The Hooked On Golf Blog World Tour spent most of the week last week at the fabulous Sandals Resorts Emerald Bay property on the island of Exuma in the Bahamas. I’ve now added a large batch of photos of the resort and its many offerings, even some photos from my drone (see picture below).
Sandals Emerald Bay From Above – click for more
There is no way I could capture photographically everything Sandals Emerald Bay offers, but the gallery should give you a good idea if you are planning a caribbean trip, or a Bahamas trip. There are even photos of the awesome caribbean drinks!
Sandals Emerald Bay Mail Pool at Night – click for more
Enjoy the Sandals Emerald Bay photos for now, and stay tuned for my full review soon.
Greetings from the beautiful Sandals Emerald Bay on the island of Exuma in the Bahamas. I’m here to review the resort, the on-site Greg Norman designed golf course, and to play in a two day tournament. Internet connectivity here is as consistent as my short game, meaning it works only about 25% of the time and even then it is sketchy.
Cue the cue the Pink Floyd
Yesterday marked an activity I’ve never done before and will never forget, swimming with the pigs. There’s an island here where pigs roam, and when traveling boats come by the pigs jump into the water hoping to get fed. Very fun, and entertaining experience. I’m uploading a video to YouTube now, but with the bad internet here, it could take 247 years to finish. So enjoy the photo above and tune back into this post for the video later.
I was just entering the 2014 college football schedule into my calendar for my Utah Utes. Tough go for us being fairly new in the Pac-12, but I digress. The 3rd game on the schedule this season is at the “Big House,” also known as the University of Michigan’s football stadium. The place holds something like 12.2 million fans. A few weeks ago I was across the street from the big house playing golf at the University of Michigan Golf Course. What a fantastic place. The course is not quite publicly accessible, but there are several ways one can get a round in on this wonderful layout. If you get the chance, do it.
The course is the home of the Michigan golf teams and is closed for play during competitions. The course is also closed on football days, where it doubles as a parking lot.
Ever heard of Alister MacKenzie? He designed the University of Michigan Golf Course, which opened in 1931. He’s the same golf course architect who designed Augusta National Golf Club (home of the Masters Tournament) with the help of Bobby Jones. One other highly ranked architectural masterpiece he created was Cypress Point.
Having visited Augusta National many times, I could definitely get the feel of MacKenzie’s style and creativity at the University of Michigan course. The way he utilized the rolling hills, angles, and elevation changes on the property is magnificent.
Arthur Hills performed a restoration on the course in 1994, which according to the University of Michigan, “restored the grandeur of the University Golf Course to the ranks of MacKenzie’s other classics.”
Total yardage for the golf course from the tips, also known as the Wolverine Tee, is 6687 yards. The course rating is 72.0 and slopes at 135. These numbers translate to a strong challenge, but not over the top in terms of difficulty. There are three other tee sets for players of varying age, gender, and ability level.
I’m not sure which club I prefer the most on the tees at the University of Michigan Golf Course, my driver or my Nikon. The framing of the holes from the tees is fabulous.
Tee – click to zoom
Tee shots are not extremely difficult, but with the movement of the course, trees lining the fairways, and some deep native grass areas, errant tee shots are one-way tickets to bogey land.
Like Augusta National, the fairways at U of M roll with the hilly terrain. Challenging lies await, producing approaches which are a fine test of shotmaking. The fairways are not overly narrow, but due to the movement of the holes, proper placement is a big advantage on approach shots.
Fairway – click to zoom
There are many “course management” scenarios. On some par-4 holes and even one particular par-5 (3rd hole) driver may not be the perfect club to hit off the tee, but is still an option.
The greens are very fun and unique at the U of M course. First, they are not terribly large so hitting them in regulation is a solid accomplishment.
Green – click to zoom
There are very large undulations and tiers in the greens which can break those medium to small sized greens into even smaller areas. If an approach finds the wrong one, two-putting is a challenge but not impossible.
The shaping and framing of the greens on this course is very pleasing to the eye.
Full supporting facilities in the form of practice areas, pro shop, and dining are offered at U of M.
Playing the U of M golf course was a fantastic experience. I loved the layout, the flow, routing, scenery, and especially the conditioning. I strongly recommend playing the course if you get the chance. I cannot wait to get back and take another shot at it.
On my recent Hooked On Golf Blog World Tour stop in Michigan I had the pleasure of playing the Arthur Hills designed Shepherd’s Hollow Golf Club. Humidity was 100%. It was so humid driving there that we had to use the windshield wipers, despited it not actually “raining.” The rainy and cloudy conditions made capturing decent photos difficult. It also made capturing pars and birdies difficult.
Shepherd’s Hollow Golf Club – click to view more photos
While on a golf press trip to fabulous Michigan this past week, we visited the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. The museum is about 45-60 minutes from Detroit. I had no idea the museum existed prior to this trip and I’m glad to have experienced such a great place, full of so many historic artifacts not just related to the auto industry.
Click photo to view Ford Museum photos
Inside the Ford Museum were of course, lots of old Ford cars, like the Model T. In addition to the cars there were other items related to the growth of industry , commerce, air travel, and technology. Everything from locomotives to cotton gins to airplanes to machines used on the first Ford assembly lines to create parts for their cars.
Also in the museum is a whole section titled “With Liberty and Justice for All.” Inside that section were all sorts of historic items related to freedom of speech, civil rights, independence, and equality for women. A very special exhibit related to civil rights was the actual bus Rosa Parks rode in when she refused to move to the back of the bus in 1957. I sat in the same seat. It was quite humbling.
Rosa Parks Bus – click for more Ford Museum photos
The items I enjoyed the most were the Rosa Parks bus, full sized trains/locomotives and the presidential limousines.
If you are in Michigan, around the Detroit area, be sure to visit the Henry Ford Museum. I did not spend enough time there and plan on going back soon to see all the great things I missed.