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contents I may 2011

cover

stories

14

Kauai: The Makai Course Takes Its Due

20

A Place In The Sun: TPC Scottsdale

24

Great Quarry Courses Of America

28

Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa

14

by Fred Robledo

The Makai Golf Club, one of the oldest courses in Kauai, has long been regarded as “the other course” at Princeville, the luxurious resort community on the north shore of the tiny Hawaiian island.

by David R. Holland

It is hard to believe TPC Scottsdale is in the midst of its 25th anniversary celebration, a golf course designed to host the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which has run for more than 73 years.

by JD Latorre

When Tom Fazio set out to build the Quarry Course at Black Diamond Ranch in Lecanto, Fla. back in 1987, proponents of traditional design figured he must have rocks in his head.

20

by Katie Denbo

Nestled at the base of the San Jacinto mountain range, Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa is often sought after for sun, recreation and desert tranquility, especially for the golf aficionado.

departments

24

9 ChipShots Updates From The World Of Golf & Travel

32 Canadian Rockies Golf In Alberta

by JD Latorre

Best Holes, Best Bites, Best Sips

34 Sweet Stuff

by Terry Ross

Bushnell, Miura Golf, SKLZ Gyro Swing

36 Tee Time In The Wildwoods

by Terry Ross

Add Golf To Your Vacation Agenda

on the cover: Happiness Is A Golf Vacation To A Favorite Destination

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G O L F VA C AT I O N S • M AY 2 0 1 1

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CONTRIBUTINGWRITERS Katie Denbo is past editor and publisher of FORE Magazine, the official publication of the Southern California Golf Association. A blogger and golf photographer by hobby, she is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and the California Golf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and has written about and traveled to golf resorts and properties all over the western United States and Canada. Visit Katieshack, Katie's golf blog, at katieshack.com, and follow her on Twitter at @kdenbo. Executive Editor Jeffrey Diaz

David R. Holland is a former sportswriter for The Dallas Morning News, a football magazine publisher and author of The Colorado Golf Bible. Multiple careers best describes this world traveler, who achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force reserve, serving during the Vietnam and Desert Storm eras. A former sportswriter for The Dallas Morning News, you can follow Dave’s travels on www.twitter.com/David_R_Holland.

Fred Robledo has been covering professional golf for more than 30 years. He wrote for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner and the Los Angeles Times before moving into public relations where he promoted professional tour events for Brener Zwikel & Associates. He is now semi-retired, traveling the country and reviewing golf destinations for Golf Vacations Magazine.

Associate Editor Terry Ross Features Editor Larry Feldman Senior Writers Tom LaMarre Fred Robledo For Editorial: call: (760) 774-2655 e-mail: INFO@GolfVacationsMag.com

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Golf Vacations Magazine is published in digital format monthly and distributed online to over 1,000,000 golfer’s email inboxes each issue. Entire contents of this publication is copyright 2011 SportsMedia Publications, all rights reserved and may not be reproduced in any manner, in whole or in part, without written permission from the publisher. www.golfvacationsmag.com


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 >> NAPLES BEACH HOTEL & GOLF CLUB OFFERING 4TH NIGHT FREE NAPLES, FL – Looking for a vacation spot that has something to please everyone? Then you should consider heading to The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club in Southwest Florida. In addition to featuring an incredible Gulf-front setting overlooking pristine white-sand beaches, the newly renovated resort offers a worldclass spa, an award-winning tennis center, a $5 million all-new beachfront pool complex (with two new pools), a complete fitness center, the professionally-supervised Beach Klub 4 Kids child activity program, and multiple restaurants and bars. Add to this its ideal location just blocks from Naples’ renowned shopping districts of 5th Avenue South and 3rd Street South, and it is easy to see why it is such a popular vacation destination. Want more reason to visit? The resort is offering the 4th night free from June 1 – September 30, 2011, based on availability. For more information or for

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reservations, call (800) 237-7600 or (239) 261-2222 and ask for the “4th Night Free Promotion.” “Summer is a great time to visit Naples for a relaxing getaway,” said Jason Parsons, general manager of the family-owned resort. “The weather is great, and it is just beautiful here. So whether you wish to relax on the beach, lounge by our two beautiful new pools, visit The Spa, or shop at Naples’ famous shopping districts, you just can’t beat the offerings or incredible setting of The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club.” Continually enhancing its alreadyimpressive offerings, the 317-room resort completed a $22 million renovation in 2010. The multi-phase project included the renovation of guest rooms and suites, and the addition of the new pool complex. The new beachfront pool complex features: two pools, two whirlpools, a pool bar with food service, restrooms, and locker facilities, as well as a pool/ recreational shop. Picturesque tall palms encircle the complex, which is further complemented

chip shots by direct beach access. Owned and operated by the Watkins family for 65 years, the resort features: 1,000 feet of pristine white-sand beach; the world-class Spa; a complete Fitness Center; the Mary C. Watkins Tennis Center with six Har-Tru courts; Beach Klub 4 Kids, a recreational program for children ages five to 12; an Orchid House, home to over 3,000 tropical plants; 34,000 square feet of indoor meeting and event space; and many beautiful outdoor venues. The resort features the famed Sunset Beach Bar, consistently named “Best Place To View A Southwest Florida Sunset” and named “Naples’ Best Beach Bar” by the Travel Channel. Guests can experience the area by taking tours of the Everglades, Caribbean Gardens, Corkscrew Swamp, The Botanical Gardens, or the Conservancy Nature Center. In addition, boat and fishing trips can be arranged at the hotel. Contact the resort at (800) 237-7600 or or visit www.NaplesBeachHotel.com

G O L F V A C A T I O N S • M A Y 2011

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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 >> NO DUFFS THIS FATHER’S DAY WITH VELAS GOLF GETAWAY PUERTO VALLARTA – Dads can perfect their drives this Father’s Day and beyond with Golf Getaway Packages that include multiple rounds at championship golf courses, green fees, a partner finder program, organized weekly tournaments, suite upgrades and more at the “Beyond All Inclusive, Beyond All Compare” Velas Resorts in Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Maya and Riviera Nayarit.

Dads can opt to hit the greens at several different 18 hole courses including Marina Vallarta or Vista Vallarta Golf Clubs in Puerto Vallarta and Playa Paraiso Golf Club in Riviera Maya. Luxury suite accommodations, VIP airport/hotel transfers, spa treatments, international premium brands, room upgrades, a la carte gourmet meals at a choice of specialty restaurants, 24 hr in-suite service, minibar, fitness center, taxes and gratuities, and more are also included. Rates for the three-night minimum packages start at $225 (Velas Vallarta), $260 (Casa Velas), $346 (Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit) and $623 (Grand Velas Riviera Maya). All rates are per person, per night, based on double occupancy. The Golf Getaway Packages are valid now through December 18th. For more information and reservations, call Velas Resorts at 1-888-323-2776 in the U.S. or Canada or visit www.velasresorts.com

Ryan, Tony Romo, Jerry Rice and a reunion of one of baseball’s greatest pitching rotations: Greg Maddox, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz in the field of 78 sports and entertainment stars at Edgewood Tahoe for the 54-hole, $600,000 tournament on NBC Sports. Newcomers this year include Ryan, the volatile, quotable New York Jets head coach; Martin Brodeur, NHL All Star of the New Jersey Devils; Arian Foster, Houston Texans All-Pro running back; Deron Williams, New Jersey Nets All-Star guard; former Major League All-Stars Goose Gossage of the Yankees and Tom Glavine, Atlanta Braves; actors Tim Matheson of Animal House fame, and Rob Morrow of television dramas, Numb3rs and Northern Exposure. More than two decades of memories plus sports and entertainment superstars has made the American Century Championship network television’s longest running celebrity golf tournament. For the sixth consecutive year, the official tournament charity is LIVESTRONGTM-- the organization founded by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong to inspire and empower people affected by cancer.

78 SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT SUPERSTARS AT TAHOE EVENT SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CA./NV. – Early RSVPs for the 2011 American Century Championship July 12-17, indicate one of the strongest celebrity fields in the golf tournament’s 22-year history. Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers will join Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Rex 10

G O L F VA C AT I O N S • M AY 2 0 1 1

Defending champion and former NFL quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver will likely see his stiffest competition from eight-time winner Rick Rhoden, four-time winner Dan Quinn and previous champions Chris Chandler, Jack Wagner and Mark Rypien. Additional challenges can be expected

chip shots from last year’s foursome of second place finishers Wagner, Romo, Smoltz and John Elway, NFL Hall of Famer who has played in all 21 previous events. Tickets are now available for advance purchase online and daily at the gate. A Kids 10 and under are free with a paid adult. For tournament tickets, information and lodging packages: www.TahoeSouth.com/page/CelebGolf.

STAY/PLAY THE BLACK PEARL AND ENJOY SCENIC CARIBBEAN ISLAND ROATAN, HONDURAS – Pristine Bay Resort -- one of the western Caribbean’s most-anticipated resort communities -announces six new luxury villas are now available for vacation rentals on the idyllic tropical island 40 miles off the coast of Honduras.

The 2,400 square-foot, two-bedroom villas are ideal as luxury lodging when playing The Black Pearl – Roatan’s first golf course. Opened for play in January and designed by Perry and Pete Dye, it features a signature island green and 14 holes with mesmerizing sea vistas. The Resort and Spa at Pristine Bay, the island’s first five-star accommodation, is slated for a “soft opening” in August 2011. Long a haven for scuba aficionados, the island boasts the spectacular MesoAmerican Barrier Reef -- the world’s second largest and a “must visit” for those seeking one of the striking seascapes on Earth. To fully enjoy Roatan, Pristine Bay Resort will customize packages that include the deluxe villa accommodations and championship golf, as well as, delicious local dining, all island transportation, ziplining, deep sea fishing, diving, snorkeling and even swimming with dolphins in the crystal clear waters of Caribbean. Additional information about golf membership, real estate options and more can be found at www.pristinebayresort.com www.golfvacationsmag.com


orre T 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 >>

STRATTON LAUNCHES JUNIOR GOLF PROGRAMS THIS SUMMER

STRATTON MOUNTAIN, VT – Seersucker, pastels and a long day on the golf course. Don’t worry about finding kids a sitter this summer; instill in them a love of golf through Stratton’s new junior golf programs. Stratton, long a leader in golf instruction, is introducing a series of programs designed for the younger player. From beginners to established athletes, 3 years of age through college, the Junior Programs focus on the fundamentals of athleticism specific to golf, building towards agility, balance, coordination and speed. The Golf School has brought on board top instructors and pros, all PGA or LPGA Class A Certified. Among them are Kurt McDowell, who has been an instructor with the US Golf Camps; Christopher Bourassa, who received the VT PGA Junior Leader Award and David Bowyer, who has over 20 years of experience, including time playing in the Asian and Australian Tours.

Junior golf. All abilities will enjoy the Junior Golf sessions at Stratton Golf School, where all aspects of the game are covered from irons and woods to pitching, chipping, bunkers and putting with a focus to equipment, course strategy and tactics. Junior schools range from half-day to five-day, for junior high through college. Junior Thursday Evening 5-Pack Sign your 7-15 year old for five Thursday sessions for only $99. These hour-long sessions will cover everything a burgeoning young golfer needs to learn the game or bring it to the next level. $99. U.S. Kids Golf Program Ages 7-10: Two half days for $299 or three half days $449 Ages 11-15: Two full days for $449 or three full days for $599 All the key components of the adult program with a twist. Stratton allows them to

chip shots

express their energy through fun games and competition, teaching them rules and etiquette. 5 Day Junior Players School This program is available for competitive players (Junior High and above). The Players School includes everything a young golfer needs to take their game to the next level. $769. 5 Day Junior Golf/Tennis This exciting camp is hosted by Stratton Golf School and Cliff Drysdale Tennis School. The camp is offered to ages 8-15. $695. Kids Kamp Junior Golf. Kids enjoy a morning golf session and then return to Kids Kamp for lunch and afternoon activities including swimming and tennis. 5-Day camps run Monday through Friday from June 27 to August 26. $289 per 5 days. Visit www.stratton.com/golf

THE CUISINE OF ITALY

“Combining Old-World Italian comfort food with personalized service, a congenial atmosphere and an extensive wine list, La Torretta excels as one of Arizona’s most impressive restaurants” — Dining Out

With a menu that utilizes the freshest and most authentic ingredients and pasta made fresh in-house daily, the restaurant’s culinary fare is consistently delicious and refreshing.Their Osso Buco,Taglio del Vitello Farcito con Quattro Farmagio and Veal Piccata have become local legends and inspired positive reviews from the Scottsdale Republic, the New Times, Guest Informant, TravelHost, and Scottsdale Magazine. The combination of La Torretta’s sophisticated interior and authentic food make it a prime candidate for intimate dinners to group celebrations of special occasions.

LIVE WELL

LOVE MUCH

LAUGH OFTEN

LA TORRETTA Ristorante & Italian Steakhouse

16640 N. Scottsdale Rd • SW corner Frank Lloyd Wright/Scottsdale Rd Scottsdale • 480.991.2000 • www.latorrettaaz.com Lunch Monday-Friday 11:30am-2pm • Dinner Daily 4:30-9:30pm


