Tahquitz Golf Resort – front nine

During our trip to Palm Springs in May, M and I played both Tahquitz courses, the Legends and the Resort course. I put together a video of the front nine on the Resort course, using the photos that I took while we played. This course is pretty fun. For the high handicapper, it’s challenging though not discouraging. For the low handicapper, strategic placement of the ball can avoid the desert areas and the water that comes into play on several holes.

The front nine doesn’t have as many bunkers in play as the back. This is a Ted Robinson design, and allows for those of us who can’t drive the greens or place the ball easily. The water comes into play on the front, particularly on #7 and #8.  Good luck!

 

 

New airfare rules begin

Today, the Department of Transportation’s transparency rules go into effect. Starting January 25, 2012, advertised airfares must include any taxes and fees. When searching airfares, it may seem as though fares have suddenly jumped. In reality, the final price is the same.

For those of us who like to travel and often take our golf clubs along, it’s nice to know if there will be an extra charge for those clubs. M and I usually travel Southwest since there is no extra charge for golf clubs. If we don’t fly Southwest, we usually rent clubs.

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I think price transparency is a great idea and this new rule is a good start. But what about the rest of the industry? Why can hotels charge a “resort” fee and not disclose that in their advertising? Why can rental car companies add taxes and surcharges onto their pricing once you get to the counter without disclosure in advertising? Perhaps it’s time to take a look at these companies and require them to advertise the true price of their products and services.

 

More travelers choose to drive instead of fly

Is flying to a destination always the best choice? M and I often travel to play golf and in this era of long waits at security, rising airfares, and overfull flights, many people are deciding that driving is a better answer.

A recent poll by AirfareWatchdog.com asked the following question: In order to avoid flying (due to rising fares and/or other factors), how much more time are you willing to spend driving this year in comparison to last?
I’ll drive up to two more hours -14%
I’ll drive 2-4 more hours -15%
I’ll drive 4-6 more hours -16%
I’ll drive 6-8 more hours -15%
I’ll drive 8+ more hours-27%
I won’t drive. Fares may be higher but I’m still a flier-16%

In this poll, 45% of the respondents said they would drive up to 6 more hours in order to avoid flying. Another 31% are willing to drive at least 6 – 8 more hours. Driving about 8 hours can equal a minimum of about 4 hours travel time to fly: arriving 2 hours before a flight, the flight time of an hour, and 45 minutes to disembark and claim luggage. Are people tired of the hassles of flying, or trying to save money?
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George Hobica, of AirfareWatchdog.com comments, “The results show that despite higher gas prices, many consumers will be driving longer distances this summer than in past years. It’s not just economics, however, because despite higher airfares it’s still cheaper to fly on many routes rather than drive. We suspect that consumers’ reluctance to fly has more to do with airport hassles, bag fees, TSA lines, and possible weather delays. In any case, this isn’t great news for the airline industry.”

There are many considerations when making the fly/drive decision, including the cost of gasoline, hotel rates along the route, rental car fees, and the cost of your time. Using the Fly or Drive Calculator on Befrugal.com, vacationers can determine which mode of transportation is less expensive. The cost for a family of 4 to travel to Santa Fe, New Mexico from Denver in a Toyota Rav 4 was 6 hours, 23 minutes and $147.00 for fuel and vehicle wear and tear. The cost for that same family to fly to Albuquerque was $991 and 5 hours, 44 minutes, including parking at the airport, baggage fees, and air tickets, but not including renting a car are driving to Santa Fe.

For us here in the Rocky Mountain west, the distances can be challenging. How do you decide whether to drive or fly?