Apr 18, 2014

Breakfast With Joe LaCava: Tiger Woods' Caddy Supports Richter Park

Legendary Looper Joe LaCava has had an extraordinary life. Fortunately... as I found out over breakfast this morning... he's also an exceptional storyteller. The Newtown, CT native was guest speaker at the annual Friends of Richter Park fundraiser today, and kept the audience entertained for almost an hour with compelling tales of life on tour. 

A PGA caddy for nearly three decades,  LaCava first spent several years caddying for his cousin, the mercurial champion Ken Green, then came more than two decades on the bag of easygoing golf icon, Fred Couples. After a brief stint with Dustin Johnson,  LaCava signed on with Tiger Woods in October 2011. To say that he's caddied for contrasting personalities would be an understatement.  

Clearly this is a man with high emotional intelligence... and the ability to read people as well as he reads putts... and that's what's allowed him to become a valued asset to such a diverse park of players.

This morning LaCava wove a narrative, with a dozen or more interconnected stories. They touched upon the joys and challenges of a job that's quite enigmatic to most of the population. It was plain to see that Joe LaCava enjoyed sharing his stories... he's naturally garrulous and open... and the audience clearly enjoyed the glimpse he gave them into his unique lifestyle. 

Meanwhile the Third Annual Friends of Richter Park fundraiser breakfast was very well attended and we're looking forward to getting back onto our  wonderful town course. 

Apr 14, 2014

Female Golfers With Social Media Savvy: Pitch to Play With Team Poodle

Enter the PoodlePitch Contest to win a 10-Piece Golf Wardrobe!
Our innovative partner, Poodle is holding the first ever Poodle Pitch Contest!

Known for distinctive fairway fashions that combine athletic functionality with cosmopolitain chic, Poodle is a global golf apparel company and a dedicated supporter of women's golf. They regularly sponsor women's professional golf events as well as a roster of Poodle Pros and... the Russian National Women's Golf Team.

This year, for the first time Poodle is looking to add five recreational golfers... one from each of five countries... to the team.

The PoodlePitch Contest is open to female golfers 18 and over, who play at least 12 rounds a year. There are no handicap requirements but contestants need to reside in The Netherlands, Germany, France, the UK or the US. Those chosen will win a 10 piece golf wardrobe from the PoodleGolf online store.  The contest has a unique social media sharing component that will be fun and inspiring for socially networked golfers.

Entries will be accepted through May 1, and full details... plus the entry form... can be found on the PoodlePitch page. So... if you're a social media savvy woman who plays golf... prepare your pitch! Team Poodle is looking forward to welcoming its new members.

Apr 8, 2014

Alicia Carriles: An Inside Look at The Masters from a Golfer's Gorgeous Wife

Who is Alicia Carriles? If you don't know, this might be the perfect week to find out.

After a subdued start... on a soggy Masters Monday... the "Greatest Week in Golf" is officially underway.

The distinctiveness of the Masters... the history behind it, the lush green visuals and the well preserved air of exclusivity ... makes for a golf event that transcends the sport's fan base.

For the non-golf fan it might be as subliminal as catching sight of Augusta's emerald fairways on a screen or device... or finding oneself at a weekend gathering that turns out to be a Masters viewing party. The thing is, the world's awareness of golf is heightened for a week in early April because The Masters... like no other golf tournament, and few other events in any sport... resonates in an emotional way. --MORE-->

Apr 6, 2014

The Social Media Science Behind Paulina Gretzky's Golf Digest Cover

                                            Golf Digest
The LPGA is transcending golf this weekend, thanks not to a killer leaderboard at their season's first major, but to a photogenic celebutante with incredible abs and a sizzling/slash/scandalous social media presence.  

Paulina Gretzky isn't a professional golfer or even a particularly avid fan of the sport. She's a rather good singer though, and she's the daughter of a great Great hockey player. Additionally, as fiancee to a top PGA Tour player, Dustin Johnson, Paulina is a genuine golf WAG and, according to Sam Weinman, web editor at GolfDigest.com, "a certified celebrity within the golf world". 

