Sunday, December 29, 2013

Island Green Golf Holes

You won't find many island green golf holes. However, there are a few golf courses that include holes with greens surrounded by water. These are a few of the more notable island green holes that your ball will have to land on to stay in play.

17th at TPC Sawgrass

Perhaps the most famous of the island green holes is that of the 17th at TPC. It is there that they play the Players Championship, and the signature hole is the Island Green. It's a relatively short hole that expands some 132 yards from the tee. Aside from a small bunker the green is entirely surrounded by water, and it is said that more than 100,000 balls are scooped from the lake each year.

Point Vedra Inn Club (Ocean), 9th hole

This is a longer hole that extends 157 yards. It includes a larger island green that has some surrounding fairway. In addition, there are several bunkers on the green's island. Thus, if you miss the green on this island recovery might still be possible either from a bunker or grass.

Hammock Beach Resort (Conservatory)

The Hammock Beach Resort's 8th par-3 hole expands some 199 yards, and also includes an island green. The hole's architect has given the island a little more cushion with a few trees, bunkers and longer grass added to it. However, there's still plenty of surrounding water in the hole's lake.

Tabby Links, 15th hole

The Tabby Links golf course has a par-4 hole with an island green. As a 377 yard golf hole it includes a good amount of fairway up to the green which is separated by water. The island also includes a small amount of rough grass and a couple of bunkers for the ball to land on.

Four Seasons Golf Club Punta Mita, Hole 3B

The Four Seasons Golf Club has 19 holes with an alternative 3rd. The 194 yard hole 3B includes a green that sits on a natural island in the Pacific. Low tides leave a clear trail up to the green, but during high tides an amphibious golf cart is required to reach the island.

Coeur d'Alene Resort

The Coeur d'Alene Resort includes the first floating golf hole. The 14th hole at this golf course has a man-made island that changes location. This hole includes a wooden boat ride across the water up to the hole's green. There are a couple of bunkers on the island green, but there's not much surrounding grass for those balls that fall short.

Those golf holes have plenty of water to sink your balls. As such, they inflate golf scores more than most holes.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Golf Digest's top 200 U.S. Golf Courses

For the first time Golf Digest has expanded its top 100 U.S. golf courses. Check out the The Second 100 Greatest rankings. The top 10 golf courses in the rankings are as follows:

101. The Stanwich Club / Greenwich, Conn. / 60.7669

102. (92) Shoreacres / Lake Bluff, Ill. / 60.7597

103. The Highland Course at Primland / Meadows of Dan, Va. / 60.7456

104. (91) Galloway National G.C. / Galloway, N.J. / 60.6900

105. The Concession G.C. / Bradenton, Fla. / 60.6613

106. (69) Sycamore Hills G.C. / Fort Wayne, Ind. / 60.5990

107. (T97) The Prince Course / Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii / 60.5374

108. (61) East Lake G.C. / Atlanta / 60.5197

109. Kiawah Island Club (Cassique) / Kiawah Island, S.C. / 60.5153

110. (85) Eugene C.C. / Eugene, Ore. / 60.4835

It includes a number that were formerly in the top 100. For the full list check out this page.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Barnbougle Dunes Golf Course Video

Barnbougle Dunes is a links golf course on the coast of Tasmania. This is a golf course that is approximately 6,724 yards. The golf course is set alongside 200 acres of undulating coastal dunes. Golf Digest ranks it one of the top golf courses outside the United States. This video provides some shots of the Barnbougle Dune golf course.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

5 things to remember when choosing rugby kit for your team

When your team takes to the field you want the players to look smart and feel good in their rugby kit. You want them to wear their team’s colours with pride and you want other teams to come to respect your side. Your choice of rugby kit for your team is, therefore, very important and can impact on how the players feel about their club and how they play. To help you avoid making mistakes, here are five points that you need to remember when choosing your team’s kit.

1. Comfort
Comfort is the main priority when selecting any rugby kit. Players need to be comfortable in training and during matches if they are to give of their best. They do not want to be distracted by uncomfortable kit that irritates and affects their concentration. Pay attention to internal seems that might rub and cause rashes and make sure that the fabric is not rough against the skin. I’ve bought Clifton’s custom rugby kit in the past and found it extremely easy to wear.

2. Fabric

A crucial factor in comfort is the fabric used to make the kit. It should be comfortable against the skin as well as light. It should also wick away moisture so that players do not experience the discomfort of perspiration and do not get heavy from a build up of moisture. Since they don’t retain moisture, good wicking fabrics don’t get cold so quickly after players come from the field or there is a break in the game.

Rugby is a tough game that is very tough on the players and the kit they wear. Traditionally, rugby kit was made from cotton but synthetic materials like polyester and cotton-polyester blends are now common. These materials have excellent durability to withstand the abuse they suffer on the pitch and training ground. The fabric should also have good colour-holding properties so that the kit still looks like new season after season.

3. Size and weight

Correct fit is crucial if players, particularly backs who need to be agile, are to be able to move freely. Weight, too, is a major consideration. Having to play for extended periods in shirts that are uncomfortably heavy will not only impact on players’ performance but may even cause them to lose interest in the game.

4. Design

There are two aspects to design: shape and colour. You need to discuss these with team members. Suppliers normally have standard shapes to choose from but new fabrics and printing techniques, like sublimation printing, mean that you can design almost any pattern you can imagine. In many cases you can view your final product in virtual 3D before you settle on a final design unique to your team.
5. Price

The best materials come at the highest prices. Custom rugby kit can be expensive so make sure of your budget and stick to it. Of course, the more sets of kit that you buy the better deal you will be able to get per piece. You have to pay for quality but the end result is worth the outlay.
 
About the author:

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Santa Golf Game

As an Xmas gift here is a link to the Santa Golf Game. In Santa Golf the short game is essential! Merry Christmas!


Friday, November 29, 2013

The most important things to remember when selecting a rugby kit for your team

Selecting the right rugby team clothing for your team is not the easiest of tasks, and you cannot overestimate its importance. The kit your team wears can impact on team morale and performance and can also affect how other teams perceive your side, so you have to get it right. These are some of the factors that you need to consider if you have to select the rugby team kit for your team.

Design

Your team’s colours are possibly the single most important aspect of rugby team kit selection. The colours make your team instantly recognisable and can have a huge psychological effect. Strong colours and patterns, for example, make the wearer feel strong and can be intimidating; a prime example is the All Blacks, whose totally black team kit looks imposing and powerful. Light colours and weak designs, however, have a completely opposite effect and can make opponents almost mock your side. Rugby is a tough game and the colours you choose should reflect that. Modern manufacturing and printing methods make it possible to produce rugby jerseys in almost any colour and pattern, so your options are almost limitless.

The shape of the jersey is less important, especially at grass roots level. The traditional rugby jersey with collar, long sleeves and loose fit are still popular with many sides. It is only at more senior level that shape and fit become major factors, as tight-fitting, collarless jerseys with short sleeves are the norm.

Material

Traditional rugby shirts are made from 100% cotton; this is hardwearing and warm and is reasonably comfortable. The problem with cotton is that it is heavy and, when it gets wet, becomes heavier and uncomfortable. The inability to wick away water also means that players get cold quickly during breaks in play.

Modern fabrics like polyester and blended materials are now commonly used for rugby wear. They are as tough as cotton but are lighter, wick away moisture better and hold colour well, meaning that they look good year after year.

Comfort

The importance of comfort cannot be stressed enough. If players are uncomfortable they are unlikely to be able to give of their best on the pitch. Crucial to comfort are:
  • Fit – A good fit contributes to ease of movement, which is an essential ingredient of player performance.
  • Weight – Heavy rugby team wear will tire players.
  • Stretch – If you go for tight-fitting shirt, they must be made from stretch materials to allow unrestricted movement.
  • Manufacture – Your kit should be well made so that internal seems do not irritate the skin and cause rashes.
Price

As with all things, quality comes at a price. To purchase team rugby wear, your cheapest option is probably to go for off-the-shelf designs and colours, but custom team kit from somewhere like Clifton Clothing will make your team stand out from the rest. Bulk buying should help you to get a discount and keep the price down, so don’t be afraid to negotiate. Also, good quality rugby team kit is worth the added expense. However, be sure to set yourself a budget and stick to it.

