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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Find the latest Tri-State Golfer at Philadelphia Golf and Travel Show

   Got a chance to run out to the opening day of the Philadelphia Golf and Travel Show Friday at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, just off Route 422 a little west of King of Prussia.
   My first order of business was the pick up some copies of the latest issue of Tri-State Golfer, which I had a little bit of a hand in.
   I have a college spotlight story on the Temple golf program. When Brian Quinn isn’t running his BQ Golf Academy, with locations in Conshohocken and Florida, or giving lessons to some of the best amateur players in the Philadelphia area, he is the Owls’ head coach.
   From 2011 to 2015, the Philadelphia Open champion wore Cherry and White as Andrew Mason went back-to-back in 2011 and 2012, 2010 PIAA champion Brandon Matthews took the title in 2013 and 2015 and Matthew Teesdale, now an assistant to Quinn at Temple, won it in 2014. The Philadelphia Open is a tough field with the top Golf Association of Philadelphia players and Philadelphia Section PGA pros teeing it up each summer.
   Quinn’s young roster features a couple of Central League standouts of recent vintage, redshirt freshman Erik Reisner, a two-time Central champion at Harriton, and sophomore Sam Soeth, who starred at Marple Newtown. I talked to Reisner and Quinn about the Owls’ strong start in the fall portion of the 2016-2017 season and their prospects for the spring portion of the schedule that lies ahead and my report appears in the latest Tri-State Golfer.
   I also have a cover story on the big plans Brian Lutz has for Landis Creek Golf Club, the old Limerick Golf Club, in 2017. Brian and his wife Jean have a thriving operation between the golf course, the Creekside Sports Bar & Grille and their banquet and catering operation at the Loft.
   Brian Lutz and his head pro Jason Hilz want the game to be fun and that’s always their focus, whether it’s their annual Bratweiler Memorial, their 8-Inch Cup event or programs designed to get youngsters started playing the game.
   I also paid another visit to Andrew DeCordre and Anthony Guidici, the general manager and director of instruction, respectively, at GolfUSA just up the road from Landis Creek on Ridge Pike in Limerick. Their passion for the game is evident in their one-stop golf shop for equipment, club fitting and instruction.
   Joe Burkhardt, my boss at Tri-State Golfer, is situated in the 400 row at the Golf Show between the Gilbertsville Golf Club and Spring Hollow Golf Club tables and he’s armed with plenty of issues of his latest edition.
   Also stopped by for a visit with an old colleague, Tony Leodora, whose wide-ranging little golf media empire includes his TL Golf Services, his GolfTalk Live radio program and The Traveling Golfer TV program that appears on Comcast SportsNet and The Comcast Network.
   Leodora and I go back to his days as the sports editor at the Times Herald in Norristown while I was the sports editor of The Mercury in Pottstown. His TL Golf Services helped Llanerch Country Club stage a 50th anniversary celebration of the PGA Championship at the underrated Havertown layout in 2008. Tony also contributed to what was probably the highlight of my 20 years at the Delaware County Daily Times, a special section previewing the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion.
   Leodora and his producer, Eddie Caizzo, were preparing to tape this week’s GolfTalk Live program, which was scheduled to air Saturday morning at its home base, WNTP 990-AM. It also airs at other stations in South Jersey and you can pick it up any time on GolfTalk Live’s website, golftalklive.net.
   Among this week’s featured guests is Geoffrey Surrette, the executive director of the Philadelphia Section PGA. Some of the Philadelphia Section pros will be presenting mini-seminars and lessons at the Golf Show all weekend.
   The GolfTalk Live booth will be featuring prizes all weekend, so it’s certainly worth a stop.
   While I was there Friday, the latest edition of The Traveling Golfer was playing. The show airs on Comcast SportsNet Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. and on The Comcast Network Monday at 6 p.m. and Thursday at 6 p.m. If you’re more digitally inclined, a visit to golftalklive.net can link you to The Traveling Golfer, where you can find Leodora’s latest golf travels. His trip to the Gulf Coast and Biloxi, Miss. will air throughout January.
   If you’ve been a regular at the Golf Show and it feels a little early to you that’s because it is. It moved up from its traditional mid-February dates. But there’s never really a bad time to get a little winter golf fix and there’s a lot going on, everything from equipment to representatives from some of the top golf destinations ready to sign you up for that preseason junket.
   The show continues Saturday and Sunday. And just a reminder, the NFL moved that early Steelers-Chiefs game Sunday back to prime time from its original 1 p.m. start because of an ice storm that’s hitting the middle of the country (lucky them). So no early NFL playoff game coincides nicely with the final hours of the Golf Show.

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