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Texas Destinations

Having toured 23 states, four countries on three continents, it has been another year of stories on short courses, sustainability, municipals, makeovers and effective grow-the-game initiatives.

At a place like Pinehurst, the “Cradle of American Golf,” one could argue, they’re embarking on almost all of the above: a trendy bar overlooking No. 2, a complete renovation of course No. 4, the addition of a short course and an extension of their popular putting course.

On this website, I’ve already chronicled other significant investments being made by some of the top courses and resorts in the country, which includes Bandon Dunes, Pebble Beach, American Club, Sea Island, Sea Pines, Streamsong, Sawgrass, Forest Dunes, Arcadia Bluffs, Big Cedar Lodge and the Greenbrier, among many others.

And the tent poles of golf are doing their part with continued support of First Tee, while creating their own initiatives, such as Drive, Chip and Putt and PGA Junior Leagues, which has enjoyed a 300-percent increase over the past three years and, worth mentioning, gets sponsorship for their championship from National Car Rental.

Meanwhile, Topgolf continues to sweep the country, as more people are seeing the merits of short, sustainable, accessible, affordable, non-traditional and FUN!

Go figure.

But in the past 12 months of travel, it’s the stories on lesser-known grass-roots initiatives that make me so optimistic about the future of golf.

For example, Youth on Course, which was started in 2006 by the Northern California Golf Association. The concept was simple: subsidize green fees for junior golfers. Now, 10 years later, there are 400 participating courses in 12 U.S. regions that have provided 450,000 rounds of golf for no more than $5 per round. Not to mention the addition of caddie programs, internships and college scholarships.

Credit goes to the NCGA for not only caring about the development of their junior members, but also for being so connected and supportive of other golf associations willing to adopt the program’s best practices.

And although there are similar success stories, such as the Birdies program in Morocco, which is teaching and coaching 70 kids, not only to play the game, but also the management and the business of the industry, the idea that municipals matter was never more obvious than in 2016.

The city of Austin continues to rally national and historical support for Lions Municipal, which is where desegregation was happening in golf before it was happening in the country. And it’s where a 7-year-old Ben Crenshaw won his first of many golf tournaments. If the University of Texas turns Lions Muny into more high-rises and real estate profits, they’re going to suffer the public relations blues.

Meanwhile, Goat Hill Park in Oceanside, California has extended a 30-year lease to John Ashworth and his band of lovable and loyal locals, who just facilitated the conversion from potable to reclaimed water.

And in Winter Park, Florida, Keith Rhebb and Riley Johns, two young architects with decorated portfolios, have just completed a $1.2 million restoration of a 100-year-old 9-hole course that navigates roads, train tracks, a church and a graveyard.

Also worth noting, the work that has been done at Weequahic Golf Course in Newark, New Jersey, Canal Shores in the suburbs of Chicago, and Keney Park in Hartford, Connecticut.

And then there’s Torrey Pines North in San Diego, which gets 84,000 rounds per year and just underwent $25 million in changes by Tom Weiskopf, who kept the focus on playability for the people who pay to play as opposed to those who get paid to play.

Again, go figure.

And on the heels of golf coming back to the Olympics and Tiger Woods coming back to golf, Golf Advisor published an article using a 2015 graphic and study by the Sports and Fitness Industry which shows youth sports participation up in golf by 60.4%, while baseball, basketball, soccer and football down a combined 37.4%.

I hear and see all of the counter arguments, which focus on a decrease in number of courses or the millennials’ lack of interest in the game. The fact is, not every course will make it. Nor should they. The industry has provided enough competition in various markets in which smarter and more demanding consumers seek out courses or destinations that are more proficient at meeting their needs and wants. Natural selection collides with laws of supply and demand, laws of economics, and eventually the strongest will not only survive, they will thrive.

And as for millennials, twenty-somethings have always struggled to justify the time and expense of golf while chasing careers, significant others and eventually, their offspring.

The long-term health of the game orbits around getting kids exposed to the fundamentals and fun of golf at an early age. And, eventually, when they get more time and income, they come back in their mid-30s or early 40s, as they recommit to family golf, buddies trips and couples trips.

I’m willing to bet everything I own, that investments made in 2016 will not only pay dividends in 2017, but more importantly, in 2027, and in 2037. I just hope I’m around to collect. Because, as any golfer knows, fast pay makes fast friends.

