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by Dave Finn – as published in the December 2017 issue of “The Jigger”, the official newsletter of The Golf Historical Society of Canada.
As a member of The Golf Historical Society of Canada, I’m sure you’ve dreamt about playing in your 19th century regalia, using hickory-shafted clubs while plying your skills on some of the most historic links golf courses in the world.
Last month, I had the unforgettable opportunity of not only participating in the 13th annual LinkedGolfers World Hickory Open Championship in East Lothian, but I also won the two-day Stableford event at Kilspindie!
Not only was this my first visit to Scotland – the “Home of Golf” – which has taken on a whole new meaning for me: it was also my first time playing with hickory clubs that were graciously provided by local collector Chris Homer. I should also mention that Chris was instrumental in organizing a 10-day hickory golf event on the Plains of Abraham to celebrate Quebec City’s 450th birthday!
After a horrendous practise round, Chris consoled me when he said that “every hickory club has its own personality. You have to get to know them individually” but it wasn’t until our official starter Allan Crow, placed his hand on my shoulder and told me “low and slow laddie, low and slow” that I finally caught on. It also didn’t take me long to learn how to hit a bump-and-run shot since nothing would hold on those Scottish greens.
By Paul Knowles
Gaylord, Michigan – If pace of play is an issue at Treetops – well, it’s their own damned fault. Because the five courses at Treetops are some of the most beautiful golf courses you will find anywhere, and golfers cannot be blamed for pausing for a look, or a photo, at Number 1 on Signature, or Number 6 on Masterpiece or… almost any other hole.
Treetops Resort is located just outside Gaylord, Michigan – a beautiful area that also features skiing in the winter (Treetops is a ski resort, as well – which tells you a lot about the topography of the golf courses).
There are, in fact, 14 golf courses on seven properties in close proximity to Gaylord, which may inspire return visits – but I recommend you first go to Treetops, and stay there for the length of your visit. Because these five courses – at their highest, sitting 1,380 feet above sea level – are unique, challenging, gorgeous, and well worth a golfers’ attention.
Few private or resort courses have the geographical characteristics golf course designer Bob Walker was given when he designed Arrowhead Pointe. In fact, Walker has said that basically the state handed him 400-acres of land within the Richard B. Russell State Park in Elberton, GA and said, “put the course wherever you need to.” And Walker did just that.
This 6,861-yard masterpiece sits on a peninsula on Richard B. Russell Lake and offers some of the best water views and scenic vistas anywhere in the South. Better yet, there are no lakefront homes or even private docks to spoil the view as you make your way around the course.
Arrowhead Pointe Golf Club is not without its share of accolades, having been named the 2nd Best New Affordable Public Course in America by Golf Digest in 2005. It has also been ranked #10 on Golf Advisor’s list of Top 25 courses under $50 and TravelGolf.com placed Arrowhead Pointe on its list of the Top 10 courses in the state of Georgia.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.