Long Island Golf & Travel Show 2017

Golf-Travel-Show-Long-Island

It’s been a long drought – since 2011 – but it’s finally over. Long Island is finally getting a pre-season golf show.

The people at North Coast Golf and Travel Shows are bringing their show to Suffolk Community College — from Friday, March 3rd to Sunday, March 5th.

The show is full of fun (and free) golf related features. Once inside you’ll have access to a huge hitting area to test out the latest in clubs, a long drive contest, and seventy-foot putting challenge.

Celebrity guest speakers are planned but have yet to be announced. We’ll post that here once we know more details.

Adult admission is $12 and it includes a one-year subscription to Golf Magazine. Note: Cash only. Kids 12 and under are admitted free. Check the website here.

Show hours:

  • Friday: 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m

Directions:
Suffolk County Community College Sports & Exhibition Complex
1001 Crooked Hill Road
Brentwood, NY 11717

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Top Golf: A Unique Driving Range

Architectural Photography by Michael Baxter, Baxter Imaging LLC

Architectural Photography by Michael Baxter, Baxter Imaging LLC

Anyone who has spent some time perusing golf social media accounts has probably heard of Top Golf by now. The very Instagramable driving range chain has been heavily promoting itself through social media, by reaching out to golf writers, social media stars and professionals. Top Golf recently opened a location in Edison, New Jersey, not far from the Outerbridge Crossing. I made the pilgrimage from my apartment in Brooklyn to see what the buzz is about.

That said, to call Top Golf a “driving range” might be something of a misnomer. As an avid golfer, I do not think I’d return for my regular practice session. Top Golf is more of a golf experience. They make some mention of attempting to be like a bowling alley, and I think that’s a fair comparison.

At Top Golf, you don’t make your way to a driving stall, and just wail away on 100 or so balls, and head home. Instead, you share a stall with whomever you arrived with, and using Top Golf’s technology, you aim for circular light-up targets down the range to score points.

Upon arriving at your stall, after a brief registration process to obtain membership cards (for a $5 fee), all of the players swipe into a computer mounted on the wall of the stall. You then select which type of game you wish to play. There are several varieties, with the most basic game having the objective of scoring the most points, with the furthest targets being worth more. The only other game my companions and I had the opportunity to try was the chipping game, in which you must shoot for a designated target at 25, 50 or 85 yards, and you lose points for hitting the wrong target.

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Top Golf Edison, NJ – Photo Credit: Frank Molfetta

The balls at Top Golf are not your standard driving range fare. The balls are equipped with ID chips. When the hopper releases a ball, it matches that ball to the player who is selected on the wall-mounted computer. When that ball lands in one of the targets, it is read by a scanning mechanism in the targets, and registers a score on the screen. The targets also have sub-divisions, with more points being awarded the closer you are to the flagstick in the center of the targets.

The balls certainly don’t fly as well as even traditional balls. My experience is the balls fly a club to a club and a half less than your normal club yardage. Hence my 100-110 56* wedge, was only flying to the 85-yard target with a full swing.

I went to Top Golf with two buddies who golf, and my girlfriend, who doesn’t. I would highly recommend Top Golf as an enjoyable night, even for people who don’t golf. Several factors made it enjoyable for non-golfers. First, Top Golf has waiter service at each stall, with cocktails, beer, wine and food. There are couches in some stalls and stools in others, with a table for drinks and food. Second, each driving stall comes equipped with a two sets of golf clubs—one men’s and one women’s—for use by those who do not have their clubs. Third, the competition keeps everyone engaged. Finally, they have TVs in the stalls, with various national and local sports channels available to watch.

There are several reasons I would not recommend this for your regular practice session. First, the range only goes to 215 yards. Second, the balls definitely have a different feel to them, and don’t fly the same as standard golf balls, even standard range balls. Third, it was not cheap during normal practice hours (evenings after work for me), with a bay running $50 per hour. Four people, including one complete beginner, we were able to smack 240 balls total during our two-hour session. Fourth, the atmosphere is very casual, with music playing and lots of non-golfers enjoying themselves, and hooting and hollering over their ongoing competitions.