About the author:
 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pinehurst Golf Course video

Pinehurst is an historic golf resort that has hosted a various golf championships. The No 2 at Pinehurst is a 7,495 yard golf course where both the Ryder Cup and U.S. Open have been played. This video provides some photographs of the No 2 championship golf course.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Golf.COM's Top 10 Par-3 Golf Courses

For a quicker round of golf the par-3 golf course is ideal. They can also be nine or 18 hole golf courses with interesting layouts. These are Golf.COM's top 10 par-3 golf courses.

1. Treetops Resort (Threetops)
Gaylord, Mich.

2. Links at Terranea
Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

3. The Challenge at Monarch Dunes
Nipomo, Calif.

4. Magnolia Grove (Short course)
Mobile, Ala.

5. Fairmont Southampton Golf Course
Southampton, Bermuda

6. Angel Park (Cloud Nine)
Las Vegas, Nev.

7. Blue Rock Golf Course
 S. Yarmouth, Mass.

8. Palm Beach Par-3
 Palm Beach, Fla.

9. No. 1, Private: Hamilton Farm (Hickory)
Gladstone, N.J.

10. No. 1, International: Mission Hills Shenzhen (Zhang course)

The Treetops Resort is a scenic golf course with some terrific par-3 holes. Among them the second hole which has a couple of tee areas and two alternative greens. The golf course includes elevated tees, sloped greens and surrounding mountains. It is a golf course that expands some  1,435 yards. Check out the Golf.COM site for additional details on some of the other golf courses in the list.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Golf in a Noodle Bowl

How can you possibly play golf in a Noodle Bowl? Make a trip to the upcoming Mission Hills Fantasy Golf Course at Hainan Island resort. This is a golf course that will have many unique visuals with holes such as the Noodle Bowl. The 16th hole includes a green enclosed within a noodle bowl. The video below includes an animation of the hole.


Check out this previous blog post which includes the Great Wall of China hole. This page provides further details on the golf course.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Short History of Womens' Basketball

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) is a professional basketball league for women. Headquartered in New York, the league exists in the United States and consists of 12 teams in two conferences. The Eastern Conference consists of the Atlanta Dream, Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Indiana Fever, New York Liberty and Washington Mystics. The Western Conference is home to the Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx, Phoenix Mercury, San Antonio Silver Stars, Seattle Storm and Tulsa Shock.


History of the League


The WNBA was founded on April 24, 1996. The founding eight teams are the Charlotte Sting, Cleveland Rockers, Houston Comets, New York Liberty, Los Angeles Sparks, Phoenix Mercury, Sacramento Monarchs and Utah Starzz. The teams in Charlotte, Cleveland, Houston and Sacramento later folded while the Utah Starzz relocated to San Antonio in 2003.

In total, there have been 18 WNBA franchise teams.

WNBA Season

The WNBA season begins with training camps in May, followed by a series of preseason exhibition games against other teams. Each team is allowed 11 women on the roster.

The regular season, which runs May to September, consists of 34 games, evenly divided between home and away. A team will play three teams from its conferences four times each for a total of 12 games and the two remaining conference teams five times each for 10 games. The remaining 12 games of the season come from playing six outside conference teams twice. Just like the NBA, each WNBA team will host and play away against every other team at least once over the course of the season.

The postseason begins in late September. Four teams in each conference qualify for the Playoffs. The teams in each conference play each other in a tournament format in a best of three series for the first two rounds of the Playoffs. Once the conference champions have been determined, the WNBA Finals begin. The Finals usually take place in October and is a best of five series.

Sponsorships

The WNBA has one league-wide sponsor, Boost Mobile, as of 2011.

Four teams currently have individual sponsorships:
Indiana Fever: Finish Line, Inc.
Seattle Storm: Bing
Tusla Shock: Osage Casino
Washington Mystics: Inova Health System

Top Teams

The Minnesota Lynx are in the WNBA Playoffs for the third straight year in September 2013 after two consecutive appearances in the WNBA finals. The Indiana Fever, the champions of the 2012 season, are also in the playoffs.

Look for the Phoenix Mercury as a team to watch in future years with the addition of college standout Brittney Griner. The Mercury are currently playing in the 2013 WNBA Playoffs.

Betting on the WNBA

While there are not as many people betting on the WNBA as other sports, there is still a market for it, as can be seen here at allpro. One big advantage to betting on the WNBA as opposed to the NBA is the size of the league.

With only 12 teams, it is easier for the bettor to watch the games or teams himself and be familiar with the match-ups and players before placing the bet.

About the author: 

Leslie writes on his own blog about business however his main passion is sports.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Key Training Tips for Cyclists

Cycling is an odd sport, training wise. It’s so energy efficient that the activity itself has little aerobic benefit – so in order to train for it, it becomes necessary to add a large cross training element to the mix.

Respect the core 

The core muscles are the abdominals, laterals, lower back muscles and trapezius. Taken together, these muscle groups hold the whole body together (hence the name “core”). If they are not strong enough, the power held in your leg and arm muscles can never be properly delivered. Sit ups, oblique sit ups and core yoga postures are all excellent ways to increase core strength and unlock leg power.

Get your spine in the right line 

The spine is the central line from which all the major muscles in the body radiate. Cyclists often throw the line of their spin off by having too strong a back and not enough grunt in their abdominal muscles. It’s important to keep the stomach strong enough to counteract the fierce pull of the lower back muscles, which can be extremely developed in cyclists. Simple abdominal strengthening exercises include crunches and leg lifts.

Get into the gym 

Cycling effectively at speed requires large muscles in the shoulders, triceps and quads. Actual cycling will only develop the leg muscles – for the shoulders and triceps, it is necessary to add some extra oomph in the shape of the gym. Shoulder presses, axe man raises and overhead rope and pulley pulls all beef up the key muscles for good cycling in the full range of positions. It is recommended that you also add chest and bicep work into your routine, to counteract the development of the back and tricep muscles.

Test your power

It’s extremely common for cyclists to have more power in one side of their body than the other. You can assess where your power sits by doing some simple exercises. Try hip raises to see whether you hip flexors are working properly – in many cyclists these muscles can be compromise, which ultimately leads to imbalances in the way you ride. Full leg raises can counteract a problem with weak hips: or you can diagnose your weakest hip and work only on that side to bring it back in line with the stronger one.

Sprint training 

Sprint training helps the cyclist make the best use of the explosive power in his or her legs and torso. Ride as hard as you can for as long as you can, then slow all the way down to a creep until you have your breath back. Then do it all again until you have nothing left to give. Be aware that sprint training on a UK road can be quite dangerous, particularly in the dusk or just after dark. If you do get into an accident, and you believe that it was not your fault, you can always contact www.cycle-claims.co.uk for the information you need to make a claim.

About the author:

The Author is a fitness expert and a keen cyclist. His personal blog page is visited by more than half a million unique hits every day, and his training tips have been published in some of the most respected fitness magazines and home pages in the UK. He lives in London.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Archived Posts

There are plenty of blog posts on Amateur Golfer. Check through the archives on the right to find previous posts on the blog. Here are a few I've picked out from the archives.

Mountain Golf Courses

Have you ever played golf up a mountain? Probably not, and it should be noted that very few golf courses are actually located on mountains. But then there are a wide variety of great golf courses that still have scenic mountain settings. Those are courses that sit right next to, or within the proximity of, mountain ranges so that they are integral part of the course landscape. These are a few of the more famous mountain golf courses to note...

The First Floating Golf Course


Golf courses up mountains and in deserts are one thing, but now the first floating golf course is to be constructed. It is at the Maldives, a low elevation island chain in the Indian Ocean, that plans have been drafted for a new floating golf course that will be surrounded by sea water. Forget about Pebble Beach, as this will be more than a mere coastal course...

