Michigan Golf News |
March 16, 2007 - Vol. 7, No. 11
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AMERICA'S VALUE GOLF DESTINATION
THINK SPRING: THE OSPREY COLLECTION OF FINE COURSES
******* SHOW TIME *******
LONDON GOLF SHOW - FEBRUARY 9-11
MICHIGAN GOLF SHOW-MARCH 10-12
Edited by Art McCafferty-Producer/Publisher, GLSP
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__/ IRISH BLESSING
For in-state destinations
Golf properties are now being used for weddings, concerts and now apparently, Amazing Races. In their third edition of the Amazing Race, Treetopshad 12 four-person teams competing for prizes. The Amazing Race is just a click away.
Osprey Recreational Properties, once again, created the most buzz at the show. New booths, new literature, a new marketing mantra "We are Michigan Golf", a new zest for the job and some optimism for the future were all on hand. CEO, Mike Biber stopped by on Friday to wish everybody well and then he was gone to visit and ski at his company's latest aquisition, The Otsego Club. The firm also held an open house at the show and welcomed members and guests. On hand to greet them were Mark Hogan, Doug Bell, Lowell Weaver and Corey Crowell.
Golf Channel Amateur Tour
Cherry Tree Inn and Suites
Kevin O'Brien, Director of Golf for Tullymore and St. Ives, had his normal booth set up displaying upscale golf clothing. The news at St. Ives is that new ownership will soon be taking over. The deal is still a check away from being a done deal. The prospective owners are brothers; Rich, Ron and Bob Marino. They have been members of the club for some time and had been successul enough in their construction firm to purchase the courses. According to O'Brien, a new clubhouse will be built at Tullymore this year. The Inn at St. Ives, will be turned into condos.
Hawk's Eye and Golf Bellaire
Hemlock GC owners, -John and Marcia Kennedy were enticing people to come over to their side of the state, Ludington. The Hemlock course is a terrific Ray Hearn design. I was in the neighborhood videotaping the Ludington Lakeside Half Marathon two years ago and stopped by the course. It was a beautiful Michigan morning and the course was so spectacular, I spent the next two hours walking around and shooting video of it. It is a flat out beautiful course and I would imagine that mowing it, is more play than work.
Michawye-Judy Mason was telling golfers about the Michaywe Madness specials they are having this year. The ingredients of their Spring and Summer Michaywe Madness is three days of unlimited gol, cart and a daily lunch for $75. They also have a two day $89 special in ths Summer. Check out their website for further details.
Larry Bowden, of Marsh Ridge , is celebrating 15 years of golf at The Natural. Helping out Bowden this year, will be Ed Ford who will be running the proshop. The Natural has always been looked upon as a great golf value in the Gaylord area, and consistently gets its share of rounds in a very competitive area. http://golfthenatural.com
Shanty Creek Resort-Brian Kautz, Golf and Club Manager, says that the next major agenda for Shanty Creek Resort's new owners, is the renovation of the Summit Hotel. He feels that the rennovation is key in alerting its customers that the resort is making progress on its revitalization plan. They added new snow making and a magic carpet during the ski season, now their attention will turn to golf. Kautz also indicated that the Schuss Mountain Proshop is back. Some of you may recall, you had to register in the lodge last year.
Golf Houghton Lake
"Who's Your Caddy?" is a nice book to begin your St. Patick's Day week. Cheers.
Monarrez accurately pointed out that due to LaBelleıs winnings and his current 41st spot on the money list, he would be eligible for ³entering prestigious invitationals.² He added: ³Thereıs almost no doubt LaBelle will keep his tour card for 2008.² I knew immediately what Monarrez was suggesting here. Certain tournaments such as Arnold Palmerıs Invitational, The Colonial, and Jack Nicklausı the Memorial Tournament all are limited field events, as is the most prestigious and most exclusive invitational in all of golfthe Masters. Just because LaBelle has his Tour card doesnıt necessarily get him into these events. He has to earn his way in via earnings and high finishes. Monarrez was right on the mark with this observation.
But lo and behold, a smart-aleck reader chimes in with this ³posted² and verbatim feedback and it plops down online immediately following Monarrezıs column:
"I still can't figure out what this guy is doing writing about golf. He says that the top 70 is "the standard for entering prestigious invitationals" ?? Does he even know what "keeping your card" means? whatever happened to Jack Saylor. note to freep: If you are looking for a golf writer give me a call. Granted I am living in the mountains of Idaho but I am an ex golf pro with a 2 handicap and I kin spell pritty good."
It pains me to resuscitate this guyıs misinformed malarkey but it sharpens my point about the seedy side of the so-called ³online community.² The question about the late Jack Saylor really says it all about this ³ex-golf pro.² Like the sorry 85-year-old Japanese soldier still fighting WWII in the jungles of Borneo, this guy maybe missed the news by being up ³in the mountains.² So please write this down, sir: Mr. Saylor passed away in 2003!
One final note of thanks to the keen eye of Jack Berry whoıs wintering in Tucson but who continues to be an omnivorous reader. Berry emailed me the other day saying he read where Brad Faxon and Rich Beem both have criticized the new PGA Tour event outside Washington DC, hosted by Tiger Woods, because it is a limited field invitational!
In defense of Mr. Monarrez and with vigilant concern for the intelligence of some ³reader posts,² I rest my case.
It'd been years since his wife baked them for him, but as he lay there, gasping for each breath, he was sure he could smell those cookies. Crawling out of bed, he dragged himself down the stairs and into the kitchen where he finds--oh, joy!--his wife with a big platter of his favorite, freshly baked cookies.
With his last bit of strength, he is slowly reaching out for one when she slaps his hand.
"Don't touch those!" she orders. "They're for the funeral."
McKinley said he has to hire three golf professionals, deadline for resumes is today, to fill out the staff for the coming year. With a mandate from the new GM, Mike Fernandez , Mike McKinley will continue to sustain the national reputation that Treetops has in golf, but also continue a more pronounced agenda of working with the entire Gaylord community to boost tourism.
For the full year 2006, rounds played were up 0.8%.
In areas where a significant amount of golf is played in January, only the Central/South Florida region held it own, increasing slightly (+0.4%) over last year. The Gulf Coast region was down 23%; the Southeast, down 11%; and the Southwest, down 4%.
Golf Datatech_s monthly report showed that rounds weredown16.3% January 2007 compared toJanuary 2006. The report includes 2,550 reporting courses.
Taken and edited from a NSGA Research Newsletter-Thomas B. Doyle
Oakwood Resort Golf Spa and Conference Center: Grand Bend, Ontario Best use of a single photo:Dramatic photo of sunset on Lake Huron is all you need to know about the resortıs location.
Southwest Greens of Lower Michigan Best use of unusual photos: Life-sized photos of golf pros in shorts-- Chris DiMarco, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia-- made the point that you, too, can have a green in your backyard. Hale Irwin has one too, but he did not appear in shorts.
Traverse City Area Best group:TC CVB,Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, A-Ga-Ming and Sundance, High Pointe, The Chief had an effective group arrangement marked with ³Traverse City² flags.
Golf Bellaire Best tagline:7 courses within 7 minutes ((Shanty Creek and The Chief/Hawk Eye) They had Snickers and Milky Way bars, too.
Buster Grips Best logo: Dramatic logo and lighting for grips ³produced in Michigan.²
Golf Your Metroparks Best brochure display: Attention-getting photo, matching brochures in neat wooden cubbyholes.
Diamond Caravans Best use of simplicity:Framed photos against lighted forest green background.
Pine Cone Accommodations Best booth arrangement: ³Gaylord Golf Vacation² in a bright, cozy booth with especially friendly staff.
Florida Best overall:Florida Sports Foundation, Visit Florida and other groups combined for a huge, colorful booth with a big package of brochures and a drawing for round-trip tickets on AirTran airlines.
Not directly golf:
Penrickton Center for Blind Children Best prop:Now lots of people attracted to the raffle of two big, shiny Harley motorcycles know about the Penrickton Center for Blind Children in Taylor.
Country Smokehouse Best samples: No one passed up the salami and ³snak stix² samples ofelk, buffalo, and venison.
Entertainment Express Best idea:Head to Cedar Pointin a bright red stretch ı57 Chevy limo.
Soaring Eagle Best interactive: - Throw the dice for a double or a 7 to get the chance to spin the big wheel.
Retired Greyhounds as Pets Best booth staff: Who can resist fast, gentle dogs?
"In 1950, thirteen of us cofounded the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA). I was an enthusiastic twenty-one. The youngest, Marlene Bauer, was an energetic sixteen; the oldest, Babe Zaharias, was an athletic thirty-eight. An we each set out to prove that women could earn a living as tourning golf professionals.
During those early years, we placed our faith and our money in the LPGA. All of us tithed 10 percent of our meager winnings into the treasury to supplement funds and keep the organization solvent. We served as our own staff and handled administrative duties: public relations, scouting new tournaments, and writing prize-money checks.
In order to gain a foothold in this male-dominated game, we had to sell ourselves - as well as our tour - and worked hard to promote our tournaments and grow our galleries. We held press conferences, spoke at civic luncheons, and made radio and television appearances. Sports Illustrated even featured us in style shows at the Dallas Civitan and the LPGA Championship in Las Vegas. Decked out in heels and hats, dresses and gloves, we hit the runways to prove that women could be both athletic and feminine (I always wore a skirt and pearls on the course).
But our biggest challenge - and best memory maker - was life on the road. It was a far cry from today's tour travel and prize purses. Few of us could afford airfare, so we crisscrossed the country in a string of cars, driving caravan-style. Riding two to a vehicle, we were loaded. Golf bags, shoes, clothes, cosmetics. Everything we needed.
Jackie Pung even brought her two daughters. A few brought their dogs. And Wiffi Smith brought her piano. It nearly filled her motor home, but she viewed it as a necessity: She said it was her favorite training device for strengthening her fingers.
Like a big family, we wiled away the miles, the hours, the days. We sang and laughed and we squabbled. When we needed to stop, we held cardboard paddles out the window. One indicated food, another gas, and a third meant potty time. When a car broke down - which happened all too frequently - every car stopped. Blowouts were common, and we helped each other change the tires. When we needed counseling or consoling, we helped each other then, too. Someone was always ready with the wisdom and the words.
On the course we were competitors, but on the road we were comrades. Sisters. Once we hit town, we set to work like the team we were. Our top priorities included a Laundromat, a hairdresser, and a desperately needed practice round. We attended sponsor parties. We met our press commitments. We handled the course setup, pin placements, and pairings ourselves.
And then we played golf. From the men's tees. Our courses measured a staggering 6,250 to 6,950 yards, yet we posted some remarkable scores under some amazing conditions.
Even more remarkable, over the next decade we kindled a flame of interest in women's golf and helped bring it to the forefront of American sports. It took vision and grit and teamwork. It took all of us - plus many others who caught our vision and drive. But we did it.
Because we were golfers.
2007 MICHIGAN GOLF CALENDAR
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