Monthly Archives: August 2011

PGA Championships and Ryder Cup Matches

The PGA of America is the country’s largest association of golf teaching professionals (as opposed to the PGA Tour, a separate organization comprising the touring pros you see on TV every week).  In addition to certifying teaching pros, the PGA organizes the annual PGA Championship golf tournament and, jointly with the PGA European Tour, the biennial Ryder Cup Matches.

The PGA Championship is the last of the four “major” men’s golf tournaments held every year and is conducted at a wide variety of golf courses throughout the United States.  The PGA schedules the tournament many years in advance.

The 2012 PGA Championship is scheduled for the beautiful Ocean Course on Kiawah Island in South Carolina.  That “links style” course is located right on the Atlantic Ocean and was the site of the memorable Ryder Cup competition in 1991.  The course was designed by Pete and Alice Dye and was used for the filming of the movie “The Legend of Bagger Vance”.

The East Course at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York was designed by Donald Ross and has been the location of several national championships.  In 2013 it’ll be the site of the 2013 PGA Championship.

The 2014 PGA Championship returns to the PGA-owned Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.  Valhalla was designed by Jack Nicklaus, opened in 1986 and has previously hosted the PGA in 1996 and 2000, as well as the Ryder Cup in 2008.  Valhalla is located near the intersection of I-64 and I-265 about 19 miles east of downtown Louisville.

The PGA has selected Whistling Straits to host their annual championship for the third time in 2015.  This is a spectacular links course on the shores of Lake Michigan in Kohler, Wisconsin.

The PGA has used Baltusrol Golf Club before and has chosen the Lower Course to be the site of the 2016 PGA Championship.  Baltusrol was designed by A.W. Tillinghast and is located in Springfield, New Jersey – only 20 miles west of downtown Manhattan.

The Ryder Cup is held every other year (in even-numbered years since 2001) and rotates between sites in the United States and Europe.  The match-play team competition features eight foursomes matches, eight fourball matches and 12 singles matches between American and European professional golfers.  The PGA of America selects the site when the matches are held in the United States.

The 2012 Ryder Cup will be held at Medinah Country Club in Illinois.  Medinah is just a few miles west of O’Hare airport and is approximately 27 miles northwest of downtown Chicago.  The 2012 team captains will be Davis Love III (United States) and Jose Maria Olazabal (Europe).

The Ryder Cup returns to the United States in 2016 and will be held at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.  Hazeltine is a relatively young course for major championships, opened in 1962.  It was designed by Robert Trent Jones and has already hosted several USGA events and two PGA Championships.

Everybody loves the aforementioned Whistling Straits, so the PGA has already scheduled it to be the site of the 2020 Ryder Cup.


Celebrity Cruises From Miami

The schedule of cruises from Miami has been updated at, including all the cruises offered by Celebrity Cruises between now and the middle of 2013.  Celebrity currently limits their departures from Miami to the period between October and April, with four, five and seven day voyages to the Caribbean.  There are also a couple of “repositioning cruises” from Miami available that can take you to Europe or through the Panama Canal to San Diego.

For the 2011-2012 season, Celebrity will have Celebrity Millennium and Celebrity Eclipse based in Miami.  Celebrity Eclipse was added to the fleet in 2010, the latest member of the “Solstice” class of cruise ships.  Choose a cruise on Eclipse and you can enjoy unique amenities like the “rooftop” Lawn Club or the AquaClass staterooms.  Eclipse starts making 7-night trips to the eastern Caribbean on November 12, 2011 and continues doing that every week through April 14, 2012.  Eclipse’s last trip of the season with be a 13-night Transatlantic cruise from Miami to Southampton, England.

Celebrity Millennium will be making shorter 4- and 5-day trips from Miami to the western Caribbean during the 2011-2012 season.  Starting on October 4, 2011 Millennium will alternate 4-night and 5-night cruises until April 16, 2012.  Celebrity is moving Millennium to the West Coast next year – you can move with it on a 15-night Panama Canal cruise that departs Miami on May 12, 2012 headed to San Diego.  Millennium will make the same Miami to San Diego trip again in the Fall of 2012, leaving Miami on October 7th.

When they start cruising again from Miami later in 2012, Celebrity will bring in two different ships – including the brand new Celebrity Reflection.  Reflection is the last of the “Solstice” class ships to hit the waves, benefiting from some “last of the class” upgrades to the Solstice amenities.  Reflection’s first couple of cruises will be in Europe, followed by a Transatlantic trip from Barcelona to Miami that sails on November 18, 2012.  The first Celebrity Reflection cruise from Miami will be a short 3-night trip to the Bahamas, followed by a series of weekly 7-night eastern Caribbean cruises from December 8, 2012 through April 13, 2013.

Also departing from Miami in 2012-13 is Celebrity Constellation, taking over the 4- and 5-night voyages to the western Caribbean that include stops in Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Key West and Cozumel, Mexico.  The first of Constellation’s 5-night western Caribbean trips from Miami leaves on December 5, 2012.  The schedule alternates 4 and 5 day trips through April 11, 2013.

PGA Tour Golf Playoff Hotels

The PGA Tour starts their annual playoffs this week, with visits to golf courses in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois and Georgia over the next five weeks.  Each week players are not only trying to win the tournament, they’re also trying to finish high enough in the FedEx Cup rankings to continue on to the next event.  The purse each week is $8 million, with $1.35 million going to the tournament winner.  The player ranked at the top at the end of the playoffs (not necessarily the winner of the final event) gets $10 million from the $35 million FedEx Cup bonus pool.

