Ask Travelin' Joe: Raleigh, Hawaii and San Clemente
If you want to ask Travelin' Joe a question, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dear Joe,I'm heading to Raleigh, N.C. for a college football game, and I'm planning to play the Duke University course. Do you have any other recommendations?Doug Simon, Alexandria, Va. Tackle Duke's storied rival, the UNC Finley Course ($47-$80; 919-962-2349, uncfinley.com) in Chapel Hill, pictured right, ranked No. 20 by Golf Magazine among North Carolina's public courses.
Sadly, Wake Forest's course is now R.I.P., but two others to sample are Hillandale ($20-$44; 919-286-4211, hillandalegolf.com), a fun muni in Durham, and The Neuse ($32-$60; 919-550-0550, neusegolf.com), a semi-private track 15 miles southeast of Raleigh in Clayton. Hi Joe,I'm traveling to the Big Island of Hawaii next month and will be staying in the Kona region. Which courses and restaurants would you recommend?Brent C. Underwood, Baton Rouge, La. You'll find one of Hawaii's best values at Kona Country Club's Ocean course ($165, $107 after noon; 808-322-2595, konagolf.com). You'll love the two oceanfront 3s and the signature par-4 13th, with its geyser-spray "puka" (blowhole). A downturn in play shuttered its sibling Mountain course in July. Feast at Kona's aptly named Vista Restaurant, which features killer views of Keauhou Bay, birthplace of King Kamehameha III. Hi Joe,I'll be in San Clemente, Calif., for my 50th birthday. I'd be willing to travel to Torrey Pines or Pelican Hill, but I was wondering if you could recommend any oceanview courses closer to San Clemente.Jeff Meisner, via email Check out Monarch Beach ($175-$240, PM rates from $110; 949-240-8247, monarchbeachgolf.com) in Dana Point. This Robert Trent Jones Jr. design has several memorable seaside holes. A less expensive option is San Clemente Muni ($33-$55; 949-361-8384, sanclementegc.com). It isn't right on the water, but it's cheap and offers elevated glimpses of the Pacific.(Photo: UNC Finley Golf Course)