Brandon TuckerThis Week at TravelGolf.com: July 26, 2006

Europeans' Ryder Cup run for Americans'
British Open dominance is not a fair trade

Tiger Woods left his Sunday playing partner, European phenom Sergio Garcia, with trendy his yellow pants around his ankles by the third hole at Hoylake, thus continuing the United States' dominance in their Open. Since John Daly won at St. Andrews in 1995, Americans have hoisted the jug all but twice.

Europeans however will be quick to point out their recent dominance in the Ryder Cup Matches, which are less than two months away. Since Justin Leonard's Hail Mary putt in 1999 and the tasteless celebration that followed, Europe has won in 2002 and 2004, and the U.S. has been all but ruled out in 2006, thanks to a flawed selection system that rewards wins in weak fields over high finishes in majors.

From a U.S. standpoint, that's a tradeoff I'd be more than content with. The Open Championship is a more legitimate test of golf and it's still on European soil. Think about the system used in the Ryder Cup, featuring match play, best ball and alternate shot. Alternate shot? That doesn't test "chemistry" or "teamwork," it's a gimmick. How much time - if ever - does any golfer really spend honing their alternate shot game? While there's nothing more nerve-wracking than match play, best ball has little place and alternate shot has zero place in such an important international competition.

To make it a more credible team competition, the Ryder Cup format should be changed to something a little more similar to college and high school golf, at least one of the days. Have a day of stroke play. Take the top 10 scores on each side, add 'em up and the winner gets a point per stroke differential. That would prove which team has the better top golfers - not whether J.J. Henry can bail out Chad Campbell's poor approach shot.

While Europeans are a bit salty about the U.S. dominance in the Open Championship and Tour de France, they should point to things such as their triumphs in the World Cup this summer, efficient public transportation, better beer, strong currencies and nicer airports. I should also point out they need not worry about Michelle Wie winning the Evian Masters in France this week - or maybe ever.

As always, TravelGolf.com welcomes your comments.



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Dublin - Irish PubsDublin's best pubs: A guide
for thirsty golfers in Ireland

You can't hit the golf courses near Dublin without visiting the pubs. Be careful, though: As the capital of the booming "Celtic Tiger," Dublin is thoroughly modernized; you might find yourself trapped at a coffee bar, surrounded by preening urbanites. With that in mind, here are best Dublin pubs, or at least the best ones Tim McDonald stumbled into during his intense and grueling (and intoxicating) research.

Blogger: Sergio Garcia's yellow outfit his greatest offense at the Open



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PodcastCastle tours in Scotland, golfers'
travel insurance, finding cheap golf
courses, and a Caddyshack reunion

Scottish golf and medieval castles make a natural combination, Tim McDonald says. Insurance companies are now offering policies to cover all aspect of your golf vacation. Caddyshack stars play golf July 27-28 to raise money for troops in Iraq.

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Dublin - Irish Pubs Prehistoric golf theater: Coyote
Moon's ancient granite a Sierra blast

The monster granite rocks that dot the layout are just part of the natural wonder at Coyote Moon Golf Course, arguably the best track you've never heard of. Oh, this course on the California/Nevada High Sierra got some nice word of mouth after its summer-2000 opening. But it's still a largely underrated track in an equally overshadowed region where the elevation's higher and the temperatures cooler than many West Coast golf meccas in the summer.

Also: High Sierra region defies stereotypes with fun courses, more



CLIENT FEATUREMoray Old Lighthouse

Hilton Garden Inn launches largest
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Through Oct. 22, Hilton Garden Inn is offering guests whose stay includes a Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday night a complimentary round of golf for two. "Guests have access to more than 250 golf courses to polish up their game," said Mark Nogal, vice president - marketing and sales for Hilton Garden Inn. Guests also receive a golf tips handbook and a trial subscription to Golf Digest.

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