Oct 25, 2014

Smuggler's Glen Golf Course Review

By Sean Crogie   Posted at  10/25/2014 06:32:00 PM   No comments
What better way to recharge the batteries then a little overnight golf trip to Glen House Resort to finally play Smuggler's Glen Golf Course. Located  just off the 1000 Islands Parkway near Gananoque, Ontario. Smuggler's Glen was the perfect place to get away, relax and play some golf.

We arrived later on Friday and checked in to our upper level room in the Pinewoods Lodge. Beautiful, rustic riverfront view with all the amenities(propane fireplace was a nice touch). You couldn't ask for a nicer place to stay before tackling a round a Smuggler's Glen.

That night we ate at the Smuggler's Lounge where we were entertained by the three piece band, Black Rapids Gold. Lou the bartender/server was the perfect host at the Smuggler's Lounge where we dined on some great appetizers(calamari, bruschetta and wings). The 40 Creek BBQ wings and Triple Bogey beer were my favorites. My wife definitely love all the appetizers as well as her Mike Weir Chardonnay.

Smuggler's Glen Golf Course Review
After getting a drive up to the clubhouse I was greeted by Ben, one of the many friendly and helpful staff on hand at Smuggler's Glen. Having the first tee time of the day, I decided to hit a few balls to get warmed up. The newly expanded practice green and natural grass driving range was ideal for getting the kinks out of my swing. Smuggler's Glen has a new fleet of GPS-equipped golf cart and this was also very helpful having never played the course before.

The opening hole at Smuggler's Glen is a very scenic and intimidating par 5. Not long from the white tees at 433 yards your tee shot has to clear "The Gorge". You don't have to hit driver here off the tee but it is fun to try.

 "The Gorge"

You get to take a little breathe on #2 a nice uphill par three aptly name "Upper Ridge". You don't want to be long and right on this hole. The next two holes reminded me of playing golf in the Muskoka area with some great elevation changes, exposed rock and scenery to boot.  The 4th hole being a stunner of a par 5. Playing your second shot up to the narrow fairway takes gut. Green is narrow and tough to hit when the wind swirls.

 "Settler's Field"

The greens and fairways are bent grass at Smuggler's Glen and they were in top condition even so late in the season. The day I played carts were car paths only because of all the rain that had fallen in the area. Talking to Jason Boyce, Director of Golf at Smuggler's he and his staff are continuing to work on drainage issues a battle for most golf courses.

The 6th hole just didn't fit my eye and I found it to be a tough tee shot on this longish par 4. Although there's plenty of landing area from the tee the "Wild Creek" is intimidating. Smuggler's Glen's par 5s are all scenic and solid including number 7 "Rolling Meadows" with out of bounds on the left side this par 5 will test all facets of your game. "River View" finishes off the front with a tight driving hole. Be careful on this par 4 as you don't want to go long.

 "Bio Challenge"

The back 9 at Smuggler's Glen I really enjoyed because it was a great mix of fun par 3s with drivable par 4s and stout par 5s. The downhill par 3 tenth is just a fun hole. Trying to figure out which club will get you there in the ever present wind might drive you crazy but in the end you'll enjoy. The "Gambler" is just a fun grip it and rip hole where I managed to just be short of the green on this uphill par 4. The "Rock" again hearkens me back to Muskoka with rock outcroppings and elevation to frame one of the prettiest tee shots on the course. Sixteen through eighteen does the same with "Shorty" a birdie hole to the 18th "Green Monster" a mammoth par 5 where it's a bad thing to lay up.


 "The Gambler"

Smuggler's Glen was a challenging yet fair golf course. Scenery is spectacular especially in the Fall. With 5 different sets of tee boxes it will be fun for all levels of golfers. Green fees are very reasonable and vary according to time of the year you play. With a healthy membership of just under 100 golfers and thousands of resort guests playing Smuggler's Glen every year. Smuggler's will continue to excite and challenge golfers for many years to come. (2015 will be Smugglers' 10th Anniversary)

 "The Gambler"
"The Rock"

Oct 22, 2014

Cobble Beach Offers Fall Golf Play-and-Stays

By Sean Crogie   Posted at  10/22/2014 09:23:00 PM   No comments
The 18th Hole at Cobble Beach, Fall Foliage

Looking for more Fall Golf Getaways look no further then Cobble Beach on the shores of beautiful Georgian Bay. An area I get to every year and will definitely be putting Cobble Beach on my must play list. 

