Author: Mike Lednovich

El Camaleon: something for everyone in Mayakoba

By Mike Lednovich, Editor & Publisher

On the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico’s southeastern border, Cancun is the life of the party. If memories of your wilder days are a bit hazy, consider making the short drive south to Playa del Carmen, home to good golf and plenty of family activities.

The 260-acre Fairmont Mayakoba is one of the all-inclusive options in the region. Helping it stand out are El Camaleon Golf Club, site of a PGA Tour event the past 11 years, and a bevy of activities that include beach time, five freshwater pools and excursions on snaking waterways that are home to abundant wildlife.

“Mayakoba is quickly earning the reputation as one of the best golf destinations for the golfer who also wants to bring their family along for a great vacation,” said Jorge Franssen, director of marketing at El Camaleon. “There are so many things for a family to do here; we have that rare combination of golf and extraordinary non-golf activities.”

There are seven other golf courses within a 30–minute drive of what’s known as the Mayan Trail, including TPC Cancun, Riviera Maya Golf Club and the Golf Club at Playacar. But golfers can’t go wrong by staying and playing several rounds at El Camaleon, which has been home to the OHL Classic at Mayakoba since 2007.

“We have one of the finest golf courses anywhere and a great practice facility,” said Yayoi Garcia, golf sales and marketing executive at the Greg Norman-designed course. “We have a 70-person full–time grounds crew, which means the golf course is in perfect condition year round.”

Surrounded by mangrove forests and tropical jungles and with lagoons and canals bordering many holes, El Camaleon is an adventure from the start. Just beyond driving distance for most amateurs on the first hole is a huge sinkhole, or, as they’re called in Mexico, a cenote, in the middle of the fairway. Because the golf course is built on limestone and the area has several surface rivers, there are several cenotes on the course, but none as massive as seen on the opening hole.

The signature par-3 15th hole doesn’t have a cenote, but its view of the Caribbean Sea is a real charmer. While short and scenic, most tee shots are hit into a blustery wind, which ups the ante for shot concentration.

Aside from 15, Norman did an admirable job keeping the features of each hole interesting. On the fifth, a par-5 of 554 yards, the fairway is bordered by mangrove stands and a sparkling waterway, with a pond and a row of resort casitas near the green. The third hole is a 389-yard par-4 with two forced carries over water, with approach shots seeking an elevated green with deep bunkers on the right. Hole 16 is a 450-yard par-4 with mangroves on both sides of the fairway and a large perpendicular green well guarded by bunkers.

The mangroves and jungles that protect Mayakoba from tropical storms are home to an array of wildlife that includes close to 300 species of birds, iguanas, crocodiles, monkeys and other creatures that often sun themselves on the limestone rocks or frolic on the fairways. It’s all part of the man-mingling-with-nature feel that exists on the sprawling property.

Because of its many canals, the Fairmont Mayakoba has a nickname of the “Venice of the Caribbean,” with many of its 400 rooms and suites featuring private entrances and furnished balconies or terraces that overlook the forest, waterways, gardens or Caribbean Sea. The resort is set up in a residential-like format, with rows of rooms stretching from the resort lobby to the shore. For those nearest the entrance, bicycles are located throughout the property to get you to the beach or other site in a quick and casual manner.

For help with your game, El Camaleon is home to a Jim McLean Golf School that features a full range, practice greens and short-game complex. And if you ditched or dunked a few too many balls on the fringes of El Cameleon, there’s no better place to decompress than on a 40-minute tour of the lagoons through limestone caverns and mangrove stands. Or you could opt for beer and chocolate. In Mayan culture, chocolate was a valued possession, so at Fairmont’s Willow Stream Spa a sweet tooth can be satisfied with the Chocolate, Food of the Gods full body treatment. Follow that with a Mexican craft beer tasting that includes a selection of fourcervezas artesanalesthat embody aromas of orange, vanilla and, yes, even chocolate.

“We have perfect golf and perfect days and nights of fine dining and activities,” said Stuart McColl, regional director of marketing at the Fairmont Mayakoba. “It’s all here.”

× Featured

French Lick: Donald Ross and Pete Dye at their finest

If the golf courses at French Lick Resort aren’t on your must-play list, adjust it. The Indiana boyhood home of NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird also has two layouts that are turning the hoops hotbed into a golf playground as well.

Southern Comfort: perfect days at Sea Island Golf Club

By Mike Lednovich, Editor & Publisher

The end of a perfect day of golf at Sea Island Golf Club occurs as the setting sun casts a red glow on the rippling surface of the Atlantic Ocean. Sitting on the veranda of Sea Island Lodge, the silhouette of a lone figure appears on the 10th tee of the Plantation Course, and soon the soulful wail of bagpipes fills the chilled evening air.

There’s no place quite like Sea Island, Ga., on the southern tip of St. Simons Island. The approach to the lodge is on a boulevard of moss-draped oaks, and the complex includes three courses that provide glimpses of unspoiled beaches, salt marshes and St. Simons Sound.

