The Stonehouse Golf Blog

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Ryder Cup Coda: Marketing 101

Wednesday, 3 October, 2012

I don’t know what final Ryder Cup attendance figures are, but at least a quarter of a million people were estimated to have visited Medinah over the last weekend.

In the Merchandise Tent, I think we saw them all. The shot below shows the “Friday Frenzy” with 45,000 square-foot space packed like a sardine can.

In contrast, take a look at Sunday afternoon… empty shelves and few customers. But no complaints here.

My point is, you never want to underestimate the power of emotion. Fierce competition leads almost always to explosive sales numbers, and the Ryder Cup is one of golf’s most emotional, most competitive events. Why? Pride.

So we have to give credit to Jose Maria Olazabel and the European Team for that incredible Sunday performance. One for the record books… and that includes sales records, too.

If you’ve never experienced a Ryder Cup, you owe it to yourself… the best event in GOLF!!

I’ll see you in the Merchandise Tent,

Patrick

Ryder Cup: Large Crowds, Lots Of Emotion On Day One

Friday, 28 September, 2012

Move over. Step aside. Take a slow, deep breath. 

Medinah is full to overflowing with golf fans on this, the first day of Ryder Cup competition, 2012. I can’t remember crowds this large, this emotional, for any major. Face paint, flags draped over shoulders – you’d think you were witnessing a big-time college bowl game.

Momentum moves back and forth with every hole; inside the Merchandise Tent we hear the crowd reactions. The air virtually crackles with tension.

One thing is certain: Both teams want this. Both teams are ready. Both will be here to the very end.

If you’ve got a ticket, don’t miss this. And while you’re here, stop by and say hi.

Patrick

 


A Visit To Beantown…

Monday, 25 June, 2012

Boston. So much history.

Let’s start with my assignment: The Country Club at Brookline. Ryder Cup fans will never forget Justin Leonard’s 45-foot putt on 17 to turn the momentum for the U.S. in 1999. The celebration that followed is forever enshrined as the climax to “the Battle at Brookline.” One of the oldest clubs in the country and a heck of a golf course.

The Copley Square Hotel in Boston was my home base.  Built in 1891, it stands on the green line, a short walk from Fenway Park and the fashionable Back Bay, adjacent to the Charles River Basin, and just across the river from Cambridge and “Havahd” University. Many Beantowners know the Copley as the place Babe Ruth stayed when he was in town. Ah, the curse of the Bambino.

Of course, Boston is famous for many things, not the least of which is fresh shellfish. But for true Bostonians and New Englanders, nothing says summer lunch better than a lobster roll.

I tried a few of these traditional New England entrees, the best being at the Union Oyster House, located only blocks away from the Old North Church of Paul Revere fame, and supposedly the oldest restaurant in continuous operation (since 1826) in the U.S.  Imagine dining on nicely-chilled lobster salad piled high on a fresh bun in the same establishment that has served generations of famous Americans, from dowdy old Daniel Webster to JFK. I guess in Connecticut they serve lobster rolls warm, but as far as I’m concerned whatever was good enough for Senator Webster and the Kennedy clan is good enough for me. Very tasty, with just the right amount of mayo.

Next stop is Seattle and Chambers Bay.  There’s no telling what gustatorial wonders await, but I promise to share when I get back.

In the meantime, remember: fairways and greens.  Always the best choice.
Patrick

Blackwolf Run Taps Stonehouse For Women’s Open Image

Tuesday, 13 March, 2012

Blackwolf Run Original Championship Course No. 9 Close Up

I was thrilled to learn recently that my images of the Original Championship Course at Blackwolf Run have been selected for inclusion in the Championship Merchandise Pavilion and Corporate Catalog for the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open. Blackwolf Run is an extraordinary 36-hole complex designed by Pete Dye, played alongside the picturesque Sheboygan River. Ranked regularly among “America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses” by Golf Digest, Dye’s risk-reward design last hosted the Women’s Open in 1998, when Se Ri Pak won the title following a 20-hole Monday playoff.

