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February 10, 2012 | 10:55 a.m.

Value, 'craic' factor boost Irish golf tourism

Martin Kaufmann
The new Titanic Belfast visitor experience, opening March 31, will be another reason to visit Northern Ireland.
The new Titanic Belfast visitor experience, opening March 31, will be another reason to visit Northern Ireland.

There is a tendency to think that everyone who goes to Ireland does so in order to play golf. After all, Ireland has, along with Scotland, the world’s greatest collection of links courses. Research shows, however, that only eight percent of tourists visit Ireland specifically to play golf. It is, however, an important business segment because golf tourists spend three times as much as leisure travelers.

Alison Metcalfe, vice president of marketing for Tourism Ireland for the past five years, recently discussed Irish golf tourism with Golfweek.

Golfweek: What is the state of Irish tourism?

Metcalfe: Last year was ...

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Categories: Features
February 3, 2012 | 10:12 a.m.

Klein: Inside the Ferry Point Park project

Bradley S. Klein
The New York skyline forms the backdrop for what would be the short par-4 seventh hole at Ferry Point.
The New York skyline forms the backdrop for what would be the short par-4 seventh hole at Ferry Point.

NEW YORK -- The story of Ferry Point Park is one that only this great city could produce. It’s a story that spans decades and is filled with characters worthy of a novel. 

It began more than 70 years ago with a man who came to be known simply as “the power broker.” More recently this tale has included a bombastic billionaire tycoon with a serious golf habit. The cast also includes a pair of strong-willed mayors and the greatest golfer in history.

The story line hardly could be more improbable. It revolves around the development of a major championship-quality ...

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Categories: Features
February 3, 2012 | 9:57 a.m.

By the sea

Martin Kaufmann
The 14th hole at CostaBaja
The 14th hole at CostaBaja

LA PAZ, Mexico -- Chuck Kaye and Don Edwards sat side-by-side on the clubhouse patio at CostaBaja Golf Club one afternoon in mid-December, nursing beers and enjoying the view of the Bay of La Paz. They had sailed in from Southern California earlier in the day, and had spent part of the afternoon getting their land legs by beating balls on the club’s hillside practice range, just across the highway from the resort’s marina. 

The two men have visited Mexico often over the years, and Kaye said they’ve gravitated toward La Paz – on the east coast of Baja ...

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Categories: Travel, Features
December 15, 2011 | 5:13 p.m.

Special report: Going for the green

Twenty years ago, the public perception of many American golf courses was that they used too much water, too many chemicals and abused wildlife habitat to maintain their lush playgrounds. Genuine environmental stewardship in the industry often was obscured.

Then along came Audubon International, which offered to educate a golf course’s staff about sound conservation practices and then “certify” the course with a seal of approval that carried one of the world’s most recognizable environmental brands: Audubon.

The program proved successful, especially among upscale daily-fee and real estate-dependent courses that increasingly rely on marketing a green image. Today ...

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Categories: Travel, Features
December 6, 2011 | 9:43 a.m.

A good golf trip starts with the right ...

Martin Kaufmann
Club Glove TRS Ballistic
Club Glove TRS Ballistic

There’s only one downside to golf travel: lugging 75 to 100 pounds of golf clubs and other luggage through airports. A golf travel case alone can weigh nearly 50 pounds, particularly if you stock it with a couple of pairs of shoes, some outerwear and extra golf balls.

It’s imperative that a travel case protect your golf clubs, and it’s helpful if the sheer weight of the loaded case doesn’t rip your arm out of your shoulder socket as you lug it through parking lots and airports and lift it on and off shuttle buses. Here ...

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Categories: Martin Kaufmann, Features
December 1, 2011 | 1:44 p.m.

Five favorites: The books on travel

Martin Kaufmann
A book detailing the creation of Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, which began with the eponymous course (No. 6 pictured), is one of the must-reads in the golf-travel genre.
A book detailing the creation of Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, which began with the eponymous course (No. 6 pictured), is one of the must-reads in the golf-travel genre.

Not long ago, I was talking with Brad Klein, Golfweek’s architecture editor and resident intellectual, about some of the best books we’ve read related to golf travel. From that conversation, we put together a list of five of our favorite travel books.

The titles described below hardly represent a definitive list, nor are they listed in any particular order. Taken together, however, they hopefully form a good primer on golf travel through the years. 

• • •

The Golf Courses of the British Isles, 1910

By Bernard Darwin

Long before there were tour operators organizing excursions to Britain’s trophy courses ...

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Categories: Travel, Features
November 3, 2011 | 5:37 p.m.

Q&A: Michael Meldman, Discovery Land CEO

Martin Kaufmann
El Dorado Golf & Beach Club, Los Cabos, Mexico
El Dorado Golf & Beach Club, Los Cabos, Mexico

Michael Meldman likes to say, “I don’t want to hear about the labor pains, just show me the baby.” That line – borrowed by Al Pacino for his turn in “Ocean’s Thirteen,” in which Meldman had a bit part – gives some sense of the hard-charging style that has made Discovery Land Co., the real estate development firm that Meldman founded, a leader in luxury golf communities.

Those communities include Mountaintop in Cashiers, N.C., and Gozzer Ranch in Arrowpoint, Idaho, home to top-five layouts on the Golfweek’s Best Residential Courses list. Discovery Land’s amenity-rich properties revolve around ...

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Categories: Martin Kaufmann, Features
Adam Schupak
The ninth hole at Shadow Creek
The ninth hole at Shadow Creek

Golf architecture is unique in the artistic realm, a subtle mixture of skill and imagination, intuition and science.