Summer Golf Camps for Kids


On a recent trip to Morocco, I was introduced to a grow-the-game initiative that the program’s mentors referred to as “Birdies.” Formally known as Birdies de Mogador, it’s made up of 70 kids, carefully screened as potential leadership in the country’s budding golf industry. For eight hours a week, these kids are being taught to not only play the game, but also manage the game, which includes language lessons and classes on the business of golf.

To #GrowTheGame in the United States has become a popular hashtag. And with the microscope literally and figuratively revealing the dangers of tackle football, combined with successful programs such as First Tee, Youth on Course, Drive, Chip and Putt and other evolving trends, such as TopGolf and short courses, the game’s forecast seems to be improving for decades and future generations.

And as the cloud cover lifts, it brings us to summer golf camps for kids. Where do they fit in? What are your options? And what should you, as a parent or guardian, look for?

Kate Tempesta’s Urban Golf Academy
Kate Tempesta’s Urban Golf Academy

“It starts with understanding your child,” says Kate Tempesta, founder and co-owner of Kate Tempesta’s Urban Golf Academy in New York. “I hear people say, ‘Make it fun.’ But what’s ‘fun’ is different for each age. What might be fun for an 8-year-old might not be fun for a 5-year-old.”

Tempesta started a junior camp at Montauk Downs on the eastern tip of Long Island five years ago, which ran for one week. Last year it was up to nine weeks. And this summer it will be 11 weeks. Between camps in Montauk and various locations throughout New York, Tempesta estimates her and her staff will see 1,000 kids this summer.

“I’m thrilled with the evolution of the program. Our mission statement is to empower the children and let them discover the game at their own pace.”

Kate Tempesta’s Urban Golf Academy
Kate Tempesta’s Urban Golf Academy

Urban Golf Academy works with kids, ages 4 and up. Weekly summer camps run from 9—2pm, which includes golf, and/or tennis and swimming and prices range from $145 to $180 per kid, per day, depending on when you sign up.

“We aim for joy first, then we might get technical. Which isn’t to say we can’t get to the competitive side of the golf, it’s just not our point of entry.”

Tempesta also offers “Evening Eagles,” which is two days a week, 5—8pm, and it’s $300 per child.

Kate Tempesta’s Urban Golf Academy
Kate Tempesta’s Urban Golf Academy

“In the end, do we want better golfers or better human beings? The answer is human beings, and golf is a great vehicle to get that done. That’s just me and that’s the way I teach.”

For more on Urban Golf Academy: www.ktuga.com




After speaking to Tempesta, I also solicited feedback on junior golf camps from my Twitter followers. Some notable names and brands chimed in:

David Leadbetter ‏‪@DavidLeadbetter
I heard @LGAOrlando has great junior camps.

Students ages 12-18 will be immersed in a week-long program based on Leadbetter’s famed “Holistic Approach” to golf instruction, utilizing 30+ years experience coaching juniors around the world. Leadbetter’s Holistic Approach to the golf swing has helped countless tour professionals and aspiring junior golfers reach the pinnacle of the sport, including 21 Major winners and 7 World No. 1s.” ($2,950 per student.) For more: http://davidleadbetter.com/summercamps/


Arron Oberholser ‏‪@ArronOberholser
Stanford’s camp is incredible. Been going on for years. I coached at it when I was in college.

Stanford offers half day and full day golf camps, with a focus on “introducing the game to juniors between the ages of 5 and 12 with either no experience or a couple years of instruction.”

They also offer “Traditional Camp” which is designed to cater to junior golfers (ages 8—18) from beginner to advanced. Instructors include the Stanford coaching staff and other DI/DII coaches and players. ($650—$1,800) For more, go to: stanfordgolf.activesb.net/2016_Summer_Camps.htm


@Pinehurst Resort We humbly nominate the Pinehurst Golf Academy Junior & Parent/Child Schools.

‪@thejcruz89 When he was 13, my son loved every second of the Pinehurst Golf Camp. Best $1,600 for a week you can spend.

Pinehurst junior golf school runs through July, and includes golfers ages 11 to 17. It’s six days and nights and prices range from $1,769 to $1,869. For more: www.pinehurst.com/golf/pinehurst-golf-academy/our-schools/junior-school/


Michael Hankinson ‏‪@MPHankinson
Hi Matt! The @NTPGAJuniorTour has some of the best camps in Texas and include a starter set of clubs! For my son- it started.

