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.

Nov 10, 2014

Pound Ridge Golf: Exceptional Course, Stellar Conditions & Offseason Rates

Cathleen, playing from the Pine tees on the par-4 3rd at Pound Ridge Golf Course **























In and about New England, late fall may seem an unlikely time to be seeking a superlative golf experience.  Many resident golfers have packed away their clubs for the season, and the snowbirds have largely flown south.  

What some of us know however, is that despite this collective congé… in fact, partly because of it… November and December can be the ideal time for a uniquely satisfying golf adventure, one that can't… or won't… ever be replicated in the high season.  A perfect example of such is currently available at Pound Ridge Golf Club, one of the New York metropolitan area's most acclaimed courses.

Located in Westchester County, NY, about 50 miles north of midtown Manhattan, Pound Ridge is extraordinary for a number of reasons. It's a singular site... topographically speaking... studded with rock outcroppings and intersected by streams. In the hands of legendary architect Pete Dye and his son Perry, this undulating terrain has been shaped into a course that's at once foreboding and whimsical.  Five sets of tees... each of which offers distinct drama and challenge... make the course thrilling for players of widely varying skill levels.

On the par-5 13th, "Pete's Rock" looms in the distance


Playing from the Pine tees a couple of weeks ago, with my high handicap twin sister, we marveled at the creativity that made this "formidable" track so patently playable for golfers like us. Our far-forward tees allowed us to make pars... even a couple of birdies... while maintaining many of the intriguing features that make the course such a challenge for accomplished golfers playing from the way-back Blacks. Hat tip to Alice Dye.

Pound Ridge has received numerous accolades since it opened in 2008,  among the more recent: #1 New York Area Course (2010), #1 US Open Worthy Public Course (2012), #3 Best Course Near You (2014) #4 Best in State (2014). 

Clearly a "bucket list" golf course, the late fall transition to off season rates makes this an optimum time to experience all Pound Ridge Golf Course has to offer.  Now through December 31, Fall/Winter rates of $150. before 1pm and $100 after apply, and include golf or pull cart and use of the club's practice facilities.  More information is available at the Pound Ridge Golf website 

Pound Ridge Golf Club - One of America's premiere public golf courses























Oct 30, 2014

Golf is Fun: The Relaxed Rules Of Golf... And A Dress Code To Match

Cargo shorts on course.... last weekend at Candlewood Valley Country Club                                                                             





























Several years ago, the appearance of cargo shorts on a golf course was likely to cause... consternation... or worse. A most private clubs they were relegated to the inappropriate column, right there with halter tops, spandex, collarless shirts and often, anything denim. Even municipal, public and daily fee courses tended to view the ample, multi-pocketed trousers as unseemly.

We called it the cargo controversy when we wrote about it in 2008.  The post... which focused on the outcry that followed one country club official's call to ban the polarizing garment... produced a spirited debate.  Ultimately the consensus seemed to split equally between those who felt that cargo shorts were perfectly acceptable for golf and others who wanted to see them relegated to that aforementioned list of forbidden frocks.

Much has changed since that early post.  The ensuing years brought a prolonged financial crisis that hit golf particularly hard, hastening a decline in the number of players and fans.  Younger players, in particular, were proving very difficult to engage and retain.

Jeans: the new khakis? For some players, on some golf courses, maybe so.
Recently numerous ideas and initiatives have been presented to make the game more "user friendly". Tee it Forward, encouraged players to move forward for less arduous, quicker and more enjoyable game.  Recently "The Relaxed Rules of Golf" have been introduced making the game substantially less draconian and much more enjoyable for amateur players.   Along the same lines, it seems that the strict dress codes that once ruled the majority of fairways, greens and clubhouses are also giving way to something more ... casual.

At Candlewood Valley Country Club one recent weekend I noticed several players wearing outfits that would have raised eyebrows a few years ago.  Both cargo shorts and denim jeans were widely represented and there was no sign of a dress code enforcer anywhere.  Young players were plentiful and despite their laid back attire behaved with... admirable decorum.

Stalwart traditionalists might balk, and exclusive country clubs will certainly maintain a more rigid set of rules, but on this Autumnal afternoon, the more relaxed dress code seemed just about right.

Oct 24, 2014

Win a "Tee To Table" Trip to a Fabulous Gourmet Golf Event


Deanna Alfredo, whose terrific website Tee to Table, focuses on golf, food and travel is offering readers a unique and exciting opportunity to enjoy a very special golf lifestyle experience... an experience that involves a trip to Florida for an exciting celebrity golf event!  It's easy to enter, but here's the thing: the deadline is tomorrow at midnight... so get on it. And good luck!

All info plus entry form can be found at Tee to Table.

Oct 9, 2014

Top 10 Golf Cakes - Creative Confections That Hit the Sweet Spot

Today is National Cake Decorating Day!  It really is.  

I first published a version of this story a while back... before I knew such a day existed...  but it does, and it's today and who doesn't love cakes?  So this just seemed like a perfect time to revisit it. Enjoy. 

