Destinations

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February 10, 2012 | 10:26 a.m.

Grand plan

No. 3 at Tidewater
No. 3 at Tidewater

In the popular imagination, Myrtle Beach is about golf, golf and more golf, with a side of chicken wings, downed by some draft beers. It’s an idea more than a locale. To go to Myrtle Beach, as I did, with the notion of having an upscale vacation with a strong sense of place would seem to many a fool’s errand: Ordering sushi at McDonald’s. I’m here to tell you that it can be done and done well.

A friend’s wedding in Supply, N.C., an hour northeast, was the genesis of my high-minded notion, a ...

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Categories: Destinations
November 9, 2011 | 2:48 p.m.

Small-town America home to golf adventures

Martin Kaufmann
The Prairie Club, Valentine, Neb.
The Prairie Club, Valentine, Neb.

When Paul Schock got the idea a few years ago to build a large golf resort in the wild, remote Sand Hills of north-central Nebraska, he found inspiration for the project in a visit to a large golf resort built on the wild, remote Oregon coastline.

Bandon Dunes Resort has inspired thousands of golfers since its first course opened in 1999. Schock drew a different sort of inspiration from his visit. Like Mike Keiser, owner of Bandon Dunes, Schock had procured a stunning piece of land; his Nebraska property had large sand dunes abutting the Snake River Canyon. The only ...

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November 9, 2011 | 2:08 p.m.

Something bold, something new

Cabot Links, Inverness, Nova Scotia, Canada
Cabot Links, Inverness, Nova Scotia, Canada

Given the state of the economy, golf and otherwise, any course opening or restoration is a perilous endeavor. Thank goodness there are still (a few) intrepid operators out there. Here are writer Evan Rothman’s five newcomers to watch for in 2012.

Cabot Links

Inverness, Nova Scotia, Canada

It’s a pretty safe assumption that Cabot Links already ranks as the world’s greatest 10-hole course, having welcomed golfers to its abbreviated layout since July. By summer 2012, when the remaining eight holes are scheduled to open, Cabot Links, which bills itself as “Canada’s True Links Golf Course,” might ...

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Categories: Destinations
September 30, 2011 | 2:33 p.m.

Mission possible: China

Adam Schupak
No. 15 on the Blackstone Course at Mission Hills Hainan, site of November's World Cup.
No. 15 on the Blackstone Course at Mission Hills Hainan, site of November's World Cup.

I’ve seen the future of resort golf in China, and it looks like a modern-day American resort on steroids. Really powerful steroids.

Forget, for a moment, the 10 courses at Mission Hills Hainan on Hainan Island. The resort boasts a lazy river and an aquatic theme park, a vast collection of shopping and fine dining, and therapeutic mineral springs at Asia’s largest spa. Oh, did I mention Pulse, the Las Vegas-style disco and bar inside a faux volcano? “Why not call it ‘Eruption’?” one helpful wag suggested.

There is something oddly wrong or charmingly comforting – I still can ...

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Categories: Destinations
September 17, 2011 | 2:03 p.m.

En-Joie GC faces premature end to season

Bradley S. Klein
An aerial view of En-Joie Golf Course.
An aerial view of En-Joie Golf Course.

Turbulent weather has claimed another U.S. golf course, this one a fixture of the PGA Tour.

Torrential rains in upstate New York earlier this month sent the Susquehanna River over its banks, leaving 90 percent of En-Joie Golf Course in Endicott under water. The course is closed indefinitely for repairs, likely until next spring.

En-Joie, a municipally owned and operated golf course that opened in 1927, has long been a popular spot, both with area golfers and with pro golfers who remember it as a neighborly, small-town Tour stop. En-Joie was home to the PGA Tour’s B.C ...

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Categories: Travel, Destinations
September 7, 2011 | 3:09 p.m.

High-desert drama

Martin Kaufmann
No. 3 on the Tortolita nine at Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain
No. 3 on the Tortolita nine at Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain

TUCSON, Ariz. – College football has plenty of rivalries of such intensity that they have martial overtones.

There’s the Civil War. 

The Border War.

The Holy War.

And those “wars” don’t even include America’s greatest college rivalry, between the true warriors from Army and Navy. Yet the folks in these parts can make an argument that the annual “Duel in the Desert,” the in-state fracas between Arizona and Arizona State, is as storied as any other rivalry. The winner receives the Territorial Cup, first awarded in 1899, in what is billed as the longest-running trophy rivalry in the ...

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September 1, 2011 | 4:19 p.m.

It's 'geaux' time

Adam Schupak
Carter Plantation
Carter Plantation

BATON ROUGE, La. – If college football in the South is truly a religion, then consider me a convert. After all, we did witness a miracle. Not a “Hail Mary pass,” mind you, but a finish worthy of a few hallelujahs. 

My fellow pigskin apostle was my buddy, Scott. Years ago, as undergrads, we used to broadcast Colgate University football. We resolved then to share the gospel of college football with the faithful at a different campus each fall. We had not, however, observed that rite as devoutly as we would have liked. We decided to renew our faith with a ...

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Categories: Adam Schupak, Destinations
August 18, 2011 | 3:33 p.m.

A lark in the Ozarks

Martin Kaufmann
Payne Stewart Golf Club
Payne Stewart Golf Club

BRANSON, Mo. – Most mornings at the crack of dawn, you can find country singer Marty Haggard on the first tee at Thousand Hills Golf Course, squeezing in a round before he takes the stage for his 2 p.m. show at The new Clay Cooper Theatre. Thousand Hills is a favorite teeing ground for Branson’s many entertainers because it’s conveniently located just off Highway 76, better known as The Strip, which bisects town.

