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Pre-Swing Fundamentals Part 3: Alignment


Golf Tips Todd Elliott Part 1 and 2 covered the grip and set-up position. Now, we move on to Part 3: alignment. This is the simplest fundamental of the four pre-swing fundamentals. Golfers can fix many problems by aiming a different direction. If a golfer always slices the ball to the right 30 yards, they will aim 30 yards left to get the ball to land at the target. This is a reasonable solution while playing golf. However, in the long run, aiming 30 yards left will lead to more problems. Golfers always tell me one thing: I want ... Read More »

Non-native Fishing Tourney Nets Invasives

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center hosted the weigh in for the fifth annual Everglades and Southwest Florida Chapters of CISMA (Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area) Non-Native Fish Round Up/Tournament. Participants caught 115 non-native fish, representing six species and totaling 80 pounds (36 kg). Most of the non-native fish collected were given to the Conservancy von Arx Wildlife Hospital to help feed rehabilitating native wildlife. For the official results of the roundup, visit The Everglades and Southwest Florida Chapters of CISMA hosted the Everglades Non-native Fish Round Up to raise public awareness about the potential negative impacts of releasing non-native fish ... Read More »

A closer look at the Marriott’s $1 Million Offer


By Noelle H. Lowery On June 2, the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort’s $150 million renovation plan cleared another hurdle when City Council approved the amendment to the hotel’s planned unit development and master plan by a vote of 4-2. Councilors Amadeo Petricca and Chuck Kiester voted against the measure, and Councilor Joe Batte was not in attendance. The second reading of the PUD amendment will be held Monday, June 16, at 5:30 PM, during the next regular City Council meeting. The approval came after nearly six hours of presentations, impassioned community responses, in-depth discussion and a surprise promise ... Read More »

The Four Pre-Swing Fundamentals: Part 1 of 4

Exhibit B. 3 most widely used ways to grip a golf= club. Left to right: 10 Finger, Over Lap, Inter Lock.

Golf Tips Todd Elliott The four pre-swing fundamentals of the golf swing are grip, stance, alignment and ball position. The pre-swing fundamentals are the most important elements to becoming a better golfer. There are a million different ways to swing the club and make the golf ball go towards the target, however correct pre-swing fundamentals are universal. Bad fundamentals lead to bad habits in the golf swing. I teach golfers who aim 30 yards right of their target. The student will hit the first shot 30 yards right of their target, turn to me and say, “See, I told ... Read More »

Stretton Makes All Area Team

(Left) Preston Reese, left, and Cole Stretton were named to the All-Area basketball team sponsored by NDN. Stretton made the first team and Preston was honorable mention. The two were stalwarts for the Manta Rays who recorded its first winning season and
won the Class 2A-District 10 title. (right) Cole Stretton dunks! With a little help from Marco Island Academy teammate Preston Reese, Stretton, a 6-footer dunks the ball. Stetton got on Reese’s shoulder to get up to rim and then Reese walked away! PHOTOS BY ROGER LALONDE

By Roger Lalonde If you watch Cole Stretton, no matter how much pressure comes from opponents on the basketball court, he seems to be in control. Even though a target the past season, Stretton, a sophomore, had enviable statistics. Plenty good enough to make the Naples Daily sponsored All-Area team. Preston Reese, a junior, was named honorable mention. High marks for two players in Class 2A, being judged along with players from schools like Naples, Lely, Community School and more. It marks the second straight year that a Manta Rays player was named to the team. A year ago, ... Read More »

Fishing the 10,000 Islands in May


FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps Spring is here, and one of my favorite months of fishing is among us. Mild weather patterns make May a perfect month to enjoy our local waters. It is typically a dry month with light winds. The water is warming up into the 80s, and the fish are on their annual migration from the back country waters into the near shore Gulf flats and island areas. Snook season was again open for a couple of months, but now closes on May 1 and will remain closed until September 1. The big “momma” snook ... Read More »

One Plane / Two Plane


Golf Tips Todd Elliott The Plane Truth for Golfers by Jim Hardy is one of the best books written about golf for the casual golfer and the PGA teaching professional. In the book, Hardy explains the one and two plane swing and what swing the golfer should use. Even though I not a method teacher nor am I a Jim Hardy disciple, I use the knowledge from The Plane Truth for Golfers to help students improve. One bit of knowledge I use is changing spine angle tilt at address and shoulder tilt on the backswing to match the arm ... Read More »

Southern Cross Over Marco

Facing Southeast, 10:30PM May 16. SUBMITTED PHOTO

SOUTHERN SKIES By Mike P. Usher Did you see the Lunar eclipse last month? We scored a reasonably cloud free night and everyone got at least a decent view. If you missed it, don’t worry. You will have another chance this coming October and twice more in 2015. A group of four consecutive lunar eclipses viewable from North America is modestly rare – the last time was in the 1990s. This time of year is the annual spot the Southern Cross challenge. What is needed is a good clear night and an unobstructed view of the southern horizon – ... Read More »

Going Mental


Golf Tips Todd Elliott This game will make you crazy. Golf has so much time in between shots — so much time to think about all the bad things that can happen. I compare it to shooting a free throw in basketball. Nothing to stop the free throw; all the time in the world to think about what could go wrong. Many times, a professional basketball player is a great scorer, but has a dreadful free throw shooting average. This player does well reacting to the defense and makes the plays with their athleticism. Put them at the free ... Read More »

Smokehouse Bay Bridge Out to Bid


By Noelle H. Lowery Smokehouse Bay Bridge is going back out to bid. The revised construction cost estimate has been tallied at a little more than $7.2 million, and includes a landscaping alternate and a lump sum utility cost. The bid package will be advertised on Feb. 23. City officials are cautiously optimistic about the new process. Marco Island has spent the last six years and more than $2 million trying to repair the deteriorating spans, concrete spalls and crumbling seawalls while also designing a replacement bridge that some have dubbed “the Taj Mahal of bridges.” The last bid ... Read More »

Prime Fishing Targets of the 10,000 Islands

Remember slot size for snook: 28-33 inches.

FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps Here in the Ten Thousand Islands, we target many different species of fish throughout the year. As the seasons change, so do our target species and methods of how and where we fish for them. Our top shallow water targets include snook, redfish, speckled trout and tarpon. In addition to these four, we catch snapper, sheepshead, shark, tripletail, pompano, permit, cobia, gag and red grouper, spanish mackerel, king mackerel, flounder, catfish, jack crevalle, ladyfish and a few others. Below is a very brief explanation of our top four targets. • Snook: There is ... Read More »

My friend won’t let me join the Board!


READ MY TIPS Doug Browne In the final analysis, I really wasn’t that disappointed when my good buddy did not select me to join the board as he brushed it off, telling me it was due to my lack of experience in the field. Let’s be frank; how could I be deemed an expert if I had limited knowledge in any given area. Which brings me to the salient point of the day. If you have a short shelf life in tennis and play at the 2.5, 3.0. 3.5 or 4.0 levels, please limit your advice to your tennis friends. ... Read More »

ACS Grantee Awarded Nobel Prize


Submitted We have exciting news to share about the American Cancer Society’s research program. One of our former ACS-funded scientists has won the 2013 Nobel Prize. This makes 47 former grantees that have won the most prestigious award in medical science. Below is the nationwide news release that describes the researchers’ work and the potential against cancer. The American Cancer Society has an unmatched record in the nonprofit arena for the number of funded researchers who have gone on to win the Nobel Prize. This fact speaks to the Society’s ability to both identify and support gifted investigators early in ... Read More »

Is your serving alignment up to par?


READ MY TIPS Doug Browne As long as I can remember, none of my coaches focused on my footwork on the baseline when I was serving. To me, this lack of detail is a little perplexing; a tweak here or a tweak there could alter the serve in a positive direction. Tennis is such a geometric game and the angles are so tight with little margin to hit the perfect target. Let’s take a look at a few different scenarios and analyze each one. The basic formation I was taught had me put my feet as close to the middle ... Read More »

Marco Island Academy: Hopping Hurdles, Learning Lessons


By Natalie Strom Marco Island Academy has reason to celebrate this school year. Since its inception in 2011, the charter high school will see its first set of senior students graduate. This major milestone has set in motion a series of gainful changes and is squashing some serious challenges. As MIA has aged, so has its grade level offerings. Three years ago, the school opened its doors to freshman and sophomores. The following year added juniors, and this year, finally the seniors. “Quite a few of our graduates have been here since the beginning,” beams MIA Board Chair Jane ... Read More »

Bob Brown to take Larry Magel’s council seat


By Noelle H. Lowery Bob Brown had quite a fan club at this week’s Marco Island City Council meeting. With Councilor Larry Sacher leading the way, Brown was named Larry Magel’s successor on the city council by a vote of 4-2. “In light of the significant issues before us now, we should fill this seat as quickly as possible. I would like to make a motion to appoint Bob Brown to replace Larry Magel on the council,” suggested Sacher. Councilor Amadeo Petricca quickly agreed: “I had it here on my notes to approve Robert C. Brown to the city ... Read More »

The Ancient Water-Bearer


SOUTHERN SKIES By Mike P. Usher In ancient Greek mythology Aquarius was the cup or water-bearer to the gods. He was a male lover to Zeus, (one of several) and was rewarded with both a place on Mount Olympus and in the sky. It’s not a bright constellation, yet it is not particularly difficult to pick out in the sky if you are looking in the right spot. Look above and a little to the left of Fomalhaut, which is the only bright star in this part of the sky. Aquarius sits astride the ecliptic which means planets continually ... Read More »

Have you ever video-taped your mind?


READ MY TIPS Doug Browne Due to Jak Beardworth’s efforts, we had at least 100 adults and juniors attending the mental toughness clinic and they were excited to learn from Dr. Jim Loehr. After all, Jim had been working with many leading pros on the ATP Tour and he gained a stellar reputation in the tennis industry. Jim came to the event well equipped: heart monitors, video cameras and target trainers. After a brief warm up, Jim instructed two juniors to play a few points. He had one of the volunteers set up the video. “Don’t film the action, ... Read More »

Swatting Skeets for 60 Years


By Natalie Strom It has been said that south Florida was the last great untamed wilderness; an area that was relatively unlivable until the era of the air conditioner and mosquito repellent. Summer residents know all too well the value of a window AC unit and, on the opposite end, the aggravation of a mosquito buzzing in one’s ear. In 1950, the Collier Mosquito Control District was created to monitor and study the often overwhelming populations that can drive the average person without any available DEET to the brink of insanity. For over 60 years, the CMCD has been ... Read More »

Friends of Tigertail Award Scholarships


by Barbara Parisi The Friends of Tigertail Beach Organization (FOT) awarded its Second Annual Summer Camp Scholarships. Ten Tommie Barfield Elementary students submitted essays on Southwest Florida’s ecology and natural resources to the FOT’s Scholarship Committee. The Committee selected two fourth grade winners, Alyssa Kirstein and Tyler Shute. The winning essays were shared with the FOT Board of Directors who found them to be on target and most delightful. Alyssa and Tyler will enjoy a full week-long scholarship to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s summer camp. The topic for the camp week, “Aquatic Explorations,” will center on studying the exploration ... Read More »