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HOG World Tour Visits Greg Norman’s Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Course in Exuma, Bahamas

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
Categories: GolfGolf Course ArchitectureGolf CoursesGolf For WomenHOG World Tour
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While staying at the fabulous Sandals Emerald Bay all-inclusive resort last week, I spent a couple of days on the Greg Norman designed Emerald Reef Golf Course. I’ve just uploaded a batch of photos of the course to the new HOG Emerald Reef photo gallery for you to check out.

Sandals Resorts Golf

Par-4 14th Green – click for more

I even captured a couple of photos with my small aerial photo/video multirotor quadcopter (also known as a drone) as you can see in the photo below. The lighting wasn’t great due to stormy weather, so the drone pictures aren’t as good as they could be.

Bahamas Golf Trip

Most of the back nine at Emerald Reef, Exuma, Bahamas – click to zoom

Enjoy the photos for now, and tune in later for my full Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Course review.


HOG World Tour Visits Exuma Bahamas Sandals Resorts Emerald Bay

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, September 15th, 2014
Categories: Golf LifeGolf LifestyleHOG World TourTravel
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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

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.

Related Links

Swimming with the pigs.

Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Course, a Greg Norman design.


HOG World Tour – Swimming With the Pigs in the Bahamas

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, September 11th, 2014
Categories: Golf LifeGolf LifestyleHOG World TourTravel
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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

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.

Video


How I Recovered My Stolen Android Smartphone, Which Had Traveled to Jefferson City, MO

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, August 28th, 2014
Categories: BoneheadsHOG World TourMiscellaneous

I’m going to cover a non golf related subject today, but one which I think is very important: what to do if your smartphone is lost or stolen and how to recover it.   I hope someone out there can benefit from what I learned and the tools needed pull off what I did.  Here’s the story:

The last HOG World Tour trip was to Black Mesa Golf Club in New Mexico.  It is a short flight from here in Salt Lake.  While waiting at the gate for my flight, I utilized a cell phone charging station to charge up my Samsung Galaxy SIII.  The Galaxy SIII phone is based on Google’s Android operating system.

In the rush to get to the gate when called, I apparently left my phone at the charging station.  I didn’t realize I’d done so until I was on the rental car shuttle in New Mexico, some 2-3 hours later.  I called my phone from a friend’s phone and even sent text messages to it, but there was no response.  I immediately contacted Delta Airlines and also checked with the airport lost and found.  Nothing.

When I arrived at my hotel in the evening I powered up my laptop and jumped online.  I loaded up the Android Device Manager in my browser, which is located here: https://www.google.com/android/devicemanager.  The device manager can also be loaded onto an Android unit and run as an application.  I used the device manager to lock the phone with a password to prevent whoever had it from using it.  I also put a message saying “Return this phone to its owner by calling…” and put the wife’s phone number.  Of course, nobody called.

Device Manager located my phone on a Google map.  It was in Jefferson City, Missouri.  It should be noted that in order for Android Device Manager to actually locate your phone, the phone must be powered on.  Fortunately for me, whoever had the phone left it turned on.

Android Device Manager - Phone Located

Android Device Manager – Phone Located

I zoomed the map in as far as it would go and noted the exact location and cross streets. I then loaded up Google maps in another browser window and navigated to that same location. I then switched the map view to Google Earth, where I could see that at my phone’s location was a single family home. This was good, rather than it being at a large apartment complex, or in an office building, or on the street somewhere. In Google Earth I was able to simply click the mouse on the home and it showed the home’s address. From there I punched in the address to a regular Google search. The information I was able to gather at that point was quite amazing, clear down to the yearly property taxes on that home.

My phone was here...

My phone was here…

Armed with this information, I contacted the Jefferson City police department.  Despite all the information I gave them, they were not willing to do anything because the phone was stolen from the Salt Lake International Airport.  I had to first establish a case with Salt Lake, then they told me Salt Lake would have to contact them.

I called the Salt Lake International Airport Police and they were quite helpful.  One officer asked me the exact time and location I was waiting for my flight.  He cued up their surveillance footage and found me sitting there. He said he would have to scan to see when someone took the phone and would call me back.  He gave me a case number.  The officer did call back to tell me he found the video footage showing the thief taking the phone.  A younger male, perhaps late teens, walked up to my phone and looked all around.  He then unplugged it and put it in his shirt pocket and walked away.

The next morning I was golfing at Black Mesa golf club when I received a call from the Jefferson City police at about eight in the morning.  “Sir we have recovered your phone.”  I was thrilled.  They told me they’d paid a visit on the home where my phone was located and recovered it at 7 a.m. local from an elderly lady.  That seemed odd but I didn’t care.  My phone was found.

