Golf Vacations Magazine - February 2021

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OUR 20th YEAR!

THIS MONTH: My Turn • SweetStuff • ChipShots





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Rancho Bernardo Inn - San Diego, California


Chip Shots


Italy’s Best: 3 Charming Golf Clubs, 3 Luxury Hotels


Rancho Bernardo Inn

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by Dakota Diaz ITALIAN RIVIERA, ITALY – Stay and play in Liguria. Exploring the small region in the north-western part of Italy is a slow trip along the Mediterranean coastline. The sea on one side, hills and mountains on the other; rocks and beaches, small fishing villages and medieval hamlets are all around on the road along the coast.

by David R. Holland SAN DIEGO, CA – Rancho Bernardo Inn is a timeless, modern throwback, classic resort that reminds you of a day when Bob Hope hung around, played golf and entertained.

Discover Golf Fun in 2021

Thank God 2020 is in the rearview mirror! Fingers crossed, 2021 will be totally different and more like the norm. We can go back to congregating with our family and friends, dining at our favorite restaurants, supporting our favorite establishments and traveling to outstanding golf destinations.

Sweet Stuff

by Terry Ross

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CONTRIBUTINGWRITERS Dakota Diaz is a Chicago-based freelance writer. Growing up in the golf mecca of Palm Springs, CA, Dakota is no stranger to the golf resort lifestyle. You’ll find him at his “real job” as Partner/Chief Investment Officer at Green Cloud Capital, a Southern Californa based private equity firm.

Executive Editor Jeffrey Diaz

Associate Editors Shane Sharp is a freelance writer and the owner of Southbound 4, a content marketing and PR shop in Greenville, S.C. He’s a contributing editor with GOLF Magazine, Club & Resort Business, Golf Inc. and Club Management.

Terry Ross Dakota Diaz

Features Editor JD Latorre

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.

Tim Cotroneo Larry Feldman David R. Holland Dave McKibben

For Editorial:

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.

call (760) 774–2655 e-mail:

Regional Advertising

Los Angeles Terry Ross • (949) 279–7801 Atlanta Harold Chambliss • (678) 906-4050 Chicago Dakota Diaz •(312) 809–8808

Published by

President Jeffrey Diaz

PO BOX #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 2021 Stony Creek Media, LLC, 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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• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • CHIPSHOTS Pawleys Plantation

The Rewards Package, Myrtle Beach’s Best 2021 Stay-And-Play Offer, Is Unveiled MYRTLE BEACH, SC – Founders Group International, Myrtle Beach’s premier golf course ownership group, has unveiled the 2021 Rewards Package, annually the area’s best and most popular stayand-play deal. A 4-night, 4-round offer, the Rewards Package allows golfers to choose among FGI’s 21 courses, including some of Myrtle Beach’s most acclaimed layouts, and each player receives a $100 gift card, good for use on food and beverage and in the pro shop. The fourth night of accommodations at Myrtlewood Villas is also free, further enhancing the value of a package that starts at $425. Headlining the courses golfers can play as part of the Rewards Package are the Grande Dunes Resort Course, TPC Myrtle Beach, Pawleys Plantation and King’s North at Myrtle Beach National, a quartet worthy of forming the heart of a dream golf vacation. While the top 100-caliber courses attract much of the attention, the package’s unmatched value lies in the depth of its offerings. Among the other courses golfers can play are: Aberdeen Country, Burning Ridge, Colonial Charters, Founders Club, Litchfield, Long Bay, SouthCreek at MBN, West Course at MBN, PineHills Course at Myrtlewood, Palmetto Course at Myrtlewood, Pine Lakes, River Club, River Hills, Tradition Club, Wild Wing - Avocet, Willbrook and World Tour. “The Rewards Package is Myrtle Beach’s most popular offer, providing golf groups with an unsurpassed combination of quality and value,” said Justin Binke, FGI’s director of sales and marketing. “Group leaders love the opportunity to choose among 21 courses, and the $100 gift card pushes an already outstanding package over the top.” For more information, visit

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Troon Acquires Indigo Golf Partners Scottsdale, AZ – Troon®, the leader in club management, development, and marketing, is pleased to announce it has acquired Indigo Golf Partners, the company formerly known as Billy Casper Golf. Indigo Golf Partners is one of the largest golf course management companies in the United States. Headquartered in Reston, Va., with regional offices and teams across the nation, the company owns and operates more than 160 golf courses, country clubs and resorts in 29 states. Members and guests of Indigo-managed facilities will continue to experience the same outstanding service, incredible course conditions and excellent food and beverage options. ”Leaving the industry better than we found it has been a guiding principle of Indigo Golf Partners, and Bob Morris and I hope to have achieved that in our over 30 year history in the industry,” said Peter Hill, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Indigo Golf Partners. “Troon aligns with our commitment to quality service and has a complementary course portfolio making it the right company for us to join. We are confident in growth ahead for Indigo and appreciate the dedication and commitment of all team members and partners who have made our great company what it is today.” Current plans call for the Indigo Golf Partners office in Reston, Va. to continue and support managed-clubs throughout Troon’s full family of brands, including Troon Golf, Troon Privé, Honours Golf, OB Sports and more. In addition to its global headquarters in Scottsdale, Ariz., Troon now has offices in Reston; Newton, Mass.; Chicago, Ill.; Irvine, Calif.; Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Birmingham, Ala.; Seattle, Wash.; New Braunfels, Texas; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. “Peter Hill and I have been good friends for many years,” said Troon Founder and Executive Chairman Dana Garmany. “While we have been friendly competitors over time, we’ve always shared a mutual

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • CHIPSHOTS admiration for each other’s company. We share common values and a similar approach to putting our client’s interests first and foremost, and working to impact the golf industry in a positive fashion.” “We are thrilled to be combining two incredible companies and look forward to the future opportunities this acquisition presents our respective clients, associates, members and guests,” said Troon President and CEO Tim Schantz. “This transaction supports our continued growth and reach in the industry, while bringing additional support, expertise and resources to associates as well as current and prospective clients.” Troon’s purchase of Indigo Golf Partners follows its acquisition of Green Golf Partners in May 2019; OB Sports Golf Management in April 2019; RealFood Hospitality, Strategy and Design in February 2019; and Cliff Drysdale Management, the nation’s largest tennis management company, in July 2018. Troon, already the world’s largest golf management company, substantially increases its portfolio of facilities with the acquisition of Indigo Golf Partners – the company now provides managed services at 585-plus locations around the globe, including managing 630plus 18-hole equivalent golf courses.

