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S & P DOWNGRADE WILL HURT GOLF

Money in Golf by Eric J. von Hofen
Just when things were showing signs of picking up in the golf world, the last two weeks of financial news has struck fear back into the business. The politics of Washington D.C., problems in Europe and unemployment figures here in the U.S. have cast a shadow on the world economy. The stock market has lost 10% in the last two weeks alone, and is still trending down. Things are so negative that gold, investor’s “safe haven”, hit an all-time high and then sold off from it’s high point during Thursday’s 500 point drop.

On Friday night, August 5, it was announced that the S & P rating for the United States was downgraded from AAA to AA+. What does this downgrade mean for everyone? For starters, the amount of interest the U.S. government pays on it’s debt goes up. Rates on car loans, mortgages, credit cards and student loans will be going up. This downgrade will hit the pocket books of the American people, and discretionary spending on golf will be no exception.

I was traveling last week in New York and was a guest at a few clubs in Southampton. You could feel it in the air. Everyone was talking about the problems facing the country. This morning on the range tee in Miami, a buzz of “whats going to happen next?” was heard down the tee line. If the members are taking cover, its only a matter of time that conversations about cut backs at clubs will take place.

This downgrade will give golf courses enough of an excuse to delay capital expenses and cut back on operating budgets…just what we don’t need to have happen. Many superintendents have been asked to do more and more with less every year. This next inevitable round of cuts may be the breaking point for many guys.

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Mayakoba Golf Classic Sets New Guinness World Record

most people taking a golf lesson at one time
Today the Mayakoba Golf Classic made it into the Guinness Book of World Records™ by hosting the largest ever golf lesson on the grounds of El Camaleón Golf Club in PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mèxico.

Today’s impressive attendance of 1,073 people, witnessed by officials from Guinness, surpassed the old record of 1,032 people recognized by Guinness World Records™ which occurred on October 9 of 2010 at Pine Valley, Beijing, China.
Most people ever taking a golf lesson
It took over three hours to set up for the event and the course had to borrow a few hundred golf clubs from other local golf courses in order to pull off the world record. Some participants traveled over 45 minutes to be a part of history. Once the people arrived at El Camaleon, they were checked in, received a number and a white shirt so officials could track who was participating. The 30 minute lesson was conducted by PGA TOUR player Esteban Toledo. According to the Mayakoba Classic officials, Esteban Toledo said, “This was one of the most incredible things I have participated in my career. I have given golf clinics before to maybe 400 people. But never in front of over a thousand people. At one point, I was a little bit nervous because I wanted to make sure we broke the record but also learned something as well.”
The Mayakoba Golf Classic is celebrating its fifth year on the PGA TOUR. Past champions are: Fred Funk, Brian Gay, Mark Wilson and Cameron Beckman. The Classic will be played on February 23 -27, 2011.

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Welcome to turfunderground.com


Welcome to turfunderground.com and the home of the von Hofen Turfgrass Scholarship. Using my 26 years of golf course maintenance experience I plan on giving a different behind the scenes look at what is really happening in the golf world. I have worked at and managed some of the best golf courses in the world. Muirfield Village, PGA WEST,PGA NATIONAL, Calusa Pines, Naples National, John’s Island Club and Doral just to name a few. I have hosted 13 PGA TOUR televised events which has allowed me to make contacts and friends around the world. There is a lot of great things happening in golf around the world and the story should be told. I will have feeds from Asia, Germany, Greece and every corner of the United States. Come back a check us out.

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