Sunday, December 30, 2018

Welcome to my Golf Course Photo Tours

Thank you for taking the time to check out my golf course blog. The main focus of this blog is for you to preview golf courses I have photographed since 2006.  I don't think you will find another website with more photographs of golf courses than this one. You will notice that initially I was snapping only a couple photos of a few holes at each course. It has now evolved into more than 125 pictures starting out with the club house facilities, historical photo's, and practice area. Next, I try to obtain a yardage guide and start out each hole with a photo of it followed by several shots of the hole from various angles. By clicking the SLIDESHOWS icon above and then clicking on a particular golf course you will hopefully get a nice feel for individual courses. The average slide show will last about 6 minutes, so there are many hours of viewing available if you have the time.

I sometimes select one or more of the top holes from the courses and will highlight them on the FAVORITE/ FEATURED icon above. As of the end May 2018, I have entered 423 courses (foreign courses will be followed by asterisks*) and over 66,500 photos taken since I bought that first digital camera in 2006.  I am currently on my 5th camera and am using a Sony DSC-RX100M3, 20 Megapixels, with Carl Zeiss lens.

Any new courses I photograph I will post ASAP. Check back often for new posts, recent courses photographed, and the monthly Golf Quote/Jokes. If you look under the CHRONOLOGICAL icon above you will see when I first played a course and how I rated it in my six color system (red=poor to black=excellent). Under the STATE/REGION, I have ranked the courses from the best on down in each area. Hopefully, if you are undecided about a course to play this will give you a better idea about the quality of that particular course.

The SCORECARD icon will explain how the color coded rating system works and a numerical breakdown. TRUE LINKS will take you to all the True Links Golf Courses, as determined by George Pepper's book, I have played in the world. I hope you enjoy the photo tours and my progress towards 1000 courses played.

The ACTIVE SLIDESHOW running above are some of the better photos of courses I have played the past few years.

You can also follow Inpursuitof1000golfer on INSTAGRAM and  TWITTER @inpursuitof1000 Check Twitter to see which new course I have just played, when new articles are posted, and for recent course photos. I always look forward to and enjoy playing with the local members. Tweet me if you see I am in your area.

Monday, May 14, 2018

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."- Confucius

I would change the above quote to "PRACTICE and I understand." I find that most people when they get the golf bug all they want to DO is play. And most of them play very poorly and get frustrated. What I suggest they should be doing is going to the short game practice area and learning how to putt, chip, and pitch from all kinds of lies. Only about 25-30% of their practice time should be spent on the driving range working on their long game, the rest from 100 yds in. If you practice more hours then you play you will become a better player much faster.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Golf is Happiness

"Golf is happiness for

Happiness is achievement.

The father of achievement is motivation

The mother is encouragement.

The fine golf swing is truly achievement

Man may lie, cheat, and steal for gain.

But, these will never gain the golf swing

To gain the golf swing man must work.

Yet it is work without toil

It is exercise without the boredom.

It is intoxication without the hangover

It is stimulation without the pills.

It is failure yet its successes shine even more brightly

It is frustration yet it nourishes patience.

It irritates yet its soothing is far greater

It is futility yet it nurtures hope.

It is defeating yet it generates courage

It is humbling yet it ennobles the human spirit.

It is dignity yet it rejects arrogance

Its price is high yet its rewards are richer

Some say it's a boy's pastime yet it builds men

It is a buffer for the stresses of today's living.

It cleanses the mind and rejuvenates the body

It is these things and many more.

For those of us who know it and love it

Golf is truly happiness."

-- Paul Bertholy 

Friday, March 2, 2018

The current golf ball specifications

The ball weighs only 1.62 ounces and is 1.68 inches in diameter, or 5.275 inches in circumference. A heavier ball as will a smaller ball will travel farther. If you recall there was once a British ball that was smaller and the Americans would use it in The Open many years ago because it was longer. The current ball is restricted to 250 ft/sec. There is a tolerance of up to 2% = 173.86 mph.

