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You have to have a valid membership to attend this event

You have to have a valid membership to attend this event

Birdies, Eagles, Twitter and Tweets

April 13, 2009

By Matt Hombach

A group of local courses are the first in the area to reach out to golfers via the burgeoning social networking site Twitter.

Atlantic Golf includes the River Course at Queenstown Harbor.
(Courtesy of Atlantic Golf)

For the uninitiated, Twitter is a Web-based "micro-blogging" service that allows individuals and entities to share their thoughts, ideas and insights with the rest of the world via 140-character messages called "Tweets."

The Web site,, has become wildly popular in recent months, with Fortune 500 companies, savvy small businesses and even the President of the United States jumping on board to regularly post messages and monitor the wide-ranging discussions on the site.

Atlantic Golf, which includes Queenstown Harbor, Potomac Ridge and South River, plans to use Twitter as another way to share information with area links enthusiasts.

"There were multiple reasons behind launching the Twitter page," said Melissa Franko, director of marketing for The Brick Companies, which owns and operates the three courses. "For one, it is an inexpensive way to market the courses. We also are hoping to reach younger golfers, create a sense of community amongst our customers and keep people updated on what's happening at our courses."

Atlantic Golf will alert golfers via Twitter about rate changes, available tee times and special discounts. They also link to fun and interesting golf articles, tips and even online videos.

Trick Shot Contest

One of Atlantic's initial offerings promoted through Twitter is a trick shot video contest.

"It can be you and your buddies performing a shot, or your kid trying something fun," said Franko.

The top videos will be posted online at and voted on by visitors. Prizes include a free foursome at each of Atlantic Golf's three courses.

There are no restrictions on what type of shot you submit, as long as it is an original and not a video produced by someone else.

Videos can be submitted in person at any of the courses or via e-mail at

Free Lessons in May

For golfers looking for a quick tune-up of their game, a number of area pros are taking part in the PGA of America's Free Lesson Month in May. Participating pros offer free 10-minute lessons throughout the month.

Mark Paolini of Clifton Park Golf Course gives away several lessons each year but is surprised more golfers don't take advantage of the program.

"I usually have a few golfers come to me in May for free lessons," he said. "It's usually golfers with some experience who are looking to work on a specific part of their game, like hitting it farther or to being more consistent with their ball striking."

Obviously, a 10-minute lesson is not going to transform your game. For those interested in making some improvements this season, Paolini recommends a series of lessons to jump-start their games.

First Swing Program

Clifton Park will also be offering the PGA of America's First Swing Program in May. The program is geared toward adults interested in learning the sport.

First Swing offers a curriculum that focuses on the basics of the swing, short game, rules and etiquette.

The program kicks off May 11 at 6 p.m. and runs for five consecutive Mondays into early June. Each session lasts about two hours. There will also be a Thursday session starting the same week.

The final session features a Graduation Scramble Tournament.

For more on the First Swing program or to register, visit
Issue 136: April 2009