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2017 Venture Bank Minnesota Golf Show Preview

February 16, 2017

It’s that time of the year again… the weather is getting warmer again, at least temporarily, and the 2017 Venture Bank Minnesota Golf Show presented by ESPN 1500 is this weekend!

Most of us have been vacationing or pursuing other interests to pass time before the golf season makes its long awaited return. Well, the wait is over and it is time to start thinking about this upcoming season and how to make it the best one yet.

Yearly, the golf show experiences an influx of 11,000 passionate golfers that come to the Minneapolis Convention Center for the Upper Midwest’s largest golf show. Here, you will find the latest demo golf equipment, free 10 minute lessons from local PGA Professionals, potential golf trips to book and the latest deals on golf apparel and equipment.

Events at 2017 Golf Show:

  • $100K Long Putt: 1 finalist each day will putt for the chance to WIN $100K! The finalist from each day will also receive a season-long family pass to Eagle Lake.
  • Custom Club Fitting: An opportunity to demo the latest and greatest technology from the top club manufacturers. Second Swing will provide custom club fitting at the show or you will be able to book an appointment for after the show with their exclusive tour van. The same technology that the professionals use!
  • PGA Instruction: Free 10 minute lesson from a local PGA Professional

If you’re not busy this weekend, it only makes sense that you stop by this year’s Minnesota Golf Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Also, make sure to stop by our booth! For more information, visit the Venture Bank Minnesota Golf Show web site.

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The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

Brimhall Elementary Hosts Golf in the Schools

February 14, 2017

Brimhall Elementary School became the latest school to host a Golf in the Schools program with the help of local PGA Professional Chad Fuenffinger of Southview Country Club. Chad’s son is a student at Brimhall, so he seized the perfect opportunity to get the school involved with the game of golf.

“When we had originally set up the clinic, I thought it was just going to be a one class type of deal,” said Fuenffinger, who spent three days at the school this past week. “We wanted to make it equal, so we decided to hit every class. Assuming they were present at school, each kid got an opportunity to go through the program.”

There were 700 kids, Kindergarten through Sixth grade, in total that went through the golf-based gym class for three days last week. Each kid rotated through the three stations: full swing, chipping/pitching, and putting—practicing each skill daily.

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It wasn’t all about trying to improve, it was about getting the kids interested in the sport and having fun.

“The principal and teachers were wearing the SNAG suit (pictured above) during the day. The kids were hitting them with the foam balls.” Fuenffinger said with a chuckle.”It’s a great opportunity. You know, this is a very diverse school. We are reaching a large demographic and almost three-quarters of the kids have never touched a club or been around golf.”

Also, making the trip were the inflatable Golfzilla and Hippopotamus.

“They’re very excited to participate and when they see the blow up inflatables they get even more excited,” he added.

The gym teachers have already expressed significant interest in having the golf program return in years to come. The reviews have been amazing as the kids can’t stop raving about the program.

“This is the perfect way to get kids interested in golf,” emphasized Brimhall’s Phy. Ed Teacher Missy Brink. “They see all the fun things—colors, inflatables, equipment—and it gets them interested in something they may not have had interest in otherwise. 700 kids have gotten the opportunity to try golf that would normally never have that chance.”

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

Minnesota PGA Visits LeadingAge Institute

February 10, 2017

The Minnesota PGA and its highly sought-after golf inflatables joined the LeadingAge Minnesota Institute to celebrate their 50th anniversary year at the St. Paul RiverCentre.

The annual LeadingAge Minnesota Institute is the top networking conference for adult services providers. This is a three-day event with educational opportunities, special events, such as our golf station, and the ability to network with other adult services.

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“This is an event that has over 4,000 professionals attending,” said Jenny Prosser, Vice President of Conferences and Sales for LeadingAge Minnesota. “Down in the exhibit hall we have 210 exhibitors that provide services and products to nursing homes and senior housing units throughout the state of Minnesota.”

The LeadingAge Minnesota Institute is the largest of its kind in the Upper Midwest. Typically, the Expo sells out in the fall of each year with many top-tier organizations wanting to meet members of LeadingAge.