Troon Announces Partnership With The G2 Girls Golf Academy Scottsdale, AZ – Troon®, the leader in club management, development, and marketing, is pleased to announce a partnership with The G2 Girls Golf Academy, a unique golf training system developed specifically for female junior golfers. G2 will deliver the 15-week, girls-only training model at select Troon-managed facilities across the country, including the first at Tiburón Golf Club at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples in Naples, Florida beginning in January 2021.

Based in Bluffton, South Carolina, G2 has trained female junior golfers of all skill levels using scientific-based instruction designed to remove barriers of traditional instruction in a collaborative group environment and to encourage girls to reach their full potential in golf and in life. G2 students receive world-class training in golf, mental training, physical fitness, nutrition, leadership and college placement. Training includes bench-marking and development in “Five Levels of Competency” lead by a certified teaching professional. Students advance through each level by completing tasks and skilllevel evaluations - all tracked and charted in the student-specific mobile App. “We are excited to partner with Troon and expand our G2 training programs at Troon-managed facilities across the country,” said Ray Travaglione, Founder and CEO, The G2 Academy. “The best opportunity for female athletes to gain college scholarships is through golf. The G2 training program provides a roadmap for getting recruited to play college golf, including a comprehensive developmental plan and opportunities to build golf resumes.” The G2 Academy is open to female junior golfers ages 11 to 18, from entry level to advanced player. G2’s girls-only program is based on science and backed by research which provides an atmosphere for learning that is focused and minimizes distractions so expectations become achievable while having fun and learning to play golf. “Growing the game and providing opportunities to advance in the sport are key tenets at Troon,” said Bruce Glasco, chief operating officer, Troon. “The G2 Golf Academy model is one that provides female junior golfers a chance to not only advance in the game, but also grow their self-confidence.” For more information on G2//Troon Golf Academies, visit www. or call (843) 400-3015. G2 - Lonestar Invitational Group Photo

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• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • CHIPSHOTS Mauna Lani

Mauna Lani Golf Courses Ranked Among Golfweek’s Top Resort Courses In The U.s. Hawai‘i Island, Hawaii – Mauna Lani Golf’s two golf courses continued to climb in Golfweek’s newest ranking of the “Top 200 Best Resort Courses in the U.S.” found in the recently published “Ultimate Guide of Best Courses” for 2021. Mauna Lani’s North Course moved up nine spots – from No. 118 to No. 109 – while the South Course moved up six spots – from No. 196 to No. 189. Every year, Golfweek’s elite team of course raters, which currently boasts more than 850 evaluators, surveys more than 3,600 courses – grading each nominated course on the basis of Golfweek’s 10 strict standards of evaluation. Collectively, these knowledgeable raters have turned in more than 75,000 votes to compile Golfweek’s Best Courses lists. Among the criteria used by Golfweek’s panel of course raters include: • Ease and intimacy of routing – The extent to which the sequence of holes follows natural contours and unfolds in an unforced manner. • Variety and memorability of par 3s, 4s and 5s – Different clubs hit; extent to which the angles of play create interesting and varied playing options; and extent to which holes offer variety of options from the tee and on the second shot. • Basic quality of conditioning – Variety of playing textures; extent of turf coverage; consistency and quality of bunker sand. • Walk in the park test – Degree to which the course ultimately is worth spending a half-day on. “To have both courses, right here at Mauna Lani, ranked among the ‘Top 200 Best Resort Courses’ in the country is a true honor,” said Chris Noda, director of golf, Mauna Lani Golf. “We are honored to not only be included, but also see both courses progress upward in the ranking. I know our entire team is focused on creating ‘best’ experiences and

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this recognition by Golfweek reaffirm our teams commitment.” Mauna Lani’s North Course, a Flint, Cain and Nelson design, was built on an ancient lava bed. Overlaying the rugged brown pahoehoelava flow, the North Course features a superb layout for shot makers navigating through lava on the rolling fairways and kiawe forests. A 230-acre protected archeological district lies on the northern edge of the North Course, while feral goats roam the course, cropping the grass and providing a unique neutral hazard. The par-3 17th is the signature hole on the North Course as a series of elevated tees form a natural amphitheater with the green at the base of a lava bowl. The South Course, a Homer Flint, Raymond Cain and Robin Nelson design, was built on the 16th century Kaniku lava flow snaking through stark, rugged a‘a lava featuring vibrant contrast with manicured lush green fairways and blue ocean. A pair of par 3s – the 7th and 15th holes – are Mauna Lani South’s signature holes and are two of the most photographed golf holes in the world. The South Course was home to the Senior Skins Game from 1990 to 2000. For more information on Mauna Lani Golf, visit www.

Golfnow And Youth On Course Form Landmark Partnership, Providing More Access For Kids ORLANDO, Fla. – A new partnership announced today between GolfNow and Youth on Course takes a major step toward ensuring the vitality of golf as a recreational alternative for kids, as well as using technology to create more affordable and equal access to the sport for youth in all socio-economic circumstances. Two of the more significant elements of the partnership include

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • CHIPSHOTS the development by GolfNow of a custom Youth on Course booking engine, allowing kids the ease and convenience of booking tee times online or via the Youth on Course mobile app; and a GolfNow “round-up” campaign, which will offer anyone booking tee times on the opportunity to round up the total cost of the reservation to an even-dollar figure. For example, if the cost of a tee time totals $34.65, the golfer can elect to round up the cost to $35, donating the additional $0.35 to Youth on Course. “Growing the game of golf is part of the mission of both GolfNow and Youth on Course, so not only are we proud of this new collaboration that will help welcome more kids to our great sport but we’re also extremely excited to be lending our industryleading technology to help Youth on Course advance their efforts exponentially,” said Jerramy Hainline, GolfNow SVP/GM. GolfNow, part of the NBC Sports Group digital portfolio, operates the largest tee-time marketplace in golf and is the industry’s leading provider of golf course operations software and services to more than 9,000 courses worldwide. GolfNow will help Youth on Course with marketing, fund-raising and technology solutions, furthering the non-profit’s mission to ensure all young people have affordable access to play golf and can unlock the life-changing opportunities the game provides. Additionally, each Youth on Course membership will now include access to hundreds of hours of high-quality golf instruction


thanks to a complimentary video membership through GolfPass, NBC Sports’ digital golf membership that delivers exclusive content and comprehensive benefits tailored to the modern golfer’s lifestyle. GolfPass also will help develop welcome and training curriculum for Youth on Course members and affiliated golf courses, while Youth on Course will help GolfPass with content creation and distribution. Youth on Course is dedicated to establishing more opportunities for the younger generation to access golf courses at an affordable price. It provides its 100,000 members with access to play more than 1,400 golf courses across the U.S. and Canada for $5 or less. Members also are offered career opportunities through the caddie and internship programs and have the chance to receive college scholarships. Fueling the golf industry, Youth on Course subsidizes rounds for members and puts money back into allied golf associations and individual courses. The organization’s structure helps golf courses fill typically unused tee times and garner additional revenue with more than 40% of members playing with paying adults. The amount reimbursed back to participating courses has almost doubled in the past year, reaching close to $2.8 million this year alone and totaling nearly $8 million dating back to 2005. Mutual elements of the partnership include cross-platform marketing and golf course relationship and recruitment opportunities, which will help bring Youth on Course to more regions across the country.