For more: www.ntpgajuniorgolf.com


Chad Anderson ‏‪@KnoxAreaGolf
@Tennesseepga Jr Golf Academy – great value! Overnight camp for a week, dorm rooms, catering, par 3 course, instruction.

For more: golfhousetennessee.uschedule.com/TPGAJuniorAcademy/AbouttheAcademy.aspx


Francis O’Hara ‏‪@FOSDGLF
Can’t go wrong with @TheFirstTee

For more: www.thefirsttee.org/club/scripts/section/section.asp?NS=FL


Rollins Golf ‏‪@RollinsGolf
@PineNeedlesGolf Has a great camp. @PeggyKirkBell is in attendance!

For more: www.pineneedles-midpines.com/youth-golfari/


Inge Beeker ‏‪@ingewood
Check out @OldWaverlyGC for world class instruction from @VTROLIO and @timyelverton.  They have junior cottage setup for camp.

For more: www.hailstate.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=205389018


Troon @Troon
We like the Summer Jr Camps at ‪@TroonNorthGC. ‪#GrowTheGame

For more: www.troonnorthgolf.com/tnjrcamp.html


Holing Out in Houston

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The spring of 2016 will long be remembered in the city of Houston, and not fondly. In late April, apocalyptic rainstorms devastated large swaths of the largest city in Texas, and the fourth largest city in the nation. Some area communities received as much as sixteen inches, and 240 billion gallons of rain fell across the region. That amount of water is equal to filling more than 360,000 Olympic swimming pools, or the same amount of water that tumbles over Niagara Falls over the course of almost four days.

It’s not hard to imagine that many area golf courses were hit hard, if not practically washed away in the days-long deluge. But luckily for the traveling golfer, there were some area facilities that because of elevation or propitious location, were spared the worst. They emerged mostly unscathed from the storms that flooded a thousand homes, covered 3,000 square miles, caused more than five billion dollars in damage, and turned parts of the city into a disaster area.


Woodforest Golf Club in the suburb of Montgomery is a good example. Designed by local resident and former PGA Championship winner Steve Elkington, the course meanders through the majestic pines and towering oaks of Northwest Houston. Thoughtful bunkering and burbling Fish Creek meander through the property, wreaking havoc with offline drives and approach shots. The 27 holes on site are uniformly handsome, as is the brand new clubhouse.

The Highlands Course via Wildcat Golf Club
The Highlands Course via Wildcat Golf Club

Wildcat Golf Club is 36 holes of scenic challenge, all within sight of the downtown skyscrapers and NRG Stadium, home to the NFL’s Texans. The courses are popular with all of the area’s professional teams, so it’s not uncommon to see a Texan, a Rocket (NBA) or an Astro (MLB) on the driving range or in the clubhouse. Both the Highlands and the Lakes courses were designed by Roy Case, and both were built on a landfill and old oil field. The Highlands is links style and somewhat better regarded of the two courses, while the Lakes Course, as the name implies, has plenty of water and a notable amount of elevation change. The Highlands feels a bit like a Hill Country course, with rolling fairways and lovely views. But there are holes with a links feel also, featuring natural areas and open, treeless fairways. It has a few forced carries over deep ravines and the occasional blind shot.

The Lakes Course via Wildcat Golf Club
The Lakes Course via Wildcat Golf Club

The Lakes has encroaching water on nearly half the holes, though things are mostly dry at the outset. Midway through the opening nine is where the tone of the golf course changes, and it becomes a thrill ride with abounding water, several split fairways, uneven lies caused by the rolling terrain, and some elevated greens.

Tour 18
Tour 18

Tour 18 is the original replica course, not a replica of a replica course, if that makes sense. There’s nothing humble about this audacious effort in the town of Humble, and the renditions of Augusta National’s Amen Corner, the island green from the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, the church pew bunkers of Oakmont, The Blue Monster at Doral, and additional efforts mimicking holes at Merion, Shinnecock Hills and even Pebble Beach make this a fun, albeit somewhat contrived test of the game.

