Inspired by the mud, glamour and excitement of last Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, leading jockey Jim Cassidy has his sights set on the 140th running of the prestigious race next year – but the champion hoop will be packing his golf clubs rather than his saddle.
The Melbourne Cup and Golden Slipper winning jockey has teamed up with golf professional Mike Mosher to escort Teed-Up Golf Tour’s inaugural Kentucky Derby Golf Tour, from April 28 to May 6, 2014.
Teed Up, Australia’s leading golf tour company, has created a golf and racing themed experience that includes being trackside at Churchill Downs next May when 20 top thoroughbreds vie for glory before the eyes of world in the race dubbed ‘the fastest two minutes in sports’.
The racing theme of the tour continues with tickets to the Kentucky Oaks and a ‘money can’t buy’ opportunity to tour Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in the heart of “Bluegrass” Kentucky. Ashford is home to America’s best young sires and the experience also includes a luncheon hosted by Coolmore.
The 2014 Kentucky Derby Golf Tour is also a chance to experience some of America’s finest golf courses and hone game skills under the guidance of golf professional Mike Mosher whose 10 years on the professional circuit included several Pro Am wins, qualifying for three Australian Opens and making the cut in the 1996 tournament which marked Greg Norman’s fifth Australian Open victory.
The tour includes four rounds of golf played at The Pete Dye and Donald Ross Courses at The French Lick, the Big Spring Country Club and Valhalla Golf Club. Valhalla, which has been ranked in America’s Top 100 Greatest Golf Courses for the past 22 years, has hosted PGA Championship wins by some of the biggest names in world golf, including Tiger Woods, Tom Watson and Hale Irwin.
The 2014 Kentucky Derby Golf Tour experience is topped off with a tour of a Kentucky bourbon distillery and accommodation at the historic French Lick Springs Hotel and The Galt House, the official hotel of the Kentucky Derby.
For Jim Cassidy, it promises to be ‘the trip of a lifetime’.
“It’s an outstanding opportunity for all golf enthusiasts and racing fans – for me, it will be the trip of a lifetime,” he says. “It doesn’t get much better than playing some of the world’s top golf courses and experiencing one of the world’s great races – it’s the ultimate holiday experience in my book.”
Jim Cassidy’s skills on a golf course are not quite on par with those on a racehorse, but they are impressive nonetheless – his handicap has been as low as 7, but is currently 10. As a licensed jockey, he will not be able to tip on the Kentucky Derby, but he is hoping to pick up some golfing tips from Mike Mosher.
“I haven’t spent anywhere near as much time as I’d like to on a golf course during the past few years due to a pretty demanding racing schedule, but I’ve made the decision that I won’t ride in the Brisbane carnival next year and am committed to escorting Teed-Up’s inaugural Kentucky Derby Golf Tour with Mike,” Jim says. “Teed Up is Australia’s leading golf tour company and I’m honoured and proud to be part of this landmark tour. Mike’s an ex-tour player, and also a great teacher from what I have heard from others in the industry, so I’m looking forward to picking up some tips from him for my game”
While Jim Cassidy is never likely to ride in a Kentucky Derby he is looking forward to experiencing its thrill as a spectator. The first Saturday in May in Kentucky is akin to the first Tuesday in November in Australia when the nation stops for the running of the Melbourne Cup. The Kentucky Derby has its own great traditions with the coveted Garland of Roses, the Mint Julep cocktail and the moving moment when the horses take to track to the strains of My Old Kentucky Home.
“The Kentucky Derby is one of the world’s great races – it will be tremendous just to be there, riding or not,” Jim says. “Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May is a world of excitement with the huge number of people who attend, the great traditions and the top class racing. It will be a terrific thrill for me to experience it.”
The jockey is also looking forward to trying his hand at the new experience of ‘tour escort’ and to sharing the duties with Mike Mosher.
“We’re both pretty easy going and like a bit of fun, but we’re both also pedantic about attention to detail which I think is important for any great tour experience,” Jim says. “Racing and golf have a lot in common – both are very tactical and require patience and timing. I think it’s a good mix – Mike can look after the golf side of things and I can tell a few yarns about my racing career and offer some insights about what’s going on in the mounting yard and how the jockeys might be feeling as they take to the track for the Kentucky Derby and Oaks. I also think we’re incredibly lucky to be able to visit Coolmore’s Ashford stud – it’s one of the world’s leading horse studs and, you never know, we just might be lucky enough to see a future equine champion!”
