THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE SOMETIMES THE THINGS THAT ARE HIDDEN AWAY, AND WHEN IT COMES TO GOLF IN TALLAHASSEE IT DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THE HIDDEN GEM KNOWN AS THE GOLF CLUB AT SUMMERBROOKE
BEFORE PRICES INCREASE IN AUGUST
We also offer a fabulous resort style pool, beautiful clubhouse and fun events for all to enjoy.
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14 DAY ADVANCED RESERVATIONS
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The perfect way to beat the heat this Summer is at the Pool and with this great offer, we are sure you will dive in with both feet.
The most luxurious and relaxing pool in town! Relax on the 6,000 square foot deck and covered pavilion area with food & beverage offerings. A great family fun place to enjoy this Summer!
Join Today and Stay Cool!
STARTING Thursday, June 25th
Face masks to be worn inside all buildings.
Leon County has passed a new face mask ordinance and we will comply with all of the recommendations here at The Golf Club at Summerbrooke.
We encourage our golfers to book and pay online if at all possible. Due to the new mandate, we will also be checking everyone’s temperature when you arrive on premises. Thank you for your cooperation during these unprecedented times.
We are continuing to follow the recommendations of the CDC and the guidelines set out by Florida’s health department officials. We have been making numerous changes to our golf operations to assist in providing the safest experience as possible for our members, guests and staff.
While understanding the severity of the current situation, we are also trying to provide some level of physical activity partnered with limited social interaction. Things are changing daily and we are adjusting accordingly. At this time, we are allowing shared carts but please take every precaution for safety.
Swimming – Indoor & Outdoor Activities – Fun Games – Snacks
- 8:30 am to 12:30 pm
- $150 per child per week
- Open to ages 6 to 12
TWO CAMP DATES TO CHOOSE FROM:
- June 22 – 26
- July 13 – 17
Limited to 12 Campers per week.
Michael Jordan, Steph Curry, Charles Barkley and all the other big names we would want to see tee it up with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have always made it clear this new partnership in made-for-TV matches would not be a one-time thing. On Sunday, they gave us the second installment, adding Tom Brady and Peyton Manning to the mix for The Match: Champions for Charity, which raised $20 million for coronavirus relief.
A few times this week, Mickelson has floated more ideas, most notably to the Los Angeles Times and the Dan Patrick Show. But who might be next? Who would we want to see tee it up with or against Tiger and Phil? We asked around and got some interesting responses, including the ultimate match. (Hint, think Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley).
Ian O’Connor, ESPN.com
Tiger Woods/Charles Barkley vs. Phil Mickelson/Michael Jordan
I might have gone with Brady and Belichick before Peyton Manning stole my Belichick thunder Sunday, but Jordan and Barkley would bring a ton of star power and tension to the table. It might take some convincing of MJ, since he apparently is no longer on speaking terms with his ex-good friend Chuck. But that strange dynamic would only add to the spectacle. Phil would loosen up Jordan, and Barkley would loosen up Tiger. Barkley would need a bunch of strokes to make this work, since he makes Brady seem like Ben Hogan. But coming off his “Last Dance” tour de force, Jordan would be feeling a lot of pressure on that first tee, as it has been a long time since he competed live with millions watching his every move. Can he keep it on the planet with Barkley needling him about his past big-money golf losses and a winning percentage, as an executive, that’s not in Jerry Krause’s ballpark? A lot of people would tune in to find out.
Tom VanHaaren, ESPN.com
Tiger Woods/Michael Jordan vs. Phil Mickelson/Steph Curry
I would’ve stuck with the rivalry theme and put Michael Jordan against Isiah Thomas, but we all know now that Jordan wouldn’t have played if Isiah was invited. I’ll see myself out. In all seriousness, the golf would be fun to watch, the trash talking would be outstanding and having Jordan and Mickelson on opposite teams means we also might get some added excitement from side bets. This match would have the star power needed to draw a big audience, and while it isn’t a rivalry, it would combine the old-school NBA with the new school in a fun competition. To follow up the success of the Brady-Manning match, you would need to go over the top and this matchup would check all the boxes to make for entertaining TV.
