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Vineyard Vines – See What’s New for 2023


Vineyard Vines makes quality apparel that has typically been associated with water. A few years ago, I saw PGA TOUR pro Patrick Reed wearing a great-looking polo with a whale on the chest. I did my research and found out it was a new brand called Vineyard Vines.

Whether you’re out on the boat or playing a round of golf, you’re always looking to stay warm on a cool spring morning. So ladies, why not look good at the same time? With Vineyard Vines’ Garment-Dyed Heritage Cotton V-Neck Sweater, you can do both. It features ribbed trim at the V-neckline, cuffs, and hem. The full-length sleeves offer warmth but push up easily if that’s more your style and the embroidered smilin’ whale on the left chest lets others know your favorite brand. It’s chic, polished, and iconic and is garment dyed for color variation which makes each garment unique. The Garment-Dyed Heritage Cotton V-Neck Sweater is available in sizes XXS – 3XL and in Neon Confetti or Sea Swell.

And ladies, what’s better than a Shep? Why, a SuperShep, of course. The Dockside SuperShep picks up where Vineyard Vines’ nautical-inspired sweatshirt left off. The cozy, terry-knit fabric features a quarter-zip neck with both snaps and a zipper, and a soft collar with a ribbed interior. The welt front pockets offer plenty of storage for your golf gadgets and the signature Shep Shirt shoulder details and woven trim throughout add a classy yet comfortable look. The Dockside SuperShep is available in sizes XXS – XL and in White Cap only.

Vineyard Vines’ golf tops are tops in the business. The Palmero Sleeveless Keyhole Golf Polo is a fitted garment with a keyhole neck and contrast collar detailing and features a figure-enhancing panel detailing with a curved hem. This polo is sewn from a moisture-wicking and breathable performance fabric treated with UPF 50 sun protection and brrr° cooling nylon which has been proven to keep you cooler. It’s perfect for just about any activity on or off the golf course. It’s available in XXS – XXL and in two colors: Pink Cloud Heather or Sea Swell with a Micro Putter print.

The ladies’ Surf Polo is sure to turn some heads. It’s soft-washed for a lived-in feel and garment-dyed for color and texture which makes each style unique. It’s the same fabric that Vineyards Vines uses in their Surftees, with a slightly heavier feel. The Surf Polo features a polo collar with a notch neck placket and a curved hem. There’s a patch pocket at the chest and a locker loop at the back neck. The Surf Polo is available in sizes XXS – XL and in several colors including Neon Sunset and Neon Confetti.

Another great golf top for the ladies is the Palmero Zip-Placket Golf Polo, a relaxed-fit garment with a zippered placket, retro-inspired striped collar, and cuffs. The moisture-wicking and breathable performance fabric will keep you dry and its brrr° cooling quality will keep you cool. UPF 50 sun protection keeps the sun’s harmful rays at bay. It’s available in sizes XXS – 3XL and in Ice Water, Sea Swell, or Blue Blazer.

The is a fixed wrap skirt with retro-inspired stripes and features a pull-on style with a contour waistband. It’s sewn from a moisture-wicking fabric with built-in stretch and a comfy knit short lining with pockets. It’s so lightweight and comfortable you’re bound to score better! The Colorblock Wrap Performance Skort is available in XXS- XXL and in either Blue Blazer or Pink Cloud.

There’s quite a bit of menswear that’s appropriate for golf too. The Printed Sankaty Polo is a best seller and is back again this year in a couple of new prints:  Ocean Breeze or Fleur de Leaf Pink. It features a classic, relaxed fit and is quick-drying and moisture-wicking with UPF 30+ sun protection. There’s built-in stretch for comfort and movement and the wrinkle-resistant fabric produces a clean look. It’s named in honor of the Sankaty Head Golf Club and Sankaty Lighthouse on the eastern end of Nantucket.

It has to feel special when Vineyard Vines names a shirt after you. That’s exactly how the Striped Cam Shirt got its name. It’s named after a guy that worked there named Cam who liked two things: fishing and being comfortable. I found that it’s great for golf too. Worn untucked, it provides all the mobility you’ll need to get through your golf swing. It’s basically a collared sweatshirt that’s being re-introduced by the company. The Striped Cam Shirt is available in XS – XXL and in either Moonshine or Ultimate Gray. No word on how Cam’s doing or if he’s getting royalties.

A warm comfortable garment on a chilly morning on the course is the Surfside Hoodie. It’s garment-dyed in vibrant colors for a worn-in look and super-soft feel and the Hood has adjustable drawcords. There’s a front kanga pocket, ribbed cuffs, and hem. It will become a go-to golf garment in cool weather and is available in Neon Sunset or Sea Swell,

Vineyard Vines’ 9-Inch Stillwater Golf Shorts are the perfect shorts for boating or birdies. The flexible waistband, built-in stretch, and lightweight performance fabric add up to unparalleled comfort. The water-resistant fabric helps keep you dry and the UPF 30+ sun protection keeps you safe. But wait, there’s more! Like stretch pocket bags for all your golf gadgets, rubber-coated buttons and zipper closure, and a Hidden zippered media pocket for even more golf stuff. The 9-Inch Stillwater Golf Shorts are available in waist sizes 28 – 46 and in six vibrant colors.

If pants are more your style, the Garment-Dyed Twill 5-Pocket Pants could easily become your favorites. They’re made from soft, washed cotton for a slim, tapered fit with added stretch and a perfectly broken-in look and feel. They feature a 5-pocket construction with metal rivets on the pockets. There’s a leather brand patch with a whale disc on the back. The Garment-Dyed Twill 5-Pocket Pants are available in sizes 28 – 38 and in Gray Harbor, Ocean Splash, Stone, or Sage Olive.

Guys, you’ll need something that holds up those new Vineyard Vines pants, so check out the Etched Sportfisher Leather Belt. This stylish belt has a leather body, brushed silver buckle, with a Sportfisher and water-etched motif.

