photo credit: Robert S. Donovan Sometimes we forget how fortunate, as Americans, we really are when it comes to the game of golf. Stop and think ; We can travel freely to any destination of our choosing and play any public course we wish to play. Here in the Phoenix metro area we have over 300 golf courses, mostly public.
We can go to mega-stores, that stock every sort of golf item and purchase any one of dozens of brands. As far as golf is concerned, it's a land of abundance. Make a phone call, apply for a tee-time and soon you're playing the game.
Today is the perfect time to stop and give thanks to have the freedom to enjoy the sport we all love.
photo credit: TheTruthAbout… At one time yardage markers were non-existent on a golf course. Other than the stated distance that was clearly noted on scorecards, players were required to guesstimate yardages.
Among professionals, Ben Hogan was noted to be the best judge of distances. While playing on a par 3 during Shell's Wonderful World of Golf, his scorecard said it was 152 yards to the center of the green. Hogan looked again and disagreed, he said it was exactly 148 yards to the center. Hogan was correct. After the round, they measured the distance to be exactly 148 yards to the center of the green.
Today there are usually 200, 150 and 100 yard markers on fairways. Yardage markers are not allowed in tournament play, however.
photo credit: danperry.comGOLF DIGEST'S Best new courses for 2009: (1) French Lick Resort, French Lick, Indiana (Pete Dye), $350, www.Frenchlick.com 888 936-9360. (2) Sequoyah National Golf Club, Cerokee, N.C., (Robert Trent Jones), $65-$110, www.sequoyahnational.com 828 497-3000. (3) Waldorf Astoria Golf Club, Orlando, Fla., (Rees Jones) $75-$185, www.waldorfastoriagolfclub.com , 407 597-3783. (4) Ritz-Carlton GC, Dove Mountain, -Saguaro/Tortolita- Maran, AZ., (Jack Nicklaus) $80-$225 www.ritzcarlton.com/dovemountain , 520 572-3500. (5) Wine Valley Golf Club, Walla Walla, WA., (Dan Hixson) $45-$90, www.winevalleygolfclub.com , 877 333-9842.
Best private courses for 2009: (1) Red Ledges Golf Club, Heber Utah www.redledges.com. (2) Wilderness Club, Eureka, Montana www.thewildernessclub.com . (3) Ballyhack Golf Club, Roanoke, VA, www.ballyhackgolfclub.com . (4) Victory Ranch, Park City, Utah, www.victoryranchclub.com . (5) Shooting Star, Teton Villiage, Wyoming, www.shootingstarrjh.com .
photo credit: dhilgart You've had a a few good rounds on your home course, they look good on your resume, but on a PGA Tournament layout you wouldn't break 80. Bobby Jones once said “There is just plain golf, and there is tournament golf. The two are in no way the same.”
Play the tournament tee's? Try it once and you'll regret it. Greens with a stimpmeter reading of 13 (most tournament greens) are like putting on a glass surface coated with cooking oil. Pin placements that are a mere 3 steps from the edge of the green are a nightmare for most weekend golfers.
First tee jitters, Pros suffer from, occur on all 18 holes. One bad shot can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars; nothing like losing a $5 nassau on your home course, is it?
Hundreds of years ago, there were good reasons to build a golf courses next to large bodies of water. The soil was sandy and softer because of the close proximity to the water. Sandy soil drains well, this allows the topsoil to dry quicker after a rain.
Back then, there were no large earth moving machines, the courses were laid out on the natural terrain with no alterations made. They used plows and horses to grade the greens.
Bottom Line: Links courses are built along the sea (re: Pebble Beach) with pot bunkers in the fairways, undulations and mounds. There are very few trees. During play, golfers must use a different approach to the game.
photo credit: tombothetominator Pinetop, AZ is a resort community located 200 miles NE. of Phoenix. It is in the White Mtns., located in the largest ponderosa pine forest in the US. It's a seasonal area with skiing in the winter and golf and fishing in the summer.
COURSE REVIEW: Pinetop Lakes Golf & C.C. is an executive course (par 3) located on Bucksprings Rd. Upon entering the Pro Shop I was greeted by a friendly staff. The greens fee was very reasonable, however, they do charge an extra cart fee for non players ($16.50).
In spite of the rain, I found the course to be finely manicured, with greens that were impeccable and some of the nicest I've ever played on. All in all, it was a wonderful treat to play this great little course. RATING: 8 out of 10.
photo credit: josh99smith In today's game, most really good courses keep their fairways cut very low. That means that you have to strike the ball very cleanly to hit a good golf shot. Tight fairways leave no margin for error when contact with the ball is made.
Many Eastern layouts cut their fairways a bit longer which actually makes it easier to hit the ball. You must keep in mind that when hitting from fairways with higher grass there is a greater tendency to hit ”flyers.” When contact with the ball is made, there is more grass trapped between the clubface and ball. When this happens the grooves of the club cannot work their magic and impart backswing to the ball. A ball with over-spin will hit the green and roll much farther.
photo credit: Zunami Greenskeepers don't get the credit they truly deserve. Their job is rigorous, demanding and loaded with responsibilities. They supervise the maintenance of golf greens, fairways and land comprising the golf course. They are under the direct supervision of the golf course manager or administrator. They have supervision over a number of subordinate personnel.
Their duties include: Mowing, top dressing and care of greens and tees; Control weeds, insects and fungi pests; Watering greens and sand trap maintenance; Locates hole cups and tee markers; Directs care of lawns, shrubbery, trees, roads paths and parking spaces; Directs repair maintenance to buildings and lawn equipment; Establishes work schedules and orders course supplies.
Thanks to Greenskeepers, we are able to better enjoy this wonderful game called golf !
photo credit: mihirvaze Poppy Hills, Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill are where the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is held. Poppy Hills is a 6,875 yd., par 72 layout and one of the most beautiful courses in northern California.
The service from the attendants cater to the average golfer, nothing too fancy. Greens fees are between $55 and $218 for the round. Savvy players join the Northern California Golf Association with a membership of $40. Members receive a $145 golf discount at Poppy Hills.
Pace of play is about 4 hrs., barring unforeseen delays. Poppy Hills offers very sharp dog-legs and bumpy greens (not a favorite of tour players), however, it does offer the average golfer the opportunity to play a championship layout. For reservations call 831 622-8239 or go to www.PoppyHillsgolf.com.
The top 10 of GOLF DIGEST'S 100 Greatest Courses for 2009 are:
(1) Augusta National, Augusta Ga. built (1933). (2) Pine Valley G.C., Pine Valley, NJ. (1918). (3) Shinnecock Hills G.C., Southhampton, NY. (1931). (4) Cypress Point Club, Pebble Beach, CA. (1928). (5) Oakmont C.C., Oakmont, Pa., (1903). (6) Pebble Beach G. Links, Pebble Beach, CA. (1919). (7) Merion G.C. (East), Ardmore, Pa. (1912). (8) Windged Foot G.C. (West), Mamaroneck, NY. (1923). (9) Fishers Island Club, Fishers Island, NY., (1926). (10) Seminole G.C., Juno Beach, Fla. (1929.
This is the first occasion that Augusta National made the number one position on the list. Last year Augusta National was number 3 on the list. Pine Valley moved to number two after maintaining the number one position for several years in a row. Shinnecock Hills, number 2 last year moved to number 3 for 2009.