The top 125 ranked players of 2011 start things off this week (August 25-28) with The Barclays at Plainfield Country Club in Plainfield, New Jersey.  The main course at Plainfield is a Donald Ross designed layout that has been considered one of the top courses in New Jersey since opening in 1921.  It’s all happening about 30 miles southwest of downtown New York City. can help you find a variety of hotels within five miles of Plainfield Country Club.

The second playoff stop in 2011 is the Deutsche Bank Championship on Labor Day weekend, September 2-5.  That tournament will be played at TPC Boston, near the town of Norton, Massachusetts, about mid-way between Boston and Providence.  The course opened in 2002 based on a design by Arnold Palmer.  Only a few years later, 2007, the tour hired the team of Gil Hanse and Brad Faxon to do a redesign.

For some reason (probably not wanting to go up against the first weekend of the NFL season), the tour takes a week off before the third playoff event, the BMW Championship.  For 2011 the BMW returns to the Dubsdread course at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club in Lemont, Illinois.  Cog Hill is about 28 miles southwest of downtown Chicago.  You’ll find the hotels closest to Cog Hill Golf and Country Club are in the nearby towns of Willowbrook and Darien, along I-55.

The final event in the FedEx Cup playoffs is the Tour Championship, held every year at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia.  Jim Furyk is the defending champion.  As with every stop on the PGA Tour, is ready to help you find hotels near East Lake Golf Club.

The Big 2011-2012 Galveston Cruise Season

The biggest Galveston peak cruise season ever is only a few months away.  Starting in November there will be at least 13 cruises departing each month through April 2012.  Galveston is already seeing major growth as a cruise departure point and things will only get busier in 2012 – all thanks to the addition of some major new ships to the Texas cruise market.

The biggest attraction for the 2011-2012 season is the addition of the big new Carnival Magic cruise ship.  Starting in November Magic will be based year-round in Galveston, leaving every Sunday on 7-day voyages to the western Caribbean or the Bahamas.  This state-of-the-art cruise ship is proving to be very popular, so book soon if you want to get onboard any of Carnival Magic’s November 2011 cruises.

Beginning in November Carnival’s other ship sailing from Texas will be Carnival Triumph.  This “veteran” ship (and beneficiary of multiple renovations) will have a two-week cycle of three cruises to the western Caribbean (lengths of 4 days, 5 days and 5 days).

The third ship departing from Galveston from November to April will be Norwegian Cruise Line’s Mariner of the Seas.  It will be leaving every Sunday on 7-day trips to the western Caribbean, alternating two different itineraries: Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands and Falmouth, Jamaica; or Roatan Island, Honduras; Belize City, Belize and Cozumel, Mexico.  Mariner of the Seas has room for over 3,800 guests, so we’re pretty sure they’ll have a spot for you whenever you decide you’d like to take one of these great cruises.

And things will only get busier at the Galveston in 2012 when Disney Magic comes to town in September.

Upgraded Myrtle Beach Hotel Guide Unveiled screen, a comprehensive guide to the hotels of the greater Myrtle Beach area, has been given a major renovation.  The site covers places to stay along an extensive stretch of the Atlantic coast of South Carolina and North Carolina, ranging from Pawleys Island and Georgetown, SC to Wilmington, NC.

The Real Myrtle Beach now features an upgraded map on each hotel’s page, making it easier than ever to see exactly where the hotel is located and determine proximity to the beach.  Hotel pages also include links to information about nearby hotels and other landmarks – plus some of the current best Myrtle Beach hotel deals.

Separate pages have also been added for hundreds of landmarks in the region.  Each landmark page has the nearest hotels mapped out, with links to more information.  TheRealMyrtleBeach has guides to finding hotels near Myrtle Beach parks, hotels near South Carolina and North Carolina churches, places to stay near the region’s malls and shopping centers plus several other categories of places.

Stamford Sheraton Opens in Connecticut

Stamford, Connecticut – a popular spot for corporate headquarters in the New York metropolitan area – received an addition to its hotel stock when the Sheraton Stamford opened a couple of weeks ago.  The Sheraton is located on the east side of downtown Stamford, just a couple of blocks from I-95 and the new Stamford Town Center retail complex.

The Sheraton Stamford is the result of a multi-million dollar renovation of a former Holiday Inn, with thorough upgrades to the lobby, restaurant and guest rooms.  The old-but-new hotel features many of the latest Sheraton amenities including the Link@Sheraton social/internet area in the lobby, the Link Cafe, Sheraton’s Sweet Sleeper beds and the Club Lounge for those who choose to stay in one of the rooms in the hotel’s Sheraton Club Level.

The hotel’s on-site restaurant is called 700 Main and promises a “variety of traditional American fare” to those who choose to take a meal at this very nicely renovated spot.  They offer a breakfast buffet daily.  More casual dining and liquid refreshments are available in the 700 Lobby Bar.

Nearby businesses in Stamford include corporate offices of General Electric, Philips, Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS, World Wrestling Entertainment – and the future home of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts headquarters, the Sheraton parent company.

The Sheraton Stamford is one of over 60 new Sheratons scheduled to open in the next three years.  You can find the Sheraton nearest wherever you’re going at