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PACKING TIPS FOR HOLIDAY TRIPS I STOCKING STUFFERS I PRESCRIPTION SHADES

GVLINKS

com

GOLF VACATIONS HOLIDAY 2007

THE GOOD TIMES ROLL DOWN LOUISIANA WAY GOLF THE AUDUBON GOLF TRAIL

SEASON’S GREETINGS FROM VALLEY OF SUN

HEATING UP FOR THE HOLIDAYS

PLUS:

Thailand: Land Of Smiles I Golf + Romance = Quinta Real


“Best Overall Golf Experience” – VegasGolfer “Golf’s hidden treasure” – Sports Illustrated cascatagolf.com

Tee Times / Stay & Play Packages Call 1.888.727.4427 or visit us online at harrahsgolf.com For groups of 16 or more call 702.294.2010

Must be 21 or older to gamble. Know When To Stop Before You Start.® Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-522-4700. ©2007, Harrah’s License Company, LLC.


Cut out the middleman. Reserve directly with the golf course and hotel operators. Choose to stay at Bally’s, Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Paris & Rio in Las Vegas and play at Cascata, Rio Secco, or one of over 12 other fabulous golf courses.

Check availability and pricing, and reserve the entire package online at www.harrahsgolfonline.com

Must be 21 or older to gamble. Know When To Stop Before You Start.® Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-522-4700. ©2007, Harrah’s License Company, LLC.


F I V E U N FORGE T TA BL E ROU N DS U N L I K E A N Y OT H E R FROM T WO R E SORTS U N L I K E A N Y OT H E R .

The Ocean Course at Ginn Hammock BeachSM Resort, Palm Coast, Florida

T H E GI N N G OL F C H A L L E NGE ,

$ 63 0

PE R PE R SON *

You’ve never played golf like this. Play five Signature Golf Courses designed by Palmer, Watson and Nicklaus, at Ginn Reunion® Resort and Ginn Hammock BeachSM Resort

-

LegacySM Course at Ginn Reunion® Resort, Orlando, Florida

5 4 3 2 1

rou nd s of Si g n at u re g ol f d ay s le g end a r y c ou r s e de si g ner s lu x u r y re s or t s c h a nc e

You want ocean play? You got it. You want dramatic bunkers? You got it. Now let’s see you play. Both resorts also have tennis, fitness centers, spas, water parks and more. But who cares? You came to golf.

ORLANDO AND PALM COAST FLORIDA

Call 1-866-615-0197 or visit GinnReunionResort.com/challenge today. *Offers are in U.S. dollars and based on double occupancy for a minimum of two nights of accommodations at Ginn Reunion Resort and one night at Ginn Hammock Beach Resort. Plus service charge & tax. Receive five rounds of golf. Valid through December 31, 2007. Subject to availability. Other restrictions apply. ©2007 Ginn Hospitality, LLC. All Rights Reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

LEGACY SM COURSE at Ginn Reunion Resort by Arnold Palmer

THE CONSERVATORYSM COURSE at Ginn Hammock Beach Resort by Tom Watson

INDEPENDENCE SM COURSE at Ginn Reunion Resort by Tom Watson

OCEAN COURSE AT HAMMOCK BEACH SM at Ginn Hammock Beach Resort by Jack Nicklaus

TR ADITION SM COURSE at Ginn Reunion Resort by Jack Nicklaus


Š 2007 RCSH All Rights Reserved

- RUTH

Phoenix (602) 957-9600

Pasadena (626) 583-8122

Scottsdale (480) 991-5988

Roseville (916) 780-6910

Anaheim (714) 750-5466

Sacramento (916) 286-2702

Beverly Hills (310) 859-8744

San Diego (619) 233-1422

Del Mar (858) 755-1454

San Francisco (415) 673-0557

Irvine (949) 252-8848

Walnut Creek (925) 977-3477

Palm Desert (760) 779-1998

Woodland Hills (818) 227-9505

Group Private Dining Available Reservations & Gift Cards at www.RuthsChris.com


FIRST GEVRIL RALLY TOUR Time will fly as you drive five of the world’s most exquisitely designed exotic sportscars in one day, brought to you by Gevril Rally Tour, to thank you for your purchase of a Gevril Timepiece.* We’ll put you in the driver’s seat of five late-model super-exotics, on scenic open roads at a location near you, creating a World Class Driving experience you’ll never forget.

Minimum purchase of $4000. Valid from November 1st to January 31st. For more information call 866-425-9882. Some Restrictions Apply.


contents I holiday 2007

28 cover

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stories

Personal Postcard: Land Of Thai Smiles by Bill Cannedy

Snakes and elephants, palaces and Buddhist temples, beautiful faces and some of the best golf you’ll ever encounter. Sawadee!

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Let The Good Times Roll In Louisiana by Alan Eisenstein

The Bayou State is home to unusual attractions and equally unique characters. For a peek into this exotic land, adventure out to the Audubon Golf Trail, a collection of 13 golf clubs in this Sportsmen’s Paradise.

Head To The Heat For The Holidays by Chris Baldwin

Deals abound during the holiday season, making early winter a great time to take an affordable Phoenix-Scottsdale golf vacation.

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Golf And Romance Mix It Up In Mexico by Michael Villalpando

“We interrupt this marriage to go play golf.” That old saying just doesn’t apply on a lover’s getaway to a Quinta Real property.

ON THE COVER: It’s not always about the “Big Boys” on that perfect golf vacation!

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contents I holiday 2007

featurette

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44 Long Golf Trip On Tap? by Tim McDonald Check out these packing tips from a

seasoned travel pro. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the secret word is wrinkle-free.

departments

17 Chip Shots Updates From The World Of Golf & Travel

17

47 The Eyes Have It: Prescription Sunglasses Clear Day Dawns for Those with Vision as #1 Handicap

50 My Turn

by Dan Shepherd

Reflections on Golf Balls, Space Shuttles and Iraq

51 Destinations Your Links to Great Resort Golf Locales

47 v i s i t w w w. g v l i n k s . c o m

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A golf experience beyond the extraordinary. Embellished in Mexican tradition and known for its magnificent ocean and mountain views, paired with exceptional guest service and impeccable course conditions make the Cabo San Lucas Country Club a must experience

Full PRACTICE FACILITY WITH PROFESSIONAL INSTRUCTION AVAILABLE. SINGLE / GROUPS WELCOMe.

For information or reservations call: U.S. 1-888-328-8501 • Canada 1-866-431-0213 • Local 143-4654

or visit us online at golfincabo.com


Desert Willow GV November 5082:DW GV November Ad

8/24/07

1:20 PM

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Executive Editor Jeffrey Diaz Contributing Writers Chris Baldwin • Bill Cannedy • Alan Eisenstein Tim McDonald • Terry Ross • Michael Villalpando Design & Production Buy Design • J.D. Latorre Features Editor Larry Feldman Special Projects Editor Terry Ross

destination You know what will make your wedding day perfect. We know where you’ll find it. DESERT WILLOW GOLF RESORT

866-621-9461 www.desertwillow.com Located at Desert Willow Drive off Country Club between Cook Street & Portola Avenue in Palm Desert.

Copy Editor Mary Anne Pinkston For Editorial: call: (760) 774-2655 • e-mail: info@GVLinks.com

Advertising Representatives Palm Springs, CA • 760-318-6214 Dan Amezcua Los Angeles, CA • 323-933-5518 Michael Villalpando - Melrose Media Group San Diego, CA • 619-709-4425 Wayne McCollum Pacific Northwest • 360-305-7922 Alan Eisenstein

Published by

President Jeffrey Diaz 100 S. Sunrise Way., Suite 257 Palm Springs, California 92262 1-800-940-7816

and

Destiny Media, LLC President/CEO James A. Diaz 3877 N. 7th Street, Suite 200 Phoenix, Arizona 85014 480-451-4777 • fax 602-277-9388

Golf Vacations Magazine is published bi-monthly and is selectively distributed throughout the entire fifty United States. Entire contents of this publication is copyright 2007 SportsMedia Publications, all rights reserved and may not be reproduced in any manner, in whole or in part, without written permission from the publisher. For home or office delivery, please send your name, address, phone number and $18 to Golf Vacations Magazine at the address above.

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from the editor . . .

I

Cande’s Golf Getaways Stay & Play • Custom packages • Lodging • Tee times • Tournaments • Transportation • Meeting Services • Banquets • Award Dinners • Personal Service

Golf travel planning without the worry United States, Mexico, Canada and more . . . 866-805-9400 • www.candesgolfgetaways.com • email: candestours@cox.net 14

G O L F VA C AT I O N S • H O L I D AY 2 0 0 7

t’s high time someone was truly honest and just came out and said what the holidays are really all about. Sure, most of it is reconnecting with your loved ones, sharing a holiday roast beast and giving thanks for all that is right with the world. But for a lot of us, it’s all about beating your visiting, out-of-town brother-inlaw’s brains in, out on the golf course! Granted, that’s not exactly the conventional warm and fuzzy image that comes to mind when conjuring up your perfect Rockwellian postcard, but c’mon, let’s be real. I know that’s the lurking, unspoken desire of millions of my fellow holiday hackers. It’s okay though. Just remember, your brother-in-law has the same evil thought about taking you to school after the turkey and pumpkin pie have sufficiently digested. All of which leads me to a few other unconventional ideas. Like golfing the Audubon Golf Trail in Louisiana or ordering up a multi-caddie round in Thailand. Or heading to Arizona for some heated holiday play. Okay, that last one has become pretty conventional, but only because golfers are a smart bunch and realize that tracking a Titleist in the frozen tundra is a sad waste of a Saturday. This issue we explore these, and a few more dots on the map that will take the chill out of your golfbag. We also take a quick look at some stocking stuffer ideas and offer up tips on what to pack and what to leave behind when traveling to your favorite golf destination. The year has flown by and the time of year is upon us for faith, family, feasts and finely wrapped favors. We wish all of you the very best during the upcoming holidays. Have a safe and joyous time and here’s to the New Year and the promise it brings to all. And one more thing. Here’s to your steely sportsmanship as you pluck your winnings from your brother-in-law’s tear-drenched hands. Thanks for reading.

Jeffrey Diaz executive editor www.gvlinks.com


CONTRIBUTINGWRITERS Chris Baldwin carries 14 years of journalism experience, seven in the competitive New York market. He’s played more than 120 golf courses for reviews in the last year alone, been issued a personal challenge by Donald Trump on a Top 10 rankings story and landed the interview that brought out Rush Limbaugh’s first controversial comments on Michelle Wie. Chris won six national AP Sports Editors awards in six years at the Asbury Park Press. He's covered four World Series, three NBA Finals, two Stanley Cup Finals, two U.S. Opens and plenty of other golf. Chris’s writing appears courtesy of TravelGolf.com through Golf Publisher Syndications.

