Don't like dragging your clubs through the airport. Read on…

Golf is unique for many reasons. One of these is the fact that no other sport spurs its’ players to travel, more than golf.

A huge percentage of my golf school visitors make the trip to Myrtle Beach SC by air flights. Many are Americans and Canadians, but we also host golfers from Europe, South America and Asia.

Because of the hassle of dragging your clubs through airports, a few of my students ship them in advance to our golf facility by FedEx. I have just learned of an alternative, reputable service called ‘Luggage Forward,’ which gets your golf clubs to your destination, making even convoluted travel plans simple.

Luggage Forward delivers them, on time, anywhere in the world, that you require. This top-notch service also removes the worry about the clubs fitting into compact rental cars, taxis, or small hotel rooms. And it ensures that you play the courses with your own clubs, rather than a second-hand rental set. Rates are apparently less than other shippers, also.

Thanks to Joel Zuckerman of The Golf Vagabond for this interesting story.

It is no fun dragging one of these through a busy airport!

It is no fun dragging one of these through a busy airport!

Here’s a scenario that doesn’t come about every day, but perhaps you can imagine something similar: Heading from out-of-the-way Savannah, Georgia to out-of-the-way Lake Como, Italy, with the intention of playing half-a-dozen of the lakeside gems upon arrival. However, several days of sightseeing in Rome and Venice precede the aforementioned golf dates, not to mention smallish urban hotel rooms, packed trains, and compact taxis. Lugging the sticks from place to place is an inconceivable option. What’s a Vagabond Golfer to do? It’s simple – use a top-notch service such as Luggage Forward to quickly, easily and reliably get your sticks (or skis, bicycle, scuba gear, etc.) from where you are to where you’re headed. In my case the clubs were waiting for me at our rented lakeside cottage in a tiny Italian burgh, this after flying to Atlanta, then Rome, then by train to Milan, then by rental car (again, too small to accommodate the rolling coffin that is my travel bag) all the way to sparkling Lake Como. Luggage Forward makes even the most convoluted travel itinerary that much easier to deal with, particularly if you want your own bag of “weapons” to do battle with the courses you encounter. Or you can take your chances with a dusty, decades-old rental set, if they have them, and get gouged on the rental fee to boot. The choice is yours, but from where I’m sitting, it doesn’t sound like much of a choice at all. Visit www.luggageforward.com for more information. Source : The Vagabond Golfer Pictures : Dan Perry    bhenak

Michael Jordan's Prediction in 1998 coming true?

Michael Jordan should know.  He has experienced fame, fortune and the rigors of a professional sport.  But his interesting insight about Tiger Woods’ future in his chosen sport is now playing out to be true.  Can Michael’s advice help the struggling Tiger? 
Tiger & Michael at the Ryder Cup.

Tiger & Michael at the Ryder Cup.

Luke Kerr-Dineen of The Loop and Golf Digest tells us about Michael’s Insight.
Tuesday March 17th, 2015, marks Michael Jordan’s 52nd birthday, which gives us a chance to recognize both his basketball career (apparently he was pretty good), and his statesman-like standing within the game of golf.
When he’s not burning people on Twitter, or trying to entice the President into another money match, Jordan’s actually an astute observer of all things golf, especially when it comes to Tiger Woods, with whom he was quite close early in Woods’ career. Like this, for example, which Jordan told Golf Digest’s Bob Verdi in 1998 that looks very prescient in hindsight:
We talk a couple of times a week on the phone. But not a whole lot about golf. I guess he looks at me as kind of a big brother, which is fine. He’s got a lot to deal with. He’s 22 years old, but people want to project him to be older. Just because he hits the ball nine miles and wins the Masters by 12 strokes, he’s supposed to have all the answers. He’s supposed to be perfect. That’s not fair, but he’ll be fine. He’ll deal with it. . . . Don’t forget, though: A lot hit him in a short time. His first instinct at being in the spotlight was to become a recluse. Well, that’s wrong. Believe me, I know. You can’t just go to the golf course and when you’re done, go back and lock yourself in your hotel room. I’ve been there; it’s miserable. You can’t just stare at the TV. You lose your sense of society. You’re not living life. My God, he should be having fun doing what he’s doing. . . . The more he learns to relax with his job, the more he’ll enjoy it, and the better he’ll become.