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• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • CHIPSHOTS Cherokee Valley Course and Club

Cherokee Valley Course and Club Announces 2021 Membership Plans TRAVELERS REST, S.C. – Cherokee Valley Course and Club, Upstate South Carolina’s premier family club and mountain golf destination north of Greenville, has released its updated membership plans for 2021. Membership requires no initiation fee, food-and-beverage minimums or assessments, and monthly dues are well-below private club levels. Five value-packed membership plans are designed for today’s modern lifestyle, each requiring only a one-year agreement. Cherokee Valley’s popular Business Flex Plan has also been renewed, offering companies of various sizes a venue for bonding with clients and employees. “To grow the game and retain golfers we have to mold memberships around the realities of today’s busy and unpredictable lifestyles,” says Cherokee Valley Owner Matt Jennings. “Families, singles and business owners all need and appreciate freedom, flexibility and value. Our membership plans are engineered to deliver these elements.” The updated Family and Individual Membership Plans for 2021: Cherokee Valley’s Platinum Membership continues to be one of the best values in the Upstate. At $210, monthly, for families and $173.25 for singles, it features full access to golf, the resort-style pool, golf training facility and spacious practice range. Use of neighboring North Greenville University’s (NGU co-op) fitness center and reduced rates for select sporting and special events are also included. The Gold Membership ($183.75, $152.25) is perfect for golf purists, extending seven-day-a-week access to golf, while the Silver Membership ($131.25 / $105) includes unlimited golf on Saturdays and Sundays. Ideal for busy professionals 35 and under, the Young Professional

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Membership ($141.75) offers full weekday and weekend access. The Sport Adventure Membership ($105, $91.35) grants unlimited use of the training facility (with fitness equipment), two rounds of golf monthly and NGU co-op and pool access. A popular and convenient addition to any membership, Cart Plans run $131.25 monthly for a family or $110.25 for a single, giving members unlimited use of Cherokee Valley’s fleet of golf carts. The club recently acquired 35 new E-Z-GO RXV golf carts and will receive 20 more once the new golf shop and storage facility opens along with Core 450 in early 2021. JBL mounted Bluetooth speakers at the base of the windshield pair with smartphones for streaming music or sports broadcasts while playing. The RXV carts also feature E-ZGO’s award-winning TFM GPS system mounted just under the roof. The TFM touchscreens pop with vibrant, high-def hole diagrams and pin-point accurate yards to fairway landing areas, hazards and pin placements, taking the guesswork out of club selection. Cherokee Valley residents who own their own golf carts can buy a Trail Plan ($105, $88.20) for unlimited use of their vehicle at the golf course (subject to approval). The Business Flex Plan is a full-service entertainment, networking and team-building solution for companies of all sizes. It’s loaded with benefits: two (foursome) tee times per month (golf cart and range balls included), 10% off golf shop merchandise and a “Partners Tab” with hyperlink on the Cherokee Valley website. With socially distanced meetings in mind, it also includes private access to the event center or event space on the driving range, personalized outing with golf and cart included (up to 16 guests) and four business NGU sport passes, all for $218.75 a month. Fore more information visit

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • CHIPSHOTS Lost Cabos A Major Presence On Golfweek’s Top 50 Roster Golfweek’s Ultimate Guide to Great Escapes has been released, and once again Los Cabos excels on the publication’s roster of the ‘Top 50 Mexico, Caribbean, Atlantic and Central America’ courses. Thirteen golf facilities in Los Cabos, the dazzling Land’s End destination at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, appear on the list, with three venues in the top 10 and seven courses in the top 20. In addition, Costa Baja Resort & Spa (El Cortes) in nearby La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur, was voted to the list. According to the publication, “Rater scores based on 10 criteria are averaged to identify the best courses in Mexico, Caribbean, Atlantic and Central America for 2021.” Golfweek’s rankings are further proof that Los Cabos has established itself as the unrivalled Golf Capital of Latin America. No other destination in Mexico boasts as many courses on the elite roster. In addition to its world-class courses, Los Cabos brought 2020 to a close with nearly 80% recovery of all travel activity due to the destination’s swift response to control the spread of COVID-19. As part of the Los Cabos with Care – A Safer Way to Get Away system, strict safety guidelines and health protocols are in place at all golf courses, hotels, restaurants and activity centers to ensure the well-being of all travelers visiting the destination. Commanding the No. 1 position on Golfweek’s list is the Dunes Course at Diamante, the flagship of a 1,500acre private resort community on the destination’s west coast. Opened in 2009, the Dunes Course is a 7,022-yard behemoth carved by Davis Love III into massive rolling dunes set back from the Pacific Ocean. This windswept, topsy-turvy links, which offers great diversity and spectacular views, rambles past huge blowout bunkers and tufted sand hills on its journey to and from the sea. Among the feature holes is the 590-yard par-5 18th, which offers multiple landing areas and plays to a shelf-like green perched 50 feet above the fairway. Guests of the on-site Nobu Hotel and Hard Rock Hotel enjoy exclusive access to the Dunes Course, subject to availability. Cabo del Sol (Cove Club), ranked No. 4 and formerly known as the Ocean Course, is the epic layout that put Los Cabos on the international golf map when it opened in 1994. Intent on producing the ‘Pebble Beach of the Baja’ on what he described as “the best piece of golf property I’ve ever seen,” designer Jack Nicklaus charted grand-scale holes across gently sloping terrain creased


