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TravelGolf.com Reporter's Notebook

Also see this week's column: "Sharp is Making a List and Taking Names"

Rantings, rumors, and other things admissible as news from around the world of golf and travel...

Golf Real Estate News in the Grand Strand

Construction continues at one of Myrtle Beach's most ambitious real estate projects.

Centex Homes is now offering luxurious estate homes in the Leather Leaf neighborhood of Barefoot Resort & Golf in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. The primary developer in the 2300-acre Resort, Centex Homes is building Leather Leaf as an exclusive, gated community of one and two-story estate homes surrounded by three holes of Barefoot Resort's Love Course.

LeatherLeaf homes are from Centex Homes' Coastal Collection. Ranging in size from 2128 to 3547 square feet, these homes are available with four-sided brick or stucco exteriors. There are eight floor plan options that offer libraries, formal dining rooms and living rooms, up to 4 bedrooms and 4 and 1/2 baths, covered lanais, and a host of upscale interior appointments. Leather Leaf's homesites offer views of lakes, naturally wooded areas and holes 12, 13 or 17 of the Barefoot Resort golf course designed by Davis Love III.

Barefoot Resort has quickly emerged as on of the must-play golf facilities on the Grand Strand. The resort features golf courses designed by Greg Norman, Tom Fazio, Pete Dye, and Love III. The clubhouse for the Norman, Love, and Fazio courses opened in late November, and the real estate boom continues, despite America's bleak economic outlook.

Former PGA Tour Member, Blanks, tapped to run golf academy at Ocean Ridge Plantation

Jimmy Blanks director of the Golf Academy at Ocean Ridge Plantation. Blanks, a former member of the PGA Tour, brings over 30 years of coaching and playing experience to Ocean Ridge Plantation, one of the premier golf communities on the Grand Strand.

Prior to arriving at Ocean Ridge Plantation, Blanks spent seven years playing on the Global Senior Series Tour, where he won a record four titles. He played in several Senior PGA Tour events as well and was the low qualifier in the nation for the 1996 U.S. Senior Open played at Canneberry Country Club in Cleveland, Ohio. Blanks finished in the top 30 at the Open and the Senior Tour's Nationwide tournament in Atlanta, Ga., in 1996.

Ocean Ridge is home to three Tim Cate designed golf courses: Lion's Paw, Tigers Eye, and Panthers Run. A fourth course is planned for opening in 2002.

ShipGolf.com Announces Holiday Specials

If you are tired of traveling the country with your clubs in tow, you're in luck. Columbia-based ShipGolf.com let's you pick out and rent your clubs online, and then makes them available at selected airports, or delivers them to you hotel.

ShipGolf.com has announced their discounted rates for the holiday season. The discounted rates are available at ShipGolf.com's Myrtle Beach, S.C. airport retail location and offer savings on golf equipment rentals of up to 25 percent.

ShipGolf.com's holiday rates include savings off regularly priced items and can be applied towards renting full sets of clubs and individual equipment. Full sets of clubs are discounted to $45 for one day and $15 each additional day. Other equipment, such as drivers, woods, irons, wedges, putters and shoes are also available at reduced rates as low as $6 for one day. The reduced rates will be available through February 2002.

Charlotte-based Club Company Strikes Unique Deal

Paax Golf USA began two initiatives this fall to further sales of its high quality, moderately priced golf clubs.

Paax USA, which handles American operations for Australia-based Paax, has become an official vendor at the Marine base at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and has forged a revolutionary deal with an auto dealership in nearby Charlotte. From now through Dec. 31, all buyers of a new or used car from Keffer Chrysler Plymouth Jeep receive a complete set of clubs from Paax.

Paax USA CEO Tom Rapone said both deals are significant because they provide good streams of revenue and continue Paax's mission of "thinking outside the box."

"These initiatives are fantastic for Paax," said Rapone. "Golf is an extremely hard market to tap into. We're trying to push the boundaries and work outside the box with different promotions. Being the manufacturer of our product makes it easier for us to do that."

Paax struck a deal in mid September to supply clubs to the exchange at Camp Lejeune and the base's 36-hole Paradise Point Country Club. The initial order was for 100 sets of clubs. Meanwhile, Paax sold an additional 25 sets at its first demo day on the base on Oct. 6. Sales have been so strong since that Lejeune is in the process of re-ordering.

In Arizona...

Flagstaff will finally get a much-needed dose of high-end golf. Construction on the Pine Canyon Club is underway, with doors expected to open sometime in 2003.

Designed by world-renowned golf course architect Jay Morrish, The Pine Canyon Club will be to the forest what its sister course, The Stone Canyon Club in Oro Valley near Tucson is to the desert. "The Pine Canyon Club has the potential to be one of the finest golf courses in the entire state of Arizona," said Morrish.

"Forest Highlands is currently the measuring stick by which all mountain courses are compared, but Pine Canyon has the inherent ability to rise above that mark. It's truly a remarkable setting and we are extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to create something wonderful in the mountains. We designed and built a marvelous facility with Stone Canyon and I firmly believe that Pine Canyon will evolve into an equally impressive golf course," added Morrish.

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Dates: March 1, 2018 - May 31, 2018
Experience the magnificent North Beach Plantation for 4 Nights and with 4 Rounds of golf on the East Coast Group golf courses.
Price range: $400