The specific promotions described in this article have now passed, but it remains online so that the resources named will be of future use to travelers.
With the 2006 Professional Golf Association tour picking up speed and the Golf Channel about to unveil a reality show for golfers with tryouts nationwide, it's time to get your swing back in shape. What better way to do it than a top-notch play-and-stay golf vacation to some of the best golf destinations in the United States? Lucky for you, online resources for golf vacations are improving with every new season. Here's a list of some sites where you can do everything from a book a trip to get a rundown on course information.
Resort Golf (tel. 800/373-7555; www.resortgolf.com) may be the Internet's most impressive golf resource. Offering stay-and-play packages to California, Arizona, Florida, Nevada and North Carolina, Resort Golf can get you tee times at some of the country's most popular year-round golf resorts. For beginners or seasoned veterans looking to focus on a certain part of their game like fairway irons or playing from the high rough, deals to the nation's top golf schools are available as well. Packages include a three-night/four-round special to Scottsdale, Arizona starting at $360 for play between June 16 and August 31, 2006. The same trip between April 11 and May 2, 2006 costs approximately $933. Amenities included in the price of the trip are three nights at the Millennium Resort, two rounds of golf at the McCormick Ranch Golf Club, one round at the Talking Stick Golf Club and one round at the famous Camelback Golf Club, the championship course attached to Marriott's Camelback Spa. The Millennium is situated in the desert lands of Arizona on a lake in the midst of mountains. Early evening cocktails in the cool desert nights are sure to ease the pain of that missed three-foot putt on the 16th hole.
Resort Golf also offers a special to Orlando, the unofficial capital of today's golf world and the official home to golf icon Tiger Woods. A weekend getaway including two-nights' accommodations and three-rounds of golf starts at just $358 for packages good through March 31, 2006. The package includes your stay at the Marriott World Center Orlando, one round of golf on Crooked Cat, one round on Panther Lake, and a third round on the National Course at Champion's Gate. Prices for Resort Golf trips reflect double occupancy accommodations in a standard room with two double beds. Course descriptions are available throughout the site and on pages relating to specific packages.
Recently known as hotbed of golf activity, the state of Utah has several golf vacation options to its top courses. Set within red rocks and over desert landscapes, Utah golf retreats can be found at Utah.com (tel. 888-881-1120). Applauded for their locations and year-round weather conditions where at least somewhere in the state of Utah you can hit a golf ball any time of year, Utah golf courses are challenging and scenic. A four-day/three-night golf trip with at least three rounds of golf available all year starts at $399 per person based on double occupancy. A cart is included for each round of golf. Car rentals, tours of nearby national parks, and extended stays are available upon request. You'll play the St. George courses that include the Entrada, Coral Canyon and Sunbrook with accommodations near all three courses in downtown St. George. A similar six-night/six-rounds package starts from $599, or only $100 per day with for the golf and lodging. Located in Southern Utah, St. George is near several abandoned Utah ghost towns and the base for Zion National Park, the oldest national park in the United States.
Off-season ski resorts are a great place to search for golf deals. At Northstar-at-Tahoe (tel. 800/466-6784; www.northstarattahoe.com) a Lake Tahoe resort that just opened a new ski lodge this past season, golf specials can be had starting at $62. With this deal, the golfing is technically free. All you have to do is book a minimum of two nights in one of Northstar's rooms or condos for $62 and you receive two free rounds per day -- you get a free round per person for each night of your stay (up to eight days maximum). The package is good from late May through October 2006. Tee times for this deal begin at 12:00 p.m. from Sunday through Thursday with a $39 surcharge applied for tee times before noon.
Closer to the East Coast, if you thought Virginia was just for lovers, think again. It's for golfers, too. Virginia Beach Golf (tel. 866/537-5691; www.vbgolf.com) has a variety of golf specials available to area courses. If you go in a big group of eight golfers, for example, the group leader or one golfer gets to golf for free. The two-night/three-round special starts at $269 with accommodations at a variety of beachfront and inland hotels; play is available at several different courses. The "one plays for free special" is good through the end of March. An April trip for any amount of golfers is currently discounted from $349 to a starting price of $299 per person for three-rounds and two-nights lodging with a full breakfast thrown in daily. Prices are person based on double occupancy with carts, green fees and taxes included. Courses include Bay Creek, Hell's Point, Heron Ridge, Honey Bee, Red Wing and the Signature. Bay Creek is designed by golf deities Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. The site has descriptions for each course and detailed listings for restaurants and area hotels. If you book a trip to Virginia Beach by March 31, 2006, everyone in your group will get a free steak dinner. To customize your trip, call a Virginia Beach Golf representative at the above number. They're very helpful with course details and quick price quotes.
Check out the deals at Arizona Golf Packages (tel. 800/426-6148; www.arizonagolfpackages.com). From just renting clubs to all sorts of complete golf packages, this site is one-stop-shopping for duffers in the Copper State. Beginners can take refuge in a two-night golf school package that includes two days of personalized instruction, two-nights' suite accommodations at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs resort, two lunches and two breakfasts, a Bobby Jones golf shirt, a pair of Bite golf sandals, golf club cleaning and a bag tag. The total of price of this beginner's package available through April 6, 2006 is $1,000. For more advanced golfers, a three-night/three-round package good through April 10, 2006 starts at $535 with lodging at the Tubac Golf Resort in Southern Arizona.