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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

ANY IDEA WHO SAID THIS? “A great shot is when you pull it off. A smart shot is when you don't have the guts to try it.”

ON THIS DAY: In 1995, the PGA TOUR Policy Board announced that a “firm” 125 will be utilized to determine eligibility starting with the 1997 season.

IT HASN’T BEEN ALL BAD: For the avid golfer who has made the trip to the hallowed grounds of St. Andrews, they know a jewel lays just beyond it only just seven miles south-east of the Home of Golf. While a time on the Old Course is in high demand, it isn’t always guaranteed unless using a third party operator. However, a chance at Kingsbarns is easier to secure and many time equally enjoyable. While the economy hasn’t offered the best of times, it hasn’t impacted Kingsbarns as it celebrated its tenth anniversary season in style with a 30% surge in Visitor rounds of golf played.

More than 27,000 rounds were played over the famous links capping an excellent season. Due to the increase in demand, the season was extended by two weeks in November to accommodate additional play. “We are absolutely delighted with the way the season has gone especially as we celebrated such a major milestone,” said Stuart McEwen, General Manager at Kingsbarns. “We have now passed the 280,000 round mark since the course opened in July 2000 and that is testimony to the excellence of the course design and the hard work of the greenkeepers and other staff here who help to ensure the course and facilities are in top class condition every day of the season. The signs are already looking good for 2011 with bookings up by 10% on this period last year and we look forward to another ten years of success.”

The staging of the Open Championship in nearby St Andrews helped to place Kingsbarns in the spotlight and led to some of the greatest golfers ever to have played make the short trip down the coast. Tom Watson, Gary Player and Lee Trevino all made a point to walk the fairways. Kingsbarns also recently cemented its position as one of the UK’s finest courses when it was ranked 11th in Golf Monthly Top 100 courses. While the course condition attracted widespread praise it also extended off the course with caddie manager Davy Gilchrist being named the Caddiemaster of the Year in the Golf Tourism Scotland Annual Awards for the second year in succession.

“We work very hard to ensure that golfers enjoy an outstanding experience when they play golf at Kingsbarns and leave with wonderful stories to tell,” said Davy. “Caddies have a huge role to play in that regard with 60% of all visitors taking a caddie for their rounds. I am fortunate to have such a great team here and they are fully committed to providing the highest standards of service.”

As the recent pictures by Innes Knight (Course Manager, Kingsbarns Golf Links) indicates, Kingsbarns isn’t available for play but it will reopen for the 2011 season on April 1st. The green fee for next season is £185 with a 50% discount for golfers playing a second round within seven days.

CONTROVERSY? The golf business is going have to find a way to increase demand in the game. The surviving stakeholders supporting the game as a whole are dependent on people playing it. So why isn’t there more focus on this key driver of the entire industry?

Meanwhile, an incredible milestone was accomplished earlier this year that allows golf to be played again in the 2016 Olympics. Who should actually be eligible to play? The elite players are expected to dominate, however not everyone is necessarily in that camp. Have you ever heard of Bhutan before? Believe it or not, some aspiring players have dreams of playing in the Olympics but may never realize their potential due to a pending decision by the International Golf Federation. “If they only select the players from the world rankings it’s actually going to be bad for golf because it’s going to make it more of an elite sport.” READ MORE>>>

STEADY: Nike Golf believes it has a Tour-level golf shoe that offers the ultimate in comfort and stability. The new Nike Zoom Advance provides superior lateral stability with an innovative midfoot harness that extends from the midsole up through to the laces, resulting in more power and control, according to the company. It was designed to achieve an unsurpassed level of lateral support and features a lightweight composite nylon and TPU overlay – a lateral stabilizer in the midfoot that provides a secure lockdown fit.

The Nike Power Platform outsole of the Nike Zoom Advance has been updated to incorporate a secondary Power Channel.  This enhancement allows for even greater natural motion and smoother weight transfer for more power through impact the company said.

