Monday, September 14, 2015

On Location: Chambers Bay

The good, bad and ugly...As the controversial choice for the 2015 U.S. Open, we've heard it all about this public course in Washington State.

I decided to head to the Pacific Northwest and play this course that burst into international prominence in June.


Laid out along the shores of the Puget Sound with the Olympic Mountains in the distance, Chambers Bay is stunningly attractive. Huge sand dunes, spacious verdant green fairways framed by tall grasses and the blue waters of the Sound make the course one of the most visually appealing and photogenic I've ever played. Designer Robert Trent Jones II went to great lengths to create a Scottish links style golf experience in this special setting.

It feels more like a British Open venue than a U.S. Open site with its dunes, waste areas and mounds and slopes around the greens. When you add in unpredictable weather and winds and occasional click-clacking trains rolling by, it seems more British Isles than Washington State isles.


Measuring from 5,100 to 7,585 yards, the par 72 layout plays fast and firm. Every blade of grass on the course is fescue--on the tees, greens, fairways and rough.

The speedy turf allows you to hit the ball low and run it up the fairways and you can bump and run shots on most holes. For mid to high-handicappers the most difficult part of your round will be hitting wedges from 60 yards in with extremely tight lies.

While the elevations provide challenging holes and amazing views, they also can have an adverse effect on your round if you get fatigued from walking the undulating terrain. It's almost an eight mile walk with some steep climbs and elevation changes. If you're out of shape and used to riding around in a cart, Chambers Bay will definitely test you physically. Rented push carts and taking a caddie can help remedy that problem.

The super sized greens with exagerrated humps, hollows and backboards can easily destroy your round (with three and four putts) even if you're having a great ball striking day.

I played Chambers Bay on a hot and sultry July day just a few weeks after the U.S. Open. The greens were, for the most part, bumpy and inconsistent on that day. I was truly surprised and disappointed. I was informed "the reasons for the questionable greens were the unseasonably warm weather combined with the stress associated with the extreme agronomic practices required to prepare for the U.S. Open. " Their staff is working diligently to correct the problem and hopefully they'll have the greens in top shape before you visit.

Chambers Bay is not a cheap place to play (See rates below) so I suggest calling to inquire about the greens before you book your tee time. 

10 Little Things I Liked

1. Caddie program--It has a solid group of experienced and knowledgeable caddies. If you're playing Chambers Bay for the first-time (and possibly your only time), I highly recommend taking a caddie. You'll save a few strokes and they'll make the experience more enjoyable by giving correct target lines and yardages to the flag.

2. View from Chambers Bay Grill--Sit on the veranda for lunch and you'll be rewarded with a stunning panorama of the golf course and the Puget Sound in the distance.

3. Trains-Train tracks border the golf holes similar to Prestwick and Royal Adelaide. It's inspiring and exhilerating when a train chugs by as you stand on a tee or green.

4. No housing--You don't have to worry about hitting pool screens or bouncing balls off of roofs as there are no homes on the wide open course.

5. Public walking trail--A nice touch, a walking trail winds through the course allowing non-golfers to enjoy the site and it's views. The trail is similar to the one at the Old Course in St. Andrews.

6. No cart paths--A walking-only course, Chambers Bay has no golf carts, thus, no need for unsightly cart paths.

7. Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich--A sumptuous lunch time favorite, which I enjoyed, has a breaded chicken patty with lettuce, green chili, melted pepper jack cheese and sweet corn aioli on a ciabatta roll.

8. Concrete remnants from the gravel mine--The course is built on a former sand and gravel mine site and you can see "ruins" from the era, which were not destroyed.

9. Fescue grass--To enhance the British Isles type experience, the entire course is planted with fescue grass.

10. Friendly staff--The staff is very unpretentious and helpful whether you're in the grill, pro shop or on the first tee.


Just like it's expensive to romance a supermodel, the drop dead gorgeous Chambers Bay is no cheap date either. From July to September it costs a non-resident $275 and active or retired military $169 to play a round. In October, non-residents can play for $175 and active or retired military can play for $109.


Situated on 950 acres along the shores of the Puget Sound in University Place, Washington about 60 minutes from downtown Seattle, 40 minutes from Sea-Tac International Airport and 20 minutes from downtown Tacoma.


For more information about the course and tee times, click to Chambers Bay Golf or call 877-295-4657.

