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20 years after golfer Payne Stewart’s tragic death, son Aaron carries his legacy

Aaron Stewart spent his summers on the road as a PGA Tour kid. The behind-the-scenes visits at the Columbus Zoo during the Memorial Tournament stand out among his favorite memories as well as the “music man” under the big tree on Hilton Head Island.

He grew up on tournament golf.

It’s not surprising that Stewart would want to follow in the footsteps of his father, Payne, a three-time major winner and sporting icon. A humble Aaron calls it more of a blessing than an expectation that he’s now back in golf. The former SMU player (just like dad) was recently named vice president of sports marketing for Diamond Resorts and executive director of the LPGA’s Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions.

Oct. 25 marks the 20th anniversary of the day Payne’s tragic death played out on television screens across the country. Four months after Payne won the U.S. Open at Pinehurst, a private Learjet carrying the golfer and five others crashed near Aberdeen, South Dakota, after flying on autopilot for several hours.

“The fact that this is 20 years is pretty crazy to me,” said Aaron. “To think that amount of time has gone by.”

Aaron said he recently did an interview for PGA Tour radio with his sister Chelsea, who works for AT&T, and they talked about how their dad would’ve gotten along in today’s PC society. Imagine trying to control him on Twitter, Chelsea said.

“It never came from a mean-spirited place,” said Aaron of his father’s jokes. “Everybody knew that’s Payne having a good time. He was able to get away with it.”

Aaron, 30, looks a lot like Payne. People tell him that all the time. They also tell stories, and Aaron never tires of hearing them. The Stewart family still keeps in touch with many of the PGA Tour families Aaron and Chelsea grew up with.

After completing the program, Stewart landed a job that had over 400 employees reporting to him.

“He was special,” said Flaskey of Stewart taking on such a hefty role at a young age.He grew up on tournament golf.Aaron Stewart, son of late PGA Tour icon and World Golf Hall of Famer Payne Stewart, has been named Executive Director of the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. Stewart, who also serves as Vice President of Sports Marketing for Diamond Resorts, will oversee all aspects of the LPGA Tour event to be held January 16-19, 2020, at Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club in Orlando, Florida.

After several years as National OPC Program Manager and Regional Marketing Director, Stewart and his wife, Naiara, took a break from work to travel the world, an adventure that had long been in the making.

They visited 40 countries that year, spending the most time visiting family from their mom, Tracey’s, native Australia.

One of the reasons Flaskey created the Diamond Resorts TOC was to focus on a younger demographic. Millennials account for 12 percent of Diamond’s total membership.

 

“We know millennials want to travel,” said Flaskey. “They want to get out there and go.”

When Aaron and his wife returned to the U.S., they decided to move back to Orlando, Florida. He returned to the company in March as Director of National Partnerships.

The 2020 Diamond Resorts TOC takes place Jan. 16-19 on Tranquilo Golf Course at Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Orlando. Winners from the last two seasons are invited to play alongside sports stars and celebrities. Eun-Hee Ji won the 2019 edition along with former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz.

The tournament, which averaged 15,000 fans over the weekend in its debut, aims to be the biggest party on tour. To that end, there will be three concerts in 2020. While LPGA pros compete for $1.2 million over 72 holes, the celebrities vie for their own $500,000 purse using a modified Stableford format. The event has raised $3.5 million for children’s healthcare.

With the LPGA adding a second stop in south Florida after the TOC – the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio – the field at Tranquilo might be stronger in 2020. Michelle Wie’s victory at the 2018 HSBC Women’s World Championship makes her eligible for the season-opener should be healthy enough to compete.

Part of what attracted Flaskey to bring back a TOC format to the LPGA was the fact that it’s an earned event. In Stewart, he has found a man who is uniquely qualified to lead it.

“We just think that growing up in a lifetime of golf brings credibility to our event,” said Flaskey of Payne’s only son. “It helps us really take it to the next level.”

SOURCE:  USAtoday

Golf For Beginners: So You Want To Play Golf

We get it. Golf can seem terribly complicated to the uninitiated. So many rules, so many different kinds of clubs.

That’s where this online beginner’s guide comes in. To those who know nothing about golf, our goal is to shepherd you through this uncertainty. What kind of clubs do you need? How do you practice? When do you know that you’re ready for the golf course? The way we see it, the only dumb questions about getting started in golf are the ones you’re afraid to ask, or worse, the ones for which you can’t find an answer.

