Ask Travelin' Joe

Monday February 25th, 2008
The Golf Club at Estrella in Phoenix beats a day meeting with colleagues.
Lonna Tucker

Hi Joe,
My company is having its annual meeting in Phoenix at the Wigwam Resort. We have a scramble planned, but I have an extra day to play. Do you have a suggestion for a must-play course nearby? —John Weber, Bloomongton, Ill.

January 2008 Golf Magazine Cover
January 2008

No matter which Wigwam course you play, there are two other quality layouts on property, though both are traditional parkland-style courses. For a taste of the desert, check out Palm Valley ($42-$90; 623-935-2500, palmvalleygolf.com), an Arthur Hills creation down the street. For more drama, there's the renamed Golf Club at Estrella ($60-$139; 623-386-2600, estrellagolf.com), a Jack Nicklaus II design.

Hey Joe,
I'm thinking about visiting Puerto Rico in the coming year. Can you recommend some decent courses there for under$100? — Mike Wojton, Yardley, PA.

You definitely have options on the island in that price range, Mike. Here are my top three choices, in order of value. First, there's the wonderfully rustic Coamo Springs Golf & Tennis Club ($25-$60; 787-825-1370, coamosprings.com), designed by Ferdinand Garbin and located in the southern part of Puerto Rico. Also look at the Flamboyan course, a spirited Rees Jones design, at Palmas del Mar Country Club ($53-$125; 787-285-2255, palmascountryclub.com), as well as the Embassy Suites Dorado Del Mar ($87-$120; 787-796-3070, embassysuitesdorado.com), designed by Chi Chi Rodriguez.

Dear Joe,
Where in Florida would you recommend a 60-year-old couple go for a golf vacation? We prefer mid-level accommodations and courses—not top of the line, but not bargain-basement, either. — Dan Kincaid, Denver, Colo.

Florida is one place where you usually don't have to sacrifice quality for value. You can start with Mission Inn Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills (missioninnresort.com). Both courses here—the older El Campeon and the Gary Koch-designed Las Colinas—are fun without being overly penal. The charming resort is close enough to Orlando's attractions but rural enough to still feel like a getaway. PGA Village Resort, in Port St. Lucie, has accommodations to fit any budget, plus three wonderful, affordable courses (prices are $29-$99), two by Tom Fazio and one by Pete Dye.

If you want to ask Travelin' Joe a question, e-mail him at askjoe@golf.com.

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