A special package offering is "The Championship Experience", which includes play on Chambers Bay, The Home Course, Gold Mountain and accommodations at Hotel Murano in downtown Tacoma. Visit The Championship Experience or call 253-591-4142 for more information.

Monday, August 31, 2015

10 Most Obnoxious Golf Guys

Golf is a difficult game to play and it's made even tougher when you run into one of these guys:

1. Mulligan Guy--You've seen him in all his glory at the charity pro-am. No, this charitable chum can't just lay down a $20 bill and buy a couple of Mullies a side. He's throwing down some serious coin to buy multiple Mulligans so he and his buddies can take extra whacks to erase errant tee shots, shanked seven irons and duffed pitches. Better still, after all the do-overs, his group walks away with the first place trophy and Mulligan Guy is the celebrated hero.

2. Gambler Guy--He can't play without a little on the side and loves wagering on the links more than Philly Mick or MJ. Gambler Guy knows seemingly every way in the world to wager on the golf course. Nassau, Skins Game, Round Robin, Bingo Bango Bongo....and he wants to play it. If you reject any of these offers, he still wants to bet you. How about a tenski on whether you hit the fairway? or  Maybe 20 bones on hitting a six-footer for birdie. This guy will wager on anything.

3. Grouchy starter Guy--He's the old grubber who has the personality traits of Bobby Knight, Bill Belechick and Donald Trump. He reads all the rules and do's and don'ts with  the compassion of a pissed off  Marine drill instructor, so it's difficult to relax and hit a good drive on the first hole. Lighten up starter guy, it's just golf...

4. Party Guy-Instead of heading to the bowling alley to knock down some pins and brewskis, this guy loves to play golf and ride around in his cart drunk. Early morning tee time? Noooooo problem. This loveable lug usually hits the Bloody Marys and Screwdrivers first (for breakfast), because he typically has a rule of "no beers till after 11:00 a.m". Then, it's a hops and barley fest to the 18th hole. Mr. Party Guy can't recall what he shot for the round, but he knows exactly how many drinks and beers he consumed. The saddest part of the saga is he stumbles out of the golf cart only to get into his car and drive home-- a DUI just waiting to happen.

5. Scorecard Guy--He has to write it all down--the good, bad and ugly. He loves to scratch down a snowman for you when you start circling the drain. No matter how bad you're crashing and burning, he absolutely, positively must know what score you made on a hole. He also gets great joy in leaving the scorecard in the cart (with all of your doubles and triples), so the attendants at the clubhouse can laugh their asses off while they clean your clubs.

6. Bored Assistant Pro Guy--Typically, it's a washed up junior golfer who had a some good rounds on the AJGA, played  college golf and never won more than a few hundred bucks on the mini-tours. He's angry his pro golf career didn't pan out and you, Mr. Customer Golfer, are going to receive a great big dose of his bitterness. He hates you for playing golf while he's stuck behind the counter ringing up greens fees and folding golf shirts.

7. Ball Hunting Guy--When this guy sees a hole with lots of lateral hazards and forested OB, he gets really excited. His rationale: "Geez, it's like hunting for Easter eggs. I can't believe how many Pro V's I'm going to find." Forget the scorecard, this frugal linkster judges his round by how many premium golf balls he finds and stuffs in his bag during a round. Next stop for this budding entrepreneur is Craigslist where his "Like New golf balls" ad will bring in the big dollars.

8. Always Late for Tee Time Guy--This is the guy that texts or calls and says he's only a few minutes away and then shows up 30 minutes late. He's never at the first tee on time... never. Even when you tell him the tee time is 15 minutes earlier than scheduled, he still manages to be late.

9. Masters Logo Guy--His outfit screams, "I went to the Masters and you losers can't even get tickets to the practice rounds." He's got the obligatory matching hat and shirt with the simple but very identifiable logo, and, of course, the golf towel, divot repair tool and other accessories. The real serious Masters Logo Guy has saved the wrapper from his pimento cheese sandwich which he had while roaming the grounds of the Augusta National Golf Club.

10. Prepping For the Champions Tour Guy--If you see a guy in his late 40s and he's got  game, please don't encourage him by saying: "Hey, you ought to make a run at the Champions Tour." Champions Tour Guy just can't seem to enjoy a round of golf because he knows the clock is ticking and he's grinding so hard. He dreams of taking down Langer, Couples and Lehman one day.  Right now, giving beatdowns to 12-handicappers will do just fine till he makes it on Tour.

