Grapefruit or Cactus? It’s time to plan a spring training golf trip

February 8, 2017

Where to play, stay, dine—and catch a ball game—during MLB spring training.


Play: Longbow in Mesa is a Ken Kavanaugh design with mountain views, strategic bunkering, good variety—and not a McMansion in sight.

Stay: Sheraton Mesa Hotel at Wrigleyville West has three pools and restaurants, and is next to the spring home of the World Champion Chicago Cubs. March rates from $389.

Eat: For a Windy City experience in the desert, down a Chicago-style dog (poppy seed bun, pickles, no ketchup) at Portillo’s in nearby Tempe.

Do: Fifteen big-league teams call Arizona their spring training home, but no club is more popular than the Cubs, who play at Mesa’s Sloan Park.


Play: Host to the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic, PGA National’s Champion wows with the watery trio of holes 15 to 17 known as the Bear Trap.

Stay: Five championship courses, superb instruction, a 40,000-sq.-ft. spa and fine booze and burgers at Bar 91 are highlights at PGA National Resort and Spa. March rates from $359.

Eat: Tiger memorabilia and memorable cuisine are on display at The Woods Jupiter, a major-worthy restaurant.

Do: The St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins train in Jupiter, while the New York Mets call Port St. Lucie, an hour up the road, their Grapefruit League home.


Play: The revamped Copperhead at Innisbrook is one of the best tests the Tour pros face. Charl Schwartzel defends at the Valspar this March.

Stay: Ernie Els once called Innisbrook “probably Florida’s best golf resort.” Packard’s Steakhouse, buddy-friendly digs and 81 solid holes prove the Big Easy’s point. March rates from $166.50.

Eat: Bern’s is a great American steakhouse, with a stellar wine cellar and a dessert room with nearly 50 choices.

Do: The Philadelphia Phillies are just 15 minutes from Innisbrook, at Bright House Networks Field, and the New York Yankees are a 7-iron away, at Steinbrenner Field.