1992: A Great Year for Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

1992: A Great Year for Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

1992: A Great Year for Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

Photos and Story by Michael Cunningham

What a year 1992 was for the golf enthusiast! Nick Faldo coming from four shots down to win The Open as a dazed John Cook watched after missing a 24-inch putt on the 71st hole. The world’s number one ranked player, Fred Couples won his first major, The Masters. Following an incredibly lucky break where his ball did not go in the water on the 152 yard par 3 12th as Ian Woosnam earlier records an 8 to finish tied for 5th. The year a teenager, by the name of Tiger Woods, made his PGA debut.

It was also the year the worlds most played golf trail destination, The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, in Alabama was created. Golf Magazine announced, “It is the standard against which all other trails are measured”. “One of the world’s coolest places to play’ according to Golf Magazine. Frequent Flyer Magazine announces it is one of its “top ten trips in the world”.

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Brandenburg Historical Golf Museum at Cinnabar Hills in San Jose

Brandenburg Historical Golf Museum at Cinnabar Hills in San Jose

A hidden gem for golf lovers

Superb collection at the Brandenburg Historical Golf Museum at Cinnabar Hills in San Jose

By Paul Knowles

San Jose’s Cinnabar Hills may be the golf fan’s version of Hotel California: you can show up any time you like, but you can never leave.

At least, there’s no way you will be out of there quickly.

It’s not that the course takes a long time to play – Cinnabar Hills Golf Club is 27-hole facility, offering three Par 72 options ­– 18-hole combinations of the Mountain, Canyon and Lake courses that measure between 6617 and 6854 yards from the tips, so the usual four hour schedule for a round should work here.

It’s not the course that may demand extra time – it’s the club house.

Bobby Jones original letter about the first Master

Bobby Jones original letter about the first Masters

Because Cinnabar Hills is home to one of the finest collections of golf memorabilia outside the World Golf Hall of Fame. From Bobby Jones’ original letters, promoting the creation of The Masters, to memorabilia from golfers ranging from Arnold Palmer to Sam Snead and Byron Nelson, from Seve Ballesteros to Tiger Woods; to captain’s jackets from the earliest Ryder Cups; to replica copies of the great trophies of the game – it’s all here.

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Louisiana’s Audubon Golf Trail – Golf Oklahoma Magazine

Louisiana’s Audubon Golf Trail – Golf Oklahoma Magazine

Louisiana’s Audubon Golf Trail – Imagine the Possibilities!

By Dave Finn as published in the June/July Issue of Golf Oklahoma Magazine

When I think of Louisiana, the first place that springs to mind is New Orleans. I think of Bourbon Street, balconies, and beads. I can taste the gumbo and beignets served with chickory coffee.  I can hear the jazz notes floating in the air, and the beat of feet tapping away to a Zydeco tune, but when it comes to golf, that’s only the beginning of the adventure.

Imagine sixteen of the state’s top golf courses stretching from New Orleans to the Arkansas, Texas and  Mississippi borders. Imagine yourself following a path that will let you explore Northern Louisiana, a Sportsman’s Paradise, Cajun Country, the Plantation Region and the Big Easy. Imagine challenging yourself on courses designed by legendary golf greats like Pete Dye, Arnold Palmer, Hal Sutton, David Toms and Robert Trent Jones.

Imagine yourself following the Audubon Golf Trail as it weaves its way from The Big Easy to Baton Rouge and Monroe through bayous and wetlands, live oaks, cypress groves, and upland pine forests and rolling hills. Imagine the efforts of sixteen cooperative members to protect the abundant native wildlife and preserve the natural habitat while delivering the ultimate golf experience.

Imagine yourself there!

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Green Miles – Wales Golf Courses Live Up….Travel Life Magazine

Green Miles – Wales Golf Courses Live Up….Travel Life Magazine

Green Miles – WELSH COURSES LIVE UP TO THE COUNTRY’S WORLD-CLASS REPUTATION

By Dave Finn as published on pages 60 and 61 in the Summer 2017 Issue of Travel Life Magazine

Croeso i Gymru (Kroy-sore ee Gum-ree) – Welcome to Wales

It’s hard to imagine that Wales was once voted the Undiscovered Golf Destination of the World, but no more – the secret is out! After hosting the Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor in 2010 and The Senior Open Championship at Royal Porthcawl in 2014, quiet Wales has asserted itself as a world-class golf destination and yet, it remains the place to go if you’re seeking an unspoiled, unpretentious, unhurried golf vacation.

Escaping from the hustle and bustle of London, it took us slightly over two hours to reach the Wye Bridge and cross over into Chepstow, home to what is considered the oldest surviving stone castle in Britain and our first stop in in Wales.  Shortly after crossing the border we found ourselves driving through the 400-acre, former deer park that surrounds the St. Pierre Marriott Hotel and Golf Club, a Marriott unlike any I’ve stayed at before.  Impressive was the word that sprang to mind when we first saw the 14th-century manor house and 11th century church that sits at the heart of this resort.  Within minutes, we were escorted to our room overlooking the 9th green and the 10th tee box of the ‘new’ course, and I felt like we had ‘arrived’.

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Waccamaw Golf Trail – Play the Best the Grand Strand has to Offer.

Waccamaw Golf Trail – Play the Best the Grand Strand has to Offer.

Waccamaw Golf Trail – Play the Best the Grand Strand has to Offer.

By David Theoret

The Waccamaw Golf Trail is located at the south end of The Myrtle Beach Grand Strand and includes a dozen of the area’s very best courses. In fact, this collection of courses has garnered more awards than any other comparable golf trail in America. Most of the courses are built on 18th Century rice and indigo plantations, and their routing is often dictated by centuries-old moss-draped oak trees and gently flowing tidal rivers.

This region has come to be known as South Carolina’s historic Hammock Coast, comprised the townships of Murrells Inlet, Litchfield, Pawleys Island and Georgetown. In addition to great golf, you’ll find beautiful beaches, an outstanding selection of accommodations, superb restaurants and various points of historic interest.

One location that incorporates both excellent dining and accommodations is The Inlet Sports Lodge, Costa Coastal Kitchen & Bar located right next door. Although it has only been open a few months, Costa (www.costamyrtlebeach.com) is quickly becoming a favorite among travelers and locals alike. Their dishes are unique, such as Stuffed Banana Peppers, three large banana peppers stuffed with a homemade Italian sausage. Their Italian fare and seafood fare are equally as delectable, and their steaks melt in your mouth. Portions are almost big enough to share, but with food this good, who wants to do that? They also have an extensive wine list and are best known for their incredible daily specials.

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“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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