The Biggest Father/Son Tournament in the World!

As a golfing dad, I look forward to playing with my son, and I had the great pleasure of playing with him in 2014 in Scotland. 

I had the pleasure of playing with my son at Kingsbarns, Scotland.

I had the pleasure of playing with my son at Kingsbarns, Scotland.

I also look forward to playing every year in the biggest Father/Son tournament in the world!

The 18th National Father & Son Team Classic Tournament is scheduled for July 15-18, 2015 in Myrtle Beach SC.  Grandfathers/Grandsons, Uncles/Nephews, Stepfathers/Stepsons and Fathers/Sons-in-law are welcome also. NEW this year . . . . any combination of players on a team is accepted now, no longer required to be related, but there must be a generation gap between them.

Father and Son Celebrate after a Great Round.

Father and Son Celebrate after a Great Round.

This three day event has become the largest father/son golf event in the world. In 2014 there were over 900 players from 46 states and 7 foreign countries.

Included are substantial gifts, lunch, skills challenge, and more.

View details at www.fathersongolf.com and come and join us to create a lasting memory.

Source : Father Son Golf Pictures : Neville Wootton   Dan Perry      

Golf or Spa. The Deal Breaker on Your Vacation?

You and your spouse want to get away, but golf alone won’t cut it. Both men and women theses days are enjoying the chance to luxuriate with massages plus body and facial treatments, following a round of golf.

Courses without Spa’s or Spa’s without golf can be deal breakers.  Combine fun on a terrific golf course with relaxation at the spa, and your vacation will leave you relaxed and ready to take on the world.

Browse these 30 stunning USA golf & spa resorts, provided by Vacation Idea Dream Travel magazine. The pictures are knock-out.

   
Browse our collection of some of the best golf & spa resorts in the U.S. and plan your next trip. Remember to call in advance to book your tee times and spa treatments, especially if traveling during high season. You can ask about packages which will help you save.

Florida

In Florida, The Biltmore Hotel of Coral Gables near Miami has 275 stylish guest rooms, golf and a health spa. Turnberry Isle Resort in South Florida has two 18-hole course designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Willow Stream spa.  
The Luxurious Biltmore Hotel & Spa

The Luxurious Biltmore Hotel & Spa

The Breakers Hotel has two golf courses: the historic Ocean and the Breakers West; and a wellness center with 17 treatment rooms. Doral has five championship 18-hole golf courses: the legendary TPC Blue Monster, the Greg Norman-designed Great White, and the distinctive the Red, Gold and the new Jim Mc Lean Signature Course. If you like, you can improve your game on your golf vacation at the Jim Mclean Learning Center. The Spa at Doral and Pritikin Longevity Center at Doral offers an array of spa services and lifestyle change programs. California The Resort at Squaw Creek near Lake Tahoe offers a scenic mountain layout and a 10,000 square foot health club. Guests at Hyatt Regency Monterey can relax at the 12,000 square foot Accista Spa and play on the Pebble Beach Company’s Championship Del Monte Course. The Alisal Guest Ranch has two 18-hole championship courses and offers varied menu of treatments. La Costa offers treatments inspired by nature, featuring local ingredients found in La Costa’s organic gardens. Try the “Inspire Package” which includes a La Costa Signature Massage, a Botanical Facial and a healthy lunch. La Costa recently completed the world-class Champions Course, a redesign of Dick Wilson’s only California design.

Maui

Maui is a beautiful vacation destination, offering scenic ocean view golf, full service spas and many other vacation activities. The Four Seasons Resort is one of Maui’s top places to stay, offering a wellness center with a beautiful tropical garden and access to three great courses. Along the famous Kaanapali Beach, stay at The Westin Maui, Sheraton Maui and The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas. Kapalua is another great option, offering two spas (at the The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua and at the The Ritz-Carlton Residences) and places to tee off, including the famous Plantation Course.  
The Weston Maui

