AGTD Experience Kissimmee, Florida: Kayaking at the Paddling Center!

When you are on an Experience Kissimmee, Florida weekend you experience what they want you to experience which is a good thing! I know TPC as the THE PLAYERS Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach but now also know it as The Paddling Center in Kissimmee!

I knew I would enjoy kayaking but I never thought I would enjoy it as much as I did! It’s golf—beautiful, immersion into nature, and good exercise—without ANY stress of performance! Likely due to having a great guide in Alex—properly trained, knowledgeable of and lover of nature, and a great guy too! Case in point when I was going a bit wayward into the brush on the side of Shingle Creek, Alex yelled out “don’t lean!” I didn’t and stayed upright and in the kayak and not the water!

One added unexpected benefit of kayaking in the morning is that my upper body was loose for swinging a golf club in the afternoon ending the day with a Birdie 4 on the difficult 18th hole on the Nicklaus Course at Reunion Resort!

Kayaking at The Paddling Center on Shingle Creek is now on my “Must Do List” for Central Florida! Enjoy!

A BIG thank you to George McNeilly & McNeilly Communications for organizing this weekend with Experience Kissimmee, FloridaReunion ResortReunion Vacation Homes,
Mystic Dunes Resort & Golf Club, and Celebration Golf Club! It was an amazing experience!

Please consider signing up to play in the Kissimmee Family Golf Classic in June!

(Andy Reistetter; 1/27/19; Facebook Post with 40 Pics)

Spectacular AGTD Experience: Reunion Vacation Homes at the Reunion Resort Orlando!

4This part of our Golf Experience weekend was definitely a bit over the top! If you love the staying at the Reunion Resort Orlando, you will love staying in the Reunion Vacation Homes! We stayed in a 10-bedroom beautiful home on the 12th hole of the Nicklaus Golf Course! With a home theater, hot tub and ten bathrooms too; it was the whole deal! Catered dinner the first night and dinner atop the Reunion Resort at the Eleven at Reunion Resort Restaurant! Wow, what a view and cuisine to match! Chauffeured limousine-like shuttles and the whole nine yards! There are Reunion Vacation Homes and then there are Official Reunion Vacation Homes with complete access to all the amenities like the water park. With a $700- 1,000 daily rate depending on season this is a cost-competitive alternative to hotels and resorts; plus lots more intimate! I have always been close to my GTWA peeps but now we are family! Maybe we should tee it up in the Kissimmee Family Golf Classic in June? Or maybe you should too!

A BIG thank you to George McNeilly & McNeilly Communications for organizing this weekend with Experience Kissimmee, FloridaReunion ResortReunion Vacation HomesMystic Dunes Resort & Golf Club, and Celebration Golf Club! It was an amazing experience!   (Andy Reistetter; 1/27/19; Facebook Post with 40 Pics)

Celebration Golf Club to Host Kissimmee Family Golf Classic!

1After a great round of golf at Celebration Golf Club, we were introduced to the Experience Kissimmee, Florida organization and learned about the inaugural Kissimmee Family Golf Classic!

The Kissimmee Family Golf Classic June 20-23, 2019 at a lineup of star-studded golf courses including Reunion Resort Orlando’s Nicklaus and Watson courses as well as Celebration Golf Club. The 54-hole team scramble event is open to any combination of family members and will be a celebration of the bonds the game helps create. This is a great deal with substantial savings on greens fees alone! Plus I can tell you that Chris King is part of these so expect a family version of his over-the-top successful
World Am! For more information on the tournament and to register click on this link: 
http://www.kissimmeefamilygolfclassic.com/

3PLUS a BIG thank you to George McNeilly & McNeilly Communications for organizing this weekend with Experience Kissimmee, FloridaReunion ResortReunion Vacation HomesMystic Dunes Resort & Golf Club, and Celebration Golf Club! It was an amazing experience!   (Andy Reistetter; January 27, 2019; Facebook Post with 8 Pics)

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Book Review: Arnold Palmer; Homespun Stories of The King by Chris Rodell

Arnold Palmer COVERIt’s not every day that a friend of yours writes a book. Nor is it every day that the subject of the book that your friend wrote is someone who you have admired all your life and that your father had admired since his childhood.

