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  1. I got a no-go from my pro on Camp Creek. Bummer. On the bright side, I got out of the round with my relatives so I can play where I want as a single (so I no longer have to worry about price or difficulty of the course). I'm going to try to get 3 rounds in now at Burnt Pine, Kelly Plantation and Windswept Dunes if I can get them booked. I appreciate the help.
  2. I took the plunge and tried the SF505X. I liked the feel of it right out of the box. I want to tinker with the swing weight a bit and get some launch monitor numbers and then I will post back.
  3. Sand Hollow - visually stunning and fun for all levels of golfer Mammoth Dunes - everyone in your group will probably shoot below their average score and no one will lose a ball
  4. I've never heard of a handicap restricted club. I've seen restrictions on the allowance to play certain tees by handicap and I've seen tournaments restricted by handicap, but never club membership. I will agree with several others that pace of play is WAAAY more important than handicap. There is a group of young men (early 20's) at my club that are low single digit handicaps and think they are tour players. They line up their one foot putts and consult their yardage books just like DeChamdouche. They routinely play in 4:30-4:45 in carts on a course that should be played in 3:45 in carts. Of course they are useless children of other members and don't even pay for their membership. Give me a higher handicap that keeps the pace of play any day.
  5. I'm heading there in a few weeks for a family function (wife's family). I have a few questions about the golf. First, I'm getting saddled with a her relatives for a round. I don't think two of the three are very good/have played much. I'm going to pay for the foursome because I don't want to play a $hitty course and I'm not certain what their budget is. At the same time, I don't want to stick them with something too tough for a higher handicap. I'm thinking the Links at Sandestin? I played it about 20 years ago and I seem to remember it being relatively nice and not too tough? Other suggestions? Second, I will get in about 3 rounds myself and would prefer to play a couple of the best courses in the area. It looks like maybe Raven, Kelly Plantation or Burnt Pine might be the best ones? Other suggestions? Also, private ones (that would be willing to give me a slot if the pro from my course called to set the tee time), would also be in play. Thanks!
  6. That's true. I believe the international squad would quite easily mop the floor with either the Euro or US squads......at least on paper. Of course on paper, the US should have won this one, that's why they play. Maguire looked like she would have won a stroke play event this week going away.
  7. Bend is a great golf trip. Given what you list about your group, Sunriver is your ticket with 3 courses plus lodging. Crosswater at Sunriver is a great course. The other courses would be fun for your group. Pronghorn is fun, but a little more expensive. We enjoyed it. I'd skip Tetherow for your group, it's on the tougher side golf wise. I'm not sure I would take 18 handicappers there. My group's handicaps range from 2-10+/-. I enjoyed playing there, but the higher handicaps in my group didn't fare well too well when we played Tetherow.
  8. Reed is good if you are a good golfer. He's a teaching pro in Florida and will be in SV through the end of September. Teegan is also pretty good (young guy).
  9. I would say many in our group agree with you. If you can lag putt you can play Mammoth Dunes and Sand Valley better than your home course most likely. I'm a big fan of both. It was fun shooting those low scores (for me at least), but I also enjoy a challenge. That's why I believe that when their new Lido course comes on line in 2022/2023 (which is supposed to be much tougher than the other two) it will just make Sand Valley better as a destination. Something for everyone.
  10. My group of 12 just got back from there and I wanted to leave a formal review as I often check this forum as I plan our annual trips. About my group - This was our 27th year of our annual golf trip so we've been quite a few different places. Our handicaps range from 2 to 10 +/-. We played Sand Valley (3) times, Mammoth Dunes (3) times and the Sandbox once. We took caddies every round, but you can walk without caddies. We also made special ADA arrangements for a riding cart with a caddie for a couple rounds as one of our guys had his hip replaced in January. We aren't spring chickens anymore so we did not play the tips, but instead opted for the Orange tees which were in the 6,500-6,600 yard range. We stayed on property and due to the timing of the booking ended up with one of the 4 bedroom cottages, a couple single rooms and a few double rooms. Booking and Lodging - Pretty easy to book and the people are nice to work with. Like many of the top trips these days, you need to book this one at least a year out to ensure you can get the lodging and tee times you want (depending on the size of your group). We booked our trip about 11 months out and were already closed out of the 8 bedroom cottages and could not get the exact tee times we wanted (got very close though). The lodging is very nice and on par with what you will see at Bandon and Streamsong. Doubles aren't too bad at $175 night (plus fees and taxes) per person, but the single rooms sting a bit more at between $325 and $450 per night per person. Food and Staff - The food was surprisingly good. They have one "nice" restaurant on property and it wasn't 5 star by any means but it was good. The more "pub food" type stuff was very good and the stuff from the lunch place on the Sand Valley course and the food truck at the Sandbox was terrific for what it was and ridiculously inexpensive. We are talking $2 beers and $1.50 tacos. The people were extremely nice (what you would expect from a heartland destination) and well trained. Much better than Streamsong for example. They had shuttles running between the various places on property every 3 minutes so you never wanted for transportation from the various courses and the practice area. Right now, with only the two courses, you could pretty easily walk to everything you needed, but the final build out there is supposed to be 6 or 7 courses so this nice shuttle service will prove very important in the future. Golf - Our fees were $225 for the morning round and $112 for the replay rounds + caddie fees which were suggested at $100. The courses are links style and very "big" layouts. You will see many similarities between the Sand Valley courses and the ones at Streamsong and Bandon Dunes (for obvious reasons). There is no water on either course and you would have to hit a pretty atrocious shot to get one into the trees. We do a gag award each trip for the person who plays with the ball they start with the longest. We had to flip the award this trip to the person who lost a ball first. Only 2 of our group lost any balls on this trip at all. The courses are big fun for golfers of all levels, but compared to most of our trips, would be more enjoyable for higher handicaps. The fairways are WIDE, you have to really work at it to miss them. The greens are ridiculously large with lots of slope and everything plays very firm and fast. Sand Valley is the tougher of the two courses, but neither is too tough. I turn 53 years old this year and my handicap is typically between 2 and 4. I shot (+1, -2, even, +5, -4, & -4) for my six rounds which gives you some idea about how easy they play. The only round we had significant wind was the one I shot +5 so I suppose if the wind is up it will make a difference. That may be my only complaint though, that they didn't have a tougher course option as well. My understanding is the one currently under construction (that will open in either 2022 or 2023) will be much tougher than the original two. Overall, I can't say enough good things about Sand Valley. We will definitely come back in a few years when they get another couple courses built out. Of course, by then I expect the prices to get "built out" as well. As far as great guys golf trips in North America are concerned, my top 5 (in no particular order) are: Kohler Bandon Cabot Sand Valley Streamsong No, I didn't forget about Monterey, but it's stupid expensive these days and has a different (less appealing to me at least) feel to it than these places.
  11. We've done basically all of them. From the list of what you've done, Cabot Cliffs would be the top one in the east you are missing. Kiawah, Sea Island and Northern Michigan would be good. Casa De Campo in the Dominican is a good trip with 3 Dye courses on property including Teeth of the Dog (short-ish plane ride for you). If you don't want to go all the way to the West Coast, but are willing to go part way, The Prairie Club in Nebraska is good, as is the right combo of courses in Mesquite NV/St. George, Utah and Scottsdale is good.
  12. I really appreciate the info. I think we will try the cottage catered dinner at least once and plan to stay on property for the food. We are playing 36 a day for several days so quick and decent will cover all meals except dinner for sure.
  13. Pace of play and course conditions. If I had to play 5 hr rounds on the local public courses I would either not play much or quit the game completely.
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