Top Five Reasons to Plan a Golf Vacation in Northern France

MeertMeert in Lille, France

Beautiful Northern France has far more to see and enjoy than than just the following “Top 5.” In fact, there are so many incredible restaurants, alone, I may have to do another “Top 5″ post soon.

When you plan your golf vacation to Northern France, the following are just a few attractions and courses you’ll want to check out, but keep in mind the possibilities in Northern France are endless. If you’re travelling from the UK to France, the easiest and cheapest way is via the cross channel ferry and Brittany Ferries offer some great golf holiday deals that include the ferry crossing, bed and breakfast and a few rounds of golf. You’ll experience friendly people, beautiful golf courses, and delicious food. Let’s start planning your vacation to Northern France now!

  1. How do waffles made in a hinged iron griddle with Madagascar vanilla sound? They sound like something that could land you the number one spot in a top 5 list! They’re one of the specialties at Meert (pictured above) in Lille, France. Meert is a luxury (emphasis on luxury) tea room and sweets shop that has served kings, viceroys and generals (including Charles de Gaulle, a life-long fan) since 1761.  As if the waffles (“Gaufres”) aren’t sweet enough,  just next door is Meert’s chocolate shop. Any questions why they own the number 1 spot?   Golf de Bondues (a Trent Jones Course) is in nearby Bondues. Golf de Bondues boasts an American design with plenty of water and challenging holes.
  2. La Source (also in Lillie) is popular with vegetarians, seafood lovers, and health-conscious diners.  La Source serves delicious vegetarian, fowl and fish plats du jour, each accompanied by five hot vegetable side dishes.
  3. As for hotels in Northern France with “outstanding” reviews, the top pick seems to be Moulin de Connelles. If you read online reviews for this beautiful hotel in Connelles, France, you’ll see the following adjectives: magical, enchanting, peaceful,  beautiful, wonderful… Suffice to say, they had me at “enchanting.” You can visit a hotel’s website and let them tell you how wonderful they are, or you can read actual reviews from actual guests and REALLY find out all you need to know. Moulin de Connelles is so amazing that their reviews speak for themselves.
  4. Brittany (in North West France) gets high marks for restaurants, hotels, and golf.  Brittany golf courses offer golf year round, with breathtaking scenery and holes that are challenging and enjoyable for beginners as well as seasoned pros. Visit http://www.golf-brittanytourism.com/ for more information.
  5. Golf de Wimereux, created in 1901, is a gorgeous sand based golf course with excellent playing conditions all year. Guaranteed.

Golf in Northern France – Golf de Wimereux

Hopefully, this post will inspire to plan a trip as soon as possible to Northern France. Those of us who love travel AND golf, couldn’t ask for a more beautiful place to experience the best of both worlds.

 

Golf de St Cast, St Cast

Golf de St Cast, St Cast

Sussex Golf Courses

Sweetwoods Park Golf Club

Perched on the South Coast of England, Sussex is famous for spectacular seaside views and rolling countryside. It’s no wonder then that this area of the UK is blessed with a wealth of outstanding golf courses. Ranging from sweeping rural courses to legendary coastal hideaways, chances are you’ll find at least one course in Sussex to add to your golfing bucket list!

Rye Golf Club

Founded in 1894 by 25 year-old Harry Colt, this links course (one of only two true links courses along the 100+ miles of Sussex coastline) has gained an almost mythical reputation due to its remote coastal location and the ferocity with which its members protect the unrivaled level of privacy on offer.

Previously notoriously difficult to secure a tee time for, the barriers to entry at Rye have loosened somewhat in recent years with the advent of the internet and word it’s now possible to gain access to the famously exclusive club if you manage to catch the course secretary in a particularly charitable mood…

If you are lucky enough to find yourself on the first tee then you’re in for a brutal, punishing and utterly unforgettable round of golf. Stretching over 6,300 yards of wind swept, meticulously maintained grassland Rye frequently features in “top 10” lists of golf courses anywhere in the UK and once played it’s easy to see why. The swirling wind and slanting fairways will test the mettle of even the most experienced golfer, but the exquisitely designed holes and old fashioned, historic charm will nurture a level of appreciative delight in the player that very few golf courses can hope to match.

West Sussex Golf Club

A round at West Sussex Golf Club is a similarly captivating experience to a battle against the devilishly tough 18 holes at Rye.

This however is where the similarities between the two courses end. Where Rye prides itself on traditional, fundamental golf, excluding a vast portion of players with its remote location, exclusivity and difficulty, West Sussex Golf Club concerns itself with being visually stunning and accessible to all.

