By Dave Finn
It has been well documented that the economy in parts of Michigan has been weakened by the downturn in the North American auto industry. And Flint, home of the Buick, is no exception. But, for us out-of-state golfers, it means that great golf can be had at a fraction of the price of what we would pay back home.
Have you ever tried to fly to a destination, play eight different golf courses in five days while traveling the entire length of a State? Recently, I had the great pleasure of accompanying seven other North American golf journalists on a five day golf marathon in South Carolina. We were lucky enough to visit three very different regions, two of which were completely brand new experiences for me.
by Dave & Jane Finn
Lana’i HI – The title is a bit of a play on words but aptly applies to golf in this Polynesian paradise. Unless you’ve been to the State of Hawaii before you probably don’t know much about Lana’i. It’s the smallest inhabited island in this Pacific chain measuring just over 35 by 13 miles and sits about 9 miles west of Maui but feels like a world away. Formally known as the “Pineapple Island”, it’s now the place where Hawaiians go to get away from it all.
Pawleys Island SC – The Myrtle Beach/Grand Strand area is a 60 mile stretch of coast line that is home to almost 100 top-ranked courses so choosing a handful to play can be a tough decision. On this trip we ventured to the very south end of the Grand Strand to explore the Pawleys Island region, best known for its’ “low country-style” layouts.
By Dave Finn
Santee SC – I have exhibited at or attended well over a hundred golf and travel shows across Canada and the north east United States and have yet to find a better valued golf destination then Santee. You tell me! Where else can you go to stay and play 18 holes of golf with a power cart, overnight accommodation and continental breakfast for $56 USD? In my own backyard, green fees alone start at $56 and that’s without a cart let alone food and a room to flop in.
Talamore Resort Pinehurst/Sandhills, NC – Step back in time to a place where the pace of life is simpler but where there is more than enough to see and do. Long renowned as the “Home of American Golf”, the historic “New England” style village of Pinehurst is only one of two towns in America to be designated as a national landmark. It is also a top-ranked golf vacation destination. So start planning now.
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.
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?