Golf Card is committed to adding new, quality courses to its nationwide network. If there is a course you would like to see accept The Golf Card, please let us know by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to contact these courses and enroll them. Or, have the course call us at 1-800-321-8269.
Police are called to an apartment and find a woman holding a bloody
5-iron standing over a lifeless man. The detective asks, " Ma'am, is
that your husband?
"Yes," says the woman.
"Did you hit him with that golf club?"
"Yes, yes, I did." the woman begins to sob, drops the club and puts her hands on her face.
"How many times did you hit him?" asks the detective.
"I don't know, five, six, maybe seven times...just put me down for a five."
With five tournaments, four coming up in March, Florida is easily the state with the most PGA Tour action. It used to be said that the Tour didn't officially get started until it hit Florida. That's still essentially true as many of the world's best players don't really start their seasons until March.
If you've never been to a PGA Tour event, do yourself a favor and go. Not only is it a relaxing day that you can plot at your own leisure -- you will be amazed at what you see. These guys hit the ball so solidly and consistently, it's scary. And, unless you take in the full flight of their shots, you really can't appreciate it fully on television.
Here's a great travel idea: make plans to attend one or two days of one of the PGA Tour events in Florida and sandwich it around playing Golf Card courses nearby. After watching the best players, you'll surely want to get out there and play yourself.
The Golf Card offers some excellent venues within short driving distance of all of the Florida PGA Tour stops.
NEW The Quarry Golf Course (352-848-0018; golfthequarry.com) in Brookville (outside of Tampa) is a historic, scenic nine-hole executive course featuring seven par 3 holes and two par 4's. With several holes offering spectacular views of deep rock quarries left behind from old mining companies, this is a nine-holer that never gets old. Golf Card fee: 25% off.
Apollo Beach Golf Course (813-645-6212; apollobeachgolf.com) in Apollo Beach just a few miles east of Tampa is one of only two Robert Trent Jones Sr. signature courses on Florida's west coast. Apollo Beach is one of the first courses in Florida to use Paspalum grass, a special strain that thrives in saltwater areas. Refreshing breezes from the Gulf as well as water on every hole provide ample challenge. Large, well-bunkered greens provide enticing targets. Golf Card fee is 25% off.
Walden Lake Golf and Country Club (813-754-8575; waldenlakegolf.com): Two Ron Garl championship courses await at Walden Lake Golf & Country Club, just a few miles form Tampa in Plant City. The Hills Course is a par 72, 6,530 layout yard that features undulating fairways and large greens surrounding Walden Lake. The Lakes Course is a par 72, 6,561 yard layout that incorporates water on almost every hole, but also offers, wide, inviting fairways and greens. Golf Card fee is 20% off.
Rocky Point Golf Course (813-673-4316; rockypointgc.com) in Tampa is an enjoyable municipal course with very few water hazards, generous fairways and a good variety of holes. Well-manicured greens. Golf Card fee: $24-38.
Built in 1952, Rogers Park Golf Course (813-356-1670; rogersparkgc.com) has evolved into one of Tampa's best-kept secrets. The Hillsborough River, offering tranquility and an escape from busy city life, surrounds beautiful 160-acre facility on three sides. Home to one of the bay area's major golf tournaments, the Tampa City Amateur Medal Championship. Golf Card fee: $24-38.
Heritage Isles Golf Course (813-907-7447; heritageislesgolf.com) in Tampa is a challenging, manageable course for all levels. The landing areas off the tee are generous, but miss them and you'll likely end in the wetlands or water hazards. Water comes into play on almost every hole, but only if you are hitting the ball way off line. Perhaps the best part about Heritage Isles for Golf Card members is the price of greens fees are complimentary!
Cypresswood Golf and Country Club (863-324-6174; cypresswoodcc.com) in Winter is another Ron Garl treat. The spacious design of the course creates an open feeling with no adjacent fairways and every hole hidden from the others. A 45-minute drive from Orlando. Golf Card fee: 25% off.
