Villas give traveling golfers a group mentality

By Katharine DysonSeptember 2, 2008, 4:00 pm
Crosswater Golf Club in Sunriver, Ore. offers beautiful houses for rent, which provide panoramic views of Central Oregon along with quick access to golf.

Websters defines villa as a holiday house especially by the sea or in the mountains.with its own garden. Today that definition has been loosely interpreted, expanded and massaged, so that any place that is free-standing ' and often even those that are attached ' are called villas. It just seems to some to sound classier, sells better, but villas can be houses, condos, bungalows, cottages and cabins.
Whatever you call it, were talking about places where golfers stay together in one place. Typically these places have multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, large common room, kitchen, multiple TVs, DVD player, fireplace, patio and other comforts of a private residence. Many have pools and come with pool tables, hot tubs, foosballs, ping pong, and saunas.
Its all about the camaraderie, a place you can hang out, eat take-out while watching a game, grab a beer from the fridge and generally do what guys (or girls) do. And aside from the convenience of the concept, usually sharing a place makes a lot of sense economically. When you divide the nightly rate by the number of people, the math tells the story.
These resorts are sure to please. You might even try planning your trip around one of the professional events hosted in the area. Cozy up, and hit 'em straight!

  • August 11-17: Champions Tour Jeld-Wen Tradition; Crosswater Golf Club at Sunriver, Oregon.

    In Sunriver, 16 miles south of Bend, Oregon, you can rent a four-bedroom home for around $200 and up a night. Homes are mostly built in a casual ski lodge contemporary style with lots of wood siding and paneling, expansive windows revealing mountain views. Furnishings also reflect a sense of the rustic outdoors with four- poster pine beds and natural muted-colored fabrics. Dont be surprised if a moose crosses your back yard.;
    In addition to more than 30 miles of paved bike pathways, two pools and 23 tennis courts, Sunriver has three excellent golf courses: The Woodlands, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and set against a backdrop of the mountains and outcropping of lava rock; Crosswater, a heathland-style course, located on 600 scenic acres of woodlands and preserved wetlands; and the Meadows where seven holes border the meandering Sunriver.
    Stay at a Sunriver Resort home or condo and you can purchase a special golf package at $169 allowing you to play all three championship courses. Resort guests also get breaks on the public green fees.

  • September 25-28: PGA TOUR The Tour Championship, presented by Coca-Cola, Atlanta, Ga.

    Couples especially would enjoy Barnsley Gardens in Adairsville about 75 miles north of Atlanta. Gables, fretwork and shingles along with roof peaks and cupolas, porches and shutters create a tidy village of 33 guest cottages housing 70 suites along with a clubhouse, spa and golf course.
    Cottages are spacious with sitting rooms, fireplaces, 12-foot tray ceilings, beadboard paneling and French doors leading to porches with rocking chairs and private gardens. Oriental-style carpets cover dark wood floors and accessories include nostalgic things like old luggage pieces and model cars. King beds are extremely comfortable with duvets and piles of pillows and bathrooms are large with showers big enough for two.
    The General at Barnsley designed by Jim Fazio is ranked No. 5 in the state by Golf Week (public and resort courses, 2007) and is known for its excellent par 3s. Playing to 7,350 yards from the tips, the course provides beautiful vistas of the mountains and the estate. If youre going to take on The General, take plenty of ammunition.
    Green fees for guests are $90 to $100, including cart. A Golfers Getaway priced from $484-$654 for two includes one night stay, unlimited golf both days, and breakfast.

  • September 18-21: PGA TOUR Viking Classic, Annandale GC, Madison, Miss.

    You wont be singing the Blues playing northern Mississippis courses, especially those on the Magnolia Golf Trail.
    In Holly Springs, Kirkwood National Golf Clubs four-bedroom cottages make an ideal base for staying and playing. Warm up with a round on Kirkwood National then tee up at designer layouts like Dogwoods (Gary Roger Baird) carved out of more than 200 acres in Hugh White State Park. This is a straightforward track with no quirks or gimmicks.
    Mallard Pointe in John Kyle State Park, a muscular, Bob Cupp-designed course is another matter challenging your target game with two diabolical holes over a treacherous gully (No. 9 and No. 18).
    Put your golf vacation over the top with a stay at Old Waverly, a private club in West Point, where guests get to play the superb Jerry Pate/Bob Cupp-designed course. Additional good golf options include Big Oaks Golf Club near Tupelo awash in water hazards and three designer courses in Tunica, home of 10 casino resorts.
    Order catfish at Taylor Catfish, in Taylor, tune into Thacker Mountain Radio Show, Oxfords version of the Prairie Home Companion, sip a Planters Punch on Old Waverlys Clubhouse Terrace while the sun sets; later head into Old Waverlys Murphys Pub for a nightcap.
    Kirkwood Cottages from $97.37 include room, golf, cart and breakfast; 2 nights/3 days from $167.99 per person; Old Waverly-accommodations from$135 per person; two- three- and four-bedroom villas from $270. Guest green fees & cart $122 to $152.;;

  • September 25-28: LPGA Navistar Classic, Capitol Hill Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Prattville, Ala.

