Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Improve Your Golf Game in Australia?

Yes, indeed!

If you have a few minutes, plan a quick trip to Runaway Bay, Queensland, Australia for the Sports Excellence 2009 conference, May 27 and 28. Too late to get the early bird special, so it'll set you back about $995 per person.

All kidding aside, if you're in that quadrant of the globe it would be a fantastic conference to attend. Your entire game will be improved; from the physical and emotional/mental game, to visualization and reaction training, and not just for golf.

Leading performance anxiety expert, Colin Cromack (Target Oriented Golf), as well as Anthony Kelly (the arrow catcher), international presenter and strength coach, Mark McKean, and Jeffrey Hodges (author of Sports Mind and Champion Thoughts, Champion Feelings) headline the conference.

Great chance to get the upper hand on your competition and visit Australia's Gold Coast, all in one vacation.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Top-10 Golf Instructors and Where to Find Them

Hundreds of dollars per hour may not be in your budget for golf instruction (it's not in mine, never will be, even if Hank Haney's the teacher), but most top-instructors have their own, or they're at least associated with, academies you can visit. You can learn from other pros at the academies and many even have nice packaged deals. It may not be a cheap vacation, but you'll get some top instruction.

With the assistance of GolfDigest.com, I've put together the top-10 instructors and where you can find them.

1. Butch Harmon - Butch Harmon School of Golf, Rio Secco G.C., Henderson, NV -ButchHarmon.com, 702-777-2444

2, David leadbetter - David Leadbetter Golf Academy at ChampionsGate, Orlando, FL -
Leadbetter.com, 407-787-3330

3. Hank Haney - Hank Haney Golf, Lewisville, TX - HankHaney.com, 800-642-5528

4. Jim Mclean - Jim McLean Golf School at Doral Golf Resort & Spa, Miami, FL - JimMcLean.com, 305-591-6409

5. Jim Flick - TaylorMade Learning Center, Carlsbad, CA - JimFlick.com, 888-546-3542

6. Chuck Cook - Chuck Cook Golf Academy at Barton Creek Resort & Spa, Austin, TX - BartonCreek.com, 800-336-6158

7. Jim Hardy - Jim Hardy Golf, Houston, TX - JimHardyGolf.com, 281-807-4176

8. Rick Smith - Rick Smith Golf Academy at Treetops Resort, Gaylord, MI - RickSmith.com,

9. Stan Utley - Kostis McCord Learning Center at Grayhawk, Scottsdale, AZ - StanUtleyGolf.com, 888-988-8539

10. Mike Bender - Mike Bender Golf Academy, Lake Mary, FL - 407-321-0444

Source: GolfDigest.com, "America's Fifty Greatest Teachers."

A Five-Star Fuselage Suite and Rainforest Golf in Costa Rica

A few days ago I tweeted about the awesome 727 Fuselage Suite at the Hotel Costa Verde near Quepos, Costa Rica, the exterior is shown in the image at right. One of my Twitter.com friends replied with, "Cool, but is there a golf course nearby." I admit, I hadn’t previously looked too closely at Costa Rican golf. I hadn’t even heard of Quepos before running across the 727 Suite on Uncrate.com. I’m so glad I took a look.

Costa Rica appears to be a tropical paradise and one of the few places, from an avid golfer’s point of view, where the golf would be a mere footnote to any vacation. But, the golf course at the Manuel Antonio Park, which is situated near the Hotel Costa Verde, could provide a unique view into both the rainforest and coastline. Nestled alongside an exotic rainforest with breathtaking ocean views, this 18-hole, par-72 championship course offers not only a challenging Ted Robinson-designed layout, but also a spectacular gallery featuring friendly monkeys and brightly hued macaws. The course’s golf guides can point out all the features, monkeys and all, that each golfer should see. With claims of mesmerizing scenery, wildlife, rainforest, coastline, who could concentrate on golf.

Just so you know, Quepos, or Puerto Quepos, is located near the center of Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast and drapes itself across a tropical inlet surrounded by primary rainforest. High season runs through the drier months of December to April, and particularly during the Festival del Mar, a month long party held each February that features concerts, sporting events, parades and a street carnival with dancers from across the Costa Rica.

The 727 Suite will cost you around $350 per night in the high season, around $300 during off-season. Not a bad price for a luxury hotel suite and luxury hotel. The other suites appear to be exquisitely appointed, as well.

Quite an enticing place. If I ever go, golf will be taking a backseat to the monkeys.

If you're interested planning a Costa Rica vacation, the people at AAA are always the best place to start.

Images courtesy Hotel Costa Verde.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Never Happen on a Guys Golf Trip

It's one of the funniest scenes of all-time, but relative to a guys golf trip, NEVER happen.

But, I think James Bond even said "Never say never."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Gorillapod Makes Camera Tripods a Thing of the Past

First off, I don't own one of these, yet. What a fantastic invention! It appears amateur vacation photography can now look a little more professional, without having to carry around a bulky tripod, thanks to the Gorillapod from Joby.

The model shown is Joby's Gorillapod SLR, which features sturdy, prehensile legs that help you get a steady shot in virtually any environment. Its compact size means it can go anywhere and everywhere, and the quick-release plate makes setup a snap. Whether you're shooting time-lapse photos with your SLR or capturing videos with your camcorder, according to Joby, the Gorillapod SLR is well-suited for the job.

There are several models of the Gorillapod, suited to everything from small, point-and-shoot cameras to larger professional video production.

I can't wait to try it. So, now I need to plan a new golf vacation and order the Gorillapod SLR.

Image courtesy of Joby.com
Source: Joby.com.
Sheter Cove, Hilton Head Island

Shelter Cove is a great little section of the island. Great food, lots of shops, a toy store and a playground for the kids, nightlife for the older kids, just a great atmosphere.

Speaking of children, however, our experience with the Kingfisher Seafood and Steakhouse taught us a lesson. Although the KSS was a bit dated, it has a great view of the cove and live entertainment. Not much for children though.

Food, which was great, took a loooong time to arrive. With no kid menus, 30 minutes seemed like two hours.

The food mitigated the impact of the long wait, a little bit.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Kid-Friendly Hilton Head Island Lunch

As I sit here waiting for my family's takeout dinner, I'm recalling our recent trip to HHI. If you have small children and you are looking for a restaurant with something for everyone, try Aunt Chiladas, located near the Coligny area.

Mexican food? Yes. Italian food? Yes. American food? Yes. All reasonably priced.