• Golf’s largest travel portal • Golf’s top vacation source • Discount tee times & packages

Alan Eisenstein is a freelance golf and travel writer and marketing consultant. He worked in the television, cable and advertising industries for 35 years. He has happily played golf for 45 years, starting as a caddie in his native Chicago and been a member of clubs across the country - in Philadelphia, New Mexico and now in Blaine, Washington, where he resides.

Golf’s top international portal 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.

Michael Villalpando is a Los Angeles based travel writer. He is also publisher of the Park La Brea News and The Beverly Press, both local weekly publications covering news and events in the Los Angeles area. Michael and his wife Karen also run The Melrose Media Group, a successful L.A. based media rep firm.

ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE NEEDED!! We need a Self-Starter ready to join us as an Independent Advertising Rep • High Commissions

Bill Cannedy is co-owner of Cannedy Quest, a Palm Springs area company specializing in worldwide golf travel packages. With 25 years in the hospitality and travel industry, Bill has traveled extensively from South America to the South Pacific and the Far East to Morocco. A freelance photographer and former Pro-Am Champion of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, Bill serves as the Tournament Director of the always popular Desert Expedition Golf Classic.

• Travel/Golf perks • Set Your Own Schedule • Nationwide Opportunities

Check us out at: www.gvlinks.com Tim McDonald is the National Golf Editor of Golf Publishers.com. Tim’s 20 years of journalism experience includes stints as a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press. During his sportswriting career, he has covered the Masters, the NFL, as both a beat writer and columnist, the NBA, Major League Baseball and more. He is the recipient of several national sportswriting awards. Tim’s writing appears courtesy of TravelGolf.com through Golf Publisher Syndications.

www.gvlinks.com

email your resume to: info@gvlinks.com G O L F V A C A T I O N S • H O L I D A Y 2007

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U p d a t e s f r o m t h e Wo r l d o f G o l f & Tr a v e l >>

chip shots

SWEATER WEATHER GOLF IN PICTURESQUE VIRGINIA illiamsburg, VA. — A nip is in the air, the holidays are looming large on the horizon and the leaves are busy showing off their stunning color palette. At Colonial Williamsburg’s Golden Horseshoe Golf Club, that means “Sweater Weather Season,” time for the historic resort’s annual Sweater Weather Golf Package. Available Dec. 1, 2007 through March 13, 2008, the Sweater Weather Golf Package includes 18 holes per day-of-stay at one of the two award-winning courses at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club, as well as lodging at The Resort Collection of Colonial Williamsburg, with rates starting at $99 per person, per night (at the Woodlands Hotel & Suites). The package is also offered with stays at the Williamsburg Inn, Williamsburg Lodge, Colonial Houses-Historic Lodging, and Providence Hall Guest Houses. The Golden Horseshoe Golf Club (www.goldenhorseshoegolf.com) offers a pair of gems: the Gold Course, originally designed by the famed Robert Trent Jones Sr. and renovated by his son Rees Jones (6,817 yards from the championship tees), and the Green Course, a Rees Jones layout (7,120-yards from the tips). Golf Magazine, in its September 2006 issue, ranked the Gold Course No. 48 on its “Top 100 Courses You Can Play” for 2006-07. In 2007 the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club hosted the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship on the Gold

W

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Course, where Stanford University won the team title and Jamie Lovemark of the University of Southern California was individual champion. Other features of the Sweater Weather Golf Package include unlimited range balls, a 15 percent discount on golf apparel in the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club’s two pro shops (just in case a new sweater is in order) and unlimited play on Spotswood, the resort’s nine-hole course, also designed by Jones Sr. Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as the nation’s largest living history museum. The Colonial Williamsburg Company, a subsidiary of the Foundation, operates a Resort Collection with more than 1,000 guest rooms among five hotels including the landmark Williamsburg Inn, four historic dining taverns and six restaurants, and 66,000 square feet of conference space centered at the Williamsburg Lodge, as well as a new 20,000-square-foot spa, and the golf courses. Each purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the Foundation’s preservation, research, and educational programs. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 800-501-0156 or visit their web site at www.Colonial Williamsburg.com or visit www.goldenhorsehoegolf.com G O L F V A C A T I O N S • H O L I D A Y 2007

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Rio Secco Golf Club

RIO SECCO GC OFFERS EXCLUSIVE T-MATE GOLF CONCIERGE SERVICE After a highly successful first year, the TMates program at Rio Secco Golf Club near Las Vegas is back once again this season to offer an exclusive on-course concierge service to players at the acclaimed Reese Jones course located just 20 minutes from the strip in Henderson, Nevada. Home to the world-famous Butch

Harmon Golf School, Rio Secco has been ranked as the top public-access course in the Las Vegas area, and the addition of the T-Mates has elevated service to an exclusive level. “These attractive young ladies provide a fun and exciting golf environment for our guests and their addition to the golf experience is almost a must for the first time visitor,” said Mark Blais, Director of Sales and Marketing at Rio Secco. The T-Mates work much like forecaddies and help players with course knowledge, strategy and yardages, and also replace and fill divots and rake bunkers. They also help maintain place of play in addition to helping order food during the around and assisting with transportation. Rio Secco has a training program for its T-Mates so that they not only are wellversed in golf, but know the intricacies of Rio Seco as well. T-Mates need to be reserved in advance of the round and add an additional $200 to the cost of playing the course. For more information on the Rio Secco Golf Club and the T-Mates program visit www.RioSecco.net or call (888) TO SECCO.

CATCH THE KILLER DEAL AT THE DESERT’S ”GOLFER’S HOTEL” The Holiday Inn Express in Palm Desert, known as the “Golfer’s Hotel,” has expanded its “Killer Deal” special to the December holiday season with a $134 all-inclusive fee that includes two rounds of golf, a night at the hotel, breakfast and lunch. The resorts included in the special are Indian Canyons, Cimarron or Woodhaven Country Club. Carts and range balls are included in the price. Available after Thanksgiving until the end of the year for groups of 12 golfers or more, those booking this package also earn credit towards entry into the annual Desert Expedition Golf Classic in June, which has become the Coachella Valley’s biggest summer golf tournament. Desert Expedition, produced by Tournament Director Bill Cannedy, includes two days of competition played at two of the areas’ favorite resort courses— Cimarron Golf Resort in Cathedral City and Indian Canyons Golf Resort in Palm Springs. It features over 120 players representing national media, representatives of golf clubs and group travel organizers who are treated to

Corporate Golf School & Individual Golf Lessons Available • Schools range from 1 to 3 days

#1 – Golf Vacations Magazine – Winter 2008

• Room accommodations at one of six Harrah’s properties • Ground transportation to and from school included • Limited Availability – call today for details

Please call (702) 777-2444 or visit us online at www.butchharmon.com.

Must be 21 or older to gamble. Know When To Stop Before You Start.® Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-522-4700. ©2007, Harrah’s License Company, LLC.

18V2_31408.1_7.5x4.875_4C_Ad.indd G O L F V A C A T I O N S • H O L 1I D A Y

2007

10/18/07 1:33:10 PM www.gvlinks.com


great food from Outback Steakhouse and Woodhaven Country Club, more than $25,000 in prizes, entertainment and the Miss Desert Expedition Pageant and Show. Included among the prizes is a golf vacation to Australia and free golf for a year, but basically it is a chance for Cannedy to promote his sponsor/partners and the desert as a golf destination, especially in the summer. The special honoree for Desert Expedition XI this past summer was Major Pete Blades, a United States Marine Corp aviator who is preparing for his third tour of duty in Iraq and is a 13year veteran of the military. Although Desert Expedition is an exclusive event and by invitation only, it is totally free for those attending, including accommodations. For information on the Killer Deal call: (760) 902-5587.

www.gvlinks.com

GINN GOLF CHALLENGE EXTENDED Due to popular demand, the “Ginn Golf Challenge” has been extended and will now be available for $750 through April 30, 2008. The package includes one night’s accommodations and two rounds of golf at Ginn Hammock Beach, host of the Champions Tour’s Ginn Championship, where golfers will play both Jack Nicklaus’ Ocean Course and Tom Watson’s Conservatory course. Two hours southwest of Ginn Hammock Beach, the golf sojourn continues at Ginn Reunion Resort in Orlando. Fla, host of the LPGA’s Ginn Open and the Golf Channel’s Big Break VII, where golfers will stay two nights and play all three world-class courses at the Central Florida resort – Watson’s independence, his first Florida design; Palmer’s Legacy; and Nicklaus’ Tradition. Aside from three Signature golf courses, the resort offers award-winning tennis, a boutique spa and a multi-acre waterpark. And the roll call of Watson, Palmer and Nicklaus creates one of the finest trios of great playersturned-course-architects on one property, a veritable Reunion Great Triumvirate. Ginn Hammock Beach Resort, located

an hour and a half northeast of Ginn Reunion in Palm Coast, Fla., features oceanfront Signature golf on the Ocean Course, designed by Nicklaus and the Conservatory, designed by Watson. With two miles of spectacular beach front and the first truly oceanfront course to open in Florida in the past 70 years – Ginn Hammock Beach also offers countless amenities such as a multi-level water

Ginn Hammock Beach

and swim pavilion, an indoor atrium pool, world-class spa and fitness center, fine and casual dining, and sushi and cigar bars. Visit www.reunionresort.com for more information.

G O L F V A C A T I O N S • H O L I D A Y 2007

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TEE-RIFIC TRINIDAD & TOBAGO Golfers looking for an exotic getaway need look no further than the beautiful dual island nation of Trinidad & Tobago. With a total of five magnificently maintained eighteen-hole golf courses, including Trinidad’s latest addition, the course at Millennium Lakes Golf & Country Club in Trincity, Trinidad, visitors have a wide variety from which to choose.

For more information call 868-640-8337 or visit www.millenniumlakes.com Trinidad has two other eighteen-hole courses, Pointe-a-Pierre Golf Course and St. Andrew’s Golf Course. On the sister island of Tobago, golfers can choose from Mt. Irvine Golf Club or the Tobago Plantations Golf & Country Club. For more information on golfing in Trinidad & Tobago, visit the Trinidad & Tobago’s Golf Association website at www.trinidadandtobagogolfassociation.com

GOLF’S LATEST ACE IN THE HOLE IS IN CANCUN THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

Carnival in Trinidad

The PGA-designed 18-hole, par-71 championship course features an ample amount of lakes, deep fairways and greenside bunkers on approximately 6,500 yards. The clubhouse is home to a pro shop, restaurant, sports bar, bag storage facilities and locker rooms for both men and women.

