Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Review Mission Hills Dinah Shore Course

Palm Springs is known for their golf courses but very few of the multitude of courses there have hosted a golf tournament much less a golf major. Mission Hills is one of the rarified few hosting the LPGA's major tourney, the ANA Inspiration Championship.

Mission Hills is one of the crown jewels in the Club Corp portfolio and is home to 3 courses including the Dinah Shore championship course. I am fortunate to know a member of this club and recently got out to play the course. Also part of my luckiness? Getting to play from the ANA Championship tees!

The good news? The golf course is just as fun and challenging to play as it is to watch the LPGAers play it during the ANA. The course is in immaculate shape due in part to a robust watering program but played firm and fast even after the greens were watered.

The thing about this golf course is that it lays the hole out in front of you including the risks and rewards and it really makes you think off the tee. For example, hole one is framed by trees and clearly has bunkers in play on the left.

After that basic assessment you start to notice the undulations in the fairway and start to contemplate how close can you flirt with that bunker and then whenever you end up, how doe the undulations effect your ball for the approach shot?

The second or third shots at Mission also make you think as the greens are often multitiered and where you place the ball is paramount. That being said, the course isn't a hard slog, you are never out of it even if you are off line. Plus with water coming into play on several holes, the course gives you some visual feasts for the eyes.

The par 3's on the Shore course are true superstars. Long and hard, often involving water or uphill greens, the par 3's are no joke and if you go around with them in even par you are playing really well.

The back 9 is a tighter and tougher affair and then the course ends up on the famous 18th where the ANA winner takes a dip in the pond. I missed my par putt by inches on that hole but enjoyed that and my round immensely. 

If I lived in in Palm Springs, I would join Mission Hills in a heartbeat, especially because they have 54 holes to choose from. The true superstar though is the Shore course and I can't wait to play there again. 

For more info on Mission Hills, check out the link here: http://www.clubcorp.com/Clubs/Mission-Hills-Country-Club

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Caddie Magazine

It is rare that there is something new and exciting in the world of golf. Usually you have variations on a theme, a driver is new and better than the old driver and gets you one more yard of distance. You like golf podcasts and subscribe to 12 of them? Get ready to hear the same guest cycle through them over the course of a week.

So when I heard about Caddie Magazine I thought, do we really need another golf magazine? The answer is yes, most definitively YES! This magazine is so different from your typical golf magazine it is like a breath of fresh air. No swing tips, no club reviews that you have a vaguely sneaky suspicion are a lot more glowing that true, no fawning puff pieces of golfers or the tour.

Instead you have contemplative pieces about golf in New Zealand. You have a travelogue about playing golf in Nepal and Afghanistan. You have an interview with the new face of golf rather than the faces you have watched a million times.

What the magazine really reminds me of is Surfer Magazine. Rather than rehashing the latest and greatest in surfing, the magazine takes a more introspective journey into the nature of surfing and what a surfer's place is in the wider world. Caddie magazine seems to be seeking out a similar headspace in golf which is sorely needed.

Golf need more soul and substance and Caddie gives it to you in spades. Sadly it only comes out twice a year and costs twice as much as any other golf magazine but it is twice as valuable and I will be a lifelong subscriber. 

For more information on Caddie Magazine check out the link: http://www.caddiemag.com/

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Countdown To Sand Valley Post 1

I am so stoked to report that I will be visiting Sand Valley this summer as part of a marathon Midwest golf trip and as I don't have a lot of golf experience in  Wisconsin, Illinois, etc. I thought I would fill you guys in on my preparations for the big trip!

Getting There:

I am flying into Chicago and Sand Valley is way up there in Northwestern Wisconsin near the small town of Nekoosa. One thing you can count on with Mike Keiser golf resorts (like Bandon) is that they are going to be OUT of the way and you have to earn your tee time just getting there.

Personally, I can't wait for a roadtrip and I am already planning on hitting courses in Wisconsin (Lawsonia) and in Illinois (Black Sheep or Harborside) on the back and forth.


The first thing I always research for any golf trip is the expected weather when I am going to be there. Deep in the heart of August, Wisconsin has some crazy weather highs and lows. The max temp seems to be 93 and the low is 45 and August looks to be in the middle of the pack regarding rain.

Given all of this, I think I am definitely packing light (shorts, lots o' sunscreen not so much jackets) and maybe a few light layers if it cools off at night.


I am really interested in the food philosophy of the resort as once you make the trek there, I hear the food prices are not just reasonable but at a low cost. Outside of the resort, I have been hearing about these Supper Clubs in Wisconsin. Supper Clubs are a relic from the era just after Prohibition where liquor licenses were granted to restaurants outside city limits. I really would like to go to one of these!

Bon Mot About SV:

You don't think of the desert when you think of Wisconsin but due to the geologic process over millions of years, yup there is sand in Sand Valley!

I will be fascinated to see just how sandy it is there is Wisconsin (just as long as there is no sand in my cheese I will be happy!).

For more information on Sand Valley, check it out here: http://www.sandvalleygolfresort.com