Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lucky Shots

Luck can play its part in any round of golf. Just check out this golf video which includes a variety of lucky shots. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Top Five Golf Courses in America

It is estimated that 50% of all the golf courses are in the U.S., so the top five golf courses in the U.S. are the best generally. Golf publications such as Golf Digest rank the best golf courses in America biennially, most recently in 2011. The following golf courses are Golf Digest’s current top five in the U.S. Read The Top Five Golf Courses in America

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Golf Vacation Destinations: Sandy Lane

Sandy Lane is a golf resort that is located in Barbados. It is ranked 10th on Golf Digest's best golf resort rankings. As such, this is a resort that has some renowned golf courses along Barbados' Platinum Coast.

The Sandy Lane resort has three golf courses. Among them is the Green Monkey, a golf course which extends some 7, 343 yards. As such, this is a course that has some long holes which are longer than 600 yards. The course is among the best in Barbados.

The Country Club course is another of the Sandy Lane golf courses. This course is located beside the Caribbean Sea, and the first nine holes include a number of lakes. The Country Club course is a championship calibre golf course that hosted the 2006 World Golf Championships Barbados World Cup.

The Old Nine golf course is the oldest course at the resort which dates back to 1961. This is a 3,445 yard nine hole golf course which has small greens and narrow fairways. Despite the more recent larger additions to the Sandy Lane resort, the Old Nine has remained among the resort's most highly rated courses.

Aside from the golf, the Platinum Coast is a great coastline in western Barbados. It has some great beaches such as the Sandy Lane Beach with sparkling Caribbean waters. Other highlights include Atlantis Submarines which provide underwater tours of the Platinum Coast's unique coral reefs.

The Sandy Lane golf resort is therefore one of the best in the Caribbean. For further details, take note of the Sandy Lane website.  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lay up on the Golf Course

To lay up in golf, is to play a shorter short into a better position. This is in contrast to attempting a longer shot that may not come off and leave a player in a less than ideal spot.

Let us suppose that you find that your ball is in longer grass on the left of the fairway. The green is 120 yards ahead, but surrounded by bunkers. You can shoot for the green, which could leave the ball near the hole. Alternatively, you could land in a bunker or find that you cannot really get your ball near the green, and land in the rough again. 

However, you could also just use a pitching wedge and pitch your ball out of the rough and onto the fairway short of the green. From here, you can have a clear shot towards the green from off the fairway. At any rate, such an approach could well be the best approach if your shot from the rough were to miss the green.

So laying up is really about finding a better spot on the golf course. Usually, it is a short shot like a chip or a pitch that will cover perhaps 50 to 100 yards or less. Alternatively, shorter irons like the 9-iron are better for slightly longer shorts.

Overall, the wedge clubs like the sand or pitching wedge are best for pitching. Then for chipping these clubs along with irons like the nine, eight and seven can be appropriate. As stated, for longer shots irons like the nine or eight are suitable for this.

If you find that your ball has landed in a less than great spot on the golf course, then really playing off the spot and into a better position is usually more preferable that attempting a longer shot. As stated, if in long grass then to play towards a good fairway spot can be better.

Alternatively, you may be on the fairway but find that a spot of water does not permit a clear shot to the green. Instead of going over, go around with pitch or low iron shot further down the fairway. Then a clear shot to the green can be made.

At any rate, when you do not have a clear shot towards the green then that is the time to consider laying up. While bunkers are easy enough to clear, trees etc are not so.

Even closer to the green, you may consider a chip onto the green further from the flag as an alternative to pitching over a bunker. With the pitch, you may not clear the bunker but a chip round it will land on the green for putting.

So overall, it is about finding best position on the golf course. This as an alternative to longer shots that may land in a poor position on the course or even result in a penalty. Just remember the film Tin Cup in which Tin Cup lost the U.S. Open by landing in a lake when going for the green. Check out this post 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Golf course reviews: Tierra Del Sol Resort & Country Club Aruba

The Aruba golf course is an 18-hole championship course on the Tierra del Sol. It is the only golf course on the island resort, and is described as: "An ocean course with a desert view."
Opened in 1995, it is another popular Robert Trent Jones designed course. As mentioned, it has 18 holes, and is a par 71 with a maximum yardage of 6811.
The course has a total of four tees, which make it suitable for various levels of play. The yardage from the red to the gold, ranges from 5002 up to 6811. As such, there is quite a difference in distance. The slope and ratings also vary from tee to tee. It has slopes ranging from 119-132, while the rating is 70 on the easiest tee, and 74.2 on the hardest.
As a championship course, it hosts the KLM Aruba Championship. This is a 36 hole, stroke play event with various participants from the likes of USA and other nationals.
The course has desert-like terrain, mixed in with the greens. They are flat and dry, while the fairways are flat and quite forgiving for a desert course.
Being an ocean course, wind is obviously a factor. One pro has commented: "keep your hat on tight when you play at Tierra del Sol!" You will need to have a varied club selection, as the wind conditions can vary.
Hazards on the course include the usual sand bunkers. The course also includes a few water hazards, with cacti and coral rock formations scattered around.
The greens of the course are more generous, and accommodating. They have Bermuda Tif Dwarf grass without any hidden breaks. Putting can be affected by the wind however.
Aruba has some tricky holes. Its signature hole is the 14th, which features a lake on the left of the fairway. It also has a heavily guarded green, with bunkers surrounding it. Hole 15 is also quite unique for a hole that is largely comprised of water! A body of water, which is left to shoot over from the tee boxes, surrounds the green.
The course rates can vary, depending on when the course is played. They range from $92 up to $159. This actually includes a cart fee, while golf clubs are available for hire. The resort also offers golf packages for vacation seekers. These include various three and five-day packages, which include shared cart, green rates and advanced tee times.
Overall the course offers an interesting combination. Dry dessert like terrain, mixed in with ocean and sea breezes. For a good golfing challenge, the course is well worth a visit for those on vacation in Tierra del Sol.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