No doubt, the right equipment always helps, but it’s not as if you’ll need to empty your savings account to get started. Instead, focus on finding the sort of equipment that will allow you to develop your imperfect skills with minimal expense. There’ll be plenty of time to go after the latest, hot products on the market (and when you do, make sure you start your search with one of our top 100 clubfitters, but at the beginning, make learning — and not buying — your priority.

1. You only need a few clubs: You’re allowed to carry as many as 14 clubs in your bag, but you won’t need nearly that many when you’re first learning. Instead, start with a driver, a putter, a sand wedge (it’s the club that has an “S” on the sole or a loft of 54 to 56 degrees) and supplement those with a 6-iron, an 8-iron, a pitching wedge, and a fairway wood or hybrid with 18-21 degrees of loft. These are the clubs that are the most forgiving and easiest to get airborne. You can find used and new titanium drivers for as little as $75 and putters for much less than online, but most larger golf and general sporting goods stoes also offer racks of discounted and/or used clubs.

2. Don’t guess — try before you buy: If you’re an absolute beginner looking to buy clubs, go to a larger golf shop or driving range and ask to try a 6-iron with a regular-flex and a stiff-flex shaft. (Generally, the faster and more aggressive the swing, the more you will prefer a shaft that is labeled “S” for stiff.) One of the two should feel easier to control. That’s the shaft flex you should start with for all your clubs. Once you get serious about the game and are able to make consistent contact, a clubfitting will enable you to get the most out of your equipment.

3. The more loft, the better: Unless you’re a strong and well-coordinated athlete experienced with stick and ball sports (baseball, softball, hockey, tennis, for example), opt for woods that have more loft. Why? The extra loft generally means it will be easier to get the ball in the air and also can reduce sidespin so shots fly straighter. So go for drivers with at least 10 degrees of loft and fairway woods that start at 17 degrees, not 15 degrees.

4. Take advantage of clubs made for beginners: Some types of clubs are easier to hit than others. For one thing, you’re better off with hybrids instead of 3-, 4-, and 5-irons. And irons with wider soles (the bottom part of an iron) will alleviate the tendency for the club to stick in the ground when you hit too far behind the ball. Also, with more weight concentrated in the sole, the iron’s center of gravity will be lower and this will help shots launch on a higher trajectory. Generally, a more forgiving iron will feature a sole that measures about the width of two fingers (from front edge to back). If an iron’s sole measures less than one finger width, you only should be playing it if you’re paid to do so.

5. Choose the right ball: Buy balls on a sliding scale based on how many you lose in a round. If you’ve never played before or lose two sleeves or more a round, buy balls that cost around $20 a dozen (if you can’t decide between one brand over another, try putting a few to see how they feel coming off the putter face). When you cut the number of lost balls back to maybe three to five balls a round, buy balls that cost less than $30 a dozen. Only if you’re losing less than a sleeve a round should you consider the $40 a dozen balls.

SOURCE:  Golf Digest

Why do Japanese golf courses have two greens on every hole?

During Monday’s Japan Skins, the high-powered foursome of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama and Jason Day were presented with a challenge at the fourth hole: Play to the left green or the right green — dealer’s choice. Woods took aim at the right green but misfired, hitting a pull that ended up directly between the right and left greens.

“That was such a bad shot,” he said, exasperated but trying to stay light-hearted on the broadcast. “I tried to hit a cut and pull-hooked it!”

Up near the green, he adjusted his plan, chipping instead to the left green, where he rolled in a putt for par.

It’s not rare for a course to feature a hole with an alternate green. No. 8 at Pine Valley, No. 13 at Streamsong Black and No. 4 at Cabot Cliffs are three high-profile examples. But many courses in Japan, including this week’s Zozo Championship host course, Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club, have two such greens on every single hole.

The two-green system originated from a desire to keep greens playable across different seasons. Because Japan has hot, humid summers and cold winters, they could use a different grass type on each green to allow for options based on the weather. Tyler Pringle of American Golf notes that summer greens would typically feature bermuda or zoysia, while the winter greens would favor bent grass.

Advancements in turf management mean that two greens with two different grass types has become less necessary at many courses. Still, many in Japan and some others in South Korea maintain two greens on every single hole. There are benefits to having double the greens, of course. Twice as many putting surfaces means half as much wear and tear. It means no need to reduce greens fees for aeration periods. It also frees up one green per hole for required renovation or maintenance, and it provides some variety for course regulars.

