Saturday, January 28, 2012

Famers Insurance Open - A Sun-sational Week in SD!

A view from Torrey Pines by Jimmy

After a fun but windy week in the Desert, we made our way to the sunny California coast, San Diego. Jimmy wasn’t thrilled with his week at PGA West but is excited with the way his game is coming around since starting in Hawaii, and last week and this week are a testament to that.

I apologize for the delay in my post, but San Diego is a city I easily get distracted in! Add a few family members and fun friends in to the mix and suddenly it is Saturday night and I haven’t written a word.

Reluctantly, I tore myself away from the spectacular sunset off the Torrey Pine Glider Port and made myself sit down and get some writing accomplished.


One benefit of delaying my post until the end of the week is we were able to eat last night with some friends and celebrate an entertaining 65 on the North Course by Jimmy. 29 on the back does not happen every day, and it was really fun to watch.

I would like to thank our friends Tina and Bill, who are locals, for taking us to the wonderful restaurant, Ropongi in La Jolla, for dinner. An Asian fusion and sushi restaurant that, in a city full of great eats, did not disappoint. Even if sushi isn’t your flavor, don’t pass on this swanky spot. The tapas menu alone is enough to delight a wide range of palates.

Although everything that passed our lips were fantastic be sure to try the Hot Rock Thin Sliced New York Steak, Hamachi Toro Tacos, and Polynesian Crab Stack, just to name a few. And with a menu this fantastic and upscale atmosphere, reservations are strongly recommended.

For a morning brunch or an afternoon lunch with friends, I highly recommend The Cottage, also located in La Jolla. After a morning strolling around the fun local shops, the restaurant was recommended to us. The Cottage was perfect for our sunny afternoon, and it’s large patio allowed us to soak up the right amount of Cali sun.

I was very impressed with my Fried Egg Sandwich, and was practically licking my plate clean at the end of our visit.


After a great lunch, be sure to walk off a few of those calories by strolling around all the local La Jolla stores. With a few nationally known retailers and a lot of local flair, the shops around Silverado Street will keep avid shoppers happy and occupied.

I don’t normally share secrets like this but ladies for the best brow wax on the planet check out The Brow Bar. It’s amazing how something like a little shaping can change your whole face! Now, if I could just have one of the girls travel with me every week!

#7 Torrey Pines, North Course


I am sure there are thousands of websites touting how amazing the San Diego Zoo is but, after my second visit I must say, it really is an amazing and special place. Young children and adults of all ages will marvel at the sheer size of the animals and the park itself. Be sure to bring your walking shoes because it’s quite a hike from one end of the giant park to the other but well worth it!

The last day at Torrey Pines will not disappoint, so head out to one of the most picturesque spots of the year and cheer on the worlds best as they tackle the ever imposing South Course. Between the Navy jets buzzing the course, and the Marine holding the American Flag pin on the 14th green, I feel so proud to be an American and a golf wife.


A great evening view from our bus this week!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Humana Challenge - Fun & Sun In The Desert

We made it through our first week of 2012 no worse for wear. Admittedly, Jimmy wasn’t totally satisfied with his game heading in to Sony, and it cost him on Thursday. After a small adjustment, pointed out by his caddy Andy Sanders, things improved dramatically on Friday. Although he missed the cut by a shot and that is always disappointing, we were able to hop a flight back to the Mainland, grab our son from my parents in Utah, and head to the desert.

It all feels “right” this week. We are back in our bus, and back together as a family. Jimmy got some great work in the past two days and feeling a lot more confident.

Pro-Am’s are always fun, but they make for some very long days for our guys. And with two during the West Coast Swing, it’s no wonder why many TOUR pros choose to play one or the other. By dropping a day, dropping the 4th course and all the wonderful activities planned for players and their families, I really believe we will see a revitalized tournament.

Perfect weather has a name, and it’s called Palm Springs. To me, it doesn’t get much better than daytime temps in the 70’s, and sweatshirt temps in the evenings. After you visit, you can really see why so many people call Palm Springs their winter home. With around 130 golf courses, along with numerous tennis clubs, music, food and wine festivals, and six weeks of world-class equestrian competitions (my favorite sport), the Coachella Valley is an active adult paradise.


Self-described “locally owned and nationally known” LG’s Prime Steakhouse is a must while visiting the Desert. Established in 1991 by a husband and wife team, LG’s great steaks and fabulous wine list attract the who’s who of the area. With two locations – Palm Springs and La Quinta - and the latter’s proximity to PGA West, on any given night during the tournament week, you will usually find a half a dozen golfers enjoying LG’s classic American fare and swanky atmosphere.


Why stay inside when the weather is perfect? For shopaholics with the same idea, The Gardens on El Paseo is a wonderful solution. With a mix of local boutiques and nationally known upscale stores, El Paseo’s central location is ideal for shoppers coming from all directions of the Coachella Valley. Be sure to visit She She and She She Kids for unique apparel and gifts that are the perfect reflection style this area is known for.


