MJGolf by evanrothman



      Golf Gone Wild
                                                                                                                                                                   WORLD'S TOUGHEST
                                                                                                                                                                   Ko'olau Golf Club,
                                                                                                                                                                   Kaneohe, Hawaii
                                                                                                                                                                   The course cuts through
                                                                                                                                                                   a tropical rain forest. Its
                                                                                                                                                                   elevation changes demand a
    THE GENTLEMAN'S                        GAME HAS GOTTEN                         A LITTLE          FERAL,         WITH         FAIRWAYS
                                                                                                                                                                   Sherpa. The dense surround-
AT 10,000            FEET,        COURSES             DOUBLING               AS SAFARIS,             AND WAYS TO PLAY THAT                                         ing jungle requires a machete.
     WILL HAVE YOU SPRINTING                               TO THE GREEN.                 NO WONDER                WE LOVE WHERE                                    Everything slants and slopes,
                                                                                                                                                                   causing well-struck shots to
  THE      SPORT             IS GOING.          HERE         ARE EIGHT             WAYS TO MAKE THE                            MOST OF IT.                         turn and scamper into the
                                                                                                                                                                   undergrowth like an iguana -
                                                                                                                                                                   this isn't the course to bring a
                                                                                                                                                                   12-pack to. One hardly needs
                                                                                                                                                                   to see the slope rating of 152
                                                                                                                                                                   (the world's highest is 155) to
                                                                                                                                                                   know the course is brutal. Our
                                                                                                                                                                   advice: Oon't keep score. It'll
                                                                                                                                                                  just ruin things (from $55;
                                                                                                                                                                   koo/augolfc/ub. com).

                                                                                                                                                                  WORLD'S HIGHEST
                                                                                                                                                                   La Paz Golf Club, Bolivia
                                                                                                                                                                  Those who've savored the
                                                                                                                                                                  steroidal thrill of teeing it up
                                                                                                                                                                  in the Rockies (whose highest
                                                                                                                                                                   18-holer has an elevation of
                                                                                                                                                                  9,680 feet) know that balls
                                                                                                                                                                  fly farther (up to 10 percent)
                                                                                                                                                                  and straighter at higher eleva-
                                                                                                                                                                  tions. At La Paz, perched at
                                                                                                                                                                  10,800 feet on the side of the
                                                                                                                                                                  Bolivian Andes, your 270-yard
                                                                                                                                                                  banana slice will become a
                                                                                                                                                                  glorious 300-yard fade. Of
                                                                                                                                                                  course, you'll lose 20 balls
                                                                                                                                                                  playing this lunar landscape,
                                                                                                                                                                  and you'll need an oxygen
                                                                                                                                                                  tank (59/-2-2745/24).

                                                                                                                                                                  WORLD'S DRIEST
                                                                                                                                                                  Club de Golf Rio Lluta,
                                                                                                                                                                  Atacama Desert, Chile

No.1:        Go for the extremes                                                                                                                                  Since nothing grows here,
                                                                                                                                                                  chalk marks the fairways on
                                                                                                                                                                  the desert floor, green stones
Some courses dare you to tee up and aim for the green, not necessarily because they're tough to play                                                              in the rough designate the
but because you might not actually survive to the 18th. These are four of the most brutal.                                                                        forests, water hazards are
                                                                                                                                                                  outlined in blue-painted rocks,
                                                                                                                                                                  and the putting surfaces are
WORLD'S MOST DANGEROUS Hans Merensky, Phalaborwa, South Africa           Giraffes, baboons, and warthogs                                                          a mix of used motor oil and
roam the failways, crocodiles lurk in the waters, and lions lounge in the surrounding bush. This is golf                                                          sand. Golfers here - and
as a self-guided safari, on a course that cuts through South Africa's largest game reserve. The course is                                                         there are golfers here - are
ringed by an electric fence, but the safety measures only go so far: The 15th hole is known as "Leopard                                                           encouraged to tee off in the
                                                                                                                                                                  morning, as afternoon sand-
Kill," in honor of the big cat that once left a dead impala dangling from a tree, dripping blood onto a
                                                                                                                                                                  storms can deliver unwanted
golfer. And while it's rare for players to become the hunted, a casualty has occurred: In 1998, a German                                                          exfoliation (58-223377).
golfer was trampled to death by an elephant on the 15th green (from $41; hansmerensky.com).

