Wednesday, August 31, 2011

PGA Championship leftovers

Well, I had best intentions. We shot this video at the PGA Championship on Tuesday evening before play started. I hoped to get the video posted the next day, but we also had the Rees Jones interview, and we decided to get that video produced and posted first... so then my Kauff/Andersen video fell by the wayside.

There is some good stuff in here... Andersen talks about monitoring the greens moisture levels at AAC, while Kauff talks about keeping a cool demeanor during a stressful week.

Not wanting it to go totally unused, here it is for your viewing pleasure on the Golfdom Daily.

Editor's note: Apologies to Andersen for the blatant misspelling of his last name in the video! ARGHHHH!!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hendren's Hyperbole! Episode 34 -- Volunteers help with aerification

Welcome back to Hendren’s Hyperbole! I hope everyone is gearing up for a great Labor Day Weekend. Personally, I don’t have anything great planned but you never know what might pop up.

I believe in earlier posts I have mentioned Seneca, Kan., and their local golf course, Spring Creek. My wife and I have quite a few friends who live in Seneca and my wife and I try to get up to see our friends and play some golf as often as we can. It just so happens we were in the thriving metropolis of Seneca this last weekend to play in the two-man, two-woman, four person scramble. Stay with me here, this story does have a point.

When we made the turn I saw a sign posted in the restroom... it was asking for volunteers to help with the dreaded fall greens aerification.

I was somewhat puzzled by this. Do people actually volunteer to clear the greens of the plugs? Couldn’t be, right? Wrong. Apparently every year the community rallies around the golf course and does whatever is needed to make sure the course receives the care it needs to be in the best condition it can be.

I talked to the superintendent at the course, Tony Altenhofen, and he told me that it takes them about four hours to aerate the entire course, and they have volunteers lined up the entire time to help out. They're asked to show up with snow shovels or scoop shovels and they just go to work.

What a concept! I love it! The Seneca community is so happy to have a golf course they volunteer their time and labor to accomplish their goal.

Personally, I have never worked at a course where this practice was ever considered but I have worked at a few where it would have been welcomed.

What about you? Do you currently or have you ever worked at a course that had the community's full support? Is this a common practice at courses in small towns? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about this practice and if it is something you utilize to get the best course conditions possible.

-- Matt Hendren

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene and golf

We're working on the "Irene on golf courses" story right now... look for something in the next issue of Golfdom. If you have good pics/story you want to share, please email me at .

In the meantime, Golf Digest is doing our work for us: check out this gallery of photos of golf course flooding/damage from Irene.

The superintendents I've spoken to today have all told me it wasn't as bad as expected. I know it was far worse for others, though. Just have to get them on the phone.

Irene has managed to reach out and touch me in Lawrence, Kan. I've been without email all day as our server is located in Newton, Mass., and I'm told there's no power and they won't even get to enter the building until tomorrow. So if I owe you an email (yeah, I'm looking at YOU), now you know why I haven't responded yet!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The day when comic books and golf collide

I'm working from Cleveland this week. Golfdom is headquartered in Cleveland, but I live near Lawrence, Kan. So I only get up to HQ a few times a year.

I'm a big comic book fan. Been collecting comics since I could read. Spider-Man is my favorite, next would be Captain America (until the current writer ruined him, that is.)

So I was thrilled to learn that the comic book-themed movie "The Avengers" was being filmed in Golfdom's home city of Cleveland. The above photos were taken just a few blocks away from our office. The one set is a city block, and it has been made up to look like there's been a serious battle on the streets of New York. The other set has been made to look like a German beer garden.

I did stop by one evening to see what I could spot of filming. Sadly, no one approached me about joining the cast as a villain or a sidekick. And I really couldn't see much at all since they kept everyone back about a block.

Still... pretty cool to be able to see the sets!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Put that hawk in a box

Here are a couple of photos from a hawk rescue this morning taken out at the course. He is being evaluated at the AWARE wildlife center and we are hopeful he will recover from his injuries (automobile related). No green keepers were harmed during the process and now Matt and I can check off, CATCH HAWK IN A TOWEL AND PUT IT IN A BOX from our bucket list.

-- Anthony Williams, CGCS, CGM
Stone Mountain Golf Club

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hendren's Hyperbole! Episode 33 -- Feherty's show

Welcome back to Hendren’s Hyperbole! Hopefully the brutal summer weather is starting to break and give you all some much needed rest from this awful heat. Hang in there, summer is almost over and before you know it you’ll want spring to roll around. It won’t be long!

I have wanted to hit on this for a while but haven’t had the opportunity until now. I love all things golf and watch a lot of the Golf Channel in order to get my fix. I watch any golf that happens to be airing at the time I have a minute to watch TV, of course, but I also have been know to get sucked into a few infomercials. Between you and me I have a golf bag in my garage full of golf gadgets that promised to improve my golf game and shave strokes off my score. I probably don’t need to tell you but none of them worked.

I have also watched the Big Break… it's OK. The best show the Golf Channel has had to date has to be “Feherty.” I’m a big fan of David Feherty and his wacky personality. I’m sure David is either a guy you love or a guy you hate; there is probably no middle ground. It just so happens I like him and my name is Hendren, of Hendren's Hyperbole so I am going to push his show on you and hope you watch. If you are a fan of professional golf it will definitely be worth your wile.

“Feherty" is a 30 minute show that airs once a week on the Golf Channel and it basically consists of an interview with a former of current PGA Tour member or celebrity. Mixed in every week is a little commentary by David along with bits of what I can only describe as stand up comedy. Basically David is on a small stage sharing golf stories from his time on the tour in front of a small crowd. So far David has interviewed Ian Poulter, Rory McIlroy, Johnny Miller, Charles Barkley, and Kansas City natives Tom Watson and Don Cheadle. I look forward to “Feherty” every week and I am pretty sure if you give it a shot you will also.

Does anyone already watch “Feherty”? If so, what do you think? Fire me a comment and let me know!

Until next week!

-- Matt Hendren

August issue a click away

In case it hasn't hit your mailbox yet, you can click right here to read the August issue of Golfdom. We packed this one with four different feature stories and two Turfgrass Trends articles.

Hope you enjoy!


Friday, August 19, 2011

This dog needs a raise

Something light for a Friday...

Check out this golden retriever at White Tail Golf Course in Charleston. S.C. She's in charge of collecting golf car keys from golfers as they come off the course...

The next thing they need to teach the dog is how to accept tips.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Syngenta takes action with new fungicide

It was an exciting morning for Syngenta as the company announced a major shake up in their product line, as well as the first of their new products, to turf media.

Bob Goglia, brand manager for Syngenta, announced that the company will be unveiling seven new products in the next 12 to 18 months. The first product would be an old product with a new twist -- Daconil Action.

Daconil Action combines the active ingredient in Daconil fungicide with acibenzolar-S-methyl, a turf protein booster. The company says the new Daconil Action will offer superintendents enhanced disease control and improved turf quality.

"Daconil has been a foundation for turf disease control for 30 years," Goglia said. "Daconil Action combines with a turf protection booster, helping the plant stay healthy and defend itself naturally."

Acibenzolar-S-methyl (also known as acibenzolar) belongs to a product category called Host Plant Defense Induction, established by the Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC), in Group P. Once absorbed, acibenzolar stimulates the natural defense response or the Systemic Acquired Resistance (SAR) of the turfgrass by activating the production of PR proteins.

"The product is a true plant health enhancer," Goglia stated. "It is recognized as a turf health product by the scientific community."

"The acibenzolar -- combined with Daconil fungicide's direct activity on disease pathogens -- is what gives Daconil Action its boosted performance," said Mike Agnew, technical manager, Syngenta. "Acibenzolar bridges the gap between genetic resistance and conventional disease control. Its SAR effect works with Daconil to reduce disease infection."

Features and benefits of Daconil Action include:
  • Only turf health product in the U.S. recognized by FRAC as having an active ingredient that produces an SAR effect
  • Multi-site mode of action to attack pathogens at several biochemical sites, preventing disease resistance
  • Effectively controls diseases such as dollar spot, anthracnose, brown patch, gray leaf spot, stem rust, yellow patch as well as others and suppresses Pythium blight and bacterial wilt
  • Protein-boost effect improves ability to handle drought, increases phytosynthetic capacity, reduces incidence of dollar spot and other disease, and enhances root growth and development
  • Built-in surfactant system provides residual control of 14-21 days when used at recommended rates
  • Labeled for control on golf courses, sod farms, professional and collegiate athletic fields and lawns around commercial buildings
The product will be available Oct. 1st, 2011, Goglia said. The product is already registered in 40 states, with more on the way.

