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A new way to do the Charleston: Wild Dunes Resort

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With its history, vast array of restaurants and stellar golf courses, you don’t really need a new reason to visit the Charleston, South Carolina, area.  But on a recent visit, I found Wild Dunes Resort, which adds to my list of good things to be found in the Palmetto state.

Nestled on the northern tip of Isle of Palms, a lush barrier island off the coast of South Carolina, Wild Dunes Resort is located 30 minutes from historic downtown Charleston. Occupying 1,600 acres of oceanfront paradise, Wild Dunes offers a variety of accommodations ranging from the AAA Four-Diamond Rated Boardwalk Inn and the Village at Wild Dunes to private condos and luxury home vacation rentals. The resort offers a full spectrum of amenities and activities like tennis, fitness center, spa and a raft of quality eating establishments.

Of course, for golfers the main attraction is the two courses at the resort. The original course is the Links Course. Notable for being Tom Fazio’s first design as a solo practitioner, the Links Course was a sensation from the moment it opened, almost immediately. In the blink of an eye, Fazio’s links track was featured on national magazine covers, was hosting USGA championships and had earned a spot among the top courses in the world.

Visually stunning, Wild Dunes Links Course (par Par 72/ 6709 yds.) is characterized by the look, in true links fashion, as if it was revealed rather than created. The four-hole stretch starting at the par-4 10th, is routed into primary and secondary dunes that are perfectly integrated into the landscape, much like the “new classic” courses that are sprouting up all over the place (think Streamsong and Sand Valley).  But the best is saved for last, as the 17th and 18th give an oceanside golf experience that is as good as any you will find in the United States.

Wild Dunes Harbor Course

The second course at Wild Dunes is the Harbor Course. Also designed by Tom Fazio, he says it is one of his favorites and for that reason alone golf course connoisseurs will want to have a go at it.  The course is a true southern beauty, with many holes bordered by the Intercoastal Waterway. That water comes into play early and often on the Harbor Course; although it is not long at par-70/6,359 yds and has the generous fairways that are a Fazio signature, it is almost vindictive how it can punish bad shots and bad decisions. Bring caution, a good short game, and plenty of ammo.

Both courses are in excellent condition and the temperatures and the prices are reasonable, especially if you visit in the late winter months.

While the golf is great and the amenities are good, what I like most about Wild Dunes is the people. The hospitality and service on and off the course are first class, with a warmth that is hard to find in most destinations but standard procedure in South Carolina. On and off the course, Wild Dunes provides a golf experience that is one of the best values in America. Y’all come!

For more information, visit Wild Dunes’ website

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Williams has a reputation as a savvy broadcaster, and as an incisive interviewer and writer. An avid golfer himself, Williams has covered the game of golf and the golf lifestyle including courses, restaurants, travel and sports marketing for publications all over the world. He is currently working with a wide range of outlets in traditional and electronic media, and has produced and hosted “Sticks and Stones” on the Fox Radio network, a critically acclaimed show that combined coverage of the golf world with interviews of the Washington power elite. His work on Newschannel8’s “Capital Golf Weekly” and “SportsTalk” have established him as one of the area’s most trusted sources for golf reporting. Williams has also made numerous radio appearances on “The John Thompson Show,” and a host of other local productions. He is a sought-after speaker and panel moderator, he has recently launched a new partnership with The O Team to create original golf-themed programming and events. Williams is a member of the United States Golf Association and the Golf Writers Association of America.

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Courses

Hidden Gem of the Day: ColoVista Golf Club in Bastrop, Texas

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These aren’t the traditional “top-100” golf courses in America, or the ultra-private golf clubs you can’t get onto. These are the hidden gems; they’re accessible to the public, they cost less than $50, but they’re unique, beautiful and fun to play in their own right. We recently asked our GolfWRX Members to help us find these “hidden gems.” We’re treating this as a bucket list of golf courses to play across the country, and the world. If you have a personal favorite hidden gem, submit it here!

Today’s Hidden Gem of the Day was submitted by GolfWRX member Austincountyag, who takes us to ColoVista Golf Club in Bastrop, Texas. In his description of the course, Austincountyag tells us how it’s a tale of two very different nines at ColoVista.

“The course is usually in decent to great shape, and for the price, it is very hard to beat in the greater Austin area. The front nine is a links type of layout, while the back nine provides dramatic elevation changes as the holes wind through pine trees along the Colorado River.”

According to ColoVista Golf Club’s website, 18 holes during the week will cost $40, while the rate rises to $50 should you want to play on the weekend.

@Omstar114

@VisitsBastropCo

@DillonBecker7

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Match Play: 10 most romantic golf destinations

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Golf is usually a game for four but there are times when two is just the right number. When you want to get away from it all with your favorite partner, here are the 10 best places for a perfect match of luxury resort and world-class golf.

The Resort: Villa Del Palmar Loreto Resort – Loreto, Mexico
The Course: TPC Danzante Bay (Rees Jones)

Villa Del Palmar Loreto

#17 at TPC Danzante Bay

Located on the Monterrey Peninsula, Villa Del Palmar features stunning beaches, snorkeling, walking trails and a top-level spa. Jacuques Cousteau spent weeks at time enjoying the amazing array of marine life of Danzante Bay. The golf course is one of the most scenic anywhere, especially the par-3 17th.