When it comes to relaxing, Vineyard Vines has you covered (literally) with great-looking tees for guys and gals. For the ladies, there’s The Painterly Golf Cart Scenic Long-Sleeve Pocket Tee. This stylish tee fits true to size and is designed for a regular fit. It features a ribbed collar and cuffs and a chest pocket. There’s a stylish golf cart graphic on the chest pocket and center back. This stylish tee is available in XXS – XL and in Ice Water with some cool graphics. A lot of hockey players turn to golf and are pretty good at it. If you’re one of them like me, you’ll love the Ice Hockey Whale Long-Sleeve Pocket Tee in White Cap. This soft-washed cotton T-shirt features a ribbed collar, self-cuffs, and hem, all in a classic relaxed fit that’s perfect for everyday wear. The graphic of the helmeted whale on the chest pocket and back is destined to be a classic!

The same goes for another guy’s favorite tee, The Golf Broken Tee Long-Sleeve Tee has all of the same qualities in Jet Black. There’s no graphic on the back, but the broken tees graphic on the chest pocket are a nice touch.

When it comes to layering this season, why not try something different? How about cashmere, after all, it’s hard to beat. And when it comes to cashmere, Vineyard Vines has a couple of choices for both men and women. All of Vineyard Vines’ cashmere garments are made from high-quality, 100% grade A fibers, so it’s naturally lightweight and breathable. And the fact that it’s soft and warm without the bulk makes it perfect for cold weather days on the golf course. For the ladies, there’s the Seaspun Ribbed Hoodie. That’s right, a cashmere hoodie. This year’s model has been updated with ribbed details and features a split-neck design with a self-draw cord and delicate cuff vents. It’s a must for spring layering. The Seaspun Cashmere Ribbed Hoodie is available in sizes XXS – XXL and in Neon Sunset or Deep Bay

Guys have a couple of choices. First is the iconic Cashmere Cable Crewneck Sweater. This great-looking garment features a ribbed collar, bottom hem, and cuffs and the cable knit pattern delivers an elevated look.  It’s a luxury layer you’ll want to wear again and again. It’s available in sizes XS – XXL and in Deep Bay.

My favorite is the Cashmere Fisherman Rib Quarter-Zip Sweater, available in sizes XS – XXL and in several colors including Deep Bay, Jake Blue, Jellybean, or Light Heather Gray. This garment is naturally soft, lightweight, breathable, and warm. It features a distinguished fisherman rib texture with a zippered placket, ribbed cuffs, and hem. Put it on and you’ll feel like the best-dressed guy in the room.

This is just a small snapshot of what Vineyard Vines has available for men and women for golf this year. To see more, visit their website at www.vineyardvines.com.

Brunswick Plantation Resort & Golf – Great Spring and Summer Stay-and-Play Specials


Heritage Golf Group is probably the fastest-growing golf course ownership company in the United States. A few years ago, the company owned a total of six golf courses – three in the Hilton Head area, two TPC courses in Florida, and The Dominion Club in Richmond, VA with no real thoughts of adding any more. In 2020, Heritage Golf Group was sold to a group of ex-ClubCorp and Arcis Golf executives led by Mark Burnett, Jim Oliver, and Andy Miller who have grown the company significantly. At last count, the company was up to 25 properties.

In March 2022, Burnett and company made a big splash in North Carolina by adding Cape Fear National Golf Course at Brunswick Forest and Brunswick Plantation in Calabash, NC to their portfolio. Cape Fear has been converted from a semi-private golf course to a private facility and is one of the most celebrated clubs in the Wilmington, NC area.

Brunswick Plantation is a semi-private facility that is open to the public; that won’t change. According to Burnett, the focus will be on increasing local membership as well as stay-and-play package sales.

The best way to increase stay-and-play sales is to present a better product and that is precisely what they intend to do. Heritage plans to fund improvements at Brunswick Plantation, which includes re-grassing the greens and other areas of the course and upgrading their food and beverage offerings.

“The priority is going to be to upgrade the condition of the golf courses, not just the greens but also the bunkers,” Burnett said. “I think all are in play potentially over the next year or two to get a complete overhaul, so we can take the consistency of the playing conditions up to another level.”

Brunswick Plantation & Golf Resort sits within a gated golf course community in Coastal Carolina, a little over half an hour from Myrtle Beach. All 27 holes were designed by Willard Byrd and Clyde Johnston and with five sets of tees, can be enjoyed by golfers of any caliber. You can play all three 9s in different rotations for three distinctly different 18-hole layouts. The course showcases the natural beauty of the terrain and features lush fairways, tall Carolina pines, and fast, true-rolling Bermudagrass greens.

The Dogwood Course meanders along the waters of Caw Caw Creek. It’s wide-open off the tee and offers several risk/reward opportunities. One of the more interesting holes on the Dogwood course is Number 2, a short, 345-yard par four. Unless you’ve played here before, you may not be aware of the creek that crosses the fairway a little over 200 yards out from the White tees. I wasn’t. Hit something that will leave you short of the hazard and plan on hitting about a 150-yard shot into a large green with a lot of subtle undulation. There’s a bunker short right to keep you honest. Number 9 is a challenging finishing hole; a 350-yard, par 4 with a blind tee shot over a hill. What you can’t see is the water at the bottom of the hill right of the green. Your best bet is to hit a hybrid or fairway wood and aim for the 150-yard marker. That will keep you short of the hazard and leave a mid-iron uphill into a sloped green protected by sand on either side.

The Azalea Course is carved from thick, Carolina woodlands, giving it a beautiful and peaceful feel. Azalea will challenge your mental game and require you to put some thought into each tee shot. Thinking your way around the Azalea nine can result in a good score. Azalea starts with a 369-yard par 4 dogleg right. The challenge here is to avoid the trees and bunkers on the right side. Although playing up the left side may be a little longer, a good drive will be rewarded with a look at the green, and the four bunkers that surround it. Your best approach is through the air unless you have a great sand game! The par 3, 4th hole with its island green is the layout’s signature hole. The green is surrounded by oyster shells and is quite a challenge. Azalea’s 5th hole is a good-looking inland par 5, with tall, majestic pine trees on the right side of the fairway. Favor the right side off the tee and take the two large fairway bunkers out of play. As you look over your layup shot, you’ll notice that the fairway gets narrow in the landing area. Hitting one club less will leave you in the wide part of the fairway and still only a short iron or wedge into the green. Sand protects this tilted green on the right side.

