Golf Vacations Magazine - December 2018

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OUR 17th YEAR!

THIS MONTH: My Turn • SweetStuff • ChipShots







Vacations • December 2018 1 Plus: SHARK’S VIETNAM COURSE • Golf DESERT CLASSIC

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Pete Dye Course Volcano Bunkers, French Lick, Indiana


Chip Shots


Valencia, Spain: Golf with an International Flair


French Lick: Funny Name, Fabulous Golf

by Tim Cotroneo

Play 18 holes in Spain and you’ll meet golfers from all over the world. Enthusiasts from Sweden, Norway, United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, France, Ireland, Iceland, Belgium, Finland, Holland, and all points in between come to play in a land dating back to 138 B.C.

by David R. Holland

History, well, there’s nothing more fun than discovering something you knew little about. Take French Lick in Indiana – all I knew was Larry Bird, the NBA Hall of Famer, grew up here. And that it was home to two famous golf courses -- The Donald Ross and The Pete Dye Courses.


Golf, Fishing and 1000 Island Dressing


Sweet Stuff

by Chuck “The Traveling Guy Miller

For over one hundred years, thousands upon thousands of golfers, fishermen, boaters and vacationers have enjoyed the atmosphere in and around the small village of Clayton, New York located on the St. Lawrence River in the 1000 Islands region of northwest New York State. In the early 1900’s, during the summer months as many as fifteen trains a day arrived in Clayton bringing vacationers eager to enjoy fishing, boating, swimming, golf and relaxing vacations in Clayton’s friendly village.

by Terry Ross

4 Golf Vacations • December 2018

Your gateway to 120 golf courses . . . A boutique hotel for your next desert trip

74-470 Abronia Trail, Palm Desert CA

760.346.8061 •

Book your summer special NOW!

Golf Vacations • December 2018 5

CONTRIBUTINGWRITERS Tim Cotroneo is a Mineapolis-based freelance writer specializing in Caribbean travel, business, and golf. Tim is a long-time contributor to Tee Times Press and he’s also the Travel Writer for American Business Magazine.

Executive Editor Jeffrey Diaz

Chuck Miller (The Traveling Guy) is a resident of the golfing community of Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. For the past 20 years he has traveled extensively throughout the US and around the world writing about “Places to Play and Places to Stay”. In 2012 he played golf in every state during a 50-week, 50-state driving tour of the US.

Associate Editor Terry Ross

Features Editor Larry Feldman

Senior Writers Terry Ross has covered sports as both a print and radio journalist for more than 35 years, and also has served as a consultant to the golf industry in a variety of capacities. He has been a regular columnist for the Long Beach Business Journal and is based in Orange County, California.

JD Latorre David R. Holland Dave McKibben

For Editorial:

call (760) 774-2655 e-mail: David R. Holland is an award-winning former sportswriter for The Dallas Morning News, football magazine publisher, and author of The Colorado Golf Bible. “Multiple careers” best describes this world traveler (visited 35 countries), who achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force reserve. Holland splits home time in Colorado and Texas. He has written for GolfWeek’s Superintendent News, Colorado AvidGolfer, Midwest Golfing Magazine, South Central Golf Magazine and Fairway to Green. He also worked for the Dallas Cowboys Weekly, UPI and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Follow Dave on Twitter @David_R_Holland.

Regional Advertising Los Angeles Terry Ross • 949-279-7801 Atlanta Harold Chambliss • 770-239-7500

Published by


tony Creek Media

President Jeffrey Diaz

3 Lehigh Avenue, #222 Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania 18229 (760) 774-2655


Cimarron Communications President/CEO James A. Diaz

Golf Vacations Magazine is published in digital format monthly and distributed online to over 1,000,000 golfer’s email inboxes each issue. Entire contents of this publication is copyright 2018 SportsMedia Publications, all rights reserved and may not be reproduced in any manner, in whole or in part, without written permission from the publisher.

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Greg Norman’s Third Course in Vietnam Opens for Play

Greg Norman has taken inspiration from the tenets of classic links golf at his latest masterpiece in Vietnam


AM RANH, Vietnam — One of Vietnam’s fastest growing beach resorts now has a brand-name golf course to support the area’s lofty tourism ambitions. On Oct. 27, the Greg Norman-designed KN Golf Links officially opened in Cam Ranh, site of a spectacular, 8-kilometer crescent of sand that is rapidly becoming a destination of distinction in Southeast Asia. Indeed, over the last couple of years, more than 30 hospitality projects have either gone up or broken ground along Long Beach, the southernmost end of which is the only real estate that sits between KN Golf Links and the ocean. “I would put KN Golf Links up there in the top 10 in terms of unique properties I’ve ever been able to work with,” said Norman, who has over 100 designs to his name. “I’m looking forward to the world actually getting to experience playing this fantastic golf course.” KN Golf Links features 27 holes altogether when the 9-hole, garden-style Oasis Course that runs inland from the clubhouse is factored in. But most of the conversation during the

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opening revolved around the Links Course, which maximizes the rolling contours of the land exemplified by spectacular sand dunes. It boasts firm fast-releasing fairways, ample run-off areas around the greens and massive boulders, some of which form a striking backdrop to the par-5 17th hole. “It’s not an Irish-style golf course. It’s not an Australian-style golf course. It’s not a Scottish-style golf course. It’s just a damn good links golf course,” said Norman, who won his two majors — the 1986 Open Championship

and 1993 Open Championship — on links courses. “If this quality of course keeps coming online (in Vietnam), I think you are going to see people salivating at the prospect of coming here to play.” KN Golf Links occupies 90 of the 800 hectares slated to be developed at KN Paradise, an ambitious integrated resort that will also feature at least three 5-star hotels, an array of luxury real estate opportunities, a marina, and a beach club among other entertainment facilities.

Now that the club is officially open for play, it will likely begin making its way into conversations about the best golf experiences in the region. Norman’s other two creations in Vietnam — The Bluffs at Ho Tram Strip and The Dunes Course at BRG Da Nang Golf Resort — are widely considered the nation’s top two courses. “We wanted ‘The Shark’ from day one,” Mr. Le Van Kiem, chairman of KN Cam Ranh Company Limited, the course’s developer, said, using the nickname Norman earned during his playing days. “Given the linksy nature of this site, and the fact Mr. Norman has designed some of the world’s great links-style courses, he was the ideal man for the job.” The Links Course at KN Golf Links is reminiscent of both The Bluffs and The Dunes in that it weaves through rugged coastal terrain and offers spectacular sea views from various spots. The Oasis Course offers a contrasting but also compelling test, with a plethora of water features making for some challenging play. “The goal is to set a standard here by which all other projects to come will be measured by,” said Mr. Kiem, whose company also owns Long Thanh Golf Club, an award-winning, 36hole venture on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City. “Having 27 holes in Cam Ranh by one of the game’s all-time greats is a major step in that direction.” Located less than an hour by air from Ho Chi Minh City and a five-minute drive from the recently expanded Cam Ranh International Airport, KN Golf Links is the first golf course in Cam Ranh and the third in the greater Nha Trang area. Amenities include a secluded driving range with an instruction studio and 24 bays that face another eye-catching collection of gigantic rocks, and a three-story clubhouse that overlooks the ocean and three small islands about 10 kilometers offshore. KN Golf Links is being managed in consultation with IMG, a leading sports, events and media brand that operates some of the finest golf clubs in the world including China’s Sheshan GC, site of the annual WGC-HSBC Champions professional golf tournament. KN Golf Links is working closely with The Anam — a lush 12-hectare resort overlooking 300 meters of Long Beach — to unveil sublime golf and accommodation packages that make the most of scenic Cam Ranh, which averages more than 300 sunny days a year. An independently owned and operated resort featuring 77 villas and 136 suites and rooms, as well as four restaurants, two bars, a 10-treatment room spa, three capacious pools, a ballroom, conference rooms and more, The Anam helped spearhead the tourism boom along Long Beach when it celebrated its grand opening in April last year.

