Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sage Run Golf Course at Island Resort & Casino to Open June 2018

New Paul Albanese design will complement the award winning Sweetgrass course

(HARRIS, Mich.) – Sage Run at Island Resort & Casino will be the third new golf course to open in Michigan in the last three years when it comes online next June 2018. The construction, shaping, and seeding have all been completed and now it’s just eagerly waiting and watching it transform into Michigan’s next great modern classic.

It might not sound like a lot of openings when compared to the mid-1980s to mid-1990s golf course construction boom, but it is a lot in the current era and indicates the golf economy is rebounding and that Michigan remains one of the leading golf destinations in America, and in the case the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, a fast-growing golf destination.

“When we first built the Sweetgrass course, we wanted to have golf as an amenity for our resort guests,” said Tony Mancilla, the resorts general manager. “But over the years we have had more and more golfers coming to the resort and have evolved into a top golf destination. Adding a second golf course was a natural move for us and something that our golfing guests were demanding.”

The Sage Run course at Island Resort is part of an $8 million renovation aimed at enticing visitors to stay for a few days. It also includes the creation of a full-service spa, renovation of the bingo hall and a new sports bar.

Sage Run joins the celebrated Sweetgrass course at the resort for the Hannahville Indian Community, and offers a contrasting style and design by Paul Albanese, the architect of each course.

“Sweetgrass has been everything we hoped it would be and it has been very good to us,” Mancilla said. “Paul Albanese is an architect who lets the land dictate what the course will be, and at Sage Run the land is 180 degrees in contrast to the land where Sweetgrass was created.”

Sweetgrass, a flowing prairie links style course with gentle rolling hills, fun and challenging greens and beautiful fescue grasses has been a big hit since opening in 2008.

“Sage Run is 75 percent through great trees, very dramatic up and down through the hills with some great long holes going down the hills and some great short holes going up the hills; It’s a lot different,” Mancilla said.

Albanese said his company’s design philosophy is to never try to force a design.

“The property is much different than the property where Sweetgrass is located even though it’s a short few miles away by shuttle,” he said. “The only thing that will be similar is that it fits well with the land it is on like Sweetgrass, but it just so happens this property is very different.”

A natural drumlin, or elongated hill or ridge formed by glacial ice long ago, is the primary feature on Sage Run. Golf hole’s meander off of and around the hill offering a scenic variety of shots creating a fun thrill ride for golfers.

“It is a pretty prominent land form that is featured on the site,” Albanese said. “The holes go around, over and through the drumlin. Golfers will experience great holes through the trees, some in open areas and just a lot of variety in terms of landscape and feel.”

Natural long grasses edge the bunkers, and some of the short par 4s have blind shots to the greens.  Albanese said Royal County Down in Northern Ireland, rated among the world’s top courses, served as inspiration.

“Sage Run has that same rough and tumble look with earth tones natural to that landscape,” he said.

The Sage Run name pays homage for the Hannahville Indian Community to the Potawatomi tribal traditions.

“We selected sage because we wanted to highlight another of our four traditional tribal medicines – along with cedar, tobacco and sweet grass,” Mancilla said.

For more information, visit

McConnell Golf Prepares to Host Donald Ross Society

Annual event will be in North Carolina from October 18-22, and will include Raleigh Country Club and Greensboro’s Sedgefield Country Club

(RALEIGH, NC) — Raleigh-based McConnell Golf has forged an impressive reputation in the industry in large part due to its portfolio of outstanding private golf clubs around the Carolinas and Tennessee, including courses designed by many of the world’s greatest architects.

Along with modern-day architects like Pete Dye, Tom Fazio and Arnold Palmer, McConnell Golf owns four courses sculpted by arguably the most legendary designer of them all, Donald Ross — more than any other private club owner in the country.

So it makes sense that McConnell Golf will help host the Donald Ross Society’s annual meeting for 2017. The event will be held in North Carolina from October 18-22, and will include McConnell Golf’s Raleigh Country Club on Wednesday, October 18 and Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro the following afternoon.

The Society will also have a dinner at Sedgefield on Thursday evening, when North Carolina-based architect Kris Spence will discuss his restoration work at the golf course that is the annual site of the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship.

