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!

23 Nov
2020

Giving Thanks in Strange Year

Written by Bob Oliver

 

Years from now, when vaccines are abundant and people have jobs and kids are in school, we will think back at 2020 and think that we made the best of a bad situation..

 

Sure, home schooling became prevalent, and working from home meant, well, not working at the office.

 

For golfers, "working from home" can mean carving out time to get in a quick nine when nobody was watching.  Hence Bucks County clubs had record names on their tee sheets.  The same could be said for other areas of the country, including southern California, Maryland and New Jersey.

 

Yes, COVID-19 became a curse word, but somehow the golf industry weathers the storm.  Every area, every state, was different. One day we visited Delaware and played legally, the next day we were breaking the law.  Quarantines were taken or ignored, but so far so good.

 

With this as preamble, pondering the year, there are some things to be thankful for.

 

1. For the most part, golf was played throughout the year using government guidelines.  It has been the sixth consecutive year where we're been lucky to book more than 100 regulation rounds.  Along the way played 24 new courses. 

 

2. Travel was severely curtailed, but a couple trips were found in the mix.  One week in Mesquite saw several new courses played, including the fun and challenging Conestoday. Another trip to southern Virginia allowed a challenge at the reopened Mike Stranz Royal New Kent. 

 

3. Using a new driver, a Ping 410, I've managed to hit more than 85% of fairways played.  That's significantly above my historic average.  Fact is, it is fun playing from the fairway!

 

4. On the downside, I'm hitting the ball shorter as age and a lack of flexibility has set in.  The reality, though, is I've moved up to the senior tees and having a whole lot more fun.   Not scoring great yet, but fun.

 

5. Found that I just love, really love my Squarz golf shoes.  Wow.  What can I say. I never through of golf shoes as being a critical part of my golf game but after sampling Squarz I surely can say they are critical to stability and distance.  Very thankful.

 

6. It's not golf, but very thankful to myracehorse.com for opening up micro shares in Authentic.  Who knew when I bought into the partnership the wonderful son of Into Mischief would claim the Kentucky Derby and then the Breeders Cup Classic.  He might even be named Horse of Year.  Euphoricly thankful.

 

7. Had some great rounds this year.  Other terrible. A perfect day at Stonewall in Bulltown saw putt after putt go in on way to a 75, while a chip in eagle at Stoneleigh led to a 78.  Not bad for a thankful old guy. 

 

8. Thankful that Mother Nature led to more golf days without freezing!  Golf was played every month of the year, aided by an early January Golfweek trip to the Palm Spring area. 

 

9. Very thankful to Tour Edge Golf for allowing me to play their Hot Launch series of wonderful irons.  Easy to hit, great feel, and a delight all around.  

 

10; THankful for the outstanding customer service and conditions found at the portfolio of Ron Jaworski Golf. Great people who care about golfers. 

 

Look, it has been a hell of a crappy year, but when you break things down there are lots of things to be thankful for, including health, friends, family and golf.  And there is still a month remaining in the year.

02 Nov
2020

Tour Edge "Hot Launch" smooth

Written by Bob Oliver

 

Tour Edge has long been an American manufacturer of playable, fun golf clubs. 

 

Current marketing uses tag line of "get fit, spend less and play better." That says it all!

 

Tour Edge uses top engineering and weds with top materials and foresight to develop golf clubs that perform while not breaking the bank.

 

My Hot Launch C521 clubs are well balanced, easy to swing, and the proof is in the results. The clubs, from wedge to six iton as well as a hybrid four and five iron making playing fun again.

 

The HL 4 driver is, well,a major addition to the long-ball arsenal, as it has a masterful feel and helps generate clubhead speed, sending accurate shots booming down the fairway.

 

The driver looks a little different, by design.

 

"I developed an all new shape for the HL4 drivers that is different from anything I've ever designed," admits Tour Edge president and master club designer David Glod. "The end result is upgraded power with amazing feel and forgiveness."

 

The forged four piece titanium head features a deep, sloped crown and that cup faced design works in conjunction with variable face thickness technology to provide maximum power from throughout the hitting area of the face. THere is enhanced rear sole weight as well, allowing high flying tee balls that find fairways and set up birdie opportunities. 

 

Helped by a rear power channel when all is combined there is a boomer in one's hands. 

 

Tour Edge has the product that will help your game, and it backs that product with a stellar warranty program. Clubs are available in various flexes for men and women, and the company offers quick nationwide delivery. 

