WARM WEATHER GOLF GETAWAYS
we know & love......
In Bermuda, an island just 650 miles off the coast of North Carolina, pink is a macho color, shorts are worn with jackets and ties and cricket is a national passion not a goofy bug. Here you’ll find idyllic golf weather year round along with candy-coated cottages and hotels overlooking turquoise seas and coral-hued beaches.
The Deal: Bermuda Golf Around Eagle Package
$275 per person for 3 rounds/2 nights; $339 per person for 4 rounds/3 nights etc. up to 10 nights.
• Luxury Accommodations at the Fairmont Southampton overlooking coral-sand beaches and the sea
• Golf at Turtle Hill and Mid-Ocean Golf Club,as well as other top Bermuda courses, such as Port Royal, Tucker’s Point or Belmont Hills. Also enjoy use of cart, breakfasts, and 50 percent off rental clubs.
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ALABAMA: RT Jones Trail
Robert Trent Jones Sr. designed them all and they are big, beautiful, muscular courses, all recognized as high caliber tracks. Each set of courses has its own handsome clubhouse. And really good news, the public can play them at prices averaging 30% less than most others in the same category. Each of the courses is located within a two-hour drive of another course and 15 minutes from an interstate. The Trail has also partnered with eight exceptional hotels under Marriott Management where golfers can stay, making the Trail just about the best bet for golfers on the road.
The Deal: Winter Specials: Play one round of golf per day for two or more days with cart and unlimited range balls starting at $62 per day. Also ask about specials at different locations. For example the Winter Magic Special includes one round of golf at Oxmoor Valley, one round at Ross Bridge, cart fees and range balls from $154.
• The Resort Collection on the Trail includes places like Marriott Auburn-Opelika, Renaissance Montgomery, Marriott Prattville. and the impressive Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa in Hoover with its European-style spa and multiple restaurants..
• Play your choice of 26 courses throughout Alabama, at 11 different sites. Be prepared to be overwhemed.
REYNOLDS LAKE OCONEE, Georgia
Reynolds Lake Oconee, a 30 plus year-old upscale golf community with five courses, now owned by MetLife, has been established long enough for the landscape to have acquired a graceful southern ambiance with draped oaks, lakes and waving marshes. Recently a new facility was unveiled: the Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds. In addition to playing five designer golf courses you can enjoy sporting clays, Five Stand & Air Rifle ranges and archery.
Among the special packages Swing & Spa from $549 includes accommodations in the elegant Ritz-Carlton, breakfast, a round of golf on Tom Fazio’s 27-hole National course, Bob Cupp’s The Landing or The Preserve plus $150 Spa credit. Other courses include Jack Nicklaus’ famed Great Waters playing around Lake Oconee and Rees Jones’ stunning Oconee course.
The Reynolds Kingdom of Golf features a selection of packages, including custom club-fittings with a TaylorMade Master Clubfitter and private instruction from Golf Magazine Top 100 Instructor Charlie King. Also ask about the The Quick 6 experience on the Preserve offering a variety of tee boxes while utilizing existing greens on six selected short holes to create a loop. Ritzcarlton.com
OUTER BANKS, North Carolina
Try the coastal Outer Banks where you can tee it up on any one of several outstanding golf courses in places like Currituck, Corolla, Coinjock, Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills, Duck and Kitty Hawk.
The Deal: Price: $275 per person for 3 rounds/2 nights; $339 per person for 4 rounds/3 nights
• Luxury Accommodations in the brand new “Cottages at Kilmarlic” – 4 golfers per cottage
• New cottages surround a lighted 5,000 square foot, tournament condition putting green
• Golf at The Carolina Club, Kilmarlic Golf Club and The Pointe Golf Club
• Pricing based on 4 golfer minimums
PlayOBXGolf.com or 800-916-6244.
MYRTLE BEACH SOUTH, SC
You’ll leave the glitz and high-rises behind at the southern end of the Strand stretching along the coast taking in Murrell’s Inlet, Litchfield Beach and Pawley’s Island.
The Deal: Stay & Play
The three-night four-round deal starting at $639 features golf at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club and True Blue Golf Club, a top-ranked pair of Mike Strantz designs.
• Accommodations at True Blue’s fully furnished two-and three-bedroom condos on Pawley’s Island.
• Caledonia (one of our all-time favorites) plays through a stunning piece of lowcountry land that was once home to a thriving rice plantation. Live oak trees draped in Spanish moss, the marshy waters of the Waccamaw Neck, and Strantz’s architectural brilliance combine to make Caledonia one of America’s premier public golf experiences.
