Mar 4, 2015

The Masters: An Historic Event, An Iconic Course, A Coveted Ticket

This post is in partnership with Ticket City. 

Tickets to the Masters are, by their very nature, elusive.

Though certainly one of the world's best known sporting events and most loved golf tournaments, there's a persistent element of mystery surrounding the Masters.

Augusta National, the cloistered course that hosts the tournament each year,  is a real life Brigadoon; an enchanted place with a frozen-in-time feeling, that opens itself for just a few fleeting days a year to the outside world.  

The fact that only a select few manage to gain entry during each annual ouverture, makes a visit to the Masters a wildly sought after experience for both golfers and non-golfers alike. Not surprisingly this collective longing has only deepened the mystery... and enhanced the mythology... surrounding the coveted tickets.  How then, does one manage to get in?

Since I started writing about golf nearly a decade ago, I've been asked that question more times than I can remember, and to be honest it took me a couple of years of sifting through fact and folklore to arrive at an understanding of the process and its possibilities. So here's the deal.  -------> READ MORE ->

Feb 26, 2015

Golf Logos: Where Marketing & Design Meet Fairways & Greens

Just a few of my favorite golf logos                                                via Patricia Hannigan on Pinterest
The silhouette of a golfer with the scales of justice suspended from his iron... a wicker-topped flagstick set against a tuft of Scotch Broom... and a scotty dog decked out in red argyle: These are three of my favorite golf logos. Though, truth be told, I have lots of favorite golf logos.

Some are refreshingly whimsical while others feature more traditional aesthetic. What they have in common however is the ability to convey their golf brand's message in a way that's visually engaging and... memorable.

When writers weigh in on golf's best logos, as they sometimes will, the focus is often on golf courses, with Winged Foot, Pine Valley, Kapalua and the aforementioned Merion garnering frequent praise. However the most popular golf course logo has got to belong to Whistling Straits. It features a foreboding bearded face seemingly carved in stone. The inspiration is said by some to have been Herbert Kohler Jr, the colorful Kohler Company CEO who engaged Pete Dye to design the challenging Wisconsin course. called the Whistling Straits logo badass, which is probably an apt description.

Personally, I tend to favor lesser known golf logos, the ones that represent innovative golf brands... startups with distinctive identities;  Black Girl's Golf, Tee to Table and Practical Golf are good examples.  

A brand's logo can be a key element in establishing its identity and differentiating itself from competition. They're also a great way for a brand to showcase it's creativity. To see a wide variety of golf logos and find out more about the companies behind them, head over to Pinterest where you'll find golf logos by the hundreds.

Feb 19, 2015

Pebble Beach, Where Golf Memories Are Made... and Shared With the World

AT&T National Pebble Beach ProAm                                                                                                                                                         photo: Dan McLaughlin

Pebble Beach: It's certainly one of the most photogenic... and most photographed... golf courses in the world.

Whether you're playing the fabled course or attending an event there, chances are you'll find yourself reaching for your camera constantly. It can even be a tad bit distracting if you're attempting to go low with limited skills.  But the memories you'll capture... the breathtaking coastal vistas, the perfectly sculptured greens, or the beaming selfies you take on 18 with your playing partners... will more than justify a few high numbers.

As the AT&T National Pebble Beach ProAm came to a close on Sunday afternoon... with Brandt Snedeker as 2015 Champion... Dan McLaughlin posted the photo above on Twitter.  Taken as the trophy presentation was about to begin... and just as a dense fog rolled in after a brilliantly sunny Sunday on the Monterey Peninsula.

Dan was one of four exceptional golfers who spent last week covering the event from the fan's perspective.  Invited... along with Katie Horsford, Tim Lang and Tiffany Fitzgerald... by AT&T, in celebration of 30 years with the Pebble Beach National ProAm, the foursome shared their photos with golf fans around the world as they experienced not only the tournament but also the rich history, superb facilities and extraordinary scenery that make Pebble Beach so memorable.  The lucky foursome will undoubtedly be sharing memories of their Pebble Beach experience for a long time to come.

So what course does a dedicated golfer dream about after playing Pebble Beach?  Ballybunion and the Old Course at St Andrews floated to the top of my list last year after I played Pebble. So I posed that question to Dan McLaughin and he came up with a course that wasn't even on my radar: Barndougle Dunes Golf Links in... Tasmania, Australia. So I checked it out and indeed, it looks spectacular, but for me... and I'm guessing Dan, Kate, Tim and Tiffany feel the same... another trip to Pebble Beach is right up there too.

Feb 16, 2015

Season Plans at Pound Ridge Golf Club, New York's Only Pete Dye Design

Here in New England... with temperatures entrenched in single digits and a landscape that's been shrouded in snow for weeks ... golf may not currently be top-of mind.   

However... implausible as it may seem... daylight savings time begins in just three weeks, and golf will soon follow. 

So now's the time to think of solidifying the golf season ahead.

