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Volvik XT Soft Golf Balls – Easy to Control and Easy on the Wallet

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Volvik has over 40 years of experience manufacturing golf balls and is probably best known for some wild, almost glow-in-the-dark colors The company is dedicated to the production of specialized 3- and 4-piece multi-layer high-performance golf balls for players of every skill set . Their patented SF matte coating led to the development of Vivid, the world’s first matte finish golf ball. Volvik continues to expand its product line with the 2020 introductions of the XT Soft, the next generation of Vivid.  The XT Soft uses a 3-piece VU-X urethane cover with a 336-dimple design. The V-UX urethane cover delivers maximum feel, shot-shaping control and spectacular control around the greens. I had a couple of pros play a round this past week with the new Volvik XT Soft and they were amazed at how well the ball performed. They found it easy to move left to right or right to left and they found the spin around the greens easy to control. As your average, once a week golfer, I found the same to be true; unfortunately, they don’t float!

The Volvik XT Soft golf balls have a compression rating of 70. The dual core transfers power from the more solid inner core to the softer outer layer which reduces excess driver spin, increasing the moment of inertia and centrifugal force, leading to more distance and more roll. XT Soft works best with swing speeds between 75 and 95 mph, and has been optimized for low driver spin, excellent wedge spin, and a mid-high trajectory The ultra-soft Bismuth oversized core promotes speed to more distance. Volvik has also added an alignment tracking system with long triple putting lines for easier alignment.

Players using Volvik golf balls have earned millions of dollars in prize money with multiple victories. At $37.99 a dozen retail, they may help put some money in your pocket as well!

Sultan’s Run Golf Course – One of Indiana’s Best Golf Courses

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Dubois County in Indiana is home to a number of large businesses: Best Home Furnishings in Ferdinand, Farbest Foods in Huntingburg, and Kimball Electronics and Jasper Engines in Jasper. It is also home to one of the state’s top-ranked golf courses, Sultan’s Run, a true golfing masterpiece.

Since the course opened in 1992, Sultan’s Run has received its fair share of accolades including Indiana Golf Course of the year by INGCOA in 2015 and the #6 Course to Play in Indiana by Golfweek, Magazine in 2019. They have also hosted some prestigious golf events including the 2016 Indiana PGA Senior Open, Web.Com Tour Qualifiers, Golfweek Midwest Junior Classic. Golf Digest has awarded Sultan’s Run 4 1/2 stars. My question to Golf Digest is “Why not 5?”

No sooner did the course open, then it underwent an extensive remodeling project in 1996. Under the guidance of world renowned architect Pete Dye disciple Tim Liddy, all 18 holes were reworked in some way or another. Zoysia fairways were planted, bunkers were added or taken away from some holes and reimagined on others. Greens were reconstructed and some hole were given a total makeover. In the end, Sultan’s Run emerged as the masterpiece you see today and is a world class golf facility that will have golfers of all calibers talking about it long after they leave the course.

The length at Sultan’s Run may not scare anyone away, however the slope tells a much different story. The back (Black) Tees play 6,859 yards with a course rating of 73.5 and a slope of 143. The average slope in the US is around 120, (155 is the highest) so you get the idea it’s not going to be a walk in the park. Move up to the Gold Tees and the yardage drops to 6,429 but the slope only drops to 138. Two other tee boxes play to yardages of  5,762 (Silver) and 4,911 (Green). Worst case scenario is you move up a set of tees and still have a great time!

This tremendous parkland layout sits nestled in the heart of Southern Indiana and stretches across 224+ rolling acres of hardwood forests, water hazards and wildlife. As you make your way around the course, you’ll play along rolling hills and tree-lined valleys, around three lakes and a myriad of streams and encounter wonderful and well-maintained bunkering. What you won’t see at Sultan’s Run are houses and that’s not likely to change anytime soon; it’s just you, mother nature and that little white ball! This is truly one of Indiana’s most scenic layouts.

Stepping to the first tee, the slope and rolling terrain is evident and when you step up to the second tee you get a sense of the elevation changes. At 326 yards (Gold Tees), the 7th is a great risk/reward opportunity and you don’t have to be a gorilla off the tee. A well struck drive over the fairway bunker on the left that catches the downhill slope of the fairway can easily get you on the green in the right conditions.

Up until you reach the 15th hole, water hasn’t been much of a factor. The wet stuff figures predominantly into the last four holes and can easily break up a great round. Number 15 is a 375-yard par 4 with a large lake on the left off the tee and a creek running down the right. Pull your tee shot left and you may get lucky and end up in the bunker instead of the water. If that happens, you’ll have a long approach shot over water. An accurate tee shot between the waterways will leave a short pitch shot into a long narrow green.

Number 16 is a 175-yard par 3 that plays downhill from an elevated tee box into a green surrounded by sand and water. The green is large with a lot of undulation so finding the green off the tee doesn’t guarantee a good score.

Number 17 is a modest 383-yard dogleg left par 4 with a creek meandering down the left side. If you favor the right side off the tee and avoid the fairway bunker, you’ll have a great angle into the green. The approach shot plays uphill so consider an extra club. The green slopes slightly from back to front and is protected on the right side by bunkers.

Number 18 is the far and away the most memorable hole on the golf course and is dubbed Supreme Sultan, the course’s namesake! It’s a 412-yard par 4 dogleg right with a huge picturesque waterfall behind the green. A good drive that flies the fairway bunkers on the right will set up a memorable short iron approach shot into an elevated green that slopes left to right towards the water. Anything right of the green will likely roll down the hill into the water. After the last putt is stroked, grab your smartphone and your playing partners and take a picture with the waterfall in the background to create a lasting memory of your visit.

