Posts tagged with "golf course"

Kaelen Felix illustrates Ritchie Torres for 360 Magazine

TRAILBLAZER: CONGRESSMAN RITCHIE TORRES

By Elle Grant

January 3rd marked the commencement of the 117th Congress and the swearing of its newest members. For many, it marked the beginning of a new dawn. One that will be followed by the inauguration of TIME’s People of the Year, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. They will replace President Trump on Inauguration Day on January 20th. Yet several other remarkable individuals were elected this year and sworn in a bit earlier, solidifying the 117th Congress as the most diverse in American history. One of these representatives is a freshly elected Ritchie Torres, a 32-year-old politician serving the 15th congressional district in the Bronx, New York. Torres is the first openly gay Afro-Latino man elected to Congress, and one of two gay Black men that will serve in the 117th Congress, a distinction he shares with fellow New Yorker Mondaire Jones. 360 Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with Torres to discuss the story of his life, the issues he considers vital, as well as pick his brain for his thoughts on current events.

“I am a product of the Bronx,” Torres says of his childhood, “I spent most of my life in poverty.” Ritchie Torres was raised by a single mother, one of three children, in the Throggs Neck neighborhood of the East Bronx. He recalls the difficulty his mother had raising a family on minimum wage in the 1990s, as well as the awful conditions of the public housing he grew up in. Torres recollects these experiences with the soft yet fluid countenance that marked his speech throughout 360’s conversation with him. He floats between topics and memories with ease.

He recalls, with a rich sense of irony, the construction of Trump Golf Links as a child. “My life is something of a metaphor. I grew up right across the street of what became Trump golf course and actually something funny, is when the golf course was undergoing construction, it unleashed a skunk infestation. So, I often tell people I’ve been smelling the stench of Donald Trump long before he became President.” His own situation, compared with the government subsidized construction of the Trump Golf Links, deeply unsettled Torres’ image of society. He says collectively of his youth, “Those experiences shape not only who I am as a person, but as a public official.”

Such injustices prompted Torres to seek to become “The change that you wish the see in the world,” he says, quoting Mahatma Gandhi. He named public figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Ted Kennedy as role models. He got his start as a housing organizer and eventually took the leap of faith to run for public office, becoming New York’s youngest elected city official at age 25. He had “No ties to the machine. No ties to the dynasties of Bronx politics, but I was young and energetic. I knocked on thousands of doors,” he claims that kind of face-to-face contact won him that election. Torres then became the first LGBTQ+ official elected from the Bronx.

“I think it has several implications,” he says when asked what this early accomplishment meant to him. “I mean, first, we are all products of our identities and our lived experiences. Right? Who we are as people shapes what we do as policy makers. It is important to have LGBTQ policy makers in the room where decisions are being made. A wise person once said, ‘If you don’t have a seat at the table, then you are probably on the menu.’” Referring to his 2020 election win, he says “My election means that LGBTQ people of color, in particular, will have a seat at one of the most powerful tables, the United States Congress.” He calls the reality of his election both empowering and normalizing. “I am a symbol of possibility.”

“I met Mondaire for the first time four years ago,” Torres says of Mondaire Jones, U.S. representative of New York’s 17th congressional district. “I remember when I met him for the first time, we had a conversation about the lack of LGBTQ representation of color in New York state politics. And I never imagined that four years later, he and I would become the first openly LGBTQ Black members of United States Congress.”

Congressmen Torres recognizes that his path, though marked with accomplishments, has not been one of only highs. Torres stands apart as a public official on the national stage who is open about the lows of his life and his struggles with mental health. When asked why he chooses to be so transparent, he says “I felt a deep sense of obligation to speak openly about my own struggles with depression in order to break the silence and shame and stigma that surrounds mental health.” He seeks to evolve, not perpetuate, the current ideas surrounding mental health. He hopes to show that “there is a way forward” out of difficult moments, which for him were struggles with substance abuse, the loss of a friend, and moments when he considered taking his own life. But seven years later, Torres was elected to city council. “I would not be alive today, much less a member of the United States Congress, were it not for mental health care which saved my life.” He aspires to send a message that “Recovery is possible. You can take an antidepressant, as I do every day, and find normalcy and stability” and achieve feats like being elected to Congress.

The 117th Congress is slated to be the most diverse in history. Torres says of this reality, “I think American is increasingly becoming a multi-racial, multi-ethnic inclusive democracy. We are witnessing the collapse of politics as an old voice network. I am part of a new generation of young leaders every bit as diverse as America itself. Congress is becoming what it always should have been, a miniaturization of America itself.”

