August 1, 2014

A Wide Range of News

Always looking to add something quirky, rootsy and relevant to its destination golf offering, Bandon Dunes recently debuted The Punchbowl, a 2.3-acre putting course that is all hills and hollows. In short order the resort guests have fallen into the good habit of holding impromptu putting contests on this “Himalayas”-style course, using handy cup-holders to rest their beverages along the way.

With the cool weather not far off, Jim McLean, founder and president of his namesake golf schools network, has teamed with cruise event specialist Landry & Kling to plan and operate a series of exclusive golf cruise programs – McLean at Sea – beginning in 2015. McLean and his team of world-class instructors will sail aboard Celebrity Equinox for the first “McLean at Sea” golf school from Rome to Barcelona, for seven nights in late June and early July, calling on ports in Italy, France, and Spain… Lake of Isles Golf Club at the destination Foxwoods Casino in southeastern Connecticut is aggressively courting the young family market this summer. Through Aug. 31 the resort’s Family Fun Night is giving added value for a fee of $49 per adult-child pairing. (Fee for each additional child is $24.50) A special 9-hole Short Course (1,500 yards) is set up for the children, who can play as many holes as they wish. After golf there is dinner at the resort’s Matches Tavern. Throw-ins include comp rental sets, two sleeves of Callaway golf balls and personalized bag tags… With performance tracking of all types becoming more popular and relevant, it’s important to note that last month the USGA said Game Golf, the wearable device that tracks and displays a golfer’s round, was “Allowable under The Rules of Golf,” which means it can now be used in competition. The USGA’s statement stressed that Game Golf does not provide real-time club distances and data and it cannot be viewed on a player’s mobile device during their round… The increasingly popular Swing Catalyst system for golf swing analysis was recently installed by the Scott Hamilton Golf Academy in Cartersville, Ga. Hamilton is the PGA Director of Golf and Instruction at Cartersville Country Club, in the foothills of northwest Georgia. He currently serves as swing coach for touring professionals Boo Weekley, Tim Herron, Will Claxton, Steven Bowditch and Scott Brown.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was recently held to open the all-new Sea Island Golf Performance Center. Doubled in size from its predecessor facility, the new center is equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Sea Island Touring Professional Davis Love III and resort director of instruction Todd Anderson were part of a scissors-wielding crew that formally introduced the new amenity. Its components include five covered hitting bays, an indoor putting lab, expanded golf fitness area with new 3D technology, and expanded equipment and soft goods display area.

Catalyst Golf Performance, a Chicago-based learning and training center for junior and adult golfers, is now covering the very low end of the age demographic with its Fun Zone and Early Athletes programs. Ages 3 and 4 are served by Early Athletes, which focuses on motor pattern development and basic locomotion skills in a fun, interactive environment that involves both child and parent. Fun Zone is for 5 to 8-years-old and uses an array of training methods and tools (you might say “toys” as well as “tools”) to create a fun and exciting atmosphere. According to Michael Napoleon, director of Catalyst Golf, it is during this period of development that humans have their absolute best chance to learn speed, agility and many key locomotion and motor skills. Napoleon employs a training protocol derived from elite musical performance. In that field, it has long been important to align the training for specific skills with the most appropriate age and/or physical development stage, for optimal result.