A challenging par-3 on the Plantation Course

“At Sea Island it’s all about the experience,” said director of golf Brannen Veal. “Yes, we have golf, but we’ve also got all the extra touches that go with it.”

Those extras include the Golf Performance Center, where top teaching professionals such as Jack Lumpkin, Mike Shannon, PGA Teacher of the Year Todd Anderson and wedge expert Gale Peterson train the likes of Zack Johnson, Davis Love III, Billy Horschel and weekend warriors. Dr. Morris Pickens is also on staff to help players navigate the mental aspect of their games, and body biomechanics pioneer Randy Myers is onsite for stretching and body motion workouts.

Sea Island oozes Southern hospitality and charm at every turn.

“We engage our guests so they feel this is home for however long they are visiting,” Veal said. “We have an Old South style and tradition in everything we do.”

High rollers will appreciate the Sea Island Lodge or 175-room Cloister during a visit. The lodge is exclusive, with 40 rooms, and also serves as the clubhouse for the golf courses. Sea Island has also thought about the average and more conservative golfers as well with the construction of the nearby Sea Island Inn 12 years ago.

“Sea Island is all inclusive to every golfer and their family,” Veal said. “Building the Inn was the best thing we ever did.”

The Seaside Course, which plays 6,570 yards from the blue tees, is home to the PGA Tour’s RSM Classic. Originally built in 1929, Seaside was updated 70 years later by Tom Fazio and is among Golf Digest’s Top 100 Courses to Play in the U.S. The demanding layout features sand dunes, marshes and tidal creeks as it winds through St. Simons Sound. Distinctive Red wicker baskets instead of flags mark the location of holes on the layout.

“The Seaside Course is all about strategy and shot selection. The wind is a dominant factor and, depending how hard it’s blowing, the course can play completely different from day to day,” said assistant professional Jared Walahoski. “If you miss your target, then you’ve got to have a super-sharp recovery game. With these quick greens, the putter has got to be your best friend.”

The most demanding and interesting hole is the 409-yard, par-4, 13th, which is protected by marshes on the left and five bunkers on the right. Five holes later, Seaside’s 18th is a classic links design with an undulating fairway flanked by water and bunkers on the left and a bunker and marshes on the right. The approach shot to the green is tricky as water cuts in from the left and a huge bunker looms in front to the right.

If links style golf isn’t your cup of tea, the Plantation Course will likely suit you better. Winding through rows of live oaks, cedars and pines, the course opened in 1928 and was updated in 1998 by Rees Jones. The layout has breathtaking ocean views as well as several lakes to gobble up wayward shots.

The 10th hole is a great start to the back nine as the fairway skirts the ocean on the right before narrowing near the elevated green guarded by massive oaks on the right and a lake on the left. The par-4 12th hole is a classic dogleg left, requiring an accurate drive through a tree-lined alley, with large bunkers on the left at the turn. A lake awaits by the green, and golfers also must navigate a six-bunker complex on the left and a large oak and bunker on the right.

The Plantation Course also has a familiar-looking – and daunting – hole for fans of the Players Championship and its most famous hole at TPC Sawgrass.

“My favorite on the Plantation Course is the seventh hole,” Veal said. “It’s our version of the island green 17th at the TPC. All of that water between you and the green gets in your head.”

The other layout on property is the Retreat Course, which was redesigned by Love and his brother Mark in 2001. It plays from 5,082 to 7,106 yards and has tree-lined fairways and difficult green complexes that feature plenty of bunkers and undulating surfaces.

Off the course, Sea Island has a bevy of nature and outdoor activities from open sea kayaking, horseback riding and fishing to a world-class shooting school and miles of open beaches.

“We have a wonderful setting for golfers and their families,” Veal said. “There’s plenty to see and a ton of activities at Sea Island.”

× Featured

French Lick: Donald Ross and Pete Dye at their finest

If the golf courses at French Lick Resort aren’t on your must-play list, adjust it. The Indiana boyhood home of NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird also has two layouts that are turning the hoops hotbed into a golf playground as well.

French Lick: Donald Ross and Pete Dye at their finest

By Mike Lednovich, Editor & Publisher

If the golf courses at French Lick Resort aren’t on your must-play list, adjust it. The Indiana boyhood home of NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird also has two layouts that are turning the hoops hotbed into a golf playground as well.

The first is the Donald Ross Course, built in 1917 and restored 10 years ago by Scottsdale architect Lee Schmidt. The resort added the Pete Dye Course in 2009, and the track was well received by players at the 2015 Senior PGA Championship. The spectacular view from the clubhouse terrace, situated on Mount Airie, offers a sweeping view of the tree-dotted hills of Hoosier National Forest.

“We’ve received a lot of accolades in a very short period of time. That says volumes about the quality of golf at French Lick,” said Dave Harner, the resort’s director of golf. “We have a very unique golf experience with a classic layout by old school architect Donald Ross and a modern design by legendary architect Pete Dye. That’s the best one-two combination in the U.S.”

