Fairways & Greens
by Terry Moore
Best new product for traveling golfers might be The Club Glove by West Coast Trends. "The Last Bag" is a high-quality, full size travel bag that is state of the art for its features and durability. Priced at $249, standout features include in-line skate wheels on base; extra foam padding; sturdy locked zippers and buckles; shoe pockets and a lifetime warranty. Not surprisingly, over 30 Tour players are using "The Last Bag." Call 714-843-9288 . . . On the made-in-Michigan front, an excellent "practice surface" (don't say mat) is the Flex-Track with a spring underneath the hitting area that allows forgiveness on impact. Flex-Track is manufactured by the Grand Haven-based firm of Fore-Mat Products. A number of courses and ranges are using the Flex-Track, including Crystal Downs Call 800-560-7795 . . . Another company with a Michigan connection is Tour Edge Golf Co., a club manufacturer out of West Chicago, IL. Founded in '87, Tour Edge was birthed by Michigan native David Glod who played college golf at Florida Southern. Tour Edge offers a complete line of quality-made clubs including a well-received Bazooka Titanium offset driver. Call 800-515-3343 . . . The Battle Creek Visitors Convention Bureau along with area golf courses and motels are hosting the first annual Michigan Golf Festival, a two person net team championship with handicap. Set for September 22-24, the event will offer over $20,000 in prizes for four different divisions -- men's, mixed, ladies and seniors. Call 800-397-2240 . . . The First of America Classic has added Parkstone Mutual Funds as a presenting sponsor for the August 15-17 event at Egypt Valley CC . . . Although his pristine front yard was lauded in last month's issue, Mike Meindertsma -- formerly the superintendent at GTR & The Bear -- will now be called Director of Golf at GTR succeeding the popular Ken Hornyak. Paul Galligan was promoted to construction super of the new Gary Player-designed Northern Knight while Doug Kendziorski was named super of The Bear. More Bear tracks: the Michigan Open is signed up for the Bear through 2000. And next year, the Open will revert back to its usual end of June schedule -- June 29-July 2. This year the Open will be held June 9-12, the same week as the U.S. Open . . . The National Club Association is doing a fine job in preserving so far the "independent contractor" status of caddies. The NCA submitted testimony to Congress in late April arguing that any change from current status to that of "employees" could well jeopardize caddie programs across the country. Call 1-800-625-6221 . . . Best new logo by a Michigan golf company is that of Tomorrow's Tee Times of Portage. Started by entrepreneurs Jim Van Duesan and Mike McGeath, TTT sells next day discounted tee-times to traveling golfers wishing to save as much as 25%. Anyway, TTT's logo is ingeniously and colorfully designed to take full advantage of the Michigan map, turning the state into a golf hole with a tee on the Lower Peninsula and the green on the Upper. So many marketers make the egregious error of cutting off or omitting entirely the Upper Peninsula in their logos. Call TTT at 888-635-4653 . . . The Pohlcat will host the 25th Michigan State Junior Golf Championship on August 5-6. Call 517-780-9719 . . . Dearborn native Susan Greene has written a fine children's book called The ABC's of Golf. Published by Greene's own Excel Publishing in Dearborn, it sells for $14.95. Check your local bookstore or call Excel at 313-582-0985 . . . The GAM will hold the inaugural Senior Women's Amateur Championship at Crystal Mt. Resort on August 27-28. Call the GAM at 810-553-4200 . . . Also at CMS this summer, Brad Dean is touting a new swing analysis system, the ComputerCoach, at his golf schools this season. Schools go through August 17th. Call 616-378-2623 . . . On the instructional front, two Jackson golfers -- Mark Mastrangelo and Gary Kenworthy -- are test-marketing an intriguing video called the "Magic Move Golf Swing." After watching "hundreds of hours of tape" of Tour golfers, Mark saw a "correct down move" that appeared to be a constant among Tour players. Mark and Gary distilled their new found swing theory in a homemade video illustrating the correct "inside to square to inside clubhead path." Mark and Gary have hopes of finding financial backers so as to produce a quality professional video. Call Mark at 517-787-7036 . . . Etonic is staying abreast in the spikeless shoe footrace. First, its innovative advertising campaign is eye-catching as well as informative as seen by the two page "The Argument for Spikeless Golf Shoes" ad by Etonic. Secondly, its new shoe line -- The Difference -- features an array of improvements: durable, slip-resistant, DSS-1 alternative spikes; wide heel and roll bar for more stability; and a Green-Friendly traction technology. With a two year warranty, Etonic raises the bar for quality and comfortable spikeless shoes with the The Difference, a Gore-Tex product. Call 1-800-2-ETONIC . . . Kudos to Kent CC head pro Charles Vandenberg for his charity-minded 24 hour Golf Marathon to promote the Family Rescue Campaign of Mel Trotter Ministries. Vandenberg will tee up and play golf from sun up to 6 pm at Thornapple Pointe to benefit the program which supports a 70-bed shelter for homeless women and children. For more info or to make a pledge call Vandenberg at 616-363-6112 . . . On the two thumbs up video list are Make Your Most Confident Stroke by Dr. Patrick Cohn and 15 shots to Save Your Golf Game by Tim Mahoney. Sports Psychologist is joined by Grant Waite to study the seven traits of all great putters. Meanwhile Mahoney shows you to handle some of game's most tricky and confounding shots and situations. To order, call GolfSmart at 800-637-3557.
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