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Luxurious Four Seasons Aviara I Idaho’s Tamarack Resort

Golf Unforgettable Place

To integrate quality and style with social and environmental responsibility has been the Gr Questro benchmark for over two decades. In every development the custom designed g destinations have included the involvement of numerous international firms, such as Nick Design and Signature Courses, Robert Trent Jones II Design and Greg Norman Signat Courses. Today, each is a strategic partner to Grupo Questro, producing the pinnacle featur every uniquely master-planned project - ensuring that Questro communities become must-play golf destinations for those visiting or living in Los Cabos.

To reserve a tee time or to find out more about a Questro destination please c Toll free USA: 1-877-795-8727 Toll free MĂŠxico: 01-800-543-2044 Rest of the World: 011-52(624)173-9400


Grupo ed golf Nicklaus gnature ature of me the

ase call:


The Ocean Course at Ginn Hammock BeachSM Resort, Palm Coast, Florida


$ 63 0


You’ve never played golf like this. Play five Signature Golf Courses designed by Palmer, Watson and Nicklaus, at Ginn Reunion® Resort and Ginn Hammock BeachSM Resort


LegacySM Course at Ginn Reunion® Resort, Orlando, Florida

5 4 3 2 1

rou nd s of Si g n at u re g ol f d ay s le g end a r y c ou r s e de si g ner s lu x u r y re s or t s c h a nc e

You want ocean play? You got it. You want dramatic bunkers? You got it. Now let’s see you play. Both resorts also have tennis, fitness centers, spas, water parks and more. But who cares? You came to golf.


Call 1-866-615-0197 or visit today. *Offers are in U.S. dollars and based on double occupancy for a minimum of two nights of accommodations at Ginn Reunion Resort and one night at Ginn Hammock Beach Resort. Plus service charge & tax. Receive five rounds of golf. Valid through December 31, 2007. Subject to availability. Other restrictions apply. ©2007 Ginn Hospitality, LLC. All Rights Reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

LEGACY SM COURSE at Ginn Reunion Resort by Arnold Palmer

THE CONSERVATORYSM COURSE at Ginn Hammock Beach Resort by Tom Watson

INDEPENDENCE SM COURSE at Ginn Reunion Resort by Tom Watson

OCEAN COURSE AT HAMMOCK BEACH SM at Ginn Hammock Beach Resort by Jack Nicklaus

TR ADITION SM COURSE at Ginn Reunion Resort by Jack Nicklaus

Š 2007 RCSH All Rights Reserved


Phoenix (602) 957-9600

Pasadena (626) 583-8122

Scottsdale (480) 991-5988

Roseville (916) 780-6910

Anaheim (714) 750-5466

Sacramento (916) 286-2702

Beverly Hills (310) 859-8744

San Diego (619) 233-1422

Del Mar (858) 755-1454

San Francisco (415) 673-0557

Irvine (949) 252-8848

Walnut Creek (925) 977-3477

Palm Desert (760) 779-1998

Woodland Hills (818) 227-9505

Group Private Dining Available Reservations & Gift Cards at

contents I fall 2007

30 cover



Everything You Need at Melia Cabo Real by Chris Baldwin

All-Inclusive means never wondering where you put your wallet at this Cabo palace. The tough part is taking on RTJ II’s masterpiece.



Four Seasons Resort Aviara by Terry Ross

Arnold Palmer designed a gem on the Pacific. Batiquitos Lagoon and The Four Seasons took care of the rest of this bit of Heaven.


Tamarack: A Resort For All Seasons by Tom LaMarre

The first all-season resort to open in the U.S. in more than two decades, this mountain lake getaway is Idaho’s newest shining star.



Not Laughing At Laughlin Anymore by Alan Eisenstein

Forget what you might have thought, this little brother to Las Vegas has upped the ante bigtime for golfers out for a game.

ON THE COVER: Melia Cabo Real Pool, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico


42 G O L F VA C AT I O N S • F A L L 2 0 0 7

Planning your next golf getaway? Golfsmith Travel has made it easier than ever before to book the ultimate golf vacation. Visit and get access to the world’s best golf destinations with a click of your mouse.

“HOT DEALS” @ 2008 Masters - Saturday/Sunday Package Pebble Beach - 3 Nights/3 Rounds Package – click on Hot Deals for even more specials –



Visit or call 888-819-7148 for more information or to book your trip today.

Pebble Beach • Pinehurst • Kapalua • Bandon Dunes • Torrey Pines • St. Andrews • Carnoustie

contents I fall 2007



28 Golf and Gridiron in Tallahassee College football rules in this slice of “Down South” but SouthWood Golf Club offers an equally great field of play.


46 17 Chip Shots Updates From The World Of Golf & Travel

46 Resort Report: Saddle Creek Resort Mix of Scenery, Wine and Golf Add to a Perfect Getaway

48 Fairway Living Celebrating The Sonoma Lifestyle at Mayacama

50 Destinations Your Links to Great Resort Golf Locales

v i s i t w w w. g v l i n k s . c o m


G O L F VA C AT I O N S • F A L L 2 0 0 7


Executive Editor Jeffrey Diaz Contributing Writers Chris Baldwin • Alan Eisenstein • Larry Feldman Tom LaMarre • Terry Ross • Michael Villalpando Design & Production Buy Design • J.D. Latorre

Your Best Round Ever

Features Editor Larry Feldman Special Projects Editor Terry Ross Copy Editor Mary Anne Pinkston

Golf Digest named it “Best Place to Play”with 41/2 Stars, LA Times put it in their “Southern California Top Ten Places To Play,” Palm Springs Life says it is the “Best Public Course” And the Desert Sun designated it “Best In The Valley.”

For Editorial: call: (760) 774-2655 e-mail:

It doesn’t take a hole-in-one to make your best round ever – It only takes DESERT WILLOW GOLF RESORT.

Advertising Representatives

866-621-9464 FOR TEE TIMES Located at Desert Willow Drive off Country Club between Cook Street & Portola Avenue in Palm Desert.

Palm Springs, CA • 760-318-6214 Dan Amezcua Los Angeles, CA • 323-933-5518 Michael Villalpando - Melrose Media Group San Diego, CA • 619-709-4425 Wayne McCollum

Published by

President Jeffrey Diaz 100 S. Sunrise Way., Suite 257 Palm Springs, California 92262 1-800-940-7816


Destiny Media, LLC President/CEO James A. Diaz 3877 N. 7th Street, Suite 200 Phoenix, Arizona 85014 480-451-4777 • fax 602-277-9388

Golf Vacations Magazine is published bi-monthly and is selectively distributed throughout the entire fifty United States. Entire contents of this publication is copyright 2007 SportsMedia Publications, all rights reserved and may not be reproduced in any manner, in whole or in part, without written permission from the publisher. For home or office delivery, please send your name, address, phone number and $18 to Golf Vacations Magazine at the address above.


G O L F VA C AT I O N S • F A L L 2 0 0 7

from the editor . . .


Cande’s Golf Getaways Stay & Play • Custom packages • Lodging • Tee times • Tournaments • Transportation • Meeting Services • Banquets • Award Dinners • Personal Service

Golf travel planning without the worry United States, Mexico, Canada and more . . . 866-805-9400 • • email: 14

G O L F VA C AT I O N S • F A L L 2 0 0 7

generally like to use this little piece of editorial real estate to introduce to you all the great golf destinations that Golf Vacations Magazine showcases in that given issue. I’d like to indulge instead in a written display of gratitude and thanks inspired by an auto accident this month that could have ended with some pretty tragic results. Tragic to me at least, as the law of Southern California freeway averages finally caught up to me and I found myself crawling out of my crumpled SUV after a tire blowout sent me tumbling on a “Dukes of Hazzard” barrelroll off the I-10 freeway. If I started that day with nine lives, well, let’s just say I’m definitely down to eight now. But I’m still here, writing to you, and down to only a few Advils a day to ease the bumps and bruises that still linger. I also have a newfound respect for those guys over at NASCAR! Gratitude for another sunrise may sound trite but don’t count it short. I’ve got 48 years in the bank and kind of figured that another 40 or so wasn’t getting too greedy. I say all this to make the rather clichéd but exceedingly true point that you just never know in this game of life. So do me a favor and kiss your wife and tell her and the kids that you love ‘em. Thank your postman, pet your dog, smell the flowers, volunteer at your favorite charity, spend more time with your family and friends and less time at the office. Maybe even take that golf vacation that you’ve been putting off for so long. Let me also take this space to thank all that have contributed their time and efforts to Golf Vacations over the years. Thanks to our readers and advertisers who’ve stuck by us for five years now. And love and happiness to all the people in my own life who’ve made my first 48 years the great ride it’s been. That said, turn the page. I’ve already used up all my allotted words, so you’re on your own to explore this issue without my usual geographic introductions. Peace. Thanks for reading.

