Thursday, May 28, 2015
I love Los Angeles, no question. The weather is great, despite being a huge City, there is a chill vibe and there are some really good gold courses in Los Angeles. Of course, most of them are outside the city limits (LACC notwithstanding). During the just past Memorial Day, I knew golfers would be chomping at the bit to hit the links so I decided to get the heck out of Dodge in order to play some golf and do it in under 5 hours.
Enter, Marshall Canyon, a wonder course nestled in the foothills of Eastern Los Angeles county. There are actually three golf courses packed in to the town of La Verne but with MC being the remotest of the three I decided to try my luck there.
Am I ever glad I did? MC is a short but challenging track, lots of blind drives and blind second shots
almost every par 3 is seemingly over a ravine and the greens are really sloped so you always have to aim for below the hole.
Also, deer... lots and lots of deer.
The course keeps you on your toes and keeps it visually stimulating (although the back 9 can get a bit side-by-side parklandy) and I was a fan by the 8th hole.
I mean look at that hole above what great choices you have! Try to hit a high draw around the trees or aim for a bunker and fade it right to avoid trouble? Choices, MC will give them to you.
I became even MORE of a fan when the golf gods smiled upon me on the 9th hole. Driver smashed to the left, hits a tree and kicks out to the middle of the fairway with 160 to the hole. With the guy mowing the green watching me (I was out early), I stuck a 6 iron to about 18 feet. Missssssed the birdie putt by about 6 inches and tapped in for par. What a hole! So much fun and you know the gods want to keep it that way.
If you want a laid back, quick round of golf which is intriguing to play and want to pet some deer, I suggest checking out Marshall Canyon. Its a bit of a hike from LA but well worth the drive.
For more info on MC check out this link: http://www.marshallcanyon.com/
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Golf is not just a collection of famous golfers and famous golf names but also of famous course designers. Designers and their courses are often like writers and their penmanship, you can immediately tell the writer by the pen strokes (or in the case of people reading my writing, that it looks vaguely like English but they have no other clues about what is going on in the sentence).
As I have gotten back into golf, I have gotten more and more into course architecture. This has been spurred on by reading Geoff Shackelford (and playing the amazing track that he designed at Rustic Canyon) and also reading the amazing book Wide Open Fairways by Bradley S. Klein.
All of this research has laid the groundwork for me to come to appreciate Coore and Crenshaw's design aesthetic. C+C Music Factory (as I call them) are all about shotmaking and using the natural features of the land rather than bulldozing over it. I love courses like that and want to play ever single one of them if I can.
You might be saying to yourself, ReGripped, which ones do you want to play most, a top 10 list if you will. Well You, here You go!
1. Sand Hills. I say this course name to most golfers and they go d'wah? It only happens to be the 11th best course in the country. The issue is that it is in Nebraska so most people aren't aware of it but from every review I have seen, golfers LOVE this course and it is my number one "bucket list" destination. The problem? It is private and I am not an heir to the Omaha Steaks fortune in order to play it. Of course, I hope someone reading this can get me on (call me Jenny 867-5309).
I GOT ON!!! Check out my review here! http://www.coorecrenshawquest.com/2016/09/99-holes-in-heartland-sand-hills-golf.html
2/3. Bandon Trails/Preserve. Growing up on the East Coast, if someone had said to me that THE golf destination I would want to go to was on the Oregon Coast instead of Florida courses, Myrtle Beach, etc. I would have thought they were crazy. But here we are, in crazy town as I am chomping at the bit to go to Bandon, in no small part to the course having 2 C+C courses (a regulation course, Trails and a par 3 course, the Preserve). Golfing 36 holes a day, walking next to the ocean, enjoying C+C courses? Sign me up! Plus the Bandon resort is managed by Kemper Sports, a top notch golf management company (a theme that will come up repeatedly on this list) so after I lose a ton of balls on perfectly maintained courses, I can have great food and a great time at this track. http://www.bandondunesgolf.com/
4. Streamsong Red. Despite all those nasty, terrible things I said above about Florida, it does have great courses and what is quickly becoming one of the best in the nation is Streamsong. This course used to be a phosphate mine and C+C turned up the jams and made it into a world class course. The change alone is fascinating enough but the pictures that Ashworth recently took of the place would convince any golfer to go. http://golfman.ashworthgolf.com/streamsong/reclaiming-the-mine?=CID:aw:social:reclaimthemine
Of course, this place is once again managed by Kemper so put that as reason 412 to go. http://www.streamsongresort.com/best-florida-golf/streamsong-red/