Raleigh Country Club was the final design of Ross’s storied career — and the first in the McConnell Golf portfolio, which has grown to a dozen clubs since the company purchased Raleigh CC in 2003.

A transplanted Scotsman, Ross transformed the American sports landscape in the first half of this century. At his death in 1948, he left behind a legacy of 413 courses, including such gems as Pinehurst No. 2, Seminole in Florida and the site of the 1996 U.S. Open, Oakland Hills outside Detroit. More than 100 U.S. national championships have been played on Ross designs — one of many reasons his name still resonates among the game's aficionados.

Founded in 1989 to help safeguard the integrity of courses from the “Golden Era" of Golf Course Architecture, the Society's particular focus is the work by Ross before 1948. The Society believes that the golf courses designed by Ross are works-of-art that merit close care and meticulous preservation. When renovation work is needed, they believe that — wherever possible — the course should maintain its original look, shape, and playing character; and when accommodations are needed for the modern game, they should be consistent with the original design intent.

Along with Raleigh Country Club and Sedgefield Country Club, McConnell Golf owns the recently renovated Country Club of Asheville and Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn. The co-founder of the Donald Ross Society, Michael J. Fay, has said that he would rather play Holston Hills on a consistent basis than any other golf course in the South, while acclaimed golf course architect Tom Doak says Holston Hills is the closest golf course to what Ross originally designed that he’s ever seen.

Chef’s Cut Real Jerky Co., Buffalo.Agency Partner for Public Relations, Marketing Support

Highly Popular, Rapidly Expanding Brand Owns Compelling Story of Humble Beginnings in Golf

(NEW YORK, NY) – Chef’s Cut Real Jerky Co – the No. 1 premium jerky brand on the market – has selected Buffalo.Agency to turnkey a golf-focused public relations program and deliver integrated marketing support.

Buffalo will leverage its deep industry connections in the golf community to promote Chef’s Cut’s pursuit of the best tasting, chef-crafted smoked meats.  Central to the Chef’s Cut story are co-founders Chef Blair Swiler and Dennis Riedel, a former professional golfer.  The two launched the homemade snack in 2009 as caddies at Florida’s Callusa Pines Golf Club and New Jersey’s Bayonne Golf Club with aspirations to make chef-crafted snacks available to on-the-go consumers everywhere.

Chef’s Cut’s products are available at over 1,000 golf courses, including Pebble Beach Golf Links and Pinehurst Resort.  Its products contain chef-approved, domestically sourced proteins such as USDA choice beef and all white turkey and chicken breasts. Additionally, they don’t contain gluten or added nitrites, and are lower in sodium and sugar than other jerky brands.

Thanks to a 5,669% revenue spike over the last three years, Chef’s Cut was named the 58th fastest-growing privately owned U.S. company and the 4th fastest-growing in Food and Beverage on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list.  Its products are sold at Amazon, Albertsons, Costco, Kroger, Safeway, 7-Eleven and many other grocers.

“Our partnership with Buffalo.Agency will raise awareness in the industry where we began eight years ago,” says Dennis Riedel, Co-Founder of Chef’s Cut.  “Our range of tender, superior products re-fuel golfers during rounds, where they burn up to 2,000 calories walking 18 holes.”

Headquartered outside of Washington, D.C., Buffalo connects brands to businesses and consumers.  Fueled in part by a massive database of active, transactional golfers, the agency is the golf-lifestyle industry’s go-to resource for marketing innovation.  Buffalo’s growing roster of 60-plus clients include Bridgestone Golf, ECCO, PGA National Resort & Spa and World Golf Foundation.

“Historically, golfers had limited food choices which travel well on the course and are flavorful, low in fat and high in protein,” says Glenn Gray, Vice President of Buffalo.Agency.  “Chef’s Cut’s healthy, gluten-free options fill the void, and there are countless golf-related stories to tell about this brand as a shining example in the growing $2.8 billion meat snacks category.”

Chef’s Cut Real Jerky Co. is backed by CAVU Venture Partners and Halen Brands, and boasts famous investors like actress Olivia Munn and acclaimed athletes Von Miller, Earl Thomas and David Ortiz.