Jeffrey Diaz executive editor

CONTRIBUTINGWRITERS Chris Baldwin carries 14 years of journalism experience, seven in the competitive New York market. He’s played more than 120 golf courses for reviews in the last year alone, been issued a personal challenge by Donald Trump on a Top 10 rankings story and landed the interview that brought out Rush Limbaugh’s first controversial comments on Michelle Wie. Chris won six national AP Sports Editors awards in six years at the Asbury Park Press. He's covered four World Series, three NBA Finals, two Stanley Cup Finals, two U.S. Opens and plenty of other golf. Chris comes to us courtesy of

• Golf’s largest travel portal • Golf’s top vacation source • Discount tee times & packages

Alan Eisenstein is a freelance golf and travel writer and marketing consultant. He worked in the television, cable and advertising industries for 35 years. He has happily played golf for 45 years, starting as a caddie in his native Chicago and been a member of clubs across the country - in Philadelphia, New Mexico and now in Blaine, Washington, where he resides.

Larry Feldman is a nationally published freelance golf journalist of more than 16 years. Newly based in Park City, Utah, his writing has appeared in such high-profile publications as Southern California Golf News, Palm Springs Life, Golf Tips, Sports Profiles and Men’s Look.

Tom LaMarre has been a sportswriter for some 40 years, including long stints with the Oakland Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. He was the Tribune’s beat writer with the Oakland Raider for seven seasons in the 1970’s and has written two books, “Winning Offensive Football” with quarterback Kenny Stabler and “Stadium Stories: The Oakland Raiders.” Tom makes his home now in the Orlando area.

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Terry Ross has covered sports as both a print and radio journalist for more than 35 years, and also has served as a consultant to the golf industry in a variety of capacities. He has been a regular columnist for the Long Beach Business Journal and is based in Orange County, California.

• Travel/Golf perks • Set Your Own Schedule • Nationwide Opportunities

Check us out at: Michael Villalpando is a Los Angeles based travel writer. He is also publisher of the Park La Brea News and The Beverly Press, both local weekly publications covering news and events in the Los Angeles area. Michael and his wife Karen also run The Melrose Media Group, a successful L.A. based media rep firm.

email your resume to:

G O L F V A C A T I O N S • F A L L 2007


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* Par-3 package offers a variety of golf courses: Legacy, Orange Tree, The Duke, Longbow, Ocotillo, Silverado & Starfire. Expires 12/31/07

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GINN RESORTS INTRODUCES “THE GINN GOLF CHALLENGE” ELEBRATION, Fla. — Ginn Resorts has created a golf vacation for serious golfers – those with blistered hands from hitting balls from dawn to dusk. With the introduction of the “Ginn Golf Challenge” – five rounds of Signature golf in four days on five world-class courses at two luxury resorts – Ginn Resorts may have created the most rewarding golf vacation to date. And it’s available for $630 per golfer until Dec. 31, 2007. Ginn Resorts has established itself as a leader in luxury golf resort communities across the United States and the Caribbean. The “Ginn Golf Challenge” package includes one night’s accommodations and two rounds of golf at Ginn Hammock Beach, host of the Champions Tour’s Ginn Championship, where golfers will play both Jack Nicklaus’ Ocean Course and Tom Watson’s Conservatory Course. Two hours southwest of Ginn Hammock Beach, the golf sojourn continues at Ginn Reunion Resort, host of the LPGA’s Ginn Open and the Golf Channel’s Big Break VII, where golfers will stay two nights and play all three worldclass courses at the Central Florida resort – Watson’s independence, his first Florida design; Palmer’s Legacy; and Nicklaus’ Tradition. (Golfers can start at either resort.) Ginn Reunion Resort is a luxury golf resort in Orlando, Fla. Aside from three Signature golf courses, the resort offers award-winning tennis, a boutique spa and a multi-acre water-


park. But when you’re here to golf, the focus is on the greens. The roll call of Watson, Palmer and Nicklaus creates one of the finest trios of great players-turned-course-architects on one property, a veritable Reunion Great Triumvirate. Ginn Hammock Beach Resort is a world-class destination resort located an hour and a half northeast of Ginn Reunion in Palm Coast, Fla. The resort features oceanfront Signature golf on the Ocean Course, designed by Nicklaus, and the Conservatory, designed by Watson. This Signature course is highlighted by waterfalls, babbling brooks and veneered field stone work. The course offers dramatic undulating greens not commonly found on Florida courses. With two miles of spectacular beach front and the first truly oceanfront course to open in Florida in the past 70 years, Ginn Hammock Beach also offers countless amenities such as a multi-level water and swim pavilion, an indoor atrium pool, world-class spa and fitness center, fine and casual dining, and sushi and cigar bars. Arnold Palmer once said, “The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.” And if you define “rewarding” as kicking off your shoes in the 19th hole after five rounds in four days on five of the Southeast’s best courses, well, then… Welcome. For more information, visit G O L F V A C A T I O N S • F A L L 2007


Kauai Lagoons Golf Club

AUTUMN DEALS ABOUND IN HAWAII Autumn is a great season for savings when visiting Hawaii. In addition to the islands’ balmy weather, tranquil beaches, and a diversity of activities to experience, there are also numerous travel deals to make a Hawaii visit in fall a tempting proposition. While summer roundtrip airfares can range from $600 to $1,500, travel to the islands from late August to November are half the prices on major carriers. When booking directly online, airlines offer the best roundtrip deals from the mainland to Hawaii, with $300 to $500 fares from the West Coast and $600 to $800 from the East Coast. Vacation packages are another way to save this fall. Travelers booking through travel websites, such as,, and, are finding

fall vacation packages combining airfare with a four-night hotel stay starting at $471 per person. This can translate into a savings of more than $100 per person versus booking air and hotel separately. Travel wholesalers, such as United Vacations, Apple Vacations, and Pleasant Holidays, are providing free add-ons to fall tour packages. Visitors will save with free nights, complimentary upgrades, dining credits, and more when taking advantage of these promotions. And upon arrival in Hawaii, several interisland carriers including Aloha Airlines, go! Airlines, and Hawaiian Airlines are offering one-way fares as low as $39 per person making it extremely affordable to island hop. For information about Hawaii visit

Los Cabos focuses 36 full-color pages on the 7 world-class golf courses in the San Jose del Cabo/Cabo San Lucas areas and their associated resorts, real estate, restaurants, and lifestyle products.

ORDER UP THE NEW GUIDE TO GOLF IN MEXICO AT WEBSITE Golf Publishing International announced the latest publication of Best’s Golf Guide to Mexico. Sixty-eight pages of articles, golf travel packages and real estate are highlighted on 180 golf courses in Mexico, including a full directory on every golf course by state. The supplemental Best’s Golf Guide to

Best’s Golf Guides to Mexico are complimentary publications available to the consumer and travel industries. Phone tollfree 1(800) 381-7054 from the United States and five provinces of Canada, or order a copy on the web at, the companion website.

TEEING IT UP IN MAINE For golfers who like variety, scenic locations, and challenging new courses, Maine is the place to tee it up. More than 100 courses are open to the public, and offer mountain, lake, and oceanfront layouts. Plus, affordable rates and available tee times mean more holes to play on a weekend getaway or extended stay. Maine shines as northern New England's most recommended golf destination. Sugarloaf Golf Club's mountain course in Carrabassett Valley is #45 on Golf Digest's 2007 list of America's 100 Greatest Public Courses. Central Maine's Belgrade Lakes Golf Club is also on the list and was ranked #77 on GOLF magazine's 2006 Top 100 Places You Can Play. Two-year-old Sunday River Golf Club in the four-season resort village of Newry has already been named to Travel + Leisure Golf's Top 10 Best New Courses in the World, and Golf Digest's Best New Public Courses $75 and Over. 18

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Rockport's oceanside Samoset Resort Golf Club has been tabbed Golf Digest's Top Ranked Resort Course in New England, and #7 Most Beautiful in America. Twenty-three new courses have opened in the last 10 years, but golfers can also play some of the nation's most historic links while in Maine. Bar Harbor's Kebo Valley Golf Club is the 8th oldest course in the country, opened in 1888, while the 1893 Poland Spring Country Club is the oldest resort course in America. Many of Maine's courses have a secluded feel, whether the setting is a 4,000-foot mountain range, rolling farmland, or the edge of the ocean. The ninehole Mount Kineo Golf Course awaits guests on an island in Moosehead Lake, the state's largest inland body of water. For a taste of Scotland, The Links at Outlook, in the southern town of South Berwick, features rolling dunes and scattered sand bunkers on a 140-acre layout set in open fields.

