Golf Bucks County

By Bob Oliver

Middletown Country Club

Middletown is a compact 80 acres of challenging golf, with rolling hills and large specimen trees that have watched many golfers travel its fairways over time. It has retained its old time feel with tees and greens in close proximity, allowing golfers to walk the course if they choose.

The Traveling Golfer

With host Tony Leodora will travel both near and far to bring viewers a look at some of the most spectacular golf destinations in the world!

25 Jan
2020

Check out Callaway's Mavrik

Written by Bob Oliver

Innovation is the name of the golf game, as the designers of equipment have taken leaps and bounds over the years leading to a dramatic increase in distance and accuracy. Club fitting has elevated long and straight into longer and straighter. 

 

Each year there are new and different clubs and shafts that elevate player's game to new levels. This year is no different. One example found at the PGA Merchandise Show comes from Callaway Golf, where artificial intelligence has led to the creation of the Mavrk driver and fairway woods. 

 

Somehow AI has allowed Callaway to design clubs which have unique faces matched with various lofts with the result being ,ore swing speed and maximum distance. Who doesn't like that?

 

Hey, if AI can let self driving cars navigate through traffic and computer doctors providing medical opinions at least as good if not better than actual human doctors, why can't AI help in the design of masterful golf clubs?

 

The feel of these clubs is great. The results, greater. And these clubs were the pick of the litter of innovation at The Show.

 

But golf isn't only golf clubs and balls.

 

Fashion was the name of the game at numerous vendors. Several earned notice of this corner, not the least being the Golftini "Happy Hour Collection" of women's skorts. These are built for comfort, fit and are fun and fashionable. 

 

"We pride ourselves in quality items that look great and are attractive," explained Golftini representative Julie Heidt. "We have a great rapport with our customers and they come back to us for repeat business. Our customer service survey responses are superb."

 

Another gem found was Coral Coast of Bermuda, which has a number of great offerings with dress shirts, linen dress shirts, performance polos and a wide array of Bermuda shorts.

 

"We are the look of Bermuda and around the world," offered co-Founder Adam Petty. "We have sharp clothing, from shorts and shirts to swim wear. And we are all about fun. Check us out." 

 

No question, you should. 

 

Destinations and tour operators were prominent at The Show.

 

We've often revealed that Cape May's Celtic Golf operated by Jerry and Josephine Quinlan can be wonderful providers of trips to Ireland and Scotland, and if one is interested in the 2021 British Open they have packages for everyone.

 

Hidden gems can be found throughout the Emerald Island, so it helps to have the Quinlan's expertise by one's side. 

 

Innovation also hit the walking golf cart samplings, as Walker Trolleys introduced a push cart that's easy to use, pushing around the golf course, and easy to fold away. If a nice addition to what has been boring. 

 

Bob Oliver writes about golf for numerous publications. He''s a member of the Golf Writers Association of America, Golf Travel Writers of America and International Network of Golf. 

22 Jan
2020

2020 PGA Show amazes

Written by Bob Oliver

The PGA Merchandise Show brings together all aspects of the world of golf.   

 

Luminaries such as Greg Norman speak on the state of the game while the giants of golf display their newest equipment.   Tourism outlets attempt to attract visitors while everyone with a new swing training device and clothing designers display their wares.  

 

“This is a great event and brings together all aspects and constituents of the game to one place,” explained The Shark. “I’ve been coming for decades and it still amazes me.”

 

And  there is is always something new to observe.  

 

Day one at the Show saw and explosion of  CBD products.  These natural products claim —- and testimonials are abundant —- to be helpful in pain management which helps golfers rebound from those pesky pains that impact their bodies after flailing away on the course.  Legal CBD is developed from the hemp plant without theTHC so it’s not a hallucigen.  

 

”Our Muscle MX product has been well received, and make no mistake it’s perfectly legal,” said Marketing Director Clark Bateman.   “Our big challenge is education of the consumer.  Once people try our product the reviews are great.”

 

But beware, not all CBD products are the same, so shop and research for what best fits your needs.  

 

Around the Show we ran into Pro golfer Ken Green, whose career includes five PGA Tour titles and participation on a Ryder Cup team. Ken’s like was upended in a terrible vehicle accident, which was chronicled along with his life story in “Hunter of Hope - A life lived inside,outside and on the ropes.”   A great read.  

 

Club manufacturers like Ping, Tour Edge, Calloway and Yonex blanketed one end and attracted Pros and buyers, as orders for the season were signed.

 

“”Things are good   Our products are well received and it’s a nice buzz,” commented Ping’s Andy Solheim.

 

Ping's new line includes the 410 Plus drivers, with increased Dragonfly crown and movable weights to fit your swing and overall game. THe i500 irons are geared for distance and the company's women's array are awesome.    

 

The Pitchfix products are excellent sources of ways to make your home club‘s greens remain flat  by allowing easy replacement of ball marks    More to come on their products.

 

Rows and rows, booth after booth of apparel providers bedazzle buyers.  Of particular interest were Golftini, Oliver Thomas and Coral Coast brands. A great variety of product awaits.  

 

The Show is a cornucopia of golf, and a great way to log 15,000 step in a day.  

 

CHIP SHOTS—-Philadelphia Eagles great Rn Jaworski was on stage with Norman discussing golf, football, nutrition and physical training.  At one point Jaws joked that he loves playing golf at age 68 as it’s a game for life while football isn’t.  Ron Jaworski Golf operates seven courses in the Delaware Valley.   Jaws was asked his Super Bowl prediction....”Simple, I played a year in Kansas City so it has my vote!”...Norman on state of game: “Lots of great things occurring.   From design perspective the players are hitting farther and farther.    We have to address or else we’ll will be building 8,000 yard courses.   “

18 Jan
2020

Does Crenshaw argue with Coore?

