian company so go check it out today.

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