Cold Golf Balls 

When playing in the winter do not expect the ball to travel so far as in the summer. Not only will it rain more during the winter, therefore reducing ball roll, but colder weather will also reduce the distance of the ball further. As a former PGA technical director has stated in his book Dear Frank, “at 40 degrees, the ball will travel about 10 to 12 1/2 yards less than at 90 degrees," Thomas wrote...

Trent Jones Golf Trail 


Robert Trent Jones is a famous golf course designer. The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama is one of the largest golf construction projects attempted. The 11 golf clubs stretch from the Lakewood Golf Club in the south, to the Shoals in the north. In total, the trail extends 384 miles...

Chipping Over Bunkers 

If you're behind a greenside bunker pitching isn't always essential. In actual fact chipping over bunkers can be a more effective alternative. I myself have chipped over bunkers, but you can't be too far away from the green...

Cypress Point Golf Course Slideshow


You might have heard of the Cypress Point golf course, as it's usually ranked within Golf Digest's top 10 U.S. golf courses. This is a coastal course set beside the Pacific Ocean which has some great coastal golf holes. Check out this video which includes a slideshow of the course and its best holes. ..


Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Valhalla Golf Club Video

Valhalla Golf Club's golf course is one with a unique design. It includes an alternative fairway par-5, and an island green hole. The golf course has hosted the PGA Championship three times, and one Ryder Cup. This video shows some of the golf course's holes. 

Sunday, November 03, 2013

The Longest Golf Hole in Europe

Majorca, in the Balearic islands, is a great destination for golf. There you can play at a variety of championship golf courses. Among them is the Andratx golf course which has some terrific landscapes, and is adorned with olive groves and almond trees. It has been rated the best golf course in Majorca, and 11th best in Europe.

The golf course also has the longest hole in Europe. The par-5 fifth hole expands some 666 yards from the tee-box to green. Although it includes four alternative tees which can reduce the distance to more like 496.5 yards from the red tees.

The golf hole includes a plateau fairway which falls away to water on the left. A bunker lies between the green and the rest of the fairway. The green is also elevated which further increases the distances required on the hole.

On the left is a map of the hole. Check out the Andratx golf course website for further details.  

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What if an Outside Agency Moves Your Golf Ball?

What if something, other than another player on the course, moves your golf ball? Well, it can happen. For example, a bird might land on a putting green and then move your ball a few yards; and perhaps even off the green.

Were that to happen then the bird is an 'outside agency.' It is stated in the R&A guidelines that, "if a ball at rest is moved by an outside agency, the player shall incur no penalty and the ball shall be replaced before the players plays another stroke." Thus, you can replace the golf ball; and place it back where it was.

However, a moving ball could still be moved by an outside agency on the putting green. The R&A book states, "If a ball in motion after a stroke on the putting green is deflected or stopped by ... any moving or animate outside agency.... the stroke shall be canceled, the ball replaced and the stroke replayed." Once again you pretty much get a free drop.

What if a ball not on the green is moved in motion? R&A guidelines state, "If a ball in motion is accidentally deflected or stopped by any outside agency, it is a rub of the green, no penalty is incurred and the ball shall be played as it lies." That is unless the ball lands in lake or something; in which case you'll probably have to drop ball.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Great Golf Courses of the U.K. Open

The U.K. Open is undoubtedly the most famous golf championship outside North America. It is a major steeped in history. In this championship the top ranked golfers play for the coveted Claret Jug. A variety of U.K. golf courses, largely in Scotland and England, have hosted the championship. These are a few of the more notable golf courses that have hosted numerous U.K. Opens.... Click link for full article.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The European Golf Club

The European Golf Club, in Ireland, is an exciting golf course. Located on the coastline of Wicklow, this is a golf course that has 20 holes. The European Golf Club is also ranked 27th in Golf Digest's rankings for top golf courses outside the United States. It's a links golf course with some great landscape and terrific holes. This video shows some of its holes.



Sunday, October 20, 2013

What if Your Ball Lands on Another Hole's Green?

Well, it can happen. An inaccurate shot from off the tee, or perhaps fairway, could send the ball onto the green of an adjacent hole. If a ball lands on the wrong putting green the R&A book states that:

"On the Putting Green: If the ball lies on the putting green, the
player must lift the ball and place it, without penalty, at the nearest
point of relief that is not in a hazard or, if complete relief is
impossible, at the nearest position to where it lay that affords
maximum available relief from the condition, but not nearer the
hole and not in a hazard. The nearest point of relief or maximum
available relief may be off the putting green."

 As such, you should certainly not play the ball as it lies. Yet you don't have to retake the shot from the tee or fairway either, and instead get a free drop near to the green. 


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Golf Course on a Mine Deposit

The Pete Dye Golf Course, in West Virginia, is one built atop a mine deposit. It includes a strip-mine wall, black cinder bunkers and an abandoned coal train on the 10th hole. In addition, a coal mine shaft leads up to the seventh hole. It's an interesting location for a great 7,353 yard golf course ranked 46 in Golf Digest's rankings. Check out this video tour of the first nine holes at the golf course.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Keeping Your Balls Warm

You might have heard golf balls go further in warmer climates than colder ones. Golf ball cores are heated up during the summer, and so they will go a little further than the same balls in winter. When playing in the winter you should, therefore, heat up the golf ball as much as possible.

There are various ways that you can keep your balls warm. One way is to simply alternative balls between each of the holes. The balls that are left in the bag can then warm up a bit before you play them. In addition, wrap the golf balls up in the bag with small tea towels.

You should also consider heating the balls up before the round. Why not place them on top of a boiling hot radiator for a few hours before you go to the golf course? Alternatively, the balls can be soaked in hot water beforehand.

There are also golf ball warmers which can heat up the balls. Golf ball warmers can heat up the ball to an optimum temperature (105°F to 115°F) during the winter. There are various golf ball warmers that can heat up four, five or six golf balls. Some golf ball warmers require a cigarette lighter to heat them up. Then keep the balls in the warmer with the lid closed until on the golf course. Check out this page for further details on the golf ball warmers.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Links Golf Courses

Links golf courses amount to less than 1% of the overall total, and most of them are in Britain. The 2013 U.K. Open was played at the links golf course of Muirfield. But how exactly is that golf course any different from other alternatives?

A links golf course is one in which the natural landscape has shaped the overall layout more than the architects. They are more expansive wide-open golf courses that have various geographic elements. For example, you shouldn't find any man-made lakes on them.

Links golf courses are typically built along the coast. Their holes tend to have plenty of surrounding dunes and sandy soil. The sandy soil gives the links golf courses plenty of drainage and a firmer playing surface than other alternatives.

Nor do links golf courses include lots of trees or woodland. Their landscapes tend to be somewhat more open. However, they should still have plenty of gorse bushes and shrubs along their holes.
The Pebble Beach Links golf course. It has only a few trees,
is located on the coast and includes no lakes on its holes.
Sand is prevalent on the links. The links golf courses also have plenty of sand bunkers around greens and fairways. They include expansive pothole bunkers which balls can land in.

Some of the more famous golf courses are links. As mentioned Muirfield is one of them, and others include St Andrews and the Royal County Down which has a unique landscape that combines the Mourne Mountains with Dundram Bay's coastline. Pebble Beach Golf Links, on the coast of Monterey Bay, is one in the United States. They are golf courses which have little in the way of woodland, coastal settings and undulating holes with variable elevations.

Check out Golf Digest's In Celebration of Link's Golf page which ranks the top 50 links golf courses. The page also includes a photo slideshow of the various golf courses. They are a few great links golf courses that you can play at.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Hole by Hole Guide to Aisla Course Turnberry

Among the more famous U.K. golf courses is that of the Aisla Course in Turnberry. This is a  7,211 yard 18-hole championship golf course which has hosted four U.K. Opens. It's a coastal golf course that has holes which are flanked by rocks and sandy hillocks. Check out this hole by hole video tour of the golf course.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Vassos Alexander – Sports Commentator

Vassos Alexander, full name Vassos Alexander Georgiades, has been a sports commentator and presenter for several years and has been surprised more than once during that time. But his biggest surprise must have been turning up at the Radio 2 studios one early morning in April to find himself thrust into the role of anchor for the breakfast show.