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Cancun is more than just a destination for beautiful beaches and plenty of sun. It’s also a great place to have your next golf vacation! The 18-hole Greg Normandesigned Playa Mujeres makes Cancun the ideal golf location. The JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa and CasaMagna Marriott Cancun are making sure their guests can experience the latest in Cancun leisure with the Swing into Cancun package! This is the first golf package offered by the resorts! This package includes: 4 nights accom-

Hotel Pool at the Casa Magna

modation (either at JW or CasaMagna); Two days of tee times at Playa Mujeres; Transportation to golf course; Unlimited use of practice facilities; Golf bag storage; VIP carry-all bag; 20 percent off on JW or CasaMagna spa treatments. JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa: Price per person per night based on two golfers in room from $295 CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort: Price per person per night based on two golfers in room from $210 Valid Until Dec. 18, 2007. For reservations, call 1-888-PARADISE / 1-888-727-2347

www.gvlinks.com


Planning your next golf getaway? Golfsmith Travel has made it easier than ever before to book the ultimate golf vacation. Visit golfsmithtravel.com and get access to the world’s best golf destinations with a click of your mouse.

“HOT DEALS” @ golfsmithtravel.com 2008 US Open Package - 5 Nights + tickets + car Palm Springs - La Quinta Fall Spectacular package – click on Hot Deals for even more specials –

PLAN YOUR VACATION NOW!

Travel

Visit golfsmithtravel.com or call 888-819-7148 for more information or to book your trip today.

Pebble Beach • Pinehurst • Kapalua • Bandon Dunes • Torrey Pines • St. Andrews • Carnoustie


FULFILL YOUR SCOTTSDALE FANTASY The Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau continues to develop innovative ways to reach potential Scottsdale visitors. The bureau is targeting tech-savvy golfers in the comfort of their home with the launch of the Scottsdale Fantasy 18 Virtual Golf Game. Similar to a golf video game, the online simulation depicts 18 of the most renowned golf holes in the Scottsdale area. Customers play by using their mouse and keyboard. The game allows for club selection and is complete with Scottsdale and golf trivia to help better players’ scores. “Golfers come to Scottsdale for the quality, quantity and diversity of our courses,” says Lauren Simons, vice president of marketing for the Scottsdale CVB. “Being able to play the Scottsdale Fantasy 18 from home gives visitors a chance to ace the holes that challenged them most or play the ones they may have missed.” Accessible at www.Experience Scottsdale.com/GolfGame, the bureau will run promotions associated with the golf game offering a complimentary Scottsdale golf vacation for two to the winner with the best record. Perhaps the most convincing testament to Scottsdale's stature as a golf mecca is the city's outstanding collection of stunningly beautiful signature holes. Scottsdale is home to an impressive list of not-to-be missed holes, which gave rise to the Fantasy 18. Scottsdale’s Fantasy 18 1. The Boulders GC, South Course # 5 2. Camelback GC, Resort Course # 1 3. Gainey Ranch GC, Arroyo Course # 9 4. Golf Club at Eagle Mountain, # 18 5. Grayhawk GC, Raptor Course # 8 6. Grayhawk GC, Talon Course # 17 7. Legend Trail Golf Club, # 7 8. McCormick Ranch, Pine Course #15 9. Mountain Shadows Golf Club, # 8 10. Orange Tree Golf Club, # 18 11. The Phoenician, Desert Course # 8 12. Sanctuary Golf Club, # 2 13. SunRidge Canyon Golf Club, # 17 14. Talking Stick GC, North Course # 11 15. TPC Scottsdale, Stadium Course # 15 16. Troon North, Pinnacle Course # 18 17. Troon North, Monument Course # 3 18. We-Ko-Pa GC, Cholla Course # 8 22

G O L F VA C AT I O N S • H O L I D AY 2 0 0 7

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NEW RITZ-CARLTON GOLF CLUB IN TUCSON’S SONORAN DESERT With Jack Nicklaus’ Signature Golf Courses in a spectacular Sonoran Desert setting, Ritz-Carlton service, a major clubhouse complex and an internationally televised PGA Tour event, The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, will be a world-class golf destination.

GOLFSMITH TRAVEL OFFERS WINTERTIME GOLF DEAL IN DAYTONA! Your Golf Holiday will include five nights accommodations at the Daytona Inn Beach Resort in Daytona Beach, an Avis intermediate-size car for five days, and four rounds of golf at LPGA International Champions Course, LPGA International Legends Course, Victoria Hills, and Halifax Plantation. The Legends course, designed by Arthur Hills was opened in October 1998. Four years earlier, the Rees Jones-designed Champions course opened. The linksstyle design has been selected for awards such as Golf Magazine's "Top Ten You Can Play" public access courses and Golf for Women magazine's "America's Most

Women Friendly Golf Course". Victoria Hills Golf Club is a beautiful 18-hole, par-72 course designed by Ron Garl to take advantage of the area's natural rolling hills and foliage. Nestled within a lush and magnificent canopy of century-old oaks, tall pines and natural vegetation on high rolling terrain, Halifax Plantation Golf Club is one of the most picturesque and enjoyable courses you’ll play in Central Florida. Only $859 per person based on a twosome! Valid January 1 – March 31, 2008. Call 888-819-7148 or visit www.golfsmithtravel.com for more information.

Now under construction, the $60-million project is the most visible component within its largest and most comprehensive Ritz-Carlton-branded project in the continental U.S. to date, which also includes the 250-room Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain resort hotel and spa, and a 300-home RitzCarlton-branded residential community. Twenty-seven holes of golf and the clubhouse complex are under construction and scheduled for completion in late 2008, with an additional nine holes of golf planned for 2010. The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, will host the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship in February 2009, posing a significant challenge to the world’s best players. The Nicklaus Signature Courses will still emphasize playability and aesthetic appeal for all golfers, though, as they will be available to a select membership as well as guests of The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain resort. A total of 493 golf memberships for the planned 36-hole club are dedicated to owners of The Residences at The RitzCarlton, Dove Mountain, as well as a limited number of non-resident members. The first 18 holes, comprising the two tournament nines, are par-72 measuring 7,833 yards, while the third nine measures 3,974 yards at par-36. The routing of the final nine holes is complete but exact yardage has yet to be finalized. For information call (407) 206-6208 or visit www.thegolfclubdovemountain.com www.gvlinks.com

G O L F V A C A T I O N S • H O L I D A Y 2007

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Monterey Peninsula’s Bayonet Golf Course

NEW CHAMPIONS COURSE RAISES THE BAR AT TPC SCOTTSDALE

GROUPS GET BEST OF SEASIDE’S BAYONET FOR THE REST OF YEAR When it comes to packages for group golf outings, the legendary Bayonet Golf Course has saved its best of the year for the rest of the year, with the debut of its “Company Par-Tee Golf Package.” The promotion is ideal for all types of gatherings, from business meetings to bachelor parties, with groups able to utilize the clubhouse dining area, which offers full service of food and beverage, with its views overlooking Monterey Bay. Under the guidance of award-winning golf course architect Gene Bates, both Bayonet and its companion course, Black Horse, are being sculpted into the golf centerpiece of a multi-million-dollar project by the Seaside Resort Development, LLC. The end result will feature a luxury destination hotel and spa overlooking Monterey Bay, to be operated by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, all scheduled for completion in late 2009, or early 2010. The “Company Par-Tee Golf Package” is $75 per player on weekdays, $95 per player on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, visit www.bayonetblackhorse.com or call (831) 393-3006 ext. 218. to discuss group options.

Twenty years after its inception, the public Desert Course at TPC Scottsdale is being completely rebuilt under the direction of golf course architect Randy Heckenkemper, who also served as part of Tom Weiskopf’s original design team in 1987. Construction on the course began in January 2007 and is scheduled to be completed on November 15. To stay consistent with the quality that the renovation will bring and to pay tribute to the many champions who have made contributions to golf in Scottsdale, the course will be renamed the Champions Course. Every hole on the course has been redesigned. In total, the course will be lengthened to approximately 7,100 yards with hole 17 increasing from a par-4 to a par-5. Drainage and irrigation systems also will be drastically improved to facilitate greater consistency year-round while greater elevation changes and wider putting greens will help to increase the course’s range of difficulty. For more information, visit www.tpc.com/scottsdale or call (480) 585-4334.

MARRIOTT SHOALS INVITES YOU TO THEIR ESCAPE GOLF PACKAGE

With prices starting at $195 per night, Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa is inviting all who love the game of golf to experience the highly anticipated “Escape Northern Alabama Golf Package” at the Shoals in Florence, Ala. Sometimes it's all about the golf, especially on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Yet,

when you add in a luxurious spa, fine dining, and breathtaking views of the Tennessee River, you've got a getaway to remember at Alabama's newest four-diamond rated hotel. The Escape Golf Package includes luxury accommodations for one night and two rounds of golf at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at the Shoals.

Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa

Indulge in four remarkable Muscle Shoals, Alabama, restaurants including the acclaimed 360 Grille & Lounge, featuring eclectic cuisine in Alabama's only revolving restaurant atop the Renaissance Tower. Bronzeback Café boasts comfort cuisine, while Swampers Bar & Grill honors the rich musical heritage of Alabama by hosting live music celebrating local sounds. This world-class hotel also houses a state-of-the-art, European spa, The Spa at the Shoals, featuring an array of spa options, from body scrubs and facials to massages and steam rooms. For more information, or to make a reservation, call (800) 593-6450 or visit http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/m slmc-marriott-shoals-hotel-and-spa/

Premier Fishing Charter and Round of Golf in Beautiful Cabo San Lucas only

Info/Reservations call John 877-FISH-RAP (347-4727) or email john@ReelFunAdventures.com 24

$595

www.redrumcabo.com

per person (based on a foursome)

• 4 nights lodging in a deluxe downtown Cabo San Lucas condo (view pics at http://fishrapradio.com/cabo.htm) • 1 round of golf at Cabo San Lucas Country Club • 1 day of Bluewater fishing with Redrum Charters • 1 free day to explore and enjoy Cabo at your leisure – snorkel, swim, shop, sightsee – No taxis required

G O L F VA C AT I O N S • H O L I D AY 2 0 0 7

(call for rates for 2-3 people) www.gvlinks.com


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PGA TOUR ENTERS PHOENIX MARKET WITH NEW SUPERSTORES Golf & Tennis Pro Shop, Inc. (GTPS), headquartered in Atlanta, opened two PGA Tour Superstores in the Phoenix area this past month. The new stores, which increase the number of PGA Tour Superstores to 10 nationwide, are the company’s first locations in the Southwest. One Superstore is located in the Chandler Mercado Shopping Center, and the other is located in the Pima Crossing Shopping Center in Scottsdale. The average size of the two new Superstores exceeds 50,000 square feet. All of the PGA Tour Superstores provide golfers with an interactive, entertaining experience, as well as access to technology and services usually found in professional “Tour

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Vans” at tournament sites. PGA of America and other teaching pros are on staff at each Superstore to provide lessons, adjust a swing and guide club fitting. A vast selection of tennis apparel, equipment and services are also available, and most stores have an indoor tennis court. www.pgatoursuperstore.com

TOURISM OFFICIALS SEND GOLF BALLS TO TROOPS OVERSEAS Leaders in the Phoenix area's hospitality community wanted your golf balls to soar - about 8,000 miles that is -- all the way to Iraq and Afghanistan. The Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Valley Hotel & Resort Association teamed with Troon Golf recently to launch "Operation White Christmas, Fore Our Soldiers." The goal was to deliver hundreds of golf balls to Arizona soldiers serving in the Middle East so they can get in a little practice this holiday season. The hospitality groups asked area golf resorts and individuals to donate extra balls for the cause. In all over 100,000 golf balls

and 1,200 golf clubs were collected. Greater Phoenix CVB President and Chief Executive Steve Moore came up with the idea for Operation White Christmas while seated next to an Arizona serviceman on a flight to Phoenix. "I asked him how people in the hospitality industry could help the troops," Moore said. "And he said, 'You know what we would really love? Golf balls and some of those little bottles of hotel shampoo.'" As for the latter request, Phoenix's 400-plus hotels and resorts were asked to donate extra stock of miniature shampoos, conditioners and body washes. Local business travelers and vacationers were invited to pitch in, too. Golf balls and travel-size toiletries were deposited in "Operation White Christmas" receptacles inside the Visitor Information Center at Biltmore Fashion Park and at Kierland Golf Club at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. Packages From Home, a nonprofit group dedicated to delivering food, personal-care items and recreational goods to American troops, are shipping the donations to Iraq and Afghanistan.

www.gvlinks.com


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Spacious One and Two Bedroom Condominiums with Full Kitchens Charming Studio Suites with Kitchenettes Site of the 2000 LPGA Standard Register PING Tournament

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Golf Packages* start at $299 per night Must mention Par-3 package to receive this offer.

* Par-3 package offers a variety of golf courses: Legacy, Orange Tree, The Duke, Longbow, Ocotillo, Silverado & Starfire. Expires 12/31/07


PERSONALPOSTCARD

T

his was my third trip to the Kingdom of Thailand for golf and sightseeing. This was the best by far. The more you visit Thailand the more you realize how much it has to offer. Thailand, the land of smiles, combines the ancient and modern worlds. Golf in Thailand is spectacular. The world’s top golf designers have courses there and they are in immaculate condition. The LPGA Honda Classic was held at Siam Country Club, just outside Pattaya, October 25-28, 2007. We flew out of LAX to Thailand on EVA Air. EVA offers a premium economy cabin called Elite. It is well worth the 20% to 25% more than you would spend for economy. EVA was one of the first airlines to offer premium economy in 1992. Elite class offers a regular business class seat and better service and food than economy. Their in-flight entertainment is fabulous. You have a choice of about 500 music and movie selections with EVA’s Audio/Video on Demand and you can use the Short Message Service for air-toground messages to mobile phones and email addresses. They just put into service a fleet of brand new B777-300ERs from Los Angeles to Bangkok. Check out their site at www.evaair.com. One tip I can offer to get the best service possible on any long flight is to bring a box of chocolates for the flight attendants. They really appreciate it and make sure that you will be well taken care of. Bangkok is the business, financial and political center of Thailand. It is one of Asia’s great cities. It is a fun place to visit, renowned for entertainment, dining and shopping. Thai hospitality is legendary. We stayed at the 5-Star Intercontinental Hotel. In a city full of 5-Star hotels the InterContinental is at the top of the list. It is located in the best area of downtown Bangkok, the facilities are fantastic and the level of service is “over the top.” Do yourself a favor and upgrade to the Club Level for less than $60 per night. The Club Level takes up the entire 37th floor of the hotel and has a fantastic view of the city. Breakfast was top notch and in addition to a wonderful buffet you can order off the menu. Afternoon tea starts at 2:30 pm and complimentary cocktails and appetizers start at 5 p.m. Although Bangkok has over 50,000 places to eat, from 5-star restaurants to food stands on the street, we very rarely went out to dinner. You could spend a month in Bangkok and

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never run out of interesting places to visit or things to do. My advice is to travel by the modern Skytrain whenever possible. Traffic in Bangkok is horrendous. The InterContinental is less than a block from the Chit Lom Skytrain station. The following are some of the things you should do when visiting Bangkok: Take a long tail boat ride on the Chao Phraya River, “The River of Kings.” You will see some of the stark contrasts of the city from modern skyscrapers, glittering temples and palaces to people living and making their living on boats. Be sure to have the boat driver stop at the snake farm and see the snake show. Then visit Bangkok’s number one tourist attraction, The Grand Palace. The enormous royal grounds houses the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The Emerald Buddha is the holiest and most revered religious object in Thailand. Take an early morning walk in Lumpini Park, the Central Park of Bangkok. For an unforgettable dinner take a cruise on the Loy Nava. Dinner is served on an antique teakwood rice barge as you cruise past the magnificent landmarks on “The River of Kings.” Pamper yourself with a facial, manicure. pedicure, haircut and shoulder and neck massage. I got the “full treatment” for less than $35. A one-hour traditional Thai massage or foot massage costs less than $10. Shopping in Bangkok is world class. Be sure to visit Siam Paragon, the newest and most spectacular shopping mall in South East Asia. While you are there tour Siam Ocean World Aquarium. If you are a bargain hunter try the Weekend Market, the world’s largest flea market. The Kingdom of Thailand is truly a golf destination. There are over 200 courses designed by some of the world’s top golf course architects. The tropical climate makes it ideal to play year round. Superb conditioning is the norm. One of the best things about playing golf in Thailand is that you always have a caddie. The caddies are always female and are very good. We also hired someone to carry a sun umbrella and another person to carry a chair so we could sit down in between shots. We had three people assisting us play our round for less than $30 plus tip. Bangkok’s Alpine Golf & Sports Club hosted the 2000 Johnny Walker Classic won by Tiger Woods. Alpine was developed from flat rice paddy fields into a hilly, undulating course with beautiful lakes and dazzling tree-lined fairways. This is a tough course with many unexpected

www.gvlinks.com


THAILAND: LAND OF SMILES by Bill Cannedy

challenges. Each shot must be precisely calculated to avoid costly penalties. Take it from me, the greens are lightning fast. One guarantee is that you will receive a warm welcome and fabulous service. Thai Country Club is one of Asia’s most prestigious clubs. Golf Monthly voted TCC the best course in Thailand from 2001 through 2006. Their par-3 signature hole has been voted the best par-3 in Asia from 2001 through 2006 and the clubhouse has been voted best in Asia from 2001 through 2006. It is truly a breath taking outlay. I played one of my best rounds ever there with rented clubs (brand new Nike clubs) primarily because the greens were so pure and the caddy read each putt perfectly. After seven nights in exciting Bangkok we headed to Pattaya for some rest and relaxation. Pattaya is a beach resort just two hours from Bangkok via a modern expressway. We stayed at the Rabbit Resort on Dongton Beach, a luxury beach just fifteen minutes from the center of Pattaya. Rabbit Resort is called the “hidden gem of Asia” by Trip Advisor. We stayed in one of the twenty-four luxury Thai Beach Bungalows located on the four acres of land right across the street from the beach. During the day, cars

www.gvlinks.com

and motor bikes are banned from the area to make sure that the peaceful setting is not interrupted. Rabbit Resort is all about individual, personalized service. Owner, Deb Rabbit, from Southern California, is the most gracious hostess. Deb knows everyone of her guests, where they are from and what their desires are. She has trained her staff of sixty to offer exceptional service. www.rabbitresort.com Our days were spent lounging around one of the resort’s two pools or at the beach. Foot and traditional massages are available at the beach for only $7. What a way to relax. Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens is just a short drive from Pattaya. We spent half a day there marveling at one of the most beautiful gardens in Asia. In addition to the gardens there is a cultural show featuring Thai dancing and boxing. The elephant show must be seen to be believed. Elephants play soccer, basketball, bowl, dance and paint portraits. There are fifteen international standard courses within a 30-40 minute drive of Pattaya, all with excellent facilities at inexpensive rates, making the resort an ideal center for golf vacations. We choose to play Laem Chabang

International Country Club, a 27-hole layout designed by Jack Nicklaus. The rolling hills of the surrounding country side have been used to great effect. Hazards to stop you from reaching the large elevated greens are in abundance. Not only does the course have a lot of bunkers, lakes, creeks and ponds but natural exposed rock formations offer a challenge for golfers at all levels. Pattaya has a vibrant lifestyle. A must for visitors is the outstanding cabaret at Alcazar or Tiffany’s, where beautiful performers put on superbly choreographed shows nightly. I’ll give you a hint, the “ladies” aren’t really ladies. Walking Street is a real eye opener. Block after block of bars, nightclubs, restaurants and shops. It seems like every one of them has four or five barkers in front urging you to give their establishment a try. I highly recommend that you put the Kingdom of Thailand on your travel itinerary. It has something for everyone. Ancient culture, fabulous dining, great hotels and resorts, world class shopping and, of course, great golf. To get your free Thailand Golf Directory, call 1-800-THAILAND or email tatla@ix.netcom.com

G O L F V A C A T I O N S • H O L I D A Y 2007

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Lâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;aissez les bon temps roulezâ&#x20AC;Ś by Alan Eisenstein


GOOD TIMES ROLL IN LOUISIANA Louisiana is a unique, dynamic and growing state comprised of exotic people and attractions, not the least of which is the variety and quality of its outdoor adventures and sports opportunities. This certainly holds true for the Louisiana Audubon Golf Trail, a collection of 13 golf clubs in the state. However, while it was easy to get to Louisiana – with clusters of courses around the state and near airports in New Orleans, Lake Charles, Monroe and Shreveport – deciding which Trail courses and experiences I enjoyed the most was much more difficult, given the number and diversity of options available to visitors. After four days of golf at five courses in Louisiana, I couldn’t decide whether my favorite course was the new Black Bear Golf Club in Delhi or Gray Plantation in Lake Charles… or the appetizers during dinner at Cypress Bend Golf Resort and Conference Center… or the shrimp etouffee whipped up for us at the lakeside cabins at Poverty Point State Park… and so on. Golf and food – it’s a surefire way to go in Louisiana. One was a pleasant surprise (the golf). One was not (the food). But that’s not all. Louisiana’s mantra is “L’aissez les bon temps roulez.” And in order to “let the good times roll,” one is obliged – even in the company of serious golfers – to crack some crawfish, groove to some zydeco and visit a casino resort. If you don’t, you might as well have gone to Branson, Missouri, played 36 a day, ate meatloaf at Morrison’s and grabbed a six-pack at the Piggly Wiggly. Forget sugar cane, cotton and oil. Louisiana’s primary product is fun. You don’t have to go all the way. You don’t have to “suck heads” as Cajuns say of their prized crawfish. Louisianans understand that some hard shells are tough to crack. So even if you don’t have a taste for gumbo, Dr. John, or blackjack, you can still partake of the state’s most precious resource – its people. I’m sure there are other places where you could hear an older player say “I got more tees than bend-overs,” explaining why he never picked up his golf tees. It just seems you’re more likely to hear it here. Most people are in tune with the gastronomic delights of Cajun Country, as well as the music, fishing and other water sports. What they may not know about is the golf. The five courses I played on Louisiana’s Audubon Golf Trail offered great prices, outstanding conditions and layouts as diverse as the state’s major cities – Shreveport, Lake Charles, Baton Rouge and New Orleans. A defining characteristic of the Audubon Golf Trail is the diversity of its courses – from the muscular drama and playability of Black Bear (designed by Texas-based golf architects Roy Bechtol and Randy Russell), to the sinewy, water laden terrain on which sit the three nines of Olde Oaks (Hal Sutton design).


