Monday, August 31, 2015

10 Most Obnoxious Golf Guys

Golf is a difficult game to play and it's made even tougher when you run into one of these guys:

1. Mulligan Guy--You've seen him in all his glory at the charity pro-am. No, this charitable chum can't just lay down a $20 bill and buy a couple of Mullies a side. He's throwing down some serious coin to buy multiple Mulligans so he and his buddies can take extra whacks to erase errant tee shots, shanked seven irons and duffed pitches. Better still, after all the do-overs, his group walks away with the first place trophy and Mulligan Guy is the celebrated hero.

2. Gambler Guy--He can't play without a little on the side and loves wagering on the links more than Philly Mick or MJ. Gambler Guy knows seemingly every way in the world to wager on the golf course. Nassau, Skins Game, Round Robin, Bingo Bango Bongo....and he wants to play it. If you reject any of these offers, he still wants to bet you. How about a tenski on whether you hit the fairway? or  Maybe 20 bones on hitting a six-footer for birdie. This guy will wager on anything.

3. Grouchy starter Guy--He's the old grubber who has the personality traits of Bobby Knight, Bill Belechick and Donald Trump. He reads all the rules and do's and don'ts with  the compassion of a pissed off  Marine drill instructor, so it's difficult to relax and hit a good drive on the first hole. Lighten up starter guy, it's just golf...

4. Party Guy-Instead of heading to the bowling alley to knock down some pins and brewskis, this guy loves to play golf and ride around in his cart drunk. Early morning tee time? Noooooo problem. This loveable lug usually hits the Bloody Marys and Screwdrivers first (for breakfast), because he typically has a rule of "no beers till after 11:00 a.m". Then, it's a hops and barley fest to the 18th hole. Mr. Party Guy can't recall what he shot for the round, but he knows exactly how many drinks and beers he consumed. The saddest part of the saga is he stumbles out of the golf cart only to get into his car and drive home-- a DUI just waiting to happen.

5. Scorecard Guy--He has to write it all down--the good, bad and ugly. He loves to scratch down a snowman for you when you start circling the drain. No matter how bad you're crashing and burning, he absolutely, positively must know what score you made on a hole. He also gets great joy in leaving the scorecard in the cart (with all of your doubles and triples), so the attendants at the clubhouse can laugh their asses off while they clean your clubs.

6. Bored Assistant Pro Guy--Typically, it's a washed up junior golfer who had a some good rounds on the AJGA, played  college golf and never won more than a few hundred bucks on the mini-tours. He's angry his pro golf career didn't pan out and you, Mr. Customer Golfer, are going to receive a great big dose of his bitterness. He hates you for playing golf while he's stuck behind the counter ringing up greens fees and folding golf shirts.

7. Ball Hunting Guy--When this guy sees a hole with lots of lateral hazards and forested OB, he gets really excited. His rationale: "Geez, it's like hunting for Easter eggs. I can't believe how many Pro V's I'm going to find." Forget the scorecard, this frugal linkster judges his round by how many premium golf balls he finds and stuffs in his bag during a round. Next stop for this budding entrepreneur is Craigslist where his "Like New golf balls" ad will bring in the big dollars.

8. Always Late for Tee Time Guy--This is the guy that texts or calls and says he's only a few minutes away and then shows up 30 minutes late. He's never at the first tee on time... never. Even when you tell him the tee time is 15 minutes earlier than scheduled, he still manages to be late.

9. Masters Logo Guy--His outfit screams, "I went to the Masters and you losers can't even get tickets to the practice rounds." He's got the obligatory matching hat and shirt with the simple but very identifiable logo, and, of course, the golf towel, divot repair tool and other accessories. The real serious Masters Logo Guy has saved the wrapper from his pimento cheese sandwich which he had while roaming the grounds of the Augusta National Golf Club.

10. Prepping For the Champions Tour Guy--If you see a guy in his late 40s and he's got  game, please don't encourage him by saying: "Hey, you ought to make a run at the Champions Tour." Champions Tour Guy just can't seem to enjoy a round of golf because he knows the clock is ticking and he's grinding so hard. He dreams of taking down Langer, Couples and Lehman one day.  Right now, giving beatdowns to 12-handicappers will do just fine till he makes it on Tour.

