Courses and Travel

Ask Travelin' Joe: Hazelton, Pa.; Pawleys Island, S.C.; Fort Myers, Fla.

If you want to ask Travelin' Joe a question, e-mail him at askjoe@golf.com. Eaglerock Dear Joe, We are looking for some excellent golf courses near Hazelton, Pa. We are two couples who have handicaps between 8 and 10 and we like very nice courses. We saw Eagle Rock Resort and we were wondering if that is good and if there are courses nearby that would meet our criteria. We belong to private golf clubs and could possibly get on through reciprocity. We would be traveling by car from New York. Please let us know your thoughts. Aimee Bieber Via email Aptly named Eagle Rock ($45-$75; 570-384-6616, eaglerockresort.com) is your best base of operations as it’s very close to the heart of Hazelton, in the Blue Mountains, roughly 50 miles northwest of Allentown. This 11-year-old Arnold Palmer co-design features boulder work throughout, shoring up elevated greens and serving as unyielding, if handsome hazards. Your eagles might fly at round’s end, where the par-4 17th is just 324 yards from the tips and the par-5 18th is 468 yards. There’s another shortish, but challenging nine-holer on the property as well.
It’s only about 40 miles east to the Poconos, where a treasure trove of courses awaits. Jack Frost National ($40-$70; 570-443-2414, jackfrostnational.com) is even closer, a 25-mile drive to a ski/golf facility in Blakeslee, not far from the Pocono International Raceway. At 7,256 yards, this Terry Lagree/Mark Brown design features all of the challenge and panoramas you’d expect from mountain golf, but embraces strategy and fairness in equal measures.
Finally, try your private club connections at Huntsville Golf Club (golf-huntsville.com) in Lehman, a few minutes northwest of Wilkes-Barre. This brawny, beautiful Rees Jones design is draped seamlessly atop rolling terrain and overflows with solid, striking holes. Hey, Joe, I’m sure you get hundreds of these requests for recommendations a day, so I’d be amazed if I got a response. My wife and I are interested in taking a week-long trip to “somewhere” in early June for some golf, relaxation and to celebrate our anniversary. We don’t mind a bit of a drive from down here in south Georgia. We both want to play quality courses but value a relaxing atmosphere above all else. This trip is not a golf death march, just a few rounds spread over the week. We really don’t want to spend more than $300-$350 a day on golf and lodging. Somewhere with a beach and decent, nearby food would be nice, too. Any recommendations? Michael Misinco Byromville, Ga. Prepare to be amazed! The best all-around value for your requirements is Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort (888-766-4633, litchfieldbeach.com) in Pawleys Island, S.C., about 30 miles south of Myrtle Beach. Litchfield is right on the beach, with a variety of accommodations, plus on-site golf—with a half-dozen other fine tracks within a mile. In early June, you can reserve a one-bedroom oceanfront suite at Litchfield’s Bridgewater and combine with golf for just what you’re looking to spend. Sure, it’s a 330-mile drive, but what you get is a gorgeous beach, a buffet of terrific, scenic courses, superb nearby dining and plenty of entertaining attractions. You’re also sufficiently removed from the maddening downtown Myrtle Beach crowds.
Among the couples-friendly courses within a mile or two are Litchfield C.C., Tradition Club and Willbrook Plantation, and of course, don’t miss Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, which zigzags through live oaks and edges the Waccamaw River. I can recommend Frank’s for special occasion Lowcountry fare that’s within a half-mile of your hotel. Away from the beach and golf course, check out Brookgreen Gardens, one of the South’s most memorable collections of flora and fauna, and shop locally for two of the state’s most famous exports, rope hammocks and sweetgrass baskets.
If that drive sounds too daunting, try Palmetto Dunes Resort (palmettodunes.com) on Hilton Head Island, approximately 200 miles from your home. A three-night, three-round golf package, in a 2-bedroom villa, starts at $178 per person, per night, which is pretty close to your $350 daily limit. Hi Joe, Me and my buddies are going to Ft. Myers and are looking to play three or four courses in three days. I’ve heard good things about Old Corkscrew and don’t mind the rate but was wondering if you had some other reasonable options. Thanks for the help. Derek Rochester Via email Old Corkscrew (239-949-4700, oldcorkscrew.com) is indeed your starting point. Situated 25 miles south of Ft. Myers, the Jack Nicklaus-designed Old Corkscrew is a blur of sand, water, wetlands and pines, in an exciting, but exhausting package if you’re spraying it. Stay away from the 7,393-yard tips, (76.1/142) and you’ll enjoy. It’s $100 to play through May 31, $85 beginning June 1—and only $50 starting at 1:40 p.m.
Bargains in the region begin with nearby Stoneybrook ($32-$47 through May 31; 239-948-3933, stoneybrookgolffm.com), a wide but watery 7,314-yard test; Eastwood Golf Course ($25-$30 through May 31; 239-321-7487, cityftmyers.com/eastwood), a Devlin-Von Hagge creation that demands precision both from the tee and on approaches, thanks to doglegs, lakes and bunkers at every turn; and Riverwood ($50 in May and June; 941-769-6661, riverwoodgc.com), a Gene Bates design that traverses salt marshes, which is definitely worth the hour-long journey north to Port Charlotte.
(Photo: Courtesy of Eagle Rock Resort)

More From the Web