“Ambition in Alabama” for Chicago District Golfer

“Ambition in Alabama” for Chicago District Golfer

Ambition in Alabama

How a father and son’s dream turned a sleepy beach town into a world-class golf destination

By Dave Finn as published in the April Edition of Chicago District Golfer magazine

Without determination and dedication, dreams don’t come true. It took time, effort and more than a little grit for farmer Robert Craft and his father J.C., to realize their ambitions. Thirty years ago, the pair opened Cotton Creek Golf Club in Gulf Shores, Ala and since then, the town has never looked back.

The Craft family understood that Gulf Shores had forever been recognized as a beloved summer vacation destination.

From Memorial Day until Labor Day, tourists and travellers flocked to their sunny shores. The problem was that come the fall, all the vacationers returned home. Restaurants and shops closed for the season and many condos and resorts stood empty until the following spring.

At first, the townspeople resisted the idea that golf could bring greater prosperity to their area, but when it was announced that Arnold Palmer would be the architect and builder of their future, they quickly embraced a new opportunity.

To read the entire article in Chicago District Golfer click here.

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RVing. The Feel of the Open Road

RVing. The Feel of the Open Road

RVing in Canada

As a tribute to Canada’s 150th celebration, we would like to share with you our article that was published last year by the National Federation of Federal Retirees.  I can’t think of a better way to explore our great country and meet our friendly people than in an RV.

Ah! The Feel of the Open Road

The freedom to stay or the freedom to go, the freedom to explore or the freedom to move on — I’m talking motorhomes, not motorcycles. I fell in love with RVing almost 30 years ago when our walkabout in Australia turned into a “ride about” in New Zealand.

You see, a few months earlier, in what was both a very brave decision and a complete leap of faith, my wife and I sold our house and set out with our two young daughters to explore the Pacific Rim. En route, we stayed in a condo in Hawaii and a resort in Fiji. In Australia, we camped or stayed in caravan parks, hostels and the occasional hotel, but it wasn’t until we scored a motorhome in Auckland that I finally felt that I had a home away from home.

The cry “Allons!” — a single word that translates as “Let’s go!” — opens many of the stanzas in Walt Whitman’s poem Song of the Open Road. His story celebrates the out-of-doors, and the road in particular, as a place where people can come together in a meaningful way — where status matters less and the experience matters more. I believe that is also the mantra of the folks we have met who take off in their RVs to see friends and return to familiar places or, alternatively, satisfy their wanderlust.

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Mission Inn Florida – Championship Golf Off The Beaten Path

Mission Inn Florida – Championship Golf Off The Beaten Path

Mission Inn – Championship Golf Off The Beaten Path

Photos and article by David Theoret 

Tucked away about 35 minutes north of Orlando, FL is a spectacular Central Florida resort that features an outstanding full-service spa, 4 restaurants and 2 top-notch golf courses. It’s the perfect location for a guy’s golf vacation, a girls’ spa weekend or a romantic getaway with that special someone.

Mission Inn features distinctive Spanish Colonial architecture and luxurious amenities. There are 176 studio, one, two and three-bedroom accommodations housed in three separate – but connected – buildings: “San Miguel”, “San Diego” and “San Angel”. All rooms are tastefully appointed with large, flat screen TVs, coffeemakers and well equipped work areas. As nice as this resort is, what really sets it apart is the golf!

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A Wild Tasmanian Ride In Australia

A Wild Tasmanian Ride In Australia

A Wild Tasmanian Ride In Australia

By Ron Perlman

I was finalizing the itinerary of our trip to Australia to visit my daughter and her Aussie husband, but an important piece of information was missing.  I called up my son in law.

“Byron, since you’re a member of Royal Queensland, can you get us on Royal Melbourne?”

“No problem, Mate.”  My heart jumped a beat.

“However”, he continued “since you’re flying half way around the world, I want you to check out these two courses.  They’re only an hour flight from Melbourne.  It would be a shame to miss them.”

Sometime later, I got on line and looked up “Barnbougle Dunes and Lost Farm”.  I only needed about twenty seconds to make a decision.  I looked at my wife.

“Nadine, I’m making a slight adjustment to our trip.  We’re going to Tasmania.”

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Fore On The Shore – Alabama’s Gulf Coast

Fore On The Shore – Alabama’s Gulf Coast

By Dave Finn as published in the February 2017 issue of TeeTimesPress.com

Gulf Shores Alabama – Walking through the doors of our condo at Kiva Dunes Golf Resort, I caught my first stunning glimpse of Mobile Bay. Hurriedly I dropped my bags and headed for the balcony to catch a better view when I noticed a tall silhouette perched on our railing. At first I thought it was a statue but upon closer inspection realized that this regal four foot bird was no pale imitation but a legendary Great Blue Heron. So calm, graceful and fearless was this magnificent creature that he remained perfectly still as I gently slid the door open to snap a close-up.

Native Americans recognize the heron as an expert hunter and believe seeing one is an omen that the hunt will be good. As I gazed across the 18th fairway, I knew that with my new avian friend “Kiva” as my guide, it was going to be a great week exploring 32 miles of uncrowded sugar-white beaches, a thriving culinary scene and seven of the best golf courses in the south.

