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Long, cheap winter golf vacation ideas?


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I have a ton of paid time off available that expires at the end of next year's first quarter, and I'd like to use it on a long winter golf trip. 

 

We have some major purchases coming up, so the goal is make this as long as possible while staying cheap (I don't want to set a super-specific budget because I am flexible; just want to be reasonable). I have tons of airline and rental car points, so flight costs don't need to be a factor -- all I'd really need to pay for are hotels, golf and food. I'd likely be going solo for all or most of this trip, so I don't mind staying in cheap hotels. I live in the United States but am open to international options, as well. 

 

I'd love to hear some thoughts and recommendations on where I could go this winter to find some good-value courses and great weather, somewhere in the vicinity of relatively inexpensive hotels!

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If you are okay with not playing the big name courses that tourists flock to, the Orlando area provides a lot of relatively inexpensive options and nice weather.  In alphabetical order look at th

RTJ golf trail if you don't mind a little bit of driving.

Here in FL, there are some more off-the-beaten path spots that will give you good weather and relatively reasonable golf costs. The place that really jumps out is Brooksville, which is best known as t

Myrtle Beach will give you the most variety of courses in one place and very cheap in winter for both golf and housing. Weather is hit and miss though. Orlando area can be relatively cheap housing wise with much better weather, but courses will be more expensive and not as good quality and you have to deal with resort traffic.

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Great weather? Depends on your definition, but I'd say South Florida, Hawaii, Scotsdale/Phoenix or Palm Springs/Palm Desert in US...Mexico, other places near equator or Southern Hem summer might also be options. 

 

Most places with great weather will be in season, so may or may not be cheap.

 

I'm looking for some place to go late November/Early December and one of my criteria will be reasonably priced tee time availability...things were very tight this past summer in many places.

Edited by SkiSchoolPro
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Of those not mentioned:

 

The Pinehurst/Southern Pines area has a lot of quality golf, and several chain hotels. The weather will be hit/miss though - I've played in the 60s in December just before Christmas and in the low 40s in early March. 

 

Las Vegas will always have cheap lodging options, but the golf will be a bit more expensive that time of year. Plenty of options though. 

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Look up Kiawah's Golf or Gourmet package. I've caddied at The Ocean Course on and off since starting grad school in 2011, and that package deal is legit. I don't think OC is available on that package this year (might be demand with PGA coming up, or keeping rounds down, but that's just speculation) but each other course got a total renovation over several years. Oak Point used to be kind of an afterthought but since the reno it's amazing. You really can't go wrong, and since OC isn't part of it, I have no bias in recommending it since my work opportunity wouldn't be affected.

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ocean course is closed for the pga ... at least as part of the gourmet package ... 

 

could come down here and do parts of the rtj trail, while branching into mississippi/tennessee a bit ... dancing rabbit/mossy oak/etc ... some value here in the winter ... you'd have to do some driving from A to B, but you can probably get a decent loop in ... 

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5 hours ago, DrOldSchool said:

Of those not mentioned:

 

The Pinehurst/Southern Pines area has a lot of quality golf, and several chain hotels. The weather will be hit/miss though - I've played in the 60s in December just before Christmas and in the low 40s in early March. 

 

Las Vegas will always have cheap lodging options, but the golf will be a bit more expensive that time of year. Plenty of options though. 


Vegas can get chilly December to February.  I love Vegas but I'd head someplace warmer for this trip.  

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What state are you in?   
 
Warm places like AZ + FL are going to be at peak season rates, especially if 
a resort area.    
 
Myrtle Beach or Pinehurst suggestions will be at their lowest rates of the year, 
with loads of options, if the average weather temps are good enough for you. 
That is why I asked where you are from.           

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If you are okay with not playing the big name courses that tourists flock to, the Orlando area provides a lot of relatively inexpensive options and nice weather. 

In alphabetical order look at these just north of Orlando

Black Bear

Debary

Deltona (Excellent course very inexpensive)

Kings Ridge

Red Tail (very nice course, but a little tight)

Sanctuary Ridge

Timacuan

Victoria Hills (Excellent course)

Winter Park (great, inexpensive  9 hole course)

 

and these if you stay south of Orlando

Eaglebrooke (excellent course)

Providence

Remington

Royal St Cloud

White Heron (renovated this year and a great inexpensive  choice

Willowbrook

 

There are plenty of inexpensive hotel options once you get away from the theme park areas. I have always found good deals at Hampton Inns, Hilton Garden Inns, Holiday Inns etc. None of the courses I listed will break the bank. All will be less than $100 including cart and a number of them will be in the $50  range.

 

Photo tours of all of the courses mentioned can be found here:

Orlando area golf course photo tours

 

 

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How much are you looking to spend per round? While the top tier courses in the Phoenix area are charging peak rates, there are many 2nd and 3rd tier courses that are less than $100 per round. Four of the Phoenix munis (Agulia, Cave Creek, GCU, and Papago) are very playable and quite affordable. If you're simply looking to get out on the course in great weather, it's hard to beat. 

 

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On 11/14/2020 at 9:16 AM, sabram said:

If you are okay with not playing the big name courses that tourists flock to, the Orlando area provides a lot of relatively inexpensive options and nice weather. 