It’s a par-64 layout, but don’t let that fool you. Water is in play on 16 holes and trouble left means that a ...

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July 28, 2011 | 11:02 a.m.

Suncadia sets opening of Rope Rider

Martin Kaufmann
No. 11 at Rope Rider
No. 11 at Rope Rider

Suncadia, a resort and residential community in Roslyn, Wash., plans to open its third course, Rope Rider, for public play on Aug. 12. 

The course, built by Jacobsen Hardy Golf Course Design, rests on land formerly used for coal mining. 

Rope Rider is a par-72, 7,300-yard layout, but it is built to accommodate family play as well as players who don’t have time to play 18 holes. Youth tees have been set up 80-150 yards from the greens. In addition, the first six holes can be played as a loop, as can Nos. 7 through 9. The course ...

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Categories: Travel, Destinations
July 22, 2011 | 8:09 a.m.

Tahoe, Act II

No. 18 at Gray's Crossing
No. 18 at Gray's Crossing

TRUCKEE, Calif. - Almost from the day it opened in 1998, the course had the makings of a dark, medieval legend, with a fearsome reputation and a foreboding name.

“Send me your heroes” was the slogan at The Dragon, a fire-breathing layout that stretched 7,000-plus yards through the Sierra Nevada and tipped out at a slope of 147.

Countless knights in collared shirts drove the hour north from Lake Tahoe to accept the challenge, only to fall meekly on their blades.

It was good sport while it lasted.

But a course can claim only so many victims before no one ...

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June 30, 2011 | 5:25 p.m.

New game in the old country

No. 15 on the West Course at Verdura
No. 15 on the West Course at Verdura

Top resorts are his forte

SCIACA, Italy – Unlike the picture-perfect and tourist-tested towns of Tuscany, Sicily has some rough edges. I saw them once again as soon as I got out of the airport in Palermo and learned that there’s now a shuttle bus to the parking lot and car rental.

This is progress? I’ve been to Sicily at least 20 times, and it sometimes appears as if things are moving backward rather than forward.

But all was forgiven just a half-hour later, as I was enjoying a lovely breeze and a stunning blue sea just outside the ...

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Categories: Destinations
May 23, 2011 | 6:16 p.m.

The distance dogma

James Achenbach
Students Doyle-Wilson-Austin, Eric Gregory and Wayne Loney Jr. take their best shots at gaining distance.
Students Doyle-Wilson-Austin, Eric Gregory and Wayne Loney Jr. take their best shots at gaining distance.

MESQUITE, Nev. – The yardage seekers are drawn here, as if on a religious crusade.

They come from around the world. They are golfers seeking longer drives. They listen intently as their prophet barks the elementary question: “How fast can you swing the stick?”

The stick is the golf shaft. Speed is their mantra. They swing that stick until they’re blue in the face and white in the knuckles. They swing it and swing it until the noise they hear sounds like a jet plane knifing through the blue Nevada sky.

Whooooosh.

“That’s it,” compliments their leader, Art Sellinger ...

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April 4, 2011 | 5:21 p.m.

Sweet smell of success

The ninth hole of the Links Course at Hershey Country Club
The ninth hole of the Links Course at Hershey Country Club

HERSHEY, Pa. – As anyone who has ever sought comfort in a silver-wrapped Hershey’s Kiss knows, sometimes little things mean the most. Of all the fond memories I took home from a recent visit to Hershey, it’s the stuffed animal summit that first leaps to mind.

Such is the changed perspective brought on by the presence of wife and child. I’d been to The Hotel Hershey seven years ago as a bachelor. Golf (strong), Chocolate Fondue Wrap treatment in the Chocolate Spa (decadent), afternoon nap (ditto), dinner at the Circular Dining Room (luxe; jackets required); (strong) drinks by ...

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Categories: Travel, Destinations
March 21, 2011 | 4:06 p.m.

Golf the Gulf

Martin Kaufmann
Innisbrook's Island Course
Innisbrook's Island Course

As co-founder of Black Entertainment Television, Sheila Johnson knows a thing or two about creating buzz and excitement. So after buying Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club in August 2007, she called a news conference to lay out her plans for what was, at the time, a property that was showing its age.

Standing before the media, Johnson picked up a walkie-talkie and ordered a construction crew already assembled on Innisbrook’s Island Course to fire up the bulldozers and begin renovations on the course where Phil Mickelson won the 1990 NCAA Championship.

Johnson’s message was clear: Innisbrook needed a makeover ...

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March 8, 2011 | 4:40 p.m.

Survivor: Scottsdale

Martin Kaufmann
No. 10 on Troon North's Pinnacle Course.
No. 10 on Troon North's Pinnacle Course.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Prediction: Someday soon, Hollywood is going to make a television series about this town. In truth, it’s surprising it hasn’t happened already.

Some hotshot producer will fly his private plane into The Airpark on North Scottsdale Road to decompress for a few days. He’ll steal away at the Fairmont Princess or up at The Boulders, play some sun-splashed golf and pamper himself at the spas. And at some point, maybe when he’s getting the Up to Par massage or Gentleman’s Facial at Willow Stream Spa, it will hit him: This city has all ...

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