A Narrow, three-foot-long tube of rigid foam may be one of golf’s most versatile and unsung training aids. Standing on it improves balance, while lying on it helps your posture and core stability. Plus, it’s like a personal massage therapist, restoring elasticity to inflamed muscles to increase range of motion and power. Here are four golf-specific exercises you can do with the roller :
GOLF BENEFIT: Improves balance and pro-prioception (an awareness of where your body is in space), helping you swing the club faster and with greater control.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand barefoot on the roller, balancing for up to 30 seconds. When you can do this without falling, try a squat or standing on one leg. (Put both hands on a wall when starting out until balance improves.) Read the rest of this entry »
If you’ve ever fantasized about owning a second home, now is your chance to do so without the cost and maintenance obligations that come with traditional home ownership. The Ritz-Carlton Club offers deeded, fractional ownership in luxury residences situated in your favorite destinations.
Instead of plunking down several million dollars for a waterfront villa in Hawaii, for example, you can purchase nearly one month’s worth of use in an island vacation home for a fraction of the cost. As a Club member, you and your guests will appreciate the comforts of home while being treated to the legendary services and lavish amenities that Ritz-Carlton hotel guests enjoy. Read the rest of this entry »
The Greenbrier and The Homestead, two historic Southern resorts with top-notch golf, are looking younger than hotels half their age. West Virginia’s elegant Greenbrier became a destination in 1858, when a hotel was built at the site of a therapeutic sulphur spring. Famous for its spa and exuberant 1940s Dorothy Draper interiors, as well as being the site of a Cold War bunker built for members of Congress, The Greenbrier has had a $50 million face-lift overseen by Draper protégé interior designer Carleton Vamey. All 721 rooms have new decor, bathrooms, linens and flat-screen TVs. A new restaurant, Hemisphere, and bar boast bold Draperesque colors and patterns.
In Hot Springs,Va., The Homestead first welcomed guests in 1766. J.P. Morgan bought the place in 1888, adding the main building, the famed spa with its gorgeous indoor pool and a Donald Ross golf course, the first of three 18-hole layouts. New owner KSL Resorts has updated the bathrooms in all 486 rooms, put in a new driving range at The Cascades Course and restored the Old Course bunkers to Ross’ original 1913 design. Darling, you look marvelous.
Athletes experience two deaths: Long before they confront their biological demise, they face an only slightly less traumatic end called retirement. Once brilliant performers, they are forced to surrender their careers at a stage in life when most professionals are just reaching their peak. The subject of retirement is an especially timely one on the LPGA Tour at the moment, with Annika Sorenstam and Nancy Lopez facing the subject from opposite ends of the age spectrum.
On the one hand, there is Sorenstam, who has been temporarily sidelined with a neck injury. Only a year ago, Sorenstam won her third U.S. Women’s Open title and seemed prepared to add limitlessly to her 10 major championships. Now she’s trying to recuperate from ruptured and bulging disks, the type of ailments that could mean playing in pain, and which prompted Andre Agassi to end his tennis career last summer. Rehabilitation and motivation may be especially problematic for a 36-year-old who has accomplished nearly everything she set out to do in the games, and whose intense drive may be lessening as she explores fresh interests, such as her new golf academy. Read the rest of this entry »
Playing golf is always fun but sometimes it’s even more fun when you can test your skills in a tournament with a good friend. That will be the game plan this October (17-20) at the Waikoloa Women’s Golf Challenge to be held at the spectacular Waikoloa Beach & Golf Resort, one of the most lauded resorts our 50th state has to offer. The two-person best-ball handicapped event will include two rounds, with the champs determined by the lowes-net best ball over the 36 holes. Participants will be treated to special events each night as well as a luxurious Kohala Sports Club & Spa treatment on the free day between rounds.
The tournament will be contested on Waikoloa’s legendary Kings’ Course, a collaboration of Jay Morrish and Tom Weiskopf, which contains design elements reminiscent of a Scottish links course while simultaneously offering amazing views of Big Island volcanoes, wildflowers and towering palm trees. Golfers always enjoy the Scottish-style double green shared by the third and sixth holes. On the free day, competitors can also tee it up on the sister Beach Course, which hugs the water and was literally carved from the lava flow along the picturesque Wailulua Bay. Its signature is the par-5 12th, bordering the ocean from tee to green. Perhaps the biggest challenge is not being distracted by the frolicking humpback whales.
As diverse as its courses are the Waikoloa lodging options—which include the Waikoloa Beach Marriott and the Hilton Waikoloa Village, as well as no less than a half dozen luxurious condominium properties—all with wonderful views and comfortable furnishings. More than a few golfers have paid a first-time visit, fell in love with every aspect of this gorgeous 1,350-acre master-planned residential resort community and ended up buying a vacation home before they left.
Chrysler 300C SRT8
BEST FOR : Going fast without sacrificing seating and luggage space.