That is not to say that West Sussex is an easy round, measuring 6,355 yards including 7, 400+ yard par 4’s it will test and challenge the most able golfers. Crucially however it conjures its difficulty in a less soul crushing manner than Rye meaning there’s still plenty of scope for golfers with higher handicaps to thoroughly enjoy a jaunt around the beautiful woodland course.

Sweetwoods Park Golf Club

Cutting a swathe through the Wealden Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Sweetwoods Park is a recently refurbished course that counts stunning panoramic views of the picturesque village of Cowden, the surrounding rural woodlands and even a 13th century-church spire (the rest of the church is equally quaint but – as it can’t be seen from the course – we’re not interested!).

A much more modern course than the previously mentioned couple, Sweetwoods is quickly building a reputation as one of the finest golf courses in Sussex or the surrounding area of Kent. The level of care and attention lavished onto the playing surfaces is second to none, each fairway and green glows an inviting shade of luscious green that speaks to the effort that the ground staff put in to maintain such pristine conditions.

The ultra-modern clubhouse is worth a pre or post round visit also. Word from the locals is that the food is of such quality that it’s almost worth a visit just for a snack!

Best Public Golf Courses in Ontario

The conventional wisdom is that golfers have to join a private golf club to get access to the best courses. However, Ontario also has some fantastic public golf courses. The organizations that run them take pride in giving an experience that is on par with those of private courses but without the expensive membership fees. Canadian golfers flock to Ontario, which is a haven for great courses. Here is a look at some of the best public golf courses in the province.

LochMarch

LochMarch Golf Course

Image source: sphotos-a.x.xfbcdn

Loch March in Ottawa offers a private golf type experience, but with public golf course prices. It allows you to enjoy golfing amidst a lush, green forest atmosphere. Golf lessons are also available. Loch March’s eighteen hole course features natural terrain and a great atmosphere. Ottawa golf at Loch March is a treat you don’t want to miss!

Deerhurst

Deerhurst Resort Golf Course Ontario

Image source: deerhurstresort

Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville features two different eighteen hole courses nestled in a picturesque setting. The Deerhurst Highlands course provides a challenge for experienced golfers, while the Deerhurst Lakeside is appropriate for any skill level. Deerhurst is a great place for young golfers. Kids under eighteen can golf for free as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Deerhurst also features an academy designed for people of all ages.

Lakeview

Lakeview Golf Course Ontario

Image source: travel.ca

Lakeview Golf Course in Mississauga has a long tradition of excellence. It has existed for over a century and has twice been the site of the Canadian Open. It features an exciting 18 hole championship course. It’s fun to think of all the golfing legends who played on this same course. Lakeview also features a fully stocked pro shop, so golfers in need of some new equipment are in luck.

The Bigwin Island

The Bigwin Island Ontario

Image source: golfclubatlas

The Bigwin Island, Lake of Bays in Muskoka is an acclaimed golf course designed by Doug Carrick, a famous Canadian golf course architect. After being transported by plane or ferry shuttle to the exotic and beautiful island, golfers enjoy a championship caliber course. It features four sets of tees, so all levels of golfers will be able to enjoy themselves here. The course was given a Golf Digest “Best New Golf Course” award in 2002.

Copper Creek

Copper Creek Golf Course

Image source: scoregolf

Copper Creek in Kleinburg is one of the Greater Toronto Area’s top choices. Located within the scenic Humber River Valley, it is a perfect spot for golfers who enjoy a fast-paced game. Some public golf courses are known for slow play due to the struggles of inexperienced golfers. This can frustrate more experienced players. Copper Creek solves this problem by offering a “four and a half hour guarantee”. If your golf game takes longer than that through no fault of your own, you will be compensated with vouchers. If you finish in less than four hours, you receive a discount.

As you can see, golfers don’t need to join an expensive club or be subjected to pricey membership fees in order to experience top quality Ontario golfing. Any of these courses are sure to satisfy your needs. Grab your golf clubs, head out, and see for yourself!

Hilton Head Golf Is At The Head Of My Class

I know you’ve seen it on TV and I know you want to see it in person, dontcha?

What?

You know I’m talkin’ about the Harbour Town Marina lighthouse.

We’ve seen it in the background on the weekend golf telecasts and we want to know if it really has red and white stripes all year round.

Do they just paint it like that for the golf tournament?

Okay, so the truth is yes, it’s really red and white all year round.

I was stationed in South Carolina during part of my Army years and I travelled a wee bit around the state whilst I was there.