The Weston Maui

Vermont In Vermont, golfers enjoy unique scenery and layouts. Gleneagles Golf Course at The Equinox in Manchester Village dates back to 1927. The resort wellness center has an indoor swimming pool and a varied menu of services. The Woodstock Inn & Resort has a 18-hole, par 70 course redesigned by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. The resort offers private lessons and clinics with professional staff. The Basin Harbor Club course has is a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary due to its careful wildlife management, water conservation and chemical use reduction. Chateau Elan has two great courses: The Chateau and The Woodlands, both designed by Dennis Griffiths. The resort also offers a Nine Hole Par 3 walking course great for families. For a selection of three 18-hole and a 9-hole public courses, head to Jekyll Island. Vacationers can take lessons from PGA teaching professionals. The Emerald Pointe Club at Lake Lanier Islands features a par-72, 18 hole championship layout located near Lake Sidney Lanier.

South Carolina

Wild Dunes Resort has two championship courses, 2.5 miles of white-sand beach and a choice of activities for the whole family. Packages are often available. Kiawah Island Resort has five scenic championship courses and a 21-acre beach & pool complex. Texas Lajitas is an Old West-themed resort with a scenic course. You can also visit Big Bend National Park while vacationing at Lajitas. Horseshoe Bay Marriott has Robert Trent Jones Sr. courses: Slick Rock, Apple Rock, Ram Rock. Other activities include swimming in three resort pools, tennis, massages and an array or water sports at the marina. The Houstonian Hotel has an impressive 125,000 square foot health club and activities that range from squash and racquetball to yoga, rock climbing and martial arts. Barton Creek near Austin has four championship courses and extensive spa facilities.

Arizona

Vacationers enjoy beautiful desert scenery and gourmet dining in Arizona. JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort offers 27 holes of Arnold Palmer-designed Sonoran Desert golf. Omni Tucson National Golf Resort offers 36 holes of scenic golf. Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in the Sonoran Desert has two Fazio-designed championship courses and a spa. Arizona Grand Resort features a 7-acre water park which is fun for the whole family. Wigwam has three 18-hole championship courses designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort has a 27-hole championship course.
Source : VacationIdea.com Pictures : Blanca Stella Mejia   Jay Morse  Jared  Michael Salib    

Stock Market for Golfers. Who is up and Who is down?

A month shy of the first Major of the year, it is time to take note of who is trending up and who  is trending down.  Who would your pick be?  Do you want to enter a fun competition and win a 3 day school from one of the top 5 schools in the nation?  Pick 10 players who you think have a chance of winning a Major this year. Click here for more details. The Golf Channel, the leading resource for golf news provides us with some interesting storylines on their Stock Market for Golfers.
The stocks of PGA Tour players and Courses as reported by The Golf Channel.

The stocks of PGA Tour players and Courses as reported by The Golf Channel.

 Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf. RISING DJ (+9%): It’s not an exaggeration: This guy can be a world-beater … if he wants it. Hopefully Johnson truly has turned the corner in his career and in his personal life, because he’s a remarkable talent and a joy to watch. Inbee (+7%): Her HSBC title was more than just a big-time win against her two chief rivals. Park looked them in the eye and beat them, straight up, a victory that will supply her not just with confidence but also a psychological edge. LPGA (+5%): Week-in, week-out the ladies are producing the kind of storylines that a marketing department can only dreamabout. If the top three players in the world played in the same group on Sunday in a PGA Tour event, well, our heads would explode. Bubba (+3%): His inward 39 cost him a chance at another boldfaced title, but all signs point to Watson being locked in as the Masters favorite. P-Reed (+1%): He’s fighting back, and for good reason. In our sport, there is nothing worse than being labeled a “cheat,” so if Reed remains steadfast that he didn’t steal from teammates or cheat during college events, he’s smart to challenge the allegations.
FALLING Rory (-1%): OK, so it’s probably not a great sign that we spent more time last week talking about his club fling than his golf game. Only one start remains before Augusta. J.B. Holmes (-2%): His opening 62 at Doral was a career round, but the big bopper was 2 over the rest of the way and coughed up a five-shot lead. Tim Finchem (-4%): Seems Phil is a powerful persuader, because that was a rare gaffe from the PGA Tour commish, admitting that he “whiffed” when he green-lighted the PGA’s plan to exclude the fall events from Ryder Cup qualifying. With an improved relationship between the two organizations, we’d expect a points-structure change with the health of the Tour at stake. Tour transparency (-5%): On the telecast and in the media tent afterward, it was an awkward tap dance for everyone involved with DJ winning a big event only a month after returning from a suspicious leave of absence. Blame the PGA Tour’s ridiculous policy of not disclosing player discipline. Trump National Doral (-8%): In the past few years, can you recall a regular PGA Tour venue being so roundly (and publicly) criticized by normally p.r.-conscious Tour types? Nope.
Source : Golf Central Blog   Ryan Lavner Pictures : Alan Ajifo