Boca Lago Country Club Becomes Newest Home Of “Gravity Golf” Golf School BOCA RATON, FL – Boca Lago Country Club—the value-driven private club in the heart of Palm Beach Country, Florida, currently undergoing a top-to-bottom renovation—will soon be the latest home for the “Gravity Golf” schools. Gravity Golf is a one-of-a-kind instruction program that relies on the golfer’s body mass, rather than muscular strength, to create an effortless swing that produces maximum efficiency and control. Founded by renowned teacher David Lee, Gravity Golf works for players of all ages and skill levels, male and female, allowing them to enjoy much longer careers than those who damage their bodies by relying on improper technique. According to Lee, “players that properly partner with gravity, like Freddie Couples, use far less effort in their golf swings, and enjoy much better ball control.” Three-day schools will begin at Boca Lago CC this December under Lee’s direction. The golf schools will be open to golfers from anywhere in the world. In addition, the club will become the home for a unique Gravity Golf program called “Tour Express,” which will prepare eight recent college graduates—all athletes but non-golfers—to be competitive in a short period of time, with the vision of becoming professional golfers. The eight who are selected will train and work out at the club alongside Gravity Golf’s other students. Interested golfers also will be able to attend daily informational sessions at Boca Lago to learn more about the Gravity Golf philosophy, which focuses on all parts of the game—full swing, short game, and what causes and fixes the “yips” in putting, chipping, and pitching. Individualized instruction will be available for

Boca Lago CC members. Both the school and Tour Express students will benefit from new practice holes and practice facilities being constructed as part of a $9 million renovation underway at Boca Lago CC. Highlights of the renovation include: The 27-hole golf course, originally designed by Bruce Devlin and Robert Von Hagge, has been totally redone under the direction of award-winning architect Jan Bel Jan. The practice facilities have been expanded to include more full-swing space, three practice putting areas, a dedicated short-game area, and two practice holes that can be utilized in multiple ways. The clubhouse is being revitalized with upgraded and enlarged dining areas indoors and out, new gathering spaces, and a new pool complex. At the tennis club, which features 20 courts (16 Har-Tru, 4 hard), the clubhouse, shop, and locker rooms have been fully refurbished. The tennis club, which has its own pool, is home to the Rick Macci Tennis Academy. The transformation of Boca Lago Country Club will strengthen its reputation as one of the area’s premier venues for private events, weddings, corporate/charity golf tournaments, and community fund-raising initiatives. Gravity Golf will continue to offer schools at other facilities around the country, but Boca Lago CC is the sole home of the Tour Express program. For more information on Gravity Golf, go to Boca Lago Country Club is located in the heart of Palm Beach County at 8665 Juego Way in West Boca Raton. For more information about the club, visit www.

Gravity Golf at Boca Lago CC

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• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • CHIPSHOTS REVEALED: The golf terms that leave most American enthusiasts baffled


he root of today’s game of golf can be dated as far back as 1547 and there are approximately 25 million golfers in America. And considering how long golf has been around, it is a complicated sport at the best of times and that is before factoring in some of the strangest phrases and terminology that has been built up over decades of playing the game. For those unfamiliar with the game or just beginning to play the sport, the variety of phrases encompassing the game can leave the best of people stunned; with many idioms stemming from old Scottish phrases... As a result, golfing experts, GolfSupport. com surveyed 865 American golf enthusiasts (ranging from mere spectators, to beginners and amateurs) to see how confident they are with the definitions of a range of golf words and phrases.

What do you think? • Unsurprisingly, ‘Par’ is discovered to be the most commonly understood golf term among Americans (92%). • Thereafter, golfing enthusiasts are most assured by the true meaning of ‘Bogey’ (88%) and ‘Double Bogey’ (82%). • ‘Zoysia’ is revealed to be the least commonly known golf phrase with 85%. The participants were presented with a variety of golf phrases and were asked to state which they felt most and least confident about the definition of. Unsurprisingly, a few classics found themselves ranking among the top five golf

terms Americans are the most confident with the connotation of: Par (92%), Bogey (88%), Double Bogey (82%), Birdie (79%) and finally Albatross with 75%. Golf Support found that ‘Eagle’ is the sixth phrase that the majority of American golf fanatics feel the most confident defining at 70%. Subsequently, 67% of survey participants feel assured to know the meaning behind ‘Gimme’, which translates to describe ‘when your putt is close enough to the hole that it is considered to be made’. Golf Support can also reveal the golf terms that more than half of golf enthusiasts feel most confident translating: Fore (64%), Fade (60%), Slice (58%), Knickers (56%) and Shank with 51%. At the other end of the scale, a substantial

85% of American Amateur golfers feel the least confident defining ‘Zoysia’, which is interpreted as ‘A type of grass that can stand up to heat, drought and large foot traffic’. This was closely followed by 81% stating they felt unsure of the correct definition of ‘Frog Hair’, which refers to the ‘closely mowed fringe surrounding the putting green’. Ranking in third place, for golfing terms that the US are least confident about is ‘Afraid of the Dark’ with 80%, which can be defined as ‘a putted ball which refuses to fall into the hole’. Other phrases which leave American golf fans most baffled include: Snowman (60%), Sandbagging (59%), Mulligan (56%), Lip Out (53%) and Texas Wedge at 52%.

The Buenaventura Golf Club Named “Panama’s Best Golf Course 2018” By World Golf Awards Riviera Pacifica, Panama – The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort has announced it has received the coveted World Golf Award for the category of “Panama’s Best Golf Course 2018.” This is the second year The Buenaventura Golf Club has received this honor. The World Golf Awards celebrate and reward excellence in golf tourism, world-class courses and golf destinations through its annual awards program voted by golf industry professionals and the public. “It is an honor for the Buenaventura Golf Club to have been selected as “Best Golf Course in Panama 2018” by the prestigious World Golf Awards,” said Alfonso Castiñeira, Director of Golf at Buenaventura Golf Club. “This award confirms the commitment of our

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entire team to provide a unique golf experience for both our members and guests, adding value not only to our golf course, but also the resort and its amenities.” The breathtaking 18-hole Nicklaus-design par-72 championship course is home to one of the only two in Panama and is managed by the world’s largest golf management company, Troon. Designed within a seaside community, the Buenaventura’s golf course incorporates the surrounding water and lush environment within its 123 acres. With more than 110 unique water bunkers set around the course and 300 mature Corotu trees strategically placed throughout the landscape, the golf course provides both a stunning atmosphere and a challenging game. Players who appreciate a difficult hole will enjoy the course’s signature hole 16, which is set between two large Corotu trees that are challenging to maneuver. Those looking to take their swing to the next level can also take advantage of the driving range with numerous spots to hit from natural grass along with a short game, 3-hole par 3 course, chipping and putting green for practicing in between games. To plan a golf getaway at The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort or for more information, please visit