18 at the Golf Club of Houston
Hole 18 at the Golf Club of Houston
Finally, and also located in the town of Humble, The Golf Club of Houston offers daily fee players the chance to test their skill where the PGA Tour’s best convene every springtime just prior to Masters Week. The Members Course is off limits to the visitor, but the Tournament Course is available. Among the more interesting holes is the staunch finisher, as the 18th plays a full 480-yards with water down the entire left side. The final hole is a microcosm of what a player encounters earlier, as this Rees Jones–David Toms collaboration has both water and natural wetlands on a number of holes. Conditions are considered among the best in the area, particularly around tournament time.

Just for the sake of iconoclasm, we’ll start with a top-notch vegan eatery in this steer-loving capital. Green Seed Vegan has morphed from a food truck into an honest-to-goodness restaurant, and showcases all sorts of fresh-made juices and their Dirty Burque, rivaling almost any juicy burger one might find.

Speaking of which, since meat-eating is the rule and not the exception, we’ll also suggest a couple of super-popular spots for carnivores: Killen’s Steakhouse and Killen’s Barbecue. The Steakhouse is among the best in the city, and has the elegant formality of great steakhouses everywhere. Killen’s Barbecue on the other hand is a place to get down and dirty. The robust aroma of pecan, oak, and mesquite smoked beef and pork ribs, brisket, sausage, pulled pork and link sausage explains why sometimes famished patrons are waiting for hours to get seated. Other viable choices include Gatlin’s Barbecue and Rudy’s, both of which inspire their own legions of loyal customers.

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“September.” It’s the most common answer to the question of avid amateurs all over the world: “What’s your favorite month of the year to play golf?” October isn’t bad either. And there have been Novembers to remember. Which leads me to a short list of my favorite destinations for fall getaway.

The criteria isn’t complicated: Walkable courses where the backdrop is trees, showcasing colorful leaves. Throw in thoughtful architecture, good conditioning, snappy service and sensible shoulder-season value, and that’s how I arrived at these five.

Leatherneck Golf Course
Leatherstocking Golf Course

1. Leatherstocking in Cooperstown, NY.

On a fall Friday, back when I lived in New York, my parents came for a visit. My dad’s a golfer and my mom is a traveler. Both appreciate baseball. So we loaded up clubs and a few friends and made the scenic four-hour drive to Cooperstown, home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Stay at the Otesaga Resort Hotel, which overlooks Otsego Lake and the Leatherstocking Golf Course. Designed in 1909 by Devereux Emmet, it’s known for its fun finish—a long par 3 over water, and a reachable par 5 that flanks the water from tee to green. Before or after your round, you’ll need a half a day for a good tour of the Hall of Fame ($23 for adults, $12 for children, active or retired military and kids six and under are free). You’ll come back enriched on the history of America’s favorite pastime, a personalized bat or two, a phone full of golf pics and a new appreciation for the fall colors in the Northeast.

Fall special: $485 per night (based on double occupancy and a two-night minimum) gets you breakfast, cart and unlimited golf for both guests.


Top Of The Rock, Table Lake Rock
Top Of The Rock, Table Lake Rock

2. Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, MO.

Johnny Morris started Bass Pro Shops selling bait out of the corner of his father’s liquor store. With his fast fortune, Morris is reinvesting into all that he loves about the Ozarks. High above Table Rock Lake, Morris is piecing together the ultimate golf getaway. With Top of The Rock, the dramatic par-3 course designed by Jack Nicklaus, to Buffalo Ridge, designed by Tom Fazio, both of which are used in the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf (usually in April), there’s already a nice mix of challenges for any level of golfer. But Morris is adding a Gary Player family course, and the design team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw are getting started on another championship routing. It’s the setting, amenities, fishing and family atmosphere surrounding the Big Cedar Lodge that separates it from the rest. And it’s only getting better.

Fall special: $550 per person includes three nights, breakfast each day, two rounds of golf, carts and a cave tour.


