Diamante – Top Golf in Paradise

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The Dunes clubhouse view at sunset.

It has an unsuspecting turn down a dusty narrow road that seems to lead to the pacific ocean. Suddenly a gateway, built of stone and iron, appears behind rows of palm trees, flowers and paved road. The staff are friendly but wary. The dog Cabo waits for further instructions. We pass after a warm welcome, back at last to some of the most premiere golf in the world.  There is a masterful course that was designed by Davis Love 3rd called the Dunes Course, and rightly so. This course travels along the natural sandy landscape that edges the bright blue sparkling waters of the pacific ocean. The second course to be completed was El Cardonal, designed by Tiger Woods. It is built on the hill side and overlooks the Dune course with peeks at the ocean and bountiful bunkers and greens that challenge even the best golfers.20180113_100702

We started watching this course and condo development about four years ago and we were lucky enough to play these private courses over the years. Multi million dollar homes are sprinkled along the Dunes course facing out to the sea. A brand new beach club and sleek modern condos and suites are being built directly on the beach with a marvellous pool and spa.The quiet peace of our luxury villa points to the pacific ocean. There are fresh breezes and spectacular sunsets here every day. You can hear the wind in the palm trees and the whales are jumping and splashing just inside our view. What you will not find is lots of traffic, noise and stress. This is a remote quiet retreat, mostly focussed on the golfer north of Cabo San Lucas.

The Dunes course has been rated #36 for golf courses in the world in 2017. It starts with the practice range, a great supply of taylormade golf balls with Diamante logo are staged neatly to the side of each secluded practice enclave. Music is playing to encourage tempo and positive vibes. There are superior bags of  rental clubs available if needed. Try a smoothie or breakfast sandwich with fruit before you start for the first tee.

What a Caddie Knows…..

The caddies are waiting on the range. They oversee the clubs and skills of various guests and wait for the opportunity to join in the game today. My first experience with a caddie was at this course, I was intimidated and fearful that my game may not measure up to such specialists. We had a joyful day with a graceful, hardworking and very talented and knowledgeable young man that shared our passion for golf. If you ever get an opportunity to hire a caddie for a first time game on a very special course, just do it! They help with club selection, targets to aim at as well as key putting strategies and finding your wayward golf ball.

What Kind of Player are you?

The Dunes Course -7022 yards20180113_093713

I love this beach  course, it plays to the natural landscape with sandy dunes and waste bunkers , gorgeous green rolling fairways and the most challenging greens. The views to the ocean will leave you breathless. The hospitality on the course is superior. Golf professionals greet you and take you to the first tee box, snacks and beverages are available throughout the game at stone casitas with shutters and  tile. Its more like coming home to fresh made soup, burritos, sliders and margaritas. When the day comes to a close on hole eighteen there will be a golf pro waiting for you, holding the flagstick and sharing the excitement of the final putts, ensuring your satisfaction and thanking you for joining them at the course.

El Cardonal  Course- 7363 yards

This course, designed by Tiger Woods is unsuspecting at first look. Running along the hillside this course encouraging smart club choices over canyons and wash. The fairways are long and rolling.  The distance plays longer than it looks. The greens are very difficult to read and great fun to play. (the caddie comes in handy for a read…) The clubhouse has a welcoming view to the ocean but jumping whales and cruise ships can be a distraction. Bougainvillea edges the rocky walls down to the wide open practice area. The cactus stand tall in the sun , it can be very hot and the ocean breezes may come into play. Grab a smoothie to start the round , you will meet many friendly golfers and club professionals at the first tee and the friendly staff will once again meet you on the 18th green to celebrate your best day in paradise.

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Tiger tails at El Cardonal.

The Oasis – Short Course Par 3 – 1124 yards

Put on your walking shoes and carry your clubs around this short 12 hole par 3 course. It is a different experience playing only 41 to 143 yards on some holes. It reminds all of us just how simply golf began, one shot at a time.

There will be more opportunities to access this exclusive area in the future as the Nobu and Hard rock Café hotels are currently under construction within the Diamante property. http://www.hardrockhotels.com

Diamante is a one of the most unique and unforgettable golf experiences in Latin America. The dramatic and challenging venue is built on the sand and next to the sea and rightly earns it 2017 rise to No. 36 on Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Courses in the world.20180113_093055

If you want to know more about this beautiful destination, please contact us.