PGA GOLF CLUB TO HOST ‘RED, WHITE & YOU’ INAUGURAL FAIRWAY 5K RUN/ WALK PORT ST. LUCIE, FL – PGA Golf Club – the PGA of America’s premier 54-hole facility – will host the Red, White & YOU Inaugural Fairway 5K Run / Walk on Sunday, Dec. 16. Open to everyone, the race begins at 6:45 a.m. with kick-off ceremonies. The 5K run / walk begins at 7 a.m., and a post-race celebration starts at 8 a.m. Entry is $25 for those registering before Oct. 31, and $30 for registrars after Oct. 31. Cost includes postrace snacks and a race T-shirt. All proceeds benefit PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere), the flagship military program of the PGA of America’s charitable foundation PGA REACH. The year-round program introduces golf to veterans while enhancing their mental, social, physical and emotional well-being. PGA HOPE also helps veterans assimilate back into their community through the social interaction of golf. Registration for race can be done online, and race packets can be picked up at Fleet Feet in Stuart, Fla., on Dec. 14 from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., and at PGA Golf Club on the 15th. Red, White & YOU Inaugural Fairway 5K Run / Walk sponsorship and donation opportunities are available. For information

about the event, visit the event’s Facebook page or contact Heidi Geiser at hgeiser@ or 772-783-2019. The Red, White & YOU Inaugural Fairway 5K Run / Walk follows the Red, White & You Charity Golf Event, which occurs on Dec. 9. Open to all golfers, the entertaining fundraiser starts with opening ceremonies at 8:15 a.m. This will be followed by a scramble competition (with divisions) at 9 a.m. A post-event celebration will begin at 2 p.m. Entry for PGA Golf Club members, PGA Professionals and active or retired military is $85. Cost for guests of members and the public is $110. Breakfast, lunch, golf prizes and tax are included. “The inaugural 5K Red, White & YOU Fairway 5K Run / Walk perfectly complements the charity golf event that occurs a week prior, and benefits a great cause in PGA HOPE,” says Director of Golf Operations Jeremy Wiernasz. “We encourage everyone to attend and support our veterans.” Known as the “Ultimate Golf Resort Destination,” PGA Golf Club is home to three highly-decorated courses designed by renowned architects Tom Fazio, and Pete Dye. For more information about PGA Golf Club, visit

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Three Must-Do Golf Experiences From Fairmont

Scottsdale, AZ – While cold weather is bringing an end to golf season across much of North America, it is prime time for golf travelers to enjoy three of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts’ most unforgettable golf experiences. Play Like a Pro in Scottsdale – Starting in late fall, TPC Scottsdale gives golfers a real thrill – the opportunity to play the iconic Stadium Course as it preps for the PGA TOUR’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, the best attended golf event in the world. This means golfers get to play as the course is transformed into the “Greatest Show on Grass” right before their eyes, even entering the infamous par-3 16th hole through the grandstand tunnel and hitting tee shots within the “colosseum.” Though the tournament is held in early February, the unique opportunity typically lasts until the first of March. The best way for golf travelers to enjoy this experience is by booking the Championship Golf Package at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.


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The resort borders the Stadium Course, and the package provides accommodations, one round of golf per person per night at TPC Scottsdale or Grayhawk Golf Club, complimentary ground transportation to and from the golf courses, and golf concierge service. The package is available year round and rates vary by season. Enjoy one of the World’s Greatest Courses – Named one of the World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses by Golf Digest in 2018, Mid Ocean Club is Bermuda’s premier private facility, and a treat not readily available to most golf travelers. However, through an exclusive relationship, Fairmont Southampton can provide access to the famed CB Macdonald masterpiece to guests who book the resort’s Bermuda Golf Around Eagle Package. The package is scalable for stays from three to 10 nights and includes accommodations, daily breakfast and golf on five of Bermuda’s top golf courses. This includes Turtle Hill Golf Course, Fairmont Southampton’s home course which hosts the Grey Goose World Par 3

Championship, and is considered among the finest par-3 golf courses in the world. Rates are based upon double occupancy and vary based upon length of stay and season. Experience True Championship Golf – Lots of golf courses claim to offer “championship golf,” but very few can actually deliver on the promise. One who can is San Diego’s famed Torrey Pines Golf Course. Home of the PGA TOUR’s Farmers Insurance Open, Torrey Pines hosted the US Open Championship in 2008 and will do so again in 2021. While a municipal course, tee times (especially for out-of-town visitors) can be difficult to secure. The easiest way to streamline the process while also gaining access to Sand Diego’s acclaimed Grand Golf Club is to book Fairmont Grand Del Mar’s Canyon to Coast Golf Package. It features two nights’ accommodations, with one round of golf at The Grand Golf Club and assistance in booking tee times at Torrey Pines. Torrey Pines golf fees must be paid separately and directly to Torrey Pines.


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PGA Catalunya Resort cements its position as one of Europe’s premier golf venues PGA Catalunya Resort, near Girona, continues to win critical acclaim, being crowned Spain’s Best Golf Course at the 2018 World Golf Awards and placing 4th in National Club Golfer’s Top 100 Golf Resorts in Continental Europe. The two accolades close a year that has seen the European Tour Destination affirmed with the No.1 Course in Spain by and ranked No.2 in Golf World’s Top 100 Golf Resorts of Continental Europe 2019-2020. 2018 has also seen the resort’s 5* Hotel Camiral commended at the prestigious European Property Awards for its interior design, created by the Lázaro Rosa-Violán Studio, to win the ‘Best Hotel Interior Spain’ category, while its clubhouse upgrade was named Clubhouse Renovation of the Year 2018 by Golf Inc magazine. Chris Frost, Managing Director at World Golf Awards, said: “It was with great pleasure we presented the Stadium Course as the winner of Spain’s Best Golf Course at this year’s ceremony. Its layout is, without doubt, the best Spain has to offer and a challenge to all level of golfer. “Set among towering pine trees and beautiful lakes within truly fabulous grounds, to stay and play at PGA Catalunya Resort should be on every golfer’s bucket list.” David Plana, CEO of PGA Catalunya Resort, said: “Spain is blessed to have a great

number of exceptional courses and venues, so it is tremendously encouraging to see PGA Catalunya Resort consistently ranked so highly by many of the biggest media brands in golf. “Our vision has always been to deliver one of the world’s most memorable golf experiences, and with the confidence of the golf industry behind us, that mission will continue to define PGA Catalunya Resort in 2019 and beyond.” In addition to its world-class golf facilities, PGA Catalunya Resort is fast becoming one of Europe’s premier luxury lifestyle destinations, with a 300-hectare forested estate offering multiple dining options, state-of-the-art sport and leisure facilities, nature walks and bike rides, offsite adventure outings and much more, all located within easy reach of charming Girona, vibrant Barcelona and the stunning beaches of the Costa Brava.

