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 select one or more of the top holes from most courses and will highlight them on the FAVORITE/ FEATURED icon above. As of the end 2017, I have entered 409 courses (foreign courses will be followed by asterisks*) and 65,000 photos taken since I bought that first digital camera in 2006.  I am currently on my 4th camera and am using a Sony DSC-RX100, 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.

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 visit. 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 everyone 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 private 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. 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 everytime 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. 

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. I have yet to figure out how to get the pictures off of it and into Picasa to edit and post them. My tech IQ is about that of a three year old.


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 124,000 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 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 (24pts)
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 each receiving (8pts).

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) 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)- Hibiscus 9 (7pts) and Allamanda 9 (7pts)  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 a different architect, to give some more diversity to the courses at T.V.

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. 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. Seven 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. I find the Executive courses more difficult due to the challenging green complexes. If you are a resident the Exec courses are included in your monthly activities fee, the Championship Courses are around $50.

Friday, September 8, 2017

2017 Golf Trip- New England & Canada

Tomorrow after I leave the Michigan FB game I embark upon a 16 course tour of seven NE states, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. 45 years ago I vacationed in Maine for a couple of summers and really loved it but have never returned. You think I can still get a whole lobster for $3 and 50 steamers for $2?
Below is my planned itinerary. As you can see I have a very nice assortment of courses designed by some renowned architects-Ross, Muirhead, Silvia, McBroom, Whitman, Robinson, Coore, Crenshaw, Thompson, Fasio.

Mark Twain GC-NY
Shennecossett CC- CT
Meadowbrook GC-RI
Highland Links (9)- MA
The Hermitage- VT
Shattuck GC-NH
Penobscot Valley CC-ME
Algonquin GC-NB
Genesee Valley Meadows-MI
Threetops(9)-MI
Treetops-Fasio-MI
-------------------------------------
UPDATE**Due to needed surgery on my knee I will have to put the Nova Scotia courses on my bucket list for a later date. At which time I will add these Prince Edward Island courses to the trip.**

Northumberland GC-NS
Fox Harb'r GC-NS
Cabot Cliffs-NS
Cabot Links-NS
Cape Breton Highlands-NS
Links at Crowbush- PEI
Dundarave-PEI
Brudenell-PEI

I will immediately post on TWITTER after each round.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

"It's good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling."-Mark Twain

Many years ago I was playing in an individual stroke event at my club and this actually happened to me. The 6th hole of the old course is a drivable tight par four with a deep gully right in front of the women's tee. To the left are some taller overhanging trees which I caught that day and my ball crashed down into the 20' deep gully. It's a 50/50 chance of finding it and making it out without penalty strokes, so I didn' reload but headed to the area of my ball. I get there and Old Mickey, the local ball hound, was wandering around at the bottom with his pockets full. I asked him if he had seen a ProV1x with two blue dots on it. He puts his hand in his pocket and the first ball he pulls out is mine. He quickly headed to where he had snatched it and placed back down. Decent lie but not a good shot out. A few years later he was foraging around in the brush in front of the women's tee on the 17th and a lady whacked him right in the head. He recovered, but the club finally banned him from hunting balls. He would boast of finding 4,000 golf balls a season.

Monday, June 5, 2017

2017 U.S.Open Erin Hills


With the upcoming 117th U.S.Open upon us I thought you would enjoy the slideshow (159 photos) of this years site, Erin Hills in Wisconsin.. When I played it in Sept of 2012, it was a gorgeous Fall day and the course was in excellent condition. Please take time to study the yardage guide and take note of the many contours throughout this spectacular piece of property.

Some of my favorite holes at Erin Hills:
#1 Very nice opening hole. Par 5
#4 Beautiful day and very peaceful walking up to the elevated green on this Par 4.
#9 Treacherous little Par 3!
#12 I love blind shots, if you don't drive it to the correct spot that is what you get on this Par 4.
#15 Good short Par 4's are always on my favorites list.

Click here to view slideshow:   https://goo.gl/photos/qfWjrSCCy3bCFfi7A