Wednesday, April 25, 2018

USGA and PGA of America Team Up to Preserve Golf History

Hundreds of Rare Materials Find a Home at the USGA Museum

(LIBERTY CORNER, N.J.) - An important collection of historic golf material, including rare books, periodicals, travelogues, diaries, political and legal documents dating to the 1500s, has found a new home at the USGA Golf Museum, thanks to a continuing working relationship with the PGA of America.

The Colonel R. Otto Probst Library, managed by the PGA of America for more than 40 years, has merged with the USGA’s extensive library collection, in a collaborative effort that enhances the world’s largest and most comprehensive golf library open to the public.

The Probst Library was developed by South Bend, Indiana-based golf collector Colonel R. Otto Probst, whose passion for the game was kindled in the early 1920s with the acquisition of his first golf artifact. Topics explored through the wide-ranging collection include golf instruction, golf club histories, architecture, equipment, fiction, women in golf, travel, humor, literature and poetry. Several pieces explore Scottish history and its relationship to golf.

“The Probst Collection adds depth and richness to the USGA’s library, providing incredible insight into the game’s cultural and historic evolution,” said Rand Jerris, USGA senior managing director of Public Services. “We are grateful to Colonel Probst and the PGA for cultivating this treasure trove of information, which we can immediately share with fans who love and play the game worldwide.”

Probst (1896-1986) began his collection in 1923 and went on to acquire numerous items from renowned collectors through his life, including Cecil Hopkinson and C.B. Clapcott. In 1938, Justice Earle F. Tilley, a USGA Museum Committee member, endowed his golf library to Probst .

A 31-year veteran of the U.S. Army, Probst’s passion for golf was documented in a 1943 article in Golfdom magazine. “At Camp Croft there are several well-known golfers, ranked by Lt. Col. R. Otto Probst, known in golf as owner of the golf library that before the war was generally rated the largest in the U.S.,” the story recounted.

“The PGA of America views this partnership with the USGA as a groundbreaking moment in the preservation of more than the printed word of golf,” said PGA Historian Bob Denney. “It also extends Otto Probst’s dream – that future generations of golf aficionados and researchers worldwide may discover the rich history of the game. The USGA Golf Museum is now the undisputed epicenter of golf literature.”

The more than 800 rare books and 1,400 periodicals from the Probst Collection are among the most important materials added to the USGA Library’s significant collection. Among the prized rare elements of the collection is “The Goff,” written in three editions by Scottish law clerk Thomas Mathison between 1743 and 1793, which is recognized by historians as the first publication dedicated solely to golf.

Other significant materials include:
- Publications from Scotland, India, France, Japan, Germany, Italy, Austria, Netherlands, Australia and South Africa
- Unique mentions of the game of golf spanning 20th-century literature, including books by Agatha Christie and Ian Fleming
- Golf club histories, including Royal Blackheath Golf Club, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, and the Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh
- Biographies of famous individuals who played golf in its infancy, including Mary Stuart and Captain John Porteous
- Golf instruction books by Harry Vardon, J.H. Taylor, James Braid, Chick Evans, Horace Hutchison, Robert Forgan, Jerome Travers, Willie Park, Bernard Darwin and Bob Jones, among others
- An exceptional copy of H.B. Farnie’s “The Golfer’s Manual” with six watercolors by Thomas Hodge
- James Arbuckle’s rare poem “Glotta,” one of the earliest important contributions to literature on golf
- A rare copy of Webster Glynes’ “The Maiden: A Golfing Epic”
- Second and third editions of George Fullerton Carnegie’s “Golfiana”

Today, the USGA Library is the world’s foremost repository for the game’s history. Books and periodicals in more than 20 languages cover all aspects of the game. Other areas of collecting include sheet music, dissertations, scrapbooks and over 30,000 scorecards from golf clubs worldwide. The Library also contains the personal papers of some of the game’s greatest personalities (including Bob Jones and Walter Travis) and is home to the USGA/PGA African-American Archive of Golf History. The complete library catalog, containing more than 70,000 volumes, can be accessed online at usga.org or in person.

The USGA Golf Museum is open to the public 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday. Researchers can request an appointment to view the library by calling 908-234-2300 or by emailing library@usga.org.

