This Week at TravelGolf.com: January 17, 2006
National Golf League looking
to turn up the volume ala the NFL
After watching the Pittsburgh Steelers hold off the Indianapolis Colts, 21-18, this past weekend in a mesmerizing AFC playoff game, it was again plainly clear that team sports will always trump their individual brethren.
In the United States, the NFL will always draw far more viewers than a golf tournament, and the rest of the world flocks much more quickly to soccer matches. Even in golf, the Ryder Cup Matches and President's Cup create excitement rarely seen during the vast majority of PGA Tour events.
It seems California businessman Bob Aube has seen this trend as well, and he's done something about it. By creating the National Golf League, Aube is attempting to put together a golf tour where individual excellence will match up with the excitement of team sports.
Billing his creation "a new kind of golf," Aube kicked off the NGL last fall with a launch in Northern California. "Many talented golfers dream to play competitively, but only a handful make it each year on the tours," he told the Scripps Howard News Service. "This league would be good for the game, for professional golfers and, especially, for the ever-growing fan base.
It took Aube just seven weeks to sell the original six franchises (at $18,000 a pop). The teams, consisting of up to six players drawn from the ranks of Northern California pros, gifted amateurs and a few veterans of smaller tours, compete in 36-hole matches, with every nine holes dedicated to alternate shot, best ball and scramble.
Aube aims to give fans a memorable and decidedly nontraditional experience.
"At normal golf tournaments there are people standing around with signs that say Quiet. We'll have people holding signs that say Cheer," Aube said. "This league is geared toward fans coming out and having a good time."
Aube is looking to expand the NGL, with new divisions in Southern California and Arizona. New franchises are selling for $30,000, which includes stock in the league.
Like Mack Daddy Caddy, Aube is looking to generate excitement among a new breed of golf fans. While this tour will likely never aspire to go head-to-head with the PGA Tour, the excitement that team competition creates just can't be overlooked. So, hats off to Bob Aube for an idea that's time has come.
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Mention Georgia to most people and they'll think about the delicious peaches, the Atlanta Braves or the Georgia Bulldogs. Mention the state to a golfer and their mind will go to one of the world's most revered golf courses - Augusta National. But with a varied terrain, Georgia golf is more than just the home of the Masters. Courses like Atlanta's Peachtree Golf Club and Elberton's Arrowhead Pointe are just two of Georgia's Top-10.
Also: Georgia parks = gorgeous golf, no urban hustle
You don't get many opportunities to play golf in Myrtle Beach on a course that's not the centerpiece of a housing development these days. At Angels Trace Golf Links, however, you can play some good, old-fashioned core golf - at least for a little while yet. So before the condos go in an some holes get ripped out, give Angels Trace a look, and you'll enjoy a challenging course without the neighbors peering down at you.
Also: The top 10 golf courses in Myrtle Beach
The idea of playing a golf course in Scottsdale, Ariz. for $10 seemed as plausible as Oprah making an appearance on the David Letterman Show. But now we know anything's possible, including getting on Cypress Golf Course later in the day for just a 10 spot. And while Cypress may not be close to the perfect high-end resort course conditions, it's worth more than the pittance they're charging, and will give you a good day's play.
Also: Akron to Phoenix-Scottsdale with the Cheap Bastard