According to Course Superintendent Brett Popp, the variety of grasses used on the course can sometimes be a challenge to keep in peak condition. The Zoysia tees, fairways and green collars are fairly easy to maintain because the grass is very hardy and can handle extreme hot and cold temperatures. The Bentgrass greens are another story. Several greens are well hidden by trees which restricts airflow, causing the greens to become overheated. To combat this, several holes will see the surrounding woods thinned considerably to increase airflow, yet not detract from the existing aesthetics of the golf course.

The pro shop at Sultan’s Run offers some of the best equipment and apparel designed to complement your game. Pro Shop Manager Pat Schuler and PGA Professional Jeff Howerton have created their own Sultan’s Run apparel label with a silhouetted logo of the memorable racehorse. After your round, stop by the fully stocked Pro Shop and browse through several name brands.

Sultan’s Run Golf Club boasts some pretty impressive practice facilities including a high-capacity driving range and putting green. General Manager Chris Tretter is heavily involved with kids golf in the area and plans on greatly expanding the practice area in the near future to include a comprehensive short game area and the creation of the Sultan’s Run Golf Academy. Sultan Run’s competent PGA staff is available for clinics and lessons and can help take your game to the next level.

I had the opportunity to play Sultan’s Run with Tretter and pick his brain about what the future holds. In addition to the new practice facilities, plans are for a number of cottages to be added in the not too distant future, allowing them to do stay and play packages. Beyond that, an indoor golf entertainment venue with a restaurant, a pitch-and-putt course and a boutique hotel are all in the longer term plans.

There’s no better way to end your visit to Sultan’s Run than a trip to the 19th Hole. Here you can unwind with your favorite beverage from Sultan Run’s fully stocked bar while looking over the 18th hole. Both the bar and grill are open daily for both breakfast and lunch. Executive Chef Phil Barth and his team of culinary experts serve up some tasty dishes and I get the feeling that if the club lets Phil loose in the kitchen, the sky’s the limit.

Sultan’s Run is a great place to host special events such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and corporate outings. The event center has a special view, overlooking the waterfall on the 18th hole. Once you discover how great the entire facility is at Sultan’s Run, you will want to consider it for your next golf outing, event, or tournament. They offer a turnkey outing services include handicapping and scoring, personalized cart signs and scorecards, mulligan tickets, merchandise specials, drink tickets and so much more. Schuler, Howerton, Bart and the entire staff of dedicated professionals know what it takes to pull off a smooth event; you will see that the first time you sit down with them to start the planning process. Jeff Howerton may even be able to give you some playing tips, after all, he does hold the course record at 62. Feel free to give them a call at (912) 482-1009 or visit them online at www.sultansrun.com.

Maui Jim Sunglasses – See the Course in a Whole New Light

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Maui Jim Sunglasses have always had a lot of good things going for them. They are great for driving and you won’t find a more adaptive lens to wear at the beach. So it only made sense that when a few years ago Maui Jim decided to make some sport specific sunglasses and lenses, golf would be one of the beneficiaries.

This year, one of the models the company is touting for golf is Hikina, a polarized rimless model. Rimless is the key, as in sweat won’t well up in the bottom of the frame when you’re playing on those hot summer days. Although it’s rimless, Hikina provides great coverage

Roughly translated, Hikina means the “start of a new day; sunrise.” These great looking sunglasses are available in seven different frame/lens color combinations with the Maui Pure LT lens. It’s Maui Jim’s thinnest and most lightweight lens material that is impact and scratch resistant. The temple tip pads have been minimized, and the nose pads are designed for advanced airflow. The total weight of the frame and lenses in=s a mere 10 ounces! I found that the Maui Green lenses are great for golf and seem to enhance the breaks and subtleties of the greens. The Hikina sunglasses retail for $189.99.

I never really gave it a second thought but aviator glasses also make for great golf sunglasses. Maui Jim’s Cliff House aviator sunglasses get their name from the Cliff House which is located at the top of Waipi`o Valley on the Big Island, Here you’ll find some of the Big Island’s best panoramic views of Hawaii’s natural beauty. The polarized Maui Pure lenses offer bright, clear views of almost everything, from tee to green. The Cliff House Aviator sunglasses are available in 4 frame/lens combinations with a retail price of $299.99.

When you hit the links in a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses, you’re bound to see the course in a whole new way. Their PolarizedPlus2 lenses virtually eliminate the glare and help to enhance depth perception, all while blocking 100% of the sun’s harmful rays.

Maui Jim sunglasses are engineered for a comfortable fit and provide striking definition from tee to green. You won’t be able to claim the sun was in your eyes when you mishit that drive! This is a very small sample of what Maui Jim has available for golfers this year. For more information go to www.MauiJim.com

Golftini Women’s Golf Apparel: Eyepopping Colors and Styles

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To quote famed folk singer Bob Dylan, “The times they are a changin’.” Social distancing has become the new norm so it has become important to look good from far, then far from good. Women’s golf apparel company Golftini recently introduced their spring 2020 line which features several pieces that when paired together, are sure to turn some heads. Let’s start with their Mint Julep skort. Just like its namesake, the cool invigorating Kentucky Derby alcoholic beverage, the Mint Julep shouts refreshing with a feminine flair. That’s not to say that men don’t enjoy the drink, I’m sure they do! This classic skort is sewn from Golftini’s Green Medallion print, a stunning, elegant print that makes a statement whether you’re on or off the course. The 86% Poly/14% Spandex fabric is wrinkle-free and has loose-fitting undershorts in the same fabrication, which adds that classic “Golftini” touch. The side zipper, side slits and Navy Grosgrain ribbon trim detail down the sides makes a statement all its own. Deep side pockets and a back scorecard pocket provide all the storage you’ll need on the course. The Mint Julep Skort is available in either a 17.5” or  19” length.

