Monday, July 26, 2010
A few days back, Mark Hermann of Newsday wrote that Bethpage State Park's Black Course deserves to host another major championship or event. Whether it be the third U.S. Open to be hosted there, or a PGA Championship, or even a Ryder Cup, Hermann believes Long Island's golf gem has earned the right to be consistently recognized at the sport's elite level. I think he’s right.
Personally, I would like another Open to come here. The Black has proven that it is worthy of that—and that it makes a ton of money for the USGA. And just this past week, the New York State Open was played the Black Course. Not surprisingly, nobody in the field of Met PGA pros and top amateurs shot under par in the final round.
Now, I'm not saying that I wouldn't be happy with another event besides the Open happening at Bethpage or Shinnecock. One reason: As we saw at Bethpage last year, a soaked course is either pretty defenseless, or with some wind thrown in, it’s a miserable experience for players and fans alike.
So it seems that a PGA Championship in August, or a Ryder Cup in September—when we historically get very little rain—would be a better fit for a major on Long Island major.
New Yorkers have been spoiled over the last decade. We've seen huge events at great venues located in or around Long Island seemingly every other year. Four U.S. Opens in an eight-year period is unheard of in other parts of the country—nevermind in a 120-mile area from Baltusrol to Winged Foot to Bethpage to Shinnecock.
But don’t wait on pins and needles for next year's announcement for the 2019 Open—it may not be until 2020 or beyond that we get the big one back here. But how about the 2015 PGA Championship, or the 2016 Ryder Cup?
That would be a wise and just decision by the golf powers that be.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
The past three weeks the folks at Golfing Magazine have been working at several charity golf outings at courses around Long Island taking foursome photos of all golfers participating. Photos are picked up by individuals usually around cocktail hour or dinner. If you or someone you know is planning an upcoming golf outing make sure to consider Golfing Magazine for the job, the pictures come out crystal clear.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Since it is Father's Day weekend, let's take a moment to pay tribute to the men who, for most, introduced us to this great game. I love golf because it is an ageless game. Tomorrow, on courses all over Long Island, fathers and sons will go out and enjoy the day together while playing the game they love, which is something you can't say for all sports.If your father played a role in your love for golf, here is your opportunity to honor him. There are no restrictions, I'm looking forward to hearing some of your stories.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
With the U.S. Open this week, I feel it’s a good time to reflect on how lucky Long Island golf fans have been over the last decade. Since 2002, New York and primarily the Long Island area has hosted four U.S. Opens. We have seen some phenomenal golf and tremendous drama in those four tournaments. Now, with Pebble Beach being announced for the 2019 U.S. Open earlier today, it doesn’t seem that the USGA plans on returning in the near future.
I was rather disappointed when I heard the news today. Don’t get me wrong; Pebble Beach is a gorgeous course with a history unmatched by any other on this continent. However, I can’t help but wonder when the next time a New York course will be awarded the honor of hosting our national championship. We know it won’t be at least for another nine years, hopefully it won’t be much more than that.
One reason why I yearn for another opportunity to see a New York course host a U.S. Open is because of how last year’s will be remembered in the history books. I’m not saying that last year’s Open wasn’t great. I was there for the Monday finish and can tell you as many will attest that there was as much drama down the stretch as any of the classic Opens. The reason why I want another Open is because last year New York got unlucky, and the players got lucky. Imagine how Bethpage Black would have been playing with the dry heat we’ve had this year. Olin Browne said earlier on a telecast that the U.S. Open is the ultimate stress test of a golf tournament. Last year was about as stress-free as a course like Bethpage Black will ever be.
I just watched 60-year-old Tom Watson tee off his first hole with Rory McIlroy, 21 and Ryo Ishikawa, 18. Any one who can’t understand why this game is so great needs to think about that phenomenon and reconsider.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Mark Brown of the Tam O'Shanter Club fired a final round even par 70 to shoot a three round total of 1 under par 209 to win the Long Island Open on the Red course at Bethpage State Park Wednesday, edging Spring Rock Golf Center's Kirk Oguri by one shot.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Last week at the Seawane Club, I interviewed several head pros at facilities all over Long Island and the Metropolitan area. We discussed new programs and clinics at their respective courses, what they do to remain competitive in tournaments while juggling their busy schedules, and what a victory in the Head Pro Championship would mean for them and their clubs.
John Gatta, Middle Bay Country Club (Oceanside)- “It’s very difficult, time management is real important. I try to take care of my job first, my playing comes second and any additional time I have I try to get out there and hit some balls and practice.”
Carl Alexander, Golf Club of Purchase (Purchase)- “Basically you teach a lot, you have a lot of duties so you go into a tournament and play with what you have. You don’t have a lot of time to practice, what practice time I do have which will usually be early in the morning or late in the evening you would focus hopefully on short game because that’s where its really going to matter in a tournament in my opinion."
Heath Wassem, Fenway Golf Club (Scarsdale)- "I mostly teach and manage and then we try to sneak in a little play. Your own game is usually your own priority… I usually play with my members, and hit balls for 30-40 minutes when I have the chance, focusing on short game and putting."
