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Tuscany is well known as the land of sunflowers, fields of poppies, olive groves and beautiful historical cities, but it may not be the first place that comes to mind when you are planning a golf vacation. Home to more than 35 golf courses, Tuscany is a secret paradise for golfers who enjoy not only an excellent round or two but also the finer things in life – great hospitality, fabulous wines, gastronomic delights, culture and luxurious accommodations.
by Dave Finn
Lake Charles LA – “Chasin’ down a hoodoo there.” Even though it reminds me of my golf game, I’m sure John Fogerty from the famed rock group Creedence Clearwater Revival never imagined that his song would be an inspiration for a golf article. His lyrics are more about living in Louisiana rather than chasing a little white ball, but still the song continues to resonate with me!
Most people I talk to associate Colorado with Coors beer, the Denver Bronco’s Mile High Stadium and world renowned downhill snow skiing at Vale and Aspen mountains. What many don’t realize is that Colorado is a land of contrasts with a diverse topography that ranges from flat-topped mesas to raging rivers valleys, from lush orchards to desolate desert badlands. Head for the southwestern corner of the state and discover nature at her finest along with endless year round opportunities for any golfer or outdoor sport enthusiast.
by Dave Finn
Does your ideal vacation include unwinding and relaxing on island time while playing a different championship course every day? Are you looking for fewer crowds and more open tee times when planning your next golf-buddy’s getaway or family vacation? … then the barrier islands of Brunswick County offer limitless possibilities and a very different experience on the Grand Strand than nearby Myrtle Beach.
Affectionately known as North Carolina’s Golf Coast, this region stretches southwest from Wilmington NC along the Atlantic coast line to Calabash and the Carolina Shores to South Carolina’s border. It’s an area comprised of maritime forests, inter coastal waterways, pristine beaches and natural preserves that form the foundation for more than 30 outstanding golf courses, all within 15 minutes striking distance of one another. With a temperate climate and a variety of charming B&Bs, affordable hotels, inns and vacation rental homes, scenic attractions and some of the best seafood in the world, Brunswick Islands are truly a golfer’s never ending playground.
As the days grow shorter and the nights grow colder, most seasoned travelers have at one time or another, considered or have escaped to Mexico for a winter getaway – myself included, on more than one occasion. With so many direct flights from major North American cities, not to mention an amazing array of quality accommodations and things to do, the Riviera Maya has become a favorite destination for those of us seeking warmer climes.
Over the last decade I have watched as this area transform itself from ‘simply’ another tropical paradise renowned for its turquoise waters and white sandy beaches into a vacation destination that boasts a huge variety of outdoor activities that begs for your participation. The Riviera Maya stretches over 140kms of shoreline along the eastern Yucatan Peninsula from Tulum to just south of Cancun so naturally what first comes to mind is snorkeling or diving on the largest coral reef in North America or exploring ancient Mayan ruins but many golfers have no idea that the Riviera Maya is also home to a number of world-class golf courses just waiting to be played.
by Dave Finn
Rich with history and architecture, blessed with safe friendly people, Bermuda offers world-class golf, pink sandy beaches, crystal clear water and magnificent restaurants all within an easy 2 ½ direct flight from most major cities on the eastern seaboard of North America. The weather is perfect year round and the scenery is second to none.
For us golfers there are five 18-hole championship courses, one 9-hole and an 18-hole par-3 to test your skills. In fact Bermuda boasts as having the highest concentration of golf courses per square mile in the world that takes up almost 17% of the country’s 21.6 square miles of real estate.
For the seventh consecutive year, Bermuda has proudly hosted the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in mid-October pairing the winners of all four majors vying for a $1.2 million prize purse. In 2011 I had the pleasure to witness part of this two-day event won dramatically on the last hole by “Rookie of the Year” Keegan Bradley. How cool is that!
What an ultimate golf experience! You can play some of the more scenic and picturesque courses in the world as well as follow alongside the most decorated professional golfers of the year testing their skills on a course that you too can play. 2010 participant Martin Kaymer reportedly said “It’s like a paradise, playing golf in paradise” and I could not agree any more.
By Dave Finn
When I tell my buddies that I recently visited Malaysia, I find myself pulling up a map to show them it is nestled between Thailand and Indonesia in the South China Sea and then explaining why it’s such a well kept secret, though maybe not for longer. An exotic destination indeed but most certainly wouldn’t pop up on most people’s radar as a place to play golf! I knew that it would be a unique and exciting place to visit but it wasn’t until I did my research that I learned Malaysia has a rich, long history of professional golf.
I discovered that in 2011 the country celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Malaysian Open, now known as the Maybank Malaysian Open which is held every April as part of an official Asian Tour event. This years’ winner was, Italian upstart, Matteo Manassero. In July, Malaysia also plays host to a second Asian Tour event, the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters.
Lynyrd Skynyrd released this famed rock hit in response to Canada’s own Neil Young’s controversial song “Southern Man”. Sweet Home Alabama has now become the state motto and unofficial anthem of Alabama. I could not agree more after returning from the Gulf Shores of southern Alabama. The topography ranges from scenic shorelines with unspoiled wetlands to majestic tree lined courses with rolling hills. Very relaxing and not too overcrowded, I’ll be coming back to you.
Our trip began in the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach region that overlooks the northern-most coast of the Gulf of Mexico and boasts more than over 32 miles of sugar white beaches. It’s also family-friendly with plenty of shopping, a variety of locally-owned restaurants, happening bars and some great off-shore fishing. There are nine championship golf courses within a short drive of each other and more than available 16,000 rental units ranging from campgrounds, cottages, motels, hotels and condominiums so you’re guaranteed to find the accommodations that will suit your life-style and budget. We stayed in a fully-equipped condo at the Turquoise Place, an amazing Spectrum Resorts property right on the Gulf of Mexico. Magnificent views of the beach and a hot tub right on your balcony! How good is that?
Laying Low in Abaco – Laid-Back Bahamas Luxury by Dave Finn
As a golfer, you may not have heard of the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas before since it is best known for its’ boating, scuba diving and fishing. My wife, Jane and I have vacationed in the Abaco Islands six times now and we both agree it is one of our favorite destinations on earth to kick back and relax. However, in all the times that we have been coming, I have never once played golf there. That all changed when the Abaco Club on Winding Bay opened for play in December of 2004.
Because of the great accolades from golf writers around the world and the fact that Marc Atchison from The Toronto Star ranked the Abaco Club #6 in The Star’s 2006 Top 18 International Golf Courses, I knew I had to play this course. So when I was invited me to stay and play, I could not pass up on the opportunity.