Enjoy every day,

Lyle & Wendy

@ourboomerlife     ourboomerlifeclub      http://www.ourboomerlife.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year!

Auld Lang Syne”

We have wandered the mountains and between both oceans. The golf course has been our home. We rise at the first hint of sunrise and pour a cup of coffee and we pause. Thankful.

Thankful.

Our life is a gift today and every day. We focus on nature when we spend time at the course. Sometimes it is a great distraction to see every miracle. The shape of the clouds, the coyote that looks golden in the sunrise, the mountain rocks and water bring us to balance. We can spend time outside in nature and meet great people with a shared passion for golf. They inspire us to play more, with joy and to be thankful for our health and mobility.  And then we swing.

Golf.

It is not the score, its the game. The competition is within your last drive or putt or even your last game. Unsuspecting greens can steal away your par. An early morning tee time always helps us get in the moment. Face the sun and take in the positive energy – check your grip and breathe.  Sometimes we look up for the wind, sometimes we choose a target that may not be the flag but we all see a shot. We have the potential to play that one shot well, just give yourself a chance.

Celebrate.

Tonight Lyle and I will celebrate our adventures so far and the dreams that are to come. We will dance in the new year with laughter and gratitude that we can live this big life.

We celebrate our friendship with you and our wish for you is to live the life you have always imagined. On this New Year’s eve look to your dream, see it and believe it. You can be whatever you imagine.

Celebrate this Happy New Year and as the clock strikes midnight….

………we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet…….for times gone by” .

always in friendship,

Lyle & Wendy

http://www.ourboomerlife.net

 

 

 

 

“The Valley of the Sun”

 

 

 

ArizonaArizona is home to millions of Americans and Phoenix is the capital city. It is a sprawling multicity  known as the Valley of the sun.

The traffic chaos is a small price to pay to experience this desert beauty. There are craggy uncertain mountains in the distance under the Phoenix sun. The sky is mauve and pink and blue. Colorful hot air balloons rise high from the desert floor to overlook the threaded highways.

This is where the strangers gather to heal. A collection of men and women full of stories, pain, loss and living. Some of us come here to play. Perhaps we are meant to meet and help others find their way back to the sun.Sunrise Desert Canyon Villas

At the stunning Westin Kierland we golfed with Drew and Karen. Karen only played a couple of holes because she is “broken” with knee and back problems that limit her mobility. Terry walked most of the course because he cannot sit in the cart with bad back issues when we played at We Ko Pa and Sunridge Canyon. At the Boulders south course we played with Mark an ex NFL football player and Don a retiree in his 70’s that continues to strive to get better with his game. Golf reveals the person, connects us and does not limit us. Life may not always be joyful but we can carry on.

Under the dark evening sky, poolside, we watch the jet fighters playfully dart from the mountain tops. Our tribe is here, under this full moon we meet for the first time. Terri and Dan share unspeakable loss in their family and have come to the desert to mourn and perhaps heal. How do you cope with a loss this big? They show us by wrapping their arms around someone you love and holding them up for a while. Lyle and I listen. We can offer compassionate hugs and comfort . We can all become friends.

There is a lot of research and discussion on how people can live to be healthy and active and alive towards 100 years old. Studies have shown that more than exercise and diet it is the social connection that are made daily that impact our life span. Lyle and I look forward to re connecting with Virginia, 102 years old and her son Fred, every winter on the beaches of Mexico. She continues to work as a real estate agent and winters on the kite surfing beaches of Los Barallies. There are many others in their eighties and nineties that are travelling, golfing and working. They are all an inspiration to us and a confirmation that family connections but also friendship and human contact are critical to the joyful long life that we look for.

 

The story is told that for every new arm on the cactus 100 years has passed. Maybe we gather here in the desert to grow stronger – like the cactus.20171107_100322 Just like the towering Palm trees we are sent here to learn how to bend and maybe like the desert wild grasses, we will learn to let go and it will blow free in the wind. For sure we can grow free and live longer,more vibrant and colorful like the desert wildflowers if we choose, simply by making friends and staying in touch.

 

Today we believe life is an adventure. We take our attitude with us, grateful and joyful to meet many new friends and we renew our strength. We will make it a day worth living.

always in friendship,

Lyle & Wendy

http://www.ourboomerlife.net

@ourboomerlife

 

 

 

Stretch Yourself

October 28,
We play a lot of golf, our goal this winter is to play 100 games as we tour the southern climates. Today we played at Rancho Bernardo Inn and followed a group of guys playing a Texas scramble. On the 7th hole, we met Jake Horton owner of Stretch U, he had a display set up to entertain the tournament players. It looked like a free massage but it wasn’t. Jake invited us to consider the benefits of regular stretching our body and the benefits on our range of motion and flexibility. That’s the key to playing great golf! We reflect on the corporate experience Lyle has had in the construction industry where stretching is mandatory and saves thousands of dollars every year in workers compensation claims. The investment in time and financial resources is worth it as men and women in their forties, fifties and beyond continue to bend, reach and move safely. Lyle reminds me to think of our good friend Jickie, a golf club member at Bermuda Dunes. Jickie is 85 years young, vibrant and energetic. She says she is slowing down but she golfs five days a week and her secret is morning yoga. She stretches and activates her muscles.
We met Marion and her grandson on the golf course at Prince Albert National Park. She was helping him prepare to compete in the Junior Lobstick. Lyle and I joined them on the course and she played 18 beautiful holes, walking often and she was 89 years young. What keeps her swing loose and full? She stretches every morning and every night.
The benefits of stretching include improved flexibility and range of motion, circulation and mental alertness as well as a big jump in performance results and your energy.

The need to keep stretching is more important as we age, let’s stay committed to keep our mobility and enjoy every day.
Keep stretching…. Keep walking, Keep dancing, Keep golfing, Keep playing with your grandchildren.

May you have a day worth living.
Lyle & Wendy

Rain date at Candle Lake

Every Tuesday is the senior league with a 930 start. We line up behind the first group stretching back towards the putting green. It is going to be very slow today. I have decided to walk and join up with three others that will also walk nine holes. Roxanne invites me to play from the white tee box. I have only played from the forward red tee box but today I accept the challenge – to play a longer game – we have nothing but time as the lively groups ahead of us start to move forward.

“Nothing but time”

Walking the golf course, I am in harmony with nature. The walking slows everything down. I can examine all of my opportunities from a distance. I can hear the birds and smell fresh cut grass. I approach the ball and notice it is tucked into the thicker longer grass while I check the slope of the fairway and decide I may need more club to make this shot go the distance. It feels like I am playing alone. Four walkers are spread across the fairway moving forward towards their own ball up ahead. I am grateful for the peace in the morning and mindful of every step and how I grip the handle on my cart. There is no tension, there is tempo and I am  surprised with birdie chances.

The rain starts – just a drizzle on #9 hole. My umbrella is a lovely retreat.

At the end of nine holes my partners finish up and we shake hands hoping to meet again soon. They watch as I return to the first tee box to play another nine holes. Roxanne shouts out “are you going to play from the white tees again?”

Yes – I am! I am going to beat my own score on the last nine holes. Smiling as I walk, I know I have nothing but time.

Wendy

http://www.ourboomerlife.net

California express – Adventure

We left from Dana Point in California aboard the Catalina Express ferry.It is fast and smooth, breaking through wind and waves taking us to our destination, Santa Catalina Island.It is 22 miles southwest of Los Angeles.

Our port is the small town of Avalon charming us with history, celebrities, and sports stories. The island was purchased by William Wrigley ( Wrigley gum, Chicago Bears) in 1919 and the goal was to create a winter resort like no other. It was a golden age of movie stars and baseball players until the war years. Today the Wrigley family has protected the island under the watchful eye of a conservancy, a legacy for future generations. There are beautiful historical buildings and hotels and restaurants line the harbor. One block above the Avalon Bay , built in 1987,the Hotel St Lauren charms us with her ambiance, so here we stayed. The victorian facade is a beautiful pink and has a stunning view of the ocean from the roof top deck where guests meet up. (www.stlauren.com) We carried our golf clubs since we discovered the Catalina Golf Course would be available. The course was built in 1892. It has been the host to many tournaments over the years but today with drought conditions and a challenging economy it has been reduced to a nine hole par 32 course.