From the swampy marshes to the sandy beaches to the brick streets, South Carolina is a travellers and golfers dream come true.

From Alexander’s to the Wreck of the Salty Dog, the dining on Hilton Head can only be described as “All-American Southern Fare with some BBQ, Greek, Italian, French with a little Chinese and Japanese thrown in and stirred up to create a dining paradise surrounded by water”.

But here on this site we mostly talk golf, so let’s get all concentrated on the premier golf destination of the entire eastern seaboard – Hilton Head Island.

And most importantly, since it’s been hovering around 100 degrees here in Kentucky the last three weeks, let’s talk about something else that sizzling hot … Hilton Head golf.

From the Ocean Course to Harbour Town Golf Links. From Arthur Hills to Fazio to Robert Trent Jones.

Did I mention that Hilton Head is one of the most family friendly places to play golf?

Did I mention that it may well be the best place on earth for the ladies to play along with their guys?

Tremendous courses, tremendous designers, tremendous conditions and amenities. Water, sand, breezes and more await you on Hilton Head Island, so head over and get you a few Hilton Head tee times … you won’t be sorry and you can thank me later, after you tell ‘em Mike sent you ;-)

Chance to win 2010 Jeep Patriot, $10,000 and more on Saturday, April 10, 2010!

Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa kicks off the start to the 2010 golf season with the Annual Spring Golf Tee-Off on Saturday, April 10, 2010, on the resort’s North Course. Join ESPN Madison 100.5 Sportscasters Jim
Rutledge and Gabe Neitzel as they broadcast live at the resort from 3-5 p.m.

Golfers can take advantage of the low golf rate at $60 per round of golf and $10 off any golf package per person, valid April 9-11, 2010 to mark this special weekend. On Saturday, April 10, 2010 golfers will have the chance to win a new 2010 Jeep Patriot in a challenging putting contest and the chance to win $10,000 cash in a hole-in-one contest along with other giveaways throughout the day.

One lucky listener of the Roe Conn Show on Chicago’s WLS 890 AM will win a trip out to the resort to play with News Anchor Jim Johnson on Saturday, April 10, 2010 to help kick-off the start to the golf season. Visit
www.wlsam.com for details on how to listen and win!

To make a tee time or book one of the golf packages for the weekend, please call the resort at 800-892-2269 or visit www.eagleridge.com for more details.

I’d Rather Be Golfing In Spain Than Shoveling Snow In Saskatoon

La Manga

Okay, so I don’t live in Saskatoon, where it’s 2 degrees as I write this.

But I am in western Kentucky and it’s about 31 degrees right now and not going to get a lot better til about April, which seems very far off.

Why am I crushing on Spain? Because it’s gonna be 68 degrees and sunny all week and it’s home to many events on the European Golf Tour.

Spain is also home to a fabulous La Manga Golf Resort, which is in La Manga, Los Belones, Cartagena.

For many years, La Manga has been the benchmark Spanish golfing vacations. It has been named European Golf Resort of the Year, several times, thanks to three fabulous championship golf courses and ultra-fantastic facilities of the highest standard. Bar none.

The South Course at La Manga is universally regarded as their premier layout and frequently hosts prestigious regional and national events, including the Spanish Open and European Tour Qualifying School.

The South Course was reworked by Arnold Palmer’s design team in the early 1990’s and was retooled again in 2004. The result is a fair but exacting test of golf, as are most golf courses worked on by Palmer’s design team.

La Manga’s North Course presents a different test of golf with tighter fairways and larger greens, neither of which play to my strengths this time of year. I like wide open fairway’s and smaller greens where my three-putt-itis doesn’t flare up as much.

You need accuracy and sound course management to get the best results when you play the 6,291 yard North Course. It also helps if you are a “shotmaker” and not a slash and banger, like me.

La Manga’s West Course is also considered a genuine championship layout, which means there are no bad courses or pushovers on this beautiful resort property.

Coming in at 6,529 yards, the West winds its way through pine trees and has more severe slopes than the other two layouts.

In fact, the West is the favourite of many repeat visitors, particularly because of its unique setting and outstanding views. Because the fairways are kinda tight, it’s prudent to play conservatively from the tee and when you couple that with the fabulous Par 3’s, you see why I would use my hybrid’s more than I normally would. That in itself leads to better scores and less time hunting the edges for golf balls gone astray.

Golf in Spain is always good, but at La Manga, good turns to great.

My Dream Golf Vacation For Fall 2009

17th Island Green at TPC Sawgrass

It’s getting near that time when we here in the U.S have a meal that has a turkey and a wishbone.