The magic of the Donald Ross layout is the Scotland-styled greens that are often elevated, crowned, tiered and sloping. The caddies will tell you to “never hit the ball past the pin,” meaning that a deft short game is crucial to good scoring. Consider the benign looking 133-yard, par-3 16th. I hit an 8-iron 15 feet left of the pin, but only a slight tap of the ball with my putter sent it 40 feet past the hole. Oh my.

Slick greens and yawning bunkers are staples of a Donald Ross design

Accuracy is also an asset because most holes are guarded with thick swatches of heather on either side of the fairway. There are four par-3s, but three are longer than 200 yards from the tips. The 13th, at 228 yards, plays uphill to a multi-tiered green, forcing everyone in my group to hit driver, a club that also will come in handy – twice, perhaps – at No. 15, a 665-yard, par-5 from the back tees.

The Pete Dye Course offers five sets of tees, from a staggering 8,100 yards from the tips to a milder 5,100 yards from the forward markers. Mid-handicappers will want to try the middle offerings from 6,100 to 6,700 yards.

The Pete Dye Course offers wonderful hilltop vistas

“It’s a handful from any set of tees,” said Dyan Duncan, public relations manager for the French Lick Resort. “The feedback we get from golfers is, yes, it’s difficult, but also that it’s a unique layout and visually stunning golf course.”

A highlight of the Dye layout is the fifth hole, a par-5 that features a split fairway. A couple holes later is another par-5 with one of Dye’s signature features – volcano bunkers by the green. The best hole is No. 18, a downhill 580-yard, par-5 with a fairway that bends to the left. Aim to the right because the fairway is severely sloped the other way and those side-hill lies out of deep rough can be tough.

There’s plenty to see when you’re done, as well, because French Lick Resort also has spas, a casino, an elephant retreat and a winery. The town originally honed its tourist chops starting in 1845, as visitors flocked to the gateway destination to experience the healing powers of the numerous sulfur springs.

The hamlet of 2,000 people experienced a downturn when the resort was purchased in 1934, but a tourism revival was launched when the Cook Group acquired the land and poured $600 million into resort upgrades.

Some $100 million also was spent to put new life into the town’s West Baden Springs Hotel, once nicknamed the Eighth Wonder of the World because of its majestic lobby that was under the largest free-spanning dome in the U.S. until 1955. Modeled after the German spa town of Baden-Baden, the hotel once hosted the likes of Al Capone, Gen. John Pershing and boxer John L. Sullivan. Following its restoration, West Baden reopened in 2006 with 243 rooms and suites.

Another option is the French Lick Springs Hotel and Casino that, like the West Baden, has treatment rooms with mineral spring baths. You can also pose for photos holding Bird’s NBA MVP trophy at 33 Brick Street Restaurant.

All in all, French Lick is a surprising discovery for visitors not familiar with what the heartland has to offer regarding scenery, golf and hospitality.

“We treat all of our guests like VIPs, whether they’re staying at the resort or they’re from the area,” Harner said. “We understand how important it is that every need of our visiting golfers are met and exceeded. It’s that VIP treatment that makes us a top-rated golf destination.”

ALSO IN PLAY

The Valley Links Course at French Lick Resort doesn’t get the accolades of its two siblings, but the nine-hole layout that can stretch to 3,500 yards is great for people who want to play a stylish course with rolling fairways, Scottish-style fescue grasses and strategically placed bunkers.

Designed specifically for children and beginners, French Lick Resort partnered with U.S. Kids Golf to develop the family friendly course. The second of its kind in Indiana, there are two sets of tee markers – 1,100 and 1,900 yards – that set up perfectly for youngsters or adults just getting started. Best yet, there are no green fees for children 12 and younger.

× Featured

ProCheck ends the 'trial and error' method of buying a golf ball

Dean Reinmuth with The Swing Coach 5 Fridays Until the Holidays

While everyone else is making New Year’s resolutions about exercising more and losing weight, all the golf lovers out there are making resolutions about improving their swing. Good news is Dean Reinmuth is here to help!

Dean Reinmuth is your coach with The Swing Coach

Dean Reinmuth, a world renowned and multi-awarded top 50 golf coach by both Golf Digest and Golf Magazine can help give you the tips you’ve been missing that have been holding you back from being the best player you can be.

With the help of Dean, this year that can all change. Dean would like to look at your swing, analyze it and give you tips.

New Year, New Swing
The practice club you need to change your game in 2018!

Dean would like to personally help you start off the new year right so you can achieve a new and improved swing! He has coached many top Tour players worldwide for over 25 years, including Ricky Barnes, Hee Won Han, Phil Mickelson, Rory Sabbatini, and Dave Stockton, and now he can share his wisdom with you! Your readers will learn how to swing like a pro this new year through you!