Troon Announces New “Pronghorn Sweepstakes” Bend, Oregon – Troon, Pronghorn Resort, Mt. Bachelor and Ship Sticks have teamed-up for the “Pronghorn Sweepstakes” in which one lucky person will win a oncein-a-lifetime golf and outdoor adventure vacation to the award-winning Pronghorn Resort in Bend, Oregon. Those interested in entering the sweepstakes should visit The sweepstakes drawing will take place on January 14, 2019 and the winner will be

notified via email. The winner of The Pronghorn Sweepstakes will receive: $1,250 for lodging and food & beverage at Pronghorn Resort Two golf twosomes at Pronghorn $1,250 in lift tickets or rentals at Mt. Bachelor or a whitewater adventure with Sun Country Tours A $500 VISA gift card to put towards spending/travel Complimentary round-trip golf club shipping for two courtesy of Ship Sticks Designed to embrace the unique Central Oregon lifestyle, Pronghorn Resort is surrounded by Instagram-worthy views of the Cascade Mountains, including nearby Mt. Bachelor. Both of Pronghorn’s golf courses – the Tom Fazio Championship Course and the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course – are nationally acclaimed and have emerged as bucket-list destinations for golfers of all levels. Mt. Bachelor in Bend is the Northwest’s destination of choice for families and adventurers seeking a fun, natural and unique mountain experience, year-round. Experience great winter sports like skiing, snowboarding or choose from an array of summertime rafting adventures with Sun Country Tours. Enjoy all the dining and exploration fit for the whole family at Mt. Bachelor. For more information on Pronghorn Resort, visit For more information on Mt. Bachelor ski area, visit

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‘Desert Classic’ Coming Back in 2019 PGA TOUR event will celebrate 60 years of giving back to local charities and its rich history in the Coachella Valley. LA QUINTA, CA – The Desert Classic Charities Board of Directors and Executive Director Jeff Sanders of Lagardère Sports announced today that the 2019 edition of the PGA TOUR event previously known as the CareerBuilder Challenge will be returning January 14-20 in La Quinta, CA at PGA WEST as the ‘Desert Classic.’ Now in its 60th year, this iconic PGA TOUR event is moving back to its original name to celebrate its long history in the Coachella Valley, dating back to the late 1950s. “The Desert Classic is back and we are excited for the tremendous opportunity going forward to work with Desert Classic Charities and our strong team of sponsors and loyal volunteers building on the event’s success and rich history of giving back in the desert. The fan friendly entertainment model that was implemented over the last couple of years featuring great food and drink and live music after PGA TOUR golf will return by popular demand this year,” said Sanders.

John Foster, President of the Desert Classic Charities Board of Directors, added, “The Desert Classic has a phenomenal 60year history as a major sporting event in the Coachella Valley stemming back to the days of the Bob Hope Desert Classic resulting in over 60 million dollars for local charities. We look forward to working with the Lagardère Sports team in securing a great new partner as our title sponsor and to another 60 wonderful years.”

The 2019 Desert Classic will continue to offer an enhanced fan experience by providing three amazing on-course fan venues, high energy concerts after golf on Friday and Saturday nights on the PGA WEST

driving range and world class PGA TOUR golf headlined by tournament ambassador Phil Mickelson and defending champion Jon Rahm. Last year, these new additions resulted in both a fun atmosphere for the sponsors and fans and a dramatic increase in attendance. In 2018, the tournament had one of its strongest player fields in years featuring Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Brandt Snedeker, John Daly and more. Following the golf on Friday and Saturday nights were concerts by Huey Lewis and the News and Goo Goo Dolls, drawing upwards of 10,000 people for the concerts alone. “There is no better place on the PGA TOUR to host an event than La Quinta, California under sunny skies to start every year in January,” said Sanders. “The weather is normally the best in the country, the entertainment value with the golf and music is the most attractive and affordable on the PGA TOUR, and the long history of great PGA TOUR golf and giving back to the local community, with proceeds going to

Desert Classic in California’s Coachella Valley

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children’s charities in the Coachella Valley, makes the Desert Classic a can’t miss event.” Kicking off the concert series on Friday night will be Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and former Van Halen lead singer Sammy Hagar and his supergroup The Circle — featuring his longtime bassist Michael Anthony, the renowned bassist who’s played with him for the past 30 years in bands including Van Halen and Chickenfoot; Jason Bonham, the acclaimed drummer and son of Led Zeppelin’s iconic drummer, John Bonham; and Vic Johnson, Hagar’s longtime guitar virtuoso who seamlessly shreds through his own, as well as some of rock’s most iconic guitarist’s riffs. The band takes fans on a musical journey through rock history with a set list spanning hits from Montrose, Sammy’s solo career, Van Halen and with Bonham on board, even a few Led Zeppelin classics. Rock supergroup Bad Company with legendary singer/songwriter, Paul Rodgers, will take the stage on Saturday night performing their chart-topping hits Bad Company, Can’t Get Enough, Feel Like Makin’ Love, Shooting Star and many more. The band includes original drummer Simon Kirke, guitarist Howard Leese and Todd Ronning on bass. “We are excited to bring back our popular golf festival model again this year featuring exciting high energy music, great food, wine, beer, spirits, and world class PGA

TOUR golf,” said Sanders. We are bringing back two nights of music for all to enjoy. The best way to have fun and cap off a great day at the Desert Classic is to rock’ to the hits performed by the legendary Sammy Hagar & The Circle on Friday and Bad Company on Saturday nights after golf.” Tickets for the 2019 Desert Classic went on sale on November 8. Daily tickets are only $30 and include admission to enjoy PGA TOUR golf, three on-course hospitality venues including the Vons Pavilion behind the 18th green, Casamigos Tequila Club 17, Beers fore Birdies on the 16th green and concerts on the driving range after golf on Friday and Saturday night. There are no cover charges or upgraded tickets needed for admission to the on-course hospitality venues or to attend the concerts. For more event information and to buy tickets visit

Escape Winter to Play Caribbean’s No. 1 Course LA ROMANA, Dominican Republic) – Casa de Campo Resort & Villas – home to the Caribbean’s premier, luxury golf experiences, including the iconic Teeth of the Dog course – offers a range of three to 11 bedroom villas ideal for golf group winter getaways at the world-class destination. Starting at $249 (per person, per night, double occupancy), all villa options offer

a private pool, stylish living areas, and unique touches. From secluded Garden Villas showcasing the area’s abundant flora to the tranquil splendor of the Caribbean coast in an Oceanfront Villa, each style offers contemporary designs. Daily breakfast, private maid service and full-access to a wide range of on-site activities are additional highlights. The Dominican Republic was also recently named the 2019 Golf Destination of the Year for Latin America and the Caribbean by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators. Trips are highlighted by the opportunity to play the widely recognized No. 1 course in the Caribbean, Pete Dye’s Teeth of the Dog, as well as the resort’s two additional Pete Dye gems: Dye Fore (27 holes) and The Links (18). When escaping the cold weather this winter, villa stays are perfect for the golf buddy trip in paradise. They include use of four-passenger golf carts for easy travel throughout the 7,500-acre resort, complimentary Wi-Fi and unlimited use of the resort’s fitness center. “To fully enjoy one of the world’s best golf destinations, a stay in one of our villas is the logical choice,” says Jason Kycek, senior vice president of sales & marketing at Casa de Campo. “When considering the three Pete Dye designed courses, new state-of-theart Golf Learning Center and vast array of amenities, Casa de Campo offers something for every golfer.” Since opening in 1974, Teeth of the Dog has been a “bucket list” layout for those seeking to play one of the top 50 golf courses in the world. Dye’s design hallmarks are all present: railroad ties, vast waste areas, peninsula greens and tees, hand-sculpted putting surfaces and a unique assortment of pot bunkers. “The Heaven 7” oceanfront holes are astoundingly beautiful, causing Dye to famously quip: “I created 11 holes and God created seven.” The resort recently opened its new worldclass Golf Learning Center. Highlighted by Trackman and BODITRAK technology, it features two indoor hitting bays for rapid game improvement, year-round training, individual and group golf lessons and schools, and expert club-fitting and repair. Residing on 21 acres of “pure grass,” the PGA Tour-quality facility also showcases practice greens for honing putting, chipping and pitching games as well as unlimited use of the pristine outdoor range for full shots. On-course instruction is also available. For more information on Casa de Campo Resort & Villas please call 800.877.3643. email or visit:

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Valencia, Spain Golf with an International Flair

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Lo Romero Golf Course

By Tim Cotroneo

Golf Vacations • December 2018 17


lay 18 holes in Spain and you’ll meet golfers from all over the world. Enthusiasts from Sweden, Norway, United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, France, Ireland, Iceland, Belgium, Finland, Holland, and all points in between come to play in a land dating back to 138 B.C.

