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Friday, May 30, 2014

Golf Course Review - Grand Bear - MS

The Gulf Coast of Mississippi has become one of the top destinations for casino golf courses. Today's review is from Grand Bear Golf Course in Saucier, Mississippi.

Opened in 1999 Grand Bear is a Harrah's Gulf Coast golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus. Widely considered to be among one of the Gulf South's most spectacular courses, Grand Bear Golf Course is the first of all casino's in the area to have it's own golf course for its guest.

Grand Bear has one of, if not, the best drive to a golf course you can have. The course sits in Mississippi's De Soto National Forest and the six mile drive to the golf course entrance is through the towering pines of this forest and is breathtaking. This drive leads you to one of the most unique clubhouse designs of the Gulf Coast where you are greeted by a friendly and professional staff ready to grab your bags and get you ready for golf.


Once you step foot in this spectacular clubhouse you know you are in store for a special day. With all the amenities one can think of, Grand Bear has them pretty much all covered. These amenities include, a full service Bar and Grill, full men's and women's locker-rooms, with showers, and a fully stocked pro shop. 

As you check in for your tee time the staff at Grand Bear shows you what southern hospitality is all about. They truly make sure you have everything you need before you get your round started asking if you have tee's, a glove, sunscreen etc... 

Before getting your round of golf underway there is a massive putting and chipping green situated perfectly between the clubhouse and full driving range. The real treat of the practice areas is that they are exactly the conditions you will find out on the course itself. 



Once you make it to the first tee if you are ready to take on the "Bear". The course itself is a Par 72 that stretches to over 7,200 yards. Surrounded by nothing but the natural beauty of the DeSoto National Forest and  The Big Biloxi and Little Biloxi Rivers, you couldn't ask for a more serene setting for golf. One may even see the occasional deer roaming the property or a hawk or two flying overhead. 


 The course is kept in pristine condition with each hole being as consistent as the previous one. The course boast wide fairways and fairly large greens making this a course for the high and low handicappers alike to enjoy. The greens roll true and are kept at a medium to fast speed to keep the game enjoyable for everyone. With natural hazards being abundant, Mr. Nicklaus did a great job in the placement of bunkering on the golf course. There are many bunkers, but they are all playable and not many of them get in the way of being able to run a ball up to the hole. There are however a few holes that have some forced carries, but we also realized the tee box placement on these holes gives the golfer playing the correct tee the best chance to either hit over a hazard or to position their tee shot so the carry in the fairway is more manageable. 




If you are Total Rewards Member, with Harrah's Gulf Coast, there is an added benefit to playing this golf course. Besides getting stay and play packages, you can use your rewards credits to pay for golf and any food or beverages you get in the clubhouse or you can add points to your card for every dollar you spend just as you do in the casino.

We could not speak highly enough about Grand Bear and we would recommend any golfer visiting the Gulf South to add this one to their list. The following is our rating for: Overall Experience, Course Conditions, Course Design, Value Received, Facilities, and Staff. A 0-10 point system is used with 10 being the highest and 0 being the lowest.
Overall Experience
9
Course Conditions
9
Course Design
9
Value Received
9
Facilities
8
Staff
9


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Junior Golf Camps and Their Benefits.

Well it's coming to that time of year when the kids will be out of school for the summer. What plans do you have for your child? Will he/she have activities to do while you are at work? This is where a Golf Junior Camp comes in handy. Besides giving your child a place to be while you work a Junior Golf Camp is much more than that. 

Most Junior Golf Camps all teach the same things no matter what type of Camp it is or what golf course it is at. Golf, we know is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear Junior Golf Camp. But other than learning golf what are the benefits of a Junior golf Camp?
  • The Teachings of the Game -  We all want our kids to develop into responsible adults.  The game of golf has at its core a standard of behavior that lends itself to positive development.  Personal skills such as honesty, integrity, courtesy and respect are all present in golf, regardless of the level of competition.  Golf teaches kids to use good judgment and be responsible for their actions.  It also encourages the highest level of sportsmanship.  What other sport allows you to call a penalty on yourself with examples of this very thing being demonstrated on the biggest stages of the game.
  • Exercise and Fitness -  It is estimated that 20 to 30 percent of children and adolescents in the U.S. are overweight. The physical and emotional issues that can result from childhood obesity are as staggering as the number itself.  Twenty years ago, golf and fitness were rarely uttered in the same sentence, but thanks to a new generation of golf professionals, strength, conditioning and nutrition are a significant part of golf instructional programs.  Would you rather have your son or daughter immersed in the latest video game or walking nine holes with the high school golf team?  As schools are reducing the time spent on physical fitness, it is crucial that kids avoid becoming couch potatoes when they are not in school.  Golf is a great low-impact way to develop the cardio activity, core stability, balance and focus that is necessary to function effectively from day-to-day and reduce the risk of health concerns.
  • Life and Social Skills - Through golf kids learn how to socialize with others as they make friends. Good communication is a very important life skill and one that is needed in golf. They are also taught respect, for themselves by following the proper dress code, having a positive attitude, and learning proper etiquette, as well as respect for others with safety, and being friendly, courteous, and helpful. All of theses skills will follow them throughout their lives. 

As added bonuses to what kids learn at a Junior Golf Camp they also make new friends and learn a game that through life can help with a college scholarship, make business contacts, and spend more time with family.


If you would like information about Junior Golf Camps in your area just look for golf courses in  you area and call and ask for information. If you live in or around the Tampa Florida area visit IMG Academy's Website - www.imgacademy.com For year round national programs in your area visit the First Tee Website - www.thefirsttee.org.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Is Fitness Important to Golf?

Golf Fitness is much more important than many think. Even with the new technology, it is very important to stay in shape if you want to play your best golf. However, golf fitness includes much more than just lifting weights and doing cardiovascular training. You need to focus on specific things that can help you more than, if you bulk up or gain incredible endurance.

Most golfers not at a professional level neglect the single most important part of your golf fitness. That one thing they neglect is, stretching. If the average golfer did nothing for their golf fitness except stretching it would help them immensely. Stretching alone can help more than most other fitness exercises. being more flexible helps you avoid injury as well as swing the golf club easier. Staying hydrated helps with flexibility. 

The top golfers take significant time to work on their flexibility. From yoga and other stretching routines to supplements they take that help their sports performance and their body move with ease. Some top golfers even endorse products for free that help them with their fitness routine. The one thing they all have in common however that every golfer should do is take 10 - 15 minutes every day before you play or practice to stretch. This will help you loosen up and loose muscles are better for golf than tight muscles. 

Fitness is also important in the golf swing in the areas of strengthening for the long term health of a golfer. Strong back muscles and joints can give a golfer a longer career of playing golf no matter what level of golfer you are. The golf swing is an unnatural move and puts a great amount of torque on the body. The importance of promoting healthy bone and joints in the body through strength exercises and stretching can not be stressed enough. 

The other major factor of fitness in golf is to maintain energy levels and stamina. Through proper fitness you can maintain your energy and stamina that allows you to play a round of golf without feeling tired after twelve or thirteen holes. 

Here is a step by step way to get started with golf fitness:

  1. Find the right supplements to help get your body ready for the fitness routine you are about to start. This can range from daily vitamins, energy, bone and joint health, to mental focus
  2. Start with basic stretching and cardiovascular workouts. This gets the body loose and gets your heart used to be elevated for longer periods of time. 
  3. Start your workout routine. you should start this off slow to not do any significant injury to yourself. Do not try to do to much right away. Stretching before a workout is just as important as it is before a round of golf. For a list of good workouts visit the Titleist Perfomace Institute's website.
Understanding how fitness in golf is important and how it can help you play better golf is the first step to not only improving your golf game, but your overall health as well. getting started is the hardest part, but once you do you will see a significant performance difference in your golf game.