Barton Creek - No. 10 Foothills Course
Barton Creek – No. 10 Foothills Course

3. Barton Creek in Austin, TX.

It’s never a bad idea to take advantage of the Texas hill country in the fall—especially as the college football season is in full swing and the Sixth Street district in downtown Austin is teaming with collegiate energy and enthusiasm. In Barton Creek, there is plenty of lodging options, four courses and countless menus full of authentic Tex Mex. The two Fazio courses both feature dramatic elevation changes from tee to green. No shock that you’ll need to putt like Ben to score on the Crenshaw course, which has some undulating greens. And if you’re willing to take a short drive or shuttle ride, the (Arnold) Palmer course is about thirty minutes off property. I always look to go to Barton Creek in conjunction with Austin City Limits, a popular music festival that runs for two weekends in October (Oct. 2-4 and Oct. 9-11). Headliners this year: Foo Fighters, Hozier, Alabama Shakes, Modest Mouse and Florence + The Machine, just to name a few.

Fall special: $500 per person, per night, includes lodging, breakfast, unlimited golf and cart.


Madden's on the Lake
Madden’s on Gull Lake

4. Madden’s on Gull Lake in Brainerd, MN.

It was love at first sight. From the simple and cozy cottage on the water, to the Classic, one of the most underrated courses in the country, I can’t say enough about all this resort has to offer any golf getaway, but especially one in the fall. Although I say underrated, the Classic is actually rated No. 63 on Golf Digest’s list of Best Public Courses in America, but I’d put it even higher than that. And it’s not necessarily for what it is, I like it for what it’s not, which is a clash with its surroundings. Superintendent and designer, Scott Hoffman, moved very little dirt to peel back and deftly design a perfectly charming walk through the red oak trees. There are babbling brooks, big lakes and subtle breaks throughout your round at the Classic. From doglegs, cattails and tap-in birdies, there’s no better place to recap fall golf than sitting around a fire pit, which is on the Classic’s back deck, looking out to the ninth and 18th greens. And with 45 other holes, all catering to various skill sets, Madden’s is a must for a lot of Midwesterners.

Fall special: $495 per night includes a two-bedroom cabin on Gull Lake, breakfast and golf on the Classic.


5th Hole, Cabot Links
Cabot Links – 5th Hole

5. Cabot Links in Inverness, Nova Scotia.

Most people know Mike Keiser because he built Bandon Dunes, which can be good value (and weather) in November. But in the fall, I’d suggest Cabot Links, Keiser’s East Coast creation. It’s a four-hour drive from Halifax, and the leaves in this part of the world are so electric, it’s as though you’re making your way through a cartoon. It’s no wonder there’s the annual Celtic Colors International Festival, or “Festival of Colors,” which runs for two weeks in October and includes food, music and artisans from all over the country (Oct. 9-17). As for the golf, Cabot Links, built by Rod Whitman, is already one of Canada’s most popular courses. This summer, Keiser and his partner at Cabot, Ben Cowan-Dewar, opened the Cliffs course, a Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw design that continues to exceed lofty hype and expectations. With at least ten holes cut along a dramatic mile-and-a-half of Nova Scotian coastline, it’s hard to think it won’t be in the conversation as one of the best courses in North America.

Fall special: $492 per night gets you lodging and 36 holes of golf. (Note: Cabot Cliffs opened for limited preview play this summer. Will officially open in 2016.)

For more of my favorite spots for fall golf, also consider:

  • American Club in Kohler, WI
  • Sunriver in Bend, OR
  • Grand National in Auburn-Opelika, AL
  • Forest Dunes, Arcadia Bluffs and Treetops in Northern MI
  • Greenbrier in White Sulpher Springs, WV

San Antonio Golf

If everything’s bigger in Texas, proof positive might be the San Antonio Hill Country Resort, outside San Antonio, which is one of the largest JW Marriott hotels in existence. What’s not oversized is the drive to the resort, just twenty minutes from the airport. So grab your National rental car, and before you know it, you’ll be luxuriating on six hundred pristine acres.

Here’s the difference between a Marriott (good) and a JW Marriott (better) hotel. The JW brand is the highest level of luxury that carries the Marriott flag. Typically, some of the extra amenities might include a golf course (or in this case, two courses) a spa, and a fine dining element. These properties are a little glitzier, with a few more bells and whistles. To put it in perspective, out of approximately three thousand Marriott properties worldwide, less than fifty are designated as JW Marriott hotels. There is so much going on here that it’s no chore to visit for an extra-long weekend and never leave the grounds, there are that many options, diversions and amenities.