Torres acknowledges the year 2020, monumental in many ways, as harrowing for his Bronx community. “COVID-19 has been a catastrophe for the city and the country, and the South Bronx has been the epicenter of COVID-19. The South Bronx had the highest rate of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality during the peak of the pandemic. And just as destructive as COVID-19 itself were the deeper inequalities that were brought to light.” He argued that the coronavirus exposed the deeper health inequalities, racial inequalities, and class inequalities laid bare by the pandemic.

These issues are at the forefront of Torres’ mind in thinking of his work as a legislator. When asked what he saw as the first step to rectifying the rampant racial injustice in the United States, he answered “the first thing is to bring greater accountability to policing in America,” an argument familiar to many Americans following the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd and their ensuing protests. As the Black Lives Matter movement swept the nation with greater momentum than ever before, cries for justice and defunding the police became common across the country’s cities. “Where there is no accountability, there will never be an end to police brutality” Torres says, being especially critical of qualified immunity in the United States.

Torres heads to Congress as a man with a mission regarding many issues. He himself declares “My great passion is affordable housing,” reflecting a long journey working continually in the housing sphere. He seeks to secure far greater funding for public housing in New York City and to expand the Section 8 program. The Section 8 program, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher program, created by an act in 1978, provides assistance to eligible low- and moderate-income families to rent housing in the private market. Torres says, “For me the surest way to stimulate the economy is to put money in the pockets of struggling families.” In order to do that, he believes the solution is an expanded child tax credit, which he describes as the single largest tax expenditure in America, yet he finds fault with a system that is “so regressive that it excludes a third of American families. Particularly the poorest families in America.” Torres’ passion shines through when he discusses the subject, detailing how this solution could slash childhood poverty by 40% in the span of the year. He calls its potential an absolute “game changer.”

Without question, affordable housing and tax reform are the first issues Torres hopes to address after being sworn in to the 117th Congress on January 3rd, 2020. “For me, the central mission of my life is to fight poverty in America. Racially constructed poverty in America. The South Bronx is said to be the poorest district in America and if we can make progressive policies work in the South Bronx, we can make them work anywhere.”

360 Magazine also had the opportunity to discuss a variety of current issues with Congressman Torres, one of which being the then impending Senate run-offs in Georgia. Following races too close to call in November 2020, Republican incumbent David Perdue is facing a challenge from Democrat Jon Ossoff. Additionally, GOP appointee Kelly Loeffler is defending her seat against Democrat Reverend Raphael Warnock. The election is vital because it will determine which party will control the Senate. “The stakes are supremely important,” Torres says of Georgia. “As long as Mitch McConnell refuses to bring critical bills to the floor for a vote, there is a limit to what we can accomplish. For me, Mitch McConnell is the single greatest obstruction on the path to progress. Winning those two seats in Georgia are essential.”

Regarding the impending mayoral race in his home of New York City, as well as early polls that display former Presidential candidate Andrew Yang as the frontrunner, Torres is coy. “The mayor’s race is wide open. Anyone who claims to have it figured out is lying.” He goes on to affirm “It is full of more than one credible candidate.”

“To be clear, I never announced that I wasn’t going to be in the squad.” Torres says, referring to ‘The Squad’ of United States Congress, composed of Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a fellow New Yorker, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib. With new young progressive politicians like Torres joining the fray, claims of expanding membership are common. Torres, along with the aforementioned Mondaire Jones, as well as Congresswoman Cori Bush, Congresswoman Marie Newman, and Congressman Jamaal Brown are commonly referred to as impending members.

Instead, Torres clarifies, “I would never issue an announcement that I would not be a part of something. That would be an odd thing to do. Whenever I’m asked about the squad, I simply state that I’m my own person and I prefer to be judged on the basis of my own story and my own record, on my own terms.” He goes on to assert he is willing to work with “anyone and everyone in the service of delivering to the people of the South Bronx. That is my highest priority.” Torres is clear in this declaration that he is willing to work with more conservative members of his own party or the Republican party in hopes of progress.

On a future in politics, Torres affirmed his intent to serve the people in the moment and to “let the dice fall where they may” regarding the future. When asked what wisdom he would impart to a younger generation, Congressman Torres says “We are all only as strong as the support we have in our lives and be grateful for the supporters you have. The friends and family. I would not be here today if not for the friendship of people who believed in me more than I believed in myself. Know who those people are and value them and be grateful for them.”

Update as of 1/14/21, Congressman Ritchie Torres has formally endorsed former presidential candidate Andrew Yang for mayor of New York City. This comes just a day after Andrew Yang announced his campaign in a video titled ‘Why I’m Running,’ which features Torres in it.

