South Florida golfers know late summer and early fall can mean more of the same in terms of on-course temperatures: hot, humid and more times than not, hot and humid.
With three international airports offering hundreds of direct flights, daily, have-clubs-will-travel types can quickly relocate their games to cooler upper East Coast and Midwest climates. This sampling of resorts ranging from the Lowcountry of South Carolina and upstate New York to Northern Michigan and Southern Missouri offers designs from Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio and other legends. Who knows: a light golf sweater might make an appearance or two.
Pound Ridge Golf Club
South Floridians are no strangers to “upstate” New York’s Westchester County, what with many tracing roots back to this affluent region. Opened in 2008 to critical acclaim, Pound Ridge is roughly an hour from Manhattan and just minutes from the financial and business hubs of Greenwich, Stamford and Norwalk, Conn. The only Pete Dye design in New York, Pound Ridge is hewn from 172 acres of magnificent cliffs, streams and wooded hills. Those used to playing on Bermuda grass will relish the course’s bentgrass greens, fairways and tees. Stay and play packages are offered with the luxury Delamar Greenwich Harbor.
The Sea Pines Resort
One of the crown jewels in the world of golf, The Sea Pines Resort is home to Pete Dye’s classic Harbour Town Golf Links (home of the PGA TOUR’s RBC Heritage), Heron Point by Pete Dye, and the Ocean Course. The legendary Lowcountry destination now enters the upper echelon of the world’s finest golf resorts via recent multi-million dollar investments in its golf, accommodations and amenities including the spectacular new Harbour Town Clubhouse. Simply put, the best has gotten even better. The resort offers a full range of golf package options.
Keswick Hall & Golf Club
Few resort destinations combine luxury, history and spectacular vistas as does Keswick Hall & Golf Club in central Virginia’s “Hunt Country.” Situated on 600 acres at the foot of the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains just outside Charlottesville, its new Pete Dye-designed golf course, Full Cry at Keswick Golf Club, is a “must play” and the signature amenity to resort’s 48-room five-star inn and club. Its array of stay-and-play packages is ideal to see what the fuss is all about
Hilton Head Golf Island
One of the top golf destinations in the U.S., Hilton Head Golf Island features more than 30 member courses on Hilton Head and Fripp Islands, as well as surrounding Bluffton and Beaufort. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy Hilton Head Island’s Southern hospitality and world-class designs sculpted by vaunted architects Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus and Robert Trent Jones. A wide array of value-laden fall golf packages is available on www.hiltonheadgolfisland.com.
BOYNE Golf offers the largest collection of courses (11) in the Midwest shared among three resorts in northwest Michigan’s Petoskey area: Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs, Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls, and The Inn at Bay Harbor – A Renaissance Golf Resort in Bay Harbor. Golfers play up to 72 holes daily thanks to the region’s long daylight hours and ideal summer and fall temperatures. Myriad stay-and-play packages are available, depending on just how long golfers prefer to soak up the mild temperatures and long, languid evenings.
Branson / Lakes Area Golf Destination
Known as “Golf’s Ozark Mountain Oasis,” the Branson Lakes / Area destination averages 70 degrees in October – ideal for playing one of its eight courses… and more coming. A “family-friendly” course designed by Hall of Famer Gary Player is planned to open late this season or early next, and a championship Coore & Crenshaw design is currently being designed. From short courses to venues hosting the PGA Champions TOUR Legends of Golf – and existing facilities designed by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Fazio, Tom Watson and others – there are courses for every level of player.
Sweetgrass Golf Club
Sweetgrass Golf Club and the Island Resort & Casino are located in the unspoiled beauty of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Designed by Michigan native Paul Albanese, Sweetgrass Golf Club has been named a “Best Casino Course” and a “Best Course You Can Play” by Golfweek and GOLF Magazine. The 18-hole championship layout is renowned for its five historic bridges rescued from around the region that lend the course a unique feel. Fall rates begin Sept. 21, 18-hole green fees at $45, a near 50 percent savings off the regular rate. The resort’s most popular golf package, the Perfect Foursome, starts at just $230 per person after Sept. 21 and includes a two-night stay and rounds of golf at Sweetgrass and nearby TimberStone and Greywalls. Other package combinations are also available upon request.