And it’s not just course diversity which propels the Audubon Golf – the diversity of Louisiana’s land, people and culture is an amazing value-added component to any golf trip there. Fortunately, and smartly, one of the Audubon Trail’s goals is to showcase the many faces of the state. The Trail is named for naturalist/artist John James Audubon who was moved by the Feliciana Parish countryside to paint more than 80 of his famous Birds of America series images. Courses in the Trail are members of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, a program that protects the environment and preserves the natural heritage of the sport. The first course we played on the trip – Black Bear in Delhi – sits atop Macon Ridge and winds down through wooded creek bottoms. The 7,200 yard championship layout features four sets of tees and a big list of amenities, soon to be enhanced with the addition of a sparkling new clubhouse this summer. There are many memorable holes at Black Bear, and much to like, but what inspired me was the premium placed on approaching greens from the best angles. The fairways were wide and par-3s were accessible, but all of the green’s complexes had plenty of nuance which were best attacked from the right position. You could find them from the wrong position, or find the hole after landing on the putting surface in a less than ideal spot with approach shots, but with much more difficulty and much less chance of making pars. It was easy to see why this course is being considered for best-new status by Golf Digest Magazine. That evening we had an authentic Cajun dinner cooked for us by Dwight Landreneau, a native and long-time state executive. It was hard to imagine a more satisfying way to end the day than with a belly full of shrimp etouffee, sitting on the screened-in porch of one of the wellappointed Poverty Point State Park cottages which sit on stilts out on the water. We played Calvert Crossing in Calhoun the next morning. It’s a 6,845-yard championship course which features undulating greens, narrow tree-lined fairways, and water on 10 holes. Five sets of tees await players who had better select their clubs wisely as the layout is known as a “shot maker's golf course.” When the greens are running fast at Calvert – and they weren’t too fast the day we visited – the course bares its fangs. The scenery – mature pines and stately white oaks frame the course – make the golf experience particularly pleasant. Off to Shreveport next. Once home of the famous Louisiana Hayride – the live country music extravaganza which played host to many legendary performers before closing in the 1960s, including Elvis,


Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Roy Accuff, Kitty Wells and others – Shreveport is now a bustling casino resort destination. We stayed at Diamond Jacks Casino and enjoyed the large, fine rooms and all the casino gaming we could handle. (Some of us handled it better than others.) The standard for great golf in Shreveport is set by Olde Oaks Golf Club. It’s a 27-hole, Hal Sutton-designed complex which epitomizes the “member for a day” customer service theme. The Cypress, Oak and Meadow nines offer an array of dazzling holes, many of extreme drama with carries over water. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the club was its immaculate course conditions. A large number of rounds are played each year, but the club ensures none of the nines get overused by taking one nine out of play each day. Top to bottom – the food, golf shop and locker room are terrific too – this is a must-visit golf club. From Shreveport we drove to Cypress Bend Golf Resort & Conference Center in Many, home to the legendary, 186,000-acre Toledo Bend Lake, a world-class bass fishing site. Set in rolling, forested hills, this is Louisiana 180 degrees different from the flat terrain which marks south Louisiana. As such the golf course routing is creative and requires discipline in club selection. For instance, driver is definitely not called for on a few holes. However, that’s not to say the course lacks. Quite the opposite, any course which requires you to execute well thought out and well struck shots beyond the brainless, grip-and-rip mentality is a refreshing change. The key to scoring well at Cypress Bend is to think your way around the course, more than at most courses. And plan to play the course at least twice, once to learn it and twice to own it. The 19th hole and accommodations at Cypress Bend are a treat. We stayed in the cottages across from the golf course and they are superb. Large and well decorated with full kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms they are a comfy home away from home. And the food and drink at the main resort building is everything one could ask for and more. Make sure to enjoy a pre-dinner drink on the patio overlooking the 18th green. The setting is relaxing and well-designed to include walking paths, indoor-outdoor pool and fitness center. Last but not least on our golf sojourn was a trip to Gray Plantation in Lake Charles. Rated a “Top 100 Course You Can Play” by Golf Magazine, Gray is a 6,946 standout designed by Rocky Roquemore. Wetlands, sand bunkers, water and an almost always robust prevailing wind defend the this dandy design well but in extremely fair fashion. Gray is a course where you can bang the driver with gusto and be well rewarded. Wide, sprawling fairways beckon and set players up to score well if their approach shots and short game are on. The variety of holes range from short, demanding par-3s surrounded by water to a reachable par-4 over water (if the wind is playing nice) to par-5s which can be reached in two shots but with heavy risk-reward decisions to be made. A post-round meal – we had a crawfish boil on the veranda which was as good as it gets – and shower in the superlative clubhouse are a must and the perfect cap to an excellent golf experience at Gray. But the fun doesn’t stop there. The Isle of Capri and L’Auberge du Lac hotels and casinos in Lake Charles are great places to stay and enjoy gaming, entertainment and many other amenities. It was tough to leave Louisiana after putting an exclamation point on the trip with our Lake Charles stay. But the good news is there are a slew of other Audubon Golf Trail courses I’ve yet to play, including in and around New Orleans and Baton Rouge. And since Louisiana is always welcoming to its visitors, I’m looking forward to a return trip soon. Green fees for Gray Plantation are $50 during the week/$65 on weekends; Black Bear ($37/$49); Calvert Crossing ($55/$67); Olde Oaks ($44/$49); Cypress Bend ($55/$70). All of these rates are with tax and lower rates are available for seniors and via twilight play. Information on the Audubon Golf Trail is available at www.audubongolf.com or by phone at (866) AGT-INLA.


Pick A Course… AUDUBON PARK EXECUTIVE www.auduboninstitute.org/park Audubon Park Executive Golf Course, a par-62 course located in historic uptown New Orleans, is spread across 81 tree-lined acres on St. Charles Avenue and is the country’s only course accessible by streetcar. Recently awarded 4.5 of 5 stars on Golf Digest’s “Best Places to Play” rankings, the 4,220-yard Denis Griffiths design is set among hundred-year-old oak trees. Golf has been played at Audubon since 1898. World-famous Audubon Zoo is right across the street.

Olde Oaks Green

BLACK BEAR www.blackbear-golf.com Designed by Bechtol Russell Golf of Austin, Texas, with construction by Weitz Golf International. Black Bear Golf Course is on approximately 300 acres atop the Macon Ridge. The Bogzag and Cypress Creeks bisect the property and offer significant wetlands features. The routing of the course generally follows, then crosses the creeks and offers passes through the heavily treed creek bottoms. The result is a course that will have varied topography and weave from tree-lined holes to open holes. CALVERT CROSSING www.calvertgolf.com This intriguing member of the Audubon Golf Trail has a strange effect on people. One glimpse at this stunning 6,822-yard championship golf course, lush with tall pines and stately white oaks, and stress mysteriously melts away. Nestled in the charming town of Calhoun, in between Monroe and Ruston, Calvert Crossing is known as a "shotmaker's golf course." The regulars suggest you select your clubs wisely. When you're ready to put down your clubs and pick up a fork, head for one of Monroe’s fine restaurants. An area favorite is the Waterfront Grill, whose owner was recently named Louisiana's Restaurateur of the Year. If shopping is your passion, take a stroll down West Monroe's Antique Alley, where you'll discover everything from furniture found in Old South plantations to Coca-Cola memorabilia. Monroe, after all, is the former home of the first Coca-Cola® bottler.

The Island Golf Club

www.gvlinks.com


Any Course CARTER PLANTATION www.carterplantation.com/golf.htm This signature design by PGA champion and LSU alumni David Toms was named among the “Top 10 You Can Play” by Golf Magazine in 2003. The spectacular 18hole, 7,050-yard, par-72 course plays through three distinct Louisiana landscapes--live oaks, cypress wetlands, and upland pine forests. Great effort has been made to preserve the plantation's native wildlife habitats. With outstanding banquet facilities, a first-rate restaurant, and hospitable service at every turn, Carter Plantation offers a great venue for group outings as well as individual players. CYPRESS BEND GOLF RESORT & CONFERENCE CENTER www.cypressbend.com You’ll experience the magic the moment you set foot on Cypress Bend, a jewel on the Texas-Louisiana border. The 186,000-acre Toledo Bend Lake was already legendary for bass fishing — now it’s famous for golf as well. The 18-hole course features ten holes along the water and six with shots across hidden coves and inlets. Surrounding hardwood forests, undulating greens and dramatic elevation changes add to Cypress Bend’s challenge and beauty. The sunset over #17 is as stunning as anything you’ll ever see. Cypress Bend Golf Resort & Conference Center boasts 96 oversized rooms with an elegant country inn décor, an exceptional restaurant with views over the lake, spa facilities and more.

Tamahka Trails Golf Club

GRAY PLANTATION www.graywood.net In 2005, Golf Digest named Gray Plantation 75th out of 100 of America’s greatest public courses. In addition, in September 2004, Golf Magazine ranked it as one of the “top three among 50 best U.S. courses for $50 or less.” Gray Plantation is an artfully landscaped 18-hole, 7,000-yard course designed to challenge the pro and amateur alike. 60 acres of lakes come into play on 12 holes of veteran course architect Rocky Roquemore’s Calcasieu River course, which includes 94 bunkers and towering pines at most every turn. Particularly impressive are the club’s four dynamic par-3s, two of which feature island greens. The clubhouse is a raised plantation house surrounded by scenic marshland. OAKWING www.oakwinggolf.com OakWing Golf Club, which opened in September 2002, offers a unique Jim Lipe design interwoven throughout its beautiful England Air Force Base location. This 7,043-yard links-style course blends the natural beauty of Louisiana bayous, lakes and towering treelined fairways with the challenge of rolling hills and undulating greens. This is truly a course for all skill levels. Centrally located in Alexandria, and only minutes from the main interstate, OakWing Golf Club should be added to your "Must Play" list of golf courses.

www.gvlinks.com

Calvert Crossing


Cypress Bend

OLDE OAKS www.oldeoaksgolf.com Gracing 340 acres of pristine rolling hills near Shreveport is Olde Oaks Golf Club, designed in close collaboration with PGA Ryder Cup Captain Hal Sutton. A native of the area, Sutton calls his first signature course one of the finest in the region. For the naturalist, Sutton’s dream club features 27 challenging holes offering tremendous variety. Five sets of tees and generous fairways allow any level of golfer to truly enjoy their round. Almost every species of wildlife that is native to this area can be found at Olde Oaks and many of them can be spotted during a round of golf. The grill at the Clubhouse is a great place to refuel before heading off to the casinos.

