Thursday, April 12, 2012

TIger Woods Announces Upcoming Schedule


Tiger Woods, after his disappointing play in the Masters, will make his next appearance May 3-6 in the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, the tournament announced Wednesday.

Tiger Woods And His Actions At The 2012 Masters


In follow-up to the Masters golf tournament was my appearance on ESPN Outside The Lines (April 9, 2012 at 3:00 EST). I received lots of feedback. It's always good to hear the thoughts and opinions of others.

One Viewer emailed me to say: “So are you going to just defend Tiger no matter how immature he acts? Seems pretty racist to me. Bet if he wasn't African American you'd agree with everyone else who thinks he's a disgrace now.”


My response: Calling Tiger a "disgrace" is a bit too much in my opinion. His actions were not in the spirit and tradition of the game and he should have been able to maintain his composure regardless of how he was playing. But he didn't and he deserves to be chastised and called on it.
But what I feel is disgraceful is the double standard some fans have with Tiger Woods. They love the fiery competitive attitude and energy he brings to the game, but they criticize any and every slip-up or mistake he makes.
Let's not forget who makes the needle move in the world of golf. Like it or not, Tiger Woods is the face of professional golf regardless of how he is playing. Four shots ahead, or seven shots back, the cameras and fans want to watch Tiger play. He makes money for everyone in the game.

Due to the fact that he is so popular the cameras and microphones are always on him and they seem to capture his every move: good and bad. I am 100% sure that if other touring pros had the same exposure you would see some slammed clubs and hear some off-color comments when they hit poor shots too. But who cares about the guys who aren't in contention?

Henrik Stenson slammed his club and dropped a few choice words during the Masters this year after hitting a poor shot on the 18th hole Friday, but where is the article about him being a disgrace to the game? I guess when the Henrik Stenson 2013 golf game is released we might read something about that incident. But hold on; He doesn't have a video game named after him.

Your comment about me being a racist is almost laughable. I write and say what I believe in my heart and regardless of the color of the person I am commenting on. I keep it as real as possible. You, if you think I have this undying devotion to Tiger because I am Black, remember Tiger refused to say he was Black, and not everyone in the Black community loves him. I realize that may come as a shock to you. But, yes, some Black people don't like Tiger Woods.

When you use the word disgrace remember players like Tommy Bolt—the famous club thrower— and John Daly who not only disgraced the game but himself, countless times on and off the course. I work with words and I choose them wisely. If Tiger Woods is such a disgrace to the game, do us all a favor and don't watch him play anymore.

Let me know your thoughts on this. Fine me at www.EdWanambwa.com or friend me on Facebook.

Edward S. Wanambwa

Stonington, Maine: A Vacation Away From The Tourist Crowds



My wife and I first discovered Deer Isle, Maine,about twenty five years ago.  I had friends who recommended it and we were interested in experiencing the “real” Maine, not the “tourist” Maine.  We drove most of two days from Philadelphia staying overnight along the way.  When we reached Portland, we thought we were almost there. When we reached Elsworth, we were certain it was close by, but it was still an hour’s drive before we crossed the high green bridge to the island and another 30 minutes before we reached Stonington the largest community at the southern most tip of Deer Isle. You might say it’s “off the beaten path.”
 
Nevertheless, Stonington is a charming little town with much to offer visitors and permanent residents. Deer Isle is home to 2,500 people year-round and the number more than doubles in the summer.  The 28 mile-long island was once a major center for quarrying granite (some is still done) and many of New York City’s early skyscrapers and the Brooklyn Bridge are of stone from Deer Isle.  Lobster fishing is now the main business here and like much of rural Maine people often have more than one job. 

Stonington’s block long main street, next to the harbor, has a food market at one end and the century old Opera House at the other (now an arts center and movie theater).  There are a couple of restaurants, a hardware store, several art galleries, an antique shop, two small motels, and a real estate office.  Summer rentals are big on the island. Our favorite restaurant is Fisherman’s Friend where they serve a delicious lobster stew.  Lots of lobster without all the work.  Its wild blueberry pie is the best I’ve ever eaten.  

