ClubCorp Blog

Vista Vallarta Club de Golf received quite the honor recently when Golfweek magazine named the Club’s two golf courses to its 2014 list of the best golf courses in the Caribbean and Mexico! Vista Vallarta’s Nicklaus Signature Course nabbed the No. 8 spot, and the Weiskopf Signature Course was named No. 17 on Golfweek’s list.

Golfweek’s No. 8 Course: Nicklaus 

Grassy hillsides, dense forests of palm and giant ficus trees, natural creeks and arroyos provide the perfect setting for this world-class course by one of the world's greatest players. Situated on the Club’s highest elevation, the Nicklaus Course boasts stunning views of Puerto Vallarta, the Marina and Banderas Bay.

Vista-Vallarta-Golf-Course-3

Golfweek’s No. 17 Course: Weiskopf 

Mr. Weiskopf masterfully blended the elevations and natural features into an incredibly playable experience, from the first tee to the green of the “driveable" 18th hole. The course is located on the property’s lower west end and the terrain includes dense jungles, deep ravines and swift creeks.

weiskopf-18

With summer just around the corner and great stay-and-play rates available, it’s the perfect time to venture south of the border and discover this true golfer’s paradise.

So what are you waiting for? Book your Mexican golf getaway and experience Vista Vallarta’s distinguished courses today!

For those of you up north, try for a second to ignore the winter storms you're enduring and let your mind wander to a more peaceful place. Spring is near, which means you'll be able to hit the course for a round of golf before you know it!

Chances are if you're a golf lover, you're familiar with Firestone Country Club in Akron, OH. This club has hosted many PGA tournaments over its lifetime, most recently the annual Bridgestone Invitational. PGATour.com put together a video of the 10 best shots in the history of Firestone from some of the greatest who have played the game, and we think they nailed it.

Check out the video above and enjoy!

Every golf course is unique. The bends of the fairway, unforgiving bunkers, water hazards, and quality and contours of the green makes each course special in its own way. It’s fun to explore a course and become familiar with its properties, but nothing compares to your first tee off at a new, unfamiliar course.

Chris Maynord from Austin, TX knows that feeling all too well. In June of 2013, Chris traveled to Scotland to play at the infamous Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland. For most, simply being able to make this trip and visit Carnoustie would make for a successful journey. However, there was another reason why this trip was special for Chris. After nailing his final putt on hole 18 of Carnoustie, Chris had reached the remarkable milestone of playing his 500th unique golf course.  That’s right, his 500th unique golf course! 

When Chris began playing golf with his childhood friends at age twelve, he had no idea it would be such a big part of his adult life. Now, some 55 years later, Chris has played his favorite game in 28 states and 5 foreign countries, all leading up to his “golf trip of a lifetime” last June at Carnoustie.

While the list of courses played over his lifetime certainly includes the obscure, it also includes well-known courses such as St. Andrews, Whistling Straits, Pine Valley, Bandon Dunes, and Augusta National. There was also a seven-year period in which Chris lived in Nigeria, Russia, and China due to his career in agribusiness. This chapter of his life allowed Chris to play at some exotic courses including Ikoyi Club in Lagos, Nigeria, the Moscow Country Club in Russia, and the coastal Shilorean Club in Qingdao, China.

Chris Maynord at St. Andrews

Chris on Swilican Burn Bridge on the Old Course at St. Andrews.

Chris has accrued many wonderful memories throughout his golf career, but one of his fondest is from a time when he was spectating, not playing. In 1988, Chris was attending the Masters in Augusta when he spotted Sandy Lyle at the practice range. Chris was fortunate enough to chat with him for a bit about a tournament in Nigeria in which Chris had played and Sandy had won ten years prior. As the start of the tournament was nearing, Chris wished Sandy good luck and went on his way. Chris was about to witness history. Sandy Lyle’s infamous bunker shot on the final hole set him up for a birdie putt to end the tournament, making him the first Briton to wear the green jacket. 

Golf has given Chris many incredible experiences and numerous friendships over his lifetime. His milestone of playing at 500 unique courses is a testament to his dedication and love for the game of golf. It doesn’t seem he is slowing down either. Since June, Chris’s total has risen to 508 unique courses played, 25 of which are in the ClubCorp network!

At 67 years old, Chris has his eyes set on one day being able to “shoot his age.” In the meantime, we would like to congratulate Chris Maynord on his outstanding achievement of golfing at 500+ unique courses and wish nothing but the best for him as his journey continues.