It is small and has some tight fairways. The first tee from the top of a very steep hill is most impressive. We played nine holes twice and it was a fun round.The pro shop was friendly and helpful. The weather was absolutely perfect. Guests that are arriving from the mainland cannot bring their vehicles but there are golf cart rentals that allow you to see and tour most of Avalon within an hour and there is so much to see.

 

RELAX – You are on Island time.

We suggest you book a couple of hours with the golf cart to see most of area sights. The outdoor shopping and cafes will entertain you with live music and colorful welcoming architecture. The elevation changes are significant and you can witness cruise ships, fishing boats and even a submarine gather together in the harbor below you.The roadway is lined with cactus and palm trees which may prevent a treacherous exit off the side of a very steep mountain road.
One  of the stunning buildings on this tour is the original casino pavilion which used to host elegant dances decades ago. The art inlaid tile and lanterns greet you in front of  the 16 foot wooden doors. The building is perfectly round with views to the ocean and harbor, it is a historic landmark and  is now home to the Avalon Theater. Just around the point is a modern beach development Descanso Beach where you can book zipline adventure or rent paddle boards and kayaks and finish your day with a massage by the sea. The Descanso Beach Club and Bar is a great place to enjoy a drink and watch the sun set too.

You can spend a few hours or stay a few days to discover the history, the sports activities and the great food with this surprising little island. Book your time to explore. VisitCatalinaIsland.com

Like and follow us as we travel and share our stories of golf and the great people we meet and the lessons we have learned along the way.

Lyle & Wendy

http://www.ourboomerlife.net

” Epic Views “

Sedona is a land of timeless beauty, surrounded by magnificent red rock carved over millions of years from water and wind. It is a sacred, legendary land. It is a place not to be missed and certainly never to be forgotten.Standing about 4300 feet above sea level, it is centrally located less than two hours north of Phoenix and 2 hours south of the Grand Canyon. Lyle and I headed south on 89 through Flagstaff.  The sun was getting low in the sky and by the time we passed Humphrey’s Peak with elevation of 12,643 ft , it was dark.

Nothing can prepare you for the first morning when you wake up in Sedona, pull back the curtains in your hotel and see Bell Rock. WOW. Brilliant red rock. Everywhere. These buttes are monuments to nature. We planned to stay in the area for a few days and take in the power of this unforgettable experience.

If you are lucky enough to plan a get away, look to the luxurious Enchantment Resort, (www.enchantmentresort.com) this five star  retreat offers many activities including access to the exclusive Seven Canyons Golf Course (www.sevencanyons.com). It has been called “That rare jewel of a course”, with Epic views it distracts the eye of a golfer while it draws you into every fairway. The elevation is dramatic, making the game a challenge of the right club. The slope from the champion tees is 136. It is a Tom Weiskopf design par 70 championship course that is called the “Arizona masterpiece”.  Every green could be the signature hole. We played on a sunny day in November. It was a celebration, a gift to me for shooting a glorious hole in one at another local course, Oakcreek Country Club.

A hole in one is a very special and rare accomplishment in this sport. What I have learned is every avid golfer holds a story in their heart about this achievement. When you let go of the wanting, it comes to you. When asked if they have ever had a hole in one, most golfers look off into the distance seeing the chance that almost happened, seeing someone they love hit the cup and sink it for an ace or seeing a stranger celebrate this victory within a game like no other.  It connects us all.

Heading away from the course on Dry Creek Road at the end of the day we decided to continue the celebration at the trendy five star restaurant, Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill. It opened in June 2015 , number four in a collection of restaurants owned by Chef Lisa Dahl in the Sedona area. The building itself is a masterpiece, stunning 23 foot wall of glass, and a front door that was hand carved  and inlaid with semi precious stones, it weighs 800 pounds. Inside, you can experience excellent service with attention to all of the details and the best in food and wine. We were captured by the artistic elements everywhere but my favourite had to be the back drop of black and white movies projected onto the wall forever linked to music and epic views outside every window. As evening approaches, the low light at the restaurant conforms to Sedona Dark Sky policies, as nothing affects the natural beauty of the stars above.

