This Week’s Winners in Professional Golf!

Congratulations to This Week’s Winners in Professional Golf!


PGA Tour-LogoPGA Tour: American Justin Thomas *playoff, The CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges (Jeju Island, South Korea), $1,665,000 first place prize money, -9 under par.

Photo: Justin Thomas, @PGATour/Twitter
Photo: Justin Thomas, @PGATour/Twitter

PGA Tour – Next Event: WGC-HSBC Champions, Shanghai, China (October 26-29)

PGA Tour – Next Event: Sanderson Farms Championship, Jackson, Mississippi (October 26-29)


EuropeanTourEuropean Tour: Spain’s Sergio Garcia, Andalucia Valderrama Masters (Sotogrande, Spain), €333,330 first place prize money, -12 under par.

Photo: Sergio Garcia, @EuropeanTour/Twitter
Photo: Sergio Garcia, @EuropeanTour/Twitter

European Tour – Next Event: WGC-HSBC Champions, Shanghai, China (October 26-29)


LPGA.comLPGA Tour: South Korea’s Eun-Hee Ji, Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship (Taipei, Taiwan), $330,000 first place prize money, -17 under par.

Photo: Eun-Hee Ji, @LPGA/Twitter
Photo: Eun-Hee Ji, @LPGA/Twitter

LPGA – Next Event: Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (October 26-29)


PGA Tour Champions-LogoPGA Tour Champions: Germany’s Bernhard Langer, Dominion Energy Charity Classic (Richmond, Virginia), $305,000 first place prize money, -16 under par.

Photo: Bernhard Langer, PGATour.com/Champions
Photo: Bernhard Langer, PGATour.com/Champions

PGA Tour Champions – Next Event: PowerShares QQQ Championship, Thousand Oaks, California (October 27-29)


Featured Image: Justin Thomas, 2017 CJ Cup Champion, @PGATour/Twitter

BIO: Keith Cook has been a writer and contributing editor at thelocalgolfer.com since 2013. Follow Keith @_KeithCook on Twitter.

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Bryan Park Golf Club Review – The Players Course. Beauty Meets Challenge

Anyone who plays golf in the Greensboro, NC area is no doubt familiar with the Bryan Park golf facility. This 36-hole facility is home to two stellar courses: The Champions Course and the Players Course. The latter is an 18-hole championship course designed by George Cobb in 1974 and redesigned by Rees Jones in 1988. It features Bermuda grass fairways and tees and Bentgrass greens. The Players Course has been named as a 4-Stars Best Places to Play by Golf Digest and one of America’s Top 100 Courses for Women by Golf for Women Magazine. General Manager Kyle Kolls has been there over 12 years and has assembled a great staff that is professional, friendly and truly seems to love what they do. Most of the employees have been there for quite a few years. It truly is a treat to play and should be played by anyone in the area.

From the back tees, the Players Course measures 7018 yards with a course rating of 73.3 and a slope of 133. Mere mortal golfers will find that the White Tees (6,342/70.9/127) will give them all the golf they can handle and still leave with a little bit of dignity. Ladies can give it their best from the Red Tees (4,713/69.9/117). Four sets of tees make The Players Course fun and challenging for golfers of all abilities.

Before your round, be sure to hit the practice range located behind the starter’s shack; it’s included in your greens fees. It’s a full-length range, so you’ll be able to hit every club in your bag, which isn’t a bad thing, since you will probably use them all. There’s also a large practice putting area where you can get your speed down and try and figure out some of the breaks.

The Players Course features everything you’d expect in a Carolina golf course: elevation changes, challenging green complexes, water and sand hazards, and tree lined fairways. And then there are the greens – well-undulated, true rolling, generous and fast. Keeping it in the fairway off the tee is only half the battle, hitting the green and making the putt is the other part of the equation. Master these tasks and you’ll find this course can be tamed; stray off the beaten path and things can get tough.

Several holes bear witness to this philosophy. The par 3, 3rd hole plays 169 yards from the White Tees, and has it all. The green sits well below the fairway and plays significantly downhill; about 8 – 10 yards shorter than the stated yardage. The tee shot plays over water and over sand; in fact, there are bunkers protecting three sides of the green. The green is large and set on an angle from back right to front left; it also features a lot of undulation.

