Courses & TravelJuly 8, 2011

Here's what I hear . . .

Of the countless items that come across my desk each week, here are a few worth passing on:

Forest Dunes.jpg

Hard to believe, but easy to understand. Loaded down by union workers making union salaries, plus the overhead of a premier golf course, a 22,000 square-foot Adirondack-style clubhouse, a fairly remote location without the option of lodging and alternate courses nearby, the current owners, the Michigan Carpenter's Pension Fund, want out. "It went up for sale last year," said one source close to the situation. I'm told the going price is $7 million. And if someone were to buy this Tom Weiskopf-designed gem, I figure they'd need to add a second course and a hotel to make it work. "It's going to take funny money," says the source. And thus, the recurring rumor of Herb Kohler to the rescue.

On a brighter note, pun intended…

                __--As of June, all 18 holes are completely shaped, and the first six holes have been sprigged at the new Tom Doak/Renaissance Golf Design course at Streamsong Resort in Central Florida.__ The completion of shaping means that the creative work by Doak and his team is essentially done.

"So I'm no longer talking about the potential of the course to be excellent -- I am talking about what the finished product is going to be, and I'm more excited about that than ever," Doak said.

For more information, go to__ __www.streamsongresort.com.

--Kiawah Island Golf Resort is testing a new program this summer to target three hours or less for a round of golf. From July 9 to August 31, the resort will set aside tee times on its courses for singles, twosomes and threesomes with the goal for golfers to finish their 18-hole round in less than three hours.

"One of the major challenges that keeps many golfers off the course is the amount of time it takes to play 18 holes," said Brian Gerard, Kiawah Island Golf Resort's Director of Golf.  "In response, we've developed this test program aimed at getting players around the course in less than three hours. We have set aside either the first times in the morning or reserved early afternoon times for players starting at 12:30pm to allow for quick play.  The resort is asking that players who feel they will not be able to meet this target time to book tee times outside the "Three Hour Golf" timeframe."

The following courses and times have been set aside for "Three Hour Golf."  Rather than the normal 10-minute tee time intervals, "Three Hour Golf" has between 7- and 8-minute intervals, allowing more people to enjoy this new option. Select times and dates on The Ocean Course are to be determined.

Monday:  Osprey Point 7:30am-8:30amTuesday:  Osprey Point 7:30am-8:30amWednesday:  Oak Point 12:30pm-1:30pmThursday:  Osprey Point 7:30am-8:30amFriday:  Osprey 7:30am-8:30amSaturday:  Cougar Point 12:30pm-1:30pmSunday:  Turtle Point 12:30pm-1:30pmFor more on my recent trip to Kiawah, here's the recent Away Game.

--French Lick Resort will be transported back to the golden age of golf next week as the historic resort in southern Indiana is set to host the largest field ever for the U.S. Hickory Open Championship July 11-13, 2011.

The U.S. Hickory Open, which is run by the Society of Hickory Golfers, will be held on the Donald Ross course, which opened in 1917.

Not only is the Ross course at French Lick one of my favorite Ross designs, it's also great value.

Click here for my story about my trip to French Lick.

--Pasatiempo is extending a special offer to you for the months of July and August. You can book a tee time for only $150 with an optional cart fee of $15 from July 1 to August 31, 2011. To reserve a tee time, click the button below or call the pro shop at 831-459-9155 and mention the promo code SMR11.

Pasatiempo is usually $220, and for an Alister Mackenzie original, I'd consider that good value.

Have a great weekend. I'm off to play Woodway for the first time.

--Matty G.

(Follow me on Twitter @Matt_Ginella.)

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