Another year of exhaustive research; another strenuous week of testing everything new; another three days of pounding the miles of aisles at the world’s largest golf show … and ten new products have made one of the most coveted lists in the golf industry. Once again “Tony’s Top Ten” attempts to bring you in touch with items that caught our eye at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando … that stopped us in our tracks … that put us into “gotta have it” mode.
When people think of taking a golf trip to Arizona their minds immediately track to the famous courses in Phoenix or Scottsdale. Those areas hold a special breed of familiarity with golfers from all over the country. No knock against either location. They have made their mark in traveling golf circles for decades. But, if you are looking for something a bit different … a bit more adventurous … a bit more tied to the rugged Old West, look slightly south to Tucson.
The inaugural Yuengling Chili Cook-Off was the theme for the GolfTalk Live Party on Thursday, November 6. Listeners were invited to bring in a sampling of their finest homemade chili to compete in a contest – with voting by the patrons on hand at Black Cat Cigars. The winner received a $50 gift certificate from Redstone American Grill.
There are a number of rewards that come with embracing the golfing lifestyle. At the top of the list is golf travel. Seeing the country while playing the game of golf provides a never-ending treasure of rich memories. And those memories reach the highest level when visiting one of the great golf resorts of America. There are a number of heralded resorts that offer all of the elements – multiple great golf layouts on one site, a variety of accommodations that range from comfortable to luxurious, outstanding restaurants, and plenty of other activities to fill the hours not spent on the golf course.
While many other parts of the country are dealing with course closures and a recession, the Jersey Shore has expanded its offering of great golf courses using the most modern designs from the area’s best architects. Taking advantage of the growth and vitality of the Jersey Shore at its peak time of the year for golf is an activity that should be on the calendar of every avid golfer.
A total of 3,405 golfers did battle in 76 flights on 60 different golf courses for four days – then 90 flight winners and ties faced off on the Dye Course at Barefoot Resort. And, even then it went down to a playoff. All of this to determine the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship.
Today was Armed Forces Day at the 31st World Amateur Handicap Championship in Myrtle Beach … at least in my foursome. I played with Gary Skinner from Fredericksburg, Virginia – a 20-year Marine who retired with the rank of Lt. Colonel. He now trains Marines on radar jamming aircraft. I also played with Charlie Waters of Goldsboro, North Carolina — a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, who retired with the rank of 1st Sergeant. To both, I would like to say, “Thank you for your service to our country.”
Over the years – approximately 12 visits to Myrtle Beach to play in the World Amateur Handicap Championship – there have been plenty of opportunities to play with competitors from other countries. I have played with visitors from Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina, Columbia, France, Italy and Spain. Now I can add Portugal to the list.
When people are planning a golf trip to Myrtle Beach for the first time and seek advice, I immediately ask where they are planning to stay. People, especially first time visitors, have no idea of the magnitude of the golf footprint along Myrtle Beach’s Grand Strand.
Under absolutely ideal weather conditions, the 31st Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship got under way on Monday, August 25. Almost 4,000 players competed on 60 golf courses throughout the Greater Myrtle Beach area – 4,000 players and at least that many stories.