Thursday, October 16, 2008

If you want to ask Travelin' Joe a question, e-mail him at askjoe@golf.com. Dear Joe,My dad and I are headed to Philadelphia in late October for a football game. We're driving, so it's easy to lug the sticks. Weather permitting, we're itching to play. What courses do you recommend?Ollie PatrickFair Lawn, N.J. It's worth the splurge to play the Golf Course at Glen Mills (610-558-2142, glenmillsgolf.com; $65-$95). Proceeds at this feel-good Bobby Weed design go to the Glen Mills Schools, the oldest existing residential facility for troubled youths in the U.S.  There's nothing wayward about this old school, 6,636-yard, par 71 layout, which seamlessly blends open and forested holes, artfully crafted bunkering and memorable elevation changes. A cheaper, yet still worthy alternative nearby is Downingtown Country Club (610-269-2000, golfdowningtown.com; $33-$79), a handsome, rolling, 40-year-old George Fazio track that sports a set of testing par-3s. Hi Joe,We're traveling with another couple to Myrtle Beach in November. My girlfriend and I would like to play once or twice with the guys, but they're low-handicap golfers and we just play for fun. Can you suggest any scenic courses that would work for all of us?Abby KayAuburn, N.Y. Like its big brother, King's North, Myrtle Beach National's South Creek course (843-448-2308, mbn.com; $59) darts through wetlands and forests, but it's much shorter and softer around the edges.  Wachesaw East  (843-357-5252, wachesaweast.com; $71) in Murrells Inlet held four LPGA events from 1997-2000. Even with hazards galore, this well-wooded former rice plantation is fair and fun for lads and lasses of every ability. Dear Joe,I'm headed to Phoenix this fall. What's the best bargain you've got for me?Eric EglinMiami, Fla. Until Phoenix's primo muni, Papago Park, reopens in December, your best bet for bargains is to head back to school-and enroll at the ASU Karsten Course (480-921-8070, asukarsten.com; $60-$70) in Tempe. Located practically on the campus of Arizona State University, this is the course where Phil Mickelson and Paul Casey honed their skills. The heavily mounded, 7,057-yard, par-72 layout is schizophrenically scenic -- to the west is strong, with views of mountains and Sun Devil Stadium, to the east, uh, not so good -- with roads and power grids. In any direction, it's a rugged test, especially the ninth and 18th, a pair of side-by-side nasty, watery par-4s.   

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