15th Annual Gerry Dulac Parkway West Rotary Charity Classic
Monday, July 29th
Sewickley Heights Golf Club
Benefits Robinson Twp. Parks & Recreation Department and Parkway West Rotary Charities
Includes: 18-hole Scramble, Gift, Continental Breakfast, Dinner, Auction.
Register online at parkwaywestrotary.com
Special Editions of the Golf Show
What does Lee Baughman, a 16-handicap from Canonsburg, have in common with Luke Donald, Charles Howell III and Jonathan Byrd?
He's a member of Mizuno Golf's stable of PGA Tour pros. And is being treated like one.
Baughman is part of a marketing campaign by equipment-manufacturer Mizuno to build a 12-member team of average players who will be treated like tour professionals (PlayFamously.com).
Baughman, a product manager who plays mostly at Lindenwood Golf Club, was the first person selected for what is being called Team JPX -- a reference to Mizuno's new JPX-825 game-improvement irons. And he is loving the tour-style treatment he is receiving, getting fitted with Mizuno's new JPX irons in addition to a personalized tour bag and a full line of Mizuno apparel.
"It's beyond cool," said Baughman, 30. "The last six weeks have been like a whirlwind. I'm sitting in my office next to a Mizuno staff bag with my name on it, with 14 Mizuno clubs. It's been pretty awesome."
In addition, Baughman will receive lessons from PGA master professional Gary Wiren and compete in a season-ending Team JPX Invitational at the Country Club of the South in Atlanta.
"It's pretty crazy watching myself online, hitting golf shots in front of Luke Donald and Jonathan Byrd," Baughman said. "It's a pretty surreal experience."
Cool Springs' future uncertain
Cool Springs Golf Center in Bethel Park was once one of the busiest driving ranges in Western Pennsylvania, a multi-purpose facility in the middle of the South Hills that also offered miniature golf, batting cages, snack bar and a stocked pro shop.
It even had covered, heated hitting stalls for golfers who wanted to use the outdoor range in colder weather. Cool Springs also employed two certified PGA teaching professionals -- Bob Salera and Carmen Costa.
But, like a lot of other things in an industry that has seen stagnant rounds and course closings, Cool Springs appears to be in the middle of an uncertain future.
The range has been closed since March 5 when employees suddenly were told the facility would shut down for at least a month. Phone calls to Cool Springs said the number has been temporarily disconnected.
Cool Springs is planning to reopen this weekend, but, for how long, nobody seems to know.
Approximately five years ago, Cool Springs installed a snow-tube track for the winter that ran across the back of the range. Many regular golf customers did not like the track, however, because it damaged the landing area and created an unsightly appearance for hitting balls.
The track was removed several years ago, but the damage to the customer base likely remains.
Cool Springs is owned by Louis Hauber and Dan Remely of H-Squared Properties, who bought the facility from Family Golf in 2001.
Berteotti finds new niche
Michelle Berteotti played 14 seasons on the LPGA Tour, winning one tournament and more than $1.1 million in earnings.
At 49, she is trying to give back to the game -- and other games -- by doing more than just giving swing lessons. Berteotti is trying to help young golfers develop what she feels is an equally important component of the game -- mental makeup and fortitude.
"It's how to deal with fear and nervousness, how to trust yourself on the course," said Berteotti, an Upper St. Clair native. "Nobody does it."
Berteotti published a book last year -- "The Mental Mastery Program" -- which deals primarily with developing that part of the game with golfers. And she teaches classes on the subject at the Upper St. Clair Recreation Center.
But, Berteotti discovered that parents of kids in other sports were interested in the mental development as well. And now her students include young players in soccer, volleyball and tennis.
Berteotti serves as a sort of mental coach for a number of high school and small-college teams.
"It's crossing over into different sports," Berteotti said. "I don't know how big I can take it. The only other option is to import a psychologist, and they cost a fortune."
Some rare feats
It is one thing when a group of eight guys has one of its players get a double eagle on a buddies trip to Naples, Fla. But it is another type of thrill when one of the others in the group has a hole-in-one 13 holes later.
It happened in March when Michael Smith of O'Hara had a double eagle on the 550-yard second hole at the Hideout Golf Club in Naples. Smith used a 4-wood from 245 yards on his second shot, but couldn't see the ball go in the hole.
"We could not see the ball go in with all the trees, but the other guy in the group said, 'I think that went in the cup,' " said Mike Feeney, a playing partner. "Mike freaked out."
Later in the round, when Smith, Feeney and their two partners finished playing the 186-yard 15th, they watched their friends in the group behind play the par-3 hole. That's when Jonathan Thomas of Pittsburgh used a 5-iron to knock his shot in the cup for his second career hole-in-one.
"We thought it was so rare for a double eagle and a hole-in-one to happen in the same round, in the same event, with the same group of guys," Feeney said.
New project for Leonard
Former British Open champ Justin Leonard once told me he would build golf holes in the sand at the beach when he was a kid growing up. Now, he is doing it for real.
His first project is Old American GC in suburban Dallas, a sprawling man-sized layout along Lake Lewisville that opened in 2010 and is a throwback to older course designs.
Leonard assisted architect Tripp Davis to produce a course with plenty of yawning sand bunkers, lots of native grasses and greens that pitch and slope more than you would expect in the Texas flatlands. And there is little defense from the wind that whips off the lake, especially on the back nine.
Old American already has been voted the fifth-best course in the state by Golfweek magazine. The club is available for public play (oldamericangolfclub.com) and offers stay-and-play packages beginning at $213 per player.
Dissa and data
A four-man team from Western Pennsylvania won the national championship of the National Kidney Foundation Cadillac Golf Classic at Pebble Beach last month. The team was comprised of Tom Ali of Venetia, Michael Cavanagh and Mike Sabota of Canonsburg and Bob Macosko of Bethel Park. They shot 61-62-61--184 in the three-day scramble event. ... Mallorey Stack, 17, of Shaler received The First Tee's national Outstanding Female Participant Award in Nashville. She was chosen from 188 chapters and eight finalists. Stack is a senior at Shaler Area High School and has participated in The First Tee for seven years. ... Matt Barto of Leechburg won the boys 15-19 division with consecutive rounds of 72 at an International Junior Golf Tour event at White Manor GC in Malvern, Pa.