Matty G's Mail Bag
*--Ocean Course Wins, 8&7
__From Gary Slatter of Canouan, AL:__Matty G, I'm sorry your game can't handle the Ocean Course. It is truly one of the greatest courses in the USA!
Gary, No one is more sorry my game can't handle the Ocean Course than I am. Although, if my game could handle that course, in those conditions, I'd be on tour. Thank you for the note.
From Adam Scott of Fort Frances, ON: Matt, My wife and I are taking a trip down to Central Georgia, North Florida and Southern South Carolina in the next six weeks. Due to other committments on the trip, I will only get to play one course. I've been trying to knock off as many top 100 courses in the USA, and wonder which one you would recommend: Harbour Town, Ocean Course at Kiawah or the Stadium Course at Sawgrass? I'm leaning towards Sawgrass just so I can say I played the island green. I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Adam Scott. (No, not that Adam Scott.)
Adam, Simply because your name is Adam Scott, and I think the '04 Players was the last time we heard from the young Aussie with such promise, I'd say you should follow your gut-go to Sawgrass. Besides, you'll need both your gut and some glory for all three of those finishing holes. Have fun and let me know how it goes.
From Joseph Urban of Philadelphia: Matt, I am currently in the US Army and will be returning from my deployment in Iraq in July or August. I am looking for a nice vacation destination to take me and my wife for our long needed reunion. All I want to do when I return is play golf; but there's one problem--SHE DOESN'T PLAY! I really need your help finding a place to go that I might skip off for a few hours a day to play, and she wont be stuck watching morning infomercials on TV. Remember the economy isn't too good right now so be gentle. I'm also willing to travel just about anywhere. Much Thanks. Joe
Joe, First of all, thank you for your service to our country (not to mention some perspective). While I scout golf courses and resorts from state to state, flirting with beverage cart girls and missing three-foot birdie putts, you risk your life to defend our freedom. I offer you my prayers for a safe trip home, my sincere appreciation for what you do, a firm digital handshake, and some suggestions of places that might work with you and your domestic dilemma.
__Pinehurst__isn't exactly cheap, but it's a special place and it's a resort that has specific military discounts. You'd enjoy a standard 10 percent discount off any discounted rates, 20 percent off year-round standard packages, and 30 percent off of spa treatments, Sunday-Thursday, year round.
Might I suggest the "Pinehurst Romance Package"? The standard rate is $399 per couple and it includes a night of lodging, breakfast, champagne and either flowers or chocolate covered strawberries in your room. With the military discount, you'd pay $359. (I'd be happy to help cover some of your golf.)
Another good option is "Fairway Furloughs" at Doral Golf Resort in Miami. Active, reserve component, and retired service members get green fees, including carts, for $69 after 3 p.m., seven days a week. (Regular price is $95 to $175.)
If you stay overnight, service members get the government per diem rate (currently $152, but changes seasonally), which includes breakfast, complimentary Internet, and discounts at restaurants, retail outlets, and the spa — plus a 20-percent discount on green fees at the resort's five championship courses.
A few more suggestions: Ross Bridge on the RTJ Trail has a great spa for your wife and plenty of good golf to keep you busy. Barton Creek in Austin might be hot in August, but I like that place. I also loved Madden's on Gull Lake in Minnesota, Hotel Hershey in Pennsylvania or Sun River in Oregon. San Diego is very military friendly. It's also my favorite city, other than New York, and there are several options for you out there. The Lodge at Torrey Pines might be a good fit for your needs. My guess is they all have some form of discounts for military; and if they don't, they should.
If you're ever in New York, please let me know. I'd be honored to treat you to a round and a beer at Bethpage Black.
Do you have a question you'd like answered on this blog or in the magazine? Send it to: www.golfdigest.com/contact/mattyg