For those in or around the Fairfield, CT/Westchester NY area, Pound Ridge Golf Club, Westchester County’s award-winning daily fee course, has announced its 2015 Golf Plans.

Pound Ridge is a superlative course by any standards. New York's only Pete Dye Design, the course has received numerous accolades and made myriad "top course" lists.

I had the pleasure of playing at Pound Ridge Golf Club in the fall, and was ultra-impressed by the expansive vistas and dramatic rock formations that defined the visual experience. But what really made my round remarkable was how much fun it was!  Thanks to the Dye's brilliant design, incorporating five sets of tees, golfers of widely varying skill levels can find both the challenge and the playability that makes for a wonderful, memorable round.  I definitely look forward to playing Pound Ridge in the Spring.

2015 Golf Plans at Pound Ridge Golf Club, featuring Individual and Deluxe options.
New for 2015, the Deluxe Plan is a $15,000 debit account offering the holder and all guests 20% off peak weekday and weekend rates. The Individual Plan is a $3,000 debit account entitling the holder to 10% off applicable green fees. Both plans include exclusive access to the entire 2015 tee sheet for booking advance tee times, are non-refundable, non-transferable and for golf, only.
"The Deluxe and Individual Plans are two strong values for serious players who relish convenience and exclusivity," says Pound Ridge General Manager Todd Leavenworth. "Paired with the recent expansion of the clubhouse, these annual programs present a viable alternative to the multi-year commitment of private clubs."
For game tracking and improvement, the Individual Plan includes USGA handicap tracking via GHIN and use of all practice facilities (range, short game area and putting green) 4 p.m. to close, Monday through Thursday (April - Oct.). For more information, visit or call the golf shop at 914.764.5771.

Feb 14, 2015

Scenery, Celebrities & Selfies at The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

AT&T National Pebble Beach ProAm                                                                                                                                                                  photo: Tim Lang

The dramatic scenery at Pebble Beach is consistently breathtaking. Undulating fairways and greens, craggy cliffs and... of course... the pounding, blue Pacific, create a tableau that's at once bracingly exciting and profoundly calming.

For the past several days, four exceptional golfers, Tiffany Fitzgerald, Tim Lang, Katie Horsford and Dan McLaughlin have been wowing digital golf fans with their own personal impressions of the iconic golf course and its gorgeous coastal setting.

In the lead-up to this week's Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, the foursome has been involved in a series of exclusive events and activities as AT&T celebrates thirty years as title sponsor of the popular event: they've experienced cutting edge technology at the Pebble Beach Golf Academy, explored Pebble's past with a history tour and observed the excitement of the 3M Celebrity Challenge from AT&T's Sky Box. That's in addition to playing the course themselves... and attending myriad evening events. And because stars of sports and entertainment are an integral part of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, each of the foursome has had numerous encounters with well known athletes and entertainers... not to mention the PGA stars playing in this week's tournament.  READ MORE>>>

Feb 12, 2015

West Palm Real Estate + Golf Pong Trick Shots = Elegant Awesomeness

By all outward appearances, Quinton Watson and Kyle Johnson are your standard frat boy types; youthful and good looking, they exude a playful self-confidence and tend to dress in modified A&F style with backwards ball caps and perpetually bare knees.

As such, one would suspect that these young men do a healthy amount of partying, engage in an occasional food fight and play a decent game of Beer Pong.

Well, they may or may not be profligate partiers who launch edible projectiles, there's an ample amount of evidence (to be found on their YouTube channel and elsewhere) that these two Florida State students... who call themselves the ChemBros... have taken Beer Pong to the next level.

Actually they've taken it well beyond the next level: first they upped the game to Golf Pong bringing golf balls and various irons into play, then they perfected an engaging series of trick shots using local ranges, their modest apartment a garage, a backyard... and the flat bed of a pick up truck. It was ultra-impressive but still somewhat... plebeian.

With their latest video however, Quinton and Kyle have moved their act to a Mediterranean Revival mansion in West Palm Beach.  There they take full advantage of the structure's classic style... using the massive facades, sweeping stairways, tiled balconies and luxurious water features to execute the most elegant trick shots I've ever seen.  They're featured in the well-produced video below which will appeal to both golf fans and those with an interest in high end West Palm Real Estate.

Despite the luxury venue, the ChemBros themselves remain faithful to their charming frat boy esthetic.

Feb 10, 2015

Tiffany Fitzgerald - Helping Others to Share the Rewards of Golf

For the past several years Tiffany Fitzgareld has shared her experience as a golfer, and helped other women enjoy the rewards of the game through her unique company, Black Girls Golf.

This week Tiffany is one of a distinctive foursome providing a fan's eye view of the AT&T Pebble Beach National ProAm.  In the video above she tells the inspiring story of her introduction to golf, talks about her company and its mission... and about how she felt when she found out she was headed for Pebble Beach. 

• This post is in partnership with AT&T. All opinions are my own.