HONOLULU – I'm a woman of the technological era (she said with tongue firmly planted in cheek). The title of this Shag Bag entry is also my Blackberry Messenger status right now. It's my disturbing little way of poking fun at my friends stuck in the freezing cold in Orlando, Fla.
Every time I come to the Hawaiian islands, I am reminded of just how lucky we are to be working in a sport that follows the sun. For those who have never been here, Maui is a more secluded and private tropical paradise. It's a honeymooner's dream with exclusive resorts, premium whale watching, seaside spas and vistas that make you feel like you're on the edge of the earth.
The island of Oahu, specifically Honolulu and Waikiki, is a perfect blend of metroplitan and cosmopolitan. It's a great getaway for familes with children but also for the die hard surfer with waves ranging from beginner to 40 feet.
Each year, I reserve the Monday between the first and second event of the season as a play day. I was raised on a beach and I love to surf. I go early in the morning to avoid the traffic and increase my chances of having a green sea turtle encounter. They can get up to 80 pounds. Occasionally I run into a Tour player seeking a watery respite. I've seen Anthony Kim and Nick Watney braving the Waikiki waves. These pros are not all about fairways and greens. They enjoy soaking up the sights and sounds of so many beautiful places on Tour.
In a conversation with my colleague Rich Lerner, we concluded that Maui might be the most beautiful place we visit all year. Pebble Beach and San Diego run a close second but there's something about the Hawaiian islands that make you feel especially relaxed and peaceful. Stewart Cink said he uses the Aloha Swing as an opportunity to eat healthy and start the season with a zen-like state of mind. You can understand why Jim Furyk and Stephen Ames own property here and the list is growing.
If you are contemplating a Hawaiian escape but aren't sure if you want to travel that far, just remember... it snowed in Orlando last week while we were slathering on the sunscreen.
Aloha for now.