What a tour! We want to thank the participants who competed for over $9,000 USD in prizes! aG wanted to find a way to encourage people to find a sense of community during a global crisis that has left many of us feeling more isolated than ever. We feel lucky to have the opportunity to offer a happy distraction for our customers, and we hope you enjoyed our first official tour. We’ve noticed wanderlust hits us hardest when we’re stuck at home. To help combat the stay-at-home blues, we showcased some of our favorite golf courses. Our tournament participants sampled the finest links in Michigan, popped down to Florida to visit one of the greats, and ended week 8 in the Dominican Republic on a course that’s as vicious as it is beautiful.
About the Courses
Bay Harbor Golf Club boasts three award-winning courses designed by Arthur Hill that hug the northeastern coastline of Lake Michigan, each with a distinctive aesthetic. The Preserve was the first course featured on our tour and is known for its picturesque landscapes. If you want a Scottish flare with breathtaking shorelines and towering bluffs, the Links is the course for you. Finally, the Quarry is known as their diamond in the rough and features a combination of coastline, stone cliffs, and natural ponds. Bay Hill hosts the Tournament of Champions Pro-Am each year. The Donald Ross Memorial in Michigan is one of the more interesting concept courses in the United States. The designers reviewed the lifetime works of Donald Ross—he designed at least 400 courses—and selected 18 of his greatest holes for their compilation. The Bay Hill spans across 270 acres along the shores of the Butler Chain of Lakes in Florida. The Champion, Challenger, and Charger links feature 27 holes of tour worthy golf. Bay Hill is home to the popular Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard and the Arnold Palmer Golf Academy. We ended this series in the Alpha Home Tour on Pete Dye’s signature golf course. The Teeth of the Dog is ranked among the top 30 courses in the world. This gorgeous course sits on hand-carved rock over the coral coastline of the Dominican Republic. Whether you crave being close to the teal waters of the Caribbean or the lush fauna of the islands, you’ll be in a golfer’s paradise.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights! Week 1: The Preserve – Hole 5 Our inaugural week of the Alpha Home Tour drew in 64 participants across 37 locations, including several indoor golf centers. Hole 5 of the Preserve features a densely wooded hazard down the right and the green sits on a ridge with bunkers framing either side. Yiannis Sotiropoulos made this hole described by professionals as “not a treat” look like quite the opposite, landing less than half a foot from the pin.
Week 2: The Preserve - Hole 9 The left expanse of hole 9 is against the Lake Michigan coastline, and its sharp slope makes it one of the more challenging holes. Colem aced the hole and our second-place winner, Nederlander, landed less than a foot from the pin. Remember: a hole-in-one means the second closest to the pin is awarded $500!
“The AG Home Tour has definitely kept me entertained and my game sharp! Looking forward to upcoming contests.” — Nederlander
Week 3: Donald Ross Memorial - Hole 8
Hole 8 features a significant water feature that our participants had to carry in order to hit the green. Carry it they did! Henry B aced his shot and our second-place winner, Cheese, landed ¾ of a foot from the pin. In week three we saw 63 participants across 38 locations. Seeing so many families compete together warmed our hearts!
Week 4: Bay Harbor - Hole 4 Hole 4 of the Links overlooks Little Traverse Bay, but the real feature to be noted on this par 3 is the slope that runs through the center of the green. The odd lays of the two-level green may have been responsible for breaking the Alpha Home Tour’s hole in one streak. MG G18 landed just over 1 foot from the pin to take the win over 59 other participants spanning 40 locations.
Week 5: Donald Ross Memorial - Hole 17 In week 5 we saw an impressive surge in participants topping out at 74 talented golfers swinging from 41 locations. The fairway of hole 17 is hugged tightly by hardwoods, just as the pin is closed in by bunkers. It’s been known to flummox many professionals, but David Chaikin made a beautiful shot that landed just 1.18 feet from the pin.
“If it wasn’t for my sim I am not sure I would make it through the COVID quarantine. Hitting the par three is a bonus and joy.” — David Chaikin
Week 6: Bay Harbor - Hole 17 Hole 17 of the Quarry is known as Bay Hill’s answer to the 7th at Pebble Beach. This is an unforgiving green banked on three sides by water. Chris Marzoli kept a cool head and landed 1.28 feet from the pin with Snaab nipping at his heels less than half a foot away. Perhaps the looming hazard scared off many of our usual participants as only 46 golfers braved Bay Harbor from 23 locations.
Week 7: Bay Hill - Hole 1 Hole 1 of Bay Hill features a sizable water hazard that must be lined with golf balls. Although Arnold Palmer managed to hit a hole in one in the 1977 Arnold Palmer Invitational, it’s a rare feat. Snaab, our week 6 2nd place winner, came close with a shot landing 2.64 feet from the pin while 56 golfers from 24 locations looking on in awe.
“Being unable to get out on the course this spring the Alpha Home Tour gave a specific, challenging goal—hit it as close as possible. Is the shot a hard 8 or a cut 7? What happens if I try a different trajectory? Just like on course, each shot mattered and the pressure was on. No longer was a good shot enough, unless each shot was super close. I had to go back and practice more, trying to hole out each and every time.” — Snaab
Week 8: Teeth of the Dog - Hole 5 Our final week of the tour saw steady participation with 57 golfers from 34 locations vying for the $1,000 USD prize. Hole 5 of this course reminds us of the warning that Teeth of the Dog is all bite and no bark. The green is angled away from the tee, framed by large trees, and partially surrounded by the ocean. Chelsea Acree edged out the competition with a beautiful shot that landed 2.53 feet from the pin.
We had such great participation and feedback during the Alpha Home Tour that you can expect to hear from us again soon. We’re busy formulating a virtual challenge with gorgeous views and nasty hazards. We hope to be announcing the format soon, so be sure to check back. Do you have questions about how to participate? Contact us.