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The par-4 13th at Pinehurst No. 2 is a perfect example of the rugged look reintroduced by Coore and Crenshaw. (Pinehurst Resort)

The par-4 13th at Pinehurst No. 2 is a perfect example of the rugged look reintroduced by Coore and Crenshaw. (Pinehurst Resort)

This year’s back-to-back U.S. Opens were two of my favorites ever.

Yes, Martin Kaymer sucked most of the drama out of things with his brilliant play–and Michelle Wie added a bit back–but for golf course architecture nerds like me, Pinehurst No. 2 was the star.

Why?

Because I’m down with brown.

If you watched coverage of the men’s and/or women’s U.S. Opens, you probably noticed that Pinehurst No. 2 was a lot less green than in past years.

Contrary to what we’ve grown accustomed to here in the USA, I think that’s a great thing.

Let me explain:

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As you probably noticed, I travel quite a bit.

Want to know one thing I’ve seen golfers doing around the world?

They’re drinking sugary sports drinks or popping those energy shots that claim to last for 5 hours.

I’m not an expert or a doctor, but based on what I’ve read, seen, and personally experienced, you should never drink these things because they can do more harm than good.

Consider this:

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broadmoor-e-w-aerialQuick quiz: What is the best golf resort in the United States?

Pebble Beach?

Pinehurst?

Bandon Dunes?

According to Golf Magazine‘s list of Premier Golf Resorts 2014-2015, the best golf resort in the United States is…

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The Worst Golf Gifts for Dads and Grads

by Craig Better

Jun102014

Of all the goofy golf gifts I’ve received, this one leads from behind.

This is the time of year when everyone comes out with their lists of, “Best Golf Gifts for Dads and Grads.”

Well, I want to talk about the worst, which are far more common.

Hey, I know it’s hard to buy stuff for golfers, especially if the gift giver doesn’t play.

And don’t get me wrong, the thoughts and gestures are always appreciated.

The products themselves?

That’s another story.

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Stonehouse Golf pictures - Royal County Down

This is one of my favorite gift ideas because it’s classy, personalized, it costs less than $100…and it makes your recipient think of their happiest golf memories — and of you — every time they look at it.

Here’s what I’m talking about…

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Tetherow’s rugged look echoes the original Bandon Dunes course, another David McLay Kidd design.

Tetherow’s rugged look echoes the original Bandon Dunes course, another David McLay Kidd design.

Thanks to Dave R., Eileen G., Matthew C., Marc K., Ken H., Marty B., Bob M., and everyone else who commented on last week’s tip about America’s best boutique golf resorts east of the Mississippi River.

Today you’ll find out the best in the West.

Again, our definition is a property with only 12-100 rooms and usually one golf course…that you can often have all to yourself ;)

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This just may be the best boutique mountain golf resort in the United States.

Primland is one of the best boutique mountain golf resorts in the United States.

Have you ever been to a boutique golf resort?

If not, I highly recommend you experience one.

With only, say, 12-100 rooms and usually one golf course, the vibe and experience are very different than what you’re probably used to.

Like when people greet you warmly by your name?

And having a golf course entirely to yourself?

If so…

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<center>The 17th hole is often the highlight of rounds at TPC Sawgrass and Florida golf vacations.</center>

The 17th hole is often the highlight of rounds at TPC Sawgrass and Florida golf vacations.

Unlike some of the private TPC courses played on tour, anyone can play the Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass…and I just love that.

You must love it, too, because I always get flooded with questions about playing at TPC Sawgrass as soon as the last putt drops — this year was a little later than most ;)

So, before my inbox fills up even more, here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions and a few insider tips you should know if you’d like to play one of the best, most famous, and most recognizable golf courses in the world.

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