The superior comfort promised by the company in this shoe is due to the responsive Nike Zoom Air unit in the heel. This low profile cushioning not only promotes exceptional comfort, Nike said, but also brings the foot closer to the ground and provides a stable foundation.

The Nike Zoom Advance will be available at retail on January 1, 2011 with an MSRP of $250. It will be available in White/Metallic Silver-White; Black/Metallic Silver-Black; White/Bronze-Brown color combinations.

ADDED RESPONSIBILITIES: The Board of the International Golf Federation has named Peter Dawson as IGF President and Ty Votaw as IGF Vice President.  Both appointments are for two-year terms commencing on January 1, 2011. Dawson, Chief Executive of The R&A, has served as Joint Secretary of the IGF since 1999. Votaw, an Executive Vice President at the PGA TOUR, served as Executive Director of the IGF Olympic Golf Committee, which coordinated golf’s Olympic bid, from July 2008 until November 1, 2010. Antony Scanlon, formerly Head of Olympic Games Coordination, Operations and Services at the IOC, took over as Executive Director of the IGF on November 1st. 

"I am honored to become the first President of the International Golf Federation,” Dawson said.  “Today’s announcements, coupled with Antony Scanlon’s appointment as IGF Executive Director and our relocation to Lausanne, demonstrates golf’s determination to play an active part in the Olympic Movement.  With the collective strength of the world’s leading golf organizations behind us, I am confident that the IGF is well-placed to meet the challenges that lie ahead.”

“It is gratifying to have the confidence of the IGF Board and I look forward to continuing to work with Peter on behalf of the IGF and the sport as a whole,” Votaw said. “As we look ahead, the work has just begun in regard to the Olympic Games and the coordination efforts that are required in order to ensure success in Rio. But we very much look forward to the challenge.”

Both Dawson and Votaw will continue in their existing roles with their respective organizations.

Along with Dawson and Votaw, the IGF Board of Directors also includes: John Byers, Director of Rules and International Affairs of the Brazil Golf Confederation; David Fay, Executive Director of the United States Golf Association; Tim Finchem, Commissioner of the PGA TOUR; Jane Geddes, LPGA Senior Vice President, Tournament Operations and Player Services; George O’Grady, Chief Executive of the European Tour; Joe Steranka, Chief Executive Officer of the PGA of America; and Dilip Thomas, Council Member of the Indian Golf Union. Jane Geddes has been elected as the Chairman of the Board.


NOT WHAT ANYONE WAS EXPECTING: "When you compete at this level, a large percentage of your success is due to your mental preparation," he said. "And evidently, Tiger's mind wasn't as sharp due to his own personal problems. He's come back from an injury before. I've caddied for him for 12 years, and the two times he had long layoffs, he came back like nothing had happened. I didn't think a lot would change." READ MORE>>>

A DAY OF UNITY: Johan Immelman, father of Masters Champ, Trevor, has developed a grass roots idea to remember the events of 9/11. His goal is see 220 golf courses and 220,000 golfers take part in the inaugural day, which is next year on September 12th. Why the focus on Sept. 12?

Rich Davies, a North Carolina developer and co-founder of the program, said it was a day of "pent-up enthusiasm to connect with one another." And what better way to do that than through golf? Another founder is retired Col. Ray Horoho, whose wife was working in the Pentagon when it was struck by a hijacked plane. Mobile technology is the key behind "Golf 9/12." Everyone participating at various golf courses will be connected through live mobile scoring using a custom phone application. Players would pay an additional $12 for the round, with money going to the Pentagon Memorial Fund, the 9-11 Memorial, Flight 93 Memorial, local First Responders, Armed Forces Charities and Friends of Freedom Charities. READ MORE>>>

For more information on the program visit:

HIGHWAY ROBBERY: What can I say? It was the biggest week of my golfing life so far. In the end, I got my card for the European Tour. But it all started so badly - here's how it all unfolded. READ MORE>>>

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BEFORE WE GO: If you feel like you may have missed something from a back issue feel free to check out the archive section of the Daily Pulse, which includes an easy to use word search!

ANSWER: Phil Mickelson after his win at the Masters in April.