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!


29 Jan

Can Tour Edge "XJ1" be "that" strong?

Written by Bob Oliver


ORLANDO, FL: There is never a dull, quiet moment at the annual PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center.  

More than 1000 products, from brand spanking new golf clubs to golf travel companies and everyone in between are on hand, along with professional golf legends like Annika Sorenstam, Bubba Watson and Sir Nick Faldo walking the aisles.

It is the show of shows and always a can't miss Orlando retreat, although there isn't a lot of fun in the sun as most walk miles and miles a day reviewing new products and ideas. It's clearly a great event for the Fitbit!

The show opens with a demo day at Orange County National where companies display their wares and allow those in attendance the opportunity to check out what's new in their line. Celebrity appearances - Bubba was blasting 350 yard drives that bedazzled all - are not uncommon. 

Every once in a while there is something that just catches one's attention. Callaway unveiled its Epic clubs, Taylor Made it's improved M1 line, and nearly every manufacturer was entering the new year with a positive attitude. 

"We have some outstanding offerings, and we are excited about 2017," said Callaway CEO Chip Brewer, a Lower Moreland High School grad and former All-Bicentennial League player from our area. 

The editors of loved dozens of offerings. One new one, though, was the pick of the litter, the one club that stood out among the crowd. 

From Batavia, Illinois and the Tour Edge folks came our Club of the Crowd - the Tour Edge Supermedal Exotics XJ1 Driver.

This offering, well, was almost too good to be true. 

First of all, the Tour Edge Exotics line has been a big success. Second, the designers researched and developed a new offering that it not only hotter but also accurate for everyday players. 

Designed for those with slower swing speeds (e.g. less than 100 MPH) its design allows a boost in one's effective swing speed and turned out 83MPH swinger into a player whose results were more like those of someone whose swing speed approached 100 MPH. Of equal importance, it's design allowed mishits to travel well and into the fairway. 

Technically, the Supermedal has a ultra lightweight 9-1-1 titanium chassis combined with Tour Edge President and Founder President Dave Glod's desire of a driver that helped those with slower swing speeds to get that added boost saw the addition of a tungston sole. 

Helping the cause is a Fujikura Air Speeder shaft that adds to the swing speed of the average player.

The JXI bedazzled our editors, so much so that after spending a half hour hitting the marvelous club and discussing later with several PGA of America pros, took them back to the Tour Edge tent to sample the driver.

To a person, the most heard comment was, well, "Wow".

Such an entry into the competitive field, there is a stumbling block the retail cost of the JXI has a price point just shy of $700. But, consider this, it's an investment in distance and accuracy. Recommendation: pay close attention to this club, visit a participating dealer and take a test drive! 

17 Nov

Golf a four season sport - Jersey Gems

Written by Bob Oliver

Well, there you have it. Don't put your golf clubs in the deep recesses of the garage or basement for the winter. 

It's a given there has been frost on some recent cold Bucks County mornings. Heck, it will probably snow for Christmas. But look, many have been playing their best in recent months after a great season on area courses. Why mess up that great swing by putting one's clubs away and starting over next spring?

Why go through the agony of rekindling that grooved swing? Playing to your lowest handicap of the year at a time when you haven't hit a golf ball in months?

Okay, we are not all jet-setters who can dump the clubs in a G-4 and head to Florida or another warm location. 

Here's are a few suggestions.

1) When the weather gets into the 50s without a great deal of wind, make sure the clubs are in the car and get out even if only for nine holes. Winter golf is generally faster as less people are on the golf course.

2) Basements are great places for practice swings. Just make sure the munchkins aren't lurking around. 

3) Make some notes of the great, and not so great things you accomplished in 2016. Think of a plan to build on them. 

4) Sneak away for a long weekend of golf, using a cheap air fare to the south or anywhere warm. If that doesn't fit the budget, think of a drive that will accomplish much of the same. Winter golf at the Jersey Shore, Ocean City Maryland, WIlliamsburg Virginia can be found inexpensively and the weather can be much warmer than Bucks County. Not significantly warmer, but warmer.

While thinking of these items think about places you want to play in 2017. My goal this year was to play 30 "new" courses. That is, courses I've never played before. I am sitting on 29 and am ready for another!

Make sure you don't miss playing great courses within driving distance. Two of my particular favorites are the Atlantic City Country Club and Shore Gate Golf Club, both on the Jersey Shore and within a 90 minute ride with traffic.

Atlantic City, renovated in 1999 by Tom Doak, is a classic seaside gem. Located in Northfield, just a couple miles from Atlantic CIty, the "Home of the Birdie" provides an outstanding test of golf with upscale amenities. Great challenge on the course, great food inside the clubhouse. And a wealth of history.

There have been six USGA events held at Atlantic City, including the 1948 (Babe Zaharias), 1965 (Carol Mann) and 1975 Women's Open (Sandra Palmer). It was also the site in 1980 of the first Senior PGA Tour event, the PGA Inaugural Seniors.

Atlantic City and its sister courses, Ballamor and Scotland Run, have long been rated among the best places to play in the state of New Jersey. It's a quick ride and great test.

We've long loved the Shore Gate Golf Club, located just off the Garden State Parkway Exit 17, where one finds a true sparkling oasis amid the Jersey pines. Shore Gate (see story in the New Jersey section of courses on this site) has always been a top-notch layout, but if possible has only gotten better with age.

The fairways are superb, the greens are tantalizing but smooth and true, and the overall venue outstanding.

Recent years has seen the integration of new fescue which frames the course, giving a pleasing view and direction of where one goes with their tee ball. It also can be found near bunkers, almost like a do not hit here sign.

Shore Gate is a must play shore course.

As Sayresville's Jon Bon Jovi sings, "Who says you can't go home again??