Blackwolf Run Original Championship Course No. 9

Blackwolf Run is one of the world-famed Kohler Resort facilities, and a sister facility of the legendary Whistling Straits on the shores of Lake Michigan near Sheboygan, Wisconsin. A key component of the Kohler golf experience, Blackwolf Run is a scenic delight – especially when it dons its fall colors.

Blackwolf Run Original Championship Course No. 5

NOTE: We’re in the process of adding a number of courses to the Collection, so keep your eye on the website and this blog; I’ll be writing about some of them during the coming months.

Thanks very much,

Patrick

These guys got game! It’s more than just a motto.

Friday, 12 August, 2011

On the range this morning that’s Martin Kaymer (center), winner of last year’s PGA at Whistling Straights. This is a great place to watch your favorite players swing different clubs and put the golf balls out there with unbelievable accuracy…

Pro players at the Atlanta Athletic Club's range at the 2011 PGA Championship

 

PGA Championship Week 2011 at the Atlanta Athletic Club

Tuesday, 9 August, 2011

The 93rd PGA Championship week is under way, and I’m at the Atlanta Athletic Club in John’s Creek (just north of Atlanta) ready to witness the year’s last major. First round play begins Thursday, but I thought I’d give you a small sneak preview of the course and a few of the pre-tournament preparations.

2011 PGA Championship & Atlanta Athletic Club Hole 18 and Clubhouse The Golf Channel on Hole 15 at the 2011 PGA Championship

An early Tuesday morning stroll told me the ACC’s Highland Course is ready to take on all comers, especially holes like the 260-yard, par 3 15th, shown here with a Golf Channel crew recording some last-minute player tips. David Toms scored an ace on this hole in 2001, the last time the PGA Championship was played here.

Players warm up at the Atlanta Athletic Club's driving range prior to the 2011 PGA Championship A player hits out of the bunker while warming up for the 2011 PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club

The course is immaculate, playing at 7,467 yards (270 yards longer than ’01), and despite some last minute afternoon thunderstorms on Monday it’s fast and firm, with sloping greens designed to challenge the game’s best players. And the players are here – on the range, in the bunkers, prepping on the course for the tests to come…

Heat and humidity will be factors, too, and the misting stations are in full-blast mode to accommodate golf fans, already arriving in force.

There are misting stations for cooling off at the 2011 PGA Championship There's plenty of merch to browse in the PGA golf shop at the Atlanta Athletic Club

Of course, if the temperature gets to be too much, we’re here, in the air-conditioned PGA Golf Shop tent, ready to share stories and smiles, and of course, eager to show you our Stonehouse 2011 PGA Championship images and gifts.

Come by and say hi.

The Stonehouse Golf merchandise tent at the 2011 PGA Championship

 

2011 Golf Calendar Lineup

Tuesday, 2 November, 2010

It’s that time of year again… the 2011 Stonehouse Golf Calendar is almost ready to roll out, so I thought I’d give you a peek.

January

Ritz Carlton Orlando #9

Those of you trapped in the deep, cold snowdrifts might appreciate a look at this Sunshine State standout.

February

PGA Village Golf Club – Ryder #18

It’s a 7,000-yard Fazio design that can make you feel like you’re in the beautiful Carolinas.

March

Old Head #12, Ireland

There’s nothing in the world like the rugged environment at Old Head.

April

Cruden Bay #4, Scotland

Old Tom Morris played here in 1899.  A purist’s delight.

May

Colonial #16

One of the granddaddies of Lone Star golf, Colonial has hosted many of the game’s greats since 1936.

June

Congressional Country Club #10

A spectacular course, home of next year’s U.S. Open Championship.

July

Royal St George’s Golf Club #6, England

The late author Ian Fleming’s club hosts the Open Championship for the 14th time this year.

August

Atlanta Athletic Club #18

The PGA Championship visits the Atlanta area.  Full of Southern charm.

September

East Lake #18

The permanent home of the PGA Tour Championship and Bobby Jones’s home course… ‘nuf said.

October

TPC Summerlin #16

Fuzzy Zoeller helped design this layout… the perfect antidote to that first blast of winter.

