Texas Golfer | RSS Feed Thu, 14 May 2015 21:10:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.11 Texas’ Largest Golf Star Bluejack National Showcased During Lavish Media Preview /texas-largest-golf-star-bluejack-national-showcased-during-lavish-media-preview/ /texas-largest-golf-star-bluejack-national-showcased-during-lavish-media-preview/#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 20:56:39 +0000 /?p=261 MONTGOMERY, Texas — Bluejack National, the world-class private club and community, achieved another important milestone toward its late fall 2015 opening as it was showcased during a lavish media preview to rave reviews during Shell Houston Open week.

The exclusive event, which included Bluejack executives and Tiger Woods Design team members, along with club members and course executives, showcased the progress of Woods’ first U.S. design which will be opened later this fall.

“This is a big milestone for us, because we are getting to share the concept and the dream of Bluejack National with a new group of influential media and decision makers. We are glad we were able have so many people out here,” said Casey Paulson, President of Bluejack National.

Among those speaking at the event was Houston’s Mark O’Meara, Bluejack National Ambassador and World Golf Hall of Fame Inductee and Bryon Bell, President – Tiger Woods Design.

Michael Abbott, President of Beacon Land Development, kicked off the evening which including a dinner and course tours, by saying it was another special night in what promises to be one of Texas’ most special family private courses.

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 3.53.12 PMScreen Shot 2015-05-14 at 3.53.18 PM“For us, Bluejack National is real and living and it’s exciting to be sharing this great dream with so many people.”

Also present was Eric Bauer, Director of Agronomy – Bluejack National, Brandon Goodyk, Director of Development – Bluejack National and Andy Mitchell, President & CEO – Lantern Asset Management.

The evening also served as the introduction of newly hired head golf professional Rich Barcelo, a former PGA Tour player and teacher, who will oversee the golf operations for the par 72 course which will play 7,475 yards from the back tees.

I first saw this course in 2010 and I never knew a course in Houston could have this many elevation changes or interesting topography,” said Bell. “It’s come together really fast over the last several months and it’s really encouraging to see it this far along.

“Tiger feeds off the old style courses and this is a great site for that. This is something he’s wanted to do for a long time.”

O’Meara, who now plays on the Champions Tour and recently made the cut in the Masters Tournament as the 1998 defending champion, will carry a Bluejack logo on his golf bag and also represent the course in Texas and nationwide.

“The first time I came out here, I couldn’t believe the beauty of this site and it’s a thrill to see where it’s come to,” he said.

The large number of TV crews, local, Texas, national and international press, did a series of group and one-on-one interviews along with getting into course vans for an up-close tour of the project.

For more information, further media tours and information about Bluejack National, go to www.bluejack.com or e-mail jgovernale@bluejacknational.com or call 281-745-2163.


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Texas Golfer Hot List: The Golf Glove Keeping Us Cool /texas-golfer-hot-list-the-golf-glove-keeping-us-cool/ /texas-golfer-hot-list-the-golf-glove-keeping-us-cool/#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 20:38:42 +0000 /?p=255 The Texas Golfer Magazine team has had the pleasure of trying out Caddy Daddy’s new Talon Golf Glove over the last couple months, as this notorious Texas heat begins to set in on us all.

Talon Golf GloveWhat we have on our hands is a leather and micro-suede glove with mesh and a perforated design on both sides. Basically, it’s like your hand is wearing what wide receivers in college and the NFL are wearing these days, except it’s shaped like a golf glove. None of our golf buddies even noticed our glove was any different from theirs, until we showed them our new competitive edge.

Besides looking good, the glove has one of the greatest grips we’ve encountered and it is very comfortable. Most notable, however, is the Talon Golf Glove’s ability to keep our hands cool and comfortable, even in sweaty, humid (Hello, Houston) conditions. It’s held up over the last few months of use, with the grip re-energizing with each cleaning.

Some players might notice it doesn’t feel like your typical golf glove and requires a little getting used to, but we adapted to using it in no time. With gripping and cooling powers like this, it’s like it was made specifically for Texas Golfers.


