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As the calendar turns to April and the flowers start to bloom, golfers from all over the world begin to get excited for one of the most highly anticipated sporting events of the year, the Masters at Augusta National. 2020 saw the Masters be played back in November thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, but 2021 brings hope and excitement back to the Spring for the most prestigious tournament on the PGA schedule.

Beginning on Monday, April 5th, the players participating in the tournament will go through their practice rounds to gear up for the weekends event. This year, they will be able to go through 3 practice sessions from the 5th through the 7th as the famous Par 3 Contest has been cancelled for this year. The Par 3 Contest is traditionally held on the Wednesday before the tournament, but this year’s Wednesday will simply present another opportunity for the guys to get another practice round in.

More importantly though, we are excited to announce the menu that 2020 Masters Champion, Dustin Johnson has chosen for the Masters Club Dinner. This is one of the coolest traditions in sports as it is a dinner that is dedicated to previous Masters Champions and to celebrate the previous years champ. With Dustin Johnson winning last year’s tournament, he gets the honor of choosing what this celebrated group gets to eat. Here is what the Masters Champions will be eating on Tuesday, April 6th:

Appetizers

Pigs in a Blanket and Lobster & Corn Fritters

First Course

House or Caesar Salad

Family Style Sides

Mashed Potatoes & Spring Vegetables

Main Course

Filet Mignon & Miso-Marinated Sea Bass

Dessert

Peach Cobbler & Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream

Now that we have you excited for the tournament and your belly growling for this tasty menu, let’s look ahead at some of the favorites to win this year’s Masters. The golfer with the greatest odds to win this year is last year’s champion, Dustin Johnson at 8-1 odds. Following DJ is Bryson DeChambeau at 9-1, Jon Rahm at 11-1, Justin Thomas at 11-1, and Rory Mcilroy / Jordan Spieth at 14-1 to round out the top 5. To have some fun with the crew, I went ahead and asked who our staff thinks will win this years Masters and here is who everyone has chosen:

Britt– Bryson DeChambeau

Sam– Jordan Spieth

JRod– Bryson DeChambeau

Brandon (AKA Frank)– Tommy Fleetwood

Scott- Paul Casey

Anthony- Justin Thomas

Rock– Jordan Spieth

Bonnie– Sergio Garcia

Pappy Harry- Jordan Spieth

Barb– The guy with the lowest strokes

Austin– Xander Schauffele

To wrap things up, we also want to share with everyone that we will be hosting a tournament next weekend at the course through the 18 birdies app. It will be our first ever ACGC Virtual Masters Tournament! To enter the tournament, you simply have to download the 18 birdies app, hit play, tap on tournament, and enter code 5843. Then you just have to book your tee time and complete one 9 hole round between the 8th and 11th to compete in the event. Don’t forget to have the app open while you play so you can submit your official score! After finishing your round, feel free to stop in and grab a bite to eat at the Cafe as we are planning on offering several food & drink specials to honor the Masters tournament.

Happy Masters Week everyone!

-Austin Ebersole, Head Golf Professional at American Classic GC

One of the most unique aspects about golf is that it is a sport that you can play alone or with other players. Sometimes it’s nice to get out and play a round by yourself to work on your game or to find peace in nature, but most times it’s much more enjoyable to play with friends and even people you don’t know. Golf was created with the intent of playing in groups, so I want to dive in with you on why golf is more fun when playing with others.

  • Make New Friends

Whether you consider yourself a seasoned veteran on the course or you’re new to the area and game, golf is a great and easy way for you to meet new people. What’s awesome about this hobby is that you don’t have to be a good golfer to make a friend. There’s no doubt that one hopes to be paired up with someone who has a similar skill set, but in this instance, just being a nice person can lead to making a new friend.

 At the end of the day, golfing is meant to be fun and you truly never know who you will meet at your tee time. Life is about networking, and playing golf during peak times is a perfect opportunity to do so.

  • Never Ending Ways to Play

In basketball, you can play knockout or pig. With tennis, you can play doubles. For golf though, there’s endless ways to play and keep score. Of course there’s the traditional way of playing your own ball, but there’s several other types of formats that you can play to make your round more interesting. 

You can play a scramble where you and your partner always pick the best shot between the two or group, alternate shot where you rotate between strokes, “Skins” is a format where the player with the lowest score on the hole wins the hole (a tie would carry over to the next hole putting two skins on the line and so on) or even by way of a point system where instead of counting strokes, you award points. Example: 3 points for a birdie, 2 points for a par, 1 point for a bogey, and 0 for anything worse. There’s several other ways to play, but when playing with others the options are limitless.

  • It’s Good for the Soul

There’s no doubt that we all have those days where we just want to be left alone, but according to medical professionals, it’s healthier for us to socialize. Dr. Craig Sawchuk, a psychologist, says that “we are social animals by nature, so we tend to function better when we are in a community and being around others.”

