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Hot on the Web

This column originally ran in ComputorEdge on April 5, 2002
(Issue 2014, Clever Kids With Computers)

Spring is in the air – at least in San Diego, where a sirocco-like Santa Ana condition brought mid-summer conditions to February.

Anyway, with thoughts of spring comes a longing to return to that most maddening of all sports: Golf.

Golf Guide

This is both low-tech and low-info; it's a bare-bones site that's pretty much good only for finding which courses are in a specific city – but you better know the city since that's how they're listed in the search results (not by course name).

Once you find the course, the information provided is minimal – address, phone and web link.

As mentioned, this is bare bones – unless you're traveling and looking for a place to golf while on the road, it's hard to recommend this site.

Golf Resorts

Another good site if you travel a lot and like to take your clubs with you is the golf resorts search engine. It's not a complete guide to golf – but both the Colorado and California searches brought up a variety of courses, so you have a bit to choose from.

In addition to links to the various courses (as well as their own internal pages about the selected courses), this online travel agent also features various golf vacations – and there were some nice packages there (including one that was coupled with a massage/spa deal in case your significant other is too smart to golf).

Golfer's Guide

A slick, well-presented golf-oriented web site, Golfer's Guide is nevertheless wildly incomplete – there are entire states missing from this (like Colorado, for instance). Even those states that are included are hardly covered in any sort of comprehensive fashion – the Ohio listing, for instance, includes only the city of Columbus. Neither of the state's larger cities, Cincinnati and Cleveland, are listed; neither are the comparable cities of Toledo, Dayton, Akron or Youngstown.

The Southern California section features some of the local courses out here, but it's so far from comprehensive as to be nearly unusable.

The San Diego Golf Pages

A one-man project, The San Diego Golf Pages is the passion of Martin Olivera. He's been running this site for at least five years now, and it remains the class of San Diego – fending off challenges from commercial operations with large staffs and huge budgets.

The courses are organized into those with public access, and those with restricted membership. He also has categories for executive and military courses, and practice facilities.

The Buick Invitational and the World Match Play PGA tournaments held in San Diego both have their own links off the main page (although when we visited the week of Valentine's Day the Match Play page was still touting the 2000 event, the last time it was held at La Costa before this year).

Each course has its own page, with a simulated scorecard showing the yardage from each tee, as well as the par for each hole. There is an address and phone to each course, as well as a link to the course's own web page (if they have one). And the green fees are also listed, and there are links to online tee-time brokers as well.

The layout of this site is simple and clean, making it easy to find your way around and get the info you want.

San Diego Golf Guide

SignOn San Diego, web site of the San Diego Union-Tribune, has put its considerable resources into building an online guide to golf in San Diego. It's slick, sharp ... and doesn't work with all browsers.

Okay, so they should have put just a few more resources into this – like testing their clickable map with Netscape 6 (although it works fine with Netscape 4.x).

But once you get into the content, it's pretty deep. As far as courses go, it's just as comprehensive as Olivera's Golf Pages – and a lot prettier (hey, Olivera is solo – give him some credit!). Their list of driving ranges comes up short, though – just nine compared to Olivera's 11. Heck, Olivera even has more golf stores listed – you'd think the U-T could afford to pay one of their interns to at least check Olivera's site to make sure they're not overlooking anything.

On the upside, SignOn offers links to the U-T's golf coverage from their sports section, tips from the pros, and U-T golf columnist Tod Leonard's Top 10 course list.