Tag Archives: golf

The Phoenician resort is nestled in the Sonoran Desert, with the breathtaking Camelback Mountain its backdrop. Photo: The Phoenician

The Phoenician offers family-friendly summer luxury

The Phoenician, Arizona’s premier AAA Five Diamond resort destination, and its boutique hotel, The Canyon Suites at The Phoenician, are welcoming summer with sizzling rates and signature activities.

Beginning Monday, May 25 through Monday, September 7, 2015, guests of the 250-acre Phoenician can take advantage of the best rates of the year, starting from just $159 per night.  At The Canyon Suites — Arizona’s only Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond hotel — a more personalized, intimate experience is available, with guestrooms starting at $219 and suites at $329 per night.  

Visitors to both properties will discover a diverse collection of activities, including Smartphone photography classes, special wine tastings with Arizona’s only Master Sommelier, dive-in movies, Glo at the Pho neon pool parties, Pop! Up movies, animal encounters and the Flight of the Phoenix, a mythological bird of prey show.  Exclusive Canyon Suites offerings are highlighted by culinary and cocktail demonstrations, complimentary Electra bicycles for touring the resort grounds or nearby communities, and a library presenting the latest New York Times best sellers.  

In addition, the two properties combined feature a total of eight spacious pools, full-service cabanas, a 165-foot water slide, the interactive “sprayground,” SURGE, a championship golf course, renowned spa and numerous award-winning restaurants offering select dining specials.

For more information and to make reservations, please call (800) 888-8234 and mention rate plan SUMMER, or visit www.thephoenician.com/offers  or www.canyonsuites.com/offers.

“We had a tremendous response to our summer programming last year, which has translated into even more events, activities and special offerings for 2015,” said Mark Vinciguerra, managing director.  “We look forward to sharing these many memorable experiences with staycationers and visitors alike in the coming months.”

During the summer holiday weekends, entertaining, themed programming and activities will be offered, sponsored by Infiniti on Camelback.   Memorial Day Weekend kicks things off with a Surf’s Up!  Block Party featuring the band Southwest Surfers; along with face painting; a sidewalk chalk art competition; and a Hawaiian shirt contest.  Following a Father’s Day “Weekend Off” event showcasing all things Dads like to do, the Independence Weekend gets under way with – IGNITE.  On Friday, July 3, fireworks on the Casita Lawn will be preceded by a live performance from the band Young Country.   An indoor carnival featuring a Shock Wave Obstacle Course, mechanical bull, a basketball shootout and football throw skill game will highlight the Saturday, July 4, activities.  To wrap up the season, The Phoenician will host “On the Boardwalk” during the Labor Day Weekend with food trucks, rides, a magician and a special concert.

Five family friendly adventures in Sedona

Spring Break is here and many families find themselves itching to escape the mundane and experience an ultimate getaway —even if it is just to get away from the weather. The Southwest’s answer is a Sedona escape to 75-degree bliss, offering all the fun a family could want, with amenities against a backdrop unlike any other. Sedona may be known for its rugged red-rock terrain and dreamy colorful skies, but its family-friendly environment and activities are what keeps visitors coming back year after year.

When it comes time to unwind and vacation as a family, the vast desert oasis provides the makings of an unforgettable adventure for families to connect with each other and with nature. Whether it’s biking, hiking, camping, Segway tours, water sliding, ballooning, off-road jeep riding, golf, horseback riding, railroad tours or picnics on the banks of Oak Creek, Sedona is versed in the ways to delight both young and experienced. For little tikes, there are Sunset and Posse Grounds parks, equipped with playground equipment, swings and barbecue grills. For older children and teens, there’s the Sedona Skate Park, municipal tennis courts, miniature golf, four-wheeling, a trout farm and fish hatchery. For those that are just young at heart, there are these options and so much more.

In the city, visitors can bask in the sunshine with these five unique, fun and edge-of-your-seat adventures, which are sure to thrill visitors of all ages.

Horseplay Holiday
Horseback riding in Sedona has a country style all its own. At local ranches M Diamond RanchHorsin’ Around Adventures, and Blazin’ M Ranch, visitors can meet real cowboys and enjoy horseback rides, chuck-wagon dinners, wrangle lessons, cowboy cookouts and stagecoach rides. When night falls, families can cuddle up around the fire, listen to ghost stories and roast some marshmallows.

Walk on the Wild Side
Make Sedona your family’s hub and take a quick drive north to Williams or west to Camp Verde to interact with exotic animals and northern Arizona species of all types. Out of Africa offers Safari tours, its local favorite “Tiger Splash,” a reptile show and most recently, the “Predator Zip Line” over the giant predator enclosures. Guests can also make the trek to Bearizona, northern Arizona’s drive-through animal preserve. Park goers can get up-close and personal with bison, Arctic and grey wolves, black bears, big horn sheep and mountain goats

Shred the Red
Many know Sedona has hiking trails of all levels, but some may be shocked to find that most Sedona Real Inn & Suites hiking and biking packagestrails are also accessible with mountain bikes. More than 200 miles of trails offer beginner to extreme routes, with stunning views at every angle. With the knowledgeable staff at Over the EdgeSedona Bike & Bean and Absolute Bikes, Sedona will have families zipping through the trails in no time.

Roadside Recreation
There are over 1.8 million acres of stunning red-rock country, ideal for a kindred off-road excursion. Renting a Jeep, Tom Car or ATV is the perfect option for families who like to live life on the edge and experience new places with a sense of adventure. Whether in a four-seater Tom Car and Jeep or a two-seater ATV, all three rides will give all passengers a lively bounce around the red rock outback.

Oak Creek, Sedona, Ariz. Creek-side Charm
The fresh waters of Oak Creek gently flow right through town and many visitors enjoy the oasis offerings at Slide Rock State Park and at Red Rock State Park as early as March despite its chilled waters. This Spring Break, families can check out local hot-spot favorites Grasshopper Point and Chavez Crossing for popular watering holes, with sandy shores and shallow entry areas. The destinations also provide out-of-this-world, wide-open spaces for picnicking and lounging in the sunshine.


GolfNow starts ‘Free Golf For Life’ sweepstakes

GolfNow, the leading online tee time booking and golf course technology and services platform, has announced a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for one golfer to win free golf for life.

The sweepstakes was launched this week, running through Monday, April 13, and will award one winner with a complimentary foursome once per month courtesy of GolfNow. To launch the sweepstakes, GolfNow has produced a national spot centered around “Lucky Chuck” and his unlucky leprechaun co-worker, which will begin airing nationally on Sunday, Feb. 1.

“GolfNow is constantly trying to showcase golf in exciting new ways, and we are seizing that opportunity once again through NBC Sports’ high-profile platform this week,” said Jeff Foster, senior vice president, GolfNow New Media Group. “In the past, GolfNow has arranged dream foursomes with Graeme McDowell and Keegan Bradley, and has sent winners across the country on a private jet to play golf on both coasts in a single day. The idea of winning Free Golf for Life is something that until now avid golfers have only dreamed of, and GolfNow is going to make someone’s dream a reality.”

In addition to the sweepstakes, NBC Sports’ Super Bowl XLIX pre-game coverage will include a short segment starring NFL legend Brian Urlacher and PGA TOUR winner Billy Horschel, who will ambush a lucky foursome selected for a closest-to-the-pin challenge with Free Golf for Life on the line.  If any individual bests Urlacher’s effort on the par-3 6th hole of Troon North Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., they win “Free Golf for Life.” And, if they beat the reigning PGA TOUR FedExCup Champion, the entire foursome wins Free Golf for Life. This segment is part of the promotional platform to support the launch of Free Golf for Life sweepstakes, open to all.