Given the current state of our world, we are in the midst of some sad and depressing times. Even though we are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel, it’s very healthy for people to interact and socialize together. Of course we have to at a distance to keep everyone safe, but it’s important to keep our brains sharp and our hearts happy. If you are feeling alone and in need of some company, going to the golf course and playing a round with someone may be exactly what you need.

-Austin Ebersole, Head Golf Professional at American Classic GC

Have you often wondered about how you can make your lawn at home look like a golf course? Multiple times throughout the year, we are asked “What do you guys do to keep your grass looking so alive and green?” People see the beautiful bluish green colors and are amazed at how well the grass looks. With some proper care and grass knowledge, we are excited to share with you how to make your lawn look like the golf course.

The first step in having a beautiful lawn is to understand your soil and the climate you live in. Here in the Mid-Atlantic region, we have one of the toughest climates as it can get as hot as the south in the summertime, and as cold as the north in the winter. You can always pick different grasses that blend together and bloom when one goes dormant, but it’s important to choose when you want your grass looking the best. 

For most people, summer is when you want your lawn looking the prettiest as it is when you are able to enjoy it the most. Because of this, you should pick a grass that does well in warmer weather. Fescue, Rye, and Bermuda grasses are a few types that we have on the golf course, and they do well in different ways. The Fescue and Rye can sustain the summer months when properly watered and not cut too short, while the Bermuda doesn’t require much water at all, but only keeps it’s green colors in the hot summer months. If we were to suggest which grass to choose, we recommend going with a fescue and cutting it no shorter than 3 inches, and allowing it to grow a little longer in those scorching hot summer months of July and August.

After you understand your soil and climate, and choose the right grass type, it’s also important to have irrigation. When it’s not raining on a consistent basis, your grass needs to be watered to stay alive. The important thing to know when watering is that you don’t want to over water because the sitting water can cook the grass in the middle of the day, and that you should try to avoid watering overnight as that becomes the time when fungus and other diseases thrive. We suggest watering early in the morning for the sun to help dry up the excess water, and occasionally watering throughout the day to help keep the grass cool. When you see us watering on the course in the middle of the day, it’s not to grow the grass, but to keep it cool and prevent it from burning up.

If you want to have a beautiful lawn, not as much work and effort is required as you would think. Understand your soil and get it aerated every now and then to allow oxygen to get to the roots, and choose your desired grass type and water it correctly. If you do this process in the Fall and overseed again in the Spring, you will be very happy with the results.

Knowing this information will help turn your yard around in no time, and you’ll be able to take those practice swings you’ve always wanted. . . at least until you take that first divot and cry a little inside after all your hard work and money gets chopped up. We can tell you that in this moment, you will finally know how it feels to work on the grounds crew at the golf course. Enjoy your grass though, and let your neighbors be jealous of how beautiful it is. 

-Austin Ebersole, Head Golf Professional at American Classic Golf Club

One of the hardest things to do from time to time is to find something that you and your significant other can do in your spare time together. We all love to sit on the couch and binge watch our favorite tv shows and movies together, but have you thought about ways to get outside and be active? Of course there’s taking long walks, going on a hike, taking a bike ride, and other types of great ways to enjoy the outdoors, but have you thought about playing golf together? Believe it or not, but golf can be one of the best ways for you to spend your time together!

For those of us who consider ourselves to be golfers, we know that golf is a lot like everyday life. You have your good days and your bad days, as well as your remarkable shots and the strokes that got away. This can be seen exactly like life though, and be a great way for you and your partner to grow together. You’ll be there to support each other when the ball doesn’t fly as you wanted, but also be there to celebrate those shots that keep you coming back. It’s a great way to bond through the ups and downs of a round, but also to have someone to lean on through every round played together.

As mentioned before, golf is a great way for you both to get exercise and vitamin D. If the Doc is recommending that we all get 10,000 steps per day, then why not have some fun while getting your steps in? Walking 9 holes at the Classic can get you anywhere from 5,000 to 6,500 steps depending on where your shots are going. So the next time you miss the fairway, just remind yourself that it doesn’t hurt to get a few extra steps in. It’s always good to see the glass as half full!

Overall though, golf can be as fun as you allow it to be. When you look back on the earlier days of your relationship and think about all of the fun times you had together, playing golf with one another can bring back those same feelings again. You’ll be able to challenge each other, support one another, and laugh when the other messes up and says their favorite swear word. The fact that golf can help you reminisce on the “good old days,” as well as create new memories together, makes it a great way to spend time with your loved one.