Friday, August 21, 2015

On Location: Little Creek Casino Resort/Salish Cliffs Golf Club

Through the years I've visited my fair share of casino resorts.

I've thrown some bones on the craps table, sat bleary eyed and near busted at the blackjack table and played the slots for hours just praying for three sevens, three cherries or three anything...

Luckily, too, I've visited casino resorts with golf courses.

I recently stayed at the Squaxin Island Tribe's 190-room Little creek Casino Resort/Salish Cliffs Golf Club near Olympia, Washington and I think I've discovered the resort that has something for just about everyone--and I mean everyone.

In addition to the Salish Cliffs Golf Club (keep reading to find out more about this gem), the resort has smoking and non-smoking casino areas, an on-site RV park, a cigar lounge, a seafood bar, an espresso bar and and an events center with boxing events and big name concerts featuring the likes of Dwight Yoakam, Yes and Toto.


"Look around at this beauty in every direction and you'll know why I come to work with a smile on my face every day," Salish Cliffs head professional David Kass told me as we stood on the exaggerated elevated tee on the stunningly beautiful and wildly fun No. 3 par three. It plays 291-yard from the championship tees and 250-yards from the Players tee, where most weekend golfers play.

After playing the course, I most assuredly agree with Kass. It's picturesque and photogenic. Better still, the 
bent grass greens are excellent and the overall maintenance at the course is exemplary.

Salish Cliffs
, a Top 10 Casino Course by Golfweek Magazine, is designed by Gene Bates, who is also known for his work at Bayonet and Blackhorse in Seaside, California, Canyons Golf Club in Park City, Utah and Southwood Golf Club in Tallahassee.

Stretching 7,269 yards from the championship tees, the course plays to 6,766 yards and 6,312 yards for mid-handicappers.

With radically changing elevations and 360-degree views of Kamilche Valley, the course has a distinctive character with a great selection of uphill and downhill holes. It serves its purpose well as a resort course with fair landing areas off the tee for all skill levels.

Many of the holes are framed by thick fescue and you definitely want to stay in the short grass if you want to score well. If you spend most of your time chopping out of the tall stuff, trust me, you'll want to destroy your scorecard before the cart attendants get a good look at it.

After the round, the classy, log house style clubhouse has an excellent dining room and a second floor veranda with great views. I suggest ordering the Flat Iron Steak Sandwich for lunch or the Fish and Chips (Halibut) and the Country Scramble for breakfast.

An interesting fact about Salish Cliffs is that it's the world's first Salmon Safe Certified Golf Course.


Each room has either one California King or two queen beds with European-style bedding and lots of pillows. Rooms are decorated with modern artwork and appointed with dark wood furnishings. In addition, there is a Spa Room with a 2-person jetted spa tub and California King-sized bed and two-room Spa Suite as well as ADA compliant rooms.

Standard Room amenities, include:

32" Television

High-speed internet access
In-room coffee pot
Ice bucket
Iron and ironing board
Alarm Clock
Hair Dryer

10 Little Things I Liked

1. The plush leather couches in the lobby.

2. The 8-person "Cadillac" golf cart that transports you from the hotel to the golf course.

3. The interesting and creative art work that dots the walls of the hotel common areas.

4. The totem poles that stand in front of the clubhouse at the golf course.

5.  The beautiful landscaping and brightly colored flowers on the property that put you in a great mood.

6. David Kass, the amiable and helpful head golf professional at Salish Cliffs G.C.

7. The indoor pool and oversized hot tub.

8. The cigar selection (over 70 brands) at Skookum Cigar & Wine Lounge at the hotel.

9. The fresh oysters, clams and salmon at the seafood bar.

10.The espresso and wine bar in the lobby of the hotel.



Creekside Buffet
--Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it offers everything from fresh local seafood to premium steaks and a wide range of other entrees, salads and desserts.

Island Grille
--A gourmet dining room with corn-fed, hand-cut steaks, seafood and chops prepared by a top notch culinary team. The menu is dotted with delicacies like Prociutto Wrapped Prawns, Dungeness Crab Casserole and a 12 ounce Delmonico Ribeye Steak.

Squaxim Island Seafood Bar
--A classic seafood bar in a horseshoe configuration, it has a fresh selection of seafood from the Pacific Northwest such as salmon, oysters and clams.

Starlight Lounge
--Located just off the casino floor, this full-service restaurant and bar has Happy Hour drink specials from noon to 3 p.m. and free live entertainment and dancing.