Golfers can visit the sweepstakes page, www.golfnow.com/freegolf from now until April 13 to enter for a chance to win and see full rules. Once registered, participants can submit daily entries, and earn an additional entry by promoting the sweepstakes’ page via Twitter. Contest participants also are eligible for daily instant win prizes, which include free rounds of golf and promotional codes from GolfNow.


How to play golf with a celebrity

What: Legends of the Game Golf Classic 


  • Tuesday, January 27, 2015: Private Sponsor/Celebrity/Player Cocktail Party & Auction
  • Wednesday, January 28, 2015: Registration/Breakfast: 8:30 AM, Shotgun start: 10:30 AM; followed by awards dinner ceremony

Where: Whirlwind Golf Club at Wild Horse Pass, 5692 W North Loop Rd, Chandler, AZ 85226


Photo provided by: Jody Parker,"POP" Operations

Photo provided by: Jody Parker,”POP” Operations

The Tournament:

Five Man Scramble Tournament: Four amateur players teamed with an NFL Hall-of-Famer or an NFL sports celebrity as a Team Captain. Play a round with Hall-of-Famers such as: Curley Culp, Randall McDaniel, Andre Reed and many more. Contests and prizes await all players, who will also be treated to a special tournament gift package.  Food and beverages will be provided. All players are invited to the awards dinner ceremony.

The Charitable Cause:

Net proceeds from this event benefit “POP” Prostate On-Site Project, a 501(c)(3) foundation. POP’s mission is to improve the Quality of life for men and their families through awareness and the early detection of prostate cancer. POP has mobile medical screening units that travel throughout Arizona offering free or low-cost prostate cancer screenings. This year in Arizona, more than 4,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Tragically, 600 will die. Many of these deaths could be prevented – simply by detecting the disease early.

Confirmed Celebrities – more to come!

Lem Barney – HOF – NFL

Curley Culp – HOF – NFL

Dermontti Dawson – HOF – NFL

Joe DeLamielleure – HOF – NFL

Chris Doleman – HOF – NFL

Mike Haynes – HOF – NFL

Ted Hendricks – HOF – NFL

Kenny Houston – HOF – NFL

Charlie Joiner – HOF – NFL

Paul Krause – HOF – NFL

Willie Lanier – HOF – NFL

Tom Mack – HOF – NFL

Randall McDaniel – HOF – NFL

John Randle – HOF – NFL

Andre Reed – HOF – NFL

Mel Renfro – HOF – NFL

Jan Stenerud – HOF – NFL

Jim Taylor – HOF – NFL

Paul Warfield – HOF – NFL

Roger Wehrli – HOF – NFL

Dave Wilcox – HOF – NFL

Damien Anderson – NFL

Michael Bankston – NFL

Bubby Brister – NFL

Byron Chamberlin – NFL

Neil Lomax – NFL

Jim O’Brien- NFL

Christian Okoye – NFL

Dr. Ray Perkins – NFL

Doug Plank – NFL

Frank Sanders – NFL

Jim Weatherley – NFL

Lance Zeno – NFL

Troon North Golf Club. Photo: Troon North

Scottsdale CVB showcases golf destinations

The Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau continues to promote Scottsdale as “The World’s Finest Golf Destination” with a redesigned golf website.

A fresh look, responsive design and a new URL, ExperienceScottsdaleGolf.com, have refreshed the golf campaign that promotes the destination to one of Scottsdale’s most valuable visitors – the golf visitor. These visitors typically travel to Scottsdale with a group of three or four friends and spend an average of $1,800 per person during a trip, which is 50 percent more than the average Scottsdale visitor.

“We understand how important the golf market is to Scottsdale,” said Caroline Stoeckel, vice president of marketing for the Scottsdale bureau. “The national golf trend is declining, but in Scottsdale it’s quite the opposite. That’s why we continue to invest in promoting golf to high-value visitors.”

Some of the sites features include:
·         Courses – Visitors can search for and find the course of their dreams. Each course listing details price points, yardage, challenge and more.
·         Packages – Deals and packages help golfers plan their Scottsdale experience.
·         Brandel’s Blog – As the official golf ambassador for Scottsdale, Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee blogs about his personal golf experiences along with his thoughts on current golf happenings.
·         Guide – The Scottsdale Golf Guide is free and available for download. It includes everything a visitor needs to know about “The World’s Finest Golf Destination,” as well as insider tips to make Scottsdale golf vacations memorable.

Additionally, the website includes a list of golf course rankings, articles about Scottsdale golf courses, golf resources, the history of Scottsdale golf and general Scottsdale travel information.

The golf campaign is in its third year, and is made possible in partnership with Communication Links.

Top 5 Arizona Public Golf Courses (Spring-Summer 2012)

PGA TOUR Superstore Opens 3rd Ariz. Store

PGA TOUR Superstore announced the October 25 grand opening of its 20th retail store, which is located at 7000 East Mayo Blvd in North Scottsdale.

The new store’s grand opening celebration, which includes $30,000 in product giveaways and a $10,000 grant to The First Tee of Scottsdale, marks the company’s third Arizona location (joining the existing Scottsdale and Chandler locations) and is part of an ambitious growth strategy that more than doubles PGA TOUR Superstore’s current retail footprint over the next four years. In all, one million square feet of new golf retail space is planned during that time. In the coming weeks, PGA TOUR Superstore will also open its interactive retail experience stores in Orlando, Florida, and Southlake, Texas.

“North Scottsdale is an oasis for golfers and a premier market for our expansion,” said PGA TOUR Superstore President and CEO Dick Sullivan. “Due to the strong customer demand in Scottsdale, when the opportunity came to open this second Scottsdale store we jumped at it. Our plans are to double PGA TOUR Superstore’s presence over the next four years with up to 40 locations across the U.S. by 2018.”

PGA TOUR Superstores provide unique, interactive experiences to golf enthusiasts of all levels. The new North Scottsdale store experience includes:

Certified golf pros and personalized golf lessons
Five swing simulators for lessons and custom club fittings
Two performance practice bays with swing analysis
A 2,000 square foot putting green
Golf apparel, shoes and equipment from brands including adidas, Bridgestone, Callaway, Cleveland-Srixon, Cobra-PUMA, ECCO, FootJoy, Mizuno, Nike, PGA TOUR, PING, TaylorMade, Titleist and Under Armour
“PGA TOUR Superstore is recognized as the retail authority for golfers who want to shop like the pros and have access to ‘all things golf,’” added Sullivan. “Our professional expertise and interactive environment inspires all types of golfers – from beginners to scratch golfers – to play the game and find everything they need under one roof.”
The North Scottsdale PGA TOUR Superstore grand opening event will take place October 25 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and include $30,000 in giveaways, putting contests and swing evaluations.
In addition to the grand opening festivities, a demonstration of commitment to the North Scottsdale community will take place during a Friends and Family event on October 23, with a $10,000 grant made to The First Tee of Phoenix (thefirstteephoenix.org), a top youth development program for building character, instilling life-enhancing values and promoting healthy choices through the game of golf. The PGA TOUR Superstore, in addition to grants, provides young people in The First Tee program with access to state-of-the-art teaching, club fitting and training in its stores. The First Tee of Phoenix has 125 schools participating in 13 locations serving close to 100,000 youth.

PGA TOUR Superstore is owned and operated by Golf & Tennis Pro Shop, Inc., whose controlling owner and chairman is Arthur M. Blank, retired co-founder of The Home Depot and owner of the Atlanta Falcons.