The Resort: Primland Resort – Meadows of Dan, VA
The Course: Highland Course at Primland Resort (Donald Steel)

This mountaintop resort on the Virginia/North Carolina border combines European sophistication with Southern hospitality.  Offers a wide variety of outdoor activities including riding and sporting clays. Bathrooms feature tubs big enough for two. The course is challenging for any skill level and has gorgeous mountain vistas.

The Resort: Adare Manor – Killane, Ireland
The Course: The Golf Course at Adare Manor (Robert Trent Jones, Sr./Tom Fazio)

You’ll feel like a resident of Downton Abbey the moment you enter the gates. The stately home was recently renovated by Irish magnate JP McManus and features some of the most luxurious rooms in all of Europe. The newly renovated course rivals Augusta for its perfect conditioning. Will definitely host a Ryder Cup.

The Resort: Four Seasons Lanai – Lanai, HI
The Course: Manele Golf Course (Jack Nicklaus)

The smallest Hawaiian island is home to a 5-star resort with lush grounds, perfect beaches and award-winning restaurants. Be sure to take a walk to Sweetheart Rock at sunset. The Manele Golf Course is both majestic and subtle, in many ways the Golden Bear’s best design.

Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve – Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico
The Course: TPC Dorado Beach East Course (Robert Trent Jones. Sr/Robert Trent Jones, Jr.)

Every detail is taken care of at Dorado Beach, the gold standard resort in Puerto Rico. Book a couples massage at the spa; in fact, plan to spend a full day there. You won’t want to leave. The golf course has hosted the PGA tour when it comes to the island, and probably still should be. A classic RTJ/Rockefeller collaboration.

The Resort: The Manor House at Fancourt – George, South Africa
Golf Course: The Links at Fancourt Country Club (Gary Player)

Fancourst is one oft he most exclusive destinations on the continent and the Manor House offers the highest level of comfort and service on the property. Beautifully appointed rooms and old world charm are the hallmarks of Fancourt. Did I mention that each room has a personal butler? There are several course on property but Player’s Link design is a masterpiece.

The Resort: Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf Resort & Spa – Los Cabos, Mexico
The Course: Quivira Golf Club (Jack Nicklaus)

Set atop a hill overlooking the Pacific, Pueblo Bonito has a modern sophistication and a knack for anticipating your needs. Guests are eligible to visit the other Pueblo Bonito resorts in Cabo for dining and dancing. Plenty of ocean views on Quivira course and have a complementary tequila shot before you play the par-4 4th. You’ll need it.

The Resort: Inn at Perry Cabin – St. Michaels, MD
The Course: Links at Perry Cabin (Pete Dye)

This charmer was featured in the movie “The Wedding Crashers”. Quaint colonial buildings contain all the modern comforts. Go sailing, visit the spa and sample from their extensive wine collection. The new course has all the beauty and torture you would expect from a Pete Dye layout.

The Resort: Gleneagles Hotel – Perthshire, Scotland
The Courses: Kings Course (James Braid)

Playground to rich and powerful as well as host to the Ryder Cup, Gleneagles has a reputation for perfection and it delivers. Tennis, riding, shooting and falconry will have to feeling like royalty. The Nicklaus Centenary course hosted the Ryder Cup but the Kings Course is pure Scotland.

The Resort: Chateau du Coudreceau – Loury, France
The Course: Chateau du Coudreceau (Arnold Palmer Design)

Want to be alone? Rent this magnificent chalet, which only hosts one quest party at a time. You’ll get used to having a full staff and planning your custom menu for every meal. And Paris is just an hour away. The golf course only has 14 holes but you can route it to to play as many as you like, and you even choose your own daily pin placements.

 

 

 

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Courses

Hidden Gem of the Day: The Highlands of Elgin Golf Course in Elgin, Illinois

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These aren’t the traditional “top-100” golf courses in America, or the ultra-private golf clubs you can’t get onto. These are the hidden gems; they’re accessible to the public, they cost less than $50, but they’re unique, beautiful and fun to play in their own right. We recently asked our GolfWRX Members to help us find these “hidden gems.” We’re treating this as a bucket list of golf courses to play across the country, and the world. If you have a personal favorite hidden gem, submit it here!

Today’s Hidden Gem of the Day was submitted by GolfWRX member Chrischo555, who takes us to The Highlands of Elgin Golf Course in Elgin, Illinois. In his description of the course, Chrischo555 gives us an excellent summary of just why this course is a must play if you find yourself in the area.

“In my opinion, The Highlands of Elgin Golf Course is one of the best public golf courses in the Chicagoland area. It’s a great links style course with a decent amount of slope (which is almost impossible to find in Chicago).

From the back tees, there are par 4s ranging from 310 yards to 470 (with a 260-270yd forced carry) and par 3s ranging from 140-240. The greens are also very fun as they have a nice amount of undulation and are well maintained. In my experience there, the greens usually run at about a ten on the stimp.”

According to The Highlands of Elgin Golf Course’s website, 18 holes during the week costs $46, while if you want to play on the weekend, the rate rises to $53.

@IJGAbrett

@BigTenMarkTV

Check out the full forum thread here, and submit your Hidden Gem.

 

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