Skookum Spirit Cigar Lounge
-The ultimate for cigar lovers, this smartly appointed lounge has a well-stocked humidor with over 70 brands of premium cigars, live music on Friday and Saturday and a wine tasting on Wednesday.

Water's Edge Cafe
--Offering burgers, sandwiches and salads, it's a great place to grab a quick bite in between gaming or playing golf.


Skookum Creek Event Center
--This 1,800-seat facility hosts concerts, big events, trade shows, boxing events and other events. It has two full-service cocktail bars and private skybox seating. Among the big name stars that have appeared recently are Trace Adkins, Dwight Yoakam and the bands Toto and Yes.

--The full-service casino offers poker rooms, blackjack, slots, bingo, keno, pull tabs and other games. Sporting a newly remodeled gaming floor, the casino has smoking and non-smoking sections.

Side Trips--The southern end of the Olympic National Forest is nearby and a drive up route 3 towards Bremerton takes you through many small historic fishing towns. The town of Shelton has an interesting old town area that's walkable.

Seven Inlets Spa--The on-site, full-service spa has massage, organic facials, body treatments, saunas, Eucalyptus Steam Rooms and a Meditation Room


Situated in Shelton, Washington off Highway 101 about a 20-minute drive from downtown Olympia. Address: 91 West State Route 108, Shelton, Washington 98584.


For information or reservations, call 800-667-7711 or click to their website at Little Creek Casino Resort.  For more golf information, call 360-462-3673 or click to Salish Cliffs Golf Club.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

5 Things I Hate About Air Travel

I love to travel. I’ve traveled internationally since I was a kid and I’ve pretty much seen it all.

As the Golf Travel Guru, not surprisingly, I spend a lot of time in airports and jets.

As we all know, the air travel experience has gotten progressively worse over the past few years...

In the past few months, I’ve flown from Orlando to Venice, Italy, Marsh Harbor, Bahamas, Cancun, Mexico, Seattle, Washington and Panama City, Florida. During my flights, I took a few minutes to make some notes on the air travel experience.

Here are some of the things that drive the Golf Travel Guru crazy:

1. Extremely Overpriced Food At Airports—Apparently it’s legal at airports to sell hot dogs for $9 and beer for $8.  That’s what I paid on a recent trip. What did I get for this royal sum? A hot dog that contained more salt than a person needs in a week with a stale bun that made sawdust look appetizing. My craft beer was a forgettable concoction that tasted like a can of Natural Light that was left on a porch in Florida on a hot July day.

2. Clueless Overhead Luggage Passengers—I mean what does it take to walk down the aisle of a plane and quickly place your carry-on bag in the overhead bin.  Oh nooooooo, these people have to languish in the aisle contemplating, I guess, "the meaning of life" while 50 other passengers wait patiently in line behind them. Here’s some advice: Put your damn bag in the bin, or just step out of the aisle and let everybody go by. P.S.: Don’t have some oversize bag that takes assistance from three flight attendants to stuff it in the bin.

3. Zone Busters—When the call over the intercom says “All passengers in zone 1 can board.”, it never fails that Mr. and Mrs. Zone 4 is up there ready to board. Puhleese, look at your boarding pass and enter the plane when your zone is called. It’s really not that difficult, is it?

4. Clueless Cell Phone Users—On airport concourses, I always seem to get behind the dimwit on his phone wandering aimlessly back and forth while a pack of people can’t pass the inconsiderate dolt. He or she is scrolling through social media posts or talking to the poor sap that has to pick them up from the airport. Regardless, just show some consideration for other passengers who can’t wait to get OUT of the airport.

5. Off-Site Parking—You practically need a home equity loan to afford near-terminal parking these days. Consequently, like millions of others, I park at a satellite lot. When I arrive after a flight, I typically wait sometimes up to a half hour till the transport van shows up. Are there any on-time van drivers anymore?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Tips On Taking a Caddie

"How 'bout a wee nip, my new friend?" inquired the ruddy faced caddie as he pulled up his sweater to reveal a flask of whisky to the American at the first tee of a world famous links course in Scotland.

Thanks to a frosty, late-November ocean breeze, the American was chilled with cold, stiff fingers that felt as flexible as popsicle sticks. He politely declined the offer. Not because he didn't need or want a liquid heater. Rather, he'd never utilized a caddie and didn't really know if bartender was one of the services he should expect.