Dean will introduce to you Swing Coach, the game changing practice club he co-created. Swing Coach helps you become a better coach of your own swing. It’s like having Dean Reinmuth in your bag. Swing Coach allows you to learn and self-correct every swing, which helps you correct and improve your swing much quicker. It is the only practice club that allows you to both see and feel the results of your practice swings.

Start off the year right and don’t miss the chance to make your New Year’s resolution come true.

Here are just some of the ways Dean can help you and your audience create a new and improved swing this new year:

Self-Awareness: All good players must have the ability to correct their mechanics at any point during the round. This ability to self correct is the key element to lower scores. Dean can help you develop personal awareness of knowing what your swing is doing and then what your swing should be doing instead. You can’t fix what you are not aware of.
Consistency: Every player hits good shots from time to time. The reason you don’t hit your best shots more often is due to improper technique, such as swing path, swing pace, and improper release. Dean can help you pinpoint where your incorrect technique is which will increase the consistency of your swings.
Proper Swing Pace: Dean will teach you how to develop the feel for proper gradual club head acceleration and show you what it feels like to have great rhythm in your swing. The proper pace rhythm feels like the gradual acceleration of a roller coaster that is gradually picking up speed.
Scoring Shots: The ability to score well is determined by your ability to hit your less than full swing shots close to the hole. Dean will show you personalized adjustments you need to make to your swings to either add more or less distance for your pitch or chip shots.
Distance: Everyone wants more distance or to be able maintain their distance longer as they get older. Dean can help you develop a more consistent swing path and release along with efficient acceleration for greater club-head speed. This will produce more on center of the club contact and that effortless distance you’re looking for that all the best players have.

You can read about swing coach here https://swingcoachclub.com/

The Swing Coach identifies flaws in your swing and helps correct them.

– Kelly Rose, Rose Media

× Featured

French Lick: Donald Ross and Pete Dye at their finest

If the golf courses at French Lick Resort aren’t on your must-play list, adjust it. The Indiana boyhood home of NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird also has two layouts that are turning the hoops hotbed into a golf playground as well.

7 Fridays until Christmas Big Max and Tour Edge gift wrapped specials

BIG MAX

The AQUA Sport 2 is a 100% waterproof cart bag that features a 9.5-inch organizer top with 14 full length dividers, 7 spacious pockets, oversize putter well for large grips and weighs in at just over 5 lbs. This stylish, waterproof and washable cart bag also benefits from a clear rain hood with dual zips giving easy access from either side. A host of neat features complete this premium offer from BIG MAX AQUA line.

Holiday Special: With every purchase of a BIG MAX bag, receive an AQUA U.V. Umbrella
$299.99, available in Black/silver, Charcoal/Black/Red, Silver/Black/Cobalt, Red/Black/Silver, Navy/Black/Silver
To purchase visit https://us.bigmaxgolf.com

 

 

DRI LITE G is water-resistant full-size stand bag that belies its capacity with a weight of less than 4 ½ lbs. A 14-way divider separates the 9″ top giving plenty of room for a full set of clubs. An air channel strap for breathability across the back enhances comfort for the carrier while leg lock enables the ‘G’ to be perfectly stable on a cart. 7 pockets along, including fully waterproof valuables pocket, finish off the practical features and a fantastic price make it a great buy for those carrying with a full set of gear.

Holiday Special: With every purchase of a BIG MAX bag, receive an AQUA U.V. Umbrella
$199.99, available in White/Orange, Navy/Silver, Silver/Black/lime, Charcoal/Black/Orange, Black/Red
To purchase visit https://us.bigmaxgolf.com

 

The BLADE IP from BIG MAX glides along the fairway with even the largest Tour bag on board. When packing away the IP features amazing technology that with 3 simple movements folds the cart down to an incredible size of 34 ½” x 24 ½” and an astonishing depth of less than 5″. This really makes the BLADE IP the most easily stored and transported push cart on the market. With unrivalled ease of use, unique storage properties and a 5 year manufacturer warranty, the BLADE IP is one of the best value push carts on the market.
$349.99, Available in Black, Black/Lime, White, White/Lime, Phantom/Red
To purchase visit https://us.bigmaxgolf.com

Holiday Special: With every purchase of a BLADE IP receive a free flight bag

 

 

The Lamkin SONAR grip is an exceptionally appealing grip that offers a comfortable, tacky feel with a high-performance material and a functional network of unique micro textures. The reduced-taper profile encourages the ideal light-pressure grip tension for greater shot consistency and control. A tacky and responsive feel make SONAR ideally suited for a wide range of players looking for a grip that feels as good as it performs.
$8.99 per grip
To purchase visit www.lamkingrips.com<http://www.lamkingrips.com

 

TOUR EDGE

Tour Edge announces the launch of the new Hot Launch 3 ‘To-Go’ package set, a complete set from driver to putter that includes a sleek cart bag specifically designed for the HL3 ‘To-Go’ line.

The complete HL3 ‘To-Go’ package is selling for only $999.99, a true steal!