Regular host, broadcaster Chris Evans had turned up to work for the 6.30am slot only to find that his voice had gone. Struggling to make his voice audible and with the show live on air, Evans had little choice other than to give up the ghost but, fortunately for everyone, Alexander was on hand to step into the breach.

Announcing that he had taken over the reins, Alexander apologised to the listeners and explained the situation. He made it clear, however, that Evans was still in the studio pulling the strings and telling him what to say and do. His efforts were well received by the audience, but he was gracious enough to concede that Evans had done all the hard work while he had merely acted as the ventriloquist’s dummy.

The Chris Evans Breakfast show on BBC Radio 2 is the flagship programme on the station, replacing the long running show of retiring Sir Terry Wogan.

Alexander’s brief stint in the hot seat was extra proof, if any was needed, as to just how versatile he is. In more than ten years of broadcasting, he has covered a wide range of sport displaying great wit and expertise. Equally at home on television or radio, he has reported or commentated on most major sporting events – FIFA World Cup, Wimbledon, the Ashes, World Championship Darts and the Olympic games are a brief selection of those he has covered.

Alexander is now well established with the BBC, including seven years with 5 Live, and is an integral member of the golf, athletics and tennis teams. He has previously worked for Eurosport. Sky, ITN, Bloomberg News and local radio so he is vastly experienced.

But Alexander does not limit himself to being an observer. He is no great sportsperson himself but he enjoys taking part. He particularly enjoys running marathons, especially around Richmond Park and is always willing to have a go when the opportunity arises. There have been times, however, when not everything went as planned. He once came close to colliding with a tree in a rally car and even crashed at Silverstone.

A Londoner by birth, Alexander loves spending time with Caroline, his wife, and their children Emily and Matthew, and of course the family dog, that is when he is not commentating or taking part in his own sports activities. Still resident in London, he is also multi-lingual and can speak English, French, German, Greek and Russian.

As sports commentators go, Alexander is as versatile, knowledgeable and talented as any. His skill and charismatic personality show through in all he does and have made him a sought-after speaker, adding another string to his already considerable bow.

About the author: 

Tony Jackson is a freelance media commentator.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Great Gadgets for Your Golf Bag

Golf is a game that has plenty of gadgets. Golfing gadgets can give any golfer a technical advantage on the golf course. These are a few of the more notable gadgets for the golf course.  

GPS Units


GPS (global positioning units) are gadgets that measure course yardages. As such, they can be provide you with much more specific yardage distances from to the greens, fairways, doglegs and layups across the golf course. They include both GPS watches and handheld units that have full-colour golf course maps comparable to those on the yardage charts.

Golf Ball Wrangler


The Golf Ball Wrangler is a somewhat low-tech, but effective, gadget for finding golf balls in the water. This gadget is a series of fibre glass mesh plates mounted on an axle which can be tossed into the water. When its pulled along the bottom of the pond, it traps balls in the water between its plates. After removing the wrangler from the water, you can then pick off the golf balls it rolled over.

Digital Golf Scorecards


Digital golf scorecards can be another great addition to your golf bag. These are gadgets that can record up to four golf scores during a round. The scorecards might also provide some scoring stats and averages for the round. Among the digital golf scorecards are the Golf GameBook phone application which is among the first to include signing options for championships.

Radar Golf Balls


You've probably heard of this one already as there's another post on this blog about the RadardGolf Balls. Just to reiterate the RadarGolf System is a gadget that locates and finds golf balls that include embedded microchips. The handheld tracking device detects the microchip golf ball with audio tones that gradually increase in volume when you move closer to the ball.
  
Those are four great golf gadgets for your bag. They'll keep your score, locate lost golf balls and provide yardage details for the golf course for more effective club selection.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

HBCU Sports NBA News Summary

In less than a month, the NBA preseason for 2013/2014 will be over, however ESPN has already released the initial draft for the NBA Draft class of 2014. The opening projection from Chad Ford is that the Philadelphia 76ers, who have 1st pick in next year's NBA Draft, will choose Andrew Wiggins from Kansas. Ford, in his 1st set of projections, gives the Sixers a record of 20/62, which means they have a 25% chance of hitting the jackpot and picking one of the sport's most hyped draftees of recent times.

Recruiting the 6'8 wing in the draft's 1st selection, alongside Nerlens Noel (a frontcourt defensive anchor, who was strongly projected as the 1st overall pick of the NBA Draft in 2013, prior to reaching the Sixers via trade -- after falling from the top five) and Michael Carter-Williams (also a 2013 rookie), would offer Philadelphia a youthful, instantly reformed core built by Sam Hinkie, the general manager. The next projection is for the Phoenix Suns to be allowed 2nd overall pick, after achieving a 22/60 record. Ford predicts that the Suns will opt for flexible power and partner Alex Len (the 2013 lottery pick) with Kentucky's Julius Randle (a one and done prospect).

Rounding off the top three is Orlando Magic, who are predicted to choose Marcus Smart from Oklahoma State. According to HBCU sports, this is the identical player whose decision to remain in education for a 2nd year caused somewhat of a stir in the team. Instead of Smart, the Magic drafted Indiana's Victor Oladipo during the NBA Draft of 2013, and Ford predicts that the squad will still get the chance to recruit the Big Twelve Player of the Year for 2013.

The team projected to secure the 4th pick for the NBA draft of 2014 is the Charlotte Bobcats. Here, Ford has Dante Exum, the Australian international player, enrolling with the side. This would give the Bobcats a player referred to by Jonathan Tjarks from SB Nation as the greatest NBA prospect nobody has heard of. In particular, Tjarks spoke very highly of the combo guard's instinctive feel for the sport. Also, it is worth pointing out that Exum chose not to come to the US for college ball in 2013, because he would not be eligible till December, although he could still opt to attend college in 2014.

The team rounding off the top five is the Boston Celtics. Ford predicts they will choose forward Jabari Parker. Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo are already in position, which makes Parker the natural selection as the Celtics' next franchise small forward, once they have parted company with Paul Pierce. Some other selections and names worth noting are Aaron Gordon joining the Sacramento Kings in the 6th overall selection, Andrew Harrison 7th overall -- joining the Milwaukee Bucks, center Joel Embiid being selected 10th to join the LA Lakers, and the Washington Wizards choosing 16th and drafting Mitch McGary, who achieved a breakthrough performance during the previous year's NCAA Competition.

About the author:

This article was written by JD Smuthers.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Follow by Email

Some might have spotted the Follow by Email gadget on this blog's template. That has been added so that you can be informed of new posts added to this blog. With it you can subscribe to the hot-off-the-press blog updates via email. The emails include a copy of the post. Simply submit your email address to subscribe!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Carnoustie Golf Links Video

The Canoustie Golf Links is a great championship golf course. It is a golf course that has hosted several U.K. Opens. For the championships it stretches some 7,421 yards. Here's a video of the Carnoustie Golf Links.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Excel Golf Spreadsheets

Excel can be an ideal software package for recording golf scores from previous rounds, or alternatively recording golf scores and standings for golf championships. Excel includes a number of numerical options as well as formatting options to select from which can further enhance golf spreadsheets. Here are a few suggestions for Excel golf spreadsheets.

To begin with it’s worth noting some of the numerical options that Excel has. For example, to include stroke averages in your spreadsheet for a particular round, or a greater number of rounds, then you should select the average function which will then provide the arithmetic mean score for the round over either nine or 18 golf holes. In addition to this, with Excel functions other averages for a round such as the modal or median average hole scores can also be included.

Excel also has a number of formatting options to select from to further enhance golf spreadsheets. For example, as it’s a golf spreadsheet you may want to consider formatting the spreadsheet cell colors so that they include more green shading. Right-click the cells to be formatted and then select the formatting option, and then fill to change the selected cells to green.

Consider formatting the text included in the spreadsheet as well. Format the spreadsheet column headings so that they include bold text; to do that right-click the cells, text to be formatted and then change the font to bold.

In addition to this, why not add some golf images to the Excel spreadsheet? Excel includes golf themed clip art that you can add to a golf spreadsheet. To do so select the position on the spreadsheet to add the golf clip art by selecting a cell. Then select the Insert option, and Clip Art. After you have done this you can find suitable golf clip art by inputting the keyword golf into the search box. A variety of golf clip art will then be displayed to select from. After you have added the clip art you can move and resize it if required.

Graphs can also be a good addition to a golf spreadsheet. With graphs you can display your recorded golf scores as graphs such as bar graphs or line graphs. You can do this by firstly selecting the scores and their cells which are to be included in the graph. Then select Insert and one of the graphs such as line or bar (otherwise column) graph. Drag the graph to a suitable position the spreadsheet, and any graph can be further edited by right-clicking within the graph’s borders and then selecting a suitable option. For example, to change the graph type select the Change Graph Type option and then one of the alternative graphs.

These are just a few good tips for Excel golf spreadsheets. With Excel’s numerical, formatting and graph options exciting golf spreadsheets can be produced for recording your own golf scores, or alternatively for golf championships.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What Is Airsoft and Why You Should Play

Airsoft can refer to a variety of things but what I am going to be looking at is the sport aspect. It is the activity of experiencing tactical warfare through battle simulations with airsoft guns. These airsoft guns shoot out plastic bbs at a speed that is not dangerous to a human life yet they do travel at a fast enough speed to sometimes cause the person to experience a sting. Airsoft has become a much more popular sport as of recently but it is still under the radar. Not many people are involved in this activity either because they do not know about it or they simply do not want to try it out. Most of the people I talk to about airsoft do not know what it is. Others do not want to try it out because there is a possibility of experiencing pain. Regardless of the reasons people do not participate in this activity I’m going to explain why you should give it a try.

It is FUN!

Imagine running through the woods with a semi-automatic pistol in your holster. You have an automatic rifle in your hands as you sneakily try to capture the enemies’ flag without detection. One of your teammates starts to create a distraction by providing suppressive fire. You move forward towards the enemies’ flag but all of a sudden you see a tango to the right about to take a shot at you. Thankfully your teammate has a sniper rifle and takes him out before he can tag you.

Ok you can stop imagining! Keep in mind nobody is getting killed! It is all done in a safe environment with plastic bbs that do not break the skin. If this does not sound fun to you Fair enough… do not try it but honestly if you are like me you are probably thinking about what happens next! It might also be a chance to shoot your friends without killing them. Sounds great am I right?!

Exercise

Playing this game will cause you to run, stay down, move fast, and your heart will race. This is a very physical game and a great way to get your exercise in! I do not think I have ever met an airsoft player who has claimed otherwise (unless you are sniper… in which case I guess it is ok to be a fatty).

Training

Airsoft is often also used for real combat training. It allows people to get a feel of the weight of their weapon and trigger grip. It helps them improve their aim as well as safety practices. If you are training for home defense purposes please also invest in a home security system. Smith security provides excellent services! Check them out.

So yeah! Go get an Airsoft gun, safety gear, and find a few friends and play! Do not play in public places because most of these guns look real and the general public may panic. Play either in the woods, private property (with permission of course) or at an airsoft field (which are hard to find). Remember to always practice safety first!
About the author:

About the Author: Jose Rodriguez is a writer, gamer, and comic book fan. You can follow him on Twitter!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Airsoft Gun Maintenance

When anyone plays airsoft I doubt they are thinking about all of the filth getting into their gun as they crawl on the ground to avoid enemy fire. How about the mag that may fall to the ground as you insert another mag? There are a variety of ways our airsoft guns can get damaged and dirty. I would like to explore the ways we can all better maintain our arsenal of airsoft weaponry and it will not cost you much to do it!

Cleaning

Many of you may have heard that when cleaning your airsoft gun you want to use silicone oil. That is false. All silicone oil does is lubricate the parts within the gun as well as the barrel. When a doctor wants to sterilize something he does not shout “quick we need to lubricate this” because that would be pretty dumb. Use alcohol to clean and sterilize your gun. If a gun has a hop up chamber you will need to expose it and clean it with alcohol. After it has dried THEN you can use silicone oil to lubricate it. Same thing with the barrel; clean the barrel with alcohol and then lubricate it with silicone oil. Most guns come with a barrel cleaner to stick down the barrel; others may not. Whatever you use to enter into the barrel make sure it isn’t something sharp and dirty. We want to avoid damaging the airsoft gun. If you feel the need to purchase a real gun cleaning kit feel free to do so. You can use toilet paper if you do not have anything else available. You also do not want to use too much alcohol when cleaning any of the airsoft gun parts. In addition to cleaning the gun this way you will also need to clean the mags that you insert into the weapon. You may also want to clean where the mag goes into the gun.

Battery

If you are using an AEG you will need to maintain your battery to keep it at its peak performance. How do you do this? You do this by simply charging it correctly. Certain batteries can drain if you charge them too long. You will need to research what type battery you have, the capacity it can hold, and also what kind of charger you are using. This will help you determine how long you need to charge your battery before using your gun.

Battle

When you are actually playing in an airsoft battle be mindful of your gear. Don’t use your gun as a baseball bat. Just use common sense when you are out on the field. Try to avoid putting it in danger.

With all that being said make sure you practice your safety precautions when playing airsoft. Play on private properties and avoid whipping out your guns in public. If you are using airsoft for tactical training for later use of a real gun keep in mind that a real gun can only go so far. If home defense is the reason why you may be training I would also invest in a home security system. Smith security provides excellent services! Check them out.

About the Author: Jose Rodriguez is a writer, gamer, and comic book fan. You can follow him on Twitter!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Trent Jones Golf Trail Video

The Trent Jones Golf Trail is a series of clubs in Alabama that include 26 golf courses. Check out this previous post on the blog about the trail. The video below includes a simulator (not actual footage) of three of the trail's golf courses. They are The Judge at Capitol Hill, Links at Grand National and Cambrian Ridge.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Famous Golf Course Architects

A few of the most famous golf courses in the game were inspired by a group of renowned golf course architects. Golf course architects that have combined bunkers, lakes, trees, hills and other natural vegetation for some enthralling golf holes and courses. These are a few of the more famous golf course architects.

MacKenzie

MacKenzie golf courses are among the most famous in the sport of golf. The most notable of them is probably the Augusta National golf course, which is host to the annual

Masters golf championship. This golf course has 7,435 yard course which has some famous holes such as 12th par-3 hole that includes Rae's Creek. The course is renowned for its diversity of trees and shrubs, which include tea olives, flowering peach, magnolia, pampas, camellia, holly and more besides.

Cypress Point golf course, at Pebble Beach, is another of Mackenzie's famous golf courses. Cypress Point is one of the top ranked golf courses in the United States. The course is located on the Monterey Peninsula, and plays alongside the Pacific Ocean. It has a great collection of par 3 holes, including a 231 yard par 3 that requires a tee-shot across the Pacific to land on the green.

Trent Jones

Trent Jones has a variety of golf courses. In actual fact, almost 500 golf courses in the United States. Trent Jones combines some of these golf courses along the Trent Jones Trail. The Trent Jones Trail includes a collection of championship calibre courses within Alabama.

Most of the Trent Jones courses are public golf courses, and among the more notable is that of SpyGlass. The SpyGlass golf course is one of the Pebble Beach Resort courses, and is ranked among the top public golf courses in the United States. This is a course that plays alongside the Pacific Ocean, and some of its holes also wind through parts of the Del Monte Forest.

Dye

Pete Dye courses include some famous PGA Tour venues. At the Kiawah Island Resort there is the Ocean Course, an extensive course which is some 7,873 yards. The Ocean Course has an Atlantic coastline, and plenty of coastal holes. It has hosted the PGA Championship, as well as the 1991 Ryder Cup.

The TPC at Sawgrass is another famed Dye golf course. This Florida golf course is a regular venue for the Players Championship. It includes the Island Green hole which is a 132 yard par-3 with a green surrounded by water. Both the Ocean Course and TPC at Sawgrass are great championship courses.

