Hooked on Golf Blog logo

On The Radar – California’s Oak Quarry Golf Club

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, July 31st, 2017
Categories: GolfGolf Course ArchitectureGolf CoursesGolf For Women
Tags:

One of my bestest golf buddies has a great gig as a pilot. He is able to stop and play golf in many great places and when he finds good ones, he sends me photos. After seeing his latest batch I was inspired to post about Oak Quarry Golf Club, located in Riverside, California.

Oak Quarry Golf Club – click image to view more

The course was designed by Dr. Gil Morgan/Schmidt Curley Designs and has won numerous awards. The course plays to a par of 72 and rates vary depending on date and time between $40-$95.

Oak Quarry Golf Club – click image to see more

I dig the layout, even from the few pics I’ve seen. This one is definitely on the HOG radar and I hope to bring the HOG World Tour there soon.

Related

Oak Quarry Golf Club Image Gallery


Villa Mandarine, Rabat Morocco

Written by: Tony Korologos | Saturday, February 25th, 2017
Categories: GolfGolf For WomenGolf LifeGolf LifestyleHOG World TourReviewsTravel
Tags:

On my recent trip to Morocco I had the opportunity to stay at some truly special and unique places, and I’m excited to share those places and experiences.  Today’s review/share is of the Villa Mandarine, in Rabat Morocco.

Location

Before I cover the Villa itself, let’s get some geography information.  Rabat is the capitol of Morocco.  It is located on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, about one hour northeast of Casablanca.

The city’s population is roughly 580,000. I’ll cover nearby attractions and activities later.

Villa Mandarine Overview

Villa Mandarine is a small, secluded oasis minutes from all the action in Rabat.  It’s practically in a residential area, hidden behind a wall around the edge of the property, which is traditional in much Moroccan architecture.

The Grounds

Inside the grounds is a practical rain forest of vegetation, immaculately maintained.  The three-acre estate features 700 orange trees and tons of flowers.

Small trails wind around and lead to sitting areas, sculptures, activities, and of course the villas themselves.

The Villas

There are 31 villas and 5 suites at Villa Mandarine. Each villa has a large main room, entry, large bathroom and fantastic terrace overlooking the grounds.

The quarters are very warm and welcoming, as are the hotel lobby, restaurants, and bar.  The luxury rooms are so inviting and relaxing, it’s hard to decide whether to stay in or venture out to the terrace, or the grounds to soak in the mellow vibe.

If you can’t relax here, there’s probably no hope for you.

Amenities

Along with the beautiful and serene gardens, guests can lounge at the swimming pool and hot tub.

If you fancy a game of ping pong, you’re covered. I had a great match with fellow golf blogger and golf buddy John Duval, from IntoTheGrain.com.

Food & Beverage

The restaurant at Villa Mandarine is fantastic.  I enjoyed several meals there, featuring traditional moroccan dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  There are selections for every possible palette, including a kids menu.  Lunch out on the terrace was particularly great, between the excellent food and the fabulous environment.

Villa Mandarine’s bar/lounge is great.  Every possible drink is served and the atmosphere is very warm and inviting.  I could kick myself… well I have actually been kicking myself, for not enjoying some of the Cuban cigars there.

Nearby Attractions and Activities

There is some fantastic golf nearby, at Dar Es Salaam Golf Club.  Dar Es Salaam is an award winning Robert Trent Jones, Sr. design, lined with mature trees and featuring some tremendous golf holes.

In the city of Rabat one can find fantastic shopping and dining at the Medina. Be sure to rock the Kasbah. For sightseeing I recommend visiting the historic Hasaan Tower, and the Mausoleum of Mohammad V. Don’t forget to visit the Royal Palace.

Mausoleum of Mohammad V, Rabat Morocco

Mausoleum of Mohammad V, Rabat Morocco

Last but not least, Rabat is on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. Visit the beaches and you’ll see why Morocco is a well known secret haven for surfing huge waves.

Conclusion

A visit to Morocco should be on everyone’s bucket list. The sights, tastes, sounds, golf, and experiences will be remembered and cherished for a lifetime. Villa Mandarine fits right into that formula, providing a tremendous, welcoming, and comfortable home base.


