Boulders—architects bulldoze them, blow them up and, every so often, leave them in play. Here are nine rockin' courses that are, not coincidentally, really hard.
Belgrade Lakes Golf Club, Belgrade Lakes, ME (207-495-4653, belgradelakesgolf.com): Dubbed "the lava fields of Maine," the par-five third features a wall of granite boulders forty feet high.
The Boulders, Carefree, AZ (480-488-9028, wyndham.com): Ancient granite formations dominate the scenery; the back tee at the South course's seventh hole resembles a giant ball on a tee.
Mauna Lani, Kohala Coast, HI (808-885-6655, maunalani.com): It's hard to have a bad day at these black rocks, formed by cooling lava, lying just off the lush fairways, ready to redefine your ideas of tough rough.
Jack Nicklaus Private Course at PGA West, La Quinta, CA (800-598-3828, laquintaresort.com): The green at the second hole, "Gibraltar," is guarded by a rock the size of a small clubhouse; bad tee shots carom halfway to L.A.
Olde Stonewall Golf Club, Ellwood City, PA (724-752-4653, oldestonewall.com): About 250,000 limestone blocks, some weighing as much as ten tons, dot this terraced mountain course.
The Palmer Course at La Cantera, San Antonio (888-876-6687, lacanteragolfclub.com): Spanish for "the Quarry," La Cantera was a limestone pit deemed too stony to be of any use. Arnie used rocks to provide smashing brackets for landing areas and greens.
The Quarry Golf Club, San Antonio (800-347-7759, quarrygolf.com): A penal back nine meanders through a limestone quarry under homes perched like prison guards atop the pit's walls.
The Resort at the Mountain, Welches, OR (503-622-3101, theresort.com): Just 130 yards from the Foxglove course's first tee stands a twenty-foot monolith with a twenty-five-foot fir growing from its peak.
Sherwood Country Club, Thousand Oaks, CA (805-496-3036, sherwoodcc.com): The rock rudely centered in the fairway on the par-four sixteenth is the hard place where David Duval's ball careened during his made-for-TV Showdown at Sherwood with Tiger Woods. Fore!
From the outback to your neck comes the Cobber, a hot product from Down Under that stays cool for up to three days. Tie one on after soaking it in water for half an hour, then wear it around your neck while you play. Polycrystals inside the garment produce what its maker calls an "evaporative cooling system." The $15 Cobber (the word is Aussie for "amigo") lowers body temperature by cooling the carotid arteries in your neck. "During Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Cobber was a popular accessory," says a U.S. Marine. "I shared mine with eleven guys in my unit." Call 416-410-3473 or visit bodycool.tv.
"We're getting closer to maxing out the golf swing—we're now within 10 percent of perfection."
—swing guru David Leadbetter, to T&L Golf
|Hootie Johnson||1 up||Martha Burk|
|Junior golf||4 and 3||Senior golf|
|Davis Love III||3 up||Charles Howell III|
|Seven-woods||3 and 2||Two-irons|
|Walking||10 and 8||Riding|
Bandon Dunes and Pacific Dunes in Bandon, Oregon, ban electric carts—which at first left the course scrambling for caddies. "We used local students, but when they went back to school in September we'd run short," says director of caddie services Matt Weybright. But now a new class at Southwestern Oregon Community College, Introduction to Golf Caddying, covers technique (raking bunkers, fixing ball marks), etiquette and even mulligans (be ready with an extra ball in case your player wants one). "It's working," says Weybright, "but it's hard to teach intuition. Above all else, a caddie reacts to his golfer's every need."
Pop singer Justin Timberlake of *NSync has signed with Turner Sports as a TV correspondent. Timberlake will work several events, including the British Open.
Hogan the Hero
Fifty years ago, Ben Hogan had his best year—perhaps the best year any pro golfer ever had. Four years after a car crash nearly killed him, Hogan, 41, became the first player to win three professional majors in a single season. He won the Masters and U.S. Open, then made his only career appearance in the British Open. Scottish golf fans fell in love with the nerveless Texan, dubbed him the "Wee Ice Mon" and cheered Hogan to a four-stroke victory at Carnoustie, where he shot a near-perfect sixty-eight on the last day to claim the Claret Jug.
Unlikely spoiler Ben Crane used an Odyssey putter for his win at the BellSouth Classic in April, breaking a notable streak by Scotty Cameron, pro golf's reigning putter maker. Starting with Ernie Els at the Mercedes Championships, the winners of the first thirteen tournaments of the 2003 PGA Tour season all used Scotty Cameron by Titleist putters. Tiger Woods, who wields Nike's driver and irons but swears by his Scotty on the greens, contributed three titles to the streak; the thirteenth was capped by Davis Love's Sunday sixty-four at the Players Championship.
Fairmont and Porsche have dreamed up the Tour de Fairmont: Start with two nights in the Fairmont Hotel atop San Francisco's Nob Hill, where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars. (Tony Bennett first crooned the city's anthem in the hotel's Venetian Room.) At check-in, you'll pick up a Porsche Boxster, 911 or Cayenne SUV. Drive up the coast for a two-night, two-person stay at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, with two rounds of golf at the private Sonoma Golf Club (newly awarded a Champions Tour major), two spa treatments or one of each. Also included in the $7,990 package price are a Porsche welcome gift, a bottle of Moët & Chandon, a "Box"ster picnic lunch and a tank of gas. Call 800-441-1414.