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Monday, December 31, 2012

Three Big Golf Stories in 2012

It's the final day of 2012 and the perfect time to take a look back at some of the pivotal moments of the year. It's been a great year, particularly in the professional game, though the continuing decline in participation in the amateur game continues to be a cause for concern. And for all the talk of The First Tee and its $100 million spend, there is precious little to show for it.

1. The Rules of the Game. The governing bodies, The R&A and the USGA introduced the belly putter rule - well they talked about introducing it - the actual change comes in 3 years and just like the groove change a couple years ago, this will ultimately have little to no impact on the game. They continue to ignore the golf ball and the manufacturers have the upper hand as each year the golf ball travels farther and makes the great golf courses of the world relics from the past.

2. The Men's Pro Game. Continues to go from strength to strength. The best events of the year were once again non PGA Tour events, which must drive them crazy! European dominance of the 2 big Tours with Rors taking both money titles was a site to behold and McIlroy really stepped it up again this year. I think Tiger will add to his majors tally in 2013 and Rose will win his first.

3. Shots of the year. There were many contenders and here are my top 3:

First - Bubba's second shot in the playoff at The Masters. He was a long way into those right trees on #10 and somehow hooked the ball 50 yards with a wedge onto the green and set up an easy 2 putt par to win. Truly an amazing shot.

Second - Not one shot, but a series by Ian Poulter on Day 2 of the Ryder Cup that led to 5 birdies on the bounce to give Europe a glimmer of hope going into the singles on Sunday. The grit he showed was remarkable and alongside the memory of Seve as motivation, the Europeans once again proved that they relish Ryder Cup victory more than the Americans.

Third - It's still fun to see Louis Oosthuizen a couple hundred yards out from the 2nd green at Augusta National standing over his 4 iron. The ball seems to take forever to make it to the hole as it sweeps over the crest in the middle of the green. We all know where it is going, but it's great to watch again and again!

Happy New Year to you all and thanks for reading. 2013 should be a great year at the majors - the roster of Augusta National, Merion, Muirfield and Oak Hill will create drama around classic golf courses. Cheers to that!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Perfect Last Minute Christmas Golf Gifts

Several of our golf clients have products and services that would make ideal holiday gifts for the golfer in your life. Here they are at different price points and just in time for Christmas!
Club Champion
I was recently at one of Club Champion's Chicago locations and an extensive iron fitting proved one thing - I'm getting older and needs slightly more forgiving shafts. CC have a great deal running through February 28th, 2013 with 30% off individual fitting prices and a whopping 70% reduction for three of more golfers if purchased at the same time. Read More Here.
Joshua C.F. Smith Golf Landscapes
Josh produces incredible golf landscape paintings. One of his most recent paintings is of Cabot Links, the critically acclaimed course that opened this year. The Cabot clubhouse features this painting in the clubhouse. Josh's giclees on canvas regularly retail for $750 and through Christmas he is offering these for $650. Have a look at his website and if you see something you like contact me here.
Lee Wybranski Art & Design
Lee's new shop on his website now features more of his work than ever before. Lee is known for his iconic U.S Open posters, but have a look through and you will see there are many strings to his artistic bow. In 2012, he
added a contemporary piece of the 7th and 11th greens at The Old Course - it's really cool. Read More Here.

Mackenzie Walker Golf Bag Company

Todd Rohrer's company produces the best golf bags in the world. Period. I can personally attest to that and his new line featuring waxed cotton is already flying off the shelves. It will be the best investment in a golf bag you will ever make and likely be the last one you will ever need to buy - that's why I just bought another one! Read More Here.
Tin Cup
Tin Cup has had an incredible year of growth and is now in over 1,000 stores nationwide. They have a great deal for the holidays - Free shipping is included for all orders over $39 and they are a host of cool packages available including the perfect gift for all your buddies in the Foursome Package. Read More Here.
Zen Golf
Dr. Joe Parent is offering his "Listen, Watch and Learn Package" for $49.95 (a saving of $30). This great deal gives you lifetime access to his audio books and videos. Dr. Joe's Zen Golf book continues to be one of the best selling books in golf - and we hear a new book is coming in the spring. Read More Here.