Discover The Perfect Fall/Winter Escapes
Yes! We love our summer golf right now but it is also time to plan ahead for fall and winter escapes. Here are a few spots to consider on the east and west coasts.
Remember to search tourism websites for lodging, culinary and activity options for any destination in mind.
Myrtle Beach –
The Grand Strand of beach is perfect for romance, bromance, fraumance or family fun time when not playing one of the 67 golf courses with green fees from the $40s to low $100s. If you like 18-36 a day, swing away. Four courses are ranked in the Top 100 Public Courses – The Caledonia Golf and Fish Club is #29, Dunes Golf and Beach Club #39, True Blue #77 and Barefoot’s Resort Love course is #85.
Did you know that kids play free on over 50 Myrtle Beach golf courses? Now that’s a bargain. With an uptick in play before and after the Masters, fall and winter months yield even greater package deals. Check out Claude Pardue’s Mystical Dunes trio -The Witch, The Wizard and Man of War with lodging in condos or ocean front rooms that are available for the same price range as golf fees. Normal temperatures vary from the 60’s to the 70’s for comfortable play.
Broadway at the Beach, The Boardwalk and Promenade and Market Commons are a drive away for shopping sprees. The House of Blues, Alabama Theatre, Carolina Opry, and Legends in Concert bring world class acts to their stages. Soak up the sun, play in the surf, enjoy a lazy river or high rise views from the ocean front properties. The Myrtle Beach International Airport has 9 airline carriers with over 25 non-stop direct flights from multiple cities.
What a variety of golf vacations Virginia offers, beginning with Colonial Williamsburg. The 18th century capital is a living museum. Servers in garb of the ages tuck over sized napkins in your neckline at King’s Arm Tavern, established in 1772. Balladeers sing as comforting colonial food is dished out. Golf at the Golden Horseshoe or stay and play the River or Woods Courses at Kingsmill Resort and Spa, complete with a marina and sandy beach. On the state’s southern shore half a dozen courses are located within 30 minutes of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront including Virginia Beach National designed by Pete Dye and Arnold Palmer’s Signature at Westneck. Seek accommodations on the boardwalk to enjoy restaurants and bars along the famous “Virginia Beach Strip.”
Blue Ridge Mountain Golf is widespread around Roanoke. Tour the revitalized downtown by foot, trolley or free shuttle cab. The Roanoke Hotel is famous for peanut soup and spoonbread, perched on the hill above the train station, serving as a visitors’ center where whistles still blow as the tracks carry cargo.
Wintergreen Resort and Spa has two great courses, Stoney Creek in the valley and Devils Knob along mountain peaks as well as a zip line and ski lift. Time it right to ski and golf the same day.
Lansdowne Resort and Spa is the place to stay and play in the most affluent spot in the country – Loudoun County, 30 miles from DC. On 476 acres, 45 beautiful golf holes surround the resort along the Potomac River and Goose Creek Canal. In the middle of Virginia Wine Country, it pays homage with its tones and shapes of décor echoing the vineyards.
When you hear “Georgia on My Mind,” do you think of the Masters’ Amen Corner or street strolling Savannah, Georgia’s oldest city?
The Georgia Golf Trail presented by Bridgestone aims to bring all the mountain, coast and lake golf to the forefront.
Jekyll Island Club Hotel is a Landmark Experience we look forward to. The largest public golf resort in Georgia has three 18-hole courses – Pine Lakes, Indian Mound and Oleander as well as their 9-hole Great Dunes with ocean views and signage portraying the history of Jekyll Island golf.
The French Style Chateau Elan Winery and Resort in the foothills of the northeast Georgia Mountains is an extraordinary leisure retreat on 3500 acres with three championship courses including the Legends which was crafted with favorite holes from around the world, selected (six each) by celebrated pros Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead and Kathy Whitworth.
In the southernmost foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Callaway Gardens provides solace, inspiration and discovery with tree top adventures, ziplining, a sandy beach, water activities and tennis in addition to two 18-hole courses.
Reynolds Lake Oconee is a premier golf community. Six courses are so well designed by the great Nicklaus, Jones, Cupp, Engh, and Fazio that it is difficult to pick a favorite. Find fine cuisine at Linger Longer Steak House, Gaby’s by the Lake, Water View Pub and The Tavern, plus 5 more restaurants on property. 350 miles of shoreline equates to aqua fun and beautiful views. Stay in a villa or The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee, fabulously refurbished.