LOOKS : Low and aggressive, like the muscle car your first boyfriend had back in the day.
ENGINE : 6.1 liter SRT Hemi V8; 425 hp.
PROS AND CONS : This high-performance version of the 300 sedan is a living room on wheels. But its interior lacks the panache of the European luxury sedans.
GOLF BAG CAPACITY : Two to three.
HOW IT DRIVES: Loud and proud. The Hemi engine provides snap-your-neck acceleration, and the sport-tuned suspension gives this rear-wheel-drive vehicle a firmer ride for better handling.
COOL OPTIONS : Satellite navigation system, chrome-detailed side molding, chromed mirrors and door handles, rear entertainment system. Read the rest of this entry »
Most of the short-game shots, including the chip, is to get the club-head to hit the ball first and bottom out on the target side of it. If you do that consistently, you’ll have excellent distance control. When playing a normal chip shot (more roll, less carry), make sure your shoulders are level at address.
(Sometimes it helps to feel as if your left shoulder is pointing toward the ground.) Amateurs often tilt their left shoulder upward, as if they were playing a full shot, which causes the club-head to bottom out behind the ball and hit it fat or thin. Place the ball slightly back in your stance and shift your weight to your left side. This will promote a steeper, more descending downswing and the proper ball-turf contact for a solid shot. Read the rest of this entry »
MODEL YEAR : 2007
BEST FOR : Instilling extreme envy in the hearts of friends and strangers alike.
LOOKS : Elegant and ultrarefined.
ENGINE 6.0 liter twin, turbocharged 12 cylinder; 552 horsepower (hp).
PROS AND CONS : The stylish cabin is cocooned in sumptuous leather and boasts every bell and whistle imaginable, including an easy-to-use DVD navigation system and a Breitling clock. But as with all hardtop convertibles, the top takes up the entire trunk when down.
GOLF BAG CAPACITY : One in the trunk with top up, zero with top down.
HOW IT DRIVES: The Bentley is agile and fun. You’ll love the race-car rumble and the power on demand.
COOL OPTIONS : 19-inch alloy sport wheels, front-seat lumbar massage. Read the rest of this entry »
Another featherweight at just over four pounds, the Diva has an innovative top
that keeps each wood separate for easy access. With a comfortable double strap and eight pockets, it’s everything a girl could want.
NIKE XTREME SPORT
This five-pound women’s bag features a double strap that becomes a single strap with a simple click. Extras include seven roomy pockets, a sturdy stand and six-way, full-length club dividers.
No other writer brings the pain and the pleasure of golf to life as intensely and as exquisitely as John Updike. In this compilation of published essays and excerpts from his works of fiction, Updike portrays himself and his characters as morose, gloomy and immersed in a futile, maddening pastime (a topic addressed in “Is Life Too Short for Golf?”).
While it has an indisputably male perspective, Golf Dreams is worth reading for the beauty and originality of its language—Updike’s description of making a great shot in “Tips on a Trip” should be read aloud. Our favorite chapter is “Women’s Work,” a fascinating glimpse into a man’s thoughts on watching women compete, originally published in the program for the 1984 U.S. Women’s Open. While other great writers of the 20th century didn’t bother to veil their misogyny, Updike writes of his awe of the players, whom he compares to Amazon warriors “doing authentic battle.” Read the rest of this entry »
Back in June 2006, Jane Seymour, the British-born actor best known Stateside as Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, was invited to play in the Northern Rock All-Star Cup, a celebrity golf tournament at The Celtic Manor in Newport, Wales, that pits a European team against an American one. Seymour, who grew up in Wimbledon, a London suburb, had just become a U.S. citizen, so she agreed to play for her new country. She compares playing golf to being on stage—”It’s your moment,” she says—and while she had played in corporate outings and celebrity tournaments before, the Wales event promised to be her biggest golf stage yet. The previous year’s tournament, which featured Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones playing on opposing teams, had attracted thousands of spectators and international press coverage. Seymour, a perfectionist, gives her all to everything she does, so in true fashion, she dedicated herself to improving her game before the August event. “I said to myself, ‘For the next two months, I will train for golf.” Read the rest of this entry »
I don’t always hit the fairway with my drives. But rather than muscle a 5- or 6-iron out of the rough, I prefer to use my highest-lofted wood (7-wood) and play a long punch-and-run shot, landing the ball short of the green and letting it run up.
There are several advantages to hitting a wood or hybrid from the rough. A wood is lighter, so you can generate more club- head speed—crucial to getting the ball out of the deep grass; it has a wider sole than an iron, which allows the club-head to glide through the grass more easily; and the shallow clubface and lower, deeper center of gravity make it easier to launch the ball into the air.
Try using a wood the next time you find yourself in moderate rough more than a 9-iron distance from the flag. Make sure the front of the green is open and try to land the ball about 20 yards short of the green, chasing it up toward the hole. Read the rest of this entry »