As the temperature drops in Ontario (and Canada in general), more golfers will be considering a winter vacation trip. A true golfer simply cannot wait five to six months to play. The sport is in their system and they have to get it out.
The good news is that there are plenty of golf courses located in warmer climates; however no one wants to plan a trip to a golf course that is “sub-par”. The following is a list of popular golf destinations during winter. Many of these are located in the United States to make the trip more convenient for Canadians. For those golfers that enjoy traveling a little farther, this list contains a favourite International golf course, as well.
Dubai’s Emirates Golf Club
According to the Emirates Golf Federation, there are 20 golf clubs in the UAE’s territory. PGA conducted a survey to learn of the best vacation spots for golfing as chosen by their readers. Many readers chose Dubai as having the best in golf courses in the world.
The most famous of these is the Emirates Golf Club located at Emirates Hills. The club hosts the European Tour Omega Dubai Desert Classic and Omega Dubai Ladies Masters. The club offers two courses for its guests – the Majlis and the Faldo Course. The Majlis Course was named one of the “Top 100 Golf Courses in the World” by Golf World Magazine in 2012. It was also awarded the “Best Course Middle East” in 2010 by the Asian Golf Monthly.
The Faldo Course is the only course offering 18 holes to be played at night. Travel may take a little longer to reach Dubai, however it would be worth the trip to play on the award-winning green.
Hawaii’s The Plantation Course
The Plantation Course is located at the Kapalua Resort in Hawaii. The beautiful ocean-side turf is popular with tourists and famed golfers alike. This pristine golf course hosts the PGA Tour’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions. The Plantation Course is set on a pineapple plantation of 22,000 acres.
The Plantation Course offers an exquisite meal after spending the day on the green as well as wine. Breakfast and lunch are served daily at The Plantation House until 3pm. Dinner will be served at 5:30pm during the slow season and 6pm during the summer.
Florida’s PGA National Golf Club
An avid golfer studies the great champions. At PGA National Golf Club, they may get their chance to meet Arnold Palmer. The club is located at Palm Beach Garden in Florida. Palmer and Ed Seay designed the 18-hole golf course. There are 120 tee stations. The weather is remarkable in Florida and is typically in the 20s degrees Celsius for temperature. This should sound better than the 6 degree Celsius temperature in Parry Sound today as fall is in full effect.
Arizona’s Scottsdale Golf Courses
Arizona brings forth visions of warm weather and desert. However, many people enjoy the golfing and they recommend the Scottsdale area golf courses. Although there are many golf clubs and courses available in that area, one worth really considering is The Boulders.
The Boulders Course was sculpted by Jay Morrish from prehistoric rocks. The landscaping is worth the trip to Arizona to golf. According to Golf.com, “The North Course is the stronger, better balanced of the two, but the South has the more spectacular holes, including the par-4 opener and the par-5 sixth, with green sites tucked into six-story high boulder complexes.”
North Carolina’s Pinehurst Golf Resort
This golf course is a beauty in its own right. It is an upscale resort offering caddie services, a putting course and nine courses. Pinehurst is located in the Sandhills of North Carolina. Southern hospitality, charm and beauty make up this resort. Golfers like Jack Nicklaus and Payne Stewart have enjoyed the tall pines while playing.
According to the Pinehurst website, it is the site of more champions taking home those championships than any other golf course in the United States. In 2014, they scheduled the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships back to back.
The hospitality felt at Pinehurst is expressed easily in a quote by Bobby Jones, “There’s something about Pinehurst that tops even the position which it naturally occupies as the St. Andrews of American Golf. And that is the people you find there, play golf with and exchange reminiscences with…who always make you feel happily at home.”
Los Angeles’ Trump National Golf Club
Trump National Golf Club is located at Rancho Palos Verdes and was designed by Donald Trump. This golf club has 18 holes, par 71, and five sets of tees, each with a view, according to the CBS local news. It is located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The course was designed to offer an amazing experience to everyone, regardless of where they are in golfing.
These are a few of the amazing and most popular golf destinations to take during the winter season. Golfers wishing to take the leap should call the golf club and inquire about booking dates, rates, number of people permitted and any special recommendations. The best golf clubs can recommend a place to stay if they do not offer accommodations.
Make sure to dress appropriately for the weather while on the green. Some golf courses, like in Arizona, may be very warm during the day and cool at night due to a desert climate. Each golf club has a website to help plan a winter trip to a warmer destination. Know what documents and other paperwork you will need to cross borders.
If flying to the destination, call the airline a few weeks before the flight to verify the best way to transport golf clubs.
Follow this advice and you’ll be sure to have an amazing time escaping the cold Canadian winter, at least for a few days! Until next time, keep it in the short grass!