It’s spring, which means a golfer’s thoughts turn to hitting the road with his or her friends and racking up a new season’s worth of memories. Good thing so many golf travel packages are available for 2017. Here’s a sampling.
GEORGIA: REYNOLDS LAKE OCONEE
However golfers like to travel—alone, in pairs and foursomes, or in big groups—a new golf experience vacation to meet their preferences is available at Reynolds Lake Oconee, Georgia’s award-winning golf destination, located between Atlanta and Augusta.
Designed for the single or twosome, the traditional Stay & Play Package includes one round of golf per person, per night of stay, with accommodations in a lake cottage or condominium. Golfers have a selection of golf experiences on courses designed by architects Jack Nicklaus (Great Waters), Bob Cupp (The Preserve, The Landing), Rees Jones (The Oconee), and Tom Fazio (The National).
Those who like to travel with a group of golf (and non-golfer) buddies will want to try The National Village Experience, staying in the recently unveiled National Club Cottages and playing unlimited golf at The National for each night of stay, including the day of arrival. Golf may also be booked at The Preserve and The Landing courses at no additional charge or The Oconee and Great Waters for an additional signature course fee.
The luxury four-bedroom, four-bath National Club Cottages are a short walk from the golf shop and The National Tavern, which has proven to be wildly popular with members and guests since opening last year. To take advantage of the close proximity, a $100 club credit is included for the group for each night of stay, which may be used at dining venues and golf shops throughout Reynolds Lake Oconee (with the exception of The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee).
Both Stay & Play and The National Village Experience golf packages include breakfast each morning, a shared cart for each round, complete range access, and bag storage. All guests at Reynolds Lake Oconee have access to club fitting and instruction at the Reynolds Kingdom of Golf presented by TaylorMade.
The Stay & Play Package starts at $229 during non-peak season and goes up to $299 for peak season. An extra 18 holes on the day of arrival or departure is available at $99 per person. A minimum of two golfers is required; additional $100 per night for any non-golfer.
The National Village Experience is $289 per person, per night for four guests ($329 for three guests). Two-night minimum required; additional $100 per night for any non-golfer.
These packages and rates are valid through December 31, 2017; black-out dates may apply.
VIRGINIA: WINTERGREEN RESORT
Whether playing atop Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, or at the bottom of the Rockfish Valley, golfers at Wintergreen Resort have two courses to play all day, every day this summer with the 2017 Unlimited Stay & Play Golf Package.
Available now through Nov. 30, Wintergreen Resort’s Unlimited Stay & Play Golf Package features the challenges and enjoyment of two distinct golf experiences – Devils Knob Golf Course and Stoney Creek Golf Course.
The Wintergreen Resort Unlimited Stay & Play Golf Package includes mountaintop resort accommodations, greens fees and cart at all golf courses, advanced tee times at time of reservation, unlimited use of practice facilities, complimentary bag storage, preferred guest rate on rental club equipment, and referred guest rate golf shop purchases.
Devils Knob Golf Course, reserved expressly for Wintergreen Resort guests and Wintergreen members, is situated at the highest elevation of any course in Virginia at 3,850 feet, providing dramatic, 50-mile views of the Shenandoah and Rockfish Valleys. While the cool, high-altitude mountain air is a refreshing change during the summer season, the unique shot values and classic challenges of Devils Knob remain the same, time after time. Devils Knob opens for the season April 15 and is scheduled to remain playable through October.
Stoney Creek Golf Course is a 27-hole Rees Jones-design blended gracefully into the rolling landscape of the Rockfish Valley. With majestic mountain range as backdrop, the traditional design incorporates natural springs, and habitat, including Lake Monocan, with all three nines offering generous landing areas, few forced carries and large, deceptively contoured greens. Stoney Creek’s combination of nines offers an invigorating variety of golf year-round, for the serious competitor and vacationing golfer alike.
Wintergreen accommodations include 230 villa-style condominiums and rental homes, from studio suites to nine-bedroom homes, each offering fully equipped kitchen, and comfortable living area, most with fireplaces and a balcony or deck.
Packages start at $144 per person, per night based on double occupancy; single occupancy rates available upon request.
WORLDWIDE: FAIRMONT HOTELS & RESORTS
The peak of golf season across North America will soon be upon us, and no doubt many are beginning to dream of planning the perfect golf vacation. To help golfers get the most enjoyment from their trips, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts gathered its golf team to offer sage advice. According to these professionals, the best place to start is with a simple phone call.
“With so much information available online, I think people forget you can get the best information from the person sitting at the desk,” said Paul Adams, Director of Golf at The Fairmont Southampton’s Turtle Hill Golf Club in Bermuda. “When considering a new destination, it’s always best to have a quick chat with the golf director at the resort. He or she can provide course tips, dining recommendations and ideas for non-golf activities.”
“They will be able to provide travelers with insights you just can’t find online,” said Cox. “Understanding the course maintenance and tournament schedules or the typical weather for a certain time of year can make a huge difference in a trip. Also, if the guests are playing multiple courses, the golf professional can offer insight as to available daylight and travel times between courses, which might help smooth out the itinerary.”
