Home to Jack Nicklaus’ prestigious PGA Memorial Tournament, Dublin claims to offer an Irish golf experience without the need for a passport.
“When this area was being developed, the surveyor thought our beautiful rolling hills reminded him of his home in Dublin. Indeed, our rolling golf courses are as green as the hills of Killarney,” said Mary Szymkowiak, communications and group tour specialist for the Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The CVB offers golf/hotel getaway packages at 12 area courses, among them the No. 1 public course in Ohio as rated by Golf Digest: the Longaberger Golf Course. In addition, the Golf Club of Dublin is a link-style course with an Irish feel, and that includes the pub-looking clubhouse, according to Szymkowiak.
“Fourteen hotels in Dublin participate, and we also offer Irish hands-on activities. Enjoy fiddlers, Irish dancers and even a four-leaf-clover scavenger hunt throughout our local businesses,” she said.
Szymkowiak suggested that groups arrange a hotel package to attend the President’s Cup in 2013 at Dublin’s Muirfield Village Golf Club. “This team match play featuring 24 of the world’s top golfers will make Dublin the only city in the world to have hosted all three of golf’s most prestigious international team competitions: the Ryder Cup, the Solheim Cup and now the President’s Cup,” she said.
Traverse City, Michigan
Golf Magazine called the area around Traverse City “Michigan’s Golf Coast” and rated it as one of the top six golf destinations in the country. This is also the perfect location for a group with different skill levels, according to Mike Norton, media relations specialist for the Traverse City Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“We have a wide range of golf opportunities, from Jack Nicklaus’ the Bear at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, home to the state’s oldest and most prestigious tournament, the Michigan Open, to Arnold Palmer’s the Legend at Shanty Creek Resorts, to Mistwood, rated four stars by Golf Digest yet designed for all ability levels.
“Our golf courses all have one thing in common, and that is the beauty of the natural surroundings. This is a place where beauty is everywhere, and no matter where you golf, you’re likely to be surrounded by views of water, wetlands, rolling terrain, flowering cherry orchards and even herds of deer and wild turkey,” said Norton.
Nearly 20 golf courses and accommodations ranging from luxury resort spas to comfortable chain hotels are available for golf packages.
“The secrets to our success is that there is so much go do for everyone in the group, including beach time, shopping and enjoying a spectacular food and wine destination,” said Norton.
Kentucky State Parks
Although bluegrass and bourbon are what typically come to mind when groups think about Kentucky, golf is also a headliner. “Eighteen golf courses — 12 18-hole and six 9-hole — are spread across the state in our state resort parks,” said Kevin Main, assistant director of golf for the Kentucky Department of Parks.
The pastoral scenery bankers love is part of the two golf packages available at 10 participating courses, all 18-hole facilities.
The Tee’s and Zzz’s all-inclusive package offers lodging, golf, a cart, breakfast, dinner and a gift card. The Chip Shot Package offers lodging, golf and a cart.
Four of the courses have been deemed “Best New Affordable Courses” by Golf Digest.
“Many offer lodges and/or cottages on site, and for parks that do not, we pair them up at a nearby location,” said Main. “While these resort destinations are affordable, they are also what you might expect with any luxury golf package, and the experiences differ with the location.
“For example, Dale Hollow Lake in Burkesville offers terrific cuisine in an immaculate lodge; and as the lake is the real draw, visitors can also rent a houseboat.
“The three-diamond resort, Kentucky Dam Village in Gilbertsville, also offers a wide variety of recreational opportunities and a classy setting with two lodges. There are also multiple golf courses in the area.