Gift Guide: Top 9 Holiday Golf Getaways

If you’re already tired of roasting your chestnuts on an open fire, then maybe it’s time to hop on your sleigh and escape the cold and gray for points warm(er) and sunny?

To heck with some crazy-haired, old codger’s prying assessment of “naughty or nice” and let’s just go pure awesome!  Here’s my 9 Golf Getaways:

Pebble Beach Resorts

If you love Bing’s White Christmas then you’ll fall in love all over again with the historic Pebble Beach Resorts that the crooner helped turn into legend.  Breathtaking views, soul comforting accommodation options and restaurants that define northern California’s unique culture await the weary traveler in need of days both merry and bright.  There’s good reason why Pebble Beach is on everyone’s bucket list.  


Pinehurst Resort

Leave behind the horrible ties and cheesy golf calendars and give yourself a gift that you will never forget!  The Pinehurst Resort is called the “St Andrews of America” with good reason.  Pinehurst’s connection to golf is almost as mystical as it is beautiful and challenging.  Featuring eight courses designed by the greats who have defined golf course architecture both past and present with the summit of one’s golfing experience likely to be Donald Ross’ famed Pinehurst #2, which was recently brought back to it’s full glory behind the artist’s brush of Coore & Crenshaw. 

So special is this place that in June of 2014 it will host both the U.S. Open and the Women’s U.S. Open in consecutive weeks!  From golf to accommodations to amenities, if your desire is to immerse yourself in all things golf, there is no other experience like the Pinehurst Resort in the United States.  What’s more, if you can’t completely leave the season behind, it’s likely your day will end aside a crackling fire.  Wouldn’t that thaw even the coldest of Holiday hearts?  


Reunion Resort, Orlando, FL

Only six miles from Walt Disney World, the fact that Reunion’s three courses were designed by Nicklaus, Palmer and Watson pretty much puts the period at the end of the sentence.  Mix in accommodations options from luxury homes with separate in-law suites (you got that right), condos or high-rise options and restaurants from casual to high dining and you’ve found your winter hideaway all in one place! 


Streamsong Resort, Streamsong, FL

The new kid on the block is ready to take her place among the finest the game has to offer.  Located (roughly) between Orlando and Tampa, Streamsong is the most unique new resort golf offering in recent years.  Featuring a Red Course by Tom Doak and a Blue Course by Coore & Crenshaw, both are individually distinctive yet defined by massive phosphate mining originated dunes-like surrounds that are unlike anything else you’ll find in Florida (if not this side of the pond). A new uber-luxurious hotel is scheduled to open in January, 2014.  


Trump National Doral Golf Club, Miami, FL

The name Trump carries with it a certain level of expectation and The Donald is delivering on the promise.  He is dropping more than $250 million on renovations alone to bring Doral back to it’s former luster.  Five courses, including the famed Blue Monster, home of the WGC-Cadillac Championship and currently undergoing an extensive redesign, golf schools, spa, tennis, endless pools, restaurants for every taste and only minutes from the beaches and night-life that define Miami, it might be time to come back to Doral. 


TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas, NV

What happens in ‘Vegas…Blah, blah, blah.  Look, enough with the devil-on-your-shoulder approach to Las Vegas as the TPC Summerlin will have you taking home and long remembering every part of your golfing-getaway experience.  Home to the PGA TOUR’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, this Bobby Weed designed gem mixes a traditional architectural approach with the wild nature of the natural desert terrain (note-to-self: stay out of desert).  Tour caliber practice grounds and a grand clubhouse complete the world-class offerings.  As for accommodations?  Hey, get a room! It’s ‘Vegas!  


Westin Kierland, Scotsdale, AZ

In contemplating this list, I dreamed I was visited by the ghost of holiday golf trips past who reminded me that the true meaning of such a sojourn is to find the perfect place for you against a landscape of multiple options.  The Westin Kierland is such a place for me.  Secure a room on the one of the higher floors and the world opens to your view;  twenty-seven holes of splendid desert golf holes embraced by majestic mountains and warmed by spectacular sunsets.  Great golf, great room, great restaurants and shops…ah, I’m good.  


Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica

That’s what I’m talkin’ about!  Forget the coal in your stocking, how about sand on your toes?  The Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica, one of the most luxurious resorts in the world is the perfect getaway whether your desire is to challenge the Palmer designed golf course or escape the world on their golden sand beaches or indulgent spa.  If you are the kind that likes to get to one place and have it all, then this is the place for you as everything you could want is on-site.  


Sea Island Resort, Sea Island, GA

The Sea Island Resort could be the ultimate example of “something for everyone.”  Three championship golf courses, including the historic Seaside Course, home of a PGA TOUR event, five miles of private beach, a multitude of dining options and distinguished options for accommodations including The Cloister, The Lodge or The Cottages with views of the ocean, river or golf course as it suits your fancy.  Throw in all the other amenities that an award-winning luxury resort like Sea Island offers and there’s a chance you may decide to never leave!  


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