Yes, the PGA Tour is on a rare off-week. But there is no such thing as an "off-season" in the TPC Network, a brand that operates or licenses 34 golf courses worldwide.
That includes a brand new golf course that is ready to go -- but the doors are still closed.
Here are a few notable news items and specials from across the network this fall for golf travelers and fans of the PGA Tour:
PGA Tour host TPC River Highlands gets a makeover
In Connecticut, private TPC River Highlands, home to the Travelers Championship for the past 24 years on the PGA Tour, has begun a major multi-million dollar enhancement project.
TPC is calling upon original architect Bobby Weed for the work, as well as golf construction company McDonald and Sons, Inc., who have done similar work at Bethpage Black and Merion.
Among project highlights: tees are being leveled, bank edges and bunkers are being rebuilt or stabilized and some re-grading of greens to provide more pin locations. For fans, spectator improvements to viewing areas are also being planned.
"It will be particularly exciting to see a new tee box in place on the drivable 15th hole," said 2014 Travelers winner Kevin Streelman. "As that serves to 'kick-start' the exciting finish that 15, 16, 17, and 18 bring to TPC River Highlands - I can't wait to see it."
TPC Baha Mar in Bahamas update
The opening of TPC Baha Mar, a long-awaited Jack Nicklaus signature course in Nassau, Bahamas, is caught in the middle of a bankruptcy proceeding.
The $3.5 billion Baha Mar development in Nassau was set to bring some competition to the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, which is home to the Ocean Club course and, at the time of opening, was the Caribbean region's largest development. Baha Mar has planned four hotels with over 2,000 rooms plus real estate and a casino. But in June, the developers filed for bankruptcy, which was denied and liquidation is ongoing, while construction to the hotels has stalled.
Recent articles from local publications in the Bahamas covering Baha Mar paint a cloudy picture. Several articles from Caribbean press however point to a "breakthrough" concerning hotel construction contractor that has returned to the unfinished site to determine how much work is needed.
The golf course, however, was fully constructed and grassed and ready to go this spring. TPC representatives say their golf staff has remained on the site and are prepared to open, but there is still no definitive date on when that might be, if at all.
So sit tight, Jack. Your design may see a peg in the ground yet.
There is still TPC golf in the Caribbean, however. TPC Cartagena at Karibana has stay-and-play packages for as low as $187/night thanks in part to a strong U.S. dollar. I haven't been to the course, but the nearby Old Town of Cartagena made for a warm and very hospitable honeymoon destination for my wife and I.
TPC golf trips and football season this fall
The FedEx Cup has ended and the calendar has turned to October, which means football season has our full attention. Our own Mike Bailey went thru each NFL division and found the top-rated courses in each NFL city. Five of TPC's properties located in NFL or college towns are offering football-themed packages. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a particularly value-laden times to take golf trips as most families are visiting each other and not taking buddies trips.
Near Jacksonville, golfers can play stay-and-play at TPC Sawgrass and Sawgrass Marriott for as low as $350/night between Dec. 1-31st. That includes a round on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course, which can at many times of year warrant upwards of $400 for the round alone. Other perks in the package include breakfast at the TPC clubhouse and an engraved bag tag.
There is still a little bit of time left in the Midwest golf season, and TPC Deere Run, one of TPC's best bargains even when they're charging full boat, is offering 15% off green fees and free rental clubs.
TPC Scottsdale, TPC Harding Park (San Francisco) and TPC Louisiana (New Orleans) are all offering similar discounts on green fees, between 15-30%. Harding Park and Louisiana are offering free rental clubs, while Scottsdale is offering $25 off rentals.