It’s been a long and stressful year for everyone around the world. And while 2020 is now in the history books, shaking off the tension of months spent in isolation isn’t as simple as turning a calendar page. Seaside getaways have become a popular method of luxury travel in a socially distanced world. And there’s nothing that clears the head better than the open air of the golf course and the serenity of a true destination.
(Ed Note: Everyone knows about and understands the travel restrictions in place as a result of the worldwide pandemic. Rules are varied, around the world. One day we will all be travelling again, with no restrictions, however. And that will be a truly glorious time. The purpose of these series of articles is to look forward to that inevitable day.)
Even with social distancing measures and post-COVID restrictions in place, golf resorts across the world are still open for business. And they are looking to welcome you for a round you won’t soon forget.
From California to the Caribbean, we’ve compiled five different resorts in five unforgettable locations. All have specials to help you book the trip of a lifetime. These will feel even more impactful in a time where living life to its fullest feels nearly impossible.
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, Arizona
The Four Seasons Resort itself needs little in the way of introduction. And golfers will be delighted to meet the two 18-hole courses at Troon North in Scottsdale. The Monument and the Pinnacle are two stunning courses with character and stunning beauty. These elevate the Arizona resort into a premiere golfing destination.
Bathed in golden sun and temperate Midwestern air, Troon North’s courses stretch through the natural ravines and desert hills of the Arizona landscape. They provide a uniquely flavoured, setting-influenced game of golf. Both ranges were designed by former British Open champion Tom Weiskopf. And both of them offer a fair share of challenges for even the most experienced golfers. That those looking for an adventure in 18 holes will certainly get their fill.
Currently open for business, Troon North is also providing some of the best deals for those looking to put together a winter golf getaway. These deals include successive discounts for successive play, with your second round coming at 25% and your third offered at half-price.
Hodelpa Garden Suites, Juan Dolio, Dominican Republic
In the beautiful Dominican province of Juan Dolio rests the Hodelpa Garden Suites. This is a destination suited for avid golfers as well as those looking for a warm post-winter retreat.
Located in the upscale Metro Golf and Country Club gated community, the Hodelpa Garden Suites sit next to two of the most majestic courses in the Caribbean.
Los Marlins Golf Course, right beside the Suites, was masterminded by award-winning golf architect Charles Akrom. He most notably designed courses such as The Club at Emerald Hills in Hollywood, FL, and The Habitat Golf Course in Malabar. Sitting just 10 minutes away is the Guavaberry Golf and Country Club. The course there was designed by perennial golf champ Gary Player.
Open but with Covid restrictions
The courses rank as numbers three and four on TripAdvisor’s list of destinations in the Dominican Republic. They display majesty not just through the context of the sport, but the beauty of the Dominican landscape as well.
Both courses are currently open to play. And intelligent COVID restrictions provided by both the hotel and courses ensure the safety of all visitors and their families. Rooms at the Hodelpa Garden Suites are currently on sale. Prices are as low as $44/night, almost begging you to take the trip you’ve earned this year. See the beautiful Dominican seaside, and tee off on courses so wonderful you’ll forget what you were trying to leave behind in the first place.
Melia Caribe Tropical Beach & Golf Resort, Punta Cana
The scenic beauty of a tropical vacation and the uplifting sportsmanship of luxury golf combine in Punta Cana to form the perfect getaway at Meliá Caribe Tropical Beach & Golf Resort.
Offering breathtaking oceanside views, a lush sun-bathed landscape, and all-inclusive accommodations, the Meliá Caribe Tropical is stunning like few places are. Even its ranges are stunning, capturing the beauty of Punta Cana within the Cocotal Golf & Country Club. What lies within can only be described as a 27-hole fantasy. It’s designed by six-time Spanish champion and renowned course architect Jose Gancedo.
Three nine-hole courses are built into the natural contours of the beautiful Dominican hills, offering stunning atmospheres and unforgettable rounds. The club opened for play in 2000. Itt caters mostly to helping beginners and intermediates improve their level of play. Even the most skillful veterans of the range would be hard-pressed to find a better place to take their game or a better deal to play, with the price of tee times being slashed in half.
Currently, the Cocotal Golf & Country Club is booking times at a rate of $50 for 9 holes (down from $120) and $75 for 18 (down from $150).
Casa de Campo
The beautiful Dominican Republic has no shortage of resort options for avid golfers. But those looking for a challenge would be right to set their eyes on Casa de Campo in La Romana. Featuring three courses and year-round availability, golfing at Casa de Campo is a delight for those trying to find scenic beauty, or just a satisfying round.
Headlining these courses is the Teeth of the Dog, named after the harsh shoreline rocks seen throughout the course’s geography. The fifth through seventh holes have been noted to be particularly gruelling for even the most accomplished players. And the 18 holes do their best to live up to the ferocity of the course’s name.
Ranked #1 in the Caribbean and #27 in the world, Teeth of the Dog is certainly the highlight of the venerable Casa de Campo.
Behind it, however, lies the 27-hole Dye Fore course featuring breathtaking scenic landscapes of the Dominican mountains and rivers below. Finally, “The Links” is advertised as the Domincan Republic’s best-kept secret. It features 18 holes designed to pay tribute to the classic courses of the British Isles. Play in the day, or use special LED lights to play at light, and tour the range like never before.
Casa de Campo is currently offering special deals for the holidays, including 60% off, up to $1,000 in resort credit when booking direct. If you’re looking for unmatchable beauty and the peak of competition, why look any further than this slice of Caribbean perfection?
Pebble Beach, California
Despite a stay-at-home order that will extend into January, California’s legendary Pebble Beach will remain open with social distancing measures in place. That will ensure safety for those who choose to visit if a west-coast excursion is what calls to you the loudest.
Featuring three top-50 ranked public courses, Pebble Beach offers an experience few others can, in a location few can compete with.
Image source: Shutterstock
The headlining Pebble Beach range has been host to the US Open six times, most recently in 2019. It will host the US Women’s Open in 2023 as well. Pebble Beach was ranked the greatest public course in America by Golf Digest. Those playing can expect to be overwhelmed by wonder and a top-class game good enough to bring the pros back time and time again.
The greatest public course in America
Other courses include Spyglass Hill, which has been described by Sports Illustrated as “Pine Valley-by-the-Sea meets Augusta National.” The Links at Spanish Bay was inspired by Scottish greens, designed by the team of Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Tom Watson and Sandy Tatum. Finally, 2021 will see the opening of a short course designed by Tiger Woods. It’s only the second Woods-designed course open to the public, following Payne’s Valley at Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri.
Pebble Beach is currently offering vacation specials for those looking to book a trip to California. That includes two rounds of golf and a two-night stay at The Inn at Spanish Bay or The Lodge at Pebble Beach.
TOP IMAGE: PEBBLE BEACH, SHUTTERSTOCK; DOMINICAN REPUBLIC IMAGES: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC TOURISM BOARD