by sandy arroyos and bounded by rugged mountains. In 2019, Nicklaus returned to create a handful of new holes at the renamed Cove Club (now private). The revised layout, which brings players to the sea on both nines, has upgraded playing surfaces, restyled bunkers and new landscaping. Chileno Bay (No. 10), a splendid Tom Fazio-designed golf course marked by graceful, flowing landforms intended to simulate rolling ocean waves, benefitted from a makeover by Discovery Land Co. that introduced colorful vegetation and bright white sand in its formal bunkers. The immaculately-groomed course, framed by desert foothills and interlaced with sandy arroyos, features interior mountain vistas and a sea view from every hole. The back nine builds to a crescendo at the par-4 18th hole, which tumbles downhill to an infinityedge green. The otherwise-private club is accessible to guests of Chileno Bay Resort & Residences. Rancho San Lucas, the Greg Normandesigned course that plays nip and tuck with the Pacific, makes an auspicious debut on Golfweek’s list at No. 12. Unveiled in February 2020, the layout spans three different ecosystems, rambling through huge windswept dunes at the start, climbing through a thick cactus forest creased by arroyos, and returning players to the beach on the back nine. Known for his ‘least-disturbance’ approach, Norman kept earthmoving to a minimum to retain the site’s contours. Forty steep-walled pot bunkers constructed from recycled artificial turf dot the links-style course. Rancho San Lucas is a private club with access available to guests of Solmar Group hotels, including the on-site Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas resort. Tied with Rancho San Lucas at No. 12 is Querencia, a marvelous Tom Fazio creation and the centerpiece of a private 1,800-acre golf community set in rugged desert foothills high above the Sea of Cortes. Loosely translated as “sanctuary”, Querencia, known for its slick, multi-tiered greens,

takes players on a roller-coaster ride across steep hills and bluffs, with several holes set along the edges of deep canyons and rocky arroyos. Fazio’s attention to detail is evident at every turn at Querencia, with palm trees and lush vegetation artfully blended with the native desert border. Broad contoured fairways and harmonious transitions mark this challenging yet playable course. The prime amenity at a 1,400-acre master-planned community, Twin Dolphin (No. 15) occupies a superb location along the corridor linking the towns of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Opened in 2018, the course, built by Fred Couples and Todd Eckenrode of Origins Golf Design, sprawls across a broad sloping plateau bisected by three major arroyos. Perched 180 meters above sea level, the layout, known for its fast-running fairways, dramatic rock outcrops and stark mountain backdrop, features a sweeping ocean view from every hole. Twin Dolphin is a private club accessible to guests of Montage Los Cabos, a resort hotel on Santa Maria Bay; and the Montage Residences. Originally built as a resort course in 1999, El Dorado Golf & Beach Club (No. 16) is now a private resort community under the aegis of Discovery Land Co. The Jack Nicklaus-designed layout, featuring rolling saddled fairways, huge bunker complexes and picturesque green sites, meanders through a pair of stark canyons divided by a huge rocky hill. Bristling desert vegetation, dramatic rock formations and four interior lakes flank the fairways, with water in play at several holes. El Dorado’s signature hole is the short par-3 16th, its ledged green set directly above the beach and swept by onshore sea breezes. The other Los Cabos courses voted to Golfweek’s Top 50 roster include El Cardonal at Diamante (No. 24), Quivira (No. 25), Cabo del Sol - Desert (No. 29), Cabo Real (No. 37), Costa Palmas (No. T39), and Puerto Los Cabos – Norman/Nicklaus (No. 41). Costa Baja Resort & Spa - El Cortes in La Paz is ranked T43.

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Circling Raven Earns ‘Golfweek’s Best Resort Courses’ Distinction

Worley, ID – Circling Raven Golf Club enjoyed a banner year in 2020, posting record numbers, garnering several new or improved course accolades, giving back to the local golf community, and announcing it will host the Circling Raven Championship, a Symetra “Road to the LPGA” Tour event this coming August. If its start to 2021 is any indication, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe-owned property is poised for another successful season – Circling Raven earned high marks from Golfweek course raters and is subsequently included in its annual “Best 200 Resort Courses” compilation. “We’re gratified to join iconic properties like Pebble Beach and Bandon Dunes on the list of most highly regarded stay-and-play venues in America,” said Laura Penney, CEO of Coeur d’Alene

Casino Resort Hotel. “There are more than 14,000 golf courses in the country; to be one of the Top 200 is a status we work hard to achieve and maintain annually.” To come up with its list, hundreds of Golfweek course raters evaluate courses nationwide and score them based on 10 criteria, including routing, memorability of holes, greens and surrounds, conditioning and ecology, and tree and landscape management. This is the latest accolade Golfweek has bestowed upon Circling Raven. Last year, it rated the Gene Bates-designed 18-hole layout one of the nation’s top casino courses and one of the best playing venues in Idaho, a state filled with exceptional golf options. Located approximately 55 minutes from Spokane International Airport (GEG), Circling Raven measures 7,189 yards from the rear tees. Many who play Circling Raven, which includes a nationally

Circling Raven

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• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • CHIPSHOTS honored retail shop and the excellent Twisted Earth restaurant with bar, claim it as an immediate member of their all-time best golf experiences in the west. The course and Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel will host the Circling Raven Championship (Aug. 23-29, 2021), a Symetra “Road to the LPGA” Tour event, through which top women professional golfers compete to qualify for the LPGA Tour. As part of its mission to give back to the game, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe has granted two exemptions to the Circling Raven Championship – to Gabby Lemieux, a Native American and member of the Symetra Tour who is from Idaho; and to Allyn Stephens, a Houston teenager who won the Notah Begay III Junior Golf Championship in the girls 14-18 age group. Begay is a Native American, and he and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe have aligned missions to support and provide opportunities for young people through the game. Spring stay-and-play packages are now available. The following rates are good until May 23, 2021, and include golf for two, golf cart with GPS, use of the 25-acre Practice Facility, and a one-night stay at the award-winning resort: For more information about Circling Raven and Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel, visit or 800-523-2464.

Champion Hills Membership





HENDERSONVILLE, NC – Champion Hills, Hendersonville’s premier golf community, is responding to a seismic demographic shift in private club demand with its new “Equity 55,” a full golf membership designed for those age 55 and under. With Equity 55, Champion Hills’ $40,000 initiation fee is divided into four equal payments over four years, dues and replacement reserve fund contributions are reduced by 50% and the club’s $800 annual food and beverage minimum is prorated for new members. Offering complete access to the club’s amenities and activities, Equity 55 members enjoy Champion Hills’ mountain-style Tom Faziodesigned golf course, clubhouse with pub and fine dining, wellness center, tennis and bocce courts, pool and hydro spa and more. Like the club’s social and full golf membership, Equity 55