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 >> ARNIE’S “BEST MICHIGAN COURSE” CELEBRATES IT’S 25TH BIRTHDAY BELLAIRE, MI – When golf legend Arnold Palmer first laid eyes on the steep hills of Michigan’s Chain of Lakes region in the 1980s, he decided it was the perfect setting for his first Midwestern course. It certainly proved to be a memorable choice. Palmer’s 1986 design at Shanty Creek Resorts, named The Legend, was named one of America’s top four resort courses (and the number-one resort course in the Midwest) by readers of Golf Magazine and is still considered his best work in Michigan. Shanty Creek is commemorating the 25th birthday of The Legend with a yearlong season of special deals and packages. But in a sense, the celebration evokes memories of a whole series of high-end course designs – from Jack Nicklaus’s work at The Bear in Traverse City to Tom Fazio’s layout at Treetops near Gaylord – that transformed northern Michigan from a sleepy backwater of the golfing world into a world-class destination. “The Legend was built at a time when a lot of really fine courses were being created in this region,” said Shanty Creek golf direc-

tor Brian Kautz. “What makes it stand out from the others is that Palmer’s design was created for a very unique piece of property with a great many elevation changes.” The Legend weaves its way through a beautiful series of hills and ridges, offering stunning views of Lake Bellaire and the surrounding northern Michigan forest and featuring two of the prettiest holes in a region famed for the aesthetics of its courses. The par-4 third hole, which angles downhill from left to right, features panoramic lake views, while the seventh hole (arguably the best par 5 in northern Michigan) doglegs to the right, with a woodland creek winding around the hole and in front of the green. Actually, says Kautz, seven of the 18 holes at The Legend are doglegs. “The greens are very small,” he adds. “And some are elevated, so they require excellent iron shots – which is important to golfers who enjoy a challenge.” Nevertheless, one thing that has preserved the popularity of The Legend over the past 25 years is that it remains an eminently playable course. That’s how Palmer designed it, and that’s why he chose such a

chip shots spectacular natural site for his first Michigan design. To celebrate The Legend’s 25th birthday, Shanty Creek Resorts is offering special 25th anniversary rates throughout the 2011 golf season. Through May 12, golfers can play the course for just $25 any time of day, and for the rest of the season that $25 rate will be available anytime after 4 p.m. (Remember, in northern Michigan, summer evenings are so bright that golf can be played until well after 9 p.m.) And although it’s the most famous course at Shanty Creek, The Legend is far from the only place to play golf there. The resort offers 72 holes of championship golf, including The Summit, which opened in 1965, and Tom Weiskopf’s challenging design at Cedar River, which opened in 1999. For more information, visit www.shantycreek.com. For help with lodging and dining options, and to learn about other adventures, activities and attractions in the Traverse City area, contact the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-800-TRAVERSE or on line at www.TraverseCity.com

The Legend at Shanty Creek Resorts is prized as much for its scenic qualities as for its challenges.

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DESTINATIONS

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WHERE TO STAY WHERE TO PLAY

G O L F V A C A T I O N S • M A Y 2011

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T

Taking Its Pla

• by Fred Robledo •


The Makai Course

ce Among the Finest in Hawaii ace


he Makai Golf Club, one of the oldest courses in Kauai, has long been regarded as “the other course” at Princeville, the luxurious resort community on the north shore of the tiny Hawaiian island. The Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed Prince course, after all, has been widely regarded as the No. 1 golf course in all of Hawaii. If one wanted to experience the finest golf in Hawaii, the Prince was always on a golfer’s “must play” list and Makai was a course they would play if they couldn’t land a coveted tee-time on the Prince. That also was my thinking when I booked a week in Kauai for a little R&R along with a couple of rounds of golf. When I learned the Prince course was going to be closed during that week for renovations, I accepted a starting time on the other course The day before we played, Frank Elliott, my playing partner and brother-in-law, and I were sitting out on our lanai, tropical drinks in hand, mulling the upcoming Makai experience. We watched as foursomes played a beautiful par-3 located about 20 yards from our condo and marveled at view of the ocean in the background. I wondered out loud if we were going to be disappointed because we didn’t get to play the Prince. “We’re in Kauai,” Frank said. “This is the Garden Island. There will be views of the ocean and the course will probably be in great shape. It doesn’t matter if we don’t play the Prince. I think the Makai is going to be great.” I have never known Frank to be a prophet before, but in this instance, he was better than Nostradamus. It should be pointed out this was my first trip to Kauai while Frank has been there several times. I was beginning to think he

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had played on the course before and knew ahead of time of some of the awesome ocean views and the natural beauty of the course as it wound through some native woodlands and along some spectacular ocean cliffs. The natural beauty of the island has not been lost on filmmakers through the years. Such epics as South Pacific, Blue Hawaii, Fantasy Island, Jurassic Park and Avatar have used some of the stunning vistas and locations for their shoots. Besides, the Makai course also was designed by Jones and had recently re-opened in 2010 after undergoing a multi-million dollar facelift under the direction of Jones. He was called in after Troon Golf®, a leader in upscale golf course development, took over the management of the golf course. Makai was the golf course of the Princeville Hotel, but when Starwood Hotels took over and reopened it as the St. Regis Princeville Resort, it would need a golf course with the same upscale standards. “I don’t think this course has to take a back seat to any course anymore,” said Alex Nakajima, the general manager of the Makai Golf Club. “Ever since the renovation of this course, we have been getting rave reviews, especially from people who had played it before. Mr. Jones did a tremendous job in renovating this course.” Jones didn’t do anything to the Woods Course. It remains the same way he designed it in 1971, as a friendly layout for the casual golfer who wants to enjoy a leisure round with friends and family. It was on the other two nine hole courses – the Ocean Course and the Lake Course – where he made the dramatic improvements. Instead of being two courses, the Ocean and Lakes layouts are now known as the Makai Course. One of the major changes was the introduction of Seashore www.golfvacationsmag.com


Paspalum turf grass throughout the course. What that means is a perfect lie every time, on the fairways through the greens and on the putting surface. The bad news, however, is it takes away any excuse you have for a bad shot. The bad shot is on the golfer, not the turf. Jones also reconfigured many of the greens, reshaped many of the bunkers and filled them with imported white G3 silica sand from Vietnam The course was lengthened to 7,223 yards from the back tees. It can also play as short as 5,377 yards. A fourth set of tees was added so that players of all skill levels can be accomodated. When we played, Frank and I decided to play from the white tees. No macho blue tees for us. We wanted a chance to hit some irons to the flags. Another good decision we made was not to bring out golf clubs on this trip. We opted for rental clubs and at Makai the rental clubs are the latest models from Callaway. “Our customers have come to expect the best, so we make sure if they rent clubs, they are getting the best we can possibly get them,” Nakajima said. “We upgrade our Callaway clubs every year.” The new Callaways were working great on the driving range, also an area that had been upgraded with two new practice tees, seven target greens, a practice bunker and a short-game practice area. Before heading out to the first tee, the starter went over some of the things in store for us. He told us the third hole, a par 3, was one that would get our attention because the hole was 50 yards below the tee level and we should take one or two clubs less on that hole. After opening with a par-4 and a par-5 we realized the fairways were wide enough for some errant shots, but you had to pay attention to the placement of the bunkers. We both managed to negotiate the holes with a bogey and a par, then reached the tee of the third hole.

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We looked at it from the back tee (181 yards) and took in the awesome panoramic view of the Hanalei Bay in the background. Down below it was a sadder sight as we watched two players retrieve balls balls from a lake that protects the front and right side of the green. They had to play their third shots from a drop zone. “What did that guy say, one to two clubs?” I asked Frank. “Yeah, but I don’t want to be short,” he said and reached for a 6-iron, his normal club for a 150-yard shot. He pulled his shot, but easily carried the lake. It carried the green as well and landed in some brush well beyond and to the left of the green. I decided to drop down one club, to a 7-iron, and still hit it over the green and into a bunker. Note to self: Listen to the starter the next time. He may know something about the course. Four holes later we reached the signature hole, another par 3. From the tips, it’s a 213-yard shot from the edge of a cliff over the yawning chasm with the Pacific Ocean at the bottom. We played it from the whites at 155 yards and even that tee shot was a terrifying one. I took an extra club and still pumped it down into the canyn where it found its final resting place near some rocks that were being pounded by the waves. The next hightlight hole for us was another par-3, the 190-yard 12th. We both landed short, but while driving toward the hole, Frank commented that the hole looked vaguely familiar. When I looked around at our surroundings, I told him it was because we were playing the hole we had watched from our lanai the day before. We were playing right past our back door. The round ended like it started, with a par-4 and a par-5, the difference being the final two holes featured shots over water to well protected greens. They were brilliantly designed and rewarded strategic

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play. By the time you reach the last two holes, you should know how well you are hitting your irons that day and play the holes accordingly. Both of us finished shooting a little higher than our handicaps, but that was normal according to Nakajima. “The course is probably several strokes harder for a 15-handicap than it was before the redesign,” he said. We agreed with that. Frank shot an 88, I carded a 90 andwe concured it was pure delight to play on a course so immaculately manicured, not to mention with some of the best ocean and bay views in all of Kauai. “We are very proud of this course,” Nakajima. “We are still making improvements. Right now we have a temporary clubhouse, but soon we will have a new one that will be immaculate and feature all of the top brands in golf.” Makai Golf Club is a course that is going to garner some top awards once those who make such judgements play the rennovated versiion. It was already rated among the Best 75 Golf Resorts by Golf Digest and among the top 25 Gold Medal Resorts in America by Golf Magazine. Golf Vacations Magazine is the first to call it the finest golf course in Kauai.

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Where to Stay Kauai’s breathtaking North Shore is the destination of choice of most golf travelers and the most popular place to stay on that portion of the island is the luxurious St. Regis Princeville Resort. Formerly known as the Princeville Resort, it was taken over by Starwood Hotels & Resorts and given a $100 million renovation to increase the flavor of the Hawaiian island while retaining its sophistication and serene luxury. Built into the side of a sea cliff overlooking the turquoise waters of Hanalei Bay, the resort feature 252 rooms, including 51 premium ocean view suites, the elegant Halele Spa, the Prince and Makai championship golf courses, the Kauai Grill as well as unmatched panoramic views of the Napali Coast. There is no shortage of excellent dining venues at The St. Regis Princeville Resort, but none more acclaimed than the signature Kauai Grill. To keep those golf muscles toned, there is the 10,000-square foot Halele Spa where each guest is attended by a wellness consultant who uses Hawaiian healing rituals to design individual programs for body and mind. Another popular attraction at the resort is a unique infinity pool, situated on the ocean overlooking the Hanalei Bay.

Makai Golf Club

The St. Regis Princeville Resort

4080 Lei O Papa Rd • Princeville, HI 96722 Phone: 808-826-1912 • www.makaigolf.com General Manager – Alex Nakajima Director of Agronomy – Seth Miller Golf Professional – Eric Belmonte

5520 Ka Hauk Road, Princeville P.O. Box 223069 Kauai, Hawaii 96722 Phone: 808-826-9644 http://www.Stregisprinceville.com

G O L F VA C AT I O N S • M AY 2 0 1 1

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Other Places In Kauai To Play Discover Golf’s Ultimate Island Green Kaua'i offers more than 50 miles of white sand beaches -- more beach per mile than any other island in Hawaii. Only four percent of the island is developed for commercial and residential use. For more information about golf on the Garden Isle visit www.Kauaidiscovery.com/activities/golfing, www.twitter.com/KauaiGolf, or call 800-262-1400.

1. Princeville Golf Courses (www.princeville.com) 45 holes of golf -- the 27-hole Makai Golf Club at The St. Regis Princeville Resort and the 18-hole Prince Golf Course -all designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. The Prince Course (800.826.1105) is rated the No. 1 course in the state and was rated No. 67 in Golf Digest's "America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses 2009-10.” It is currently undergoing a refurbishment project and will be closed until the fall. The Makai Golf Club (www.makaigolf.com, 808.826.1912) reopened in 2010 after an extensive 15month renovation and now features the 18-hole Makai Course and the 9-hole Woods Course The St. Regis Princeville Resort just completed a multi-milliondollar renovation and opened the first week of October 2009

3. Poipu Bay Golf Course (www.poipubaygolf.com, 800.858.6300)

2. Kaua'i Lagoons Golf Club (www.kauailagoonsgolf.com, 800.634.6400)

Along with Grand Hyatt Kaua'i Resort & Spa rated No. 16 in GolfWorld's "America's Top 50 Resort Courses, 2009" Four closing holes play atop a 150-foot sea cliff Home to the PGA Grand Slam of Golf from 1994 through 2006, it has frequently hosted players like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh and other major champions Course re-opened in December following a renovation project, highlighted by the installation of the eco-friendly Seashore Paspalum turf on all greens

4. Puakea Golf Course (www.puakeagolf.com, 866.773.5554)

Voted, along with Kaua'i Marriott Resort, one of the "Top 50 Resort Courses" worldwide by GolfWorld magazine in its "2009 Readers' Choice Awards" Currently 18 of the 36 holes designed by Jack Nicklaus are in play, consisting of nine holes from the Kiele Course and nine holes from the Mokihana Course. The Kiele Ocean nine is receiving extensive upgrades, including the addition of one new ocean hole that will create a one-half-mile long stretch of oceanfront golf. Completion of the Kiele Moana (Ocean) nine is scheduled for May 2011 The front nine holes feature the par-3 fifth green encircled by a tropical Mango and Guava tree forest www.golfvacationsmag.com

Consistently rated a favorite among Kaua'i golfers in local media outlets and ranked as the No. 15 course in Hawaii by Golfweek. Golf Course Architect Robin Nelson used the natural layout of the land when he planned this layout, testing golfers of all levels and treating them to beautiful views of Mt. Ha'upu and deep lush ravines on several holes. Owned by AOL co-Founder Steve Case G O L F V A C A T I O N S • M A Y 2011

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A Place In The Sun

Stadium Course

at TPC Scottsdale

by David R. Holland


S

COTTSDALE, Ariz. – A week after the chilled fans of the 2011 Phoenix Open left the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale, there were still skeletal remains of the grandstands where the PGA Tour’s preeminent attended event is staged.

No hecklers could be found at the par-3 16th, where during the tournament more than 50,000 fans can cheer and jeer as the pros strike a 150- to 175-yard shot than can be magic or tragic.

Some pros even bring gifts to try and appease the rowdies. If you miss the green expect an unhappy response. Leave a putt short and boos will reign down. So, the final four holes can send a player and the gallery into a frenzy, or they can break a pro golfer’s heart.

Magic has occurred on eight occasions when Tiger Woods, Hal Sutton, Brad Bryant, David Edwards, Jay Delsing, Steve Stricker, Mike Sposa and Jarrod Lye aced the hole.

Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale: 25 Years Later It is hard to believe TPC Scottsdale is in the midst of its 25th anniversary celebration and the legends of this tournament have grown over the years on a golf course that Weiskopf and Morrish designed for a specific purpose – to host the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which has run for more than 73 years.

