Hoops and Golf Complete your March Madness trip by adding a tee time

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 8, 2011, 8:05 pm
The NCAA Tournament begins March 15 and ends with the National Championship game at Houston's Reliant Stadium on Monday, April 4, which also is the first week of baseball season and Masters week – what a weekend for fans of hoops, baseball and golf.

Here's a look at the golf scenes in the 14 cities that are hosting NCAA Tournament teams and their fans:
 
First round: March 15-16
University of Dayton (Ohio) Arena
 
Dayton could be a little on the cool side during these new first-round 'play-in' games, but weather permitting, check out Golf Club at Yankee Trace Golf in nearby Centerville. The city-owned 27-hole facility is well conditioned and challenging, especially the Championship Course. Another favorite, in nearby Clayton, is Moss Creek Golf Club, a Dennis Griffiths-Chi Chi Rodriguez collaboration. Or a little closer in town, check out Kittyhawk Golf Center (http://www.golfnow.com/course-directory/ohio-golf-courses/dayton-golf-courses/kittyhawk-golf-center), a 54-hole Dayton municipal and Ohio's largest public facility.
 
<h2>Second, third rounds: March 17-19</h2>
 
Pepsi Center, Denver
 
In March, Denver's weather could beautiful - or snowing. If any case, the area is loaded with options for all budgets. Fans of Jim Engh's unique design style will want to check out Fossil Trace (http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/colorado/golden/fossil-trace-golf-club.html) in Golden. Pete and P.B. Dye have a couple courses in the area, including Colorado Open-host Green Valley Ranch (http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/colorado/denver/green-valley-ranch-golf-club.html) by P.B., or play one of Pete's earliest Western courses, Riverdale Dunes (http://www.golfcolorado.com/courses/brighton/dunes-at-riverdale/). The Colorado Golf Association also recently added an affordable new golf course in 2010, CommonGround Golf Course (http://www.golfcolorado.com/courses/aurora/commonground/), designed by Tom Doak.
 
St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Fla.
 
Golf weather is usually terrific on the central Gulf Coast of Florida, so a trip to Innisbrook Resort (http://www.travelgolf.com/resorts/florida/innisbrook-golf-resort.html) in nearby Palm Harbor would make for a nice diversion. The resort's Copperhead Course (http://www.floridagolf.com/courses/palm-harbor/innisbrook-copperhead/), host of the PGA Tour's Transitions Championship, rates near the top of the list for tour pros. Other top choices n the area would include the TPC Tampa Bay (http://www.floridagolf.com/courses/lutz/tpc-of-tampa-bay/), which hosts a Champions Tour event, the Pine Barrens course at World Woods (http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/florida/brooksville/pine-barrens-at-world-woods-golf-club.html) and Saddlebrook Resort (http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/florida/wesleychapel/saddlebrook-at-saddlebrook-golf-tennis-resort-resort.html).
 
McKale Center: Tucson, Ariz.
 
Keep your fingers crossed that your alma mater plays here, because Tucson is probably the tournament's best golf destination. The first place to start is the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain (http://www.golfnow.com/course-directory/arizona-golf-courses/marana-golf-courses/the-ritz-carlton-golf-club-dove-mountain-), the newest course in the area designed by Jack Nicklaus (http://www.worldgolf.com/golf-architects/jack-nicklaus.html) and home to the WGC Accenture Match Play. One of the best plays in the desert since the 1980s is Ventana Canyon Golf Club (http://www.golfarizona.com/courses/tucson/loews-ventana-canyon.htm), which has two really good Tom Fazio designs. And if you spent all your dough on tickets, Tucson has a solid, four-course municipal system, anchored by former LPGA host course Randolph Golf Course (http://www.golfarizona.com/courses/tucson/randolph-north.htm).
 
Verizon Center: Washington D.C.
 
The area around our nation's capital is rich with history and there are few golf courses in northern Virginia that capitalize on that. In Stafford, the Rick Jacobson-designed Augustine Golf Club (http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/virginia/stafford/augustine-golf-club-semi-private.html) is a hilly, tree-lined layout named for George Washington's father. There's Raspberry Falls Golf and Hunt Club (http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/virginia/leesburg/raspberry-falls-golf-hunt-club-semi-private.html), a 7,200-yard upscale Gary Player design in the heart of Virginia's horse country and Bull Run Country Club (http://www.golfnow.com/course-directory/virginia-golf-courses/haymarket-golf-courses/bull-run-golf-club), another fine Jacobson design near Civil War battleground sites. And finally, about an hour south of D.C., you'll find the Pete Dye-designed Gauntlet G.C. (http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/virginia/hartwood/the-gauntlet-golf-club.html) as well as Cannon Ridge Golf Club (http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/virginia/fredericksburg/cannon-ridge-golf-club.html) in Fredericksburg, where relics from major Civil War battles are readily visible.
 
<h2> Second, third rounds: March 18-20</h2>
 
Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, N.C.
 
Considered one of the better cities in America to live, Charlotte is a decent golf destination as well. In town, you'll find the heralded Highland Creek Golf Club (http://www.northcarolinagolf.com/courses/charlotte/highland-creek-golf-club/), a well conditioned course with fast greens. The Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed Rock Barn (http://www.northcarolinagolf.com/courses/conover/west-hills-north-ridge-at-rock-barn-club-of-golf/), located nearby Conover in the Blue Ridge foothills hosts a Champions Tour event and is open to the public. The area is also home to several good choices on the Carolina Golf Trail, including Birkdale Golf Club (http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/northcarolina/huntersville/birkdale-golf-club-public.html), Highland Creek Golf Club (http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/northcarolina/charlotte/highland-creek-golf-club-public.html), Tradition Golf Club (http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/northcarolina/charlotte/the-tradition-golf-club.html) and Charlotte Golf Links (http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/northcarolina/charlotte/charlotte-golf-links-public.html).
 
United Center, Chicago
 
While March might not be golf month in Chicago, you could catch a break. If Mother Nature does cooperate, head over to the famous Cog Hill Golf Club in Lemont, starting with the Drubsdread Course (http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/illinois/lemont/course-4-dubsdread-at-cog-hill-golf-and-country-club.html), host of the PGA Tour's BMW Championship. Originally designed by Joe Lee and Dick Wilson, the longtime home of the Western Open was redone in 2008 by Rees Jones. But many also report that the Ravines Course (http://www.golfillinois.com/courses/lemont/cog-hill-2/), often dubbed 'Baby Dubs,' is a better value and just as enjoyable. Other great options in the Chicago area include the Tom Fazio-designed Glen Club (http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/illinois/glenview/the-glen-club.html) in Glenview, the 27-hole Cantigny Golf Club (http://www.golfnow.com/course-directory/illinois-golf-courses/wheaton-golf-courses/cantigny-golf) in Wheaton and Aldeen Golf Course (http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/illinois/rockford/aldeen-golf-club-public.html), an excellent municipal value in Rockford.
 
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
 
If it's an early spring in Cleveland, check out what some of the top architects have built designs around the city. Pete Dye designed 27-hole Fowler's Mill (http://www.golfnow.com/course-directory/ohio-golf-courses/chesterland-golf-courses/fowlers-mill-golf-course) just east of the city, and is U.S. Open Qualifier caliber. One of the more scenic courses is the Michael Hurdzan-Dana Fry designed Little Mountain Country Club (http://www.golfohio.com/courses/concord/little-mountain-cc/), set in rolling, wooded hills of northeast Ohio. This heavily wooded, target-style course is on the shorter side at just 6,616 yards. But if you want tough and long, the Reserve at Thunder Mill (http://www.golfnow.com/course-directory/ohio-golf-courses/madison-golf-courses/thunder-hill-golf-club) rates one of the Cleveland area's toughest, with over 7,500 yards and a 78.5 rating.
 
BOK Center: Tulsa, Okla.
 
One of the best public plays in the Tulsa area is Forest Ridge Golf Club (http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/oklahoma/brokenarrow/forest-ridge-golf-club-public.html), a Randy Heckenkemper design in Broken Arrow, just east of downtown. It opened in 1989 as the area's first upscale public facility. Another excellent option in Broken Arrow is Emerald Falls Golf Club (http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/oklahoma/brokenarrow/emerald-falls-golf-club.html). Designed by Jerry Slack, the 7,200-yard Emerald Falls was named among the top 10 new public golf courses by Golf Digest in 2008. Or you could try the scenic White Hawk Golf Club (http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/oklahoma/bixby/white-hawk-golf-club.html), another good Heckenkemper design located in the Tulsa suburb of Bixby.
 