About 30 miles northwest of Orlando in Tavares lies Deer Island Golf and Lake Club (352-343-7550; deerislandgolf.com) is a lush paradise in the middle of Central Florida. Deer Island is where Florida, golf and islands all come together in a private, peaceful and picturesque retreat. Deer Island is a true peninsula, wedged between lakes Dora and Beauclair. Inside its lakeside boundaries are 400 acres of spectacular natural habitats, including bald eagles perched atop towering pines and oaks.
Designer Joe Lee called Deer Lake "the most unique course he's ever designed." Not overly long, but tight in places. It's 137 slope rating is among the highest in the state. Don't fret though, three other sets of tees allow a wide array of playing options. The 17th and 18th holes hug the shores of Lake Dora and make a for a scenic finish. Golf Card fee is 50% off.
Just north of Orlando in Lake Mary, Timacuan Golf and Country Club (407-321-0010; golftimacuan.com) is traditionally ranked among the Top 20 courses you can play in central Florida. Originally designed by Ron Garl in 1987 and updated a few years ago by Bobby Weed, Timacuan sports a links-style front nine that sweeps across rolling terrain rarely found on Florida courses. The more confining back nine has a Carolinas feel with moss-draped oaks framing many of the holes. Also, scenic wetlands and hazards on seven of the nine holes come into play on the back. Golf Card fee: 50% off.
Also in Kissimmee, Remington Golf Club (407-344-4004; Remington-gc.com) is a 3-star favorite with locals and visitors alike. The visually-striking course features abundant water, generous landing areas walk-mown greens that are among the best in Orlando. Perhaps the main attraction at Remington is the All-U-Can rates which include unlimited range balls, golf and food at the clubhouse grill. Remington ranked No. 30 on Golf Traveler's Favorite 50 list. Golf Card fee: 25% off.
About 45 minutes east of Kissimmee in Palm Bay, The Majors Golf Club (321-952-8617; majorsgolfclub.com) is a semiprivate course, which welcomes Golf Card members with a generous savings during peak season. The Majors was designed through and around lakes, creeks, preservation areas and natural wetlands. Five minutes from I-95, The Majors is convenient from Vero Beach, Fort Pierce and Kennedy Space Center.
Unlike other golf courses in the area and further south, The Majors has rolling hills and trees reminiscent of the Carolinas. There are some spectacular golf holes on this golf course, No. 1, 5, 7, 14 and the par 3 15th island green are some of the best holes you'll play anywhere. Greens roll silky smooth. You'll know you're near the beach, the white sugar sand traps are perfect and there are several, The Majors has more bunkers than any other golf course in Brevard County. This is not a boring "out-and-back" golf course and it lives up to the excellence. Golf Card fee: $50 (Dec-Apr.); $25 (May-Oct.)
Sun 'n Lake Golf and Country Club (863-385-4830; sunlakegolfclub.com) also offers two 18-hole courses with in-season discounts of up to $11 for Golf Card members. The newer Turtle Run layout, which opened in 1999, squeezes fairways with many moguls and deep sand traps. It was built in the middle of a "Scrub Jay Preservation Area" providing sanctuary for that protected bird.
The Deer Run course is longer and well-protected by low-hanging trees, numerous greenside and fairway bunkers, pot bunkers, lakes and doglegs. Over the years, Deer Run has hosted many mini-tour events. Golf Card fee: $39 (Jan-Apr. 16); $23 (Apr. 17-Sep. 23); $33 (Oct-Dec.).
Conveniently located just off I-95 and ten minutes from the World Golf Village, Cimarrone Golf Club (904-287-2000; cimarronegolf.com) is a favorite among Jacksonville residents and tourists alike. The combination of service, conditioning and a playable, target-design provide an enjoyable experience for golfers of all abilities. Advanced players will appreciate numerous risk-reward opportunities provided by strategically placed bunkers and a water or marsh feature on every hole. Golf Card fee: 25% off.
