December 16, 2011
The continuing recession reduced the Christmas golf gift options for Cape Region golfers a bit, with the closure of the Tee II Green golf store formerly on Rehoboth Avenue Extended.
On the other hand, the remaining local golf shopping opportunities offer plenty of items well worth considering for the golf fans in your life.
As it is during the summer, the trick to Cape Region Christmas shopping for locals is to plan ahead, and give way to the tourists during the weekends. The stores are normally much quieter on weekdays, especially in the evenings, and the staff will be glad to help.
Ruddo’s Golf, on Route One in the Midway area, is the only store dedicated to golf in the Cape Region. Bret Marshall is the PGA pro, and Pete McCaffery has been with the store since its opening. The store has a wide variety of items for sale, including clubs, balls, shoes, shirts and other apparel, and golf-related gifts. Hours of operation run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call Ruddo’s at 302-227-1520.
The Cape Region’s public golf courses, including The Rookery, Baywood Greens, and Old Landing, will also be happy to provide additional golf gift suggestions, such as gift certificates for tee times when the weather is better.
All of the local courses, both public and private, do a nice bit of business selling logo items such as shirts and hats. Those items always make nice gifts for your local golfer. To reach the Rookery, call 302-684-3000. The Baywood Greens golf shop can be called at 302-947-9800. Old Landing’s phone number is 302-227-3131.
Shorter is better
With the onset of winter, local golf course superintendents often close off or set up the tee boxes to give that turf the best chance to survive the next few months. For many holes, golfers will see the tee box markers set up at the front edge of the areas, if not moved off to one side from the typically elevated mounds.
At Shawnee Country Club, for example, this option can shorten up the course considerably from its usual yardage. The 13th hole, a par 3, now plays from about 90 yards out, instead of the usual 115 or so from the white tees’ usual locations.
The fact that the golf ball usually doesn’t travel as far in the winter chill may make the shorter tee box set-ups less noticeable than first assumed, when you compare your usual landing spots to where the ball ends up in mid-December.
Of course, there’s another way to enjoy wintertime golf, by continuing to follow the advice of the PGA and the USGA with their Tee It Forward program.
According to a December 13 press release, the campaign to encourage players to move up at least one tee box, launched on a trial basis this past July, was very well accepted:
More than 1,900 facilities registered in 2011 with an average of 123 golfers per facility (nearly 237,000 nationwide) playing from forward tees during the promotional period. Additionally, a survey of more than 3,000 consumers who experienced the program showed that 70 percent found their round of golf more enjoyable and more than 90 percent said they would recommend Tee It Forward to a friend. The survey also found nearly 50 percent of respondents saying the program helped them play faster.
Based on this favorable response, the PGA and USGA decided to make the initiative a year-round campaign for 2012. Hall of Famer Jack Nicklaus, current LPGA star Paula Creamer, and PGA Tour phenom Dustin Johnson are to be included in the promotional materials for the program in the coming months.
If you haven’t already tried moving up a tee box for your rounds, give it a go this winter. You should finish your eighteen holes a little faster, which in the cold weather is a good idea.
You might even score a bit better than you expect.