Mike Mosher, who is now Teed Up’s Director of Golf, believes playing the Valhalla golf course will be another highlight of the 2014 Kentucky Derby Golf Tour. He ranks the Jack Nicklaus-designed course among his own Top 5 in the world.
“It’s always a great experience to play a championship course that has hosted some of the world’s great golfers, particularly if you’ve followed their tournament wins on TV,” Mike says. “But it’s one thing to watch golf at Valhalla and a whole new experience to actually play it. Every course has its own advantages and challenges, but to me Valhalla comes close to the perfect golf course with its challenging greens, high quality fairways and the whole southern hospitality that this very private course provides.”
The Valhalla course also has another feature, which is in keeping with the racing theme of Teed Up’s 2014 Kentucky Derby Golf Tour – its 18th green is in the shape of a horseshoe.
“We’re pretty excited at Teed Up about our inaugural Kentucky Derby Golf Tour with its mix of racing and golf experiences,” Mike says. “I’m looking forward to sharing some insights into the world of golf and it will be terrific to experience the Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky Oaks and the Coolmore stud tour with a jockey of Jim Cassidy’s calibre – hopefully I can also help him get his handicap back to single figures!”
Special Offer: A free ticket to join celebrities at Ferdinand’s Ball during Kentucky Derby week will be included with each 2014 Kentucky Derby Golf Tour booking made before May 30 2013.
Itinerary: To see the itinerary and inclusions for Teed Up’s 2014 Kentucky Derby Golf Tour click here.
Bookings: Download a booking form or or contact Teed Up on 02 8458 9000 or by email.
About Teed Up: To find out more about Teed Up’s golf tour experiences please visit www.teedupgolftours.com
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) – Mystical Golf – owner and operator of the acclaimed The Witch, Man-O-War and The Wizard golf courses – announces its value-packed, affordable stay-and-play summer vacation getaway from June 1 – Aug. 31.
Proclaimed the “Best Value” in the Grand Strand by GOLF Magazine, Mystical Golf’s trio of diverse Dan Maples-designed 18s are all rated from 4 to 4-1/2 stars by Golf Digest. At $89 per person, per night (taxes included), this extraordinary offer includes (www.mysticalgolf.com):
Three rounds with cart on The Witch, The Wizard and Man-O-War
Three nights’ lodging in well-appointed, three-bedroom golf villas (four beds)
Complimentary iHOP breakfast daily
Free steak dinner at Logan’s Roadhouse (includes non-alcoholic beverages, taxes)
Lunch, range balls and two beers free at the course each day
$15 gift card toward a golf shirt
Instant replay round for cart fee only
After a long, tough winter and spring in much of North America, visitors will cherish the Grand Strand’s warmth and sunshine from June through August. Post-golf fun features a bounty of attractions including The Alabama Theatre, The House of Blues, Brookgreen Gardens, The Bowery, Broadway at the Beach, Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, and the seafood hotspot of Murrells Inlet, For baseball fans, the Pelicans – a Class A advanced affiliate of the Texas Rangers – play at one of the best minor league stadiums in the game (TicketReturn.Com Field).
“Summer provides the best value for getaways here at Mystical Golf,” says Claude Pardue, President and CEO. “We like to make it as easy as pie to play our three heralded courses and enjoy comfortable lodging ideal for recharging after a full day of fun in the sun.”
The Witch sits on 500 acres of tranquil cypress groves and wetlands teeming with flora and fauna. Tactical play is rewarded on the par-71, 6,702-yard layout. With 4,000 feet of bridges wending through swamps (front nine) and rolling hills (back nine), golfers may spy cranes, bald eagles, alligators and black bears.
Man-O-War is revered for its back-to-back island greens and water features touching every hole. With a commanding 141 slope rating, the par-72, 6,967-yard layout is offset by straight-forward shots and excellent, bent-grass greens.
Reminiscent of classic, wind-swept links courses in Scotland and Ireland, The Wizard presents deep bunkers, mound-framed fairways and dramatic elevation changes. Trademark stone bridges and an Old-World, castle-style clubhouse add character to the par-72, 6,721-yard shot-maker’s course.
For Mystical Golf information: www.mysticalgolf.com, 843.282.2977.
HYATT house unveiled the Very Important Resident program, which provides guests staying 30 or more nights with such personal touches and services as complimentary food and laundry credits and the option to arrive with a refrigerator fully stocked with groceries of their choice.