The new set includes all genuine HL3 club heads and shafts and even includes a Hot Launch SuperSpin wedge and an HL3 putter designed for the set.

The HL3 ‘To-Go’ package set is available in three different offerings: a Regular flex set featuring the straight-neck HL3 Driver and HL3 fairway woods, a Senior flex set featuring the offset HL3 Driver and HL3 offset fairway woods and an all HL3 Women’s set.

The three HL3 ‘To-Go’ sets will be available in Tour Edge authorized retailers starting November 15th!

No custom, shaft flex, bag or set makeup changes are available in the HL3 ‘To-Go’ set. The sets are available in right handed only and every shaft included is graphite, including the irons.

Go to https://www.touredge.com/products/hl3togomen.asp for more information

× Featured

French Lick: Donald Ross and Pete Dye at their finest

If the golf courses at French Lick Resort aren’t on your must-play list, adjust it. The Indiana boyhood home of NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird also has two layouts that are turning the hoops hotbed into a golf playground as well.

ProCheck ends the ‘trial and error’ method of buying a golf ball

By Mike Lednovich, Editor & Publisher

Let’s face it, most of us don’t know what the hell we’re doing when we buy a golf ball. For the most part, it’s a choice by ‘best guess.’

You’ll get a headache just looking at the golf ball display case.

That’s not surprising given that when you walk into a Dick’s Sporting Goods, Golf Galaxy or PGA Superstore you’re overwhelmed by the stacks and stacks of golf ball boxes on display.

I’ll admit that I’ve been on this golf ball merry-go-round of “trial and error” for years.

You read the back of the box for some indication if this ball fits your game. You buy, you hope, you try.

Or, ever done this, found a golf ball on the course, then played with it and told yourself ‘hey, this plays pretty good.”

Or fallen for the PGA star on TV telling you this is the best ball I’ve ever played. Good for the PGA and LPGA pros, but probably bad for you.

This much we do know. The pros are hitting it longer primarily because of the advances in golf ball technology.

The alarming news is that what you don’t know about golf balls can and will hurt you — meaning costing you distance, which if you’re an average hacker like me, is everything.

Well along comes ProCheck, a nifty device that will tell you exactly which golf balls will be optimal for your game. Insert a golf ball into the ProCheck and it will measure the compression of that ball and give you a reading on a sliding scale of “very soft” on the low end to “very firm” on the high end of the compression scale.

Compare the compression reading to the corresponding chart of how far you “carry” a shot with the driver and you’re good to go.

The Truth about the balls in my inventory

So the folks at ProCheck gave us a unit to put to the test and the results to say the least are illuminating.

First, unlike most advice on the right ball selection — swing speed — ProCheck uses how far your average carry is with a driver. They supply the chart displayed below.

 

 

I’m 70-years-old and my average carry is 210-220 yards, so according to the chart I need to be playing a medium compression ball. There isn’t a golf ball brand that I know of that says medium compression on their product boxes.

So I dug out my inventory of golf balls in the garage and the ones in my golf bag. Here are the results:

 

 

OnCore ElixR

ProCheck is a snap to use. Insert the ball with the label centered, squeeze the trigger and then hit the “R” button to get the reading. The OnCore ElixR came in at 4 bars, equaling medium on the compression scale. It’s a ball that should fit my game to a tee.

Callaway SuperSoft

When Nike was still in the golf ball business, I began playing a Nike Women’s PD Ball. My course included a sleeve of Nike golf balls with every round (I miss that perk) and had run out of the Men’s PD ball. I gave the Women’s ball a go and low and behold, I was smashing it and it was soft. So years later, I assumed the Callaway SuperSoft would have the same result.

Wrong!

Even before using the ProCheck, I could tell the SuperSoft was losing distance compared to my other golf balls. The ProCheck confirmed my findings. It rated the SuperSoft as exactly that — very soft — which is recommended for golfers who average carry with a driver is 140 yards. So these are going to a friend of mine who is a very short hitter.

 

Callaway Chrome Soft Truvis

I’ve always liked the Chrome Soft and its feel since it was introduced several years back. But shocker, ProCheck calibrations tell me this ball is costing me distance because it’s too soft for my swing. Who knew? I’ve still got six in my bag, so perhaps I keep them in reserve for winter (Which on Amelia Island can be in the 50s and 60s) when the ball is not compressing as well.

TaylorMade TP5x

A received a dozen TP5x ball as part of an online promotion and had no idea if they fit my game. ProCheck says they fit the bill for my swing at 4 bars which is a medium compression. It’s on the low end of the medium range, so the TP5x may be a good choice for Winter play as well.

My Foursome — “A little knowledge is dangerous”

We have a golf group that plays every Monday afternoon. Skills level range from a 10 handicap all the way to a 24. We average 8-to-12 players each round and most of these guys have no clue about what golf ball they should be playing. Some think they know, but not really.