Black Bear

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G O L F VA C AT I O N S • H O L I D AY 2 0 0 7

TAMAHKA TRAILS GOLF CLUB www.paragoncasinoresort.com Golf is in the cards at the Paragon Resort and Casino. At the Tamahka Trails Golf Club, natural beauty cloaks an endless series of subtle, surprising challenges. Master golf course architect Steve Smyers coupled his “new school” design with a passionate appreciation of Scotland’s legendary courses to create 18 holes of pure perfection. Its numerous and often massive bunkers evoke a lunar landscape — and always require strategy. With its panoramic views of the course, the clubhouse is a great place to refresh before heading off to the Paragon Casino for action of another kind. It’s Las Vegas, Louisiana style. www.gvlinks.com


THE ISLAND www.theislandgolf.com Sweet. How else do you describe a championship course carved out of a sugar plantation? As a matter of fact, sugar cane still grows in the field next to The Island. This par-72 course measures over 7,000 yards from its championship tees and features 54 bunkers. There are nine lakes on this challenging course, as well as Bayou Plaquemine and Bayou Jacob. Solitude is the name of the game at The Island. Most times, only a blue heron is around to watch your next shot. The Island Bar & Grill features exceptional Louisiana fare that attracts golfers and non-golfers alike. TPC LOUISIANA www.tpc.com/daily/louisiana TPC Louisiana brings world-class, daily fee golf to New Orleans and the Audubon Golf Trail. Working in conjunction with PGA Tour players, Steve Elkington and Louisiana native Kelly Gibson, master architect Pete Dye created a 7,600-yard, par-72 championship course that sits low on the property and utilizes natural vegetation, including numerous cypress trees. Many compare it to a private nature preserve. The course offers four sets of tees, and even though the championship course stretches to 7,600 yards from the championship tees, Dye is pleased about a collection of short but challenging par-4 holes that complement the longer ones. Located just 15 minutes from the French Quarter, TPC Louisiana is home of Louisiana’s only PGA event, the Zurich Classic.

Gray Plantation - Signature Hole #6

THE ATCHAFALAYA AT IDLEWILD www.atchafalayagolf.com The Atchafalaya Golf Course at Idlewild is surrounded by the rich wildlife and incredible beauty found only in the heart of the Atchafalaya Basin. Designed by Robert von Hagge, the 7,533-yard course contains five lakes and 10 native wetland areas that encompass nearly 40 acres of this 175-acre layout. More than a half million yards of native soil were used to develop dramatic elevations, creating breathtaking vistas. Designer Robert von Hagge is well known for his innovative courses including Doral, LaCosta and TPC at the Woodlands. The 18-hole course features five sets of tees, each named after wildlife native to the basin, large fairways and generous pin placements. THE WETLANDS The Wetlands is Lafayette' newest golf course and the newest member of the Audubon Golf Trail. Opened in April 2006, this course was designed by Architect Frank Burandt. The course not only showcases the region’s many lakes and wetland areas, it also features abundant flora, native grasses and wildflowers. Wind is a factor in playing on this golf course’s and holes #9 and #18 feature a double green that ends at the clubhouse for dramatic finishes. The Wetlands Golf Course is a links style course and sixty-two bunkers and native grass areas add to the severity of the golf course.

To speak with an Audubon Golf Trail Vacation Planner or to reserve tee times, please call toll-free 1-866-AGT-IN-LA, or visit www.AudubonGolf.com.


Find Travel Deals in P By Chris Baldwin

(above) Grayhawkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Talon Course

P

hoenix-Scottsdale golf courses like Grayhawk and resorts such as the Hyatt Regency at Gainey Ranch offer great deals in November and December, making early winter the best time to take an affordable Phoenix-Scottsdale golf vacation.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - It's hard to think of the need for that cold-weather escape when it's 88 degrees for a Chicago marathon in October. Heck, if you watch enough Al Gore, you can become convinced that lake effect wind chills are going to be a thing of the past as early as tomorrow. "I think the Chicago winter's going to be a lot tamer this year," Windy City native Craig Sloan said early in October. "The whole weather pattern seems to be changing." So what's a guy like Sloan, who's freezing now, supposed to do? No worries. It's never too late to be early. Especially if you want to go on a Phoenix-Scottsdale golf vacation that will make you forget what cold even feels like - and at a discount.

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Everyone knows that Arizona golf can become ridiculously cheap in the summer, when the thermometer stays stuck on triple digits and it can feel like you're swinging on the surface of the sun. What many don't realize is that Phoenix-Scottsdale is also more reasonable in November and December than it is once the calendar turns to January. The savings don't just come in the greens fees either. They can be even more dramatic in hotel rooms - likely the most expensive component of any Valley of the Sun trip. A quick check showed that the Hyatt Regency at Gainey Ranch, a four-and-a-half-star Scottsdale resort, was $289 a night for a Nov. 5-9 Monday to Thursday night stay and $419 a night for a Jan. 7-11 Monday to Thursday night stay. The savings run throughout the hotel classes too. 3 Palms, a three-and-a-half-star Scottsdale boutique hotel, came in at only $95 per night Nov. 5-9 and $185 for Jan. 7-11. What gives?

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Phoenix-Scottsdale

(above) Grayhawkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Raptor Course

It's simple really. More people want to make their coldweather escape after they've been frigid for a few months. In November and December, when the temperatures in Phoenix are typically in the high 60s to mid 70s - in other words, perfect golf weather - many of the courses are less crowded besides being cheaper. Even a large number of the retired snowbirds stay back in their colder first homes until after the holidays. "November and December offers the best of Scottsdale without any of the worst," local Eddie Price said. "The restaurants aren't completely packed yet. You can actually get in somewhere on a Friday night. I find the golf course employees are a little more relaxed because it's early enough in the season that the tourists haven't driven them crazy yet. "And the weather's absolutely gorgeous. I tell my friends all the time that they should visit before the New Year. Not many of them do, but the ones who do it end up coming

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back around this same time every trip." Golf courses and hotels often call this time high shoulder season, but they don't advertise it with the vigor they do in early summer, when some resort palaces can be nearly empty. May is also considered a high-shoulder season with cheaper hotels and golf. The average May high is 93 degrees though, which isn't stifling in the dry climate but not 75 degrees November perfect either. Scottsdale golf cheaper in early winter too The savings on Phoenix-Scottsdale golf in November and December may not make you spit up over your keyboard in shock, but they're still significant. For example, you can play either of Grayhawk's Top 20 courses for $180 on weekends before January as opposed to $220 after. You can play Gold Canyon's mountain-snuggling

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Phoenix-Scottsdale (left) Hyatt Regency at Gainey Ranch (below) Gold Canyon's Dinosaur Mountain

Dinosaur Mountain course for $119 before Jan. 13 and $165 after. "I don't think people realize how good the discounts can be," Price said. "If you're playing $40 cheaper per course that adds up quick over a trip. You're talking about a pretty nice chunk of change." These are savings that don't cut into your luxury experience either. Courses like Grayhawk and Gold Canyon, and hotels like Hyatt Regency Gainey Ranch are nobody's idea of slumming it. The high shoulder season good buys are often most noticeable on the best of the best. If you're too busy to shop around and do your own research, a good golf packager can find these early winter luxury deals for you. Lilla Trapani of Arizona Golf Packages says she tries to steer her clients to hotels that are dropping their rates first, giving those who need a little more planning time a head start. More elbow room in Scottsdale restaurants Scottsdale is hardly empty in early winter. You'll still get celebrity sightings (if you're into that kind of thing). You'll still find golfers packed into a hot new golf course like Saguaro on a Friday afternoon. And there are still plenty of women in slinky dresses grinding at the clubs. There's just a little more room to breathe. Getting into the trendy - and excellent - Vu restaurant 40

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doesn't require a call a week ahead. You can often walk in and find a spot at the sushi/tasting menu bar at See Saw. Getting a lounge chair at your resort's sprawling pool is not dependent on you jumping out of bed at 6 a.m. and staking claim to the territory. And on a lazy, gorgeous early winter Arizona afternoon, it can be just you, the jackrabbits and the desert on a reasonable Scottsdale golf course like Sanctuary at WestWorld. In many ways, November and December are the best time of year in Phoenix-Scottsdale. The locals know it too. "You're not going to tell a bunch of East Coasters about this, are you?" Price asked in sudden concern. Sorry. The secret's out. www.gvlinks.com


Quinta Real by MichaelVillalpando

A Quinta Real Guadalajara

Quinta Real Monterrey

wise man once hung a sign on his front porch that said: “We Interrupt This Marriage to go Play Golf.” The reality of this message is the perception that golf and romance cannot coexist peacefully without one commanding more time over the other. As a result, arguments have been known to ensue between lovers. In turn, feelings of guilt, it’s been said, have been known to arise at the worst possible times— like when out on the links—making it much more difficult to concentrate while trying to save your round on a 10-foot putt for par. Obviously, if both partners in a relationship are golfers, then consider it a match made in heaven—literally. But if there’s only one set of clubs in the garage, problems can occur. This is especially true when planning a vacation together. Some may not like to golf, but everyone looks forward to hardearned vacations. Yet us golf junkies are always preoccupied with how we are going to squeeze in 18, 36 or 108 holes during our “romantic” getaways. Relax. There is a way for couples to experience the best of both worlds—fine dining, dancing, moonlit walks on the beach, doglegged fairways and slow greens— without notching a divot in their relationships. Renowned for creating elegant, unique and memorable episodes of romanticism for its guests, Quinta Real also invites couples as well as singles, and even large groups of friends to visit its Acapulco and Huatulco locations to take part in the best golfing vacations in Latin America. These hotels are every bit as beautiful as others in the Quinta Real chain. And the paradise experienced encompasses the same ambiances—with golf added into the romantic equation.

Quinta Real Acapulco Quinta Real Acapulco has been recognized as one of Mexico’s premier hotels every since it opened in 1998. It is renowned for

its warm hospitality, unparalleled service, exquisite accommodations, superb dining, cutting-edge spa and unequaled amenities. The stunning five-story property is poised on an 80-foot cliff that rises above a delightful beach. This locations offers 74 suites with a grand view of Punta Diamante (what is it?). A stone stairway meanders down the cliff to street level, through gardens with trees, plants and beautiful, symmetrically place flowers. It then passes the lobby bar, gourmet restaurant and suites, alongside the spa and fitness room, and then snakes down to the hotel’s Beach Club which features an infinity pool, wading pool and Acapulco’s inviting beach. Most importantly, Quinta Real guests have access to a spectacular 18-hole golf course at the Mayan Palace, located in upscale Punta Diamante. Enjoy spectacular vistas of the Pacific Ocean while you test your skills on the fairways and greens, surrounded by graceful palms and refreshed by the gentle sea breeze. Located on the Mexican Pacific, 260 miles south of Mexico City, Acapulco is 40 minutes by plane from the nation´s capital and three and half hours by car. The international airport receives flights from major cities in Mexico, the United States and Canada.

