Thursday, April 30, 2009

Top-10 Golf Instructors and Where to Find Them

Hundreds of dollars per hour may not be in your budget for golf instruction (it's not in mine, never will be, even if Hank Haney's the teacher), but most top-instructors have their own, or they're at least associated with, academies you can visit. You can learn from other pros at the academies and many even have nice packaged deals. It may not be a cheap vacation, but you'll get some top instruction.

With the assistance of, I've put together the top-10 instructors and where you can find them.

1. Butch Harmon - Butch Harmon School of Golf, Rio Secco G.C., Henderson, NV, 702-777-2444

2, David leadbetter - David Leadbetter Golf Academy at ChampionsGate, Orlando, FL -, 407-787-3330

3. Hank Haney - Hank Haney Golf, Lewisville, TX -, 800-642-5528

4. Jim Mclean - Jim McLean Golf School at Doral Golf Resort & Spa, Miami, FL -, 305-591-6409

5. Jim Flick - TaylorMade Learning Center, Carlsbad, CA -, 888-546-3542

6. Chuck Cook - Chuck Cook Golf Academy at Barton Creek Resort & Spa, Austin, TX -, 800-336-6158

7. Jim Hardy - Jim Hardy Golf, Houston, TX -, 281-807-4176

8. Rick Smith - Rick Smith Golf Academy at Treetops Resort, Gaylord, MI -,

9. Stan Utley - Kostis McCord Learning Center at Grayhawk, Scottsdale, AZ -, 888-988-8539

10. Mike Bender - Mike Bender Golf Academy, Lake Mary, FL - 407-321-0444

Source:, "America's Fifty Greatest Teachers."

A Five-Star Fuselage Suite and Rainforest Golf in Costa Rica

A few days ago I tweeted about the awesome 727 Fuselage Suite at the Hotel Costa Verde near Quepos, Costa Rica, the exterior is shown in the image at right. One of my friends replied with, "Cool, but is there a golf course nearby." I admit, I hadn’t previously looked too closely at Costa Rican golf. I hadn’t even heard of Quepos before running across the 727 Suite on I’m so glad I took a look.

Costa Rica appears to be a tropical paradise and one of the few places, from an avid golfer’s point of view, where the golf would be a mere footnote to any vacation. But, the golf course at the Manuel Antonio Park, which is situated near the Hotel Costa Verde, could provide a unique view into both the rainforest and coastline. Nestled alongside an exotic rainforest with breathtaking ocean views, this 18-hole, par-72 championship course offers not only a challenging Ted Robinson-designed layout, but also a spectacular gallery featuring friendly monkeys and brightly hued macaws. The course’s golf guides can point out all the features, monkeys and all, that each golfer should see. With claims of mesmerizing scenery, wildlife, rainforest, coastline, who could concentrate on golf.

Just so you know, Quepos, or Puerto Quepos, is located near the center of Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast and drapes itself across a tropical inlet surrounded by primary rainforest. High season runs through the drier months of December to April, and particularly during the Festival del Mar, a month long party held each February that features concerts, sporting events, parades and a street carnival with dancers from across the Costa Rica.

The 727 Suite will cost you around $350 per night in the high season, around $300 during off-season. Not a bad price for a luxury hotel suite and luxury hotel. The other suites appear to be exquisitely appointed, as well.

Quite an enticing place. If I ever go, golf will be taking a backseat to the monkeys.

If you're interested planning a Costa Rica vacation, the people at AAA are always the best place to start.

Images courtesy Hotel Costa Verde.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Never Happen on a Guys Golf Trip

It's one of the funniest scenes of all-time, but relative to a guys golf trip, NEVER happen.

But, I think James Bond even said "Never say never."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Gorillapod Makes Camera Tripods a Thing of the Past

First off, I don't own one of these, yet. What a fantastic invention! It appears amateur vacation photography can now look a little more professional, without having to carry around a bulky tripod, thanks to the Gorillapod from Joby.

The model shown is Joby's Gorillapod SLR, which features sturdy, prehensile legs that help you get a steady shot in virtually any environment. Its compact size means it can go anywhere and everywhere, and the quick-release plate makes setup a snap. Whether you're shooting time-lapse photos with your SLR or capturing videos with your camcorder, according to Joby, the Gorillapod SLR is well-suited for the job.

There are several models of the Gorillapod, suited to everything from small, point-and-shoot cameras to larger professional video production.

I can't wait to try it. So, now I need to plan a new golf vacation and order the Gorillapod SLR.

Image courtesy of
Sheter Cove, Hilton Head Island

Shelter Cove is a great little section of the island. Great food, lots of shops, a toy store and a playground for the kids, nightlife for the older kids, just a great atmosphere.

Speaking of children, however, our experience with the Kingfisher Seafood and Steakhouse taught us a lesson. Although the KSS was a bit dated, it has a great view of the cove and live entertainment. Not much for children though.

Food, which was great, took a loooong time to arrive. With no kid menus, 30 minutes seemed like two hours.

The food mitigated the impact of the long wait, a little bit.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Kid-Friendly Hilton Head Island Lunch

As I sit here waiting for my family's takeout dinner, I'm recalling our recent trip to HHI. If you have small children and you are looking for a restaurant with something for everyone, try Aunt Chiladas, located near the Coligny area.

Mexican food? Yes. Italian food? Yes. American food? Yes. All reasonably priced.

If you have little children you'll also appreciate this: They're fast! We had our meals in just over five minutes.
Mobile Posting to Blog

Fantastic feature for users, and travel bloggers, mobile posting. This is my first one, but look for many more.

One problem I will have is a lot more misspellings.