The Maine Golf Trail Guide is a great resource for golfers visiting the state for the first time. It can be sent by mail by calling (877) 553-4653 or accessed online at /seasonal/trails/golf/home.php



n response to upscale travelers’ desires for more experiential and specialized travel, boutique travel provider Cork & Tee has launched its one-of-a-kind offering that blends the best of golf with behindthe-scenes wine and interactive culinary adventures. The company offers personalized independent itineraries to destinations worldwide for groups of two to twenty and will launch high-end packaged tours later in 2007. Cork & Tee’s golf venues range from legendary courses including Pebble Beach and St. Andrews to hidden gems such as the Course at Wente Vineyards in Livermore, California and Sandpines on the Oregon Coast. The company has designed a broad range of experiential epicurean adventures. Examples range from pri-

vate tastings at cult wineries and foodwine pairing instruction to memorable winemaker dinners, as well as personalized cooking instruction. “Our boutique model delivers the utmost in personalized service so our clients may immerse themselves in their destinations and fully pursue their passions,” said Gene Holland, a former PGA professional and co-founder of Cork & Tee. Our model already is The Course at Wente Vineyards proving attractive to both couples groups and incentive travel groups.” Initial destinations in the Cork & Tee portfolio include California, Oregon, Scotland and Ireland. Future destinations, the first to be announced later in 2007, will include Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and South Africa. For info visit

SCOTTSDALE CONCIERGE TAKES GOLF VACATIONS TO NEXT LEVEL Visitors looking to experience the ultimate golf getaway in Scottsdale – without the hassle of actually planning the trip – can turn to Scottsdale Swing, a swanky new golf concierge service that offers professional and personal assistance in every aspect of the golfer’s dream golf vacation. Owners Steve Gleave and Scott Samele choose the best Scottsdale courses that are tailored to the customers’ needs and deal with all other planning logistics like airport transportation and overnight accommodations. Alas, no good golf getaway in Scottsdale is complete without the total nightlife experience. The men behind Scottsdale Swing also have VIP access to the top bars and clubs in the city. Feeling a little guilty about leaving your wife at home during your mancation? Let Scottsdale Swing take care of that, too. The company can arrange to have flowers sent to the significant other who is carefully counting the days until their golfer’s sweet return. For more information, call (888) 80-SWING or visit

G O L F V A C A T I O N S • F A L L 2007


“PLAY WITH THE PROS” HIGHLIGHTS NEW MARRIOTTGOLF.COM WEBSITE Marriott Golf unveiled the new, which serves as the interactive reservation portal for Marriott Golf’s worldwide collection of golf properties. The new website offers a seamless navigation system for visitors seeking information on Marriott Golf’s collection of properties worldwide, as well as turn-key room and golf reservations through the first-of-its-kind “Rounds & Rooms” program. Golfers visiting can register for the “Play With The Pros” Sweepstakes that includes the opportunity to win a 3-Day Game Improvement Golf School Package at one of four US-based Faldo Golf Institutes -- highlighted by a 1hour private lesson with 2008 European Ryder Cup Captain and 6-Time Major Champion, Nick Faldo. The complete sweepstakes package includes seven nights of luxury accommodations at Marriott’s Shadow Ridge Resort, two practice rounds and four competitive rounds of golf in the 2008 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic Tournament with a PGA Tour Player.


G O L F VA C AT I O N S • F A L L 2 0 0 7

to EIF's Women's Cancer Programs, the Callaway Golf Foundation Women's Cancer Initiative has been established at four outstanding cancer institutions to fasttrack breakthrough treatments and tests to improve ovarian cancer outcomes. The Callaway Golf Foundation will host a professional/celebrity golf tournament, the Callaway Golf Foundation Challenge, at the Riviera County Club in Los Angeles, CA in November. Proceeds from the tournament will benefit EIF's Cancer Research Programs For more information or to learn how to get involved in the cause, please visit



Award-winning actress Eva Longoria has been named the lead ambassador for a new public service campaign, created in partnership between the Callaway Golf Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation, aimed at raising awareness and funds for ovarian cancer prevention. Through a $1-million donation

St. Kitts Marriott Resort & Royal St. Kitts Golf Club, one of the premier golf resort destinations in the Caribbean, unveiled the Escape! Golf Package, an exclusive golf and hotel package that affords travelers the opportunity to stay and play on one of the finest resort golf facilities in the Caribbean. The Escape! Golf Package features two rounds of golf -- per night stay -- on the Thomas McBroom designed Royal St. Kitts Golf Club, luxurious accommodations in an ocean view room at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort & Royal Beach Casino, breakfast for two daily at Calypso Restaurant and an exclusive welcome gift. The championship Royal St. Kitts Golf Club features a magnificent layout that has 125 irrigated acres of lush grass allowing golfers to play (2) holes on the Caribbean Sea and (3) holes on the Atlantic Ocean. Recently redesigned by famed Canadian architect Thomas McBroom, this extraordinary course boasts water hazards on 10 holes, 80 bunkers and a multitude of coconut palm trees along the Atlantic Ocean, as well as a new “private country club” style clubhouse. The signature 15th hole, a 166-yard down-hill par3, features stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, and on a clear day, neighboring islands including Nevis, Anguilla, St. Martin, and Antigua. Package rates are based on double occupancy and begin at $407 per night. To reserve this exclusive package today please call (869) 466-1200. For more information, visit

SIZZLING GOLF DEAL IN THE AZ DESERT FROM GOLFSMITH TRAVEL Thought that new fairway wood package you just scored at your local Golfsmith was all you needed. Think again as Golfsmith Travel, a division of your friendly neighborhood Golfsmith puts a getaway package together to take full advantage of those new sticks in your bag. Try four nights and three rounds of golf in Scottsdale at McCormick Ranch Golf Club, Starfire at Scottsdale Country Club, and SunRidge Canyon for only $894 per person based on a foursome! Your golf holiday begins with accommodations at Hyatt Summerfield Suites in Scottsdale, AZ in a two-bedroom quad unit for four golfers. Spacious one or two-bedroom suites featuring a living room and full kitchen, and thoughtful details like a desk, high-speed internet access and bedrooms with their own phones and televisions make it easy to work and relax. Located right in "Old Town Scottsdale," only steps away from great food, and entertainment, your package also includes a complimentary hot buffet breakfast served each morning. More than just a golf course, the

McCormick Ranch Golf Club offers any caliber of player two spectacular resort golf courses. These lush, wellmanicured, traditional layouts are located amidst gorgeous scenery in the heart of Scottsdale. Both courses were designed by renowned golf Scottsdale’s SunRidge course architect Desmond Canyon Muirhead and opened in 1972. The very popular Palm and Pine have both recently ed. Its natural, strategic desert design is been renovated with outstanding new tempting for players of every level. It’s a greens, sand traps and bridges. true "adventure", where subtle changes in Located in north central Scottsdale, topography give the course a dramatic Starfire at Scottsdale Country Club effect. Each shot demands careful considoffers beautiful views of the McDowell eration of both risk and reward, and your Mountains as players wind through the 27 success depends entirely on how skillfully holes lined with mature eucalyptus, pine you make these decisions. Designed by and cottonwood trees. The "King" Nine Keith Foster, SunRidge Canyon Golf Club was designed by Arnold Palmer and is a 6,823-yard, par-71 layout with nonopened in 1988. Palmer also redesigned returning nines. the Squire and Hawk nines making them Also includes in the package is your more challenging with bunkers and water own Avis minivan for 4 days. hazards coming into play on 13 holes. For more information call 888-819-7148 Playing at SunRidge Canyon in or visit Scottsdale is the way the game was intend-

G O L F V A C A T I O N S • F A L L 2007


GOLFER’S DREAM IN CARLSBAD AT AVIARA’S PRIVATE SPA SUITE The Private Golfer’s Suite at The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Aviara is the perfect setting for post-golf recuperation. The two-room, indoor/outdoor private suite features a private outdoor patio with an oversized whirlpool. A well-appointed treatment room features multiple music styles and the option to receive your treat-