Quinta Real Huatulco Inspired by The Arabian Nights, this oasis of tranquility and privacy, poised on a hillside overlooking Tangolunda Bay is Huatulco’s most romantic hotel. The collection of 28 suites is housed in whitewashed structures that combine curvy Moorish domes and thatched roofs, each with a balcony or terrace designed to lure guests to gaze out over the ocean and collect some peaceful thoughts. Staircases lined with graceful palm trees and endless rows of bright yellow hibiscus meander through the property and down to the infinity swimming pools and the hotel’s private beach club. The hotel’s two 90-foot domes have become symbolic beacons to

Quinta Real Zacatecas www.gvlinks.com


Out To Prove That Golf And Romance Do Indeed Mix

Other Quinta Real Properties at a Glance Quinta Real Guadalajara was the chain’s first hotel. It features attractive colonial architecture; hand-carved stone walls, friendly chimneys, classic furniture and magnificent pieces of art and antiques. This great mansion houses 76 exclusive suites that are available for your arrival here in Mexico’s second-largest city. Quinta Real Aguascalientes is situated very close to the traditional Barrios de San Marcos. Those traveling to this popular capital are privy to 85 exclusive suites and outdoor spaces that blend exquisite atmosphere with pure luxury. Whether traveling for business or simply in search of a peaceful getaway, your stay will be a memorable one. Quinta Real Monterrey stands in the industrial capital of Mexico. Next to the business district, the classic building has been designed to suit the needs of the business traveler. With 165 suites elegantly decorated, this mansion surrounds guests in a quiet, comfortable atmosphere that enhances work productivity. The new and efficient executive tower boasts large, modern luxury suites and tenders the best business center in the city.

Quinta Real Huatulco

those seeking total relaxation. It is easy to succumb to the magic of the hotel, with its spacious design that creates the sensation of escape and intimacy, making guests feel that they are alone in their own private paradise. Nearby, guests can stroll down to the beach club (or take the shuttle service from the lobby) where they can request a poolside or beachside massage, play in the infinity pools, or cool off with an icy margarita. Then they can savor a seafood cocktail at La Cuija restaurant, and watch the colony of green iguanas, that make their home in the coconut palms, receive their afternoon feeding. Ready for golf? Of course you are! Then behold the 18-hole Tangolunda Bay Golf Course, with incredible views of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding mountains, it is undisputedly the most beautiful public course in the country. For more information about planning an unforgettable and romantic golf vacation at Quinta Real Acapulco or Huatulco: Visit www.quintareal.com for more information or call: In the U.S. and Canada – 1-866-621-9288; and in Mexico – 01800-500-400.

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Quinta Real Saltillo is the most luxurious hotel in this industrial capital. It offers the highest standards in luxury and comfort to the business traveler as well as to those on vacation. Strategically located in the Luis Donaldo Colosio Avenue, 10 minutes away from downtown, this hotel offers guests peace, tranquility, beautiful gardens, a swimming pool and everything else a satisfied traveler desires. Quinta Real Villahermosa is located in the tourist area and commercial development of "La Choca" on Paseo Usumacinta, which is 25 minutes away from the international airport. This neoclassical architectural jewel is the second youngest member of the Quinta Real family. Its unique design reflects a Tabasqueñan hacienda developed with original detail. Quinta Real Zacatecas stands out in this colonial city for its most unusual architecture and setting. It is built among the ruins of the Plaza de Toros San Pedro (San Pedro Bullring). It is the only place in the city where pure Zacatean tradition blends perfectly with the surroundings.

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Long Golf Trip On Tap? F

or those of you getting ready for an extended overseas golf trip, I have two words for you - actually one hyphenated word if you want to be technical. Wrinkle-free. I discovered wrinkle-free some years ago, and now I won't leave home without it. The largest, bulkiest item you will pack on your golf vacation, unless it's your clubs should you choose to take them, is your suitcase. Wrinkle-free will set you free. There are any number of companies that sell wrinkle-free golf clothes, but my wrinkle-free company of choice has nothing to do with golf. It's a company called TravelSmith. This might sound like a plug, and it is, sort of. But I've found that virtually all my traveling golf clothes come from TravelSmith. That includes what the company calls its "indestructible tee-shirts." I'm not yet ready to call them "indestructible" - I'll make that judgment in about a decade - but the four indestructible tee-shirts I purchased from TravelSmith have lasted for years and have taken me around the world, from the Caribbean, to Italy and to Ireland and Scotland, not to mention South Africa, Vietnam and Malaysia. The only drawback is they have no collars, which many golf courses require. However, these tee-shirts have about them the look of silk - and I've never been turned away from even the most exclusive club. You can wear them in the hottest weather and sweat like a goat. (Don't believe that junk about "wicking away moisture." If it's hot, you're going to sweat.) With these shirts, you throw them in a sink, wash them out with a little Woolite, hang them up and they're ready for another 18 or 36 by morning. They allow you to pack only three, or even two shirts, and they take up very little space. The same with TravelSmith's trousers and shorts. They aren't designed specifically for golf - who says you have to buy golf clothes from a golf company? - but I've worn them on golf courses from Saigon to Johannesburg and nobody has ever accused me of being woefully misclad. As a bonus, they have zip-up security pockets. I can go on a two- or even three-week golf trip and pack all my clothes in a small travel bag. Make sure you bring the Woolite or you'll find yourself extremely unpopular. The only disadvantage of TravelSmith stuff is it's a little too expensive, compared to others. To carry or rent golf clubs? Now, with the clothes situation solved, here's the other big question: to rent clubs or bring your own. I loathe dragging a cumbersome bag around foreign shores. I can relate any number of horror stories, but after one particularly horrible incident in Scotland, involving the part-hyena owner of a bed-and-breakfast-from-hell, I decided I'd be leaving my weapons at home on future trips. I had mostly good luck with rental clubs until I got to Malaysia. The clubs I rented there could be called "golf clubs" 44

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Some Packing Tips From a Journeyman By Tim McDonald only in the strictest, technical sense, in that they had a club head and shaft. I think they made them out behind the maintenance shed with a hammer and nails. They were as finely balanced as an ox plow. I, quite literally, could not hit a golf ball with them. So now, I'm back to dragging my sticks through interminable airport lines. You have two choices here. You can get a large bag, and I would definitely recommend a hard-shell, that can hold a lot of your accessories, like golf shoes, golf balls, and other detritus, and will take the load off your suitcase. Or, and this is my choice, you can get a bag that doubles as a field bag. In other words, one you can take from the airport and stick right on the cart or over your shoulder. They generally aren't as big, and you might have to leave one or two clubs home, but it's worth it. There is a wide range of good bags in this category, at just about every price level. Make sure you find one with quality wheels. Here are some other tips I've learned in my wide-ranging travels, through trial and mostly error. • Golf balls can be expensive in some countries, like Bermuda, for example. Bring a couple dozen with you, depending on the length of your trip. • Always pack a small, lightweight raincoat. Always. • Maybe you do or don't like the style of Jim Furyk, but performance camp shirts are very versatile. They can be worn on the golf course or in fancy restaurants. Plus, you can wear them untucked and not be considered a slothful bum. • If you're taking both your laptop and digital camera, as I always have to, get a bag that will hold them both so you can stuff it all into the small, storage bin on the airplane. Make sure it's a backpack, because now you have three bags your suitcase, golf travel bag and computer/camera case, and you only have two hands. I have a sturdy Skywinn that works well; it has wheels as a bonus. • On a related note, make sure you have the correct, electrical adapter for your laptop. Hotels don't always have them. • If you have multiple connections and have to go through a lot of security lines, consider wearing sandals on the flight, although not all airport security checkpoints make you reveal your nasty feet as U.S. officials do. www.gvlinks.com


Stocking Stuffers W

ith the 2008 travel season right around the corner, everyone needs that last-minute gift or stocking-stuffer for the golfer who will be taking to the air in the coming year. Many airlines have tightened up on luggage size and weight restrictions, and the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) has its own new requirements to make travel safer and more secure. To highlight some of the new travel aids available this holiday season, Golf Vacations Magazine, with the help of Travelon, has put together its own foursome of stocking suffers for 2007:

Non-Liquid, Portable Hand Soap Sheets These small sheets are TSA carry on compliant and turn into soap by just adding water. Compact and convenient, they dissolve instantly and a packet has 50 sheets. These are also great for camping or in your golf bag.

Luggage Scale with Tape Measure This light, compact scale fits easily into a travel bag and can easily weigh luggage up to 75 pounds by hanging it from the hook. The dial stops and locks at the weight recorded and easily resets to zero for the next bag. It also contains a tape measure to check the overall dimensions of luggage. With airlines instituting strict (and expensive) fees for overweight and oversize luggage, this little scale could be the first thing you pack after your toothbrush-- and costs less than ten dollars.

1-Quart Zip-Top Bag with Plastic Bottles With the current TSA requirements for toiletry carry-on-regulations severely limiting your packing options, this zip-top 1-quart clear PVC bag that includes four 1-ounce reusable plastic bottlesand two three-quarter ounce jars take the guess work out of the new regulations relating to bringing liquids on board the airplane.

