Golf Hall Of Famer Charles Sifford To Receive Presidential Medal Of Freedom

Dr. Charles L Sifford, who broke the PGA’s color barrier in 1961, will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom on November 24, 2014.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor. It was established in 1963 by President Kennedy.

Sifford was the first African American to compete in a PGA event following the 1961 repeal of the “Caucasian Only” membership clause. He also was the first African American to win a PGA sponsored event. Sifford was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2004, and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Law Degree by the University of St. Andrews in 2006.

Sifford’s recognition was the work of a large group of collaborators, including the PGA TOUR, USGA, World Golf Foundation, 64 Members of Congress and athletes including Tiger Woods, Alonzo Mourning, Bill Russell and Jim Brown.

Sifford is the third golfer to receive the medal, after Arnold Palmer (2004) and Jack Nicklaus (2005).

Born in 1922 in Charlotte, North Carolina, Sifford worked as a caddie as a youth. He shot par for the first time at the age of thirteen.

In the 1950s, Sifford dominated the Negro National Open, winning the title six times. To make his living in golf, he played non-PGA sanctioned events and taught lessons.

Sifford also garnered the support of other African American athletes, such as Ray Robinson, Joe Louis, Don Newcombe and Jackie Robinson. Robinson also warned Sifford of the obstacles he would face. Like Robinson, Sifford would suffer harassment and death threats.

Louis’ support is particularly notable. In 1952 on a sponsor’s exemption into the San Diego Open, Louis became the first African American to play in a PGA TOUR event. Louis also financially supported aspiring African American golfers including Sifford, Bill Spiller, Ted Rhodes, Howard Wheeler, James Black, and Clyde Martin.

In 1957, Sifford qualified for the Long Beach Open. In winning the event, he became the first African American golfer to win a PGA co-sponsored tournament. In 1961, pressure from the California Attorney General pushed the PGA into admitting Sifford full membership on the Tour.

When Sifford won the 1967 Greater Hartford Open, he became the first African American to win a fully sanctioned PGA event. Sifford won again in 1969 at the Los Angeles Open.

Sifford’s career record also includes two seconds, five thirds and $350,000 in prize money.

Sifford’s autobiography is entitled: Just Let Me Play: The Story of Charlie Sifford, the First Black Pga Golfer

Full press release follows:


November 20, 2014 |  Category:
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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Terry Delcamp of Grand Blanc is Golf Association of Michigan Senior Women’s Player of the Year


Terry Delcamp has been named as the Golf Association of Michigan’s Senior Women’s Player of the Year. Delcamp, from Grand Blanc, was winner of the GAM Senior Women’s Championship and the Tournament of Champions.

“It’s really exciting to be player of the year,” Delcamp said. “I worked hard on the game and it is awesome to have something to show for it.”

  “This year I played more because I was playing better. I have a little more time to work on the game, and getting confidence from a different teacher was big. I don’t think he said anything new, but maybe he gave me a different perspective and once you work on something and it works then it motivates you to work more and then confidence kicks in. With golf, so much is about confidence.”

Delcamp amassed 400 points on the GAM Honor Roll. Joan Garety of Ada was second with 313 points.

Full press release follows:


November 20, 2014 |  Category: Michigan Golf
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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The General Golf Course Review

The General-2635

The General
at Eagle Ridge Resorts and Spa
Galena, Illinois

Grade: A
Teacher’s Comments: I loved this course.

The General is the signature course at the Eagle Ridge Resorts and Spa near Galena, Illinois (which boasts 63 holes on 3.5 courses). It offers an adventurous and fun round, with lots of variety and challenge. 

Designed by Roger Packard and Andy North, the course plays over a wide expanse of wilderness. The architects took full advantage of the hilly, wooded terrain to send golfers uphill and down, across ravines, along ridges and down into bottom land. With all the space available, it was apparent to me that this is one of those courses where the holes were “found” rather than constructed. Most of the holes stand on their own, with little intrusion.