The Section was able to bring equipment and inflatables down to the RiverCentre and give many of these LeadingAge members their first taste of the sport of golf. The reactions were priceless as many couldn’t hold back their smiles as they hit countless shots at the inflatables.

“Golf is a great sport to do for a lifetime and a great way to keep people active,” Prosser emphasized. “It’s an opportunity to network and this provides them the opportunity to learn the game and enhance their skills.”

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

Director of 41st Ryder Cup Jeff Hintz Named CEO of Minnesota PGA

January 18, 2017

By: Andy Skoogman

The Minnesota Section of the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) announced that Jeff Hintz, Director of the 41st Ryder Cup hosted by Hazeltine National Golf Club, has been hired as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Section and its Foundation.

Recently named “Sportsman of the Year” by the Star Tribune newspaper, Hintz, 38, brings extensive experience in golf management, administration and event operations to his new dual role.

jeff-hintz

Jeff Hintz, Director of the 41st Ryder Cup, was named CEO of the Minnesota Section PGA

The Indianapolis native’s impressive golf resume began in Minnesota long before he moved to the state two years ago to lead the 2016 Ryder Cup, the biennial match between the United States and Europe, heralded as the most compelling event in golf.

“I am deeply honored, and grateful for the opportunity to serve as the CEO for the Minnesota Section of The PGA of America,” said Hintz. “I look forward to leading our staff in serving the most critical growth ingredient in the game of golf, PGA Professionals.  I also look forward to expanding our charitable foundation’s activity and programming which is vital to the future of our game. A profound commitment to excellence will be at the core of everything we do.”

The Minnesota Section PGA Foundation was founded in 1995 as a 501(C) 3 charitable organization. It focuses on Youth, Military and Diversity & Inclusion initiatives. Since inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $300,000 to students and has conducted impactful PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) programs with local VA hospitals that serve men and women military personnel by using golf as an activity to assist veterans in their progress in rehab. The Section also has a long-standing relationship with Special Olympics Minnesota.

“We’re very excited and fortunate to hire a proven leader like Mr. Hintz,” said Minnesota PGA President Joel Burger. “Our Board of Directors recognized a unique opportunity to keep someone in Minnesota who arguably delivered the greatest event in the history of golf. His hiring accelerates our ability to improve service to our Section members and grow the game of golf in our Section.”

Hintz started his golf career as an intern at the Coldwell Banker Burnet Senior Classic in 1999. He began working on PGA of America Championships in 2001 and held various leadership positions with within the Championship Department including serving as Championship Director for the Senior PGA Championship in 2012 and 2014. For the last two years, he served as Ryder Cup Director.

The Minnesota PGA also named Jon Tollette as the Chief Operating Officer in the restructuring of the Section office.

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

Branstad Named Master Kids Teachher, Maize and Herzog Top 50 Kids Teachers by U.S. Kids Golf

January 18, 2017

Michael Herzog, from Golf Etc. Bismarck, and Sheryl Maize, from Crystal Lake G.C, have been named to U.S. Kids Golf’s annual list of Top 50 Kids Teachers. The Award recognizes the world’s most outstanding youth golf instructors, and both are a part of a select group that earned Top 50 accolades among nearly 350 applicants.

Since 2004, U.S. Kids Golf has honored the best youth golf teachers with the Top 50 Kids Teacher Award. Applicants complete an online survey and winners are chosen based on their contributions to youth golf, such as: experience young golfers; time devoted to teaching youth; innovation, creativity and fun in their programs; communication; parental involvement; use of a well-organized instruction program and overall effort to grow the game.

Also, David Branstad of Oak Ridge CC was recognized as one of nine Masters Kids Teachers this year for his outstanding contributions to growing the game amongst kids. Being named a Master Kids Teacher is the highest honor an instructor can receive from U.S. Kids Golf. These individuals have earned the distinction of Master Kids Teacher by winning the Top 50 Kids Teacher Award three or more times.

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The Top 50 Kids Teachers of 2016 includes golf professionals from 26 states, Canada, England and Kenya. Each year, award recipients include teachers who work at public, private, resort and municipal courses.