3-in-1 Garment Duffel Ok, this last member of our foursome needs a rather large stocking to be stuffed in, but can make traveling easier all the same. It is a garment sleeve, garment bag and duffel all in one. It easily converts from a full length, carry-on type garment bag to duffel with extra capacity with just a couple of zipper strokes. The shoulder strap is removable and hanging cloths stay wrinkle-free in this very versatile piece of luggage made out of 600 Denier polyester. For more information on these items and other travel aids visit: www.travelonbags.com

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THE EYES HAVE IT — Prescription Sunglasses J

ust as golf clubs have undergone a revolution in design and technology over the past few years, so has a piece of equipment that has become more important to a player’s health and performance—sunglasses. There was a time when the popular theory was that sunglass hindered vision on the links and golf performance, hence few professionals wore them even as evidence mounted that the harmful effects of the sun’s rays were real and could have long-lasting health implications. For those who want eye protection when playing golf but need a custom prescription to help with vision problems—especially with distance--there are more choices than ever before because of manufacturers ability to build vision correction into a wrap or curved lens that so many of the companies are producing today. “If you need vision correction, you want a Callaway Model S201 prescription so you don’t have to strain to see the ball,” says Dr. Michael Fanaroff, an optometrist in Long Beach, California. “You want to be able to concentrate on your game and swing. Today’s prescription lenses are able to do a much better job in cutting Callaway Model 400 glare while not limiting the light than they used to. In golf you are constantly going between shadows and bright sun and playing at different times of the day when the light varies. You want a lens that allows you to see in different kinds of light.” The real breakthrough for those who can benefit with vision correction from their sunglasses is that the leading manufacturers are now offering their light enhancement lenses that help see contours on the green, or the ball in flight, in a prescription so that players with an impairment can get the best of both worlds when it comes to sunglass for golf. Although no company offers all of its lenses and frames in a prescription or RX model, the choices today are impressive. Callaway Golf Eyewear features one of the widest assortment of frames and lenses that can be made into prescription lenses, including its advanced patented NEOX lens technology that actually reverses some of the vision disadvantages that sunglass inherently produce. “Typically, sunglasses impede vision by producing myopia—or reduced distance vision and impaired depth perception,”

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By Terry Ross

explained Marcel Shiro, vice-president for marketing and product development at Callaway Golf Eyewear. “Our NEOX lens is developed with the ability to reverse induced myopia and bring back damaged depth perception so that many individuals who need minimal to medium prescription correction can use our product without the RX.” Another company that has made revolutionary strides in sunglass technology and has an excellent prescription lineup of eyewear is PeakVision Sports, which has a unique Dual Zone lens that incorporates two different technologies that feature multiple color management filters into their golf lenses. The upper zone of the lens is darker and manages Peak Vision Model SL8 bright sun and glare and eliminates distortion, while the lower zone with an amber tint enhances the green contrast and the ability to read the contours. “When we first started out everyone was using polycarbonate lenses, but we developed a new polymer lens material in 2003 called NXT that eliminated the distortion--and the improved clarity is readily apparent,” said J. Paul Moore, the CEO and Founder of PeakVision Sports. “With this new material we could compensate for the pupil distance and the wrap feature of the lens for prescriptions. The wrap around feature for golf glasses is important because you use your peripheral vision so much in putting.” He also noted that NXT is lighter and provides clarity virtually on par with optical glass at 40 percent of the weight. Tifosi eyewear features seven of its models that can be customized with its Direct Fit RX program featuring the famous Carl Zeiss Technologies optics for a wide range of single-vision preTifosi Model T-F620 scriptions. The GT lens from Tifosi features “object illumination” and enhances the wearer’s ability to pick up a ball in flight and is designed for green grass conditions, while the Extreme Contrast lens can also be used for golf and is better at distinguishing terrain details and accentuates the subtle breaks on the greens. The Fototec lenses with variable tint technology are the signature product from Tifosi, and features a lens that changes brightness according to the UV rays they are exposed to. Sunglasses for those that need prescriptions have come a long way in the last few years—making it much more enjoyable--and healthy—for those sunny days on the links. For more information: www.callawayeyewear.com www.PeakVisionSports.com www.tifosioptics.com

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SWEETSTUFF T

raining apparatus for serious golfers and health enthusiasts alike is becoming more mobile--and the exercises that have been developed are much more efficient at strengthening and conditioning the muscles that have the most influence on the golf swing. The merging of these two trends with the release of the TRX Golf Workout DVD, developed by the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) utilizing the revolutionary TRX Suspension Training® device developed by Fitness Anywhere, gives fitness enthusiasts and anyone wanting to improve their game through increased conditioning levels a portable, handy system that utilizes some of the most effective strength-building techniques available today. The TRX system was originally developed for the military by Randy Hetrick, president of Fitness Anywhere, when he was a Navy SEAL squadron commander and needed a way for his team to maintain peak physical condition while on deployment in the most remote regions of the world. He created a portable device that could train the entire body using nylon webbing and a person’s own body weight to create the resistance necessary for strength workouts. The TRX Suspension Trainer is a professional-grade functional training tool that is made from soft industrial-strength, nonelastic nylon webbing with handles and adjustments. Users exploit gravity and use from 5 to 100 percent of their own body weight for resistance, and can vary the intensity level in each exercise by adjusting body position, thusly increasing the difficulty as they progress through the exercises. The Golf Workout DVD runs through a series of warm-ups in addition to three sets of exercises, each targeting a part of the body—upper, lower and core. It also has a valuable feature that demonstrates each exercise in real time, to give users a good indication of the speed and tempo required when performing a specific drill. The TRX system weighs less than two pounds and folds into a bag that is smaller than the size of a golf shoe bag. It can be set up on any secure overhead structure such as pull-up bars, beam or over a door using an optional adapter. It’s great for travel or home use, and because many different muscle groups are being worked at once, the total workout time is reduced while the efficiency of is greatly increased. For more information visit: www.fitnessanywhere.com

F

or seven years TaylorMade golf has been the dominate manufacturer of drivers, both on the professional tours and among recreational players, with more pros playing the brand than any other and claiming almost a third of the total drivers sold in the U.S. The latest edition of its franchise club—the r7 SuperQuad— has expanded the four-port Moveable Weight Technology (MWT) for drivers to the largest size (460cc) allowed under USGA rules and created the longest and most forgiving club that TaylorMade has produced. As with earlier editions of the r7 Quad, there are a myriad of weighting combinations possible for the better player to tinker with and find the most favorable launch condition for increased distance. To be able to fit four moveable weights into a large 460 driver head and still maintain the desired overall weight was the challenge for TaylorMade engineers, who admit that the new r7 SuperQuad utilizes “the most complicated technology we’ve had.” As they did with previous r7 models, TaylorMade has also produced the SuperQuad in a Tour Preferred (TP) version, which features a one degree open clubface alignment and a higher center of gravity. This model comes with six moveable weight ports that allow for 102 combinations and has one of the best shafts available, the Fujikura RE*AX with ROMBAX technology. TaylorMade has also created somewhat of a “Driving Combination” for players who want more accuracy off the tee on short, tight holes, with the introduction of the new Rescue TP Hybrid. As a great complement club to the SuperQuad, the Rescue TP Hybrid combines the best of two worlds—woods and long irons—into one of the first hybrid-type clubs that actually can deliver the penetrating ball flight and distance needed for accurate tee shots. For players who like to shape their shots and want something to take the place of a one or two iron, the 15 or 17 degree Rescue TP Hybrid is a great choice, especially for those situations where a driver is too much. It’s an easier club to hit than an iron—and more versatile-- and offers more control and lower flight than a 5-wood. The Rescue TP Hybrid is also available in 19 and 21 degree lofts as replacements for three and four irons. For more information, visit: www.tmag.com.

TERRY ROSS 48

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NEW!

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Travel Concierge

An exclusive travel service brought to you by Golf Vacations Magazine. Our editors bring you the very best in golf vacation packages with some unique experiences you won’t find anywhere else. Plus flights, cars, hotels package deals & more! — Check it out this summer at: www.gvlinks.com

The Ginn Golf Challenge

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MYTURN Golf Balls, Space Shuttles And Iraq Anecdotes From A PGA Tour Pro-Am Event

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irst-tee jitters are a well-known golf phenomenon and something every golfer experiences. Even the best of the best. Take the last Ryder Cup for example. The U.S. players almost to a man suffered first-tee meltdowns on the opening day. Tiger and Phil skanked their first tee shots so bad they looked like Louie and Vito at the local muni. Having long ago accepted the reality of the jitters, more or less depending on the golf circumstances, never was I more acutely re-introduced to them than during a recent golf trip to Mississippi. Playing in the Wednesday pro-am event there for the PGA Tour's Southern Farm Bureau Classic, which Fred Funk went on to win, my four playing partners included David Duval and Haley Barbour, the Governor of Mississippi and former Republican National Chairman. I've played more than a thousand rounds of golf over the years, with “celebrities,” golf professionals, CEOs, and so on. But there was something about playing with this group that wrecked me. The nerves had overtaken me as I addressed my first tee ball. I could feel my heart pounding in my fingers as I held the club. I took a deep breath and told myself to swing smooth and follow through. But the little golf devil on my shoulder countered with "You're going to top it, you chucklehead." With that reassuring thought echoing through my brain I looked down at my golf ball. Correction: “squinted” is more accurate. I suddenly realized what Earth must look like to Space Shuttle astronauts as they hurtle into outer space. It had gotten very small, very quick. I forced myself to begin my swing. As I started the downswing things got blurry. I can’t prove it, but I swear I made contact with my eyes closed. If they weren't closed they might as well have been. I pick up the ball flying down the middle of the fairway with a slight fade that fit perfectly the slight dogleg right par-4 hole that is No. 1 at Annandale Country Club, home to the Jack Nicklaus course of the same name which hosts the SFBC Classic. The ball settled about 100 yards from the green, the longest of our group and the only one to hit the short grass. Duval's ball found the left fairway bunker about 10 yards short of mine. (Disclaimer: we amateurs played one tee box ahead of the tour professionals, and on the first hole that was a difference of about 35 yards. Still it's heady stuff for an

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G O L F VA C AT I O N S • H O L I D AY 2 0 0 7

by

DanShepherd

amateur chop to enjoy such a moment.) Our team finished 16-under and eight shots out of first place. I made a couple natural birdies and several net birds. Duval shot a flawless 67. To my amazement, he seemingly swung his clubs at the same tempo whether it was a short iron or a driver. It was a tremendous lesson in that great golf irony: the smoother the well-timed swing, the farther the ball travels. Duval perfectly demonstrated this on the par-5 18th hole, a classic finishing hole where a player can get home in two but risks splashing into the water fronting the wide, narrow green that slopes from back to front toward the water. After busting a big drive, Duval was left with 273 yards to the pin, 258 to clear the water. He selects 3wood, then, with a swing so smooth it looked like Aunt Jemima poured pancake syrup all over it, nuts his approach and holds the finish in his inimitable style. As the ball is ripping toward the green, Duval says, nay, coos in a voice and temperament mellower than Ghandi after Yoga class, "Stay in the air." Stay in the air, indeed! The ball finished long left on the back edge of the green. A marvelous shot executed with astonishing command. Then, to put an exclamation point on his round and the hole, he lags an 80-foot downhill breaking putt that finishes 3 feet under the hole for a tap-in birdie. Spectacular stuff. But as titillating as the golf and playing partners were, the thing I'll remember most about the day is what Duval wanted to talk about while we waited to putt out on the No. 3 green – Iraq! The guy is deep and has deep convictions. We were making small talk and when he heard I was an 82nd Airborne Division veteran, he wanted to talk war and politics. Suffice it to say he didn’t vote for President Bush, and I cared little about his political leanings. I was caught up appreciating the passion and knowledge he brought to the discussion, and the fact that he cares as much about world events and the world’s future as hitting the little white ball. (Maybe that’s why he plummeted from the former No. 1 player in the world to his current iteration as a golf journeyman trying to climb back to the top.) It put the rest of the round in wonderful perspective. While we all wanted to do well, we counted our blessings to be playing golf on that lovely Mississippi morning. I just knew the battle-scarred soldiers fighting in the war would give the world to be doing the same.

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Golf Vacations Magazine Holiday 2007  

Golf Vacations Magazine Holiday 2007