Nicklaus

A record-breaking golfer, Nicklaus has also designed a variety of golf courses around the world. Approximately 299 Nicklaus golf courses were open in 2005, mostly in the United States, but also in Europe and Asia. Among the top ranked Nickluas' courses is that of Shaol Creek Country Club which is located in Alabama. This has been the host for a number of PGA golf championships, including the PGA Championship, and has some great holes such as the 446 yard 18th finishing hole.

These course architects have constructed hundreds, possibly thousands, of golf courses. They include great PGA Tour championship courses, and resort courses which you can also play at. Vist the Ocean Course, SpyGlass, courses along Trent Jones Golf Trail and Turtle Point which is also at Kiawah Island.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Santander Golf Course Video

There are a number of exciting and scenic golf courses in Spain. Among them the Santander golf course in Madrid. Santander is now rated among the top golf courses in Spain, and stretches some 7,500 yards. The golf course has thousands of shrubs and trees along its holes. Check out the Santander video below.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Great Championship Golf Courses

The game of golf has the four major championships which are the U.S. and U.K. Open, Masters and PGA Championship. Overall, the great championship golf courses are those that have hosted such championships. Here are a few of the most notable.

Augusta

Augusta is perhaps one of the best championship golf courses. It exclusively stages the U.S. Masters with the best of the PGA Tour coming to play each season. The golf course has a great history and some fine holes such as the 12th hole, which includes watered creek in front in front of the creek and the Ben Hogan Bridge. The course itself is 7,000 + yards in total distance, and has some fine landscape.

St Andrews

The St Andrews' championship course is one that has hosted the U.K. Open a number of times. Aside from this major, other championships such as the Dunhill Cup have also been staged at St Andrews. It's a links style golf course which has some deep bunkers as on the 11th and then the great 17th hole. Today the Old Course is golf's homeland.

Carnoustie Golf Links

This golf course has hosted the UK Open several times, with great Open championships and winners including the likes of Hogan and Player. The Championship golf course is a links course that includes relatively short signature holes such as the 13th which has a heavily bunkered green. Overall, it is a great course.

Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach golf links has been a great venue for the U.S. Open and other championships. Overall, it has staged the U.S. Open four times with a further scheduled. Pebble Beachhas also hosted the PGA Championship, and other championships such as the most notable U.S.Amateur Championship. The golf course runs alongside the Pacific coast, with signature holes such as the short seventh and the longer finishing hole. It is a par 72, and approx 6,800 yards overall.

The Country Club Open Course

The Country Club is a historic American club with a great championship golf course. Today the Open Course has staged two U.S. Opens while the Main Course has also staged one other. In addition to this, the U.S. Amateur Championships five times with a further scheduled. The 1999 Ryder Cup was also staged at the Country Club. Overall, the course is more than 7,000 yards with some small greens and a great final hole.

Overall, they are a few of the great Championship golf courses. Golf courses such as St Andrews, Augusta, Carnoustie, Pebble Beach and the Country Club have staged great major championships such as the U.S., U.K.Open, Masters and PGA Championship in addition to the Ryder Cup.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Royal St George's Golf Course

Royal St George is a golf course in England that stretches some 7,200 yards. This is a great championship golf course that has hosted a variety of U.K. Open championships. Check out this video tour of Royal St George.


Sunday, August 04, 2013

The top Five Golf Resorts in North America

There are some great golf resorts in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean Islands which have a variety of golf courses. Golf Digest has its own golf resort rankings for North America. These are the top five golf resorts in their rankings.

Five: The Greenbrier White Sulphur Springs

At fifth place in Golf Digest's rankings is that of the Greenbrier Golf Club. At the Greenbrier resort there are three unique 18-hole championship golf courses. These include the Greenbrier Course, The Old White TPC and The Meadows Course. The Greenbrier Course dates back to 1927, and was later redesigned by Nicklaus. This wooded course is the only resort course that has hosted both a Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup. The longest of the Greenbrier resort courses is that of the Old White TPC which is some 7,274 yards long.

Four: Sea Island Golf Resort

The Sea Island resort is located along the coastal waters of Sea Island, in Georgia. The resort includes three 18-hole championship golf courses to play at: The Seaside Course, The Plantation Course and the Retreat Course. The Seaside Course is a classic links golf course which has been ranked among the top 100 U.S. golf courses. The Plantation Course has expansive fairways and is located beside the Atlantic Ocean. Sea Island's Retreat Course also has an exciting combination of bunkers and slopes for an enthralling round of golf.

Three: The American Club

The American Club is located in Kohler in the United States. This resort includes four great Pete Dye championship golf courses. The River Course and Meadow Valleys Course are at the Blackwolf Run, and the Irish Course and Straits course are at the Whistling Straits. Visitors to the resort can stay at either the American Club hotel or the Inn on Woodlake.

Two: Pebble Beach Resort/Inn at Spanish Bay

The famed Pebble Beach Resort, on the Monterey coastline of California, is second in Golf Digest's golf resort rankings. This resort includes the Pebble Beach golf course which is usually ranked among the best golf courses in the United States, and has hosted five U.S. Open championships among others. It includes a great finishing hole with a fairway that runs alongside the Atlantic Ocean. Other notable courses at the resort are the SpyGlass Hill Golf Course, Links at Spanish Bay, Peter Hay Golf Course and Del Monte Course. As such, there are plenty of great golf courses at Pebble Beach Resort.

One: Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

Golf Digest's top ranked golf resort in North America is that of the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. It is here that the Pacific Ocean meets the rugged shoreline of the Oregon coastline. This is a resort with four classic links golf courses: Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, Bandon Trails and Old Macdonald. These are great coastal courses that include pristine native dunes alongside the rippling fairways. In addition to these courses, a fifth course is also set to be added to the resort which will have thirteen par-3 golf holes.

These are five golf resorts to visit for your next golfing vacation. Bandon Dunes, Pebble Beach Resort, The American Club, Sea Island Resort and The Greenbrier White Sulphur Springs have a great collection of courses and variety of packages for golf vacations.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Scrawney Guys Guide to Building Muscle

Tired of going to the club for drinks with your male friends to meet girls and being passed over by your well built muscular friends. Do you sit there watching attractive girls talk, flirt, and dance with your friends and wonder why not you. So what if they have broad shoulders and trim abs, doesn't personality count ?

When your sitting on the beach with your friends don't you wish you could build up more muscles. Your male friends are tanned and toned strutting their stuff while your just sitting there. Often your left on the blanket to watch everyone's belongings while they take off with girls to swim or buy some refreshments.

When you work out or exercise do you wish you could take a safe supplement for muscle growth without any side effects? TestRush Testosterone Booster is a nautral dietary product that helps build muscles, firm up the stomach, and increase energy and stamina. When you work out or exercise the results will show without the harmful side effects of hormones. It is not used for just body builders but men with low testosterone levels.

Your an older man that just doesn't have the energy and strength that you used to to do the things you enjoy. You go golfing with your friends and can't keep up. Lately you would rather be at home watching a Rodney Dangerfield movie about golfing then playing the sport. You wife has a list a mile long of projects for you to tackle that you haven't gotten to. Not only that your love life could use a boost. You want to start eating better and exercising but the list is too long.

Testorone Boosters are natural supplements for men of all ages. Older men with low testerone lose muscle mass, weight, and lack energy. When you add this product to your daily diet it build muscles too giving you a more toned look It will help you with muscular development. Regular exercise and a good diet helps builds muscle when taking this product . Below are some tips for eating properly to build muscle. Nutrition build muscles when exercising or working out.

Eat smaller meals during the day every two to five hours. You should eat a variety of healthy food like protein, grains, fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, and low fat dairy products. Building muscles is about eating enough calories to gain a few pounds when underweight to build muscle. Eating 40 to 60 grams of protein per meal will help you build muscles. This means eating leans meats, poultry and fish like tuna, and salmon. You can eat eggs, low fat cheese, and yogurt too.

