Villas give traveling golfers a group mentality

By Katharine DysonSeptember 2, 2008, 4:00 pm
Crosswater
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. www.sunriver-resort.com; www.sunriverexperience.com
     
    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. www.barnsleyresort.com
     

  • 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. www.kirkwoodcottages.com; www.oldwaverly.com; www.magnoliagolftrail.com
     

  • 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). www.Kaiserrealty.com; www.gulfshores.com
     

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

  • All Courses & Travel
     
  • Getty Images

    Singh's lawsuit stalls as judge denies motion

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Vijay Singh’s attempts to speed up the proceedings in his ongoing lawsuit against the PGA Tour have been stalled, again.

    Singh – who filed the lawsuit in New York Supreme Court in May 2013 claiming the Tour recklessly administered its anti-doping program when he was suspended, a suspension that was later rescinded – sought to have the circuit sanctioned for what his attorneys argued was a frivolous motion, but judge Eileen Bransten denied the motion earlier this month.

    “While the court is of the position it correctly denied the Tour’s motion to argue, the court does not agree that the motion was filed in bad faith nor that it represents a ‘persistent pattern of repetitive or meritless motions,’” Bransten said.

    It also doesn’t appear likely the case will go to trial any time soon, with Bransten declining Singh’s request for a pretrial conference until a pair of appeals that have been sent to the court’s appellate division have been decided.

    “What really should be done is settle this case,” Bransten said during the hearing, before adding that it is, “unlikely a trail will commence prior to 2019.”

    The Tour’s longstanding policy is not to comment on ongoing litigation, but earlier this month commissioner Jay Monahan was asked about the lawsuit.

    “I'll just say that we're going through the process,” Monahan said. “Once you get into a legal process, and you've been into it as long as we have been into it, I think it's fair to assume that we're going to run it until the end.”

    Getty Images

    Videos and images from Tiger's Tuesday at Torrey

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 23, 2018, 7:45 pm

    Tiger Woods played a nine-hole practice round Tuesday at Torrey Pines South, site of this week's Farmers Insurance Open. Woods is making his first PGA Tour start since missing the cut in this event last year. Here's a look at some images and videos of Tiger, via social media:







    Getty Images

    Power Rankings: 2018 Farmers Insurance Open

    By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:59 pm

    The PGA Tour remains in California this week for the Farmers Insurance Open. A field of 156 players will tackle the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines, with weekend play exclusively on the South Course.

    Be sure to join the all-new Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge - including a new One & Done game offering - to compete for prizes and form your own leagues, and log on to www.playfantasygolf.com to submit your picks for this week's event.

    Jon Rahm won this event last year by three shots over Charles Howell III and C.T. Pan. Here are 10 names to watch in La Jolla:

    1. Jon Rahm: No need to overthink it at the top. Rahm enters as a defending champ for the first time, fresh off a playoff win at the CareerBuilder Challenge that itself was preceded by a runner-up showing at Kapalua. Rahm is perhaps the hottest player in the field, and with a chance to become world No. 1 should be set for another big week.

    2. Jason Day: The Aussie has missed the cut here the last two years, and he hasn't played competitively since November. But he ended a disappointing 2017 on a slight uptick, and his Torrey Pines record includes three straight top-10s from 2013-15 that ended with his victory three years ago.

    3. Justin Rose: Rose ended last year on a tear, with three victories over his final six starts including two in a row in Turkey and China. The former U.S. Open winner has the patience to deal with a brutal layout like the South Course, as evidenced by his fourth-place showing at this event a year ago.

    4. Rickie Fowler: This tournament has become somewhat feast-or-famine for Fowler, who is making his ninth straight start at Torrey Pines. The first four in that run all netted top-20 finishes, including two top-10s, while the last four have led to three missed cuts and a T-61. After a win in the Bahamas and T-4 at Kapalua, it's likely his mini-slump comes to an end.

    5. Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker has become somewhat of a course specialist at Torrey Pines in recent years, with six top-10 finishes over the last eight years including wins in both 2012 and 2016. While he missed much of the second half of 2017 recovering from injury and missed the cut last week, Snedeker is always a threat to contend at this particular event.

    6. Hideki Matsuyama: Matsuyama struggled to find his footing after a near-miss at the PGA Championship, but he appears to be returning to form. The Japanese phenom finished T-4 at Kapalua and has put up solid results in two of his four prior trips to San Diego, including a T-16 finish in his 2014 tournament debut. Matsuyama deserves a look at any event that puts a strong emphasis on ball-striking.

    7. Tony Finau: Finau has the length to handle the difficult demands of the South Course, and his results have gotten progressively better each time around: T-24 in 2015, T-18 in 2016 and T-4 last year. Finau is coming off the best season of his career, one that included a trip to the Tour Championship, and he put together four solid rounds at the Sony Open earlier this month.

    8. Charles Howell III: Howell is no stranger to West Coast golf, and his record at this event since 2013 includes three top-10 finishes highlighted by last year's runner-up showing. Howell chased a T-32 finish in Hawaii with a T-20 finish last week in Palm Springs, his fourth top-20 finish this season.

    9. Marc Leishman: Leishman was twice a runner-up at this event, first in 2010 and again in 2014, and he finished T-20 last year. The Aussie is coming off a season that included two wins, and he has amassed five top-10s in his last eight worldwide starts dating back to the Dell Technologies Championship in September.

    10. Gary Woodland: Woodland played in the final group at this event in 2014 before tying for 10th, and he was one shot off the lead entering the final round in 2016 before Mother Nature blew the entire field sideways. Still, the veteran has three top-20s in his last four trips to San Diego and finished T-7 two weeks ago in Honolulu.

    Getty Images

    Davis on distance: Not 'necessarily good for the game'

    By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:28 pm

    It's a new year, but USGA executive Mike Davis hasn't changed his views on the growing debate over distance.

    Speaking with Matt Adams on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, Davis didn't mince words regarding his perception that increased distance has had a negative impact on the game of golf, and he reiterated that it's a topic that the USGA and R&A plan to jointly address.

    "The issue is complex. It's important, and it's one that we need to, and we will, face straight on," Davis said. "I think on the topic of distance, we've been steadfast to say that we do not think increased distance is necessarily good for the game."

    Davis' comments echoed his thoughts in November, when he stated that the impact of increased distance has been "horrible" for the game. Those comments drew a strong rebuke from Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein, who claimed there was "no evidence" to support Davis' argument.

    That argument, again reiterated Tuesday, centers on the rising costs associated with both acquiring and maintaining increased footprints for courses. Davis claimed that 1 in 4 courses in the U.S. is currently "not making money," and noted that while U.S. Open venues were 6,800-6,900 yards at the start of his USGA tenure, the norm is now closer to 7,400-7,500 yards.

    "You ask yourself, 'What has this done for the game? How has that made the game better?'" Davis said. "I think if we look at it, and as we look to the future, we're asking ourselves, saying, 'We want the game of golf to be fun.' We want it to continue to be challenging and really let your skills dictate what scores you should shoot versus necessarily the equipment.

    "But at the same time, we know there are pressures on golf courses. We know those pressures are going to become more acute."