It's a nuanced balance of the above elements that led the athletic Instagram queen onto the May cover of Golf Digest... and provoked an outcry that has golf... and the LPGA ...being discussed in places that rarely notice women's golf.  The controversial cover model, plus some of the ensuing reporting and reaction from golf pundits, officials and industry insiders... most notably LPGA Tour commissioner, Mike Whan and several top LPGA tour players... has been discussed in AdWeek, The New York Times, Mashable and Business Insider as well as countless other non-golf outlets. TV morning shows and radio programs picked up the story as well... and on social media, where uncensored opinionating and viral sharing can amplify a timely topic exponentially, an animated debate is ongoing and has reached well beyond the golf niche. Which brings us to a cynical, well-worn cliche that today is more pertinent than ever: there's no such thing as bad publicity.    

It's very rare that Golf Digest features a woman on its cover, and for them to choose an aspiring entertainer as opposed to a professional female golfer has created a substantial backlash.  However, you don't get the impression it's a particularly unwelcome backlash, nor that it came as a surprise to the editors. In fact, some would surmise that... coming just weeks after the launch of a Golf Digest Video Channel and days after a major homepage redesign... the controversial move was, in fact, highly calculated. --MORE-->

Mar 31, 2014

Replacing Those Random, RagTag Covers With A New Set of Golf ClubSox

A couple of weeks ago... with the prospect of some halfway decent golf weather finally making its way to CT... I decided to get my clubs out for a basic inspection. After this epic winter I wanted to be sure I'd be ready to hit the course on the first playable day.

The fact is, my equipment is in need of some updating an overhaul.

I've been "upgrading" over the years, but in a rather haphazard way.  Despite my intensive exposure to all kinds of golf products, I've never put the requisite research into equipment for my own evolving game, nor have I had the club fitting I know is key to getting the most out of whatever I do eventually buy. That's something I'm committed to doing in 2014, but that's another story... one for a bit later in the season.  For now I just want to get out, and get my fledgling game back in gear. --- MORE -->

Mar 28, 2014

Ask a Masters Champion... at the Google+ Hangout with Zach Johnson

"I'm excited to be collaborating with Transamerica on a series of sponsored posts on the stellar athletes of Team Transamerica. Although I've been compensated for these posts they're entirely written by me and all opinions are my own." 
Zach Johnson is not adverse to vanilla.  Accurate with his irons and sublime from tee to green, he's a meat and potatoes man with a predilection for precision... and remarkable ability to resist the hero shot.

To the suggestion a couple of years ago that his fairways-and-greens golf style might be... somewhat boring, his answer was classic.

"I like boring golf. That's kind of what butters my bread, so to speak."  

Midwestern pragmatism personified. That's Zach Johnson.

With 11 PGA Tour wins including the 2007 Masters, the unassuming Iowan clearly owns his highly calculated style... and often manages to make it quite breathtaking.

Off the golf course, Johnson's consistency and commitment are reflected in the work of the Zach Johnson Foundation, a non-profit he created with his wife Kim for the benefit of children in need.

As the 2014 Masters approaches, you might wonder how this former champion prepares for this iconic event. Well here's your chance to find out: Next week the Transamerica G+ Hangout series will feature Zach Johnson, hosted by the Golf Channel's Steve Sands. The live, interactive event will take place on Tuesday, April 1, and questions can be submitted via Twitter, using the #TeamTransamerica hashtag, so send in yours and take advantage of the opportunity to obtain insight from this ultra-inspiring golf champion.

Mar 25, 2014

Eagerly Awaiting The Travelers Championship As CT Edges Into Spring

In anticipation of Spring at TPC River Highlands              © Golf Girl Media
Here in Connecticut, the chill of winter is still hanging on, however those of us who know New England winters, know they inevitably end, and this one... despite the snow predicted for later today... is gradually giving way to Spring.

For many in the Nutmeg State, the arrival of warmer weather is the first harbinger of a favorite yearly tradition.  It's a tradition that begins with with dispatches from Hartford, on the forming field for Connecticut's premier sporting event, the Travelers Championship.

Today, top talents Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson announced their commitment to compete in Cromwell, joining earlier entrants, including Hunter Mahan, Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson and defending champion Ken Duke.

The announcement that Travelers had signed a ten-year title agreement with the PGA Tour... extending its sponsorship through 2024... came in late February, brightening up the dead of winter for legions of CT golfers and sports fans.  The 2014 schedule of events looks stellar, with activities beginning in early May and continuing through tournament week which is June 16-22.  There's a lot to look forward to as we slowly slip into Spring.

To buy tickets and for info/updates visit the Travelers Championship website and for a taste of past events check out some previous Travelers Championship posts from Golf Girl's Diary.