If you have little children you'll also appreciate this: They're fast! We had our meals in just over five minutes.
Mobile Posting to Blog

Fantastic feature for blogger.com users, and travel bloggers, mobile posting. This is my first one, but look for many more.

One problem I will have is a lot more misspellings.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Video Tour of Doral

The World Golf Championships CA Championship is being held at Doral this week. Here's a short video tour of the resort and the Blue Course. Aside from a few hacker golf swings and a few too many water fountain shots, it's a great video.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pete Dye in Paradise: The Black Pearl Golf Course at Pristine Bay

Pete and Perry Dye are building the first golf course on the tropical island of Roatan off the coast of Honduras. The Black Pearl Golf Course at Pristine Bay Resort, sponsor of the World Golf Championships CA Championship at Doral, will be the first Dye course in Honduras.

Located on the lush, tropical island of Roatan, 35 miles off the coast of Honduras, Pristine Bay Resort is situated on a 400+ acre site adjacent to the Caribbean Sea. The azure waters off the coast of the island and a gorgeous barrier reef provide a stunning backdrop and one of the truly unique settings for golf in Central America.

First Dye Course in Honduras

The Black Pearl, Dye's first project in Honduras and Roatan's first golf course, is an 18-hole, par-72 resort layout measuring 7,057 from the back tees. The course starts at the ocean's doorstep, rises into the island's rolling foothills, then takes golfers on a wild ride back to the seaside clubhouse. It will feature one of Dye's signature island greens, and 14 of the 18 holes will offer stunning vistas of the ocean and the Meso-American Barrier Reef, which is second only in size to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

A state-of-the-art practice facility with a short game area and multiple putting and chipping greens is being developed in concert with the golf course to host a variety of instructional programs. The goal being to create an atmosphere of game-improvement, one that encourages guests and residents to enhance their skills while honing their games.

Environmentally Compatible Golf Course Turf

Dye Designs is a pioneer in the use of Paspalum turf for tropics-based projects. The Black Pearl is being grassed with the salt-water tolerant strand known for its environmental compatibility, ease of irrigation and maintenance, and translucent green hue. Its appearance - juxtaposed against the turquoise waters offshore - inspired the Black Pearl's tagline: "The Best Greens and the Best Blues."

Pristine Bay Resort features a wide variety of residential products including: bay view and golf course condominiums, two-, three-, and four-bedroom villa units and one-quarter-acre custom home lots, many with unobstructed views of the ocean. Villas start at $600,000 and range up to $1 million; lots start at $230,000 and range up to $460,000. A 155-slip full-service marina located near The Black Pearl clubhouse will provide deep-water access for a wide variety of sea-going vessels.

Residents and guests will have access to the ocean-front Bay Village at Pristine Bay with boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, cafes and other entertainment options. The 120-room, five-star Resort and Spa at Pristine Bay, to be managed by the Lancaster Hotel Group, is scheduled to open along with the Black Pearl.

Getting There

Roatan International Airport (RTB) is served by nine weekly, non-stop flights from the United States (Houston, Atlanta, Miami and Newark) on Continental, Delta and TACA. Flights to the island through the Honduran cities of Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula are also available.

Find out more about the course and resort at PristineBayResort.com.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Toddler Travel to Hilton Head Island

It's been over a year since SGT talked a little toddler travel. In keeping with this week's general theme, South Carolina travel, it's time we touched on the subject again.

Some of the best places to stay while you're vacationing on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, also offer excellent childcare, and award winning golf. Here are four, with additional information about the resorts/spas.

Hilton Head Marriot Beach and Golf Resort - Five championship golf courses, 25 tennis courts, four on-site restaurants, high-speed Internet connectivity. Highly rated by both guests and experts. Around $200 to $250 per night.

Hilton Oceanfront Resort - Easy access to all of Hilton Head's fabulous golf courses, corporate and fitness facilities, parasailing, tennis, and all in a luxurious setting. Around $150 to $200 per night.

Crowne Plaza Resort - Overwhelmingly recommended as perfect for families. The amenities are plentiful: again, fabulous golf; tennis; high-speed Internet; and much more. All in an upscale environment. Around $150 to $200 per night.

Daufuskie Island Resort and Spa - All the great courses of the Hilton Head area are nearby. Daufuski, adjacent to Hilton Head, still a bit unknown, which makes it a more serene getaway. The resort has all the amenities one could want, and it is highly rated by guests. Around $200 to $250 per night.

Since we first featured these four resorts, the prices may have changed. Typically, they would have gone up in price, but given the current economic conditions, they may be lower than we've projected.

If you elect not to stay at the resort hotels, in favor of renting beach-front villas through companies like Beach Properties of Hilton Head or Island Getaway, they can also recommend local babysitting services and other activities.

Want to travel a little bit lighter? Try leaving the beach toys at home and renting them while you're on Hilton Head. Baby's Away has a great selection of toys that will be delivered to your door upon arrival and picked up after you leave for home. So much simpler and easier than bringing them all with you.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

HydraCoach Intelligent Water Bottle

Summer seems so far away, so proper hydration isn't on the minds of most people, even though it's just as important during winter.

Lack of hydration is something that can kill a golf round, or an otherwise well-planned vacation, regardless of the climate and faster than most anything. HydraCoach® is one company seeking to make staying hydrated and staying healthy much easier.

The HydraCoach, touted as the worlds first interactive water bottle, calculates personal hydration needs, tracks real-time fluid consumption, paces consumption throughout the day and motivates you to achieve and maintain optimal hydration.

Since every kind of healthcare professional recommends that we all drink more water, the HydraCoach is an exceptional discovery. It's easy to remember to take in more fluids when you're sweating from the heat (even though by the time you realize you're thirsty, you're already becoming dehydrated), but during the cooler months, we don't get the same clues. The HydraCoach is the remedy. It's a breakthrough in personal hydration monitoring, regardless of the season.

It is available from the HydraCoach website for $29.99 and it comes in three colors (blue, orange and smoke).

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hilton Head Island Golf Vacation

Fabulous Golf is Only the Beginning of a Great Family Golf Getaway

The activities and beauty of Hilton Head should be considered when planning a family vacation. Great golf courses, fabulous beaches and fun abounds for the whole family.

Among the eastern United States’ great family vacation destinations is Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Hilton Head is also known for its great golf. Home to the PGA TOUR’s Verizon Heritage, Harbor Town Golf Links leads a host of other great courses that are complemented by a wide variety of activities the whole family will enjoy.

When entering Hilton Head Island, which measures 12 miles from heel to toe, vacationers will be struck initially by the lack of visible commercialization. Although a family vacation and tourist destination full of every convenience imaginable, Hilton Head Island planners have succeeded in keeping the signs so plentiful and visible everywhere else from easy view. All business signs, such as restaurants and shopping centers, are kept at eye-level, which succeeds in making the island less commercial and more naturally beautiful.

Hilton Head Island Golf

On Hilton Head and in the surrounding area, there are literally dozens of great courses to play, which causes some difficulty in deciding where to tee it up. The most widely acclaimed is, of course, Harbor Town Golf Links. Located in the Sea Pines area of Hilton Head, this course provides spectacular views of Calibogue Sound and the Atlantic Ocean, as well as lots of the native flora. As it is a PGA TOUR venue, it is immaculately maintained and deserving of it’s high rating. If you plan to play, contact the course well in advance of your arrival to secure a tee time. Expect to pay upwards of $200 for the privilege.

The Palmetto Dunes area of Hilton Head is home to three courses by famous golf course designers; the Robert Trent Jones Course, the Arthur Hills Course; and the George Fazio Course. They are within a few minutes of each other and located approximately in mid-island. Palmetto Dunes has beachfront and beach view lodging and dining for any budget, as well as activities for the kids. The location and amenities makes Palmetto Dunes a great place to stay and play on the island.

Lodging and Activities

Few places so beautiful have as much to offer by way of golf and other activities as Hilton Head Island. When looking for places to stay on Hilton Head, expect to pay more than you would in the surrounding areas; however, it is worth the extra money to experience the island’s beauty and activities. Several rental companies can provide great lodging referrals and reservations to fit most budgets. Island Getaway, a vacation rental company, has access to numerous locations and the staff are friendly, courteous and willing to assist with any question or concern.

Everyone has different shopping tastes and Hilton Head Island has something for everyone. From the Shelter Cove Mall, which contains a Saks Off 5th Avenue and other national stores, to the outlet malls just off the island, to the numerous boutiques and shops throughout, no shopping taste will go unsatisfied.

For golfers, Golf Outfitters and Golf Headquarters are two popular Hilton Head Island golf shops. The two golf retailers have a full selection of golf equipment from Adams, to Callaway, to Taylor Made. Both also offer golf club rental and golf equipment rental in case you can't bring your clubs along.

In short, if anyone in your family loves golf, Hilton Head Island is a great choice for your next family vacation. The golfers and non-golfers alike will have a spectacular time.

Monday, March 2, 2009

PGA National's Bear Trap

This post was originally published at Suite101.com, April 2, 2008. Recipient of the Suite101.com Editor's Choice Award.

The Toughest Three-Hole Stretch on Tour

PGA National Resort & Spa, in Palm Beach Garden’s, Florida, is home to the PGA Tour’s first Florida Swing tournament, The Honda Classic, held in March. At the 2008 Classic, the three-holes that comprise what has become known as the Bear Trap, the 15th, 16th and 17th on The Champion Course, netted the professional field an amazing 356 over par, 102 strokes more than the previous year.

Unlike most of his competitors, South African Ernie Els was able negotiate the Bear Trap and escape the week even par through the three holes. In contrast, though fan favorite Boo Weekley had a respectable finish, the Bear Trap left a five-over-par mark on him by week’s end.

The difficulty level of the Trap is due to two separate rounds of renovations to The Champ course in as many years. According to PGA National’s managing director, Joel Paige, "We are thrilled with the extensive renovations by Nicklaus Design and Superior Golf Concepts," said Paige. "The combined scores from holes 15, 16 and 17 have shown that our "Bear Trap" offers professional golfers the toughest three-hole stretch anywhere in the world." It also proves that Jack Nicklaus, as designer, is continuing to leave an indelible mark on golf, much like he did as a player.

Improvements to The Champion Course were part of an extensive, multi-million dollar resort-wide makeover that included a new resort front entrance, lobby bar, steak and seafood grille, free-form zero-entry pool and waterside bar and grill. The Champ Course’s re-shaped and expanded bunkers has drawn significant attention from players and spectators who commented on the course’s demand for a focused game. It isn’t simply a bomber’s course, as the Bear Trap’s par-three, par-four, par-three stretch has proven.

The Champions Course isn’t simply for the pros or a select few members. Anyone can play the course and be caught by the Bear Trap. The South Florida location of PGA National, as well as the other activities and amenities offered by the resort, make it a great vacation spot for golfers and non-golfers. Its 339 guest rooms, restaurants, five golf courses, European Spa health club, and other activities make it a world-class resort destination. Golf is only the beginning.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Top Guides to Golf in South Carolina

It's tough to argue that any other state has more great golf available than South Carolina.

From Hilton Head Island, to Charleston, to Myrtle Beach and Pawley's Island, there are so many great golf destinations that choosing where to play is your biggest problem. After all, South Carolina is full of historic places, kids attractions, beaches, scenery and everything else you can imagine.

In trying to narrow down your selections you can use Suite Golf Travel, of course, we've featured several courses, but if you want a more comprehensive look, here are some sites and official guides to visit:

Visit Myrtle Beach - Website of the Myrtle Beach Area Conventions & Visitors Bureau, this comprehensive site has a golf section that will tell you everything there is to know about Myrtle Beach and Pawley's Island area golf. You can even book tee-times and packages at several courses and resorts, right from the site.

GolfHoliday.com - Quite possibly the best, most interactive Myrtle Beach golf site you will find. Yes, all the courses are listed, plus images, video, instruction packages, resorts, resources, package offers, and more.

Charleston Convention and Visitor's Bureau - A comprehensive listing of Charleston area courses and a unique trip planner, sort of like a shopping cart. Pretty cool. Well-designed and easily navigable site.

HiltonHeadIsland.org - HHI is one of my favorite places in the world to visit and play golf. Myrtle Beach may be the king of South Carolina golf by sheer number of courses, but Hilton Head has as many great courses per mile as anywhere. Aside from that, it's just beautiful. HiltonHeadIsland.org is another comprehensive site that provides all sorts of information about the area, but a full listing of area golf courses.

Enjoy your Carolina golf vacation planning, everything you need for your research is at your fingertips in this post.

If you know of another site that may be valuable, please leave your comments below. I'm sure everyone would love to see it!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Gadget Golf Travel

I love gadgets almost as much as I love golf and travel. So, when I came across The Gadget Traveler, I was in heaven.

There are tons of great gadgets you that can enhance a golf vacation, from GPS Range Finders, to golf travel bags, to laptop computers. If you have a family, there's no such thing as a purely "golf" vacation, so lots of other gadgets are brought into the fold. The Gadget Traveler has information on more travel gadgets than you can imagine.