Goglia then detailed the roll-out plan for Syngenta in the next 18 months. He said there would be one or two new products announced at the Golf Industry Show in Las Vegas (late February 2012); another one or two products in mid- to late-summer 2012; and one or two more new products in late 2012/early 2013.

"You'll be seeing a lot more products based on turf health and turf safety," he said.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hendren's Hyperbole! Episode 32 -- PGA in Review

Welcome back to Hendren’s Hyperbole after a week off. Jones did such a great job covering the PGA Championship last week there was no room for my garbage I try to pass off on you week in and week out as “writing.”

I hope everyone enjoyed the last major of the year last weekend. Personally, I didn’t have anything going on the entire weekend so I watched every bit of the PGA Championship that was televised. Surprisingly, I didn’t even catch any crap from my wife. Something weird is going on. I don’t know what yet but I have a feeling I will soon, unfortunately.

Overall, I enjoyed watching the last major of the year but as usual I have a few comments. Believe it or not, I was rooting for Keegan Bradley the entire weekend. Well, not the entire weekend. Saturday afternoon I saw Johnny Vegas’ name on the leader board, only down three shots, and found myself briefly rooting for him so I could save a little face here on The Golfdom Daily. Needless to say that didn’t happen, and I’m still and idiot.

Back to Bradley, there is something about rooting for a relatively unknown golfer that is a little more exciting than just watching and rooting for the same 10 to 15 golfers that seem to be in the mix week in and week out. One thing that really puzzles me is how two unknown golfers can hang around all week, in a major, without wizzing down their leg. Eventually, Jason Dufner did just that. I can’t imagine having a five-shot lead with three to play to win a major and ending up losing in a three hole playoff! Talk about a kick in the plumbs! Don’t feel too bad for Jason Dufner, he was rewarded with $865,000 for throwing away a major and finishing 2nd.

Congratulations to Nowhere Near Scratch for winning the first ever edition of The Golfdom Hackoff, PGA Championship edition with a final score of 142. This was Nowhere Near Scratch’s second win of the year! Nice Work! Nowhere Near Scratch’s starting lineup was Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker, Bubba Watson and Gary Woodland. Coming in second was Bilindjoe with a score of 128 and finishing in third was Long Knockers with a score of 124. Make sure to email Seth, your contact info so he can send you your sweet prizes.

Congratulations again to our top three finishers this week and I hope everyone enjoyed playing fantasy golf this year during the four majors for a chance to win some great prizes.

Until next week,

-- Matt Hendren

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rain Bird's Intelligent Use of Water film contest finalists announced

Rain Bird received more than 130 entries for its Intelligent Use of Water Film Competition. Now the list is down to the final six finalists. Check out their shorts, made with water conservation in mind, right here.

Which of the six entries will walk away with the $6,000 grand prize? The winner will be revealed September 20 at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, Calif. So tune in to the Golfdom Daily at the end of September to find out who won the top prize.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Congrats to the Atlanta Athletic Club team

I know how proud the crew was at AAC, and deservedly so.

Congrats, ladies and gentlemen, on hosting a fantastic tournament!

I'll have more thoughts on the PGA Championship... the highs, the lows, as well as your opinions... coming this week!

Thanks to all of you who visited the blog last week... near-record numbers!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rees Jones talks PGA Championship, hanging out with the maintenance crew

Lousy camera phone photo of Mangum press conference

I've got good photos on the good camera... I'll save those for the next issue of Golfdom!

Will have more updates later...

Sent from my Samsung Epic™ 4G

Player comments on playing conditions at PGA Championship

Good news/bad news:

Bad news first? I only had time to get three interviews done today.

Good news? The interviews were with the No. 2, No. 4 and No. 7 golfers IN THE WORLD.

As always, these interviews are 1-on-1, from my voice recorder to you:


It’s playing good, I mean, it’s good to play out in the afternoon. The course got a little firmer, which is good. The course is in beautiful shape. Fairways are really nice, greens are perfect. They’ve set the golf course up really well.