If I get the wishbone this year, I’ve got my wish all planned out.

I’m gonna wish for a golf vacation to the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort.

It’s been voted one of the Ten Best in the United States.

It’s near one of my favorite areas – Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida.

It’s got the famed 17th island green on the TPC course and you know I’d birdie that dude if I ever played it!

Fodor’s has this to say about it: “As the second-largest golf resort in the country and home of the world-famous TPC at Sawgrass Stadium Course, the Sawgrass Golf Resort and Spa has plenty to offer golfers, including playing privileges on 99 holes of world renowned courses (five, to be exact). This is truly a full-service resort, whether you’ve come to laze about (the resort includes a 25,000-square-foot, full-service spa and allows guests access to the Cabana Club, a private beach club nearby) or get active playing an Arnold Palmer-designed mini-golf course, swimming in one of four pools or fishing in freshwater lakes and ponds. A $16 million room-renovation project in 2007 has given the resort a face more befitting its name. Pros: Championship golf courses, readily available shuttle, efficient staff. Cons: Beach not within walking distance, overrated food, no free parking.”

Even though I’ll be very near the PGA Tour headquarters, I won’t actually have to play like a tour player to get treated like one at the Sawgrass Marriott.

The hotel has exceptional amenities, fine dining at the Augustine Grille and a superb spa, but the real reason to go is the 150+ holes of tremendous golf.

Golf.com says: “The Players Stadium course casts such a long shadow that it’s easy to overlook the sturdy Dye’s Valley, though Marsh Landing gets the nod as the prettiest of the eight Sawgrass courses. Across the street you can play the nominally private Sawgrass Country Club, a 27-holer where Jack Nicklaus, Lanny Wadkins and Lee Trevino won the Players before the TPC was built. But the Stadium is the real draw, especially the pulse-pounding tee shot at the infamous 17th.”

Yeah, it’s just a dream for now, but come late November, I may well be on my way south and I’ll be looking for 3 buddies to go with me ;-)

Anybody got some good thoughts of the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort to help keep my dream alive and kickin’ ?

The Top 10 Reasons To Play The Love Course

the-love-course

Davis Love III designed a spectacular golf course, The Love Course, at Barefoot Golf Resort in the South Carolina lowcountry of Myrtle Beach.

There are many, many reasons you should play The Love Course, but I’m gonna give you my Top 10 and it’s up to you after that.

  1. Davis is on Twitter and does a great job of actually replying, as well as sharing photos and insider info.
  2. It was ranked as #1 among the Top 50 Courses in Myrtle Beach by Golf Digest.
  3. Golf Digest also gave it 4 1/2 Stars in it’s “Places To Play” review.
  4. It has wide open fairways and generous landing areas…can you say fun to play for everybody?
  5. The greens are A-1 bentgrass. Need I say more?
  6. Davis is a Carolina boy all the way from start to finish. North, South, eh, what’s the difference anyway?
  7. They’ve got 30 acres of range and practice facilities. That’s like a lot.
  8. There’s a Greg Norman Australian Grille on the premises. That’s worth the drive even if you don’t play golf.
  9. There’s a House of Blues nearby. Hello!? What else can you ask for?
  10. David Letterman isn’t going to be there anytime soon to do his Top 10, so you have to use mine.

Now that you’ve read this, what are you waiting for? Call ‘em up, catch a plane and go see for yourself. You won’t be sorry.

If You Own A Golf Resort …

Every day I get 3-5 emails from some agency that’s promoting a golf resort.

Every day I get 3-5 emails from the marketing staff at a golf resort.

Every day I get 3-5 emails from someone promoting a golf package.

Every. Single. Day.

Never do I get an invitation to come visit, play their course, sample their food and blog about it, continuously, while I’m there.

Not. One. Time.

Do you want to really get some buzz about your golf package?

Do you really want to get some buzz about your golf resort?

Invite 4 golf bloggers to come and visit, play golf, eat and sleep on your dollar.

Let us blog about it, take pictures, podcast and video it.

That’ll get you a helluva lot more play than sending us all the same email and asking us to write about your product or service, which is damn hard to do without visiting !

ATT Pebble Beach Pro-Am

pacific-coastline

My blog friend Nicole, from the MONTEREY COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU, just emailed and is allowing me to share this with you.

Her office works in partnership with Monterey County and the cities of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Del Rey Oaks, Marina, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Salinas, Sand City, Seaside and Soledad.

They’ve put together the ultimate resource called The Insider’s Guide to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and you can find it by following that link.

You’re welcome ;-)