From a blank canvas of ordinary timber and wetlands, renowned Florida designer Bobby Weed created two distinct nines at The Golf Club at Fleming Island (904-269-1440; flemingislandgolf.com) just outside of Jacksonville. The front nine is open, with waste areas and wetlands creating a links feeling. The back nine has been carved out of standing timberland, providing a more confined atmosphere amidst natural terrain. Berms and moguls, creating several blind shots, interrupt line of sight to many greens. Water is abundant, but rarely comes into play. Green side bunkers are prevalent, but not intimidating. Golf Card fee: $10 off.
Eagle Marsh Golf Club (772-692-3322; eaglemarsh.com) in Jensen Beach is a well-maintained Tom Fazio design called a "little known jewel" by Golf Digest. The secluded holes and plush conditions give Eagle Marsh a private course feel. Two for one fee for Golf Card members.
Palm Beach Gardens Golf Club (561-626-7888; gardensgolf.com) in Palm Beach Gardens is among the best public courses in the Palm Beach area. Carved out of the Loxahatchee Natural Preserve, this 18-hole layout puts you at nature's front door and within its borders. Hovering southern pines, while swamplands and other water hazards are always close by pinches the fairways. The best advice: accuracy over distance. Golf Digest best described Palm Beach Gardens as "a great setting with lots of trouble." Golf Card fee is $45 (Nov -Apr. 14; $22 Apr. 15-Oct. 31).
Deer Creek Golf Club (954-421-5550; deercreekflorida.com) in Deerfield Beach is an Arthur Hills design that received a $2 million renovation about five years ago. The undulating and rolling landscape is unique to South Florida. Golf Card members save 20%.
In Plantation, venerable Jacaranda Golf Club (954-472-5836; golfjacaranda.com) has benefitted from a $10 million facelift to match its classically designed courses with today's high-powered equipment. The West Course puts a premium on ball control, forcing players to avoid lagoons, challenge doglegs and skirt fairway bunkers that pinch landing areas. The East Course received $5 million to install new turf, irrigation, drainage and cart paths. The latest in Tif-Dwarf greens affords players the best putting surfaces available. And Golf Card's $10 savings, makes playing Jacaranda more affordable.
The Presidential Country Club (305-935-7500; presidentialcc.com) in North Miami Beach is built on one of the highest spots in the southern part of the state. This Tommy Fazio design is framed by native oaks, gumbo-limbo and ficus trees. Tight fairways, mounded hills, water and sand provide plenty of obstacles. Conveniently located just off I-95. Excellent Golf Card value at up to $9 off regular rate.
The Golf Card's southernmost course, Costa Greens Golf Club (305-592-3300; costagreens.com) in Miami offers a very inviting 2-for-1 fee. Five par fives, five par threes and eight par fours make for a fun configuration.
Three-time major champion Padraig Harrington has been on the comeback trail over the past year and he credits his use of the Golf Swing Shirt as one of the reasons. The Golf Swing Shirt is a patent- and trademark-pending golf swing trainer that is changing the way golfers learn, practice, and play golf. To use The Golf Swing Shirt, golfers slip it on over their shirts and insert their arms in the center trunk sleeve. The shirt is designed to fit more snug than a customary shirt, which helps promote the feeling of body "connection" as you are swinging the club.
This "connection" is what most great ball strikers feel and is the key to consistency. The structure of the shirt and proprietary compression fabric immediately instills "connection" and muscle memory.
Legendary instructor Jimmy Ballard calls The Golf Swing Shirt the best teaching aid he's seen in 45 years of teaching. "Nothing will get you hitting the ball better as quickly as this," said Ballard.
For more information on the Golf Swing Shirt, visit www.golfswingshirt.com.
