Monday, March 26, 2012

Top Golf Resorts in the World: do you agree?

Conde Nast Traveler polled readers in the April edition for it's sixteenth annual list of top golf resorts in the world. Survey questions asked to over twenty-eight thousand participants related to golf course design, lodging, staff, food and service. "Great memories, if not a great score, are all but guaranteed."

The top-ranked Arizona golf resort on the list is Canyon Suites at the Phoenician in Scottsdale. Second on the same list is the Four Seasons Resort at Troon North. Since I have never stayed nor played golf in either resort, I cannot, with certainly, agree or disagree with the results.
Canyon Suites at the Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona

In addition to the top ten golf resorts in Arizona, the reader poll also lists:

  • Top 15 California Golf Resorts

  • Top 20 Florida Golf Resorts

  • Top 15 Hawaii Golf Resorts

  • Top 25 Southern Golf Resorts (nothing in Myrtle Beach?)

  • Top 20 Foreign Golf Resorts, in South Africa, Mexico, Bermuda, Ireland and more.

  • I have similar concerns with the remaining lists from California to Hawaii: if I choose to vacation, I would have to research these resorts on other websites as well (such as through Travelocity) and on Google in order to read about personal travelers' experiences.

    I have always been interested in staying at Turtle Bay Resort in Oahu, for example, because it has been the season-opener for the LPGA and Champions Tour but, according to this list, Turtle Bay is ranked in fifteenth position, making me skeptical of its vacation value. Furthermore, Conde Nast placed no link within its site to the vacation destination which means the publication never reviewed it.

    Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu

    Subjectivity is the key word here, folks. Don't go to the top golf resort simply because of the findings of this poll and don't neglect the travel destination in fifteenth position either. Although the Conde Nast reader survey is a good starting point, do your research before you decide to travel and you will probably find hidden gems located within the same area as these top 121 golf resorts throughout the world.

    By the way, do you agree with the results?

    Voice your opinion on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and on Facebook.

    Photo Credits:,

    Thursday, March 22, 2012

    Will Tiger Woods attend Masters after-party golf gala in Myrtle Beach?

    What do Annika Sorenstam, Dustin Johnson, Jim Furyk and Hootie and the Blowfish have in common? They will all be gathering at Barefoot Resort Dye Club in Myrtle Beach for the 18th annual “Monday after the Masters” shindig. Will Tiger Woods be flying in to join his friends for the celebration?


    Although Woods looked to be in decent form at the Tavistock Cup this week in spite of his Achilles injury (and the fact that his team stumbled to a last place finish), he proclaimed that he is ready for the Masters. It is understood that Tiger Woods will be performing at Augusta but a good showing in the first major of the year might make the difference between a quick jaunt into Myrtle Beach for a party or a flight home to sulk aboard his yacht.

    While Tiger Woods and PGA Tour/Euro Tour players are making their way through the very treacherous yet beautiful Augusta National, many amateurs will happily be converging nearby in South Carolina to play golf in Myrtle Beach. This is the perfect time of year to hop a quick flight to this golf and beach destination; the weather couldn't be any better! Myrtle Beach also recently reached its three-millionth tee-time booking milestone and, with one-hundred finely manicured golf courses to play, the choices seem endless.

    Among Golf Digest’s choices for America’s top-100 public golf courses in Myrtle Beach are Grande Dunes Golf Club (rated #46) and Tidewater Golf Club (rated #94), which I had the pleasure (?) of playing on a cold, rain-soaked day. Tidewater showed me early on in my golf learning curve that there are some golf courses that are meant for more serious golfers. Myrtlewood Palmetto Course was more for a beginner as I was when I played there several years ago, but I now think I am ready to take on Tidewater.

    Wicked_stickFor golfers who want to "grip-it-and-rip-it", John Daly's Wicked Stick Golf Links may be your dream golf course. There are no fairway bunkers so players can hit from the "Daly tees" without being penalized for landing in (or around) the fairway while the shorter hitter will be encouraged by a wealth of shot-making opportunities.

     Wicked Stick Golf Links

    For players seeking a resort feel, Barefoot Resort features four golf courses created by Norman, Love Fazio and Dye, each creating a unique golf experience. The Norman course features seven holes spread along the Intracoastal waterway. The Love course is lowcountry style is set among the ruins of an old plantation and features wide open fairways. Fazio also incorporates a lowcountry design while Dye's "semi-private design" is considered "beautiful yet treacherous." This is where the Monday after the Masters golf gala will be held so make sure to get your round in advance!

    Here's a great idea... Why not fly into Myrtle Beach, rent a car, play a few rounds of golf, drive down to Augusta for the Masters, then drive back to Myrtle Beach and enjoy the big after-party with Tiger Woods and the gang! How often do you get this opportunity?

    Voice your opinion on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and friend on Facebook.

    photo credit:,

    Monday, March 19, 2012

    Five tactics to put oomph into your social media strategy

    Large corporations have social media strategies with dedicated executives in place pumping out daily emails, tweets, Facebook status updates and the like in order to keep their company name in front of the public. With smaller businesses, owner/operators busily function in many roles during the day and although they may consider the need for an internet strategy, struggle with how to start and, once begun, how to continue their marketing and social media efforts.


    In this digital age, every business should have an online presence. Although many companies say “hey, I have a website”, without a plan of action to increase visibility for that website, the chance of your site being seen by potential clients, let alone anyone on the internet, is like trying to be found in the middle of the desert.

    With the approach of a new season at 1:14am EST tomorrow morning, now is a good time to spring into action. Where it is easy to get caught up in the throes of spring fever, delegating your responibilites for the day to enjoy a round of golf, it is also essential and equally easy to ramp up your social media efforts and increase engagement. Taking only a few minutes daily to set up and establish yourself and your business in the social sphere should yield solid returns. The key is to maintain DAILY engagement: no matter how little time you actually exercise, even a little bit on a frequent schedule yields results. Take "small steps" as mentioned in the movie "Contact".

    As a social media and SEO consultant, I receive many phone calls, emails and daily tweets to help companies with their marketing efforts. I would like to share five ideas which will assist even the smallest firm to get more people talk about your brand and to communicate with you on a social level.

    1.      If you do not have a blog, create one…now. Add fresh content at least once per week and don’t be afraid to quote sources that you find help relay your ideas. Show that you are an authority and have an opinion. This is the most important part of your strategy to increase engagement. This blog should also tie into your social networks; Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

    2.      Speaking of social networks, make sure your company has a presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and even Google Plus. Not everyone wants to engage on Facebook so you have to make sure that, once your blog is posted, it is read on all the social networks.

    3.      ENGAGE! Not necessarily like Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise but his term, Engage, means just that; get out onto those social networks and make sure that you communicate with others. Add yourself to Facebook groups that shre your business and even personal passions and share your thoughts about what you know. If you make golf equipment, talk about it and how it relates to the game.

    4.      Ask for feedback. Ask QUESTIONS! Although this is all part of engagement, it serves a very different purpose. Asking questions gives people pause for thought and a way to interact with you. People also love to help you with your problems. A back-and-forth discussion of your market, your brand and even just questions that are interesting to the group attracts engagement.

    5.     Use photos and videos to engage your audience. Did you ever notice on the bottom of your Facebook mobile app that pictures run long the bottom of the screen? Why? Because the old saying that a picture says a thousand words is true! Pinterest, one of the newest websites, is all about sharing pictures. If you have a golf product to sell and you happen to be on the golf course, show pictures of its usefulness, how it works and how great it looks. People also tend to share good photos and that increases the possibility of your picture or video going viral.

    Businesses taking even the smallest steps will benefit from social media interaction and the increased visibility they will receive on the internet. Make sure to link back to your website and have your blog comments turned on for even more interaction within your site.

    Voice your opinions on Twitter @Golf4Beginners, friend on Facebook and contact me directly for internet marketing consultation.
    photo credit

    Thursday, March 08, 2012

    A sponsored post about being Honest with your baby

    What do you think of when you hold a baby in your arms?

    The first thing that may come to mind is how innocent and dependent little ones are on others to feed and take care of them. I love to look into a baby’s eyes and wonder what he or she is thinking and how I can make a positive impact on the future...both in their lives and for the planet which we share.  
    That being said, although I am personally not a mom, I am surrounded by friends and family who have children. Whether I am asked to change diapers or to feed and clothe one of the little ones, I wonder whether or not the products being used are truly safe, non-toxic and eco-friendly which will most surely have an impact on the baby’s long-term future.

    Being a golf-fashionista, I also like baby products that I purchase to be both colorful and stylish…even diapers! It is conjectured that newborns can distinguish bright colors and shapes and, by eight months, color vision is mostly developed!