Bob, retired in his mid-50s, has been playing golf for about 2 years and does really well. Like most of us, he’s inconsistent and has those blow up holes that spoil his rounds. He’s dug out a Bridgestone Tour B-330-S from his bag. ProCheck measures it as firm, meaning Bob needs to average 260 yards of carry on his drive. No way, Jose! He’s using the wrong ball.

Glenn, hits the ball a mile with a swing that if you stand to close to him would suck you in its vortex. And he’s doing this with 15-year-old equipment. But Glenn has no short game.

He’s playing a Titleist NXT, which measures at 4 bars, low on the firm reading. Again, Glenn is costing himself distance with the wrong ball.

“Wow, this thing is amazing,” Glenn exclaims, cradling the ProCheck with a mock a hug. “Can I borrow this overnight?”

There are also those in the group we call “shoppers.” The guys with their ball retrievers scouring the ponds and brush for lost balls.

We put ProCheck thru its paces on these balls. Of the 30 retrieved balls tested during three rounds on the course, 50%  have been out in the elements too long and have lost their zip according to the ProCheck results.

“The balls look fine and playable. I’d be teeing them up right now,” Barry, a 15-handicapper said. “Good thing you had that ProCheck with you. These are going into the shag bag.”

The Bottom Line

At a retail price of $147, ProCheck is not cheap. But to be fair, compression measuring machines used by the manufacturers can cost $20,000. If you’re serious about your game and want to maximize your distance, don’t spend $400 on a new driver, get a ProCheck. You’ll save $250, gain 10 yards at least off the tee and with those savings you can buy the right golf ball.

ProCheck is now available to all golfers through Revolution Golf (www.revolutiongolf.com).  For more information on ProCheck® please visit https://www.procheckgolf.com/.

 

 

 

 

× Featured

French Lick: Donald Ross and Pete Dye at their finest

If the golf courses at French Lick Resort aren’t on your must-play list, adjust it. The Indiana boyhood home of NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird also has two layouts that are turning the hoops hotbed into a golf playground as well.

Is your gear ready whatever the weather? With record temperatures and record rainfall, is your gear ready whatever the elements throw at it?

With record temperatures and record rainfall, is your gear ready whatever the elements throw at it?

Whether you͛’ve been sweating through the hottest July on record in California; swimming in the wettest July on record in Pennsylvania; or combining the two in Arizona which has had both above average temperatures and rainfall, one thing is for sure, the weather in 2018 has been far from normal.

And it͛s not just this year. Since 2015 every state in the U.S. has experienced above average annual temperatures, with a large proportion coupling that with above average rainfall. It seems the only thing we can predict at the moment is that the weather will be unpredictable!

But golf goes on. And while the changeable weather might put off a few, the rest of us are out there on all but the hottest or wettest days doing our best to enjoy the game. So what does the changing weather mean for golfers? And how can choosing the right gear help them get the best out of their game?

The unpredictability of the weather isn͛t just a challenge for golfers, syays Ralf Niesing, head designer for golf bag specialists BIG MAXX USA.

As golfers are faced with changing conditions we need to make sure that our equipment will function at its best whatever the weather.  Over the past five years our focus has been on developing the best water-proof and water-resistant bags on the market, but that can͛’t be at the expense of practicality when the sun comes out. Very few golfers have the luxury of having a wet weather set up so as designers we need to make sure that whatever conditions a golfer wakes up to, their equipment is ready to perform.  But with so many variations in the weather the Goldilocks͛ combination of equipment that is “Just Right͛” whatever the weather is a puzzle that is very hard to solve.

You have to start with the golfer and their needs, but those needs will differ depending on their location and certainly more often these days, on the way the weather is behaving. So a manufacturer͛s’ target has to be to provide the best solutions for any variations. Take for instance two Big MAXX bag lines – Dri Lite and Aqua.  Aqua is 100% waterproof with sealed seams and waterproof zippers. It has a hydrostatic rating of 10,000 meaning 10,000mm of rain can fall on it in 24 hours and it will stay dry inside. Dri Lite has all of those features without the seam sealing, so it carries a rating of 2000. In most situations our Dri Lite bags will keep out average rainfall, but if you are likely to be playing courses in areas prone to downpours, like Bandon Dunes, I͛’d suggest the Aqua every time.

“If you are in an area where you get occasional rain or if you want to be protected just in case, then Dri-Lite is the line for you,” Niesing said.  “So we have two lines that lead the field in waterproof technology, but we don͛t want to be the waterproof bag͛ company. To make sure of that, we have to think about practicality in hot weather that doesn͛t compromise our wet weather performance. So we take care to pick materials which can resist extreme temperatures and remain durable under the stress of the heat.”

