Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Over the last few years numerous companies have gotten into the golf tee time game. In addition to GolfNow, the PGA Tour has their own website (TeeOff), BoxGroove brings you tee times on private courses and now in the West, Forelinx has arisen as an intriguing alternative for golfers looking for discounted tee times on great courses.
The model that Forelinx pursues is to have select number of courses (and when I say a select number, I mean 87 courses in California, Arizona and elsewhere) and then offers their members pretty good discounts on those courses.
The reservation system allows you to book 7 days in advance and most of the courses allow you to book up to 4 people (although some courses only allow you to join pre-booked groups needing a third or a fourth).
Each month you pay a fee and get an equivalent in points to use toward tee times on any course in their system. Points for round vary from 80 to 600+ but if you track your points carefully, you can play 2-3 times a month just on your monthly fee.
The quality of the courses really stands out. I was able to play Aviara, La Quinta Mountain, La Costa Championship, Sandpiper, Strawberry Farms, Temecula Creek Inn and several other SoCal courses with a pretty good discount off the rack rate.
Paying a monthly fee for this has a couple of benefits. One, your points don't expire and roll over so you don't lose the points if you can't play in a given month. Secondly, it does encourage you to get out there to use your points (not like golfers need any excuses).
Forelinx is just in its beginning stages and there are a few things that they are working on that will make having a membership even better. Applying your points to bring people with you on your rounds will be a great addition to the membership as of right now, you can use your points for yourself but for guests you have to pay $. Additionally, they are just starting to build up their private club access and it will be interesting to see what other private clubs they can pull into their orbit.
Here are a few of the courses I have played via Forelinx over the last few months:
Temecula Creek Inn: http://www.re-gripped.com/2017/03/temecula-creek-inn-golf-review.html
If you are an avid golfer who gets out 2-3 times a month here in SoCal or in Arizona, you should definitely look into this service!
The team at Forelinx is super friendly and always responded to my questions within a day or so. If you want to find out more about Forelinx, check out their site here: https://forelinx.com/
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
When you live in Los Angeles, you tend to get very geocentric in your golf adventures. If you fall into that trap, you miss out on all the great courses in Simi Valley, Ventura County and all the Orange County and San Diego County courses.
An oft neglected region in the LA golfer's eyes is the Temecula Valley is typically known for its vineyards but which also has 6 really good courses, perhaps topping them all is the Temecula Creek Inn course which has 3 distinct 9s you can play. I ended up playing the Oaks and the super tough Stonehouse courses to round out my 18 holes.
The Oaks 9 is a straightforward but pretty parkland nine with disguised swales and some elevation changes that keeps each hole fresh unlike most parkland courses. The biggest thing about Oaks is the prominence of the mountains surrounding Temecula. Not only are they beautiful but you have to be mindful on the greens which way the green breaks to the mountain.
Temecula Creek is not an overly long course (the tips clock in at 6,700+ yards) and where it the course continues testing you is by having a lot of greens be higher than the fairway. So many shots to uphill greens on this course!
Oaks also has one of the most beguiling par 3's I have ever played. The green at about 160 yards sits between two lakes with the front side being no more than 15 yards across but the green goes back at least 30 yards. It is a crazy, dangerous and fun hole and makes the Oaks worth it just on its own.
The "back" 9 for me was the Stonehouse 9 which has a crazy amount of elevation gains and losses, blind shots, elevated greens and creeks make it for a really challenging 9. The hazards also pick up the pace with trees placed in interesting places on the fairway.
The bunkering also picks up the pace with a lot more sand traps both placed and artfully crafted on the Stonehouse 9.
And elevated greens? You betcha.
The greens rolled true although speeds varied throughout the day and I wished the patrons would fix their ballmarks a bit more on the greens. The rest of the course was in very good shape which makes sense given all the rain we have had in SoCal during the winter.
Overall I am super happy I played at Temecula Creek, they have a really fun parkland course that gives you great views and gets you into a relaxed state of being which is rare on a golf course. Check it out and grab yourself a bottle of wine while you are in the area!
For more information on Temecula Creek Inn check out this link: https://www.temeculacreekinn.com/golf/
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
1) Match Play Madness
The pairings of the Dell Match Play are announced and here are a few golfers to watch out for:
2) Too Much Info
Jon Sherman breaks down what info you actually need to improve your game.
3) Kia Classic
The LPGA gets you ready for the upcoming tourney.
4) New Podcast
The Shackhouse guys are back with a new podcast!
Monday, March 20, 2017
1) Marc Makes Masters
Recapping the Bay Hill Tourney.
2) Anna Takes It
The LPGA is back in America but its a Swede that takes the top prize last weekend.
3) Tour Confidential
One of my favorite weekly columns, golf writers across the spectrum chew the golf cud for your pleasure.
Friday, March 17, 2017
1) The Dan Plan
There are always great stories of golfers tilting after their personal windmills and I have been following the Dan Plan off and on over the last few years. GolfWRX does a great job recapping everything.
2) The Julie Plan
Julie Inskter, in contention. That is an amazing story!
3) The Statistics Plan
Always fun to use statistics to find out about your favorite players. This week, who rocks and who doesn't out of the sand?
Thursday, March 16, 2017
1) Rory Takes A Stand
Good for him and wish more golfers were vocal about things like this.
2) Bay Hill
Do you want live updates of the first round of the Bay Hill tourney? GolfWeek has you covered.
