Surfing for golf on the Internet
March 2, 2001
There are over 3300 Web sites devoted to golf on the Internet.
I haven’t seen them all and I don’t plan to. Anyone maintaining that level of golf obsession would easily prove that they needed to get a life.
On the other hand, as part of my “work” for this column, I frequently click on several golf sites that are well worth visiting. Here are some of the places I often visit on the ‘Net that Cape Region golfers might find useful, entertaining, or both.
Beginning golfers and others with an interest in the Rules of Golf should go directly to the USGA’s site, www.usga.org. In addition to an online copy of the Rules of Golf, the site includes many other useful features. The Association’s Handicapping section includes not only a copy of their Handicap Manual, but also a helpful collection of articles that explain how they developed and use this popular system to enhance competition among players.
The Green Section portion of the site is also useful for members of the greens and grounds committees for Cape Region clubs. A recent piece in the USGA Mid-Atlantic section of this part of the site explains the need for patience during the pre-season turf preparations during March.
Surprisingly enough, some people don’t like golf, and somehow try to claim the sport is bad for the environment. Whenever I hear these unthinking comments, I revisit the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America site, at www.gcsaa.org, and then I’m prepared to respond.
While much of the site is password-protected for members only, the Media section is open to all visitors. This part includes a wide selection of environmental articles. I recommend the sections that describe the environmental benefits of golf courses, the Frequently Asked Questions on pesticides, and the piece on water conservation.
In addition, the Media section also includes information for golfers on several other topics, such as pieces on ball marks and divots, green speed issues, aerification, and the use of effluent water for irrigation.
For tournament coverage, the top two sites have to be those run by the PGA Tour and the LPGA. Both sites provide real time tournament scores, interviews with the players, tournament schedules and television times, and several regular columnists. Naturally, they also include online stores for tour-related souvenirs and golf equipment.
Several Internet golf stores have faltered in the last six months, swept up along with others in the recent dot com business bust. The Edwin Watts site is still going strong, though, at www.edwinwattsgolf.com. Check out their specials at the “Watts on sale” section and you may be surprised at the bargains.
For golf commentary with some bite to it, take a look at Ray A. March’s GolfReader.com site. March is a former contributing golf editor for the Robb Report magazine, and his site includes pieces on golf resorts, a monthly opinion column, and golf book reviews.
March is not at all shy about expressing himself. On occasion, I’ve e-mailed him with a short note: “Ray, don’t hold back. Tell me how you really feel.”
March and I provide readers with cross-links to our separate reviews of several golf books, especially those where we disagree.
Public golf courses now know that many of their potential golfing customers are Internet-savvy, and Cape Region clubs are keeping up with the trend. For example, the Bear Trap Dunes site, www.beartrapdunes.com, features information about tee times, the course layout, a copy of the scorecard, and membership opportunities for the semi-private course.
The newest public course in the Cape Region, The Rookery, recently put up its own site at www.rookerygolf.com. The site displays the course layout, the rates, and handy contact information. It’s a simple but effective design.
Then, of course, there’s HoleByHole.com. But you knew about that one already.