    In addition to playing the 54 holes of the Robert Trent Jones courses, point south to Alabamas Gulf Shores/Orange Beach. Dig your toes into the relatively un-crowded white sandy beaches along Alabamas coastline and take your pick of more than ten superb golf courses.
    Kiva Dunes, with its wide fairways, dozens of undulating bunkers and water features on every hole is challenging but forgiving with ample bail-out areas. At Craft Farms Cypress Bend, an Arnold Palmer course, be prepared for sprawling bunkers, super putting surfaces, doglegs, and plenty of lakes. And whoever said coastal areas are flat will have to eat their words at Rock Creek where dramatic elevations and carries over wetlands and water make this a must-play for serious golfers. Other excellent tracks include Lost Key Club and Peninsula Golf Club.
    At the end of the day, settle into one of the well-equipped beach houses planted in the white dunes by the sea ' some even come with pool tables. Several are available for rental and some sleep up to 12 people (or more).;

    Katharine DysonKatharine Dyson is an award-winning freelance travel, lifestyle, golf and guidebook author based in the northeast.

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  • Watch: Pros try to hit 2-yard wide fairway in Dubai

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 18, 2017, 5:20 pm

    While in Dubai for the DP World Tour Championship, the European Tour prestented a little challenge to Ross Fisher, Richie Ramsay, Nicolas Colsaerts and Soren Kjeldsen. On a stretch of road outside of town, the four players had to try and hit a 2-yard wide fairway. Check out the results.

    Rose (65) leads Rahm, Frittelli in Dubai

    By Associated PressNovember 18, 2017, 3:24 pm

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Justin Rose will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the season-ending Tour Championship as he attempts to win a third straight title on the European Tour and a second career Race to Dubai crown.

    The 37-year-old Rose made a gutsy par save on the final hole after a bogey-free round for a 7-under 65 Saturday and overall 15-under 201.

    The Englishman leads South African Dylan Frittelli, who produced the day's best score of 63, and Spain's Jon Rahm, who played in the same group as Rose and matched his 65.

    Rose is looking to be Europe's season-ending No. 1 for the second time. His leading rival for the Race to Dubai title, Tommy Fleetwood, is only two shots behind here after a second straight 65 on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates.

    Fleetwood did his chances no harm by overcoming a stuttering start before making eight birdies in his final 11 holes to also post a 65. The 26-year-old Englishman was tied for fourth place at 13 under, alongside South African Dean Burmester (65) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67), who closed with five birdies in a row.

    ''So, last day of the season and I've got a chance to win the Race to Dubai,'' Fleetwood said. ''It's cool.''

    DP World Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the DP World Tour Championship

    Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the only other player with a chance to win the Race to Dubai title, is tied for 13th on 10 under after a 67.

    Fleetwood had a lead of 256,737 points going into the final tournament and needs to equal or better Rose's finishing position to claim the title. If Rose doesn't finish in the top five and Garcia doesn't win, Fleetwood will have done enough.

    Rose is hoping to win a third straight tournament after triumphs in China and Turkey.

    Rose, who made some long putts for birdies apart from chipping in on the 13th hole, looked to be throwing away his advantage on the par-5 18th, when his second shot fell agonizingly short of the green and into the water hazard. But with his short game in superb condition, the reigning Olympic champion made a difficult up-and-down shot to stay ahead.

    ''That putt at the last is a big confidence-builder. That broke about 18 inches right-to-left downhill. That's the kind of putt I've been hoping to make. That was a really committed stroke. Hopefully I can build on that tomorrow,'' said Rose. ''I know what I need to do to stay at the top of the leaderboard. If I slip up tomorrow, he's (Fleetwood) right there. He's done everything he needs to do on his end, so it's a lot of fun.''

    The last player to win three tournaments in a row on the European Tour was Rory McIlroy, when he won the Open Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone and the PGA Championship in 2014.

    Fleetwood was 1 over after seven holes but turned it on with a hat trick of birdies from the eighth, and then four in a row from No. 13.

    ''I wanted to keep going. Let's bring the tee times forward for tomorrow,'' quipped Fleetwood after closing with a birdie on the 18th. ''Just one of them strange days where nothing was going at all. A couple sloppy pars on the par 5s, and a bad tee shot on fifth and I was 1-over through seven on a day where scoring has been really good ... Ninth and 10th, felt like we had something going ... it was a really good last 11 holes.''

    If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.

    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon: