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The Best Courses: On Tour and open for play

The world’s best players might play a game with which we recreational amateurs are unfamiliar, but they often play courses with which we’re quite familiar.

The annual list of Golfweek’s Best Tour Courses You Can Play reveals that far from being elitist undertakings, the pro circuits – PGA Tour, Champions Tour, Nationwide Tour and LPGA – are surprisingly public and accessible in terms of venues.

Of the 50 layouts highlighted on our list, 26 are regular PGA Tour stops – starting with No. 1 on the roster, Pebble Beach Golf Links. No. 15 on the list, El Camaleon Mayakoba, right here in Playa del Carmen, host of the Mayakoba Golf Classic, Mexico’s Only PGA Tour Event.

Indeed, the entire Florida swing of the PGA Tour is played on public-access courses: TPC Sawgrass – Players Stadium Course (No. 8), Innisbrook Golf Club – Copperhead Course (No. 25), Bay Hill Club (No. 30), Doral Golf Resort & Spa – TPC Blue Monster (No. 35) and Walt Disney World Resort – Magnolia (No. 42).

Major sites also fare pretty well in terms of accessibility. British Open courses for 2010 and ’11 are on the list: St. Andrews – Old Course in Scotland (No. 2) and Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, England (No. 4). So is last year’s home of the PGA Championship: Whistling Straits – Straits Course in Kohler, Wis. (No. 3).

Though some of these public layouts have considerable green fees, others are municipally owned and operated and a bargain to play, at least for local residents. Joining St. Andrews and Carnoustie Golf Links – Championship Course in Scotland (No. 5) – in such company are two city-owned courses at Torrey Pines in San Diego, the South (No. 29) and North (No. 45), TPC Scottsdale – Stadium Course in Arizona (No. 32) and TPC Harding Park in San Francisco (No. 41).

You’ll need a Tour card to play in the scheduled tournaments. But any other week, access to the first tee of these sites is open to everyone.

Bradley S. Klein
The world’s best players might play a game with which we recreational amateurs are unfamiliar, but they often play courses with which we’re quite familiar.

The annual list of Golfweek’s Best Tour Courses You Can Play reveals that far from being elitist undertakings, the pro circuits – PGA Tour, Champions Tour, Nationwide Tour and LPGA – are surprisingly public and accessible in terms of venues.

Of the 50 layouts highlighted on our list, 26 are regular PGA Tour stops – starting with No. 1 on the roster, Pebble Beach Golf Links. No. 15 on the list, El Camaleon Mayakoba, right here in Playa del Carmen, host of the Mayakoba Golf Classic, Mexico’s Only PGA Tour Event.

Indeed, the entire Florida swing of the PGA Tour is played on public-access courses: TPC Sawgrass – Players Stadium Course (No. 8), Innisbrook Golf Club – Copperhead Course (No. 25), Bay Hill Club (No. 30), Doral Golf Resort & Spa – TPC Blue Monster (No. 35) and Walt Disney World Resort – Magnolia (No. 42).

Major sites also fare pretty well in terms of accessibility. British Open courses for 2010 and ’11 are on the list: St. Andrews – Old Course in Scotland (No. 2) and Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, England (No. 4). So is last year’s home of the PGA Championship: Whistling Straits – Straits Course in Kohler, Wis. (No. 3).

Though some of these public layouts have considerable green fees, others are municipally owned and operated and a bargain to play, at least for local residents. Joining St. Andrews and Carnoustie Golf Links – Championship Course in Scotland (No. 5) – in such company are two city-owned courses at Torrey Pines in San Diego, the South (No. 29) and North (No. 45), TPC Scottsdale – Stadium Course in Arizona (No. 32) and TPC Harding Park in San Francisco (No. 41).

You’ll need a Tour card to play in the scheduled tournaments. But any other week, access to the first tee of these sites is open to everyone.

Bradley S. Klein

How close is RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) to saving the Heritage?

The search for a new sponsor for the Heritage has made Steve Wilmot, the tournament director, physically ill from worry after Verizon pulled out of the Hilton Head stop last year and left the event scrambling to stay alive in 2011.