But its hard to beat Eaton’s Pier at the north end of Little Deer Isle (there are actually two islands connected by a twisting causeway).  They unload some of the lobster catch from boats here and will boil them for you in 50 gallon steel barrels with propane burners.  You eat them at wooden picnic tables on the dock.  There are no fancy tools to help you get to the lobster meat, just some grapefruit size rocks to crack the shells. A roll of paper towels helps keep you neat. Nothing fancy, just great taste.

Every Christmas we buy fresh pine wreaths (handmade by Deer Isle women) for family and friends from Harbor Farm, a lovely retail business on the island.  See www. harborfarm.com  Also see Nervous Nellie’s Jams & Jellies at www.nervousnellies.com and help support the local economy.

We were on Deer Isle over the July 4th and got to see the holiday parade at the island’s other
little community Deer IsleVillage.  It’s less than half the size of Stonington and has two streets each about a block long.  The parade begins at the fire house and marches to the point where the streets intersect and makes a left turn. In another hundred yards, it turns around and heads back to the fire house. You see the whole parade twice, but don’t be late for its over in about ten minutes. 

The parade “Band” a ragtag group of various musical instruments and ages does not march, but sits at intersection of the two streets so the music can be heard the full length of the march. There were fire trucks, kids with decorated bikes, scout troops, and old veterans.  The Haystack School of Crafts here attracts artists from across the country each summer and they always take part in the parade.  This year a dozen artists were dressed as giant misquotes in handmade costumes.  It was a big summer for pesky insects and the small crowd of spectators laughed and cheered loudly.

Haystack is one of the treasures on Deer Isle.  Although its only open to the public for its
craft auctions, which occur in the evenings near the end of each two week workshop session, its well worth visiting. Fine crafts (in various craft media) from workshop participants and faculty are auctioned off to benefit the scholarship program.  There are many excellent bargains to be had by craft enthusiasts and lots of fun for all.

Back in Stonington, a popular activity is taking the mail boat to Isle of Haut, a few miles away.
A portion of the Isle is now part of Arcadia National Park and great for nature walks, bird watching, and hiking.  There’s a lovely inn on the island where you can enjoy a delicious meal, but don’t miss the mail boat back to Stonington or you’ll be an overnight guest.

There is golfing near Stonington at the Island Country Club.  Rental clubs are available at this
nine hole, 2,400 yard, par 34 course, open to the public.  Stay on the fairway, however, since the rough is pretty much impossible to navigate.  Tee times are first come, first served.

Near Fisherman’s Friend Restaurant is a sandlotball field where locals of all ages play
ball.  After dinner one evening we watched a pickup game of young kids (both boys and girls of various ages and skill levels, who shared ball gloves playing field) who were too few for full teams.  It was a delightful throwback to the past and a reminder of my own youth.

Deer Isle has a new high school and each Spring graduating seniors (about two dozen) paint the first names of their classmates on foot long pieces of wood and nail them to the telephone poles along the road into town.  No need for last names, everyone here knows who they are.  Its like that in Stonington, Maine. 





James Weaver
GolfWiz Blog
Senior Travel Editor 

Quebec City: A Little Bit of Paris in Nearby Canada




No place in Canada (or North America) is more like Europe than Quebec City, Quebec.  While French is the official language, nearly everyone is bilingual and American`` English is widely spoken.  Both languages are taught in the schools.  But its more than just language, its the culture -- the architecture, the gardens and fountains, the public art, the hospitality, the charm, and the food (especially the food).  Like Paris, there are small cafes and bistros that offer tasty croissants and other fine pastries. Virtually every one has tables on the sidewalks where you can sit and enjoy your espresso while you observe the passing scene.  Very Parisian.
 
We were fortunate to have the opportunity to dine at one of the city’s leading French bistro restaurants  l’Echaude www.echaude.com/en Our opening course was a wild mushroom soup followed by entrees of calves liver and duck confit.  The food and service were both suburb.  It was raining when we left, but fortunately our hotel the Auberge St. Pierre www.auberge.qc.ca/en was only steps away.  A fine establishment in the European tradition with a great location, we enjoyed our stay.
 
The business center of the Old City is a very walkable area and has numerous art galleries, antique shops, fashion boutiques, book stores, jewelers, chocolatiers, and other welcoming shops. Near the center is a impressive bronze statue of Samuel de Champlain (1567-1635), "The Father of New France", a French navigator, cartographer, soldier, and explorer. He founded New France and Quebec City on July 3, 1608 (12 years before the Plymouth Colony and a year after the first Jamestown Settlement).  Nearby, there’s a colorful three story high mural on the exterior wall of a building that depicts the history of Quebec from its founding to modern times.
 