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Quality prints of Chapman’s ‘Infamous 18 Holes’ available /quality-prints-of-chapmans-infamous-18-holes-available/ /quality-prints-of-chapmans-infamous-18-holes-available/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 22:23:11 +0000 /?p=227 While some of today’s younger golfers may not be aware of them, many of their parents and grandparents do remember seeing the “Infamous 18 Holes” painted by golfer/artist Loyal H. (Bud) Chapman when they were introduced in the late 1970s.

After being featured on the cover of Golf Digest Magazine, art prints posters of the unique imaginary course were made available for sale here and in Japan.

These posters were produced by the four-color separation printing process used at the time and came close to duplicating the originals, but now the new Gicleé printing process is able to produce true replicas of the original paintings, allowing TPK Golf to re-issue them as art quality prints.

“The difference in color, brightness and shading, and how that affects depth perception is amazing,” reported TPK Golf CEO Vlad Gribovsky, the official dealer.

The Gicleé prints will be 22×28 inches, about 40 per cent of the size of the original paintings, and will be on archival paper.

TPK Golf will be showing the quality prints to golf professionals in booths 3204 and 3205 at the PGA Merchandise Show, scheduled Jan. 21-23 in Orlando. They will also be on display in the “New Products” section.

Larger art quality prints of the “Infamous 18 Holes” are also available to art collectors. Go to tpkgolf.com for additional information and to get glimpses of the unusual holes.

Chapman, 92, is a native of Minnesota who now lives in Florida. He began painting at an early age and got his start in golf as a caddie at age 12. He was a commercial artist after his discharge from the service as a pilot in World War II. He was a perennial champion at his own club, won several state tournaments and participated in many USGA national events. Today, he regularly betters his age.

As famed golf course architect Pete Dye once noted, “Bud’s innovative thinking certainly influenced many designers to make contours a little steeper and the bunkers a little deeper and generally to think outside the box with news designs, and, in that way Bud made a great contribution to the game.”

About TPK Golf

TPK offers quality leather products made in the United States for golfers. Owner Vlad Gribovsky is also the agent for artist Bud Chapman and the Infamous 18 Holes of Golf and the patent holder and manufacturer of the Putting Stick®. For more information, call 800-433-4653, 952 442-5022, email vlad@vge.vg or visit www.tpkgolf.com


About the Artist

Loyal H. “Bud” Chapman’s lust for life is reflected in his painting, which deftly combines his love for golf with love of our earth’s varied beauty. A native of Minnesota, Chapman, 92, began painting at an early age and played his first round of golf as a caddie at the age of 12 at Interlachen Country Club, the site where Bobby Jones finalized his grand slam. During World War II, Chapman flew B-29s and created a comic strip called “Willie Washout”. After his discharge from the service, he attended Walker Art School in Minneapolis, and later opened his own art studio, starting his career as a commercial artist. In 1972 he started and completed his first golf painting, Victoria Falls Golf Club. Seventeen more holes followed over the next 10 years that were to be the 18 Infamous Holes. To climax and complete the series, he created the 19th Infamous Hole Golf Course. The imaginary holes first appeared in Golf Digest Magazine and later were featured internationally in Reader’s Digest Magazine. They have appeared and been featured on numerous television talk shows and have been distributed throughout the world. Famed golf course architect Pete Dye noted,” Bud’s innovative thinking certainly influenced many designers to make contours a little steeper and the bunkers a little deeper and generally to think outside the box with news designs, and, in that way Bud made a great contribution to the game.” As a scratch golfer, he has been a perennial champion as his own club, won several state tournaments and has participated in many USGA national amateur events. He regularly accomplishes the feat of bettering his age even today. He holds a pilot license and is always seeking out adventure, whether it’s fishing, hunting or searching for buried treasure.








