Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Myrtle Beach Golf Courses

Myrtle Beach, in South Carolina, is home to a number of exciting golf courses. Designed by some famous golfers, and top course designers, the courses offer some great golf. In many respects, it makes for a good golf vacation destination.

To begin with, there is the West Course. Designed by Arnold Palmer, this is one of the most challenging in the Myrtle Beach area. The course is carved through majestic Carolina pine forests, and has numerous natural hazards in addition to fairway bunkers.

Alternatively, you could try the Nicklaus layout at Long Bay Club. This course has some excellent holes, with holes 7,10,13 and 18 featured in the book The 100 Greatest holes along the Grand Strand.' It has formidable features, including a 137-slope rating and countless man-made mounds. The course also has bottomless bunkers scattered about, and some tricky par 3 holes. While the par 3 holes can be pretty they can also be very hard, like the 13th which has a green surrounded by water!

There are two Robert Trent Jones courses in the region. Waterway Hills Golf Club is one, featuring the Oak, Ravine and Lake Courses. These are classic Jones courses, featuring strategic landing areas, great bunkers and crowned greens. They are all 9-hole courses, set amid woodlands and lakes.

If looking for a more Scottish golf course, then you could try the Aberdeen Golf Club. This is one of the newest clubs in Myrtle Beach area. As the name suggests, the club has courses with a more Scottish feel. The nine-hole courses of the Meadows, Highlands and Woodlands keep to Scottish tradition and feature mounding, wide land areas and bent grass.

The North Course at the Myrtle Beach National is one of the most exciting in Myrtle Beach. Arnold Palmer and his design group have transformed the North Course into one of the best in America. Golf Digest ranked it in America's top 10 new upscale courses, and it has been named South Carolina's course of the year.

What makes it so special? It has some dramatic holes like the 6th hole, which has an island fairway. The 12th hole has an island green, while hole 18 has over 40 sand traps guarding both sides of the fairway and a lake stretching out from it. Such holes make it perhaps the best course on the Grand Strand.

Of course, these are just a select handful of some of the more notable golf courses in the Myrtle Beach area. Overall, there are approximately 130 golf courses in the region for golfers to try their hand at. Myrtle Beach has golf courses featuring excellent design creativity and scenery, with water hazards featuring prominently. Certainly there is no lack of choice, and golfers of all levels should find something to cater for them in Myrtle Beach.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Brief Guide to the More Essential Golf Equipment and Accessories

In the game of golf there is some variety of equipment and accessories. The equipment and accessories range in size and necessity. Here are a few of the golf equipment and accessories that should be taken onto a golf course.

Golf clubs

The golf clubs are the most essential equipment for a round of golf, along with the ball itself. You will need at least a few golf clubs for tee-shots, and also the short game. Overall, the golf clubs include woods, irons, wedges, and putter. The golf irons include clubs from 3 iron up to 9 iron, with the lower numbered clubs hitting the ball further. Then, for the short game the wedges and golf putter can be used for chipping, pitching, and putting on the golf green. As such, you can take as many as 14 golf clubs onto a golf course, but no more.

Golf Bag

The golf bag is something that is required to put the golf clubs in. Overall, the golf bags can be either stand bags which include a stand for support, or golf cart-bags which can be pulled. Such golf bags can carry a full-set of clubs, and also have additional pockets for accessories.

Golf head covers also come included with a variety of golf bags. Golf head covers are put over the longest clubs in the bag, such as the woods. They can come in various colors, shapes and sizes with novelty head covers a great addition to any golf bag. You can find plenty at websites such as:

Golf Tees

Golf tees are needed to tee the golf ball for tee shots. Overall, the golf tees can be smaller or larger tees, which tee the ball higher or lower depending on the loft required. In addition to this, the golf tees can be either the more durable plastic tees or wooden golf tees.

Golf Glove

Few golfers play without a golf glove. Golf gloves are for the left hand, and provide extra grip of the golf club. Golf gloves are usually either leather or synthetic, and leather gloves can be more durable than the synthetic alternatives.

Pitch-mark Repair Tool and Ball Marker

Pitch-mark repair tools are used on the green. If the green is not entirely smooth in places, then a pitch-mark repair tool can be used to flatten the green with. By flattening the green, a smooth putt can then be made towards the hole. The other golf accessory for the green are ball markers that can be left on the green to mark the position of a removed ball. As such, with one of these you can then remove your ball from the green to rub mud off it.

This is just some the golf equipment and accessories you can and should take out onto a golf course. Golf clubs, golf bag, golf tees, golf glove, pitch-mark repair tool, and golf shoes are equipment and accessories that can assist you during a round. Such golf equipment and accessories can be found at most golf stores.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

An Augusta Flyover

The Augusta golf course has some great holes, all of which are included within this great simulated tour of the golf course. This EA tour flys over and through the course's holes from hole one to the final 18th. The flyover is from EA's Tiger Wood PGA Tour 12 golf game, which is the first to include the Master's golf championship.  Check out the video below for an overview of this famous course. 

This flyover of the 12th hole, with Rae's Creek, is also a great video:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Brief History of Golf during the 20th Century

Towards the end of the 19th century golf was established in America. The first American golf courses ensured a burgeoning golf industry, and a new generation of golfers for an exciting era. With this, the professional game took off and golf became one of the most prominent sports.

It was in the UK that the PGA (Professional Golf Association) was first established in 1901. This was the first professional golf body that represented club professionals.