3) 9 Hole Review
Fun review of a Tennessee 9 holer.
4) New Podcast
Its Bandon week at Golf Getaways. Check out the fellas latest podcast!
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
When you think of Irvine California usually what comes to mind is miles of undifferentiated urban sprawl and proximity to Disneyland. Imagine my surprise turning onto Strawberry Farms Road and all of a sudden I am in the middle of a working farm. Eventually the golf course makes itself apparent but you know you are in for a round away from the hub and the bub of everyday OC life.
The day started out rather foggy and it was tough to see where to aim either first or second shots. The course was designed by someone who liked gutter guards in bowling as there were slopes on each side of many of the fairways so when it doubt, just try to hit it in the middle of the slopes and hope any mishits bounce down to the fairway.
A few observations about Strawberry Farms, if I may.
1) The bunkering is outrageous. The bunkers are huge with big lips and are often staggered so if you avoid one by hitting over it, you may fine yourself in another one.
The course is short but treacherous. With the blue tees at 6,200 yards, if you have a halfway decent drive you will be in good scoring position. However, the shorter holes all have uphill green complexes which adds to the challenge.
The course is also narrow. If you don't hit one of those bulldozered slopes (the land is rolling but not THAT naturally rolling) then you could be in the weeds or worse.
The par 3's are the real star of the course With only one involving water, most rely on narrow greens, crazy bunkers and just plain visual fun to make the 1 shotters one of the best parts of the 18.
The greens are really the stars of the course. Plenty of undulations to make you think, plenty of speed to make you cautious, hard enough to make short hits carry onto the green, these greens have it all and add an extra level of thought to the whole endeavor.
The course is a little TOO narrow and the pace of play made me want write a sad face emoticon on my scorecard as my tee time was delayed 45 minutes due to course traffic but the friendly staff got me paired up with some great guys and I got out right around my tee time.
Overall I liked Strawberry Farms but it reminded me of a student who misses the honor roll by 0.5%. Close but not just quite as fantastic as it should be. That being said, it was a really enjoyable day and I loved so much about this course and can't wait for my next trip to the farm country of Irvine.
For more info about Strawberry Farms, check it out here: http://www.sf-golf.com/
1) Murfield Does Right...Eventually
The fact that it is even news when a private golf club decides to invite women in 2017 (!?!) tells you that golf still has a loooong way to go to get out of the past.
2) College Life
Shipnuck has a great story about Alison Lee and her struggles with college life and also being a kickass golfer.
3) Fantasy Island
If you are into fantasy golf, GNN has you covered as we amble into the Bay Hill tourney.
4) New Podcast
Shackhouse is back with an interview with Adam Hadwin!
Monday, March 13, 2017
1) Oh Canada!
Golf WRX breaks down Adam Hadwin's win as well as the winners of other golf events from this last weekend.
2) Medical Exemptions
Geoff does a great breakdown of the medical exemption that worked in Patrick Cantlay's favor this last weekend.
3) Florida Swing
Florida has some amazing courses that are well covered by many golf publications but I dare say this is one of the best and one of the most under the radar ones.
Friday, March 10, 2017
One the Euro Tour's flagship events, the BMW Championship is held at Wentworth which recently underwent a massive renovation. Check out the results here:
2) All Things Valspar
Do you like Florida golf? Do you want the latest and greatest news from the Valspar Championship? If so, GolfWeek has you covered today.
3) Status Quo
The purse for the Players remains the same, outrageously high.
Thursday, March 9, 2017
1) Florida Swing Broken
Geoff takes a look at what the heck is going on with the Florida Swing nowadays. Short answer, nothing good.
2) Boston On My Mind
GNN takes a deep dive into Boston Golf Club
3) Riddle Me This
Shipnuck takes on questions in a weekly mailbag.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
1) Down Goes Another
The golf business contracts a bit more today with this news.
2) Golf Balls
Is the USGA finally turning the corner on having a bifurcated ball?
3) Driver Fitting
Shipnuck has an entertaining adventure being fit for a driver.
Monday, March 6, 2017
1) Wei in Mexico
Stephanie has been killing it all weekend with her reporting from Mexico and I highly suggest you check out all of her columns. Here is her recap from the last round.
2) Inbee Turns on the Jets
She came, she saw, she conquered. There is no other summation that quite does Inbee's tournament justice.
3) Lorena's Comeback
Lorena Ochoa, one of the most interesting figures in all of ladies golf is teeing it up again for her tournament.
Friday, March 3, 2017
1) The Best Rule (change)
I love, love, love the LPGA but I hate, hate, hate how caddies and players interact on tour. The new USGA solves this problem.
2) Costco Part Duex
The cheapo but goodo ball is back...apparently. Will demand keep up with the supply on the second go-around?
3) Mexico Recap
GolfWeek gives you all the highlights you need from round 1 of the WGC.
4) New Podcast
After a brief hiatus, the Golf.Com podcast is back with a couple of new episodes.
Thursday, March 2, 2017
1) Singapore Swing
The Big Wiezy is back in Singapore opening with a one shot lead. It will be fascinating to see if she can string 4 rounds together given her health issues in the past.
2) Injury Time
Speaking of injuries, GNN breaks down what they think is behind the injury bug that is plaguing the modern golfer.
3) The Rules
Poulter has an interesting take on what rules should be next to go. Personally, I love my yardage books.
4) New Podcast
So many new podcasts to choose from. Here is a great conversation from the NoLayingUp guys.