Thursday, October 1, 2015

Golfing Westin Mission Hills- Dye Review

I have never golfed out in Palm Springs but it surely is a golf destination for the serious golfer with over 100 courses tucked snugly into the Coachella Valley. My golf buddies and I decided to head out there to play 36 holes at Weston Mission Hills at the Pete Dye course.

Playing 36 means getting up crazy early and our group was the first off the tee at 6:30am. This round was a lot of first for me. First time playing a Troon course, first time playing in Palm Springs and after racking my brain, I think its the first time playing a Dye course.

The staff at Troon was great, from check in to marshal-ing and they run a top-notch operation there at the Westin. Palm Springs golf was, well Palm Springs-y. There are homes along the course but the homes are set back enough that you never really felt closed in and of course there were palm trees all around.

As for the Dye, course component, he certainly lived up to his reputation as an earth mover and as a penalizer if your ball was off line. Many of the holes had valleys of death around the greens, with severe slopes and collection areas that your ball definitely shouldn't go into. My favorite version of this was the par 3 that was mostly bunker, very little green.

The course was in great shape although the greens were running pretty slow but true. This is a double edge sword of having a course in the middle of the desert. If you cut the greens short/fast, they will die out in the heat. I saw at another course that they installed metal fans to blow on the grass to keep it alive (which seems a bit much). The fairways were in great shape as was the rough.

I was also surprised at the number of water holes on the course. Westin also has a Gary Player course and that is supposed to have more water than the Dye course and if so it must have a LOT of water. I really liked the water holes on Dye (except when I scored so poorly on em ;)).

Overall I enjoyed my day at Westin and golfing in the desert. If you want a tip when you play the course, make sure you get a hot dog at Pinzimi, it is delicious!

For more info on Westin, check it out here:

Monday, September 28, 2015

Golf Digest Writes Me Up!

This is one of several posts about my attempts to play the ultimate course, the Cypress Point Club. If you have any tips for me or want to invite me to play (!!!) please email me at I promise total discretion for anyone who helps. Thanks! 

Well my week ended pretty great last week. Why? It just so happens that Golf Digest wrote about my quest to play Cypress Point!!!

I think its a true testament to how interconnected we all are when the author found my posts about playing Cypress on Twitter and reached out to me about my quest. So far the article has been a great help to me, I have had 3 people reach out to say they will help.

One offer even got TANTALIZING close to getting me on THIS WEEK. Unreal! I am so thankful for the outpouring of people wanting to help and please keep it up! :)

Even if nothing comes from these new connections, the article gives me a larger platform to reach out and hopefully find someone who knows someone.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

ReGripped's Quest To Play Cypress Point Day 46

This is one of several posts about my attempts to play the ultimate course, the Cypress Point Club. If you have any tips for me or want to invite me to play (!!!) please email me at I promise total discretion for anyone who helps. Thanks! 

As an update, so far the direct letter writing approach has failed. I will have to say that the staff at Cypress Point are EXTREMELY nice, much nicer than most public courses and I will leave it at that.

One of the tips I have been utilizing is social networking. Yes everyone is on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook and while those services can be great (and annoying), everyone really IS on them and I have been using these to try and connect with people who can try and get me on. While personal is always the best, impersonal but personal can also work. I will let you know how it goes!

Of course, regular networking works as well. I was recently taking a flight and noticed a guy wearing a "Cypress Point" vest and so I talked to him for a bit about the course. He is not a member but has played there 6+ times in the last year. Incredible! He seemed a bit guarded and I regret not saying "if you ever need a fourth". Next time, I will definitely say that.

In honor of Cypress Point, I decided to create its "signature drink" (at least according to Golf Digest), the Sam's Special.

The Sam's Special:
1) Dark and Light Rum (2 oz of Myer's run, 1oz of Rhum Barbancout)
2) Sweet and Sour Mix (4oz)
3) Powdered Sugar (1/2 TSP)
4) Ice!

So how did it go?

Well the drink turned out pretty sweet. Mixing the two rums together was interesting and I think if I dial it back a bit on the sweet and sour mix we could have a fine cocktail on our hands.

I shared it with my golfing buddies who all liked it, I just have to get the proportions right for the next one!

Here is another great review of Cypress:

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Reviewing BioFlow Sport Band

If you watch enough PGA tourneys (and my wife DEFINITELY think we watch enough PGA tourneys) then you see the pros wearing bracelets. Most of these are the updated version of the copper bracelets from the 1990s that you would see Chi Chi Rodriquez and others selling. Copper is supposed to work with your body's magnetic field to help it repair itself, or something like that.

I am definitely no doctor (nor play on on the internet) so I have no idea if copper really works and if so, how it works but I love cool looking wristbands so when I won a free one, I had to give it a try.

BioFlow doesn't use copper but magnets and I have no idea if magnets work or not (just don't get it too close to your credit card :P) on the body but the band is sporty.

That thing IS sporty, I mean it just looks cool. They come in several colors and sizes and the recommendation is to size up a bit but honestly if you are right around the mark you might just want to keep with your size.

The band also happens to go great with my golf gear and it was fun wearing it on the course. Whether it helped me play better or not, I can't tell ya but I definitely enjoyed having it on my wrist. The rubber is soft and doesn't get in the way of a swing (if sized properly).

Whether you believe in magnets, copper or you just believe in fashion, BioFlow is an interesting addition to your golf gear.