“We are equipped to serve a broad range of golfers, with an emphasis on offering the industry’s best brands and providing the broadest array of services to meet each customer’s needs,” noted Blank. “We make it easy to get in and stay in the game, and we look forward to bringing our store’s products, services and expertise to golfers in North Scottsdale and to being a positive contributor to the community.”


Topgolf’s Topgolf U Redefines Golf Lessons

Golf entertainment leader Topgolf International, Inc. today launched Topgolf U, a new golf instructional program developed to help grow the game. With lessons starting at $20, Topgolf® aims to attract a wide audience of player hopefuls, from juniors to adults and novices to experts.

Topgolf U combines the fun, high-energy environment of Topgolf with world-class, PGA-certified instructors using the latest mobile video technology from Ubersense to analyze and improve players’ swings. The lessons are being offered at all 10 existing Topgolf locations across the United States. The four types of Topgolf U lessons available include:

• Social Lessons – Priced at $20 for adults and $15 for youth, these 20-minute sessions are offered to anyone in a Topgolf bay who wants just a few quick tips. A video analysis of the student’s swing is emailed at the end of the lesson and is available for sharing on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

• Private Lessons – These hour-long sessions feature one-on-one instruction with a golf pro. Topgolf has partnered with sports app leader Ubersense to provide slow-motion video swing analysis. At Topgolf, the flight path of the ball is not simulated – instead, players get to see exactly where every shot lands.

• Weekly Clinics (Player Development Series) – Small group lessons, conducted once per week for four consecutive weeks, bring together players at similar skill levels. Topgolf provides separate development series lesson plans for each level as well as for juniors and ladies.

• Group/Event Lessons – Perfect for corporate entertainment or social parties, this special add-on offers professional instruction as part of the Topgolf private event experience.

“Topgolf is unlike anything else in the golf world, and we wanted to make the lesson experience just as remarkable,” said Topgolf Director of Strategic Partnerships Rodney Ferrell. “By combining the buzzing atmosphere of Topgolf with some of the finest teaching pros in the world using the latest technology, we’ve truly redefined the golf lesson. Put simply, Topgolf is making golf affordable, easy to learn and – most important – fun.”

Topgolf is the only entertainment center of its kind, offering competitive golfing games for all ages and skill levels and advanced technology to track the accuracy and distance of players’ shots. With climate-controlled hitting bays, Topgolf allows fans to enjoy playing the game year-round. The concept has been especially popular among the millennial generation, with more than half of its guests between the ages of 18 and 34. In July, Topgolf was recognized on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel for helping revitalize golf.

Today, Topgolf employs up to three golf professionals at each location. The company has pledged to cover the costs associated with each professional’s PGA dues and certification process.

“The introduction of Topgolf U is one of the most important things this company has ever done,” said Topgolf CEO Ken May. “The program symbolizes our commitment to spreading the love for the game of golf and making it more accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds. We look forward to expanding Topgolf U and other programs like our Summer Academy for kids, our offerings for high school golf teams, and more. This is just the beginning of the golf programming Topgolf plans to offer.”

For more information regarding Topgolf U, visit www.topgolf.com/lessons.


Topgolf opens first Arizona location

Golf entertainment leader Topgolf International, Inc. will open its first location in Arizona tomorrow, following its VIP grand opening party this evening. The new 65,000-square-foot facility will be the company’s 13th location worldwide, first in the southwestern United States, and the first to be built on Native American lands.

The private VIP grand opening party will feature music and entertainment, prize giveaways, complimentary food, drinks and, of course, Topgolf® play. Special appearances will be made by Arizona Cardinals’ wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Kenny Sargent and Crash Gladys from Fox Sports 910 AM Phoenix. Topgolf partner Uber is offering partygoers 30 percent discounts on rides to and from the party as well as gift cards. The first 230 Phoenix-area residents to sign up for a Platinum or Gold membership at the new location received invitations to the party, in addition to community leaders and social media contest winners.

Topgolf is a one-of-a-kind golf entertainment experience with seven competitive games and advanced technology to track the accuracy and distance of players’ shots. Constructed by ARCO/Murray, the three-level Topgolf at Riverwalk facility includes: 102 climate-controlled hitting bays; a full-service restaurant and three bars; more than 230 high-definition flat-screen TVs; a rooftop terrace with fire pits; and 3,000 square feet of private event space. The Topgolf app, available for free download on iTunes and Google Play, allows users to change the channel on the TV in each hitting bay.

“We can’t wait to open our doors tomorrow,” said Topgolf at Riverwalk Director of Operations Hana Khouri. “It’s going to be an amazing summer at Topgolf. Golfing in Arizona during the summertime can be uncomfortably hot, but Topgolf offers a great alternative for golf fans since our hitting bays are shaded and cooled with fans and misters. We will be hosting golf tournaments, daytime clinics for kids, Monday evening leagues, themed costume parties, and live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night on our rooftop terrace. And even if you don’t play golf, there will be no shortage of things to do here.”

Topgolf at Riverwalk hired approximately 450 local residents to staff the site. Company officials estimate that the location will serve 450,000 visitors in Scottsdale in its first year of operation, with a 10-year economic output exceeding $264 million.

“We are proud to welcome Topgolf to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) and its Cultural and Entertainment Destination area, Talking Stick,” said Blessing McAnlis-Vasquez, Talking Stick Destination project manager. “Talking Stick offers a wide variety of amenities, from shopping and gaming to spring training baseball and hotel accommodations. We look forward to the additional fun and excitement that Topgolf will bring to our guest experience. When guests visit Topgolf, not only will they have a good time perfecting their golf swing, but they will also enjoy the spectacular views of the SRPMIC and the valley of the sun. It will be an experience unlike any other in the valley, and we are happy to welcome them.”

Topgolf at Riverwalk is located at 9500 E. Indian Bend Road in Scottsdale. For more information, visit www.topgolf.com.


Tempe App Developer Launches Golf GPS

Tempe-based mobile app developer Shotzoom, the world leader in mobile golf GPS and instruction apps since 2009, with more than 1.5 million active users worldwide, announces the launch of Golfshot: Golf GPS with Golfshot Pro and “Tips and Drills” in-app upgrade options for iOS and Android. The app is available in 12 languages and may be downloaded in the Apple App Store and on Google Play.

Golfshot: Golf GPS is a free app that takes on-course management and shot performance to a whole new level. Golfshot: Golf GPS offers unparalleled features such as real-time GPS distances to the green and aerial 3D flyovers of each hole so that golfers can plot their way around the course. Golfshot features and benefits don’t end there, as Golfshot Pro subscribers gain access to incredible features, such as personal club recommendations, for an easier more enjoyable golfing experience. “Tips and Drills” subscribers haveadynamic coaching feature with the most complete and up-to-date lesson library, including 175+ videos from TOURAcademy Instructors. As a forthcoming upgrade, the “Tips and Drills” feature will also use personally recorded statistics to identify and customize tutorial recommendations based on poor playing habits and the user’s skill level.

“The all new Golfshot app represents the culmination of over 5 years’ experience in developing golf mobile apps designed to improve golfers scores and their enjoyment of the game” said Ben Addoms, President of Shotzoom.

All Golfshot: Golf GPS downloads will include a free one-week trial to Golfshot Pro. To continue advanced features, subscriptions are available following the trial period.


