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. - 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. - 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. 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 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: 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: 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: 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, 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,

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 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 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.