Tim McDonaldThis Week at TravelGolf.com: August 15, 2006

This is Tiger Woods' era, we just live in it

You know those old-timers who lecture you. "Forget all these young whippersnappers, by golly I was around when Ben Hogan and Sam Snead played." You know how they get all misty-eyed and condescending?

Pay attention. This is the way you'll be in 20 years. You were around when Tiger Woods played.

Yes, it's all about Tiger now. With Michelle Wie fainting and ignoring the rule book, El Tigre is back as the talk of the town in golf.

Those Jack Nicklaus comparisons have been around for a while now, especially in 2000, but they're getting out the charts and graphs now. Woods scalded the field at the Buick Open, cruising to a three-shot win that was never really in doubt.

With that win, Woods became the youngest golfer in history to notch 50 PGA Tour wins. No one, not Slammin Sammy, Hogan, Nicklaus or Bobby Jones, ever did that. It took Nicklaus 262 starts to win 50, Woods just 196.

In golf, numbers are everything and statistically, Woods is on his way to becoming the best golfer in history. He's averaging one win in every four starts on Tour and five victories every year. He's fun to watch, but not to bet on because he's as close to a sure thing in golf as there has been for many, many years.

There is no more Big Five. There is only No. 1.

All those doubters about leaving Butch Harmon, changing his swing and getting married are nowhere to be seen or heard. Woods dominates golf the way Muhammad Ali once dominated boxing.

He is also dominating the financial world. He's topped the $5 million mark in just 11 starts. Last year, he earned $98 million and no one has accused him of using steroids.

One major remains this year, this week's PGA Championship at Medinah. Like others before, the course has been "Tiger-proofed," lengthened to the longest major in history at 7,508 yards. Maybe Woods will win it teeing off with his 2-iron.

As always, TravelGolf.com welcomes your comments.

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Scottsdale - Boulders ResortScottsdale as Snottsdale? Arizona
golfers stay cool with luxury pampering

Golfer Aaron Rowe couldn't care less that trendy Scottsdale has taken some hits in recent months. The Chicago Tribune wants to call it "Snottsdale?" Good for them. Pass the caviar (beluga, please), and set up next morning's tee time at Troon North. "I'm on vacation," Rowe says, shrugging. "I don't mind if people call me a snob. As long as they treat me like a snob." That's it: Golfers hit Scottsdale to be treated like royalty.

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PodcastChuck Evans' swing tips, and writer
Phillip Young's A.W. Tillinghast book

Host Dave Berner as he welcomes instructor Chuck Evans who offers some ideas to help golfers lower their handicap. And golf writer Phillip Young talks about his new book, "Tillinghast: Creator of Golf Courses." Young says, "It's the first real biography of the golf course architect."

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Dayton Valley Golf Club - Wind LakeDayton Valley Golf Club brings winds
of change to Reno-Lake Tahoe area

Golfing in the Reno-Lake Tahoe corridor usually means swinging among pine trees in the cool mountain air. Dayton Valley Golf Club at Legado, however, is flatter than an NBA team on the second night of a back-to-back and more wide open than the 2008 presidential race. With virtually no trees, the 7,218 yards can seem much longer and for all its flat openness, it's no pushover. Arnold Palmer didn't design the course to make you sweat bullets, though.

Blog: Edgewood Tahoe better than Pebble Beach? Believe it

Ryder CupWin a luxury cruise for two to
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Pioneer Golf lends a hand
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Scotland, Ireland and more

British Open golf courses such as the St. Andrews Old Course, Carnoustie and Turnberry are in great demand and difficult to book at short notice. Pioneer Golf, established in 1971, can help. Pioneer Golf customizes golf vacations for groups of four or more. If you are interested in a trip to Scotland, Ireland, England, or Wales, begin your search at www.pioneergolf.com. Their online planning tool will help you get started.

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