The fairways are just perfect. They’re really good to hit off. They’re really… you never get a bad lie. It puts a premium on hitting into the fairway, because if you go into the rough it’s a big disadvantage.

(Asked about the work that goes into maintaining his practice facility at home in Ireland): Definitely, I’ve learned a lot over the past few months about what it takes to maintain greens, and different types of grass, how it grows in different conditions… the upkeep of it. I’ve got two bent greens and two Poa. Obviously the weather’s not hot enough in Ireland to grow the grass that we’ve got here. But, it’s definitely given me an insight into what it’s like and what it takes to look after and maintain such good conditions of a golf course.

I’ve got a full time guy and a part time guy (maintaining the practice facility), so they’re in every day, basically. They do a fantastic job.

I knew it would take a little bit of maintenance, especially the grow-in stage. The grow-in stage, obviously they’ve got to be there quite a lot. But as it matures, they don’t need to topdress it so much, just maintain it… but it’s been good for me to learn a little bit about it.


It looks good actually, the fairways are great, the greens are very quick. The back nine… I just went out, and the greens have a lot more slope than the front nine, so it’s going to be a lot of fun.

It kind of feels like it’s sitting up on a tee (in the fairway.) It is different compared to other places. But it’s a major, you know what I mean? They’re going to have the best conditions.

Definitely, definitely (we appreciate the maintenance team). When tournament comes around, these guys spend a lot of time out on the course during the week, you know what I mean? We do appreciate it.


The course is in great condition, firming up all the time. (The new grasses) are a big improvement. Less grain on the greens.

I’ve not noticed too much about the appearance of the fairways. But it’s nicer to be on them then not. You can get lucky (in the rough) or it can set down, and it’s tough work then.

The superintendents are doing a great job here. We see what they do every week, whether it’s a major or a regular event. They do a great job.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Exclusive: photos of damage to No. 14 green

The PGA just announced that there was damage to two greens. Previously it was mentioned that No. 17 had sustained damage, but only now has it become public that No. 14 green was also damaged.

I happened to be at No. 14 green when the damage happened, and I took these two photos. I was there when Ken Mangum arrived on the scene to survey the damage -- the expression on his face said it all. But he didn't scream and shout... he went into business mode, and looked to find a solution to the problem.

Now that the damage has been fixed, I hope the crew at Atlanta Athletic Club appreciates that I share these photos only so you can see what a good job they did when the broadcast starts tomorrow.

Press release from the PGA of America regarding greens damage

From the release:

During this evening's golf course greens maintenance at the Atlanta Athletic Club, there was minor damage caused to the edges of both the 14th and 17th greens. This damage is believed to be the result of a significant rise in the dew point at approximately 7:00 p.m., which caused the brushes on the mowers on those greens to stick in the grass and damage the turf.

The damage has already been fully repaired by the grounds staff at the Atlanta Athletic Club, led by Ken Mangum, the Director of Golf Courses and Grounds.

This will not affect the opening round of the 93rd PGA Championship and we look forward to play in the first round tomorrow in the season's final major, beginning at 7:30 a.m. ET

"You won't even be able to tell."

After months -- no, years -- of preparation, it had to happen on Wednesday night.

There was the maintenance crew on The Golf Channel, surrounding a chunk of damaged turf on No. 17 green. The TV crew chuckled, "that's cutting the green a little too close."

It was no laughing matter to the crew.

"Those guys will fix it, they're problem solvers," Paul Goydos, joining The Golf Channel crew, proclaimed. Goydos was exactly right.

The crew sprung into action to fix the damage that had been done. According to Kasey Kauff, superintendent of the Highlands course, the crew took a sod cutter to the driving range green. That's how The Golf Channel got tipped off to the story.

"The funniest thing, the nursery green didn't match enough," Kauff said. "The nursery green is only five weeks old. So we went to the driving range green.

"We got some sod. Sod it, water it, tamp it down, go home. You won't even be able to tell. It's nobody's fault. We weren't even that worked up about it," Kauff continued. "We just didn't want The Golf Channel filming it!"

As of this writing, the PGA of America was preparing a press release about the incident. Check back later for more information.

No train? No pain.

One photo I have not -- and will not -- get at the PGA Championship is the "fairway mower train" shot that I'm so fond of.

