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OUR 11th YEAR!

THIS MONTH: SweetStuff • Golf Trends • ChipShots






Golf Vacations • September 2013

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Golf Vacations • September 2013


4 Golf Vacations • September 2013

Golf Vacations • September 2013



Lopesan Meloneras Golf, Gran Canaria, Spain



14 The Magnificent Seven: Gran Canaria by Andrew Marshall Located off the northwestern coast of Africa, and with an average annual temperature of around 22 degrees centigrade, a rich history, culture and cuisine all complemented by a range of fine hotels, Gran Canaria has long being a favorite holiday destination for sunseekers, especially as a winter escape from Europe.

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Pacific NW Beauty

by Tom Lang Whoever coined the phrase “photos just don’t do it justice” could have easily been talking about golf in the Pacific Northwest. Every region of the country has its unique features, but for sheer rugged beauty and an enjoyably-mild climate for most months of the year, Washington has award-winning course offerings every golfer should consider.

Resort Report: Hammock Beach, FL

by James McAfee The Hammock Beach Resort, located on an unspoiled barrier island in Palm Coast, FL just south of the Spanish Colonial city of St. Augustine, offers two golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson that have hosted PGA Tour events in the past and which offer distinctly different challenges.


by Terry Ross

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Golf Vacations • September 2013


CONTRIBUTINGWRITERS 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.

Executive Editor James McAfee is the Dallas area based writer for The A Position and Texas Golfer. He is Director of Communications for The Golf Connection and President of On the Tee Communications, which handles PR assignments and runs more than 20 tournaments a year. He has been a member of the Golf Writers of America for more than 39 years. He was an editor with Golf Digest from 1971-78 and worked for 18 years as a sports writer and editor of newspapers in Texas and Oklahoma. He served as Executive Director of the Northern Texas PGA for 17 years and Executive Director/Secretary of the Dallas District Golf Association for eight years.

Jeffrey Diaz

Associate Editor Terry Ross

Features Editor Larry Feldman

Senior Writers Andy Marshall Born in England, Andy has been a professional freelance travel writer for the past 20 years. During that time, he has traveled to over 50 countries, including Sri Lanka, Solomon Islands, Barbados, Panama and Indonesia to cover a diverse range of travel-related features for various magazines around the world. He regularly works with his professional photographer brother, Paul, on different projects, particularly golf, food and drink features. Visit his work at Tom Lang has a passion for golf, but not an obsession (16 handicap). His “day job” is business writing and consulting on PR communications. His sports writing has appeared in the Detroit Free Press and Lansing State Journal for more than 20 years, plus occasional pieces in area and statewide golf magazines and GolfWeek, where Lang also serves as a golf course rater. A career highlight was covering the 2009 Masters and playing Augusta National.

JD Latorre Andy Reistetter Fred Robledo

For Editorial:

call (760) 774-2655 e-mail:

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

Published by


portsMedia publications

President Jeffrey Diaz

455 NE 5th Avenue, Suite D-151 Delray Beach, Florida 33483 (760) 774-2655


Destiny Media, LLC 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 2013 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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NOBLESVILLE, IN – Purgatory Golf Club was recently named #33 on the list of 2013 Top 50 Golf Courses for Women, published by Golf Digest, up one spot from last year. Purgatory has been recognized on this annual list every year since 2003. It also was named a Top Course for Women from 2003 to 2008 by Golf for Women Magazine. When Ron Kern designed Purgatory, he and owners Tenna and Mike Merchent put as much thought into its forward tees as the back in order to accommodate women of all handicaps and ability levels. As a result, Purgatory is the only course in Indiana to offer tees with smart playing angles ranging from 4,500 to 7,700 yards. Because of its woman-centric design, Purgatory has attracted regional tournaments including the 20th annual Indiana PGA Women’s Open in June 2013. In addition, it is the home course for the Lapel High School women’s golf team. Purgatory also offers a special $25 Ladies Night Out each month that includes a nine-hole scramble, free lessons, special Pro Shop discounts and complementary food and cart rental. “It was important to create a golf experience that was memorable for both women and men,” said Tenna Merchent, who played a significant role in the course design. “This is a great women’s course, designed with a women’s touch on everything from sandbased tee boxes and convenient restrooms located on the course.” The three restrooms, located no more than

four holes apart, include hand soap, towels and mirrors, details Merchent says many courses overlook. The Clubhouse also carries a wide range of women’s apparel, gear and gifts in the Pro Shop, and offers lighter and healthier menu options in the Confessional Bar & Lounge. About Purgatory Golf Club Golf Digest was the first to describe Purgatory Golf Club, located on 220 acres of rolling farm land outside of Noblesville, Ind., as “more heaven than hell.” The 18-hole course boasts six sets of tees, and provides a challenging golf experience for golfers of all experience levels, from the shortest set of tees (4,562 yards) to the longest (7,754 feet). It also is one of the prettiest links style course in the country, with 170 limestone-filled bunkers and 45 acres of fescue surrounding immaculate fairways and a variety of water elements.

