My husband and I want to take a
golf trip to either Mexico or the
Caribbean. We’re looking for a
reasonably priced, all-inclusive
resort. Any suggestions? — Kelly Bonjour, Amarillo, Texas.
My first choice in the Caribbean is still
Casa de Campo (800-877-3643) in the Dominican
Republic, home of the best track in the
islands, Pete Dye’s Teeth of the Dog.
The Inclusive Supplement starts at
$216 per person, nightly. In Mexico, try
Moon Palace in Cancun (888-525-
5025, moonpalace.com) and its Jack
Nicklaus track. All-Inclusive rates start
at $190 per person per night.
My best friend from college and I
want to take a golf vacation this
month. He lives in Massachusetts;
I’m in New Mexico. Neither of us
likes fancy name courses—we’re
fine with good, scenic courses that
cost under $100 a round. Where
should we go? —Vic Strasburger, Albuquerque, N.M.
Given the time of year and your course
preferences, Travelin’ Joe is compelled
to say Myrtle Beach, where the value
and variety is superb. Check out
Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday
(golfholiday.com), which represents
dozens of courses and vacation
package providers for the best deals.
I’m about to head off on a
road trip that will take me
through Las Cruces, New
Mexico. Any recommended
courses in the area? — Jim Smith, Kingwood, Texas.CP]
The golf offerings here are about
as plentiful as fur coats at a PETA
convention. Your best bets are
New Mexico State University
Golf Course ($35-$41; 505-646-3219), a three-time NCAA
Championships site, and Sonoma Ranch Golf Course ($34-$42; 505-521-1818). Both are desert-style designs with nice mountain and valley
views. If you’ve got time, zip 45 miles down I-10 to El Paso’s Butterfield Trail
($65-$80; 915-772-1038), a terrific new Tom Fazio effort that
was among Golf Magazine’s Top 10 New Courses You Can Play of 2007.
What’s New This Month?
Pelican Hill Golf Club
Newport Coast, Calif.
Green fees: $235; 877-735-4226 or pelicanhill.com
The North and South courses
at Pelican Hill were mainstays
on Golf Magazine’s Top 100
Courses You Can Play until they
missed out in 2006, with good
reason: They were closed. The
new Resort at Pelican Hill will
open in fall 2008, but both
courses reopened late in 2007,
and the results were worth the
wait. Architect Tom Fazio
enhanced the playability here,
but the biggest impact comes
from cutting back the brush
that obscured the ocean views.
The longer North course (6,945
yards, par 71) offers the more
consistent test, with tighter tee
shots and approaches, but the
South (6,580 yards, par 70)
sports the most memorable
holes and views that will
make you forget the
sticker-shock green fees.
Take it From Joe
For many spring breakers, March is time to flee the cold and head for the beach. Golfers are no exception. While the kids head to Daytona Beach, here are four “beach” courses you can enjoy.
Pebble Beach Golf Links
Pebble Beach, Calif.
$475; 831-624-3811, pebblebeach.com
Here’s what you get for your five
Franklins: superb variety, relentless
challenge, history and eye-popping
views of Carmel Beach. Nine holes are
perched atop the cliffs, but the most
memorable beach views come at
the 430-yard, par-4 10th, where the
fairway tilts hard toward the Pacific.
A slice here will be recovered by
beachcombers, not your caddie.
Monarch Beach Golf Links
Dana Point, Calif.
“Right-on-the-ocean” holes are in short
supply here, but this Robert Trent Jones
Jr. design offers terrific bunkering,
unbeatable climate and the peerless St.
Regis hotel next door.The best beach
view arrives early, at the brilliant 315-
yard, par-4 3rd, where the ocean looms
to the right and beyond the green.
Waikoloa Beach Resort (Beach Course)
Big Island, Hawaii
For a time Robert Trent Jones Jr. was the
king of Hawaiian course design. This is
not one of his crowning achievements,
but it’s fun nonetheless.The postcard
hole is the 502-yard 12th, a dogleg left
with the ocean to the right.Toss in the
lava rough and breaching humpback
whales and it’s one memorable walk.
The Dunes Golf & Beach Club
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
No. 46 on Golf Magazine’s Top 100
Courses You Can Play, this 60-year-old Robert Trent Jones Sr. design has all of
the master’s classic touches, but the
years have diminished encounters with
the ocean. Still, you’ll face the Atlantic
head-on at the 200-yard, par-3 9th,
where “3” is a damned good score.