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Emerging from one of the coldest and snowiest winters most of the country has seen in years, it’s a perfect time to plan your spring golf getaway. For many of us, making golf an integral part of our travel lifestyle is what provides the balance to the work and stress often associated with travel schedules. When seeking the perfect escape for several days complete with amazing dining, relaxing spa treatments, luxurious amenities and services, and of course, world-class golf; look no further than several of my favorite getaways that manage to deliver time and time again.
Fisher Island | http://www.fisherislandclub.com | One Fisher Island Drive | Fisher Island, FL 33109 | (305) 535-6000
While looking for golf getaways, I rarely come across a nine-hole course that has enough of a “wow” factor to attract my attention for several days, but in the case of The Links at Fisher Island, the phenomenal views and feeling of exclusivity make it ideal anytime. Teeing it up with the view of the Miami skyline in the distance and navigating around the perfectly manicured course while challenging the bunkers, lagoons and lakes is an unbeatable experience.
As part of the resort’s recent $60 million renovation, the Clubhouse is nicer than ever, and provides a great place to enjoy a bite to eat before going out for another nine-holes in the afternoon. When able to pull away from the golf course, live like a Vanderbilt while enjoying the absolute best of today’s resort lifestyle amenities in an atmosphere complete with the perfect amount of old-world charm. Suites, villas, and a personal favorite, the cottages, provide a simply captivating place to call home for a few days. Splurge and take advantage of the spa’s signature treatment, “The Vanderbilt,” which provides three hours of complete bliss.
La Cantera Hill Country Resort | http://www.resortlacantera.com | 16641 La Cantera Parkway | San Antonio, Texas 78256 | (855) 499-2960
Located just north of San Antonio, golfers immediately fall in love with the championship golf conditions that come with these two courses. The Resort Course has been recognized for its challenging beauty since it opened in 1995. With views that go on for miles across Hill Country, be prepared to attack the seventh hole, which is always a favorite because of the 80 foot drop from tee to fairway. The Palmer Course opened a few years later in 2001, and with “Palmer-flair,” it manages to impress everyone who tees it up here. Along with the amazing golf, players also appreciate the Winnie Palmer Memorial Bridge, a tribute to Palmer’s late wife.
Almost as decorated with accolades as the courses themselves, the Clubhouse is an award-winning masterpiece. The resort has a world of options to keep anyone occupied for days. Beyond the luxury suite options, La Cantera also offers an intimate collection of 11 casitas, known as Casita Village. These exclusive casitas provide a perfect solution for some added space and privacy while enjoying the resort amenities. The gym and Woodhouse Day Spa are first class, and after a few rounds of golf, the signature four-handed massage is 80 minutes of perfection.
PGA Village | http://www.pgavillage.com | 1916 Perfect Drive | Port St Lucie, FL 34986 | (772) 467-1300
For any golf aficionado, or just a passionate golfer of any skill level, PGA Village is ultimately on the must-play list purely for the opportunity to experience this spectacular piece of the PGA legacy. With two of the great course designers involved, Pete Dye and Tom Fazio, the level of championship golf here is unmistakable. The Wanamaker, Ryder and Dye Courses form a trio of world-class facilities at the PGA Golf Club, at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, Fla. PGA Golf Club is one of the premier public-access resort facilities in America, complete with a Private Members Club (Country Club Course), and serves as the home facility for the 27,000 men and women PGA Professionals.
The Village also features the award-winning, 35-acre PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance and the PGA Museum of Golf, which is home to golf’s four major championship trophies. While I admit that I feel this particular area is prime for a major luxury resort, this is simply not an option at the moment and serves as a reminder that PGA Village is quite simply about golf, and the game we love. However, Perfect Drive Villas has a number of great villas with golf course views, and can arrange golf packages for guests.
St. Regis Monarch Beach | http://www.stregismb.com | One Monarch Beach Resort | Dana Point, CA 92629 | (949) 234-3200
Located between Los Angles and San Diego, this luxury resort has it all, and can only be described as heavenly. Having been awarded the Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond awards, the team at this property continues to impress the most discerning guests. Monarch Beach Golf Links was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. to provide the same beauty and challenge that comes from the Scottish style courses. Jones certainly exceeded his goal with this magnificent Pacific Ocean beauty.
This is a resort that must be experienced to truly appreciate the efforts that go into every meticulous detail. The cabanas by the pool, personalized butler service, family programs, access to the private beach club and Monarch Bay Club and the sensational spa make the St. Regis Monarch Beach another favorite Southern California escape. Don’t miss the opportunity to dine at Michael Mina’s Stonehill Tavern restaurant and take full advantage of the restaurant’s wine collection that is the envy of so many area restaurants. Be sure to inquire about a personal favorite offering this spring, which is the Unlimited Golf and Spa package that brings together two of my favorite pastimes.
St. Regis Princeville Resort | http://www.stregisprinceville.com | 5520 Ka Haku Road | Princeville, Kaua’i, HI 96722 | (808) 826-9644
A favorite getaway destination from the West Coast, Hawaii has so much to offer when looking to completely get away from it all and unwind. Overlooking the stunning Hanalei Bay, the St. Regis Princeville Resort recently underwent a massive $100 million rebranding/renovation project, which has been a top-to-bottom rebirth to now be the amazing destination that it is today. Another Robert Trent Jones Jr. masterpiece, the Makai Golf Club delivers on every expectation set for a world-class Hawaiian golf resort. The redesign was completed in 2010, and recent accolades include being one of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses, 2013-14” by Golf Digest and the “No. 3 course in Hawaii” by Golfweek.
All 252 rooms, including 51 ocean-view suites, were remodeled during the renovation, and the 10,000-square-foot Halelea Spa was unveiled. Located in the 9,000-acre resort community of Princeville at Hanalei, this ocean-side destination provides guests all the amenities you would expect from the St. Regis brand, including The Kaua‘i Grill by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, an awe-inspiring infinity-designed swimming pool situated on the ocean and private butler service. While no element here will disappoint, a personal favorite when it comes to their diverse collection of suites is the Bali Hai Signature Suite, which is named after the legendary mountain peak that can be viewed from the hotel and made famous in the movie, “South Pacific,” and features a loft-style suite with a modern island motif and quintessential views of Hawaii.
The Resort at Pelican Hill | http://www.pelicanhill.com | 22701 Pelican Hill Road | Newport Coast, CA 92657 | (855) 315-8214
When 36 holes just aren’t enough at the resort’s Ocean North and Ocean South courses, nearby Oak Creek Golf Club is also available as part of these remarkable 54 holes of golf designed by Tom Fazio. You’ll want for nothing while being catered to by the entire staff at the North and South courses. An added bonus while a guest of the golf courses are the forecaddies provided for the rounds, which make the entire experience even more enjoyable and stress-free. It’s difficult to actually put into words the level of breathtaking beauty and over-the-top amenities and services that await you at Pelican Hill.
Never to disappoint, the graceful Italian architecture, panoramic ocean views, lush Mediterranean landscape and level of dining, amenities and accommodations sets the bar in terms of luxury getaways. The Spa provides an ideal hideaway to be pampered for several hours, or make a day out of it by taking advantage of their half-day package followed by a haircut and one of their wellness classes, including yoga, pilates and more. All of the suites, bungalows and villas offer a unique experience all their own, but the larger ocean-view villas are absolutely flawless. For families, The Resort at Pelican Hill is often a perfect compromise, as the endless amount of luxury amenities are available for those of all ages, while also offering fun camp programs for kids, and what they call “Latitude” available to young adults. The only time you’ll find yourself disappointed is when you must face the reality of checking-out and leaving this little piece of paradise.