You know the photos. A string of 8 fairway mowers or more, chopping down a fairway in one fell swoop. Like the first photo, taken this year at Congressional CC during the U.S. Open.

All you'll see out here at Atlanta Athletic Club are shots like the one below that I took yesterday of our friend on the John Deere... one man, one fairway, one mower.

The reason, according to the staff here at AAC, is this: the Diamond zoysia fairway grass needs the exact same cut throughout or else there will be a subtle, visible difference in the cut. The crew doesn't want to risk there being the slightest difference between two mowers that end up on the same fairway.

"You can put these all up on lifts, but the fact is that no two mowers are exactly the same, reel to reel, bedknife to bedknife," says Tyler Andersen, first assistant on the Highlands Course at Atlanta Athletic Club. "On this specific turf, at these heights, you can see the slightest imperfection. We don't want to risk one mower being even 1/5,000th of an inch off."

Indeed, Tyler took me along for a ride to watch the maintenance unfold yesterday afternoon. The fairway mowers were as scrutinized as the crew syringing greens.

Mangum has six fairway mowers total mowing fairways this week. Three for the front nine, three for the back nine. They can get all the fairways mowed in one hour and 45 minutes.

But does that mean absolutely no maintenance train photo for me? No worries. I took a video of every single piece of equipment pulling out of the maintenance facility. One way or another, I will have my maintenance train!

Tour players comment on Atlanta Athletic Club conditions

As always, these are all 1-on-1 interviews straight from my voice recorder to you -- you won't find these sound bites anywhere else. Here we go:


(The course is) perfect. I don’t think we’ve played a course in this good of shape all year, to be honest with you.

The greens are a touch on the firm side, they’re pretty quick. It just makes sense, with the heat they get here to go to Bermuda. Probably for a lot less hassle and a lot less budget, you can have better greens and they’re really nice.

Bermuda’s a thicker blade of grass, it grows sideways so it gets a lot of grain… Bermuda’s gotten so good now, they can make it a thinner blade of grass, it doesn’t have as much grain even though it has some… they’re beautiful, they’re nice greens.

You have to go stand on a fairway and see, they look like carpets. It’s some sort of zoysia I’m not familiar with, Diamond zoysia? Zoysia’s usually a wide blade of grass, this is a little thinner, zoysia can get real thatchy and spongy, and this is not either. It’s as good of fairways as I’ve ever played on, ever.


The golf course is great, fast and firm fairways, not a lot of rough but it doesn’t need it. You miss a fairway and it takes that bit of control out of your hands, coming into some firm and fast greens. Greens all pitch back to front, so the golden rule here is: over the back is no good.

It’s a good test without being ridiculously tricked up. It’s a good, fair test. The back nine is much, much stronger than the front. The front nine is quite straight forward, the back nine is strong.

The fairways are like carpets, they’re just perfect, they’re just perfect. Obviously the guys do a great job here.


I played this morning. The conditions are unbelievable. The fairways are the best I’ve ever played. They’re unbelievable, like carpet. The type of grass… it’s a creeping grass, so a really tight coverage on it.

The greens are good, they’re quick. The greens are short… so there’s not much grain, it’s good.

They knocked down the rough a little bit, not much. It’s not like you can’t get it to the green, you just can’t control it. Definitely an advantage to keep it in the fairway.

I think it’ll be hot on Sunday. What do you do? But when you have the right type of grass you can get the course to be dried out and firm if it doesn’t rain.


(The golf course is) fantastic, this is the best grass we’ve probably ever played on. This Champion tifdwarf is a fantastic Southern course grass for the greens, and we haven’t ever seen anything like this Diamond zoysia, it’s fantastic.


(The fairways are) perfect. They’re awesome. I was up here three weeks ago and they were beautiful then as well.

The rough was a little bit… it was getting bad. I think it was similar to what it was now. I think it got bad last week and they backed off a little bit. You’re just going to have to drive the ball in play, plain and simple. It’s hot, the ball is going to be going far, you won’t have to hit a lot of drivers, just keep it in play.

It depends on conditions, and it depends on how they set it up. If they set it up long and tough, I think single digits score will easily win this. But if it gets soft out there and they play it up a little bit I think you can score pretty good.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Where to start?

