Golf will miss the King

We lost a wonderful human being with the passing of Mr. Palmer. He meant a tremendous amount to the golf community and the game is where it is today largely in part to Mr. Palmer. He has done so much for our community through his endless charity and giving. Mr. Palmer is a person everyone should look up to for how he lived his life. His constant smile and thumbs up will be missed by so many. While it is sad that Mr. Palmer has passed, I think we can all take joy in seeing the many pictures and stories everyone is sharing throughout social media today. This proves just how much he has meant to all of us!  We will Miss the King.


Northern Michigan Accolades

Those of us living in Northern Michigan know what an amazing place we are fortunate to live in. We feel a deep connection to the area and don’t always need to hear how great it really is. Check out what others are saying about Traverse City and surrounding areas.

Blog for Lifestyle & Travel (September 2016) named Torch Lake one of the Top 10 Clearest Lakes in the U.S. You Have to See to Believe

Blog for Lifestyle & Travel (September 2016) named Torch Lake one of the Top 10 Clearest Lakes in the U.S. You Have to See to Believe

25 Coolest Midwest Lake Vacation Spots (August 2016) – Midwest Living

America’s Favorite Beach Towns (August 2016) – Travel & Leisure

Best American Vacations for Beer Lovers (July 2016) – Thrillist 

Best American Beach Towns for July 4th (June 2016) – Coastal Living

Best Small Town in America (June 2016) – Livability

Runner Friendly Community (May 2016) – Road Runners Club of America

Thrillist (May 2016) – 25 Best Small US Cities to Spend the Weekend

Forbes Magazine (April 2016) – Top 25 Places to Retire in 2016

Midwest Living Magazine (March 2016) – Midwest Living Greatest Town (January 2016) – America’s Best Small Towns

Condé Nast Traveler (January 2016) – “The Most Beautiful Towns in America (February 2016) – “9 Most Romantic Cities

USA Today (September 2015) – ” Best Scenic Autumn Drive

CNN Money (September 2015) – America’s Best Beer Towns

Huffington Post (July 2015) – “11 Of America’s Best Small Towns, Perfect For A Long Weekend Trip

Pure (July 2015) – “The 12 Cutest Small Towns in America

Zagat (July 2015) – “6 Hot U.S. Food Destinations to Visit This Summer

Coastal Living (July 2015) – “10 Best American Beach Towns for Fourth of July

Matador Network (June 2015) – “20 Coolest Beach Towns in America

House Beautiful (June 2015) – “50 Most Beautiful Small Towns in America

Successful Meetings (June 2015) – “Top US Cities for Summer Hotel Stays” 

Livability (June 2015) – “Top 100 Best Small Towns

Lonely Planet (June 2015) – “Best Places to Travel in September 2015

Country Living (May 2015) – “20 of the Most Charming Beach Towns Across America

Thrillist (May 2015) – 14 Best Beach Towns in America

Smithsonian Magazine (April 2015) – “20 Best Small Towns

Condé Nast Traveler (April 2015) – “Up-and-Coming Food City

Horizon Travel Magazine (February 2015) – Must See American Cities” 

Golf Digest Magazine (February 2015) “Best in State” golf courses including Lochen Heath Golf Club and Grand Traverse Resort & Spa (The Bear) (July 2014) listed Traverse City as a Top 10 Small Town as well as a listing in June 2014 as one of America’s Top 10 Foodie Towns

Coastal Living (May 2014) named Traverse City, Empire and Suttons Bay “Michigan’s Three Best Beach Towns

Family Fun Magazine (April 2014) listed Sleeping Bear Dunes as one of the Top 10 National Parks for Families

Travel + Leisure Magazine (April 2014) listed the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail as one of America’s Most Scenic Waterside Drives

Travel + Leisure Magazine (February 2014) listed Traverse City one of “America’s 20 Most Romantic Towns

Redbook Magazine (January 2014) listed Traverse City among its “Best Travel Finds for 2014

Lonely Planet (December 2013) named Grand Rapids, Traverse City and Michigan’s ‘Gold Coast’ as the “Top US Travel Destination for 2014

Travel + Leisure Magazine (October 2013) named Traverse City one of  “America’s Favorite Towns” (#12 out of 20)

Fodor’s (March 2013) named Traverse City one of the “10 Best Small Towns in America

The Travel Channel (July 2012) ranked Traverse City among the “Top 7 Beer Destinations in North America

Draft Magazine named Traverse City one of its 3 “Emerging Beer Towns” for 201

Good Morning America viewers voted the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as “The Most Beautiful Place in America” (Aug. 2011)

Bon Appetit named Traverse City one of America’s five top foodie towns (Sept. 2010)

Preserving golf history is something the Golf Collectors’ Society takes seriously. Very seriously

After joining the Golf Collectors’ Society in the last year, I attended its annual meeting earlier this week in the Poconos. There I encountered a collection of golf lovers that thrives on the very idea of being in “way back” mode as it seeks to preserve golf’s past—even as the sport speeds forward. And I also made my first venture into hickory golf.

