Bowl games are synonymous with warm getaways. At least, if your football team is any good. Otherwise, you may be stuck in Detroit or Boise, Idaho, or New York.
But for a good many schools, the holidays present a great chance to get away to such sunny meccas as Florida, Arizona, California and other sunny spots where big football match-ups and great golf awaits.
Here are Golf Advisor's top 10 bowl game and golf course combinations this holiday season. You can view a full list of golf courses and their ratings near each respective bowl location below.
10. Outback Bowl
Northwestern vs. Tennessee
Jan. 1, Tampa, Fla.
Two programs on the rise square off in Tampa, and with sun-starved Midwesterners coming to town, you know golf courses will reap the benefit. The
Copperhead Course at Innisbrook
, one of the darlings of the PGA Tour schedule, just reopened after renovation, and it's the best game in town. So stay and play at this four-course facility. Or, for the top daily fee course,
TPC Tampa Bay
is the top-rated course in the destination on Golf Advisor.
View courses near Raymond James Stadium .
9. Allstate Sugar Bowl
Oklahoma State University vs. Ole Miss
Jan. 1, New Orleans
If you can have a little restraint in the French Quarter and happen to wake up early enough for a tee time, there are a few nice picks here. Former PGA Tour host
for bragging rights, according to Golf Advisor raters. The prestigious, semi-private
Jack Nicklaus design
offers member-for-a-day tee times.
View golf courses near the Mercedes-Benz Superdome .
8. Valero Alamo Bowl
Oregon vs. Texas Christian University
Jan. 2, San Antonio
Offense rules with these two programs, so be aggressive during your round on an Alamo City golf course. Unlike TPC San Antonio, you don't need a room in order for access to La Cantera Resort to play either of the two top-rated, Troon Golf-managed resort courses. I prefer
La Cantera's Resort Course
Tom Weiskopf design
, though the
, a very scenic and dramatic layout in the Hill Country, gets slightly better ratings on Golf Advisor.
View golf courses near the Alamodome .
7. Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual
Stanford University vs. University of Iowa
Jan. 1, Pasadena, Calif.
It's Iowa's first trip to the Rose Bowl since 1991, and they'll face a tough Stanford bunch in this traditional Pac 10/Big 10 showdown. Pasadena doesn't have the resort courses you might find closer to Orange County and San Diego, but nearby
is a stellar pick with more than 7,200 yards of championship golf from the tips.
View golf courses near the Rose Bowl .
6. College Football Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl
Michigan State University vs. Alabama
Dec. 31, Arlington, Texas
Weather is always a little questionable this time of year in north Texas, but El Nino thus far has brought some pretty warm temperatures to Texas through mid-December. If the sun is shining near Jerry World, head to Arlington's own
Tierra Verde Golf Club
, the no. 1-ranked course on Golf Advisor in DFW. A
Gary Panks design
from 1998, it's a municipal course that is well known for great conditions and value. (Want more options? Mike Bailey wrote
on all the golf options near Jerry World.)
View golf courses near AT&T Stadium in Arlington .
5. National Funding Holiday Bowl
University of Wisconsin vs. University of Southern California
Dec. 30, San Diego
Two top programs clash in sunny San Diego, and it's a safe bet the Wisconsin faithful will be soaking up the sunshine in big numbers.
Torrey Pines South
is the obvious pick for a bucket-list golf near the stadium. If you can't get a tee time, a worthy consolation (if you could even call it that) is fellow top 100-facility
Maderas Golf Club
, which unlike Torrey Pines, doesn't stack up the tee sheet.
View golf courses near Qualcomm Stadium .
4. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Notre Dame vs. Ohio State University
There are two Glendale bowl games in the top 10 for golf, so we'll give you two options in the West Valley. For the Fiesta Bowl, head to The Wigwam resort, home to 54 holes and one of the West Valley's better bargains.
Wigwam's Gold Course
Robert Trent Jones Sr. design
, just reopened after a renovation by Tom Lehman. No desert target golf here; fairways are wide on this classic routing.
View golf courses near University of Phoenix Stadium .
3. College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl
Dec. 31, Miami
University of Oklahoma vs. Clemson University
Miami boasts some of winter's most bankable golf weather to go with this playoff showdown. Couple the game with a stay-and-play at Turnberry Isle, a luxury resort that's home to the Soffer Course and Miller Course . Or, if you're staying closer to the game and South Beach, golf with the locals at Crandon Golf Key Biscayne , one of the Atlantic's best saltwater layouts.
View all golf courses near Sun Life Stadium .
2. Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
University of Michigan vs. University of Florida
Jan. 1, Orlando, Fla.
You know the fans will be in full force when these two bluebloods on the rise square off. You've got plenty of choices for golf nearby. Orange County National in Winter Garden is the most all-encompassing golf facility in the area, and
OCN's Panther Lake Course
has received particularly strong reviews this fall. Got a few more swings in you after 18? Bet a few bucks with buddies on the
nine-hole Tooth short course
View golf courses near the Citrus Bowl .
1. College Football National Championship Game presented by AT&T
Jan. 11, Glendale Ariz.
Glendale is in the West Valley, which puts you in easy drive of some great value compared to the ritzier Scottsdale-Paradise/Valley-Cave Creek area. Head to one of the Valley's most spectacular and unique courses,
Quintero Golf Club
, for a crack at this remote and hilly Rees Jones layout.
View golf courses near University of Phoenix Stadium .