Justin Timberlake opens eco-friendly golf course

Justin Timberlake – singer, dancer, actor, restaurateur, golfer, and. . . eco-innovator? That’s right, the guy who “brought sexy back” is also responsible for the first Platinum LEED certified golf course in the United States. The course also received the first Audubon International Classic Sanctuary certification in the U.S.

The Memphis, Tennessee golf course, originally called Woodstock Woods, was set to be auctioned off and turned into a development when JT and partners decided to save it. Timberlake, who learned to golf on the course, invested $16 million into features like irrigation systems that use rainwater to keep the grounds lush and electric golf carts powered by the sun.

The course has been renamed Mirimichi Golf Course and opened on July 25.

Plan a golf getaway in New England this summer

When summer hits, it’s time to go north to play golf. After all, who wants to get drenched while pushing through 18 holes on a hot Florida day? Instead, put New England on your itinerary. There are plenty of golf packages being offered in conjunction with the inns and resorts in these six small states. And, where else will you find some courses with unlimited rounds, free carts and unrestricted tee times?

The New England Inns and Resorts Association, which consists of nearly 300 properties in the region, has pulled together some of the best packages in the area. Here’s a taste.

At Cranwell Resort, Golf & Spa, in Lenox, Massachusetts, your stay comes with a country breakfast, a bucket of balls per golfer for the range and an unlimited day of golf. You can also use the spa after you drop your bag in your room. At $215 to $250 per person, this is an absolute steal!

Glynn House Inn, in Ashland, New Hampshire (a great town, which I remember well), a three-night stay will get you a free day of golf for two and a cart. At $159 a night for two people (including breakfast and daily refreshments), the savings tops $130.

In Kennebunkport, Maine, you can take advantage of the Kennebunkport Inn‘s “Golfer’s Getaway.” Spend two nights there, and you’ll pick up an unrestricted tee time for Old Marsh or Webhannet, a four-course dinner for two and a special in-room golf amenity. Breakfast is included too. The package starts at $519.

The “Fore” Getaway Package at Groton Inn & Suites in Groton, Connecticut includes accommodations for four people (either two traditional rooms or a two-bedroom apartment) with breakfast. You’ll also get 18 holes of golf Pequot Golf Course in Stonington (with carts). Rates start at $360 for four people, includes taxes and gratuities.

Golf discounts abound in Salt Lake City

Golfers just got a new reason to go to Salt Lake City. The new Golf Salt Lake Super Pass provides some fantastic deals at several golf courses in the city, along with a full 18-hole round for up to four players, carts, complimentary time at the range and a discount of up to 20 percent on rental clubs. And, guests can make reservations for tee times up to 60 days in advance … as opposed to the usual seven.

Golf courses on the list include: Bonneville, Mt. Dell (Canyon), Mt. Dell (Lake); Old Mill, Riverbend; River Oaks; South Mountain; Stone Bridge; West Ridge and Wingpointe. From one to four golfers can play for as little as $45 each (online purchase – $40 when purchased in conjunction with hotel packages).

“This pass provides a great opportunity to play several of the beautifully diverse golf courses Salt Lake has to offer,” said Scott Beck, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Whether you’re in town on business or pleasure, or live here year round, the Golf Salt Lake Super Pass offers a great opportunity to experience our excellent and incredibly affordable golf.”

Jalousie Plantation resort brings solar golf carts to St Lucia

Okay, it’s not exactly a cure for cancer, but any initiative that does cut down on fossil fuel reliance still resonates with me. So, I was pretty excited to see that the Jalousie Plantation has adopted a hybrid solar-powered golf cart to move guests around on its 192-acre property … with no carbon emissions! This is among the first of these environmentally-friendly golf carts in the Caribbean, and the goal is for this quirky little vehicle to replace the oil-dependent carts and minibuses that currently carry passengers around Jalousie.

This measure is reflective of Jalousie parent company Kor Hotel Group’s “Second Nature” program, which consists of several eco-friendly measures across its holdings. Kor’s properties are encouraged to source local produce, arts and other supplies to cut down on food-miles (or other “product-miles”) in an effort to reduce carbon emissions while contributing to economic growth in the community.

“We want to play our part at The Jalousie Plantation in supporting the environmentally-conscious initiatives of Kor and the new hybrid solar-powered golf cart is seen as a first step in helping us to do this,” Jalousie’s General Manager, Rodrigo Caldeira said.

The golf cart has a photovoltaic cell on its roof, which takes St Lucia sunshine and turns it into the electricity that makes the cart move. In the event of rain, the cart can be plugged into an electrical outlet to have its battery charged.

“Eventually all of the vehicles we use at Jalousie will be gasoline-free and this will help us to lessen our emissions of greenhouse gases which are having a tremendous impact on eco-systems around the world and contributing to climatic change and global warming,” Caldeira said. “The new cart also significantly reduces noise pollution and makes a great contribution in our efforts to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels and in ensuring our operations are environmentally sustainable.”

Belize it or not: Ways to use a golf cart

Greetings from Belize!

In San Pedro, “the big town” on the Belize island of Ambergris Caye, the preferred form of transportation is a golf cart. (Most of the roads are not paved and the main inhabited part of the island is only a few miles long.)

Although golf carts don’t have seat belts, there are some rules associated with using these things.

Most importantly, the first two weeks of each month, you are supposed to park them on the right side of the road. The second part of each month, they should be parked on the left side. It’s only fair to those who live on those streets, I guess.

So far, I have seen a golf cart used as a vehicle for:

  • grocery shopping
  • place to conduct cell phone calls while driving (with a toddler or two on one’s lap)
  • doing “donuts” in sand
  • place for local youngsters to kiss
  • a way to distribute “sticky green” to those interested
  • and, of course, preferred form of transportation for lazy tourists who can’t walk a full mile into town.