In this age of sprawling, unwalkable layouts, golf cart-only courses, GPS systems and elaborate course guide software, a dwindling number of American golfers have ever played golf with a caddie. Often, many participate in the experience for the first time when they travel to the British Isles on a dream trip to golf's original playing grounds.

Luckily, Americans still have access to caddies at high-end resorts that have kept the service alive. Among the high profile courses that offer caddies are Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina, Streamsong Resort in Florida, TPC The Players Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Florida, Harbour Town Links on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina and Pebble Beach Golf Links on the Monterey Peninsula in California.
(At the end of this post, see a list of other U.S. places where caddies are available.)

Golfers who venture to England, Scotland or Ireland can still acquire the services of a good, knowledgeable caddie. Yet, even there, Americans shouldn't be blinded by the romanticized notion of the all-knowing, wisecracking caddie so often stereotyped in golf literature. Major courses such as the Old Course in St. Andrews, Trump Turnberry and Gleneagles have strong caddie programs as do several other major courses in Scotland and Ireland.

Other popular resort locales that offer caddies are Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Two places where I had superb caddie experiences are Royal Isabela in northwest Puerto Rico and Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic.

Unfortunately, in certain places around the world, some amateur caddies offer little more assistance than toting your bag and assuming the role as a personal cheerleader.

"A solid, professional caddie who knows his trade can make a difference of at least two shots in a round to a scratch golfer and more to higher handicap golfers," a veteran Old Course caddie once told me while we enjoyed frosty pints at the Dunvegan bar in St. Andrews. "Carrying the bag is probably the least important thing a caddie does."

Here is the appropriate behavior you should expect from a competent caddie:

* Prior to the start of a round, the caddie should clean clubs if needed and count clubs.

* A well-informed caddie should know the local rules of the layout and be familiar with the course designer. A thorough understanding of the history of the course is also helpful.

* A caddie should rake bunkers, replace divots and tend the pin.

* A caddie should not offer advice to a players until asked. He should never say, "I think." The only time a caddie should volunteer information is when reporting yardage to the green.

* If caddying for the first time with the golfers, the caddie should be able to club correctly after 4 or 5 holes.

* A caddie shold get to the ball first and study the shot before the player arrives--the lie, turf, wind and target. He should form an opinion quickly in the event the player requests advice.

From a player's viewpoint, a caddie is not a servant. The relationship between a player and a caddie is a subtle partnership where the ultimate goal is to maximize performance.

As a player, if you display poor golf etiquette, a futile skill level with little dedication to the game or boorish behavior, you can generally expect sarcastic responses, especially from veteran caddies in Scotland.

Finally, what about that wee nip? Should you indulge?

It's definitely a personal choice. Just like guys who knock down a six-pack of brewskis during a round--some can handle it, some can't.

On a recent visit to Scotland, one of my caddies summed it up best when he said: "If your golf game is so bad that you must take a drink before a round, it's predictable your consumption will greatly increase after the 18the hole."

Now, that's great advice you can only get from a caddie.

Other courses and resorts with caddie programs, include:

Bandon Dunes (Oregon)
Bethpage Black (New York)
The Broadmoor (Colorado)
Cabot Links (Nova Scotia, Canada)
Cordevalle Resort (California)
Erin Hills (Wisconsin)
Madden's on Gull Lake (Minnesota)
Nemacolin Resort (Pennsylvania)
Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Resort (South Carolina)
Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando (Florida)
Whistling Straits (Wisconsin)
Chambers Bay Golf Club (Washington)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Fun Things to Do in St. Andrews, Scotland

One of the great things about playing golf in St. Andrews is the wonderful, quaint village lifestyle. Beyond the phenomenal golf courses, there's a wealth of great activities to enjoy.

To extend your golf enjoyment away from the fairways, here are five activities to enhance your experience:

British Golf Museum-Conveniently located a 5-minute walk from the town center and across the street from The Royal and Ancient Clubhouse, this well organized, recently renovated museum will immerse you in the history of golf. There are thousands of items detailing more than 500 years of history with exhibitions, hands on activities and extracts from the R&A’s film archive. You’ll see clubs, balls, clothing, trophies, medals, films, photographs, artwork and books on display. 
Himalayas Putting Course—Home to the St. Andrews Ladies’ Putting Club since 1867, this roller coaster-like course, adjacent to the Old Course, allows you to practice uphill, downhill and sidehill putts. All you need is a putter and a willingness to have fun. The course is open from April to the end of September (7 days a week) and there is a slight fee with discounts for senior citizens and under 16s.
Tom Morris Golf Shop—Originally opened in 1866, the Tom Morris Golf Shop, facing the Old Course, is the oldest golf shop in the world. In addition to a wide selection of golf clothing, there’s a display area that celebrates the shop’s namesake, Tom Morris, the legendary four-time Open champion who is widely regarded as the father of the modern game. Among the items on display are his original workbench where he made golf clubs and balls, his locker where he stored his clubs and the fireplace he used to heat and shape gutta percha balls.
Official Old Course Walking Tour—Staged from early April to late September, the 50-minute guided tour of the Old Course is the next best thing to playing the celebrated course. Walks are scheduled for everyday of the week except Monday during July and August. Tours start at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at. Longer tours start at 10 a.m.
Jigger Inn-It’s one of golf’s most famous 19th holes. Set adjacent to the Old Course Hotel in an historic building that dates back to the 1850s, this traditional Scottish pub is brimming with golf memorabilia. It’s a great place to grab a pint and sit near an open-hearth fire and listen to golf stories from other patrons or spin a few yourself. When it’s time to dine, a golfer’s favorite is the Jigger Burger with Mull Cheddar, Ayshire Bacon and Fries.

Monday, June 8, 2015

5 Affordable (Cheap) Golf Vacations

What's better than smashing a fairway wood over a large lake to a tiny green and then sinking a 20 footer for eagle?

How about saving hundreds of dollars on your next golf vacation. With some intrepid research on the Web, there are lots of great golf deals to a wide array of destinations these days.

In my travels, I've found several that are a bit easier on the wallet.

Here are my top 5:

New Mexico--Golfers usually race through New Mexico to visit golf meccas like Las Vegas or Scottsdale. For those who bother to stop, you'll find uncrowded and affordable courses in dramatic mountain and high desert settings with affordable green fees. The "Golf on the Santa Fe Trail" marketing alliance features eight golf courses along a 100-mile swatch of the Rio Grande River Valley with green fees starting at $52 on weekdays and $65 on weekends. All of the courses are high quality layouts that are situated within a two-hour drive of each other. Some of the more noted courses on the Santa Fe Golf Trail include Black Mesa Club, Paa-Ko Ridge and Twin Warriors.
Ireland--While Scotland dominates most golfer's international destination wish list, Ireland is a slightly cheaper alternative. It has affordable flights through Air Lingus to Shannon and Dublin, a wide range of pubs and restaurants with agreeable prices and a superb menu of courses. Green fees are typically around 1/3 less in the shoulder season in Ireland (April and October) and you tend to get a little more bang for your buck with the exchange rate. (Scotland has the pound and Ireland the Euro). If you've already crossed St. Andrews and Scotland off your bucket list, I definitely suggest playing golf in Ireland. Better still, the friendly and accommodating people in Ireland will thoroughly enhance your experience on and off the course and that's all free.
Orlando, Florida--The theme parks will shake you down for admission tickets in the $100 range, but you won't get skewered on green fees in Orlando. There are more than 125 courses within a 45-mile radius of downtown Orlando. Some of my best value favorites include Red Tail, Eagle Dunes, Eagle Creek and Highlands Reserve. Green fees drop as much as 60% during June, July and August. You'll find great deals at Golfnow and Golfpac Travel, a highly respected Orlando-based golf packager, has some exceptional Orlando area golf travel packages.

Puerto Rico--One of my favorite places to play golf in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico is often overshadowed by Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. While the green fees in Puerto Rico aren't necessarily all that much cheaper than their competition, flights to the island (city of San Juan) are plentiful from a variety of destinations and you can generally find some great deals. Moreover, Puerto Rico has a great menu of 20 courses in various beautiful settings. 

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina--If you want lots of bang for your golf buck, you still can't beat this place where the competition is fierce with more than 85 golf courses vying for your presence. You receive excellent value for your money, too, with more than 50 Myrtle Beach area courses with a 4-star designation from Golf Digest. Allegiant, the budget happy airline with rock bottom fares, has non-stop flights to Myrtle Beach from destinations like Orlando, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Akron. The money-saving continues at the variety of restaurants, shopping complexes and amusement parks that compete with each other with all sorts of deals and coupons. The best place to start in your package planning is the highly efficient Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday site, which easily guides you in creating a money-saving package.