“Really it was designed as just a little bridge hole to get to the 17th and 18th,” said Tom Weiskopf, co-designer with Jay Morrish of TPC Scottsdale. “Here is this little par 3 that doesn’t seem to be much of a challenge.”

“Our goal was to create some risk-reward opportunities in the last four or five holes and give a guy who was two or three strokes back a chance to get right back into the tournament,” Weiskopf said.

The two probably never dreamed it would become a crescendo with such a boisterous crowd watching.

Seventeen certainly created drama this year. It is one of those drivable par fours that regained popularity in the course building boom of the 1990s and 2000s. It’s only 332 yards, but a sliver of water just short and left of the tricky green gobbles up a bunch of balls.

Morrish said the hole has become a “rallying point for the unduly enthusiastic and sobriety-challenged portion of the gallery”.

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G O L F V A C A T I O N S • M A Y 2011

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Phil Mickelson rocketed his drive in to the water twice – in the third and fourth rounds. Scratch your head and wonder why these grip and rip pros just don’t play safer, especially on the final day when the pin placement is on a back miniscule nose of the green. Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale: The Verdict This is a fun experience – to walk where the pros tee it up. And a mandatory forecaddie makes the day even more enjoyable, especially when you play just a week after the tournament. You will also enjoy the conditioning and the hustle and bustle of bringing down all the grandstands. My forecaddie was especially helpful showing the right spots to aim for and adding comments about past Phoenix Open highlights and how some pros shined and some pros failed.

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G O L F VA C AT I O N S • M AY 2 0 1 1

Take No. 17, for example. Andrew Magee scored an ace on the hole in 2001. It was a bizarre event that happened just after he had made a double bogey on 15. He pulled out driver, the ball bounded onto the green through Gary Nicklaus, Steve Pate, struck Tom Byrum’s putter and ricocheted into the hole. Then there were the failures in this year’s tournament, like on Monday morning when Tommy (Two Gloves) Gainey nailed one of the red stakes propelling his ball into the water, then chunked the next chip. His triple bogey took him from contender to a tie for eighth place. You too, can experience these failures at 17. Or you could be heroic. Most amateurs who play can’t help but think of the tournament and what their favorite pro did on 15, 16, 17 and 18. And Weiskopf and Morrish nailed it when they

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built drivable par fours in their courses. “Short par fours are hard to do correctly. If you are going to layup I want the players to have the pressure of a tough chip and putt. And most of these I do have the biggest green on the course with lots of contours and movement in the putting surfaces. But there are other ways to do short par fours. Just think about No. 10 at Riviera Country Club – tough, short hole, but it has a small green.” Weiskopf said he started thinking about drivable par fours when he played in the 1968 British Open at The Old Course in St. Andrews. “Depending on the wind you can drive 9, 10, 12 and 18, but you better hit your best shot. Most of the courses I’ve designed have had at least one or two of these holes. TPC Scottsdale features a practice facility with a massive

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range and short-game area. There's also the PGA Tour Academy, which offers golf schools and individual lessons, utilizing the latest in video and computer software. The school also employs some of the best instructors in the country. Be pampered at The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Luxury world-class hotel, golf and Willow Stream Spa – what a combination. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess offers The Championship Golf Package for those wishing to play on two of Arizona's favorite courses -- the TPC Stadium Course and the TPC Scottsdale Champions Course designed by Randy Heckenkemper. The package includes one night lodging, one round of golf at one of three courses, also including nearby Grayhawk, use of the practice facility prior to your round, transportation to and from the courses, and golf concierge service.

G O L F V A C A T I O N S • M A Y 2011

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Quarry Cours The Quarry Course at Black Diamond Ranch


ses of America

by JD Latorre


T

he Scots and Irish have their links, the English have their heathland, and we yanks have our quarries. Based upon a considerable body of evidence, these recovering mines and gravel pits have emerged as a uniquely American contribution to golf's architectural cannon. Designing and building a grass golf course in a gravely gulch may seem like madness.

When Tom Fazio set out to build the Quarry Course at Black Diamond Ranch in Lecanto, Fla. back in 1987, proponents of traditional design figured he must have rocks in his head. When the dust settled, Fazio's rocky rendition emerged one of America's modern golf marvels. So, should the insatiable desire to "rock out" strike, head to one of these craggy circuits to test your metal. The Quarry Course (Black Diamond), Lecanto, Fla. (Tom Fazio 1987) • www.blackdiamondranch.com Fazio’s (dare we say) Central Florida gem was the course that began the quarry course movement in earnest. The Quarry Course at Black Diamond is forged through the jagged walls and shimmering lakes of two retired limestone quarries. Original owner Stan Olsen picked up the property for pocket change, and charged Fazio with pulling off what was then one of the most unimaginable feats in golf course design and engineering. Legendary golf writer Dan Jenkins called the five quarry holes (13-17) “the five best consecutive holes in the world.” Black Diamond is private (very), but it is never too late to befriend a member, or even purchase a membership at this 45-hole country club. Quarry at Giants Ridge, Biwabik, MN (Jeff Brauer 2003) • www.giantsridge.com/golf/quarry Texas-based architect Jeff Brauer's follow-up to the critically acclaimed Legend at Giants Ridge could be a show stealer. The starkly beautiful course, which makes its way in and around a former sand quarry, displays some of the boldest bunkering this side of Pine Valley. The 7,000 blend of north woods, lakes and abandoned mining land is a tip of the cap to the region's industrial roots.

Quarry at Giant’s Ridge

Rock Hollow Golf Club

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G O L F VA C AT I O N S • M AY 2 0 1 1

Bay Harbor Golf Club

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The Golf Club at Oak Quarry

The Golf Club at Oak Quarry, Riverside, Calif. (Brian Curley/Lee Schmidt/Gil Morgan 2000) • www.oakquarry.com Oak Quarry is a hidden gem -- literally. The 7,000-yard stunner in the foothills of SoCal's Jurupa Mountains is shoe horned into the marble and limestone remains of the Jensen quarry. The fit was so tight that lead designer Brian Curley initially estimated the site could reasonably accommodate one hole – the par-3 14th. The Quarry Golf Club, San Antonio, Texas (Keith Foster 1993) • www.quarrygolf.com The name leaves little doubt as to where this Hill Country gem is situated. But only the back nine of this Keith Foster design plays through the "hard" stuff. One hundred foot rock walls line the fairways on the ride in, remnants of a retired rock quarry that supplied the Alamo City with most it's concrete. The 384-yard par-4 17th -- dubbed "Reload" for the act it most inspires -- requires a heart-pounding tee shot over a deep ravine. Rock Hollow Golf Club, Peru IN (Tim Liddy, 1994) • www.rockhollowgolf.com Pete Dye protégé Tim Liddy laid out this impressive hunk of Hoosier golf heaven in a 300acre former strip mine. The property houses a unique collection of old growth forest, cattail-rimmed marshes and subtle quarry remains. Rock Hollow was the brainchild of manufacturing mogul Terry W. Smith – father of Chris Smith, the 2002 Buick Classic champ.

The Quarry Golf Club

Bay Harbor Golf Club Quarry Nine, Bay Harbor, MI (Arthur Hills 1997) • www.bayharborgolf.com The Quarry/Links nine combo at Bay Harbor is considered one of the preeminent coastal golf experiences in the U.S. Hills' Quarry Nine wields the largest "wow" factor, with five holes (five through nine) tumbling through the rugged environs of an old shale quarry. Highlights include a green set against a 50' quarry wall (the par-5 fifth), and a tee shot over a 60' wide gorge (the par-4 seventh). Iron Horse Golf Club, Ashland, NE (Gene Bates 2001) • www.golfironhorse.com With a 40-acre manmade lake and towering 120' walls, Iron Horse is all quarry, all the time. Bates is quick to point out, though, that a majority of the 6,500-yard circuit is set comfortably on the quarry's "overburden," or excavated material. The par-4 ninth and 18th holes, with sweeping views of the lake and the Platte River Valley, are the most poignant reminders of the property's rocky past. www.golfvacationsmag.com

Iron Horse Golf Club

G O L F V A C A T I O N S • M A Y 2011

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RESORTREPORT

Rancho Las Palmas Desert Ideals And Activities

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www.golfvacationsmag.com


By Katie DENBO

RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIFORNIA

Resort & Spa

Abound Near Palm Springs

R

ANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- It has long been favored as one of the Coachella Valley's go-to getaway spots for both golf and relaxing, and now fresh off a $35 million renovation to both its resort and golf cours-

es, Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa is revitalized and better than ever. Nestled at the base of the San Jacinto mountain range, Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa is often sought after for sun, recreation and desert tranquility, especially for the golf aficionado. But it wasn't long ago that its golf courses weathered the storm of major southern California rainfall that resulted in acres upon acres of standing mud through its fairways. In the end, however, the property turned mud into yardage, so to speak, thanks to creative landscaping and thoughtful additions to its 27-hole Ted Robinson design. There's more than just golf at this desert oasis. Rancho Las Palmas' location provides an extended list of fun things to do on and off property. Just across the street, guests can wander over to The River, a dining and shopping hub surrounded by cooling waters features and an abundance of entertainment options. Mix popular dining; 240 acres of lakes, fountains and gardens scattered throughout; and both a family atmosphere and tranquil getaway; and the Rancho Mirage property is the ideal location for visitors to relax and escape. Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa: The Lodging There are 444 rooms and 22 luxury suites at the Spanish Colonial-style Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, with accommodations offering a variety of dynamic views. Situated in Lakeview, Poolside, Plaza and Vista buildings that weave their way through the golf course, rooms are decorated with luxury bedding and appointments in soft beiges and whites reflective of the surrounding desert terrain, while French doors open to guests' own private balconies or patios. All rooms come equipped with amenities for the modern traveler, including satellite television and high-speed Internet.

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G O L F V A C A T I O N S • M A Y 2011

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RESORTREPORT

(continued)

RANCHO LAS PALMAS RESORT & SPA

Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa: The Golf

Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa: The Recreation

The 27-hole Ted Robinson-designed Rancho Las

The ultimate way to chill out is at one of the resort's

Palmas Country Club anchors the resort with enjoyable

bustling pool areas. Splashtopia was part of the resort's

resort-style golf.

multimillion-dollar renovation and reopened as a family

In December 2010, however, powerful southern

oriented pool complete with a lazy river, sand beach and

California rainstorms pounded the area, resulting in the

two 100-foot water slides. The new tranquility and spa

course's wash -- along with the holes running through it --

pools offer a more relaxed and quiet way to cool off,

quickly filling and then receding to reveal 25 acres of mud

located just off the plaza.

at up to 6 feet deep. Most notably after a half-million dol-

A trip to the Spa Las Palmas, however, promises a bet-

lar renovation that was completed in early 2011, five new

ter-feeling body and mind. The 20,000-foot facility went

tee boxes were added to the North Course, adding 300

through a complete facelift that uncovered 26 treatment

yards to the North/South's now 6,400-yard course. The

rooms; soft blue and green appointments; holistic desert

result is a refreshed and renewed South, West and North

botanicals such as lavender, verbena, cactus and sage;

courses that are distinctively different but equally fun.

and treatments that include desert earth detoxifying mud

Wide and iconic palm tree-flanked fairways offer well

wraps and massages inspired by popular desert ideals.

manicured and playable lies so long the layouts' six lakes

If being active is more up your alley, there are 25 ten-

are avoided, and vistas of the towering Mount Jacinto

nis courts -- the desert's largest tennis facility. Regroup with

range are abundant throughout the layouts.

a yoga class or session on the high-end equipment in Rancho Las Palmas' fitness center, or find some shopping

Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa: The Dining

therapy by browsing through the resorts boutiques.

Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa is known by locals and guests alike for its diverse and quality dining opportunities. The resort's new signature restaurant, bluEmber, is a particular favorite, illuminating visitors with blue-fire pits alfresco on the resort's plaza or indoors atop hand-carved wood tables for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Under the direction of Executive Chef Sean O'Connell and alongside live music five days a week, appetites are satiated with Euro-Asian influence such as seared ahi tuna lollipops, wok-fired sesame udon noodles and all-natural Diamond Sheep Ranch lamb chops. After a round of golf, relax in the retro-hip R Bar, grab a burger at the poolside Splash Grill, or grab a latte and snack at Palms Cafe, Rancho Las Palmas' Internet cafe.

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G O L F VA C AT I O N S • M AY 2 0 1 1

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FURNITURE THAT

F.I.T.S. Furniture In Tight Spaces

Shown with optional slipcover.

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A

LBERTA, Canada – The Canadian Rockies Golf destination has released its list of favorite golf and watering holes in Alberta, as golfers prepare for the upcoming golf season in April. Combining great rounds with great eats, these locations take advantage of awe-inspiring views and local flavors when golfers need more than 18 holes. The destination’s Top 2011 Picks are as follows:

CANADIAN

BEST HOLES

Kananaskis Country www.kananaskisgolf.com, 877.591.2525 Best Hole: Kananaskis Country’s fourth hole on its Mt. Kidd Course is a spectacular highlight of this property, known as an Olympic playground and G8 Summit site. The 197-yard par 3 is intimidating with water guarding the front of the green. But the most photographed hole on the course has a generous green that makes it fun and fair to play. Best Bite: The Mt. Allan Burger is served throughout the season at the Summit Restaurant’s patios, where the glorious, adjacent peaks seem close enough to touch. Named after the site of the Olympic alpine center nearby, this towering Angus burger comes with generous topping of Canadian Cheddar. Director of Reservations Mike Epoch suggests a locally brewed Big Rock beer to complement your burger.

Silvertip Golf Resort www.silvertipresort.com, 877.877.5444 Best Hole: Silvertip's 18th hole is a scintillating roller-coaster ride which is as memorable as it is pretty. From and elevated tee, the 460-yard par 4 plunges downward through the middle part of the hole. The approach shot must be negotiated from a downhill lie to a green that sits part way up a hill which rests beneath the gorgeous clubhouse and outdoor patio. Best Bite: Not to be outdone, Silvertip Resort’s patio also has best-of local honors. Stoney’s outdoor patio serves breakfast outdoors in summer, but fire-eaters will most love the challenge of their Six-Chili spice hot wings. Need something middle of the road? Try the Jalapeno Shrimp Tacos while you enjoy the stunning view of the 18th hole. A spicy red Zinfandel from their award-winning wine list pairs well with any dish.