When you drink protein shakes look for ones that have whey, casein or milk protein. A lack of carbohydrates means a lack of energy when you exercise or workout. Eat 60-80 grams of carbs per meal like whole grains, bran, barley, beans, brown rice, oatmeal, pasta, and potatoes. They keep you feeling full and provide concentrated energy when working out.

Learn to like vegetables and eat them with every meal. Yes, those green ones that your mother threw out every night when you were a kid. Vegetables build muscles because they have tons of vitamins and minerals. At least one to two cups per meal . Eat your biggest meal at breakfast and drink protein shakes to supplement the diet.

About the author: 

Kasey Alderman works for the National Health Association and counsels people on healthy eating, living, and fitness.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Golf Digest's Ten Best Golf States

On the Golf Digest website there's an interesting slideshow which includes the ten best U.S. golf states. The states are ranked on the number of great public golf courses per capita. These are Golf Digest's top 10 U.S. states for golf:

1. Hawaii
2. South Carolina
3. Nevada
4. Michigan
5. Wisconsin
6. Colorado
7. Vermont
8. Nebraska
9. Arizona
10. North Dakota

As such, the Pacific islands of Hawaii tops their rankings. Hawaii has up to 46 golf courses among which is the Kapalua. With golf resorts such as Kiawah Island South Carolina is second. Nevada also has some golfing gems such as Shadow Creek, a course that extends some 7,560 yards, and Wolf Creek.

I am surprised that North Dakota, with only six golf courses, is included in the rankings. Dakota is included ahead of California which is a state that has some highly ranked golf courses, such as Pebble Beach and Cypress Point, along its coastline. Check out the slideshow here.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

20-Hole Golf Course

How many 20-hole golf courses are there? Not many, but at the Haig Point Club you will find one. It is there that you can play at the Rees Jones Signature Course.

This is a golf course that has 20-holes on which you can play. However, you will only play 18. The golf course includes two hole eights, and a couple more 17th holes.

When you reach the par-3 eight holes you choose to play one of two hole eights. One is a 170 yard par-3 that has a small wetland in front of the green. The other is a longer 200 yard par-3.

The 17th hole is another double. They are also both par-3 holes that have a yardage of up to 196 yards. However, one of the holes includes a short fairway leading up to the green, whilst the other does not. Pick one of the holes to play, and then wrap up the round at the 510 yard par-5 that has marshland and an elevated green.

The innovate addition of an optional eighth and 17th hole certainly gives the course some variety, and increases the number of holes at the course to 20. Check out this page for further details on the Rees Jones Signature Course. Click on the Rees Jones Signature Course Tour link at the bottom which includes maps of each hole.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Royal County Down Golf Course

The great Royal County Down golf course is one of the top ranked golf courses the United Kingdom. This is a 7,204 yard links golf course set alongside the Mountains of Mourne in Northern Ireland. It's certainly an exhilarating setting for golf. Check out this Royal County Down video slideshow.


Monday, July 15, 2013

What if Your Ball Lands in Casual Water?

Casual water is accumulated water on a golf course. It's not the water that's always in the pond, which is surrounded by yellow stakes, but rain water puddles. During the winter more substantial puddles might emerge on the course which can submerge your golf ball in water.  

If your ball lands in one of those puddles you can play it, and get a little wet. You can also drop the ball out of the puddle without a penalty. That's a free drop which must be dropped just behind the casual water.

However, casual water can also build up in bunkers. With heavy rain small bunkers can become flooded with water. If you land in casual water within a bunker you can still drop your ball, no nearer the hole, to another position in the bunker. It will still be a free drop.  

It's worth noting that you cannot make a free drop outside the bunker. Consequently, if your ball lands in a flooded bunker the free drop still has to be in the bunker. If you drop the ball outside of the bunker, as you might have to, then a one shot penalty will have to be added to the scorecard.

If you ask me that's something that should be altered. A flooded out bunker is, after all, still filled with casual water. As there are no yellow stakes around them they cannot be considered the same as lakes or ponds; yet you still have to drop a ball out of them, with a penalty, in much the same way.  

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Teeth of The Dog Golf Course Video

The Teeth of The Dog at Casa de Camp is ranked 43rd in Golf Magazine's golf course rankings. This is a golf course that stretches some  7,471 yards from the black tees. It is located beside the Caribbean Ocean, and includes a variety of coastal holes. Check out this video that includes a Teeth of the Dog slideshow. 

 

Sunday, July 07, 2013

The Golf GameBook

Digital scorecards aren't exactly new. Those are electronic scorecards which save your scores. However, they do not include official signing options.

The GameBook is a Samsung phone golf scoring application that includes a digital scorecard. Its scorecard is the first to include digital signing. That is thanks to its S Pen which is included with this scorecard app. With that it can be signed in much the same way as a paper scorecard. This ensures that it can be taken to golf championships.
The Golf GameBook and S Pen

The GameBook also has other additional options such as a Live Leaderboard and Game Site. It supports various built-in game formats such as matchplay, Stable ford, Scramble, Best Ball etc. With the Game Manager you can set up your own golf championships. The Gamebook has provided livescoring for numerous golf championship in Europe and the United States

If you have a Samsung S you can add this application to your phone. It is a free app that you can find at the Samsung Apps and the iTunes AppStore. Check out the GameBook website for further details.


Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Golf Digest Hot List

Each year Golf Digest updates its Hot List. The Hot List is a list of hot golfing gear that you could, and probably should, include in your golf bag. The Hot List includes golf balls, irons, wedges, putters, fairway woods, golf bags etc. Each item included has a gold, silver or bronze medal depending on points that are allocated to them. Check out the Golf Digest Hot List website for further details on some great golfing gear. Below is the Inside 2013 Hot List video that is also on their site. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Let the War Games Begin

As civilian war games grow in popularity, so does the demand for more realistic, nonlethal weapons. The most common form of this extreme hobby is paintball. Paintball guns are very unrealistic and toy-like. The enthused hobbyist looking for a sport with more realistic weapons can turn to the world of Army airsoft guns. These weapons are exact replicas of real firearms such as the M15A4 and the M-7. The only noticeable difference is the bright orange tips with which most airsoft guns are equipped. Airsoft guns fire pellets rather than live rounds using compressed gas or even electric and spring driven pistons. Initially, the army airsoft gun was used exclusively for leisure by adrenaline junkies seeking the thrill of taking to the battlefield without the pesky threat of loss of life and limb. Today many federal and state institutions utilize airsoft weapons as a cost effective training tool and an inexpensive substitute for conversion kits for their real weapons.

The extreme hobbyist remains the main consumer of these very realistic weapons and there are many clubs and teams dedicated to army airsoft guns. Some events in Europe may have as many as 2000 participants in a single skirmish. With such stiff competition, these weekend warriors look for anything to give them the advantage over the field of opponents. Airsoft guns can be equipped with an impressive plethora of accessories including compressors, extended magazines and infrared sights. These unusual tournaments began in the 1980s in Japan and their popularity has increased exponentially. The only universal rule among the scores of tournaments available is the demand that safety equipment be used. Participants must wear protective, full-length clothing and eye goggles. A pellet traveling at full speed could result in blindness if it were to strike an eye. They have even been known to leave big bruises on protected skin. Most tournaments have a power ceiling and do not allow weapons with a velocity of more than four hundred FPS.

A good airsoft replica can be purchased for about $100 US though the price tag can inflate to $400 dollars for some of the more advanced weapons. There are also airsoft grenades and land mines to complete the simulated battlefield. These weapons are typically composed of a canister filled with BBs. The landmines are typically hidden in inconspicuous places where they may be triggered by the enemy. Many inventive participants actually construct these makeshift weapons from ordinary household products. For the less creative, there are many manufacturers of these simulated weapons from all across the world and more manufacturers toss their hat into the ring daily as the sport increases in popularity. One of the more reputable companies is the Maniac Hobby complex, a veritable warehouse of hobbies that has everything anyone would need to get into the competitive world of airsoft battles. Their facility is in Plantation, Florida but they deliver all over the continental United States. They even ship orders greater than $99 for free. Their toll free number is 888-83-HOBBY (6229) and it is recommended you visit their comprehensive website at www.maniacshobbhycomplex.com/airsoft-department.html.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The History of the Augusta National Golf Club

The Augusta golf course is perhaps the most famous golf course in the world. This is largely because it is the annual golf course of the Augusta Masters golf championships. The history of this great golf course is therefore intertwined with that of the Masters.

