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By Edward Kiersh
Here in November golf is a distant memory but there is Julia Ceasar, bars teeming with young people, edgy art galleries, and if all else fails, a windswept stroll along Lake Champlain. Julia and her two cohorts were found in an art gallery blasting Southern rock, and enchanting radio listeners all the way to Canada and southern Vermont. Their soulful music was enough to make one forget what was happening in the halls of Washington D.C. power, and their innocent smiles were radiant enough to search for their podcasts.
Burlington is a hub of artistic activity, a place to visit even if the golf is miles distant. There are dozens of inviting restaurants here, and the University of Vermont is a picturesque expanse that is certainly worth a visit.
Written by Bo Turocy. Photographs by Hannah Fontenot Mentz.
The 11th annual U.S. Hickory Open hosted by the Society of Hickory Golfers just wrapped up on Halloween. The 36-hole stroke play event was contested across the 1926 Donald Ross layout at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, NC. This club may sound familiar to you. The PGA Tour plays the Wyndham Championship there each year. Brandt Snedeker made fame by shooting a record setting 59 in the opening round of the 2018 Wyndham a few months ago. The U.S. Hickory Open was originally scheduled to be played closely following the tour event, but Hurricane Florence forced a month-long postponement.
I had already played in the two previous championships with mediocre to average results, finishing something like in 15th and 12th places (or so) respectively. Obviously I am the only one proud of those results. It was Walter Hagen who would always boldly announce he was playing solely for first place and it mattered not if he finished as runner up or in last place since nobody ever remembered. Also, the legendary Ricky Bobby of infamous Talladega Nights fame learned from his father that if you “ain’t first, you’re last.” I was ready to make my move into the arena of national spot light success. Besides, I’ve already enjoyed a brief, but splendid international stardom with a massive defeat earlier this year at the hands of the Europeans in the Freedman Cup matches, a Ryder Cup style tournament for hickory golf.
as published in the November 2018 issue of Planet Golf Review.
San Josè del Cabo Mexico – It’s just after eight on Saturday morning. The hotel is quiet at this time of day with only a few people on the beach catching some early rays. With cafe in hand, I thought this would be a great spot to sit and quietly make notes, but I no sooner got settled into my lounger when I spotted a whale spout and then another and another. It was game on as they arched and breached and cavorted along the ocean’s surface before making a deep dive that signalled they were moving on to entertain another group of onlookers. What an awesome way to start my morning! I figure it was nature’s way of reminding me that you’ve got to do more than just sip the coffee, you’ve also got to savour the moment, wherever you are.
Yesterday I had the distinct pleasure of spending time with one of the most gracious chefs I have ever met and a man with a vision. Twenty two years ago Enrique Silva decided to move from “the front of the house” to the kitchen when he opened the Tequila Restaurant in the historical district of San José del Cabo, and despite the challenges, he’s never looked back.
Before becoming a restaurateur, Chef Enrique was an agricultural engineer which perhaps is the reason he gives “farm-to-table” a whole new meaning. In 2003, he bought a 17-acre farm on the edge of town where he grows organic produce to supply not only his restaurant and others in town but also his outdoor café and cooking school Los Tamarindos.
by Edward Kiersh
Go back in time. Way back in time, over 1000 year to the days of feudal defense systems, medieval castles, and to a serene, undisturbed setting near the Po River in Italy that still epitomizes all the glories once enjoyed by noble families.
All this awaits those explorers who want to combine discovering a Golf Eldorado along with famed culinary delights in this Emilia-Romagna part of Italy, a region where the legendary prosciutto is as glorious as the scenery.
The jumping off point for this golfing/culture adventure is the Antico Borgo di Tabiano Castello. Built on the ruins of an 11th Century Roman settlement, this painstakingly-restored village/boutique hotel, while once the center of the struggle between Vatican and Imperial forces, is now a citadel of calm.
So indulge, be rejuvenated, whether that means a spa treatment, a long dip in the pool, visiting a few other nearby castles, or enjoying some famous Parma ham. But then comes difficulties, the tough choice. In this valley of rolling hillsides and dairy farms, which of the 9 nearby courses (all within 1 1/2 hours from Tabiano), will be tackled?
