Shag Bag – Spring 2007
Catching Up With Leon Wentz
Leon Wentz has released a book detailing his journey around the world to play Golf magazine’s “Top 100 Golf Courses in the World.” The book, which will hit store shelves June 1 serves as a journal describing not only the courses, but the adventure of international travel. The NCGA member (through Menlo CC and Cordevalle) first whetted his appetite for great golf courses by growing up in Palo Alto and playing Northern California’s great layouts.
After eight years and 326,000 miles of travel through five continents and 14 countries, the 69-year-old completed his quest in April, 2005 on Augusta National’s fabled 18th green. The book includes a detailed timeline of Wentz’s journey, as well as the author’s dream 18 holes culled from the top 100 list.
One of the most entertaining aspects of Wentz’s book is the various lists highlighting the superlatives of his journey. Northern California plays heavily in the book. Readers might be surprised to learn that the best drink of the top 100 courses is “Sam’s Special” at Cypress Point, and the most unpretentious locker room is housed at San Francisco Golf Club. On the opposite end of the scale, the worst finishing hole is awarded to Durban (South Africa) while the worst starting hole, according to Wentz, belonged to Royal Lytham.
After the books’ costs are covered, all net proceeds will go to The First Tee program.
Play Golf Anywhere – Now
For New Yorkers, making that starting time at Pebble Beach just got a lot easier.
Talon Air has created five golf getaway packages designed to whisk the golfer via charter flight to destinations such as Bandon Dunes, Kohler, Whistling Straits, Sea Island and Greenbrier.
But it is the $60,000 Pebble Beach getaway that is particularly eye-catching. For that price, a helicopter takes the golfer from downtown Manhattan to a local private airport on Long Island while couriers pick up luggage and golf clubs. On the private, chartered flight, hors d’oeuvres are served from one of New York’s top restaurants. Once on the ground, Talon Air will arrange all ground transportation and local reservations. The price of meals and accommodations is not included in the five-figure price tag.
Regardless of the travel package, with only an hour’s notice (and a deep pocket), one can fly anywhere in the world. For whimsical golfers who don’t like to plan ahead, nothing could be better. For more information, visit www.talonairjets.com.
Golf for Women’s Top 50 Teachers
Two Northern California women were named as Golf for Women’s Top 50 Teachers. The list was published in the March/April edition of the magazine. Pebble Beach Golf Academy’s Katherine Marren and Janet Coles of Mariner’s Point Golf Academy and Burlingame Golf Center not only maintained impressive multi-year streaks on the list but also represent two of only a few teachers recognized on the West Coast.
The chosen women must have at least 10 years teaching experience, be either a PGA or LPGA teaching or club professional and give a minimum of 10 lessons a week.
Marren, who served on the panel that developed the list and has been on every ranking since its inception, said, “The point of the list is to help female golfers find female teachers. This list is a service.”
“I’m honored to be on a list of great instructors,” Coles said. “I really work hard to get results with my students, and keeping them loving the game. I think all the women on that list do likewise.”
Harding Park Adds to its Resume
The President’s Cup is coming to Harding Park in 2009, representing the first time the biennial event has been played in the United States away from the Robert Trent Jones GC in Virginia. Plenty of talent will be on hand, as two 12-man teams representing the best golfers on the PGA Tour compete against the world’s best non-European players.
The public course, named for President Warren G. Harding, went through an extensive renovation in 2002, reopening in 2003 to high acclaim. The overhaul maintained the course’s routing, including the memorable 18th, a 440-yard par 4 that wraps around Lake Merced.
As the host venue for the San Francisco City Championship, one of the oldest and best-known municipal championships in the country, the course has also staged two U.S. Amateur Public Links Championships (1937, 1956). Harding took on additional tournament pedigree by hosting the 2005 American Express Championship, an event won by Tiger Woods in a playoff over John Daly.
Future events slated for Harding in the next several years include the Charles Schwab Cup, the season-ending tournament on the Champions’ Tour, as well as one of the PGA Tour’s new Fed-Ex Cup playoff events.