The other day, I came across a forecast for temperatures this summer across the U.S.
The bottom line: it's going to be hot - even hotter than average across much of the country. That means once the dog days come around, chances are you'll be eager to escape the heat and head somewhere a little cooler to play some golf.
As always, we're here to help. And the way we see it, no matter where you live, if you're looking to escape the heat and play some golf in milder weather, you've got three options: (1) go uphill, (2) go north, or (3) go south...way south. We'll save number 3 for next week, when we'll go outside the U.S. in search of summer-relief golf.
Here are some of our American summer golf destination nominations for those going uphill and going north, respectively:
Mountain regions have long been summer refuges for golfers. Whereas winter sportspeople love them for their ski slopes, the snow-averse among us prefer to climb a few hundred - or a few thousand - feet in order to bid farewell to summer heat and, in certain areas, summer humidity. And if temperatures will be a few degrees above normal this summer, it will make those cool summer mountain nights all the more refreshing.
The North Carolina/South Carolina/Georgia Mountains - A very popular vacation and second-home area for folks from the Carolinas, Georgia and points all the way up to Washington, D.C., communities like Asheville, Cashiers and Hendersonville all the way down to Greenville, South Carolina and Blue Ridge, Georgia, bustle with visitors from Memorial Day through Labor Day. A number of lakes provide aquatic scenes and recreation as well, especially at the chain of Lakes Jocassee, Keowee and Toxaway.
While flatlanders sweat the summer away through days of 90-degrees or higher, Asheville's average peak daily high temperature in July is a comfortable 83 degrees, with evening lows in the low 60s and high 50s. Here are some of our favorite golf courses and resorts in the area...
- Omni Grove Park Inn - Asheville, N.C.
- Eseeola Lodge/Linville Golf Club - Linville, N.C.
- Hound Ears Club/The Clubhouse Inn at Hound Ears - Boone, N.C.
- The Walker Course at Clemson University - Clemson, S.C.
- Sky Valley Country Club - Dillard, Ga.
- The Lodge Resort at Waterfall Club - Clayton, Ga.
- Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa - Young Harris, Ga.
...and if you've got private club connections, you may try inquiring here (especially if you're in the market for real estate):
- Bright's Creek Club - Mill Spring, N.C.
- Grandfather Golf & Country Club - Linville, N.C.
- Lake Toxaway Country Club - Lake Toxaway, N.C.
- Cullasaja Club - Highlands, N.C.
- The Cliffs Communities - seven sites in North and South Carolina
- Champion Hills - Hendersonville, S.C.
- Currahee Club - Toccoa, Ga.
Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia Mountains - We could theoretically have lumped the Virginias in with the Carolinas, but there are two absolute standouts in this region that deserve their own recognition: The Greenbrier and the Omni Homestead Resort.
The Greenbrier is getting back on its feet after last year's flooding, and its flagship Old White TPC course will be open on July 10, by which the Meadows Course will be back up and running for more than a month. The Greenbrier Course, due to be revamped in the wake of the floods, will be going under the knife for the better part of a years starting in July.
The Homestead, which dates back as far as 1766, has had its golf complement reduced from three courses to two in recent years, but it still ranks as a special place to stay and play on the strength of the grande dame hotel and the phenomenal Cascades Course, a William Flynn-designed (and Tom Doak-restored) gem which Golfweek just ranked #76 among "America's top 100 Classic Courses."
Don't forget about Maryland's western reaches or Pennsylvania's mountains, either. Here are some other notable places for golf in this region:
- Snowshoe Resort/The Raven Golf Club - Snowshoe, W.Va.
- Oglebay Resort - Wheeling, W. Va.
- Glade Springs Resort - Daniels, W.Va
- Twisted Gun Golf Club - Wharncliffe, W.Va.
- Primland - Meadows of Dan, Va.
- Wintergreen Resort - Nellysford, Va.
- The River Course at Virginia Tech University - Blacksburg, Va.
- Rocky Gap Resort - Flintstone, Md.
- Wisp Resort/Lodestone Golf Club - McHenry, Md.
- Nemacolin Woodlands Resort - Farmington, Pa.
- Jack Frost National Golf Club - Blakeslee, Pa.
Rocky Mountains - If you're out west, the easiest up-mountain excursions for cool-weather golf take you into the Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and southern Idaho Rockies. One of our favorite places in that region is The Broadmoor, which, like The Greenbrier, is a venerable and splendid all-encompassing resort with multiple golf courses and plenty else to do. And at more than 5,000 feet above sea level in Colorado Springs, it's a breath of fresh, cooler summer air. Here are some other Rocky Mountain golf suggestions:
- Vail Golf Club - Vail, Colo.
- Beaver Creek Golf Club - Beaver Creek, Colo.
- The Club at Crested Butte - Crested Butte, Colo.
- Red Sky Ranch and Golf Club - Edwards, Colo.
- The Ridge at Castle Pines North - Castle Pines, Colo.
- Teton Pines Country Club & Resort - Jackson Hole, Wyo.
- Teton Reserve Golf Club - Victor, Id.
- Soldier Hollow Golf Course - Midway, Utah
And some private suggestions (again, it helps if you're genuinely in the market for real estate):
- Sonnenalp Club - Edwards, Colo.
- Shooting Star - Jackson Hole, Wyo.
- Huntsman Springs - Driggs, Id.
- Glenwild Golf Club - Park City, Utah
California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico - Either of these states and "summer" conjures notions of sweltering heat, which is fair enough if you're thinking about their lower-elevation desert communities. But even Arizona and New Mexico have their alpine regions as well, where summer temperatures rarely venture above the low 80s. And on the Cali/Nevada side, the Lake Tahoe region is sought out in the summer for its moderate temperatures. Here are some places to consider in this region:
- Wyndham Flagstaff Resort/Continental Country Club - Flagstaff, Ariz.
- Inn of the Mountain Gods - Mescalero, N.M.
- Taos Country Club - Rancho De Taos, N.M.
- Incline Village Golf Courses - Incline Village, Nev.
- Edgewood Tahoe - Lake Tahoe, Nev.
- Old Greenwood Golf Club & Gray's Crossing - Truckee, Calif.
- The Dragon at Nakoma Resort - Clio, Calif.
- Whitehawk Ranch Golf Club - Clio, Calif.
A few private suggestions:
- Martis Camp Club - Truckee, Calif.
- Clear Creek Tahoe - Clear Creek, Nev.
- Montreux Golf & Country Club - Reno, Nev.
- Pine Canyon Club - Flagstaff, Ariz.
- Forest Highlands Golf Club - Flagstaff, Ariz.
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, chances are that wherever you live, it's a little cooler north of you. Yes, some of these areas are both north and uphill from the homes of the majority of their visitors, but the summer heat relief you'll feel in regions is more about latitude than altitude:
Upstate New York and (Northern) New England - Closeness to huge cities like Boston and New York has turned this region into a summer getaway hotbed, whether it's the Catskills and Adirondacks of New York, the Berkshires of Massachusetts or the Green and White Mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire, or practically the entire state of Maine. Here are just a few of our favorite cooler-summer spots in this region (feel free to shout out your favorites in the comments):
- Whiteface Club & Resort - Lake Placid, N.Y.
- The Sagamore - Bolton Landing, N.Y.
- Turning Stone Resort Casino - Verona, N.Y.
- Thousand Islands Country Club - Wellesley Island, N.Y.
- Cranwell Resort - Lenox, Mass.
- Taconic Golf Club - Williamstown, Mass.
- Stowe Mountain Club - Stowe, Vt.
- Jay Peak Resort - Jay, Vt.
- Omni Mount Washington Resort - Carroll, N.H.
- Owl's Nest Resort & Golf Club - Thornton, N.H.
- Sugarloaf Resort - Carrabassett Valley, Maine
- Sunday River Resort - Newry, Maine
- Samoset Resort - Rockport, Maine
And some courses your private club connections can open up:
- Glens Falls Country Club - Glens Falls, N.Y.
- Wyantenuck Country Club - Great Barrington, Mass.
- Quechee Club - Quechee, Vt.
- Lake Winnipesaukee Golf Club - Wolfeboro, N.H.
- Prouts Neck Country Club - Scarborough, Maine
The Upper Midwest - There's a reason why the populations of Minnesota and Michigan boast more golfers per capita than any other states. Those frigid, snowy winters give way to summers whose temperatures rarely feel oppressive, and long daylight hours provide plenty of time for outdoor recreation, especially golf. For that reason, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin are particularly beloved of traveling golfers from points south.
Late last summer, we got a healthy dose of this exact region when we spent a few days in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, playing Greywalls at Marquette Golf Club, TimberStone Golf Course and Sweetgrass Golf Club at Island Resort & Casino.
We then dipped down into central Wisconsin for a sneak-peek at Sand Valley Golf Resort, the newest property from developer Mike Keiser (and we'll be hosting an event there this summer), as well as SentryWorld Golf Course and the Links Course at Lawsonia, two nearby must-plays (read more about them here).
Here are some of the other places in this region that should be on your summer golf travel radar:
- Arcadia Bluffs - Arcadia, Mich.
- Forest Dunes Resort - Grayling, Mich.
- Belvedere Golf Club - Charlevoix, Mich.
- Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain - Boyne, Mich.
- Destination Kohler - Kohler and Haven, Wisc.
- Wild Rock Golf Club and Trapper's Turn - Wisconsin Dells, Wisc.
- Grand Geneva Resort - Lake Geneva, Wisc.
- Giants Ridge Resort - Biwabik, Minn.
- Fortune Bay Resort Casino/The Wilderness Golf Course - Tower, Minn.
- Madden's on Gull Lake and Deacon's Lodge - Brainerd, Minn.
The Northwest - From Idaho and Montana all the way over to Washington and Oregon, summer getaway golf options abound. Big names like Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Chambers Bay Golf Course and Coeur d'Alene need little introduction to most golfers, but there are many other worthwhile spots in this region with which you may be less familiar:
- The Wilderness Club - Eureka, Mont.
- The Ranch Club - Missoula, Mont.
- Old Works Golf Course - Anaconda, Mont.
- Circling Raven Golf Course/Coeur d'Alene Casino Resort - Worley, Id.
- Sun Valley Resort - Sun Valley, Id.
- Jug Mountain Ranch and Whitetail Club - McCall, Id.
- Little Creek Casino Resort/Salish Cliffs Golf Club - Shelton, Wash.
- Gamble Sands - Brewster, Wash.
- Suncadia Resort (Prospector and Rope Rider) - Cle Elum, Wash.
- Tetherow, Pronghorn (Nicklaus), Sunriver - Bend area, Ore.
- Silvies Valley Ranch (opens summer 2017) - Seneca, Ore.
This region is home to some particularly choice private clubs, too, if you can swing access:
- Rock Creek Cattle Company - Deer Lodge, Mont.
- The Club at Black Rock - Coeur d'Alene, Id.
- Tumble Creek at Suncadia - Cle Elum, Wash.
- TPC Snoqualmie Ridge - Snoqualmie, Wash.
We certainly haven't covered every cooler-weather summer golf getaway destination, so we'd love to get your own favorite places to escape to when the weather heats up near you.
And stay tuned for our international cooler-weather favorites next week!