The GCS has been around since 1970, begun by collectibles icon Joseph Murdoch and Robert Kuntz. From the beginning, the GCS’s goal was to have its members bond in the common pursuit of the collection and preservation of golf’s treasured artifacts, which would ensure the game’s history would not be lost and forgotten. In time, the GCS was the place to turn to for research and understanding about the way golf life used to be. It’s a multinational group whose membership was in the 2,000s at one point but now stands at 860 and is suffering from the Internet cutting in on its grip of being the authority on all things vintage. How to grow the membership was a big discussion topic at the gathering. 

I may be a GCS newbie, but I’m in my fourth decade as a golf journalist so I couldn’t turn off my reporting mind as the four-day meeting began. I found that my first-hand experience with the society met my expectations about the group. The members skew on the senior side with the financial wherewithal to collect iconic items, focusing on old and rare as the best purchase.

At the PBA Galleries-run auction last Sunday, by my unofficial statistics, 134 lots were sold to the roughly 50 members onsite and numerous others connected electronically for $66,535, not counting the buyer’s premium. But the members weren’t going to have market prices dictated to them and didn’t even offer a bid on 67 of the 201 lots offered up, plus, 102 items went at prices lower than the estimates. Only 20 were bought at prices within the estimate.

Some of the antique clubs up for auction at the Golf Collectors’ Society annual meeting.

The typical GCS member is not withdrawn or timid. Members are engaged about the game, love it to the point of excess, even to having a collection of 179 Bulls Eye putters, as William Fry of Reading, Pa., has. You may ask “why” but you can’t help but admire the devotion to golf history. Many members pick a specialty area they focus on, whether it is equipment or ephemera, as is the case with Phil Kostolnik of Minnesota, who was a go-to guy for me in asking questions about the auction. Members were approachable, first-timers were recognized, and vintage members recognized, as with member Gene Boldon, a former Tuskegee airman, who was given the GCS Founders Award in an emotional speech. Members from Canada and China attended, and next year’s event at golf mecca Pinehurst should be an even bigger draw. 

Ultimately, I didn’t join the GCS to report on members’ buying habits or necessarily be a “player” in the artifact field; I wanted to experience the historical appreciation the group possesses. And I felt that the most where it really matters: with vintage hickory on the golf course. Adorned in plaid shorts (I left my plus-fours at home), equipped with eight wooden-shafted clubs loaned out by Bill Reed of Des Moines and vintage balls by event organizer Greg Shayka of the Metropolitan Hickory Society, I headed over Monday to the Donald Ross-designed East Course at Pocono Manor with more than a wee bit of consternation. I was already having a bad golf year with modern clubs, so hickory was playing with my mind as I tried my first iron on the driving range.

However, I found myself focusing on the feel of the club more than I had all year, and spurred on by the contagious hickory love of playing compadres Jason Ross, Ari Flaisher and David Reh—the Philly Phanatics of hickory golf—I settled into the round as best I could. Some early 8s hurt the scorecard more than my mind, but I parred my sixth hole, felt myself slowing my swing down and swinging with less stress, especially feeling it with the Brassie off the tee. I was hitting the niblick better than my regular short clubs. I played my last 10 holes three over par, with a birdie. Later that night at the banquet, which featured former amateur star and Philly native Jay Sigel, I was mildly shocked and plenty amused to be called up to get a third-place medal in the Open Hickory event, but saw that some things hadn’t changed for me, hickory or steel: I’d won my medal in the net competition.

Source:Golf Digest

Watson favored to land last Ryder Cup spot

Bubba Watson is favored to land the fourth and final captain’s pick from U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III – at least, in the mind of a few offshore betting markets.

Shortly after Love added Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar and J.B. Holmes to the American squad, odds were created to gauge who will get the last selection after next week’s Tour Championship. Skybet, which is based in the U.K., listed Watson as a -250 favorite, meaning bettors have to put up $250 for every $100 they hope to win if he is chosen.

The odds on Watson are understandably short considering he is ranked No. 7 in the world and finished ninth in the automatic qualification race, with the top eight players securing tickets to Hazeltine. But Watson hasn’t cracked the top 10 in a PGA Tour event since Doral, and he was a notable omission when Love announced his first three picks Monday.

Daniel Berger is next in line behind Watson at 7/2, while fellow sophomore Justin Thomas is listed at 5/1. Jim Furyk is listed at 12/1 despite having been eliminated from the playoffs two weeks ago, while Ryan Moore is alongside Furyk at 12/1 and Kevin Na sits at 16/1. Tiger Woods, who Kuchar hinted was in the mix for the final spot, has 50/1 odds to switch from assistant to participant., which like Skybet is a British outlet, opened with similar odds: Watson at -200, followed by Berger at 10/3 and Thomas at 6/1. They list Furyk (12/1) ahead of Moore (16/1), with Gary Woodland at 33/1, Na at 40/1 and Woods well down the list at 200/1.

Love’s final pick will be announced during Sunday Night Football on NBC Sept. 25, with the Ryder Cup beginning Sept. 30 in Chaska, Minn.


Connecticut man on pace to crush Guinness World Record for most rounds of golf played in one year

Meet Barry Gibbons, a man who will play more rounds of golf this year than many golfers will play in their lifetime. That’s not an exaggeration. By the end of 2016, the Ridgefield, Conn., resident hopes to play 850 rounds of golf. That’s right, eight HUNDRED and fifty rounds of golf.

We know what you’re thinking: This guy has to be retired. Yep. This guy has to be single. Nope.

Gibbons’ wife, Joy, has supported her golf-fiend husband in his attempt to break the Guinness World Record for most rounds of golf played in a year. In fact, she’s played many of the rounds with him and even started a website,, to track Barry’s progress. At the time of this post, he’s completed 572 rounds. By the time you finish reading, he’ll probably have gotten another 18 (or two) in.

RELATED: 15 wacky golf Guinness World Records

The record is a measly 611 rounds, set in 2010 by Richard Lewis, a retired Texas insurance executive. Gibbons also began his quest in Texas, where he owns a second home. He played nearly three rounds per day for the first few months of the year, and returned to Conn. in June with 350 under his belt. There, his pace has slowed down (public golf in the Northeast isn’t fast) while playing two rounds per day at Ridgefield Golf Club, which is located a convenient three minutes from his house.

“‘Are you the guy?’ they ask me,” Gibbons told The Ridgefield Press. “Then they usually follow it up with, ‘are you the crazy guy?'”

Gibbons walks and carries his bag, a requirement to break the official record. So far in 2016 he’s walked 4,220 miles, another stat his website tracks.

“The golf isn’t the hard part, it’s the walking,” said Gibbons, who worked at IBM for 30 years before recently retiring. “My biggest expense is golf shoes — I’ve used 11 pairs.”

Keep it up, Barry, you’re almost there.


Tiger Woods Announces Return to Golf, Targets Three Tournaments

Tiger Woods’s intended return to competitive golf is a mystery no more.

Woods announced on his website Wednesday he plans to play the Safeway Open (Oct. 13-16), the Turkish Airlines Open (Nov. 3-6) and the Hero World Challenge (Dec. 1-4). The announcement also included a note about Woods taking part in the Tiger Woods Invitational, scheduled for Oct. 10-11.

“My rehabilitation is to the point where I’m comfortable making plans, but I still have work to do,” Woods said. “Whether I can play depends on my continued progress and recovery. My hope is to have my game ready to go.”

Woods is returning from multiple back surgeries and did not compete on the PGA Tour during the 2015-16 season. His last event was the Wyndham Championship in August 2015, where he finished tied for 10th.

Woods underwent back surgery in September 2015 for the second time that year. The 14-time major winner originally targeted early 2016 as a return date, but a follow-up procedure to “relieve discomfort” came at the end of October.

This year was the first since 1994 that Woods missed all four major championships, as he said his return would come when rehab reached a point where he was comfortable.

“It was difficult missing tournaments that are important to me,” Woods said. “But this time I was smart about my recovery and didn’t rush it.”

The Safeway Open will take place in Napa, California; the Turkish Airlines Open (which Woods played in 2013) in Antalya, Turkey; and the Hero World Challenge (which is run by the Tiger Woods Foundation) in Albany, Bahamas.