Jan 25, 2015

The More Things Change: Bill Haas Wins the Humana Challenge

Bill Haas at the Travelers Championship in 2008
Exactly five years ago I posted this story about Bill Haas and his first PGA Tour win. Back then it was known as the Bob Hope Classic, and the 27 year-old had won the event by one shot over Matt Kuchar, Tim Clark and Bubba Watson. 

These days it's the Humana Challenge and once again, Bill Hass has emerged victorious in the California desert.  This time, however, he was trailed by a group of not three, but five players, one of whom...  deja vu all over again... was Matt Kuchar.  

Bill Haas is 32 now and this marks his 6th PGA Tour win and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see him wearing a green jacket in the near future.

January 25, 2010 - Here in Connecticut an icy rain fell from sunrise till dusk today, and the skies never cleared. But my Monday was made much brighter by a Bill Haas victory at the Bob Hope Classic. You see, I've been a major Bill Haas fan since June 17, 2008.

Before you think I'm weird, the reason I remember the exact date is because that's the day I actually met the gracious golfer on the practice green at TPC River Highlands.

It was the week leading up to the Travelers Championship and the players were coming in from Torrey Pines, after one of the most memorable US Opens ever. Buzz was just beginning to circulate about the possibility that Tiger might have to take some time off... perhaps even the remainder of the season... to mend his knee; the prospect of several Tiger-less months seemed to cast an aura of uncertainly on the green that day. - In light of what's happened since, that seems almost extremely ironic, doesn't it?

Being a weekday... and quite early in the morning... the sparse crowd around the green consisted mainly of prosperous looking senior citizens, clamoring for autographs. They were uniformly equipped with fresh black Sharpies and shiny new golf balls. Once signed, I'm guessing they lovingly placed the balls in windowed display cases.

Bill Haas -  always fan-friendly
But, as I say, there was a strange vibe that day. The players spoke among themselves, commiserated with their caddies and went about their practice routines. Most of them seemed in no mood to humor the early morning autograph seekers. But there was one young guy who didn't hesitate to approach the fans standing around the green.

It was Bill Haas who... I'll admit... I was unfamiliar with at the time. As he politely proceeded to autograph balls, exchanging pleasantries with the seniors, I complimented him on his pleated trousers which were old-fashioned and oddly elegant. He smiled and said he was surprised I had noticed, he said he preferred pants with pleats though they weren't always easy to find. I asked if I could take a photo and, once again, he gave me that great smile.

So, that's the story of how I became a Bill Haas fan on June 17, 2008. And why it was pretty special to see him win in an exciting final round at the Bob Hope Classic today.

Jan 15, 2015

An Orgy Of Pink Azaleas & The Golf Refugees Design Challenge

I've been challenged... by socially-conscious golf design vanguards, Golf Refugees  ... to design a limited edition women's golf shirt for the 2015 Masters.  And although in most people's minds, green is the undisputed color of the Masters, I've decided to think pink.

So, I'm taking my inspiration from that iconic flowering shrub so omnipresent at Augusta National: The Azalea... and more specifically, the strong pink varieties of said shrub.

An Orgy of Pink Azaleas; that's what came to my mind when the idea of a special Masters golf shirt was presented by Golf Refugees.  You see, they themselves have designed a distinctively styled Masters shirt they call Sun-Kissed-Green; it's an organic polo, featuring a bold vertical stripe of multiple shades of green.

I'm working on my design and should have it ready by sometime next week. At that point I'll present it for our competition... and we'll call on our social media communities to vote for a winner.

I must say, I'm looking forward to this challenge.

Jan 5, 2015

Deepdale Golf Girl - The Blonde in the Flouncy Red Skirt

Deepdale Golf Girl - Sitting sentinel over thousand of tee shots
There she sits, motionless, throughout the day, watching golfers launch their balls onto the verdant fairways at Deepdale Golf Club.  

A winsome blonde with delicate features, this diminutive diva wears a lacy, low-cut blouse and a billowy scarlet skirt. In one hand she holds a slatted fan, in the other, a white handkerchief... summers can be steamy on Long Island's north shore.

She is not, however, a lady of leisure.  Despite her fanciful garb the girl has a job to do; implausible as it may seem, she is a tee marker. 

These days, golf courses generally mark their tees with uninspired spheres of plastic, in a small range of colors to designate degree of difficulty. This makes total sense in a modern world where whimsy must give way to practicality in order to ensure sustainability... making the little lady in the flouncy red skirt, all the more seductive.  

A couple of weeks ago, one of these very distinctive tee markers, was on the auction block at Green Jacket Auctions, a company specialized in the authentication, appraisal and auctioning of golf antiques and collectibles. 

With a starting bid of $50.00, Lot 426: Ladies Tee Marker from Deepdale Golf Club, sold for just $69.00 at the 2014 Winter Holiday Auction.  I discovered the auction after it had closed, much to my dismay, but will be on the lookout for this... and other... unique golf collectibles in the future. 

The next Green Jacket Auction takes place from March 25, to April 11. In the meantime catch founders Ryan Carey and Bob Zefian on Back9Network, where the original series, Golf Treasures, highlights their experiences in the fascinating world of golf memorabilia. 

Dec 11, 2014

Add Warmth to Your Golf Wardrobe With Marsala; 2015 Color of the Year

Check my inspiration board, Marsala Plays Golf  on Polyvore for ideas on how to bring this warm color to the course    

Move over Radiant Orchid, Marsala is here.

Pantone 18-1438, Marsala, was recently declared the 2015 Color of the Year by world wide color authority, PANTONE®.

As a result we can expect to see a distinct warming trend in the colors that surround us; everything from fashion, to media, to industrial design and home decor, will be taking on the rich, earthy tones of a fortified red wine... and the fairways and greens of the world's golf courses are no exception.

Just as Radiant Orchid,  the outgoing COY made its golf apparel mark in 2014 ( Nike, Poodle JoFit, Daily Sports ) Marsala is sure to figure in 2015 collections, but while the former was distinctly modern; an icy-bright shade of pinkish purple, this year's choice is somewhat more, shall we say, muted. Some have called Marsala old-fashioned, dull... even... icky.

Well as my French husband often says, "les goûts et les couleurs ne se discutent pas" which roughly translated means, "individual preferences for taste and color are totally subjective", and to that end Marsala also has no shortage of fans...and besides you don't need to transform your entire wardrobe... or decor... to partake of the year's trendiest hue. Marsala fits into numerous color palettes as a perfect compliment.

I see Marsala on the golf course with a color palette that includes burgundy, coral, navy and taupe... but that's just one of many that work. See what you can do with Marsala. After all it's color of the year for the next 12 months, you may as well have some fun with it.

Nov 29, 2014

Experiential Giving: This Holiday Season, Give the Gift of Golf

While the golf season may have ended in some parts of the world, the gifting season is just getting underway... and these days, exchanging end-of-year presents is a custom that exists all over the world.

Of late, I’ve really been liking the idea of experiential gifts.  Maybe that's because an increasing number of my "giftees" seem to want to "make memories" instead of just collecting more stuff.

Take my accountant, a true minimalist, he's always been hard to shop for; He doesn't play golf and he's definitely not the type who lusts for Hermes ties, Cartier cufflinks or other such luxury tchotchkes... but he once told me he’d dreamed of becoming a race car driver.  Well, that's probably not going to happen, but I just bought my much-appreciated bean counter a 2 lap, “race track ride-along” in a Lamborghini Gallardo! It's an experiential gift I'm fairly certain he'll love.

In an effort to strengthen her core for golf,  my enterprising twin sister, recently took up Aerial Acrobatics (AKA: pole dancing), She loves it and she's planning on gifting all of her incredulous golfing girlfriends (including me) with an “Intro to Pole” lesson.

These are a couple of... um... interesting examples, but you get the idea.  What better gift can there be than a memorable experience that may otherwise not happen? 

A golf pass at Doral Arrowwood? Yes please!
As far as golf giftees are concerned, experiential gifting should prove a huge timesaver and a no-brainer. For golf fans, tickets to watch the pros play would certainly make a memorable gift, and many of the top tournaments offer their own experiential gifts. The Travelers Championship's Golf For The Holidays ticket packages will be a welcome surprise for several on my list.