The Augusta golf course is one that dates back to the 1930s. The course was founded by Bobby Jones, and designed by course architect MacKenzie during the early ‘30s. Construction on the golf course began in 1931, and continued up until 1933. As such, the Augusta golf course was opened in 1933.

It was not long before the first Augusta Masters golf championship was to be played at Augusta. In 1934, the first Augusta National Invitational was won by Horton Smith. During the first few Augusta National Invitational championships the second nine holes of the current course were the first nine, and vice-versa. The order of these holes was reversed in 1935.

Pro golfers soon flocked to Augusta for the early Master golf championships. Among them was Sarazen who scored a double eagle on the 15th hole. As such, Sarazen’s Bridge footbridge on the 15th has been named as such ever since.

Among the club’s more famous members is that of President Eisenhower. As one of the Augusta National Golf Club members Eisenhower played a number of rounds on the course. Upon his election as U.S. president, the Eisenhower Cabin was constructed in 1956 which today is one of ten cabins at the Augusta course.

The Hogan Bridge is also another famous Bridge at the Augusta golf course. This bridge is located at the 12th Rae Creek’s hole. After Hogan set new course records during the ‘50s, the bridge was called the Hogan Bridge in 1958. Even though those records have since been eclipsed, it remains as such today.

1959 was the 25th anniversary of the Masters. As such, to celebrate the anniversary the Record Fountain was constructed close to the 17th green. Since then the record fountain has recorded a number of Master golf championship records.

In the postwar era Augusta also began to establish its first TV contracts. The first TV coverage of the Masters golf championship began in 1956. CBS has remained among the foremost broadcasters of the Augusta golf course and championship. Although, the first eight holes of the Augusta golf course were not covered by any broadcaster until the early 1990s.

In more recent years the Augusta golf course has had some further adjustments. In 2001, the Augusta National golf course was approximately 6,925 yards in length. It was then first lengthened to 7,270 yards. In 2006, the Augusta course was further extended to approximately 7,445 yards. As such, the course is somewhat longer today than it was in the 1930s.

Overall, the Augusta golf course has remained among the top ranked golf courses since it first opened in during the ‘30s. It topped Golf Digest’s America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses listings in 2011, and is usually within the top 10 of most golf publication course rankings. Check out the Augusta website which includes further details on the golf course.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Banff Springs Golf Course Video

The Banff Springs golf course is one that has a great setting in the Canadian Rockies. The golf course stretches some 7,074 yards, and is surrounded by coniferous woodland. It includes some great holes such as the fourth par-3 that is located beside a glacial lake. Check out this Banff Springs course video.





Wednesday, June 19, 2013

When to Select Alternative Clubs for Chipping

Golf chips are those shots made from around the green, or even to lay the ball up onto a better lie. They are flexible enough not to be limited to the selection of just one or two clubs.

The 7-iron is a golf club that is often used for chipping. This is perhaps unsurprising, for it strikes a good balance of possessing a reasonable amount of loft, while also giving reasonable ball roll. As such, for a standard chip shot onto the green from 20-30 yards it might be ideal.

At any rate however, the seven iron will not always be ideal to use. Let us suppose you find yourself more like 10-15 yards within the flag, or even less, without being on the green itself. Here you might find yourself parked up close to the collar of the green, but not quite on it. As such, a 7-iron would not be a suitable club to chip with here.

Wedge clubs, such as the sand wedge, would probably be best to use under such circumstances. They have greater loft, and minimal roll, to ensure the ball will not be chipped so far and stop on the green fairly swiftly. At any rate, you could even just try putting the ball onto the green if the fairway is reasonably smooth. Consider that a long putt from 10 - 15 yards out will roll along the ground, and could be just as effective.

To chip the ball onto a green from slightly longer distance, consider using a longer iron. Let us suppose you are about 30-35 yards from the flag. A 6-iron will provide a good deal more role towards the flag stick than a pitching wedge, but the chip will have a less loft. The roll of the ball is what will give the distance.

Chipping out of longer grass will require shorter club selection. This is because you will need their loft to be able to chip through the longer grass. As such, the wedges can make the best clubs to use under these circumstances. A 9-iron might also give you enough loft to make a chip out of the rough.

A wet or dry golf course might also require different use of clubs. On a wet course the ball will not roll so far, so you might want to pick a slightly lower iron than usual. For dryer conditions it will roll further so moving up to a higher iron will reduce that.

Overall, there is some flexibility for club selection with the chip shot. Try not to limit yourself to just one or two clubs for chip shots, and take distance and conditions into account when on the course.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Walsh And Nicholls Call Time

When two of arguably the greatest names in National Hunt Racing get together you know that success is undoubtedly on the cards. Such was the case of Irish jockey Ruby Walsh and Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls who in October 2002 formed one of the most successful partnerships in recent racing history.

In the eleven years that followed, together they achieved unparalleled success enjoying multiple victories in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, the World Hurdle, and the King George VI Chase as well as two triumphs with Kauto Star in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Walsh enviably also partnered magnificent horses including Denman, Master Minded, Big Bucks, Silvianco Conti and Al Ferof to name just a few.

But, it seems, that all good things must come to an end and with his decision to live in Ireland, the vast amount of travelling required for the job of Ditcheat’s stable jockey took it’s toll on Walsh who announced recently that his days as stable jockey to Nicholls had come to an end.

Writing as a columnist for the Irish Examiner, Walsh cited many reasons for his departure not least of which was that his family life was clearly suffering and likened the situation to ships passing in the night.

With a wife, two young children and an over whelming schedule Walsh admitted that getting up at 4.50am, out the door at 5 to be in Dublin Airport at 5.45am for a 6.30am flight and not getting home until 8.15 or 8.30pm that evening meant that by the time the week’s done, he may have only seen his children for a couple of hours.

Understandably it was not an easy decision to make and walking away from a position that enables you to ride in and win the biggest races in the industry as well earn you a very decent living, was always going to be difficult particularly when you love it. But at 34 years of age, Walsh has decided that his family will come first and looks forward to sitting down for breakfast rather than grabbing a quick coffee while running out the door.

So what now for two of the most sought after figures in the world of horse racing? Walsh will strengthen his already existing partnership with Irish trainer Willie Mullins and concentrate on more racing in Ireland, while Nicholls must now take a serious look at his yard and decide which jockey will have the dubious task of filling such enormous shoes.

And Nicholls has his own issues to contend with, only one of which is the departure of Ruby Walsh. For the first time in eight years he lost out to competing trainer Nicky Henderson for the title of Champion Trainer in 2013 when he finished the year on total prize money of £2,924,917 versus Nicholls on £2,375,585.

That was hot on the heels of his very public split with race horse owner Clive Smith, a dramatic spat regarding the retirement of Kauto Star, that was played out in full view of the public via twitter and guest columns.

Shortly after that his long-time assistant, Dan Skelton, decided to start training in his own right and so he too left Ditcheat for greener gallops, leaving Paul Nicholls to no doubt ponder the roller coaster that has been his life for the last twelve months.

But all is not lost for the trainer who finally captured the elusive Grand National title in 2012 when jockey Daryl Jacob romped home on Neptune Collonges. Certainly with a stable yard full to the brim of horses such as Big Bucks, Silvianco Conti and Al Ferof it’s easy to see how a trainer of Nicholl’s quality has turned a small training yard with 28 loose boxes and an uphill woodchip gallop into one of the top establishments for Champion racehorses in the UK.

So from a young jockey and an up-and-coming trainer in 2002, to two of the most well known, successful and respected members of the racing community, they part as friends in 2013, and may even go head to head for the 2014 Grand National.

About the author: 

Paul Warrander is a leading contributor on some of the interest's best horse racing websites. Connect with him on Google Plus.