Lo Romero Golf Course Located in the Alicante province of Spain, Lo Romero Golf Course wastes no time in “wowing” newcomers to this lush former citrus orchard. Not only is Lo Romero the most manicured of all the Valencia golf courses, it’s also the most marketing savvy.

Speak with the golf professionals at the courses in Valencia, Spain, and you’re encouraged to hear the sport is alive and well. One course hosts 30,000 rounds in a year, another 40,000 and another 55,000.

The Lo Romero clubhouse is perched on an elevated plateau that allows golfers to survey the ultra-landscaped terrain for miles. About 20 yards from the clubhouse is a giant golf ball that is positioned perfectly between the viewpoints looking out on the 9th and 18th greens. The golf ball happens to have the words “Lo Romero” emblazoned across its circumference, and this symbol draws photo happy golfers like bees to honey.

There’s a respect, friendship, and joy that you can feel while playing golf in a land whose first course opened in 1891. The country that gave us Seve Ballesteros, Sergio Garcia, Jose Maria Olazabal, and Jon Rahm is a unique mixture of mountains, Mediterranean Sea, and after round celebrations. Open Your Eyes, Mind, and Heart to Valencia Valencia is Spain’s third largest metropolis and is located on the southeastern coast. The city in which the culinary treat paella originated is home to an eclectic mix of golf courses. Some are wedged inside villages, some are drenched in history, and others compare favorably with the most elite tracks in the world. Let’s look at three Valencia, Spain golf courses that will open your eyes, mind, and heart to playing golf with an international flair.

Lo Romero’s marketing prowess can also be found in this 6,200-yard layout’s abundant sand traps. The course’s long-time Superintendent Manuel Fernandez contributes to their marketing campaign by molding the name “Lo Romero” into the sand traps. The 325-yard, Par 4, 9th hole, and the Par 4, 370-yard 18th hole run parallel to each other. They’re both great finishers and their positioning below the elevated clubhouse makes for great spectator theater. From Lo Romero’s majestic clubhouse patio and with local favorite Estrella Levante beer in hand, a festive audience enjoys a birds-eye view of approach shots and putts along the side-by-side greens.

Lo Romero Golf Course

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Flags at Lo Romero

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El Saler Golf Course

Incline Village Championship Course No. 12 The 18th hole is especially dramatic as it there is no bail out on its island green. Golfers navigate a walkway and then a 350-degree surround of water. The 18th’s ample and picturesque water is where Lo Romero’s “Island of Golf” tagline comes into play. Lo Romero is a must play for vacationers wishing to bring home a forever Valencia golf memory. El Saler Golf Course When researching Valencia golf, the name El Saler comes up again and again. El Saler is annually ranked as one of the best golf courses in all of Europe. El Saler credibility grabs golfers by the shirt collar even before the first hole. You can’t miss the plaque revealing the course record of 62 that is held by none other than Bernhard Langer. To further elaborate on El Saler’s history as one of Europe’s best, consider that this 6300-yard nature reserve has hosted several Spanish Opens including two won by Langer. For U.S. and Canadian golfers used to meticulous conditions, the raw environment that is El Saler may be an eye opener. The wild natural grasses golfers contend with throughout the course are highlighted and described on each tee box. In fact, El Saler is part of a natural park that includes rare species of birds such as Glossy Ibis, Flamingos, and Booted Eagles. Throughout your round you can hear, but not necessarily see the Mediterranean Sea. On the 8th, 9th, 17th, and 18th holes, the ocean waves get up close and personal. On a windy day, El Saler may hint of Ireland or Scotland golf. The total El Saler experience may include staying at the Paradore El Saler. This luxury hotel is one of several state-maintained lodgings throughout Spain who pride themselves in service, views, and stylish accommodations.

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Club de Golf Altea Charming is the best word to describe the Club de Golf Altea experience. Nestled within the hillside of Altea, this petite nine-hole golf course seems like it could have been a ski village in a previous life. The Altea clubhouse towers above the golf course and offers amazing views. The course itself highlights mountain backdrops on several holes and demands precise course management throughout. For those wishing to play 18, Altea proposes playing from different tee boxes on the back nine. Despite the elevations, Altea’s health-conscious audience is usually found walking, rather than riding the golf carts that Europeans refer to as “buggies.” A great way to go all in after your round is by requesting a meal of paella. This centuries-old rice, meat, or seafood fare was born in Valencia. A locally brewed Botella Mahou beer is also a refreshingly local way to quench your thirst. Small World- Great Golf Whether you play Lo Romero, El Saler, Altea, or better yet, all three, you’ll find Spain to be a splendid tee to green golf host. The best part of playing under Valencia’s trademark electric blue sky is the people you meet from Sweden to Belgium and all parts in between. Return home and tell your buddies that their foursome now includes a golfer with an international flair.

Altea Golf Course

Paella at Altea Golf Course

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French Lick Funny Name, Fabulous Golf

22 Golf Vacations • December 2018

By David R. Holland

Golf Vacations • December 2018 23


RENCH LICK, Ind. – History, well, there’s nothing more fun than discovering something you knew little about.

Take French Lick in Indiana – all I knew was Larry Bird, the NBA Hall of Famer, grew up here. And that it was home to two famous golf courses -- The Donald Ross and The Pete Dye Courses. I had no clue the French Lick Resort has been famous for more than 150 years, hosting Hollywood celebrities, major league baseball training, U.S. Presidents and experienced some shady illegal gambling back in the day. One famous day in particular happened on Kentucky Derby weekend in 1949. While hotel guests went by train to the famous horse race, Indiana State Police raided the gambling houses of French Lick. When guests returned the doors to the hotel were chained and gaming establishments throughout downtown were shuttered.

I had no clue that it was the birthplace of tomato juice in 1917 – a world class chef ran out of oranges to juice so he tried the tomato. World heavyweight champ Joe Louis trained at the next door West Baden Springs Hotel from 1935 to 1950. But he wasn’t allowed to spend the night – he had to sleep in an African-American hotel. Franklin Roosevelt used a Governors’ Conference in the hotel to politick for the 1932 Presidential nomination. The rest is history. During World War I the Chicago Cubs held spring training here. It was 1907 and they went on to win the World Series and repeated in 1908. Today’s bottled water would have been an afterthought when it was discovered French Lick’s natural springs water had 22 different minerals and was hailed to cure various ailments, alcoholism, infertility and arthritis. Pluto Water was bottled also as a natural laxative and shipped to pharmacies around the world. That enterprise lasted in the

The Donald Ross Course -- 100 years old and a timely historical layout. This par 3, No. 4, is 194 yards from the back and don’t let your tee shot scamper to the back with the pin in front.