Photo Credit: Frank Molfetta

Photo Credit: Frank Molfetta

Despite sounding like a cranky old man with that last point, I did really enjoy Top Golf for what it was, a golf experience, and I will certainly be back in the future. I also am hopeful that Top Golf continues to expand (hopefully to Long Island), as I think a fun experience like this could be a great way to grow the game of golf, a belief I was heartened in to see so many teenagers and young adults at the Top Golf in Edison.

Photo Credits:
Top Golf
Frank Molfetta

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Tip of the week: Try my 14/18 drill

mm-on-the-range
Find yourself constantly asking yourself, “Why do I hit it so well on the range and can’t hit it the same on the golf course?” You’re not alone. There are many reasons for this and you need ask yourself about how effective your practice is. Let me give you a way to practice more effectively, and this should help you transfer your range game to the course.

      1. Practice one thing at a time.

    a. Stop driving yourself crazy about those 4 tips you read. Pick one thing you know works for you and grind away (Psst, if you don’t know what to work on, take a lesson!)

      2. Commit, Commit, Commit.

    a. I always tell my students, “I’d rather you hit 45 balls with a purpose, than hit 135 balls working on nothing or 135 things.” Commit to what your coach has told you, or what you’ve established yourself, and do it!

      3. 14/18 drill

    a. Typically, in an 18 hole round, there are 14 fairways, and always 18 greens (hopefully). To start, simulate your fairway and make it as narrow or as forgiving as possible. Then pick another fairway, challenge your imagination, and move on. Do this 14 times and keep track of how many shots you hit “in the fairway.” Then, repeat with the greens portion of the drill, changing your target on each shot.

Work on these things when you go to range, dividing your time between all three of these ideas, and this WILL improve your game where it matters most…ON THE COURSE!

Michael Midgette, PGA
www.gbgigolf.com
Get Better Golf Instruction
“Let’s Play Better Golf”

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Tip of the week: Ball Position & Grip

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GET BETTER GOLF INSTRUCTION

TIP OF THE WEEK

To supplement the first tip of “Alignment, Ball Position, and Grip,” here are a few things to ALWAYS pay attention to in order to create a little more consistency in your game:

Ball Position:

All wedges, short irons (8 and 9 Iron), and mid­irons (6 and 7 Iron) should be played directly in the middle of your stance.

  • Ball on the RIGHT in pictured below (shortest arrow).Long Irons and hybrids (3, 4, 5 Irons and hybrids) should be played one golf ball width forward of the middle of your stance.
  • Ball second from the RIGHT in the picture below.Fairway woods (3, 5, & 7 woods) should be played two golf balls forward of the middle of your stance.
  • Ball second from the LEFT in the picture below.The Driver should be played off of the inside of your front foot (left foot if you’re a righty, right foot if you’re a lefty)
  • Ball on the LEFT in the picture below (longest arrow).

Image_001

Right Handed Golfer Stance (reverse for lefty)

Grip:

Image_002

The single most important part of the golf swing is your GRIP!

  • From address, you should see two knuckles in your top hand.
  • The lines that both hands and thumbs form should be parallel to each other and be pointing at your back shoulder.
  • Both hands should look as they are a single unit, with little to no gaps, and must work together.
  • Thumbs should be placed on top of the grip.
  • Grip Pressure: Scale of 1 ­ 10 (1 = almost falling out, 10 = firm, white knuckled grasp) You should be gripping club around a 3 throughout the golf swing.
  • The better your ability to control grip tension level, the faster you will be able to improve. This technique for the grip allows for natural hinging of the wrists, and better feel for the club and swing.

To correctly modify, alter, or monitor your fundamentals, take a lesson with your local PGA Professional. If you do not have one at your local club or driving range, book a lesson with Michael Midgette, PGA at Skydrive in Farmingdale or Golf & Body in Huntington.

“The best players in the world have instructors, so should you.”

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The Woodmere Club – Course Review, Part 2

Catch up with Part 1 of The Woodmere Club Review.

Adding to the throwback nature of this links-style course, there are very few yardage markers – not a single sprinkler head is marked. So make sure to bring your rangefinder to Woodmere; you’ll need it. As an added bonus, I’m told that pace of play consistently has golfers done in 4 hours.