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                                            No.2:           Stop thinking and crush the ball like Fowler
                                            You don't need to see Rickie Fowler in head-to-toe                                   is a welcome corrective for a normally neurotic
                                            Smurfblue and his Bieber hair to realize that a                                      game. "I don't have a swing coach, really," he says.
                                            new generation of young, notably athletic players                                    'Whatever he's not doing is working: Fowler was
                                            is making the gentleman's game look less prac-                                       named the PGA Tour's Rookie of the Year in 2010
                                            ticed. The 22-year-old Fowler doesn't watch his                                      and played well enough to impress Arnold Palmer,
                                            swing on video or worry about his mechanics. He                                      still the guardian of everything cool in golf. "He's
                                            just steps up - sometimes without even a practice                                    dynamite," Palmer says. "Now if he would just get
                                            swing - and hits the ball. His easy-going cool                                       a haircut and quit wearing pink."

                                                                             MEN'S    JOURNAL          42     APRIL     2011
                                                                                                                                                               GOLF 2011         •

    Ride the Elephant to
add 40 yards to your drives
"Golf fitness" used to involve
                                                            THE ELEPHANT
little more than a toe-touch
                                                     Strengthen your core and add
on the first tee and a hot dog                            distance off the tee.
curl at the turn. Then came a
workout fanatic named Tiger
Woods and with him sadists
like Steve Heller, a trainer
to the pros whose ferocious
fitness program undermines
golf's image as a leisure sport.                                      (I)
                                                      On your back, extend one leg
A former college golfer with a                         straight and bend the other
degree in exercise physiology,                           leg, keeping the foot flat.
Heller got his start prepar-
ing college players for the                                                                           No.5:Try the course next to
NFL Combines, a trial that
emphasizes explosiveness and                                                ~                         the legendary course
speed. Then he applied the
same techniques to golf. Most                         ~~1                                             There's a corollary rule that the big-time golf courses don't
men, he says, are too weak and
inflexible to play to their po-
tential. But after eight weeks
                                                      Lift your hips off the ground,
                                                                                                      want you to know about: For every legendary course, there's
                                                                                                      often an equal and opposite local gem blessed with the same
                                                                                                      intrinsic qualities - breathtaking scenery, pro-grade design
in his Fore-Max program,                              resting most of the weight on                   - playable at a fraction of the cost. 'While you're checking
                                                       your shoulders. Raise your
Heller promises a 10 to 15 mph                                                                        big-name courses off your bucket list, here are three worth
                                                         extended leg straight up,
bump in swing speed and up                              keeping your knee locked.                     wandering down the road for.
 to a 40-yardjump in driving                                                                           INSTEAD OF            PLAY
 distance. "The hips, the core,                                                                      . PLAYING
 the hamstrings - these are all

 key to generating power," says                                                                        Pebble                Pacific Grove Golf Links, Pacific Grove, CA
                                                                                                       Beach Golf            COST: $40
 Heller. The sessions last 90
                                                                                                     . Links                 DISTANCE APART: Two miles
 minutes and unfold in a litany
 of exhausting movements, like
 a torturous hip-strengthener
                                                      ~1             (3)
                                                          Lower your midsection
                                                                                                      COST: $495             Sure, you could drop $495 on a six-hour round at Peb-
                                                                                                                             ble Beach and spend half your day grumbling behind
                                                                                                                             a foursome of shutter-happy tourists. But why would
                                                                                                                             you want to when this course is a mere seven-minute
 called the Elephant. Do it                           without touching the ground.                                           drive north? Designed primarily by Jack Neville, who
 once. Good. Now repeat 100                              Do 100 reps on each leg.                                            was also the principal architect of Pebble Beach, the
 times (kierlandresort.com).                                                                                                 Grove has a back nine that runs dramatically out to
                                                                                                                             the crashing surf and the barking seals at Point Pinos.
1111.111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111I1II1111111I11I1111I1I                                               Truth be told, these sandy fairways and postage-stamp
                                                                                                                             greens are more of a true links than the manicured
                                                                                                                             Pebble Beach could ever be (pggolflinks.com).
No.4:         Play 18 in under an hour
                                                                                                      Shinnecock             Montauk Downs, Montauk, NY
                                                                                                      Hills Golf             COST: from $24: from $48 out-of-state
            As the name suggests, speed golf                                                          Club                   DISTANCE APART: 31 miles
                                                                                                      COST:                  Much like Shinnecock Hills, Montauk Downs was
            is a hybrid that blends the need                                                          Private                designed by a legend, is revered by Long Island
            for subtlety and precision with the                                                                              locals, and is strong enough to have designs on host-
                                                                                                                             ing a major. But unlike Shinnecock, Montauk lacks
            physical demands of an endur-                                                                                    the infrastructure to host a Grand Slam event, whicH
            ance sport. You swing. You run.                                                                                  means less notoriety, more open tee times, and none
                                                                                                                             of those insufferable Wall Street types infesting the
            You run. You swing. The goal is to                                                                               fairways and greens (montaukdowns.org).
play well. And very fast, keeping track ofboth
                                                                                                      The Olympic            TPC Harding Park, San Francisco
your time and strokes. Sprinting from shot to                                                         Club                   COST: from $47; from $170 out-of-state
shot, players not only elevate their heart rates;                                                     COST:                  DISTANCE APART: 1.8 miles
                                                                                                                             Even in 1998, this longtime San Francisco muni was so
many also lower their scores. As Christopher                                                          Private
                                                                                                                             ill-considered that its fairways were used as a parking
Smith, the speed-golf record holder (he shot                                                                                 lot for those attending the U.S. Open at the neighbor-
                                                                                                                             ing Olympic Club. Thirteen years and a $16 million
a 65 while whipping through 18 holes in 44                                                                                   renovation later, it's arguably Olympic's equal, sharing
minutes), says, "You're more likely to execute                                                                               the same towering cypress trees, the same challeng-
                                                                                                                             ing shot values, and the shores of the same Lake
the shot at hand because you don't have a                                                                                    Merced. Paying for all that improvement are those
chance to overthink it. You see it and do it."                                                                               pricey out-of-state greens fees (harding-park.com).

If you have any doubt, reread No.2.

                                                                                AP RIL   2011   43   MEN'S   J 0 URN   A L


Doak's Pacific
                                                                                                                                                     Have you always been an
Dunes on the
coast of Oregon                                                                                                                                      environmentalist?
                                                                                                                                                     At the start, my ideas about
                                                                                                                                                     minimalism were all about
                                                                                                                                                     keeping course construction
                                                                                                                                                     simple and minimizing costs.
                                                                                                                                                     But I found quickly that the
                                                                                                                                                     people who were interested in
                                                                                                                                                     environmental quality had the
                                                                                                                                                     same goals in mind.

                                                                                                                                                     Are people paying attention?
                                                                                                                                                     Yes, but most are still afraid
                                                                                                                                                      to make changes because "the
                                                                                                                                                      members won't like" to see
                                                                                                                                                     the course brown around the
                                                                                                                                                     edges. We have to do a better
                                                                                                                                                     job educating golfers and get-
                                                                                                                                                     ting them to understand the
                                                                                                                                                     positives of ecologically sound
                                                                                                                                                     management. One positive:
                                                                                                                                                     Golf will cost less to play.

No.6:         Embrace Tom Doak's design philosophy                                                                                                   What separates your Florida
                                                                                                                                                     course, Streamsong,jrom others?
                                              What malws a Doak course?                           give players more latitude with                    It's really an exceptional