It's simply the coolest website I've seen in some time. Give it a look.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

How an iPhone App Can Save a Golf Vacation

Has this ever happened to you on vacation? You're in the middle of a golf round when a storm rolls in. After taking shelter, you wait and wait, then wait some more in hopes it will blow on through.
With the RadarScope iPhone application from Base Velocity, you no longer have to wait without knowing. You'll know whether to start getting warmed up for the remainder of your round, or pack it in and take the family on an unplanned adventure.
The RadarScope allows you to browse NOAA's public NEXRAD Level 3 data feed. It can display the latest base reflectivity, base velocity, and storm relative velocity data from any NEXRAD radar site in the lower 48 United States. As Base Velocity puts it, "These aren't smoothed PNG or GIF images, this is real Level 3 radar data rendered in its original radial format for a high level of detail."
You can zoom in or out, drag your finger around the screen to change your viewing area, look at the historical loop to determine where a storm is going, and see any of 25,000 cities and towns.
RadarScope is available from the iPhone App Store for $9.99. One of the coolest, most useful golf gadgets you can buy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sea Island's World Class Golf

Once home to most of the world's wealth, Sea Island, Georgia is still rich in golf, lodging and style. A golf vacation to Sea Island Resort will be more than memorable.

Recently ranked number one in Golf Digest's Best Golf Resorts in North America, the Sea Island Resort, situated on both Sea Island and St. Simons Island, Georgia boasts three 18-hole golf courses: Seaside, Plantation and Retreat. As you will see, it will be a wonderful golf vacation.

The Seaside Course, built in 1929, is 7,005 yard and rated at 73.8. The course underwent an update in 1999, which was conducted by famed architect Tom Fazio. Situated at the southern tip of the island, it is a true seaside links course and is a must-play for your golf vacation. It places a premium on shot selection, ability to recover and putting. Among the several awards Seaside has received are listings in the Golf Digest Magazine's America's 100 Greatest Public-Access Golf Courses 2005-2006, number one in Golf for Women Magazine's Top 50 Golf Courses in America for Women 2004, and Golf Magazine's Top 100 Courses in the U.S. 2005. Regular rates range from $230 to $260.

The Plantation Course is a 1928 Dick Wilson Design. The Plantation has also undergone a recent redesign, having been updated in 1998 by Rees Jones. The course measures 7,058 yards and has a rating of 74.7. The Plantation course has become renowned for it's expansive fairways and views of the Atlantic Ocean. It was named Golfweek Magazine's America's Top 100 Resort Courses 2005, and received honorable mention for Golf Magazine's Top 100 Public-Access Courses - 2000. Regular rates range from $180 to $210.

The Retreat Course is a 7,106 yard, 73.9 rated design of resident touring professional and former PGA Champion Davis Love, III. Davis has lent his own distinct architectural style to this delightful golf course. Generous fairways wind their way through the islands forest. Water is a well-known feature of the Retreat Course, coming into play on nine holes. Many Sea Island regulars consider the Retreat their favorite and recommend it during a golf vacation. Regular rates range from $180 to $210.

The golf at Sea Island Resort is only one part of a great golf vacation experience. The resort has four types of accommodation from which guests can choose. The Cloister, serving the most discerning guest since opening in 1928, features guest rooms in a main building and in the Ocean House. Beautiful views are a hallmark of The Cloister. The Cloister was listed as Condé Nast Traveler, 2006 Gold List World’s Best Places to Stay.

The Lodge is a classic retreat with 40 guest-rooms and suites, most of which have views of the Atlantic Ocean. Spacious rooms feature rich wood furnishings, exposed beam ceilings, overstuffed chairs, hardwood floors and a fantastic amenity, the butler service. Awards include T+L 500 World’s Best Hotels, Travel + Leisure 2006 and Condé Nast Traveler, 2006, Gold List Best by Rooms, United States.

The Cottages and Cabin Bluff are truly homes away from home. Both are as wonderfully appointed as The Cloister and The Lodge, but they also have the added feature of greater privacy. Cabin Bluff is intended for truly large parties, 20 to 40 persons. Although the resort accommodations are a bit expensive, $400 to $600 at The Cloister, a bit cheaper at The Lodge, the experience is well worth the money. A better, more memorable golf vacation will be hard to find.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Las Vegas Golf at It’s Best

A Las Vegas vacation can take many forms, but a Vegas golf vacation to this resort and this championship golf course is unbeatable.

Playing a PGA Tour golf course is on every golfer's checklist of things to do. Golfers will be hard pressed to find a better course to fill that spot than the TPC The Canyons in Las Vegas, one of the two courses that host the Las Vegas Invitational (now Frys.com Open). The pot is made even sweeter when combined with a stay at the fabulous JW Marriot Las Vegas Resort & Spa.
TPC The Canyons. It is hard to imagine a more beautiful desert golf venue. The lush fairways and greens stand in attractive contrast to the desert landscape and nearby mountainous terrain. The course, designed by architect Bobby Reed with Ray Floyd as consultant, opened in 1996. From the Championship tees, the course measures 7,063 yards with a slope rating of 131 and a USGA handicap rating of 73.

According to Floyd, "I am very proud of what we accomplished...By disturbing as little of the native desert as possible, and incorporating it's barrancas, arroyos and other natural features, I believe we have created an enduring design." (Source: TPC.com) He is certainly correct. Also, TPC The Canyons is certified in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program, a rare certification for golf courses.

Regarding playability, although Floyd says the fairways and landing areas are generous, prevailing winds and a number of elevation changes require golfers to test their game-management and shot-making skills. There are plenty of risk-reward opportunities, so much is left to the golfer as to how low, or how high, they want to score.

Greens fees at the TPC range from weekday rates of $90 to $125 weekend rates during the off-season, to between $225 and $275 during peak season (Jan. 1-May 31, Sept. 1-Dec. 31). Special rates at substantial savings are also available year-round for juniors, seniors and Nevada residents. Cart rental is included in the greens fees (Source: TPC.com). Players can also book lessons and instruction at The Canyons Golf Academy during their stay.

As good as the Vegas golf experience may be, it is only one part of a great getaway.

The JW Marriot Las Vegas Resort & Spa, which is adjacent to TPC The Canyons, is one of the most spectacular Vegas resort hotels. Located only 18 minutes from the Las Vegas' McCarron International Airport, the resort offers too many activities and amenities to list. In addition to fantastic golf, the resort has seven restaurants and lounges, an onsite casino, a fabulous spa, pools (which are particularly beautiful at sunset), over 500 elegant guest rooms and suites, and many nearby activities for everyone in the family.

