Friday, September 25, 2009

Brian Silva Design

Celebrated Golf Course Architect Brian Silva has been designing and renovating golf courses for over 25 years! A leading interpreter of classic vintage design, Silva has restored many of this nation's historic courses - bringing the original designer's visions back to life! He refers to the "Golden Age Architects" such as Donald Ross, Allistar McKenzie, Charles Blair McDonald, William Flynn, Langford and Morrow and Styles and VanCleek stating that, "many of these architects were sharp and cutting edge in their visions and strategy but because so many of their creations have been changed - stripped of like 20, 30 or 40 of their bunkers, due to the economic hard times after the Depression, their work is not what we think it is." To aid in his restoration process Brian uses the original golf course plans and blueprints as well as vintage photos from the teens and early 1920's. It's crystal clear to me after talking with Brian that even after 25 years, he's absolutely enamored with his craft, quite a rare quality to find these days! That my friends is why Brian Silva is top in the field of Golf Course Design!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"One if by land two if by sea"

Ken Read at the Puma Open Boston - the Pinehills Plymouth, MA
As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow so aptly put it in his famous poem 'bout the start of the Revolutionary War "...one if by land two if by sea." While not quite the Revolutionary War - the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race was a nine month treacherous battle none the less! Hailed as the "Everest of Sailing," this premier round the world race is held every four years and is the ultimate test of physical endurance, skill and competitive spirit! The Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 kicked off in Alicante, Spain in October 2008 with 7 boats. All in all the teams ended up sailing approximately 46,000 nautical miles of the world’s most treacherous seas via Cape Town, Kochi, Singapore, Qingdao, around Cape Horn to Rio de Janeiro, Boston, Galway, Goteborg and Stockholm - finishing up in St. Petersburg Russia in June 2009! The race spanned four continents and five oceans and there were 11 stopovers in 10 countries! Each of the seven entries raced day and night on a Volvo Open 70 which can exceed speeds over 30 knots. The sailing teams consisted of 11 professional crew which included an onboard media specialist (with a total of 7 cameras onboard) and crew members performed various roles from skipper to medic to bowman to engineer to sailmaker to navigator. The amount of space each crew member had aboard the boat was 2 meters of space per person, equivalent to living in a carbon fiber phone booth! During the race the crews experienced extreme conditions such as sleep deprivation, temperature variations ranging from -5 to +40 degrees Celsius and wind speeds from 0 to 70 knots! There was no fresh food aboard and the crew lived off freeze dried fare re-hydrated with desalinated seawater and had to eat an average of 5,000 calories a day to sustain their energy levels! Each crew member only had one change of clothing and there was no fresh water for showering (which prolly made everything rather salty!) The only North American stopover was in Boston. After finishing up Leg 6, from Rio-De Janero to Boston, the Volvo Ocean Race converged onto Boston's Fan Pier where a temporary city, "the International Race Village," was erected from April 27 through May 16. There was music, celebrations, eclectic food and awesome in-port racing! Team Puma even erected a temporary storefront for all their fans! The Volvo Ocean Race had an entourage of over 1,000 people traveling at any one time, from journalists, families, friends, sponsors, additional spare parts, logistical and shore crews! At the helm of Puma's boat "Il Mostro" was international sailing legend Ken Read! Kenny, along with Team Puma, finished up in second place overall! Kenny's home port is Newport, R.I. and since arriving home Kenny said that "....for the first time in my life I actually took a real vacation." This Summer it's been all about the golf for Ken! He says, "I don't make my living at golf so I can go out and have fun and tweak and try different things, I really really enjoy it." Kenny claims his handicap is an 11 - I think he was just being humble 'cause that's the kind of guy he is! Go to www.pumaoceanracing.com/us/en to view amazing footage of this dramatic race!