Cobble Beach, the 600-acre golf resort community on Ontario’s stunning Georgian Bay, is offering play-and-stay packages through October and into November until the course closes for the season.

Located just over two hours north of the Greater Toronto Area, Cobble Beach features a thrilling, links-style Doug Carrick-designed golf course with views of the bay from all 18 holes. Accommodations include The Inn at Cobble Beach -- 10 tastefully-appointed guest suites above the clubhouse – and The Cottages at Cobble Beach, each featuring two bedrooms and wet bars / living rooms.

Inn packages start at $135 per golfer, for a one night stay and round of golf; Cottage packages start at $144 (based on quad occupancy, taxes not included). Two-night, two round packages are also available. Cobble Beach’s signature, Nantucket-style clubhouse houses a fully-equipped golf shop, Sweetwater Restaurant & Bar, resort-caliber spa and fitness center.

Sep 28, 2014

The 2014 Ryder Cup Winning Moment

By Sean Crogie   Posted at  9/28/2014 06:36:00 PM   No comments

Jamie Donaldson wins the Ryder Cup 2014 for the European Team at Gleneagles with a stunning second shot on the 15th green.

Sep 23, 2014

2014 Ryder Cup Infographic

By Sean Crogie   Posted at  9/23/2014 07:29:00 PM   No comments
With the Ryder Cup just a few days away our friends at Function 18 have put together a fun infographic on some interesting facts and figures surrounding the tournament that pits Team USA Vs. Team Europe. I know where I'll be this Sept. 26th-28th, tuned into the match play action.

Ryder Cup Facts And Stats Infographic

Sep 11, 2014

Ryder Cup Preview

By Sean Crogie   Posted at  9/11/2014 08:08:00 AM   2 comments

The 2014 edition of the Ryder Cup kicks off in just a few weeks’ time at Gleneagles in Scotland and there is plenty to note heading into the contest. Team USA have reportedly fell apart over the last month and very few golfers head into the contest with Team Europe on the back of any momentum. Team Europe, however, have gone strength to strength with their team and are the looking good value for a win on their very own European soil.

The PGA Tour should have in theory created a major wave of momentum for Team USA to ride into the Ryder Cup on the back of, but sadly that will be far from the true story when they arrive in Scotland for September 23rd

To put this into context: a pair of Americans – in the shape of Chris Kirk and Billy Horschel – emerged as prime candidates for two of Team USA captain Tom Watson’s wildcard picks, but the golfing veteran instead opted for different personal.

Both Kirk and Horschel are leading the race for the FedEx Cup and PGA Tour glory as they head into the Tour Championship. Horschel also won the last event, the BMW Championship that was staged in Cherry Hills last weekend and the decision to exclude the pair from the Ryder Cup team has come under intense scrutiny from the media, especially considering the fact that very few of the USA Team have had strong performances in recent outings.

Rickie Fowler has been ever present at the periphery of major tournament glory all year long and Jim Furyk has also been there and thereabouts, but aside from that there is no-one else on the USA Team that offers a great deal of excitement like Rory McIlroy or Ian Poulter will do for Team Europe. One website has even offered this very blunt Ryder Cup preview as a damning preview of what they believe is to come from the biennial competition.

In stark comparison, Team Europe come into the competition with a whirlwind of momentum and excitement, with many golfers on the team sheet offering up promising performances over the past few months.

McIlroy may have twice four-putted over the BMW Championship weekend but despite this, he still posted his best score on the fourth and final round (which also brought about the second of the four puts) so it is unwise to assume he is out of sorts heading into Gleneagles.

