Archive for the ‘Golf Destinations’ Category

Junior Golf: Enjoy Florida Golf


In today’s Monday Mulligan we will take a look a Florida golf and all the many ways for you and your junior golfer to enjoy it.

You may be thinking, “We’re nowhere close to Florida so how can we enjoy Florida golf?”. It’s easy! First, if you’re not familiar with the state you can get a decent geography lesson. Yesterday was the final round of the Honda Classic from Palm Beach Gardens on the Atlantic coast about 100 miles north of Miami. Then this Thursday the World Golf Championship-Cadillac Classic from Trump National Doral in Miami begins, followed by the Valspar Championship on the Gulf coast near Tampa and ending with the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando. Of course the pros return to Florida in early May for the Player’s Championship in the Jacksonville-St Augustine northeast part of the state.
Other than the panhandle, you have had some golf exposure to both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. There are lots of wonderful golf courses all over the US, but for sheer number of courses and the number of top-quality courses, no state is even on the same plane as Florida. I think there are 70 courses in the Orlando area alone! Depending on whose numbers you are looking at, there are 1200-1500 courses in the state.  (blog.2ndswing.com)STD-SC.QK
How does this benefit you and your son? Watch these events. They are all on the Golf Channel and/or CBS or NBC. The signature holes should have your son drooling to want to play the course. You will see so many legendary and challenging holes. Every golfer and this includes kids, gets excited about playing where the pros play. Sure these courses can be expensive and you can’t really get on some of them. Be optimistic. Get online and see what it takes to get a tee time. Then plan a trip.
Here’s a perfect example of how much golf there is in Florida and how it can impact you and your son. A few years ago we were in the pro shop at The King and The Bear Golf Course at the World Golf Hall of Fame. We noticed that the beautiful logo golf shirts were considerably cheaper than similar shirts would be in Texas. I asked the manager if all shirts were on sale or just a few. She said, “That’s our everyday price. There is so much golf competition in Florida that there’s no way to charge full retail.” Yes, we bought shirts!
For now, use the tv and some web cruising to get your son, and you interested in what’s happening with Florida golf. At the minimum it will be informative and educational. Perhaps it will even inspire a trip.
See you on #1 tee thinking about all those golf courses in Florida… Sam

Junior Golf At St George, Utah

img_0102In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will look at junior golf opportunities in a place you likely have never heard of, St George, Utah. Some golfing buddies told us about it we were impressed enough to investigate. (golfdigest.com)

Our July 2007 adventure included a number of points of interest in addition to our time related to our niece’s wedding in San Diego. We left Southern California and headed northeast aiming for Las Vegas and then continuing to St George, Utah which is in the southwest corner of the state just a few miles from the Nevada border. This part of Utah has several national parks and a ton of golf, so our days were fully booked.

We spent most of the next day at Zion National Park, a place of so much beauty. We got back to St George around 4:00pm and wanted to play golf since it was daylight until nearly 9:00pm. Linda called some of the dozen or more courses in the area and the 1st one was too far, the 2nd one wanted a fortune and the 3rd one said where are you? After giving him our intersection, he said, “Turn right at the next light and go to the end of the street and you’ll be at the clubhouse. $45.00 total, including cart for the 2 golfers and yes, your wife can ride along.”

This was perfect! S3 and I went in to pay and were told, “Play as much golf as you want, but the sprinklers come on at 8:30pm.” We took the cart to the car, got Linda and our clubs and teed off on #1. The locals kept apologizing for the heat because it was 105-degrees with no humidity. Frankly this was nothing for us since San Antonio has plenty of heat and humidity, so this was a piece of cake. Dry skin and cracked lips however needed to be addressed.

imageThe course was stunning in a number of ways and I feel most golf courses in this area have similar features. St George is in a high desert setting. This means you have lush emerald fairways and greens set in and around red rock canyons. Beautiful! And you are at 2,000 feet or so of altitude and the ball flies farther. (articles.latimes.com)

There really isn’t any rough, it’s more of a native area with spindly plants a couple of feet high and red dirt and gravel. For the most part you could play out of it. Not really any trees or vegetation taller than 2 feet. You could see for miles and this added to the overall great experience. As we drove up to our tee shots, we noticed a jackrabbit. Ok, we’ve seen plenty of those before, nothing special here. Then we saw another 1 and another 1, I mean we must have seen 1,000 jackrabbits on this course. They were every 10 feet! And we saw some quail, not sure of the variety, but they obviously were native to the area. What we didn’t see was the pack of coyotes needed to calm down this rabbit explosion.

The golf. This was 1 of the most relaxing times we have ever spent on a golf course anywhere. We were the only ones on the course. Because of the summer heat and it was the hottest time of the day, we had this wonderful course to ourselves. S3 was 13 years old and had a couple of golfing 1sts: driving his 1st par 4 and then making an eagle on a par 5 sinking a 30-foot putt. This was pure vacation golf, just having fun! Can’t remember the scores, but he played good and I hit some decent shots as well. The higher altitude got us on a couple of holes as we hit our normal clubs and blew our shots totally over the green, but those tee shots went a long way!

See you on #1 tee looking to hit that green fairway… Sam

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