The exceedingly well-appointed guest rooms offer many standard amenities. Wired internet connectivity is provided in each room, with wireless connections available in all common areas and conference meeting rooms. Most guests of the resort state they would return again and they would recommend the resort to friends and family (Source: Tripadvisor.com). Golf packages booked through the resort result in substantial savings.

A Las Vegas golf vacation to TPC The Canyons and the JW Mariott Las Vegas Spa & Resort almost can't be called merely a "golf vacation." Every person in the family will enjoy their stay and the memories they make. See for yourself at the resort and TPC homepages.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Druids Glen Resort: The Augusta National of Europe

The beauty of Ireland is shown with splendor by Druids Glen golf course in full bloom. An Ireland golf vacation wouldn't be complete without a trip to this Irish gem.

It's widely believed that most golf courses in Ireland, Scotland and England are not as lavishly landscaped as many U.S. courses. There, hosts of seaside links courses draw their character and beauty from their setting and history. Druids Glen is not your traditional links course, in fact, it isn't a links course at all. When compared to other premier British Isles and Irish golf courses, it is a mere infant.

The golf course, an inland parkland course, opened to much acclaim in 1995. Often referred to as "The Augusta of Europe," the flora and fauna of the Glen provide a magnificent and colorful backdrop to a championship golf course. It's forests and streams produce a haven for wildlife in what was once a home to the Druids of pre-Christian Ireland.

Within a surprisingly short time after opening, Druids Glen began hosting the Murphys Irish Open. It held the tournament from 1996 to 1999, and was the host venue for the Seve Trophy in 2002. Golfers of worldwide renown such as Colin Montgomery and Sergio Garcia, who recorded his first professional victory there, have conquered their foes at Druids Glen.

In Druids Glen, course Designers Pat Ruddy, designer of The European Club, and Tom Craddock have provided golfers with a thrilling golf experience, set amidst a beautifully manicured landscape. Voted European Golf Resort Of The Year 2005 by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators, the par 71 course measures 7,046 yards.

The difficulty of the course is matched only by the difficulty in picking the best holes. Many players choose the 13th hole, a par four ranked as the toughest hole on the course. The 13th begins with an elevated tee to a fairway bounded by a stream on the right and forest on the left. Players with substantial fortitude can make a play for the green on the second shot, at great potential peril, as it must be played over water. Every hole at Druids Glen isn't as demanding as the 13th, but all are surely challenging and reflective of the Ireland in the minds eye of people who have never visited the isle.

Green fees at Druids Glen are typically the same for weekdays and weekends: €175 ($1US = € .54 IEP). With a member, the cost drops to €60. Visitors on their Ireland golf trip can also expect a great pro shop, great food, club rental and a driving range.

Combining golf at Druids Glen with a stay at the Marriot Druids Glen Hotel & Country Club can save money add five-star accommodations. Several Druids Glen Ireland golf packages are available for guests. For example, the Escape! Golf Package includes two rounds of golf and hotel stay for €243 per person, per night. Essentially, guests choosing that package get a five-star Irish hotel for around $100.

If time permits on your Ireland golf vacation, playing other courses may be the order of the day. Guests of the Druids Glen Marriot are within a short distance of Druids Heath (also part of the Druids Glen property), The European Club, Arklow Bay Golf Club, Wicklow Golf Club and Charlesland Golf Club.

An Ireland golf vacation doesn't get any better than the beauty and fantastic golf at Druids Glen.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Golf Vacation Apparel: Look Stunning with Dunning

For you guys that read this, I know, most you don't want to look "stunning", but it rhymed with Dunning. How about "Look Cool on a Golf Vacation with Dunning," or "Look like a Player with Dunning."

However you cut it, you want to look good on the golf course when you're on vacation. You can't do any better in golf vacation apparel than Dunning Golf. Ask Zach Johnson. But, more important than looking good, is how you'll feel in a Dunning Golf shirt.

Dunning's new Interface Stretch polo is extremely lightweight, breathable and fantastic. It is technical golf apparel at its best.

The catchphrase in golf apparel these days is performance. Although style, fashion, comfort are also the key in any sport, performance finds an edge in golf apparel. Ralph Dunning, famous Canadian based designer and owner of state-of-the-art golf apparel firm Dunning Golf, says, “Looks are very, very important, but performance is just as important a consideration now.”

Dunning golf apparel is the leader in providing the apparel that is both functional and trendy. Each piece of Dunning golf apparel has the signature stamp of class and performance.

A genuine golf brand known for its exclusive use of finest technical fabrics, Dunning Golf luxury performance apparel is certainly designed with the golfer in mind and is worn by an elite PGA Tour staff that includes Zach Johnson and John Senden. The clothing has a great blend of contemporary and conventional styles that satisfies the needs and taste of any golfer.

The fabric used in Interface Stretch polo, at first feel, seems a bit heavy because of the inner layer that’s specially designed to absorb the moisture from the skin. On a hot day, it might seem sucidal to wear this shirt due to its heavy fabric, but it is extremely comfortable. The interface stretch line polo will always keep you dry and cool.

The interface stretch includes UV protection and anti-microbial fabric that prevent odor absorption, which was a serious problem in the earlier days of performance fabrics. The wide sharp colars gives it a teriffic stylish look, while the fit is correct, precise and comfortable. By just wearing the polo you will feel like a golfer instantly.

The fabric used is wrinkle resistant, which gives the wash and wear benefit.

The detail aspects of interface stretch polo:

· Traditional knit texture and two-piece self collar

· Hyper-technical Coolmax Extreme performance

· Extremely breathable

· Helps control body temperature and maintain hydration

· Permanent moisture management

· Wrinkle resistant

· Anti microbial for excellent odor control

· Four way Stretch

Interface Stretch polo line is available in a wide array of solid, stripe, and textured, line, prep, multi-line, classic and windowpane patterns and colors. The interface polo shirts are priced ranging from $79 to $109.

As for the durability of the product, Dunning apparels use high quality fibers, which last long. The fiber used is low maintenance fiber. The polo shirts look brand new after every wash.

A golf polo shirt possessing all these qualities, while allowing for the most comfortable wear possible on course, is hard to find. But, look no further than Dunning.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hassle-Free Caribbean Golf in Puerto Rico

Caribbean travel can often be somewhat "trying," golf in the Caribbean even more so. During peak times of the year, resorts and golf courses are packed, prices at a premium, roads and transportation harrowing, and the simple act of getting there and back can include several hoops through which you'll jump (customs, passports, etc.).