“Head West,” we all quip, for travel adventures. North to south, the longest state in the union conjures romance with the crashing waves of the Pacific and toasting with a buttery chardonnay or subtle Pinot Noir. The original and still most famous wine region is in the rolling hills of Napa Valley. Vintners have embraced the links of the Chardonnay Golf Club, Eagle Vines and Vineyard Golf Club and Johnnie Miller’s Silverado Resort as fairways adjoin acres of vines. Hop on the Napa Valley Wine Train for a tour of the many vineyards and producers.
History lures us to the Monterey Peninsula. Pebble Beach Golf Links is the ultimate golfer’s goal. A cypress tree hangs over a cliff as the mighty Pacific pounds the shoreline. Cypress Point, Spanish Bay, Spyglass Hill and Poppy Hills retain their annual rankings atop the best in America. Stay in the charming cottage village of Carmel-by-the-Sea.
The California intoxication continues down the coastline to the Santa Ynez valley near Santa Barbara, a boutique wine region. The Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort spans 15,000 acres with towering sycamores and no tvs or phones. Saddle up for a trail ride or set up on the tees of the Ranch or River Course.
Take the scenic Pacific Coast Highway through Malibu, skip L.A. and wash ashore in the Orange County/San Diego area. La Costa, Torrey Pines, Madera, Aviara and Sycuan Resort are all excellent golf tracks as well as the Fairmont’s Del Mar Fazio course.
Escape inland to the iconic resorts of Palm Springs in the Coachella Valley like the Hollywood elite for a mecca of golf and entertainment with breathtaking views of the surrounding San Jacinto Mountains. The Dinah Shore and Bob Hope Classic annually drew masses. Tournament names have changed, but the courses and popularity have not.
The Grand Canyon State really is grand for it’s diverse topography from desert to mountains, for perpetual sunshine and tons of golf courses. Tucson invites you to “Free yourself” in its laidback environs with over 40 courses. Some of the best golf resorts are Casino del Sol (Sewailo Golf club), Omni Tucson National Resort, and Loews Ventana Canyon Resort.
In the Valley of the Sun, shop Old Town Scottsdale for turquoise jewelry and upscale galleries in between eateries. Trip into a wild night spot and tee it up in the morning at TPC, Grayhawk, Troon North, The Boulders or choose from hundreds more. Eat at Cowboy Ciao’s or cowboy up on a western trail ride or dude ranch, like Los Caballeros in Wickenburg, west of Phoenix. While there play Li’l and Big Wicks at Wickenburg Ranch.
Stay at the historic Wigwam for proximity to NFL, NHL and concert venues. Play the great courses at Verrado as well as the three parkland courses on property.
Take scenic drives throughout Arizona to ghost towns, Tombstone or the red rocks of Sedona. Stay and play at the Sedona Golf Resort or Enchanted Resort. Take a pink jeep tour or soar with the Rainbow Ryders in a hot air balloon over Sedona or the desert. Encounter elk on the Rim Golf Course in Payson or big horn sheep on Canyon Lakes’ Steamboat Dolly cruise. Combine golf and hiking at Camelback Mountain, Gold Canyon or the former capital of Prescott where Billy Jack was filmed at the Courthouse along Whiskey Row. Sallie up to the turn of the century saloons and check out the private Capital Canyon Club if you might want to land here, many New Englanders do.
New Mexico –
Great golf is a bonus in this land of enchantment. Take the Historic Old Town Trolley in the capital of Albuquerque for an introduction to all the neighborhoods. From the plaza along historic Route 66, preservation of architecture, theaters, diners, a castle and elephants by the zoo are noted.
The Petro glyph National Park and Indian Pueblo Cultural Center show off Native American lifestyles while Tablao Flamenco marries Spanish tap dancing with graceful, dramatic moves in rhythm to Moorish influenced music. The interactive audience claps, sings and shouts Ole.
The International Balloon Festival is held here because the climate is ideal and the views are surreal over the Rio Grande. Check out the colorful balloon museum covering the history of use in sports, war and aerospace science. Early birds can soar before golf with the Rainbow Ryders and toast with local champagne after landing.
Managed by OB Sports, Sandia Golf Club is in superior condition with lovely high desert flora where bunnies, coyotes and roadrunners dart about. Views of Sandia Peak, surrounding mountains and the Rio Grand are serene. In spots it seems as though you can see all the way to Santa Fe or Taos, two artist communities with more golf.
Take a switchback road (not for the car sick passengers) over the Sandia Mountain to Paa-Ko Ridge, the number one ranked course in New Mexico. Scale Sandia on the longest tram in the world to a height of over 10,000 feet. On the western side of Sandia, the Twin Warriors Gary Panks signature design winds through canyons and hills along the sacred butte known as Tuyuna or “Snakehead.” The whole serpent outline can be seen molten in the rock spanning several holes, an example of Albuquerque’s mystification.WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?