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Here’s a great alternative golf vacation – take part in some of the most unique golf tournaments in the world.

My favorite is the Bushmill’s Malt Causeway Coast open, held over four days in June at four world class courses in Northern Ireland. Players are paired in four man teams and play one round each at Portstewart, Ballycastle, Castlerock and Portrush (Valley), the sister course of one-time British Open venue Royal Portrush (Dunluce Links). The courses are all on the rugged Northern Irish Causeway Coast, home of ancient geological marvel the Giant’s causeway. Hundreds of amateur golfers from 22 different courses play, drink the magnificent whiskey from the Bushmill’s distillery, play the Dunluce course on an extra day and engage in great golf conversation. This year’s tourney may be full, but here is the number and web site. Call Jackie Graham for more information: The website is here.

Whatever you do, be ready for weather, wind howls, rain pelts, cold snaps roll in off the ocean and although you may not play in those conditions in Florida, in the UK its “nae rain, nae wind, nae golf!”

Next, Golf Styles hosts a series of one day, 54 hole, sun up to sun down marathons in the greater D.C. region called the “Solstice Survival” series. The five courses to choose from are Stonewall, Maryland National, Whiskey Creek, Musket Ridge, and Queenstown Harbor. To date, all are sold out except for Maryland Nat’l and Queenstown. I’ll be playing Whiskey Creek and Stonewall in late March weather permitting. Wanna know what it’s like to play 54 holes in one day? Here are some player comments:

“Climb Everest, swim the channel, run a marathon, play the Solstice…”

“Missing the same putt on the same green three times in one day? That’s long. Making 2 on a hole only to return and make 7, then returning four hours later for a rubber match at the same flag? That’s long. Falling behind in your match early down five with 41 to play. That’s really long.”

“The clubhouse becomes a mirage, coming closer, closer, closer…until fading as you set out back to the first tee once more.”

I played 54 holes in one day ONCE in my life, at the Boulders Resort in Carefree AZ. $299, all the golf I could play and a whole posh casita to myself. cannot wait to take the girl there, it’s a marvelous resort worth every penny with two scintillating golf courses by Jay Moorish. I prefer the South course over the North. More interesting holes from a design, shotmaking and astheticstandpoint.

Finally, there are three new folks to welcome to the blogging world. First, fellow golfer, prominent lawyer and good ol’ Texan Tom Kirkendall runs a great site called Houston’s Clear Thinkers. Next, David Sabel runs Up to 11, a music research and review site and product. Finally, Bogeys and Mulligans is a fun site too.

Last, if you want to see the funniest music video ever, Bowling for Soup, those clown princes of rock and roll, have just released the MTV video for their single “Almost.” Just click on www.bowlingforsoup.com, then you will see the sign saying click here for the video. It’s a SCREAM!

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