Interested in buying golf-course real estate? Here is the inside track.

Owning golf course real estate is desirable for many people. It may serve as your second home (for vacations), or could be your retirement residence.

Factors to consider before buying include location, the stability and longevity of the developer, and the notoriety of the golf course designer. Get the inside track on all of these points in the following article by S. Adam Cardais for golfcourserealty.com

I would add Homeowners Association to the checklist. You’ll want to know about any restrictions regarding property enhancements, etc. and fees, so there are no unwanted surprises later. The folks at golfcourserealty.com certainly know golf course real estate so why don’t we listen to (or read) what they have to say on the subject.

Let’s say you’re the happy owner of a golf-course home. You lived there for years, watching your investment appreciate. Then one day, the owner of the golf course goes belly up or decides to sell out. Suddenly your beautiful home on the fairway is a beautiful home on a long stretch of browning grass. What can you do? In many cases, very little – besides watching your property value plummet. Owning golf-course real estate has its benefits – golf properties are three times as valuable as the average U.S. home, according to the Golf Research Group, which tracks the industry. But it also has pitfalls. There are several factors to consider before buying, some obvious, some not. Understanding them will help you invest intelligently.  
There are many things to consider before buying golf course real estate. Understanding them will help you invest intelligently.

There are many things to consider before buying golf course real estate. Understanding them will help you invest intelligently.

Location, location, location It might be the oldest clich� in real estate but that doesn’t make it any less true. In golf realty, the location question requires a twofold answer. The first concerns general location. Say you’re looking at an area rife with golf communities. You might get more bang for your buck in that new community 30 minutes from the city center, but your home probably won’t appreciate as quickly as one in a more established club near downtown, according to Steve Slayden of brokerage Dickens Mitchener & Associates, an avid golfer who has been selling property in the Charlotte, N.C. area for 15 years. Then there’s location within the community. Buying a home slightly off the course insulates you from the nuisances of golfer chatter, noisy carts and balls plopping in your yard. “You don’t want to live 190 yards on the right because hackers tend to hit big slices, and you’ll have a lot of balls on your lawn,” Slayden said. But getting some distance from the negatives of golf-course living isn’t cheap. Owning a home away from the course can cost twice as much as one on the track.

Know your developer

The Myrtle Beach area has experienced a raft of course closings due to rapidly increasing real-estate values and falling profits in the golf industry, TravelGolf.com National Golf Editor Tim McDonald recently reported, leaving homeowners high and dry or seeking legal redress. So it’s important to look at who you’re buying from. Keep an eye out for financially stability and signs of long-term commitment. Slayden cites Charlotte’s successful Piper Glen, which boasts a Tournament Players Club track. “You know when they built that golf course, they’re not going belly up,” he said. McDonald also advises buyers to closely read their prospective community’s covenants to ensure they “will be looking out their windows at a golf course and not a condo development.”

Better living by design

Don’t underestimate the importance of the course designer. Whatever their skills as architects – and all have designed acclaimed tracks – famous names like Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman and Davis Love III add luster to a golf-course community. Golf Research Group developed the net present value (NPV) index to calculate the importance of big-name designers. Courses created by one of 40 or so top architects have an NPV of $28.9 million, compared to $17.5 million for second-tier designers’ tracks, Brandon Tucker wrote in a recent story for GolfCourseRealty. Buying a home in a community with a brand-name course usually translates into better appreciation and higher property values. The Club at Longview in Charlotte has a Nicklaus Signature course. Its initiation fee, a good barometer for judging property values, is $100,000; Piper Glen’s is around $30,000.  
Ownig a home at Pawleys Plantation, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, allows access to the beautiful marshlands of Pawleys Island, SC.