It has been a perfect day. I am inspired and peaceful from this magnificent sacred land. I am thankful for nature that is rare and so diverse. This desert is bursting with beauty and I encourage each of you to explore the traditions and the soul of Sedona.

http://www.ourboomerlife.net

Taste every moment – Fill yourself up

 

I love food. Food was a comfort to me growing up. I haven’t always felt an abundance of food in my life but today I am abundant. I taste every moment.  The heirloom tomato is soft yellow  with a row of tiny seeds and  it is glistening on the top of the salad on my plate. It reminds me to look up to the sun and be open every day with joy. The dark green spinach is the base, like the mossy base under a forest of trees, it is varying degrees of green. It is connected to earth and rich in vitamins and nutrients. I am connected to the earth. There are tiny translucent slivers of onion woven around leaves and fruit. Just like the sharp moments in our life, the onion can be harsh when it stands alone but delicious and brilliant blended with all of the others. 

The basil is fragrant and smells so earthy, it takes  me to remarkable moments that comfort me and make me feel more alive. Cucumber is a watery, neutral vegetable, so simple and yet shows the need to bring balance into food and our lives. Not everything has to to be powerful or overwhelmingly bold like the peppery hot flashes that are dramatic and demand our attention with one single bite.

When we are looking for the smooth rich flavour,  the  avacado has good for you fats  that hold comfort and love in the very texture.

Berries and slices of orange or grapefruit satisfy life’s craving for the sweet. Playful and colorful they dance across the dressing,  sparkling jewels hidden from view.

The salad can be glistening with oil and herbs that cover all the vegetables and blend the flavors together.

We need good food to keep our good health and stay active as we age. If we open every day with joy and gratitude for the sun on our skin, for the sharp testy bits, for the love and comfort we receive and for  life itself, we can fill ourselves up.

There is such beauty in great food and we can be open to every day beauty in our lives. Your attention to food can put you in touch with who you really are and what you want to do.Just look down at your plate. Is it coincidence or connection?

Make it a day worth living.

http://www.ourboomerlife.net

 

The Lobstick-Golf history and tradition

“Just over 100 yards out from the first tee sat the famous lobstick tree. Arguably one of the most famous trees in western Canada,the lobstick was the symbol of the tradition and history of the Waskesiu Golf Course, so much so that our world famous match play event is named in its honour.

The annual Lobstick tournaments at Waskesiu are some of the largest match play events in North America, attracting more than 800 golfers  from across the continent. It is a summer tradition in Saskatchewan for more than 80 years that was named after the famous Lobstick tree located in the middle of the fairway, off the first tee. The Cree word lobstick, refers to an evergreen tree that had its branches cut off to the midway point to act as a trail marker.” http://www.waskesiugolf.com

There are four different tournaments: Juniors, Men’s, Womens and Senior Men’s which are open to players of all skill level and offer participants the thrill of friendly competition. We have met some contenders with  our visits to this beautiful forest course.

In June we met Raymond and Paul. It was a practice round before the senior men’s tournament for them and it was lots of fun. Paul pulled his golf bag from the modified carrier he has fixed to the back of his motorcycle..two passions perfectly blended for the joy of it. Both of these guys love golf and play often and every year they book the trip to reconnect with childhood friends and golf the Lobstick. They have stories of struggles and loss but golf brings them all back together again, once a year.

Later in July, we met Laughlin a 13 year old playing golf with his Uncle Barry.He plays five days a week with his Grandpa and Uncle Barry, practicing to compete in his first time Junior Lobstick. They are teaching him the love of the game – and this boy has game! He is hungry to play well, more distance is better. His golf hero is Rory McIlroy a young man from Ireland that hits the ball a very long way. It was about the seventh hole and Lyle asked him if he wanted the secret to add 20 yards to his drive. “Yes, I do Yes please tell me the secret!” So Lyle adjusted Laughlin’s beautiful new M1 driver and adjusted his grip. It took practice to straighten it out but the distance was there…shot after shot he hit them long. It was wonderful to see how this family has bonded with golf and shared life lessons that make grandpa and Uncle Barry very proud of this young man.

