Golf Bucks County

By Bob Oliver

Middletown Country Club

Middletown is a compact 80 acres of challenging golf, with rolling hills and large specimen trees that have watched many golfers travel its fairways over time. It has retained its old time feel with tees and greens in close proximity, allowing golfers to walk the course if they choose.

The Traveling Golfer

With host Tony Leodora will travel both near and far to bring viewers a look at some of the most spectacular golf destinations in the world!

12 Feb
2019

Makefield Highlands hosts Open qualifying

Written by Bob Oliver
 
Will the endless inclimate weather end? Let's hope so. Because golf season is approaching and players are itching to get out an challenge their favorite layout. 
 
There is an added bonus this year as Makefield Highlands Golf Club will be one of 100 local qualifying sites around the world for the 119th United States Open Golf Championship.
 
Local qualifying for those with a USGA handicap index of 1.4 or lower can apply to play in the 18 hole event, with generally the top several players advancing to Sectional Qualifying where they will compete for a slot in the national championship at Pebble Beach. 
 
Last year 21 players advanced through local and sectional qualifying and into the 156-player field at Shinnecock Hills. Of those 21 players, seven made the 36-hole cut in Long Island. 
 
Makefield Highlands expects to be played at about 7,100 yards and to a par of 72 for the event. The Golf Association of Philadelphia will oversee the contest. 

 

CHIP SHOTS: The Symetra Tour, the LPGA's top feeding source, returns to the Philadelphia area at Raven's Claw in Montgomery County and the Valley Forge Invitational May 31-June 2. Jenny Haglund claimed the inaugural event.  

27 Jan
2019

ARGOLF putters are superb

Written by Bob Oliver

 

ORLANDO, FLA --- The marriage of technology and putters can't be considered new. 

Ping, for instance, has been known for its innovative designs for decades. Guys like Scotty Cameron have long been known for the ability to examine all kinds of materials, shapes, sizes, weighting and so forth to construct the newest putter that is more efficient. Having said that, this multi-million dollar industry expects a performance product. There is something that all the technology in the world must pair with: look and feel.

Over the years I've seen all kinds of strange looking putters. They were accurate, but didn't have the look of a winner nor the feel of one either.

"Putters can be very, very personal," explained Stan Utley at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. "The putter must instill some level of confidence to perform."

Utley, a putting guru, has used all kinds of putters over the years, and knows that the best putter in the world if made still wouldn't work for the masses if there wasn't a sound design and great feel from which comes confidence in your stroke. Technology can lead to innovative weighting and being fitted to ensure proper length and so forth sparks confidence. 

Which brings us to a company one might not have heard of: ARGOLF. 

You might not have heard of this small company from Brittany in the northwest of France, but it's a name you will be hearing more of down the road. It has an array of putters milled in France and designed and assembled in the USA. And these flat sticks are gaining in popularity for their feel, look and give the confidence needed to sink putts and stay away from dreaded three-putts. 

Unlike some competitors, ARGOLF putters are constructed from a single block of high quality metal sans inserts, which testing suggests give a consistent weight and feel. And while the company is also in the iron market, its putters are absolutely superb. 

"We have put our designs through significant testing, including the Quintic Ball Roll System, and we've used that information to develop an outstanding lineup of product," explains Olivier Colas, the CEO and owner of ARGOLF International. "We have been pleased with our reception, and hear more and more stories about our product's success."

Its products have made the Golf Digest "Hot List" as a Silver award winner, and plaudits are coming in from the professionals who use the putters under demanding conditions. ARGOLF putters were used in a pair of PGA Tour Champions wins, including a major championship by Kenny Perry at the U.S. Senior Open in 2017.  Lucas Glover and Tim Petrovic also successfully use the ARGOLF products. 

ARGOLF has a pair of blade lines and a pair of mallet lines which offer excellent response and performance. My personal favorite is the slightly heavier than normal "Pendragon" with 405 grams and a 2 degree loft fitting my stroke to perfection. Created from aerospace technology and 7175 Aluminum its precision designed C Claw Groves led to outstanding feel, response and yes, confidence. 

"We recommend being fitted, as there are different characteristics that affect the stroke," added Colas. "We clearly would stack our products against others because we believe so much in them."

ARGOLF provides customization options for its mallets, where you can create the color that matches one's mind. Trained fitters can help with the actual selection of the putter which works best for the player. 

