It doesn't really matter where you are in the world, the fall golf season can be a very special time of year.
For golfers living in warm climates, autumn is a chance to play golf more comfortably, without sweating through your shorts after the first three holes. For those up north, a fall golf trip to the South can help extend a golf season that always seems to come to an end right when you've gotten your swing into a groove.
Or maybe the simple fact the kids are back in school gives you a little more spare time.
Here are a few of my favorite fall golf spots. What are yours?
Fall golf in northern Michigan
You may lose a ball or two to fallen leaves in the rough, but it's a worthy trade-off to see the autumn colors and walk in the crisp air of northern Michigan. Stick to hilly, heavily wooded areas such as meccas Bellaire (Shanty Creek Resorts) and Gaylord (Treetops Sylvan Resort) for the greatest sensory effect.
Fall golf in Myrtle Beach
It's true that Myrtle Beach is always great value destination, but fall tee times compared to the peak spring months of late March and April come at a considerable discount, especially if you wait until around Thankgsiving. Unlike much of the spring, the rough won't be dormant, either.
Texas Hill Country
There's great energy in the Texas Hill Country, partially due to the fact sweltering summer temps have faded and everyone's favorite football team is back in action. The courses are in great shape during the fall, as most don't put nearly the kind of production into over-seeding as in Arizona. Between San Antonio and Austin are most of the state's best golf resorts, such as Barton Creek Resort and Westin La Cantera Resort.
Tucson and Scottsdale
Much like Myrtle Beach, rates are much lower in the fall compared to Arizona's peak January-April season, so you can play $200-$300 courses for 25-50 percent less. But you do have to pay attention to over-seeding schedules. In fact, find out which courses aren't planning to overseed their fairways, and chances are they'll be in better shape during your October-November visit than those who need to heavily water the new rye grass -- or dry out Bermuda grass beforehand.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, it can be warmer in some spots in September and October than in June and July. Meanwhile, Napa, Sonoma and other spots are temperate enough to warrant a very pleasant golf season well into the fall, with daytime highs in the 60s-70s. The courses on the Monterey Peninsula are always open for business, and fall is a fine time to go. Take note, it's usually a little warmer closer to Santa Cruz compared to Pebble Beach, if you need a few more degrees.
A little further up the coast, Matt Ginella said Bandon locals proclaim September as the coast's best month for golf ("10 things you must know about golf at Bandon Dunes in Oregon").
I've been to Scotland twice during the October "shoulder season." Rates are lower, it's easier to get hotel rooms and rounds (even tee times on the Old Course in St. Andrews) and the weather has never really been any worse than other times of year I've been in Great Britain and Ireland. There's even enough daylight to squeeze in 36 if you plan accordingly.