It was a great day out there at the PGA Championship, but I don't even know where to start.

What was my biggest highlight of the day? The Rees Jones interview? The Graeme McDowell interview? Following the crew on the back nine during evening maintenance?

I'll tell you one highlight that was certainly unexpected... Ken Mangum was addressing the group during dinner. I was snapping photos of him while he was doing it... he was thanking the folks who supported the team at Atlanta Athletic Club... he named BASF, John Deere, Cleary, then some other industry mainstays... then he named ME, Seth Jones, and Golfdom magazine! WOW! Thanks, Ken! What an honor!

I'll tell you another two highlights... Kyle Johnson (pictured, right) gave me a ride from the maintenance facility to No. 10 green, saving me a loooong walk! Thank you Kyle! Then, to finish my evening, Tyler Andersen (pictured, left) gave me a ride to my car, saving me another looooong walk! Thank you Tyler!

Somehow, someday, I'll have to do cover stories on you BOTH, OK?

This photo is a pic of Tyler, Kasey Kauff and Kyle at the practice range. They asked if they should take off their sunglasses. I told them, "No, keep them on, you guys look like Reservoir Dogs!"

Rees Jones addresses maintenance crew at PGA Championship

Rees Jones just stopped by the maintenance facility here at the PGA Championship.

"Everything is right on track, and I appreciate everything you do. You guys are the unsung heroes," Jones told the team.

Ken Mangum then chimed in, "I tell people, he is the baker, and I put the frosting on it. This is all his vision."

Look for the complete transcript, with photos, tomorrow only on the Golfdom Daily!

Sent from my Samsung Epic™ 4G

GolfdomTV interview with Kasey Kauff

Did this interview back before all the madness... here it is for you the week of the PGA!

This is Kasey Kauff, superintendent of the Highlands course, discussing with me the PGA Championship.

You know it!

I must say I do feel welcome. Thank you PGA of America...

Sent from my Samsung Epic™ 4G

Popular reading material at the PGA Championship

You know this sight warms my heart!

I took about 30 copies of the magazine to the guys in the hospitality tent... took me no time at all to hand out all the copies. Everyone was loving the "Mangum's Man-Laws" feature story about this week's host superintendent, Ken Mangum, CGCS.

In the media center right now -- what do you mean I have a magazine deadline this week? -- then I'll head back out to the course.

Highlands course superintendent Kasey Kauff told me the crew gets to chill out for most of the day today... no duties until 4 p.m. A lot of the guys plan on watching golf. Tiger, Phil and Rory are all out there right now.

Kasey seems as cool and collected right now as could be. Like I Tweeted this morning, it was more like I bumped into Kasey at the mall on a Saturday than at the PGA Championship on Tuesday!

"They actually let us mow around golfers yesterday," Kauff told me, astonished. "I got a fair amount of sleep last night!"

Monday, August 08, 2011


I know Hendren will get into this more tomorrow, but just an early head's up... it's Hack-Off time!

For the U.S. Open I gave away a sweet pair of Spy sunglasses for first place, as well as some sweet prizes for 2nd and 3rd. Fair warning: I've got some really cool prizes -- perhaps the best yet -- lined up for the PGA! So get signed up!

Here's the blurb I've got going in the next Golfdom Insider email newsletter:

Participate in the Great Golfdom Hack-Off!
Once again Golfdom will be where the world of golf is… this time that place is the Atlanta Athletic Club for the PGA Championship. We’ll be reporting live from AAC during the week, but in the meantime, let’s have some fun and give away some prizes! Enter your picks for the U.S. Open and you could win a number of great prizes, from gift cards to PGA Championship merchandise to Rain Bird and SubAir golf gear! Just click here for directions on how to enter the Hack-Off!

Mangum interview on GolfdomTV

It's PGA Championship week!

I'm heading to the golf course right now. We've got tons of great content planned this week. Stay tuned all week and we'll see what all we can come up with!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Hendren's Hyperbole! Episode 31 -- Wounded Warrior Project

I receive a lot of forwarded emails from, what seems like, everyone on God’s green earth about all kinds of junk. Most of the time I just delete them without opening them but there are a few people who send me forwarded emails I always open. Sometimes the emails are worth opening and sometimes they are not. The following info was sent to me last week and I thought it was a good story so I wanted to share it with all nine of you who check out my weekly contribution to The Golfdom Daily.