Look your best when you pair the Mint Julep Skort with Golftini’s Sleeveless Zip Stretch Polo. It’s available in a palette of 12 different colors but you’ll probably want to choose the green one! This sleeveless garment is as functional and comfortable as it is stylish! The moisture-wicking stretch material will keep you cool and dry and the zippered placket supports a flattering v-neckline. There’s UPF 30 sun protection woven into the fabric to keep the sun’s harmful rays at bay. With 4-way stretch this lightweight and breathable polo makes for a great layering piece in cool weather or a go-to top on warmer days. On second thought pick it up in several colors!

Golftini makes a couple of skorts that are sure to be a hit with the ladies. Greyhound and Chaser are sewn from the same 95% Polyester/5% Spandex, wrinkle-free fabric with same-fabric, comfortable and loose-fitting undershorts sewn in. They feature a 3” contoured waistband and a 16.5” length with a hidden front tee pocket and back scorecard pocket. The Greyhound is a beautiful grey black and white plaid print with clean lines and it pairs well with any solid top. Try it with the Red Zip Stretch Polo to make that bold “I’ve entered the room,” statement!

Chaser is a new addition to, the Pull-On Ruffle Stretch Skort line up and comes in Golftini’s new fashion color, lavender, with a white and black striped ruffle that gives the bottom a flare. It will pair with any number of tops.

Another great top and bottom combination is the Rum Runner Multicolored Geometric Performance Stretch Skort (Rum Runner for short) paired with the Hot Pink Sleeveless Sport Stretch Tie Top. Rum Runner is sewn from an 86% Poly/14% Spandex, wrinkle-free fabric with a loose-fitting undershorts in the same fabrication. It comes in an 18” length, so it offers a little more coverage Deep side pockets provide ample storage for all of your golf gadgets and the back pocket will accommodate your scorecard. The side slits and Black Grosgrain ribbon trim detail on the sides create a unique and colorful look that is sure to turn heads. The multicolored pattern goes with just about any solid top Golftini offers Rum Runner is a unique and colorful piece that is the perfect match to any solid Golftini top, including the Stretch Tie Top.

The Sleeveless Sport Stretch Tie Top offers two distinctly different looks in one garment. If you’re looking for a little fun, wear the back open or for a more trendy, casual look, tie it up! The 4-way stretch fabric will move with you through your golf swing and the light, breathable fabric has UPF 30 sun protection woven into the fabric. This new Golftini top is sure to hit a home run, maybe even a hole in one! It’s available in Hot Pink, Black, White, or Navy.

The Black & White Trophy Pull-On Stretch Twill Pant are perfect for ladies who want for more coverage without compromising great looks. The 3″ waistband and stretch ribbon accents along the sides create a slimming effect allowing you to look and feel your best on the golf course. The solid print gives you an elegant look and with 5 pockets, you’ll never run out of room for your stuff!

Golftini’s got the ladies covered when the weather turns and the wind picks up. The Women’s Hooded Windbreaker is sewn from a 88% Polyester/12% Spandex fabric that gives it a little extra stretch and the  100% Quilted Polyester lining keeps you warm and toasty. Thumb holes in the sleeves keep the sleeves in place and the breathable mesh sleeves provide great ventilation. The garment’s hot pink hood is a cute accent! Two zippered outside pockets keep your gear dry and two inside pockets provide great storage. This Hooded Windbreaker is available is 7 different colors.

Something new to the Golftini apparel line up is the Cotton Cashmere Poncho; it’s a great accessory to complete any outfit! Cozy up in this luxurious wrap after your round of golf. The dyed-to-match topper complements an array of Golftini’s printed and patterned skorts. The Cotton Cashmere Poncho is the perfect layering piece for after your round on the course or a day of shopping. The Boatneck with an asymmetrical hemline creates a style all its own. It’s available in several fabulous colors including Light Pink, Red, Grey, Navy & Black. Don’t worry about sizing, one size fits all!

The next time you’re looking to add to your golf wardrobe, click on over to the Golftini website (www.golftiniwear.com) and look around at their new collection of stylish and colorful garments. Odds are you’ll want more than one!

Glove It – Whatever Your Style, It’s In the Bag!

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OK, let’s say you just purchased the perfect activewear outfits, tops and bottoms. Now you’re looking to accessorize them, but not sure where to turn. Look no further than Glove It!

Glove It specializes in accessories, everything from golf gloves and visors, golf bags, shoe bags, headcovers, tote bags, tennis gear, pickleball gear, backpacks, toe bags and sport towels. Enough said!

If you’re the type of person that likes to “match” you’re sure to become a fan of Glove It! Each piece is available in a wide variety of both solid colors and prints. We had a chance to check out several products. The Tennis Tote easily hold two tennis racquets and much more. There’s a top zipper closure, a zippered back pocket, and an inside zip pocket. It’s also perfect for the gym and beach. You’ll fit right in if you order the right print!

The Rose Gold Quilted Zip bag looks much too luxurious for the golf course! This two-zip carry all bag is as functional as it is stylish and easily clips to your golf bag. With a 24” strap, it converts quickly to a body bag. It’s available in all of Glove It’s signature prints.

If you find it easier to carry your rackets on your back, the Tennis backpack is both fun and functional. It holds two racquets and the versatile strap lets it be work as either a sling or backpack. There’s a side pocket for balls or a water bottle and a name tag compartment so you can identify it easily and a hidden top hook so you can hang it on the fence.

Now you can tote your shoes in style. Why wear them to the court or course when you can put them on display in a Glove It shoe bag. These shoe bags are available in all of the electric Glove It prints and provide extra protection for your shoes. They are sturdy and  fashionable with a full-length zipper, a top carry handle and mesh ventilation, just in case!