          his first course in 1989            I've tried not to have a signa-                     the driver and make up for it                      piece of property. The mining
          in Michigan, Tom                    ture style so that I can build                      by being challenging on and                        operation must have moved
 Doak has focused more on the                 any style of course, depending                      around the greens, where any                       around 10 or 20 million cubic
 average player than the pro.                 on what will best fit the prop-                     golfer is at least physically                      yards of sand - more than a
"New courses have wasted mil-                 erty. But generally my courses                      capable of improvement.                            golf-course architect could
lions making themselves diffi-                                                                                                                       ever contemplate - and
cult for Tour players who never                                                                                                                      because they weren't moving
come anyway," says Doak, who                                                                                                                         it with golfin mind, they built
at 50 has already designed four                                                                                                                      some features we'd never
of the world's top-100 rated                                                                                                                         think of. Now we get to use
courses. "My main objective                                                                                                                          those dramatic changes as the
is to build courses that are                                                                                                                         centerpieces of our holes.
fun." His minimalist approach
- unmanicured fairways,                                                                                                                             Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw
working with the land instead                                                                                                                       are also building a course there.
of bulldozing it - is reaching                                                                                                                      Yeah, it's the first time
a new height with his 30th                                                                                                                          we've had the chance to see
project: Doak is reclaiming                                                                                                                         firsthand what the other guys
a former phosphate mine in                                                                                                                          are doing. It's been fun, with
central Florida and turning                                                                                                                         some friendly rivalry, too
it into what will certainly be                                                                                                                      - like a match where your
                                                 The future home of Doak's newest course, a decommissioned mine.
another legendary layout, even                                                                                                                      opponent keeps hitting good
                                                 "The most exciting part," says Doak, "may just be the big idea that you
ifthere is a little brown around                 can turn a former phosphate mine into a five-star resort location."                                shots and you either step up
the tee box.                                                                                                                                        your game or lose out.

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   No.7:        Love the recession                                                                                                                       CHECK THESE SITES
                                                                                                                                                         BEFORE TEEING OFF

   Here's an upside to the downturn: The economy has forced even                                                                                        The consolidators: golfhub
                                                                                                                                                     .com and golfnow.com offer up
   prestigious courses to sweeten deals for golfers, creating fire-sale                                                                               to 65 percent off rounds from
                                                                                                                                                        California to the Carolinas.
   prices online (see sidebar) at many of the most coveted clubs. The                                                                                The private pass: A $67 mem-
   worst hit? Arizona, with places like Superstition Mountain, which                                                                                    bership at playerspass.com
                                                                                                                                                      includes two-far-one deals at
   opened in 1998 and once had an initiation fee of$100,000, but now                                                                                     more than 2,000 courses.
   costs as little as $50 a round (superstitionmountain.com).

                                                                   MEN'S    JOURNAL        44     APRIL     2011
                                                                                                                                          GOLF 2011          •

                                                                                                                <II OAKLEY TAKE PANT
    Get the gear that's
No.8:                                                                                                           Your tan Dockers might fit the course dress code,
                                                                                                                but play IS holes in them and you'll walk away
changing the game                                                                                               chafed. Besides looking the part, the Take Pant
                                                                                                                is breathable and constructed of a stretch fabric
                                                                                                                that is quick-drying as well ($75; oakley.com).

                            <II GARMIN APPROACH        SI
                            The magicians at Garmin were
                            somehow able to cram a GPS and a
                            range finder into the sleek Approach
                            SI, which comes preloaded with
                            thousands of courses and syncs
                            with satellites to supply you with
                            your exact location and distance to
                            the green ($250; garmin.com).

~ ECCO GOLF STREET CAMEL                                                           ... NIKE 20XI GOLF BALL
With a handcrafted, high-grade                                                     The 20XI improves distance and
camel-leather upper for added                                                      accuracy by replacing the standard
elasticity, the Golf Street Camel has                                              rubber-based core with a lighter
100 nubby molded traction bars,                                                    resin one, which increases ball            ... NIKE STORM-FIT    N-DESTRUKT
keeping your feet anchored to the                                                  speed (adding up to nine yards             In addition to being waterproof,
turf without the use of spikes                                                     per drive) and reduces spin for a          windproof, and breathable, the
($160; eccousa.com).                                                               straighter shot ($55; nikegolf.com).       N-Destrukt is made of a four-way
                                                                                                                              stretch fabric that won't - unlike
                                                                                                                              most rain jackets - inhibit your
                                                                   <II CALLAWAY RAZR HAWK DRIVER                              swing ($400; nike.com).
                                                                   The love child of Lamborghini and Callaway, the
                                                                   Razr Hawk is made of forged composite, a new
                                                                   technology that reduces drag during your down-              CONTRIBUTORS:       EVAN
                                                                   swing and is one-third the density of titanium.             ROTHMAN,]OSH        SENS, MIKE
                                                                   Translation? Your swing will be faster and more             WALKER,    TYWENGER
                                                                   powerful ($400; callawaygolf.com).

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