More information:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

KemperSports Selected to Manage The Inns at St. Albans

(NORTHBROOK, Ill.) – KemperSports has been selected by ownership to manage The Inns at St. Albans in St. Albans, Mo. Located adjacent to land overlooking the golf courses at The Country Club of St. Albans, The Inn serves as the premier private event and boutique lodging destination in the St. Louis market.

"We are looking forward to this strategic partnership and the benefits to our investments and the community of St. Albans,” said owner Datra Herzog.

Originally built in 1843, The Inns at St. Albans has seen a number of renovations and improvements since its inception. Today, The Inns includes, a 100-year-old 6-room European-style bed and breakfast named The Studio Inn, indoor and outdoor restaurant seating and event space for up to 250 guests – with several other event space options to accommodate smaller groups.

The Head’s Store offers indoor and outdoor dining and bar space while serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with a boutique grocery and gift shop. 

Adjacent to the Old Barn Inn are four newly-built cottages with luxurious overnight accommodations. Each well-appointed cottage includes a double-occupancy bedroom with wood-burning fireplace and private patio.

“The Inns at St. Albans is one of the premier wedding and event destinations in the market,” said KemperSports CEO Steve Skinner. "We look forward to working with ownership to align goals and further enhance the joint offerings at The Inns and The Country Club of St. Albans.”

The picturesque property overlooks the Studio Hill vineyard and the golf courses at the Country Club of St. Albans. The Country Club of St. Albans offers 36 holes of championship golf, including the Lewis and Clark course (1992) designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish and Tavern Creek (1997) designed by Dr. Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry. Together, the courses combine for two of the best golf courses in the state including being ranked by Golf Digest on their 2015-2016 list of the best courses in Missouri (Lewis and Clark – 7, Tavern Creek – 9).

For more information about KemperSports, visit

Reynolds Kingdom of Golf presented by TaylorMade Offers Golfers “5-Hour Makeover”

Experience Golf’s Premier Fitting Facility to Fix Your Game

(GREENSBORO, Ga.) —Golfers are always looking to improve, and now they can in just five hours with a complete-game transformation at Reynolds Kingdom of Golf, presented by TaylorMade, approximately 90 minutes from Atlanta.

The new “5-Hour Makeover” package provides a tour-quality fitting for a new set of clubs at the only TaylorMade venue in the country where recreational golfers can be fit for equipment in the elite environment enjoyed by PGA and LPGA Tour players and club professionals on TaylorMade’s staff.

Highlighting the five-hour immersion is an individualized fitting experience with the same expert club fitters who create sets for TaylorMade’s stable of tour stars. Each golfer is fitted for a complete set of TaylorMade woods, irons, wedges, and putter. But since new clubs can only do so much, the package also features a two-hour, one-on-one game evaluation – full swing and short game –by a world-class Reynolds Kingdom of Golf staff instructor.

The Reynolds Kingdom of Golf complex includes two fully enclosed hitting bays, three covered and heated hitting areas, an extensive practice range, TrackMan 4 launch monitors, and high-speed Ximea cameras. They complement the highly acclaimed TaylorMade MATT-T system and the onsite TaylorMade Tour Trailer, where new clubs can be constructed, often within in hours.

Also available is the BodiTrack mat analysis to measure weight distribution throughout the swing and onsite video analysis with V1 Sports Technology allowing voiceover copy to be emailed to each participant.

Each guest of the “5-Hour Makeover” package has a choice of luxury accommodations at a cottage or condominium at Reynolds Lake Oconee, and is priced at $900 per person (non-peak season) and $951 per person (peak season), per night; the cost of new golf clubs is separate. Cart fees and range fees are included, as well as $20 resort credit for each night of stay and breakfast each morning. Minimum of two golfers required; additional $100 per night for each non-golfer.

Located between Atlanta and Augusta, Reynolds Lake Oconee has 117 holes of golf, all designed by legendary golf architects including Jack Nicklaus, Rees Jones, and Tom Fazio. Beyond the “Top 100” ranked golf courses and a range of sporting activities, Reynolds has been named one of the “25 Best Golf Communities in North America” by GOLF Magazine and offers a wide variety of real estate options.

Boasting more than 350 miles of Lake Oconee shoreline, Reynolds Lake Oconee also features four marinas, the Lake Club wellness center, and an award-winning tennis center. Vacation guests can choose from individual cottages within the private gates as well as luxury accommodations at The Ritz-Carlton.

For more information about Reynolds Lake Oconee, visit or call (877) 809-3324.

LPGA, Symetra Tour Members to Participate in Inspire. Dream. Achieve. Pro-Am

(Greensboro, NC) — The Peggy Kirk Bell Girls Golf Tour (PKBGT) announced that former PKBGT members and current LPGA Tour & LPGA Symetra Tour members Katherine Perry (LPGA), Allison Emrey (Symetra), Lori Beth Adams (Symetra), Laura Wearn (Symetra), Maia Schetcher (Symetra) and Kayla Sciupider (Symetra) — in addition to former LPGA Tour members Maggie Will and Angela Jerman-Ormsby — will participate in the PKBGT’s inaugural Inspire. Dream. Achieve. Pro-Am on November 10, 2017.

The Pro-Am will be held at Bryan Park Golf and Conference Center in Greensboro, NC and will benefit the PKBGT “Let’s Play Campaign,” an initiative to grow on-course playing opportunities for junior girl golfers in the United States. The campaign’s goal is to create equity of opportunity in competitive junior competitions for girls through the PKBGT Progression Pathway.

“By utilizing skill and yardage-based divisions instead of age, the PKBGT is able to provide an encouraging, appropriate environment that sets each player up for success,” says Tour Director Mike Parker. “The pathway recognizes that many girls enter the game at a later age and provides them an equal opportunity to develop and work toward collegiate golf.”

Following play at Bryan Park, Perry, Emrey, Adams and Wearn will participate in a Q+A panel with current junior girls at the PKBGT’s year-end awards banquet. The banquet precedes the PKBGT’s most prestigious event, the PKBGT Invitational, which will be competed November 11-13 at Grandover Resort. The event features one of the 50 best junior girl’s fields in the country and will kick off the PKBGT’s 11th season.

Learn more about the Inspire. Dream. Achieve Pro-Am at

Monday, October 16, 2017

2017 ODU/Outer Banks Collegiate Golf Tournament Set for Oct. 22-24 at Kilmarlic

(OUTER BANKS, N.C.) — The 37th-annual ODU/Outer Banks Collegiate Golf Tournament will be played October 22-24 at the par-72, 6,560-yard Kilmarlic Golf Club.  It’s the only Division I golf tournament contested on the iconic Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Host squad Old Dominion is joined in the 18-team field by Akron, Ball State, Campbell, Delaware, Drake, Drexel, George Mason, Georgetown, Hartford, Longwood, Manhattan College, Marshall, Nebraska-Omaha, North Dakota State, St. Francis, St. Joseph’s and Towson University. 

Rated No. 24 among North Carolina’s Top Courses You Can Play, Kilmarlic is a popular Tom Steele design that hosted the prestigious North Carolina Open in 2004 and 2009, and began hosting the ODU/Outer Banks Tournament in 2010 — the same year the tournament moved from a 36-hole to a 54-hole event.

According to longtime Old Dominion head coach Murray Rudisill, who has led the Monarchs golf program for 40 years, Kilmarlic has been an ideal venue for the country’s top collegiate players.

“Kilmarlic has tremendous par-5s and par-3s,” Rudisill said. “That’s the beauty of the course — great risk-reward. They’ve had two North Carolina Opens [at Kilmarlic] so it is a challenge for the college guys. It’s not a seaside, links-type of course. It’s more of a traditional course in a nature environment playing through canopies of giant oak, pine and dogwood that exemplify the natural beauty of the Outer Banks. The facilities are beautiful and it’s always in pristine condition.”

“Kilmarlic is an ideal tournament course offering a little bit of everything,” said Bryan Sullivan, Kilmarlic’s Director of Golf. “It’s equally daunting and exciting on the back nine with three par-5s, a drivable par-4 and trouble left and right on most every hole. Anything can happen with birdies and bogeys lurking on every swing.”