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USA from the early 1900s to 1971 when the business was shut down. Where did the name French Lick come from? Originally a French trading post was built near a spring and salt lick. A fortified ranger post was established near the springs in 1811 and in 1837 a map of Indiana listed the community as Salt Spring. The town was founded in 1857 and today’s population is 1,808.

Pete Dye Course

The Golf Almost forgot about the awesome golf history at French Lick Resort. The 1924 PGA Championship was held on the Donald Ross Course and Walter Hagen defeated former champ Jim Barnes. It was the beginning of a four-year PGA winning streak for the legendary Hagen. And to this day professional golf is an important part of the resort. I was lucky enough to play in July’s Symetra Tour’s Donald Ross Classic Pro-Am with pro Elizabeth Szokol, who ranks fourth in earnings for 2018. The Senior LPGA Championship was played on the Pete Dye Course in October.

The Pete Dye Course Stunning is the word to describe this beautiful and difficult par 72 that can stretch out to 8,102 yards from the Gold Tees. I’d rename Gold to Inhuman. The hilltop layout is surrounded by the Hoosier National Forest and is ranked No. 1 in Indiana by Golfweek’s Best You Can Play ever since it opened. Mount Airie, Thomas Taggart’s 1928 Colonial-style home, was purchased and transformed into a clubhouse and pro shop that overlooks much of the course. The Mansion at Pete Dye boasts all of the latest enhancements of the era, plus a widow’s walk, an underground tunnel and secret passageways. If you visit, be sure to slip upstairs for a peek at the grand living suites, which still capture the essence of the Roaring Twenties. This site hosted the Senior PGA Championship in 2015 won by Colin Montgomerie. Some say the view from the back of the elevated green at No. 6 spans 40 miles and you will marvel at the “volcano bunkers” of the second and third holes. As difficult as these bunkers look no one in my group came close to landing in one. Everywhere you look are beautiful stretches of perched fairways and greens that will penalize you if you roll off into massive swales. If you missed the 18th green you might just be 100 feet below the putting surface. The Donald Ross Course When Donald Ross arrived 100 years ago to build a golf course it was referred to as The Hill Course. The terrain was wooded and rolling and Ross put most tees and greens on high spots. Believe me if you are above the hole on your approach shots you will pay a price. This classic has had a $5 million restoration and 80 of his traditional bunkers with gnarly faces and flat bottoms were put back in place along with square-like, difficult greens. The Donald Ross course has been rated No. 2 public in Indiana 20082016 by Golfweek and was among the 100 greatest through 2015. The course is a par 70 and plays to 7,030 yards. The season goes from March 1 to November 1. Hagen’s Club House Restaurant is the original clubhouse. When weather permits the best seat in the house is on the veranda. Inside or out this authentic turn-of-the-last-century structure includes a pro shop and a relaxing atmosphere — perfect for après golf or anytime.

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Check out this photo closely. See the volcano bunkers? From the imagination of Pete and Alice Dye

French Lick

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French Lick Resort Hotel and West Baden Springs Hotel Old-time luxury doesn’t come much better than this. When I entered my corner room in the French Lick Resort Hotel and looked at my view of town I thought surely this was turning the clock back to another century. I loved the feel of going back in time.

Pete Dye Course

These historic hotels are AAA Four-Diamond nationally historic hotels with impressive meeting venues, spa services, and a Vegas-style casino that was ranked No. 4 Best Casino outside Las Vegas in 2016 by Yahoo Travel. The casino opened for business in 2006, after a gaming license originally intended for Patoka Lake was transferred to French Lick. Honoring state law allowing only water-based gaming, it was originally designed as a riverboat and surrounded by a small pond (commonly nicknamed the Boat in the Moat). In 2008, the moat was filled in and the casino boat was converted into the state’s first land-based casino.

West Baden Springs Hotel

All this Midwestern hospitality is located an easy drive from Louisville, Indianapolis and Cincinnati. The Indianapolis Airport is two hours away and Louisville Airport is an hour away. Don’t dare miss this classic resort. Photos Courtesy of French Lick Resort

West Baden Springs Hotel: It will take you back in time and the “dome” is not to be missed. It was the largest free-standing dome until the Houston Astrodome was built.

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1000 Islands Harbor Hotel

by CHUCK MILLER “The Traveling Guy”

Golf, Fishing and

1000 Island Dressing

1000 Islands Country Club Lake Course

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1000 Islands International Bridge


or over one hundred years, thousands upon thousands of golfers, fishermen, boaters and vacationers have enjoyed the atmosphere in and around the small village of Clayton, New York located on the St. Lawrence River in the 1000 Islands region of northwest New York State. In the early 1900’s, during the summer months as many as fifteen trains a day arrived in Clayton bringing vacationers eager to enjoy fishing, boating, swimming, golf and relaxing vacations in Clayton’s friendly village. Golf has been played in the area since 1894 when the 1000 Islands Country Club’s Old Course first opened making it one of the oldest golf courses in the U.S. During its historic past, wealthy tycoons like John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil, hotel magnate George Boldt, millionaire proprietor of New York City’s famed Waldorf Astoria Hotel, and George Pullman, who designed and manufactured Pullman railroad cars, all traversed its fairways. Located on Wellesley Island, a short twenty minute drive from downtown Clayton, the 1000 Islands Country Club has two courses, the aforementioned Old Course, which blends wide rolling fairways and left and right dog legs with undulating greens and forest views, and the Lake Course which features a number of holes with views of the St. Lawrence River.

Boldt Castle

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Aerial view of Clayton

The par 71 Old Course can be played from three sets of tees ranging from 5250 to 6603 yards. The Lake Course, somewhat shorter at 5000 yards, is a par 70 track with a course rating of 113. Although not fancy, both courses are well-maintained, fun to play, and open to both residents and visiting golfers. In addition to 1000 Islands Country Club’s Old and Lake Courses, the third eighteen-hole course in the area is the family owned and operated par 71 C-Way Golf Club, located a mere five minutes from Clayton’s historic district. It can be played from the Red tees at 5077 yards, the Gold tees at 5384 yards, the White tees at 5492 yards and from the tips at 5808 yards. Although C-Way has mostly flat wide fairways, it is still a challenging layout for both men and women because of a number of blind fairway shots, several dog legs and numerous elevated tees and greens. Also in the area are the Clayton Country Club, the LA Golf Club, the Wellesley Island Golf Course, and the Smugglers Inn Golf Course, all of which are nine-hole courses. Accommodations in and around Clayton range from camp sites at local state parks, family owned motels, cottages, and bed and breakfast inns, to the upscale AAA 4-Diamond 1000 Island Harbor Hotel. Opened in 2014, the hotel which has delightful views of the harbor and the St. Lawrence River, is a member of the Hart Hotel chain. It offers 105 deluxe guestrooms and suites and the outstanding Seaway Restaurant and Bar where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served both indoors in the comfortable and well laid out restaurant or on the spacious patio which looks out at the Clayton harbor. Other amenities at the hotel include an in-house concierge, a fitness center, an indoor heated swimming pool, a Jacuzzi, a business center, several conference rooms and high speed Internet service throughout the hotel. The 1000 Island Harbor Hotel, conveniently located within a day’s drive of the northeast section of the U.S., offers excellent promotional packages: a summer Getaway Package, a Romance Package, a Wine & Dine Package, a Bed & Breakfast Package; a Hook Line and Sinker Package, and for all the family, a Family Fun & Fitness Clayton Retreat Package. When not playing golf, boating or fishing for trophy fish in the St. Lawrence River, there is plenty to see and do in

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1000 Islands Country Club

Author’s wife, Myrna, on the elevated tee box on signature hole at 1000 Islands CC

picturesque Clayton. The Antique Boat Museum, one of the village’s three museums, is a must for boat enthusiasts. Its six buildings contain over 300 watercraft, hundreds of inboard and outboard motors, over 3000 artifacts, some of which date back to the 1800’s, and the 106 foot historic houseboat of George Boldt of Waldorf Astoria Hotel fame. Clayton also has two art galleries, numerous quaint shops, and the Clayton Opera House which has staged concerts, plays and performing art events for over a century and is a member of the Nationally Registered Historic Places. For those who enjoy visiting wineries and wine tasting, the area hosts eight wineries on the Thousand Islands Seaway Wine Trail. The Coyote Moon Winery, one of the wine trail’s eight wineries, has an excellent tasting room located on Riverside Drive, Clayton’s historic main street. For those who prefer sipping vodka, gin, whiskey, bourbon, or Moonshine, the St. Lawrence Spirits distillery also has a tasting location on Riverside Drive. When visiting Clayton, cheese lovers delight in the opportunity to taste and purchase wide varieties of cheese as well as purchase bottles of the “Original” 1000 Island Dressing at the River Rat Cheese store. Although there are three different versions of how 1000 Island Dressing came about, the most widely accepted version is that it was created by Mrs. Sophia Lalonde for her fisherman husband who served it to hotel magnate George Boldt on Boldt’s yacht. The story goes that Boldt liked the dressing so much he named it after the region and introduced it to his chef at the Waldorf Astoria…and as they say…the rest is history. For anyone interested in architecture, a free city walking tour map is available at the Chamber of Commerce. It designates and describes Clayton’s three block historic district which houses thirty-one buildings all built between 1854 and the 1920’s. A definite must when visiting Clayton is a cruise on the St. Lawrence River. The Clayton Island Tour Company offers multiple cruises including the highly popular 3 3/4 hour Two-Nation Tour. While cruising on the river, you see both tiny homes and large mansions built on amazingly small and large islands in the river. When your cruise boat crosses into Canadian waters, you motor under the 1000 Island International Bridge on which cars travel high above the St. Lawrence River into Canada. One of the highlights of the cruise tour is the forty-five minute stop for a self-guided tour of Boldt castle, the six story, 120-room elegant summer home Boldt had built in the style of a European castle. Begun in 1900 on a private island he purchased for $20,000, his the castle was constructed by more than 300 skilled workmen at a cost of $2,500,000. Today the castle is valued at over $60,000,000. For shoppers, Clayton has numerous quaint shops with local and unique items. (My wife particularly enjoyed shopping at Hilda’s Next Generation Ladies Shoppe on Riverside Drive while I sampled vodka and gin at St. Lawrence Spirits tasting room a few doors away). For those who enjoy leisurely dining, in addition to the excellent Seaway Grill in the 1000 Island Harbor Hotel, Clayton has a number of other restaurants in and about town. For additional information about golf, fishing, boating and the multitude of activities available in picturesque and friendly Clayton, New York, or to request a Clayton Visitor’s Guide, go to

1000 Islands Country Club

C-Way Golf Club

Small island home

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our Edge, the Batavia, Illinois company that has earned a reputation over the past 32 years for cutting edge game improvement golf clubs, recently introduced its latest line of user-friendly metal woods in the form of the Exotics EXS driver, fairways and hybrids that offer some exiting new features. Futuristic technologies have been a trademark of Tour Edge President and Master Club Designer David Glod, and his latest creations not only feel and look good but perform at an extremely high level that translates into more distance and accuracy for players at all levels. Take the new Exotics EXS driver, the flagship of the new lineup, that features the company’s Flight Tuning System (FTS), that includes 9-gram and 3-gram interchangeable weights, an adjustable hosel that allows for plus two or minus two degrees in loft, RollFace Technology for an expanded sweet spot, Dual Carbon Fiber placement for ideal weight distribution and a new and improved SlipStream™ Sole for faster clubhead speed. “The EXS driver is absolutely loaded with technology,” said Glod. “This is the most technology we’ve ever been able to fit into a design and each one works in concert with one another to provide the best performing driver possible. The shapes are beautiful, and we utilized only the finest in materials and components. I believe that at the aggressive price point that we are offering, the EXS driver will have its highest impact on the driver market over any other previous Exotics release.” This is a driver with a nice light feel that helps produce a smooth swing and has a solid feel at impact. It also produces a noticeably higher swing speed than many other of the top-rated drivers on the market. The EXS 460cc head features premium Japanese exotic metals; TSP 910 Beta Titanium face plate featuring Variable Face Thickness Technology and an 8-1-1 Titanium chassis. The TSP 910 Beta Titanium face has been made even thinner and lighter in the EXS over previous Exotics driver models to produce a greater spring-like effect. Tour Edge R&D paired the superior TSP 910 Beta Titanium face plate with the exceptionally light Carbon Fiber Crown and with additional Carbon Fiber located on the toe of clubhead, allowing weight to be strategically repositioned lower and deeper in the head for optimal spin and creating an extremely high MOI. The Dual Carbon Fiber Technology also helped Tour Edge engineers to significantly improve the acoustics of the driver and enabled them to account for the gram weight of the FTS weights and the adjustable hosel. The Flight Tuning System allows adjustable sole weights to be moved to two alternate settings; a 9-gram weight in the heel, 3-gram weight in the rear for lower spin, slice-reducing shape and a medium launch and then the 3-gram weight in the heel and 9-gram weight in the rear for medium spin, neutral shape and a higher launch. Additional weight screws can also be purchased as a kit. The adjustable hosel allows the 9.5-degree EXS driver to go from 7.5 degrees to 11.5 degrees, while the 10.5-degree EXS driver will adjust from 8.5 degrees to 12.5 degrees. The adjustable hosel also features three upright lie angle settings, giving the EXS driver 16 different settings between the two FTS weights and the eight different

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loft and lie settings. A new RollFace Technology incorporates modified bulge and roll on the toe to create straighter shots for shots hit off the toe, which is where most miss-hits with a driver are made. In conjunction with the sweet-spot enhancing Variable Face Thickness technology, the RollFace makes this the most forgiving driver face ever produced by Tour Edge. The aerodynamics in the EXS driver are greatly enhanced by a more sloping crown and wider speed channels on the sole. The new, more tapered head profile also reduces aerodynamic drag. New wider speed channels on the SlipStream sole create an even faster clubhead speed and enhance the aerodynamics of the clubhead. An ultra-premium Tensei CK Blue 2G shaft series by Mitsubishi Chemical is the stock shaft for the EXS driver. Extremely light yet extremely stable throughout, the Tensei Blue CK features advanced materials like Carbon Fiber and Kevlar mixed with other lightweight materials that weigh in the 50-70-gram range, depending on flex. The EXS fairway metals are loaded with the same technology, including 11-gram and 3-gram interchangeable weights, Cup Face Technology with Variable Face Thickness (VFT Technology) for an expanded sweet spot, multi-material usage of Carbon Fiber for ideal weight distribution and a new and improved SlipStream™ Sole for faster clubhead speed through the turf. These fairway metals are even longer than previous Tour Edge fairways and offer a nice boring trajectory—yet the ability to get the ball out of higher grass with ease. The CG location is positioned closer to the face for less spin, creating a trajectory that fights wind and increases roll. “The EXS fairway metal is a beautiful and traditional pear shape that we’ve been able to combine with five different integrated technologies,” added Glod. “In fact, in the independent tests we’ve conducted, it’s going to provide a ton of distance gain and less dispersion to a wider variety of skill levels than ever before.” The Tensei CK Blue 2G shaft series by Mitsubishi Chemical is the chosen stock shaft for the EXS fairway metal, and they are available in five different lofts; 13, 15 and 17 degree 3-woods, an 18 degree 5-wood and a 21 degree 7-wood. The 15 degree 3-wood is available