Bob Harig, ESPN.com
Tiger Woods/Phil Mickelson vs. Rory McIlroy/Justin Thomas
There are numerous ways this can go, but I like the idea of a pure golf competition with two of the game’s legends against two of the game’s young stars. And this time, let a Tiger-Phil pairing be a positive instead of a negative, as it was all those years ago during the Ryder Cup. To spice it up, make the competition true alternate shot or foursomes, not the modified version employed in the match with Manning and Brady. Having to play your partners’ foul balls makes for a stressful way to play golf and can lead to some interesting scenarios. Based on the way he handled his role as an on-course commentator, you can bet that Thomas will fully embrace the trash-talking spirit. And given McIlroy’s driving prowess, it could make for an interesting, competitive matchup. As for a location, how about Bandon Dunes to make for an impressive backdrop?
Charlotte Gibson, ESPN.com
Tiger Woods/Annika Sorenstam vs. Phil Mickelson/Karrie Webb
Why should the men have all the fun? Seriously, if we’re even entertaining the idea of Match III, this time women better be involved. Of course, it would be phenomenal to watch Woods and Mickelson tee it up with the likes of Jordan and Curry, but wouldn’t it be equally as phenomenal to see them tee it up with two Hall of Famers with a combined 113 LPGA Tour titles? This time, let’s leave it up to the two biggest rivalries in golf both past and present. Sorenstam and Webb have one of the best LPGA rivalries that dates back to the mid-1990s.
Who else has that type of history? Woods and Lefty. The parallels in their careers are uncanny. And yes, I know that Sorenstam officially retired in 2008, and Webb took a break from golf for a few years before returning to the Tour last year. But the world hasn’t witnessed a co-ed pairing like this since 2001 when Woods and Sorenstam started their storied friendship while playing the Battle at Bighorn, a made-for-TV event, that also featured David Duval and Webb. We’re long overdue for men and women to face off on the course in a big, made-for-TV event — and why not do it with some golf legends?
Michael Eaves, ESPN
Tiger Woods/Matt Damon vs. Phil Mickelson/Will Smith
If you’ve ever spent time on their Instagram pages, you would know that Phil and Will would make a natural pairing. Plus, they are two of the biggest stars in their respective fields, who have cashed in on their fame and performances like few others, despite a few flops on the biggest stages.
On the other side, Matt could bring a little something to the match that Tiger has clearly been reluctant to do in front of the cameras: NSFW trash talking! Those who have played privately with Tiger tell tremendous tales of his R-rated commentary, so with Damon as his partner, he can leave the F-bombs to the South Boston native.
And lastly, most importantly, Smith and Damon could make up for the utter disappointment that was “The Legend of Bagger Vance.”
Mark Schlabach, ESPN.com
Tiger Woods/Michael Jordan vs. Scottie Pippen/Phil Mickelson
They could call it the “Last Match,” because either Jordan or Pippen probably wouldn’t make it to the 18th hole in one piece, given what was said during “The Last Dance.” The trash talking would be epic. Like MJ, Pippen is an avid golfer. Jordan gave him his first set of clubs as a Bulls rookie so he could take his money on the course. Pippen and Mickelson are used to playing in the shadows of MJ and Tiger, so the matchup makes sense. With Phil and Jordan in the foursome, there would be some serious cash being thrown around, which would make it mighty interesting. If Pippen won’t play, I’d settle for Isiah Thomas and Phil.
Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com
Tiger Woods/Chris Paul/Larry Fitzgerald/Mike Trout/Lexi Thompson vs. Phil Mickelson/Steph Curry/Patrick Mahomes/Justin Verlander/Danielle Kang
Hey, there are no rules here. So why not make it a one-day, Ryder Cup-style event? The Tiger/Phil Cup? Play three six-hole rotations of best-ball, alternate shot and singles. Look at those names … think they won’t have some fun? And all of them can play, too. Also, none of them are all that shy, so the trash talk should be strong.