“These coaches are honored as more than instructors,” explained Dan Van Horn, the President and Founder of U.S. Kids Golf. “They create outstanding opportunities for young golfers to learn in a fun and rewarding environment that instills a love for the game and engages the entire family.  Their ability to connect with students and fully engage them in the learning process sets them apart.”

The Top 50 Kids Teacher Award is administered by the U.S. Kids Golf Coaches Institute, a division of the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation. For more information about the Top 50 Kids Teacher Award, please contact U.S. Kids Golf at coaches@uskidsgolf.com.

Top 50 Kids Teachers – Class of 2016

Roger Adams… Highfields G.&C.C… Grafton, Mass.
Leighann Albaugh… Magnolia Green G.C… Moseley, Va.
Ryan Anderson… The Glencoe G.&C.C… Calgary, Alta.
Peter Bakker… Mike Bender Golf Academy… Lake Mary, Fla.
Matt Barton… The Wyndgate… Rochester Hills, Mich.
Paul Belongie… RiverPines G.C… Johns Creek, Ga.
Kathy Bounds… Dona Lerner Golf Academy… Raleigh, N.C.
Zachary Bowcut… Nibley Park G.C… Salt Lake City, Utah
John Brown… High Point C.C… High Point, N.C.
Allen Burton… Lake Hickory C.C… Hickory, N.C.
Todd Casabella… Barrington G.C… Aurora, Ohio
Eva Chaffin… Santa Maria Golf Course… Baton Rouge, La.
Matthew Clay… Del Mar Golf Center… Del Mar, Calif.
Kelli Corlett… Haggin Oaks Golf Complex… Sacramento, Calif.
Maeve Cromwell… Braelinn G.C… Peachtree City, Ga.
Susan Crowley… Blackhawk C.C… Danville, Calif.
Benjamin Debski… The Springhaven Club… Wallingford, Pa.
Carlton Dove… Wichita C.C… Wichita, Kan.
Alexander Fisher… The Glacier Club… Durango, Colo.
Daniel Gaucher… Lyman Orchards G.C… Middlefield, Conn.
Roman Greer… Cranberry Valley G.C… Harwich, Mass.
Mary Hafeman… Missing Links… Mequon, Wis.
Jim Hardy… Longleaf G.&F.C… Southern Pines, N.C.
Bryan Heim… Columbine C.C… Columbine Valley, Colo.
Michael Herzog… Golf Etc… Bismarck, N.D.
Jeffrey Hirose… Palm Lake G.C… Pomona, Calif.
Michelle Holmes… Cahoon Plantation G.C… Chesapeake, Va.
Blake Jirges… Henry Brunton Golf Academy… Irvine, Calif.
Emanuel Kasio… Golf For Kids… Kiserian, Kenya
Susie Kirk… The Woodlands C.C… The Woodlands, Texas
Mary Beth Kohberger… Newton C.C… Newton, N.J.
Sally Krystyn… Shadow Glen The G.C… Olathe, Kan.
Sheryl Maize… Crystal Lake G.C… Lakeville, Minn.
Wade Martin… The Villages Golf Academy… The Villages, Fla.
Kelli McKandless… Brookhaven C.C… Dallas, Texas
Cindy Miller… The Wehrle Golf Dome… Williamsville, N.Y.
Oliver Oliquiano… Island Pacific Golf Academy… Kapolei, Hawaii
Maria Palozola… Big Bend Golf Center… Valley Park, Mo.
Gene Powell… Four Bridges C.C… Liberty Township, Ohio
Tom Reid… Wentworth Club… Surrey, England
Eddie Roethlisberger… Ponca City C.C… Ponca City, Okla.
Tom Shea… Eagles G.C… Tampa, Fla.
Ryan Smith… Rick Murphy Golf Academy… Greensboro, N.C.
Jim Sykes… The Landings Club… Savannah, Ga.
Tina Tombs… Arizona Biltmore G.C. & Resort… Phoenix, Ariz.
Tim Wagner… Timber Trails G.C… Pocono Pines, Pa.
Matt Walter… Vanderbilt Legends Club… Franklin, Tenn.
Adam Williamson… Rumson C.C… Rumson, N.J.
Tyler Wong… Tualatin C.C… Tualatin, Ore.
Phillip Yudys… Glen Oak C.C… Glen Ellyn, Ill.