LODGE AT SONOMA OFFERS NEW “GOLF & SPA” GETAWAY PACKAGE The Lodge at Sonoma, has partnered with Stone Tree Golf, Marin County's 18-hole championship golf course, by offering guests the opportunity to play and relax with the new "Golf & Spa" package. Individuals and couples alike are welcomed to the tranquil 182-room Sonoma resort to rejuvenate in a plush deluxe Lodge guestroom, be pampered with luxurious spa treatments, and enjoy a round of golf at the Bay Area's premier handcrafted classic golf club. Designed for the early morning golfer on the move, an artisanal-inspired to-go breakfast fuels guests as they head out to Stone Tree's 7,000-yard championship

course to play throughout oak-forested hills, valleys and lush meadowlands. Upon return to the Sonoma spa resort, guests can find refuge at the award winning Raindance Spa, which features outdoor natural mineral water pools and an idyllic spa garden, providing an intimate and soothing atmosphere for massage therapy, couples massage, and Watsu aquatic therapy pools. The package is offered through November 15th, Sunday-Thursday for $579, and Friday-Saturday for $679. Call 1-(800) HOTELS-1 or visit www.

ments indoors or out. The lounge area, with relaxing chaises in front of the fireplace is the perfect spot to read up on the latest issue of your favorite golf magazine. Other special touches include a practice putting green, a refrigerator stocked with bottled water and your beer of choice, a premium cigar amenity and an “Arnold Palmer” beverage station featuring the classic half iced-tea, half lemonade concoction made famous by the golf legend who designed the championship course at Four Seasons Resort Aviara. The customized 80-minute experience begins with a 30-minute exfoliating peppermint hand scrub, then on to a eucalyptusinfused hand treatment focused on pressure points of specific muscle groups used while gripping the club. Finally, a paraffin dip, leaving the golfer’s hands hydrated and smooth as silk for their next round. A 50minute body massage follows in the luxury and comfort of the private suite. The Private Golfer’s Suite package is priced at $450. For reservations or more information, call (760) 603-6800 or visit

G O L F V A C A T I O N S • F A L L 2007


Last Year’s Mercedes Champion Vijay Singh


Kapalua Resort, on the island of Maui, hosts its signature event: The MercedesBenz Championship Golf Tournament December 31, 2007 – January 6, 2008. This year, guests can enjoy the tournament in first-class style with Kapalua Resort’s ultra-luxury $45,000 seven-day package that includes: • The Gold Villas oceanfront 1-bedroom accommodations for two for seven nights. • Roundtrip limousine transfer, complete with open bar and champagne, from the Kahului Airport to Kapalua Resort. • Upon check in, guests will find their luxury rental car waiting. • Private Butler and Concierge service each day. • An exquisite five-course dinner prepared


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by a private chef in the villa, on night of guest’s choice, complete with beer, wine and champagne. • Private four-hour catamaran charter on the elegant Shangri La with a gourmet meal and open bar. • Cristal Champagne is included in guests’ welcome amenity package. • Season VIP Guest Pass to the 2008 Mercedes-Benz Championship Golf Tournament. • Access to the Private Tournament Hospitality Area where complimentary breakfast and lunch are served each day with open bar. • Access to private sky box seating at the 18th green along with VIP parking. • Custom fit Ping Golf Clubs from the Kapalua Golf Academy, one full set of irons. • One hour private golf lesson at the Kapalua Golf Academy. • Choice of round of golf at the Bay Course or Plantation Course or a 55minute in-villa massage per day for five days. • Custom logo Kapalua bath robe. For booking, go online at or call 1-(888) 664-0237.

EXCELLENCE PLAYA MUJERES SET FOR NOVEMBER 2007 OPENING Due to become Mexico’s hottest new luxury resort destination, Excellence Playa Mujeres will sit on a remote two-mile stretch of brilliant white sand beach located on an unspoiled 20-mile peninsula. Just 20 minutes north of Cancun, the resort will feature 450 lavish suites as well as reside near a world-class 170-slip marina and the Playa Mujeres Golf Club, which carries an 18-hole, 7,260-yard Greg Normandesigned golf course. Completely original to Excellence Resorts are new, lavish two-story rooftop terrace suites outfitted with a private HydroSpa pool and equipped with the latest amenities. And, the suite’s secluded second-story room service entrance grants guests the ability to never step foot outside of their suite. Furthermore, Excellence Playa Mujeres will offer an irresistible line-up of eight international all-inclusive dining options that never require a reservation. For additional details, visit


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> F C = › K < E E @ J › ; @ E E < I J › CL E : ? < F E J

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ore than two years into “re-perfecting” two Tom Faziodesigned, 18-hole golf courses and constructing an ultra-luxurious clubhouse and facilities in a spectacular seaside location, one of the nation’s premier golf clubs is set to open in fall 2007. Pelican Hill Golf Club will be an anchor, and the first component to open, of an extraordinary destination resort. Two of the nation’s most highly rated public courses, Pelican Hill Ocean North and Pelican Hill Ocean South, were originally designed here in the early 1990s by Tom Fazio. He returned, as he explained, to “re-perfect” all 36 holes in a location that is “one of the most spectacular in golf,” where numerous holes play along cliffs at the ocean’s edge. “The unique environment here at Pelican Hill is not found anyplace in the world,” said Fazio. “It’s a piece of art and a land form all its own, and that’s what makes Pelican Hill so special.” Built on a terraced hillside, the clubhouse will feature sweeping panoramas. Serving upscale California cuisine, Pelican Grill will redefine al fresco dining with a climate and ambience-controlled terrace and expansive views. Other facilities will include: a driving range; complete practice tee with a bunker, fairway and green; and an espresso bar. A major objective is to re-turf the fairways and tees with Tifway II hybrid bermuda to achieve a consistent look, texture and playing surface year-round. Another major focus is to recapture the stunning vistas framed by the natural environment by adopting lower-growing and native plants. “You have this wow factor that just goes on and on, hole after hole, and environment after environment,”noted Fazio. In addition, a sophisticated water-quality system has been


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designed to trap and treat all run-off at the new resort, and promote conservation and recycling. While the golf club is coming this fall, all of the resort’s other components – from the bungalows and villas to the function space, spa, wedding chapel and “Coliseum” pool – will open in fall 2008. Inspired by the Renaissance belief that humanity is uplifted by aspiring to perfection, The Resort at Pelican Hill will meld the precepts of internationally heralded Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio with the welcoming and relaxed style of coastal California. The golf club and resort are on a 504-acre site enjoying one of the most serene coastal settings in Southern California – where the Pacific Ocean laps uncrowded white-sand beaches and thousands of acres of coastal habitat are permanently protected as open space or designated for recreational uses only – located just south of Newport Beach in Newport Coast. From the resort and golf club, there will be vivid panoramas of this natural bounty. The Resort at Pelican Hill will have a breadth of facilities including: 204 private and spacious bungalow rooms and suites; 128 two, three and four-bedroom villas; a circular pool inspired by Rome’s Coliseum that will be one of the most striking pools at any resort; an array of dining choices including an authentic espresso bar, a poolside grill and bar, and an Italian restaurant; a 20,000-sq.-ft. spa with 22 private treatment rooms; detached function space with an array of indoor and outdoor venues; and, for weddings, an ocean-view lawn with a gazebo and an Italian-style wedding chapel. For more information on The Resort at Pelican Hill, log on to

Golf and Gridiron at SouthWood G


iehard golfers from coast-to-coast grin ear-to-ear at the thought of packing the clubs and heading off to the next great golf destination. Scotland for five days; Scottsdale for six … a golfer can dream, can’t he? But with all sorts of demands on our time, sometimes a two or three-day weekend getaway is just what the golf doctor, boss, and a nongolfing spouse ordered. Enter SouthWood Golf Club in Tallahassee. Not the first name to roll off the tongue of the avid golfer, Florida’s Capital City is known more for its college football and oak tree-canopied roads than its golf course inventory. But therein lies the rub. Why fight for fairways when you can settle into an award-winning Gene Bates/Fred Couples-designed course at your own pace? Since opening in 2003, SouthWood has emerged as one of the best overall tests of golf in North Florida and the word is finally getting out. It is without question a “championship caliber” layout, to fall back on cliché. To wit, it is home to the Florida State University men’s and women’s golf teams, the prestigious Tallahassee Amateur, and a fist full of other regional professional and amateur events of note. And as of earlier this year, SouthWood’s not just for locals to enjoy anymore. Five Georgia cracker box-style cottages near the course accommodate up to eight golfers overnight. Guests enjoy front porches with rockers, gas fireplaces and mini-kitchens. Diehard duffers from as far away as Atlanta, Birmingham and Orlando are flocking to SouthWood


