Patton Kizzire wins Sony Open

Patton Kizzire wins Sony Open

Patton KizzireHonolulu – As the sun was setting in Hawaii, Patton Kizzire was putting the finishing touches on his 2nd win of the ’17-’18 season (earlier in the fall Kizzire won the OHL Mayacoba Classic). At the start of the day, it was Tom Hoge who entered the final round with a slim one stroke lead and seemed poised to notch his first career victory, but a late double bogey on Seth Raynor’s design at Waialae Country Club derailed any hopes. Hoge finished at -16 just one shot out of a tie for the lead and the chance to compete in a playoff.

James Hahn had the hot hand, climbing the leaderboard all day on his way to posting an impressive final round 62 to reach sudden death with Patton Kizzire. On the sixth hole of the playoff Kizzire made par to get the win. Hahn, was visibly shaken by the defeat and was blunt regarding his emotions, “I played good enough to win, but I didn’t. So for me, it’s not how many birdies I make, if I’m not coming out of the room with the trophy, it feels like I was defeated out there,” Hahn said. He continued, “I’d rather lose by a hundred than lose by one. I’d rather miss the cut than lose in a playoff. It just doesn’t sit well with me. I feel really defeated right now.”

While Hahn was beating himself up for the defeat, Kizzire was on different trajectory after the big win, “I’m just going to keep working hard, I want to get the 3rd win. The first win was big, this one is even bigger.”

Kizzire now holds a sizable 452 point lead over Pat Perez in the Fedex Cup standings.

Scores: https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html

 

Picture
Jason  Bruno
LinksNation.com & GolfLife.com
Dustin Johnson wins Sentry Tournament of Champions

Dustin Johnson wins Sentry Tournament of Champions

Dustin JohnsonMaui – It’s a new year, but the dominance continues for World No.1 Dustin Johnson. Heading into the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions with a two shot lead, Johnson’s front nine 32 on Kapalua’s Plantation course extended the margin to six strokes and the rout was on. By the end, the margin was eight as Johnson finished off the field with a brilliant 8 under par 65 and a total of 24 under par.

DJ’s ball striking, especially with the driver continues to amaze. In what may go down in Kapalua lore for decades to come, his tee shot at the 430 yard par 4 twelfth finished 4 inches from the cup, perhaps the best shot ever hit on the 20  year old Coore/Crenshaw design. A tap in eagle that was nearly an ace from 430 yards! Afterwards, Johnson wasn’t all that impressed by his feat, “I could see it until it landed, but I knew it was on a good line. Obviously you have to get a nice bounce. I know exactly where I want it to come down out of the air and it did,” Johnson said.

The win marked Johnson’s 17th tour victory (his second at Kapalua) and the 11th consecutive year with a win.

Jon Rahm (who moved up to third in the Official World Golf Rankings) finished solo 2nd at 16 under par.

Scores: https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html

 

Picture
Jason  Bruno
LinksNation.com & GolfLife.com
Pelican’s Nest Golf Club

Pelican’s Nest Golf Club

Pelican’s Nest Golf ClubOver the past two years, one thing has been constant at Pelican’s Nest Golf Club: change. During that time, both The Gator Course and The Hurricane Course, have been completely renovated, from tee to green. The results will amaze you.

Back in 1995, world-renowned golf course architect Tom Fazio was asked to design an 18-hole golf course inside the gates of the Pelican Landing community. The primary goal at the time was to provide guests of two local resorts, The Registry and the Ritz Carlton, a place to play golf during the busy winter season. The course was an immediate hit and was ranked as the country’s “#3 Best Public Golf Course” by Golf Digest, giving Fazio his first appearance on the publication’s prestigious lists. Pelican’s Nest has also been recognized by Audubon International as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” every year since 2001, a crowning achievement for both the club and its members.

During the next 10 years, Fazio was called on to build a second course. Eighteen holes were added in phases, and, with each new phase there was some rerouting involved. Several years later, after several holes were taken from the original design and many new ones were added, Pelican’s Nest or, “The Nest,” as it is affectionately referred to, is the 36-hole facility that it is today. Rest assured, both courses are always in pristine condition.

One of the biggest concerns during the renovation projects of the last two years, was how to best use reclaimed water and become more environmentally friendly. Golf course architect Jan Bel Jan, who was involved in the original construction of the Hurricane Course, and installed over 1.25 miles of HDPE pipe that takes the reclaimed water to an irrigation pump station where well water is blended with reclaimed water in an effort to manage salts in real time and reduce water use, improving water and power efficiency.

