Nov 21, 2016 | 06:27 am

And The Winners Are…

Forget the Emmys and the Oscars: What you want to know is who won the 17th annual Golf Destination and Golf Resort Awards, given out by IAGTO, the International Association of Golf Travel Operators. This group of more than 650 golf-travel specialists (resorts, airlines, travel agents, media, and others) from 61 countries names top destinations, courses, and resorts in a number of categories. The winners—including Sustainability Awards, given in conjunction with GEO, Golf Environment Organization—were announced last week at a gala dinner on the isle of Mallorca, Spain. For more on the awards, including past winners, check out the IAGTO website. The 2017 winners are:

IAGTO Awards winners

Golf Destination of the Year-North America: North Florida, US

Golf Destination of the Year-Latin America & Caribbean: Los Cabos, Mexico

Golf Destination of the Year-Africa & Gulf States: Western Cape, South Africa

Golf Destination of the Year-Europe: Andalucía, Spain

Golf Destination of the Year-Asia & Australasia: Chiang Mai Province, Thailand

Golf Resort of the Year–Europe: Costa Navarino, Greece

Golf Resort of the Year–North America: Barefoot Resort & Golf, South Carolina, US

Golf Resort of the Year–Rest of the World: Laguna Golf Lăng Cô, Vietnam

Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year: Kärnten (Carinthia), Austria


IAGTO Sustainability Awards winners

Sustainable Golf Destination of the Year: Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, US

Sustainable Golf Course of the Year–Nature Protection: Great Rift Valley Lodge & Golf Resort, Kenya

Sustainable Golf Course of the Year–Community Value: Laguna Golf Phuket, Thailand

Sustainable Golf Course of the Year–Resource Efficiency: Pebble Beach Resorts, California, US

Sustainable Golf Course of the Year–Outstanding Commitment to Sustainable Golf: Machrihanish Dunes, Scotland

And those weren’t the only prizes given out last week. The World Golf Awards also were announced after voting by others in the golf travel and tourism industry as well as golf travelers themselves. There were winners in many different categories, which can be viewed on the website along with all the nominees. Here are some of the “World” winners for 2016:

Best Golf Destination: Portugal

Best Golf Course: Old Course, St. Andrews, Scotland

Best New Golf Course: Ba Na Hills GC, Da Nang, Vietnam (pictured above)

Best Golf Hotel: St. Regis Saddiyat Island, Abu Dhabi

Lifetime Achievement Award: David Leadbetter

Golf Course Designer of the Year: Sir Nick Faldo

Best Eco-Friendly Golf Facility: Osprey Point GC, Boca Raton, Florida

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Nov 18, 2016 | 08:48 am

The Renovation at Seminole

Seminole Golf Club, located in Juno Beach, Fla., has long been ranked within the top 25 courses in the World. The club is also famous for its exclusivity and privacy. The only peek into Seminole that most golfers get during the year is during its famous Pro-Member, when the top PGA Tour pros join Seminole members for a tournament on the course. The club recently brought in Coore & Crenshaw to renovate the layout and restore some of the original Donald Ross elements. Among the changes are tree removal, new tees, and many renovated bunkers, among other things. The club also produced a beautiful in-depth video outlining the changes.

With Seminole's exclusivity in mind, it's a real treat to watch the video linked below, which is an aerial tour of the course. Ben Crenshaw narrates the video and highlights the architectural changes that he and his team have implemented over the past months. Enjoy!

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Nov 17, 2016 | 06:34 am

Tee Times

We don’t know of many golf courses that allow you to play in a t-shirt. But we still like a new series of casual tees, with a golf theme, designed by noted artist Lee Wybranski, who has been creating the official posters for the U.S. Open and PGA Championship for the last few years. The new collection is called Rat Pack Throwback and features a ‘50s-ish design in a choice of sayings, colors, and styles, including for both men and women. The shirts are $29 from Wybranksi’s website, where you also will find his posters and other products that will be a big hit with golfers this holiday season.

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Nov 16, 2016 | 08:20 am

Top Golfers

Topgolf held its first Tour Championship Sunday at its flagship facility in Las Vegas on Sunday. Adam Ball (white cap) and Steven Jenkins of Virginia Beach beat 15 other teams to become the nation's ultimate Topgolfers and pocket $50,000. The teams were broken up in four groups for round-robin play of altnerate-shot TopShot Advanced before the top eight teams moved onto the quarterfinals. The championship was a best of three alternate shot, starting with TopShot Advanced and two rounds of TopPressure Advanced, a new game that ups the ante from TopPressure. After amassing 437 points in the East Regional, Ball and Jenkins took down teams from Oklahoma City, Denver, and San Antonio to take the title. Because of their win, the Virginia Beach Topgolf venue is offering free play to its guests through this Sunday. Both Ball and Jenkins played golf at Virginia Commonwealth University and have toured professionally. They won the Virginia Beach regional qualifier back in August to earn an all expenses-paid trip to the Topgolf Tour Championship. The Buzz is excited to see a giant winner's check once again in golf. We say, bring it back to the PGA Tour!

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