Sunday is Father’s Day, a celebration observed the world over (although in some countries on a different schedule) and an opportunity to pause and reflect on the influence of fathers and paternal figures on society. It’s also a time for dad to indulge in his favorite pursuits, and for many of them that means golf. It’s estimated there are almost 30 million golfers in the United States alone, about three quarters of them men, and 50-60 million worldwide. Millions more watch golf on television. I do both. Imagery on Bing Maps is a great way to experience golf and learn about the world’s top courses, whether you’re planning an upcoming round or want a broader perspective of the shots shown on TV.
You can view 3D imagery of the courses mentioned below in either the Maps App Preview for Windows 8.1 or the Windows 10 Maps App (if you have installed the latest Insider Preview version).
Golf is a “Major” Deal
Father’s Day is the traditional time of year when the United States Golf Association (USGA) hosts its preeminent competitive tournament, the United States Open. One of the so-called “major tournaments” in men’s professional golf, the 2015 U.S. Open will be played this week and weekend just at the Chambers Bay golf club, a former quarry east of Tacoma, WA. Watching the tournament on television can be deceiving because of the unique design (the USGA’s amateur golf championship was held there and televised in 2010), so viewing it in 3D on the Windows 10 Maps App helps give perspective to each shot:
Chambers Bay Golf Course east of Tacoma, WA on Windows 10 Maps App
Of the four men’s professional majors, only one is held at the same course each year. The Masters is held each April at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. One of the most beautiful (and exclusive) golf clubs on the professional tour, Augusta National is another course that looks fantastic in 3D, such as this view of “Amen Corner”:
Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, GA on Windows 10 Maps App
And let’s not forget about women’s golf. As with the men, there are numerous professional golf organizations around the globe, including the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and the Ladies European Tour (LET). One LET event, the Evian Championship, was recently elevated to the status as a “major” tournament and is now held each September at the stunning Évian Resort Golf Club in Évian-les-Bains France (yes, the bottled water with the crazy animated babies in their ads is named after the town) on the banks of Lake Geneva:
Évian Resort Golf Club in Évian-les-Bains France on Bing Maps
It’s Not Just About the Pros
One of the many great things about golf is that amateur “hackers” have the opportunity to play some of the world’s great courses that also host professional events. While my chances of playing Augusta National are pretty slim, I could book a tee time at world-renown Pebble Beach Golf Links (or one of the other premier courses on the Monterey Peninsula, south of San Francisco):
Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, CA on Windows 10 Maps App
Alternatively, if I wanted to get in touch with the historical roots of golf (and was willing to endure a transatlantic flight and numerous shuttle buses) I might find myself on the 18th green of the “Old Course” at St. Andrews in Scotland:
The Old Course at St. Andrews Golf Club in St. Andrews Scotland on Bing Maps
A lot of people who play the Old Course are surprised by how close to town the 18th hole is and that, yes, you really do have to hit your tee shot on 17 over the Old Course Hotel.
Watching or Playing Golf This Summer?
So if you’re one of the millions that will watch a golf tournament this summer, either in person or on television, the next time a golfer pull-hooks a shot into the trees and you find yourself wondering, “where is he (or she) hitting from???”, just head on over to Bing Maps to get a good look. It will make watching so much more interesting and enjoyable.
Mike Gilbert Principal Lead Program Manager Bing Maps
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New 2D aerial cities this month include:
|Catalina Foothills, AZ
||Panama City, FL
|Desert Hot Springs, CA
||San Tan Valley, AZ
|Drexel Heights, AZ
||Santa Clarita, CA
|Gulf Breeze, FL
||Spanish Fort, AL
|Lake City, FL
||Tucson South, AZ
|Marcos Island, FL
||Winter Park, FL
|Oro Valley, AZ
||Zephyr Hills, FL
|Palm Springs, CA