HOG World Tour


World Tour Stop – Midway, Utah – Errant Golf Ball Comes to Rest Under My Chair

Written by: Tony Korologos | Friday, August 30th, 2013
Categories: BoneheadsHackersHOG World TourMiscellaneous

Greetings from Midway, Utah.  Midway is a small town about 25 minutes east of Park City.  I’m here to review The Homestead resort and their golf course Crater Springs (formerly called The Homestead).

I have a painfully slow internet connection so I can’t post much in the way of photos until I return home.  But this one below is worth mentioning.  While sitting on the 2nd floor deck of our cottage with the lovely wife and baby Seve, a golf ball hit the trees above.  It fell onto the stairs then hit the wall behind me, coming to rest under my chair.  We’re not all that close to the fairway and the deck is on the opposite side from the tee of the par-4 10th.  This is a seriously errant shot!

20130830_183557

How odd that the guy’s Top Flite came to rest under my chair.  I’m thankful the ball didn’t hit baby Seve.


Golf Travel Review: Sheraton Hacienda del Mar – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Written by: Tony Korologos | Friday, August 16th, 2013
Categories: Golf For WomenGolf LifeGolf LifestyleHOG World TourReviewsTravel

When I started my golf blog in 2004, one of the first golf blogs EVER, I never imagined that nine years later I’d be still doing it, let alone traveling all over the world to fantastic golf destinations like Los Cabos, Mexico. I’m truly thankful but I don’t consider myself “lucky.” I’ve worked this thing hard for years. Sitting by the pool at Sheraton Hacienda del Mar was fantastic and felt like a great reward for that hard work. I kept telling myself as I basked in the great Cabo weather, listening to the thunderous waves from the Sea of Cortez crashing on the shoreline and sipping a frosty beverage, “this does not suck.”

Now let’s take a look at Sheraton Hacienda del Mar, the fantastic resort in Cabo.

Sheraton Hacienda del Mar, Los Cabos, Mexico - click to see more

Sheraton Hacienda del Mar, Los Cabos, Mexico – click to see more

Location

Cabo San Lucas is located on the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, 1000 miles south of Los Angeles. The Baja California Peninsula is the same piece of land which extends south of San Diego, not part of the mainland which most of Mexico resides on. Being that far south means the weather is great all year. There is never a “bad” time to go to Cabo on vacation because the average temperature through the year is 78 degrees.

The Cabo area is a desert. Not much rain falls in the area, only about nine inches per year. That means that there’s almost never a time that you’ll need an umbrella on the golf course, and rain checks are pretty much nonexistent. The sun shines 350 days a year.

Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Overview

Sheraton Hacienda del Mar is an impressive property covering 28 acres of beachside real estate. The resort is broken up into separate structures, the main hotel being the largest. Other smaller satellite structures house rooms, villas and suites.

Pools

Five resort pools wind their way along the beach, between the resort structures and the sand. There’s a great infinity pool which I spent a lot of time in, frosty beverage in hand. The views are stunning.

Love the infinity pool! - click to zoom

Love the infinity pool! – click to zoom

While basking in the Cabo sun, a pool concierge takes care of all needs, from towels to frosty beverages and food.

Rooms/Suites

In total there are 270 guest rooms/suites at Sheraton Hacienda del Mar, all with fantastic views of the Sea of Cortez and beach side terraces.

There are five room types for all budgets. Rooms start at a comfortable 470 square feet and go up to 1,625 square foot Virreyes Suites.

Deluxe Room - click to see more

Deluxe Room – click to see more

The most basic rooms (the “Deluxe Rooms”) are great. The Deluxe Rooms feature oceanfront views or garden views, private terraces, jacuzzi tubs with separate showers, LCD TV’s and a work desk to blog from.

The most extravagant option for lodging is the Verreyes Suites. The Virreyes are two level suites, like condos with full kitchens.  They come in three or four bedrooms with private terraces overlooking the sea. Be careful if you book these. You may never want to go back home.

Ocean view private terrace - click to see more

Ocean view private terrace – click to see more

Between the Deluxe Rooms and Verryes Suites are the 910 square foot One-Bedroom Suites, 900 square foot Parlor Suites for families, and the 1,408 square foot Imperial Suites.

Resort Amenities

For the kids aged 4-12, del Mar offers the Adventure Kids Club. Supervised indoor and outdoor activities include video games, crafts, swimming, learning Spanish, camping and other adventures.

Fitness center

Fitness center – click to zoom

The fitness center is impressive. I’d call it a mini Gold’s Gym. Everything a person needs to workout from free weights to elliptical machines are available.

Spa whirlpools - click to zoom

Spa whirlpools – click to zoom

When done with the workout one can walk a few feet to the spa for massages, body treatments, salon services, sauna, whirlpools and more. I spent quite a long time enjoying the spa and all it had to offer.

