|HERE'S THE LATEST NEWS IN THE WORLD OF GOLF AND TRAVEL
THE 2021 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP: FANTASTIC AND FIRST CLASS
By Mike May
For the last week, golf fans have been focused on The Open in England’s county of Kent,
The weather during tournament week was wonderful – definitely heaven sent.
It was the 15th time that the Open was played at Royal St. George’s, along England’s southeast coast.
There was never any rain in four days, which meant this Open was drier than most.
Players came from near and far for the right to be called Champion Golfer of the Year.
Collin Morikawa emerged as the winner, which prompted fans to clap and cheer.
(ENJOY THE REST OF THIS BEAUTIFUL POEM...)
Circling Raven Golf Club
Ranks No. 19 Nationally in ‘Golfweek’s Best U.S. Casino Courses’
(Worley, Idaho; July 12, 2021) – Circling Raven Golf Club garnered the No. 19 ranking in “Golfweek’s Best U.S. Casino Courses, 2021,” the annual compilation of America’s finest casino resort golf amenities.
The Gene Bates-designed layout has climbed higher in the annual rankings in three of the last four years. Owned and operated by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, it spreads out over more than 600 acres of ancestral homelands – nearly five times more than the average course globally.
The Palouse Region terrain, the Tribe’s mandate that Circling Raven provide a first-class experience and superb playing conditions and Bates’ inspired vision combined to create a memorable course. An array of diverse yet complementary holes rout through pristine countryside with no surrounding development. (READ THE FULL STORY...)
Golf Digest Rates Circling Raven No. 1 Public Course in Idaho
Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Amenity Stands Alone in National Magazine’s Biennial Best-of List
|Golf Digest and its “America’s Greatest Courses” rank Circling Raven as Idaho’s top public course.
Worley, Idaho – The votes are in and panelists for Golf Digest and its “America’s Greatest Courses” rank Circling Raven as Idaho’s top public course. The best-in-kind accolade comes via the just-released “America’s Greatest Courses by State, 2021-22” compilation.
Of the eight Idaho courses cited for this distinction, Circling Raven and Coeur d’Alene Resort Course were the only two public venues included, with Circling Raven listed as the No. 1 public course. (READ THE FULL STORY...)
Golf Digest “America’s Greatest” Courses Panelists
Rank Primland as Virginia’s Top Public Golf Venue
The Highland Course at the Blue Ridge Mountains Boutique Resort Shines in Biennial Best-Of List
MEADOWS OF DAN, VIRGINIA – May 13, 2021 – Golf Digest named The Highland Course at Primland, the boutique luxury resort amid 12,000 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains, as the state’s top public-access course in its just-released “America’s Greatest Courses by State, 2021-22” compilation.
|The Highland Course features immaculate conditions, stunning views, no surrounding development, and a masterful course layout.
Designed by Donald Steel, The Highland Course follows three private golf courses in the best-in-state list and was also rated No. 151 – out of approximately 15,000 total – in the national magazine’s “America’s 200 Greatest Courses.”
To arrive at its ranking of Best Courses by State and America's 200 Greatest Golf Courses, Golf Digest panelists play and score courses on these eight criteria: shot options, challenge, layout variety, distinctiveness, aesthetics, conditioning, character, and fun. (READ THE FULL STORY...)
Branson (Missouri) Golf and Big Cedar Lodge Enhance Top Destination Status in 2021
New Luxury Cottages Add Superb Lodging Options; Bolster 10 Award-Winning Courses
BRANSON, MISSOURI, July 8, 2021 – Long appreciated as one of the best vacation destinations in America, thanks to dozens of live entertainment theaters, three lakes, countless family-friendly attractions, and easy access for one-third of the country, Branson continues its climb to the top of the finest golf destinations in the U.S.
The Ozarks oasis in southwest Missouri near the Arkansas border has the global golf industry paying keen attention to it due to a seemingly endless parade of new and enhanced courses and amenities that have debuted in the recent past.
