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Looking for something to do when you board a flight and find that the in-flight movie is something like "Dude, Where's My Car?". Air New Zealand has come up with a solution to that awful cinema problem. At first you may think that a new in-flight entertainment system is in the works, but the ingenious Kiwis have come up with more interactive entertainment. On-board golfing!
Passengers flying between Auckland and Queenstown may have the opportunity to test their putting prowess. As part of celebrating a partnership with the first New Zealand PGA tournament, ANZ roll out a turf carpet down the aisle so 4 selected passengers can to try their luck to win some prizes. The grand prize is an all-expense paid trip to the tour championship.
You know how some people consider golf as just a nice walk? Down Under they're talking the walk to an extreme with the Nullarbor Links golf course, and you might not want to spend the day strolling along this course, with or without your clubs: it's 848 miles long.
That's more than just a pretty long hunk of green; in fact it's the world's longest golf course.
Granted that all distances are big in the Australian outback, where the Nullarbor Links is located, but perhaps this is taking things a little (literally too far). Stretching from Kalgoorlie in Western Australia across the desert to Ceduna in South Australia, the idea is that you purchase your score card at one end or the other, and play each of the 18 holes as you drive across the desert. They suggest the game will take you about four days to play.
The 73rd edition of The Masters Golf Tournament kicks off today in Augusta, Georgia. It’s a big deal as usual, especially since Tiger Woods is back after taking some time off to heal from surgery. Greg Norman, aka “The Shark,” is back to play as well, and is looking to win his first Masters—he’s come really close a couple times. Things should wrap up Sunday, weather permitting, where the winner will get the coveted green jacket and a huge check—last year’s was over $7 million.
Golf / Golf Travel / Museums / Art / Public Art / Summer Travel / → All Tags
The Walker Art Center now has two mini-golf courses, and we couldn't come up with a better description than the curators did:
In the mockumentary film "This Is Spinal Tap," bassist Derek Smalls suggests that the difference between miniature golf and regular golf is the size of the ball. While the ball remains the same, virtually everything else about mini golf grows--at least on the course of Walker on the Green: Artist-Designed Mini Golf.
For $8 you can play through one of the seven-hole courses, which were designed by local artists. What should you expect? You'll find a pachinko-style hole, a "Water Hazard" hole, pictured, that employs empty bottles as obstacles and even the "Big Kahuna," a sort of frozen-in-place wave. The fun continues until September 7.
[Photo: Aaron Landry]
Golf Travel / Summer Travel / Strippers / Golf / → All Tags
Golf is often called a lifelong sport, the kind of athletic activity players can enjoy from 4 to 94. We prefer mini-golf ourselves, but we're sure the kids competing in a junior golf tourney on Monday at the Eagle Trace Golf Club were some sharp shooters. But the 7- to 12-year-olds were a little puzzled when ladies wearing definitely-not-course-friendly attire piled out of limousines and onto their greens.
The women were caddying for a charity tournament held by Denver strip club Shotgun Willie's, which is why they weren't wearing polo shirts and matching madras shorts. Unfortunately, they had started drinking at 8 am and, as one caddy admitted, weren't aware enough of their audience to keep things G-rated.
Course manager Evelyn Koch gave perhaps the best guarantee in history:
I cannot tell you the girls didn't flash out there but it wasn't a free-for-all.
Makes televised golf seem all the more boring, doesn't it?
· Eagle Trace Golf Club [Official Site]
· Youth Golfers Get Blindsided By Boob-Infested Golf Outing [Deadspin]
· Golf coverage [Jaunted]
[Photo of Eagle Trace sans strippers: petercipollone]
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The US Open just wrapped up at Torrey Pines outside San Diego; Tiger Woods won. The schmancy course has been hyping the golf tourney for more than a year, and they put on quite the contest.
Tiger Woods of course played well, but Rocco Mediate wasn't content to let him simply walk off with a win. After an entire 18-hole playoff, the two were still tied. On the first hole of a three-hole sudden death round, Tiger took the win.
· US Open [Official Site]
· Torrey Pines [Official Site]
· The Course Is the Thing [Guardian]
· In the End, Players Find Little Fault with Torrey Pines [USA Today]
· Golf coverage [Jaunted]
Justin Timberlake began blowing off steam on the links when he was barely out of the Mickey Mouse Club. Now the singer, most recently guesting on Madonna's track "4 Minutes," has purchased his own golf course with a high sentimental value: He learned to play on it as a youth.