One of the more memorable par 4 holes is number 6. This dogleg left plays 363 yards from the White Tees and features trees down the left side off the tee and a lot of mounding on the right side, which adds a great look to this hole. The fairway bunkers on the left side require a long carry of about 250 yards and probably aren’t worth the risk. A well struck drive down the middle of the fairway will leave a short iron. Your tee shot plays slightly uphill and your approach shot slightly downhill. Left pin placements can be tough with two deep bunkers guarding the front, one of which is a gnarly little pot bunker. The green is large and crowned adding to the stress of a front left pin placement. Great hole!

Of all the members I spoke with during my round, the par 5, 12th hole was their favorite. Number 12 plays 493 yards from the White tees and features a lake on the left, which catches a lot of balls from unsuccessful attempts to cut the corner. Once you reach the corner, the hole moves downhill, with a narrow fairway to hit on your layup; woods and sand encroach on the right. Although the putting surface is large, you’ll need an accurate approach shot; the green is surrounded with large, deep bunkers. It takes 3 well-executed shots to score here. I think this hole is so well-liked because of the lakeview behind the green; it’s absolutely stunning; Especially in the fall with the leaves changing color.

Number 17 is another par 3 where a par or better is well earned. It plays 179 yards from the White Tees, slightly uphill and over water. The green is large and slightly elevated with large bunkers on either side and a third in back.

By far, the staff’s favorite hole on the Players Course is Number 18, a long and challenging par 4 that plays 417 yards from the White Tees. It’s a long way to the corner of the dogleg and anything pushed too far left is going to run down a steep hill and off the fairway into the trees. Your approach shot requires precision into a small, shallow, two-tiered green protected by bunkers and a lot of mounding on the front right side and back left. A par or better here and you’ll have something to celebrate in the clubhouse.

After your round, stop by the Grill Room for your favorite post-round libation. They have several local and domestic beers on tap, which are ice cold. Their food offerings stray from traditional clubhouse fare with items such as a Carolina Burger; everything is well prepared and tastes great. The pro shop is full of logoed apparel from many top golf companies such as PING, FootJoy, Antigua and Callaway Golf.

Last Word: The Players Course may not be as tough a test as its sister course, the Champions, but it will still test your mettle. Just be sure to pick the set of tees that best compliments your ability. As you make your way around the course, you’ll be treated to scenic lake views which are worth their weight in gold when the leaves change color. The elevation changes and hazards add to the challenge of this wonderful golf course.

On either side of the Players Course, you get the par 5 holes out of the way relatively quick.  I’ve always liked par 5s and view them as holes I can score well on. If you feel the same way, make sure to hit some fairway woods and long irons on the practice range so that you are properly warmed up and ready for them early on in your round!

The scorecard shows four sets of tees: Blue, White, Gold and Red, with the difference between the White and Gold a whopping 570+ yards. Although it is not officially reflected on the scorecard yet, Bryan Park has created a 5th set of tees. By playing the circled yardage on the scorecard which combines these sets of tees, you’ll come up with a yardage just over 6,200 yards, which is perfect.

If you plan on being in the Greensboro, NC area and you are looking to treat yourself to a couple of rounds of golf on some incredible golf courses, check out Bryan Park. Whether you choose the Players Course or the Champions Course, odds are that you will use every club in the bag and have a great time. For more information about playing your next round of golf at Bryan Park, visit their website at www.bryanpark.com.

Arrowhead Pointe Golf Club – Much More Than You’d Expect.

Few private or resort courses have the geographical characteristics golf course designer Bob Walker was given when he designed Arrowhead Pointe. In fact, Walker has said that basically the state handed him 400-acres of land within the Richard B. Russell State Park in Elberton, GA and said, “put the course wherever you need to.” And Walker did just that.

This 6,861-yard masterpiece sits on a peninsula on Richard B. Russell Lake and offers some of the best water views and scenic vistas anywhere in the South. Better yet, there are no lakefront homes or even private docks to spoil the view as you make your way around the course.

Arrowhead Pointe Golf Club is not without its share of accolades, having been named the 2nd Best New Affordable Public Course in America by Golf Digest in 2005. It has also been ranked #10 on Golf Advisor’s list of Top 25 courses under $50 and TravelGolf.com placed Arrowhead Pointe on its list of the Top 10 courses in the state of Georgia.

From the back tees, Arrowhead Pointe plays 6,861 yards with a course rating of 72.5 and a slope of 134. Most men will find that the white tees at 5,971 (68.9/119) will give them a challenge and let them enjoy the scenery. If they need more, there’s a fourth set of tees that play 6,458 (70.7/129). Ladies typically play from 5,221 yards (70.4/122). The bottom line is that there is a yardage that is suitable for everyone; just be sure to pick the one that best suits your game and you’re sure to have a good time.

The course was designed back in 2001, but for budgetary reasons, did not open until July 2004. The Georgia State Park system boasts eight high quality golf courses, and while Arrowhead Pointe may not be the most difficult, it has by far the most breathtaking views. Water does come into play on at least 8 holes and thankfully most of what you see does not come into play. When it does, there are no overly long carries over it; hit your ball in the water and odds are that it’s your fault.

In addition to the water hazards, you’ll find some significant elevation changes, tree-lined fairways, a myriad of doglegs – both left and right – and strategically place bunkers, primarily on the peripheries of the fairways. Well-groomed fairways lead to TifEagle Bermuda greens with subtle undulations and very few straight putts. This is one course that seems to have it all.

In creating Arrowhead Pointe, Walker wanted to make the course playable for golfers of all levels of ability. Each hole tends to have a safe route for less experienced players and a more challenging route that provides certain risk/reward opportunities for seasoned golfers. During your round, you may find it necessary to play both routes. Not only will it benefit your scorecard, it will greatly enhance your enjoyment.

The front nine has several interesting holes, most notably the par 5’s. Number 1 is a fairly straightforward hole that plays uphill and considerably longer than the stated yardage.  Only the longest of hitters will get on in two; for the rest of us, the landing area is very generous off the tee. A layup down the right side will take the fairway bunker on the left out of play and set up an easy approach. Three good shots and you can tame this hole.

Even Head Golf Professional Barry Johnston says that the par 5, 5th hole is best played as a three-shot par 5. The best way to make birdie is to hit your approach shot close. There’s bunkers in play on both your tee shot and layup shot and the green complex is fronted and flanked by sand as well. The green slopes gently from back to front. Played correctly, this hole can let you put up a low number.

Both par 3’s on the outward nine play uphill and require an extra club or two to compensate. Another similarity: both feature green complexes that are well guarded by bunkers. The toughest hole on the front side is the par 4 6th, a 412 yarder that plays slightly uphill. Favoring the left side off the tee gives the best angle into a long, multi-tiered green. Number 6 provides the first view of the lake and gives you a taste of what’s to come.

The back nine features not only a number of challenging holes, it has some of the most incredible views in all of the state. It all starts on Number 12, a 368-yard par 4 (White Tees) which offers a great view of Lake Richard B. Russell and continues on Number 13, where a finger of the lake juts out and must be carried on this medium length par 3. The lake really steals the show on number 14 (361 yards from the White Tees), where it frames both sides of the fairway, giving the illusion that the hole plays a lot narrower than it really is.  Carry the fairway bunker on the left and you’ll have a clear shot uphill to a long, narrow multi-tiered green well protected by bunkers. A front/back pin placement can be a 3 or 4 club difference.

After your round, be sure to visit Arrowhead Pointe’s café, where you’ll find a good selection of traditional clubhouse grub as well as all of your favorite libations.  The pro shop is stocked with great looking logoed apparel from a lot of the industry’s top names including Titleist, Antigua and Adidas. There’s also a full-length driving range where you can hit every club in the bag and trust me, you’ll use every one of them during your round. The practice putting green will give you a pretty good idea of what you will face over the next few hours.

In addition to being a great day trip for golfers in the area, Arrowhead Pointe and the Richard B. Russell State Park makes a great golf buddy destination. The park has 20 cottages that can be rented at a very reasonable rate, especially when split 4 ways. Each cottage has 2 bedrooms, each with two double beds, fireplaces, screened porches, a private dock, patios with barbecue grills and, of course, beautiful views of the lake. In case roughing it is more your style, the park also has 28 camp sites. For more information or to book a tee time or one of the cottages at Richard B. Russell State Park, visit their website at www.arrowheadpointegc.com. For lodging information, click on the Georgia State Parks link on the homepage (www.gastateparks.org). Arrowhead Pointe is a proud member of the Georgia Golf Trail, a collection of some of the finest golf courses in the state. Check them out at www.georgiagolftrail.com.