100 Posts on Amateur Golfer!

Indeed, this post is the 100 post on Amateur Golfer. As such, it's worth noting the Amateur Golfer archives and some of the older posts on this blog, as well as the more recent. Check out the 2011 Blog Posts post which  has a few links to previous posts on this blog. Alternatively, the Best of this Blog post is also worth noting.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Golf Digest's Top 10 Golf Resorts in North America

Among Golf Digest's numerous course rankings there are also golf resort rankings. These are Golf Digest's top 10 golf resorts in North America:


Score: 89.81
Contact:, 888-345-6008
Room rate:*: $250


Score: 87.76
Contact:, 800-654-9300
Room rate:: $615

3. THE AMERICAN CLUB (6) Kohler, Wis.

Score: 87.47
Contact:, 800-344-2838
Room rate: $410


Score: 87.38
Contact:, 866-879-6238
Room rate: $525


Score: 85.88
Contact:, 800-453-4858
Room rate: $359


Score: 85.29
Contact:, 808-325-8000
Room rate: $625

7. RITZ-CARLTON, KAPALUA (15) Maui, Hawaii

Score: 84.56
Contact:, 808-669-6200
Room rate: $519

8. ONE & ONLY OCEAN CLUB/ATLANTIS (27) Paradise Island, Bahamas

Score: 84.14
Contact:, 888-528-7157
Room rate: $890


Score: 84
Contact:, +52 329-291-6000 Room rate: $670

10. SANDY LANE (NR) Barbados

Score: 83.81
Contact:, 246-444-2000
Room rate: $1,445

As such, Bandon Dunes golf resort is ranked the best golf resort, having climbed up from 3rd in the previous rankings. This golf resort has four great golf courses located on the Pacific coastline of the Southern Oregon Coast. The courses of Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, Old Macdonald and Bandon Trails have a great collection of holes routed along the Pacific. A fifth course with 13 par 3s, the Bandon Preserve, will be the new addition to the Bandon Dunes resort courses. Check out the Bandon Dunes website for further details on this resort.

The Bandon Trails golf course

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Golf courses in Louisiana

Naturally, a US state will be home to a number of golf courses. The State of Louisiana is no exception. To narrow down the field, I will only look at some of the best the State has to offer.

A new golf course in Louisian is that of Santa Maria Golf Club which opened in 2006. It's an 18 hole, 6,969 yarder, with a par of 72. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, the course has been praised for its value. It includes a number of water hazards, and has silky smooth greens.

If seeking more of a challenge, the Carter Plantation might be of interest. At 7, 049 yards the course is longer and has a rating of 74. It has hard greens, and difficult bunkers to escape from. It has won a few awards, most notably GolfWeek Magazine's 2005 Best Public-Access Course in Louisiana award.

For a Links style course, you may wish to try Links on the Bayou golf course - par 72, with a 6,879 yardage. Although perhaps not the most scenic course in Louisiana the course is very well maintained, and provides excellent value. Be warned of the wind, for the course does not provide so much shelter!

Koasati Pines at Coushatta golf course is an 18-hole course with a lot of distance. As a par 72 with 7,617 yards, you can be sure of a good walk! The course has excellent maintenance, and features a number of risk-reward type holes.

The Audubon Park Golf Course can offer a test. The course has a rating of 64, and boasts some very challenging par 3s. It also has small greens that are well guarded by bunkers.

The Gemstone Plantation Golf Course, is a 6, 657 yard course which is great value. At less than $30 dollars you can get a full round here. A very well maintained course, with immaculate greens and great scenery to boot it is well worth a trip.

English Turn Golf Course has been described as a must play course in the New Orleans area. With approx 7,000 yards, it offers a fun challenge. At English Turn each hole is different, with undulating greens, and the 18th hole has been rated as one of the hardest on the PGA Tour. So, you might want to give the Nicklaus designed course a go.

The Squire Creek Golf Course is also worthy of note. A par 72, with 7,100 yards, which rates highly in all areas. In 2006, it was awarded Golf Magazine's Top Rated Golf Course in Louisiana.

Of course, there are many more golf courses in the state of Louisiana. But these courses, are some of the more highly rated golf courses within the location. Well maintained, with good facilities, these Louisiana courses should provide a good enough round for golfers in the area.