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!

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Golfers Beware - "The Law" Watching

Written by Bob Oliver on .

We've been keeping you apprised of where golf is being played and where it's prohibited. And while 28 states are allowing play, several are not allowing play of non-residents in his time of COVID-19. 

Yesterday three Massachusetts residents were issued summons which could result in 90 days in the pokey for playing in Rhode Island at the Meadowbrook Golf Course.   Police said the three were in the state for a non-recognized work purpose. 

For Bucks County golfers, the closest state allowing golf is Delaware, which like Rhode Island clamped down on non-resident play Monday. While courses are open for business, that business must come only from residents of the state.

"We had been getting about 30 percent of our play from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland residents, but no more," explained PGA professional and course operator at Frog Hollow, Patrick Keefe. '

The 1978 grad of Neshaminy High School had been seeing lots of old friends from the Keystone state in recent weeks. "The directive is pretty clear, and we've had troopers visit."

Apparently it won't be long before state line crossing golfers will be sharing cells with sharing jail cells wtih bank robbers and arsonists said one wag.

Keefe did assure that social distancing, spacing of tee times, flagsticks are not to be touched and similar precautions are being taken.

CHIP SHOTS: Keefe played for coaches Dick Chubb and WIlliam Smith while playing for the Redskins. He's a former head pro at Inniscrone...Frog Hollow is a nice residential course in Middletown, Delaware, which challenges all level of player....From the optimsm department, the LPGA has announced a tentative schedule of events assuming the season restarts. Aronimink, in Newtown Square, will host the KPMG Women's PGA Championship June 25-28, while the ShopRite LPGA Championship will be held at Seaview (Bay) Golf Club July 31 through August 2. Of course, this is subject to the COVID-19 problem being stopped. 

 

Golf takes a hit from COVID-19

Written by Bob Oliver on .

 

The embargo on golf by Governor Wolf in response to the COVID-19 situation has shuttered Keystone State courses for the last two weeks.

New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania as well as 17 other states have prohibited play at golf courses in their state according to the National Golf Foundation.  Some other states have partial restrictions, while 28 states allow golf to be played.  It's a very fluid situation, and changes are being made on a daily basis. 

Delaware has allowed its courses to remain open. The state open for play that is closest to Bucks County golfers, however, had a change this afternoon announced from the governor's office. Delaware courses will no longer be able to book tee times from non-Delaware residents. It is unclear how walk ups or those without "papers" will be handled. 

The NGF survey of more than 1000 member courses found that as of March 27, 2020, approximately 74 percent of the nation's golf courses remain open.  That's of little solace to Bucks County golfers who are hours away from places to play. 

The southern half of the United States allow play for the most part as even hard-hit COVID-19 states like Louisiana have not formally closed courses on a statewide basis. Many counties in Ohio continue to allow play. The Arizona governor today proclaimed golf “essential” and continues to allow play   

Having said that, golf courses in 87 percent of facilities have closed/restricted its inside dining room areas, and nearly 30% have closed access to clubhouse facilities. A quarter of those surveyed have closed or restricted access to pro shop.

The NGF survey found that 65 percent of club operators described the COVID-19 problem as having a significant effect or more on its operations. 

Surprisingly the winter months had been pointing to a superb resurgence in the game. Rounds played increased dramatically year-over-year in the months of January and February.  

Golfers who were considering purchase of new equipment have put such purchases on hold, according to the NGF survey as they monitor the virus. 

For Bucks County golfers, hunker down. There's no meaningful golf in the near future, but with some luck it won't be long before you'll be back on the course. In the meantime remember the social distancing recommendations from the government. Always practice good hygiene such as washing hands, refraining from touching face and disinfect items and surfaces as much as possible. 

Be safe, be careful and think about a future return to normalcy. 

CHIP SHOTS:  While Arizona Governor Doug Ducey issued a "stay at home" order, he includes golf as an "Essential service" exemption. "We do not want people to feel trapped or isolated in their homes," explained the governor. The Cactus women's tour continues competition. This is the tour LPGA star Anna Nordqvist won on two weeks ago....Speaking off the record, a source close to the LPGA's ShopRite Classic says it is "highly doubtful" the 2020 event will be held. in late May. Time will tell...A petition to reopen some courses in New Jersey is in the process of being developed in hopes Gov. Murphy loosens restrictions on play.    

Coping without golf

Written by Bob Oliver on .

 

These are obviously trying times.  The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll, and people are worried about its fangs.  Rightfully so.

Yet in a time of business shutdowns, social distancing, quarantines and such there are several givens in preventions.  Like washing hands endlessly and not rubbing your face.  Avoiding discretionary travel. Work from home if possible.

Golfers lament time away from the course, playing the game they love, as governors of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Maryland have shuttered golf courses. At last count 21 states have closed golf courses, while 28 states remain open for play.  One state, Alaska, is closed but snow has a way of keeping players off the course.

Linfield National's Rob Kloeckner, a Neshaminy grad, has petitioned the state for a waiver to no avail.  So have three course operators from the Pittsburgh area.   

Delaware Courses are open for the most part, with social distancing guidelines (one to a cart, or no motorized carts at all, locked pro shops, no toughing flagsticks, etc.) in place as safety is important. One owner operator in Delaware said business has been brisk with the closure of courses in neighboring states. 

Near all courses are being maintained as the closures have not ended caring for course work, so once a handle on the virus is fixed openings could come fast, especially in less populated areas. 

Patience required.

If you want to keep the muscles working, the Mad Golfer in Southampton is open for self service practice. 

For my golf fix I recently watched a replay of the 2019 Masters Tournament. Spoiler alert, a guy in a red shirt did pretty well. 

 

 

 

Magical "secret" - CBD

Written by Bob Oliver on .

 

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."  

 

 

Golf courses say "Thank you" to Veterans

Written by Bob Oliver on .

A number of golf courses are thanking veterans for their service on Veteran's Day!

Courses undewoor the Ron Jaworski banner, including Ramblewood, Valleybrook, Blue Heron Pines, Running Deer, Riverwinds and Downingtown, as well as McCullough's Emerald Links and Balamor are offering free golf.

Veterans must call in advance for tee times (subject to availability) and present a military ID or military documentation to receive the offer. 

"We want to give something back to those dedicated men and women who served our country with great honors and distinction," explained Ron Jaworski. "It is gratifying to us to be able to acknowledge their efforts on behalf of our country and thank them for their service."

Remember, call ahead and have appropriate documentation.