AT&T Canyons Course

Two of the most buzz-worthy golf courses in Texas are on the grounds, the AT&T Oaks Course and AT&T Canyons Course, two notable designs courtesy of Greg Norman and Pete Dye, respectively. The Oaks plays host to the PGA Tour’s Valero Texas Open , captured by Jimmy Walker this past April. The Dye designed Canyons will be hosting the Champions Tour in the AT&T Championship once again this October, with Michael Allen returning as defending champion. Past champs here include marquee names like Fred Couples and Kenny Perry. This makes the San Antonio property in an elite group that hosts both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour in the same calendar year.

AT&T Oaks Course
AT&T Oaks Course

Environmental concerns played a key part in how this project was approved, and the highlight is an environmentally-sensitive closed-loop irrigation system that corrals all runoff for reuse on each course. Both courses are different in terms of design and topography, but both close in dramatic fashion, including short par- 4s and picturesque par-3s. The 16th of the Oaks course featuring a bunker in the center of the green, reminiscent of LA’s storied Riviera Country Club. They’re both tough tracks, but the difficulty is more evident on Norman’s design, particularly with its puzzling putting surfaces. It features sharply contoured green complexes with runoff areas and a maximum yardage beyond 7,500 yards, which will likely make it one of the toughest courses in Texas. The Canyon Course by contrast, earmarked for the over-fifty set and designed by the nearly ninety year old Hall-of-Fame architect Dye, is a bit easier, but not by much. In tandem, they are dual attractions at one of the most modern and capacious golf resorts in the largest state in the Union.

San Antonio Riverwalk

The golf is superb, but a hotel guest would be well served to get off campus, and visit one of the most intriguing cities in America, just twenty minutes away. San Antonio is the most popular tourist destination in Texas, and it’s not hard to understand why. The chief attraction is the River Walk, which meanders through the downtown area, lined with a wide range of shops, bars, and restaurants, all winding their way adjacent to the San Antonio River. The Alamo is one of the nation’s most important historical sites and the top tourist attraction in the state. The old fort served as the last stand in the 1836 Battle of the Alamo, a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution, which involved familiar names from the American West like Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie.

JW Marriott San Antonio
JW Marriott San Antonio

Back at the resort, the number of on-site diversions don’t quite equal the thousand guest rooms on property, but it’s close. There’s a 26,000 square foot spa, a 5,000-square-foot organic garden that helps supply the resort’s seven restaurants, a six-acre water park, and ceilings that appear to be a hundred feet high, giving the hotel a feeling of airy spaciousness that’s uniquely appealing.

Crooked Branch is the largest and most lively of the seven resort dining options, while the signature restaurant is Cibolo Moon, offering casual Texas cuisine in a stylish atmosphere. A step up from Cibolo Moon into the fine dining category is 18 Oaks at the TPC clubhouse, dimly lit and serving a wide selection of wines and steaks.


Top 9 Golf Courses Near Large U.S. Airports

Business travelers often have several hours to kill before boarding a flight back home, whether a meeting ends early or flight is canceled last minute. Why rush to the airport early to sit around? Enjoy your time on the road in a different city and squeeze in a round of golf. If you play your cards right, you may just be able to write off the round as a business expense!

We’ve complied some of the countries busiest airports with top-notch golf facilities less than 12 miles away from the departure gate. Here’s where you can golf and then catch your flight with ease:

Miami International Airport – Miami, FL
Trump National Doral (4 courses) – 8.9 miles from airport
Trump National Doral - The Blue Monster
Trump National Doral – The Blue Monster

Trump National Doral – The Blue Monstor
Renowned for its rich history, the famous Blue Monster at Trump National Doral is tougher, longer and more dramatic than ever before. In mid-2014, Doral’s owner Donald Trump hired golf course architect Gil Hanse to meticulously re-sculpt every hole. The renovation proudly restored the course to its past grandeur.

Trump National Doral – The Red Tiger
The spectacular Red Tiger golf course, given its name by the late Jackie Gleason, underwent one of the most dramatic changes of any of the course renovations at Trump National Doral. Due to the talents of the Gil Hanse design team, the Red is an exciting challenge for the average golfer and also a surprising test for the more experienced player.

Trump National Doral – The Silver Fox
Donald J. Trump’s commitment to make epic changes at Trump National Doral is complete with the Silver Fox, the last of the incredible golf course renovations. The sensational Silver Fox course is one of the most demanding golf tests in the country. Water comes into play on 16 of 18 holes, and its striking, marble-white sand bunkers only reward well struck drives and approaches.