The Magnolia Course offers a good mix of holes. It’s not overly long and there are several open holes with only a few trees which often brings the wind into play a major. Water comes into play on 5 holes to test your skill and several holes are heavily mounded and bunkered making them tough but playable. The Magnolia layout starts you off with a tree-lined, dogleg right that just looks like a classic Carolina golf hole. It’s a 370-yard par 4 that requires accuracy to hit the fairway between the sand trap on the left and the trees on the right off the tee. The closer you are to the trap, the better angle you’ll have into the green, which is surrounded by sand. Favor the left side with your approach shot as the green slopes right to left. Number 5 is an interesting 375-yard par 4 dogleg right that is more like a 90-degree turn! Longball hitters may be able to take their tee shot over the trees on the right; the rest of us will need to be aware of the water beyond the fairway bunkers. Success off the tee will reward you with a mid-iron into a large, well-protected green. It’s a fun and challenging hole.

Brunswick Plantation has some great stay-and-play packages. Choose from six different packages that include 2 or 3 rounds of golf at Brunswick Plantation and several surrounding courses, 2 – 3 nights’ accommodation in a 2-bedroom condo, and a variety of perks, all starting at around $250 per golfer! Brunswick Plantation is running an incredible offer for spring and summer 2023. Stay at least three nights Sunday – Thursday and receive a 20% discount. Just use one of these codes when you book online or over the phone. If you’re booking a stay between April 1st – May 25th use code SPRING23; for stays between June 1st – August 31st, use code SUMMER23. For more information on Brunswick Plantation Resort and Golf or to book your next golf vacation, visit them online at www.brunswickplantation.com.

The Club at Boca Pointe – A Thriving Private Club on the Outskirts of Boca Raton


It’s no secret that people are moving to Florida in huge numbers, primarily to take advantage of the warm weather. I was no exception, I lived in the Sunshine State for 25 years. One of the biggest attractions for me as it is for many is the fact that you can enjoy outdoor recreational activities year-round.

One of the most popular recreational activities in Florida is golf.  The Florida Sports Foundation estimates that nearly 48 million rounds of golf are played each year on Florida’s 1,100 golf courses. If golf is your passion, you should consider joining a club to get the biggest bang for your buck. For golfers on the east coast of Florida, one club worth considering is The Club at Boca Pointe near Boca Raton.

Boca Pointe is a 1000-acre master-planned community that sits just outside the city limits of Boca Raton, in southernmost Palm Beach County, Florida. Within the community, you’ll find over 4,000 residences within 29 diversified villages, the Boardwalk at SW 18th Street shopping district, and The Club at Boca Pointe. There’s plenty to do without ever leaving the neighborhood!

The Club at Boca Pointe is truly a golf oasis. In addition to a private 18-hole championship golf course, they offer some pretty amazing practice facilities that include a full-length driving range and an exceptional short-game area.

The golf course opened in 1982 as Boca Pointe Country Club and was designed by Golforce, a now obsolete division of Jack Nicklaus Golf Services. The golf design and course construction company included several well-known golf course architects including the Golden Bear himself, Robert Cupp, and Jay Moorish. With 6 sets of tees, Boca Pointe can be played anywhere from 5,198 to 6,865 yards, making it playable for just about any level of golfer.

After an overwhelming 90%+ approval vote by its equity members in 2021, The Club at Boca Pointe transitioned ownership to one of the country’s fastest-growing golf course ownership groups, Heritage Golf Group. Heritage, as they most often do, immediately made several upgrades to the course including new bunkers and new golf carts. Additionally, many new golf course amenities such as tee signs, tee and yardage markers, convenience stations, and bag stands were added as well.

As you play your way around this incredible layout, you’ll encounter strategically placed bunkers that dot generous Celebration Bermuda fairways. The course winds its way through the natural Florida landscape and vegetation with fairways that lead to TifEagle putting greens that will test your putting skill and touch. Water comes into play on at least twelve holes; more if you spray your tee shots! Several tee shots require a carry over water but none of them are extreme.

To enhance your golf experience and perhaps get those competitive juices flowing, the professional, friendly golf staff will match you with other players of your skill level who share your passion for the game. An active calendar of golf events will keep you coming back for more of the game you crave.

In the event your game’s not up to par – or down to par as the case may be – the professional golf staff has years of experience working with golfers of every level, from novices to seasoned players looking to fine-tune their game. They offer individual lessons as well as helpful clinics. Various golf tournaments are held throughout the year that don’t require you to be a low handicapper.

In addition to an outstanding golf course, The Club at Boca Pointe features an 80,000-square-foot clubhouse that is the focal point of activities and offers a multitude of indoor and outdoor dining experiences. The Grand Ballroom is used primarily for events and special occasions and is a great place for private events such as weddings, and bat and bar mitzvahs and can accommodate up to 300 people. Executive Jimmy De La Cruz and his team of culinary experts will work with you to plan a menu that is sure to please even the most discriminating palette.

Dining in the downstairs restaurant is casual and welcoming, with something for everybody. Lunch selections include an assortment of fresh garden salads, homemade soups, sandwiches, and of course the Club’s famous deli sandwiches. The dinner menu features interesting selections that reflect different cuisines from around the world. Members enjoy the seasonal dishes the staff creates each day from locally sourced ingredients. Choose from a wide variety of dishes, including steaks, fish, chicken, pasta, appetizers, salads, and fabulous desserts made fresh daily by the club’s very own pastry chef. Indoor and outdoor seating is available, weather permitting.

Over at the Sports Complex, you’ll find the Match Pointe Café, which offers healthy menu items that are perfect after the end of a workout, tennis match, or aquatic activities.

With fitness at the forefront of many people’s minds these days, you can rest assured that the Club at Boca Pointe has you covered! The club’s 20,000-square-foot sports and fitness center includes state-of-the-art cardio equipment, group exercise rooms, and personal training staff. There’s also a temperature-controlled oversized pool for lap swimming, water aerobics or just splashing about.