FALL IS PERFECT TIME TO CELEBRATE GOLDEN HORSESHOE’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY WILLIAMSBURG, VA - Colonial Williamsburg’s Golden Horseshoe Golf Club and autumn were made for each other. Cooler temperatures, colorful leaves and one of the country’s finest golf courses beckon. But that’s not all. This year is the 50th anniversary of the Gold Course, and special packages and rates help mark the celebration. Commemorating the opening of the Robert Trent Jones Sr-designed Gold Course – one of the most highly regarded courses in the country and the one that Jones himself referred to as his “finest design” – golfers can experience incredible golf and America’s living

history lesson all at once. From August 31 to November 26, three-day/two-night packages begin at $164 per person per night at the Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel and Suites, and include: • Accommodations at a choice of Colonial Williamsburg hotels • One round of golf for every night of the stay per golfer • Free replay rounds (to be booked upon completion of first round) • Free rental of PING golf clubs • Unlimited range balls • Commemorative 50th anniversary golf pouch and Golden Horseshoe yardage book Routed through mature woodlands and always in excellent condition, the Gold Course is a beautiful challenge. When it opened in 1963, Jones described it as “a natural arboretum,” and it is designated as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary golf course. Fifty years later, the Gold Course continues to win raves and collect honors. It is included on Golf Magazine’s “Top 100 You Can Play” list of public-access courses, and is noted as one of the Top Six Robert Trent Jones Sr. courses named by Golf Digest, joining the likes of Ireland’s Ballybunion, Spain’s Valderrama, and California’s Spyglass Hill. As soon as that first hint of autumn crispness brushes your cheek, come to Golden Horseshoe Golf Club and see what golfers have been talking about for half a century. The Gold Course is as much a gem as it’s always been, and the special Anniversary Package makes it a rare treat. For more information, call 800-447-8679 or visit Purgatory Golf Club

Golf Vacations • September 2013


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SEVIERVILLE, TN – The all-new Sevierville Golf Club has teamed up with Smoky Mountain area hotels to offer fall golf getaways starting at $95 per person for September and October. Located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, the Sevierville Golf Club (opened summer 2011) features two 18-hole championship courses: The Highlands, a par 70 that winds through lush rolling hills and fresh water mountain ponds and The River, a par 72 that plays along and across the Little Pigeon River. Additional amenities include an extensive driving range with grass tees, nine target greens, an expansive putting green and chipping area. “Fall is a great time of year to golf the Smoky Mountains,” says Sevierville Golf Club marketing manager John Coleman. “Our courses are among the best in the area, and we wanted to offer an affordable package rate at a time when golfers would really enjoy the great fall weather, beautiful scenery and spectacular courses available in Sevierville.” Sevierville’s Fall Golf Getaways let traveling golfers choose from one of three luxurious hotels, including Hampton Inn &

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Suites and Comfort Suites properties, and an option to play one or both courses at the Sevierville Golf Club. Packages start at $95 per person, per day, based on double occupancy and include accommodations, breakfast and 18 holes with cart. While in Sevierville, golfers – and their families – can choose to enjoy high end outlet shopping at Tanger Five Oaks Factory Outlet Center, outdoor adventure activities like zip lining and hiking or have fun at theme parks likes Dollywood. For more information, visit www. Packages can be booked by calling 1-855-351-4914.

CANADIAN ROCKIES GOLF READIES FOR FALL WITH SEPTEMBER EVENTS, GETAWAYS CANMORE, ALBERTA – Canadian Rockies Golf ( – the collection of elite mountain golf courses in Banff, Jasper and Canmore – prepares for fall with end-of-season vacation offers and events. The Fall Golf Getaway package includes one round at Canmore Golf & Curling Club and two nights at Delta Lodge at Kananaskis, starting at $309 per person. Golf at nearby Stewart Creek Golf & Country Club, Silvertip Resort or The Fairmont Banff Springs Course

can be added at preferred rates. Guests will receive a $75 resort credit at Delta Lodge when they book a two-night package via Canadian Rockies Golf, now through the end of golf season. Stays booked for Sunday thru Thursday may be eligible for a complimentary upgrade to the Signature Club, the hotel’s top room category. “Abundant sunshine, cool days and golden fall color mark September in the Canadian Rockies,” says Alan Carter, Director of Golf at The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. “We anticipate a beautiful, vibrant autumn.” Couples can explore the best of the Rockies on the Fairmont Classic fall package, a sevennight luxury escape combining golf at The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge (Canada’s No. 1 golf resort according to SCOREGolf), The Fairmont Banff Springs and Silvertip Resort. The trip features overnight stays at the celebrated Fairmont properties in Banff Springs, the Jasper Park Lodge and Chateau Lake Louise, starting at $2,319 per person. All rates are quoted in Canadian Dollars, nearly on par with the American dollar. Canadian Rockies Golf anticipates an October 10 end to the 2013 golf season. Customizable stay-and-play packages can