Golfshot: Golf GPS (Free):
· Real-time GPS distances to the green on 500,000+ golf holes and 41,000+ courses worldwide
· 3D flyover previews of each hole to help with course strategy
· Ability to track distances in real time for each shot
· Easy-to-use scorecard that allows you to keep score for yourself or entire foursome
· Ability to track fairways hit, greens hit in regulation (GIR), putts per hole, and other vital user stats
· Unique sharing feature that allows you to share scorecards and photos
· NEW! The latest golf news and offers, both on your app and in our weekly newsletter, “The Pin Sheet”

Golfshot Pro ($29.99/year or $4.99/month):
· All Golfshot: Golf GPS features
· Interactive real-time distances to all hazards and targets on 500,000+ golf holes
· Personalized club recommendations (based on past performance) of each hole displayed on 3D flyovers
· Ability to zoom in on a target to plan your shots better and save strokes
· NEW! Scoring for Skins, Nassau, Match Play and other games

Golfshot “Tips and Drills” In-App Purchase ($9.99/year or $1.99/month):
· On-demand access to 175+ instruction videos from certified TOURAcademy Instructors
· Available with Golfshot: Golf GPS and Golfshot Pro

Golfshot: Golf GPS, Golfshot Pro and “Tips and Drills” are available in 12 languages and are available for download in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Annual Pro membership includes a six-month subscription toGolfweek, a $20 gift card from GlobalGolf, and great deals from other leading golf companies.

Former TV news anchor Tara Hitchcock introduces her stepson, Dylan, a Barrow patient who received treatment for a brain tumor.

Lou Grubb Friends Fore Golf scores record donations

As a longtime volunteer organizer of the Lou Grubb Friends Fore Golf, Roger Maxwell declared this year’s event, May 1-2, the most successful tournament ever, having raised approximately $500,000 to benefit Barrow Neurological Institute and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.

“We are thankful for the support of our sponsors and everyone who have given so generously to this important cause,” said Maxwell. “Lou would have been proud.”

Maxwell, a golf professional of more than 40 years, was a friend of Grubb, a well-known and revered businessman who started the tournament in 1973 to raise money for charity. After suffering a ruptured aneurysm while golfing in 1986, Grubb underwent successful surgery at Barrow, prompting him to name the institute as beneficiary of tournament proceeds. To date, more than $5 million has been donated to Barrow on behalf of the Lou Grubb Friends Fore Golf.

Approximately 450 guests attended the 2014 opening ceremony—featuring cocktails, casino-like gambling, an elegant dinner and a lively auction—at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort, May 1. The following day, 240-plus golfers headed out for a friendly, competitive round of golf at McCormick Ranch Golf Club, also in Scottsdale.

The event would not be possible without the organizational efforts of its volunteer committee: Greg Anderson, Scottie Button (chair), Hamilton Espinosa, Booker T. Evans, William Hunt, Stuart Kirk, Roger Maxwell, Larry Mayhew, Mike Medici, Loui Olivas, Jorge Quintero, Tom Reahard, Lee Rosenthal, Saundra Schrock, Dennis Scully, Joanne Springrose and Jerry D. Worsham II.

Also behind the scenes, working to make this year’s tournament better than ever, was the recently formed Lou Grubb Friends Fore Golf “Futures” Committee, including Nick and Julie Bartolo, Melissa and Tyler Button, Claire Cunningham, Natalie Grimberg, Jennifer Hoffman, Elissa Iatridis, Erik Jensen, Brian Kirk, Elizabeth Oviedo, Rebecca Pepple, Jake Thomas, Brandon Wallraff and Lindsi M. Weber.

American Fire Equipment
Arizona Cardinals *
Arizona Care Network
Arizona Diamondbacks *
Barrow Neurosurgical Associates
Big Two Toyota Scion of Chandler
Bill and Linda Hunt *
Caroline and Chris Hoeye
Cathy and Tom Reahard
Celia and Kent McLellan
Clark Hill
Dan and Kathy Grubb
Dignity Health Medical Group
DPR Construction *
Duke Realty
Gallagher & Kennedy
Gammage & Burnham
Grubb Family *
Image Stream Medical
In Celebration of Golf
Jennings Strouss
Julie and Mitch Pierce
Kathy and Dan Grubb *
Kitchell *
K.M. Facility Services LLC
Lanmore Services
Leslie and Donald Budinger
McCormick Ranch Golf Club
Mayer Hoffman McCann
Merrill Lynch
MGA Home Healthcare
MidFirst Private Bank
Nancy and Robert Spetzler
Peg and Bob Wolf
QCM Technologies
Randy and Ken Kendrick
Ridenour, Hienton & Lewis
Sandra and Larry Mayhew *
Saundra and Jeff Schrock
Scottie and Alan Button
Shelby and Steve Butterfield *
Smith Group JJR
Springrose Family
Symmetry Software *
York Capital Management
Young’s Market Company
* Major sponsors


JW Marriott Starr Pass creates luxury summer stay package

Visitors to JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa will be offered full days of fun and adventure, leisure and luxury at a great new summer rate. The Play Your Way package features rooms that start at $199 on weekends and $179 on weekdays and include a resort credit of $100 per day for use at any of the venues for the resort.

Father’s Day weekend will be special at JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa as memorable activities will be featured, including:

  • “Old Tucson” style gunfights
  • Craft beer tastings
  • Live music
  • BBQ

The resort credit accumulates during each day of your stay, so Play Your Way turns JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa into an all-access, pick-your-pastime zone for visitors, allowing them to create their own summer getaway. Some may wish to design their day around the 27-hole Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course, or they may wish to immerse themselves in serenity at the newly remodeled Hashani Spa. For a more active adventure, splash away with the Starr Pass Water Collection, a trio of venues that includes tubing on the Lazy River, a twisting water slide and refreshing pools. Food enthusiasts have extensive menus at the five resort restaurants, including Primo and Catalina Barbeque Co. + Sports Bar, while family fun awaits at the tech-oriented Blur Teen Lounge and Rising Starr Kids’ Club.

The JW Marriott Starr Pass Play Your Way luxury summer stay package will be valid from May 19-Sept. 14. The resort credit cannot be applied to room rates, tax or resort fee and may not be redeemed for cash. In order to reserve your room, call 800-228-9290 or book online at jwmarriottstarrpass.com, using the code P42.

For more information about JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa, or summer events and specials, please visit www.jwmarriottstarrpass.com.

Tucson 2014 - Banner

Sundt golf tournament raises $18,000 for MDA

The Sundt Foundation, a charitable organization funded by Sundt Construction, Inc. and its employees, hosted its annual Mike Gaines Charity Golf Tournament last month at La Paloma Country Club in Tucson, Ariz. More than 100 golfers attended the tournament, raising $18,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) in honor of long-time Sundt employee Mike Gaines, who passed away in 2002 from Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gherig’s Disease.

Originally launched in 2001 shortly after Gaines’ diagnosis, the tournament continues to raise money each year benefiting MDA in support of its research to find a cure for ALS. Although Gaines died in 2002, his legacy lives on through the Mike Gaines Charitable Fundraising Events held in Tucson and Phoenix, Sacramento, San Diego and San Antonio. Sundt and the Sundt Foundation have hosted nearly 40 events in the past 14 years, raising more than $1 million in donations for ALS research programs.

“It’s an honor to be a part of these ongoing events benefiting research and other advances toward a cure for ALS. We greatly appreciate the continued support of the construction industry,” said Sundt administrator and tournament organizer Aly Gartin. “This tournament not only offers a means to give back but increases awareness of such a terrible disease.”