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to take in a football game and 18-36 holes of golf. Starting at $200 per night, golf packages are available that include a daily round of golf, range balls, cottage accommodations and breakfast at the clubhouse. With the cottages located less than a mile from the course, and three meals served daily in the clubhouse, golfers can enjoy a totally self-contained golfing experience. The setting provides great place to rock away the day’s round on the front porch while enjoying a cold beverage and lighthearted conversation or card game. As for the course itself … it has the chops to justify the journey. From the back “Black” tees, it plays to a sporty 7,172 yards. Mid- to high-handicappers can tee it up from eminently playable Gold (6,628) or Garnett (6,022) tees. Hey, what colors would you expect? Bates and Couples routed SouthWood through wide corridors and created generous landing areas with a number of strategic pin positions for approach shots. The greens possess more break than they let on (especially near the cup), and typically roll between nine to 11 on the stimpmeter, depending upon the time of year and weather conditions. The back nine at SouthWood is the course’s bread and butter, as it features more elevation change and Bates and Couples created what are easily some of the most challenging holes on the golf course, in a four-hole loop from the 12th through 15th. For award-watchers, SouthWood Golf Club has garnered more than its fair share of national and regional accolades the past four years. It was an honorable mention for GOLF Magazine’s vaunted “Top 10 You Can Play” list in 2003, a Golf Digest “Best New” course in 2004 and one of the “Top 10 Courses of the New Millennium” according to T+L

d Golf Club in Capital City Golf. The course’s trademark is its thick strands of live oaks, many of them over two hundred years old and draped in Spanish moss. SouthWood is located about fifteen minutes from Doak Campbell Stadium off Capital Circle Drive (Highway 319) in southeast Tallahassee. A practice range with driving stations, chipping and putting green is available, and the clubhouse features full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. During our visit, we took advantage of “Prime Rib” Friday Night, as well as the Sunday breakfast buffet. For more information on stay and play packages and rates, visit or call (850) 942-4653

SouthWood Golf Club one of America's top courses SouthWood Golf Club has been named in the Zagat "America's Top Golf Courses 2007-08" guide. Zagat rates more than 1,000 of the best public, semi-private and resort courses in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in its new book. SouthWood is believed to be the only course in the Tallahassee region featured in the guide. This is not the first honor for SouthWood since its opening in November 2002. It was named to the Top 10 courses of the millennium by Travel + Leisure Golf.

by LarryFeldman

G O L F V A C A T I O N S • F A L L 2007



C A B O No pocket in your bathing suit? No problem! Try this all-inclusive resort. By Chris Baldwin


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It's easy to eat, sleep and drink your way through a golf vacation in this picturesque seaside corridor. A few days in Cabo and you start to feel like a trust-fund kid, certain someone is always going to make things easy for you, smooth over any troubles. The toughest tough guy is liable to catch himself ordering a piña colada from the swim-up pool bar. About this time you might be tempted to slip one of the happily helpful local workers 50 pesos to slap you across the face. No need. Just book a round at Cabo Real Golf Course instead. This place will remind you what it takes to be a man. A mighty man's man. Sure, you have to get past the romance-novel stone courtyard, flower-filled and surrounded by quaint yellow buildings, and the small army of staffers seemingly toiling just for you. But beyond these creature comforts lies a Robert Trent Jones Jr. torture chamber ... er, golf course that will shake the vacation daze right out of you. Golfers with heart conditions - or doublebogey afflictions - should think twice about entering. Cabo Real's front nine has long been recognized as the toughest in the region, but that reputation does it faint justice. With its desert-shrunken fairways, uphill climbs and Frankensteinian

bunkers, this is one of the toughest front nines anywhere. The only question is why the USGA hasn't been here for a consult. It could pick up some tips in the diabolical department. "The front nine has some sting to it," said Federico Vaughan, director of golf for prominent Cabo real estate/golf firm Grupo Questro, as jovial as could be. Picture a man smiling at your funeral. Cabo Real's No. 3 illustrates the torment. This 493-yard par-5 has you shooting uphill while trying to curve your ball around a turn with colorful desert bushes - and three ominous, supersized pot bunkers - en route to a green on a severely steep hill of its own. Land short on the sides of Cabo Real's slim hill greens and you'll struggle to get the proper footing to take a shot, let alone execute it. This course literally knocks you off-balance. In other words, it's about the last place you want to play early one morning after a late night of tequila shots, as Los Angeles vacationer Ashley Salisbury did. "It was a long night, I've never been to Cabo before, I'm the only girl in the group," Salisbury said. "And I don't have money to get back to the course where everyone else is playing. So I'm going to play here. I heard the back nine is nice."

Cabo Real Golf Course Km 19.5 Carretera Transpeninsular • Cabo San Lucas, Mexico • Tee times: 800-880-4655 or 702-851-0839


R E The back nine is stunningly nice, in terms of scenery. The 14th is a go-for-it par-4 with the ocean behind the green. No. 15 is a par3 that looks longer than its 168 yards because you're shooting over the beach to get to the green. That's right - a forced beach clear. No wonder you can hear the surf crashing at Cabo Real. It almost becomes a Zen golf thing. Not that it's much easier than the front nine, as shooting up the skinny dogleg hill on No. 11 or down from the high, high tee on the 200-yard 12th makes clear. Cabo Real is a beast, wherever you are. Cabo Real Golf Course: The Verdict Some monsters you don't want to hide from. Cabo Real is a virtual must-play on any Los Cabos golfing excursion. Its toughness is matched by its scenic beauty and conditioning. The flower beds below the eighth tee look like they were lifted from a famous public garden. This course is so well-choreographed, you half wonder if the staff planned the burst of birdsong you hear right after chipping one in for a rare birdie (an endangered species here). It might fall a wow or two short of Cabo del Sol Ocean Course, but it's coin-flip close to determine whether Jones or Jack has built the best course in this high-end, big-namearchitect wonderland.


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S O R T Tucked away on a tranquil sandy cove along Los Cabos' colorful sapphire coast, Meliá Cabo Real All-Inclusive Beach & Golf Resort lies between the spectacular scenery of the exotic desert and the only protected safe swimming beach in the area. The 305 rooms, including Junior and Master suites, have been completely redecorated with modern-day touches and a warmer palette. The resort includes oceanfront M Experience premium floors designed to provide the next level of personal service, offering a full range of facilities and deluxe amenities, including 32’ flat screen television, 24/7 vacation assistance, twice-a-day maid service, daily turndown, plush bathrobes, slippers and mini-bars stocked with premium options. Three of the resort’s acclaimed restaurants, the ocean view La Palapa, El Mirador and the outdoor patio and air-conditioned Quetzal are even more inviting with new furnishings and expansions, while Kujira now offers an innovative restaurant concept and menu with a fusion of Asian delights culled from Japan, Thailand and China, testing the limits of traditional dining. Located in the lobby, Avenue Bar has a chic casual elegance where guests may meet, mingle, have a drink and listen to their favorite tunes in a new fashion-forward ambiance. Meliá Cabo Real offers four culinary experiences and three bars. The all-inclusive service provides the freedom of a worryfree vacation and lets guests enjoy gourmet, a la carte dining, a buffet option with ocean view, unlimited snacks, select premium brand beverages and cocktails, as well as professional entertainment for all ages, and a daily program of activities. Guests may partake in non-motorized water sports, snorkeling, horseback riding, tennis and such adrenaline-rush adventures as wall climbing and flying down a zip line, as well as championship golf at the Cabo Real Complex Robert Trent

Jones II-designed course. The resort also offers indoor and outdoor meeting space that is able to host up to 1,140 guests with wireless Internet service in all areas and a professionally trained staff that assures an event’s success. Meliá Cabo Real is ideally located between the desert and the Sea of Cortez, in the heart of the Tourist Corridor, 5 minutes from San Jose del Cabo, 25 minutes from the international airport and 20 minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas. A new shuttle bus transports guests to the center of Cabo San Lucas three times daily. • Two beachfronts including a safe swimming beach • Giant freeform pool with bays and island • Jet skis, snorkeling and windsurfing (non-motorized watersports are free of charge). • Scuba • Marlin-fishing • Daily activities include: water aerobics, tai box, yoga, water polo, beach volleyball, non-motorized watersports Pilates, cooking and Spanish lessons, fruit decoration • Two live shows & two theme parties weekly • Two golf courses • Fitness center / Spa • Free shuttle to Cabo San Lucas • Kids' Program - ages 5-12 arts & crafts, mini disco, shows, camp-out... • Playground, basketball, ping pong, game room • Climbing wall and bungee trampoline • Whale-watching cruises in winter months For more information visit

By Terry Ross

Four Seasons Resort Aviara



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he sleepy seaside village of Carlsbad has long been famous for its cool ocean breezes, temperate climate, lush golf courses and its close proximity to San Diego just 30 minutes to the south.

