Where To Go For The Ultimate Guys’ Golf Getaway
You’ve saved up and your buddies are committed to one heck of a golf getaway. Now it’s time to look at some prime destinations to help you narrow down where you’re headed.
Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail
If it is all about golf, there might not be a better value than the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama. Fly into and stay in Birmingham to play some of the 11 courses and 468 total holes that make up the Trail. One of the best things about the Trail is the affordability of both the hotels and greens fees, which can be had at a fraction of the price that you will pay in other locations.
Capitol Hill in Pratville is made up of three sublime golf courses. The Judge is magnificent and if pressed for time – it’s the one to play. It is a long, stern test that rolls through natural forests and along the Alabama River. Its lush fairways and fantastic natural scenery make it the jewel of the Trail.
Grand National in Opelika gives The Judge a run for its money as this exquisite course runs along the banks of majestic Lake Saugahatchee. Pick either of the two courses (Links or Lake) for a wonderful golf experience as both are equally fun and challenging.
Florida’s Nature Coast Golf Trail
In Florida, golf can be ridiculously pricey. But there are bargains to be had – mostly in the western portion of the state near Tampa. The Nature Coast Golf Trail consists of three courses that are beginning to capture the attention of golfing enthusiasts around the country.
The World Woods Golf Club has two courses: the Pine Barrens and the Rolling Oaks. The Pine Barrens course is the one to play. It is ranked among the Top 100 Courses in the World and has earned a coveted Golf Digest 5-Star rating. It has been compared to the immaculate Pine Valley Golf Club in New Jersey, which is, by consensus, the number one golf course in the country. Pine Barrens’ challenging layout defined by scintillating course elevation changes and gorgeous pine forests will leave you speechless. The price is a little higher, but the golf is absolutely worth it.
The Hernando Oaks Golf and Country Club offers old-world Florida charm with rolling greens, oak trees and Spanish moss throughout the track. It’s one of the best bargains for golf you will find anywhere in the Sunshine State.
Southern California: Palm Springs/La Quinta/Palm Desert
This desert oasis/ golf mecca is home to many golf bargains and a diverse group of top-rated courses, including a PGA Tour legend.
PGA West’s TPC Stadium Course is hands down the trophy of the area. Home to the PGA Tour’s Humana Challenge, this course can be friendly and cruel. The first 16 holes are difficult, yet entertaining, but the last two holes are treacherous. The par-3 17th, dubbed “Alcatraz” for its brutal island green and the par-4 18th, which has a water hazard riding down the entire hole, are among the most difficult holes in all of golf. It’s no surprise that this course has been ranked among Golf Digest’s “Most Difficult Golf Courses.”
The other course to play in the area is Shadow Ridge Golf Club in Palm Desert. The Marriott-managed layout is always in great condition and the Nick Faldo-designed course does not disappoint. The undulating fairways are pristine as the course tours past million-dollar luxury homes and the snow-capped peaks of the Santa Rosa Mountains. Golfweek Magazine chose this hidden gem as one of its “Top 100 Resort Courses in the World” in 2012.
Other great golf getaways at a glance –
Scotland, United Kingdom: If it’s true links golf you seek and you’re willing to traverse afar, then consider visiting the birthplace of modern golf – Scotland. While St. Andrews tends to be the most well-known, try playing these other two Open Championship courses if you can: Carnoustie (Championship) and Turnberry (Alisa).
Las Vegas, Nevada: Sin City boasts plenty of amazing golf to go along with the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas Strip. Two favorite courses: Bali Hai and Las Vegas National. Both are player-friendly with wide, lush fairways and impeccable playing conditions.
Featured aerial image of Grand National courtesy Opelika Tourism Bureau.