When I strike a golf ball it is just under 150 mph but I think I have seen ball speeds higher than the maximum while watching tour events on TV. If you leave a 44 ft putt (100 revs) 3 inches short (1/2 rev) your distance was 99.994 % correct but you will always fail to hole the putt. As Dave Pelz states you will have the best chance of holing a putt if you hit the ball about 16 inches (3 revs) past the hole. Not only will it get there but it will take the donut effect around the cup out of play.

For those golfers that fly to play golf, a dozen balls will weigh about 1 1/4 lbs. Take 4 dozen and you have an extra five pounds. My most recent trip to Panama they charged me $3/lb on my overages. You do the math, is it better to take more balls or buy them at your destination? My answer is- if you are playing $1 Gamers and have to pay $6/per ball at the local pro shop you would be wise to take an extra dozen. If you play $5 ProV1's then you may want to save space and buy them there.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

2018 Panama Golf Tour

In January, I traveled to Panama for two weeks and visited four regions of the country on my trip. My initial stop was in Panama City, arriving on the 16th and spending 5 nights.There are 10 championship courses in Panama and the goal was to play and photograph each of those, that are listed below in order of when played:
   Panama City region- Summit GC, Club de Golf Panama, Santa Maria GCC, Tucan CC
   Resort region- Vista Mar GC, Buenaventura GC, Mantarrya GC, Coronado GC, Bijao CC
   Boquete region- Lucero GCC
   Bocas del Toro region- no golf available but great sight seeing the last three days of trip.

1.Summit GC almost every hole was interesting and well designed by Jeff Myers. Very undulating property with nicely contoured FW and green complexes. Conditioning could be improved but a nice variety of holes.
2.Club de Golf Panama, the CC you would want to be a member of in Panama City. Nice amenities for their members that you would see in an upscale private USA club.Web.com pro tour plays here annually. Had a wonderful member play with us to make it a more  enjoyable day.
3.Santa Maria GCC, a recent Nicklaus design that has some really nice green complexes, with great pin positions. Resort FW design with a billion$$ commercial/residential development taking place around them. Currently public until membership reaches 500. Beautiful clubhouse under construction. 
4.Tucan CC, another Jeff Myers design with a few holes getting some redesign work done which detracted from the flow of the round. Routing was disjointed with only one par 4 on the back 9. Will be interested in the final product but this was my least favorite course of the trip and the only one I rated White.

5.Vista Mar GC (9). Only the F9 holes were available for play due to poor conditioning issues on the B9. Overlooking the poor condition this Poellot layout still received a Gold due to it's bunkering, aesthetics, and variety of design.
6.Buenaventura GC. Another recent Nicklaus design at the resort we stayed for the next 5 nights of the trip. Very upscale facilities. Lots of Puma attire throughout Panama but especially nice selection here. The tastiest and largest club sandwich I have ever eaten. Excellent set of par 5's, rest of the course resortsy but nicely conditioned.
7.Mantarrya GC. Really liked this Randy Thompson design, except the short 4's. Great finishing string of holes starting at #13 with #16 maybe my favorite hole of the trip. This par 4 is #1 handicap hole with risk/reward off the tee to an elevated green awaiting your long second shot.
8.Coronado GC. George Fasio design with a very different feel from one nine to the other. F9 much more wide open off the tee.You must now stay a night at the hotel to play here if not a member. Lots of play from local ex-pats.
9.Bijao CC (9). This Ron Garl 9 hole design was the big surprise of the trip. One of the best conditioned courses I have ever played. Fairways were like hitting off your living room carpet. Like ANGC, I never saw one weed on the premises. If this would have been 18 holes it would have been the top course of our trip. Note:Bijao hired the supt away from Vista Mar(see above) a few years ago.