HYATT house is also offering two new benefits for all guests: The Morning Spread, a complimentary breakfast featuring a made-to-order Omelet Bar, and Hyatt Has It – Borrows, a service that allows guests to borrow items commonly forgotten at such as phone chargers and curling irons.
Guests staying 30 nights or more at HYATT house earn status as a Very Important Resident.
Goway Travel’s special events unit was named an official Licensed Travel Operator for The Presidents Cup 2013 taking place in Dublin, Ohio, Oct. 1-6. The tournament will be played at Jack Nicklaus’s Muirfield Village Golf Club with top US players competing with European players. Fred Couples will return as the U.S. Team Captain and South Africa’s Nick Price will captain the International Team. Competing will be Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Adam Scott.
The Goway Special Events Team has offered packages for a number of big events, including the 2011 Rugby World Cup, 2013 World Police and Fire Games in Belfast and the 2013 World Masters Games in Turin. Three-night/four-day land-only packages start from $1,835 per person.
In celebration of El Camaleón Golf Club OHL Golf Classic at Mayakoba Pro-Am tournament scheduled for the week of November 11, the Rosewood Mayakoba unveiled the Ultimate Golf Package at a price tag of $175,000. Designed for just three golfers, it will feature a private lesson with golf instructor Jim McLean, a round of golf with sports legend Greg Norman at Playa Mujeres with private helicopter transportation to and from and three positions in the OHL Classic.
The tournament, which is held at the Greg Norman designed championship course at Mayakoba, boasts a $6 million purse, the largest of any professional tournament in Latin America. The OHL Classic at Mayakoba made history in 2007 when it became the first PGA TOUR event contested outside the U.S. and Canada.
Throughout the tournament, guests will have honorary observer positions and access to the exclusive Founders Club and will stay in the 6,272 square-foot Presidential Lagoon Suite. The seven-night package includes preferred seating at the tournament’s official grand opening ceremony and seats at the VIP table at the Pairings Party. The trip culminates with a private BBQ on Rosewood Mayakoba’s beach and a tequila tasting.
Southwest Airlines wants to establish itself as the “Official Airline of Golf Lovers” with a new series of initiatives designed to appeal to golf enthusiasts. Through a new partnership with Adams Golf the airline launched www.southwest.com/golf for golfers, posting advantageous fares to popular golf destinations, golf vacation packages, the ability to book tee times at 5,000 golf courses, and the opportunity to purchase golf merchandise and golf experiences using Rapid Rewards points. To launch the new initiative, the partnership is offering a golf-themed fare sale March 26-28.
Southwest’s partnership with Adams Golf is based on sponsorship agreement for Adams PGA Tour staff players who will carry co-branded bags designed in the blue and red colors of the Southwest aircraft livery. Adams also launched the Easy Million Rapid Rewards Promotion that gives Rewards Members the chance to win One Million Rapid Rewards points with purchases of Adams equipment.
The announcement comes as IHG reveals the results of a global online survey that reveals that nearly half of adults (43 percent) would choose not to stay in a hotel that charged for Internet.
IHG is believed to be the first and only hotel group to offer free Internet in all hotels to all loyalty program members. The offer takes effect in July for Elite members and extends to all members in 2014.
The move comes as IHG announces that it will be enhancing and renaming its loyalty program Priority Club Rewards as IHG Rewards Club in July and introducing a range of new benefits for members.
“In today’s fast-paced world, we know that travellers need to stay connected and free Internet access is increasingly important,” said Richard Solomons, chief executive of IHG. “2013 marks 10 years since IHG became a standalone company. Whilst we are relatively young as a business, our brands, such as Holiday Inn and InterContinental, have a deep history and a powerful heritage and are instantly recognized by millions around the world.”
The Makena Resort on Maui has begun the second phase of renovations, which includes the Makena Golf Course. The course will be closed for the multimillion-dollar improvement program and is slated to reopen during the first quarter of 2014.
Plans include design elements that are inspired by the area, with its kiawe forest, indigenous trees, ancient rock formations and natural streams. It will remain one of Maui’s only sea-to-mountain golf courses.
The Cafe on the Green, which boasts wide-angle views of Makena’s southernmost fairway and the ocean, will remain open daily for lunch, afternoon snacks and early dinner throughout the renovation.
JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts partnered with nutritionist and author Keri Glassman to create a new JW Kids Menu, helping children build healthy eating habits while traveling — and arming them with the skills they need to continue the practice at home.