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Big Changes at the A&M Traditions Club /big-changes-at-the-am-traditions-club/ /big-changes-at-the-am-traditions-club/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 21:51:46 +0000 http://legacywebdesigners.com/golf/?p=215 By RJ Smiley

On October 11, 2014 the largest crowd ever to watch a football game in Texas, watched the Aggies battle Old Miss. That day, 110,633 rabid Aggie fans set an attendance record for the SEC- widely touted as the best college football conference in America. Anyone who has been to Aggieland can speak to the impact these record-breaking events and other booming achievements have had on the Bryan-College Station community. By leveraging and fueling the university’s permeating culture, Traditions Club seeks to provide a Texas golf club and resort experience as big as any other Aggie experience.

Adjacent to the new Texas A&M Health Sciences Center, the Traditions Club development features Texas-size views of Kyle Field and the A&M Campus skyline. As Traditions Club General Manager, Bill Horton explained, “Our goal was to revolutionize Texas Golf. So we started with Jack.” Jack Nicklaus that is, of course. In 2012 Traditions Club, owned and operated by Aggies, officially became the exclusive corporate partner of The (A&M) Association of Former Students. Working hand in hand, Traditions Club sponsor Game Day events, reunions and other activities while The Association provides a platform for the Aggie Network to learn about exciting new developments within the Jack Nicklaus designed golf course and community.

Newly constructed Game Day Cottages and Casitas, overlooking the golf course, supply a welcome alternative to hotels for overnight guests and short-term visitors to the area. The newly opened Club House has dining and recreational options for Club Members and guests who stay at the lodging facilities.

Ten years ago, the Nicklaus Design team of Jack and Jack(ie) Nicklaus II created a wonderful golf course as the centerpiece of a residential community in the heart of Aggieland. The private golf club and upscale community, contained within the 900 acres, provides a nearby escape from fast pace of campus life and the madness that Saturdays bring. The 7,146-yard track with a slope of over 150 has matured and is continually being improved. The course is it beautifully blended into the old, mature hardwood trees that shade meandering Turkey Creek. The fairways were created with extra width, to cater to players of all abilities, but every beautifully schemed bunker on the course has Jack’s fingerprint etched into the white sand. He demands that players properly play each hole. The course, one of only five Nicklaus designs in Texas, has received rave reviews and is considered one of the finest courses in Texas. The TGA 4-ball Championship will be played on this deserving venue in 2015.

From national recognition to local appeal, Tradition’s Club seems to have found the formula for marrying recreation and luxury with the strong Aggie culture.

A variety of real estate ownership options is available within Traditions Club. From the two bedroom Casitas to Large Lot Estate Homes the Club has something for every Aggie’s taste. The Aggies have spoken; they love the Game Day Cottages. “The popularity and red-hot sales of Game Day Cottages – Phase One made it an easy decision to unveil Phase Two,” says Lisa Boren, Real Estate Sales Manager/Realtor at Traditions Real Estate. “Game Day Cottages make for outstanding second homes or weekend retreats for members.”

Cottage owners have the option to join the Cottage Rental Program, similar to ski or seaside condos, that is managed by Traditions Club. Participating owners maintain priority so their Cottage will be available for big games and other special occasions. When not occupied by the owner, the suites are available to visitors, guests and other Traditions Club Members. All Cottage owners are automatically members of the Traditions Club and guests who rent Cottages or Casitas receive full use of Traditions Club amenities.

Team members of the Aggie men’s and women’s golf teams have the unique opportunity to improve their game on the James and Sarina Goodman Family Aggie Golf Complex. The 25- acre facility is a state of the art practice facility that is recognized as one of, if not the finest in the country. The facility includes locker rooms for the golf teams, coach’s offices, a players’ lounge, and individual study stations with computers. The teams have access to a double-sided driving range, three practice greens (two Bermuda and one Bent Grass), four covered hitting bays, and two indoor bays with state of the art computerized swing analysis equipment. With a wonderful Nicklaus golf course and a practice facility like the Goodman Complex as recruiting tools, the golf teams have a bright future.

Opened in 2011, the Club House is a social center for all occasions and ages. You don’t have to be an A&M Alum to belong at Traditions Club but you will be compelled to endure a treasure of Aggie history found in every corner. From weddings with remarkable receptions to casual dining by the pool, the Club House has it all. With three pools and a complete fitness center, the Club House will give non-golfers a great workout. The wine room has one of the finest wine selections found anywhere in Texas and the fine dining has something for every palate. The Club House, fitness center and swimming center are available for use of members and lodging guests as well.