The Club at Big Creek was known as Woodstock Hills Country Club in the 70s when members of the Timberlake family played there. Justin also belongs to the Mountain Creek Golf Club in Los Angeles, a membership that comes with a $50,000 initiation fee. Hopefully his planned upgrades to Big Creek won't include hiking greens fees by that much.
· Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel Make a Push for Super World Traveler Status [Jaunted]
· Golf Travel: Swinging For Cuba [Jaunted]
· Celeb Travel coverage [Jaunted]
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It's less than a month to go until the big Arctic Open Golf Championship so you'd better practice your swing and get used to playing at midnight.
Yep, up in Iceland they like to do things a little differently, and from June 26 to 28 you'll be able to take part in--or be a spectator for--the world's only golf tournament that takes place in the middle of the night, thanks to the almost endless daylight they get in northern Iceland in the summer.
The Akureyri Golf Club is the host for the unusual event, and we're thinking this might be the only time in our lives when we have half a chance to play well: Since the game's held at midnight, maybe our opponents will have trouble too.
[Photo: Arctic Open]
We're willing to look past the fact that you still haven't gotten to the greens in Vietnam. But the, ahem, forefront of the golf scene is no longer Southeast Asia. To truly impress your buddies, book those clubs through to Kashmir.
There are already four courses in the region, and a fifth is set to open this year. Says The New York Times:
The golf-loving chief minister of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Ghulam Nabi Azad, has spoken of his desire to see the region become an "international golfing hub."
"There is a need to mobilize golfers across the world to come and play the game here," he told reporters recently, in something of an understatement.
It would probably help if the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office didn't warn "against all travel to, or through rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir other than Ladakh." After all, says the Director of Tourism for Kashmir:
People are going to Sri Lanka. People are going to Israel and Lebanon. But why not Kashmir? It's safer here than New York...In 18 years of trouble, we have had only 25 tourist victims.
Scoffing at Scotland? Done Dubai? Golf off the beaten path with the New York Times, which in this week's Travel section highlights courses in Vietnam, for those still seeking spring break trips--and who don't mind being quite jetlagged.
Once the exclusive province of French colonial officers, golf in Vietnam is still largely the domain of visitors to the country, not locals--which begs the question raised of slum tours in another Times article this week. Is partaking in a ritzy pastime like golf exploitative of the people who tend the greens without ever getting to play on them? We're not sure.
But maybe your caddy can recommend a good place to taste the local rice wine and even--imagine!--partake in it with you.
[Photo: Nguyen Ngoc Chinh]
Last December, Tripp Isenhour was shooting his film "Golf Like A Pro" at the Grand Cypress Golf Club when a squawking red-shouldered hawk disrupted the film shoot more than once, causing them to have to re-shoot some scenes. According to reports, the golfer then decided to make a game of hitting a ball at the hawk, first from 300 yards away, then from 75 yards. The 10th ball Isenhour hit killed the endangered hawk.
The bird is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Isenhour is facing 15 months in jail plus $1,500 in fines on two misdemeanor charges.
According to the AP, Isenhour issued a statement saying he was only trying to scare the bird away and is mortified that the bird died. He was formally charged Wednesday.
Definitely a lesson for golf tourists worldwide. A map of the golf course is embedded after the jump.
So Americans may be playing less golf, but that doesn't mean it's not a big, ahem, driver of tourism. And now that Fidel's on the way out--and Raul's in charge--at least a dozen golf-and-resort projects are underway around Cuba.
Seems the reason golf never caught on was Castro's taste in sports, though he did once play a game with Che Guevara, above:
Mr. Castro built a state-sponsored sports machine that produced world-famous boxers and baseball players, killer volleyball spikers and fleet-footed runners. But Mr. Castro was never keen on golfers, whose sport reeked of money and Yankee imperialism.
Today, there's only one nine-hole course in the capital, simply called the Havana Golf Club. Thanks to a pricey greens fee of 20 Cuban convertible pesos ($18) it draws more tourists than locals, and soccer great Diego Maradona has been spotted on the links. Also worth a trip is Varadero beach, where one 18-hole course is already open, and another resort is in the works.
[Photo: Alberto Korda]