SUMMERBROOKE POOL MEMBERS
Starting · Friday, May 22nd
New Pool Hours
Monday – Thursday · 9am-7pm
Friday – Sunday · 9 am to 8 pm
Food will be available
Monday – Thursday · 11:00am – 6:30 pm
Friday-Sunday · 11:00 am – 7:30 pm
The golf course will be CLOSED on Monday mornings until NOON.
This will take effect on Monday, May 18th
In an effort to give you the best golfing experience at The Golf Club at Summerbrooke, we are limiting the morning tee times on Mondays so our maintenance staff is able to complete their routine operations.
If you have any questions, please call 850-894-4653
Custom clubfitting now touches every corner of the game (and still has room to grow)
In the beginning, there was the golf club, and it was pretty good—good enough, at least, for 15th-century Scottish shepherds swatting balls beside the sea. But then the gods of industry created better options, transforming crude equipment made from wood and leather into shiny implements of iron, brass and steel.
And golfers looked upon this and thought, Wow, cool.
Generations came and went, begetting more advances, and with them new design materials and marketing-speak, so that soon the eager player, gazing across a landscape filled with carbon fibers and adjustable clubheads, was left to ponder questions both exciting and confusing. Which shaft flex and kickpoint are best suited to my swing speed and path? How to tweak the loft and lie to get the most out of my driver, given my angle of attack?
Among savvy consumers and equipment-makers alike came the growing understanding that unless you had a handle on that and other data, shelling out for new sticks didn’t make a ton of sense.
In this dawning light, the modern clubfitting industry was born. Today that industry touches nearly every corner of the game, from big-box stores and pro shops to the practice range on the PGA Tour. It has changed how clubmakers manufacture, retailers sell, shoppers buy and golfers perform. Yet it still has ample room to spread its reach.
Market research shows that despite increased awareness of the benefits it brings, roughly one-third of avid golfers (defined as those who play eight or more rounds a year) have never been fitted for clubs. Across the general population of golfers, the percentage of clubfitting virgins grows.
That less skilled players are often less inclined to get fitted is ironic, since they tend to reap the most rewards. According to Mark Timms, founder of Scottsdale-based clubfitter CoolClubs, a 30-handicapper put through a fitting shaves an average of seven strokes from his score.
Timms got into the business nearly 30 years ago with a custom-club shop in Connecticut. Even back then, it mystified him why anyone would buy a golf club off the rack. Given the evolution of clubfitting since, to say nothing of the spread of consumer education, he’s baffled all the more that people still do so today.
“There’s just so much variance out there, even within the same model of club,” Timms says. “It’s why you can try your buddy’s driver and love it, and then you get the same one for yourself and you can’t hit it. Why would you buy a club like that? You wouldn’t buy a suit without trying it on.”
CoolClubs operates at the high-end of the clubfitting market, a boutique sector occupied by a handful of companies, including Hot Stix, Club Champion, GOLFTEC and True Spec Golf. (True Spec and GOLF are operated by the same holding company, 8AM Golf.) To set themselves apart from their competition, these operators emphasize such factors as the sophistication of their technology, the expertise of their fitters and the personalization of the experience. For example, at GOLFTEC, which has 200 locations around the world, many clubfitters are certified PGA teaching professionals, so studio sessions double as lessons. Fitness work is part of the process, too. One of True Spec’s calling cards is its brand-agnosticism. Name the manufacturer or the component; True Spec carries it but plays no favorites. Of the 30,000-plus possible combinations of shafts, clubs and grips, its staff will analyze the numbers, then custom-build the clubs that fit you best. Data is king.
This was not a service offered to King James IV of Scotland, who commissioned the first known set of custom clubs a little more than 500 years ago. Nor was it available in the 1950s to the famously fastidious Ben Hogan, who preferred to have his clubs set at atypical lofts, with their heels ground down so the face lay open, in hook-prevention mode. As recently as the 1990s, clubfitting remained a rarefied practice, out of sight and mind for the average Jane or Joe. Elite players used it, as did manufacturers for R&D. But even for Tour pros, what passed for clubfitting was often just a game of educated guesswork; they hit a lot of clubs until they found the ones they liked. In those days, a lot of clubfitting depended on tools—lie boards, stickers, slow-eyed cameras, dim-witted computers—that are now about as current as persimmon heads.
But as with so much else in golf, what started at the Tour level progressed at light-speed and filtered down. Among the first to notice was Karsten Solheim, who helped bring customization to the masses by placing colored dots on his clubs to indicate lie angle and shaft length, which now sounds almost quaint given the trail that technology has blazed. When today’s top fitters test a shaft, for instance, they don’t just measure flex or find the kickpoint. They gauge the load and torque at hundreds, if not thousands, of points between the hosel and the butt end. The other engines of their business are bleeding-edge launch monitors that track speeds, spin rates and flight paths with military-grade precision. The growing affordability of these machines, which have plunged in price to roughly $25,000 (down from $125,000 in the early 2000s), has further thrust high-end clubfitting into the public sphere by making it a viable business.
Launch monitors: They’re not just for test labs anymore.
Of course, all the major manufacturers have them, too. Customization is central to their business, not only in the fittings that they offer and encourage, but also in the equipment that they develop. The market demands it.
“Clubfitting has had an enormous impact on what we do,” says Josh Talge, vice president of marketing for Titleist clubs. “When you look at things like moveable weights and adjustable hosels, those are massive nods to fitting.”
Of Titleist’s direct iron sales today, some 75 percent arise from custom fitting. The more the better, as equipment-makers see it. It boosts the odds that folks who buy them will really dig their clubs.
This dynamic is part of a positive-feedback loop in which market forces drive consumer interest and the other way around. Golfers are increasingly interested in fitting, and the industry is ever-more prepared to provide it, not only at high-end studios but at a growing number of big-box stores and pro shops. As fewer golfers buy clubs off-the-rack, traditional retailers have scrambled to adapt.
As a clubfitter might say, some other telling trends show up in the data. A recent annual survey by New York–based Sports & Leisure Research Group found that golfers today are 48 percent more likely than they were in 2012 to believe that the right equipment can improve their game. With such bullishness comes a greater willingness to break out the wallet. In that same survey, projections point toward a 25 percent boost in per-capita equipment spending in 2019.
Clubfitting doesn’t get all the credit; its definitive impact is hard to quantity. But it has helped crystallize consumer convictions.
“That’s one of the benefits of a high-end fitting studio, like a True Spec or Club Champion,” says Sports & Leisure president Jon Last. “The majority of recreational golfers might not understand terms like kickpoint or moment of inertia, or the specific engineering of what makes equipment better, but a fitting can help them put a number on it. Their convictions are affirmed by what they see.”
Missing another tradition unlike any other: The Masters’ honorary starters
According to the weather report, the temperature in Augusta at 7:45 on Thursday morning is supposed to be 70 degrees, rising to a high of 85 by mid-afternoon.
If the world was a normal place right now, thousands of people would be preparing to pack around the first tee at Augusta National Golf Club to get a close look at Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player as they walk onto the tee to take part in one of sport’s sweetest rituals.
Fred Ridley, Augusta National’s chairman, would introduce the two—Nicklaus, a six-time Masters champion; and Player, a three-time winner. Each would have warmed up, wanting to be sure they were loose enough to get their only shot of the 2020 Masters as far down the fairway as possible.
None of that will happen Thursday. Augusta National will be empty the way virtually every sporting venue—hallowed or not—is empty.
This would have been Nicklaus’s 11th year as an honorary starter and Player’s ninth. It has been the two of them alone on the tee since 2017. In 2016, Arnold Palmer was there but didn’t hit a shot. Nicklaus said later that at the Champions Dinner the previous night, he had tried to talk Palmer into taking a swing.
“I said to him, ‘Arnold, if you putt the ball off the tee, everyone will love it,’ ” Nicklaus said, adding, “He said he has some balance problems.”
Palmer had been an honorary starter since 2007—going at it solo for three years before Nicklaus and then Player were invited to join him. He sat on the tee that day in 2016, wearing his green jacket and, with a little help from Nicklaus, stood to acknowledge the cheers when then-club chairman Billy Payne introduced him.
When Nicklaus was introduced, he looked at his longtime rival and friend and had to wipe tears from his eyes. “I don’t know whether I’ve got tears or I’m just old,” he said.
Clearly, the tears had nothing to do with his age. Five months later, on the eve of Ryder Cup week, Palmer passed away soon after turning 87.
The tradition of honorary starters at Augusta dates to 1963, when Jock Hutchison and Fred McLeod were asked to hit opening tee shots to start the tournament. Neither was a Masters champion, but Hutchison had won the first Senior PGA Championship, in 1937, and a year later McLeod won the second. Both those tournaments were played at Augusta National.
The two men shared the first tee until Hutchison, then 89, stepped aside in 1974. McLeod continued on alone through the 1976 tournament, taking his final swing at 93. A month later, he passed away.
Although the ceremonial tee shots are referred to as “an annual tradition,” there have been years when no one hit a shot before the actual start of the tournament.
After McLeod’s death, there were no ceremonial starters for the next four years. In 1981, Gene Sarazen and Byron Nelson were asked to become honorary starters. Nelson was a two-time Masters champion, and Sarazen’s one Masters victory, in 1935, featured “the shot heard round the world,” his 235-yard 4-wood on the 15th hole that found the hole for a double eagle.
In 1984, Sam Snead joined Sarazen and Nelson, and the three of them made the opening tee shot an important part of every Masters.
Sarazen often provided highlight moments, not only with his ability to get the ball down the first fairway well into his 90s, but with his willingness to add to the chairman’s recitation of each player’s resume. When then-chairman Jack Stephens introduced Sarazen in 1994 as “a Masters, U.S. Open and British Open champion,” Sarazen said, “You forgot the PGA—I won the PGA three times.” The number of people on earth who could get away with publicly correcting an Augusta National chairman can usually be counted on one hand with fingers to spare. Stephens cracked up.
Sarazen was 97 the last time he teed it up, in 1999, and he died a month later. Nelson continued through 2001, leaving Snead as the sole swinger in 2002. Like McLeod and Sarazen, Snead died a month after his last ceremonial swing. One can’t help but wonder if each man pushed himself to make it to Augusta in April one last time.
After Snead’s death, there was another four-year gap with no starter until Palmer took over in 2007. There has been one fill-in starter: In 1983, Nelson couldn’t attend the tournament because his wife was ill, and he asked Ken Venturi to stand in for him.
Player is 84 and Nicklaus is 80. The hope is that both men will be part of the opening ceremony for many years to come. But because the Masters is the Masters, there are those who wonder who might be next in the line of succession.
Tom Watson, a two-time champion, turned 70 last September. There were some who thought the club might ask him to join Nicklaus and Player this year, but Watson recently said he didn’t think he was “worthy” of joining Nicklaus and Player. Chances are good the club will, at some point, disagree with him.
The other prime candidates in Watson’s generation to someday be starters are two-time champion Ben Crenshaw, who is now 68, and three-time champion Nick Faldo, who is 62.
Even though there have been years in the past without a starter, it seems unlikely the club will let that happen again. It is a tradition unique to the Masters and one that everyone clearly enjoys.
One thing that is almost certain: Sometime from 2040-‘45, longtime BFFs Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will be asked to be the starters. They will hit their tee shots and then—as all the honorary starters do—they will come into the media center to reminisce.
There is no doubt they will both talk about how the media exaggerated their differences dating to the long-ago 1990s. “Nothing to it,” they will say. “We always got along.” (For the record, Mickelson has already said this to me.)
My fondest wish is that I somehow live to witness that if only to tell those too young to remember that nothing could be farther from the truth For now, though, with everyone in golf keenly aware of the silence coming from Augusta National this week, all we can do is look forward to the honorary starters, and the Masters, on Nov. 12.
The Golf Club at Summerbrooke
7505 Preservation Rd
Tallahassee, FL . 32312