This Caveman’s lucky enough to be able to play golf almost year-round, but as my northern Rock Heads can tell you, when it comes to winter golf, sometimes you just gotta hit the road and head for warmer temperatures.
So let me ask you – where would YOU go to escape the white stuff if money were no object?
See, I did a little diggin’ and found an years-old list of America’s Best Winter Golf Resorts but I’m bettin’ my Rock Heads know a few more out of the way places to play that these guys might have missed. Here are the highlights from their list:
- Pinehurst – located in the Sandhills region of North Carolina, Pinehurst is definitely the northernmost stop on my winter golf escape route. That being said, Pinehurst is a favorite destination for golf aficionados (like yours truly), no matter what the season. This club is absolutely steeped in golfing history. Dating back to 1895, it’s easy to see why Pinehurst has been heralded as the original birthplace of golf in the whole of America. Today, Pinehurst is the home of eight courses—including Pinehurst #2, the masterwork of Scottish-born architect Donald Ross—and has been the host of many championships including the 2006 U.S. Open.
- Sea Island – located off the coast of Georgia on St. Simon’s Island, Sea Island is a favored winter getaway for golfers and non-golfers alike. The luxury spa, five star dining, and beautiful accommodations make Sea Island one of the most comfortable courses of the South. According to their website, the club boasts three 18-hole championship courses. “The Seaside Course, home to the PGA Tour’s McGladrey Classic, is a links course graced by majestic ocean vistas in the tradition of St. Andrews. The Plantation Course winds enticingly through marsh and forests, while the Retreat Course offers a uniquely dramatic and challenging design cultivated by Davis Love III and Mark Love.” You’d be hard pressed to find a “top 100” list that doesn’t include Sea Island.
- La Quinta – the Southwest offers Northerners more than just a haven from the chilly winds of winter; surprisingly, the desert actually contains some of the nation’s best golf courses. Originally built in the 1920s, La Quinta combines the sophistication of the past with the conveniences and comforts of the present. Located in Palm Desert California, La Quinta offers both five star service and five phenomenal golf courses including the famous La Quinta Resort Mountain Course and the PGA WEST Stadium Course.
- The Bay Hill Club – this Orlando hotspot offers a lot more than just golf. Amenities include a gorgeous spa, a salon, a fitness center, pool and tennis courts, and a 70-room Lodge. However, this particular club offers something that no other course in the nation can boast: the chance to bump into Arnold Palmer, who owns and lives at the resort. The Bay Hill Club is divided into three nines—The Champion, the Challenger, and the Charger—that wind along the Butler Lakes.
- The Plantation Course – no list of winter getaways would be complete without a mention of Hawaii. The 7,411-yard course with a par of 73 Plantation Course in Kapalua is undoubtedly the course of champions and a must-play spot for any enthusiastic golfer. Each January, the Plantation Course plays host to the PGA TOUR Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Golfing greats such as Tiger Woods, Justin Leonard, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, and yours truly have graced these luxurious greens. “Breathtaking” doesn’t even cover the beauty of this course. If you have the opportunity, you should absolutely make the trip; you won’t be disappointed.
Before you grab your golf travel bag and make a tee time at one of these great courses, make sure you chime in with your dream winter golf getaway in a comment below!