The Fairmont Banff Springs www.fairmont.com/banffsprings, 800.441.1414 Best Hole: Among its many great holes, one has stood out through Banff’s 100-year golf history: the par-3 fourth hole, simply known as Devil’s Cauldron. The glacial pond between tee and green casts a spider-like web so captivating, you’ll forget to aim your ball beyond it. Historic photos show this hole hasn’t changed since Stanley Thompson designed it. Best Sip: The Best Canadian Cocktail Scene goes easily to The Fairmont Banff Springs and their Classic Cocktails. While there is a variety to choose from it comes down to the local favorite – The Bloody Caesar. This cocktail was founded in Alberta and has long been a favorite of patrons of the Rundle Lounge and the Clubhouse alike. Sit back, sip on history in the making after a round on one of Alberta’s classic courses.

The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge www.fairmont.com/jasper, 800.441.1414 Best Hole: Like its sister resort at The Fairmont Banff Springs, it’s difficult to choose one Stanley Thompson hole to single out, but making the turn never looked better. The combination of the par-4 8th hole and par-3 9th both offer stunning views and challenging layouts that create a lasting impression.

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G O L F VA C AT I O N S • M AY 2 0 1 1

Best Bite: You won’t see bison anywhere but on the men rustic lodge, however. Director of Golf Alan Carter (current PGA President) recommends the Emerald Patio after a round, you can try the Carmen Creek Bison Burger, which comes broxburn tomato relish and wild mushroom duxelle. The “ One” can be found throughout the property, and goes down with the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge’s own craft beer Cleopatra, named after its par-3 9th hole.

Canmore Golf & Curling Club

www.canmoregolf.net, 888.678.4785 Best Hole: The No. 2 handicap hole, the par-4 16th wa to be wary of water flanking the green. The dogleg-right ro as pretty as it is fraught with potential for a big score. Ma your second shot finds the fairway, then let the fun begin.

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ROCKIES GOLF IN ALBERTA

S • BEST BITES • BEST SIPS

nu of the Alberta , where with a “Hole in n nicely r – the

arns you outing is ake sure

by JDLatorre

Best Bite: The locals voted Canmore Golf & Curling Club’s patio the best in the region. While they rave about the rice bowls and yam fries, their latest menu addition is topping the charts – the hearty beef brisket. The platter was a favorite at the Taste of Canmore, and will be on the menu throughout the season. Everyone serves Big Rock from the local brewery, but this dish goes especially well with their Big Rock Lime in the heat of the summer.

Stewart Creek Golf & Country Club www.stewartcreekgolf.com/golf, 877.993.GOLF Best Hole: The 10th hole at Stewart Creek is a challenging valley hole with an enormous fairway and stunning mountain views. But you’ll remember it most by the old mining cart that sits adjacent to the tee box, reminding golfers of the region’s storied past.

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Best Bite: Grilled local salmon over grilled greens is the meal you’ll love when sitting on the patio overlooking the beautiful ninth and 18th holes of Stewart Creek. The chef loves big plates, so you won’t go hungry with this seemingly lighter fare. About Canadian Rockies Golf For more information on booking your summer golf trip to the Canadian Rockies or to view the stunning topography, vacation options and learn more about the area, visit www.canadianrockiesgolf.ca. Website visitors can view stay-and-play packages or request custom quotes for trips and packages or they may call 877.323.3633 for more information. Online information is regularly posted at http://www.facebook.com/canadianrockiesgolf

Pictured: The Cleopatra Course at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

G O L F V A C A T I O N S • M A Y 2011

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SWEETSTUFF T

he use of the term “hybrid” has crept into modern lexicon to such a wide extent that it is commonplace to refer to automobiles, pets, computers and even golf clubs that combine two different technologies or species into one. Bushnell Outdoor Products, makers of the most popular brand of laser rangefinders in the golf industry, has taken the concept one step further with the introduction of the first range finder that combines the two most popular technologies for distance measuring— laser and GPS utilizing satellite coordinates to give distances to objects on the course. Being the first company to combine these two methods of measurement is ground-breaking in itself, but the Bushnell Hybrid also features some outstanding improvements over its previous laser and GPS models that are noteworthy.

flag, lip of a bunker, tree, or any other object on the course. Knowing the exact lasered distance to the flag, as well as the GPS provided distance to the front, center and back of the green, enables the golfer to strategize and hit every approach shot with confidence. There is also a mapping feature on the GPS portion of the device to save your own settings for your favorite courses or to highlight notable landmarks. Having the ability to use both laser and GPS technologies, golfers now have the best of both worlds in one unit. The Hybrid is legal for tournament play under USGA decision 14-3/0.5 that permits a committee to establish a local rule that allows a player to use a distance-measuring device to obtain distance information. “We believe this first of its kind rangefinder will give golfers the best of both worlds,” said Phil Gyori, Executive Vice President of Marketing at Bushnell. “There has been a long ongoing debate over laser rangefinders and GPS devices, and we are excited to bring the Hybrid to consumers and offer them a product that marries the best laser rangefinder technology with the easy to use features of a GPS rangefinder.” For more information on the Bushnell family of rangefinders, visit the company’s website at www.bushnellgolf.com.

G

First of all, the laser part of the rangefinder is now encased in a much sleeker, manageable and lighter package than the company’s high-end instruments of the past. The GPS portion that is affixed to the side of the laser is easy to use out of the box and preloaded with over 16,000 American courses that can be easily accessed without a download, although that option still exists with the supplied USB cable when hooked to an internet connection. The Hybrid’s GPS provides simple, at-a-glance distances to front, center and back of the green. The Hybrid also offers four custom points on a hole that can be extremely helpful to reference on blind tee shots/approaches on a golf course. The GPS distances are also convenient on days when it is “cart paths only” when golfers are deciding what clubs to bring with them. Another great feature is the shot distance mode that makes it easy for the golfer to gauge how far a drive or an approach was hit. The laser range finding technology engineered into the Hybrid provides golfers with precise distances within one yard to virtually any point on any course in the world. With the Hybrid, you can now acquire exact distances to the 34

G O L F VA C AT I O N S • M AY 2 0 1 1

enerally regarded as one of the top crafters of custom forged irons in the world, Japanese golf-club manufacturer Miura Golf has introduced its most advanced game-improvement club yet with the development of the Passing Point 9003 (PP-9003) forged cavityback irons this spring. The Passing Point concepts is Miura’s recognition of golfers’ lifelong steps to improvement and are meant for players that appreciate the feel of the finest forged club combined with some of the most cutting-edge game improvement features found in a cavity back club. “We are targeting the player that might have started with a cast (iron) product and now wants the rewarding feel of a forged product,” said Adam Barr, president of Miura Golf. "We are confident golfers will fall in love with the PP-9003 irons, especially after they see their games improve." Miura is a family company, and the development of this club brought out the best in two generations of Miura expertise. Company founder and chairman Katsuhiro Miura worked with his sons, Yoshitaka and Shinei, to make a "friendly" golf club. Together, they created a club of surpassing utility, ease of play and, yes, friendliness. Three key areas were targeted by Miura in this new club to give every advantage to the player. “Mr. Miura wanted to build a club that gave some impact help, help with a higher trajectory and some turf interaction help—and wanted to honor those players that have the desire to be a forged club golfer,” added Barr. “The perimeter weighting helps and the sole is wider—but not maximum wide and the top line gives some heft--but

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SWEETSTUFF by TERRY ROSS

is not so wide that it makes people feel like inferior golfers.” The PP-9003 is designed for all levels of players, but seniors, women and high-handicappers will particularly benefit from the iron's performance characteristics. The cavity has been carefully designed to assign just the right amount of weight to the most effective places in the head. The thoroughly researched and tested PP-9003 design places the center of gravity low for a high, soft-landing flight that still holds its line and never balloons. And as with all Miura clubs, the weight and balance are obsessively consistent throughout the set.