Later I spoke with my wife who had received a call from the elderly lady.  The lady told my wife she saw the phone at the airport and took it because she knew it was lost and did not trust that the airport lost and found would get the phone’s owner back his/her phone.  She had intended to take it home to Missouri and mail it to the owner.  She told my wife the police frightened her, pounding on her door at seven in the morning.  My wife bought this BS story but that was until I told her that airport surveillance video showed a young male taking the phone.  The stories didn’t jive.

It took eight days to get my phone back.  I’m very glad to have it back because on it are some special photos and videos of my baby boy, and of course all the other things one digitally stores in a smartphone.

As for the case, I’ve heard nothing else.  My theory is that a teenager stole the phone and his mother or grandmother made up the story of taking it to cover his ass and keep him out of trouble.  I may never know the real story, but I do know how to recover a stolen Android phone now.

I hope this story helps someone who may end up in a similar situation with a lost or stolen Android device.


Michigan’s Shepherd’s Hollow Golf Club Review

Written by: Tony Korologos | Friday, August 15th, 2014
Categories: Course ReviewsGolf Course ArchitectureGolf CoursesGolf For WomenHOG World TourReviews

I could move to Michigan, at least during the warmer months.  Winter?  Not so much.  The golf in Michigan is so astoundingly good and interesting.  The topography and vegetation lend themselves to such fantastic golf which can compete and even crush competitive golf destinations like Florida, South Carolina, California, or the northwest.  The terrain with its great rolling hills and elevation changes makes a great canvas for golf architects to paint their masterpieces.

shepherd's hollow golf michigan

Secluded is an understatement… click to zoom

One such masterpiece is the Arthur Hills designed Shepherd’s Hollow Golf Club, located northwest of Detroit about 45 minutes in Clarkston, Michigan.  Shepherd’s Hollow is secluded in a densely wooded area, not near any kind of visible development.  Each hole has its own space.  Nothing shared.  No side-by-side fairways.

Courses

Shepherd’s Hollow features 27 holes.  Unfortunately I was only able to play 18 of the 27 during the HOG World Tour stop.  I MUST get back there soon to play those again and experience the nine I missed.

There are five sets of tees at Shepherd’s Hollow, allowing the course to accommodate players of all ability levels.  The tips for each set of 18 runs roughly 7,100 yards.  The primary 18 is an absolute beast of a golf course, rating at 76.0 with a slope of 147.  A scratch player would do well to break 80 from the tips.

Tee

Tee shots at Shepherd’s are impressive.  The view from each tee is of a hole lined by trees on each side and landing areas which are anything but flat.  Tee placement is crucial to have a chance at par, and on this course pars are good.  Nearly every tee shot features some kind of elevation change, requiring good strategy and calculation from the golfer.

I really like the different tee sets at Shepherd’s.  Different tees don’t just mean a change in yardage.  The angle and even elevation of each tee shot is different based on the play of the day.

A very unique feature with regards to the tees is how they are marked.  Rather than having two tee markers sitting on the ground which the player must tee off between, one pole on the side marks the teeing area.  See image below:

Tee marker above left, working the tee shot right-to-left above right!

Fairway

If you manage to hit the fabulous fairways at Shepherd’s Hollow, you’ll be presented with challenging lies and approaches.

The stance may promote a draw but the approach may require a fade.  One other course does that very well, Augusta National Golf Club.

Green

Ah the greens.  What lovely surfaces these are.  Such great conditioning and such fun to putt.  Tiers, slopes, and swells make putting a fun (but fair) challenge.

A challenging two-putt prospect…

Hitting the proper area of the green on approach is as challenging, for finding the wrong spot makes two-putting an accomplishment.  Once again, not unfair, but very challenging.

Facilities

The clubhouse and its setting are tremendous.  The clubhouse’s classy architecture perfectly fits in with the environment.

Such a great clubhouse…

Inside the clubhouse is very warm and inviting.  The pro shop is full of great gear and apparel while the food and beverage provides some fantastic selections.

The back patio is magnificent!  I could hang out there all day.  See below.

Nice place to collect your winnings and enjoy a frosty beverage…

Conclusion

If asked to come up with one word to describe the whole experience at Shepherd’s Hollow I’d use the word “pure.”  The whole experience from the facilities to the course to the area… PURE.

Links

More Hooked On Golf Blog Shepherd’s Hollow Golf Club photos.

Other Michigan golf course reviews


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