Whether the architect is a minimalist who shuns major earth-moving projects or a true modernist who prefers aggressive shaping of the land, you’ll typically find he shares a reverence for the classic verities of the masters who preceded him.

“We all study the courses left by such talented individuals as Donald Ross, C.B. Macdonald and Alister MacKenzie, just to name a few,” Ben Crenshaw said.

Crenshaw and his counterparts borrow liberally from the past while adding their own signatures. Some ...

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Categories: Features
September 1, 2011 | 5:07 p.m.

Utopian tale: Movie follows golfer's journey

Martin Kaufmann
A scene from "Seven Days in Utopia."
A scene from "Seven Days in Utopia."

“I have a proposition for you,” Johnny Crawford says to Luke Chisolm, a talented but troubled young Tour pro. “Spend seven days with me in Utopia, we’ll find your game.” 

Utopia, population 373, is the remote Texas outpost where Luke has arrived – actually, crash-landed – after the sort of course-management meltdown that would make Jean Van de Velde look like a Faldo-esque tactician. Johnny is the old Tour pro who came to Utopia many years ago to battle his own demons. Their relationship forms the basis of “Seven Days in Utopia,” the movie adaption of sports psychologist David L. Cook ...

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Categories: Martin Kaufmann, Features
August 18, 2011 | 3:55 p.m.

Book Review: A Tiger in the Tree

Martin Kaufmann

Herbert X. “Tree” Tremont is a multiethnic golf superstar with 14 major championships, a signature apparel line (named Tree Trunk, naturally), a $61 million yacht, several private planes, a swimsuit model for a wife, two adorable children and an overbearing agent.

Sound familiar? 

Tree, the subject of the thoroughly entertaining new book “The Swinger,” seemingly had the perfect life. But for Tree, that wasn’t enough.

“Tree wanted everything,” writes Josh Dutra, the narrator, who plays O.B. Keeler to Tree’s decidedly flawed Bobby Jones. “He wanted the hot nightlife and the kiddie-soccer home life and the glamorous wife ...

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Categories: Martin Kaufmann, Features
August 3, 2011 | 10:49 p.m.

Gridiron to the green

Alabama coach Nick Saban watches his tee ball at the Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge in Greensboro, Ga.
Alabama coach Nick Saban watches his tee ball at the Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge in Greensboro, Ga.

Editor’s note: The Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge will air at noon EDT Saturday, Aug. 6 on ESPN2. The event was played May 3.

• • •

GREENSBORO, Ga. – It’s 8 a.m. on a cloudless spring morning in Georgia’s Lake Country, and the nation’s most grizzled football men are about to get roughed up. Spring ball ended two weeks ago, so for three days, at least, 12 NCAA Division I college football coaches could forget about breaking down game film, they could forget about recruits, they could forget about upcoming two-a-days . . . and focus on reviving their dormant golf games.

The ...

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August 3, 2011 | 11:42 a.m.

Advice from the golf czar

Jim McCabe
Tiger Woods during a practice round for the Bridgestone Invitational.
Tiger Woods during a practice round for the Bridgestone Invitational.

It’s during these warmest days of summer – the Dog Days, as named by the Romans or Egyptians or the French, or maybe even the Amish – that golf seemingly is at its most placid pace. To tee it up with the sun’s arrival is a delight, but so, too, is the game a priceless joy in a warm twilight.

Actually, 18 in the morning and nine to close things out hours later is not a bad way to bookend a warm summer’s day. Certainly, the casual start and peaceful finish would provide plenty of time to consider aspects ...

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Martin Kaufmann
At the 2009 British Open, Stewart Cink grasps his first major victory – and the prize that was so tantalizingly close to being Tom Watson's.
At the 2009 British Open, Stewart Cink grasps his first major victory – and the prize that was so tantalizingly close to being Tom Watson's.

Near the end of “Four Days in July,” Jim Huber recalls a point in his career when he was being nudged out of an anchor job at CNN. His boss at the time asked him what he wanted to do “when you grow up.”

Huber’s response: “I wanted to tell stories. . . . I wanted to sit in front of a roaring fire, gather my friends at my feet, and tell them stories that would make them both smile and cry.” That conversation gave rise to a CNN feature called “The Sporting Life,” which, aside from profiling athletes, gave rise to ...

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Categories: Travel, Features
July 13, 2011 | 2:06 p.m.

Lost links

Alistair Tait
The par-4 13th on the Dunluce Course at Royal Portrush
The par-4 13th on the Dunluce Course at Royal Portrush

DEAL, England – The only clues as to the time of year are three layers, waterproof trousers and a bobble hat to keep out the cold. Otherwise, Royal Cinque Ports plays as if it’s the middle of summer rather than mid-December.

You have to experience links golf in wintertime to realize why the game began at the seaside. Our forebears weren’t so daft. They knew links turf is good year-round, not just when the summer sun is shining.

With a freeze having wrapped itself around the British Isles like deep rough enveloping a lost ball, Royal Cinque Ports was ...

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Categories: Travel, Features
Martin Kaufmann
Sports fans watch Tiger Woods play during Masters coverage televised at ESPN Zone in New York City.
Sports fans watch Tiger Woods play during Masters coverage televised at ESPN Zone in New York City.

In the introduction to “Those Guys Have All the Fun,” the authors make a point of saying the book is “not the history but the story of ESPN.” In truth, it’s neither, owing to a tactical mistake the authors made early on.

The book, a chronological account of the cultural phenomenon that is ESPN, is told through a seemingly endless series of quotes from various personnel, with the authors interjecting occasionally to offer context. The authors interviewed more than 500 people, and some of the self-indulgent quotes drone on for more than a page. 

In accompanying press materials, the ...

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Categories: Travel, Features

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