This goes for BIG MAXX colours too. Their bright European styling is one of our most recognisable design points so they have to work out ways that minimise fading in direct sunlight. Out of these different needs BIG MAXX developed a unique waterproof material that is incredibly lightweight, durable in rain and sunshine, washable if it gets muddy or dusty and keeps its colour whatever the weather.͞

“They say that necessity is the mother of invention and I do truly believe that we as manufacturers will have to accomodate climate fluctuations more and more in our designs over the coming years. The trends are there to see, so if we want to continue in our aim of making a golfers life on the course easier and more enjoyable we have to be increasingly creative in our solutions to the problems that they face,” Niesing said. “So far I think we have done a great job at BIG MAX but rest assured, we͛’re already working on the next generation of products that are led by golfers’ needs and among the leading manufacturers I don͛t think we͛’ll be alone in thinking that climate will be an important part of those next steps.”

For more information on BIG MAX wether proof innovations visit https://us.bigmaxgolf.com

 

About BIG MAX BIG MAX has been Europe͛s #1 push cart brand for over 15 years following the unprecedented success of the world͛s first 3 wheel push cart the Ti1000. Available in virtually every country that plays golf, BIG MAX is a name that has become associated with quality and innovation. It͛s most recent advancement, Fold Flat technology, has seen BIG MAX pioneer push carts that fold down completely flat, in some cases to less than 5͟ deep. BIG MAX has furthered its reputation for innovation with its AQUA and DRI LITE technology that in the last quarter of 2017 matched BIG MAX push carts by becoming #1 golf bag and travel cover brand in Germany, a traditional marker for # 1 in in continental Europe.

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ProCheck gives you the lowdown on your golf ball What's the real compression? Not all golf balls are the same

ProCheck®, a new device designed for avid golfers who want to maximize distance, checks ball compression instantly and recommends the correct pressure for each golfer’s swing speed. Matching the right compression with a golfer’s swing speed can increase driver distance by as much as 10-20%.

Ask any golfer and they’ll say that their greatest ambition is to hit the ball farther. In a study of 250 players conducted by the Brand institute Inc., on behalf of ProCheck®, 90% of respondents indicated there is a need for a product to check ball compression.
“Callaway has long understood that compression plays a key role in optimizing the performance and consistency of golfers. We at Callaway have tested the ProCheck® golf ball compression tester and found it to be an excellent tool for the consumer. Its readings can help golfers determine the right ball for their game,” stated Jason Finley, Director, Brand Management, Callaway Golf.


“A golf ball’s compression has a significant impact upon how far it will travel, with the golfer’s ultimate goal being to match ball compression with swing speed to achieve maximum distance. The correct compression causes the ball to have the optimum degree of flattening at impact to create a trampoline-like energy transfer and greater distance. When testing a ball, the accurate compression will quickly be displayed on the ProCheck® LED screen.” said John Donahue, President of Golftek LLC, the company that manufactures ProCheck®.

Donahue designed the device after conversations with an avid golfer who complained that with the new, more durable covers, old tired balls still look like new but their compression has changed. He suggested that the game needed such a device.
From there, Donahue put his master’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Massachusetts to work and developed the ProCheck®.
Golfers with slower swing speeds (under 80mph) should use lower compression balls, while golfers with faster swing speeds (over 100mph) should use higher compression balls to achieve maximum distance. While new balls may have some compression variability, older balls or balls that have been exposed to extreme heat (e.g. stored in the trunk of a car) or cold weather conditions (e.g. stored in a cold garage) experience significant changes in compression.

The ProCheck® device, which was issued a United States patent in May 2017, rivals the top golf ball manufacturers’ highly sophisticated compression testing equipment. In laboratory tests, the ProCheck® produced the same compression measurements as a device costing tens of thousands of dollars that is commonly used in the industry.
For more information on ProCheck® including purchase instructions, please visit https://www.procheckgolf.com/. Each package contains a guide to matching swing speed with the correct ball compression.


About ProCheck’s Technology
The ProCheck® a highly sophisticated ball compression measurement device uses proprietary technology to measure a golf ball’s compression. It has been proven that a golf ball’s compression has a significant impact upon how far it will travel, with the golfer’s goal being to match ball compression with swing speed to achieve maximum distance.
With balls being struck at swing speeds ranging from 70-120 mph, it was critical to develop a device that measures the force on a golf ball in an instant. ProCheck® measures the force over a selected time interval to get an accurate force value. ProCheck® has a high speed micro-processor that captures the force for a tested golf ball, processes the information and displays an accurate reading of its compression to the user.
Most modern golf balls are essentially made of a rubber-like substance (elastomers) and the forces required to compress the ball can change over time or with temperature. ProCheck®’s accurate force measurement detects this change and displays this information to the golfer as bars on the LED screen.

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BIG MAX Launches Award Winning Golf Bag Line in U.S. #1 European golf bag brand, BIG MAX launch includes AQUA and DRI LITE technology

BIG MAX, Europe’s most owned Push Cart brand and #1 European Golf Bag brand, is launching its award winning technology to the U.S. market. With five great looking designs across two award winning technologies – AQUA and DRI LITE – BIG MAX golf bags are set to make a huge impact when they arrive at retail this June.

