Are you sick and tired of nothing but bad news about our lousy economy, golf resorts going into Chapter 11 and everybody bemoaning Tiger Woods’ absence? Surprise. I’ve actually got some good news to report. How about these happenings:
It’s about time a flashy star stepped forward in Tiger’s absence. Villegas’ impressive five-stroke victory at the Honda Classic at PGA National has put the young Colombian back in the spotlight. Known as “Spider-Man” for his contortionist, pretzel-like technique while lining up putts, Villegas has the kind of youthful energy and star power the PGA Tour desperately needs. Let’s face it, even when pre-mistresses Tiger was going strong, the PGA Tour had become somewhat stale because nobody really paid much attention during the many weeks Tiger did not play. Since Tiger typically teed it up less than 20 times a year on the Tour, there were lots of weeks fans just didn’t care. Granted, a non-Tiger Tour has lost a major amount of sizzle, but the PGA Tour will be better off if it develops a larger galaxy of stars like Villegas, Anthony Kim, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy and others. I’d love to see Camilo go back-to-back and win this week’s WGC-CA Championship at Doral.
Great Golf Travel Deals
These sorry economic times have rewarded us with some great golf travel deals. For instance, Golfpac Travel is featuring the “Amelia Island Plantation Unlimited Golf Package”, which is good to December 31, 2010. The package costs $386 per golfer (based on 4 persons sharing a resort view three-bedroom villa). Amenities include two nights’ accommodations, unlimited green and cart fees on Ocean Links, Oak Marsh and Amelia River courses and resort service fee and taxes. Daily housekeeping is not included in villa units, but can be added for a fee. For those not familiar with Amelia Island Plantation resort, it’s located 29 miles northeast of the Jacksonville, Florida airport on 1,350 acres between the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway.
Terrific New Course
There’s a lot of gloom and doom with new golf course construction in the U.S., but there are some excellent new layouts debuting around the globe. One of my favorite new ones is The Black Pearl, a Pete and Perry Dye design on the tropical island of Roatan, 35 miles off the northern coast of Honduras. The centerpiece of the 400-acre Pristine Bay Resort, the course has ocean views on 14 holes and a signature island-green, par-3 11th hole. Play starts oceanside, rises into the island’s rolling foothills and then takes golfers back to the seaside clubhouse. A five-star, 120-room resort hotel and spa is slated to open in February 2011.