members’ vertical family can also experience the club without being accompanied by a member and do not incur golf green fees when playing Fazio’s mountain masterpiece. Member-owned, Champion Hills is managed by Troon Privé, the private club operating division of Troon. Through Troon Privé Privileges, members of Troon Privé-managed private clubs receive extraordinary golf and lifestyle benefits throughout the world. Qualified Champion Hills members enjoy access to 100+ Troon Privé golf courses; opportunities to experience more than 150 Troon Golf resort and daily fee locations at preferred rates; access to amenities at participating private clubs (fitness facilities, tennis, aquatics and dining); preferred benefits at participating Cliff Drysdale Tennis clubs and resorts; and much more. “The Greenville, S.C. to Asheville, N.C. corridor is one of the fastest growing and most-desirable regions in the Southeastern U.S.,” says Champion Hills General Manager and Chief Operating Officer Dana Schultz. “People of all ages enjoy the safety, sanctuary, camaraderie and amenities that private clubs can offer. Equity 55 meets the upswell in demand by a younger demographic in search of both a club and community to call home.” The club is the centerpiece of the Champion Hills community, which boasts a broad array of residential options – luxury homes, low maintenance cottages, lock-and-leave villas and a limited number of building lots – suiting a wide variety of buyers. Lots range from .5 up to 1.5 acres, with prices from $50,000 to $300,000. Move-in ready luxury residences range from $500,000 to $3 million featuring golf course, mountain and wooded views. Fazio’s former home course and club, and the legendary golf course architect devised a brilliant routing through Champion Hill’s heavily forested hills, deep ravines and cool mountain streams of its Blue Ridge Mountain setting. He and his team of shapers pulled ridges into valleys and filled hollows to create “playing platforms” providing golfers with level lies amid 350-feet of elevation change. Said Fazio about his mountain masterpiece: “Six holes play slightly uphill on the entire course, but only six. Overall, the majority of holes play downhill. We did it through grading and do it through transition areas from the green to the next tee.”

Champion Hills Clubhouse

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by Dakota Diaz


105 Miles from the Coast of Portofino to the French Border Along the Sea, 3 Charming Golf Clubs, 3 Luxury Hotels


tay and play in Liguria. Exploring the small region in the northwestern part of Italy is a slow trip along the Mediterranean coastline. The sea on one side, hills and mountains on the other; rocks and beaches, small fishing villages and medieval hamlets are all around on the road along the coast. The Italian Riviera tastes good, with a mix of sea breeze and scent of flowers, olive and lemon trees. The olive oil industry is a strong tradition here, a matter of pride, an expertise and a business for the region, which is blessed by a mild climate on the coast even in wintertime. Perfect for golf too. Tradition, charm, challenging holes and warm hospitality describe golf in Liguria. With a 19th hole full of genuine flavours and local dishes that you can taste on a terrace overlooking the sea. On the table, homemade pasta (trofie, trenette, pansotti) with pesto (basil leaves and olive oil for the king of sauces). The room is not far from the first tee. Liguria Golf Destination suggests the best of hospitality with three 5* hotels. Glamour and perfect services, facing the sea or the course. Recognized by top hôtellerie families as Leading Hotels of the World, Legend Preferred Hotels or Relais & Châteaux, they can offer guests revisited old splendors or the small dimension of a charming retreat. Each one is a memorable experience. Either way, the trip can start in Genova (Italy) or in Nice (France). Both airports are very well served by international airlines. Spending a one-week vacation and moving forward every two days to a new course and hotel, is the perfect travel timing to go deep inside many experiences. Slow rhythm, relaxed atmosphere, golfing and much more. Do not forget to take a cooking class and learn how to make homemade pesto. Devote some time to visit Genova, getting lost in the tight alleys of the old town. Walk around one of the many medieval villages as Dolceacqua (Sanremo) or Cervo (Garlenda), and make a stop in the quiet Laigueglia (Garlenda) or in the world-renowned Portofino (Rapallo). Shop in the brand new Sanremo Mall. Visit a «frantoio» and see how olives are transformed in top quality extra vergine oil. Taste the best expression of the Mediterranean diet. Bike along the Via Julia Augusta or the high paths overlooking the sea. And do not leave without trying your luck at the famous Casinò di Sanremo. RAPALLO TO PLAY: Circolo Golf e Tennis Rapallo Few meters from the highway, the entrance is just in the middle of the small sea town. The 18 holes climb on the hills behind, offering plenty of dog legs, uphill fairways and tee-shots from above. The course requires strategy more than long distance, and good recovery skills. Since the opening in 1931, and thanks to the mild climate, a lush vegetation has grown all around with beeches and chestnuts, acacias, eucalyptus and palms. Simple elegance, glamour and famous guests have played here such as Rita Hayworth, Bob Hope and Bill Gates. TO STAY: Excelsior Palace Hotel For the legendary hotel (and first Italian Casino), history begins in 1901 on the cliffs overlooking the blue sea of the coast of

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Portofino, surrounding the hotel on three sides. A 5 stars deluxe, close to the Rapallo marina, the Excelsior is located few steps away from Portofino. An elegant ambiance, with 119 rooms and plenty of options to taste Italian food and wine; the private beach, two panoramic pools, the Health Club and Spa. Among the eminent guests enjoying the Excelsior luxury services in the years, the Duke of Windsor, Bruce Springsteen and George Clooney. GARLENDA TO PLAY: Golf Club Garlenda British style and Mediterranean taste, both on the course and in club house. The 18 holes, signed by John Morrison and John Harris, are in play since 1964 and wind across the wide valley of river Lerrone. Olive trees and umbrella pines shape the course and suggest the strategy; all around hills and woods, hamlets and villas. After golf, guests can enjoy a swimming pool and a fully equipped gym. Garlenda is inland of the ancient Albenga (famous for its wellpreserved medieval center) and of the colored sea town of Alassio. TO STAY: La Meridiana Hotel & Golf Resort A Relais & Chateaux since 1979, La Meridiana is set in the countryside just 4 miles from the sea of Alassio, with the Garlenda golf course on site. Alessandra and Edmondo Segre, the owners,receive their guests since 1983. Different styles for the 26 rooms and a trip through the Mediterranean cuisine in two restaurants (Rosmarino and Bistrot) with a collection of the best Italian wines. Dogs are welcome. Available, tailored visits to Liguria and Piedmont; private helipad (services provided by Heli Air Monaco); a business aviation hub, the Riviera Airport, one mile away. SANREMO TO PLAY: Circolo Golf Degli Ulivi A par 69 course not overly long, with most par 4’s easily reached with two shots. Not ideal for long hitters, but on the other hand requiring considerable technical ability. Missing the green could be an adventure. The club is there since 1932 (among the first in Italy). The club house dominates, 160 mt. high on the sea. Inside, boiseries and trophies show a long golf tradition, while a wide terrace is perfect to dine in the summer. Golf was played in the area by English visitors as far back as 1901. TO STAY: Royal Hotel Sanremo Luxury, intimacy and relaxation are to be found in the exclusive 5-star hotel. Inaugurated in 1872, rich in history and tradition, it has been home of royalties and celebrities. Timeless elegance and modern comforts in the 127 rooms, all individually decorated. The Fiori di Murano restaurant offers panoramic views and precious glass-flower chandeliers. A candlelit dinner is served on the terrace overlooking the sea at Il Giardino. The heated sea-water pool is set in a subtropical park. The Spa is a true Royal Wellness oasis.


