Barefoot Gives Golfers Little Taste Of Heaven
Tucked in neatly beside South Carolina's famous Intracoastal Waterway, Barefoot, having been open since April of 2000, is still in the infancy of existence. With four championship-style courses enveloping nearly 2400 acres of land, Barefoot has quickly evolved into one of the premier golfing facilities in the southeastern United States. And with legendary course architects Greg Norman, Davis Love III, Tom Fazio and Pete Dye each mapping courses at the resort, it is no small wonder.
As the Canadian Tour makes their first-ever jaunt south of the border, Barefoot Resort will play host to the initial four events of the 2001 season-the Myrtle Beach Open (Fazio), Barefoot Classic (Norman), South Carolina Challenge (Love) and Can-Am Days Championship (Dye). Players in last week's McDonald's Winter Qualifying School and Tour members trying Barefoot on for size for the first time this week are giving rave reviews on the condition of the courses, particularly the the greens which, on three of the designs, are made with A-1 bent grass.
' The turf here is something unique, and the putting surface is extraordinary,' says eight-year Canadian Tour veteran Todd Fanning of Winnipeg after playing the Fazio course. 'All I've heard from everyone at Q-school is that all the courses are top-notch. The PGA Tour could come here and not blink an eyelash.'
Having each one of the courses constructed in its own unique design, Barefoot offers a challenge to every golfer, regardless of experience or handicap. Odds are if you are chirping about your round on Love one day, you'll be singing an entirely different tune after playing Norman the next.
'We offer four world-class courses with four different designs that will challenge every golfer that visits us,' says Barefoot assistant club pro Dave Genevro, who adds that the Norman course, with its scenic back nine running along the Waterway, is usually the first choice for visitors. 'Usually, after they play Norman, they want to keep coming back until they play all four.'
With a 136 slope and 73.9 course rating from the back tees, Norman blueprinted his course (7035 yards, par-72) to be built upon the existing landscape as opposed to right into it. Six of the final nine holes border the waterway, and on the 203-yard, par-3 10th, from an elevated tee, proper club selection could mean the difference between a birdie putt and a trip into the drink.
The Love design (7047 yards, par 72), rated as the sixth-best upscale course in the U.S. by Golf Digest magazine, shows that Love is as committed to creating championship courses as he is to winning on them. To keep it simple, the greens are often compared to the legendary Pinehurst #2-only located in Myrtle Beach.
'Building a course with your family name on it is a great responsibility,' reasons Love. 'Building a course that will uphold the tradition of the game of golf is an even greater responsibility.'
Boasting a traditional layout with breathtaking scenery, Love has blended the serene surroundings with an intimidating layout that will have you pulling out virtually every club in your bag. By strategically placing bunkers to the left and right of the fairway, Love proves he can be generous in giving the player a comfortable landing strip. But at times, a bunker in the heart of the fairway will show his unforgiving side, while leaving a difficult, if not impossible, second stroke.
The Fazio course (6834 yards, par 71) offers the type of sloped terrain that has made his designs legendary, while Dye's layout(7343 yards, par 72)has been referred to as the Grand Strand's version of The Old Course at St. Andrews. As one scribe penned in a local golf magazine, when playing Dye, 'the objective here is not conquest, but survival.'
And a memorable round on a championship course isn't the only impression Barefoot wants to leave on visitors.
'We want to give service better than what people are used to getting,' adds Genevro. 'We want to make it more than just a golf experience-we want to create a memory.'
With a state-of-the-art clubhouse, featuring a 200-seat deck overlooking the Fazio 18th green, due for completion in June, the finishing touches at Barefoot are almost complete. In the not-too-distant future a marina, condo complex, hotel and wave pool are slated to be constructed on a neighbouring lot, which will more likely than not cement Barefoot's reputation as a little heaven on earth, links style.
Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo
Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.
With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.
Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.
The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.
In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.
Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys
After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.
There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.
It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.
It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.
“The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.
In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.
Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”
Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.
“You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”
Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.
Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.
If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.
For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.
Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.
Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.
While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.
When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?
Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.
After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.
The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.
That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.
The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.
While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.
Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.
Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.
“We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”
The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?
Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'
John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.
That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.
Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.
Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid
Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.
Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.
Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.
World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.
Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.