Friday, August 21, 2015

On Location: Little Creek Casino Resort/Salish Cliffs Golf Club

Through the years I've visited my fair share of casino resorts.

I've thrown some bones on the craps table, sat bleary eyed and near busted at the blackjack table and played the slots for hours just praying for three sevens, three cherries or three anything...

Luckily, too, I've visited casino resorts with golf courses.

I recently stayed at the Squaxin Island Tribe's 190-room Little creek Casino Resort/Salish Cliffs Golf Club near Olympia, Washington and I think I've discovered the resort that has something for just about everyone--and I mean everyone.

In addition to the Salish Cliffs Golf Club (keep reading to find out more about this gem), the resort has smoking and non-smoking casino areas, an on-site RV park, a cigar lounge, a seafood bar, an espresso bar and and an events center with boxing events and big name concerts featuring the likes of Dwight Yoakam, Yes and Toto.


"Look around at this beauty in every direction and you'll know why I come to work with a smile on my face every day," Salish Cliffs head professional David Kass told me as we stood on the exaggerated elevated tee on the stunningly beautiful and wildly fun No. 3 par three. It plays 291-yard from the championship tees and 250-yards from the Players tee, where most weekend golfers play.

After playing the course, I most assuredly agree with Kass. It's picturesque and photogenic. Better still, the 
bent grass greens are excellent and the overall maintenance at the course is exemplary.

Salish Cliffs
, a Top 10 Casino Course by Golfweek Magazine, is designed by Gene Bates, who is also known for his work at Bayonet and Blackhorse in Seaside, California, Canyons Golf Club in Park City, Utah and Southwood Golf Club in Tallahassee.

Stretching 7,269 yards from the championship tees, the course plays to 6,766 yards and 6,312 yards for mid-handicappers.

With radically changing elevations and 360-degree views of Kamilche Valley, the course has a distinctive character with a great selection of uphill and downhill holes. It serves its purpose well as a resort course with fair landing areas off the tee for all skill levels.

Many of the holes are framed by thick fescue and you definitely want to stay in the short grass if you want to score well. If you spend most of your time chopping out of the tall stuff, trust me, you'll want to destroy your scorecard before the cart attendants get a good look at it.

After the round, the classy, log house style clubhouse has an excellent dining room and a second floor veranda with great views. I suggest ordering the Flat Iron Steak Sandwich for lunch or the Fish and Chips (Halibut) and the Country Scramble for breakfast.

An interesting fact about Salish Cliffs is that it's the world's first Salmon Safe Certified Golf Course.


Each room has either one California King or two queen beds with European-style bedding and lots of pillows. Rooms are decorated with modern artwork and appointed with dark wood furnishings. In addition, there is a Spa Room with a 2-person jetted spa tub and California King-sized bed and two-room Spa Suite as well as ADA compliant rooms.

Standard Room amenities, include:

32" Television

High-speed internet access
In-room coffee pot
Ice bucket
Iron and ironing board
Alarm Clock
Hair Dryer

10 Little Things I Liked

1. The plush leather couches in the lobby.

2. The 8-person "Cadillac" golf cart that transports you from the hotel to the golf course.

3. The interesting and creative art work that dots the walls of the hotel common areas.

4. The totem poles that stand in front of the clubhouse at the golf course.

5.  The beautiful landscaping and brightly colored flowers on the property that put you in a great mood.

6. David Kass, the amiable and helpful head golf professional at Salish Cliffs G.C.

7. The indoor pool and oversized hot tub.

8. The cigar selection (over 70 brands) at Skookum Cigar & Wine Lounge at the hotel.

9. The fresh oysters, clams and salmon at the seafood bar.

10.The espresso and wine bar in the lobby of the hotel.



Creekside Buffet
--Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it offers everything from fresh local seafood to premium steaks and a wide range of other entrees, salads and desserts.

Island Grille
--A gourmet dining room with corn-fed, hand-cut steaks, seafood and chops prepared by a top notch culinary team. The menu is dotted with delicacies like Prociutto Wrapped Prawns, Dungeness Crab Casserole and a 12 ounce Delmonico Ribeye Steak.

Squaxim Island Seafood Bar
--A classic seafood bar in a horseshoe configuration, it has a fresh selection of seafood from the Pacific Northwest such as salmon, oysters and clams.

Starlight Lounge
--Located just off the casino floor, this full-service restaurant and bar has Happy Hour drink specials from noon to 3 p.m. and free live entertainment and dancing.

Skookum Spirit Cigar Lounge
-The ultimate for cigar lovers, this smartly appointed lounge has a well-stocked humidor with over 70 brands of premium cigars, live music on Friday and Saturday and a wine tasting on Wednesday.

Water's Edge Cafe
--Offering burgers, sandwiches and salads, it's a great place to grab a quick bite in between gaming or playing golf.


Skookum Creek Event Center
--This 1,800-seat facility hosts concerts, big events, trade shows, boxing events and other events. It has two full-service cocktail bars and private skybox seating. Among the big name stars that have appeared recently are Trace Adkins, Dwight Yoakam and the bands Toto and Yes.

--The full-service casino offers poker rooms, blackjack, slots, bingo, keno, pull tabs and other games. Sporting a newly remodeled gaming floor, the casino has smoking and non-smoking sections.

Side Trips--The southern end of the Olympic National Forest is nearby and a drive up route 3 towards Bremerton takes you through many small historic fishing towns. The town of Shelton has an interesting old town area that's walkable.

Seven Inlets Spa--The on-site, full-service spa has massage, organic facials, body treatments, saunas, Eucalyptus Steam Rooms and a Meditation Room


Situated in Shelton, Washington off Highway 101 about a 20-minute drive from downtown Olympia. Address: 91 West State Route 108, Shelton, Washington 98584.


For information or reservations, call 800-667-7711 or click to their website at Little Creek Casino Resort.  For more golf information, call 360-462-3673 or click to Salish Cliffs Golf Club.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

5 Things I Hate About Air Travel

I love to travel. I’ve traveled internationally since I was a kid and I’ve pretty much seen it all.

As the Golf Travel Guru, not surprisingly, I spend a lot of time in airports and jets.

As we all know, the air travel experience has gotten progressively worse over the past few years...

In the past few months, I’ve flown from Orlando to Venice, Italy, Marsh Harbor, Bahamas, Cancun, Mexico, Seattle, Washington and Panama City, Florida. During my flights, I took a few minutes to make some notes on the air travel experience.

Here are some of the things that drive the Golf Travel Guru crazy:

1. Extremely Overpriced Food At Airports—Apparently it’s legal at airports to sell hot dogs for $9 and beer for $8.  That’s what I paid on a recent trip. What did I get for this royal sum? A hot dog that contained more salt than a person needs in a week with a stale bun that made sawdust look appetizing. My craft beer was a forgettable concoction that tasted like a can of Natural Light that was left on a porch in Florida on a hot July day.

2. Clueless Overhead Luggage Passengers—I mean what does it take to walk down the aisle of a plane and quickly place your carry-on bag in the overhead bin.  Oh nooooooo, these people have to languish in the aisle contemplating, I guess, "the meaning of life" while 50 other passengers wait patiently in line behind them. Here’s some advice: Put your damn bag in the bin, or just step out of the aisle and let everybody go by. P.S.: Don’t have some oversize bag that takes assistance from three flight attendants to stuff it in the bin.

3. Zone Busters—When the call over the intercom says “All passengers in zone 1 can board.”, it never fails that Mr. and Mrs. Zone 4 is up there ready to board. Puhleese, look at your boarding pass and enter the plane when your zone is called. It’s really not that difficult, is it?

4. Clueless Cell Phone Users—On airport concourses, I always seem to get behind the dimwit on his phone wandering aimlessly back and forth while a pack of people can’t pass the inconsiderate dolt. He or she is scrolling through social media posts or talking to the poor sap that has to pick them up from the airport. Regardless, just show some consideration for other passengers who can’t wait to get OUT of the airport.

5. Off-Site Parking—You practically need a home equity loan to afford near-terminal parking these days. Consequently, like millions of others, I park at a satellite lot. When I arrive after a flight, I typically wait sometimes up to a half hour till the transport van shows up. Are there any on-time van drivers anymore?