The fitness complex also boasts 16 Har-Tru tennis courts and the new pickleball courts are near completion. In January 2023, renovation of the popular Men’s and Ladies’ card rooms will begin and will include new tables, chairs, carpeting, lights, window treatments, and countertops. Springtime will see the construction of a spacious outdoor dining venue that will feature a covered patio, outdoor bar, dining, and casual seating as well as several fire pits for those chilly South Florida nights.

Whether it’s at a club-sponsored live music, comedy, or wine-tasting event, or one of the many special cuisine nights, the Club at Boca Pointe is a place where you will meet new friends and create bonds that last a lifetime. These enriching events bring together the young and young-at-heart where they can share personal stories and warm laughter. The Club boasts a full-time Lifestyle Director who plans year-round fun for all of Boca Pointe’s Members!

If you live in Boca Pointe, membership is not mandatory, and you don’t have to live in the community to become a member and enjoy everything that the club has to offer. Both residents and non-residents are welcome.

Several membership categories are available including a Golf Membership, which includes full dining and social privileges plus complete access to all golf, tennis, fitness, and aquatic activities for all eligible family members.

The Tennis Membership includes full dining and social privileges plus complete access to all tennis, fitness, and aquatic activities for all eligible family members and the Social and Sports Membership includes full dining and social privileges plus complete access to all fitness and aquatic activities for all eligible family members. Memberships are available as annual (12-month) memberships or seasonal (6-month) memberships. Give them a call at (561) 864-8500 or visit their website, to schedule a visit and experience The Club at Boca Pointe firsthand. www.bocapointecc.com

Gunter’s Landing Golf Club: Where the Mountains Meet the Water


Looking for a challenging golf course, somewhat off the beaten path? Gunter’s Landing is located on the Southernmost point of the Tennessee River, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, near the city of Guntersville, AL. Guntersville sits at an elevation of about 600 feet above sea level and is nestled on the shores of Lake Guntersville, Alabama’s largest lake with 69,000 acres of sparkling clean water and over 900 miles of coastline.

Gunter’s Landing is a parkland-style golf course, with plenty of doglegs and tree-lined holes, rolling fairways, and extreme elevations. You’ll also have some incredible views of Lake Guntersville as you play the course on Bermuda fairways and Tiff Eagle greens. The course was designed by Jimmy Kennamer and opened for play in 1991. Each hole has 4 sets of tees so you can easily find a distance that suits your game. Gunther’s Landing plays 6,863 yards from the back tees with a par of 72. The course rating is 73.2 with a slope of 137. I found the Blue Tees (6,419/71.1/132) to be very challenging and still let me leave with a little dignity. Most of the Ladies typically play from the Red Tees (5,259/65.9/122).

Time your visit just right and you may spot a bald eagle. One of the largest American Bald Eagle nesting sites in the Southern United States is located directly across the lake from Gunter’s Landing. Bald eagles spend the winter months in and around Gunter’s Landing, soaring the skies, fishing the reservoir, and roosting in the tall pines along the mountain tops.

Gunter Landing starts you off with a short par 4, but it’s the up and down of the fairway that gives you an idea of what you’re in store for. The hole plays 335 yards from an elevated tee box. The downhill tee shot will leave an uphill approach that plays about a half club longer, into a large green fronted by a bunker on the left. Par or better will get your round off to a good start

Number 5 is a 151-yard (White Tees) par 3 that plays from an elevated tee box, over water to an extremely elevated green. Be sure to take enough club, anything hit short of the green or on the false front can easily roll down the hill and into the water. That may be better than having it stop halfway down the hill; the footing can be treacherous unless your part mountain goat! Take a par and run.

Number 7 is another short and interesting par 4. From the tee box, the hole plays straight uphill, over water. Make it to the plateau from the tee and you’ll be left with a short chip shot into the green.

Number 14 is a 369-yard par 4 and is the course’s #1 handicap. It starts with a blind tee shot uphill into the left-turning dogleg. Miss the landing area at the top of the hill to the right and you’re in trouble. A good drive is still going to leave a long uphill approach shot into a green fronted by bunkers on either side. The green has some good slope to it and a small crown in the middle.

Number 17 is a risk/reward par 4 that plays 297 yards. It is reachable if you know how to play the hole and where to hit it off the tee. Play it straight up and it’s a dogleg right; take your tee shot over the trees and parking lot on the right, get a decent bounce and you can get there.

Gunter’s Landing has some pretty incredible practice facilities including a putting green and a 3-tier driving range. There’s also a nine-acre short game area located in the area below the pool where golfers can work on all aspects of their game. Want more practice? There’s a two-hole facility which is the perfect place for all levels of players to fine-tune tee shots, approach shots, and putts. Head Golf Professional Stephen Worthy was named PGA Merchandiser of the Year for 2021. And it’s easy to see why. In addition to great deals on logoed apparel, Stephen’s professional and courteous staff can help with all your golf equipment needs as well as something not many golf shops offer these days:  club repair!

Should your golf swing need a little fine-tuning, The Steven DeBoer Golf Academy – located on the left side of the practice range – can handle all your golf instruction needs from equipment fittings and recommendations to digital video instruction. It’s a full-scale practice facility with a driving range, putting green, chipping green, and sand bunker that can be used year-round regardless of weather conditions.

After your round be sure to stop by Gunther’s Landing’s bar & grill where you can unwind with your favorite beverage from our fully stocked bar and rehash your round with your partners. They offer a good variety of sandwiches and hot dogs; I highly recommend the chicken salad!

If you’re looking for a place to stay on your trip to Gunter’s Landing, check out Kudzu Cove Cabins. Kudzu Cove is located on the Northside of Buck Island on over 80 acres and adjoins almost 350 acres of pristine State Park woodlands just minutes from Gunters Landing. This eclectic little cabin community has five unique cabins that can accommodate two to sixteen people. The Golfer’s Cabin can easily accommodate a foursome. All cabins include fully stocked linens, kitchen supplies, a charcoal grill, and decks or balconies.  Power hook-ups and connections for hoses are available at each cabin. Plans for Kudzu Cove Cabins include more cabins, a pavilion for reunions and weddings, more groomed and primitive hiking/biking trails, and boater’s lodges. Golfers who book a Kudzu Cove cabin for a week or longer can get a discount on golf at Gunter’s Landing.

