Friday, August 05, 2011

Best Golf Courses You Can Play

The areas of the US that I handle for Golf Zoo are Alabama (RTJ Golf Trail), Florida and Mississippi (Gulf Coast/Biloxi). I will include all the courses that I sell in these particular areas, along with any personal comments or suggestions. The courses will be in order of how they are rank in the state.


* Farmlinks at Pursell Farms
  • Golfweek - Best courses you can play (No. 1 in Alabama)
  • Golf Digest - Best places to play 2008-09, 4 1/2 stars
  • Lodging on site - 4 bedroom cottages that will sleep 8 guys
  • Located 45 minutes SE of Birmingham
*Ross Bridge - Birmingham
*Grand National (Lake) - Auburn
*The Shoals (Fighting Joe) - Muscle Shoals
*Timberline - Birmingham
*Grand National (Link) - Auburn
*Cambrian Ridge (Sherling/Canyon) - Greenville


*TPC Sawgrass (Players Stadium) - Ponte Vedra Beach
  • Home of the Players Championship
  • Number 18 on the list of top courses in the US
  • One of my favorites that I have the opportunity to sell
  • Stay and Play property - 4 other courses to choose from staying at facility
*World Woods (Pine Barrons) - Brooksville
  • Number 43 on the list of top courses in the US
  • Located 1 hour from either Tampa or Orlando
*PGA National Resort and Spa (Champion) - Palm Beach Gardens
  • Home of the PGA Tour Honda Classic
  • Stay and Play property, 4 other courses on site
*Bay Hill Club - Orlando (stay and play property)
- Home of PGA Tour Bayhill Invitational
*Sugarloaf Mountain Golf and Town Club - Minneola
*Juliette Falls GC - Dunnellon
*World Woods (Rolling Oaks) - Brooksville
*Ocean Course at Hammock Beach - Palm Coast (stay and play property)
*Doral Golf Resort & Spa (TPC Blue Monster) - Miami
  • Home of the PGA Tour World Golf Championship
  • U.S. Top Ten Golf Resorts (#7) - Travel + Leisure Golf
  • Top 75 Golf Resorts in North America (#72) - Golf Digest
  • 4 other courses on site
*Walt Disney World Resort (Magnolia) - Lake Buena Vista
*Southern Dunes GC - Haines City
*Fairmont Turnberry Isle (Soffer) - Aventura (stay and play property)
*Victoria Hills - Deland
*Fairmont Turnberry Isle (Miller) - Aventura (stay and play property)
*Lake Jovita (North) - Dade City
*Villa's of Grand Cypress (New Course) - Orlando
  • Top 50 Resort Course 2010 - Golf World
  • Nine-time Golf Magazine Gold Medal Award Winner
  • 45 holes on site designed by Jack Nicklaus
*Reunion Resort (Independence) - Orlando (stay and play property)
  • Fantastic 54 hole facility
  • Numerous lodging options onsite from 2 bedroom villa up to 8 bedroom private home
*Innisbrook (Copperhead) - Palm Harbor (stay and play property)
  • Top 100 you can play - Golf Magazine
  • Home of PGA Tour Transitions Championship
  • Three other courses on site
*Waldorf Astoria GC - Orlando
*TPC Sawgrass (Valley) - Ponte Vedra Beach
*Tiburon (Black) - Naples


*The Preserve GC - Vancleave
  • Best New Courses 2008 (#6) - Golfweek
  • America's Best New Courses 2007 (#6) - Golf Digest
*Shell Landing - Gautier
*The Bridges GC at Hollywood Casino - Bay St. Louis
*The Oaks - Pass Christian

Majority of the courses on this list I have played and I agree with all the rankings. Golf Zoo has access to all these courses mentioned above. Rates for these course vary. One rule of Thumb when looking at putting a golf package together:

Rates for most of these courses will be affected by the time of year and weather. When the weather is not good in the northern part of the US (winter), you can count on the prices being higher, in the golf areas where the weather is nicer. Summer in these areas is by far the least expensive time to play, especially in Florida. The shoulder season which is usually October thru December, is less expensive than the peak season - January thru April.

