Aviara’s Tribute To Arnold Palmer: The Arnold Palmer Bridge

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As most San Diegan golfers know well, Aviara Golf Club is the only Arnold Palmer design in San Diego. Last summer, the course paid tribute to its architect on its 25th anniversary by dedicating a bridge on the signature par 3 3rd to Mr. Palmer. It’s nice to know there’ll be a lasting tribute to Palmer in San Diego golfers can visit and appreciate – and what a place to do it. In terms of sheer beauty, No. 3 at Aviara is right up there with the iconic par 3s at Torrey. The lush landscaping, dual waterfall and deep tiered green on this par 3 make this hole a sheer joy to play.

When you cross the bridge, you ideally have putter in hand and are walking toward a birdie putt, though the water often has its way. The last time I played this hole, I had hit what looked to be a perfect shot – until it hit the green and spun back in the drink.

But the frustrating of bogey tends to quickly be satiated by the sheer beauty of this hole. Standing on the 4th tee looking back gives you yet another level of appreciation for Mr. Palmer’s work. It’s good to know this gorgeous golf hole will continue to honor a man who gave so much to the game. And his lasting work and memory still will for generations to come. Thank you, Mr. Palmer.

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The view of No. 3 from the 4th tee

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Southland: Golf Artist Lee Wybranski Paints Major Masterpieces

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Golf artist Lee Wybranski has created a unique niche for himself: He paints for the majors. You saw his work at Torrey fo the U.S. Open in 2008 and you’ll see it again when the Open returns in 2021. Also of local interest, he’s working on a project for Goat Hill Park in Oceanside. You can read my Southland Golf interview with Lee here: http://www.southlandgolf.com/articles/grinding-617-powers-leg.html

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19th Hole Media: Arroyo Trabuco Announces New Monday Burger Menu

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Stop by O’Neill’s at Arroyo Trabuco in Mission Viejo after 5 p.m. to take advantage of their new Monday Burger & Beverage special. Enjoy a signature burger and your choice of house wine, well cocktail, or draft beer for only $15.95 while watching Monday Night football on their flat screen TV’s!

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Maderas: An FAQ About Measure W And The Proposed Hotel at Maderas

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This November, Poway citizens will have the opportunity to vote on a measure that will give the Maderas Golf Club permission to begin the process of designing and building a hotel on our golf course property. “Measure W” will appear on the Nov. 8th ballot – and we need your support!

Maderas must win voter approval in order start the process. A “yes” vote for Measure W will give us the green light to begin these hotel development activities in an open and collaborative way, in close coordination with the City of Poway. Once Measure W passes, The City Council will have the final say on the design, which will adhere to the regulations outlined in the City’s municipal code.

Although we are not yet able to begin the design phase, we do have a vision for the hotel. Our vision includes a commitment to creating an environmentally sustainable facility that will blend in naturally with the Maderas Golf Course and the Old Coach Estates neighborhood, as well as enrich the character of the City in the Country.

It is estimated that this privately-funded project will generate $1.5 million dollars in Transit Occupancy Tax (TOT) for the City of Poway — that’s three times more TOT than Poway receives today.

We look forward to beginning this exciting process with you. Vote YES on Measure W!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you proposing a hotel at Maderas Golf Club?

The Maderas Golf Club in Poway is one of the Top 100 courses in America, and a citizen-approved hotel at this location would ensure that Maderas remains a sustainable business. With a hotel, Maderas seeks to attract and serve visiting golfers and other overnight resort guests to further enhance the Maderas experience. Additionally, the hotel would give Poway residents access to a full-service, high-quality hotel within the city limits, while potentially generating $1.5 million dollars in Transit Occupancy Tax (TOT) for the City of Poway.

Why does the ballot measure state the hotel will have 240 rooms?

Until Measure W passes and the hotel is designed, we will not know the exact room count of the hotel project. The actual hotel design and building specifications will be created in close coordination with the Poway community and City Council. As we researched this project, we found that a 240-room maximum would enable us to enhance our service amenities without significant impacts on traffic, noise, and air quality. The hotel ultimately will be 240 rooms, or less.

What is the basis for the two-story hotel height limit?

The two story height limit is established enforced by the City of Poway municipal code. Maderas will adhere to the municipal code and will not ask for any variances or exceptions for the hotel project.

Will the hotel project be environmentally sustainable?

Maderas Golf Club is an environmentally sensitive business that has been certified as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary for its proven ability to operate sustainably while enhancing wildlife habitat. No ground water will be used for the hotel, and any potable water needed will be purchased from the water district after a Water Supply Assessment (WSA) is done.

What additional city services will the hotel require?

Maderas will work with the City of Poway and the Sheriff Department to ensure that existing service levels are maintained for residents and guests alike. Services such as street operations, emergency response times and public safety. We also look forward to additional resident input on what is needed.

What happens if there’s a wildland fire?

The hotel will be built to current fire safety standards to ensure the safety of guests. There are two access roads out of the Old Coach Estates, Maderas’ neighborhood: Old Coach Road going south to Espola Rd., and an emergency access road leading north to Highland Valley Road. We will work with the fire authorities to further increase our fire safety measures, as necessary.

Why do you need my vote?

We need voter approval to begin our hotel design, development, and building process in coordination with YOU and city council.

Maderas is a sustainable and world-class golf course. We want to build a comparable serene and high-quality hotel. We can’t do it without you! Vote YES on Measure W to begin this exciting process together.

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Stay in the loop. Follow the blog at http://blog.maderasgolf.com for the latest YES on Measure W updates and Maderas hotel project information. We welcome your additional questions and feedback!

For media inquiries, please contact Margie Newman at Margie@intesacom.com or 619-501-5172.

Sign Up For The Three-Tee Tournament At CrossCreek on Sept. 18

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CrossCreek Golf Club in Temecula is holding a three-tee tournament (6 holes played from three different tees) Sunday, Sept. 18. It’s a two-person best ball with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start. Cost is $69 for the public and $25 for monthly members and includes golf, range balls, a cart, box lunch and prizes. Contact the golf shop at 951.506.3402 to register. Have you discovered CrossCreek? You can find out more about CrossCreek at www.crosscreekgolfclub.com.

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Feedspot Names Socalgolfblog One Of The Web’s Top 100 Golf Blogs

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The blog gained some unexpected but completely welcome recognition this week when it was named one of the web’s top 100 golf blogs by Feedspot. Socalgolfblog ranks No. 75 on a list headed by the Golf Channel’s blog. You can find the rankings and read about the compilation and criteria here.

As a double bonus, the Maderas Golf Club blog, which I also write and edit, made the list at No. 46 and is the ONLY course blog in the rankings. Hence, it appears I write and edit two of the top 100 golf blogs in the world. Hard to imagine much happier news than that in the blogosphere.

Socalgolfblog starts its fourth year in Sept. and the Feedspot honor gives the blog one major award for every year of its existence. Not a bad track record. We always appreciate the honor and recognition.

I’m not posting as much on here right now as in the past due to my duties at Maderas, but I’m expecting my work with 19th Hole Media to increasingly fill the feed here. Thanks to all my readers and supporters over the years. The blog has been quite a ride and has brought a lot of great people into my life. Once you’re on the web, you never know who’ll discover you next … like Feedspot. Thanks again for the honor. What a way to kick off the 4th year of the blog.

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.

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

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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.

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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?

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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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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.”

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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:

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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

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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.