There are also drawbacks, of course — twice as many greens means twice as much maintenance, which means increased budgets and transfers indirectly to more expensive golf. Still, the dual green phenomenon is something different. This week, Zozo Championship competitors will see action on both the left and right greens at No. 4, though not at the same time like in the skins game. Collin Morikawa, for one, was amused by the dual greens.  “I don’t know a place that has two greens unless you’re playing soccer golf,” he said. You can see more examples of the double-greens below.

SOURCE:  Golf.com

 

You might power a drive down the fairway as a thing of beauty and grace.

But if your short game doesn’t match your long game, your whole game suffers.

The short game is a lesson in finesse and control. With some practice, you’ll chip your way into mastering the short game.

We can’t promise you’ll land on the list of top short game golfers this year.

But, here are four tips that will immediately improve your short game in golf.

1. KEEP SOFT HANDS FOR THE CHIP

Keep a soft grip on the club when chipping. This helps release the tension in your forearms for a smoother stroke.

Then take your open stance, use your chipping swing–aiming for the back of the ball.

Practice this technique until it feels second nature to grip the club lightly when chipping toward the green.

2. BE AWARE OF THE LEFT ARM

Your left arm controls your chipping stroke. The stroke should begin with your left arm and wrist starting the action, rather than pulling with your right arm.

When it’s time, let the left arm also control the downswing. The left arm leads both the backswing and the downswing.

Keep your eyes glued to a dimple in the center of your ball. Aim for that spot when you connect your clubface to the ball.

3. EMBRACE THE BUMP AND RUN

The bump and run is a powerful shot to master. Use the ground as your friend.

Shoot over obstacles or overcome a bad lie with a simple bump shot that rolls across the green with ease.

Aim for a spot before the hole and let your ball hit that spot then roll toward the hole on the green. When swinging, position the ball toward the back in your stance.

Be sure of your angles, the speed of the green, and your club selection.

You don’t need a lot of loft with this shot. Control and precision are key.

4. WATCH YOUR SWING TEMPO

Don’t rush your swing in the short game.

Your swing tempo should stay the same for your backswing as well as your downswing. A one-two count on the way up means a one-two count on the way down.

Use different tempos and speeds depending on your shot. You’ll develop different tempos that work best for different shot scenarios in your short game.

Find your rhythm and stick with it. Try a tempo app to try tempo suggestions for your shots.

IMPROVE YOUR SHORT GAME IN GOLF WITH PRACTICE

Whether pitching, chipping or flopping your short game in golf, practice is your 1 step to better golf.

Repetition for muscle memory is the best way for a consistent swing every time your clubface strikes the golf ball.

When you’re ready to hit the links, find your best local Ocala golf course and play a round of golf with your new skills.

And be sure to take a friend along with you. There are many benefits to learning and improving your golf game with a friend. Plus, it’s more fun that way!

Golfing is a world-class and internationally enjoyed activity. Any self-respecting golfer knows they need their own set of clubs and balls, along with a collection of tees.

But what other golfing accessories should you throw in your bag? A water bottle maybe, but what else? We’ve got your guide in this article.

1. PITCH FORK

No, not the kind that angry mobs use. A pitch fork fixes divots you make when putting on the super sensitive green.

It’s common courtesy to fix your divot marks, but not everyone does. Don’t be the bad golfer that leaves divots to catch other peoples balls.

Using a pitch fork is easy. Stick the fork outside the divet your club made. Press inwards (not upwards) like you were pushing the underlying soil into the hole from the side.

Do this around the crater until you can no longer see the soil. Then use a finger or the end of the pitch fork to tap down anything that’s sticking up.

That’s it! Do your part and leave a better course for the person behind you.

2. A TOWEL

If you watch any golf tournament, you’ll see small, white terry towels in everyone’s bags. They’re for cleaning dirty balls and keeping club grips dry in inclement weather.

Since you don’t have a caddy who takes care of everything between rounds, we suggest opting for a darker color towel. It won’t look as dirty as quickly as a white towel.

They’ll function the same, but you’ll have to wash it less and won’t walk around with embarrassing dirt marks. Don’t let everyone know you hit your ball into the muddy woods!

3. AN UMBRELLA

Rain happens on the course, but it’s not the end of your golf game. If you’re playing in summer, it’s likely the rain will end as quickly as it began.

Don’t get caught soaking wet without an umbrella. Keep a large umbrella in your golf bag to pull out when you need it.

We’re not talking about one of those small ones you keep in your car – get one that doesn’t fold up. It has a bigger coverage space and you’ll find somewhere to stick it in your bag.