The interactive menu, debuting at JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts in the U.S. this spring, features comfort food favorites with a healthy twist. “With kids’ food choices becoming increasingly diverse, we are looking to create dining options that are fresh, healthy and imaginatively tasty,” said Mitzi Gaskins, vice president & global brand manager for JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts. “These items will not only delight kids from a culinary standpoint, but will also let parents know the JW Marriott brand cares about the well-being of their entire family.”
Available for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the JW Kids Menu is divided into three sections: Kids Nosh, Big Kids and This, That & the Other.
The Kids Nosh includes items such as fresh-cut cucumber and carrot sticks with a low-fat yogurt ranch dip or cheese cubes and grapes.
Big Kids catering to older kids, featuring well-balanced, recognizable favorites like turkey meatballs along with mini adult offerings for more sophisticated palates such as grilled organic chicken.
This, That & the Other is designed to empower kids to make their own healthy choices, enabling them to mix-and-match with guidance from parents.
“Just as adults should maintain their diet and exercise routines while traveling, kids should as well,” said Glassman. “Travel presents opportunities to try new things and even lets kids bring new food favorites or habits home with them. The new JW Kids Menu helps kids accomplish just that.”
Accompanied by an activity book, crayons and a take-home reusable cup, the new kids menu layout focuses on art and features a mini “curator” cartoon who will lead kids through art activities, games and food choices, helping mix-and-match the right meal and teaching important nutrition information.
El Encanto in Santa Barbara; 21c in Bentonville, Arkansas; Mama Shelter in Marseilles, France; Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa in Nicaragua; Berkeley River Lodge, Australia; and Odzala Camps, Republic of the Congo were among the 61 best new hotels and resorts to be named to the Travel + Leisure 2013 It List. Selected by Travel + Leisure editors, the eighth annual It List is now available in the June issue of the magazine. The properties are arranged in six categories: City, Rustic, Design, Beach, Renovation, and Resort.
Properties under the City category included Banyan Tree Shanghai on the Bund; Das Stue, Berlin; East, Beijing; Fairmont Jaipur, India; Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto; Gran Melia Rome Villa Agrippina; Hub Porteño, Buenos Aires; Leela Palace, Chennai, India; Mandarin Oriental, Guangzhou, China; Nomad Hotel, New York; Palace Hotel, Tokyo; Palacio Nazarenas, Cuzco, Peru; Park Hyatt, Hyderabad, India; Shangri-La, Mumbai; Sofitel Mumbai Bandra Kurla; St. Regis, Doha, Qatar; Taj Palace Marrakesh, Morocco; Tokyo Station Hotel; Waldorf Astoria, Berlin; Wythe Hotel, New York; and Zero George, Charleston, S.C.
Winners under the Rustic category included Berkeley River Lodge, Kimberley Coast, Australia; Capaldi Atlas Mountains, Morocco; Cicada Lodge, Nitmiluk National Park, Australia; Kura Design Villas, Costa Rica; Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador; Monaci Delle Terre Nere, Sicily; Monteverdi, Val d’Orcia, Italy; Odzala Camps, Republic of the Congo; Pig in the Wall, Southampton, England; Refugia, Chiloé, Chile; Singita Mara River Lodge, Tanzania; and Segera Retreat, Laikipia Plateau, Kenya.
Under the Design category, winners were Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht; Bulgari Hotel & Residences, London; Café Royal, London; Downtown México, Mexico City; Ett Hem, Stockholm; ITC Grand Chola, Chennai, India; JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai; Macalister Mansion, Penang, Malaysia; Mama Shelter, Marseilles, France; The Siam, Bangkok; SLS South Beach, Miami Beach; and 21c, Bentonville, Arkansas
The Beach category included Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Puerto Rico; Jumeirah Port Soller, Mallorca, Spain; Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa, Guacalito de la Isla, Nicaragua; Oyster Inn, Waiheke Island, New Zealand; and Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort, St. Lucia
Winners under the Renovation category were El Encanto, Santa Barbara, Calif.;
Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice, Italy; Hotel Alfonso XIII, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Seville, Spain; Hotel Jerome, Aspen; and The Peninsula, Hong Kong.
Under the Resort category, winners were Alpina Gstaad, Switzerland; Amanzo’e, Porto Heli, Greece; Botanique Hotel & Spa, Brazil; Trident Hotel, Port Antonio, Jamaica; Uma by Como, Punakha, Bhutan; and Vivanta by Taj Madikeri, India.
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