To read the entire article visit page 14 and 15 of the February 2017 issue of Tee Times Minnesota Golf & Living at http://teetimes.epubs.forumprinting.com/publication/?i=382106&p=14

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Paradise in Panama – Doctor’s Review January 2017

Paradise in Panama – Doctor’s Review January 2017

By Jane Finn as published in Doctor’s Review Magazine January 2017

Boquete Panama – You know that expression “Life isn’t measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away?” When we stepped onto the deck of our tree house at the Lucero Golf and Country Club (tel: 877-727-2476; lucerocountryclub.com; US$395 per night, double occupancy, during high season), I literally experienced the latter. Standing 40 metres above the floor of the Caldera Valley, protected by the rainforest canopy and the Jaramillo Mountains, I felt a profound sense of peace. It was at least an hour before I tore myself away from the views to explore our very private, very romantic getaway.

Luxuriously appointed, our treehouse included a walk-in rain shower, cozy sitting area with kitchenette and deliciously comfy bed where we could see not only the stars, but the twinkling lights of David in the distance.

Nestled next to the tee off blocks at the third hole of Lucero’s mountain golf course, we were steps away from the clubhouse and Season’s, the community’s farm-to-table restaurant. Last year alone, the staff planted over 500 tropical fruit trees, 320,000 coffee plants and an extensive vegetable garden.

To read the entire article on why you need to visit Panama see http://doctorsreview.com/features/paradise-panama/
Abaco Club at Winding Bay – Where the Bahamas meets Scotland

Abaco Club at Winding Bay – Where the Bahamas meets Scotland

Abaco Club at Winding Bay

Where the Bahamas meets Scotland

by Tim Cotroneo

Scotland’s Old Tom Morris would love the ocean views, the plunging pot bunkers, and the balmy weather at The Abaco Club at Winding Bay. Old Tom would be proud to see how his rolling Scottish links thumbprint found its way to a Bahamian setting of palm trees, parrots, and pristine paspalum fairways.

In 2004, Golf Architect Tom MacKenzie brought Old Tom’s coastal sand dune legacy to the 90-mile long Great Abaco Island. When most golfers think links, thoughts revert to gray skies, brown-hued fairways, and donning layers to combat the elements. At the Abaco Club, links-style undulations enter a whole new world. Golfers thrive amidst exquisite fairways, perfect island temperatures, and ocean views worthy of a swimsuit magazine cover.

If that’s not enough, recharging your spirit between rounds is spent in beachfront and golf course accommodations that house a wealth of island amenities. The Abaco Club would have Old Tom believing he was born 150 years too soon.

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Danzante Bay Golf Course in Loreto, Mexico

Danzante Bay Golf Course in Loreto, Mexico

Danzante Bay Golf Course in Loreto, Mexico

by Tim Cotroneo

Rees Jones is listening. The man known internationally as “The U.S. Open Doctor” paid homage to golf industry pushback by designing a Baja peninsula masterpiece that he considers one of his finest creations. Jones sees his dance in the desert design to be a rare best-of-both-worlds golf communion.

The 7,400-yard Danzante Bay Golf Course in Loreto not only honors the scratch golfer, but also welcomes the occasional player seeking a one-of-a-kind golf experience. Jones’ latest creation features awesome elevation changes and dramatic mountains-meet-the sea-visuals.

At the November 2016 grand opening of Danzante Bay, Jones told his audience that it’s time to acknowledge what passionate golfers, occasional golfers, and industry experts have been saying for years. That is, a course doesn’t have to be too long or too punishing to exceed golf destination expectations.

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A golfer spends ‘fore’ days in Delhi in Travelife Magazine

A golfer spends ‘fore’ days in Delhi in Travelife Magazine

By Dave Finn as printed in the April Edition of Travelife.ca

NEW DELHI – From the moment I arrive, the sights, the sounds and the diversity of this city surround me. Within minutes, I know that without a doubt I have arrived in one of the most exotic destinations in the world — for golfers.

Okay, granted, New Delhi may not be foremost on golfers’ minds but for me, playing my favourite sport in India was the opportunity to combine two of my passions – travel and golf.

When you travel this far, though, you simply have to take in the numerous historical sites of Old Delhi, including the Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, the Lotus Temple and the diplomatic enclave that includes Parliament House, India Gate and the President’s Estate.

“With a thousand years of history, it is a city of contrasts that combines a unique ambience of ancient and the modern,” my host Bharat Bedi so eloquently stated. It was a theme that resonated with me for the rest of my brief stay.

My advice to golfers is that between rounds, take the time to explore the area and experience the culture.

To read the entire article in Travelife Magazine click here

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4 spectaculaire reasons to visit the Laurentians in the fall

4 spectaculaire reasons to visit the Laurentians in the fall

4 spectaculaire reasons to visit the Laurentians in the fall – by Jane Finn

Despite the fact that the days are getting shorter, fall remains my favourite time of year.  I love the crispness in the air, the crunch of leaves under my feet and the smell of logs on the fire.  Autumn is the perfect time of year to don your sweater and comfortable shoes and get out there and explore.

Tremblant Elysium Suites Sur Lac

Tremblant Elysium Suites sur Lac

On our last trip to the Laurentians, my husband Dave and I arrived on the shores of Lac-Supérieur in the Laurentians in time to check in to our suite at Tremblant Elysium North and observe a lunar eclipse.  After grabbing a few provisions, including a nice bottle of wine or two at the onsite L’Etalage Gourmand Marché, we settled ourselves on the deck with our cameras and to watch the show.  As the earth slowly aligned itself between the sun and the moon, it cast a shadow across the entire moon, whose surface gradually turned red. That set the pace for the next few days, as we took our time discovering the Laurentians.

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