Whining pros in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the PGA Championship lack we vacationing golfers' adventurous travel spirit
Only a PGA Championship or other major golf tournament could bring Tiger Woods to Tulsa, Okla. It's a safe bet that Tiger, Elin and Sam Alexis aren't headed to the home of Western swing music (no kidding) for a family getaway anytime soon.
As one anonymous PGA Tour player told Sports Illustrated, they might as well have held this year's fourth major in Death Valley.
That's funny. For everyone but the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce. Which has to be sort of like working as O.J. Simpson's press agent in the best of times.
It's also fitting that the top golfers in the world are dragged to an otherwise vacation-forsaken spot like Tulsa. For once, the guys with private jets are forced to be as adventurous as many regular recreational golfers are by choice.
No other sport, or vacation obsession period, expands your horizons like golf. Think about it. Golfers go to spots across the country and around the world that no non-golfer in his right or wrong mind would ever consider. Heck, Bandon, Oregon - population 2,833 - has turned into a can't-miss West Coast golf destination. Whereas before Bandon Dunes Golf Resort came along, 12 people total in other parts of Oregon could even point it out on a map.
Kohler, Wisconsin should be known only by plumbers. Instead, it's a renowned golf retreat with four Pete Dye designs.
Vacationing golfers don't get nearly enough credit for their adventurous spirit. The pros who divorce their spouses and their swing coaches with equal abandon might whine about a trip to Tulsa in August, but the 9-to-5er with a golf jones will trek to nowhere and beyond to find a hidden gem.
I found dedicated duffers in El Paso, Texas - little more than a desert borderland before Tom Fazio came to town. National Golf Editor Tim McDonald fell junior high school crush hard for parts of the Smoky Mountains! And my colleague Brandon Tucker navigated his way to dinky villages in Ireland where everybody knows everyone else's sheep.
All vacationing golfers have stories like that.
Golfers explore. At least the real ones who remember the game's true spirit. The pampered mega rich pros? They and their butlers deserve Tulsa.
Lake Tahoe golf is recovering nicely from the Angora wildfire that destroyed 254 homes and left TV viewers across the country wrongly thinking all of Tahoe was a fiery catastrophe zone. No, the casinos didn't burn and neither did the golf courses. In fact, all of Lake Tahoe's recreational opportunities, from river rafting to mountain biking, went on pretty much as usual, making it as good a golf vacation destination as ever.
Author Matthew Dunn speaks to podcast host Dave Berner about his newest book, a murder mystery set on the golf course. Golf blogger T.R. Massey on a spectacular new golf course in Canton, Ohio. And RonMon raves about the 588 Cleveland wedge.
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There's no mistaking the potential quality of your golfing experience at the Koasati Pines golf course at the Coushatta Casino Resort in Southwest Louisiana. If you're up for a challenge - aside from gambling - you'll find it here. This 18-hole, par-72 championship course, with 50 acres of lakes, was designed by Kevin Tucker. Measuring 7,617 yards, it's the longest course in Louisiana and is sure to submerge you in a challenging, yet relaxing, golf experience.