    The Honest Company has found a solution to all of the above concerns for both mom and baby. Golden-Globe nominated actress Jessica Alba founded the company with her own two children in mind, “I created The Honest Company to help moms and to give all children a better, safer start."

    Co-founder of The Honest Company and former CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World, Christopher Gavigan, was deeply concerned about the products that actually touched his baby’s skin.  

    "Parents get a lot of advice about what to feed their children and how to baby-proof their home," Gavigan says, "but many are still completely unaware of the toxic risks posed by everyday basics, like diapers, home cleaners, body washes, and laundry soaps. There's growing consensus that some chemicals used in these products are linked to chronic diseases like asthma, ADHD, and even cancer."

    The result of Gavigan and Alba's concerns is a company whose mission statement is an ideal: savvy style using the highest in health and sustainability standards. For your baby this means a reduction of toxins within the products by sourcing natural, organic, sustainably harvested, renewable, pure raw materials. For the environment, The Honest Company reduces toxics in all products and packaging, is committed to dramatically reducing petroleum-based plastic (virgin) in their packaging and uses 100% renewable and/or recycled materials in all products, packaging, shipping materials, and office materials.

    While many companies rely on either one or the other facets, it is refreshing to see that The Honest Company is genuinely seeking a solution to potentially hazardous problems for both baby and the environment while also making the future brighter for the next generation of little ones!

    For moms and for women like me who purchase products for babies, The Honest Company is guaranteeing that you won't find hazards like phthalates, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates, PVC, parabens, benzene, chlorine, synthetic fragrances, triclosan, formaldehyde-based preserving agents, etc.,  in their products...if you can't pronounce these names, they can't be good to put near your baby's skin, can they?

    The Honest Company partnership with non-profit Baby2Baby, supplying families in need with essential baby clothing and gear, is an awesome charity too, don't you think? Giving makes the world go 'round!
    Here is Jessica Alba, honestly speaking about why she started the Honest Company:

    Check out The Honest Company on Facebook and Twitter.

    Voice your opinion on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and friend us on Facebook.

    Tuesday, March 06, 2012

    Reputation management needed for Michelle Wie?

    Michelle_wie In the span of a few days I received three press releases about LPGA golfers; two spoke about achievements in the sport and one, about Michelle Wie, offered insight into her “favorite things.”

     The achievements of the first two golfers, Lorena Ochoa and Paige MacKenzie, were self-explanatory. Ochoa is being honored with an EWGA Leadership award next month at the organization’s annual Golfpalooza gathering for her philanthropist efforts. MacKenzie is being appointed as sports ambassador for the National Association of Professional Women.

    As for the press release regarding Michelle Wie, I concluded it to be a prime example of reputation management. Although Wie has shown herself to be a charitable sort thereby offering up a positive view of herself, some golf fans in a recent article referred to her as an overrated mishandled "has-been" with no clue how to win. (I didn’t say this folks. You can read comments here.)

    The comments were in response to Michelle’s angry behavior demonstrated last week at the HSBC Women's Champions tournament in Singapore. Wie tossed her golf club and shouted an expletive (or two) after a mishit drive. Although she apologized after the round, her reaction did not go unnoticed by the media and by fans of the sport. The crowd was spurred on to criticize her most recent act while also reacting to her past seven years of unimpressive results and her flair for the dramatic.

    A team from USGA, U.S. Women’s Open and Kohler immediately put together positive press to counter the growing resentment. Whether good or bad, isn't it important for women’s golf to get some publicity?

     Wie and Co. have created a money machine (Nike, Sony, McDonalds and Kia, to name a few of her sponsors) with her agents and parents very much in control of the purse strings.

    The LPGA and women’s golf in general sorely need attention, good press rarely gets any visibility nowadays and Wie has always been a figure who is larger than life so why not utilize her to help get more eyes on the sport?
    So, without further adieu, here are a few of Michelle Wie’s favorite things:
    · Her dog, Lola
    · Baking vegan cookies and muffins
    · Painting and drawing
    · Classic golf movies like “Caddyshack” and “Happy Gilmore”, as well as the “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” series
    · Blogging and tweeting
    · All kinds of music, from Justin Bieber to Lady Antebellum to The Jakes

    And so, now Michelle Wie's positive side has been shown and we're all full of the "warm fuzzies". Which do you prefer to see and comment upon?

    Voice your opinion on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and friend us on Facebook.

    photo credit: