Archive for May, 2011

Golf Books #31 (Preferred Lies: A Journey to the Heart of Golf)

May 31st
2011

Andrew Greig,  a mountaineer, novelist and poet, examines life and golf. The sport conjures up a great many images, most involving upper-crust aristocracy, private clubs and affluent practitioners. The author, a proud Scot and on-and-off golfer, argues that it is actually remarkably universal: a game for men and women, for blue-collar workers as well as executives, for those who enjoy the beauty of somewhat overgrown nature as well as those who prefer well-manicured greens. Recovering from brain surgery, Greig approached the links to meditate on a variety of issues, most relating, perhaps not unexpectedly, to mortality. He took the opportunity to visit 18 golf courses in his native Scotland, from the northern point of the Orkney Islands to the celebrated greens of St. Andrews.

Along the way, he ruminates on issues relating to the game and to life in general. The attempt to quantify the success of a round of golf with a scorecard can artificially taint and ruin a perfectly valid pursuit, he declares. A lopsided scorecard cruelly shows one player failing to measure up to a superior; declining scores suggest age and his mortality. Greig’s self-consciousness about his game also leads him to question his preference for playing alone as a means of avoiding the frustrations of competing. He eventually learns that company does not necessarily require competition and comes to enjoy fellowship on the course. He explores with great vulnerability and openness his relationships with his friends, brothers, father and wife. A portrait emerges of a man by no means perfect, but in many ways complete.

Greig’s purely struck prose is not the only strength of this book. For one thing he has excellent taste in golf courses.’ (Lawrence Donegan THE GUARDIAN )

‘If you have, or ever have had, any interest in golf, buy this book and read it. Buy it for your loved one, your lost one, the Saturday morning medal deserter . . . They and you will love it, inhabit it, and possibly be transformed by it. It’s the best book about golf I’ve ever read.’ (Tom Moreton SUNDAY HERALD )

PREFERRED LIES is satisfying, demanding, allusive and provocative. I finished it not merely wishing I was as good at golf as Greig, but also as good at learning from it.’ (Rick Gekoski SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY )

Greig….., has crafted a wonderful book about how it feels to be alive, in which the game of golf is a conduit for sensation. Here, golf isn’t a metaphor for life – it is life. Sculpted in luminous prose, which echoes his work as one of Scotland’s leading poets and novelists, this is a beautiful, affecting piece of work.’ (Mike Aitken THE SCOTSMAN )

a wonderful and wise book, quite unlike any golfing book you will have ever read before. (Dermot Bolger THE IRISH TIMES )

‘PREFERRED LIES feels like quite a special book.’ (Tom Cox THE INDEPENDENT )

‘He does have an ear for the way people talk and express themselves on and off the course.’ (Ian Dunlop THE SPECTATOR )

‘The pleasure of this book is no doubt down to the fact that the author is an accomplished writer’ (GOLF INTERNATIONAL )

Pestana Alto Golf Course, Portugal

May 30th
2011

Alto Golf Course situated near the picturesque village of Alvor, Portugal was the last design by three time British Open Champion, Sir Henry Cotton, after his death, the project continued by Peter Dobereiner, a well-known golf journalist. Designed as a garden-like course with mature pine, carob, almond, fig and olive trees lining the fairways; the course spans across two gently sloping valleys and runs to 6125 meters from the back tees.

It has five par 3s, eight par 4s, and five par 5s, with two ponds affecting four of the holes. The fairways are always in very good condition, and the greens are excellent, most well guarded by strategically placed bunkers. The surrounding views of the Monchique Mountains and the Algarve countryside with occasional sea glimpses of Lagos Bay and Praia da Vau are breathtaking.

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The opening nine holes offer fine views over the bay of Lagos. The back nine, set on rolling slopes, include the remarkable Henry Cotton Challenge, the longest Par 5 in Europe. At 604 meters, it requires three long and accurate shots to avoid the lake, hold the angled fairway and find the small, well protected green. This 18 hole, Par 72 golf course reflects Sir Henry’s golfing philosophy of providing low handicap players with a testing game and still affording plenty of enjoyment for players at average club level and providing satisfaction and inspiration for beginners.

Legend Golf & Safari Resort, South Africa

May 29th
2011

The golf course at the Legends Golf & Safari Resort in South Africa is an amazing stretch of 18 holes designed by 18 different top-flight golfers, including Padraig Harrington, Colin Montgomerie, K.J. Choi, Retief Goosen, Justin Rose, Trevor Immelman and Vijay Singh.  The golf course is designed as an 18 hole championship golf course. It is at once the longest golf course in South Africa, providing all golfers, irrespective of their handicap, the experience of a true African challenge. The course plays at 6,534 metres for daily play but is capable of being extended to 7,748 metres for tournaments, making it one of the longest in the world.