I

t may look odd and sound funny for a golf training device, but the Gyro Swing golf training club actually lets players feel when you are committing one of the cardinal sins of a sound and effective golf swing—coming over the top. Operated by a rechargeable battery that operates the device’s gyroscope that is encased in the head of the club, swinging the Gyro Swing gives instant feedback when one is casting or coming over the top from the outside as the club takes a definite twisting force when these faults occur. It will help improve the golf swing by feeling the correct swing plane and release. The gyroscope in the club head forces your swing to stay on plane and grooves a perfectly timed release. The Gyro Swing is a training tool that lets golfers actually feel the correct plane and release--instead of worrying about positions and mechanics. Gyro Swing's unique 20,000 RPM gyroscope in the club head ingrains the sense of the perfect swing and forces the swing to stay on plane and grooves a perfectly timed release. It is an excellent practice tool for curing problems such as "coming over the top" and casting by providing resistance when swings go off-plane or have an early release. Additional features of the club are a see-through grip guide for ideal hand placement and dual-color shaft which visually reinforces the sense of swinging on a plane. A Rick Smith instructional DVD comes with the Gyro Swing that has golf fundamentals and drills for using the club, along with a head cover. It can be purchased online at retailers throughout North America and is available at www.SKLZ.com

The friendly PP-9003 irons are easier to address with confidence; they promote well-balanced ball trajectory in terms of distance, direction and height; and there's no variance in shape, weight or balance between each club in the set, which provides golfers with confidence. “These are really designed for players in two different stages of their golfing career—those that are getting better and gaining more swing speed as they improve and want to graduate to a forged club—and the older player who may be losing speed and flexibility and wants a little more help in these areas as their skills decline with age but also want that feel of forging,” explained Barr. “We feel that the forged experience of hitting a golf ball is a much finer wine.” Miura, which has been known world-wide for its custom forged blades and cavity back irons, has produced custom forgings for the best players in the world and some of the biggest names in golf. All of their irons are custom built and made by hand by artisans in Japan. The PP-9003 is available in a 4-iron through pitching wedge set (plus gap wedge) in right-hand only. The PP-9003 can be tested by visiting www.miuragolf.com to locate the closest Miura dealer.

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G O L F V A C A T I O N S • M A Y 2011

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THE WILDWOODS

Tee Time in the Wildwoods The Wildwoods, NJ – A day on the green is one of the most relaxing ways to spend a day at the Jersey Shore for both novice and skilled golfers. Golf courses can be found all across Cape May County – from Cape May National to Shore Gate – and offer a variety of playing levels from beginner to scratch golfer. Area courses offer challenging, yet playable, holes and exquisite landscaping. While there are no golf courses in the Wildwoods, itself, several courses are located close by and situated close to the ocean or bay; so there's always a mild breeze, plenty of scenic beauty, and lush, well-kept greens and fairways. With tee times from early morning to dusk, golfers can easily fit their favorite pastime into their vacation or business schedule at one of the country's top family and business getaways: the Wildwoods, NJ – a destination with award-winning beaches, a world-class boardwalk and a state-of-the-art convention center, in addition to spectacular golf. There are six public courses in Cape May County and

even more in nearby counties, so tee times are rarely a problem when visiting the Wildwoods. Most area golf courses have special afternoon, weekday and "twilight" rates for those who want to hit the links after a day at the beach. Many clubs offer restaurants or grill rooms and pro shops. Golf course developers and designers have realized the demand for the sport in the area and have discovered that the natural attributes found throughout the Jersey Cape are a perfect fit for unique and picturesque golf facilities. Sand Barrens Golf Club, one of Cape May County’s premier golf courses, is a par 72 course with multiple tee boxes on each hole making for an enjoyable round for every golfer. The course – 6,304 yards for men and 4,817 women – has a renowned 4th hole, with an elevated tee and two greens below, one 450 yards away, the other 429 yards away. At 5,896 yards for men and 4,694 yards for women,

Avalon Golf Club

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by TERRYROSS

Add Golf to Your Vacation Agenda the Avalon Golf Club, also a par 72, is one of the area's most popular and accessible courses, featuring eight lakes throughout the course and a driving range. Shore Gate Golf Club, in the Ocean View section of Dennis Township, is an 18-hole course designed to be challenging, yet rewarding, for golfers of all skill levels. With laurels, oaks and towering pines framing each hole, Shore Gate’s scenic beauty and exquisite design has placed it among the best golf courses in South Jersey. At the southern end of the county, Cape May National on Route 9, is an 18-hole, par 71 course tucked into a wooded area with lakes, sand traps, grass bunkers, tree-lined fairways and undulating greens. Cape May National's 18th has been called "the finest closing hole in the mid-Atlantic region." The course is built around a 50-acre private bird sanctuary and teems with wildlife and natural beauty set amid the area's expansive wetlands. Another of Cape May County’s newer courses, Cape May Par 3 Golf Course and Driving Range in Rio Grande, just off Route 47 (Delsea Drive), is just a few minutes from anywhere in the

Wildwoods. This 18-hole links-style course is reasonably priced and offers experienced golfers a chance to hone their short game while giving novices an opportunity to learn the game without being frustrated by impossible holes. Several private courses, many of which have reciprocity with private clubs that are members of the Philadelphia Golf Association, can also be found nearby. Wildwood Golf and Country Club is just minutes away from the northern entrance to the Wildwoods, and Stone Harbor Golf Club is a short drive north on Route 9. In addition, The Pines at Clermont is a fun, nine-hole executive par 31 course that is 2,105 yards for men and 1,985 from the red tees. There are some par 4s, bunkers, water and traps. Whatever level of play, there is enough diversity in the layouts and designs of the golf courses in Cape May County to satisfy anyone who wants to make golf a part of their fun-filled vacation in the Wildwoods. For additional information about GWTIDA and the Wildwoods, visit WildwoodsNJ.com or call 609-729-9000 or 800-WW-BY-SEA.

Sand Barrens Golf Club Cape May National

Shore Gate Golf Club www.golfvacationsmag.com

G O L F V A C A T I O N S • M A Y 2011

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Golf Vacations Magazine May 2011  

Golf Vacations Magazine May 2011