Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2012 IAGTO Awards

When considering a potential golf vacation destination, take note of the IAGTO Awards. These are the official awards of the golf travel industry, and highlight some fantastic golfing destinations. The most recent destinations selected for the 2012 awards are as follows:

Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year

Golf Destination of the Year - Africa, Indian Ocean & Gulf States

Golf Destination of the Year - Asia & Australasia

Golf Destination of the Year - Europe

Golf Destination of the Year - Latin America & The Caribbean

Golf Destination of the Year - North America

Golf Resort of the Year - Europe

Golf Resort of the Year - North America

Golf Resort of the Year - Rest of World

As such, Palm Springs and FIFE are the best destinations in North America and Europe for a golf vacation in 2012. In addition to this, the golf resorts of Turnberry and St Andrews are also well worth noting. For further details on previous winners of the IAGTO Awards, check out their website which includes full listings of previous winners. Plus, take note of Amateur Golfer’s previous poll which voted the United Kingdom as Europe’s best golf destination!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Golf Digest's Best Public Courses

Among the other Golf Digest course rankings are the best public golf course listings. These are the best golf courses that are open to the public and so do not require any membership to play at. As such, they are ideal golf vacation courses.

And Golf Digest’s best public golf course is…drum roll please… Pebble Beach! Pebble Beach in California is ranked as one of the finest golf courses in America, one of the most exciting venues on the PGA Tour that remains a resort course. Pebble Beach has hosted five great U.S. Opens, and has a great coastal setting along the Monterey coastline. It includes famous holes such as the short 7th and the 18th hole which plays along the ocean and is rated as one of golf’s best finishing holes. For further details on their golf vacation packages check out the Pebble Beach website.

Another notable resort courses included in the top 10 is that of the Ocean Course. The Ocean Course is one of the famed resort courses on Kiawah Island on the eastern coast. Like Pebble Beach this has also hosted PGA Tour championships as well as the Ryder Cup in 1991. This golf course has more coastal holes than any other in the northern hemisphere. 10 holes run alongside its Atlantic coastline. Along with the other courses at Kiawah Island it is another great golf vacation destination.

Another notable championship golf course in the top 10 is that of Bethpage State Park which is ranked 7th. Bethpage has hosted two U.S. Opens golf championships, and is also great value. The course includes a variety of tees to tee-off from so its overall yardage ranges from a 7, 297 yards – 6223 from the red tees.

These are three of the great public courses included in Golf Digest’s top 10. For the full rankings, check out this page.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Strokeplay V Matchplay

As most golf fans will be aware, the two main scoring formats in golf are strokeplay and matchplay. Strokeplay is the format used in all of the Major golf championships, while matchplay is used in the Ryder Cup and other team based golf championships such as the Walker Cup. Which is the best scoring format?

Well, that’s for you to vote on in the latest Amateur Golfer poll. Do you prefer a strokeplay match with overall scoring total, or a matchplay contest in which the player who wins the most holes wins the round? For further details on the golf scoring formats check out this previous post on Amateur Golfer. 

Overall, I feel that matchplay is a touch underrated and could be included for more golfing cups. There have been some great Ryder Cups with the matchplay format, and it could be extended further for non-team golf championships. As such, matchplay gets my vote. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

White selected for French Rugby Team

Gregory White has quickly emerged as a key player for the Toulouse Olympique squad, the only French team to play in the Rugby League Championship 2011. Never before had White played a senior rugby league game in Australia before being spotted by French rugby scouts.

Now it’s an altogether different story as not only is White playing for Toulouse Olympique, but has also been selected for the French Rugby League squad for upcoming internationals with England, Wales and Ireland after some impressive try scoring form. As such, now White could be playing for France in the 2013 World Cup, possibly against the Kangaroos. For further details, check out some of the links included in this blog post.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Night Golf

Well it’s November, and that means shorter daylight hours. However, who says you cannot play night golf? In actual fact there are numerous floodlit golf courses which are lit up when daylight visibility diminishes, and even non floodlit golf courses may not change their summer course opening hours during the winter. Golf courses such as the Al Hamra Golf Club are good examples of floodlit courses for evening golf. Just input the keyword night golf into Google for a range of floodlit golf course images.

Al Hamra Golf Course
Even if you cannot find a floodlit course, you can still invest in glow in the dark light up golf balls which will illuminate at night. In addition to this, bring a torch out onto the course with you. For further details on evening golf check out this website which highlights how holes can be illuminated without floodlights.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

2011 Blog Posts

There have been 42 2011 blog posts on Amateur Golfer. A record number have been added in 2011 covering golf travel, golf championships, tips and golf courses and holes. Of course, you can find these in Amateur Golfer’s archives, but here are a few links to some of the more notable 2011 blog posts on Amateur Golfer.

This blog post covers the US Amateur Championship. It’s one of the biggest golf championships, and was once considered to be one of the Majors.

Putting off the green can be more effective than chipping. Here the Texas Wedge putt is covered in more detail.

This covers some of the great American golf holes in more detail. More specifically, the 18th at Pebble Beach, 12th at Augusta and 17th at the Stadium Course are all covered in this blog post with details for each hole.

Looking for some putting tips? Take note of this blog post which includes some.

Which are the best golf courses in America? This golf blog covers America’s top 10 golf courses in 2011. As such, it includes Golf Digest’s 2011 top 10 listing.

The longest golf hole in the United States is… Check out this blog post which provides further details on the longest golf hole in America.

Golf desktop wallpaper can be a great way to enhance the desktop. This blog post includes links to websites that have a good variety of golf desktop wallpaper.

These are a few noteworthy 2011 Amateur Golfer blog posts. And there are a good few more. For some further links to some of the best blog posts on this blog both before and during 2011 you should also check out this post.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Windows 7 Golf Theme

Windows 7 has a variety of customization options, among which include themes. So, why not add your own golf theme? I have already found a suitable golf theme that you can add to your desktop themes. Check out this golf theme.

In addition to this, you can also add a golfing screen saver to further enhance the theme. Visit this site which includes a range of golf screen savers which you can add to Windows 7. Or alternatively, you can add some further golf desktop wallpaper or photos which can then be included as part of the Windows Live Essentials screen saver. Just set up a folder for this, select Windows Live Essential screen saver settings and then the folder.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Free Drops

In some cases during a round, you may have a free drop if your ball lands in a specific lie as outlined by the R&A. With a free drop you can lift and drop the ball a little further back onto a playable lie. So, when can you free drop?

If your ball lands on something artificial you can have a free drop. However, as has been noted in the previous post, this is only the case if the artificial object cannot be moved. If you can move the artificial object away from the ball, then you should mark the position of the ball with tee marker and do so.

If your ball lands in casual water this is also another time that you can pick up your ball and drop it behind and out of the casual water. Note that casual water is any heavy and temporary accumulation of water on the course such as deep puddles or ice. As such, a lake is not casual water even if the water levels can rise and fall. If you land in casual water within a bunker, then you should still drop your ball back so that it lands in a dryer spot of the bunker if that is possible.

Some parts of a golf course may be ground under repair. Ground under repair are areas of course maintenance, and the golf course should highlight this with a ground under the repair sign. When your ball lands in a ground under repair area of the course, you can also pick your ball up and free drop it just behind the ground under repair area.

A number of golf courses may have carted paths. If your ball lands on a cart path, then you can also have a free drop.

So, you can free drop your ball if it lands on artificial object, casual water, ground under repair or a cart path. However, if that is not the case then you will usually have to add a stroke to your scorecard. Note than a dropped ball, either free or otherwise, should not be closer to the hole than it was before you dropped it.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

What if your Ball Lands Beside a Bunker Rake?

At least one bunker rake is included on a hole, usually in or near to a green side bunker. As such, your ball can end up landing on and rolling beside a bunker rake. Take my word for it, as this is exactly what happened during one of my rounds with my ball parked up beside a rake which ensured that with the rake there it was unplayable.

It is stated that you are entitled to a free drop if your ball lands on, or by, anything artificial which a bunker rake is. However, it is also stated that if it is a movable then you should move it away from the ball. So, mark the position of the ball with a tee marker, and then move the bunker rake away and place the ball back in its original position. As such:

There is no requirement for a free drop if you can move the artificial object away from the ball.