Do you have a course you love and would like your friends to experience?  Pop a golf pass in their stocking and get them out of their home course rut. I plan to introduce a couple of my ladies league friends to the Little Blue Monster, a wonderful resort course located in nearby Westchester County, NY, with a Golf Pass Special at the Doral Arrowwood Hotel.

Or how about a lesson... or series of lessons... with a PGA/LPGA Pro. Golf Lesson Gift Certificates might even turn a non-golfing friend into a golfing one and how awesome would that be?

• We'll be featuring plenty of other golf gift ideas throughout the next few weeks, so check back often.

Nov 25, 2014

Young Indian Golfers Welcome a Global Field to The Women's Indian Open

The "Indian Challenge" striving to win at the Hero Woman's Indian Open               photos via golfingindian.com    

The Hero Women's Indian Open will take place from December 4th through 6th at the historic Delhi Golf Club.  In addition to a stellar global field including players from 25 countries, a strong contingent of Indian golfers will be competing.

In India, golf is growing at a steady pace with Indian men increasingly making their mark in International events.

Women's golf is also growing in India, having come into its own over the past decade.  The Women's Golf Association of India (WGAI), founded in 2005, has been empowering young players to build their competitive skills, while the Hero Women's Indian Open, established in 2007, provides a perfect platform for young home-grown golfers to test ttheir skills against top players from around the world.

The "Indian Challenge" promises to be stronger than ever this year, with several young players poised to win.  Among them,  the spotlight is shining particularly brightly on:

Sharmila Nicollet,  She's already made a name for herself at home and around the world, becoming the youngest golfer to win the All India Ladies Amateur Championship, and the youngest Indian golfer to qualify for the Ladies European Tour.

Gauri Monga, after an impressive 5th place finish as an amateur in 2013, this 21year-old is making her professional debut at this year's Women's Indian Open... with home course advantage.

Vani Kapoor, She's a multiple Hero Women's Golf Tour winner coming off of a dream season and currently leading the Hero Order of Merit.

For regular updates on the Hero Women's Indian Open, in depth information on Indian golfers and informed, entertaining insight on golf in India I highly recommend golfingindian.com .  You'll find exclusive articles and interviews, original videos and the latest news from the rapidly evolving world of Indian golf.

Nov 20, 2014

Uniqlo LifeWear - Women's Golf Apparel Perfect for a Winter Course

UNIQLO - Cozy Style for Cold Weather Golf
 On course with UNIQLO - several popular LifeWear pieces styled for cold weather golf                                                                       GolfGirlMedia 

Despite an early Arctic blast that's brought freezing temperatures to all 50 US states, many golfers aren't about to put their clubs away for the season.

In fact, with a weekend warm-up projected for many parts of the country, the coming week... even here in New England... will likely feature golf for those of us who refuse to relinquish the game just yet.

As far as apparel for those wintry rounds, It always seems to me that the most innovative and exciting cold weather golf styles come from Japan.   Have a look at the 2014 Fall//Winter campaigns for companies like Pearly GatesKappa Golf, Black & White, Callaway Japan and Viva Heart ... to name just a few... and you'll see what I mean.

Unfortunately, these Japanese collections are generally not available here in the US, and that tends to leave me quite frustrated as temperatures descend.

That's why I'm rather ecstatic about Uniqlo. Now that the Japanese LifeWear designer has established a firm foothold in the US, we finally have access to apparel that features the technologically advanced textiles, marvelous design and extraordinary range of colors that are the hallmarks of Japan's golf clothing lines.

Though not specifically a golf apparel company, Uniqlo offers numerous golf-perfect pieces in its LifeWear collection, and the awesome Adam Scott is a Uniqlo brand ambassador.  Much to my delight the company just opened a store here in Danbury so naturally I've already selected numerous items for the frosty fairways we'll be playing on for the next several months.  I'll definitely be wearing Uniqlo at next week's Thanksgiving shotgun.

In the meantime, for ladies contemplating a cold weather round, I've styled several sublime winter golf outfits around Uniqlo pieces that are sure to keep you warm in style. Uniqlo makes men's clothes too... we'll feature them in a future post.