Golf is a great multi-generational adventure
If this story had a dateline, you’d be wondering, “Why are you guys leaving Myrtle Beach to play golf?” Good question. We live in the Golf Capital of the World. Between the three of us, we’ve played almost every course in the area and certainly have our favorites. However, going to our separate homes after golf, the opportunity for camaraderie off the course is lost. So, we’re hitting the road. But come visit us in Myrtle Beach anyway. You will love it.
LET THE PLANNING BEGIN
One of the biggest obstacles in planning any golf trip is selecting the dates. For us, three rounds of golf was well worth a trip with one evening for travel. We planned to leave on a Thursday afternoon and play golf Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning, returning home after our final round. Weekend green fees may be slightly higher and sometimes, afternoon rounds can be slightly less. We’ll keep both in mind since budget is always a consideration.
CHOOSING A DESTINATION
When looking at golf destinations, the quality and quantity of golf courses is certainly paramount. Just as important though is having a reputable golf packager to handle tee times and accommodations. You can certainly build your own package. It’s just more convenient and time saving to let a local handle the details for you. Having great meal options is mandatory since one of us is an executive chef.
On just about every golfer’s bucket list, there’s plenty to like about one of the world’s most popular golf destinations. There are almost 200 courses to build a package and little chance of a rainout. Although the winter and spring are the peak times, our late August date should give us less expensive tee times. Dining options are abundant. arizonagolf.com
Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Alabama
Having played the Magnolia Grove Crossings Course on the most southern end of the trail, I’ve wanted to do other courses for years. Robert Trent Jones has designed more than 500 golf courses around the world. Many are award-winning and his Alabama courses are no exception. There’s no doubt you’ll be playing quality golf courses with plenty of off-course dining options. rtjgolf.com
Pinehurst, North Carolina
The Pinehurst-Southern Pines-Aberdeen Area is truly the “Home of American Golf.” With more than 30 golf courses in a 15-mile radius, the area has the highest concentration on Golf Digest’s recent list of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses. Along with legendary courses there are numerous breweries and dining options for such a small community. Golf packages offer a variety of accommodations. Although convenient to the Raleigh/Durham airport, we’d be driving to get there. homeofgolf.com
Pete Dye Golf Trail, Indiana
Although Pete and Alice Dye were champion golfers, their real interest was in golf course designing and building. “Golf is not a fair game. So why should I build a fair course,” Pete Dye once said. For those of you that have played some Pete Dye designs you know what he meant. Eight wonderful golf challenges comprise the trail with a wide variety of accommodations. The trail’s proximity to Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky makes it a popular experience. The Trail Challenge presents a nice incentive to play them all. petedyegolftrail.com
North Carolina Mountain Golf
Much of the golf we’ve shared centered on gently rolling hills, scenic water views and even desert layouts. It’s now time to get more than a little above sea level. Great mountain views and challenging courses are the hallmarks of mountain golf. The southern Appalachian Mountain range with some of the highest peaks defines the Blue Ridge Mountain region. Asheville with all its culinary attractions and craft brewery scene is a great spot to settle. Although there’s limited air service, the drive can be magnificent. firstteemountaingolf.com
In the end, we decided our multi-generational golf road trip would be North Carolina Mountain Golf. It promises to be pretty exciting for a family of beach guys.
Dave Bodle has more than 25 years experience in travel. He’s the former owner and publisher of The Carolina Explorer and The Virginia Explorer magazines for tour and travel professionals. With Premier Travel Media since 2010, he has been a regular destination feature author and marketing contributor.