The city is built on two levels.  The Old City, the place most visited  by tourists, is below a high cliff and closest to the river. There are seven stairways to the Upper City and an annual contest where runners race up and down all seven.  Fortunately, there is also a tramway connecting the two sections of the city and several streets.
 
The British tried to oust the French from Quebec  in 1690 but failed. When the envoys delivered the terms of surrender, the Governor General famously rebuffed the British declaring "I have no reply to make to your general other than from the mouth of my cannons and muskets."  However, the British return in 1759, and following a three month sedge, defeated the French in 15 minutes in surprise attack at the famous Battle of the Plains of Abraham. It lead to the creation of Canada.  You can visit the battlefield, now a beautiful park.  In 1775, American colonial troops (under the command of Benedict Arnold) tried to drive the British out, but they too were defeated.
 
Quebec City is the Provincial Capital, the seat of government for Quebec.  The impressive Parliament Building was completed in 1886. Its Second Empire architectural style was popular for prestigious buildings at the time both in Europe and America. It resembles Philadelphia City Hall somewhat, another Second Empire building.  In front of the building is a beautiful fountain, reminiscent of Paris, donated to the city by a local department store owner a decade ago.  Across the front of the building are a number of bronze statures of prominent Quebec leaders from the past.  Throughout the city there are many fine examples of public art (think Paris).
 
The Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac is a luxury hotel in the Upper City that dominates the skyline. It was one of a series of "chateau" style hotels built for the Canadian Pacific Railway to encourage luxury tourism and attract wealthy travelers to its trains. The hotel is near the Dufferin Terrace, a walkway along the edge of the cliff, offering extraordinary views of the Saint Lawrence River.
 
A major attraction, just east of the city, are the Monmorency Falls.  The falls are 275 feet high (98 feet higher than Niagara Falls) and 150 feet wide.  They are located  at the mouth of the Montmorency River where it drops over a cliff and enters the Saint Lawrence River opposite Orleans Island. The falls were named for Henri Montmorency, who served as viceroy (governor) of New France from 1620 until 1625.
 
There are staircases that allow visitors to view the falls from several different vantage points. A suspension bridge over the crest of falls provides access to both sides as well as a spectacular view. There is also an aerial tram that carries passengers between the base and the top of the falls. Each summer an international fireworks competition is held here with the falls as a backdrop.  In the winter, mist from the falls freezes creating spectacular piles of ice that
a few adventurous people scale for sport.
 
Orleans Island, located between two channels of the Saint Lawrence River east of the city was the site of the first settlements.  The island retained its traditional rural way of life until 1935, when construction was completed on the two lane bridge connecting it to the mainland. In spite of this, the island has maintained its pastoral image and historic character, with more than 600 buildings classified or recognized as heritage properties. In 1970, the entire island was designated a National Historic District. Today the island is a mix of year-round and vacation homes and farms. It is a popular destination for day trippers and bicyclists.
 
Orleans Island, known as the "Garden of Quebec", is still an essentially rural place famous locally for its produce, especially strawberries, apples, potatoes and wine. Sugar maple outlets offer maple syrup and other sweet products.
We visited the Bilodeau Apple Orchard and enjoy its delicious sparking “ice cider” made from apples frozen before they are picked.  The island attracts more than 600,000 visitors each year to its numerous bed-and-breakfast inns, regional cuisine restaurants, roadside fruit stands, art galleries and craft shops.
 
For further information on Quebec City view
www.quebucregion.com

James Weaver
GolfWiz Blog
Senior Travel Editor 


A Spring Getaway In The City of Brotherly Love



 
Although I lived in Philadelphia for more than half my life, I moved away a few years ago to a retirement community.  Fortunately, I’m still close enough that several times a year my wife Barbara and I get back to visit.  Coming back to the city now as a “tourist” has become
a delightful experience.
 
On a recent trip, we visited the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (America’s first art school founded in 1805) for the opening of a spectacular new exhibit “Henry Ossawa Tanner: Modern Spirit” which runs here through April 15th before traveling to Cincinnati and Houston.
 
