Michael Block hits out of the bunker on the first hole during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

19th Hole Media: A Q & A W/Arroyo Trabuco’s Michael Block About His Appearance At The 2016 PGA Championship

Michael Block hits out of the bunker on the first hole during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Michael Block hits out of the bunker on the first hole during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Arroyo Trabuco’s Michael Block will tee it up with the pros again in this week at the PGA Championship (July 28-31) at Baltusrol GC in New Jersey.

Block became one of 20 head club pros to qualify after shooting 5-under in the qualifier. Block played the PGA Championship in 2014 at Valhalla CC in Louisville and shot nine-over to miss the cut. Baltusrol represents a long awaited shot at redemption for Block, who talks about his upcoming PGA appearance in this Q & A.

PGA - www.razorgator.com

Socalgolfblog’s 2016 PGA Championship Preview W/Chris Mayson Prediction

PGA - www.razorgator.com

Photo: www.razorgator.com

The PGA Tour’s major championship season began with talk of a Big Four – Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Rickie Fowler – taking over the tour. Instead, three first-time major winners have taken home the major hardware, the latest being Henrik Stenson at the British Open.

Will one of the young guns rally this week to keep the Big Four from going 0-for-4 in majors in 2016? San Diego golf instructor Chris Mayson says yes, but you’ll have to wait a bit to find out who he likes this week at Baltusrol GC. First, here’s a look at a few storylines going into the week.

DJ - www.sportinews.com

Photo: www.sportingnews.com

DJ For POY? – Henrik Stenson is the man of the moment coming off his epic triumph at Royal Troon, but Dustin Johnson remains the hottest player on tour. After finishing in a tie for second at the Canadian Open, Johnson has now gone 5, 1, 1, T9, T2 in his last five starts, including a U.S. Open victory, and hasn’t missed a cut all year.

Talk of DJ for player of the year is stirring and he’d turn up the volume considerably with a win this week. A hot putter and an adept short game helped DJ clinch victory at the U.S. Open. His putter waned on the weekend in Canada after he never really got his game going in Scotland on a course many expected him to dominate. Which D.J. will we see this week?

Henrik putt - www.golfweek

Photo: www.golfweek.com

A British Bounce For Henrik/Phil? – After staging a duel for the ages, Stenson and Mickelson are right back on the major stage two weeks later due to a compacted Tour season to accommodate the Olympics. Mickelson, who won the last PGA at Baltusrol in 2005, is paired with 2014 PGA champion Rory McIlroy and 2015 winner Jason Day. Will Mickelson put behind what must have been an emotional recovery from finishing second at the British to muster any other championship-worthy effort? He’s got a group that can certainly go low. McIroy shot a solid 67 on Sunday to give him momentum going into the PGA.

As for Stenson, we know the ball striking will be spot on at a venue that demands it. Baltusrol has hosted seven U.S. Opens and figures to be a demanding test where hitting fairways will be at a premium. Speaking of which …

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Photo: www.mygolfspy.com

The Driving Iron Is Back – Baltusrol is home to one of the most famous one-iron shots in golf, the one struck by Jack Nicklaus on No. 18 in 1967 that has its own plaque. For a few decades now, however, the driving iron has existed as more of a Lee Trevino punch line – search “what club should I hold up in a lightning storm” – than an equipment option. That has changed this year and you’ll notice several pros, including Day, now carrying driving irons and hitting them long and straight with ease. Here Chris Mayson explains how and why the driving iron has made a comeback:

“I’ve noticed many PGA Tour players going back to the driving iron this year. Callaway and Titleist have made very good models that are easy to hit off the tee or fairway and a lot of the guys have gone to this club for certain courses on tour.

“I believes it is a natural move away from the hybrid. I think the hybrid is fantastic utility club for everybody except the players with high swing speeds. The club companies like to make them a little closed at address to encourage a draw, and you couple this with the extra loft on the face and the best players fear the hook with a hybrid. So naturally more players have been adding a 5/6 wood or more recently a driving iron to find those tight fairways.

“The driving iron goes about 240-270 yards for the world’s top players so it is perfect for a short par 4 or tight tee shot.

“Keep an eye out at Baltusrol and I’ll bet you notice more driving irons than you thought were on Tour.”