Circolo Golf e Tennis Rapallo

Circolo Golf Degli Ulivi

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RNARDO INN by David R. Holland

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AN DIEGO, CA – Rancho Bernardo Inn is a timeless, modern throwback, classic resort that reminds you of a day when Bob Hope hung around, played golf and entertained.

Add perfect 70-degree weather year around and RBI becomes the perfect getaway for snow-strangled easterners getting cabin fever. The golf course at 6,667 yards at par 72 is a William Francis Bell design that opened in 1962 and hosted the 1964 San Diego Open that Art Wall won, besting Tony Lema and Bob Rosburg by two strokes. Wall deposited $4,300 for the win. The LPGA came to RBI in 1978 when Nancy Lopez lost to Sally Little in a playoff and Joanne Carner won in 1979 and in 1980 she nudged 18-year-old Judy Rankin to win $22,500. In 1986, Ted Robinson Sr. added the water features seen on nine and 18 and in 1998, the course was upgraded by Brian Curley and Lee Schmidt, who added a fourth set of tees and reshaped the 61 bunkers. The greens were also redone.

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Rancho Bernardo Inn: For All Skill Levels Open long before the area’s golf boom daily fee courses like Maderas, Aviara and Grand Del Mar, this is a fun golf course that will reward straight drives and accurate approaches without beating you up. You will need to avoid trees on doglegs, negotiate some deep splashed bunkers and avoid water. The par-3s are fun and very playable from the forward tees. The neighborhood setting in northeast San Diego County uses the beautiful views of the San Pasqual Valley foothills. “Rancho Bernardo Inn has the strongest history for daily fee golf courses in the San Diego area,” said Evan Biundo, Director of Golf. “Our golfers all have memories of RBI growing up playing the course with family and friends. Those memories make our guests feel personally connected to the property and the staff, allowing RBI golf course to feel like home to them on each visit. “The course is a gem resort-style course. Most holes allow for drives that miss the fairway right, to still have an approach

photo by Channing Benjamin

shot at the green. The par 5’s allow good scores for all skill levels but the par 3’s will test the most skilled golfers with forced carries over water hazards and narrow catty-cornered greens that are challenging to hit. “Hole 18 is my favorite on the course – it’s the perfect cherry on the ice cream sundae. A downhill drive followed by an uphill approach over a creek guarding the 3-tiered green makes our golfers finish their round saying, “Wow, when can we come back?””

The 18th, a 544-yard, par-5, can be a beast going downhill from the tee and back uphill past Robinson’s spewing fountain and lots of water that trails in front of the green and behind with rock-strewn ponds and trickling wetness. And then the green has three tiers. The ninth is short, but a risky 306 yards because the water in front angles your ball into the pond if you get the wrong bounce. The course is very walkable.

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Rancho Bernardo Inn: Live Music, Awesome Food, Swanky Hotel And A Spa There was once a time when RBI hosted a concert series on the driving range that was the biggest happening in Rancho Bernardo. It was called Symphony on the Green, featured the San Diego Symphony, and for 20 years of summer concerts brought luminaries like Mel Torme, Doc Severinson, Henry Mancini, Debbie Reynolds and Marie Osmond here. It ended after a 1992 appearance by comedian Bob Hope. Today most nights include live music at Veranda Fireside Lounge & Restaurant that includes a view of the final hole. Don’t forget it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. AVANT is RBI’s top-notch contemporary restaurant that draws on the best of wine country dining in a relaxed atmosphere. The culinary team serves up dishes and drinks that embrace items foraged, farmed, hunted or fished. AVANT Kitchen, a private demonstration kitchen, offers small groups of up to 12 direct access to AVANT’s chefs, their secrets to

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spectacular results and private experiences in the intimate space. The 287 hotel guestrooms and suites were completely updated and California-Spanish architecture abounds. Enjoy comfortable platform beds, workspace, marble spa-style shower and vanity, separate bathtub, along with a 42-inch, flat-screen TV and WiFi. My private balcony displayed the spa and pool along with the foothills and a great sunset. There’s also more than 40,000 square-feet of flexible meeting space in the Aragon Ballroom. They can accommodate an intimate gathering for 16 or a grand event for 1,000 guests. The Spa features state of the art treatment rooms, temperaturecontrolled outdoor treatment casitas, relaxing water features and sunning lounges right next to a beautiful swimming pool. Rancho Bernardo Inn is abiding by strict California Covid-19 guidelines, so check the website for instructions. Photos courtesy Channing Benjamin

photo by Channing Benjamin

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Discover Golf Casa de Campo Resort & Villas

Dust Off The Travel Gear And Head To These Extraordinary Golf Destinations This Year 24 Golf Vacations • February 2021

Fun in 2021

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Truer words have never been spoken – the year was an incredibly trying one for us all. In some way – and unfortunately for some, in many ways – COVID-19 had a maddening effect on us all.

Casa de Campo Resort & Villas The Dominican Republic’s Casa de Campo Resort & Villas is home to the iconic “Teeth of the Dog” course. Since opening in 1974, “Teeth” is widely recognized as the No. 1 course in the Caribbean and is continually ranked in the top 50 courses in the world.

The golf industry also was greatly affected by the coronavirus, but in many instances the results were very positive. Many people learned golf for the first time because of its outdoor benefits. Others returned to the game and realized how much fun it was; while serious golfers had yet another excuse to hit the links.

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 oceanfront holes --- affectionately dubbed “The Heaven 7” – are astoundingly beautiful, causing Dye to famously quip: “I created 11 holes and God created seven.”

Thus, tee sheets at both private and public courses were busting at the seams. And golf resorts and destinations – they too were constantly busy, although they had to call an audible. Rather than chasing down golfers from afar, they focused on those golfers who could visit them from drivable markets.

The 27-hole Dye Fore joined Teeth of the Dog in 2002. Its three nines – Chavon, Marina and Lakes – are distinct. Chavon features seven holes running atop cliffs dropping 300 feet; Marina meanders down to a harbor ringed by restaurants and shops, and Lakes is artfully crafted across tumultuous terrain. Golf course architecture aficionados call Dye Fore “the most underrated course in the Caribbean.”

Thank God 2020 is in the rearview mirror!

Fingers crossed, 2021 will be totally different and more like the norm. We can go back to congregating with our family and friends, dining at our favorite restaurants, supporting our favorite establishments and traveling to outstanding golf destinations. Check out these worthy golf destinations that are yearning to host you and your golf pals this year.