Tanner was a Pennsylvania Academy graduate
(1865) and the first African American to receive international acclaim as an artist.  However, because of racial bigotry in America he was forced to move to Paris to pursue his career abroad.
 
The exhibit features over 100 Tanner works, some of which have never been shown in the United States.  One of my favorite paintings
is “The Banjo Lesson” (1896) which depicts an old black man teaching his grandson to play the banjo. From the Hampton University Art Museum collection, it is one of the first painting
by any artist to show African Americans in other than a serving role. 
 
Outside the Academy on the new Lenfest Plaza
there is a fascinating new sculpture by American artist Claes Oldenburg.  The 18 foot tall “Paint Torch” with orange paint blob at its base depicts
a giant upright paintbrush which become a lighted torch at night.  Oldenburg’s famous “Clothespin” sculpture is located near Philadelphia City Hall. 
 
At the Philadelphia Museum of Art currently is an exhibit featuring of works Vincent Van Gogh.
Titled “Van Gogh: Up Close” it will run
through May 5th. 
 
Nearby on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway the new Barnes Museum is set to open on May 19th. It will feature the Dr. Albert C. Barnes Collection including masterworks of the world’s great Impressionist and Postimpressionist artists.
 
After a delicious lunch at the Pennsylvania Academy’s cafe (in the school’s architectural treasure, the Frank Furness Building), we went shopping at the old John Wannamaker’s. Although its now a Macy’s, it stills retains much of the charm of years gone by when it was the city’s leading department store.  The large bronze sculpture of the eagle is still located at the center of the first floor grand court.  “Meet me at the Eagle” was once a phrase every Philadelphian knew.
 
Looking upwards from there you encounter the world’s largest (confirmed on the web) pipe organ. The Wannamaker Organ is still played twice a day, Monday through Saturday, more often at the Christmas season, and for special concerts.  Christmas brings an amazing light show in the space in front of the organ pipes.   Go to YouTube online and search Philadelphia Opera Company’s “Hallelujah” Random Act of Culture (held in the Wannamaker Grand Court). 
 
Several decades ago I attended a national convention held at the Warwick Hotel
(now the Raddison Warwick) just off Philadelphia’s upscale Rittenhouse Square.
It was a pleasure to return here and to see how its been improved without losing its beauty and charm.  Because it is a historic property, muchhas remained as I recalled it, but much is also new and most attractive.  It was wonderful to have valet parking at the front entrance and a fabulous breakfast at Tavern 17 (for 17th Street).  I loved the Egyptian cotton sheets and 42 inch HD/TV and the service was both timely and courteous.  Learn more online at www.radisson.com/philadelphia-hotel
 
After a delicious dinner at a nearby restaurant (there are about 60 restaurants within easy walking distance of the Warwick), we caught a cab to the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall for a concert by the highly esteemed Philadelphia Orchestra.  Artistic Director Designate Yannak
Nezet-Seguin conducted a program of Bach’s Brandenberg Concerto #5 and Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.  It was a thrilling performance in all respects by one of the world’s leading orchestras. 
 
I can hardly wait for Spring and the Philadelphia Flower Show, the Philadelphia Antiques Show, and the opening of the new Barnes Museum.  To learn more about this great city and upcoming events view www.philadelphiausa.travel and  www.visitphilly.com  
 

James Weaver
GolfWiz Blog 
Senior Travel Editor 
 

Northern Ireland’s Royal Portrush Golf Club Is Site of 2012 Irish Open




 
 
The 2012 Irish Open Championship will take place at Royal Portrush Golf Club June 28 to July 1.  Northern Ireland's most famous club, 
Royal Portrush is home to two links courses. Dunluce Links is widely hailed as one of the best layouts in the world. In 1951, the golf course became famous for being the only course outside of Great Britain to host the British Open Championship. It is named after the nearby 13th century Dunluce Castle that is perched above the course overlooking the pounding waves of the Atlantic. The golf course has challenging rough areas and tricky greens that will test even the best golfers.  
 
The Valley Links golf course is slightly shorter than the more famous Dunluce, making it a bit less demanding but it is a challenge no less. Valley lies between the East Strand, a popular beach for surfing, and Dunluce. The aptly named golf course plays through huge sandy hills that are situated along the Atlantic.
 