Puma's "Il Mostro" Christening - Boston Harbor May 2008

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

ESPN 890's Alan Segel

Alan Segel from ESPN 890 Boston
(photo courtesy of Pat Eastman)
Boy! The Media Center sure was chock full of Boston media types during the 2009 Deutsche Bank Championship! I saw my friend from way back in the day, Alan Segel. Alan was the voice of the Bruins on WBZ Radio FOREVER....he's now working for ESPN 890 Boston. I forgot to ask him who his favorite PGA Tour player is!?

2009 Masters Champion Angel Cabrera

Angel Cabrera 2009 Deutsche Bank Championship
I caught up with one of my all time faves....Argentinian Angel Cabrera, after his final round at the 2009 Deutsche Bank Championship. Cabrera made a run on the back nine racking up 4 birdies and parring 5 holes - ending up 6- 65, tied for fourth place along with Padraig Harrington and Dustin Johnson. Cabrera shot his best rounds of the year this week at TPC, posting a score of 65 in Rounds 1 and 4! He's currently 22nd on the FedEx Cup Playoff Standings with 3 top 10 finishes in 2009. Whats next for Angel? It's on to Cog Hill in Chicago for the BMW Championship, the third of four events in the FedEx Cup Playoffs!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Stricker's Labor Day Paycheck

Steve Stricker's Labor Day paycheck was 1.35 million - not bad for holiday pay! The win for Steve Stricker here at TPC Norton means he now sits high atop the FedEx Cup Playoff standings in 1st place (racking up 2,500 Fed Ex Cup points here at Deutsche Bank) and has moved to No. 2 in the World Golf Rankings behind Tiger Woods! A possibility of a 3 way playoff with Stricker, Verplank and Dufner left fans and media alike sitting on pins and needles awaiting Stricker's final holes! Stricker got the job done with birdies on 17 and 18, posting a 4- 67 to capture the 2009 Deutsche Bank Championship by one stroke over Scott Verplank (67) and Jason Dufner (65). As I was awaiting Stricker's arrival at the scoring booth on 18, I happened to run into PGA Tour player Jerry Kelly! What a Kool Kat! Jerry was hanging out in jeans, a tee shirt and flip flops - there to congratulate his good friend Steve on his win! Jerry was even gracious enough to say a few kind words about Stricker's game! After posting his score Steve came out of the trailer and the two embraced - what camaraderie! Very nice to see out here on the PGA Tour! Later during the press conference I was able to ask Steve about his very special bond with Jerry Kelly. FYI not only is Steve Stricker "Mr. September," he's also tagged "the Nicest Guy on the PGA Tour!"


Sunday, September 6, 2009

This year it's Team New England!

Team New England emerges victorious over Team USA in the John D. Mineck DBC Junior Cup! The final score in the Ryder Cup format was 48 - 24! This event was held at the Boston Golf Club in Hingham in conjunction with the 2009 Deutsche Bank Championship. I met up with the kids and Team Captain Dave Adamonis, Jr. here at TPC Norton at the Sunday Celebration Barbecue! As I was leaving the awards ceremony, I bumped into Seth Waugh, CEO of Deutsche Bank and his son Clancy who played on Team USA! They gave me a few quotes 'bout the event as well!

Megan Khang Team New England

New England Team Captain Dave Adamonis(photos courtesy of Pat Eastman)Last week, in Thursday's Pro-Am here at the Deutsche Bank Championship, a foresome was open by the good graces of State Street and it was decided to use the slot for some of the young kids playing in the John Mineck DBC Junior Cup! How fun is that? They played with Camilo Villegas and they actually won the event! The first thing Camilo said after the round was "Oh my god this is the most fun I've ever had and we need to do this in every pro-am!" Good Times!

