Month: December 2011

Crag Burn Golf Club Review

Many folks in the know have a problem with Robert Trent Jones, Senior. His golf courses, they say, are too punitive, too penal. He is in love with the carry over water, they say. The reality is, he came of age after the ground-loving, ground-hugging, golden-age architects named Ross, Travis, Tillinghast, Raynor, MacDonald, Mackenzie, et al. He came of age during a time when the wealthy wanted a different type of course, one that contrasted with the natural courses of the first 40 years of the 20th century. As RTJ, Sr. aged, he returned to the type of courses that were built prior to WWII. Crag Burn is a perfect example, a heathland-style course where the front of the green is often open to a running shot, where unrealistic forced carries are absent. (Front nine images courtesy of Mark Saltzman) Holes 1-3: 396, 563 & 330Although there are five sets of tees (the longest measuring 7150 yards) at Crag Burn, this review uses the middle set as a baseline. The first hole at Crag Burn is a strategic masterpiece. Powerful praise, I know, but consider the evidence. A hole that bends right, clogs the corner with sand, yet leaves a virtual meadow of fairway off to the left; an approach shot that comes in at an angle to a deep and somewhat-narrow green target, with sand right and rough...

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River Oaks Golf Club Review

River Oaks Golf Club, designed by the late and mad Scotsman, Desmond Muirhead, is quite unique among private clubs in western New York. Opened in 1972, the course hosted LPGA events its first two years of existence, then later served as course for informal Pro-Am events that included PGA tour players. The course measures longer than any other course in the Buffalo District from the tips (nearly 7400 yards) and serves as a monument to what can be done by golf course architects and shapers to change the topography of a flat piece of land. Holes 1-3: 348, 392 & 498 The first hole at River Oaks appears to ease the golfer into the round. In truth, only the drive is simple. With no fairway bunkers and light rough on either side of the fairway, the tee ball is straightforward and downhill. The approach must be kept below the hole and must also avoid three of the many bunkers that inhabit the course. The putting surface is circular in nature, with a pair of diversions from the sphere. With short iron or wedge in hand, anything more than 4 is considered a failure here. The second hole might be the toughest drive (although not necessarily a fair one) in the area, owing to the overhanging (and unnecessary) trees on the right side of the hole. When leafy, any shot...

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Kindness Will Always Matter

Honestly, I’ve never paid much attention to Rod Pampling. Guy’s a great player who puts his name on the front page of a leader board from time to time. He has his good days, his bad days and the occasional great one. He’s a player you recognize but rarely seek out if you ever happen to attend a live tournament. Then you read a story about how Pampling took time to track down and personally thank every tournament director who gave him an extension in 2011 – and you’re forced to pay attention to the man for a moment. Pampling kept his PGA Tour card this season by a whisper as he came in at the 124th spot on the money list. He’ll be able to compete on tour regularly next year – and it would never have happened without the exemptions he received. “They didn’t have to do that,” said Pampling of the tournament directors. “It was a simple gesture on their part and it’s not that hard to call and say ‘thanks for that.’ I was just trying to do the right thing. Hopefully, I wont need the invite again.” If he does though, he might just find it. Several tournament directors have commented how rare it is to hear from a player in such a personal manner of thanks. AT&T National tournament director Greg McLaughlin event...

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My Movement Toward Golf Fitness: Installment IV

There is certainly something about the holidays that works against fitness. Marie and I had to postpone our 12/24 session until 12/27, and I had even less time than normal for exercise during the run-up to the Christmas celebrations. Given all that, you’d think that my session today would have been a cross between catatonic and catastrophic, but that wasn’t the case.We identified a weakness, a strength imbalance, at the beginning of session four. Not only was my left hamstring muscle tighter than my right one, but the glute on that side was noticeably weaker. While I admit to being right-handed, I cannot say precisely why that side’s leg was stronger than the other…nor do I much care. One of the great things about being 46 is that I’m 100% disinterested in how I look, and 100% interested in doing things that will help me, and doing them properly. So, when Marie says “quality, not quantity,” I don’t yes her up in the slightest. I felt bad for having passed up an opportunity to golf on the 22nd. It would have provided another opportunity to test out my progress. I did replace real golf with a dome session, one that featured hickory clubs. I forced myself to swing slower and better, something I could not have done without the lower body stability that I’ve been building these last few...

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Press Release: Henry-Griffitts Introduces Randy Henry’s Dynamic Golf Website

MAUMEE, OH – Henry-Griffitts – the seminal force in custom club fitting for 28 years and the originator of the clubfitting cart – is proud to unveil, the new website for Randy Henry’s Dynamic Golf, the world-renowned Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, golf academy founded and run by Henry-Griffitts co-founder Randy Henry. Randy Henry The recently-launched website features two separate sub-sites, one for the academy’s indoor facility featuring PGA TOUR Simulators and one for its outdoor practice facility. Each site opens with an informational video detailing the beautiful setting offered by the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course, and the expert teaching provided by Randy Henry’s Dynamic Golf. An easy-to-navigate menu on each sub-site offers information on the world-class facilities, certified instructors (including Randy Henry himself), photos, videos, contact information, and testimonials from past academy visitor Click Here to see the Randy Henry Dynamic Golf AcademyRHGA “The Dynamic Golf academy represents a pinnacle of my coaching career,” says Henry, a world renowned golf teaching professional who has taught winners on all of the major tours and who has been voted one of America’s top teachers by Golf Digest as well as the #1 teacher in the state of Idaho. “I’m proud of the strong reputation we’ve already built, and our new website will allow users all over the world to get an even better idea of what we have to offer...

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