In addition to a fantastic golf course, Gunter’s Landing offers several other activities. Their 2,500-square-foot custom pool area is located atop a plateau overlooking Lake Guntersville and provides breathtaking views of the lake and the mountains. Their tennis courts offer some of the best playing conditions in the area and are lighted for night play. Or just stroll down the walking trail with scenic views of the lake, work up an appetite, and meet friends for dinner in the clubhouse restaurants.

If you live in the area – or visit it a lot- Gunter’s Landing offers a variety of membership programs. Give them a call or stop by and talk to Stephen Worthy!

For more information on membership or booking your next round or event at Gunter’s Landing, give them a call at (256) 582-3000 or visit them online at www.gunterslandinggolf.com.

Ping G430 Driver – Truly Long and Forgiving


When PING claimed that their new G430 driver is one of the game’s longest and most forgiving drivers and that it has a “more pleasing sound,” I just had to try it for myself.

As it turns out, I was heading to Nashville that weekend to do a driver fitting at Club Champion. The G430 was definitely on my list of drivers to evaluate and replace my year old – and now obsolete – Stealth.

After arriving at Club Champion, meeting my club fitter, and getting warmed up, it was time to put several new 2023 drivers to the test. After hitting about 10 drives with 5 different drivers, I compared the results. Much to my surprise – but not PING’s I’m sure – the G430 MAX lived up to its claims.

Based on my Trackman report, club speed, ball speed, and smash factor were within decimal points of each other as was the launch angle. Spin was about 600 rpm higher; carry and total distance was a few yards less as well.  My fitter felt that by adjusting the G430’s loft from 9° down to 8° loft he could boost the carry and total yards significantly. Spin pretty much is what it is.

So, the big question is how did they do this? For starters, the new forged face design is a shallower, variable-thickness face that produces more flex in the clubface, leading to big gains in distance. Secondly, there’s a 25-gram moveable backweight that positions the CG and influences the shot shape. It can be set up for a draw, fade, or neutral shot shape. Draws tend to gain more yards so draw it is.

Secondly, all of the G430 drivers feature a variable roll radius that creates less loft low on the face and reduces spin which leads to improved performance by producing faster speeds which in turn generates consistently longer drives.

Feel is very subjective and personal, however, what struck me was how stable the driver felt at impact. Whether you hit it flush on the face or slightly miss it, there’s no twisting sensation or perceived loss of distance. Some of my toe hits went further than some of what I thought were well-struck shots. Overall, standing over the G430 inspires confidence. It has a good look and the way the club sits screams smack it down the middle.

As for the sound, PING’s engineers did some research into audio frequencies and harmonics. That led them to create a new internal rib structure and increase the curvature (stiffness) of the crown, skirt, and sole, to produce that desirable sound at impact.

The PING G430 driver is available in several models. The popular G430MAX (described above), the 440cc G430LST which accelerates ball speed with reduced spin, the G430SFT with its moveable backweight that promotes a draw, and the G430HL (High Launch) with lighter backweights, a lighter shaft, and a lighter grip to deliver more ball speed with extreme forgiveness. Each model is available in three lofts: 9°, 10.5°, and 12°. Lofts are adjustable +/- 1.5°.

PING offers three proprietary shafts. Their Alta CB Black offers mid-high to high launch, the PING Tour 2.0 Chrome mid-launch and the PING Tour 2.0 Black produces a low shot trajectory. You can also fit your new G430 driver with either the Project X Hzrdus Smoke Red RDX (high launch) or the low-launching Mitsubishi Kai’Li White at no additional charge. The stock grips are Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360, Tour Velvet Cord, and Lamkin UTx Lite (HL).

I highly recommend the new G430 driver. I haven’t hit PING clubs in a while, but the new G430 has me thinking about switching to an entire set. I’ve swung the G430 irons and was quite impressed with the look, feel, and distance.

All G430 drivers come with an adjustment tool and headcover and are fitted with an Arccos sensor in the butt end which can be activated by scanning the QR code. For more information or to purchase a new G430 driver, visit www.ping.com. The G430 is also available at all big box golf retailers.

Callaway Paradym Drivers – Living Up to the Hype


With another golf season getting into full swing across the country, you’ll hear something about the “latest and greatest” driver from each golf equipment company. If all of their claims were true and I gained 5 – 10 yards each year, why am I not driving the ball about 380 yards? But I digress!

I’ve always been partial to Callaway golf equipment and have been playing it for years. I like the way it looks, the way it feels, and the way it sounds! So, when the new Paradym family of drivers was announced, I couldn’t wait to give them a try.

As fate would have it, I was asked to do a driver fitting at Club Champion and jumped at the opportunity. There were a few drivers I wanted to test, and this provided the perfect opportunity. Callaway makes several claims about their new Paradym drivers and I wanted to see for myself if they were valid.  They claim increased club speed and ball speed, lower spin, and higher launch. The accolades are already pouring in; the Paradym drivers have earned a gold medal on the 2023 Golf Digest Hot List.

The biggest technological breakthrough with the Paradym drivers is the 360° Carbon Chassis, a body that is almost completely made of carbon fiber that weighs 44% less than a comparable titanium chassis.  Will this make titanium passe? Probably. This “paradigm” shift is where the name comes from; the spelling is another issue! This huge saving in weight is redistributed to increase forgiveness and maximize distance.

Secondly, the clubface has been redesigned using artificial intelligence. The A.I.-designed Jailbreak Speed Frame connects the crown and sole vertically and horizontally and produces more ball speed, launch, and spin, as well as downrange dispersion.

Up until now, Callaway’s industry-leading face cup technology was only available in their irons, hybrids, and fairway woods, The Paradym family is the first line of drivers to benefit from this technology. The face cup works together with a forged titanium face to increase COR and energy transfer to the ball beyond what you would get with a standard driver face insert. The result is higher ball speeds at every impact point across the face.

The one area where the Paradym shines is Smash Factor, meaning it produces more ball speed for a given clubhead speed. In other words, the face is faster.

As far as looks, sound, and feel go, you might expect a very different sound with the new carbon chassis and integrated face cup technology, but the Paradym seems to still have that unique Callaway sound that you’ve come to expect. The dark teal color of the driver contrasted with the thin grayish color surrounding the face makes for a great look and the design on the sole only adds to it. Standing over the ball, this driver has a very modern and aerodynamic look; like it’s going to slice effortlessly through the air. And it does!