Traditions Club Golf Course is available to members and guests Tuesday thru Sunday – Monday is Tournament Day. “The overwhelming response from former students has been unbelievable,” exclaimed Bill Slade, new Director of Golf. “As I look at the schedule, it seems that every Aggie wants to schedule his tournament at our great course. The Traditions staff prides itself in providing exactly what each discerning tournament coordinator desires. The list of extras seems endless, but Aggie sportswear with individual tournament logos is a favorite. They wear those shirts and sweaters with pride. The thing I have noticed in my first week on the job – Traditions bClub does everything for its members.”

As Traditions Club and A&M rocket into the future, the sky is the limit.

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Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa – Old West meets luxury. /lajitas-golf-resort-and-sap/ /lajitas-golf-resort-and-sap/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 21:48:27 +0000 http://legacywebdesigners.com/golf/?p=213 By RJ Smiley

Lajitas Golf Resort is wedged between Big Bend National Park and Big Bend State Park, overlooking the Rio Grande River. For centuries Native American and early Mexican peoples crossed the Rio Grande at Lajitas where the river bottom is firm and smooth, carved through solid rock. In the early 1900s, Pancho Villa used the crossing at Lajitas to raid the settlers and miners moving into Texas. To protect the citizens in 1916, the U.S. government sent “Black Jack” Pershing, US Army General and 10,000 soldiers to Texas. Pershing’s soldiers used the crossing and chased Pancho Villa 350 miles into Mexico.

The elusive Villa was never captured. Black Jack’s Crossing Golf Course, named after Pershing, is the nucleus of the massive 27,000-acre resort. The golf course designed by Lanny Wadkins opened to rave reviews. In 2011 The Dallas Morning News named Black Jack’s Crossing the “#1 Course You Can Play In Texas” while Golfweek Magazine called it the “Best New Course in Texas. Photographs cannot reproduce the raw beauty of this series of 18 individual oasis carved into the Spartan high desert wilderness; each oasis is connected to the next – only by a cart path. Stretching to over 7,400 yards at the tips, The Crossing gives any golfer a sensational golf experience. The problem many golfers have–somewhere during the round a golf club is replaced by a camera–but again–photos don’t tell whole the story.

In reality Lajitas is a very small city (less than 100) with an historic “Old West” flavor. The Trading Post, built in 1899 serves as the pro shop for Black Jack’s Crossing and doubles as the Longhorn Cattle Museum. The river crossing city has always been a rowdy fun loving place where most conversations began with a beer. Therefore it seems only logical that the border town would have a beer drinker for its mayor. Lajitas has had a beer drinking goat for its mayor since 1986. Clay Henry and his dependents (current mayor, Clay More Henry) have entertained visitors and drank beer with them for years. The lodging options are endless at Lajitas, there are 101 lodging units, each uniquely designed and furnished with its own “Wild West” flavor. For those who want to bring their home with them, the RV park offers everything. The resort has a sparkling pool for sun bathing or cooling off after any of the resort’s outdoor experiences.

There are four dining options, but nothing close to formal. New General Manager John Price returns to his West Texas roots–head professional at Lost Creek Country Club in Austin from 1981 – 1987–with a few new ideas for Lajitas. The spring of 2015 will mark the opening of the longest zip line in the US. Thrilled riders will fly down the sun drenched mountains for almost 1,000 feet while white water rafters will experience the same adrenaline rush on a rafting adventure. Lajitas took the first step to becoming a Premier Live Music Destination in October, hosting the first Teringua Festival. Price, seeking more utilization of the newly resurfaced runway, has contracted with charter air services from Dallas or Houston to shuttle groups of 20 or more golfers to Lajitas. “Every package is custom made! Golfers can play golf all day long; they can play until their hands bleed,” laughed Price. Service began in November. As Architectural Digest claims, Lajitas “has been transformed into a luxury destination whose guests can enjoy … the same breath taking scenery that persuaded Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935 to authorize the creation of Big Bend National Park.”