It was extremely difficult, even painful to leave Aloxe Corton. A petite, charming village on the Côte de Nuits, the wine-producing communes in Burgundy, France known for elegant and affordable reds, this town near Beaune boasts five exceptional vintners offering daily tastings.
But another delight was on the horizon—a stay at the Hôtel Golf Château de Chailly, a 16th Century castle with an 18-hole championship golf course.
Opened in 1990, amid natural streams, lakes and a glorious variety of century-old trees, this 6,737-yard, parkland course 30 miles from Dijon has several challenging water-riddled holes that demand pinpoint accuracy. Over a dozen, well-bunkered, elongated and sloped greens exponentially increase the tract’s difficulty.
Paris was bustling with fashionistas, and that was to be expected since it was Fashion Week, a time to celebrate Dior, Armani, Hermes and Tom Ford. Not a time to celebrate the Ryder Cup which was more my fashion—so I decided to leave Paris for one more day in Burgundy—to drink great wine and to decompress from all the pastries and rich food I was eating.
Bourgogne and its amazingly remarkable small towns like Noyers and Vezelay were certainly more my style. But with limited time before my return trip home I drove to relatively nearby Chablis.
Packing my clubs for another day, and after negotiating many small roads, I ultimately arrived at a vineyard named after owner Clotilde Davenne, a small winery not far from the magical towns of Irancy and Vezelay.
Golf in Paris? Tiger is back. The Ryder Cup is ready to start on Friday outside Paris. The weather is sublime for golf, in the mid-60s and sunny. Magnifique!
But here in this glittering city that many people fear, or often disparage because of some nonsensical feelings about the French, few people care about Tiger or the Cup. It’s as if it was being played on a different planet.
Take my favorite baker for example. I expected to see a few little cakes decorated with the European logo. But she would have none of that. Her only interest was serving me a heavenly cup of coffee and a wondrous pained chocolate. Yum! But there was spectacle that did delight her made her even talkative.
Not touching a golf club for days, and about to go mad, I finally arrived at Golf de Chailly sur Armancon, a 16th Century castle turned inviting resort. Along with offering a seductive hammam spa, tennis, swimming, gorgeous suites, and two restaurants, the course is both bedeviling and a delight.
While most of the fairways are wide open, and perfect for relaxed rounds, there are several holes that present taxing challenges, mainly due to cavernous bunkers, dramatically contoured, elevated greens and numerous water hazards. It’s also visually exciting, set amid rich farmlands, and popular with beautifully attired, highly serious French female players. Stay at Chailly for two days. It’s a paradise for finding vineyards, la cuisine Francaise, and several fun holes that will long be remembered.
By Edward Kiersh
Though the hillsides are covered with vineyards, and not golf courses, the scenery in this rich part of France is captivating especially if the traveler makes it a point to visit small, 16th and 17th century hill towns. One must-see gem is Flavian-Sur-Ozerain, not far from Dijon. Here the aging buildings and cobble-stoned streets seem to be relics of a long-vanished past. All is tranquil, a perfect escape from time.
Once I left here it’s on to Dijon and the road of Burgundy’s Grand Crus. There are so many caves or wine producers along the road side it’s impossible to determine where to stop.
By Dave Finn
Earlier this week I had the tremendous privilege of participating in the 17th Annual Chelsea Hotel Charity Golf Classic at Wooden Sticks in Uxbridge, Ontario. Not only did I get the opportunity to play at one of Canada’s premier golf courses, the tournament raised over $100,000 for a very worthy cause.
Tournament Organizer and Director of Public Relations for the Chelsea Hotel in Toronto, Tracy Ford told me that:
“We have raised $1.5 million net for the following charities – Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity (when we were part of the Delta Hotels chain and it was their charity of choice) and then from 2013 to present, it’s SickKids Foundation. I chose them when we made the transition and had the opportunity to choose our own charity.”