Sean Quinlivan, Piping Rock Country Club (Locust Valley)- "Time management is very important. I only play probably twice a week."
Dave Fusco, Patriot Hills Golf Club (Stony Point)- "It’s always good publicity. Whether you win or lose, when you play well and get your name in the paper its good news for everyone."
Monday, June 7, 2010
During the first week in June, the Seawane Club in Hewlett Harbor hosted the Met PGA Head Pro Championship. Todd Wingerter (Burning Tree CC) was the only player to score in red numbers for the tournament, winning with a 1-under-par two-day total.
Some of the best head pros from courses on Long Island and throughout the Metropolitan area struggled with the tough, fast greens that baked in the sun, with sections of some greens turning to a dark purple haze by noon of the final round. Besides the shaved-down greens, wind gusts that are typical at Seawane ruffled the tall fescue guarding most every fairway, leaving little to no room for error.
Ben Hoffhine (Wykagyl CC) said prior to the final round that he would be surprised if any of his competitors were able to "go real low. The course is playing very difficult--anything more than about a 7 or 8-iron is having a hard time holding the greens. It’s a grind out there.”
Out of the top 5 finishers in the field of 76, four players were professionals from Long Island facilities. Paul Glutt (Island Hills) and Sean Farren (The Creek) tied for second at 3-over-par. Mark Brown (Tam O’Shanter Club) and defending champion Heath Wassem (Fenway GC) finished t-4 at 4-over for the tournament.
Be sure to check in the next few days for quotes from the Head Pro Championship to find out what the top professionals do to stay competitive with little practice time.
Keep coming here for current news on everything Long Island golf. This blog is in affiliation with Golfing Magazine, where you can play 7 free rounds of golf all over the Island and get 5 issues a year. Go to www.GolfingMagLI.com for more information.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Demo days are great opportunities for golfers to try new clubs and actually see how their hitting the golf ball. Golfsmith and Golf Galaxy simulators are great alternatives, but lets be honest, nothing beats seeing the ball fly in the air and land on grass. PING professionals will be at the course ready to assist anyone with questions or concerns, and if you strike gold and find a club, Spring Lake's Thunderbird course is a great test for any golfer.
For more information on Spring Lake Golf Club, check out their website here.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
This past week I played three rounds at Eisenhower Park; two at the Red Course and one at the White. Both courses looked and played beautifully. Tee boxes, fairways and greens were trimmed perfectly, sand traps were filled and raked, and the pace of play... well that's another story for another time. The bottom line is that over the past few years, with the help of the Senior PGA Tour, Nassau County has done one heck of a job turning these courses into a first-class facility for Long Island golfers.
However, as I walked off the 18th green on Saturday afternoon and reviewed my week of golf, I had one recurring memory that isn't sitting well with me: The greens at Eisenhower are packed of unrepaired ball marks. Seemingly every green I went to had a cluster of 10-15 unrepaired marks on it, left to bake in the sun and turn future putts into bumpy rolls. This problem cannot be resolved by anyone at Eisenhower other than us us, the golfers who play these courses and too often don't repair the grass after our shots.
For those of you who remember, it wasn't long ago that Eisenhower's courses were not taken care of and managed the way they are now. Therefore, this is my plead to all of you golfers out there who may occasionally forget to repair your ball marks: Please make it a conscious thing to repair divots and ball marks. Have a repair tool in your pocket at the start of your round, and search out your ball mark plus one other on every green. With your help, the 70 or so public courses on Long Island can stay the great golf experiences they are.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
As of now, the weather forecast's for Tuesday and Wednesday look beautiful (don't hold your breath). There will be some great golfers in the field and from what I've heard Seawane has an absolutely gorgeous track. I will be there both days covering the tournament for Golfing Magazine and the blog, so feel free to search me out and talk some golf.
Keep hitting them straight and far.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Hello! My name is Seth Schniebolk, and I will be blogging regularly on the website for Golfing Magazine, Long Island’s #1 golf publication. My blog is designed to give both casual and avid golfers the latest information about Long Island golf several times each week. I hope to inform, enlighten, entertain, and perhaps even get a rise out of you.
The goal is for this blog to become a home for Long Island golfers of all skill sets-- a place to come and discuss what interests each of you about the great game of golf. This will not, however, be a space for PGA Tour news. For that, I suggest ESPN and the tour websites; trust me, they have the resources to do a far superior job for that.
I will be staying local in my focus. Reviewing golf courses, covering "demo days" at various courses, and providing mini-features on some of the most passionate golfers in the world, right here on Long Island. If there are things you like or dislike about this blog, do not hesitate to email me at GolfingMagLI@aol.com. I need your feedback in order to make this blog the best it can be for you.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
After an easy flight from JFK to Bermuda it was a five minute cab ride to Tuckers Point. The ride was almost too short. With the crystal clear blue water and the beautiful surroundings, I wanted more. But the arrival at Tuckers did not disappoint in the least. The entire property is world-class. Did I tell you the entire property is world-class?!