The Sundt Foundation has been raising funds for Tucson-based non-profit organizations since 1999. The Foundation is funded primarily by contributions from Sundt employees and company matching. To date, the organization has awarded more than $5 million in donations to organizations throughout Arizona, California, Texas and beyond.

golfers, kitchell

Kitchell, Hardison/Downey Partner for Breast Cancer Research

When they started working together on construction projects several years ago, long before they became part of the same company, Kitchell and hardison/downey construction inc. (h/dc) realized they had common visions, goals and values, resulting in increased work and revenues. But in the past year their shared passion for one particular cause is reaping benefits outside the building industry – for breast cancer research.

At its recent “Build Fore Good” golf tournament at Kierland golf course, the two companies raised nearly $30,000 benefiting the John C. Lincoln Breast Health & Research Center.Golf Tournament Banner, Kitchell

“As the statistics indicate, most everyone knows someone impacted by breast cancer in some way,” said Kitchell CEO Jim Swanson. “Our companies, while predominantly male, are highly attuned to this issue because of our loved ones who have been impacted by breast cancer.”

The tournament sold out quickly with 144 golfers playing in a scramble format. The title sponsor was Blount Contracting Inc., and many other partners and subcontractors that enjoy work relationships with Kitchell and hardison/downey also donated generously to support this year’s cause.

One “Build Fore Good” golfer hit the jackpot, literally, when he left the tournament with an Audi A4 after shooting a hole-in-one. Participants also had the chance to win a hole-in-one Harley Davidson, and an Octane Raceway package by clocking the fastest tee-to-putt play on one of the longest holes on the course.

“We work hard and play hard – and when we play, we want to do it for a cause that’s near and dear to us – breast cancer research clearly hits a nerve with a lot of guys,” said hardison/downey President Pat Downey.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, in 2012 breast cancer was the most frequently diagnosed cancer in among females in Arizona. This is a statistic that mirrors national figures of 119 out of 100,000 women of all races diagnosed with the disease.

The John C. Lincoln Breast Health & Research Center, located at the John C. Lincoln Deer Valley campus, was the first center in Arizona and the second in the country to use digital, low-dose 3D mammography, and currently the facility performs more 3D mammograms than anywhere in the world. Last year the Center performed 26,868 exams and served individuals from more than 200 zip codes. The Center was recently named a Brest Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR), the national professional organization for physicians specializing in medical imaging. This is a designation held by only 7 percent of the country’s 8,600 breast imaging centers.


What do golf and surgery have in common?

Imagine sinking chip shots on three of the world’s most famous golf courses while chipping in to help fund a high-tech hybrid operating suite at Banner Boswell Medical Center. How’s it possible you ask?

Sun Health Foundation and Arrowhead Lexus have joined forces to sell drawing tickets for a chance to play in the 2013 Lexus Champions For Charity Golf Tournament, a five-day golf getaway for two, held Dec. 11-15, in Pebble Beach, Calif.

Ticket proceeds will help fund a new hybrid operating suite at Banner Boswell Medical Center in Sun City.

Only 400 drawing tickets are available, with the winner and a friend earning the chance to “play like a pro” on three of Pebble Beach’s hallowed golf courses: Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Spanish Bay.

The winning package includes meals, carts and green fees; an incredible tee prize package; transportation between local airports and the golf resorts and a teaching clinic from a top PGA professional.

Tickets are $150 each or five for $600. Ticket sponsorship packages are also available. The winning ticket will be drawn October 3 at Arrowhead Lexus Peoria. Need not be present to win.  Purchase tickets by calling 623-832-7609 or visit sunhealthfoundation.org.

Hybrid Operating Suite
The $8.2 million project involves transforming a 40-year-old clinical space into a futuristic hybrid operating suite, the first of its kind in the West Valley. Construction will also include refurbishing and constructing two new OR suites. The hybrid will combine the latest surgical, cardiac catheterization and 3-D radiology technologies with real-time patient monitoring, allowing patients to stay in one place.

Interventional cardiologists, electro-physiologists or interventional radiologists and heart and vascular surgeons will work side by side. It will greatly benefit patients requiring minimally invasive valve procedures as well as those needing cardiovascular or vascular treatment. The results will be shorter recovery times, fewer complications, reduced pain and increased quality of life. Expected to be completed in late summer 2014, the project also includes expanding the Same Day Surgery unit. Ultimately, the project will allow Banner Boswell to continue to expand its comprehensive cardiac program to meet the current and future needs of the community.

Larry Pobuda

Commercial Real Estate Veteran Larry Pobuda Joins Transwestern's Phoenix Team


Transwestern announced that commercial real estate veteran Lawrence (Larry) Pobuda has joined its Phoenix office, increasing its role in the leasing and sales of office buildings and providing in-depth expertise in development and investment.

As senior vice president, Pobuda serves institutional, corporate and private owners, as well as corporate users.

“It is exciting to make strategic expansions in our range of services with someone such as Larry,” said Transwestern Senior Vice President Bill Zurek. “His national relationships and experience in a variety of real estate disciplines will enhance our already strong capabilities.”

Pobuda arrives from Minneapolis where he co-founded Stewart Lawrence Group, a partnership involved in acquiring and developing commercial real estate assets. In Minneapolis, he provided advisory services to key clients including the University of Minnesota.

He also served as senior vice president and member of the five-person executive team at United Properties/NorthMarq, a 500-employee, full-service commercial real estate firm. Pobuda also served as the 2010 National Chair of NAIOP, the 15,000-member commercial real estate development association.

His recent role as NAIOP Chair also brings an additional national perspective to Transwestern’s Phoenix team. Pobuda will maintain his relationships in Minneapolis in order to facilitate connections between those clients and Transwestern’s Minneapolis office.

“I am delighted to join Transwestern’s Phoenix team, which offered me the rare opportunity to interface between the worlds of development, investment and brokerage,”  Pobuda said. “Phoenix is a wonderful community where I have felt at home even while I was based in Minneapolis. As the region’s economy continues to improve I look forward to helping grow Transwestern’s business.”

Pobuda’s activity in Minneapolis included tenant representation, project and facility management and lease administration. He served such high-profile clients as BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota, Ecolab, UnitedHealth Group, Silicon Graphics and Macromedia.

Responsible for the leasing oversight of 1.8 MSF of Class A office space, Pobuda successfully closed more than 2 MSF of leases with an aggregate value of more than $420M for companies including GMAC/RFC, Bank of America, Weber Shandwick, Oracle, Microsoft, Merrill Lynch, William Mercer and AON.



Camelback Inn Announces New $10 Million Golf Course

The JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa announced that it will unveil its new Ambiente golf course at Camelback Golf Club in the fall of 2013. Spanish for the word “environment,” Ambiente, which is designed with a detailed eco-friendly focus, will become the first new golf course development project in the Phoenix-Scottsdale and Paradise Valley areas in over five years, and one of a select group of new courses to be built nationwide.

The completion of the $10 million Ambiente golf course will culminate a seven-year, $70 million Marriott renewal project at Camelback Inn, designed to blend reverence for the past with relevance for the future. From preserving the resort’s 1930s adobe brick to the stylish renovation of the Inn’s 453 casita-style guestrooms, and from a new 20,000 square-foot, hi-tech grand ballroom to the debut of BLT Steak, Laurent Tourondel’s modern American steakhouse, the renewal project involved virtually every aspect of the historic resort. Today the new-look 125-acre Camelback Inn, set on its Sonoran Desert surroundings in Paradise Valley, strikes the perfect balance between showcasing the best of the resort’s storied past, while setting a visionary course for the future.

Adding to the lore of Camelback, Ambiente is expected to gain golf industry-wide acclaim for its distinct design, the challenging, yet enjoyable experience it presents to golfers of all levels and the overall aesthetic and environmental qualities it brings to the Phoenix-Scottsdale area. In concert with the popular Padre golf course, Ambiente will help to establish a one-of-a-kind 36-hole Southwest golf destination, for both leisure and group golfers, within the enchanting resort atmosphere of the Camelback Inn.

“Ambiente is more than just a new golf course, for it represents the final phase in Marriott’s unmatched commitment to reinvigorate Camelback Inn for the future, while preserving its history and the unique Southwestern style that has made it a favorite for generations of travelers,” said Jim Rose, General Manager, JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa. “While Ambiente is sure to distract golfers with its natural beauty and breathtaking views of Mummy Mountain, Camelback, the McDowells and the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, our golfing guests will find a friendly test of skill and shotmaking that will redefine the golf experience at a resort long known for its exceptional service, palette pleasing food, luxurious accommodations and spirit of adventure.”

The launch of Ambiente, which replaces the old Indian Bend golf course, will create a uniquely different golf experience than the Padre course, which today is regarded as a great parkland style golf course that, while scenic, boasts numerous water hazards, towering Pine and Eucalyptus trees and 18 golf holes that will test every golfer’s ability. In contrast, Ambiente, which was designed by notable golf architect Jason Straka on behalf of Hurdzan/Fry Environmental Golf Design, will present a distinct challenge where accuracy and a good strategy command the day, as every hole will force even the best players to focus on each and every shot. Golfers will find the eye-catching elevation changes, as well as rolling fairways with significant drops throughout the course, are among its most striking features.

Ambiente will also feature five sets of tee boxes, designed to positively impact today’s golf industry “growth of the game” effort. The new forward tees have no forced carries and offer easier approach angles, which create opportunities for aspiring golfers to enjoy regardless of their playing ability. One of the most golfer-friendly features of Ambiente is the creatively shaped greens. The overall green acreage, which stands at about 122,000 square feet, offers great movement, character and feel. Visually intimidating, the putting surfaces are very fair, but will challenge golfers to bring their best putting stroke every time out.

Environment is a significant part of the Ambiente golf course story, which centers on water conservation, wildlife habitat creation and an overall 50 percent decrease in pesticide/fertilizer and fossil fuel use, as compared to the former Indian Bend golf course. The design and layout of the course will be highlighted by 100 acres of new native desert and grass areas that will feature a mix of acacias, jojobas and sagebrush among many other desert shrubs and grasses, as well as an eye-catching collection of both summer and winter desert wildflower mixes.

These native areas, which will require one-third less water than Indian Bend, will be complemented by 85 acres of hybrid turf grass that also requires significantly less water, while reducing the daily labor and machinery intensive maintenance of traditional Bermuda grass. Overall, the combined native areas will give the course a more Northern desert look compared to the area’s traditional Sonoran Desert layouts, making it a must-play Southwestern layout in Paradise Valley.

From an Audubon standpoint, Ambiente is designed to cater to wildlife, which is part of Marriott’s overall role as a steward of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary program. By removing over 100 acres of turf grass and replacing it with native desert and grass areas, bird inventory, as well as the local mammal population, will increase substantially.

Adds Rose, “Environmental consciousness has long been a hallmark at Marriott, and we believe that Ambiente is a perfect example of the Company’s commitment to protecting wildlife and natural resources, while continually serving as a leader in eco-friendly business practices. Upon completion, we expect golfers in the community will find that Ambiente stands alongside the premier golf landscapes in the Phoenix-Scottsdale market, while we expect the course to redefine the destination golf experience for group and leisure customers visiting the Camelback Inn.”


An open letter to Phil Mickelson

Dear Phil,

I read your recent comments about the crushing tax burden California has imposed on wage earners like yourself. You said that you might even move out of California. Allow me to suggest Arizona – your former home – as your next home.

Though my time playing golf is usually limited to courses where I try to hit the ball into a miniature windmill, you and I have a lot in common. We’re both left-handers. We’re both Arizona State grads, you with a Bachelor’s, me from the law school. You’re a member of the ASU athletics Hall of Fame. I enjoy watching ASU sports.

More importantly, though, we both understand the impact high taxes have on a state’s economy and its hard working residents. A high-tax environment drives capital and people out of state, which explains why California is currently experiencing an unprecedented exodus of wealth.

It’s apparent you’re not alone in your high-tax sentiments. Even your sometimes rival on the golf course, Tiger Woods, said California’s high-tax environment is why he left the state for Florida.

California’s current top income tax rate of 13.3 percent is a good enough reason to pack up one’s clubs and move on.

Sure, California has sandy beaches and sunshine, but that doesn’t dull the sting of paying out nearly half your income in total taxes. It’s hard to enjoy the ocean when you’re watching your hard earned money float out to sea.

Arizona has sunshine and sand (traps), too. And while California has been pursuing a flawed economic strategy, we’ve been making all the right moves.

Over the past two years, Gov. Jan Brewer and the Legislature have worked hard to make Arizona a state that is known for job growth and creation. They’ve decreased the corporate income tax rate, lowered the tax on business property and equipment, cut taxes on investment income and have made Arizona’s tax code more attractive to businesses selling goods and services outside our borders.  While California was raising its taxes (again), our voters rejected a massive permanent tax hike. We’ve also balanced our budget.

The per-capita income going to taxes in Arizona is just 8.7 percent, compared to the national average of 9.8 percent and California’s burden of 11.8 percent. That leaves more money for vacations to your favorite beaches (including those in California) or for purchasing a Major League Baseball team.

We’ve also cut back on unnecessary regulations, freeing up businesses to expand without the worry of frivolous government interference.  You can’t even go into a Starbucks in California without a Proposition 65 warning of the dangers of coffee.

All of these efforts have resulted in Arizona’s move up the leaderboard.  Arizona received the title of number one state for entrepreneurial activity in 2011 and was ranked a Top-10 state for business in 2012. We also ranked second – just behind North Dakota – for states with the best job-growth forecast.

I’ll put this all in terms you can appreciate:  If Arizona competed in The Masters of economic competitiveness, we’d end up with the coveted green jacket.

Phil, you know better than anyone that you can’t beat the golf here. You’re already a crowd favorite come Waste Management Phoenix Open time. So go pack your clubs and call the movers.

Just don’t take too long. I could really use some tips on my swing.



Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans. 


SunRidge Canyon Golf Club opens Jim McLean Performance Center

SunRidge Canyon Golf Club announced today the opening of the new Jim McLean Performance Center, a 1,600 sq. ft. structure located on the club’s practice tee occupied by Hot Stix Golf and Jim McLean Golf School.  The building offers two hitting bays: one completely enclosed and climate controlled that opens to the practice range via a roll-up door.  The other covered bay is open to the practice tee on two of four sides.  Both are decked out with the latest video and launch-monitor technology.  Just outside of the building, the practice tee was expanded to include 50 percent more turf. Two new bunkers and a second practice green were also added. There is also a therapy room for stretching sessions, a restroom and administrative space.

As the name suggests, the new facility is home to a Jim McLean Golf School, which is in its second season at SunRidge Canyon.

“The new facility is fantastic,” said McLean.  “The indoor/outdoor capabilities provide our students an additional level of comfort, while giving the instructors a state-of-the-art place to help golfers realize their potential within the game of golf.  It’s just very well done—a huge asset for our instructors and students.”