Pickleball is the hottest sport in the country so why not get in on the act! The Pickleball Sling Bag is large enough to hold all of your pickleball gear including up to 6 paddles and pickle balls. Heck throw your phone, keys, and wallet in too! There’s special compartments for them inside and a water bottle! The shoulder strap is adjustable and comes with a clip-on shoe bag.

Golf Gloves put Glove It on the map so it only makes sense to mention them as well. Glove It gloves let you put your fashion foot forward and are available in vibrant solid colors and all of their signature prints. They’re made from stretch Lycra Cabretta leather palm and offer UPF50 sun protection, maximum breathability, and extreme comfort. These gloves are available in sizes S, M and L for either right or left hand.

Glove It lets you show off a side of your fashion and style that your friends may not know you have. Why not surprise them. To see the complete lineup of all of the Glove It product line, visit their website at www.GloveIt.com.

Fairfield Glade – The Pinnacle of Golf in Tennessee

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Golf may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Tennessee, especially the small town of Crossville on the eastern side of the state. Crossville is known as the “Golf Capital of Tennessee,” with no less than 10 championship golf courses in the Cumberland County area.

Five of the area’s best courses are located in Fairfield Glade, a resort and retirement community located just north of I-40. About 8,300 residents call Fairfield Glade home; it’s situated on the Cumberland Plateau, between Nashville and Knoxville. Fairfield Glade is popular for “halfbacks,” retirees who moved from somewhere up north as far south as Florida and are now moving halfway back to be within easy driving distance of family and friends. Consequently, you’ll find a lot of people originally from Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana here. The area is blessed with four mild seasons and golf can be played year-round. No state income tax, low property taxes, and an overall low cost of living only add to the attraction of residing in the area.

If you haven’t been out to Fairfield Glade in a while, you may notice several differences. There’s now a clubhouse at Dorchester; it opened in 2015. Likewise, there have been some major renovations at Stonehenge, primarily at the grill and pro shop and a new maintenance building was added in 2018.  The two courses at Heatherhurst and Stonehenge have all undergone extensive bunker renovation and now feature Better Billy Bunkers, considered by many to be the best bunker construction in the world.

The five courses at Fairfield Glade play out of 4 clubhouses, each with its own practice facility. Three of the four facilities have short game practice areas complete with bunkers. As if that’s not enough, There’s a TrackMan simulator in the Fairfield Glade Community Center where you can play any number of courses from around the world or sign up to take a golf lesson on it. The original nine holes at Fairfield Glade opened for play in 1970 with the final nine 18 holes being completed in 1973. This championship course was located on the highest point in Fairfield Glade and was named Druid Hills Golf Club. The course provides several scenic views of the surrounding mountains and features rolling, tree-lined fairways, lots of water hazards, and well-undulated bent grass greens. At only 6,270 yards from the back tees, Druid Hills is one of the shortest courses at Fairfield Glade. But don’t let the length fool you; it also plays one of the toughest. The course was designed by Leon Howard. The waterfall on Number 14 is probably the most photographed feature on the golf course.

There are two courses at Heatherhurst, the Crag, and the Brae. The facility was built in stages; the front nine of the Crag opened in 1989 and the back nine opened in 2000. In 1991 the 3rd nine was completed and from 1991 – 2000 Heatherhurst was a 27-hole facility. In 2000, another 9 was added and this now 36-hole facility had two separate and distinct 18-hole championship courses: The Crag and The Brae.

Many consider the Crag the easier of the two, probably because it plays a lot shorter. That being said, the Crag course is as beautiful as it is challenging, especially when you get to the back nine. There are significant elevation changes and a range finder with a slope feature is a good asset to have, unless you’re playing in a tournament, where it may be frowned upon! Many fairways are wide open off the tee and since the holes aren’t extremely long – a few of the par 5s are reachable in two with a good drive. The emphasis is on your approach shot if you want to score well. One of the more memorable holes on the Crag layout is Number 17. This short par 4 is the course’s signature hole and is the most scenic hole on the course, if not the entire property. Stand on the overlook behind the tee box and you’ll see what I mean. The Crag course was designed by Gary Roger Baird and opened in 1989.

In 2017, the Brae Course at Heatherhurst was named one of the Top 5 Courses you can play in the State of Tennessee by Golf Week Magazine. The Brae Course at Heatherhurst was also designed by Gary Roger Baird and opened in 1989. The Brae is the only course in the area with Zoysia grass fairways and the subtle undulations in them as well as the true rolling greens will keep you coming back round after round. Each side features a picturesque par 5. The 4th hole plays 495 yards from the White Tees and features a double dogleg that requires two forced carries over Otter Creek; it’s said to be one of the toughest par 5’s in Tennessee. To me, The Par 5, 10th hole was stunning. Number 10 is a slight dogleg left and starts with a blind tee shot. Pull your tee shot left and you’ll find the woods. It’s all downhill from there – literally – to a green that overlooks beautiful Lake Dartmoor.

The same year that Golf Week recognized The Brae Course as the 5th best course you could play in Tennessee, they ranked Stonehenge #2. Golf course architect Joe Lee used the rolling hills and woods of this Cumberland Plateau property to create a course that is as beautiful to look at as it is fun to play. Stonehenge features bent grass tees, greens, and fairways for some of the best playing conditions in the area. The course gets its name from the walls of native stone found throughout the course, the biggest and most eerie as you make the drive from 15 green to the 16th tee. More evidence can be found on the 14th hole, a downhill, 148-yard par 3 that plays considerably less. Rocks and water surround the green, which sits on the edge of Lake Dartmoor. It’s a beautiful and challenging hole. Number 15 was my favorite hole. It starts with a blind tee shot from an elevated tee box to a fairway sandwiched between two fingers of Lake Dartmoor. Hit your tee shot more than 240 yards and you will likely find the water. Another creek crosses the fairway before you get to the green, so be wary of that. The green sits above the fairway and is well protected with sand.

