Travel Insider

By: Brian McCallen

If it’s good weather and great value you’re after this fall, check out Alabama’s Gulf Shores, a 32-mile waterfront destination with nine excellent courses (including top-rated Kiva Dunes), numerous lodging options and a plethora of off-course attractions. As an official sponsor of the Southeastern Conference, Gulf Shores is the perfect place to experience SEC action in the company of ardent loyalists. Following a round of golf, watch a game and sample regional cuisine at Tacky Jack’s and LuLu’s at Homeport Marina; or the Village Hideaway at Spectrum Resorts, which offers a large selection of craft beers, pool tables, shuffleboard and video games in addition to an array of flat screen TVs. 

Seeking to improve your game in an inspired setting? Dave Pelz Scoring School sessions will be held through Oct. 27 at the Chardonnay Golf Club in California’s Napa Valley wine country. The course itself, located 40 miles from San Francisco, meanders through rolling hills and 150 acres of vineyards. One-day clinics as well as three-day schools are available. The student/teacher ratio is 4:1 maximum.

For a deluxe golf experience on Florida’s west coast, head for The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, The resort’s Stay and Play Destination Package, valid through Dec. 31, features overnight accommodations, American breakfast in the hotel restaurant, one round of golf on the club’s Tom Fazio-designed course (includes caddie, cart, club storage and tax), and lunch on course or at the Golf Club Grille. Prices start at $274 per night, single occupancy. Double occupancy rates are also available.

Located far enough south to receive mild weather in late winter and early spring, Ocean City Maryland offers an array of seasonal Stay and Play Golf Packages. Book your 2013 golf getaway by Jan. 1, and enjoy four rounds of premium golf, three nights in an oceanfront efficiency unit, plus a free $50 food and beverage voucher per twosome. Weekday package price is $276 from March 1–31; and $352 from April 1–12. Rates are per person, double occupancy. All taxes and use of cart are included in package. 

Orion Expedition Cruisesthe only world-class expedition cruise line operating from Australia, has scheduled its New Zealand Golf “Voyage of Discovery” from Feb. 16-24, 2013. This 8-night expedition features visits to some of the world’s most spectacular courses, including Royal Wellington, Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers. The cruise ship, Orion, serves as a small luxury floating hotel during the trip. Prices start at $6,740 for a Category B Stateroom and includes accommodations, cruise transportation, all meals onboard, 24-hour room service, entertainment and educational programs, use of ship’s facilities, port and handling charges, Zodiac excursions and tender transfers. 


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