When golf is not enough Gulf Shores Alabama diversions

By Mike BaileyNovember 23, 2010, 2:05 am
golf not enough alabama
Ft. Morgan, Blue Angels and The Hangout are three excellent off-the-course activities

GULF SHORES, Ala. – It's no secret that the Gulf Coast area of Alabama offers plenty of good golf, but if you're spending all your time on the course, you could be cheating yourself out of the full experience.

By combining such excursions as fishing, parasailing and dolphin cruises with golf at venues like
Kiva Dunes Golf Course, Craft Farms and Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club, traveling golfers can put together a well-rounded itinerary. There are plenty of great restaurants – especially seafood places – and a good bit of Southern nightlife as well.
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'We are not your typical golf destination with all there is to do here,' said Duncan Millar, executive director of Golf Gulf Shores. 'The best way to experience the destination is to take about a week to visit and play a round every other day and then mix in the other great things there are to do on the non golfing day. Fishing and golf work great together for your typical buddy trip.'

With that said, here are few suggestions on your next trip to the Gulf Shores area.

Fishing on the Gulf

Golf and fishing go together like shrimp and grits, and you would be hard-pressed to find many locations that combine the two better than the Gulf Shores/Pensacola, Fla., area. By most accounts, recreational deep-sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico is back after the Gulf oil disaster April, and charter companies are anxious to get your business.

If you have a group, the cost of a fishing charter, complete with a guide, equipment and plenty of refreshments, is comparable to a round of golf – about $50-$80 per participant for a half day. The area boasts one of, if not, the largest charter fishing fleets in the world, and there are a variety of options and sizes of boats to help you catch fish such as red snapper, mackerel, cobia, amberjack, grouper, tuna, marlin, or sailfish. From novices to experts, there's a fishing experience for everyone. Just make sure to take a dose of Dramamine if you're not use to the chop.

Restaurants and nightlife

Down on the Gulf Coast, they have a different way of entertaining – few limits and no pretentions – and the venues reflect that philosophy.

Perhaps no club personifies the area better than the famed Flora-Bama, a beachfront lounge that straddles the Florida-Alabama state line. Opened in 1964, the bar is especially popular during holidays such as Labor Day, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. Celebrities, bikers, millionaires, nearby Navy personnel and plain folks go to hear bands, celebrate festivals and kick back. Having survived Hurricane Ivan from a few years ago, the establishment (simply referred to by locals as the Bama) has multiple bars and stages, serves drinks like the 'Bushwacker' and is known for its annual Interstate Mullet Toss, an event where people throw fish from Alabama to Florida. Jimmy Buffett wrote a song ('Bama Breeze') about the bar.
Speaking of Buffett, Jimmy's sister, Lucy, owns another favorite establishment in the area – Lulu's at Homeport marina on the Intercoastal Waterway in Gulf Shores. It's actually Lucy Buffett's second location for the restaurant, which was physically transported by barge from its original location on Weeks Bay five years earlier. The restaurant/bar has a very casual, relaxed atmosphere and plenty of favorites on the menu, including local seafood, sandwiches, burgers, appetizers and, of course, desserts. There's also plenty of good live entertainment.

Another popular hangout in the area is The Hangout, located on the beach in Gulf Shores. The Hangout oozes history with hundreds of photographs depicting fun on the beaches going back to the 1950s. You'll also find plenty of vintage lunch pails, signs and other artifacts littered throughout the place. With live entertainment on most nights of the week, it's a great spot to enjoy and outdoor concert. There's also dozens of big screens for sporting events, great food and beer and a souvenir shop. The back of the establishment opens up to the Gulf of Mexico, making The Hangout a great summer spot both in the daytime and at night. There's even a giant bubble machine that produces foam large enough to hide the entire Brady Bunch.

Other fun things to do in the Gulf Shores/Pensacola area

Just a few miles east of Mobile, Ala., near Warrington, Fla., is the Naval Air Station-Pensacola. The base is home to the Blue Angels, which not only perform around the world, but locally as well. It's also home of the National Museum of Naval Aviation, a military and aerospace museum that opened in 1962. It chronicles the history of aviation from the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard with more than 150 aircraft on display. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. most days, admission is free.

For another history lesson, you can visit Ft. Morgan, located on the mouth of Mobile Bay. Named in honor of the Revolutionary War here Daniel Morgan, the post was completed in 1834. In 1861 it was seized by the Confederates and was the site of the Battle of Mobile Bay leading to its recapture by Union forces during the latter stages of the Civil War. Today, the fort has a museum as well as battle re-enactments open to the public.

And finally, for the kid in everyone, there's The Track Family Recreation Center, located on Gulf Shores Boulevard in Gulf Shores. Kids and adults can enjoy mini golf, go-carts, bumper boats, arcade and more daring adventures like the SkyCoaster, which straps willing participants into a harness only to freefall from distances up to 110 feet. After surviving the SkyCoaster, those three-foot putts for bogey should be no-sweat.

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Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”