This recent tweet got me thinking about where I'd love to travel with my son ... if he were a golfer.
I've tried for years, but he's just not interested. Maybe someday. For those lucky dads like Blair who do play golf with their sons, just about anywhere will do as long as there's sun and a handful of affordable courses to play. Some destinations are better than others. Here are a few suggestions:
Alabama's Robert Trent Jones Trail
The weather along the trail is best in the shoulder seasons - November-December and March-April. If you're thinking about the dead of winter, it's best to go furthest south. Mobile, the gateway to Gulf Shores (another possible destination), actually offers two of the better stops on the trail, Magnolia Grove in Mobile and the Lakewood Club at the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Point Clear. Magnolia Grove's Crossings course has hosted the LPGA Tour, and there's even a great 18-hole Short course for a second afternoon round.
California's Monterey Peninsula
Monterey isn't only Pebble Beach, you know. You can price shop flights between San Jose (the closest major airport), Oakland and San Francisco. The best golf hotels outside of Pebble Beach aren't that pricey, and the golf doesn't have to be. You can play the quirky but fun Pacific Grove right on the ocean, along with a 36-hole day at Bayonet/Blackhorse. Del Monte, possibly the oldest course west of the Mississippi, is another option. If you're driving in on Highway 101 from San Jose, you'll drive right past the 36-hole Coyote Creek and the 27-hole Cinnabar Hills in south San Jose.
The Grand Strand
Myrtle Beach can be chilly this time of year. Beware of frost delays. Mid-morning tee times should get you in the clear. The southern end of the Strand is terrific with the Mike Strantz duo of True Blue and Caledonia. A two-night, three-round package is available for $289 per person.
The North Carolina Sandhills
Again, Pinehurst isn't just about the famed 10-course resort. Weather can be an issue, just like Myrtle Beach, but winter rates are much more affordable. I've played a few bargain courses in the region and loved them. If you and your son are skilled golfers, or with good imaginations, play Tobacco Road by Strantz on the drive in or out.
What affordable winter father-son getaway would you recommend? Let Gavin and your fellow golfers know in the comments below.