Courtesy Palm Springs Desert Resort Communities CVA
Members of the Summit 55 Club from Herber Springs State Bank in Fairfield Bay, Arkansas, have been known to tote their golf clubs all over the world, including Hawaii and Bermuda.
“In Fairbanks, Alaska, when the sun was shining 23 hours a day, the group played on the northernmost golf course in the United States at midnight,” said Patti Manville, director.
Although midnight golfing is probably not encouraged in these golf destinations in the lower 48 states, the outstanding views are equally as impressive. Catering to groups with skill levels that range from beginner to “par-fect” scores, these communities offer golf getaways that appeal even to those who simply enjoy the lush surroundings.
The state of Alabama is capitalizing on bragging rights with its 468 holes on Robert Trent Jones golf courses, and Birmingham, nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, is part of that trail.
“We not only have 19 public and private golf courses in our area, but two of those Robert Trent Jones courses,” said Vickie Ashford, director of travel media for the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“The first is the Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa, a reclusive jewel that opened just six years ago and is the third-longest course in the world — each golf cart here is even equipped with a GPS monitor.
“The hotel resembles a castle, and the accommodations all have balconies with views facing the course. This resort offers a true Irish feel complete with a bagpiper that plays at dusk and dawn.”
Although the second Robert Trent Jones course does not have a hotel, Oxmoor Valley offers two 18-hole courses sculpted in and around mountain scenery.
Ashford added that packages in a variety of prices, including golf and lodging, are available.
Palm Springs, California
More than 110 golf courses spread over 150 square miles in eight cities make up Palm Springs.
“We have the highest concentration of golf in the world, from smooth and easy to those courses that appeal to those aspiring to go on the PGA tour,” said Joyce Kiehl, media relations manager for the Palm Springs Desert Resort Communities Convention and Visitors Association.
Kiehl suggested that groups combine their personal drives with those of celebrity fame. “We have many fun tournaments: the Humana Challenge, once known as the Bob Hope Classic; the Frank Sinatra Celebrity Invitational; and the Kraft Nabisco Championship, where the top women golfers in the world will begin their LPGA tour in 2012.”
Public courses include the Indian Wells Golf Resort, the only 36-hole public golf facility on Golfweek’s Top 20 “Best Courses You Can Play” in California and the home to “The Big Break,” a reality golf show on television’s Golf Channel.
“It’s just gorgeous, with mountain views, water features and opportunities for players of every level. It is also surrounded by luxury hotels,” said Kiehl.