Trump National Doral – The Golden Palm
The new Golden Palm, named after the tree found throughout the golf course, offers another unique and challenging golf experience at Trump National Doral. Gil Hanse’s team resurrected this newly opened course with similar design elements as the famous Blue Monster.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport – Atlanta, GA
Wolf Creek Golf Club (10.5 miles from airport)

Wolf Creek has earned a reputation as one of the toughest golf tracks in the Atlanta area since 2001. Located 10 minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, you will find unparalleled beauty, wildlife and excellent course conditions in a convenient location. Created by Mike Young Designs, the course incorporates low flatland holes, wetland areas and holes with dramatic vistas.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport – Dallas, TX
Cowboys Golf Club
Cowboys Golf Club

Cowboys Golf Club – 6.6 miles from airport
Cowboys Golf Club is the premier resort-style, daily-fee golf course in Texas. As the world’s first NFL-themed golf course, it is the ultimate destination for business entertainment, executive meetings and special events. An innovative golf and entertainment experience awaits you at Cowboys Golf Club.

Bear Creek Golf Club – 3.8 miles from airport
Bear Creek Golf Club is an award-winning course designed by Ted Robinson. Named among the “Top 50 Resort Courses in America” by Golf Digest and one of the “10 Great Places to Golf” by The Wall Street Journal, it is a great place to get in a round. Its two distinct layouts, the West and East Courses, lend themselves to challenge, allure and shot values. Bear Creek has hosted PGA Tour Qualifiers, the Texas State Open, the AJGA National Tournament, the PGA National Golf Series and NTPGA Sectional Tournaments.

Houston IAH
Golf Club of Houston, The Tournament Course – 10 miles from airport
Golf Club of Houston, The Tournament Course
Golf Club of Houston, The Tournament Course

The Tournament Course hosts the Shell Houston Open every year where the world’s top players vie for excellence. The course has abundant native plants and wildlife, making it an enjoyable and beautiful place to play. It’s a great course for serenity and solidity just a few minutes from downtown Houston.




Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Arizona State’s Karsten Course – 5.9 miles from airport
ASU Karsten Golf Course
ASU Karsten Golf Course

Home to one of the strongest collegiate golf programs in the country, the ASU Karsten Golf Course is a classic Pete Dye, links-style course set in the shadows of ASU’s Sun Devil Stadium. Awarded 4 1/2 stars by the prestigious Golf Digest Rating Panel, this well maintained and challenging design features Dye’s signature mounding and creative bunkering – making proper club selection essential for low scoring.


El Paso International Airport – El Paso, TX
Butterfield Trail Golf Club – 7.0 miles from airport
Butterfield Trail Golf Club
Butterfield Trail Golf Club

Natural sand dunes and native flora and fauna highlight this par-72 public golf course. Butterfield Trail Golf Club features over 55 feet of elevation changes and avails itself to drama and relief with vertical transitions. Here, every hole is a “signature hole.” Offering Dominant Plus Bent grass greens, Butterfield Trail provides an unmatched golfing experience. Located just a long iron shot away from the El Paso International Airport, Butterfield Trail is an easy choice to take a golf getaway without having to venture too far off the beaten path.


Chicago O’Hare International Airport – Chicago, IL
White Pines Golf Club & Banquets – 7.5 miles from airport

White Pines Golf Club, a 36-hole championship course (East & West courses) situated on over 240 acres, has been a favorite among Chicago area golfers since 1928. White Pines is an excellent choice for players of all levels and those looking for a challenging game of golf any time of the year.

McCarran International Airport – Las Vegas, Nevada
Bali Hai Golf Club – 5.0 miles from airport
Bali Hai Golf Club
Bali Hai Golf Club

Designed by Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley in 2000, the Bali Hai Golf Club is a worthy namesake of the famous Indonesian land of enchantment. The lush surroundings include seven-acres of opulent water features, 4,000 trees and 100,000 Balinese tropical plants. Transition and out-of-play areas are accented with Augusta white sand and black volcanic rock outcroppings. The par-71 course measures 7,002 yards from the tips and affords spectacular views of the Strip mega-resorts from the fairways.