Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Call Golfing Magazine for all your outing needs

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.

If you have any questions or concerns call Golfing Magazine at (516) 822-5446.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tribute to the Dads: Feel free to add your personal stories

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

U.S. Open Week: Makes Me Miss Being The Host

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 wins Long Island Open

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.

I spoke to one player's caddy who said the course was playing extremely fast and long. The caddy said except for the 18th hole, every hole for the final two rounds was being played from the tips, the furthest tee box possible. Aside from course conditions, players had to deal with inclement weather throughout the day.

I played Bethpage Red Friday and was very pleased with the conditions of the course. Although the greens were sanded after the tournament to give the patrons a fighting chance, the rest of the course was as usual, up to championship standards.

Be sure to check out the new video link on Golfing Magazine's website tomorrow. Inside we will review the week in Long Island golf and let you know what to look forward to in the upcoming days.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Interviews with the Head Professionals of Long Island

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

Head Pros Clash on the Course

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 Day: Saturday, June 5th 10 AM- 2 PM

Spring Lake Golf Club will be hosting a PING demo day tomorrow from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.

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

Eisenhower's golf experience is excellent-- with your assistance

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.