10.Lucero GCC, a Poellot design at 4500' elevation outside of Boquete. Nice cool, less humid climate has drawn my foreigners to this region. By far the most challenging course of the trip. Mens slope=153 at 76.9 from tips of 7294 yds.This is the only course I played twice and probably needed to play a couple more times to figure out where to hit it. Reminds me very much of Greywalls in the U.P. of Michigan. #12 off the tee I hit it on the line I wanted three times and went thru the FW every time into the jungle 270 yds away with a D, 3W, and hybrid. The ball does travel a bit longer at this elevation. I would have given this a BLACK if not for the conditioning from holes 4-12 and the fact I hate to hit a hybrid off the tee of any par 5 let alone two here. This is my favorite course and location to live in Panama.Two of the worst conditioned courses of the trip were designed by Poellot.

My Panama- Top 10
761 -Lucero GCC, Boquete- 2018 B
758 -Mantarrya GC, Rio Hato- 2018 B
753 -Club de Golf de Panama, Panama City- 2018 B
760 -Bijao (9), Rio Hato- 2018 B
757 -Buenaventura GC, Cocle- 2018 B
754 -Santa Maria GCC, Panama City- 2018 B
752 -Summit GC, Panama City- 2018 G
756 -Vista Mar GC (9), San Carlos- 2018 G
759 -Coronado GC, Coronado- 2018 G
755 -Tucan CC, Panama City- 2018 W
I found the quality of golf was above par and very reasonable in Panama. Anywhere from $85 -110 for 18 holes. The people that you do business with are very friendly and helpful, the rest of the Panamanians tolerate Americans but that's about it. A special thank you to Kelly De Caro, at Wanderlust Travel and the Buena Vista restaurant in Bocas del Toro, who put all the pieces together to make this a wonderful experience.

NOTE: after the 2nd round my camera died and I had to use my IPhone. Google has now totally unsupported Picassa which is where all my photo's reside. 3 months later l have bought a new camera and figured out how to transfer and edit photo's on my Iphone. Editing now is not nearly as brilliant as on Piccasa.


Friday, February 2, 2018

Albatross

Noun/ (al-ba-tross) A hole played in three strokes under par. (2 on a par 5 or holing out a drive on a par 4.)

A couple of the things still on my bucket list are shooting my age and making an albatross. I have come close a few times on the albatross. For those who followed my Down Under trip I came within one revolution at Chisholm Links in Dunedin, NZ. Now that I am getting close to 70 yrs old I could move up to the White tees and lower my odds in achieving both of these. What do you think, should someone who hits it around 260 yds move up a tee so they have a better chance?? There are no guarantees in life.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Guide to Championship Golf at The Villages

Recently, I finished playing all of the 648 golf holes offered at The Villages (T.V.). For those not familiar with The Villages, it is a 125,000 senior 55+ retirement community located about an hour NW of Orlando, Florida. There is about every activity available you can think of here including, 12 Championship golf courses (306) holes and 38 Executive courses (342) holes. 3 million rounds are played here every year with 2,270 hole in ones recorded in 2017.

Below are my ranking of the (2)-18 hole and (10)-27 hole Championship courses at T.V. I have photographed all of these courses and they can be viewed by clicking on the SLIDESHOW header above. I kept track of all my scores and ended up taking 1,266 strokes +42 over par =74.47 avg/18, which included 2 Eagles, 34 Birdies, 18 Three-putts, and shooting even par/or under on 11 of the 34 nines with 3 rounds of +40 all from the Blue tees.

My ranking Criteria is very simplistic: How many Interesting/Challenging holes (1pt) and Exceptional designed holes (2pt) are there per nine hole loop. Conditioning is pretty consistent throughout the courses as they are all managed by T.V. Clifton Group designed all but 45 holes with the exception of Palmer and Glenview. So the design characteristics are also very similar which I would consider being Resort Style-generous landing areas with forgiving green run ups.