Winner of Simmons Bank Open for Snedeker Foundation Used BGT Stability Shaft
Richardson, TX - Breakthrough Golf Technology, manufacturer of the Stability putter shaft, announced that Austin Smotherman was the Korn Ferry Tour winner of the Simmons Bank Open in College Grove, Tennessee used the BGT Stability Tour putter shaft in his win over the weekend.
“Congratulations to Austin Smotherman on the top finish while using the Stability shaft,” says Breakthrough CEO and Founder Barney Adams. “More pros on all the Tours are using the Stability Tour shaft and realize that it can make a huge difference in their game.” (READ THE FULL STORY...)
PUERTO RICO ROBUST IN TOURISM REBOUND; GOLF NICHE FOLLOWS TREND
Eased Travel Restrictions for Visitors Go into Effect Today
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO, May 24, 2021 – Statistics show that as domestic travel begins its revival Puerto Rico is faring far better than the U.S. average according to the April Travel Recovery Insights Dashboard from the U.S. Travel Association. This holds true for many of the Island’s travel niches, not the least of which is golf.
The Recovery Dashboard, developed in partnership with Tourism Economics, includes not only a national overview of where key indicators stand but also a state and territory breakdown. In this, it is evident Puerto Rico is faring far better than the U.S. average, with travel spending in March 2021 only 17% lower than the same pre-pandemic period in 2019. (READ THE FULL STORY...)
New video “Golf in the Dominican Republic”
The name Dominican Republic immediately conjures up images of white, palm-lined beaches and turquoise sea. But the holiday paradise has a great deal to offer for golfers in particular – the Punta Cana region boasts two of the world’s top 100 courses and the PGA Tour is also a regular visitor. Watch the four-minute travel report from EXPERT GOLF, with breathtaking shots that will whisk you away to the three most beautiful courses in the region – a dream for every golfer. (WATCH THE VIDEO...)
Gil Hanse-Designed New Course Debuts at Les Bordes
Exclusive golf club in France’s Loire Valley now offers 46 world-class holes
(Saint-Laurent-Nouan, France – July 12, 2021) – The gift-wrapping has been taken off Les Bordes’ eagerly awaited New Course, with architect Gil Hanse taking time out from his busy schedule to unveil his first golf-course design project in continental Europe at the start of this month.
|Hanse travelled from his home in America to France’s famous Loire Valley to give his personal seal of approval to the new layout.
Hanse travelled from his home in America to France’s famous Loire Valley to give his personal seal of approval to the new layout, hitting the inaugural tee shot prior to members flying in from across the world to experience his new creation.
In direct contrast to Les Bordes’ Old Course, the New Course features a more traditional heathland style. When combined with the 10-hole short course – the Wild Piglet, also created by Hanse and opened in 2020 – members of Les Bordes Golf Club will receive one of the greatest golfing experiences in the world.
Burgeoning Branson Golf Destination
Beckons Visitors for Spring Break and Beyond
Country’s Fastest-Growing, Most-Compelling Place to Play Astounds with Array of Courses
Planning golf trips now is particularly appealing as players anticipate the more golfer-friendly weather of March and April, and Branson is an ideal choice for those who want to experience what many are calling the country’s most compelling golf destination.
The Missouri Ozarks oasis earns high praise through its 10 golf courses, all public access, all near one another, and including Tiger Woods’ first-ever public course design – Payne’s Valley, an 18-hole extravaganza with a stunning bonus 19th hole called “The Big Rock.” When one sees the towering, 300-million-years-old limestone formations that surround the green (as does water )– with waterfalls cascading down them no less – they’ll understand that this special extra hole came by its name honestly. (READ THE FULL STORY...)
Cabot Pacific Lands In Revelstoke B.C.
According to the Whitman, Axland & Cutten Golf Architects website, strategic design coupled with great contour (either natural or manmade) is the essence of golf architecture. The statement is part of their mission.
It sounds simple enough, right? But the key is finding the ingredients which, when combined, along with a strategic approach, turn out the product the designers were working towards. (READ THE FULL STORY...)
BOBBY JONES LINKS HEADS INTO 2021 WITH ADDITION OF NINE NEW CLUBS
Bobby Jones Links paves way for additional growth and projects in the new year
Atlanta, Ga. – Atlanta-based club management company, Bobby Jones Links, heads into 2021 after another impressive year of club additions and renovation projects. With the addition of Union Country Club and Oak Shadows Golf Club, Bobby Jones Links concludes the year with nine new clubs in its portfolio. The new clubs are located in Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio and North Carolina.
(READ THE FULL STORY....)
Here’s how GOLF ranked the
Top 100 Courses in the World
Any “best” or “greatest” list is, at its core, a study in subjectivity, our Top 100 Courses in the World ranking being no stranger to the whims of human taste. We’re more than fine with that, if for the only reason that the folks who rate courses on GOLF’s behalf have the keenest eyes in course architecture. We empower and hold accountable a group of 80 well-traveled — and well-connected — golfers/aficionados, each capable of expressing their own sense of design excellence at the highest level. (READ THE FULL STORY...)
Treat yourself to a Golf Trip in England’s Lake District
Lake District, England: With the reopening of Linthwaite House (https://leeucollection.com/UK) in the Lake District on 31st July, it’s time to treat yourself to a golf trip in one of England’s most popular holiday destinations that promises plenty of space and fresh air in the great outdoors. Part of the Leeu Collection, the stunning hotel in Cumbria, England has teamed up with the nearby Windermere Golf Club to offer a ‘Golfing in the Lakes’ package that combines a two-night stay at the luxury property with 18 holes of golf for two at one of Cumbria’s most delightful and scenic golf courses, and a three-course set dinner at Michelin-starred Simon Rogan’s newest restaurant Henrock. (READ MORE OF STORY...)
Italy's Argentario Golf Resort & Spa in Tuscany
Reopens its Luxury Hotel & Independent Villas
Tuscany, Italy: The Argentario Golf Resort & Spa (www.argentarioresort.com), one of Italy’s premier golf and wellness destinations in the Maremma region of Tuscany, has reopened and is ready to welcome guests once again to its luxury hotel and independent villas this summer and autumn. (READ THE FULL STORY...)
AUDUBON GOLF TRAIL
Expands to 18 Premier Golf Courses
Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser recently announced the addition of three top courses to Louisiana’s Audubon Golf Trail, bringing the total to 18. The trio includes LaTour Golf Club along Bayou Lafourche in Mathews; Oak Knoll Country Club in Hammond; and Koasati Pines Golf Club at Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder. Trail members undergo a rigorous screening process to ensure first-class courses with high standards of customer service and top-quality maintenance. (READ MORE...)
I REMEMBER ARNOLD PALMER
By Bill Hensley
I was a junior at Wake Forest in 1948 when Arnold Palmer enrolled on a golf scholarship.
He was accompanied by Marvin (Buddy) Worsham, his friend and golfing pal. Since I was sports editor of the student newspaper, I was in contact often with Palmer and other members of the team, covering some classic matches involving such fine players as Mike Souchak and Art Wall of Duke and Harvie Ward of North Carolina. (READ THE FULL STORY...)
Breakthrough Golf Technology Introduces New Stability Armlock Putter Shaft
Richardson, TX - Breakthrough Golf announces an addition to its revolutionary Stability Shaft. Introducing the new Stability Armlock Putter Shaft. Designed with the same advanced technology and performance benefits as the original Stability shaft. The Armlock Stability will feature a steel core wrapped with a highly twist-resistant outer graphite wrap, that reinforces flexural rigidity; over the typical flex point of the shaft, which is closer to the putter head.
Stability uses a scientifically advanced multi-material design with new geometries never
used in putter shaft design before. A shaft that has the same look, solid feel and weight as traditional steel putter shafts. The Stability Shaft delivers the face squarer at impact for improved accuracy and solid feel and has a lower launch for a predictable roll, resulting in better distance control.(READ MORE...)
THE DEMISE OF PUTTING ON TOUR...
While perusing the improvements in golf equipment over the years, I came across data analysis that caused several rereads! Using Shotlink data, I looked at putting stats on Tour from 2003 to now. Using putts made at specific distances, the make percentage is LOWER today than 2003! Given the advances over the last 15 years, better, more consistent greens, millions of dollars invested in putter head designs, contour books showing every break every grain pattern and not the least, the arrival of sophisticated putting instruction, my first reaction was "this can't be right." (READ MORE OF THIS ARTICLE...)
Bag Boy Launches Electronic Tech Accessories
Richmond, VA – The Bag Boy Company is proud to announce a new line of five electronic tech accessories featuring the Mini Soundbar, Electronic Hand Warmer, 3-in-1 Fan, Bluetooth Speaker and Solar Charger. “Our goal was to transform our push cart into the ultimate walking machine,” said Pat Gallagher, Dynamic Brands Product Manager. “Then, we took it a step further and made universal attachments, so these accessories are portable and can be used in any setting.” (READ MORE...)
True Spec Golf Opens Fitting Facility
at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa
CARLSBAD, CA - Custom club fitting leader True Spec Golf has officially opened a state-of-the-art shipping container fitting facility at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa's Golf Performance Institute in Carlsbad, Calif. Located just north of San Diego, within the iconic world-class resort, this is their first shipping container fitting studio stocked with a full studio fitting matrix, blueprint station, loft and lie machine, and Trackman.
"We are thrilled to partner with Omni La Costa to open True Spec," says Tim Briand, Director of Fitting and Sales at True Spec Golf. "It's an amazing learning environment for golfers in one of the world's best golf settings. With two championship courses on site, it was an easy decision to bring True Spec to La Costa." (READ MORE..)
GULL LAKE VIEW GOLF CLUB & RESORT
ANNOUNCES OPENING OF NEW STOATIN BRAE GOLF CLUB
Renaissance Golf Design's Course is Attracting National Attention
AUGUSTA, MI – Golf designers are transitioning into a much-anticipated phase that puts the sheer enjoyment of the game – the fun of golf – at the forefront. Not long ago, the buzzword in new course construction was minimalist. Today, it’s maximizing the joy of the game. The new Stoatin Brae golf course at Gull Lake View Golf Club & Resort in southwest Michigan takes this concept to heart. After a partial opening last fall, Stoatin Brae is ready to hit the ground running with 18 holes opening this spring. It’s charm and beauty is sure to resonate with golfers, and Stoatin Brae has everything a premier golf destination course needs – rolling topography, spectacular views and pure, uncompromising golf where the secret to a good round is hitting good golf shots. (READ MORE...)
SILVIES VALLEY RANCH IN OREGON OPENS NEW FRONTIER
RETREAT DEEP IN THE PURE WEST
Silvies Valley Ranch Resort, a unique boutique vacation destination in Oregon
is NOW open.
The development and design of new golf courses and resorts in today’s market are becoming few and far between. Silvies Valley Ranch is named for a French trapper, Antonine Sylvaille who discovered the valley in the early 1800's. The 140,000 acre working ranch is located in the central eastern section of Oregon. This new family resort offers two 18-hole reversible golf courses, a 9-hole par-3 course, a 7-hole “gauntlet” course and authentic experiences of the Old West. You ask, “When you have 140,000 acres, why build reversible courses? Why not two typical 18-hole courses?” Well, that’s why this is a good story for both the golfer and the family looking for a unique vacation experience.
