Highlighting his career in the game, Robin Shelton named SCPGA president
Robin Shelton will be the first to admit that he sort of fell into his career in the golf industry. But he just as readily will tell you how fortunate he is for it to have happened.
Shelton, the PGA General Manager at Seacliff Country Club in Huntington Beach, began a two-year term as President and Chairman of the Board for the Southern California PGA in early December – and his election to the position means he’ll be able to give back to the game that has given him so much.
“It's both an honor and humbling at the same time to step into this president's role for the Southern California PGA,” Shelton said. “I knew when signing up for this commitment that it would give me an opportunity to serve the membership, and I'm excited to be actively making a difference in the Section. I follow in the footsteps of some incredible leaders and I am very honored to serve during these next two years of my presidency.”
Carlsbad-based Upper Deck unveils authentic Tiger Woods memorabilia
We all have that one golfer on our holiday gift list who is notoriously difficult to shop for. They already have all the latest and greatest equipment and apparel, and a gift card to their favorite course or golf retailer just seems so impersonal.
That’s why surprising that special someone with a truly unique gift featuring the greatest golfer of his generation is a terrific alternative.
The Tiger Woods Collection from Upper Deck Authenticated Memorabilia includes pieces that you won’t find anywhere else, and thanks to Tiger’s decades-long relationship with the Carlsbad-based company, every item is put through a rigorous authentication process to ensure you’re getting the real deal.
Torey Edwards is the reigning Long Beach Men's Amateur and SCGA Mid-Amateur champion.
Long Beach’s Torey Edwards shoots second career 58 in recent SCGA event
Torey Edwards said the best way to describe it was like an out-of-body experience. Similar to a baseball player who experiences stretches where the ball looks as big as a grapefruit coming out of the pitcher’s hand or a quarterback who finds himself knowing exactly what the opposing defense will do before the ball is snapped, Edwards was without a doubt in the zone.
So as the Long Beach native and Long Beach State graduate lined up a 30-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole at Pasadena’s Annandale Golf Club on October 29, he felt confident he had a great chance to make the downhill, slightly right-to-left putt. What he didn’t know as his Titleist rolled into the center of the cup was that he was putting for the second 58 of his life, because a math error had him convinced it was for 59.
“You can sabotage great rounds if you start thinking about the end result and what it means - whether you’re trying to break 80, break par or card a career low,” Edwards explained. “I was able to stay out of my own way and focus on each shot, and I was in a mode where I felt like I was going to birdie every hole I played. I was definitely in that zone that you hear people talk about.”
SoCal junior Jason Bannister hopes to continue his winning ways in Indiana
Look out, Indiana, here he comes.
Jason Bannister, who is in the midst of his senior year as captain of the boys golf team at Dana Hills High School, committed to go to the University of Southern Indiana after graduation next fall and, odds are, he can’t get to the Hoosier state fast enough.
After all, he’s played in nine major junior golf tournaments in the state in the past two years and he’s won four of them, his most-recent victory coming in June at the Indiana Junior PGA Championship in Peru.
In July alone, Bannister notched a fourth-place finish at the AJGA Yoder Oil at Knollwood in Indiana and advanced to match play in the Indiana Boys’ State Championship before being eliminated after the first round.
Bannister’s victories in the state include two Indiana Junior titles in 2018, one at Hidden Creek Golf Club and one at Otis Park Golf Course, and two victories in 2019 that include the Age Group Championship in French Lick and an AJGA Qualifier at Knollwood.
So why does a kid who grew up playing golf in Southern California have so much success in a state so far away?
Major champion Francesco Molinari relocates to L.A and lands at Riviera, with a stop at Virginia Country Club
For many decades, Southern California has been at one time or another home to some of the game’s greatest major champions. Billy Casper, Gene Littler, Fred Couples, Mark O’Meara, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson immediately come to mind.
We can now add Francesco Molinari to that list.
The 2018 winner of The Open Championship, three-time PGA Tour champion and native of Turin, Italy, relocated earlier this year with his family from London to the tony L.A. suburb of Brentwood. The three-time Ryder Cupper will make Riviera Country Club in neighboring Pacific Palisades his home course, according to longtime friend Jamie Mulligan, the Chief Executive Officer and PGA Professional at Virginia Country Club in Long Beach.