When the rain is over, you can use your towel to dry off the excess so your bag doesn’t get wet.

4. BUSINESS CARDS

If you’re playing at your home course and you know most of the people, you probably aren’t doing that much networking on the green.

However if you’re on vacation or playing at a big course – you never know who you can run into. Keeping business cards in your bag ensures you don’t miss out on an opportunity.

GOLFING ACCESSORIES

Even the best golfing accessories can’t help you if you’re on a badly managed course. That’s why you need to book your tee times at Summer Glen the next time you’re in Ocala and looking to play a round!

Golf is an incredibly popular game with over 23 million players in the United States alone. If you love golf – we mean, really love golf – you might want to play no matter what kind of weather is out there.

There’s many reasons you can find yourself playing golf in the rain: you made reservations at an exclusive club a long time ago or you’re getting together with a friend who’s only with you for a limited time.

No matter why you find yourself getting wet on the green, we’ve got five great tips to show you how to play golf in the rain.

1) INVEST IN WATERPROOF CLOTHING

Want to play golf in the rain on the regular? You need to keep dry.

It might be a little pricey up front, but it’s worth it to invest in a great rain suit.

Make sure it’s

  • lightweight
  • keeps you dry and cool at the same time
  • stretches and adjusts to your swing

2) GET A QUALITY UMBRELLA

On top of your rain suit, you can’t go wrong with a classic, sturdy umbrella.

Purchase one that’s got a large canopy. An umbrella with double layers that allows air to flow through it will keep it from turning inside out.

While this will add a bit of bulk to your bag, it’s a lifesaver when a sudden downpour catches other golfers by surprise.

3) DOUBLE UP

No matter what kind of precautions you take playing golf in the rain, you’ll still get somewhat wet. Minimize damage by doubling up on the essentials.

For example, keep a second scorecard in your bag compartment in case your first gets completely soaked.

Besides buying clubs with grips that can handle the extra moisture, keep a spare glove in your bag, too. Having a good grip on your club is essential to a winning game.

Make sure you’ve got a spare set of clothes to change into when the game is over. What you do after golf is just as fun as playing the game.

4) CHANGE YOUR GAME AS NEEDED

Once you’re on the course, you’ll see that the water changes how you have to play.

There’s less run on wet greens, and you’ll find yourself putting a bit more firmly than you’re used to.

When playing on wet sand, your ball will tend to go a little farther than usual. Slow your tempo and close the face to create some dig.

5) ADJUST YOUR ATTITUDE

Playing golf in the rain is a challenge. Whether or not you have a good time is up to you.

You’ll have to work for each shot and your scoring won’t be as good as it usually is. Lean into the challenge and enjoy the ride for a good time!

PLAYING GOLF IN THE RAIN IS DIFFERENT – AND FUN!

With these five tips, you’re ready to take on any course, no matter what the conditions!

That being said, please be careful playing golf in the rain. If there’s lightning on the course, head back to the clubhouse and call it a day. A full 5% of lightning-related deaths occur on a golf course.

Come join us at Summer Glen Golf Club and enjoy a great game of golf, rain or shine!

THE TOP 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR LONG GAME

January 20, 2017

The Top 5 Ways to Improve Your Long Game

Do you enjoy playing golf, but feel as though you don’t have any game? Are your drives down the fairway few and far in between? If so, then this is the perfect site for you. In this short article, you will be informed of the top five ways to improve your long game.

1. Practice, practice, practice

One of the most critical pieces of information you can hear about improving your long game is to practice. You are never going to get any better if you don’t get out there and play. Unfortunately, you are going to have to stink a little while before you make any headway, and that is perfectly okay. The more you practice, the better you will become. It’s as simple as that. Play nine holes by yourself and try a few new things out. Or go with a good friend who can give you some pointers, but whatever you do, practice, practice, practice!

2. Use the Proper Stance

A drive, just like a putt, all comes down to your position. If you are not holding your club correctly, your will never get any depth on the ball. The same goes for your form. If you are not bending your knees and relaxing your shoulders when you go to hit the ball, you will never have a great ball strike because your form is all wrong. Make sure to have an experienced golfer show you the correct stance to use when trying to perfect your long game.

3. Go to the Driving Range

A very useful tool you have at your disposal is to use the driving range. Not only will you get needed practice on your stance, swing, and follow through, but you will have the ability to watch what others are doing. Depending on what club you are at, they have professional golfers at the driving range to assist players with questions they may have on form, shots, and clubs. Take advantage of this and use their knowledge for your benefit.