The common perception is that because major league baseball didn't start testing for steroid use until 2003 and didn't impose any penalties for positive results until 2005, that it was okay to use them until then. Not true. In 1991, then commissioner Fay Vincent sent a memo to all major league clubs and players indicating that steroid use was illegal.
Unfortunately, there was no iron-clad way to prove it and even if it did come out that someone was using steroids illegally, there was no real punishment. It was more scare tactic and a matter of getting some type of policy on the public record.
So any player who used steroids from 1991 until 2003 and claims that it was allowed is not telling the truth. Which seems to be the biggest crime involved with steroid use in any era -- lying about its use.
I always wondered how much of an impact steroids could have on an athlete. I didn't know because I never took anything while I was playing high school and college sports. To be honest, the only kind of performance-enhancing substance I ever came across were pep pills. I knew a few athletes who took them and if anything, the energy lift derived from it was negated by the jumpiness that seemed to be a side effect.
When I saw the transformation of Barry Bonds, I didn't know what to make of it. Sure, he puffed up like the Michelin man, but even so, I thought you still have to great instincts and timing to hit major league pitching. Little did I realize that steroid use not only builds muscles but confidence as well. For Bonds, that was the real edge he gained. Because his whole body felt stronger, his mind did too. He was convinced that no pitcher could get anything by him. And they didn't.
But it wasn't until this fall at a golf tournament in New Jersey that I saw first-hand what the total effect of steroid use can mean. I was playing in the Bergen Amateur and was paired with a guy I hadn't seen in 14 years. The last time we played was in the New Jersey Mid-Amateur and he was a skinny kid with a lot of game and a fantastic short game. He hit it pretty long, but so did I back then and we were about even off the tee.
When I arrived at the course, I was looking for "Ed" so we could ride together on the same cart. But I couldn't find him. Actually I should say I didn't recognize him. When Ed finally spotted me and said his name, I was floored. He was huge -- totally buffed up, or so I thought. I didn't really get a chance to ask him what was going on because we were heading to the tee.
After four holes of Ed outdriving me and the other two players in our group by a good 50 yards; and after reaching a 585-yard, waterlogged, uphill par-five in two with a utility club, I jokingly blurted out to Ed, "I want a urine sample!"
Without hesitation, Ed replied, "it will come back positive. I've been on steroids for a medical condition for the past year. That's why I look like this."
Well, that explained just about everything -- his bulky appearance, his enormous drives and also his anxiousness. When I asked him, do you feel differently, he said: "It's like something takes over your body. It's almost like you have no control -- that this outside force is in charge."
Wow! For the first time, I was witnessing and hearing about the full impact of steroids from somebody on them. While Ed's newfound power and strength was shocking, at the end of the day he only beat me by one stroke. Despite the distance gained from the steroids, Ed lost his touch. His short game and putting had suffered considerably since being on steroids -- while the rest of his body gained mass, so did his hands. And with that, Ed lost some feel.
In his case, he really had no choice. He was on steroids because he needed to be. But as Ed told me, "you don't want to be on this stuff. It changes who you are."
Situation: Though we've all taken our share, mulligans (or do-overs off the first tee) are still against the rules. But do-overs in other rare situations are permitted/mandated according to the Rules of Golf. Those situations are:Rule:
I've been told to try and keep my left arm straight during the backswing, but what about my right arm? Should I try and keep that straight as well?Craig Pierce
Excellent question, Craig. The straight left arm gets a lot of
attention from instructors, but the reality is a straight right arm
on the backswing is equally important. Bending the right arm or
elbow at address usually leads to a shortened swing with a narrow
arc. The effect is a powerless golf swing, which is prone to
By keeping your right elbow extended as much as possible from address through the first two feet or so of the backswing, you are in effect lengthening your right arm, which is crucial to creating a wide enough swing arc to generate power.
If you have a swing problem or other flaw with your game, e-mail us at email@example.com. Please include a brief description of what your tendencies are, what you want fixed and our Instructional Staff will consider your submission for response.