SWEETSTUFF by Terry Ross

in left handed. The Exotics EXS hybrid also features an interchangeable sole weight, expanded sweet spot and a design to be more effective in the wind with less spin, which has made it a popular choice on the pro tours. The EXS hybrids became the fastest growing hybrid on the U.S. professional tours in 2018 and were in the bag for four victories on the PGA Tour Champions. Exotics staff players Bart Bryant, Tom Lehman and Scott McCarron all won with an Exotics hybrid in the bag in 2018. Over 250 Exotics clubs were put into play on the PGA Tours in 2018, according to the Darrell Survey. For more information on the new Tour Edge EXS metals:

Live View Plus


ne of the better golf practice tools is now much improved as the LiveView Golf Digital Swing Mirror (DSM™) now comes with a faster camera and more features that greatly enhance this teaching and practice tool that has become very popular over the past couple of years. In the all-new LiveView-PLUS, the biggest advancement is the introduction of an improved camera that is noticeably faster and clearer than the original model. With 60 frame per-second video capture on the new camera, users can capture three times more frames for slow motion swing analysis over the LVG Classic edition. LiveView-PLUS integrates the latest WiFi technology using 802.11 BGN to reduce frame errors and ensure that more of your swing data is captured. This means more swing detail can be seen and analyzed during practice. Company Founder Shane Yang and his team managed to add all these extra frames without reducing real-time performance as the video still maintains video delays under 0.5 seconds to ensure that what you see, and feel is real. Another great feature of the LiveView-PLUS is the built-in wideangle optics that has reduced the minimum imaging distance to 9-feet in order capture 6.5-feet of vertical swing space, making it easier to use indoors or on the range in a hitting bay. With the optional wideangle lens adapter, that distance can be

reduced even further to less than 7-feet. The LiveView-PLUS is also very handy like the original version to carry in your golf bag or pocket and sets up anywhere— at home, in a hotel room or on the range. It checks in at a small 3.8” high, 2.72” wide and 1.2” deep and comes with its own carrying case. It also works well with the optional LivPod flexible tripod stand that is equally small and can be used to mount the camera on a golf bag, a door handle or even on top of a chair. The camera also has a bracket so that it can be mounted on an alignment stake punched in the ground, if desired. The new LiveView-PLUS app that can be downloaded to IOS devices and Android also has some nice new features with instant replay of every swing that is automatic, making this training tool even more intuitive with its improved software. The app also lets you do all kinds of nice swing analysis functions and transfer them back into the live video feed, with the ability to create templates to help with swing improvement. The app also has Live Swing Guides that allow the player to draw plane lines or stationary posts that can be used in the live feed as precise reference for the intended swing. LiveView-PLUS Digital Swing Mirror is really an old concept utilizing new technology. Mirrors have been used by teachers and golf students for many years, as have video cameras. But mirrors are bulky and don’t record anything by themselves and aren’t something you are going to lug around in a golf bag. Video

is available on your smartphone these days, but it has its limitations and doesn’t match what the software can do. The beauty of this system is that you can practice your swing while watching yourself (just like in a mirror) from any angle, record your swings (and even email them to an instructor) and watch your swing frame-by-frame. Because the feedback in this digital mirror is instantaneous, players can verify the real club position against their internal swing feel and make very fine distinctions as to what the intended swing position really feels like. This “real” feeling is what enables elite players to strike a ball correctly and consistently in actual play. To learn more visit: www.liveviewgolf. com

State Apparel


relative newcomer to the golf apparel scene, San Francisco-based company State Apparel has taken a definite unique twist to producing clothing for golf by treating it as equipment for players. The company likes to say that they are “Reinventing Golfwear” by transforming golf clothing into golf equipment by incorporating intuitive wiping layers into their golf pants and shirts. These are special towel-like fabrics for cleaning a golfer’s hands, clubs and golf balls, thus providing

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SWEETSTUFF an efficient solution so golfers no longer need to step away from a shot to grab a towel. State Apparel’s name is distilled from the Golden State of California. The founders grew up there and deeply appreciate the vast amount of natural beauty, resources, and diversity, as well as the innovation, individuality and opportunity it represents. Staying true to the owner’s belief in locally-made products, they manufacture their creations from start to finish in San Francisco and take pride in contributing to a thriving local economy. State Apparel offers a nice range of attire from shirts, bottoms, hats, outer wear and accessories, but one of their signature pieces is the Green Collar Shirt, made of recycled performance fabric and honors the Green Collar workers who’s sustainably and responsibly nurture the green spaces on which the game is played. Fashioned with a button-down collar for a polished Sunday look, the shirt sports a contrast collar, placket, and logo pocket for strong and subtle style. It is made of 79% Recycled Polyester, 21% Spandex, light weight, soft and smooth fabric with an athletic cut The perfect summer shirt from the beach to the dessert, it is also available in Charcoal, and Powder Blue.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of State Apparel products are donated to the Audubon International’s Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf, which is an award winning education and certification program that helps golf courses protect the environment and preserve the natural heritage of the game of golf. More information is available at:

Cuddle Clones


robably no group of sporting aficionados is as fervent about expressing their individuality as golfers—be it in the clothing that they wear or their equipment and the bags and protective covering for their clubs.

Innovative and designer headcovers for woods have evolved over the years, but a relative new company out of Louisville, Kentucky, called Cuddle Clones has taken golf club covers to a new level with their custom-made, exact replicas that are skillfully produced by the company. These life-like clones are a one-of-a-kind cover for your driver or three-wood and are sure to be the talk of your foursome. The pet’s name is even sown into the inside of the cover. The covers are hand-made from the finest plush materials and crafted to look just like your pet—and we mean just like it! The detail and craftmanship is remarkable as the company will utilize eight or nine photos of your furry companion for their artists to create a life-like headcover model (which is sent for final approval) and then fashioned into the finished product with lifelike features and fur. The only thing it doesn’t do is bark. Cuddle Clones captures all the physical details and personality traits of a pet in stuffed-animal form, and the company takes extreme care in making their products life-like and capturing your pet’s unique look. In addition to golf head covers, which are sure to turn heads on the range or at the course, the company also makes an entire gamut of life-like custom replicas such as custom tee shirts, blankets, phone cases, coffee mugs, holiday stockings and even slippers! These make great holiday gifts—or gifts for any occasion. Orders take about five weeks. Cuddle Clones also donates 10% of all profits to organizations that help animals in need—so all purchases go to help a worthy cause. To learn more visit:

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The Best Gift Of The Year!

Enjoy a vicarious trip with Chuck Miller “The Traveling Guy” as he reflects on his incredible, fun and amazing 50-week, 50-state golf odyssey. Golfing The U.S. makes for a delightful and inexpensive birthday or holiday present.

available on at $14.95 and on Amazon Kindle at $8.95.!

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38 Golf Vacations • December 2018

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