Fashion statements from The Players: How to wear pink on the golf course

Forget blending in. 2019 is all about standing out, and what better way to achieve this than with a bold colour like pink. Many people shy away from the shade because they think it’s hard to wear, but if you look at the golfing fashion highlights of 2018, many of them involved a pop of pink. Whatever you call it, either salmon, rose, blush or coral, there’s no denying that wearing pink is a challenge. If you’re up for the challenge, make sure you follow these style rules from the pros to avoid looking out of place on the green.

What better place to look for pink-spiration than the final day of the 2018 Players Championship. On this day, the players compete in an unofficial “pink out” to raise awareness for breast cancer charities. As a partner of The Donna Foundation, this offers the perfect opportunity for the players to show off their favourite pink threads. And it’s also the perfect opportunity for us to pick up some style tips. So, without further ado, here are six different ways to make pink work for you on the golf course in 2019.

The bold polo

Webb Simpson offered the perfect example of pink done right when he wore the FootJoy Stretch Pique golf shirt in berry. This bold choice was paired with a muted pair of khakis to avoid looking over the top. One thing that golfers should be aware of when choosing their shirt is the risk of creases. Since bright colours tend to accentuate creases, it’s important to reach for highly technical and anti-wrinkle fabrics if you are opting for a bold bright colour like this berry hue. Luckily for Simpson, he did just this and looked sharp for his victory.

The muted hues

Wearing pink doesn’t have to be a brash choice. If you’re not excited about making a brash statement, opt for a pale pink. At the 2018 PGA tour, we saw Xander Schauffele use this styling choice to create a sleek and professional look. Having an athletic build means that he can get away with more than most, but he certainly hit a hole in one with this fashion choice. If you’re planning to wear a light pink striped polo similar to Schauffele, pair it with a light grey pair of pants.

Verging on red

If you’re looking for a low-risk choice on the golf course, opt for a hue that could almost be considered red. Jordan Spieth tried this look at the 2018 PGA tour and the result was magnificent. His Under Armour UA Playoff golf shirt featured thick pink stripes which gave the shirt an almost pomegranate red look. However, if you look at the detailing around the collar and on the buttons, you’ll see a much brighter shade of blush. The safest colour to pair with pink is grey, and Spieth managed this with ease.

Preppy trousers

Perhaps the boldest look on the golf course is pink pants. These can range from baby pink to bright magenta. The only rule you need to follow is that you wear them with confidence. These pink PUMA golf pants are the perfect choice for summer and create an effortlessly preppy look. Choose a brighter colour if you don’t want people wondering if you accidentally washed your white trousers with your favourite red shirt.

Accessorise with pink

If you aren’t ready for a pink golf shirt then you probably aren’t ready for pink golf pants either. Not to worry, as there are ways to accessorise with pink accents. This look is modern and stylish without being too outlandish. If you play at a more conservative golf club and are worried about ruffling feathers, then this is the way to go. At the 2018 PGA tour, Bryson DeChambeau showed us how it is done with this PUMA Ignite Pwradapt Golf Shoes. These feature a distinctive pink heel and a pink logo. DeChambeau’s were also customised with the word “mom” and a bright pink heart. There’s no need to go this far, but we’re sure your mum will appreciate the thought.

Pink fail

Continuing with the pink trend and tributes to his mother, DeChambeau also toted a distinctive bright pink Cobra golf bag for the day. Similarly emblazoned with the “mom” motif, it was a nice sentiment, but not one that we would suggest you try to follow. With the selection of pink golf bags available, it’s going to be hard to pull it off without looking like you just picked up the wrong golf bag in the clubhouse. If you really want to try the pink trend on the golf course, you’re far better off with accents of pink rather than overhauling your core items in a shocking hue.

In summary, there are plenty of ways to wear pink on the golf course, and we expect it to be a very popular shade in 2019. Just make sure you wear it with intention, or you could end up looking like you accidentally turned your favourite white polo pink in the wash.

VENICE’S SAN CLEMENTE PALACE KEMPINSKI REOPENS FOR ITS 2019 SEASON

San Clemente Palace Kempinski, the Venetian luxury resort uniquely located on its own private island eight minutes away from St. Mark’s Square, will open for its fourth season on March 20, 2019.

Just minutes from the bustle of Venice and set among a centuries-old park, antique courtyards and monastery buildings, the 190-room resort has its own pitch & putt golf course, a tennis court, spa, heated outdoor pool and outdoor jogging trails, as well as a kids’ club for younger guests. Last year, the resort unveiled Al Bacaro, an outdoor lounge serving cichetti (Venetian tapas) and cocktails, overlooking the Venetian lagoon and skyline.