Arnold Palmer; Homespun Stories of The King by my friend Chris Rodell!

I have to tell the story of how I met Chris Rodell because it leads to the story of how I met Arnold Palmer which leads to my wholehearted and immense recommendation that you purchase and read this new book which has been published with the full blessing and support of the Palmer family. Hard to believe that it has been over two years since Mr. Palmer’s passing on September 25th, 2016.

Golfing and Finding your True South in Mississippi

Andy & Chris

Me in the knickers and Chris in Latrobe…

Way back in 2012, Chris and I met on a golf travel writers’ fam trip to Mississippi. A ‘fam’ trip is a ‘familiarization’ trip whereby golf travel writers, in this case, were invited to come to Mississippi to be educated, to experience, and to write about golfing in Mississippi. While I do remember becoming familiar with golf in Mississippi, I especially remember meeting Chris!

Chris at the time had written a book called Use All The Crayons and had a blog called Eight Days to Amish. The crayon book was about transforming one’s life, using all the crayons, and contained five-hundred tips on doing so. I am still not sure what the blog is about but it is interesting!

So anyone that knows anything about me and what I have just told you about Chris would quickly surmise that we would become friends and indeed we did!

Mr. Palmer, It was an Honor to Meet You!

Andy & Mr. Palmer

Me and The King!

Fast forward three or four years and staying in touch, Chris invited me to stop by Latrobe and meet Arnold Palmer. Which, of course, if you know anything about me, I did! If meeting Chris was a transformative experience, and it was, then after meeting Mr. Palmer one could say I was over-transformed to the outer reaches of tranquility and serenity. Truly a life course-altering experience!

So the upshot here is that I met Chris Rodell and then I met Mr. Palmer because Chris was a friend of Mr. Palmer. How can you meet Mr. Palmer?

Sadly you cannot meet Mr. Palmer as I did, but by reading this book—Arnold Palmer; Homespun Stories of the King—you can indeed meet Mr. Palmer in a way that even most folks that have met him can meet him in a way they never did before—even more up-close and personal!

The author Chris Rodell with Mr. Palmer and Mr. Palmer's right-hand guy (even though Chris is between them!) Doc Giffin.

The author Chris Rodell with Mr. Palmer and Mr. Palmer’s right-hand guy (even though Chris is between them!) Doc Giffin.

As a freelance writer living next door to the great Arnold Palmer in his lifelong hometown of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Chris was the go-to-guy for golf publications and non-golf publications, when it came to getting a story on Mr. Palmer. This book comes from more than 100 interviews that Chris conducted with The King. Plus, living in Latrobe and raising a family in Latrobe he knows Latrobe which means he knew Arnold Palmer like Arnold Palmer knew himself.

“Which do you remember more clearly: your first ace or your first kiss?”

Enough said, intimate conversations make intimate books! Chris is an insightful and talented writer and this is a great book for the golfer and non-golfer alike!

It is Americana same as apple pie and yes, crayons too! Maybe even Eight Days to Amish too!

Enjoy meeting Mr. Palmer and say hello for me too!

SHOT SCOPE Performance Tracker V2 Will Change My Game for the Better!!!

SHOT SCOPE ANNOUNCES FATHER’S DAY GIFT OFFER FOR U.S. OPEN WEEK

Packaging 2EDINBURGH, UNITED KINGDOM, June 5, 2018 – Shot Scope Technologies will offer its new V2 multi-function golf watch at a special 15% discount during U.S. Open Week (June 11-17). The V2 combines GPS distance and hazard capability with Shot Scope’s industry-leading automatic performance tracking.  The Father’s Day offer will be available at www.shotscope.com and at selected Dick’s Sporting Goods and Golf Galaxy stores.

 

The Shot Scope V2 uses the highest grade Smart GPS chip on the commercial market. Its automatic data collection provides extensive Tour-level performance analysis and offers free software updates. More than 37,000 courses worldwide can be accessed through the system.