Deutsche Bank Championship Calligrapher Scott Reilly

(Photo courtesy of Pat Eastman)

Housed within the Media Center, located behind the 18th hole here at TPC Norton, is the second of two Leaderboards. Volunteer Calligrapher Scott Reilly is back for his 4th Deutsche Bank Championship stint! He's in charge of transcribing and posting the player's scores as they come in from the scoring booths via Shot Link ticker tape. Scott said that "throughout the span of the event the number of letters and symbols that he posts to the Leaberboard is approximately 30,000!" There's usually a bit of a maylay here in the press room towards the end of the tournament but Scott's good under pressure and makes sure all of the writers and press have the info they need! Scott's an Assistant Golf Professional at The Country Club in Brookline, MA., an avid Sabers fan, is on quite a Chipotle kick and has a black lab named Sable.

Carbon Neutral - Say What???!!!

Solar Power Installation provided by Evergreen Solor
(photo courtesy of Pat Eastman)

The Deutsche Bank Championship is committed to reducing it's carbon footprint and therefore environmental impact and was the first and remains the only carbon neutral event on the PGA Tour. "We continue to build on our substantial progress in our approach to protecting and preserving the environment," Championship Director Eric Baldwin said. "We are committed to being good stewards of the earth, and the Championship and all of our Partners and vendors encourage our fans to join us in this effort." What is carbon neutral? The Deutsche Bank has invested in a project that has reduced carbon emissions by an amount equal to what is calculated to be generated in the production of the Championship. This program was validated by environmental consulting expert First Climate, one of Europe's leading carbon asset management companies. Some examples of ways in which the Sustainability Program has been implemented here at the Championship are as follows...

Housed between the 9th green and 10th tee box is the solor power installation, provided by Marlboro, MA. based Evergreen Solor, and was designed and installed by Alteris Renewables. This typical photovoltaic (PV) system produces enough energy to power the typical American home. The energy that is generated by this system will be funneled back into the local power grid to help to offset some of the power used throughout the Championship

This year's event also has an on-site recycling program managed by Pritchard Event Services to collect and sort all redeemable cans and bottles with the proceeds to benefit local area food banks

Most of the produce used in the TPC Boston kitchen during the event comes from local farms and 100% of the herbs used are grown in TPC Boston's own herb garden! The meat and veggies come from the greater Boston area

Paper used in the Championship office is 100% recycled

The Championship has also partnered with Waste Management and Anheuser-Busch to recycle aluminum and plastic bottles

The Championship's new Sustainability Tent, located near Kid's Village features a replica of the Deutsche Bank Carbon Counter which was launched in June in New York City and displays the running total of long-lived gases in the earth's atmosphere. It's also the world's first scientifically valid real-time carbon counter (www.know-the-number.com)!

CAT power which supplies all the power generation on-site during the event has switched to ultra low sulfur diesel

Providing spectator transportation for the Championship is Boston Coach and uses motors that operate on B5 ultra low sulfur diesel. This bio-diesel fuel is made up of renewable resources and has no sulfur and reduced nitrogen and carbon footprints

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Deutsche Bank Second Round Highlights