Making such research easier, the concierge teams at the various Fairmont properties are well versed in the intricacies of the local golf courses. Travelers can gather such valuable information and often can book all of their golf rounds with just one phone call.
Planning ahead is also strongly advised. While guests certainly can embark on an impromptu golf junket, travelers tend to get the best pricing and availability if they book in advance, especially when considering an iconic destination like Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies. Steven Young, Director of Golf for Fairmont Banff Springs advises guests interested in booking a trip to such a destination at least six months in advance.
“Courses like the Stanley Thompson courses at Fairmont Banff Springs and Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge are in very high demand,” said Young. “If the success of the trip rests upon playing these courses, travelers need to make those arrangements early. And, the sooner the better.”
In fact, all Fairmont experts agree that purchasing a package is typically the best way for guests to ensure themselves of playing the best courses at the best values. Another way to save is by booking rounds during the week rather than on the weekends. And, the group also strongly suggests one person act as the single-point of contact for each aspect of the trip.
“You can divide and conquer,” said Adams, “But it is usually best if one person is responsible for each aspect of the trip — resort and golf reservations, ground transportation, restaurants, etc. That way everyone has a job and they know the group is counting on them to get it done. Otherwise, people sometimes put off tasks until the end and it makes things more challenging.”
Finally, Fairmont’s experts say it is important to remember no trip goes off exactly as planned and often that’s what makes for the best memories. And, while true golfers wouldn’t think of skipping a tee time, it’s often best to avoid really early starts in case the “making memories” portion of the trip runs late the evening prior.
CALIFORNIA: HOFSAS HOUSE
Celebrating its 70th Anniversary of European hospitality at the beautiful Bavarian-inspired Hofsas House Hotel, the Theis family proudly announces its Golfer’s Delight to their valued guests. Each room has been crafted with the same minute attention to detail generations of guests have come to expect from Hosfas House Hotel and is as unique and charming as Carmel itself.
The Hofsas House Hotel has partnered with one of the Monterey Peninsula’s best golf courses, historic Quail Lodge Golf Club. Play 18 holes for two including shared cart and range balls for an additional is $ 125 per person or $250 for two. Use promotion code HHQUAIL.
Owned and operated by the Theis Family, Hofsas House Hotel is within walking distance of everything Carmel has to offer, including a stunning beach, fine restaurants and shops and wine tasting. It provides peaceful respite and European charm just minutes from Monterey, Pebble Beach, Big Sur and Pacific Grove. The Hofsas House’s 38 spacious, one-of-a-kind rooms boast European comfort and lovely views and amenities such as fireplaces, private balconies, wet bars, kitchens and patios. Large suites provide the perfect stay for newlyweds and anyone else seeking an extra special getaway. Dutch doors in every room allow guests to welcome in the ocean air, and free WiFi enables them to stay connected — if they want to.
The Hofsas House Hotel family works to ensure every visitor's experience is special, striving to offer the highest quality personal services. Consider the continental breakfast, abundant with fresh French Roast coffee, tea, juice, fruit and pastries from a neighborhood bakery, or the personalized concierge services for guests and their families, including their four-legged family members, who are welcome as well.
For large groups — wedding parties, company meetings, family reunions and others — Hofsas House Hotel offers a spacious room equipped with a fireplace and full kitchen that can comfortably accommodate 40 people. A heated pool, dry saunas, decks with views and off-street parking are on-site as well.
MICHIGAN: BOYNE RESORTS
If quality and quantity of great golf help define a premier golf experience, then consider a visit one of the leading golf destinations providing those elements, Boyne Resorts in northern Michigan.
Boyne Resorts, collectively one of the largest golf and resort attractions in North America, features a trio of resort destinations with 10 golf courses, all within a 45-minute drive of one another. And the best way to experience this quality and quantity of great golf is through an unrivaled all-inclusive golf vacation package — Boyne Golf’s Great Escape.
The Great Escape Golf Vacation started over 30 years ago as a way to entice golfers to visit northern Michigan on extended stay golf trips. Over the decades, it evolved and became North America’s best golfing value and the perfect destination for a buddies’ golf trip, couple’s golf getaway, or simply a golf escape with friends.
The Great Escape satisfies the golf appetite for all, and includes five-nights lodging at Boyne Highlands Resort or Boyne Mountain Resort (Sunday check-in/Friday check-out), welcome reception, gift package, breakfasts and dinners daily, unlimited golf on seven of Boyne Golf’s championship courses (Boyne Mountain-The Monument, The Alpine, Boyne Highlands-The Moor, Donald Ross Memorial, Arthur Hills, The Heather, and Crooked Tree Golf Club), as well as preferred pricing at Boyne’s flagship property, Bay Harbor Golf Club.
In addition, golfers also have the option to custom-build the package. They can select which golf courses to play, where to dine (including Boyne Country Club, Bay Harbor Golf Club or Young American’s Dinner Theatre), obtain Odawa Casino gaming vouchers, merchandise packages, spa treatments, custom club fitting, and instruction. It all can be built into a one week Great Escape.
The package pricing starts at $895 per person, and runs for 19 weeks during the golf season from May 7 through Sept. 15.