Tuesday, August 29, 2017

UPDATE: Topgolf Orlando On-Schedule for Early Fall Opening

It's almost ready...

I swung by the Topgolf Orlando project yesterday for a progress check and everything seems to be on schedule. Topgolf is still reporting an "early fall" opening so I expect them to open the doors and those amazing hitting stalls in the next few weeks. 
The opening comes right before the busy holiday season and Topgolf Orlando, no doubt, will be in fine form with a well trained staff by the PGA Merchandise Show in late January 2018.

Here's a brief overview of Topgolf Orlando:

--The three-level complex will encompass a whopping 65,000 square feet.

--There will be 3,000 square feet of private event space and meeting rooms.

--The 102 climate-controlled hitting bays will host up to six players at one time.

--More than 200 high-definition flat-screen TVs will be situated throughout the complex.

--There will be a full-service restaurant and bar and rooftop terrace and fire pit.

--The drinks and food selections will feature an upscale menu highlighted by specialty drinks like the Tipsy Palmer and Strawberry Jalapeño Margarita, craft beer selections, wine by the bottle or glass and delicacies like Bacon Mac 'N Cheese Springs Rolls, Pulled Pork Sliders and Char-grilled Steak Flatbread.

The location (9295 Universal Blvd.) is a prime one at Convention Way and Universal Boulevard, directly behind the Orange County Convention Center near International Drive. 

Currently under construction in front of Topgolf is the Andretti Indoor Karting & Games, an amazing facility with high-speed electric karts on a multi-level, banked turn track, as well as a ropes course with a zip line, VR racing simulators, laser tag, bowling, theater and restaurant and bar.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort in Florida Will Re-Open in October

The Guru loves oceanside courses, yet, oddly enough, there aren’t that many in my home state of Florida. You’ve got lots of layouts near the ocean, but really only a precious few directly on the ocean.

That’s why I’m so excited about the re-opening on October 12, 2017 of the Ocean Course, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Design, at Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, about 28 miles south of St. Augustine.

If the date sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because it marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Matthew, which wreaked havoc on the Ocean Course. High winds and storm surge from hurricane made the course almost unrecognizable.

Now, following an extensive 12-month restoration project, the Ocean Course is returning better than ever.

Staying true to Nicklaus’ design, the Ocean Course restoration and enhancement encompasses the re-grassing of all fairways, greens and rough with the salt-tolerant Platinum Paspalum, and the reconstruction of each tee box, bunker and green.

“By replacing Bermuda grass with salt-tolerant Platinum Paspalum, we will now offer golfers one of the purest surfaces in the game,” says Brad Hauer, director of golf at Hammock Beach Resort. “And, in addition to improved playing conditions for golfers of all levels, the views of the Atlantic Ocean are simply incredible.”
The Ocean Course’s dune line, which is more than a mile long, continues to be carefully restored to state conservation specifications. Newer and stronger dunes are forming, which offer greater environmental protection while also offering golfers some of the most stunning ocean panoramas on the East Coast.

Renowned for its six Atlantic Ocean-hugging holes and finishing stretch dubbed “The Bear Claw”, the Ocean Course is challenging, fun and oh so photogenic. Originally opened in 2000, the Ocean Course has multiple tee settings and plays as short as 4,100 yards and as long as 7,201 yards from the back tees.

While you’re at Hammock Beach Resort, definitely play the resort’s other highly-rated layout, the Conservatory Course, an exceptional Tom Watson design. 

Once the Ocean Course re-opens, the resort will be able to double its efforts to introduce young players to the sport through its Family Fairways Program. Designed to bring families together through golf, the daily program provides special rates for adults and juniors along with complimentary club rentals for children from 3:00 p.m. until close.

Guests are invited to be among the first to play the Ocean Course during the Grand Reopening Weekend, starting on October 12. It will feature several events, dining and entertainment. Golfers can also register to win a weekend at the resort by visiting the Ocean Course’s countdown page.
 Starting this fall, Hammock Beach Resort is offering golfers a JUST GOLF PACKAGE with rates starting at $179 per person, per day. The package includes one round on the Ocean Course, one round on the Conservatory Course and $20 daily breakfast credit. Pricing is based on midweek, two-night stay with four people sharing a deluxe three-bedroom villa. Rates, which are subject to availability, do not include taxes and service fees.

HammockBeach Resort has everything the Guru likes in a golf resort with challenging and drop dead gorgeous golf, luxurious, spacious accommodations, superb amenities like multiple restaurants and bars, a spa and fitness center and a terrific golf director who knows what golfers like.


Monday, August 14, 2017

10 Annoying Things About Golf

Laying on my couch this weekend watching the PGA Championship and U.S. Women's Amateur, I had a few minutes during commercials to write down some of the things that annoy me about golf these days.

1. I absolutely love Topgolf, but the golf media should please stop saying it'll bring more Millennials to golf. Noshing on upscale appetizers and copping a buzz from fancy cocktails before you hit some electronic golf balls is not really golf.

2. Enough already with dumb ideas like high-top golf shoes, golf sandals and track pants. Hey folks, we're supposed to be playing golf not shooting hoops or hangin' at the beach.

3. Hey LPGA and USGA, please stop having 12 and 13 year olds compete in your major championships. It just seems so sad to see these whippersnappers beat the heck out of your pros and college golfers.

4. Hello LPGA! Stop with the dress code. These are grown women. If Lexi Thompson, Belen Mozo and Paige Spiranac want to work out and wear form fitting clothing on the golf course, what's wrong with that. What you should outlaw is all of the boring outfits many players wear during tournaments.

5. Speed up play on the PGA Tour. Enough with the six hour rounds. My gosh, I've seen scramble tournaments with beer swilling participants play faster than some of these guys.

6. Attention PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and any other professional tour. Please don't use golf courses that have ridiculous false fronts on greens. I despise seeing golfers hit the green and have the ball roll off 20 yards back into the fairway. 

7. Leave Tiger Woods alone, golf media. I know he's worth millions of clicks and viewers, but let the man live in peace till he decides to tee it up again. And puh-leeze don't run that mug shot again. 

8. Hey PGA Tour, try to find more players like John Daly and Beef Johnston to counteract all of the lifeless robots playing on Tour.

9. At professional tour events, please instantly remove any fan that yells "Baba Booey", "Cheeseburger", "Mash Potatoes",  "in the hole", "you da man", etc. Especially "you da man" (that's so 1990s)

10. Hey adult fans (kids are ok), please stop trying to hand slap PGA Tour players as they walk from one hole to the next. It just seems so sad to see adult jock sniffers be so desperate.