In alphabetical order look at these just north of Orlando

Black Bear

Debary

Deltona (Excellent course very inexpensive)

Kings Ridge

Red Tail (very nice course, but a little tight)

Sanctuary Ridge

Timacuan

Victoria Hills (Excellent course)

Winter Park (great, inexpensive  9 hole course)

 

and these if you stay south of Orlando

Eaglebrooke (excellent course)

Providence

Remington

Royal St Cloud

White Heron (renovated this year and a great inexpensive  choice

Willowbrook

 

There are plenty of inexpensive hotel options once you get away from the theme park areas. I have always found good deals at Hampton Inns, Hilton Garden Inns, Holiday Inns etc. None of the courses I listed will break the bank. All will be less than $100 including cart and a number of them will be in the $50  range.

 

Photo tours of all of the courses mentioned can be found here:

Orlando area golf course photo tours

 

 

 

Have you played Victoria Hills recently? I play it every summer when we visit family. Conditions have dramatically declined over the last few years. I still love the layout and the greens were in decent shape but overall I'm not sure I'd recommend it based on my last experience.  

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Where are you coming from?  Your tolerance for cold could be quite a bit different if it's like MN, WI, MI vs say Indy.  Also places like Pinehurst or the top half of the RTJ trail 1 in 3 days will be closed due to the cold.

 

If you want value and the days you take off are somewhat flexible you could wait until last minute when you expect the weather to be reasonable.  

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On 11/14/2020 at 6:16 AM, sabram said:

If you are okay with not playing the big name courses that tourists flock to, the Orlando area provides a lot of relatively inexpensive options and nice weather. 

In alphabetical order look at these just north of Orlando

Black Bear

Debary

Deltona (Excellent course very inexpensive)

Kings Ridge

Red Tail (very nice course, but a little tight)

Sanctuary Ridge

Timacuan

Victoria Hills (Excellent course)

Winter Park (great, inexpensive  9 hole course)

 

and these if you stay south of Orlando

Eaglebrooke (excellent course)

Providence

Remington

Royal St Cloud

White Heron (renovated this year and a great inexpensive  choice

Willowbrook

 

There are plenty of inexpensive hotel options once you get away from the theme park areas. I have always found good deals at Hampton Inns, Hilton Garden Inns, Holiday Inns etc. None of the courses I listed will break the bank. All will be less than $100 including cart and a number of them will be in the $50  range.

 

Photo tours of all of the courses mentioned can be found here:

Orlando area golf course photo tours

 

 

 

Can't stress how good Winter Park is!!! Not a bad place to stay either. Alot air BnBs and alot good cheap restaurants in downtown winter park

 

My friends and I are doing a Jacksonville trip. Playing Sea Island on Day 1, Jacks Beach on Day 2, and either Stadium or Dye Vally on Day 3. Might try to play the local par 3 course in Jacksonville on Day 2 afternoon 

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Here in FL, there are some more off-the-beaten path spots that will give you good weather and relatively reasonable golf costs. The place that really jumps out is Brooksville, which is best known as the home of World Woods. I like WW, but when I visited the area a couple years ago, I was really blown away by Brooksville CC - definitely a hidden gem and a great value.

 

Lake Jovita in Dade City might also work for similar reasons.

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On 11/11/2020 at 1:19 PM, eric61 said:

I have a ton of paid time off available that expires at the end of next year's first quarter, and I'd like to use it on a long winter golf trip. 

 

We have some major purchases coming up, so the goal is make this as long as possible while staying cheap (I don't want to set a super-specific budget because I am flexible; just want to be reasonable). I have tons of airline and rental car points, so flight costs don't need to be a factor -- all I'd really need to pay for are hotels, golf and food. I'd likely be going solo for all or most of this trip, so I don't mind staying in cheap hotels. I live in the United States but am open to international options, as well. 

 

I'd love to hear some thoughts and recommendations on where I could go this winter to find some good-value courses and great weather, somewhere in the vicinity of relatively inexpensive hotels!

Does it have to be in the US? 

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There is a GREAT deal here at Costa Ballena. It's just outside Cadiz, Spain. Amazing practice facility, 27 holes and 9 hole lighted Par 3 course. Right next to the ocean. Last time I checked there it was around $650 a week for unlimited golf, unlimited practice facilites, Hotel, and breakfast each day. Of course its Southern Spain so the weather will be pretty good.

 

https://www.ballenagolf.com/en/home/  

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Ping G410 7wd @ Flat setting Graffaloy Pro Lite 3.5 Reg
Ping G410 22 hybrid @ 21 flat Alta CB Reg
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5 hours ago, hammergolf said:

There is a GREAT deal here at Costa Ballena. It's just outside Cadiz, Spain. Amazing practice facility, 27 holes and 9 hole lighted Par 3 course. Right next to the ocean. Last time I checked there it was around $650 a week for unlimited golf, unlimited practice facilites, Hotel, and breakfast each day. Of course its Southern Spain so the weather will be pretty good.

 

https://www.ballenagolf.com/en/home/  

Interesting and you are right on the pricing. Hell of a deal for golf and hotel for the week around $650. It looks like Spain still has covid restrictions on US travelers though.

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On 12/1/2020 at 10:46 AM, hammergolf said:

There is a GREAT deal here at Costa Ballena. It's just outside Cadiz, Spain. Amazing practice facility, 27 holes and 9 hole lighted Par 3 course. Right next to the ocean. Last time I checked there it was around $650 a week for unlimited golf, unlimited practice facilites, Hotel, and breakfast each day. Of course its Southern Spain so the weather will be pretty good.

 

https://www.ballenagolf.com/en/home/  

Oh wow, that looks absolutely beautiful, and is an incredible price. It's definitely going on my list. Great tip.

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