For more info on BioFlow, check out this website:


I am not a doctor, I have no medical training and I have no idea if magnets, copper or anything else works for you. If you are looking to heal yourself, consult a medical professional. While I won this, I have no other affiliation with BioFlow and certainly do not receive any compensation if you buy this thing. Its the internet, take everything with a grain of salt and learn from it what you can. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Golfing River Course at Alisal Review

When you think of courses in California, you think of the ones at the ends of the state. The beautiful tracks on the Monterey Peninsula and the awesome desert courses in SoCal. The middle of the state doesn't get as much love but hopefully that will change with more people discovering courses like the River Course at Alisal.

While you would think there is more than one course given the name, there is but one and the one course is a beautiful, minimalistic track with oak trees strategically placed and hard as a rock greens which makes shot placement and links-style golf a premium. So many times on this course you had to play for a 20 yard roll out on the green.

The course was pretty baked on the edges due to the ongoing drought

but it was green where it counts and the fairways were in great shape.

The greens didn't just inspire links-style golf but so did the wind. The wind was howling that day, with half the holes going into the wind and half with it.

Want to see how windy it was? Check it out!


The thing about playing in SoCal is that there is rarely any weather so it comes up and knocks you in the face its fun to try out your game against it.

My favorite hole was the number one handicap hole on the course (the hardest) and it was INTO the wind.

This thing was a brute! I hit driver, 3 iron, sand wedge and had a putt for par but blew it. It would have been one of my toughest pars I ever made but the fact that I was close was gratifying.

The course has cool, hidden water features and while it is straightforward in some ways, I bet playing this course two or three times you can really dial in all of the cool little quirks of the place.

Overall this was a fun course, albeit just too far from Los Angeles to justify the 2 plus hour trip. Still, if you are in Solvang or the Santa Barbara area, you should check it out!

More Info Here:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

ReGripped's Quest To Play Cypress Point Day 1

This is one of several posts about my attempts to play the ultimate course, the Cypress Point Club. If you have any tips for me or want to invite me to play (!!!) please email me at I promise total discretion for anyone who helps. Thanks! 

I have been posting a lot recently about lifelong bucket lists. Coore Crenshaw courses I want to play and a top 10, drop everything and play it list. The number one course on that list is Cypress Point Club and its number one by a mile.

Why do I want to play this course over any other course in the entire world?

1) 18 world class holes.
2) 4 holes along the water in THE best stretch of golf on the planet.
3) The club has approximately 250 members and is ultra private which means if you play it, you have won the lifetime golf lottery.
4) The best par 3 on the planet.

Suffice to say, I am in love with this course. This year I have wanted to up my game and play great courses and have resolved in my mind that not only do I want to play great courses but I want to play the BEST.

So, CPC is the BEST but it is ultra private, what am I to do? about trying to play it of course! There are lots of blogs that tell you about playing but I will try and take you through my journey of TRYING to playing the course (certainly no revealing names, etc. just the process I use).

My first inclination is to plead my case directly to the pros at Cypress Point. I am going to write them personal letters and ask them periodically if I can play.

Secondly I have joined Golf Odyssey, a subscription travel golf newsletter that also promises to send you tips on playing private courses. I will be trying their tips as soon as I receive them and will let you know the results and also review the site.

As we go along, I will also be writing about all things CPC, about books (for example, Geoff's Shackelford's quintessential book) and other minutiae about Cypress Point and why its so special. Day 1, it begins! Stay tuned!

Random Cypress Review Link:

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Golfing Monarch Beach Review

Orange County and San Diego County have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to ocean courses. The most famous of which is Torrey Pines but right there is Pelican Hill and Monarch Beach Golf Links. MBGL is part of the St. Regis resort and the price-tag reflects that relationship and the location of the course right next to the ocean. I was fortunate enough to play the course recently and of course you know I had to blog about!

MBGL is really a tale of two 9s. The front 9 has ocean views on almost every hole. The back 9 winds it way through the expensive houses of Dana Point with a very resort course feel. Both 9s are in amazing shape, green with rather confusingly-spongy fairways but the ball always sits up. The greens on both 9s are in fantastic shape, they roll fast and true and will hold shots like a pro green.

Front 9:

The front 9 is all about water. Ocean views, lakes, streams, the front 9 is H20 and I loved it! The first two holes are straightforward par 4's. Left or right off the fairway may find you in a bunker (or in the water) but this is just all prelude to the real superstar of MBGL, the par 4 3rd hole.

Tee Shot:

The hole is only 288 and so you are hitting 5 wood or less off the tee, all the while trying not to be distracted by the ocean. You are generally supposed to play a hole in 15 minutes but I think you would be forgiven playing this hole in 45 or so ;).


The fairway is narrow but there bailout areas in the right and up to the left. You should hopefully have about 80 or less into the hole for the second shot and the green is two tiered so knowing where the pin is placed is crucial.


Well, it would be crucial if you cared at all about making a score on the hole versus just checking out the dolphins in the ocean. Really, you can't say enough about this hole.

The rest of the front 9 is solid including a very weird but enjoyable par 5 that crosses a willow bedecked stream twice on its way to the hole.

Back 9:

After the amazing front side, the back side just couldn't compete was still a nice resort-y course on the back side. Per the typical Southern California design mantra, all the par three's were framed by water which is always a nice touch.

One word about the bunkers.

The sand is in immaculate shape here but heavy. One bunker I was in felt like the beach, amazing depth of sand! You will be able to do get shots out and the sand is some of the best in SoCal no doubt!

Overall I enjoyed my day at MBGL. I felt very relaxed, helped no doubt by the sea air and the views. The staff were all top notch and really made for a great experience. The greens and sea views were fantastic, especially on the front side. I just wish the course would lower its rates a bit as the price means this track is only "once in a great while" for yours truly. Also, if I ruled the world, I would flip the 9s, start you off amongst the houses and wow you on the back so someone elect me president will ya?

For more info on Monarch Beach, check it out here: