Beers, bets and bros. Here are three great golf getaways for your next guys-only adventure.
PLAY: A 2014 makeover by original co-designer Tom Weiskopf has enhanced the raucously fun TPC Scottsdale's Stadium course. tpc.com/scottsdale
STAY: Talking Stick Resort has two Coore/Crenshaw designs and a heckuva nice spa. (Try the Pro-Sport massage.) December rates from $169; talkingstickresort.com
EAT: Clubby Mastro's Steakhouse has a sizzling 22 oz. bone-in rib eye, with lobster mashed potatoes. It's the perfect boys' night out. mastrosrestaurants.com
DO: Blackjack, poker and 800-plus slot machines await at the onsite casino at Talking Stick. Batter up in March -- Cactus League spring training is minutes away.
STAY: Far from the Disney clamor, The Villas at Grand Cypress offers top-notch golf and practice facilities. December rates from $150 per night; grandcypress.com
EAT: Toast to your low numbers at Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse. The new, two-story building boasts two bars and a patio. delfriscos.com/steakhouse/Orlando
DO: Smoke pre-embargo Cubans at Corona Cigar Company. The three locations offer Central American décor, Latin music and premium booze. coronacigar.com
PLAY: Casa de Campo's Teeth of the Dog is 39th on our World list, and unlike many tough Pete Dye tracks, this playable puppy won't bite…hard. casadecampo.com.do
STAY: Carts at Casa de Campo Resort aren't limited to its 81 holes of golf. You get your own wheels for motoring around the vast property. December rates from $187.
EAT: The resort's Beach Club by Le Cirque offers fresh seafood and live music. (One artist recently reimagined Hall & Oates' "Maneater" as an acoustic ditty.)
DO: You can enroll in a top sailing school at Casa de Campo's Marina, while a half-day deep-sea fishing excursion lets you try to reel in marlin, barracuda and wahoo.
BANDON: FIT TO BE TRIED?
When it comes to golf with the boys (right), I've been on more buddy trips than Hope and Crosby. My personal favorite: Oregon's Bandon Dunes, which has only gotten better with the new par-3 course, Bandon Preserve, and the putting course, The Punchbowl. Just a word to the wise: Go only if your body and swing are fairly fit. The travel time, terrain, often-wild weather and fun-but-challenging golf take a toll at this walking-only facility. This is no easy test to ace, as my cranky knees remind me every time I visit.
MORE FROM COORE
Reporting on Sand Valley in central Wisconsin, his latest design with partner Ben Crenshaw, Bill Coore tells me, "It's incredible working on a site that's pure sand. You get things done so fast. We were hoping to get nine holes planted this last summer, but we might actually finish 13." How does the course compare to their previous works at Sand Hills or Streamsong? "Sand Valley is completely different from anything we've ever done." The public, no-carts-allowed course is expected to open in June 2017.
Now's the time to plan your cold-weather escape. I highly recommend Puerto Rico's Royal Isabela, with its thrill-packed back nine on cliffs above the Atlantic and its top-notch lodging and hospitality. royalisabela.com