Located in the interior of the property is the resort’s third Dye layout, The Links. The moderately hilly track with tall Bahia grass framing bunkers and undulating greens presents spectacular Caribbean views. Slightly over 7,000 yards from the back tees and playing to a slope of 126, The Links is considered one of the most-forgiving courses Dye has designed., 800.877.3643

Firestone Country Club

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Firestone Country Club This is no typo – one of the most revered venues in championship golf is available for public play. In 2020, Firestone announced an exclusive opportunity for non-members to reserve a limited number of stay-and-play packages and experience its celebrated on- and off-course offerings. Originally designed by Bert Way and re-designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., the famed South Course has played host to the PGA Championship in 1960, 1966 and 1975, and the NEC World Series of Golf, World Golf Championships – NEC Invitational and WGC – Bridgestone Invitational. Currently, the South Course plays host to the Bridgestone Seniors Players Championship on the Champions Tour.

Formerly known as the West Course, the Fazio Course is named after Tom Fazio, who redesigned the layout in 2001. A links-style design boasting striking views of the club and surrounding landscape, the Fazio Course is built around the perimeter of Firestone’s famed South Course and is the home of the Ohio Senior Open. Currently, the layout is undergoing a bunker enhancement project that includes removing 18 bunkers and renovating the remaining 51. Several bunkers will be reshaped, and the Better Billy Bunker system will provide optimal drainage and reduction of washouts during inclement weather. Once treated, the bunkers will be filled with Best Signature 720, a beautiful white sand used on the most exclusive clubs in the U.S. The bunker enhancement project is set to be completed by this spring.

Legends like Palmer, Nicklaus, Trevino, Woods have all walked the South Course’s hallowed fairways – and cursed them. “The King” made a triple bogey at the par-5 16th hole of the South Course. After the round, Palmer referred to the hole as “The Monster.” The name stuck and a plaque on a bridge near the 16th green honors The King and his three victories at Firestone.

To pay homage to more than 50 years of incredible golf history, the clubhouse includes 30 dormitory-style rooms each featuring a view of all three golf courses. For a resort experience at Firestone, there are 57 golf villa rooms sprinkled throughout the property. 330.644.8441

Located across the street from the Firestone clubhouse, the North Course is a splendid Robert Trent Jones design that opened for member play in 1969. Marked by numerous lakes and streams, the North Course has played host to both the American Golf Classic and World Series of Golf. Several publications have listed the North Course among the “Top 100 Modern Courses”.

Full Cry at Keswick Golf Club Situated on 600 rolling acres just down the road from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate in the Hunt Country outside Charlottesville is Keswick Hall & Golf Club. The resort’s acclaimed Pete Dye-designed golf course – Full Cry at Keswick Golf Club – opened in 2014 to wide acclaim.

Keswick Golf Club

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“Full Cry” is a hunting term describing the call of hounds that have found the scent and are in hot pursuit of their mark. The superb and fun-to-play 18 negotiates the gently sloping terrain below the inn’s perch on the property’s high ground.

Giants Ridge A convenient three-hour drive along I-35 from the Minneapolis – St. Paul metro area, Giants Ridge boasts two award-winning layouts, The Quarry and The Legend.

When stepping on the first tee, the layout’s beauty and clarity of the challenge are displayed wonderfully. Dye did a masterful job of using “old world” architectural traits found at the classic courses of Scotland and Ireland. Except for one hole, the greens have open fronts and are approachable by low “links-style” run-up shots or through the air, allowing for great shot variety.

The aptly named Quarry is built on the site of a former sand quarry and iron ore mine, and dramatically raised tees and hazards provide dramatic Iron Range vistas. Carved out of the Superior National Forest, The Legend is a true “northwoods” course featuring towering pines, giant fairways and majestic views of Wynne and Sabin Lakes.

The last three holes on the back nine are as fine a finish as you’ll find. The par-3 16th is modeled after the famous “Redan” hole at Scotland’s North Berwick. With train tracks running parallel the entire length of the right side, the superlative par-5 17th is called the “Railroad Hole” and plays much longer than the yardage due to fighting the prevailing wind. The tee box of the demanding par-4 18th provides the crescendo of the layout with a panoramic view of the sprawling Hunt Country, serene mountains off on the horizon and inn above. Full Cry truly a delightful place to tee it up and showcases Dye’s imagination and genius. page/golf; 888-778-2565

The list of awards and accolades bestowed to Giants Ridge and its courses is unrivaled – GOLF Magazine ranked The Quarry among the top-10 best overall courses in Minnesota, and was the only public layout on this revered list. Earlier this year, Golf Digest highlighted The Quarry’s par4 13th hole in its “America’s Best 18 Holes Since 2000” feature that appeared in the August 2020 print edition. Golf Digest also bestowed its coveted “Editors’ Choice Award” in the “Best Golf Resorts in the Midwest” category for 2020 to Giants Ridge. Celebrating the “best of the best” golf destinations, Giants Ridge was one of only eight resorts listed in the Midwest and the only destination in Minnesota. Other prestigious properties named include The American Club,

Giants Ridge

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Mystical Golf

Arcadia Bluffs, Erin Hills, Forest Dunes, French Lick, The Inn at Bay Harbor and Sand Valley. In addition, Golfweek tabbed The Quarry as the Best Course You Can Play in Minnesota. The Quarry also rose 20 spots in Golfweek’s “Top 100 Courses You Can Play” list to No. 43, and soared 52 spots from the previous year to No. 119 in the publication’s “Top Modern Courses” category. Golfweek’s “Ultimate Guide to Golf Courses Living and Great Escapes 2020” also tabbed The Quarry No. 46 in its “Top 100 Resort Courses in the U.S.” Besides its two award-winning golf layouts, Giants Ridge offers numerous crystal-clear lakes, rivers and streams ideal for swimming, boating and fishing. Hiking and biking trails also cut through the towering pines of the Iron Ridge, and chairlift rides offer breathtaking views of the stunning Iron Range. www., 800.688.7669 Mystical Golf Mystical Golf’s diverse trio of Dan Maples-designed layouts are consistently recognized by major golf publications to be among Myrtle Beach’s “five best courses” and “best values.” The Witch sits on 500 acres of tranquil cypress groves and wetlands teeming with flora and fauna. Tactical play is rewarded