 
Many top golfers have portrayed Royal Portrush Golf Club as one of the most challenging golf courses in the world. It is a testing course, requiring skill and concentration, but set in one of the most scenic parts of Europe.
 
In 2002, Royal Portrush was voted 14th in "The World's Top 100 Golf Courses" by US Golf Magazine. The survey is compiled by an international panel of 100 golfers, journalists, architects and industry figures looking at each courses' strategic integrity, how well a course tests the full range of golf skills and its rhythm of design, location, ambiance, conditioning, tradition and visual appeal.
 
 
As befits a golf course of such quality, Royal Portrush Golf Club has hosted many major events over the years. The Irish Amateur Championships were inaugurated here in 1892, while the first professional event on Irish soil was also hosted at Portrush in 1895. In the same year the first Ladies Championships were held. From the exclusive group of clubs so honored, only one has been located outside Scotland or England, when Royal Portrush Golf Club hosted the British Open Championship.
 
For more information on the Irish Open, see
www.royalportrushgolfclub.com


Jim Weaver
GolfWiz Blog 
Senior Travel Editor 

Hershey Golf at it's best


Hershey, Pennsylvania, is home to HERCO, the Hershey Chocolate Company, known world over for its choclate candy products.  It’s also known for its outstanding golf courses.  Milton S. Hershey, founder of the company and of the community of Hershey.  He envisioned a chocolate enterprise whose profits would enrich the community, providing a finer and fuller life to the people connected with it.
 
“In 1930, he founded Hershey Country Club, giving up the first floor in his High Point Mansion to serve as the Clubhouse. Since then, sporting excellence has been the key, attracting legendary golf heroes and players of all levels.”
 
“Known for impeccably maintained greens and the natural beauty of its rolling fairways, with rich history on every hole, Hershey remains a golf favorite for players, as well as those who prefer the sidelines. Host to prestigious national events, including the 1940 PGA Championship and the LPGA Tour’s Lady Keystone  In its 82-year history, Hershey Country Club has attracted the game’s top players including Ben Hogan, Henry Picard, Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Jim Furyk, and Nancy Lopez.”
 
“In a legendary setting, which golf icons Ben Hogan and Henry Picard once called home, the tradition and challenge of championship golf remains at the heart of the Hershey Resorts golf experience. Four unique and distinctive courses combine to form the Hershey Golf Collection, offering top-notch service and amenities to guests of Hershey Resorts and the public.”
 
“Whether guests choose the prestigious East Course or West Course at historic Hershey Country Club or the challenging Hershey Links, each layout is distinctive and rewarding in its own right. This trio is complemented by the family-friendly Spring Creek Golf Course, an exceptionally well-crafted nine-hole course that was designed for kids, but is just plain fun for everyone.”
 
“The West Course at Hershey Country Club
was designed by Maurice McCarthy in 1930 - a classic example of a traditional American-style layout. It hosted the 1940 PGA Championship, with the legendary Byron Nelson taking home the Wanamaker Trophy.”
 
“Designer George Fazio captured the natural beauty of Central Pennsylvania's countryside when he designed the East Course at Hershey Country Club, which opened in 1969. It was home to the Reese's Cup Classic from 1997 to 2004.”
 
“The land now occupied by Hershey Links began as a 175-acre cattle and pig farm.  A links-style course, it opened its front nine officially on August 3, 2003. Since 2005, Hershey Links has been owned by the Hershey Trust Company; it has been managed by Hershey Entertainment & Resorts since November 2007.”
 
“Spring Creek was the nation's first public golf course created for players under age 18. Scottish golf course architect Maurice McCarthy designed the original nine-hole course for Milton S. Hershey while working on the famed West Course at Hershey Country Club. Originally called the “Juvenile Golf Club,” the course allowed youngsters to golf for a green fee of 35 cents for nine holes when it opened in 1932.”
 
“In 1969 the name was changed to highlight Spring Creek, the water hazard that repeatedly confronts players. In 2006 Tom Clark oversaw a course renovation that included three new hole designs, restoration of six existing holes, a tee-through-green irrigation system, turf grass replacement throughout the course, and the addition of 220 playing yards.”
 
To learn more about the golfing opportunitiesat Hershey, Pennsylvania, view www.hersheygolfcollection.com

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