By Dave Finn, as published in the December 2017 issue of Lone Star Golf Magazine
Kevin Costner’s iconic 1989 movie Field of Dreams may not have won an Oscar, but it sparked a winner. Let me take you behind the scenes, and tell you about another man’s vision.
A golfer’s dream would be to have 18 of their favorite holes, featured on a single course. Dr. David Bronner, the CEO of Retirement Systems of Alabama had a dream to invest his organization’s pension funds and build 26 world-class golf courses that would challenge people enough that “they will want to come back and try again.”
Bronner may not have heard the voices Ray Kinsella heard but he listened to the call and tapped into his creativity and courage to do what no one could imagine. Once he lured the legendary Robert Trent Jones Sr. out of semi-retirement, there was no looking back.
To read the entire article on-line visit http://lonestargolf.txga.org/#&pageSet=12&page=0 or click below.
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 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.
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
Lynyrd Skynyrd released this famed rock hit in response to Canada’s own Neil Young’s controversial song “Southern Man”. Sweet Home Alabama has now become the state motto and unofficial anthem of Alabama. I could not agree more after returning from the Gulf Shores of southern Alabama. The topography ranges from scenic shorelines with unspoiled wetlands to majestic tree lined courses with rolling hills. Very relaxing and not too overcrowded, I’ll be coming back to you.
Our trip began in the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach region that overlooks the northern-most coast of the Gulf of Mexico and boasts more than over 32 miles of sugar white beaches. It’s also family-friendly with plenty of shopping, a variety of locally-owned restaurants, happening bars and some great off-shore fishing. There are nine championship golf courses within a short drive of each other and more than available 16,000 rental units ranging from campgrounds, cottages, motels, hotels and condominiums so you’re guaranteed to find the accommodations that will suit your life-style and budget. We stayed in a fully-equipped condo at the Turquoise Place, an amazing Spectrum Resorts property right on the Gulf of Mexico. Magnificent views of the beach and a hot tub right on your balcony! How good is that?