I hope this information has been helpful for our Blog readers. I would be happy to set up a package for any of these courses on the list and the areas where they are located. Please call me at 888.333.6103 or email me at to set up a golf package.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Golf in Bermuda

Great golf in Bermuda!
Sunshine, golf, beaches, blue skies… this is the way of the Bermuda Islands…and Golf Zoo’s Carribean sales manager, Shelley Quinn was lucky enough to spend time in June playing all of the courses and visiting a variety of Hotels.
With a perfect climate for golf from April through November, Bermuda is a hidden jewel high in the Caribbean.
Bermuda offers a distinct British feel (get ready to drive on the left & look both ways before crossing the street!!), and some old, established courses; golf in Bermuda is an experience that you don’t get elsewhere.
There are 9 great courses to choose from in this small grouping of Islands…the highest concentration of golfing opportunities per square mile anywhere in the world!
Let's start with the oldest private club in the Island, Riddle’s Bay. Now open to the public, this course still retains the ‘old British’ feel, and boasts stunning views over the ocean, and has undergone numerous transformations over the years. Located towards the mid to western end of the Island, this course meanders along a narrow peninsula, surrounded by the azure blue ocean.
Close by is Belmont Hills, another understated but highly enjoyable & challenging course, with exceptional views along the back 9, bunkered with fast, multi-tiered greens. Open for golf since 1907, the course has undergone many changes, with a major overhaul and redesign in 2002.
Port Royal Golf Club is one of Bermudas finest public courses, and host for the 3rd consecutive year to the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in October. This Trent Jones course has also undergone extensive renovations, with new tees, bunkers and greens just a part of the redesign. With stunning views over the Ocean on several holes, this was my favorite course in Bermuda.
When you’re ready for a shorter golf-day (maybe some afternoon beach time), the Fairmont Southampton boasts one of the finest par 3 courses in the world, featured by Golf Digest as one of the best places to play golf in 2002. This is a tough course, and those who think that it will be a bore will be very surprised by the challenging layout and superb views.
Two of the oldest and most renouned courses lie side by side in the Tuckers Town. The Mid Ocean Club was built in 1921 by architect Charles Blair Macdonald and renovated in the 1950’s has been on the PGA tour and obtained a ranking in the top 50 courses in the world outside of the US.
The nearby Tuckers Point course is one of the most scenic courses you will ever play, with all 18 holes offering spectacular views, and has been selected ini the tow 3 ‘Best golf resorts and best restaurants in the Caribbean’ by readers of Travel and Leisure golf. Following your round, make sure to visit the luxurious clubhouse, where you can relax on the terrace overlooking the 18th hole, or have a cold beverage in the bar.
So many fantastic course, beaches, bars, restaurants and the scenic historic cites of Hamilton and St Georges (settled in 1612!!), Bermuda has something to offer all golfers, beach lovers and culture seekers.
Call Shelley at Golf Zoo to set up your Bermuda get-away.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Golf Myths Busted

Folks are very fond of myths. It's quite puzzling how we, though knowing they're not entirely true, still follow them. It could be because that's what we're used to doing, or we're afraid of some odd consequences if we don't follow them.

Even in things where there are a given set of rules, some myths exist. Just like golf.

Golf is a very technical game. Golfers play according to the rulebook, but unknown to some, they practice things they thought are part of the rules but in actuality are not.

Here are some of the most common golf myths:

1. Using a rangefinder is permitted by the Rules during play - You must be using this distance measuring device. However, Rule 14-3 bars strictly prohibit their use unless the Committee has acted even though in typical games, the Committee allows the use of such devices but with restrictions.

2. Before starting a new hole with a different ball, you must first inform your opponent in match play or your fellow competitor in stroke play – Players do this to show kindness but technically speaking, there are no rules that say you have to do this. It’s a bad idea to inform them in case they question you if the given ball is yours or not.

3. If anyone else replaces the ball, the player is penalized. Other than the player, if a person marks and lifts a player’s ball on the putting green, he must replace it – This is completely untrue. Under the Rule 20-3, the player, his partner, or the person who marked and lifted the ball - must replace it. If any person aside from the three replaces the ball, the player should correct the mistake or else, he will be penalized.

4. A ball is not back in play when it is replaced on the putting green until the ball marker is removed – False. Actually, as soon as the ball is replaced, it is back in play. The marker is useless when the ball has been replaced. Professional golfers leave the marker in place then swindle with the orientation of the ball – but this is an acceptable procedure. However, after having been replaced, if the ball is blown away from the marker, it should be played from its new position.

5. The type/brand of ball you use to start your round must also the same type/brand of ball for the whole round – This is true only when the “one ball rule” is applied. But this is almost never in effect for any game except only during PGA Tour and other events for skilled players.

Watching golf on TV or observing how others do it could be helpful in improving one's play. The danger in it lies only in the possibility of copying the wrong practices. Though they're not necessarily harmful, they are unnecessary and a waste of time. But don't fret. Even experienced golfers follow these myths. That's why it is important to not only have SKILLS in the sport, but KNOWLEDGE as well.