The PGA Tour made this town a regular stop for over three decades for many of these same reasonsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and it is also why the Four Seasons Resort, Aviara, has come to be one of the outstanding golf vacation destinations in Southern California. Situated on 200 immaculately landscaped acres, the 329-room luxury resort rests on a plateau overlooking the Batiquitos Lagoon wildlife preserve and the Pacific Ocean, with the Arnold Palmer-designed Aviara Golf Club

winding through the property. It is the only Four Seasons golf and tennis resort on the U.S. mainland that offers ocean views, and everything about this resort works towards making this one of their finest anywhere in the world. Rated as a AAA Five Diamond resort, the resort has been ranked by Condé Nast Traveler as the top Resort Spa in Southern California and two national golf publications have ranked the 7,000-yard championship 18 as best on the West Coast. The Spanish colonial-style buildings and lush, flowering greenery complement the many amenities offered at the Four Seasons, Aviara, which include six lighted tennis courts, two swimming pools, deluxe cabanas, two whirlpools and a 15,000square-foot spa, which has 20 deluxe indoor treatment rooms, a couple’s suite, fitness center, steam room, sauna, whirlpool and locker rooms. The spa offers an array of treatments and massages, scrubs, body wraps, customized facials and bath rituals to get you in the right frame of mind for a truly unique experience. The service is top drawer throughout the resort. Guest rooms range from the 540-square-foot standard room to the Presidential suite and are all appointed with plasma TVs, Web-TV and Sony Play Stations, private balconies, wireless internet and a host of other luxurious amenities. The Four Seasons Aviara features a choice of five dining venues, with the newest being the Argyle Restaurant and Lounge, located in the golf clubhouse and overlooking the 18th green and the Batiquitos Lagoon. The Argyle features a diverse menu, but steaks are the choice—especially the New York steak with butter sauce. The staff is one of the most accommodating you will find and will gladly go off the menu to make something special. Executive Chef Pierre Albaladejo has assembled some of the freshest California produce available and also offers a selection of nutritionally-balanced choices low in calories, cholesterol, sodium and fat. The golf offerings at the Four Seasons, Aviara are even more intriguing, ranging from the only Palmer-designed course in San Diego, which was once the host of the PGA Tour’s Par 3 Challenge, to the Kip Puterbaugh Aviara Golf Academy and the TaylorMade Performance Lab that features the only such facility open to the public in the Southwest.


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The Aviara Golf Club offers the feel of one of the finest private country clubs and a crack staff that takes care of every need. An award-winning pro shop and an industryleading GPS system on the carts carry the hotel’s feel of luxury over to the links. The course itself is a very enjoyable layout that provides a fair, but formidable challenge, and yet is not going to take advantage of the recreational player. The par-3 sixth hole plays almost 200 yards and is one of the better three-shot holes around, while the signature par-5 eighth is an excellent risk-reward hole with water fronting the green. The big hitters can get there in two, but they better be two excellent shots or else a big number can come into play. The finishing 18th hole may be the best on the course. It is a long dogleg right with water down the right-hand side, requiring an exacting tee shot since anything too far left can also be big trouble.

The TaylorMade Performance Lab The TaylorMade Performance Lab (TMPL) at the Four Seasons, Aviara Resort in Carlsbad offers one of the world’s most advanced computerized motion-capture systems (MATT) available with a nine-camera, state-of-the art facility alongside the Aviara Golf Academy that is used to test, train and fit clubs for the best players in the world on the PGA, LPGA and Champions Tours. The two-hour club-fitting session includes indoor testing and swing analysis that is used to recommend models and modifications of TaylorMade golf clubs to match individual swing characteristics, just like the touring pros. Players are outfitted with reflective sensors and a 3-D

Although the course stretches to 7,007 yards from the back “Palmer Tees,” most players will find the 6,591-yard blue markers or the 6,054 white tees much more enjoyable. While there is enough to keep one busy on the property for a solid week, the adjacent Carlsbad community and the cities just south also have great possibilities for day or night fun. Rancho Santa Fe is San Diego’s version of Beverly Hills with an historic village of specialty shops and restaurants, nearby Encinitas has been dubbed the “Flower Capital of the World” with its blooming flower fields and Del Mar is a famous celebrity playground and host of thoroughbred horse racing each summer where the “turf meets the surf” at Del Mar Racetrack. model of their swing is captured by the nine cameras from all angles. Information about club head speed and path, swing planes, alignment, ball position, center of gravity, lateral motion of the body and posture lines can all be measured for both teaching and club fitting purposes. This information is then used to recommend club specifications, which can immediately be validated on the adjacent driving range. Custom-built demo clubs can be assembled using the TaylorMade SelectFit system that has thousands of combinations of shafts and club heads to build a custom demo club right on the range in seconds for testing purposes. Once the best fit for clubs is obtained, an order is sent to the TaylorMade factory and the new custom clubs can be in the player’s hands in as little as 48 hours. For more information on the TaylorMade Performance lab:

G O L F V A C A T I O N S • F A L L 2007



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eople searching for the ideal vacation destination no longer have to trek from coast to coast for challenging ski slopes, championship golf, hiking, biking or fishing. Situated in central Idaho, Tamarack Resort – the country’s first four-season destination to feature golf and skiing in nearly 25 years – meets every vacation need.

Set in the scenic Payette River Mountains, Tamarack Resort is the culmination of a partnership between Jean-Pierre Boespflug and Alfredo Miguel. This multinational relationship has resulted in an outdoor paradise that doesn’t take a break between seasons.

Summer The Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed Osprey Meadows has compiled honor after honor including Golf Digest naming it “America’s Best New Public Course, $75 and over” and “Idaho’s best public-access course.” Weaving through lush meadows, along the pristine Lake Cascade and in the shadows of the majestic mountainside, Osprey Meadows features four tee boxes – making this gem enjoyable for the weekend novice while still challenging enough to test the chops of the most skilled player. According to the designer, the mountains dictated the design of this beauty that stretches to more than 7,300 yards from the tips. Uniquely, Osprey Meadows features five par-5s, five par-3s and eight par-4s. For golfers looking for a deal, Tamarack Resort offers myriad stay-and-play packages. Golf is far from the only summertime adventure at Tamarack Resort. Zipline tours have become increasingly popular among guests as they can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the area. From 200 feet in the air, Mother Nature’s glory is in full view and taken in at an unparalleled vantage point. Lake Cascade activities include pontoon boats, Hobie Cats, lake kayaks and fishing boats. Also, new water-ski and wakeboard boats are available for rental and guided trips. In addition, guided whitewater rafting trips – featuring Class III rapids – and fishing trips on the Cabarton stretch of the North Fork of the Payette River will provide an adrenaline rush for some and much-needed relaxation for others. For those looking for two-wheeled thrills, Tamarack Resort offers the area’s only full-service mountain bike park, featuring 30 miles of IMBA-designed single-and double-track trails, a jump park and challenge park.

by Tom LaMarre


Winter Unlike many golf destinations, the fun doesn’t end once the snow starts to fly. For many, it’s just heating up. Skiing, snowboarding, Nordic and snowshoeing occupy the time of winter adventure enthusiasts who can enjoy the 300 inches of snow annually. Tamarack Resort boasts 39 ski runs, 5,000 acres of expert backcountry terrain and Hell’s Canyon Superpipe – an 18-foot high, 400-foot long halfpipe that will challenge the most extreme snowboarder. For the snow lover looking for a lower-impact adventure, choose to glide along the Lyle Nelson Nordic and Snowshoe Trail system. The immaculately groomed Nordic trails feature classic tracks and smooth skating lanes while the snowshoe trails are viable for all abilities. Meander through winding trails in meadows and aspen groves or heavily forested trails with towering pines, firs and tamaracks. Additional Amenities Spring, summer, fall or winter, guests can unwind at the fullservice Santé Spa, offering everything from hair and nail-care services to massage and full-body rejuvenation. Dining options abound at Tamarack Resort. From fine dining to casual fare or pub treats, culinary options are plentiful. For those looking for a gourmet meal and a fine bottle of wine, the resort offers Morels Restaurant. The menu focuses on regional flavors incorporating fish and game native to the area such as elk, venison, salmon, plus seasonal salad offerings and housemade sorbet.

The Canoe Grill is quite a melting pot with cuisine ranging from Egypt, Philadelphia, Louisiana, and Utah. In addition, guests can enjoy a cocktail at the Vertical Bar. For more liquid refreshment, step into Seven Devils Pub – named after a range of mountains lying to the northwest. The pub offers a full bar and menu with its casual, upbeat atmosphere. Seven Devils is the perfect place to catch the game, wind down or just relax and have a drink. In the Works Tamarack Resort is expanding on a daily basis with a greenfriendly addition to the lodge that will feature 41 condominiums with studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and penthouse floorplans; a shopping and dining development; and the incoming Fairmont Tamarack – a luxury hotel condominium which is a joint venture between Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf and their company, Agassi Graf Development LLC, and Bayview Financial, LP. Fairmont Tamarack is scheduled to be completed in 2010. In addition, a budding real estate development featuring stunning homes is taking shape. The Tamarack Village has been conceived as the heart of Tamarack Resort. Nestled at the base of the mountain, Tamarack Village will be a vibrant collection of quality shopping, services and restaurants, as well as condominiums and lodging facilities providing the perfect transition between the year-round mountain activities. Quickly becoming known as the “new Colorado,” Idaho has been blessed with a wealth of destination options such as Circling Raven and Coeur d'Alene Resort. Tamarack Resort has become the newest shining star of this fast-growing vacation location.

Tamarack Resort the first all-season resort to open in the U.S. in more than two decades, has received national attention for its worldclass mountain for skiing, hiking and mountain biking; Osprey Meadows, a Robert Trent Jones, Jr., signature golf course named Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Best New Course in its category for 2006 by Golf Digest; and beautiful Lake Cascade, perfect for swimming, sailing, fishing, sea kayaking, and boating.

G O L F V A C A T I O N S â&#x20AC;˘ F A L L 2007



I By Alan Eisenstein


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’ll admit it. Before embarking on a recent visit to Laughlin, Nevada, I had humble expectations. Having never been there, my mental image was a common one - a seedy gambling town with tacky casinos, busloads of old folks bellying up to slot machines and cheap buffets, an assortment of bikers, cowboys and down-on-their luck low-lifes, and if there were any, cow-pasture muni golf courses typical of the small-town west far from modern golf civilization. Well – I did see some of the Laughlin-of-my-mind, but I also experienced a community trying hard to change its image and offer a reason for sophisticated tourists to give the area a second look. The major casinos, while not the glamour monoliths of the Vegas strip, are perfectly adequate large hotels with plenty of expected accoutrements. There are nine of them lined up along the Colorado River offering delightful



views of water and desert vistas and sister-city Bullhead City, Arizona, across the way. There’s a pleasant river walk that allows visitors to stroll from casino to casino without the hassle of driving and re-parking. Dining, entertainment, recreation and gambling options run the gamut – from 2-buck buffets to fine gourmet (although not cutting edge) dining, water sports to upscale spa treatments, and of course, any slot machine or table game your wallet can tolerate. If you bring the family, don’t miss a visit to nearby Oatman, a real old west mining town featuring reenactments of showdowns and gunfights in the street and live burros roaming wild. Within a half-hour drive of the

casino row are four quality golf courses allowing a golf-oriented traveler the opportunity to plan a perfectly satisfactory 3 or 4-day holiday. And you’ll spend a fraction of what you would for a similar excursion to Sin City, some ninety miles to the north. The most exciting course in the area is the two-year old Laughlin Ranch. It represents the beginnings of one of the most ambitious master planned golf communities I’ve ever seen. Fast-forward twenty years and on what was 12,000 acres of empty, vast Mohave Desert, a mini-city will emerge with 100,000 residents living in 40,000 upscale homes, 4 golf courses, and an already built western style clubhouse and classy spa. The David Druzisky designed Laughlin Ranch Golf Club is the epitome of modern desert golf. The layout takes advantage of the natural landscape, dramatic elevation changes and visually arresting desert vistas. G O L F V A C A T I O N S • F A L L 2007


Each hole offers a unique challenge – forced carries to generous (often hidden) landing areas, split fairways, false-fronted large undulating greens, collection areas, ponds, meandering creeks, and a nice variety of short and long par-4’s and 5’s which often require clubbing decisions strongly affected by prevailing desert winds. Into the breeze, the 288-yard uphill 2nd hole played 100 yards longer and the 650-yard uphill 11th was virtually unreachable in three shots for anyone of average length. The 176-yard par-3 13th, aptly named Hell’s Half Acre, offers an incredibly large bunker-protected green making club selection based upon pin position a unique challenge. If you play Laughlin Ranch on a breezy day you are best advised to follow head pro Matt Valen’s counsel and tee it up one tee-box closer than you normally would for maximum enjoyment. Keep a lookout for old and replica mining memorabilia scattered about the course as well as natural wildlife – roadrunners, flocks of coots, and probably a rattler or two in the desert rough. The El Rio Country Club, located just south of Bullhead City in Mohave Valley, AZ, is another attempt in the area to go uptown in building a new desert golf community. Just a few houses have been built on this two-year old layout designed by Matt Dye, legendary Pete’s nephew. It’s another modern desert course featuring plenty of moguls, humps and bumps on an otherwise flat landscape. Green complexes are challenging with multi-levels, dramatic slopes and collection areas challenging your approach shots – bunkering is typically a safe distance removed from the greens and collection areas. The par-5 17th is memorable – this 542-yard dogleg features a water hazard left you must avoid on your 2nd shot that runs all the way up to alongside the green plus another pond with a pretty waterfall on the green’s right. I also liked the short par-4 8th – only 325 yards from the tips, it’s a classic risk reward shorty. A large lake protects the right side from 70 yards short to alongside the green – then it wraps around the green’s back. It’s drive-able for big hitters but the prudent play is a lay-up and wedge for a good birdie try. El Rio is very playable for golfers of all skill levels weighing in at only a 123 slope from the 7,115-yard tips – most will enjoy the black tees at 6,609 and a 117 slope. But if the typical desert breezes are up, watch out, El Rio will turn into a monster. Another player-friendly course in the Laughlin area is Mohave Resort next to the Avi Resort Casino about 20 minutes south of the Laughlin’s main Casino drag. It’s a ten-year old Schmidt-Curley design featuring strategic bunkering, moguls, scrub areas and swamps on a natural desert landscape. Few forced carries and wide fairways make Mohave Resort a great choice for higher handicappers but there’s plenty of challenge for accomplished players. The prevailing desert breezes typically make the long par-4’s play shorter and the short 4’s longer, so choose your club carefully. The green complexes here present a nice variety of challenges with severe undulations, multi-tiers and strategic bunkering. Don’t get lulled to sleep, Mohave Resort finishes strong with an all-carry-over-water 178-yard 17th and a long


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408-yard par-4 18th which will send an errant approach to a watery grave. A fourth golf option in the region is Desert Lakes on the south side of Bullhead City. It’s an older course in an established residential community so errant shots could easily bounce off homeowner’s roofs and walls. The layout is shorter than others in the Laughlin area but it’s sporty with small, well-bunkered greens. The course’s maturity has allowed larger trees to grow in and line many fairways. One warning however – when I played it the fairways and rough were in rough shape, so you may want to check with knowledgeable locals before venturing to Desert Lakes. While in Laughlin, locals kept telling me I had to play The Refuge in Lake Havasu City. So I took the hour drive south and wasn’t disappointed. This Arnold Palmer Signature design is yet another upscale golf community in the making with several million-dollar homes already lining fairways. The clubhouse is completed and it’s a gorgeous Tuscan design with a classy dining room, bar and pro shop. The course offers fabulous vistas of surrounding mountains and the beautiful blue Lake Havasu, a favorite for water recreation activities of all kinds. The layout is true to the King’s designs - easily playable for all golfers but presenting plenty of challenges for better players stretching to 7,036 yards from the tips. I particularly liked the number-one handicap hole, number 8 – an uphill 550-yard par-5 – with two huge rows of bunker/waste areas traversing the fairway requiring forced carries on both your second and third shots. Eighteen is memorable– a long downhill par-4, 485 yards from the tips - it reveals the beauty of Lake Havasu in full view with majestic peaks in the background. As the community gets built out, the developers plan to take the course private – so play The Refuge now if you can work it into your schedule. Is a Laughlin golf vacation right for you? There’s plenty of useful planning information on the Laughlin Visitors Bureau’s website:, to help you decide. I wouldn’t laugh if, after you go, you recommended it to your friends as a surprisingly high quality golf vacation experience at a downright bargain price.

