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

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