Narrow tree-lined fairways, numerous water hazards, strategically placed bunkers, and well-undulated Bentgrass greens define the Dorchester Golf Club, designed by Bobby Greenwood. At 6,400 yards from the longest tees, the course isn’t going to overwhelm most players, but a slope rating of 134 tells you that this course has some bite to it.  With all of the hills, valleys, and creeks, the course requires accuracy off the tee and good shot selection, meaning driver may not be the best choice off the tee. Some players are put off by the fact that Dorchester starts you off with the number one handicapped hole on the course, a long par 4 with a large lake fronting the green. Anything on the right side of the fairway spells doom; double bogey isn’t a great way to start your round. There’s also a 146-yard downhill par three that plays closer to 120 yards with a blind tee shot and shows off the course’s elevation change. Course knowledge comes in handy as you can’t see most of the greens from the tee box.

Golf’s not the only thing Fairfield Glade has to offer its residents. There are two full-service marinas and a racquet sports center complete with clay courts, indoor tennis, and pickleball courts. Fairfield Glade has also been blessed with mile after mile of hiking trails.

Springtime is the prime golf season in Tennessee and Fairfield Glade is the place to be for visitors from all over the area. There are a few reasons for this, the biggest being the fantastic golf that can be played within the community. Five beautiful and challenging courses in one location! The second could very well be the weather, with an average temperature of 59 degrees in March and 69 degrees in April.

Fairfield Glade is a golfer’s paradise and with five spectacular golf courses, you can easily make a week of it. Depending on the time of year, many homes in the community can be rented by the month, giving you plenty of time to learn the lay of the land and fall in love with the community. If you prefer to stay off-property, there are several well-known hotel chains in the area. A third option is a Club Wyndham timeshare, available through Extraholidays.com. These units come fully furnished and are available with 1 – 4 bedrooms; perfect for a couples golf getaway or a foursome with the guys – or gals! Several golf packaging companies have put together some tremendous Fairfield Glade stay and play packages; you can book through Fairfield Glade or one of several area golf packagers.

Golfers in the midwestern states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois have several golf travel alternatives for their golf vacations. Fairfield Glade and the plateau area of Tennessee has a lot to offer when compared to alternatives such as Myrtle, Beach, Hilton Head or Savannah, GA. It’s a lot easier of a drive – less than an hour from where I-75 splits with I-40 outside Knoxville – and a lot friendlier on the wallet. You don’t have to travel far to get a good meal either, whether you’re looking for a quick bite at the course or dinner and drinks after your round. Each clubhouse has a snack bar with the usual at-the-turn necessities or you can have a nice sit-down meal at the Stonehenge Grille or Legends, located in the Druid Hills clubhouse.

Fairfield Glade wants everyone to know that after 50 years the community is still thriving and continues to invest in all of their golf courses. If you haven’t visited them in a while, it’s time to come back and experience everything they have to offer, During your visit to Fairfield Glade, you’ll have scenic views of the surrounding mountains, good changes in elevation, and access to five golf courses that offer tremendous challenge and beauty. In short, it’s a golf vacation you’ll remember for a long time. For more information on booking your next stay and play package to Fairfield Glade, visit www.fairflieldglade.cc. They’ll also be glad to point you in the right direction if you want to make this vibrant golf community your new home.

Skechers Spring 2020 – Great Looking Golf Footwear That Won’t Let You Down

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Anyone who owns a pair of Skechers shoes has undoubtedly remarked many times about how comfortable they are. Skechers seem to envelop your foot, making walking effortless and tireless.

That same feeling shines through in the golf footwear Skechers makes for men and women. Two of their new offerings for women for the Spring of 2020 are the GO GOLF Elite V.3 – Deluxe and the GO GOLF Walk Sport – Bloom Relaxed Fit.

The Go Golf Elite V3 – Deluxe is an all-new waterproof shoe with a spikeless-designed traction outsole for stability on the tee and the green. The upper is made from soft, supple leather with an embossed design and Skechers H2GO Shield waterproof finish. The low drop design helps to keep your foot low to the ground at address and the heel lock design provides a secure and stable fit. Skechers is all about comfort and this shoe has lightweight, responsive 5Gen cushioning as well as a Goga Max cushioned insole. The tongue and collar are padded for even more comfort. The translucent spikeless TPU traction outsole will keep you glued to the ground during your golf swing and there’s a “S” logo on the side. The GO GOLF Elite V.3 – Deluxe is available in sizes 5.5 – 11 and in Black and White.

For a sportier, more feminine look, the GO GOLF Walk Sport – Bloom Relaxed Fit shoe is an excellent choice It takes one of Skechers classic walking shoe designs and applies it to golf. The upper is crafted from a soft woven heathered jersey mesh fabric upper with floral embroidery detail and is treated with a water repellent finish. Several Skechers comfort features can be found in the  GO GOLF Walk Sport – Bloom shoe including high-rebound cushioning with responsive feedback, a Goga Max insole and ResaGrip midsole cushioning. The Relaxed Fit design has a roomy and comfortable fit at the toe and forefoot. The turf cleated spikeless outsole provides a good connection between your foot and Mother Earth. There’s a colorful floral embroidery design on the side, heel and tongue panels that creates a unique look. The GO GOLF Walk Sport – Bloom Relaxed Fit shoe is available in sizes 5.5 – 11 and in either  White/Navy or Black/White.

