Top 10 things to watch in the world of golf travel

By Erik PetersonJanuary 11, 2010, 10:00 am

golf on the horizon

1. What’s on the horizon?: There are dozens of new golf courses set to open in 2010, but with some facing uncertain financial futures, it’s anyone’s guess how many of them will actually cut the ribbon in 2010.

2010 championship logos

2. The year of the public golf course: In 2010, for the first time ever, the U.S. Open, British Open, PGA Championship and U.S. Amateur are all staged at public golf courses. Ok, so Pebble Beach ($495), Whistling Straits ($340) and St. Andrews ($208) aren’t exactly bargains, but if you’re looking to take a once-in-a-lifetime golf trip, you have more options this year than ever to play where – and when – the pros play.

golf in the cold

3. Will the economy heat up?: There isn’t a sport more inextricably linked to the success of the economy than golf, and it’s no secret that golf resorts all over the world are shivering these days. Things seem to be heating up, but it’s too soon to predict when we’ll be out of the cold.

mission hills china

4. The emergence of China as a golf destination: When the 12 courses at golfing metropolis Mission Hills opened, it sent a message that China is serious about being a golf destination. And when Augusta National promised a Masters invite to the winner of the newly-formed Asian Amateur Championship, it proved that the golf world is noticing. From Golf Channel's home in Orlando, it’s almost twice as far to China as it is to Scotland. The number of Americans who travel to China probably depends on how good the golf continues to get.

tiger woods dubai

5. Is Dubai toast?: Tiger’s course in Dubai is still up in the air, the purse for the European Tour’s Race to Dubai shrunk, and the entire city is teetering on the edge of financial calamity. Will Dubai ever become a major golf destination?

tpc rio

6. TPC Rio?: Now that it’s official that golf will be included in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, the question is: Where will it be played? With no real championship-caliber course in the area, some suspect that the PGA Tour will champion an effort to create a TPC Rio. Because of the historic circumstances, however, don’t be surprised if the bidding for design privileges heats up. Who knows, maybe we haven’t seen the last Nicklaus vs. Palmer duel.

airplane over golf course

7. How will gas prices affect travel habits?: The economy is supposed to improve this year, and if it does, oil and gas prices probably will go back up. How high, no one knows, but when prices hit record highs in the summer of 2008 golfers traveled less.

chambers bay scenic

8. Championship golf in the Pacific Northwest: Proving that the 1998 PGA Championship at Sahalee was more than just a flash in the pan for golf in the Pacific Northwest, the USGA is staging the 2010 U.S. Amateur at Chambers Bay Golf Course. In a region stereotyped as cold and rainy, a summertime national championship at this hard-and-fast, links-style course south of Seattle could show the world that the Pacific Northwest is a golfing force to be reckoned with.

old macdonald 7th hole
Photo courtesy Wood Sabold

9. New course at Bandon Dunes: The only thing more spectacular than Bandon Dunes is the fact that it keeps getting better. This June the seaside southern Oregon resort introduces its fourth course, Old Macdonald, which is Tom Doak’s tribute to Charles Blair Macdonald, the late father of American golf course architecture. The early buzz is that it’s just as good if not better than Pacific Dunes, its world-renowned sibling. screen grab

10. Easier than ever to book online: With each passing year it becomes easier – and safer – to make golf reservations on the Internet. Tee time sites like and travel sites like ensure that everyone from the traveling golfer to the weekend hacker has a place to research and book their rounds of golf.

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Watch: Guy does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
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Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.

Updated Official World Golf Ranking

There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”