Casa de Campo Offers Outstanding Summer and Fall Golf Getaway

Features Unlimited Play on Three Pete Dye Gems Including Teeth of the Dog

(LA ROMANA, Dominican Republic) – Casa de Campo Resort & Villas – home to the Caribbean’s premier, luxury golf experiences, including the iconic Teeth of the Dog course – announces an outstanding summer and fall offer for its “Unlimited Teeth of the Dog with Breakfast” package. 

Through Oct. 31, the value-laden stay-and-play starts at $399 for two people, per night. Most notably, the package is highlighted by the opportunity for unlimited rounds on the Pete Dye-designed Teeth of the Dog, widely recognized as the No. 1 course in the Caribbean. Guests can also tee it up from dawn to dusk on the resort’s two additional Pete Dye gems: Dye Fore (27 holes) and The Links (18). 

The offer additionally includes deluxe accommodations in a Pete Dye Golf Lodge or Elite guest room, full daily breakfast buffet at Lago Restaurant, use of a four-passenger golf cart to travel throughout the resort, complimentary Wi-Fi and use of the resort’s fitness center. All golf rounds are based on availability and include arrival and departure days. 

“Summer and fall are both ideal for a Casa de Campo visit to savor our world-class accommodations and amenities while playing unlimited golf on our trio of classic Pete Dye layouts,” says Andres Pichardo Rosenberg, President. “We pride ourselves on our renowned customer care, so guests can relax and enjoy time spent away from the hustle and bustle of daily life here in paradise.”

The stunning resort also offers an array of splendid villa options ranging from three to 11 bedrooms. Starting at $439 (per person, per night), the villas feature stylish living areas, a private pool and myriad creature comforts. Daily breakfast, private maid service and full-access to a wide range of on-site activities are included.  

For more information on Casa de Campo Resort & Villas, call 800.877.3643, email golf@ccampo.com.do or visit: www.casadecampo.com.do/, facebook.com/casadecamporesort  instagram.com/casadecampodr, twitter.com/casadecampo

Arccos Golf Extends Patent Portfolio to Include Smart Grips

(STAMFORD, Conn.) – Arccos Golf announced the expansion of its capabilities to further grow the connected golf space through an agreement to license Cobra Golf patents related to the incorporation of data tracking sensors into a golf club grip.

Recently named one of the “World’s Most Innovative Companies 2018” by Fast Company, Arccos’ latest move follows the Q1 2018 launch of golf’s first smart set, the Cobra KING F8 line with Cobra Connect Powered by Arccos, which boasts an Arccos sensor embedded in the grip of every club.

“We’ve further solidified the exclusive nature of Arccos’ position in the connected golf space, which facilitates our pending introduction of Arccos Smart Grips, and sets the stage for other major announcements that we’ll be making,” says Sal Syed, Arccos CEO and Co-Founder. “Now, more than ever, there’s an immense opportunity for Arccos to leverage the power of big data and artificial intelligence to benefit every aspect of the golf industry worldwide.”

Available for iOS and Android, the Arccos platform combines automatic data capture and advanced analytics to help golfers of all skill levels make smarter decisions and shoot lower scores. In 2017, Arccos users lowered their handicap by an average of 3.55 strokes – a rate that’s 46.7x faster than the average player with a USGA handicap.

Facilitating that dramatic user improvement was last year’s introduction of golf’s first artificial intelligence platform, Arccos Caddie. Developed in partnership with Microsoft, Arccos Caddie shows a player their optimal strategy on any hole in the world. Its AI engine is fueled by golf’s richest data set, which includes over 100 million shots hit during 750,000+ rounds played by the Arccos community, and 418 million GPS mapping data points on 40,000+ courses worldwide. Arccos Caddie also considers a player’s personal shot history, course elevation, weather conditions and other factors. It was recently declared Permitted Under the Rules of Golf, according to USGA decision #2017-0754.

“Arccos is invested in building and refining the sensor technology, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence platforms that we’ve brought to consumers through Cobra Connect technology in the grip of our Cobra KING products. We believe the insights players gain about their games through this technology will make them smarter, better golfers,” said Mike Yagley, Sr. Director of Innovation / AI at Cobra Golf.

For more information, visit: www.arccosgolf.com.

WE ARE GOLF Reports 22% Increase in U.S. Golf Economic Impact Ahead of National Golf Day

Industry Drives $84.1 Billion in Annual Activity, 1.89 Million Jobs

(ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla.) – WE ARE GOLF – a coalition of the game’s leading associations and industry partners – unveiled its new U.S. Golf Economy Report at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. prior to tomorrow’s 11th annual National Golf Day.

Highlighting the study – conducted by TEConomy Partners – is $84.1 billion in activity directly driven by golf in 2016, a 22% rise from $68.8B in the 2011 report.  The industry supported $191.9B in total annual activity, including 1.89 million jobs and $58.7B in wages and benefits.

Golf’s annual contributions to America’s economy also include:
- $34.4B in revenue from golf courses, clubs, resorts, driving ranges and other facilities (2.9% compound annual growth rate since 2011)
- $25.7B in tourism spending (4.6% CAGR)
- $7.2B in new home construction in golf communities (18.5% CAGR)
- $6B in sales of golf equipment, apparel and supplies (1.4% CAGR)
- $2.4B in professional tournaments, associations and player endorsements (3.16% CAGR)
- $1.9B in investment in existing golf facilities (4.6% CAGR)

Demonstrating golfers’ and businesses’ commitments to charity, $3.94B was raised in 2016 through tournaments and other activities.

“The many positive trends show how golf is vital to the prosperity of America’s economic and social well-being," says Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation and administrator of WE ARE GOLF. “Increases in so many categories signify the health of golf has far-reaching influence across many sectors of the U.S. economy.”

The fourth report since 2000 to measure the game’s effect, research encompassed golf course operations, tourism, real estate, supplies, tournaments, associations, charitable events, capital investment and other commercial segments.

The report was announced in conjunction with National Golf Day, the industry’s pinnacle event of the year that brings leaders to Capitol Hill to meet with Members of Congress, the Executive Branch and federal agencies to discuss golf’s social, economic and environmental benefits to society.

To join the conversation, visit the WE ARE GOLF social media hub. Use #NationalGolfDay and @wearegolf on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to support the industry and answer “why is golf more than a game to you?”

More information about National Golf Day, visit www.wearegolf.org.

Three Courses at Reynolds Lake Oconee Ranked 'Best Courses You Can Play' in Georgia

The Landing
(Greensboro, Ga.) – Home to one of the most diverse golf collections in the United States, Reynolds Lake Oconee has placed three of its courses on Golfweek magazine’s annual list of “Best Courses You Can Play.”

On the 2018 “Best You Can Play” Top 15 list for Georgia, Reynolds Lake Oconee’s Great Waters course is ranked No. 2, with the Oconee course No. 5 and The Landing No. 13. Together the must-play courses continue to enrich the reputation of Reynolds Lake Oconee as a premier golf venue.

The “Best Courses You Can Play” is a compilation of golf courses accessible to guest and/or public play in the United States. Each year Golfweek’s select team of more than 850 course raters surveys more than 3,600 courses, grading each based on Golfweek’s 10 strict standards of evaluation. Collectively, these knowledgeable raters have turned in more than 75,000 votes to compile “Golfweek’s Best” courses lists. To see the complete lists, visit www.golfweek.com/2017/12/05/golfweeks-best

Great Waters
“We recognize the significance of having three of our golf courses named to a highly regarded nationwide list like this,” said Wes Forester, Director of Golf at Reynolds Lake Oconee. “We appreciate Golfweek’s dedication to the game and are happy the raters share our belief that not only do we have the best collection of golf courses in Georgia, but one of the most impressive in the world.”

The Landing pioneered the golf industry on Lake Oconee when the Bob Cupp design opened in 1986 (originally as Port Armor Golf Club), the first course along the lake. Reynolds Lake Oconee introduced the legendary Jack Nicklaus to the golf community with Great Waters, which debuted in 1992 – and is to undergo a complete renovation, starting in June and to be completed in the fall of 2019. The Oconee Course is an idyllic Georgia sanctuary, with designer Rees Jones providing a pure, undisturbed setting for an authentic golf experience since 2002.

Overall, Reynolds Lake Oconee features six diverse golf course designs and is also home to The Reynolds Kingdom of Golf presented by TaylorMade – one of the only facilities in the country where recreational golfers can receive professional instruction, be fit for new equipment in the same elite environment used by Tour professionals, and have their equipment built same-day, on the spot.

Besides golf, 19,000 acres of water on Lake Oconee provide some of the state's best fishing, along with swimming, boating, water skiing and four full-service marinas. Other activities include the Lake Club Wellness Center, Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds and Tennis Center, making Reynolds Lake Oconee a popular vacation destination.

Reynolds Lake Oconee offers a resort quality vacation with quiet, comfortable lakeside living at its best. Guest lodging includes well-appointed cottages, condominiums and hotel style club rooms throughout the property, as well as The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee.

For additional information, access www.reynoldslakeoconee.com.

Alexis Belton, Will Hogue Win 2018 'Clash in the Canyon'

Belton Claims First World Long Drive Title in Just Second-Ever Competition;
Hogue Earns First Victory Since 2016 During Reign as No. 1

(MESQUITE, Nev.) – Alexis Belton (Ruston, La.) and Will Hogue (Collierville, Tenn.) captured the Clash in the Canyon – the first televised World Long Drive Association (WLDA) event of 2018 – amidst a dry Nevada desert backdrop.

Belton’s win – her first – comes in only her second-ever World Long Drive competition (after advancing to the semifinals at the 2017 Volvik World Long Drive Championship last September). The 24-year-old WLDA newcomer utilized a 332-yard drive in the final against Alex Phillips (Las Vegas, Nev.) along with a 334-yard blast in her semifinal match against 2013 Volvik World Long Drive champion Heather Manfredda (Shelbyville, Ky.)

Hogue, the former No. 1 in the World (2016) outlasted the current World No. 1 – Justin James – in the final after connecting on a 413-yard drive. The 32-year-old firefighter/paramedic advanced to the final after beating Ryan Reisbeck (Layton, Utah) courtesy of a 426-yard drive.

The Clash in the Canyon is the second official event of the 2018 World Long Drive season, as Justin Moose claimed the East Coast Classic in Columbia, South Carolina last month. The next stop on the schedule is in three weeks at the Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun, taking place in Maricopa Ariz., and airing live in primetime on Golf Channel, Tuesday, May 15.

OPEN DIVISION FINAL
(6) Will Hogue (Collierville, Tenn.) def. (1) Justin James (Jacksonville, Fla.)

WOMEN’S DIVISION FINAL
(2) Alexis Belton (Ruston, La.) def. (4) Alex Phillips (Las Vegas, Nev.)

OPEN DIVISION SEMIFINAL MATCHES
(1) Justin James def. (8) Ryan Steenberg (Rochester, N.Y.)
(6) Will Hogue def. (3) Ryan Reisbeck (Layton, Utah)

WOMEN’S DIVISION SEMIFINAL MATCHES
(4) Alex Phillips def. (8) Troy Mullins (Los Angeles, Calif.)
(2) Alexis Belton def. (6) Heather Manfredda (Shelbyville, Ky.)

OPEN DIVISION QUARTERFINAL MATCH RESULTS
(1) Justin James def. (30) Jim Waldron (Scottsdale, Ariz)
(8) Ryan Steenberg def. (14) Justin Moose (Columbia, S.C)
(6) Will Hogue def. (15) Kyle Berkshire (Orlando, Fla.)
(3) Ryan Reisbeck (Layton, Utah) def. (18) Nick Kiefer (Chicago, Ill.)

2018 LPGA Volvik Championship Continues Tradition of Excellence

(ORLANDO, Florida) – Volvik USA (volvik.com), a rapidly-growing, premium high-performance golf ball company, continues as title sponsor again this year of the LPGA Volvik Championship. Now in its third year, the tournament, which annually draws a strong field and produces some stellar play, will be competed May 24-27, 2018, at Travis Pointe Country Club, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“Volvik is proud to sponsor this fine LPGA Tour event,” said Don Shin, president of Volvik USA. “With a world-class field of players and an outstanding venue, we know this year’s tournament will be a memorable one.”

The defending champion of the LPGA Volvik Championship is Shanshan Feng, who set a new 72-hole Tournament scoring record last year at 20-under par, winning by two strokes ahead of Minjee Lee and Sung Hyun Park. The purse at this year’s event is $1,300,000.

“The Ann Arbor tournament has gotten stronger every year, and is quickly becoming a fantastic hometown stop on the LPGA Tour,” said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan. “We’re excited to return and we very much appreciate the hospitality and support of Travis Pointe, the fans of Michigan and the title sponsorship support of Volvik.

“After a long, cold spring, perhaps the LPGA Volvik Championship will be a fantastic kick-off to the golfing season in the area!”

The 2018 LPGA Volvik Championship tournament week will begin with the inaugural University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital Congenital Heart Center LPGA Pro-Am on Monday, May 21, at Travis Pointe Country Club.

For tournament information, pro-am playing spots or to purchase tickets, visit www.volviklpga.com or call 734.707.0789.