Designed and worn by our very own, If Skechers GO GOLF Pro V.4 golf shoes are good enough for Matt Kuchar, rest assured they can help your game too. This classic Skechers design features a smooth, full grain leather upper treated with H2GO Shield waterproof protection. The ultra-lightweight, responsive ULTRA FLIGHT cushioning and high-performance Resamax cushioned insole create comfort beyond imagination. The diamond-design traction plate outsole features replaceable Softspikes which ensures maximum grip and the side stitching detail trim and familiar “S” logo on the side identify the brand. The GO GOLF Pro V.4 golf shoes are available in sizes 7.5 – 14 and in either White or Black. Now you can look like a pro and – with any luck – play like one too!

Another great looking men’s shoe from Skechers is the GO GOLF Mojo Elite which combines a sleek, sporty look with the ultimate in traction and comfort. The smooth full grain leather and textile upper has been treated with H2GO Shield waterproof protection and carries a two year warranty. The perforated side panels create a cooling airflow ULTRA GO cushioning and a Resamax cushioned insole provide the comfort and Skechers all-new GRIPFLEX spikeless TPU outsole keeps you connected to the ground. The Skechers GO GOLF Mojo Elite is available in sizes 7.5 – 14 and in four colors: Navy/Lime, Black/Red, Charcoal/Blue, or White/Gray.

To see the entire Spring 2020 golf footwear lineup from Skechers, visit www.skechers.com.

Fox Den Country Club – A Club the Whole Family Can Enjoy

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To say Chester A. Massey was a golf enthusiast would be like saying the Titanic was a boat. Massey, an insurance executive from Knoxville, had a dream to build one of the finest golf courses in America, right here in east Tennessee. He spent several years and a lot of miles researching the project, country club planning, and management. Massey visited dozens of properties and spoke to many club managers and head professionals before selecting a piece of property west of Knoxville on which to build his dream course and master-planned community.

Renowned golf course architect William Byrd was selected to design and build the course and felt that Fox Den was one of the most beautiful pieces of land he’d ever worked on, with features everything like rolling hills, beautiful wooded areas, and long fairway stretches, all with the Great Smoky Mountains serving as a backdrop. He felt that “It will be one of the most exacting and exciting 18 holes in America.” The first nine holes opened for play on May 15th, 1969.

With the construction of the golf course underway, Massey set out to remodel the old Oliver Kermit Everett farmhouse into the club’s first clubhouse and pro shop; it opened in March of 1969. The second clubhouse – which is now the Fitness Center – opened in May 1971. The clubhouse that you see today was the result of a $4 million construction project approved by the membership in 1994. I guess you could say that Chester Massey’s dreams did come true, Fox Den is truly one of the nicest facilities in the Knoxville area

In 2004, Bill Bergin completely redesigned the golf course, significantly enhancing an already outstanding layout. During the renovation, Bergin resurfaced all the greens and reshaped most of them, added several new bunkers, updated the drainage system, and installed new cart paths.  In 2011, Bergin was back to rebuild all 56 bunkers on the course.

From the back tees, Fox Den plays 7,110 yards with a course rating of 74.7 and a slope of 137. This is where the pros played from for the 21 years the course hosted the Web.com Tour’s Knoxville Open event. From back here, you’ll find a lot more forced carries and more difficult angles into the green. Most members typically play from the White (6,434/71.5/132) or the Green (5,836/68.7/128) tees. Ladies will have an enjoyable time from either the Blue (5,279/71.1/123) or the Silver tees (4,718/68.1/1200). There’s also a “combo” tee on the scorecard called the “Partners” tee. Chose the distance that best suits your game and you’re bound to have a good time. When it doubt, “Play it Forward!”

I recently had an opportunity to play a round of golf at Fox Den. Not being able to find three friends that could play during the week, I was paired with three members and things couldn’t have gone better. One thing that they pointed out was that, other than the par 3’s and a couple of other holes, you can’t see the green from the tee box. The tee shots aren’t necessarily blind, you can usually watch them land, but course knowledge out here is everything. Two of my playing partners have been members for 40 years, the other for 5. I asked them what made membership so special, expecting to hear the standard answer, “the members.” I was pleasantly surprised when each one replied “The golf course, it’s just fantastic.” That’s a hard point to argue.

Just as Willard Byrd promised when he built the course originally, there are plenty of rolling hills and beautiful wooded areas, unless you’re in them. Then they’re not so beautiful. Water comes into play on several holes, but not in areas where you can’t see it. In other words, no blind shots where you could find the water if you didn’t know it was there. Fairway bunkers have been strategically placed and for the most part, are reachable regardless of the tees you’re playing. Most of the fairway bunkers, although on the peripheries of the fairway have large lips and are fairly penal in nature. The Bentgrass greens are moderately fast and roll true with subtle undulations.

Fox Den Country Club has several memorable holes but for me, it all begins with the first three. The first hole is a dogleg right, par 5 that plays 482 yards from the White tees. Tee off from an elevated tee box downhill to a landing area with a large deciduous tree on the right and fairway bunkers left. Longball hitters can most likely carry the tree, allowing themselves to go for the green in two, perhaps jump-starting their round. The green is elevated and well protected with deep-lipped bunkers.

From the White tees, the par 3, 2nd hole plays 162 yards, slightly downhill and over water to an angled green protected by bunkers front left and behind. There’s a bailout area right of the green if you feel the need!

The third hole is a gentle dogleg right that plays 356 yards from the White tees, although because it’s uphill, plays a little longer. Trees guard the right side off the tee with out of bounds on either side. You’ll need to carry your approach shot on to the green because of the positioning of the deep-lipped bunkers around it. Par is a good score here.

Number 18 is an awesome finishing hole. It’s a 556-yard par 5 that doglegs slightly to the right and for most players, will take three of the day’s best shots to get there. There is water to the right of the green as well as in front, making it necessary to carry it on. Two good shots will leave a short pitch over water into the green which features modest undulation.

The Teaching Center is one of the top golf club fitting studios in Tennessee and helps Fox Den members get the most out of their golf game by analyzing and comparing different club heads, shafts, etc. They use the TrackMan 4 video system for custom club fitting and teaching. TrackMan can measure ball speed, clubhead speed, launch angle, club head angle of attack, and path, just to name a few. There are two indoor hitting bays so members can work on their swing year-round.

Fox Den has the practice facilities for golfers to work on every facet of their game. There’s a full-length driving range with multiple target greens. The short game complex has areas for golfers to practice green side and bunker shots and the 10,000 sq. ft. putting green has all the undulations to get you ready for the course. There’s a second putting green adjacent to the first tee which many members use to practice short putts and chip shots.

The golf pro shop is run by PGA Professional Danny Ackerman who stocks a good variety of clubs, clothing, and accessories. You’ll find brands such as FootJoy, Under Armour, Polo Ralph Lauren, Cutter & Buck, and the latest golf club technology from companies like Titleist, Ping, and Callaway. Both beginner and seasoned golfers will find solace in knowing that the Professional Staff is always there to assist members and their guests and help them work through any problems they may have.

Fox Den Country Club offers several membership options with the most popular being the Full Membership. With a full membership you have access to pretty much everything Fox Den has to offer: The golf course, driving range and practice facilities, the teaching facility and use of the Trackman system, the tennis center, junior Olympic and Children’s swimming pools, fitness center, dining facilities, member events, and ClubBenefits at over 350 country clubs and entertainment venues around the world. A Full Membership applies to everyone in the immediate family 23 years of age and younger. Contact Membership Director Caroline Inman for more information.

If golf isn’t your game, maybe tennis is. Fox Den has five of the best clay courts in Knoxville as well as two hard courts that are lit for night play. Within the club’s Tennis Program there’s a wide variety of leagues and clinics for men, women, juniors, and couples. The Tennis Pro Shop can help with tennis supplies, stringing, and repairs.

Tennis isn’t the only racquet sport at Fox Den, they also play pickleball. It’s the fast-growing sport in the country and is a great way to introduce kids to tennis. It’s also a great workout for adults and speed and quickness are not a necessity. In fact, many tennis players are converting to pickleball because it requires less endurance than tennis.

The fitness center at Fox Den is quite impressive. For starters, there’s a cardio fitness room with treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, and a cardio theater. The stretching room has a number of stretching tools and balance balls. There’ a variety of Precor machines and a free weight area with barbells and dumbbells. Shower and changing facilities are available for both men and women with all of the accouterments you’d expect at a private club.

Fox Den wants to be known as a family-friendly country club and offer something for every member of the family. While golf, racquet sports, and the fitness center will most likely be enjoyed by all members of the family, things like Family Pool Activities, Red Foxes Swim Team, and Kid’s Camp attract the younger crowd. Fox Den has a good variety of events and activities for the kids throughout the year. The Casual Care Center is the perfect place to leave the little ones while mom and dad go out and play a few holes or sets.

For more information on Fox Den Country Club or to schedule a visit, go to their website, www.foxdencountryclub.com

The Original Penguin – Attention Ladies, This Penguin’s For You!

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If you play golf and like to look good while you play, then you may be familiar with Penguin Pete. If you are like me, you first encountered Pete gracing the polo shorts of golfers such as Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus back in the 1970s. Back then, the brand was known as Munsingwear and was extremely popular.

After several years on hiatus, Perry Ellis International resurrected Penguin – now known as The Original Penguin – and introduced a women’s golf apparel line which the ladies are flocking to!

The company tips the scales with their Veronica and 3D Veronica Polo, two garments with similar names that are quite different. The Veronica is sewn from a 95% Cotton/5% Spandex pique fabrication with raised parallel cords that creates an incredibly unique texture. With just a hint of extra stretch, you will be set for a day on the links. The self-collar, 4-button placket, and short sleeves are all trimmed with matching piping. The Veronica Polo is available in sizes XS – 2XL and in three vibrant colors:  Deep Lake, Ballad Blue, or Coral Sands.

The 3D Veronica Polo  has a totally different look and feel. First of all, it is sewn from an interlock knit fabrication with a little added stretch and a very soft to the touch feel thanks to the 65% Pima Cotton/35% Cotton fabric. What sets this ladies polo apart is the tri-color 3D contrast tipping that adds eye-catching detail to the collar, cuffs and placket. The Original Penguin logo, Penguin Pete graces the left chest of both models. The 3D Veronica Polo is available in sizes XS – 2XL and in either Dark Sapphire or Bright White.  Either of these polos is a great choice to go with either slacks or jeans.

As the golf dress makes a comeback, Penguin’s Tipped Birdseye Polo Dress is designed to turn some heads and elevate your look. This short sleeve dress is crafted from a pique Birdseye fabric that gives it a subtle texture. The 95% Cotton/5% Elastane fabric has a little extra stretch to help get you through your golf swing and look good at the same time. The 3-button placket and tipped self-collar creates the classic golf look. Once again, there is an Original Penguin Pete logo on the left chest. The Tipped Birdseye Polo Golf Dress is available in sizes XS – 2XL and in three soft feminine colors: Parfait Pink, Dark Sapphire, or Bright White.

The Original Penguin’s women’s apparel line is currently limited but continues to evolve, based on sales. Want more to choose from? Buy a few pieces; they will make more! You can see the entire line at www.originalpenguin.com

Lost Key Golf Club: Quality Golf in the Florida Panhandle

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When it comes to golf courses in the Pensacola area, Lost Key Golf Club is certainly one of the top facilities in the area. The golf course is framed by the natural beauty of Perdido Key and is ideally located between historic downtown Pensacola and the pristine sugar sand beaches of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, AL.

The course originally opened in 1997 and went through a redesign by the Arnold Palmer Design Group in 2006. Par at Lost Key is 71 and the course can play anywhere from 6,690 yards from the Black tees to 4,137  yards from the Orange tees. In all, there are five sets of tees that offer players of all skill levels a unique playing experience.

This signature-designed championship course features Sea Dwarf Paspalum grass from the tee through the green making for some of the best playing surfaces in the area. The greens are lush and roll true. Lost Key was the first golf course in the State of Florida to be certified as an Audubon International Silver Signature Sanctuary, a project that continues to protect the natural resources of the area while providing an outstanding golf experience.

Lost Key has several holes that you will remember for a while, but here are some of my favorites. Number 1 is a par 5 that plays 549 yards (Blue Tees). It’s the longest hole on the course and surprisingly is only handicapped #15. Number 1 is best played as a 3 shot hole and holds the key to getting your round off to a good start. This is achieved by keeping your tee shot in play; after all, there’s nothing worse than hitting three off the first tee! Play your layup shot towards the bunker on the left side of the fairway. That will leave an approach shot of around 100 yards to the middle of the green. Par is a great way to start.

Number 4 is a risk/reward par 4 that doglegs to the left. At only 292 yards, it’s reachable for longball hitters and seniors who can hit the ball 220 yards. There’s water on both sides of the fairway and behind the green so be sure to keep the ball in play. If you can’t carry your tee shot at least 240 yards, better play it safe and just put your tee shot out in the fairway. That involves laying up short of the right fairway bunker which will leave an approach shot of around 110 yards. Play your approach shot to the middle of the green and leave yourself a shot at a one-putt birdie. Standing on the Blue tees, it looks like there is nowhere to land the ball but once you play this hole a couple of times, you’ll figure it out.

Number 12 is a fun 501-yard par 5 that starts with a wide-open tee shot to a generous landing area. But don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security. Longball hitters may be able to go for the green with their second shot but must avoid the water on the left. For those of us who didn’t pummel their tee shot, play your second shot over the wetlands with a mid-iron and leave a short approach to a very large and well-undulated green that slopes back to front. Knowing where the pin is and hitting it close goes a long way in avoiding a three-putt.

The par 4, 430 yard 17th hole has a little bit of everything and for my money could very well be the toughest hole on the course. At 430 yards from the Blue tees, it’s the longest par 4 on the course. The tee shot requires the longest carry of any hole and is best played with a shot slightly right and short of the 150-marker. Find the bunker on the left just over the water and par just became that much tougher. A good tee shot will still leave a long to mid-iron approach shot into a small green with a ridge running across the middle. Keep it in the fairway on this hole and you’ll just fine.

After your round, head into the clubhouse for your favorite adult beverage and some very tasty food. The dining room serves both breakfast and lunch as well as dinner on Wednesday nights. The menu includes sandwiches and burgers and I highly recommend the club sandwich. Wednesday night dinner includes entrees such as Lemon Chicken and Truffle Shrimp. There’s a Happy Hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 – 7 PM, so if you plan your round accordingly, you can take advantage of $10 appetizer platters, $2 domestic drafts, $3 house wine and $4 well drinks.

Recently Lost Key unveiled their new state of the art golf clubhouse which features a full-service golf shop, men’s and ladies’ locker room facilities with lounge areas, and a restaurant and bar with indoor and outdoor seating that offer panoramic views of the golf course. While Lost Key Golf Club offers all of the amenities and quality service found at the finest private clubs in the country, it is open to non-Members and resort guests. The club is a popular venue for golf outings of all sizes and the clubhouse is available for private social events. Lost Key is more than just a golf course, it’s an entire lifestyle.

Lost Key is currently accepting new members and is offering some incredible deals with membership starting as low as $100 per month! It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned veteran or are just taking up the game, Lost Key offers Single, Family or Transferable memberships for individuals who have a vacation home and choose to rent their home when not in town. They also offer Corporate Memberships for local businesses that may be looking to grow their image and join like-minded professionals who recognize the benefits of being a Club Member. As a member, you’ll receive complimentary greens fees, locker and bag storage, handicapping service, seven-day preferred tee times, use of private lockers/showers/bathrooms, a Lost Key golf hat, towel, a member bag tag and much more.

The Hilton Garden in nearby Orange Beach, AL offers some reasonable and comfortable accommodations. It’s a relaxing 20-minute drive to the golf course right along the beach and HGI offers a great breakfast buffet and lots of beach amenities.

Last Word: Terra Firma Asset Management purchased Lost Key Golf Club in 2018 and the enhancements to the golf course and facility in general have been tremendous. Lost Key is destined to become one of the most desirable golf communities in the Florida panhandle and will attract golfers and residents from neighboring states. Ownership has sunk a good deal of money into the golf course and rejuvenated it to the point that it is once again a joy to play.

The bunkering at Lost Key is quite impressive and penal. There’s a lot of sand in the bunkers and if your approach shots do not find the green but instead land in a bunker, up-and-down can be a task. I had the opportunity to speak with Doug Lowell, a foreman on the grounds crew, and ask him some of the things that make Lost key such a spectacular facility. Doug said that the natural beauty and terrain of the course has withstood all of the elements Mother Nature could throw her way including torrential rains, hurricanes and oil spills. The course has withstood it all and the lush vegetation continues to survive.

For more information on lost Key Golf Club, becoming a member or hosting an event, visit www.lostkeygolf.com.