From the back tees, the par-72 Hurricane Course plays 6,808 yards, with a course rating of 73.6 and a slope of 139. Most golfers will find that Tee IV at 6,075 yards will give them all the golf they can handle and still leave with a little dignity intact.  There are 7 sets of tees available for men, women and juniors. The bottom line is that whether you’re a seasoned golf professional or are just picking up a club for the very first time, there’s a set of tees that will help you enjoy your round. As your game improves, you can take on more of the course.

In renovating The Nest Bel Jan created a “course within a course.” These “scoring tees” eliminate a lot of the fairway hazards and make each course a lot easier to manage and navigate your way around. While the championship tees are identified with Roman numerals, the scoring tees are identified with an “S” and have their own scorecard. Many members use them on a regular basis and comment on “how much more fun the game has become” since they started incorporating them into their weekly rounds. After all, lower scores mean happy members!

Although the slope rating doesn’t reflect it, most members consider The Hurricane Course the more difficult of the two. Hurricane winds its way around Spring Creek and the boundaries on the back nine are dictated by brackish marshes and natural thickets of mangroves along the Gulf estuary. You’ll also encounter groves of native Florida oaks and pine trees as you make your way around the layout.

Memorable Holes:

The Hurricane Course features several memorable holes, but nothing more memorable than the last two holes on each side. Number 8 (Temptation) is a par 5 that plays 488 yards from Tee III and offers two ways to play the hole. Option A is the riskier of the two and requires a tee shot down the right side of the fairway, bringing the water into play if you push your shot too far right. A good drive down the right side will give you an opportunity to get home in two. The bunker that used to come into play on the right side and run about 200 yards up to the green has been replaced by three smaller bunkers, which makes the hole less difficult. Playing down the left side makes this a three-shot hole for most players and takes a lot of the hazard out of play. Regardless of the direction you choose, you’ll need an accurate approach to the green if you want to score well.

Pelican’s Nest Golf ClubNumber 9 (Moonscape) is a lengthy par 4 (408 yards from Tee III) around a lake. The third bunker on the left side of the fairway is a good aiming point off the tee; if you can fade it, even better. Most players will be faced with a long iron or hybrid into the elevated green that is protected on the left by a large trap and on the right by the lake. This hole was given its name by Gary Player, who said the humps and hollows of the hole reminded him of the surface of the moon.

The first of two challenging finishing holes, Number 17 (Spring Creek) is a short Par 4. At a mere 332 yards, the trick here is to keep your tee shot in play. The fairway is guarded by hazards on either side.  Consider leaving the driver in the bag, and hit something that will find the fairway. This will leave a short chip shot into an open green protected by a lone bunker on the right. A great opportunity to make birdie!

Number 18 (Teaser) is a par 5 that plays 498 yards (Tee III) and is one of the best finishing holes of golf in southwest Florida; in fact, it’s rather scenic standing on the tee.  It’s one of those holes that yields as many birdies and eagles as it does the dreaded “others,” and presents yet another risk/reward opportunity at The Nest. The hole is a dogleg right around a lake with a narrow landing area.  The water on the right can come into play for longer hitters. A good drive down the right side will present a good opportunity to go for the green in two. It’s about a 220 yard carry over water to a relatively flat green. If you play it as a three-shot hole, be sure to avoid the sand that protects the green on either side. This hole provides a fitting end to a great round of golf.

Also of note is the first hole; after all, how many times do you start your round out with a par 3?

The Nest also boasts some pretty impressive practice facilities including a full length driving range where you can hit every club in the bag; trust me, you’ll need them all. There’s a short game area complete with practice bunker in a separate area near the 18th green as well as a good size practice putting green. The driving range is conveniently located a short walk from the clubhouse.

After your round, be sure to visit the Thirsty Pelican Lounge & Grill Room or have a drink on the veranda, which offers an expansive view of Spring Creek and the finishing hole on the Gator Course. Either venue will provide a great opportunity to unwind after a round or to visit with friends over cocktails and dinner. The view at sunset is breathtaking.

Tradition Golf ClubIf you’re one of the many prospective club members that judges a country club by its dining facilities and menu, then look no further than The Nest. Whether you’re looking for a quiet dinner with friends or dancing the night away at one of the club’s themed event nights, the newly redecorated Main Dining Room is a perfect venue. In fact, The Nest boasts two private dining rooms and can accommodate events large or small; it’s perfect for corporate events, weddings and private wine dinners. Chef Cameron Hord and the culinary staff at The Nest offer a wide variety of culinary delicacies featuring signature seafood dishes and other delights.