 

One won't see countless ads on golf telecasts, but don't let that fool you. Quality is high, the clubs perform, and are just great looking. Check out www.touredge.com for all the latest in great technology. 

12 Oct
2020

Laguna Oaks offers fun, challenge

Written by Bob Oliver

 

Not bragging, but I’ve played more than 950 golf courses in a golf career started a half century ago.  Can’t tell you exact number without up to the minute tabulation, but soon will have more than 1,000 courses played in a mediocre golfing career.

 

I love the game.

 

There is so much to love, from that shot struct to perfection, to beautiful surroundings, to the clean fresh air. 

 

Been lucky enough to have played some of the finest courses in the world, including Pine Valley, Oakmont, Pebble Beach and Pinehurst #2. Have also played courses which most would call dirt tracks, including a couple having sand greens that required manicuring before you putted. But hey, they are all golf courses, and each holds a little something special for everyone.

 

One type of course I’ve always liked are the par-3 layouts, especially those which aren’t cookie cutter “shorties” that don’t have a lot of challenge or character. There is something to be said for short courses which bedazzle a player and actually makes one think while only carrying a few clubs because of lack of length.

 

 

For years Oxford Valley in Levittown, Pa., was a birdie hunting ground, as was Heritage Links in South Jersey and the Lakes at El Sagundo near LAX. Shorter friendly courses that one could breeze around and still make business meetings.  

 

Which brings me to a recent discovery which isn’t a find for Cape May County New Jersey residents but was for me: Laguna Oaks Golf Club. From the tips, it’s just a shade under 1,300 yards in length, and for most players a par-27 layout although there’s a little asterisk there as the course currently has 10 holes making it really a par-30.

 

But it’s not a cakewalk.  It’s situated on 200 acres of serine land, with a bag full of challenges that include stately oak and pine trees, natural vegetation, ponds, a waterfall and even an island green.

 

It’s creator, local architect Fred Langford, made his living by building water parts throughout the world. These days he’s found constantly upgrading his South Jersey facility just off Exit 10 of the Garden State Parkway in Cape May Courthouse.

 

“It has been a labor of love building Laguna Oak, I’m constantly looking for ways to improve the experience,” explained Langford, 92-years young. “One of the upcoming changes is eliminating two holes and designing a new hole that would have great views of the bay. We are blessed with outstanding soil, and we have five acres of lakes, so there were and are lots of opportunities to design.”

 

The course features three sets of tees, set to tantalize everyone from those new to the game to veterans.  There’s a little something for everything on the course that see yardages from as little as 59 yards to 150 yards.

 

 

"This is not a pushover course, there are lots of obstacles and challenges along the way," said the architect. 

 

The actual course scorecard has three different “pars” as Langford bases scoring on handicap and difficulty. So those with a 0-16 handicap are playing to a par of 30, while those in the 16-22 range have a par of 37 and those whose handicap is 23 or above have a par of 44.

 

Langford, a Wildwood native, constructed water parks throughout the United States and throughout the world in his career, and used that construction knowledge to build Laguna Oaks. He also was fortunate enough to play golf on off days while traveling, keeping notes of the good and bad he saw.

 

“I think of it as a sculpture of sorts, and one of the most satisfying things for me is hearing the comments from players leaving the course,” said Langford. “Almost to a person they say they love the course, it’s challenges, its scenery and its conditioning. We have numerous return visitors.”

 

In the COVID era, his tee sheet has been packed with golfers looking to breeze through a challenging round in under two hours, leaving plenty of time for the beach and boardwalk.

 

“The pandemic has not hurt us from a playability perspective, we’ve been very busy. We offer a whole lot of fun for all levels of play,” said Langford. 

 

No question that if you are looking for a challenging short course, Laguna Oaks may be the place for you.

06 Oct
2020

Charen scores Makefield threepeat

Written by Bob Oliver

 

Daniel Charen is no stranger to winning titles at Makefield Highlands Golf Club.

 

Charen claimed his third consecutive championship recently with rounds of even-par 72-72--144. 

 

Tim Jones was the Nicklaus Flight champion with an 85-89--174 gross total. The net winner was Dennis Wysock.  Bill Guinard claimed the Palmer Flight title at 172, while Adam Tudhope was the net division champion. 

 

The Sarazen Flight saw Tony Gaule grab gross honors in a scorecard playoff over Jeff Shockely. Mark Monkhouse claimed the Snead DIvision gross title while Bill Birnham was the net champ.