There was a time... not long ago... when cakes conformed to certain specific standards; a wedding cake would generally be tiered and white, while a birthday cake was expected to be layered... and laden with candles.

Thanks to several celebrity bakers and a few reality cooking shows, stunning, over-the-top cake design has become standard... no matter what the occasion.  

As for inspiration... it can come from anywhere. Or so it seems. An image search for "cakes" yields a substantial selection of truly exquisite creations... and a mind-boggling multitude of hideous/hilarious "cake mistakes"

With so much interest in the sugar arts, cake contests have become popular fundraisers, and a couple of years ago I competed in one myself. It was a benefit the Danbury Museum & Historical Society, an organization that's dear to my heart because of its commitment to the preservation of history... specifically the history of our centuries-old town: Danbury, CT.

The theme of the contest that year was "Bake What You Love", so I naturally thought of golf... and when I started looking around for ideas I found plenty. As in hundreds. Some were sublime, others were... interesting... and some left me wanting to swear off cake... and golf... for the rest of my life. Anyway I ended up creating mine in honor of the US Open (a tournament I love) which was soon to take place at Medina.  It was the first three tier cake I'd ever made and though it wasn't perfect, I loved way it came out and the taste was sublime.  Check it out here.

Then last spring I decided to make a golf birthday cake for my husband.  He loves the game and it rarely loves him back, I figured this might add some sweetness to his obsession and I think it did. Sort of.  That's my a photo of the cake above, taken before Nick attempted to blow out the candles and after the flag caught on fire and nearly burned down Dad's house.  More photos here.

Finally check the golf cakes on my Top 10 list  HERE.


Oct 1, 2014

5 Fabulous Things About Playing Golf in October


1- Unencumbered Courses: A surprising number of golfers put away their clubs... along with their white clothing... on Labor Day, freeing up the fairways for faster rounds... or slower ones if that's your desire. 

A little break between nines at Vails Grove Golf Course , Brewster, NY                                                         @GolfGirlMedia






















2- Gorgeous Weather: Across the US... and in many places around the globe... October provides a perfect meteorologic medium between summer's oppressive heat and the icy chill of winter. Bereft of cloying humidity, skies seem bluer and air seems fresher in October.

Blue skies and crisp, cool air at Gainfield Farms Golf Course, Southbury, CT           @GolfGirlMedia




















3- Awesome Autumnal Fashion: Argyle, tartan, houndstooth and tweed, these quintessential fall patterns share their Anglo-Scottish heritage with the game of golf.  Autumn's rich color palettes play into such patterns perfectly and make summer's flowery pastels seem insipid and uninspiring. Fairway fashion definitely comes into its own in fall.



Wearing autumnal tartan golf trousers by Lizzie Driver                                                                                @GolfGirlMedia


4- Fabulous Foliage:
In many places the resplendent colors of Autumn reach their brilliant peak sometime in October providing a multi-chromatic spectacle on each fairway.  However the burnished hues that follow the peak... and the coppery colors that proceed it... are equally dreamy. October is a month of nature's most impressive 



The autumnal landscape at Salem Golf Club, North Salem, NY                                      @GolfGirlMedia

5- Fallen Foliage:
While they may be seen as an annoyance to some, the fallen leaves that sometimes swallow errant shots tend to give back quite generously. I don't know how the math works, but every October I seem to find at least two balls for every one I lose.  In addition, at this time of year many of us invoke the leaf rule, by which you simply drop a second ball in the general vicinity of your first one's disappearance and hit from there... sans penalty, of course.


Autumn leaves often abduct a cherished ball, but may also yield a hidden treasure   @GolfGirlMedia

Sep 16, 2014

Watermelon Gazpacho Cocktail - A Sublime September Tipple



With September firmly in its second half, the days are decidedly getting shorter.  Our New England foliage is beginning to feature some lively licks of color, and the morning chill no longer allows for a sleeveless stroll to the mailbox.  That the official end of summer is still several days off is of little solace to those lamenting the approach of winter.

I used to be one of those lamenters.  I'd get all gloomy at the first hint of fall; pumpkins depressed me... so did chrysanthemums and cornucopias. Especially cornucopias.  An irrational dread of what the winter might bring had left me unable to appreciate the unique awesomeness of fall.

It was a desire to extend the abbreviated Connecticut golf season that finally led me to stop sulking and embrace Autumn. Once I did, I found myself looking forward to this season on steamy summer days.  I now relish the last months of each year; for the spectacular changing colors, the cooler temperatures... and the less crowded golf courses.  There's also the prospect... once Autumn is well underway... of an Indian summer, bringing us a final taste of warmth before winter takes hold for good.   This endearing weather singularity is quite common in New England, and it's the inspiration behind a unique drink I developed for our annual fall golf classic.  It's a blend of the season's most delightful ingredients and the end result is both sweet and savory, just like the special season that inspired it: The Watermelon Gazpacho Cocktail.