Teeing off that number ten, I get to see my second of three split tees, meaning two holes tee off side-by-side. I could see this working nicely on a private course where all the members are friendly.
hole11-and-hole16-woodmere
The third and final split tee box is the hole eleven (above, right tee) which shares it’s tee area with number sixteen (above, left tee). This split tee box is slightly different than the others as tall reeds and a decorative mini-windmill separate the holes. Eleven and sixteen are both par 3s and both are guarded by small ponds in front. I’ll also add a three-club wind knocked down three golf balls into said pond.

Hole sixteen also kicks off three of Woodmere’s best-known holes. Playing from the back tees, hole sixteen is a longish par three with a generous green. Water protects the front of the green, and the back includes three large bunkers. Take more club if you find yourself in-between.

hole-17-woodmere
Pictured above is hole number seventeen which is the first of two forced-carry tee shots over water. This par 4 plays 434 yards from the back tees. To carry to the fairway you’ll need at least 140 yards and at 200 yards off the tee you get a couple of fairway bunkers and less room across to land your ball.

hole-18-woodmere
The finishing hole (above) offers you one last chance to get wet. Just 100 yards will get you over the water; the real test is how far down the water-lined fairway you feel comfortable biting off. Once safely in the fairway, the ample sized green – framed by a wall of windows in the dining room – calls you home.

hole-18-woodmere-green-clubhouse

PS. In addition to serving Nassau County residents, I could see this being a great club for golfers from NYC – especially Queens. I understand golf-only memberships are available.

PPS. The author did make that birdie putt.


Image credits: Google Maps | darreno of longisalndgolfnews.com

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The Woodmere Club – Course Review, Part 1

Woodmere-Club-Front-Of-Club-House
Driving up to The Woodmere Club, one gets the sense of the club’s history and pedigree. The impressive colonial style clubhouse – with its sturdy white columns – welcomes you to the grounds. Inside, the clubhouse does not disappoint; the locker rooms are updated, and the various bars, ballrooms, and restaurants are all well appointed.

Established in 1908 as a tennis club, the golf course, designed by Jack Pirie, followed soon after. Over the years, a number of notable architects contributed to making the course what it is today: Seth Raynor in the 30’s, Robert Trent Jones in 50’s, and Stephen Kay in the 90’s.

woodmere-hole-1-marker
Playing alone on a windy day, my first day out this season, was a treat. The first three holes – two par 4s and par 3 – provided a decent warm-up for my rusty swing. Many thanks to James Hallquist, Woodmere Club’s general manager, for inviting me out.

Punctuating the front nine are three challenging holes in succession – starting with hole number five which plays 516 yards from the back tees. Getting there in two shots – even for long hitters – is a challenge given the yardage and the double dogleg. A well-guard two-tiered green makes this one tough par 5.

Next up is the number one handicap hole on the front; it’s the 441 yard, par 4. Again, you need two good shots. Two fairway bunkers on the right and the left necessitate some accuracy here. Unless you’re super long off the tee, you are looking at mid-iron into a tricky elevated green.

woodmere-hole-7-from-tee-boxThe final hole in this trio (pictured left, click for larger) is a short par 4, playing only 293 yards. While the scorecard tells me this is the easiest hole on the front nine, I can’t help but notice the large fairway bunkers on the right about 160 yards out. Carrying these bunkers is not too hard, plus you have plenty room on the left side of the hole. Still, I notice them. My tee shot landed somewhere left. Given how early it is in the season, the seventh green rolled nicely as did the rest of the course’s putt surfaces.

As I finished up the front nine, I was struck by the old-school nature of this course. Few trees, rolling fairways, and proximity to water give this course a true links-style golf feel. Stay tuned…part 2 is coming soon.

 

If you’re looking for a club in Nassau County, Woodmere is a try. Make sure to call James and tell him Long Island Golf News sent you.