A round at True Blue, while completely different from a design perspective, is no less captivating. Everything about the 7,126-yard layout is big – the fairways, the greens and most of all, the fun.
Waste bunkers frame many of the course’s fairways crafting a layout that is among the area’s most visually stunning. FishClub.com.
SEA ISLAND, GA
Crossing the bridge to St. Simons Island, an Spanish-American style island retreat off the coast of Georgia, you enter a world of privilege, a place many PGA players call “home.” Howard Coffin, who bought the island in 1912, was captivated by what he called, “the gloom of the live oaks, beautiful, braided and woven.” This remains. Today Sea Island Company has hotels, golf courses, and several exclusive communities on the island, including charming island-style homes in Frederica nearby, all dedicated to seclusion and the sporting life.
There is no glitz nor strip malls here. Instead a sense of space, whispering pine forests, oaks, marshes and stunning vistas of the sea, dominate the landscape. It’s an easy, laid-back coastal lifestyle with boating, a stunning private five-mile beach, good schools, a huge network of cycling and walking paths plus several restaurants, locally-owned stores and plenty of golf on world-class courses. Golf year-round on Plantation, Seaside and Retreat that have benefitted from updates by architects like Davis Love III and Tom Fazio; ramp up your game at the Sea Island Golf Performance Center; and get custom-fitted for clubs along with a fitness evaluation.
The tennis facilities, spa and riding stables are top-rated too. After all, this is a resort where those who can afford it, come to unwind. Stay at The Cloister, a quietly elegant hotel where you can always find a cozy place to read, play a game of chess or sip a liqueur. Tea and cookies in the late afternoon? You bet. The Lodge, a more intimate hotel and golf clubhouse evokes an English country manor and the Lodge Cottages are gems with front porches, dormers and other quaint features. The Inn is more casual and less pricey yet maintains the resort’s upscale features. And Whichever place you close to stay, you can take for granted the beds, sheets and everything else such as marble tubs and beamed ceilings will be everything you imagined. Ask about Special Packages such as “8 Rounds at price for 7” and Lodge deals for foursomes or couples. Seaisland.com
Cambrian Ridge, RTJones Course, AL
Cambrian Ridge, RTJones Trail, AL
Turtle Hill, The Fairmont Southampton
Capitol Hill, RTJones Trail, AL
Pocono Manor: A lovely old classic course and resort in the Pennsylvania's mountains
For more than 100 years, Pocono Manor Resort & Spa has been a golf destination rich with history. Nestled in the Pocono Mountains, the mountain course has played host to golfing greats and celebrities alike for tournaments and pro-am events. Names like Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead, and Tommy Bolt plus celebrities such as Jackie Gleason have all graced the scenic par-72 public East course.
Greg Wall is only the third head professional since the course opened in 1925. Wall, who began his tenure in 1984, said the course is a second home. “I love this place,” said the 65-year-old Wall, who is a member of the Philadelphia PGA Section. “It’s been very good to me and I’ve been good to it.”
The Donald Ross/William Flynn designed mountain course features sloping, tree-lined fairways and expansive greens with just one water hazard on No. 18. “People who come here are going to see some holes they’ve never seen before,” Wall said. “They are going to have great views. They are going to be out in the woods by themselves. They are going to have a lot of fun.”
About the course: Nostalgic charm: Pocono Manor’s landscape and hotel evokes the movie “Dirty Dancing.” The main hotel, built in 1902 by Quakers, is a registered landmark. The 6,500-yard course is among the amenities included on the resort property.
Family ties: Art Wall, Jr., Greg Wall’s father, won the 1959 Masters and was the PGA Player of the Year. Wall, Pocono Manor’s touring professional, scored 45 career holes-in-one and played professionally from 1952 until his death in 2001.
Ross/Flynn combination: Ross’ original nine-hole course opened in 1912. But the course was re-imagined and re-configured by Flynn in 1920. Holes 7-16 were designed by Flynn. Holes 1-6 and No. 17 and 18 belong to Ross, who designed several northeast golf courses including Bellevue Country Club.
Arnie’s double-bogey: Pocono Manor’s most famous hole is No. 7. It’s one of the few 77-yard par-3 holes in the country with an elevated tee that launches the ball downhill to the green protected by a creek. In a 1968 match play event against Art Wall Jr. and head pro Jack Cuttle. Arnold Palmer double-bogeyed the hole and carded a 6 on the hole during the event.