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on the par-71, 6,702-yard layout. With 4,000 feet of bridges wending through swamps (front nine) and rolling hills (back nine), golfers may spy cranes, bald eagles, alligators and black bears. Man-O-War is revered for its back-to-back island greens and water features touching every hole. With a commanding 141 slope rating, the par-72, 6,967-yard layout is offset by straightforward shots and excellent, bent-grass greens. Reminiscent of classic, wind-swept links courses in Scotland and Ireland, The Wizard presents deep bunkers, moundframed fairways and dramatic elevation changes. Trademark stone bridges and an Old-World, castle-style clubhouse add character to the par-72, 6,721-yard shot-maker’s course. Through May, Mystical Golf’s stay-and-packages include the three-day Gold Package and Silver Package. Both include three rounds with cart and three nights’ lodging in well-appointed three-bedroom villa (four beds). Both stay-and-plays offer one complimentary golfer for booked groups of 20 or more players., 843.282.2977. Pound Ridge Golf Club Opened in 2008 to critical acclaim, Pound Ridge is in tony Westchester County, roughly an hour from Manhattan and just

minutes from the financial and business hubs of Greenwich, Stamford and Norwalk, Conn. Crafted by Pete, his son Perry (of Dye Designs) and long-time construction manager/lead shaper Michael Langkau, Pound Ridge is a wall-to-wall bentgrass facility, hewn from 172 acres of magnificent cliffs, streams and wooded hills. Dramatic rock formations and boulders were left onsite by the Dye team, creating one of the most visually stunning settings for golf in the United States. More than 14,000-linear-feet of rock walls frame a strikingly natural property graced with thousands of trees, subtle wetlands and (in strategic locations) severelysloped hills. Contoured fairways wind through hardwood forests and fescue mounds, leading to open meadows crowned by picturesque green complexes. The par-72, 7,165-yard layout features some of the highest points in the region, with a number of tee boxes offering expansive vistas of the surrounding countryside. Notable holes include: the par-5, 13th, home to “Pete’s Rock,” a giant boulder that rests in the middle of the fairway; and the par-3 15th hole, dubbed “Headstone,” which is flanked on the right by a large rock outcropping that protrudes into the elongated, 9,000-square-foot green. www.poundridgegolf. com, 914.764.5771

Pound Ridge

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SWEETSTUFF Impact Improver


ever before has indoor golf practice been as popular as it is today. With many parts of the country (and the world) shutdown—and not just because of the time of year-- but because of the pandemic—players are looking to keep in shape and get their practice swings—even at home. A simple and inexpensive practice tool called the Impact Improver is catching on with many players who not only want to practice swinging a club indoors, but also get instant feedback on how well they are hitting the ball. This simple device--consisting of a Strike Shied that fits on your club, soft Velcro impact balls that will stick to the shield at the point of impact and give quick feedback on how close to the sweet spot you are hitting the ball--is far superior to just swinging freely in hour home or swinging onto a mat without anything to hit, which is what many people end up doing. The balls give you a nice soft, small target to hit at and the feel and sound of actually striking the ball. “I am thrilled that we have created a product that is so simple to use while delivering tremendous benefit,” said Tiffany Faucette, the inventor of Impact Improver. “Practicing indoors with feedback is one of the best ways to develop feel and body awareness.” Faucette is a Top 50 LPGA Teacher and inventor of the Impact Improver. Prior to her teaching career she was the #1 Ranked

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Amateur in the Titleist/Golfweek rankings and played professionally worldwide for eleven years. Due to all her years of playing competitive golf, on the road, she knows the benefits of indoor practice. After the idea of the Impact Improver came to her while practicing in her own basement, she worked with top experts in the design field. She also called upon other Top 100 Teachers to help her with the Impact Improver. She noted that the closer you hit the ball to the sweet spot the club will resist twisting and will produce higher ball speeds—and longer shots. She added that striking the sweet spot is the key to great golf. When you use the Impact Improver you get instant feedback on each swing because the ball sticks to the shield telling you if you struck the sweet spot or not. This information allows you to self-learn and sense which movements in your swing help you hit the sweet spot, and which do not. The Impact Improver comes with the strike shield that fits easily over 90% of right-handed clubs—it snaps on and snaps off. A facilitator tool comes with it to assist taking the shield off if there is a tight fit. Three of the impact balls are provided and the entire package comes in a premium zipper case that fits easily in a golf bag. It can also easily be taken on a trip and used in a hotel room—or anywhere you can swing a club. For more information on the Impact Improver: https://www.

SWEETSTUFF by Terry Ross



Carkella Hats


eadwear for golf has in many ways settled into somewhat of a rut—but it appears that help is on the way. A Coloradobased hat company called Carkella, whose parent company—Wallaroo—is inspired by the landscapes of its Australian homeland—has produced a unique variety of wide-brimmed hats that not only offer great sun protection, but many other features that will appeal to those that travel for their golf. Carkella hats are not only very functional and stylish (they can be worn on the course or for that after-round dinner in the clubhouse), but are also exceptional at sun protection with 30+ and 50+ UV protection qualities built in. The hats are tested and rated according to the UV radiation blocking capabilities of materials used in the construction of each hat. Classic styles like the Palm Beach, Parker and Sydney hats come in multiple colors and are easily packable and transportable. The hats can be filled with loads of small items like socks and then stuffed into a suite case or travel bag—and they will keep their shape over long trips. The adjustable inside headband makes the hats adaptable to most sizes for a comfortable fit. There is a hidden magnet inside the headband above the brim, and interchangeable magnetic emblems— even custom designs--can also be ordered to recall favorite destinations and add a nice stylish touch to these classic hats. For more information on Carkella hats: https://

ne of the fundamentals of playing good golf is keeping a steady head position—and probably the easiest way to maintain proper positioning is keeping the proper eye focus—on the ball. Golf instructors use various techniques to keep their student’s head in the proper alignment—but one of the more simple and useful tools we have found are the EyeLoc glasses—sunglasses with adjustable eye slits over each lens designed as a training aid to keep players eyes locked on the ball. By adjusting the patented sliding lenses, two vertical lines can be adjusted to your exact Pupillary Distance showing one lasersharp line over the ball. The slightest head or eye movement can be detected by the user during a swing or putt because the ball will move outside of the visible line. The moveable lenses can be adjusted to provide a wider or narrower line for the ball. These glasses are based on simple concepts that are vital to the golf swing—and extremely easy to use for putting, chipping and even the full swing to keep your head steady and your eyes down. It is amazing how many putts you can make with a still head, and even though chipping and full swings require some movement in the backswing, these glasses help you get back to your proper alignment position on the downswing—and you can also see what your head and eyes are doing throughout the swing. “We are thrilled with the feedback we keep getting from most everyone who tries EyeLoc,” said Mark Zander, EyeLoc’s president. “First words out of a first timer’s mouth, ‘WOW, I move my head that much?’ Exciting to have invented such a simple training aid that can help so many golfers with that age old problem of keeping their head still. This is fun.” Feedback has been glowing from instructors that use EyeLoc, which can be purchased on-line and comes in a handy hard-shell case that clips to your golf bag—just like your regular sunglasses. More information is available at:

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