A few days later Lyle and I were called to the tee box and introduced to another junior and his beautiful grandmother. Reilly is a 16 year old, quiet and thoughtful in his game. His grandmother, Marion at 89 years old is still golfing and now coaching her beloved grandson for the Junior Lobstick. She has owned a cabin at Waskesiu for many years and is well known and respected by many at the golf course. Although her game has changed in this later part of her life, she still has distance and hits a straight consistant ball. I had to comment on her great flexibility and she shared her commitment to stretching every morning and night.

It is so exciting to watch these young men start in this game and want to compete. More important for us is the message that we can continue to play excellent golf as we age,we can live life our own way and by keeping connections at the golf course, we can play and have fun for many years to come.

Learning more about the history and meaning of the lobstick tournaments has inspired me to compete in the Conexus Women’s tournament in 2018. I celebrate many friends and aquaintances that are competing right now and hope you make a week of memories that keep you coming back!

 

 

The Ace

We were watching the first round of the Players championship at TPC Sawgrass where the very best in the game battle with one of the most challenging golf courses on the professional tour.

Sergio Garcia from Spain, makes a hole in one on the 17th hole island green. It was the second of his career. In golf, a hole in one is rare. Imagine a ball hit from the tee and in one shot ends up in the cup. It requires some skill – power and a lot of luck.

Have you ever had a hole in one? This conversation started on a tee box with strangers has revealed some amazing stories to us. There is a longing  and a challenge by every golfer, to play the shot and achieve the ACE – a hole in one. In 2015, on a beautiful fall day Lyle and I joined with his brother and his wife for a round of golf and as we stood on the tee box and watched Lyle hit that ball aimed right at the red flag, 327 yards par 4 and he Aced. That was amazing and rare and his first hole in one.

In Sedona, just months after that beautiful game, Lyle and I joined a local member at the Oak Creek Country Club. http://www.oakcreekcc.com  This course is a contradiction with huge oak trees and rivers tucked beside the red rock mountains and Coconno National Forest, nature’s prize. It was a casual game and we were all having fun. I stepped up to face a par three on hole 16 with a water hazard that made the green look like an island. My six iron was in hand for 140 yards and I made contact. I looked away, expecting the worst. Lyle shouted for me to watch it as my ball  landed on the right side of the green and picked up speed  it caught a break,and headed sharply left into the cup. Unbelieveable, exciting and memorable.( and yes a little bit lucky!!!) My first hole in one.

Since that fall, we have asked many others their own story of the elusive goal. Some players have a 30 year history with the game and not yet experienced for themselves  this thrill. Others have had a multiple of celebrations over the years. It is such a pleasure to play golf with others and share their celebrations.

We met Lidia and her husband Ted in Phoenix at the Wildfire Golf Course at the JW Marriott Hotel. http://www.theclubjwdesertdunes.com  It was a beautiful day for exceptional value. The fairways were lush in this desert, surrounded by mountains.Lidia’s par three hole in one will connect us forever. The clubhouse celebration overflowed from the management to the staff and nearby guests.

During the same year, outside San Diego on a small golf course at the Welk Resort Lyle and I joined Steve and his best friend as they skipped work to play a round of golf together. We had just pulled up to the par three number three hole that is pinched into the side of an escarpment, a hilly enclave. When Steve hit his tee shot, it was crisp and deliberate and landed on the green where it ran left into the cup. High fives, smiles and photos. It was time to share the celebration –  what do you do when your supposed to be at work but your golfing? Let’s sit on the deck of the clubhouse with tall drinks and remember this special first time event. Cheers!

What we have learned, is when you relax from the “wanting” and stay in the moment for that one shot, you may end up celebrating your very own ace. When Sergio achieved his hole in one at TPC Sawgrass, he was playing with Matt Kuchar another legend of the game and it was a fine example of fun in the moment. They played together last year too when Kuchar holed out from a bunker. There is a peaceful energy that allows this magic to unfold.

We have heard that golf is a game you play against the course itself and a hole in one is an unexpected victory for every player, even the most celebrated professionals of this sport. Our wish for every golfer is to enjoy their hole in one this year and share your story with us.

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