The daily menu features many entrees you don’t often see, such as Wonton Pork Belly Tacos, Roasted Pear and Gorgonzola Salad and Blackened Grouper Tacos, served with a mango salsa and chipotle aioli. They are simply delicious. Dinner features dishes such as a Duck and Bacon Wonton appetizer, Crazy Shrimp and Magnificent Meatballs. There are also themed nights during the week such as Pasta Night on Wednesday, Seafood Buffet Night every Friday and Prime Rib Night, every second Thursday.

Although The Nest features 36 holes of spectacular golf, members need more than just a great golf course. The Nest delivers by putting together a very active social calendar for their members full of programs and the events that are unrivaled by any other country club in the area. Each event has a well thought out theme; many are centered around special days such as Valentine’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day.

Pelican’s Nest Golf ClubOne program that has become very popular among the membership is “Tuesday Talks,” a series of presentations designed to capture, engage, educate and entertain.  Upcoming topics include media matters, Southwest Florida’s natural environment and how to build and sustain a great baseball club, presented by a representative from the Boston Red Sox.

The Tea Time Book Club is also very popular at The Nest and already has a full schedule of events set up through the middle of next year. New members who are avid readers will want to check this out.

These are just a few of the ongoing happenings at The Nest Golf Club. For more information or to inquire about becoming a member, contact A. J. Szymanski – Director of Membership Sales at (239) 992-7782.  You can also visit them online at www.nestgolf.com.

Golf Life Contributor
David Theoret

Tradition Golf Club on Pawleys Island

Tradition Golf Club on Pawleys Island

Tradition Golf ClubFor more than 20 years, Tradition Golf Club on Pawleys Island has been playing host to both local golfers and those that converge on the Myrtle Beach area during peak golf seasons. This Ron Garl design is built on the site of a 16th century rice plantation and opened for play in 1996. Tradition Club has received numerous accolades, including South Carolina Golf Course of the Year in 2001, and has been awarded 4.5-stars by Golf Digest as well as voted “Top Fairways” for 1998 by Golf for Women. Tradition Club was also nominated as Best New Public Course by Golf Digest in 1996. It is truly one of the most prestigious golf clubs with public access in the Myrtle Beach area.

Also on property is an impressive practice complex. These are becoming a Ron Garl trademark and one that he has duplicated at several of the other courses he has designed/redesigned around the world. It includes a spacious full-length driving range, a massive chipping green and a putting green with multiple elevation changes so that you can get an idea of the breaks you will encounter during your round. With over 6,800 yards of golf course in front of you at Tradition Club, arrive early and take full advantage of this wonderful practice facility.

Tradition Club is located in the same general area as several other Waccamaw Golf Trail Courses: Willbrook Plantation, River Club and Litchfield Country Club. Five sets of tees provide playable distances for any level of golfer. The Tournament Tees play 6,875 yards and carry a course rating of 73.2 and a slope of 134; a fitting test for low handicappers. The Men’s Tees weigh in at 6,313 (70.8/125) while Ladies have the choice of two distances, the Gold (Senior/Ladies’) play 5,728 (73.1/124 for the ladies’) or the Red (5,189/70.4/120). There is also a ‘junior” set of tees that plays 4,106 with a course rating of 63.5 and a slope of 105.

As you make your way around Tradition Club, you will see how the course communes with nature. Meticulously maintained fairways wind their way through maritime forests and pristine wetlands. Many fairways are lined with live oaks and towering pines, yet there is ample room off the tee to swing away and go for broke.

Tradition Golf ClubRon Garl seems to be a big fan of island greens and Tradition Club does not disappoint. In fact, you’ll have two opportunities to test your mettle on Number 7 and Number 15. Number 7 is a par 4, so you can’t use a tee on your approach shot. Water is present on about 9 holes but is really only a factor on 4 of those, two of which are the island greens.

The bunkers at Tradition Club are well maintained and filled with fine sugary sand. Most are low-lipped and don’t provide any added penalty. A number of holes feature large waste bunkers that are well groomed and add to the overall beauty of the course.

As nice as the course is, Tradition Club is defined by its well-conditioned Bermuda greens. Some have gentle undulations and subtle breaks while others are well-sloped from back to front. All roll fast, true and consistent.

Member’s Favorite Holes:

I spoke with a number of members who had varying opinions on their favorite hole, so we narrowed it down to two.

Tradition Golf ClubNumber 5: Par 3, 179 yards (Men’s Tees). A challenging par 3 that’s got it all – in the way of hazards. From the tee, you need to carry both water and sand; there’s more sand right of the green if you push your shot. The green is shallow – only 29 yards deep, so distance control – and a good putting stroke on this well-contoured green – are essential if you want to score well. Walk away with a par and be happy.