Ownig a home at Pawleys Plantation, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, allows access to the beautiful marshlands of Pawleys Island, SC.

“It goes to show you that people will pay a lot more for a signature Nicklaus course,” Slayden said. “If they hadn’t gotten Nicklaus, they wouldn’t have been able to ask for that much.” October 11, 2006

Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management. The information in this story was accurate at the time of publication. All contact information, directions and prices should be confirmed directly with the golf course or resort before making reservations and/or travel plans.

Source : golfcourserealty.com

Pictures : assdumb92   Naples area  Anthony

Have You Ever Whiffed a Shot? How about 6 times?

This video was taken in England, at a golf outing, with the 8th Squadron of the RCT.

What stands out are 2 things: the good nature of the golfer struggling to hit the ball and the reaction of his so-called friend.

For those of you who have whiffed a shot, watch his left arm – a classic case of the dreaded “chicken wing” the main culprit when you whiff a shot!

I can’t wait to meet my golf clinic attendees from the British Army on May 1 ’15. Should be a blast!

In the meantime, this video, presented by The Loop, will make you laugh.

Tell me which part of the video made you laugh the hardest.

  Source : golfdigest.com  Luke Kerr-Dineen Pictures : Tom Gilbert  

7 Keys for Growing the Game. I really like #5

Andrew Wood of Legendary Marketing is no stranger to controversy, and he recently stated that the Golf Course Owners Association should hire him as their CEO.  Don’t hold your breath Andrew! But Andrew has some valid points in growing the game, and I think further discussion and immediate action on the follow-up is warranted. Here are Andrew Woods 7 strategies for changing the game in America!  
1. Focus 80% of the industry education efforts on sales and marketing. Cut out the hundreds of wasted education hours on diversity training, leadership, customer service and motivation. Radical, I know but when a patient is sick, sometimes radical lifestyle changes are what’s needed. Not that I don’t think these are worthy topics just not nearly as worthy as sales and marketing. If you are one of the hundreds of people in the golf business who right now don’t think a business can survive with a great marketing program backed by poor leadership and lousy customer service a just think of Bank of America, Santander or the last time you tried to get a real person on the phone at Facebook, Sprint or Paypal. That ought to change your mind! Unfortunately sales and marketing, not service, drives the vast majority of successful businesses! I can provide members with hundreds of hours of FREE audio and video instruction on Sales and Marketing for immediate use! See WWW.GolfBusinessTV.com 2. Focus 80% of the grow the game imitative on reactivating the 10 million white, middle aged males who already have clubs and shoes in their garage. Thus saving the costly process of equipping for the game! Yes, we still want juniors, women and minorities but we cannot afford for them to be the main focus when we have 10 million lapsed players who just need a nudge! 3. Immediately take an aggressive stance against third party tee vendors. This is the elephant in the room and the NGCOA can’t seem to get out of its own way! This despite having studied the problem for nearly a year with no report in sight. So here is the issue resolved in 5 seconds. Third party tee time vendors are BAD for golf course owners! Now that wasn’t so hard was it? Because all third party vendors care about is selling their trade tee times at whatever price they can get destroying the value of a round and breeding a market of Pavlovian discount hounds. Beyond that maybe you get some additional revenue but at what price? The message should be loud and clear, build your own database because that is the main power these tee time vendors have. But I will go a step further… 4. Build, partner with or buy a tee sheet and create a website portal for NGCOA members. No trade, no barter, no rounds below an agreed upon percentage of rack rate! Use this portal to build the world’s largest database of golfers for the explicit benefit of NGCOA members. Data is power! Take back that power from third party vendors by building a bigger database and communicating with it in an engaging, educating and entraining way that enhances their golf lifestyle. Not just bombarding them with mindless discount offers! 5. Sell the world on the amazing benefits of golf. I will immediately provide multiple articles on why golf is such a great game for distribution by every club in the NGCOA. If every club used the media they have at their disposal in the form of their website, blog, email list and Facebook our collective message would dwarf that Golf Digest, Golf Magazine and the Golf Channel combined! 6. Start an Ambassador Corps. There are hundreds of thousands perhaps even millions of senior golfers with plenty of time on their hands who would like nothing more than to spread the joy of the game to younger people and beginners. Let’s tap into that market by creating a structured Ambassador program and then let’s provide the tools to help them do it. Along with some great prizes and bonuses for those who bring the most people to the game! Sort of like the peace corps or big brother programs but for golf. There is strength in numbers and 50 seniors at each facility can bring a lot more results than saddling the poor PGA pro with the task among the 50 others he is supposed to do daily! 7. Use Speed as a strategy. Really it’s in all the books on winning anything yet the golf industry takes months, nay years to make decisions. I would follow the Churchill doctrine who stamped on each document; ACTION THIS DAY! It’s not just speed of action in running the NGCOA either. I would immediately distribute my strategies on how to speed up play. This more than anything is dragging the game down and it’s our own fault. My last club, a high-end private one suggested playing the course in 4.15 what a joke! 3.30 in a cart was easy but people play up or in this case down to expectations, Let’s talk 3.30 not 4 hours. If they can do it in Scotland walking, why can’t we do it in carts? We can but it all starts with expectation!
Source : Andrew Wood, Legendary Marketing Pictures : Peter Mackey