 

Image Credit From Top to Bottom:

– Jerry Rosenberg
– darreno of longislandgolfnews

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Job Opening: Editor/Writer at LongIslandGolfNews.com

Do you enjoy golfing on Long Island, sharing your experience on the course…and writing? Please read on…

LongIslandGolfNews.com is looking for a lead writer, responsible for keeping the site current and accurate. This person would be responsible for 3-5 new posts per month about golf on Long Island, as well as ensuring evergreen information on site is accurate (course addresses/phone numbers, etc.)

In the near term, compensation will be negotiated on a per post or per month basis with opportunities for revenue share for candidates demonstrating strategic aptitude and/or experience in audience development.

Please submit a brief cover letter, your resume and relevant writing samples (website editorial, golf/sports related, etc.) to darren@longislandgolfnews.com.

Compensation
Short term: Per post or per month
Long term: Revenue share
golf-pencils

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Leupold PinCaddie 2 Golf Rangefinder

PinCaddie2_angle-400wideI’ve spent years playing golf using sprinkler heads, and more recently, iPhone gps apps to get my distances. Having yardage to the front, center, and back was always “good enough” for me. I had failed to realize how great a nice rangefinder can be and now that I’ve gotten accustomed to the PinCaddie 2 Golf Rangefinder from Leupold Golf, there will be no going back for me.

The PinCaddie 2 rangefinder comes with a smart leather case and is small enough to fit in any pocket in your bag (or be clipped to an outside ring) but is large enough to fit nicely in your hand. The predominately red color is a nice look that adds a sporty touch without being too ostentatious.

As for what’s important – ease of use and speed – the rangefinder scores great in both categories. I now know that I would make a horrible sniper and I’ve got a shaky hand. There is a “point and shoot” mode as well as a scan mode and I find the scan mode to be much more convenient as you can hover over the flag until you get a proper reading. It helps to have a general idea of what the yardage should be so that you can know right away if the laser is picking up a background object or not. By keeping it in scan mode (simply by holding down the “trigger”) you can double check the accuracy of the rangefinder. Results are displayed on the screen almost instantaneously so there is no need to wait for a reading.

The rangefinder is a great tool to get exact yardage to the flag because sometimes it’s tough to tell if a flag is positioned in the front or the back of the green, especially for courses that don’t use different colored flags for different sections of the green. It’s also great for picking out distance to basically any spot or object on a course. For instance, if you are worried about driving the ball through a dogleg, you can easily get the distance to an object on the far side of the fairway in order to see how much room you have if you take a certain line.

Even though it may take a few seconds to get the rangefinder out of your bag, get the yardage, and then put it away, it takes far less time than walking around aimlessly in search of a sprinkler head. Just be sure to play ready golf and get your distances while others in your group are hitting their shots.

For those that have not used a rangefinder, you need to get your hands on one in order to see firsthand what you’ve been missing. For those that are already accustomed to using one, you’ll find the Leupold PinCaddie 2 Golf Rangefinder to be a great upgrade due to it’s speed, accuracy, and style.


Editor’s note: our review was given a Leupold PinCaddie 2 Golf Rangefinder to review and keep. That said, LongIslandGolfNews.com nor the reviewer gave an assurances as to the content of the review.

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The Barclays is coming…Bethpage Black Closures

Getty Images

Getty Images

On Thursday, August 25th to Sunday, August 28th, The Barclays tournament is returning to Bethpage Black.  In preparation for the event,  Black will close to local golfers on August 8th.

Bethpage’s four other courses, the driving range, pro shop and restaurant, will all close on Saturday, August 20 and reopen on September 1. Note: the first hole of the Red Course plays as a par 3 due to Barclays construction.

The Black Course will re-open on September 2.

Call the park directly at (516) 249-0701 for additional details.

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Father’s Day Golf Clinic

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FATHER’S DAY CLINIC

$295 a person (rate for LIGolfNews.Com Subscribers)

When: June 19, 2016

@ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Where: SkyDrive on 110 in  Farmingdale, NY

LIMITED TO FIRST 6 SPOTS

Pricing includes:

Video Analysis

Full Swing

Short Game

E-Mail Follow-Up

Lunch

Discounted Lessons

Call to Book:

Michael Midgette, PGA

www.GBGIGolf.com

646-739-2227

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