Swing with Air: Join MJ and friends at the 12th annual Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational in Las Vegas

By Travel ArticlesMarch 5, 2013, 5:00 am

As if you didn't need another excuse for a golf weekend to Las Vegas, Michael Jordan's coming to town to play a little golf and he's bringing a few friends.

We're talking about the 12th annual Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational, which will be conducted at Shadow Creek for the third year in a row.

Celebrities over the years have included the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Kenny G., Sugar Ray Leonard, Greg Maddux, Cuba Gooding Jr., Jessica Alba and many others from the sports and entertainment world. The tournament, which is sponsored and hosted by Aria Resort & Casino, will be played April 4-7. The 36-hole, two-person scramble tournament has raised in excess of $6 million over the years as celebrities and spectators alike enjoy a relaxed, fun atmosphere on what Jordan calls 'one of his favorite courses.'

It's a chance to see the basketball legend and other celebrities play this very exclusive club, but it's also a chance for a whole lot more. Because, after all, once you watch Jordan and company hit a few shots, you're going to want to hit a few of your own.

Your turn to play golf in Las Vegas

While Shadow Creek is among Las Vegas' most elite venues, there's plenty of other good golf to be played. As a special incentive, those who buy a ticket for the Jordan celebrity event can get a $50 resort credit for the three golf courses owned by Walters Golf: Bali Hai Golf Club, Royal Links Golf Club and Desert Pines Golf Club.

The courses are all in great shape and very unique. Bali Hai, located right on the Las Vegas Strip, has a tropical Pacific theme. Royal Links is inspired by the very best of the British Open rotation courses. And the Dye-designed Desert Pines features thousands of imported Carolina Pines and beautiful bentgrass greens.

That money can be used for anything on the course, including food and beverage, merchandise or the newest line of Callaway Golf rentals.

But even if you don't book one of those courses, there's plenty of other great golf in Las Vegas, and this is the best time of year to play, as temperatures and course conditions are near perfect.

Beyond golf: The Aria Resort & Casino in CityCenter

Of course, golf isn't the only game in town. Guests can stay at the luxurious Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas' CityCenter. Aria includes world-class dining such as the new American cuisine at Shawn McClain's Sage, Spanish tapas at Julian Serrano, and steaks and seafood at Jean Georges Steakhouse, for example.

Entertainment options are also plentiful at Aria. Take in its high-energy nightlife at the celeb-studded super-club Haze. And the morning after, you can hit up Todd English P.U.B. for a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. There's also Cirque du Soleil's Zarkana, an acrobatic rock experience that blends circus arts with the surreal to create a world where physical virtuosity rubs shoulders with the strange.

And for relaxing, there's Aria's spa, which features the country's first metabolism-boosting Japanese Ganbanyoku stone beds, the city's first co-ed spa balcony featuring an infinity-edge therapy pool and a Shio Salt Room. There's also lagoon pools and fabulous shopping at the Shops at Crystals, next to Aria. Among the highlights are the largest Louis Vuitton store in North America and the only Tag Heuer location in North America.

For ticket information to the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational, see mjcigolf.com.

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.