Although I’m a dedicated walker, I took one look at the holes I could see from the clubhouse and decided to ride a cart. To my embarrassment, I later ran across a group that included an 83 year old walking and pushing a cart.

As befits a course called The General, the tees are designated as one to four stars. From the Four Star tees, The General stretches to 6,820 yards and plays to a 142/73.2. I think the two star tees, at 6,006 yards and playing to a 133/69.5 are more than enough for most golfers.

It is especially important to play the correct tees at The General because of all the forced carries. Thirty yards could be the differences between a fun hole and a triple bogey. I found significant carries on fourteen of the holes.  Many of those carries also involve major elevation changes.

The General-2639

As befits a resort course, fairways were quite generous.

Because of the elevation changes, approach shots approach shots also were tricky. Having not played the course before, I found myself consistently over- and under-clubbing. That left me often having to chip back or up. I would not make those mistakes the second time around.

The greens, on the other hand, were very fair. The putts went where I thought they would; it was my misjudgments of the speed that cost me.

There are so many good holes at The General that it would be hard for me to pick a favorite … or two …. or three.

The General-2643

I thought that the eighth (above), a 372 yard par four dogleg right was particularly fun. The tee shot must carry at least 160 over a ravine, and 230 or so is probably necessary for a decent shot at the green. The inside of the dogleg presents a precipitous drop into trees; the outside, a slope.. The end of the hole is framed beautifully by shelves of vertical rock—left from quarrying—that wrap around the green.

The General-2651

The view on fourteen (above) is spectacular, as the tee box sits 180 feet above the fairway. and the back and forth cart descent along the steep cliff face is a little scary. You don’t want to be buzzed from the beer when you try this. With the elevation and the relatively short 357 yard length, this is actually a drivable possibility.

The General-2665

The 18th is an interesting hole. It’s a 532 yard par 5, with a split fairway that comes into play on the second shot. From the middle tees, the hole requires a 220 yard carry over a ravine. From there, the hole presents the question of whether to go left or right. That all depends upon how far you’re hitting the ball, and where the hole is located. Lots of strategic decisions on that one.

Conditions on the day I visited were resort quality, with spotless greens, nearly spotless fairways and great tee boxes. The rough was thick and lush.

The General was a great course that I would love to play again.

More photos of the course follow.


November 20, 2014 |  Category: Golf Course Reviews
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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Callaway Mack Daddy 2 Chrome Wedge


Callaway Mack Daddy 2 Chrome Wedge

Callaway’s Mack Daddy 2 Tour Wedge is a Roger Cleveland Design with a tour shape, shallow C-grind and increased surface roughness for control.

The forged design has a straighter leading edge for better turf interaction and the higher toe favored by Tour players. The groove pattern features 39% larger grooves, and the face is “pre-conditioned” to add roughness after the micro grooves wear away.

The C-Grind allows golfers to lay the face open while reducing bounce angle.

November 20, 2014 |  Category: EquipmentWedges
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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Draw In The Dunes Book Review

Draw in the Dunes: The 1969 Ryder Cup and the Finish That Shocked the World

Draw In The Dunes
by Neil Sagebiel
Grade: A+
Teachers’ Comments: Compelling and instructive.

Neil Sabiel’s Draw In The Dunes is a compelling account of the 1969 Ryder Cup, which was perhaps the most important competition in the event’s history. While that Cup is best known for “The Concession”—the final putt that Jack Nicklaus gave to Tony Jacklin to tie the score—that the competition was that close in the first place speaks to an extraordinary sequence of events.

GIven the United States’ recent struggles in the Ryder Cup, the backdrop to the 1969 edition is instructive. Great Britain’s team had struggled for years, and the Cup was quickly becoming an afterthought. Sagebiel says people openly wondered if the US team would even bother to make the Transatlantic trip.

The Cup was taken far more seriously in Britain, however, where Golf Illustrated writer and illustrator Paul Trevillion was frenetically working to boost the morale of both the players and fans.