Masters Kids Teachers – Class of 2016

Christy Longfield… Spanish Oaks G.C… Bee Cave, Texas
Michael Dickson… Congressional C.C… Bethesda, M.D.
Maggie Simons… Carmel CC… Charlotte, N.C.
Mark Krizic… Ridge C. C… Chicago, Ill.
Linda Gaudi… Country Club of Fairfax… Fairfax, Va.
David Branstad… Oak Ridge C.C. … Hopkins, Minn.
Andy Miller… Ledge Rock G.C… Mohnton, Pa.
Fred Bond… Stonebridge G.C… Monroe, S.C.
Johnathon Mielke… Oak Hills C.C… Omaha, Neb.

About U.S. Kids Golf

The U.S. Kids Golf Foundation, a Georgia non-profit recognized as a 501(c)(3) charity, was created in 2001 and provides services that include competition and instruction. The Foundation organizes over 800 tournaments each year for more than 10,000 players, ages 5-18. These tournaments include Local Tours in more than 50 cities, eight Regional Championships, the European Championship, and the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship and Teen World Championship, which are held each year in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

The vision of the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation is to provide kids and their families the opportunity participate in the game of golf through instruction and competition. With the belief that family interaction is critical in the development of young golfers, parents are encouraged to serve as caddies for their kids during tournaments and to develop positive coaching techniques.

U.S. Kids Golf, LLC is based in Atlanta and manufactures equipment and related golf products designed for kids. It was created in 1997 when Founder/CEO Dan Van Horn found that his children were losing their interest in golf due to not having the proper equipment. In addition to more than 4,000 golf shops and retail locations in the United States, the company’s products also are available in more than 75 countries worldwide.

2017-2018 Drive, Chip & Putt Schedule Announced

January 11, 2017

The 2017-2018 Drive, Chip and Putt Championship schedule has been released by the USGA, The Masters and PGA of America. The schedule includes dates and locations for participants to play in local qualifiers across the country with the opportunity to advance and earn an invitation to next year’s National Finals at Augusta National Golf Club. The qualifying schedule is available here on the event’s website. Online registration will also be available at drivechipandputt.com, starting Wednesday, January 25, 2017.

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For the full press release, click here.

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

Building off of a Strong Season, Sorenson Pleased with PGA Tournament Series Showing

December 20, 2016

2016 Player of the Year Jeff Sorenson continued his great play when he traveled to Port St. Lucie, FL for the PGA Tournament Series at the PGA Golf Club this winter. Sorenson played in all six Tournament Series Events and had multiple top-3 finishes including a T-2 finish in Event No. 1. Not only that, he only had one finish over par in which he had his worst finish of the Series in a tie for 16th. He shot a combined 19-under in the six events.

“It was a busy stretch of tournaments, but overall I played well. I had a lot of good second rounds; some of my first rounds were OK but not real low which is what you needed in some of those events,” said Sorenson.

Twice, Sorenson missed out an opportunity to play extra holes falling short by two shots in the first event and one shot in the third event,

“I got in contention in a couple of them but missed the playoffs by one shot and two shots in two of the events. It was a good stretch of playing, but I need to get off to a hotter start in some of these tournaments.”

He has his sights set on the Winter Championships, beginning in the middle of January, to capture a couple of victories that eluded him in the Tournament Series. Sorenson will be competing in the Senior-Junior Team Championship on Jan.16-19, Four-ball Stableford Championship on Jan. 30-Feb. 2 and Stroke Play Championship on Feb. 6-9.

“I’m really looking forward to the Winter Championships. I would like to win at least one, if not two, or why not all three,” said Sorenson. “My overall goal is to get multiple wins before returning to Minnesota [in early April].”

It’s great to see Sorenson healthy and playing well again, “my back feels great,” he added.

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.