Golf–it’s been called the ultimate travelers’ sport. More than 17 million people hit the links while they are away on vacation or a business trip. While Arizona, Hawaii and California are typically known for their expansive, breathtaking greens, there are many top-rated courses that can be found in the most unexpected of places.
According to travel expert and Travel Channel host Tracy Gallagher, “It’s all in the research. Before taking a trip-whether traveling on a family vacation, for a weekend getaway or on business–a great nearby golf course can easily be found with a little advance planning.”
So why not hit the links the next time you hit the road? Some of Gallagher’s favorite U.S. golfing destinations may surprise you.
– Albuquerque, N.M.-With spectacular scenery and desert climate, Albuquerque is a superb place to golf. In fact, over the past few years, developers have capitalized on the area’s beauty and, as a result, many new courses have opened throughout the city.
– Washington, D.C.-For a stroke of something different, try golfing in our nation’s capital. One wouldn’t think there would be room for a golf course in the immediate 68-square-mile area of Washington, D.C.; however, the proximity of some of the courses to the downtown area makes golfing an easy addition to a sightseeing trip. In fact, you can even see many of the historic monuments from several of the nearby fairways.
– Portland, Ore.-The Pacific Northwest certainly doesn’t have typical golfing weather, but the frequent showers give the golf greens a shade of emerald you won’t find anywhere else. If Oregon is on your travel itinerary, be sure to check out the courses in the Portland area.
Whether heading to the West Coast, Midwest, Deep South or the Eastern Seaboard, keep the following in mind as you plan your next trip:
– Check with local courses–many offer a special family package rate.
– For a more affordable golfing experience, check prices for playing at “twilight.”
– If you can’t get a tee time at one of the courses near your destination, many of the locations have driving ranges so you can at least practice your swing.
– Look for hotels, such as the Hilton Garden Inn, that offer a golf package. “Golf Amenity #18” is the largest golf promotion available at Hilton Garden Inn hotels throughout North America, which offers guests whose stay includes a Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday night, from June 1-Oct. 22, 2006, a complimentary green fees voucher (good for two people) that’s valid at more than 330 golf courses in the U.S. and Canada. Guests also receive a complimentary golf tips booklet, written by Golf Digest instructors, filled with pointers to improve your game. It’s a one-of-a-kind deal that travelers-both business and leisure-can take advantage of this summer.