Are You and Your Game Ready for Spring?

Many of you have registered for an overall tune-up to your game at golf school or, at the least, some individual lessons. I applaud that decision. This will reveal any bad habits that have crept in to undermine your skills, and gives the Instructor a chance to work with you on correcting the flaws. You want to get your game ready so your season starts with confidence, not frustration.

Also consider your tools.

1. Do your golf clubs fit you? If you haven’t had an individual clubfitting with a reputable professional, I urge you to do so. Clubfitting is a snap these days with computerized equipment that gives quick read-outs of your specifications. To play well, you need the ideal lofts, lies, shafts, weights and lengths for your individual body and swing.

Clubfitting does not cost any extra and you know for sure that the clubs are correct for your swing!

Clubfitting does not cost any extra and you know for sure that the clubs are correct for your swing!

2. Are your grips slick or perhaps the wrong size? Have a professional assess the state of your grips because you may need new ones that will allow you to hold the club properly, without squeezing too hard. There is a large variety of terrific new grips available that can make a real difference to your game.
Worn or smooth grips will make you grip the club tighter.  New grips make all the difference!

Worn or smooth grips will make you grip the club tighter. New grips make all the difference!

Need new shoes? You want to step onto the course in shoes that are comfortable and in good shape…. we all know when our kicks are worn out and need replacing.
Good sturdy shoes for good balance and new soft spikes for better balance!

Good sturdy shoes for good balance and new soft spikes for better balance!

At the least, check your spikes. It’s pretty inexpensive to change out your spikes to gain much better stability during your round.

Stretching! Can’t emphasize it enough to loosen up your body and to strengthen it before you start your new season. To see my golf-specific stretches, Read More . . . .

 http://www.ritson-sole.com/golf-tips/january-2007-stretching-for-your-best-game/ Source : Mel Sole Golf Schools Pictures : Morton Golf  Dan Perry  Robert   Aberdeen Proving Ground

News you can use: How those cars float in place at PGA Tour events

Is this not something you have always wondered about?  I know I have.  How do they get those cars to look like they are floating in the middle of the lake?  I always thought they brought the car in by helicopter and placed it on a platform.  But this video, presented by John Strege of Golf Digest, enlightened me!

 
The most pressing question of the day in PGA Tour golf, apparently, inasmuch as the PGA Tour put issued a video answer: How do those cars float in place in the middle of ponds at PGA Tour events with automobile sponsors?The first thing to know is that they don’t really float. No, really. Let’s go to the video tape of a Cadillac assuming its position at Trump Doral, site of this week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship: http://youtu.be/SypW_MC3hjg Here’s hoping the Cadillac fares better than a Honda did at the Honda Classic last week. On Saturday, it appeared on the verge of sinking as torrential rain raised the water level of the pond by the 18th green at PGA National.
Source : John Strege  Golf Digest  The Loop PGA Tour Pictures :