G O L F V A C A T I O N S • F A L L 2007




f indigenous oak trees and serene streams sound like the ideal backdrop for perfecting your golf swing, pack your clubs and book a trip to Saddle Creek Resort to experience the beauty of the Sierra Foothills while you tee up. Located just two and a half hours east of the Bay area, Saddle Creek is a 900-acre resort that draws golfers to its 18-hole course, while also beckoning wine lovers to the more than two dozen local wineries dotting Calaveras County. This world-class facility is ranked 9th by Golf Week Magazine for public access courses in California and its practice facilities, including a grade-A short game area, are touted as the finest in the area. Designed by Carter Morrish, son of internationally renowned golf course designer and architect Jay Morrish, the golf course is an ideal setting for a weekend golf getaway. The course is set on rolling land that rises and falls, offering twisting and turning holes that provide a great variety for golfers without any blind shot areas. Golf packages are offered year-round and include lodging in luxury, course-side bungalows, along with other perks like unlimited use of the on-site sports club, breakfast each morning and a golf cart parked outside your door daily. Each bungalow offers a


G O L F VA C AT I O N S â&#x20AC;˘ F A L L 2 0 0 7

master suite with its own bathroom, and a second bedroom and bathroom. Amenities include a wood-burning fireplace and media center, and wireless Internet. French doors open to the patio offering views of the golf course. Guests can request massages in their bungalows. This year, extensive efforts are being made to upgrade the already pristine golf course at Saddle Creek to a 5-star level. The residential golf course property is owned and operated by Castle & Cooke, who also cater to non-golfers by offering hiking trails, nature walks, tennis courts, and a swimming pool. Nearby Lake Tulloch offers fishing and activities that are mere minutes from the resort. After a long day of golf, guests at Saddle Creek Resort will certainly opt for the fine dining offered at The Copper Grille, an award-winning restaurant overlooking the 9th green, offering breathtaking views of the foothills. The Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired architecture of the restaurant situates diners under cathedral ceilings, while they feast on contemporary American cuisine and wines from around the region. Wine pairings are offered nightly with selections from Calaveras County, Sonoma and Napa Valley.

Saddle Creek Resort by Michael Villalpando


Those looking to strike out beyond the green, may want to head to Copperopolis Town Square, a historic country town located just four miles from Saddle Creek Resort. Also a project of Castle & Cook, the town center has a touch of historic mining town flavor, with contemporary creature comforts. A territorial-style gazebo, landscaped fountain, park benches, shady oak trees, flag poles, stone masonry walls and old-fashioned gas lamp posts are all part of the scenery there. The architecture is reminiscent of the mid-and-late 1800s, capturing the essence of the Sierra foothills gold country. Several buildings, all cast in the historic patterns, forms and textures of the gold rush are nearing completion. Where else in California can you find a fine golfing facility like Saddle Creek Resort in such close proximity to a slice of Northern California gold rush history? Since 1996 Saddle Creek has been a destination spot for golfers and their families. Hit the spa at Saddle Creek, take a hike on the grounds, go for a lap in the pool, sip a glass of wine, or just sit back and enjoy the sweeping views. Corporate retreats are welcome. Call (800) 611-7722 or visit

olfers at Saddle Creek Resort can’t live on golf, great food and good times alone, right? Well, maybe they can. But they don’t have to; not with the emergence of Copperopolis Town Square – a brand new “country town” being built just four miles from the resort. Since its ceremonial groundbreaking in front of 1,000 people in April 2006 Copperopolis Town Square has literally risen from the ground up to take shape as the residential and retail center of the region. Several buildings, all cast in the historic patterns, forms and textures of the “Gold Rush” era of the mid-and-late 1800s, are nearing completion. A signature marquee sign to alert and lure drivers and passers by has been placed at the entry to the town on California Highway 4. From the road, the stepped rooflines of the town’s buildings paint a quaint and welcoming picture. At buildout (currently projected for 2009), the Copperopolis Town Square architectural program calls for 22 buildings with a total of 233,000 square feet combined in one-, twoand three-story buildings. It will feature a wide selection of boutique retail shops and unique businesses not found in other Northern California towns or commercial centers. An eclectic mix of one-of-a-kind stores, fine-dining and convenience restaurants and art galleries will attract visitors from throughout the state. A specialty grocery, a charming boutique inn and a regional medical center will serve those on extended stays as well as the town’s new residents. Located off California State Highway 4 just four miles from the 900-acre, Castle & Cooke-owned Saddle Creek Resort, Copperopolis Town Square is conveniently positioned between the Bay Area to the west and the abundant outdoor and adventure opportunities of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range to the east. It is approximately two hours from San Francisco, 1.5 hours from Sacramento and 45 minutes from Stockton. For more information about Copperopolis Town Square, including leasing and real estate opportunities, visit, email or call 866.276.4235

G O L F V A C A T I O N S • F A L L 2007


FAIRWAYLIVING NEW LUXURIOUS VILLAS CELEBRATE SONOMA LIFESTYLE Mayacama will be offering ownership interests in three to five-bedroom hillside Estates. Located just an hour north of the Golden Gate Bridge, Mayacama combines the very best in golf, wine, dining and amenities for the definitive Sonoma experience. Now, with the new Residence Club, Mayacama has truly become the ultimate wine country retreat.


magine having a second home nestled in the hills of Sonoma wine country— with access to a Golf Digest-ranked “America’s Top 100” golf course, the region’s best wineries, a luxurious spa and fine dining. Then, imagine that all of the upkeep is taken care of for you. With Mayacama’s new Residence Club Villas, this dream is becoming a reality. Mayacama, a stunning 650-acre golf and wine club located in the heart of Sonoma County, is now selling ownership interests in its new private Residence Club, offering three fully furnished, Mediterranean-style Villas for 1/5 ownership interest. With 3,000-square-feet of indoor/outdoor living space, each Villa features three bedrooms and three and a half baths, indoor and outdoor kitchens and a gracious outdoor living room designed for easy entertaining. Decks off of every room provide


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above: Mayacama’s clubhouse mirrors some of Tuscany’s great country estates, set high atop a knoll with stunning 270 degree views. below: Mayacama’s 11th green, a par-3 hole

sweeping views of the golf course and tranquil Sonoma scenery. Intimate details such as hardwood floors, an outdoor shower, soaking tubs and impressive harvest dining tables make for sophisticated, yet comfortable, living. Nestled into the Mayacama golf course, the Villas truly embrace the natural beauty of their surroundings. Ownership guarantees 70 nights of use per year. Pricing ranges from $650,000 to $850,000 for Residence Club interests. To join the Residence Club, golf memberships are required. Construction has already begun on seven additional Villas, which will also be available for sale in 1/5 ownership interests. These Villas are scheduled for completion in Summer 2008. In Winter 2008,

World-Class Golf Opened in 2001, Mayacama’s stunning golf course had the highest ever debut rating in Golfweek, breaking into the rankings at #39. The 18-hole, Jack Nicklausdesigned course truly celebrates the timehonored traditions of the game: Ranked in Golf Digest’s “America’s Top 100,” this “pure” golf course is walking-only, with a first-class professional caddie program. Golf at Mayacama is at once challenging and special. The Mayacama course, clubhouse and residences reflect its unique Sonoma location. Dotted with Mediterranean-style one-bedroom Casitas, the new Villas and the majestic clubhouse, the terracotta-toned buildings fit gracefully into the property’s rolling hills and sweeping vistas. Games are truly civilized: Players won’t see standard course markers; instead, Mayacama’s professional caddies assist players in the traditional way: through sharing advice and experience. Mayacama combines the benefits of a new, modern course with a reverence for the customs of the sport. Exclusive Wine Program Wine has always been an equal part of

MAYACAMA RESIDENCE CLUB VILLAS the Mayacama experience. Mayacama members and owners have exclusive access to 31 of the most esteemed wineries in Napa and Sonoma, such as Harlan, Araujo Estate and Marcassin, through the club’s distinctive Vintner Members program. The invitation-only program only considers wineries with scores of 92 points or higher from The Wine Advocate’s Robert Parker— making for an incomparable group. Exceptional Location Set in a beautiful landscape of live oak and madrone trees, Mayacama is a secluded sanctuary in wine country. The club’s prime location in the heart of Sonoma

offers the opportunity for countless excursions, from the refined to the rustic. From Mayacama, members can tour nearby Sonoma wineries in minutes, drive to the tony town of Healdsburg for a gourmet dinner at Cyrus or trek a few hours to go hiking in Bodega Bay. Gift of Time Owners and members know that in today’s fast-paced world, time is a luxury. Mayacama allows owners and members to spend time with the people who mean the most to them—friends and family—without the hassles of second home ownership. Mayacama owners can have a leisurely golf

game or indulge in a private wine tasting without being bothered by traditional second or third home ownership details, such as maintaining a garden or shopping for vacation supplies. Mayacama takes a personalized approach with service, by stocking the refrigerator pre-arrival, managing home maintenance, as well as having a 24hour-a-day Concierge, who can procure hard-to-get restaurant reservations or private wine tastings. Mayacama: The perfect combination of wine country refinement, world-class golf, and outstanding amenities. It’s truly the finest of fine living.


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Golf Vacations Magazine Fall 2007  
Golf Vacations Magazine Fall 2007  

Golf Vacations Magazine Fall 2007