“We are excited to offer a special price for the V2 to all Dads for Father’s Day,” said Gavin Dear, CCO of Shot Scope Technologies. “We want golfers to experience what is the best, most comprehensive, most accurate and easiest to use golf watch in the industry.”

Dashboard and MobileThe most recent addition to Shot Scope is a social media share function that is available on both IOS and Android apps. It enables the user to share their hole, round and performance data with friends via several channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Whatsapp. It keeps the conversation moving off the course regarding long drives, birdies and other highlights.

Golfers have long sought a device that combined GPS yardages and fully automatic performance tracking.  Shot Scope’s in-house engineers have developed a product that meets the needs of the modern golfer while retaining the company’s trademark automatic club recognition technology and detailed performance statistics. The latest update from Shot Scope enhances the on-course experience provided to users by showing front, middle and back distances to water/sand hazards.

V2 - with logoThe V2 has three modes to suit the golfer’s playing requirements: GPS; PRO; and GPS+TRACK. Each mode has been designed for ultimate flexibility. In both GPS and GPS+TRACK modes, the LCD screen displays distances to the front, middle and back of the green from the golfer’s real-time position using SMART GPS.

Performance Tracking is activated in both PRO and GPS+TRACK modes. The watch works in the background to collect over 100 Tour-level statistics, broken down into five areas: clubs, tee shots, approaches, short game and putting. Performance statistics of this caliber have previously only been available to Tour players. No manual input or phone use is required.

ABOUT SHOT SCOPE

Shot Scope Technologies was founded in 2014 by CEO David Hunter. Hunter, a former electronics design engineer and secondary school teacher,invented the product in his house. Now a team of 17 based in Edinburgh, Shot Scope has released two products to the international golf market. The company has designed, engineered and manufactured the product in Scotland, bringing golf technology to The Home of Golf. The team also includes former Walker Cup player and ex-professional golfer, CCO Gavin Dear.

ShotScopeLogo_Red&Black

Book Review: Children’s Series: Marvin The Golf Caddy by Harold R. Mann!

With author Harold R. Mann in the Marvin The Golf Caddy at the 2018 PGA Show.

With author Harold R. Mann in the Marvin The Golf Caddy at the 2018 PGA Show.

Marvin, an abandoned golden retriever was transformed into Marvin The Golf Caddy Dog back in 2003 but I did not meet his creator Harold R. Mann until the 2018 PGA Show. By then Marvin The Golf Caddy Dog had learned the ABC’s of Golf, had qualified for Junior Nationals (2014) and along with his new owner Ted was just about to meet Molly, the girl who just moved in next door!

Marvin The Golf Caddy Dog is a series of children’s books for all ages complete with two coloring books and an activity book. Plus there are now Marvin branded hats, polo shirts, towels, and even a Marvin head cover for your driver too. Now everyone can become part of Marvin’s family!

Marvin & Ted amidst all their animal friends on the golf course. Photo Credit: Mann USA, Inc.

Tom Kerr’s illustration of Marvin & Ted amidst all their animal friends on the golf course. Photo Credit: Mann USA, Inc.

Without giving away too much of the story lines Marvin wanders onto a golf course where he meets a young Ted and many wildlife characters—Henry the Hawk, Chi-Chi the Gecko Lizard (likely imported from Puerto Rico!), Rufus the Jackrabbit, Arnie the Deer, and Sally the Squirrel.

Marvin teaches us how to be grateful for our blessings in life and Harold the Author presents a beautiful friendship between a dog and a boy that evolves on a golf course!

 

Here is what we call the 'trophy shot' in the golf broadcasting... MArvin & Ted with their Junior Nationals trophy! Photo Credit: Mann USA, Inc.

Another Tom Kerr illustration: Here is what we call the ‘trophy shot’ in the golf broadcasting… Marvin & Ted with their Junior Nationals trophy! Photo Credit: Mann USA, Inc.

