Most golf trips have a familiar format: a hurried breakfast, 36 holes, dinner, beer and bed. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But even great golf destinations have one must-see sight beyond the out of bounds. We asked the concierges at four top destinations for the one must-see in their towns. Just so you'll have an answer when your wife asks, "So what else did you do apart from play golf?"
I'll be in Scottsdale, Ariz., the week before Christmas. I'm looking for course suggestions, including one must-play course that my wife will give me for Christmas. The rest must be reasonably priced courses that are worth playing.
-Dan Bialas, Muskegon, Mich.
There are plenty of courses to cash in your wife's holiday spirit. Try We-Ko-Pa ($135) or any of the tracks at Troon North ($195-$220), Grayhawk ($170) or the Boulders ($165-$240). Bargains aren't easy to come by in Scottsdale, but ideal stocking stuffers are the Desert Course at the TPC Scottsdale ($37 to walk) and the Sanctuary at WestWorld (from $99).
I am heading to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico and was wondering what courses you would recommend. I know that Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf have courses there, but they're pretty expensive. I'll play one of these courses, but I'm looking for some nice, moderately priced courses, too. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
-Ryan Asselta, Norwood, Mass.
Jack's Punta Mita Course at the Four Seasons ($185), north of Puerto Vallarta, wins best in show, and his Vista Vallarta ($163) layout-the venue for the 2002 World Cup-is a close second. Weiskopf's track at Vista Vallarta ($153) is a solid bet, too. For slightly more valueconscious courses try Marina Vallarta ($88-$121) or the Flamingos Golf Club ($110).
Joe Passov has played more than 1,100 courses in 21 countries. If you need travel directions, zip him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org