Ian Poulter meanwhile is undefeated in singles play at the Ryder Cup and has an astounding 12 wins out of 15 games he has played during the four times he has featured for Team Europe. He is also remembered fondly by fans for his part in the unrivalled last day turnaround we saw Team Europe complete last time out to steal victory for the jaws of Team USA.

The enthusiasm surrounding the host of impressive and exciting options for Team Europe – paired with the furore over Team USA’s inability to choose those players that both the fans and the media believed deserved a place in the line-up – makes it hard to expect anything else than Team Europe retaining their crown come the end of September.

Sep 2, 2014

Hilton Head Golf Island Announces Fall Stay-and-Play Packages

By Sean Crogie   Posted at  9/02/2014 09:01:00 PM   No comments

It's seems the only time I can play a copious amount of golf is when I go away on a golf trip. Go away, take a break from the jobs and just play golf.

It's been since the early spring in North Carolina that I've had a sustained run of golf. Now Hilton Head Island is beckoning once again for me to play.

The Lowcountry at its best in the fall. Idyllic weather, amazing course conditions, no crowds and delicious seasonal southern fare. All my favorite things!

News Release
 Prime Course Conditions, Perfect Weather Ideal for End-of-Season Golf Trip

(HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C.) – Hilton Head Golf Island (HHGI) – a collection of the Lowcountry’s 30 premier golf courses – announces an assortment of fall stay-and-play packages ideal for end-of-season vacations and golf buddy trips.

Autumn is when Hilton Head Island is at its best with warm air and water temperatures, low humidity and the best course conditions of the year. Golf enthusiasts can hit the links or the beach and enjoy the island’s plethora of leisure activities as well as unique seasonal culinary delicacies, including soft-shell crab and Lowcountry oysters.

Ranked top 10 in seven categories by Golf Digest including ““Best Buddies Trip Destination” and “Best Weather,” HHGI has numerous golf getaway packages available for fall:

The Sea Pines Resort – “Stay-and-Play Villa Golf Package:” Experience three nights in private villa accommodations and one round each at Harbour Town Golf Links, Ocean Course and Heron Point by Pete Dye. Offer is full of extras including complimentary afternoon repeat rounds on the Ocean Course and Heron Point, range balls and 10 percent discount on retail merchandise and food and beverage at the resort's pro shops and restaurants. Packages start at $164 per golfer, per night and based on quad-occupancy. Rate valid through Dec, 31. For package and reservation information: 1.800.SEAPINES, www.seapinesgolf.com.

Palmetto Dunes – “Fall Stay-and-Play:” Stay three nights in a two-bedroom villa and play three rounds at each of the resort’s championship courses, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Arthur Hills and George Fazio. Enjoy two hours of complimentary tennis court time (daily), preferred rates and priority access on all other resort activities and amenities as well as dining and merchandise discounts. Based on quad-occupancy, rates start at $135 per golfer, per night and include all taxes and resort fees. Valid through October 31. Additional rules and restrictions apply. For package and reservation information: 877.567.6507, www.PalmettoDunes.com.

The Heritage Golf Collection – “Four Nights, Four Rounds:” Enjoy four nights at the newly-renovated Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa and four rounds of golf at any of seven Heritage Collection courses including Port Royal Golf & Racquet Club, Shipyard Golf Club, Palmetto Hall Plantation Club and Oyster Reef Golf Club. Package also includes complimentary range balls, tee gift on first day of play, discounts at golf pro shops and clubhouses and 10 percent off spa services at The Heavenly Spa by The Westin. Based on double occupancy, packages start at $175 per golfer, per night. Valid Sept. 13 – Nov. 7. For package and reservation information: 843.681.1706, vcastaneda@heritagegolfgroup.com.