A bonus at the end of the inaugural 2003 book is ‘Basic Rules of Golf for Beginners.” There’s only thirteen of them, the same count as the original rules of golf written in 1744. These are better and include ones for the health, safety, & well-being of all golfers. Rule No. 1 is ‘Always use sunscreen before playing.’

The intriguing story is well enhanced by the colorful and descriptive illustrations of Tom Kerr.

I loved the part about Ted feeling a new spirit within while trying to qualify for the Junior Nationals. And oh yes, Ted is the golfer and Marvin the caddy. Hmmm and then along comes Molly… I wonder where she fits into the story!

Here comes Molly in Marvin The Golf Caddy Meets Molly! Photo Credit: Mann USA, Inc.

Here comes Molly in Marvin The Golf Caddy Meets Molly! Photo Credit: Mann USA, Inc.

Stories for a lifetime and for generations!

Now I know what present I will be getting my soon-to-be-born grandson! Golf and a way of life to pass along to the next generation!

Who knows? One day at Augusta National Golf Club we might hear: ‘Fore, now playing…’

For more information and to order items please go to the Marvin The Golf Caddy website!

 

2018 PGA Show: Demo Day at Orange County National… Demo Baby!

Demo Day Delight on Tuesday during PGA Show week! On & off the range!

2018 PGA Show: Tour Edge Outing at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club!

21Day One of the PGA Show was really Monday at the over the top TOUR Edge outing at Lake Nona Golf & CC! BEST golf outing of Andy’s life! TROML Baby!

 

Golf Ireland Tourism Outing at Orlando’s Golden Bear Club at Keene’s Point

_Irish Golf Day 2017Kicking off the PGA Show this week in Orlando with a Monday golf outing at The Golden Bear Club at Keene’s Pointe hosted by Golf Ireland; North and West Coast Links Golf; IGTOA Ireland Golf Tour Operator Association, The Voice for Irish Golf Tourism; Course Trends Europe, www.CourseTrends.eu; SWING, SouthWest Ireland Golf, www.swinggolfireland.com; Wild Atlantic Way, www.WildAtlanticWay.com; www.TheGolfPA.com, Ireland’s Premier Golf Tour Operator… never been to Ireland… looking forward to getting educated and visiting Ireland this year! Have you ever been to Ireland to golf?   (Facebook Post, Andy Ristetter, 1/22/17)

5Wild day at the Golf Ireland outing at @The Golden Bear Club at Keene’s Pointe… played with two great guys from Ireland… so windy it felt like Ireland… have to go to Ireland to experience for myself… participated in the David Edwards Golf show… good to see Charlie Rymer from the Golf Channel who spoke about how much he loves the Irish & their golf courses… good first day and the PGA Show hasn’t even started yet! Demo Day tomorrow Tuesday at Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge…   (Facebook Post, Andy Reistetter, 1/23/17 with 30 Pics)

Golf Travel Writers Association… Fits me to the Tee!

With the GTWA gang for the first time at the PGA Village in January 2012.

With the GTWA gang for the first time at the PGA Village in January 2012.

You know when someone says you should do something or join something? Ninety-nine times out of a hundred they are wrong. Not so when Bruce Vittner, the Editor & Publisher of the Southern New England Golfer, told me about the Golf Travel Writers Association (GTWA) and suggested that I apply for membership.  The GTWA is an association of the best travel writers, editors, and publishers of state and regional golf magazines, golf columnists, radio and television golf show hosts and golf website operators. Membership in the Golf Travel Writers of America is available to qualified applicants in one of three categories—professional, corporate and resort. GTWA members specialize in writing about golf travel and golf destinations. The mission of the Golf Travel Writers of America is to inform the golfing public and forge relationships between and among its its members. I am happy Bruce made the introduction because the GTWA fits me to a tee!

With Kathie Dyson & Bruce Vittner who well represent the spirit of  the GTWA!

With Kathie Dyson & Bruce Vittner who well represent the spirit of the GTWA!