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Top 5 Indoor Golf Games /top-5-indoor-golf-games/ /top-5-indoor-golf-games/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 17:10:03 +0000 http://legacywebdesigners.com/golf/?p=205 Golf is one of the best followed and participated sports in the world, but there is one factor that can ruin it in an instance – the weather. If it is belting down with rain, you might as well stay at home rather sitting in the club house waiting for the grey clouds to blow over. If you are still wanting to get your golf fix in, here are some of the best games to be released for consoles throughout the eras.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2008
Arguably the best edition in the Tiger Wood series, PGA Tour 2008 bring a more realistic edge to playing on a console. Released at the back end of the 2007, gamers can hit the fairways as their favourite players such as Justin Rose, John Daly and of course, Tiger himself. With season modes, challenges and multiplayer options available, it is a game perfect for all occasions.

Wii Sports
The golf game comes as part of the overall Wii Sports package and offers gamers the most unique playing style. Using the Wii remotes, players can re-enact a fully golf swing to ping their ball around the course, with the slightest miss hit seriously hampering your game.

The Argyle Open
The Argyle Open is a slot game available at many mobile casino, which is inspired by the game of golf, and offers you images of golfers, tees, shoes, clubs, drivers and other golfing sights on the reels – with a course and a castle as the backdrop. It also offers you plenty of ways to win a payout, including no less than 40 pay lines, a $500 jackpot and free spins. You can get these extra spins if you manage to activate the Tournament bonus game, by getting at least three balls and holes on a reel, and the three rounds of this game can potentially add multiple bonuses to your eventual payout. With a great golf theme and plenty of cash up for grabs, The Argyle Open is a truly the golden slot.

Lee Trevino’s Fighting Golf
Being the oldest game on our list, Lee Trevino’s Fighting Golf first came out in 1988 for the NES console. With up to four players being able to play at one time, the aim of the game is to work your way around the course and amass the smallest amount of shots – just like in real  golf. Characters include Big Jumbo, Pretty Amy and Trevino himself under the alias Super Mex.

Cyber Tiger
Cyber Tiger was the first game to see the world’s greatest player Tiger Woods appear in a self-titled edition. The 2000 release was brought out on a variety of platforms ranging from PlayStation to GameBoy Colour. Starting in a career mode, players would work their way through the field taking on the crème de la crème of golf and eventually become the World Number 1.

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Improve Your Game with New Irons /improve-your-game-with-new-irons/ /improve-your-game-with-new-irons/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 17:52:06 +0000 http://legacywebdesigners.com/golf/?p=144 By Ed Travis

Having the proper irons can make all the difference in your scoring and the best way to ensure the set you are carrying meets your needs is to be fitted by a PGA Professional. Iron makers are using many of the features found in drivers such as more flexible faces and multi-material construction to improve performance, forgiveness and distance. So if you are playing with a set a few years old now is the time to look at what club manufacturers are offering. For the coming season here are some of the new models we think are worth consideration.

TaylorMade Golf researched how amateur golfers contact the ball and found 76% of all iron shots are not struck in the center of the face where the greatest ball speeds are produced. This fact lead them two years ago to introducing a slot in the sole which improved off center impacts especially those low on the club face and made the RocketBladez, SpeedBlades and SLDR irons very popular.

For 2015 TMaG is introducing the RSi line ($799 steel and $899 graphite) that takes the improved impact idea a step further. In a first and what may be game changing design the RSi models have not only a sole slot but in the 3 through 8 irons two slots in the face—one towards the toe and one towards the heel. The company says this it provides all golfers with the “technology to have their mis-hits perform more like pure strikes.”

Adams Golf known for their golfer-friendly hybrids has the new Idea Tech Hybrid Iron set–designed specifically for golfers with slower swing speeds to hit the ball higher and with more distance than traditional irons. They added a 24-gram weight in the back of the hybrids (3-5) making the center of gravity lower and further back than any previous Adams hybrid for better trajectory. They also have in the 6-iron through pitching wedge a redesigned wrap-around slot that stretches from the toe across the sole of the club and into the crown. A set of 3-5 Hybrid, 6-7 Driving Hybrid and 8-PW Hybrid Irons is $800 in steel and $900 in graphite.

Hollow irons aren’t new but when made by Mizuno Golf, known for its history of excellence in irons, they are worth a look. The new MP-H5 model ($1,000 3-PW) is meant for those using traditional-design irons but who want the benefit of more distance and technology. Through the 6-iron there is a full hollow construction and for the 7-pitching wedge a half-hollow head with all having a thin line top line and good forgiveness characteristics.

The new G30 irons from Ping Golf have progressive offset with a new thinner face to help launch the ball high yet, the company says, significantly farther. Ball speed has been improved with Ping’s Custom Tuning Port that sits very low to strengthen the face plus the center of gravity has been moved lower and further back to help improve the launch trajectory and give a solid feel. The clubheads of the G30s are slightly longer to increase the modulus of inertia to reduce twisting should the impact be off center. Also the sole has been given a softer lead-edge radius with slightly more bounce to give a smoother path through turf. Retail price for 4-pitching wedge with steel shafts is $700 and with graphite shafts $790.

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Hot Drivers for Next Season /hot-drivers-for-next-season/ /hot-drivers-for-next-season/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:30:54 +0000 http://legacywebdesigners.com/golf/?p=139 By Ed Travis

Golf may not have a hot stove league like baseball but that doesn’t mean during the off season we can’t look ahead at the new equipment coming on the market and at least get an idea which of the new number one woods we want to check out.

We surveyed club companies and came up with a list of drivers worth consideration tring to cover ones for all levels of players. A caveat though, the largest club company TaylorMade Golf, as of the time this is being written has not released any information about their drivers for 2015. However, with that in mind here is the list.

Tour Edge Golf may have this year’s most attractive new driver with its Hot Launch model. Hot Launch has all the bells and whistles—adjustable hosel from 8.5 to 12.5 degrees, four piece forged clubhead and rear sole weighting but the best feature is the price, $199.99 which is half or less than most competitors. Tour Edge’s reputation is for manufacturing high quality clubs using the latest materials, design and technology at very competitive pricing but the Hot Launch takes this all to another level.

You have probably seen the pink-shafted G30 driver from Ping Golf being used by Bubba Watson on television since it was released to tour pros late last summer. Though Bubba swings the Tour Model the regular model shares the “Turbulators” on the crown for less wind resistance. The G30 ($350) has a 460cc clubhead and loft adjustments from plus 1 degree to minus 1 degree in either the 9 degree or 10.5 degree head. Ping also has moved the center of gravity towards the rear of the clubhead and a new thinner and hotter titanium face.

Being an odd-numbered year it’s time for Titleist Golf’s new drivers and the new models for 2015 won’t disappoint you. The 915 D2 (460cc $449) and D3 (440cc also $449 but for higher swing speeds) are adjustable at the hosel with 16 loft and lie combinations and in a first for Titleist a sole slot (tagged the Active Recoil Channel) behind a forged face insert.

Over at Callaway Golf we like the looks of the all three of their new model drivers but the Big Bertha V Series ($400) seems the most interesting. It’s lightweight at less than 300-grams with a big face making it a potential choice for slower swinging players such as seniors to help them generate higher clubhead speed. Adjustability comes in the form of Callaway’s hosel system with a choice of eight different loft (-1, S, +1, +2) and lie angle (Draw or Neutral) configurations to aid in matching the Big Bertha V to your needs.

Nike Golf is pushing the competition with the new Vapor Flex driver ($500) and repeats a winning feature from last season, FlyBeams to stiffen the unique cavity back in the clubhead first seen two years ago on the Covert series drivers. It is adjustable with five lofts and three face angles for 15 user-controlled settings. They also have redone a design of the sole channel and added a weighted tube at the rear of the sole that can be switched end-for-end to move the center of gravity to further adjust the Vapor Flex’s ball trajectory.

