Combining two distinctively different experiences into one that the consummate golfer and traveler will appreciate is a difficult challenge. Then again, this describes The Grove so naturally, you’d assume anything is possible…
A number of destinations around the world feature golf as the main attraction, and the Brunswick Isles, an area straddling the border of North and South Carolina, is definitely one of them. There are 16 golf courses from Calabash up north to North Myrtle Beach down south. Along the way, golfers can tee it up on courses designed by Arnold Palmer, Rees Jones and Myrtle Beach regular, Dan Maples, to name a few, and find themselves negotiating marshland, rivers and creeks, as many courses take advantage of the area’s natural hazards.
Celebrate 100 years at the cradle of American golf
2007 is a special year for Pinehurst Resort: The new Pinehurst Golf Academy recently opened its doors to students, and Nos. 2 and 4 will be in tournament shape as they prepare for the 2008 U.S. Amateur. But the big news is that Pinehurst’s most famous course, Donald Ross’ legendary No. 2, turns 100 years old.
For most folks who journey across “the pond” to play golf, chances are pretty good they’ll want to play in Scotland at courses like St. Andrews, Turnberry and Royal Dornoch. While those courses and the enchanting towns they inhabit are steeped in history, those wanting a more diverse and dramatic golfing experience should consider Ireland, in particular its southwestern quadrant.
With more than 16,000 golf courses in the United States, you’d think there would be plenty of opportunities for golfers to find their own slice of heaven—a quiet, unpopulated course where they can roam freely without feeling crowded by other golfers. But that’s not the case. Even though 3,206 courses have been added to the U.S. golf course database since 1990, it’s still really hard to find 18 holes that you can call your own. Wouldn’t it be great to know that you could just walk on a course whenever you wanted and have the place all to yourself?
Things aren’t always the way they seem. Remember M. Night Shyamalan’s movie, The Sixth Sense, with its edge-of-your-seat surprise ending? (If you haven’t seen it, Bruce Willis reveals in the last minute that he wears a toupee.) Just kidding.
One-stop shopping has become a staple of life these days. As the demands on people’s time increase, the need to take care of as much as possible in a timely, convenient manner is paramount, whether one is shopping for groceries, shoes, cars or even golf vacations.
The best of the Desert West is now better than ever
Want a real party? The PGA Tour comes to The TPC of Scottsdale January 29 through February 4 for the FBR Open—the most attended tour stop in the country. Along with the best players in the world come huge galleries, nightly parties, music and opportunities to meet, greet or watch people as they pass on by. The FBR Open is one of the few tournaments where cheering is encouraged, as evidenced by the rowdy par-3 16th hole. It really is the “Greatest Show on Grass.”
Surprises are usually the last thing you’re looking for on a golf trip. No matter where in the world you’re lugging your clubs, and regardless of the time of year, you can never be too prepared for the likes of ugly weather, snarled traffic, allergy attacks, lost luggage, stolen clubs and more. That’s why what you pack for your golf trip should consist of more than just clubs, balls and golf clothes. Other staple items may make your vacation a lot more enjoyable and easy.
You know you’ve always dreamed of it—navigating your way around the hallowed humps and hillocks of the Old Course at Saint Andrews. The history doesn’t just accent the Old Course experience. It defines it. Seek out the Elysian Fields. Avoid the dreaded Hell Bunker, where Jack Nicklaus took five shots to escape in 1995. Take the bold line over the hotel at the Road Hole and face the dreaded approach, which has struck fear into the hearts of the likes of challengers from Old Tom Morris to David Duval.
If you want to maximize fun and minimize panic on your next golf vacation, then prepare up front. That is, think about where you’re heading and what’s unique about that place. Then imagine everything you might encounter on your journey, and address your concerns before you walk out your front door. Work the trip chronologically through your mind, and use the Internet as much as possible. As the time of your trip approaches, start a running checklist of everything you need to pack, keeping it on your nightstand so it’s conveniently located.
There are golf photos, and then there’s golf photography. Like models, some courses beg to be photographed. If you can’t snap a good shot on the 18th at Pebble Beach, you’re in the wrong game, my friend. The contrast of vivid green fairways, shimmering water and cloud-flecked blue skies can make an artist of just about anyone.
The PGA Tour is a showcase for many of the greatest cities and areas in the United States. Okay, the Tour may have abandoned D.C., and its decision to put Chicago on an every-other-year rotation is curious at best. Still, there are plenty of great places to catch an event. With all due respect to San Diego, Hilton Head, the Florida stops and New Orleans, however, no city on the PGA Tour tops Denver from a golf spectator’s unique perspective.
No one here would ever blame you for opting for that second 18, but if you’re looking to add a little adrenaline to your next golf trip, check out these exotic locales and the thrills they can serve up.
Golf course operators in Las Vegas regularly concede and admit that gambling is and always will be the main draw to the area. But that doesn’t mean you can’t combine the two during your stay. A few of the casinos have golf courses nearby; however, they come with a price. The new Wynn Golf Club and Bali Hai are both on the Las Vegas Strip, and both have relatively high green fees.