Regardless of your stance on our country and whatever war or conflict we are taking part in this week, one thing has to be unwavering at all times and that is supporting the troops who defend us, our families and our ability to earn a living working on a golf course, the best job in the world!

Here is the email. It is a little wordy but just stick with me.

On Monday, I played the Disney, Lake Buena Vista course. As usual the
 starters matched me with three other players. After a few holes we
 began to get to know each other a bit. One fellow was rather young and
 had his wife riding along in the golf cart with him. I noticed that his
 golf bag had his name on it and after closer inspection; it also said
 "wounded war veterans". When I had my first chance to chat with him I
 asked him about the bag. His response was simply that it was a gift. I
 then asked if he was wounded and he said yes. When I asked more about
 his injury, his response was "I'd rather not talk about it, sir".

Over a few holes I learned that he had spent the last 15 months in an
 army rehabilitation hospital in San Antonio, Texas. His wife moved there
 to be with him and he was released from the hospital in September. He
 was a rather quiet fellow; however, he did say that he wanted to get
 good at golf. We had a nice round and as we became a bit more familiar
 I asked him about the brand new set of Ping woods and irons he was
 playing. Some looked like they had never been hit. His response was
 simple. He said that this round was the first full round he had played
 with these clubs.

Later in the round he told me the following. As part of the discharge
 process from the rehabilitation hospital, Ping comes in and provides
 three days of golf instruction, followed by club fitting. Upon
 discharge from the hospital, Ping gives each of the discharged veterans,
 generally about 40 soldiers, a brand new set of custom fitted clubs
 along with the impressive golf bags.

The fellow I met was named Ben Woods and he looked me in the eye and
 said that being fitted for those clubs was one of the best things that
 ever happened to him and he was determined to learn to play golf well
 enough to deserve the gift Ping had given him. Ben is now out of the
 service medically discharged just a month ago. He is as fine a young
 man as you would ever want to meet.

The story in the email is all good and great but I wanted to know if it was real or just some Ping planted propaganda. It turns out it is real! The program referenced in the email above is referring to Ping being a Gold Sponsor of Disabled Sports USA’s Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project. Men and women severely wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan can participate in one of more than 60 summer long sports rehabilitation programs, one of which is golf. Other golf industry related sponsors include, Tee It Up For The Troops, the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club Charitable Foundation and the PGA of America.

I’m probably not passing along anything you weren’t already aware of but for those of you who were not aware of this program I just wanted to pass along what I felt was a good story. For more information on the Wounded War Project visit their website at

Until next week,

-- Matt Hendren

Monday, August 01, 2011

GCBAA partners with Asia Golf Show

This from the GCBAA today. The world of golf keeps getting bigger -- and smaller -- at the same time:

With its continued focus on the growing international market for golf course builders, the Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA) has agreed to a new cooperative partnership with the Asia Golf Show.

The collaboration is a timely one for the GCBAA as it places more focus and resources into boosting international membership.

“Earlier this year we formed region-specific committees to explore how best to boost our international membership and encourage the sharing of industry best practices,” said Justin Apel, GCBAA executive director. “Of the three primary areas we are focusing on — Asia, Latin America and Europe — the growth of golf in Asia is the most exuberant right now and we are excited to explore new opportunities the Asia Golf Show will present.”

Under the partnership agreement, members of the GCBAA will participate in educational panels put together to examine core industry issues during the three-day Asia Golf Show. They will also exhibit solutions related to golf course construction at the trade show site. Both parties are very optimistic about the prospects of the new partnership and talks are already underway to extend it beyond October 2011.

Brian Thomas, general manager of Reed Guanghe said, “For years, we’ve had the pleasure of welcoming members and distributors from the GCBAA to the China Golf Show in Beijing. To be able to solidify the relationship by launching a formal partnership with the Association itself for the Asia Golf Show is a real feather in Reed Guanghe’s cap. Beyond that, it also sends out a powerful statement of intent about our commitment to driving the sustainable growth of the golf industry across China, and the entire Asian continent.”

The Asia Golf Show is scheduled for Oct. 20 to 22 at the Guangzhou Jinhan Exhibition Center in Guangzhou, China.