The technology underpinning the AQUA line is the new DROP STOP system that guarantees the bags are 100% waterproof. Using waterproof fabric with unprecedented waterproof rating of over 10.000mm*, sealed seams and specially designed Japanese waterproof zippers, the AQUA range delivers an unrivalled level of design and waterproofing using ultra-lightweight, tear resistant and washable materials.

DRI LITE technology delivers a washable, water resistant golf bag that is the equal of what most brands in the market call ‘Waterproof’. Most other brands would call DRI LITE waterproof, but with the time and expertise taken to ensure the AQUA range is 100% waterproof, BIG MAX are happy to call DRI LITE water resistant, knowing it will keep all but the wettest, winter days at bay.

With two award winning technologies at the heart of the construction, each bag in the series is strong, stylish, waterproof and washable. And with a range of excellent features combined with a unique, cool Euro look and feel the new BIG MAX line is the complete package.

The AQUA Sport 2 is the second generation of BIG MAX’s most successful cart bag. With a 14-way, 9.5-inch organizer top, full length dividers, 7 spacious pockets, oversize putter well for large grips and weighing in at just over 5 lbs, the Sport 2 is a leader in the field of practicality. To further enhance its waterproof capability the Sport 2 also has a clear rain hood with dual zips giving easy access from either side. A host of neat features like dual strap and umbrella positions, holders and accessory storage options finish off the practical features on this stylish new addition to the BIG MAX AQUA line.

The AQUA Wave is a stylish, lightweight, and 100% waterproof stand bag. The Wave’s 8 ½” top extends into 4 full length dividers, while its 6 waterproof pockets, air channel straps and ultra-light weight of just over 4lbs make the bag a hugely practical and colorful addition to any golfer’s gear.

The AQUA Ocean is a 100% waterproof, compact stand bag that has space to spare and weighs just 3 ¾ lbs. With an oversize top the Ocean is designed for ease of use and with 5 waterproof pockets has plenty of storage options. Practical features such as glove, towel and umbrella holder, combined with space for a full set of clubs mean this stylish bag allows golfers to travel and play without compromise.

DRI LITE Active offers practical solutions to all a golfers storage needs in a stylish, water resistant package. A 9 ½“, 14 way top and an oversize putter well to fit the largest grips will keep all a golfers clubs in order, while 9 pockets, including fully waterproof valuables pocket, glove, dual umbrella positions and towel holder will pack away even the most well equipped golfers’ gear with ease. Ultra-lightweight at well under 5 lbs and available in a range of stylish colour combinations, the DRI LITE Active looks great and delivers on the course.

DRI LITE G is a full-size stand bag that belies its capacity with a weight of less than 4 ½ lbs. A 14-way divider separates the 9” top giving plenty of room for a full set of clubs. An air channel strap for breathability across the back enhances comfort for the carrier while leg lock enables the ‘G’ to be perfectly stable on a cart. 7 pockets along with DRI LITE technology finish off the practical features and a fantastic price make it a great buy for those carrying with a full set of gear.

*Hydrostatic testing of waterproof fabric gives a mm per 24 hours rating. This refers to the amount of rainfall a fabric can withstand in a single day. Thus, a 10,000mm waterproof rating means the garment can withstand 10,000mm of rainfall in a single day without letting moisture in.

AQUA Sport 2 – $299.99, available in Black/silver, Charcoal/Black/Red, Silver/Black/Cobalt, Red/Black/Silver, Navy/Black/Silver

AQUA Wave – $249.99 available in Black, Red, Yellow, White/Orange, Petrol

AQUA Ocean – $179.99, available in Black/Red, Red/Black

DRI LITE Active – $229.99, available in White/Red, Charcoal/Fuchsia, Navy/Black/Silver, Black/Red

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New golfers on the rise Forbes reports 2.6 million started playing according to industry report

Golf welcomed a record number of first-time players in 2017, with the 2.6 million beginners eclipsing the numbers set when Tiger Woods was in his prime and drawing a wealth of newcomers to the game around the turn of the century, Forbes magazine reported today.

The number of people who played on a golf course for the first time in 2017 increased for the fourth straight year, one in a series of positive indicators detailed in the National Golf Foundation’s Golf Industry Report. The NGF report is a comprehensive state-of-the-industry overview that compiles many of golf’s key data points in a single publication to provide a holistic view of the game.

 

The Golf Industry Report showed that golf’s on-course participant base remained stable at 23.8 million golfers last year. Included in that number are almost 20 million of the game’s most committed golfers, a segment that represents about 82% of those who play but accounts for approximately 95% of all rounds-played and spending in an $84 billion industry.

You ran read the full story here https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikmatuszewski/2018/05/15/golf-industry-report-shows-increase-in-beginning-golfers-overall-participant-base/#60db32c268bb

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If the golf courses at French Lick Resort aren’t on your must-play list, adjust it. The Indiana boyhood home of NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird also has two layouts that are turning the hoops hotbed into a golf playground as well.