An exciting playoff won by Brandt Snedeker, a compelling subplot with Luke Donald ascending to No. 1 with a victory, and gorgeous weather accentuating Harbour Town GL had to make him feel better. But the best medicine will likely be delivered in the coming days when Royal Bank of Canada is expected to ride to the rescue and save the tourney.

Several players and sources related to the tournament told Golf World that RBC is close to signing a four-year sponsorship deal. Talk about timing: RBC already received nice exposure with two of its players, Donald (shown) and Jim Furyk, in the final pairing.

So the good news is that one of the players’ favorite events held on one of the PGA Tour’s most revered layouts probably isn’t going away or getting replaced by a TPC near you. Score one for the little guys.

— Dave Shedloski

(Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
The search for a new sponsor for the Heritage has made Steve Wilmot, the tournament director, physically ill from worry after Verizon pulled out of the Hilton Head stop last year and left the event scrambling to stay alive in 2011.

An exciting playoff won by Brandt Snedeker, a compelling subplot with Luke Donald ascending to No. 1 with a victory, and gorgeous weather accentuating Harbour Town GL had to make him feel better. But the best medicine will likely be delivered in the coming days when Royal Bank of Canada is expected to ride to the rescue and save the tourney.

Several players and sources related to the tournament told Golf World that RBC is close to signing a four-year sponsorship deal. Talk about timing: RBC already received nice exposure with two of its players, Donald (shown) and Jim Furyk, in the final pairing.

So the good news is that one of the players’ favorite events held on one of the PGA Tour’s most revered layouts probably isn’t going away or getting replaced by a TPC near you. Score one for the little guys.

— Dave Shedloski

(Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Nick Price golf comes to the Riviera Maya

Last Saturday I finally got my chance to play the new course, it was worth the wait. I lived in Hawaii for 15 years and have gotten used to playing beautiful resort courses weekly so I had some expectations about what it might look like and I’ve watched the construction as it progressed for months now.

Grand Coral Golf Course

Grand Coral Golf Course

The exclusive location of the new Grand Coral Riviera Maya resort—within the city limits of Playa del Carmen and right next to the Caribbean Sea—presented a unique challenge to Nick Price as he began designing the golf course: that of creating a course that highlights the region’s natural beauty and its blessed location while still conserving the ecological environment and minimizing the need for excessive use of water. The design team conducted a planning and routing study in conjunction with a carefully selected team made up of the Grand Coral Group real estate developer, wildlife consultants, biologists, civil engineers and environmental consultants.

The layout is eye candy and a treat to play. The course is fair and hard depending upon your choice of tee boxes.

The Grand Coral Riviera Maya project features a magnificent 18-hole golf course with the Nick Price touch and design, where pros and amateurs alike can spend pleasant days playing golf only a few yards away from the Riviera Maya’s spectacular Caribbean Sea.

We played from the blues which added a just the right amount of challenge for me.

The greens are large and will be wonderful after the grounds crew do the final rolling and cut them down to get the speed up it was very slow like shag carpet but that will go away soon believe me.

Resort courses are by nature not intended to punish the tourist golfer if you play from the whites or ladies tee’s.

From the tips or blues it will make you think your way around the course, I know you will find it a pleasure to play and make a small wager with your friends.

I found all the holes a challenge and visually interesting and it wasn’t a push over either.

The new electric carts were fast and very responsive and have a drive gear that allows you to just stop and walk away without setting the brake.

They haven’t added the jugs of sand/grass for repairing divots yet to the carts but I’m sure they will add that as well to protect the grass.

This course will be a must play for your next vacation trip to Mexico or a weekly game if your lucky enough to live here like I do.  Don’t forget to book your next Mexico golf outing through our favorite service TeedOff located in Playa del Carmen and serving the entire Yucatan golf region.

Larry Crowson

Gringosinparadise.com.mx

Teed Off’s Favourite NeighbourTeed Off’s Favorite Neighbor

Teed Off Tee Times would like to thank our next door neighbour, The Snorkel Shop, and its owner Graham Law. Graham was the first to link us to his website http://www.mexicantoureast.com/en/welcome.html and has been a friend since the beginning.