Throughout the 2019 season, San Clemente Palace will offer a number of unique offerings for Easter, Spring Break, the Venice Biennale and beyond. During Easter weekend, the resort will offer a special “Kids Stay for Free” package, along with celebratory chocolate egg-decorating workshops and Easter Brunch for the whole family. To commemorate the 58th Venice Biennale, from May 11 through November 4, 2019, San Clemente Palace will also offer a special dedicated package, including exclusive tickets to the Biennale.

San Clemente Palace is also poised to become a true foodie destination this year, as the resort will welcome four top Michelin-starred guest chefs to cook alongside Executive Chef Giorgio Schifferegger for a special event called “Cena a Quattro Mani” (“Four-Hands Dinner”). San Clemente Palace will also be home to a number of other special F&B events, including a Wine & Beer pairing menu with local craft beer and wine, and a pizza-tasting event welcoming Pizza World Champion Gianni Calaon.

In honor of the resort’s opening, San Clemente Palace is offering a discount of up to 40% on all suites for stays between March 20 and April 30, 2019.

For more information about the San Clemente Palace Kempinski, please visit

http://www.kempinski.com/en/venice/san-clemente-palace-kempinski/special-offers/.

Matt Kuchar Wins #8

Bridgestone Golf star Matt Kuchar kicked off his new season with a ‘working vacation’ he’ll never forget. Having recently been fit into the lower spinning TOUR B X ball and new JGR Driver, Kuchar proved the new combination to be a winning one, taking the title at the 2018 Mayakoba Golf Classic. The win south of the border was Kuchar’s first since 2014 and the eighth of his career.

Kuchar said about the win and about Bridgestone, “That Bridgestone ball is really something. How many wins is that for the TOUR B family in the last few months? Thanks to Bridgestone for being in my corner. I am excited to get back to the Tournament of Champions in a few weeks.”

For more on the Bridgestone Golf Balls Tour Series, click here.

Golf, apple Perez, 360MAGAZINE, sport

The most unique golf courses in the world

Golf is no longer the sole preserve of retired couples in Florida or middle-aged men discussing business deals over the 19th hole. Millennials are fast becoming one of the largest demographics enjoying the world of golf, and there are a number of reasons for that. Not only is golf a great way to get outside and enjoy some light exercise, but it can also be a low-cost hobby. With 6.5 million millennials playing roughly 100 million rounds of golf a year, young golfers are becoming a much more common sight on the green. If you’ve been looking at your hobbies and wondering what to try next, these unique golf courses reveal that every location is different. If you’re keen to try something new and experience a game somewhere unusual, then these unique golf courses might inspire you to start working on your backswing.

1. The longest course

The Nullarbor Links Golf Course in Australia is not for the impatient. If you prefer your games to be short and sharp, then you might want to avoid the world’s longest golf course. Roughly 850 miles long, it can take an astonishing four to six days to complete a single round. It’s nice to know that there’s time between holes to rest and relax, with some holes needing a 30-mile drive before you can tee off. One of the best features of Nullarbor is that completing the course means that you have crossed two time zones, and that’s one for the bucket list. If you’ve got the dedication, then a round of golf here might just give you the sense of real achievement that you have been missing.

2. For winter lovers

If you fancy having a go at the coldest round of golf in the world, then you might need to head 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Uummannaq Greenland Golf is where they host the World Ice Golf Championships, and competitors are required to learn how to spot the first signs of frostbite before starting their game. Players are also warned about the dangers of seal dens and crevasses as well, so this is not a course for the faint-hearted! This is a long way from those warm conditions in Florida, and you’ll need to look at some quality golf clubs that can cope in the extreme conditions.

3. Extreme wildlife

The Legend Golf and Safari Resort in South Africa is known as one of the world’s top luxury destinations, and for golf lovers, it’s perfect. Not only is the course located in the center of a large wildlife preserve, but it also has a wide range of challenging holes to play. That’s because each hole was designed by a famous golfing legend, meaning each one is unique and challenging while being located in the heart of the African spectacle. For those truly wanting a challenge, the par-3 Extreme 19th hole is only accessible by helicopter and requires a tee shot that ends in a green shaped like Africa, with a 1,200-foot drop.

The face of golf is slowly changing. If you’ve always thought of the game as something for other people, then it might be time to have another look. Great for your health, the perfect way to get outside, and suitable for all skill levels, golf could end being the next big millennial trend that you end up falling in love with.