Further details are available at Argolfusa.com, Argolfputtinglabs.com. Check it out, as ARGOLF products are absolutely worth the time to test and provide the desired performance.  

THE FINAL WORD - ARGOLF putters receive our highest accolades. Sweet performance from a company whose name translates to For Golf.  A great variety of models to choose from. 

 

14 Jan
2019

Quest for 1,000 courses played

Written by Bob Oliver

 

It is no secret I'm a golf fanatic.  Love watching in person, on TV and especially love playing the game. 

It's an addiction. 

Today it's 5 degrees and I am thinking about golf. About how I can get to my next goal of having played 1,000 golf courses.  I'm at 956 played, and truth be told for the most part I'd rather play a new muni than a course I've played before.  I just need the new courses to hit the 1,000 course milestone. 

2018 saw me play 39 new golf courses. I've played in 35 states, the District of Columbia an 11 countries. I want more...more...more.

My home state of Pennsylvania has seen me play 135 of its layouts, while New Jersey is runner-up with 110 played. South Carolina has seen me on 100 courses. 

States rounding out the top-10 are Florida (80 played), Arizona (65), Virginia (64) California (48), North Carolina (34), Maryland (44) and Nevada (38). 

That's a lot of golf on a diverse set of layouts. Bunch of Donald Ross courses, as well as the likes of Tom Fazio, Rees Jones, Tom Doak, Stephen Kay, Gil Hanse and a special favorite designer, Ron Garl.

The last year saw me playing several Garl gems, like Money Hill and Lakewood in Louisiana and Golden Ocala in Florida. A new special find was Eagle Creek near the Orlando airport. Garl just designs playable, fun courses for every level of golfer and just doesn't receive the plaudits he should. 

So what is on the horizon for 2019. Nothing set in stone, but Hammock Dunes and Creighton Farms on the list, as well as any new ones I can traverse as part of my Golfweek Magazine Course Rater duties. 

Stoneleigh in Virginia and Stonewall in Pennsylvania are the exceptions to my one and done prescription, as I'm a regular at both. 

But the bottom line is that I must play 40 new courses this year and best the 1,000 threshold early in 2020.  If not sooner. 

See you on the golf course. 

27 Dec
2018

2018 Cavalcade of Champions

Written by Bob Oliver

The weather may be awful for golf, but 2018 saw a storm of great golf in Bucks County. 

Highlighting play were the often rain-delayed club championships. In between the raindrops area players garnered prestigious club championships.

Here's a familiar name: Glenn Smeraglio. The local stalwart claimed the LuLu Country Club's men's title, adding to a career which has seen him win men's titles at Yardley (9), Mercer Oaks (2) and Commonwealth National. Like fine wine, Smeraglio gets better with age. Friend Terry Sawyer claimed the senior men's title. 

Another familiar champion again excelled at Northampton Valley Country Club, Jonathan Radick, who won for the eighth time. Jeff Hilton added a senior men's title. 

Ryan Pfeifer successfully defended his men's crown and has three overall, while Keith Wilson took home the senior men's title. Ron Davis was the super senior men's winner while Liz Wojcik claimed the women's title.

Dan Charen successfully defended his Makefield Highlands men's title, while Rich Driscoll claimed the senior crown and Bob Woods the super senior title. 

Another repeat winner was Griffin Smith at Jericho National, where Mike Cavanaugh claimed another senior men's crown and Joan Redeyoff the women's championship. 

Dave Gardener won his fifth men's crown at Middletown, while WD Horan added the senior title and Ed Congdon the super senior title. At Yardley Mike Lam won the men's crown and Greg Buliga the senior men's title as Samantha Krier took the women's title. 

Elsewhere:

Bucks Club: Curt Biehn (men), Fred Porter (senior men), Janice Visconto (women).

Doylestown: Russell Hartung (men) Rick Payne (senior men), Peter DiMaggio (super senior men), Maggie Sivak (women).

Five Ponds: Neil Gordon (men), Brian Rothaus (senior men), Drew Endy (super senior men), Chrissy Palmeri (women). 

Lookaway: Mike Anton (men), Mark Hutchinson (senior men), Martha Robinson (women). 

Trenton: ANdy Strock (men), Mike Moonan (senior men), Denise Viola (women).

Spring Mill: Bryan Keeling (men), Ron Zemnick (super senior), Kathleen O'Dell (women). 

Other notable wins were recorded by Neshaminy grad Fred Snow, who claimed the Stonewall men's crown.