The Snorkel Shop will make your vacation an experience to remember. They are devoted to making your stay in Playa del Carmen as eventful as possible and their snorkel tours are designed for comfort, safety and above all, fun. You will have an adventure that you will tell you’re friends about upon your return home.

As well, The Snorkel Shop is the highest rated Activity in the Riveria Maya by Tripadvisor. See for yourself at http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g150812-d1224253-Reviews-The_Snorkel_Shop-Playa_del_Carmen_Yucatan_Peninsula.html
Teed Off Tee Times, your source for golf in the Riviera Maya, would like to thank our next door neighbour, The Snorkel Shop, and its owner Graham Law. Graham was the first to link us to his website http://www.mexicantoureast.com/en/welcome.html and has been a friend since the beginning.

The Snorkel Shop will make your vacation an experience to remember. They are devoted to making your stay in Playa del Carmen as eventful as possible and their snorkel tours are designed for comfort, safety and above all, fun. You will have an adventure that you will tell your friends about upon your return home.

As well, The Snorkel Shop is the highest rated Activity in the Riveria Maya by Tripadvisor. See for yourself at http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g150812-d1224253-Reviews-The_Snorkel_Shop-Playa_del_Carmen_Yucatan_Peninsula.html

Photos courtesy of The Snorkel Shop and

Great Golfing In Mexico Offers Magic You Won’t Find Elsewhere

Mexico Golf

Mayakoba's El Camaleon

Anyone who has ever had a good time in Mexico can tell you that the warmth and sparkle of this country and it’s people are definitely worth experiencing. Even beyond the culture there is the fact that this is where you see beauty of the natural variety around every corner. For those that love to golf, Mexico has many choices, but let’s check out a few of a the best, shall we?

You know that there are many great places to go in Mexico, but what about golf specific locations? Well, according to an article in Golf Tips Magazine, there are some clear favorites such as cancun golf courses, beach front  playa golf courses for an ideal mexico golf experience. There is Vista Vallarta in Puerto Vallarta, Moon Palace in Cancun, and Pamilla in Los Cabos, just to name a few. Some of these courses are designed by golf greats like Tom Weiskopf, Robert Trent Jones and even Jack Nicklaus. These are gorgeous courses that suit a variety of skill levels.

Of course, there are more than these to choose from. If you happen to be a fan of the Acapulco experience, T.L. Chancellor of USA Today’s Travel section wrote an article showcasing exclusive golf retreats here such as the Turtle Dunes Country Club or Tres Vidas. When you think about being able to golf right up to the Pacific ocean, you can see the charm here. Another beauty of a Mexican course you may want to experience lies in Akumel, where LocoGringo writer Bart Smith tells about the Bahia Principe course designed by Robert Trent Jones. It seems that Mexico, especially the Yucatan Peninsula, is just bursting with gorgeous gems for golfers to discover.

Speaking of the Yucatan, if you are looking for something fabulous then the Mayakoba might just be a great choice. Tee times at the El Camaleon give you an open door to a Greg Norman designed course that you are not going to want to miss. Why? Well, because it’s part of the PGA Tour, for one thing. If you are anywhere on the east coast of Mexico, even the pros will tell you that Mayakoba is a resort you have got to visit. As long as you book early, you should be able to find that out for yourself whenever you are in the area.

Yes, Mexico is definitely a golfer’s delight. You can get a lot of good out of this place and find with real magic that you just won’t find anywhere else in Central America or even the rest of the world. Whether it’s Cancun, Acapulco or Mayakoba, the mix of natural beauty and friendly folks shines from coast to coast here. You should consider it if you want a great golfing experience.

If we all could learn from this future athlete.

The next time you’re in a bad mood…maybe you need to remember this one. Your attitude towards life defines not only who you are, but the quality of life you will have. Have you ever seen a more beautiful smile?

If anyone know this little champion’s information please send it to us at http://www.teedoff.com.mx

Feed Back from our Customer

Yes, it was great to meet you and we had a delightful time on the links at Playacar and Riveria Maya. The layout, and condition at Riviera Maya was fantastic. It will be great when the club house opens too. Looking forward to our next trip.

Take Care

Tamara Smith

No Canadian Golfers to Watch This Weekend

It doesn’t look like Teed Off Tee Times will get to cheer on any fellow Canadians (or Duffy Waldorf) this weekend at the Valero Texas Open. David Hearn, Matt McQuillan, Chris Baryla and Mike Weir all missed the cut this week. However, it looks like it will be an exciting weekend as 7 players are tied for the lead and 9 more are within 2 shots of the lead. Windy conditions have made tough scoring conditions in San Antonio this week.

Hey, at least we still have 2 Canadian teams in the NHL playoffs.  No, not the team below however. 

Did you know Teed Off Tee Times also rents golf clubs? We do! No need to bring your clubs with you, wherever you are travelling from. We offer Titleist, Callaway and Adams rentals for our customers.

Last minute Bookings http://www.teedoff.com.mx/

Go Duffy Go at the Valero Texas Open

Four-Time PGA Tour winner Duffy Waldorf will be teeing it up this week at the Valero Texas Open. Is Duffy our sleeper pick to win? No, not really. However, Duffy and his wife Vicky became friends of Teed Off Tee Times in February when they were here for the 2011 Mayakoba Golf Classic at El Camaleon.

It happens that Vicky Waldorf has a company called Gogie Girl headwear. Teed Off was in Orlando, Florida back in January attending the PGA Merchandise show and we were introduced to Vicky through mutual friends. And after the show, we ended up going out for dinner together with the same mutual friends. One thing led to another and e-mail addresses were exchanged.

We touched base again when the Waldorf’s came to Mayakoba. After Duffy’s round on Friday, we decided to go out for dinner along with Michael Allen and his wife Cynthia. We had a wonderful dinner at Rosewood Mayakoba (A Thank You to Alfredo Rentaria) and got to know both couples. All 4 are incredibly nice people and Teed Off Tee Times is lucky to know them.

So why are we cheering for Duffy this week? Yes, he and his wife Vicky are great people. But if Duffy wins this week, he would be a 3-Time winner of the Texas Open. He would have won the Texas Open when it was called LaCantera, Westin and now Valero. Not many other PGA Tour Professionals can say they’ve won a tournament 3 different times and with three different names.

Schwartzel Spectacular on Sunday at Augusta

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Charl Schwartzel gave this Masters a finish it deserved.
On an amazing Sunday at Augusta National, where the roars came from everywhere and for everyone and didn’t stop until it was over, Schwartzel emerged from the madness by becoming the first Masters champion to close with four straight birdies.

His final putt from 20 feet curled into the side of the cup for a 6-under 66, the best closing round at the Masters in 22 years. It gave the 26-year-old South African a two-shot victory over Australians Adam Scott and Jason Day. First came a fist-pumping charge by Tiger Woods, who erased a seven-shot deficit in nine holes only to go flat on the back nine. Then came the stunning collapse of 21-year-old Rory McIlroy, who put his name in Masters lore for all the wrong reasons.

Still leading by one shot as he headed to the back nine, McIlroy hit a tee shot next to the cabins left of the 10th fairway and twice hit a tree to make triple bogey. He three-putted from 7 feet for bogey on the 11th, four-putted from about 12 feet on the next hole and buried his head into his forearm as the shock began to settle in.

Schwartzel set the tone early when he chipped in from some 75 feet across the green for birdie on the opening hole, then holed out from the fairway on No. 3 for eagle. Just like that, McIlroy’s four-shot lead was gone.

Schwartzel becomes the sixth South African to win a major, and third to win at Augusta. “It’s been such a short time to think about what can happen. It’s a dream for me,” Schwartzel said. “It’s obviously the highlight of my golf career, by a long way. I always thought if there was one I would win, it would be this one.”

Picture Squire/Getty Images