Heading to Las Vegas to cover Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational golf tourament

We’ll use any excuse to hit Las Vegas, but covering the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational (MJCI) definitely qualifies as a trip we’re excited about. This 11th annual charity golf tournament will feature stars like NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers along with Ken Griffey, Jr., Wayne Gretzky, Roger Clemens, Brian Baumgartner, Brett Hull, Maury Povich and Chris Chelios. I’ll be reporting through the weekend here on the blog and you can also follow us on Twitter for photos and updates. I’ll also be staying at the incredible Aria Resort & Casino so this is shaping up to be a great weekend!

It’s also for a number of great causes, as this is a charity golf tournament. Proceeds from the charitable tournament will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation, UC San Diego Nevada Cancer Institute, James R. Jordan Foundation, Opportunity Village and Cats Care, the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats’ charity arm. Since its inception in 2001, MJCI has raised more than $6 million for charity.

The tournament is being held at the incredible Shadow Creek golf course, which is opening to the public for only the second time with this tournament. I’m looking forward to getting some great photos.

Tickets may be purchased at any MGM Resorts International box office outlet or online through the links above:

Daily General Admission Pass $30/Thursday-Sunday
Weekly General Admission Pass $100/Thursday-Sunday
Daily VIP Pass $150/Thursday-Sunday
Weekly VIP Pass $500/Thursday-Sunday

VIP spectators will enjoy access to an unparalleled view of the course from the M life VIP tent, an openair venue featuring a “VIP Party Deck” overlooking the par-5, 18th hole, catering and a full-service bar. Discounted tickets are available for military service members with valid identification, and Senior Citizens 65 years of age or older with valid ID; both groups will receive 25 percent off a daily or weekly general admission ticket. Additionally, the tournament has created a special “Bring the Kids for Free” general admission ticket offer, which provides access to Shadow Creek for youth 16 years of age and younger when accompanied by a general admission ticketed adult (up to two children per paid adult).

With the golf tournament with MJ and then the Final Four semi-finals on Saturday night, this should shape us as quite a weekend. I also get to enjoy all the amenities at the Aria and will also see the Cirque du Soleil Viva ELVIS show which should be incredible. I saw the Love show featuring music from The Beatles last year so I’m definitely looking forward to this Elvis show!

  

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Sports travel for the winter

The holidays are over, and many people are now thinking about their winter or spring vacations. Unfortunately, for many people around the country, some of the more popular winter sports haven’t been available. With the warm weather in many parts of the country, skiing and snowboarding hasn’t been a very good option, unless you could fly to spots that have had consistent cold weather.

For golf, however, there hasn’t been a problem. For many avid golfers up north, now is the time of year where they are dreaming of golf breaks and plan to escape and spend some time at a beautiful golf resort. Places like Arizona and Florida are great options for many, while others dream of golf in the Algarve and other great European destinations.

Whether you prefer the traditional golf courses in the United Kingdom, the newer pro courses in the United States or Algarve golf options, you’ll end up with a great vacation if you plan ahead.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is getting into shape before you take your trip. A long golf trip can really take a toll, and if you’ve slipped a little after the holidays, you might want to consider some workouts before you go. Hit the treadmill to get your endurance going, and work on your strength and flexibility so you can hit those long drives and collect on bets with your friends.

  

Stylish golf shirts from Sub70

Fashion trends for men have evolved in recent years as a slimmer, more athletic fit has become the standard in everything from suits to t-shirts. This more stylish look has also had an impact on the usually stodgy golf world, as younger golfers have made their mark on the tour.

Sub70 sent us some samples from their golf line which embraces these new style trends as the “classic golf shirt goes modern.” Check out their site and you’ll see a wide variety of European-fit polos in a full range of styles and colors. We checked out the Zane/White golf shirt pictured here and loved the styling. Some of the shirts are trendier than others but the modern styles definitely stand out as something new and fresh. The all-polyester shirts are very comfortable, but they are definitely tighter and the sizes run smaller than expected. They are ideal for a leaner and more athletic build, so it’s not for guys who consistently choose beer and the buffet line over the gym.

The shirts make a great gift for golf enthusiasts who have a sense of style. If you’re an avid golfer and want to break free from the more traditional look, these shirts are for you as well.

  

The Ultimate Car Show at Pebble Beach

I knew I was in for a treat when I traveled to Pebble Beach this past weekend with Infiniti. Any trip to the beautiful Bay Area that included a visit to the iconic Pebble Beach golf course would be memorable. But visiting during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance provided a completely unique experience. The Concours ranks as the most prestigious classic car show in the world. I was stunned by the number of beautiful cars that were on display. It’s a car enthusiast’s dream event, but anyone who appreciates great cars would have an unforgettable experience.

Infiniti took the opportunity around this event to introduce two impressive concept vehicles, including the JX Concept crossover which made its debut at an elegant evening event and the Etherea concept which was introduced for the first time in North America. The Etherea was introduced on Saturday morning on the 18th green at Pebble Beach, which would be the location for the Concours on Sunday (see photo below).

The Concours is the signature event for car enthusiasts, so all weekend we saw a virtual parade of amazing vehicles. Everywhere you turned you could spot old and new Ferraris, Bugattis, Rolls Royces, Aston Martins, Lambos and more, along with classic American cars as well. In the days leading up to Sunday, tons of vehicles we on display. One of my favorites was this 1968 Dodge Charger R/T:

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The Golf Round Bucket List: Augusta National Golf Club

Welcome to a new feature where we examine the best golf courses the world has to offer, and daydream about playing them before we die. First up, naturally, is the course that is frequently rated the #1 golf course in the world and the host of the Masters, the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. Here are some quick hits on the club and the course.

Open for play: 1934
Membership: The club has around 300 members at all times, and they are selected by invitation only. Dues are said to be around $10,000 per year, as the club makes the majority of its money from hosting the Masters, but despite those relatively affordable dues, you’re not getting an invitation to join unless you’re rich, famous, or politically connected, and you’re not playing the course unless you know one of those 300 people.
Total Length: 7,435 yards, or roughly a mile longer than the course you play on the weekends
Yes, it’s true: There are no women members, though they finally accepted a black member in 1990.

Ryo Ishikawa of Japan hits his tee shot on the third hole during a practice round for the 2011 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, April 5, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT GOLF)

When you watch those helicopter shots of each hole on TV, Augusta doesn’t look like a terribly hazardous course, but thanks to an abundance of trees, undulated greens and tee boxes that are a good 30 yards farther back than they were six years ago, there is scant room for error. Take a look at the green for the seventh hole, Pampas: it’s protected by five (!) bunkers, so if you don’t stick the green, you’re throwing a beach party. Then there is White Dogwood, hole #11, where you need to hit the ball at least 265 yards just to make it to the fairway. The course’s toughest hole, though is the tenth, Camelia. (All holes are named for the trees or plants that line each particular hole.) The back half of the hole slopes downhill though the green is slightly elevated, with a bunker to the right and a monstrous, storm cloud-shaped bunker in the middle of the fairway just before the green. No one wins the Masters on the 10th hole, but lots of people have lost it here.

The hole we’re most eager to play, though, has to be Rosebud, the par-3 16th hole where, in 2005, Tiger Woods made the most spectacular shot we’ve ever seen.

How on earth did he do that? As Verne Lundquist said, never in our lives have we seen such a thing, but here’s hoping that someone makes us take that statement back this weekend.

  

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