5. Kapalua Plantation Course. When you say Hawaii, I say, of course! I was recently on Maui and while I didn't get a chance to play the same course that PGA event is played on every year, I mean to rectify that on the next trip. This course has crazy elevation gains and losses (lots of downhill tee shots, my favorite) and beautiful views of the Pacific. Have a Mai Tai, will travel, that is my motto so next time in the islands, its Kapalua for me! http://www.golfatkapalua.com/plantation-course.html
UPDATED: I have played Kapalua! What an amazing experience, my first C&C course and it was a doozy. Check out my thoughts here: http://www.re-gripped.com/2015/12/kapalua-golf-review.html
6/7. We-Ko-Pa/Talking Stick. Most of the courses on this list are all over the place. Hawaii, Florida, Nebraska. I live in California and don't exactly have Trump money to go around and play all of these places so where can I go that's close to SoCal and get some bang for the ol C+C buck? That my good friends is Arizona with not 1 but 3 golf courses by the dynamic duo. Not only 3 courses but 3 courses within 30 minutes of each other. I fly into Phoenix and get to Talking Stick with 2 different C+C tracks each with their own unique character to them. http://talkingstickgolfclub.com/ We-Ko-Pa has Saguaro which from the tee shot on this website alone, is worth the price of admission. http://wekopa.com/golf/saguaro-course/
8. Barton Creek. Not everything has to be deserty, coasty or phosphatey. Texas has some great golf courses and its time I turn my attention to the rolling hill country near Austin and Barton Creek. The 18th, going across a creek to a "low lying" green (whatever that means) is supposed to be impressive and if I can get my BBQ on along with some birdies, so be it! http://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/austin-barton-creek/golf/crenshaw-cliffside
9. Dormie Club. I just love their website, the "#2 best course you can play". Its great, I'm sure they try harder (as the old car rental ads went). The photos of this place look great, tons of pine straw, weirdo bunkers and pine trees. Basically Pinehurst No. 2 but much, much more reasonable prices. Plus 3/4 of their pictures are in black and white, I don't think I could wrong here. http://www.dormieclub.com/
10. Friar's Head. I started this list with a private course and I am going to end this list with a private course. Of course, what a course by course! I mean, just look at the pictures of this beauty! http://www.friarshead.org/Home.aspx Lord knows how I can play this course but I would be willing to brave the LIE in order to do, and that says a lot.
After this list was compiled, news that Cabot Cliffs, designed by C+C had a "soft" 2015 opening and starting full blast in 2016 and C+C would also have their Trinity Forest Course open in Dallas in 2016. Further, Sand Valley in Wisconsin is set to get up and going in 2017. Given this...
11. Cabot Cliffs. I love all things Canada. Moose, maple syrup, hockey. The latest from C+C not only resides in Canada bumping it up several notches but involves the word "cliffs" and based on the early images of this course, there are plenty of those to tickle the fancy of any golfer. This is a must go methinks! https://www.cabotlinks.com/golf/cabot-cliffs/
12. Trinity Forest. I have family in Dallas but why bother visiting them if they aren't near a C+C course :P? Well that will all be solved in 2016 when TF opens. This course is already primed for greatness, having the Byron Nelson Classic already slated to be there plus hosting college golf tourneys, I bet this puppy is going to be great. The downside is that it is private but I hope I can get an invite and play the latest and greatest from C+C. http://www.trinityforestgc.com/golf-course/
13. Sand Valley. In the middle of nowhere Wisconsin, Sand Valley is slowly but surely creeping into existence. I am super excited about this course and will hopefully get out there in 2016 for the soft opening (fingers crossed!). http://www.sandvalleygolfresort.com/
14. Colorado Golf Club. Ultra private and apparently ultra hard, CGC just south of Denver this course seems like a really tough but fun test. I am planning a golf trip to the heartland and if I can manage it, I really hoping to play this track! http://www.coloradogolfclub.com/
There are a bunch of other Crenshaw and Coore (as they like to call themselves) courses out there but every list must end and if I can get to play this entire list, I will consider my golf career well spent.
Want to see what other courses C+C have designed? Check it out here! http://www.cooreandcrenshaw.com/portfolio.html
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Who says the Internet doesn't pay off?
Roger Dunn reminds me of golf stores when I was growing up back East. Yes they are a "chain" store but it doesn't have the sterile feel of a Dick's or a Sports Chalet. Instead RD has employees that really care about golf and getting you what you need to get out there on the course in style.
I entered into an online contest and got that sweet swag you see above. The prized possession is the limited edition Nike golf shirt in honor of the Masters. I love the Masters and so stoked to be wearing this shirt on my back.
A bunch of other Nike gear came my way. To be honest, I don't have much experience with Nike and their gear but certainly Rory is having success with this stuff and my game is like his right, right?
I also got some great RD stuff as well, firmly cementing this store as the best in SoCal and beyond.
Thanks Roger Dunn, you have a customer for life!
Want more info about Roger Dunn, check out this link: http://www.worldwidegolfshops.com/