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be found at For more information: 855.835.8484 (toll-free). Silvertip Resort Opens Short Course Silvertip Resort has unveiled a par-58 short course, giving golfers a chance to finish 18 holes in three hours or less. Introduced on Aug. 1, the new set of forward tees presents a series of 14 par-3s measuring a maximum of 150 yards and four par-4s. Strategically positioned tees afford golfers the best shot at hitting the green. The Canmore-based course was recently named among Alberta’s “Most Beautiful Courses” by SCOREGolf. Available one hour prior to twilight daily, short-course rounds cost $75; kids 12 and under play free in 2013 with a paying adult. A “Golf and Dine” special provides a short-course round and $20 restaurant voucher, for $85. For more information: 877.877.5444 Unprecedented Partnership Forged for Golf Invitational in the Name of Flood Relief The Fairmont Banff Springs and the New York Rangers have joined forces for a Sept, 19th fundraising golf tournament that marries the love of the game with the love of community. Participants receive entry into an exclusive meet-and-greet reception, a round on the award-winning Stanley Thompson course at The Fairmont Banff Springs, and a barbecue dinner following golf. Individuals can register for $500; corporate foursomes are $2,500 (three golfers and one celebrity). The Fairmont Banff Springs and New York Rangers Golf Invitational starts at 1 p.m. Proceeds will be donated to the Rotary Club of Canmore’s Flood Relief Fund and the Banff Community Foundation. For sponsorship information and golf registration (open to the public): 403.760.6002

POUND RIDGE GOLF CLUB, DELAMAR GREENWICH HARBOR OFFER AUTUMN STAY ABD PLAY PACKAGE POUND RIDGE, NY – Pound Ridge Golf Club – the Pete Dye-designed daily fee course 40 miles north of New York City – and the luxurious Delamar Greenwich Harbor, just minutes from the course, announce the return of their popular autumn Stay-and-Play Package. Perfect for a late summer or early fall getaway, the experience is designed for discerning leisure and business travelers who “collect” the world’s most compelling golf courses and boutique hotels. Rates start at $515 (single-occupancy) and $710 (doubleoccupancy) and include one round per person. Guests also receive: • A $20 food and beverage credit at

Pound Ridge • 10 percent off golf merchandise and apparel in the pro shop • Continental breakfast in the hotel lobby • A bottle of wine or champagne delivered to the room • A wine and cheese reception for weekend stays “Westchester County comes into its own in September and October with highs in the 60s and 70s and the brilliant fall foliage of the Hudson Valley,” says Pound Ridge Golf Club general manager Todd Leavenworth. “Golf course conditions are optimal, and there’s no better time to play Pound Ridge and enjoy the Delamar Greenwich’s maritime setting.” The Delamar Greenwich Harbor features 82 deluxe rooms and suites with 500-feet of waterfront and private docks. Designed to evoke old world charm, it houses a full service spa by Elemis and an award-winning restaurant and bar, L’escale. Wrought iron balconies, marble bathrooms and working fireplaces grace the guest rooms of this Mediterranean-inspired “inn.” Guests enjoy tee time booking via concierge or hotel staff, and transportation can be easily arranged from the hotel to the golf course (via shuttle or limo). For reservations, call the hotel directly at (866) 335-2627 or (203) 661-9800. For more information about Pound Ridge Golf Club: visit, call (914) 764-5771.

GOLF IN THE GARDENS AT CALLAWAY GARDENS The Lodge and Spa at Callaway Gardens, an elegant interpretation of a traditional mountain lodge in the heart of middle Georgia, invites guests to enjoy “Golf in the Gardens.” Golf and beautiful scenes within Callaway Gardens are just some of the features within this package. The full package includes a round of golf, cart fee, use on Callaway Garden’s practice facilities, accommodations and garden admissions into Callaway Gardens. This package is the perfect option for your readers of Golf Vacations Magazine. Rates for the “Golf in the Gardens” package start at $254 per night. “Golf in the Gardens” package includes: • One round of golf at one of the awardwinning golf courses, Mountain View or Lake View Course at Callaway Gardens • Cart fee • Use on the Twin Oaks Practice Facility • Overnight accommodations • Admissions into the beautiful Callaway Gardens

Golf Vacations • September 2013


Casa de Campo unveils ‘Senior Golfers Week’ Set for November 9-16, event to feature impressive lineup of tournaments, clinics, luxury events La Romana, D.R. – Casa de Campo, the Caribbean’s top-rated resort, will be hosting “Senior Golfers Week,” Nov. 9-16, with an unparalleled lineup of daily tournaments with different formats each day, Jim McLean Golf School clinics and planned evening activities at gourmet restaurants. Registration is now open for Senior Golfers Week, with playing slots available to the first 100 participants ages 50 and above. Tournaments will be contested on Casa de Campo’s three courses: Teeth of the Dog – the No. 1 course in the Caribbean – Dye Fore and Links. Participants will arrive and register on Saturday, Nov. 9, with a welcome cocktail reception and dinner on the schedule. The first clinic and tournament is set for Sunday, Nov. 10. Departure will be Saturday, Nov. 16. “Senior Week has been designed with the individual in mind,” said Gilles Gagnon, director of golf operations, Casa de Campo. “For our daily tournaments, which all have different formats, the golfers can sign up the day before. They’ll have the option of pairing up with their friends or joining new friends. There are individual tournaments, team events and mixed events – something for everyone!” Senior Golfers Week packages are available with rates beginning at $2,609 (per person based on double occupancy) for the seven-night stay. The packages, which also include discounted non-golfer rates, include: • Golf Lodge or Elite lodging accommodations • unlimited green fees, carts and range balls • club storage and cleaning • one transportation cart per room