Hooked on Golf Blog 2016 Awards – Best Golf Course: Cruden Bay, Scotland

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, December 29th, 2016
Categories: GolfGolf Course ArchitectureGolf CoursesGolf For WomenHOG World TourProduct of the Year
Tags:

Each year my hard work on this golf blog provides me with the opportunity to visit many great golf courses all around the world.  2016 was a tremendous year for playing courses which I had not previously played, from the USA to Scotland to Morocco.  To qualify for the Best Golf Course Award for the year, the course has to be one I had not played previously.  I narrowed the finalists down to a eight stellar courses played this year:

Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort, Indiana
Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort, Indiana
Panmure Golf Links in Carnoustie, Scotland
Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, Scotland
Cruden Bay Golf Links in Cruden Bay, Scotland
Mazagan Golf Club at Mazagan Resort, Morocco
Royal Palm Golf Club in Marrakech, Morocco
Journey at Pechanga in Temecula, California

Those are some fantastic courses to say the least, in some fabulous locations.  As great as they all are, one course stood out and not by just a wee bit either.  Scotland’s Cruden Bay left me absolutely stunned.  Here are a few picturesque reasons why.

Cruden Bay – ©2016 by Tony Korologos

The dunes above. What a view. Absolutely stunning.

How about the view below, from the 9th tee. It was a hell of a walk from the 8th green up to this point and despite nearly having a heart attack, the view was well worth it!

The golf at Cruden Bay is stellar. But it has a fun and very quirky personaly as well.  Just ring the bell or push the button on the electric post to let the group behind you know it is okay to hit their approach shot.

And because I want to see another money shot, here you go below.  This one from late in the day as the sun was setting and the shadows began to really accentuate the terrain.

In the photo above you can see a plateau in the background.  That’s where the shots I mentioned from the 9th tee were.

Conclusion

I’m in love.  Cruden Bay is one of the top courses I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

Awarding Cruden Bay the 2016 Best Golf Course Award was a no-brainer, and it was up against Golf Digest Top 100 USA courses on my list.  I will be back as soon as possible.  What a fantastic course, design, location and the town of Cruden Bay is quite fun as well.


HOG World Tour Visits Morocco’s Assoufid Golf Club

Written by: Tony Korologos | Wednesday, November 30th, 2016
Categories: GolfGolf Course ArchitectureGolf CoursesGolf For WomenGolf LifestyleHOG World TourTravel
Tags:

The fourth and final golf course on the HOG World Tour trip to Morocco was the #1 course in Morocco (World Golf Awards), Assoufid Golf Club. Assoufid is a desert style course with some great elevation changes and creative architecture.

Assoufid Golf Club, Morocco

Target golf, anyone?

Assoufid is located a short drive southwest of Marrakesh, a city of about 1.5 million (map below).

Assoufid Golf Club, Morocco

Assoufid Golf Club, Morocco

If you’ve played golf in Palm Springs, you’ll feel at home at Assoufid. There are distinct takeoff and landing areas, with desert between. Holes are lined with palm trees and olive trees.

Assoufid Golf Club, Morocco

Unfortunately our group’s round there was rained out, hard. We got as far as the approach shot on the 10th hole when it was too heavy to plod on. Sorry to my Scottish friends about that.

I even left my golf ball in the fairway on #10. I need to go back and find it soon.

Stay tuned for a full review of Assoufid, and more posts on Morocco.


HOG World Tour Visits Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in Rabat, Morocco

Written by: Tony Korologos | Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016
Categories: GolfGolf Course ArchitectureGolf CoursesGolf For WomenGolf LifestyleHOG World TourTravel
Tags:

I’m still traveling and I had a small problem with my brand new MacBook Pro. The power cable plug broke. That and non-existent or extremely slow internet access has made it tough for me to post from the tour. I’ll be catching up for a while.

The HOG World Tour made it’s first golf stop in the African continent at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in Rabat, Morocco.

Royal Golf Dar Essalam Rabat, Morocco

Royal Golf Dar Es Salam
Rabat, Morocco

Royal Golf Dar Es Salam is a Robert Trent Jones, Sr. design. “RTJ” is one of the all-time greats of golf architecture.
royal_golf_dar_essalam
Above are rocks which could be found in places on the course.  They had some kind of crazy erosion, producing perfect holes.
royal_golf_dar_essalam_02
Below is a map to show you just were Royal Golf Dar Es Salam is.  Stay tuned for a more in-depth review and more photos!
royal_golf_dar_essalam_map


1 2 3 7