We caught up with Dan Hixson recently and he answered our questions. Hixson is the golf course architect from just outside of Portland and one of only two high-powered golf course designers from that state. He grew up in the Cottage Grove area and attended Oregon State College. Dan is the son of a club professional, raised on the golf course and a former golf professional. He decided to form his own design business in 1999. Dan designed a couple of notable courses in the Northwest such as Bandon Crossings in Bandon, Oregon and Wine Valley in Walla Walla, Washington. The other Oregonian star golf course architect is David McKay Kidd who designed the Bandon Dunes Course and Tetherow Golf Course in Bend. (READ MORE...)
OMNI HOTELS & RESORTS HIT THE SWEET SPOT
|Golf professionals also offer help solving sticky situations on the course
DALLAS – Omni Hotels & Resorts have hit the sweet spot with its “Magic of Maple” promotion that features mouthwatering libations and menu items created from maple, being showcased this summer at its properties across the country. And at the 12 Omni Golf Resorts, golf professionals are sharing a sweet series of golf tips so golfers can handle “sticky situations” on their world-class golf courses.
Whether it’s dealing with a water hazard, handling a tricky lie around the green, or facing an impossible shot to save par – Omni’s professionals can help…before, during and after the round.
Omni golf professionals know what to do when things really get sticky (To see the full text for escaping these sticky situations on the golf course, visit https://www.omnihotels.com/blog/golf-sticky-situations:
“Playing out of a water hazard”
Simon Andres, Director of Golf at The Omni Grove Park Inn
If a shot winds up in a water hazard and you want to play it, you can. It all depends on the lie. … Pull on your rain pants, particularly if it’s one of the first holes of the day. You don’t want to spend all day in wet pants … Limit the damage – to your score and to your clothes. (READ MORE...)
PRIVATE VILLA, SPECTACULAR GOLF, PERSONAL CHEF,
AND MORE AWAIT AT PUEBLO BONITO’S MONTECRISTO ESTATES
All-inclusive package features unlimited golf at spectacular Quivira Golf Club
Los Cabos, Mexico - Avidgolfers who want to savor the luxury of a private villa with friends and family while teeing it up to their heart’s content at Quivira Golf Club, the dazzling world-class course at Land’s End, can take advantage of an exclusive new package.
Designed for sophisticated travelers who demand the best, the ‘Ultimate Golf Package’ is a four-night, five-day experience offering plush, spacious accommodations at a Montecristo Estates villa, each with a private infinity pool, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzi, maid and butler service. The richly furnished, beautifully appointed villas, set within an exclusive gated resort community, are designed in a Spanish Colonial revival style and feature panoramic ocean views. The Montecristo Unlimited Golf Package includes food and beverage at on-property restaurants and convenient shuttle access and transfers to the restaurants, bars and facilities of all four Pueblo Bonito Oceanfront Resorts and Spas in Los Cabos.
For golfers, the cornerstone of the program is unlimited play at Quivira Golf Club, a spectacular Jack Nicklaus-designed layout opened to acclaim in 2014. The 7,139-yard, par-72 course commences at sea level, scales sheer cliffs high above the foaming surf, meanders through massive dunes, rambles through desert foothills, and returns players to the thatched-roof clubhouse on the beach at the finish. With a view of the sea from every hole, Quivira has more oceanfront exposure than any other course in Los Cabos. (READ MORE...)
Miura Debuts Left-Handed Models
Miura Golf is now offering a new Y Grind option in its popular left handed models while also introducing a LH putter model for the first time.
"With our operations based in Canada, where recent statistics indicate that some 30 percent of new golfers are lefties, we're always looking to better serve left-handers," says Bill Holowaty, Executive Vice President, Product Strategies of Miura Golf. "We are thrilled to offer some more options for those golfers -- first with our LH KM 006 putter in which Mr. Miura has delivered a LH Forged Putter that feels as good as it looks. Secondly, the Y Grind version of our LH Blade and Cavity Back models allows golfers to benefit from a refined leading edge and sole design that leads to better turf interaction and therefore produces more solid shots." (READ MORE...)