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Golf Courses in Los Cabos on the Rebound from Hurrican Odile /golf-courses-in-los-cabos-on-the-rebound-from-hurricane-odile/ /golf-courses-in-los-cabos-on-the-rebound-from-hurricane-odile/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:27:59 +0000 http://legacywebdesigners.com/golf/?p=136 Cabo’s world-class line-up of courses sustained only minor storm damage

LOS CABOS, Mexico (Oct. 6, 2014)  Despite the impact of Hurricane Odile, a Category 3 storm that make landfall in Los Cabos on Sept. 14, the destination’s golf courses sustained only minor damage and are bouncing back quickly.

Directors of golf at Cabo’s leading facilities report that cleanup and restoration efforts are well underway. With only minor erosion, cactus loss and sand intrusion caused by the storm, golf courses in Los Cabos, which partake of the region’s unique mountain-desert-ocean ecosystem, are expected to reopen in excellent condition starting Oct. 1 through mid-December. (A detailed list of confirmed and estimated course openings is attached).

Two high-profile newcomers, Quivira Golf Club (designed by Jack Nicklaus) and Diamante’s El Cardonal (Tiger Woods’ first completed 18-hole course), are slated to open Oct. 9 and mid-December, respectively. These two new venues will bring the destination’s total course count to 14, qualifying Los Cabos as Mexico’s golf capital.
At press time, electricity, telephone, Internet and potable water supplies had been fully restored in Cabo San Lucas. No major structural damage was inflicted by the storm, enabling Los Cabos to recuperate quickly. Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) reopened to commercial flights on Oct. 3.

The federal government has made the recovery of Los Cabos, Mexico’s third most popular tourism destination, a top priority. (Los Cabos, which includes Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo and the 20-mile ‘Corridor’ between them, attracts about 2 million visitors per year, many of them golfers).

“The response from the federal government has been beyond incredible,” said Greg Tallman, director of golf at Cabo del Sol, of the government’s $5 million recovery campaign. “This is the playbook for how to deal with a natural disaster.”

According to the Mexico Tourism Board, approximately 5,000 hotel rooms in Los Cabos are expected to open by Oct. 15, with an additional 7,000 rooms to open by Nov. 15 and a final 10,000 rooms to become available by Dec. 15.

A new advertising campaign designed to support the recovery effort, entitled “Los Cabos – Unstoppable,” will launch Oct. 15 and will include digital/social media engagement, TV ads, and on-the-ground activations/events.

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Don’t overlook golfing in Costa Rica /dont-overlook-golfing-in-costa-rica/ /dont-overlook-golfing-in-costa-rica/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:20:18 +0000 http://legacywebdesigners.com/golf/?p=120 By James McAfee

While eco-tourism remains the main attraction for visitors to the Central America country of Costa Rica, golfers are definitely not overlooked with six artfully-crafted and well-maintained 18-hole golf courses that rank right up there with the best in the United States and at the same time puts them in touch with Mother Nature because of the environments surrounding them

For visitors flying into Liberia instead of the capital city of San Jose, the closest golfing choice is the Arnold Palmer-design at the Four Seasons Resort Papagayo Peninsula, offering stunning elevated ocean views along the Northwest Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. It’s definitely one of the most luxurious resorts in all of Costa Rica, located on the tip of the Papagayo Peninsula, a promontory so narrow that the hotel has sandy beaches on both sides.

The Palmer design team took full advantage of the piece of land they were given to create some unforgettable holes, but ones that resort golfers can still find playable. Your experience begins atop one of Peninsula Papagayo’s highest plateaus, overlooking Bahía de Culebra. Spectacular water views await you at 14 of the 18 holes. The tee box on No. 3 is situated at the top of a cliff with a 360-degree view of the ocean. The signature hole, No. 6, El Bajo, features a dramatic 446-yard par-4 with a tee shot that plays 200 feet downhill to a receptive valley-shaped fairway. The green is perched out on a cliff with the ocean behind it. There is a good variety of holes, including some shorter, but tricky par 4s on the back nine. It’s pricey as you can expect to pay $200 or more for the privilege, but you no longer have to stay at the Four Seasons Peninsula Payapaygo to do so.

