I’d say this is the 5th best week of the year, THE PLAYERS Championship week. Remember that whenever you use the words THE PLAYERS they need to be in all caps. At least that’s what the Tour does…
The 17th Island Green At TPC Sawgrass - click for more
I have a few previous articles related to THE PLAYERS that I’d like to refer HOG readers to. First is my TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course review, which I posted back in May of 2009. That piece is one of my longest course reviews ever, clocking in at over 3,000 words. I tried to convey the whole experience of playing there from the locker room to the pro shop to gagging a sleeve of brand new Titleist ProV1’s into the drink on the island green at #17.
I also have quite a large TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course photo gallery. Every hole is there along with the clubhouse and practice facilities. Roughly 120 photos.
Thanks to my good friend and golf pal “Shanego” for sending me this set of fun photos from a golf course in El Salvador Central America called Las Veraneras. I’m happy to add these photos to the HOG Photo Gallery, courtesy of Shanego with full photo credits.
Las Veraneras Golf, El Salvador - click for more
El Salvador is south of Guatemala and north of Nicaragua, west of Honduras on the west coast of Central America. My buddy is down there for some work, but managed to slip out to Las Veraneras for a round of golf during Masters week.
Las Veraneras TPC style island green! - click to zoom
Thanks to Shanego and keep ’em coming buddy! Many people will enjoy the photos and perhaps we can bring some awareness to golf in that region of the world!
Full Las Veraneras HOG Image Gallery
After the Masters practice rounds last week the HOG World Tour took a drive up to Canton, Georgia to play a round of golf at Woodmont Golf and Country Club. Woodmont is a Robert Trent Jones, Jr. design which is a very fun track. I’ve added my photos of Woodmont to the new HOG Woodmont Image Gallery.
Woodmont Golf and Country Club
I had a terrific time and played quite well at Woodmont, shooting a 76 from the blue tees. That good round was primarily due to the fact that I hit 13 of 14 fairways. In fact, it wasn’t until the last hole that I realized I’d hit 13 fairways in a row. Then of course the gag reflex kicked in and I missed the 14th fairway. Oh well. (more…)
Had a strange photo submission on the Hooked On Golf Blog Facebook Page a few days ago from Facebook fan Richard B. Speaking of the HOG Facebook Page, please “like” it via the link in the previous sentence! This is a photo from a new course in southern Utah called Kokopelli. Unfortunately, these folks didn’t have a very good round.
“A customer parked on the side of the cart path but didn’t set the brake. After they finished putting they called the clubhouse saying someone took their cart…lol” ~Richard B.
"Honey, where's the cart?" - click to zoom
The course looks pretty nice and is definitely on my “to play” list.
HOG Kokopelli image gallery
A couple of weeks ago I was down in southern Utah to visit the spectacular Sand Hollow 27 hole facility and the Oasis Palmer Course in Mesquite, Nevada. During my travels I found a new course, “Free High Speed Wireless Internet Mini Golf.”
Entrance to Free High Speed Wireless Internet Mini Golf. Love the desert landscape.
Free High Speed Wireless Internet Mini Golf is located in the desert of southern Utah, a few miles northeast of Sand Hollow Resort in the town of Hurricane (pronounced “her-uh-kn” by the locals). The course is part of the Comfort Inn facility, located in the desert behind the motel.
The desert area around the course provides great scenery, as well as presenting a challenge to the player if his ball finds the native areas outside the hole boundaries. I recommend playing the course in the early morning like I did. The lighting can be fantastic.
I was unable to get much information on the course designer. No name available. The only other course I’ve played in which I couldn’t get a designer’s name was the Old Course in St. Andrews.
Certain missing qualities in the layout do tell me that this isn’t a Tom Fazio design. There are a few elements of Robert Trent Jones II, Tom Doak and Olympic designer Gil Hanse, but those are overshadowed by traits more similar to a Coore/Crenshaw layout. With many holes lined by bricks, one might think this is a Pete Dye design (bricks instead of railroad ties).
Regardless of who designed Free High Speed Wireless Internet Mini Golf, the architect did a fine job utilizing the existing landscape and shapes in the terrain to route a challenging and aesthetically pleasing 18 hole layout.
From the tee the course can be intimidating and visually menacing. It is hard to stay focused on the target and not the hazards which penalize bad shots. The hole shapes and routing force the player to work the ball both directions from the tee, with a few holes requiring the hardest shot in golf, the straight ball.
From the first tee (pictured above) to the last, Free High Speed Wireless Internet Mini Golf is very challenging. I love how the designer brings the natural desert vegetation into play (left of tee).
The fairways at Free High Speed Wireless Internet Mini Golf are extremely tight. Landing areas average only about 3-4 feet in width. Tee shots which don’t find the fairway will find the native desert area. Snakes, bunnies, cacti, sagebrush, tumbleweeds and random wind-blown trash will make recovery shots difficult. Missing the fairway at Free High Speed Wireless Internet Mini Golf is a quick way to make bogey or worse.
The most notable fairway is the quadruple dogleg 6th, pictured below.
Hard to keep it in the fairway on the quadruple-dogleg 6th hole. As you can see, my conservative tee shot did make the fairway, but the next shot is extremely challenging.
The greens at Free High Speed Wireless Internet Mini Golf are perhaps the greatest challenge. Many obstacles and slopes require the utmost in concentration and putting skill. Two-putting is more than acceptable and one-putts will gain many strokes on the field.
Don’t let this short hole and easy looking green deceive you. This is a tough hole.
Perhaps the best part of playing Free High Speed Wireless Internet Mini Golf is the price. Unlike many resort courses which can range anywhere from $150-$500 per round, Free High Speed Wireless Internet Mini Golf runs $2.00.
Caddies are available upon request.
This course is a hidden gem in the Utah desert. Not a long drive from Sand Hollow or Coral Canyon, Free High Speed Wireless Internet Mini Golf will give all aspects of a player’s game a fine test. Combine that with the fantastic scenery of the area and the very reasonable price and the result is a winner.