Golf

The property is the home of the wonderful Cabo del Sol Golf Club. Cabo del Sol is a Jack Nicklaus designed desert course with many tremendous seaside holes.

Cabo del Sol Ocean Course - Los Cabos

Cabo del Sol Ocean Course – Los Cabos – click to read review

Fore more information, visit the Hooked On Golf Blog Cabo del Sol Golf Club review.

Dining

Sheraton Hacienda del Mar has dining options for every type of eater, from the picky like me to the high end sushi types. There are casual restaurants like the Sports Bar and swim-up Delfines Bar. The higher end De Cortez Grill offers fine dining with ocean side seating. I greatly enjoyed the atmosphere of the De Cortez, sitting outside watching the moon rise over the crashing waves on the shore. Wonderful.

Local Attractions

The Sheraton Hacienda del Mar is a completely self contained vacation resort. One could spend a week there and never leave. But if you do venture out, there are many wonderful activities to do and places to visit. Here are just a few:

Golf
Sea of Cortez
Cabo’s famous sea arch
Whale Watching
Boating
Scuba diving
Old Town
Numerous bays and marinas
Old Lighthouse

Conclusion

Writing this article made me want to call up Sheraton Hacienda del Mar and arrange heading back there asap! The resort is fantastic and offers everything one could want or need when vacationing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Related Links

Cabo del Sol Golf Club Review

Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Photo Gallery

Sheraton Hacienda del Mar website


Golf Course Review: Cabo del Sol – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, August 5th, 2013
Categories: Course ReviewsGolf CoursesGolf LifeGolf LifestyleHOG World TourReviewsTravel
Tags:

For the millionth time I must say I have one of the coolest gigs in the world. To be able to travel to fantastic golf vacation destinations like Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for the purpose of reviewing world class golf courses, is a privilege I don’t take lightly.

Cabo del Sol Ocean Course - Los Cabos

Cabo del Sol Ocean Course – Los Cabos – click for more

On my recent Hooked On Golf Blog World Tour stop to Cabo, I had the pleasure of playing Cabo del Sol, a Jack Nicklaus signature design course built in 1994. The course is ranked by many top publications in the top 100 in the world, as well as ranked #1 in Mexico.

Location

Part of what makes Cabo del Sol and the other golf courses in Cabo so great is the location. Los Cabos is located about 1,000 miles south of Los Angeles on the Baja California peninsula. That’s barely a 2.5 hour flight from Denver.

The weather in Cabo is fantastic all year, averaging 78 degrees. There are 350 sunny days per year, meaning one could take 10 days break from golfing per year for other activities, like going to a spa.

Design

Jack Nicklaus had some fantastic real estate to work with when designing Cabo del Sol. Nearly half of the course’s 7,091 yards are on the ocean in the form of holes 5, 6, 7, 8, 16, 17 and 18. Can you say “Pebble South?” Jack Nicklaus himself said about the course, “the best piece of golf property I’ve ever seen.”

There are five sets of tees at Cabo del Sol.  The longest playing set of tees (Black), measures at 7,091 yards.  Slope from the back tees is 145 with a course rating of 74.4.  In other words, the course is plenty of challenge even for scratch players or pros.

One of the most dramatic parts of the course is the stretch from hole five green through hole eight tee.  Hole five is ranked the toughest on the course, a 490 yard par-4.  From there holes six (pictured above) and seven are back-to-back par-3’s on the sea.  Absolutely fantastic stretch of golf.

cabo golf

Carve this tee shot left to right. Try not to let the Sea of Cortez distract you!

Tee

Teeing areas at Cabo del Sol are typical of desert target style courses. The tees are mini islands in the desert, framed by finely manicured desert foliage and large cacti.

Many tee shots require some forced carries but nothing crazy. They’re completely manageable. Movement of the ball in both directions can help the player navigate the course from the tee and many tee shots tempt the player to hit driver when perhaps a more conservative play may be a better idea.

Fairway

Cabo del Sol’s fairways are much wider than they appear from the tee. The landing areas are spacious. Missing the wide fairways is possible though, and penal. Native desert areas are often the last resting place for a chance at par.

cabo pirate ship

Looking at the fairway and the Sea of Cortez as a pirate ship passes by in the background. Where else does this happen?

Hitting approaches from the fairways can be a challenge. Stances can be slightly uneven, influencing shot lines which may be opposite what may be optimal.

Green

Approaching the greens at Cabo del Sol is challenging, Nicklaus style. Jack’s bunker complexes and design angles make approach shots the most critical shot on most of the holes. Proper approaches are the key to making par or birdie here.

cabo san lucas golf

Not a bad green complex, if you like tremendous scenery. Click to zoom.

