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
Mystical Golf Magic in Myrtle Beach
Man O’ War, The Wizard, and The Witch Golf Courses By Tim Cotroneo
Born into a golf architecture legacy dating back to the late 1800s, Dan Maples has designed and seen his share of spectacular golf holes. That’s why it’s fascinating to note the golf photo that greets visitors on Maples’ captivating website.
The initial www.maplesdesign photo jumping off your computer screen is the par 3, 173-yard, 15th hole at Man O’ War Golf Course in Myrtle Beach, SC. Readers learn that Man O’ War is part of a trio of Maples’ designed 18-hole layouts known as Mystical Golf.
Joining Man O’ War in this superb South Carolina golf trifecta are The Witch and The Wizard. Like the names imply, these are one-of-a-kind golf experiences. With Man O’ War and The Wizard located side-by-side, and The Witch just a 20-minute drive, this threesome of Maples masterpieces are perfect for first-time vacationers looking to personally discover why over 3-million golfers travel annually to Myrtle Beach.
Turning Heads at Turning Stone Resort NY by Ronald S. Montesano
Verona, NY – It’s easy to spot the tower from the I-90 thruway. Central New York does not rise and fall like other regions of the state, so the main building of the resort stands apart quite evidently from its surroundings. The principal question is – Where to stay? Where to play? Where to golf? Turning Stone has lodging, entertainment and golf options galore. The nature of your visit, as well as the type of client you are, determines where you’ll make your reservation. Let’s have a little clarity.
Accommodations at Turning Stone
Turning Stone Resort has options when it comes to where to stay. Located in the main building, but not in the Tower, the Turning Stone Hotel was the original accommodation at the resort. Opened in 1997 and remodeled in 2012, the Hotel has nearly 270 rooms and suites available for its guests. Included among them are patio and Jacuzzi suites, as well as luxury suites.
The Golf Club at Rainmakers…Arguably New Mexico’s Best Course
by John Mooshie
Alto (Ruidoso), NM – When it comes to golf courses, many of those in New Mexico are as good as what are found in Arizona, Texas, and Colorado. New Mexico’s Black Mesa, Outlaw, Paa-Ko Ridge, Sandia, and Twin Warriors are great designs, well maintained, and highly acclaimed. But I found The Golf Club at Rainmakers to be a cut above in many respects.
In 2008, Robert Trent Jones II crafted Rainmakers to blend a variety of design elements to fit into the natural setting that only the unique topography and characteristics of the Sacramento Mountain foothills and southern New Mexico can deliver. Featuring a variety of plateaus and corresponding valleys, winding arroyos, unusual rock projections, and intense elevation changes, each of Rainmaker’s features blends perfectly into and is consistent with the dramatic surroundings of the landscape.
Mystical Magic in Myrtle Beach – by Dave Finn
Myrtle Beach SC – A year and a half ago my wife and I had the fantastic opportunity to tour Wales and England. Ever since we visited Tintagel England, I have been fascinated by Arthurian legend. According to folklore, the “Lady of the Lake” gave King Arthur his infamous sword Excalibur. Viviane was a tale of two personalities – the evil and deceitful villainess but also a kind and benevolent maiden, who raised Lancelot as if he were her son. Merlin the mystical on the other hand, was the guardian of young Arthur and served as King Arthur’s advisor until he was bewitched and imprisoned by the Lady of the Lake.
Chambers Bay and Salish Cliffs Golf Course – The Jewels of the Pacific Northwest
Seattle, WA – Typically in my articles I talk about holes and yardages, conditions and considerations when you’re choosing a course to play or a destination to visit. Today, I’d like to take a slightly different tact and give you a bit of the back story on two magnificent courses that without a doubt, you’ll want to play when you visit Washington State.
While this week all eyes will be focused on Chambers Bay host to this year’s US Open, let’s start where I began at Salish Cliffs Golf Club, a course that was built to quote Superintendent Bob Pearsall, “In harmony with habitat.” You see, Salish translates to ‘People of the Water’ and as soon as I set foot on the property I immediately understood the connection to the land.
Ladies to Legends – The World Golf Hall of Fame’s Suggs, Whitworth, and Zaharias by Tim Cotroneo
St. Augustine, FL – If you want to get the Historian of the World Golf Hall of Fame fired up, ask him about Louise Suggs. In the year since Dr. Anthony “Tony” Parker made his way from St. Andrews to St. Augustine, FL, increasing public awareness of Louise Sugg’s impact on the game of golf was near the top of his priority list.
Parker was able to prominently showcase Suggs’ story by featuring her in a new pictorial exhibit in the Hall of Fame’s front entrance. Just 15-feet down the hall from a life-sized photo of Jack Nicklaus’ 1986 Masters moment is a huge image of Suggs, one of the World Golf Hall of Fame’s first female inductees.
Top 5 Reasons to Play TPC Sawgrass
Home of The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra, FL By Tim Cotroneo
If you’re a golfer, there are certain courses around the world that are considered sacred ground. One such layout is the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra, FL. This Pete Dye-design is where The Players Championship is held each May. The Players is believed by many to be the PGA tour’s fifth major. There aren’t too many courses on the planet whose clubhouse alone will stop you dead in your tracks. Built in 1982, this Mediterranean style icon is no less than 77,000-square feet. This Taj Mahal-like presence has a golf history all its own. Continue reading
Amiable Amelia Island Florida by Dave Finn
Fernandina Beach, FL – Amelia Island is located in the northeastern coastal region of Florida. Even though it’s only two miles wide and thirteen miles long, it’s a naturalist’s wonderland. Anchored by park reserves at each end, the city is bordered by the expansive white quartz sand beaches of the Atlantic Ocean and mounded sand dunes that naturally protect the fauna and wildlife. On your strolls you may encounter nesting loggerhead or green turtles, egrets, herons, whitetail deer and bobcats. Small in size but big on stature, it’s no wonder Amelia Island was voted one of the “Top 25 Islands in the World” by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler in 2013 and for eight consecutive years has been awarded a spot in the “Top 10 Islands in the United States”.
The Dolphin, The Hammock and the Scent of Vanilla
Ocean Reef Golf Club in Key Largo, FL By Tim Cotroneo
For the golf purist, to play a course where the pro hails from Scotland has a certain mystical quality to it. After meeting the Ocean Reef Club’s Director of Golf and learning he is from the sport’s birthplace, the mystical factor begins to skyrocket.
Scott Kirkwood, a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, has a family tree dripping with golfing lineage. Kirkwood’s office located next to Ocean Reef Club’s Dolphin Course, is a virtual shrine to golf’s long-time international popularity. In addition to photos revealing his Great Great Grandfather positioned in front of his home course in Gullane, Scotland, Kirkwood’s office wall also reveals a samurai sword trophy from Scott’s tenure as a pro in Saudi Arabia. Once Kirkwood realizes his visitor lives and breathes golf, he’ll even share stories from his college playing days in Tennessee.