Old South Golf Links – “Par 3 Package:” Just over the bridge in the charming mainland town of Bluffton is the acclaimed Old South Golf Links. Package includes two nights at the Hilton Garden Inn with complimentary breakfast, one round at Old South Golf Links and two rounds at Hampton Hall Golf Club, The Country Club of Hilton Head or Bear Creek Golf Club. Starting at $385 per person in a double occupancy standard room, price includes sales and accommodations tax. Valid September 21 – November 30. For package and reservation information: 800.257.8997, www.oldsouthgolf.com.

“This time of year is Hilton Head Island’s best-kept secret and brings those days on the course that golfers live for,” says Cary Corbitt, President of the Lowcountry Golf Course Owners Association and Vice President of Sports and Operations at Sea Pines Resort. “These fall getaway packages allow guests to experience the finest of what the Lowcountry has to offer at an exceptional value.”

As one of the nation’s foremost golf capitals, Hilton Head Island is the preferred vacation destination of golfers seeking a high-concentration of world-class quality courses, an unspoiled natural environment, beautiful resorts and inns, and old-fashioned Southern hospitality The legendary coastal Carolina destination has invested more than $200 million in upgrades in the past two years that are already finished, or under construction, transforming Hilton Head Island into the freshest resort town in America.

For additional information or to receive a quote: www.HiltonHeadGolfIsland.com, 800.523.3373.

Aug 16, 2014

Tom Watson Lessons Of A Lifetime II DVD Review - Golf Instruction

By Sean Crogie   Posted at  8/16/2014 10:59:00 AM   No comments

When it comes to golf instruction there's no one better than Tom Watson. Still going strong at 64 he's currently going over his options and will announce his captain’s picks on Sept. 2 for the The Ryder Cup. Pitting the American team against one composed of players from Europe. The Ryder Cup will be played Sept. 26-28 at Gleneagles in Scotland. Watson is one golfer that knows what to look for in a winning golfer. Pretty sure he can help us with our golf games.

Tom Watson Lessons Of A Lifetime II DVD

In 2010, world famous golfer Tom Watson released his DVD lesson series called Lessons of a Lifetime. It sold over 70,000 DVD sets in 5 languages in over 40 countries. When surveyed about the content of the DVD series, 88% of those surveyed said the program had improved their game and 79% rated it as excellent.

Recently, Mr. Watson released Lessons of a Lifetime II, which can be purchased separately if you already have the first series, or as part of a 3-CD set. 

The original series is perfect for a beginning golfer or for someone who is struggling with the basics.  It starts with a glossary of golf terms and then moves into some of the basics: grip, set up, stance and alignment. Some of the parts I regularly look are the takeaway and back swing to the transition and follow through which is something I always seem to struggle with. The DVDs are great for that, have a problem with your game, Mr. Watson has a chapter dedicated to it on one of the DVDs.

The series then covers topics like: chips, punch shots, bunker shots, chipping and putting with multiple lessons on each. Watson is a master of every type of chip shot and bunker shot imaginable that's why this section of the DVD seems to be the watched the most for me as this is where I seem to be able to make up shots on the golf course, thanks Mr. Watson.

Lessons of a Lifetime II -The New Advanced Lessons offers more than 20 lessons that give further instruction from Tom Watson. He goes deeper on not only how to pull off all the shots discussed in the original DVD, but goes into the mental side of golf.

The instructional videos and tutorials are easy to follow and filmed beautifully at The Greenbrier, America's Resort.

My favorite parts of the DVDs outside of brushing up constantly with the basics are:

  •  Bunker play- Watson is a master

  • Tom 's chipping techniques from all sorts of lies

  • His insight on teaching kids
  • Putting drills because you can never work to much on putting.
  • The touching Bruce Edwards Tribute
 The DVD series can be purchased online at www.TomWatson.com. It's also available through Amazon and select golf and sporting goods retailers and many golf superstores. A portion of the proceeds from all sales will be given to the Bruce Edwards Foundation for ALS Research.

The entire series (3 discs) is $49.95; if you've already got the first two DVDs and only need Lessons of a Lifetime II, it's $24.95. Each DVD contains a booklet which goes over the instructions on the DVDs. A solid investment for any level of golfer.


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