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• breakfast and lunch daily, and all event-organized dinners • beverages in all hotel restaurants and bars • drinks at the Oasis bars and carts on the golf courses • one complimentary spa treatment for golfers • two complimentary spa treatments for non-golfers • daily prizes • transfer from La Romana (LRM), Santo Domingo (SDQ) or Punta Cana (PUJ) airports It has never been easier to travel to the Dominican Republic by plane as there are now daily flights on American Airlines from Miami International Airport (MIA) to La Romana International Airport, which is located just 10 minutes from the resort. Also, JetBlue has recently introduced three weekly flights from New York’s JFK International Airport to LRM. With a newly added highway, Punta Cana Airport is only 40 minutes from Casa de Campo. Casa de Campo was named the Caribbean’s Leading Golf Resort, for the fifth consecutive year, at the 2012 Caribbean and Americas World Travel Awards. The resort also was named among the top 20 family and top 20 golf resorts by the readers of Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report travel newsletter. Caribbean Journal, the leading digital newspaper covering the region, recently revealed its annual rankings with both the resort and the Teeth of the Dog earning first-place honors. For complete Casa de Campo Seniors Golfers Week information, or to register, visit Questions can be directed by phone to (888) 212-5073, (809) 5238215 or by email to

Golf Vacations • September 2013


The Magnifi El Cortijo Club de Campo

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ficent Seven by ANDREW MARSHALL

A Golfer’s Guide to

Gran Canaria


ocated off the northwestern coast of Africa, and with an average annual temperature of around 22 degrees centigrade, a rich history, culture and cuisine all complemented by a range of fine hotels, Gran Canaria has long being a favorite holiday destination for sunseekers, especially as a winter escape from Europe. The quality of the island’s renowned sandy beaches is now matched with a superb collection of seven main 18-hole golf courses, that experts rate as among the best in Spain – with layouts that not only entertain and challenge, but allow you to experience the island’s varied and dramatic scenery in all its glory. “Even though there has been a golf course here since 1891, it’s only during the last five years or so that golf course development has really taken off,” says Pablo Llinares de Béthencourt, Managing Director of the Gran Canaria Golf Association. Five courses are situated in the south of the island, all conveniently within a 20-30 minute drive of each other, while the remaining two are in the north closer to the capital Las Palmas and the airport. 7 PLACES TO PLAY Maspalomas Golf: Situated in the in the resort area of Maspalomas in the Gran Canaria’s south (one of the sunniest places in the world), this 1968 Mackenzie Ross design has a unique feel, surrounded by a nature reserve of rolling sand dunes, views of the Atlantic Ocean, palm trees and golden sandy beaches. Relatively flat with long and wide fairways, the course’s opener is a fairly benign 367m par-4 (stroke index 13), which offers a genuine chance of a solid start. Watch out though, for the 140 metre par-3 10th, where a crisply struck iron is required to carry an expanse of water, and with trees protecting the left and right there is little room for error. As an indication of its quality, Maspalomas has hosted two PGA tour events in 1995 and 1997, won by Jarmo Sandelin and José Maria Olazábal respectively. Lopesan Meloneras Golf: This new kid on the block along the Meloneras Bay begins with a front nine of open and forgiving holes characterized by palms and a mountain backdrop, and then gets progressively more difficult as it enters the back nine

Golf Vacations • September 2013


Salobre Golf -Sur

Real Club de Golf de Las Palmas

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Salobre Golf -Sur

along the cliff tops. Each hole is equipped with four tees to suit golfers of all abilities and amenities include golf carts equipped with the latest GPS technology. The course enjoys an ideal location next to a several four and five-star hotels in Meloneras and nearby Maspalomas. www. Salobre Golf Sur: Taking full advantage of Gran Canaria’s amazing geology, and situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty with ravines, volcanic rock and mountain and sea views, the 36-hole golf complex of the Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort & Spa is a stunning place to tee it up and not to be missed. Designed by Roland Fauvré, in close collaboration with Robert Trent Jones, the parkland-style Salobre Golf Sur is the more forgiving of the two courses and offers a variety of holes. The well-manicured fairways and greens ramble through terraced valleys lined with palms, and contrast with the surrounding desert terrain, to create a spectacular oasis for a memorable round. Salobre Golf Norte: Heading deeper into the desert landscape, Salobre’s second course is a more demanding test of golf routed through rocky canyons and deep gullies dotted with cacti. It’s the kind of environment where you half expect to see the original ‘Magnificent Seven’ cowboys come riding over the horizon on horseback as you tee off. After completing your round, head for the clubhouse terrace for a frosty 19th hole beer and keep an eye out for Sergio Garcia lookalike Fernando