David Baum and Craig Better of Golf Vacation Insider recently revisited a somewhat forgotten Caribbean golf destination, Puerto Rico. We should all be glad they've jogged our memory.

As they describe in a recent article, after several years of golf course and resort developers and investment focusing on Casa de Campo and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and a few other locations throughout the Caribbean, Puerto Rico sort of slid to the back of everyone's mind.

But, convenience won't be forgotten for long. The PGA Tour has found a new home for one of it's March stops, and investment has returned in the form of new and remodeled destinations. Combine such renewed intest with a short flight from Miami, good roads (if you've ever traveled the roads in some Caribbean locales, you'll understand the emphasis!), a common currency with the US, no customs requirements, and widely spoken English, you have what will once again be one of the top Caribbean golf destinations.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Now’s The Time for Great Golf Deals

You don’t need to look very far or very hard, golf deals are everywhere, advertised and unadvertised.

Due to a confluence of factors like a sour economy, fewer travelers, maybe even Tiger Wood’s absence from the Tour (Who knows? It could be a reason), there are fewer golfers on the tee everywhere.

Fewer golfers teeing-off mean less money in the bank for golf courses. Many courses and golf resorts are, or may be soon, beginning to feel the lack-of-revenue pinch. That means everything from greens fees, to hotel stays, to airfare will be discounted.

If you have a golf destination in mind, chances are you can find advertised deals and golf packages for previously unheard of low rates. If there are no advertised deals at the places you want to play don’t worry, you can get a better deal if you aren’t locked-in to a particular golf course/golf resort/hotel/etc., and you don’t mind a little haggling.

For instance, a simple call may be just the ticket. You may call (and this is purely hypothetical) one of Myrtle Beach’s popular resort courses, stating that you are considering their resort and their competitor for an upcoming stay. You might then say that, since both are fantastic, your decision is simply coming down to the issue of price and what is included in the package. You could then ask them for the lowest nightly rate for the number of days/nights and rounds of golf you’d like to play.

Pay attention to what is included in your package. It may be that you can negotiate a lower rate, meals, rounds of golf, or some combination of those and other amenities.

Now is the time to strike a great golf deal. You’ll play so much better knowing you’re golfing on your own terms!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Unlimited Golf for a Year at Pinehurst? Free?

Is it a sign of the times when great golf destinations are offering unbelieveable deals and unlimited golf to get people to visit? I don't care!

From now through May 31, golfers can enter Pinehurst Resort's spring sweepstakes for a chance to win unlimited golf at Pinehurst for a year. Golfers can register now at Pinehurst.com/sweepstakes, for the prize that includes unlimited golf for the winner and a friend on any of Pinehurst’s eight golf courses – including the famed No. 2, site of the 2014 U.S. Open. Valid from June 1, 2009 to May 30, 2010, the prize also includes exclusive benefits when staying at Pinehurst.

The sweepstakes celebrates the launch of Pinehurst’s spring Unlimited Golf Package, in which golfers are automatically upgraded to unlimited golf at normal one-round-per-day rates from March 8 through May 30. The $515 per person, per night starting rate includes unlimited greens fees (No. 2 at an additional charge), cart and practice facility usage, plus accommodations, the best breakfast in golf and a la carte dinner. The upgrade’s best value is in eliminating hundreds of dollars in replay fees.

I'm entering the sweepstakes right now.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bringing You Home to the Home of Golf

Have a look at this video from the brand new site, HomeofGolf.tv.

Over the coming months, Andy Brown, the show's host, will be bringing us videos from the golf courses and golf course towns throughout Scotland. As you can see, his style makes you feel like a part of the video and like you're actually there. Should be a fabulous series.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Capture Vacations and Golf Memories with the Canon Vixia HF10

Wouldn't it be great to capture your vacation memories as vividly as the day they happened? You can with the Canon VIXIA HF10 Flash Memory High Definition Camcorder with 16 GB Internal Flash Memory and 12x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom. That dream round at TPC Sawgrass or your daughter's first steps into the ocean can be immortalized as closely to the real thing as possible with this new HD camcorder.

Although only recently released, buyers are giving it an excellent rating in image quality, compact design, vivid color, great sound, easy TV and computer connectivity, durability and more.

Among the many features of the Canon HF10 is a 16GB internal Flash drive & SDHC card slot, 3.3 megapixel full HD CMOS sensor, full HD lens-to-screen (1920 x 1080 capture and recording), genuine Canon 12x HD video zoom lens, and a 2.7" multi-angle vivid widescreen LCD, among other technical features.

Prices for the HF10 average around $600, which appears to be a good price for the quality you'll receive.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Home-Course Advantage: Jones Creek Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia

If you're one of the fortunate few traveling to Augusta, Georgia for the Masters Tournament, you'll want to play Jones Creek Golf Club.

Although nothing matches Augusta National, Jones Creek is reminiscent. Judged by Golf Digest as one of the premier places to play, like Augusta National, it can play tough. If you've never played at Jones Creek, or if it's been a while since you visited, Suite Golf Travel has found a bit of home-course advantage for you.

Jones Creek underwent a Tom Fazio re-design in 2003. It now has bermuda greens and has become a target-style course. Accuracy is now a premium. If you're planning to play Jones Creek GC, bring your A-game (Accuracy).

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Stay Away from Funky: A Proper Travel Diet Can Save Your Vacation

Oh, yeah! You can't wait to step off the plane and experience everything your vacation destination has to offer: sun, sand, golf, tennis, hiking, mountains, snow, history, and, most importantly, food.

After reading an article at TennisMD.com about tennis competitor diets for in preparation for tournament travel, I realized that stomach ailments caused by an improper vacation diet ruins a lot of family trips.

Gorging yourself on the local fare, plus snack foods, soda, and alcohol throughout the day, can end your vacation excitement after Day 1. Even if the food you eat isn't tainted in some way (funky), straying from good dietary habits in favor of vacation "eating exuberance" can confine you to the hotel room.

In the TennisMD.com article, Page Love, a leading US sports nutritionist and a consultant for the US Tennis Association, has some suggestions to help prepare your body for vacation and help you feel great on the golf course, tennis court, on the beach, sightseeing or whatever it is you have planned. Her suggestions are tailored for competitive tennis players, but many of them work for vacationers, as well.

For example, according to Ms. Love, prior to your flights, drink more fluids than usual and avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. Make sure to continue consuming fluids throughout your vacation.

Also, limit high intakes of fat and meat, as these have a dehydrating effect. Awareness of your fat consumption in conjunction with adequate fluid intake can ensure you remain well-hydrated. Just because you aren't in a hot climate doesn't mean dehydration can't creep in, especially if you don't have a proper diet.

It's also a good idea to pack some healthy foods to bring with you. Foods like bananas, sandwiches, apples, string cheese, pretzels, raisins, nuts and oranges can help keep your diet, and digestive system, in working order.

Last, but not least, plan ahead for eating out. Try to scout your potential eateries and find out whether others rate them highly. The better your fellow travelers feel about restaurants, the better chances you have of getting a great, healthy meal.

Eat at least three meals per day, consuming plenty of fluids and follow basic dietary guidelines, will help keep you healthy and happy throughout your much needed vacation.

You can go Anthony Zimmern "Bizarre" with your food, even go Man vs. Wild, just do it in moderation, and cook thoroughly.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Rodeo and Golf, A Match Made in Heaven

Yes, made in heaven; and at an altitude of 7,500 ft, the Estes Park, Colorado Rooftop Rodeo and Charity Golf Tournament can't get much closer.

Beginning July 7 and continuing through July 12, 2009, the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys) brings it's tour to Estes Park. Each day you'll be treated to riding, roping, wrestling and everything you love about the sport. Since 1908, the award-wining Rooftop Rodeo, so named due to it's altitude, has been a Rocky Mountains summer mainstay.

On Wednesday of the week's festivities, the 2nd Annual Golf Benefit will be held at the Estes Park Golf Course. The golf benefit is a scramble format for four-person teams (entry fee is $85 per person). Lots of prizes will be awarded, but proceeds from the tourney will go to cancer research and other non-profit organizations.

The above-photo, courtesy of the Estes Park Convention and Visitors Bureau, is fabulous, but the blessing you will receive by seeing the beauty in person will be immense. Enjoying two great sports, while supporting some worthy charities, will add to even more your golf and rodeo vacation.

It will be a great way to spend a week in the Rockies. For more information about the Rooftop Rodeo and golf benefit, visit the website here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Suite Golf Travel's 100th Post

There are few places on earth that you can’t find a golf course, which makes it easy to find vacation spots for golfers. Interested in Mongolia? There’s a golf course there for you! (I always like saying "Ulaanbaatar")

This is Suite Golf Travel’s 100th post. Just an arbitrary milestone, I know, but it’s worth noting. I wonder how many blogs never make it to 100?

On this 100th post, I’d like to take the opportunity to state what this blog will do for you. It will:

  • Help you find great golf courses.
  • Give you insider information about great golf courses.
  • Help you find great golf vacation values.
  • Give you recommendations on quality lodging, attractions, dining and activities near golf destinations.
  • Give you practical and useful travel tips.
  • Regular golf travel reports, just for our readers (free of course).
  • Only display sponsors with which we have first-hand experience, so that when you click ads, you’ll feel secure you aren’t being scammed.

For now, look around, look through the top-five posts, or look at random. You’ll find something you like. Sign up for the email list and get new travel info before it’s posted here.

Whether it's the best places to stay and play in Ulaaaanbaataaaaaar, or Utaaaaah, we want to play a part in you to having the best, at the best price, and the best experience.

Thanks for coming.

Follow me on Twitter: @alanlhammond

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Las Vegas Golf Super Bowl Giveaway

If you'll be in Las Vegas January 30th - February 1st, you could have a chance at a great piece of Super Bowl memorabilia, worth an estimated $3,500.

By playing two rounds of golf, choosing any combination of rounds at Bali Hai Golf Club, Royal Links Golf Club, or Desert Pines Golf Club, you will be entered into a drawing for one of two authentic team-signed helmets. Two winners will be chosen, both receiving one of the team-signed helmets.

A good reason for a Las Vegas getaway weekend. If you're already traveling to Las Vegas that weekend, not booking and playing those courses could cause you to miss out on a one-of-a-kind helmet and $3,500!

The drawing is being provided by Walters Golf.

If you win, don't forget where you heard about it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Golf Travel Tip: Consider Rental Clubs

About a year ago, I published a post about leaving your golf clubs at home. It bears repeating.

Golfers are certainly picky when it comes to their clubs. Using another set of clubs is like wearing someone else's underwear, wrong on so many levels. But, nowadays you can rent top-quality clubs from major retailers, golf shops and golf courses. You can probably even find your own clubs, or something very close.

Fees vary, but they're quite reasonable. Depending on your location, you may be able to find rental clubs for a few dollars per day to around $50 per week.

I think it's worth the few extra dollars in exchange for the reduced hassle of keeping up with your clubs, or the damage that you risk to them, on a trip of any length.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tips for Choosing Vacation Childcare

There's nothing wrong with using childcare services while on vacation. Many resorts and hotels have certified, top-quality people on staff that will take fantastic care of the little people.

If you're wondering what to look for as you make your decision to use their services, here are some tips, courtesy of BabyCenter.com, that will help you make a decision and establish peace of mind:

  • Do the caregivers know CPR and other emergency procedures?
  • What are the program hours?
  • Is there any flexibility to come and go? (Your child may want to leave the group to spend some time with you, for example, then return later.)
  • What are the prices?
  • Are there discounts for siblings?
  • Which meals (if any) are provided?
  • Are both indoor and outdoor activities offered? What are they?
  • How many children are expected to be there at the time of your visit? Will the program operate if only a few children show up?
  • What's the ratio of caregivers to children? (The National Association for the Education of Young Children recommends an adult-to-child ratio of one to four for infants; one to five for 12- to 18-month-olds; and one to six for 24- to 36-month-olds.) Are extra staffers added if more children unexpectedly join the group?
  • Are children grouped by age? If so, what are the age ranges? What are the minimum and maximum ages?

In addition to those suggestions, you may want to ask for the qualifications and any certification of caregivers. You could also, in advance of your trip, try and locate childcare reviews for your particular destination. A good place to look for reviews, and local caregivers, is CareSquare.com.

At Suite Golf Travel, we believe vacations are essential to healthy family development. If you have recommendations for resort or hotel childcare, please leave comments below for others to see. We need all the help possible to protect and nurture our little ones, and not so little ones.

Happy traveling.