Written by Bob Oliver

There is no doubt that when two successful artists work on a tandem product, there is often disagreement.  Sometimes emphatically as each wants their thoughts heard. 

One would think that over the nearly 30 years they've worked together on the design of golf courses, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw would have had some of those knock down, drag out discussions?

Who could blame them? Each has a distinct personality and each has his own thoughts on the design of a golf course. 

The team has created outstanding layouts. Having played Streamsong (Red) in Florida, the Dormie Club near Pinehurst, Bandon Trails in Oregon, Sand Hills in Nebraska and Hidden Creek in New Jersey, I know first hand that Coore-Crenshaw develop outstanding, fun and challenging courses.

But do they always agree, and when they don't, who wins the argument? 

"Wow, that's out of left field," said Coore at the Saguaro Course at Wi Ko Pa in the Valley of the Sun near Phoenix.  The Saguaro  Course is heralded by many rankings as the top public access course in the golf happy state. 

"I can't say we never disagree on something, but truthfully its never a real argument," said Coore. "We may disagree on shaping or direction or aspects of a design, but we generally come to the same conclusion in the end. We see the same land, understand what we are trying to accomplish, and while we might not totally come up with the same ideas we are professional and friends enough to talk it out and in the end have a great result."

Crenshaw is a PGA Tour Hall of Famer while Coore is a disciple of Pete Dye with a long background in the game. Each has their own ideas, but each also knows what looks and feels great to golfers.  Minimalists in design, their creations are well received by players of all abilities. 

At We Ko Pa, for instance, they teamed to create a course that has fangs that attack the strong player but enough freedom to challenge and keep higher handicap players in the game assuming they play from the correct tees. The fairways are wide, the desert does not impede every shot, and the chipping areas large enough to give a player options. 

The course penalizes poor shots and decisions, but rewards smart play. Its greens are full of challenge and quickness, and the course conditioning is immaculate. 

This Coore-Crenshaw design is outstanding, and hey, there was not a lot of arguing in its development and design. 

"Ben and I are proud of this course," explained Coore. "We are happy so many golfers find enjoyment and challenge here."

 

12 Dec
2019

Magical "secret" - CBD

Written by Bob Oliver

 

Those who've read my columns dating back to 1978 know I'm not a fan of gimmicks or fly by night solutions to improve your game.  Heck, golf is a game as hard as there is, because as Lee Trevino says, you have to play your foul balls. 

Still, every blue moon there is something that pops up that, well, is simply amazing.  This story isn't about a new golf club,magical ball or teaching aid. Nope, this time it's something completely different.

As a golfer gets a bit older there are aches and pains that are bothersome and sometimes even keeps one away from playing on certain days.  There are obviously numerous pills to help limit the pain and get one onto the course, but for some nothing seems to work.  At the recent 18th annual Media Classic in The Valley of the Sun in the greater Phoenix area I was introduced to a product that, well, works for me.

I've had this nagging pain in my right arm that didn't affect my swing but did cause pain and discomfort when my body turned in a certain direction.  It also was painful when I slept on one side. Turning over in the middle of the night sparked me to sit upright, leading to a lack of fitful sleep. 

No more. 

And the solution? CBD.

Precisely it was a sauve provided by Physician's Choice CBD. A legal solution derived from extensive research of the hemp plant (not the marijuana plan) that is legal, bought over the counter, and helps soothe many of those nasty pain, aches, anxiety and sleep disorders which are nagging to a point of hurting your golf game. 

Extensive research occurred with doctor's involved in each step culminated with the various products that help many people overcome a variety of ailments. 

"I've always been intrigued with the concept, and the more I read and researched I soon knew there was something there," explained Jeff Schaeffer of Physician's Choice. "Cannabis has had a sketchy history, but when broken down into parts it became evident there was a use from legal components (of the plants)."

The result of years of work was a non-opioid pain reliever that provides numerous benefits without crossing over the line of being aanti-inflammatory drug. The benefits are many, it's easy to apply and there are no illegal components. 

One can rub in a cream, take a pill or spray a mists under the tongue for the desired relief.  Simple, easy.  

To be clear, CBD is a chemical part that is found in both hemp and marijuana plants. When extracted from the hemp plant there is minute THC --- the part of the plants that promote a "high". There have been more than 20,000 studies which indicate help with pain and anxiety problems among others while not having the high component.  In other words, perfectly legal. 

The product is growing my leaps and bounds, as once the "high" component of THC is eliminated from the equation (yes, you will pass a drug test) people are giving it a try. For me, I'm sleeping through the night and much of the back pain from my bad golf swing has been significantly reduced. 

There are numerous brands/varieties of CBD, but for me the extensive research by Physician's Choice is a game changer.  It provides me with the confidence that I have a solid product. Not inexpensive, retailing in the $50 range for creams, the product has helped me. 

Do your homework, but surely consider this product.  

CHIP SHOTS: The host venue for the Media Classis was the new and improved and luxurious Mountain Shadows Resort in Paradise Valley.  A long-time staple of area hospitality the resort underwent a complete renovation in 2017. The result was superb.  Outstanding rooms, restaurants and spa, the 18-hole "Short Course" course was reworked and enhanced and is a great way to spend a couple hours on the course. The resort also has an agreement with the nearby championship Camelback Golf Course. A true can't miss resort, Mountain Shadows proves you "can go home again."