The greens at Cabo del Sol are quite fun to putt. They’re large, with some very tasteful and fair undulations. Good reads and properly executed putts won’t produce any unwanted surprises. They’ll produce birdies and pars.

golf tacos

Make your own tacos! Brilliant – click to zoom

Tacos

One of the highlights of my ENTIRE trip to Cabo was the taco stand at Cabo del Sol. The course is world famous for their tacos, to such an extent that sometimes the tacos get more press than the golf. Please note that I dedicated only one paragraph to the tacos…

Facilities

The practice area is very well maintained with high quality range balls and cleaning stations. I was happy to hit the range before my round. The back was not happy. But after a few swings and loosening up in the warm Cabo weather, my back was back…so to speak.

There’s a practice putting area right next to the 1st tee, surrounded by large cacti and beautiful desert foliage.

Cabo del Sol clubhouse

Clubhouse as seen from #1 tee. Click to zoom.

The 40,000 square foot clubhouse at Cabo del Sol is home to a well appointed and classy pro shop. The open air building also boasts fine dining, men’s and women’s lounges, lockers and meeting facilities.

People

Even better than the courses and the places I get to see on my golf press trips are the fantastic people who run them, like my new friend and director of golf at Cabo del Sol, Greg Tallman. I had a fantastic time playing my round with Greg. I’m still amazed by the driver “off the deck” shot. Brilliant…

The service at Cabo del Sol was impressive, as has been my experience with just about every course and resort in the area. On the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, customer service is as good as anywhere I’ve been.

Conclusion

Cabo del Sol deserves all the accolades and awards it has received. The golf experience at Cabo del Sol does not disappoint. The facility has no weaknesses. From course design to amenities to course conditioning, throw in one of the best locations on the planet, the golf experience is tough to beat.

Related Links

Hooked On Golf Blog Cabo del Sol photo gallery

Cabo del Sol website


My Streak of Consecutive Golf Holes Without Losing a Golf Balls Ends After Spanning One Month, Three Countries, and 12 Courses

Written by: Tony Korologos | Sunday, August 4th, 2013
Categories: HackersHOG World TourMiscellaneous

Didn’t lose a golf ball in Mexico!

I’ve had a hell of a record going for an entire month of golf on some very tough golf courses.  Coming into yesterday I’d gone 192 holes without losing a golf ball.  Yesterday’s round was a Greek charity scramble.  Scrambles are a different animal in golf.  You try shots you normally wouldn’t when other players are already safely in play.  I lost a ball on the 8th hole at Wingpointe, a short par-3 over water.  I came up short and heard the sound of my ball hitting a rock.  Never saw where it went.  For all I know it was sitting nicely on a tuft of grass somewhere, but I’ll never know.  Didn’t see a splash.  So after seven holes yesterday it came to an end at the heartbreaking number of 199!  Wow.

199 consecutive holes played without losing a golf ball!

I started the new record, but that one ended exactly nine holes later, on another par-3, the 17th.  My record now stands at one.  I managed play the finishing hole without losing a ball!

Here’s the final tally of holes/courses

7/4/13 Kingsbarns, Scotland 3
7/5/13 Carnoustie Golf Links, Scotland 18
7/6/13 Castle Course, Scotland 18
7/6/13 Balcomie Golf Links, Scotland 18
7/10/13 Bonneville Golf Club, Salt Lake City 9
7/15/13 Bonneville Golf Club, Salt Lake city 18
7/18/13 Cabo del Sol, Los Cabos Mexico 18
7/19/13 Cabo Real, Los Cabos Mexico 18
7/19/13 Diamante, Los Cabos Mexico 18
7/24/13 Bonneville Golf Club, Salt Lake City 18
7/25/13 Fore Lakes Executive Course, Murray UT 9
7/30/13 River Oaks Front Nine, Sandy UT 9 (174)
7/31/13 Bonneville Golf Club, Salt Lake City 18 (192)
8/3/13 Wingpointe Golf Course, Salt Lake City 7 holes (199)

The record spanned three countries and 12 courses (some I played more than once).  It started in Scotland then went from there to the USA, Mexico and back to the USA.

That was fun.

Related Post

Played 112 conescutive holes with ONE golf ball


New Golf Course Photo Gallery: Cabo Real – Los Cabos, Mexico

Written by: Tony Korologos | Friday, July 26th, 2013
Categories: Golf CoursesHOG World TourSite News

One of the three courses the Hooked On Golf Blog (HOG) World Tour stopped at last week in Los Cabos, Mexico was Cabo Real.  Cabo Real is the work of golf architect Robert Trent Jones II.

Cabo Real Golf Course - Los Cabos, Mexico

Cabo Real Golf Course – Los Cabos, Mexico – click for more

Enjoy the Cabo Real photos for now, and stay tuned for my review coming soon!

Related

Cabo del Sol Golf Course

Diamante Image Gallery

Puerto Los Cabos Photos

Palmilla Golf Club

 


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