-Austin Ebersole, Head Golf Professional at American Classic Golf Club

The game of golf is continuing to grow and the industry as a whole is booming. According to golf.com, 441 million rounds of golf were played in 2019.  In 2020, golf has continued to grow despite the pandemic.  Golf courses feature an outdoor, open area which allows for social distancing, making golf a safe activity.  Golf proved to be a great way to safely get outside and enjoy some fresh air.  In general, golf is also a fantastic source of exercise and has many health benefits.  The last few weeks in our blogs, we talked about how golf is a great social activity enjoyed amongst friends and family.  While many new players began playing in 2020, many others wanted to, but did not know where to start.  It can be overwhelming getting into golf for those who have never played before, and it can be especially difficult knowing what clubs to purchase and what is all needed to play.  In this blog, we will discuss golf club basics, and talk about what clubs you will need to get started.   Hopefully, you will have a better understanding of golf clubs after reading this, and will be one step closer to getting out to the course!

 Golf clubs include: woods/hybrids, irons/wedges and putters. While the rules of golf allow you to carry up to 14 clubs in your bag, you do not necessarily need to have that many clubs to start. I recommend getting a driver and some other woods, a few irons, and a putter when you are first starting out.  The driver is considered a wood, and woods feature a large head and less loft.  The less loft on a club, the further the ball will go, so woods are more effective on longer shots.  Drivers feature the biggest head and the least amount of loft. They should only be used on your first shot of the hole with the ball on a tee.  The other woods, including a 3-wood or a 5-wood, can be effectively used off the fairway when longer shots are needed to reach the green. The irons are numbered, and a good starting set of clubs can include a 6iron, 7iron, 8iron, and 9iron.  In general, a 9iron features about 41 degrees of loft, while a 6iron features 30 degrees of loft.  The less loft on a club will make the ball travel further, so hypothetically a 6iron will go further than a 9iron. In addition to that, it can be good to get an iron that has a “P” or an “S” on it instead of a number.  These clubs are called wedges and feature even more loft than the other irons. The Pitching and Sand wedges can be effective for shorter and higher shots, and are very beneficial around the greens.

You certainly do not need to spend hundreds of dollars (or even thousands) to get started.  Golf companies sell individual clubs, but many golf club makers also sell very affordable clubs in full sets. I recommend buying a new or used full set of golf clubs.  There are many full starter sets available online that are affordable and perfect to start out with. Full sets will typically include a driver, 3 wood, 5 wood, 6-9irons, a pitching wedge, and a putter.  This starter set only features 9 clubs, and since you can carry 14 clubs in your bag this can also give you the option to purchase additional wedges or hybrids if you are enjoying the game and want to expand your bag.  These starter sets can cost anywhere from $75-$500, so this is an affordable and easy way to get started.  

-Sam Cresta, Assistant Golf Professional at American Classic Golf Club

For those of you looking for some inspiration to get into the game of golf, or just looking for an excuse to play more golf, here is a blog for you. There are many benefits of playing the game of golf, and hopefully you may be inspired by this post to get out there and play. 

Last week, we discussed why you should play 9, and talked about how golf is a great social event that can be enjoyed amongst friends and family. In my opinion, that is the greatest aspect of the game of golf and is one of the many reasons it is so great.  Golf can be enjoyed at any age, and it is one of the few sports in which you can play with people of varying ages, so that is a huge benefit to me.  In my life, I am still able to play and compete with my father in golf. While he is as healthy as most people in their 60s, let’s just say we are not getting out and running up and down the basketball court on the weekends.  This is why I feel that one of the biggest benefits of getting into the game of golf is because it is one of the only sports you can play for your entire life, and it’s a fun social activity which can be enjoyed for a lifetime.  

On top of being able to play golf for your entire life, it is also a great source of exercise!  Walking on the golf course is a great way to get your steps in and stay active and is great for you.  Many golf courses are on beautiful pieces of land surrounded by nature, so a round of golf can be a relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors and stay active.  Even if you choose to ride in a golf cart, you are still getting great exercise in!  The golf swing itself is also good for you, and you will also take many steps in between shots and throughout your round.  For those of you looking for a creative way to exercise and stay in shape, pick up the game of golf!  This can also have many positive effects on your mental health and wellbeing, as you are constantly using your brain to strategize and plan your next shots.

Another benefit of playing golf is meeting new friends to play golf with. In many cases, golf courses will need to pair people up to fit the scheduling needs of the course.  This can be especially beneficial for those looking to meet new people and find golfing partners.  If you are someone looking to meet new people, playing golf is a great way to do it.  And what is great about golf is the fact that anyone can play together regardless of skill level or age, so regardless of who you get paired with at the course it can always be enjoyable. 

Between the fun social atmosphere and health benefits of golf, there is definitely incentive to give it a try.  Golf also allows for social distancing and can be played safely even during a pandemic. If you were looking for one final reason to get out onto the golf course, a study highlighted by heart.org explains that golfers are likely to live longer than non-golfers.   So, the next time a non-golfer friend questions why you have been at the course all day, share this blog with them and consider inviting them out onto the course!

-Sam Cresta, Assistant Golf Professional at American Classic GC

As our lives continue to become more and more busy, many of us find ourselves moving away from the game of golf.  Work schedules, family commitments, and other activities constantly keep us busy, and often times it can be difficult finding time to get out and golf.  Golf is very commonly associated with 18-hole rounds, and while most golf courses do offer 9-hole options, most golf groups and golfers will choose to play 18 and dedicate an entire day or afternoon to their round.  I love doing that with my friends and family, and I think days like that are a big reason golf is so great.  I thoroughly enjoy these golf days, playing 18-holes alongside friends and family for hours, and I always look to get my golfing groups together when I can.  Playing golf with your companions is a fun social activity and is arguably the greatest thing about golf.  Unfortunately, as my life and the lives of my friends and family continue to get busier and busier, it can be extremely difficult to find 4-5 hours where we are all available.  Because of that, playing 9 holes can be an amazing alternative. 

One of the biggest benefits of 9-hole rounds is the time factor. 9 holes can be quickly played in less than two hours.  This means that you can squeeze in a late twilight round with your friends after work or get in 9 holes in the morning before your workday starts.  A quick 9-hole round with your buddies can replace meeting at a bar or restaurant after work. Getting a full 18 holes in is not feasible in this scenario but playing 9 can be a fantastic alternative.  For those working 9-5 type jobs, an after work 9-hole round can be an amazing activity. I think many busy golfers do not think of playing 9, and a common misconception is that golf has to be played in 18-hole rounds, or 9 holes is not an “official” round.  9-hole rounds are legitimate, and the USGA’s Golf Handicap Information Network (GHIN) allows you to post 9-hole scores to maintain your handicap index.  Because of this misconception, many golfers likely miss out on potential golf outings.

This can also greatly benefit early risers, who are able to squeeze in 9 holes before work in the morning. Many of us do not have 4-5 hours to spare in the morning before they start their days, but 9 holes is achievable. I believe this can also be a great alternative for those who like to walk in the morning to start their day. Walking 9 holes can be done under 2 hours, and you will likely get 1-3 miles in. For those who love golf, early morning 9-hole rounds can be a fantastic way to start your day. 9-hole rounds are also perfect for beginner golfers and children. As a beginner, it can be frustrating (and not fun) suffering through an 18 holes. In many cases, it can be beneficial to start with 9 holes when you are learning, and progress from there. For parents who are looking to get their children involved with golf, 9-hole rounds are the perfect place to start.

So, whether you are a beginner looking to get into the game, or an experienced golfer, 9-hole rounds can be very beneficial and fun.  Hopefully, this blog post inspires you to re-think the common misconception that golf always has to be played in 18-hole increments. After all, golf is all about fun and the social interactions with those close to you, so 9-holes are a perfect way to cater to our busy schedules.  Want to capture the magic of golfing with your friends and family? Play 9 holes!

 – Sam Cresta, Assistant Golf Professional at American Classic GC

Want to play 9 holes? Book a tee time here to play at the 2020 9-hole course of the year: BOOK NOW

We had 4 successful golf leagues this season, here is a recap of how they finished up.

Tuesday Morning Men’s League– 2018 was a fun season here at the American Classic for the guys. We had a plethora of teams battling all season long at the top of the standings, but it was The Wags (pictured to the left) who came out on top when all was said and done. Larry Anderson (Right) and Jim Wagamon (Left) are your 2018 champions defeating Bob Ruberto and Mike Sala who were trying to defend their crown. It is sad knowing that the season has come and gone, but 2019 will certainly be another great year for this group.

 

Wednesday Evening Men’s League– Dan Herring and Barry Nelson were able to put together a season to remember. After finishing the regular season undefeated, they were able to roll through the playoffs as well. Now with a big target on their back heading into next season, it will be fun to see if they can do it all over again in 2019. We want to thank this group of gentleman for a great

 year, and we look forward to seeing you in the spring.

 

Thursday Evening Women’s League– The Camp Rehoboth ladies certainly know how to have some fun. Beginning in April and ending in September, we looked forward to hosting this group on Thursday evenings. They play fun formats like Capture the Flag, and stay afterwards for some drinks and grub from the Classic Rock Cafe. We hope that you ladies had as much fun this season as we had.

Friday Morning Women’s League– They say it is tough in sports to win back-to-back championships, but The Diehards (pictured right) were able to accomplish this task. Congratulations to Tammy Findlay(Left) and Nancy Trainor(Right) as the victors of the 2018 ACGC Women’s League. As we look ahead to the 2019 season, we are excited to have this group of ladies back. Kicking off every summer weekend with this group is a lot of fun, and we honestly wouldn’t want it any other way. Thank you for a wonderful year ladies!

 

 

 

 

Thanks again to all of our league players!

-Austin Ebersole, Golf Professional