The Reserva Conchal at the all-inclusive Westin Golf Resort & Spa is about an hour’s drive away. It features a slightly different routing from the original Robert Trent Jones design on the back nine with the addition of two new par 3s after a beach club was added in 2008. This resulted in the elimination of the par 4 16th where the green was only yards away from Playa Conchal and the old tees for the par 3 17th. No. 18 remains a great risk-reward opportunity where the long hitters can risk going over the water with a chance for an eagle. The tee shot on No. 12 from the back tees at 395 to 420 yards is intimidating with woods to the left and a lateral hazard on the right.

The resort resembles a modern tropical village with 39 Spanish-style villas, each housing eight nice suites, plus an additional eight bigger suites down by the beach. In addition, there are now an additional 100 rooms in the Royal Beach Club, where guests upgrade if they wish to get added services like a butler and a private pool for adults only. The suites are spread out over a big area, but guests can take shuttles to get to the eight restaurants, pool and beach if they don’t enjoy walking.

Less than 30 minutes away is Hacienda Pinilla, a golf course that is as yet undiscovered by most of the international crowd. The Mike Young design exists in its own world, tucked down an unpaved road into a gated community that now includes homes, luxury condos, a boutique 60-room LaPosada Hotel, a beach club and a 310-room JW Marriott.

There is plenty of room off the tees, but accurate approach shots are necessary to avoid the many bunkers, including some like the ones in Scotland with steep walls. The sixth green is almost completely surrounded by bunkers, like an island. Golfers need to be careful to hit enough club for approach shots on some holes because of the false fronts on the greens. You get a great view of the Pacific Ocean from the tee on the par 3 15th where the green is only a half wedge from the waves. Wind and sneaky fast greens add to the challenge, but closely mown areas around the greens gives golfers chances to save strokes with good chips.

Golfers arriving in Costa Rica through the capitol city of San Jose have two good golfing choices, the Cariari Country Club and Valle del Sol Golf course.

Cariari was the country’s first 18-holer and was designed by George Fazio and built by his nephew Tom Fazio. With trees bordering most fairways, it definitely puts a premium on accuracy off the tee.  Otherwise, you will often be chipping back to the fairway. Approach shots must also be accurate as the greens are guarded by well-placed bunkers.  The Bermuda greens are tricky and you have to know which way the grain and slopes will affect your putts. Thank goodness, a good caddy, mandatory at the club as either a fore caddy or to carry your bag if you want to walk, can certainly help. It’s a private club, but visitors can play.

Valle del Sol is located about 20 minutes away. Tracy May renovated an original nine holes and built another nine holes to open in 2001. It’s a more player-friendly course with attractive water features and great mountain views, offering a great place to work out the kinks if you are suffering from winter rust.

Just 90 minutes away via a scenic drive on Highway 27, is the Los Suenos Marriott. occupying a palatial colonial-style building with 201 rooms nestled between the warm waters of the Pacific and the golf course, offering stunning ocean, mountain and garden views. The hotel is part of a 1,100-acre master planned destination resort with over 500 luxury residences, including single-family homes, lots, condominiums and lavish villas, a full service 200-slip international marina and an exclusive beach club for residents.

Nestled alongside an exotic rainforest, the hotel’s LaIguana course, designed by Ted Robinson, is a fun course with mesmerizing scenery, allowing golfers to get close to Mother Nature. There’s a large double green on Nos. 3 and 5.  Sandwiched in between is the signature hole, a good par 5 featuring a landing area guarded by water and the forest and a small green guarded by a pot bunker in front of it. A 300-year-old tree stands in the forest behind the green. Except for the par 3 10th, the first 14 holes take you through the rainforest. The last four play in an open area with views of the ocean. With a GPS system on the golf carts, there’s no excuse to not know the exact yardage. Fore caddies also serve as guides, adding to the enjoyment of playing here.

Landy Blank, owner of Costa Rica Golf Adventures (www.golfcr.com), thinks the combination of top golf courses, a year-round climate and the natural beauty makes Costa a perfect place for golfers seeking a new adventure. So did the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), naming it the golf destination of the year for 2014.

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