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June 1, 2016

Golf Range News

On Monday, June 6, the Atlanta City Council approved a proposal to transfer Bobby Jones Golf Course to state control. Mayor Kasim Reed said the transfer will bring $25 million in improvements to create a “best in class” course and improve the care it will receive in the future. State officials plan to turn the 18-hole layout into a reversible nine-hole course, and a full practice range as well as other practice facilities. The state will also add a “Golf House” that will include a golf hall of fame museum and offices for several golf organizations. The course will remain public and the complex would be used to promote youth golf and as a home for the Georgia State University golf team.

If you step onto the range at Whisper Rock Golf Club in Arizona on any given day, you may think you’ve uncovered a secret PGA Tour stop. The club is home to a laundry list of past and present touring professionals including founding member Gary McCord, Phil Mickelson (who designed the Lower Course at Whisper Rock), Chez Reavie, Kevin Chappell and Geoff Ogilvy. The average golfer would be in awe watching these million-dollar golf swings. However, when two-time Re/Max Long Drive Champion and recently anointed Whisper Rock member Jamie Sadlowski is one the range, even the tour pros stop and watch. In a recent Golfweek article Chappell was quoted in saying: “He’s the most impressive person you’ll ever see play the game of golf as far as hitting shots…He hits shots us mortals can’t hit.” In the same article, it was reported that Padraig Harrington was so enamored with Sadlowski’s swing that he refused to leave the range until the long hitter was done. Sadlowski missed out on qualifying for this month’s U.S. Open, but as he continues to learn from the litany of big names at Whisper Rock it’s not a stretch to think he’ll be enamoring fellow competitors and patrons at PGA Tour events in the near future.

Kwik Golf is conducting its first virtual world championship October 23-29. The competitive divisions include the PGA of America, LPGA, Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs of America, The First Tee, U.S. Military, collegiate and family. Kiwi Golf is played on a three-hole short course that can be setup on any practice range or open area using a kit provided by the company. The score is determined by a combination of how many strokes the player takes and the total time it takes to play the course — with each shot counting as 10 points and each second counting as one point, with the total representing their final score. During the virtual world championship, courses will be required to have the same dimensions. A scoring app that connects with a worldwide online scoreboard will allow teams and individuals to track where they stand in real time. Go to www.kwikgolf.com for more info.

In the spring of 1964, the inaugural year of the newly formed Big Sky Conference, the University of Montana Grizzlies won the league’s first men’s golf championship. Fifty years later, one of those golfers is hoping to help bring more titles back to Montana. Bill Ruegamer donated a $100,000 gift to finish paying for the golf team’s new indoor practice facility at the Ranch Club. The 1,500-square-foot building will now be known as the Bill Ruegamer Indoor Golf Facility.