4. Follow Through on Your Swing

A crucial mistake of beginning golfers is not to follow through once they have struck the ball. The momentum from the swing is what gives the ball the distance it needs on the fairway. If you are not following through on your swing, you are losing all the momentum from the swing, and your ball is only going to go a few yards out rather than halfway down the fairway. Make sure you are following through on your swing every time.

5. Be Confident and Have Fun

One of the things we often forget while golfing is to have fun! Stop putting so much pressure on yourself to have a perfect shot and just relax and enjoy being outdoors. If you relax and are not in constant demand for the perfect fairway drive, you will be much happier, more confident, and your drive will be spot on. Give it a shot!

As you can see, having a great long game takes hard work and dedication. If you want to improve your drives down the fairway, make sure to follow our advice on the top five ways to improve your long game. By doing so, you will hit the fairway every time and be on your way to a birdie or an eagle in no time!

November 28, 2016

The 18-hole fairways of the Summer Glen Ocala located at the Country Club, were designed by renowned designers, Lorrie Viola, and Karl Litten. It was opened to the public in 2000 and is currently managed by Hampton Golf, under the direct supervision of Kris Mahoney.

Notable Things about the Summer Glen Ocala Golf Course:

Location
One of the best features of the Ocala Golf Club, would be its strategic location. Convenient for people who live in the city, this golf course is ideal for seniors.

Facilities and amenities
Ocala Golf Club offers an extensive array of amenities. They have an in-house pro, driving range and rental carts. The restaurant also provides scrumptious delicacies that will give you a taste of the local flavor. You can even use Gimme Cards, to enjoy discounted offerings. There are plans to further improve the existing amenities and club house, despite its excellent service.

Manicured Greens
The fairways of the Glen Ocala Golf are well-maintained. Some portions of the greens are undergoing maintenance, but 90% of the course is in excellent condition.

Versatile Courses
The holes are another notable highlight of the Ocala Golf Club. The versatility of its design caters to both advanced and beginner golfers. Seasoned golfers will find it hard to resist the challenges that this course provides.

Top Notch Service
The staff of the Glen Ocala Golf Course are warm and friendly. They are always thinking of creative ways to improve the customer experience. Even the players that you will run into on the course are considerably friendly.

We absolutely recommend Summer Glen Ocala to anyone looking for an A-1 golfing experience and superior service. Call ahead to reserve your spot today.

October 12, 2016

Do you love playing golf out in the open air, overlooking the vastness of the green course and competing with precious company? If you do, then you will be pleased to find out more about Ocala golf courses. A genuine golfing experience that will fascinate you is unfolded before your eyes, and you can reach out to it right away. Imagine being able to schedule your tee times efficiently and enjoying the quality standards of a well-preserved place outdoors. This is what you can get out of joining a community that is oriented towards golf!

Why Should You Choose Ocala Golf Courses?

Villages golf allows you to evolve your talent and skills in playing golf, in an inspiring setting. Surrounded by nature, you will be able to appreciate every moment you spend out in the open, and you will get the chance to play golf in the best conditions available to you. As soon as you have subscribed to the community golf club, you will start enjoying its wonderful premises and wander through the courses on offer.

No matter if you are experienced in golf, or you are just beginning to learn, you will find the perfect place for practice in the area. Ensuring the highest level of satisfaction, the facilities are of top quality and are continuously improving. Golfing is a great way to fill your lungs with fresh air, as well as an excellent form of moderate workout. It is essential that you have the means to enjoy such a wonderful activity like you are entitled to.

What Can You Expect?

Besides full professionalism, at SummerGlen retirement community golf course you can expect to find a truly committed team of professionals aiming at your absolute satisfaction. Respect and responsibility compose the backbone of high-quality standards in personalized services, which is exactly what you deserve. The marvelous scenery with lush greenery all around makes your stay at the golf course even more pleasurable.

Apart from that, you can enjoy a hearty meal at the Grill. Unwind from the troubles and catch your breath in between golfing, tasting carefully prepared meals or grabbing something refreshing to drink. Have fun with your friends and meet new people, oriented towards your own hobby. It is a true delight to converse with others who share the same passion as you.

Feel free to join the community at SummerGlen and enjoy golfing to the maximum. You will find a quiet shelter, an idyllic retreat that allows you to do what you love the most, every single day!