The performance center is also home to Hot Stix Golf, an industry leader in the art and science of custom golf club fitting.  The facility at SunRidge Canyon allows the professional club-fitters to visually assess the golfer’s ball flight in addition to uncovering their unique swing DNA with the help of Trackman launch monitor technology.  From there, they match the golfer’s specs to the best complement of equipment, across all major brands, by leveraging Hot Stix Golf’s proprietary software developed through years of independent research and development carried out at their Scottsdale Airpark headquarters.

“It’s gratifying to see this project come to fruition,” said Jeff Lessig, General Manager of SunRidge Canyon Golf Club.  “We now offer one of the most comprehensive and effective game-improvement options available in the Valley of the Sun.”

To schedule a lesson or club fitting at the new Jim McLean Performance Center, contact SunRidge Canyon Golf Club at 480-837-5100.

SunRidge Canyon Golf Club features an 18-hole, 6,823-yard, par-71, Keith Foster-designed golf course located on the slopes of the McDowell Mountains in Fountain Hills, Arizona, adjacent to Scottsdale. Open since 1995, SunRidge Canyon has been recognized as one of Arizona’s finest golf facilities by numerous golf publications.  Most recently it was one of only 25 Arizona clubs ranked as 2012 Golfweek’s Best Golf Courses: State by State. The golf course works its way down a large canyon during the front nine before bending around to climb up the canyon on the back nine.  Along the way, golfers discover a measure of beauty and challenge unlike any other desert golf course in the Valley, with the last six holes – known as the Wicked Six – personifying this appealing combination.

SunRidge Canyon Golf Club is also a great place to learn the game at the Jim McLean Golf School, the only one in Arizona and 13th world-wide.  Jim McLean has long been recognized as one of the top golf instructors in the world, named 1994 PGA Teacher of The Year, and currently ranked No.3 by Golf Digest, among many other distinctions. SunRidge Canyon’s new performance center is also home to the custom club fitting of Hot Stix Golf.

The club’s Spanish hacienda-style clubhouse provides a beautiful setting for those looking for an awe-inspiring site for weddings, receptions, awards banquets or any type of special event.  Among other things, guests are treated to stunning mountain views as well as the property’s shimmering water features and lush Sonoran Desert landscape.  For more information on SunRidge Canyon, visit www.SunridgeGolf.com or call 480-837-5100.


Greater Phoenix CVB promotes 3 as part of reorganization effort

The Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau, the nonprofit organization that markets metropolitan Phoenix as a visitor and meeting destination, has promoted Michael Mooney to the position of Executive Vice President.

Mooney, who previously held the title of Chief Operating Officer, will continue to serve in that role. He joined the Greater Phoenix CVB in 1997. In the 16 years since, he has risen in rank and responsibility, from Director of Information Technology to Chief Financial Officer to his new position as the CVB’s No. 2 executive.

Prior to joining the Greater Phoenix CVB, Mooney served as the senior financial and technology officer for a private enterprise that operated in the tourism-related realms of aviation, hotel lodging, restaurants, ground transportation and golf in Arizona, Washington, Hawaii, California and Nevada. Immediately preceding that career path, Mooney developed computer software for the casino industry, specializing in timekeeping, slot accounting and guest tracking.

Born in New Jersey, Mooney has called Phoenix home since his high school days.

Mooney’s promotion follows two other recent reorganization moves at the Greater Phoenix CVB: Melissa Gogel was promoted to Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Tourism; and Scott Dunn was elevated to Senior Director of Marketing and Communications.

Gogel, who has worked at the Greater Phoenix CVB since 2000, takes the supervisory reins of three departments: marketing (which is responsible for the CVB’s advertising, branding and website); communications (which coordinates media relations efforts); and tourism (which markets Phoenix to travel agencies and tour operators).

A native of Nashville, Gogel had previously served as Director of Marketing. She began her career at the CVB as an assistant in the Membership Department. Prior to coming to Phoenix she worked as a marketing analyst for Harold’s clothing stores in Norman, Okla.

Dunn, also a native Tennessean, has worked at the Greater Phoenix CVB for six years, serving as Communication Manager and Associate Director of Communication. Before coming to Phoenix he spent 14 years in the journalism industry, working as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Utah, New Mexico and South Carolina.

Jack Nicklaus Boccieri Golf Secret Grip

Jack Nicklaus, Boccieri Golf Partner to Launch Secret Grip

Boccieri Golf, maker of award-wining equipment such as the Tour-proven Heavy Putter, has tapped Jack Nicklaus to help launch the Secret Grip, a patented technological breakthrough that allows players to easily back-weight their clubs, similar to the way Nicklaus did during his career while winning 73 PGA Tour titles, including a record 18 professional major championships.

The Secret Grip represents the first time in nearly two decades that Nicklaus has given his endorsement to equipment not under the Nicklaus Golf banner. He will appear in promotional materials for the product and use it on his own clubs. Beginning in March, the Secret Grip will be available at Dicks and Golf Galaxy retailers nationwide.

“Throughout my career, all my golf clubs were back-weighted,” Nicklaus said. “The main benefit was that it helped slow down my hands and reduce dispersion. There are a lot of people who could benefit from the philosophy that I used and that is why we have been working with Boccieri Golf.  If we can make the game easier and thus more enjoyable for people, that’s not only a good thing for them, it’s good for the game of golf.”

The Secret Grip is designed to be installed quickly and affordably on every manufacturer’s clubs. Its heavier weight raises the club’s balance point, promoting consistent crisp contact for greater control and distance. This is achieved via a tungsten weight in the butt-end, combined with a compound that’s 40-percent heavier than what’s used in standard grips.

“Extensive research and testing has proven that counterweighting helps everyone from the high-handicapper to all-time greats like Jack,” says Stephen Boccieri, President and CEO of Boccieri Golf. “With the Secret Grip, players benefit from our unique weighting system without changing the brand or style they prefer. It is really like getting a new set of clubs.”

Prototypes of the Secret Grip were unveiled last year and garnered praise from dozens of leading media outlets. This included receiving “Top Products from the 2012 PGA Show” honors from Golf Digest and GOLF Magazine. Recent consumer launch-monitor testing of more than 500 players showed 95 percent reported a strong preference for the Secret Grip versus traditional grips.

Further advantages of the Secret Grip ($16.99 each) include:

• Total length one-inch longer than standard, allowing players to grip-down for improved play around the green or on uneven lies

• A built-up lower section—often preferred by PGA Tour players—completely removes the need for additional grip tape wrapping

The latest introduction in a line of pioneering equipment from Boccieri Golf that includes the popular Heavy Putter collection, along with the critically acclaimed “Control Series” of full swing clubs, the Secret Grip can be purchased at www.boccierigolf.com. It will soon be offered at leading retailers nationwide.

Founded in 2005 by Stephen Boccieri, Boccieri Golf’s popular Heavy Putter collection and Control Series line of full-swing products were the first to integrate counterweight principals. This unique approach to club design is proven to benefit golfers of all skill levels, as strategically placed weight in the butt-end of the shaft produces a higher balance point to promote smoother, more repeatable swings from driver through putter.

The company recently opened a state-of-the-art Research and Performance Center at 15816 N. Greenway-Hayden Loop in Scottsdale. Coinciding with significant growth in demand for the entire Boccieri Golf portfolio, the 9,000-square-foot facility offers a variety of services, including custom club fitting, high-tech swing analysis and practice time on life-like simulators.

Boccieri Golf equipment has played a key role in victories on the PGA, European, Champions, Nationwide, Asian, Canadian and European Challenge Tours. In addition, its products have received vast critical acclaim from a variety of respected golf and lifestyle media outlets.

For more information, visit www.boccierigolf.com or call 888-788-8374.


Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson set for Phoenix Open

Two-time champion Phil Mickelson and Masters winner Bubba Watson have committed to play in the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

The news of the popular PGA players’ participation should be an economic boost for business. The 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open pumped $222 million into Arizona’s economy — with direct sales tax revenue estimated to be $8.2 million — and non-local attendees spent an average of $300 per day.

Defending champion Kyle Stanley, 2011 winner Mark Wilson and 2010 champion Hunter Mahan also are entered in the Jan. 31-Feb. 3 event along with Rickie Fowler, Nick Watney, Carl Pettersson, Nicolas Colsaerts and Lucas Glover.

Mickelson won at TPC Scottsdale in 1996 and 2005. The former Arizona State star will open his season Jan. 17-20 in the Humana Challenge in La Quinta, Calif.


Tour Player Opens Golf Academy

On Saturday, December 1st, the Outback Golf Academy will be hosting a free grand opening event at Western Skies Golf Club in Gilbert, Arizona.  The Academy’s vision is to enhance the coaching experience for all golfers in the Southeast Valley, especially juniors.  The family event will feature free golf clinics by academy staff, live entertainment from local band “Power Road”, and a live performance by world-renowned golf trick shot artist and Director of Coaching, Craig Hocknull.  There will be free equipment and coaching packages given away to some lucky attendees as well.

“While playing on tour I created a system to cultivate the natural talents of the athlete, while systematically addressing weaknesses, which is how we will approach teaching here at the Academy,” said Craig Hocknull, Director of Coaching at the Academy.  “At the Outback Golf Academy, we will provide “Tour quality coaching, Outback Style!”  We focus on the process and not the result, and we make the process so enjoyable that our students just can’t get enough of it.”

Through tour quality coaching, each student athlete will be equipped with the tools needed to advance to the next level in their golf game.  State-of-the-art launch monitors, like Flightscope and Trackman, are used, as well as online swing analysis using iPads and smart phones.

The free grand opening event will be held between 6pm – 8pm at Western Skies Golf Club, located at 1245 E. Warner Road Gilbert, Arizona 85296.  For more information, please call (602) 561-4653.

The Outback Golf Academy provides private individual coaching and private classes.  CJ Orton, a TPI certified instructor, and Brandon Sutton, an expert club fitter and repair technician, both accompany Hocknull at the Academy.  The Academy is located at Western Skies Golf Club in Gilbert, Arizona.  For more information about the Academy, please contact Craig Hocknull at (602) 561-4653 or via email at outbackgolfacademy@gmail.com.


Spirit of Enterprise winner: Daphne’s Headcovers

Daphne’s Headcovers earned the The Spirit of Enterprise Overcoming Adversity Award this year at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University’s prestigious Spirit of Enterprise Awards.

When Jane Spicer was 10 years old she told her mother that she wanted a sailboat. Her mother told her she had to earn the money for it. Jane did: she sewed a bagful of stuffed toys to sell to friends and neighbors. At the Park & Swap she made $200, and has been hooked on entrepreneurship ever since.

“When I was 16, a customer suggested that I make animal golf club covers. It was really hard to break into that market, but my mom, Daphne, told me: Be tenacious.” Jane taught herself how to get past the attendants and assistants at golf resorts to get to the buyers. It worked: sales grew 400 percent in one quarter, her animal headcovers becoming the best selling item in golf after Tiger Woods started using one.

Not that it was always easy: When the recession hit in early 2008, Jane said that she was paralyzed with fear. “I stopped taking a salary. I sold everything at home that wasn’t nailed down. But I never missed payroll and I didn’t lay off a single key employee. By 2011 we were profitable again.”

Jane and her company do a lot to give back to the community that, as Jane put it, built Daphne’s Headcovers. The company sells a special Weimaraner headcover and donates a portion of the proceeds to Gabriel’s Angels, which provides pet therapy to abused and at-risk kids. They also partner with charities globally to help make a difference and now Jane allows budding entrepreneurs to use her facility and equipment.

Through all of the ups and downs, Jane has lived out the directive her mother gave her, to be tenacious, and Daphne’s core value as well: to do good while doing well.

Name of business: Daphne’s Headcovers

Nature of business: Manufacturer of animal/novelty golf club covers

Address: 337 W. Melinda Lane Phoenix, Arizona 85027

Web: DaphnesHeadcovers.com

Founded: 1978

Number of employees: 19


Sun Health Foundation backs two fall fundraisers

Make a difference in local orthopedic care by attending two great fundraisers hosted by the Sun Health Foundation.

Below are more details on Sun Health Foundation’s inaugural Swinging in the Sun for Aces golf tournament, scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 15 at Wigwam Arizona’s Heritage Course; and Healthy SUNsations Gala – “One Hip Party!,” beginning at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, also at Wigwam Arizona.

Swinging in the Sun for Aces – Imagine changing your life with a single swing of a golf club!

We’re not talking about the PGA or LPGA Tour. We are talking about the West Valley’s newest all-Par 3 Party – Sun Health Foundation’s Swinging in the Sun for Aces Tournament.

Distinctly different from most tournaments, this all-Par 3 tournament features amazing potential prizes at each and every hole. The event’s biggest prize? Ten golfers will take aim at $1 million ($500,000 of which would go to Sun Health Foundation).

Other fun “game changers” include nine holes featuring Lexus automobiles as a hole-in-one prize and several guaranteed giveaways including a $5,000 cash prize, a $5,000 Pebble Beach gift card and a one-year free Wigwam golf membership.

Swinging in the Sun for Aces supports orthopedic care at Banner Boswell and Banner Del E. Webb medical centers. Four different entry packages are available:

• Foursome Package 1: Four tickets to Sun Health Foundation’s Swinging in the Sun for Aces tournament, along with four drawing tickets for a chance to win entry into the Lexus Champions for Charity (a three-day, two-person, better-ball format tournament scheduled Dec. 5-9 at three of Pebble Beach’s most exclusive golf courses ) – $1,400.

• Foursome Package 2: Four individual tickets to the Sun Health Foundation tournament only – $1,000.

• Individual Package 1: A single ticket to the Sun Health Foundation tournament, along with a drawing ticket for the Lexus Champions for Charity – $350.

• Individual Package 2: A single ticket to the Sun Health Foundation tournament only – $250.

Don’t miss your chance to swing for the flag and win prizes fit for the pros.  Please call 623-207-1703, email special.events@sunhealth.org or go to www.sunhealth.org, visit our Events Page and click on the Swinging in the Sun for Aces link for more information or to register.

One Hip After Party! makes its debut – Ever had so much fun that when an event ends, you’re just not ready to leave?  Guests of Sun Health Foundation’s Healthy SUNsations Gala – “One Hip Party!” on Saturday Nov. 10 at Wigwam Arizona won’t have to. The “young and young-at-heart” can celebrate late into the evening, thanks to the debut of “One Hip After Party!”

There also will be plenty of hip, elegant fun at the event itself, beginning at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception and silent auction featuring state-of-the-art electronic keypad bidding. That’s followed at 7:30 p.m. by an unforgettable dinner, live auction and entertainment provided by C.C. Jones Productions.

Like the golf tournament, this is fun you can feel good about! Healthy SUNsations Gala – “One Hip Party!” also supports orthopedic care at Banner Boswell and Banner Del E. Webb medical centers.

Sun Health Foundation’s premier annual fundraising gala, Healthy SUNsations tickets begin at $200 per person and can be purchased by calling 623-832-7609, emailing special.events@sunhealth.org or by going to www.sunhealth.org.