My rankings with recommendations of the top 9 hole loops at each 27 hole course:
Tier 1-Blue rated (25pts)
Palmer Legends CC(27)- 18 holes designed by The King himself with the other Riley Grove 9 by Clifton Design Group. The three loops here are all strong with Laurel Valley receiving (9pts) and Cherry Grove / Riley Grove 8 pts each.

Tier 2-Gold+ rated (21-22pts)
Havana CC (27)- The most undulating property at T.V. Kilimanjaro 9 (8pts) is one of my favorites with a great stretch of short holes to finish off the loop. Hemingway 9 (9pts) is also very strong. Kenya 9 (5pts) the weaker loop here. Shot -2 on my two favorite loops. Great view from the Clubhouse patio.
Lopez Legacy CC (27)- Erin Glenn(9pts) and Torri Pines(8pts) two of the strongest 9's at T.V. Might want to pass on Ashley Meadows (5pts).
Mallory Hill CC (27)- Even being that there are two Exceptional holes on Caroline 9 (6pts), I prefer Virgina 9 (8pts) and Amelia 9 (7pts). Lots of rolling terrain on Amelia that makes for several interesting holes.
Glenview Champions CC (27)- Designed by three Champion tour players, I prefer the John Mahaffey Fox Run 9 (7pts) and the Tommy Aaron Stirrup Cup 9 (8pts) over the Hubert Green Talley Ho 9 (6pts). Nice diversity of holes at Glenview CC. My favorite clubhouse ambiance.

Tier 3- Gold rated (16-18 pts)
Cane Garden CC (27)- Another of my favorite's is the Hibiscus 9 (7pts), holes 2-5 are very secluded. Allamanda 9 (7pts) is your best choice over Jacaranda 9 (4pts).
Bonifay CC (27)- Even with a very nice stretch of rolling holes #5-#8 the remaining at Destin 9 (5pts) are rather mundane as are many at Ft Walton 9 (5pts). Pensacola 9 (7pts) has a great stretch of finishing holes and is the must play loop here.
Belle Glade (27)- A flat parcel without major wetlands that the architect has done a good job with trying to squeeze out a few interesting holes. Love the opening hole on Tequesta 9 (7pts). Seminole 9 (5pts) and Calusa 9 (5pts) mostly uninspiring but I would choose Seminole of the two.
Evans Prairie CC (27)-One of the flattest properties at T.V. Wetlands makes Killdeer 9 (7pts) and Osprey 9 (6pts) more interesting and challenging. Egret 9 (3pts) very weak.
**The previous three complexes are the newest at T.V. I wish the developer would have moved a little more dirt and gone with different architects, to give some more diversity to the courses at T.V. It would be nice to have at least one true world class championship course here.

Tier 4- Gold- rated (15 pts)
Hacienda CC (27)- The oldest and shortest 27 hole track at T.V. The Oaks 9 (6pts) and Palms 9 (5pts) would be my choice for a round of golf here. There are several short risk/reward holes on these two nines. Only a few holes on the Lakes (4pts) I liked.
Tierra Del Sol GCC- Mature growth 18 hole course with a cozy feeling due to the narrower fairways. More simplistic green complexes. 10 interesting holes.

Tier 5- White rated (8/12pts)
Orange Blossom GCC- The original 18 at T.V. Eight interesting holes with some elevation change.

The top 5-6 courses here will give you a nice golfing experience, be sure and play the top two nines at each 27 hole course for the maximum challenge. As mentioned above this is Resort Style golf, that will not be that difficult if you are a lower handicap golfer. For the average golfer you will have an enjoyable round as the courses are well maintained and not very penal. There is also the option to just play 9 holes, pick the top loop at each course for the very best experience.

I find the Executive courses more difficult due to the challenging green complexes and just as nicely conditioned. If you are a resident the Exec courses are included in your monthly activities fee, the Championship Courses are around $50 or half price if playing 9 holes.