by J. Lee | Mar 9, 2008 | 1. North America, Active Vacation, California, Extreme Luxury, Golf Vacation, UK
By Aazdak Alisimo
A discussion of top notch golf courses is a lot different than a discussion of favorite golf courses. Although each golfer might have his own favorite, there are a few that have always stood out.
Anyone with a serious interest in golf will have heard of St. Andrews in Scotland. This is not only a Mecca for serious golfers, but is also where the game originated. St. Andrews is really a whole series of different world class courses that surround the town and run along the rugged Scottish coast near the town of St. Andrews. Although some of the courses are over 100 years old, there are some new and modern courses mixed in for variety. Despite year round play, these courses are among the best maintained in the World. It appears that the Scotch have the experience to do this job correctly. They are known for hosting the British Open.
The courses at St. Andrews are across an ocean which poses a slight disadvantage for the American golfer and many who make this journey are a bit shocked by the higher costs and green fees here. Most people are too blown away by the awesome scenery and the sense of golfing history to notice and the thrill of playing St. Andrews is rarely a disappointment.
The Augusta National Golf Club is another top notch course. It was designed and built in 1933 by golf legend Bobby Jones and has hosted the Masters Golf Tournament since 1934. It is a private club golf course that has been in the news recently for more than just the Master’s Tournament. There are only about 300 members. The membership fees range fro $250,000 to $500,000 a year and in its entire history no female has ever been a member. Although women are allowed to play the course as guests of members, they are restricted from membership. This caused a bit of a stink recently as the National Organization for Women put pressure on the club to change its policy.
Pebble Beach in California is like St. Andrews in Scotland. It is not just one golf course, but rather a series of top notch golf courses all in one location. Pebble Beach could be better called a golf destination than a course. There are seven public or private courses located at Pebble Beach. The Pebble Beach Golf Links is one of the public courses and is possibly the most top notch course in America. It is the one of only two courses in America to make the top of the “best courses” list in Golf Digest.
St. Andrews, Augusta, and Pebble Beach might be the most top notch golf courses in the World, although another writer might pick another for this list. In the end, the choice might be personal. The most top notch course in the world, to an individual, might be where they shot their first par or even where they first learned to play and love the game.
About the Author
Aazdak Alisimio writes about golf courses for GolfClubCourse.com.
by J. Lee | Aug 19, 2007 | 2. Europe, Educational Trip, South of France
By Miguel Scaccialupo
There are many approaches to second language learning, but few methods produce better results than studying a language in the country where that language is spoken. Daily immersion in language and culture is the key to gaining real proficiency in any language. So where better to learn the French language than in France itself! France is a fascinating and diverse country with an astonishingly rich cultural heritage and simply fantastic food!
Learning a language in the country where it is spoken is easier and more efficient, any invariably produces better outcomes. Learners become intimately acqauinted with a people and their culture, as well as their language. Language learning involves much more than simply memorising grammatical structures and vocabulary – genuine fluency involves learning to communicate with the people that speak the language. By speaking and listening to native French speakers in authentic real-life situations daily, you learn how to think and behave in French.
French language schools are found throughout France, from Paris in the north to Nice in the south, and choice of location is an important factor in deciding which language school to attend. In the process of acquiring real language fluency, time spent outside the language classroom is as at least as important as time spent in class. In larger cities, language programs frequently emphasise amenities and activities but, depending on overall class sizes, may neglect individual student needs. While there may be no shortage of cultural activities and museum visits in large cities such as Paris, Lyon or Marseille, more intimate cultural experiences are typically found in smaller towns and villages. It is also much easier to fall back on speaking English in larger cities, which of course defeats your original purpose entirely!
The type of French language program you choose will of be determined in large part by your particular needs. There are many different types of program offered by language schools in France, including general French, French for business, French for academic studies, and French for art courses, music, design and culinary arts.
Whichever program you opt for, there are several characteristics to look for which are shared by all quality programs: flexible, communicative teaching methodologies, a friendly atmosphere, personal attention, enthusiastic and qualified teachers, and small class sizes. Depending on your requirements, the program should also provide a language qualification recognised by national and international colleges and universities.
In summary, to get the most out of a French language program in France, seek out language schools with qualified native-speaking teachers, small groups and programs providing ample opportunity for individual student attention. Excursions and other extra-curricular activities are all important elements in a cultural program, but such activities should not substitute for genuine language learning which always occurs best in smaller, more intimate contexts. Whatever happens during your time in France, the most important objective is of course that you thoroughly enjoy your learning experience! When all is said and done, you will learn much more much faster if you are happy with your program and enjoying yourself!
About the Author
Miguel Scaccialupo writes regularly about France Tour and Malta Tour topics, and regularly reviews Outback Tour packages.