When comparing the Paradym X drive to the TaylorMade Stealth I’ve been playing for the last year and a half, it excelled in every category. Almost one mph faster on clubhead speed and 2 ½ mph faster on ball speed; that’s at least 6 more yards right there! Spin was down almost 1000 RPM (2804 vs. 3801) and the launch angle was up over 4.5 degrees, both of which will yield more yards off the tee. And it all rings true; I’m seeing about 15 – 20 more yards off the tee.

Distance is one thing but accuracy is another and that’s where I’m seeing the most dramatic change. The shot shape with my Stealth driver was pretty much a power fade; basically aim down the left side of the fairway and hope it stays somewhere in the short grass on the right side. With the Paradym X, my drives are somewhere between straight and a slight fade, (I’m still waiting for the baby draw to come back.) Shot dispersion is a lot tighter. Between the extra distance and straighter drives, my confidence is way up!

Each Paradym driver is available in 9°, 10.5°, and 12° standard lofts for men and 10.5° and 12° lofts for women. Paradym comes with an Optifit hosel that allows you to adjust loft and lie.  Standard shafts are the Aldila Ascent PL Blue 40g, Project X HZRDUS Gen 4 Silver 50g & 60g, and a Project X HZRDUS Gen 4 Black 60g. The stock grip is the Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360. Custom shafts and grips are also available.

The Paradym driver is available in 3 models. The Paradym Driver, which is best suited for players of all skill levels and promotes higher launch and low spin characteristics along with a neutral ball flight. It has an adjustable 15g sliding weight. The Paradym X, with its 5g back weight, is built for a high launch with high MOI, along with a generously stretched profile at address. It’s best suited for golfers seeking extreme forgiveness and a slight draw bias from their driver. The Paradym Triple Diamond has a compact, 450g head and two interchangeable weights – a 14g back weight, and a 2g front weight and is designed for better players who want to work the ball. It’s Callaway’s lowest spinning and lowest launching Paradym model with a neutral ball flight. Odds are, there’s one to suit your game!

It seems that everyone that tries a Paradym driver falls in love with it. The only negative thing I’ve read is that it doesn’t come with an adjustment wrench. If you’re like me and have been through several drivers since they became adjustable, you probably have an adjustment tool in your bag or laying around somewhere or in your golf bag. To the best of my knowledge, the adjustment tool has never become proprietary so any of them will work. Problem solved! With your adjustment tool, you can determine your shot shape thanks to Paradym’s adjustable perimeter weighting system, a 15g sliding weight that can produce an average of 12 yards of shot shape correction.

Head to your local golf shop and see for yourself. Be sure to take your current driver so you’ll have something to compare it to. Maybe you can get a good trade-in value when you decide to keep the Paradym in your bag. For more information, visit the Callaway website at www.CallawayGolf.com.

Club Champion – Clubs To Fit Your Game


It’s hard to argue the fact that custom-fit golf clubs improve your game. Not only are they made to fit your swing regardless of what it looks like, but they also inspire confidence. No one has custom-fit more golfers than Club Champion.

Several years ago, I did a complete bag fitting at Club Champion in Orlando, Florida, and it was a day well spent. Not only did I leave with a set of clubs that were designed for my swing, but I also left knowing a lot more about smash factors, launch angles, and spin. It may be minutia to many, but I found it quite interesting.

I still play the clubs that I was fitted for but I just turned 62 and was starting to wonder if the stiff shafts that were prescribed are still optimal for my swing. When Club Champion offered to do a driver fitting, I figured the timing was perfect and jumped at the opportunity.

The drive to Club Champion is no longer a short trip over I-4 to Orlando; it’s now a 2+ hour drive to Nashville. I met with my fitter Rick, and we talked about what I wanted to accomplish with the fitting; specifically, shaft flex. I warmed up with a few 8-irons and 6-irons and from these shots, Rick was able to give me recommendations on stiff VS regular flex. It was just as I suspected; age is catching up with me!

After warming up, Rick had me hit a few balls with my driver, just to get a feel for how I hit it. As it turned out, my off-the-shelf TaylorMade Stealth Plus/Project X HZRDUS Red Smoke combo fared worst in just about every category. So much for impulse buying!

The first thing Rick wanted to do was to figure out which shaft fit my swing style. We tested several manufacturers including VA Composite, Accra, Aldila, and Fujikura, and then zeroed in on a particular model.  The Aldila Ascent Red clearly fit my swing better than any other shaft.

Next up was choosing a clubhead and there were several I wanted to try. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the new Cobra Aerojet so that was a must as was the latest Stealth 2 from TaylorMade. Callaway and PING always have a huge presence at the PGA Show each year, so the latest and greatest – Paradym and G430 respectively – were on the radar as well.

The Aerojet and Stealth 2 were out of the running quickly. While they were competitive in club speed, ball speed, and launch angle, they didn’t produce the carry or total distance of the other two. The G430 and Paradym X were neck and neck in every category. PING was slightly better in club and ball speed, and height, but spun higher and trailed in carry and total distance. Since we were nearing the end of our session, Rick felt that if he were to adjust the PING down to 8° we could get the extra distance. He felt confident in recommending either clubhead with an Aldila Ascent Red 50g shaft. Regular flex, of course!

For the most part, the staff at Club Champion are all good golfers which makes it easier to accept what they say. That, and the Trackman doesn’t lie. While they may be able to give you a tip or two during your session, they’re not there to correct or change your swing. What they will do is help put together a set of clubs that will help you get the most out of your swing. With all of the clubheads and golf shafts they stock, they can create over 65,000 different clubs, so the odds are pretty good that they can put one together to meet your needs. For more information on Club Champion and all of the benefits associated with a custom-fit set of clubs, visit them online at www.clubchampion.com. Click on the Locations tab at the top to find the Club Champion nearest to you!

Sun Mountain C-130 Cart Bag – The Best Bag in Golf


Sun Mountain makes a variety of golf equipment and accessories that help you play – and look – better on the golf course. While they are probably best known for their golf bags, their product offerings include golf carts, travel bags, luggage, and golf outerwear. And they’ve created “firsts” in each category thanks to their forward-thinking founder, Rick Reimers. He started the company in 1984 and now, almost four decades later, his technological innovations continue to lead the company forward.

Some of Sun Mountain’s “firsts’” were the windshirt, followed by Golfleece, and then rainwear that was waterproof, breathable, and made from a four-way stretch fabric that moves with you through your entire golf swing. In 1999, Sun Mountain’s Speed Cart golf pushcart transformed walking carts and created an entirely new category of golf products. Sun Mountain’s latest pushcart offering is the Reflex, a four-wheeled cart that has a wide and stable stance and a surprisingly small, folded footprint.

Let’s not forget their bread and butter:  Golf bags. The Eclipse was the first golf bag with fully integrated legs; the Lightning was the first bag to have a handle built-in to the top of the bag. H2O Tech was the first waterproof golf bag, all proof positive that the company lives up to its motto: “Ahead of Time Design.”

Pick up any Sun Mountain golf bag and the first thing you’ll notice is how functional they are. That’s because they are designed by golfers to fit your style, whether you’re a walker or a rider. All bags have full-length dividers to protect your golf clubs. Their new Zero-G integrated belt technology shifts weight from your shoulders to your hips, relieving stress on your spine when you walk.

All fabrics for the golf bags are hand-picked to deliver durability. Their color fastness always exceeds industry standards. The fabric used in the H2NO product line is 100% water-resistant and protects your gear in the rain. The leather used on bags in the Leather Series is hand selected to resemble that of vintage leather bags.

Over the years I’ve had several Sun Mountain golf bags, and all have done a great job. They look good, hold a lot of gear, and do a great job of keeping it organized. Of all the bags, the C-130 Cart Bag is my favorite. It has been Sun Mountain’s top-selling cart bag and won Golf Digest’s Editors’ Choice Award for two years running.  The C-130 is also available in a “supercharged’ model and is now available in a “stand-bag” version. All are available in a number of color combinations and designs; I’m partial to the “Patriot” model. It’s Red, White, and Blue with a large USA logo proudly displayed on the front and a stars and stripes design on the sides.

The C-130 has a couple of features you won’t find in other golf bags. First, their Smart Strap system on the back of the bag uses two, long Velcro straps that loop through the basket on the golf cart and fasten to the bag to prevent twisting and turning during your round. These straps are so secure, I don’t even use the buckle strap on the golf cart anymore.

Secondly, the top has been reversed (i.e., driver, woods, and hybrids in the back, wedges and putters up front). This makes getting clubs in and out of the bag a lot easier and puts those that you use most often right at your fingertips.

As the number of golfers who require “power” on the golf course to run their electronics (phones, speakers, GPS, etc.) continues to increase, the ability to keep the power flowing from your golf bag is an attractive option.  The Supercharged C-130 bag comes equipped with a Philips Power Bank 10000 mAh which has two USB ports, one standard, and one rapid charging. The power pack sits in the apparel pocket and plugs into a USB port that plugs into the bag’s external port.

In all, the C-130 has 14 pockets including two full-length apparel pockets; a ventilated, cooler pocket; a range finder pocket; and two velour-lined pockets, one of which is water-resistant. All pockets face the same way which allows full access to any pocket when the bag is on a cart. It also comes with a matching rain hood. The apparel pockets in the new 2023 C-130 are larger and easier to access than in previous models.

This is just one of more than 60 models of golf bags offered by Sun Mountain for men, women, and juniors. To see any of Sun Mountain’s award-winning products, visit their website at www.SunMountain.com.

KINONA Apparel – Bringing Sustainability to the World of Golf Apparel


The word ”Kinona” means shape in Hawaiian, and the way this leading-edge women’s golf apparel company looks at it, it’s about more than the shape of a woman’s body. Although that’s a big part of it.

And, as Earth Day approaches, Kinona wants you to know that they are doing their best to help shape the planet. They are committed to taking steps to make sustainable fashion a priority. And, when you choose KINONA, your dollars are working toward a more environmentally friendly fashion industry.

Sustainability is at the core of the KINONA brand, and they have strongly advocated for necessary change in sports fashion. For example, most of their competitors use 100% polyester; the majority of KINONA’S are sewn from Econyl, a high-quality regenerated nylon with lycra that offers superior fit, feel, and performance. Econyl helps divert materials that were heading to the landfill and lowers reliance on crude oil to manufacture nylon.

Kinona’s products are field-tested by professional and recreational golfers to ensure superior fit and performance on and off the course. All of their tops, bottoms, dresses, and accessories are designed for comfort, breathability, and a stylish fit.

Now for some shape-flattering technology; you’ll find it in every garment Kinona offers. All of Kinona’s bottoms – skorts, shorts, and pants – have wider waistbands to help keep the tummy and dreaded “muffin top” in check. Many tops feature princess seamlines that create a slimming silhouette.   When combined with the 4-way stretch of Econyl – which has built-in UPF 50+ sun protection – Kinona’s designs are both flattering and functional.   Throw in fabric technology that is highly breathable, moisture-wicking, and pill-resistant and you’ve got some of the best women’s golf apparel on the market  today.  And that doesn’t even take into consideration the eye-popping colors and designs.

Two of KINONA’s best tops are their Winter Rules Long Sleeve Top and the Classic and Fantastic Top. The Winter Rules top zips up the back and has ribbed sides for shaping. This top can be worn tucked in or out and is easy to layer with a jacket or vest.  Winter Rules is a great top for early spring and fall/winter golf.

The Classic and Fantastic Top is KINONA’s sophisticated – and flattering version – of a polo and features a V-neck.  It too can be worn out or tucked in and layers well under a long sleeve top or jacket.  This fun and appealing top is available in several solid and print patterns, many with a contrasting collar and placket.

Two of KINONA’s bottoms that are sewn from ECONYL are their Stirrup Pant and the Seat Warmer Skort. There are two zippered in-seam pockets that have built-in tee holders and keep your balls and tees secure.  The Stirrup Pant has a matte look with a warm, suede-like feel and is snug and comfortable and the front seam provides a more tailored look. The removable stirrups on each leg ensure that your ankles stay warm and dry through fall and winter golf.