“Trevillion wrote that big money on the US tour bred complacency rather than champions and boldly predicted that the “hungry young lions of Great Britain would rise up to dominate world golf in five years time. Then he offered this in all capital letters: THEY FEAR NO MAN AND THEY WILL START THE BALL ROLLING AT BIRKDALE THIS YEAR WHEN WE WIN THE RYDER CUP.”

With that, the stage was set for a truly memorable event.

The stars of the event surely were Jack Nickaus and Tony Jacklin, who fittingly were last on the course. But there was a host of memorable characters, including Peter Alliss, Bernard Gallacher, Christy O’Connor, Miller Barber, Billy Casper, Raymond Floyd and Michigan’s own irascible Dave Hill (I play the his brother Mike Hill’s course in Jackson, Michigan on a regular basis).

The competition ended with Jack Nicklaus’ now-legendary concession of a putt to Tony Jacklin. Jacklin, Nicklaus fully realized, was a British golfing hero and he wasn’t going to give him a chance to be the goat:

Upon conceding the putt and shaking Jacklin’s hand, Nicklaus said, “I don’t believe you’d have missed that putt, but I would never give you the opportunity in these circumstances.”

The 1969 Ryder Cup is a great story and Sabiel tells it with great skill.  There was no television coverage to speak of (just three minutes by some accounts), so Sabiel relies heavily on the memories of the participants, as well as newspaper and archival sources. The pacing is perfect, and there is just enough detail. to satisfy real golf fans without turning off the casual reader.

The 1969 Ryder Cup did not end Britain’s losing streak, but it did offer a glimpse of hope for a beleaguered team. Further, “The Concession” created a new spirit of competition in the Cup that kept interest in the event alive throughout the next fourteen years of generally lopsided US wins. Given the chaos surround the recent streak of US losses in the Ryder Cup, I think American golf would do well to see what lessons can be derived from that 1969 competition.

Highly recommended. This would make a perfect Christmas or Holiday gift for the golfer in your life.


November 19, 2014 |  Category: Books
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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Gimme Charge Universal Golf Cart Charter

Gimme Charge Universal Golf Cart Charger

The Gimme Charge plugs into your golf cart’s charging receptacle and provides power via a USB cable to your devices.

I don’t ride as a matter of both health and principle, but still think this is a great idea. It would also make a good Christmas gift for a golfer who rides.

November 19, 2014 |  Category: GadgetsGolf Gifts
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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Stance Golf Performance Socks Review

Lahaina Low Small Size photo StanceShortSocks-sm_zpsc330ef03.jpg

Sampson Small Size photo StanceLongSocks-LG_zpsfa3f2cf1.jpg

Stance Performance Golf Sock
Grade: A
Teacher’s Comments: A little too edgy in design for my own tastes, but the fit and feel is wonderful.

I walk virtually every round I play, so over the years, I have become a connoisseur of comfortable, properly fit shoes and socks. Hiking thirty six holes in a single day does not even begin to phase me—so long as the dogs are happy.

The best socks fit snugly so they don’t slide and cause blisters; have cushioning on the heel for impact; and wick moisture to keep the foot dry (and again, blister free).

Stance’s performance golf socks meet all those criteria—in spades.

Both the high and low versions I tested fit snugly without feeling tight. Clever design, such as deep heel pockets, elastic arch support and a seamless toe, combined with the spandex content keep the socks from sliding around. The socks also feature “managed compression,” which I did not notice in the short socks, but was very noticeable in the calf-length ones. I may actually wear these the next time I go on a long plane flight. I think they could help to keep my legs from stiffening.

Cushioning is just right, with the heel area feeling nice and soft.

Finally, the Stance Socks keep my feet feeling nice and dry. That is important not only for immediate comfort, but also for preventing blisters.

I like these socks a lot, but I just wish they came in a more plain-Jane option. To paraphrase The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper: In an infinite number of universes with an infinite number of GolfBloggers, in none of them am I wearing socks with flowers.

Ok. Maybe occasionally. Like in the Bahamas.

November 18, 2014 |  Category: Apparel
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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