Advances in golf balls came in 1908. Taylor patented the first dimple design for golf balls in 1908. Such a design enhanced golf ball aerodynamics, and so allowed for players to hit balls further than they had before.

The U.S. Open was first established toward the end of the 19th century. However, in the 20th it continued to be dominated by UK golfers up until 1911. As such, it was John McDermott who was the first American golfer to win the U.S. Open, and indeed a major, on American soil.

This would be followed by the emergence of the PGA of America in 1916. The PGA of America was founded by Robert White, and would represent American professional golfers. In addition, the first PGA Championship coincided with the emergence of the PGA of America in 1916. Held in 1916, the PGA Championship was first won by Jim Barnes.

Match-play matches involving UK and U.S. golf teams the early '20s would see the emergence of new match-play event in 1926. Founded by Samuel Ryder, the Ryder Cup began in 1927 as a biannual match-play championship between the best American and UK golfers. The first Ryder Cup was won convincingly by the U.S., and up until '37 the championship remained relatively even.

In the early '30s the Augusta National course was opened. With this, the Masters golf championship began as the Augusta National Invitation on March 22nd 1934. The first championship was won by Horton Smith, and then Gene Sarazen in 1935 with the course layout reversed.

In the post-war era, with four major golf championships established, TV coverage of the game began. The U.S. Open was one of the first golf championships to be given such coverage by CBS.

Conferences between the USGA and R & A in 1951 would go some way to standardising the game. The golf bodies reviewed and revised the rules surrounding the sport. In addition to this, the centre-shafted putter was also introduced for the first time.

As the '50 gave way to the '60s, new golf stars would soon emerge on the PGA Tour. Players such as Ben Hogan and Sam Snead had set golfing standards in the '50s. Then, in 1962 the promising golfer Jack Nicklaus won his first major at the U.S. Open. It would be the first of 18 majors, a record set at the 1986 Masters.

The game became increasingly dominated by Americans in the '60s and 70's. However, in the '80s golfers like Ballestoros, Faldo and Norman would start to offer some more serious competition. This was reflected in the Ryder Cup by some great EU teams, as well as at some of the Majors won by European players.

By the end of the 20th century, the game of golf had more sophisticated clubs and balls. With more sophisticated clubs, and perhaps also better players, new golf records were set by the likes of Woods at the U.S. Masters.

Today, the game of golf is much cherished and one of the more widely played sports. In the 21st century, the sport should continue to excite and inspire.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Longest Par - 5 Hole in the United States

Although not quite the longest in the United States, the 9th par-5 hole at the Gallery Golf Club North Course is the longest par-5. The hole extends approximately 725 yards, although from the red tees this hole is a somewhat shorter par-5. The hole also includes a large lake towards the end of the fairway.

North Course's 9th Par-5 hole
Undoubtedly, this is the highlight of the North Course which is rated as one of the best in Arizona. This course is set in Arizona's Sonoran Desert among sweeping red canyons. In addition to this, there is also a South Course which has hosted World Golf Championships.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Easter Golf Game

As it's Easter I've included this Easter golf game. Putt your way around this course with an Easter bunny. Happy Easter!


Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Master's Theme Song

Well it's April, which is Augusta Master's month! As such, I have included the Master's telecast theme song below. This dates back to the 1980s, and has remained with CBS since. 

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Golf Course Reviews: Augusta National

The Augusta National golf course, in Georgia of the USA is one of the most famous in the world. It features prominently in the golf calendar, as the course, which holds the Masters golf tournament. As such, it can only be a challenging course.
To start with, this is an exclusive 18-hole golf course. By exclusive, I mean private, but also it can be taken further than that as it is a most private club. It boasts a yardage of 3,735 over the first 9 and 7,445 over 18 holes. Out and in, the par is 36 and adds up to 72.
So, Augusta is long and extensive. Naturally it has to be, for when the tour players come to town the distance needs to cater for it. It has 4 par 5s and the longest hole on the course is hole 2 measuring in at 575 yards. While it has an expansive fairway, with surrounding trees and two large bunkers protecting the green, the hole can be tricky proposition.
When talking about hard holes, the 18th hole is one of the hardest and most famous finishing holes in golf. The tee shot requires an accurate drive up to most a narrow fairway, with trees and bushes close on the left and right side. The hole bends, and as such you will need some distance for a clear shot on to the green. The green itself is surrounded by hilly terrain and a couple of bunkers.
Hole number 10 is a long par 4 at 495 yards. Once the first hole on the course, prior to 1935, it now offers one of the sternest tests on course. It is a hole that plays downhill, and the green itself is small and well concealed. A fairway bunker and green bunker, also stand in the path of approach shots from the fairway.
Aside from the tricky holes, the course has some impressive natural features. Hole 16, for example, has a large pond, which pretty much covers the route to the green. Generally, the course has large pine trees, which tower over the holes and also has bushes lots of bushes along with some flowerbeds.
Another famous hole on the course is hole 12, known as the Golden Bell. Aside from being the smallest hole on course at 155 yards, it is Rae's Creek, with the Ben Hogan Bridge crossing, which makes the hole famous. Aside from the need to get the club selection right, bunkers need to be avoided at the front and back of the pin.
So Augusta National is indeed a naturally impressive, most tricky golf course. For the average golfer, it would probably be a little too much in places. So it is perhaps fitting that is reserved for the Masters tournament.