Set on the legendary 22 000 hectare Entabeni Safari Conservancy, the course has flowing fairways which wind through the open grasslands and dense bush. The design and layout of the course are in complete harmony with the natural resources.  The pristine bushveld environment has been preserved and the course remains one of the most environmentally sensitive in Africa.

The sheer scale of the golf course, with gently undulating greens and strategic bunkering ensures a unique golfing experience with breathtaking views of the Waterberg Mountains as a backdrop. On any given hole, a range of 5 tees allows the golf course to be set up for both professional and amateur players and creates the flexibility that one needs for an enjoyable golfing experience. 

But wait, there’s more

Golf Funny Commercial #37

May 28th
2011

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PGA Tour – "Outside the Ropes" with Pat Perez

May 27th
2011

Pat Perez gives us a closer look at his off-course interests. The Southern California native talks about his love of music, favorite foods, and what Metallica’s James Hetfield, actor Chevy Chase, and two of golf’s greatest legends have in common. For more, visit PGATOUR.COM.

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PGA Tour – “Outside the Ropes” with Pat Perez

May 27th
2011

Pat Perez gives us a closer look at his off-course interests. The Southern California native talks about his love of music, favorite foods, and what Metallica’s James Hetfield, actor Chevy Chase, and two of golf’s greatest legends have in common. For more, visit PGATOUR.COM.

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Environmental Golf Courses #6 – Mirimichi Golf Course, Tennessee, USA

May 26th
2011

Justin Timberlake’s Mirimichi course in Millington, Tennessee, is the first in the U.S. to earn both GEO and Audubon International certification.

The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses maintains a roster of about 900 courses globally that are considered environmentally friendly.

Timberlake and his family bought the property, then the Big Creek Golf Course, in 2007 to save it from residential development, according to a press release from Mirimichi. In 2009 it was reopened as a sustainable course.

Highlights include native species reintroduction efforts and habitat improvements. Russell DeMotsis, Mirimichi’s horticulturalist and environmental specialist, concentrates on species that are naturally found in southwestern Tennessee. “When you introduce natives, they require very little, if any, fertilizers, pruning, and maintenance,” DeMotsis explains. “What I have found is that if I try to fertilize natives, I’m actually hurting them.”

Constructed and natural wetlands and retention ponds attract native cattails and bald cypress and a whole suite of wildlife. “Most golf courses are trying to get rid of wildlife, because they destroy everything; I’m trying to bring it in,” DeMotsis says, adding that if the habitat is good enough, the wildlife will stay in the rough or wetland areas and off the fairway, green, and tees. (The only problem he’s run into, he says, is beavers building dams that flood sections of the course.)

The greens and fairway grasses—Champion Bermuda and Mississippi Express—may not be native, but are highly engineered to be a bit more resistant to drought, explains DeMotsis.

“It is still a golf course so you have to meet the golfers halfway; that is the bread and butter,” he says.

While the upfront costs may have been a bit higher, more than 100 acres of turf has been converted to native grasslands, and the maintenance crew for the 300-acre site is down to one.

Tasha Eichenseher (source – National Geographic – “National Geographic News series on global water issues.

Callaway Golf Pro Annika Sorenstam on Winning

May 25th
2011

Callaway Golf pro Annika Sorenstam on how she started playing golf and learning that there are no short cuts to success. Visit http://www.callawaygolf.com

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Kikkor Golf Shoes

May 24th
2011

Kikkor Golf, started by 25 year old professional golfer James Lepp,  is the new hip, trendy, cool golf shoe company on the block. Officially launched in April 2010, Kikkor Golf is targeting players who are still young at heart and have a desire to express themselves through their individual styles on the golf course.

The idea for the company first began to take root in 2006 when founder James Lepp turned pro and was unable to find golf shoes to fit his style. Two years later, still wearing the same old boring golf shoes, he began discussing this lack of variety with some friends and through the discussions, the idea for Kikkor Golf was born.

But wait, there’s more

Pestana Silves Golf Course, Portugal

May 23rd
2011

Silves is a serene spot at the foot of the Monchique mountain in the Algarve, Portugal. Set in a tranquil rural area Silves Golf  Course is anything but the proverbial walk in the park – a drive at the opening hole has to flirt with water hazards on both flanks. Target golf reigns supreme, a heroic and straight shot will reward the player with an easy uphill approach shot.

Designed by Fausto Nascimento and Peter Booth, this par 70 with 6141 yards courses offers in almost of its holes spectacular mountain views overlooking palm trees and olive groves, the surrounding cork and citrus farms generate a true feeling of authentic Portuguese golf; you may even pick a few oranges or even figs along the way to the next tee.

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The excellent condition, all year round, is ideal for low scoring. Considered a course for players, low handicaps will find it a serious challenge to come in under par however focused high handicaps will be able to enjoy their round. Silves Golf Course encourages and rewards attacking play; a relentless test in precision, this course has no peers. It is the ‘archetype’ of man-sized parkland golf.