Tuesday, November 27, 2012

5 Emerging International Golf Destinations in 2013

Montgomerie Golf Links in Danang, Vietnam
Get ready for the New World Order in golf vacation destinations. Suddenly, golf opportunities are springing up in the most surprising locations.

If you're looking for a decidedly different golf getaway experience in 2013, check out this menu of emerging destinations:

Inverness, Nova Scotia, Canada--The phenomenal seaside Cabot Links course, which debuted this year (2012) to rave reviews, instantly put Nova Scotia on the golf vacation radar. Enhancing the area even more is the recent announcement that a second course, Cabot Cliffs, designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, will debut in 2014. The impressive golf complex is being developed by Mike Keiser, the same developer who brought us Bandon Dunes Resort in Oregon.

Veneto, Italy--Selected by the International Association of Golf Travel Operators (IAGTO) as the "Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year" for 2013, Veneto, in the northeast corner of the country extends from the Dolomites to the Adriatic Sea encompassing cities such as Venice, Verona, Padua and Vicenza. There are eight golf courses in the region highlighted by the Golf Club Ca Della Nave, an Arnold Palmer design near Venice with American style amenities and high quality maintenance standards.

Bavaria, Germany--The land of oompah bands, Oktoberfest and some of the world's best beer is also home to more than 170 golf courses featuring hilly Alpine landscapes and lush, heavily forested parkland layouts. Major cities in the region include Munich, Augsburg and Nuremburg. Masters champion and Germany native son Bernhard Langer has designed three exceptional courses at Bad Griesbach in southeast Bavaria.

Belek, Turkey--On Turkey's southern coast, this region is part of an area often referred to as the Turkish Riviera or Turquoise Coast because of its stunning beaches and collection of exceptional resorts, hotels and restaurants. The Belek region has 14 golf courses with designer tags like Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, David Feherty and Irish golf designer David Jones. There are more than 30 four-star and five-star hotels in Belek. In 2012, the region took center stage in the golf world when it hosted the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final at Antalya Golf Club (Sultan Course) won by Justin Rose.

Danang, Vietnam--In its embryonic stages, the Danang and Hoi An area has spectacular beaches, an ample selection of first class hotels and resorts and courses like the Montgomerie Golf Links Vietnam designed by Colin Montgomerie and Danang Golf Club, a Greg Norman design.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

5 Off-The-Beaten Path Golf Destinations

Ledgestone Golf Club in Branson, MO
Are you tired of fighting crowds in Myrtle Beach, Orlando, Scottsdale and other popular golf destinations?

If so, you might want to venture away from the proverbial well-worn cart path and check out new frontiers.

Here are some destinations that don’t get much golf travel notoriety, but, nonetheless, offer some excellent golf at good prices.

The next time you getaway to golf, check out one of these places:

Panama City Beach, Florida—Overshadowed by its sugar white sand beaches and great deep sea fishing, this beach area has more than enough golf to keep you busy while your bathing suit dries. The Wyndham Bay Point Resort has two 18-hole championship layouts highlighted by the Nicklaus Design Course, a spectacular resort course panoramic views of St. Andrews Bay. Other places to tee up include Shark’s Tooth, a Greg Norman design, Hombre Golf Club, a 27-hole complex that has hosted the PGA Tour Qualifying School and numerous professional tournaments, Holiday Golf Club, home to an 18hole course, 9-hole par 3 layout and driving range, Signal Hill, an affordable course in the St. Thomas Drive area near the beach and Camp Creek Golf Club, a Tom Fazio design just off Highway 30A near the coastal village of WaterColor.
Camp Creek Golf Club near Panama City Beach, FL

Branson,Missouri—Set in the Ozark Mountains, Branson, which bills itself as the ”Live Music Show Capital of the World” has more than 50 live performance theaters, Silver Dollar City theme park, 8 championship golf courses, an historic downtown district, water sports galore and shopping.  Regular entertainers include the Oak Ridge Boys, Gatlin Brothers and Roy Clark. The course menu includes Branson Creek Golf Club (a Tom Fazio design), Payne Stewart Golf Club, Thousand Hills, Ledgestone Golf Club, a mountain course experience, and John Daly’s Murder Rock.

Savannah,Georgia—Once you stroll the shady streets with Civil War era buildings and shady town squares, you’ll find some good golf in the historic city. The headliner course is at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa. The Troon-managed layout, designed by Robert Cupp and Sam Snead, has been home to the PGA Tour’s Champions Tour Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf since 2003. There’s also a great family-friendly nine-hole short course on property. You can tee up at more than 20 courses in the Savannah area. Some you should consider are the Championship Course at Crosswinds Golf Club, Hunter Golf Club, Henderson Golf Club and Southbridge Golf Club.

Kissimmee, Florida—If you’re looking for a family base camp near Walt Disney World Resort, Kissimmee is a logistical winner. Resort choices include ChampionsGate Resort with two 18-hole championship Greg Norman-designed courses and David Leadbetter Golf Academy, Reunion Resort, where highlights include three championship golf courses designed separately by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson and the ANNIKA Academy and Gaylord Palms Resort, which affords guests preferred tee times and transportation to nearby Celebration Golf Club. Popular daily fee courses are the Harmony Golf Preserve designed by Johnny Miller, Royal St. Cloud Golf Links, a 27-hole complex with numerous Scottish links features and Mystic Dunes Golf Club, an exciting Gary Koch design.
Reunion Resort in Kissimmee, FL

Seattle,Washington—It turns out there’s more than just great coffee and excellent sushi and seafood restaurants in Seattle.  How about great golf on uncrowded courses? The reputation for lots of rain scares lots of golfers away so tee times are easy to get.  Truth is, Seattle gets less rainfall per year than Houston, New Orleans, Miami and Boston. If you really want a great golf deal, visit Seattle from September to November when room rates plunge. You’ll have some ever present drizzle and occasional chilly winds, but you can use your savings to buy a nice rain suit or wind shirt. Don’t miss daily fee courses are Chambers Bay, Golf Club at New Castle Coal Creek Course and Druids Glen. For affordable municipal layouts try Jackson Park and Jefferson Park.
Chambers Bay in Seattle, WA