Golf Tips from the PGA Partners Club
GOLF TIPS: Equipment, Travel, Discounts and Deals
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June 29, 2009
10 Cheap but Great GolfVacations
America brims with value golf vacations that don't require a major alteration to "entertainment expenses" on the monthly budget. Here are 10 destinations guaranteed to please every golfer seeking affordable pricing and superb golf:
Arkansas-Not too many $100 green fees here. Most courses charge $20 to $75. Check the Natural State Golf Trail.
Panama City, Florida-When the temperature drops, so do hotel rates and greens fees. Great packages September through May.
Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania- Within a 90-minute drive of New York City and Philadelphia. Check the Lehigh Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Mesquite, Nevada-Can't afford Vegas? Try Mesquite, 77 miles north of Vegas. Seven championship courses, 24-hour casino gambling and celebrity entertainment.
New Mexico-Uncrowded and affordable public-access courses in mountain and high desert settings. Casino gambling on Indian reservations. Check "Golf on the Santa Fe Trail."
Northern Michigan-Cooler summer days seldom eclipse 80 degrees, and long days allow for 36, even 54, holes a day.
June 26, 2009
A "C'mon, You're Kidding!"Play-and-Stay Package Doral ... $99. Doral ... $99...
Say it as often as you want, but if you know anything about golf-vacation destinations, you know $99 and Doral don't go together. After all, this is ... well, THE Doral Golf Resort & Spa, the crème-de-la-crème, home of the Blue Monster (one course in the TOUR's Florida Swing)—the kind of classy golf resort where you wipe your brow with citrus-mango scented towels kept in the cart cooler. That's Doral.
Well, this summer Doral/Miami is offering an eye-popping package of $99 (based on double occupancy, per person, per night) for:
- One round of golf on one of their legendary golf courses (surcharge for Blue Monster upgrade)
- Complimentary Replay (booked the same day of play)
- Deluxe Garden View Room
- Breakfast buffet daily
- Unlimited driving range use
- Introductory golf clinic by a Jim McLean instructor
Speaking of the Blue Monster and the Florida Swing, congrats to the winners of the PGA TOUR Partners Club's Florida Swing Buddy Trip Sweepstakes. The response was fabulous—and with this package, you and your friends can put together your own fabulous buddy trip ... to Doral.
Call 800-71DORAL or check online on Doral's Unlimited Golf Summer Package.
June 24, 2009
VJ Sightings at TPC Sawgrass Swing School
Two questions about golf schools:
- Which school? There are many, but the TOUR Academy TPC Sawgrass is unparalleled. The PGA TOUR headquarters is there, and pros constantly drop in for tune-ups. Vijay Singh, for example, is a range fixture. I even saw him during a Sunday brunch break in the clubhouse, down by the lox and bagels.
Instructors are top notch and name drop like nobody's business, which spices up sessions. The facility: 3,000 square feet of learning space, TaylorMade MAT-T 3-D Motion Capture System, Trackman ball flight monitor and TaylorMade Putting System (one of two, anywhere).
Oh, you end your day playing the legendary PLAYERS Stadium Course.
- Can I justify the cost? Tough call. But when you invest in your game, you suddenly become a keen student, especially when steeped in golf with other students. My regret: I did not do this earlier; it has revolutionized my game. I wince at the moola spent on equipment fixes that fixed nothing, not like going to school. First round back home, I shot 100 (too many swing thoughts), 5-10 strokes above my normal. Next two rounds: 86 and 85, my best.
-- Gary Legwold, Web Editor (for the PGA Partners Club)
June 22, 2009
A Totally Cool Cooling Towel
Not to be confused with a crying towel (you probably have a few of those), this is a cooling towel that has some pretty cool technology behind it.
The helps you chill during a hot round of golf. It's machine washable and made from a new hyper-evaporative material that retains water while remaining dry to the touch.
Better repeat that: a towel that holds water but feels dry. It sucks up sweat but doesn't make you feel clammy. When wet, the towel becomes cooler than the air, providing welcomed relief from the summer sizzle.
When it stops cooling (between 1-4 hours, depending on conditions), re-wet the towel in hot or cold water and wring it out. Within minutes, it's cool again — and so are you.
Check out the Chilly Pad video.
June 17, 2009
For a "Don't Pay So Much!"Dad
Is this your Dad? When you've given him an expensive present for Father's Day, he's said, with a frown:
"You really shouldn't have!"
There's only one word that works in self-defense: DEAL. So for this Father's Day, give him a great golf getaway—that qualifies as a summer deal. Here are three golf destinations that offer remarkable summer deals on top-notch courses:
Colorado. In the past two decades, Colorado's ski resorts have built golf courses that take advantage of their mountainous terrain. There are more than 210 courses in Colorado. In the mountains, the season generally runs from May to October.
Michigan. Surprisingly, this state has 900 courses. Like Colorado, the secret to Michigan's golf boom is that many of its resorts were initially ski resorts. Big-name designers like Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio and Rees Jones have fashioned designs in Michigan. The northern Michigan area is particularly rich with world-class golf and superb ski/golf resorts.
Idaho. Home to courses like Circling Raven at Coeur d'Alene Resort and Whitetail Club in McCall, Idaho offers uncrowded courses in spectacular settings. A must play is the new White Clouds layout (see photo) at Sun Valley Resort, which offers phenomenal mountain views.
June 15, 2009
Father's Day Heaven:
Golfing AND Fishing
What's better than a golf getaway for Father's Day?
A golf-and-fishing getaway.
Besides being world-class golfers, Tiger Woods, Greg Norman, Nick Price and Davis Love III all love to fish. They are like many golfers who tout fishing as the ultimate escape.
That said, there are some amazing places where you can play a round of golf and minutes later enjoy a fishing excursion. Here are three destinations where you can swing and cast:
Los Cabos, in Mexico, is where the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean meet, creating some of the best marlin fishing in the world. One of the best places to tee it up with easy access to deep-sea fishing charters is the Melia Cabo Real Beach & Golf Resort, home to a Robert Trent Jones Jr. golf course.
Myrtle Beach, in South Carolina (see photo), which has 108 golf courses, offers easy access to deep-sea fishing in the Atlantic Ocean as well as fishing in the Intracoastal Waterway.
Sandestin Resort, in Destin, Florida, is a 2,400-acre resort with four championship golf courses. There's a 98-slip, on-site marina located minutes away from Kelly Docks, where 125 deep-sea fishing charter boats sail daily.
June 10, 2009
Briny Baird: Stop SwayingOn Putts
Early in my PGA TOUR career, my putting was terrible. I went to my instructor, Mike Adams, who saw that my weight was shifting to my right side, and I wasn't finishing the putt.
Mike said to stand on my left foot and try putting. I did and almost fell over. He told me to hit some putts like that until I felt myself get centered, and then go back to my old setup.
Well, I never went back.
I'm not going to kid you—it was hard to do it at first because it looked so weird. Now I don't care. It has worked for me.
The ball position is the same as for my normal stance; hands are slightly forward. I take a normal stance to get my balance, and then I slide my right foot back about six inches and turn it slightly outward, raising my heel off the ground. About 80 percent of my weight is on the left side. This helps me make solid contact.
If you are having trouble making solid putter contact, practice the one-legged drill. But find a secluded place—one with a soft landing area.
Video of Briny Baird putting.