PGA - www.wgt.com

Photo: www.wgt.com

A Unique Double Par 5 Finish – Strategically Baltusrol is the flip of Royal Troon in the respect that the front nine at Troon offered early scoring opportunities and challenged the players to hold on throughout the back. Baltusrol is the flip and uniquely closes with consecutive par 5s.
That finish will set the table for big hitters – hello, DJ – down the stretch, but they could also be digging out of a hole from not being patient on the front. Whoever manages the course and their emotions the best on the front could go a long way toward deciding who lifts the trophy on Sunday. Will it be an experienced former major champion or …

Will We See A Fourth First-Timer? – Strong performances in recent majors have some sentiment in golf circles leaning toward Lee Westwood or Sergio Garcia. Farmers Insurance Open champ Brandt Snedeker and Matt Kuchar are also garnering favor. Trivia alert: We haven’t seen four first-timers sweep the majors since 2011. Can you name them? … Time’s up. They are Charl Schwartzel, Darren Clarke, Keegan Bradley and … the man Chris Mayson is picking this week.

Now onto Chris’ prediction and pick:

Rory - www.cbsports.com

Photo: www.cbssports.com

It’s amazing to me that the PGA championship is here already. With the Olympics added to the schedule this year it seems that all the big tournaments are slammed together and of course we are going into the FedEx Cup soon after as well.

I have heard from players on the PGA Tour that the rough is very thick at Baltusrol this year and that should add to the charm and challenge of the year’s final major. With the rain at Oakmont for the U.S. Open, it never really played as hard as the USGA intended. I am wondering if the PGA will trick up Baltusrol this year.

There have been first-time winners at each major this year without any of them really being a major surprise. But I don’t think that there will be another first-time winner at the PGA. I expect someone with a little more major experience to take this one.

Due to the extreme rough and the premium on hitting fairways I am going to keep my pick the same as for the British Open and stay with Rory McIlroy. He hasn’t won in America this year and is certainly due, and although he didn’t win at Royal Troon, he did have a very strong fifth-place finish.

He is No. 1 in strokes gained off the tee and I believe that will be the difference maker for him at Baltusrol this year. (Editor’s note, courtesy of the European Tour: In seven PGA appearances, Rory has four top 5s and two championships.)

I expect my own student, Brendan Steele, to also have a strong showing. He is a fantastic driver of the golf ball, is currently ranked 15th in strokes gained off the tee and he had a strong 15th-place finish at last year’s PGA championship at Whistling Straits. It’s a great course for him and he has been playing well all year. Enjoy the PGA and the rush finish to the major championship season.

Socalgolfblog Joins 19th Hole Media

golf bridge

A career update: In addition to my three days at Maderas, I’ve picked up a second job managing Facebook content for 19th Hole Media, which has a portfolio of clients in OC and LA. I’m excited about this opportunity for several reasons, but among them is that it fulfills my goal of doing golf social media for 40 hours a week and partnering with someone as experienced as Zeb is the ideal opportunity. If your course is in need of social media services, look us up. We know how to get results for courses online.

Below is the press release announcing me joining the team. Thanks again to Zeb for the opportunity and the partnership:

We’re excited to announce the addition of Corey Ross to the 19th Hole Media team.

Corey is the owner of Southern California Golf and Travel blog, contributor to Southland Golf magazine and Director of Digital Marketing and Social Media at Maderas Golf Club. His experience in promoting golf and online content using social media and other internet tools is a tremendous asset to 19th Hole Media.

In 2014, his Southern California Golf and Travel blog won the media award from the San Diego Chapter of the PGA. In 2016, Maderas was named best in social media for Troon Golf’s North American properties. Among other things, Maderas’ social media marketing has been integral in the success of GolfBoard, a motorized scooter that resembles a surfboard.

At 19th Hole Media our goal is to grow golf by helping golf courses and golf-related businesses realize their potential through social media. We are proud to have found someone that will help us do even more to grow golf.

Turn Your Golf Course Into a Social Golf Course

If your course has online marketing and/or social media needs we’d love to sit down with you to talk about how we can use those tools to get you more customers, increase rounds, and increase revenue. We help to your course reach more new players while deepening relationships and increasing rounds with your current clientele.

Schedule an obligation-free consultation to see how 19th Hole Media can help your golf course do better online. Contact Zeb Welborn at zeb@welbornmedia.com or 909-973-9089. You can find more information about www.welbornmedia.com.

TheRanchLB: Join Us For A Travel Twitter Party!

Ranch 1bed

Just in time for summer we’re holding a Twitter party about luxury travel and family travel at The Ranch at Laguna Beach. Join us on Wednesday at 7 p.m. (PST) and you’ll have a chance to win fabulous stays at our resort, which is about to complete a two-year renovation. You come enjoy the resort, restaurant, spa and nine-hole golf course that is making us one of the hottest destinations in Orange County.

Throughout the night, you’ll have the chance to win one of the following 3 prizes:

– A 2-night stay at The Ranch at Laguna Beach with breakfast and choice of Golf or Spa for 2
– A 1-night stay at The Ranch at Laguna Beach with breakfast for 2
– A 1-night stay at The Ranch at Laguna Beach with breakfast for 2 and a Hobie sponsored SUP lesson

Want to win? All of the questions are listed at the link below, with answers to the prize questions found on The Ranch at Laguna Beach’s website. Be sure to check it out!

Follow this link – www.eventbrite.com/e/ranchlb-luxury-and-family-travel-twitter-party-629-7pm-pt-10pm-et-tickets-26069366176 – to register and make sure to follow the hashtag #RanchLB. Good luck!

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Southland: GolfBoard Making A Splash At Maderas

Eight Gboards

Photo: Gabe Abdou

Maderas Golf Club recently doubled its GolfBoard fleet to eight. Go to here read more about GolfBoard’s success at Maderas: www.southlandgolf.com/articles/new-510-maderas-golf.html

Have you surfed the earth yet? Go to www.maderasgolf.com to see tee times and best rates and then contact the golf shop at 858.451.8100 to inquire about GolfBoard rental availability.

GolfBoard parking

Father’s Day Fashion: Have You Experienced Carnoustie?

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I received an aqua striped golf shirt and matching pair of white shorts from Carnoustie to review for Father’s Day. The shorts are comfortable and a great fit, but the shirt really impressed me. It’s silky and soft and almost too nice to play golf in. It’s definitely a great look for the club and has quickly become my favorite amongst the 25 golf shirts I own. The blog highly recommends you checking out Carnoustie.

The following is a some insight into the new looks for Carnoustie for 2016:

With Father’s Day just around the corner, Carnoustie Sportswear has highlighted their stylish Spring/Summer 2016 Performance Knits, the ideal gift in golf apparel for any Dad.

Carnoustie Sportswear’s collection of performance knits has left its mark on the world of performance apparel. All performance fabrics are not created equal. There are many variables that all contribute to the feel, drape and technical characteristics of performance garments and Carnoustie only offers the finest quality available. Carnoustie Sportswear only uses the best micro poly available and always blends it with generous amounts of lycra for just the right amount of stretch and wearability.

The new Performance Knits for 2016 feel like silk but are actually made from a very fine micro polyester. This new product category exemplifies the same luxury and quality that golfers have come to expect from the brand’s cotton garments.

“We choose to offer only the best quality designed with a current yet refined sensibility,” says CEO of Carnoustie, Marshall Mancillas. “Our customers like that while much of the styling is responsive to today’s trends, our shirts still evoke a classic, timeless and refined aesthetic.”

The Spring/ Summer ’16 Performance Knits fall into three distinct merchandise groups for 2016, including the Classic, Resort and Desert collections, each with its own unique feel. All feature micro poly with spandex, moisture wicking, anti-microbial, UV protection and easy care.

You can find Carnoustie apparel for men and women at www.carnoustiesportswearonline.com.

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Southland: Callaway’s Truvis Triumph – A Q & A

Callaway Truvis

When Callaway Golf launched the Chrome Soft golf ball a year ago, it dubbed it as “the ball that changed the ball.” Callaway doubled down on that sentiment when it added Truvis technology, a soccer ball-style patterning that helps increase the ball’s visibility.

Truvis is a patented technology Callaway purchased and has the exclusive rights to in North America. Since launching last summer, the ball has developed a sizeable following that has surprised even Callaway officials, according to Jason Finley, Callaway’s Director of Brand Management for Golf Balls and Packaged Sets.
Callaway recently launched the second generation of Truvis, a black and yellow ball to complement the original red and white design. To keep up with demand and production, Finley said Callaway just installed a third Truvis machine in its golf ball plant.

Golfers are getting a kick out of the golf ball that looks like a soccer ball, and Finley said Callaway is kicking around a bunch more ideas for Truvis use. In its brief history, the ball has turn into quite a tale of innovation success and even won more such traditionalists as Tom Watson, who literally walked into the opportunity to be the de facto Tour spokesman for the ball (more on that in a minute). Finley shares that story and the evolution of the ball’s technology and popularity in this Q & A.

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Jan. Southland