I thought I'd share some of my favorite moments from the second round of the Deutsche Bank Championship today! PGA Tour rookie Marc Leishman, teeing off in the first group of the day at 7:40 am, shot a 29 on the first nine holes of play ending with a round of 9- 62 falling one shot short of the course record (which happens to be 61 set by Vijay Singh BTW)! Australian Leishman is currently 93rd on the FedEx Cup point standings and is looking to bust a move this weekend! When asked how he was adjusting to his rookie year on tour the Australian said "you know, a little bit star struck at first, the first tournaments you play with Tiger and Phil and the big names, but starting to get used to it. Obviously the more you do it, the better you get." He finished up 10- for the day tied for 3rd place along with Retief Goosen - not too shabby! Just as I approached the fairway on hole #2 (a 562 yard par 5) to watch one of my all time faves - Argentinian Angel Cabrera, his playing partner John Senden holed out from 250 yards with a four-iron for the first double eagle in Deutsche Bank Championship history and the third double eagle in PGA Tour competition in 2009! Not one to be undone, Cabrera shot an eagle too! Co-leaders Jim Furyk and Sean O'Hair set the bar at 12- for the day! In the press room after his round Sean was asked about the two years he spent traveling around New England in the Summer playing on the (mini-tour) Cleveland Golf Tour. He replied, "Some of Jackie and I's best memories were playing the New England Tour. We had alot of fun traveling. I wasn't used to playing on a Tour, and so it was nice to kind of get to know some guys that could play and that competition. We got some confidence because I played really well. I don't think I missed a cut on those two years. You, know we had a motor home and we were traveling around. At the time we had no kids but we had a big, fat lab that was like a kid, and we just kind of were trying to live week to week, really. But I think those times kind of make this pretty sweet." Steve Stricker's 36 hole total of 130 is the second-lowest of his career, second only to the 126 he recorded en route to his win earlier this year at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. The 36 hole cut for the tournament ended up at 1- under 141 and 73 players advance from a field of 99 professionals. Those who missed the cut included Stewart Cink, Heath Slocum, Ernie Els, Fred Couples, and Rory Sabbatini. The results for the first round of the John D. Mineck Junior Cup over at the Boston Golf Club are Team New England 22, Team USA 14. Last year Team USA won the event with a score of 43-29. Sunday tee times begin at 8am and the winning team will be recognized Sunday evening at the Deutsche Bank Championship's Sunday Celebration at TPC Boston.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Joe McCabe - Executive Director, The First Tee of Massachusetts

(photo courtesy of Pat Eastman)
Earlier this week I had the pleasure of speaking with Joe McCabe! Joe is the Executive Director of the First Tee Program of Massachusetts and he told me all about this wonderful program! Joe was chaperoning a group of over 150 participants of the First Tee Program of Massachusetts who were attending the Deutsche Bank Championship Kids Exhibition featuring David Ogron - the world's fastest golfer. Looking on with awestruck expressions the children clapped and cheered as David broke his previous World Record for the fastest number of balls hit in two minutes by 1, hitting 134 balls! David and his assistant Scott McKinney travel worldwide as part of their program "Miracle Golf Tour." David encouraged the children to "...never give up on your dreams, if someone tells you that you can't do something than follow your dreams and do everything that you can do to achieve those dreams." In 2003, The MGA Links at Mamantappett in Norton, MA. partnered with the First Tee, a national junior development initiative of the World Golf Federation. The First Tee of Massachusetts introduces the game of golf to at-risk underprivileged children who otherwise may never be exposed to the game of golf. The program teaches nine core values inherent to the game of golf to the children - honesty, confidence, respect and courtesy, sportsmanship, integrity, judgement, perseverance and responsibility. The skills these kids learn through the program can be utilized both on and off the golf course. In other Deutsche Bank Championship news, the First Tee of Massachusetts received an $18,000.00 donation from the Red Sox Foundation as part of the 6th annual Red Sox Legends and Friends Pro-Am held on September 3rd!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Heath Slocum at the 2009 Deutsche Bank Championship

Fresh off his win at The Barclays I caught up with wild card Heath Slocum this week at the Deutsche Bank Championship! Last Sunday on the 72nd hole of play at Liberty National, the Manhattan skyline looming in the background, Heath showed the boys just what he is made of by nailing what is being dubbed "the miracle putt" (a 20ft par putt BTW) edging out playing partner Steve Stricker, Tiger Woods, Padraig Harrington and Ernie Els by one stroke to clinch the first of four events in the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Not to mention vaulting 121 points on the FedEx Cup Standings to #3 going into this weeks Deutsche Bank Championship! Heath had a good finish here at TPC Norton in 2008 and is confident he can ride the wave of his recent success....we shall see! Good luck this week Heath!

There's a first time for everything....

Yup, here 'tis....my first official PGA Tour Media Pass! Oh yeh this definitely qualifies to go down in my book of firsts! Let's see there was the first time the tooth fairy visited, my first ride on the school bus, my first crush and the list goes on....blah bitty blah blah blah!