Besides Bruce some of the professional members I have come to know are Katharine Dyson, Matt Adams and Alice and Danny Scott. Katharine, according to her bio page, is “an avid golfer who makes up for atrocious putting with an insatiable curiosity for discovery, writes about golf, travel, golf fashion and lifestyle for magazines, newspapers and websites here and abroad.” I can attest to that as we have golfed together numerous times and had the pleasure of indulging in resort spas and dinners too.. She is also the author of “100 Best Romantic Resorts of the World” and “The Finger Lakes Book.”

Matt is a well-known best-selling golf author, PGA Tour Network and satellite radio broadcaster, and regular contributor to the Golf Channel. You know Matt as the award-winning international golf broadcaster on the PGA Tour Network, where he hosts the daily program, Fairways of Life, which is also one of nine books he has published. When I see Matt he is always smiling and gives me a warm handshake. Truly one of the inspirational people in golf!

Playing golf with America's Golfing Couple in Myrtle Beach near the Wizard's Castle of Mystic Golf. Guy in the orange cap is my friend Sir Charles Novitske.

Playing golf with America’s Golfing Couple in Myrtle Beach near the Wizard’s Castle of Mystic Golf. Guy in the orange cap is my friend Sir Charles Novitske.

Alice and Danny are America’s Golfing Couple. As stated in their bios they  are freelance multimedia journalists and travel the world exploring destinations, tours and products. They are founders of Butthead Covers, Inc. (the upside down animal head covers), and they offer coaching on all aspects of business creation, operation and marketing to live “The American Dream.” We have played golf several times and I have yet to be competitive with Danny who has the ultimate ‘A’ game!

As far as corporate members there are none more professional or nicer than Michael Abramowitz, Senior Editor of the The PGA of America. Founded in 1916, The PGA of America is the largest working sports organization in the world, comprised of more than 27,000 dedicated men and women promoting the game of golf to everyone, everywhere. Michael hosted us at PGA Village In Januray 2012 which was my first event with the GTWA.

At Medinah watching the conclusion of the Sunday Singles Matches with Michael Abramowitz.

At Medinah watching the conclusion of the Sunday Singles Matches with Michael Abramowitz.

The PGA Village is the flagship property of the PGA of America in Port St. Lucie, Florida. It is also the ultimate golf resort destination. The 54 holes of championship golf at PGA Golf Club have been masterfully laid out by design legends Tom Fazio and Pete Dye. The cherry on the cake is the state-of-the-art 35-acre PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance. I love it for the PGA Museum of Golf which contains all of the history of the PGA’s storied existence.

 

CLICK here for my article entitled ‘PGA of America, More than a Village!

With Claude Pardue, President & CEO of Mystic Golf- The Witch, The Wizard & The Man O'War.

With Claude Pardue, President & CEO of Mystic Golf- The Witch, The Wizard & The Man O’War.

Mystic Golf in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is a resort member of the GTWA.  The mystical man behind the curtain is Claude Pardue who owns and manages three of Myrtle Beach’s finest golf courses — The Witch, the Wizard and Man O’ War — whose beauty enchants and challenges golfers of all abilities. Man O’War is the only golf course in the world with back-to-back island greens.

CLICK here for my Mystic Golf article entitled ‘Golf is Mystical in Myrtle Beach!’

If you are a professional golf travel writer, or represent a corporation or resort in the golf business check out the Golf Travel Writers Association (GTWA). Being a member is a lot of fun and it might fit you to a tee!

Source of Information above: GTWA website and linked individual websites.

Wearing my GTWA buddy Tom Gorman's Man O'War hat!

Wearing my GTWA buddy Tom Gorman’s Man O’War hat!

GTWA golfers playing the Pete Dye GC at PGA Village on a beautiful Florida morning!

GTWA golfers playing the Pete Dye GC at PGA Village on a beautiful Florida morning!

On the 9th green at Hammock Beach, part of the Salamander Resorts Legends of Golf Trail along with Reunion and Innisbrook.

On the 9th green at Hammock Beach, part of the Salamander Resorts Legends of Golf Trail along with Reunion and Innisbrook.