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Some courses that just don't belong

Shane SharpBy Shane Sharp,

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Atlantic Coast Conference is making an all-out attempt to lure the University of Miami away from the Big East Conference. The sun-splashed campus in chic Coral Gables just doesn't fit with the hard-nosed, blue collar campuses of the Northeast, ACC officials claim.

Well, if you read between the lines, that is what they claim. Then there's that whole television revenue thing involving billions of dollars. But this space wasn't designed for economic analysis. This diatribe is about things that just don't belong.

Miami doesn't belong in the Big East. Fine, we will concede that. But the notion Boston College and Syracuse should come with the Hurricanes to the ACC is wrong, too. Why, you ask? Imagine the look on Eagle and Orangemen athletes faces as they ponder the dinner options at away games: BBQ, barbeque, and (as they call it here) CUE. Washing this down with COLE beer could even be a more life-altering experience.

Some golf courses just don't belong at their current addresses, come to think of it. Their relocation, while impractical, is strongly advised so as to quell the confusion among traveling golfers.

Prime for relocation

World Woods Golf Club, Pine Barrens and Rolling Oaks courses

Current location: About 45 minutes north of Tampa in Brooksville, Fla.

Why relocate: Golfers are invariably confused as to why two Tom Fazio designed courses named for pines and oaks would be located in the sticks of a state known for its palms.

Proposed Location (s): Pine Barrens is made to order for the Sandhills region of North Carolina (think Pinehurst). The fairways of this beast are packed with mature pine trees, and the sandy waste areas are right out of the Donald Ross handbook for building the perfect Sandhills course. As for Fazio's other onsite gem -- Rolling Oaks -- the Hill Country of East Texas is a calling. No course with rolling hills and stately oaks belongs in the Sunshine state and Rolling Oaks appears to have been separated from Barton Creek at birth.

Bali Hai Golf Club

Current location: Las Vegas, a chip shot away from Mandalay Bay and in the heart of a arid valley that receives less than four inches of rain a year.

Why Relocate:Disclaimer: most things found in Vegas probably shouldn't be there, water-loving golf courses included. But Bali Hai makes Sea World look like the Mojave. The water budget at this course must tip the scales at around $1 million annually. Oh by the way -- the course is in a flight path for the McCarran International Airport and jet engines are scientifically proven to loose their thrust when temperatures climb above 120 degrees. Is a fuselage a loose impediment?

Proposed Location (s): The South Pacific would be a bit drastic, but drastic times call for drastic measures. Florida would be the obvious domestic relocation candidate, and Lord knows Florida needs another golf course. Sneaky best place to relocate Bali Hai? Palm Springs/Palm Desert, where a plentiful, underground aquifer keeps the Coachella Valley lush and green.

Provo Golf Club

Current location: Providenciales Island in the Turk and Caicos Islands, an archipelago of 40 bone dry islands and cays (only nine of which support human life forms) located approximately 575 miles from Miami.

Why Relocate: The course was built by the owners of the Turks and Caicos Water Company, who regarded it as an investment in the island's future as a tourist destination. Provo has a $600,000 irrigation system that desalinates water and turns arid wasteland into tropical paradise upon contact. Little did the Water Company know the golf course would become a sanctuary for birdies - the real ones. So relocation could fundamentally alter (read: obliterate) Providenciales Island only identifiable ecosystem.

Proposed Location (s): Anywhere in a rain soaked section of Caribbean (sorry Aruba) would do, but preferably circa de the U.S. The Karl Litton designed desert target style layout turned Florida parkland course is a splendid play and needs to be within a half days travel for golf crazed Americans.

Shane Sharp is vice president of Buffalo Communications, a golf and lifestyle media agency. He was a writer, senior writer and managing editor of TravelGolf.com from 1997 to 2003.

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