SCPGA Teacher of the Year Randy Chang shares his secrets to golf success
Ask Randy Chang about his teaching style and he'll sum it up in one word: SURF.
The acronym stands for simple, understandable, retention and fun, and it's a formula that has worked well for the Director of Instruction at Journey at Pechanga in Temecula and the founder of Randy Chang Golf Schools.
Chang was named the Southern California PGA Teacher of the Year for a second time in August, which is a credit to his teaching abilities and his easy-going style.
“The atmosphere is laid-back and relaxed,” Chang explained, "but the program and process are regimented and seriously effective.”
Chang’s programs, such as Pechanga’s Tiny Tees lessons, Journey Golf Academy and Golf for Girls seasonal clinics, go hand-in-hand with SCPGA’s mission of growing the game. He is dedicated to early golf education and believes that encouraging youth’s positive habits by way of golf sets a precedent for a healthy lifestyle in the future.
Meet three-time SCGA Senior Amateur champion Craig Davis
Chula Vista resident Craig Davis made history in the summer of 2019, becoming only the second player ever to win three consecutive SCGA Senior Amateur Championship with his victory at El Niguel Country Club.
The 2020 event is slated for October 20-22 at Red Hill Country Club. We spoke to the current champ about his special feat, his golf game, and what he likes to do when he’s not on the golf course:
How The Farms’ Kyle Mendoza captured the SCPGA Section Championship
A little family time, a healthy back, and more confidence in his swing all helped play a role in Kyle Mendoza winning the biggest golf tournament of his life.
A resident of South Oceanside, Mendoza captured the 2020 Southern California PGA Section Championship September 14-16 by beating Brian Smock and two-time winner Michael Block by two shots.
Mendoza, a golf professional at The Farms Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, fired rounds of 66 and 69 on the Players Course at Indian Wells Golf Resort to mount a two-shot lead going into the final round at Ironwood Country Club, where he shot an even-par 72 (207 total) to secure the $12,000 winner’s check.
How one of SoCal's most legendary pros putted his way to victory at Winged Foot
When the 120th U.S. Open tees off at Winged Foot Golf Club in New York on Thursday, it will mark the 12th time the fabled A.W. Tillinghast venue has hosted a major.
And while there’s no shortage of lore associated with the club’s championship history -- including Pasadena native and longtime Coachella Valley resident Susie Berning’s epic comeback in 1972 and the historic collapse of Rancho Santa Fe's Phil Mickelson on the 72nd hole in 2006 -- it is especially notable that its ties to one of SoCal's most legendary tour players dates back more than 60 years and adds greatly to the club's colorful past.
With that, here is a look at San Diego native Billy Casper’s breakthrough major championship victory at Winged Foot in 1959 that opened the door to one of the most successful -- and underrated -- careers in PGA Tour history:
El Niguel CC’s Luke Powell defies age and competes in top amateur events
It may be too soon to start making comparisons to Tiger Woods, but 15-year-old junior golfer Luke Powell of Laguna Niguel definitely shares the traits of a PGA Tour player.
“He reminds me of Justin Leonard when we were young,” said Wade Wilson, a PGA professional at El Niguel Country Club, where Powell has grown up playing golf. “Justin was well rounded socially as a kid but he knew at an early age that golf was his thing and he was really good at it. Luke is friendly, engages with people and enjoys conversation, but he is focused on his craft. At the ripe age of 15, he gets up every day and has a plan to be successful.”
Those attributes have been paying off for Powell in 2020. A sophomore at Capistrano Valley Christian School, Powell competed in two of the biggest amateur events in the state this year, the California Amateur Championship July 27-August 1 at Torrey Pines, and the 121st SCGA Amateur Championship at Goose Creek Golf Club August 17-20 – when he was still 14 years old.
Greetings, fellow golfers, and welcome to SoCal Golf Insider! We are Rob Lyon and Eric Marson and we've been reporting and writing about the game throughout the region since 1995. Here, we will provide you with the latest news, features, reviews and more on all things golf in Southern California. Let’s tee it up!
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