Although this is our first year playing this tournament with our bus, we quickly realized that this is definitely the best spot for RV’s all year. There are some unbelievable resorts in the area (because lets face it, these are NOT campgrounds) and none better than the Motorcoach Country Club & Luxury RV Resort. As soon as you pull in you realize, Toto, we are certainly not in Kansas anymore.

Million dollar motor coaches line the perfectly paved parking spots. Some unique spots boast casitas, water features, top of the line grills and spas. With amenities that include a 9/18-hole golf course, yacht club, tennis courts and a great workout facility, you will check in and never want to leave.

Jimmy and our son enjoying our spot this week.

A evening view from Motorcoach Country Club


It’s been a beautiful week so in the spirit of the Humana Challenge and the Clinton Foundation, get out, be healthy and walk three of the best golf courses in the area. Support all the golfers – great and not so great – and enjoy everything the Desert has to offer.


Players meet and greet with President Clinton.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sony Open - Aloha 2012!

Aloha readers and welcome back to TOUR Wife Travels! In general, I am not usually one to make New Years resolutions, but for 2012, I am bound and determined to blog more and make TWT even better. 2011 was my test run, and now it’s time to get down to some serious writting!

We had a wonderful off-season full of amazing trips, a few horse shows and me dragging Jimmy to the gym multiple times a week. Most mornings there was some serious grumbling on both our parts, but we made it to 2012, and we are stronger for it. Pun intended. I read a statistic that said 90% of people who workout with their partner stick to their workout routines. I believe it! Nothing like having your wife say to you, “I’m not even a professional athlete, and I’m doing another set of lunges” to get you motivated!

So here we are, and we couldn’t be more excited for 2012 and starting our year off in Hawaii. Admittedly, the West Coast Swing is my favorite stretch of golf and Honolulu kicks off our season in the perfect way. Jimmy says I have had a “real smile” (as opposed to a fake smile?) on my face since the moment we landed. Well, it’s not just because we are in paradise but also because I really feel as 2012 is going to be a GREAT year!

Lets start this season off on the right foot with some of my absolute Hawaiian favorites.


It looks like a hole-in-the-shopping-center-wall, but Yakiniku Hiroshi’s absolutely cannot be missed when visiting Honolulu. A favorite among the Titleist reps and players like Ryan Palmer, Colt Knost and Shigeki Maruyama, Hiroshi himself is an insane golf nut and the place is plastered with high priced empty wine bottles and Scotty Cameron stickers. Knowing the golfers I know, I’m pretty sure they consumed the wine in those empty bottles too!

Hiroshi’s is, what I suppose you would call Japanese BBQ. And since we were the only English-speaking people in the restaurant last night, they must be doing something right. The restaurant is an “interactive dining experience,” or as Jimmy says, you pay a lot of money to cook your own food. Don’t let the unassuming d├ęcor fool you; the Kobe beef is amazing, as long as you don’t over cook it. And if you do, it’s your own fault!

Visit Hiroshi’s with an open mind and your mind will be blown wide open. (Insert comedic drum-thump-tambourine-sound here. It’s 6:30 Hawaiian time, and I am on a roll!)

Jimmy and his caddy, Andy Sanders, at Hiroshi's


We usually stay the Moana Surfrider, but after calling two months in advance and with a supposed PGA TOUR room block, it was booked. So we took the chance on another Starwood property, the Royal Hawaiian – A Luxury Collection property, and I am sure glad we did.

The Royal Hawaiian, also known as the Pink Palace of the Pacific, is one of the oldest hotels in Waikiki opening it’s doors in 1927. After a complete yearlong renovation, the Royal Hawaiian reopened its doors in January 2009. It has returned to its glorious prominence and is once again one of the premiere hotels in Waikiki with all the modern amenities but with classic old-style Hawaiian elegance.

With nice sized guest rooms, a fantastic pool and perfectly located between the beach and shopping, the Royal Hawaiian is truly a pink paradise.

Our beautiful accommodations this week.


Conveniently located next to the Royal Hawaiian hotel is the Royal Hawaiian shopping center. A nice indoor-outdoor mall that winds its way through tropical gardens, the Royal Hawaiian shops have everything from trendy boutiques and art galleries to jewelry and of course an ABC Store or two. They also have an Apple store with a quite friendly staff that replaced my broken iPhone for free yesterday! Score one for me! There are also plenty of restaurants that over look magnificently huge hundred-year-old banyan trees and unique street performers.

The shops are open late, and the center is perfect for an evening stroll and dinner after a long, warm day on the beach.


So far the weather has been perfect and finally, it is time for 2012’s first full-field event. Its been a few years since I have made the traveling squad to this tournament, and I am really excited to walk this beautifully old-style golf course. And according to a recent survey, Waialae Country Club ranked 20th on the list of TOUR players favorite courses to play.

With Jimmy’s 4th place finish here, last year Waialae kicked off what would become our best year to-date on TOUR. We look forward to an even better week and an even better year in 2012.

Cheers and mahalo!