Number 7: Par 4, 377 yards (Men’s Tees). One of two island greens on the course; only you can’t use a tee to reach this one. Long ball hitters will find it best to leave the driver in the bag here; you run out of fairway at about 300 yards from the back tees. You’ll need superior distance control on your approach shot into this island green with a large bunker left. A back-right pin can be a challenge with all of the mounding.

Writer’s Favorite:

Number 10: Par 5, 510 yards (Men’s Tees). A long dogleg left that just seems to keep on turning. There’s a large waste bunker all the way down the left side of the fairway, so favor the right side off the tee and with your approach shot. The large fairway bunker of the right side can’t be seen off the tee and shouldn’t come into play. A good drive followed by a well-placed layup will leave a short pitch into a green that slopes severely from back to front and is protected on the left side by the waste bunker. Mounding in the fairway can produce some interesting lies!

Pro’s Pick:

Number 1: Par 4, 323 yards (Men’s Tees). A short, yet trying par 4 to get your round under way. A gentle dogleg right with a large waste bunker on the right side. Find this bunker off the tee and not only will you have to deal with a sand shot of about 100 yards, you’ll have to carry it over several large oak trees. Playing down the left side of this well-mounded fairway leaves a cleaner look into the green with only a single bunker on the left side to contend with.

The other island green is worth mentioning as well. Number 15 is a par 3 that plays 157 yards from the men’s tees. Clear the water onto the largest green on the course with trouble on all sides. Another short hole where par is a good score.

Last Word:

To score well at the Tradition Club, you need to have your complete game together. Out here, it’s all about shot placement: how far to hit it and where to put it. For the most part, the greens are well protected by sand and/or water. If your approach shots are not dead on, you could be in for a long day. Being able to work the ball – left or right as well as trajectory – is a big plus too. The greens run fast and true, so a consistent putting stroke is a big plus. Most are raised and feature modest undulation. The two island greens add some excitement to an already fun round of golf. You should be able to get around the course in about four hours, which is nice. The course also drains very well so if other courses in the area are closed after a good rain storm, give Tradition Club a call. There’s a good chance they are open and playable. And not cart path only!

Tradition Golf ClubAfter your round, stop by the grill room for some traditional clubhouse food and all of your favorite post-round libations. Tradition Club also has one of the best-stocked pro shops in the area with all kinds of logoed apparel from all of the top names. Be sure to browse around and take home a memento. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable and always willing to help.

Tradition Club is a proud member of the Waccamaw Golf Trail, America’s most awarded golf trail. For more information on the Tradition Club and the Waccamaw Trail, or to book your next golf vacation to the Myrtle Beach area, visit their website at http://www.waccamawgolftrail.com/courses/show/the-tradition-club/

Golf Life Contributor
David Theoret

Bunker Tip

Bunker Tip

Are you one of the million golfers who struggle to get out of the sand? Golf Life headed out to Rancho Santa Fe, California, for a bunker tip with top teacher Dean Reinmuth.

My name is Dean Reinmuth, and we’re here in a fairway bunker. Now, fairway bunkers are a little bit difficult for the average player because they don’t tend to catch the ball solid. But you can make them a lot easier if you do a couple things.

One of the things you’ll notice in your fairway bunkers is most people tend to hit — when they hit the ball, they hit behind it. So they hit the sand first. So that’s why the ball doesn’t go anywhere. There’s some reason for that, but there’s a way to practice that.

Bunker TipFirst, you set your feet a little bit so you have a secure base. Then for a thing to practice, draw a line.

When you take your practice swing, what you’re trying to do is to make sure that you can touch just right on the line or slightly in front of the line. If you do what most people do — they hit behind the line, which is back here — then you’re weight isn’t shifting enough. So, you have to get used to the fact that, although your feet are in the sand, you should shift just like you do on the grass. Most people won’t hit six to eight inches behind the ball on the grass, but they come to the fairway bunker, and that’s what they’ll tend to do because they stop moving their weight in the feet.

So, once you’re able to take practice swings and touch that line or slightly in front of the line, then you’re doing the same thing over the ball. Just get set up, set your feet, and when you swing, make sure that you shift enough so that you try to catch the ball first, which is like the line, and then finish your shot.  And if you do that, you’ll catch the ball solid. The ball will get out of the bunker. It might even get on the green.

If you liked this bunker tip and would like to see more golf tips, head over to our Club Golf Life page and watch a variety of golf tips from top teachers across the country.

Pin It on Pinterest