Monday, January 12, 2009

In Boca Raton For The Allianz Championship? Where To Stay, And What To Do

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

Many golf fans are gearing-up for the Allianz Championship in Boca Raton, Florida. With beautiful beaches, abundant wildlife, and awe-inspiring golf courses, who can blame them. The tournament will be held at The Old Course at Broken Sound starting February 9th, and ending February 15th.

After consulting with some acquaintances of mine that have stayed in Boca Raton before, I have a couple of tips to help make your trip to Florida a memorable one.

First off, here are a couple of places to stay that were recommended to me:

The Towneplace Suites by Marriott is a lovely, family oriented hotel, located near the Boca Town Center, and various enticing golf courses. A Bar-B-Q grill is located by the pool area for guest use, and they even have a “lending library”, stocked with board games, playing cards, VCR's, portable CD players, etc. to help make guests feel more at home. The rooms are over sized to provide more living space. Look them up at http://towneplacebocaraton.com/, for more information.

The Hilton on Deerfield Beach is pet friendly, and offers a casual atmosphere with posh standards. Lounge by the tropical outdoor pool, or relax on the balcony while watching golfers on the nearby course. With the Hilton Family Advance Purchase, if you book a vacation 14 days in advance, and stay between January 1st thru March 31st , you can receive up to 20% off of your stay. Get more information at http://www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/DERHIHF/index.do.

There are also a variety of activities and things to do while you are in Boca. Here are some of the better ones:

Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens – With a mile-long trail connecting 6 different Japanese-themed gardens, this attraction is a must-see for anyone visiting the area. There is also a 225 seat theater, a tropical banzai collection, koi ponds, and more. Check out http://www.morikami.org/, for more details.

McCarthy's Wildlife Sanctuary – This is a unique experience for the whole family. Privately guided tours are by appointment only. The prices are reasonable considering the one-on-one with the animals. No pesky tourists blocking the view here. Get closer to tigers, monkeys, and other animals than is possible in zoos and other tours. For the ultimate family wildlife adventure, go to http://www.mccarthyswildlife.com/visitors.html and check it out.

These are just a sample of places to stay, and things to do. With beautiful golf courses, fabulous cuisine, and an “old world” feel, your trip to Boca could be a memorable one indeed.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Beautiful Golf Courses, Sandy Beaches, and Babysitting In Mexico

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

Most of us have different opinions of what paradise is. For me personally, I love my family, the beach, and playing golf. So when I found Marbella Suites en La Playa, I was thrilled!

Located just 2 minutes from Cabo San Lucas, is a beautiful secret. Marbella Suites offers spacious accommodations, various amenities, and even a babysitting service, all the while keeping a traditional Mexican feel. The rooms come in a variety of sizes, and there are only 40 rooms, so there is no overcrowding. Visit the website at http://marbellasuites.com/, and see for yourself. Oh, and didn't I mention something about golf?

Many Championship courses are located in the Los Cabos area, designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus, and the Robert Trent Jones team. Some of the more popular courses are Cabo del Sol Los Cabos, Cabo del Sol Desert Course, Cabo Real Golf Course, and El Dorado Golf Course Los Cabos. With breath-taking scenery, and challenging holes, the Los Cabos courses are sure to delight all golfers.

So grab the clubs, and the family, and head on down to Mexico. I'll see you on the greens!

All they need is your email address and you'll receive the best deals on the Net, every week.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Great Golf Escapes Now “On-Sale”

Much like the tons of big houses built, there was an onslaught of posh golf resort and general resort construction prior to our present economic downturn. If you think the consumer is being squeezed by the economy, take a walk in the shoes of a multi-million dollar resort-club general manager who is begging travelers to come. Not good for him, but great news for you and your family.

According to Kristen Bellstrom, writer for SmartMoney.com, rate cuts as deep as 50% can be found at Oahu’s Makaha Resort & Golf Club and the Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas (SmartMoney.com, January 2, 2009). That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

For golfers, the great golf package rates are spreading far and wide. Jamaica’s ultra-exclusive Half-Moon Bay Resort has been offering, according to Bellstrom, what they call the “Total Golf Experience” for as little as $395 per night. The Half-Moon’s package includes, get this, the room, golf cart AND caddy, greens fees, all drinks, and all meals, everyday of your stay. That package is simply amazing. Two years ago you couldn't have dinner there for $395 per night (bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point).

Bellstrom also stated in her article that, this past fall, a potential guest looking for a bargain on the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa’s Web site would have found a king room starting at $263 a night. If that same traveler had entered a special rate code from bargain site Travelzoo.com, the same room class dropped to $99 a night, a 60-percent savings. Bellstrom stated that a spokesperson for the hotel advised the $99 rate was “for a limited time and exclusively available through Travelzoo.” Travelzoo.com is a Suite Golf Travel "Recommended Travel Site".

Throughout the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, and elsewhere, the same drastic rate cuts can be found. You may have to do some digging, but they’re there. With the economy suffering, resort investors looking for a return on their money, and the impending winter slow-down, you won’t need a big shovel to uncover them.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Kids Can Get "Medieval" In Savannah, While There's Plenty of Golf Courses For Parents

By J. Chad Barnett.

Whether you're in Savannah, Georgia for the Champions Tour Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf Tournament, April 20-26, 2009, or just want to play at one of the beautiful golf courses, there are things for everyone to do, including the kids.

Not far from The Club at Savannah Harbor, and the Hunter Golf Course, is a medieval getaway that will delight children of all ages.

The Star Castle Family Entertainment Center is a medieval-themed "playground" specializing in fun for the whole family.

Features include:

  • 10,000 square foot roller-rink, complete with state of the art light effects, armored knights, a life-sized dragon, and the King sitting upon his throne.
  • 4,000 square foot Laser Tag maze consisting of glowing blacklit columns, (no sharp edges for safety). Up to 20 players at a time can play and there is a viewing area to watch the action.
  • Arcade stocked with 50 of todays hottest games, (motion sensor games), along with some old favorites, (skeeball).
  • Food court with handmade pizza, fresh soft pretzels, hotdogs, and other assorted snacks.

For something different, try the Roundhouse Railroad Museum, (kids love trains), or the Jepson Center for the Arts, which specializes in hands-on creative learning activities.

The aptly named Pirates House is a great way to fill your stomach with some good food, and bask in a pirate's life. Framed pages of an early copy of Treasure Island, seafaring artifacts, and wooden ships make for a memorable meal.

One of the treasures of the South, Savannah is full of kids entertainment and things to do for everyone.

J. Chad Barnett is a freelance writer based in North Carolina. He can be reached at Suite Golf Travel or at jeffrey_barnett2003 (at) yahoo.com.