ClubCorp’s newest golf tournament is just around the corner! The inaugural Puerto Vallarta Couples Best Ball challenge will take place February 20 – 23, 2014. 

Participants will enjoy three nights at the luxurious Casa Velas Hotel Boutique & Beach Club, three rounds of golf at beautiful Marina Vallarta and Vista Vallarta, complimentary meals and cocktail parties, airport and golf course ground transfers as well as a welcome gift bag! Not to mention the not-to-be-missed opportunity to experience outstanding golf in a lush, tropical private haven. 

With three distinct courses, tournament participants will truly enjoy a golf experience like none other. Marina Vallarta’s Joe Finger-designed golf course allows you to feel the breeze of the ocean amidst the natural beauty of the Mexican tropic, and Vista Vallarta’s Nicklaus course features lush, rolling terrain while the Weiskopf course boasts a dense jungle terrain.

After a day of incredible golf, competitors will relax in true Mexican luxury at Casa Velas Hotel Boutique & Beach Club, whose elegant, boutique-like atmosphere is perfectly complemented by a garden setting and the surrounding Marina Vallarta golf course.

It’s going to be an incredible tournament with great competition and all the beauty of a lush, tropical paradise. The only question is…have you started packing yet?

Contact Kathy.Walker@ClubCorp.com for registration information.

There’s a new tournament in town!

Oak-Tree-East-#14

Conference USA announced yesterday that it will hold its 2014 Men’s Golf Championship at ClubCorp’s Oak Tree Country Club in Edmond, Oklahoma. 

The tournament will take place April 27 – 29 on Oak Tree’s fierce East Course, a 7,100-yard championship layout designed by the legendary Pete Dye. Scattered with bunkers, the East Course’s challenging landscape has crowned champions like Bob Tway, Gil Morgan, David Edwards, Todd Hamilton and Lucas Glover.

The course’s signature hole is the #16 – a par-4 neighbored by a daunting water hazard down the entire left side of the fairway; a true embodiment of the East Course’s relentless intensity. 

If anyone is fit to take on the challenge, it’s the men of Conference USA. We look forward to welcoming them to Oak Tree Country Club in April.

From January 1st  to today, 2013 has been a great year for ClubCorp! For our final blog post of the year, we wanted to highlight 13 great events that happened this past year.  

1) Cherry Valley Country Club, Oak Tree Country Club and Chantilly National Golf & Country Club were added to the ClubCorp family.

2) The first major of the LPGA Tour in 2013, The Kraft Nabisco Championship, was held at Mission Hills Country Club

3) Las Colinas Country Club hosted President George W. Bush’s Warrior Open.

4) The Carolina Club opened their doors to University of North Carolina students who were on campus on Thanksgiving.

5) Matt Ginella journeyed to Vista Vallarta Club de Golf to showcase the club in his Golf Channel show Morning Drive.

6) Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club hosted a record-setting Charity Classic event by raising roughly $167,000.

7) Avid Golfer magazine recognized 12 ClubCorp clubs in its "2013 Best of The Private Clubs" list: Stonebriar Country Club, Gleneagles Country Club, Timarron Country Club, Las Colinas Country Club, Stonebridge Ranch Country Club, Trophy Club Country Club, Brookhaven Country Club, Hackberry Creek Country Club, Canyon Creek Country Club, Walnut Creek Country Club, Oakmont Country Club and Shady Valley Golf Club.

8) Gainey Ranch Golf Club raised more than $110,000 for the Yarnell community and the Granite Mountain HotShots to benefit the families of the fallen.

9) Tiger Woods claimed his 8th Bridgestone victory at Firestone Country Club.

10) Santiago “Jimmy” De La Cruz, executive chef at the Club at Cimarron, was named "2013 Chef of the Year" by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Texas Chef Association.

11) Oak Tree Country Club’s team won the Acura ClubCorp Champions Classic.

12) ClubCorp CEO Eric Affeldt shaved his head to raise awareness and funds for the St. Baldricks Foundation and the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

13) Brookhaven Country Club’s Jordan Spieth won the John Deere Classic at age 19.

See you next year! 

Emmitt Smith, eight-time Pro Bowler and four-time First Team All-Pro and Hall of Famer is at it again…but this time off the football field! Emmitt and his wife Pat care deeply about underprivileged kids' futures, which led them to create the Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities “which offer kids education and experiences that broaden their opportunities for success.”

golf-challenge

To help raise awareness and funds for their organization, the Smiths will host seven qualifying golf tournaments around the country, evaluating a team’s “fundraising skills[and]…golf ability.” At the end of the qualifying rounds, “the highest fundraising team and the best golfers from each tournament will be invited to the Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational” in Dallas in May. 

ClubCorp is a proud sponsor of The Emmitt Smith Golf Challenge, and will host the seven qualifying rounds on the following dates:

-        The Clubs of Kingwood — January 20, 2014

-        The Hills of Lakeway — March 3, 2014

-        Tampa Palms Country Club — March 12, 2014

-        Queen’s Harbor Yacht & Country Club — March 17, 2014

-        Bear’s Best Atlanta — March 25, 2014

-        Las Colinas Country Club — March 31, 2014

-        Haile Plantation — April 14, 2014 

(Quotes courtesy of www.emmittsmithgolfchallenge.com)

To many, golf is just a game. To those who know it best, however, it is microcosm of life. At its essence, golf is an individual in pursuit of, over 9 or 18 holes, being the best he or she can be on that day. Golf encompasses many of the same decisions and dynamics we face in any given day: showing up, selecting the right tool for the task, balancing risk vs. reward, conduct with dignity and proper etiquette, playing fair, having fun and finishing no matter what challenges were faced. Because golf is in so many respects akin to life, quotes about the game often hold wisdom that can apply off the course as well. Here are ten of our favorite quotes about golf that also apply to every day life.

Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots - but you have to play the ball where it lies. - Bobby Jones 

It's a funny thing, the more I practice the luckier I get. - Arnold Palmer

The most important shot in golf is the next one. - Ben Hogan

It takes hundreds of good golf shots to gain confidence, but only one bad one to lose it. - Jack Nicklaus 

Missing a short putt does not mean you have to hit your next drive out of bounds. - Henry Cotton 

Keep your sense of humor. There's enough stress in the rest of your life not to let bad shots ruin a game you're supposed to enjoy. - Amy Alcott 

One of the most fascinating things about golf is how it reflects the cycle of life. No matter what you shoot - the next day you have to go back to the first tee and begin all over again and make yourself into something. - Peter Jacobsen 

Golf is about how well you accept, respond to, and score with your misses much more so than it is a game of your perfect shots. - Dr Bob Rotella 

Forget your opponents; always play against par.- Sam Snead

As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round. - Ben Hogan

Heather LeMaster, Assistant Golf Professional at Granite Bay Golf Club, won the Re/Max World Long Drivers Women's Division Championship in Mesquite, NV, beating out the previous two-time champion. LeMaster's victory drive was 306 yards, but her qualifying shot was even more impressive as she nailed it for a whopping 330 yards!

Heather LeMaster

Below are the full results.

Masters Division

Rick Barry - 334
Steve Clement - 324
Rick Scott - 295

Women's Division

Heather LeMaster - 306
Sandra Carlborg - 302
Jessica Wallstrom 282

Grand Championship Division

Bobby Wilson - 365
Pat Dempsey - 354 

Super Seniors Division 
Pat Dempsey - 359
Tom Garber - 352

Legends Division

Miguel Jaime - 340
Rick Barry - 338

Senior Dvision

Stephen Kennedy - 369
James East - 343 

Competitors now have their sights on qualifying for the October Eight. The event will take place at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 30 and will be broadcasted on the Golf Channel. The winner takes home a grand prize of $250,000.

Apparently the PGA is just as impressed with Tiger Woods' 2013 season as we are. Last week, Woods was given the 2013 PGA Tour Player of the Year Award for the 11th time. Out of 16 tournaments, he won 5 along with finishing in the top 10 in three others. 

His tournament wins came from the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Farmers Insurance Open, Players Championship, Cadillac Championship, and the Bridgestone Invitational.  

Woods has won the award more than anyone since it first started being handed out in 1990. The two men tied for second-most aren't even close to Woods, as they have both been given the award twice (Fred Couples and Nick Price). Woods commented on his accomplishment.

"I had a number of chances to win some tournaments. I won five, which is, I think, a pretty good year. I've done that a few times over the course of my career. I wish I would have been a little more consistent in some of the events, but overall, at the end of the day, to add to the win total for the year, it's always a good thing."

Woods hopes to carry his momentum into the 2014 season.

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