The pull-on Seat Warmer Skort has sporty stripes and “rack” stitching detail on the side and the two on-seam zipped pockets disappear when not in use, giving a great long lean line.  the built-in mesh shorties have a hidden ball pocket, and the leg grippers keep them from riding up, creating uncomfortable situations.

KINONA is quickly cornering the golf dress market and their Resolution and In-Play Dresses lead the way. The Resolution dress is sporty and sophisticated and features a snap front closure and princess seamlines for a flattering fit. There’s great detail in this great traditional dress with two zippered pockets with built-in tee holders and a little patch pocket for your ball markers. The mesh shorties feature a wide waistband for tummy control and leg grippers to keep them in place. The dress measures 34” in length and travels well.

The shift style In-Play dress has a ¼ zipper closure, a pointed collar, and for Summer it comes in a  beautiful bright green color!  It too measures 34” in length and comes with the same mesh shorties.

All of these sustainable and stylish KINONA products are available while supplies last and can be seen and ordered on their website, www.kinonasport.com

Sea Palms Resort – A Must-Play on Georgia’s Golf Island


Travel + Leisure Magazine considers St. Simons Island, GA one of the “Top 5 Best US Islands.” Golf is one of the biggest attractions on St. Simons Island with several private clubs and resort courses, few of which are open to the general public.

One of these resort courses is Sea Palms Resort, a beautiful property situated among the picturesque salt marshes of Georgia’s Golden Isles. Sea Palms stands out among St. Simons Island hotels and features ultra-comfortable accommodations in a secluded “island-within-an-island” retreat. These luxurious rooms and suites are airy and spacious with a variety of floor plans, all designed with your comfort in mind.

The main attraction for most visitors to Sea Palms is the 18-hole championship golf course, which winds its way through groves of live oaks, deep blue lagoons, and those enticing salt marshes. The golf course was originally designed by George Cobb and in October 2019, underwent an extensive renovation. Its current pristine conditioning can be attributed to a well-trained and attentive maintenance staff that pays meticulous attention to all aspects of the course.

Before your round, warm up on Sea Palm’s large driving range where you can hit every club in the bag. The driving range is open to resort guests, club members, and the general public. You do not need a tee time to use the driving range, just show up when they’re open.

For me, the biggest takeaways from the golf course at Sea Palms are the green complexes. Not only are these putting surfaces incredible, but they are also incredibly well-protected. The 13th green is surrounded by four bunkers. A large, deep pot bunker in the middle of the fairway fronts the green on Number 14, with two more bunkers behind it. Because of the shape and undulation, a putt from the front right to a front left pin position is almost a guaranteed three-putt!

There are several memorable holes at Sea Palms but none more so than the last three holes which can make or break a good round. Number 16 is a 542-yard par 5 dogleg left and for most players, it’s going to be a 3-shot hole. Unless a draw is part of your shot repertoire, you can’t hit your drive much further than 250 yards or you’ll find the woods. A tee shot of 240 yards is still going to leave around 300 yards into the green. The green is almost 40 yards long, slightly elevated, and very narrow. It’s protected by two bunkers on the left and one on the right that’s as big as the other two combined!

Number 17 is a par 3 that plays 195 yards from the White Tees over a little bit of water on the left. The large green is flanked by large bunkers on either side and slopes back to front. Try and keep your tee shot below the hole to have the best chance at par…or better!

The finishing hole at Sea Palms is a straightaway par four that plays 366 yards from the White Tees. There’s water all down the left side of the tee box with more water on the right, creating somewhat of an island fairway. A very wide waste bunker crosses the fairway about 70 yards in front of the green and continues down the left side between the water on the left and the green. The putting surface is slightly elevated and slopes from back to front so consider maybe half a club more with your approach shot.

After your round, stop by The Golf Shop, which is well-stocked with golf apparel, equipment, and accessories from many of the game’s top manufacturers. You can also pick up something from their grab-and-go snack bar items. If you find yourself struggling with aspects of your golf game the professional golf staff at Sea Palms can get you back on track with either private or group lessons which are available by appointment. They can also help you plan your next golf outing including tournament formats, pairings, scoring, and cart staging.

In the event you’re staying at the resort, be sure to have at least one meal at Sago. Sago gets its name from a species of palm trees that are found throughout the property. The restaurant has long been a Golden Isles favorite for great food and entertainment and underwent a major renovation that was completed in 2021. Sago is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner and Saturday and Sunday for breakfast. The menu includes a little bit of everything, from jumbo chicken wings to pulled pork platters to pizzas, steaks, and seafood. Everything is cooked to order and delicious. My guess is you won’t leave hungry! Sago is also a popular spot for special events like Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Mother’s Day.

Resort golf courses tend to have a hard time attracting members, especially if they allow guests of the resort to play the golf course. It may not offer the privacy and exclusivity they are looking for. And while the golf course at Sea Palms may be open to guests of the resort, and the general public, there is one section of the club that is reserved exclusively for the members.

The Miracle is a one-of-a-kind practice facility that is member-only. The design team at King-Collins was able to transform what was once the finishing hole of the now defunct 9-hole course into a 4.5 acre practice facility. With wide fairways, five greens, unusual topography, and strategically placed bunkers, dunes, and water features, it allows players to practice just about any short game shot they can think of. It’s more of a golf amusement park than a practice facility – without the clown’s mouth!

Sea Palms offers a variety of membership plans designed to meet just about anyone’s budget. Their all-inclusive Signature Membership is perfect for avid golfers and offers unlimited access to the golf course and The Miracle practice facility. There are additional benefits like restaurant discounts, access to recreational amenities, special room rates, and much more. A National Membership is the perfect arrangement for seasonal guests of St. Simon’s Island. It provides members with access to all facilities and amenities when they’re on the island as well as other resort options and savings. For those that aren’t into golf but still enjoy the benefits a private club offers, there’s the Social Membership which offers year-round access to the tennis courts, fitness center, swimming pools, and beach amenities. Click on the Membership tab on the website for more information.

For more information on Sea Palms Resort or to check on any of their specials and golf packages, visit them online at www.seapalms.com.