<h2>Southeast Regional, March 24-26</h2>
 
Louisiana Superdome: New Orleans
 
Another site that usually has good golf weather this time of year, New Orleans has plenty to offer. You might want to make your first stop at the Audubon Park Golf Course (dddd), a fun and well conditioned par 62 (it has 12 par 3s) in the heart of the city's Garden District. Audubon would make a great warm-up for the Pete Dye's TPC Louisiana (http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/louisiana/neworleans/audubon-park-golf-course.html), one of the more accessible courses in the TPC network and host of the PGA Tour's Zurich Classic. Or you could try the 27 holes of Stonebridge (http://www.golfnow.com/course-directory/louisiana-golf-courses/gretna-golf-courses/stonebridge-golf-course), a semi-private club located just minutes from downtown in Gretna.
 
<h2>West Regional, March 24-26</h2>
 
Honda Center, Anaheim, Calif.
 
Congratulations on your team making it to the West Regional and sunny Anaheim, where it's bound to be prime golf weather in Orange County. High-end coastal golf is not too far away. Head south to Newport Beach about 15 miles to Pelican Hill Golf Resort (http://www.golfcalifornia.com/courses/newport-coast/pelican-hill-gc-north/), featuring 36 Tom Fazio-designed holes overlooking the Pacific Ocean. For a more affordable Fazio design, head inland to Oak Creek Golf Club (http://www.golfcalifornia.com/courses/irvine/oak-creek-gc/), which can often be booked under $100 at GolfNow.com (http://www.golfnow.com/). Or a little further down the price totem pole is Coyote Hills Golf Course (http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/california/fullerton/coyote-hills-golf-course-public.html), a $50-$100 play that serves up 6,500 yards in foothills terrain.
 
<h2>Southwest Regional, March 25-27</h2>
 
Alamodome: San Antonio, Texas
 
Expect temperatures around 80 degrees in the Alamo City, which has become a true golf destination in recent years. You could stay and play at the new JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort, home of the 36 holes of the TPC San Antonio. The AT&T Oaks course (http://www.golftexas.com/golf-courses/south/san-antonio/tpc-oaks.htm) and AT&T Canyon course (http://www.golftexas.com/golf-courses/south/san-antonio/tpc-canyons.htm) host the PGA and Champions Tour, respectively. The old site of the Texas Open, Westin La Cantera Resort (http://www.travelgolf.com/resorts/texas/the-westin-la-cantera-resort.html), also has 36 scenic holes; there's 27 beautiful holes at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort, the city's old muni, Brackenridge (http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/texas/sanantonio/brackenridge-municipal-golf-course-public.html), has been restored better than ever and now hosts the Texas Golf Hall of Fame.
 
<h2>East Regional, March 25-27</h2>
 
Prudential Center: Newark, N.J.
 
The Jersey side of metro New York City has some great golf courses, but they're all exclusive private clubs like Baltusrol Golf Club. Unfortunately, this isn't exactly a mecca of public-access gems. On the other side of Manhattan you can head out to Long Island and Bethpage State Park, home to five municipal golf courses anchored by the Black (http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/newyork/farmingdale/black-at-bethpage-state-park-golf-course.html). You can also head just north of NYC to the new Pound Ridge Golf Club (http://www.golfnewyork.com/courses/pound-ridge/pound-ridge-cc/), an upscale, daily-fee course designed by Pete and P.B. Dye that features dramatic rock walls and a wealth of water hazards and wetlands.
 
<h2>Final Four and Championship, April 2-4</h2>
 
Reliant Stadium: Houston
 
Another good location to play golf this time of year, there are nearly 100 public golf courses in the Houston area. One must-play to first-time visitors is Tour 18 (http://www.golftexas.com/golf-courses/north-central/flower-mound/tour-18.htm), the original replica golf course, featuring look-alikes from Augusta National and TPC Sawgrass to name a few. If you can get a tee time at Redstone's Tournament Course (http://www.golftexas.com/golf-courses/south-east/houston/redstone-tournament.htm), conditions will never be better since the Shell Houston Open concludes April 3. Other good public plays include the 36 holes of Wildcat Golf Club (http://www.golfnow.com/course-directory/texas-golf-courses/houston-golf-courses/wildcat-golf-club), just minutes from Reliant Stadium, Timber Creek (http://www.golfnow.com/course-directory/texas-golf-courses/friendswood-golf-courses/timber-creek-golf-club---pines-course) on the south side, and the 36 holes of Cypresswood Golf Club (http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/texas/spring/cypress-at-cypresswood-golf-club-public.html) on the north side in Spring.

by – Brandon Tucker and Mike Bailey
Getty Images

Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


Masters victory


Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


Man of the people


Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


Departure from TaylorMade


Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


Victory at Valderrama


Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.