Martinez from Guest services, who is told several times a day he looks like the Spanish golf star. Anfi Tauro Golf: Designed by Robert Von Hagge, Anfi Tauro is an impeccably maintained desert-style PGA Championship course located among rocky canyons and gorges, native vegetation, teeming waterfalls and glistening lakes and offers a perfect contrast to the surrounding volcanic mountains. Anfi Tauro is one of those rare courses that generate a genuine sense of awe from one hole to the next for an unforgettable round. The course is a dream for the golf photographer and even the most inexperienced snapper can’t fail to capture a good image here. One of the most photogenic holes is the classic 209-metre par-3, 6th framed on either side with swaying palms and a pyramid-shaped rock as a backdrop. Real Club de Golf de Las Palmas: Situated in the island’s north is Spain’s oldest golf club founded by a group of Brits in 1891, although the present site dates from 1957. This strategic parkland-style Mackenzie Ross design has been cleverly fitted into an area of just 375,000 sq. meters, spectacularly positioned on the edge of an extinct volcanic crater. Rising Spanish golf star Rafael Cabrera Bello and winner of the 2012 Omega Dubai Desert Classic is a member here and trains whenever he returns home. Although primarily a members club, morning tee times are available for visitors from Monday to Friday.

Salobre Golf - Norte

Golf Vacations • September 2013


Maspalomas Golf

El Cortijo Club de Campo: The final course of the ‘magnificent seven’ is an interesting design and one of the longest in Spain. Integrated into a fantastic plantation of hundred-year-old palms, the course follows three valleys filled with indigenous flora and features six lakes, fast greens and sea views. El Cortijo Club de Campo played host to the 2002 Spanish Open won by Sergio Garcia and is conveniently situated close to the airport for that final round before flying home. 7 PLACES TO STAY H10 Playa Meloneras Palace: An excellent 5-star hotel offering all possible comforts, nestled in a peaceful beauty spot facing the sea at Meloneras Beach in the south of Gran Canaria. The hotel is in a great location for accessing the five southern courses, especially Lopesan Meloneras Golf which is only a few hundred meters away.

here is also well respected including the famous Seaside barbecue buffet. Lopesan Villa del Conde: Located right on the coast between two beaches and only a well-struck drive away from the new Lopesan Meloneras golf course, the 5-star Lopesan Villa del Conde is the most emblematic of the island’s hotels, reproducing several Canary Islands architectural details. Lopesan Baobab Resort: 5-star meets African-inspired design with this Meloneras based hotel. After checking in at reception, guests pass through an amazing aquatic and tropical landscape composed of several waterfalls, rivers, sandy beaches, pools and African huts.

Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia: Situated in a beautiful palm forest setting in Maspalomas, is one of “The Leading Small Hotels of the World.’ Luxury and meticulous detail merge throughout the hotel, from the 94 welcoming, colonial-style rooms with wide wooden verandas boasting teak furniture to the large opulent terrace overlooking the extensive pool area.

Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort & Spa: The modern and exquisite design of this exclusive hotel has made it one of the benchmark 5-star accommodations in Gran Canaria. With unbeatable sea and golf course views, you can take a buggy directly from the hotel to play golf, make the most of the golf school services or relax in the clubhouse.

Seaside Hotel Palm Beach: With a newly created retro 70s style, this 5-star hotel is the only member of ‘Design Hotels’ in the Canaries. Situated a stone’s throw from the Maspalomas golf course, guest facilities include heated saltwater pools, 3 saunas with different health benefits, a new children’s play area and tennis. The cuisine

VIK Hotel Bandama Golf: Located 400 metres above sea level on the edge of a spectacular extinct volcanic crater (Caldera de Bandama), and only a long putt from the first tee of Real Club de Golf de Las Palmas, awaits this comfortable and convenient 4-star base for the two northern courses.

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Anfi Tauro Golf

Anfi Tauro Golf

7 OFF-COURSE ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES TAKE a sunset walk among the magnificent sand dunes at Maspalomas, protected as a nature reserve and home to a variety of flora and bird life. Contrary to popular belief, these 988 acres of golden sand didn’t blow across from the nearby Sahara Desert; they washed up from the ocean. EXPLORE the old town of Las Palmas and visit the historic Catedral De Santa Ana (you can go up the tower for city views), the emblem of the city since the Spanish conquered the island over 400 years ago. SAMPLE the catch of the day in one of many family run restaurants on the seafront of the enchanting fishing village of Puerto de las Nieves, with its characteristic low white-andblue houses. IMMERSE yourself in history at two excellent museums in Las Palmas – the wonderfully atmospheric Casa Museo de Colón where the main focus is the discovery of America and the journeys of Columbus and the Museo Canario showcasing in-depth coverage of early Canarian history. BOOK a surf lesson at the southern end of Playa de Las Canteras (Las Palmas city beach), and area known as La Cicer, and have a go at riding some Atlantic waves with city views. HIKE the spectacular extinct volcanic crater - Caldera de Bandama. A short walk can be made along the lip of the caldera and down to the crater bottom. Measuring around 1,000 meters in diameter and 200 meters in depth, the enormous caldera is the result of a violent explosion and is one of the biggest craters of its kind in the world. VISIT the fascinating Cactualdea Cactus Park located in Tocodomán, La Aldea in the west region of Gran Canaria. A rich variety of over a 1,000 species of cactus can be seen at the park from countries such as Madagascar, Bolivia, Mexico, and Guatemala.

Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia

Golf Vacations • September 2013


FACT FILE WHEN TO GO With its attractive climate the Canaries can be visited year round. High season is during the UK winter and places usually get busy from mid-December to February. It can be an advantage to visit the Canaries during the European summer months when accommodations, flights and green fees can be cheaper and more easily available. GETTING THERE: From the UK: Monarch operates year-round flights to Gran Canaria from Birmingham, London Gatwick and Manchester airports. For further information or to book Monarch flights, Monarch Holidays or Monarch Hotels, please visit: GETTING AROUND: Car Hire: GRAN CANARIA GOLF PASS Guests who book rooms at hotels including H10 Playa Meloneras Palace, VIK Hotel Bandama Golf and others (check website below), a 4x green fees pass (for any of the island’s golf courses) is available to use from May 1 to September 30. Visit or email: FURTHER INFORMATION/ USEFUL WEBSITES

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Family fun at El Cortijo Club de Campo

Golf Vacations • September 2013


Pacific NW on and off

22 Golf Vacations • September 2013 Miller Chambers Bay - photo credit Martin

W Beauty the course

By Tom Lang

Golf Vacations • September 2013



hoever coined the phrase “photos just don’t do it justice” could have easily been talking about golf in the Pacific Northwest. Every region of the country has its unique features, but for sheer rugged beauty and an enjoyably-mild climate for most months of the year, Washington has award-winning course offerings every golfer should consider. A Good Gamble: Salish Cliffs Golf Club at Little Creek Casino Resort opened in 2011. It’s a tree-lined course – where accuracy is a premium – in the foothills of the Olympic Range that earned Top-10 status in Golf Digest’s biennial “2013-14 America’s Greatest Courses” by state list and Golfweek’s “Top-50 Best Casino Courses” list. Gene Bates designed Salish Cliffs, which can play tough from the tips, based on its 75.2 rating/140 Slope. It opens with three fun

Salish Cliffs 18th -

holes – a par-5 downhill, a short par-4 uphill, then a sharp-drop, long downhill par-3 that can get smart golfers off to a good scoring start. But ask Head Professional David Kass and his most telling stretch is 14-16, three very different par-4s based on length, shape and elevation changes – with 14 making a local list for one of the toughest holes in the state. “I find those three par 4s can make or break your round,” Kass said. “I can usually look back at the end of the round and see if I did pretty well on those three holes my score will be pretty solid.” The greens are bent grass, surrounded by uniquely cut bunkers that seem more like they were formed by natural erosion than by design. When measured across 18 holes, the elevation drops and rises from each tee to each green totals 600 feet. The mild climate year round is kind to the Salish Cliffs’ greens, which need almost no turf treatment. That is part of the overall

photo credit Brian Oar

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plan of superintendent Bob Pearsall that was also instrumental to the course earning the world’s first accreditation in the SalmonSafe Golf Course Certification program in Washington, a prideful achievement for the Squaxin Island Tribe, whom Pearsall said are known as “people of the water.” Indoors at the Little Creek Casino Resort, recent capital improvements include the new Seven Inlets Spa and new Skookum Spirit Cigar and Wine Lounge. The latter features a humidor stocked with more than 70 premium cigars with names such as Aurturo Fuente, ACID and Romeo y Juliet, and Wednesday’s is $2 tastings from local and regional wine makers. One of seven restaurants includes the Squaxin Island Seafood Bar where guests sit on tall bar stools and feast on a wide variety of delectable seafood treats in a sports bar atmosphere. Plush room accommodations included standard, Spa rooms, Two-

room spa rooms (for families or couples) or the Presidential Suite. The resort also offers live entertainment, from concerts and shows, to professional boxing. The exterior recently added an RV Park to its property in Shelton, Washington – an area known as the gateway to the Olympic Peninsula. Not Sleepless in Seattle: It’s easy to get a good night’s rest after walking 18 holes at Chambers Bay, site of the 2010 U.S. Amateur, and upcoming 2015 U.S Open. About 30 miles from the Seattle-Tacoma Airport, Chambers Bay sits on ground of a former gravel mining operation that was beautifully resurrected by designer Robert Trent Jones II, into a much more proper use of precious land butted against the crisp blue waters of Puget Sound. Similar to the home of golf, St. Andrews, the property belongs to

Golf Vacations • September 2013


the people – of Pierce County in his case – many who can be found walking the trail that circles the 250-acre golf course layout. Anyone would be hard pressed to find a more unique municipal course anywhere in the country, especially that on first sight takes one’s breath away from the extremely high elevation point of its tastefully-designed, modern restaurant and pro shop overlooking every inch of the golf course from more than 200 feet above. “People using the golf course are the minority of the resident users of the Chambers Creek Regional Park meadow and playgrounds, and who enjoy community events hosted by the county,” said Chambers Bay GM Matt Allen, who previously was assistant GM at Bandon Dunes. “We are grateful to operate a golf course amidst that, because the entirety of the property is a public treasure.” Pure links golf – nothing else could describe this incredible piece of property that is breeze-swept off the bay. It’s not surprising that the USGA would enthusiastically embrace a course (which just opened in 2007) planted with fescue grass in the rough. But that’s not where it ends. Every blade of grass on the course is fescue: tee box, fairway, rough and greens. What stands out the most about Chambers Bay is that not a single green has a collar. The grass is mown – more like shaved – at the exact same height in the fairway as on the green complexes, the latter which are only identifiable via what is sometimes the tilt of the land and a flag stick, but more prominently by the sprinkler heads that encircle the intended putting zones. And for being the future site of a U.S. Open, there is no pretentiousness to Chambers Bay (No. 64 in the country according to Golf Digest); no fancy clubhouse, no locker rooms – a real muni course featuring a small starter building with some refreshments, grilled food and singlestall bathrooms. But bring your most comfortable shoes as walking is the only choice. No power carts; just caddies for hire or pull carts for your bag. With all the elevation changes you’ll get one heck of a workout. Like our country’s earliest settlers, a trip west someday could be very rewarding.

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Beautiful Place!


Chambers Bay - photo credit Martin Miller


Little Creek Casino Resort - photo: Little Creek casino Resort


Snookum Spirit Cigar & Wine Lounge - photo: Little Creek Casino Resort

Golf Vacations • September 2013



Hammock Beach

Two distinctly different golf chall

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by James McAfee



he Hammock Beach Resort, located on an unspoiled barrier island in Palm Coast, FL just south of the Spanish Colonial city of St. Augustine, offers two golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson that have hosted PGA Tour events in the past and which offer distinctly different challenges. The Nicklaus-designed Ocean Course, which winds through residential neighborhoods, features six holes with views of the Atlantic Ocean, including a pair of long finishing par 4s on each side that run parallel to the ocean, probably gets more publicity and play since it is located near the resort. Ben Crenshaw, now an architect himself with Bill Coore, once called the Ocean Course the best Nicklaus design he had ever played when the Champions Tour’s Ginn Championship was held there in 2007 and 2008. It’s not as penal as some of his earlier work, but still is very challenging, especially the closing four holes called “The Bear Claw.” The 15th hole, playing at 450, 432, 405, 339 and 309, features a green perched on a hill where an approach shot into the wind can be only a yard or two short and end up 30 or more yards back down the hill as it did for three members of my group. Playing downwind at 399, 359, 352, 293 and 282 yards, you have to be careful to not go through the fairway on the 16th. The 17th, playing at 174, 159, 138, 128 and 106, plays longer usually because of the wind off the ocean. The 18th, playing at 466, 443, 415, 409 and 370, is a virtual mirror image of the 9th where par can usually win the hole. Watson’s Conservatory Course, located eight miles away, can be stretched to 7,776 yards, making it the longest in Florida with a course rating of 78.2. It could easily host a PGA Tour event as it did with the ill-fated Ginn sur Mer classic in 2008. The financial collapse of Bobby Ginn was the reason the touring pros did not return, not the quality of the course. The Conservatory, built on rolling links-style terrain with dunes and marshes, is more difficult because of the 140 bunkers that Watson added. You usually have no chance to get home from the fairway bunkers and just have to wedge out and hope to save par with a one-putt. Like its neighbor to the north in Jacksonville, TPC Sawgrass, there’s an island green on the 8th, which plays 199, 168, 145, 113 and 97 yards. One nice touch offered here that many golfers should consider are the special combo tees since it plays 7,300, 6,792, 6,271, 5,995 and 5,235 from the respective gold, blue, white, green and red markers. Guests will enjoy the accommodations and ocean views in 320 beautifully furnished condos, including a 20-room lodge, and all the other amenities one expects at a four-star resort, including a personal concierge that greets them on arrival. The Hammock Beach Resort is now part of the Salamander Collection’s Grand Resorts of Florida with Reunion Resort in Orlando and Innisbrook Resort near Tampa.

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SWEETSTUFF T aking pictures is half the fun of any golf trip, and for anyone looking for an easier way to travel and take pictures on the go, several ingenious camera accessories developed by Peak Design, a professional-grade camera accessory company, can improve the way photographers transport and manage their cameras. From the Leash® strap system and its little brother the Cuff® —to the Capture® Camera Clip System Peak design has found a variety of quick interchangeable methods of carrying bulky cameras around the world, around town or around the green. Capture is an aluminum clip that lets you carry your camera directly on any belt, backpack strap or bag--including golf bags--with a sturdy quick release attachment that fits into the camera tripod mount. The product’s weatherproof aluminum body clamps tightly onto a user’s backpack strap, waist belt, messenger bag, baby carrier or other existing gear. Capture holds a camera rigidly and securely against the user’s body, allowing them to be fully active without their camera bouncing and swinging into harm’s way. Its quick-release lock allows a user to grab the camera, take a shot, and re-secure it instantly. With the ability to hold your camera in any direction, Capture also provides a third hand for safe and easy lens changes. The Leash is a complete re-definition of the classic camera strap that offers a number of configurations with a quick-connect system, and rugged design. It can be configured as a neck strap, sling strap, safety tether or video stabilizer and fits comfortably inside a pant pocket. Traditional camera straps are often difficult to attach and detach, limited in application, bulky in size and expensive. The Leash’s innovative quick-connection system utilizes tiny anchors made of braided Kevlar and glass-filled resin that attach to any loop on your camera gear. When connected to Leash, these anchors are built to withstand 200 lbs. of force — more than enough to guarantee safety for any size SLR camera body and lens. Leash’s® simple design allows it to adjust to twice its own length, allowing the user to configure it as a neck strap or sling strap. Leash® can also attach to your camera to any point on your clothing or gear to act as a safety strap or video tensioner. It is fully compatible with Capture, providing an additional level of security for your camera and is built from custom-woven ¾ inch seatbelt webbing that glides smoothly across your

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shoulder and chest when worn. The smaller Cuff version of the Leash utilizes the same innovative quick-connection system, but is shortened appropriately for a convenient connection from your camera to your wrist and provides a nice safety strap when you don’t want the camera around your neck or over the shoulder. For more information: www.


oday, socks for playing golf are more than a fashion statement. As is the case with just about all apparel, science has enabled manufacturers to improve comfort and looks while taking care of one of the most important things in the golf swing—your feet. Keeping your feet comfortable, dry and eliminating blisters is important to any golfer, and it starts with the basics—the socks. Kentwood, a three-year-old sock brand that has its roots in the 170-year old Kent Manufacturing Company has made huge inroads in the golf market with its line of stylish and innovative designs infused with a proprietary blend of Super Fine Merino Wool yarn—WINDspun by Kentwool—and com-


bined with other premium natural and high-tech fibers such as Nylon, Cocona Polyester and Spandex. The integrated foot technology system includes a micro-climate feature which promotes wicking and comfort, and reduces friction, abrasion and muscle fatigue. Although many people equate wool with warmth and cold-weather protection, these socks are comfortable in any climate—especially hot summer days late in a round of golf. Engineered for peak, blister-free performance, they are being used by many on the professional tours to provide superior comfort, unprecedented energy return and maximum support. For instance, former Masters Champion Bubba Watson wears them in competition and highly endorses the product. Wool’s ability to absorb moisture from humid environments and redirect it to dry areas makes it an ideal all-weather, year-round fiber. It keeps dry air next to skin, creating a “micro-climate” for dry, odor-free feet in the summer, and provides warmth and protection form the cold in winter. Superfine Merino Wool is lightweight, durable and requires minimal care while providing maximum comfort. Wool’s molecular makeup is like a “spring, ” allowing it to stretch and snap back into shape far better than other fibers. It is a natural “smart” performance fiber which takes up moisture in its vapor form and redirects it away from the skin to keep you dry. Wool can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling damp or clammy. All these benefits translate into a longer-lasting, higher-performing sock that gets high marks in terms of comfort, performance and total value. Made in the USA, Kentwood golf socks feature a diverse array of styles in both a Tour Standard length, low profile and a 19th Hole Fashion Perfor-

mance Collection that looks great with dress or country club casual attire. For more information:


lignment aids in golf practice are as old as the game itself—from simply putting a couple clubs along the ground to some of the more high-tech designs of today that give you many more options to help with this most important aspect of the swing. As a new golfer, the skills that you work to develop are very different from the skills that you need as a more seasoned player. Most swing aids are designed to work with one skill level on one type of swing. The Swing Setup™ trainer adjusts to grow with you as a golfer by allowing you to focus on several different types of swings, then allow you to make the minor adjustments you need to knock off those few extra strokes. A training device that can be configured in several ways and folded up like an accordion, it is built out of extruded aircraft grade aluminum and high tensile plastic--you can drop it on the ground or knock it with your clubs without having to worry about it breaking or being damaged. In its basic form, The Swing Setup™ training aid can be used to teach a player to stand in proper alignment to the target. Two feet placement guides extend towards the player to mark the correct placement for the feet (shoulder width apart). A ball placement gauge extends from the other side of the trainer to mark the correct position for the ball and can be adjusted depending on the club the player is using. All rods fold into The Swing Setup™ training aid to allow for easy storage. Since it is doublesided it can be used to work with left or right-handed golfers and folds to fit easily into a golf bag. It can be sized to adjust for younger players as well. The Swing Setup™ can also be used to teach the player to hit a cut or draw. The player can adjust the angle of trainer from 0-35 degrees in 5 degree increments, allowing one to consistently reproduce the desired amount of cut or draw. It also fully opens to allow the player to hit in between the two rails, thus creating a swing path. You can use the club indicator markings to know if the ball should be placed in the center, front, or back of their stance. For putting, you can adjust the feet placement guide for a wider stance, allowing the shoulders to freely rock back and forth and creating a truer pendulum. The straight edge of The Swing Setup™ trainer gives the player instant feedback if the club is “off line”. For more information:

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Golf Vacations • September 2013


34 Golf Vacations • September 2013

Golf Vacations Magazine - September 2013  
Golf Vacations Magazine - September 2013  

Golf Vacations Magazine - September 2013