November

Hudson National #18

If this image doesn’t make you want to swing a club, you ain’t alive. This one also gets the nod for the Calendar cover shot.

December

Sherwood Country Club #17, California

Got a yearning for golf in SoCal?  This is one of the best.


Pre-order your Calendar now
. Perfect for gifting, birthdays, any old reason… you won’t be disappointed.

Best,
Patrick

Coincidence at Whistling Straits

Wednesday, 18 August, 2010

The finish at this year’s PGA Championship at Whistling Straits was exciting, perhaps even a little controversial, but there sure wasn’t anything arguable about the ace Tom Lehman scored on the par-three 17th hole Saturday afternoon.

Whistling Straits 17

Undoubtedly one of the most contentious holes the players face all season, 17 at the Straits Course is called “Pinched Nerve” for a reason, but the 1996 Open Champion barely seemed to notice as his tee shot found the cup.  223 yards.  One swing.  A great moment.

Ironically, I just happened to have a Limited Edition print of 17 with me in the merchandise tent.  Someone suggested we sign it and give it to Lehman, and… Voilà!  The moment was preserved.  All of us in the tent signed a letter to accompany the print, which was presented by the Whistling Straits management team to Tom.  I wasn’t at the presentation, but I understand TL was very pleased.

A fortunate coincidence – the kind we love at Stonehouse.  Preserving the memories of those special shots, holes and events is our mission, one we always appreciate sharing with friends and fans around the world.

Have a special golf moment you want to remember?  You’ve come to the right place.

Best,
Patrick

In Praise of Practice Rounds

Thursday, 12 August, 2010

Being here at Whistling Straits this week reminded me of this:  When you watch the pros play golf on TV, you see them extremely focused, unsmiling for the most part, almost mechanical in demeanor and movement.  In the words of Jack Nicklaus, the players are “…in the midst of 50,000 people, alone with their game.”

That’s why I enjoy going to practice rounds – that’s where I get to see the players as human beings, not just golf machines.   In practice rounds the players can loosen up to an extent that’s impossible when millions of dollars in prize money are on the line.  They smile, sign autographs, and joke with each other and with fans.

Practice rounds allow amateurs like me to observe the world’s best players hone their craft, too.  Often the pros put three, four, or even five balls in play on certain holes so they can test clubs, ball flight or swing techniques.  It’s amazing to watch these guys, even when they’re just taking it easy.

The televised tournaments may generate more drama, but practice rounds definitely generate more fun.  If you want to really enjoy a tournament, take in some practice rounds.  And by the way, if you do, bring a couple Stonehouse mini-prints with you – they’re perfect for autographs.

Stonehouse Helps The Open Celebrate Its 150th Anniversary

Saturday, 17 July, 2010

2010 marks the 150th anniversary of the Open Championship, and we’re extremely honored that an image from the Stonehouse Golf Collection has been selected to help recognize this important milestone:  A special Limited Edition gicleé of our “Rainbow” image of hole #17 on the Old Course will be signed by all of the players and hung in the St. Andrews clubhouse.

I personally oversaw the print’s production and numbering – 1 of only 125 editions – and I believe this is the first time a photographic image has been selected for this purpose, so I’m very grateful.  It’s the best of all possible scenarios for Stonehouse.  We’re here to create and preserve lasting memories of golf, and this image, with its panoramic view of the 17th green, Swilcan Bridge, the 18th “Tom Morris” tee and fairway, and the historic R&A clubhouse overarched by a delicate rainbow, is a fitting tribute to the game’s oldest and most revered Championship.

This week, as you watch the drama of the Open Championship unfold, you might give a thought to the fact that you’re seeing more than a golf tournament.  You’re witnessing the continuation of a historic tradition, a tradition in which the world’s most talented competitors have displayed their skills – a tradition now celebrated, in part, with the help of the Stonehouse Collection.

Best regards,

Patrick

About the blog

Creating images and products for the Stonehouse Collection involves more than just photographers aiming lenses. It’s a process that includes travel, weather, people, and yes, even food and restaurants. So we thought here we’d share some behind-the-scenes experiences and news that might be of interest to you, our valued friends and customers. We invite your response.

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